Posts Tagged ‘Metal’

the real me frontLast week, we debuted a new segment where I post my vinyl of the week because who doesn’t love them some vinyl or wax (whatever you prefer to call it). Back in the day, bands would release singles off of their albums on 7 inch or 45’s as they are commonly known in the industry and not on iTunes or Spotify which is what is done today. Typically the single would have the main track on one side and a B-side that was usually a track that wasn’t meant to be a single on the other side. For this week’s Vinly Single Of The Week, we are checking out one from one of the 1980’s most underrated metal bands of all time in the form of LA’s W.A.S.P. (don’t ask me what it stands for). In April of 1989, the band would release their fourth studio album in The Headless Children which featured tracks like the title track, Forever Free, Mean Man, and the first single released off the album in The Real Me which was a cover of The Who track. The single which I have featured the non-album track lake Of Fools as the b-side for the single. One of the cool things is that it folds open and features a mirror so that you look into it to see the real you. Check out W.A.S.P.’s insanely amazing cover of this awesome track below and collect Vinyl cause it rules.

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duckman posterIf you are reading the headline, then you know that it’s absolutely true that my old radio show from my days at Bridgewater State University is coming back for one night only. That is not a mistake because every year, the college holds it’s annual Alumni Takeover during the school’s Homecoming weekend which allows some old alums to come back and host a show for an hour or so. For the last three years, I have had some fun wracking my brain to come up with a playlist that I thought you would enjoy as well, but this year it’s going to change. I think every year, I am going to pick a theme and I am just going to run with it. This year, I have something special planned out for you guys, but you’ll have to wait and just wonder exactly what Pedal To The Metal Fest is all about. I do not have the exact day and time I am going to be on, but you should know that Alumni Takeover weekend is October 12TH and 13TH. Stay tuned here because as soon as I find out what time I’ll be on, I will let you guys know here and on the Facebook page.

Slayer-God-Hates-Us-All-singIt is crazy to think that 17 years ago was the day that terrorists would attack the twin towers in New York on that awful day. It is a day that Americans will never forget because it had an impact on us that I would have to think that Pearl Harbor had on America back when that happened. 17 years ago today, Slayer would release an album that would put them back on the map (not that they ever left) in God Hates Us All. It was an album that had a different approach to it as Kerry King took over writing duties lyrically and it was the first album to not be produced by Rick Rubin since 1985’s Hell Awaits. The album was produced by Matt Hyde while it featured Tom Araya (Lead Vocals/Bass), Jeff Hanneman (Guitar), Kerry King (Guitar), and Paul Bostaph (Drums) on what would be his last Slayer record until 2015’s Repentless. The albums release was delayed due to controversy over the album cover that you see above so it was finally released on September 11, 2001. Then to make matters worse, the band took a lot of heat for the album because of what had happened on the day it came out. This was the second time, the band was blamed for something like this as they filmed the music video for Seasons In The Abyss in Egypt just before the Gulf War started. Nonetheless, the album debuted and peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 200 charts selling 51,000 copies in it’s first week.

51SYlv5R4hL1. Darkness Of Christ– It’s just an intro track, but it feels like unholy hell is about to be unleashed on you and you are going to wish it never happened. 5/5

2. Disciple– This is the unholy hell that is unleashed on you in the form of this bulldozer of a track that smashed your brains to pieces while reminding you that God doesn’t actually love you. Just look at everything that happens in the world. 5/5

3. God Send Death– A track that Jeff Hanneman wrote that is about people who kill for pleasure after Hanneman had read several books about serial killers. 5/5

4. New Faith– An interesting track that is about someone who has followed a religion blindly for so long that he finally wakes up and sees what has been wrong with faith the whole time. He see’s the indulgences that are tempting him to sin, etc. 4.5/5

5. Cast Down– a track that is all about a fallen angel who gets in to a really serious drug habit that is ruining his life in typical extreme Slayer style music. 4/5

6. Threshold– an in your face track that matches the attitude of the lyrics which is about a guy who is at his wit’s end with an individual who is just pissing him off. 4.5/5

7. Exile– a fierce track that is all about hating that person that is so opposite of you that you want to exile them from your life so bad. Everyone has one of these in their lives. 4.5/5

SLAYER-God-Hates-Us-All-4-18. Seven Faces– A very eerie and melodic intro before pure madness ensues with one hell of a scream from Araya helps drive this track about someone who is falling for every temptation like the seven deadly sins. 4.5/5

9. Bloodline– My favorite track on the whole album that originally appeared on the Dracula 2000 soundtrack and was the band’s test to see if they wanted Matt Hyde to produce the record. The song is about vampires or just people who feed on your life all the time. 5/5

10. Deviance– This is the other track on the album that Jeff Hanneman wrote about people who kill for pleasure in his obsession with why do they do it. The track even opens with a police officer calling in something and a woman screaming to amplify the theme. 4.5/5

11. War Zone– This song is just pure intensity right from the start as it feels like a machine gun blasting pure metal anarchy right at you in this track that is you telling someone that there is no way in hell that you are afraid of them and you’ll bring the fight to them whenever and wherever. 5/5

12. Here Comes the Pain-a track that was written for a WCW video game I believe that is your typical macho bravado I am going to kick your ass song. 4/5

13. Payback– The last track on the record does not let up as it brings the intensity with no problems at all. The lyrics are pretty self explanatory as it’s all about revenge. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Kerry King said he wanted to stop doing lyrics about Satan and what ever else D&D related and more street credible lyrics and it certainly paid off to a point. There is no denying his abilities as a writer and it certainly ranks up there with the best of them. My favorite tracks on the album are Bloodline, Disciple, War Zone, and God Send Death. To clarify, I like all of the songs, but if I had one that I least liked it would be the last two tracks just cause they’re kind of generic to me. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

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Alternate Album Cover

1200x630bbI can’t believe that it has been 16 years since the passing of Dave “The Stage” Williams who was honestly one of the most promising lead vocalists in Metal at the time. He was the lead singer of Texas metal outfit Drowning Pool who got their name from the 1975 Paul Newman film. The band was made up of Williams (Vocals), Mike Luce (Drums), C.J. Pierce (Guitar) and Stevie Benton (Bass). In 2001, the band would release their debut album Sinner which also happens to be the band’s best selling record to date as it went Platinum in the first year of sales. The album was produced by the famed Jay Baumgardner (Sevendust/Ugly Kid Joe) and was a breath of fresh air for the metal genre at the time as it peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. In an interview with MTV Dave explained how the album received it’s  name,”I got that [Sinner tattoo] tattooed before we named the record. We were working on the song “Sinner,” and our A&R guy said, “That would be a good name for the record.” We all just looked at each other and said, “Wow, OK.” It was just a natural progression that became the whole theme of the record. There are a lot of religious issues on the record and a lot of relationship issues. It just seemed like it would fit.”

71aABzpbawL._SL1217_1. Sinner– The opening title track helps kick off the album the right way with tons of energy in this track that is all about no matter how good you try to make us, we all sin. 5/5

2. Bodies– The first single off the album that literally put the band on the map in this head banging track that is all about Moshpits and not bodies falling from windows. It was on the banned list after 9/11. 5/5

3. Tear Away– One of my favorite tracks on the album that resonated with me in this song that Dave said was, “Everybody at one time or another in their life needs to say, ‘Forget everybody else, I need to deal with me. I need to take care of myself‘”  5/5

4. All Over Me– a great track that features that signature guitar sound from Pierce that we would grow to love and recognize in this track that is about troubles in a relationship and how one is changing as compared to their partner. 5/5

5. Reminded– an in your face track that is another track about relationships, but this time it’s about a guy who never realized how bad their relationship was until they split and everything reminds him of her. 5/5

6. Pity– I love the beginning of the track and how it starts like something is happening to the tape like it’s melting before it kicks into overdrive on this head banger. I feel like it’s a track about someone who realizes that the people who supposedly “love” him really just pity him and that is not what he wants. 5/5

sinner-4e805c71af26d7. Mute– I love the melodic intro of the track as it also helps drive the verses in this track that is all about being stuck in the mud to the point that it’s better to be mute than to address it. 5/5

8. I Am– Another monster track that tackles relationships once again, but it’s one of those stories where it’s over and one side is definitely happier than the other, but truth be told no one can change who we are but us. 5/5

9. Follow– a track that teaches you that you’re better off coming up with your own conclusions in life because the truth is always right there in front of you as long as you look for it. 5/5

10. Told You So– Another track about realizing how much better your life is since you got away from the ex and that can be a reliving feeling. 5/5

11. Sermon– This is the last track on the album and it’s an interesting take on the question of whether or not God is real or not and the music has this real sermon like feel to it as it’s bass driven. Mike Luce commented on the backwards messaging on the track saying, “We’re fans of the 80s and back in the day there used to be that whole undertone …. oh, if you play that song backwards, you’ll hear this message! So I guess I could tell you what it says. It really doesn’t say anything. It recites a lyric from the same song, from “Sermon.” We just play it backwards at the end of the song. It’s just a homage. A tribute back to the old school.”, “It was completely done on a whim and we took a line that Davie (Williams) sang and just ran it in reverse at the tail end of the song. Just kind of a … here you go. No hidden meaning; you don’t have to play the song backwards to hear it. We’ll just play it right out here for you.” 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Unfortunately during Ozzfest 2002, Dave Williams was found dead in his tour bus as he died from cardiomyopathy. This would be the only album he would ever record with Drowning Pool with the exception of a couple of soundtrack tracks and a track that Rob Zombie sang that he had written for the Daredevil soundtrack. The album is amazing and I love every single track on this album which is why I gave it five out of five for a final grade.

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aliceinchains faceliftOne of the greatest bands to come out of the Seattle grunge scene in the early 1990’s was hands down Alice In Chains and I still to this day believe that they are not a grunge band by any means. Alice In Chains was your new wave of great American rock from the Pacific Northwest and the world was ready for a change at the time in the form of Layne Staley (Vocals), Jerry Cantrell (Guitars), the late Mike Starr (Bass), and Sean Kinney (Drums). On August 21, 1990, the band would release their debut album Facelift via Columbia Records with the record produced by Dave Jerden who had produced records by the Talking Heads and Frank Zappa to name a few. The album’s title could be symbolic for what was about to happen to the music scene once the people discovered this album. The album did pretty well on the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at number 42 and it sold two million copies and all of it done with hard work. The band was given an opening slot on the Clash Of The Titans tour which was Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax as the other bands on the bill. The band dealt with a lot of heckling from the crowd, but according to the bands on the bill they earned a lot of respect. Frank Bello commented once about it saying, “If there was a guy starting shit, Layne would jump into the audience and beat the FUCK outta that guy!”

aliceinchains facelift 21. We Die Young– A fericous riff opens up this track that Jerrry Cantrell says is about, “I’d just temporarily moved in with Susan Silver because Sean and I had just had a fight. So I was riding the bus to rehearsal and I saw all these 9, 10, 11 year old kids with beepers dealing drugs. The sight of a 10 year old kid with a beeper and a cell phone dealing drugs equaled “We Die Young” to me.” 5/5

2. Man In The Box– The bass heavy track was the second and most powerful single released off the record that besides being stoned while he wrote it, Layne says it was about “censorship in the mass media”. I love the use of the talkbox by Jerry in this track because I feel it adds to the track. The track was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Vocal Performance too. 5/5

3. Sea Of Sorrow-The track starts off with a bluesy riff by Cantrell before launching into the track that is about a guy who knows he’s in a toxic relationship, but needs to get out of it. 5/5

4. Bleed The Freak– A track that would be an anthem for all those that felt they were different and battling against those who didn’t like the fact that they were different. 5/5

5. I Can’t Remember– Jerry Cantrell has defined this as the track that helped develop the Alice In Chains sound. The track starts off with an eerie riff and it continues forward along with some great bass playing from Starr. The track seems to be about being mixed up in too much crap that you start forgetting what is important. 4.5/5

6. Love, Hate, Love– Jerry Cantrell has called this number the masterpiece of the whole record and he also says that the guitar solo in this track is his favorite of his career. It starts off much like the previous track with a very brooding/ominous riff in this track about a guy who gets cheated on and is shocked because he thought he owned her. Layne’s vocals on this track are haunting and beautiful at the same time, the man had an uncanny voice for such a dark bluesy track. 5/5

alice-in-chains-facelift-10-cd7. It Ain’t Like That– The riff to this track Jerry Cantrell admitted was a mistake, but in the end it was a very good mistake to make. It’s actually a very cool riff that has that sludgy chug like riff to it that we would grow to love from the band. The track is about suffering and then overcoming it. 5/5

8. Sunshine– A very bluesy track that is actually a tribute that Cantrell wrote too his mother who passed away some time before. He commented saying, “When I was a little kid, I’d always tell her, “I’ll be famous and buy you a house and you’ll never have to work again. I’ll take care of you like you took care of me.’ When she passed away, it was a really shitty time for me. I didn’t know how to deal with it then, and I still don’t. But it gave me the impetus to do what I’m doing.” 4.5/5

9. Put You Down– This one is more of a bluesy rocker from the band that could compete with anything out at the time. I think the song is about someone struggling with addiction. 4.5/5

10. Confusion-The track starts off with some clean channel guitars before Jerry turns it up a notch in this track that has a sort of dreamy effect especially with Layne’s vocals. The track has elements in it that remind me of Rooster in a way. The track is about how men and women are constantly hurting each other, playing mind games, etc. 4.5/5

11. I Know Somethin (Bout You)– A track that has elements of funk in the opening guitar riff that reminds me of the Chili Peppers to be honest. The track is about having so much info on someone you don’t like that you are going to royally f**k up their day. 4.5/5

12. Real Thing-a dark and brooding track with a blues twist that is all about drug use which is a cautionary tale of sorts for this band. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Ozzy Osbourne once said that this album was number two on his top 10 Metal albums list. Facelift was the perfect name for an album that was describing what was about to happen to the music scene overall. This was rock’s much needed Facelift that it needed at the time. My favorite tracks are the first four tracks plus Love, Hate, Love. My least favorite track is Real Thing even though I don’t really hate the track either. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

1000x1000One of the cool things about Spotify is that they have playlists set up on their app that allows you to discover new and exciting bands. One day, I was exploring a playlist entitled New Core when I discovered a metalcore act from Australia named The Amity Affliction. Now, I know what you guys are thinking, how in the hell are you just discovering them now? One, I do not typically listen to metalcore so it’s easy to miss an act like this, but I’m checking them out now. The band recently released an album this year, but I want to travel back and I chose the band’s fourth studio album Let The Ocean Take Me which was released on June 6, 2014 via Roadrunner Records. The band at the time was made up of Joel Birch (unclean Vocals), Ahren Stringer (clean Vocals/Bass), Troy Brady (Lead Guitar) in his last appearance with the band, Dan Brown (Rhythm Guitar) in his first appearance, and Ryan Burt (Drums). The album did pretty well for the band as it sold 10,000 copies in it’s first week landing it at number 31 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. The album also landed at three on the Billboard US Top Hard Rock Albums and 11 on the US Top Rock Albums.

1000x1000 21. Pittsburgh– The first track on the record and one of my personal favs. Rumor has it that on one of their tours, Joel was going through Alcohol withdrawls and they had to cancel their Pittsburgh date. So, the song kind of takes that vibe as to someone who is struggling with something. 5/5

2. Lost & Fading– The track starts off strong right out of the gates with an all out metal assault in this track that is all about someone who is struggling with life in general and no one is there to help them. 4.5/5

3. Don’t Lean On Me-a very melodic, but heavy when it needs to be track about someone who desperately wants to help someone he influences, but he can’t because he needs to fix his own problems. 5/5

4. The Weigh Down– lyrically this is a pretty deep song from the band about someone who has so many demons in the closet that he puts up a facade to everyone else, but who knows how much longer he can last. 5/5

5. Never Alone– a very melodic track with the added piano into it in this track that says that no matter how much life sucks or what it throws at you, you have to be strong because you are not the only one. 4.5/5

LTOTM-16-Disc6. Death’s Hand– this an Ok track that talks about how much a substance or alcohol can take over and ruin your life if you abuse it. 4/5

7. F.M.L.– An interesting track that I don’t know if it means F*** my life, but it’s definitely about someone who feels that their life is a complete and utter disaster. 4/5

8. My Father’s Son– Joel was dealing with a lot when they were recording this album because themes of alcoholism and past mistakes run rampant through out the album including this one. 5/5

9. Forest Fire– another track that looks at the idea of someone who is so down int he dumps that he needs a spark to get him out of his funk hence the metaphor for forest fire. 4/5

10. Give It All– The last track on the album that is just fierce as hell that is all about giving it your all no matter how many times you might fall flat on your face. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There was a time when a lot of bands had that Atreyu like formula down and it was huge at one time. I definitely enjoyed listening to the album as their were real memorable moments like Pittsburgh, My Father’s Son, and Don’t Lean On Me. There were some least favorite moments on their like F.M.L. and Death’s Hand. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

I-Loved-You-At-Your-Darkest2018 has been a weird year because it’s been a year where we are seeing many things we love in the music industry come to an end. Slayer is calling it quits after 35 years in the business, The Warped Tour is coming to end this year, and Ozzy Osbourne is starting his retirement tour this year as well. A very interesting question was raised the other day with all of these bands calling it quits who will rise to be the next headliners? I believe that I have the answer and one of them is certainly Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth. After touring successfully on 2014’s The Satanist and taking some time off, the band is back with a vengeance in the form of a new album and single for all of us to enjoy. On October 5TH, Behemoth will be releasing their 11TH studio album in I Loved You At Your Darkest and to help celebrate the big news the band has unleashed a new single and a video for it. The name of the track is God = Dog and the music is bold as Behemoth flex their musical muscles at first before launching into an all out metal assault. The music video itself is very bold and if you are religious in any way shape or form then you may not want to view this as Nergal reenacts the crucifixion of Christ. The video itself is visually stunning, but it’s a very bold move against Christianity with all of the imagery that appears. The track is bad ass and it’s an example of what is to come. If you want to pre-order the album, you can do so here. Check out the video below: