By Carl Begai
Call it a safe bet that a fair number of progressive metal fans feel slighted by having two giants of the genre – vocalist Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) – slamming down ton of bricks modern-edged metal with nary a 5/8 time signature or widdly keyboard flourish in sight. Nope, this is feelgood freight train mayhem minus the seatbelts done up old school, with the dynamic prog duo and guitarist Mike Orlando relying on musicality rather than gutteral aggression and the same old boring-ass downtuned chords to get their message across. Allen is a monster right out of the gate, his melodic bellow on lead-off tracks ‘Undaunted’ and ‘Psychosane’ laying the groundwork for some of the strongest material of his career (and wiping those damn Allen/Lande albums from memory). Orlando was either schooled in Stuck Mojo, or the band’s guitarist Rich Ward – who was in Adrenaline Mob for about 5 minutes – made a lasting impression on his songwriting. When it comes down to the groove crunch, and there’s plenty of it, Orlando’s shred is also an echo of Zakk Wylde, giving folks a welcome taste of Black Label Society. With Portnoy providing the backbone for the Allen/Orlando-penned tunes, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Adrenaline Mob’s overall sound is far and away from your average balls-out 4/4 metal band.
Continue reading ADRENALINE MOB – Omertá
Welcome, Canuckleheads! Time for an update…
Folks may remember Dream Theater frontman James LaBrie decapitating diehard prog-metal fans in 2010 with his fourth solo album, Static Impulse. It was anything but a continuation of his better-than-DT Elements Of Persuasion record, smacking people upside the head instead with the most aggressive music of his career, complete with death metal vocals (supplied by Darkane drummer Peter Wildoer). Attention Deficit Delirium’s Bryan Reesman recently caught up with LaBrie, who offered some insight on his next solo album, which is currently in the works:
“Right now, Matt (Guillory / keyboards), I and the other guys are writing. We’re about halfway through. I would say our main focus is that we want to raise the bar as far as the actual song compositions, so with the arrangements we want to see if we can better ourselves first and foremost. As far as the elements that we want to include or implement into the music, a lot of those elements will be familiar because we want to keep it consistent. It has to make sense and have a sense of continuity from where we left off, but there are some things that we’re talking about we want to bring in that will bring in some intriguing kind of sonics to give it its own identity.”
The complete interview can be found here.
Continue reading Only In Canada, Eh! – March 2012: JAMES LaBRIE, INTO ETERNITY, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, And COAL CHAMBER’s New Bassist CHELA RHEA HARPER In The Spotlight With SARASVATI
Yeah, about a week early, but I’m planning on going out as Silent Bob for Halloween and have to practice not talking shit. So, before I take my vow of quietude…
Eclipse Eternal – home town T.O. black metal skull crushers and a favourite of Swedish producer-to-the-gods Fredrik Nordstrom – have signed with Archaic North Records and will release their new album, The Essence of Hopelessness, on January 14th, 2012 (cover art can be viewed on the left). The band returned to ex-Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover’s Eclipse Studio for the recordings, and according to the pre-release hype sheet it’s going to be the sort of chaos-driven smackdown fans are expecting:
“They have delved into their innermost suffering and wrenched forth an album that is both poignant and memorable. From cold atmospheres to absolute chaos, from acoustic and spoken word interludes to ripping shredding, this album is as brutal as it is stirring.”
So, take that as you will, but past experience has taught me that anything Eclipse Eternal releases rips metal trendies like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth to shreds. Continue reading Only In Canada, Eh! – November 2011: ECLIPSE ETERNAL, DOLL, RUSH Producer RICHARD CHYCKI, And GLEN DROVER Hits The Road For A HAIL! Storm…
By Carl Begai
In a new interview with BW&BK (found here), Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie discusses the departure of co-founder and drum legend Mike Portnoy and the making of the band’s new album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events. Over the course of the conversation he revealed that Portnoy’s absence allowed the band to work differently in comparison to previous records; this included LaBrie recording his vocals at home instead of New York, as he has in the past. On top of that, he was able to work with close friend, former Winter Rose bandmate, and critically acclaimed producer – known in particular for his work with Rush – Rich Chycki.
“I was only down in Long Island when we were putting the music together,” LaBrie reveals. “I recorded all my vocals here at home in Canada with Rich. We recorded at his house; he has an amazing home studio. We had an absolute blast. I wanted to go about this album a little differently, so I mentioned to the guys – mainly John Petrucci (guitars) because he was wearing the producer hat – that I didn’t want anyone around when I was recording my vocals. It was like, ‘I was singing before I met you guys, and seeing how things have changed lately, I think it’s time to go back to what worked once upon a time.’ And it worked extremely well.” Continue reading JAMES LABRIE – Home Is Where The Art Is
By Carl Begai
For some diehard Dream Theater fans, vocalist James LaBrie’s new solo album, Static Impulse, is the equivalent of a kick in the teeth. At the very least it trashes the belief that LaBrie is “just” the singer, his creativity limited to composing vocal melodies and delivering them on stage. The new record proves this is anything but the case, with LaBrie and longtime collaborator Matt Guillory (keyboards) taking what became LaBrie’s signature sound on Elements Of Persuasion from 2005 and twisting it into something much more volatile. The most provocative element in this metamorphosis – no pun intended – is the involvement of Darkane drummer Peter Wildoer. Not only does he serve up trademark Swedish thrash from behind the kit as required, LaBrie and Guillory had the audacity to invite Wildoer to lay down full-on death metal vocals. Also as required, and much to the chagrin of Dream Theater purists.
“Well, like so many times before this was pure luck,” Wildoer says of being asked to sing, aware that some people are cursing that luck. “Matt and James knew they wanted Jens Bogren to mix the album here in Sweden, and Jens told Matt that he knew a great studio called Studiomega where he wanted the band to record the songs. Matt called a mutual friend of ours – Teddy Möller from F.K.Ü. – and asked him if he knew any Swedish drummers that he could recommend, and he recommended me. Very nice of him; thanks Teddy! Matt called me one night, introduced himself, and asked me if I wanted to play drums on James LaBrie’s new album. Of course I wanted to!” Continue reading PETER WILDOER – Thunder And The Beast
I fell in love with photography when I was 13 years old. Credit goes to my parents for that, as they decided to send me to summer school that year. Well, it wasn’t exactly summer school. More like educational courses were being offered for the summer and they took place at a local institute of learning, so to my mind it was summer school, which was a fate worse than death for a 13 year old kid. Particularly one such as myself who had all kinds of nothing lined up for the holiday stretch. My parents would have none of it, however, and decided that I’d spend 9:00am – 12:00pm from Monday to Friday for a month taking part in an activity of my choice. Or else.
Of all the courses on offer photography was the only one that held any sort of appeal. It was either that or I could learn how to needlepoint my way to boredom by weaving fake Persian rugs. And so, off I went bitching and complaining that first day of July wondering why life was so goddamn unfair, determined not to enjoy myself. The world would pay for putting me through such misery as having to spend my summer holidays frickin’ learning stuff. My parents would rue the day they sent me away to be lectured by teachers with no real lives to speak of. I would make a mockery of their decision by being the worst student in the history of summer school-ism…
Continue reading Photografucked: Return Your Ego To Point Of Purchase
It’s a strange day in hell when a band bridges the gap between Dimmu Borgir and Voivod. Ana Kefr’s debut succeeds in doing just that; a vicious stand-alone conceptual piece featuring an uncompromising and ultimately unique sound in spite of the comparisons drawn. The Death Cult Armageddon vibe over top an instantly recognizable Voivod thrash and clatter is a shock to the system as lead-off track ‘The Day That Guilt Turned White’ gathers momentum, to the point that one wonders if Shagrath and Away were conscripted for the recordings. Dynamics reign, however, as Ana Kefr churn out what is quite possibly one of the most captivating listening experiences of the year, never remaining in one place too long yet smart enough to keep things simple and to the point. Continue reading ANA KEFR – Volume 1 (Muse Sick Records)