NEWS: Metallica confirms Guitar Hero Metallica

Metallica continues their association with the Guitar Hero franchise (remember the reports that the Guitar Hero mix of Death Magnetic sounds way better than the CD version?), with the announcement of Guitar Hero Metallica.

In a statement on the Metallica website, the band says:

Yes, we know, it’s the worst kept secret in rock-n-roll but we’re here now to finally confirm that there will indeed be an all-Metallica Guitar Hero game released in the first half (!?) of 2009.

Guitar Hero Metallica allows you to play as us in either single instrument or band career game modes in your choice of some famous settings (Tushino Airfield anyone?) or new venues with in the round staging.

Included are 28 Metallica songs along with a few from some of our buddies like as Alice in Chains, the Foo Fighters, Slayer, Machine Head and Queen. There is also an all new Expert+ difficulty setting featuring two bass drum kick pedals (!!!) along with all the gameplay modes from Guitar Hero World Tour.

Over the next few months, we’re going to be updating you with track listings, more features, of course how and when you can get the game, and some cool previews of the game right here on the site. As you’ve heard us say before, keep checking back for more details!

According to Blabbermouth, the track listing will include:

Songs by METALLICA:

* “Enter Sandman”
* “For Whom The Bell Tolls”
* “Fuel”
* “Hit The Lights”
* “King Nothing”
* “Master of Puppets”
* “No Leaf Clover”
* “Nothing Else Matters”
* “Sad But True”
* “The Unforgiven”
* “Where I May Roam”

Songs by other artists:

* “No Excuses” by ALICE IN CHAINS
* “Turn The Page” by BOB SEGER
* “Hell Bent For Leather” by JUDAS PRIEST
* “Demon Cleaner” by KYUSS
* “Tuesdays Gone” by LYNYRD SKYNYRD
* “Blood and Thunder” by MASTODON
* “Armed and Ready” by MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP
* “Mother of Mercy” by SAMHAIN
* “Black River” by THE SWORD
* Additional songs from FOO FIGHTERS, QUEEN and SLAYER

How cool would it be if the game was available with Metallica-inspired guitar controllers including Hetfield’s ESP Iron Cross and Kirk Hammett’s ouija board ESP KH-II?

So what songs would you like to see included? Hopefully they can make room for other great Metallica songs like ‘Creeping Death’ and ‘Blackened.’ And maybe Trivium can release their own game which will be pretty much the same thing as the Metallica one, arf.

REVIEW: Trivium – Shogun

Trivium divided their fans with the release of The Crusade in 2006. Some loved the shift to melodic vocals, instead of the screams of the band’s previous releases. Others felt they’d gone too soft, and called for a return to the sound of the prior album, Ascendency. It seems that with Shogun, Trivium has in part listened to the fans, and in part followed their own path. The melodic vocals return, but the blatant Hetfieldisms have been tamed down. The screaming is also back, and the balance between the two styles gives the band some flexibility: now where screaming is required, there’s screaming, and when singing is needed, there’s singing. Sounds simple, really.

And it works. Trivium may have had more than their fair share of detractors when they first started out, because how the hell could dudes so young play so convincingly and kick so much ass? The old school metal community felt that Trivium were pillaging the precision riffing of classic thrash, throwing modern screaming on top, and trying to pass it off as an original sound. Then when The Crusade was released, the accusations that the band was just trying to re-record ‘…And Justice For All’ were almost as loud as the album itself. With Shogun, they move closer to defining their own sound, and by balancing the melodic and chaotic vocals, they’ve created a hybrid that can appeal to older headbangers and younger ones alike.

Opening track ‘Kirisute Gomen’ (which loosely translates as “I’m sorry but I’m going to have to take your head” combines blunt force trauma and razorblade-sharp riffage, with a melodic chorus which would be right at home on Yngwie Malmsteen’s ‘Magnum Opus’ CD. Guitarists Matt Heafy and Corey Ballieu bring out the old school shred and thrash-inspired rhythm gallops like it’s 1987 again, but faster. ‘Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis’ has some syncopated interplay which reminds me of Dream Theater, and it even includes a bass solo. ‘Down From The Sky’ has a memorable chorus and more groove than should be legal from a metal band, and ‘Into the Mouth of Hell We March,’ while sounding a little muddled between singing and screaming, has a cool neoclassical solo, further playing up the Yngwie vibe for those who are looking for it. ‘He Who Spawned The Furies,’ is a little flat with its overly laboured black metal influences, but it gets points for having a title that sounds like something I would put on my business card.

The album is capped off with the title track, an epic shredfest which takes some unexpected twists and turns, and makes full and intelligent use of its 12-minute running time. It can be hard to sustain the listener with a song that long, but ‘Shogun’ is packed with variety and shifting moods, and lots of intense guitar playing.

Is ‘Shogun’ the ultimate Trivium album? Nup. I think fans will still like Ascendency more. And even though I really enjoyed ‘The Crusade,’ I think ‘Shogun’ is the right choice for the band right now, because it could win back the fans who were alienated by ‘The Crusade.’

‘Shogun’ is out now on Roadrunner Records.

CLICK HERE to buy ‘Shogun’

NEWS: New releases 29/9/08

Frank Zappa – Joe’s Menage (Vaulternative)
Cryptically, the only information about this one on the Barfko Swill website states: “Newest Corsaga – for NOW! Rare 1975 thrillingness. Be very afraid of being Danish. Or not. Rant & Roll.” However, with pre-orders open now and the first CDs to be dispatched around October 1, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out what this one’s all about.

Dream Theater – Chaos in Motion [2 DVD] (Roadrunner)
This release marks Dream Theater’s 12,000th live album and/or DVD. It captures the 2007-08 Chaos In Motion tour. The DVD includes 3 hours of live performance, a behind the scenes documentary, live screen projection films, music videos and a photo gallery. There’s also a 5 disc set limited to 5,000 copies which combines the DVD and 3 audioCDs.

Trivium – Shogun (Roadrunner)
I had the pleasure of hearing early mixes of this one at a listening party attended by the band a few months ago. Some very cool ‘evil waltz’ triplet grooves will invite a few comparisons to Slayer, while Trivium downplays the Metallica influences so prevalent on The Crusade. Lots of hardcore shredding and some very powerful drumming underscore Matt Heafy’s return to demonic screaming, in addition to the more melodic vocal style introduced on the last album.

Neal Morse – Lifeline (Metal Blade)
Former Spock’s Beard guy turned Christian prog artist Neal Morse’s new album features performances by guitarist Paul Bielatowicz, Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Ajalon bass player Randy George. Paul Gilbert makes a special appearance on a bonus track. The cover reminds me of Great White’s ‘Hooked’ album, which I’m sure was not the intention. It’s also the 3,057th rock album to feature a song called ‘Leviathan.’

Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman) Rise to Power (Red Int/Red Ink)
Morello’s second album of leftist protest songs, this one gets big points from me for having a song called “The Lights Are On In Spidertown,” and for adding full band electric songs to the acoustic stuff. Morello’s distinctive voice and stripped down song structures are an interesting and valuable departure from the grunt of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, and his forthcoming tour will feature both acoustic and electric sets.