Posts Tagged ‘Progressive Metal’

war of the covers  perfect strangers.jpgLast week, we went on the lighter side of the spectrum of music with a hard rock classic in Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones and between Motley Crue and Tesla, you voted and chose Motley Crue as the winner by half the votes. This week we have another hard rock classic for you guys to vote on, but this is a unique one because it’s a battle of metal subgenres. This week we are checking out the classic 1984 track Perfect Strangers which was the title track to Deep Purple’s 11TH studio album (check out the review here). The album was iconic because it featured the return of Deep Purple’s famous Mark II lineup consisting of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice. Now you are probably wondering what two bands did I find that covered the track that pin certain metal sub-genres against each other? In one corner, we have progressive metal legends Dream Theater who covered the track for their 1995 EP A Change Of Seasons. In the other corner, we have legendary symphonic black metal legends Dimmu Borgir who covered the song on their 2010 album Abrahadabra. Now only one version can prevail and it’s up to you to make the choice. You have until the next War Of The Covers to decide.

 

condition-humanAs is tradition, we here at Moshpits and Movies cover an album by the winning band of the Pedal To The Metal tournament. So with that being said, we are covering an album from Washington progressive metal band Queensrÿche who are the 2017 Pedal To The Metal Tournament winners as they defeated the mighty Amon Amarth with the help of an incredible fan base. Queensrÿche who is now made up of Todd La Torre (Lead Vocals), Michael Wilton (Lead and Rhythm Guitar), Parker Lundgren (Lead and Rhythm Guitar), Eddie Jackson (Bass), and Scott Rockenfield (Drums) released their second album with La Torre called Condition Hüman back on October 2, 2015. It was stated that the album featured demos from the band’s previous self titled album sessions that had never made the cut along with brand new tracks that they were writing at the time. Michael Wilton described the record saying, “We’re taking the songs in the classic Queensrÿche direction but maybe a little more progressive and heavier at times.” When the album was finally released, it was met with great praise from critics and it even peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and number five on the Billboard Top Rock Album charts as well.

QUEENSRYCHE - Condition Human [Japan Edition] back1. Arrow Of Time– The first track of the album opens with that singature sound we love from the band with the dueling leads and amazing bass playing by Jackson that we loved from albums like Mindcrime or Empire. Todd of course sounds amazing as he belts out the lyrics to the track that talk about fighting against societies inability to avoid repeating past mistakes 5/5

2. Guardian– A definite Empire-esque track on the album that is about rising against the strangelehold of the government. 4.5/5

3. Hellfire– I love the acoustic intro of the track with the cadence like drum playing from Rockenfield. The track is heavy, hammering, and it has a cool groove to it which I definitely like. 5/5

4. Toxic Remedy– A cool track that I believe talks about how people drown themselves in toxic ways. 4.5/5

5. Selfish Lives– A very Mindcrime like track that at first the music fades in before the band launches it into overdrive with that sledge like guitar riff. 4.5/5

6. Eye9– Jackson starts off the song with a cool bass riff with La Torre coming in with a mystical sounding vocals before the band comes in smashing in. The track features a very cool guitar riff towards the end that rivals some of their best. 4.5/5

Queensryche-Condition_Human_(Limited_Edition)-CD7. Bulletproof– There’s some choir like chanting in the beginning which is followed by some clean channel playing before they turn it up for the chorus in a track that is all about relationships that are struggling. 4/5

8. Hourglass– Rockenfield kicks off the track before the band comes charging in with some ferocity in a track that is all about how time is precious in life especially as you get older. 4/5

9. Just Us– Acoustic playing opens up this mid-tempo track that is ballad like, but definitely not a ballad like what we would get in the 80’s. The track seems to be about a child that maybe is a newborn or at least a child where the narrator is reflecting that no matter what happens, he will always love them. 4.5/5

10. All There Was– A very cool track that has a rockin riff that gets your blood moving that is talking about someone going through a one sided relationship where they put in and never get anything back. 5/5

11. The Aftermath– An acoustic intro track that leads into the next one. 4/5

12. Condition Hüman– The last track on the album which also clocks in as the longest track on the album at almost 8 minutes. It starts off as a mid tempo track until after the first chorus when the band turns it up with an epic metal sound. It’s a classic metal epic in the structure, etc. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This album is exactly what Queensrÿche fans ordered as far as what we wanted from a Queensrÿche album. Todd La Torre is doing an excellent job at the helm after what is now two amazing records with the band. I can only hope that this continues to move forward and we experience more of what these guys can offer. While I would still love to see Chris DeGarmo come back and make it a three guitar band like Maiden, I think the band is doing quite fine as it is. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five.

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unnamed3As usual, we are giving you two singles of the week with one on the rock side and the other on the metal side of life. This is your metal side of life single of the week.I wasn’t too sure what Djent was for a while, but I became curious after hearing a new track from the band Periphery. Thanks to Google and wikipedia this is what they gave me, “Djent /ˈdʒɛnt/ is a style of heavy metal music that was developed as a spinoff of traditional progressive metal. The word “djent” is an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted palm-muted, low pitch guitar sound most notably employed by bands like Meshuggah and Sikth.” Now I am understanding the genre and the intensity that Periphery brings to the table with their new song The Price Is Wrong which is off the band’s upcoming record Periphery III: Select Difficulty which comes out July 22ND via Sumerian Records. The song is truly an in your face explosion of blast beats and chugging guitar riffs and a bad ass guitar solo. Guitarist Jake Bowen talked about the track saying, “It’s like handing somebody a grenade. It’s so in-your-face and brutal for us. It was a great way to start.” Misha Mansoor continues the convo saying, “Every one of our albums has a nice long intro, and we were like, ‘Let’s kick this off with a drum fill and a pissed-off riff. It’s something we haven’t done. It was fun.” If you want to pre-order the album, then click here otherwise check out the track below:

We are going to try something new on the blog where we explore music from bands that are not signed to a label. Hence the name of the piece being Unsigned Band Of The Week, but this is way to try and expose music from bands all across the country and world. We usually only cover bands that are signed, but hopefully this can bring some noise to the scene for these bands. Our first band that we chose for this piece hails all the way from Milwaukee and they are called UNDER AEGIS. They are a progressive metal band that just absolutely pummels right from the first chord. The song I chose to share with all of you is the track Smoke & Mirrors and the song is just heavy as hell. The song gives you everything you need from the in your face vocals from their singer Zach Murphy to the amazing chord and tempo changes that the band provides. The music has some in your face breakdowns as well which just pump up the adrenaline. Definitely check these guys out as I provided the music video for all of you below. Give them a like on Facebook and follow them on Twitter as well.

File:Metallica - ...And Justice for All cover.jpgLast month we celebrated the 30TH anniversary of the release of Metallica’s Kill Em All and now we are celebrating a different release by Metallica. On August 25, 2013, …And Justice For All turned 25 years old which means it celebrates its silver anniversary (I believe). By the accounts of a lot of different people, this album signified that a lot of changes were going to come to the beloved Thrash metal genre and it signified the beginning of a new era. For starters, it was the first album to be recorded without Cliff Burton and the first with former Flotsam & Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted. It signified the end of a traditional thrash metal sound for Metallica as they took a more progressive metal approach with this album. Lars commented on the band’s change, “We took the Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets concept as far as we could take it. There was no place else to go with the progressive, nutty, sideways side of Metallica, and I’m so proud of the fact that, in some way, that album is kind of the epitome of that progressive side of us up through the ’80s.” The albums lyrics were also very different and dark while being rooted in politics, inequality, and freedom of speech just being some of the topics. There is also a rumor that if you notice, you’ll barely hear the bass tracks because Metallica supposedly turned the bass down.

andOne of the most badass Metallica songs ever kicks off the album in the form of Blackened, a song that deals with the subject of the environment. I love the slow fade up tactic that Metallica chose for the track which signifies the beginning of the madness. It’s also the best drumming I have heard from Lars in my opinion and I love the breakdown after the 2:30 mark, it’s just punishing. …And Justice For All is the next track on the album and it’s a track that was inspired by the drummer Lars’s aggressive riff and drum patterns. Famed music critic Cosmo Lee once said that the song is, “”a linkage of blocks” rather than “a progressive opus”, because “the song is mid-paced and very playable. None of the riffs are that technical.” Eye Of The Beholder is another track that starts with a slow fade up as the track keeps building up and then it explodes into an all metal assault. The track is played at a conventional 4/4 rhythm while the chorus is famous for being played at a 12/8 time. The tracks lyrics deal with issues of limitations that are constantly placed on freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It makes sense considering the PMRC was hammering down on Heavy Metal at the time.

oneI hate to call the next track a power ballad, but that is exactly what One is. It’s the Grammy award winning track from the album whose lyrics are very anti-war. The song was inspired by a book by Dalton Trumbo that was called Johnny Got His Gun which was released in 1939 and dealt with a soldier who had lost all his limbs in battle.  The song begins in 4/4 time before it gradually switches in 3/4 and even 2/4 time. My favorite part of the song is the machine gun guitar build up with the double bass madness. Here is what James told Guitar World Magazine in 1991 regarding B-G modulation, “I had been fiddling around with that B-G modulation for a long time. The idea for the opening came from a Venom song called “Buried Alive”. The kick drum machine-gun part near the end wasn’t written with the war lyrics in mind, it just came out that way. We started that album with Mike Clink as producer. He didn’t work out so well, so we got Flemming to come over and save our asses.”

harvesterThe Shortest Straw is the next track on the record with it’s stop and smash playing in the beginning, it’s a song that deals with the topic of blacklisting. According to wikipedia, Harvester Of Sorrow is a song about, “a man who descends into madness, taking out his anger on his family. At the end of the song, it is hinted his sanity snaps and he murders them.” The song is a live staple at any Metallica show and deservedly so as the track hits you like a sledgehammer when it kicks off. Frayed Ends Of Sanity is the next track and it deals with the subject of a man who cannot live with the mania inside his head as he tries to become stronger than the demons (at least that’s what I get out of it). To Live Is To Die is the only song on the album where credit is given to Cliff Burton. The song samples a lot of different bass lines that Cliff had done before he passed away, but they were recorded with Jason for the album.

and justiceDyer’s Eve is the last track on the record and it’s a straight forward, cut ‘n dry message to his parents with some awesome and crazy stop and play metal madness in the beginning. Then out of nowhere the madness becomes even more maddening as Metallica embark on all out metal assault. This is definitely one of my favorite albums that started off with Mike Clink as the producer because Flemming Rasmussen wasn’t available when they needed him. After not being happy with what Mike Clink was doing, Flemming was finally brought in as he saved the day. Happy 25TH Anniversary to …And Justice For All you get four stars out of five.