METAL MONDAY

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     The Shepherd of Fire Tour went on sale today at 10AM Eastern Time.  This Tour will span the United States and Canada as Avenged Sevenfold will promote their latest release “Hail to the King.”  I have reviewed this album numerous times in past posts and every time I listen to this album it gets better and better.  The Tour will include 20 Shows at many big venues throughout Canada and the US.  Avenged Sevenfold will kickoff the tour in British Columbia, Canada at the EnCana Events Centre on April 12th.  They will then proceed to the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia.  The tour will also visit Saskacthewan, Winnepeg, Minneapolis Minnesota, Huntsville Alabama, Tampa Florida, Jacksonville Florida, Lafayette Louisiana, Hollywood Florida, Virginia Beach, Charlotte North Carolina, Knoxville Tennessee, Hershey Pennsylvania, Bangor Maine, Montreal Quebec, Syracuse New York, and will end in Columbus Ohio on May 17th.

     For those of you that have never saw Avenged Sevenfold, I strongly suggest you purchase tickets to one of these shows.  Sevenfold, otherwise known as AX7, has been a band on the rise for the past ten years and this latest album, Hail to the King is by far their best material to date.  Synester Gates is like the modern day “Slash.”  He plays the same kind of guitar style as the former Guns N Roses standout and matches his intensity.  Johnny Christ on the Bass guitar is equally ferocious.  M. Shadows has become quite a vocalist and has raised his game.  Zacky Vengeance compliments Synester Gates and together they are like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest combined.  By that, I mean they share the heaviness of Priest and the dual guitar melody of Maiden.  The band rounds out with new comer Arin llejay who takes over for “The Rev”, who was AX7’s world class drummer.  The Rev died in 2009, however his legacy lives on and his talent still influences the Band.  Hail to the King reached #1 on the Billboard 200 in both the United States and the U.K.  To date, AX7 has sold over 8 Million Albums world wide.  This tour should be special, as the band has stepped up its game.

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    In other Metal news, Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee has gotten engaged to his girlfriend Sofia Toufa.  He announced the news to 430,000 of his Twitter followers.  This is the fourth time that the Rock Star will be married.  The 51 Year old Lee has been previously married to Elaine Starchuk, Heather Locklear, and Pamela Anderson.  Lee insists that this is finally his life partner.  This news comes amidst the Crue’s latest news that they will be doing a farewell tour and album.  I don’t know about you, but I put the over/under on the length of this marriage at Five Years.  Tommy Lee has always been outspoken and is probably second to Vince Neil in female attraction.  

     It was also announced that former Megadeth Guitarist will be releasing a new album called “Inferno.”  This should be interesting as Friedman had lost interest in Metal when he left Megadeth.  AC/DC will also be releasing a new studio album and going back out on the road.  I love Angus Young.  He is like the energizer bunny.  He just keeps going and going and going.  Brian Johnson has lost some of his vocal power, but he can still sing with the best of them.  There is a DIO tribute album being released in March that will include covers from Anthrax, Metallica, Pantera and others.  Sebastian Bach is ready for the release of his new album, which should be KICK ASS!!!!!

     Finally, we will play This or That:

1) Black Sabbath w DIO vs Black Sabbath w Ozzy.

2) Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets.

3) Cowboys from Hell or Vulgar Display of Power.

4) Deep Purple or Thin Lizzy.

5) Bon Scott or Brian Johnson.

6) Cinderella or RATT.

7) Testament or Overkill.

8) Bad Company or Foreigner.

9) Dave Mustaine or Kirk Hammett.

10) Alice In Chains or Soundgarden.

OK….Now for my answers.  1) Black Sabbath w DIO, 2) Master of Puppets, 3) Cowboys from Hell, 4) Thin Lizzy, 5) Brian Johnson, 6) RATT, 7) Overkill, 8) Bad Company, 9) Dave Mustaine, 10) Alice In Chains.  So what were your picks??  Anyways, rock on mates.  Stay tuned for more Metal Mania.

******Album of the Day- Def Leppard (Slang)*******

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AVENGED SEVENFOLD COMING OF AGE

Image AVENGED SEVENFOLD JUST RELEASED IT’S FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM ON TUESDAY, “HAIL TO THE KING.”  DURING THE BAND’S EXISTENCE THAT BEGAN IN 1999, IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA, A7X AS THEY ARE ALSO KNOWN BY HAS EVOLVED FROM A PUNK METAL STYLE TO A MODERN HEAVY METAL STYLE THAT THEY PLAY TODAY.  TO DATE, AVENGED SEVENFOLD HAS RELEASED FIVE STUDIO ALBUMS, ONE LIVE ALBUM/DVD, EIGHTEEN SINGLES, ALL THE WHILE SELLING OVER EIGHT MILLION ALBUMS WORLDWIDE.  A7X HAS STOOD THE TEST OF ULTIMATE TRAGEDY AND OVERCOME TREMENDOUS OBSTACLES TO END UP WHERE THEY ARE NOW.

     The band was originally formed by M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, “The REV”, and Matt Wendt.  The band’s name actually came from a reference to the story of Cain and Abel in the Bible, found in Genesis 4:24.  Although there was a lot of speculation they are not a religious band.  All of the band mates names were actually nicknames that each member had in High School.  Matt Wendt was then replaced by Justin Sane the bassist for Suburban Legends, another up and coming band at the time.

     Avenged Sevenfold’s debut album, “Sounding the Trumpet” was released in 2001, while all of the members were still in High School, a pretty amazing achievement.  At this point Guitarist Synester Gates joined the band and was followed by Johnny Christ  in 2001, as the band began to gain popularity playing with such bands as MushroomHead and Shadows Fall.  In 2003, they released their sophomore album, “Waking the Fallen,” which had a more refined sound.  

     After those albums, A7X joined Warner Brothers Records in 2004.  On June 7, 2005 “City of Evil,” the band’s third album was released and debuted at 30 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 30,000 copies the first week.  City of Evil portrayed a more classic metal sound.  M.Shadows also worked with a vocal coach Ron Anderson, who had also worked with Axl Rose and Chris Cornell in the past.  This did away with the “growling/screaming” vocal tone and achieved a more metal tone with grit.  As their album tour raged on, their lead single “Bat Country” reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 and also number 1 on MTV’s Total Request Videos.

      On October 26, 2007, A7X released their fourth studio album as a self titled hit.  The album debuted at Number Four on the Billboard 200.  Another monumental moment was on April 16th, when they joined Slash on stage to perform “It’s So Easy,” a former Guns n Roses Hit.  Then as the band was growing to new heights tragedy struck.  On December 28, 2009 James “The Rev” Sullivan was found dead at his home at the age of 28.  It was later revealed that James had overdosed on Painkillers.  There was such shock and grief, that the band almost quit.  

     They then recruited Dream Theater’s Drummer Mike Portnoy and released “Nightmare,” their fifth studio album.  The album blew away sales projections and debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200.  Nightmare was the band’s best piece in their growing catalog and had a tighter sound and meshed with the more classic sound of the bands metal idols.  Avenged Sevenfold lists Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Megadeth as their major influences as a band.  Their career took off even further at this time as they even began to headline tours.

     Ok, so yesterday the Band released it’s much anticipated Sixth Studio Album, “Hail to the King.”  Hail to the King leads off with the song Shepherd of Fire, which is a Metallica-esque Blaster that is a direct metal classic.  The Band has shed its hardcore punk sound for the more traditional metal sound.  And why not, just look at the T-shirts that the band wears, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, MotorHead etc and you can definitely understand why this band is ready to take the torch as the next great Metal Band to carry on the next few decades.  Along with Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold are the new Metallica, the new Megadeth, the new GNR, the new Iron Maiden.

     Zacky Vengeance and Synester Gates are at their best on this album and they establish the dual solo styles of other greats like KK Downing and Glenn Tipton, Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman, and other greats who use dual lead and backup guitar to produce a power metal sound.  The new drummer Arin Ilejay does an excellent job at producing the pounding bass drum hits that “The Rev” was so known for.  Shepherd of Fire is a song that portrays a theme of the devil singing as if its in the third person.  Hail to the King is another Slam Dunk.  Doing Time sounds like a true GNR song, M.Shadows even sounds exactly like Axl Rose on a few of the lyrics.  The whole album features Synester Gates and some very impressive solos.

    I have now listened to the album three times straight through and I give it a 9/10.  It is definitely Avenged Sevenfold’s best work of art thus far.  Nightmare put them on the map but Hail to the King puts them on top.  In my opinion, they are one of the best modern day metal bands around.  I enjoy listening to them because they are inspired by all of my favorite bands.  This album has a Metallica, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden feel.  Many of the solos also delve closely to Dave Mustaine and Slash.  M.Shadows has become a stellar lead vocalist and provides the band with a talented front man.  If you haven’t done so, purchase the album today at a local store or on ITUNES.  Avenged Sevenfold has graduated to the next level!  Its been real…Be back soon my Friends!  ROCK ON! HAIL THE KING!

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