Posts Tagged ‘Frank Bello’

aliceinchains faceliftOne of the greatest bands to come out of the Seattle grunge scene in the early 1990’s was hands down Alice In Chains and I still to this day believe that they are not a grunge band by any means. Alice In Chains was your new wave of great American rock from the Pacific Northwest and the world was ready for a change at the time in the form of Layne Staley (Vocals), Jerry Cantrell (Guitars), the late Mike Starr (Bass), and Sean Kinney (Drums). On August 21, 1990, the band would release their debut album Facelift via Columbia Records with the record produced by Dave Jerden who had produced records by the Talking Heads and Frank Zappa to name a few. The album’s title could be symbolic for what was about to happen to the music scene once the people discovered this album. The album did pretty well on the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at number 42 and it sold two million copies and all of it done with hard work. The band was given an opening slot on the Clash Of The Titans tour which was Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax as the other bands on the bill. The band dealt with a lot of heckling from the crowd, but according to the bands on the bill they earned a lot of respect. Frank Bello commented once about it saying, “If there was a guy starting shit, Layne would jump into the audience and beat the FUCK outta that guy!”

aliceinchains facelift 21. We Die Young– A fericous riff opens up this track that Jerrry Cantrell says is about, “I’d just temporarily moved in with Susan Silver because Sean and I had just had a fight. So I was riding the bus to rehearsal and I saw all these 9, 10, 11 year old kids with beepers dealing drugs. The sight of a 10 year old kid with a beeper and a cell phone dealing drugs equaled “We Die Young” to me.” 5/5

2. Man In The Box– The bass heavy track was the second and most powerful single released off the record that besides being stoned while he wrote it, Layne says it was about “censorship in the mass media”. I love the use of the talkbox by Jerry in this track because I feel it adds to the track. The track was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Vocal Performance too. 5/5

3. Sea Of Sorrow-The track starts off with a bluesy riff by Cantrell before launching into the track that is about a guy who knows he’s in a toxic relationship, but needs to get out of it. 5/5

4. Bleed The Freak– A track that would be an anthem for all those that felt they were different and battling against those who didn’t like the fact that they were different. 5/5

5. I Can’t Remember– Jerry Cantrell has defined this as the track that helped develop the Alice In Chains sound. The track starts off with an eerie riff and it continues forward along with some great bass playing from Starr. The track seems to be about being mixed up in too much crap that you start forgetting what is important. 4.5/5

6. Love, Hate, Love– Jerry Cantrell has called this number the masterpiece of the whole record and he also says that the guitar solo in this track is his favorite of his career. It starts off much like the previous track with a very brooding/ominous riff in this track about a guy who gets cheated on and is shocked because he thought he owned her. Layne’s vocals on this track are haunting and beautiful at the same time, the man had an uncanny voice for such a dark bluesy track. 5/5

alice-in-chains-facelift-10-cd7. It Ain’t Like That– The riff to this track Jerry Cantrell admitted was a mistake, but in the end it was a very good mistake to make. It’s actually a very cool riff that has that sludgy chug like riff to it that we would grow to love from the band. The track is about suffering and then overcoming it. 5/5

8. Sunshine– A very bluesy track that is actually a tribute that Cantrell wrote too his mother who passed away some time before. He commented saying, “When I was a little kid, I’d always tell her, “I’ll be famous and buy you a house and you’ll never have to work again. I’ll take care of you like you took care of me.’ When she passed away, it was a really shitty time for me. I didn’t know how to deal with it then, and I still don’t. But it gave me the impetus to do what I’m doing.” 4.5/5

9. Put You Down– This one is more of a bluesy rocker from the band that could compete with anything out at the time. I think the song is about someone struggling with addiction. 4.5/5

10. Confusion-The track starts off with some clean channel guitars before Jerry turns it up a notch in this track that has a sort of dreamy effect especially with Layne’s vocals. The track has elements in it that remind me of Rooster in a way. The track is about how men and women are constantly hurting each other, playing mind games, etc. 4.5/5

11. I Know Somethin (Bout You)– A track that has elements of funk in the opening guitar riff that reminds me of the Chili Peppers to be honest. The track is about having so much info on someone you don’t like that you are going to royally f**k up their day. 4.5/5

12. Real Thing-a dark and brooding track with a blues twist that is all about drug use which is a cautionary tale of sorts for this band. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Ozzy Osbourne once said that this album was number two on his top 10 Metal albums list. Facelift was the perfect name for an album that was describing what was about to happen to the music scene overall. This was rock’s much needed Facelift that it needed at the time. My favorite tracks are the first four tracks plus Love, Hate, Love. My least favorite track is Real Thing even though I don’t really hate the track either. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

state of euphoriaFor this week’s album of the week, I was inspired by the new hit horror film IT which has broken box office numbers when it came to this week’s record. One of the characters in the film is wearing an Anthrax shirt and one of the scenes features the track Antisocial which is off of this week’s album State Of Euphoria which was released on September 19, 1988. The album featured Joey Belladonna (Vocals), Dan Spitz (Lead Guitar), Scott Ian (Rhythm Guitar), Frank Bello (Bass), and Charlie Benante (Drums) and it was produced by Mark Dodson and the band. The album’s back cover is pretty cool because it was designed by famed caricaturist artist and Mad magazine artist Mort Drucker who drew the band. After the release of the album, it peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it was certified Gold selling over 500,000 albums even though critics were not warm to the album. A lot of critics felt that the album didn’t live up to the name of the previous albums even though it contained some amazing tracks.

state1.Be All, End All– The song kicks off with cellist Carol Freedman before the band comes in with a monster riff in a track that is all about controlling your own destiny. 4.5/5

2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind– Another in your face track with a monster bass riff from Bello runs this track that is about bands ripping off other bands. 4.5/5

3. Make Me Laugh– an interesting track on the album where the band attacks TV evangelists like Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker who were targets of a lot of thrash bands at the time. 5/5

4. Antisocial– This is the band’s amazing cover of French band Trust’s classic track, but the thing is the band had to do their best to convert the lyrics from French to English to make it work 5/5

5. Who Cares Wins– The track starts very melodic before it gets heavy in this track that is all about the homeless and their struggle to live. 5/5

state-of-euphoria-50008585db5756. Now It’s Dark– The track starts off with someone breathing before Bello and Spitz lead you right in to this track that is about Dennis Hoppers character in David Lynch’s film Blue Velvet. 4.5/5

7. Schism– The drums fade right in as the track kicks off with some punk laden metal riff where the lyrics talk about if you peel all the layers of labels that society has for us, we are all the same. 4/5

8. Misery Loves Company– This is a track the band wrote based on the novel by Stephen King in Misery. 4/5

9. 13– an instrumental track on the album that the band recorded that was an intro to the next track. 4/5

10. Fīnalē– The aptly titled last track on the record and it features some razor sharp riffs with that insane bass playing from Bello in a track that is all about marrying the wrong person. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I thought that this was a really good record from the band despite what the critics thought at the time. It features some really amazing tracks that are essential to who Anthrax is. Check it out for yourself, I am giving the record 4.45 stars out of five for a final grade.

amongthelivingThis is one of those albums that I wish I covered in the first 100 of these albums of the week, but as I have stated before here’s to the next 100. The next album I am covering comes from one of the members of The Big Four of Thrash Metal in Anthrax and there is a significance to it besides the fact that it’s my favorite Anthrax record. Among The Living came out in March of 1987 and it was one of the albums to complete the stellar line up of albums that were released by what people would eventually coin The Big Four. It’s the album that really put the band which was made up of Joey Belladonna (Vocals), Scott Ian (Guitar), Frank Bello (Bass), Dan Spitz (Guitar), and Charlie Benante (Drums) on the map in the metal world. The album was produced by legendary producer Eddie Kramer (Kiss, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton) and it was recorded both in the Bahamas (it did the trick for AC/DC) and in Florida. The album cover has Rev. Henry Kane from The Poltergeist films on it which is what Benante claims was the inspiration. The album itself peaked at number 62 on The Billboard Top 200 which was a big deal then and it still is today if a metal band cracks the 100 mark.

Anthrax_1987_Among the living_21. Among The Living– This is one of the most famous tracks that starts off with a very dark and eerie riff that makes you feel like you are entering the depths of hell. The song’s lyrics deal with the character Randall Flagg from Stephen King’s The Stand. 5/5

2. Caught In A Mosh– The ultimate mosh anthem with the hard charging bass line that is in your face. This is still one of my favorite Anthrax songs to hear live. 5/5

3. I Am The Law– This sledgehammer like riff attack is the band’s ode to their favorite comic book character in Judge Dredd. This was also one of the final songs credited to old bassist Danny Lilker. 4/5

4. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)– or Nise Fukin Life’s lyrics deal with the life and death of Jon Belushi. I love’s the band ability to go superfast and then get melodic out of nowhere which is evident in this track. 4/5

5. A Skeleton in the Closet– The band must have been obsessed with Stephen King because this track’s lyrical content deals with the Stephen King novella Apt. Pupil. This track is more of the in your face thrash metal that Anthrax was known for. 4/5

indians6. Indians– This is another one of those tracks that was just absolutely huge for the band as it’s named as one of their most famous tracks. It’s starts with it’s stereotypical Indians War Dance music in a track that get’s social conscious about the mistreatment of the Native Americans. 5/5

7. One World– This is one of my favorite less famous tracks on the record with that bass line that is punchy and in your face with amazing guitar playing from Ian and Spitz before they kick into a new riff that will melt your face off. 4/5

8. A.D.I./Horror of It All– Apparently, the A.D.I. in the title stands for either Arabian Douche Intro or Arabian Douchebag Inro. The song starts off with some clean acoustic guitar playing that is eerie and dark before it absolutely rips into some sledgehammer like metal madness. 4/5

9. Imitation of Life– This is a remake of Scott Ian’s other band S.O.D.’s (Stormtroopers Of Death)’s track Aren’t You Hungry? 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my favorite Anthrax records and one that proves that Joey Belladonna was the right singer for the job and always will be. Every track on the record is phenomenal and to let all of you know the album was dedicated to the memory of Cliff Burton which I forgot to mention in the beginning. If you want to get to know The Big Four, this is definitely an album to start with. Ca you imagine getting Master Of Puppets (Metallica), Reign In Blood (Slayer), Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? (Megadeth), and this album all in a one year period. Oh my lord! I am giving this record 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.

stanger2015It’s been a while since I did one of these and so I figured I would do one today as there are some noteworthy news stories out there. I just wanted to mention real quick that Today is Black Label Society vocalist/axeman Zakk Wylde’s birthday which I already wished here. One of the coolest news stories out today though is the fact that a band actually took time out of their schedule to re-record Metallica’s St. Anger. You have to admit that all of us hated the recording quality of the record especially with Lar’s drum sound which it was apparently turned off while they recorded. We do not know the name of the band, but they are a group of friends. They are Daryl G. & Chris D. of the band Grace The Skies and Dave C. of the band Adjust. Here is what the band said about why they decided to take the time to re-record what they are calling #STANGER2015:

Recorded during a turbulent time in the bands career, St. Anger has always divided opinion. Some longtime fans were turned off by the drop tuned riffs and raw production, whilst some listeners embraced it, myself included. #STANGER2015 is for the listeners who weren’t so fond on the record back when it was released in 2003.

Recorded from the ground up, the album has been shortened by 15 minutes, yet every riff and lyric is intact, resulting in a more concise and focused record.

The production is also more conventional, and we hope that Metallica fans appreciate this new version of an album that is always looked at as an anomaly in the incredible career of the world’s biggest metal band, Metallica.

To listen to the re-recording of the track, just click here. The new version is mo much more tolerable, but I have to admit that I am still not a fan of some of the lyrics.

five fFive Finger Death Punch fans are probably rejoicing at some news that has dropped courtesy of Jeremy Spencer. The band released two volumes of The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell back in 2013 and the band is apparently ready to release some new music. Here is what Drummer Jeremy Spencer had to say, “I’m not sure. We always try to do things a little differently than the time before, but without being drastically different. We are who we are and I don’t see us doing something so left turn that people are going, What is that? I just don’t see that. We sound like what we sound like and I’m excited to see where it goes, honestly. I love making new records, and feeling the energy, seeing how everyone has grown and all that. We do try to push ourselves and experiment a little here and there. We have to keep it fresh for ourselves.”

hell gateMotley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and Def Leppard have all down Vegas residencies and the next logical person to do one would be none other than the Prince Of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon Osbourne told The Sun, “I’m working right now on a Vegas production for Ozzy. It’ll be in time for Halloween and be called ‘Hell Gate’” One source was quoted saying, “Ozzy has never done a stand-alone show in Vegas and there has been huge interest in what he has to offer. Vegas is an amazing spot, which has been a huge hit with the rock crowd. Ozzy would be a top draw and really do something unique.” As I said, this is the next logical step for Vegas and residencies. It will also give fans of his solo career to see him live once again.

tntIn heartbreaking and unfortunate news, TNT have once again parted ways with Tony Harnell. So, there goes any chance of seeing the band tour the US with the only singer that mattered. Tony spoke out in a statement on Facebook that said, “Sadly, it’s not possible for me to continue with the band. I won’t bore you with all the details…It’s nothing mind blowing and it’s certainly nothing new and it’s also best to respect the privacy of the band and keep our issues between us. At least that’s my goal. What I can tell you all is that I tried very hard once again to make it work for the long haul…My heart is broken, again, but I have no regrets about the past year and I’m really happy I could have such a wonderful final tour with the band for you guys.”

In better news than the last article, Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler gave fans an update on his condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery for an aneurysm he suffered last month. Meanwhile, Udo Dirkschneider’s son Sven Dirkschneider will be taking over drum duties for Saxon’s upcoming tour. The video with Nigel can be seen here.

I also wanted to take the time to wish the former voice of Queensryche Geoff Tate a very Happy 56TH Birthday today (January 14TH). I also wanted to wish White Lion frontman Mike Tramp a very Happy 54TH birthday today as well. Tomorrow (January 15TH) is Saxon frontman Biff Byford’s 64TH Birthday so Happy Birthday to him as well.

unnamedRex Brown (Ex-Pantera/Down/Kill Devil Hill) and Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) have joined The Metal Allegiance show which takes place at The House Of Blues in Anaheim on January 21ST. Here is the complete lineup of all the people participating, “Frank Bello (Anthrax), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Chuck Billy (Testament), Chris Broderick (Ex-Megadeth), Rex Brown (Pantera/Kill Devil Hill), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and John Tempesta (The Cult).” The show will stream live for all to see on the internet at this website. Here is what Rex had to say, “What better way to kick the new year in the fucking ass than with a Metal Allegiance show? House of Blues in Anaheim barely survived the last time! GET IT LOUD AND TEAR IT DOWN!!! If you can’t get your ass out to Anaheim, get it in front of a computer and head over to The Music Zoo’s website to watch it all go down.” Check it out or be lame and don’t unless you have a perfectly acceptable excuse.

111The Rock In Rio Festival is coming to the United States for the first time in May and we have some incredible lineups to announce. On May 8TH, this is more like the Alternative day with No Doubt, Mana, The Pretty Reckless, Foster the People, Gary Clark, Jr., Bleachers and Saints of Valory. Now if you’re like me then you are looking forward to day 2 on May 9TH which features the likes of Metallica, Deftones, Linkin Park, Rise Against, Hollywood Undead, Sepultura, Coheed & Cambria, and Of Mice And Men. There is a whole other weekend that I am not interested in, but if you want to get your hands on some tickets, just go here.