heavy metal

Metallica Live & The Rolling Stone Top 100 What???

Metallica – hold my beer for a minute, I have to do this first.

ROLLING STONE SUCKS.

Okay team – I don’t know where to start here, but I have to ask – have you seen the Rolling Stone “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All-Time” article written by a slew of apparently uneducated writers?

Legit – 15 people collaborated on this piece. FIFTEEN. That’s insane, especially when you consider how abysmal the list actually is.  Objectively, I ran through the list quickly to see who was actually on it before I judged any ranking.

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This is my “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING, ROLLING STONE?!?” face.

Easily, there are at least 10-15 albums that (to me) do not quantify as Metal and at the bare minium, another 10-15 albums that were blatantly overlooked.

The top ten was easily comprised by the cognitive 15 running a simple Google search for “greatest metal album of all-time” and ranking the results haphazardly.

I suggest checking out the article here: PILE OF DOG SHIT

Go ahead, give it a read and take note of obvious omissions.

Got that? Done? Okay good. Lets not fuck around and get to the top 10 without any further adieu.

10. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power

09. Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Oz

08. Megadeth – Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

07. Motorhead – No Remorse

06. Slayer – Reign in Blood

05. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

04. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast

03. Judas Priest – British Steel

02. Metallica – Master of Puppets

01. Black Sabbath – Paranoid

There is only one “minor” surprise on that list for me, being Motorhead. I thought for sure, being Rolling Stone, they would have gone with Ace of Spades, but alas – color me surprised.

That said – nothing shocks you on that list. Nothing is edgy. What concerns me is that this list could have been done so, so much better.

GLARING omissions all over the place here. When they label the article as the 100 “Greatest” metal albums of all-time, one would just assume that they would consider ground breaking albums.

Death – Scream Bloody Gore is missing. Bathory’s self titled record and so is Possessed – Seven Churches. Three albums that DEFINED death metal are completely passed over.

They could have easily plugged in about four more Iron Maiden records. Nowhere did I see Judas Priest’s “Sad Wings of Destiny” – but yet Evanescense, Soundgarden, and Living Colour made the list?

That makes me scratch my head.

Overall I felt that this list was confused and the fact that more than one person put it together is obvious. To have bands like Ministry make the list with Psalm 69, but then omit an arguably bigger “Industrial Metal” band like Nine Inch Nails just makes no sense.

I hate that I read these lists, but I can’t avoid them. What do you think? What should be crowned the greatest metal album of all-time?

METALLICA – LIVE*

Phew – that was a lot to think about. So now back to my originally planned blog – Metalica live.

I screwed up big time guys. I didn’t go to Metallica. I’ve never seen Metallica live. (Shame on me) and I thought this would have been my chance when they played Gillette Stadium on May 19th – but I cheapened out and didn’t buy tickets.

SHAME. ON. ME.

I have a lot of friends and family that went. Some were fortunate enough to get snake pit passes and I’m not too proud to say that I was INSANELY jealous.

So, after I dried my tears from checking out their amazing photos – I saw that Metallica is recording and selling “bootlegs” of all their shows on this tour. They may have done this in the past, I’m not sure – but I was stoked about this time around. So, I bit and bought the CD’s.IMG_6876

I was impressed. Not only was I impressed with the sound quality – but just the energy and I was listening with a bittersweet ear.

I had heard from friends what the set list was comprised of, and I initially thought it would be disappointing.

If you’re unaware, they played 18 full songs with a couple of nice surprises.

The boys played five songs off of Hardwired to Self Destruct – which I had a feeling they might go heavy on that album due to the enormous amount of marketing and promotion they put behind it.

The black album reigned supreme with six songs being played off of that. So, for those keeping tabs at home, that’s 11 songs between just two albums.

One from Kill ‘Em All, one from Re-Load, “One” from …And Justice for All (see what I did there?), one from Master of Puppets and three from Ride the Lightning.

When the band played “Now That We’re Dead” they went into a cool little breakdown with Lars taking over the rhythm and the crowd really got into it.

That was a nice surprise, but the best surprise of the night, in my opinion, came after the band played “Halo of Fire” – Kirk Hammet and Rob Trujillo came out and “played around” with the crowd – which entailed a riffed version of “I Disappear” and then ultimately Rob playing “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth” – which made the crowd go insane.

Old school fans should have felt satiated from hearing six songs prior to the black album, including fucking Motorbreath… MOTORBREATH in front of 60,000 people!

New fans got plenty of Hardwired and the infamous black album.

All in all, its a show I am sad I missed, but glad I get to listen to whenever I want. So here you go, go buy a show!!!

Long live Metallica – still the fucking kings of the metal world.

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Buy it – Stream it – Skip it?

Approaching halfway through the year and 2017 has already delivered a plethora of fantastic heavy music.

It becomes hard to decide where to begin writing about some of the great (and not so great) releases of the year — and I’m a little late to the game this year. That being said, I figured I could bang out a handful of recent releases and offer my thoughts.

Here goes nothing.

Slay My Sanity – Heartbeat of Chaos E.P.

Hailing from Chelyabinsk, Russia, Slay My Sanity dropped an impressive five-song EP that would be the bands first studio recording. FullSizeRender

Formed in 2009, the band was forced to take multiple breaks due to two members serving in the army. After finally being able to get the full band together the boys released a DIY album in 2015 entitled “Madness in Disguise” before recording Heartbeat of Chaos.

What I like about this band is their sound. Musically I am reminded a lot of In Flames – which guitarists Dan and Dmitry site as one of their influences.

Vocally, singer Alex reminds me a lot of Florida death metal giant John Tardy of Obituary. There is something about his delivery – I dig it quite a bit.

The run time on this EP is only about 20 minutes, which is a bit of a downer. I would have liked to have heard more; however, that leaves me optimistic to hear more down the road.

RECOMMENDATION:

I would tell you to stream this one. It is available on the Bandcamp website for $4.95 but as of this writing, not available on iTunes.

CKY – The Phoenix

It has been eight years since the boys from CKY released a new record.  2009’s Carver City was the last album to feature singer Deron Miller before his departure from the band in 2011.

As a longtime fan, I was hoping for something to really blow my mind, or maybe at least have hints of brilliance that coul be found on  Vol. 1 and Infiltrate – Destroy – Rebuild.

What I got was basicaly a disappontment.IMG_6854

The basic sound of the band is in tact. It definitely feels like a CKY record, but I have a hard time getting used to Chad Ginsberg on vocals.  That is certainly not a knock on his capabilities — he is a solid rock singer — but I just felt that the record was flat without Miller at the helm.

Specifically, this album feels both uninspired and petty at the same time. Perhaps the petty was not the intention, but with tracks like “Replaceable”, “Lies From You”, and “Better Than Get Even” I was under the impression that despite years since the departure of Miller – hostility remains.

The album clocks in at just 31 minutes with eight songs. The highlight on this album is the guest play of Mastodon’s Brent Hinds on “Days of Self Destruction”.

RECOMMENDATION:

I hate to say this, but this one is a pass for me. Skip it. Maybe you could stream it if you’re a die-hard fan, but there’s not much here to get excited about.

Iced Earth – Incorruptible

Being completely honest here: I’m biased when it comes to Iced Earth. I absolutely love them. Jon Schaffer can do no wrong in my eyes.

IMG_6857With that said, Iced Earth’s twelfth studio release is just as good as any other album they’ve put out. They are eternally consistent and managed to keep the sound fresh and the songs interesting while maintaining a Clydesdale-on-a-warpath pace.

Unlike the previous albums, Incorruptible does not follow a full-on story line surrounding one particular concept (See: Framing Armageddon, Plagues of Babylon, etc) — this is ten tracks that stand alone.

As a quick aside, I thought I would continue to miss Matt Barlow as the lead man, Stu Block (Into Eternity) has done nothing but blow me away since taking over for Barlow (and Tim “Ripper” Owens) in 2011.

RECOMMENDATION:

Well, I pre-ordered the album on iTunes and own it on vinyl – so… you should definitely buy it too, especially if you are a fan of power metal (and for some reason unbeknownst to me have never listened to Iced Earth before).

Carach Angren – Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten

Whoa.

No, seriously… whoa.

I was not super-familiar with Carach Angren prior to this year. I heard a couple of samples on iTunes and decided to buy “Where the Corpses Sink Forever” on iTunes and liked it enough to pre-order ‘Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten”. IMG_6855

I’m so glad I did. This is one of the creepiest albums I’ve heard in a long time. I say that in a very complimentary way – not creepy like that uncle your parents told you not to sit near at family parties. No, creepy as in – this shit is fucking haunting and I love it.

The track “Charlie” had me thinking about the King Diamond “Abigial” record… well, minus the falsetto voice.

I’m scrolling through my phone as I write this, trying to point out a weak song on the record, and I simply cannot. This might be a dark horse in the “Best Metal Album of 2017” category. I still need to digest it a bit more before I give it that crown of thorns though.

RECOMMENDATION:

Buy it. In some format. In all formats. Its worth it. These dudes are legit.

So…..

That’s going to do it for this entry. I have a handful more albums that I’d like to chime in on in the coming days/weeks.

With that in mind – what albums do you think are worthy of buying this year? Let me know, I’d love to hear it!