Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sevendust, New Era Project Smoke House Of Blues On December 5

By Brian M. Howle

Well, kids, if you’re been a loyal reader and you’ve been paying attention as well, you already know that I strongly contend some of the finest bands known to man have – time after time – originated in that musical hotbed for the Southeast, known to one and all as Atlanta (or more correctly in the local vernacular, Hot’lanta.)

And, doggone it, our peachy neighbors to the south have gone and done it again – well, since 1992 – and now we’re all the better for it. Those in the know have seen them here before and know not to miss this one, as Sevendust – with opening act New Era Project – comes to House Of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, December 5, 2009.

Here’s what all the collective folks at Wikipedia say about this very talented band:

Sevendust is an American metal band from Atlanta, Georgia. They were originally signed to TVT Records, but then released their fifth album with Winedark Records (through Universal Music) in the US, and Roadrunner Records overseas. Currently, they are signed to their own label 7 Bros. Records in conjunction with Asylum Records.

The band formed in late 1992 under the name “Tomorrow’s Pain” then switched to “Rumblefish” then to “Crawlspace”, but later were forced to change their name to Sevendust when a group from the West Coast claimed rights to Crawlspace. The band was heavily influenced by Metallica, Faith No More, King’s X and Living Colour.

Sevendust released their first album Sevendust on April 15, 1997, known for its heavy riffs, angry vocals and thrash-like drumming, as the songs “Black” and “Bitch”. “Black” was the opening song for nearly every Sevendust concert until 2004. The debut album also contains the song “My Ruin” from the Mortal Kombat soundtrack album entitled More Kombat released by TVT Records. After they appeared at Ozzfest 1998 and Dynamo Open Air the same year, their self-titled album went gold.

On August 24, 1999, they released their second album, Home. The album peaked at 19 on the Billboard 200 and featured Skin from Skunk Anansie and Chino Moreno from Deftones as guest vocalists. The two singles from the album, “Denial” and “Waffle”, gave the band moderate chart success, and the latter of which was played on the Late Night with Conan O’Brien show . They appeared in Woodstock 1999 and have toured with many bands such as Korn, Staind, Nonpoint Reveille, Godsmack, Mudvayne, Powerman 5000, Creed, Kid Rock, Machine Head, Limp Bizkit, Disturbed, and Metallica. In 1999, they gained European exposure by opening for Skunk Anansie at various shows in Germany. They also joined Slipknot, Coal Chamber and other bands on a tour called “Tattoo The Earth Tour” in June 2000.

In November 2001, the band released their third album, Animosity. This album went gold and gained the band commercial success thanks to the success of singles “Praise” and “Angel’s Son”, which peaked at 15 and 11 on the Modern Rock Chart. The band also made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman playing an Acoustic Version of Angel’s Son featuring Paul Shaffer on Keyboards. In the same year they are also seen in the Chris Rock movie Down to Earth as a partial clip of “Waffle” is played. Sevendust went on hiatus in 2002 due to the death of Lajon’s brother.

In 2003, Sevendust returned with their fourth album, Seasons. This was one of the band’s best received albums and to-date features their highest charting single (tied with “Driven”), “Enemy”, which peaked at #10 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. “Enemy” was also used as the official theme song for WWE Unforgiven 2003. Other singles released from the album, “Broken Down” and “Face to Face”, met with more moderate success charting at 20 and 22 respectively.

In 2004, for the first time in the band’s career, they released a live album on a CD/DVD double disk package titled Southside Double-Wide: Acoustic Live. Both the CD and the DVD include a cover of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails which is dedicated to Johnny Cash.

On December 11, 2004, after playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, it was announced that Clint Lowery had left the band mid-tour, because he wanted to play with his brother Corey Lowery in his new band Dark New Day, who had reportedly just signed with Warner Bros. Records. A temporary replacement was found to fill in for the rest of the dates, and was eventually replaced by Sonny Mayo (from Snot and Amen). At roughly the same time, Sevendust and TVT Records parted ways. Seasons has since been certified multi-platinum.

On October 11, 2005, Sevendust joined forces with good friend Producer/Engineer Shawn Grove and released their fifth studio album, Next, on the Winedark Records label, distributed by Universal Music. In the process, Sevendust also created their own record label, 7Bros Records. The first radio single off Next was the track “Ugly”, released to radio August 9, 2005 followed by the music video. The track “Pieces” appeared on the soundtrack for the film Saw II. Next debuted at #20 in the US, selling around 37,000 copies in its first week. Not much longer after the release of Next, Sevendust’s former label TVT Records released a greatest hits package for Sevendust, titled Best of (Chapter One 1997-2004), the label’s final Sevendust release. Also, an unofficial video for “Hero” was released showing footage of Bruce Lee in many of his famous film roles.

Sevendust (with Shawn Grove again serving as Producer/Engineer), released their sixth full-length studio album, entitled Alpha, on March 6, 2007. The album debuted at #14 in the US, the band’s highest chart position yet, selling over 42,000 copies of the album in its first week of sale. The band also headlined a 57-date tour from February 8, 2007 to April 28, 2007. Boston heavy metal band Diecast, supergroup Invitro, and modern rock Red accompanied Sevendust on that tour. Retrospective 2, a CD/DVD combo including two previously un-released studio tracks, live concert footage never before seen, as well as the new music videos for the songs “Beg To Differ”, “Ugly”, “Pieces”, and “Driven”, was released on December 11, 2007. The song “The Rim” was released on the Alpha CD but only sold in Target retails stores as exclusive 13th track on the Alpha CD. Their songs “Feed” and “Driven” were used in the soundtrack to WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008.

Sevendust joined Shawn Grove again, and returned to the studio at the end of November 2007 to finish their 7th studio album, titled Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow. The record was originally slated for a release of March 4, 2008, but was later pushed back to April 1. The album debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 and has appearances from Chris Daughtry and Alter Bridge members Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti. The first single released was “Prodigal Son” which peaked at #19 on the mainstream rock chart. The second single was “The Past” and the third “Inside”.

On March 26, 2008, Sevendust announced that Clint Lowery, former guitarist and vocalist for the band, has quit his duties as guitarist for Dark New Day and will be returning to the Sevendust lineup in place of Sonny Mayo. On Lowery’s return, Morgan Rose stated “This was extremely tough considering Sonny is our brother and has been amazing to work with. [Sonny] didn’t do anything wrong at all; we just owe it to ourselves and all the folks that grew up with us to put our original band back together.”

In December 2008 Sevendust toured with Black Stone Cherry for a while and then in January 2009, Sevendust geared up to hit the road with Disturbed, as well as multiple shows for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the spring. According to Morgan Rose, the band has finished writing their 8th studio album and will enter the studio for 2 months in October to record it. They are aiming for an early 2010 release. They recently chose Johnny K as the producer for the upcoming album.

Sevendust released a very limited-edition box set in November 2008 entitled “Packaged Goods”. Each five-disc set is personally autographed by the entire band. The box set includes Sevendust’s 2005 release “Next”, 2007’s “Alpha”, 2007’s “Retrospective 2” (CD + DVD), and 2008’s “Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow”.

As of October 2009, Sevendust are recording a new album in Chicago with producer Johnny K.

Recently Sevendust launched a newly designed website with the same address, promoting the new album they are currently recording in Chicago. The band are currently posting videos daily on their official site and their YouTube channel, with updates on the new album, recording in the studio and also videos of them in the new “house” they are recording from. Stepping out of the box, from regular recording sessions they are showing the fans how the album process is done, and every step in the intricate process.

So far, various tracking has been performed by all members of the band, each working on various songs. It was announced that Corey Lowrey (ex-Stereomud, currently in Violent Plan) has also entered the recording process and will be assisting the band for a brief period.

The current lineup for Sevendust is: Lajon Witherspoon – Lead Vocals (1992-Present); John Connolly – Guitar, Backing Vocals (1992-Present); Clint Lowery – Guitar, Backing Vocals (1992-2004, 2008-present); Vincent Hornsby – Bass (1992-Present), and; Morgan Rose – Drums, Backing Vocals (1992-Present).

Hey, they’re not just for gettin’ rid of fleas anymore (give yourself lots and lots of extree points if you know this one) as Sevendust – with supporting act New Era Project – burn down that storied stage at House Of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, December 5, 2009. Doors open 7:00pm. For ticket info call 843-272-3000 or Ticketmaster 843-679-9333; or visit or
This article also appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, November 22 – December 5, 2009, at .


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Megadeth Brings Their Endgame Tour – And Friends – To HOB November 28


By Brian M. Howle

Every heavy metal musician strives for one thing from the first time they hear that first intoxicating, addictive chord, measure, or lyric – to be in a band that breaks through the unmerciful world of music oblivion and then zooms to world-wide adulation and insane quadruple-Platinum sales. So just imagine that you’ve paid a lot of dues, honed your skills and hooked up with such a group – and then just as they teeter on the threshold of superstardom and a seminal debut album – you get fired and sent home on a Greyhound bus – cross country. Alone. What would you do?

Well, if you were Dave Mustaine, you’d just go out and form your own legendary, iconic heavy-metal thrash band, and you’d name it Megadeth. Which is an amazing coinky dink, because Megadeth – with opening acts Machine Head, Suicide Silence and Arcanium – comes to House Of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, November 28, 2009.

Here’s a little info on the band and their latest release, for which they are touring in support of for this visit:

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1983. Founded by Dave Mustaine following his departure from Metallica, the band has since released twelve studio albums, six live albums, two EPs, twenty six singles, thirty-two music videos, and three compilations.

As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s, but experienced numerous line-up changes, due partly to the band’s notorious substance abuse problems. From 1983 to 2002, Mustaine and bassist Dave Ellefson were the only continuous members of the band. After finding sobriety and securing a stable line-up, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in Peace in 1990 and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992. Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm. However, following extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, followed by United Abominations in 2007; the albums debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively.

Megadeth is known for a distinctive guitar style, often involving complex, intricate musical passages, and trade off guitar solos. Mustaine is also known for his original “snarling” vocal style, as well as his recurring lyrical themes, often involving politics, war, addiction, and personal relationships.

Megadeth has had some commercial success worldwide and has sold more than 20 million albums, with six consecutive albums being certified platinum in the USA. The band has also received great critical acclaim with seven consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance. In the band’s 24 active years, Megadeth has had 20 official members, with Dave Mustaine remaining as the driving force, main songwriter, and sole original member following the end of his musical partnership with David Ellefson in 2002, due to personal disagreements. In the mid-late 1980s, Megadeth were one of the “Big Four of Thrash,” along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the thrash metal sub-genre.

As Megadeth’s primary lyricist, Mustaine is known for his often controversial, political, and more recently, personal lyrics. War and nuclear war are common topics, including the military-industrial complex (“Architecture of Aggression”, “Hangar 18”, “Return to Hangar” “Take No Prisoners”), and the aftermath of war (“Dawn Patrol” “Ashes In Your Mouth”). The name Megadeth is a deliberate misspelling of the word megadeath, a term coined in 1953 by RAND military strategist Herman Kahn to describe one million deaths, popularized in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War. Politics are also a common theme to many Megadeth songs, such as Mustaine’s scathing assessment of Tipper Gore, the PMRC, and music censorship in the song “Hook In Mouth”. Mustaine takes an environmentalist stance in “Countdown to Extinction” and “Dawn Patrol”, and shuns dictators in songs like “Warhorse”, and “Symphony of Destruction”. The UN is criticized for its ineffectiveness in “United Abominations”. Mustaine’s general cynicism regarding politics shines through on tracks like “Peace Sells”, “The World Needs A Hero” and “Blackmail the Universe”.

Controversial and misunderstood lyrics have also caused problems for the band, as the music video for “In My Darkest Hour” was banned from MTV in 1988 when the music channel deemed the song to be pro-suicide. The music video for “À Tout le Monde” was later banned by MTV, again wrongly interpreted as being pro- suicide, when in fact it was written from the perspective of a dying man, saying his last words to his loved ones

Addiction is also a common theme, as in “Use the Man”, “Burnt Ice”, and “Addicted to Chaos”, about a former substance abuse counselor who died of a drug overdose. Recently, some lyrics have taken on religious themes, such as “Never Walk Alone… A Call to Arms”, which supposedly is about Mustaine’s relationship with God, and “Shadow of Deth”, with spoken lyrics taken directly from Psalm 23 of the King James Bible.

Dave Mustaine is notorious for making inflammatory statements in the press, usually regarding feuds and problems with former bandmates and other bands, including Slayer and Metallica. Perhaps most well known is his long standing feud with Metallica members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, stemming from his ejection from the band, and the method in which it was conducted, as well as disagreements on songwriting credits.

In April 1988, at a concert in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Mustaine “unknowingly” dedicated the final song to the IRA. Before the final song, “Anarchy in the UK”, Mustaine said, “This one’s for The Cause!”. A fight amongst the audience ensued, as Protestants took offense and, according to Mustaine, the band had to travel in a “bulletproof bus” for the remainder of the tour of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Mustaine later alleged that he had been misled as to the meaning of the expression “the cause” by T-Shirt bootleggers outside the venue where they were performing. This incident served as inspiration for one of Megadeth’s most well-known songs, “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”.

Also sparking minor controversy was Mustaine’s announcement that Megadeth will not play certain songs live anymore, due to Mustaine’s new identification as a Christian. In recent years Dave Mustaine has become a Born again Christian. In May 2005 Mustaine also allegedly threatened to cancel shows in Greece and Israel with extreme metal bands Rotting Christ and Dissection, due to the bands’ perceived anti-Christian beliefs, which in turn caused the two bands to cancel their appearances.

With over 25 million albums sold worldwide, ten top 40 albums (including 5 top 10 albums), 18 top 40 Mainstream Rock singles, and seven Grammy nominations, Megadeth remains one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. Of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands (Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer), Megadeth is second only to Metallica in sales and commercial success.

As an early pioneer of thrash metal, Megadeth helped pave the way for the burgeoning extreme metal movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and is often cited as an influence by later metal acts, including Pantera, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God, and In Flames.

Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? is considered a landmark in the history of thrash metal, with Allmusic calling the album “One of the most influential metal albums of its decade, and certainly one of the few truly definitive thrash albums,” as well as “one of the best beginning-to-end metal albums ever”. In May 2006 VH1 ranked “Peace Sells” #11 on the 40 Greatest Metal Songs of all time countdown. In addition to this, Rust In Peace was named the 3rd greatest thrash metal album of all time by Metal Hammer magazine. Peace Sells…But Who’s buying? was placed 11th. In 2004, Guitar World magazine ranked Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman together at #19 on the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.

The current lineup for Megadeth is: Dave Mustaine – lead vocals, guitar (1983–present); Chris Broderick – guitar, backing vocals (2008–present); James Lomenzo – bass guitar, backing vocals (2006–present); and, Shawn Drover – drums, percussion (2004–present)

Endgame is the twelfth studio album by Megadeth. Released on September 9, 2009, it is the first album featuring guitarist Chris Broderick following Glen Drover’s departure in 2008.

The first preview of any song off Endgame was a six-minute video featuring the band’s English producer Andy Sneap describing the process of mixing the new Megadeth track “Head Crusher” at his studio in Derbyshire, England. In the video, Sneap says, “It’s certainly old-school Megadeth — that’s what I like.” Endgame was recorded at the band’s own personal studio, aptly named Vic’s Garage, in San Marcos, California USA.

Endgame received highly positive reviews and was thought of continuing the success from the band’s 2007 album United Abominations. Chad Bowar, reviewer, stated, “Megadeth is still at the top of their game. Endgame has some old-school moments, but also modern ones. 2007’s United Abominations garnered a lot of critical praise and was on many year-end best of lists that year… Endgame is even better.” Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic stated, “…and company’s second release for Roadrunner, Endgame, whose title apparently refers to “coming full circle” rather than any sort of goodbye, and finds the latest iteration of Megadeth — debuting new guitarist Chris Broderick (ex-Nevermore, Jag Panzer) — working primarily within their technical thrash comfort zone (think Peace Sells through Rust in Peace), with only a few latter-day elements and rare experimental diversions.”

Endgame debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200, selling 45,000 copies in the United States and 8,200 copies in Canada in its first week of release. The album also placed as #1 on the Hard Rock Albums chart and #2 on the Rock Albums chart. Musician Slash gave a favorable review to Endgame via twitter. Hey, what better endorsement do you want, huh?

So prepare to slosh that leetle gray matter mass around your noggin’ as Megadeth – with supporting acts Machine Head, Suicide Silence and Arcanium (no pushing, now, plenty of angry angst for all the kids!) – refine head banging at House Of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, November 28, 2009. Doors open 6:00pm. For ticket info call 843-272-3000 or Ticketmaster 843-679-9333; or visit or
This article also appears at under “Nightlife & Entertainment” in the Nov. 5, 2009 issue. was originally published at:


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