Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Metal’

Number-of-the-beast-album-coverBack in September of 2018, we started a journey covering all the albums that were listed on Loudwire’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list. Before we started, we had already covered 14 albums which meant there were 36 albums to discover and explore and now we are down to two. By 1982, Iron Maiden was already a pretty established band having already released two albums (Self Titled & Killers), but the band had just released their singer and now were embarking on a new journey with a new lead singer who would sweep the metal world off it’s feet. Bruce Dickinson was the new lead singer of Iron Maiden and he was joined by Steve Harris (Bass), Dave Murray (Guitars), Adrian Smith (Guitars), and for the very last time Clive Burr (Drums). On March 22, 1982, the band would release their epic third album The Number Of The Beast and it was a huge success for the band as it established Bruce as the leading frontman of Heavy Metal. The album was such a success that it was the first Iron Maiden record to go number one in the UK and it peaked at 33 in the US Billboard Top 200 Charts as it went platinum selling over 1 million copies.

number-of-the-beast-album-cover-back1. Invaders– Burr and Harris kick off the track before the band kicks into overdrive for the opening track that is all about the Viking’s Norman conquest of 1066. Harris believes that the band could have chosen a better track than this for the album. 4.5/5

2. Children Of The Damned-a very melodic intro and pretty mellow track that Dickinson has admitted was based off of Black Sabbath’s Children Of The Sea track. The lyrics were based on the films Village Of The Damned and Children Of The Damned. 5/5

3. The Prisoner-a cool track that is based off of the television series of the same name and even features an audio clip from the show that the manager of Maiden Ron Smallwood said he had to call Patrick McGoohan just to get permission to use it to which McGoohan agreed. 4.5/5

4. 22 Acacia Avenue– This is the second track in the Charlotte The Harlot saga and how she shouldn’t continue her life of prostitution because of the things that could happen to her if she continues. 5/5

the-number-of-the-beast-ltd-1a-600x6005. The Number Of The Beast– The most famous title track and a live staple for many years in this track that was inspired by a bad dream that Harris had after watching Damien: The Omen II and he has also stated that the track was also inspired by Tam o’ Shanter by Robert Burns. The spoken word in the beginning of the track was from The Book Of Revelations and was read by Barry Clayton because the band refused to pay Vincent Price asking price of £25,000. 5/5

6. Run To The Hills– This is probably the most famous and overplayed Iron Maiden track of all time in this track that is all about European white males who started invading the land that would later be known as the United States of America and what they did to Native Americans. 5/5

7. Gangland– This is probably the weakest track on the whole album and it’s even agreed by Steve Harris who said the choice was made in a rush in this track that I believe is about a man who leaves the gang life behind, but it never really leaves him as it haunts him. 4/5

8. Hallowed Be Thy Name– One of the most legendary tracks in all of Iron Maiden’s catalog as it is the most covered Maiden track. The track is about a prisoner who is about to be hanged. There is a little bit of controversy surrounding the track as the band was sued for songwriting credits. For more info on that, just click here. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is not my favorite Iron Maiden record ever, but it is definitely up there. It’s that album to Maiden that Back In Black was to AC/DC or Blizzard Of Ozz was for Ozzy, it’s just the standard. A track to avoid on here is definitely Gangland while the rest of the album is more than listenable so rock out with your… well you know what I am saying. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five.

COMIC TITLE: Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast- Night City #2 (2019)
Kevin West – Artist
Llexi Leon & Ian Edginton–Writer
July 24, 2019
Heavy Metal Comics

MAR191800So when it comes to choosing what comic books to read, I am usually a sucker for anything horror related and anything having to do with Heavy Metal. If there is any comic book coming out that week that involves any of those two things, I am probably picking it up. Last month, Heavy Metal Comics decided to pick up where they left off last year when they had released Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast. Now here comes the sequel and aftermath of that comic in Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast- Night City and we have issue two for you today. In the previous issue, Eddie was once again summoned by the Alchemist because the Beast is back and he is wreaking havoc in 1981 London by turning people into minions to cause destruction. One of the Beasts more fiercest picks has cornered a girl in a store when he murders her in front of Eddie, The Alchemist, and her friend Charlotte The Harlot. In this issue, she gives them no choice, but to team up with her because she wants revenge, but this fierce minion of the beast may just be suckering our heroes with what could be some bait. For more information on the comic and more, just click here to go to Heavy Metal’s site.

miaden comicThe fun thing about the comic is seeing all of the characters that are named after Maiden songs like Charlotte The Harlot, Wrathchild, etc. The one thing I wish I had done was read the first series that came out because maybe I would know a little more of what was going on in this series, but it’s not impossible to understand. They explain in the first issue a little bit of a recap of what happened in the previous series which was nice, but the main issue for me is explaining why this particular human changes into Eddie. That is where all of my questions lie as far as the backdrop and I hope the first series explains that. The story is actually an interesting one and I love how Eddie sort of becomes a lot like Groot in the sense that he doesn’t really utter words, but the Alchemist understands him. The story definitely takes an interesting turn towards the end that will leave you wanting to know what happens next. The artwork in this comic needed to be top notch and Kevin West is doing a really good job. That is par for the course when you do an Iron Maiden comic and that is the artwork better be bad ass. It definitely is and if you’re a fan of Iron Maiden and comic books then give this one a shot and check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A

Artwork: A

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

jpriest-screamingveng-coverThe album that I chose for today’s Album of the Week always held a special place in my heart because one of it’s lead singles was my introduction to the band and every time I hear it I still can’t stop rocking out to it. The other reason being that Judas Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance was released on July 17, 1982 which was the year I was born. Screaming For Vengeance was the band’s eighth studio album and it once again featured Rob Halford (Vocals), K.K. Downing (Guitars), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), and Dave Holland (Drums) while the album was produced by Tom Allom which this was his fourth time with the band. British Steel was always considered the band’s marquee record, but the truth of the matter is that they didn’t sell well in the US until the release of this album which rose all the way up to two times platinum which made it the first Priest record to do so. It was a huge commercial success here in the US as it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top 200 charts as well as peaking at number 11 in the UK. The album has received numerous accolades over the years including being listed number 7 on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list.

judas-priest-screaming-vengeance-2-cd1. The Hellion– One of the greatest opening instrumental tracks to an album that when I would play it on my college station I would accompany it with the next track. 5/5

2. Electric Eye– Picking up right where the last track took off, this classic track about big brother and the paranoia that went with the idea of the government watching you. Played in E minor the track is based off George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four book. 5/5

3. Riding On The Wind-I love how the track opens with the drums before it goes to the answer/call effect by the twin guitar attack in the beginning in what I believe to be a motorcycle track as far as the lyrics are concerned. 5/5

4. Bloodstone– The guitar riff is slowed don a bit before the track kicks off in this song that I think is about all the blood that has been spilled in the world and how it seems like it’s never ending. 5/5

5. (Take These) Chains– One of my favorite power ballads that I think has a deeper meaning than just about love. I think it was Halford crying out that he just wanted to be free and not have to hide his true feelings. 5/5

6. Pain And Pleasure– a slowed down tempo leads this track that has the same kind of sound as Metal Gods as far as drums are concerned in this track that is all about S&M and how even though it hurts that is what is enjoyable about it. 4.5/5

judas-priest-screaming-for-vengeance-columbia-38160-lp-vg--2_442943527. Screaming For Vengeance– The title track is next and it hard charging/chugging riff in this song that is all about injustice and how the man always tries to keep you down. 4.5/5

8. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’– This is the one track that every time I hear it I can not stop playing air guitar to. The very first single off the record written in F-sharp minor is the only Priest track to ever chart in America. The track is about doing what you want to do no matter what others say! 5/5

9. Fever– A very melodic track much like (Take These) Chains, in this track that is all about two lovers who become re-acquainted. The real highlight of this track is Rob Halford’s vocals in this song and how he smoothly fits right in with the music so effortlessly. The guitar solo in the track is pretty bad ass too. 5/5

10. Devil’s Child– The last track on the album is an absolute banger in the same sense as any of their other popular tracks. It’s about being in a relationship/friendship with someone that you know is bad, but it’s very much a necessary evil. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my top Judas Priest albums ever and that is why it holds such a special place in my heart. The only unfortunate thing is that 8 out of the 10 tracks is a 5, but that they are not too far behind because the album gets 4.9 stars out of five for a final grade.

1000x1000In the heavy metal and rock world, the late and great Ronnie James Dio was quite the journeyman having first appeared with Elf before joining Rainbow for most of the mid to late 70’s before replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. It was this journey that brought Ronnie the recognition in the music business so when he was done with his first stint with Sabbath, it was time to unleash everything he had that would change the metal world forever. Along with Vinny Appice (Drums), Dio would create his solo band with former Rainbow bandmate Jimmy Bain (Bass), and with former NWOBHM Sweet Savage guitarist Vivian Campbell (Guitar). On May 25, 1983, the band would unleash what would be wildely considered Dio’s greatest album and what Loudwire.com ranked 17TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list in Dio’s debut solo album Holy Diver. This album was Ronnie fully unleashing what he had started in Black Sabbath lyrically with all of the fantasy themes and it worked because the people loved it. The album was certified platinum by 1989 selling over a million and it peaked at 56 on The Billboard Top 200 charts.

holy diver1. Stand Up And Shout– an all guns blazing track that kicks ass and is basically about standing up for what you believe in and make sure they hear it. 5/5

2. Holy Diver– The first single off the album and probably one of the most recognizable tracks Dio ever recorded is according to him about a Christ like figure on another planet that sacrifices himself in order to save his people, but when they find out they selfishly want him to stay. 5/5

3. Gypsy– a track that to me is about a gypsy that has the ability to fool anyone and you have to believe that considering he used a lot of fantasy-esque stories for lyrics. 4/5

4. Caught In The Middle-a rock track that is Dio telling yourself that you need to believe in yourself and free yourself from the dull zombie like life that you’re living. 4/5

5. Don’t Talk To Strangers– I always loved the clean channel guitars in the beginning of this track before it launches itself into heavy metal overdrive. The track seems to be him telling you to truly find what brings true meaning into your life and not instant gratification. 5/5

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA6. Straight Through The Heart-Big Sabbath like riffs kick off this track into style as he talks about how sometimes people sugar coat what life is all about until you get kicked in the mouth figuratively by reality. 4.5/5

7. Invisible-a reality check of a track whose lyrics deal with people who felt invisible to the world because of the problems they had and the situation they were in. A very 70’s like sound to the track with it’s Nazareth Love Bites like guitar riff and weird effect on Dio’s vocals before the track goes into Sabbath like heavy metal mode. 4.5/5

8. Rainbow In The Dark-The second most popular Dio solo track ever and the second single off the album complete with keyboard parts. I think it’s a track that is all about being stuck in a place where you feel nothing is going right and so you search for that Rainbow In The Dark or ray of hope. 5/5

9. Shame On The Night-The last track on the album and certainly an interesting one which I think is about how devious the night can be and I think you know what I mean. I love the bass riff during the verses and how it’s the main instrument. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is probably one of the greatest Dio albums and I think a lot of it has to be with the fact that you can hear a lot of Heaven & Hell by Black Sabbath in this album. I definitely find that it’s certainly the strong point of the album besides the lyrics and his vocals. I wasn’t a huge fan of Gypsy and Caught In The Middle if I am being honest and Shame On The Night was out of nowhere for me as far as how really awesome the track was. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

61AChrVmRDLWhen I think of the genre of Heavy Metal and the one band that I think took the flag and it became it’s standard bearer, it always comes back to Birmingham, England’s own Judas Priest. In my opinion, no band better represented the genre then they did and they inspired a whole slew of bands along the way in there 50 year career. That’s right, Judas Priest is celebrating 50 years as a band and we are celebrating it by checking out what Loudwire.com ranked as 18TH on their list of 50 Best Metal Albums of all time in 1976’s Sad Wings Of Destiny. The album was the band’s second overall release and it featured Rob Halford (Vocals), K. K. Downing (Guitar), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), and Alan Moore (Drums) who was the band’s third drummer by this point. Unfortunately, when the album was released, it had a hard time getting noticed due to the rise in popularity of punk rock music at the time. With a little bit of touring in the UK, the album eventually peaked at number 48 in the UK and it eventually achieved Gold in 1989.

gulp1015-label-pye-version1. Victim Of Changes-This almost 8 minute epic that was the product of two different tracks kicks off the album that was inspired by Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. The track is about a woman who drinks too much and loses her man to another woman. The thing I love about this track is all the tempo and mood changes that occur in the song itself over the course of the track. 5/5

2. The Ripper-This Queen inspired chugger brings us into the mind of the great Victorian killer Jack The Ripper as we hear it from his perspective. 4.5/5

3. Dreamer Deceiver-a ballad track where we get some crooning vocals from Halford, but this serves as an intro of sorts for the next track. 4/5

4. Deceiver– A track that features more of that fast paced chugging sound that borders on being the inspiration for speed metal on the track. You can definitely also hear some influence from Black Sabbath in the track which was expected at the time. 5/5

CS487713-01B-BIG5. Prelude– An intricate instrumental track done in the E♭ Aeolian mode, but it has nothing to do with the next track. 4/5

6. Tyrant-Such an intricate track with so many parts, but it definitely kicks a lot of ass in a very short amount of time. It’s a track that is all about going against the grain. 5/5

7. Genocide-a cool riff heavy track that takes influence from Deep Purple tracks like Women From Tokyo and Burn (you can hear it). I guess Rob wanted the track to be thought provoking and controversial, but not sure if it did the trick. 4.5/5

8. Epitaph-a piano track that has been described to be Queen like as far as the vocals are concerned due to how they are layered. The song is basically Halford describing his frustration for how there is no place for the old. 4/5

9. Island Of Domination– The other track bleeds into this one, but the heavy electric guitars take over in this song that Tipton has joked is a little personal to Halford. The very Sabbath like track could have some innuendos contained in it which is what Tipton was joking about. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is a very different album than what came in the 1980’s and that is what I like about this album. It definitely has a very 70’s Priest vibe to it and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. My favorite tracks on the album are Tyrant, Deceiver, and Victim Of Changes. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

51qMElGc5NL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_It is Motley Crue week here on Moshpits and Movies as we continue to celebrate the release of the new Netflix rock biopic The Dirt which is based off of one of the best selling rock autobiographies The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band that was written by Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee, and Nikki Sixx alongside Neil Stauss and we are covering here for Heavy Metal Book Report. The way the book works is that each member of the band gets their own chapter to tell some wild and insane stories that also features chapters from Doc McGhee and Tom Zutant as well. The book tells the wild and insane story of the one of the 1980’s most decadent and dangerous bands in the world as they take you on a true journey through sex, drugs, and good ole fashioned rock and roll Motley Crue style. You get to travel alongside the band as they describe all their triumphs alongside all the tragedies that made the band notorious all over the world. It’s a one way ticket through hell and back so you better make sure that your strapped in because it’s a journey that you’ll never forget. Hear all the stories that made the film like the story of Bullwinkle, the tragic death of Razzle and everything that happened while Vince was in jail to the night that Nikki Sixx died and came back to life and so much more.

91S8-v4yBBLFor anyone that has read this book, there is so much that I would have loved to have seen make the film, but I understand how screen writing works versus writing a novel. One of the things that is probably going to happen to you is that if you had a favorite member before, it could possible change during this book. That was one of the things that happened to me when I read this book. I was a huge Vince Neil fan growing up because I thought he was the coolest frontman ever, but after reading the book I instantly became a fan of Nikki Sixx who is the unsung hero of the band. You have to read about his journey as a kid to adult that was toned down heavily in the film because it will shock the hell out of you. There is one story that just tugs on your heart strings and it’s about a sister that he never knew he had and the tragedy behind that story will bring a tear to your eye. One of the things that made me laugh at times was how every member had plenty of pages per chapter and then there’s Mick Mars who at times wouldn’t write much. He lived up to his persona even in the book, but he has some pretty interesting info as far as his backstory is concerned. As I said before in the previous paragraph, this book takes you on one hell of a ride and you’ll feel so dirty when it’s done that you’ll need a shower (just kidding, but seriously though). This is probably my favorite rock autobiography of all time that has never been duplicated and with that being said, I am giving the book five stars out of five for a final grade.

cc6-g9When it became time to decide who was going to be included in the metal album of the year category, it was tough to decide because there were a lot of great choices. You had amazing albums from Visigoth, High On Fire, Judas Priest, and so many more. Out of all those bands, I couldn’t leave Judas Priest out of the category because their 18TH studio album Firepower left quite the mark on 2018 as it debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts selling 49,000 units in it’s first week. So, it came as no surprise when the album won the award for Metal Album Of The Year at the 8TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards. The album once again featured Rob Halford (Vocals), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), Scott Travis (Drums), and for the second album Richie Faulkner (Guitars). The album also marked the first time that Tom Allom would be the producer of a Judas Priest record since 1988’s Ram It Down and it’s also the first Priest album to have Andy Sneap as a Co-Producer. The album was widely successful as WJCU out of Cleveland voted it number one on their Top 25 Albums of 2018 list. Rolling Stone ranked it number 3 on their 20 Best Metal Albums of 2018 list while Loudwire ranked it number three on their The 30 Best Metal Albums of 2018 list.

71xJkQG4-dL._SL1200_1. Firepower-The title track opens up with a heavy metal fury that is unlike no other that just rips your face off in what seems to be a track about how the governments are just arming themselves with deadly firepower. 5/5

2. Lightning Strikes-a track that just screams of classic Judas Priest that is exactly what the Judas Priest fan ordered here. It has a very Ram It Down sound to it and it might have to do with Allom’s influence on the track. 5/5

3. Evil Never Dies-Richie Faulkner brings the heaviness to this track as it just hammers through in a track that is all about how no matter how we try to deny him, evil does indeed exist. Around the 2:28 mark, there is a very cool melodic break int he music that just leads into some awesomeness. 4.5/5

4. Never The Heroes-a cool and heavy track that is very melodic during the verses in a track that talks about how soldiers are forced to be thrown into war which in turn makes them heroes. Scott commented saying, “”Never the Heroes” is a great, meaningful song in the sense just lyrically, even though I had nothing to do with the lyrics, but it’s a great song [with] a great hook.” 4.5/5

5. Necromancer-a cool ass metal track that is about you guessed it a Necromancer who is someone who practices the dark arts and communicates with the dead. 4.5/5

6. Children Of The Sun– I hate to think that every track like this one is about the end of the world, but that’s what I get from the lyrics. The track kind of brings that Sad Wings feel to it at times which I thought was cool. 4/5

7. Guardians– An instrumental track on the album 4/5

judas-priest-firepower-6-ab8. Rising from Ruins-a cool track whose message may seem religious to some just because of the content, but I think it’s more than just that. I think the song is just telling you that no matter how many times life knocks you down, you have to keep getting back up. 4.5/5

9. Flame Thrower-Priest adds a little bit of a rock swagger to their music with this track and I don’t think the song is being literal in it’s meaning, but I also don’t think it’s an apocalypse song either. 4.5/5

10.  Spectre-I never thought that I would ever read lyrics from Judas Priest and think they were about a James Bond film and villain, but that is what it seems to be about. 4/5

11. Traitors Gate– a very melodic intro begins the track before the band launches into overdrive with this track about a man who is about to be executed for his rebellious nature, but he’s OK with it because he’ll be a martyr. 4.5/5

12. No Surrender-Another track that is similar to Flame Thrower as far as the rock swagger is concerned, but this is a very cool track. It seems to be about someone who knows that he is willing to do anything to accomplish his goals no matter what. 5/5

13. Lone Wolf– A very Sabbath-esque track and they do a fantastic job with it in a track that speaks about those of us who are lone wolfs. We live and do things by our rules. The chorus is very Priest like, but when it goes to the verse it turns back to the Sabbath like riffage. 5/5

14. Sea Of Red-Richie Faulkner said that this was one of his favorite tracks on the album and it’s the closer. The track seems to be about honoring those that sacrificed so that we may live our lives to the fullest, but it reminds us to not forget. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts-There are a lot of great tracks on this album despite all the questions of how much did Tipton really contribute to the album since he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s shortly after it’s release I believe. My favorite tracks on the album are 1, 2, 12, and 13 with Spectre being my least favorite track. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.