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2015: A Year In Metal - The Multi-Tasker to The Rocker

For Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe, it was a year of plate-spinning

After putting his Prague woes firmly behind him to front the first new Lamb Of God album in three years, VII: Sturm Und Drang, you could imagine Randy Blythe being more full of beans than ever as 2015 draws to a close. Typically, though, he remains grounded.

“It’s been a lot of hard work this year,” the frontman tells us. “For me personally, it’s been about trying to cram as many of my creative outlets into as small a time frame as possible. We had the album release, of course, which was really well received, plus I’ve become an author and I’ve also been working on my photography. And those other things are hard! I know I can go into a studio and record an album, but photography is something I am still learning and it takes a different kind of discipline. So it’s a lot of different outlets!”

Despite many fans’ expectations, Randy refused to let his experiences in prison in Prague in 2012 dictate the album’s overall direction – pointing out that one of his new ventures enabled him to channel that period of his life in a different way.

“There was no way I was going to write a prison album,” he scoffs. “Firstly, that was a truly tragic incident, and it was far too complex for me to express through a heavy metal album. Secondly, I wrote a book about it [Dark Days]! I’m not the sort of person who mines my experiences after I’ve dealt with them – it was all chronicled in the book. I moved on pretty quickly after that.” 


THE LEADER

AA’s Ben Bruce kept the train on course

With new singer Denis Stoff filling Danny Worsnop’s not inconsiderable boots, Ben Bruce has had to steer Asking Alexandria through their toughest but most important year yet. But he’s come out the other side convinced that the metalcore heavyweights are stronger than ever, conquering venues and getting ready to take on the challenge of releasing a new album.

“It was quite daunting to think about,” he admits, “but it was actually a fairly painless transition. The reaction to Denis joining has been so incredibly positive, it’s almost like I’m dreaming. I’ve been stood onstage multiple times this year and genuinely shed a tear. It’s been such a relief and such a buzz at the same time.” 

THE CRUSADER

Matt Heafy took Trivium into brave new territory

This year, Trivium took another left turn in a career littered with them, dropping screams from their repertoire and taking their classic heavy metal influences to a whole new level with seventh album Silence In The Snow. It gave Matt Heafy a chance to nurture his craft like never before, taking time out for singing lessons and reflection.

“This year, I’ve been learning my voice more than ever!” smiles the frontman. “I always wanted to be a singer like Bruce Dickinson and Ronnie James Dio and Freddie Mercury, and I know that I’ll never be as good as my heroes, but I’ll always work to be as good. That’s a big part of the confidence I now have in life.”  


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