Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Metal’

1000x1000 (1)If there ever was a release in Judas Priest’s vast catalog that helped launch the band fully into the 1980’s then it was 1980’s British Steel which is this week’s album of the week. The album was released on April 14, 1980 and it was the first album to feature Dave Holland on Drums while the rest of the line up was rounded out by Rob Halford (Vocals), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), K.K. Downing (Guitars), and Ian Hill (Bass) while the album was produced by Tom Allom. One of the cool facts about the album was that it was recorded at Tittenhurst Park which was the home studio of Beatles legend Ringo Starr and it was picked because the band had a rough experience at the previous studio. The album was a huge success for the band as it is often credited with solidifying the Heavy Metal genre and giving it the kickstart it needed in the 80’s. The album peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as it went platinum selling 1 million copies. It’s one of the albums listed on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list and Loudwire.com ranked the album 31 on their 50 Best Metal Albums of all time.

judas_priest-british_steel-trasera1. Breaking The Law– If you grew up in the 90’s, but you weren’t familiar with Judas Priest tracks, then you definitely learned this classic courtesy of Beavis & Butthead who loved the song. The song is about a guy who is down and out on his luck and he has no choice but to turn to crime in order to survive. 5/5

2. Rapid Fire-an in your face Judas Priest that I believe is part of the blueprint of Thrash Metal with it’s razor sharp riffs. I believe the track is about various weapons of mass destruction and the chaos they can cause. 5/5

3. Metal Gods-One of my favorite tracks to hear performed live where the riffs almost feel robotic like heavy metal killing machines. I believe the track is about how man worships their creations when they could be their downfall (i.e. Terminator). 5/5

4. Grinder-a track that carries a certain swagger to it and I haver to say one thing before I explain the meaning. I dislike people that believe that every track Halford has written is about his sexuality which was secret in the 80’s, but this track just screams it just look at the opening verse. 5/5

5. United-a track that could be considered a battle cry for all metal heads out there in the world as we all stand united in our love for metal. “United We Stand One and All.” 5/5

judas_priest-british_steel_(2001)-cd6. Living After Midnight– The second single off the album and a classic track to hear live as well that is all about the hedonistic and rebellious spirit of the 70’s. The song title came when Tipton work Halford up one morning at 4AM as Halford told him that he was, “really living after midnight” and Tipton thought it would make a great song title. 5/5

7. You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise– This track has that classic sonic spirit in the guitar riff that we will hear for albums to come. The track is all about knowing exactly what you want to do with your life and you’re not willing to listen to those older than you that you feel are holding you back. 5/5

8. The Rage– Ian Hill opens up the track with a cool bass riff before Tipton and Downing come in with monster riffs. I Think the track is just about that animalistic  rage that lives deep inside all of us. 4.5/5

9. Steeler– a track with plenty of metal swagger that is about being careful who you decide to trust in this life. The track has a pretty awesome guitar solo after the first verse. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– If I was to have a top 5 Judas Priest album list, this would definitely be in that list for sure. I just have other albums I would rank ahead of it, but I understand why they chose it because it defined who they were in the 80’s much like Sad Wings did for them in the 70’s. There are a lot of great tracks on this album so definitely do yourself a favor and check it out. I am giving the album 4.9 stars out of five for a final grade.

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powerslaveIt is 2019 and I wanted to open up the album of the week with a bang with one of what could be argued as one of the great Iron Maiden records of all time. The band’s catalog speaks for itself, but when think back to the Bruce Dickinson years of Iron Maiden, you might agree with me on this assessment. Loudwire.com ranked today’s album Powerslave by Iron Maiden 35TH on their Top 50 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list ahead of the self titled, but behind Dickinson’s debut. Powerslave was released on September 3, 1984 via Capitol Records and featured Dickinson (Vocals) for the third time, Steve Harris (Bass Guitar), Dave Murray (Guitars), Adrian Smith (Guitars), and Nicko McBrain (Drums) while the album was produced by Martin Birch. One of the major accomplishments of this album is that it’s the first Maiden record to feature the same personnel on a second album. The album did very well for the band as it peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while also peaking at number two in the UK while also going platinum in the US.

powerslave back1. Aces High-I always loved the beginning of the track with the guitar riff that opens with the drums and bass doing a call and response before we launch into the band’s signature galloping sound. the track’s lyrics follow an British RAF pilot during the Battle of Britain in 1940. 5/5

2. 2 Minutes To Midnight– The first single off the album that was a protest song against Nuclear War by Smith and Dickinson. The song references a doomsday clock that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists used to predict the big global catastrophe they thought was coming. 5/5

3. Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra)– The last instrumental track that would be featured on an Iron Maiden record as we speak. 4.5/5

4. Flash of the Blade– One of my favorite Maiden songs about a knight or soldier who lives by the sword and will probably die by the sword like the old saying. 5/5

5. The Duellists– another galloping charger that is all about a man who duels with someone he knows he will be defeated by, but his honor is on the line. Another great track right here. 4.5/5

powerslave-bonus-cd-cd16. Back In The Village– an interesting track that I believe is about a soldier that has been so battle tested and worn that he is sick of the life. He feels that he is being treated like a number and not a person by the government. 4/5

7. Powerslave– The title track starts with some howls and what sounds like a mummy before the music kicks in this song that uses the Pharaoh as a symbol of why power does not last for any leader. 5/5

8. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner– For over 30 years, this was the longest ever Iron Maiden track the band had ever recorded until 2015’s Empire Of The Clouds. The song is based off of the poem of the same name by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 5/5

My Final Thoughts: This album is one of the best in the band’s catalog and it’s not a surprise that it’s one of three Iron Maiden records to make that list. It’s an album where some of the deep cuts are just as amazing as the singles. My favorite tracks are Powerslave, Flash Of The Blade, and the two singles. I picked Back In The Village as my least favorite track, but not because it’s bad, but just not my favorite on the album. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

mercyful fateOne of the most influential bands in the history of heavy metal has got to be Mercyful Fate and what they brought to the table. In a time that was about to be ruled by spandex and lipstick, a band from Denmark with a very theatrical lead singer was about to turn the metal world upside down. Mercyful Fate who were fronted by the very theatrical falsetto singing sensation known as King Diamond were about to release in 1984 what is considered to be a very influential record in Don’t Break The Oath. The album that featured heavy metal elements with progressive elements also featured Hank Shermann (Guitars), Michael Denner (Guitars), Timi “Grabber” Hansen (Bass), and Kim Ruzz (Drums) while the album was produced by Henrik Lund. Metal-Rules.com called it the greatest Extreme Metal album of all time because it’s lyrics which dealt with Satan and the Occult would influence the black metal scene while Loudwire.com ranked it 38TH in their top 50 Metal albums of all time. While the album may not have charted for the band, it’s influence in the metal community is obvious.

mercyful fate 21. A Dangerous Meeting– an absolute face melter right from the start helps set up this track about seven people who will hold a deadly séance that will claim their lives. 5/5

2. Nightmare– an amazing song about a man who is trapped in these nightmares with witches which strikes a resemblance to Dreams In The Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft. You have to love the guitar work as Denner and Shermann were amazing. 5/5

3. Desecration of Souls– an interesting track on the album that talks about lovers and Copulation in the graveyard, etc. A pure metal track from beginning to end that could have easily influenced the thrash crowd as well. 5/5

4. Night Of The Unborn– Musically this might be one of my favorite tracks on the album especially if you love guitar playing. King Diamond also does his best vocally combining all of the various vocal ranges his possesses. Not sure what he is talking about lyrically on this one, but it still kicks ass. 5/5

mercyful-fate-rr-34-9835-2-cd5. The Oath– The first track on side two may have been one of the most controversial songs back in it’s day with it’s lyrical content being about denying Christ and accepting Satan as your dark lord. I love the elements like the organ playing, the rain and thunder effects to go with it just helps and then the music starts and you are just blown away. 5/5

6. Gypsy– One of the more famous Mercyful Fate tracks that King continued to play in his solo career that has a killer groove to it. The track also has a killer guitar solo in it as well. 5/5

7. Welcome Princess Of Hell–  King’s vocal deliveries help make a track sound so much more evil just like this bad ass tune. Even though the track is listed as Princess, I think it was suppose to be Princes as King summons the sons of Satan. 5/5

8. To One Far Away– A short instrumental track with some chanting styled singing to give it that evil feel with some good guitar playing as well. 5/5

9. Come To The Sabbath– a very cool track that the guitars sound like people are racing to get to the sabbath, the annual meeting of witches and demons. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-I honestly thought from beginning to end that this was a perfect album that had everything you would want from a metal album. It had the face melting riffs along with the more eerie clean channel guitar riffs in the track To One Far Away. King Diamond was truly the ringmaster showman that he always is and he doesn’t disappoint. Check out the album for yourself as it enters the five star club (it gets five stars out of five).

pedalcup trophyThat is right metal heads, the finals of the first ever Pedal Cup (the World Cup of Metal) is here and this is the moment you have been voting for. You the fans, took two bands in Behemoth (Poland) and BABYMETAL (Japan) and you voted them all the way to the finals and it was quite the run for both bands. Unfortunately, only one of them will walk away from the tournament as the first ever Pedal Cup champion. We also have the third place match which is traditionally played in the FIFA World Cup and we are going to keep that tradition as Portugals’ Moonspell take son US Death Metal legends Morbid Angel for the right to Bronze. Today, we are also revealing the Pedal Cup trophy which we dedicated and designed some specifics of it to honor the legacy of one of music and Metal’s greatest inspirations in the late Motorhead Frontman/bassist Lemmy Kilmister. There is a Spade from the Ace Of Spades on the top of the trophy along with a coin of Lemmy on the bottom and the Pedal To The Metal logo beneath that. As always, there are three ways to vote with one being on the Facebook page, the other on Twitter, and the last way to vote right here on this blog. You have 24 Hours to decide who is the first ever Pedal Cup Champion and the third place band. Good luck!!!!

Pedal Cup Bracket 2 FINALS

17498847_1430758220309198_7445967711751034253_nI just wanted to take the time once again to thank everyone who has gotten involved in the voting process because without you this is not possible. The Pedal Cup which is our metal version of the World Cup has had some surprising results since the first round and the quarterfinals went without a hitch. As usual, we gave you three ways to cast a vote in the tourney with one being the Facebook page, the second being my Twitter page, and the third being right here on the blog site. One of the matches that took advantage of most of the ways I gave you was the BABYMETAL vs Sepultura match and what a weird outcome it turned out to be as all BABYMETAL needed was the Twitter count to win. Morbid Angel’s win was the most lopsided of the tournament as Confess was the only band that failed to gain a vote. The semifinals are now set, but you’ll have to wait until later to be able to participate and vote for the two teams that will move on tot he championship. Check out the box scores down below:

BOX SCORE BABYM VS SEPULBOX SCORE BEHEM VS ARCHBOX SCORE MOON VS DIMMUBOX SCORE MORBID VS CONFESS

Pedal Cup Bracket 2 SEMIFINALS.jpg

 

17498847_1430758220309198_7445967711751034253_nHere is the moment you have all been waiting for, it is the quarterfinals of the Pedal Cup which is the World Cup of Metal. You guys came to play in the knockout stage and I want to thank every single one of you guys for that because without you none of this is possible. Now we have some interesting matches moving forward like Morbid Angel (rep. USA) taking on Confess (of Iran) and while our cultures may be different from each other, there is one thing they have in common and that is they live and breath metal. Literally they do because Confess are in Jail for playing “Satanic music” and there is nothing more metal than that. Arch Enemy (Rep. Sweden) look to repeat the same success they had in the previous round, but they have one heck of a challenge ahead of them in Behemoth (rep. Poland). The legends of Brazil in Sepultura are going to need all the votes they can get when they take on BABYMETAL who scored the highest amount of votes in the last round. Last, but certainly not least Portugal’s own Moonspell face a heavy task as they take on Norwegian legends Dimmu Borgir in what should be one heck of a clash. You guys have 24 HRS to vote so vote for the bands you love and have some fun with it. As always, there are three ways to vote with one being on the Facebook page, the other on Twitter, and the last way to vote right here on this blog.

Pedal Cup Bracket 2

pedal cup bracketfirst round

I am happy and thankful for all the people that showed up to vote for the first half of the bracket and as promised, we now have the second half of the bracket. There were some interesting matches in that first bracket, but I think there are some equally interesting matches on this side of the bracket with the focus on Iran vs Russia. Its interesting because on one side you have the Russian powerhouse in Catharsis who have been cutting their teeth in the business since 1996 taking on Iran’s own Confess who were arrested in their own country for writing “Satanic Material” as well as speaking to foreign radio stations. The band at one time faced the possibility of execution, but now they could just face strict penalties and punishment. We just wanted to show our support to fellow metal musicians and wish them luck in both life and in this tournament. This side of the bracket also boasts matches like England (rep. by Cradle Of Filth) taking on Poland (rep. by Behemoth), United States (rep. by Morbid Angel) taking on Denmark (rep. by Hatesphere), and Sweden (rep. by Arch Enemy) vs Switzerland (rep. by Samael). As I said yesterday, you have several options as far as ways to vote in this tournament with one by visiting the Facebook page and the second by visiting my twitter page @Themonsterhour. Now you can go ahead and do it that way or you can also vote here, but you only have 24 hours to do so. So support your favorite metal bands and let the best bands win.