Armenian Band ‘Lightning Strikes’ Features Black Sabbath Vocalist in Debut Album

Lightning Strikes band to feature former Black Sabbath vocalist in debut album
Lightning Strikes band to feature former Black Sabbath vocalist in debut album (Image: Lightning Strikes Facebook Page)

Lightning Strikes band to feature former Black Sabbath vocalist in debut album (Image: Lightning Strikes Facebook Page)

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles-based heavy metal act, Lightning Strikes, led by Armenian-American drummer/founder, Karpis Maksudian, have announced a January 20th U.S. release for their eponymous debut album, available through German-based label Pure Legend, a division of Pure Steel Records.

Already garnering rave reviews in the international metal press, one of the album’s standout tracks is ‘301 AD: Sins of Our Fathers,’ with guest vocals by former Black Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin, which deals with Armenian history, the adaption of Christianity in 301 AD as the first nation on Earth and the ensuing dark era of constant battles and recurring massacres involving neighboring Turks and Persians.  “I already had the music written when I asked Tony to work on the lyrics because I wanted to have something akin to Martin era Sabbath style on the album,” reveals Maksudian. “I gave him the basic outline about early Christianity and the 1915 genocide and he then came up with these awesome lyrics after he did some heavy research on the topic.  I read the e-mail he sent me and I was amazed how detailed he was.  He also came up with the melodies and recorded test tracks so I could listen. As soon as I heard what he’d laid down, I asked him not to change anything because it already sounded heavenly.”

Originally formed in the mid-80’s, Lightning Strikes were part the bustling Los Angeles scene, issuing a 7” single and playing legendary clubs like Gazzari’s, The Roxy, and Troubadour, before going their separate ways. In 2011, Maksudian began to assemble a new version of Lightning Strikes, featuring returning bassist Cat Tate (Snew, Red Again), Berklee trained guitarist Rob Math (LEATHERWOLF, PLAYER), and Brazilian vocalist Nando Fernandes (Hangar). In addition to Tony Martin, ‘Lightning Strikes’ also features guests contributions from Armenian-American keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian (Billy Idol, KISS, Dream Theater) and Japanese visual kei star Noah (Avanchick) on lead vocals.

‘Lightning Strikes’ was mixed by acclaimed producer Roy Z (Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Helloween) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Yngwie Malmsteen, Anvil).

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