National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2014 Show Report

The month of January brings excitement to the City of Anaheim every year, and the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2014 show is no exception!  Let’s cut to the chase this year!  A few highlights of the gazillions of musical instruments and gadgets are found below…enjoy!
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MACHINE HEAD’s Robb Flynn to Lead All-Star BLACK SABBATH Tribute Band at Benefit Concert

Members of MACHINE HEAD, METALLICA, SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, DEATH ANGEL, FORBIDDEN, SPIRALARMS, SUICIDE SILENCE, and RUBBLE will perform classic songs by BLACK SABBATH as part of an all-star tribute band that will headline the Robb Flynn & Friends Benefit Concert on Friday, January 17, 2014 at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland, California.

FORBIDDEN and SPIRALARMS guitarist Craig Locicero, who organized and will also take part in the event, had the following to say about how the idea for the benefit concert came about: “A good friend of ours and all around great person, Nikki Davis, was in a motorcycle accident with her husband Jeff. Sadly, Jeffdied at the scene. Fortunately, Nikki survived but she was unconscious for a few days. She awoke to the daunting reality that her husband, soulmate and best friend had passed away.  It was heartbreaking to all of us in the Bay Area scene.

“Robb Flynn and I have known Nikki for at least 25 years and she is a huge supporter of the Bay Area’s metal and punk scene.

“I wanted to help Nikki out a year ago, but most every band was busy on tour and unavailable. A few weeks ago, I had approached Robb about doing a benefit for Nikki and he thought it was a great idea.

“Robb has gone above and beyond to help bring together something very special and memorable to helpNikki on January 17th. He’s been the catalyst for getting this thing off the ground so quickly and Nikki is very thankful.

“We hope to raise enough money to help Nikki continue to get back on her feet because the healing is not finished. She still has medical bills to pay and we want to do anything we can to help our old friend.”

For those who can’t attend the concert, donations can be made to Nikki‘s PayPal account at [email protected].

In New Murder in the Front Row Book, MACHINE HEAD’s Robb Flynn Recalls Growing Up in SF Thrash Metal Scene

MACHINE HEAD guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn joins Gary Holt of EXODUS, Alex Skolnick of TESTAMENT, and other Bay Area thrash metal luminaries contributing written material to the deluxe upcoming photo book Murder in the Front Row: Shots From the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter, by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew. This massive volume is due December 2011 from Bazillion Points Books, and sneak peeks and preorders are available at this location:

http://www.murderinthefrontrow.com

In the book, Flynn recalls his initiation into the local scene via highly-energized gigs like RAVEN, METALLICA, and EXODUS at the Berkeley Keystone; Texas transplants D.R.I. at the Mabuhay Gardens; and EXCITER at the Stone. “I became totally obsessed,” Flynn writes. “I punched a kid and broke his nose at an ANTHRAX show at the Kabuki for saying [EXODUS guitarist] Gary Holt sucked. Yes, I was a thrasher, willing to fight and bang and bleed for my thrash metal gods.”
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Industry Profile: Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez (credit: Sarah Vanessa Photography)

Metal t-shirts – we all own them and likely have amassed a lot of them in our closets as the years have gone by. Behind those shirts are hardworking, dedicated people who do their best to supply this essential part of metal culture. We caught up with our good friend, Oscar Martinez, to not only learn about what’s going on with the merchandise business but also about his over 10 year journey through the music industry. In our interview, he schools us on the multidimensional aspects and considerations of being a touring band trying to make a profit in this day and age, and shares some of his surreal rock ‘n roll adventures.
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CANNIBAL CORPSE’s Pat O’Brien to Fill in for SLAYER’s Jeff Hanneman

CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Pat O’Brien will fill in for EXODUSGary Holt when Holt leaves the SLAYER European tour to play with EXODUS at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile on April 4. Holt has been filling in for SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman since the tour kicked off February 26 in Australia.

Holt‘s last show with SLAYER will be April 4 in Padova, Italy. O’Brien will join the band for the April 6 show in Croatia, and will finish the European dates with SLAYER that wrap up on April 14 in Holland.

Hanneman has amazed his doctors with his speedy recovery from an infection thought to have been caused by a spider bite. Following surgery on his right arm, he continues his physical therapy and has already been practicing with his guitar.

WITCHERY – Witchkrieg

After taking a breather in their respective other bands, namely THE HAUNTED, OPETH, and ARCH ENEMY, the members of WITCHERY offer Witchkrieg, the first album with vocalist Legion (ex-MARDUK) on board. Upon first glance, Legion’s vocals are much more varied than when he had the monotone screech in MARDUK – unfortunately, most of his vocals are masked by too many effects, which cheapens the excitement of the new vocalist.

Witchkrieg” opens with the crunchy, old school WITCHERY sound, with nice, crisp production, as the album starts off with a lot of promise. Kerry King’s trademark solo fits the opening track perfectly, and sounds completely in tune with the music. But the album is quite bi-polar, as a song like “The God Who Fell From Earth” opens with a bland nu-metal riff, and even guitar master Hank Shermann cannot save this blunder. “Conqueror’s Return” has a few headbanging riffs, but the layers of effects on the vocals make the song almost unbearable. Witchkrieg thrashes away with “The Reaver,” and the trade off solos from EXODUSGary Holt and Lee Altus show that this album has glimpses of brilliance.

Witchkrieg falls into the cliché of cheesy songwriting, as “From Dead to Worse” has a great opening, but the chorus is so bland that it sounds like Nathan Explosion of DETHKLOK is singing; fortunately, the solos from Andy LaRocque adds a nice flair to the end. “Devil Rides Out” is classic WITCHERY material, and “Hellhound” is a fast, brutal, and all out thrash attack.

Witchkrieg is an average effort, as there are good riffs scattered around here and there, but is mostly mediocre and somewhat disappointing. The band should always be looked upon as just a side project, as guitarist Jensen has used up all his good riffs in THE HAUNTED. While the plethora of guest musicians add a nice touch to the album, it’s safe to say that people have given this band more credit than they deserve. (Century Media Records)

EXODUS Announce Two Record Release Shows

Bay Area thrash veterans EXODUS will be playing two album release shows with HEATHEN in Los Angeles and San Francisco this June:

Friday, June 11th – Los Angeles @ Key Club with HEATHEN, BONDED BY BLOOD, plus two local openers

Tickets go on sale 4/17

Saturday, June 12th – San Francisco @ Slim’s with HEATHEN, ANVIL CHORUS, and PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE

Tickets go on sale 4/18

EXODUSExhibit B: The Human Condition will be released in North America on May 18th.

ARCH ENEMY to Headline North American Tour; Support from EXODUS, ARSIS, MUTINY WITHIN

Sweden’s ARCH ENEMY have announced the Tyrants of Evil headlining tour of North America in support of their latest release, The Root of All Evil (which came out last week via Century Media Records).

Frontwoman Angela Gossow commented on the tour: “Hells Yes! We are more than ready to return to the US and Canada for a head banging and neck breaking tour experience! Totally stoked about the killer package – ARCH ENEMY, EXODUS, ARSIS and MUTINY WITHIN. We personally handpicked these bands for you! A full on extreme, versatile and so very METAL line-up. You will be hurting in a good way after we have been through town! The Tyrants Of Evil are ready to kill!!!”

Presale tickets for the upcoming dates will go on sale this Wednesday, October 14, at 3PM Eastern, at ArtistArena.com: https://tix.artistarena.com/archenemy/

Jan. 20 – Towson, MD – Recher Theatre
Jan. 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
Jan. 22 – New York, NY – Nokia Theatre
Jan. 23 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Jan. 25 – Montreal, QC – Le Medley
Jan. 26 – Quebec City, QC – Theatre Imperial
Jan. 27 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
Jan. 29 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Jan. 30 – Minneapolis, MN – The Rock
Jan. 31 – Winnipeg, MB – The Garrick Centre
Feb. 02 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Feb. 03 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Events Centre
Feb. 05 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
Feb. 06 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market
Feb. 08 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Center @ The Grand
Feb. 09 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues

For all the latest info on ARCH ENEMY, visit:
http://www.archenemy.net
http://www.myspace.com/archenemy

Ex-STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, EXODUS, FORBIDDEN Members Join Forces in TENET

Ex-EXODUS vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza and lead guitarist Glen Alvelais (FORBIDDEN/ex-TESTAMENT) has joined forces with ex-STRAPPING YOUNG LAD members Jed Simon, Byron Stroud and Gene Hoglan in a project known as TENET. The debut album, Sovereign, is set for an Aug. 25th release. While it took a rather long while to launch this entity, TENET are nowset to mercilessly explode onto the global metal scene with a high quality, furious thrashing old school metal album. Be sure to visit www.myspace.com/tenetforce for all news updates.

Guitarist and TENET mastermind Jed Simon comments as follows: “After years of work, setbacks, more work and more setbacks…I am so happy that this ‘storm in my mind’ has finally come to fruition. So, TENET has now become a band. It is no longer ‘I’. It has evolved, grown up and become more than I ever thought it would be. Without the help of Zetro, Gene, Glen and Byron, this very well could still be residing in the furthest corner of my brain…this album is very personal for me and the anger that has driven it is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. This album is the shedding of a skin that I had been carrying around far too long.”

EXODUS: Live at Wacken DVD in the Works

In an interview with HardTimes, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt and frontman Rob Dukes confirmed that they are working on their first official live DVD. Here’s what Holt had to say:

“Right now, we’re working on finishing up our first official live DVD, Live At Wacken… which also comes with a bonus audio-only CD, so you actually are getting a live album out of the deal… and like an hour-and-a-half of behind-the-scenes insanity.”

Dukes also commented:

“All of it is really just parts of the band that the fans never get to see. There’s some really funny shit on there. There’s us just being regular people… It seems people have a perceived idea of what it’s like [to be in a band], and they’ll get to see a lot more of it. It’s surprisingly funny. My favorite is [guitarist] Lee [Altus] drunk on vodka. We’d sneak the camera in and hide it on him and just let him talk… [laughter] It’s fuckin’ hysterical.”

View the full interview with HardTimes here: