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Jackyl – 1992 debut, Heavy Metal album revisited

Posted in 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, chainsaw heavy metal music, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1992, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1992, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Hey, I have always been eager to get into new Heavy Metal bands, it’s been this way for decades now. 1992 was no different than any other year, as far as searching out the latest and/or newest Heavy Metal Bands and albums. When I first heard Jackyl back in 1992, well, it was the song “The Lumberjack”… with a chainsaw being used for a solo. A chainsaw used as a dominant musical instrument… in a Heavy Metal song, now that is cool, that is Metal. Aw heck, I am going to be blunt and admit… this chainsaw ripping through “The Lumberjack” song gave me goose bumps back in 1992. Now, does this chainsaw and “The Lumberjack” song have the same goose bump affect on me today? Honestly, not as many goose bumps generate when I listen to this song in 2009, still I like the song just as much as ever. Maybe it is due to the fact, that I know the chainsaw is coming, after listening to this song so many times over the years. Make no mistake, “The Lumberjack” song still pumps me up and makes me wish I had an old, decrepit, decaying barn to tear down while I listen to this song. 

This debut album from Jackyl, which is self titled, was a refreshing reminder back in 1992 that Heavy Metal did not curl up into a ball and wither away. Jackyl’s brand of Heavy Metal arrived right when this Metalhead needed it most, when rumors abounded within the mainstream media that Metal Music was done. Well, Heavy Metal never went away, if anything, the mainstream media just did not cover the Metal Music that was out there in the 1990′s, no publicity, therefore… no existence. Right? Wrong! Jackyl was a perfect example of Heavy Metal existing in the decade of the ’90′s. Other than the chainsaw, Jackyl did not reinvent the Metal wheel back in 1992, rather they delivered upon the Metal community an album that kicked some serious tail. “Jackyl” was an album that presented some heavy hitting, kick the dirt and throw the garbage can down the driveway – attitude and songs.

Back in 1995, I worked for a very large, mail order, perennial farm in expensive Connecticut. I can remember working the perennial fields during the Summer, driving a tractor, during a very, very, long dry spell. I recall this one cool, fellow Metalhead who drove a tractor on this farm as well… he and I both so wished it would rain. I introduced him to this Jackyl debut album, (I had it on cassette then), “When Will It Rain” became a theme song for us working the fields at this perennial farm. My Metalhead buddy borrowed my Jackyl cassette to listen to, while he worked the fields with his tractor. (There is definitely something about Jackyl’s Heavy Metal and working outdoors… one seems to compliment the other). “Down On Me” is another very memorable song from “Jackyl”, nothing fancy here, just a steady, Heavy Metal track, that is carried by the rhythm section with authority. “Dirty Little Mind” is like a speeding, Metal ball of wire, uncoiling with spastic Heavy Metal abandon.

In other words, “Jackyl” was never going to indulge in therapeutic topics, nor delve into intricate musical musings. Instead, “Jackyl” was – and still is, a down home, blue collar, back roads, type of Heavy Metal album and band. “Jackyl” was never meant to impress the judges, mainstream media, or uptight people in general. Jackyl the band and “Jackyl” the album, no doubt impressed me in 1992… still does. I think that is why I appreciate this debut album from Jackyl so much, this band wrote songs to have a good time to and maybe heave that rotted log into the woods to.

Jackyl, as they appeared on their debut album “Jackyl”: Jesse James Dupree on vocals & chainsaw, Jimmy Stiff on guitar, Jeff Worley on guitar, Tom Bettini on  bass guitar and Chris Worley on drums.

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U.D.O. “Nailed To Metal” is live, world class Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal drum solos, heavy metal from germany, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, heavy metal music 1983, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, live heavy metal albums, Metal, metal music, metal music this decade, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage live heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

U.D.O. "Nailed To Metal" large picAccept is a legendary Heavy Metal Band from Germany, blazing through the late 1970′s and releasing crushing Old School Heavy Metal right up until 1996. U.D.O. is the Heavy Metal brainchild from the iconic lead singer from Accept… Udo Dirkschneider. U.D.O. released their first studio album in 1987, with “Animal House”… in 1988 their second studio album released, titled “Mean Machine”. U.D.O. has released many albums over the years, with their latest studio effort being “Mastercutor”, released in 2007. I have and always will be a huge fan of Udo Dirkschneider, Accept was an incredible Heavy Metal band, they never wavered or catered to any musical flavor of the day, just 100% Heavy Metal albums they released back in the day. With Udo carrying on his grand Heavy Metal career with U.D.O., it only makes me psyched – knowing this legend is still around. Udo may not receive the glamourous adulation from the mainstream Rock press like Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Brian Johnson or Ozzy, however, he is just as important to the history of Heavy Metal as any of these lead singers are.

“Nailed To Metal” (subtitled “the missing tracks”), is a live, eleven song album, released back in 2003. The liner notes state that the songs were “recorded during the European Tour 2001″. Let me just say that… this live U.D.O. album does not just exemplify Heavy Metal, it is Heavy Metal. Hail U.D.O.! Thank you Germany! Udo Dirkschneider sounds just as prolific with his vocals on “Nailed To Metal” as he did on his Accept album “Breaker”… or any of his Accept albums for that matter. What I always anticipate from U.D.O. is that powerful, thunderous, monster of a sound from their Heavy Metal… “Nailed To Metal” brings it all and with the excitement of the live ambience. The Heavy Metal barometer explodes with the first two opening songs – “Holy” and “Raiders Of Beyond”. Both of these U.D.O. tracks are nothing short of Heavy Metal liberation, capturing the very essence of what Heavy Metal 101 is all about. The “Drum Solo” comes in at 4:26… (this is a Heavy Metal drum solo, not a Thrash or Death Metal drum solo), my point being, just as I am enamored by Extreme Metal, I embrace a cool, traditional, Heavy Metal drum solo in the spotlight, any day of the week. Lorenzo Milani on drums, is not out to compete with Neil Peart (of Rush), he is only out to play some solid drumming the Old School Heavy Metal way. In my Metal opinion, “Holy” and “Raiders Of Beyond” hold their own against classic Accept songs… and classic Accept songs are here.

The vintage “Fast As A Shark” and “Restless & Wild”, (from 1982), are unmistakably Heavy Metal defining, two throwback songs from the Accept catalog that have never lost their ability to supercharge me. “Metal Heart”, (from 1985), is an Accept song that careens into this live set like a long lost Heavy Metal friend. The closer of this live album is none other than… “Balls To The Wall”. At 8:48 long, I wish this Heavy Metal anthem would carry on for an hour… raising my fist to the air and banging my head never felt so good. Accept found their FM radio acceptance back in 1984 with “Balls To The Wall”, a trip down Heavy Metal lane “Nailed To Metal” is. Udo Dirkschneider was and always will be the voice of Accept, therefore U.D.O. does not just cover these legendary Accept songs, they celebrate them. With the combination of live U.D.O. and Accept Heavy Metal on “Nailed To Metal”, this album easily, hands down, gets five out of five beer kegs from me. Keep bringing the Heavy Metal U.D.O. and I will forever listen.

U.D.O. as they appear on “Nailed To Metal”: Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, Stefan Kaufmann on guitar, Igor Gianola on guitar, Fitty Wienhold on bass guitar and Lorenzo Milani on drums.

*As a Metal side note, the only Accept album that Udo Dirkschneider was not the lead singer on, was “Eat The Heat”, released in 1989. David Reece was the lead singer for this Accept album.

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My favorite KISS solo album is…

Posted in 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, Paul Stanley, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Each member of Kiss had released a solo album back on September 18, 1978. I remember back then, being a young Kiss fan, there was much to rejoice about… four new Kiss albums to choose from. Being just twelve years old, I could not just run out and buy all four new albums. Back in 1978, my parents did not have a bounty of expendable cash to dole out to me, thus I was only earning a quarter here and there for the yard work I did. (Sounds like the 1930′s or something, doesn’t it?). Instead, I waited patiently to obtain or receive as a gift, one or all of the Kiss solo albums. Not until January 26, 1979, did I receive the Paul Stanley solo album, as a birthday gift from my parents. To say that I was ecstatic on that day would be an understatement… Paul Stanley was and still is, my favorite musician and vocalist from Kiss. At that age, I remember just staring at the front cover portrait of Paul Stanley, holding the album jacket in my hands, thinking this was the greatest birthday of my entire life. The memories are so cool to reflect on… what is more cool is that Paul Stanley is still making music both solo, (“Live To Win”, October 24, 2006), plus with an upcoming new Kiss album.

I don’t know if it is just me, yet I feel the songs on this album could very well have been released recently, given the fact there are so many vintage Heavy Metal Bands being revived in recent years. Maybe it is due to my growing up with Kiss and these albums, that I do not find this music dated. Well, enough about the age and dates here… this is the album that boasts my favorite Heavy Metal ballad of all-time, it is “Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)”. This song always held it together for me, with the melody, lyrics and Paul Stanley’s vocals being three parts of equal coolness. This album opener is “Tonight You Belong To Me”, a song I consider to be one of the heaviest out of the bunch. This song opens up with Paul Stanley singing as if he is about to embark on a slow ballad, this is definitely not the case. The Heavy Metal gravitational pull, swallows me right up with this great song. “It’s Alright” is another fine heavy song, it has for me, all the qualities to still psyche me out – with Paul Stanley’s vocals again, the ever important lyrics and of course, the music itself.

“Move On” is the one and only song on this album that I really have never grown to like. This is a song that I could not connect with, nor do I understand how it musically fit into the song list for this album. Obviously, “Move On” has never swayed my admiration for this Paul Stanley solo album. One song that does not meet my liking is not going to ruin an entire album of songs. Paul Stanley wrote every song on this album, while co-writing with Mikel Japp on “Move On”, “Ain’t Quite Right” and “Take Me Away (Together As One)”. Out of the four Kiss solo albums, Paul Stanley was and always has been my choice of favorite, this is not to take away from the Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss albums… it is just my personal taste. Besides, I do enjoy the other three solo albums too, just not in the same way as this Paul Stanley solo album. As a whole, I have always found this Paul Stanley solo album to be the catchiest, most melodic and more song driven out of the four, with some cool slices of Heavy Metal to go along with it.

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Armored Saint – “Revelation” brings forth Heavy Metal intensity

Posted in 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music this decade, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Armored Saint "Revelation" small picArmored Saint is an Old School Heavy Metal band, a band that proved to me years ago, they were all about Metal. One listen to any album from the Armored Saint catalog and one will understand what I mean about all Metal. One album in particular, that really drives the message home as to the serious Heavy Metal Music that Armored Saint delivers is “Revelation”, (released on March 7, 2000, on Metal Blade Records). I bought this album as exactly such… on vinyl. This album is a twelve song, two record set, with three songs per side of each album. There still is a cool Metal rush I experience when holding onto an actual record, placing it on a turntable, then letting the Heavy Metal roar. Armored Saint does exactly that, they storm out of the Heavy Metal gates on “Revelation”, this album sets me on the Metal path I belong on. It is going on ten years since this album was released, yet the Heavy Metal that blasts from “Revelation”, is just as exhilarating as any new Metal music releases I have heard lately.

“Revelation” is one of those rare albums where I flat out tell my fellow Metal peers… buy it and be glad you did. You are getting more than you expect with Armored Saint, no songs are watered down, the musicianship is Metal superior and lead vocalist John Bush is one of the greats at fronting a Heavy Metal band. Armored Saint may not be Thrash Metal, nor are they Death Metal… they are bona fide Heavy Metal with an extra dosage of heavy. “Tension”, “Creepy Feelings” and “Damaged”  really showcase the vocals of John Bush, he never over reaches on any notes, he only defines how Heavy Metal is supposed to be sung. “Tension” is a song that is extremely relevant, lyrically, to what is currently taking place in corporate America. On “After Me, The Flood”, sure, John Bush lets out a scream or two, he mixes it up vocally with potent Metal fervor. “Revelation” seems to rupture at the seams with non-stop, great songs. If only every Metal album could be like this… skipping over tracks is totally unnecessary here.

“Den Of Thieves” is a heavy song that demonstrates the guitar brilliance of Phil Sandoval on lead guitar and Jeff Duncan on rhythm & lead guitar. This guitar duo erupts with melodic leads and contagious riffs that make my Metal day complete. “Control Issues” is arguably the heaviest song on this album, lyrically making quite the impact that the music itself intends. “No Me Digas” is the bonus track included on this album… it is sung in Spanish, the lyrics inside the album gatefold are in Spanish as well. I am not too fluent with my Spanish, however, I will say that this song rocks along well just the same. This song is proof to me, that Heavy Metal Music is without question, a universal language and expression - for us all to pump our fists in the air to. In the end, I have been Metal schooled again, this time by “No Me Digas” and Armored Saint.

As for the rhythm section of Joey Vera on bass and Gonzo Sandoval on drums, they play as tight and effective as any in Heavy Metal. The focal point of this band for me, is the all encompassing power of the music, without sacrificing a melodic moment here or there. I usually try not to spill over, too excessively, with Metal glee, in regards to a Heavy Metal album or band. “Revelation” is one Heavy Metal album that I want to put out to the world, to spread the Metal message that these songs need to be heard. Armored Saint deserves my admiration, every time I listen to this band and/or “Revelation”, it makes me Metal proud. Long live this Heavy Metal band they call – Armored Saint.

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Rainbow – “Bent Out Of Shape” 1983 album revisited

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Rainbow "Bent Out Of Shape" small picRainbow was and still is one of the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands that I look upon with Metal reverence. The song writing, lyrics, musicianship, melodies, well, I could go on forever about why I have liked this band so much. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, in my Metal opinion, is a guitar legend, both with Deep Purple and Rainbow. Ritchie Blackmore collaborated with lead vocalist Joe Lynn Turner on a few releases, back in the 1980′s. “Bent Out Of Shape” is one of those albums they created, writing nine out of the ten songs together. “Bent Out Of Shape” can be taken as a commercial Hard Rock statement, only It is difficult for me to define this album as such. My standards for commercial Rock or Hard Rock/Heavy Metal definitely differ from other peoples standards. I need to hear consistent sappy ballads and/or radio – bubble gum – friendly songs before my stamp of commercialism is placed on an album. In other words, I feel “Bent Out Of Shape” is one mighty, melodic, Hard Rock album. Honestly, I have no problem with labeling “Bent Out Of Shape” as a Heavy Metal album. This album was released in 1983, the heaviness of Rainbow for back then, easily gave this band the label of Heavy Metal.

“Snowman” is the lone song that was not co-written by Joe Lynn Turner. This song is an instrumental, written by Ritchie Blackmore and Howard Blake. This song has a yearning feeling to it, an almost dream like atmosphere as well, I have always gravitated to it over the years. “Street Of Dreams” was the hit song from this album, plenty of FM radio play it used to receive as well. This song is very melodic, the keyboards play an integral musical role on this track. “Desperate Heart” is quite similar in style, to that of “Street Of Dreams”… both with melody and tempo. “Drinking With The Devil” is my pick for the heaviest song on this album, it has some cool edginess to it, with Joe Lynn Turner adding some tough attitude vocally. “Can’t Let You Go” is another notable song, tailor made for Joe Lynn Turner’s vocals. This song as with “Desperate Heart” and “Street Of Dreams” seems to fit the soul searching theme that I interpret from the lyrics. 

Overall, “Bent Out Of Shape” carries on the signature sound of Rainbow, with rich and vibrant keyboards courtesy of David Rosenthal and of course, the guitar play of Ritchie Blackmore. Joe Lynn Turner has the velvet vocals of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, he continues to release some quality solo albums to this day. If I had to pick which version of Rainbow that I like best, of course I would choose the Ronnie James Dio fronted Rainbow. With that opinion aside, the Joe Lynn Turner era of Rainbow was and still is quite cool for me. I never can resist buying any music that Joe Lynn Turner has his vocals on, there is no doubt in my mind, that he has had an impressive career. For my taste, “Bent Out Of Shape” has not lost any of its Heavy Rock luster, as years pass. If anything, I still appreciate the quality of all of these songs on this album. In my Metal opinion, this Rainbow album is light years better than a good percentage of new Hard Rock music you hear on the radio or internet today.

Rainbow, as they appeared on “Bent Out Of Shape”: Ritchie Blackmore on guitars, Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, Roger Glover on bass and percussion, David Rosenthal on keyboards and Chuck Burgi on drums. “Bent Out Of Shape” was produced by Roger Glover.

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Journey “Evolution” – a delicacy of a Classic Rock Album

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, hard rock album review, Music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Journey, the Rock icon of a band. Journey “Evolution”, an album that is now referred to as a Classic Rock masterpiece… by me anyways. What else can one say about this incredible Rock album? Quite a bit can actually be said, this album established Journey, solidified them atop the Rock Music world for many, many, years. There could never be another Steve Perry, his vocals alone gave Journey their signature sound. In my opinion, there are lead singers that have vocals so breathtaking, they are the most important musical instrument in their respective band. I had felt this way about Steve Perry, with his years with Journey. Steve Perry’s vocals can never be duplicated, nor will he ever be forgotten by me as the lead singer for Journey. I will always appreciate Journey as the band they are today too. With that said, this is an article where I am celebrating the brilliance of a moment in time, one that can be listened to time and again, that moment was Journey’s “Evolution”, (released in 1979).

Neal Schon, the lead guitarist to this very day for Journey, is an impeccable musician as well. His song writing on “Evolution” alongside Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie and Ross Valory could very well be interpreted as a - how to write Rock Music handbook. I can remember appreciating and being thrilled by the Rock and Hard Rock songs on “Evolution” back in the day. Now, it is 2009 and I only appreciate this Journey album all the more. Yes, for me, this is a Rock album where I can honestly say, they don’t make Rock albums like this anymore. (Please excuse that cliche). If someone who has never heard a single song from this album was to ask me, which songs are standout, cool or great… my  answer would be all of them. “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” is certainly the undisputed hit single from “Evolution”, plus “Just The Same Way” received it’s justifiable FM radio airplay for decades as well. Gregg Rolie sings lead on “Just The Same Way”, I have forever been impressed with his vocals on this song.

From the opening instrumental intro of “Majestic” to the very last song “Lady Luck”, you are hard pressed to find the commercial Rock Music that would years later, catapult Journey into the superstar stratosphere. This is what makes “Evolution” so important and favorable to me, that this was a Journey album that caught on with popularity for it’s Rock Music whole. It never hurt either, that the musical talent, creativity and skill with all the musicians of Journey were in sync on this album, thus, this made for the equalizer - where great Rock songs do not always become hit singles. Instead, as it holds true to this very day, great Rock songs become the building blocks of legendary Rock albums. “Evolution” draws it’s Rock Music strength from collective collaboration of the elite musicianship, with the end result being a revered/legendary Rock album of songs, not a greatest hits.

Journey, as they appeared on “Evolution”: Steve Perry on lead vocals, Neal Schon on lead guitar, Ross Valory on bass guitar, Gregg Rolie on keyboards and Steve Smith on drums.

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Soulfly “Tribe” – an exercise in diverse Metal Music

Posted in Album Review, diverse metal music, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music 2002, metal music ep's, metal music this decade, Metal Reviews, Music, Thrash Metal, tribal metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

To enjoy and appreciate Soulfly is to accept the fact that Max Cavalera presents his own style of Metal, both musically and vocally. “Tribe” is an awesome blend of studio tracks and live recordings, (8 total songs), that are pure Metal in all of it’s gleaming, diverse glory. You will hear thrash with “Bleed”, Tribal Metal with “Tribe” and constant aggressive guitar (Logan Mader), bass (Marcello D. Rapp) and percussion (Roy Mayorga) throughout. On the song “Tribe” the percussion gives the tribal sound that you will forever know as Tribal Metal. “Soulfly (Eternal Spirit Mix)” is an instrumental, Tribal Metal songscape, that will take you by cool, soothing surprise. Max Cavalera is a Metal Music innovator, uniting Tribal and Metal music, a singer that can change his vocal style in an instant and gives each song its unique vocal watermark.

Ever so often, there comes a time when a Metal Music album or EP eradicates the norm and transcends the expectancy of the listener. Here I was, the listener to this Soulfly “Tribe” EP and I was hooked after my very first experience. I will not fib here, I have been a Max Cavalera fan since his days with Sepultura, he has unquestionably distinguished himself from the pack, by fronting Soulfly. (This is my Metal opinion). Sepultura and Cavalera Conspiracy fans must own “Tribe”. For Metal fans who want to diversify and listen to a cornucopia of Metal styles on one disc, go for “Tribe” and you surely will not regret it.

* “Tribe” was released on March 5, 2002, on Roadrunner Records.

* “Tribe” also has the subtitle “Australian Special Tour Edition”

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Faster Pussycat “Greatest Hits” – a worthwhile Heavy Metal listen

Posted in 1980's hair metal albums, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, Hair Metal, hair metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Music, old school hair metal bands, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock music, shopping for music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Faster Pussycat debuted their self titled album back in 1987. Sure, I gave Faster Pussycat a listen back then, they were never a #1  favorite of mine, still this band Rocked – and they still Rock to this day. Nonetheless, I still find time to give this band a listen. I recall Faster Pussycat being a cool party band to rock out to, back in the late ’80′s. Faster Pussycat was tied into the Hair Metal genre, right out of L.A., yet I always had the sense that this band was a bit more edgier and heavier to be pigeon holed into that genre. I just stamp the old Heavy Metal label on this band and I am done with it. This group does deliver a whole bunch of Heavy Rock & Roll with their sound, Taime Downe on lead vocals is a sliver reminiscent of Marc Storace of Krokus fame, (in my Metal opinion). Why I say Heavy Rock & Roll when I describe the music of Faster Pussycat is for really one valid reason… the piano that is at times featured in their songs. “Cathouse” is a great example of when you hear the Rock piano getting it’s fair usage. Without ever knowing this band, I can hear influences from the legendary Aerosmith, Taime Downe really does remind me of Steven Tyler on “Slip Of The Tongue”.

“Don’t Change That Song” was and forever will be the catchiest song from Faster Pussycat… for me. The lyrics are borderline humorous and very memorable. “Don’t change that song, it’s my favorite record”… these are simple lyrics that just stick in my head and have me asking… how did these guys come up with this song? “Where There’s A Whip There’s A Way” is a super cool and trademark Hair Metal song, if there ever was one. “You’re So Vain” is the cover song found on this “Greatest Hits”, (written and sung back in the ’70′s by Carly Simon). Let’s see, the controversy starts now… do I like the Faster Pussycat version of “You’re So Vain or the original Carly Simon version? Well, this is one of those circumstances where I pick the cover version over the original… Faster Pussycat wins. Trust me, Faster Pussycat does not cover this song as a ballad, they make it Rock heavy. (It’s my personal Metal preference with liking this cover song over the original).

“Bathroom Wall” is another substantial song to mention here, it just flat out Rocks along without hesitation. This song is what I always like to refer to as – a good time – let’s party, Heavy Metal song. “House Of Pain” is the lone ballad on this “Greatest Hits”. I have never been a fan of Heavy Metal ballads, I have always been rather picky about them. Yeah, I have a handful of my own, personal favorite, Heavy Metal ballads from years, (gulp), decades past. “House Of Pain” is not a song that I will jump up and down about, however, it probably was the biggest hit that Faster Pussycat ever had. (All the Metal power to them).  This is a darn cool CD to pick up if you don’t have any Faster Pussycat in your Metal collection, all the hits are covered, ten in all. I bought this CD at Walmart a few months ago, for five bucks. (Not too shabby of a price for the tunes).

The original Faster Pussycat lineup, circa 1987: Taime Downe on lead vocals, Brent Muscat on guitar, Mark Michals on drums, Greg Steel on guitar and Eric Stacy on bass guitar. As a side note, Taime is pronounced – “Tie Me”. Uh, just in case there is anyone out there that did not know this. Faster Pussycat “Greatest Hits” is on the Flashback record label. This label is known for the numerous Greatest Hits CD’s they put out – showcasing Heavy Metal bands from the past.

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Dream Theater “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” – Many silver linings found on this album

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current prog metal albums, current prog metal music, current progressive metal albums, current progressive metal music, essential progressive metal albums, Hard Rock, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal 2009, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, progressive rock, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I have come to the conclusion, that Progressive Metal and Progressive Hard Rock are the genres that keep me grounded. Dream Theater offers me the best of two worlds, like a one-two Metal punch… this band makes me want to Rock out, then again, I have many moments with their music when I want to chill, in a Metal sort of way. I am not at all stating that Dream Theater can be easy listening Progressive Music… no way. They offer the segues, interludes, intro’s and instrumentals that serve as that musical cushion to fall back on, while awaiting the heavy parts. This is what draws me into their music, to always expect the unexpected with the Progressive nature of Dream Theater. Dream Theater has for me, come so far, paid their Metal dues, to be now recognized as a Progressive Metal super power. It is difficult to dispute the vast landscape of progressive musical ingenuity that Dream Theater bestows. listening to their new music is a reminder to me, that you can erase any other thoughts in your mind and escape into an album of songs.

Dream Theater group photo“A Rite Of Passage” is an amazing song, it reminds me of what maybe Rainbow would sound like, in 2009. The keyboards in this song is what has me thinking of vintage Rainbow, the melody also has a deep, rich, Classic Rock flavor. “A Nightmare To Remember”, the opening song, has all the dynamics I come to expect from Dream Theater, musically and lyrically. I am very glad the story line to this song has a happy ending, despite the child mentally reliving such a personal experience that is the referred nightmare. “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”, (released on June 23, 2009), has most certainly eclipsed my expectations of what to expect, both musically and lyrically. This new Dream Theater release deservedly reached #6 on the Billboard album charts on the initial week of it’s release. It is clear that new fans have embraced Dream Theater and all of their epic Progressive Metal.

After listening to “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”, one can reach the conclusion that Dream Theater has created an album that is a throwback. With guitar leads and lengthy songs that reminisce of 1970′s albums from Yes, Rainbow and Rush; it is my Metal opinion that Dream Theater has maintained, tweaked and fine tuned a remarkable balance of Old School intertwining with originality and relevance. If Metal music was ever supposed to move me, Dream Theater has done it on this release. This is an amazingly enjoyable album to listen to. This Progressive Metal Music with all of it’s musical eloquence, will no doubt have me exploring the deep layers of “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” for years to come.

Dream Theater, as they appear on “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”: John Petrucci on guitar & vocals, Jordan Rudess on keyboards & continuum, James LaBrie on vocals, John Myung on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums, percussion & vocals.

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Abigail Williams – “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns” – Real, Extreme, Black Metal

Posted in Album Review, Black Metal, black metal 2009, black metal albums 2009, black metal music 2009, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current black metal albums, current black metal music, extreme black metal music, Extreme Metal, extreme metal music, extreme music, extreme music today, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9061631I have added a new band to my Black Metal favorites list, they are Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams is void of having the heavy grooves of Satyricon’s superior recent releases, void of having the progressiveness of the incredible Enslaved. What Abigail Williams does offer up musically, is the extreme and brutal sounds of Black Metal. Yes, the very, very, heavy side of Black Metal. The layering of music is similar to what Cradle of Filth has accomplished with their infamous albums, minus any over exaggeration of melody. O.K., I have pointed out where Abigail Williams lines up musically, compared to their Black Metal counterparts, (or some of them anyway). On “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns”, (released on October 28, 2008 – candlelight records), Sorceron on lead vocals is alarmingly convincing, while the entire band plays very tight, giving every indication musically, that they know these are ten solid songs.

If you are looking for a seriously heavy, fast and Extreme band, regardless of the genre, Abigail Williams will engulf your musical senses with unrelenting and foreboding Black Metal force. This is a Black Metal band that sounds like they have been set loose from any musical restraints, given the command to set forth and spread their onslaught of enraged Black Metal unto the masses. The symphonic moments heard throughout this album lends itself as the bridge, that connects this Black Metal extremity of aggressiveness. After a couple of listens to “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns”, I realized that I waited too long to purchase this Black Metal creation. Abigail Williams has made one fine, full length album, of Extreme Black Metal music with this release. I hope that any band lineup changes that have occurred, will not prevent Abigail Williams from moving forward with powerful momentum. Sorceron is the nucleus of this band, he must continue to surround himself with quality musicians, just like the lineup found on this album. This is my Metal opinion and I recommend Abigail Williams “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns” to anyone who’s interest I may have peaked.

Abigail Williams as they appeared on “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns” are: Sorceron on lead vocals & lyricist, Mike Wilson on lead guitar, Plaguehammer on bass, Bjornthor on guitar, Trym on drums, Samus on drums and Ashley Ellyllon on keyboards and piano. Sorceron also plays guitar, bass and keyboards on this album as well. James Murphy appears as a guest guitarist.

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Job For A Cowboy “Ruination” – Extreme Death Metal album is a high point for 2009

Posted in Album Review, cannibal corpse, cool album covers, current death metal albums, current death metal music, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, Death Metal, death metal 2009, death metal guitarists, death metal music, death metal vocals, Extreme Metal, extreme metal music, extreme music, extreme music today, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, scary album covers, spooky album covers, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

fullsizeI have an appetite for the most Extreme Metal Music out there. Job For A Cowboy is without question, a healthy dose of Extreme Metal. Death Metal is this bands calling card. Playing every musical instrument in their band extremely fast and heavy is an understatement. Blast beats and the infamous cookie monster vocals are lathered all over the songs on “Ruination”, (released on Metal Blade Records, July 7, 2009). So, with all of the expected characteristics of being an Extreme – Death Metal band aside, Job For A Cowboy does prove to me one thing… they are more concerned about global and societal troubles than one might expect. I am not going to admit, I can actually make out the lyrics to these songs, from the vocals of Jonny Davy. Nope, instead, I have the assistance of the sacred liner notes, that come with the complete lyrics for every song on “Ruination”. For me, not understanding the words being pronounced from the Death Metal growls of Jonny Davy comes with the territory of this Metal genre. With this genre of Metal, the lead vocalist is just as equally important as any of the musical instruments being played. It is the anger driven vocals that gives the songs on “Ruination” their intended extreme force and purpose, if you will. Jonny Davy on vocals is equivalent to a wasp nest being disturbed by a broom stick. His vocals will swarm all over your Metal soul, clutching it, beating it into shape and then slapping you in the face with it. Job For A Cowboy delivers a lesson in Extreme – Death Metal whoop ass that has me saying… thank you sir, can I please have more?

jfac_photo_smallJust when I thought that Cannibal Corpse’s “Evisceration Plague” was the lightning strike of an Extreme – Death Metal album of 2009, well, now I have my own personal Metal controversy. Between Cannibal Corpse and Job For A Cowboy, it is a pick ‘em as to who punishes and obliterates my Metal senses more in 2009. “March To Global Enslavement” may be a bit much on the side of extreme paranoia, then again, this is Extreme Metal I am listening to here with “Ruination”. “Unfurling A Darkened Gospel” in my Metal interpretation is anti-war and anti-corporate handshakes, thus making for quite the anti theme song, an undisputed Death Metal barrage. It is an invigorating feeling to know that bands like Job For A Cowboy can speak their minds and serve up their opinions without any American government suppression or censorship. When you stop and really think about it, America really is the land of the free. (Thank you Dee Snider for making certain this Metal Music freedom remained for us all). This is what Metal is all about, creating the heaviest and most extreme music while shouting out about things that really irritate you. 

“To Detonate And Exterminate” is a horrible reminder of what may come to pass if our nuclear powers ever decide to wage war. Nuclear War is not a cheery topic, it is a Death Metal topic though. Job For A Cowboy paints the morbid picture for us to envision, if stupidity ever engineers the decision for enacting a nuclear war. The Extreme – Death Metal scene is not a society of uneducated dopes. This genre has something to say every once in a while, therefore I do find substance and thought provoking topics of world concern, with the lyrics on “Ruination”. Job For A Cowboy enables me to stay in touch with the younger generation of Extreme Metal, these guys are part of the big picture of Metal Music, a band that is only going to enhance the future of this genre. I cannot ignore the viciousness and total annihilation that is the Metal Music on “Ruination”, this is total Metal brutality from Job For A Cowboy – I could not bestow a higher compliment. 

Some extra info to nourish the Metal mind:

Job For A Cowboy, as they appear on “Ruination”: Jonny Davy on lead vocals, Bobby Thompson on guitar, Al Glassman on guitar, Brent Riggs on bass and Jon “Charn” Rice on drums. “Ruination” comes with a 24 page, full color booklet that is extremely cool. As I mentioned earlier, the lyrics for all 10 songs are in this booklet, with eye popping extended artwork, that fits right into the themes heard on “Ruination”. (As a side note, I purchased this CD on the day of it’s release, July 7, 2009, at Target… for $7.98!on sale! – not a bad retail price for quality Metal these days – smart move Target). I wish all new CD’s were at this price point.

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The Mars Volta “Octahedron” – A Progressive Hard Rock mind pill

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, progressive hard rock album reviews, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock albums 2009, progressive hard rock music, progressive hard rock music 2009, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I have been riding on a rather enjoyable, Progressive Metal & Progressive Hard Rock wave of music as of late. Am I complaining? Not when bands like The Mars Volta release the Progressive elasticity of songs that they have titled – “Octahedron”. It is Hard Rock music like this, that challenges the outer reaches of my very own musical senses. I suppose that is what Progressive Music is meant to do?  I am not going to fib here, it took me well into my third listen of “Octahedron” to have “it” finally hit me. The “it” is the focused energy and streamlined patience and musical precision, that are consistent, musical nuances I hear in these songs from The Mars Volta. Let’s be real, these artistic lined, Hard Rock songs, with all of their progressiveness, were not written over night. Is it considered to be uncool these days, to have a thought process and spacial intellect towards music? Not in my realm of listening to Hard Rock – or Metal for that matter. The Mars Volta has thrown “Octahedron” to the progressive wind, it has blown my way and this is what I have to say.

IMG_1512 copy“Since We’ve Been Wrong” has my inner psyche floating somewhere out there in 1979, the retrospective, ambient rays of melody I hear in this song, has me laying on a freshly mowed lawn, staring up at a clear blue sky. “Teflon” does not stray too far away from this dreamy type of feeling either, it only Rocks a little harder. “Halo Of Nembutals” has me agreeing with the assertion that lead vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala really does sound like the living legend – Geddy Lee of Rush. (This comparison has been thrown around quite a bit, it should be construed as a compliment, much better than being compared to the vocals of Jim Nabors, aka Gomer Pyle). With this song, carrying it’s way into “With Twilight As My Guide”, I tend to realize that I have fallen victim to a cascade of Progressive Hard Rock sanctity. I refuse to just stand pat and not let my feelings be known, about a band that is able to grasp the flexibility and open mindedness of song writing, both lyrically and musically. The Mars Volta apparently were either born as collaborative musicians or they visited some type of mystical being, in a tropical rain forest, who granted them the ability to eradicate themselves of any staleness and ego – thus anointing them with Progressive Musical powers.

IMG_1495“Cotopaxi”, “Desperate Graves” and “Copernicus” are three songs in a row, that I swear are a path that lead me to believing that the words status quo are not in The Mars Volta vocabulary.  Omar Rodriguez Lopez has given new meaning to the phrase – lead, not follow – for if this musician were to follow, I would probably be listening to a band that wants to fit in and play it safe, like so many bands who don’t follow their hearts and instincts do. The same goes for Cedric Bixler Zavala, as both a vocalist and lyricist. If anything, I am completely guilty of being passionate about the music that moves me. The Mars Volta are just as guilty for being passionate in creating the music that stands up and above, so much so, the “Octahedron” CD cover does not even bear their name. It is the music that really matters, the music that stands alone, it is not a name of a band, the physicality or gender of it’s members, nor the image. “It” is really all about the finished product, the music and what it says. “Octahedron” speaks more if you give “it” the space and respect is so justifiably deserves.

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Violent Femmes – “Why Do Birds Sing?” is a unique album, a unique band

Posted in 1990's alternative rock music, 1990's college music, 1990's folk punk rock music, 1990's punk rock music, Album Review, essential punk rock albums, punk rock album reviews, punk rock albums, punk rock cover songs, punk rock music, punk rock songs, Rock, rock & roll, rock music, silly album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Throughout my travels to antique stores and thrift shops, more often than not, I come across albums and/or CD’s that grab my attention in milliseconds. I usually find the Metal, Punk Rock or Extreme Music that is not in stock at your local Walmart, Best Buy or f.y.e., therefore my journey’s to these eclectic shops are never in vain. Sure, the vast majority of underground and obscure music titles can be had online just about anywhere you look, I am an avid consumer of online purchases this way. However, it is just a tad more cool to actually hunt down or stumble upon a CD of a band that is not on any mainstream or commercial charts… not in the limelight whatsoever… and this band is unique, a definite qualifier for existing in the world of Extreme Music. Please excuse me, if I say that the three dollars I paid to bring home Violent Femmes “Why Do Birds Sing?”, (released in 1991), was a smart move. Three dollars versus the eleven dollars (or more) it would have cost me to buy this CD brand new online… not counting the shipping and tax costs. Used CD? Is there such a thing? Man, a CD really has to be scratched up and bent out of shape for me to consider it used.  Besides, I am not that naive to purchase a used CD without inspecting the surface wear of the actual disc itself. Crap, I better get on with the actual music found here, on “Why Do Birds Sing?” and stop this ranting about the science of used CD hunting and purchasing.

Hey man, anytime a band is considered, labeled or sounds like Folk Punk Rock, this said band is embraced by Metal Odyssey. What is more unique than Folk Punk? C’mon, this genre is flying under the radar for decades and is a survivor. I certainly remember there being a cult following for the Violent Femmes back in my college days. (I honestly never gave them a listen back then, I was either too broke to afford new tunes or too occupied with my core bands of Thrash and Heavy Metal). Life is all about exploring… and explore my ears have done with this Violent Femmes CD. To pursue the music that lies within “Why Do Birds Sing?”, for me, is paralleled to taking a road trip without a map. In other words, this album has been something I never expected, I never really knew what may be around the next turn, what will the next song be like? Will there be memorable tunes along the way?

Before I mention some of the songs on this album… just look at the album cover artwork found here. I am going to use the words – retrospective silly. Yes, I used the words retrospective silly on Metal Odyssey. This artwork captures the who cares what the system thinks of us attitude that is sweltering from the music of the Violent Femmes. There are no muscular barbarians, warlocks, monsters, skulls, science fiction backdrops or busty women on this album cover. The music that is within “Why Do Birds Sing” does not need any of these covers to win me over. The music holds it’s own, without the help of cover artwork… the Violent Femmes created some really good music here, all 13 songs of it. These Violent Femmes do a darn good cover on The Culture Club hit “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”, for this genre of music, this song captivates as much as it rocks. “Hey Nonny Nonny” is a folk rocking, vocally punk rockin’, foot stompin’, knee slapping, pass me another beer, hip little song. “Used To Be” is a melodic, free flowing Rock & Roll song, reflecting on how a man and a woman used to be happy before their world ended… the lyrics never state exactly why their worlds ended. “Girl Trouble” definitely encompasses all things 1950′s Rock & Roll, only that the lyrics and vocals would never fit into the decade of the ’50′s. (This song definitely fits in with me). My favorite song on this album is “More Money Tonight” – this is the one track that does not have the Folk Punk Rock happening, instead it rocks like a late 1970′s Rolling Stones tune… vocally I swear I hear Mick Jagger himself. (I am not kidding).

In the grand scope of Folk Punk Rock, these Violent Femmes are and should be regarded as true stalwarts for their genre. If you are looking to get into a band that is so damn different from what you are currently into, the Violent Femmes will give you a taste of old time Rock & Roll, mixed in with some Folk, sprinkled with some eccentric lyrics, and layered with Punk Rock attitude and vocals. The crusty surface on all of these songs only make for a more diverse and unique musical trip. The Violent Femmes as they appear on “Why Do Birds Sing?”: Gordon Gano on vocal and acoustic guitar, Brian Ritchie on acoustic bass guitar, banjo, electric guitar and jaw harp, Victor DeLorenzo on brushed snare drum, tranceaphone, vocals and drums and Michael Beinhorn on piano.

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Seether – “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is awe inspiring Hard Rock

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2007, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2007, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, seether rock band, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Seether is a Hard Rock band that does not need any plastic Hollywood music awards to be told they are damn great. The fans know. The music of Seether tells the whole story… of just how sensational Hard Rock songs are written. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is an album that should be a required musical manual for any up and coming Hard Rock band. Seether has proven to me, that lyrics are very, very, important in Heavy Music. Shaun Morgan, in my Metal opinion, encompasses many musical gifts… his vocals, guitar skills and the song writing that leaves me in awe. Lyrically, this is one of the best albums I have ever listened to in my lifetime. Couple these tremendously inspiring lyrics with Hard Rock music that is maximized by it’s hardness and mesmerizing grooves, well, you have yourself an instant classic. Shaun Morgan for me, is a vocalist that I listen to so intently, that the music at times becomes a backdrop. (This is by no means, an insult, it is just that Shaun Morgan’s vocals are so searing, they take hold of my attention and leave me zoned out on his voice and lyrics). I have to listen to Seether and say to myself, o.k., I am going to pay more attention to the music this time around, when I do it is like a double dose of Hard Rock music and Hard Rock vocal exhilaration. 

“Rise Above This” is a song that has hit me in such a right way. I lost my sister four years ago, man do I miss her. Since this song came into my life, well, It just seems to say exactly how I feel about missing her. My sister left to go to heaven at age 43, there was way too much more that I wanted to do with her and say to her. I never had a chance to say goodbye to her, this is my song that encourages me it is alright. I am ecstatic that there is a band like Seether and a vocalist/lyricist like Shaun Morgan that can combine Hard Rock with real lyrics recognizing true humanity. “No Jesus Christ” is probably the heaviest song on this album, it basically calls a deceitful person out, a song that just about anyone who is not a backstabbing, evil entity, can relate to. “Fake It” is the single greatest song to commemorate all of the scum bag, plastic people of this world, who cannot find their own identity and try their best to be nothing but despicable chameleons. I raise my fist and say hooray to Seether and Shaun Morgan for knowing that crappy people make great subject matter for Hard Rock songs! “Six Gun Quota” is a song about self inflicted destruction – of both body and soul. This song rocks, despite the honest to goodness gray subject matter.

The popularity and record sales of Seether are for a measurable reason. This band connects to me, it is only logical Seether connects to an unknown many others. Fans of Seether already know this, yet I need to tell new, prospective fans, that “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is not your run of the mill Hard Rock album written with the premise to just party hard and pick up chicks. The music found here is of substance and quality Hard Rock, it is also story telling that mixes in a menagerie of human emotions and trials. 

Seether as they appear on “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces”: Shaun Morgan on guitar & lead vocals, Dale Stewart on bass guitar & backing vocals and John Humphrey on drums.

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TESLA – “Forever More” a solid Hard Rock album and band

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, Music, recent heavy metal albums, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Tesla_aff_smTesla has released an album of 12 brand new tunes this past year titled “Forever More”, it should not be ignored or overlooked. I feel this new Tesla album is a solid musical statement, (“Forever More” was released on October 7, 2008). All 12 songs are what I consider to be Hard Rock excellence that lyrically relates. The lyrics of these songs are a celebration of life’s ups and downs, delivered in true – blue collar, Hard Rock fashion from Tesla. “So What!” is a heavy, musically driven tune, it essentially tells you to shrug off the complaining in life, plus who cares about other people’s whining as well. “Pvt. Ledbetter” is a feel good track about a soldier who is going to come home from war, (not to give away the storyline), the first listen to this song had me worried that it would be a sad ending. Jeff Keith on vocals sounds like he is having the time of his life, he sings better than ever on “Forever More”, (in my Metal opinion).

Every song is excellent, it is obvious from the quality of “Forever More” that this Tesla effort was well worth the wait! This album is very well written, both lyrically and musically. This is a real Hard Rock album of songs… the way it is supposed to be. If the power of this Hard Rock album  gets you psyched out, then you will be searching out the entire Tesla catalog of albums, guaranteed. Tesla has returned in grand, Hard Rocking form, thank goodness. Tesla has always been a favored Rock/Hard Rock band of mine… ever since the day I heard “Modern Day Cowboy” from the “Mechanical Resonance” album, over twenty years ago. Man, does time really fly! I was fortunate enough to see Tesla live, once, when they opened for Def Leppard. It was the Hysteria Tour for Def Leppard, (late ’80′s), both Tesla and Def Leppard played in the round – at the Hartford Civic Center, in expensive Connecticut. Tesla played an entire acoustic set… I was not expecting an acoustic jam that night, yet I dug it pretty well. 

Tesla is: Jeff Keith on lead vocals, Frank Hannon on electric and acoustic guitars & keyboards, Dave Rude on electric, acoustic and slide guitars, Brian Wheat on bass guitar and Troy Luccketta on drums and percussion. The liner notes within the CD digipak are the coolest, with 16 pages of full color band photos, with 2 pages devoted to each band member, filled with great full color photos and thank you’s for each. Tons of credits and a super cool, 2008 year in review, written by Tesla, makes for a classy touch.

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IRON MAIDEN “FLIGHT 666″ is now boarding Metalheads!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic metal, concerts, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current live heavy metal albums, current metal albums, current prog metal albums, current prog metal music, current progressive metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Iron Maiden, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, recent heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

fullsizeYou bet your Metal memory I picked up the new and live double CD “Flight 666″ from Iron Maiden, (released June 9, 2009). How could I possibly pass it up? This is Iron Maiden we are talking about… Metal icons… Metal elite. I first saw this new Iron Maiden CD, yesterday, at f.y.e., they were asking $16.99… I knew I could do better than that. So, I went to good ol’ Super Walmart to pick up necessities, like… food, then my body was on automatic pilot and went straight to the CD aisles. Iron Maiden is a necessity in my Metal life, therefore, I purchased “Flight 666″ along with various food items from Walmart. I embarked for my car, with my daughters by my side and I am one happy dude. The Walmart price? I paid $13.88 for “Flight 666″, if I continued to search for a cheaper price than that, I would be wasting gas in my tank. Plus, I was able to save $3.23… sounds like chump change, yet it adds up throughout the years when you shop around a tad. I am going to put the DVD version of “Flight 666″ on my want list for now… I listen to Metal light years more often than I watch Metal.

Now, for the Metal music on “Flight 666″… again, this is Iron Maiden! What in the Metal world could I possibly find fault with here? This live double CD is juiced up with many prime Metal tunes from the expansive Iron Maiden catalog of albums. Quality, quality and more quality. That is what you hear from the production, sound and of course, the Metal from this Iron Maiden live CD. No Iron Maiden and/or Metal fan could possibly expect any less from this band. When I listen to “Flight 666″, I truly realize how I have never grown weary of any Iron Maiden tunes. If anything, listening to this CD makes me appreciate this band all the more, Iron Maiden is still cranking out Metal across the world… and doing so with their trademark, brilliant musicianship. These guys have not missed a step going on three decades. “Flight 666″ is proof of this. The Progressive Metal exuberance of Iron Maiden, with their multi-layered triple guitar attack are in a Metal class all their own. Being a live CD, the nuances and ambiance of the musicianship and the thousands of screaming Iron Maiden fans make for an exciting listen. Not everyone is into live albums… I never fell in love with every live Metal album I have listened to either – “Flight 666″ is a live Metal album that I will boast about forever.

There are six tracks on “Flight 666″ that are post “Powerslave” era Iron Maiden. “Wasted Years” and “Heaven Can Wait” are from the “Somewhere In Time” album. “Heaven Can Wait” is my favorite post “Powerslave” Iron Maiden tune, it is played live in incredible Metal fashion here. “Fear Of The Dark” is from, of course, the “Fear Of The Dark” album. “The Clairvoyant”, “Moonchild” and “Can I Play With Madness” are off of the “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album. The remaining eleven tracks are just killer, vintage and monumental Iron Maiden from the debut “Iron Maiden” album up to and including, the “Powerslave” album. The opening live trademark of “Churchill’s Speech” gets the Metal juices flowing for what is about to come… “Aces High”… pure Iron Maiden, pure Metal intensified! “2 Minutes To Midnight” and “The Number Of The Beast” roar with Iron Maiden – Metal history. I am glad to see that “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”, from the “Powerslave” album, is added to this amazing set of Iron Maiden classics… at almost 14 minutes long, Iron Maiden makes an epic story turn to epic Metal greatness. My favorite Iron Maiden tune ever is found on “Flight 666″ as well and I am ecstatic… “Revelations” from the “Piece Of Mind” album.

I guess you may have figured out by now, that I am a life long fan of Iron Maiden. I am obviously not alone with my Metal allegiance towards this band. I could go on forever about how much I dig this band and “Flight 666″, however, all great Metal posts must come to an end. If you are already an Iron Maiden fan, you know you will own this album, (if you not already have it). For new fans of Metal or Iron Maiden, it is time to get on board for “Flight 666″!!

Iron Maiden are: Bruce Dickinson on lead vocals, Dave Murray on lead & rhythm guitars, Adrian Smith on lead & rhythm guitars, Janick Gers on lead & rhythm guitars, Steve Harris on bass and Nicko Mcbrain on drums. If these guys are not legitimate Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, then nobody is. Iron Maiden is in my Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and they epitomize what the word Metal means.

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Great White “Rising” rises to the top with A+ Hard Rock

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential hard rock albums, Great White, great white 2009, Hair Metal, hair metal music, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, Music, Rock, rock music, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Great White “Rising” for me, is a retrospective listen, and it is not Heavy Metal. This is some inspiring, well written and high quality – Hard Rock. I can even go as far to say that “Rising” can be defined as a Rock album. You are not going to hear the 1980′s flamboyant, grandiose, guitar riff – infused Heavy Metal tunes here. No insanely – Metal driven solos either, some tastefully crafted solo’s do appear however, (“Danger Zone”), so do not despair. What I do hear on “Rising”, is a band that has clearly found themselves creating music straight from the heart. I am not trying to sound sappy here, sappy is not allowed on Metal Odyssey. What I am trying to convey is that Great White has proven to us Metalheads years ago, that they can play heavy and light up an Arena or two. I am convinced, after listening to “Rising”, that Great White is just as enthusiastic and talented as ever. Great White are real musicians… they do not need to carbon copy their past albums onto a 2009 release. “Rising” has some really addicting Old School Hard Rock flavor throughout.

Jack Russell on lead and background vocals has close to no resemblance of the Hair Metal heyday of his 1980′s voice. Forget the comparisons anymore to the legendary Robert Plant! (It started to get very old, even though Great White is what I consider the greatest Led Zeppelin cover band in the world). It is refreshing to hear Jack Russell not sound like a 1980′s retread. His vocals are absolutely superb on this album. “Danger Zone” and “Down On The Level” are two of the more hardest rockers on “Rising”, giving way to some of Jack Russell’s vocal past. “My Sanctuary” exemplifies what the Hard Rock ballads sound like on this album… free flowing with plenty of catchy grooves. “Situation” and “Shine” are songs that are similar, being heavy enough that they are very far removed from being mellow meltdowns. “All Or Nothin” is laden with enough grooves, hooks and foot stomping moments to make this my favorite track. Loveless” is a real retrospective visit to late ’70′s early ’80′s Hard Rock sound- only it is a really good visit at that. Great White in my Metal opinion, has found the perfect balance of melody and harmonious vocals with just enough heavy guitar and rhythm section to make “Rising” a legitimate Hard Rock keeper.

I cannot possibly compare Great White of the ’80′s to Great White of 2009. I dig the music from both Great White eras. I find it cool when a band, especially one that is renowned for Heavy Metal, digs a little deeper into their musical souls and delivers a knock out of an album, filled with tunes you were not really expecting. Great White “Rising” should appeal to a very vast audience of genres… Hard Rock, Rock and Heavy/Hair Metal fans should find what they like on this album, I know I have. With all of my mentioning of retrospective on this review of “Rising”, I am steadfast against the labeling of music as being dated. Just because music brings back memories of other decades or sounds like music from the past, does not make it uncool. Look at how many CD’s and albums that the immortal Elvis and legendary Beatles sell on a weekly basis… if dated music does exist, then I guess dated music is in. Great White of 2009 is happening for me. I have spoken my Metal point.

“Rising” was released on April 21, 2009, on Shrapnel Records. And now, a Metal Odyssey roll call of the members of Great White, as they appear on “Rising”: Jack Russell – lead and background vocals, Mark Kendall – guitar and background vocals, Audie Desbrow – drums, Michael Lardie – guitar, keyboards, mandolin, sitar, harmonica, percussion and background vocals, Scott Snyder – bass and background vocals.

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DISTURBED – Indestructible Metal

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal concerts, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, recent heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150My wife is a loyal fan of Heavy Metal. (Thank goodness). Well, I knew this over 20 years ago before we ever married. This turned out to be quite the Metal bonus, having my wife being a fellow Metalhead. I get cool Metal gifts for my birthday and Christmas from her and she encourages and nurtures the love I have for Metal music. I am a very fortunate Metalhead to have a wife like her. Her favorite Heavy Metal band of all-time has always been Def Leppard… until I introduced her to Disturbed. (I still believe both these bands are tied for my wife’s favorite). So, as I write away with Metal Odyssey, she keeps looking over my shoulder… waiting to see when Disturbed makes it to this blog. I without further Metal ado… will give my Metal opinion on Disturbed. I feel Disturbed is an excellent Metal band. Sure, Disturbed came around during the Nu-Metal phenomenon, yet I still never would classify them as such. No matter how much I try to dissect it… Disturbed holds up as being Metal.

The debut album from Disturbed, “The Sickness”, (released in 2000), has it’s Nu-Metal appeal… regardless, I am not buying into this label. “The Sickness” for me, is a fabulous album that brought about a Metal sound that I never heard before. This sound I am talking about is truly derived from the vocals of David Draiman, I honestly have never heard anyone else sing like him. The sound effects that David Draiman belts out vocally are to me, unique. This guy can sing, I am not going to ever dispute this. The deep rooted emotion and anger has always been a believable staple with David’s vocals, in my Metal opinion. Usually a band has to do a knock out, killer job of covering a tune from years past to impress me… Disturbed blows away the original version of “Shout” from Tears for Fears. There is no comparison. Man, this song gets me Metal pumped, that is how it affects me, so shall it be. The “Ten Thousand Fists” album (released in 2005), cuts the Metal mustard for me as well. Hey, I always thought Genesis was a cool Progressive Rock band… I would give this band a listen from time to time. Then, when I first heard the cover version of “Land of Confusion” done by Disturbed – again, blown away. The Genesis original version of this song I always found to be intriguing, it is Disturbed that made it a Metal treat for my ears.

Last Summer of 2008, when Disturbed released “Indestructible”, I fell Metal victim again… the entire album was exactly what I was hoping for – the heaviest Disturbed yet. I will will say this much, without any hesitation, that “Indestructible” was one of the finest Metal albums released in 2008. Every song on this album is heavy duty and powerful, I could not endorse this album any louder than that. Dan Donegan on lead guitar is tremendously good… I cannot ignore this fact. John Moyer on bass and Mike Wengren on drums smack it down with the rhythm section, they are tremendous players as well. David Draiman sings to maximum Metal capacity too, always has. As a Metal side note, I feel it is extremely cool, that Disturbed has played for our U.S. troops overseas. To wrap this Disturbed post up, yup, I am a fan. I am not trying to sound like a fart head when I say – what is there not to like? Disturbed has released four very cool Metal albums in a row, that is quite the Metal task. Yes, music is always a personal preference, my personal belief is that Disturbed is as their newest album suggests… indestructible.

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LAZARUS A.D. “The Onslaught” – a real intense Thrash Metal invasion

Posted in Album Review, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, Drums, Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, james hetfield, Metal, metal blade, metal blade records, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, new thrash metal albums, recent heavy metal albums, Thrash Metal, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal album review, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

lazarus_smallI am blown away by this new Thrash Metal band that call themselves – Lazarus A.D. - really blown away. This is not cookie cutter Thrash, nor is this band a bunch of Thrash wannabes either. Lazarus A.D. is for real. These dudes can play Thrash… with no cutting corners, just plain great – in your face – Thrash Metal. I read all of the articles and reviews I could get my Metal hands on regarding this band. Now, I have my hands on their debut release “The Onslaught”, (released March 3, 2009), the contents of this CD is ten tracks of unrelenting, intense and fired up Thrash. I am extremely Metal happy that a young Thrash band like Lazarus A.D. sounds and plays this good. I always say… we veteran Metalheads can never have enough younger bands to carry on the Metal tradition – the more new Heavy and/or Extreme bands, the better! I liken this band to being a throwback, to the days when Thrash Metal was felt, not just heard.

“Damnation For The Weak” stands out for me, with the gang vocals making quite the Metal impression. The lyrics are cool, this very well may become the trademark tune for Lazarus A.D., (just my Metal opinion). This album is riff infested, with enough solos to satisfy my Thrash appetite. The songs are not outrageously long, with only one tune over five minutes long, “Revolution”, clocking in at 5:05. With the opening track of “Last Breath”, it really defines the Thrash attack Lazaraus A.D. will take you on… you will need every last breath one time through this album. (I tend to do quite a bit of air drumming, therefore I did feel a tad exhausted after my first listen). No, I am not embarrassed to tell anyone that I air drum to Metal. It seems just about everyone does the air guitar gig, so I chose air drums a very long time ago. Ryan Shutle on drums does a punishing number on the skins, I can only imagine how much more insane he will play as this band grows. Jeff Paulick on lead vocals and bass is a sliver reminiscent vocally, of the legendary James Hetfield (of Metallica fame, for those who have been living on Saturn the last three decades), (man, I guess I am really dishing out the compliments to these guys).

Overall, I find all ten tracks to be solid, current, with a nod to Old School, Thrash Metal. I took a Metal gamble by buying this CD without hearing more than one tune first… the Metal gamble has paid off. Last year, (2008), I was giving off a big Metal grin for the young dudes of Black Tide… I like that band for sure… Lazarus A.D. however, is a noticeable notch heavier with the Thrash assault. Lazarus A.D. is currently touring with/opening for Unearth and the invincible Thrash Metal titans… Testament, through June 2009. Not too shabby to have this gig, huh? It also seems fitting that Lazarus A.D. is on Metal Blade Records, this legendary record label knows it’s Thrash Metal. Metal Blade Records was instrumental in defining Thrash Metal decades ago… they still are. By now, you probably realize that I highly recommend Lazarus A.D. “The Onslaught” to the entire Metal community. This is an album that will be on my hot list for a very long time. 

Here is a Metal roll call of the entire Lazarus A.D. band: Jeff Paulick on lead vocals and bass, Dan Gapen on lead guitar and backing vocals, Alex Lackner on guitar and Ryan Shutle on drums. 

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