Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Metal’

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When I was a DJ at Bridgewater State University’s WBIM 91.5 FM, I had a lot of fun hosting Pedal To The Metal every Thursday or Friday night depending on how the cards landed. I played every imaginable 80’s metal track you can think of on my two year run there and I had a lot of fun doing it. 20 years ago, WBIM FM started hosting the Alumni Takeover where for one weekend, the DJ’s from the past years were able to come and relive old glory days even if it was just for one day. Three years ago, when I learned that I could be apart of it, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with some familiar faces and meet new faces that had sat in the very chair just as I had done when I attended school there. Sometimes, you don’t know how much you’ve missed it until you’re right behind the microphone like I was this past Friday night for the third ever return of Pedal To The Metal on Alumni Takeover Weekend. I want to take the time to thank John Coombs, he is the main who deals with all of our annoying requests and messages as he tries to strategically place everyone in a time slot. Oh by the way, he does an amazing job doing it as I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time slot. So, a big thank you to him is much deserved! I also want to take the time to thank the current DJ’s at WBIM for giving up their shows and allowing us to relive a little past glories. It is much appreciated!

 

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As far as the playlist was concerned for the show, I had three different playlists that I was going with for the show. The 1st one primarily featured almost the same exact lineup as the one that was actually played. The second playlist featured bands from every era of metal whether it be the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and beyond. The third and final playlist that I created was similar to the first one, but the song selection was different. I wanted to pick nine solid songs for the show with one present that I would present to people with a just in case I still had more time track. Last year, I presented everyone with a Black Sabbath medley that featured I believe three different Sabbath singers doing the same track. This year, I decided to do another medley, but this time it would be Ozzy solo and it would feature five different guitarists doing the same track. It was quite the difficult task, but I got the job done and you will see below what the result was. I made one minor adjustment to the playlist twenty minutes to my show because a good friend of my mine in Doc Rock found a vinyl that I just couldn’t resist playing and I opened the show with it. One minor note, I had originally scrapped a Motley Crue track, but I reintroduced it when the Kiss track I chose suddenly stopped due to technical difficulties. So without further ado, check out the playlist below and once again thanks to everyone that tuned in and a big thank you to the WBIM Alumni Association for having me yet again.

 

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Playlist for 10/20/2017 edition of Pedal To The Metal Radio

1. Addiction by The Almighty (Vinyl Of The Week)

2. Unholy by Kiss

3. Shout At The Devil by Motley Crue

4. The Number Of The Beast by Iron Maiden (Mandatory Maiden)

5. A Touch Of Evil by Judas Priest

6. The Lady Wore Black by Queensryche

7. Among The Living by Anthrax

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8. The Conjuring by Megadeth

9. Hello From The Gutter by Overkill

10. Suicide Solution (Guitarist Medley) by Ozzy Osbourne featuring Randy Rhoads, Brad Gillis, Jake E Lee, Zakk Wylde, and Joe Holmes

11. Rock And Roll by Motorhead

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who is that guyIt has been quite some time since since I had watched or even reviewed a Rock Doc so I figured there was no better time than now to start. Normally when I am trying to decide what documentary to watch, I usually do not pick one unless I know the subject matter. That was definitely not the case with today’s choice for Rock Docs entitled Who The Fuck Is That Guy’? The Fabulous Journey Of Michael Alago. To put it in simple terms, the reason I chose to watch this documentary was for the simple fact that it had the word Metallica in the description. The documentary follows the life of a gay Puerto Rican New Yorker who would end up being one of the most important people in the metal industry simply for the fact that he signed Metallica. Watch the documentary as you get testimony straight from the source himself Michael Alago as well as James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Kurdt Vanderhoof, Cyndi Lauper, Mina Caputo, Cherry Vanilla, Cheetah Chrome, Rob Zombie, John Lydon, Eric Bogosian, Mike Gitter, Phil Caivano, Phil Anselmo, Sean Yseult, John Joseph, Joe Sib, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and so many more in this amazing doc.

who is that guy 2You may still be wondering just who in the hell Michael Alago is, but he truly is such an important figure for heavy metal because he signed so many acts from Metallica, Metal Church, White Zombie, and so many more. You find out that he was a guy that truly loved music back in the 70’s and 80’s as he describes the night life in New York City and all the legendary clubs that hosted shows back in the day from the L’amour, The Ritz, CBGBs, and so many more. You figure out that all of the names I mentioned above have a huge amount of respect for Michael Alago. He’s a guy who broke down a lot of barriers in the business being a gay man tackling an over-testosteroned genre and he made people understand that it was all about the music. The documentary features interviews, some animation for certain stories he or someone else tells, and a lot of great photos that Michael has had in his collection. You also learn about the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 80’s firsthand from someone who survived it in Michael Alago. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak and I am going to give it an A- for a final grade.

metal church the darkThis week we are once again giving you two albums of the week instead of just one because we feel nice. I am trying to cover as many classic metal albums as I can because I realized after 300 plus records that I may have left some out (I know I did). One of those bands is the very underrated Washington state metal band Metal Church who over the years has had it’s issues with keeping a steady lineup. One of my favorite albums the band ever made was their 1986 sophomore release The Dark. The Dark was released on October 6, 1986 and it was the last album to feature the classic lineup of David Wayne (Vocals), Kurdt Vanderhoof (Guitar), Craig Wells (Guitar), Duke Erickson (Bass), and Kirk Arrington (Drums). The album was a huge success for the band as it entered and peaked at number 92 on the Billboard Charts, but it remained on the charts for 23 weeks and it helped that the band was on tour with Metallica (who also urged Elektra to sign the band). It was ranked 389 on Rock Hard Magazine’s The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time list.

metal-church-the-dark-1986-back1.Ton Of Bricks– Arrington kicks off the album before the band kicks in for a sonic assault on your ear drums in this track in a track about a guy who is an ass kicking machine. 4.5/5

2. Start The Fire– an interesting track from the band that I think is one of those nuclear nightmare paranoia tracks. This is more of a heavy metal track than thrash where the tempo isn’t too fast. 4/5

3. Method to Your Madness– an interesting track that looks at a guy who is a veteran as he observes all the young bucks who are eager to go to war and die for their country and he’s more of I need to get out of here because I have fought enough. 4.5/5

4. Watch The Children Pray– One of my favorite tracks on the album that I believe is about people that live in a land that is constantly under distress and war so things there seem hopeless. I love how the tempo starts off slow before it launches into an awesome metal riff for the chorus. 5/5

5. Over My Dead Body– a metal scorcher that I believe the singer is addressing drug addiction in the track and how if you don’t kick it you might as well kiss your ass goodbye. 4/5

Metal_Church-The_Dark-CD6. The Dark– The title track which is a great horror like track about a guy who is trapped inside a house as he is being chased by a demonic force that is trying to swallow him into hell. 5/5

7. Psycho-an in your face sonic assault about you guessed it, a psycho! 4/5

8. Line Of Death-An in your face thrash classic that tackles the current events (at the time) about the Libyan hostilities in the Gulf of Sidra which was a hostile situation. 4.5/5

9. Burial At Sea– I love the build up for this track in the intro with that classic 80’s like metal scream as the track opens up. The track I believe is talking about a ship’s captain who is leading his men to death. 4/5

10. Western Alliance– The last track on the album is a hellraiser of a track that I believe is touching on the subject of war once again as it deals with the west which is the US and every other ally we have. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– If you want to hear some cool ass metal from the 80’s, then is definitely an album to check out. I think this line up could have done so much even though it did unite once with the exception of the drummer, but line up problems plagued the band. This is definitely an important record in my opinion in the history of metal, so cheeck it out. I am going to give it 4.35 stars out of five for a final grade.

acceptOne of the most underrated bands from the 80’s German metal scene (as well as the metal scene is general) is the band Accept. Here was a band that has been flying the flag of metal whether it be together or solo, they haven’t stopped yet. The album that I am covering from the band is their seminal 1983 release Balls To The Wall which featured Udo Dirkschneider (Vocals), Wolf Hoffmann (Guitar), Herman Frank (Guitar), Peter Baltes (Bass), and Stefan Kaufmann (Drums). Even though he received credit on the previous release, this album was really Herman Frank’s only appearance with the band on record until 2010’s Blood Of The Nations. The album was a huge success for the band that they were  never able to match afterwards and even to this day is their only album to ever be certified Gold in the US. The album would peak at 74 on the Billboard Top 200 while peaking in the top 10 in Sweden, but not without it’s controversies. The album’s cover and a couple of songs raised some flags as it was accused at the time of being homoerotic to which the band has responded plenty of times regarding the issue (you’ll see below).

accept_-_balls_to_the_wall_back1.Balls To The Wall– The kick ass title track kicks off the album and Hoffmann explains the track saying, “We’ve always been interested in politics and in human rights and things like that, so a lot of the lyrics that we had in those days, and to the end actually, were dealing with human rights, for instance, and that’s really what ‘Balls To The Wall’ is all about. ‘One day the tortured will stand up and kick some ass!” 5/5

2. London Leatherboys– This was one of the tracks that evoked the controversy, but drummer Kaufman said the track was really about bikers and the lack of respect given to them. 4.5/5

3. Fight It Back– A fierce in your face metal track that is all about if you want to change the way things are in society then you have to fight back in order to change things. 4/5

4. Head Over Heels– A cool bass line opens up this track that I think is about the curiosity one has when sex becomes a thing. I don’t know, I’m just guessing with this one. 4/5

5. Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had– It seems like a pretty deep track to me as it follows a guy who may have betrayed a girl to the point that she committed suicide and he feels so much guilt over it. 4.5/5

accept-balls-to-wall-3841296. Love Child– The other track on the album that was accused of being homoerotic is explained by Kaufman again saying, “And ‘Love Child’ was about gays, true, but it’s basically about people who are suppressed.” 4.5/5

7. Turn Me On– I think we can all figure out what this track is about, just start reading the first verse. I love the opening chords to the track, it’s raunchy and just in your face. 4/5

8. Losers and Winners– The track opens with the Judas Priest like duel guitar assault and it’s one of those tracks that has kind of a deep message. It’s basically him giving a guy advice that even though you think she doesn’t want you, just persevere on and don’t give up hope. 4/5

9. Guardian Of The Night– The track starts off with a very folky acoustic intro before the band launches into power chord overdrive in a track that is about a guy who sleeps all day and rocks all night. 4/5

10. Winterdreams– The last track on the album and it’s very folky again with the acoustic guitars and they’ve slowed the tempo down. You gotta love those big power chords in the verses and acoustic guitars in the chorus. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is probably one of the best Udo fronted albums (I don’t mean to stir up controversy) the band ever did. There is some cool guitar work on the album and some deep messages behind some of the tracks. Check it out for yourself and then check out Blood Of The Nations after to see what I was talking about in that first sentence. I am giving the album 4.25 stars out of five for a final grade.

War Of The Covers New The Mob RulesLast week, we had one heck of a triple threat match that saw Krokus come from behind to win by two votes in who covered Sweet’s The Ballroom Blitz better. Well now for this week’s War Of The Covers, we have another epic triple threat match that features some real titans of metal covering one of the greatest voices in Metal. In 2010, the world lost one of the greats in Ronnie James Dio in a battle with cancer. Ronnie left behind an epic legacy that included music with Rainbow, solo material, and his time with Black Sabbath which we are looking at today. In 1981, Black Sabbath would release their second album with Dio in The Mob Rules which featured the epic title track which is our focus today. In 2002, heavy metal band Fozzy which features members of Stuck Mojo with wrestler Chris Jericho released a cover of the song on their album Happenstance. In 2011, Iced Earth would release their tenth album Dystopia with Stu Block on vocals that featured a cover of the track. In 2013, Adrenaline Mob, the band that featured John Moyer of Disturbed and Mike Portnoy formerly of Dream Theater would release a covers EP called Covertà that featured a cover of the track as well. Now only one cover of The Mob Rules can reign supreme and you have until the very next War Of The Covers to decide so choose wisely and have fun with it.

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led zeppelin led zeppelin_IIThe album that I chose for this week’s album of the week was inspired by the trailer for the new Thor: Ragnarok film which features the track The Immigrant Song. Now before you jump to any conclusions, I know that The Immigrant Song is not on Led Zeppelin II but rather on Led Zeppelin III. It’s just that you can’t review III before II considering we already reviewed one before. That is why for this week we are reviewing the band’s second album which was aptly titled with a II and it once again featured the classic and only line up that matters in Jimmy Page (Guitars), Robert Plant (Vocals), John Paul Jones (Bass), and John Bonham (Drums). The album was probably one of the most successful albums for the band and it helped them avoid the sophomore jinx as it went number one in seven countries that included the UK, United States, West Germany, Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Spain with three other top three finishes as well. The album has been certified platinum in the United States 12 times meaning that it has sold 12 million records (it went 4X platinum in the UK, 9X Platinum in Canada, etc.).

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 2-Back1.Whole Lotta Love– One of the most popular and probably overplayed song on the radio from the band that is about what you think it’s about. Using the AABA formula, Jimmy came up with the track on his houseboat that sees the track go from a blues feel right into a free jazz like break complete with a theramin solo and a bad ass drum solo from Bonham as well. 5/5

2. What Is And What Should Never Be– One of the first tracks that Page recorded with a Gibson Les Paul that contains that cool effect where it pans back and forth on the channels. There is also a cool effect used on Plant’s vocals during the verses. It has that cool effect where it changes in tempo from a cool bluesy tune into a full on rock track. It’s also the first Zeppelin song that Plant received writing credit for in this track that is about a romance he had with his wife’s sister. 5/5

3. The Lemon Song– A very sexual bluesy track in nature, but the song was inspired by Howlin Wolf’s song Killing Floor (Both first verses are indentical). In fact in 1972, the band was sued by the handlers of Howlin Wolf to which they settled out of court and Howlin Wolf is given credit on the track. 4.5/5

4. Thank You– One of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs that was for the first time completely written by Plant. It was the track that showed Page that Plant could handle himself in the lyrics department. A very cool power ballad from the band that everyone should check out. 5/5

5. Heartbreaker– A bad ass bluesy rock track with huge balls is the best way I can describe this track because it has that feel to it. Page told Guitar World in 1998 once that, “The interesting thing about the guitar solo is that it was recorded after we had already finished “Heartbreaker” – it was an afterthought. That whole section was recorded in a different studio and it was sort of slotted in the middle. If you notice, the whole sound of the guitar is different.” 5/5

II6. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)– A cool hard rock track from the band that Page recorded with a Vox 12 string guitar and just to let you know, it’s Page’s least favorite song which is why it has never been played live. I definitely approve of the track. 4.5/5

7. Ramble On– If there was ever a track back in the day that made it cool to read The Lord Of The Rings, it was this track from the band. The song starts off with an acoustic feel which is just Page using regular open chords, but played a little higher on the fret board. It’s also a track that Jones and Bonham shined on showing how unique their relationship was in the band. 5/5

8. Moby Dick– For all the John Bonham lovers in the world, this is definitely your track as it was basically Jimmy Page recording all of Bonham’s jam sessions in the studio. The only thing is that in the beginning and the end, Page and Jones lead the way for him and end the track with him. 5/5

9. Bring It On Home– This is the last track on the record and it’s a cover of blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson II’s track that was written by Willie Dixon. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– It is almost the perfect album by the band and one that is considered to be one of the most influential rock albums of all time. Who in their right minds then did not want to be Led Zeppelin. The band’s sound which change however as they went for a more folkier sound with the next album. This is definitely must listen album for any fan off Zeppelin. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

war of the covers sabbath bloody sabbathLast week we had Symphonic Death Metal legends Dimmu Borgir battle it out with Prog metal giants Dream Theater to see who covered Deep Purple’s classic 1984 title track Perfect Strangers. You voted and Dimmu Borgir were the winners of that battle and now we have another one for all of you. This week instead of just two bands battling for supremacy, we have a triple threat match for all of you out there with some serious contenders. Black Sabbath has often been credited as the godfathers of Heavy Metal and there have been a lot of metal bands since them that have covered their music. So, this week, we are going to decide who covered the title track to their seminal fifth album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. In one corner, we have the most underrated member of Thrash Metal’s Big Four in New York Thrash legends Anthrax who covered the track for their 1987 EP I’m The Man. In another corner, we have American metal band Godspeed who teamed up with legendary NWOBHM vocalist Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden for the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity In Black. Lastly in 2006, Finnish Metal band Tarot covered the track for their fifth album For The Glory Of Nothing.