GIGANTOUR GIANT SUCCESS

Dave Mustaine has always been a great talent evaluator, but this year he really has hit a grand slam. Megadeth, who has once again revived the Gigantour “Tour” a few years back after a hiatus are taking the world by storm. After releasing End Game a few years back…they followed that album with Thirteen…which was a HUGE success. Then in early June…they released their brand new album Super Collider.

Many people (I call these the unknowing and non intelligent Megadeth Fans) have given this album bad reviews. I have heard many people saying…oh it’s a great album and all but it’s NOT Megadeth. Well, I am very critical of this band since they have always been one of my FAVS! I totally disagree with these bad reviews. In my opinion…Super Collider may be the best “all around” album since “The World Needs a Hero”. By this I am not judging the album on how heavy it is. I am judging it by the production, the variety, and the tightness of the sound.

Anyways, As Megadeth comes back with a vengeance, they have brought back Gigantour. The 2013 version may be the best yet. On the bill, Death Division, Jason Newstead, Device, Black Label Society, Hell Yeah, and of course Megadeth. Now there are also a few stops on this tour that include even more bands but that is for the lucky ones.

I must say, the only band on this list that I have a ton of knowledge and listening minutes under my belt about is Black Label Society, who I have always been a huge fan due to Zack Wylde. However, as I have begun to listen to these other bands…they all have one thing in common. They are all “BAD ASS!” By this, I mean great Guitarists, star drummers and bassists, and kick ass vocalists.

Let us do a quick review of each band. First we have Death Division…a new up and coming Metal band. They combine all types of metal into one great sound. Their lead singer, Sean De La Tour, hits many ranges! Then we have Jason Newstead. Everyone recognizes this name right? Yes the former bassist of Metallica! Wow! Well he has now put together his own band and they have become very successful. I highly recommend them for any Metal Head!

Device is a band that is made up of a few pieces from other bands, most notably the singer David Draiman from Disturbed. Device has mostly new material but they also do a “Kick Ass” cover of Ozzy/Lita Ford’s If I Close My Eyes Forever! Draiman has also teamed up with Dave Mustaine on Megadeth’s new album on two songs…”Forget to Remember and Dance in the Rain.” Draiman has definitely grown as an artist as well as a lead vocalist. It’s actually cool to see him doing background vocals with his Original sound.

Then we have Black Label Society! For those of you who have never heard BLS…be prepared to be blown away. Zack Wylde is probably in the Top Five Guitarists in the past 20 years if you want my opinion. Some of the material he puts out is utterly amazing! In fact, I keep hoping he will join forces with PANTERA and reunite the Star Band! Anyways, Black Label Society is an in YOUR FACE metal band that keeps it simple!

Then, we have Hell Yeah! Hell Yeah consists of Chad Gray and Gregg Tribbett from Mudvayne, Damage Plan and Pantera’s drummer Vinnie Paul and Bassist Bob Zilla and Nothingface Guitarist Tom Maxwell. Any PANTERA fan will love this band. Of course Tribbett and Maxwell are not DIMEBAG Darrell, but they play similar styles. Chad Grey provides phenomenal vocals!

Finally, we have the Headliners Megadeth! They don’t need any introduction as you all know them! In that note…go see the TOUR! You may be lucky and get them on a night where they all join forces. So far, on 3 of their stops all of the bands joined forces on Megadeth’s cover of the Thin Lizzy classic “Cold Sweat”! Look it up on YOU TUBe!!! Stellar! Epic! See you at the show!

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CRASH COURSE IN METAL: MY HEAVY METAL JOURNEY

     For most of you that know me…Metal Music is a passion for me.  As a 37 Year Old, I have pretty much lived through every Heavy Metal genre besides the very beginning.  Its funny because in my current career…I see many young kids that have once again chose Metal as their passion.  For awhile, it may have seemed that Metal was on its decline…but any sort of thought has been blown up like a bomb in Baghdad.  Heavy Metal is once again on a DRAMATIC rise and there is no sign of this phenomenon going away.  In Fact, although Metal may never reach the peak that it did during the mid eighties to early nineties when different forms of the music grew offspring.

     During the mid seventies to the early eighties, Heavy Metal began to form a pillar of Iron.  Beginning with Black Sabbath, the “God Father’s of Metal” in just about anyone’s opinion…Heavy Metal began to branch out with light speed.  During the late seventies and early eighties…the British wave of Heavy Metal was taking the world by storm.  I was only four years old in 1980…but I can still remember when AC/DC released “Back in Black.”  My father made such a big deal about buying that album.  It marked the return of the band, after parting ways with Bon Scott and the emergence of Brian Johnson as it’s frontman.  At that time, I didn’t know what Heavy Metal was or even had a clue what the different styles of music were.  Bands such as Iron Maiden, KISS, Judas Priest, DIO Motorhead,Van Halen, Def Leppard and many more began to make waves in America as well as Europe.  

     For the sake of not making this a boring drawn out history lesson, I am not going to get anymore into the definition or roots of metal.  All that I know is, my first Metal album was “Appetite For Destruction” by Guns N Roses in 1987.  I was merely an eleven year old kid trying to find my way through this ever changing world.  Guns N Roses quickly became my first “favorite” band.  I quickly began to build a collection of audio cassette tapes, as CD’s were not out yet.  My catalog spread like a disease and I soon had over Forty Tapes.  At that time, I was still in Christian School, so this type of music was frowned upon.  Pretty soon, my mom stumbled upon my collection, and soon my set morphed into a measly five tapes, as my mom threw the other thirty-five out.  I couldn’t believe it…it was like I lost my new best friend.  I would liken it to someone today being an avid face book junkie and then having it stripped away from them like a tornado.

     Anyways, as the years went by, CD’s were invented and became the popular choice for music fans.  Not only did my CD Catalog increase, my tastes in Metal Music filtered out and I was finding all of the traditional sub-genres of metal…British Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Glam Metal, Stoner Metal, Speed Metal, Power Metal, Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, ETC.  The Sub-Genres continue to evolve to this day and I would not be able to tell you every one nor do I care.  I just know what I like.

     My first love was Glam Rock…beginning with Motley Crue, Poison, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Warrant, RATT, Cinderella, Queensryche, WASP, Winger, Autograph, White Snake, Bon Jovi…the list is too long.  These were the bands that I could not get enough of.  I was mostly a Motley Crue and Poison fan but I developed a natural love for all of these bands as well as their CD’s.  During the same time, I was heavy into Van Halen, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and AC/DC, Skid Row.  

     Then it happened…my neighborhood buddy introduced me to a band that I had never heard of and from there it was all over.  The band was Anthrax.  The CD was an EP “I’m the Man.”  And the song was “Im the Man”.  I can remember it like it was yesterday in his back yard.  We blared that CD over and over again.  After this, I became a THRASH METAL MANIAC.  I went out and bought every CD I could get my hands on.  I started with Megadeth “Countdown to Extinction.” and Metallica “Black Album.”  After this it was every Thrash Band…Testament, Slayer, Metal Church, OverKill, and like wise this list began to grow.  Then as the music continued to evolve…so did I.  Now I was listening to Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More, Slipknot, Seven Dust.  I loved “everything” metal.  YES… I am and always will be a METAL HEAD as my friend Cheryl always reminds me.  However, this does not mean that I do not like other music.  I enjoy all types, including RAP, Classic, Blues, Country, basically anything that I can jam to.  But it always goes back to Metal.

     Then it was Nirvana, Pantera, God Smack, Hate Breed, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head, Typonegative, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Disturbed, Death Angel, and Linkin Park.  Every year, I have developed new likes and dislikes as far as Metal Music.  However, I still traditionally am pulled to the Eighties/Nineties Glam/Speed/Thrash/Alternative categories.  Like today, I really enjoy the band VOLBEAT.  I also like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Hell Yeah, Lacuna Coil, Black Label Society and many others.  However, its not a secret that “Early” metal is back on the rise.  I mean, Black Sabbath just released a brand new studio album “Thirteen” with three of the original members Ozzy, Geezer, and Iommi.  WOW!!! In case you have not heard this album…go get it now!  AWESOME!  KICK ASS!  BAD ASS!  These would be the adjectives I use to describe this new album.

     As of today, my CD collection stands at 545 CD’s and Counting.  I have another 3,000 songs on my IPOD/IPHONE.  Yes, I am a music junkie.  Although music is available at the touch of a button, I still enjoy purchasing CD’s because I like the artwork and reading the lyrics and credits…call me old fashioned.  I have started sets consisting of my favorite bands.  Right now, today I own every CD for the following bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Slipknot, Testament, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and Lamb of God.  I am always continuing to build on my sets.  The next set that I will have complete is Black Sabbath including all Ozzy and Dio releases.  I always forget bands when mentioning my favorites.  My all time favorite band is Megadeth for my own personal reasons.  However, I am a huge fan of all The Big Four Bands, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Guns N Roses.  I hold these bands at my highest standard.  The next would be on a step down.  I am loving all of these comeback tours and new studio albums.  Metal is alive and well Folks!  I see it out in the neighborhood.  I see it in the workplace.  Its showing in the schools.  Its everywhere!!!!!!  I also attribute the re emergence to Guitar Hero…the popular video game…MTV, VH1, Facebook, Pandora and all of the other music social media outlets.  Well, this was a quick path through my Heavy Metal journey.  I am sure we all have our own tales and war stories.  All of the albums, concerts, tours, festivals, etc.  Heavy Metal will always be one of my passions and music is one of my defining attributes.  Besides listening to music, I have this blog which I write about metal, I read all kinds of books, and I am even currently taking Guitar lessons.  I also write Lyrics.  Maybe I did miss my passion……..ImageImageImage