Iowa = 15

Artisitically, lyrically, and instrumentally, Iowa, Slipknot‘s second album, is their most ferocious and angriest release to date. In just a few days, it will be turning 15. It was produced by the great Ross Robinson which at the time was a low point for the band. Former-drummer Joey Jordison and former-bassist Paul Gray began the blue print for the album in the fall of 2000 and the band then headed out to L.A. just a few months later to track it. The gutteral vocals, bullet speed guitars, and ridiculously fast drumming by Joey Jordison and company was thrown into a blender. Then, the world was given Iowa.

Iowa was a precursor to what would be Slipknot‘s soon to come illustrious career. The band was young, angry, confused, and they needed to let it all out. After all of the hard work and late nights in the studio, as quoted by Metal Hammer, “The best metal album of the 21st century” was born.

Iowa also a huge benefit to me as well because it introduced me to music that was much heavier than what I was already hearing in my life and I needed to spice things up a bit. The first song that I ever heard from Slipknot was Left Behind which happens to be on Iowa. It bridged that gap that I needed to fill and gave me an avenue to other great bands that I later discovered after first hearing Left Behind. My second and third favorite songs are Everything Ends and People = Shit. The rest of the album has its highlights and special moments, but those are my favorite tracks which was difficult for me to choose. This whole album has it going.

It’s crazy to think that this album is going to be 15. Since it’s release, Slipknot has put out some of the best music in all of modern metal and, in my opinion, are the best band of the new wave of American Heavy Metal. No wonder why it’s considered to be the best Metal album of the 21st century. If you haven’t listened to it, do it. Now.


A RockHaven Album Review by Erik Gibbons


The Black Album is 25!

It’s amazing how times flies anymore. It’s been 25 years since the release of Metallica‘s landmark self-titled masterpiece; better know to the world as, The Black Album. This album has had a huge impact on me as a fan of heavy music and The Black Album still continues to hold that spot. It’s a timeless piece of history that has an insane amount of replay value for years to come.

It all started when I was five years old. I was an eager child looking for music to listen to and my older brother had just gotten the CD for The Black Album for his birthday. A few days later, I raided his room when he was at a friend’s house and I’m glad that I did because it introduced me to a genre of music that changed my life for the better. I popped the CD into my CD player (pre-iPod/Walkman days) and was immediately hypnotized by the essence of the opening riff and slowly, but surely approaching sound of Lars Ulrich on ‘Enter Sandman’. I continued to listen to the rest of the album and I realized after I was done that Heavy Metal was definitely my forte.

It’s very difficult to narrow this album down to one specific track or even a top three that stands out to me. But, if I had to choose one or the other, then it would be ‘Holier Than Thou’. ‘Holier Than Thou’ from start to finish gets me amped for anything. The solo, the fierce gallop of James Hetfield’s playing and vocals. It’s a very useful resource for any situation. The next two tracks would be ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘The Struggle Within’ for the same exact reasons that I picked ‘Holier Than Thou’ and that’s not saying much. The Black Album is absolutely flawless.

I don’t even really have a specific for my Top 5 Favorite Albums, but The Black Album is up there. I’ve played this album more times than I can count and continue to play it to this day. It’s easily one of the best Metal albums in history by the best Metal band in history, Metallica. Happy Anniversary!


[Cover Photo by Jeff Vespa]

A RockHaven Album Review by Erik Gibbons


Good Charlotte’s new blend of the past & present, ‘Youth Authority’ New Album Review

I will let it be known right now that I’m a huge metal head and I always have been. I’ve never really given anything else a chance because it’s the genre of music that I’ve always loved and gravitated towards the most compared to anything else. Up until now, Good Charlotte‘s latest effort, Youth Authority, has somewhat changed my outlook on all of that. I recall listening to Good Charlotte and many other pop-punk icons over the years because of my friends. With that being said, Youth Authority really hit home with me.

It’s been many years since I’ve heard anything from Good Charlotte. I’m aware that they took some time off to breathe for a few years which should be looked at in a positive manner. A lot of bands like Good Charlotte are very hard working individuals and deserve some time to themselves. After all of these years of not really paying them any mind, I decided to give them a listen recently after hearing that they ended their hiatus and were releasing new music. And I’m happy that I did. When the opening track, Life Changes, started playing I found myself drawn in immediately and I started to remember days throughout my neighborhood skateboarding and doing kid stuff while my friends and I listened to them and other bands for hours on end. Life Changes was the anthem of it all for me because it’s like my youth is in revolt (no pun intended). It makes me want to say screw it and disregard others.


My favorite song on Youth Authority was 40 oz. because I couldn’t agree more with the message behind it. It’s like they put us in a time machine and sent us forward. Now, were in this shift of time where bands of the past have aged immensely and aren’t really performing like they have before. However, Good Charlotte happens to be that band that can still make hits and get the crowd going after being away for some time. In retrospect, they haven’t changed and remain to be the same band that they were years before which holds true in reality.


Overall, I would definitely give Youth Authority a solid 8 out 10. The slow songs didn’t really sit too well with me. I’m into really fast music which is why I gave it an 8. It’s good to see Good Charlotte back at it again and they sound top notch. They have a tour coming up this Fall with direct support coming from The Story So Far, Big Jesus, Four Years Strong, Hit the Lights, and Set Your Goals. They will be hitting The Fillmore in Philadelphia on November 10th. Purchase your tickets now! Information on the tour can be found below.


Tour Info


A RockHaven Music Review by Erik Gibbons

Hopsin announces ‘Savageville’ 2016 Tour with support from Joyner Lucas and Problem

Hop Is BACK! Hopsin just announced his return with the highly-anticipated ‘SavagevilleTour with direct support from Joyner Lucas and Problem. The tour is somewhat lengthy, beginning on October 6th and lasting until November 18th. Check out the tour dates below and grab your tickets this Friday, August 26th!


Tour Dates


A RockHaven Concert Preview by Erik Gibbons

Come get crazy with ICP and Cane Hill on 9/25 at GameChanger World!

It’s been just over 20 years since the release of Insane Clown Posse‘s cult-classic album, The Riddle Box and they’re currently slated to take it out on tour to celebrate. Insane Clown Posse will be playing The Riddle Box in its entirety with direct support coming from Cane Hill. It’s been quite the year for Cane Hill in 2016. So far, they’ve toured as support for Bullet For My Valentine and Asking Alexandria on the 2nd leg of their recent British Invasion Tour. Also, they’ve released their debut album, Smile, this past year on July 15th shortly after signing with Rise Records in 2015 which also saw the release of their debut EP, Cane Hill. To top it all off, Cane Hill is fresh off of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour. That’s pretty impressive. You can catch this show at GameChanger World in Freehold, NJ on 9/25. The rest of the tour dates can be found below. Purchase your tickets now!


09/22 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
09/23 Morgantown, WV – Main Stage
09/24 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage
09/25 Freehold, NJ – GameChanger
09/27 Hagerstown, MD – Boonsboro Event Center
09/29 Birmingham, NY – Magic City Music Hall
09/30 Reading, PA – Reverb
10/01 Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance Center
10/03 Greensboro, NC – Pete’s
10/04 Nashville, TN – Exit/In
10/05 Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone Cafe
10/07 Jacksonville, FL – Limes
10/08 Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
10/09 Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
10/11 New Orleans, LA – Southport Hall
10/12 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
10/13 Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock
10/14 Austin, TX – Empire Garage
10/15 Lubbock, TX – Jake’s


A RockHaven Concert Preview by Erik Gibbons

Suicide Silence and Whitechapel to co-Headline MASSIVE 2016 Straight Outta Hell Tour

Brace yourselves. Chaos and destruction is imminent. Suicide Silence and Whitechapel, with direct support provided by Carnifex, Oceano, and Despised Icon, are all preparing to massacre the U.S. with the massive 2016 Straight Outta Hell Tour. This tour has been a long time coming considering the fact that these bands have helped develop a genre that has greatly impacted fans and bands alike. With Suicide Silence recently beginning the production of their new album this past year, all of the other bands on the bill have since released brand-new albums as well which can be purchased wherever music is sold. Fresh off of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour, Whitechapel recently released Mark Of The Blade on June 24th via Metal Blade Records. Also, Carnifex just released Slow Death on August 5th via Nuclear Blast. Just over the last year or so, Oceano returned with their long-awaited Ascendants album on March 23rd, 2015 via Earache Records. Last but not least, Despised Icon also dropped a new album on July 22nd entitled, Beast, on July 22nd. This is a tour that will go down in history and you definitely won’t want to miss this. The list of tour dates can be found below and make sure to purchase your tickets now!


09/28 — Portland, Ore. @ Hawthorne Theatre
09/29 — Seattle, Wash. @ Studio 7
09/30 — Spokane, Wash. @ Pinnacle NW
10/01 — Billings, Mont. @ Pub Station
10/02 — Denver, Colo. @ The Summit Music Hall
10/04 — Des Moines, Iowa @ Wooly’s
10/05 — Omaha, Neb. @ Waiting Room
10/06 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ Cabooze
10/07 — Milwaukee, Wis. @ The Rave
10/08 — Detroit, Mich. @ St. Andrew’s Hall
10/09 — Chicago, Ill. @ House of Blues
10/11 — Cleveland, Ohio @ Agora Theatre *
10/12 — Webster, Ct. @ Harmony House *
10/13 — New York, N.Y. @ The Gramercy Theater *
10/14 — Lancaster, Pa. @ Chameleon Club
10/15 — Worcester, Mass. @ Rock & Shock, Palladium
10/16 — Freehold, N.J. @ GameChanger World
10/17 — Greensboro, N.C. @ Arizona Pete’s
10/19 — Houston, Texas @ Warehouse Live
10/20 — Dallas, Texas @ The Door
10/21 — Farmington, N.M. @ Top Deck
10/22 — Las Vegas, Nev. @ Vinyl at Hard Rock
* = w/ Despised Icon
A RockHaven Concert Preview by Erik Gibbons


Metallica are ‘Hardwired’… to release a brand-new double album on November 18th

Since the release of Death Magnetic in 2008 (while Lulu isn’t worthy of mention at all), we haven’t heard much from Metallica since then. On August 18th, I felt as if I had awoken from a strange dream. However, I hadn’t awoken from a dream. The reality of a brand-new Metallica double-album (yes, you read that correctly!) has finally come to fruition. Metallica has announced that on November 18th they will be releasing Hardwired… To Self-Destruct via Blackened Recordings. The title track, Hardwired, has since been released, accompanied by a short and simple music video. The single is pretty intriguing to me because it’s very reminiscent of Kill ‘Em All and Ride The Lightning with the addition of the lightning fast riffs and throwback sound. Hopefully this is a preview of what the rest of the album will sound like. You can Pre-Order Hardwired… To Self Destruct through the band’s website and receive all sorts of bonuses if you decide to go that route. An extensive track-list can be found below as well.


Disc One

  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Now That We’re Dead
  4. Moth Into Flame
  5. Am I Savage?
  6. Halo On Fire

Disc Two

  1. Confusion
  2. Dream No More
  3. ManUNkind
  4. Here Comes Revenge
  5. Murder One
  6. Spit Out The Bone

Disc Three (Deluxe Edition Only)

  1. Lords Of Summer
  2. Riff Charge (Riff Origins)
  3. N.W.O.B.H.M. A.T.M. (Riff Origins)
  4. Tin Shot (Riff Origins)
  5. Plow (Riff Origins)
  6. Sawblade (Riff Origins)
  7. RIP (Riff Origins)
  8. Lima (Riff Origins)
  9. 91 (Riff Origins)
  10. MTO (Riff Origins)
  11. RL72 (Riff Origins)
  12. Frankenstein (Riff Origins)
  13. CHI (Riff Origins)
  14. X Dust (Riff Origins)


Hardwired music video:


A RockHaven Music Review by Erik Gibbons

Jarren Benton, ex-Funk Volume giant, and Rittz, Tour

In the wake of the recent Funk Volume drama, Jarren Benton isn’t slowing down. In fact, he’s moving in slow motion… but in a good way. Coming off the release of his brand new mixtape, Slow Motion Vol. 2,  which dropped on July 22nd, Jarren Benton and Rittz are both slated to hit the road together beginning on October 5th as part of the Top Of The Line Tour which will be headlined by Rittz. Rittz is also coming in hot with a new album entitled, Top Of The Line, which was released on May 6th. Tour dates as well as both albums can be found below. Pick up both albums and grab your tickets now!


Tour Dates

Slow Motion Vol 2

Top Of The Line


A RockHaven Concert Preview by Erik Gibbons

Sum 41 to tour for the first time in 4 years… but Don’t Call It a Sum-Back Tour

Fresh off of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour, Sum 41 will going on tour across the U.S. for the first time in nearly 4 years with support provided by Senses Fail and As It Is. To top it off, Sum 41 will also be releasing a brand new album entitled, 13 Voices, on October 7th which comes out in the midst of this long-awaited Sum-Back TourSum 41 also released a brand-new single entitled, Fake My Own Death, which will be featured on the new album, 13 Voices, due out on October 7th. You can Pre-Order the new album now on iTunes and Google Play. You can view the tour dates below and be sure to purchase your tickets now.


10/5 — Orlando, Fla. — House of Blues
10/7 — Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Revolution
10/8 — St. Petersburg, Fla. — State Theatre
10/9 — Atlanta, Ga. — Masquerade
10/11 — Boston, Mass. — House of Blues
10/12 — Philadelphia, Pa. — Fillmore
10/13 — Sayreville, N.J. — Starland Ballroom
10/14 — New York, N.Y. — Playstation Theater
10/17 — Montreal, Quebec — Metropolis
10/18 — Toronto, Ontario — The Phoenix
10/19 — Detroit, Mich. — St. Andrews
10/21 — Chicago, Ill. — House of Blues
10/22 — Minneapolis, Minn. — Mill City Nights
10/25 — Edmonton, Alberta — Union Hall
10/26 — Calgary, Alberta — MacEwan Hall
10/28 — Vancouver, British Columbia — Commodore
10/29 — Seattle, Wash. — Neptune
10/30 — Portland, Ore. — Hawthorne
11/1 — San Francisco, Calif. — Regency
11/2 — Riverside, Calif. — Riverside Municipal Auditorium
11/4 — Phoenix, Ariz. — Livewire
11/5 — San Diego, Calif. — House of Blues
11/6 — Los Angeles, Calif. — Mayan

Fake My Own Death music video:
A RockHaven Concert Preview by Erik Gibbons



The Claypool Lennon Delirium is taking their fans to another dimension at The Fillmore Philadelphia

With the current tour cycle of The Claypool Lennon Delirium coming to a close and with only a few dates left, they’re getting ready to marinate the the brains of fans in attendance at The Fillmore Philadelphia on August 31st. This current tour is in support of the release of their new album, Monolith Of Phobos, which was released this year on June 3rd. The first single entitled, “Cricket and Genie”, was released this past January to go with the announcement of the Bonnaroo Festival which also featured this fabulous duo. They’ve since released a second single entitled, “Mr. Wright” which all lead up to the release of Monolith of Phobos. This upcoming show features the coming together of the legendary Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, who is the son of John Lennon. It’s definitely an experience that you won’t want to miss. You can purchase Monolith Of Phobos now wherever music is sold. Check out the remainder of tour dates below and purchase your tickets now.


06/04 – Orlando, FL @ The Beacham
06/05 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz
06/07 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
06/09 – Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre
06/10 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
06/11 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/12 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
06/14 – Kansas City, MO @ Crossroads
06/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
06/17 – Garrettsville, OH @ Nelson Ledges Quarry Park
06/18 – Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theatre
07/21 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
07/22 – Jacksonville, OR @ Britt Pavilion
07/23 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom
07/25 – Jackson Hole, WY @ Pink Garter Theatre
07/26 – Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theatre
07/27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
07/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theatre
07/30 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
07/31 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
08/02 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
08/03 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
08/04 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theatre
08/05-07 – Buena Vista, CO @ Vertex Festival
08/09 – Iowa City, IA @ Englert Theatre
08/11 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
08/12 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live! Indoor Pavilion
08/13 – Scranton, PA @ Peach Fest
08/26 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues Boston
08/27 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
08/28 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
08/30 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
08/31 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
09/01 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club


Purchase tickets here:


A RockHaven Concert Preview by Erik Gibbons