If you are a rock and heavy metal music lover, you’d definitely be looking back at 2015 as a truly difficult year. Considering the massive changes the music business experienced in 2015 along with all the tribulations of individual bands and artists, it’s safe to say that 2016 may be one of the biggest years in music to date…at least judging by the number of transformations (and even rumors) which took hold in this year.
Now, let’s get to the point, or as they say, let’s take a look at “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” It only makes sense to start off with a trip down memory lane with “The Ugly” or in this case “Sad.” This year was perhaps a bit more tragic than most. We lost the legendary B. B. King, Twister Sister’s drummer A. J. Perro, Motorhead’s drummer Phil Taylor, and just recently, we heard of the tragic and early death of former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland.
Like any industry or facet of life, there are always some bad moments that disappoint fans. Rock music is not an exception. Perhaps, one of the most disappointing moments in thrash metal was the unrealized dream of the classic “Rust in Peace” lineup reunion – the rumors of Dave Mustaine reuniting bandmates Marty Friedman and Nick Menza never materialized after negotiations over the terms of a reunion turned sour. Sure, many fans were disappointed the “Rust in Peace” reunion never materialized; however, Dave Mustaine recruited killer Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler to tour and play on the new album “Dystopia”. Even fans who wanted to see Nick Menza back had to admit Adler and new guitarist Kiko Loureiro were a more than acceptable backup plan… and that’s a “good” thing. Speaking of Lamb Of God; their new album “VII: Sturm und Drang” is worth checking out – one of the hottest heavy metal releases of 2015.
While Megadeth has two tracks from their new album already streaming, their historic rivals in have been holed up in their studio working on their long awatied follow up to “Death Magnetic”. Will 2016 finally be the year fans get a new Metallica album? One thing is for sure, Metallica time is different then any time conventions the rest of us use. Nevertheless, the fact that they have been working on this album for such a long time means they are due. A “good” thing!
Legendary Motorhead singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister had some trouble with his health during a number of dates on the band’s latest tour, which caused him to miss a few shows, definitely “bad”. However, Lemmy just celebrated his 70th birthday and seems to be doing just fine. If he’s still touring when some of us are no longer able to headbang, no one will be surprised. And that is definitely going to the “Good” section!
A failed reunion attempt of David Lee Roth and his bandmates from the “Eat ’Em and Smile” album to celebrate the 30th anniversary was definitely not the best news for the fans; but hey, there is some good news on the horizon. It looks like David Lee Roth and the rest of the crew do want to reunite. Perhaps, it’s just now the matter of finding an appropriately sized venue and getting the wheels rolling and schedules aligned. David Lee Roth busting his nose open twirling a baton on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” certainly looked “ugly”. Nevertheless, as is always the case, nothing can stop DLR. The Van Halen machine continued their televised performance followed up by a successful tour… definitely “good”.
There is always more “bad” for those willing to dwell on it, but in the spirit of the new year, more “good” is always welcome. For starters, guitarist Slash was recorded publicly confirming his repaired relationship with former bandmate Axl Rose which fueled growing rumors of a Guns N’Roses “Appetite for Destruction” reunion. A lot of bands who are no longer on good terms do reunite. Kiss can be one example. Sure the reunion was only for one tour, but the fans were happy. Here, we are looking at not just some band, it’s “the most dangerous band in the world.” As of now, there are still only rumors floating around, but this is something many hard rock fans are looking forward to in 2016 as a shot of adrenaline for the rock genre.
Nikki Sixx’s side project Sixx A. M. had their first headlining tour this year after a 5 year break. With Motley Crue officially calling it quits on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, Sixx is the only member with a couple bona fide hits already in his hip pocket. Their album is nearly ready and there are not so subtle hints of touring on the band members’ social media profiles. Definitely “good”!
Of course, this only covers a fraction of what occurred in 2015. Based on the never-ending Guns ‘N Roses rumors, Iron Maiden touring, and AC/DC playing arenas, just to name a few, one thing is for sure: Set some money aside for 2016!