Posts Tagged ‘Hard Rock’

amoUsually, I do not like to cover new albums until after the Monster Entertainment Awards, but I have been pretty pumped about an album that came out in early 2019. Bring Me The Horizon is an English rock band that is made up of Oliver Sykes (Vocals, Producer), Lee Malia (Guitars), Jordan Fish (programming, keyboards, backing vocals, producer), Matt Kean (Bass), Matt Nicholls (Drums) and on January 25, 2019  they released their sixth studio album amo. amo is a fry cry from previous releases as the album is very experimental and according to Sykes is a concept album about love, “amo is a love album that explores every aspect of that most powerful emotion. […] It deals with the good the bad and the ugly, and as a result we’ve created an album that’s more experimental, more varied, weird, and wonderful than anything we’ve done before.” According to several sources here are all the genres this album is described as having, “pop rock, electronic rock, electropop, synth-pop, EDM, alternative rock, electronica, hard rock, and pop, hip hop, and trap.” The album was a success for the guys with many comparing their evolution to that of U2’s and the band peaked at number one on the UK charts (it also went #1 in Scotland and Australia) while peaking at number 14 on the Us Billboard Top 200 Charts.

amo back1. I Apologise If You Feel Something– The opening track on this album that is a journey into love and heartbreak. A very electro pop track that is really an intro for the album as he tells you to not be scared because love is all we have. 4/5

2. MANTRA-a hard rock/elctro rock song that Sykes says was inspired by a documentary he watched about controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He says, “As I was watching it and trying to write lyrics at the same time, I was drawing these similarities to cults and love. Starting a relationship – especially a marriage – is like starting a cult, a small two-man cult, because you have to give yourself over completely to this person, you have to trust them, you have to love them unconditionally … so that’s where the thinking behind the song came from.” 5/5

download (2)3. Nihilist Blues– Jordan Fish talked about this Synth-pop/EDM inspired track saying, “This is an example of us really going for it on this record. It’s like this dark rave song or something—it’s absolutely mental, and it might be my favourite on the whole album. I’m sure people will hear it and go, “What the fuck?” but whatever. It’s very different in sound for us. We’re big fans of Grimes and she loved the song. She actually sent it back with all these added elements which we weren’t expecting, but she’s super-creative and she’d completely gone to town on it. That elevated the song to a whole new level. She’s someone we respect, and not really someone you’d expect to find working with a metal band. Or a rock band. Or whatever it is we are…” The track features Canadian singer Grimes as well.  5/5

4. In The Dark– This is personally one of my favorite tracks on the album that has more of that Synth-pop mixed a little bit with some electro-rock. The track talks about being left in the dark about things from your significant other even though they don’t care what happens to you. 5/5

hqdefault5. Wonderful Life– a Nu-Metal styled track featuring Cradle Of Filth singer Dani Filth. Sykes talks about the lyrics saying, “The lyrics for ‘Wonderful Life’ were done freestyle in the studio. It’s stream of consciousness-type stuff about getting old and out of touch, being off tour and loving the mundane things in life, I guess because it’s so novel when your life is mainly spent on the road. Things like weekly shops and mowing your lawn are quite nice. People who spend most of their lives away from home can surely relate. I guess on top of that there’s this inner crisis I have of being a boring person but still having a desire to go wild inside me every now and again… But, yeah, all in all, it’s mostly word vomit… but also some of my favourite lyrics. The beginning is 100 percent legit and the irony was just too good, so we left it like that.” 5/5

6. Ouch-an electro-pop/EDM inspired track with his vocals completely changed as well to fit the tempo in this track about how his wife left him for another guy and while he could see it coming, he hoped that it wouldn’t have happened. 4.5/5

7. Medicine– While this Pop rock song may be about Oliver’s messy divorce, Fish has stated that, “It’s about people who are negative influences and how when they leave your life things get much better. It’s a mixture of the electronic and radio-friendly elements of our band, but it’s still got characteristics of some of the bigger songs we’ve done before. You’d need to ask Oli who exactly that’s about, but I can think of a few people it might be about.” 5/5

8. Sugar Honey Ice & Tea-an electro metal song is more like it when it describes this track which is the sixth single I believe off the album. I believe the track is all about we can be delirious when it comes to the way we look at what is exactly going on and who we deal with. 4.5/5

bring-me-the-horizon-2018-supplied-2-671x3779. Why You Gotta Kick Me When I’m Down?– A hip Hop/trap/Synth-pop like track that is all about how society loves it when someone is struggling and int he dumps cause we love to kick them around. 4.5/5

10. Fresh Bruises– The song just repeats the lines Don’t you try to fuck with me,
Don’t you hide your love, but it’s an electro pop song. 4/5

11. Mother Tongue-a pop rock/dance pop track is the spritual successor to the track Drown according to Jordan Fish and has been described by Fish, “Vocal-wise it’s quite a big song. There’s a little bit of Portuguese in there, which is quite unusual. It’s kind of a big, anthemic song. It’s probably as close as we get to something like “Drown” on this album. It’s a love song, so it’s an emotional one.” The track is also believed to be dedicated to Oliver’s wife Alissa Salls. 5/5

12. Heavy Metal– rap rock styled track that features Rahzel of The Roots beatboxing on the track. The track could be about all the negative backlash the band faced for changing their style on the last record with people claiming that it wasn’t heavy metal, but he doesn’t care. 4.5/5

13. I Don’t Know What to Say– The last track on this experimental journey as the track features the Parallax Orchestra in the beginning along with some acoustic guitars. The track seems to be about no matter how painful the break up, he has had to accept it because that is life. In some parts it has a very Evanescence feel with the orchestral rock sound. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I loved this album because I respect bands that need to grow because that is what life is all about. Is the album too pop? Sure, but what is the problem because this seems to be the natural progression for them. The album is also kind of what Linkin Park had done with their last record when they decided to just experiment and do what they wanted to and that was a great album as well.  I am giving the album 4.65 stars out of five for a final grade.

600x600bfWhen you think of the grunge scene from Seattle of the early 1990’s, one of the first bands that comes to mind for me was always Alice In Chains. They were always the heavier band of the scene and their songs just kicked ass. After Layne Staley’s death in 2002, the future of Alice In Chains looked as good as dead, but that all changed when Jerry Cantrell (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Mike Inez (Bass), and Sean Kinney (Drums) reunited with William DuVall (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) taking over Layne’s spot. In 2009, the band released Black Gives Way To Blue and they haven’t looked back since. We fast forward to 2018 and the band releases their sixth studio album Rainier Fog which was named after a Volcano that overlooks Seattle named Mount Rainier. The album also marked the first time the band had recorded an album in their hometown of Seattle since 1995’s self titled album (part of it was recorded in Seattle) and the album was once again produced by Nick Raskulinecz who produced the previous two. The album was voted Rock album of the year by you the readers at the 8TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards and it’s no surprise because the album peaked at 12 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as well as being the band’s first top ten hit in the UK and it debuted at number one on three different charts (Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts). You guys loved it and here it is!

CS699271-01B-BIG1. The One You Know– Apparently the track was inspired by David Bowie’s hit track Fame as Cantrell had explained that he wrote the track around the time of his death so it could have been an underlying influence. You can definitely hear the influence in the main riff. 5/5

2. Rainier Fog– The track that was named after a volcano is the band’s tribute to the Seattle grunge scene that spawned Alice In Chains and bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, etc. Cantrell told Classic Rock Magazine that the lyrics, “Left me he so all alone, only for me to find. Hear your voice on waves we rode, echoes inside my mind. Disembodied just a trace of what it was like then. With you here we shared a space that’s always half-empty” are about Layne Staley and Mike Starr. 5/5

3. Red Giant– A vintage styled Alice In Chains track that has some amazing melodies provided by both Cantrell and DuVall in a track that is all about how stardom can get to a persons head. 4.5/5

4. Fly-a very melodic track that starts off lyrically like how it’s telling you that you are going to fall and fail, but it reminds you never to give up and rise up and fly from the ashes. The track has an amazing guitar solo from Cantrell. 4.5/5

5. Drone-a bad ass track on the album that has a very Sabbath like sound to it that kicks ass and it features former Queensrÿche  guitarist Chris DeGarmo who provides the guitar solo for the track that during the recording of it, Cantrell just could nail it. 5/5

IMG_35476. Deaf Ears Blind Eyes-a track that reminds us that while we are blinded by rage or the untruths that are told to us, we also ignore what really is important to us when we dwell. 4/5

7. Maybe– a very melancholic and melodic track that seems to be Jerry questioning why he still continues on with music as so many of his peers have fallen over the years. It’s a pretty deep track on the album. 4.5/5

8. So Far Under– “It’s about feeling completely up against it – outnumbered, surrounded, facing seemingly unbeatable odds and being really pissed off about it. It was inspired by personal circumstances, as well as events in the wider world.” is what Duvall explained was the meaning of the track as he also plays the guitar solo on the track. 5/5

9. Never Fade-My favorite track on the album that DuVall wrote about the passing of his Grandma and the death of Chris Cornell that their memories will never fade. The track was voted Rock Single Of The Year by you the fans as well. 5/5

10. All I Am– Rolling Stone Magazine described the track as, “a swirling hard-rock tune that takes a long look backward, with sweeping guitar and echoes of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.” and I can’t say that I blame them. It’s a deep track that explores in my belief a song about someone who is so disconnected from others that he is lost from even himself. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was definitely a return to form for the band, but I have to say that they never really lost it to begin with. This album proves to us why Alice In Chains is needed in this world with so many amazing tracks on the album. Never Fade, So Far Under, Rainier Fog, The One You Know, and Drone are my favorites. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars for a final grade.

bc6ee723227e66783247a96206e790c931902ffbWhen I decided to have the category “Rookie Of The Year” in this years Monster Entertainment Awards, I was trying to leave supergroups out of the category because usually they don’t last especially if guys are still in their other projects. Something though seemed a little different about Bad Wolves because they were being marketed much like Five Finger Death Punch, a band of guys who had been in the industry that were banking on themselves. So in the long run, Bad Wolves proved to be a formidable band and they took home the award for their album Disobey. The band which features Tommy Vext (Vocals, Ex-Divine Heresy), Doc Coyle (L. Guitar, Ex-God Forbid), Chris Cain (R. Guitar, Ex-Bury Your Dead), Kyle Konkiel (Bass, Ex- In This Moment), and John Boecklin (Drums, Ex-Devildriver) released their first album on May 11, 2018 and it was produced by Boecklin and Vext alongside Mark Lewis, Wzrdbld, and Philip Naslund while it featured cover art by Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory. The album was a big success for the band as it peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as well as number four on the US Top Rock Albums chart.

119195491-21. Officer Down– an intense in your face opening track that talks all about police brutality and it definitely reflects on the times with the social climate on police brutality. 4.5/5

2. Learn To Live– The band has a Slipknot like intensity to this track and it’s no surprise with the caliber of the guys in the band. The track is all about people struggle every day with just life itself, but if you want to survive you better learn how to live. 4.5/5

3. No Masters– This may be one of my favorite tracks on the album because it’s a bad ass riff that has that metal swagger to it in this song that is all about going against the grain and let no man control you. 5/5

4. Zombie– The band was originally supposed to have Cranberries vocalist Dolores O’Riordan do the song with the band as a duet, but unfortunately she passed away before they could and the band finished recording the cover in tribute to her. The song was also voted cover song of the year in this years Monster Entertainment Awards. 5/5

5. Run for Your Life– a track with a little more of a commercial feel to it that is all about someone who realizes that they lived as slaves to the grind and now it’s time to escape before it’s too late. 4.5/5

6. Remember When-a more melodic track from the band that is all about reflecting on the past and saying to yourself if you only knew… 4.5/5

7. Better The Devil– Tommy flexes his more melodic singing ability on this track and combines it with the intensity of his vocals on the chorus in this very Nu-Metal like track in this track that I think gives awareness to suicide. 4.5/5

bad-wolves-2018-billboard-15008. Jesus Slaves-a pretty cool track that I believe is talking about Werewolves and that once you’ve been turned into one not even Jesus can save you. 4.5/5

9. Hear Me Now– a very commercial track that is featuring DIAMANTE who sings vocals on the track in the same style that Linkin Park had Kiiara for Heavy and Papa Roach had Skylar Grey for Periscope. It’s not a bad track by any means, but there’s a trend here. 4.5/5

10. Truth Or Dare– The band stays melodic for this track that is all about being daring because life is just a game anyways. 4/5

11. The Conversation– Another track on the album that is looking to be socially aware as it questions the way we’ve been living and that as Americans, we need to start questioning the establishment more. 4.5/5

12. Shape Shifter– I am not a fan of the guitar riff on this track, but the rhythm section definitely helps carry this tune that is all about a woman who is more than men can handle. 4/5

13. Toast To The Ghost– This was the first single released off of the album and it has a build up that leads to an in your face track that is all about how we forget all those that fought and died for our freedom and the very belief of it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The album has a theme behind as almost every track touches on the idea of not being controlled or freedom and while the music touches upon the best elements of Slipknot, Nu-Metal, and some FFDP, I can see these guys having a future. My favorite track on the album is No Master, that is a song that I would love to hear live. My least favorite track is Shape Shifter just cause I’m not a fan of the guitar riff. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

manson frontMarilyn Manson is an artist that I have respected since day one of listening to him when I first picked up Smells Like Children. I have considered him to be the last living true rock star on this planet of ours because the man took himself out of obscurity and has reinvented himself. Two years ago, Marilyn Manson took the award for Album Of The Year at the fifth annual Monster Entertainment Awards for The Pale Emperor and this year he cleaned house. Not only did Marilyn take home the rock single and video of the year, but he also took him Rock Album Of The Year for his latest offering Heaven Upside Down. While 2017 may have been a turbulent year for the frontman as he faced injury and the fact that he had to fire longtime member Twiggy Ramirez. At least he can be proud of the album that he put out. Besides Manson, the album once again featured Tyler Bates as the instrumentalist and producer, but it also featured Gil Sharone on drums as well. The album did so well that it finished in the top 10 in 15 different countries with six of those being in the top five. Out of ten albums that Manson has put out, this becomes the 9TH album to finish in the top ten as it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Top 200 charts.

manson1. Revelation #12– The first track on the album kicks off with a hellraising riff in this industrial styled song that reminds me of Antichrist/Mechanical Animals days. Manson stated that the track is a reference to the Book of Revelations and The Beatles track Revolution No 9 4.5/5

2. Tattooed In Reverse– It’s a grooving track on the album that has a jazzier feel to it from Manson in what seems like a rebellious tone against the religious groups that have bugged him from day one. 4.5/5

3. We Know Where You F**king Live– an idustrial rock song from beginning to end, it was also the first track that Bates and Manson recorded for the album. The track talks about drone warfare, corruption in gov’t, and invasion of our privacy through global surveillance. 5/5

4. SAY10– the song’s overall sound is very reminiscent of the sound found on Mechanical Animals in what I also think is the modern day retelling of the Cain and Abel story. I love that he named Say10 instead of Satan, a very cool play on the word. 5/5

5. KILL4ME-One of my favorite tracks on the album itself that is catchy as hell and if you ask me it’s a song about devotion. It’s Manson telling his lover, how far are you willing to go for me? 5/5

manson cd6. Saturnalia– The album was a tribute to his parents and I truly believe that this one was a tribute that he wrote to his father. It gets as personal as he wants to, but there are some touching moments in the track. 5/5

7. JE$U$ CRI$I$– I feel like this is a track that Manson wrote about the record industry and how it’s a dog eat dog world so you better be ready to fend off vipers and cocaine.  4/5

8. Blood Honey– is a slower track in tempo, but it speaks volumes if you ask me. Manson is basically saying that he sleeps with tons of girls even though he knows there only in it for the money. 4.5/5

9. Heaven Upside Down– an upbeat tempo drives this rock track that looks like it’s talking about someone in the middle of an apocalypse or it could be about someone suffering from a mental illness. I was having a hard time with this track. 4/5

10. Threats Of Romance– While the lyrics are not the same as The Beautiful People, it has that kind of vibe. I say that in the way that he talks about his taste in women. He knows he can have the hottest girl, but he wants the damaged ones because their better and the pretty ones belong behind glass. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I love everything Marilyn has done, but sometimes his songwriting can get a little lazy. He writes some brilliant stuff on this album, but some tracks he get lazy and just repeat verses over and over again like my least favorite track Heaven Upside Down or JE$U$ CRI$I$. My favorite tracks on the album are KILL4ME and Saturnalia which are just highlights. I am going to give the album a 4.6 out of five for a final grade.

Monster Entertainment Awards 7I have hosted this award post for seven years now and I never fails to bring enjoyment to me for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons being that each album that wins gets a review for the album of the week so that will be exciting for the next month. The second reason is that we get to celebrate and vote for what we believe was the best rock album of the previous calendar year and we voted for the best of 2017 and I have the results for you guys. Marilyn Manson seems to always be a big winner as he won album of the year for The Pale Emperor, but this year he takes home the award for Best Rock Album for Heaven Upside Down as well as Rock Single and Rock Video Of The Year as well. There is going to be a lot of arguments over the winner of the album of the year, but Link Park really did put out a solid effort with One More Light. Code Orange came out of nowhere and defeated some giants of metal to take home the Metal Album Of The Year award while Morbid Angel claims their first win in the Extreme Metal Album Of The Year with Kingdoms Disdained. Here are some of the other winners: Rock Single Of The Year: KILL4ME by Marilyn Manson, Rock Video Of The Year: We Know Where You F*cking Live by Marilyn Manson, Metal Single Of The Year: No Lives Matter by Body Count, Metal Video Of The Year: Nuclear Alchemy by Watain.  Check out the rest of the winners below:

Godsmack Single Of The WeekOne of the best bands from Boston besides Boston, The Cars, or Aerosmith has been Lawrence legends Godsmack. They have been carrying the flag for Boston Hard Rock/Metal since their self titled debut album. These guys whether you like it or not are also one of the best bands to see in a live format and you can take that to the bank. Now the band is getting ready to release their first album 2014’s 1000HP in their seventh overall album entitled When Legends Rise on April 27TH via BMG (Their first with the label). The band has also unleashed the very first single off the album in Bulletproof which is very melodic. The song is actually very different than what we are used to from the band, but the direction of their music should not be a surprise to anyone. Lead singer Sully Erna once said in an interview in 2014, “I’m not that same young, angry kid as I was when I was writing early Godsmack material. And so now Godsmack has become a little bit of a challenge because I go, ‘Okay, what am I gonna write about?’ Cause you can’t write too ‘happy’ when you’re writing for Godsmack, but nothing is really making me super sad or angry. And so it’s gonna be interesting to continue.” I actually like the direction the band is going in and I cannot wait to hear what the rest of the tracks sound like. If you would like to pre-order the album, you can do so here.

night songsMarch of 2013 was the very first time I decided to engage in reviewing all my favorite and new rock and metal albums for the album of the week. As of this point in the game, I have reviewed 259 albums and for some strange reason I have never covered one of my all time favorite debut records from a band from Philly. Aerosmith may have won the MusicBowl which for the first time I ran exclusively on Twitter, the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl and I want to cover an album from Cinderella. The band was made up of Tom Keifer (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Jeff LaBar (Guitar), Eric Brittingham (Bass), and Fred Coury (Drums, did not play on today’s album). On August 2, 1986, the band would release their debut album Night Songs after Jon Bon Jovi had discovered the band. Earlier I mentioned that Coury did not play drums on the record because that distinction belonged to former Boz Scaggs drumer Jody Cortez who was replaced before the album’s release. The album would have a ton of success as it peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it sold over 3 million copies go triple platinum.

night songs back1. Night Songs– One of the coolest first tracks with it’s eerie brooding wind sound with the bells as the cool guitars of Keifer and LaBar set the tone for this epic blues hard rock song that is all about the grind of being a band. 5/5

2. Shake Me– The lead single off the album that actually failed to chart, but it’s a classic rock track that is all about having a good time with some babes. It’s still a classic live track that Cinderella plays all the time so who cares 5/5

3. Nobody’s Fool– The second single off the album that actually charted for the band, it’s the classic ballad complete with some keys in it. One of my favorite tracks from the band that is all about a girl who recently left them and he’s having trouble with it. 5/5

4. Nothin’ for Nothin’– This blues rock classic about a guy who just doesn’t know when to appreciate everything he has because he just keeps taking, but when it’s all said and done, he has nothing. 5/5

5. Once Around the Ride– a no nonsense hard rock track from the band in a track that is about a guy who doesn’t wait for no one. 4.5/5

cinderella-830-0762-m1-cd6. Hell On Wheels– A hard charging blues tinged track that is all about the band saying that they’re done waiting around cause they’re going to take over your town. 4.5/5

7. Somebody Save Me– The ultimate rock song from the band that just has so much swagger that I wish I could give it a six. It’s one of those balls to the wall track that is just monstrous with every strike of the chords. 5/5

8. In from the Outside– a blues rock track through and through and it seems to be about a guy giving a young buck some advice like before you go looking for hell, be prepared for what comes afterwards. 4.5/5

9. Push Push– A very cool track that has been a live staple for the band in a track that is all about given a little lovin, a push push. 5/5

10. Back Home Again– The last track on the album and the band decided to mix a little metal into the track which gives it a cool sound. I feel like this track could be a little autobiographical for Keifer. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you can get past the album cover then you will discover one of the best bands to ever come out of that scene. I am saying right now that while it’s unfortunate that we never got any more Cinderella albums, the evidence is right there in front of us. Every single track on this record can be played in a live setting and I almost heard every track from this live. Check it out for sure, I am giving the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.