Posts Tagged ‘Album Of The Week’

100755We continue on our road of discovery as we check out albums that were ranked on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list and we are checking out another album from the almighty Black Sabbath. The album we are checking out this week is the fourth Black Sabbath record to be featured on the list (Paranoid, Black Sabbath, and Heaven And Hell are the other three) and Loudwire ranked Master Of Reality, the band’s third album overall tenth on their list. The album once again featured Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals), Tony Iommi (Guitar), Geezer Butler (Bass), and Bill Ward (Drums) with Rodger Bain returning for the third album in a row as the band’s producer. The album was released on July 21, 1971 and is the album that is widely considered the album that helped start the genre’s of Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, and Sludge Metal. The album for a long time was a huge success for the band as it went double platinum and was the only Sabbath record to crack the top 10 in the US as it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Top 200. It was the only album for 42 years until 13 came out in 2013 which peaked at number one on the Billboard top 200.

black-sabbath-master-of-reality-17-cd1. Sweet Leaf-The track that begins with the coughing and the big riffs is one of the all time classics from Sabbath. That coughing loop is actually Tony Iommi coughing from a joint he was smoking with Ozzy which is what the track is about. 5/5

2. After Forever-A pretty cool track that was written by Iommi featuring lyrics written by self proclaimed catholic Geezer Butler which the lyrics center on various Christian themes like belief in Christ and the Pope. 5/5

3. Embryo-a :28 second instrumental which helps set up the very next track 5/5

4. Children Of The Grave– This bass heavy super charged track is my all time favorite Black Sabbath with it’s prominent drum beats to match. The track is another anti-war track from the band that is along the same lines as War Pigs and Electric Funeral. 5/5

d6dd99c4-0b8c-11e5-90ff-a60d138ab2b75. Orchid-another instrumental track on the album that is a nice segway into the next track. 5/5

6. Lord Of This World-a great track that looks at Satan and how he claims to be Lord of our world due to the fact that we do so much sinning that it allows him to be. 5/5

7. Solitude– a slow track in the same vein as Planet Caravan that is sung so beautifully by Ozzy that we can’t believe it’s him singing. The track is about losing someone that you were in love with and they left you with nothing. 5/5

8. Into The Void– a track that is widely loved by so many including Eddie Van Halen and James Hetfield due to how bad ass the main riff is. It truly is an awesome song that was written in C# Minor in a song that is all about how man is destroying the earth. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is one of the most bad ass Black Sabbath records ever made. It’s an album that you can truly listen from beginning to end and it flows together nicely. Again, my all time favorite track is Children Of The Grave, but I love all the songs on this one which is why I am giving it five stars out of five for a final grade.

81mnRoyrC7L._SL1500_We are continuing our voyage through a comprehensive list that Loudwire.com created called the 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time. When we started this journey, there were a heck of a lot of albums to cover from artists I had not fully explored as well as albums I have always been well aware of. Now that we are finally into the top 20 of the list, it was about time, we checked out #19 on the list which belongs to the mighty Mastodon. In 2004, Mastodon who were made up of Troy Sanders (Bass/Vocals), Brent Hinds (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Bill Kelliher (Rhythm Guitar), and Brann Dailor (Drums) would release their second full length album Leviathan which also marked the first time the band decided to do a concept record. The album is loosely based off the classic novel Moby-Dick that was written by Herman Melville and released in 1851. This was the album that helped me discover who Mastodon was and it certainly was the case for them with the rest of the world as the album helped place them on the map especially with the help of touring.

mast_lev_backtray1. Blood And Thunder– a thunderous riff opens up the album and the track which was the second single released features Clutch frontman Neil Fallon. The song is about the paranoia that Ahab goes through as he dreams of the whale that has escaped him. 5/5

2. I Am Ahab– The third single off the album and a very intricate track with time changes that explores the character of Captain Ahab and his lust for revenge as he sets his eye son the sea. 4.5/5

3. Seabeast– a very melodic opening to the track and the track has more of a sludge metal feel to it as we explore the very beast that Ahab is chasing in Moby Dick himself. 4.5/5

4. Island– an in your face track that I think is Ahab praying to the Norse Gods that he will be able to succeed as he leaves Iceland for the seas. 4/5

5. Iron Tusk– It was the first single released off the album and it’s a punishing track that is heavy as hell and I love it. I think the track is Ahab telling his men exactly how he plans to kill Moby Dick. The track features some of the best drumming I have heard on a track. 5/5

R-9856364-1487694084-2361.jpeg6. Megalodon– I love the guitar playing on this track because I feel it’s Hinds showing you exactly what he has on this track about a giant shark that is stalking them. There is a part in the track where it slows down and it has a country blues moment which was weird but very cool. 4.5/5

7. Naked Burn– a track that Brent Hinds hates playing because of the nature of the track. This is a track that has nothing to do with the concept of Moby Dick, but the track is about how Brent was pissed about Catholic priests raping little boys so he wrote a track to raise awareness about it. 4.5/5

8. Aqua Dementia– The track features Neurosis great Scott Kelly and is all about the battle between the men and Moby Dick as they try to kill him with the spears, but I think it also features a message on pollution of the earth and them trying to raise awareness on that. 5/5

9. Hearts Alive– This song goes hands in hand with the previous track as this tells the grim and dark details of the fall of the Pequod by Moby Dick. I love the melodic nature of the track and it’s the perfect ending of the story. 5/5

10. Joseph Merrick– an instrumental track on the album named after the world famous Elephant Man of England in the mid to late 1800’s. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is an album that you better be strapped in and prepared as they take you on a musical voyage that you will not forget. In a way this was a great concept album because the music matched the mood of what the lyrical content was. Tracks 1, 4, 8, and 9 are my favorite on the record and I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

61AChrVmRDLWhen I think of the genre of Heavy Metal and the one band that I think took the flag and it became it’s standard bearer, it always comes back to Birmingham, England’s own Judas Priest. In my opinion, no band better represented the genre then they did and they inspired a whole slew of bands along the way in there 50 year career. That’s right, Judas Priest is celebrating 50 years as a band and we are celebrating it by checking out what Loudwire.com ranked as 18TH on their list of 50 Best Metal Albums of all time in 1976’s Sad Wings Of Destiny. The album was the band’s second overall release and it featured Rob Halford (Vocals), K. K. Downing (Guitar), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), and Alan Moore (Drums) who was the band’s third drummer by this point. Unfortunately, when the album was released, it had a hard time getting noticed due to the rise in popularity of punk rock music at the time. With a little bit of touring in the UK, the album eventually peaked at number 48 in the UK and it eventually achieved Gold in 1989.

gulp1015-label-pye-version1. Victim Of Changes-This almost 8 minute epic that was the product of two different tracks kicks off the album that was inspired by Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. The track is about a woman who drinks too much and loses her man to another woman. The thing I love about this track is all the tempo and mood changes that occur in the song itself over the course of the track. 5/5

2. The Ripper-This Queen inspired chugger brings us into the mind of the great Victorian killer Jack The Ripper as we hear it from his perspective. 4.5/5

3. Dreamer Deceiver-a ballad track where we get some crooning vocals from Halford, but this serves as an intro of sorts for the next track. 4/5

4. Deceiver– A track that features more of that fast paced chugging sound that borders on being the inspiration for speed metal on the track. You can definitely also hear some influence from Black Sabbath in the track which was expected at the time. 5/5

CS487713-01B-BIG5. Prelude– An intricate instrumental track done in the E♭ Aeolian mode, but it has nothing to do with the next track. 4/5

6. Tyrant-Such an intricate track with so many parts, but it definitely kicks a lot of ass in a very short amount of time. It’s a track that is all about going against the grain. 5/5

7. Genocide-a cool riff heavy track that takes influence from Deep Purple tracks like Women From Tokyo and Burn (you can hear it). I guess Rob wanted the track to be thought provoking and controversial, but not sure if it did the trick. 4.5/5

8. Epitaph-a piano track that has been described to be Queen like as far as the vocals are concerned due to how they are layered. The song is basically Halford describing his frustration for how there is no place for the old. 4/5

9. Island Of Domination– The other track bleeds into this one, but the heavy electric guitars take over in this song that Tipton has joked is a little personal to Halford. The very Sabbath like track could have some innuendos contained in it which is what Tipton was joking about. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is a very different album than what came in the 1980’s and that is what I like about this album. It definitely has a very 70’s Priest vibe to it and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. My favorite tracks on the album are Tyrant, Deceiver, and Victim Of Changes. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

82542c8381aeda3195ff3948d86419f4.938x938x1I have to be completely honest with everyone in saying that before 2002, hardcore/punk music was not on my radar at all. Sure, I had heard of bands like the Cro-Mags, Biohazard, Black Flag, The Dead Kennedy’s whether it be on t-shirts of kids at school or a friend or family member that was into that kind of music. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going out of my way to buy any of this music, but that would all change in the summer of 2002. In 2002, I attended Ozzfest 2002 ands when I was in the parking lot waiting to get in, I could hear a band that was just decimating the decibel levels that day and I rushed to get in because I had to know who they were. That band was New Haven, CT’s own Hatebreed and they were touring in support of their second album Perseverance which was their major label debut released earlier that year in March via Universal. The band which was made up of Jamey Jasta (Vocals), Lou “Boulder” Richards (R. Guitar), Sean Martin (L. Guitar), Chris “The Xmas Bitch” Beattie (Bass), and Matt Byrne (Drums) were firing off all cylinders that summer and with the help of their track I Will Be Heard on the xXx Soundtrack that propelled the track to number 50 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts.

e756c48d1a5753b606987e8dfe88bb03.532x532x11. Proven- The track starts off firing out of the gates with it’s in your face approach in the track where Jasta claims the band will not change and he will not let them fail to prove the naysayers wrong. 5/5

2. Perseverance– an insane track with some sick breakdowns that just pummel with the help of Kerry King of Slayer on the track. The track is all about moving forward and never stopping until you succeed. 5/5

3. You’re Never Alone– I always took this track as an anthem for the scene and their fans telling them that they never alone because they have each other. 4.5/5

4. I Will Be Heard– This is the track that started my obsession with Hatebreed with Jasta telling you that he is here and he’s not going anywhere because he will be heard. 5/5

5. A Call For Blood– This is a deep track lyrically that can be interpreted in a couple of ways. This could be a song about someone that did some unspeakable things to someone and Jasta is calling for revenge. 5/5

6. Below the Bottom– I feel this is a track about someone who has exhausted the kindness of his family and friends as he deals with whatever addiction he has. This is kind of like Jasta saying enough is enough. 4/5

7. We Still Fight-A great track lyrically about those wanna be radicals in this country that disrespect the very thing soldiers have fought and died for, but like Jasta says if there’s an anarchy your the first one gone. 4.5/5

8. Unloved– An great track lyrically about how no matter how much you try to mask the pain, it never really goes away and it creeps it’s way back. 4.5/5

afe9cd11dcbdb6166b8b2bafd19e36b4.939x939x19. Bloodsoaked Memories-a track about that person that just doesn’t give a crap about your feelings and is all about themselves no matter who they hurt. 4.5/5

10. Hollow Ground-This is an eye opening track lyrically that just asks you what is real in life? Do you really love those you say you love because remember they can be gone in a minute. Do you really own something or are you just a slave? 5/5

11. Final Prayer-a track that is all about how we are destroying our very home, the planet Earth so this is the final prayer. 4.5/5

12. Smash Your Enemies– The track is pretty bad ass and the lyrics are pretty self explanatory so smash your enemies and take no prisoners. 4.5/5

13. Healing to Suffer Again– It’s a track that is just pummeling in sound, but it’s lyrically about how we can be hard on ourselves no matter how much we try to move on. 4.5/5

14. Judgement Strikes (Unbreakable)-a track that talks about those people who are not brilliant enough to do things for themselves so they leach off of you. 4.5/5

15. Remain Nameless– This is another track that is all about proving your doubters wrong because that victory is sweeter. 4.5/5

16. Outro-This outro would eventually be turned into the track Tear It Down on the band’s next album so it’s like a preview. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is the album that helped put Hardcore music on the map if you ask me as far as a commercial stand point was concerned. It’s a punishing album from beginning to end and my favorite tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, and 10. This was also Lou Richards last album with the band and unfortunately they wouldn’t have a chance to reunite with him because Lou committed suicide in 2006. I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

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.