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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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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DANZIG Announces 25th Anniversary Tour for Danzig I Album

2013 marks the 25th Anniversary of DANZIG’s seminal 1st release – Danzig I.  To celebrate, DANZIG will play a series of very special U.S. shows this year.  Also, former MISFITS bandmate Doyle will join Glenn Danzig for a special mini-set. Plus, SCAR THE MARTYR, SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison’s new project, and HUNTRESS will also perform.  Cherie Currie, former front woman of Los Angeles’ hugely influential all-female band THE RUNAWAYS, will play her first LA live set in nearly two decades.

DANZIG has been doing shows at Universal Amphitheatre since the early 90’s and this upcoming show on August 30th will be my 7th and sadly, final time performing in this Great Venue,” said Glenn Danzig.  “I’ve done some killer shows here with lots of Unforgettable Memories from DANZIG, BLACKEST & 2 years ago the epic LEGACY Event!!!  It’s probably my Favorite Place to play in California so I’m gonna miss it!!  And just to make this an even more Historic Event I’ve got a little Something Special planned for this.”

Go to DANZIG’s website for tour dates.

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2013 Show Report

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2013 has now concluded, and many new and innovative products were featured on the massive lot at the Anaheim Convention Center.  Many of these products pertain to musicians in the Metal scene, and some of the products are just plain cool.

The turnout was crazy as usual – some were there to do business, while others were there to be seen.  Metal remains one of the best represented genres of music, as members of SLAYER, ANTHRAX, CANNIBAL CORPSE, MORBID ANGEL, NILE, MONSTROSITY, MEGADETH, and more were checking out the latest and greatest gear as well. Without further ado, let’s get started with what APESHIT thought were the best products NAMM had to offer for our metal fans out there.
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SLIPKNOT – All Hope is Gone

Where has SLIPKNOT been hiding this album? On the band’s fifth (that’s right, fifth regardless of what their label or the band themselves tell you) album, the band pulls out all the stops, resulting in their most metal album to date. Anchored by lead drummer Joey Jordison‘s flurries of double-bass and blast beats, the first three proper songs “Gematria,” “Sulfur,” and “Psychosocial” charge forth full-throttle with stomping rhythms and crunchy, catchy riffs. Further elevating the material at hand are guitarists Mick Thomson and Jim Root, who comfortably deliver a series of shredding yet melodic leads throughout the aforementioned songs as well as most of All Hope is Gone. While the band loses some momentum on the experimental, plodding “Butcher’s Hook” (which comes across as an unfinished idea) and the somewhat goofy, ill-advised chorus to “Gehenna,” the band is back in business with “This Cold Black” and the aggression and energy level is kept up throughout the remainder of the album. The exception being the STONE SOUR-influenced tear jerking ballad “Snuff,” which can be avoided with the skip button. Although most have already made up their mind about SLIPKNOT, and it’s easy to dismiss the band for their image, the masks, the seemingly hokey mythology created for “the nine” and their “maggots,” what can’t easily be dismissed is the high level of quality musicianship, powerful performances delivered on All Hope is Gone. Maybe producer Dave Fortman (SUPERJOINT RITUAL) breathed new life in to the band, perhaps Colin Richardson‘s (NAPALM DEATH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, MACHINE HEAD, etc.) mix brought out the beast or maybe five albums in, the band’s vision has finally gelled in a way that even naysayers can’t deny. Whatever the case, All Hope is Gone is the band’s most effective, powerful statement to date, and is easily the band’s finest hour. (Roadrunner Records)

SLIPKNOT’s New Album, All Hope is Gone, Drops August 26th

Grammy winning metal band, SLIPKNOT, are set to release their fourth album, All Hope is Gone, on August 26th via Roadrunner Records.  The album was recorded this spring in the band’s home state of Iowa and is co-produced by the band and Dave Fortman.

Singer Corey Taylor comments on the album: “Every album we have made is a statement about that space in time. I think this era is the most mature, most beautiful and the most powerful. We have made an album that will show the road behind, the road ahead, and where we are as men. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made. And I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.”

The first single “Psychosocial” will be delivered to radio on June 30 and will be available digitally on July 1st. A complete track listing will be announced shortly.

SLIPKNOT are set to partake in the first annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, alongside DISTURBED, DRAGONFORCE, and MASTODON. The tour kicks off July 9th in Seattle. For a complete list of tour dates and all up-to-date info, visit the official Mayhem Festival website:

SATYRICON Working on New Album; Plotting U.S. Tour

SATYRICON have issued a brief update on the band’s musical activity and plans for a Spring U.S. tour:

“We have so much news for you on the new album in writing and many stories to tell from our visits to Australia and Japan. We’ll fill you in on that later. Finally the necesarry permits and paperwork have been sorted on [drummer] Frost‘s behalf and we are now ready to come over to America again. Seems like it will be a small run of three weeks starting with a few days in South America for the first time before we come over the U.S. This will most likely take place between mid-April and second week of May. We’ll keep you posted of course.”

Frost was unable to participate in SATYRICON‘s previous two U.S. tours due to being denied permits to enter the country.  SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison and ZYKLON/EMPEROR drummer Trym stepped in to fill in on drums so that the band could fulfill their performance obligations.