Posts Tagged ‘Iron Maiden’

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+

COMIC TITLE: Horror Comics #1 (2019)
Andrew Lunatik– Artist
Bradley Golden–Writer
May 29, 2019
Antarctic Press

horror-comics-1-antarctic-press-od0319-rd2219-scorch_680_largeWe took the week off because things got a little bit crazy and there wasn’t really anything that came out that interested me anyways. That is a completely different story with this week’s releases because there were so many new ones like a brand new Iron Maiden comic, a Hellboy one off, a brand new Batman comic, and today’s Comic Book Of The Week in Antarctic Press’s Horror Comics #1. It was definitely a hard week to choose just one title for today, but the comic which combines one of my favorite genres in it’s title. The comic was written by Bradley Golden (Exciting Comics) and illustrated by Andrey Lunatik which was built off of Timmy Lala’s Ice Scream to which they built on Kickstarter. In the comic, Thomas Wright is a beloved figure in Miami community because he puts smiles on the faces of children and adults with the power of Ice Cream. The only thing that these unsuspecting people do not know is that Thomas has a little bit of a dark side, but don’t they wonder how he gets his ice cream to taste better than the competitions? Check out the comic where ever comic books are sold in your area, but also visit Antarctic Press.

MAR191460As far as the story is concerned, I liked what they did because they set up what direction they were going to go to, but they ended it just at the right time. They ended it at a point where you are super excited for what is going to come next because they gave you the pop in the first issue. The artwork is not exactly my favorite aspect of the comic, but I do not hate it. I actually think that it fits the subject matter and the mood of the comic if that makes any sense. I do have to admit that I was a little skeptical about the comic because I was wondering how different was this comic book going to be compared to Image’s Ice Cream Man and Antarctic Press did not disappoint. They made it so that the Ice Cream Man is the main character and not the Cryptkeeper type character that Image’s was. So, I think it’s safe to say that I am definitely going to be looking forward to issue number two because horror is my life and my passion. So, do yourselves a favor and check it out for sure and while you are at it, check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A+

Artwork: A-

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

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.

iron maidenWe are continuing our journey through Loudwire.com’s list of the top 50 Metal albums of all time by checking out a true classic and game changer. When I was deciding on what album to choose, it was almost a no brainer because I had not yet covered an Iron Maiden record that featured my favorite singer Paul Di’Anno. He was the original lead singer of New Wave of British Heavy Metal titans Iron Maiden and we are checking out the band’s self titled debut record. The band which was made up of Di’Anno (Lead Vocals), Steve Harris (Bass Guitar), Dennis Stratton (Guitar) in his only appearance, Dave Murray (Guitar), and Clive Burr (Drums). According to some sources, this was the only album that was ever produced by Will Malone as the band expressed he showed no interest in their project. Due to the lack of interest, they claim to have produced most of the album themselves and they completed it in only 13 days. Although the album did not peak in the US on the charts, it did peak at number four in the UK in 1980 and then peaked at number 71 in the UK in 1985 and it has since been certified platinum in the UK. The album is listed at number 45 on Loudwire’s list, it is one of two Iron Maiden albums featured int he book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (The Number Of The Beast is the other), and it’s number 13 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.

1front1. Prowler– The first track off the album and it’s a classic in this track that is all about a pervert walking around spying on girls, etc. 5/5

2. Remember Tomorrow– a more mellow track from the band in this track that is believed to be about World War II and his grandfather. 4.5/5

3. Running Free– An awesome track and probably one of my favorite Di’Anno sung tracks from Maiden that is all about being 16, rebellious, and free according to Di’Anno. I love the beginning of the track which the drummer kicks off before Harris joins in with his signature bass sound.  5/5

4. Phantom Of The Opera– a seven minute epic that was written by Steve Harris who says that the track is, “the first song I’d written that was a bit more proggy.” It’s a track that has endured time and is still performed live to this day. 5/5

5. Transylvania– An instrumental track that was written by Steve Harris. 5/5

Encartes (16)6. Strange World– a very cool track that is very mellow, but not ballad like. it just has a slower tempo than most tracks and is musically and lyrically amazing. I thin the track is about a vampire getting used to the new world he lives in which is strange and lonely. 5/5

7. Charlotte The Harlot– This was the only track ever written solely by Dave Murray which is about a fictional prostitute named Charlotte even though he claims it’s based on a true story. 4.5/5

8. Iron Maiden– A staple of the band’s live set and it is named after them after all so it’s their signature song. The song is about two things with one being the medieval torture device of the same name and it’s about the band themselves. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There is a reason these guys are so amazing and that is because of their great writing leader in Steve Harris who has been the x-factor of the band. Check out this classic album because it’s pure brilliance from a band that has a discography full of it. My favorite tracks are all of them, but I have fallen in live with Strange World today. I am giving the album 4.9 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

Pedal Fest Poster 1

Original Poster

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. 21 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. Four 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 fourth ever return of Pedal To The Metal on Alumni Takeover Weekend. Once again, I want to take the time to thank John Coombs, he is the man 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! One of the cool things about this year’s takeover is that this was the first Alumni Takeover to be held at the new satellite studio for WBIM which was pretty exciting. On the Saturday edition of the Takeover, they were holding a ribbon cutting of the new studio with University President Frederick Clark.

bD05B_B_As far as the idea for this years playlist was concerned, I wanted to do something a little different than I had in the past. The first three years, I just took whatever songs I was in the mood for and I played the tracks on my show. This year, I wanted to start a theme and every year I can do a different theme than the last. So, I decided that this year, I would do all live tracks and I did it in the idea of what if I held a festival called Pedal To The Metal Fest and all these bands showed up to play, this would be the best performances of the day. I will admit that I had a hard time finding live tracks from some of the bands, but the harder part was having to edit all the F-bombs out of the songs. I originally started with having Sepultura, Amon Amarth, Ghost, Rob Zombie, W.A.S.P., etc. But when I arrived at the studio, I changed my mind on what the opener would be so I took out Sepultura and replaced them with Ministry. I had to add Van Halen at the end because I was running out of tracks with plenty of time left and I ended the show with what I called a non-live bonus track from Monster Magnet. Once again though, the best part of the whole event was getting to connect with some amazing people that you don’t always get to see all the time. I had a lot of fun at my fourth ever Alumni Takeover Weekend at Bridgewater State University and I definitely look forward to some more in the future. Check out the playlist below:

Playlist For 10/12/2018

1. Land Of Rape And Honey (Live) by Ministry

2. Twilight Of The Thunder God (Live) by Amon Amarth

3. Con Clavi Con Dio (Live) by Ghost

4. Demonoid Phenomenon (Live) by Rob Zombie

5. Killahead (Live) by W.A.S.P.

6. Kick The Chair (Live) by Megadeth

7. Jawbreaker (Live) by Halford 

8. The Clairvoyant (Live) by Iron Maiden

9. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Live) by Metallica

10. Beautiful Girls (Live) by Van Halen 

11. Shot In The Dark (Live) by Ozzy Osbourne 

12. Negasonic Teenage Warhead by Monster Magnet (Non Live Bonus Track)

pedal fest final poster

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17498847_1430758220309198_7445967711751034253_nThe Pedal To The Metal tournament has remained one of the most controversial tournaments in history mainly due to certain fan bases arguing over the legitimacy of the tournament. People have always questioned how certain bands have defeated other bands and it always seems to center on Iron Maiden. They have been in the tournament every year and they have never won the tournament yet. We’ve seen Motley Crue, Judas Priest (2X Champs), Kreator, Destruction, and Queensryche claim the title, but never them. The fact of the matter is that I post the article on every band’s Facebook page to try and alert the various fan bases, but it’s up the band to share the posts. If they do not then you obviously do not see it and therefore when you finally catch wind of the tournament, you cry foul that Iron Maiden was eliminated. I changed the tournament up the last couple of years to include newer bands, but this year we are going back to the beginning when things were simpler. First, we have shortened how many bands are in the tournament from 32 to 16 and the last thing we did is that it is only going to involve 1980’s hard rock and heavy metal bands.

queensryche-bannerIn fact, we are only including the bands that could be considered the elite of the list and while it’s up for debate, we have chosen the bands. The following bands will be in the tournament this year: Queensryche (defending champions), Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Motorhead, Def Leppard, and Scorpions are the qualified bands. The last four spots of the tournament will be contested between eight other bands with the top four qualifying for the tournament. The eight bands are Twisted Sister, Skid Row, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Ratt, Accept, Y&T, and King Diamond. The voting will occur in two places: one place you can visit to vote will be on my Twitter page @TheMonsterHour with the second being the blog’s very own Facebook page. We’ll also be hosting the vote on my radio show page for Pedal To The Metal Radio which is what the tournament was named after. You will have 24HRS to cast your vote and the top four bands will move on so choose wisely. Stay tuned for the rest of the tournament news and brackets to follow!