Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Hammett’

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.

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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:

I remember when the X-Games first started on ESPN, itt was one of the coolest events that I hoped was going to be around for a very long time and look where we are now. It’s 2015 and the X-Games are still around with so many events that they do compared to when it first started. The X-Games are in Austin, Texas and the X-Games had some legends of metal grace them with their presents and we are not talking about the Metal Mulisha, we are talking about the band that inspired the name. Metallica have become quite the requested act to play the national anthem as of late due to the fact that we’ve seen them do it twice for the San Francisco Giants (who hold Metallica night now) and now they did it on the dirt tracks in front of the X-Games crowd. Yesterday, Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett showed up to play their own unique version of The Star Spangled Banner in front of the X-Game crowd and it rocks. The band also teamed up with the Glitch Mob to do a remix of their track Lords Of Summer as the theme for this years X-Games in Austin which you can listen to and download from this link. They also performed at the event which all the money from the downloads will help aid the victims of the recent floods in Central Texas as the money is donated to the Central Texas Red Cross. Check out their performance of the national anthem below:

metallica_mustaineMarch 11, 1983 might be a day that has absolutely no significance for some people in the world unless you are a true metal head. Some people may remember that on this day, Pakistan successfully conducted a cold test of a nuclear weapon or that Burt Reynolds, Jane Fonda & Katharine Hepburn won awards at the 9TH annual People’s Choice Award that year. For us metal heads, it was a different event that seemed insignificant at the time, but had some major effects in the music world. You see, Metallica traveled to New York to record a record, but when they got there, they gave Dave Mustaine his walking papers and Kirk Hammett walked in to the role of a lifetime as the new lead guitarist. It changed the course of history because Metallica went on to become the biggest metal band of all time releasing one hit record after another. Meanwhile, Dave Mustaine went home to Hollywood to an uncertain future, but once he got on his feet, he would start arguably the second or third (depending on your perspective) biggest band from the Thrash Metal scene in Megadeth after throwing a plant at David Ellefson’s air conditioning unit. Things were not all that shabby for Dave Mustaine who went on to create what I believe to be some of the most iconic records in Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying, Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, etc.

metallica-1983-metallicacomRegardless of what happened to Dave Mustaine, Metallica were poised to be the biggest band in the world in my opinion, but I believe it benefited them to release Mustaine because the better dynamic was in place with Lars “running” the show (which that can be argued as well). Dave Mustaine was a born leader and as he describes in his book that they were constantly clashing heads because there were too many chiefs so you know it wasn’t going to work. Depending on whose side you are on, Dave did have an essential part in the beginnings of Metalllica as he is credited with being a writer on four tracks on Kill ‘Em All. The groundwork for his firing was laid down as described here by Scott Ian of Anthrax, “I was with them on April 9, 1983, when they were playing L’Amour with Vandenberg and the Rods. Vandenberg were onstage in the middle of the afternoon sound checking, and Mustaine was already hammered. He was in the middle of the floor of the venue, and as soon as they ended a song he started screaming at them that they sucked and they should get the f–k off the stage. [Anthrax/Metallica manager] Jonny Z pulled him away. But I didn’t think any of that s–t was enough to get him kicked out of the band. The guy is arguably the godfather of thrash metal. He wrote a lot of the riffs on Kill ’Em All and even some of Ride the Lightning. Without Dave Mustaine, maybe thrash metal never would have happened. At least in the beginning, he was the driving force, artistically.”

OlineupBrian Slagel of Metal Blade Records reflects on why he was let go, “Dave was an incredibly talented guy, but he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He’d get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging maniac, and the other guys just couldn’t deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but Dave drank more…much more. I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time.” The firing of Mustaine as I stated before drove the man to become the legend in his own right as his only goal was to prove that if Metallica could do it so couldn’t he and he wanted blood. In 2009, James Hetfield commented on the situation saying that their reconciliation was needed because , “It’s obvious that he had the same drive as us — he went on to do great things in Megadeth. … He’s an amazing, talented person.” I for one have always thanked Metallica for kicking out Dave Mustaine because as he says in the Rock Icons episode that, “we wanted to be the up most heaviest, ultra furious metal band period. Doesn’t sound like my last band” and that is exactly what we all received. So forget the idea of being sad over a firing that happened 32 years ago and count the blessings while popping in So Far, So Good… So What into your stereo and bang those heads cause I know that I will.

FearPoster2015If you’re a horror fan like me then you dream of conventions and other gatherings like the one Mr. Kirk Von Hammett (Metallica) is providing for us once again. Last year, Kirk debuted his very own Fear Festevil which made it’s debut in San Francisco to great success. This year, Kirk invites all of us once again to partake in all of the fun as the Fear Festevil will make it’s way to San Jose, California from April 10TH through the 12TH in two different locations. Kirk is inviting us to the Winchester Mystery House on April 10TH and then it’s followed with music and more at the Rockbar Theater in San Jose from April 11TH through the 12TH. Here is what is going on according to the website:

On the 10th, guests attending the Fear FestEvil VIP Party will enjoy a classic night of ‘whodunnit’ mystery madness, dining alongside Kirk Hammett, touring the infamously eerie and atmospheric mansion, and trying to figure out who killed who! Guests can expect twists, turns and clues from some very special ‘horror royalty’ as they try to crack the mystery open.

On Saturday April 11th and Sunday April 12th, Fear FestEvil friends heading to the RockBar Theater can expect to see some of the finest pieces in any modern horror collection as Kirk Von Hammett unveils more of The Crypt publicly, before throwing down some heavy music courtesy of Meshuggah, High On Fire, Orchid, Blues Pills, Agnostic Front, and Asada Messiah. SiriusXM Radio’s Liquid Metal host Jose Mangin will preside over proceedings.

Kirk commented as well stating, “It has always been my intention that Fear FestEvil events carry both the weird and the loud and what better way to achieve another extension of what we want to do than eat dinner in a haunted house while solving criminal acts before a weekend of super kick-­ass music?!” For more info on who the guests will be and anything else you might want to know, just visit the website here.