Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Hammett’

LAs I had said before, back in September of 2018, we started tackling Loudwire’s 50 Best Metal Albums of All Time list and 35 albums later and we are finally at the finish line. Back when I reviewed Metallica’s Ride The Lightning, I said that was the greatest thrash metal album of all time because it still had the fury of the first record matched with the talented writing of Cliff Burton. Now I present to you what could be considered one of the greatest metal albums in Metallica’s third album Master Of Puppets. The album once again featured James Hetfield (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Kirk Hammett (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), but unfortunately this was the last album to ever feature Cliff on Bass Guitar as he died in the bus accident. It was rather unfortunate because this was Metallica in their musical peak as far as being a metal band was concerned. Cliff was an amazing contributor to the band and this was the pay off of all that work. The album was such a success for the band that it peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and was the first thrash metal record to go Platinum as it did six times.

metallica-master-puppets-digipak-imported-cd-discplayer-1809-13-F1198959_21. Battery– The track starts off with an acoustic guitar intro before it kicks into metal overdrive in this track that is all about battery as in assault and battery. 5/5

2. Master Of Puppets– The title track and one of Metallica’s greatest songs that features a song structure similar to The Four Horsemen as far as how it is set up (2 verse/chorus set, lengthy interlude, verse/chorus set). The track is bad ass, but it’s about cocaine addiction. 5/5

3. The Thing That Should Not Be– The heaviest track on the album with it’s down tuned Black Sabbath influence is all about the monster Cthulhu made famous by H.P. Lovecraft. I read that the main riff is supposed to sound like the beast dragging itself back into the sea. 5/5

4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)– Metallica set the pace for Power Ballads with Fade To Black and they crushed it with this track that alternates between 4/4 and 6/4 time signatures. The track’s lyrics are based off of the book One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey referring to patient trapped in a metal institution. 5/5

119071737-35. Disposable Heroes-a track that is just absolutely in your face intensity from start to finish that is an anti-war song about a soldier whose fate is decided by his superiors. The cool thing I read is that the end of each verse, the riff Hammett plays is supposed to imitate music found in war films. 5/5

6. Leper Messiah– The track starts with the band counting down until the freigh train intensity hits you in this song that is all about the explosion of TV Televangelists in the 1980’s and how people were so blindly willing to throw money at these frauds. 5/5

7. Orion-an instrumental track on the album that is meant to highlight the brilliance of Cliff Burton and his amazing bass playing featuring parts that were written and orchestrated by him. 5/5

8. Damage, Inc.- The last track on the album that starts with bass riffs that were based on parts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Come, Sweet Death before exploding into a riff written in E that was influenced by Deep Purple according to Hammett. The song is all about senseless violence. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-As I said before that this may be one of the greatest Metal albums ever written as Loudwire ranked it 2nd on their 50 Best Metal Albums of all time list. Every track on the album kicks ass so back and enjoy this lesson in metal greatness. Thew album gets Five stars out of five for a final grade.

118933420One of the greatest thrash albums of all time in my opinion has always been Metallica’s second album Ride The Lightning which was released on July 27, 1984 via Megaforce Records (later re-released by Elektra Records). The album in my opinion still featured some of the fury and rawness of the previous effort Kill ‘Em All, but it was a step forward in their sound that would eventually be featured on their next effort Master Of Puppets. The album also still featured traces of former guitarist Dave Mustaine of Megadeth who has writing credits on the album. The band once again featured James Hetfield (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Kirk Hammett (Lead Guitar), Cliff Burton (Bass), and Lars Ulrich (Drums) while the album was produced by Flemming Rasmussen as well as Metallica. The album was a critical success for the band as it established that they were the alphas of the Metal scene that was emerging in the US as it charted at Number 48 on the Billboard Top 200 while being certified platinum six times. The change in style of this album to the previous was all due to Cliff Burton who apparently introduced musical theory to the band and they allowed him to have more input as far as writing was concerned.

main_1525890639-James-Hetfield-Jason-Newsted-Signed-Metallica-Ride-the-Lightning-Vinyl-Record-Album-Inscribed-04-2013-JSA-COA-PristineAuction.com1. Fight Fire With Fire– The opening track starts with an acoustic riff that Cliff Burton had been playing around with before the all out metal assault hits you like a freight train. The track is all about denouncing the idea of an eye for an eye with the fear of nuclear attacks being an option. 5/5

2. Ride The Lightning– the title track is one that Mustaine helped write, but that Metallica had to slow down because neither Hammett or Hetfield could match the speed of Mustaine. The track is about the corruption of the justice system as told by a man facing the electric chair. 5/5

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls– a church bell kicks off the track that is one of my personal favorites and the opening chromatic riff that you hear is actually Cliff Burton playing with distortion and a wah wah pedal and not the guitars. The lyrics and track were based off of Ernest Hemingway’s book of the same name in the matter of the dishonor and all of the horrors associated with warfare. 5/5

4. Fade To Black– The track is a ballad of sorts, but it deals with a very touchy subject matter of suicide. Apparently. the track is about the emotions that Hetfield went through when he and Metallica had discovered that someone had stolen all of their equipment before a show in Boston, MA in January of 1984. 5/5

118875110-35. Trapped Under Ice– This was a track that was based off of a demo that Hammett had written with Exodus called Impaler. They tuned it up and fixed it and turned it into this track that is all about a man that wakes up after being trapped in a cryogenic state and the helplessness that he goes through after. 5/5

6. Escape– While I am a fan of this track, apparently James Hetfield hates this song because this track was the result of the label telling them they had to write a more radio friendly song. I really like this track. 5/5

7. Creeping Death-This is probably the most famous Metallica song ever written besides Fade, Bell, and even Master Of Puppets. The track is about the story of Moses and the plagues that engulfed Egypt. 5/5

8. The Call of Ktulu– The instrumental track was named after the H.P. Lovercraft book The Call Of Cthulhu and features the intro written in D Minor by Mustaine (He used again in Hangar 18) and is followed up by a bass solo by Cliff Burton. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There is a reason that Loudwire ranked this album 8TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums of all time list and that is because it is one of the greatest albums written by Metallica. The album gets five stars out of five stars because it belongs in the five star album club.

metallicaIt’s Christmas time and I felt like be generous to all you rockers and metalheads out there by giving you a second album of the week. We are continuing our conquest of the top 50 metal albums of all time list that Loudwire.com and we have a bit of a controversial one for all of you. In the world today, there are several different types of Metallica fans with those that believe the band stopped making great albums after …And Justice For All and those that believe that the self titled album which is known passionately to fans as The Black Album was the beginning of the end of their favorite metal band. For James Hetfield (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Kirk Hammett (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), and Jason Newsted (Bass), The Black Album was about to launch the band into a new stratosphere. The album that was produced by Bob Rock (Bon Jovi, Motley Crue) was released on August 12, 1991 and it was a commercial success as it landed the band a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1992 and it was the first album from the band to debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. It also went number one in the UK, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, and Australia as it sold over 16 million copies going 16X Platinum in the US. At the end of the 90’s, it was ranked 8TH on The Billboard’s Decade-end Charts.

metallica black album back1. Enter Sandman– The first single off the album that was written by Kirk Hammett as it moves at 123 beats per minute in this track that is all about nightmares and everything that happens due to them. This was actually the last song on the album that received lyrics. 5/5

2. Sad but True– One of the most bad ass songs on the album which was recorded in D standard tuning in this song that is all about addiction and how it controls your every move and thought of the day. 5/5

3. Holier Than Thou– an in your face track that still contains some elements of thrash about people who think because they are religious are better than you. 5/5

4. The Unforgiven– The first essential power ballad from the band that was different than Fade To Black, One, etc. The track’s lyrics deal with the theme of someone who tries his best, but struggles because there are those who would hold him down. 5/5

5. Wherever I May Roam– The track starts off with a gong and Sitar with a 12 stringed bass to give the effect of accented notes before Newsted switches back to a 4 string bass for the rest of the track. It features standard tuning (E A D G B E) and the track is about life on the road. 5/5

6. Don’t Tread On Me– There was a lot of sentiment over anti-America beliefs over …And Justice For All so this track was the response as Hetfield explains, “This is the other side of that. America is a fucking good place. I definitely think that. And that feeling came about from touring a lot. You find out what you like about certain places and you find out why you live in America, even with all the bad fucked-up shit. It’s still the most happening place to hang out.” 5/5

Metallica - Metallica -cd-7. Through the Never-a thrash like track that smashes through your speakers about how mankind looks to gain all the knowledge of the world, but we don’t understand how puny we really are in the universe. 5/5

8. Nothing Else Matters– The other ballad on the album that was initially written by Hetfield while he was on the phone with his girlfriend. It was never meant to be released until Lars heard it and then it was considered. It’s the only track on the album that Hetfield plays the guitar solo. 5/5

9. Of Wolf and Man– an incredible track that while it is talking about werewolves, it’s talking about our more animalistic side and how we have to conquer everything. It’s the point of where we become Of Wolf and Man. 5/5

10. The God That Failed-I have always loved the opening bass riff to this track that kicks it off along with Lars before James and Kirk come in. The track’s lyrics deal with the idea of a God that fails to heal it’s own because James’s mother died of Cancer after refusing medical attention believing that God would heal her. 5/5

11. My Friend of Misery– I have always loved the beginning of the track because the bass riff helps set up the mood of the track which is very dark. It’s about someone who sees their friend wallowing away in self loathing and pity. 5/5

12. The Struggle Within– The track opens up with a military cadence of sorts in the drum department as Kirk plays himself in as the song absolutely rips. The track is about someone who is just wasting away in their own paranoia. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I am one of those people that believes that this is the best album the band ever wrote which is why it was so successful. They were tested by their producer to reach for the sky when it came to writing and it paid off. Why I love the whole album, my favorite tracks are still My Friend Of Misery and The God That Failed. I am giving the album five stars out of five for a final grade.

 

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.

728For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to cover an album by a band who if there was ever a conversation on expanding the Big Four to the Big Five, Exodus would be the band that could argue for that. Exodus is one of the more underrated bands to come out of the Bay Area Thrash Metal Scene who at one time featured Kirk Hammett of Metallica in the band before he left for Metallica. The album that we are covering for today is the band’s debut record Bonded By Blood which was supposed to be released in 1984, but due to issues with their label, it didn’t see the light of day until April 25, 1985. The album featured Paul Baloff (Lead Vocals) in his only album appearance, Gary Holt (Lead and Rhythm Guitar), Rick Hunolt (Lead and Rhythm Guitar), Rob McKillop (Bass), and Tom Hunting (Drums). It is often believed that because of the delay in the release of the album, that it sounded outdated due to how much further the other bands in the scene had gone especially Metallica whose 1984 album Ride The Lightning featured a guitar riff that originally belonged to Exodus. The track I am talking about is Trapped Under Ice which featured the main riff from an Exodus track called Impaler.

exodus 21. Bonded By Blood– An amazing thrash anthem that kicks off the album which explores the bond that the band feels with it’s fans during live shows. 5/5

2. Exodus– Every band in that era had a song that was named after their band and this track features some pretty intense lyrics to go along with the all out metal assault. Just be aware of the Exodus attack when it comes to your town. 4.5/5

3. And Then There Were None– You have to imagine when this song was written that there was still a fear of nuclear war and all the cold war, 1984 stuff going around. The riff of this track competes with the best of them that were out there at the time. 5/5

4. A Lesson In Violence– The track opens with some laser fast, face melting guitar riffs that drive the song forward and the lyrics of the track are only emphasized by the amazing vocals of Baloff who you believe is pissed off just by listening. 5/5

5. Metal Command– Another thrash classic from the band that is a war cry for all those who believe in Metal and are willing to battle all those who oppose us. 5/5

exodus 36. Piranha– An absolute headbanger that could be a metaphor for the music scene or metal in genre. A warning not to mess with Metal heads or they’ll eat you alive. 4/5

7. No Love– The track starts with some clean acoustic guitars before the most evil and amazing guitar riff takes right over. Not sure exactly what he was talking about with the lyrics, but it’s subject matter lies in the dark occult. 4.5/5

8. Deliver Us To Evil– Another track on the album that deals with dark subject matter, but it has a killer riff that will have you headbanging and playing air guitar in no time. 4.5/5

9. Strike Of The Beast– The last track on the album that has that lightning quick playing from Holt and Hunolt in a track that is about fighting off the temptations of the beast. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– A truly amazing album from an underrated band, but you can definitely see in this record that they were definitely influenced by Venom or at least they were on the same wave length. I’ve seen these things happen when a label holds up a release and it jeopardizes everything the band worked for. It’s a shame that it happens, but what are you going to do? The band was in my Pedal To The Metal Tournament this year and they did pretty well for themselves. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

MET_HTSD_Hardwired_2016-08-16If you are a fan of Metal and a fan of Thrash Metal Titans Metallica then you bet your bottom dollar you have a reason to be excited. The kings of thrash are back with a huge announcement and a brand new music video. So, this is a very special Music Video Of The Week because Metallica have just unveiled the first single off their brand new album Hardwired… To Self Destruct which is the first in eight years. The album is slated to be released on November 18TH and to help pass the time the band released a video for the track Hardwired. The music itself starts off with a bang as the guitars of Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield chug away while Lars brings the boom with his massive drum beats. The song honestly reminds of 80’s era Metallica with that same ferociousness that it has me super excited. The video itself is primarily a performance based music video with the band rocking out. The album is available for Pre-order as we speak and you can pre-order it here. Otherwise check out the video below and the album artwork below that.

MET_HTSD_Album_2016-08-16

1As soon as people found out that Superbowl 50 was going to be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, they immediately petitioned to have Metallica play the halftime show. The petition garnered a lot of signatures, but that didn’t matter to the NFL who deemed Metallica Too Heavy For Halftime which was also what Metallica dubbed their concert the night before the Superbowl at AT&T Park. As James Hetfield, lead singer of the greatest metal band ever told fans that they basically got the better deal because instead of a short three song set, they received a whole entire concert complete with a new stage setup as well. By the time the band ht the stage Saturday night, the weather wasn’t too bad as it was a nice 61 degrees out and the crowd was ready for one hell of a show. James, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo all looked in shape and ready to roll as they broadcasted the show online as well for fans who couldn’t make it.

2Metallica didn’t waste anytime when they hit the stage playing the classic Creeping Death which got the crowd’s blood pumping. They followed it up with For Whom The Bell Tolls which kept the momentum going throughout the show. The show was a mix of old and relatively old as they played everything from Kill Em All all the way up to Garage Inc. While the band sounded amazing there were a lot of times where Kirk would miss a note on a couple of songs, but he would quickly catch himself. The band still does their guitar solo, bass solo parts in between songs which seems to be an art that is kind of missing in metal concerts. Metallica kept the crowd going and they never faltered as they kept up with everything Metallica threw at them creating an amazing atmosphere. Some of the highlights for me during the show was surprisingly hearing some of the material from Load and Reload like Fuel, King Nothing, and The Memory Remains mixed in with the old material. As you get older, you gain an appreciation for the material.

9Metallica was very appreciative of their roots in San Francisco and it showed all night as they reminisced with the crowd. One of the cool facts that you found out during the show was that Cliff Burton loved the Thin Lizzy track Whiskey In The Jar which Metallica played during the encore as a tribute to him. They closed out the encore set with Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman with the same energy as they opened the show with. We also heard from the mouth of Lars during the end of the show that Metallica is going to release new material, but obviously didn’t say when it would happen. Metallica is one of those bands that if you’ve never seen live then you are truly missing out. This was an amazing show put on by one of the best in the business. Enjoy some pictures from the show and check out the complete set list below: