Lamb of God & Killswitch Engage
11 Polson St.
Toronto, ON, M5A 1A4
Watch & Listen
Lamb of God
There are metal bands and then there is Lamb of God.
A new breed of modern American metal was erected in the 2000s, with Lamb of God serving as the architects who designed the blueprint that would become the standard by which the bands that came after them would be judged. So often, the European metal scene set the tone and establish the creative high watermark of the global metal scene, providing the template that their American brethren would follow. Then Lamb of God came along and all bets were off.
It was Lamb of God who rewrote the rules, devised a new playbook and raised the standard. The genre was forever and irrefutably changed by what the band has done.
By the mid-00s, there was a full metal Renaissance, if you will, in America, with the genre enjoying several years of renewed success and critical respect. Lamb of God worked to establish themselves, without question, as the scene's alpha males, dominating at every turn, leaving a parade of other acts to merely feast on their leftovers and scraps. Mind you, this was not a scene, style or era populated by middling acts, either. The era was filled quality bands and still, it was Lamb of God who defined the time period and that quickly ascended as the game changers and torch bearers. No. Questions. Asked.
Turns out, they've merely nicked the surface of what they can do and plan on accomplishing.
Sometimes, a much-loved and highly successful band needs to shake things up a bit to keep things fresh and interesting for their fans and for themselves, all the while retaining the signature sonic hallmarks that have defined their sound.
For their upcoming sixth album, Massachusetts metal pioneers Killswitch Engage reunited with original singer Jesse Leach, whose vocals and lyrics on 2002's landmark Alive or Just Breathing are fan-favorite qualities and part of what helped put KsE on the map as one of the most important bands of the '00s metal revival. Poll KsE fans and ask which album they like best and Alive or Just Breathing is usually right at the top of the list.
Call it coming full circle, returning to their roots or coming home again. Whatever the case and no matter what you choose to label it, Leach's return to the fold is welcomed and anticipated by all involved, from the band members themselves to the fans. Leach is a fitting piece of the KsE puzzle. KsE enjoyed a decade of success with Leach's replacement Howard Jones, who has moved on amicably.
"This change is very exciting," the band said upon announcing Leach's triumphant return. "We know you're going to love it. This is truly a new era in KsE history and it is ready to shred your face off. So, please help us in welcoming Jesse back into the KsE family; he is a rare and great talent, a fact that older KsE fans have known for years. Here is to a killer new record and a bright future. The five of us cannot wait to write this record and play shows together and bring that feeling to our fans. It's been far too long."
KsE burst onto the scene with the genre-defining Alive or Just Breathing, notching a Grammy nomination in 2005 for the title track from 2004's gold-certified The End of Heartache and following up that landmark album with the Gold-selling As Daylight Dies and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live along with gracing the covers of countless metal and rock magazines around the world.
Through the '00s, KsE adopted a versatile, non-stop touring schedule. The band's road history includes two treks on Ozzfest, stints on Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos, as they have that rare ability to straddle the line between the metal and alternative scenes by touring with Slayer and Mastodon as easily as My Chemical Romance and Underoath
The band's DVD Set This World Ablaze also enjoyed Gold-selling status, proving that KsE have the metallic Midas touch.
However, KsE have never coasted on the wave of prior successes, which saw them become one of the premier, most successful bands to emerge from the so-called New Wave of American metal. With Leach back at the vocal helm and behind the mic and a renewed sense of what they want to accomplish, what once was is brand new again and 2012 (and beyond) looks to be another exciting year (and decade) for Killswitch Engage.
Whether evoking images of a barren post-apocalyptic landscape or extolling the virtues of the nature’s ultimate might, thunderous prophecy shrouded in monolithic, overwhelming musical power has always been Testament’s domain. With Dark Roots Of Earth, (their 10th album, released on July 31st 2012 in North America through Nuclear Blast Records) the Bay Area quintet have delivered their most mature, complete and intense collection in 25 years together, nine mind-bending, pit-stirring classics that will instantly crush your skull while also serving a delicious amount of depth and nuance to devour.
“It’s partially fantasy-based, partially based on the prophecies of the Mayan calendar, partially based on the whole prophecy of the ‘end-of-the-world’” says guitarist/founder-member Eric Peterson, “but nature always ends up taking charge in the aftermath, we always end up back with nature being in charge.”
“Our world is changing,” furthers vocalist Chuck Billy, “it has changed over the last 10 years, the environment, the seasons, and it (makes you wonder) if there ‘might’ be something to those prophecies.”
“It’s hard not to see what the media’s feeding us,” adds Peterson, “ ‘The End of The World’ is like a big billboard, an advertisement, and I think a lot of people believe in it.”
Huntress was birthed in the underground of Highland Park, California, clawing at the roots of heavy metal. Lead singer Jill Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of Huntress. In 2009 she met underground metal band Professor. The universe spread her legs and delivered Huntress to Janus, combining former members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch.
The powerful pentad signed to Napalm Records in November 2011. They unleashed their first music video for "Eight of Swords" in October 2011, directed by Simon Chan of Artificial Army. The song was produced and engineered by Chris Rakestraw of Sunset Lodge Recording in Silverlake, CA. Rakestraw will also produce their debut album, slated for release Spring/Summer 2012 on Napalm Records.
Vocals: Jill Janus
Lead Guitar: Blake Meahl
Rhythm Guitar: Ian Alden
Drums: Carl Wierzbicky
Bass: Eric Harris