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Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

by Chris Fox
November 2009

After releasing another masterful horror flick, Halloween II, ROB ZOMBIE is hitting the road again with his band. This tour is in promotion of Zombie’s upcoming album in 2010, Hellbilly Deluxe II. “We bring the heaviness of metal with an underlying groove,” explains Zombie, as the new album is expected to go back to the older ROB ZOMBIE sound as heard in his debut solo release Hellbilly Deluxe, in 1998.

Zombie defines himself and his band as both a studio and live band. He explains, “I’ve been with these guys, touring for years now… we get along, and I’m excited to be working with them.” Previous albums have seen a rotation of musicians and Zombie doing the recording, but he is proud to call the newest album a full band project with the name ROB ZOMBIE. Beyond that, Zombie describes the band as “much more a live band than studio.”


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In This Moment

In This Moment

by Chris Fox
November 2009

After surprising an unsuspecting crowd with their stage presence at the Mudvayne show back in February IN THIS MOMENT is back on the road. Now on a headline tour, they are returning to Madison in November. With Earth shattering screams and a mesmerizing singing voice, Maria Brink fronts this eclectic mix of pounding heavy metal and melodic hard rock.

The band really finds itself on the razor’s edge between heavy and light without losing the elements of either. Brink explains, “we aren’t afraid to do what we want, and that has made us really diverse.” The guitar riffs of Chris Howorth are bluntly heavy, but the touch of melody in Howorth’s solos and Brink’s soaring voice are what set IN THIS MOMENT in their own category.


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Shadows Fall

Shadows Fall

by Chris Fox
October 2009

East coast, heavy metal monsters, SHADOWS FALL, find themselves on the razor’s edge between the new school and the old. Having 12 years of playing under their belts, and the dissident edge of the eastern metal scene, this quintet delve into a melodically aggressive area of music. As singer Brian Fair explains, “it’s a cross section of metal influences over the last few decades,” and the diversity is instantly apparent. With influences ranging from Iron Maiden to their favorites from the underground scene, SHADOWS FALL spawn their latest creation “Retribution.”


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All That Remains - photo by Adam Bielawski

All That Remains

by Chris Fox
September 2009

Pounding their way through the country, ALL THAT REMAINS find themselves coming to Madison. Bringing their heavy yet melodic sound and raging voice, this quintet of about ten years has helped redefine the new sound of heavy metal and bring a no bullshit attitude to an increasingly theatrical music scene.

Their most recent album, Overcome, takes another step in the progression of music. As Jeanne Sagan (Bass) explains “when we were writing this album we concentrated on writing songs and whatever the part naturally called for,” and with the combination of more clean vocals yet utterly brutal instrumental work, ALL THAT REMAINS has been able to reestablish their sound without losing their heavy roots.  These roots, Sagan says, are “influenced by the live shows… this underground world of music where people seemed to give a shit and energies of the crowd were intense.” The utter epicness that is the sound of their band draws on inspirations from across the board, Sagan lists, “chicken wings, relationships, and castles” in no particular order. As she digresses, “everyday is its own animal” but there is no denying the utter power behind their sound.


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Madison's Lords of Discipline

Lords Of Discipline

by Chris Fox
August 2009

Take the shredding of Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani combined with the epic musings of bands like Nile and Behemoth and top it all of with beer soaked Wisconsin metal you have LORDS OF DISCIPLINE, a quintet that define their own take on metal. As bassist Nick Moreno explains, “we only have one gear, and that’s straight out metal, that’s it… we just play metal.”

Brutal and technical are the words these guys live by. Their name runs deeps through not only their musical ventures, but the LORDS OF DISCIPLINE are also regimented in their downtime. Whether it’s learning various forms of martial arts or constant guitar theory, discipline is the heart and soul seeking the level of mastery with a martial arts state-of-mind in music. Their recording techniques reflect the structure they require to create such a monsterous sound. Moreno explains, “it’s the most intimidating thing I have ever come across as a musician.”


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Mudvayne 2009

Mudvayne

by Chris Fox
August 2009

Madison welcomes MUDVAYNE for the second time this year, headlining the main stage at WJJO’s Bandcamp. After fourteen years of playing together this quartet find themselves enjoying every minute of music. With all the music they have produced “there is no pinnacle song that is MUDVAYNE, we are everything from Death Blooms to Scarlet Letters to Not Falling,” explains vocalist Chad Gray.

The consistent mentality of MUDVAYNE is to challenge everything with their music,  push the envelope and develop themselves. Their philosophy is “living to challenge people… break up the norm of what metal is supposed to be,” says Gray. Taking their music as an artist approaches a canvas they “don’t want to use the same colors every time,” and allowing fans to delve into the music so they “become a part of what we are.”


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Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society - photo by Andrew Gargano

Black Label Society

by Chris Fox
July 2009

Helping create the definition of heavy metal, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY continues to shape redefine themselves and there sound. From acoustic ballads, to shredding solos, to a community of brothers, these guys have become a people’s band. According to Nick Catanese (Guitar), “take Zeppelin and Sabbath and put them in a blender from hell, and you have Black Label.” The famed frontman, Zakk Wylde, and the “Evil Twin”(Cantanese), find themselves in a family that has been rooted with their band.


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American Thrash metallers Chimaira

Chimaira

by Chris Fox
May 2009

Welcome to the monster that is CHIMAIRA. With a name that means: grotesque monster having disparate and disagreeing parts, it can be expected that these guys bring a lot to the heavy metal table. Much like their name, the band is a constantly disagreeing group of musicians that strive to persistently improve their intense and precise sound. A sound defined easily with one word, heavy, seems to continuously attract more and more metalheads to their broadening fan base. Being known for their fast guitars and shotgun drums this sextet never ceases to impress.

Their upcoming release, “The Infection,” is due out on April 21, and as promised by lead guitarist, Rob Arnold, it will be “gut wrenching and in your face, like CHIMAIRA has always been.” The new album provides a new side to the group, Arnold explains, it has a “sledgehammer type groove,” that is a bit slower than previous albums, but just as heavy. With the standard metal influences, like Slayer and Metallica, CHIMAIRA strives to get heavier and expand their repertoire. As with any group of musicians, these ten-year veterans of the genre find themselves consistently maturing and creating a higher standard for themselves. They are always striving to improve what they are what they represent.


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Chicago's The Last Vegas

The Last Vegas

by Chris Fox
April 2009

When you mix glam rock, gritty sound, and a few guys that look like they belong on Hollywood Boulevard you get THE LAST VEGAS. This Chicago based rock group will give you a “brutal appreciation of rock music… that’s gritty, sleazy, and dangerous,” according to vocalist Chad Cherry. Coming off their recent tour with their long time heroes and fellow glam rockers, Mötley Crüe, the band finds themselves headlining in a more intimate atmosphere.

Growing up on arena rockers like Aerosmith and The Doors, this quintet found themselves living a dream when they went on a stadium tour with the Crüe. After the dream tour THE LAST VEGAS are happy to play for smaller crowds in a more intimate atmosphere


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Kodo Drummers

Kodo Drummers

by John Noyd
February 2009

In Japanese the word “Kodo” conveys two meanings: “heartbeat” the primal source of all rhythm and, “children of the drum,” a reflection of Kodo’s desire to play their drums simply, with the heart of a child. Bringing their One Earth tour to Madison’s Overture Center on February 21st Japan’s premiere taiko drumming ensemble continue their quest to unite the world through sound, transcending cultural barriers to remind us of our membership in that larger community—the world.  Taiko is not simply percussion,” long-time Kodo member Akimoto explains. “It’s a part of life, and part of communities. It unites people with people, and also people with nature and even with gods.” Community is a central theme in Kodo’s philosophy. More than a musical group, it is a village that harvests rice, runs a two-year apprentice program, and even crafts eco-friendly Earth Furniture. In concert, the thundering drums startle and mesmerize, racing in arresting rhythms that rumble in war-like marches and ripple in whimsical jigs, seismic salutations whose relentless beats collapse consciousness, altering moods and elevating the spirit in collective thought. A venerable tradition nearly thirty years old, Kodo is a sight to behold, a forceful reminder of individuals working together, united in a common goal.


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