Posts Tagged ‘Mike Portnoy’

Images_and_WordsAfter taking a break last week from Loudwire’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list to cover Aerosmith, I thought it was time to return to the list and continue chopping it down. This week we are looking at a band that is musically gifted and probably the bets musicians band out there in Dream Theater. The Long Island band that met while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston were made up of Mike Portnoy (Drums), John Myung (Bass), John Petrucci (Guitar), and Kevin Moore (Keyboards). To fill you in on the last piece of the puzzle, the band had recently lost their lead singer Charlie Dominici so they tried out over 200 singers, but they chose James LaBrie, who at the time was in an Canadian Glam Metal band called Winter Rose. With the news, the band was signed to a seven album deal with ATCO Records and they released what Loudwire ranked #25TH on their list in 1992’s Images And Words. The album was so successful for the band that it remains their most successful commercial record to date and it also features their only top 10 radio hit to date as well. It peaked at number 61 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while being certified Gold in 1995.

CS495513-01B-BIG1. Pull Me Under– A very melodic opening of a track that remains to be the band’s only top 10 radio hit of their careers. Portnoy commented saying, “it was just an 8 and a half minute song, and it was just a fluke for MTV and radio play to happen.” The track I believe is about Hamlet as their many references to the play in the lyrics. 5/5

2. Another Day-a touching song that was written by Petrucci who was dealing with the fact that his father had cancer. Musically this is a beautiful track which features Jay Beckenstein playing the Soprano Saxophone on the track. 5/5

3. Take The Time– A very Rush like beginning complete with some insane bass playing from Myung. Portnoy says this about the track, “We decided to write a song about everything we’d been going through for the past three years – looking for a new singer, a new label & new management – just all the changes we made & all the frustrations we went through…but, have it coming from each of our four different perspectives.” 5/5

4. Surrounded– A track that starts off sounding like a ballad, but then takes a Styx like turn in my opinion at some points. I think the song is about someone who with the fact that they have to make difficult decisions. 4/5

6b4e656d21158879db41b977f381a9a15. Metropolis—Part I: ‘The Miracle and the Sleeper‘-a nine minute epic track from the band that was called part 1 as a joke by Petrucci. The song is about dealing with loss and finding that thing like religion that keeps you going. 4.5/5

6. Under A Glass Moon-a seven minute track that starts with some cool riffs by Petrucci before Portnoy comes in with his bad ass drumming. The track in my opinion could be about someone coming to terms with the end and having a religious epiphany. 4.5/5

7. Wait For Sleep– The shortest track on the album which is a keyboard driven track that Moore has said in interviews is about a lost girl. 4.5/5

8. Learning To Live– The last track on the album clocks in at 11 minutes long and starts with Moore again before Portnoy and the gang catch up in a very Rush like fashion. The track is all about learning to live with all the difficulties and sorrows that life throws you. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– Before listening to this album, I was admittingly not a Dream Theater fan, but after listening to the album, I have a new found appreciation for them. Musically, their only match was Rush and I felt that Dream Theater was adding to the genre with some of their other influences. My favorite tracks are Under A Glass Moon, Pull Me Under, Another Day, and Take The Time. Surrounded was my least favorite track on the album. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

War Of The Covers New The Mob RulesLast week, we had one heck of a triple threat match that saw Krokus come from behind to win by two votes in who covered Sweet’s The Ballroom Blitz better. Well now for this week’s War Of The Covers, we have another epic triple threat match that features some real titans of metal covering one of the greatest voices in Metal. In 2010, the world lost one of the greats in Ronnie James Dio in a battle with cancer. Ronnie left behind an epic legacy that included music with Rainbow, solo material, and his time with Black Sabbath which we are looking at today. In 1981, Black Sabbath would release their second album with Dio in The Mob Rules which featured the epic title track which is our focus today. In 2002, heavy metal band Fozzy which features members of Stuck Mojo with wrestler Chris Jericho released a cover of the song on their album Happenstance. In 2011, Iced Earth would release their tenth album Dystopia with Stu Block on vocals that featured a cover of the track. In 2013, Adrenaline Mob, the band that featured John Moyer of Disturbed and Mike Portnoy formerly of Dream Theater would release a covers EP called Covertà that featured a cover of the track as well. Now only one cover of The Mob Rules can reign supreme and you have until the very next War Of The Covers to decide so choose wisely and have fun with it.




stanger2015It’s been a while since I did one of these and so I figured I would do one today as there are some noteworthy news stories out there. I just wanted to mention real quick that Today is Black Label Society vocalist/axeman Zakk Wylde’s birthday which I already wished here. One of the coolest news stories out today though is the fact that a band actually took time out of their schedule to re-record Metallica’s St. Anger. You have to admit that all of us hated the recording quality of the record especially with Lar’s drum sound which it was apparently turned off while they recorded. We do not know the name of the band, but they are a group of friends. They are Daryl G. & Chris D. of the band Grace The Skies and Dave C. of the band Adjust. Here is what the band said about why they decided to take the time to re-record what they are calling #STANGER2015:

Recorded during a turbulent time in the bands career, St. Anger has always divided opinion. Some longtime fans were turned off by the drop tuned riffs and raw production, whilst some listeners embraced it, myself included. #STANGER2015 is for the listeners who weren’t so fond on the record back when it was released in 2003.

Recorded from the ground up, the album has been shortened by 15 minutes, yet every riff and lyric is intact, resulting in a more concise and focused record.

The production is also more conventional, and we hope that Metallica fans appreciate this new version of an album that is always looked at as an anomaly in the incredible career of the world’s biggest metal band, Metallica.

To listen to the re-recording of the track, just click here. The new version is mo much more tolerable, but I have to admit that I am still not a fan of some of the lyrics.

five fFive Finger Death Punch fans are probably rejoicing at some news that has dropped courtesy of Jeremy Spencer. The band released two volumes of The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell back in 2013 and the band is apparently ready to release some new music. Here is what Drummer Jeremy Spencer had to say, “I’m not sure. We always try to do things a little differently than the time before, but without being drastically different. We are who we are and I don’t see us doing something so left turn that people are going, What is that? I just don’t see that. We sound like what we sound like and I’m excited to see where it goes, honestly. I love making new records, and feeling the energy, seeing how everyone has grown and all that. We do try to push ourselves and experiment a little here and there. We have to keep it fresh for ourselves.”

hell gateMotley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and Def Leppard have all down Vegas residencies and the next logical person to do one would be none other than the Prince Of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon Osbourne told The Sun, “I’m working right now on a Vegas production for Ozzy. It’ll be in time for Halloween and be called ‘Hell Gate’” One source was quoted saying, “Ozzy has never done a stand-alone show in Vegas and there has been huge interest in what he has to offer. Vegas is an amazing spot, which has been a huge hit with the rock crowd. Ozzy would be a top draw and really do something unique.” As I said, this is the next logical step for Vegas and residencies. It will also give fans of his solo career to see him live once again.

tntIn heartbreaking and unfortunate news, TNT have once again parted ways with Tony Harnell. So, there goes any chance of seeing the band tour the US with the only singer that mattered. Tony spoke out in a statement on Facebook that said, “Sadly, it’s not possible for me to continue with the band. I won’t bore you with all the details…It’s nothing mind blowing and it’s certainly nothing new and it’s also best to respect the privacy of the band and keep our issues between us. At least that’s my goal. What I can tell you all is that I tried very hard once again to make it work for the long haul…My heart is broken, again, but I have no regrets about the past year and I’m really happy I could have such a wonderful final tour with the band for you guys.”

In better news than the last article, Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler gave fans an update on his condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery for an aneurysm he suffered last month. Meanwhile, Udo Dirkschneider’s son Sven Dirkschneider will be taking over drum duties for Saxon’s upcoming tour. The video with Nigel can be seen here.

I also wanted to take the time to wish the former voice of Queensryche Geoff Tate a very Happy 56TH Birthday today (January 14TH). I also wanted to wish White Lion frontman Mike Tramp a very Happy 54TH birthday today as well. Tomorrow (January 15TH) is Saxon frontman Biff Byford’s 64TH Birthday so Happy Birthday to him as well.

unnamedRex Brown (Ex-Pantera/Down/Kill Devil Hill) and Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) have joined The Metal Allegiance show which takes place at The House Of Blues in Anaheim on January 21ST. Here is the complete lineup of all the people participating, “Frank Bello (Anthrax), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Chuck Billy (Testament), Chris Broderick (Ex-Megadeth), Rex Brown (Pantera/Kill Devil Hill), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and John Tempesta (The Cult).” The show will stream live for all to see on the internet at this website. Here is what Rex had to say, “What better way to kick the new year in the fucking ass than with a Metal Allegiance show? House of Blues in Anaheim barely survived the last time! GET IT LOUD AND TEAR IT DOWN!!! If you can’t get your ass out to Anaheim, get it in front of a computer and head over to The Music Zoo’s website to watch it all go down.” Check it out or be lame and don’t unless you have a perfectly acceptable excuse.

111The Rock In Rio Festival is coming to the United States for the first time in May and we have some incredible lineups to announce. On May 8TH, this is more like the Alternative day with No Doubt, Mana, The Pretty Reckless, Foster the People, Gary Clark, Jr., Bleachers and Saints of Valory. Now if you’re like me then you are looking forward to day 2 on May 9TH which features the likes of Metallica, Deftones, Linkin Park, Rise Against, Hollywood Undead, Sepultura, Coheed & Cambria, and Of Mice And Men. There is a whole other weekend that I am not interested in, but if you want to get your hands on some tickets, just go here.