Posts Tagged ‘iron maiden’

Trivium – Silence In The Snow

Every Trivium release after Ascendancy has initially been met with some backlash by fans of the band. Pretty much every band by the album is solid, but every album is a departure from the previous one, so getting fixated on certain aspects of the sound of the band always leads to disappointment. That’s not to say that all criticism of their work is invalid, but there is always a yearning for older elements of the band’s sound from some. Yet, despite this, Trivium keep pushing forward, and with every album they change the shell around the core of their sound. Sometimes it works better than others, as the intricate and progressive Shogun was an absolute masterpiece, In Waves was their most diverse album, and while Vengeance Falls was met with some degree of negativity, its second half had some of the best songs they’ve ever written. Silence in the Snow  is the Florida quartet’s seventh album, and it sees them taking a different direction yet again, with a heavy bent towards traditional metal and the complete eschewing of screaming (which works out surprisingly well), and bringing back the elements of the fabled Shogun sound. And while the end result works more often than not, it’s a bit flawed. It’s hard to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Silence in the Snow against each other, as they’re mostly disparate. The songs have structure issues, but the actual riffs that are in there are pretty great. Perhaps the easiest way to sort this out is to just lay the issues out there and let everyone sort them out for themselves. There is really one prime problem with this album, and everything else stems out from it. That problem is the reliance on choruses, or more specifically, song structures that emphasize choruses. Pretty much every song has a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus structure. Some of the best aspects of Trivium songs are “the riffs in between”, things that lead verses into choruses, interludes, pre-solo sections, et cetera. The band not having any screaming on this album is really no issue, as there aren’t any riffs that make one go “I wish there was some screaming here”, but that’s actually the root of the issue here. It’s not that the band are no longer doing harsh vocals, it’s that they’re not writing riffs that they normally play when they’re doing harsh vocals. And while the screaming isn’t really missed, the riffing is. Further exacerbating this issue is the fact that the choruses area repeated a lot, which makes the songs feel rather simplistic and repetitive. It’s also a problem when a lot of the songs have their verses start with the “guitar plays a note or two then stops, and Matt sings over a bassline” bit, which gets old even faster. While those issues sound a bit grave, when the album works, it really works. It has some of the best lines they’ve ever written. The riffing isn’t really the focus on most of the songs, the vocals are, and the riffing just provides a backdrop for the singing. While Matt Heafy isn’t the best singer out there, he’s better than he ever was (and he doesn’t rely heavily on pitch correction either, as live videos make very evident) and he pulls off a singing-driven album well. And while the complaints about choruses being too prevalent stands, they’re damn good choruses. It’s so easy to sing-along to everything in the album, and it’s all ridiculously catchy and memorable. The heavy metal influence is prevalent mostly on a few songs, whereas the rest are Shogun-era Trivium songs with the screaming bits cut out and the choruses emphasized. That album has been the holy grail for the band’s fanbase since its release, and this album brings back pretty much every aspect of that sound minus the heavier parts. The lack of more intense riffing probably partly due to the fact that the singing is a lot more difficult than what the band has done before, and Matt has to focus on his voice, which forces him to just play basic rhythms. The band mostly cover that up with great song writing, proving their claim they’ve been making for years that it’s not about how hard the riff you play is, but how good the riff sounds. And for guitar enthusiasts, the band still have neat riffs in some of the songs, and their solos, which every song has, are some of their best. Really, how much one enjoys this album will come down to what they’ve come to expect from Trivium over the years. If their image of the band was that of a metalcore band with screaming and melodeath-esque riffing, they will probably be disappointed. But if they liked Trivium for their melodies, Matt’s singing and the memorable lines, this album contains more of those than ever. They’ve brought back some of their best songwriting elements, and while the implementation is a bit flawed due to the simplistic structure of the songs, the end result is really good and is full of stupidly catchy riffs and choruses. In ways, Silence in the Snow is the “Black Album” of Trivium’s career, as it reflects a position in their musical progression similar to how that album was situated for Metallica . And while this might (rightfully) alienate some longtime fans, it’s just a different direction and not really a bad one. The aspects that are lacking are undeniable, but what’s here is also compelling in its own right. ? Trivium –  Silence In The Snow gets… 3.5/5 -NT

Universal Sells Former Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden + Megadeth Label Sanctuary to BMG

Mary Ouellette, (2) / Karl Walter, Getty Images The ever-evolving music industry endured another shift recently when Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group agreed to sell Sanctuary Records, the onetime label of metal giants Black Sabbath , Iron Maiden and Megadeth , to BMG Rights Management. The Los Angeles Times reports that the deal was part of divestitures required by European Commission regulators. Sanctuary Records was among the assets requested by European regulators and sources report the label was sold for $62 million. In addition to Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Megadeth, Sanctuary released albums from Motorhead , The Kinks and more. Sanctuary is the second label sold off by Universal Music this month, with Parlophone recently being sold to Warner Music Group. Parlophone had the rights to past releases from  Coldplay , Pet Shop Boys and Tina Turner. Universal has yet to sell off two additional assets — Co-op, a British independent marketing and sales company and EMI’s European stake in the ‘NOW!’ musical venture. [button href=”” title=”Next: 10 Best Megadeth Songs” align=”center”]

Members of Iron Maiden, Slayer + More Honor John Bonham at 2013 Bonzo Bash

Evening Standard – Hulton Archive, Getty Images Led Zeppelin great John Bonham has long been one of the most revered drummers in rock and roll and for the last couple of years a number of top skinbeaters have gathered for the “Bonzo Bash” to celebrate his musical legacy. The event, which has been held in Los Angeles on the anniversary of Bonham’s birthday in the past, shifted venues this year to take place as part of the NAMM Convention weekend in Anaheim, allowing for more participants to join in. The 2013 Bonzo Bash was held at the Observatory in Anaheim Thursday night (Jan. 24) with a star-studded lineup rocking out for those in attendance. For instance, Adrenaline Mob ‘s Mike Portnoy came out to rock the crowd with the assistance of former Megadeth bassist James Lomenzo on Zeppelin’s ‘How Many More Times.’ Iron Maiden ‘s Nicko McBrain pounded away on a cover of ‘Immigrant Song’ and Slayer ‘s Dave Lombardo provided a more swinging drum sound on Zeppelin’s ‘Down by the Seaside.’ Fan-shot video of all three ‘Bonzo Bash’ performances can be seen below. The evening also featured such top drummers as Steven Adler , Anthrax ‘s Charlie Benante , Testament ‘s Gene Hoglan, Korn ‘s Ray Luzier, Buckcherry ‘s Xavier Muriel, Jane’s Addiction ‘s Stephen Perkins, Poison ‘s Rikki Rockett and more. In addition, fellow musicians like the previously mentioned Lomenzo, Tesla’s Frank Hannon, Great White ‘s Jack Russell , Black Country Communion’s Derek Sherinian, Mr. Big’s Billy Sheehan, Warrant ‘s Robert Mason, Whitesnake’s Doug Aldrich and S.U.N.’s Sass Jordan also joined in the jam. Watch Mike Portnoy and James Lomenzo at the 2013 Bonzo Bash Watch NIcko McBrain Perform at the 2013 Bonzo Bash Watch Dave Lombardo Perform at the 2013 Bonzo Bash [button href=”” title=”Next: Check Out 2013’s Must-See Rock Concerts” align=”center”]

2013 Grammy Nominees for Best Hard Rock / Metal Performance: Anthrax, Halestorm, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson + Megadeth

Recording Academy While hard rock and metal bands were snubbed in most of the categories for the 2013 Grammy Awards that were announced tonight (Dec. 5), the one category devoted to those genres features a diverse range of nominees. The Best Hard Rock / Metal Performance category boasts nominations for Anthrax , Halestorm , Iron Maiden , Lamb of God , Marilyn Manson and Megadeth . Of all those acts, only Iron Maiden has previously won a Grammy. Anthrax are nominated for ‘I’m Alive’ off their album ‘Worship Music,’ while Halestorm got a nod for ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ from their full-length effort ‘The Strange Case Of …’ Meanwhile, Iron Maiden scored a mention for ‘Blood Brothers’ from their ‘En Vivo’ CD/DVD and Lamb of God got a nod for ‘Ghost Walking’ from their ‘Resolution’ album. Finally, Marilyn Manson earned a nomination for ‘No Reflection’ off ‘Born Villain, while Megadeth scored a mention for ‘Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)’ from their album ‘TH1RT3EN.’ Congrats to all of those acts for representing hard rock and metal at the upcoming 55th annual Grammy Awards taking place on Feb. 10, 2013 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The event will air live on CBS at 8PM ET. In other rock categories, the Black Keys and Jack White led the way with multiple nominations. Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Anthrax, ‘I’m Alive’ Halestorm, ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ Iron Maiden, ‘Blood Brothers’ Lamb of God, ‘Ghost Walking’ Marilyn Manson, ‘No Reflection’ Megadeth, ‘Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)’ [button href=”” title=”Next: Vote in the 2012 Loudwire Music Awards” align=”center”]

Iron Maiden to Headline Graspop Metal Meeting 2013 in Belgium

Karl Walter, Getty Images Winter may be upon us, but European festival organizers are already thinking ahead to summer and with it, the region’s booming concert season. After a five-year hiatus, Iron Maiden will headline the Graspop Metal Meeting 2013, which will take place in Dessel Belgium from June 28 through June 30. Maiden bassist Steven Harris commented on the gig and offered a little insight as to what fans can expect at the show, saying , “We know how popular the history of Maiden tours are with fans of all ages and we will be bringing with us the full production we had on tour in North America earlier this year. Thanks to modern technology, we’ve been able to update and improve on the original 1988 production for Maiden England. We will be bringing with us a huge new light show, stage set, various incarnations of Eddie, plenty of pyro and all kinds of other exciting stuff for the fans.” Judging from Harris’ comments, Maiden will be pulling out all the stops and are planning a massively entertaining show for fans at Graspop Metal Meeting. Harris offered even more detail about the band’s planned set list, saying, “We’ve also had a huge amount of fun with the set list as we got to play songs we’ve not played in a very long time like ‘Seventh Son,’ ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘Afraid to Shoot Strangers,’ as well as fan favorites like ‘The Trooper,” ‘Aces High,’ ‘The Clairvoyant,’ ‘The Number of the Beast,’ ‘Wasted Years’ and ‘Run to the Hills.’” He continued, “The opening leg of the tour was so enjoyable for the whole band, we’re really looking forward to taking this whole show to our fans around Europe and we’re especially happy to be coming back to headline Graspop, as it is a real metal festival and a place we always really love to play.” All those factors combined mean it’ll be a Maiden performance to remember. More info about Graspop Metal Meeting is here . [button href=”” title=”Iron Maiden to Co-Headline Rock in Rio” align=”center”] ?

Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris: I Think We’ve Got Another Five Years in Us

George De Sota, Getty Images Iron Maiden are among the pioneers of heavy metal, but despite the fact that they are still going strong, bassist Steve Harris sees an expiration date approaching for the band. He tells The Quietus , “I don’t know about [us playing for another] ten years. I think we’ve certainly got another five years in us, but it’s hard to say.” The bassist says that health definitely factors into their future equation, adding, “As you get older, it gets doubly hard to keep yourself fit and in shape. We do work really hard on doing that. We’d be selling ourselves and everyone else short if we didn’t, so we look after ourselves.” Harris, an avid soccer fan, says he’s given up playing the sport for the most part. He adds, “I’ve had so many problems with my back that I can only play the odd match here or there. Unfortunately it’s five years since I’ve played a full season of football and that’s something that I miss a lot. But I had to make a decision. I play a lot of tennis.” With Harris seeing the end in sight, he’s taking advantage of his time remaining in rock to do what he wants. Earlier this fall, he released his solo disc, ‘ British Lion ,’ which has been in the works for over a decade. Harris has gone in a more hard rock direction for the disc, and recently stated that the material was not “throwaway Iron Maiden stuff.” He’s currently gauging the response before deciding whether to tour in support of the effort. [button href=”” title=”Next: Win a Steve Harris ‘British Lion’ Prize Pack” align=”center”]

Steve Harris Says Solo Record Isn’t ‘Throwaway Iron Maiden Stuff’

Karl Walter, Getty Images Iron Maiden guitarist Steve Harris is working in a solo album between his regular band duties, and Harris assures the quality of the disc will be up to par as these songs were not leftover Iron Maiden tracks. In the November edition of Decibel magazine (excerpted by Blabbermouth ), Harris explains, “This is not throwaway Maiden stuff. These are not riffs that I could’ve used in Maiden because, like I said, it was done with other people. As soon as that happens, it’s not gonna be used in Maiden.” The guitar great adds, “I’ve got ridiculous amount of ideas that I’m probably never gonna get out the door in my lifetime. There’s no shortage of ideas for Maiden. And this stuff is different, anyway. It’s more heavy rock than heavy metal, but to me the influences are all from the well.” Harris, who is using the title ‘ British Lion ‘ for his disc, says the effort has been in the works since 1993, but because of his extended involvement in Iron Maiden, he’s never really had much time between discs to work on it. He laughs, “It’s been so long, it’s ridiculous. I’m just so relieved to get this thing out, really, because it’s finally there. I’m really pleased with the results, but it’s taken a long while.” The guitarist says that when Iron Maiden hasn’t been touring and recording, he’s often taken the lead on things like video editing that help fill the time between records, so his time left over to record his own music has always taken a back seat. “I get a lot less downtime than the others,” says Harris. “That’s why it’s taken so long, really. I was just trying to fit bits in here and there when the other people were available to work on stuff while I was back in the U.K., which over the last few years has not been very often.” [button href=”” title=”Next: Iron Maiden – Top 21st Century Metal Songs” align=”center”]