Posts Tagged ‘Rick Rubin’

Slayer Seasons In The AbyssLast night, I witnessed one of the best performances by thrash metal legends Slayer since the passing of Jeff Hanneman at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA. It inspired me to finish the trilogy of albums that featured Dave Lombardo (Drums) as I already covered Reign In Blood and South Of Heaven. The album that I am covering for today is the band’s fifth studio album Seasons In The Abyss which was the first through Def American, was produced once again by Rick Rubin, but was the last to feature Lombardo on drums for a long time. The rest of the band was rounded out by Tom Araya (Bass/Lead Vocals), Kerry King (Guitar), and the late Jeff Hanneman (Guitar). The best way to describe the album is to look at it as the best of both South and Reign with fast and heavy tracks to go along with the more melodic and evil sounding tracks. Upon it’s release on October 9, 1990, the album would peak at number 40 on the US Billboard Top 200 and it peaked in the top 20 in the UK as it made it’s way to be certified Gold (selling 500,000).

117471726-21.War Ensemble– The punishing and sonic ear drums destroying, neckbreaker of a track kicks the album and describes the world’s obsession with war. 5/5

2. Blood Red– Another amazing track that is just hammering as they talk about communist dictatorships. The track also features an amazing guitar solo that displays that signature sound from the boys. 5/5

3. Spirit In Black– Another razor fast barn burner from the band in a track that talks about that infamous spirit in black that haunts you and wants to possess. The cool thing about the track is out of nowhere the band speeds the tempo to Reign In Blood like pace. 4.5/5

4. Expendable Youth– The tempo is slowed down a little, but this is one of my favorite tracks on the album that is an absolute headbanger from beginning to end. The track is social commentary on the youth who grow up in less desirable conditions where killing is all they know. 5/5

5. Dead Skin Mask– A very melodic South Of Heaven-esque track that according to Tom Araya live is a love song, but it’s really a track about serial killer Ed Gein who inspired the characters of Leatherface and Norman Bates. 5/5

6. Hallowed Point– Another superfast tempo track in a track that could be about a gun and the damage that a hallowed point can cause. 4.5/5

Slayer-Seasons-In-The-Ab-4905707. Skeletons of Society– Another one of my personal favorites on the album that is a slowed down tempo, but it’s a headbanger for sure. The song could be talking about war and the the effects of an atomic bomb. 5/5

8. Temptation– A return to the fast tempo like sonic assault that we all love from the band in a track that is about giving into temptation. 4/5

9. Born Of Fire– Another super sonic razor fast assault from the band in a track that could be talking of the coming of something like the antichrist. 4.5/5

10. Seasons In The Abyss– The last track on the album and another of my personal favorites in a track that talks about the abyss (as maybe Aliester Crowley once described). 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The three Slayer albums (Reign, South, and Seasons) are the most untouchable albums in the history of Thrash Metal. It’s some of the best work the band ever did in their careers and don’t get me wrong because they’ve had other triumphs throughout. It just shows the magic that is the dynamics they had and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

minutes to midnightI never thought that I was ever going to do an album of the week as a tribute to another fallen rock star with that said person being Linkin Park lead vocalist Chester Bennington. When I found out the news today that the 41 year old singer was found dead in his home due to suicide, I was shocked. The band had just released their seventh studio album One More Light and were about to embark on a summer trek to support the record. Nonetheless, I wanted to pay tribute to one of the great voices of the Nu Metal genre by covering the band’s third album Minutes To Midnight from which they go from the doomsday clock. It was the band;s first album since 2003’s Meteora when the band released this on May 14, 2007. The album was a huge success debuting at number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts with the largest opening week of 2007 selling over 600,000 copies that first week before going triple platinum. The album also went number one in 16 other countries which includes the UK. With Chester on vocals, the rest of the band was made up of Mike Shinoda (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Piano), Brad Delson (Lead Guitar), Dave “Phoenix” Farrell (Bass), Joseph Hahn (Turntables, sampling), and Rob Bourdon (Drums) while the album was produced by Rick Rubin.

minutes to midnight back cover1.Wake– an instrumental that is eerie and ominous at first before the band comes in. 4/5

2. Given Up– I love the intro with the clapping and the guitar that comes in because the track gets heavy and it’s awesome. A great bass line carries the verses until the band explodes into your speakers for the choruses. It’s one of those tracks that just screams like what the hell because your sick of feeling a certain way and you just want to shut down. 5/5

3. Leave Out The Rest– A very deep track that is kind of eerie to listen to right now, but it’s basically him saying that no matter what he may have been in the past just forgive him and remember him with love. 5/5

4. Bleed It Out– Another in your face track with Mike Shinoda taking lead with his rapping while Chester sings the chorus. The track is about digging deep and if it doesn’t work then throw it out and keep digging deep till you find what you are looking for. 5/5

5. Shadow Of The Day– This was a track that I immediately connected with on a personal level the first time I heard it. It was definitely a track that helped me through tough times as it talks about nothing is easy in life, but everyone has their day. 5/5

6. What I’ve Done– we first heard the track on the Transformers soundtrack before it made it to the album in a track that is all about feeling guilty for what you have done in the past no matter what it is. 5/5

linkin-park-minutes-to-midnight-cd7. Hands Held High-a very interesting track that is rapped by Mike Shinoda that looks at war from a different perspective. One verse comes from the perspective of a Muslim child who is forced to see the ugliness of war. 5/5

8. No More Sorrow– a very political and heavy track with some cool drum beats to go along with some supercharged metal like riffs. 4.5/5

9. Valentine’s Day– A very mellow track on the album that tells the tale of losing someone you loved in the past. 4/5

10. In Between– Mike and Chester sing on this track about feeling guilty about doing something bad and being with the person you hurt. 4/5

11. In Pieces– a track that is all about making sure that you’re ex knows the relationship ended because of her. 4/5

12. The Little Things That You Give Away– The last track on the album that is a little different than most with the acoustic guitars and Hahn’s sampling whose lyrics talk about Hurricane Katrina. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– It’s sad to think that we will never hear Chester sing any of these songs ever again, but at least we have a whole catalog to listen to. He was the kind of singer that you could hear the pain in his voice when he sang certain songs. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.  Chester, we will never forget you, R.I.P. Chester Bennington (3/20/1976-7/20/2017)

 

I was trying to look up original music created specifically for movie soundtracks because that is what I wanted when I created Soundtrack Saturdays. So while on my search I came across an article from a website called Timeout and so I checked it out and stumbled upon an iconic picture in so many ways. The film was called Less Than Zero and it’s infamous because of Robert Downey Jr.’s storied drug abuse problem and it’s believed that he was perfect for his role in the film because he was using drugs at the time (allegedly). The film also starred Andrew McCarthy (Weekend At Bernies), James Spader (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) and Jami Gertz (The Lost Boys) as the film takes a look at the decadent youth of Los Angeles. Just as iconic as the film was the soundtrack that was provided for the film courtesy of Def Jam Recordings. The album featured a mix of Hip Hop, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Pop, and even R&B with artists like Public Enemy, Roy Orbison, Poison, LL Cool J, Aerosmith, Slayer, and our artist for today’s entry in Glenn Danzig & The Power And The Fury Orchestra. This is one of those rare projects for the former Misfits singer as he teamed up with his initial Danzig lineup which consisted of John Christ (Guitar) and Chuck Biscuits (Drums). Original Danzig bassist Eerie Von opted out of the song because he didn’t like the way Rick Rubin wanted his bass parts to sound like so George Drakoulias played the bass for the track. The song has a very classic sound to it like it was recorded in the 1950’s, but wit that dark gloomy feel of a Danzig track. It’s actually a pretty amazing and underrated track fro Danzig. You definitely need to check out the track below and if you get a chance, watch the film as well.

black-sabbath-concerto-2014-bologna-concertoAs usual when a band announces that they are doing one last album and tour, you should never believe the hype. Of course, Black Sabbath benefited from that this past summer when everyone thought that the tour would be their last, but now Black Sabbath’s frontman Ozzy Osbourne has made a big announcement concerning the future of Sabbath. Tony Iommi had stated that he vowed to fans that Sabbath wasn’t dead yet (big emphasis on yet) and in an interview with Metal Hammer, Ozzy talks about the album 13 and the touring cycle, “The whole Sabbath experience this time around was great. We all made friends, we didn’t f— around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we’re going to do one more album, and a final tour.” Ozzy continues to say, “Once the dust settled after the last tour we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to [his wife & manager] Sharon, ‘What’s going on? Because if there’s no more Sabbath, I want to get on with my own thing again,’ and she came back and said, ‘Let me look into it.’ Three weeks later, I asked her about it again, and she said, ‘Oh, I still have to talk to so and so…’ and I said ‘Sharon, I ain’t f—ing 21 anymore, if we’re going to do I want to do it before I’m 70!’ Time isn’t on our side! So she made the call and came back and said, ‘Yeah, the record company wants another album.’ I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again.” So, there is some of the future of Sabbath spilled out right there for you. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

south of heavenAll the Slayer covers I’ve been hearing over the past couple of days inspired me to want to review another Slayer album since Reign In Blood was the last one I did from them. Reign In Blood set the standard for what Slayer was all about and it established the band as a powerhouse in the metal scene, but the band took a lot of crap from the sceptics saying that they were a one trick pony. Tom Araya (Bass/Vocals), Jeff Hanneman (Guitars), Kerry King (Guitars), and Dave Lombardo (Drums) were out to prove with their fourth record South Of Heaven that they were more than a one trick pony. They did that by slowing down the music and one might think that it was a dangerous move for Slayer to do so, but I think it had the opposite effect. I truly believe with all the songs on the record that it made the band sound more evil than they ever were. The record also marked the fact that it was the second time that the band had worked with Rick Rubin as their producer and it was the last time an album was released by Def Jam since Rick had ended his partnership with Russell Simmons. The album peaked at number 52 and it reached Gold status by 1992.

Slayer_-_south_of_heaven_backThe album opens up with the eerie riff of South Of Heaven and when the drums come in and it sounds like the earth is crumbling and you are getting sucked into the mouths of hell and the long chant of you must die enforces the image in my head. The rest of the track is an exercise in how great metal really is and the song still remains on the set lists to this day. Silent Scream turns the tempo up from the last track and delivers what fans want from Slayer. The meaning of the song seems to talk about abortion cause the band says, “Silent scream, burying an unwanted child, beaten and torn, sacrifice the unborn.” Live Undead is the next track and the bands starts with an evil sounding riff and they hit you with those signature wailing whammy bar solos that were accustomed with Slayer as Araya speaks of death. Behind The Crooked Cross is the next track on the record that looks at a certain issue that would plague the band for years a different way. The Crooked Cross represents the Nazi Swastika and the lyrics describe a scenario where the soldiers come to realize that they may have been fighting for the wrong reasons. Mandatory Suicide, the other famous song from the album which isn’t what you think it’s about. The song deals with the idea of soldiers having to die in combat for their country.

slayer 2The trailblazer Ghosts Of War is next as it melts your face with every riff as the band talks about how soldiers that were wronged will rise to get their revenge. Read Between The Lies is a trailblazer that deals with the idea of evangelists stealing your money while they try to convince you of how they can heal you through faith. Cleanse The Soul is one of the other sonic facemelters on the record that will sure to leave any Slayer fan wanting more. Dissident Aggressor is a cover of the Judas Priest track and it remains to be the only cover ever released on a Slayer studio album. The last track on the record Spill The Blood  is one of my all time favorite Slayer songs on the album. The song starts off with this really evil acoustic riff before Lombardo kicks it off with his monster drumming in a track about gaining immortality through blood. The album is definitely one of the most classic Slayer albums  and apart of the iconic three (Reign, South, and Seasons In The Abyss) that the band released with Lombardo still in the band. I am going to give this record 4 stars out of five for a final grade.