Kerry King Says Slayer's Song Writing Stays Repentless After All These Years

Categories: Metal

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Courtesy of Slayer
Southern California's Slayer moved attention away from glam-laden Sunset Strip bands in the 1980s to aggressive speedy metal that developed into one of the most popular subgenres metal culture thrashed into music history books. Thirty-four years later, the quartet known for consistent, public anger-invoking content focused on religion, strife and warfare is still raining blood on one trick pony artists and subgenres and continuing to sell out massive main stages, although radically changed.

The untimely death of co-founder, lead guitarist and (one of) the main songwriters Jeff Hanneman in May 2013 was only one of several shifts to come for Slayer, followed by the termination of founding drummer Dave Lombardo. Even before Hanneman showed a decline in health, guitarist Kerry King had already started writing tracks for the follow up album to 2009's World Painted Blood not knowing if or when their lead would be able to contribute again.

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Women Dominate the Metal Tribute Band Scene

Categories: Metal

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Jessica GZ
Iron Maidens
It's an average Saturday night at a sports bar in Chino Hills: frat boys chug beers while a man sings back-to-back Creed songs at the Karaoke lounge, but in the next room over something very different is about to go down. As the excitement builds, my friend and I grab our drinks, and head over to a live music venue attached to the bar by a smoke-filled patio.

After a reasonable cover fee and a hand stamp, we enter the door to a sea of leather jackets, good hair, band t-shirts, and every kind of person you could imagine all there with one intention: to rock out to the hits of Iron Maiden. Amps crank, mics are checked, and a gruff mans voice cuts through the chatter of the crowd with an authentically enthused and unexpected message: "HEY! Women RULE!" The curtain opens to 5 women in full command of their music and the audience. Note for note, line by line, the Iron Maidens deliver rock solid renditions of heavy metal classics, garnering love, respect, and plenty of rock hands in the air from a mostly male audience.

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The 10 Best Metal Releases of Summer 2015

Categories: Metal

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Razor & Tie Records
The Sword
War, enslavement, Satanic rituals, and the hopelessness of existence are not topics one normally associates with summer. The albums below may not be the stereotypical soundtracks for a gorgeous summer day. They are perfect for when the sun goes down and the darkness of night kicks in, as well as those days when the sweltering heat feels so oppressive, a trip to hell would be a cool down. These are our picks for the best metal releases to look forward to this summer when you need a break from blue skies and sunshine.


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The 10 Best High-Pitched Metal Singers

Categories: Metal

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Todd Owyoung for the Riverfront Times
BRUUUUUCE!!!!
Through the masculine, heavy and aggressive approach of  hard rock/heavy metal music, one might not automatically assume that high pitch singing would have such a pivotal role. But, from the onset, with Black Sabbath and Ozzy's shrieking, nervous vocals, a very powerful, falsetto style of vocalization has been at the heart and soul of the music's sound,  development and evolution. Here are the top 10 singers in hard rock/metal with the highest voice.
 
 See also: The Top 10 Power Metal Bands

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The 10 Best Goth Bands

Categories: Metal

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Andrew Youssef
Robert Smith of The Cure
Goth, or Gothic Rock as it is sometimes referred, was the coming together of different eras and genres of music. Most notably, much of the subculture originates from England, in the late 1970s, but the influence has now spread around the globe.
 
Taking a wide array of influences from various bands like Joy Division, Killing Joke, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, New York Dolls, Gary Glitter, The Damned, and tons more, many of the bands created a new, invigorating brand of rock music, appealing to the dark side with themes of death, love, religion, and the occult. Years later, they became the influences for bands like HIM, My Chemical Romance and Marilyn Manson, though none of those bands can hold a candle to any of the bands on our list. We now present the10 Best Goth bands.

See also: The 10 Best Industrial Bands

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10 Classic Metal Bands We'd Love to See Reunite

Categories: Metal

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Atlantic Records
Skid Row
Heavy Metal has been in existence as a musical force and genre of rock music for the last four decades. Some might argue that the glorious heyday of the '80s and '90s scenes for heavy metal music can't be replicated. But, others might beg to differ. And, as a sign of fan demand, perhaps, or a last attempt to cash in at the perfect moment when fans brew curious with nostalgia, many bands, both punk and metal have reunited their former band members (or new ones) and perform, and in some cases record music again. Such notable examples include Refused, At the Gates, Dark Angel, Faith No More and many others.  But, we now offer our list of 10 metal bands that wish could reunite.

See also: 10 Classic Punk Bands We'd Love to See Reunite

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Doom Fills the Observatory During the Psycho California Music Festival

Categories: Metal, festivals

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Mammatus performing at Psycho California Music Festival. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Psycho California
The Observatory
5/15-17/2015

On the five year anniversary of legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio's death, metal fans travelled from all over the United States in order to pack the Observatory and immerse themselves in sludge (and other subgenres of heavy metal). In his preview of the Psycho California music festival, Jason Roche suggested that the worst band in the three day festival's 50-plus band line-up was "very good." If the 20 acts that performed on Saturday were a decent cross-section of the talent playing over the entire weekend, then Mr. Roche's assessment proved accurate and the pilgrimages that the numerous metalheads made paid off.

Though Friday's attendees were not going to let a few hiccups ruin their overall experience of this musical and cultural feast, several recalled a couple problems from the opening day of the event. Specifically, they said that the Constellation Room (one of the Observatory's two performance areas) had been double booked with the indie rock band The Wombats, and this resulted in the programming for the "Grizzly Stage" being relocated to an outdoor stage, which allegedly had bad sound. The other main gripe was in the arrangement of the merch area, which was also located outside. This issue hadn't been resolved satisfactorily by Saturday, as fans wanting to buy t-shirts and sundries had to wait for prolonged periods of time, in a long line that stretched through the courtyard behind the venue, in order to reach the tent of the coveted merchandise.

See also: The 10 Best Bands at Psycho California

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Ronnie James Dio's Wife Masterminds a New and Improved Memorial for the Metal Icon

Categories: Metal

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John Harrell
Ronnie James Dio
During vocalist Ronnie James Dio's time with Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Dio, his wife, Wendy, managed his career for more than 20 years. Five years after the metal icon lost his battle to metastasized gastric cancer on May 16, 2010, Wendy continues to advocate for her late husband's musical legacy and for others combating the disease. Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which Wendy co-founded, will host a weekend-long gathering of events in remembrance of the voice of "Holy Diver."

Once news spread about global travelers' incoming attendance for the memorial at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills, Wendy and the board added additional events, auctions, music performances and a group motorcycle ride to support the fans in return. Starting on Friday, May 15, ticket purchasers can attend a metal celebrity bowling tournament with a collectibles auction at Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City. The free memorial at Forest Lawn will commemorate the exact date of passing on Saturday, with former band members throughout Ronnie's career performing his songs. Sunday will signify the final ride, as motorcyclists ramble through the streets from Harley-Davidson Glendale to Los Encinos State Park in Encino for more live music and a barbecue.

The Weekly spoke with Wendy about this weekend's honorary events, advocating for cancer research, Ronnie's worldwide footprint and some of the happiest memories together in their metal marriage.

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The 10 Best Brazilian Metal Bands

Categories: Metal

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Hibria
Brazil is the biggest country in South America. And aside from bikini waxes, famous soccer players, and BBQ meat served on swords, the country is also known for heavy metal music, of all varieties and subgenres, from death/grind to power metal. But, culturally, and politically, at the time of this heavy metal eruption in the 1980s, Brazil was just coming out of so many decades of military dictatorships, political turmoil. The chaos, rampant poverty and strife in the streets was the perfect brewing ground for many of these extreme metal bands. The nation, and entire region now is full of thousands of heavy metal and punk groups, all sharing in the interest of the music. We now present our list of the 10 best Brazilian metal bands.
 
See also: The 10 Best Historical Metal Bands

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The 10 Best 420 Metal Songs

Categories: Metal

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Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Black Sabbath at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

For those not in the know, 420 is a day (and time) where all cannabis connoisseurs, stoners, potheads and heshers unite to celebrate the good green herb and partake in rituals, smoke outs and never ending smoke-filled sessions. We decided to get in the right mindset, with a list of metal songs perfect for this green holiday. To some of these bands, and some of YOU reading this, every day is 420. So pack a bowl and get your stereo speakers ready. These are the 10 best metal songs to listen to on April 20th.

See also: The 10 Best Historical Metal Bands


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