Archive for 1970’s heavy metal

Start The Year Off With BANG! US 70’s Proto-Metal Power Trio BANG Return!

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Metal, metal music, Music, news, rock music, rock music news, world news with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by Metal Odyssey

Bang Classic Band Logo - 2014 - #550

Philadelphia, PA – Often called America’s answer to Black Sabbath, one of the most unsung bands in the history of US hard rock music, BANG, is back! With the heaviness of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, coupled with the groove of Grand Funk Railroad, BANG released three critically acclaimed albums on Capitol Records in the early 1970s before disappearing into obscurity for a number of years. Says original drummer and founding member Tony Diorio, “Basically we’re back to finish what was started a long time ago and cut short by forces out of our control.”

The 1971 self-titled debut album ‘BANG’ is considered an important forerunner to the early Doom Metal genre. Undoubtedly one of America’s heaviest ‘proto-metal’ bands from the period, BANG also had a strong sense of melodic power. The band’s versatility and songwriting skills are second to none. Highly regarded as a cult act by many for years, it’s now time for this truly amazing rock band to be enjoyed by a new audience worldwide!

Back in the spring of 1972, BANG was shaping up to be the proverbial ‘next big thing’. Signed a few months earlier to Capitol Records, the band’s first single “Questions” was taking off in the Billboard Hot 100. With the enthusiastic support of their record label, the trio’s self-titled debut album was also climbing in the charts. The group’s management had them opening shows for just about every major band of the era. Moreover, BANG had recently opened for their all time favorite band Black Sabbath, and by common consensus of opinion, stole the show! With two band members, guitarist Frank Gilcken and lead singer/bassist Frank Ferrara, still in their teens, and drummer/lyricist Tony Diorio, BANG seemed to be unstoppable!

Bang - band promo pic - circa early 70s - #160

Somehow, though, it didn’t quite work out. Even as “Questions” was charting, a corporate shakeup at Capitol saw the band’s supporters moving on and replaced by A&R men who had their own signings to promote. With the band’s producer, Michael Sunday, also leaving the label, BANG’s support system was crumbling. Their new producer engineered a change in personnel that led to drummer/lyricist Tony Diorio’s departure. Meanwhile, the label insisted that BANG develop a more mainstream, pop oriented sound.

Trying to keep the dream alive, they changed management companies, only to discover that they were being blacklisted, making gigs scarce. With a much more commercial approach, the group released a 3rd album, ‘BANG Music’ in 1973, which, although did contain some great songs and performances, failed to chart. By 1974, just a couple of years after their initial success, a tired and disillusioned BANG had lost their direction, momentum and self-belief. They went their separate ways.

Despite the relative briefness of their career, BANG left behind a powerful recorded legacy: four albums, including their unreleased 1971 concept album ‘Death Of A Country’, as well as a trio of non-album tracks that were recorded as singles when their deal with Capitol was about to expire. In 1996, much to everyone’s surprise, BANG reunited! The band recorded and released in 1998 a new album titled ‘Return To Zero’, with the more metal-oriented album titled ‘The Maze’ (featuring new versions of old favorites “Love Sonnet” and “Bow To The King”) following in 2004, proving once again that the band still had the magic that made them great back in the early 70’s!

And now, much to the excitement of their fans, BANG is preparing to play live in 2014! The group is currently rehearsing for shows in the new year. Says Tony, “We will be webcasting all our shows and fans can sign up in our forum to be notified of dates.” Frank Ferrara adds, “The three of us realized that BANG was still a musical force. And even though a lot of years have passed, we were writing songs as if it were yesterday. The dream is alive, and with renewed thirst and love of the music, we are resuming our quest.” With drummer Matt Calvarese, and the Franks, the band will remain a three-piece, sounding just like the records!

Bang Classic Band Logo - 2014 - #550

BANG is making available free ringtones! Free Frank Gilcken guitar solos for iPhones and Androids! http://www.bangmusic.com/ringtones/

Also, all BANG songs are now available for 99 cents mp3 downloads at: http://www.bangmusic.com/shop/mp3s/

BANG’s complete recorded catalog is available as well through their website, which includes the band’s latest CD releases ‘Return To Zero’ and ‘The Maze’. To purchase BANG CD’s, Vinyl and Digital Album Downloads at: http://www.bangmusic.com/shop/cds-and-vinyl/

Also the website contains never seen videos of BANG! http://www.bangmusic.com/videos/ as well as the BANG story – a must read and see! http://www.bangmusic.com/bangstory/

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(Source: Glass Onyon PR)

(Above photo & logo used by permission)

Stone - Motorhead Tee  pic:small

LONG LIVE BANG.

BANG IS BACK! METAL BE THY NAME.

Stone.

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Happy Metal Birthday, Klaus Meine – Scorpions vocalist

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's Rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal from germany, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, Rock, Scorpions, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

fullsizeIt is May 25th, 2009, Memorial Day in the United States. Today is also… the 61st birthday for Klaus Meine, lead vocalist for the incredible, dynamic and legendary Scorpions. Metal Odyssey gives out a loud, Metal filled, Happy Birthday to Klaus Meine! I can go on for days as to how much Metal joy that Klaus Meine and the Scorpions have given me, with their Heavy Metal, throughout my life. My favorite Scorpions album ever, is “In Trance” – this album showcased an up and coming Heavy Metal band that was filled with the Metal hunger and talent needed to sustain such a long standing, unbelievable career. Released in 1975, the third album, this is a Scorpions release unlike their “Animal Magnetism”, “Blackout” or “Love At First Sting” albums. This is Scorpions Metal that was raw, rough and edgy, in other Metal words – great tunes without the Arena Rock flamboyancy. Do not get me wrong, I support and revere every album ever released by the Scorpions. Only this is a Scorpions band in their Metal infancy, the dynamics are clearly heard on this album, which makes me choose “In Trance” as my favorite Scorpions release. This vinyl Metal Classic still exists in my collection today, after so many plays on the turntable. I am still amazed that I was able to keep this album, in such incredible condition, for this long!

“Top of the Bill” is my favorite track on “In Trance”, this song exemplifies what true old school Heavy Metal sounds like. The Scorpions musicians over the decades are stand alone – top of their Metal game players. Klaus Meine is realistically, for me, a top ten, all-time Heavy Metal vocalist. You can argue that Klaus Meine is a top ten, all-time Hard Rock vocalist as well. (Take your pick or pick both). “In Trance” does not lack in quality of musicianship or song writing, in my Metal opinion. This was an album that really represented this time period well, representing what Heavy Metal from Germany sounded like. (Thank you Germany). I am confident in saying that the world of Metal has embraced and revered the Scorpions to this very day. Thank you Klaus Meine for sharing your unique and unbelievable vocals with us, you and the Scorpions are in a Metal class all your own!

Scorpions as they appeared on “In Trance” in 1975: Klaus Meine on lead vocals, Ulrich Roth on lead guitar & backing vocals and lead vocals on “Dark Lady” & “Sun In My Hand”, Rudolf Schenker on rhythm guitar & backing vocals, Francis Buchholz on bass guitar & backing vocals and Rudy Lenners on drums & percussion.

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I refuse to be a closet KISS fan

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's Rock, 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, classic metal, classic rock, concerts, cool album covers, Gene Simmons, Hair Metal, hair metal music, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal concerts, metal music, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock and roll memorabilia, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150KISS. The makeup, the attitude, the stage show, the costumes, the KISS trading cards from the 1970’s, the marketing machine which throws the KISS logo on just about anything. Wait a minute, there is of course… the music, uh, I mean the Heavy Metal. Since about 5th grade, (a long time ago, in a parochial school, far, far, away), I have been a KISS fan. You betcha. I am not a closet KISS fan either. No way will I disregard to anyone, a lifetime love I have for such a behemoth of a Heavy Metal icon, which is KISS. I will not part with my unopened wax box of KISS trading cards from 1978. No sir. What in the world is there to be ashamed of? KISS is the epitome of Heavy Metal success, both commercially and musically, in my Metal opinion.

I have had the opportunity to see KISS live, albeit without makeup. I unfortunately, never had an opportunity to see them live with makeup. Quite honestly, the only drawback about seeing KISS live was… the venue where the concert was. The New Haven Coliseum, (which no longer exists), was by far, the creepiest, most decrepit, armpit of an arena, ever to exist on planet Earth. I mean, this building was not even cool creepy, it was just a plain nightmare gone wrong. This arena was located in New Haven, Connecticut, of course. Alright, enough about that incompetent structure. The KISS concert was loud, bright, festive, loud again and darn right good. I have seen better live shows in my day, yet I am not complaining about anything that KISS did on that stage. It was a night to celebrate Heavy Metal, with a band that carried the flag for Heavy Music since their introduction to the world. This was the KISS “Asylum” Tour, back in good ol’ 1985. I will tell you this, it is a real Metal treat, to see my daughters revel in the KISS tunes, to know and see how much the music of KISS means to them, as it always has for me. My daughters were extremely excited when they saw KISS on television the other night, (I absolutely refuse to discuss this show on Metal Odyssey, let’s just say it is on the Fox Network and is a Pop music show). Hey, anytime KISS can get exposure to a new generation of fans is fine with me.

I remember being in High School, when all of a sudden, it was uncool to like KISS anymore. Well, that was what was happening in the penitentiary like High School I attended. Metalheads  were abundant, yet KISS became almost taboo to talk about. So, I took advantage of this situation. I asked all the super cool know-it-alls that no longer liked KISS, if they were willing to sell their KISS albums and anything KISS. I made out like a bandit. I had more KISS posters, albums and fanzines than I knew what to do with. Plus, I acquired it all dirt cheap. Then, one day, in 1982, KISS made a loud and triumphant return with their release “Creatures Of The Night”… all of a sudden, these fair weather KISS fans are asking me, if I would sell them any of my extra KISS memorabilia and/or albums. Go figure. Since the mid ’70’s up until present day, I have embraced the Heavy Metal that KISS has created. Even the ballads and Gene Simmons dating Cher I have accepted. Yes, the made for television movie “KISS Meets The Phantom In The Park” I have always accepted too. The changes in the KISS lineup never has made me flinch either, any KISS fan knows that the original four are the best. I am not ashamed to say this, for once a KISS fan, always a KISS fan. What other reason was there not to believe this, back in the day when I joined the “KISS Army”? I enlisted into the KISS Army decades ago, I have never gone awol since.

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Michael Schenker & Gary Barden rock together again on “In The Midst Of Beauty”

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic rock, current hard rock albums, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal music, Guitar, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I always have been enamored by the guitar brilliance of Michael Schenker. I have always been a big fan of the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal vocals of Gary Barden. These two musicians combined, made for one very cool and memorable debut album by The Michael Schenker Group, which was self titled. My favorite album by this duo is the second Michael Schenker Group album, titled “MSG”. Depending on the song or album you listen to from the Michael Schenker Group catalog, this band can be defined as Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Diversity has been the mainstay in Michael Schenker’s music, in my Metal opinion. A tried and true crossover of Heavy Music styles is what MSG has accomplished over the decades. Michael Schenker has had one incredible Hard Rock/Metal career, being an original member of the Scorpions and as a member of the infamous UFO.

Michael Schenker has had different lead vocalists over the years, again, my nod goes to the combo of Michael Schenker and Gary Barden. I did not intend to get too long winded, on the background history of The Michael Schenker Group, just a brief introduction is necessary for new fans that might want to check out the past music of MSG. Schenker – Barden “In The Midst Of Beauty” was released on May 13, 2008, with both Michael Schenker and Gary Barden rockin’ out together again. I am very pleased with this album, the vocals of Barden are still solid, he was never a flamboyant or in your face – Arena Rock vocalist to begin with. Barden for me, has always been a cool and deliberate Heavy Rock vocalist who exhibits real emotion in his vocals, while pronouncing the lyrics of his songs – always making the lyrical message as important as the music itself. In my Metal opinion, Gary Barden is as true a Heavy Rock vocalist today as he was in 1980. I cannot say enough about the guitar wizardry of Michael Schenker, to me he plays his very best on “In The Midst Of Beauty”.

All 12 songs are memorable for me on this album, with my favorite track being “Ride On My Way”. This tune is very melodic and it Rocks. I knew when I bought this CD, that I was not going to hear the resurrection of the 1980’s Schenker & Barden Heavy Metal attack. As years pass, all of our great and legendary Metal musicians change a tad or two. Does Gary Barden sound older? How about Michael Schenker? Give me a break, if anything else, there is a new found level of confident Metal that I hear on “In The Midst Of Beauty”. Do not be fooled, for Michael Schenker still brings the heavy on his guitar solos and leads. These two Heavy Metal legends can still Rock their hearts out, I only wish I could sing or play guitar this darn great at my age! “In The Midst Of Beauty” is a fantastic Hard Rock/old school Heavy Metal album that defines what Schenker and Barden are all about – both accomplished musicians who have nothing to prove to anyone - while still showing the entire Rock world what real song writing is all about.

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The greatest Heavy Metal album of all time is…

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, Black Sabbath, classic rock, cool album covers, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, ozzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

527399Well, I have finally reached the pinnacle in my decision process for The Greatest Heavy Metal Album Of All Time. Please reference my past posts on this topic, you will find many great & legendary Metal albums that I personally nominated for this prestigious label. Without further delay, in my Metal opinion, and only mine alone, I have chosen: Black Sabbath – “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”      

Please note that this is my opinion, anyone out there can have his/her own choice for this topic. It boils down to personal preference, especially when it happens to be Metal. Here are my reasons for why I feel this way about this incredible album:

1. It is my belief that Doom Metal, Stoner Metal and real Metal all began with Black Sabbath. “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” just signifies musically, what Metal was and where Metal was heading, back in 1974. 

2. Without question, for me, the ‘riff master’ of the Metal world then and now is and forever will be the legendary Tony Iommi.

3. Ozzy Osbourneno Rock or Metal vocalist has ever sounded like him, or even come close. Ozzy’s vocals are so unique, it is uncanny. I am not saying Ozzy is the greatest vocalist ever, what I am stating is that his vocals are a signature, a trademark if you will, of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” Ozzy’s vocals are so extraordinarily identifiable, just as Tony Iommi’s guitar riffs.

4. Not that this played any factor in my decision whatsoever – the album cover artwork is extremely cool, very much Metal. The artwork depicts a skull, demonic beings, a nightmarish snapshot of a piece of hell. Perhaps, I do not know officially for certain, this was the first album cover of any Rock genre which depicted 666 in it’s artwork. (Again, I would need to really research this).

My summary as to why I believe “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” to be The Greatest Heavy Metal Album Of All Time is this:

Black Sabbath “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is a tried and true Heavy Metal classic. Every song is a definitive statement of just how talented and forward thinking Black Sabbath was in 1974. These 8 songs are a journey of surreal riffs, post psychedelic musical heaviness, that molded Heavy Metal into what it has become today. The opener “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” has a lead riff that instantly prepares you for the remaining set of songs. The instrumental “Fluff” could only work for Black Sabbath on this album, it’s convenient yet prominent position within these songs makes complete sense. “Fluff” and it’s acoustic beauty embarks on the intelligence Black Sabbath held onto musically. Just look at how many Metal bands since, that have slipped in dreamy, mystical or macabre instrumentals for their respective albums. Ozzy Osbourne is so unmistakably eerie on vocals, he was and always shall be one of a kind. Tony Iommi delves into the world of heavy riffs, formulating one after another throughout, unknowingly becoming the Metal riff king for all time. Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums provide a legendary rhythm section, that shapes the dark moodiness of this beyond fantastic Metal masterpiece. I look at 1974, then I realize exactly how prominent Heavy Meal was then. It really was not an embraced genre as yet, Metal was truly in it’s infant stage.

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was the Metal comet that stormed into the musical universe in 1974, making a collision onto a world of Rock & Roll that did not know what hit it. Legions of bands and musicians have been influenced by this album, if not, these bands/musicians are not into Metal and/or do not live on this planet. I strongly urge any and all Heavy Metal or Hard Rock fans to add “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” to their music collection, it is an essential and important work of Heavy Metal. The Greatest Heavy Metal Album Of All Time. 

Just as a sidebar, I struggled with this decision. I was steadfast in deciding on Slipknot “All Hope Is Gone” as the greatest ever. Then, I followed my Metal heart and realized, if it wasn’t for Black Sabbath and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” would there even be Metal music as we know it today?

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