Not all great hard rock and metal relies on blazing electric guitars. This week the Loudini Hard Rock & Metal Circus asks, "What are the Greatest Hard Rock and Metal Tracks that Feature Acoustic Guitars?" All this and Lou and Lily welcome back Keith "the hawk" Hawkins! Featured Loudini Artists: Butcher Babies Soen Hand of Dimes
For nearly a decade, Butcher Babies have been crushing stages worldwide with their vicious live performance and explosive energy. Their stage presence is a hypnotic spectacle that leaves audiences hungry for more. Frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chase Brickenden juxtapose brutal, aggressive riffs with beautiful melodies that wail with emotional redemption.
Hailing from the City Of Angels, Butcher Babies aided in the jubilant revival of the Metal scene on the Sunset Strip. While gaining attention from several record labels the band signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records in December 2012. Less than a year later, July 2013, they released their debut album GOLIATH, produced by Josh Wilbur (Gojira, Lamb of God, Hatebreed). Followed by their highly anticipated sophomore headbanger, TAKE IT LIKE A MAN, August 2015, produced by Logan Mader (FFDP, Gojira, Soulfly).
The evolution continues as the band is set to release their third full studio album, October 27, 2017, LILITH, produced by Steve Evetts (Suicide Silence, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Cure). With three albums and two EPs under their belt, Butcher Babies have reached a new level of maturity solidifying a triumphant return after a brief creative hiatus to write and rebuild. LILITH opens with a kick right to the teeth with the aggressive Burn the Straw Man, then drips with sensuality on tracks like Headspin and The Huntsman, pairing riveting guitars with velvet vocal harmonies. This album runs the gamut between exploring the dark roots of lust and the high energy thrash hijinks that Butcher Babies have become known and loved for.
Butcher Babies have toured relentlessly among the likes of Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Danzig, In This Moment, Cradle of Filth, Black Label Society, etc; played music fests including Mayhem, Download (UK), Hellfest (France), Knotfest (US & Japan), Hell and Heaven(Mexico), Rock on The Range, Louder Than Life, Aftershock, Welcome to Rockville, etc. and appeared in the film Alleluia! : The Devils Carnival.
Mike Monterulo - MikeMonterulo@tkoco.com
HEAVY FUCKIN METAL
US - Justin Hirschman for AGI
International- Dan DeVita for TKO
When Swedish drummer Martin Lopez (ex-OPETH, AMON AMARTH) joined forces with metal bassist extraordinaire Steve DiGiorgio (SADUS, TESTAMENT, DEATH, ICED EARTH), vocalist Joel Ekelöf and guitarist Kim Platbarzdis in a brand new project called SOEN, it was obvious that this collaboration would not be just another name-dropping, substance-deprived “super project”.
Martin Lopez has described the band's music as "melodic, heavy, intricate and different." Even then, Lopez may be selling his band short. SOEN is, in a word, unique.
The foursome paint their musical canvas with broad strokes that on first listen may appear gray and sullen, but the true power of the music lies clandestine, just a little below the monochrome surface. More than just a sum of is rather esteemed parts, SOEN weave an intricate network of melodies and lull the listener submerged in a bliss of melancholy. Yes, at times Soen may resemble the Opeth of old, but it makes more of less, as it features none of the guttural vocals and full-on death metal wall of sound of Lopez' former group. But nothing more is needed when Ekelöf's somber voice, Platbarzdis's transcendent guitar work, Lopez's trademark drum beats and DiGiorgio's exquisite bass lines collaborate to build a pensive tide, just waiting to wash over you.
“Cognitive” sure isn't an instantaneously accessible album but with a bit of listener patience, it can prove to be one of the most rewarding pieces of “thinking man's metal” you will ever come across. In a world full of super-compressed albums waging the loudness war, “Cognitive” breathes with ease thanks to the masterful mixing work of David Bottrill (Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Muse etc.). Like rain on a windowpane; translucent and free of form, “Cognitive” breathes like a living entity.
The colors are there, lingering within the grays. It's just up to you to find them.
Hand of Dimes
HAND OF DIMES is the reunion of former SKIN singer and front man Neville MacDonald and keyboard player Neil Garland. Their friendship and song writing partnership goes back 30 years to the days when they were both part of the Welsh Rock Band KOOGA.
Their critically acclaimed Across The Water album was released in 1986 and was recently featured in Classic Rock Magazines list of 250 vinyl albums you must own. Sell out gigs at the legendary Marquee Club secured them a place at the Reading Rock Festival in 1987 alongside Alice Cooper and Status Quo. Despite this initial rise, the band were unable to secure a major deal and after several line-up changes, the band split in 1989.
Having written songs with guitarist Robbie Blunt (Robert Plant Band) following the split, Nev’s yearning was for more gutsy rock and roll, so the invitation to form SKIN with guitarist Myke Gray was a no-brainer…..Nev enjoyed success with SKIN in the mid 90’s following the release of their debut album. Produced in America by Keith Olsen the album reached No 9 in the charts and boasted two Top 20 singles which led to appearances on Top of the Pops.
Appearance at the ‘94 Monsters of Rock Festival,support gigs in the UK and around Europe with Bruce Dickinson, Whitesnake, and Thunder helped SKIN to become a band that people took notice of, their consistent live show performances becoming their trademark.After Download appearances with Skin in 2009/2010 which ended an eleven year break from the music business Nev was ready to rekindle his song writing partnership with Neil.
Still armed with a ‘full set of pipes’ and a selection of rough ideas he’d accumulated over the years, he approached Neil to see if they could revive the working relationship they enjoyed so many years earlier.Nev has gained the respect and admiration for his vocals from all areas within the music business and evidence of that comes in the many offers he has received over the years to front different musical projects. He has been lucky enough to perform alongside:-
Robert Plant (with the Honeydrippers)
Paul Rodgers and Brian May at the(Gibson 50th Anniversary Concert)
Madeleine Bell (on Skin’s debut album)
He was recently asked to join guitarist Bernie Marsden at a gig in 2016 to play a set of Whitesnake songs, an honour by any standard.
Of course, Neil shares the 80’s acclaim of KOOGA with Nev. As co-writer of some of the best songs on the album, his song writing capabilities came to the fore just prior to its recording. His lyrical ideas began to make their mark with songs like ‘Lifeline’and the immense ‘Gabrielle’, and his ear for a good melody made the connection with Nev complete.
They wrote instinctively and HAND OF DIMES has picked up where they left off. Their debut album “RAISE” is full of soulful melodic rock which packs a serious punch. With the powerful and emotional vocal drive which has become Nev’s unmistakable trademark the blend of electric and acoustic material has a wide range of influences. Strong melodic songs with lyrical weight are underpinned with a more Blues Rock style than either SKIN or KOOGA and are complimented by their solid rhythm section in Mark Maybry (Bass), David Stephenson (Drums) and the subtle tones of Lead guitarist Colin Edwards.
“The new songs have come from the right place at a time of reconciliation, reflection, shared vision and trust in that song writing instinct”.
Supports with FM , Wishbone Ash, The Union and appearances at The Steelhouse Festival, Hard Rock Hell Festival, and Planet Rock Winter’s End Festival have seen an enthusiastic response from audiences all around the UK.
Two Appearances with Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden over a weekend at The Steelhouse Festival in 2017 playing both their own material and a selection Whitesnake songs has put them firmly on the classic rock map.
Nev MacDonald - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Neil Garland - Keyboards & Harmonica
Colin Edwards - Lead Guitar
Mark Maybry - Bass
David Stephenson - Drums