Hailing from the shores of Santa Cruz in California, modern heavy metal singer James Durbin has announced a February 2021 release for The Beast Awakens, his first album as Durbin and also his boldest, heaviest effort to date.
Durbin is finally releasing the record he has always wanted to make during his decade long career. Combining his love of all things DIO, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, he set out to craft his own signature strain of fantasy inspired power metal with The Beast Awakens, stating that “I have found a home for my creativity with Frontiers. They really share my vision for the type of metal I wish to create and we’re all excited to see where it will lead.”
The first single from the album, Kings Before You, features guest appearances from Fozzy vocalist (and AEW Wrestling star) Chris Jericho and renowned guitar wizard Phil Demmel (BPMD, ex-Machine Head), while other songs feature solos from axe wielders such as Jon Yadon Jr., Marc Putnam, Dylan Rose and Nick Gallant. Entirely written by Durbin, the album was recorded remotely due to Covid restrictions, with only Durbin himself and his producer Ellison occupying the studio. Durbin explains that “the fact that the album sounds the way it does, with the way it was recorded, is a testament to the passion of everyone involved. I am very grateful for all the love and care that was given to my songs and I can’t wait to unleash my metal upon the world. 2020 has been such a strange year for all of us. Coincidentally, the restrictions happened just as I had begun writing for the album. It really forced me to write by myself and not rely on others.”
Once the songs were written and demoed and with himself playing rhythm guitar, Durbin brought in virtuoso drummer Mike Vanderhule (Y&T) and master bassist Barry Sparks (Ted Nugent, Scorpions, Dokken, B’z) to complete his core line-up.
James Durbin is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Many associate his name with his participation in the 2011 series of American Idol (season 10), where he unabashedly flew the flag for heavy metal and in the finale performed rousing renditions of Livin’ After Midnight and Breaking The Law with metal gods Judas Priest and also appeared with legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde. This was followed by a debut album, Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster (2011), which blended hard hitting riffs and vulnerable lyrics with Durbin‘s signature scream. He has also worked and performed alongside many other musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Don Was, Zakk Wylde, Sheryl Crow, Tom Jones, Steel Panther, Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe and Bob Babbitt of The Funk Brothers.
Durbin‘s vocal prowess and powerful stage presence have earned him the stamp of approval from rock and metal royalty members such as Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar and Rob Halford. To date, he has issued four full length albums, in addition to lending his voice to a handful of other full length releases. An artist on the rise and a performer not to be missed, fans of current traditional heavy metal acts like Haunt, Eternal Champion, Sumerlands and Enforcer, as well as hard rock and classic heavy metal fans in general, are in for a treat!
The Beast Awakens track list
1 The Prince Of Metal
2 Kings Before You (feat. Chris Jericho & Phil Demmel)
3 Into The Flames
4 The Sacred Mountain
5 The Beast Awakens
6 Evil Eye
8 Riders On The Wind
9 Calling Out For Midnight
10 Battle Cry
11 By The Horns
12 Rise To Valhalla
13 Return Me To The One (bonus track Japan)
James Durbin – vocals, rhythm guitar
Jon Yadon Jr., Marc Putnam, Dylan Rose, Nick Gallant – guitar
Barry Sparks – bass
Mike Vanderhule – drums