Engel – BLOOD OF SAINTS
Hailing from, Gothenburg, Sweden, Engel is the brainchild of In Flames guitarist Niclas Engelin. Fusing elements of death, thrash and progressive metal with electronica and industrial beats, Engel has distinguished themselves on the world stage with two critically-acclaimed international releases (2007’s ABSOLUTE DESIGN and 2010’s THRENODY) and relentless touring. New album BLOOD OF SAINTS was released last month to rave reviews with Revolver declaring, “…masterful…bloody good.” Check out the video for “Question Your Place” here.
The Last Vegas – BAD DECISIONS
Hailing from Chicago and formed in 2005, The Last Vegas cut their teeth relentlessly playing in support of two independent releases. In 2009, the band burst on to the national scene when Motley’s Crue’s Nikki Sixx saw them play live in Los Angeles and subsequently co-produced their third album, WHATEVER GETS YOU OFF. More touring followed, including a stint opening Motley Crue’s “Saints Of Los Angeles” tour. Their latest album BAD DECISIONS was released in August and contains the straight-up rock n’ roll meets garage/punk rock sound for which the band has come to be known. Check out the video for “Evil Eyes” here.
Before The Dawn – RISE OF THE PHOENIX
Formed in 1999 in Finland by frontman Tuomas Saukkonen, Before The Dawn has released six full-length albums and one DVD and has toured with the likes of Meshuggah, Katatonia, Moonspell and other mainstays in the international metal scene. Their latest album RISE OF THE PHOENIX was released last month. Metal Hammer Germany rated it 6 out of 7 and declared, “A truly epic opus of melodic harshness that rings in a new era for Before The Dawn!” Check out the video for “Phoenix Rising” here.
Loudness – EVE TO DAWN
Known for their blistering technical ability, Loudness was formed in Japan in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and late drummer Munetaka Higuchi. With four very successful and critically-acclaimed albums under their belt in their native Japan, Loudness became the first Japanese heavy metal band to sign to a major label in the United States. In 1985, the band cracked the Billboard Top 100 Album chart with their fifth album, THUNDER IN THE EAST arriving at #74. With an astonishing 26 studio albums, numerous EPs, live albums and videos, Loudness show no signs of slowing down as the band continues to tour the world extensively in support of their new set EVE TO DAWN which was released in August of this year. Of EVE TO DAWN, Revolver avowed, “Injecting furious bursts of thrash and power metal, the quartet thrives off founding guitarist Akira Takasaki’s worship at the altar of Van Halen and Randy Rhoades…”
World Fire Brigade – SPREADING MY WINGS
World Fire Brigade at its core is veteran songwriting trio Brett Scallions (frontman of Fuel, as well as lead vocalist with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors), Sean Danielsen (lead singer/guitarist of Smile Empty Soul) and Eddie Wohl (producer/mixer for Anthax, Ill Nino, Smile Empty Soul, Jesse Malin, 36 Crazyfists and more). Debut album SPREADING MY WINGS features guest appearances by Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Anthrax’s Rob Caggiano, and Andy Andersson (Fuel, Black Robot). The members of World Fire Brigade have sold upwards of 10 million albums worldwide between Fuel, Smile Empty Soul and the production work of Eddie Wohl. Originally conceived as a songwriting vehicle for delivering world-class hard rock songs to other artists, World Fire Brigade evolved into its own group when it became clear that their powerful material was meant to be performed by Scallions, Danielsen and Wohl themselves.
Harm – THE NINE
Formed in 2003 in southern Ontario, Canada, Harm combines a ferociously groove-heavy metallic sound with blistering riffs. Since the band’s inception, Harm has toured throughout Canada, most recently in support of their 2008 self-titled, self-released debut album. Of the offering, Metal Hammer Germany declared, “…their music is a mixture of intense pumping rhythm and modern aggression…really worth listening to!” New album THE NINE was released last month. Check out the video for “Argue & Grin” here.