Saturday, October 24, 2009

Review: Diablo Swing Orchestra, "Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious"

One of my musical interests outside of metal has always been the jazz and swing of the Big Band era. That’s why the Diablo Swing Orchestra’s name immediately caught my attention. Then there’s opening track, “A Tap Dancer’s Dilemma,” which is one of the most interesting songs that I’ve heard in a long time. It blends classic Big Band cool with some crunching distorted riffs and gets Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious off to an excellent start.

Unfortunately, there’s not nearly enough of that mix in the other nine songs on the record. After that, it reverts into more a blend of metal and musical theater. It’s not bad, as I’m also a closet fan of musical theater, but for me, it’s not nearly as exciting as that first track.

Certainly there’s no easy classification for the Diablo Swing Orchestra. Take second track “A Rancid Romance” for example. The song opens with a classical piano piece that leads in to an …And Justice For All-era Metallica riff before the Spanish horns kick in. The Metallica-style thrash riffing continues on “Lucy Fears the Morning Star.” There’s actually some pretty impressive riffing all over the record from Daniel Hakansson and Pontus Mantefors. “New World Widows” features a more modern chugging riff that sounds a bit System of a Down-ish. “Vodka Inferno” has some of the best guitar work to be found. The classically influenced bits are particularly good, and a there’s a nice interplay between dueling guitar and cello by Johannes Bergion in the middle of the song.

But metal, jazz and musical theater are certainly not the only things on the menu on Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious. You’ll find a bluesy shuffly on “Bedlam Sticks,” some Russian-flavored sounds on the short interlude “Siberian Love Affairs,” rockabilly flair on “Memoirs of a Roadkill” and even a little surf guitar on “Ricerca Dell’Anima.”

Vocally, the record is a mixed bag. Most of the operatic stuff from Hakansson and female vocalist Annlouice Loegdlund is far too over the top. At worst, as on the opening of “Bedlam Sticks,” Hakansson sounds like Elvis doing a bad Dracula impression. Likewise, Loegdlund’s glass-breaking opera vocals on “New World Widows” are more like nails on a chalkboard. It’s not all bad in the vocal department, though. There’s a bit of operatic insanity that’s cool in “Lucy Fears the Morning Star” and an interesting blend of operatic and black metal vocal stylings in “Bedlam Sticks.”

There’s an awful lot to like about this record if you’re into strange, avant-garde musical blends. Aside from the aforementioned “Tap Dancer’s Dilemma,” there’s the Peter Gunn-ish guitar riff of “Ricerca Dell’Anima” which sounds like a crunched up spy movie theme. Album closer “Stratosphere Serenade” is also impressive, opening with some nice gypsy strings, punctuated by a thrash riff. The vocal delivery on the song is a little different as well, falling into more of an alternative rock style that’s actually superior to some of the more heavy-handed operatic moments.

Though I admit to being a little disappointed that there wasn’t a heavier jazz and swing influence later in the record, I still really enjoyed it. I love the originality and general craziness. It’s a wild ride with stops all over the musical map, and it’s well worth the few bumps in the road.

Get "Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review: ZZ Top, "Double Down Live, 1980-2008"

For fans of a certain age, ZZ Top's new DVD, "Double Down Live, 1980-2008," gives us the chance to experience the band at the height of its blues rock power, before the MTV years of the 1980s that brought wild excess and crazy stage shows.

The two-DVD set features a live performance from 1980 recorded live for the German "Rockpalast" show and a performance from their 2008 tour that features interviews and behind the scenes footage. Both are entertaining, but for me, the real strength is the first disc. Recorded on the "Deguello" tour, the set list features most of the songs from that album, as well as some real jewels from the band's early days that fans don't get to hear often. Those are highlights of an outstanding set. There's the hard-rocking "Precious and Grace," the trippy "Manic Mechanic," the driving "Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings," and one of my personal favorite tunes from the Top catalog, the spaghetti Western-flavored "El Diablo."

In addition to some rare gems, there are the expected hits like "Thank You," "Waitin' for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago," "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide" (another personal favorite), "Heard it on the X," "Cheap Sunglasses," "La Grange" and "Tush." A couple of cool covers are thrown in with "Dust My Broom" and "Jailhouse Rock." Mix in some other well-known songs that just don't get played that much anymore, like the raucous "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers," "Arrested for Driving While Blind," "She Loves My Automobile" and "Fool for Your Stockings," and you've got one heck of a rowdy set.

You've also got a rowdy band playing those tunes. At first, it's hard to recognize singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons because I'm so used to seeing the grizzled road veteran he's become these days. He's fresh-faced behind the ever-present beard and full of energy, running around the stage, jumping up and down and just generally having a great time. The interplay between Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill is a lot of fun, but not quite the over-choreographed performance that it would become by the time that I got a chance to see them live in the mid-1980s. Drummer Frank Beard is just as cool as ever, stoically pounding away on the skins, tons of energy hidden behind his laid back expression.

The band rolls through a set of classics having just as much fun as the delighted audience before delivering a couple of encores that include the two covers, the classics "Tush" and "Tube Snake Boogie," and closing with a high-octane rendition of "Just Got Paid," which might be the best moment on either DVD.

The second disc, which features the 2008 performance, is a little slicker than the first, which is simply a performance video. There are more camera angles and heavier editing, splicing in scenes from numerous shows, but these sometimes detract from the power of the band's stage presence. There seem to be some video/audio sync issues on some of the more artistic shots that are possibly intentional, but were a bit annoying. And when Dusty Hill blasts out those big bass runs at the end of "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide," I'd much rather be watching work it out than footage of the crew setting things up. There are also some interesting interview pieces scattered throughout that are certainly worthy of their spots.

Surprisingly, the set list here is solidly old school, too. There are only half as many songs as the first disc, but only two from the MTV days on, "Got Me Under Pressure" and a deeper cut from the "Eliminator" record, the semi-ballad "I Need You Tonight." The sets share a few songs in common: "Waitin' for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago," "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide," "Heard it on the X," "Just Got Paid," and, of course, "La Grange" and "Tush." The second disc also shows ZZ Top getting back to the roots of those earlier shows. The sets are stripped back and the focus is placed firmly on the men and the music.

The voices of Gibbons and Hill are a little gruffer and rougher on these tracks, but the music is still tight. There is occasionally a rough around the edges spot, particularly on this version of "Heard it on the X," which seems a bit off-kilter at points, but you'll forget those with the performances of "Jesus Just Left Chicago," "Just Got Paid" and "I Need You Tonight." The bluesy spots in this set are the truly bright ones. The band cranks out an amazing version of "Blue Jean Blues" and a killer cover of "Hey Joe" that steal the show. The Rev. Willy G. has, hands down, one of my favorite guitar tones ever, and on those two tracks, he nails it.

Both sets are solid slices of ZZ Top history and well worth owning, but as slick as the modern end is, it's the raw concert footage of the earlier show that remains the most exciting and electric. If you missed ZZ Top in the 1970s or early 1980s, I'd highly recommend correcting that by picking up "Double Down Live."

Get "Double Down Live."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Review: The Gates of Slumber, "Hymns of Blood and Thunder"

Black Sabbath being the fount from which all doom springs, it's only appropriate that you should hear their influence in bands of the genre. But you could argue that Gates of Slumber cross the line of influence right into worship. Not that that's a bad thing. "Hymns of Blood and Thunder," the latest offering from the Indy-based trio, is heavy on darkness, gloom and oppressive atmosphere. It clearly pays homage to the bands that came before, particularly Sabbath, but never comes across as sounding like a tribute band.

The record opens with a couple of uptempo numbers, "Chaos Calling" and "Death Dealer," which have the vibe of the later, Dio-era Sabbath, the first reminding me a bit of "Neon Knights." After that, though, things settle down into the old school sludgy stomps, but there are some occasional surprises. "Beneath the Eyes of Mars" opens with an interesting rolling drum intro from "Iron" Bob Fouts, that leads into a nice bit of guitar work that builds the first wall of sound feeling on the record. The instrumental "Age of Sorrow" features some cool clean guitar work that builds into slow, soulful electric noodling, while there are some nice acoustic atmospherics layered under album closer "Blood and Thunder." "The Mist in the Mourning" throws the only real curve ball on the record. It's a medieval ballad with some female vocals mixed in, one of the more interesting tracks.

But the backbone of this record is big, chunky Iommi-style riffs, and there are plenty of them offered up by frontman Karl Simon. "Descent Into Madness" could be ripped from any 1970s Sabbath record, and "The Doom of Aceldama" opens with a big, sludgy beautiful guitar riff. Perhaps the strongest tune on the record, though, is "The Bringer of War" which puts a fantastic, grooving riff out front that gives it a Candlemass vibe.

But while Simon's guitar work is solid, his vocals aren't quite so strong. He's not a horrible vocalist, but the weaknesses are more than apparent in places, as on the verse of "Beneath the Eyes of Mars." Then again, vocals have not often been the strong point of the doom genre. Lyrically, he covers the subjects that you'd expect looking at the Frank Frazetta-inspired cover art and song titles. He does offer a nice little tip of the cap to primary influences in "Iron Hammer," with the line "over the mountain, into the void."

Hymns of Blood and Thunder is an unabashedly old school doom record -- in songwriting, execution and production. The album has a dirty, distorted 1970s mix with a little of the warbling, synth-like sounds of St. Vitus. It's a mix that would normally turn me off in a modern record, but seems only appropriate for this sludgy celebration.

Gates of Slumber won't find a place on my year-end top 10 list with this effort, but they will find a place in my permanent collection. I'd highly recommend it for fans who like their doom slow, dirty and heavy.

Get "Hymns of Blood and Thunder."

(Review originally published at Teeth of the Divine.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

News: M.O.D./S.O.D. frontman joins Lamb of God to perform 'United Forces'

M.O.D./S.O.D/MASTERY frontman Billy Milano recently joined LAMB OF GOD on stage at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX. After being introduced by Randy Blythe, LAMB OF GOD and Billy Milano ripped through the S.O.D. classic “United Forces.”

You can view video of the performance below.

LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler had the following to say about the performance: “We were honored to share the stage with a legend. Billy and S.O.D are our roots and I’ll remember this moment forever.”

Billy Milano also commented about the performance with the LAMB OF GOD Guys: “To share the stage with LAMB OF GOD was fucking amazing. It was a life changing experience. Watching the video on YouTube, I couldn’t believe the size of the stage I was on. I don’t want to say it was the highlight of my career, but it truly was a milestone. Words are escaping me while trying to describe this event, which is strange, since I never shut the fuck up.”

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Review: W.A.S.P., "Babylon"

I could make this review short and sweet and just say that W.A.S.P. have recorded their album again. Or, perhaps more appropriately, that they've recorded their song seven more times.

There was a time when W.A.S.P. was a favorite of mine. Their debut, "The Last Command," "The Headless Children," all of those records spent quality time in my stereo and still get their share of listens these many years later. But since the 1990s, Blackie Lawless and Co. just haven't been able to break out of a rut of sameness. Oh, there have been glimmers. The industrial-influenced "K.F.D." was interesting, and the down and dirty rocker "Helldorado" had its moments, but by and large, everything they've done since "The Crimson Idol" has had a sameness to it. Generic riffs, generic melodies, generic vocals. "Babylon" doesn't break the mold.

A concept record of sorts, based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (what originality), "Babylon" opens with an attempt to make fans believe this is a return to their classic sound with "Crazy" which owes its main riff to "Wild Child," but that's where the similarities end. It's probably the best of the originals on the record, though, as "Live to Die Another Day" takes us quickly back into the same stuff they've been doing for the past 20 years.

There's another moment of hope with the rawk guitar on the opening of their cover of Deep Purple's "Burn," but as soon as the rest of the band kicks in, we're back to Sameville. Ballads "Into the Fire" and "Godless Run" offer a change of pace, but nothing very interesting. The latter tries for heavy emotion, but comes off a bit corny.

The most original thing here is the band's slightly Southern-fried cover of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" which closes the record, but even that we've heard from them before.

For the most part, all of the songs here tend to run together, just like most of W.A.S.P.'s records for the last 20 years. Every time they release one, I give it a chance in hopes they'll get it together and release something that hits me the way those early records did, but at this point, it doesn't look likely.

Get "Babylon."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Review: White Wizzard, "High Speed GTO"

I feel a little like I’ve stepped into a time machine on hearing the title track from White Wizzard’s High Speed GTO. It’s a song that’s uncompromisingly and unabashedly devoted to the NWOBHM era — in composition, in execution and in production. It’s upbeat with catchy riffs and a huge chorus and makes a solid promise for the rest of the album.

The other six tunes on the record, however, are a mixed bag. While there are some very appealing things and a certain nostalgic charm to the music, White Wizzard often gets just as much wrong as it gets right – sometimes in the same song.

The second track, “Celestina” has the bouncy grooves of something from Iron Maiden’s debut or Killers, but the love song lyrics are pulled straight from the hair band era, a sound they return to for the forgettable “Octane Gypsy.” “Into the Night” has the forced traditional metal sounds of Avenged Sevenfold, and is the weakest link among the other tracks which show a genuine connection to the genre. “March of the Skeletons” opens with a cool galloping bass line a la Steve Harris, but the chorus is too bubble gummy for an otherwise darker song.

Of the seven tracks here, “Megalodon” is far and away the best. Like most of the songs, it’s in a NWOBHM vein with some more Harris-style bass work. It’s also on this song where vocalist Wyatt “Screamin’ Demon” Anderson turns in his best performance (overlooking the ill-advised “Immigrant Song”-style yowls under the chorus). “Red Desert Skies” has a lot going for it as well with some cool lead guitar melodies and riffing that cancels out the strange gibberish chorus that does more to interrupt the flow of the song than aid it.

Bassist Jon Leon seems to be the backbone of the band, turning in the most solid performance on the record and providing a sound base for the songs. Anderson is a capable singer, but his nickname couldn’t be more inappropriate as there’s absolutely nothing demonic about his vocals at all. Quite the opposite in fact, as he often wanders off into a pop delivery that detracts from the NWOBHM feel of the songs. Most of the songs here need a good bit more oomph in the vocal department than they get.

On a non-musical note, I have to admit that the lifelong fantasy fan and career editor in me also balks a little at the name of the band. I’m just going to assume the misspelling is an homage to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and leave it at that (please don’t correct me if I’m wrong). On the other hand, I kind of dig the funky, retro cover with the leather jacket and the old-school pins and T-shirt.

Originally recorded in 2007 with a different lineup, High Speed GTO marks the band’s debut on Earache Records, with, I’m assuming, some new material probably coming soon. It will be interesting to hear what the new members bring to the table and what kind of transformation the band has gone through in the last couple of years. There’s a lot of promise for some good retro metal here, but this EP doesn’t really deliver on it. If they can put together an album full of songs as good as the title track or “Megalodon,” though, I’ll be the first in line for the T-shirt (even if I have to whack my internal editor over the head).

Get "High Speed GTO."

(Review originally published at Teeth of the Divine.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Review: Lillian Axe, "Sad Day on Planet Earth"

I was thrilled a few years back when Lillian Axe, a live-show staple of my misspent youth, made a strong comeback with a new singer and new record "Waters Rising." So I was excited to get my hands on the follow-up, "Sad Day on Planet Earth." Unfortunately, this record, while still good, doesn't live up to the standard set by "Waters Rising."

In all fairness, the songs on that record were written over the course of many years with some tweaked in numerous live performances. These 15 tracks, on the other hand, are the result of only a couple of years' work. Perhaps its the melancholy tone of much of the record or perhaps it's an often-flat mix, but there just doesn't seem to be as much energy here.

The songs, for the most part, are not bad. But a clearer, more dynamic production could certainly benefit the movements of songs like "Hibernate" or bring out the more atmospheric moments in "Down Below the Ocean" to give the record a little more pop.

As with "Waters Rising," there's a nice mix of the various phases of Lillian Axe. There are heavier, hard-rocking numbers, some pop-oriented moments, shimmery ballad passages and more progressive and experimental material. "Megaslowfade" gets things started on an energetic note and kind of throws a little bit of everything at the wall. Then things get more somber with the powerful "Jesus Wept," but the band doesn't stay there long, following up with a straight-up, old-fashioned hard rocker in "Ignite."

That's when the album is kicking along well, when there's a blend of the heavier-handed numbers that fit with the environmental theme of the record and lighter, more energetic pieces. It's at its best when they get the blend right in the same song. "Cold Day in Hell" is a perfect example, opening with a heavier riff before settling into mid-pace territory and deliving another great chorus melody, a formula that plays well again later in "Kill Me Again." "Blood Raining Down on her Wings" offers an interesting mix of the classic Lillian Axe ballad and a bubble-gum rock riff that's strange for the lyrics. The blending doesn't always work, though. "Within Your Reach" opens with a 1950s sounding melody that's a little strange and reminiscent of a popular song that I can't quite put my finger on.

There are also a few songs on the record that seem to blend together a little. "Nocturnal Symphony" opens with a classical-influenced piece of music that's interesting, but fades. The same with "Divine," which has a nice, gritty groove on the opening, but never seems to go anywhere. Somewhere in between is "Fire, Blood, The Earth and Sea," their epic, over-the-top closing record that, while impressive in moments, just tries to do a little too much.

Those moments are eclipsed by songs like "Grand Scale of Finality," though, which features a catchy, irresistable melody that again seems to be at odds with the darker lyrical content. It reminds me a bit of an early Queen melody.

Overall, I like the record and most of the songs on it, but for some reason, it just doesn't sing to me the way that "Waters Rising," "Psychoschizophrenia" or the band's first two records did. I understand that, for Steve Blaze, each successive Lillian record has been about stretching his musical boundaries, more serious musicianship and more complex compositions. But here, everything seems very heavy-handed. I guess, every now and then, I'd just like to hear the band break out a fun and frivolous three-chorder like "My Number" for old-time's sake. Since they don't even play that tune live anymore, I don't suppose it's going to happen, but it might help break up the gloominess of "Sad Day on Planet Earth." After all, there's no law that says to be a serious musician you have to be serious all the time.

Get "Sad Day on Planet Earth."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Review: Alice in Chains, "Black Gives Way to Blue"

I'll be honest off the top in this review. I didn't want to like an Alice in Chains record without late vocalist Layne Staley.

Staley is, perhaps, one of the most underrated singers to come out of his era. While Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is celebrated by the press and fans of Seattle's grunge sound of the early 1990s, Staley seemed to fade slowly away, his death in 2002 barely a footnote in comparison. Yet, you'd be hard-pressed to listen to just about anything on rock radio these days without hearing the influence of Staley's wounded moan. His was a distinctive and powerful voice, perfect for the music of the band which could go from an acoustic whisper to a heavy metal roar in an instant. In the eyes of fans, a replacement singer is sure to be a hard sell.

So, it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that "Black Gives Way to Blue" has spent the last week in my CD player without a break, and I'm enjoying it more with each listen. Just so things are straight, no, this record is not as good as Alice in Chains' 1990 debut "Facelift" or its landmark 1992 album "Dirt." It's not even as good as the self-titled 1995 record made as Staley was spiraling down into the drug-induced depression that eventually led to his death. But it's a far better album than I expected and certainly a worthy addition to the catalog.

New singer William DuVall does his best, often sounding eerily like the original, though his voice lacks much of the darkness and intensity of Staley's wails. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell also takes on a heavy share of the vocal duties, as he always has, to help create those classic Alice in Chains harmonies. Musically, the record is as solid as fans would expect, and quite melancholy as many of the songs revolve around Staley's life.

"Black Gives Way to Blue" starts a bit slowly with "All Secrets Known," which seems to be an attempt to prove early on that this record will still sound like Alice in Chains. Unfortunately, the song is a bit boring, constantly building to a peak that it never reaches. Second track, the single "Check My Brain," is the closest the record gets to an upbeat song, and it sounds a bit too much like it was written with radio in mind.

Things begin to pick up with third number, "Last of My Kind." It opens with a dark verse that puts me in mind of some of the tunes toward the end of "Facelift," then explodes with a big, driving hard rock chorus that's probably one of the least Alice in Chains-sounding pieces on the record, but also one of the most memorable moments. They follow up with the acoustic number "Your Decision" that would not have been at all out of place on the band's incredible 1994 EP "Jar of Flies." It's territory they'll explore successfully again later in the record with "When the Sun Rose Again."

The vibe gets heavy again with the droning opening riffs of "A Looking In View," an epic, cascading wall of sound with the trademark warbling harmonies from the band's early work and also some nice vocal moments for DuVall scattered throughout. Then we get the melancholy, haunting harmonies of "Acid Bubble," interrupted a couple of times with a heavier, rawer guitar riff that jars the listener, but in a good way. "Lesson Learned" offers up a nice heavy groove with a memorable melody that strikes a good balance between the gloomier material and mainstream rock.

The end of "Black Gives Way to Blue" offers up another mixed bag. "Take Her Out" opens with an interesting, exotic-sounding guitar lick, but doesn't elevate itself to the level of the really good songs here. "Private Hell" features some of the best harmonies on the record, but just seems to be missing something. The album-closing title track is the one that most directly addresses the loss of Staley, and it also pulls out some big-time firepower with piano work from Elton John. By its very nature, the song has to be very morose, and it is. I'm really undecided about the tune. I like it, but it's a big downer to end a very good record on.

Alice in Chains has served up a bit of a curve ball for me. Having heard DuVall's voice with his previous band Comes with the Fall (of which I'm not a fan), I didn't think he was at all the right person for the job. And I'll admit, my feelings are mixed in praising this record. Even in its strongest moments -- and there are many -- I have to wonder how much better "Black Gives Way to Blue" might have been were we able to hear it with the original lineup. Regrettably, that's not possible, and it's not really fair to this lineup.

So, yes, DuVall succeeds and "Black Gives Way to Blue" is a very good record, possibly even a top 10 choice for the year. But fans with strong ties to the original lineup should also expect a twinge of regret and sadness to come along with the enjoyment of the album. Perhaps that's as it was intended and as it should be.

Get "Black Gives Way to Blue."

Friday, October 2, 2009

News: Armored Saint enter studio to record new album

Los Angeles' sons of metal, ARMORED SAINT, are set to enter Tranzformer Studios in Burbank, CA to begin recording the band's sixth full-length studio album. Tranzformer Studios is owned by Dave Jerdan (Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction, etc) who produced ARMORED SAINT's 1991 classic "Symbol of Salvation" and Bryan Carlstrom who handled engineering on the same album. The SAINT will be working with Bryan Carlstrom who will once again handle engineering duties with the bands very own Joey Vera producing, and both Joey and Bryan mixing the record. A partial song list for the upcoming album, which is expected to hit streets in the spring 2010 is: Black Feet, Chilled, Loose Cannon, Blues, La Raza, Head On, Get off the Fence, Left Hook From Right Field.

Here's what ARMORED SAINT vocalist John Bush had to say about how the new album came together:

“About a year and a half or so ago Joey asked me if I'd be interested in writing some songs. I was in the right mind finally, so I said send me something. To be quite honest, I wasn't thinking in terms of ARMORED SAINT but more like just writing rock music. I felt pretty free with that mentality and the ideas felt very organic. With every passing song things improved and next thing we knew we had about eight songs demoed. Although the idea of sparking something completely new was appealing it became clear that if it was Joey and I the reality was, let's not kid ourselves; this is ARMORED SAINT.

So here it comes. Embracing my inner R&B singer and coupling that with our influence of the great seventy's hard rock band's we grew up on.”

ARMORED SAINT bassist Joey Vera comments:

“John and I began writing over 14 months ago and in the beginning we had only a general musical direction in which we were going. Once we decided to keep writing and with more of an intention of turning it into an ARMORED SAINT project, we were faced with a few questions. One was, how does this new music we're writing fit into the current musical styles of today? And should we care? We quickly answered the latter. We realized we should do what we always did and that is to write good songs. And for ourselves first. We are not unaware of our parameters in which we have created over the past 25 years, but we are also not afraid to take chances and simply do what we do best. The idea of trying to continue where we left off over 10 years ago since our last release is not very appealing to me. I have to let go of what I did in 1991 and in 2000. Nothing at all against what we've recorded in the past but my head is in a different place now. Trust me; I still want to kill your senses with music, but just in a different way.”

To get a taste of what the new ARMORED SAINT album will sound like, head over to the band's MySpace page where they're streaming the demo version of "Loose Cannon" (performed with a drum program). Loose Cannon gives fans a glimpse into ARMORED SAINT's writing process and is also a nice taste of what's to come on the band's forthcoming full-length studio release.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records