There have been some bold claims coming out of the Disturbed camp with regards to seventh album Evolution (Reprise Records); and for one of Rock and Metal’s biggest, most successful and most stable acts to be making noises about a release setting them up for the next phase of their career, this must mean the feeling in the camp must be that this album is “the one” – the definitive release. From the redesigning of the logo, the stripping away of the Heavy Metal demon that has fronted most of their stock, to the slick and calculated pre-release campaign, there is a weight of evidence that Disturbed have gone away and found their new selves. Continue reading
At its molten heart, Rock music should be a very simple beating beast indeed. It should inspire and excite, yes, but it doesn’t need complicated rhythms, progressive tendencies, cerebral lyrics, analysis, politics or a whole plethora of interesting and additional ingredients to be successful or do what it sets out to do. And that is to, unequivocally, “Rock”. Continue reading
Disturbed’s quest to “Secure a legacy that will never die”, remorselessly exclaimed during the title track of their sixth album, has, surely, already been achieved over a fifteen year recording career that has seen them outsell all but a handful of their contemporaries, and with a stellar canon under their belt. But as they “feed on domination”, they’re back to prove that, despite a hiatus of five years, they’re still the top dogs.
No mistake is being made here: Immortalized (Warners/Reprise) further cements their status as pack masters of mainstream metal. There are few surprises, a tweaking and refinement here and there, an absence of “Wah-ah-ah-oh”’s, but Disturbed are back at bat and swinging for the fences with the same World Series winning technique and bluster they’ve always had, armed with a consistent and strong collection of anthems, an assembly that serves to showcase the best of everything they’ve had to offer throughout their career.
As cock-of-the-walk with inflated chest puffed out, assured, this is a release that shows strength in depth by having a tail that wags as strong as the top order hits and there is an excellence in simplistic execution prevalent throughout. Songs are punctuated by unashamed chugged fist-pump and head-bang inducing riffs, syncopated verses are rhythmically and melodically strong, bridges lift and escalate songs to powerfully delivered choruses that open out to epic anthems as, in a lot of ways, Disturbed call to mind Manowar in terms of style and structure. Tracks are based around the succinct pounding rhythmic guitaring of Dan Donegan with great vocals (and vocal lines) raising each track to the rafters. While the rhythm section may dependably underpin, once again, David Draiman is the star, his distinctive tones and melodies firing this album up.
Whereas Asylum and especially Indestructible (both Reprise) had a tendency at times to sound a bit rote and by numbers, when the melodious ‘The Light’ rolls in, ‘Open Your Eyes’ – a festival anthem in the making, crafted for a sea of voices to join in as (ten thousand) fists fill the air – stirs, the dark metallic ‘Save Our Last Goodbye’ powers by, ‘What You Waiting For’ lurches and bounces, ‘Never Wrong’ gets down with The Sickness (Giant/Reprise) and the piano-led inspired cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ brings gravitas and a change of emotion, all under the controlling voice of Draiman, this is an album with depth, angles and shades at each turn, all while remaining undeniably and unashamedly Disturbed.
And that’s without taking account of the more straight-forward stadium metal belters of ‘Who’, ‘The Vengeful One’ or the title track…
If they do indeed feed on domination, then there should be some full and sated bellies.
Within its short period of existence, Coldcock Whiskey has become a well recognized liquor item within the music world. Its brand has been recognized for sponsoring various music events such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and NAMM, as well as its logo plastered across the chests of countless musicians as well as fans alike at concerts across North America.
The Coldcock Whiskey story began after grooming another well recognized liquor brand for years. Brand marketing representative Adam Grayer explains how it all began.
“We are about to finish up our second year,” he said. “We ran the music marketing for Jagermeister – sponsorships, tours, festivals. When Rick and Sarah Zeiler brought the idea to create the brand, the first thing that they did was to reach out to all of our friends – band members, managers, booking agents, and festival owners – showing them what we’re doing, told them about our idea to market the brand.”
“They all loved the idea and came in and invested. John Reese [Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival co-founder] is an investor in our brand. Kerry King’s [Slayer] an investor in our brand. David Draiman from Disturbed, Miles Doughty from Slighty Stoopid, Avenged Sevenfold’s booking agent, and Linkin Park’s booking agent. So it’s really humbling that all of these people have come in and invested their money, and on top of that, they’ve helped us promote and build the brand. John Reese has us out of the tour and Kerry King’s at our booth every day doing meet and greets. Everyone does a little something more than just putting in a bit of money. They actually believe in what we’re trying to do, which is help us build a brand.”
Coldcock Whiskey’s flavor has a different taste than most liquors on the market, which has immediately sparked the interest of those who have tried the product. Grayer explains how the texture differs from some of the other products available.
“The flavor is a three year aged Kentucky bourbon, so it’s true bourbon whiskey, and we infused it with natural herbs like green tea, hibiscus, ginseng, gingko, eucalyptus, and those herbs give it a natural sweetness that kills the burn. It has the whiskey taste but not the whiskey burn. It’s more of a lighter, sweeter after taste. It’s not harsh going down but it still is a whiskey.”
After building up a well established liquor brand like Jagermeister, starting over from the beginning can be quite daunting towards anyone who has to build up a name from scratch. This group behind this brand was up for the challenge and Grayer explains how building up the name is a long term project and without huge expectations immediately.
“The beauty behind a brand like Jagermeister, and I don’t want to talk too much about them – that is what they call a 30 year over night success. It really did take a very long time to build. Their music program didn’t actually start until the brand was established.”
“What we realized is that at that brand, the bands gave that brand its soul. What we wanted to do on the outside was to get those bands that love us and have tried our brand and love this brand Coldcock to talk about the brand. We know it’s not going to take five weeks. We know it might take five years, but we want to do this in a cool, unique way. We want to build it out there with a cool core following, and as this following grows everyone that starts drinking this brand becomes a loyal fan,” he said.
He goes in deeper about the difference between their product and the competition’s, and how their ingredient base has a slightly different taste and reaction from those who have tested it out.
“What we’ve seen over the years is that a lot of brands have popped up that are these flavored whiskeys and flavored vodkas that are easier to drink and expensive, but they’re loaded with sugar and some of them are loaded with chemicals. So we wanted to create a brand that was very easy for people to drink, inexpensive and flavored naturally so there’s very little sugar in it. It’s whiskey with no burn but also not a lot of sugar in it. It’s not as harsh, and as a result word will spread because people will go ‘humm…you haven’t tried Coldcock? You don’t know what you’re missing…’ If you’ve been drinking other brands that are loaded with sugars, after shots of those brands and you’re not feeling so good, you’ll want to try something different. We’re that different.”
“When you have all of these bands that we’re working with talking about on social media or on stage, you’re hearing about it in a unique way that’s never been done before to this level. We feel that the consumers will react to that and I think they will become more loyal as a result. They see Kerry King and David Draiman supporting this drink, and their favorite local band supporting this drink, they’re going to wonder…what is this drink? I’ve gotta try it. Then they come out to an event like the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, see our booth set up, go to the first bar they see, order a shot of Coldcock, get to meet Kerry King and then it all falls into place of they haven’t just created a brand – they created an experience. That is what we wanted. We didn’t want to create another brand on the market. The world is filled with liquor brands. We wanted something new – a true experience for a fan.”
“We sponsor a lot of events, tours, and bands so that our goal is whenever you go out to something music related, you should be able to see something Coldcock related. Know that when you’re done working a long hard day and you go out to see a concert at night, you’ll get to share a shot of Coldcock with your favorite band.”
While the public may have seen the Coldcock Whiskey logo on various rock and metal music events so far, Grayer said the brand has been working with a variety of musical acts and will continue to expand.
“We actually work with cover bands, DJs, country artists…we just did a four month sponsored tour with another one of our brand owners Datsik, and we’re going to be sponsoring a lot of John Reese’s music fests…The Safe N Sound Festival. We work with a lot of country artists. We’ve expanded but what we’ve noticed in rock and metal is that the bands and the fans are core and very loyal. So it’s been a very great honor for us to be able to come in here and not feel artificial to the fans. They see us and they see their favorite bands supporting it and they immediately became loyal to the brand.”
As for venturing overseas, Grayer said it is in the works and would not say when exactly Coldcock Whiskey will seek out distribution in more territories. He said, “Eventually we will. We want to build our brand in America, tackle all 50 States and then as we do that we will expand into other countries without a doubt.”
Disturbed announced today their new single, their first new music since 2011. ‘The Vengeful One’ was teased on the Disturbed website as well as the bands’ social media networks in recent days. Directed by Phil Mucci, you can watch the video at this link or below:
The track comes off of the anticipated new album Immortalized due out on August 21st. The band had been rumored to be in the studio record, but gave little in the way of hints or updates. Fans an pre-order the new album now at iTunes and also exclusive bundles. The following message was posted by the band:
The hiatus is over. Over the past year, we’ve been secretly writing and recording a brand new album. Today, we are excited to share a new song called “The Vengeful One” along with a new music video. It’s off our upcoming album called “Immortalized,” which will be released on August 21, and is available for pre-order today. This album had the arduous task of, in some way, justifying the hiatus; giving the fans something that made it worth our time away from one another. We hope that it succeeds in that task. Thank you for staying with us over the years.
With new album Vengeance Falls scaling charts around the world, Ghost Cult caught up with Trivium bassist Paolo Gregoletto to hear all about the band’s sixth, and definitive, opus. They also chatted about writing and recording, touring Europe, recording with David Draiman, and comparisons to Metallica.
Being a fan of the band, it’s interesting to see how Vengeance Falls fits into the overall journey. Ascendancy established the core sound, The Crusade added Classic Metal, Shogun was dark and heavy, then In Waves and now Vengeance Falls follow a more linear path from each other, being more melodic, more straightforward “Trivium” albums. Was this a conscious decision?
Since the beginning it’s just been let’s get together, write riffs and get the music together, but never to a set plan. This time around we really wanted to have a clear vision well before going in. Every day on tour and during writing we were talking about what we wanted to get out of this record; who we are, what we stand for, and all the things we’ve done previously, what we loved about each of the records, what we could have done better, and what “Album 6”, this far into our career, should be. So, (this time) we wrote towards a specific goal.
You worked with David Draiman (from Disturbed, who produced the album), a decision which caused a “mixed reaction” online, to say the least. Were you aware of the controversy around it, and did you approach working with him with any caution because of that?
When David first approached us, we were really surprised. We didn’t know he wanted to produce us, or even that he produced other bands. When we decided to work with him, we knew that there’d be a stronger reaction than any other time because no other producer we’ve worked with has been in a multi-platinum band, so, yes, we knew there was going to be a reaction, good and bad. When we showed him the demos, and talked to him, and saw the excitement from him to want to work with us and the ideas he had, we all agreed that the music would speak for itself.
We’ve always been a band that has done unexpected things here and there, and this album is one of those moments. I feel you can’t make something unique and exciting if you don’t try to get out of your comfort zone. People will say what they want before they hear it, we just had to make sure we produced what we were talking about from our first meeting, then that would say everything for us. We all feel very confident we achieved what we were talking about in the beginning.
I’m not just pleased with what came out, I’m totally blown away with it.
There is a much greater emphasis on the vocals than any previous album and the comparison that sprang to mind is Bob Rock working with James Hetfield on the ‘Black’ album…
Definitely. This is the album where Matt (Heafy, vocals/guitars) fully comes out as “The Vocalist”. Before, Matt would write as a guitarist first. When you play an instrument and you sing, I think you can use the instrument before thinking about the vocal stuff, and this time he turned that around and the vocals were a big focus. ‘In Waves’ was the start of that, but this time Matt really stepped up to the challenge of taking the lead of a song. Of any record we’ve done, this is one where the vocals are the dominant feature. There’s still the riffs and the technicality we do, but the vocals are in your face. When people hear it for the first time, they’re not expecting the vocals to be so powerful and upfront.
It’s all about the balance. We love our extreme side as much as any of our fans, but we love the melodic side, and all our influences are so varied from very, very extreme metal to very melodic metal, and everything in between. For us, it’s now not about trying to throw everything and a kitchen sink, but finding what works best for the song. Basing a song around him, the vocals sometimes being the key feature, was something that all of us had to learn how to do. But in the end, by doing that we were able to craft the songs into something much, much bigger than when we started demoing them.
The last two tracks take a different approach, and really stand out with a darker, more expansive approach, and two of the best tracks you’ve done to date. Is this a hint at a future direction for Trivium, or just something in line with the dynamics and pacing of the album?
‘Wake…’ was definitely always the one we had in mind for closing the album, for sure. When Incineration came around, that was another we felt could be a potential closer, but then when all was said and done, they fit very well together, the music, the lyrics. They’re definitely the more progressive songs on the album, and we wanted to end it on that note. The beginning, it’s more to the point, the singles, and the more up-tempo stuff, whereas those 2 songs definitely fit together well at the end.
You’re a very highly regarded bass player, with your own BC Rich Bass Guitar range (and VERY nice basses they are too!). How does it feel to be so well thought of in your field as a musician and a technician, a field with a lot of competition?
That’s something I would never have thought of starting out, being recognized for that. The fans getting the band to a certain popularity definitely got me recognized, but I think as each album has gone on I’ve focused on making sure the bass playing is living up to what people want to hear from me, and in the live sense always pushing to perfect my sound and my playing. Bass playing isn’t the thing that gets noticed by the average fan as much, but the people that do hone in on that, it’s nice to be recognised by them. When people say “Aw, man, the bass player’s awesome”, it’s not something you hear for every rock or metal band, and I really appreciate it! And the people I look up to are the larger than life presences in bands, like Steve Harris or Cliff Burton. Even Jason Newsted… just look at his presence in the band… Things like that I’ve tried to emulate myself, but do my own thing, but find my own spot both in the band and in heavy metal bass playing in general.
You’ve just announced UK tour with Killswitch Engage for February 2014, another band who has released a very strongalbum this year. You must be excited about that, and touring again?
We tried to make it a whole Europe thing, but schedule wise it just didn’t work out, unfortunately, so it’s just in the UK, but I’m really, really excited about it. Killswitch Engage are easily one of the best modern-day metal bands and we’ve been friends for a long time. I’m really excited we can make a tour like that happen. I think for fans, and for people that want to go to shows, it’s tough to go see every band you want, and when 2 bands can just get together and make it happen, that’s great, and I’m really excited Killswitch and us can do this.
As a band, you’ve made no secret of your desire to be as big a band as possible, to try to reach Metallica-like status. Is ‘Vengeance Falls’ the album to push you to the next level?
So far, so good with ‘Vengeance Falls’, we’re very happy with it, with how it sounds, the songs we chose, the order we chose. We had a lot of time to really think about it, and we wanted to make everything from the music to the artwork really solid and I’m glad we had that time to make it happen.
The desire of this band has always been to push it to be as big as it can be. In the beginning we just got out there and toured and we realized you have to make those things happen. Make quality music, do quality tours and the rest is up to people taking to it. When we went in to make ‘Vengeance…’ the only thing for us was making a quality record. Whether it’s the album that gets us to that level, I don’t know, but we put everything into it to make it the best it could be, and if it’s the right record at the right time, then maybe…
I definitely feel this is one of our strongest albums, for sure.
So, will you be recording a Metallica covers album to get to number 1?
(Laughs) Err, no comment on that one!
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Trivium have always given the impression of trying too hard to second guess what others want from them; reacting to the mixed reception given the more traditional heavy metal of The Crusade, they went too dark, too heavy with Shogun (two very underrated albums, despite being stylistically and critically questioned), before making a respectable, if inconsistent, attempt to restore the balance with In Waves. So, it comes to pass that Vengeance Falls (Roadrunner) is not only Trivium’s sixth release, but their most important since they smashed through the glass-ceiling with their classic second album, Ascendency. Continue reading
“Burn baby burn cos it feels so good/burn baby burn like I knew it would” no these are not lyrics from a seventies disco hit but the chorus of the third track on the new Megadeth release “imaginatively” entitled ‘Burn!’ It’s a worrying entry which will again have both fans and detractors casting aspersions regarding the sanity of one Mr. Mustaine. Continue reading