Riffs and Laughs: Brendon Small co-hosts ‘Baked’ Music/Comedy night in Hollywood

Review & photos by Ron Lyon

August 25th 2017, Hollywood Improv, Los Angeles CA: On a sold-out Friday night, the Hollywood Improv presented “Baked”, a night of comedy and music hosted by Brendon Small, creator of the virtual death metal band Dethklok. This was the second Baked event I was fortunate to attend. The first for me was at the intimate Baked Potato jazz club in Studio City. That night, an unannounced appearance of actor/comedian Jack Black thrilled the attendees and highlighted the night of laughs and music. Would we be so lucky this night? As in the previous show, Small co-headlined the night with comedian Steve Agee and used the opportunity as a record release for his second solo album, ‘Galaktikon II: Become The Storm’. Small himself is quite funny and very comfortable with a microphone in his hands. The evening’s house band was made up of the cream of LA area musicians: Dethklok touring guitarist and keyboard player Mike Keneally (Joe Satriani/Frank Zappa), multi-talented Walter Ino (Survivor) on bass, and Zappa vaultmeister Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa/ Duran Duran) on drums. Continue reading “Riffs and Laughs: Brendon Small co-hosts ‘Baked’ Music/Comedy night in Hollywood”

For the Sake of Heaviness: Armored Saint Performs Rarities for Metal Blade 35th Anniversary Party

By Andrew Bansal
(photos by Chad Alexander)

August 25th 2017, Affliction Studios, Seal Beach CA: Legendary Los Angeles-based heavy metal record label Metal Blade Records was established in 1982 and has completed 35 successful years promoting the finest and heaviest in music. Metal Blade threw a party last night at Affliction Studios in Seal Beach CA to celebrate the anniversary as well as the release of CEO Brian Slagel’s book ‘For the Sake of Heaviness’. We don’t cover parties that do not offer live music, but this one certainly did, as cult legends Armored Saint were slated to play a special mini-set at the invite-only event. When Metal Blade invited us to this, it was an absolute no-brainer, and it was most definitely worth the trip to Seal Beach. Continue reading “For the Sake of Heaviness: Armored Saint Performs Rarities for Metal Blade 35th Anniversary Party”

Photo Gallery: Metal Assault presents Heavy Wednesday @ The Slidebar

Photos by Matt Nielson

August 23rd 2017, The Slidebar, Fullerton CA: After having been attending and reviewing shows at The Slidebar for years now, last Wednesday Metal Assault had the pleasure of putting on our first show at this lovely Fullerton establishment. This edition of Heavy Wednesday, powered by us, featured the talents of three amazing bands, and it was an evening of firsts. All three bands were playing on this stage for the very first time, and one was performing live for the first time ever. LA’s newest progressive metal force Colossal Microcosm impressed one and all with their live debut, followed by Tijuana, Mexico old-school metal warriors Meltdown who were as entertaining and endearing as ever. Lastly, epic progpower outfit Novareign owned the stage as the headline act and put forth a scintillating exhibition of top-class musicianship. Great venue, great bands and a great turnout, we could not asked for anything more. Thanks to everyone who made it. Our man Matt Nielson was on site to capture these fantastic images to relive the best moments of the evening. Enjoy them below, and be on the lookout for an announcement for our next Slidebar show very soon! Continue reading “Photo Gallery: Metal Assault presents Heavy Wednesday @ The Slidebar”

Heaviness Unbound: A Recap of Psycho Las Vegas 2017

By Lisa Burke

August 17-20th 2017, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas NV: As a true fan of all kinds of rock n’ roll and heavy metal, what could be better than a four-day festival featuring just shy of 100 bands inside a hard rock themed casino in Las Vegas? The answer is not a whole lot, especially if you enjoy hiding from the sun and still seeing music during the day, as opposed to attending outdoor festivals. Continue reading “Heaviness Unbound: A Recap of Psycho Las Vegas 2017”

Album Review: The Haunted – Strength in Numbers

By Francisco Zamudio

The words “Swedish” and “metal” combined have nearly always produced some of the most memorable bands and albums, many pushing the boundaries of extreme music. Breaking away from the Swedish death metal mold is The Haunted who have been a relevant band since the late ’90s. Since leaving Earache Records, and some would argue peaking with their Century Media debut ‘Revolver’ (2004), they have since revolved around the same style throughout their existence, And as part of the CM roster of safe and marketable signing decisions, they’ve held nearly their entire career with CM. Now since parting ways with long-standing vocalist Peter Dolving, and the return of both Marco Aro & Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, Cradle of Filth) since their self-titled and sophomore release, respectively – they are back for their second effort together since their return on the soon-to-be released ‘Strength In Numbers’. Continue reading “Album Review: The Haunted – Strength in Numbers”

Album Review: Portrait – Burn the World

By Ryan Falla

It’s been eleven years since Swedish heavy metal band Portrait’s debut, and they’re still making big strides in the metal world. With their fourth record, ‘Burn the World’, Portrait looks to live up to the namesake of their album and set the world ablaze with their furious metal stylings. Much like heavy metal of the ’70’s and ’80s there’s a hint of power metal with darkened vibes swirled into the thrash metal goodness. Continue reading “Album Review: Portrait – Burn the World”

Album Review: Brendon Small – Galaktikon II: Become The Storm

By Rosie Walker

In 2006, the animated show Metalocalypse debuted on Adult Swim and metalheads around the world rejoiced. Creator Brendon Small made the show about a famous death metal band, Dethklok, and all their random adventures. It was a successful show that made everyone laugh and head-bang. In 2007, Brendon released, ‘The Dethalbum’, a record that complied all the bits of songs from the show and made them full-length. With Metalocalypse’s popularity, the album reach #21 on the Billboard 200 chart. ‘Dethalbum II’, Brendon’s second record, reached #15 on the chart in 2009, making it the highest charting death metal album in history. Brendan’s genius made metal mainstream and funny, but even after the show ended in 2013, he still makes metal today. On August 25, he is releasing ‘Galaktikon II’, his follow-up to ‘Galaktikon’, his debut solo record that came out in 2012. Brendon takes his creative weirdness and meshes the brutality of Dethklok with more melody and rock elements. On this new album, Brendon says… “all bets are off”. He takes his intergalactic themes to a whole new level by creating a series of outer space stories. He is in fact, making an anthology of aliens sound metal. Continue reading “Album Review: Brendon Small – Galaktikon II: Become The Storm”

The Black Dahlia Murder announces North American tour with Suffocation, Decrepit Birth, Necrot, Wormwitch

The Black Dahlia Murder will be touring North America this October-November in support of their new album ‘Nightbringers’ (out October 6th via Metal Blade), with support acts Suffocation, Decrepit Birth, Necrot and Wormwitch, plus Exhumed on select dates. Check out the dates below: Continue reading “The Black Dahlia Murder announces North American tour with Suffocation, Decrepit Birth, Necrot, Wormwitch”

A Groundbreaking Ritual: Zeal & Ardor play First Ever U.S. Show

By Andrew Bansal

August 19th 2017, The Hi Hat, Los Angeles CA: Zeal & Ardor is the brainchild of Swiss-American musician and composer Manuel Gagneux, which he created when someone challenged him to mix two seemingly incompatible styles of music: black metal and African-American slave blues. Following the success of the debut album ‘Devil is Fine’, Zeal & Ardor is now performing live as a full six-piece band, and played their first show in the United States last Saturday August 19th at the Hi Hat in Los Angeles. What started out as a dare on an internet forum has rapidly evolved into something unique, groundbreaking and spellbinding, and the fortunate audience here witnessed it firsthand. Continue reading “A Groundbreaking Ritual: Zeal & Ardor play First Ever U.S. Show”