At The Sweaty Crotch of Summer
Ok folks. We are at the sweaty Summer crotch of 2010. It’s August and correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like it’s been a pretty mixed and somewhat tragic year for metal in general. First and foremost, we tip our hats to Dio, SLIPKNOT’s Paul Gray, Peter Steele and a few others including EARLY GRAVES vocalist Makh Daniels who tragically died in a van wreck this week. They’ve all met up with the Grim Reaper (and not the 80′s metal legends) over the past seven months. They are sure to not be forgotten.
So what have we got? AVENGED SEVENFOLD debuting at #1 on Billboard, unseating Slim Shady himself is pretty notable. Interesting that 30% of its sales are digital which shows a big shift in how the not-so-diehard fans are buying their music. Sadly, it’s another success with tragedy written all over it: the death of drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Certainly, that’s one factor that made the A7x faithful (and there are plenty of them) quick to get to Best Buy to hear Avenged’s true confessession of an album. Truthfully, it’s not a bad record either.
What makes it stupendous is that it’s the first time DREAM THEATER’s Mike Portnoy (now filling in for Avenged) has ever seen single digits on the charts!
There have been some solid comebacks: FEAR FACTORY, OVERKILL, EXODUS have all come with great records – something for the over 30 set to get excited about. WATAIN, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and a handful of others have kept the faithful, errrr, faithful. On that note, I’ve heard the new DIMMU BORGIR and it’s “the tits”. I’m also looking forward to a new one from the good blokes in IRON MAIDEN. And Zakk Wylde is promising a solid new album as well. Can’t say I’m a big fan of the last one — and yes, I did A&R the thing! Can’t win ‘em all!
OK, here’s a couple of cool things: Anybody catch MEGADETH with Dave Ellefson back in tow? Well, Dave “Junior” re-joining was fairly unexpected and it was great! Fucking amazing actually. There’s a DVD being released of the Megs’ last LA show entitled Live At The Palladium. Do yourself a favor and check that one out!
The three-piece Animosity era incarnation of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is back. With frontmen Pepper Keenan and Karl Agell they made some great records but this was always my favorite incarnation of the band. C.O.C. are playing “The Power of the Riff” fest in LA this Sunday. Details and full assesment then.
While the “Big Four” tour didn’t hit US shores, it seemed like a successful endeavor as METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX traversed Europe dominating festival after festival. OK, so Joey Belladonna singing John Bush era ‘Thrax hit “Only” was a little (and this is putting it nicely.) awkward, there was one huge moment that put chills up and down your spine. At the climax of these shows, all the members of all four bands would get onstage to play DIAMOND HEAD’s call to arms, “Am I Evil”.
Check it out here..
The sight of Hetfield and Mustaine standing next to each other is simply electric. No other way to put it.
Back to a lil’ gloom: It seems like no particular “scene” has come busting through the door to save us. Folk Metal, Black Metal and the ever reliable Industrial scenes didn’t have much to say so far. . I think the only new emerging sect I can think of is what I’d like to call “The Anti-Bieber Movement”: populated by BLACK VEIL BRIDES and VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE! and hordes of screaming 13 year olds with disposable income! While the backpatch-wearing metal purists may shudder, anything to get a youngster to part with his parent’s hard-earned cash is OK by me!
But has there been that big breakthrough album? That one new band that we’re all freaking out about?
So now for our sins we get ATTACK ATTACK.
And that rubbish BURZUM album.
Where’s metal’s big breakthrough for 2010? We started this year with plenty of tragedy. Even Emperor Magus Caligula bailed out of DARK FUNERAL! What’ve got to look forward to? To be continued….
Here’s My Top 20 albums so far
1-DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN-Option Paralysis
6-ALCEST-Ecailles De Lune
7-DANZIG-Deth Red Sabaoth
8-IMPENDING DOOM-There Will Be Violence
9-AS I LAY DYING-The Powerless Rise
10-HOWL-Full of Hell
11-IMPENDING DOOM-There Will Be Violence
13-CYNIC-Re-Traced In The Air
14-OV HELL-The Underworld Regime
16-EXODUS-Exhibit B: The Human Condition
17-WHITECHAPEL-New Era of Corruption
18-INTEGRITY-The Blackest Curse