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The XS ROCK Best Death/Black/Extreme Metal Album List For 2019

Best Death Metal / Extreme Metal/ Black Metal Albums Of 2019   01. Amon Amarth - Berserker (Metal Blade)           02. Cattle Decapitation - Death Atlas (Metal Blade)           03. Entrails - Rise Of The Reaper (Metal Blade)           04. Rotting Christ - Heretics           05. Children of Bodom - Hexed           06. Possessed - Revelations of Oblivion           07. Soilwork - Verkligheten           08. Gatecreeper - Deserted           09. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Veleno           10. Borknagar - True North (Century Media)           11. Infected Rain - Endorphin (Napalm)           12. Jinger - Macro (Napalm)          

How Many Of These Rock Stars Real Names Do You Know?

A large number of rock stars prefer to use a "Stage Name" rather than their birth name.  Interestingly enough, some are variants of their real names just changed slightly, while others are completely original creations.  While you may know some of these rock stars "Real Names", it's a good bet that you didn't know them all. So check out our list below and.....   See How Many Of These Rock Stars Real Names Do You Know?   "Nikki Sixx" (Real Name) Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr. Bass Player for Motley Crue "Vince Neil" (Real Name) Vincent Neil Wharton Lead Singer For Motley Crue "Mick Mars" (Real Name) Robert Alan Deal Guitarist For Motley Crue "Tommy Lee" (Real Name) Thomas Lee Bass Drummer For Motley Crue   "Gene Simmons" (Real Name) Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz) Vocals and Bass For KISS "Paul Stanley" (Real Name) Stanley Bert Eisen Vocals and Guitar...

The Black Hole In Rock N’ Roll

Since rock ‘n roll first hit the scene there has been a constant state of evolution in both sound and style. While early artists were fading out of the limelight another generation was making their mark. Artists of the 50’s giving way to the new sound of artists like the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. More bands continued to create new soundscapes with artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath creating news sounds and sub-genres in rock music. With the British Invasion and the successes of The Beatles and The Stones, Rock music reached the masses and became household names. While new bands were hitting the scene,  bands like the aforementioned were revered as rock music icons and maintained followings. Later, bands like KISS, Aerosmith, Deep Purple along with Zeppelin and Sabbath created a hard rock genre that found success with the mainstream as audience well.  Yet...

Def Leppard’s Change In Sound: The Tale Of Two Leppards

Def Leppard is arguably one of the most successful bands to emerge from the 80’s hard rock and heavy metal scene.  The band found success early on, hitting the scene with their debut full-length album “On Through The Night” in 1980. Followed up, only one year later with “High N’ Dry”, the band was quickly gaining a large fan base and praise worldwide.  Def Leppard hit the big time with “Pyromania” in 1983 striking up huge record sales sparked by the enormously popular single “Photograph”.  Def Leppard was now a household name.    Everything seemed to be going the band’s way but tragedy was soon to strike the band and unfortunately, more than once. https://youtu.be/pTi1R_3dOuc Starting on December 31st, drummer Rick Allen’s Corvette veered off of the road and the accident caused Allen to lose his arm.  Most assumed his career was over with the band, but both Allen and the...

10 Bad Albums By 10 Great Hard Rock Bands

You wanted the best....you got the best! Now here are some of their worst albums These 10 artists are some of hard rocks' most famous bands.  Most have long careers with certified Gold and Platinum albums.  But even these artists have at least one album that they'd like to forget ever happened. Kiss-The Elder Kiss had been riding high since the '70s with one great album after another until things started to go lame with "Unmasked". While a lot of people thought it was the band's worst album, they soon realized that it wasn't when Kiss started circling the drain with the release of "Music From The Elder".  While the band may get creativity points for trying a concept album, that was about all they'd get when fans heard the album for the first time.  Unfortunately, it was just a bridge too far for not only Kiss fans but for...

Will Joyous Wolf Be The Next Big Rock Band?

Joyous Wolf has a definite retro-rock sound that still has a modern edge to it.  The band is generating a large following and seems to be heading down the same path that has lead Greta Van Fleet to find fame and fortune.  Joyous Wolf is out on the road with Buckcherry and will see their debut EP released on April 19th. Hailing from Southern California, Joyous Wolf formed in 2014 by vocalist Nick Reese, guitarist Blake Allard, bassist Greg Braccio, and drummer Robert Sodaro. Reese and Sodaro met on their first day of 6th grade during student orientation. They went to different high schools where Sodaro would go on to befriend Braccio. During that time Reese, by chance, met Allard in the acoustic room at Guitar Center where they would jam CCR’s “Born on the Bayou”. There was an immediate dynamic between the two that ultimately led to an exchange of information. Months...

The Good, The Bad And The Dirt On The Motley Crue Movie

On March 22nd, Netflix premiered "The Dirt", the biopic about the infamous and sordid details of lives of Motley Crue.  Having read the book, I was curious how they were going to fit everything into a two hour movie.  And the truth is, that they didn't.  Considering the long career and actually quite interesting stories of each band member, it was simply impossible to cover the entire book in this time span.  Having said that, the movie is a collection of the great highlights of the career of one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Before watching, I was most concerned with the choice of "Machine Gun Kelly", a notable performer in the rap world playing Tommy Lee didn't seem like a great fit.  My fears were soon alleviated, as I watched this guy transform into Tommy Lee right before my eyes.  While, the acting was good by...

Top 15 Christian Metal Bands Of The 80’s

01. Stryper-Stryper has to be at the top of this list. Not because I think they're the best, but because their contribution to Christian metal is the equivalent of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the non-christian metal world.  I never really got the goofy outfits that looked like bumble bees.  They are however quality musicians who brought Christian metal to the mainstream in the 1980's. Established in southern California in 1983, multi-platinum crossover Christian metal band, Stryper, continues to share their positive message and energetic stage presence with a passionate following throughout the world. Since the band’s inception over 30 years ago, the founding members have stayed true to their deepest convictions, turning from “the ways of the world” and following their hearts instead. “In the past 34 years, we’ve evolved into what we are now,” says vocalist and guitarist Michael Sweet. “This is what we always...

XS ROCK’s Top 10 Hard Rock / Metal Albums Of 2018

Artist: Judas Priest Album: Firepower Genre: Metal Label: Sony /CBS Records Release Date: March 9, 2018 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: The mighty Judas Priest have returned with their latest album “Firepower”. Let me tell you, this is one hell of a great record. Firepower is easily the best outing of the band since their reunion with Rob Halford. Opening the album with the title track, Judas Priest make sure you’re going to be blown away with the first listen. While there’s not a bad song anywhere to be found here, I do have my favorites. Stand out tracks for me are Firepower, Lightning Strike, Necromancer, Children of the Sun and Spectre. But honestly, listening to this whole album is a treat unto itself. This album belongs and deserves to be ranked with the best of the albums that Judas Priest have recorded throughout their now 48 year run. Yes,...

Disturbed’s New Album Is A Perfect Example Of Everything That’s Currently Wrong With Rock

So before I get into this article, let me say this....I'm well aware that I'm going to make some people mad with this article. That's fine.  I'm giving my opinion, for what it's worth....and you know what they say about opinions. Now, to get down to business.  Disturbed just released their new album "Evolution".  I was intrigued from the snippets that I had heard, especially with the song "Are You Ready".  After listening to this album, I can tell you that I was not ready for this.  Let's go back to Disturbed's debut album "The Sickness" for a moment.  David Draiman's vocal style was different, even unusual would be a good term to describe it.  The band had a nice, crushingly heavy sound and were favored to be the Nu-Metal heir apparent equivalent of Judas Priest. Fast forward to Evolution and what you find is completely different.  Now, I realize...

How Beavis & Butthead Ruined Winger’s Coolness At The Peak Of Their Popularity

From the late 80's into the early 90's Winger built momentum and became an overnight sensation, in part thanks to heavy rotation of their videos on MTV, which at that time, actually showed music videos. Winger's debut album went platinum in the U.S. After a successful first album, the band then released "In The Heart Of The Young" and once again the band received solid radio airplay and heavy video rotation on MTV. With the second album going platinum and touring with the likes of KISS, Scorpions, Extreme, Cinderella & more, the band was growing in popularity, even while glam metal was starting to lose it's hold on the charts. Ironically, MTV which had made Winger a household name, would also be the catalyst for ousting the band from the realm of coolness at the time.  Mike Judge's Beavis and Butthead animated cartoon was centered around two heavy metal loving...

25 Great Hair Bands That Debuted In The 90’s

During the 80's glam and melodic metal ruled the airwaves. For all of the bands that made it big, there were plenty of other talented bands that got lost in the shuffle. Many of them suffered from lack of promotion in a crowded market.  By the end of the 80's and into the early 90's the genre was beginning to be flooded with so many bands that it was hard to tell who was the flavor of the week.  By the early 90's bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden had completely changed the musical landscape.  The bands listed below were almost all victims of poor timing as they hit the scene just a little to late to be the next Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses or Ratt. However, that doesn't mean that they weren't great, and deserve to be heard. Many of these bands are underground favs for fans...

Is Rock And Rap Set To Merge Again?

Over the course of the last decade, album sales have fallen sharply for the rock and metal genres, while hip-hop and rap have exploded in sales and popularity.  The interesting thing about this is that a lot of the popular rap artists today have taken a rather non-traditional approach to create their music, much like how the early metal bands separated themselves from mainstream rock by incorporating new elements of sound. Rap and rock together is not a new thing.  Run DMC were probably the first band to bring the two together for a larger audience  in the early days of rap. They were followed up by the Beastie Boys who mixed metal music sounds with their unique flavor of rap. Other bands followed with Ice-T starting the controversial band Body Count. The mid to late 80's seemed to see the two genres go their separate ways again. But in...

In Defense Of Vinnie Vincent…

When I was a teenager, I longed to be a great rock guitarist. I took lessons. I studied and practiced for hours. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I did not have the talent level needed to achieve my dream of rock super stardom. Oh, sure I improved over time, but no amount of practice can give you talent for something. That's a completely different area and either you have it or you don't.   I was a huge heavy metal fan and collected every album that I could get my hands on and listened to them for hours. I wrote letters to people in the music industry that I looked up to. Most of the time I would never hear anything back from the artists that I had written to, or at best, I would receive a small black & white photo that had the autograph of the...

25 Great Hard Rock Albums Of The 80’s That You Might Have Missed

During the 80's hard rock ruled the airwaves. Quiet Riot's Metal Health became the first #1 metal album of all time. Soon after the scene exploded with bands like Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, Poison and many more. Unfortunately, for ever success story there were great bands that got overlooked, suffered from poor promotion or simply imploded on their own. If you're a true 80's rock fan, you've probably heard at least some of these bands, and if you're like me, you bought all of these albums. But for those of you who didn't....here's a list of some the greatest albums that you might have missed   Alcatrazz - No Parole From Rock N' Roll Notable for being the major-label debut of Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen,  Alcatrazz featured former Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnet and was an impressive debut release. Unfortunately, Yngwie left the band after the...

Should AC/DC Continue On Without Brian Johnson?

So here's an interesting problem. AC/DC's last album was "Rock Or Bust", which was the the band's 17th studio album. As most of you know, during the tour, vocalist, Brian Johnson was told by doctors to immediately stop touring or risk permanent hearing loss. Left with cancelling the remainder of the tour or continuing on with a replacement vocalist, Angus Young chose the latter. After much speculation, Mr. Young selected what was probably the best possible choice to finish the concerts that were already booked. That vocalist was none other than Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose. Even though, the band had some backlash from fans who wanted to see AC/DC with Johnson, the response was split by many people. Personally, I think if Angus had chosen any other singer than Axl, most of the fans would have requested a refund for their tickets. Choosing a well known and famous...

Best & Worst Lead Singer Changes In Rock N’ Roll

The Most Successful Bands To Change Singers While many bands have tried, only a few have been really successful with switching lead singers after they become famous. Let's take a look of some of the best lead singer changes first.... Iron Maiden - Starting out with Paul Di'Anno, the band made a name for themselves and were poised for greatness. The band had a major label deal with EMI records in 1979. With Di'Anno at the helm the band recorded their debut album "Iron Maiden" and "Killers", but due to Di'Anno's self destructive behavior and extreme drug use, the band parted ways with him and hired then Samson vocalist, Bruce Dickinson. And the rest as they say....is history. Iron Maiden scored their first No. 1 UK hit with "The Number Of The Beast" and built one of the biggest followings worldwide with Dickinson. In 1993 Dickinson left Iron Maiden to...

Guitar Heroes

Guitar Heroes Part 1 Here'a list of outstanding guitarists who are known for both technique and showmanship. These artists have inspired generation after generation of guitar players. And will continue to inspire listeners for years to come. Jimi Hendrix: James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music" Hendrix played a variety of guitars throughout his career, but the instrument that became most associated with him was the Fender Stratocaster. He acquired his first Stratocaster in 1966, when a...

Rock Guitar Heroes Part 2

Rock Guitar Heroes Part 2 Most rock music fans are aware of the guitar heroes like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page....but there are so many other fantastic guitar players that sort of fly under the radar. They are often well known to other guitar players and serious band fans, but not as well known as the guitarists listed above. If you're aware of these players already...then you'll probably agree and if you're not aware of these artists....do yourself a favor and check out their work. You'll be absolutely blown away.   George Lynch: George Lynch (born September 28, 1954) is an American hard rock guitarist and songwriter. Lynch is best known for his work with 80's metal band, Dokken, and his post-Dokken solo band, Lynch Mob. Lynch is considered to be one of the most influential and famous 80's metal guitarists. He is known for...

Hard Rock and Metal From Japan

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JAPANESE HARD ROCK AND METAL Part One Recently, there has been a lot of publicity around the Japanese band Babymetal. This trio of Japanese teens have taken the world by storm and found international success. Now, having said that, I'm sure many metal purists would take issue with Babymetal being to referred to as a metal band. You see, Babymetal is a new hybrid, mixing metal music with Japanese pop music to create a new genre of music. With all of the attention focused on this Japanese band, I thought it would be fitting for XSROCK to do an article about Japanese hard rock and metal. Now, I'm not going to cover every single Japanese rock band here, but I do think it's important to remind the rest of the world that Japan not only has a large rock and metal fan base, but also has...

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