Archive for Rock

NOT IN THE FACE – Austin Based Rock Duo To Perform At SXSW Festival

Posted in Hard Rock, Music, rock festivals, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , on March 1, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

As you prep your SXSW dance card, you’ll definitely want to add the Austin based duo, Not In The Face. These guys have been described by those in the know as; Grimy, gritty and raw – Low-Fi and boisterous with a Texas redneck attitude – blistering blues-pop – Righteous! – their songs reveal a mean streak and melodic sense that would make Paul Westerberg proud…like a punk rock Springsteen from the Deep South.

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Live Reviews:

” (the) powerhouse two-piece stormed the stage with big , meaty riffs and a bluesy swagger that might invite comparisons to , say, the Black Keys, but which was infused with such a joy being alive that it felt positively Springsteen-ian” - Culturemap Austin

“…Opening a weeknight bill inside Emo’s , unassuming in every way, the drummer and guitarist proceeded to build from a rootsy garage groove that turned into an all out assault and an epic, Zepplin-esque climax that made Not in the Face the must-see act of the week…” - The Austin Chronicle

Not in the Face ” has the strength of Bruce Springsteen with the swagger of Johnny Cash channeling the electricity of Iggy Pop” -Republic of Austin

“The Austin duo cranks out catchy, energetic and dynamic Southern-tinged rock that will have you pumping your fist in the air one minute and crying into your beer the next.”  -KUT 90.5 Radio (Austin NPR Station)

“Their live show left me with my jaw hanging…It was hot, it was loud and it was fucking amazing.” - Windy City Rock

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(Source: MAD Ink, PR)

For more info on NOT IN THE FACE, click on the link below:

http://notinthefacerocks.com/

Official SXSW Schedule:

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_MS19217

LONG LIVE NOT IN THE FACE.

Stone.

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Cannibal Corpse’s Pat O’Brien Steps In As Guest Guitarist For Slayer

Posted in Death Metal, Extreme Metal, guitarists, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, Thrash Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

(Photo: Metal Blade Records)

As taken from the Metal Blade Records News Update, April 5th, 2011:

Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O’Brien will fill in for Exodus’ Gary Holt when Holt leaves the Slayer European tour to play with his own band Exodus at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile on April 4. Holt has been filling in for Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman since the tour kicked off February 26 in Australia.

Holt’s last show with Slayer will be April 4 in Padova, Italy; O’Brien will join the band for the April 6 show in Croatia, and will finish the European dates with Slayer that wrap up on April 14 in Holland.

Hanneman has amazed his doctors with his speedy recovery from an infection thought to have been caused by a spider bite. Following surgery on his right arm, he continues his physical therapy and has already been practicing with his guitar.

Remaining dates for Slayer’s European tour are as follows:

APRIL 2011:

06 – Zagreb Arena, Zagreb, Crotia (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

07 – Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

08 – Arena Budapest, Budapest Hungary (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

10 – Prague O2 Arena, Prague Czech Republic (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

11 – Lodz Sportshall, Lodz, Poland (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

13 – Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzgerland (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

14 –  Klokgebouw, Eindhoven, Holland (Pat O’Brien, guest guitarist)

* For more info click on the links below:

CANNIBAL CORPSE – Official Website

SLAYER

METAL BLADE RECORDS

Metal Odyssey wishes Jeff Hanneman a quick recovery.

LONG LIVE JEFF HANNEMAN.

LONG LIVE PAT O’BRIEN and CANNIBAL CORPSE.

LONG LIVE GARY HOLT and EXODUS.

LONG LIVE SLAYER.

Stone.

Charm City Devils “Let’s Rock-N-Roll” – A Charming Hard Rock Album

Posted in Album Review, baltimore hard rock bands, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current rock albums 2009, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, independent record labels, melodic rock bands, metal odyssey, Music, new hard rock album, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Charm City Devils "Let's Rock N Roll" large album picI picked up my copy of Charm City Devils Let’s Rock-N-Roll this past Summer, it was towards the end of July. On July 10, my mother passed away, she was as splendid, caring, giving and loving as a mother could possibly be for me. I received the news of her passing from my father… over the cell phone. We, (my wife and I with our twin daughters), were on our way to Connecticut by car with my courageous wife driving when this tragic news was conveyed to me by my father. We live in Pennsylvania, a solid three and a half hours away from our parents and relatives. The shock and sadness we all felt in the car at that moment can not be expressed in words here. Why I am telling this story is due to the Charm City Devils song Almost Home. You see, upon my first listen to Almost Home, I felt instant sadness, goose bumps formed all over my body and my thoughts instantly were directed to that awful moment in time – of receiving my fathers phone call about my own mothers passing away. It was only a couple of weeks after losing my mother that I first listened to this song.

I had not listened to Almost Home again until today, October 17, 2009. (I just could not bring myself to listening to this song again right away, I needed time to heal, so to speak). The emotional feeling of sadness still erupts within me when I listened to this song again, however, Almost Home actually has now helped me deal with my very own personal experience. It feels good to get this off of my chest… this is a perfect example of how Hard Rock Music or any music for that matter, can connect with you on such a deeply personal level. If this song is to be a true story, connected to any member of Charm City Devils, then I express my deepest sympathy to that person who experienced that phone call too. The lyrics of Almost Home are just too deep and emotional to be fiction.

Alright, now for the cool and Hard Rockin’ part of this album. I will start with stating that the first three songs come out of the Hard Rock gates with the sincerest of enthusiasm and energy. Very memorable are these songs, sing-a-longs if you will. Let’s Rock-N-Roll (Endless Road), House Fire and 10,000 Miles have all the sound and flavor of a hungry up and coming Hard Rock Band. The youthful energy I hear is a kick to my butt to stay in shape and think and act young! (Within reason of course). Best Of the Worst is a mid-paced ballad that sounds like the hit to me, a very commercial sounding song that won’t hurt this bands career. I am a ballad frowner my whole life, still this song has an almost uplifting sensory feel about it. Money has a Punk Rock vibe happening, especially with the rhythm section and arguably with the vocals as well… very cool song for me.

By me stating that Let’s Rock-N-Roll is a charming album, I am not trying to sound sappy, cute or funny here. I really mean it, this is a damn decent – Rock and Roll meets Hard Rock album here. A viable nod to Old School Hard Rock has been established, with Charm City Devils first album. Based on what I here from this album, Charm City Devils can use that old cliche and say the Hard Rock sky is the limit. There is heaping pounds of Hard Rock potential for Charm City Devils to get even better… and they already are quite the Hard Rock band on the rise. Heck, if Bon Jovi could become a household name writing and playing this kind of music, then why not Charm City Devils? I also like to compare this band to Airbourne, although I hear more diversity in song from Charm City Devils which is admirable. At the end of my Metal day, I concede that Let’s Rock-N-Roll is an album worth catching onto and Charm City Devils is a Hard Rock Band worth keeping an eye on.

* Let’s Rock-N-Roll was released on May 26, 2009, on Tenth Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music. * Eleven Seven Music has as it’s label president, the legendary Nikki Sixx.

* Charm City Devils hail from the Charm City itself – Baltimore, Maryland.

Charm City Devils as they appear on Let’s Rock-N-Roll:

John Allen – lead vocalist

Vic Karrera – guitar

Anthony Arambula – bass

Nick Kay – guitar

Jason Heiser – drums

Charm City Devils "Let's Rock n Roll" x-large album pic

U2 On Saturday Night Live… September 26, 2009, Some Metal Thoughts…

Posted in 1980's alternative rock bands, 1980's rock musicians, 1980's rock bands, 1990's alternative rock music, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, alternative rock bands, alternative rock music, comedy shows on television, embarrassing rock music performances, late night television shows, political rock bands, Rock, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music commentary, rock music on television, rock music reviews, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyOh, what a wonderful world it is, especially when you have the extremely deep pockets of NBC. To dole out whatever millions of dollars it probably took to get the no longer relevant U2 on Saturday Night Live, hey NBC… whoopee do!!!! Hey Saturday Night Live and your big daddy NBC… getting U2 on your no longer funny show is not impressive, it’s a pity. Could someone please tell Bono that he did not invent Rock and Roll? The sunglasses are very dated, Bono. Could someone please remind The Edge that it is a guitar that he is trying to play? Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. have always known how to play their respective instruments, at least the rhythm section of U2 is able to keep any semblance of their music together, in some sort of respectable manner. The U2 of the early 1980′s was tolerable and/or semi-entertaining. Now as the decades go by, when U2 resurfaces, it is like a bad cold you can’t kick during beautiful Summer weather. Was that live performance from U2 a skit or was it supposed to be serious? Sorry NBC and Saturday Night Live, this is one viewer who woke up this morning and did not experience any life changing experience from your over rated, not ready for prime time musical guest.

MASTERS OF REALITY – “Sunrise On The Sufferbus” album evokes memories of hanging out and chillin’

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, 1990's stoner rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard to find rock albums, hard to find rock cd's, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, silly album covers, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Masters Of Reality "Sunrise On The Sufferbus" small picMasters Of Reality - Sunrise On The Sufferbus was released back in 1992, on Chrysalis Records. I already owned the 1988 debut album, (self titled), from Masters Of Reality when I jumped on this album back in 1992. The best way I can describe this band is Old School Stoner Rock/Hard Rock, in my Metal opinion. This is a grossly underrated Rock album, the musicianship, songs and total grooviness on Sunrise On The Sufferbus makes this a lifetime keeper, for me. My favorite song on this album is J.B. Witchdance, a non stop bass groove with a semi-haunting overall sound, always seems to put me in a cool mood. My second choice pick from Sunrise On The Sufferbus is She Got Me  (When She Got Her Dress On) - this song as with the entire album, is unbelievably unique, I just never heard a band sound like Masters Of Reality back then, nor do I now. This album is the closest thing to heavy without being so… I know that sounds crazy, I just cannot explain this music any better than that. O.K., maybe I’ll try this… cool under heavy… now that might work. (If you are wincing at the use of words here, just go with Stoner Rock).

My best buddy in the Metal Universe, Scott, well, he and I must have listened to this CD together at least… 250 times, maybe slightly more. I am not exaggerating here with the numbers… we both really locked into Sunrise On The Sufferbus. You see, Scott and I became very fascinated with the Sega Genesis game system back around 1991… so much that we were like anyone else who call themselves gamers, we played Sega Genesis games for very, very, long hours. Of course, during these marathon nights and/or days of  Sega Genesis, we both would listen to Heavy Metal and Hard Rock aplenty. Sunrise On The Sufferbus was just always played, again and again… and again. Speaking for myself here, to this day, I do not know what the hypnotic appeal is to Sunrise On The Sufferbus… all I can say is it stands alone with it’s Rock vibe. Again, I guess that is why I call it Stoner Rock. 

Looking back on those days in 1992 and the few years after, I appreciate the fact my best buddy Scott hung out with me for those endless hours of NHLPA Hockey, John Madden Football and Tony LaRussa Baseball. I really mastered those Sega Genesis games back then… Scott was not too shabby either, however, he never could keep up with my patented swoop move to the goalie, on the NHLPA Hockey game. Hanging out and chillin’ with my best buddy Scott so many years ago, when there were no major bills to pay, no deadlines to meet, just marathon rounds of Sega Genesis game playing and listening to Sunrise On The Sufferbus are memories I will never forget. We really did have a good time talking Metal, and listening to Metal and Hard Rock… hours at a time. (We listened to so much music during these marathon games, heck, Garth Brooks was even put into the CD rotation too). The Sega Genesis game system with all of those cool games, I gave to my nephew some years back. However, Sunrise On The Sufferbus is still in my CD collection and it is a pretty difficult Masters Of Reality CD to track down. The last time I checked, Sunrise On The Sufferbus is out of print. I can’t see myself parting with Sunrise On The Sufferbus for at least another 100 years or so.

Masters Of Reality, as they appeared on Sunrise On The Sufferbus: Chris Goss on lead vocals, guitars and keyboards, Googe on bass guitar and backing vocals and the legendary Ginger Baker on drums and backing vocals.

Masters Of Reality "Sunrise On The Sufferbus" large pic

JOE SATRIANI “Surfing With The Alien” – My music of choice for today and many days to come

Posted in 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's instrumental rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Guitar, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, instrumental guitar rock albums, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock guitarists, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I listened to Joe Satriani “Surfing With The Alien” all day today… in the car, in the house and back in the car once again. (Released in 1987, I own both the vinyl LP and CD). I have those days, where I choose that one CD and listen to it the entire day. Joe Satriani is without question, one of my favorite guitarists that ever lived. Pinning down who my favorite guitarist is of all time is too impossible of a task – there are just way too many guitarists across the entire Rock and Heavy Music spectrum that I revere. It’s not that I do not want to get controversial about naming an all time favorite guitarist, I named what I feel is the greatest Metal album of all time, in a previous post – (Black Sabbath, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”). There are just so many unique styles of playing out there, in the world of guitarists, I tend to draw from a cornucopia of these styles and enjoy what I hear from a vast array of players. Joe Satriani really nails it down, with pin point accuracy, on this album. Combining speed and clarity, while slowing things down at all the right moments, makes for a harmonious and melodic guitar instrumental experience, is the best quick summary for Joe Satriani on “Surfing With The Alien”. The daunting question of: Is Joe Satriani a Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal guitarist? – can only be answered by stating Joe Satriani can play it all and play it with greatness. The catalog of albums that Joe Satriani has created over the years proves just that, the proof is in his music.

When I listened to “Surfing With The Alien” today, I never stopped to think about what these songs would be like if lyrics were to be put into the mix. (I am thinking it now, though). That is what a great guitar instrumental album will do for me, the focal point is the guitar brilliance of Joe Satriani, no vocals are necessary. The guitar play of Joe Satriani is what speaks, in essence, that is what it should do. I have always equated a great guitar player, as a musician who can make me hear and feel the emotion that erupts from the notes and chords they play. At 1:46, “Hill Of The Skull” may be one of the shortest songs on this album, yet this is the one that overflows the most emotional feeling – for me. Surfing With The Alien” is hands down, the most popular and fastest song from this album, a quick fix for getting back on my feet and body slamming any negative thoughts in my brain. If I had to describe this album in just two words, they would be: groove saturated. “Always With Me, Always With You” and “Echo” are not just crossover songs to lure the easy listening crowd into the outskirts of Heavy Music, these are songs that encapsulate the upbeat harmony and instinctive music writing genius of Joe Satriani.

My favorite song on “Surfing With The Alien” is Ice 9″. Oh man, do I really like this song. By process of elimination, there is going to be the one song out of the ten found here, that sends it straight through me.“Satch Boogie” is a song that reels me in as well, it shows just how dynamic Joe Satriani had become as a player, on just his second album release. Listening to just this CD today really did make my day that much better. It is not that often that I will listen to only one CD for an entire day… this has definitely been an exercise in Metal constraint for me. To not slap in some Death Metal, Black Metal or straight up Heavy Metal within today’s routine, only justifies how much I really enjoy this album and Joe Satriani’s guitar. Tomorrow I will go back to my daily mix of Metal listening, still I guarantee that I will crank up “Ice 9″ once again.

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BOSTON – “Don’t Look Back” sealed album provides a very cool Classic Rock find

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock albums sealed, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock album finds, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, everyday experiences, flea market finds, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll memorabilia, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, thrift store finds, thrift store rock music finds, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock album finds, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150On one of my recent Hard Rock/Heavy Metal hunts via the second hand route, I came across a true Classic Rock album that I grabbed ahold of within milliseconds of spotting it… Boston “Don’t Look Back”. As a Metal bonus, this great album is also – still factory sealed. That is so right, this vintage Boston album which was released on August 2, 1978, has still, it’s original plastic wrapping protecting it for thirty one years. I never owned “Don’t Look Back” on album before, finding a mint copy of it now, in 2009, is so fine. Sure, I have Boston on CD, yet landing one of my favorite Classic Rock bands on sealed vinyl, on a trip to a thrift store unleashes a cool high for me… every time. I realize this price always gets mentioned when I write about my vintage album finds, it is the truth when reveal it only cost fifty cents. Yikes, that is cheaper than most of the plastic prizes my daughters pay for at the (what I still call) bubble gum machines in front of the grocery stores.

I just can’t say enough about the song writing found on “Don’t Look Back”, the music and lyrics are just prime examples of what Classic Rock and Hard Rock is about. This is an album where the two biggest hits are my favorite two hits as well. Going on decades now, the guitar leads on the song “Don’t Look Back” still sends me into a Hard Rock high. If “A Man I’ll Never Be” has gone down in Rock Music history as a ballad, then so be it. Musically, it really cannot be disputed as a ballad… so I just consider this song as my second favorite ballad of all time. (My favorite ballad ever is “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue, which I posted on this Metal Odyssey blog in recent weeks). As I stop to ponder, Boston was/is in a Hard Rock class of their own… what other band out there really sounds like them, musically or vocally? Orion The Hunter comes to mind, with their one album, (released on May 9, 1984). Realistically, Orion The Hunter sounded like Boston due to the band members being: Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau, lead singer Fran Cosmo (who became the vocalist for Boston in the 1990′s) and the late Brad Delp who provided background vocals on the “Orion The Hunter” album. Honestly, can a spinoff  band of Boston count when trying to name another band that has that legendary Boston sound?

This is what makes hunting for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music so interesting… once I land a find, I begin to seek out further the history and Rock Music family tree of the band and album I find. All of this Hard Rock happiness and it only cost fifty cents. I am not too interested in opening the sealed plastic wrap that has protected this album for so long… I am quite content to just stare at it and keep it as a Classic Rock collectible for now. In the end, looking for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal finds can be an educational trip into Rock History. Plus, paying fifty cents for a Boston album that is originally sealed, is extremely more frugal and genuine than paying fifty thousand dollars to rent out twenty eight acres of fun, for one week, on Martha’s Vineyard.

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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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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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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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Army Of Anyone – A Hard Rock Band this credible has to make a return

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2006, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, progressive hard rock music, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Army Of Anyone band picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army Of Anyone, the supergroup made up of Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals) from Stone Temple Pilots, Richard Patrick (lead vocals) from Filter and Ray Luzier (drums) from the David Lee Roth band released a Hard Rock winner, back on November 14, 2006. In my Metal opinion, I wish this band would have stayed together to release many, many, more albums. I purchased the debut CD, self titled “Army Of Anyone”, the first week of it’s release… I have frequently reminded myself that I constantly listen to this band, buy why? Oh, how a Hard Rock album will sound when skillful musicians are at the top of their game, creating a bounty of melodies, mixed together with creatively inspired chords and lead vocals, all fastened together with a rhythm section so tight that the grooves it manifests serves to magnify the progressive musical energy around it. In essence, I really enjoy listening to the Hard Rock music from Army Of Anyone.

I own a Sony 5 CD disc changer, (my wife bought it for me way back in 1990), it has become a permanent component for my stereo system going on twenty years now. It plays fantastic to this very day, (knock on Metal), with extensive and constant usage. This Army Of Anyone CD has been almost permanently inside this Sony disc changer going on three years straight. I say almost, for whenever I take this Army Of Anyone CD out of the disc changer, it usually is not for more than a few days… I have reached the point where it does not feel right unless this CD is in place, ready to be played at a moments notice. Army Of Anyone is that good… no, instead, Army Of Anyone is that great. This band is Hard Rock, yes, only they have put to use their Progressive Hard Rock, musical tentacles… reaching out far beyond what current Hard Rock mainstream bands are currently striving for, musically.

I embrace the music of Army Of Anyone far more greater than the music of Stone Temple Pilots or Filter. (You can throw in the David Lee Roth Band too, that is a no brainer). This is only one album from Army Of Anyone and here I am, staking an extremely higher allegiance to them, than compared to STP or Filter. Honestly, there is no comparison, other than the fact of Dean and Robert DeLeo being members of STP, (the real reason why STP is a musically recognized and popular band in the first place). Plus, throw in the fact that STP regrouped and embarked on touring the past year and Richard Patrick has Filter firing on all cylinders, well, Army Of Anyone has become a musically elite supergroup in limbo. The glory, fame, popularity and record sales of the STP past, seem to far outweigh the Progressive Hard Rock brilliance that illuminates from Army Of Anyone. It is a shame. This is a perfect example of how credible and incredible Hard Rock music can get swept under the popularity carpet, due to decisions made that are beyond the fans control. Musicians and astute fans of any music genre know this: great music cannot be judged on record sales, mainstream radio popularity or tickets sold. Nope. Army Of Anyone just needed a massive marketing machine behind them, as well as no STP reunion, then, just maybe, this band could have skyrocketed into the popularity mix. 

Not to ignore the songs from the debut “Army Of Anyone” album, to summarize the lyrics: intelligent, socially conscious, awareness to world politics without becoming abrasive, add into the mix the human experience. Musically, as mentioned earlier, Hard Rock with a progressive edge, yet not as an afterthought. My favorite song on this album: “This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen” – this is hands down, one of the single greatest endings to a Hard Rock album that I have ever heard. It is a mellow tune, yes, a ballad – no. The acoustic arrangement of this song swelters with emotion that I never expected upon my very first listen. Unbelievable, pure music.

I just hope, that Army Of Anyone would consider getting back together, every few years or so and create a new album. They do not have to do a major world tour for recognition and I understand if STP and Filter are of higher importance. What Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Richard Patrick must understand is that Army Of Anyone is much more enormous than they may realize, a true and real Hard Rock music creation. It is just like the quote from the fantasy baseball movie “Field Of Dreams” – “build it and they will come”… well, the members of Army Of Anyone have built it, if they could only continue, more fans would come. Probably more than they could ever imagine. 

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Cheap Trick “Silver” – Classic Rock greats captured live!

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic rock, concerts, cover songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, live classic rock albums, live hard rock music, live rock albums, live rock music, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, vintage live hard rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

6676475Cheap Trick is without question, in my top ten of all time favorite bands. That includes all genres of Rock, Hard Rock and Metal too. This is the one band I so desperately need to see live. I honestly cannot believe I never saw Cheap Trick in concert… after all these years. I feel semi-embarrassed in admitting this. Then again, I would have to be a full time concert goer to actually see every band I dig, there are that many… I am confidently certain I am not alone with that thought. Therefore, what makes for the consolation prize instead of seeing Cheap Trick live, is listening to their double CD “Silver”. (Released June 29, 2004). This double live, Cheap Trick bounty of hits commemorates their 25 plus years as a Rock & Roll original. (Yes, “at Budokan” is a legendary live album from Cheap Trick… I have covered that milestone of an album in an earlier post). “Silver” covers a vast array of Cheap Trick hits, from their deep catalog of albums. This live concert captures Cheap Trick in their Rockin’ spontaneous glory… no over dubbing that I can detect. 

The legendary Slash (of Gun’s N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver fame, of course), is a guest star guitarist for the tune “You’re All Talk”. Slash is so recognizable with his guitar sound, it is a Rockin’ treat to hear him jam with Cheap Trick. Robin Zander announces after the song ends, that Slash broke a guitar string while playing the first few notes… you will hear bits and pieces of Robin Zander talking to the concert crowd throughout “Silver”. This is what makes a live album really come to life, when the lead singer has the charisma and charm to acknowledge his surroundings, just as Robin Zander does here. Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins is a guest star guitarist on the tune “Just Got Back”… you can definitely hear the style of Billy Corgan come through on this Rocker of a song. That is two really cool guest guitarists to appear on “Silver”, it is like an added bonus for Hard Rock fans.

Cheap Trick does an unreal cover of the late/great John Lennon classic – “I’m Losin’ You”. Cheap Trick brings this song to Rock & Roll life, Robin Zander’s vocals were tailor made for this Lennon hit. The Beatles “Day Tripper” is yet another Rock & Roll classic that is covered with true Rock reverence by Cheap Trick, in my opinion, a flawless cover. “The Flame”, “Dream Police”, “Surrender”, “Stop This Game”, “That 70′s Song” and “Voices” are all here on “Silver”… never sounding better, a vintage cornucopia of Rock from Cheap Trick. A total of 31 songs are to be enjoyed here on “Silver”, 31 live, Cheap Trick classics! Bun E. Carlos on drums, Robin Zander on lead vocals, Rick Nielsen on guitars and Tom Petersson on bass are at the top of their Rock game during this live concert. I know that Cheap Trick is on tour again this Summer of 2009, from June 23rd through September 6th… with Def Leppard and Poison. (That is a really cool triple bill). Now, I have seen Def Leppard and Poison live in concert over the years… I just need to see Cheap Trick!!!

Cheap Trick "Silver"

STYX – “The Grand Illusion” 1977 album revisited

Posted in 1970's styx music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock music vocals, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

If there was ever a Hard Rock album that I honestly wore out from excessive playing on a turntable, well, it would be “The Grand Illusion” by STYX. This album, (released on July 7, 1977), along with its fabulous music, also bestows incredible lyrics as well. I would escape the doldrums, trials and tribulations of being a teenager by kicking back and slapping down this Classic Rock gem. The funny thing is, the lyrics of these songs on “The Grand Illusion” are just as relevant for me today as they were twenty nine years ago. In hindsight, this album actually gave me tremendous solace, insight and inspiration, at a time in my life when I probably needed it most. There are certain Hard Rock albums that I have embraced and bonded with, where the music and lyrics just seem to connect to my very own personal experiences. “The Grand Illusion” is without a doubt, one of these Hard Rock albums I have connected with.

Just the lyrics alone from the song “The Grand Illusion” are inspiring me for a lifetime… “Don’t be fooled by the radio, the t.v. or the magazines… they show you photographs, of how your life should be…” – my interpretation of these lyrics are that the mass media constantly tells us how to eat, what to wear, who to vote for, how much you should weigh, what to buy and own and of course, how to look. Sorry, I do not need the plastic news anchors and million dollar television hosts telling me how to live my life! STYX was right on with the song “The Grand Illusion” – it is commons sense lyrics that I live by. My sister, (who is now in Rock N’ Roll Heaven), was the first to introduce me to STYX… “Come Sail Away” was her favorite STYX song ever, I know this for she played the 45 rpm at least 20 times a day one Summer, back in the day. “Miss America” is as cool as it gets with keyboards in Hard Rock, the intro to this tune is a definite high point. “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” is a great tune to get psyched up to… “get up, get back on your feet… your the one they can’t beat and you know it”… man, if those cool lyrics are not enough to inspire you, then you are better off listening to vintage Boxcar Willie. 

I am by no means telling anyone what they should listen to on Metal Odyssey, rather, I only try to acknowledge the Hard Rock bands and their albums that in my Metal opinion, are a great listen and buy. “The Grand Illusion” by STYX is for me, so justifiable of a legendary Hard Rock album. If I was to get just one visitor to my post to obtain a copy of this CD/album, well, I did someone a great favor. Veteran STYX fans should understand what I mean! The members of STYX, on “The Grand Illusion” were: Dennis DeYoung on keyboards, synthesizer & vocals, Tommy Shaw on acoustic and electric guitars & vocals, Chuck Panozzo on bass & vocals, John Panozzo on drums, percussion & vocals, and James Young on guitars, keyboards & vocals. What a band… what an album.

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Fastway – revisiting one cool, Heavy Metal debut album

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard 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, hard rock guitarists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150In 1983, Fastway was the apple of my Metal eye. Today, well, Fastway is an old school Heavy Metal favorite of mine still, with their debut album aptly titled “Fastway”, being what I consider their best material. Man, when I heard the news that “Fast” Eddie Clarke was leaving Motorhead, I was floored like any loyal fan, back in the day. Then, the word broke, that “Fast” Eddie Clarke was forming a new Heavy Metal band called Fastway… my Metal anticipation was climbing by the second. Knowing that Pete Way (formerly of UFO) was to play bass alongside “Fast” Eddie Clarke only made this lineup more potent by the second. (I later found out that Pete Way never did get to actually play bass on the Fastway debut album).

Let’s go back in time now, to a wonderful department store named Caldor. You see, where I grew up, back in the 1980′s, Caldor was the biggest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal album supplier in my town. (It was the greatest place for a Metalhead teenager to go to for tunes, living in expensive nowhere Connecticut). I used to fantasize about Caldor while I was serving time in Parochial School and later High School. My thoughts strayed right into that glorious Caldor, envisioning the very long record aisles, lined with Yes, Iron Maiden, Bad Company, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath… and then one day, in 1983, I remembered that the new Fastway album was to be released. Oh, the surefire Metal joy I would experience if that Fastway album was to be at Caldor! Minutes after I was released from being imprisoned in that High School, I was there… at Caldor. Fastway was also there. You betcha. With my Metal heart beating quickly, I reached for this precious new vinyl pressing, had it in my hands…  what is this? Located on the back of this Fastway debut album was a strange looking little mini record, it was not a 45 rpm, (it was the size of a 45 rpm and had a tiny album hole in the center), nor was it anything that I really saw before. It was supposed to be with this album, for it was the single for the song “Far Far From Home” – this song never made it on the actual album itself, therefore, the record company added it on as a separate single bonus! Man, at this moment, this teenage Metalhead was on Metal cloud nine.

Alright, as for the actual Metal found on this Fastway debut album, it rocked me straight into Heavy Metal bliss for an entire Summer – and Fall and Winter too. The tunes were so catchy, guitar driven and groove laden (courtesy of “Fast” Eddie Clarke), that it was one difficult album for me to put down for a lengthy period of time. “Say What You Will” was the most notoriously recognizable track off of this album. The opening guitar lead by “Fast” Eddie Clarke repeats throughout the entire song, instead of being repetitious, it was (and still is) Metal delicious. The vocals of the underrated Dave King were reminiscent of Robert Plant upon my initial listen to this album. However, back in the ’80′s it seemed to be the trend to point the finger at too many Hard Rock and Metal vocalists – accusing them of ripping off the legendary Robert Plant. “Easy Livin’” is definitely my favorite track on this debut, it is fast, slick and the guitar play of “Fast” Eddie Clarke shines. “You Got Me Runnin’” and “Give It All You Got” are heavy, fast paced – melody makers, providing the maximum Heavy Metal grooves you can possibly get out of three minute songs. 

In a Metal nutshell, the overall enjoyment that this Fastway debut album has provided me, sincerely has lasted a lifetime. This is one of those albums that I bought on CD as quickly as it was available. The efficiency of this album is what makes it a winner, for me. The efficiency of the songs structures, both musically and time wise, coupled with “Fast” Eddie Clarke on guitar, Dave King on vocals, Jerry Shirley on drums and Mickey Feat on bass, makes the debut Fastway album a Heavy Metal treat for me – to reach for to this very day.

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Nazareth “Hair Of The Dog” still has the heavy bite

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, cover songs, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, 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 & roll, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Nazareth “Hair Of The Dog” has always been a monumental standout Hard Rock album for me. This is what I consider a real album with no pretensions, no fancy gimmicks. What you hear on “Hair Of The Dog” is true Classic Hard Rock, no tunes found here are subdued or watered down. Nazareth came up the Hard Rock ladder during the 1970′s, surrounded by Hard Rock icons such as: Bad Company, Queen, Boston, Foreigner, SweetStyx and Cheap Trick. What a fabulous time it was for Hard Rock music! For the Metal record, I always considered Nazareth to be a Hard Rock band, albeit they do have their Heavy Metal musical tendencies. “Hair Of The Dog”, lyrically, is for me, a true stick it to the man - heavy song. “Now your messin’ with a son of a bitch” – these lyrics say it all, my fellow citizens. I can remember so many moments, in my life, where this song has benefited me. Sure, I have been slighted and backstabbed, so have trillions of other people on this planet have as well. “Hair Of The Dog”, when played LOUD, especially after you know you have been jerked around by someone, well, it is the sure fire remedy for feeling vindication.

I remember, uh, reflect, on my High School days… early ’80′s… it was homeroom at 7:45 in the morning, for my first four years of serving time there, “Love Hurts” was played on the school’s radio station, every single day. Yup, every single day. Did I ever grow tired of this song? Nope. It is Nazareth for Metal sakes. I only used to wonder why “Hair Of The Dog” was not played… probably due to it’s lyrical content, the sacred & self righteous school administrators did not want to stir up the masses. I will delve more into the “Love Hurts” tune in the upcoming paragraph, uh, review.

If you are looking for a great, Classic Hard Rock album to buy and cherish, “Hair Of The Dog” should be an easy choice. This album is saturated with Hard Rock. Oozing with bluesy, Hard Rock music and attitude, “Hair Of The Dog” has so much more to offer, with the title track “Hair Of The Dog” being as close of an example to 1970′s Heavy Metal as you can possibly hear. This song revs it up into high gear, kicking off this album on a real high note. “Miss Misery” is a melancholy song that thumps along with a denim and leather flavor, highlighting the raspy vocals of Dan McCafferty. “Love Hurts” is the ballad, the big radio hit for Nazareth then and now. This song is a cover from the Everly Brothers, only this version is hardened around the edges and overflows with pure Rock emotion. “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman” is a song with a grooving coolness happening, it has that American Southern Rock sound and atmosphere. “Hair Of The Dog” is in my opinion, quite diversified musically. The opening track being very Metal, another track having Southern Rock flavor and a classic 1950′s ballad cover song. “Please Don’t Judas Me” is a lengthy rocker at nearly ten minutes long. I appreciate this song for it’s jamming, it also exemplifies how albums years ago were geared more to the music than to releasing instant commercial hits. Nazareth released a memorable album back in 1975, it should be enjoyed and passed along for all Rock and Hard Rock fans. Heavy Metal fans should embrace this album for its quality musical content and ground floor sound. “Hair Of The Dog” helped shape Heavy Metal in the 1970′s and beyond. This is an album that can never, ever, be forgotten.

Nazareth on “Hair Of The Dog”: Dan McCafferty on vocals, Manny Charlton on guitars & synthesizer, Pete Agnew on bass guitar & backing vocals and Darrell Sweet on drums, percussion & backing vocals. The liner notes do not contain lyrics, it is a fold out with an enlarged scale of the album cover artwork.

Nazareth "Hair Of The Dog"

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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Anthrax “Among The Living” is a Thrash Metal jewel

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 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, Music, speed metal, Thrash Metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

381232I really enjoy the entire Anthrax catalog of albums, yet “Among The Living” is definitely my most favorite release from this veteran Thrash Metal band. Released in 1987, this album is loaded with all the power and explosiveness of pure Thrash, the Anthrax way. “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” is one heavy tune that is rebellious and fun, to actually here the lyrics for yourself would explain what I mean. “Among The Living” earns it’s ferocity courtesy of the talented musicians of Anthrax. Scott Ian on guitar is, in my opinion, one of the best in Thrash Metal history. Joey Belladonna on vocals can carry a note extremely well, he is as valid to “Among The Living” as the music itself. I find Belladonna to be a Thrash Metal vocalist who is quite punctual, without compromising the heaviness whatsoever. I have the upmost respect for the vocals of Belladonna on this album. “Indians” is a great song for me, a Thrash Metal jewel of a tune with inspired lyrics. Every song here adds to the credibility of “Among The Living”. Fast music, fast vocals, fast background vocals, everything on this album is fast. That’s what makes Thrash Metal so profoundly heavy, the speed and it is all here waiting for you courtesy of Anthrax! I do not hesitate for a second, to recommend “Among The Living” to all Metal fans worldwide!

Happy Birthday Eric Burdon – legendary vocalist of The Animals

Posted in 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock & roll british invasion, 1960's rock music, 1970's Rock, classic rock, Hard Rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock celebrity birthdays, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

365241Today is May 11, 2009 and is also – the birthday for Eric Burdon, the legendary lead vocalist for the (legendary) 1960′s Rock band – The Animals. Eric Burdon and The Animals are deservedly enshrined in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, (inducted in 1994). Eric Burdon has turned a rockin’ 68 today! Today is as good an excuse as any to slap on some tunes from The Animals and play them LOUD. The Animals were an integral part of the historical “British Invasion” of Rock & Roll, straight from England, back in the storied 1960′s. Man, the voice of Eric Burdon is just plain timeless, in my Metal opinion. I have always been captivated by the vocals of Eric Burdon, I always wonder how he would have sounded fronting a Metal band today, he has that voice that is deep, cool and ominous. The three tunes from The Animals that I always find stuck in my head are: “House of the Rising Sun”, “Sky Pilot” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”. (Now I am gonna have these tunes stuck in my head today, that is cool with me though). The Animals career may have been short compared to many other bands of that time period, however, I always feel it is quality and not quantity that matters most in Rock & Roll. To me, The Animals and Eric Burdon exemplify Rock & Roll quality.

Ean Evans – Thank you for the music

Posted in classic rock, classic southern rock, Hard Rock, Music, Rock, rock music, southern hard rock, southern rock, southern rock bass players with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

14462976I heard the news on May 6, 2009, that Ean Evans, the long standing bass player for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member & Southern Rock Legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away from a battle with cancer. Ean’s quality bass playing and backing vocals will surely be missed. Ean’s music will forever be heard and enjoyed by fans worldwide, an everlasting gift he has left us all. Metal Odyssey pays tribute to Ean Evans and gives condolence to all of his family and friends. May God Bless You, Ean Evans, rest in peace in Rock N’ Roll heaven.

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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