Rich Ward

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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.
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By Carl Begai

In January 2010, Fozzy – the side-project turned full scale war machine featuring Stuck Mojo guitarist/vocalist Rich Ward and vocalist/wrestling star Chris Jericho – released their fourth studio album, Chasing The Grail. Amongst the guest musicians that appeared on the record was Annihilator guitarist Jeff Waters, who laid down solos for the tracks ‘Martyr No More’ and ‘God Pounds His Nails’. Waters is no stranger to lending out his talents to projects he feels are worthy of time spent, and although it’s a no-brainer finding Ward and Jericho on that list, it’s still a big deal when Waters agrees to enter the picture and add his brand of shred to the canvas.

“That was the coup of ages, man,” laughs Ward. “I asked Chris if he was okay with having a guest guitar player or two on the album. We did it on the previous one (All That Remains from 2005), and it was cool having Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) and Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) come in and lay down their stuff. For me as a fan of those guys it was just cool. Chris asked me who I had in mind for Chasing The Grail, and I gave him three or four names. He balked on all of them except for Waters (laughs) Continue Reading