Posts Tagged ‘David Ellefson’

51fhehoazvl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_It has been quite a long time since the last Heavy Metal Book Report was done on the blog, but we are promising more of these for 2019. The book that we are profiling for you guys today is none other than the autobiography of one of the most polarizing and controversial figures in thrash metal. I am talking about Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir that was written by Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Joseph Layden that was released August of 2011. All anyone had known about Dave before this point is that he was booted out of Metallica and has been trying to escape their shadow ever since. Dave was definitely fulfilling the purpose of explaining at least his side of the story so that we know the whole truth or at least one side of it. We get the whole story starting right from the beginning of his days growing up in two different religious house holds with one focused on Christianity and the other a Jehovah’s Witness way of life. We learn of the events that Dave always felt led up to his dismissal in New York, but we hear his side which was a very lonely trip back to California on that bus ride home. We read about the start of Megadeth through a very funny chance encounter with the second longest reigning member of Megadeth in David Ellefson who Dave lovingly called Junior. We also read about all the successes and failures that would follow for Dave all the way up to the point of this book being released.

91tksfippnlOne of the things I loved about the book is that you really do get to read the struggle that Dave went through always being the guy who was booted out of Metallica. It seemed that all Dave wanted was just a chance to talk with the guys, but something always happens that sets him back. In Chapter 13, he talks about his newfound sobriety and the birth of his first child Justis. Eventually when it became time to tour, he had a Monsters Of Rock tour to do with Metallica and Diamondhead to which he made every member of his band sign a sobriety pack. He talks about how he saw James and all he wanted to do was talk to him, but here is where it gets a little rough for Dave. He recounts, “The nice guys in Metallica had a twisted sense of humor. They invited me into their dressing room, where a big plate of what appeared to be cocaine sat beckoning and unattended.” Obviously, this crushed Dave to great extents because he said they knew what lengths he went to to stay sober, but they didn’t care. One of the things that always astonished me in this book is that no matter what current or past member he discusses, he treats them with respect in the book and he explains their exit. The best story is how every drummer would replace his predecessor beginning with the late Gar Samuelson. There are a lot of great stories in the book that he tells like how he almost dated Belinda Carlisle to his every day struggle with addiction as well as all the different managers he has gone through over the years. I am definitely going to give the book 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade. It never disappointed me at any point in the book.

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megadeth-rust-in-peaceWhile everyone waits for the brand new track that Dave Mustaine has promised Megadeth fans, I figured we would check out one of the seminal Megadeth releases from 1990. Loudwire.com ranked Megadeth’s fourth album Rust In Peace at number 33 on their Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time list which beats out Metallica’s biggest release ever (The Black Album). Rust In Peace which was released on September 24, 1990 was a very special record for Frontman/Rhythm Guitarist Dave Mustaine because it was the first album to feature the line up of Nick Menza on Drums and Marty Friedman on Lead Guitar as well as original member David Ellefson on Bass. Dave found Nick Menza who was previous drummer Chuck Behler’s drum tech and replaced him exactly the same way Behler had replaced predecessor Gar Samuelson. Marty Friedman was found when he dropped a record off to Dave’s manager at the time requesting a shot at the job which he eventually won. The album has often been described by critics as one of the greatest Thrash Metal albums of all time that helped set the tone for metal in the 1990’s. It was Megadeth’s highest selling album at that point as it shipped one million copies going platinum as it peaked at number 23 on The Billboard Top 200 Charts.

51mhcxl9rxl1. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due– This absolute shredder was a song that was written due to an incident that occurred at a show in Northern Ireland. Dave had a little too much to drink and right before he sang Anarchy In The UK, he dedicated the track to the cause and a riot between Protestants and Catholics broke out. This was Dave’s apology for what had happened. 5/5

2. Hangar 18– Another shredder that hits a 1000 right from the start on a lyrical subject matter that was presented by Nick Menza discussing the idea of UFO’s and Area 51 and this is the result. 5/5

3. Take No Prisoners– Another shredder on the album that really showcases what Nick Menza brought to the table playing along David Ellefson. The track is about Prisoners of War. 5/5

4. Five Magics– an in your face track featuring some amazing bass playing from David Ellefson whose lyrics take on a different subject matter in more of a fantasy sense. 5/5

5. Poison Was The Cure-An amazing track driven by Ellefson’s bass playing, it’s a track that takes on a more personal tone as Dave talks about his personal drug use and the stranglehold it had. 5/5

megadeth-rust-in-peace-2-cd6. Lucretia– One of the best opening riffs on the album as they shred through the intro and into this track that is all about a ghost that lives in Dave’s attic. 5/5

7. Tornado Of Souls– One of my favorite tracks on the album that was written after Dave had to break off a relationship with a long time girlfriend and how he did it out of necessity because the relationship was too toxic. 5/5

8. Dawn Patrol– a different kind of track on the album that starts and is driven with an excellent bass riff from David Ellefson playing alongside his rhythm partner Nick Menza. The song is all about global warming and how we are destroying the planet. 5/5

9. Rust In Peace…  Polaris– Nick Menza flexes his stuff much like how Judas Priest’s Painkiller starts off before the band comes in for a track that is all about nuclear war hence the name Polaris at the end which is the cold war era Lockheed UGM-27 Polaris intercontinental ballistic missile. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The way Dave thought of the album title is a little funny as it was a bumper sticker he saw while on the road one day. He liked the imagery that popped into his head and he used it. This is one of the most complete albums that Megadeth had ever recorded which shouldn’t surprise people that it’s featured on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and why it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. That is why I gave the album five stars out of five for a final grade.

ccgf_CDArtwork--3It has been quite some time since we last did a single of the week and I have brought it back with a bang. Who is Waylon Reavis? He is a name that all metal heads all across the world are very familiar with because in 2004 he picked up the ball in Mushroomhead and ran with it in a very successful manor. With Mushroomhead, he was apart of some landmark releases like Savior Sorrow or a personal favorite in The Righteous & The Butterfly which was subsequently his last album with the outfit. Now Waylon has a new band in A Killer’s Confession whose debut album Unbroken is available digitally right now with the physical release this upcoming Friday (May 12TH). The album is being described by some as being “equal parts beauty and tragedy and takes the listener on a journey to the edge of insanity and back.” Whatever the case may be the band’s first single A Killer’s Confession is a symphony of brutality that should leave metal heads everywhere desiring more and more of it. The track is definitely equal parts beauty and brutality as it balances the two elements very smoothly throughout the whole entire track.

a killer's confessionThe album was produced by Waylon Reavis while the track above was co-produced with Thom Hazaert with Richard Easterling (American Head Charge, Doll Skin, Emperors and Elephants) engineering and mixing the album as well. Reavis is joined on the album by fellow band members Jon Dale (drums), JP Cross (bass), Matt Trumpy (guitar), and Paul Elliott (guitar) and the band is signed to EMP Label Group which is a label that is owned by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson. When asked about his feelings and thoughts on the band and record, Waylon commented saying, “I am so proud of this project, and being able to come back with an absolutely KILLER record, with KILLER musicians. Anyone who has been a fan of anything I have done previously, is absolutely going to be floored by AKC.” When it came to signing with EMP Reavis stated, “I am so thankful to Thom and David for believing in me and getting behind this project the way they have.  I have been watching everything they’ve done the last year, and I am so proud and excited to be part of the EMP family.” As I stated above, the album will be released this Friday and be sure to check the band out when they hit the road with Nonpoint at the end of the month. Check out the video below and check out the tour dates below that as well:

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

With Nonpoint

05-30-17 in Lancaster, PA at The Chameleon

05-31-17 in Easton, PA at One Centre Square

06-01-17 in Hampton Beach, NH at Wally’s

06-02-17 in Providence, RI at Fete Ballroom

06-03-17 in Portland, ME at Port City Music Hall

06-04-17 in Syracuse, NY at Lost Horizon

06-05-17 in Rochester, NY at Montage Music Hall

06-07-17 in Fort Wayne, IN at Rusty Spur

06-08-17 in Indianapolis, IN at Birdy’s Live

06-09-17 in Columbus, OH at Alrosa Villa

06-10-17 in Toledo, OH at Toledo Music Festival

megadeth-dystopia_japan_edition-frontalJust as we have done for the last couple of weeks, we are covering albums by bands that won at the 6TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards. We have already covered the album of the year (Post Pop Depression by Iggy Pop) and the rock album of the year (Gore by Deftones). So, it’s only natural that we move down the line to the next which is the metal album of the year which was taken home by Megadeth for their 15TH studio album Dystopia. In a way Dystopia was a return to form for Megadeth after lackluster sales plagued their previous album. The band had some new players for the album in Kiko Loureiro (Guitars) and Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler (who recorded the record with the band, but is not a permanent member). Together they joined Dave Mustaine (Lead Vocals/Guitars) and David Ellefson (Bass) in recording what was a huge step in the right direction as the album debuted at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts making it the second highest charted album in the band’s history (Countdown To Extinction debuted at number two). The album also peaked in the top 5 in six other countries and the title track earned the band their first Grammy after 11 failed attempts for Best Metal Performance.

megadeth-dystopia_japan_edition-trasera1. The Threat Is Real– The song is everything you would want to hear from Megadeth as it’s fierce, in your face, and reminds of me of Rust In Peace era Megadeth. Dave Mustaine is still writing his fierce politically driven lyrics of world destruction and it still sounds fresh. 5/5

2. Dystopia– The title track that won the band the Grammy for Best Metal Performance features some really amazing guitar work from Loureiro and Mustaine that sort of reminds me again of Rust In Peace. The song is about a world that is not ok in any way shape or form. 5/5

3. Fatal Illusion– I have always been a huge fan of Dave Mustaine and the lyrics that he writes as in this one about a prisoner so evil and against society that nothing can kill the evil inside him even the lethal injection. There is a cool bass section in the track that showcases Ellefson’s amazing abilities. 5/5

4. Death From Within– A cool track on the album about an enemy that is constantly is under attack in war that he waits for the perfect moment to enact revenge. 4.5/5

5. Bullet To The Brain– A cool drum cadence starts off the track with some acoustic guitars before the band kicks into overdrive. The track is an interesting take on relationships about how man give in easily to sex when they think they are winning, but they are really losing. 4/5

6. Post American World– an interesting commentary on the way the world is today. We all complain about what is happening in America even though we feel safe, but what if all of that changes and America falls? What will we look like in Post American World? The music reminds me a lot of The World Needs A Hero era Megadeth. 5/5

megadeth-dystopia_japan_edition-cd7. Poisonous Shadows– The track opens more with the clean/acoustic guitar playing before the band turns up the energy in a track about someone who holds some sort of guilt inside of them and they let it manifest. I love hearing Farah Siraj’s vocals in the background, it adds to the track. 5/5

8. Conquer Or Die– A very cool instrumental track on the album that showcases what these guys can do. I think Kiko adds some of that Brazilian flavor to this track and it’s very cool. 5/5

9. Lying In State– An in your face track right from the get go that is hammering and is classic Megadeth. The track is about the government and how they distract you fromt he real issues that are going on as our society is in decline. 5/5

10. The Emperor– The track has more of a hard rock flavor to it then the rest of the album and it may be the band showcasing their influences in a track about a president who thinks he is King, but doesn’t realize he is a joke. 4/5

11. Foreign Policy– This is the band’s cover of California punk band Fear’s track that is actually pretty kick ass. Check it out cause it sounds like something Suicidal Tendencies should have covered. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– Sadly I do not know if Chris Adler will return to the fold for future albums, but this was truly an amazing record. It was definitely Megadeth moving in the right direction and they deserved the Grammy and the win here. Kiko Loureiro is an amazing edition to the band and I can not wait to here what else he brings to the table. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

CountdownToExtinctionAs reported earlier in the week, former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza passed away while performing on stage. So as a tribute to him, I have decided to cover a Megadeth record for this week’s album of the week. The album I chose from his catalog is Countdown To Extinction, the band’s fifth album and the second to feature the classic lineup of Nick Menza (Drums), Marty Friedman (Guitars), Dave Mustaine (Vocals/Guitars), and David Ellefson (Bass). The album was a drastic change for the band in terms of sound because out were the fast as hell, face melting riffs and in were more intricate riffs and better song writing (at least in my opinion). The album was also a very trying time for the band as far as recording was concerned because curfew in Los Angeles at the time was 6PM due to the riots that followed the Rodney King beatings. The album was very successful for the band as it went two times platinum and peaked at number two on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance while the title track won he Humane Society’s Genesis Award for raising awareness for animal rights which is pretty cool.

countdown back1. Skin o’ My Teeth– The track starts off sounding off with a sonic fury that sounds like a more refined thrash track. The tracks lyrical deals with someone who failed at committing suicide. 5/5

2. Symphony Of Destruction– One of my favorite tracks on the record that starts with a symphonic/opera like beginning before we get into that chugging bass riff from Ellefson. The tracks lyrics deal with a guy who is put into power while the government while the public is led by a phantom government. 5/5

3. Architecture Of Aggression– the track starts off with gunfire and a missile launch before you get your signature Megadeth thrash sound. The track deals with global conflict as far as the lyrics are concerned. 4.5/5

4. Foreclosure Of A Dream– Lyrically one of my favorite songs on the album because we can certainly relate to the lyrics even today. It’s one of those songs whose lyrics will always stand the test of time and never sound outdated. The lyrics deal with economic concerns and social inequality. 5/5

5. Sweating Bullets– One of my other favorite tracks on the record that deals with schizophrenia. Mustaine explains, “I wrote that about myself. It was pointed out to me that I’m kind of schizophrenic and that I live inside my head. Which is something I don’t subscribe to, but I enjoyed the theory nonetheless. I think all of us are sweating bullets all the time. Society’s a joke right now, and people are getting more and more hostile. When you think about having an evil twin or schizophrenia, I think a lot of us are schizo, because we live inside our heads. There’s someone we all confer with; it’s called our conscience. Some people cannot control their other side; it takes them over. Everybody has that psychotic side. Everyone has a thing that will make them snap.” 5/5

6. This Was My Life– an interesting track that deals with relationships gone bad. Mustaine explains, “I had the very seedy, sordid love affair that took place over six years, and I’ve gotten a lot of great songs out of it. She’s probably biting her nails, wondering what this album’s gonna say about her! This particular song is about a time I wanted to kill her. I’m laying in her bed, and she’s examining my head, and my feeling of being under her microscope is the part of me that hates. I know I’m going to get her back, but that when I do, I’m throwing my own switch on an electric chair, buying my own ticket. It’s a confession of the madness I felt at the time.” 4/5

Megadeth-Countdown_To_Extinction-CD7. Countdown To Extinction– A track whose title came from an article that Menza read in a Time Magazine about there concerns for the future of the planet environmentally. 4.5/5

8. High Speed Dirt– A track that talks about Dave’s obsession with skydiving and the trill behind it. 4/5

9. Psychotron– A cool track with a cool bass line from Ellefson and machine like guitar riffs whose lyrics deal with Marvel Comics character Deathlok. 4.5/5

10. Captive Honour– A very melodic track in the beginninfrom Megadeth before the verdict is handed down and the track gets heavier. It’s a track whose lyrics deal with prison and the consequences of it. 4/5

11. Ashes in Your Mouth– Sonically very impressive from the start with the guitar fury in a track that is about the negative aftermath of war. There is some serious playing in this track that will blow you away. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Peace Sells is by far my favorite Megadeth record of all time, but this one falls close to number two. It’s definitely one of my favorites of the classic era besides Youthanasia. The classic lineup era was definitely the best era for Megadeth and this album solidified that. It’s an amazing album from the first guitar riff to the very last. It’s sad that Nick Menza passed away because I was hoping for him to rejoin Megadeth, but we know that was never going to happen. I am going to give this record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

When it comes to music videos, Megadeth has always put out some quality videos and they’ve done it yet again. While Megadeth is gearing up to release their new album Dystopia, they’ve unveiled some tracks for fans to listen to like The Threat Is Real. We covered the track for the single of the week (which you can read here), but the band has finally unveiled a music video to go with the track and it kicks ass. The video is animated, but parts of it feel and look like the animation used in Scanner Darkly while some of it is just animated. The group is in jail in a very apocalyptic world which looks like a police state in the video. Meanwhile, Vic Rattlehead and a friend are on a mission to free the band from jail as the band is being carried on a transport train. The video is really cool and worth checking out. In other news, Dave recently spoke about drummer Chris Adler joining them on the road, “Lamb of God’s going to be taking a sabbatical soon and Chris is going to jump into us full time, which is great for us. Megadeth is Chris’ favorite band growing up. It’s his love, and I’m honored just because of the talent that he has. So that’s the way we’re gonna do it for now.” Check the band out on the road with Suicidal Tendencies, Children Of Bodom, and Havok. To check out the dates, go here. Otherwise check out the video below:

metallica_mustaineMarch 11, 1983 might be a day that has absolutely no significance for some people in the world unless you are a true metal head. Some people may remember that on this day, Pakistan successfully conducted a cold test of a nuclear weapon or that Burt Reynolds, Jane Fonda & Katharine Hepburn won awards at the 9TH annual People’s Choice Award that year. For us metal heads, it was a different event that seemed insignificant at the time, but had some major effects in the music world. You see, Metallica traveled to New York to record a record, but when they got there, they gave Dave Mustaine his walking papers and Kirk Hammett walked in to the role of a lifetime as the new lead guitarist. It changed the course of history because Metallica went on to become the biggest metal band of all time releasing one hit record after another. Meanwhile, Dave Mustaine went home to Hollywood to an uncertain future, but once he got on his feet, he would start arguably the second or third (depending on your perspective) biggest band from the Thrash Metal scene in Megadeth after throwing a plant at David Ellefson’s air conditioning unit. Things were not all that shabby for Dave Mustaine who went on to create what I believe to be some of the most iconic records in Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying, Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, etc.

metallica-1983-metallicacomRegardless of what happened to Dave Mustaine, Metallica were poised to be the biggest band in the world in my opinion, but I believe it benefited them to release Mustaine because the better dynamic was in place with Lars “running” the show (which that can be argued as well). Dave Mustaine was a born leader and as he describes in his book that they were constantly clashing heads because there were too many chiefs so you know it wasn’t going to work. Depending on whose side you are on, Dave did have an essential part in the beginnings of Metalllica as he is credited with being a writer on four tracks on Kill ‘Em All. The groundwork for his firing was laid down as described here by Scott Ian of Anthrax, “I was with them on April 9, 1983, when they were playing L’Amour with Vandenberg and the Rods. Vandenberg were onstage in the middle of the afternoon sound checking, and Mustaine was already hammered. He was in the middle of the floor of the venue, and as soon as they ended a song he started screaming at them that they sucked and they should get the f–k off the stage. [Anthrax/Metallica manager] Jonny Z pulled him away. But I didn’t think any of that s–t was enough to get him kicked out of the band. The guy is arguably the godfather of thrash metal. He wrote a lot of the riffs on Kill ’Em All and even some of Ride the Lightning. Without Dave Mustaine, maybe thrash metal never would have happened. At least in the beginning, he was the driving force, artistically.”

OlineupBrian Slagel of Metal Blade Records reflects on why he was let go, “Dave was an incredibly talented guy, but he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He’d get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging maniac, and the other guys just couldn’t deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but Dave drank more…much more. I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time.” The firing of Mustaine as I stated before drove the man to become the legend in his own right as his only goal was to prove that if Metallica could do it so couldn’t he and he wanted blood. In 2009, James Hetfield commented on the situation saying that their reconciliation was needed because , “It’s obvious that he had the same drive as us — he went on to do great things in Megadeth. … He’s an amazing, talented person.” I for one have always thanked Metallica for kicking out Dave Mustaine because as he says in the Rock Icons episode that, “we wanted to be the up most heaviest, ultra furious metal band period. Doesn’t sound like my last band” and that is exactly what we all received. So forget the idea of being sad over a firing that happened 32 years ago and count the blessings while popping in So Far, So Good… So What into your stereo and bang those heads cause I know that I will.