National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2017 Show Report

Engl Marty Friedman ampThe 2017 edition of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Convention has concluded, and it was mostly filled with updates/improvements on past products, but there were a few items of interest to the metal community!  Let’s gear up (pun intended) and see what 2017 had to offer!

First and foremost for heavy metal fans, Paiste introduced its limited edition Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN) “Treasures” set – impressive looking cymbals with the artwork of the sun god, Tonatiuh, and of course with the Paiste logos in the classic IRON MAIDEN font.  When the company says this set is limited edition, it truly is limited, as there were only 83 sets produced worldwide!  For all you OCD freaks out there, Paiste also announced the Color Sound 900 series, with a variety of new colors to match the color of your kit.  I saw purple, blue, black, and red on display, and the color scheme was a delight for the eyes.

Honorable mentions included the Soultone booth, where they showed a picture of the late Nick Menza (OHM, ex-MEGADETH), which was a very touching and cool thing for them to do.  Yamaha drums celebrated their 50th anniversary, and were displaying a few of those solid kits on display.

NAMM is always top-heavy on guitars, and the APESHIT crowd loves to hear about new guitars on hand.
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Video of the Day: MACHINE HEAD’s Robb Flynn Poignantly Calls Out Phil Anselmo on “White Power” Remarks

In response to the controversy surrounding Phil Anselmo‘s Nazi salute and “white power” remark onstage at the end of his performance at Dimebash last week, MACHINE HEAD‘s Robb Flynn has posted a video that provides additional facts of what happened at the show and his opinion of  Phil Anselmo‘s latest and past racist remarks.  Robb‘s new facts provide additional context and meaning to Phil Anselmo’s antics.  Watch as he brings the hammer down:

Be sure to watch this in its entirety.  Go, Robb!

Straight Shooting: Go See the Legends Before They’re Gone Forever

We are all guilty of taking metal legends for granted by thinking they’ll always be around.  So what happens?  We skip out on seeing them when they come through town for what sometimes turns out to be years.

Next thing you know, someone like Ronnie James Dio suddenly passes away and you’re just left regretting not seeing him every chance you had.  I had the chance to see DAMAGEPLAN on what turned out to be their final tour and stand in the photo pit in front of one of my teenage heroes, Dimebag Darrell.  Well, when news hit about his murder, part of me was deeply regretting leaving that show early and missing their whole set.

Now, with SABBATH‘s recent announcement that they will embark on a final tour early next year, it really clicked for me that time is precious.  I’m sure it’ll be virtually the same safe set that they’ve always played since reuniting with Ozzy but that’s not the point now.  Tony Iommi wants to focus on his health and that’s all that matters.  Let’s hope Bill Ward can be apart of this as well.

Lemmy‘s ailing health has caused cancelled or curtailed shows, which indicate the need to go see MOTORHEAD before it all possibly ends in the near future.  Check out this footage from the band’s show in Austin, Texas last week:

Hard to watch, right?

Let’s seize the opportunities that we have and pay homage to the legends while we still can.


Concert Memories: BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE, PANTERA, TYPE O NEGATIVE, MARILYN MANSON @ Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion, June 29, 1997, San Bernardino, California

Ozzfest 1997Back when I was a senior in high school, a friend called me up and was yelling at the top of his lungs about an “Ozzfest.”  When he told me about the dream line up, I was beyond excited.  Who on this earth wouldn’t have wanted to see OZZY, DANZIG, SLAYER, SEPULTURA, and FEAR FACTORY in 1996?  Unfortunately, my friend didn’t care enough to actually go with me to the show and I was the only person in my school that cared enough to go.  Thus, I missed the show.

So 1997 rolls around and I’m a freshman in college and working as a school teacher during the summer.  Most importantly, I had my own damn car.  When the announcement for the second Ozzfest came out, I was beyond excited.  To be able to see the reunited original line up of BLACK SABBATH meant everything to me.  SABBATH were my favorite band at the time (and still are).  Those first six albums changed my life.  Not even Technical Ecstacy or Never Say Die hurt my feelings as much as Load but that probably has more to do with the fact that I was born in ’78 and not ’68.  I still have those first SABBATH albums on cassette tape.

Unlike 1996, I wasn’t going to be deterred by the fact that I did not know a single soul who wanted to go.  Armed with a Thomas Guide map, I set out in my car on the furthest drive of my 19 year old life.  After the over two hour drive, I arrived at the venue, which is out in the middle of shitsville (AKA San Bernardino County, California).  Lots of dirt, rocks, scorching heat, and rednecks.  As I pulled up to entrance of the venue, there were the obligatory Christian groups protesting the show with a focus on Ozzy.  They were holding up signs about damnation and devil worship…completely harmless stuff.

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DOWN to Release First of Four EP’s on September 18, 2012

DOWN will release Down IV Part I – The Purple EP,  their first body of new material in five years, on September 18, 2012 via Down Records/Independent Label Group.  New song, “Witchtripper,” can be streamed at

The six song EP is the first in a series of four EP’s planned for release over the next year. DOWN will kick off a string of tour dates on release day, beginning in Fort Worth, TX, and ending October 2 in Charlotte, NC.

“I do believe that we have delivered a record that will be accepted and hopefully enjoyed by the DOWN horde – if you will,” says Phil Anselmo. “If you’re looking for a DOWN record, it’s very pure and real.”

DOWN gives me the platform to be poetic and paint imagery with lyrics,” says Anselmo. “That’s the approach I took. They complement the music and create an ominous feeling. Ultimately, when people consume the words, it’s always their interpretation that matters. I could be image-conscious though when I wrote. It’s not so gut level or street. The darker shit is some of my favorite.”

With an album sales history totaling over 725k, these New Orleans natives are no strangers to success. Their legendary 1995 debut Nola is certified platinum, while Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow (2002) and Down III (2007) remain fan and critical successes.

Song of the Day: When Rob Halford Joins Forces with PANTERA

Today marks the seventh anniversary of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist Dimebag Darrell‘s murder. I’m sure we all remember where we were when we heard the news. Friends of mine received eyewitness accounts of what happened that fateful night in Ohio and it’s just absolutely tragic. Let’s also not forget the other people who were killed that night, Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, Erin Halk, and Nathan Bray. If you were into metal in the early to mid 90’s, this was a very big deal.

So let’s enjoy this song from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie soundtrack, which features JUDAS PRIEST‘s Rob Halford with PANTERA as his backing band on “Light Comes Out of Black.” The way Dime follows Halford‘s awesome falsettos (i.e. “Cemetery Gates“) and Halford and Phil Anselmo‘s dual vocals are killer.

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Peep & Destroy Halloween Edition: DREAMING DEAD, PANTERADACTYL, DARWEN’S THEORY @ Cheetahs Hollywood, 10/30

Come to Peep & Destroy on Sunday, October 30th to celebrate Halloween and experience the heavy sounds of DREAMING DEAD, PANTERADACTYL, and DARWEN’S THEORY. This edition’s lineup is no less destructive than edition’s past.

DREAMING DEAD features screamer/shredder frontwoman Elizabeth Schall. The band is making time between the recording of their follow up to 2009’s Within One album to showcase their talents at Peep & Destroy.

PANTERADACTYL, as their name might suggest, is a band that performs PANTERA songs while dressed up as dinosaurs. Yep. They will be the first cover band to perform at Peep & Destroy.

Lastly, DARWEN’S THEORY, who’s current incarnation are injected with renewed energy, are equipped with a ferocious new vocalist and freshly recruited drummer.

So come bang heads with APESHIT, Shred Savage, and totallylikeduh at Peep & Destroy on October 30th at Cheetahs in Hollywood. Hot Cheetahs strippers, a corpsepaint booth, a headbanging contest (prizes from Blood is the New Black), and drink specials complete the fun that is Peep & Destroy.

It’s gonna be a fun Halloween rager! Come party with us!

Oct. 30th 2011
21+ $10 at the door
9pm @ Cheetahs in Hollywood
4600 Hollywood BLVD
Los Angeles, CA 90027

RSVP to our Facebook event:

UPDATE: Guest DJ, NC Steele, will be spinning metal between bands!

DOWN: North American Tour Dates Announced

DOWN, who are spending the first half of their summer performing at European music festivals, will be bringing their act back to North America in August. Here are the dates:

Sat Aug 1, 2009 Diamond Ballroom Oklahoma City, OK
Mon Aug 3, 2009 Beaumont Club Kansas City, MO
Tue Aug 4, 2009 The Venue at Playmakers Fargo, ND
Wed Aug 5, 2009 Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Fri Aug 7, 2009 Edmonton Events Centre Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sat Aug 8, 2009 Macewan Hall Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mon Aug 10, 2009 Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Tue Aug 11, 2009 Showbox SoDo Seattle, WA
Wed Aug 12, 2009 Roseland Theater Portland, OR
Fri Aug 14, 2009 The Grand Ballroom San Francisco, CA
Sat Aug 15, 2009 Wiltern Theater Los Angeles, CA
Sun Aug 16, 2009 House of Blues – San Diego San Diego, CA
Tue Aug 18, 2009 House of Blues – Anaheim Anaheim, CA
Wed Aug 19, 2009 House of Blues – Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
Fri Aug 21, 2009 In The Venue Salt Lake City, Utah
Sat Aug 22, 2009 Gothic Theatre Denver, CO
Tue Sep 1, 2009 CW Center Stage Atlanta, GA
Wed Sep 2, 2009 House of Blues – Orlando Lake Buena Vista, FL
Fri Sep 4, 2009 House of Blues – North Myrtle Beach North Myrtle Beach, SC
Sat Sep 5, 2009 The Fillmore Charlotte Charlotte, NC
Sun Sep 6, 2009 The Valarium Knoxville, TN
Tue Sep 8, 2009 Sonar Baltimore Baltimore, MD
Wed Sep 9, 2009 Northern Lights Clifton Park, NY
Fri Sep 11, 2009 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
Sat Sep 12, 2009 The Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA
Sun Sep 13, 2009 House of Blues – Boston Boston, MA
Tue Sep 15, 2009 The Webster Theater Hartford, CT
Wed Sep 16, 2009 Main Street Armory Rochester, NY
Fri Sep 18, 2009 Koolhaus Toronto, ONT
Sat Sep 19, 2009 Emerald Theatre Detroit, MI
Mon Sep 21, 2009 The Vogue Theatre Indianapolis, IN
Tue Sep 22, 2009 House of Blues – Cleveland Cleveland, OH
Thu Sep 24, 2009 Sokol Auditorium Omaha, NE
Fri Sep 25, 2009 Pop’s Sauget, IL
Sat Sep 26, 2009 The Pearl Room Mokena, IL

The band, featuring members of PANTERA, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, CROWBAR, and EYEHATEGOD, will be touring in support of their most recent album, Down III: Over the Under. Read our review here:

Visit and for all the latest band info and tour dates.

ARSON ANTHEM – Arson Anthem

Formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina from jam sessions between Phil Anselmo and EYEHATEGOD‘s Mike Williams, ARSON ANTHEM‘s debut EP unleashes eight blistering tracks of muddy, DISCHARGE meets NEGATIVE APPROACH hardcore punk. Fans lamenting the demise of SUPER JOINT RITUAL will find much to like in ARSON ANTHEM as the band delivers quick, no-nonsense punk with urgent, spastic delivery. Although far more stripped down than SJR (and less-metal influenced), the band could almost be looked at as a reimagined version of SJR with some role reversal. Anselmo concentrates solely on guitar this time around, passing on the vocal duties to Mike Williams. Hank Williams III switches from bass to drums as he and newcomer Colin Yeo display a stripped down, bare bones approach to the proceedings. But if there’s any star to this show, it’s Mike Williams whose abrasive, anguished vocals fuel the rage of the band with fury and disgust. At barely longer than ten minutes, ARSON ANTHEM‘s debut is short and to the point, wearing their influences proudly on their sleeves with no apologies. If there’s any complaint to be had, it’s that the songs tend to blend in to one another with little distinction, and since the EP flies by at such a rapid pace, the lack of hooks makes it difficult for the listener to grasp on to anything substantial. Nonetheless, the band’s conviction and delivery make up for these shortcomings. And since this Louisiana crew doesn’t over stay their welcome, eleven minutes is plenty of time to get their pissed-off point across. (Housecore Records)

DOWN Announce 2008 North American Tour Dates

DOWN have announced another slew of North American tour dates for the upcoming new year. “An Evening with DOWN” is set to kick off January 18th in Mobile, Alabama. Each show will begin with an intro video followed by a full two hour set by the band. Tour dates are as follows:

01/18/08 Mobile, AL @ Soul Kitchen
01/19/08 Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theater
01/20/08 Lafayette, LA @ Grant St. Dance Hall
01/23/08 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
01/25/08 Springfield, MO @ Remington’s
01/26/08 Champaign, IL @ Canopy Club
01/27/08 Grand Rapids, MI @ Orbit Room
01/29/08 Flint, MI @ Machine Shop
01/30/08 Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
02/02/08 Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
02/04/08 Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
02/05/08 Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
02/07/08 Long Island, NY @ Mulcahy’s
02/08/08 Providence, RI @ Lupo’s
02/09/08 Sayerville, NJ @ Starland
02/11/08 Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
02/12/08 New Haven @ Toad’s Place
02/14/08 Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
02/15/08 Richmond, VA @ Toad’s Place
02/16/08 Knoxville, TN @ Valarium
02/18/08 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
02/19/08 Nasheville, TN @ The Cannery
02/21/08 New Orleans, LA @ Southport Music Hall