Posts Tagged ‘Album Of The Week’

sanctuaryI am always looking for new bands to cover, but there is always that unfortunate circumstance when a member of a band passes away and I cover the band’s album as a tribute. Warrel Dane, the lead singer of the bands Sanctuary and Nevermore passed away this morning in Brazil of a heart attack. He was in Brazil recording his second solo album when the incident happened where he was staying. So, I wanted to pay tribute to Warrel Dane by covering an album from the band that introduced me to him in Sanctuary. The album that I chose for you guys is the band’s 1988 debut record Refuge Denied which was produced by Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and Paul Lani. You may be asking how in the world did they get Mustaine to produce the album? Apparently, after they recorded a demo, they approached Mustaine who had just performed with Megadeth in their area and they handed it to him. Mustaine was impressed enough with the band that he agreed to produce the album. The album featured Dane, Lenny Rutledge (Guitar), Sean Blosl (Guitar), Jim Sheppard (Bass), and Dave Budbill (Drums). Initially, the album had sold 7,000 copies on Vinyl, but has since sold over 200,000 worldwide.

sanctuary-refuge-denied-1988-japan-back1. Battle Angels– The band launches into overdrive with some chugging riffs right from the get go in a track that has some amazing battle fantasy lyrics. 4/5

2. Termination Force– The track starts off with that typical 80’s thrash melodic sound that is a little eerie with the guitars made to stand out the most before the rest of the band launches in and the song features some cool bass playing from Sheppard. It seems to be a song about rebelling against your government and the need to feel like you have to before it’s too late. 4/5

3. Die For My Sins– This is a kick ass song that has that trash metal sound with the power metal vocals in a track that is about someone who doesn’t have the will to live, but wants you to have fun for him. That is what it seems like anyways to me because I am not picking up a religious tone. 4/5

4. Soldiers of Steel-A track that has that Megadeth/Mercyful Fate to it with some killer guitar work with more of those fantasy inspired lyrics. 4/5

refuge-denied-515ccee9558bb5.  Sanctuary– Every great band has a song named after them right? Well, Iron Maiden did and so does Sanctuary. The track helps kick off side two of the vinyl and it does with this melodic riff that fades in and at first I was worried because of the intro, but the band turns up the tempo and they save the song. 4/5

6. White Rabbit– I wonder how much of an influence Dave was when the band decided to cover this Grace Slick written Jefferson Airplane track. Nonetheless, I have to say that this is a pretty decent cover, it’s better than Megadeth’s cover of These Boots. 4.5/5

7. Ascension To Destiny– This might musically be the best track on the whole record in my opinion. The band is on fire as the duel guitarists get it right on this one and it fits with Dane’s powerful vocals. 5/5

8. The Third War– It’s an all out metal assault on this track which is about, you guessed it, the possibility of World War III which is nuclear war. 4.5/5

9. Veil Of Disguise– I love the clean guitar channel, slow tempo’d track that this is because it just has that evil feel to it. I think lyrically, we are in ancient Egypt maybe just from the nature of the lyrics. Don’t fret because the distortion does come back at some point in the track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is a pretty decent debut for the band, but it was their next album that would top this one’s sales. Nevertheless, I love the mixture of thrash with power metal because it was something a little different even though you can hear the Mercyful Fate influence in it. I am going to give the album 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade.

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end of all thingsOne of the coolest bands that I ever remember seeing in a live setting was Peoria, Illinois’s own Mudvayne. The first time I ever saw them live was when they were the openers for Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osbourne while supporting L.D. 50. The album that I chose for this week’s album of the week is the follow up to the very successful L.D. 50 in The End Of All Things To Come. The album featured Chad Gray (Vocals), Greg Tribbett (Guitars), Ryan Martinie (Bass), and Matthew McDonough (Drums) while the album was produced by David Bottrill. The band had a buck load of time to make the first record, but not a lot of time to make the follow up as McDonough explains, “We had all the time in the world to write our first album, but for the second one, we had about a month. I’m amazed how quickly we came up with the material.” While the time may have seemed short, it definitely paid off as the album peaked at 17 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while being certified Gold by 2003.

Mudvayne-The_End_Of_All_Things_To_Come-Trasera1. Silenced– Ryan Martinies amazing bass playing opens the track before the band comes in with the fury and intricate song structures. The song is one of the fiercest tracks on the album and a great track to hear live. 5/5

2. Trapped in the Wake of a Dream– McDonough revealed in an interview once that the verses were written in 17/8 while the chorus was done 11/8 time signature. McDonough says, “If I hadn’t pointed out which song was written in 17/8 I don’t think most people would have noticed. It’s a strange time signature but it works because it’s smooth.” 4/5

3. Not Falling– The first single off the record and one of my favorite tracks and it reminds me of a mix of Dig, but more mature and more mainstream conscious. The track itself is about being strong and never giving up on whatever it is that you face. 5/5

4. (Per)Version of a Truth– A great track that showcases more of the brilliance of Martinie and how he teams with Tribbett so well. The song is about how we are all seeking the truth in life, but in reality it doesn’t exist because society distorts the truth. 5/5

5. Mercy, Severity– an intense track right from the start before it mellows out for the verses. The track could have something to do with the tree of life which is found in the Kabbalah or it could be about creation or recreation. 4.5/5

6. World So Cold– A very different track for the time because of it’s more mellow nature, but it was the second single released off the record which talks about the band’s resentment towards society and how cold it can be. 5/5

the-end-of-all-things-to-come-4e805f94669bf7. The Patient Mental– A very Nu-Metalish sounding track right from the start that deals with the author talking about fame and why he doesn’t understand it fully as well as talking about the recording industry as well. 4/5

8. Skrying– They don’t let the foot off the gas as this one steamrolls ahead, but the lyrical content can be perceived as very dark. Skyring in Luciferian terms is all about reflecting on one’s own self, but he is not doing it in the occult way. Just check out the lyrics to the track. The one cool thing about the track is how it completely transforms at one point midway through the track. 4.5/5

9. Solve et Coagula– In alchemist terms, the song translates into dissolve and coagulate and the track is a reflection of how the band feels about society and how secular we are. The band is absolutely brilliant in the song writing department. 4.5/5

10. Shadow of a Man– A interesting track where the narrator is somehow displeased at the fact that there could be an alternate version of himself and how that version could be living a better life than him. 4/5

11. 12:97:24:99– a throw away track as there is no sound and it’s only 11 seconds in length. 0/5

12. The End Of All Things To Come– The title track is pretty intense in it’s thrash like nature in a track that is setting a point that things need to change in the world starting with our world leaders. 4/5

13. A Key to Nothing– The last track on the album comes in strong with it’s nu-metal sound about the fact that if we had nothing then there would be no problems. For example, no more/no less meaning if we have no more than 0 and nothing less than 0 then we have nothing. This is a world changing track y’all 4/5

mud-promoMy Final Thoughts– While L.D. 50 may be a brilliant debut from the band, I thought there sophomore release was up to par as a great successor. The singles were more radio friendly than Dig or any of the singles off the first, they were still great tracks. You should definitely give this one a listen if you want to get to know the brilliance of Mudvayne. I just wish they would reunite already! I am going to give the album 4.1 stars out of five for a final grade.

510h-bQIqELEvery once in a while, we love to cover classic albums from classic bands as we have in the past like when we covered an album from Sweet or even Led Zeppelin. For this week’s album of the week, we are looking an artist that was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. The band that I am talking about is the legendary English act Electric Light Orchestra which was made up of Jeff Lynne (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Bev Bevan (Drums), Richard Tandy (Piano/Keys/Guitar), Kelly Groucutt (Bass), Mik Kaminski (Violin), Hugh McDowell and Melvyn Gale (Cello). They were a band that was known for mixing a Beatlesque sound mixed with Futuristic/Sci-Fi themes, and even throwing in some classical arrangements. In September of 1975, the band would release their fifth studio album Face The Music which marked the first time that Groucutt and Gale were in the band as they replaced Mike de Albuquerque  and Mike Edwards. The album peaked at number 13 on CashBox, number 8 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, Number 11 on the Billboard Year End Charts for 1976 as well as being certified Gold.

electric-light-orchestra-acb-246-ab1. Fire On High– Is an opening instrumental track for the album that just displays the band’s talent. It also features some backwards masking done on purpose that you can hear Bev Bevan saying, “The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back, turn back, turn back, turn back.” 5/5

2. Waterfall– a great track that is all about those who don’t understand love if they are not in a relationship. Almost like the concept of love is an illusion. 5/5

3. Evil Woman– One of my favorite tracks from ELO with that cool guitar riff that comes in after they say Evil Woman in a track that is all about how evil women can be. 5/5

4. Nightrider– A very cool track from the band that failed to chart for the band at the time. The string crescendo section of this track was used in previous track Evil Woman, but just put in backwards. The title of the track is a tip of the hat of sorts to Jeff Lynne’s previous band The Nightriders. 4.5/5

Electric_Light_Orchestra-Face_The_Music-Trasera5. Poker– A cool rock track from the band that I hate to believe is about the game of Poker and all the madness that can ensue, but I believe it is. This track kicks off side B of the album. This is also the first track on the album that features Groucutt on lead vocals. 4.5/5

6. Strange Magic-A very cool track that features Tandy providing the weeping guitar lick that is the signature of the track. The track has that Beatles pop sound to it while mixing the classic arrangement side of ELO. 5/5

7. Down Home Town-A cool laid back track from the guys which is also the other track that features vocals from Groucutt. The track also features the chorus of Waterfall played backwards in the beginning of it. 4.5/5

8. One Summer Dream– An orchestral arrangement opens the very last track on the record before Lynne comes in with his guitar track. Another Beatlesque track from the group. Jeff Lynne once said that was an anti-war song in the liner notes to 2006 reissue of the album. It’s a very beautiful track and a cool way to end the album. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is a good album to start off with if you want to get to know the genius of Jeff Lynne and ELO. The fact that Jeff Lynne was genius enough to include orchestral arrangements is mind boggling and these guys definitely deserved to be in the R&R Hall Of Fame. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

album-ACDC-High-VoltageIn 2014, when we found out that AC/DC was continuing on without famed rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, a lot of us were lost for words because for a little bit of time the reason was unknown. When we found out that he was suffering from dementia, we were shocked and saddened at the news that the backbone of the rhythm section would most likely never return. Then on November 18, 2017, we were saddened to learn the news that Malcolm had passed away. After 15 studio albums, it was all over as we mourn the loss of yet another legend and we decided that we would cover an AC/DC album as a tribute to Malcolm. The album we chose is the band’s first international release in High Voltage which was released on April 30, 1976 and was produced by Harry Vanda and the late George Young. The band was made up of Malcolm Young (Rhythm Guitar), Angus Young (Lead Guitar), Bon Scott (Vocals), Mark Evans (Bass), and Phil Rudd (Drums). The album peaked at number 146 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and has since gone three times platinum selling over three million copies.

acdc-high-voltage-14-cd1. It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)– One of the most all time classic AC/DC songs that opens up with that powerful riff and comes complete with a bagpipe solo from Bon Scott. The track is all about the long journey to becoming a rock star that isn’t an easy road to go on. 5/5

2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer– A track that proves the true genius of frontman Bon Scott and how there was no one like him. A great hard driving rock song that is all about knowing what you want to do in which is to become a rock and roll singer. His wit is on display especially in this track and it’s awesome! 5/5

3. The Jack– A very dirty and dingy blues rock classic from the band about a girl they all know with a very bad venereal disease. A very classic track showcasing how amazing the band was and what else they could do. 5/5

4. Live Wire– an amazing bass riff opens up this track that just has way too much rock and roll swagger to it in this track that is talking about a kid who is just a hellraiser. 5/5

acdc-high-voltage-13-ab5. T.N.T.– This is by far one of the tracks in the band’s catalog that is just truly bad ass. It starts with a big power rock chords and some Aussie flavor with the Oi chants. The song is basically about a guy who is one of those bad asses that you just do not mess with. 5/5

6. Can I Sit Next to You Girl– A cool rock and roll track whose lyrics changed from the version Dave Evans sang to this one by Bon. It’s about a guy who hits on a girl and he gets the girl where the other version he doesn’t. I love Malcolm’s playing on this track because it’s unlike anything I have heard him do before. 5/5

7. Little Lover– What an amazing blues rock track this is from the gang in what I heard is a song about Angus according to some sources. I think it’s about a girl he seen in the front row of a show that was into Bon. From this track on, the bass parts are recorded by George Young while the drums are by Tony Currenti. 5/5

8. She’s Got Balls– This is another one of those tracks that is just cool from beginning to end. Bon apparently said that he wrote this song while he was married and that it was about his wife after she asked him to write a track for her. 5/5

9. High Voltage– The last track on the album was a live favorite for Bon back in the day as the crowd would sing along with him. The song is about him defending the way he and his bandmates look saying they are high voltage rock and roll!!!! 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This album in my opinion was the perfect first release from the band which means it joins the Five Star Club here on Moshpits and Movies as it receives five stars out of five for a final grade. This was the band at it’s hungriest stage of their careers and they were on fire. Admittingly, this album was sort of a greatest hits of their first two Australian releases which were High Voltage and T.N.T.. Nonetheless, this is one to listen to for sure. R.I.P. Malcolm Young (1953-2017)

DopethroneOne of the greatest bands in the metal genre called it quits last year when Black Sabbath called it a day. The band’s sound influenced a whole generation of artists that would create the doom metal/stoner rock genre that has stayed relevant over the last 40 years. One of the biggest bands in the genre has been carrying the flag of doom metal since 1993 in England’s own Electric Wizard. The band came around when the genre was primarily dominated by American bands from the US who seemed to be running the show at the time until this English boys came around. In 2000, the band was made up of Jus Oborn (Vocals, Guitars, Effect), Tim Bagshaw (Bass, Effects), and Mark Greening (Drums). On November 28, 2000, the band released one of their most prolific albums in Dopethrone via Rise Records and Oborn remembers the album saying, “Most of us were stuck in some drug addiction or alcoholism at the time, and it was just pure hate. It was us against the world, and we just wanted to make the most disgusting, foul, putrid record that anyone has ever recorded. We camped out at the studio, so it was literally just wake up, consume as much fucking drugs as possible, and then just start jamming.

dopethrone back1. Vinum Sabbathi– A bass heavy track that just rumbles as the band comes in this track that is all about drug addiction. 5/5

2. Funeralopolis– The track starts off like the calm before a storm with a very cool bass riff in this eight plus minute epic that seems to be about what the Earth has become after nuclear war. 5/5

3. Weird Tales (I. Electric Forest, II. Golgotha, III. Altar Of Melektaus)– This 15 plus minute track is divided up into three parts which you can see below that I think was influenced by HP Lovecraft. The changes are incredible when you hear what they churn out as the track goes from sounding like Cathedral esque music to Sabbath like chunky riffs and so much more. 5/5

4. Barbarian– The next track on the album that is pure sludge to a T is Jus’s tribute to the character Conan The Barbarian. 4/5

5. I, The Witchfinder (a.k.a. Las Torturas de la Inquisicion)– The 11 minute track starts off with a quote I believe from Mark Of The Devil as we are transported to a musical Odyssey filled with ominius bass heavy riffs and more in this track about a witchunter. 5/5

electric-wizard-dopethrone6. The Hills Have Eyes– This is an instrumental intro that leads us right into the next track. 4.5/5

7. We Hate You– The next track on the album that starts with some distorted bass before the band kicks right in for this track that is about spiteful, disturbed, and very hateful children. 4.5/5

8. Dopethrone– The title track may seem like it’s a 20 minute track, but I assure you that it’s only 11 minutes long with almost nine minutes of silence in this journey into the depths of your mind and drugs. 5/5

9. Mind Transferral– On some editions of the album, this is the bonus track that was first introduced to us in 2004 that runs about 15 minutes in length which features some killer bass playing besides Oborn showing his guitar skills as well in this instrumental. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you want to get into some really good doom metal/stoner rock then this is one of the bands that can lead you into that journey. This is a record that you put on, you sit back, and you escape into this musical journey. What an incredible record from beginning to end. If anything, check out the musicianship that is displayed on this album. I am giving the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

highly suspectWe are one week removed from October which means we pick up right where we left off and we cover some interesting albums for the album of the week post. I love discovering new bands and I love covering their albums and that is definitely the case with this week’s band which also has local ties for me. Have you ever heard a song, liked it, but had no idea who the recording artist was? This week’s artist Highly Suspect is one of those artists that when I was asked if I had heard of them, I had not (to be perfectly honest). When I was told to listen to a couple of tracks, I immediately knew that I had heard the track before so I did a little investigating. I realized that the band hailed from Cape Cod, Massachusetts before they relocated to Brooklyn, New York for obvious reasons (more exposure). The band who is made up of Johnny Stevens (Guitar, Vocals, Synths, and Piano), Rich Meyer (Bass), and Ryan Meyer (Drums). In 2016, the band hooked up with producer Joel Hamilton and together they recorded and released the band’s second studio album The Boy Who Died Wolf. The album received some critical acclaim as Loudwire named it the number one on their 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016 post. The album also peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while also peaking at number one on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums.

highly suspect back cover1. My Name Is Human– The song has a very full sound with the bass before the rest of the band kicks in on the album’s lead single. Johnny Stevens described the song saying, “A lot of people think the song is about being a human. I believe some of us aren’t human at all. Or at least not completely, but that is still our name. At some point in the last couple hundred years something changed. The androids, the aliens…They aren’t coming. We are here.” 5/5

2. Look Alive, Stay Alive– The track kicks off with a punk attitude before it calms down for the verse in a track that seems to be talking about how our narrator has come to the realization that he’s content with trying to stay alive then acting like he knows everything. 4.5/5

3. Little One– This track to me has a little bit of Soundgarden in it mixed with a little of today’s alternative especially in Steven’s amazing vocals. He seems to be talking about someone he has sacrificed so much for, but it’s going nowhere so he leaves. 5/5

4. For Billy– A rock tune that reminds me a little of Bush from the Sixteen Stone era, but they are reminiscing about someone they knew and loved. 4.5/5

5. Serotonia– An interesting track that starts out with a line of how he wishes he could be naked and masturbate all day. Nonetheless, he feels that he has done everything he could in New York and that it hasn’t made him the person he’s wanted to be so he thinks he should move to Hollywood. 4/5

6. Postres– Another interesting track on the album that has him talking about how he’s happy with where his life is and he’s going to enjoy it and especially his Postres (a Spanish desert). 4/5

Highly-Suspect-600x4007. Send Me An Angel– I love the original version of the Real Life track so I was interested to see how the band handled this one. They basically slowed it down and made it seem a little more ominous and creepy. 5/5

8. Viper Strike– This is a very angry track that has the band attack racists, homophobes, and anyone that just hates. They definitely voice their opinion on the track attacking all the hate in the world with some bold statements. 4/5

9. F.W.Y.T.– A very simple track with a little hip hop flare thrown in there that has the narrator giving up on the idea of a dystopia and F*** what you think! 4.5/5

10. Chicago– a cool piano track that shows Stevens flexing his musical abilities in a track that is about a girl he met in Chicago that became pretty special to him, but it didn’t end well. 5/5

11. Wolf– Another relationship related track, but this time it’s all about how he has to leave to live his rock and roll life because this one is a lie. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I can see why Loudwire chose this as their rock album of 2016 because the band has so much range, but there is also a lot of honesty in their music. The band definitely was influenced by Chris Cornell or at least Stevens was because you can hear the pain in the way he sings. This is an incredible record that everyone should check out. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

altars of madnessI usually release my album of the week post every Wednesday and I have for the last four year or so. Unfortunately, Halloween lands on a Tuesday which means that my lost October Halloween themed posts were to end last week. In my right mind, I just couldn’t let that happen so I am releasing an album of the week post one week early this year and I have a good one. One band that has always always stuck out to me in the Death Metal community has always been Florida’s own Morbid Angel. There is a reason for that and it’s current vocalist Steve Tucker once told me on the Superjoint Ritual tour in 2003 to “get off your ass p*ssy because no sits at a Morbid Angel show.” I thought it was the coolest thing in the world because I was the only sitting on top of this bar top at the Worcester Palladium. Nonetheless, the band absolutely crushed it and I have been a fan ever since. The album I chose for today was based off a recommendation by MetalInjection.net and it’s the band’s debut album Altars Of Madness. The album featured David Vincent (Bass & Vocals), Trey Azagthoth (Guitars), Richard Brunelle (Guitars), and the “father of the blast beat” Pete Sandoval (Drums).

altars of madness back cover1. Immortal Rites– The track that kicks things off and the track is punishing as they sing about a ritual or offering to the lord of the dark. 4.5/5

2. Suffocation– a track with a real metal flare before the father of the blast beat takes over with the band whose chord progressions are insane. The track seems to be talking about a time when evil ran over the land just suffocating everyone’s judgement. 5/5

3. Visions from the Dark Side– A hammering track that is unrelenting as it bludgeons you to death in this track about how sometimes it’s the force of the dark that makes us do the things we do. 4.5/5

4. Maze of Torment– The intro has a real thrash like intro while integrating with their death metal sound. You can definitely hear a Slayer like influence on the track and it’s bad ass. This is one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion. 5/5

5. Lord of All Fevers & Plagues– The band pays tribute to various gods like Ningishzida who appears in the Simon Necronomicon and H.P. Lovecraft’s writings. 4.5/5

MOSH011PD-REVERSEsmall6. Chapel of Ghouls– A punishing riff that reminds me of early Slayer in a track that is about hell’s all out war against Christ and his churches. This is another amazing track on the album. 5/5

7. Bleed for the Devil– A track that is punishing like a sledgehammer that is all about what are willing to do for the lord of darkness. I love the guitar solo, it’s very Hanneman like. 4.5/5

8. Damnation– a hammering metal track that seems to be about hell on earth commencing and all of us being in damnation. 4/5

9. Blasphemy– Another blast beat heavy track that is all about being blasphemous towards God which is the ultimate unforgivable sin (I believe). I love the guitar solo in this track, it’s very cool. 4/5

10. Evil Spells– The last song on the album that is a very cool track with metal influences in it that put most Thrash bands to shame in a track that is all about hell. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is as bad ass as it gets people especially if you are thinking about getting in to Death Metal. I have always been one that says you don’t have to pay attention to the lyrics to enjoy the music, but know that the lyrics are an important piece of the puzzle. This album does put a lot of metal bands to shame as these guys wrote some amazing songs. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade. Happy Halloween everyone!!!