Thumping Thursdays

These past few weeks we have been spoiled for choice with rock music releases.

PVRIS – Heaven

A haunting and painful lyrical journey that can only be delivered by PVRIS. They are such a classy rock band!

Papa Roach – HELP

I think everyone at some point in their lives can relate to the bunny in this video and the lyrical content of this song. Papa Roach hit the nail on the head with this one.

Stone Sour – Song #3

A fast-paced energetic rock song about a passionate romance. Stone Sour delivered an intriguing video to accompany this more melodic rock song as one of their two singles ahead of their sixth studio album release titled “Hydrograd”.

In This Moment – Oh Lord

I absolutely love the new direction that “In This Moment” took on with this one. The more melodic sound of “Oh Lord” makes Maria’s voice stand out even more. The drumming in this song sets the tone beautifully and makes it work as whole. As always their music videos are very artistic and I love every second of it.

I Prevail – Come and Get It

I love the raw passion, energy and determination that this band has in bucket loads. This video and song just serves as the proof of that statement.

Fozzy – Judas

The videography of this video is amazing and Chris’s performance is captivating. The lyrics describe how we can become our own worst enemy. “Judas” is a real head-banger!

Avenged Sevenfold – God Damn

A strangely catchy song and chorus by Avenged Sevenfold. The drumming in this song is off the hook. I love the technique that went into capturing the energy of the band and the fans in this video.

 

Beartooth tackles the heavy subject of depression in this video and I love the fact that they depicted the problem as well as possible solutions. The uniqueness of this video is the fact that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. I love the song and the subject matter and I feel it is really important to address this issue in today’s society.

 

Have a smashing weekend everyone!!

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

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Best 16 Rock Songs of 2016

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best-rock-songs-of-2016

The year 2016 has been a bumper one in rock music history. So much so that I had a hard time choosing the Top 16, normally there aren’t so many to choose from. We had releases from major bands, like Metallica, Alter Bridge, Skillet and a few newcomers I Prevail and Kaleo. A few songs made the list as 2016 was nearing its demise. A variety of different sounds can be heard and there is something here every rock fan can appreciate. Rock music is alive and well, if anyone needs proof of that 2016 is the evidence.

16. Kaleo – No Good

The relative newcomers from Iceland, formed in 2012, you just can’t deny the foot-tapping deliciousness of this song. JJ Julius Son’s vocals and the bluesy feel that is pulsing throughout “No Good” is sure to garner the band many new fans.

 

15. I Prevail – Stuck In Your Head

A little punk mixed with metal core is how I would describe “Stuck In Your Head” and it just works. The way Brian Burkheiser (clean vocals) and Eric Vanlerberghe (unclean vocals) feed off one another is captivating. I really enjoyed stumbling across this band this year, what a treat.

 

14. The Pretty Reckless – Take Me Down

The Pretty Reckless doesn’t disappoint, but I was surprised to see a tame release as the leading single from their new album. Taylor’s husky and soulful vocals envelop the song along with some solid drumming from Jamie Perkins. The song is infused with that undeniable Mississippi vibe.

 

13. A Day To Remember – Paranoia

A rock-fuelled injection for the aggressive rock fanatic. “Paranoia” doesn’t let up for one moment and A Day To Remember does not disappoint. This will be the song that concert goers live for. I will let the lyrics speak for itself, “I’m like a time bomb ticking in your head”.

 

12. Beartooth – Hated

I love the message of this song about how you should not allow people to belittle and walk over you. It is one of those songs that you want to hear blasted in a stadium to a massive audience. Beartooth hit this one out of the park.

 

11. Gemini Syndrome – Remember We Die

Aaron Nordstrum’s voice really shines on this track, it creates a sonically pleasing ebb and flow to the song and the guitar work is great. “Remember We Die” serves as a reminder to live each day as if it was your last.

 

10. Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth

“Crooked Teeth” is aggressive and hits you like a hurricane through the first listen. The lyrics describe a person who is reliving a terrifying event. I like how they incorporated the electronic sounds into the song and used it strategically. We can look forward to their new album in 2017!

 

9. Of Mice & Men – Real

This song really surprised me when I first heard it, because it is not what I expected from the band. I find it interesting that this is basically a duet between Austin Carlile and Aaron Pauley and the clean vocals surprised me too. The song deals with someone that’s been hurt by someone they love before and is trying to get through it.

 

8. Art of Anarchy – Madness

Scott Stapp took over the role of lead vocalist when Scott Weiland passed away. I love this song as I feel all the members of the band have combined their talents to create something unique. The song is based on Scott’s personal breakdown he had in 2014, which is why I believe the lyrics are so poignant .

 

7. Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage

Avenged Sevenfold surprised us all with the release of their latest album “The Stage” which happened unannounced. The title track is an 8 minute long epic journey describing humanity and the way we have treated one another throughout history. The intro slowly introduces each instrument and then they gradually combine until M.Shadows steps in with the vocals. Synyster Gates’ guitar skills will leave you in awe if it hasn’t already. I decided to post the video of their live performance atop the Capitol Records building, because I enjoyed it so much.

 

6. 3 Doors Down – In The Dark

I love the vibe of this song and the subject matter. A good rock song which you can dance to and it is great to have the band back after 5 years between their latest album and the previous one.

 

5. Twenty One Pilots – Heathens

I understand that there might be some dispute about what genre this song belongs to, but I believe that almost each Twenty One Pilots’ song falls within a different genre. Josh’s performance on the drums are impeccable and the bass guitar glues the whole song together. A hauntingly unique song indeed.

5. Skillet – Undefeated

Although this is not one of the singles off their latest album “Unleashed”, it is the heaviest rock song off the album in my opinion. A motivating song that you can definitely add to your workout playlist. The backing vocals add to the power of the song and the talents of Jen Ledger on the drums is undeniable.

 

3. Alter Bridge – Crows On A Wire

My favourite band is back with their first album in three years “The Last Hero”. “Crows On A Wire” is an epic track and the lyrics serve as a warning for all those who believe fame and fortune is a ticket to happiness. Brian Marshall shines on the bass guitar, but the whole band gels together effortlessly on every track.

 

2. Metallica – Moth Into Flame

Normally a Metallica song has to grow on me before I like it, but not this song. I fell in love with this song from the get-go. They really come out of the gates swinging on this one. James has been quoted as saying that “Moth Into Flame” was inspired by the documentary about Amy Winehouse titled “Amy”. Thrash metal at its best.

 

 

 

 

1. Disturbed – Sound of Silence

I was torn when I was picking the number 1 rock song for 2016, because this song was such an obvious choice, which automatically made me not want to choose it. I thought about it some more and I realised how much this one song on its own has done for the rock music genre this year.  I’m sure it garnered Disturbed some new fans and if it didn’t, more people were at the very least exposed to Disturbed’s music. When I first heard the song on the album, I actually went to check the song credits to see if it was really David Draiman’s voice I was listening to. It is one of the best cover songs I have ever heard and I’m sure I’m not alone when I make that statement. There is something to be said for a song that gives you chills every time you listen to it. A musical masterpiece.

2016 was indeed the year for rock fans to revel in, I mean even Guns ‘n Roses reunited!

Here is to a rocking 2017!

Cheers!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

https://twitter.com/MusicMonkey14

 

Band of the Month – Disturbed

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Photographer: David Draiman Again by The-Duna-Bug Source: http://the-duna-bug.deviantart.com/art/David-Draiman-Again-123273342

Photographer:
David Draiman Again
by The-Duna-Bug
Source: http://the-duna-bug.deviantart.com/art/David-Draiman-Again-123273342

Disturbed is an American heavy metal/hard rock band from Chicago, Illinois. The band consists of vocalist David Draiman, bassist John Moyer, guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren. Former members of the band are vocalist Erich Awalt and bassist Steve Kmak.

The band formed in 1994 originally known as Brawl and was renamed Disturbed after David Draiman was hired as the lead vocalist. Five of the band’s six studio albums consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Before David Draiman joined the band the line-up consisted of vocalist Erich Awalt, guitarist Dan Donegen, drummer Mike Wengren and bassist Steve “Fuzz” Kmak. Dan mentioned on Disturbed’s DVD “Decade of Disturbed” that the band’s name was supposed to be “Crawl”, but they changed it to “Brawl” due to another band who had the same name. Erich Awalt left the band shortly after the recording of the band’s demo tape. The three remaining members decided to advertise for a lead vocalist. The vacancy was advertised in the Illinois Entertainer, a local music publication in Chicago, to which David Draiman responded after auditioning for 20 other vacancies that month. David Draiman was ultimately chosen, because he was the only singer brave enough to attempt releasing original songs with the band. Dan Donegan and Mike Wengren were drawn to Draiman from the start and realized that there was huge potential. David joined the band in 1996 and the band was renamed “Disturbed”. David had considered Disturbed as the name for a band for years, because it described the state of mind that the band was in at the time and they wanted to push the envelope.

Disturbed recorded two three-track demo tapes, the first having demos for “The Game”, “Down With The Sickness” and “Meaning of Life” and the second consisted of demos for “Want”, “Stupify” and “Droppin Plates”. The artwork featured the band’s recently created mascot The Guy and the band eventually signed with Giant Records. In 2000 Disturbed released its debut album “The Sickness” which launched the band into stardom. “The Sickness” peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200 and it has sold over 4 million copies in the US alone since its release.

Steve Kmak decided to use the fire escape outside Disturbed’s rehearsal hall in Chicago, he fell and  broke his ankle right before Disturbed was due to join Marilyn Manson’s European tour in 2001. Marty O’Brien replaced Kmak for the European part of the tour, but Kmak performed with the band on the 11th and 12th of January 2001 at Disturbed’s Chicago show.

In February 2001 the band recorded a cover of the song “Midlife Crisis” for a Faith No More tribute album, but the cover was not used. Thankfully a recorded version of the song appeared on the album called “The Lost Children”.

In September 2001 production for the band’s second studio album began. On the 4th of June 2002 Disturbed released a documentary DVD about the band named M.O.L which depicts the band behind the scenes and life on the road. The DVD includes music videos and live performances. Watching the DVD you realize that life with Disturbed is pretty chaotic, but you can definitely feel their energy coming through during live performances. Disturbed’s second album “Believe” released on the 17th September 2002 and the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The music video for the first single “Prayer” was pulled from most television stations due to perceived similarities with the 11th of September 2001 attacks. David Draiman provided vocals for a song called “Forsaken” which was written and produced by Jonathan Davis (Korn) for the movie soundtrack of Queen of the Damned.

In 2003 Disturbed played Ozzfest and went on their own tour for Music as a Weapon II. Chevelle, Taproot and Unloco toured with the band. After the Music As A Weapon II tour Steve Kmak was fired from the band due to some personal differences and he was replaced by John Moyer, the current bassist for Disturbed. On the same night that John Moyer joined the band they performed two new songs “Hell” and “Monster”, both appeared as B-sides on the band’s third studio album “Ten Thousand Fists”.

Disturbed’s third studio album “Ten Thousand Fists” released on the 20th September 2005. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 238, 000 copies the week following its release, the album was certified platinum and shipped 1 000 000 units in the US on the 5th of January 2006. In support of the album Disturbed toured with 10 years and Ill Niño. The band headlined Ozzfest along with System of a Down, Lacuna Coil, DragonForce, Avenged Sevenfold and Hatebreed. Ten Thousand Fists is the first studio album by Disturbed to feature guitar solos. The reason for this is that the band felt that guitar solos are absent in a lot of modern music and they wanted to bring it back. “Stricken”, ” Land of Confusion” and “Overburdened” all feature guitar solos.

In 2006 the band’s European tour was moved twice due to David Draiman experiencing severe acid re flux, which affected his voice. Later that year David underwent surgery for a deviated septum which affected his voice. After a succesful operation David reduced his alcohol intake while touring. In late 2006 the band headlined another tour called Music As A Weapon III and Nonpoint, Flyleaf and Stone Sour toured with Disturbed. The band completed one leg of the tour and decided to go back to the studio to work on their fourth studio album.

In July 2007, a new track titled “This Moment” appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Transformers. Disturbed mixed their fourth studio album “Indestructible” in Los Angeles in late 2007. “Inside The Fire” the first single off the album was made available on digital distribution services for purchase on the 25th of March 2008. The band toured in the United States during April and May 2008 with Five Finger Death Punch and Art of Dying. The music video for “Inside The Fire” released on the 2nd of May 2008 on the band’s official website. A second single titled “Perfect Insanity” became available on iTunes on the 6th of May 2008 and “Indestructible” could be pre-ordered for the release date on the 3rd of June 2008. The album became the third consecutive number-one debut on the Billboard 200. The band played their first live online concert on the 29th of May 2008 in Las Vegas. Disturbed toured in support of the Mayhem Festival alongside Slipknot, Dragonforce and Mastodon during summer of 2008. The band toured in Australia and New Zealand from August to September 2008. In May 2008 Harmonix , the developers of video game Rock Band reached a deal with Disturbed and Best Buy to offer two tracks from “Indestructible” to play on Rock Band when the game is pre-ordered via Best Buy’s website. Harmonix later released an extra three songs from their fourth album namely “Indestructible”, “Inside The Fire” and “Perfect Insanity”. On the 12th of May 2009 Harmonix released “Stricken” and “Stupify” to the Rock Band music store. On the 30th of September 2008 Disturbed released an iTunes exclusive live album entitled “Live & Destructible”. The band toured Europe where they started in London during October 2008, finishing in Helsinki in November 2008 and later toured the United States during November and December 2008.

“Inside The Fire” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best Hard Rock Performance” category. In March 2009, Disturbed released a music video for the single “The Night”. The Music as a Weapon IV tour started in March 2009 and culminated in May 2009. The tour featured Lacuna Coil, Killswitch Engage and Chimaira on the main stage. Disturbed released an impressive second cover version of the band “Faith No More”‘s song “Midlife Crisis” on the album “Covered, A Revolution In Sound” which included bands such as “Mastodon”, “The Used” and “Avenged Sevenfold”.

A reissue of the band’s debut album “The Sickness” was released on the 23rd of March 2010 with more B-side songs “God of the Mind” and “A Welcome Burden”, updated artwork and a remastered track list. “The Sickness” became available on vinyl for the first time.

On the 8th of February 2010, Disturbed entered the studio in Chicago, Illinois to begin recording for their fifth studio album. The band released a superb cover of heavy metal band Judas Priest‘s song “Living After Midnight” for the Metal Hammer Presents… Tribute to British Steel album. The band finished recording the album “Asylum” and planned to start mixing it in Los Angeles, California. The self-produced album “Asylum” was released on the 31st of August 2010. On the 9th of July 2010 the official track list became available on the band’s official website. Asylum was the fourth consecutive album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, an achievement only earned by two other rock groups Metallica and the Dave Matthews Band.

Disturbed headlined the first “Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar” tour along with Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Hellyeah and Halestorm among others in late summer 2010. In October 2010 David Draiman was diagnosed with a serious throat condition and the band’s US tour was canceled as it was estimated that David’s recovery could take up to four weeks. Close to the end of 2010 Disturbed announced that they would leave for their tour of Music As A Weapon V in 2011, co-headlining with Korn and guests Sevendust, In This Moment and Stillwell. In January 2011 they announced that Disturbed would be headlining the Mayhem Festival along with Godsmack and Megadeth for summer 2011. In February 2011 it was confirmed that the band would be playing Download Festival and in May 2011 Disturbed co-headlined the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.

A previously unreleased song “3” became available for download on their website. All proceeds from the song would go towards benefiting the Damien Echols Defense Fund, a foundation supporting the release of the West Memphis Three.

In July 2011, Disturbed confirmed that the band would go on hiatus after completing their US tour and during an interview in the same month David Draiman dismissed rumors that the hiatus came about as a result of conflict between band members. Disturbed went on hiatus in October 2011. They released a b-side compilation album, titled “The Lost Children” on the 8th of November 2011. The song “Hell” became available for digital download on the 11th of October 2011. The track listing and release date for the album was announced on David Draiman’s Twitter profile. On the 21st of April 2012 to commemorate Record Store Day, Disturbed released “The Collection”, a box set featuring the band’s five full-length studio albums in 140g vinyl LPs.

On the 20th of June 2015 on Disturbed’s official Facebook page and website, posts were made hinting at the band’s return. The website displayed a new Disturbed logo and a video of the band’s mascot on life support, still breathing. On the 22nd of June 2015 a video was posted by the band of The Guy awakening from life support along with an 18-hour countdown on their official website giving speculation to a definite reunion. On the 23rd of June 2015, Disturbed officially announced the end of their hiatus and the title of their new album titled “Immortalized”. A music video for their song “The Vengeful One” released on the same day. “Immortalized” released on the 21st August 2015. All bass tracks on the album was performed by Dan Donegan and not John Moyer. However John Moyer still remains an official band member appearing in promotional material and performing during live performances. On the album’s release day, the band played their first show in four years at the House of Blues in Chicago. “Immortalized” is Disturbed’s fifth consecutive number-one debut on the United States Billboard 200 chart.

Disturbed is a monumental force in the rock music industry and has walked the line between becoming successful and still catering to the die-hard hard rock community which is no small feat. I discovered the band on a compilation of rock music videos. I had never heard of the band, but didn’t think it would hurt to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised and I was a fan since I watched the music video for “Land of Confusion”. I admire the band for experimenting with sounds and lyrics, but essentially staying true to their roots. My favourite album thus far (excluding “Immortalized”) has been The Lost Children, I can’t believe that most of those songs are b-sides!  I hope the fans can look forward to many more years of Disturbed.

Follow Dan Donegan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanDoneganGtr

Follow John Moyer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMoyerBass

Follow Mike Wengren on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeWengren

Follow Disturbed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Disturbed

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

The 13 Best Rock Songs Of 2013

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Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

The past year has been great for hard rock music and as a hard rock music lover, I will like to share my Top 13 best hard rock songs of 2013. Thank you for supporting The Rock Riff this past year and I hope we will share many more years together. My list will start at Number 13 and lead up to my Number 1 song of 2013.

13. Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll – Taxi Violence

I had the pleasure of seeing South African band Taxi Violence perform at Kirstenbosch this year supporting Seether on their semi-acoustic SA tour. I love the pureness and the groove of the song, it’s really refreshing.

 

12. Here’s To Us – Halestorm

Halestorm’s crowd-favourite, hard rock anthem comes in at Number 12, the band has had a bumper year with a promising future. They kicked off the year with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performed at the Bandit Rock Awards, Lzzy Hale sang a duet with David Draiman on Device’s cover of “Close My Eyes Forever”. They supported Alter Bridge on their UK and European tour, the highlight of Halestorm’s year was winning a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Category.

 

11. Never Never – Korn

From their latest album The Paradigm Shift comes ” Never Never” a song about relationships and the feelings we as people experience when we have been hurt by loved ones. The video for this song was one of my favourite music videos of the year.

 

10. Adrenalize Me – In This Moment

The provocative and sexy single from In This Moment comes in at number 10. The dark, gritty guitars combined with Maria’s powerful vocals topped with a great chorus is a great combination. the music video for this song is creepy, sexy and very entertaining.

 

9. Live It Up – Airbourne

Everyone’s favourite Ozzie rockers delivered an adrenaline pumping track sure to tantalise and entertain their audience at any of their live shows. The band never cease to deliver some head-banging tracks and “Live It Up” was no exception.

 

8. Going To Hell – The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless returned in a big way last year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their studio mid-recording, wiped out the majority of the band’s gear as well as a slew of demos and near-completed recordings for their new album. They had to rebuild, this song addresses the tragedy and how the band struggled to regain their footing.

 

7. Slow Suicide – Scott Stapp

Scott Stapp’s solo career continued in 2013 when he released his second solo album “Proof Of Life” on the 5th of November 2013. After reading Scott Stapp’s 2012 Memoir Sinner’s Creed, the listener understands the song and music video so much better. I really admire Scott for using his own life and experiences as a method of educating others who face the same challenges. The music video for the song depicts time periods in his own life and how he was saved by music and his family. It’s a powerful song and it has a powerful message to convey.

 

6. Conquistador – Thirty Seconds To Mars

An upbeat song of defiance and courage with an infectious beat underlined by the chill-inducing backing vocals of Knights of the White Shadow. Thirty Seconds To Mars are an innovative band and this song just seems to verify that. Despite not being released as a single the song has been featured in the “Become Immortal” trailer for the video game,WWE 2K14 & Need For Speed Rivals.

 

5. Vilify – Device

2013 saw the debut of a new industrial metal band named Device, fronted by David Draiman of Disturbed. “Vilify” was the first single released off of their self-titled album. The powerful and potent single was a great introduction to the album. The music video features David Draiman’s wife Lena as the android/robotic figure.

 

4. Adrenaline – Shinedown

Shinedown released Adrenaline as a single off of their 2012 album “Amaryllis” in 2013. The title for the song is self-explanatory and it is a straight-up hard rock song. Powerful, pounding drums and roaring guitars dominate the song and it does not disappoint.

 

3. Do Me A Favor – Stone Sour

Stone Sour released “Do Me a Favor” as a single on February 12th, 2013. The first time I heard the song I was hooked. I listened to it about 5 – 10 times the same night I heard it. It’s an aggressive song, but it has a really fantastic chorus which creates a nice contrast. “Do Me A Favor” comes from “House of Gold and Bones – Part 2”.

 

2. Hail To The King – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold released their sixth studio album Hail To The King on the 27th of August 2013. The title track and lead single off the album was released on the 15th of July 2013. The song has , in my opinion, one of the best intro’s I have ever heard, combining the guitars and drums in a sinister way. M.Shadows enters the song 1 minute and 10 seconds into it, with some powerful and threatening lyrics. The song has a unique dynamic and takes the listener on a medieval journey. The music video is one of the best videos I have seen this year. All in all a fantastic delivery from A7X. Enjoy!

NUMBER 1 : Addicted To Pain – Alter Bridge

I suppose it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE Myles Kennedy/Alter Bridge fan, so this might not surprise dedicated The Rock Riff readers. Although I’m well aware that this might make me seem biased, but I’m sure that almost everyone will agree that the Number 1 spot is well-deserved. Addicted To Pain gets in your face and doesn’t let up for 1 second. A fast-paced, aggressive song heightened by Myles Kennedy’s vocals. The song is about a person who is being used in a relationship and is too blind to realise it. The song is written from the perspective of the “witness” /friend who can see what is happening but has no power to stop it. Alter Bridge made a triumphant return from their 2010 album ABIII with the release of “Fortress”. They will continue their tour in support of “Fortress” in  2014, which will include Sweden, Japan, UK, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and the US.

Fortress has received critical acclaim. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic, indicating ‘universal acclaim'” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Thank you for reading and supporting The Rock Riff in 2013, I hope 2014 will be even better!

Regards,

Lauren K

Lead Vocalist of the Week – M.Shadows

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Matthew Charles Samuels was born on the 31st of July 1981, better known as M.Shadows the lead vocalist and songwriter for the American heavy metal band, Avenged Sevenfold. M.Shadows posesses the voice type of high baritone. A baritone is a classical male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voice types, the baritone is the most common male voice type. He is well-known for his gritty singing style and occasional screaming.

M.Shadows started singing at an early age, but his interest in rock music grew as he got older and started playing the guitar. His early musical experience with the piano, had a strong influence on his guitar playing and singing voice. He attended Huntington Beach High School where he played in a punk band called “Successful Failure” for a brief period. M.Shadows later formed Avenged Sevenfold in 1999 along with his high school friends Zacky Vengeance, The Rev and Matt Wendt. Soon after one of The Rev’s friends joined the band as the lead guitarist. In 2001 the band released their first studio album called Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, the album gained mixed to positive reviews from critics. The band released their second album Waking The Fallen in 2003 and the band played the Vans Warped tour later that year. While discussing the band’s name, M.Shadows says that all the band members had the task of coming up with a list of names and he was the only one who completed the task. Avenged Sevenfold is a reference to the Book of Genesis, a name that the band  preferred over Lips of Deceit, another biblical note.

M.Shadows like the rest of the band has stage names, because many of the bands that inspired them for example Slash from Guns ‘n Roses and Munky of  Korn had stage names. He decided on the name M.Shadows, because he felt like the darker character of the group and he used M instead of his first name Matthew due to the way it sounded.

Shadows’ vocal style has evolved over the years, initially on the band’s first album he used a harsh metalcore-style growls with limited use of clean vocals. The release of the band’s second album demonstrated his progression towards melodic vocal melodies but still retained a strong screaming influence. With the release of City of Evil the band’s first major label release in 2005 featured minimal background screaming, stronger vocal melodies and increased attention on harmonies and melodic hooks. This change resulted in vocal contributions from each band member during live performances and remained prevalent on every album the band has released since 2005 with two exceptions being God Hates Us and Not Ready To DIe which returns to the band’s style of their earlier releases between 1999 – 2003.

One of M.Shadows biggest influences is Guns ‘n Roses, he cites them as the reason for him being in a band and writing music in the first place. He was also influenced by bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne and Pantera. M.Shadows says that Megadeth are the reason they incorporated a classic metal sound into their music, because that type of sound crosses over and extreme metal doesn’t.

Some might say that these influences was what lead to Machine Head frontman Rob Flynn calling “Hail To The King” a covers album. Rob went as far as to list 10 jokes about the album and the similarities the album/songs have with other classic rock bands. After Chris Jericho (Fozzy singer/WWE Wrestler) made M.Shadows aware of the comment he responded to the claim by shrugging it off and taking it as a joke. He has met Rob on many occasions and he says that Rob has always been friendly to him. As a joke M.Shadows thinks Rob might have gone a little overboard, but he realizes that everyone has their own opinion.

I decided to feature M.Shadows on the blog when I saw a screenshot of their “Hail To The King” music video on Loudwire.com. I was very impressed with the video’s style and the execution. I will admit that I was pretty intrigued by M.Shadow’s long hair, although the overall verdict on YouTube didn’t sound as positive. I’ a sucker for a guy with long hair!

The following quote was taken from an interview M.Shadows had with Metal Injection: http://www.metalinjection.net/latest-news/drama/avenged-sevenfolds-m-shadows-declares-metal-dropped-off-after-the-90s

“We feel that metal dropped off after the ’90s in terms of production and songwriting,” Shadows said after naming the likes of Pantera, Metallica and Megadeth as the new record’s main influences. “Metal music isn’t at the forefront as much as it used to be.”

The vocalist elaborated further, “We wanted to write a record that was highly influenced by the early ’90s records and mid-’80s records we grew up on. Then we went back even further and were influenced by [Black] Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. We studied those records, looked at what they were doing and how they were doing it. A lot of them came out of the blues, so we studied the blues and classical music. We just wanted to write a record that was different.”

View the latest video from Avenged Sevenfold here:

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialA7X

Source: AVENGED SEVENFOLD PHOTO SESSION SHOT AT CLUB REVOLUTION. FT LAUDERDALE , FL. 17 OCTOBER 2005. PICTURES LARRY MARANO/LFI © LARRY MARANO/LONDON FEATURES

Source: AVENGED SEVENFOLD PHOTO SESSION SHOT AT CLUB REVOLUTION. FT LAUDERDALE , FL. 17 OCTOBER 2005. PICTURES LARRY MARANO/LFI © LARRY MARANO/LONDON FEATURES

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

What awaits rock music fans in 2013?

For the latest rock music news “Like” The Rock Riff on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

So we find ourselves in 2013 and the world didn’t end which served as an anti-climax, when everyone realised it was just another day just like the many days that passed before it.

Rock music fans have a lot to look forward to this year, quite a few bands are releasing new material while others are embarking/continuing with their tour schedules.

Loudwire published a reader’s poll in order to determine which upcoming albums for 2013 readers are looking forward to the most. Device is in the lead at the moment with 38, 94% of the votes, with Avenged Sevenfold in second place with 27, 3 % of the vote. The rest of the nominees each share a small percentage of the votes. The list includes: Alice in Chains, Alter Bridge, Black Sabbath, Black Veil Brides, Buckcherry, Bullet For My Valentine, Hatebreed, Hollywood Undead, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Sixx: A.M., Slayer, Stone Sour, Tool and Rob Zombie. You can vote here: http://loudwire.com/most-desired-2013-album-readers-poll/

Sad news came from My Darkest Days  three days ago when it was announced that one of their most-loved members, Sal Costa was leaving the band. It seems like Sal wants to embark on his own musical journey and calls his fans “Saldiers”, he recently launched his own brand of merchandise which you will be able to take a look at if you visit his Facebook page. Its sad to see Sal leave the band, but I can’t wait to see what he is going to do next!

I’m so excited for Alter Bridge to release their fourth studio album that I can hardly contain myself, loyal fans can be prepared for more talent, guitar riffs, angelic lyrics and astounding vocals. For new fans hold on to your earphones/headphones and be prepared to be inspired. They started writing on the 4th of January and the sessions seem to be going quite well.

Source: Alter-Bridge-FacebookThe band posted this picture on the 4th of January stating that writing has begun.

Source: Alter-Bridge-Facebook
The band posted this picture on the 4th of January stating that writing has begun.

Look at what Slash decided to tweet today, I was FREAKING out, just too bad I will have to wait more or less another two years before it happens. In case you were wondering thats me commenting like a crazy fan, that I just HAVE to see Slash play live. 😀

Source: Slash on Twitter

Source: Slash on Twitter

So seeing as it is 2013 I decided to share what I consider my rock music collection at present. Take a look!

My personal rock music collection

My personal rock music collection

My personal rock music collection

My personal rock music collection

My Slash Figurine (my prized possession)

My Slash Figurine (my prized possession)

All the best for the new year and thanks for reading!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Phenomenal Rock Concert Photographer: Rob Fenn

For the latest rock music news “Like” The Rock Riff on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

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I became aware of Rob Fenn’s photography when I saw some photos he took of Shinedown which was posted by Shinedowns Nation’s blog (http://wp.me/1Gy1Q). I was impressed by his skills, but never really saw any of Rob’s other photos that he took of other rock bands. Eventually I saw a competition that was advertised by Shinedowns Nation on Facebook. You could enter to win 1 of 10 Limited Edition Frames of Brent Smith plus some other Shinedown goodies. Its still running if you’re interested: http://www.facebook.com/#!/MusicThroughTheLens/app_403359706360567

I took a peek through all 10 photos and I was dumbfounded. All 10 of those photos capture Brent’s passion for music and his intensity on stage. I realised I had to find out more about this fantastic photographer.

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“Rob Fenn’s photography career started in 2009 when he borrowed a camera from his friend to shoot Avenged Sevenfold in concert. After experiencing the rush of a live show, Rob was hooked and ready to make concert photography his life’s passion. Two years later, Rob was on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival tour with Avenged Sevenfold capturing their live show.” -Quote from Rob Fenn’s LinkedIn profile.
“Rob founded a book project titled ‘On The Road…Where MUSIC Lives’ after realising that his daughter’s idea of a record store was purchasing music from iTunes. Rob’s daughter was given the opportunity to buy one album a week of her choosing. The only rule is it has to be a full album from a store. This has turned into a great bond between them, and let them both discover new music together.” Quote taken from http://www.facebook.com/#!/MusicThroughTheLens/info

Rob Fenn has a passion for continuing the tradition of purchasing physical albums and for people to go to a record store to purchase their favourite music. Later this year Rob will be releasing a 376 page hard cover photo book that will be for sale in record stores ONLY with part of the proceeds going to charity to fund music programs in public schools. I really admire Rob’s passion for the music industry and his concern for the future of music. Rob is using his experiences on the road to motivate people to appreciate music more, to admire the musicians and their talent. Through his new endeavour he is aiming to make music an experience and not something you purchase just to fulfil an immediate need which will later be discarded after the fad has passed.

Rob is currently attending the Carnival of Madness and is on tour with Halestorm.

Below are examples of Rob’s work, I do not claim ownership of any of these photos.

Copyright by Rob Fenn.

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I absolutely love this photo of Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm by Rob Fenn.

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This is such an epic photo of Brent Smith from Shinedown by Rob Fenn. This is such a strong pose from Brent, wow!

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Great photo of Chris Traynor from Bush, such a graceful capture from Rob Fenn.

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Obviously this collection wouldn’t be complete without the talented Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators by Rob Fenn.

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So I couldn’t leave out Slash in my Rob Fenn Highlight Reel. Do you know another man who can pull off wearing a belly ring and silver hoop earrings? I don’t, so pictured here is Mr Cool and Calm himself, Slash performing with Lzzy Hale from Halestorm by Rob Fenn.

This concludes my Rob Fenn Highlight Reel, if you are looking for some more fantastic photos, which I’m sure you are, then you can Like this page which should provide sufficient eye candy for any rock music fan. http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=110841208993424#!/MusicThroughTheLens

You can follow Rob Fenn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rob_Fenn

Visit Rob’s website here: http://musicthroughthelens.com/

I hope you enjoy my recommendation and support Rob Fenn’s various projects.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K