The Troubadour of Testosterone, Zakk Wylde, releases Book Of Shadows II

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I have been listening to the new Zakk Wylde release for several days now and want to share my reflections on it with you.

When I received my pre-order in the mail I was excited to hear some new music from Father Zakk. I unwrapped the CD, and quickly threw it in my truck’s player and settled in for a listen…..

Playing this album it felt like i had put on a pair of comfortable slippers, and settled in to my favorite easy chair. While the songs were new, they felt familiar and comfortable like old friends and yet at the same time, not stale and boring. I tried to pick out some standout tracks but was unable to as the flow of the record, for me, needs to be taken as a whole.

So why would Zakk need to make a solo record? Why not another Black Label Society record? Here are my thoughts.

We all know Zakk can grab his fiddle and choke some fantastic music from it that will crush our collective chests like so many packs of cigarettes, and we know he has some tender moments that give us some memorable ballads. With Book of Shadows II, Zakk gives us some reflective music. This CD is full of music that truly comes from a mans thoughts and life experiences and listening to it will transport you into a thoughtful place. I am taken back to the music of James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Don McLean. These guys created art with their words and guitars.

Why then would hardcore, badass, metalhead, rockers, like this record? Because it shows craftsmanship, and talent…lots and lots of talent. The skill set Zakk shows us on Book of Shadows II shows us why he remains so relevant in the vast world of guitarists.

Bottom line, Book of Shadows II feels like a record that I have had in my collection for years and years and yet puts a smile on my face whenever I play it.

While all of the songs stand out to me as a whole Zakk has released a video for “Sleeping Dogs” and you can check it out here:

     Whether you are a Zakk Wylde/BLS fan or not you should run out today and pick Book of Shadows II to up, pop it in your player, roll the windows down, and go for a 60 minute drive and just let finely crafted music flow through you and take to a reflective place.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!!!

     -the Hellion

 

 

Al Jourgensen talks Surgical Meth Machine

     Well, Things sometimes get a little “different” here at the Hellion Rocks.

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     he’s loud, he’s dirty, he’s Al Jourgensen…

     the Hellion

Appetite for disaster…

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As most of you have probably heard by now there are rumors flying about Axl Rose filling in on vocals for AC/DC. Here is my unabashed opinion, like it or not.

I have stated many times before how I am of the opinion that AC/DC died with Bon Scott. Angus and the boys soldiered on with Brian Johnson and had some good songs but it just wasn’t AC/DC for me and never would be. Yes, I continued to buy every record they released because I support that way, but there was always something missing for me.

Now we hear of some sort of hearing debacle with Brian Johnson and his immediate departure from their current tour. That departure started the rumor mill going full blast with speculation upon speculation as to who would step up and fill Brian’s shoes. Who indeed…

Within my circle of friends I began to hear a rumbling of Axl’s name being thrown about. Then I began seeing it on social media, and now many websites are jumping on the “Axl replacing Brian” band wagon as well.

Here are my thoughts, the AC/DC machine runs pretty tight, Axl does not. I am of the opinion that given who Axl is (don’t get me wrong he is a great front man) and who AC/DC is it would be like oil and water. I cannot even imagine Axl performing with them for one minute. We were all just getting excited about the impending “reunion” of Guns N’ Roses (don’t get me started on that one) and now this hence the title of this writing, “Appetite for Disaster”.

I would love nothing more than to be wrong and it be a great success for Axl and AC/DC but I just don’t see it…

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

 

Condition Critical

I have been following Condition Critical with great anticipation since I saw them back on their last tour to promote Operational Hazard. I think Interminable Surgery off their sophomore album Extermination Plan is smart, heavy, and powerful. It’s everything you would want in a Thrash Metal song and holds nothing back, midway through it changes things up and slams you with some heavy riffing and a crazy solo influenced by the European power metal scene as the band keeps tempo and ends on a heavy note. This is one album and band to keep an eye on. Condition Critical has informed me that this isn’t the final master of the track, so some sounds could change, but I wanted to get it out there in the wild early to help promote these guys as the tracking is pretty top notch already! Look for them on tour! – Simon Arnet

D.R.I.that’s right!!!

D.R.I continues to pack venue’s!

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles has continued to be an independent power house in the crossover genre, bringing together thrashers, punks, skinheads and metalheads alike. The demographic at the Launchpad in Albuquerque, New Mexico was no different than to be expected, and 2016 makes no difference in D.R.I’s astonishing ability to continue selling out venue’s. The Launchpad was packed, and rightfully so, D.R.I just nailed it.

D.R.I had some new songs for us that night as the filled out venue screamed and yelled these new tracks fit right in with everything else D.R.I has done, and that’s not a bad thing. Like AC/DC, D.R.I knows and respects its audience and has an incredible following. The bass, amazing and fantastic guitar work and a new drummer! Who, amazingly could keep up with the high energy of the crowd, Kurt and the rest of team D.R.I!

Monsta, exactly. That fits him and is how he introduced himself to me at the end of the concert. Cool as fuck, down to earth and extremely approachable D.R.I has found a winner. Monsta could absolutely keep a steady beat, and inject energy into the crowd. You could already see D.R.I relying on him for timing, and trusting him. It’s everything you could hope for in a new Drummer.

It’s a ripe time for D.R.I to be releasing new material, Thrash has grown extremely popular over the years, and the new material sounded excellent. Continue watching The Hellion Rocks for details on the New EP release, Album and hopefully an interview! D.R.I is on tour, so get tickets while you can before they aren’t available!

 

-The Hellion’s Horsemen!

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it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the HellionKurtThe Hellion Rocks 1

Blaze Ya Dead Homie

the Hellion here,

When I am asked to cover a show I do my best to make that happen. I was unable to get to this one so I reached out to one of my minions who did a bang up job covering it.

 

An outsider looking in, the misunderstood Juggalo from the perspective of a metalhead.

The Hellion’s Horsemen

Nothing but kindness and love.

When I was asked to cover a Juggalo concert, and Blaze Ya Dead Homie at that, I at first rejected the assignment on previous biases and lack of information about who the Juggalo’s really were. However, a good friend of mine turned out to be a big Juggalo fan convinced me to go with her so I took the assignment, and was glad I did. I received nothing but kindness and love.

The Juggalo’s are super passionate about Horrorcore, the atmosphere was definitely intense in the pits but everyone generally had a good vibe, in fact people who started drama were called out. “THIS MOTHER FUCKER RIGHT HERE!!!”  Followed by “WHOOP!!!! WHOOP!!!!” as security took them out.

When I wanted to get to the front, they made room for me and smiled as they caught a few glimpses of the work I was creating for them. I am glad I had my Juggalo friend with me to help understand the culture of the Jugallo that seems so misunderstood.

The Music was a downright wonder, it’s easy to see how the Juggalo fan base has grown so much and why the music garners such intense passion from its fans. The only Juggalo song I had heard before this concert was the ICP tune Miracles and was confused by it probably because I’m not a Juggalo even though I enjoyed the video and thought the beats were neat.

Heavy Beats, a unique sound, the lyrics are equally as intense as the music with extremely controversial subjects. It’s like, the movie Halloween (the original) in lyrical form. I really enjoyed the intensity, and energy of Blaze, Lex, Trilogy, DJ Stigmata, and illNickEll. Yesterday was a good lesson. I certainly plan on doing a little more after gig research, and a bit more listening

Blaze’s performance was unquestionably a hit. He is a well thought out MC, he works the crowd and the crowd loves him. One women was in tears over his performance. The light, the magic and the swing of his groove was downright inspiring. You could hear his passion for his role and who he is. The subject matter, and his persona along with his label, calling out his ninja’s and family. Regardless of the controversy surrounding the Juggalo’s, their brand and labels if you get the chance to see a concert. Take it. I have been to many concerts. I will remember this one for years to come.

I’m thankful for the opportunity. The Juggalo is a bit less mysterious to me now, and hopefully for others as well. Ya’all were super kind and have some real talent.

The Hellion’s Horsemen is part of an elite team of photojournalist, writers and professionals supporting The Hellion Rocks in its humble ambition to be the best it can be.

the Hellion Rocks responding to the needs of my industry contacts!

the demise of That Metal Show

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in 2008 I was excited to see a show called That Metal Show hit the airwaves. While I felt the show was good, I always felt that there was room for improvements. I was ok with Eddie Trunk as the host but never was satisfied with co-hosts Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine. I always held the opinion that they should have featured a rotating musician co-host. One other thing I think that would have been cool was to randomly pick an audience member to come down and be a featured co-host.   I also would have to have seen some up and coming or lesser known musical guests. There are plenty of talented musicians that could have benefited from this kind of exposure. While I also enjoyed the coverage of “classic” rock bands I feel there was plenty of room to give some newer and lesser known bands exposure as well. I did enjoy the “Stump the Trunk” and “Top 5” segments as well.

I watched every show from every season and will miss it although I felt it could have been so much more. I hope it does find a new home and maybe by some miracle I can tell them about my thoughts… Rest In Peace TMS, another casualty of the war on Rock N’ Roll.

Share YOUR thoughts with me!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion