Entries tagged with: Testament

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words and photos by Klaus Kinski

Metal Allegiance

After packing the cavernous Best Buy Theater in Times Square with the most metal heads per square foot in the world probably on September 17, heavy metal supergroup Metal Allegiance surprised the metal world by adding a last minute show on Friday September 18 at the mega tiny Saint Vitus Bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This intimate show was in celebration of the official release of their self-titled debut record which had dropped that day. The insane roster of talent making up the core of Metal Allegiance is something I probably dreamt up as a young headbanger in the '90s and which the metal Gods somehow made manifest; it features the great Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, many more) on drums, David Ellefson (Megadeth) on bass, Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) on vocals, and Alex Skolnick (Testament) on guitar. (Plus non-famous member Mark Menghi.) Extinction AD and Magus Beast provided support for the gig.

For once in my life I got to the show in time to catch the two openers. Having never heard of them before seeing their names announced as openers, I checked them out online before the gig and actually dug what I heard and wanted to make sure I caught their live sets. First opener was Long Island's Extinction AD (ex-This Is Hell). Extinction AD knocked me senseless with a never-ending barrage of thrashy riffs and unrelenting heaviness that brought to mind bands like Slayer and Pantera in their absolute, tip-top prime. The amount of hooky riffs they employ per-song is prodigal and unheard of. I loved the shit out of them. Singer/guitarist Rick Jimenez was in complete beast-mode from start to finish, constantly hocking loogies and navigating his fretboard like he was trying to make it melt under his fingertips. And Jimenez was complemented by an astounding rhythm section. Though mostly hidden in a corner behind one of the guitar amps because of how much real estate Mike Portnoy's drumkit took up, drummer Mike Sciulara completely tore it up. He is an amazing drummer. Bassist Pieter van den Berg and guitarist Christian Beale were also powerhouses of noise with more talent between them than I see in most metal bands these days. They kicked so much ass and the people who didn't bother to leave the bar to catch their set are morons. It was a glorious and explosive kick-off to a sick show.

Up next were old school New York power-metallers Magus Beast. Magus Beast harken back to the old days of the NWOBHM; you know, Judas Priest, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, etc... Though I definitely prefer a band like Extinction AD in terms of heaviosity and aggression, Magus Beast were a really fun and super talented group of guys who, having been around since the 80s, really know how to put on a show and who approach that style of power metal with an incredible arsenal of hooks and a big sense of authenticity and reverence. From the classic metal vocal stylings to the sick shredding solos, this band made me very happy (as opposed to hella aggro). Although they aren't a band I would seek out intentionally, they were really great and a perfect segue to headlining set by Metal Allegiance.

After an intermission that included a frenzied dash to remove any and all extraneous, non-Metal Allegiance related gear from the stage, last minute tweaks to Portnoy's elaborate drum-kit, and ample monitor checks, Portnoy, Ellefson, Skolnick, and Osegueda took the stage. The gimmick of Friday's set was that Metal Allegiance would play Van Halen's self-titled album in full and then play Black Sabbath's "Master of Reality" album in full. The band kicked things off with a short set of general metal covers, including Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills", one of my all time favorite songs ever. After that it was down to business with the Van Halen set. I will never get used to or be completely comfortable with the idea of a metal supergroup whose existence is predicated on cover tunes. It always feels cheap. But, man, when they tore into Van Halen's "Runnin' With The Devil" I was instantaneously won over and so into it. Skolnick, with an Eddie Van Halen tribute-style guitar, is probably the greatest Eddie Van Halen guitar imposter I have ever heard. When "Runnin With The Devil" segued into the guitar-solo-centric masterpiece "Eruption" which then segued into Halen's cover of "You Really Got Me," your man Klaus was 100% goosebumps and fistpumps.

After they wrapped up the Van Halen set, guitarist Skolnick pulled his hair into a ponytail, put on a blazer, grabbed a Gibson SG, and essentially transformed himself into Black Sabbath icon Tony Iommi, thus signaling the start of the Black Sabbath Master of Reality set. Again, they performed the album flawlessly. Classics "Sweet Leaf," "Children of the Grave," and "Into the Void" were complete and total masterpieces. By all accounts, the greatest forgery of two of metal's greatest albums, performed by some of metal's finest musicians.

I happened to have my crummy DSLR with it's crummy stock lens with me, so I whipped it out and took some shots during the show. They... aren't very good. More below...

Continue reading "Metal Allegiance covered Van Halen's S/T & Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' at Saint Vitus (pics, review)"

photo by Tom Couture
Metal Allegiance

Metal collective Metal Allegiance is led by core members David Ellefson (Megadeth), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Mark Menghi (of no famous band), and their new album (out today on Nuclear Blast) is loaded with stars, including Phil Anselmo (ex-Pantera), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), members of Exodus, Anthrax, Guns N Roses, Dillinger Escape Plan, Death Angel and still many more.

They played Best Buy Theater in NYC last night (9/17), doing a ton of classic covers like the Misfits' "Last Caress," Metallica's "Seek and Destroy," Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" and Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" (videos of all of those below).

They have a much smaller NYC show happening tonight (9/18) at Saint Vitus. The core members will definitely be at tonight's show, and special guests are promised (presumably some of the album guests?). This one's a little more high concept than last night. Rather than just an array of covers, Vitus says they're playing Van Halen's self-titled album and Black Sabbath's Master of Reality. Opening the show is Extinction AD and Magus Beast. Tickets are on sale now.

They also will do a live interview at AOL Studios in NYC today (5:45 PM doors) and they have an in-store at Long Island record store Looney Tunes on Saturday (9/19). There are a few other dates too, all of which are listed below...

Continue reading "metal supergroup Metal Allegiance played Best Buy (watch), playing Van Halen & Sabbath songs @ Vitus tonight"

by Andrew Sacher

The best thing we saw on Day 1 of the 2015 fest...

Riot Fest
photo via BrooklynVegan Instagram

Riot Fest Denver kicked off yesterday (8/28) at its new location of the National Western Complex, which (as the mechanical bull and scent in the air reminded you) is usually home to rodeo shows. It's across five stages, one of which is indoors, and also offers carnival rides, Colorado-specific treats like Chronic Candy (though I was told that's only hemp) and more. Like most festivals, it had newer, buzzy bands who played great sets like Speedy Ortiz, Cayetana and The Hotelier, but for me at least, the real highlights were the masses of classic artists we got to see. (Unfortunately one of those, Motorhead, had to drop off at the last minute due to Lemmy's breathing issues. He cut a show short a day earlier in Salt Lake City for the same reason.)

There was a lot to love about Riot Fest Denver day 1, but here's five highlights:

THE GET UP KIDS: It's The Get Up Kids' 20th anniversary, and they don't seem shy about the fact that everyone's favorite songs were written in the '90s because that was mostly what we got. "Holiday," "Action and Action," "Valentine," "Red Letter Day," "Ten Minutes," "Don't Hate Me" and more were played from their classic period and it was a singalong the whole time. The Get Up Kids may have taken an extended period off from being a band, but you'd never know it at this point. They're super tight, they look like they're having a ball on stage, and the crowd is eager to have as much fun as the band is. Their Riot Fest set got off to a rocky start due to sound issues, but it quickly became one of the best sets I saw all day.

TESTAMENT: Of everything I saw, the band who truly got the daytime crowd going wild was '80s-era thrash legends Testament. The pit was going so hard that if you were anywhere near the front you were getting dust in your eyes, and the band delivered expertly. Every extended scream, every guitar solo -- they were flawless. Testament were always smiling, always engaging the crowd, but never at the expense of delivering intense music. People talk a lot about the decreasing interest for rock on major festivals, but between Testament and Anthrax (who took the same stage right after them), fests may just need more classic metal bands.

IGGY POP: Is there anyone as ageless as Iggy Pop? With classic albums dating back to the '60s, he's one of the few people you could safely credit with inventing punk rock, and he hasn't lost that spirit one bit. He runs around stage like he's half his actual age, and genuinely seems like he's giving us every ounce of energy in his body. We got so many favorites -- "No Fun," "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "The Passenger," "Lust For Life," "1969" -- and they all sounded exactly like you'd hope they would. The fact that we get to experience Iggy in full force all these decades later is truly an amazing thing.

ICE CUBE: It's pretty safe to say it's the year of NWA. There's a hit biopic in theaters, the soundtrack to which is Dr. Dre's first album since the '90s, and talk of the groundbreaking rap group is just in the air. So it was perfect timing for Ice Cube to reunite with his old groupmates MC Ren and DJ Yella (like he did at the BET Experience in June) for "Straight Outta Compton," "Fuck Tha Police," "Dopeman" and more classic jams. Sadly (like at the BET Experience) Dr. Dre did not come out, and neither did their pal Snoop Dogg (who did join the group at the BET Experience and plays Riot Fest on Sunday), but it was still a surreal experience to see those three on stage together. And they sounded as fanastic as you'd want. The partial NWA reunion was the real draw, but even when Ice Cube dove into his solo career ("Check Yo Self," "Natural Born Killaz," etc) he made it feel like the G-Funk era was alive and well.

SYSTEM OF A DOWN: Look, when System of a Down were added to Riot Fest, I thought people were going to think it was lame. I mean this is a festival that sold tickets because people wanted to see Iggy Pop, Pixies, The Damned, American Nightmare, Swervedriver and 7 Seconds. These people don't like System of a Down. But not only was I wrong, they had the biggest and wildest crowd of the day. It makes sense that of all the bands to come out of early 2000s nu-metal, System of a Down would work so well at what's largely a punk festival. Most of that stuff was deservedly laughed at by cynics, but SOAD were different. They were weird, and they were way closer to a hardcore band than a pop band. If Refused never broke up, those two might've toured together. And that came across in full force on Friday night. Thousands of people were raging to this band who were playing the weirdest songs that anyone played all day. It was a strange, awesome experience.

Video of Ice Cube, MC Ren & DJ Yella playing "Straight Outta Compton" and more pictures below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver day 1: Iggy Pop, partial NWA reunion, more"

photo: Iggy Pop in Austin in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Iggy Pop

The full Riot Fest Denver and Chicago lineups were already announced, and more recently the day-by-day lineups were revealed. Check those out below.

You can still get tickets to Denver and Chicago, and now Groupon is also offering an exclusive presale on single-day tickets for Chicago.

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver & Chicago daily lineups & Chicago Groupon"

Maryland Deathfest 2016

Maryland Deathfest 2016 already announced two rounds of bands, and today they added a bunch more. Additions include Testament, Discharge, Repulsion, Paradise Lost, Ringworm, Severed Head of State (who also play NYC soon), Buzzov'en, World Burns to Death, Tragedy, Satan, DOOM, Crypt Sermon, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, Horrendous, Infest, Nuclear Assault (who are supposedly breaking up soon), Weedeater and more.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday (7/22) at noon. Full list of additions, and full updated MDF lineup below...

Continue reading "Maryland Deathfest 2016 adds Testament, Discharge, Severed Head of State, Paradise Lost, Repulsion, Goblin & more"

photo: Death Grips at FYF Fest 2013 (more by Wei Shi)
Death Grips

First Toronto, then Chicago, now here's the 2015 Riot Fest Denver additions: System of a Down, The Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie, Chef'Special, Input & Broken, and... Death Grips whose current tour surprisingly includes actual shows being played!

The additions join Modest Mouse, Pixies, Snoop Dogg (playing Doggystyle), Ice Cube (playing Straight Outta Compton remix), Rancid (playing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Iggy Pop, Run DMC, Motorhead, Drive Like Jehu, L7, Explosions in The Sky, Thrice, Babes In Toyland, Anthrax, Testament, The Damned, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, GZA, De La Soul, Desaparecidos, Nada Surf, The Lawrence Arms, The Get Up Kids, The Vandals, American Nightmare, Joyce Manor, 7 Seconds and more.

Riot Fest Denver happens August 28-30 at the Western Rodeo Complex. Tickets are still available. Updated poster and lineup below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver 2015 adds Death Grips, System of a Down, The Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie & more (updated lineup)"

UPDATE: More artists added.

Riot Fest

We just posted the Riot Fest Toronto lineup, and here's the Riot Fest Denver 2015 lineup: Modest Mouse, Pixies, Snoop Dogg (playing Doggystyle), Iggy Pop, Tenacious D, Ice Cube & special guests (playing Straight Outta Compton remix), Run DMC, Rancid (playing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Motorhead, Drive Like Jehu, L7, Explosions in the Sky, Cypress Hill, Alkaline Trio, Thrice, Babes In Toyland, Anthrax, The Damned, Eagles of Death Metal, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, GZA, De La Soul, Testament, Desaparecidos, Nada Surf, The Lawrence Arms, Andrew WK, GWAR, The Black Lips, The Dead Milkmen, The Get Up Kids, American Nightmare, Swervedriver, The Vandals, 7 Seconds, Joyce Manor, OFF!, Speedy Ortiz, Beach Slang and many more. A few more bands, including two headliners, TBA.

Tickets are on early bird sale now. This year, the fest happens at the new location of Western Rodeo Complex from August 28-30.

UPDATE: Chicago announced too.

All currently announced Denver bands are listed below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver 2015: Modest Mouse, Pixies, Iggy Pop, Run DMC, L7, Snoop Dogg, American Nightmare, 7Seconds, more"

photo: Motor Sister @ Saint Vitus - 2/12/15 (photo by Jason Donnelly)
Motor Sister

Motor Sister -- the new band of Mother Superior's Jim Wilson, Anthrax's Scott Ian, Scott's wife and Jim's past collaborator Pearl Aday, Joey Vera (briefly also of Anthrax), and John Tempesta (ex-Exodus, Testament, currently of The Cult) -- are just over a week away from releasing their debut album, Ride (due 3/10 via Metal Blade), and it's now streaming in full via AllMusic. Listen below.

Motor Sister were also just in NYC, playing Saint Vitus on February 12. Anyone go to that show? How were they? If you missed it, or just want to relive it, check out two videos from the show below.

Scott Ian wasn't the only '80s thrash veteran to play Vitus this month. Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo played on 2/23 with his band Philm. Philm's tour hits NYC again on Monday (3/2) at The Stone. Slayer without Lombardo is touring this year too, and Motor Sister drummer John Tempesta's two former bands Testament and Exodus are touring together. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt is also a current member of Slayer.

Motor Sister are also now labelmates with two former Megadeth members, Chris Broderick (guitar from 2008-2014) and Shawn Drover (drums from 2004-2014). The two recently teamed up with Henry Derek (ex-Scar The Martyr) on vocals and Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall) on bass to form the band Act of Defiance, who will have their debut album out on the label this summer. If you're at all curious what that might sound like, you can watch a teaser video below.

Meanwhile, if you were wondering what Dave Mustaine does for fun, why, he plays Metallica songs of course! Metallica also have dates coming up this year, including headlining Brazil's Rock In Rio which they were announced for this week. All of their dates are listed below.

And last but not least in '80s thrash news, Overkill have announced a big NYC show happening October 17 at Terminal 5 with two veteran power metal bands, Symphony X and Sanctuary (whose 1987 debut LP was produced by and featured Dave Mustaine). It's Overkill's only upcoming US date at the moment. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 6 at noon.

Motor Sister videos and LP stream, Act of Defiance teaser, and Metallica dates, below...

Continue reading "Motor Sister played Saint Vitus, streaming LP, now labelmates with an ex-Megadeth band; Overkill schedule NYC show"

photo: Testament on Motorhead's cruise in 2014 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

Veteran thrash heavyweights Testament and Exodus were both already announced for a few festivals including New England Hardcore & Metal Fest, Welcome to Rockville and Carolina Rebellion (the latter two also with Slayer), and now they've announced a full North American tour surrounding those fests. The tour doesn't hit NYC proper, but it will be nearby for shows at NJ's Starland Ballroom on April 17 and Long Island's Paramount on April 19. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (2/20) at 10 AM. Paramount has venue and Live Nation presales starting Thursday (2/19) at 10 AM, and Starland has a presale starting Thursday at 9 AM.

Testament are promising a new setlist that includes their first two albums, 1987's The Legacy and 1988's The New Order, in full, as well as cuts from 1989's Practice What You Preach. They're also now back with bassist Steve DiGiorgio, who was in the band from 1998 to 2004.

Newer band Shattered Sun open on all dates. Full tour schedule, a few recent live videos, and streams of Testament's first two albums, below...

Continue reading "Testament playing first 2 LPs on 2015 tour w/ Exodus (dates)"

photo: Philm at Slaughter by the Water 2012 (more by Taylor Keahey)

While Dave Lombardo left Slayer again in 2013, he's remained active with other projects. One of those is his band Philm, who released their sophomore album, Fire From the Evening Sun, last year. Philm have a couple dates announced at the moment, including a Brooklyn show happening February 23 at Saint Vitus with Gozu and Long Day Gone. Tickets for that show are on sale now. No word yet if these dates are part of a larger tour, but stay tuned. Full upcoming show schedule below.

Meanwhile, Slayer without Dave Lombardo were announced this week for Bonnaroo, where they'll join mostly non-metal bands (besides Pallbearer and Between the Buried & Me) like Kendrick Lamar, My Morning Jacket and Belle & Sebastian. Their only two other dates scheduled at the moment are also festivals: Florida's Welcome to Rockville Festival with Ministry, Slash, Suicidal Tenencies, Testament, Exodus, and more; and North Carolina's Carolina Rebellion with Cheap Trick, Slash, Suicidal Tendencies, Testament, Exodus and more.

Between the Philm show and Scott Ian's band Motor Sister playing Saint Vitus on 2/12, there will be no lack of '80s thrash vets at the Brooklyn venue this February. Philm dates, a song stream from their 2014 album, and a recent video interview that Dave Lombardo gave, below...

Continue reading "Dave Lombardo's band Philm playing shows; Slayer playing Bonnaroo (and other festivals)"

photo: The Red Chord at Public Assembly in 2010 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Red Chord

As discussed, the New England Hardcore and Metal Festival is returning to Worcester, MA from April 17-19, and since we last spoke more acts have been announced. Code Orange, The Atlas Moth, The Red Chord, Rivers of Nihil, Suburban Scum, Rude Awakening, Cruel Hand, Rotting Out, God's Hate and more were added to the lineup that already included Testament, Between the Buried and Me, Exodus, Nails, Nuclear Assault and more. Tickets are still availble.

Full list of new additions and updated lineup below...

Continue reading "New England Hardcore & Metal Festival adds The Red Chord, Code Orange, The Atlas Moth & more to lineup"

Testament on the Motorhead Motorboat in October (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

A couple of stacked east-coast hardcore/metal festivals have recently announced their lineups. First up, Damaged City Fest will take place in Washington D.C. from April 10-12. It will feature UK-based The Mob, Canada's Career Suicide, DC's Coke Bust, PA's Hounds of Hate, NJ's Razorheads, and NY-based Warthog and Ajax, among many others. Those last few bands, along with DC's Red Death, who will also be making an appearance, were featured in our hardcore roundup last week. Ticket info and more bands TBA. Full initial lineup below.

The following weekend, Worcester, MA will play host to the more metal-centric New England Hardcore and Metal Festival on April 17-19. The lineup is pretty huge, with classic thrash like Testament, Exodus and Nuclear Assault joining more current popular bands like Between the Buried and Me and more exciting underground acts like Nails, Wisdom in Chains and Homewrecker. Tickets are available now in either three-day packages or for individual days.

Check out the initial lineups and flyers for both fests, below...

Continue reading "Damaged City Fest and New England Metal & Hardcore Fest initial lineups"


Earlier this week we started to hear rumblings of a super secret, giant Vice party taking place Friday night (tonight, 12/5) somewhere in Brooklyn. Many big names were rumored to be playing. Like the event they just threw in Toronto, it would be to celebrate the now-mega-company's 20 years of existence. Then last night Nick Zinner tweeted the above "Vice Confidential" memo which has the Yeah Yeahs guitarist playing as part of a house band which will be fronted by Karen O and a ton of other exciting guests, if it all comes true. Pussy Riot is even on there, as are a bunch of Vice Records artists, as you can see above.

The show is invite only, but apparently they'll at least be filming it all (for the benefit of those not in attendance, and for those who make it in but partake a bit too much in the open bar), and they gave away a few tickets.

It goes without saying that the timing of this, though surely coincidental, is just a bit unfortunate for everyone since the last time we used "Brooklyn", "Vice" and "party" in the same sentence, was to discuss the final night of Death By Audio less than two weeks ago (Glasslands closes on New Year's Eve).

For what it's worth, I don't think there's any crossover between the Vice lineup and who played the final month at DbA, though Hisham Bharoocha used to be in Lightning Bolt who played DbA's final night.

So, who's on the list?

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

Iron Maiden in Austin in 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)

MetalSucks has been spending the past month releasing a list of the 25 greatest metal bands of all time, counting down to number 1 with a new band each day. They polled a pretty broad array of metal experts, ranging from critics to music industry types to musicians that run the gamut from Chuck Billy of Testament to Anatamy of Habit's Mark Solotroff. They released number 2, Iron Maiden, earlier today which came in ahead of other huge/classic bands like Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest and Megadeth. Number 1 gets revealed tomorrow, and considering Black Sabbath have yet to make this list, we think we may have a hunch as to who it's going to be.

The list slants pretty heavily towards classic thrash and death metal bands, with Sabbath being the only doom band in sight. In addition to the obvious classic bands in the top 10, there are some modern genre-busters (Opeth, Meshuggah), foundational death and grind (Napalm Death, Morbid Angel), and some good old 80s theatricality (Dio, Mercyful Fate). Limiting the list to 25 means there are going to be a ton of omissions, but still maybe Neurosis, Converge or Mastodon could've made it instead of Ozzy getting on there twice?

The legacies of classic bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Sepultura, which many would say have taken a hit in recent years, appear untainted here considering they still all take high slots. Something else of note is that there's not one single solitary black metal band on this list. I guess Lamb of God are more important to this panel anyway.

Check out the full list below, and check MetalSucks tomorrow for the inevitable Sabbath reveal.


Continue reading "24 of the best 25 metal bands, according to a MetalSucks poll (#1 coming soon, but seems obvious)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Motörhead's MotörBoat Cruise
Motörhead's MotörBoat Cruise
Motörhead's MotörBoat Cruise
Motörhead's MotörBoat Cruise

Motorhead set sail aboard their own Motorboat cruise last month, leaving the coast of Miami on September 22 and returning on September 26. Joining the metal legends were other veterans (and newer bands) of the genre including Zakk Wylde, Testament, Anthrax, High on Fire, Down and more. Megadeth was supposed to play, but cancelled. To quote the fest's own press release:

The inaugural Motörhead's Motörboat, aka The Loudest Boat In The World, conquered the high seas aboard the Carnival Ecstasy from September 22-26. An international, multigenerational audience from over 30 countries came together to celebrate the legacy of the cruise's iconic namesake and escape into five days of true rock'n'roll living with no-holds barred! Highlighted by a pair of ear-splitting performances from Motörhead themselves, Motörhead's Motörboat featured more than 30 performances by 15 artists, including Anthrax Testament, Down, Zakk Wylde and High on Fire across four stages throughout the ship, as well as meet and greets with all of the artists, a book signing with Megadeth's David Ellefson, a spoken word performance by Anthrax's Scott Ian, an artist Q&A hosted by Jim Breuer, and some special rockin' from the Metal Allegiance featuring a slew of musicians from the bands performing.
Check out a ton more pictures from the whole trip, below....

Continue reading "Lemmy took a boatload of metalheads on vacation (pics from Motorhead Motorboat w/ Down, Anthrax, High on Fire, more"

Vivian Girls at their last show (more by PSquared)
Vivian Girls

As previously mentioned, Cassette Store Day is returning this year on September 27, and since we last spoke, the first round of releases has been announced. There will be cassettes from Foxygen, Vivian Girls, Mutual Benefit, Dntel, Kevin Morby, Fear of Men, They Might Be Giants, Weedeater, Zero Boys, Kurt Braunohler, Enslaved, Immortal, Suffocation, Testament, Typhoon, The Rural Alberta Advantage, PUJOL, Chuck Ragan, The Gaslight Anthem, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Restorations, R. Stevie Moore and many more, as well as still more being added.

Check out the full initial list below...

Continue reading "Cassette Store Day reveals initial list of 2014 releases"

by Fred Pessaro

Dave Lombardo

The legendary Slayer is no more, in my eyes at least. After a tumultuous dispute between drummer Dave Lombardo and the rest of the band forced him out just prior to an Australian tour, it is now official: Paul Bostaph is Slayer's new drummer (again):

Slayer's Tom Araya and Kerry King are very pleased to announce that Paul Bostaph has rejoined the band on a full-time basis. Bostaph will be behind the drum kit beginning June 4 when Slayer kicks off the first leg of its 2013 international tour in Warsaw, Poland. Gary Holt will continue to fill in for fallen guitarist Jeff Hanneman.
Bostaph and Lombardo have played flip-flop since Lombardo's inital departure after Seasons in the Abyss, and his return in late 2001 (not including a brief stint with Testament's Jon Dette). Bostaph has spent time in Testament and Exodus in the years following.

The announcement of Lombardo's replacement comes on the heels of the passing of the iconic Jeff Hanneman, who died of alcohol-related disease.


As mentioned, Living Colour is busy gearing up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Vivid. In the meantime, guitarist Vernon Reid is currating the second half of February at NYC avant garde music haven The Stone (Feb. 15 - 28). His series kicks off Friday (2/15) with Baltimore's Lafayette Gilchrist. Other highlights include freeform violinist Mazz Swift on February 17; Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick with his new trio on February 19; and Reid himself with bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer G. Calvin Weston as "An Evening with Free Form Funky Freqs 67 & 68" on February 27. You can check out the full schedule at The Stone here.

March features curations by Dave Scanlon in the first half of the month and Al Lipowski in the second. And that will bring the Stone's "curator series" (which it's done since 2005) to a close. Beginning in April, The Stone will begin weeklong residencies. The new series kicks off with a week featuring pianist Matthew Shippfrom April 2 - 7 . Each night features a different collaborator and you can check out the schedule here.

by Fred Pessaro // BBG

Testament at Wellmont Theater, Oct 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)

Bay Area thrashers Testament will team with Overkill, Flotsam & Jetsam and 4arm for a string of dates in the new year, kicking off at The Filmore in San Francisco. From there, look for the bands to head south and eastward, eventually towards the New York area for two dates: Feb 14 at Best Buy Theater in NYC and Feb 15th at The Paramount on Long Island. Tickets for Best Buy go on AMEX presale at 10AM on Wed (11/28), with regular sale hitting on Friday (11/30), while tickets for The Paramount are currently on Citi presale  with regular sale also hitting on Friday.

The trek, named "Dark Roots of Thrash", is a play on the name of Testament's new album title Dark Roots of The Earth, out now via Century Media. Stream a track from that LP alongside a list of all tour dates below.

Continue reading "Testament released new LP, going on tour with Overkill, Flotsam & Jetsam and 4arm (dates, stream)"

Pallbearer at Knitting Factory, September 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)

Decibel Magazine has compiled their annual list of top 40 albums of the year. As usual, there are some surprises but the 2012 top ten is basically a list of nine veterans with only a single newcomer to the bunch. The full list of top records of the year according to Decibel Magazine is below, along with a tweet from the winning band. Buy your copy HERE.

Continue reading "Decibel Magazine's top 40 LPs of 2012"

photos by Greg Cristman

Anthrax @ Wellmont Theatre, 10/5/2012

With Joey Belladonna fronting the band again, Anthrax made their way to the stage in front of a house full of metal thrashing fans... While I was a little disappointed that they didn't play more songs off their current album "Worship Music," the band put on an amazing performance that quenched my thirst. Their set included "Caught In A Mosh", "Death Rider", and "Antisocial". After finishing their set with "In My World", Anthrax left the stage but returned a few minutes later for a four-song encore including the Joe Jackson cover of "Got The Time" and ended the show with "I Am The Law". -[Concert Blogger]
Anthrax was joined by Testament and Death Angel at Wellmont Theatre on October 5 as part of the trio's ongoing set of dates together. The Montclair, NJ show was the second-to-last date (they played Atlantic City the next night, where the above review comes from) for the second leg of the tour, the first of which included a stop at Best Buy Theater earlier this year. After a month, look for the trio to hop the pond to play European dates to close out 2012.

More pictures from Wellmont Theater (though we missed Death Angel) are below.

Continue reading "Anthrax, Testament & Death Angel @ Wellmont Theater (pics)"

Anthrax at Yankee Stadium in 2011 (Dana (distortion) Yavin)

Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel will kick off another leg of their "Thrashfest Extravaganza" with dates in late September and October. The shows include a stop in the NYC area at Wellmont Theater on October 5. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (6/1) at noon.

Testament are preparing to release their new LP Dark Roots of Earth, the follow-up to The Formation of Damnation, which will be out in North America on July 31.

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Anthrax, Testament & Death Angel expand 2012 tour (dates)"

Anthrax at Yankee Stadium (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

After playing a show at Best Buy Theater to promote their new album Worship Music before their Yankee Stadium appearance earlier this year followed by a tour with Testament that hit Long Island's Paramount Theater on 11/12, Anthrax has announced even more touring with Testament, and Death Angel. The new 2012 tour includes another show at NYC's Best Buy Theater on 2/8. Tickets go on AMEX presale at 10AM on 12/7, with regular sale hitting on Friday. Anthrax will also be offering fan presale tickets at their website starting at 3PM today (additional details TBD).

All tour dates and some videos below...

Continue reading "Anthrax, Testament & Death Angel --- 2012 Tour Dates"

words by BBG, photos by Samantha Marble


In 1991 there was The Clash of The Titans tour, a meeting of some of the biggest names in metal at the moment with Slayer, Megadeth, and Testament all on board for European and US legs featuring a rotating cast of Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, and more. A lot of time and changes have come to pass since that tour; Slayer lost their founding drummer and then found him, Testament battled cancer and arrived victorious, and Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine has a NY Times best-selling book among many other things. But nineteen years later, these thrash metal giants are still kicking around and reformed for a string of summer/fall dates that included the Izod Center in NJ on August 12th (and includes Nassau Coliseum on October 8th, where the classic lineup of Anthrax replaces Testament as opener).

Testament opened the Meadowlands show to a progressively growing audience at 7PM. The band's 40 minute set featured output from their career, with a few nods to their latest From Formation to Damnation. Although I enjoyed their set somewhat, the sound was unintelligible; guitars were completely buried in the mix with only the highest leads bleeding through the mud. That said, Alex Skolnick still knows how to rip it, Chuck Billy plays a mean air guitar, and they definitely know how to incite a killer Wall of Death (check out the video below).

Normally a set by Megadeth wouldn't get my heart racing, but tonight was Rust in Peace in it's entirety so I was guaranteed some of my favorite Megadeth songs. The band, now with Dave Ellefson back in the fold, followed Testament by launching directly into the classic Rust In Peace opener "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due". Sporting the classic "biohazard" emblazoned drumkit from the "Hangar 18" video, the band continued through the LP in track order declaring declaring "That was Rust In Peace!" at the finish and retreating from stage momentarily for a quick costume change afterword. Megadeth then looped back to classics like "Peace Sells" and "Symphony of Destruction" before a reprise of "Holy Wars" to close out the set. Mustaine's voice was a bit buried in the mix from my perspective, a relief in some ways as when he did come through it was too high pitched and nasal for my liking.

Little has changed since the last time I saw Slayer. Jeff Hanneman is still sporting the baseball catcher's shin plates, rockin a Raiders jersey and has his Heineken-style (that reads Hanneman) guitar. Kerry King still looks like a cross between Junkyard Dog and a cast member of Road Warrior. Dave Lombardo is still one of the best drummers on the planet. But what had changed was Tom Araya, due to his recent back surgery: no more head on a swivel, doctor's orders. The thrashing Araya was missed, but that didn't affect the legend's searing set of Seasons In The Abyss (in order) followed by a short set of Slayer classics. Easily my favorite preformance from the night. Dave Lombardo is god.

Tons more pics, some video and the set lists are below...

Continue reading "Slayer, Megadeth & Testament played classics, led a Wall of Death @ the Izod Center (pics, video, setlists) "

by BBG

Slayer, live in Poland

Though tickets are still available for their date at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, the second leg of the American Carnage tour (Slayer + Megadeth) has been announced. That leg includes Nassau Coliseum on Oct 8th, and though tickets go on regular sale on July 23rd, they are currently on Live Nation presale through Thursday at 8PM. The password is "venue". Testament wont open the Nassau Coliseum show like they will at the Izod Center in August, but Anthrax will!

Full tour sked and some vids are below..

Continue reading "Slayer & Megadeth add more dates, Long Island w/ Anthrax"