Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Metal label exec launches cat rescue

Clover and Stevie at the Clover Cat Rescue in Patrick County, Virginia
I don't normally just copy & paste press releases. I know it's an easy way to provide content and generate traffic, but it just feels cheap to me. I'm going to make an exception for this though. I recently received a press release about an accountant at an indie metal label who recently opened a cat rescue in Virginia. It's a pretty touching story that combines two of my favorite things in life: heavy metal and cats.

Here's the press release, courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?: Part 8 in a 10-part series looking back at the best thrash metal albums of 1986


Throughout the year, I've been looking back at some of the best thrash metal albums of 1986 -- the year thrash hit its zenith in popularity and creativity. When possible, I've tried to interview band members, producers and others associated with the original albums. I've also tried to time the blog posts to coincide with the 25th anniversary of each album's release, although accurate release dates from 25 years ago can be hard to come by.

This installment commemorates Megadeth's sophomore release, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?. Depending on the source, the album came out in either July (according to Encyclop√¶dia Metallum), October (Megadeth.com) or November (Wikipedia). Being the lazy bastard that I am, I decided to go with the latest of the three. 

Peace Sells was a landmark release for Megadeth and thrash metal in general. Along with Metallica's Master of Puppets and Slayer's Reign in Blood, it's part of an "unholy trinity" of seminal thrash albums released in 1986. While all of the albums I've covered in this series have devoted followings to one degree or another, there's little doubt that those three stand above the pack. I spoke with Megadeth bassist and founding member Dave "Junior" Ellefson back in July about the impact of Peace Sells and his memories of the early days of the thrash scene. Check out the interview after the break.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dark Angel - Darkness Descends: Part 7 in a 10-part series looking back at the best thrash metal albums of 1986


Throughout the year, I've been looking back at some of the best thrash metal albums of 1986 -- the year thrash hit its zenith in popularity and creativity. When possible, I've tried to interview band members, producers and others associated with the original albums. I've also tried to time the blog posts to coincide with the 25th anniversary of each album's release, although accurate release dates from 25 years ago can be hard to come by.

Fortunately for me, Gene Hoglan has an outstanding memory. Not only did the former Dark Angel drummer remember the release date (Nov. 10, 1986) for the band's seminal album, Darkness Descends, but he even remembered the exact date they entered the studio to record it.

Hoglan joined Dark Angel in 1984 and his impact on the band was immediate -- not only as a drummer, but as a songwriter and lyricist as well. Darkness Descends has long been considered the band's masterpiece for its ridiculously fast tempos and sheer brutality. Hoglan remained in Dark Angel until the band's demise in 1992. Since then, he has attained legendary status among metal drummers, playing with such bands as Death, Testament, Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad and Dethklok. I recently spoke with Hoglan about the 25th anniversary of Darkness Descends, his memories of thrash metal's early days, Dark Angel's reputation as one of the fastest bands alive and his new instructional DVD, The Atomic Clock.