What happens on a cold December night in Huntington, WV, when BreakingBenjamin, FiveFingerDeathPunch, InFlames, and FromAshestoNew stop by the BigSandySuperstoreArena? A scorching night of music with some of hottest bands on the planet! Add a sold out crowd of metalheads and you’ve got the makings of an incredible show! Once inside, this throng of people couldn’t care less about the cold outside – only the heat that was coming from the stage!
From Ashes To New
First up on this epic night in West Virginia was FromAshestoNew. I’ve heard them called rap metal, nu metal, or rap rock. Whatever you call them, they’re pretty damn good if you ask me – and a lot of fun to photograph! They are touring in support of ‘The Future,’ their second full-length album released in April of 2018. That album has spawned a couple of top 15 hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart: “Crazy” and “Broken.” Those two were highlights of the night along with the last song “Through it All,” where I think it was guitarist Lance Dowdle riding in a hamster ball out on the crowd. FromAshestoNew had this crowd fired up and ready for more!
InFlames was next up. InFlames was the one band on this bill that I hadn’t seen live. Well, I can mark that off my list – and it was worth the wait! InFlames has been around a long time – since 1990, if you’re counting. That’s a lot of years – probably longer than some of you reading this have been alive. But just because they are the “old men” on this tour didn’t mean they had rocking chairs and whatnot – far from it! They came out and throat punched the massive sold-out crowd in West Virginia, starting the set off with “Colony” from 1999’s release of the same title, and “Everything’s Gone” from 2014’s ‘Siren Charms.’ “Where the Dead Ships Dwell,” “Alias,” and “Paralyzed” rounded out the middle of this kickass set with “Take This Life” and “The End” bringing the set to a close. InFlames has a new album ‘I, The Mask’ coming out in March of this year and they show no signs of slowing down!
Five Finger Death Punch
Touring in support of their fifth straight number one album ‘And Justice for None’ on Billboard’sHardRockAlbum chart and fourth on the TopRockAlbums chart, FiveFingerDeathPunch was about to show this sold-out West Virginia crowd how to ROCK! Kicking the set off with “Under and Over It” and “Trouble,” FFDP didn’t let up even a little bit for the next five songs. Then the lights went out, oh man, and what a light show they put on. I had a great seat but ended up in the back of the arena so I could see those lights – Sorry, got sidetracked. The lights went out and Jason Hook made his way to the stage with an acoustic guitar, sat down on a stool, and started a beautiful rendition of “Wrong Side of Heaven.” After a minute or so of just guitar, Ivan Moody began to sing as he walked out to the stage. I was in my seat as this happened and the crowd singing behind and all around me was incredible! What happened next is something I won’t soon forget. Now, I’ve been to a lot of shows in the last few years, and I’ve seen artists bring fans up to sing with them, but nothing like what happened in Huntington on this night in December. Moody started by calling up a couple of children – they just kept coming. I’m guessing 12 to 15 kids where onstage with him to help sing “Remember Everything.” As they sang, Ivan gave the kids his necklaces, rings, bracelets, and even some drumsticks when he ran out of stuff to give away. It really was a cool thing to witness and a night those kids will never forget! “Burn MF” got the crowd fired up again and “Gone Away” (TheOffspring cover) had the crowd singing back at the stage. FFDP closed out the night with the song that started it all for them, “The Bleeding.”
It was BreakingBenjamin’s job to close out this night of killer music – and they didn’t disappoint – kicking their set off with “Red Cold River” from 2018’s release and sixth studio album ‘Ember,’ then into “I Will Not Bow” from 2009’s platinum-selling album, ‘Dear Agony.’ Benjamin Burnley and the rest of BreakingBenjamin picked right up where FFDP left off and had this sold-out crowd begging for more! With four of their six studio albums reaching number one on Billboard’s Hard Rock Album chart, they have plenty of material to keep the metalheads in Huntington entertained – which included a killer montage of covers: “The Imperial March / Cowboys From Hell / Smells Like Teen Spirit / Bohemian Rhapsody / Enter Sandman” that not only kept the metalheads entertained, but almost put them into a frenzy! They went back to the BB songs for the rest of the set including “Angels Fall,” “Believe,” “Failure,” and closing out the night with the number one song from ‘Ember,’ “Torn in Two,” and their best known hit “ The Diary of Jane.”
With that, an end to what was a stupendous night of hard rock/metal along the river in West Virginia. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones in this sold-out crowd, you really missed a great show from all four bands. Also, this was my first trip to the BigSandySuperStoreArena and it will not be my last! Thanks to Veronica and all the staff for making me feel welcome! Go See The Show!!
Remember these guys who took the internet by storm with their blend of Indian folk metal? Well, BLOODYWOOD is back with yet another folk yet heavy as hell new music video, ‘Endurant‘. The viral group from New Delhi, India have released new material after almost five months of inactivity ; the new video hits hard and heavy and throws light on the serious issue of bullying. Carrying on with meaningful social messages on their songs with an Indian folk twist, BLOODYWOOD have come a long way ever since they captivated the global audience with their infectious breed of metal.
The viral metal trio first caught their US fans’ attention with their metal rendition of the Indian folk song ‘Ari Ari,’ but has developed a sustained base of hard core followers with blistering original tracks fusing traditional Indian instrumentation with brutal guitars and mixed vocal stylings.
Karan Katiyar, the band’s axe man opines about the new song as follows, “‘Endurant’ is a song for those who’ve faced or continue to face bullying in any aspect of life.
We wanted to be as realistic and practical as possible with our message, which is why the song urges to endure and come out stronger rather than retaliate or fight back with force.
The video, while maintaining the message of the song, also tries to establish that bullies are not another breed.“
The song rips through its entire duration and has a fair share of everyone’s liking, from rap, to heavy distorted riffs, melody, Jayant Bhadula’s deathly growls and of course, a lot of Indian folk musical elements. All of them amalgamate perfectly to yield this beautifully composed and diverse track, much like the essence of the country from where the band originates from. BLOODYWOOD successfully manages to embody what they stand for, that is the diversity of the country, through their new song. All in all, another great release from the New Delhi boys. Go ahead and enjoy the track.
Don’t forget to support them by purchasing the track. It is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Also, the band has a Patreon account, feel free to show some love there as well, as it helps them churn out your favorite Indian folk metal songs.
Bloodywood - "Endurant" [Indian Folk Metal] - YouTube
Texas hard rockers Blacktop Mojo have released a video for “Prodigal”, off their 2017 LP, Burn The Ships. Blending elements of country and 70s hard rock, Blacktop Mojo has a timeless sound that pairs well with any drink you got in your hand. Formed in 2012 by frontman Matt James and drummer Natan Gillis, the band eventually became a 5-piece with Matt Curtis on bass and Ryan Kiefer and Chuck Wepfer on guitars. After releasing I Am in 2014, they hit the road sharing the stage with acts like Bon Jovi, Sammy Hagar, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Black Stone Cherry, Drowning Pool, and many others.
With their sophomore album, Burn The Ships, they went into the studio with Muscle Shoals producer Jimmy Johnson. Released via their label Cuhmon Records the album received critical acclaim, hitting the Top 40 Billboard Active Rock Chart with singles “Where The Wind Blows” (#27) and the band’s cover of Aerosmith classic, “Dream On” (#31).
As for the video, according to frontman Matt James, the band had a good time with the video: “We had fun making the video with some of our good friends from our hometown acting out the main parts. We felt like the father-son dynamic in the video really reflected the song’s theme. The song is sort of autobiographical. It’s about the experience of growing up in a small town and always talking about ‘getting out’ one day. No matter where or how far you go, though, you always have a little bit of where you came from that you take with you.” This is the band’s second video from their successful sophomore release.
Blacktop Mojo spent most of their 2017/2018 touring, writing, and recording in “The Mojo Mansion” in their hometown of Palestine, Texas. While playing a show at Rock Allegiance 2018, frontman Matt James sat down with Metal Nexus to talk everything Blacktop Mojo. You can find that interview here. To keep up to date on Blacktop Mojo follow them on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
ROCK USA in Oshkosh, Wisconsin announced their lineup today and has shown they are one of the top festivals in the Midwest with their powerful lineup in comparison to some recent lack luster lineups. The festival takes place July 18-20th Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Your top headliners of the 3 nights in order are Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, and Disturbed. If that isn’t enough their immediate support each night in order is Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson and Mastodon.
The next section of the lineup is where things get interesting. As Thursday lineup includes Three Days Grace, Asking Alexandria, I Prevail, Bad Wolves, Between The Buried And Me, Ice Nine Kills, Blacktop Mojo, Soil, Toothgrinder, Gideon, Beyond Threshold, and The Outfit.
Followed by Friday which is just as good if not better including In This Moment, Clutch, Of Mice & Men, Dance Gavin Dance, Red Sun Rising, Lacuna Coil, Issues, Escape The Fate, Volumes, Amigo The Devil, Vyces, Varials, and Madame Mayhem.
Then the final day of the festival includes Killswitch Engage, Theory Of A Deadman, Atreyu, Starset, Memphis May Fire, I See Stars, Nonpoint, Palisades, The Plot In You, Royal Tusk, The Black Woods, Them Evils, and Discrepancies.
This festival has the lineup that will haunt you to miss, so make sure to pick up your tickets here now.
Heavy metal frontrunners INCITE – led by frontman Richie Cavalera – are set to release their upcoming fifth full-length album, ‘Built To Destroy’, on January 25, 2019. You can check out a more detailed and insightful look at the album in a previously released article by our very own Steve Savage HERE. Produced by Steve Evetts (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Suicide Silence) and mastered by Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed), ‘Built to Destroy’ is a visceral, urgent, voracious distillation of modern metal with reverence for the past, and boasts a progressed, matured sound for INCITE.
Earlier this month, INCITE followed up on the release of their previous two singles, “Ruthless Ways” and “Built to Destroy” with a new track entitled “Poisoned by Power”. The track features guest vocal contributions from Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under. You can check the song out below:
INCITE - Poisoned By Power (featuring Chris Barnes) [official audio] - YouTube
Frontman Richie Cavalera says, “We’re pumped to give the metalheads another taste of what this album is all about – pure heavy metal! We’re honored to have Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under throw down his brutal pipes as a special guest on this track. This song is about powerful people screwing over the rest of us. It’s heavy, it’s got a killer breakdown and will definitely start the pit!”
Chris Barnes stated in a recent tweet, “Be sure to pick up the new INCITE album! Got brutal on “Poisoned by Power”. Killer fucking band and great friends.”
‘Built to Destroy’ is available for pre-order now via Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon. Check out “Ruthless Ways” and “Built to Destroy” below!
INCITE - Ruthless Ways [official audio] - YouTube
INCITE - Built To Destroy [official video] - YouTube
INCITE will kick off their massive North American tour with headliners Soulfly and direct support artist Kataklysm on January 25th! The tour will visit several cities across North America, coming to an end on March 1st in Window Rock, AZ. The tour will feature additional support from Chaoseum, Alukah, and Skinflint on select dates. Tickets are on sale now, so see below for all confirmed tour dates!
INCITE with Soulfly & Kataklysm (Chaoseum, Alukah and Skinflint on select dates):
1/25/19: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater*
1/26/19: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey*
1/27/19: Austin, TX @ Come & Take It Live*
1/28/19: New Orleans, LA @ Santos*
2/5/19: Orlando, FL @ Soundbar #
2/6/19: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade #
2/7/19: Frederick, MD @ Cafe 611 #
2/8/19: Clifton, NJ @ Dingbatz #
2/9/19: Reading, PA @ Reverb #
2/10/19: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall #
2/11/19: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre #
2/12/19: Toronto, ON @ Mod Club &
2/13/19: Flint, MI @ Buick City Events Center &
2/14/19: Joliet, IL @ The Forge &
2/15/19: Ft Wayne, IN @ Piere’s &
2/16/19: Dayton, OH @ Oddbodys &
2/17/19: Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall &
2/18/19: Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room &
2/19/19: Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunshine Studios Live ^
Another amazing tour coming your way. And this time from Aversions Crown & Psycroptic! They will be touring through Europe from the 1th of February till the 23th. But that’s not all. They are bringing a band that will slam your head off: Within Destruction! And if that wasn’t already enough for you to be getting that ticket Hollow World and Hadal Maw are also supporting!
Watch the official tour trailer right now!
AVERSIONS CROWN - EU Co-Headline Tour w/ Psycroptic (OFFICIAL TOUR TRAILER) - YouTube
Returning with their fifth studio album, Incite brings the heavy with ‘Built to Destroy’ – scheduled for release on January 25th, 2019 via MinusHeadRecords. Veteran producer Steve Evetts (SuicideSilence, TheDillingerEscapePlan), who also produced the band’s previous release ‘Oppression’ (2016), lends his hand once again on the new record. The sound is straight ahead groove/thrash for the most part on ‘Built to Destroy,’ in the vein of heavyweights like MachineHead, Devildriver, and Slipknot, minus any cringeworthy tough guy posturing sometimes found in such acts – largely in part due to Richie Cavalera’s authentic, yet outright punishing, vocal delivery and lyricism that avoids all possible pitfalls of going over-the-top in a forced attempt to sound “extreme.” The extremeness of the music comes through in its own organic way without any gimmickry or image to maintain – it’s just flat-out, badass metal.
From the opening title track onward, the foursome consisting of Richie Cavalera (vocals), “Dru Tang” Rome (guitar), Christopher “El,” and Lennon Lopez (drums) seem locked into a zone of raw aggression and attitude that never wanes throughout the album’s entire 40-minute runtime. There are seldom any lulls are low points to be found on ‘Built to Destroy,’ and even the guest appearances by KirkWindstein (Crowbar, Down) on the track “Human Cancer,” and ChrisBarnes (SixFeetUnder, ex-CannibalCorpse) on “Poisoned by Power” in no way detract or divert from the album’s level of intensity. In fact, both guest vocalists deliver the goods by putting on impressive performances of their own that blend naturally with the band’s sound.
INCITE - Built To Destroy [official video] - YouTube
For a record that largely relies primarily on gritty, chugging thrash riffage, mid-tempo double bass drumming, and thick bass grooves, there’s still plenty of inventiveness and nuance to enjoy. “Ruthless Ways,” the album’s first single, whose message Richie says, “is about being a piece of shit and it finally catching up with you,” is as menacing sonically as it is lyrically. The intricate drumwork of the track is worth admission price alone – paired with the crushing riffs and venomous vocals, it’s destined for replays and violent headbanging. “Backbone” offers more of the same goodness with killer bass melodies and an impressive guitar solo. My personal favorite, “Leech” is a bass-driven beast of a track that bleeds pure violence, especially during its hardcore-influenced chorus that features one of Richie’s best vocal performances of the album – that sounds something like RobbFlynn (MachineHead) if he graduated the MaxCavalera (Soulfly, CavaleraConspiracy) vocal academy.
‘Built to Destroy’ sets a solid benchmark for what to expect of modern metal in 2019. While Incite proudly wears their influences on their sleeve, they do so in a way that not only pays homage to the veterans of the game, but also propels the genre forward and challenges their contemporaries to step up to the plate.
There have been few bands to have such a powerful breakthrough album such as Puppy have. The UK based rockers have experienced their fair share of success in their respective country but now their infectious disease of tones and melodies is starting to spread stateside, and we have your inside scoop on the hottest young group of Brits in the word right now. Their long-awaited debut album, “The Goat,” is set to release everywhere via Spinefarm Records on January 25th. This group has demonstrated a multitude of experimentation in their music and their debut effort is nothing short of jaw-dropping. A combination of earth-shattering riffs, earworm melodies, and their go-it-alone, can-do attitude is a testament to their drive to succeed. In a world full of modern rock copycats, these guys just have something.. these guys HAVE that, “IT,” factor that a lot of young artists strive to have. It’s like these guys can hit you with the hardest left hook in the world on a riff and turn right around into a chorus that will make you helplessly smile and sing along. Frontman and guitarist Jock Norton explains that they love heavier bands that seem to have something smarter going on below the surface level of their music, “but we also love pretty dumb bands, too!”
Getting their start at the turn of 2015, they had more of a garage-y sound in their mix. “We wanted to push the boat a little bit,” says frontman Jock. Deriving elements from their early inspirations such as Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, and the Big Four of thrash metal, the group’s idiosyncratic sound is as unique as their own personalities, as well as their DIY-or-die approach to writing and producing. “The Goat,” began production processes in the summer of 2017 and the band quickly leapfrogged over every single expectation of the off. This is an album that cements their legacy as one of the hottest young bands out there with no one single high point. Each song is its own personality blended together almost seamlessly to create a product that one minute makes you feel like you’re in your childhood shredding out on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and then the next minute you’re driving down Malibu Beach in a convertible. Throughout all the work that was put into the album, frontman Jock Norton cites that after all, “we were just wanting to create something that excited us.”
The album begins with a clear and hard hitting stomp with, “Black Hole,” a riff driven intro that pulls you in closer with each second wondering, “how in the hell are they gonna top that intro?” Believe us. They did. Everything from that to the theatrics of, “Nightwalker,” and the lead single from the record, “World Stands Still,” which are filled with wild theatrics and sounds which are that of an action movie soundtrack, no stone is left unturned in the band’s desire to push boundaries and thoroughly succeed doing so. Above all else, at the end of the day these guys are simply embracing the fun inherent of Rock’s former heyday. “The Goat,” is a record that mindlessly and seamlessly flows throughout and dodges all convention and pretension with a fun-first attitude. 2019 will show major success for one of the country’s hottest new bands, and, take it from us, don’t sleep on these guys!
The wait is over! The INKCARCERATION Music and Tattoo Festival has announced the massive line-up scheduled to perform at its second annual event, set to feature colossal rock headliners. Quickly becoming one of the nation’s premier rock festivals, INKCARCERATION – taking place this year on July 12, 13 and 14 at the historic Ohio State Reformatory, a.k.a. Shawshank Prison, in Mansfield, OH – will feature over 30 bands on two outdoor stages, 70 tattoo artists, reformatory tours, gourmet food trucks, the best drinks and for the first time, the haunted house attraction, Escape from Blood Prison!This years lineup revs up the engines adding some huge headliners and a packed house of amazing bands. The top headliners are Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Live, Godsmack, Taking Back Sunday, Seether and Skillet. All of which put on an amazing show that is worthy of admission costs on their own… But wait there’s more…
Some fans like myself find the bands just below the headliners all that much more interesting which usually includes some up and coming bands as well as some veterans acts that have fell slightly out of the spotlight but still put on amazing shows. The next level of bands are I Prevail, Starset, Red Sun Rising, Motionless In White, Fozzy led by Chris Jericho, Buckcherry who you would think would have been billed higher on this lineup, but it also shows how stacked the lineup is, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and you can’t get a party started without Andrew W.K.
Then you have your bands that have just formed, making a comeback or are fresh blood to the metal world. P.O.D., Stabbing Westward who was huge and is making a big comeback, Howard Jones’ band Light The Torch which we interviewed their bassist recently (see interview here), From Ashes To New, veteran nostalgic act Smile Empty Soul, Raven Black who has been named one of the must see bands and best up and coming bands of the year and several more.
Weekend Field, VIP, Hotel packages and Camping ON SALE NOW Here
July 12 – 14 at The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH. Festival features over 30 bands, 70 tattoo artists, reformatory tours, haunted house attraction, gourmet food trucks and more.
In 2012 Howard Jones left Killswitch Engage to gain control of his diabetes, which had been hard to control while on tour. There wasn’t much time off for him as he almost immediately formed Devil You Know. The original lineup of the band was Howard on vocals, Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish, Hiss of Atrocities) – guitars, Ryan Wombacher who has been with Bleeding Through since 2002 – bass, backing vocals, Roy Lev-Ari (Hiss of Atrocities) – guitars and John Sankey (Divine Heresy, Fear Factory)– drums. Since then Roy Lev-Ari and John Sankey have left the band. The current drummer of the band is Mike Sciulara (Extinction A.D.). I was fortunate enough to see the band a couple times while on tour with Coal Chamber and on stage they put on an amazing show. Devil You Know released two albums ‘The Beauty of Destruction’ (2014) and ‘They Bleed Red’ (2015). The on July 26, 2017, the band announced via social media that they have changed their name to Light the Torch. The band in a way wanted a fresh start, and I believe the name has a better ring to it. The band is now set to release their debut under the name Light The Torch with ‘Revival’ which released on March 30, 2018.
Formed in 1999, Bleeding Through have run the gamut of countries, labels, genre stylings and immense, genre-defining releases, influencing several generations of artists since their inception. This crushing Californian metal act seamlessly combine hardcore, symphonic and death metal in a maelstrom of magnificent aggression, weaving melody and mayhem together into a chaotic quilt. Dedicated to their craft in a way that has cast countless acts to shame, Bleeding Through are a band that many fans of extreme music may cite as one of their first truly “heavy” bands—and all these years later, they hold up just as strong, if not more so. While the band has been on a self imposed hiatus since 2104, reuniting in 2016 for a benefit show for The Ghost Inside following the bands horrific accident. As such the heavy metal landscape has changed a lot over the handful of years since the band called it a day. Metalcore has fallen out of favor with the mainstream, and theres been a sort of changing of the guard with “newer” bands like Bring Me The Horizon and A Day to Remember dominating the scene and heading in a more poppier direction. (Written By: Jon Beatty)
Ryan “Womby” Wombacher of Bleeding Through and Light the Torch is the guest on this episode of BREWtally Speaking!! Podcast hosts Dan and Jon chat with Ryan about the past year that both Bleeding Through and Light the Torch had. How it’s been juggling the two bands, including having to miss his first Bleeding Through show due to being on tour with Light The Torch. Womby also talks about the early years of being on tour and sleeping in some shady places and also adding ““I slept on fuckin kitty litter.” The guys get into a bit of the hardships Light The Torch went through with a name change in the midst of building their new band in the first place. Old tour stories from the formative years of Bleeding Through and much more.