All posts tagged trivium

Fort Rock 2014 Monster EnergyMonster Energy’s Fort Rock–Southwest Florida’s biggest rock festival–took Fort Myers by storm last weekend, selling out its second year with 12,500 fans attending the Saturday, April 26 rock festival at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.

The festival’s stellar rock lineup featured co-headlining superstars Korn, Rob Zombie, and Five Finger Death Punch, as well as Seether, Black Stone Cherry, Trivium and many others.

In a review of Monster Energy’s Fort Rock titled “Hard Rock Show A Sellout Success At JetBlue,” Dave Osborn of the Naples Daily News said, “The show was golden because it sold out…a 53% increase from last year’s crowd…(April 28, 2014).

“With such a demand for rock music in Southwest Florida, you never know what could happen next year…We might even expand to two days!” says producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents.

Monster Energy’s Fort Rock is part of the World’s Loudest Month festival series. The World’s Loudest Month was created in partnership by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live and features the biggest names in rock music performing in six distinct concert atmospheres across the country on five consecutive weekends.

Five Finger Death Punch- Ivan

Volbeat Trivium Digital Summer Tour 2014February 10.2014–Digital Summer has confirmed they are headed out on a U.S. national tour with Grammy Nominee Volbeat and metal heavy hitters Trivium this Spring. The tour kicks off in Denver, CO on April 3rd, 2014. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for the following dates:

4/03  Denver, CO
4/04  Mescalero, NM
4/06  Anaheim, CA
4/08  Modesto, CA
4/09  Reno, NV
4/10   Medford, OR
4/11    Spokane, WA
4/13   Boise, ID
4/14   Seattle, WA
4/15   Missoula, MT
4/17   Fargo, ND
4/18   LaCrosse, WI
4/19   Clive, IA
4/21   Ft. Wayne, IN
4/22   Cleveland, OH
4/23   Louisville, KY
4/27   Chattanooga, TN
4/28   Nashville, TN
4/30   Pittsburgh, PA
5/01    Bethlehem, PA
5/05   Niagara Falls, NY
5/06   Poughkeepsie, NY
5/08   Huntington, NY
5/09   Hampton Beach, NH

Digital Summer will also be announcing a few additional one-off dates, both festival and headline shows. So far “Welcome to Rockville” in Jacksonville, FL on April 26th, 2014 is among one of the festivals Digital Summer has already confirmed. Following the tour announcement, the band recently signed on 13 year old YouTube drummer Austin Rios of Elk City, OK and guitar player Derek Kleoppel of Kansas City, MO. Kyle states “Austin is no gimmick, this kid is the real deal. He shocked us and he’s going to shock a lot of people very soon”. Digital Summer is known for their unconventional style of business and marketing, this member line-up proves to be right along those lines.

In other news, the band has recently stated they’ve been in the studio working on new material and possibly a Deluxe Edition release of their current studio album Breaking Point, which features their chart breaking radio hit “Forget You”. No release dates have been announced.

Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville triumphantly returns to Jacksonville, Florida’s scenic Metropolitan Park along the St. Johns River April 26 and 27, bigger and better than ever.

Following 2013’s third annual event which drew over 25,000 people and garnered widespread media acclaim, the two-day destination music festival anchors the World’s Loudest Weekend and will feature a massive all-star rock lineup featuring co-headliners Avenged Sevenfold, The Cult, Rob Zombie, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch and Staind. The initial daily band lineup for Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville is as follows, with more to be announced:

rockville 2014Saturday, April 26
Avenged Sevenfold
The Cult
Alter Bridge
Memphis May Fire
We Came As Romans
Middle Class Rut
Adelitas Way
Rev Theory
Butcher Babies
Devour The Day
We As Human
Evergreen Terrace
Monster Truck
Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands winner

Sunday, April 27
Korn, Rob Zombie
Five Finger Death Punch, Staind
Theory of a Deadman
Black Label Society
Black Stone Cherry
Motionless In White
Sick Puppies
The Pretty Reckless
Lacuna Coil
Nothing More
Twelve Foot Ninja

Korn’s Jonathan Davis says, “Can’t wait for Rockville! We love coming to JAX – the fans there always bring it!

5FDP is incredibly excited to be part of the kickoff of the World’s Loudest Month,” says Five Finger Death Punch’s Jeremy Spencer. “We are blessed to have so many fans in Florida that made it possible for the band to step up as a festival headliner standing beside giants like Korn and Rob Zombie! Thank you, Florida. See you all soon!

A special discounted ticket pre-sale for Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville will be held from January 28-30. During the pre-sale, a limited number of discounted 2-day weekend General Admission and VIP tickets will be available for purchase. Weekend General Admission ticket pre-sale prices are as follows (plus fees):

Tuesday, January 28: $69.50
Wednesday, January 29: $79.50
Thursday, January 30: $89.50

To obtain a password to access the ticket pre-sale for Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville, visit,,,
or listen to your local rock radio station. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will also be available at select Metro PCS locations with no service fees.

Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion, the mid-Atlantic’s biggest rock festival, proudly returns to Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC May 3 & 4 with a massive 2 day lineup including Avenged Sevenfold (who performed at the SOLD OUT inaugural Carolina Rebellion) and Kid Rock. Also features performances by Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and many more.

Featuring on-site camping, VIP packages and a lineup featuring today’s biggest rock bands, Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion–celebrating its second consecutive year at Rock City Campgrounds–has quickly grown to be the Carolinas’ Biggest Weekend of Rock in four short years.

The daily band lineup for the fourth annual Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion is:

Carolina Rebellion 2014Saturday, May 3
Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Motörhead, Seether, Volbeat, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Black Stone Cherry, Fozzy, Adelitas Way, Thousand Foot Krutch, KYNG, Nothing More, Devour The Day and Truckfighters

Sunday, May 4
Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, 311, Staind, A Day To Remember, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Fuel, Hellyeah, Of Mice & Men, Trivium, Redlight King, Twelve Foot Ninja and Gemini Syndrome

The Zombie crew is super-stoked to be heading down to the Carolina Rebellion this year,” says Rob Zombie. “We are ready to throw-down a badass Zombie party for all the Rebels. See ya there.”

This festival has become one of the biggest in the country,” says Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory. “We have a ton of fans in the Carolinas and the crowds there are nothing short of legendary.”

We’re excited to play Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion for the first time,” says 311’s Nick Hexum. “Looks like a cool festival. We’ll be rockin’ tunes from our new album plus 311 classics. See you there!

All tickets will go on sale Friday, January 31 at 10:00 AM ET, including Camping, Hotel and VIP Packages, as well as Weekend 4-Packs and upgrades. All Camping and Hotel Packages will include access to the Friday night campground party. As in the past, ticket discounts will also be available for active military. For full details about military ticket discounts, Camping, Hotel and VIP packages, visit A special pre-sale will start on Tuesday, January 28 at 10am ET. To gain access, like our Facebook page or sign up to receive our e-newsletters via our website.

We learned a great deal last year and have made some important improvements to the site, to better protect us from the elements,” said Joe Litvag, Co-Executive Producer of the festival. “Not to mention this bill is stacked with incredible talent, bringing our Rebels the biggest and best rock festival to ever hit the Carolinas.”

Fort Rock 2014 Monster EnergyJanuary 24, 2014–Monster Energy’s Fort Rock—Southwest Florida’s biggest rock festival—returns to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida for its second year on Saturday, April 26 with a stellar rock lineup featuring co-headlining superstars Korn, Rob Zombie, and Five Finger Death Punch, along with Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Sick Puppies, Trivium, Skindred, The Pretty Reckless, KYNG, Nothing More, Twelve Foot Ninja, and more.

5FDP is incredibly excited to be part of the kickoff of the World’s Loudest Month,” says Five Finger Death Punch’Jeremy Spencer. “Having already ‘rocked’ Rockville, this will be our first time bringing it to Fort Myers. We are blessed to have so many fans in Florida that made it possible for the band to step up as a festival headliner standing beside giants like Korn and Rob Zombie! Thank you, Florida. See you all soon!”

The festival is offering a special discounted ticket pre-sale from January 28-30. During the pre-sale, a limited number of discounted general admission tickets will be available for purchase for the following prices (plus fees):

  • Papa Roach at FORT ROCK 2013

    Papa Roach at FORT ROCK 2013

    Tuesday, January 28: $29.50

  • Wednesday, January 29: $39.50
  • Thursday, January 30: $45.50

To obtain a password for access to the ticket pre-sale for Monster Energy’s Fort Rock, listen to your local Fort Myers rock radio station, or visit or

Regularly priced General Admission and VIP tickets for Monster Energy’s Fort Rock go on sale Friday, January 31 at 10:00 AM ET at and all Ticketmaster outlets. General Admission tickets start at $49.50 and VIP tickets start at $99.50, with ticket prices increasing on February 10. In addition, select Pita Pit locations will be selling General Admission tickets for $50, with no service fees. A limited number of discounted GA military tickets will be available for just $29 via Visit for full details.

“After a great first year, we couldn’t be more excited to return to JetBlue Park with an amazing band lineup and fantastic partners,” says Monster Energy’s Fort Rock co-producer Clay Busch of Danny Wimmer Presents.

Monster Energy’s Fort Rock is the kickoff event to a series of festivals produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live, that also includes the massively successful Rock On The Range, and Carolina Rebellion festivals. Monster Energy’s Fort Rock is also part of the Florida kickoff—along with Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville in Jacksonville—of the World’s Loudest Month. The World’s Loudest Month was created in partnership by AEG Live and Danny Wimmer Presents and features the biggest names in rock music performing in six distinct concert atmospheres across the country on five consecutive weekends.

JetBlue Park is the spring training home of the 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox, located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers, Florida.

Monster Energy’s Fort Rock is proud to be sponsored by Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Jägermeister, and f.y.e.

Fort Rock 2014 flyer For more info visit: and be sure to like the Fort Rock Festival Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Hello Ladies and Gents, it is that time again for everyone’s ‘Best Of..’ list and I’m not going to be left out. It’s been a great year for all kinds of music. You just had to go and look for some of it. Some of the selections on my list are predictable but I think there are a few on here that may surprise many of you too. So let’s kick off Slim Jim’s Top 13.5 (I’ll explain that later) Best Albums of 2013.

13 – King 810Midwest Monsters EP
king810Wish Korn would go back to being Korn and still putting out music as powerful and brutally painful as their debut self titled album? Don’t we all?
King 810 isn’t Korn, they might be the poor man’s Korn, or they may just be brutal and murderous without having the mommy and daddy issues of Jonathan Davis (or maybe more issues than Davis??). They aren’t quite as strong musically as Korn either. Every song sounds similar to the one before it. The only thing that seems to change is the breakdown of each song and the vocals/lyrics.
I swear this is a Best Of.. list, and King 810 are part of it despite how it sounds so far…
Instead of screaming and crying about mommy/daddy/molestation/etc ala Korn they are more about murder/death/mayhem it seems. I’ve seen them labeled ThugCore (that’s a new one to me), and the lyrics support the label. They paint a bleak portrait of life in the bowels of a hellish American City (the band hails from Flint, Mi) and the attitudes, antics, and dealings done to simply survive (or not survive as the theme of some of the songs go. 
With titles like Murder Murder Murder, The Death Posture, KIA, and Dragging Knives (see the common theme?) this isn’t feel good metal at all. But the cathartic nature of it, after 25 minutes of crawling through the dregs of humanity portrayed in this EP you can’t help but feel reborn, renewed, and whatever bullshit you carried with you before you put the disc on all fades away against the abrasive, concussive, sludge of inner city hell portrayed by KING 810.
Song of Note: K.I.A.

12 – QueensrycheQueensryche
queensryche - queensrycheQueensryche for many years was pretty much my second to third favorite band (1. Metallica 2. Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac). But over the years I had a hard time supporting them as each new album came out. Their EP, The Warning, Rage For Order, Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, and Promised Land were all exceptional albums but from there on it was all down hill. American Soldier was decent, and Operation: Mindcrime II was a valiant effort but it wasn’t enough to really be a good album. I won’t even go into the covers album.
And then the shit show started. The very public, very dirty, very scandalous breakup began. And so now you have two versions of the once mighty Queensryche touring and recording. Just to fuck with the public some more. Regardless what side of the fence you fall on this one, you must admit that of the two Queensryche albums that were released this year, only one sounds like the real Queensryche. If left simply to public opinion and album sales (which is a direct reflection of public opinion if you ask me) there is no mistaking that the Geoff Tate-less Queensryche, the Queensryche with new singer Todd La Torre is by far the reigning version of Queensryche.
The self titled album featuring the new singer is the bands best effort in recent years. The sound falls somewhere between Empire and Promised Land. They say it harkens back to the original Ryche sound of the first 4 albums, and while it is close, there is a little missing from it to be truly from The Warning ‘era’.
Todd’s voice is remarkably Geoff Tateish. Think Judas Priest with Ripper Owens, and had the band been able to go on after firing Geoff and just be ‘the’ Queensryche then there is a real chance that they’d be on their way back up the charts, and back into the arenas again. His voice is that strong and that ‘Tateish’ that if you just put the album on, and didn’t know the line up change, you’d never know that Tate wasn’t singing.
The album is solid, and because it is a step in the right direction and is completely listenable on it’s own even if it isn’t missing it’s ballsiness somewhere along the way, it limps its way into my top 10 list of 2013.
Again, this is more Empire than Rage for Order or The Warning, and while there isn’t anything wrong with that, I don’t think it is enough of a departure from the last few Ryche albums to really be a great album. I’ll take Empire era Queensryche over Hear in the Now Frontier era, but if I had my druthers, you can give me Rage era Ryche any and every day thank you very much.
This being the first album without Geoff wrangling the writing or pawning the writing off on third parties (depends on whose story you believe), it shows enough promise to give us long time Ryche fans hope that the forthcoming music from the band will continue down the path they’ve begun to go.
Song of Note: Open Road

11 – Deep PurpleNow What?!
deep purple - now whatWithout going on a tirade against the R&R Hall of Fame here… It is a travesty that Deep Purple has once again been overlooked by them. While I’m glad that they didn’t get in based solely on the fact that this year marked the death of the greatest keyboard player ever, Jon Lord, It pains me to see pop artists get into the Hall before one of the most influential bands ever (and arguably the first band to create the ‘heavy metal’ genre just a couple of years before Sabbath).
That aside, Deep Purple has had a rough couple of years in the quality of the recordings they’ve been putting out. They’ve admitted as much themselves in recent interviews.
And while they can never return to the strength and might that they were with Jon Lord, the current line up with Don Airey at keyboards has finally captured the sound and vibe that is at the core of any great DP recording. 
Now What?! bears a striking resemblance to Perfect Strangers which in my opinion is the last good album they’ve put out as well as possibly their greatest album ever.
It sees the band in grand form and Ian Gillan while somewhat restrained here vocally still delivers a great performance.
If you’re looking for a good strong Deep Purple album that harkens back to their better songwriting days and performances, this is the one for you.
Song of Note: Vincent Price

10 – TriviumVengeance Falls
trivium - vengeance fallsI had to put Trivium on this list. I’ve tried liking their previous albums. I enjoy them to a certain extent but they just seemed to be missing something. Then I saw them live, and I understood what Trivium was all about. It’s been said a million times, and I’ll say it here because still holds true… There are live bands and there are studio bands. Some bands shine on a stage and their albums are just so so, others make killer albums but they just don’t come across right on stage. Trivium for me is the former. Until the release of Vengeance Falls. I don’t know if their writing has improved, if changing producers and having David Draiman helped, I don’t know if it just sonically sounds better than the other albums, or it is just lighting in a bottle, but the band has finally released an album that represents their sound onstage properly.
The band took a lot of heat for having Disturbed’s David Draiman produce the album from the ‘all knowing’ sheeple out there. But having a new set of ears listen and help pull out the best possible performance out of the band seems to have worked. This is the first album from Trivium I can listen to front to back. And because of that, because it is such a strong album, because it is the hardest and heaviest album to come out this year, because the band is such a great live band, they deserve to be in my top 10 list this year.
Song of Note: At the End of this War

9 – Five Finger Death PunchThe Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol 1
FFDP - the wrong side of heavenWhen this album came out I wanted to dislike it just like I did their first three albums.
Look, their sound is ok, the songwriting is ok, and while the band seems to have a lot of fun on stage performing, the lead singer Ivan Moody seems to posture just a little bit too much for my taste. Their breakout song (a cover of Bad Company’s ‘Bad Company’) was a cover that ranks up there with Shinedown’s Simple Man as the top covers that never should have happened.
The fact that the general public ate up both of those shitty versions of great songs irritated the fuck out of me and so I take it out on the bands and refuse to like/listen to them.
So FFDP comes out with the first of two albums dropping this year and damned if the first one isn’t chock full of killer guest vocalists. We’re talking Rob Halford, Maria Brink, Max Calavera, and Jamey Jasta here. That’s enough to make me give the disc a good solid listen. At least one good listen.
I’ll be damned if the album isn’t really fucking good. Again, a total surprise here and even more so that this band ended up on my top 10 list!
The title track is a stellar song that, had they released it 5 years ago it would have been a weak muddling milquetoast abortion of a song. But they have clearly matured in their songwriting and it shows here.
The disc kicks off with the infectious Lift Me Up featuring Rob Halford and it is this song that kept me intrigued enough to keep listening.
Moving through the various tracks they all have their high points and keep the album moving along nicely. Until you get to what may end up being my third grossest mistaken cover song ever. FFDP and Tech N9ne cover LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out. At face value it could be a really strong cover. The original song was done by LL Cool J with a full band supporting him on it. So it isn’t too far of a stretch to see a metal band cover it. But the execution is less favorable than chowing down on a three month old abortion. It should have never been done.
the first half of Diary of a Deadman continues to push the suck factor here. Think Metallica’s To Live is to Die but in reverse. Had the instrumental been ALL of the song it would have been a solid song. But if you skip both of those songs the rest of the album is a great solid metal album.
Look, no one is more surprised than I am that this album is in my top 10 list. I almost feel the need to apologize for it. But the majority of the disc is so strong and so surprising to me that I feel it is worthy to be here.
The second album (Volume 2) is really more of the same. It isn’t bad, it isn’t better, it is missing the guest vocalists, and it carries it’s own shitty cover version of House of the Rising Sun.
Maybe FFDP should stick to having guest vocalists and not doing ANY covers (because they all come out shitty). To be fair House of the Rising Sun is a lot less shitty than Mama Said Knock You Out. So they’ve got THAT going for them.
Song of Note: Wrong Side of Heaven

8 – NewstedHeavy Metal Music
Newsted - heavy metal musicAfter leaving Metallica Jason Newsted has been in a lot of projects to keep himself busy as he properly recovered from the neck/back injury that forced him out of the worlds biggest metal band (well, that and the all the inner turmoil bullshit going on at the time. See: Some Kind Of Monster). From performing with Ozzy, Voivod, Echobrain, etc, etc. to finally starting his own band Newsted it’s been a long journey.
Jason plays bass and sings/growls vocals and does an admirable job singing. It’s a bit one dimensional but it does work. And even after listening to the whole album it doesn’t grate on me. I usually prefer a little more depth in the vocals but this works and works well.
I think because the music behind it is so Motorheadishly groovetastic that the vocals lends itself to the grittiness of the sound.
And that is the biggest compliment you can pay this album. For that is what it is to the T. It is Motorheadishly groovetastic. Think Lemmy and Co. thrashing it out instead of Punking or Rockabillying it out. And that is where Neswsted sits. Motorhead with thick as fuck Thrash riffs and chops.
The biggest surprise here isn’t Jason singing… it has to be Staind’s Mike Mushock’s performance on the disc.
This isn’t Staind’s emo metal whiney baby bullshit, this is Mike unleashing heavy metal mayhem riffs all over the album. Kudos to Mike for finally showing the world his metal chops. They are a true treat and joy to behold.
Song of Note: King of the Underdogs

7 – VolbeatOutlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
volbeat - outlaw gentlemen and shady ladiesLuckily I was turned on to Volbeat a few years ago by a good friend. And have been a fan ever since. I mean what’s not to like here? You like Hard Rock? You like Rockabilly? You like Danzig? You like Elvis? Well, let me introduce Volbeat to you.
They are all the above and a little bits of all the above. The bastard son of Elvis and Glenn Danzig singing 50’s era Rockabilly with a 2000 twist mixed with great hooks and enough swagger and hair gel to put the sleaziest greaser to shame; add in exceptional songwriting and you have Volbeat.
The most notable difference between Outlaw and the albums before it is the addition of Robb Caggiano. I think that is what sets this album apart and above its predecessors. With Robb in role of producer the album is more straightforward Hard Rock(abilly) than a mish mash of Metal(abilly) and so the sound is more coherent and fluid.
If I had a complaint it is that there is a certain sameness to each and every song they do. If the songs weren’t so good it would be a little off putting and dull. I think it lies in the vocals of Michael Poulsen. While they are unique and undeniably good, they don’t have much range, so each song sounds like the last. The exception being Room 24 which features King Diamond and has the older thrashy Volbeat sound to it. Past that, the album kind of comes off as a 45 minute song with different passages throughout it. Not sure how you change that, as it is really the main part of their signature sound.
The Hangman’s Body Count has a great riff running throughout it chugging along like a juggernaut and the soloing is top notch.
Lonesome Rider has the rockin’ist Rockabilly/Country/Metal vibe of them all. It doesn’t hurt that Sarah Blackwood is singing in the worlds thickest twang on it and what a trippy song it is. You have to hear it to understand all the elements at play in this song.
Song of Note: Doc Holiday

6 – Monster MagnetLast Patrol
monster magnet - last patrolMonster Magnet is a band that should be much bigger than it is. But because they don’t write radio friendly hard rock or are perceived to be something they aren’t they don’t get the respect they deserve.
They’re mostly known for their one hit Space Lord and their great video for it. But take a listen to the rest of that album or any track on this album and you’ll find that they have so much more substance than that one song.
Ask me what Last Patrol sounds like and I’d be hard pressed to tell you. It’s epic. That’s the one word that comes to mind. Fucking EPIC. It is truly a journey of an album. It takes you for a ride and you end up in places you’d never think you’d go from a band like Monster Magnet.
Let’s just give them their own genre and call it Space Rock shall we? Because that’s what this is. It’s the closest I can come to ‘naming’ the sound. There’s acoustic shit in there, spacey jams, middle eastern tinges mixed in, and it isn’t until you get to Hallelujah almost halfway through the disc that you get to what you’d call a straightforward rocker. 
And that is what is so great about this album. That is all part of this journey. The music is heavy as hell. And not in the traditional sense of heavy metal, think Muse but a lot more restrained and laid back.
This is a groove heavy album. Maybe that’s what I missed. The album grooves deeply. It doesn’t go so deep as to be sludge, but heavy on the groove factor here. Every song whether slow, low, or jukin’ and jivin’ all have their own fat groove to them. EPIC GROOVE SPACE ROCK.
There you go.
Now, go get it. You’ll thank me later.
Song of Note: Paradise

5 – Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsPush The Sky Away
nick cave - push the sky awayHas Nick Cave ever released a bad album?
Fuck no.
Has he released albums that fail to live up to the Nick Cave standard? Yes, but then a Nick Cave album is a lot like fucking. Even if it’s bad fucking it is still fucking.
Nick Cave has gone back and forth over the last few years releasing albums with and without the Bad Seeds and has even done some ‘side projects’ (how you do a side project from yourself I have no idea), and it is my opinion that the best Nick Cave is the Nick Cave that is backed by The Bad Seeds.
The opening cut We No Who U R sets the mood for the disc with a ethereal and bleak sound. This isn’t the aggressive Nick Cave set to a cacophonous wall of noise. Think more Leonard Cohen and less The Birthday Party.
Wide Lovely Eyes continues the stark ethereal sound while Water’s Edge still keeps the minimalist theme going musically but steps the tempo up. You feel the song building, restrained, strained, pulsing, waiting to tear loose, only to be tamped down suppressed and leaving you edgy and wanting more.
It’s only when Jubilee Street starts that you get a full band sound, or traditional band sound. The electric, eclectic, ethereal sound gone but the morose lyrical vibe maintains its hold. The irony being the title of the song comparative to the overall feel of the song.
This is Nick Cave’s best work in a long time. I’ve followed the man for a long time, and this may rank right up there as his 3rd best album behind Let Love In and The Murder Ballads. That’s enough to ensure his place in my top ten of 2013.
Song of Note: Water’s Edge

4 – GhostInfestissumam
Ghost - album coverHail Satan!
Hail Satanic Metal!
Hail Satanic Circus Music!
Hail Satanic Psychobilly!
The second album by the enigmatic Ghost may not be as straight forward in the metal vein as their first album Opus Eponymous but it is still a great album that has so many subtle layers to it. And I think that’s why so many people seem to like the first album more.
But what Ghost brings to the Satanic Metal genre is something that one would never have though possible… FUN!
Yes Satan can be fun. Who knew?!?!?!??!
Give Infestissumam one listen and you’ll agree. Worshipping Satan and glorifying the great evil one can be fun.
The track Per Aspera ad Inferi sounds like some kind of psychedelic 70’s hard rock groove song until you catch the lyrics… ‘Oh Satan Devour us all Hear our desperate call’.
I’ve always wanted to start a band that plays music in the vein of Barry Manilow but has lyrics so dark and fucked up that people upon first listen give you the puzzled dog head cocked to the side expression.. ‘HUH?
This isn’t quite Barry Manilow music but is is close in idealism.
This isn’t Black Metal. This isn’t Satanic Metal. This isn’t King Diamond or Slayer by a long shot. But it is good solid hard rock/heavy metal that is a trip to listen to.
So put your sullen and brooding Black/Death/Satan Metal away, put on your clown pants and rock the fuck out to Good Friendly Fun Satanism!
Song of Note: Year Zero

3 – Micheal MonroeHorns and Halos
michael monroe - horns and halosHanoi Rocks was poised to be the biggest band in the world. The year was 1984, they had just released their best album to date, Two Steps From the Move, they had taken Bowie’s and the New York Dolls’ and MC5’s drag/androgynous look and glommed the fuck right out of it and had invented what became Glam Rock. Motley Crue, Ratt, hell ALL of the Sunset Strip bands of the 80’s stole or adopted the look from the originators. And Guns & Roses would have never been the Guns & Roses we knew if it weren’t for Hanoi Rocks. G&R even rereleased all of Hanoi Rocks albums on their own label as a tribute to them to show the world what they may have missed.
That all changed when Vince Neil got behind the wheel of his Pantera one night highly intoxicated and took Hanoi Rocks’ drummer Razzle on a liquor run. He ended up running head first into a Volkswagen Bug seriously injuring the occupants of that car and killing Razzle instantly. The death of Razzle effectively put an end to Hanoi Rocks.
And the world was a much worse place for it.
Michael Monroe went on to a successful solo career but never reached the heights that Hanoi SHOULD have.
Hanoi Rocks reformed a few years ago and put out a couple of really good albums but things ran its course and Michael once again has gone out on his own.
His latest disc is Horns and Halos and it is the strongest album he or Hanoi has released in 20 years.
This guy is 51, his voice is stronger on this album than in the last 20-25 years easy. The songs are well written and more tight and cohesive than in previous recent efforts. The playing is mush stronger and well written also.
This may be the best Michael Monroe album he has ever put out.
The albums starts off with the bombastic TNT Diet that sets a solid rollicking pace for an album that doesn’t let up once. There are 13 cuts on this album and everyone of them shines in its own way.
Ballad of the Lower East Side is probably the truest Hanoi Rocks style song on the album. The swagger and sleaze running off this song harkens back to the early 80’s not to mention the lyrics are singing of the glories of the Lower East Side of NYC in the 80’s with its pushers, pimps, and whores.
Horns and Halos is a straight out cock rock song that may be the jewel of the disc. 
The more I listen to the album the more I hear Social D or TSOL vibe running through it more than Monroe’s normal glam rock sheen.
And this may be why the album works so well. It may be the most mature album he’s ever written. Throwing nods in it to his roots, as well as his influences, but the new ‘sound’ lies less in the glam rock we’ve come to love and expect and more in just great Rock & Roll songwriting.
Nobody writes a better hook than Michael Monroe, and every song on this album has a great hook that instantly sinks into you and pulls you right to the end of the song and deposits you squarely on the other side wishing the song wasn’t over. That is until the next song sets in, drops it’s hook in your face leaving a big mushroom stamp on your head and dragging through it’s glory and deposits you once again on the far end wishing your could hit replay and dig the song over an over again.
That to me is the sign of a great song. As soon as it ends you want to go back and listen to it again. When every song on an album does that to you… you have a great album!
And this friends and foes, is a great fucking album.
Song of Note: Ballad of the Lower East Side

2 – Scorpion ChildScorpion Child
scorpion childHoly Fuck. I hate kicking myself for missing something. We get tons of Press Releases that cross our desk every day for a million bands you’ve never heard of and probably never will, let alone the ones you wish you never did. Scorpion Child PRs were coming at me fast and furious this past spring/early summer and I read a couple and just moved on. And THAT is what I thought of Scorpion Child. Read and dumped the PR without a second thought. I have to thank Sirius/XM for actually opening my ears and eyes to the wonder that is Scorpion Child and showing me what I was missing.
Think Robert Plant meets Rainbow who goes in a back alley and has a 17way with David Coverdale, Deep Purple, and Fastway is standing there circle jerking all over the place. THAT is what Scorpion Child is. Yet they are so much more.
I always tread lightly when I say a band has a sound from the 70s/80s/particular band name here because I don’t want you to think they’re some kind of rip off or retro sounding band for a goof (think Steel Panther). The above mentioned bands are nothing more than influences on what Scorpion Child bring. They take those influences and churn out something old and familiar feeling but with a new twist and spark of life that should propel them into the stratosphere.
There are a million ‘new’ bands out there vying for your attention, but this one right here stands head and shoulders above them all.
Their sound may not be as diverse as Led Zeppelin‘s were from album to album, but there is enough diversity here from song to song while still holding the primary Scorpion Child sound to entertain and enthrall one and all alike.
Song of Note: Polygon of Eyes

1 – ClutchEarth Rocker
Clutch - earth rockerA few years ago Clutch released what many consider to be their best album ever, Blast Tyrant.
Well the Maryland band have not only matched the excellence that is Blast Tyrant, but they may have even surpassed it with their latest opus.
Earth Rocker does just what the title suggests… It rocks.
Out of all the great music that has been released this year, this is the album that has received the most listens in my iPod.
This is just a ridiculously good album. Sonically, musically, lyrically, and vocally. The sonic part makes sense because Machine produced the album, the same genius producer behind Blast Tyrant.
Clutch has experimented the last couple of albums and have had mostly missed in my opinion since Blast Tyrant, but Earth Rocker takes off right out of the gate and only slows down for the Gone Cold haunting ‘ballad’ only to rev right back up and shake the foundations with ‘The Face’ and the band doesn’t look back.
There isn’t a bad song on this disc. There isn’t a bad moment on this disc. There isn’t a bad note on this disc. The only complaint would be that they could have added 5 more songs or so as it seems to end way too quickly for me.
The tracking of Earth Rocker is to be lauded also. Starting with the title track, and accelerating with Crucial Velocity, right into Mr. Freedom, and without blinking you’re thrown into D.C. Sound Attack. Each song building on the tempo of the previous, each song propelling your forward until it explodes with Unto The Breach. 
The aforementioned Gone Cold cools us off long enough to catch our breath and begin the crazy ascent again with The Face, Book Saddle & Go, all they way through to the finale The Wolfman Kindly Requests… .
This is the only album I’ve given a 10 out of 10 on in a very long time. I don’t think last year’s number one album In This Moment’s Blood received 10 out of 10 from me (yeah I’m too lazy to look it up, it MAY have…) But that means out of all the albums released since THAT album dropped (we’re talking hundreds of albums people [ok thousands, but for all intents and purposes hundreds that would/could be worthy of being in my top 10]) only Earth Rocker has again received a perfect score. Hence the top spot this year.
Song of Note: Unto The Breach (but it is really hard with this album to pick just one song from)

So that’s my top 10… er… 13.
Almost. I decided to go to 13 this year because there were so many good albums I couldn’t stop at 10. I have one more I’d like to add, as an Honorable Mention. It was originally in my ‘long list’ of top 10 albums of the year. But once I finished compiling all the great albums released this year, it just wasn’t as strong as the rest of them. But after writing up my Best Of… list I couldn’t just let it go to waste. The material is that strong in my opinion. So here is the 13.5 Best Album of 2013.

Natalie MainesMother
natalie maines - motherSo I purchased Mother by Natalie Maines because, well, as a person and artist I respect who she is and what she has done (former Dixie Chicks), and I heard her perform the Pink Floyd cover on Howard Stern one day and loved it. She does a great job on the song keeping most of the original arrangement together in her version retaining the feel of debilitating maternal oppression while changing it up just enough with a glorious Hammond B organ to put her own mark on it.
I was excited to hear the rest of the album after about 5 spins of Mother alone. And came away pleasantly surprised. Between Mother, and her take on Jeff Buckley’s Lover You Should Have Come Over (back to back those two songs will push any mortal person so far into a melancholy stupor that you need to make sure there are no sharp objects near with which to slit ones wrist with) along with her original songs Free Life, Vein in Vain, and Take it on Faith one comes away from the album with the impression that Ms Maines is the perfect woman to compliment Morrissey. The two of them could crush the world with their combined melancholy and infinite sadness.
There are a couple of decent rockers on the album that harken to Bonnie Raitt just a little less bluesy.
Overall this is a great album. Skip past the opening track, and enjoy the hell out of an album that should have come packaged with it’s own razor blade to open your veins as the disc ends.
Song of Note: Mother (Duh)

Ok, as a chid raised on Thrash Metal in San Francisco I’d be ashamed if I didn’t address two great Thrash bands that released albums this year. Metal Church reformed this year and released Generation Nothing and Death Angel released The Dream Calls for Blood. I’d love to have included them in my list this year, but sadly, they just weren’t up to snuff for me. I really wanted Metal Church to come back strong and hard, and unforutnately Generation Nothing did just that for me… nothing.
Death Angel‘s release was a little better but the weakest album they’ve released in since they reunited a few years ago. Both albums are ‘by the numbers’ Thrash and that just isn’t good enough with all the great music out there today.
So kudos to Metal Church for reuniting and let’s hope they put out better stuff soon. And the same goes to Death Angel. I want to root for you guys, I want you to be huge, I want to be blown away by your stuff again. So please… let’s just do that in 2014 shall we?

In support of their new release Winter Kills California Groove Metallers, DEVILDRIVER will be hitting the road this fall on a co-headlining tour with Trivium. Trivium will also be on the road in support of their new release, details on which will be announced soon. Support on the tour will come from After the Burial and Sylosis. Everything kicks off in Boise, ID on September 12th and rolls through October 17th in San Diego, CA

devildriverTriviumFrontman Dez Fafara cannot wait to be back on the road in North America:
It’s been almost a year since DEVILDRIVER have toured the US. I am Stoked to finally be getting the chance to go back out and hit the road with “The Groove Machine”!
This tour will be a mixture of DEVILDRIVER favorites and a bunch of new stuff off of our new record Winter Kills. I cannot wait for the record to come out and to get back to what we do best, play live. Touring with our friends in Trivium, After the Burial and Sylosis is just the fucking bonus!

Come on out for a great night of metal, get ready to get down and dirty, see you in the pit!

DEVILDRIVER will be releasing their sixth studio album Winter Kills August 27th via Napalm Records. Winter Kills is available in four configurations including a Deluxe Digibook with CD (including two bonus tracks: “Shudder” and “Back Down to the Grave”) and Live DVD (Featuring 45 minutes of live raw DEVILDRIVER power. No studio over dubs at all just the band at their best and includes fan favorites “Clouds over California” and “The Wretched“), standard CD version, digital version and for the first time in DEVILDRIVER history, and a 2LP Gatefold edition.

Winter Kills is now available for pre-order on iTunes. Pre-ordering the album entitles you to an instant grat track download of “Ruthless“. The album can also be pre-ordered on Amazon

The band recorded the album in Florida at Audio Hammer Studios and vocals in Los Angeles, CA at Dez‘s home studio with Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, All That Remains) handling production duties. DEVILDRIVER has worked with Lewis previously on “Beast” and “The Last Kind Words” and producer Mark Lewis‘s prolific leadership of the new school of metal has yet again helped DEVILDRIVER deliver another Epic heavy Metal record. This record melds what the band does best. In your face power as well as the California Groove sound the band pioneered.

DEVILDRIVER has always been a band on a three-pronged mission: Work hard, rock harder, and kick as many asses as possible in the process. The band tours forever and has since its beginnings. Their live performances and circle pits are as legendary as their music.

DevilDriver with Trivium, After the Burial and Sylosis:
9/12: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
9/13: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
9/14: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
9/16: Calgary, AB @ Macewan Ballroom
9/17: Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
9/18: Saskatoon, SK @ Odeon
9/19: Winnipeg, MB @ Garrick
9/21: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
9/23: Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
9/24: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
9/25: Montreal, QC @ Corona
9/27: New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
9/28: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
9/29: New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
9/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts
10/2: Silver Springs, MD @ Fillmore
10/3: Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10/4: Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
10/5: Detroit, MI @ Harpos
10/7: Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
10/8: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/10: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/11: Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion
10/12: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
10/13: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
10/15: San Francisco, CA @ Regency
10/16: Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
10/17: San Diego, CA @ SOMA

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival

Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre at Walnut Creek

Raleigh, NC


Mayhem (noun A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.)

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival hit Raleigh, North Carolina for the second straight year on August 3rd. This year’s event boasted a stronger main stage than last year with Disturbed and Godsmack co-headlining the biggest rock festival in the US. With the inclusion of Machine Head and Megadeth you couldn’t ask for a better main stage group of bands.

Where the ‘mayhem’ failed to really occur was the side stages. Last year it seemed that bands like Shadows Fall, In This Moment, Chimaira, 3 Inches of Blood, Atreyu and more really took hold of the early crowd and amped them up and primed them for the headliners, Rob Zombie and Korn. But this year, outside of Suicide Silence, which put on a blistering set, and really had the biggest pit and most crowd participation it seemed to me, nobody really whipped the crowd into a frenzy and kept them there. I will say that I did miss Red Fang, All Shall Perish, and Straight Line Stitch due to being in the press tent doing interviews (which you will read later here at, so I can’t say how the crowd responded to them.

Mayhem (noun Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction)

Raleigh, North Carolina is in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record. We are caught in an oppressive heat wave, and they day of Mayhem was no exception. 103 was the high temp of the day, and the side stages were actually in the gravel parking lot. With no shade, and no relief from the blistering sun and boiling temperature, it wasn’t the bands that we causing the mayhem on this day, it was Mother Nature, and boy was she pissed. The ridiculous heat and the unrelenting sun were causing many to fall out long before the main stage even opened. And once it did we found reprieve from the sun, but not the heat, and any breeze that may have acted as a cooling agent was blocked by the building itself which turned the pit and the front part of the audience into a pressure cooker. The temperature at the front of the pit was hotter than it was out in the parking lot under direct sunlight. Again, the heat may have been the biggest cause of mayhem all day.

As I have already said, I missed Red Fang, All Shall Perish, and Straight Line Stitch due to being in interviews so I can’t say anything about their sets other than I was really disappointed in missing SLS after having interviewed Alexis and Seth right before they were to go on stage. And In Flames did not perform because they had just dropped off the tour due to an illness in the family. So the following are my notes of the bands I did get to catch, and I am adding in my tweets as it is the best indicator of what I thought as it was happening (you can follow Away Team on twitter and read our live streams from the various shows we’re attending at ).

Kingdom Of Sorrow: Jamey Jasta & Kurt Windstein’s side project is pretty good. It more up tempo than Crowbar, and a little more straight forward metal than Hatebreed, but it just sounds like Hatebreed with a little more metal riffage to me. This isn’t a problem really, but if you are going to do a side project or different band, then the sound should really be different, otherwise, what is the point of having another band?

Suicide Silence: Had a huge pit. Probably had the greatest pit interaction of the crowd all day. I expected Unearth to take that title, but Suicide Silence took no prisoners and the crowd gave back everything they could under ridiculous conditions.

Unearth: Unearth performed four years ago in Raleigh at a small theater, and it was the bloodiest pit the venue ever had. There were more broken bones and noses during that show than at any other show in the history of the venue. And at the end of the night when it came time to mop the floor, the normal beer and sweat covering it was pink with all the blood that had been spilled. I really thought that given the conditions that day and the size of the crowd that it was going to be an insane pit. However the heat must have really gotten to them by the time Unearth took the stage, because while they were raucous they were no were close to the frenetic pit that was the previous Raleigh Unearth show. The band, sounded good, even though they weren’t on the Revolver stage (bigger PA, better sound), but they went balls out for 40 minutes and got the crowd jumping. Unearth always put on a spirited performance, and Raleigh’s Mayhem was no exception. I realize that these festivals are really the first time that most people have heard or seen these bands on the side stage, so it’s great for the 10 bands or so that share the stages to get that exposure. But I’d really rather have maybe 7 bands total, and let them all play longer. I’d really have liked to see Unearth have a few more songs to pummel the crowd with. Of course in that insane heat, we may have lost the bands as well as a portion of the crowd. So maybe considering the environment it was a good thing that all the bands played shorter sets.

Trivium: Another first for me was getting to see Trivium. However, as much as I tried, I just could not connect with their performance. I am sure it was me, it was late in the day, I was starving but didn’t want to leave the parking lot and miss the bands, so I waited it out for the transition from side stages to main house before I ate. The heat may have finally started to take its toll on me. But try as I might, I could not get into their set. It sounded great. The Revolver stage boasts itself as the loudest stage and it may well be, but even as loud and as good at it sounded, something for me was missing and Trivium’s set left me disappointed.

Machine Head: Being from the Bay Area of California I am no stranger to Machine Head, however, in their 20 years of being together, I have never had the opportunity to see them. They were really the last big metal band out of San Francisco that I haven’t seen at some point. So I was really looking forward to their set, and I was not to be disappointed. Machine Head are a very underrated band, they have never really gotten their fair due here in the states, and I’ve never understood why. While the European press and fans have all embraced them wholeheartedly it seems to me the US press and fans continue to pass them by. They had what I consider to be the best album of 2007 (The Blackening) and live they simply laid the crowd to waste. Robb Flynn makes for an interesting frontman. Having never seen them, I had in my mind what they must be like live. And while the performance lived up to or surpassed my expectations, Robb himself changed my expectations of him. He seemed genuinely happy to be there, and while the music may be aggressive, dark and mean, he certainly did not come across that way when he spoke. He came across as sincere and really appreciative of the crowd and the opportunity to perform for them. A stark contrast to the music and vocals, he was almost cheery on stage, throwing a party instead of churning out riff after monster riff. And while the crowd seeped into the main stage area, the band cranked out one massive neck shredding song after another. By the end of their set, they had most of the sun weary crowd on their feet cheering for them.

Megadeth: After watching The Big 4 DVD from Sophia Bulgaria, and watching the show simulcast to theaters all over the world, I was hoping Dave Mustaine’s voice would be better than it was for that memorable show. When Dave goes for the high notes, his voice sounds like he is inhaling while trying to sing. Do it, right now, I’ll wait… It sounds like you’re singing in a vacuum. It sounds plain wrong. But over the years most vocalists can’t maintain the range they had when they were young. Dave unfortunately is one of those that can’t hit the notes he used to back in the day. And instead of dropping down a note or two to compensate, he still attempts to hit it, and misses. It isn’t screechy thankfully, but as I said it sounds like it he is singing while inhaling deeply. And it is very off putting. That aside, the man and the band put on a hell of a show. They are unbelievably tight. And the solos continue to shred and show up the younger bands out there today. From the father of speed metal to his newest guitarist Chris Broderick, they continue to show up and teach the younger bands out there how to properly shred. No real surprises from the set musically, a mix of the old and new, with a couple of songs from the upcoming release TH1RT3EN. A great set by a great band, so glad to see Dave Ellefson back in the fold and I think Megadeth may have the strongest guitarist next to Dave that they ever have in Chris Broderick. I look forward to seeing what new elements he brings to the Megadeth arsenal both in recordings and live.

Godsmack: Having seen Godsmack about 5 times in the past, and on consecutive nights no less, I think I’ve seen the best and worst that they can do. I will say that I like a lot of their songs, I think if you combine all the albums they have done and taken the best songs off them then you will have one kick ass album. Live though, I think the music and band are a little boring. I am sure I am going to get a ton of shit for saying this, and the leader of the shit brigade will be our very own Bam Bam who swears Shannon Larkin is an amazing drummer and the second coming (for clarification Shannon is a great drummer, I think his talents are lost on Godsmack however), and beats me up (verbally) whenever I say a bad word about them. Those of you following Away Team on twitter will remember I said that this show was more energetic than the ones I’d previously seen, and I was actually enjoying the set until ‘IT’ happened… I have for years railed against guitar solos and drum solos, by anyone. Even Eddie Van Halen. I know you can shred, I know you can play; I get it, that’s why I am at your show. Quit jacking off and play a song! The only thing worse than a guitar solo or drum solo by a headlining band (fine give your bandmates a break while you jack off on the crowd, I get why they do it, but really, if you can’t play a 90 minute set then get your lazy ass in shape!) is a solo by a support band. We have even less time to see you and you are going waste our time stroking yourself off in front of us? What could be worse than a guitar or drum solo by a supporting band? I’m so glad you asked, how about TWO DRUM SOLOS?!??!?! That’s right, in the middle of Godsmack’s set a second drum kit is wheeled out onto the stage and Sully and Shannon have a ‘drum off’. We get it, you used to be a drummer, but now you play guitar, and sing. So… play guitar and sing! Let your drummer drum. That’s his job. Otherwise put the guitar down and get behind the kit. This isn’t the Sully Erna show… This is Godsmack, so let Godsmack… ALL of Godsmack… play. If that weren’t enough they broke into songs snippets from AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and Black Sabbath. What’s worse than doing a medley of your own tunes? How about a medley of someone else’s tunes! Ok, so the ‘drum off’ finally ended. A couple more songs, and then an encore. And what do they do for an encore, let Sully yell at the crowd for 10 minutes to ‘get ready to get crazy’. Fuck you. Stand out in the heat with us all day and see how ‘crazy’ you get 8 hours into the show. And fuck your sing along too. I paid to see you sing. Not to hear 15,000 of my closest friends sing. So put the drums away, stow the sing along bullshit, and perform songs. Thank you… please drive thru.

Disturbed: Having seen Disturbed three or four times the past 2 years I went into this show expecting this to be the last time I saw Disturbed live (not because of their just announced indefinite hiatus, but because of David’s trouble singing as of late). The more time goes on the worse David sounds live. Unless you catch the band within the first two or three weeks of a tour starting (with a ton of downtime before the tour), you get a screechy David Draiman. And it seems to get worse as time goes on. However, I was pleasantly surprised Wednesday night when Disturbed came out and David sound the strongest I’d heard him sound the last 7 or 8 shows I’d seen. The band as always is very tight, and while I felt a little melancholy that this would in fact be the last Disturbed show for some time, I was happy that for me at least they went out on a high note and David sounded so good. My only complaint, ok two… is that #1 we got 65 minutes of a headlining set, and #2 we got the same set we’ve gotten for the last three tour cycles. I understand you are still touring in support of Asylum, but that doesn’t mean that for two years straight you give the fans the same show without changing it up. You have 5 great albums and a lot of material to choose from, yet it seems the last 4 shows I’ve seen are the exact same shows front to back. It isn’t like there is a ton of pyro they have to contend with, or special lighting, it’s just plain laziness it seems. If you are hitting the same market 4 times in 2 years, why not give them a new show at least 50% of the time?

All in all it was a great day for music, but was it Mayhem inducing? Did it stand up to last year’s Mayhem Fest? You’ll have to be the judge of that yourself. It had its highs and lows, as did last years, but all in all a good time was certainly had by myself and those around me.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview was originally published on 2011/08/13

Away-Team: I’m here with Corey Beaulieu from TRIVIUM, thank you Corey for taking time to talk with us today! So you were born in Maine, and TRIVIUM hails from Florida, how did you end up hooking up with them?

Corey Beaulieu: After I graduated High School, I needed something to do. I always wanted to be in a band, but up there I didn’t have a band, there just wasn’t anything going on up there. I couldn’t find any musicians. Up there it isn’t really much of a metal scene…

Away-Team: You mean Maine isn’t the hot bed for metal in America?!?!?!

Corey Beaulieu: You’d think… but no! (laughs) it was very hard to find people that could actually play the kind of music I wanted to play. So after I graduated High School I needed to do something and I was always interested in recording so I moved to Orlando, Fl and went to Full Sail for recording. And before I even started classes, I heard about this club right around the corner from where I was living that had a metal show. I went there and TRIVIUM was one of the local bands, they were a three piece at the time. And when they played I was like, ‘Wow, these guys play the same kind of shit I am in to.’ I ended up meeting Matt’s Dad who was managing the band at the time. He gave me some info on the band and said they were playing this thing at Full Sail the next week so I went there. I got introduced to Matt, we became friends, emailed back and forth, I’d see him at other metal shows and whatever. Then a year later I saw on their website they were looking for a second guitar player so I hit them up and told them I was interested in trying out. He knew I played guitar, but he had never seen my play guitar he just knew we had some of the same influences. I went over to his house one day and we jammed, I had learned a few songs of theirs before I went there and we just jammed. After that he asked me to come jam with the band, so I jammed with the band and they were like, ‘you wanna be in the band?’ and that’s all I’ve been doing ever since.

Away-Team: Did you complete Full Sail or just blow it off for the riches and fame of TRIVIUM?

Corey Beaulieu: (laughs) I joined the band about a month before I graduated, so after I graduated I just went full on with the band. And eventually it all took off and did what it’s done and we are lucky enough to make a career out of it. Luckily I didn’t have to go schlep around for a job, because a job in that field that I went to school for is every difficult to find a job today. Since there’s no studios, the only people that have studios anymore are like in their own homes or whatever. Nobody goes to traditional studios anymore. Even people I went to school with at Full Sail seven years ago, nobody has a job in that field anymore. I was very fortunate that even going down there to do that, I was able to actually do what I wanted and that was be in a band. I always say I paid $35,000 to join a band (laughs).

Away-Team: (laughs) And Full Sail can use you for the job placement advertising… ‘Join Full Sail and you too can become a Rock Star!

Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, well, no one’s ever hit me up from there. (laughs)

Away-Team: You and Matt share lead and rhythm guitar duties in the band. While not the first time for a band, it is definitely unique. How did you come up with this style for Trivium, and how does it benefit you and the band?

Corey Beaulieu: Well….

Away-Team: I mean, you normally have two guitarists, and your lead guy is the shredder, he’s the one that stands out and rips out a solo as guys throw horns into the air and girls throw their panties on stage… You have some great licks; you have a great talent on the guitar…

Corey Beaulieu: Wow, thank you…

Away-Team: Does sharing that with Matt take away from that ‘guitar god’ status a little bit? Do you lose a little individuality when you share lead guitar with another guitarist?

Corey Beaulieu: Not Really… We both have different styles of playing; we both like playing lead, so we chose to both do it. We just divvy it up evenly as much as possible. And it is cool because we have different takes on playing lead so there are different dynamics within the song and within the solos by trading off. Ever since I joined the band as he was the only guitar player, since I could do lead also, just right out of the box we said let’s both do it. It was a natural thing for us, so we just did it, and a lot of our favorite bands growing up except for Metallica had that, Megadeth was Mustaine and Friedman, Slayer both play lead, Iron Maiden had… well they have three lead players now. I just always liked the multiple lead guitar thing, especially when you have one guy with a monster solo and it just leads into another solo by the other guy… It’s just always been a natural part of our sound. I think now on the new album too it has really worked out because Matt just found the sound that thing he was going after on it, a certain style and feel, and what suited his playing the best. He’s doing more melodic old school, kinda simplistic solos, and I’m doing the melodic slash shreddy stuff. It is very easy to decipher who’s playing which solo because our styles on this album are so different and distinct. We’re not treading the same waters playing the same fast crazy shit all the time. Since we both like to play lead that has just always been our signature sound and part of our songwriting.

Away-Team: Your musical style has changed over the years, you are no longer thought of as metalcore, which I never pegged you as, but more straight forward thrash. Was that a conscious decision on your part, or was it just maturing and stretching as musicians?

Corey Beaulieu: We just play every record as we just play whatever we feel like playing. It’s all very natural for us, we don’t go, ‘oh let’s do this record this way, and then we’ll do the next record sounding like that.’ We just start writing the songs and in that moment and time it just takes its own shape and sound. The style just dictates itself we don’t consciously decide, ‘oh on Crusade we’re going to do this.’ Musically it just came out naturally. We always find new influences to incorporate into the new album; we don’t want to keep churning out the same shit every album, so we’re always pushing the boundaries of what we can do with our songwriting. This last album (In Waves out now!), we decided we needed to define our sound. Because the last couple of albums we were experimenting with different tunings, different sounds, and different styles of songs and just seeing what we could do. On this record we just knew what the record had to be and we just wanted to write a record that was a career defining moment. Just put our foot down, like we’re fucking serious here, this is a serious fucking metal album, and just solidify our sound. So you’re like, ‘oh, that’s TRIVIUM! That’s their sound, that’s what they are all about.’ The other thing we wanted was to make the album sound cohesive, we wanted the songs to flow, to have the same style and sound, so that none of the songs were like an odd man out and didn’t fit the record, they all have the same…. vibe or sound or feel to them, that they belonged on that record. We just wrote a lot of songs and made sure that the songs worked well and fit with the other songs on the record. And we also made the heaviest record we have ever done. The heavy stuff is heavier and more intense than anything else we’ve ever done.

Away-Team: The band came out after Shogun, and said that it was what it was, that you couldn’t describe what/or who it sounded like. It was Trivium and it stood on its own. Were you guys really that concerned about the comparisons to Metallica or other bands then? Isn’t there some sense of flattery of being compared to one of the biggest metal bands in the world?

Corey Beaulieu: When people listen to music, they are always gauging shit, always comparing them to someone else. If you read a review it is always, ‘for fans of this,’ or ‘if you like this band you’ll love this.’ I guess being compared to the biggest metal band of all time is not a bad thing I just felt it was kind of limiting as far as… Take The Crusade record, I listen to that and there are influences on there, riffs, songs, tones, styles, that are just in no way comparable to Metallica. And Matt’s vocals may style wise remind you of James, but he doesn’t sound like James. I just think a lot of the songs and riffs on that record are just very Un-Metallica. I think Shogun stepped away from that more and this record (In Waves out now!!!) that , ‘oh they sound like Metallica clones’ has been put to rest, at least by us. If people say that now, then they are fucking idiots. You’re obviously not listening to what we are playing. Don’t get me wrong, they are obviously a big metal influence, but so are Megadeth, Testament, Slayer, and Iron Maiden. There are a lot of stuff in there. Over the years we have found a way to take those influences, with other elements outside that style of music, and put our own twist on it, so that now what you hear is TRIVIUM only. I think In Waves sets us apart from other bands out there today, it ensures that we don’t sound too much like anyone else, it sounds like TRIVIUM in vocals, and in guitar riffs, so that if we are to be compared, it is them to us.

Away-Team: On a festival like this, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, you play about 35 minutes, what do you do the other 23.5 hours of the day to keep from being bored out of your mind or trapped on the bus?

Corey Beaulieu: We try to catch a lot of the bands on the side stages, just hang out and watch them perform. We try and do a lot of press, and there are a lot of people on this tour, so it’s always a lot of just hanging out with other bands. There’s always something going on. After our set, we shower, dinner, and then go watch Megadeth. There’s always something going on, a party here and there, enough people to make something happen all the time.

Away-Team: In Waves comes out next week (at time of interview… In Waves came out last Tuesday! Go. Get. It.), Mayhem ends in a few weeks, what’s next on the horizon for TRIVIUM?

Corey Beaulieu: Yes, In Waves comes out, go pick it up! After Mayhem we have about a month long tour with Dream Theater from mid September to October. Then Europe from early November through almost Christmas. We haven’t properly toured over there in fucking ages so that should be a blast! We’re touring there with In Flames so that should be killer. Then next year is Australia, South America which hasn’t been announces yet.

Away-Team: Is that headlining?

Corey Beaulieu: No! We’ve never been there before so we are going with some other bands that have. We felt the safest route was to go with someone who has done it before, instead of going on our own and guessing and making huge mistakes. We’re going with two other bands that have been down there a few times before, and we have a lot of demands to play down there and a lot of fans down there so we are really looking forward to that. Hopefully in the spring we’ll be back in the US touring again. Yesterday our first active rock radio single went out to all the stations, so hopefully that takes off soon, some stations already have it in full rotation and hopefully more pick it up. And if it really takes off on the radio and gets us new fans it could really change the landscape of what we do tour wise in the spring. Call your local rock radio station and fucking request some TRIVIUM!!!

Away-Team: Yeah DAMNIT!

Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, we need that shit! (laughs)

Away-Team: Good luck with the single, new album, the tours, and continued success Corey, and thank you again for taking the time to sit in this wonderful 100 degree heat and talk with us!

Corey Beaulieu: Thank you, the album is out, you can check us out online, if you like what you hear buy it please! And support music!

Away-Team: And… Trivium sounds like… Trivium.

Corey Beaulieu: Yes… Heavy Metal Baby!!!! (laughs)

There is a long list of people to thank for making this and all of our Mayhem Fest interviews happen, so, forgive me if I forgot anyone, but thanks to Lilly at Roadrunner, Bill at eOne Music, Rikki, Natalie, and Jessica at Adrenaline, and Laura Jean with Mayhem.

For more TRIVIUM click here.

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival

Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
Raleigh, North Carolina