Posts Tagged ‘Trial By Fire’

new orderOne of my all time favorite and most underrated thrash metal bands of all time is the mighty Testament. There a band that while they may have gone through their trials and tribulations are still standing tall to this very day and that is why I love them. I remember as a kid, my brothers always tried to engrave in my head that one of the best Testament records is the band’s sophomore release The New Order which was released on May 5, 1988. While I do agree with them on that statement, I realized the other day that I had not yet covered the album for the album of the week and it’s this week’s album. The band at the time of the release was made up of Chuck Billy (Vocals), Alex Skolnick (Lead Guitar), Eric Peterson (Rhythm Guitar), Greg Christian (Bass), and Louie Clemente (Drums). The album did pretty well for the band as it established them on the scene as it peaked at number 136 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts, but obviously the follow up is what broke them through on the Thrash scene. Alex Skolnick talked about the record to Metal Injection saying, “We barely got done with our first couple of tours on that first album cycle when we were informed we have to have another album, soon! […] We got spooked in a way, because we never had to come up with music on the fly. […] By the time we finally recorded the album, we neglected to look at our recording contract. We actually had it in our contract that there’s a minimum of 40 minutes of music, and we clocked in under that! […] Our album was promptly sent back…we added the Aerosmith tune, we added those little instrumentals, we extended a couple of sections…that was all done so we wouldn’t be in breach of contract.”

new order back1. Eerie Inhabitants– The track slowly fades in with some eerie wind and thunder sounds while Skolnick and Peterson lead us in with some amazing clean channel guitar work before the track launches forward. I feel like the track is talking about how there are those who toil with life while other suffer and to them life is a game. 4.5/5

2. The New Order– Skolnick opens up the track shredding away in this amazing track that tackles the idea of the New World Order. 5/5

3. Trial By Fire– One of the best tracks on the album that is supercharged and in your face as I believe Chuck Billy is singing about a man who is accused of a crime he has not committed. Some believe that just because of the band’s name that there is a religious connotation to it, but I am not buying that. 5/5

4. Into The Pit– a thrash classic that has that in your face mentality that we love from that era and it features an incredible solo work from Skolnick in a track that could be talking about hell or moshpits. 5/5

5. Hypnosis– the first of two instrumental tracks on the album and a very cool one. 4/5

6. Disciples of the Watch-a very cool thrash song that I believe is about the film Children Of The Corn, but I could be wrong. This is probably one of the best Testament songs in their catalog in my opinion along with Souls Of Black and Perilous Nation. 5/5

Testament-The_New_Order-CD7. The Preacher– Nostradamus is a very popular figure in metal and he first gets his due in this all out metal assault that could be about him or someone who possessed the visions like he did. Chuck Billy also has a unique pitch in this track when he screams out The Preacher that I had not heard before. 4/5

8. Nobody’s Fault– A last minute addition to the album as the band chose this Aerosmith song to cover and I actually dig it, but my only criticism of it is Billy trying to do rock vocals on the track.  4.5/5

9. A Day of Reckoning– This is the last track on the album to feature vocals and they get a little political on this one as he sings about how the president literally controls our destiny and safety in the times of the cold war. Another track that features some solid guitar work from the duo and an amazing solo from Skolnick. 5/5

10. Musical Death (A Dirge)– The last track on the album and it’s an instrumental to finish things out. The track showcases what the band was capable of and why they belonged on the scene. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– In my opinion, this is one of the best albums the band ever recorded besides Practice What You Preach although I rank this one a little higher. My favorite tracks on the album are Disciples Of The Watch, Into The Fire, and Trial By Fire. My least favorite track on the album is The Preacher and Hypnosis, but I don’t hate the tracks. It’s just not my favorite of the bunch. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

frontiersWe here at Moshpits and Movies have covered a wide arrange of rock and metal music and all of it’s subgenres to the point that we feel we are pretty diverse. We want to keep the diversity going by checking out one of the best classic rock bands to come from the 70’s and through the 80’s in San Fransisco rock band Journey. The album that we are reviewing from the band is one of my personal favorites in their eight studio album 1983’s Frontiers. The album featured Steve Perry (Lead Vocals), Neal Schon (Lead Guitar), Jonathan Cain (Keyboards and Rhythm Guitar), Ross Valory (Bass), and Steve Smith (Drums) and it was produced by Mike Stone and Kevin Elson. The album was Ross Valory’s last album with the band at the time until he returned for 1996’s Trial By Fire. Going into recording this album, Journey had quite the daunting task of outdoing their last record Escape which went to number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts. Unfortunately as great as the album was, it peaked at number two on the charts, but it was the highest charted album from the band in the UK at number 6. Since the release of the album, it has been certified platinum six times selling over six million albums.

journey-frontiers-j2919c1.Separate Ways (World’s Apart)– The track features that classic keyboard riff matched with the charging guitar riff that drives the song forward. The song talks about a guy who even though he is heartbroken, he will always be there for the girl he lost. 5/5

2. Send Her My Love– A haunting ballad from the band that talks about the power of love and the effect it can have on a person who is always on the road. 5/5

3. Chain Reaction– A driving rock song that features that chugging playing from Schon in a track that is all about being careful about falling in love because the chain reaction can be hell. 4/5

4. After The Fall– A keyboard/guitar driven song that features bass playing from Randy Jackson (yeah the American Idol judge) in a track that is about when you want to tell someone you love them, but it’s too late. 4/5

5. Faithfully– One of the more famous ballads from the band that feels like it should be played in a stadium. It just has that big time ballad feel to it with the cool piano playing from Cain. The track is about no matter how hard life can be, love will always carry you through. End of side one! 5/5

COL_00019_011476. Edge Of The Blade– A cool guitar riff from Schon kicks off the track that could be about how cutthroat the industry can be. 4/5

7. Troubled Child– A very bluesy riff from Schon and some keys from Cain kick off what is a little bit of a darker track for the band that features the melodies we love from them. 4/5

8. Back Talk– a big drum beat from Smith kicks things off as both Cain and Schon come in with some monster power chords giving it a big rock track feel. The song’s lyrics are pretty self explanatory. 4/5

9. Frontiers– The title track on the album is an OK one that mixes in some carribean beats to it if you listen close in the intro (sounds like the steel drum). 4/5

10. Rubicon– A big rock riff kicks off the final track on the album in a track that is all about realizing your fate and crossing the point of no return. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– These guys are pretty legendary and that is why they are in the rock and roll hall of fame and deservedly so. They have provided the world with so many great tracks and this album has some of those. My only wish is that they’ll tour with Steve Perry again. I am going to give the album 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.