Posts Tagged ‘Power Metal’

jpriest-screamingveng-coverThe album that I chose for today’s Album of the Week always held a special place in my heart because one of it’s lead singles was my introduction to the band and every time I hear it I still can’t stop rocking out to it. The other reason being that Judas Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance was released on July 17, 1982 which was the year I was born. Screaming For Vengeance was the band’s eighth studio album and it once again featured Rob Halford (Vocals), K.K. Downing (Guitars), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), and Dave Holland (Drums) while the album was produced by Tom Allom which this was his fourth time with the band. British Steel was always considered the band’s marquee record, but the truth of the matter is that they didn’t sell well in the US until the release of this album which rose all the way up to two times platinum which made it the first Priest record to do so. It was a huge commercial success here in the US as it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top 200 charts as well as peaking at number 11 in the UK. The album has received numerous accolades over the years including being listed number 7 on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list.

judas-priest-screaming-vengeance-2-cd1. The Hellion– One of the greatest opening instrumental tracks to an album that when I would play it on my college station I would accompany it with the next track. 5/5

2. Electric Eye– Picking up right where the last track took off, this classic track about big brother and the paranoia that went with the idea of the government watching you. Played in E minor the track is based off George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four book. 5/5

3. Riding On The Wind-I love how the track opens with the drums before it goes to the answer/call effect by the twin guitar attack in the beginning in what I believe to be a motorcycle track as far as the lyrics are concerned. 5/5

4. Bloodstone– The guitar riff is slowed don a bit before the track kicks off in this song that I think is about all the blood that has been spilled in the world and how it seems like it’s never ending. 5/5

5. (Take These) Chains– One of my favorite power ballads that I think has a deeper meaning than just about love. I think it was Halford crying out that he just wanted to be free and not have to hide his true feelings. 5/5

6. Pain And Pleasure– a slowed down tempo leads this track that has the same kind of sound as Metal Gods as far as drums are concerned in this track that is all about S&M and how even though it hurts that is what is enjoyable about it. 4.5/5

judas-priest-screaming-for-vengeance-columbia-38160-lp-vg--2_442943527. Screaming For Vengeance– The title track is next and it hard charging/chugging riff in this song that is all about injustice and how the man always tries to keep you down. 4.5/5

8. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’– This is the one track that every time I hear it I can not stop playing air guitar to. The very first single off the record written in F-sharp minor is the only Priest track to ever chart in America. The track is about doing what you want to do no matter what others say! 5/5

9. Fever– A very melodic track much like (Take These) Chains, in this track that is all about two lovers who become re-acquainted. The real highlight of this track is Rob Halford’s vocals in this song and how he smoothly fits right in with the music so effortlessly. The guitar solo in the track is pretty bad ass too. 5/5

10. Devil’s Child– The last track on the album is an absolute banger in the same sense as any of their other popular tracks. It’s about being in a relationship/friendship with someone that you know is bad, but it’s very much a necessary evil. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my top Judas Priest albums ever and that is why it holds such a special place in my heart. The only unfortunate thing is that 8 out of the 10 tracks is a 5, but that they are not too far behind because the album gets 4.9 stars out of five for a final grade.

iron maidenWe are continuing our journey through Loudwire.com’s list of the top 50 Metal albums of all time by checking out a true classic and game changer. When I was deciding on what album to choose, it was almost a no brainer because I had not yet covered an Iron Maiden record that featured my favorite singer Paul Di’Anno. He was the original lead singer of New Wave of British Heavy Metal titans Iron Maiden and we are checking out the band’s self titled debut record. The band which was made up of Di’Anno (Lead Vocals), Steve Harris (Bass Guitar), Dennis Stratton (Guitar) in his only appearance, Dave Murray (Guitar), and Clive Burr (Drums). According to some sources, this was the only album that was ever produced by Will Malone as the band expressed he showed no interest in their project. Due to the lack of interest, they claim to have produced most of the album themselves and they completed it in only 13 days. Although the album did not peak in the US on the charts, it did peak at number four in the UK in 1980 and then peaked at number 71 in the UK in 1985 and it has since been certified platinum in the UK. The album is listed at number 45 on Loudwire’s list, it is one of two Iron Maiden albums featured int he book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (The Number Of The Beast is the other), and it’s number 13 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.

1front1. Prowler– The first track off the album and it’s a classic in this track that is all about a pervert walking around spying on girls, etc. 5/5

2. Remember Tomorrow– a more mellow track from the band in this track that is believed to be about World War II and his grandfather. 4.5/5

3. Running Free– An awesome track and probably one of my favorite Di’Anno sung tracks from Maiden that is all about being 16, rebellious, and free according to Di’Anno. I love the beginning of the track which the drummer kicks off before Harris joins in with his signature bass sound.  5/5

4. Phantom Of The Opera– a seven minute epic that was written by Steve Harris who says that the track is, “the first song I’d written that was a bit more proggy.” It’s a track that has endured time and is still performed live to this day. 5/5

5. Transylvania– An instrumental track that was written by Steve Harris. 5/5

Encartes (16)6. Strange World– a very cool track that is very mellow, but not ballad like. it just has a slower tempo than most tracks and is musically and lyrically amazing. I thin the track is about a vampire getting used to the new world he lives in which is strange and lonely. 5/5

7. Charlotte The Harlot– This was the only track ever written solely by Dave Murray which is about a fictional prostitute named Charlotte even though he claims it’s based on a true story. 4.5/5

8. Iron Maiden– A staple of the band’s live set and it is named after them after all so it’s their signature song. The song is about two things with one being the medieval torture device of the same name and it’s about the band themselves. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There is a reason these guys are so amazing and that is because of their great writing leader in Steve Harris who has been the x-factor of the band. Check out this classic album because it’s pure brilliance from a band that has a discography full of it. My favorite tracks are all of them, but I have fallen in live with Strange World today. I am giving the album 4.9 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

HELLOWEEN-Keeper-of-the-Seven-Keys-Part-1-LPWhen you think of European Power Metal, there is instantly one band that should come to mind and that band is Germany’s own Helloween. We chose Helloween for this week’s Halloween inspired Album of the Week because Halloween is in their name and it was voted number 43 on Loudwire’s 50 Greatest Metal Albums. The band that in 1987 was made up of new vocalist Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen (Guitar), Michael Weikath (Guitar), Markus Grosskopf (Bass), and Ingo Schwichtenberg (Drums) released their second and most pivotal album that some experts say spawned the Power Metal genre in Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part 1. It was the first album for the band that cracked the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at 104 and it was also the first album to not feature Kai Hansen on vocals. The reason for this was for the fact that he was having trouble singing and playing guitar at the same time so they brought in Kiske. While the album did feature Michael Weikath on guitar, it wasn’t much due to an injury he suffered during recording sessions for the album so the album is dominated by Hansen. Originally, the album was part of what the band had planned as a double album, but the label refused and made them separate it as the next part would come in 1988.

HELLOWEEN_KEEPER+OF+THE+SEVEN+KEYS+PART+1-566793b1. Initiation– An instrumental intro that kicks off the album that was written by Kai Hansen. 4/5

2. I’m Alive– A great track that I feel is an amazing anti-suicide song or at least that is the message that I get from the track that shreds through out. You gotta love the gang vocals for the chorus. 4.5/5

3. A Little Time– a great track that features some killer riffs and even some clock sound effects in the is song that is all about chasing your dreams and to aim higher. 4.5/5

4. Twilight Of The Gods– If you want to listen to some insane playing like one of the best solos on the album then check out this track that I think is about how we create Gods just to have war. 4.5/5

61i0nWQMGvL5. A Tale That Wasn’t Right– The track is a ballad type track, but in the sense that is a slower tempo track than the previous on the album. The track could be interpreted as the tale of a relationship that comes to an end or the tale of a backstabbing friend. 4.5/5

6. Future World– The lead single off the album that I feel is about a guy who is visiting this world telling a person about the future world and how great it is, but in reality how great is the world. Another great solo on this track from Hansen and company. 5/5

7. Halloween– This is the 13 minute epic track that was dedicated to the greatest holiday on the planet which is also the song title. It can be pretty cheesy at times, but it’s Halloween!!! 5/5

8. Follow the Sign-The track is more of an outro that you can tell is the bridge between parts one and two. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– While I am more of a fan of part two than one, there is no denying that this was the stepping stone of the band that would launch them into metal stardom. My favorite tracks on the album are Future World and Halloween while my least favorite track would be Follow The Sign. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

17498847_1430758220309198_7445967711751034253_nThe Pedal To The Metal tournament has remained one of the most controversial tournaments in history mainly due to certain fan bases arguing over the legitimacy of the tournament. People have always questioned how certain bands have defeated other bands and it always seems to center on Iron Maiden. They have been in the tournament every year and they have never won the tournament yet. We’ve seen Motley Crue, Judas Priest (2X Champs), Kreator, Destruction, and Queensryche claim the title, but never them. The fact of the matter is that I post the article on every band’s Facebook page to try and alert the various fan bases, but it’s up the band to share the posts. If they do not then you obviously do not see it and therefore when you finally catch wind of the tournament, you cry foul that Iron Maiden was eliminated. I changed the tournament up the last couple of years to include newer bands, but this year we are going back to the beginning when things were simpler. First, we have shortened how many bands are in the tournament from 32 to 16 and the last thing we did is that it is only going to involve 1980’s hard rock and heavy metal bands.

queensryche-bannerIn fact, we are only including the bands that could be considered the elite of the list and while it’s up for debate, we have chosen the bands. The following bands will be in the tournament this year: Queensryche (defending champions), Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Motorhead, Def Leppard, and Scorpions are the qualified bands. The last four spots of the tournament will be contested between eight other bands with the top four qualifying for the tournament. The eight bands are Twisted Sister, Skid Row, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Ratt, Accept, Y&T, and King Diamond. The voting will occur in two places: one place you can visit to vote will be on my Twitter page @TheMonsterHour with the second being the blog’s very own Facebook page. We’ll also be hosting the vote on my radio show page for Pedal To The Metal Radio which is what the tournament was named after. You will have 24HRS to cast your vote and the top four bands will move on so choose wisely. Stay tuned for the rest of the tournament news and brackets to follow!

strypergoddamnevilcdOne of the most underrated metal bands of all time has to be the one and only Stryper who have been victims for years because of the attachment of the words “Chrsitian Metal”. For those of you who do not know who Razorfist is, I suggest you get familiar with what he had to say about the band in his Metal Mythos episode on Stryper. You have to agree with him when he tells you that they were an unbelievable Power Metal band that got the raw end of the stick for many years because of the stigma that was attached to them. Nonetheless, the band is back with a vengeance with a brand new album that may just stir up some controversy on the scene with the album title God Damn Evil. The band proves they deserve more than they get with the brand new track Take It To The Cross which is high octane metal with an edge that fans of the band had yet to see. The song is fierce and so fast that it’ll melt your face right off with the power of a Teutonic blast.

Michael Sweet talked about the album saying, “Take It To The Cross’ is our answer to many fans asking us to do something a little heavier and even bordering on thrash. The verses are heavy with a vocal and lyric delivery that’s bold and relevant yet the chorus kicks in with a fast, thrashy vibe. We brought in Matt Bachand (Act Of Defiance / Shadows Fall) to handle the vocal growl on the choruses and the end vamp. This song is 100 percent high octane.” If this track is any indicator of what we can expect from the band on the album then sign me up. The album is due out April 20TH via Frontiers Music SRL, but you can pre-order it now right here. There’s a lot of cool options including some cool vinyl options like a test pressing. Check out the track below:

One of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time is none other than Birmingham, England’s own Judas Priest. Judas Priest is a band that deserves so much credit as far as the metal world is concerned and the fact that they were snubbed by the rock and roll hall of fame is ludicrous. Nonetheless, the band took all of 2017 off to ensure that they would deliver a brand new album that was co-produced by Tom Allom (his first since 1988’s Ram It Down) and Andy Sneap (his first effort) called Firepower.  Rob Halford talked about the pairing of the two saying, “Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing and Andy [Sneap] is a bit more of a ‘modern metal producer’ but his thinking is a little bit different to Tom’s. And I think to get this balance between that classic old school metal to what Andy’s world is was just a remarkable coalescence.” The first track that was unleashed off the album is the song Lightning Strike and upon first listen you can hear old school Judas Priest all over the track. The track has me excited for what Firepower will offer when it comes out March 9TH via Epic. You can pre-order the album now by going here, but for now check out the track below:

sanctuaryI am always looking for new bands to cover, but there is always that unfortunate circumstance when a member of a band passes away and I cover the band’s album as a tribute. Warrel Dane, the lead singer of the bands Sanctuary and Nevermore passed away this morning in Brazil of a heart attack. He was in Brazil recording his second solo album when the incident happened where he was staying. So, I wanted to pay tribute to Warrel Dane by covering an album from the band that introduced me to him in Sanctuary. The album that I chose for you guys is the band’s 1988 debut record Refuge Denied which was produced by Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and Paul Lani. You may be asking how in the world did they get Mustaine to produce the album? Apparently, after they recorded a demo, they approached Mustaine who had just performed with Megadeth in their area and they handed it to him. Mustaine was impressed enough with the band that he agreed to produce the album. The album featured Dane, Lenny Rutledge (Guitar), Sean Blosl (Guitar), Jim Sheppard (Bass), and Dave Budbill (Drums). Initially, the album had sold 7,000 copies on Vinyl, but has since sold over 200,000 worldwide.

sanctuary-refuge-denied-1988-japan-back1. Battle Angels– The band launches into overdrive with some chugging riffs right from the get go in a track that has some amazing battle fantasy lyrics. 4/5

2. Termination Force– The track starts off with that typical 80’s thrash melodic sound that is a little eerie with the guitars made to stand out the most before the rest of the band launches in and the song features some cool bass playing from Sheppard. It seems to be a song about rebelling against your government and the need to feel like you have to before it’s too late. 4/5

3. Die For My Sins– This is a kick ass song that has that trash metal sound with the power metal vocals in a track that is about someone who doesn’t have the will to live, but wants you to have fun for him. That is what it seems like anyways to me because I am not picking up a religious tone. 4/5

4. Soldiers of Steel-A track that has that Megadeth/Mercyful Fate to it with some killer guitar work with more of those fantasy inspired lyrics. 4/5

refuge-denied-515ccee9558bb5.  Sanctuary– Every great band has a song named after them right? Well, Iron Maiden did and so does Sanctuary. The track helps kick off side two of the vinyl and it does with this melodic riff that fades in and at first I was worried because of the intro, but the band turns up the tempo and they save the song. 4/5

6. White Rabbit– I wonder how much of an influence Dave was when the band decided to cover this Grace Slick written Jefferson Airplane track. Nonetheless, I have to say that this is a pretty decent cover, it’s better than Megadeth’s cover of These Boots. 4.5/5

7. Ascension To Destiny– This might musically be the best track on the whole record in my opinion. The band is on fire as the duel guitarists get it right on this one and it fits with Dane’s powerful vocals. 5/5

8. The Third War– It’s an all out metal assault on this track which is about, you guessed it, the possibility of World War III which is nuclear war. 4.5/5

9. Veil Of Disguise– I love the clean guitar channel, slow tempo’d track that this is because it just has that evil feel to it. I think lyrically, we are in ancient Egypt maybe just from the nature of the lyrics. Don’t fret because the distortion does come back at some point in the track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is a pretty decent debut for the band, but it was their next album that would top this one’s sales. Nevertheless, I love the mixture of thrash with power metal because it was something a little different even though you can hear the Mercyful Fate influence in it. I am going to give the album 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade.