National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2018 Show Report

Greetings from the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Convention AKA the NAMM Show, where things have been changed up a bit from years past. For starters, all the booths were in different locations, including some booths that were outside the normal convention center area. While there was still an insane amount of people, it felt a bit less crowded due to the new format and wider areas between booths. Let’s not delay any further and get to some of the products we particularly enjoyed!

Sonor displayed the beast of a kit, the SQ2 “The Book of Souls,” made specifically for Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN). Witnessing it up close and personal was truly astonishing. Crafted in Germany, the shells were made to Nicko’s specific specifications, complete with Eddie inlays. Beautiful stuff.

Paiste had a 90” giant gong on display. Yes, a 90” gong. Not sure how practical that would be, but that’s a whole lot of gong going on.

While not exactly metal related, some of you may remember the old Roland TR-808 or TR-909 drum machines, and now they have been officially reintroduced as virtual plug-ins. Note that you’ll have to use the Roland cloud, however, this is extremely cool and a great throwback for those nostalgic drum sounds.
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LORDI – The Arockalypse

Dressed like GWAR, but equipped with massive balls-to-the-wall rock ‘n roll, Finland’s LORDI claim to bring those very “balls” back to rock. “Bringing Back the Balls to Rock,” off LORDI‘s latest album, The Arockalypse, makes that claim both lyrically and musically with big riffs, big beats, and a big chorus. Fortunately, rock has never actually lost its balls, but these monsters of rock certainly rock out as if rock has long been without said balls…all while keeping it fun and un-serious. In fact, it’s that very attitude that makes The Arockalypse an enjoyable affair. With cheeky songs like “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “Good to Be Bad,” and “Hard Rock Hallelujah,” you know you’re in for a fun ride. The Finns recall 70’s and 80’s hard rock (think KISS, Alice Cooper) with minimal amounts of cheese, but plenty of nostalgia. They even enlist some hard rock veterans (Dee Snider, Udo Dirkschneider, Bruce Kulick, and Jay Jay French) to join their monster mashing affair. The Arockalypse rocks…just don’t take LORDI too seriously. (The End Records)