What convenient timing! Amazingly the last blog of 2013 has coincided with the 50th post on RockAtlantic, so I thought I’d write a special blog looking back at some of the stories I have featured on this blog and updating you to what happened after they were published, and although I’d like to claim this timing was intentional, it was unfortunately just a mere coincidence.
‘The Dysfunctional Family’ (April 1)
In my first post on RockAtlantic I explained how Machine Head’s bassist Adam Duce was fired from the band in February as his heart hadn’t been in it for “well over a decade”. To find a replacement Machine Head held a competition in which anyone could send in an audition video playing the bassline from either ‘This Is The End’, ‘Halo’ or ‘Beautiful Mourning’. As I suspected all the bedroom bassist hopefuls who applied didn’t get the gig; instead they opted intelligently for touring experience and chose ex-Sanctity frontman Jared MacEachern, who had passed their auditions (especially the vocal-side of it) “with flying colours”.
Here is Jared MacEachern’s audition for ‘Halo’:
Machine Head are currently writing their follow up to 2011’s highly successful ‘Unto the Locust’.
‘Reunions’ (May 4)
Back in January ex-Korn guitarist Brian Welch, known better as ‘Head’, joined Korn back on stage for the first time in the best part of eight years and shortly after was re-integrated into the band; an event that seemed almost impossible after various insults were publicly thrown across from both sides of the split.
Fast forward to October when Korn’s eleventh studio album ‘The Paradigm Shift’ was released. The record is their first effort to feature contributions from Head since 2003’s ‘Take A Look In The Mirror’ and is a return to form for a band that has been lost in the confusion of not knowing what musical direction to take.
Whilst I personally enjoyed their dubstep-infused ‘The Path Of Totality’ and the dark atmospheres of ‘See You On The Other Side’, and found that ‘Untitled’ and ‘Korn III’ left me wanting more, many fans felt the polar opposite towards these albums. However ‘The Paradigm Shift’ has managed to find a middle ground, keeping in the electronic elements for ‘Spike In My Veins’ and ‘Victimized’, but returning to the nu metal riffing of the past for ‘Love & Meth’ and ‘Prey For Me’. It’s a surprising rebirth for a band that many had written off a long time ago.
‘Decisions, Decisions, Decisions’ (July 8)
In this blog I discussed the Progressive Music Awards which are run by Prog Magazine. There were no real surprises in the outcome of the votes which included Steven Wilson’s ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ winning the album of the year (the same album came third in my top 10 albums of 2013 last week) and Mike Portnoy winning the virtuoso award. I personally wanted The Elijah to win the newcomers award for their unique brand of post-metal that juxtaposes harsh vocals with serene soundscapes. Unfortunately the week I released that blog I heard the news that the band had decided to call it day and were embarking on their last ever set of tour dates. It was such a blow for a band that I honestly believed had so much potential.
Here the amazing ‘I Loved’ here:
‘Hail To The King’ (July 24)
This post was the second segment of a five part series in which I reviewed five new songs that had recently been released. ‘Hail To The King’ was the lead single of the then-upcoming Avenged Sevenfold album of the same name. As you may recall I was excited by this song – I felt it was strong and musically different to their previous efforts, and whilst it wasn’t their best song, it gave me hope that the other songs on the album would continue to explore and experiment on this new sound like all previous A7X albums have done.
I admit now that I was wrong.
The album turned out to be very bland indeed and in turn saw the band getting all the plaudits simply for it being similar in sound to Metallica’s Black Album. The problem with this is that I already own ‘Metallica’ and therefore have no need for a modern ‘take’ (replace with ‘copy’ depending on personal preference) on a classic metal sound. There are certainly a few good songs on the record like ‘Acid Rain’ and ‘Planets’ and it will definitely attract a substantially greater audience towards the five-peice. However the problem is that they have openly admitted changing musical direction because they see themselves as the next metal royalty akin to Metallica or Iron Maiden, which is a decision which can only be taken by us, the fans.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has read, liked, commented on and subscribed to RockAltantic over the past eight months and I wish you all a very happy new year!