Pantera: Power Groove Desperadoes!!!...

Being in a professional rock band is very hard work.  It involves sacrifice, countless hours in the studio and on the road, personal and collective evolution and the constant temptations that come with being a rock star.  Once a person decides to dedicate his life, time and energy to this profession, they do so knowing that their may be great rewards for their efforts, but there also may be failures and even tragedies along the way.  One band that knows these facts all too well is Arlington, Texas based ‘power’ groove rockers Pantera. Formed in 1981 by brothers Vinnie and Darrell, Pantera was a glam metal outfit originally known as Pantera’s Metal Magic.  The band consisted of Vinnie Paul Abbott (drums), “Diamond” Darrell Abbott (guitar), Terry Glaze (guitar), Tommy Bradford (bass) and Donnie Hart (vocals).  In 1982, the band shortened their name to Pantera, Hart left band for ethical reasons, moving Glaze to vocals and making Darrell the lone axe-man.  Later in the same year Bradford also decided to leave and the band recruited Rex Brown for bass duties.  In 1983 Pantera released their independent debut Metal Magic.  The album was more akin to KISS and Van Halen, rather than the groove and trash influences the band would implement on later major-label releases.  The band would continue to release three more independent glam metal releases: Projects in the Jungle (1984), I Am the Night (1985) and Power Metal (1988). Before the release of Power Metal, Pantera decided that vocalist Glaze, who had by then changed his name to Terrance Lee, did not fit the new direction they wanted to take creatively.  Being heavily influenced by the trash metal releases of 1986 and 1987 by bands such as Metallica and...

Ozzy Osbourne: Godfather of Heavy Metal...

  When you think of heavy metal one name will usually come to mind rather quickly.  Ozzy Osbourne.  And when it comes to names, Ozzy Osbourne may be associated with more heavy weights than any other man in metal.  Tony Iommi.  Randy Rhodes.  Geezer Butler.  Jake E. Lee.  Bill Ward.  Zakk Wylde.  He’s married to the reigning first lady of metal, Sharon Osbourne.  His family is heavy metal royalty in and of itself.  His namesake is the most recognizable tour in metal history.  He has sold over one hundred million records world wide.  The title of “Godfather of Heavy Metal suits him well, don’t you think? As most know, Osbourne began his music career in Aston, England along with bandmates Geezer Butler (bass), Bill Ward (drums) and Tony Iommi (guitar).  In 1968 they were originally known as Earth and played heavy blues music.  Due to a scheduling conflict with a band of the same name they changed their name to Black Sabbath.  They got darker and heavier, even drawing form the occult and personal supernatural experiences. Black Sabbath would forge on to become metal pioneers, selling millions of records worldwide and going down in history as arguably the best heavy metal band of all time.  They placed number one atop MTV’s Top Ten Heavy Metal Bands and two on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock.  Their wrote heavy metal classic hits like “War Pigs”, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, “Sweat Leaf” and “Iron Man”, the latter of which was ranked number one by VH1 on its 40 Greatest Metal Songs countdown.  Black Sabbath’s early releases are considered to be breakthrough albums in the realm of heavy metal. And Sabbath also had a taste for the debauchery of rock-n-roll.  Every member...

Linkin Park: Progressors of Nu Metal...

You have sold millions of records worldwide, including a Diamond album certified by the RIAA.  You have successfully taken to new heights a mixture of some of the most popular genres during your time.  You have collaborated with some of the hottest and most recognizable names in other genres.  You earned a nice collection of awards, including a couple of Grammys.  You were the first rock band to achieve one billion hits on Youtube.  You’re LinkinPark. Three Agoura High School friends, Mike Shinoda (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Rob Bourdon  (drums), and Brad Delson (lead guitar), began recording music shortly after graduation in Shinoda’s bedroom studio.   Joe Hahn (turntables, samples, programming, keyboards), Dave “Phoenix” Farrell (bass, backing vocals), and Mark Wakefield (vocals) rounded out the group.  The originally were called Xero, and then changed that to Hybrid Theory, eventually settling on LinkinPark.  It was supposed to be Lincoln Park, the namesake of a Santa Monica park, but they wisely changed it to Linkin in order to obtain the internet domain linkinpark.com.  They recorded their four track demo, yet failed to get a record deal.  Soon after the failed demo, Farrell and Wakefield left the band for different reasons.  With the departure of Phoenix, the band went through two replacements for bass duties; Kyle Christener in 1999, then Scott Koziol from 2000-2001.  Farrell would eventually rejoin the group after Koziol’s tenure.  With the departure of Wakefield, the band recruited Chester Bennington off of a recommendation form Zomba MusicVP Jeff Blue.  Blue would also be instrumental in obtaining LinkinPark their first record deal when he became VP of Warner Bros. Records. With five years of material and growth, LinkinPark released their major-label debut, Hybrid Theory, to a massive success.  The debut sold just...

KoЯn: Nu Metal “Five” Fathers!!!...

It is rare when a musical act can honestly state that they were true innovators and pioneers for a specific musical movement and/or genre.  Names like Elvis Presley, Metallica, NWA and Led Zeppelin come to mind in this regard.  Another band that can lay claim to this achievement is the Sacramento based Korn.  Korn were the first pioneers of the nu metal genre that gained massive popularity in the mid-‘90s to 2000’s.  Without Korn, bands such as Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Coal Chamber, Crazytown and many others may have never obtained their nu metal chops and went on to achieve mainstream success in the process.  Whether you love or hate nu metal, you have Korn to thank for it. Korn has origins in the Bakersfield based group L.A.P.D., which contained members James “Munky” Shaffer (guitar), Reginald Arvizu (bass) and David Silveria (drums).  After L.A.P.D. released their debut studio album Who’s Laughing Know, the group disbanded and the three aforementioned members recruited Brain “Head” Welch (guitar) and Jonathan Davis (vocals) to form a new band.  Someone suggested the name “corn” which, in all honesty was justifiably, shot down.  Shaffer had the idea to spell the name with both a “K” instead of a “C”, and a backwards “R”, so the band’s name would appear as “KoЯn”. The logo was designed by vocalist Jonathan Davis. Silveria explained, “the music makes the name, because Korn’s a dumb name. But once we get established, it makes the name cool.” In 1993 KoЯn released their first demo album, Neidermayer’s Mind.  With limited printing, the album did not gain positive reception from the industry or public, but it is considered to be the pioneering sound for nu metal. After recording with now famed producer Ross Robinson, Korn released their...

Disturbed: Throwing Down Metal Hits for Over a Decade!!!...

For modern hard rock and metal, there are not many bands out there that have been as successful, powerful and beloved as Disturbed.  Their music is monstrous and everlasting; belonging comfortably both in your headphones and in the biggest arenas spanning the globe.  If you have ever had the privilege of attending one of their awesome live shows then you undoubtedly felt the charged energy that the band members share with the audience, and visa versa.  And you probably felt said energy from the moment frontman David Draiman says his inspired “My brothers, my sisters, my blood…SPEAK TO ME!!!” Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Disturbed started in 1994 with Erich Awalt on vocals and went by the name Brawl.  The band also contained Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums) and Steve “Fuzz” Kmak (bass).  Shortly after they recorded their first demo tape in 1996, Awalt quit the band for personal reasons.  The band posted ads looking for a new singer and, after twenty auditions in the same month, the ad was answered by Draiman.  During the audition the band members where highly impressed by Draiman’s insistence and readiness not to audition with covers, instead wanting to try to write to the band’s original material.  When Draiman began to sing, the band members were even more impressed.  According to Donegan, “After a minute or two, he just starts banging out these melodies that were huge…I’m playing my guitar and I’m grinning from ear to ear, trying not to give it away that I like this guy, you know, because I don’t want to, you know…[say] ‘Yeah, we’ll give you a call back. We’ll, you know, discuss it.’ But I was so psyched. Chill up my spine. I’m like, ‘There is something...