Posts Tagged ‘Metallica’

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.

R-1113013-1349122345-6756.jpegThere was once a time when four bands in the thrash metal world would each release an album that would go down in infamy and put the scene on the map. You see those bands would go on to be known as the Big Four of Thrash Metal and those bands are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica would release Master Of Puppets, Slayer would release Reign In Blood, Anthrax would release Among The Living, and our album of the week this week was Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? by Megadeth. The album was released on September 19, 1986 and it was the second album to feature Dave Mustiane (Lead Vocals/Guitar), David Ellefson (Bass), Chris Poland (Guitars), and Gar Samuelson (Drums). Unfortunately, this was the last album to ever feature Gar on Drums as he would pass away in 1999 and this was also the last to feature Chris Poland until 2004’s The System Has Failed Us as a session guitarist. The album was hugely successful for Megadeth at the time as it charted and peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Top 200 Chrtas as well as being listed in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Martin Popoff’s  Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. Most importantly the album was ranked 9TH on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list.

megadeth-peace-sells-but-whos-buying-3-cd1. Wake Up Dead-The song just kicks right off into overdrive with Ellefson’s help as Dave tells us a story of a man who is cheating on his wife, but is afraid that if she finds out she’ll kill him. The track is autobiographical of a situation that Mustaine was in at one time. 5/5

2. The Conjuring-An interesting track that is all about black magic and according to Dave even has instructions on how to perform hexes. 5/5

3. Peace Sells– That world famous bass riff starts off the track before Mustaine and co. come in with one of the fiercest riffs in this track that is all about Mustaine’s distaste for the way American culture was at the time. That last stanza of the track where Dave sing Peace Sells along with all the guitar solos is one of my favorite moments in a track. 5/5

4. Devil’s Island– They are relentless as the fury continues into this track that is all about the French prison island French Guiana about a man who was imprisoned there, but after being spared by God he is forced to live out the rest of his days there. 5/5

megadeth-peace-sells-but-whos-buying-4-cd5. Good Mourning/Black Friday– The very melodic and eerie Good Mourning is the instrumental part of the track before it leads into Black Friday which is a track about a serial killer. The track was apparently inspired by the band’s original drummer Dijon Carruthers who had friends that practiced Occultism. 5/5

6. Bad Omen– The song is about Occultism as Mustaine once described the track as being about, “two happy campers who have stumbled onto a Satanic orgy in the middle of the woods.” He basically ends it by saying that, “they see these fools waiting around for Satan’s blessing.” 5/5

7. I Ain’t Superstitious– This is Megadeth’s cover of the Howlin’ Wolf track that was written by Willie Dixon. I love how Megadeth put their own twist on this bluesy track. 5/5

8. My Last Words– Is the last track on the album and a track that a lot of people believed proved that Megadeth were purveyors of speed metal and some of the best at it. The song is about the game of Russian Roulette and the fear that goes into playing this interesting game. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I will always argue with anyone that I truly believe that this is the best Megadeth record ever released because this was a band that was hungry and ready to prove all the naysayers that they meant business. Listen to the whole damn album because this gets the perfect five score and is in the perfect five album club.

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.

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.

 

Pedal Fest Poster 1

Original Poster

When I was a DJ at Bridgewater State University’s WBIM 91.5 FM, I had a lot of fun hosting Pedal To The Metal every Thursday or Friday night depending on how the cards landed. I played every imaginable 80’s metal track you can think of on my two year run there and I had a lot of fun doing it. 21 years ago, WBIM FM started hosting the Alumni Takeover where for one weekend, the DJ’s from the past years were able to come and relive old glory days even if it was just for one day. Four years ago, when I learned that I could be apart of it, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with some familiar faces and meet new faces that had sat in the very chair just as I had done when I attended school there. Sometimes, you don’t know how much you’ve missed it until you’re right behind the microphone like I was this past Friday night for the fourth ever return of Pedal To The Metal on Alumni Takeover Weekend. Once again, I want to take the time to thank John Coombs, he is the man who deals with all of our annoying requests and messages as he tries to strategically place everyone in a time slot. Oh by the way, he does an amazing job doing it as I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time slot. So, a big thank you to him is much deserved! I also want to take the time to thank the current DJ’s at WBIM for giving up their shows and allowing us to relive a little past glories. It is much appreciated! One of the cool things about this year’s takeover is that this was the first Alumni Takeover to be held at the new satellite studio for WBIM which was pretty exciting. On the Saturday edition of the Takeover, they were holding a ribbon cutting of the new studio with University President Frederick Clark.

bD05B_B_As far as the idea for this years playlist was concerned, I wanted to do something a little different than I had in the past. The first three years, I just took whatever songs I was in the mood for and I played the tracks on my show. This year, I wanted to start a theme and every year I can do a different theme than the last. So, I decided that this year, I would do all live tracks and I did it in the idea of what if I held a festival called Pedal To The Metal Fest and all these bands showed up to play, this would be the best performances of the day. I will admit that I had a hard time finding live tracks from some of the bands, but the harder part was having to edit all the F-bombs out of the songs. I originally started with having Sepultura, Amon Amarth, Ghost, Rob Zombie, W.A.S.P., etc. But when I arrived at the studio, I changed my mind on what the opener would be so I took out Sepultura and replaced them with Ministry. I had to add Van Halen at the end because I was running out of tracks with plenty of time left and I ended the show with what I called a non-live bonus track from Monster Magnet. Once again though, the best part of the whole event was getting to connect with some amazing people that you don’t always get to see all the time. I had a lot of fun at my fourth ever Alumni Takeover Weekend at Bridgewater State University and I definitely look forward to some more in the future. Check out the playlist below:

Playlist For 10/12/2018

1. Land Of Rape And Honey (Live) by Ministry

2. Twilight Of The Thunder God (Live) by Amon Amarth

3. Con Clavi Con Dio (Live) by Ghost

4. Demonoid Phenomenon (Live) by Rob Zombie

5. Killahead (Live) by W.A.S.P.

6. Kick The Chair (Live) by Megadeth

7. Jawbreaker (Live) by Halford 

8. The Clairvoyant (Live) by Iron Maiden

9. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Live) by Metallica

10. Beautiful Girls (Live) by Van Halen 

11. Shot In The Dark (Live) by Ozzy Osbourne 

12. Negasonic Teenage Warhead by Monster Magnet (Non Live Bonus Track)

pedal fest final poster

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