Amon Amarth perform”As Loke Falls” @ Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, California 2/14/14
“Deceiver of the Gods” shattered the band’s previous sales records around the world. The album landed at #19 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and #19 on the Top Current Albums Chart. The band’s last album, Surtur Rising, entered the Top 200 Chart at #34 making Deceiver of the Godsthe band’s highest charting record to date. In Germany, Deceiver of the Gods entered the Top 100 Chart at #3, the official Media Market/Saturn Chart at #3 and the German Media Control Weekend Trend Chart at #2. Deceiver of the Gods came in at #9 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart, #2 on the Hard Music Charts and #21 on the Digital Music Chart. Additionally, the record came in at #2 on the iTunes Metal Chart, #2 on the iTunes Rock Chart and #7 on the iTunes Top 200. In the UK, the record entered the official Album Charts at #67, the Rock/Metal Chart at #4 and the Independent Chart at #14 marking the highest UK chart placements for the band yet. Elsewhere,Deceiver of the Gods came in at #9 on the Top 100 Album Chart in Switzerland, #7 on the Austrian Top 100, #9 in Sweden, #27 in Denmark, #51 in France, #34 in Czech Republic and #51 in Hungary.
Atrocity is a German heavy metal band from Ludwigsburg that formed in 1985. First started in 1985 as Instigators and playing grindcore, Atrocity arose as a death metal band with their debut EP, Blue Blood, in 1989, followed soon by Hallucinations, a concept album about drug use. Their second album, Todessehnsucht (“longing for death”), ventured into death metal classics with a cover of “Archangel” by the band Death.
The release of the eleventh album After the Storm in 2010 started a new era for the band in the Ethno Metal genre. Yasmin Krull returned a second time as guest singer and instrumentalist for the project.
On 11 November 2007, Atrocity announced that bassist Chris Lukhaup was leaving the band for personal reasons and that drummer Moritz Neuner was taking another turn in his working career. Seven Antonopolous was named as the new drummer in late October 2008. Atrocity perform @ Oakland Metro 02/07/14 Oakland, California in the videos below.
Leaves’ Eyes perform “My Destiny” & “Symphony of the Night”@ Oakland Metro 02/07/14 Oakland, California
Alex Skolnick of Testament performs Planetary Coalition @ Mariott Hotel NAMM 2014
Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Alex began playing the guitar at age nine, inspired by Kiss and The Beatles. Though he’d originally dreamed of becoming a singer/guitarist, Alex immediately shifted his focus to lead guitar upon hearing guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen, as well as the Ozzy Osbourne band’s late guitarist, Randy Rhoads, whose plans to one day attain a university music degree would inspire Alex’s own ambitions.
Alex’s parents, Jerome Skolnick and Arlene, were Ph.D graduates from Yale University and on faculty at UC Berkeley where his mother was a research psychologist and his father was a tenured professor of sociology. Visualizing a similar path for their son, a music career was frowned upon, although guitar lessons were begrudgingly accepted. Alex studied the basics on an old acoustic instrument with Berkeley folk/children’s artist Gary Lapow, before moving on to local rock and blues teachers who played electric guitar. By his teens, Alex had become a student of master virtuoso Joe Satriani – then a full time guitar instructor in Berkeley and not yet a household name. Alex would become one of many Bay Area guitarists who studied under Satriani to achieve recognition (others include 8-string jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, Larry Lelonde of Primus and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett).
The silver streak in Alex’s hair is natural and appeared at age fourteen (long before Joe Perry and Johnny Depp adopted a similar look). Raised in the Bay Area, he now considers Brooklyn, New York his home.