With thanks to Warner Australia, we have a few copies of STONE SOUR’s album HYDROGRAD (Deluxe Edition) to giveaway.
All you have to do is tell us in 25 words or less. What song would you like to hear Stone Sour do acoustically?
With thanks to Warner Australia, we have a few copies of STONE SOUR’s album HYDROGRAD (Deluxe Edition) to giveaway.
All you have to do is tell us in 25 words or less. What song would you like to hear Stone Sour do acoustically?
2018 saw the Australian debut of the world’s premier rock and metal festival Download! 30,000 heavy music fans descended on Flemington christening Melbourne into the Download family alongside Donington UK, (the spiritual home of rock), Paris France, Madrid Spain. In 2019, Download returns to Melbourne and will head north to serve up a mammoth line up of sonic brutality and great times to Sydneysiders for the very first time!
So, which heavyweight heroes will be powering the mosh pits in 2019… you better be sitting down…
Kicking off with a lash of bittersweetness… Ozzy Osbourne and Slayer will be joining Download for the Australian legs of their final ever world tours, we know you all will rise and give them the send-off they both deserve….
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter Ozzy Osbourne currently in the midst of his “NO MORE TOURS 2,” has chosen Download to host his final shows in Australia! On his farewell world tour, Osbourne will celebrate more than five decades as a performer (both as a solo artist and as the lead singer of Black Sabbath which formed in 1968). These shows with his long-time collaborators Zakk Wylde (Guitar), Blasko (Bass), Tommy Clufetos (Drums) and Adam Wakeman (Keyboards) follow headlining solo dates and festival performances in North America, Mexico, South America, and Europe. We are honored he has chosen Download to host his final show in Australia!
In January, thrash titans Slayer devastated metalheads across the globe, announcing they were calling it a day, along with a mammoth goodbye world tour. After thirty-seven years, twelve studio albums and countless shows, Slayer’s place in music history is secure as one of The Big Four (alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax): they helped define the thrash-metal genre. Even amongst peers of that quality, Grammy Award winning Slayer still proudly stand alone and remain one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history. With Tom Araya’s unmistakable vocal, Kerry King and Gary Holt’s slaughtering guitar riffs, and Paul Bostaph’s hostile drums, and nasty as fuck lyrics, Slayer continue to whip their fans into anarchistic, antichrist fuelled frenzies unmatched by any other act on the planet. Not many bands can add being banned from the Hollywood Palladium for twenty-five years to their resume! This coming March, Slayer will land at Download fearlessly, aggressively and without contrition!
There are few heavy metal bands that have managed to scale the heights that Judas Priest have during their 40-year career. Formed in the early ’70s in Birmingham, England, Priest were one of the first metal bands to exclusively wear leather and studs – a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metal heads throughout the world. Judas Priest went on to change the face of heavy metal. A 2010 Grammy Award win for ‘Best Metal Performance, a 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, the current album ‘Firepower’ released in March 2018 has become the highest charting album of their career plus scorching their way around the world in sell out shows on the Firepower tour has cemented the presence and influence of Judas Priest at an all-time high!
Over the course of their remarkable career, Alice In Chains have garnered multiple Grammy nominations, sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and amassed a diehard international fanbase whose members number in the millions. They remain one of the most successful and influential American rock bands of all time. Touring in support of recently released album ‘Rainer Fog’ which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock, Alternative and Hard Music Charts and No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Album Chart. The album, which is the band’s first in five years, has been drawing rave reviews from fans and critics alike, with Kerrang! writing, “it’s prime Alice In Chains and the work of a band still managing to hit new peaks of their powers.”Uproxx wrote that the album “boasts undeniable energy and rhythm,” Loudwire praised the band for “still making music that holds up to their legacy” and Q Magazine lauded the quartet for “juggling power and poignancy like masters.”
Ghost are a Grammy® Award-winning rock band from Linköping, Sweden. The bands critically acclaimed third full length, Meliora and its accompanying EP Popestar, elevated the Swedish rock band into the pantheon of rock greats and resulted in a Grammy Award for ‘Best Metal Performance’. Their current album Prequelle delves into the plague, the apocalypse, and dark ages – with a stage show to match. Entertainment Weekly declared them: “One of the most dynamic loud bands on the planet.” Fans have come along for the ride for years, not knowing for certain who was behind the anonymous band…Not to be missed!
For 18 years, Rise Against has kept their moral compass steady, using their international punk platform to speak out for social justice. After two successful underground releases, 2001’s ‘The Unraveling’ and 2003’s ‘Revolutions per Minute’, the activist, straight edge, vegetarians catapulted into the mainstream with 2004’s ‘Siren Song of the Counter Culture’ and have never looked back! Their 8th studio LP, 2017’s ‘Wolves’, like all Rise Against records, tackles political struggles alongside personal ones, creating songs as complex as their fans, and is about recognizing the power within all of us; it’s a primal call for the prey to become the hunters, delivered in their signature mix of hardcore punk and melodic hardcore.
The Amity Affliction will be landing at Download off the back of their fourth consecution ARIA #1, for their latest LP ‘Misery’. Gympie’s much-loved metalcore sons are loved for their passion, integrity and unflinching honesty. Their latest release weaving electronic elements and even bolder hooks into their signature sound, reinventing the bands anthemic songs. Amity have carved out an international career off the back of their raw, exposing lyrics, wrapped in a package that allows fans to take in the heaviness, still leaving with a smile on their face. They are without a doubt one of Australia’s most successful heavy music exports, sold out world tours and heavy music press favourites, with the three videos from the new record – which form part one, two and three of a short film written and co-directed by frontman Joel Birch – already clocking over 1.5 million views to date!
It’s rare that a career gets a second shot, let alone a whole second act, but then Anthrax isn’t your average band. Formed in New York in 1981, the group that would go on to sell over ten million records and become the living embodiment of America’s hi-top wearing, riff-spitting, ear-thrashing answer to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal has undergone not one, but two complete eras – but that isn’t their real achievement. More than the group who let a fledgling Metallica crash on their studio floor in 1983, who became a lightning rod for geekdom by immortalizing Judge Dredd with “I Am The Law” in 1987, who enthusiastically raised a middle finger to the critics and unimaginative fans alike by collaborating with rappers Public Enemy in 1991, and who – in 2011 with the release of ‘Worship Music’ – proved that classic albums aren’t a bygone concept, the story of Anthrax is one of gritty determination in the face of outrageous odds, and one of the Big Four alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica!
Since their inception in 1998, Pennsylvanian rockers Halestorm have toured extensively with a diverse variety of artists, including Eric Church, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, ZZ Top and Evanescence. They made history when their hit single ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ ascended to No. 1 at Active Rock radio in the U.S, making Halestorm the first-ever female-fronted group to earn the top spot on the format. They’ve played toured the world and performed at festivals like Taste of Chaos and Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. The band scored a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2013, and front woman Lzzy Hale was named the ‘Dimebag Darrell Shredder of the Year’ at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in 2016. Both Halestorm and The Strange Case of… were certified Gold, further evidencing Halestorm’s massively supportive fanbase. Halestorm’s latest album Vicious was released on July 27 2018, and debuted at #16 on the ARIA chart, their highest position to date in Australia!
Polish death metal band Behemoth are no strangers to blasphemy. Over the course of the last 27 years, they’ve pushed the boundaries of black metal and heresy alike. Behemoth has been pivotal in the establishment of the Polish extreme underground metal scene. Time and again, the government of their native Poland has charged them with various “crimes” such as tearing upBibleble onstage in 2007 and using the Polish coat of arms on a Behemoth t-shirt in 2017. We welcome their sacrilege with open arms to Download 2019!
For the uninitiated, punk super-group and cover band extraordinaire Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consists of Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the guitar, Scott Shiflett (Face to Face), on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, and are rounded out by Jay Bentley (Bad Religion) and incomparable crooner Spike Slawson (The Re-Volts and Uke-Hunt). Together, they are an outfit that has always operated more like a beer-hall Pussycat Dolls than a regular mortal band—contain so much hot air, so much pomp, so much attitude, that it’s a wonder that these guys can still manage to pull their five individual tour buses into the same parking lot, put their differences aside and belt out the ballads without clawing each other’s eyes out. But they do, for the love of the fans, the music, and of course, the applause. Be it Motown, Country, show tunes, Japanese Pop (sung in Japanese!), these seasoned punk rock pros have triumphed on every occasion in a way only the Gimmes could!
Certain moments in life change everything. The trajectory splinters, and there’s no turning back. Detroit post-hardcore outfit I Prevail, are no strangers to this experience. After the release of the band’s 2014 debut EP, Heart vs. Mind, nothing would ever be the same. The EP moved over 100,000 copies as the band toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire. Meanwhile, the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ sold 300,000-plus singles, went Top 20 on Active Rock Radio, and generated over 22 million views on YouTube and 17 million-plus Spotify streams. Everything aligned and set the stage perfectly their debut full-length, ‘Lifelines’, merging entrancing hooks and a powerful and pummelling sonic backdrop, it debuted at #3 on Alternative Albums, #4 Hard Music Albums, #5 Rock Albums, #9 Top Album, and #15 on the Billboard Top 200, and a nomination for Breakthrough Artists in 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards. 2017 saw them with a summer-long main stage slot on the Vans Warped tour, and 2018 sees them land, full pelt on Download!
After forming in Massachusetts in 1990, metal core architects Converge made their debut with 1994’s ‘Halo in a Haystack’. Quickly regarded as pioneers within the aggressive music arena, the band had a major breakthrough with 2001’s seminal album ‘Jane Doe’, a release praised as “iconic” by the A.V. Club. In November last year they released their ninth studio album ‘The Dusk In Us’, five years in the making, to glowing reviews, satiating a hungry fanbase who continue embraced them as one of the most love cult bands on the planet!
Back in the mire of the early nineties, from somewhere beneath a pile of wallet chains and cut-off army pants Frenzal Rhomb, emerged, their white suburban fingers clutching onto goon casks and bucket bongs and other appropriate paraphernalia. Before too long those fingers wrote riffs and those riffs became songs and their voices sung rhyming swear words in perfect(ish) three-part harmony. Come 2018, nine LP’s and countless sweaty shows later, the most hospitalised band in the world (Seriously, everything from broken drumming arms and detached guitar-playing retinas to an actual pig-borne tapeworm in the lead singer’s brain), have confirmed they’ll be performing at Download Festival 2019!
Whether it’s because of their from-the-heart lyrics, their warm and welcoming stage presence, or their undying support for the local music scene, Luca Brasi truly are the rock n roll brothers we all wish we had. 2017 saw the Tasmanians hit the road to play the biggest shows of their career; multiple sold out headlining runs, as well as doing the festival circuit with Laneway, Splendour In The Grass and Falls! In a time where everyone is focusing on what they’re missing out on, Luca Brasi are continuing to take us to school, putting something out into the universe to say thank you for what they have!
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Code Orange breaks any mould and refuses to be easily defined. Garnering a Grammy nomination for the title track off of their most recent album, Forever, the band continues to seek to obtain the unobtainable. Pushing against every boundary, shedding every label, they have quickly become known as one of the most exciting bands in hardcore/metal music.
Andy Black, the solo project from frontman and founding member of Black Veil Brides, Andy Biersack, carves a brash new path for a bold singer. A reverently classic, yet defiantly modern shot of melodic adrenaline across the bow of pop music and pop culture. It’s reminiscent of the smartest and biggest hits of the past with a forward-thinking observational heft, born from what is quickly becoming one of the most distinctive voices in modern rock music. A living, breathing, walking tale of ambition and perseverance, grew up in the Midwest and moved to Hollywood at 18 to pursue his passions in the creative arts and the art of rock n’ roll!
In 2018, the United States of America feels ripe for a musical uprising. Divided more than ever in its 242-year history over systemic issues of immigration, race, class warfare, inequality, and misogyny, the time for change is now. Californian hardcore punk outfit The Fever 333 are ready to lead the charge. Comprised of vocalist Jason Aalon Butler [ex-letlive.], drummer Aric Improta (Night Verses), and guitarist Stephen Harrison (ex-the Chariot), the Los Angeles trio lock and load gnashing guitars, guttural beats, and brazenly bold bars and then pull the trigger on a hard-hitting hybrid of hip-hop, punk, and activism.
Baltimore co-ed feminist hardcore-punk band War On Women were born screaming at the world, formed in 2011 from a solid foundation of driving riffs and in your face vocals that attack the listener both sonically and lyrically! Penning catchy and confrontational songs that touch on rape culture, street harassment, the gender wage gap, transphobia, and other vitally pertinent social issues. They have been touring relentlessly since the release of their debut self-titled full LP in 2015. War On Women are neither a crew of young bucks nor a contagion of seasoned legends. They don’t fit neatly into metalloid machismo or hulking hardcore tropes. They have nothing to prove, and there’s nothing more delightfully dangerous than that.
You witnessed the brutality of High Tension at Download last year, since then, they have been basking in the release glow of their critically acclaimed third LP, ‘Purge’, continuing to tramp their charismatic chaos to stages around the country, led by the rancorous screaming vocals of frontwoman Karina Utomo! We are beyond stoked to have their fierce metal back to obliterate Download 2019, after a record like that, how could we not!
Melbourne hardcore band Outright, led by one of the countries favourite frontwomen in heavy music, Jelena Goluza, who is totally unrivalled in her thirst for strength, equality and justice, join Download off the back of the release of their new EP, ‘Holler’. Since their formation in 2010, one thing has remained unwavering in Outright’s presence and impact: their passion for the music that they make and the ideas they support!
From the darkest realms of Tasmania, comes the beast that is Ruins. Formed in 2004, Ruins’ journey has been one that exhibits passion and dedication to their craft – dark, heavy and extreme music. The five-piece band from Hobart have rightfully earned their reputation as being one of the most distinctive, dark, and heavy acts in the country. The sheer raw and primal nature of their music is hard-hitting, bleak and will have you windmilling in no time.
Since Alien Weaponry released their debut album ‘Tū in June 2018, fans, bloggers, the music industry and the media worldwide have raved about the trio’s unique blend of thrash metal and their native language, Te Reo Māori, earning them the deserved title of heavy music’s ‘Next Big Thing’. The band toured Australia and Europe in the second half of 2018, where they sold out venues and attracted record numbers to stages at Wacken Open Air (Germany), MetalDays (Slovenia), Bloodstock (UK) and other festivals. Their single ‘Kai Tangata’ has spent 3 months in the no. 1 slot on the Liquid Metal show’s Devil’s Dozen, broadcast by New York based Sirius FM and syndicated throughout the USA. In 2017, the teenagers from the tiny town of Waipu in Northland won the prestigious APRA Maioha award in New Zealand for their song ‘Raupatu. They were also finalists at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
TICKETS TO DOWNLOAD
Max tickets per transaction – 10
Payment methods – VISA and MasterCard
Optus Perks Presale: 9 am AEDT, Friday September 21 – 12 am Saturday, September 22.
GP On Sale: 9 am (AEDT), Wednesday, September 26
GA $189 + BFs (including Optus Presale)
RIP VIEWING PLATFORM EXPERIENCE: MELBOURNE – $379 + BFs
Take your Download 2019 experience up a few notches. Forget VIP, you can RIP!
RIP FESTIVAL BAR EXPERIENCE: SYDNEY – $299 + BFs
Take your Download 2019 experience up a few notches. Forget VIP, you can RIP!
DOUBLE DOWN(LOAD) TICKET: $360 + BFs
Want more Ozzy? Need more Slayer? Then why not double down on your Download experience with the Double Down(load) ticket.
With a Double Down(load) ticket you won’t have to miss a thing with discounted general admission entry to both Download Sydney on Saturday 9 March 2019 AND Download Melbourne on Monday 11 March 2019 (Labour Day Public Holiday). It’s a long weekend after all, so why not make the most of Download 2019!
Exclusive pre-sale for Optus customers, thanks to Optus Perks from 9am, Friday September 21 until 12am Saturday September 22. For more information on how to purchase, visit optusperks.com.au or download My Optus App today.
SLAYER | JUDAS PRIEST | ALICE IN CHAINS
GHOST | RISE AGAINST | THE AMITY AFFLICTION | ANTHRAX
HALESTORM | BEHEMOTH | ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES
I PREVAIL | CONVERGE | FRENZAL RHOMB | LUCA BRASI
CODE ORANGE | ANDY BLACK | THE FEVER 333
WAR ON WOMEN | HIGH TENSION | OUTRIGHT
RUINS | ALIEN WEAPONRY
PLUS LOADS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!
With thanks to Warner Australia, we have a few copies of HALESTORM’s new album VICIOUS to giveaway.
All you have to do is tell us in 25 words or less. What your favorite HALESTORM song is and why?
With less than a week before HALESTORM unleash their new album VICIOUS onto the unsuspecting world. Casper had a great in-depth chat about the journey of VICIOUS with ax-man JOE HOTTINGER .
Out July 27 on Atlantic Records, Vicious will feature 12 brand-new tracks, including the freshly released “Do Not Disturb.”
An unapologetically provocative track, “Do Not Disturb” features heavy instrumentals in collaboration with unwavering vocals backed by confidence and power. Additionally, the new song features a glitchy video reminiscent of mid-2000s video game animation. You can watch the video for “Do Not Disturb” below.
The band previously released “Uncomfortable” and “Black Vultures,” both of which will appear on Vicious, their first full-length since 2015’s Into The Wild Life.
You can pre-order VICIOUS here
1. Black Vultures
5. Do Not Disturb
7. Killing Ourselves yo Live
8. Heart of Novocaine
10. White Dress
12. The Silence
Do Not Disturb
Killing Ourselves to Live
Heart of Novocaine
Reviewed by Casper
If the phrase ‘highly anticipated’ could ever be aptly applied to a musical release then surely Viscous from Halestorm would be the perfect subject. With their swarming global hoard of fans increasing in number with every live appearance and most in the music world ever thankful that sibling angst was expressed in rock music rather than broken Barbies and firmly lodged Lego’s there is a special rejoicing in the hearts heavy rock aficionados with the arrival of this powerhouse collection. In any case, to those who have gazed on in bewildered awe at Lzzy Hale performing in her sensational signature style, the thought of a young lass at play with a Barbie creates a certain confusion, as does the concept that Arejay Hale was ever at play with anything other than a drum kit, let alone Lego. Visions of the latter squatting on the drums stool, flying around in mid-air or belting the kit with oversized sticks come rushing to the fore, as does Lzzy punishing her signature Explorer and summoning superhuman screams seldom heard this far north of the hot place. Cherished memories of her flanked by the brilliant Joe Hottinger leading the ‘Storm’ from guitar and magnificent Josh Smith providing the bass backbone leap forward instantly as the first track Black Vultures is ushered in with a chilling series of quotes from our daughter of darkness escalating like a vulture taking flight and culminating soaring and sensational track launching scream. Of course, only those who have pre-ordered the album would have authorised access to this particular edition of this mighty opener as the official audio released to YouTube begins a trifle more sedately, albeit still with overwhelming approval from listeners.
It must be firmly stated from the outset of this superb album that the Midas touch of Nick Raskulinecz is at play and that is evident from the very outset. It seems perfectly natural that after his production work on Reanimate 3.0: The Covers EP that Nick would produce a subsequent album and to me at least, that opportunity lost would have been a tremendous shame. Nick has the tremendous ability to aurally capture the spirit of a band during a live performance, then toil tirelessly until that same essence is replicated in the studio. His work with Mastodon, Black Star Riders, 10 Years, Korn, Alice in Chains, and Sleeping With Sirens are just a few that bear the hallmark of his particular style.
It is my hope that Halestorm fans will be thrilled to know that Vicious is no exception to his signature style and whether it be my personal love for this band and familiarity with their work guiding me to a heightened state of excitement, this collection launches me right back to each stage front encounter with this incredible band.
The same chills in my blood as I witness that Lzzy’s scream is no trick of production, nor her guitar skill a product of Pro Tools. That same thrill that takes your breath away as Joe makes you feel the guitar right through to your soul, or the particular magical style that Arejay provides you stage front when replacing your pulmonary rhythm with his percussive prompts. The same amazement comes flooding back as the first time you saw Josh bringing the bass to life, the backing vocals to bear and realising what a sensational performer he is in his own right. All the emotion and every ounce of the thrill that is a Halestorm show is replicated brilliantly on this release. Many will realise immediately what Halestorm and Nick have managed to achieve and many will not realise until their Halestorm ‘live show cherry’ has been obliterated and they become bona fide Freak like me. This takes nothing away from the work of Bobby Huff and Jay Joyce on previous releases, nor the extensive and splendid work of Howard Benson over the years, but Vicious takes the music of Halestorm to the perfect next level. They have bottled the live show and packaged it ready to take home to relive the excitement all over again but with the added thrill of new music and new favorites. One has visions of Vicious LP’s and CD’s all trembling on the music store racks, bursting with appeal and ready to blast you (and your neighbors presumably) into the next stage of Halestorm evolution and global dominance. So hold onto your hat, because here comes an astonishing collection of brilliant new tracks from Halestorm, but be warned that it is aptly named. Nothing this Vicious is for the faint of heart, soul nor sans intestinal fortitude. Ferocious.
Just like our album opener, Uncomfortable is another early teaser that has enjoyed overwhelming success but nestled right in the middle of these is the astonishing track Skulls, that is guaranteed to have listeners left mouth agape and eyes like frisbees. This little gem takes you by surprise from the very outset with exclamations of WTF as a single style struggles for dominance, each note bridges the tracks elements to perfection and astonishingly, from every instrument and monotone never sounded so f*&king appealing. Holy hell. The song is an amazing kaleidoscope musical styles and simultaneously a revolving stage bringing each band member to the fore of performance. Josh is the star of the show on bass throughout but each in turn, like a carousel of clandestine contributors shot into the spotlight, Arejay takes over with the drums, Joe brings the guitar into the light and then the soaring, splendiferous vocal range of Lzzy takes command. This will have your head spinning in maniacal glee. But rest assured that there are more hooks than an angler’s headdress and elements of appeal that will have you revisiting highlights of the bands back catalog. Brilliant.
Buzz is an instant hit with classic rock familiarity entwined in a blissfully unique Halestorm track and for we freaks the globe over, another track littered with opportunities to attempts to replicate Lzzy’s range. C’mon, stand up. You know who we are. Taking the opportunity when alone to sing Halestorm tracks with blood vessels bursting in your forehead and screaming so hard you suck your underwear up the obvious orifice. A sensational track and I like it.
Do Not Disturb brings Josh back into the spotlight brilliantly before assembling the band in collective brilliance and when all is perfect musically, the lyrical content, the slower pace, and vocal delivery make for as raunchy a tracks as the title may suggest. Time for some dirty work I guess.
Conflicted follows on from Do Not Disturb brilliantly from a content and delivery perspective, however, it is right about now that you are firmly committed to the belief that Halestorm has bust free of any stylistic constraints. Whether self-imposed or in response to the ruthless demand of the fan faithful, Halestorm have herein highlighted the pure skill of each band member perfectly and managed to blend new style into their signature sound. Now that is no simple feat and is seldom achieved at this level of success. Keeping intact all the elements that make their sound uniquely appealing whilst exploring new styles and sound combinations. I’m yet to ask the group how they achieved this monumental feat, but I would not be the slightest bit surprised if they just jammed and recorded the results. These are of course each lovely and very down to earth people, not the slightest bit consumed with their own importance or skill. They are satisfied with and grateful for the fact that people appreciate their music, but this album firmly establishes what amazing musicians each are and how their collective growth and appeal knows no boundaries. This is further reflected in the dark side of the album commencing with Killing Ourselves To Live as it rolls forth with malevolent instrumental overtones and the soaring, uplifting delivery of Lzzy. To hear this track live with be at the top of many a bucket list the world over and little wonder. A true Halestorm monument of rock brilliance with its tug of war between the light and the dark and an instrumental tussle for hope over anguish all culminating in an unresolved outcome of a sudden finale. Wow.
Heart Of Novocaine is one that Halestorm could take in any direction from the title alone, but I believe followers will be thrilled to know that this is a Lzzy vocal blinder with little more accompaniment than Joe on acoustic. Many an anguished heart will attach to this magnificent piece instantaneously and the raw passion and ridiculously brilliant talent of Lzzy Hale will have people, quite literally melting.
But then…oh my god, then…Painkiller lifts you from any residual funk and puts a wicked smile of your face that can only be brought about with such elation as the perfect Halestorm song at the perfect moment. Brilliant musically, vocally and lyrically. Point at your favorite two-legged analgesic and….well…you’ll get it. Wow.
White Dress is yet another style shift with previously unexplored elements introduced to the Halestorm sound. Subtle enhancements, but unmistakable and blended into the bands established style to absolute perfection. The same can be said of the title track which, very cleverly, takes the band in a new direction but with bridges nestled throughout that allow fans to take the bands hands and be guided to a new dimension of band brilliance.
The Silence is most aptly titled indeed and not merely because of beautiful acoustic accompaniment, not the lyrics alone. Your eyes will well and the air will be sucked from your lungs until you succumb to the emotive delivery by Lzzy herself and you will feel no shame in allowing the floodgates to open, and the pain we keep at bay each day, to have its moment. With the strength of Lzzy and her delivery, some healing and hope will result as well. One knows that Lzzy was not singing about them specifically but somehow she understood, sung exactly the right words, understood and took you there. Deep breath and what a way to finish this phenomenal collection. Unmistakeably Halestorm in breaking new ground and establishing a personal bond with the listener. The excitement and emotion of watching them live but with the ability to relive it over and over. Creatively a treasure trove of excitement in where Halestorm will take us over the coming years and a rare recording to cherish for years to come, but perhaps most importantly Vicious is unmistakably exciting as it bursts free of rock brilliance being a matter of opinion. Wow Halestorm, just wow.
Pre-Order VICIOUS here
Review Contributed by Casper
What an interesting evening awaits at the Corner Hotel in Richmond for the first show of Halestorm’s Australian Tour. Interesting for many reasons but leading the charge is the fact that Halestorm have been eagerly awaited by those who saw them for the first time in December 2015 and those who heard about their magnificence after the fact. And the crowd here represent a 50/50 ratio if both.
Being admirers of Lzzy and Arejay back to their teen and ten-year-old beginnings respectively, we from STM were thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm awaiting Halestorm for only their second time in Melbourne.
But we are also keenly anticipating our first exposure to Devilskin playing live. Having listened to their recordings and uploads, but simultaneously hearing tales from across the ditch of ‘you haven’t heard them until you’ve seen them live’, we couldn’t wait to bear witness.
As Devilskin tuned into action, we finally had an understanding of what this exciting band were capable of. Paul Martin and Nail were as skillful and simultaneously brutal as promised from the country afar, we hereby dub “Land Of The Long Red Beard”. Relentless riffing from one side of the stage and pounding bass rhythm from the other, these rockers are as talented musically as they are animated.
Nic at the kit needs no frowns from the front, nor a paternal scanning to maintain his discipline. Being accomplished very young, Nic paves his own and the hold the band to the beat. I’m certain Paul is nothing more than proud to be playing along with his talented offspring.
And as for Jennie Skulander you may well inquire. What a dynamic delivery with a vocal capability surpassing all expectations. Dirty vocals to angelic offerings, she is all one can desire from a malevolent metal maiden, but so much more. Absolutely captivating and in perfect precision to highlight the integral components of the live show that is Devilskin. Sadly, a show that was over all too quickly. We cannot wait to see Devilskin performing live and hope they will not be strangers on the West Island. The highlights for yours truly was their performance of an obvious crowd favourite in Little Pills and a superbly performed Voices. Just astounding.
With a little adjustment and careful preparation, our ‘year and a bit’ long wait for Halestorm is over and how appreciative we are that they are back so quickly to the land of Oz.
As Lzzy took to the keyboard, a serene opener in God Bless The Beast was a welcome calm to a hot and heated venue. But with all blessed with the realisation that her voice was better than all ok. Arejay, Joe and Josh take to the stage with a warm, wailing welcome. Full steam ahead and into the Halestorm favorites of Apocalyptic, Mrs. Hyde, Love Bites and I Get Off. A dream realised to see Lzzy pounding out licks and lyrics as powerfully as ever before. And all performed just for me, surely, because she is a crowd engagement maestro. I know I wasn’t alone in feeling that sentiment. Rock Show was perfectly placed for those in the front row before small mid-set list adjustment most welcome in The Still Of The Night. Nil desperandum because we true Halestorm aficionados regularly toast the band with a Here’s To Us, but with slightly slurred vocal delivery.
A verbal description of parental support, coupled with maternal intent from Lzzy before weaving her beautiful voice through Dear Daughter. I little more Lzzy lead crowd persuasion and we are re-joined by the band for a timely rendition of I Like It Heavy. Fists to the sky and the throwing of horns brought the crowd to new heights of celebration before really testing Lzzy’s recently ill throat with I Am The Fire. In typical Halestorm fashion, Lzzy left nothing she had in reserve and gave all for an adoring audience. Mayhem was a most appropriate ending to a show and a crowd with no desire to finish. We had enjoyed the Arejay’s big stick display (no double entendre intended) along with his soaring 10-minute solo display. We enjoyed the bass brilliance of Josh who made the journey for us, probably with a longing desire to be on the home front instead watching a growing tum. We appreciate it very much, Josh. Joe Hottinger played and performed sensationally with not a lick out of place and, most remarkably, every note and every guitar highlight from each track recording, included perfectly for the live show. Very rare indeed. And our dearest Lzzy….just astonishing. How Halestorm aren’t booked for Rod Laver Arena remains a mystery to me, but if they will do us the honour yet again, there’s always next year. Thank you, Halestorm and thank you Devilskin. Performances like tonight are those difficult to bet on witnessing, but with Halestorm, and I now certain Devilskin, you’re safe in the knowledge that you’re in for a hell of a show. Travel safely dear friends.
HALESTORM – REANIMATE 3.0: THE COVERS EP
Released: Jan 06, 2017
℗ 2017 Atlantic Recording
Otherwise known as – Halestorm causes Casper to lapse into some obscene vernacular. Again.
What perfect timing for Halestorm to release a covers EP. Just when we are recovering from the relentless aural assault of All I Want For Christmas, seemingly now a tradition around yuletide…many months around yuletide ensuring that the ear piercing G5 has no sooner left us and its back with a vengeance. And we do bear witness to some interesting attempts at the high notes from the vast horde of those willing to ‘Mariah up’ in the festive spirit but are sadly left lacking the lyrical lobules, or failing to remain abreast of skills required. Nevertheless, Halestorm and their latest collection of covers are welcome relief and music to the ears. (Truth be known, I actually want to hear a Lzzy Hale ‘All I Want For Christmas’…Shhh!)
I am certain that we are all acutely aware of the fact that recording covers is a risky business. Those in the Halestorm ‘know’ are also cognisant of the bands history, experience, knowledge and prowess. Like yours truly, we ‘freaks’ feel nothing but the utmost excitement with the news of new release of any description from our beloved Halestorm. This particular EP is no exception to that rule, save for the awareness that some heavy hitters are represented on this collection, so there will be the unavoidable barrage from abusive purists, all appalled at the breaking of the mould. But it’s within the heart of that very argument that Halestorm unfurl their true genius and musical excellence. Our sensational, rocking siblings are no newcomers to the familiar taste of poison, and merged with the melodious mastery and equanimity of Joe and Josh, will veritably just do what Halestorm do in the face any adversity, namely rock, bewilder and amaze. Lzzy and Arejay have matured together, musically and metaphorically, forming a shining example of ‘we are going to rock you and overcome any obstacle to do so’. Although they may remove a few verbal niceties and add the odd expletive.
So, nay-saying-skeptics, save your breath because Halestorm are so acclimatised, they actually miss the misery and may even get off on you.
This EP is a masterclass in the mysterious and elusive art of successfully celebrating the original protagonist, doing justice with every note and yet absolutely ‘owning’ their cover version by entwining their own unique sound and nuances until reaching symbiotic perfection.
Intensely, ferociously and immediately Lzzy takes us verbally by the goodies and actually creates a feeling of swelling excitement in my chest with her astonishing vocal ability. I tried to keep composed and the increasing feeling of glee contained, but as Joe, Josh and Arejay join in at the four-second mark, I freely confess a loud exclamation of ‘FUCK YEAH’ could be contained no further. Ah…ahem…excuse me. I’ll try that again. Lzzy continues to impress with her astonishing vocal power and range, and accompanied by her band of tremendously gifted artists………..(blah, blah, blady blah)
No. No, no, no, no, no. I’m only four seconds in and already sell Halestorm short without a review full of “fuck it”, “fuck yeah”, “rock n fucken roll”, “fucking awesome shit, fuck me Halestorm fucken rule’ all typed with one fucken hand because I’ve got my fist to the sky and throwin’ my horns.
Phew…ok. Sorry. I stopped typing because the aforementioned sensation did not cease through all six offerings, repeated five times. I’m calmer now and beg your forgiveness for my uninhibited and rather vulgar outburst. The fact is that those who have witnessed Halestorm performing live will be whisked back to that thrilling experience with the opening lyrics to Still Of The Night and their sensational delivery throughout this track will have you longing, yearning for the next time you can be at the rock show, you’ll be right in the front row. A Halestorm cover of Still Of The Night by Whitesnake results in a personal ‘be still my heart’.
A calm of sorts awaits in the Sophie B Hawkins hit I Wish I Was Your Lover. Calm, yes, but not a surprise because Halestorm have always been capable of the most magnificent displays of diversity and genre blending in their music. They master all genres as truly magnificent musicians. It’s just that most of the time they like it heavy.
I Hate Myself For Loving You (Joan Jett and The Blackhearts) takes us by the scruff of the neck and pulls you rock-wards in the most seductive manner. It struts, is teases and it wiggles its leather clad ass, luring us back into the gritty raw rock and roll. Um… metaphorically speaking. Pardon me, I was thinking aloud again. (Internal dialogue shut up) Just brilliantly executed, but again, taking nothing, borrowing nil and doubling not an ounce, except the beating heart of rock and roll. A tracks rebirth, but to multiple mothers as a blending of the excellence of both bands and their individual sound. A new daughter of darkness?
The Halestorm cover of Heathens by Twenty One Pilots is absolutely sensational as a nod to the original protagonists and their excellent tracks, but afforded a balanced rock edge blessing in its second coming. (Don’t be offended. No reference to Christianity there. Remember? I’m your friend and all your friends are…) The balance of hard rock Halestorm edge and the originals blending of calm reassurance and impending doom, work tremendously. The mix is just perfect for such a range of reasons. I can wait to speak to the band and how they harnessed each track so well.
Fell On Black Days (Soundgarden) and Ride the Lightning Metallica are both extremely exciting and rewarding, but in my opinion, share a common thread of reverence to the original bands. Instrumentally, these two tracks remain quite true to the originals, whilst vocally they are ‘Lzzyfied’ beautifully. But adapted none the less. With Ride The Lightning recorded just four months after Lzzy’s birthday and Soundgarden releasing FOBD exactly ten years later, perhaps these tracks represent the rock goddess that was always growing within. Perhaps so significant in her early life rehearsals in preparation for a magnificent career, the most familiar voice, her own, dulls out the original to a degree. All the while the remainder of the band pay homage to the original legends. Or perhaps I just think about shit WAY too much. That’s ok. I’m a freak.
In reflection, Rock Show is the perfect point of reference for me in describing the effects of this thrilling ep. Rock Show from the bands 2012 album The Strange Case Of…, lyrically provided an account of feelings and atmosphere elicited by a live band performance and with ReAniMate 3.0 The CoVeRs eP, we find the tables turned and roles reversed. Rather than Lzzy vocally describing what we have all experienced in the past, or that person we know (Lynda), this time Halestorm draw out of the listener and feeling of urgency to seek out a Halestorm show to feel firsthand the power and thrill that is conjured with this work. A need rooted in experience but fed, and enhanced by the mastery of the bands existence as individual entities, and a collective force of pure rock and roll, celebrating music influential to them. This would perhaps explain the collage of multiple personalities represented on the fantastic cover art. Or that’s just the face of a freak? My most satisfying discovery is that my personal excitement in the first four-seconds, did not diminish one ounce to the end.
Produced to absolute perfection by Nick Raskulinecz, this EP is a sensational way side stop along the highway to the next maginifcent Halestorm album. Heres to us, fellow blessed recipients.
Luckily, I only must wait a week to experience the brilliance of Halestorm again in Australia and this EP heightens the excitement so much so that a week is scarcely bearable. See you next Tuesday.
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY MICKG PHOTOGRAPHY
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY MICKG PHOTOGRAPHY