Rockstar Mayhem Energy Festival 2013 feat. Rob Zombie w/Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon & Amon Amarth & more...
This year's tour will, for the first time, feature four stages - The Rockstar Energy Drink Main Stage, The Jagermeister Stage, Musicians Institute Stage and the Sumerian/Headbang For The Highway Concourse Stage which will feature local bands performing and announced in June.
Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings;January 12, 1965) is an American musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He rose to prominence as a founding member of the band White Zombie which formed in the mid-1980s and rose to fame in the early 1990s. As a solo artist, he has released four studio albums, five compilation albums, and a live album. He has expanded his career and become a director, and has directed a total of six films, the majority of which he also wrote or co-wrote. He has also released numerous brands of comic books, and appeared as an actor on numerous occasions.
Five Finger Death Punch
Las Vegas NV | Rock
Atlanta GA | Rock
Mastodon have never really done anything the “conventional” way. The Atlanta-based band formulated their own brand of highly-skilled hard rock over a decade ago when others were rehashing 80s metal, and went on to mastermind a string of complex concept albums while much of the music world was centered on making digestible singles. The fact that Mastodon has received an outpouring of critical kudos along with public praise from respected icons from Metallica to The Melvins, The Flaming Lips and CeeLo Green and back, they’ve been humbled by the magnitude of appreciation. But rather than taking time to revel, they prefer to focus their attention on pushing musical boundaries even deeper by exploring their own creative process to the fullest.
The Hunter is yet another universe bending, high energy masterpiece from the band that helped shape hard rock for the 21st century with their previous albums: Remission, Leviathan, Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye. Though each consecutive album has transcended the one before it in terms of expectations, musical innovation and sales, The Hunter is the band’s most ambitious to date. Guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor, bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders and guitarist Bill Kelliher all continue to explore the outer limits of their own imaginations and as a result, deliver an album that stands apart -- even in Mastodon terms. While their last four CDs explored complex themes rooted in earth’s elements, The Hunter is more about following one’s free will than a particular storyline. “We’ve always had this umbrella or a theme that we’ve written everything under,” says Troy. “To us, it made sense as one cohesive story. This time, we freed ourselves up to try something new. It was really the next step for us, and I’m glad we took it.”
That new-found spontaneity can be felt throughout The Hunter, from the melodic yet pummeling “Blasteroid” to the frenetic, muscled single “Curl the Burl.” The album is full of surprises—from melodic, close harmonies to downright demonic growls—but predictably, the musicianship is leagues beyond what anyone would expect to find on such a hard-hitting album. The Hunter is also the band’s most emotionally charged record to date, largely due to the difficult events that surrounded its making. Tragically, Brent Hinds’ brother died of a heart attack in December of 2010 while on a hunting trip. Not long after, a friend of the bands died after a drawn out battle with cancer. “There were a lot of stressful things going on while we were making this record,” says Brann. “I wanted to ignore all the stress, which felt like it was threatening our band’s existence. We were kind of waiting to see where everything landed. But Brent didn’t want to sit and wallow in it. He wanted to do the exact opposite. So we started coming up with all these really triumphant moments for the record. It was like, fist up in the air. Like fuck that – here we go.” And they dedicated the album to Hinds brother, an avid hunter.
The material for the record was largely written on the road when the band was touring with Alice in Chains, and was recorded between Los Angeles and Atlanta over a 6 week period earlier this year. Continuing their tradition of breaking tradition, Mastodon decided to team up with Mike Elizondo, a highly respected producer more synonymous with hip hop than metal. “After meeting him and hearing his ideas and unique perspective on our band we thought ’This could be really interesting,”” says Brent. “We’re all about doing things that other people don’t, so let’s do an album with the guy who just worked with 50 Cent and Eminem. How crazy is that? We always try and embrace the unexpected.” And again, Mastodons penchant for taking risks paid off.
The Hunter is at once space age yet earthy, aggressive but thoughtful, articulate and guttural. The guitar work here is, of course, masterful as always, as is the band’s ability to flip musical directions on a dime. All of Mastodon contributed to writing the album, and Sanders is now singing on considerably more than on previous recordings (“I never thought I’d be one of the main vocalists . . . on any record,” he laughs.) Following some fine vocal performances on the last album Dailor’s role also as a contributing vocalist has become more prominent on The Hunter as well, adding even greater freedom to the sonic textures and overall expansiveness inherent of the new album.
As an example of the themes behind some of the new songs? They’re best described first hand by Brent and Brann:
Brann on “Curl of the Burl” : It’s about meth heads in the woods of West Virginia who look for certain types of knots in a tree. That would be the curl of the burl. They cut it out of the tree, drive it into town, sell it to furniture makers then go buy more meth. It’s like crackheads who steal copper from Lowes and sell it. We really couldn’t think of a better subject matter. It fascinated us.
Brent on “Blasteroid”: It was the name of a video game that was in the studio where we recorded. We thought it was hilarious—asteroids mixed with hemorrhoids. It had this crazy star that crapped out these asteroid looking thingees. So we mixed that ridiculous name with this sugary melody, then pushed it all up against, uh, somewhat aggressive lyrics. [Sings] ’I wanna break some fucking glass, I wanna drink some fucking blood . . .’ Fun stuff.
Brann on “Stargasm”: It’s about having sex in space, or maybe not in space, just great sex where the orgasm brings you into space. When we sing ’You’re on fire!,” I imagine swirling flames around these two people enjoying this sexual experience so good that they end up in outer space. Very Barbarella.
Brent on “The Sparrow”: It’s about Susie Polay our accountant’s wife, who passed away of stomach cancer when we were recording the album. Her motto was pursue happiness with diligence, and that motto became the lyrics to the song. It’s such a pretty song, and it’s so sorrowful as well. It’s in her memory and for her husband Robert, to pass on her inspiration to the listener.
One of the many ways in which Mastodon challenged itself on The Hunter was in simplifying their otherwise complex way of making music. In the past the band thrived on squeezing as much as possible in one space, and then making sense of it. With this record, they challenged themselves to pare back and let the songs breath on their own. The result is an album where sublime interludes prove just as powerful as dense layers of sound. “Our last album Crack The Skye, was such a deep, long record,” says Bill. “It was very heavy. We thought let’s make a spontaneous record based off music that comes off our fingertips in the moment. We didn’t over think it—like Hey, we gotta really dazzle the kids! It’s like let’s not over do it. Just let it fall naturally, and we did.”
By following their instincts, Mastodon has come up with the best record of their career. But then, should we really be all that surprised? Their slow-growing trajectory from flat-broke obscurity to the stages of Coachella, Europe’s Sonisphere and Bonnaroo which has presented Mastodon to an inordinately eclectic cross-section of music fans who have embraced the band as much as any audience who are more interested in the quality of the music rather then fall into the trappings of narrow-mined genre dwellers. This is the result of taking the road less traveled with nothing more than their instincts—and love of a good riff—to guide them. “We can never go in the studio saying we’re gonna make a heavy record because that’s what people expect,” says Brann. “Or a progressive record, because that’s what they want to hear. You can talk all day about what you’ll do artistically, but once you sit down and it starts coming out, you find out it’s not really in your control. Things move in the direction they move in -- much like life. It might not go the way you want, but that’s when great things come out that you had no idea were there. That’s when you tap the unexpected.”
Stockholm Sweden | Rock
Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band from Tumba, Sweden founded in 1992. It takes its name from the Sindarin name of Mount Doom, a volcano in J. R. R. Tolken's Middle-earth. Their lyrics mostly deal with the Vikings, their mythology and their history. The band comprises vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderbergbassist Ted Lundstrom and drummer Fredrik Andersson. Amon Amarth has released eight studio albums, one EP, one DVD, and seven music videos.
Oakland CA | Rock
How do you create a masterpiece of modern metal? Is it a conscious effort on the part of the artists or is it something more organic – a confluence of events and moods, emotions and mechanics that all come together in the right place at the right time? That’s the question that comes to mind upon the first listen to Machine Head’s sixth studio album The Blackening. Guitars rip, drums pound, bass thunders and lyrics resonate as the Bay Area quartet soars past the bar set by its critically-lauded predecessor Through the Ashes of Empires. If Empires was the sounding of the trumpet, then The Blackening is the arrival of the hordes: dense, aggressive and inescapable.
Produced once again by singer/guitarist Robb Flynn (Roadrunner United, Machine Head) and mixed by Colin Richardson (Bullet For My Valentine, Funeral For A Friend), The Blackening pushes the band’s groundbreaking sound farther than it’s ever gone before. Challenging themselves and each other to write a record that would demolish all of their boundaries, the band has delivered 60 minutes of the most structurally complex and technical material that Machine Head have ever recorded. Three-part guitar and bass harmonies, dueling solos, and savage thrash intricacy, sit alongside soaring three-part vocal harmonies, ultimately crashing head first into bludgeoning, Neanderthal riffage. “Pushing ourselves came pretty naturally for us with The Blackening. After writing songs like 'Imperium', 'Vim' and 'Days Turn Blue To Gray' on the last album, we felt really comfortable magnifying the complexity of our songs and it really shows on this album", exclaims drummer Dave McClain, and that fact becomes brilliantly obvious after listening to just the first few minutes of album opener “Clenching the Fists of Dissent”. Yet, those “first few minutes” are merely a portion of what the ten-minute epic has in store for the listener, serving both literally and figuratively as the war cry for the record and setting the stage for the colossal statement that is The Blackening.
Fighting alongside the band’s monstrous musical effort are Robb’s gritty, streetwise lyrics which teeter effortlessly between brutal metal shouting and lush, melodic singing. Going from what has recently been a more introspective focus, the words that grace The Blackening return to the socially-conscious narrative so prevalent throughout their earlier albums, focusing heavily on issues that touch one and all. “The nature of the times during the writing of this album led to a very dismal atmosphere throughout… this is far and away the darkest material that we’ve ever written” states Flynn. With lyrics that refuse to tread lightly when it comes to politics, war and organized religion, Robb spits anger and disdain in the truest spirit of the angst that fueled early 80's punk rock. Songs such as the aforementioned opener “Clenching the Fists of Dissent”, the massive “Halo” and epic album closer “A Farewell To Arms” attest to that fact.
Continuing the theme, “Aesthetics of Hate” captures the bands anger towards a story that surfaced right after the tragic death of Dimebag Darrell that bashed both the legendary guitarist and the metal community as a whole. “Now I Lay Thee Down” plays like a twisted Romeo & Juliet with its own ugly ending. “Slanderous” addresses the hate and name-calling that still permeates throughout society, even in today’s "PC" climate. “Beautiful Mourning” speaks to the lowest of low points in a life, while “Wolves” references the strength and power of the pack, speaking to Machine Head’s rabid fans as well as the band itself.
And with good reason; to witness Machine Head live is to understand both their unique internal chemistry and the undeniable bond that the band shares with its audience. With a performance that has been honed and strengthened through nearly nine years of non-stop worldwide touring, Machine Head are touted by many as the best live band in metal. Oftentimes one can barely hear the band perform over the din of the audience singing along to favorites, new and old alike. Tickets for the band’s recent sold-out U.K. tour elicited bids in excess of $300 per pair on eBay and had bootleggers selling rip-offs of frontman Robb Flynn's coveted "FUCT" stage T-shirt.
One can fully appreciate the band's current level of success by looking back on their less-than-glamorous beginnings. From beer-fueled rehearsals in a small Oakland, CA. warehouse that they shared with 4 punk rock bands, to playing their first house and kegger parties, to local shows (some members not even old enough at the time to get into the 21+ clubs they were booked in) with the likes of Rancid, Deftones and Napalm Death. To spread the word, they took guerrilla marketing into their own hands, relentlessly flyering high schools and stickering unsuspecting cars at metal and punk shows. The band’s first demo - recorded for $800 in a friend’s bedroom, with their amps in the bathroom - was a very rough estimation of their burgeoning sound: a combination of the aggression of metal and punk, and the social anger of urban rap, intertwined with hypnotic Alice In Chains-esque vocal harmonies. It was this demo that eventually made it into the hands of Roadrunner Records, setting into motion the course of events that would lead to the 1994 release of their groundbreaking debut, Burn My Eyes.
Resplendent with some of the heaviest guitar tones ever heard in metal (thanks to their pioneering use of a dropped B tuning, and Peavey 5150 amplifiers – virtually unknown prior to BME) and released the same year as such seminal albums as Pantera's Far Beyond Driven, AFI’s Answer That and Stay Fashionable and In Flames' Subterranean, Burn My Eyes crashed head-first into the then-barren metal world. Critical praise overseas, combined with 17 months of non-stop touring (including 5 months with Slayer), a U.S. headline tour that had them booked at every pool hall, strip bar, and rock club in America, a European headline tour that had them booked in the very same venues in which they had just supported Slayer, Burn My Eyes went on to become the biggest-selling debut in the history of Roadrunner Records at the time, and would soon serve as the template for much of the 'metalcore' sound that dominates the aggressive music market today.
Their annihilating follow-up The More Things Change… would see the band expand upon their trademark sound, pushing the envelope even further. Several high-profile tours in America followed, including Ozzfest (which saw the band flirt with expulsion after starting an on-stage grass-throwing riot in Detroit), firmly established Machine Head as a live draw to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the bands' hard drinking reputation and dependence on alcohol and drugs began to get the best of them. Then-guitarist Logan Mader would quit the band, and Flynn would enter therapy soon afterward to deal with his own problems.
Choosing to face his demons head on, the frontman confronted his issues through his lyrics. Rather than lashing out at society, he exorcised his own personal demons, purging his psychological wounds on the emotionally-charged shockwave that was their 3rd album, The Burning Red. Flynn’s confessions on the songs "Five" and "The Burning Red" were lyrical scars torn wide open, revealing dark truths that he had yet to even share with many of his closest friends. This heightened lyrical heft lent itself to even greater musical experimentation, with the band incorporating more eccentric influences such as The Cure, and the guitar psychedelics of Jimi Hendrix into their healthy dose of metal. Bassist Adam Duce agrees, "The Burning Red was a brave and pretty bold step forward. We felt like we had kind of backed ourselves into a corner after The More Things Change…, so we decided to take some risks, screw playing it safe." The risk paid off, with The Burning Red allowing Machine Head to expand its fan base outside of the metal genre in the U.S., and abroad. Subsequent tours of the U.S., and again more dates with Slayer in such far-away places as Korea, Japan, Australia, and Europe, would take the band to previously un-scaled heights.
While the band’s 4th effort Supercharger would produce such live concert favorites as “Bulldozer” and the harrowing “Trephination” - a fact solidly reinforced on their follow-up live album HellaLive (recorded at a sold-out 5000-capacity concert at London’s Brixton Academy) - as well as include two U.S. headlining tours, their first-ever festival headlining appearance at Germany’s With Full Force Festival, and a slot at Japan’s “Beast Feast” festival, both the band and fans alike felt that Machine Head could push themselves harder, challenging themselves to forge something that was once again fresh and innovative.
Enter 2003’s Through the Ashes of Empires. Hailed by critics and fans alike as a metal masterpiece, Through the Ashes of Empires went on to become the 2nd-best selling record for Roadrunner Records Europe that year. Six months later in the Spring of 2004, the album saw its U.S. release, also via Roadrunner, The album debuted at #88 on the Billboard Top 200 (tying Machine Head's highest debut ever) and their follow-up live DVD Elegies bullied its way to #13 on the U.S. Billboard charts, and #4 on the U.K. charts. Their three U.S. headline tours of clubs and small theaters (garnering a direct support slot for Lamb Of God on select U.S. dates) and their two European headline tours of large and small theaters achieved stellar numbers, selling out nearly all shows in major markets throughout both continents. The band's European summer festival run included blistering appearances at Germany’s Rock Am Ring / Rock Am Park (as direct support to Korn and Evanescence), a show-stealing Donington performance as direct support to Slipknot and Metallica, prompting fans to vote Machine Head “Best Band of the Day” on Download's official U.K. website, and finally, a headlining slot atop Germany’s prestigious Wacken festival (with the fans once again electing Machine Head “Best Band of the Festival” on Wacken's official website), would wrap up what was nothing short of a spectacular run for the band.
Little did anyone know what they had in store… with lead guitarist Phil Demmel firmly entrenched in the ranks, and drummer Dave McClain practicing upwards of 7 hours a day, the band re-entered the studio with a near-insatiable hunger and new thirst to create. Guitarist Phil Demmel notes, “Since I was only in the band long enough to contribute to a few songs for 'Ashes', I really wanted to put a signature Flynn/Demmel stamp on this album's material. We really pushed each other with the riff interplay and the harmony solos to a high point in this bands’ history." Singer/guitarist Robb Flynn echoes that sentiment, stating that “In many ways this was the most important record of our career. We needed to make a record that was fearless in its ability to embrace, but not be limited by what we had accomplished before. All of our musical heroes have made monumental records that didn’t necessarily go with the evolution of their band; a perfect example would be The Cure from Pornography to Disintegration, or Metallica from Kill ’em All to Master of Puppets. Those bands destroyed their drawing board and reconstructed it.”
And it is that fearlessness that has allowed Machine Head to make music that is daring, true and honest. Never creating the same album twice, they’ve stuck their necks out numerous times, always looking to push the envelope just a little further. And while any time you take a risk, some results may fare better than others, there’s one thing you can always be sure of - the Machine Head album you’re listening to is the album they wanted to create. Compromise has never been an option for Machine Head. With The Blackening, that same creed of indomitable passion and unflinching sincerity has brought us the genuine article, having yet again set a new high watermark for themselves as well as the genre. And don’t let the name fool you… The Blackening is, without a doubt, Machine Head’s brightest moment.
Children Of Bodom
Espoo Finland | Rock
Formed in 1993 in Espoo, Finland, CHILDREN OF BODOM has built a rock solid reputation as a one of the best pure metal bands in the world. The band's name is derived from the infamous Lake Bodom murders, which took place in Finland in 1960. Originally named Inearthed (with a series of demos to their name), COB can be as downright brutal as any metal band when the situation demands. But what places this band at the pinnacle of the pack is the way it can suddenly dish up huge swathes of melody and instantly memorable choruses with an unmatched degree of musicianship that has seen vocalist / guitarist Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho and his cohorts grace the covers of musician magazines around the globe.
In the time since its formation, CHILDREN OF BODOM has recorded and released six full length studio albums (Something Wild (1997), Hatebreeder (1999), Follow the Reaper (2000) Hate Crew Deathroll (2003), Are You Dead Yet? (2005) and Blooddrunk (2008) as well as a full album of the band’s favorite cover tunes (2009’s Skeletons in the Closet). With each subsequent album, the band has honed and perfected its unique sound and today stand tall in metal’s pantheon. Long known for employing a lighthearted musical modus operandi, a weighty work ethic and a no joke dedication to its craft, CHILDREN OF BODOM has joined the ranks of the world’s finest heavy music acts.
Laiho has been named “Best Metal Guitarist” by the readers of Guitar World, besting well known players such as Kirk Hammett of Metallica to win the coveted award. No wonder, CHILDREN OF BODOM has been called "technically dazzling" by the New York Times and “One of the most talented metal bands of our time” by contemporary media conglomerate VICE. COB’s popular songs "Was It Worth It?", "Living Dead Beat", "Blooddrunk" and “If You Want Peace...Prepare for War” are currently featured in the smash hit music video game series Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
Recorded in Finland’s Petrax Studios with famed rock producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Monster Magnet), Relentless Reckless Forever’s high-energy hooks and electric energy forge stadium-sized heavy metal anthems that seethe with both marvelous musicianship and a phenomenal pop prowess. The quintet’s unique union of haunting melodies, rhythmic sensibility, guitar-and-keyboard interplay and king-size solos is supercharged to the maximum, and the resulting record is poised to push the band to an altogether new pinnacle.
It is not mere precision, but a metal-mad passion that makes COB the standout band that it is today.
In addition to Laiho, CHILDREN OF BODOM features Roope Latvala (guitar), Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henkka Seppälä (bass) and Janne Warman (keyboards).
POLAND | Rock
Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gadnsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground. Until the late 1990s, the band played a traditional black metal style with heathen lyrical content, but soon changed to that of occult and thelemic themes written by their lead vocalist Nergal and Krzysztof Azarewicz. With the 1999 release of Satanica, the band demonstrated their presence in the death metal scene, while retaining their own signature style characterized by the drum work of Inferno, multi-layered vocals and Middle-Eastern influences. Despite the fact that Behemoth has been labeled as death metal, black metal or thrash metal-influenced, Nergal has mentioned that he does not like the band to be labeled.
Job For A Cowboy
Glendale AZ | Metal
Returning with their strongest line up to date and armed with Demonocracy, nine tracks of seething aggression and potent disgust, Job For A Cowboy have never sounded hungrier. Over the nine years of their existence the quintet have built a loyal fan base through their devotion to touring and a diehard commitment to creating relentlessly hostile, visceral, and involving music, and in 2012 they stand as one of the most exciting and inspiring bands in death metal.
Tony Sannicandro - Guitars
Jonny Davy - Vocals
Jon "Charn" Rice - Drums
Nick Schendzielos - Bass
Al Glassman - Guitar
Queens NY | Metal
It's a respect issue and growing up in Queens, NY you either have to kill or be killed. EMMURE have embraced this ideology and have grown stronger as a result. However, instead of taking out their aggressions in negative ways they channeled their collective angst into their music to create a propulsive blend of unabashed aggression and intensity that the youth across the world embrace with open arms.
EMMURE keep it simple and straight-forward, but this coupled with vocalist Frankie Palmeri's brutal openness and honesty connects to people on a level that few others can. Everyone has demons and dark sides to their lives, but this group shows that everyone deals with these types of issues and that there are productive ways to let it all out. EMMURE have gained the loyalty of the metal community and legions of rabid fans, but make no mistake if you disrespect them you will be left sleeping with the fishes.
Frankie Palmeri - Vocals
Jesse Ketive - Guitar
Mike Mulholland - Guitar
Mark Davis - Bass
Mark Castillo - Drums
Born of Osiris
Chicago IL | Rock
BORN OF OSIRIS are mature well beyond their years and this dynamic extreme progressive juggernaut has now perfectly honed all of their collective talents to create what will soon be a pinnacle release for the metal genre. This ground-breaking six-piece group creates an epic mix of intricate and memorable melodies with challenging time signatures that still hold an infectious groove, all while maintaining sheer, tasteful brutality.
Motionless in White
Scranton PA | Rock
From underground heroes to internationally acclaimed act, hotly-tipped rockers Motionless In White have slayed audiences worldwide. With the release of their highly-anticipated second album Infamous, the scintillating sextet defiantly strides into a new era, ready to take the spotlight --- and truly make their mark.
In the two years since the release of acclaimed debut 'Creatures', Motionless In White has constantly challenged the concept of "playing it safe". Unafraid to make music as intense as it is intricate, their ability to interweave powerful lyrics and strong musicianship with striking imagery that has captivated both fans and media around the globe. Infamous sees the band embracing the hype and stepping up to the plate, delivering a collection of 13 tracks that has refined, defined and intensified the band's sound. Stepping off a successful full summer on Vans Warped Tour, the band storm into sold out runs in the UK and Japan, before wowing fans this fall on their first North American headline tour. Matching the musical elements with equally creative marketing and visual concepts, Motionless In White are coming out swinging --- and won't stop until they make jaws drop!
Chris Motionless - All Vocals
Ricky Horror - Guitar
Josh Balz - Keyboards
Ryan Sitkowski - Guitar
Devin "Ghost" Sola - Bass
Brandon Richter - Drums
Los Angeles CA | Rock
Faster than you can say heavy fucking metal, The Butcher Babies have
clawed their way to the top of the Hollywood music scene to become the
undisputed darlings of the Sunset Strip. Now, they are poised to take
on the rest of the world.
Fronted by Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd, and backed by Henry Flury on lead guitar (Amen), Jason Klein on bass (Azdachao), and Chris Warner on drums (Scars of Tomorrow), the Butcher Babies dish out brutal grooves that attack the crowd during performances that play out like a slaughter house carnival ride.
Rock Journalist Keith Valcourt recently hailed the Butcher Babies as “The Hottest Band in the World” in his review of a show. “The Butcher Babies deliver a loud crashing blend of heavy metal, punk and thrash that recalls Pantera” notes Valcourt, adding “their stage show embodies the horror antics of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. Carla and Heidi don’t merely sing: they assault the crowd with a blinding flash of aggression and abuse. And the crowd loves them for it.”
The perfect anti heroes for today’s lackluster corporate music scene, The Butcher Babies are answering the demand for a resurgence of the days when going to a rock show was an event with their blistering combination of theatrical presence and balls out metal.
Detroit MI | Metal
A sonic metal assault that leaves audiences pumped with adrenaline, Battlecross have come a long way in such a short period of time. Sharing the stage with acts like GWAR, Dying Fetus, Overkill, Vital Remains, Devil Driver, and The Absence among others across the Midwest, their first video for “Push Pull Destroy” from their Metal Blade Records debut album Pursuit Of Honor has over 600,000 views in three short months on YouTube (as of 3/12). The song has been a staple on Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal channel, spending 25 weeks on the Devil’s Dozen weekly countdown and ascending to the #1 most requested metal track in the nation for five weeks- charting ahead of acts like Soulfly, Machine Head, Anthrax, Lamb of God and Cannibal Corpse during their latest single releases.
With killer reviews across the internet and in print publications throughout North America and overseas ( including band of the month in Metal Hammer Norway and Metal Hammer Spain), it should be no surprise that this blue collar, hard-work ethic that comes from Battlecross’ five musicians translates into a potent force on record as well as on stage.
Battlecross’ story begins with childhood friends and guitarists Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala, who became close friends in high school and grew up on the same street in Canton, Michigan. They solidified Battlecross’ take no prisoner metal style in 2007, gaining accolades with social media sites such as Myspace as early as 2008 becoming one of the best unsigned bands across North America. Current bassist Don Slater would replace Mike Heugel in 2009, and his fluid, technical texture would add even more depth to their savage style. Battlecross drummer Mike Kreger continually receives praise for his fast, hard hitting thrash play, not just from the fans but through cymbal manufacturer Zildjian and sickdrummer.com . The final piece of the band vocalist Kyle ’Gumby’ Gunter entered the picture in 2010, replacing Marshall Wood and already a fixture on the Flint, MI music since through his previous band. Gumby’s added stage presence and command of the crowd brought a higher level of live excitement to push the band to even higher levels of acceptance.
This down to earth, humble group is ready to embark on a lengthy touring trek in support of Pursuit Of Honor, which started in the winter of 2011 with Rose Funeral and Diamond Plate. Unafraid to spread their sound out to some of the most ardent underground followers, 2012 will see Battlecross playing with metal acts like Skeletonwitch, Goatwhore, Hate Eternal, Origin, Cattle Decapitation, Aborted, and Decrepit Birth, Dying Fetus, Six Feet Under across North America and plans are already underway for the band to spread their live madness overseas.
Highland Park CA | Metal
Huntress was spawned from the preternatural union of Jill Janus and Southern California metal band Professor. They thrive on thundering drums, heavy riffs, spectral solos and catchy choruses that come from the band’s musical concoction of occult science and bong rips.
Huntress released their buzzworthy debut album Spell Eater on April 27, 2012 via Napalm Records. The album, which Metal Hammer calls “a magical debut from the hottest new act of 2012,” was recorded in January 2012 in Los Angeles and produced by Chris Rakestraw (Danzig, Children of Bodom and Skeletonwitch). The music video for the album’s title track sums up the band at its core: true to the roots of melodic heavy metal with a penchant for thrash, death and black metal.
Vocals: Jill Janus
Lead Guitar: Blake Meahl
Lead Guitar: Anthony Crocamo
Bass: Ian Alden
Drums: Carl Wierzbicky
Thrown Into Exile
Los Angeles CA | Metal
Founded in 2011, THROWN INTO EXILE is made up of Evan(vocals), Mario(guitar), Colin(guitar), Chuck(bass), and Chase(drums). Intent on forging their own unique place in the world of heavy music while paying homage to the bands and artists who inspired them to play and write music, including Black Sabbath, Metallica, Pantera, In Flames, Fear Factory, Soilwork, Slayer, Slipknot, and others.
City In The Sea
Formed in summer 2009, City In The Sea quickly established themselves in the Arizona scene. The band performed with national artists Greeley Estates, Impending Doom, Oh Sleeper, The Word Alive, Miss May I, and more. In 2010 they joined Powerline Management’s roster. On May 29, 2010, the band self-released their debut EP, The Long Lost. Later that year the band parted ways.
In early 2011 the band reunited with new bassist Dan Marinaro and drummer Eric VanAcker, previously of The Rendering performing with that lineup until November 2011. Eric parted ways to resume performing with The Rendering, while original drummer, Conor White returned to the band.
Todd Christopher -Vocals
Jeffrey Christian - Vocals/Guitar
Dan Marinaro -Bass
Conor White -Drums