Posts Tagged ‘Slayer’

aliceinchains faceliftOne of the greatest bands to come out of the Seattle grunge scene in the early 1990’s was hands down Alice In Chains and I still to this day believe that they are not a grunge band by any means. Alice In Chains was your new wave of great American rock from the Pacific Northwest and the world was ready for a change at the time in the form of Layne Staley (Vocals), Jerry Cantrell (Guitars), the late Mike Starr (Bass), and Sean Kinney (Drums). On August 21, 1990, the band would release their debut album Facelift via Columbia Records with the record produced by Dave Jerden who had produced records by the Talking Heads and Frank Zappa to name a few. The album’s title could be symbolic for what was about to happen to the music scene once the people discovered this album. The album did pretty well on the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at number 42 and it sold two million copies and all of it done with hard work. The band was given an opening slot on the Clash Of The Titans tour which was Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax as the other bands on the bill. The band dealt with a lot of heckling from the crowd, but according to the bands on the bill they earned a lot of respect. Frank Bello commented once about it saying, “If there was a guy starting shit, Layne would jump into the audience and beat the FUCK outta that guy!”

aliceinchains facelift 21. We Die Young– A fericous riff opens up this track that Jerrry Cantrell says is about, “I’d just temporarily moved in with Susan Silver because Sean and I had just had a fight. So I was riding the bus to rehearsal and I saw all these 9, 10, 11 year old kids with beepers dealing drugs. The sight of a 10 year old kid with a beeper and a cell phone dealing drugs equaled “We Die Young” to me.” 5/5

2. Man In The Box– The bass heavy track was the second and most powerful single released off the record that besides being stoned while he wrote it, Layne says it was about “censorship in the mass media”. I love the use of the talkbox by Jerry in this track because I feel it adds to the track. The track was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Vocal Performance too. 5/5

3. Sea Of Sorrow-The track starts off with a bluesy riff by Cantrell before launching into the track that is about a guy who knows he’s in a toxic relationship, but needs to get out of it. 5/5

4. Bleed The Freak– A track that would be an anthem for all those that felt they were different and battling against those who didn’t like the fact that they were different. 5/5

5. I Can’t Remember– Jerry Cantrell has defined this as the track that helped develop the Alice In Chains sound. The track starts off with an eerie riff and it continues forward along with some great bass playing from Starr. The track seems to be about being mixed up in too much crap that you start forgetting what is important. 4.5/5

6. Love, Hate, Love– Jerry Cantrell has called this number the masterpiece of the whole record and he also says that the guitar solo in this track is his favorite of his career. It starts off much like the previous track with a very brooding/ominous riff in this track about a guy who gets cheated on and is shocked because he thought he owned her. Layne’s vocals on this track are haunting and beautiful at the same time, the man had an uncanny voice for such a dark bluesy track. 5/5

alice-in-chains-facelift-10-cd7. It Ain’t Like That– The riff to this track Jerry Cantrell admitted was a mistake, but in the end it was a very good mistake to make. It’s actually a very cool riff that has that sludgy chug like riff to it that we would grow to love from the band. The track is about suffering and then overcoming it. 5/5

8. Sunshine– A very bluesy track that is actually a tribute that Cantrell wrote too his mother who passed away some time before. He commented saying, “When I was a little kid, I’d always tell her, “I’ll be famous and buy you a house and you’ll never have to work again. I’ll take care of you like you took care of me.’ When she passed away, it was a really shitty time for me. I didn’t know how to deal with it then, and I still don’t. But it gave me the impetus to do what I’m doing.” 4.5/5

9. Put You Down– This one is more of a bluesy rocker from the band that could compete with anything out at the time. I think the song is about someone struggling with addiction. 4.5/5

10. Confusion-The track starts off with some clean channel guitars before Jerry turns it up a notch in this track that has a sort of dreamy effect especially with Layne’s vocals. The track has elements in it that remind me of Rooster in a way. The track is about how men and women are constantly hurting each other, playing mind games, etc. 4.5/5

11. I Know Somethin (Bout You)– A track that has elements of funk in the opening guitar riff that reminds me of the Chili Peppers to be honest. The track is about having so much info on someone you don’t like that you are going to royally f**k up their day. 4.5/5

12. Real Thing-a dark and brooding track with a blues twist that is all about drug use which is a cautionary tale of sorts for this band. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Ozzy Osbourne once said that this album was number two on his top 10 Metal albums list. Facelift was the perfect name for an album that was describing what was about to happen to the music scene overall. This was rock’s much needed Facelift that it needed at the time. My favorite tracks are the first four tracks plus Love, Hate, Love. My least favorite track is Real Thing even though I don’t really hate the track either. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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I-Loved-You-At-Your-Darkest2018 has been a weird year because it’s been a year where we are seeing many things we love in the music industry come to an end. Slayer is calling it quits after 35 years in the business, The Warped Tour is coming to end this year, and Ozzy Osbourne is starting his retirement tour this year as well. A very interesting question was raised the other day with all of these bands calling it quits who will rise to be the next headliners? I believe that I have the answer and one of them is certainly Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth. After touring successfully on 2014’s The Satanist and taking some time off, the band is back with a vengeance in the form of a new album and single for all of us to enjoy. On October 5TH, Behemoth will be releasing their 11TH studio album in I Loved You At Your Darkest and to help celebrate the big news the band has unleashed a new single and a video for it. The name of the track is God = Dog and the music is bold as Behemoth flex their musical muscles at first before launching into an all out metal assault. The music video itself is very bold and if you are religious in any way shape or form then you may not want to view this as Nergal reenacts the crucifixion of Christ. The video itself is visually stunning, but it’s a very bold move against Christianity with all of the imagery that appears. The track is bad ass and it’s an example of what is to come. If you want to pre-order the album, you can do so here. Check out the video below:

BEHEMOTH_-_Ov_Fire_And_The_Void_CDS_artworkI can’t believe that it has been three weeks since I saw Slayer, Lamb Of God, and Behemoth live in Boston. It was definitely one of the best shows of 2017 and it was one of those shows that packed a punch with every band on the bill. We have already covered an album from Slayer (Seasons In The Abyss) and Lamb Of God (Ashes Of The Wake) so it’s only fitting that we end this run by covering the first band on the bill Behemoth. In 2015, you the fans voted The Satanist the Extreme Metal album of the year and I covered the album for the album of the week. So now I had to look to the band’s catalog to cover an album that I hadn’t yet and I chose the band’s ninth studio album Evangelion which was released on August 7, 2009. The band was made up of Adam “Nergal” Darski  (Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar), Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski (Bass Guitar), and Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński (Drums) with Patryk Dominik “Seth” Sztyber (Rhythm Guitar), and Krzysztof “Siegmar” Oloś (Vesania) (Keyboards and arrangements). The album peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and it went number one in their native Poland.

Behemoth-Evangelion-Trasera1.Daimonos– The album opens up with a hammering track that features some insane drumming in the beginning (and throughout) from Inferno. The band’s razor fast signature not let loose on the throat style with that death metal sound is showcased here. This could be a track about Sodom and Gomorrah, but they talk about Dionysus, the God of the grape harvest. 5/5

2. Shemhamforash– another hellblazer of a track that will rip your face off could be about a war in heaven or on Earth as the non believers of God take over the realm. The very word Shemhamforash used to mean something in Hebrew, but is usually refered to as the Anton LaVey version of Satan. 4/5

3. Ov Fire and The Void– I’ll let Nergal describe my favorite track live and on record as he says, “Whilst listening to the first demo versions of this track I had an irresistible feeling that every single tone is filled with overwhelming spirit of Dionysus; god of ecstatic chaos, source of pure joy which reaches far beyond false boundaries between good and evil, life and death, love and hate. Dionysian rave focuses entirely on Here and Now, experiential knowledge, intuition and passion. All of these are essential factors or components of any form of Art. The world governed by such virtues cannot be corrupted or repressed by an order which every culture or civilization tries to force on. In its nature it is much more primordial and pure. The same can be said about a creative chaos; it goes beyond any sort of intellectual analysis or speculation. It becomes released energy. Potential in action, never in inertia. Let us joy for we are as streams of lava erupting under our oceanic and cosmic Will.” 5/5

4. Transmigrating Beyond Realms ov Amenti– I believe the song is a metaphor for the fact that society is so engulfed by religion that we might as well be dead traveling through the river of the dead because our minds are closed to anything else. 4.5/5

behemoth-nb-23442-2-cd5. He Who Breeds Pestilence– The track starts off with some crows before a melodic riff of sorts opens up before the all out assault begins. The track is about someone who is sick and tired of everything life has to offer in terms of following God that he gives himself up to Baphomet. 4/5

6. The Seed ov I– There is a lot of refrences to Greek and Roman Mythology in this track like Acheron, the God of the Underworld and Lake Of Pain or Neptune, the Roman God of the Water. Not sure what it all means though. 4.5/5

7. Alas, Lord Is Upon Me– I feel like the track is about a renegade or fallen angel who is admitting to the fact that he has seen empires crumble and that he has seen the followers of God (Adonai) crumble while he too has failed to defeat God. The music for this track is absolutely amazing. 5/5

8. Defiling Morality ov Black God– Not sure what is going on lyrically, but this is one of those tracks where they put the pedal to the metal and they do not let go. 4/5

9. Lucifer– The last track on the album that is about guess who? I’m pretty sure you can figure that one out. It starts off very eerie in sound with a huge build up before the band comes in, but it has several tempo changes within it which make for an interesting track. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you want death metal taken to a whole new level then you check out these guys because they bring it. It’s a great sounding metal album that translates to the live setting as well. That is why I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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lamb of godLast week, I went to an amazing concert in Boston, MA where I witnessed killer sets from all the bands on the bill which were Behemoth, Lamb Of God, and Slayer. Last week, I covered Slayer with Seasons In The Abyss and now this week we are moving on to cover an album from Lamb Of God. Lamb Of God was a band that was billed as part of the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal which also included bands like Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and many more. Lamb Of God was a little more special than most bands for the fact that they mixed in groove metal along with elements of metalcore and Thrash Metal making them the band that ultimately took over for Pantera. The band which is made up of Randy Blythe (Vocals), Mark Morton (Lead Guitar), Willie Adler (Rhythm Guitar), Chris Adler (Drums), and John Campbell (Bass). On August 31, 2004, the band would release their third studio album and their biggest to date at the time with Ashes Of The Wake which debuted at number 27 on the Billboard Top 200 selling 35,000 copies in it’s first week. The album is very political in nature where it raises awareness and targets the Iraq War which was happening at the time of the release. As of February 2016, the album has been certified Gold by the RIAA.

Lamb_Of_God-Ashes_Of_The_Wake-Trasera1.Laid To Rest– The lead single from the album and a hammering track that is able to take the elements of Metalcore and Groove metal and layer them together nicely. The track is about a murder victim who haunts his or her killer. 5/5

2. Hourglass– A hammering track from the get go that is unrelenting in a track that could be from a soldiers point of view as war is hell or it could be talking about the end of the world. 4.5/5

3. Now You’ve Got Something To Die For– A groove heavy track that is bad ass from beginning to end in a track that talks about our system and how we readily send kids to die in the middle east. 4.5/5

4. The Faded Line– A pummeling track that has hints of thrash in it’s DNA in a track that tackles the tough topic of drug addiction. 4/5

5. Omerta– The spoken word part of the beginning of this track is actual text from the actual Sicilian Omerta. A groove heavy track that is more or less about betrayal and not about the mafia. 5/5

6. Blood Of The Scribe– a blazing fast and hammering track that continues to showcase the bands love for thrash metal. 4/5

ashes-of-the-wake-4fad377ec839c7. One Gun– The band’s love for Pantera is evident in this one with the groove metal licks in a track about a sniper who has hit his target knowing that they’ll die a martyr. 4/5

8. Break You– a track that starts right off the bat and doesn’t stop kicking ass as we listen to lyrics that could be talking about a prisoner of sorts who dreams of revenge. 4.5/5

9. What I’ve Become– an interesting track that looks at a soldier who sees others that have been engulfed in war for way too long that you can see it in their faces and eyes. 4/5

10. Ashes Of The Wake– a powerful track which features former Marine Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey and some audio clips of quotes layered into the track. The track features guitar solos from Alex Skolnick of Testament (second solo) and the legendary former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland (third solo). 5/5

11. Remorse Is For The Dead– The last track on the record that starts with a very melodic intro before they launch into overdrive about a person who hasn’t lived life to the fullest yet, but life is too short to dwell on that. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was honestly the first time that I actually sat down and listened to this album in it’s entirety. It was a very great experience that has me wanting to listen to more from the band that has been proudly flying the flag of metal for a very long time now. Check it out for yourself, I am giving the record 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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.

war of the covers love machineI have always had the motto that if at first you don’t succeed then you try and try again which is definitely the case this week. Before we get into this week’s War Of The Covers, we are here to inform you that Vader won last week’s challenge by gaining 78% of the votes making their version of Slayer’s Silent Scream the king. This week we have an interesting battle for all of you out there as we attempt something we have never done before. This week we have an unsigned/independent band taking on a nationally signed act in this week’s War Of The Covers. For this week’s battle, we are looking at legendary LA metal act W.A.S.P. whose seminal hit from their self titled 1984 debut L.O.V.E. Machine which is the subject of our battle this week. In 2002, metal act Fozzy which features WWE wrestler Chris Jericho released a cover of the song for their second studio album Happenstance. In 2007, legendary Unsigned/Independent act Fallen Man released their 3RD full length album Reborn which featured a cover of the track. Now only one of these versions can reign supreme and it’s totally up to you guys to decide so choose wisely and just have fun doing it.

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War Of The Covers Silent ScreamOn last week’s War Of The Covers, we had you guys engage in a triple threat match to decide who covered Black Sabbath’s The Mob Rules better and you overwhelmingly decided that Adrenaline Mob had the best version as they had a huge lead and never looked back. For this week’s War Of The Covers, we are looking to one of the most legendary and bad ass thrash metal bands of all time in the mighty Slayer. After releasing one of the most epic extreme metal albums of all time in 1986’s Reign In Blood, Slayer wanted to prove that they could be just as evil while being more melodic with 1988’s South Of Heaven. The featured track that you will all be battling over is the punishing track Silent Scream and we have two intense bands that have covered the track. In 1998, Vader recorded a version of the track for the Slayer tribute album Slatanic Slaughter, Vol. 2. In 1998, Children Of Bodom released their debut album Something Wild, but when the album was reissued, it featured the band’s cover of the track. Now it is up to you guys to decide whose version is better and as usual you have until next week’s War Of The Covers posts to decide.

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