Stars from across Rock and Metal will join together on a livestream to raise money tonight on the David Z Foundation Livestream. David Z (David Zablidowsky) was the brilliant metal and progressive rock musician best known for his work in bands such as Adrenaline Mob, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and ZO2, died three years ago on July 17th, 2017 when a tractor-trailer collided with Adrenaline Mob’s tour bus. Check out the updated poster from Mike Portnoy’s tweet below. You can donate at the GoFundM link below and watch the live stream including artists ranging from Mike Portnoy, Dee Snider, Chris Jericho, Ray Luzier (Korn), John Moyer (Disturbed) Rikki Rockett, Don Dokken, Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Carmine Appice, Eddie Trunk, Marco Mendoza, Joel Hoekstra, Tiffany, John Pooper, Alex Skolnik, Charlie Benante, Dug Pinnick, Ra Diaz and more! Continue reading
King’s X have entered Blacksound Studio in Pasadena, California with producer Michael Parnin to begin tracking their first new album in 10 years. The album is releasing later this year via Golden Robot Records. Parnin is acclaimed for his work with a varied range of artists, from Rage Against the Machine and Missy Elliott to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Barbara Streisand. Continue reading
A new supergroup of truly superb artists has formed! Beauty In Chaos led by guitarist Michael Ciravolo and Dug Pinnick of King’s X, are joined on their new track “Un-Natural Disaster (Collide Mix)” by Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) Ice-T (Body Count), and Pete Parada (The Offspring) for the track! Remixed by Statik of Collide. The new release features remixes from the debut album Finding Beauty in Chaos. Both albums are produced by Ministry’s Grammy-nominated producer Michael Rozon at Ciravolo’s own SAINTinLA Studio. Check it out now! Continue reading
The early-to-mid 1990s was a wild time for heavy music. With the Seattle bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana blowing up and killing off a lot of hair metal bands, and Metallica and Pantera dominating, and death and black metal gaining steam and mainstream success, other kinds of rock bands struggled to cut through. King’s X already had four albums out by the time Dogman (Atlantic) landed in shops. Their heavy rock flirted with metal, but really they have always bucked trends and classifications. Interpreting their influences and their bare lyrics full of religious symbolism and metaphors have earned them a legion of fans and lengthy career worthy of respect. Continue reading
All-star mash up albums are great when they work – for example Roadrunner United or Dave Grohl’s Probot project. But they are terribly underwhelming when they don’t – for example this year’s Teenage Time Killer or any number of fast-buck tribute albums.
Metal Allegiance (released via Nuclear Blast), a project centred around Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson, Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick and former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, features a revolving cast of singers, and definitely counts as an all-star mashup. Each track features a different singer and focuses on a different style of metal. Despite the cheesy name, the self-titled debut manages to avoid being a hockey tribute and instead is a perfectly satisfying, if safe, tribute to the genre.
The 10 tracks on offer cover pretty much all areas of mainstream metal of the last decade or so. Opener ‘Gift of Pain’ (featuring Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe) is a solid mid-paced chugger, featuring the kind of groove you’d expect on a Lamb of God album track. ‘Dying Song’ sees Phil Anslemo do his best Layne Staley impression over a Black Label Society-eque southern rocker. ‘Can’t Kill The Devil’ (featuring Testament’s Chuck Billy) is a classic slice of American thrash. All the way through, the quality of the music can’t be faulted.
Troy Sander’s spot on ‘Let Darkness Fall’ gives a glimpse of how Mastodon could have sounded if they were more of a thrash outfit but retained their experimental edge, while King’s X singer dUg Pinnick and Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta come together perfectly for what is probably the album’s highlight in ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’; Pinnick’s haunting baritone juxtaposes Jasta’s aggression in what is one of the few surprises on the record. Matt Heafy’s bland appearance on the dull ‘Destination Nowhere’ is the only real stinker (how far he and Trivium have fallen since he guested on 2005’s Roadrunner United album).
But throughout Metal Allegiance, it’s Skolnick that shines brightest. His blistering solos are scattered throughout the record and add some urgency and life to each track. The scorching guitar work on ‘Gift of Pain’, the Spanish interlude of ‘Let Darkness Fall’ or the grungy groove of ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’ all make them a more enjoyable listen. It’s only the self-indulgent masturbation of seven-minute instrumental ‘Triangulum’ gets old pretty quickly, even if it does feature half a dozen guitarists.
Metal Allegiance is good fun, but it’s not particularly adventurous; there’s no surprise or controversial inclusions, no one from the extreme edge of metal. Every musician involved can boast a lengthy and successful career and a few spots on the Billboard 100. It is, however, an enjoyable listen and would make a great showcase introduction to the genre for someone who hadn’t heard any metal before, and offers fans a chance to hear some of their favourite singers in a slightly new setting. And that’s no bad thing.