Fates Warning Awaken the Guardian Live Blu-ray | 2-CD/1-DVD | Vinyl
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release date: April 28, 2017
In 1986, progressive metal outfit Fates Warning released their Awaken the Guardian album up against such seminal works as Metallica’s Master Of Puppets, Slayer’s Reign In Blood, and Megadeth’s Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?. With competition like that, it’s no wonder that the band’s third effort didn’t skyrocket to the top of the metal world, even though it deserved to, as Awaken the Guardian is a masterpiece, plain and simple.
The album marked the Connecticut band’s final release with original singer John Arch before continuing till today with frontman Ray Adler. But last year, for the 30th anniversary of Awaken the Guardian, guitarist, songwriter, and mastermind Jim Matheos reassembled the album’s line-up to play two festival shows. Now, Metal Blade Records has released the performances on DVD and Blu-ray as Awaken the Guardian Live, and if you’re a fan of this album and line-up, then this release is going to blow you away.
If you like traditional, clean-vocal heavy metal like Judas Priest, Queensryche, Dio, and Iron Maiden, have I got a treat for you! I stumbled across a band called Charred Walls of the Damned while downloading the advance copy of another band’s album from Metal Blade Records. I decided to check these guys out based solely on their name and, man I could not be more pleasantly surprised! It turns out that CWOTD is a metal supergroup consisting of drummer Richard Christy (ex-Iced Earth, ex-Death, and The Howard Stern Show), singer Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (his list of credits is as long as your arm and includes Iced Earth, Death, Autopsy, Testament, and Obscura), and guitarist (and metal super producer) Jason Seucof.
It also seems that this is their third record. How on Earth I’m just now finding out about this band is beyond me because their new album Creatures Watching Over the Dead (all of their record titles follow the CWOTD motif) is absolutely amazing! It’s out this Friday (September 23, 2016) and you should definitely check it out.
Lizzy Borden may not be the most famous band to emerge from L.A.’s Sunset Strip glam metal scene in the ’80s, but it is certainly one of the longest-running and most influential. Starting out in 1983 and first gaining notoriety when their track “Rod of Iron” appeared on Metal Blade Records’ Metal Massacre IV compilation, the shock rockers would go on to create some of the greatest and most influential and enduring metal of the era.
Despite numerous lineup changes (including those brought on by the deaths of two members in separate traffic accidents), the singer and mainstay who also happens to be named Lizzy Borden (after the notorious 1800’s figure Lizzie Borden who was accused and later acquitted of killing her parents with an axe) continues to write, record, and tour to this day.
There is heavy metal and then there is Birmingham steel. England’s most famous foundry town has been an epicenter of extreme music ever since Black Sabbath (arguably) invented heavy metal there in the late 1960s. Birmingham has given us some of metal’s most seminal bands such as Judas Priest and Napalm Death. But perhaps the most extreme and currently influential band to hail from the midlands town is one that not many people outside of the genre of black metal have ever heard of. They are the two man force of nature known as Anaal Nathrakh.
Their name comes from a charm recited by the wizard Merlin in the 1981 film Excalibur and for the last eighteen years they have been casting a spell of their own on extreme metal fans across the globe. Their abrasive elixir consists of black metal with heaping helpings of death metal, grindcore, and industrial music.
Colorado’s Allegaeon is one of the most exciting bands the technical death metal genre today. That’s why fans were given cause for concern when the band announced last year that they had parted ways with founding member, vocalist Ezra Haynes. But recently those concerns have been laid to rest with the release of the first advanced single from their upcoming fourth album Proponent For Sentience. The track is titled “Gray Matter Mechanics” and is our first glimpse of new vocalist Riley McShane. The new frontman seems to be a perfect fit with Allegation’s particular blend of goofiness and scientific nerdy-ness. This is thinking man’s metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously.