As long as there are dudes between the ages of 25 and 45, heavy metal will never die. That much was evident Wednesday night at The Newport when nearly a thousand black t-shirt wearing dudes (yes, there were women in attendance but the men far outnumbered the women) banged their heads and threw devil horns in the air as Symphony X, Iced Earth and Warbringer performed mosh-pit-inspiring metal.
Shit happens. In the five years I’ve been using a digital recorder to record interviews, I’ve never encountered any technical issues. So I’m sitting down to transcribe the interview I did with John Kevill, the lead singer of Warbringer, and as I load up the file, I find nothing but 15 minutes of static.
Here’s what I can tell you that we talked about – Warbringer’s INSANE tour schedule. When this 32-date tour opening for Symphony X and Iced Earth wraps up (Columbus is the fourth to last date), they will have traveled in the neighborhood of 12,841 miles – starting in Connecticut (Jan.31), going across Canada to California and then heading back east for a final date in Clifton Park, NY on March 11. Kevill told me it’s all part of the business, getting out on the road and playing as many shows as possible is part of the responsibility for a band that is promoting a CD.
Warbringer’s currently out supporting Worlds Torn Asunder (released in September 2011), a throwback thrash album that sounds like it came out of the underground San Francisco scene in 1986 (which is pretty amazing considering the guys in Warbringer may not have even been alive in 1986!). If you’re a fan of early Slayer, Exodus, Death Angel, Forbidden (the list goes on), you’ll feel right home with any of Warbringer’s three CDs.
Despite the constant touring over the last four years (and when I say constant, no joke, Warbringer plays probably 200 shows a year), they’ve somehow never managed to play in Columbus. So, show up early for this show, Warbringer goes on first, and give ’em some Columbus metal love so that they’ll come back in the future.
Doors open at 6. Warbringer should go on around 7. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door.
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The biggest struggle when putting together this list is how to rank the albums. What exactly is the difference between a #1 and a #2 album? Without doubt, Viva Brother’s “Darling Buds of May” was the song I listened to the most in 2011 and the album it comes from is pretty damn good. But is it my favorite album as a whole? The Damnwells have consistently put out great material and I’m sure I listened to No One Listens to the Band Anymore more, front to back, than any album on the list but did I do that because it’s the best album of the year or because I know the guys personally and listening to them makes me happy?
So, I decided the best way to do it is to list the albums alphabetically, showing no favoritism and not being forced to rank anything. A few comebacks, a few previous favorites, a couple of new UK bands, some metal, some country, some hair metal. Pretty typical for me.
AA Bondy – Believers (Fat Possum)
Not as barebones as early solo material, not as scuzzy as his ‘90s alt-rock band Verbena, AA Bondy split the difference on this moody, late night listen. Listen: “The Heart is Willing”
Anthrax – Worship Music (Megaforce)
The legendary NYC thrashers pick up where they left off the last time Joey Belladonna sang lead vocals (1990’s Persistence of Time) on 2011’s best (and most surprising considering some internal issues Anthrax had with short-timer vocalist Dan Nelson) metal album. Listen: “In the End”
AWOLNATION – Megalithic Symphony (Red Bull Records)
I would never have checked out this band had my old friend Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon) not been playing guitar. A complete 180 from Blind Melon’s sound, AWOLNATION’s slickly-produced techno-soul-pop shows a wide range of diversity from one track to the next. Listen: “Soul Wars” Continue reading →