ALBUM REVIEW: Let Us Prey – Virtues Of The Vicious


Following up 2016’s independently released EP, The Saint of Killers, Massachusetts act Let Us Prey return with their first full-length album, Virtues of the Venomous (M-Theory Audio). With vocalist Marc Lopes better known for being frontman for Ross the Boss, time for his other projects has proved elusive, but now the wait is over.

Continue reading


Anthrax – For All Kings


Anthrax - For All Kings ghostcultmag

In 2016, for the first time since the eighties, New York thrashers Anthrax find themselves with a genuine burden of expectancy being placed upon their shoulders. Not since John Bush joined in 1992 have the eyes of so many been fixed on the band.

The reason for this is all thanks to 2011’s Worship Music (Megaforce, Nuclear Blast). After the rather colourless Stomp 442 (Elektra/Warner) and its largely forgettable follow-up Volume 8 – The Threat is Real (Ignition), the band released the perennially underrated We’ve Come for You All (Sanctuary/Nuclear Blast). Although clearly superior to their previous couple of outings, its reception was still mixed and far from anything they had enjoyed during the 80s and the turn of the 90s.

However, when Worship Music landed, all that changed. Although possibly helped by a combination of expectancy levels being at an all time low due to more publicized unrest and personnel changes within the camp, as well as there being a gap of eight years between records, the 2011 “comeback” album helped itself no end by simply being one of the strongest records the band had released to date. All of a sudden, the messy upheavals and well documented hirings and firings were forgotten as fans were treated to one of the best Metal albums of the year. Worship Music was a roaring success.

So, having firmly re-established themselves with a critically lauded new album and almost constant touring, the band’s next trick had to be how to maintain that momentum from inside the studio again. A pretty mammoth task they just about succeed in achieving with latest album For All Kings(Megaforce).

Anthrax 2015 photo credit Jimmy Hubbard ghostcultmag

Anthrax, photo credit Jimmy Hubbard

After a restrained drum and cello introduction, a typically Anthrax riff takes over and opener ‘You Gotta Believe’ begins properly, hammering away at you until you can catch your breath during its quiet middle section, before it builds back up to a suitably big finish. I’m afraid that by the time vocalist Joey Belladonna belts out “your golden halo is burned and melted” during ‘Monster at the End’ it’s already all over for you as the chorus digs its claws in, almost physically forcing you to sing along, regardless of where you are and how many strange looks you may attract.

Initially led by Belladonna, the title track is simply a monster, with drummer Charlie Benante quickly taking centre stage, owning the song completely with one of his most confident performances in recent years. ‘Breathing Lightning’ and ‘Suzerain’ are big songs with big choruses, and the thrashy as hell ‘Evil Twin’ is as close to old school Anthrax as you could possibly wish for. ‘Blood Eagle Wings’ is a lengthy, but worthwhile eight minutes, and ‘Defend Avenge’ has an opening riff reminiscent of ‘Among the Living’ but is also the album’s first throwaway track, although it does contain a quality guitar solo and improves as it goes along. ‘All Of Them Thieves’ is another (slight) disappointment, but again features another great solo from new boy Jon Donais (Shadows Fall) and gets better towards the end.

Bassist Frank Bello takes control of the intro to ‘This Battle Chose Us’, an improvement on the previous two tracks, and proceedings are brought to an impressive close with a short, sharp burst from the satisfyingly speedy ‘Zero Tolerance’.

A couple of wobbles during the second half aside, ‘For All Kings’ is every bit the worthy successor to Worship Music, although there could be a question as to how much material (if indeed any) was salvaged from the studio at the end of those previous sessions, such are the distinct similarities between the two records in places.

Mainman Scott Ian might come in for a lot of (mostly anonymous, and online) flak when it comes to decisions within the band (his band to be fair), but whatever missteps he may or may not have made in the past, he’s certainly helped make sure the band have a firm footing both for now and a few years to come.

8.0/10

GARY ALCOCK

[amazon asin=B01979VPO4&template=iframe image1]


Carnivora – The Vision EP


CARNIVORA_VisionCover_jpeg

I tend to feel spoiled living in Massachusetts. Why spoiled? Because it’s very easy for me to sit back, enjoy a Miller High Life, and put my elitist hat on when it comes to extreme music. Just look at our track record. The dirty water state has given us bands like SS Decontrol, Sam Black Church, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Converge, Shadows Fall and The Red Chord. We’ve had it pretty good.

But unfortunately with such a strong pedigree comes the risk of complacency. It’s easy to rest on those laurels because we assume that the old guard we be there forever. All it takes is watching the latest deathcore clone or third-rate djent band posturing as progressive metal at the Palladium for me to realize that “The Bay State’s” reputation can be tarnished. We cannot soil our history with guitar backing tracks and shitty neck tattoos.

While it is always best to air on the side of caution, I dare say that the future of Massachusetts metal is safe and sound. We have young bands like Pathogenic, My Missing Half, The Summoned and George Orwell the Musical to fly the flag. Joining that vanguard of New England brutality is Carnivora with The Vision EP.

I was fortunate enough to have as guests on my radio show, Stress Factor, in 2013 when they were promoting their first LP, Eternal. The shred was strong on that début offering and I wasn’t the only one impressed as they embarked on a seamlessly never-ending string of regional shows and battles of the bands.

Less than two years later and with appearances on the 2014s Summer Slaughter Tour and Mayhem Festival, the gentlemen from Danvers have returned with an even sharper collection of songs. While everyone has stepped up their game, it’s the guitar tandem of Cody Michaud and Mike Meehan that take center stage on tracks like ‘A Vision in Red’ and ‘Razors & Rust.’ So much so that if given time to further develop they’ll be hanging with great Massachusetts guitar tag teams like Ken Susi and Buz McGrath of Unearth or Shadows Fall’s Matt Bachand (who manages Carnivora) and Jon Donais.

So no need to worry. I say that the future is ours.

8.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ


Shadows Fall To Headline Big Kahuna Festival In Rhode Island


shadowsfallfirepromo_638

Recently inactive Boston metallers Shadows Fall will headline The Big Kaunha Festival in August. Taking place at Fêtemusic Hall in Providence, Rhode Island on 8/22, the bill will also feature regional acts such as End Time Illusion, Anaria, Carnivora, Oath over three stages, with many other bands yet to be announced.

The band commented on the show:

“We may add a few more shows around this date and these could possibly be the only Shadows Fall dates of the year.”

 

The band released a statement last August stating of the intentions of the band to take at least a long open-ended hiatus:

“Touring full time in a band these days has never been more difficult financially. When you have to ensure the future comfort of your family, difficult decisions have to be made. Another reason is the fact that our lead guitarist (Jon Donais) is now in Anthrax, which makes it hard for us to do any extensive touring with our full lineup.

“This has been a real hard decision for all of us to make, but we feel at this time this is the right thing to do. We don’t hate each other, we’re not bitter,;we, in fact, still have a really great time together, but the ride has slowed down and it’s time for the next chapters in our lives, whatever that may be.

“For the past decade and a half, we have been able to create the music we have always wanted to hear and share it with music fans everywhere. That being said, you still may see us at a festival or two over the next few years… If they ask, we will come!”

 

In addition to Donais’ work touring and recording a new Anthrax album, Brian Fair has performed with Overcast, Matt Bachand has launched a management company called Manshark Entertainment and joined Act of Defiance on bass, and Jason Bittner has joined Flotsam And Jetsam. Shadows Fall’s last album release was 2012’s Fire From The Sky on the Razor & Tie label


Anthrax North American Tour Update


anthrax

Anthrax will be on an upcoming North American run touring with Volbeat and Crobot, and will be doing a “fan favorites” set including “Anti-Social”, “Madhouse,” “Caught In A Mosh,” “I Am The Law” and “Indians,” as well as one brand new song “Soror Irrumator (Lords of The Rock),” off of the HBO’s Game of ThronesCatch The Throne Mixtape, Vol II. The band will be release their new album later in 2015 and featuring the recording debut of guitarist Jon Donais (Shadows Fall).

Apr 24: 1stBank Center – Denver, CO (with Volbeat)
Apr 25: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center – Rapid City, SD (with Volbeat)
Apr 27: Spokane Arena – Spokane, WA (with Volbeat)
Apr 28: Adams Center – Missoula, MT (with Volbeat)
Apr 29: WaMu Theatre – Seattle, WA (with Volbeat)
May 01: Revolution Place – Grande Prairie, AB (with Volbeat)
May 02: Rexall Place – Edmonton, AB (with Volbeat)
May 03: Calgary Stampede Corral – Calgary, AB (with Volbeat)
May 04: SaskTel Centre – Saskatoon, SK (with Volbeat)
May 06: Brandt Centre – Regina, SK (with Volbeat)
May 07: Ralph Englestad Arena – Grand Forks, ND (with Volbeat)
May 09: Somerset Amphitheatre – Somerset, WI (Northern Invasion Festival)
May 10: Alliant Energy Ctr. Memorial – Madison, WI (WJJO MayDay MayLay)
May 12: General Motors Centre – Oshawa, ON (with Volbeat)
May 13: TD Place – Ottawa, ON (with Volbeat)
May 14: Quebec Colisee Pepsi – Quebec City, QC (with Volbeat)
May 15: CEPSUM Montreal – Montreal, QC (with Volbeat)
May 17: Mapfre Stadium, Columbus, OH (Rock on the Range)
May 18: Dow Events Center – Saginaw, MI (with Volbeat)
May 19: Ford Center – Evansville, IN (with Volbeat)
May 20: Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL (with Volbeat)
May 22: Tyson IBF Events Center – Sioux City, IA (with Volbeat)
May 23: Prior Creek Music – Pryor, OK (Rocklahoma)
May 24: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX (Rockfest)
May 25: Wet & Wild Water World – El Paso, TX (Baloonfest)
May 27: Verizon Grand Prairie – Dallas, TX (with Volbeat)
May 28: Bayou Music Center – Houston, TX (with Volbeat)
May 30: Liberty Me. Park – Kansas City, MO (Rockfest)
May 31: Outdoors at Pop’s – St. Louis, MO (with Volbeat)
Jun 02: Hammerstein Ballroom – New York, NY (with Volbeat)

volbeat anthrax crobot tour


Anthrax Streaming More Studio Video


anthrax

Anthrax is streaming a video shot during the recording of their upcoming album, due out later this year. Check it out below.

The band – Charlie Benante/drums, Frank Bello/bass, Scott Ian/rhythm guitar, Joey Belladonna/vocals, and guitarist Jon Donais – have been working in Los Angeles with producer Jay Ruston.

Anthrax Supporting Volbeatand Crobot

Apr 24: 1st Bank Center – Denver, CO
Apr 25: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center – Rapid City, SD
Apr 27: Spokane Arena – Spokane, WA
Apr 28: Adams Center – Missoula, MT
Apr 29: WaMu Theatre – Seattle, WA
May 01: Revolution Place – Grande Prairie, AB (Can)
May 02: Rexall Place – Edmonton, AB (Can)
May 03: Calgary Stampede Corral – Calgary, AB (Can)
May 04: SaskTel Centre – Saskatoon, SK (Can)
May 06: Brandt Centre – Regina, SK (Can)
May 07: Ralph Englestad Arena – Grand Forks, ND
May 09: Somerset Amphitheater, Somerset, WI (Northern Invasion Festival)
May 12: General Motors Centre – Oshawa, ON (Can)
May 13: TD Place – Ottawa, ON (Can)
May 14: Quebec Colisee Pepsi – Quebec City, QC (Can)
May 15: CEPSUM Montreal – Montreal, QC (Can)
May 18: Dow Events Center – Saginaw, MI
May 19: Ford Center – Evansville, IN
May 20: Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
May 22: Tyson IBF Events Center – Sioux City, IA
May 27: Verizon Grand Prairie – Dallas, TX
May 28: Bayou Music Center – Houston, TX
May 31: Outdoors at Pop’s – St. Louis, MO
Jun 02: Hammerstein Ballroom – New York, NY

volbeat anthrax crobot tour


The Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute Streaming In Entirety


immortal randy rhoads the ultimate tribute

The Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute, a tribute album of cover tracks recorded to memorialize Randy Rhoads, the one time lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot, is out now via UDR Music, and is streaming the record in full here.

Full track listing with performers:

1. Crazy Train
Vocals: Serj Tankian
Gtrs: Tom Morello
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

2. Over the Mountain
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Jon Donais
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Frankie Banali

3. Mr Crowley
Vocals: Chuck Billy
Gtrs: Alexi Laiho
Keyboards: Kelle Rhoads
Bass Rudy: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

4. Believer
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Doug Aldrich
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

5. Back To The Coast (Quiet Riot)
Vocals: Kelle Rhoads
Gtrs: Bruce Kulick
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Frankie Banali

6. I Don’t Know
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: George Lynch
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

7. S A T 0
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Rhythm guitars: Bob Kulick
Lead guitar: Dweezil Zappa
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

8. Killer Girls (Quiet Riot)
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Joel Hoekstra
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

9. Goodbye to Romance
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Gus G.
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

10. Suicide Solution
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Brad Gillis
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

11. Flying High Again
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Bernie Torme
Rhythm Gtr: Bob Kulick
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

A lover of classical music, Rhoads had taken initial steps into rock’n’roll as a 16 year old when he formed a band, that soon became Quiet Riot. Rhoads was vaulted to the limelight in 1979 when Ozzy Osbourne chose the relatively unknown guitarist to help shape a new future for him via his band, Blizzard of Oz. The result saw Rhoads co-script two of the most famous albums in hard rock history, Blizzard Of Oz and Diary of A Madman, and rapidly ascended the stairway of fame and recognition for his virtuoso playing and writing. Famed for the way he fused classical flavors with technically-excellent hard rock, Rhoads became one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock.

When he tragically passed away on March 19, 1982 in a plane accident, Rhoads was only 25 years old, but thankfully, the legend of his work, ethos and their continuing influence on a whole new generation of guitarists, has never dimmed.

Celebrate the life and legend of Randy Rhoads with Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute.


‘Immortal Randy Rhoads’ Streaming “Mr. Crowley” feat Chuck Billy of Testament


immortal randy rhoads the ultimate tribute

UDR Music will releaseImmortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute and its accompanying bonus DVD (with digipack edition) on March 3, 2015. This highly-anticipated compilation of cover tracks – which feature an incredible gathering of renowned heavy metal and hard rock musicians – honors Randy Rhoads, who will forever be revered as the legendary lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot.

Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tributeincludes a searing cover of the heavy-hitting Ozzy Osbourne track “Mr. Crowley”, which features a line-up of all-star performers: Chuck Billy (Testament), Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom), Kelle Rhoads (brother of Randy Rhoads), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot/Ozzy Osbourne) and Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio). Stream “Mr. Crowley”, featuring Chuck Billy of Testament on vocals here.

Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will be available in double vinyl gatefold, digipack and digital formats. In the digipack version, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will contain a bonus DVD along with the album, including interesting interviews with some of the involved artists, hosted by Bob Kulick and a feature on the Musonia School of Music, a teaching school on North Hollywood, CA, set up by the Rhoads family.

Full track listing with performers:

1. Crazy Train
Vocals: Serj Tankian
Gtrs: Tom Morello
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

2. Over the Mountain
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Jon Donais
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Frankie Banali

3. Mr Crowley
Vocals: Chuck Billy
Gtrs: Alexi Laiho
Keyboards: Kelle Rhoads
Bass Rudy: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

4. Believer
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Doug Aldrich
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

5. Back To The Coast (Quiet Riot)
Vocals: Kelle Rhoads
Gtrs: Bruce Kulick
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Frankie Banali

6. I Don’t Know
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: George Lynch
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

7. S A T 0
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Rhythm guitars: Bob Kulick
Lead guitar: Dweezil Zappa
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

8. Killer Girls (Quiet Riot)
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Joel Hoekstra
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

9. Goodbye to Romance
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Gus G.
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

10. Suicide Solution
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Brad Gillis
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

11. Flying High Again
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Bernie Torme
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen


Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute Out March 3


immortal randy rhoads the ultimate tribute

A tribute album for the late Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads called Immortal Randy Rhoads – the Ultimate Tribute will be released on March 3, 2015 via UDR Music. The album was produced and compiled by the Grammy-award winning guitarist and producer Bob Kulick.

Along with the album, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will also contain a bonus DVD available in the digipack version, including interesting interviews with some of the involved artists, hosted by Bob Kulick and a feature on the Musonia School of Music, a teaching school on North Hollywood, California, set up by Randy’s mother and run by his brother Kelle Rhoads.

Full track listing with performers:

1. Crazy Train
Vocals: Serj Tankian
Gtrs: Tom Morello
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

2. Over the Mountain
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Jon Donais
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Frankie Banali

3. Mr Crowley
Vocals: Chuck Billy
Gtrs: Alexi Laiho
Keyboards: Kelle Rhoads
Bass Rudy: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

4. Believer
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Doug Aldrich
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

5. Back To The Coast (Quiet Riot)
Vocals: Kelle Rhoads
Gtrs: Bruce Kulick
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Frankie Banali

6. I Don’t Know
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: George Lynch
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

7. S A T 0
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Rhythm guitars: Bob Kulick
Lead guitar: Dweezil Zappa
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Vinny Appice

8. Killer Girls (Quiet Riot)
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Joel Hoekstra
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

9. Goodbye to Romance
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Gus G.
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

10. Suicide Solution
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Brad Gillis
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen

11. Flying High Again
Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens
Gtrs: Bernie Torme
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Brett Chassen