Former Queensrÿche Singer Says Band Name Was a Burden

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Ron Dukeshire/Rockstar PR
Geoff Tate

Geoff Tate has always been seen as one rock 'n' roll's archetypal frontmen. As singer of Queensrÿche, he sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and sold out shows in dozens of countries. Tate is ranked in the top 20 on Hit Parader's 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time, and comes in second on That Metal Show's top five hard rock '80s vocalists.

When I saw Queensrÿche perform with vocalist Todd La Torre at the National Association of Music Merchants in January, the only talk in the insanely packed crowd before the band went on were conversations and debates about the lineup and Geoff Tate's absence. One argument ended up with two girls getting into fisticuffs. The topic was creating as much buzz as the House of Blues' heavy whiskey pours.

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Five Dimebag Darrell Memories in Honor of Phoenix DimeFest

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Pantera Facebook
Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott

Ten years ago this December, a musical icon was taken from the world of heavy metal far too early.

When Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott was gunned down performing with his band Damageplan in Ohio, we didn't just lose a guitar legend. To those who knew him, he was one of the most down-to-earth, happy-go-lucky guys around. His comic relief and pranks were legendary. His generosity and dedication to fans was revered. And his passion for the music was downright contagious.

I've argued with many about this matter -- there are some people who have said that Pantera is overrated and Dime wouldn't be held on such a high pedestal if he were still around. I disagree. It's not just because I'm a huge fan of Dime's preferred drink, the Black Tooth Grin (and the Megadeth lyrics that inspired the shot's name), or that I randomly decided to get a Cowboys from Hell tattoo on my neck one New Year's Eve a decade ago.

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New Dragonforce Record Features Johnny Cash Cover, Guitar Solos Recorded on a Yacht

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Dragonforce website
Dragonforce in action

Dragonforce is a gateway drug to heavy metal for video game nerds. No, really -- I've seen it happen.

In the British band's 15-year span, they've been able to develop a sound that truly stands a part from any other band within the genres they're constantly rotated between. It's as if some festival organizer is scratching their head somewhere, saying "Well, they fit in with speed and power metal... but they've also got that hard rock ballad sound down... the fast-as-hell guitar arrangements are on par with technical death metal... and, uh, they also sound like the soundtrack to a retro video game. What's that called again; 'Nintendo metal'?"

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Blessed Be This Heavy Metal Union in the Valley of the Sun

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Stellar photography/Rudy Reilly Facebook
Rudy and Lori

When I saw this viral video the other week of the "most metal first dance at a wedding," I couldn't help but feel a little warm and fuzzy. The goth couple created a playlist that included song snippets from Grave Digger, Pantera, Devil Drive, Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God and Rammstein.

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10 Best Metal Shows in Metro Phoenix in August

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Photo from Artist's Website
Chimaira

August is filled to the brim with heavy metal shows around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and major international legends. So check out the 10 best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley next month.

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The Making of the Phoenix Metal Scene: A Peek at the Men and Women Behind the Curtain

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Maria Vassett
Alice Cooper is one of Phoenix's proud residents;

There's a lot to love within our fiery little corner of the rock and metal industry.

We've thelped breed some pretty legendary bands, like Sacred Reich, Flotsam and Jetsam, Job for a Cowboy, and Alice Cooper, to name a few. We have dozens of brutally talented underground bands, from melodic death metal (Vehemence, St. Madness), sludge and doom metal (From Dogs to Wolves, Tempel), thrash and psychedelic metal (Black Banner Dovichenko, Pelvic Meatloaf), as well as such events as Southwest Terror Fest and the Fuck Cancer benefit. Plus, back in 2012, Heavy Metal Television decided to plant roots in Mesa.

The rock and metal scene in Arizona is alive and well. And that is a direct result of a group of behind-the-scenes folks who keep the whole thing running.

Every month, the calendar is packed with shows. Bands regularly tour and record in the Valley of the Sun because we have a strong population of industry professionals. These professionals, from producers to club owners to promoters, are the very people that keep the local scene running like a well-oiled machine, dedicating their time and money to promoting the hell out of the Arizona heavy scene. It would be impossible to highlight every single person who contributes to the behind-the-scenes aspect, as there are many noteworthy figures and companies.

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Within the Ruins' Newest Album Combines Comic Books and Metal

Categories: Interview, Metal!

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Photo by Jeremy Saffer
Within The Ruins

Concept albums are nothing new in the music world, but Within The Ruins is set to take it in a new direction -- comic books.

The metal band formed in the early '00s and recently has been gaining momentum with the release of Invade in 2010 and and Elite in 2013. Both albums show off the band's technicality and musicianship and take you on fast-paced rides that never slow down.

The band's latest album Phenomena expands on their musical sound, but uses the concept of comic book heroes and villains for its lyrical themes. Within The Ruins teased this earlier in the year when the album was announced and has slowly been revealing each song's concept.


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Horror Show: The Evolution of the Metal Stage Show and the End of Mötley Crüe

Categories: Metal!

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Jim Louvau
Metal shows have a long history of flashy stage shows, and Avenged Sevenfold continued the tradition at Mayhem Festival last week.

"For some, like Kiss, it is pure spectacle. Alice Cooper varies between psychodrama and pure theater. Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson said he feels their performance is close to pantomime. Talking Heads did surreal theater. Lady Gaga does surreal shock. The Rolling Stones opted for large circus-like productions." Arthur Brown

For hundreds of years, people have never failed to be entertained and seduced by three simple things: music, theater, and the shocking and/or horrifying.

Over time, musicians have incorporated all three to create multimillion-dollar stage shows, like Roger Waters' The Wall Live tour from 2010 to 2013, which cost an estimated $60 million to stage.

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Surviving The Summer Slaughter Tour

Categories: Metal!

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Courtesy of Metal Blade Records
Goatwhore

It's sometimes easy to forget the preparations needed when going to a show of any kind. The Summer Slaughter Tour is no exception and planning for it ahead of time is important.

The tour markets itself as "The Most Extreme Tour of the Year" and with such a death metal heavy lineup, there might be some truth to that.


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Tucson Band Animus Divine Thinks Future Is Bright for Arizona Metal

Categories: Metal!, Q&A

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Promotional Photo

Heavy metal and hip-hop hybrid outfit Animus Divine (AD) is one of many low-profile and yet highly talented bands operating in the scorching deserts of Arizona. Based out of Tucson, the streetcore musicians have their eye on the prize to master the entertainment industry, but AD lead singer Chuck Clark acknowledges the hardships of pushing music professionally when he notes: "playing music is just what I do -- if I was in it for the money I would have quit a long time ago."

After disbanding for several years, AD chose to regroup and make the grown-up decision to hire a publicist and assembling a behind the scenes crew to tailor and push their music into more ears for the release of their upcoming album NOVO.

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