Metallica’s “Hardwired… To Self Destruct” track was heard in the closing seconds of the half-season finale of the Showtime series Billions. The main character of the show Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis) is a rock and metal fan and heavy music often shows up in the series. Metallica actually appeared and performed on the show in Season 3. Also heard this season are songs by Rainbow, Greta Van Fleet, and Bobaflex.
It seems unreal, but Ronnie James Dio died ten years ago May 16th, 2010. He died after a long bout with stomach cancer. His incredible voice enduring personality is synonymous with the metal genre. As a signer with his own solo band Dio, as well as Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, Rainbow, and Elf, he was the inspiration of countless singers to follow in his footsteps. Dio gave heavy metal a lot of its fantasy elements thematically in the Power Metal and Symphonic Metal genres. He is responsible for countless genre classics, both songs, and albums, including his first album with Black Sabbath, Heaven, and Hell (Vertigo). Countless Dio inspired bands to operate today named for his songs or lyrics, there are charity events, tribute tours, and charity events that raise money to try to cure the disease that took his life, and even a major metal festival stage at Bloodstock Open Air is named for his memory. Let’s raise a glass along with the horns to Dio today!
Arguably the architect of the Rock music genre that spawned Rock N Roll as a cultural phenomenon, Little Richard, has passed away. He was 87 years old. The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone but said the cause of death was unknown. Born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia in 1932, Richard’s incredible songwriting, unmatchable singing voice, and flamboyant androgynous, yet taboo-shattering mix of sexual energy and religious music in his personality became the playbook for all young rockers to follow. Rolling Stone Magazine eloquently said his “fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form.” His influence can be felt from The Beatles, to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elton John, Billy Joel, Keith Emerson, KISS, Motörhead, MotörheadLed Zeppelin, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, as far back as Elvis, and even into the early stages of Heavy Metal with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Pentagram, his musical touch will be eternal. Starting a string of hits to start his career with ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Rip It Up’ all in 1956,’Lucille’, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ those early hits shaped generations of fans. We send out sympathy to Little Richard’s family, friends, and fans at this time.
One thing every metal fan can agree on is the eternal majesty of Ronnie James Dio. Whether you liked his music or not (and if you didn’t, then why are you reading this?), the simple fact is that the man’s talent was unquestionable. Whether you preferred his solo work or his time with Rainbow, or Black Sabbath, (or for you picky little contrarians out there – The Electric Elves, Ronnie Dio and the Prophets, or Elf), the fact remains that there is still a gaping void in the world of metal, even now, nearly ten years(!) after his death. Continue reading
Big news! The Hall of Heavy Metal History a.k.a. The Metal Hall of Fame has announced that the 2020 Annual Metal Hall of Fame Celebrity Charity Gala will be filmed live and will air on Amazon Prime. Hard rock and heavy metal fans in attendance will be featured in the filming, which will take place on January 15 at the Marriott Delta Garden Grove in Anaheim, CA. The world premiere of the film will air in early 2020, reaching more than 100 million subscribers. Metal Hall of Fame President/CEO Pat Gesualdo says, “Having the World Premier for the 2020 Metal Hall of Fame Gala on Amazon Prime is a great honor. We are excited to share the most important night in metal with music fans everywhere, and to let so many people take part in our charity event.” 2020 Metal Hall of Fame inductees include Steve Vai, Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Don Dokken (Dokken), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz), Joe Satriani, legendary metal promoter Stone City Attractions, Metal Church, Prong, and former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland. Continue reading
GC might have already released it’s End of Year list, but that doesn’t mean the machine stops rolling. There’s always more to review. And Swedish stoner trio Kamchatka have dropped Hoodoo Lightning (Border Music) as a last-minute Christmas present for those who dig the late-60s and 70s. Continue reading
For metal fans, the subject of Vikings is nothing new. From wondering why no-one seems to like ‘Invaders’ by Iron Maiden, or suddenly bursting into a frighteningly loud rendition of Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Immigrant Song’ at the merest mention of Thor: Ragnarok, those hairy little pillagers have been part and parcel of our music scene for decades. Continue reading
Sons of Apollo the supergroup of prog metal legends featuring members of Dream Theater, Guns N Roses Mr. Big, The Winery Dogs and Journey performed last weekend at the Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria for an upcoming CD, DVD and Blu-ray. The group performed two sets separated by an intermission — one “regular” set, and another that featured an orchestra and choir. They ran through a set list of their own originals from their debut Psychotic Symphony (InsideOut), as well as covers of Dream Theate, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Ozzy, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Rainbow and more! Watch the fan-filmed footage below! The Ancient Theatre is fast becoming a favorite venue for DVD performances and career-spanning shows due to its amazing sound and the historic venue itself. They have hosted recent major artists such as Devin Townsend, Opeth, Behemoth, Apocalyptica and more. Continue reading
Like Earache, Nuclear Blast was initially known for their roster of heavier metal, but have widened their net in recent years to include vintage rock acts like Black Star Riders, Tax The Heat, The Night Flight Orchestra, Blues Pills and the focus of this review, The Vintage Caravan. From Iceland, they formed in 2006 and have their fourth album Gateways, which is forty-eight minutes of bluesy Hard Rock straight from the annals of the late sixties and seventies. Continue reading
Hailing from the east of Germany, Thuringia to be precise, and purveyors of psychedelic doom are Motorowl. Their new album Atlas follows in the footsteps of their 2016 debut Om Generator (both on Century Media Records): metal with fuzzy guitars, doom-laden riffs, meandering, sometimes spacey, sometimes carnivalesque, keyboards and a thick sense of melancholy. Continue reading