Posts Tagged ‘Album Of The Week’

R-1113013-1349122345-6756.jpegThere was once a time when four bands in the thrash metal world would each release an album that would go down in infamy and put the scene on the map. You see those bands would go on to be known as the Big Four of Thrash Metal and those bands are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica would release Master Of Puppets, Slayer would release Reign In Blood, Anthrax would release Among The Living, and our album of the week this week was Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? by Megadeth. The album was released on September 19, 1986 and it was the second album to feature Dave Mustiane (Lead Vocals/Guitar), David Ellefson (Bass), Chris Poland (Guitars), and Gar Samuelson (Drums). Unfortunately, this was the last album to ever feature Gar on Drums as he would pass away in 1999 and this was also the last to feature Chris Poland until 2004’s The System Has Failed Us as a session guitarist. The album was hugely successful for Megadeth at the time as it charted and peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Top 200 Chrtas as well as being listed in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Martin Popoff’s  Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. Most importantly the album was ranked 9TH on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list.

megadeth-peace-sells-but-whos-buying-3-cd1. Wake Up Dead-The song just kicks right off into overdrive with Ellefson’s help as Dave tells us a story of a man who is cheating on his wife, but is afraid that if she finds out she’ll kill him. The track is autobiographical of a situation that Mustaine was in at one time. 5/5

2. The Conjuring-An interesting track that is all about black magic and according to Dave even has instructions on how to perform hexes. 5/5

3. Peace Sells– That world famous bass riff starts off the track before Mustaine and co. come in with one of the fiercest riffs in this track that is all about Mustaine’s distaste for the way American culture was at the time. That last stanza of the track where Dave sing Peace Sells along with all the guitar solos is one of my favorite moments in a track. 5/5

4. Devil’s Island– They are relentless as the fury continues into this track that is all about the French prison island French Guiana about a man who was imprisoned there, but after being spared by God he is forced to live out the rest of his days there. 5/5

megadeth-peace-sells-but-whos-buying-4-cd5. Good Mourning/Black Friday– The very melodic and eerie Good Mourning is the instrumental part of the track before it leads into Black Friday which is a track about a serial killer. The track was apparently inspired by the band’s original drummer Dijon Carruthers who had friends that practiced Occultism. 5/5

6. Bad Omen– The song is about Occultism as Mustaine once described the track as being about, “two happy campers who have stumbled onto a Satanic orgy in the middle of the woods.” He basically ends it by saying that, “they see these fools waiting around for Satan’s blessing.” 5/5

7. I Ain’t Superstitious– This is Megadeth’s cover of the Howlin’ Wolf track that was written by Willie Dixon. I love how Megadeth put their own twist on this bluesy track. 5/5

8. My Last Words– Is the last track on the album and a track that a lot of people believed proved that Megadeth were purveyors of speed metal and some of the best at it. The song is about the game of Russian Roulette and the fear that goes into playing this interesting game. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I will always argue with anyone that I truly believe that this is the best Megadeth record ever released because this was a band that was hungry and ready to prove all the naysayers that they meant business. Listen to the whole damn album because this gets the perfect five score and is in the perfect five album club.

0000329891I remember when System Of A Down first came out with their self titled album in 1998, they were a band that just stormed the scene out of nowhere with their whacked out in your face alt metal assault. They were the right kind of band to come out when they did because soon enough Rage Against The Machine would be no more and we needed a new band to take over the activist mantra and they did just that with their second album Toxicity.  The album which once again featured Serj Tankian (Vocals/Keyboard/Strings), Daron Malakian (Guitars/Sitar/Vocals), Shavo Odadjian (Bass), and John Dolmayan (Drums) released the album September 4, 2001 and it was produced by Rick Rubin as well as Serj and Daron. The album was a huge success upon it’s release as it peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts in the US and in Canada as it sold 220,000 copies in it’s first week. The album was certified triple platinum a year later as well as finishing at 101 on the Billboard Year End charts in 2001 and then it finished 28TH in 2002. Another achievement from the album is that every single released charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as having a single finish number one on both the Mainstream Rock Tracks and the Modern Rock Tracks charts. Loudwire ranked the album 13 on their 50 Best Metal Albums of All Time list.

System of a Down - Toxicity back1. Prison Song– an in your face track kicks off the album in this track that was said to be written about how our prisons are overflowing with Americans and so we keep building more prisons. 4/5

2. Needles– an interesting track where one may feel that they are talking about drugs and how can I blame you with a title like that. But I saw someone explain that the song is about euthanasia and the idea of how tough it is to grow old especially when the body begins to fall apart. 4.5/5

3. Deer Dance-a relentless track that is all about the protests that happened during the 2000 Democratic National Convention. 4/5

4. Jet Pilot-SOAD does not take their foot off the pedal going into this track which I ultimately think is a metaphor for the environment 4/5

5. X– a track that is all about how oppressive a government can be especially when it starts telling the people what they can and can’t do. 4.5/5

6. Chop Seuy!– This was the first single off the record and controversy followed it due to the fact that it was released during the week of 9/11. Daron explains the meaning to the lyrics saying, “The song is about how we are regarded differently depending on how we pass. Everyone deserves to die. Like, if I were now to die from drug abuse, they might say I deserved it because I abused dangerous drugs. Hence the line, ‘I cry when angels deserve to die’. The lyric passages ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’ and ‘why have you forsaken me?’ are a reference to Jesus’ death on the cross, as, according to the Gospels, it was one of the seven things Jesus said while dying.” 5/5

7. Bounce-an in your face track that surprisingly is about group sex. I love how it goes crazy during the chorus and calm during the verses. 5/5

toxicity-589cd99826a8a8. Forest-a great track that I think is about how the original concept of religion has been ruined by the people who take something that should be about peace and love, but have created war over it. 5/5

9. ATWA-One of my favorite tracks on the album that starts calm with the clean channel playing before they kick it in overdrive for the choruses. The song is based off of Charles Manson’s views on the environment. 5/5

10. Science– an interesting view on the world of science and the age old topic of science vs religion. It tackles the idea of how science without a moral/faith based view and  understanding could destroy the earth, but also could lead us to the promise land. 5/5

11. Shimmy-an interesting track that looks at the idea of how school instills what the majority believes is the right thing for you to believe in like education, marriage, etc. 4.5/5

12. Toxicity– Another one of my favorite tracks on the album. According to wikipedia, the track is played, ” predominately in triple meter, alternating between 6/4, 12/8 and 4/4 time. The guitar during the verse plays in 6/4 using a 2+2+2 phrasing while the heavy part (“somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep”) makes use of a hemiola with the guitar switching to a 3+3+3+3 pattern while the drums remain in compound duple meter until the bridge.” According to John the song is about, “your poisonous content. Your toxicity level. But toxicity doesn’t necessarily mean the toxicity of a person, it can be the toxicity of a city. Or the toxicity of a nation. The toxicity of a speech. It’s just toxicity in general or whatever.” 5/5

13. Psycho– A great track to hear and sing along with live in this track that is all about drugs and groupies. 5/5

14. Aerials– The best song on the whole entire album with it’s clean channel guitar intro and incredible guitar riff during the chorus that is intoxicating to listen to. The track is about how ignorant we can be as a society when we close our minds to those who are different or have different opinions. An incredible track that still translates well today. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Besides the Mezmerize/Hypnotize albums, this might be the best piece of work that System Of A Down ever put out as almost every track is brilliant. I have always favorite the mid to late tracks on this album more than I did the opening tracks hence the grades. Check out the album and I am giving the record 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

55711In 2007, KoЯn had released their Untitled 8TH album which was the first without longtime drummer David Silveria and it faced a lot of backlash at the time. So, the band eventually decided that they were going to take a year off to refocus their minds and work on solo projects to help replenish their minds. The band eventually decided that for their ninth studio album that they wanted to go back to their roots of the first two records so they swore off pro-tools & editing and they hired the man who originally produced their first two records in Nu-Metal’s favorite producer Ross Robinson for what would eventually be titled KoЯn III: Remember Who You Are. The album once again featured Jonathan Davis (Vocals, Bagpipes), James “Munky” Shaffer (Guitars), Fieldy (Bass), and for the first time ever on record and as an official member of the band Ray Luzier (Drums). The album was released on July 13, 2010 and it was a huge success for the band as it peaked at number two on the Billboard Top 200 Charts, but the album scored number one status for US Rock Albums, US Alternative Albums, and US Hard Rock Albums as well as finishing in the top five in Canada, Austria, Germany, and New Zealand.

51-tkiy6h8L._SY400_1. Uber-time– An intro track that features some audio that leads right into the next track 4/5

2. Oildale (Leave Me Alone)– A punishing track that just absolutely rips from the get go that has that old school feel to it. I thin the track has something more to do with his dislike for religion and God. 5/5

3. Pop A Pill– A very Life Is Peachy like track that is all about drug addiction if you couldn’t tell from the title. 5/5

4. Fear Is A Place To Live– One of my favorite tracks on the album that is all about those people claim to be your friend or family, but they wear a mask in front of you and a different one when you’re not around. 5/5

5. Move On– a little bit of a Follow The Leader/Life Is Peachy feel to the track that is all about no matter what you do you can’t please everyone so you have to just move on. 4.5/5

6. Lead The Parade a raw in your face, take no prisoners track that is all about how depression can make us think crazy things that can drive us to insanity. 4.5/5

imgbin-korn-iii-remember-who-you-are-music-issues-album-korn-LtPm1jFajBMRxc9NsHi4zKLnf7. Let The Guilt Go– Another track on the album that is underrated because of it’s intensity about someone who just keeps messing up because they can’t let the guilt of something go. By the way, this track was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the Grammy Awards, but they lost to Iron Maiden. 5/5

8. The Past– a very dark and melodic creepy intro starts the track before Luzier brings the thunder that helps kick off the track that is all about how no matter how badly we want to forget our past, it’s always there to remind us. 4.5/5

9. Never Around-This track reminds of something that would have been released on Take A Look In The Mirror with it’s big bass riff that matches the big bombastic guitar riffs and melodic verses. The track is about a relationship that has gone bad. 4.5/5

10. Are You Ready to Live?-This has to a be a very personal track for Jonathan Davis because at the crop circle performance you could tell it took a lot out of him especially with the mic drop and the “I fucking hate that song”. 4.5/5

11. Holding All These Lies– a very Raw and self titled debut feel to the track that according to something I saw Ross made Jonathan’s wife come into the studio to have him sing it in front of her. I don’t know if that is true or not, but Jonathan did say the album was torture to record. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was certainly a great look back at the raw intensity that was KoЯn back in the day. This was definitely my favorite of the post David Silveria era KoЯn albums with The Serenity Of Suffering being my other favorite. It’s a complete album with very little filler if any at all which is why I am giving it 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

1000x1000In the heavy metal and rock world, the late and great Ronnie James Dio was quite the journeyman having first appeared with Elf before joining Rainbow for most of the mid to late 70’s before replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. It was this journey that brought Ronnie the recognition in the music business so when he was done with his first stint with Sabbath, it was time to unleash everything he had that would change the metal world forever. Along with Vinny Appice (Drums), Dio would create his solo band with former Rainbow bandmate Jimmy Bain (Bass), and with former NWOBHM Sweet Savage guitarist Vivian Campbell (Guitar). On May 25, 1983, the band would unleash what would be wildely considered Dio’s greatest album and what Loudwire.com ranked 17TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list in Dio’s debut solo album Holy Diver. This album was Ronnie fully unleashing what he had started in Black Sabbath lyrically with all of the fantasy themes and it worked because the people loved it. The album was certified platinum by 1989 selling over a million and it peaked at 56 on The Billboard Top 200 charts.

holy diver1. Stand Up And Shout– an all guns blazing track that kicks ass and is basically about standing up for what you believe in and make sure they hear it. 5/5

2. Holy Diver– The first single off the album and probably one of the most recognizable tracks Dio ever recorded is according to him about a Christ like figure on another planet that sacrifices himself in order to save his people, but when they find out they selfishly want him to stay. 5/5

3. Gypsy– a track that to me is about a gypsy that has the ability to fool anyone and you have to believe that considering he used a lot of fantasy-esque stories for lyrics. 4/5

4. Caught In The Middle-a rock track that is Dio telling yourself that you need to believe in yourself and free yourself from the dull zombie like life that you’re living. 4/5

5. Don’t Talk To Strangers– I always loved the clean channel guitars in the beginning of this track before it launches itself into heavy metal overdrive. The track seems to be him telling you to truly find what brings true meaning into your life and not instant gratification. 5/5

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA6. Straight Through The Heart-Big Sabbath like riffs kick off this track into style as he talks about how sometimes people sugar coat what life is all about until you get kicked in the mouth figuratively by reality. 4.5/5

7. Invisible-a reality check of a track whose lyrics deal with people who felt invisible to the world because of the problems they had and the situation they were in. A very 70’s like sound to the track with it’s Nazareth Love Bites like guitar riff and weird effect on Dio’s vocals before the track goes into Sabbath like heavy metal mode. 4.5/5

8. Rainbow In The Dark-The second most popular Dio solo track ever and the second single off the album complete with keyboard parts. I think it’s a track that is all about being stuck in a place where you feel nothing is going right and so you search for that Rainbow In The Dark or ray of hope. 5/5

9. Shame On The Night-The last track on the album and certainly an interesting one which I think is about how devious the night can be and I think you know what I mean. I love the bass riff during the verses and how it’s the main instrument. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is probably one of the greatest Dio albums and I think a lot of it has to be with the fact that you can hear a lot of Heaven & Hell by Black Sabbath in this album. I definitely find that it’s certainly the strong point of the album besides the lyrics and his vocals. I wasn’t a huge fan of Gypsy and Caught In The Middle if I am being honest and Shame On The Night was out of nowhere for me as far as how really awesome the track was. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

tool_lateralus-1For most of 2018 and 2019, the biggest talk of the rock and metal world was always the prospect of a brand new Tool album and when it was going to come out. The album is going to come out on August 30TH according to the band and it’s the band’s first album since 2006’s 10,000 Days, but to help us while we wait, I am going to check out the bands third studio album in Lateralus which Loudwire ranked 13TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums of All Time list.  Lateralus was released on May 15, 2001 via Volcano Entertainment and it featured Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Adam Jones (Guitar), Justin Chancellor (Bass), and Danny Carey (Drums) and the album was produced by David Bottrill who produced the band’s previous effort Ænima. When the album was released it instantly went to number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it also went number one in Australia, Canada, and Poland. It also peaked at number one as the top Internet album selling over two million copies and the rock and roll hall of fame has it ranked number 123 on their definitive 200 list.

UgLvB1. The Grudge– The track starts with what sounds like someone hitting play on a tape machine before Chancellor comes in with an amazing bass riff. One of the great signatures is all the time signature changes you’ll hear in one track, but I think this song is about Maynard throwing how stupid holding grudges can be. 5/5

2. Eon Blue Apocalypse– an instrumental track on the album that is all about Danny Carey’s dog Eon who passed away from Bone marrow cancer. 4/5

3. The Patient– The track starts off a little slow with a persistent and driving guitar riff, but when it gets to a certain point it explodes into one hell of a track that is all about that point when you reach a certain mindset that you are centered. 5/5

4. Mantra-a small instrumental interlude that is actually just Maynard James Keenan squeezing his Siamese cat. 4/5

5. Schism– This track beat out tracks from Black Sabbath, Slayer, Slipknot, and System Of A Down for best metal performance at the Grammys in 2002. Keenan described the science and math behind the track saying, “They’re all about relationships. Learning how to integrate communication back into a relationship. How are we as lovers, as artists, as brothers – how are we going to reconstruct this beautiful temple that we’ve built and that’s tumbled down? It’s universal relationship stuff.” 5/5

6. Parabol-To create the sound of the Buddhist monks chanting on the track, Carey sampled himself breathing through a tube in this very melodic track. This one is about dealing with your problems. 4.5/5

7oo97. Parabola– If the last track was the melodic version, this is the in your face Tool track that everyone loves from them. It’s driving when it needs to be and calculating at others. The track deals with how our minds create an illusion of what we think we are. 5/5

8. Ticks & Leeches– Another great track on the album that is all about the struggle on your journey to enlightenment because of all the leeches that try to suck you dry. 5/5

9. Lateralus– The track is known for it’s signature time changes which go from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8 during the chorus. Danny Carey commented saying, “t was originally titled 9-8-7. For the time signatures. Then it turned out that 987 was the 16th number of the Fibonacci sequence. So that was cool.” Keenan described the lyrics saying, “I use the archetype stories of North American aboriginals and the themes or colors which appear over and over again in the oral stories handed down through generations. Black, white, red, and yellow play very heavily in aboriginal stories of creation.” Reports also say that the song could be based on LSD trips. 5/5

10. Disposition-I love the melodic beginning that has a nice and soothing bass riff that opens up the 1st track that forms a sequence with the next two tracks. I think the track is all about realizing that we as people change all the time, it’s just a fact of life. 4.5/5

11. Reflection– The second part of the sequence that really is eye opening lyrically as he tells us that we are really capable of great things if we put our mind into it. The tribal beat from the previous track continues on this one and Chancellor’s bass playing is amazing. There are some great sounds on this 11 minute track. 5/5

12. Triad-The last part of the sequence is a two minute instrumental and a great way to close it out. 4.5/5

13. Faaip de Oiad-The title of the the last track on the album is Enochian for Voice Of God and it features samples of a radio call of a 1997 radio show phone call for the Coast To Coast show by Art Bell of a man claiming to be an Area 51 employee. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– The album took four years to come out because of a dispute the band was going through with Volcano Entertainment, but nonetheless the album was definitely worth the wait. We’ll have to see if the same boast true for the new album when that is released. There are a lot of great songs on the album with a lot of amazing playing and some enlightening, but easy to interpret lyrics. That is why I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

b223926466145523090ae092b42c83f49a8efc44The album that I chose to check out for today is one that I have always wanted to because I have always respected Opeth as artists. I have always heard tracks from the Swedish Progressive Metal band, but I have never checked out full albums until today as we check out what Loudwire.com ranked 15TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums of All Time list in the band’s fifth studio album Blackwater Park. The band which was made up of Mikael Åkerfeldt (Vocals/Guitars), Peter Lindgren (Guitar), Martín Méndez (Bass), and Martin Lopez (Drums) collaborated with Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree for the first time as he was picked to produce the album. The album was considered a critical success for the band with some calling it their coming of age album, but unfortunately despite spawning two singles in the US, it failed to chart on the Billboard Top 200, but it peaked at number 10 in Poland. In 2007, IGN ranked it 18TH on their top metal albums list while Rolling Stone ranked the album 28TH on their Greatest Prog Rock Albums of all time list and 55TH on their The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list as well. Åkerfeldt talked about making the album and how he felt like they were ameteurs compared to Soilwork who were int he studio around the same time saying, “They were working all the time. When they came into the kitchen for a break, we’re still there, on the same break we took 3 hours ago. We don’t want this to become a ‘job’, or something you do because you have to. We wanna have a good time, and thus we only work when it feels right.”

bL6cCUZ1. The Leper Affinity-The 10 plus minute opening track has a slow and eerie buildup with what sounds like an organ before the band comes all guns a blazing in this track that is about a man who is a rapist and a murderer. The guitar work on the track is absolutely amazing. 4.5/5

2. Bleak– an absolute eargasm is the best way to describe this nine minute track that I believe touches upon the theme of a character dealing with loss of a loved one. 5/5

3. Harvest– The next tracks lyrics are powerful and can be left to interpretation by anyone, but I believe the track is about someone who is dying and they have accepted what they have done and feel everyone should too. 4.5/5

4. The Drapery Falls– another almost 11 minute banger that starts out very beautifully with some great acoustic guitars matched with the electric before it changes into a metal track five minutes in as they start the track with clean vocals and go right into the death metal vocals. 5/5

blackwater-park-4f220b8bd721c5. Dirge for November– an eight minute track that takes a journey into the topic of suicide that is very real in this modern day. I love how it starts off with the acoustic guitars before going electric which is a very nice transition. 5/5

6. The Funeral Portrait-I think the track is literally about a man who has a secret that no one else knows and that is that he is a serial killer and the people he kills are his canvas. 4.5/5

7. Patterns in the Ivy-An instrumental track on the album that is almost two minutes in length that leads into the next track. 4/5

8. Blackwater Park-Even though the 12 minute title track was named after a German rock band who went by the name, we will pretend that Blackwater Park is a real place and that everyone around our narrator is dying, but it could be a metaphor for all the corruption and death that happens in the world. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-If you want to expand your horizons musically then this is an album that is worth picking up because it kicks a lot of ass. Musically, the album is definitely one of the best I have heard to come out of that Swedish scene. I am definitely glad I listened to it because I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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.