Posts Tagged ‘Marty Friedman’

51fhehoazvl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_It has been quite a long time since the last Heavy Metal Book Report was done on the blog, but we are promising more of these for 2019. The book that we are profiling for you guys today is none other than the autobiography of one of the most polarizing and controversial figures in thrash metal. I am talking about Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir that was written by Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Joseph Layden that was released August of 2011. All anyone had known about Dave before this point is that he was booted out of Metallica and has been trying to escape their shadow ever since. Dave was definitely fulfilling the purpose of explaining at least his side of the story so that we know the whole truth or at least one side of it. We get the whole story starting right from the beginning of his days growing up in two different religious house holds with one focused on Christianity and the other a Jehovah’s Witness way of life. We learn of the events that Dave always felt led up to his dismissal in New York, but we hear his side which was a very lonely trip back to California on that bus ride home. We read about the start of Megadeth through a very funny chance encounter with the second longest reigning member of Megadeth in David Ellefson who Dave lovingly called Junior. We also read about all the successes and failures that would follow for Dave all the way up to the point of this book being released.

91tksfippnlOne of the things I loved about the book is that you really do get to read the struggle that Dave went through always being the guy who was booted out of Metallica. It seemed that all Dave wanted was just a chance to talk with the guys, but something always happens that sets him back. In Chapter 13, he talks about his newfound sobriety and the birth of his first child Justis. Eventually when it became time to tour, he had a Monsters Of Rock tour to do with Metallica and Diamondhead to which he made every member of his band sign a sobriety pack. He talks about how he saw James and all he wanted to do was talk to him, but here is where it gets a little rough for Dave. He recounts, “The nice guys in Metallica had a twisted sense of humor. They invited me into their dressing room, where a big plate of what appeared to be cocaine sat beckoning and unattended.” Obviously, this crushed Dave to great extents because he said they knew what lengths he went to to stay sober, but they didn’t care. One of the things that always astonished me in this book is that no matter what current or past member he discusses, he treats them with respect in the book and he explains their exit. The best story is how every drummer would replace his predecessor beginning with the late Gar Samuelson. There are a lot of great stories in the book that he tells like how he almost dated Belinda Carlisle to his every day struggle with addiction as well as all the different managers he has gone through over the years. I am definitely going to give the book 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade. It never disappointed me at any point in the book.

megadeth-rust-in-peaceWhile everyone waits for the brand new track that Dave Mustaine has promised Megadeth fans, I figured we would check out one of the seminal Megadeth releases from 1990. Loudwire.com ranked Megadeth’s fourth album Rust In Peace at number 33 on their Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time list which beats out Metallica’s biggest release ever (The Black Album). Rust In Peace which was released on September 24, 1990 was a very special record for Frontman/Rhythm Guitarist Dave Mustaine because it was the first album to feature the line up of Nick Menza on Drums and Marty Friedman on Lead Guitar as well as original member David Ellefson on Bass. Dave found Nick Menza who was previous drummer Chuck Behler’s drum tech and replaced him exactly the same way Behler had replaced predecessor Gar Samuelson. Marty Friedman was found when he dropped a record off to Dave’s manager at the time requesting a shot at the job which he eventually won. The album has often been described by critics as one of the greatest Thrash Metal albums of all time that helped set the tone for metal in the 1990’s. It was Megadeth’s highest selling album at that point as it shipped one million copies going platinum as it peaked at number 23 on The Billboard Top 200 Charts.

51mhcxl9rxl1. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due– This absolute shredder was a song that was written due to an incident that occurred at a show in Northern Ireland. Dave had a little too much to drink and right before he sang Anarchy In The UK, he dedicated the track to the cause and a riot between Protestants and Catholics broke out. This was Dave’s apology for what had happened. 5/5

2. Hangar 18– Another shredder that hits a 1000 right from the start on a lyrical subject matter that was presented by Nick Menza discussing the idea of UFO’s and Area 51 and this is the result. 5/5

3. Take No Prisoners– Another shredder on the album that really showcases what Nick Menza brought to the table playing along David Ellefson. The track is about Prisoners of War. 5/5

4. Five Magics– an in your face track featuring some amazing bass playing from David Ellefson whose lyrics take on a different subject matter in more of a fantasy sense. 5/5

5. Poison Was The Cure-An amazing track driven by Ellefson’s bass playing, it’s a track that takes on a more personal tone as Dave talks about his personal drug use and the stranglehold it had. 5/5

megadeth-rust-in-peace-2-cd6. Lucretia– One of the best opening riffs on the album as they shred through the intro and into this track that is all about a ghost that lives in Dave’s attic. 5/5

7. Tornado Of Souls– One of my favorite tracks on the album that was written after Dave had to break off a relationship with a long time girlfriend and how he did it out of necessity because the relationship was too toxic. 5/5

8. Dawn Patrol– a different kind of track on the album that starts and is driven with an excellent bass riff from David Ellefson playing alongside his rhythm partner Nick Menza. The song is all about global warming and how we are destroying the planet. 5/5

9. Rust In Peace…  Polaris– Nick Menza flexes his stuff much like how Judas Priest’s Painkiller starts off before the band comes in for a track that is all about nuclear war hence the name Polaris at the end which is the cold war era Lockheed UGM-27 Polaris intercontinental ballistic missile. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The way Dave thought of the album title is a little funny as it was a bumper sticker he saw while on the road one day. He liked the imagery that popped into his head and he used it. This is one of the most complete albums that Megadeth had ever recorded which shouldn’t surprise people that it’s featured on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and why it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. That is why I gave the album five stars out of five for a final grade.

CountdownToExtinctionAs reported earlier in the week, former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza passed away while performing on stage. So as a tribute to him, I have decided to cover a Megadeth record for this week’s album of the week. The album I chose from his catalog is Countdown To Extinction, the band’s fifth album and the second to feature the classic lineup of Nick Menza (Drums), Marty Friedman (Guitars), Dave Mustaine (Vocals/Guitars), and David Ellefson (Bass). The album was a drastic change for the band in terms of sound because out were the fast as hell, face melting riffs and in were more intricate riffs and better song writing (at least in my opinion). The album was also a very trying time for the band as far as recording was concerned because curfew in Los Angeles at the time was 6PM due to the riots that followed the Rodney King beatings. The album was very successful for the band as it went two times platinum and peaked at number two on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance while the title track won he Humane Society’s Genesis Award for raising awareness for animal rights which is pretty cool.

countdown back1. Skin o’ My Teeth– The track starts off sounding off with a sonic fury that sounds like a more refined thrash track. The tracks lyrical deals with someone who failed at committing suicide. 5/5

2. Symphony Of Destruction– One of my favorite tracks on the record that starts with a symphonic/opera like beginning before we get into that chugging bass riff from Ellefson. The tracks lyrics deal with a guy who is put into power while the government while the public is led by a phantom government. 5/5

3. Architecture Of Aggression– the track starts off with gunfire and a missile launch before you get your signature Megadeth thrash sound. The track deals with global conflict as far as the lyrics are concerned. 4.5/5

4. Foreclosure Of A Dream– Lyrically one of my favorite songs on the album because we can certainly relate to the lyrics even today. It’s one of those songs whose lyrics will always stand the test of time and never sound outdated. The lyrics deal with economic concerns and social inequality. 5/5

5. Sweating Bullets– One of my other favorite tracks on the record that deals with schizophrenia. Mustaine explains, “I wrote that about myself. It was pointed out to me that I’m kind of schizophrenic and that I live inside my head. Which is something I don’t subscribe to, but I enjoyed the theory nonetheless. I think all of us are sweating bullets all the time. Society’s a joke right now, and people are getting more and more hostile. When you think about having an evil twin or schizophrenia, I think a lot of us are schizo, because we live inside our heads. There’s someone we all confer with; it’s called our conscience. Some people cannot control their other side; it takes them over. Everybody has that psychotic side. Everyone has a thing that will make them snap.” 5/5

6. This Was My Life– an interesting track that deals with relationships gone bad. Mustaine explains, “I had the very seedy, sordid love affair that took place over six years, and I’ve gotten a lot of great songs out of it. She’s probably biting her nails, wondering what this album’s gonna say about her! This particular song is about a time I wanted to kill her. I’m laying in her bed, and she’s examining my head, and my feeling of being under her microscope is the part of me that hates. I know I’m going to get her back, but that when I do, I’m throwing my own switch on an electric chair, buying my own ticket. It’s a confession of the madness I felt at the time.” 4/5

Megadeth-Countdown_To_Extinction-CD7. Countdown To Extinction– A track whose title came from an article that Menza read in a Time Magazine about there concerns for the future of the planet environmentally. 4.5/5

8. High Speed Dirt– A track that talks about Dave’s obsession with skydiving and the trill behind it. 4/5

9. Psychotron– A cool track with a cool bass line from Ellefson and machine like guitar riffs whose lyrics deal with Marvel Comics character Deathlok. 4.5/5

10. Captive Honour– A very melodic track in the beginninfrom Megadeth before the verdict is handed down and the track gets heavier. It’s a track whose lyrics deal with prison and the consequences of it. 4/5

11. Ashes in Your Mouth– Sonically very impressive from the start with the guitar fury in a track that is about the negative aftermath of war. There is some serious playing in this track that will blow you away. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Peace Sells is by far my favorite Megadeth record of all time, but this one falls close to number two. It’s definitely one of my favorites of the classic era besides Youthanasia. The classic lineup era was definitely the best era for Megadeth and this album solidified that. It’s an amazing album from the first guitar riff to the very last. It’s sad that Nick Menza passed away because I was hoping for him to rejoin Megadeth, but we know that was never going to happen. I am going to give this record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

bw-Nick-MenzaI have said it time and time again that 2016 has been one hell of a bad year if you are a fan of metal or rock music. We have lost everyone from Lemmy Kilmister (the end of Dec 2015), David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, and now we have lost former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza at the age of 51 yesterday in Los Angeles. Apparently, Nick was onstage last night at The Baked Potato in Studio City with his band OHM when he collapsed after just the third song of the set and authorities have not yet commented on the cause of death at this time. Nick was best known for his nine years that he spent in Megadeth for what I felt was an iconic lineup that also featured Marty Friedman. The band recorded some of it’s most iconic albums in Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings (which would end up being his swan song from the band). Most of the classic tracks you hear live are Nick Menza Megadeth tracks because that is how iconic that line up was. After Megadeth, he had been in several bands like Orphaned To Hatred, Deltanaut, and OHM which featured former original Megadeth guitar player Chris Poland.

nickmenzasolo2014_638Marty Friedman took to Facebook to comment saying, “We all know the great and unique drummer that Nick Menza was, but he was also a trustworthy friend, a hilarious bandmate, as well as a very loving dad. I`m beyond sad, did not see this coming at all. RIP Brother.” Dave Mustaine also commented on Twitter saying, “TELL ME THIS ISN’T TRUE! I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza passed away on 5/21 playing his drums w/Ohm at the Baked Potato. .” OHM commented on Facebook as well saying, “RIP Nick Menza. In the brief time I knew you, it was a pleasure. We will miss you “Machine”.” It is sad to hear, but in one way at least he passed doing what he loved to do and that is playing the drums. R.I.P. Nick Menza (July 23, 1964-May 21, 2016)

I really don’t know what to make of Japanese metal sensations BabyMetal or I should say I don’t understand the phenomena that is BabyMetal. The group made up of Su-Metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal (they are know Funko Pops as well) have taken the metal world by storm with their unique style that mixes J-Pop with Metal. The band which bakes these phenoms is where the true story is for me because they guys are bad ass. Takayoshi Ohmura is a very experienced guitarist who has played with the likes of Marty Friedman and he is backed by Leda (Guitar), Mikio Fujioka (Guitar), Boh (Bass), Yuya Maeta (Drums), and Hideki Aoyama (Drums). The band recently unleashed a new track for all their fans to hear called Karate and let me tell you that the music is bad ass. While the verses (sung in Japanese) need a little getting used to, the music is heavy and right up my alley. The choruses are actually very catchy and I will give them that, but they are just another version of Rammstein. A band that sings in an entirely different language that fascinates all of us. The true question is whether they can last as long as Rammstein has? Check out Karate below and look for the groups new album Metal Resistance in stores on April 1ST:

youthanasiaFor this week’s album of the week, I am diving headfirst into a Megadeth record to me that is the most amazing one of the Friedman/Menza era of Megadeth called Youthanasia. I saw Friedman/Menza because along with Dave Mustaine (Vocals) and David Ellefson (Bass), the album featured Nick Menza (Drums) and Marty Friedman (Guitar) and as this was the sixth overall release from Megadeth, it was the third to feature the duo. Youthanasia took some crap for it’s commercial appeal and how it was less than a thrash album then their previous releases. The title of the record itself was a Portmanteau of the words Youth and Euthanasia with the album artwork featuring a women hanging babies on a clothesline. Dave Ellefson describes the influence of the artwork, “That song [Youthanasia] was probably the strongest representation of how we feel about the young people who listen to our music and what their future holds for them. It’s like you have a choice, you can become proactive or you can choose ‘Youthanasia’.” The album was quite successful in terms of sales as it peaked at number 4 in the US Billboard Top 200 and later this year in November it will be celebrating it’s 2oTH Anniversary since it was released.

youthanasia 2The first track on the record is Reckoning Day and it starts off with a bang as the drums sound like a barrage of bombs hitting the earth in a track taht sounds to me like Dave is talking about Heroine. For Example, “I like the way that you let me in, The way you look when the walls cave in. I like the way that your stomach knots and how you cry for it all to stop.” Train Of Consequences is one of those songs that starts off sounding like it’s going to be a thrash tune, but it turns in a great Metal tune about gambling. Addicted To Chaos has Nick Menza building up the track as the rest of the band slowly fades in. The song is about a person that loses someone very special to them that they don’t think they can replace. A Tout Le Monde is one of the most classic tunes that Megadeth has written in a track that the speaker wants let everyone know in his life that he loves them before he dies. Elysian Fields is a classic scorcher that has a double meaning to it where Dave will speak about religion like the death of Jesus and fighting and dying in the name of freedom hence the idea of achieving your destiny. The Killing Road is next on the album and it’s a song that talks about the troubles of touring so much as it’s also one of those tracks that gets pretty close to be thrash like. Blood Of Heroes is an amazing track that starts like A Tout… where we get acoustic before it goes electric in a track about war.

youthFamily Tree was a track that was very risque at the time of it’s release because it deals with the growing epidemic of child molestation and how it could possibly affect their children’s children in the future. As I said above the track Youthanasia is a statement on the young generation and it could talk about how they were left out to dry by the older generations. The very sledge hammer like I Thought I Knew It All is a self explanatory track about thinking you know everything, but how people can surprise you. It is definitely one of the top 5 tracks on the record and I have only heard Megadeth perform this track once live. Black Curtains is one of the heaviest tracks on the record and to me the song is about armageddon by nuclear war. Victory is the last track on the record on the record that is sort of a track that reflects on the band’s career and how he has been able to be successful. I really love this album and think it’s definitely in my top 5 Megadeth albums of all time. I am giving the album four stars out of five for a final grade.