AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Hail To The King", was certified gold on July 16 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for shipments in excess of 500,000 copies. Released last year, it was the band's second straight CD to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, following 2010's "Nightmare".
The latest effort was recorded after the AVENGED SEVENFOLD bandmembers immersed themselves in the music of two classic LPs: METALLICA's Black Album and GUNS N' ROSES' "Appetite For Destruction".
"The BLACK SABBATH, AC/DC, ZEPPELIN Influence comes through," AVENGED SEVENFOLD lead guitarist Synyster Gates told TimesLeader.com about "Hail To The King". "We wanted to create space rather than just fill up every song with four bridges and three choruses and vocal harmonies everywhere, with guitar duels going on. The goal was to focus on the songwriting and the arrangements."
"Hail To The King" marked AVENGED SEVENFOLD's full-length debut with new drummer Arin llejay, whom Gates described to TimesLeader.com as "one of the most tasteful drummers I've heard in my life… He's got that caveman, barbaric huge groove philosophy that we were trying to go for on this record. He's really got it in his heart and soul. We took the approach of wanting a hungry young kid who could suddenly come out of nowhere and play in front of 50,000 people. He really stepped up."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance told Billboard.com that the band will take "a real quick trip to Japan" after Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival ends on August 10 and then plans to come off the road in order to start working on a follow-up to "Hail To The King".
"I think once we get home, the ideas are going to start brewing," Vengeance says. "I know Syn's been writing a ton purely for fun, trying different styles, recording backstage, keeping himself busy. I've been thinking of all sorts of ideas, listening to tons of different music to get inspiration — as have all of us. And being on tour, I'm so inspired. Seeing bands like BODY COUNT with Ice-T out there, they're so old-school and riff-based and over the top and slightly offensive and it's fuckin' awesome. So there's tons of inspiration that I know we'll be drawing from."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD and KORN are co-headlining this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which kicked off its annual run on July 5 in Devore, California.
Other acts on the bill include ASKING ALEXANDRIA, SUICIDE SILENCE, TRIVIUM, MISS MAY I and more.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD will reissue its breakthrough second album, "Waking The Fallen", in a new special edition on August 26. "Waking The Fallen: Resurrected" will include a total of 23 tracks, including 11 never-before-heard songs, new artwork, the original first cut of the music video for "Unholy Confessions" and a 30-minute film featuring the present-day band.
Just in time for Halloween, a scarily impressive alliance of metal and hard rock luminaries has formed to create one of the most depraved abominations of musical crossbreeding in history — an all-metal tribute to the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson, available on CD October 22! Never before have such quintessential pop hits as "Beat It", "Thriller", "Billy Jean" and "Man In The Mirror" been so completely transformed, substituting softly stylized synths with crunchy, distorted guitars, replacing the pitter patter of programmed beats with pulverizing double bass acoustic drums, and topping it off with some of the finest, most powerful vocals in metal. When completed, these reinventions pay due respect to the expertly crafted melodies and songs that made Michael Jackson one of the most beloved figures in all of music, and offer legions of metalheads a reason to simultaneously grab their crotches and throw the horns in celebration!
Spearheaded by producer/musician Bob Kulick, who also helped in the arrangement of these cover versions, the project was in his words a "labor of love" for all involved. Exclaims Kulick: "We made these awesome songs kick ass while still being faithful to the original versions. Add killer players like Doug Aldrich, Billy Sheehan, Bruce Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, Tony Franklin,Craig Goldy, Bumblefoot, Phil Campbell and you've got some real MAGIC!" Rudy Sarzo, a stalwart of the metal scene as a member of both QUIET RIOT and QUEENSRŸCHE, reflects: "Michael Jackson's music is synonymous with iconic rockers such as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Stevens and Slash. So it's only fitting that the rock community pays tribute to this legendary artist with Metal Mike!" And FISHBONE's Angelo Moore expresses great enthusiasm for his contribution, saying: "I never thought I would hear myself doing a cover of 'The Way You Make Me Feel', but it's an honor and a dream come true. We put a different twist on it to give it a whole new light, or maybe I should say a whole new dark!"
In addition to the legends Kulick enlisted, several of today's modern metal figures also contributed, including Elias Soriano of NONPOINT, who comments, "It was my pleasure to do this tribute to MJ. My admiration for the talent and history he has given to music overall will be hard to replace. My only wish is that I did him justice with my performance." Jason Myers ofICARUS WITCH, one of the current flag bearers in the traditional metal scene, declares: "When we were approached by Cleopatra to contribute to the Michael Jackson tribute we were honored (due to the legendary talent already on board), but a bit skeptical about how our fans would react...Choosing an unorthodox hit took a bit of pressure off and allowed us to put more of ourselves into the track."
Finally, bassist Tony Franklin, who has worked with everyone from LED ZEPPELIN's Jimmy Page to PINK FLOYD's David Gilmour to WHITESNAKE, confirms the surprise and astonishment many felt during the creation of the album, "The first thing I noticed was how easily these out and out pop songs translated to the metal genre. That is the sign of, one, a great song and, two, a great production and arrangement." He goes on to note that it wasn't just the songs that were transformed when Metal met Pop on these recordings; the performers themselves were transformed. He states, "It was very cool to see how the guest artists interpreted these songs as it brought out a different side of them - a side we wouldn't usually hear."
"Thriller – A Metal Tribute To Michael Jackson" features appearances by the following musicians:
* Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT)
* Danny Worsnop (ASKING ALEXANDRIA)
* Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG)
* Angelo Moore (FISHBONE)
* Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO)
* Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO)
* Lajon Witherspoon (SEVENDUST)
* Bruce Kulick (KISS)
* Tony Franklin (THE FIRM)
* Priya Panda (DIEMONDS)
* Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES)
* Corey Glover (LIVING COLOUR)
* Phil Campbell (MOTÖRHEAD)
* Elias Soriano (NONPOINT)
* Doug Pinnick (KING'S X)
* Chris Jericho (FOZZY)
* Paul Di'Anno (IRON MAIDEN)
* Craig Goldy (DIO)
* Lonnie Jordan (WAR)
Former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach is currently in the studio working on his next album with producer Bob Marlette (BLACK SABBATH,ALICE COOPER), who helmed the singer's last solo CD, 2011's "Kicking & Screaming".
Comments Bach: "Today we are back in the studio crafting riffs and working on melody lines. Bob Marlette is working his magic and helping me out with the upcoming opus of epic-ness. Expect high-energy music.... perfect for driving quickly, or jack-hammering concrete. Working on lyrics... but don't want to beat you over the head with sobriety, or ex-wives, or ex-bandmembers, or any of the other constant bullshit that I seem to be personally dealing with. So I am choosing my words carefully... because this music is straight-up, balls-to-the-wall, kick-you-in-the-nuts rock 'n' roll. And I need the words to reflect that."
Bach's next solo CD, which is tentatively due in early 2014 via Frontiers Records, is expected to feature contributions from Steve Stevens(BILLY IDOL) and Los Angeles-based guitarist Jeff George, who previously played with ASKING ALEXANDRIA's lead vocalist Danny Worsnop. Making a guest appearance on the album will also be bassistDuff McKagan (DUFF MCKAGAN'S LOADED, VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES).
Bach's brand new CD/DVD package, "ABachalypse Now", was released in North America on March 26 via Frontiers Records. The "ABachalypse Now" Ultimate CD/DVD Edition includes never-before-seen footage from last year's Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium, the full never-before-seen Hellfest set from France and the fully-remixed and remastered Nokia show from Los Angeles (originally broadcast on AXS TV), as well as bonus music videos. The DVD contains a running time of nearly 160 minutes.
CHIMAIRA's video for the song "No Mercy" can be seen below. The track comes off the band's seventh studio album, "Crown Of Phantoms", which will be released on July 30 via eOne Music.
The band recently made headlines by way of crowd-funding a fan version CD/DVD where they doubled their initial goal via IndieGoGo.
CHIMAIRA just wrapped up a successful run on the "Dont Pray For Us Tour" with ASKING ALEXANDRIA and plans to be back on the road soon.
"Crown Of Phantoms" track listing:
01. The Machine
02. No Mercy
03. All That's Left Is Blood
04. I Despise
05. Plastic Wonderland
06. The Transmigration