2017-headerIt is officially here, it is time for everyone’s favorite heavy metal march madness style tournament, the 2017 Pedal To The Metal Tournament. The division that we are looking at today has produced the last two Pedal To The Metal Tournament champions with Kreator winning in 2015 and Destruction winning in 2016. This is one of those divisions that we look forward to, but also have a hard time deciding who to choose to participate because there are so many great Extreme Metal, Black Metal, and Death Metal bands out there. I think we may have nailed it down and I think we have a great class this year. Defending champions Destruction have the task of trying to slay tournament mainstays Entombed A.D. in their first round match. Newcomers Amon Amarth and Witchery will have their first match ever in the tournament against each other. Former champions Kreator are looking to get back into the hunt, but they’ll have to defeat the mighty Vader if they look to do so. Tournament newcomers Behemoth are looking to make a statement this year and they’ll have to do so against Death Metal giants Cannibal Corpse. This is a first round that is going to be worth checking out to see if there’s any upsets or not. You have until March 18TH to vote.

destruction vs entombed

amon vs witchery

kreator vs vader

cannibal corpse vs behemoth

2017-headerIt is officially here, it is time for everyone’s favorite heavy metal march madness style tournament, the 2017 Pedal To The Metal Tournament. One of my favorite divisions in the tournament is the Jeff Hanneman division which has always been one of the most unpredictable divisions ever. It’s a division where your status means absolutely nothing after bands like Death Angel have pulled off the impossible. They’ve beaten Big Four member Metallica in the past, but they have’ll to get by the almighty Slayer in this years tournament. Tournament veterans Megadeth are looking to go all the way, but they’ll have to oust tournament newcomers Sepultura in order to do so. Exodus is looking to make a splash in this years tournament and they’ll get that chance when they take on newcomers Suicidal Tendencies. If there was ever an argument for a band to be considered into the same category as the Big Four, it’s Testament. Testament has always done well in the Pedal To The Metal Tournament, but they’ll have to do it against a band that has not had a lot of success surprisingly in Metallica. You have until March 18 to cast your vote so choose wilsy

megadeth vs sepultura

slayer vs death angel

exodus vs suicidal

Testament vs metallica

2017-headerIt is officially here, it is time for everyone’s favorite heavy metal march madness style tournament, the 2017 Pedal To The Metal Tournament. Some things have changed going into this year’s tournament as we are always trying to improve it every year. The Dio Division is one that changed because we decided to combine the Lemmy division in with the Dio division. One of the only bands to make it over from the Lemmy Division from last year is final four finalist Ghost and they have the task of taking on legendary Seattle 80’s metal band Queensryche. Primal Fear was a band that came out of nowhere in last year’s tournament and made a huge splash as they made it all the way to the Elite 8. They’re going to be looking to make the splash, but they’ll have to do it against the legendary U.D.O. who is making his debut in the tournament. Former two time tournament champion Judas Priest are looking to change their luck and get back in their old winning ways, but they’ll have to do so against Saxon. The last match up features two bands that have made it far in the tournament on many occassions, but they are yet to win it all. Iron Maiden and Accept look to change that, but only one of them will advance. You have until March 18 to vote for who you want to move on.

ghost vs queensryche

udo vs primal fear

saxon vs priest

iron maiden vs accept

896b858eI have decided to cover an album for the album of the week that was a but controversial when it came out. The album that I chose for you guys is the last Guns N Roses record to be released to date in their sixth studio album Chinese Democracy. The very album that fans waited 13 years for Guns N Roses to release when it finally came out in November of 2008. The reason I chose the album is because of the fact that I bought the Axl Rose Funko Pop and I went on my Spotify that day and decided to listen to the album once again. The album besides Axl Rose (Vocals) features an army of musicians that worked on it like Robin Finck (Guitars), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guitars), Buckethead (Guitars), Paul Tobias (Guitars), Richard Fortus (Guitars), Tommy Stinson (Bass), Bryan “Brain” Mantia (Drums), Frank Ferrer (Drums), Dizzy Reed (Keyboards), Chris Pitman (Keyboards), and Josh Freese (arrangements). The album was successful around the world as it went number one in eight different countries and it went number one in the European Top 100 charts as well as peaking at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The album also went platinum and sold over a million worldwide.

bknation_Chinese_Democracy1. Chinese Democracy– The opening track on the album that was inspired by the film Kundun which was about the Dalai Lama. This track and the words contained in it is the reason the album is banned in China as we speak. 5/5

2. Shackler’s Revenge– A track dipped heavily into Industrial metal which is about all of the school shootings in America and how the media tried to pin one on Guns N Roses and their song Mr. Brownstone. 4.5/5

3. Better-An amazing electronic rock track that sees Axl singing in a falsetto style. There’s this one part in the song at the 2:30 mark that is absolutely killer and heavy. The song also contains a killer solo in it too.  5/5

4. Street Of Dreams– the track was originally titled The Blues before the name change and it’s a straight up pop piano rock song that definitely has some Elton John influence in it. 5/5

5. If The World– This is a very sexy song that features Buckethead playing the Flamenco guitar in the beginning with the funk and neo soul influences in it combined with some Nu Metal. 5/5

6. There Was A Time– An epic track on the album that is personally one of my favorties with the heavy orchestral sound with the mellotron, violins, etc. I feel the song is about how we change because we may grow distant with someone. 5/5

7. Catcher In The Rye– A song that Axl Rose wrote in tribute to John Lennon after watching a documentary on Mark David Chapman where Rose criticizes the book in the song. 4.5/5

2FF8. Scraped– The track takes us to that Industrial Rock sound that a lot of people were talking about when it came to this record. With lyrics like, “Don’t you try to stop us now” and “All things are possible, I am unstoppable.” Rose is telling you, he is here to stay. 4/5

9. Riad N’The Bedouins– Axl talked about the track saying, “Riad is the name my one time momentary brother-in-law of Erin Everly went by when I knew him. Of part Lebanese descent and a former student of Pepperdine University, he claims to be an international arms dealer.” 4/5

10. Sorry– Sebastian Bach described the song saying, “There’s this one song called ‘Sorry’ that’s almost like doom metal with Axl singing really clean over this grinding, slow beat that is fucking mean, I cannot get it out of my head.” Rose said the track is about, “anyone talking nonsense at mine and the public’s expense.” 4.5/5

11. I.R.S.– The song starts off a little bluesy before some cool heavy guitars come in during the chorus. 4/5

12. Madagascar– Another track on the album that is one of my favorites. It kind of has the same kind of message as Civil War as it features quotes from films like Mississippi Burning, Casualties of War, Cool Hand Luke, Braveheart, and Seven as well as some excerpts from speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. over some Trip Hop styled sound.  5/5

13. This I Love– Supposedly the song dates all the way back to 1992 as it was a piano ballad written by Rose to one of his former loves. 4.5/5

14. Prostitute– A power ballad with that is actually a cool track that is not about actual prostitutes, but rather him telling you that he wouldn’t pimp the band out just for money to have in his pocket. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– In my opinion, this was an excellent release from Axl even though it took forever to come out. The question that was on everyone’s mind then was whether the wait for the new record was worth it. You have to listen to it yourself and just be the judge for yourself, but I love the album. I am going to give the record 4.6 star out of five for a final grade.

8 jerrodThere was once a time when HBO had ruled the world of comedy producing specials from some of the greats like George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, and so many more that it’s too much to list. For those of you that do not know who budding young comedian Jerrod Carmichael is, you may remember him from comedies like Neighbors and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising or his own show on NBC The Carmichael Show. Well Jerrod has a new comedy special that aired on HBO entitled Jerrod Carmichael-8 which was recorded live from Masonic Lodge’s Grand Hall in New York City. In the special, he tackles all sorts of subjects that range from Trump’s victory, animal rights, supporting the troops, global warming, being a good boyfriend, cheating, Jay-Z, Beyonce, fairy tales, grandparents in love?, plan b, being a parent, pro choice, fears, ISIS, and so much more in this one hour comedy special.

jerrodI don’t exactly know how to categorize or even describe the style of Jerrod Carmichael because it’s a sarcastic, but insightful style that he has. One thing that I will say is that after watching him for about ten minutes, you can definitely predict his jokes because he does the same thing over and over again. That was my one of my problems with the show overall was that it became too predictable and he sort of lost me for a while. I remember that there was only one joke in the whole show that I actually laughed at while I just sat there watching waiting for him to think that he was being controversial. Not all of it is bad though because you can definitely tell that he has a bright future ahead of him, I may just be out of his age range and that is a hard pill for me to swallow. He does a good job interacting with the crowd during the show and they seemed to enjoy his show which is another reason I say that he has a bright future. Check out the special for yourself because you may enjoy it more than I did.

a3459752772_16Every once in a while when you are searching for a band to cover for the Unsigned Band Of The Week, one will either stumble right in front of you or somehow they find you. That is definitely the case with this week’s band that found me on my Twitter page (@ERaticWanderer) which is why I chose them. Last week we were in Kentucky checking out a band and this week we are heading west to Little Rock, Arkansas to check out a very cool and bad ass Progressive Deathcore trio in The Lucid Archetype. The band has a new EP out called 2.0 which you can check out on Spotify which is first for me and any of the artists that I have covered for this particular piece. The track we are checking out from the EP is the song Causality which showcases exactly what the band is about. The band has all of the elements that make up a Deathcore band with the guttural screams, but the music is absolutely amazing. The track starts off like a bomb as the music just explodes into your speakers with the hammering riffs before it all of sudden changes in tempo with the clean guitars and vocals showing the band has layers to it, but never fear cause things get heavy once again. The band is super talented and one of those bands to definitely look out for because they may not be signed right now, but they definitely deserve to be. Check them out on Spotify, bandcamp, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to date with everything they do.

suicidesilenceyoucantstopcdFor this week’s album of the week, we are looking to a band that has been the center of a hot topic in metal and I am talking about deathcore artist Suicide Silence. The band which is made up of Hernan “Eddie” Hermida (Vocals), Mark Heylmun (Lead Guitar), Chris Garza (Rhythm Guitar), Dan Kenny (Bass), and Alex Lopez (Drums) have been the center of attention thanks to their new self titled album. In the past I interviewed guitarist Mark Heylmun and respected him and the band after that interview which is why I have decided that I would cover the band’s previous effort, 2014’s You Can’t Stop Me. The album was the band’s first effort with previous singer Mitch Lucker and their first with former All Shall Perish vocalist Hermida. The band’s fourth album was a success for the band as it peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Top 200 charts making it the band’s highest charted effort as it spent five weeks on the charts. According to a source, the album’s title came from a set of lyrics that were left behind by Mitch before he passed away.

SUICIDE-SILENCE---YOU-CANT-STOP-ME-2014-White-21. M.A.L.– A cool instrumental intro that leads us to the next track on the album. 4/5

2. Inherit The Crown– The song kicks off like a bullet from a gun and the track seems fitting with the opening lines “I’ll wear the mask if I have to,I will inherit the crown” which seems to be Hermida telling the crowd that he’ll inherit the spot that Lucker left behind to keep the band rolling. 5/5

3. Cease To Exist– The track starts with the razor fast shredding from Heylmun and Garza and the insane thrash like drumming from Lopez as Hermida sings about his distaste for pedophiles. The song features those typical metalcore breakdowns tuned down to death metal standards with a sick guitar solo. 4.5/5

4. Sacred Words– I absolutely love this track on the album because it makes you believe that it’s going to be more melodic than most tracks until it actually kicks in to overdrive with the hardcore like riffs. The song seems to be about someone who questions the existence of faith and how it has never helped him. 5/5

5. Control– a more death metal like track on the album with the blast beats and fasster than lightning playing that also features vocals from Cannibal Corpse singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. 5/5

6. Warrior– A call and response between the rhythm section and Heylmun set up the beginning of the track as they fiercely blast away in a track about a warrior’s journey. There’s a cool part in the track where all the music stops except for the bass and drums and it’s a kick ass section. 4.5/5

max1408706601-potlaccd-cover7. You Can’t Stop Me– The title track on the album which is also one of two songs to feature lyrics by Mitch Lucker. The track seems to be about stepping up the plate and not letting anyone deter you from being what you want to be. It’s a kick ass section that is a definite sing along with fans. 5/5

8. Monster Within– An in your face unrelenting track that is gets the blood boiling with every note and chord that also features vocals from The Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato. 5/5

9. We Have All Had Enough– The track starts with some nice clean guitars and some sound effects like a storm is brewing and it is in the form of some kick ass metal that explodes through your speakers. I think the track is about someone who is trying to fool the public even though it’s written all over his face and we have all had enough. 4.5/5

10. Ending Is the Beginning– This is the other track on the album that features lyrics by Lucker, but that is because this is a re-recording of the track from the band’s Suicide Silence EP. 4.5/5

11. Don’t Die– I feel like this track is a tribute to Mitch and all of his fans like in saying let’s not let his legacy die and let’s keep it moving forward. 4/5

12.  Ouroboros– I had to look up what the title meant and it’s this, “a circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity.” The track more or less is them coming to grips with the fact that the world is f**ked and there is nothing we can do, but be one with ourselves. It’s another track that features clean guitars and is a lot slower in tempo, but don’t let their musical abilities fool you because they turn it up in the track as well. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The bonus tracks on the album feature the track Blue Haze and a cover of an Hatebreed song in Last Breath. From a standpoint of traditional Suicide Silence records, I think this is a pretty kick ass record and a great debut for Hermida on vocals who had huge shoes to fill. You can see the band’s change of direction in the last track on the album so it’s almost foreshadowed. Anyways, I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.