M. Drew's blog

Album Review: Starkill - "Fires of Life"

It’s rare to hear of an orchestral-arranged melodic death metal coming from the United States. It’s even rarer to conceive of that band coming from a place like Chicago, which is barely even thought of in heavy metal, much less this style of heavy metal. Yet, armed and dangerous with a ten track debut record “Fires of Life” is Starkill, Chicagoland’s newest heavy metal band, determined to take what is commonly thought of as a European sound and make it their own.

Concert Review: Soilwork

Nine consecutive weeks on tour with only two days off. For those doing the math, that adds up to sixty-one shows in sixty-three days. That’s the type of grueling tour schedule we’re talking about. It’s nearly unprecedented to put together a calendar like that, because who would believe it could be done? Even the most mundane of desk jobs requires more than two days off in a two-month span.

Concert Review: Goatwhore, 3 Inches of Blood

Driving to this show, I had a pretty good idea of what I hoped it would be. With the top of the dance card topped by such names as 3 Inches of Blood and Goatwhore, I earnestly pined for a show that would celebrate all the vast excesses of heavy metal as a play in two acts.

Jeff Hanneman, Founding Member of Slayer, Dead at 49

There's no other way to say it. Jeff Hanneman, legendary guitarist, founding member of Slayer and heavy metal icon, passed away yesterday in a Southern California hospital at the age of 49. He suffered liver failure which is widely speculated to be a complication of his battle with necrotizing fasciitis which he contracted from a spider bite, though there are also reports that his death was unrelated.

Slayer released the following statement:

Album Review: Arsis - "Unwelcome"

To say that Arsis has had a long, convoluted career path is a wild, reckless understatement. Birthed in California, the band’s career lineup cycle has more twists and turns than your standard daytime soap opera plot. So it’s a testament to the hearty will of frontman James Malone that this new album “Unwelcome” even exists. Arsis continues to try and persevere in the chokes underground universe of technical death metal.

Album Review: The Melvins - "Everybody Loves Sausages"

It is an irrefutable truth when considering any Melvins album that one of the only ways to appropriately discuss the music is to reflexively use the band’s name as an adjective. The Melvins, some twenty years after Kurt Cobain made them a musical household name, have carved themselves an undeniable niche that is populated solely by Buzz Osborne and his band. No one else sounds like this; no one can even being to capture the “throw it all out there and see what takes” attitude and creativity of King Buzzo.

Album Review: Volbeat - "Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies"

Volbeat is the name on everyone’s lips these days. The hype surrounding this Danish band has been unmatched in this century by nearly anyone. Everyone wants a piece – everyone wants to be on the bandwagon. Ever since Volbeat made their big break by opening for, and being personally endorsed by, Metallica in 2009, Volbeat’s assumed potential has been limitless. Their previous record “Beyond Hell/Above Heaven” was seen as the coming out party, which means pressure is mounted on “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” to be a blockbuster.

Concert Review: Clutch, Orange Goblin

With “Earth Rocker” released to the world, it stood to reason that Clutch would blaze a trail across the United States bringing their blend of rock and roll and swamp blues to the masses nationwide. This tour was especially poignant given Clutch’s asserted desire to unequivocally return to their rock roots and re-establish themselves as the preeminent rock band in the U.S. With Neil Fallon’s admission that “Earth Rocker” and “Blast Tyrant” producer Machine was in attendance on this night, expectations were high. Along for this part of the ride were Orange Goblin and Lionize.

Album Review: Snow White's Poison Bite - "Featuring: Dr. Gruesome and the Gruesome Gory Horror Show"

Finnish upstart Snow White’s Poison Bite is being billed as in the same vein as Black Veil Brides, but there’s more going on than that. Where the later band presents themselves in shades of gray with little mirth, SWPB is inherently and undeniably tongue in cheek, cloaking their music in the veil of a horror show.

The album, entitled “Featuring: Dr. Gruesome And The Gruesome Gory Horror Show,” centers around theme not altogether different from the old “Tales From the Crypt,” with the titular Doctor Gruesome in the role of Crypt Keeper.

Concert Review - Volbeat, Danko Jones

The word is out. Volbeat is far from a secret. Those not familiar with the Danish rock and metal powerhouse are officially behind in the count now. Playing the Best Buy Theater in the burning neon heart of Times Square, Volbeat had sold out the show weeks in advance. I had it on pretty damn good authority that industry people, journalists and an audience from all over Europe were flying into New York City to witness this show.

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