Out around the time of Halloween but evergreen enough to be interesting beyond the Yuletide period, “Thriller: A Metal Tribute To Michael Jackson” sees the hard rock veterans play the late great artist’s best pieces. Which is only logical given Michael’s heavy tastes when it came to picking such accompanists as Eddie Van Halen for “Beat It,” Steve Stevens for ”Smooth Criminal” or Slash for ”Give In To Me.” Now, there’s a lot more performers present their interpretations of Jacko’s tunes and, although one of them expressed to this scribe his dissatisfaction with his contribution to the collection, it’s surely of much interest.
It’s been on the agenda for sometime but, at last, the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR’s stoker Peter Hammill and Grammy-nominated master guitarist Gary Lucas, whose CV includes soundtrack works and collaborations with the likes of Jeff Buckley, are ready to let out their first album together, “Other World,” scheduled for February 3rd, 2014 release on Esoteric Antenna. The two share the adventurous spirit and an urge to charge into the unknown, which they do over 14 original compositions.
Having recently announced the remission of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, DEF LEPPARD’s guitar-slinger Vivian Campbell started sketching a fresh album of his, presumably a follow-up to the veteran’s 2005′s solo debut, “Two Sides Of If.”
Yesterday, he entered the studio with Alice Cooper’s skin-kicker Glen Sobel and OUI’3 bassist Lou Castro to try out five new pieces, with a demo session scheduled for December 16th. Whether it’s to remain a trio format, we’ll have to see, though.
ANIMETAL USA: (clockwise from the front) Vescera, Sarzo, Dette, Impellitteri
It’s been about a year since we last heard news from Chris Impellitteri, one of the finest heavy guitarists out there who even managed to have roped in Graham Bonett for the band titled in his own name. The last IMPELLITTERI record, “Wicked Maiden,” saw the light of day as far back as in 2009, but its follow-up is to be out in early 2014 – as well as the third album by Chris’ other project, a supergroup called ANIMETAL USA.
The specialists in melding popular anime tunes with famous metal covers and the group’s original compositions, the quartet – comprised of Impellitteri, bassist Rudy Sarzo, drummer Jon Dette and singer Mike Vescera – have just signed to Warner Bros. who will release the successor to 2012′s “W” once it’s ready.