Archive for the ‘Album Of The Week’ Category

iron maidenWe are continuing our journey through Loudwire.com’s list of the top 50 Metal albums of all time by checking out a true classic and game changer. When I was deciding on what album to choose, it was almost a no brainer because I had not yet covered an Iron Maiden record that featured my favorite singer Paul Di’Anno. He was the original lead singer of New Wave of British Heavy Metal titans Iron Maiden and we are checking out the band’s self titled debut record. The band which was made up of Di’Anno (Lead Vocals), Steve Harris (Bass Guitar), Dennis Stratton (Guitar) in his only appearance, Dave Murray (Guitar), and Clive Burr (Drums). According to some sources, this was the only album that was ever produced by Will Malone as the band expressed he showed no interest in their project. Due to the lack of interest, they claim to have produced most of the album themselves and they completed it in only 13 days. Although the album did not peak in the US on the charts, it did peak at number four in the UK in 1980 and then peaked at number 71 in the UK in 1985 and it has since been certified platinum in the UK. The album is listed at number 45 on Loudwire’s list, it is one of two Iron Maiden albums featured int he book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (The Number Of The Beast is the other), and it’s number 13 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.

1front1. Prowler– The first track off the album and it’s a classic in this track that is all about a pervert walking around spying on girls, etc. 5/5

2. Remember Tomorrow– a more mellow track from the band in this track that is believed to be about World War II and his grandfather. 4.5/5

3. Running Free– An awesome track and probably one of my favorite Di’Anno sung tracks from Maiden that is all about being 16, rebellious, and free according to Di’Anno. I love the beginning of the track which the drummer kicks off before Harris joins in with his signature bass sound.  5/5

4. Phantom Of The Opera– a seven minute epic that was written by Steve Harris who says that the track is, “the first song I’d written that was a bit more proggy.” It’s a track that has endured time and is still performed live to this day. 5/5

5. Transylvania– An instrumental track that was written by Steve Harris. 5/5

Encartes (16)6. Strange World– a very cool track that is very mellow, but not ballad like. it just has a slower tempo than most tracks and is musically and lyrically amazing. I thin the track is about a vampire getting used to the new world he lives in which is strange and lonely. 5/5

7. Charlotte The Harlot– This was the only track ever written solely by Dave Murray which is about a fictional prostitute named Charlotte even though he claims it’s based on a true story. 4.5/5

8. Iron Maiden– A staple of the band’s live set and it is named after them after all so it’s their signature song. The song is about two things with one being the medieval torture device of the same name and it’s about the band themselves. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There is a reason these guys are so amazing and that is because of their great writing leader in Steve Harris who has been the x-factor of the band. Check out this classic album because it’s pure brilliance from a band that has a discography full of it. My favorite tracks are all of them, but I have fallen in live with Strange World today. I am giving the album 4.9 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

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cannibalcorpse_tombIf there was ever a band that freaked me out as a kid by their album covers, Buffalo’s Cannibal Corpse was definitely the band with their graphic artwork that depicted some of the most grotesque imagery. As a metal and horror fan, the band was a dream come true and now I appreciate the band I first saw in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. After spending a month doing Halloween themed albums, it’s time to get back to work and continue working down the list of albums on Loudwire.com’s Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time. On their list coming in at number 47 is Cannibal Corpse’s third studio album Tomb of the Mutilated which featured Chris Barnes (Vocals), Bob Rusay (Lead Guitar), Jack Owen (Rhythm Guitar), Alex Webster (Bass), and Paul Mazurkiewicz (Drums). The album was released via Metal Blade Records and was subsequently banned in Germany for the artwork and violent nature of the lyrics. This was also the last album to feature the original lineup of Cannibal Corpse as guitarist Bob Rusay was fired shortly after the album was released.

158817b1. Hammer Smashed Face– One of the most identifiable CC tracks as it was the track they were playing in Ace Ventura. The track is hammering with some metal might mixed with the death metal blast beats and the thrash like bass playing at times. I think the track is about a guy who feels the sudden urge to kill as if it’s someone else controlling him. 5/5

2. I Cum Blood– a track that is as brutal as it’s lyrics which I believe is about necrophilia. 4.5/5

3. Addicted to Vaginal Skin– This intense freight train that borrows elements in the guitar solo from Slayer features “Genesee River Killer” Arthur Shawcross (it’s believed to be him) describing what he did. 4.5/5

4. Split Wide Open-This track is a lesson in Death Metal 101 with the blast beat playing that is faster than what Satan could do on drums and features guitar riffs that will rip your face off in a track that is about a mom who kills her kids. 5/5

5. Necropedophile– another face melter that is all about a guy who likes to have sex with dead kids or as one person suggested to me that it could be about the government constantly screwing us. You be the judge! 4/5

CANNIBAL-CORPSE---TOMB-OF-THE-MUTILATED-2013-PD-LP-26. The Cryptic Stench– I love the beginning of the track because this is some of the most intense metal I have ever heard. This song proves to me how bad ass this band was and still is. I believe it’s about a vampire. 5/5

7. Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s C**t– Chris Barnes once said in an interview that the track, “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt was based on two brothers, one of whom was semi-retarded, who were serving life. They captured some girl, and the semi-retarded brother was talked into putting a coat hanger up her pussy to pull out her intestines. That story freaked me out.” 4.5/5

8. Post Mortal Ejaculation– The track I feel starts off with a guy who hangs himself in order to ejaculate, but then if you read the rest of the lyrics, it’s about a zombie who comes back to rape the living. The two minute mark of the track features an amazing riff that plays along with the blast beats 4/5

9. Beyond The Cemetery– The last track on the album follows the same lyrical content from the last track alongside the intense playing. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This album proved to me who the best death metal band in the world is because this album featured some of the best playing I have heard and the best sound quality from a death metal band. Unfortunately after the band’s next album, Chris Barnes would exit the band, but they gained George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher to replace him. My favorite tracks on the album are The Cryptic Search and Hammer Smashed Face and my least favorite would be Necropedophile. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

61rujlBq8DL._SS500First I want to start the post out by wishing everyone int he world a very safe and Happy Halloween. So for the very last Halloween/horror themed album of the week, I wanted to cover a band that I hadn’t before and I found the perfect one. What happens when you mix a little bit of Gwar, Thrash Metal, horror, and the mask from The Town That Dreaded Sundown and mashed them all up? You would get Oakland, California’s very own Ghoul who burst on the scene in 2001. In 2003, Cremator (Vocals/Bass), Digestor (Vocals/Guitar), Dissector (Vocals/Guitar), and Fermentor (Vocals/Drums) released their second album Maniaxe on June 24, 2003 via Razorback Records. The album much like the last one, continues the band’s storyline and it even introduces a new villain in the Ghoul Hunter and it also introduces us to their newest member Dissector and his story.

955a5f0f025f4096073c64ab607e2b6f1. Pleasant Screams / Forbidden Crypts– It starts off sounding like a classic horror film before the band kicks in with their punishing brand of metal. The song is about how they wanted to kill a black metal band that rolled in town. 5/5

2. Maggot Hatchery– an in your face shredder that will rip your face off that talks about a woman who I presume is a witch. I love how the band combines the elements of death and thrash metal. it’s a perfect marriage on this track. 5/5

3. Sewer Chewer– an in your face thrash classic that introduces the world to the band’s newest member Dissector and how they loved his ability to shred and mosh. You can hear elements of influence from Anthrax and Megadeth on this track. 4.5/5

4. Ghoul Hunter– I love how the song starts with what seems to be the Ghoul Hunter reading a story of what he is seeing and when it comes to the chorus it’s the band is screaming that they want to kill him. This is a fun track that is just classic thrash to the core. 5/5

5. Numbskull-I thin the track is about a potion that these guys take that makes them want to mosh to the point that they turn into heavy metal zombies, but it also could be a metaphor for moshing metal fans. 4/5

R-8851374-1470092372-2310.png6. Boneless– an interesting take on a skateboarding song as our main characters want to celebrate by skating even though the Ghoul Hunter is still out there. 4/5

7. Maniaxe-I love the beginning of the title track that starts with some fierce bass and drum playing before the band kicks in. The song is just about how they are total maniacs and they will kill you. 4.5/5

8. Mechanized Death– a track about how the Ghoul Hunter is so desperate to kill Ghoul that he creates a Killbot and sends him to do the job for him. 5/5

9. The End?– This is a very cool instrumental track from the band that mixes a little classic ghoulish surf rock sound with the bass playing and guitars. It’s almost as if this is the credits rolling on the album. I love it. 5/5

10. What A Wonderful World– This is the band’s cover of the Louis Armstrong classic, but the lyrics are changed so the band sings about Nuclear War. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I thought this was a killer record, but now I am interested in seeing how the previous album’s story played out so I can continue on. The band definitely takes all of their influences and they make it their own which is what I want to see. My favorite tracks on the album is Mechanized Death, The End?, Ghoul Hunter, and Maggot Hatchery. I don’t hate any of the tracks, but If I had to pick a least favorite it would have to be Boneless. I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

51fFdbuz0QLWhen you think of American Garage Punk bands or even rockabilly punk, there is one band that immediately comes to mind and that is The Cramps. The band which was made up of Lux Interior (Vocals), Poison Ivy Rorschach (Guitar), Bryan Gregory (Guitar), and Nick Knox (Drums) were one of the pioneers of the early CBGB’s Punk scene that rules the late 70’s and 80’s as they are often considered the founders of the Psychobilly genre. While their sound might have been influenced by rockabilly, R&B, and Rock N Roll, their lyrical content was definitely influenced by camp humor, sexual double-entendre, and retro horror/sci-fi b-movies. That is why for today, I chose to check out and review the band’s debut album Songs The Lord Taught Us which was released in May of 1980 through Illegal Records in the UK and I.R.S. Records in the states. While the album may not have charted, it definitely left it’s mark on the world of punk and Rockabilly music.

the-cramps-songs-the-lord-taught-us-lp--2_35905071. TV Set– Nick Knox kicks off the track with his drum beat as the guitars begin to follow up a with a cool 50’s era styled riff in this track that is about a man is who obsessed with killing a girl because he sees her everywhere. 5/5

2. Rock on the Moon– The band’s cover of the Jimmy Stewart song that is all about rocking out as far as it can take you. 4.5/5

3. Garbageman– An interesting track that is about a drug dealer talking crap to a kid who obviously doesn’t understand who he is in this rockabilly track. 4.5/5

4. I Was A Teenage Werewolf– One of my all time favorite Cramps track and a song I love listening to that has this swagger to it when it comes on. The song may make you think it’s about a teenage werewolf, but it’s all about the changes a man goes through when he hits puberty. 5/5

5. Sunglasses After Dark-an ironic lesson in how to be cool as he claims the first step is wearing Sunglasses after dark even though he and the whole crowd of punks got their asses kicked because they were wearing sunglasses after dark. The track is a cover of a Dwight “Whitey” Pullen song. 5/5

6. The Mad Daddy-A track that Lux claims that he is the coolest around, The Mad Daddy baby!!! 4.5/5

thecramps-songsthelordtaughtus(6)7. Mystery Plane– A very cool track that Lux tells you that it’s OK not to fit in with everyone else and that it’s OK to be different. Conformity is not OK, just be yourself. 4.5/5

8. Zombie Dance-a psychobilly track that Lux talks about all the people that just don’t get it at his school. He talks about how everyone is just programmed to do the same things instead of just being free hence his use of the word Zombie. 4.5/5

9. What’s Behind The Mask– A great track about how a girl he likes won’t show her true self to him and he wants to know why she hides behind the mask. 4.5/5

10. Strychnine– This is the band’s re-imagining of the classic track by The Sonics. 5/5

11. I’m Cramped– Fast strumming of the guitar starts off the track before the band gets into it with a cool rockabilly riff in this track where he just repeats, “Im Cramped” throughout the whole track. 4.5/5

12. Tear It Up– The band’s re-imagining of the classic track by Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio and you gotta love it cause it gave the track a more modern sound while staying true to it. 4.5/5

13. Fever– The band’s re-imagining of the classic track by Little Willie John and I thought it was the perfect way to end the album with it’s Doors feel to it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of the coolest punk/rockabilly albums that I have ever heard and let’s just call it rock and roll cause that is what it is at the end of the day. At the end of the day, Lux had an incredible voice and I am glad that he was able to find a way to get it out there before he sadly passed away in 2009. My favorite tracks on the album are Sunglasses After Dark, I Was A Teenage Werewolf, TV Set, and Fever. I don’t have a least favorite track on the album because they are all awesome. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

necrophagiaWhen you look up some of the major influences of Death Metal, some of the bands that pop up are bands like Death, Possessed, and the one and only Necrophagia. Necrophagia was one of those bands that was very influential on the scene, but they had the luck. After releasing their debut album Season Of The Dead, the band essentially disbanded in 1987. It wasn’t until a chance meeting between vocalist and founder Frank “Killjoy” Pucci and Phil Anselmo that Pucci decided to take Phil’s advice to continue making music. In 1998, along with Phil who was going under the name Anton Crowley (Guitars), Wayne Fabra (Drums), and Dustin Havnen (Bass) rounded up the lineup for the band’s second album Holocausto de la Morte. The reason I chose the album for today is because we are celebrating Halloween all month long on the blog and there was no bigger fan of horror than Frank “Killjoy” Pucci who modeled a lot of his lyrical themes around the genre of horror. We are also paying tribute to Killjoy who sadly passed away earlier in the year.

holocausto-de-la-morte-4fd8eb77-06a2-4f01-a397-48e29357502-resize-7501. Bloodfreak– The track starts with some dialogue from a film I can not make out with some really evil sounding music before the true terror comes in this song about a serial killer who is also a necrophile. 4/5

2. Embalmed Yet I Breathe– This punishing track is the story of a zombie who wakes up still inside his grave wondering why and craving flesh. 4.5/5

3. The Cross Burns Black– An interesting track that I believe to be about the apocalypse or end of the world. The track starts off with sounds like demons talking to an ominous drum beat and it does it for a bit before it changes into an all out metal assault. 4/5

4. Deep Inside, I Plant the Devils Seed– These have some pretty interesting lyrics as it’s a track about a demon who impregnates a woman withe the anti-Christ who will bring the end of the world.  4/5

necrophagia vinyl5. Burning Moon Sickness– A real crushing riff to start off the track that I believe is about Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who created lamp shades out of human skin. 4.5/5

6. Cadaverous Screams of My Deceased Lover– A Sabbath like opening kicks off the track that is about a guy who loves his girlfriend or a woman even after death if you get what I am saying. 4.5/5

7. Children of the Vortex-an in your face track that I believe is a tribute to the film Hellraiser. 4/5

8. Hymns of Divine Genocide– An outro track with a pretty interesting message. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I do have to say that Phil is a pretty decent guitar player and that he did well for himself on this album, but I didn’t hear any guitar solos. I think that was what I was waiting to hear the most out of it, but that’s OK cause the music was punishing. My favorite track on the album is Embalmed Yet I Breathe while my least favorite track is Bloodfreak. I don’t have a problem with Killjoy’s vocals on the whole album, but that one song. I am giving the album 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade.

screen-shot-2017-10-19-at-9-53-06-am.pngWhen it comes to Italian horror films, there is no name more synonymous with it then Dario Argento who made films like Opera, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, Zombi, Demons, and the film that is receiving the remake treatment in Suspiria. The same could also be said for Italian soundtrack kings, the progressive rock wizards known as Goblin who in 1977 were made up of Agostino Marangolo (Drums, Vocals), Massimo Morante (Electric Guitars, Acoustic, bouzouki),  Fabio Pignatelli (Fretless Bass, Fretted Bass, Acoustic Guitar, tabla, vocals), and Claudio Simonetti (Mellotron, Elka organ, Logan violin, Celesta, Fender Rhodes electric piano, grand piano, Moog synthesizers). To keep up with the theme of Halloween on the blog, we chose the band’s soundtrack to Suspiria that they released on June 15, 1977. Suspiria was a very successful film in it’s time and the soundtrack to the film flourished as well, but right now I do not have any numbers as far as how successful the soundtrack really was.

91mpGZPPPKL._SL1500_.jpg1. Suspiria-The title track opens up with some amazing sounds of the Mellotron, but then it switches in tone and the pace picks up as the rock side of the song comes alive with the brilliance of Simonetti and his keyboard playing. 5/5

2. Witch– The track starts off with a more tribal feel because of the drums, but it has that ominous feel to it especially with the weird chanting. You can definitely tell during the track all the suspenseful moments with the changes in tones. 5/5

3. Opening To The Sighs– an intro track which is 34 seconds in length 4/5

4. Sighs-I love how the track starts with people sighing with some screeches thrown in there as well before we get this instrumental  and I believe this is where we get instruments like the bouzouki in it and some of the various organ sounds. It has a very hypnotic element to it as well like we are presented with a witch. 5/5

5. Markos– It opens with some keys and a very unique bass sound that sounds like it’s being manipulated through a synthesizer. 4.5/5

Suspiria_116. Black Forest-a more straightforward prog rock track that sounds like something that Pink Floyd would conjure up and it features Antonio Marangolo playing the sax on the track. 5/5

7. Blind Concert-The track begin with some ringing of bells before it goes into a little bit of a funk kind of rhythm complete with some unique sounds from Simonetti. 4.5/5

8. Death Valzer– The last track off the album is one of those old time classical piano tracks that is Simonetti flexing his musical muscles. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– As far as Horror soundtracks are concerned this is one of the best of the best and you could understand why Dario hung on to them. My favorite from Claudio Simonetti is still the work he did on the soundtrack to Opera, but this ranks right up there for me as far as Goblin is concerned. My favorite tracks are Suspiria, Black Forest, and Sighs. I don’t really have a least favorite track, but if I was to pick one it would be Death Valzer. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

HELLOWEEN-Keeper-of-the-Seven-Keys-Part-1-LPWhen you think of European Power Metal, there is instantly one band that should come to mind and that band is Germany’s own Helloween. We chose Helloween for this week’s Halloween inspired Album of the Week because Halloween is in their name and it was voted number 43 on Loudwire’s 50 Greatest Metal Albums. The band that in 1987 was made up of new vocalist Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen (Guitar), Michael Weikath (Guitar), Markus Grosskopf (Bass), and Ingo Schwichtenberg (Drums) released their second and most pivotal album that some experts say spawned the Power Metal genre in Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part 1. It was the first album for the band that cracked the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at 104 and it was also the first album to not feature Kai Hansen on vocals. The reason for this was for the fact that he was having trouble singing and playing guitar at the same time so they brought in Kiske. While the album did feature Michael Weikath on guitar, it wasn’t much due to an injury he suffered during recording sessions for the album so the album is dominated by Hansen. Originally, the album was part of what the band had planned as a double album, but the label refused and made them separate it as the next part would come in 1988.

HELLOWEEN_KEEPER+OF+THE+SEVEN+KEYS+PART+1-566793b1. Initiation– An instrumental intro that kicks off the album that was written by Kai Hansen. 4/5

2. I’m Alive– A great track that I feel is an amazing anti-suicide song or at least that is the message that I get from the track that shreds through out. You gotta love the gang vocals for the chorus. 4.5/5

3. A Little Time– a great track that features some killer riffs and even some clock sound effects in the is song that is all about chasing your dreams and to aim higher. 4.5/5

4. Twilight Of The Gods– If you want to listen to some insane playing like one of the best solos on the album then check out this track that I think is about how we create Gods just to have war. 4.5/5

61i0nWQMGvL5. A Tale That Wasn’t Right– The track is a ballad type track, but in the sense that is a slower tempo track than the previous on the album. The track could be interpreted as the tale of a relationship that comes to an end or the tale of a backstabbing friend. 4.5/5

6. Future World– The lead single off the album that I feel is about a guy who is visiting this world telling a person about the future world and how great it is, but in reality how great is the world. Another great solo on this track from Hansen and company. 5/5

7. Halloween– This is the 13 minute epic track that was dedicated to the greatest holiday on the planet which is also the song title. It can be pretty cheesy at times, but it’s Halloween!!! 5/5

8. Follow the Sign-The track is more of an outro that you can tell is the bridge between parts one and two. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– While I am more of a fan of part two than one, there is no denying that this was the stepping stone of the band that would launch them into metal stardom. My favorite tracks on the album are Future World and Halloween while my least favorite track would be Follow The Sign. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.