Posts Tagged ‘Metal’

cross off singleFor this post, I didn’t designate whether it was a rock single or metal single of the week because it transcends the two. This post is such a special one because of how amazing the track is and how weird it will be for some people to comprehend. Did you ever imagine the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park ever working with Mark Morton of Lamb Of God? I never would have thought of it, but then again why not? Mark has a solo album that he will be releasing in 2019 entitled Anesthetic that features collaborations with various artists like Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, Randy Blythe, Jacoby Shaddix, Chuck Billy, and many more. Last year, we were introduced to the track The Truth Is Dead and now Mark has released the track that every one has waited for in Cross Off that features Chester on Vocals. Mark talked about Chester and his performance saying, “I was really impressed for a guy at his level, at the place in the career he was at, someone of his stature and celebrity, to have that level of humility and commitment to come in there and treat this like it would be a Linkin Park song, or his own song or whatever. I was pretty blown away by that. And it was immediate. Fifteen minutes after we met, we were standing over a table, one on either side, each with scraps of paper and pencil, crossing off words and trying different rhyme schemes and stuff.

linkin-park-lamb-of-god-758x465It’s absolutely an amazing track that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as you hear the brilliance of Chester’s vocal abilities. The track also featured Paolo Gregoletto and Alex Bent of Trivium who handled the bass and drum tracks. The press release also stated, “The composition of the song began between Morton, Wilbur and Oni before the three approached Bennington about singing vocals. Bennington loved the song and came to the studio with additional ideas and lyrics that, together with his unique and incredible vocal style, shaped the song to be what it is today.” Check out the track below and look for the album out on March 1ST via Spinefarm.

Anesthetic Track Listing:

1. “Cross Off” (feat. Chester Bennington)
2. “Sworn Apart” (feat. Jacoby Shaddix)
3. “Axis” (feat. Mark Lanegan)
4. “The Never” (feat. Chuck Billy + Jake Oni)
5. “Save Defiance” (feat. Myles Kennedy)
6. “Blur” (feat. Mark Morales)
7. “Back From The Dead” (feat. Josh Todd)
8. “Reveal” (feat. Naeemah Maddox)
9. “Imaginary Days”
10. “The Truth Is Dead” (feat. Randy Blythe + Alissa White-Gluz)

 

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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.

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.

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.

 

neurosisI want to start off by saying that I wanted to wish every a very Merry Christmas and boy do we have something good for you this week. This week we are checking out another album off of Loudwire.com’s Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time and we are checking out a band that has had the respect of many of my favorite musicians. The band that I am talking about is Oakland, California’s own Avant-Garde Metal band Neurosis which is made up of Scott Kelly (Vocals/Guitar/Percussion), Steve Von Till (Guitar/Vocals/Percussion), Dave Edwardson (Bass/Moog Synthesizer), Jason Roeder (Drums/Percussion), and Noah Landis (Keyboard/Samples/Synth). The first time I had ever heard of Neurosis was through an Ozzfest 99 sampler that you got for free which featured a track from the album Through Silver In Blood (which is not the album I am covering today). On May 4, 1999, the band would release their sixth studio album Times Of Grace via Relapse Records that Loudwire ranked 42 on that said list. The album was produced by Steve Albini who has gone on to produce every single Neurosis album starting with this one. Loudwire.com also voted this album The Best Metal Album from 40 Subgenres in 2018. It has been said that thanks the production of Albini that the band would create the post metal sound that was found on this album.

neurosis back1. Suspended in Light– The album opens up with the instrumental intro that has some unique sounds. 4/5

2. The Doorway– It leads into this sludge heavy track that showcases where Mastodon got their influence from in this track about a man who is staring at death who is waiting for him. 5/5

3. Under The Surface-I love the bass and drum beat that opens up this track as the guitars slowly come in as it has a lot of ambient and atmospheric sounds projected through the guitars. I think the song is about two men who take two different paths, but one knows that they’ll both go to the same place when they die. 5/5

4. The Last You’ll Know-a big riff opens up this track that is all about the end of the world a.k.a. Armageddon. The track is nine minutes long so enjoy all the tempo changes and just the musical creativity this guys have. 5/5

5. Belief– a very cool track that while it has an eerie melodic tempo to it, it’s another example of a great bass and drum driven track with the guitars creating unique sounds. 4.5/5

6. Exist– another instrumental track on the album that is very melodic. 4/5

1d837c9e3ac77. End of the Harvest– an interesting track that is almost preaching that the things you think you know are lies. It’s almost like it’s telling you that you need to reopen your mind to accept the new knowledge. 4.5/5

8. Descent– The third instrumental track on the album that starts with what sounds like someone hitting a wall before the bagpipes come on complete with a drum cadence. 4/5

9. Away– a very somber mood to the track kicks off this nine plus minute epic that is a track that I believe discusses the thought of depression. It’s not until the seven minute mark that they turn on the electricity. 4.5/5

10. Times Of Grace– The track starts with a very awesome melodic riff that sounds like something Tool would use, but before you know that sonic sludge filled bombastic guitar riff takes over in what I believe is another track about Armageddon. 5/5

11. The Road to Sovereignty– The fourth and final instrumental track ends the album. It’s a culmination of everything the band has done on this album, but this one comes complete with a horn section and maybe some cellos and violins. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– The band’s alter ego a.k.a. their side project Tribes of Neurot created an album called Grace that was meant to accompany this one as you could play them side to side and it would work. My favorite tracks on the album are the title track, The Doorway, Under The Surface, and  The Last You’ll Know. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five because musically it does kick ass.

 

slipknot by slipknotOne of the coolest bands to come out of the late 1990’s Nu Metal scene was none other than the almighty Slipknot, the crushing nine member band from Des Moines, Iowa. The first time I saw the band was on the second stage of Ozzfest 1999 and you just knew that these guys were something very special even back then. On June 29, 1999 via Roadrunner Records, the band would release their self titled debut album and it made quite the impact. The band which was made up of (#8) Corey Taylor (Vocals), (#7) Mick Thomson (Guitars), (#6) Shawn “Clown” Crahan (Percussion), (#5) Craig “133” Jones (Samples/Media), (#4) Jim Root (Guitars), (#3) Chris Fehn (Percussion), (#2) Paul Gray (Bass), (#1) Joey Jordison (Drums), and (#0) Sid Wilson (Turntables) would see their debut album peak at #51 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while it also finished at #98 on The Billboard Top 200 Year End Charts. It was also the number one album on both the Top Heatseekers and Independent albums Charts while also going two times platinum along the way in the US (It also went platinum in Australia, Japan, and the UK). The album also faced some controversy along the way over two tracks that you will read about below, but this album placed the band on the map.

slipknot back cover1. 742617000027– an intro track that kicks off the album with some Charles Manson dialogue and some guitar scratching samples from Craig Jones. 4/5

2. (sic)– The first real track on the album that kicks off with some drum fury and an in your face guitar riff complete with Sid’s signature scratching in a track that is all about getting back at those that wronged you. 5/5

3. Eyeless– kicks off with an industrial dance beat like that you would hear from Prodigy before the band kicks in turning this into an industrial banger in a track about how Corey never knew his father. The Marlon Brando part is apparently what a homeless man in New York was screaming. 4.5/5

4. Wait And Bleed– This was the first single off the album that captured me as a fan of the band that Joey Jordison wrote the music for and Corey Taylor says the song is about, “The song’s about that switch in your head that can go at any moment. You go from being a civilized human being to someone who can commit terrible acts. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact we represent ourselves as civilized when, at any moment, we can become animals.” 5/5

5. Surfacing– This is one of the most ferocious songs to hear live because this is a track that will smash your head in with every beat in a track that is a middle finger to all the people who spread their hate on to you. 5/5

compact-disc-slipknot-5-the-gray-chapter-liner-notes-album-cd-covers6. Spit It Out– a speed metal rap styled song that’s all about having that friend that constantly walks all over you and uses you until you finally decide that your done with it. 5/5

7. Tattered & Torn-a track that M. Shawn Crahan wrote and it makes sense about the clown character. There can be all this hurt and pain behind the makeup, but on the outside it’s masked by a happy face. 4.5/5

8. Frail Limb Nursery– This is the prequel to a story that will be explored in the next track and it’s one of the two tracks that caused controversy. 4/5

9. Purity-The track was about a girl named Purity Knight who was buried alive, but the problem is that the website that reported it claimed that the story was fake while Corey believes it to be true. This track and the previous track were omitted from the reissue of the album. 5/5

10. Liberate-an in your face, go for the throat track that features a little of that Nu-Metal flavor while asking you to Liberate your madness!!! 5/5

11. Prosthetics– This is a cool track that is inspired by the book The Collector by John Fowles about a social awkward man that decides to kidnap a woman in hopes that the longer he has her locked away the closer to loving him she will. 4.5/5

Photo of SLIPKNOT12. No Life-another speed metal rap song about being trapped in a life that is just not healthy for your psyche. 4/5

13. Diluted-a track that is very relatable lyrically because it talks about how confusing life can be and how we can easily get depressed when it seems that things are not going our way. 4/5

14. Only One– a bad ass track about being sick and tired of someone talk sh** about you that you decide enough is enough and you need to break his face. 4.5/5

15. Scissors– The last track on the album that goes for eight minutes before going quiet then at the 13 minute mark it’s a conversation between the band that lasts for three minutes before the bonus track Eeyore finishes it off. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– While Loudwire.com ranked this one at number 48 on their Top 50 Metal Albums Of All Time list, I definitely throw this one a little further because it made an last impression on me as I continue to be a Slipknot fan 19 years later. My favorite tracks on the album are obvious choices like Wait And Bleed, Surfacing, Spit It Out, but throw Liberate and Purity in there as well. My least favorite tracks are Diluted (musically) and No Life. I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

s-l640We are still chipping away here at Loudwire.com’s Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time and I am definitely excited to be checking out today’s artist which is one I meant to do a while ago. The first time I had ever heard of Tom G. Warrior or the band Celtic Frost was on two different releases. The first time was thank you to Brazilian legends Sepultura and their cover of Celtic Frosts Procreation (Of the Wicked) and the second was Tom’s appearance on the Dave Grohl led Probot record. It was an introduction too a world at a time that I had never explored before when I checked out the Swiss metal band’s music. Today, I have decided to cover the band’s second studio album To Mega Therion (translates to The Great Beast in Greek) which was released on October 27, 1985 via Noise Records. The band was made up of Warrior (guitars/vocals/effects/co-producer/assistant engineer), Dominic Steiner (Bass/Bass Effects), and Reed St. Mark (Drums/Percussion). The album is another one that is widely considered a very influential album in the early days of both Death and Black Metal respectively. The album artwork is a painting done by the late, great H.R. Giger entitled Satan I.

518LGWJ+v-L1. Innocence and Wrath– An instrumental track opens up the album and showcases what could be considered an influence to Symphonic Black Metal bands of the future with the French Horns in the track. 5/5

2. The Usurper– The first track leads right into this one which is a balls to the wall bass driven track that tells the story of a man who takes over kingdoms by force illegally for his king. 5/5

3. Jewel Throne-an in your face, go for the throat track about a man in kingdom that is slowly crumbling, but he still hides behind his throne. 4.5/5

4. Dawn of Megiddo-I like the eerie like tone of the track in the beginning and at one point in the track the French Horns make a comeback to give it that apocalyptic feel in what I believe is about the destruction of the city of Megiddo in Israel. 4.5/5

5. Eternal Summer– A track that starts off heavy then has a hardcore punk feel to the tempo in this track about the fall of ancient Egypt in my opinion. 4.5/5

to-mega-therion-5328156d04a6a6. Circle Of The Tyrants– an in your face track that explodes out of a cannon right from the start that talks about the causalities of war in this world. 5/5

7. (Beyond the) North Winds-A cool track that to be honest I am not exactly sure what Tom is talking about in this track. It seems to be somewhere in the dream realm if I had to take a guess. 4/5

8. Fainted Eyes– another track that has that fast punk tempo mixed with some metal beats along the way in a track that I believe he is referring to the dream world (not 100% sure). 4/5

9. Tears in a Prophet’s Dream-Another instrumental on the album that features lots of cool sound effects like crashing symbols, screams, etc. It honestly sounds like you are going through a nightmare with the suspense building. 4/5

10. Necromantical Screams–  the last track on the album deals with the fact of a person who has been so addicted to seeing the future through the dead that it’s haunting them now. I like the King Diamond like background vocals in this track, it kind of adds to it. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– You can definitely see how Celtic Frost would be considered an influence, but I find that to be more true as it relates to Death Metal more than Black Metal. Nonetheless, this is a really good record and definitely one you need to check out. My favorite tracks are The Usurper and Circle Of Tyrants while Fainted Eyes and (Beyond The) North Winds are my least favorite tracks. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.