Gas Monkey Live Presents
Millennial Reign, Dark Avenue
10110 Technology Blvd
Dallas, TX, 75220
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM (event ends at 12:00 AM)
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Heavy metal certainly has no shortage of rebels. It seems like everybody’s rebelling against something, and that’s part of the genre’s allure. However, the most rebellious thing anybody can do is hold steadfast to personal beliefs and never waver. Stryper indisputably do both.
They’re not shy about their Christian beliefs, but they’re also consistently as heavy as any of the genre’s pillars. Following up 2013’s seminal opus No More Hell To Pay, which debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums Chart and #2 on the Christian Albums Chart, their eleventh full-length original album, Fallen [Frontiers Music SRL], is their heaviest offering to date.
“In the past 30 years, we’ve evolved into what we are now,” says vocalist and guitarist Michael Sweet. “This is what we always really wanted to be. I love the progression. The story of Stryper is that of an underdog. We go against the grain with everything we do. This album is another chance to show the world what we can do.”
In early 2015, Michael and his band mates Robert Sweet [drums], Oz Fox [guitar], and Tim Gaines [bass] retreated to Spirithouse Recording Studio in Northampton, MA. The four musicians collectively immersed themselves in the recording process for Fallen with Michael handling production yet again.
“There’s something to be said for the chemistry of a whole band in the studio together,” he continues. “We were there living and breathing this record, and I feel like the results speak for themselves.”
Album opener “Yahweh” certainly does. Penned with Clint Lowery of Sevendust and Call Me No One, the six-minute plus anthem fuses tight thrash guitars with soaring vocals and a galloping beat. Airtight solos nearly collide with an orchestral refrain bolstered by a muscular groove.
“It’s an epic unlike anything we’ve ever recorded,” smiles Michael. “I was so moved by The Passion of the Christ. Even though it was bloody and disturbing, it represented what actually happened. I wanted the lyrics to be the same way.”
At the same time, the first single “Pride” weaves together intricate fretwork with a slamming refrain that seesaws between swooning and searing. “Sometimes, pride gets in the way of what we want to accomplish or what we want to do,” he sighs. “Everybody goes through that. It’s my reminder saying, ‘Let’s not allow pride to tear us apart.’ Nine times out of ten, that is what separates us. Beat our pride down, and we will survive.”
“All Over Again” stands out as the album’s centerpiece. With an orchestral elegance and an ever so slightly countrified swing, the track sits proudly in the Stryper canon alongside the likes of “Honestly.” “It isn’t a hair ballad or a piano ballad,” he laughs. “It’s different, and that’s important to us. I have a funny feeling this might be a standout track for everyone.”
Following a tradition of some bombastic and bruising covers, Stryper also tackled Black Sabbath’s classic “After Forever.” The foursome infused a new kind of fire into this timeless gem. “We grew up on Black Sabbath,” he says. “It says something. Stryper covering a Sabbath tune causes much controversy. The lyrics are very interesting because it questions if Sabbath was a Christian band or not. They could have been the first Christian group if you take a closer look at those lyrics.”
Stryper continue to remain metal stalwarts, leaving an indelible mark on the genre with every subsequent album. With hits in their arsenal such as “Calling On You”, “Free”, “I Believe In You” and “Always There For Your,” album sales exceed over 10 million worldwide with their discography including one of the most successful Christian rock albums ever, 1986’s multi-platinum, Grammy Award-nominate To Hell With The Devil. They also have the distinction of being the first band in history to notch two songs in MTV’s Top 10 with “Free” and “Honestly.”
Ultimately, for all the heaviness, Fallen possesses the power to uplift. What’s more rebellious than that?
Michael leaves off, “I want everybody to walk away with excitement, encouragement, and joy. It’s all positive. It’s not about being heavy or dark. It’s about sharing this energy. I hope they press the ‘repeat’ button and feel blown away.”
That’s exactly what all the best heavy metal does.
Millennial Reign was formed as a solo CD project by ASKA Bassist, Dave Harvey. Writing for the album began in 2010 as Dave searched for the right vocalist and drummer. Bryan Diffee who had worked with Dave in a prior band a few years earlier was recruited to play drums. Once a solid drummer was secured, Trae Doss came on board to write and record vocals. All guitar, bass and key tracks for Millennial Reign's debut self titled album were written and recorded by Dave Harvey. The album was recorded at The Recovery Room Studio with engineer Ty Sims and released indepedently in 2012.
A year or so passed and Dave decided to start writing material for the second album. Trae and Bryan weren't available to work on the sophomore album so Dave began searching for a vocalist as music writing continued. James Guest of the muliple album project Eden's Realm replied to an online ad and it was soon obvious that he was definitely the right guy for the job.
As writing between both Dave and James began, Wayne Stokely who had worked with Dave in various projects was recruited to record drums. After some discussion as things progressed, the decision was made to make Millennial Reign a full band, rather than just a recording project.
Several bass players were auditioned and Daniel Almagro, who works with Wayne in their powermetal band Infidel Rising was chosen. Once Daniel was on board, full band rehearsals began as they continued the search for the right second guitarist.
Months of rehearsals went by with several spuradic guitarist auditions, and the final member Jason Donnelly was chosen as second guitarist. Wayne, Daniel and Jason were all a perfect fit and things began moving forward at a great pace.
Once recording was finished, mix and mastering took place at Nomad Studio with engineers JT Longoria and Gary Long. A deal was made with Swedish label Ulterium Records for an October 30th release in both Europe and North America for the new album Carry The Fire.
Any fan of Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Judas Priest and Crimson Glory will not be dissappointed with this new album. Millennial Reign should be in any collection of melodic or traditional powermetal.
Sometimes things catch fire. Just ask Dark Avenue. Originally formed as a side project to the Dallas/Fort Worth heavyweight Pistol Whippin Ike, three of the members began writing alternate jams for fun – and the project instantly sparked a wildfire. In a short amount of time the band established a reputation in the DFW area, performed with acts like Pop Evil, Queensrÿche, Red Sun Rising, Bobaflex, 36 Crazyfists, and launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to finance their first recordings. With the release of their debut album Illusions, Dark Avenue have bridged the gap between metal and hard rock – and Texan crowds have been drawn to their fulgent flame.
Formed in 2014, Dark Avenue is comprised of guitarists Barry Lorberbaum and Andrew Lewthwaite, bassist Alan Sauls, drummer Jeff Hathcock and vocalist Mario Cadena. The band’s first recording was Seasons Change, a five-song EP whose title track was the catalyst that ignited regional interest. It spurred a showcase during SXSW/Austin Music Week and a development deal with Breakout Artist Management, who fostered their growth and transcended them beyond the Dallas scene.
“The scene in Dallas is super vibrant,” explains Lorberbaum. “But there wasn’t anyone bridging the gap between heavy bands and the lighter bands. The heavy music crowds stuck to their bands, and the alterative/hard rock fans stuck to theirs. You did not see any crossover fans. That gap is bridged with our music. The metal fans get their heavy, and the alt-rock fans get their more mainstream sound, and all get songs they can relate and sing along to.”
That middle ground between heavy and light is where the nexus of creativity lies for Illusions. In the center of a Killswitch Engage/Imagine Dragons Venn diagram, the first single “Outside” is colossal and robust, yet driven by dynamic and melodic vocals. Perhaps that’s why it’s been featured on several nationally televised MMA events. Then there’s the song "Una Vez Mas," the group’s first single in Spanish. Its overwhelming response prompted the band to track Spanish versions of their songs for a future deluxe release of Illusions. And let’s not forget the crowd favorite “Maybe Tomorrow.” It won Video of The Year at the 2016 Krave Music Awards and helped them take home the grand prize: Artist of The Year.
“I want people to leave listening to the album like they were right there with us,” says Cadena, “feeling what we were feeling, seeing what we were seeing, as if they were part of it.”
Dark Avenue is:
Mario Cadena - Vocals
Barry Lorberbaum - Guitar
Andrew Lewthwaite - Guitar
Alan Sauls - Bass
Jeff Hathcock - Drums
$24.00 - $600.00
LIMITED $10 (GA) Pre Sale 9/21-9/28 from 10AM-10PM (or until sold out)!
$24 Advance/ $26 Day of Show/ $45 Premier Red Room/ $200 Premier Tables/ $600 Premier Cabanas
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