Archive for the ‘Album Of The Week’ Category

prequelleIf 2017 was a hectic year for Swedish metal band Ghost then 2018 was definitely the year of redemption for the mastermind behind it all in Tobias Forge. 2017 saw lawsuits from past Nameless Ghouls like Simon Söderberg, Mauro Rubino, Martin Hjertstedt, and Henrik Palm all sued the singer over royalty disputes. Despite all of the outside noise, Ghost has soldiered on with a new album and a new character in 2018. On June 1, 2018, the band would release their fourth studio album Prequelle and for the first time ever, the band was not fronted by a Papa, but by Cardinal Copia. The album which is themed around Mideval times and the black plague was a huge success for the band upon it’s release as it debuted at number three on the Billboard Top 200 selling 66,000 copies in it’s first week. Besides the US, the album would peak in the top five in eight different countries with it going number one in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and New Zealand. The album was also nominated for a Grammy (Best Rock Album) as well as a Grammis (The Swedish version) for best Hardrock and Metal album, but it failed to take home any awards. What it did win was the album of the year at the 8TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards which is why I am covering it for this week.

prequelle back cover1. Ashes– The first track on the album is an intro track that features Tobias’s daughter Minou Forge singing the nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o’ Roses which is thought to have been written during the times of the plague. Its perfect for the album because it adds a creepiness to it. 5/5

2. Rats– The first track on the album and the first single with it’s Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads styled tempo and sound in this metaphorical track about the black plague and the spread of disease. 5/5

3. Faith-a doom metal styled track that touches on elements of Heavy Metal as well that just kicks ass about how people are always  afraid to adapt new ways even though we have to be a progressive society and that faith can get in the way. 5/5

4. See The Light– A very cool melancholic like track that some may believe has something to do with the plague, but I think this track is a shot at the bandmates that have sued him in the past. 5/5

5. Miasma-The first instrumental track on the album that is absolutely awesome and even features a saxaphone solo played by Gavin Fitzjohn. It’s the band flexing their prog rock muscle. 5/5

ghost-prequelle6. Dance Macabre-The pop metal disco like sounding track was the second single released off the album and is a track about people partying like they never have before because they know that they are going to die anyways so why not? 5/5

7. Pro Memoria-an interesting ballad that features Davide Rossi providing the orchestration for the track in this song about the devil constantly reminding you that he may have granted you power, but he can easily take it away from you as well. 5/5

8. Witch Image– An awesome track that is all about someone who used witch craft to avoid the plague and dying while others all around them are dying horrible deaths. 5/5

9. Helvetesfönster– The second instrumental track on the album that is absolutely beautiful in composition and features Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt playing the acoustic guitar parts. 5/5

10. Life Eternal– The last track on the album that sees Forge use the piano for the track  while asking the all important question of immortality. If you had the choice to live forever would you take it? 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Ghost has never disappointed me with any of their previous releases and they definitely raised the bar with this one in my opinion. The album shows that Tobias can write classic sounding tracks without making them seem to nostalgic to the point that it’s corny. I love the whole entire album which is why I am giving it five stars out of five for a final grade.

91Kh3SY8mwL._SL1500_During the voting process for the 8TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards, one of the most highly contested contests was the Extreme Metal Album of the Year award which featured bands like Behemoth, Tribulation, Hate Eternal, and the actual winner of the award in Swedish Black Metal band Watain. In 2018, the band which features Erik Danielsson (Vocals/Bass), Håkan Jonsson (Drums), Pelle Forsberg (Guitar) with additional music provided by Alvaro Lillo and Set Teitan (who was fired from the band) released their sixth studio album Trident Wolf Eclipse (on the album as TRIDENT·WOLF·ECLIPSE·) which was produced by Tore Stjerna and released via Century Media. There is a significant change int he band’s sound from their previous album as the band chose to revisit their past and there’s a reason for it. Before the making of the album, the band had to bury one of it’s members in Selim Lemouchi who was a frequent collaborator. Frontman Erik Danielsson spoke to Decibel Magazine about the noticeable shift saying, “there’s no hiding the fact that in between The Wild Hunt and this album we had to bury one of our members and go to his funeral together. […] It perhaps underlines the gravity of the album and that this is not about fucking around. This is not a game. This is life and death. This is what Watain are about.” While the album did not chart in the US, it peaked at number three on the Sverigetopplistan Chart (the Swedish Charts).

119175637-21. Nuclear Alchemy– an intense, in your face, unforgiving track that is all about all out war on the heavens with nuclear alchemy. It could also be about the end of the world through nuclear war. 4.5/5

2. Sacred Damnation– Face melting guitars and machine gun drums lead this track forward in what appears to be a track about the devil reigning supreme. I’m not 100% positive on the meaning, but the track is bad ass. 5/5

3. Teufelsreich– or Devil Reich if you’re looking for the translation for this in your face, but technical at times track. The track seems to be about the search for the devil’s kingdom. 5/5

4. Furor Diabolicus-an intense track that is all out war as Satan tries to reclaim his place in a battle for the ages. 4.5/5

4062665. A Throne Below-a go for the throat track that is just punishing track about the depths of hell and the throne of the master. 4/5

6. Ultra (Pandemonic)– a track whose intensity matches that of the lyrics which is about a unholy beast that is pandemonium and is unleashed. I really dug the guitar solo on this track, I thought it was pretty killer. 4.5/5

7. Towards the Sanctuary– an all out metal assault that kicks ass in a track that is about the life of a satanist and what they do for their beliefs. 4/5

8. The Fire Of Power– The last track on the album that I believe is talking about Apollo, the Greek God who was also known as an archer. I could be wrong, but the track features some amazing moments where they mix some straight up metal with their black metal intensity. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– An intense album from beginning to end that is just relentless in spirit as the intensity never stops. My favorite tracks on the album are Sacred Damnation and Teufelsreich while I don’t dislike any of the tracks, I wish I knew a little more on the meaning of some of them. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

600x600bfWhen you think of the grunge scene from Seattle of the early 1990’s, one of the first bands that comes to mind for me was always Alice In Chains. They were always the heavier band of the scene and their songs just kicked ass. After Layne Staley’s death in 2002, the future of Alice In Chains looked as good as dead, but that all changed when Jerry Cantrell (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Mike Inez (Bass), and Sean Kinney (Drums) reunited with William DuVall (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) taking over Layne’s spot. In 2009, the band released Black Gives Way To Blue and they haven’t looked back since. We fast forward to 2018 and the band releases their sixth studio album Rainier Fog which was named after a Volcano that overlooks Seattle named Mount Rainier. The album also marked the first time the band had recorded an album in their hometown of Seattle since 1995’s self titled album (part of it was recorded in Seattle) and the album was once again produced by Nick Raskulinecz who produced the previous two. The album was voted Rock album of the year by you the readers at the 8TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards and it’s no surprise because the album peaked at 12 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as well as being the band’s first top ten hit in the UK and it debuted at number one on three different charts (Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts). You guys loved it and here it is!

CS699271-01B-BIG1. The One You Know– Apparently the track was inspired by David Bowie’s hit track Fame as Cantrell had explained that he wrote the track around the time of his death so it could have been an underlying influence. You can definitely hear the influence in the main riff. 5/5

2. Rainier Fog– The track that was named after a volcano is the band’s tribute to the Seattle grunge scene that spawned Alice In Chains and bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, etc. Cantrell told Classic Rock Magazine that the lyrics, “Left me he so all alone, only for me to find. Hear your voice on waves we rode, echoes inside my mind. Disembodied just a trace of what it was like then. With you here we shared a space that’s always half-empty” are about Layne Staley and Mike Starr. 5/5

3. Red Giant– A vintage styled Alice In Chains track that has some amazing melodies provided by both Cantrell and DuVall in a track that is all about how stardom can get to a persons head. 4.5/5

4. Fly-a very melodic track that starts off lyrically like how it’s telling you that you are going to fall and fail, but it reminds you never to give up and rise up and fly from the ashes. The track has an amazing guitar solo from Cantrell. 4.5/5

5. Drone-a bad ass track on the album that has a very Sabbath like sound to it that kicks ass and it features former Queensrÿche  guitarist Chris DeGarmo who provides the guitar solo for the track that during the recording of it, Cantrell just could nail it. 5/5

IMG_35476. Deaf Ears Blind Eyes-a track that reminds us that while we are blinded by rage or the untruths that are told to us, we also ignore what really is important to us when we dwell. 4/5

7. Maybe– a very melancholic and melodic track that seems to be Jerry questioning why he still continues on with music as so many of his peers have fallen over the years. It’s a pretty deep track on the album. 4.5/5

8. So Far Under– “It’s about feeling completely up against it – outnumbered, surrounded, facing seemingly unbeatable odds and being really pissed off about it. It was inspired by personal circumstances, as well as events in the wider world.” is what Duvall explained was the meaning of the track as he also plays the guitar solo on the track. 5/5

9. Never Fade-My favorite track on the album that DuVall wrote about the passing of his Grandma and the death of Chris Cornell that their memories will never fade. The track was voted Rock Single Of The Year by you the fans as well. 5/5

10. All I Am– Rolling Stone Magazine described the track as, “a swirling hard-rock tune that takes a long look backward, with sweeping guitar and echoes of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.” and I can’t say that I blame them. It’s a deep track that explores in my belief a song about someone who is so disconnected from others that he is lost from even himself. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was definitely a return to form for the band, but I have to say that they never really lost it to begin with. This album proves to us why Alice In Chains is needed in this world with so many amazing tracks on the album. Never Fade, So Far Under, Rainier Fog, The One You Know, and Drone are my favorites. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars for a final grade.

R-2542972-1500984918-1755.jpegIt is Mötley Crüe week here on Moshpits and Movies where we are celebrating the release of the band’s brand new Netflix biopic The Dirt which was released this past Friday (March 22). We figured that we would cap off Mötley Crüe week by covering one of the band’s albums for the Album Of The Week post and we are giving you two albums for the price of one this week. On November 10, 1981, the band which was made up of Vince Neil (Vocals), Nikki Sixx (Bass), Mick Mars (Guitars), and Tommy Lee (Drums) would self release their debut album Too Fast For Love on their own label Leathür Records. Eventually when the band was signed to Elektra Records, the label would remix the album and re-release it in August of 1982. As far as the track lisiting and artwork is concerned, we are giving you the Leathür Records Edition of the album which features ten tracks as opposed to the nine track Elektra Records release. The original pressing of the album was limited to 900 copies to which the band quickly sold and the re-released version  eventually went Platinum while also peaking at 77 on the Billboard Top 200 charts.

MOTLEY_CRUE_TOO+FAST+FOR+LOVE+-+1ST+ISSUE+2ND+PRESSING+WINSERT+1-951b1. Live Wire– The fierce and ferocious opener kicks off the show with one of the most popular tracks that band performed throughout their careers. I think the track is about when your young you think you’re unstoppable just because what you think you bring to the table is fresh and new. 5/5

2. Public Enemy #1-an awesome track that takes a look at how amazing just being young, wild, and free is because you break all the rules and everyone wants you. The song was co-written with Nikki’s former London bandmate Lizzie Grey who is credited on the song. 5/5

3. Take Me To The Top– an amazing song that has a slight punk rock feel to it at times that is all about fighting those inner demons and temptations as you go to the top. 5/5

4. Merry-Go-Round– a slow and methodical track that apparently is about something that Nikki witnessed as a kid in Seattle when he saw a man refuse to come off a Merry Go Round and was taken away in a straitjacket. 5/5

5. Piece of Your Action– This is the last track on side A and one of two songs that Vince Neil co-wrote on the album that is the original version of Ten Seconds To Love (not really, but as far as lyrical meaning it is). 5/5

Motley Crue - Too Fast For Love (Leathur) - Back Cover6. Starry Eyes-Another amazing song that is musically in the same style as Merry-Go-Round and it’s all about a girl who you are just memorized by because she can do things no other can. The song features one of my favorite builds up to a guitar solo the band has ever done. 5/5

7. Stick to Your Guns– a very Aerosmith like swagger to the track int he beginning before the band launches into overdrive Mötley Crüe style. The track is all about doing what you think is right for you and screw what everyone else says. 5/5

8. Come on and Dance-a cool, raw hard rock classic that is all about a stripper and what this stripper can do that just hooks all the guys in. You have to love the cowbell playing that Tommy Lee includes in this song. 5/5

9. Too Fast For Love-The second best track on the record that is already amazing to begin with and that punk infused rock is awesome in this track that is all about living that rock star life. 5/5

10. On With The Show– Another amazing song and what an amazing track to end an album with. The track is song is almost autobiographical at the time for the year as it chronicles the death of Frank Feranna Jr. and the birth of Nikki Sixx. This is the second song on the album that was co-written by Vince Neil. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Besides Shout At The Devil, this may be the greatest Mötley Crüe record ever recorded due to the fact of how hungry the band was and how raw their sound was in this track. Shout featured a more polished sound that was provided thanks to Elektra and their resources. I love every single song on this record which is why I am going to give the album 5 stars out of five for a final grade. Welcome to the five star club!!!

bc6ee723227e66783247a96206e790c931902ffbWhen I decided to have the category “Rookie Of The Year” in this years Monster Entertainment Awards, I was trying to leave supergroups out of the category because usually they don’t last especially if guys are still in their other projects. Something though seemed a little different about Bad Wolves because they were being marketed much like Five Finger Death Punch, a band of guys who had been in the industry that were banking on themselves. So in the long run, Bad Wolves proved to be a formidable band and they took home the award for their album Disobey. The band which features Tommy Vext (Vocals, Ex-Divine Heresy), Doc Coyle (L. Guitar, Ex-God Forbid), Chris Cain (R. Guitar, Ex-Bury Your Dead), Kyle Konkiel (Bass, Ex- In This Moment), and John Boecklin (Drums, Ex-Devildriver) released their first album on May 11, 2018 and it was produced by Boecklin and Vext alongside Mark Lewis, Wzrdbld, and Philip Naslund while it featured cover art by Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory. The album was a big success for the band as it peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as well as number four on the US Top Rock Albums chart.

119195491-21. Officer Down– an intense in your face opening track that talks all about police brutality and it definitely reflects on the times with the social climate on police brutality. 4.5/5

2. Learn To Live– The band has a Slipknot like intensity to this track and it’s no surprise with the caliber of the guys in the band. The track is all about people struggle every day with just life itself, but if you want to survive you better learn how to live. 4.5/5

3. No Masters– This may be one of my favorite tracks on the album because it’s a bad ass riff that has that metal swagger to it in this song that is all about going against the grain and let no man control you. 5/5

4. Zombie– The band was originally supposed to have Cranberries vocalist Dolores O’Riordan do the song with the band as a duet, but unfortunately she passed away before they could and the band finished recording the cover in tribute to her. The song was also voted cover song of the year in this years Monster Entertainment Awards. 5/5

5. Run for Your Life– a track with a little more of a commercial feel to it that is all about someone who realizes that they lived as slaves to the grind and now it’s time to escape before it’s too late. 4.5/5

6. Remember When-a more melodic track from the band that is all about reflecting on the past and saying to yourself if you only knew… 4.5/5

7. Better The Devil– Tommy flexes his more melodic singing ability on this track and combines it with the intensity of his vocals on the chorus in this very Nu-Metal like track in this track that I think gives awareness to suicide. 4.5/5

bad-wolves-2018-billboard-15008. Jesus Slaves-a pretty cool track that I believe is talking about Werewolves and that once you’ve been turned into one not even Jesus can save you. 4.5/5

9. Hear Me Now– a very commercial track that is featuring DIAMANTE who sings vocals on the track in the same style that Linkin Park had Kiiara for Heavy and Papa Roach had Skylar Grey for Periscope. It’s not a bad track by any means, but there’s a trend here. 4.5/5

10. Truth Or Dare– The band stays melodic for this track that is all about being daring because life is just a game anyways. 4/5

11. The Conversation– Another track on the album that is looking to be socially aware as it questions the way we’ve been living and that as Americans, we need to start questioning the establishment more. 4.5/5

12. Shape Shifter– I am not a fan of the guitar riff on this track, but the rhythm section definitely helps carry this tune that is all about a woman who is more than men can handle. 4/5

13. Toast To The Ghost– This was the first single released off of the album and it has a build up that leads to an in your face track that is all about how we forget all those that fought and died for our freedom and the very belief of it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The album has a theme behind as almost every track touches on the idea of not being controlled or freedom and while the music touches upon the best elements of Slipknot, Nu-Metal, and some FFDP, I can see these guys having a future. My favorite track on the album is No Master, that is a song that I would love to hear live. My least favorite track is Shape Shifter just cause I’m not a fan of the guitar riff. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

cc6-g9When it became time to decide who was going to be included in the metal album of the year category, it was tough to decide because there were a lot of great choices. You had amazing albums from Visigoth, High On Fire, Judas Priest, and so many more. Out of all those bands, I couldn’t leave Judas Priest out of the category because their 18TH studio album Firepower left quite the mark on 2018 as it debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts selling 49,000 units in it’s first week. So, it came as no surprise when the album won the award for Metal Album Of The Year at the 8TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards. The album once again featured Rob Halford (Vocals), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), Scott Travis (Drums), and for the second album Richie Faulkner (Guitars). The album also marked the first time that Tom Allom would be the producer of a Judas Priest record since 1988’s Ram It Down and it’s also the first Priest album to have Andy Sneap as a Co-Producer. The album was widely successful as WJCU out of Cleveland voted it number one on their Top 25 Albums of 2018 list. Rolling Stone ranked it number 3 on their 20 Best Metal Albums of 2018 list while Loudwire ranked it number three on their The 30 Best Metal Albums of 2018 list.

71xJkQG4-dL._SL1200_1. Firepower-The title track opens up with a heavy metal fury that is unlike no other that just rips your face off in what seems to be a track about how the governments are just arming themselves with deadly firepower. 5/5

2. Lightning Strikes-a track that just screams of classic Judas Priest that is exactly what the Judas Priest fan ordered here. It has a very Ram It Down sound to it and it might have to do with Allom’s influence on the track. 5/5

3. Evil Never Dies-Richie Faulkner brings the heaviness to this track as it just hammers through in a track that is all about how no matter how we try to deny him, evil does indeed exist. Around the 2:28 mark, there is a very cool melodic break int he music that just leads into some awesomeness. 4.5/5

4. Never The Heroes-a cool and heavy track that is very melodic during the verses in a track that talks about how soldiers are forced to be thrown into war which in turn makes them heroes. Scott commented saying, “”Never the Heroes” is a great, meaningful song in the sense just lyrically, even though I had nothing to do with the lyrics, but it’s a great song [with] a great hook.” 4.5/5

5. Necromancer-a cool ass metal track that is about you guessed it a Necromancer who is someone who practices the dark arts and communicates with the dead. 4.5/5

6. Children Of The Sun– I hate to think that every track like this one is about the end of the world, but that’s what I get from the lyrics. The track kind of brings that Sad Wings feel to it at times which I thought was cool. 4/5

7. Guardians– An instrumental track on the album 4/5

judas-priest-firepower-6-ab8. Rising from Ruins-a cool track whose message may seem religious to some just because of the content, but I think it’s more than just that. I think the song is just telling you that no matter how many times life knocks you down, you have to keep getting back up. 4.5/5

9. Flame Thrower-Priest adds a little bit of a rock swagger to their music with this track and I don’t think the song is being literal in it’s meaning, but I also don’t think it’s an apocalypse song either. 4.5/5

10.  Spectre-I never thought that I would ever read lyrics from Judas Priest and think they were about a James Bond film and villain, but that is what it seems to be about. 4/5

11. Traitors Gate– a very melodic intro begins the track before the band launches into overdrive with this track about a man who is about to be executed for his rebellious nature, but he’s OK with it because he’ll be a martyr. 4.5/5

12. No Surrender-Another track that is similar to Flame Thrower as far as the rock swagger is concerned, but this is a very cool track. It seems to be about someone who knows that he is willing to do anything to accomplish his goals no matter what. 5/5

13. Lone Wolf– A very Sabbath-esque track and they do a fantastic job with it in a track that speaks about those of us who are lone wolfs. We live and do things by our rules. The chorus is very Priest like, but when it goes to the verse it turns back to the Sabbath like riffage. 5/5

14. Sea Of Red-Richie Faulkner said that this was one of his favorite tracks on the album and it’s the closer. The track seems to be about honoring those that sacrificed so that we may live our lives to the fullest, but it reminds us to not forget. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts-There are a lot of great tracks on this album despite all the questions of how much did Tipton really contribute to the album since he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s shortly after it’s release I believe. My favorite tracks on the album are 1, 2, 12, and 13 with Spectre being my least favorite track. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

rainbow-rising-1976-album-coverWhen you think of the genre of heavy metal, there are certain faces that are immediately associated with it and those people are Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, and the late and great Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie was one of those guys that just embodied the genre of heavy metal and he did it with Elf, Black Sabbath, his solo band Dio, and the legendary post Deep Purple band Rainbow. Richie Blackmore had left Deep Purple and he wanted to start a new band that was his vision and he did so with Ronnie on vocals. On May 17, 1976, Rainbow with only Dio and Blackmore remaining from the previous album would release their second album Rising which would now feature Tony Carey (Keyboards), Jimmy Bain (Bass), and Cozy Powell (Drums) while the album was produced by Martin Birch. The album was a huge success for the band as Kerrang Magazine stated in 1981 that it was the greatest Heavy Metal album ever recorded while Rolling Stone ranked it 48TH on their 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list while Loudwire ranked it 20TH on their Best 50 Metal Albums Of All Time list. The album peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts while going gold in the UK in 1979.

rainbow-823-6552-cd1. Tarot Woman– The track starts off with a cool spacey keyboard playing by Carey before the band eventually comes in led by Dio’s powerful vocals. I believe the track is about someone who is afraid of what the fortune teller has told them. The tarck features a cool solo by Blackmore. 5/5

2. Run With The Wolf– A track that kind of has a funky rock swagger to it as Dio leads the charge in this track that is all about werewolves I believe. I definitely am a fan of how the keys mix in very nicely with the guitars, they make a great pair in this track. 4.5/5

3. Starstruck– A cool rock track that is all about every rockers favorite types of fans in groupies, but this is apparently about one that took it a little too far and found out where he lived. 4.5/5

4. Do You Close Your Eyes-This is a cool rock track that seems to be about a girl that he knows that he can’t seem to figure out what her deal is, but all that he hopes is that she is into him like he is into her. 4.5/5

RAINBOW_RAINBOW+RISING-233360b5. Stargazer– An epic track on the album that starts off with a drum solo by Powell before Blackmore and company bring the thunder in a track that also features the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, a Vako Orchestron, and a turkish string instrument. The song is apparently a moral song that was written in the perspective of an slave in Egyptian times  that is forced to build something because a wizard becomes obsessed with flying to the stars. 5/5

6. A Light in the Black– The last track on the album that is another 8 minute epic track that is the sequel to the previous track that still follows this slave who attempts to try and fly home now that the wizard has fallen. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The weird thing about this album is that side two is so drastically different than the first side. The first side is a little more Purple rock side while the second side is more of that Dio awesomeness that we all love. Stargazer is definitely my favorite track on the album, but A Light In The Black is great and Tarot Woman is great too. I am going to give the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.