heavy metal

Welcome to the annual Bloodygoodhorror.com Heavy Metal Tribute Project! This year, we have the honor of being ushered into our discussion by the esteemed vocalist from Montreal-based metal band Blackguard, Mr. Paul Ablaze:

Very seldom has a single year changed so much so profoundly in music. Trends and fads come and go in every era in one form or another, which makes the significance of what transpired in this specific time period all the more astonishing.

Danko Jones, named after the band’s lead singer, has been around for over a decade, but despite their popularity in Europe as well as their native Canada, Danko Jones has failed to make much of a splash in the United States. With quality albums like 2003’s “We Sweat Blood” and 2010’s “Below The Belt” already behind them, it’s somewhat surprising they haven’t caught on in the same way similar bands like Buckcherry and Foo Fighters have, but Jones and his band continue to press onward.

Over the last few years, as the remaining remnants of melodic death metal withered on the vine, the genre as a whole began to suffer. It wasn't that the turn of the millennium strain of melodic death metal was a cultural touchstone that needed to be saved, but what replaced it didn't account for the very reason it ever existed. Melodic death metal was the bridge between those people who listen to music simply to be pounded by the loudest mash of noise possible, and those who can appreciate heavier sounds but still need to have a conventional song to wrap them in.

Coming straight from the musical heartland of Texas, Mothership stands poised to enter the fray as part of the new wave of blues-based, old-school heavy metal. A band born by the bonds of family and propelled by a pair of brothers, Mothership comes armed with riffs to spare and solos for everyone. Just before leaving for a tour with the mighty Gypsyhawk, Kyle Juett sat down with me to talk about his band, how they got here, where they want to go, and every stop in between.

Death metal bands are at a disadvantage before I hear a single note of their music. Just by the nature of what they play, it's extremely difficult for any of them to stand out from the pack. Unlike every other genre, where voices and tones vary wildly, death metal is confined to a set of standards that make everyone sound more or less the same. While that's great for fans who are immersed in the music, and can pick out those small differences and magnify them, it leaves people like me weary from listening to album after album, band after band, that all blend together.

Swedish death metal was a wave. An irresistible force that consumed metal as we knew it, blazing a new trail that left ripples across the entire genre and touched every corner and splinter. In the vanguard of that cascade was Soilwork, a hungry band with an aggressive sound. As the years passed, the wave receded, but Soilwork remains, as strong as ever and on the cusp of the release of their double album "The Living Infinite." We talked with vocalist Bjorn "Speed" Strid on the eve of this release about the spirit of his band, the new album and the fortitude it takes to make a double record.

Listen to any of Buckcherry’s previous five studio albums and you get the idea they’ve done their fair share of sinning. That isn’t to say they’re promoting poor behavior, but…ok, maybe a little bit.

At this point in their lengthy career, there are a couple things about Darkthrone which are automatically true and indubitably awesome. First is that, good or bad or indifferent, Darkthrone is doing whatever the hell they want to do. Musically, this duo has moved into the rarefied air of having nothing to prove to anyone. Long gone is the corpse paint, the leather get-ups and most (but not all) of the scowling.

A few years ago, I thought we were about to experience a revival of 80's sleaze rock, to the size and scope thrash is currently seeing. Guns N Roses managed to finally put out “Chinese Democracy”, Motley Crue managed to resurrect themselves with a new album and an endless string of touring, and there were new bands like Hardcore Superstar that seemed poised to break out and become what their name already proclaimed them to be. It was that band, and in particular their song “Dreaming In A Casket” that made me believe in the sleaze renaissance.