Bill Mallonee has given new meaning to the word “prolific” in his long and storied career as a traveling troubadour, singer/ songwriter, and all-around provocateur. When you put his work as the creative force and leader of the Athens, GA, band Vigilantes of Love with his fruitful solo career, he’s made 50 LPs worth of tunes. (Many of his WPA recordings never made the journey to plastic and were only available as digital downloads. Still, 2011’s The Power & The Glory and more so here on Amber Waves, Mallonee has captured the energy and creativity of his earliest, most celebrated albums in a way that his lo-fi digital collections could not. First, he’s joined by drummer Kevin Heuer and bassist Jake Bradley (both did a stint in VoL), and, thanks to the support of his Kickstarter fans, they’ve recorded in a real studio allowing for a more artful texture throughout. Of course, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, two to whom Mallonee is often compared, there’s a certain repetitiveness across his lengthy catalog, but on Amber Waves – perhaps his best album in a decade – the guitars are more intricate and beautiful. The songs coalesce around the ideas of overcoming life’s cruel fates and hardships through the power of Love, who “always gets the last word.” It may well be that “Once Your Heart Gets Broken” and it “just keeps on breaking,” you learn a few things worth passing on: “A six-string drag through an old tweed amp/healing spirits and breaking camp/and the high desert kiss of my girl/and God’s face is peaking ‘round the door/ in that high and lonesome tremolo/and in Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World.’” It’s quite enough to make you look forward to the next 50 CDs.
When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.Full Feature More from Guardian
Death metal is no longer strictly a one-kind-of-sound genre but a cloud under which many elements have formed. We have assembled five must-hear death metal acts you should be listening to now, each distinctly set apart from another in form, yet still brethren in the death metal community.Full Feature More from In-Conquered
At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.Full Feature More from Atreyu
With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.Full Feature More from Imperial Triumphant