Subject:

Metal and Hardcore

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2014

    Why Ride the Lightning Is Metallica's Most Influential Album

    Metallica's seminal second album, Ride the Lightning, turned 30 years old this year, which I think is amazing. To be honest, I don't keep up much with anniversaries and such; I celebrated St. Anger's 10th anniversary last year because it was funny to me, but to quote "For Whom the Bell Tolls," time ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    The Top 40 Charting Hard-Rock Songs: Part 2

    Welcome back to the show! We're counting down the Top 40 hard rock songs of all time, according to Billboard (sort of...). I'll take a moment to recap Nos. 40-31. 40. "Don't Tell Me You Love Me," Night Ranger 39. "Cumbersome," Seven Mary Three 38. "Trampled Underfoot," Led Zeppelin 37. "Back In Bla ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2014

    If Bands Sponsored NFL Teams: The AFC

    Recently Vince Neil got approval to start his own Arena Football League franchise in Las Vegas. No word yet on the branding, but we here at Rocks Off are obviously hoping that, like the L.A. KISS, it will be themed around Neil's band Motley Crue. For those not in the know, the L.A. KISS is KISS' ow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2014

    Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at The Woodlands, 8/10/2014

    Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Feat. Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium, Suicide SIlence, etc. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 10, 2014 August 10 was a date Houston headbangers had circled on their calendars. The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, North America's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2014

    Wo Fat Meet Their Doom at Fitz on Saturday

    Have you heard the news? Fitzgerald's, that creaky old live music haunt in the Heights where your favorite band became your favorite band, is doomed. Not next year, not after graduation, but Saturday. This Saturday. Doomed. Whoa, hey, calm down for a second! This isn't about Pegstar abandoning t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2014

    10 Acts We'd Pay to See Play in a Graveyard

    Typically, tour announcements come and go with little fanfare around here, especially when it's a band like Austin natives Spoon. We love Spoon a lot, and frankly would like to see Houston's name on more tour announcements like the one that recently caught our eye, albeit for an entirely different r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    The Heavy-Metal Past of a Beloved Houston Karaoke Joint

    Spotlight Karaoke is a popular Galleria-area destination that has been open for more than 15 years now. Located at Westheimer and Fountainview, it holds a large space with several rooms' worth of karaoke, and an adjacent store equipped with scads of karaoke music and machines. A man named Charlie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2014

    Rap-Metal is Back...and It's Good

    Metal is an ever-turning and twisting genre, following wormholes into subgenres and melding any and all techniques and sounds along the way in a constant struggle to create something new and original. It doesn't always work, and anyone who lived through the '90s can attest that the addition of hip-h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2014

    8 Metal Bands Made Better by Switching Vocalists

    With all the drama that surrounds singer/screamer changes, you'd think it's the end of the world and it has never worked for any band. The reactions across the internet any time one vocalist leaves and another joins are always less than enthusiastic, thinking change is bad one hundred percent of the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2014

    Metallica's 10 Best Cover Songs

    Recently Metallica announced they would be contributing to the new Ronnie James Dio tribute album, This is Your Life, and the results, "Ronnie Rising," are now streaming online. Given most people's personal dissatisfaction with Metallica's sound over the years, it comes as a little bit of a surprise ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2014

    Six Truly Great Death Metal Covers

    Death metal has a genre has a history of doing covers songs, but they're mostly all novelty songs. It's become a played-out gimmick to take any pop song, speed it up, play it on highly distorted guitars, and gutturally scream the lyrics. That's been done. What's less common is a great death metal c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2014

    The 10 Best Bad Music Videos of the '80s

    One of my favorite things about looking back on the past is how things that were perhaps state-of-the-art at the time are now so cheesy and dated removed from their original contexts. It should probably come as no surprise that I'm a massive fan of the slasher genre, especially the later films in th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 29, 2014

    Seven Bad Singers in Good Bands

    I'm willing to bet you've heard more than one band and thought, "that guy can't sing." Maybe you even liked the music, but the singer was just so awful it ruined it for you. It's not simply the domain of local bands who couldn't find a decent singer off Craigslist either. Some popular bands have sin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2014

    Six Other Crazy Places Metallica Should Play Now

    2013 was a big year for Metallica, featuring performances in IMAX 3D and in Antarctica of all places. Let's face it, there's not a whole let left for the biggest rock band in the world to accomplish. I mean, when you're forced to start playing in Antarctica just to do something new, you've really hi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2013

    Houston's 10 Gnarliest Mosh Pits of 2013

    Punks and metalheads don't always see eye to eye, but one commonality they can always high-five over is the predilection to batter one another senseless at every opportunity. Houston played host to countless shows and tours this year that forced fans to keep their knees bent and their elbows out if ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2013

    Get Crushed By Kvelertak's Unclassifiable Heaviness

    It's been a hell of a year for the Scandinavian hard-rock heroes in Kvelertak. To capitalize on the deafening buzz surrounding the sextet's fresh take on extreme-metal tropes, the band spent 2013 peddling their blackened epics to audiences around the globe on an endless tour, and managed to release ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2013

    Gojira Lives the Dream Tonight With Slayer

    Still tempted to believe in 2013 that all metalheads are anti-intellectual lunks built only to destroy? Well, forget the decades of anecdotal evidence. You'd do well to remember, instead, that one of modern heavy metal's biggest and best bands is comprised of four eco-conscious artistes from a small ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2013

    Five Metal Bands Who Overcame the Odds

    The Slayer road show hits Bayou Music Center this evening, but don't get your hopes up too high. This is Slayer practically in name only, thanks to the tragic passing of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in May and the firing of drummer Dave Lombardo. Frankly, I'd prefer if remaining members Kerry King and To ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2013

    Could Slayer's Bloody Reign Be Coming to an End?

    For more than three decades now, any discussion of heavy metal's fastest, heaviest and most influential bands has begun (and often ended) with Slayer, the Los Angeles foursome that has served as the genre's raging, antisocial id since forming in the early 1980s. In the time since, the group has grow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2013

    Today's 10 Most Promising Young Metal Bands

    Metal is a young man's game. Everyone knows that, even the older guys. The older ones don't usually quit, mind you, but they show their love for today's youth and pass the torch as much as possible. That's how you get things like Gigantour. So in a world where the children are the future, it's alwa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2013

    The 10 Worst Metal Bands of the '80s

    Look, the '80s are back in style in every way, and that's totally cool with me. I love it, actually, because it means pop music is more bearable than it's been in a long time. For someone who grew up on 106.9 The Point, this is a wonderful gift that I cherish. But I'm noticing a disturbing trend in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2013

    Working-Class Metal Is No Sacrifice For UK Lifers Saxon

    As befitting a band who takes their status as metal band for working-class fans seriously, Rocks Off reached Saxon lead singer Biff Byford via cell phone on the band's tour bus, where he has just finished a no-frills meet-and greet with a group of fans. Now, said bus is currently parked outside a la ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2013

    Houston's Legion Unleashes Young Metal Attack Tonight

    Though few tears were shed when the grunge explosion killed off the likes of Warrant and Winger back in the '90s, hair bands weren't the decade's only heavy-metal casualty. After a decade of all-out war with the poodle-heads, thrash metal -- hair metal's uglier, speedier, more psychotic cousin -- su ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2013

    Your Guide to This Year's Mayhem Fest

    Last week, I told you all about the Summer Slaughter Tour which blew through the House of Blues this past Saturday, and alluded to the numerous metal tours still to come up. Well, you may have just had your ass kicked last weekend, but it's already time for another one. This weekend's fest is the Ro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2013

    Local Metal-Mongers Throw Down In Battle for Mayhem Festival

    As metalheads around Houston gather their strength for headbanging and moshing on Saturday at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival over at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston's own metal scene is amping up for an epic battle of the bands. Tonight at Walters, ten local bands will go head t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2013

    The Summer Slaughter Tour at House of Blues, 7/27/2013

    Summer Slaughter Tour feat. Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals as Leaders, Periphery, Cattle Decapitation, etc. House of Blues July 27, 2013 There's something incongruous about raw, dirty metal and hardcore punk taking place at a venue like House of Blues, a corporate, suit-and-tie restaurant/bar that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2013

    Your Guide to This Year's Summer Slaughter Tour

    Brother, if you came for brutality, you're in luck. It's summer and that means it's time for the metal roadshows to hit Houston once again. Over the course of the next week, we'll be seeing the Summer Slaughter Tour, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, the All-Stars Tour, and Vans Warped Tour ... More >>

  • Music

    July 25, 2013

    Out of the Past

    Houston's Top 25 closed music venues.

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2013

    Every Metal Subgenre Began as a Black Sabbath Song

    Some people out there argue that heavy metal was not invented by Black Sabbath. These people are wrong. To be sure, the Led Zeps and Deep Purples of the world certainly had their metallic moments, but it wasn't until Tony Iommi sheared off his fingertips in a metal stamper and down-tuned his guitar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    Please, Rick Rubin: Leave Metal Bands Alone

    Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard that Black Sabbath recently released their long awaited comeback album, 13. It's their first with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals since 1978's Never Say Die, and riding high at No. 1 on the UK Charts, their first No. 1 hit since 1970's Paranoid. So: comeba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Louder Than Hell: Feast Upon The Heaviest Metal Book In Recorded History

    Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Heavy Metal By Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman It Books, 736 pp., $32.50 Damn, this book is big. But then again, everything about heavy metal -- from its beginnings with the Stooges and Blue Cheer, through Black Sabbath to Exodus to Motley Crue ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2013

    Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death at Fitzgerald's, 5/10/2013

    Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Immolation Fitzgerald's May 10, 2013 By the time the clock struck 9 p.m. at Fitzgerald's on Friday night, it didn't appear possible to cram another black T-shirt into the place. Longhairs were already stacked up past the rafters inside the old club on White Oak, even ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2013

    Napalm Death's Barney Greenway on Thatcher, Nostalgia and the Pursuit of Happiness

    Most of the people who pass Mark "Barney" Greenway in the street every day almost certainly have no idea what the man does for a living. His sensible haircut, unassuming demeanor and soft-spoken Birmingham accent betray nothing of his status as one of the most ferocious and accomplished voices in th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    RIP Jeff Hanneman: Slayer at Verizon Theater In September 2010

    Ed. Note: Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a founding member of the band, passed away Thursday in Southern California due to liver failure, according to Rolling Stone. Hanneman, 49, had contracted the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis, which doctors believed was the result of a spider bite, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2013

    Slip Slidin' Away: My Life as a Rock Journalist With the Houston Press

    I had a hernia operation in the early summer of 2006, and had nothing to do all day but hobble around with cool cane a borrowed from Grandpa Hlavaty and play on the Internets for two months or so. I had developed the injury while working at Domino's, but it was cool because their insurance helped ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2013

    Strange Encounters: Five Great Metal Songs About Aliens

    In the metal pantheon, lyrical subjects go in and out of style almost as fluidly as fashion and whether a song should have breakdowns or not. It seems almost a guarantee that every few years the entire scene will shift to a new fixation. Just a few years ago, everyone was screaming about their feeli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 3, 2013

    Hell Freezes Over: The Ends of Five Great Musical Feuds

    Last month marked the end of one of the great musical feuds of the 1990s. Any Britpop fan knows you can either be a fan of Oasis or of Blur, but not a fan of both. The two bands hated each other's guts and were in constant competition throughout the decade. So all of us in the press were shocked wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    Rex Brown's Official Truth: Pantera's Literary Autopsy

    Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera By Rex Brown Da Capo Press, 304 pp., $15.47 Back in Pantera's '90s heyday, few fans would have guessed that the first guy to write a tell-all history of the band would be Rex Brown. Though an indivisible component of Pantera's larger-than-lif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2013

    Five Art Masterworks That Should Be Metal Album Covers

    It's not often that you get the opportunity to combine masterpieces of painting and metal. It's not completely unfounded, considering Guns N' Roses copped from Raphael's School of Athens for the cover of their Use Your Illusion set. But it's rare, like mixing pro wrestling and classical literature. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2013

    Last Night: Testament and Overkill at House of Blues

    Testament, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam House of Blues February 6, 2013 When it comes to '80s thrash metal, there are the Big Four -- Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax -- and there's everybody else. For a good while there, it looked as if "everybody else" might not survive the grunge- and rap ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2013

    Last Night: Underoath Farewell Tour at House of Blues

    Underoath House of Blues January 23, 2013 It looks like all of the members of Underoath finally decided to quit at the same time. The Florida metalcore turned post-hardcore outfit has had no less than 15 people fill its ranks in its 15-year history, leaving the current iteration with no original me ... More >>

  • Music

    January 17, 2013
  • Blogs

    January 14, 2013

    Friday Night: Whitechapel and Emmure at Fitzgerald's

    Whitechapel, Emmure Fitzgerald's January 11, 2013 While Houston's past three generations of metalheads gathered at Warehouse Live for sludge supergroup Down's biennial stop through town, the youngest generation --throngs of deathcore fans -- packed Fitzgerald's to the rafters to see three of the bi ... More >>

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