Posts Tagged ‘Nu-Metal’

5f17d88bc7bf44d6ab2f357020a541ebThe late 90’s/early 200’s Nu Metal scene did produce a lot of bands that we shall not talk about, but it did also produce some bands that are worthy of a conversation. One of those bands that is worth talking about is Chicago based Alt-Metal (fancier word for Nu-Metal) band Soil who was made up of Ryan McCombs (Lead Singer), Shaun Glass (Guitar), Adam Zadel (Guitar), Tim King (Bass), and Tom Schofield (Drums). The first time I saw the band or heard them was on Ozzy’s 2001 Winter arena tour that he did with Rob Zombie and Mudvayne. I was completely blown away by the band and I had to buy their second studio album Scars which was officially released September 11, 2001 (of all days to be released) via J Records. Despite the misfortunes of the release date, the album was actually pretty successful and that was due to the promoting of two key singles for the band that performed well on the charts in Halo and Unreal. Their success could also be attributed to Clive Davis who signed the band to his label J Records saying, “you’re gonna be my only rock band for now. You’re going to be a priority, and I want to break this band.” The album peaked at number 193 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as well as number ten on the heatseekers charts.

51Fz4Q73-FL1. Breaking Me Down– The song starts off with an explosion of pure hard rock metal grooves before Ryan McCombs showcases his vocal abilities in a fast pace. I think the track is about how a guy keeps trying to change for his girl, but its not enough. 4.5/5

2. Halo– The first single off the record that has this killer hook that is just infectious from the start in this track that is all about the inner war of a man and all the things he has to deal with while trying to remain a man. 5/5

3. Need To Feel– This is a pretty awesome rock song if you ask me where Glass and Zadel showcase their talents. The track is about a person wanting more from their relationship because they need to feel more from it. 5/5

4. Wide Open– an in your face , freight train of a track that packs one hell of a punch while adding a melodic twist to it at times. I think the track is about someone who knows their partner is vulnerable and takes advantage of it. 5/5

5. Understanding Me– a groove crushing track that is all about someone who is finally telling their bully or their hater that you may think you will never understand what they truly are. 4.5/5

6. My Own– A melodic intro opens up the track before the band crushes it with the groove as it sounds like Ryan is singing into a megaphone during the verses. I love the guitar sound on this track, it reminds me of the beginning of Wherever I May Roam. 4.5/5

7. Unreal– Ryan described the track saying, “the amount of control, or better, the lack of control one seems to have over his/her own life at times… and the feeling that maybe there is a higher power out there and if there is, he clearly doesn’t give a fuck about me now or the times you seem to need a little help the most.” 5/5

scars-4fb428d53228e8. Inside– A groove heavy track where he sings part of the track in a very low talking tone before flexing his pipes in a track that I believe talks about him reaching out saying that he is all you need. 4/5

9. Two Skins– An interesting track that talks about how man can have two skins which is basically the classic tale of the demon and angle on the shoulders. 4/5

10. The One– an up-tempo rock track that is all about mending an old friendship that could have ended for any number of reasons. 4/5

11. New Faith– a melodic track that talks about how people may be losing faith in religion and they are looking for something new. 4/5

12. Why– a bass driven track that just rips through your speaker in a track that is just about someone who is questioning why things have happened the way they have in his life. 4/5

13. Black 7– a very ominous track that ends the album and I am not quite sure what black 7 means, but it could refer to the seven deadly sins. I just feel it has something to do with that kind of world for some reason. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Musically this is one amazing album, but lyrically the album could get lazy at times and it certainly drops off for me towards the end. My favorite tracks are Unreal, Halo, Wide Open, and Need To Feel. My least favorite tracks are Two Skins and The One. I am giving the album 4.42 stars out of five for a final grade.

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linkinOne of the saddest moments of 2017 was the fact that we not only lost Chris Cornell, but that a short time later we also lost Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. I can remember as a member of Massasoit Community College’s radio station, we were invited to a record release party for Hybrid Theory and at that time I had no idea how huge this band would become. After six amazing studio albums, I wondered what else could this band possibly do and the album One More Light was the answer as it was voted Album Of The Year by you the fans at this years Monster Entertainment Awards. The final lineup on the record was Chester (Vocals), Mike Shinoda (Vocals, Programming, Keyboards), Brad Delson (Guitars), Phoenix (Bass), Joe Hahn (Programming), and Rob Bourdon (Drums). The album was produced by Brad Delson and Mike Shinoda and it was released on May 19, 2017 via Warner Brothers. The album did so well that peaked at number one in 7 different countries while also peaking in the top 5 in 7 different countries. In the year end album charts it finished at number 90 on the US Billboard top 200 too. The album was recorded very differently than usual as they recorded vocals first and then built the music around it. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Shinoda described the record saying, “In terms of the style of the record, it’s one of the most diverse stylistically, there’s more genres mashed into this album than anything we’ve ever put out. You don’t hear a lot of super heavy guitars. There isn’t any screaming on the record. To some extent it is a very polished record. Stylistically we wanted to blend all of the sound and genres together in a way you can’t tell them apart.”

linkin 21. Nobody Can Save Me– The track that kicks off this musical experiment with some electronic elements mixed in with some guitars and I feel this is a very personal song from Chester. It’s like he’s saying that no matter what you tell him, he doesn’t feel he can be saved. 4/5

2. Good Goodbye– The second track that follows the more hip hop element of the band mixed with the guitars and such. The song features Pusha T and Stormzy providing their own verses along with Shinoda who raps the first verse. I feel like this is a track where the band is saying if you’re not with us then goodbye to you. 5/5

3. Talking To Myself– One of my favorite tracks on the album that has more of a rock/pop sound that Chester is talking about a relationship that just isn’t going anywhere. 5/5

4. Battle Symphony– Another amazing song on the album where Chester is telling you that no matter hate is thrown at him, he will always have his guard up, but he’s also pleading to the fans not to give up on him either. 5/5

5. Invisible– One of the tracks that features singing from Shinoda and I was impressed with it. It’s one of those tracks that if something bad happened to you that you no longer have to worry because he is going to be there for you now because he’s not afraid to speak up anymore. 5/5

linkin 36. Heavy– A track that truly took a lot of criticism upon it’s release for being a slow burn pop song, but it’s honestly a great track featuring Kiiara on vocals as well. It’s a very deep track that kind of pinpoints Chester’s depression because the song is a metaphor for when it rains it pours kind of attitude. 5/5

7. Sorry For Now– This is the other track on the album that features Shinoda singing the vocals in a track that is about someone who knows that he messed up because maybe he wasn’t there for the person and he understands that they are mad, but he saying I will try next time. The track in parts has an almost dubstep feel to it. 4.5/5

8. Halfway Right-The song is kind of retrospective lyrically because it’s Chester looking back at how he may have handled things wrong back in the day, but he finally realizes that now. 5/5

9. One More Light-A very personal and amazing track that deal with the idea of loss and how some take it for granted. Another example of how brilliant Chester really was and this is a track to help you with loss. 5/5

10. Sharp Edges– The last track on the album that has a little bit of a folk feel to it ina  track that is all about how you should listen to your elders because they now a thing or two about life, but sometimes you do need to live a little too. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Listening to this album, you realize how brilliant this band is and even though Chester is gone, we have a catalog to remember his brilliance. I think the direction change was ballsy, but I think it paid off in the long run because they’ve always done what they’ve wanted to do. I love every track on this album, but my favorite songs are Invisible and Talking To Myself. This time I am not picking a least favorite track so I am going to go ahead and give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

sevendustAs I stated a couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite bands besides Korn to come out of the rubble of the Nu-Metal scene is the band Sevendust. The band has soldiered through label changes, lifestyle changes, and has persevered for 24 years as a band which is a huge accomplishment these days. That is why I have decided to cover the band’s third album Animosity for this week’s Album of the Week. The album which featured Lajon Witherspoon (Lead Vocals), Clint Lowery (Lead Guitar), John Connolly (Rhythm Guitar), Vinnie Hornsby (Bass), and Morgan Rose (Drums) was released on November 13, 2001 via TVT Records. The album peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 200 charts where it had been for 13 straight weeks. It was certified Gold four months later which was helped by the fact that four singles out of the five all charted. It was also the number one Top Independent album on the charts as well as producing two top 15 mainstream rock charts singles. One cool thing about the album is that the band released five different versions of the album over a two year period and each varied in what it contained. The band had already proven that there was no sophomore slump with Home and they were about to prove that they were here to stay with Animosity.

sevendust 21. T.O.A.B.– The first track on the album and if you were wondering it stands for Tits on A Boar. The track starts fading in with some machine like sounds before it launches into a sledgehammer of a track that talks about that person you know that you don’t like because they are just bad in general. 4/5

2. Praise-One of the singles off the album that grooves with the best of them in a track that could be a track that is talking from Christs perspective about how people may hate him, but they praise him when they need him. Even though the hate is strong though, he still will never deny them. 5/5

3. Trust– The song starts off with a melodic intro before it launches into overdrive. The song I think is about how he had someone, but they went away because he broke their trust. 5/5

4. Crucified– an interesting track that I think is about how he may have stood up for someone and he was vilified for it while they just went on with life. 4.5/5

5. XMas Day-a very cool acoustic track that was written by Clint about his mother and the relationship they had. 5/5

6. Dead Set-A very underrated track that Lajon sounds like gold on this headbanger that is all about struggling with your inner demons. 4.5/5

animosity-4f221747cd41f7. Shine-a cool track that I think Lajon is talking about how he just doesn’t feel like himself in a relationship even though he would love to see it shine. 4/5

8. Follow– This is a track on the album that features Aaron Lewis of Staind doing some vocals as well. It’s a very melodic track, but I have to say that I love Morgan’s playing on this track. 4/5

9. Damaged– This is a very deep track lyrically in this bass driven track that I think is talking about someone who is so damaged that they are suicidal. 4/5

10. Live Again-This was the album’s second single released that I think lyrically is talking about someone who has such a bad sense of self that Lajon is trying to urge them to live again and forget the BS. 4.5/5

11. Beautiful-a track that has those monster bass riffs to go along with the hard driving guitars in a track that Lajon is talking about life on the road becoming so dull that they need something refreshing to look at. 4/5

12. Redefine– a very cool track that Lajon is talking about something that keeps holding him back, but he wants to be free so that he can accomplish the things he wants to do. 4/5

13. Angel’s Son– Probably one of the best tracks that was originally released on the Strait Up CD that was done as a tribute to former Snot singer Lynn Strait. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This album at the time was further proof that these guys were far from done and as history will state they are about to release their 12TH album this year. So many awesome tracks on the album that my favorites are Angel’s Son, Praise, Trust, and XMas Day. It’s hard to pick a least favorite track on an album that is this good, but if I had to it would be Beautiful. Check out this album, I am going to give it 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

62832bf2b09acaf22004efd916863b2eBack in November of 2014, the world lost Industrial/Nu Metal titan Wayne Static who was known as the King of Evil Disco. Wayne was know for having that iconic hair style very reminiscent of Legion of the X-Men.  He was also known for his unique vocal delivery style that was infectious to try and imitate. I don’t know why I haven’t covered a single album, but there is a reason I chose the one I did. I could have chosen Wisconsin Death Trip as this week’s album, but Machine was the very first Static-X album that I purchased myself. The album was released on May 22, 2001 and it was produced by Ulrich Wild. The band was made up of Wayne Static (Lead Vocals/Guitars), Tony Campos (Bass), Ken Jay (Drums), Tripp Eisen (Lead Guitar, but never recorded a note for the record), and Koichi Fukuda (Keyboards/Programming). The album was a huge success for the band as it peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Top 200 charts making it the highest charted album for the band (Cult Of Static was the second highest).

51W49reL+2L1. Bien Venidos– Just an intro track of people clapping as some music starts and it leads into the next track. 4/5

2. Get To The Gone– Some insane growling open up this monster of a track that reminds me of the track The Great Southern Trendkill in how it opens. Campos amazing bass playing is present in this track that seems to be about how things have changed since their early days. 5/5

3. Permanence– An industrial dance beat very reminiscent of Ministry opens up this track that talks about how the band hates the current mainstream scene. 4/5

4. Black And White– One of the coolest tracks on the album that just grooves as he talks about how there is no middle ground in life, everything just ends up black and white. 5/5

5. This Is Not– The very first single released off the album that is just a sledgehammer of a track and very in your face as he screams This Is Not!!! I can only assume that he is talking about things can change and you just feel like nothing is the same. 5/5

6. Otsego Undead– The industrial metal dance song that would Al Jourgensen happy in a track that he could be talking about the undead, but then again thic could be about a town in Michigan that Wayne attended college near. 4.5/5

machine-526b60c4ea6217. Cold– One of my favorite tracks on the album that is very sludgey in nature with the bass and guitar riffs in a track that is associated with vampires and such. 5/5

8. Structural Defect– A supercharged track that talks about someone who is just trying to be themselves in a world where every one forces drugs on to you. 4.5/5

9. …In A Bag– A cool track that is actually about being on a tour bus and not being able to take a shit. Write what you know and experience. 4/5

10. Burn To Burn– a cool track that I think is talking about life and what it gives you may not always work out in your favor. 4/5

11. Machine– The title track on the album opens up with some cool industrial beats that remind me a little of what Fear Factory has done. The vocal approach is definitely different for Wayne on this track as well as it sounds like he whispers the verses. The song could be about their previous guitar player, but I’m not sure. 4/5

12. A Dios Alma Perdida– The last track on the album that starts really slow and sludgy with some sound clips included in this instrumental track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my favorite releases from the band that showed that no sophomore slump existed for them. The album also saw them venture out a little more musically than in the previous album as well. My favorite track on the album is definitely Cold followed by Black And White. My least favorite track on the album would probably be the title track, but that isn’t me condemning the song either. Anyways, I am going to give the album 4.4 stars out of five for a final grade.

wwayne static

Legion/Wayne Static

taprootWe are continuing down that road in the history of one of my favorite genres when I was in my latter years of high school and into college known as Nu-Metal. The band that I chose for today had a little bit of a controversial way of how they were signed or at least what happened after they signed made headlines in the Nu-Metal world. Apparently, the band which was made up of Stephen Richards (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar), Phil Lipscomb (Bass), Mike DeWolf (Lead Guitar), and Jarrod Montague (Drums) were apparently on target to get signed by Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst. Fred apparently was taking too long to make a deal go through so the band went ahead and signed with Atlantic Records. Fred in a fit of rage left this on Stephen’s answering machine, “Hey man, you fucked up. You don’t ever bite the hand that feeds in this business, bro . . . Took you under my wing, brought you to my house, talked about you on FM radio and in the press, and you embarrassed me and the Interscope family. Your association with Limp Bizkit doesn’t exist. Your manager slings our name around, he’s going to be blackballed and probably erased, and you will, too. You need to be associated with someone, and now you got enemies. You just fucked yourself. Don’t fucking show up at my shows. If you do, you’re gonna be fucked. You’re learning exactly right now how to ruin your career. All the luck, brother, fuck you.” The rest is history as they said because this may have given the band the publicity they needed as the album Gift sold over 250,000 copies and it peaked at number 160 on the Billboard Top 200 charts.

gift by taproot1. Smile-The track opens up with an in your face riff in a track that is all about being yourself and not what people want you to be. 4/5

2. Again & Again– One of the lead tracks off the album and my favorite track that is about someone who just needs to take a step back to get back to the point when they were in control and above the noise. 5/5

3. Emotional Times– Not a favorite of mine lyrically because it just about how life sucks and not having control of feelings, but musically it’s fierce and Nu-Metal at it’s best. 3.5/5

4. Now– I love the clean channel playing of the intro to this track and it drives most of the song until you get to the all out madness of the chorus. It’s about the narrator needing his significant other or someone he is infatuated with because he feels he can’t go on. 4/5

5. 1 Nite Stand– You would think this song is about one night stands, but it’s not. It’s more about doing something that surprises you cause you never thought you could. 4/5

6. Believed– A very interesting track that starts with some cool pedal effects on the guitars before it kicks into the track and Stephen starts rapping the verse. It has an Incubus feel to it when the chorus hits. It’s lyrically the most interesting track on the record. 4/5

gift-4e9a348e8eb457. Mentobe– Some heavy riffs open the track before it calms for the chorus in a track that looks like it’s about fearing the person that you are meant to be. 4/5

8. I– One of the other amazing tracks on the album that the music is dark in nature with the melodic guitar riffs right into the distorted playing. The track is about all the sorrows that one holds deep inside about the past. 5/5

9. Mirror’s Reflection-an interesting track that is about someone who hates what they see in the mirror so they take it out on others. Insecurities can make someone do awful things. 4/5

10. Dragged Down-The track starts off like a rocket flying into space before it gets melodic for the verses in a track that is about someone who is an relationship where things are one sided but they don’t leave. 4/5

11. Comeback– Musically the song is cool, they try to sound like Korn at times in this track, but sometimes the lyrics don’t work for me. Some of them just seem forced. Otherwise, it’s a cool track when they turn it up. 3.5/5

12. Impact– The last track on the album that just steamrolls through in a track that is about someone who believes that they are making a positive impact on people. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This was a decent album from a band that I believed was growing musically with every release after this one. Unfortunately for Fred Durst, he was not the reason for the demise of any band because time was ultimately that for the short lived genre. Nonetheless, this was a strong debut for the band that made a statement and I commend them for it. I am going to give the album four stars out of five for a final grade.

ultraspankFor the last two weeks, we have been exploring the Nu-Metal scene which was a scene that I heavily promoted on my early college radio show from 2000-01. One of the bands that I was admittedly obsessed with back in those days was the band Ultraspank which formed in 1995 after the break up of another band. On May 30, 2000, the band would release their most critically acclaimed album Progress which featured Pete Murray (Vocals and Programming), Dan Ogden (Bass), Jerry Oliviera (Guitar), Neil Godfrey (Guitar), and former Snot drummer James “Fed” Carroll. The album was produced by the great Peter Collins who had produced albums for bands such as Alice Cooper, Gary Moore, Rush, Queensrÿche, and so many more. I can’t find much online as far as the band’s chart history or how many albums the band sold, but it is considered by some critics as the best Nu-Metal album that was ever released.

51NZls8K2bL1. Push-An cool industrial like bass riff along with some drums opens up the track and launches into overdrive as soon as the chorus kicks in. I think the track is about that fear of growing old and knowing change is taking over, but you just have to push through it. 4.5/5

2. Crumble– A cool guitar riff leads us in to this track that is about someone who realizes that they are not growing as a person like their counterpart, so they need to change it. 4.5/5

3. Stuck– A ferocious track right from the get go, the song follows someone who feels like they are stuck in a situation that is going nowhere. You can hear elements that are very similar to bands like Taproot in this track. 4.5/5

4. Feed-The opening riff reminds me of Korn’s Shoots and Ladders until the song progresses forward. the song is about someone who constantly feeds you BS and pretends to be your friend, but they prey on you because he thinks you’re weak. 4.5/5

5. Smile-Bass and drums once again open the track with a mellow guitar riff that eventually follows in this track that has a huge similarity in style to Tool especially as Pete channels his inner Maynard James Keenan. 4/5

6. Click-A rockin tune that has a driving riff that will have you grooving to it especially when the chorus hits. The chorus has a flare to it that sounds like Static-X’s Push It. One of the best tracks on the album for sure. 5/5

R-11096097-1509798523-3387.jpeg7. Jackass-A hard driving rock track that slows down the tempo for the verse to the point that it’s only bass and drums with that ominous guitar riff that comes in to signal the chorus is near. This is another amazing track on the album that seems to be talking about someone who thinks they are great, but there really a…. 4.5/5

8. Crack– A track that seems to be talking about someone who is cracking under the pressures of what life brings that they are shutting themselves off to the world. 4/5

9. Invite Yourself In– A 16 second intro to the next track 4/5

10. Thanks-A track that is purely metal and in your face as it may be one of the heaviest tracks on the album for sure. 4.5/5

11. Left-A cool track that starts off heavy, but then it gets very melodic and evil sounding which is pretty cool. It has that Tool influence to it which I think is a cool touch in a track that seems to be about someone who needs to leave the place he is over guilt for something. 4.5/5

12. Where– This is one of the best and my personal favorite Ultraspank track that I played every chance I could on my radio show. It starts off with this cool acoustic side to it then a cool programmed riff comes in before the band launches into overdrive for the chorus. I just think it’s about keeping your head up because somewhere out there is a better place than this. you just have to find it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The track features so many sounds that would be utilized in the scene right after it’s release and you can definitely hear the similarities with bands on the scene. This was an amazing release and it’s too bad that the band would break up shortly after the release, but those things happen. Check this one out on Spotify, iTunes, and on CD if you can find it. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five.