Mark Morton

2020 End Of The Year List: Best Guitarist

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Next up on Audioeclectica.com’s 2020 End Of The Year Lists, the Top 10 Guitarists. The stipulation is that, an album/EP had to have been released this year.

Vote for your favorite in the comments section. At the end of the month, I will release the results of the readers poll.

This list is also in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!!!

01) Greg Puciato- Greg Puciato
02) Stephen Carpenter- Deftones
03) Chris Traynor- Bush
04) Shooter Jennings- Marilyn Manson
05) Ken Andrews- Ken Andrews
06) Clint Lowery- Clint Lowery
07) Mark Morton- Mark Morton
08) Aaron Turner- Sumac
09) Stephen Taylor- En Minor
10) Andrew Watt- Ozzy Osbourne

Album Review: Lamb Of God- Lamb Of God

Lamb Of God - Official Site

Lamb Of God have been at this for over two decades now and have solidified their place in the heavy music community. Throughout their time, they’ve released two albums that have become classics in the metal world (As The Palaces Burn and Ashes Of The Wake). Now, in 2020, Lamb Of God have released a new album with a renewed sense of energy that hasn’t been heard from them in a long while. That’s not to say that this sounds like a different band, it’s still Lamb through and through. Longtime drummer Chris Adler is no longer in the fold and has been replaced with the very accomplished Art Cruz (formerly of Winds Of Plague and Prong).

This album definitely seems to pick up where their previous one, VII Sturm Und Drang left off. There’s plenty of intricate parts, thrashy elements and metal to go around as well as a new groove that seems to have energized all the members to pick it up a bit more. Album opener “Memento Mori” has some very cool vibes that show that this is more than just a run of the mill song. The clean vocals from Randy Blythe actually fit in really well on this track. “Checkmate” lyrically is hard charging but, musically it does sound a bit familiar. “Gears” offers a bit more of that new groove I mentioned. I have a feeling this song live would be crowd favorite. My favorite song on the new album is “Reality Bath.” This one shows off a lot of diversity in what this band can do. The arrangement on this song along with “that groove” makes this one a stand out. “New Colossal Hate” is straight up Lamb Of God. This song needs to be added to their set list. It definitely has a bit of an Ashes vibe to it as well. “Resurrection Man” is a pretty fun song in that it has a bit of a Pantera-ish vibe mixed with a bit a sort of prog element too. This would be an interesting one to hear live. “Poison Dream” features Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta. This song is another very Lamb sounding song. Jamey’s vocals do tend to get lost in the shuffle on this track. It would have been cooler if there was a badass breakdown and he was unleashed. “Routes” is a very introspective song lyrically about Randy’s time spent protesting at the Dakota Access Pipeline. Testament’s Chuck Billy guests on this track in a passionate way. “Bloodshot Eyes” is a song that musically could have fit very easily on guitarist Mark Morton’s solo album. The inclusion of mostly clean vocals on this one is sure to separate some fans but, it’s definitely a welcome change. “Off The Hook” closes out the album and this one is pretty hard charging.

This album is Lamb Of God doing what they do. It’s not reinventing the wheel. It does have a bit of a different vibe since Chris Adler is no longer involved but, it was needed change. Art Cruz, like I mentioned before, has brought a new energy and groove to the band. That groove he learned from playing in Prong, definitely shows through. Mark Morton and Willie Adler have really become quite the guitar duo over the years and on this album it really comes to light a bit more. John Campbell is a seriously underrated bass player. His style along with Art’s are super in sync and it allows for the right amount of breath to be let out on these songs. Randy Blythe’s vocals have really taken shape in interesting ways. He’s still ferocious and gritty but, being able to expand upon the dynamics of the songs with clean parts give these songs something more than just a run of the mill vibe. Overall, this album is solid and a great place to start anew. I can definitely see a few of these songs becoming live staples for a good amount of time. Also, I can really see Art Cruz finding his own place in this band and helping to push the boundaries of what this band can do.

Rating: 8/10

Lamb Of God- Lamb Of God:

 

 

 

 

Live Review: Mark Morton, Light The Torch & Moon Tooth at The Roxy

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On a clear Monday night in Los Angeles, at the legendary Roxy on Sunset, three bands, each with their own style, left an imprint on this fabled street and venue. Those in attendance (and there were quite a few, especially on a Monday), were witness to one hell of an energetic evening of heavy music. Led by headliner Mark Morton along with Light The Torch and up and comers Moon Tooth, there was no stopping the train of heavy from decimating the Roxy.

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Opening up the evening was Moon Tooth. Ever since I heard of them a few months back, I’ve been highly intrigued by them. Their blend of heavy and psychedelia mixed with bits of prog and jazz makes them one of the most exciting new bands to come along in a while. Their second album Crux (which comes out Friday March 29), is one hell of a record and it most definitely will be at top ten album of the year. Every minute of their set was absolutely on fire. As they ripped through new songs like “Trust,” “Omega Days,” and “Awe At All Angles,” there was no question that these four gents are primed for something great. Each member from Nick Lee (Guitar/Vocals), John Carbone (Vocals), Ray Marte (Drums/Vocals), and Vin Romanelli (Bass), really gave it everything for each song. Personally I was kind of bummed their set ended. I really wanted more. Moon Tooth really got the crowd going and delivered a performance that when they are headlining their own shows, will be talked about for some time.

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The middle slot of the night belonged to Light The Torch (formerly Devil You Know) and they brought the thunder with them. As the lights dimmed down, the frenzied crowd lost their shit when singer Howard Jones took the stage. For the next hour, Light The Torch, riding high off their new album, Revival, Howard Jones along with Francisco Artusato (Guitar), Ryan Wombacher (Bass/Vocals) and Mike Sciulara (Drums) delivered a set that was inspiring and crushing. Playing songs like “Die Alone,” “Calm Before The Storm,” “The Bitter End,” “The God I Deserve,” and “The Safety Of Disbelief,” there was no doubt on anyone’s mind that Light The Torch are here to stay. One of the best parts of their performance was the interaction between Howard and the crowd. It’s clear that Howard is a favorite among many people. His time in Killswitch Engage was something special and getting Howard back doing what he is meant to do is just great. Light The Torch are primed for a take over and rightfully so.

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The main event of the evening belonged to Mark Morton of Lamb Of God. His debut solo album, Anesthetic, is a departure from what most fans of Lamb Of God are used to. This evening though showcased what a talented songwriter Mark is as well as solidifying his status as a modern day guitar hero. For this tour Mark recruited drummer Art Cruz (Prong, Winds Of Plague and Chris Adler’s fill in for Lamb Of God), guitarist Doc Coyle (God Forbid, Bad Wolves) and Sons Of Texas members Mark Morales on vocals (who also sang the song “Blur” on the record) and Nick Villarreal on bass. This lineup along with Mark on lead guitar stormed through their set with vigor and passion. The songs on the album feature a diverse style of songs ranging from super heavy like “The Truth Is Dead” and “The Never” to more rock styles like “Cross Off,” “Sworn Apart,” “Save Defiance,” “Blur,” and “Imaginary Days.” The best songs though are the total curve balls like “Axis” and “Reveal” which truly show how good Mark Morton really is. The performances of these songs were right on target. Mark Morales did a stellar job handling the vocal duties for all these songs. The tandem guitars of Morton and Coyle were spot on and the pounding and thunderous rhythm of Cruz and Villarreal was right in the pocket. They even had a couple special guests joining them on stage. Naeemah Maddox was brought up to sing her song “Reveal” as well as staying on stage to perform “The Truth Is Dead” with Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly, Abloom, etc) pounding the drums.

 
What a great night for every band on the bill. Each band was different and brought an energy that carried on to the next. It’s shows and tours like this that get people excited and want to go see live music. Not only was that a great show but, it was a great way to start the week. I know I’ll be replaying the show in my head for sometime, especially Moon Tooth. I can’t wait for them to come through town again. And a special shout out to Heavy Grass for making it happen for me to attend this great show!

 

Review and Shots By: Brian Lacy

(I was too into the show to take many pictures).

Band Of The Week: Moon Tooth

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The band I’m presenting to you this week is going to rock your world. They are heavy, aggressive, progressive and absolutely badass. I’d like to introduce you all to your new favorite band, Moon Tooth. Straight up, these guys are awesome. The four members of Moon Tooth, John Carbone (vocals), Nick Lee (guitars), Vincent Romanelli (bass) and Ray Marte (drums) are not only are they masters of their instruments and rip and shred but, their ability to write great songs makes them truly standout. They remind me a bit of Mastodon meets The Dillinger Escape Plan with a ton of melody and 70’s prog. Their 2016 debut album, Chromaparagon is pretty damn great from start to finish. I could use many adjectives to describe how good it is but, you should just listen and you’ll understand why Moon Tooth is great. Now in 2019, Moon Tooth is gearing up to unleash a new album entitled Crux (out March 29th). The first single released, “Trust” is the logical next step for the band and it crushes. The band worked with Lamb of God’s Mark Morton and producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die, King Crimson, etc) on Crux. Speaking on the new album singer John Carbone said “This album is about not giving up. It’s about the furious hope that brings fighters back to their feet again and again. Having answered the call to adventure, having grappled with what will surely be only the first set of trials, having sacrificed and lost so much, ‘Crux’ finds the band at a tipping point. There is nothing left but for the old life to die and the new, true life to begin.” A description like that shows that Moon Tooth are creating lasting music and albums with depth and true artistic expression. Personally, I’m stoked on Moon Tooth and can’t wait for this album and them to tour.

 
Moon Tooth- Trust:

 

 
Moon Tooth- Chromaparagon:

 

Tour Dates with Mark Morton and Light The Torch:

3/13 — Richmond, VA — Broadberry
3/14 — Philadelphia, PA — Underground Arts
3/15 — Toronto, ON — Lees Palace
3/16 — Montreal, QC — Astral
3/18 — Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
3/19 — New York, NY — Gramercy Theater
3/21 — Chicago, IL — Bottom Lounge
3/23 — Colorado Springs, CO — Black Sheep
3/25 — Los Angeles, CA — Roxy
3/26 — Phoenix, AZ — Club Red

Anticipated Albums: Mark Morton- Anesthetic

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Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton is preparing to release his debut solo album March 1, 2019. This is an album that Mark has been working on for a while. In a recent interview Mark went on to say “This album wasn’t a concerted effort to start something outside Lamb of God,” he explains. “Music is always in my head, and until I write and record it, it’s stuck there. But once I record it, it’s out. It’s a catharsis, more for my own sanity.” So needless to say, this album is full of variety and riffs galore. The album features Mark playing all the guitars with guest accompaniment from the likes of Roy Mayorga, David Ellefson, Ray Luzier, Paolo Gregoletto, Alex Bent, Mike Inez, Jean-Paul Gaster, Steve Gorman, Marc Ford, Yanni Papadopoulos, and Chris Brooks rounding out the band. Anesthetic sure seems like a beast of an album. Two songs have been released already “The Truth Is Dead” featuring Arch Enemy’s Alissa White- Gluz and Mark’s Lamb of God mate Randy Blyth, and “Cross Off” which features the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

 

The Truth Is Dead w/ Randy Blyth and Alissa White- Gluz:

 

 

Cross Off w/ Chester Bennington:

 

 

 

ANESTHETIC TRACK LISTING:
1. “Cross Off” (feat. Chester Bennington)
2. “Sworn Apart” (feat. Jacoby Shaddix)
3. “Axis”  (feat. Mark Lanegan)
4. “The Never” (feat. Chuck Billy + Jake Oni)
5. “Save Defiance” (feat. Myles Kennedy)
6. “Blur” (feat. Mark Morales)
7. “Back From The Dead” (feat. Josh Todd)
8. “Reveal” (feat. Naeemah Maddox)
9. “Imaginary Days”
10. “The Truth Is Dead” (feat. Randy Blythe + Alissa White-Gluz)

End Of The Year List: Best Guitar Duo

The second annual Audioeclectica Awards are here. The first category is guitar duos. Here are the requirements to be in this category. Must have released an album/EP this year. Must be 2 guitar players in the band. And it doesn’t matter if the band is signed or not! With that in mind here are the nominees! Vote in the comments!!

Mark Morton and Willie Adler- Lamb Of God
Pete Adams and John Baizley- Baroness
Clint Lowery and John Connelly- Sevendust
Michael Grgas and Dave Ruiz- Hidden Amongst Us
Phil Golyshko and Bill Collins- Sidewave