With over 20 years of chart-topping success, the Boson rock band has cemented themselves as 21st-century hard rock titans. To date, they’ve accomplished a staggering 11 #1 singles at mainstream rock radio, including “Bulletproof,” “Unforgettable,” “When Legends Rise,” and “Under Your Scars,” all from the band’s most recent album. Additionally, they’ve enjoyed 20 Top 10 hits at the format–the most of any act since February 1999–as well as four Grammy nominations, and were named Billboard Music Award’s Rock Artist of the Year in 2001. Selling over 20 million records worldwide, the band has released seven studio albums; Godsmack (1998), Awake (2000), Faceless (2003), IV (2006), The Oracle (2010), 1000hp(2014), and When Legends Rise (2018).
In 2023, the Massachusetts-bred quartet will take a victory lap with their eighth studio album Lighting Up the Sky, dropping one more classic album as they ascend into the celebratory portion of their career. The powerful storytelling of Lighting Up the Sky covers boy-meets-girl, obstacles in relationships, the polarized political climate and the state of the world, betrayal, connection, rebounds, and more.
GODSMACK is Sully Erna (vocals, guitar), Tony Rombola (guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), and Shannon Larkin (drums).
About Bullet for my Valentine
“This is the beginning of Bullet 2.0,” says vocalist and lead guitarist Matt Tuck when describing their self titled deluxe album released last year. “It signifies where we are right now. The music is fresh, it’s aggressive, it’s more visceral and more passionate than it’s ever been.”
Since Bullet For My Valentine formed in 1998, the Welsh metallers have become one of the biggest bands in metal, selling over 3 million albums worldwide and scoring three gold albums, as well as defining British metalcore with their now classic debut, The Poison.
Bullet For My Valentine follows the success of their last album, 2018’s Gravity, which saw the metal juggernauts play their biggest shows to date, including a UK arena tour and a massive show at London’s Alexandra Palace. But this time around, the band have taken things back to basics. Bullet For My Valentine is stacked with squealing solos and monstrous riffs that will delight fans both new and old.
“I think it’s the most ferocious side of Bullet For My Valentine that I’ve ever known,” says lead guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget. “It’s time for us to put out a really angry, heavy, aggressive record. I think this direction is where we really shine. I just can’t wait to grimace on stage!”
“I wanted to come out guns blazing, fucking middle fingers flying and just go for the throat,” agrees Matt. “I think this is a far more aggressive, intense part of Bullet For My Valentine. It’s always been there, I’ve just never opened the floodgates on it. I want to take people’s heads off, in a metaphorical way. Everyone who’s naysaid the band for 15 years and had shit to say about us… this is for them.”
From a first listen, fans will recognise this as Bullet on the form of their lives. Vicious opener Parasite and the album’s furious first single, Knives, are pure metallic adrenaline: galloping drums, seething vocals and frantic solos, creating a dark sound that reflects the challenging period in which the album was recorded. Having taken the biggest risk of their careers with Gravity’s glossy anthemia, the band are now completely in their element, able to take their music wherever they want to go and experimenting with texture and tone on the disorientating Rainbow Veins and blackened rock’n’roll of Bastards. Elsewhere though, powerhouse tracks like My Reverie, the thrash-influenced Paralysed and groove metal stomper, Shatter, are classic Bullet For My Valentine, merging menacing riffery with huge, expansive choruses that will tower over huge rooms as soon as our pits are allowed to reopen.
Fans will get the chance to hear the new music live for the first time when the band return to the US in May. “We can’t wait to see how people react to the new material,” says Padge. “We can’t wait to get out there, smash everything and get back to playing music again.”
“I think we’re an age now where we can’t be ignored as one of the fucking big boys of metal,” says Matt. “You don’t stick around for twenty years and seven records if you’re not classed as that. It’s exciting times ahead we feel like we’re on the cusp of something mega.”
Matt began writing the album in September 2019 before the Coronavirus pandemic brought things screeching to a halt in early 2020. But in June 2020, Matt and long-time producer, Carl Bown, who co-produced the band’s 2015 album, Venom, and produced and mixed Gravity, picked up the pace again. Together, they hunkered down at Treehouse Studio in Chesterfield, where the remainder of the album was written. Recording took place during Covid-safe sessions with each member of the band laying down their parts separately. “The writing process wasn’t different to usual, because I write all the music anyway,” says Matt. “But the option to get together and record in the same room was taken away from us.”
While the recording process posed its own challenges, the band have triumphed, creating an album that will cement their place at the very top of modern British metal.
“Our journey has had ups and downs but the four of us in the band are still as hungry and confident as ever,” declares Matt. “This is the best album think we’ve ever made and long may that trend continue. I think this album is special. I think as soon as people hear it, we’re going to make a lot of people smile.”
About Bad Wolves
Expectations never mattered to Bad Wolves. Instead, the Los Angeles band fused unpredictable metallic intensity and impressive instrumental proficiency to arena-ready hooks, transforming from underdogs into elite platinum-certified hard rock contenders without compromise or apology. Since 2017, the core group—John Boecklin [drums], Doc Coyle [lead guitar, backing vocals], Chris Cain [rhythm guitar], and Kyle Konkiel [bass, backing vocals]—have consistently subverted expectations and accomplished the seemingly impossible.
In 2018, the band earned a platinum plaque, topped iTunes, and ruled Active Rock at #1 for three weeks straight. This momentum also propelled their debut album, Disobey, to a Top 25 debut on the Billboard Top 200. In between performing to sold out audiences on multiple continents with heavyweights such as Five Finger Death Punch and Megadeth, 2019’s N.A.T.I.O.N. yielded their fifth straight #1 at Active Rock, “Sober,” and brought their total stream tally past the half-billion mark—unprecedented for a modern rock band. Not to mention, LoudWire hailed it among the “50 Best Rock Albums of 2019” as Billboard and Consequence of Sound chronicled their rise.
In the midst of 2021, Bad Wolves welcomed Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz—previously of The Acacia Strain—as lead vocalist, ushering in a new chapter with their third full-length offering, Dear Monsters, [Better Noise Music], led by the single “Lifeline.”