Posts Tagged ‘united-states’

A Gift to Artwork: Megadeth

Last month we dove deep to explore the importance of cover artwork, namely through our analysis of two excellent pieces of artwork adorning the latest Caligula’s Horse records. This time we take a closer look at the covers of thrash titans Megadeth , starting with 1986’s iconic Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? Given its political nature, context is crucial to understanding the artwork and it was created during the latter stages of the Cold War, amidst escalated tensions between the world’s two foremost superpowers of the time, the USA and the Soviet Union/USSR. The world in this period of history was, at times, on the brink of a nuclear third world war, and it was only knowledge that such a cataclysmic event would bring about the Mutually Assured Destruction of both sides which prevented such horrors from occurring. Unfortunately, in the world of Megadeth, that appears to be exactly what has eventuated. Their undead mascot, Vic Rattlehead, stands before a United Nations headquarters lying in ruins, the shades of red and blue depicting a sky ablaze, fires raging in the background. The scene is reminiscent of a nuclear holocaust as three military jets fly menacingly towards the foreground, seemingly scanning the area for any remaining targets, any last vestiges of life. Such themes are undeniably heavy and unsettling in nature, so it should come as no surprise that similarly unsettling motifs have been woven into the record’s music and lyrics as well. ? (Illustrator: Ed Repka) The obvious starting point to our analysis is the all-time classic ‘Peace Sells’. The track emphatically states that peace is nothing more than a commodity, an item which can be easily traded, bought or sold. It is not some idealistic notion to be strived for, but an easily attainable state of the world which the world’s powers manipulate for their own gains. The UN was created following World War II, to bring peace and prevent such atrocities from reoccurring, yet it was powerless to prevent the numerous proxy wars which occurred throughout the Cold War in Asia, the Middle East, South America and elsewhere. Ironically, rather than bringing about peace of any kind, the UN merely served as another theatre of war, this time a political one, in which the antagonistic forces of the US and USSR could engage with one another. The UN headquarters have been annihilated in the illustration, yet that doesn’t stop Vic, dressed as a real estate agent, from looking to sell what’s left of it. One might argue that this would be a tough sell, that Vic is as likely to find a buyer for the rubble as the UN was to find a buyer for world peace. Further still, the fact the UN is on the market at all suggests that, despite its ruined state, it will be just as (in)effective as ever, and thus it still constitutes a legitimate commodity. Looking more broadly at the themes prevalent within the artwork, there are a host of other comparisons to be made. In particular we can cast our minds to the numerous tracks dealing with the occult, beginning with the eerie fan favourite ‘The Conjuring’. Thematically, the war ravaged landscape and grim colour scheme can be seen to represent hell on earth, tying in nicely with the song’s descriptions of satanic rituals and black magic. The song’s portrayal of the devil’s salesman selling yet another abstract commodity, this time the human soul, is further embodied by the figure of Vic, an interesting allegory to his purported sale of a soulless, in every sense of the word, UN. Musically, with the help of the similarly occult ‘Bad Omen’, the homicidal ‘Good Mourning/Black Friday’, the torturous ‘Devil’s Island’ and others, the album as a whole does a fantastic job of providing the illustration with a suitably ominous, disconcerting and sinister soundtrack. Fast forward eight years and Megadeth had just released the polarising Youthanasia . Like its 1992 predecessor Countdown to Extinction , the album continued Megadeth’s transition from the lightning fast thrash which comprised their first four records, to a slower, more commercially viable sound. This radio-friendly approach, with Mustaine seeking that elusive No. 1 ranking on the charts, also saw a shift in the album artwork of the band. The undead Vic Rattlehead was no longer a permanent fixture, whilst this particular cover featured luscious, rolling green hills and cute, innocent babies, images generally associated with nature, peace and positivity. However, it’s crucial to point out that whilst their shift in sound had changed the method of their delivery, their message remained the same. Megadeth still wrote politically abrasive and, at times, downright aggressive songs, only now they were catchier, reaching a wider audience and allowing them to have a greater voice than ever before. This same duality applied to their artwork as well, the youth of their times, symbolised by the babies, being hung out to dry by the older generation, powerless to avoid the oncoming storm. (Illustrator: Hugh Syme) The result is arguably the most shocking Megadeth cover to date, as Mustaine issued a rallying cry, a call of arms for the youth of the ‘90s to take action and free themselves from the status quo. The dark, brooding clouds take up more than half of the image, highlighting the sheer scale of oppression to which the youth have been subjected. Furthermore, there is a seemingly endless line of babies being hung, yet there is only one elderly figure placing them there, suggesting that the oppressed far outnumber their oppressors, and that there is victory to be had in unity. Finally, the imminent storm is itself duplicitous: on the one hand, if nothing is done it will simply decimate the defenceless babies hanging limply from the clothesline; on the other hand, the revolution which Mustaine calls for will see a raging storm engulf society when the opposing factions collide. Thus, the cover of Youthanasia perfectly encapsulates the lyrics and music to be found within, just like the cover of Peace Sells… before it, as Megadeth and their collaborators prove to be yet another gift to artwork. -KD

Lamb of God Delivers In Houston, TX

    Last night Lamb of God delivered the goods on the Slipknot tour in Houston, TX. This was the 4th time I had seen Lamb of God and the only thing that disappointed me was the amount of time they got to play. I am used to them being the headliner and seeing them […]

Randy Blythe Taking Break From Lamb of God

Looks like Lamb of God will have a longer than usual break between albums this time around, maybe even a permanent break. Randy Blythe has announced he is taking time off and won’t even think about Lamb of God for a long time. So what does this mean. For me personally, this sucks. I have […]

Tomahawk Announce New 2013 U.S. Tour Dates + Appearance on ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’

Ipecac Records / Photo by Tim Moss Tomahawk just finished their West Coast swing in support of the ‘Oddfellows’ album and have just announced a new string of dates in June that will take them to the Eastern part of the United States. The trek launches June 1 in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club and continues through New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. before the finale June 7 at The Vic in Chicago. The dates come after a busy spring that also sees the band performing in Australia and South America. While on their West Coast leg, frontman Mike Patton and Co. let the cameras from NBC’s ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ catch part of their set and the group will be featured on two tracks during the late night show’s Feb. 27 broadcast. ‘Oddfellows’ arrived in stores last month and has already spawned a pair of tracks. The video for ‘Stone Letter’ can be seen here , while the music video for the ‘Oddfellows’ title track premiered on Loudwire just last month. Tomahawk 2013 Tour: 2/23 — Brisbane, Australia — RNA Showgrounds 2/24 — Sydney, Australia — Olympic Park 2/26 — Sydney, Australia — The Metro 2/27 — Melbourne, Australia — Billboard 3/1 — Melbourne, Australia — Flemington Racecourse 3/2 — Adelaide, Australia — Bonython Park 3/4 — Perth, Australia — Claremont Showground 3/30 — Sao Paulo, Brazil — Lollapalooza 4/2 — Buenos Aires, Argentina — Malvinas Argentinas Stadium 4/4 — Santiago, Chile — Teatro La Cupula del Parque O’Higgins 4/6 — Santiago, Chile — Lollapalooza 6/1 — Boston, Mass. — Paradise Rock Club 6/2 — New York, N.Y. — Best Buy Theater 6/4 — Philadelphia, Pa. — Union Transfer 6/5 — Washington, D.C. — 9:30 Club 6/7 — Chicago, Ill. — Vic Theatre [button href=”http://loudwire.com/rocklahoma-2013-must-see-rock-concerts/” title=”Next: Check Out 2013’s Must-See Rock Concerts” align=”center”]

Clutch vs. Soundgarden – Cage Match

Photos: Freeman Promotions / SoundgardenWorld.com Clutch and their tune ‘Earth Rocker’ took down Corey Taylor and Dave Grohl’s collaborative tune ‘From Can to Can’t’ in the last Cage Match but will they be able to continue to reign against their latest competition? Soundgarden enter the Cage Match with their new single ‘By Crooked Steps’ off their latest album ‘King Animal.’ Coincidentally, the video for the song was directed by previous Cage Match contender Dave Grohl. Soundgarden are currently on tour in the United States. For a full list of dates, go here . Also check out our exclusive photos of the band rocking out at one of two recent sold-out New York City shows. So will Soundgarden take the win ‘By Crooked Steps’ or will it be smooth sailing for Clutch and their track ‘Earth Rocker’? (This Cage Match will run until Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8AM ET. Fans can vote once per hour! So come back and vote often to make sure your favorite song wins!) Clutch, ‘Earth Rocker’ Soundgarden, ‘By Crooked Steps’ Sorry, you need to have javascript running to see this poll. Email Me When Cage Match Winners Are Announced Enter your email address below to receive the Loudwire newsletter, which will include notification of the daily winner of the Cage Match, as well as our top stories of the day. Email Rules of Cage Match: Fans can vote once per hour for their favorite song. If a song remains the reigning champ for five straight cage matches, it is retired to the Loudwire Cage Match Hall of Fame. With so many great songs out there, we have to give other bands a chance!

Win a Turisas ‘Stand Up and Fight’ Prize Pack!

Century Media We’ve got an awesome contest for the fans of Finnish folk / viking / power metal band Turisas . Not only are we giving away a copy of the band’s most recent album, ‘Stand Up and Fight,’ but the lucky winner will also receive a tour poster and t-shirt, all courtesy of Turisas and Century Media Records. Founded in 1997, Turisas have brought the Scandinavian folk and viking styles to the metal underground for over 15 years. Having released three full-length albums through various lineup changes, Turisas recently announced that their fourth studio album, ‘Guards of Glory,’ will see a May 2013 release. The band is currently on tour in the United States through early March, before hitting Latin America and Europe. See the full list of dates here . For both fans of the group and those looking for a different sound to soak in, this Turisas prize package is certainly a treat. To enter the Turisas prize pack contest, follow @Loudwire and @TurisasOfficial on Twitter and ReTweet this announcement of the giveway. This contest will end on Thursday, Feb. 28. Good luck! Check out the music of Turisas in their music video for ‘Stand Up and Fight.’ Turisas, ‘Stand Up and Fight’

Sevendust + Coal Chamber Team Up To Co-Headline 2013 U.S. Tour

ABC PR / Adrenaline PR Sevendust  are teaming up with the reunited  Coal Chamber  for a 2013 U.S. tour. The two bands will be supported directly by Lacuna Coil, with Candlelight Red and Stolen Babies splitting opening duties. Sevendust will be out in support of their upcoming album ‘Black Out the Sun,’ which features the new single ‘Decay.’ The band has added dates to a winter trek with Lacuna Coil that kicks off Feb. 2 in Winston Salem, N.C., and runs through March 27 in El Cajon, Calif. Candlelight Red will be along for that ride. Now it’s been revealed that Coal Chamber will jump aboard the trek starting March 28 in Tempe, Ariz., to link up with Sevendust, Lacuna Coil and Candlelight Red in Tempe, Ariz., for a month longtour which wraps up on April 28 in Dallas, Texas. Stolen Babies will take over Candlelight Red’s slot on April 14 in Toronto, Canada. “I’m stoked to be bringing Coal Chamber back to the United States,” remarks singerDez Fafara. “These shows are going to f—ing rule! The lineup is perfect! Hope to see you all there!” Check out the dates below: Sevendust’s Newly Announced Tour Dates (in addition to Winter tour): With Candlelight Red: 3/15 New Orleans, La. House Of Blues 3/16 Broussard, La. The Station With Lacuna Coil and Candlelight Red: 3/17 Abilene, Texas The Lucky Mule 3/19 Farmington, New Mexico Top Deck 3/21 Boise, Idaho Knitting Factory Concert House 3/22 Reno, Nev. Knitting Factory 3/23 Las Vegas, Nev. The Railhead @ Boulder Station Hotel & Casino 3/27 El Cajon, Calif. Sycuan Casino Sevendust, Coal Chamber and  Lacuna Coil (with Candlelight Red + Stolen Babies): 3/28 Tempe, Ariz. The Marquee 3/29 Los Angeles, Calif. Club Nokia 3/30 San Francisco, Calif. The Regency Ballroom 3/31 Sacramento, Calif. Ace Of Spades 4/2 Englewood, Colo. Gothic Theatre 4/3 Wichita, Kan. The Cotillion 4/4 Oklahoma City, Okla. Diamond Ballroom 4/5 Sauget, Ill. Pop’s 4/6 Milwaukee, Wis. The Rave II 4/8 Minneapolis, Minn. Mill City Nights 4/9 Joliet, Ill. Mojoes 4/11 Ft. Wayne, Ind. Piere’s 4/12 Detroit, Mich. Harpo’s 4/13 Toronto, Ontario Sound Academy 4/14 Hartford, Conn. Webster Theater 4/16 Worcester, Mass. The Palladium 4/17 New York, N.Y. Best Buy Theater 4/18 Philadelphia, Pa. Electric Factory 4/19 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino 4/20 Sayreville, N.J. Starland Ballroom 4/22 Baltimore, Md. Rams Head Live! 4/23 Charlotte, N.C. The Fillmore Charlotte 4/24 Atlanta, Ga. Tabernacle 4/26 Houston, Texas Warehouse Live 4/27 Corpus Christi, Texas Concrete Street Amphitheater 4/28 Dallas, Texas The Palladium Ballroom [button href=”http://www.billboard.com/features/sevendust-decay-exclusive-song-premiere-1008086012.story#/features/sevendust-decay-exclusive-song-premiere-1008086012.story” title=”Listen to Sevendust’s ‘Decay’ at Billboard.com” align=”center”]

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