Archive for the Century Media Category

THE HEARTACHES – “Lunacy & devastation” bleeds Punk authenticity

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential punk rock albums, hard to find punk rock albums, independent record labels, metal odyssey, Music, obscure punk rock albums, old school punk rock, Punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock album review, punk rock album reviews, punk rock albums, punk rock albums 2003, punk rock bands, punk rock music, punk rock musicians, punk rock songs, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, underground punk rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Heartaches small album picI have found another Punk Rock Band to jump up and down about and raise my fist in the air to. The Heartaches and their Lunacy & devastation CD, (released in 2003). I needed some music on Sunday to get me out of the funk I was in, The Heartaches was the remedy… a Punk Rock remedy at that. While Rancid and The Casualties have landed on much larger record labels, The Heartaches are on one bona fide underground label at that, are you ready for this one? Here is the record label – “I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison” Records. Now that is a Punk label if there ever was one.  I take it, from the record label logo of the red devil that is on the liner notes of this CD, that the abbreviation for this record label is – People Like You. From what the liner notes state, this record label is out of Germany. People Like You Records has a really cool website, Punk Rock and Horror Punk are their forte. Their website is packed with their current signed bands and info. My whole life, I have always been intrigued and keenly interested in any underground band that I come across while shopping around for music. The Heartaches are an underground Punk Rock Band for sure, their style of Punk is a blend of Old School meets modern day social angst. Now, that does not sound so unique for a Punk Rock band, yet those are the two main characters in The Heartaches style of Punk. The Heartaches brand of Old School Rockabilly has been recharged with slick speed and extremely contagious riffs that meld within the frenetic stomp of their rhythm section.

The Heartaches small album picThe Heartaches deliver 13 genuine Punk Rock songs on Lunacy & devastation, each song carries it’s own Punk weight, no one song sounds like the other. My favorite song on this CD is Safe and Sound, it just has a cool groove happening from the opening note. If a Punk Rock song can be harmonious, Safe and Sound proves it. A continuous pissed off theme does not let up throughout these songs lyrics, a Punk Rock staple that can work as long as the music itself has legs to stand on. In my Metal opinion, the songs on Lunacy & devastation have legs… Punk strong at that. Lead vocalist Leroy has everything I look for from a Punk Rock front man. Leroy’s vocals exude extreme Punk credibility, as do each member of The Heartaches, from what my ears tell me. Sammy on vocals and guitar, does not impede with his backup duties with Leroy, this guy adds greatly to the total Punk essence of The Heartaches. After my third listen through with this CD, I shake my head and wonder why The Heartaches were never signed to a major label, (I’m not talking Atlantic Records here), a label like SideOneDummy? Yeah, I think The Heartaches sound that cool. Heartattack Radio is the last song on Lunacy & devastation, the Punk fervor of the vocals alongside the rhythmic enthusiasm of The Heartaches makes it a Punk exclamation point of an ending.

I have been trying to find out more information on The Heartaches, utilizing the world wide web has not brought me much luck. The Heartaches are not listed on the People Like You Records website either. The Heartaches that I am discussing here should not be confused with the Swami Records signed Punk Band of the same name – The Heartaches. This other Heartaches band released an album on Swami Records in 2006 titled – Too Cool For School and they are found on the Swami Records website as well. Each band has totally different named musicians. Maybe someone out there knows more about The Heartaches that made this terrific Punk Rock album called Lunacy & devastation… if so, drop Metal Odyssey a comment about it.

**I found The Heartaches – Lunacy & devastation CD on CM distro.com also known as Century Media Records online. This cool Punk Band and CD was keenly hidden away in the “clearance” section of Century Media Records. Great find for me… could be for you too – if you give it a try.

The Heartaches as they appeared on Lunacy & devastation:

Leroy – vocals

Sammy – vocals & guitar

Joey UK – bass

Bram – guitar

Joe Dynamite – drums

Lunacy & devastation Track Listing:

1. S.O.L.

2. Action

3. Hoboken Riot

4, Lunacy & Devastation

5. Safe and sound

6. Let me be

7. Never Come Back

8. 5 Cents in a hat

9. Dead man’s diary

10. Ripped to shreds

11. Sin City

12. Landscape

13. Heartattack Radio

The Heartaches Large album pic

IN THIS MOMENT – Covers “Call Me” with Heavy Metal respect

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock, Century Media, century media records, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal music, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, new wave music 1980, rock music, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In This Moment "The Dream" Deluxe cover small picI really, really, really like In This Moment… especially the vocal talent of Maria Brink. I bought The Dream last September of 2008, man, what an album. Collectively speaking, In This Moment put out one incredibly melodic Heavy Metal album of songs, with The Dream. Sure, In This Moment took on a more mainstream Heavy Metal sound, yet it hooked me line and Metal sinker. On June 30, 2009, In This Moment released The Ultra Violet Edition of The Dream, (on Century Media Records), which includes several additional bonus tracks and videos. One bonus song that has really grabbed ahold of my Metal awareness and senses is the cover of the Blondie Rock classic – Call Me. In my most honest of Metal opinions, In This Moment covers Call Me with the upmost of Heavy Metal respect. Too often, I am not a fan of how a Classic Rock song gets covered… I always like to see a great Rock song from decades past get it’s just due. Maria Brink vocally gives Call Me her very own identity, without sacrificing the original character and emotion of the original. In This Moment Rocks this song to new heights, for me.

As I see it, In This Moment can do no wrong right now… they are on a tremendously heavy roll and there hopefully is no Metal limit for this band in the future. For me, this cover of Call Me is one that I need to hear consecutive times over, to get my Metal fill. I will always revere the original version of Call Me by Blondie, Deborah Harry shall never take a back seat to Maria Brink. I am just psyched out that there are now two versions of this great Rock Classic, for me to get pumped up from. The original version of Call Me by Blondie caught my ears attention back in 1980, when I was fourteen years old… the cover version of Call Me by In This Moment has made it two times a Metal charm for me, in 2009.

Giving credit where it is due, Blondie released Call Me in February of 1980, on the American Gigolo Soundtrack. Call Me was a #1 hit single on the Billboard Chart in 1980 for Blondie as well. Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

In This Moment "The Dream" Deluxe cover large pic

ARCH ENEMY – “Revolution Begins” EP – has a Queensryche cover song, Death Metal style!

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current death metal albums, current death metal music, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current metal albums, Death Metal, death metal 2007, death metal cover songs, death metal guitarists, death metal music, death metal music ep's, death metal vocalists, essential metal music albums, extreme metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, melodic death metal albums, melodic death metal bands, Metal, metal music, metal music ep's, metal music this decade, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, spooky metal album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

25021-1Arch Enemy is one of my favorite Death Metal bands. Brutally heavy from every musical angle, yet still melodic, Arch Enemy needs no introduction to die hard Metal and Death Metal fans. For those new fans of Arch Enemy who are still looking to purchase a CD from their Death Metal catalog, a great starting point that will not set you back a ton of loot, is their EP “Revolution Begins”, (released on August 31, 2007). This EP was released in 2007 to promote their studio album “Rise Of The Tyrant”, (released on September 25, 2007). EP’s or CD singles, (as they are sometimes referred as), are a cool opportunity to own a few songs of a Metal band, (a Metal test run for fans, if you will). If you are like me, EP’s are a must to own – especially EP’s of my favorite bands. These EP’s more often than not, include studio and/or live songs that are not found on any regular studio or live album. “Revolution Begins” includes the cover of the Queensryche classic – “Walk In The Shadows”. This cover version from Arch Enemy, thrills me just as high as the original version from the great Queensryche. I am Metal serious about that. I revere the Queensryche original, still I revere this Arch Enemy version too. Arch Enemy gives “Walk In The Shadows” a darker, more creepy sense about it… Death Metal style.

Angela Gossow on lead vocals is nothing short of amazing. Angela is a Metal favorite of mine, she can sing Death Metal just as great as most of her male peers in this genre. In my Metal opinion, Angela Gossow raises “Walk In The Shadows” to an entirely new Metal level… an intensified and dark infested, Death Metal cover version it is. I can’t just listen to this version once, I usually listen to it multiple times and it serves me right. The legendary Michael Amott on lead and rhythm guitar, manifests his Death Metal sound all over the songs found on this EP. Christopher Amott, (the younger brother of Michael Amott), provides the second punch of Death Metal crunch, with his lead and rhythm guitar exploits. If a double dose of brilliant Death Metal guitar is what you are hankering for… the Amott brothers provide it on a Metal platter with Arch Enemy.

Daniel Erlandsson, the mainstay drummer for Arch Enemy, is always a treat for me to listen to, with his bombastic proficiency. Sharlee D’Angelo plays a formidable bass, rounding out the Arch Enemy lineup. The lead single “Revolution Begins”, “Blood On Your Hands” and a live version of “I Am Legend/Out For Blood” round out this EP. This Arch Enemy EP/CD can be found at Century Media Records online – CMdistro.com. For three bucks, it is one of the healthiest doses of Death Metal you can possibly digest for the price.

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Blind Guardian covers “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” – Power Metal style

Posted in 1960's acid rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1960's psychedelic rock music, 1960's vintage rock albums, 1960's rock music, Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, heavy metal album review, heavy metal from germany, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, power metal music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal music eps, rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll cover songs, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7744373Blind Guardian is a Power Metal meets Progressive Metal band, straight out of the fine country of Germany. I enjoy the Power Metal and Progressive Metal genres immensely, Blind Guardian for me, is always a cool listen. As I was browsing around the Century Media Records online site (CM Distro.com) several months ago, I happened to find an EP from Blind Guardian that quickly caught my Metal attention. The name of this EP is “Fly”, (released in 2006), it contains three songs: “Fly”, “Skalds and Shadows” and the cover version of the Iron Butterfly classic – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. I knew instantly I needed to purchase this EP. I have always and forever revered this Psychedelic, Classic Rock, gem of a song that Iron Butterfly created with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, (originally released in 1968). I placed my order for this Blind Guardian EP without ever hearing it first… I had complete confidence in Blind Guardian delivering a decent cover version of this song, plus as I stated earlier, their Power – Prog Metal style never put me in the doldrums whatsoever.

525284Blind Guardian “Fly”, as with any of this bands albums, never fail to peak my curiosity based on the album cover artwork on their releases. Going in, I knew they are a capable, talented and quality Metal band, with intellectual lyrics and story telling to coincide with their songs. I am pleased at purchasing “Fly”, all three songs are diverse, with my favorite being the cover song from Iron Butterfly “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Blind Guardian’s version is very heavy, all power, it rocks tough and hard, while paying great respect to this songs originally intended hardness and dark landscape. The only key aspect here, is to know that this is the shortened cover version of this song, at 3:38 long, (the original Iron Butterfly album version is 17:05 long). Blind Guardian if anything, makes this song sound just as macabre and melancholy, (quite a musical feat), with the vocals and music sounding equally haunting as the original. Some may feel Blind Guardian makes “In-A-Gadda-Da Vida” sound more spooky than the original version… there have been times I have thought just that. Now, as to the age old argument… is the cover version better than the original? Of course, it would be a monstrous feat to blow away the original Iron Butterfly rendition of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”… I will always like the original version more. With that said… once you hear Blind Guardian cover this song, you may very well be like me and think – whoa, this is a really cool and heavy way to commemorate a classic… a Metal job well done.

“Fly” is a more open ended Progressive Metal example, with the vocals being more punctual and deliberate. “Skalds and Shadows” is an acoustic version of it’s original, musically you are surrounded by an almost medieval atmosphere of mood and senses, making me feel as if I am about to enter an ancient, abandoned castle. I am impressed by the way lead vocalist Hansi Kursch changes and adapts his vocal approach, according to the individual song, this type of diversity and quality in singing is appreciable. Blind Guardian gives the listener a rather nice mix of Heavy Music on this “Fly” EP, even though there are only three songs. I am obviously pleased with this EP, it is a Metal keeper. The liner notes are 8 pages with full lyrics and credits. The center spread within the liner notes are two pages depicting the Blind Guardian band logo. With the musicianship, vocals and diversity of song found on this one EP, anyone new to Blind Guardian’s music should find this as an invitation to check out their impressive back catalog of albums. I recommend “The Fly” to all Progressive and Power Metal fans. Fans of Metal music in general should appreciate what Blind Guardian has created here as well.

04-Wacken

Ronny Munroe “The Fire Within” – Metal Church vocalist roars on solo debut

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic metal, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, dio, essential heavy metal albums, Guitar, guitar solos, 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 solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Metal Church, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rainbow heavy metal band, ronnie james dio, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

30649First of all, I am a fan of Ronny Munroe, the current lead vocalist for Metal Church. I just happen to gravitate towards the Old School Metal sound, both vocally and musically. Ronny Munroe in my Metal opinion, has the unmistakable Old School Heavy Metal vocals… and in no way do I subscribe to the opinion that this sound is dated. This brand of Old School Heavy Metal has been proven successful for decades now. For me, it is another Metal genre that lives on. With that said, I have obtained a copy of the new Ronny Munroe debut CD… The Fire Within, (released 2009), I am impressed by the total package of music here. This is Heavy Metal made the old school way, no frills, bells or whistles get in the way of the straight ahead approach that Ronny Munroe has taken on with “The Fire Within”. Honestly, Ronny Munroe comes with his Metal Church – front man credentials… he delivers a mightily solid twelve tunes alongside some talented friends. Rick Van Zandt of Metal Church, plays lead and rhythm guitars superbly throughout, with Michael Wilton of Queensryche delivering a solo on two tracks I will mention.

“Across The Sea Of Souls” is the song I feel Ronny Munroe is at his finest, his vocals sound sharp, as if he has been singing this song his entire life. The Michael Wilton solo on this song is cool, I cannot ignore or resist his guitar talent. “Ivory Towers” and “Evil Genius” are tracks that showcase moments of the higher extreme of Ronny’s vocal range, (yes, think of Rob Halford), these songs are groove laden with images of 1980’s Arena Metal concerts in my mind! “Ride Me” is a Metal-macho tune that rocks heavy, the lyrics are tailor made for a Hair Metal band… Ronny makes this song work, Randy Cooper kicks in with a lean & mean solo, a Heavy Metal tune with plenty of swagger. “What You Choose To Call Hell (I Call Home)” comes across to me, as the signature track for Ronny on this album. It is dark, heavy, moody and effectively bridges the gap between Metal Church and Ronny Munroe’s solo career. Michael Wilton appears again here, providing another memorable solo.

After listening to “The Fire Within”, it is my Metal opinion, that Ronny Munroe places Old School Heavy Metal high on a pedestal. I hear while listening to this album, the influences of Judas Priest, Dio and Dio era Rainbow. My opinion could not be better solidified, after listening to “Man On The Silver Mountain” (a vintage Rainbow song), covered by Ronny Munroe. This being the last track, it fittingly closes out a fine Heavy Metal album of creative tunes. Ronny does a terrific cover of this song, I really enjoy this version a whole bunch. This cover version found here, is a fine tribute to an everlasting, Heavy Metal classic of a song. Ronny’s vocals at times, do have comparisons to the legendary Ronnie James Dio, especially on this classic Rainbow cover. I will say, my favorite will always be the original “Man On The Silver Mountain” as sung by Dio himself. In summary, “The Fire Within” will be an album that I will tune in to on a regular basis, it is what I like. I was looking forward to this solo album from Ronny, I have not been disappointed. I recommend Ronny Munroe’s debut solo effort to any fan of Old School Heavy Metal, 1980’s Heavy Metal, Rainbow and of course, Metal Church. New fans should just dive in… this brand of Metal needs to be passed on!

Upon searching for “The Fire Within”, I did locate this CD on the worlds greatest online record store… Century Media Records… aka… CM Distro.com. (I highly recommend CM Distro.com). “The Fire Within” is on an independent record label called Ratpak Records. *Not to leave out the cool musicianship of the following on this album: Izzy Rehaume on bass guitar, Rick Pierce on rhythm guitar, Johnny Ringo and David Van Zandt on drums.

Ronny Munroe "The Fire Within"

Duff McKagan’s Loaded is loaded with Punk & Hard Rock

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal music, 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, new hard rock album, new heavy metal album, new punk rock album, Punk rock, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9252961Duff McKagan, you know, the very famous and former bass player for the legendary Guns N’ Roses and current bass wizard for Velvet Revolver? Yeah, that guy. Well, let me tell you, Duff McKagan has his brand new solo, (if you will), album out right now and it is in my Metal opinion, sensational. Really, these tunes that Duff McKagan provides with Loaded are just that – loaded. Loaded with quality Hard Rock driven tunes. These songs have catchy hooks and an almost unmistakable Punk Rock vibe happening throughout the entire album. Loaded is groove laden and if I am not mistaken, not over-produced! I can honestly say, that I hear a bit of overall polish missing and I love that!!

Duff McKagan handles the lead vocal duties on every song and plays guitar on this album. I will say this without hesitation, Duff McKagan can sing. His vocals are tailored made for Hard Rock, with a whole bunch of Punk Rock attitude to go along with them. Why do I keep bringing up the comparisons with Punk Rock? Well, that is what I honestly hear, Duff Mckagan’s Loaded is all about Hard Rock and Punk Rock meeting each other in the middle. The only song that gets the least of my attention on this album is “Mother’s Day” – the lyrics are depressing. I always stray away from the sad ballads/sad lyrics from any band. However, despite the lyrics on this song, musically it is very listenable.

Once you listen to the first two tracks – “Sick” and “Sleaze Factory”, anyone who appreciates Hard Rock and Punk Rock will realize the fusion of the two are here with Loaded – these two songs set the table for this album. Duff McKagan has proved to me, that he is an extremely well rounded Rock musician, his talents resonate loud and clear on this album. Loaded as a band and Sick the album, are sure fire to achieve commercial and mainstream acceptance and success, I can appreciate that. Loaded as a band deserves all the applause they can muster. When you have the instant and legendary credibility of Duff McKagan carrying the music, broad acceptance is unavoidable, forget being labeled underground. Loaded and this album has become an instant favorite for me, I highly recommend this album to all heavy music fans worldwide. Now, to spotlight the fine musicians that make up Loaded: Duff McKagan on vocals & guitars, Geoff Reading on drums & vocals, Jeff Rouse on bass, vocals and translucent and Mike Squires on guitars and vocals.

DAATH – “The Concealers” is a full blown Metal onslaught!

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, daath death metal band, Death Metal, death metal guitarists, death metal vocals, Drums, Extreme Metal, Guitar, Heavy Metal, heavy metal guitarists, Metal, Metal Reviews, Thrash Metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9266625I still have my ability to hear, thank goodness, especially after I listened to the new release from the Death Metellars from Atlanta, Georgia, – DAATH. This is my kind of Metal cup of tea – a full blown onslaught of Death Metal, that rages through all eleven new songs like an out of control meteor, ready to strike the desolate and cold planet Mars. The new lead singer for DAATH is Sean Z., one listen to “The Concealers” and I am very convinced that he is up to the task to be a standout Death Metal front man. Sean Z. on vocals just seems to engulf the attitude and strength of the lyrics, belting out with the desire and hunger that the entire Metal world should find captivating.

Overall, this entire new album from DAATH is of course, Death Metal, yet they incorporate an underlying mood of progressiveness, with melancholy echoes and synthetic eerie sounds – creating an atmosphere that is as dark as it is melodious. On “The Unbinding Truth” and “… Of Poisoned Sorrows” both tunes end in an abrupt and distorted manner, with the music skipping – the sounds of crackling, (like an old vinyl record being played), can be heard. (Upon my first listen, I thought I had a defect in my CD). This breakaway from the norm works fine for me, it only adds to the dark tone of what is being conveyed by DAATH.  

Emil Werstler and Eyal Levi on guitars are reaching out to new heights with their skills on this album – they play very heavy and very fast, yet the breakdowns and leads are tastefully done for a Death Metal album. Jeremy Creamer on bass and Kevin Talley on drums pound out the rhythm section with pure force and defiance, that catapults this album into the real-deal realm of Death Metal. My copy of “The Concealers” I purchased directly through Century Media (my favorite record company on planet Earth), it came with an extra copy of the liner notes – authentically autographed by each member of DAATH!! Obviously, I am content with “The Concealers” – this is an album I highly recommend to all Metal and Death Metal fans. DAATH, in my Metal opinion, is a Death Metal force to reckon with and when their tunes are on – I am all ears.

Tobias Sammet & Edguy – Power Metal you cannot pass up!!

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, Edguy, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Metal, Metal Reviews, Music, Power Metal, Rock, rock music, symphonic metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

92019811I look around and listen to a healthy dose of all Metal music, naturally. Power Metal has always been a staple for me, with DIO, Helloween, GammaRay, Blind Guardian, Yngwie Malsmsteen and so many others leading the way. I by no means take anything away from any other Power Metal band out there when I say that Edguy, led by Tobias Sammet, is at the top of my Power Metal play list. If I say it once, I will say it a million Metal times, Tobias Sammet is one amazing song writer and Power Metal vocalist. The brand new album from Edguy, “Tinnitus Sanctus” is for me, superb. This new release from Edguy, (January, 2009), is more edgier, dark and philosophical than their past albums have been. I sincerely recommend every studio album, live album and EP that Edguy has ever released, they are that incredible to my Metal ears.

A quality starting point for new Edguy fans would be another new release titled – “The Singles”. The songs on “The Singles” are not new, yet this compilation album is, released in early 2009. This album consists of the songs from the Edguy EP’s – “King of Fools”, “Superheroes” and “Lavatory Love Machine”. To sum up Edguy, their Power Metal is a brand of super pumped up – get psyched tunes, they are extremely melodic and extraordinarily catchy. Throw in the fact that Edguy is a group of high powered, quality musicians, complimented by Tobias Sammet’s powerful vocal brilliance and you have one of the very best of Power Metal bands on the planet today! I cannot deny the comparison of Tobias Sammet to that of the legendary Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, the vocals are just that similar in my Metal opinion. (granted, there will always and forever be just one Bruce Dickinson).

I get the sense that, if this was the 1980’s, Edguy’s Power Metal would be all over the FM dial! It is a Metal shame that North American mainstream FM radio does not catch on to the unbelievable European Power Metal that is currently blitzing the continents today. Regardless, FM mainstream radio plays little current Metal as it is, only the Classic Metal from days gone by gets air time nowadays. (that is a good thing, at least some veteran Metal is heard on FM). My main goal with this article, of course, is to promote Edguy to the world, fuel some interest with new Edguy fans and HIGHLY RECOMMEND EDGUY to the entire Rock, Hard Rock and Metal communities!

The current Edguy lineup – Tobias Sammet on vocals, Dirk Sauer on rhythm guitar, Jens Ludwig on lead guitar, Tobias Exxel on bass guitar and Felix Bohnke on drums.

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Women of Hard Rock & Metal – Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil

Posted in Century Media, gothic metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, lacuna coil, Metal, metal music from Italy, Music, Rock, symphonic metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9125332Gosh, is the mainstream Rock radio world missing out or what. Try listening to any desensitized FM radio station these days, try as you may, you will never hear who I feel is Hard Rock and Metal’s most underrated female vocalist today – Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. Symphonic, Gothic and at the end of the day, Lacuna Coil is still – Metal. Cristina Scabbia has proven to me, that you can have a beautiful female voice and still sing Metal music. I find Metal brilliance in Lacuna Coil for many reasons, (Cristina Scabbia’s vocals being #1), including the total musicianship and co-vocalist Andrea Ferro. Lacuna Coil means empty spiral, there is nothing that I find empty about any of the music created by Lacuna Coil. 

I find Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro to compliment each other extremely well, vocally. Cristina’s vocals  can lead you down many paths, from gentle solitude to dark and gothic to emphatic emotion. Then, Andrea will come in and either maintain the mood or sweep it off the table. These two vocalists do work vice versa as well, Andrea can be hitting the emotional anger on high and Cristina lends a symphonic vocal interlude that seamlessly blends into the song. There is no question that Lacuna Coil has their world following, deservedly so. There have been and continue to be many great articles written about Lacuna Coil in mainstream Rock and Metal magazines. Lacuna Coil and Cristina Scabbia are justifiably popular, I just feel that this band should be on the FM dial as often as Nickelback.

If you are already a fan of Lacuna Coil, you are then familiar with the bounty of integrity and musicianship they bestow. In the event you are new or unfamiliar with Lacuna Coil, I suggest a great starting ground would be their EP’s: “Lacuna Coil” and “Halflife.” In my opinion, every album from Lacuna Coil is worthy of Metal praise. The union of so many musical styles with two featured lead vocalists, providing incredible dual harmonies is quite tough to pull off. Lacuna Coil has been succeeding with this unique Metal style since 1997, Cristina Scabbia is the vocal centerpiece that is easy to embrace.

ICED EARTH – “Tribute to the Gods” is a fine Metal tribute indeed.

Posted in Alice cooper, Century Media, Gene Simmons, Guitar, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Metal, Metal Reviews, Music, Paul Stanley, Rock, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Iced Earth released the Metal cover song album – Tribute to the Gods in 2002. This album packs quite the Metal tribute, to some of the most revered bands in the history of Metal. A sampling of some of the songs covered, with their respective legendary Metal band: KissCreatures of the Night & God of Thunder, Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath, Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance, AC/DC – Highway To Hell, Iron Maiden – Hallowed Be Thy Name & Number Of The Beast. There are 11 Metal cover songs in all, with Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult rounding out the tribute list of Metal bands.

Jon Schaffer, founding member, plays rhythm, lead and acoustic guitar. Jon Schaffer is someone I hold in extremely high regard as a musician and song writer. Every song is covered with exceptional Metal brilliance on Tribute to the Gods, the musicianship that is heard here takes nothing away from the original songs. To put it plain and simple, this album is as fine a tribute as you will ever hear for these classic Metal tunes, giving nod of appreciation and a thunderous Metal thanks to all the legendary Metal bands listed earlier. Matthew Barlow on lead vocals is tremendous, I always look to him as the lead singer for Iced Earth. Matthew Barlow has his signature vocals that stand out, he never over reaches on any of these vintage Metal tracks. If you are new to Iced Earth, this is a great starting point for catching up on one of the Metal world’s most underrated bands to ever exist.

Celebrating 26 years of W.A.S.P. Heavy Metal!

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, Heavy Metal, Metal, Metal Edge, Metal Reviews, Music, tattoos, Vocals, W.A.S.P. with tags , , , , , , on March 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

13560381Let’s go back to August of 1984. I was a senior in High School, having NOT the time of my life. Little did I know, that the debut album from W.A.S.P., aptly titled, “W.A.S.P.”, would be the beginning of one juggernaut of a Heavy Metal career for Blackie Lawless and his band! This initial offering from W.A.S.P. would become certifiable gold in the U.S.A., selling over 1 million copies of this historic vinyl worldwide! This debut gem would reach to #74 on the Billboard album chart. The original lineup for W.A.S.P. was Blackie Lawless (of course) on lead vocals and bass, Chris Holmes and Randy Piper on guitars and Tony Richards on drums. Drummer Steve Riley replaced Tony Richards shortly after the release of “W.A.S.P.”, and Blackie Lawless has never looked back since 1984.

For over 25 years, Blackie Lawless has assembled musicians to keep the W.A.S.P. band and brand of Heavy Metal as strong and powerful as any of his peer bands out there. Johnny Rod (from King Cobra fame), joined on with W.A.S.P. replacing guitarist Randy Piper, becoming the rhythm guitarist in time for the recording of “Inside The Electric Circus”. Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot fame) would join on as drummer for the “Headless Children” album, and also remained on for the albums “The Crimson Idol” and “Still Not Black Enough”. Mike Duda on bass and drummer Stet Howland on drums are also members of the W.A.S.P. family, playing an undeniably incredible Heavy Metal rhythm section on albums “K.F.D.” and “Helldorado”. In my humble METAL opinion, K.F.D. is by far, the heaviest W.A.S.P. album ever created, both musically and lyrically. It is difficult for me NOT to continue this article stating my admiration for each and every one of the W.A.S.P. albums and each W.A.S.P. musician ever. My intent is to not write a complete history on the music and musicians of W.A.S.P., rather, I wanted to point out highlights of this band that has entertained and satisfied my hunger for great Heavy Metal over the years.

Blackie Lawless gets an enormous METAL THANK YOU from me for providing the world of Heavy Metal with 18 albums (which includes studio, live & greatest hits albums). Plus, Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P., like so many of their peers, have withstood the “test of time”, stood up to the PMRC and stayed the course carrying and waving the Heavy Metal flag of freedom! Despite what political side of the aisle any Metalhead may be standing, it is my opinion that Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. have engaged and broken down barriers with their lyrical content. W.A.S.P. has had their share of “good time party” songs over the years, yet there have been plenty of albums from W.A.S.P., (“The Crimson Idol, “Dominator”), that have made me think as well. 

For me, there has never been a better time to dig into the back catalog of W.A.S.P. albums. With all of the “crap” going on in the world today, (no explanation required for that remark), the muscular Heavy Metal music coupled with the “feel good” and “thought provoking” lyrics from Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. are all the escape this Metalhead needs to filter out the sensational junk & white noise from the 24 hour news networks. I have Blackie Lawless on my permanent list of Heavy Metal Hero’s, right alongside Dee Snider.

I also want to thank my “Best Heavy Metal Buddy” in the world for introducing me to W.A.S.P. so many years ago. To this day, we are still giddy about the music and lyrics that Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. have provided, it seems not a week goes by where we do not talk about this amazing Heavy Metal band. W.A.S.P. fans do not grow up, we persevere.

What is a “Metal Performance” anyway? Metal genres anyone?

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, concerts, Guitar, Heavy Metal, Metal, Metal Edge, Music, Rock, rockabilia, Vocals with tags , , , on March 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

8978421In all of my years of listening to Heavy Metal and all other METAL genres, from going to Arena size METAL concerts, to small club METAL gigs, I do not think I ever referred to any METAL music that I am aware of, as, well, a “METAL performance”. What in the world is a “METAL performance”? I know that a ballet, a comedian on stage, a high school play or a middle school band can give a performance. METAL and the word performance do not add up correctly. If I ever used the phrase, at any time in my METAL life, to anyone I know, “Hey, that was one terrific METAL performance by MOTORHEAD last night”, well, I probably would never be hearing the end of it.  

It is obvious that the Grammy Awards love the word “performance”. In my METAL opinion, if it is a song that is nominated, well, this is pretty easy now, call it – “Best METAL song”. Now, just for example, if it is an album that is nominated, the Grammy Awards call it – “Best Rock album”. How come the Grammy Awards do not call it – “Best Rock Performances”? Gee, there are more than one song on an album and one song is considered a performance, so, several songs should be considered – performances? Basically my point is this: THE WORD “PERFORMANCE” IS NOT METAL – NOR IS IT HARD ROCK EITHER. This is my own Metal opinion.

Also, while I am on the Grammy Awards topic, I have learned, through the 2009 Grammy Awards, that METALLICA is considered a ROCK band. Yup, a Rock band. After all these years, what was I thinking?! How could I have ever felt that METALLICA was a THRASH METAL band? You see, METALLICA, with their 2008 release “DEATH MAGNETIC”, was nominated in the “Best Rock Album” category. Here is some sound METAL advice to any and all awards shows out there: IT PAYS TO LISTEN TO AN ALBUM BEFORE YOU “PLACE” IT INTO A WRONG MUSICAL CATEGORY. Let’s now set the record straight. ROCK GENRE LESSON 101 BEGINS HERE:

1. THE EAGLES, U2, HOOTIE and the BLOWFISH and JOHN MAYER are – ROCK.

2. BAD COMPANY, FOREIGNER, JOURNEY, CHEAP TRICK and THE ANSWER are – HARD ROCK.

(This is just my perception, I cannot help myself but feel that MOTLEY CRUE is NOT a HARD ROCK band, they are HEAVY METAL. If anyone wants to put MOTLEY CRUE into the same genre with JOURNEY and BAD COMPANY, well, have a ball! The Grammy Awards want to rewrite the history of HEAVY METAL, they want to “place” bands into whatever music genres they see fit.

Now, let’s skip over HEAVY METAL and METAL with all of their related sub-genres just to get to THRASH METAL more quickly.

3. Here we are, comfortably in the THRASH METAL category now. THRASH = METALLICA. I do not understand the confusion. It is not a difficult concept to ascertain. After seeing how I have broken down the Rock and METAL  genres, (very simply I might add), you will notice that the Grammy Awards had decided to “place” METALLICA into a genre of music that is so far removed from what type of music they actually play, that, it is actually quite comedic. I am guessing that it is a very tedious, very time consuming task for the Grammy Awards to just add the category – “Best Metal Album”. Instead, the Grammy Awards next year will place, side to side, the likes of U2 with say, LAMB OF GOD and say – let the best “Rock album” win. None of us Metalheads need to be rocket scientists to figure out which “Best Rock Album” wins next year. Here is a hint, the band has one letter and one number in it’s name and they ARE NOT METAL.

4 simple & silly reasons why I am an “old school” Metalhead.

Posted in Alice cooper, Century Media, Drums, Gene Simmons, Guitar, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Metal, metal concerts, Metal Edge, Metallica, Music, ozzy, Paul Stanley, rockabilia, tattoos, Uncategorized, Vocals with tags , on March 17, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

8214121This is rather silly at best, although there is much proof out there as to why older Metalheads  are called “old school”. These 4 reasons for being an old school Metalhead came to my mind, I just had to jot them down for the whole world to read. I am guilty of all 4 too. 

1. Lately, when the ages of Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford or Alice Cooper (or any Metal superstar of that generation) are brought up in conversation, I am so quick to quip; “oh, they look great, that’s not a bad age man, that’s young man, that’s young.”

2. I remember being psyched, watching Blue Oyster Cult appear on The Merv Griffin Show, playing “Burning For You” and promoting their “Fire of Unknown Origin” album. After that show aired, I forever thought of Merv Griffin as a really cool dude.

3. I find myself always stopping to “leaf” through the Pop Culture posters at the major retail stores, thinking I will find a Kiss, Judas Priest or Charlie’s Angels poster. I then realize what I am doing and proceed to walk away.

4. I am still very proud that I belonged to the Kiss Army.

Granted, there are millions of reasons to be labeled an old school Metalhead, it’s the funny reasons that really get to me.

HEAVY METAL – here yesterday, here today, here to stay!

Posted in aiden, Album Review, Alice cooper, Amon Amarth, Bad Company, Black Label Society, Black Metal, Bullet For My Valentine, Century Media, concerts, Danzig, Death Metal, Disturbed, Drums, Edguy, Extreme, Extreme Metal, GammaRay, Gene Simmons, Great White, Guitar, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, james hetfield, Kreator, Lamb of God, Led Zeppelin, Metal, metal blade, Metal Church, metal concerts, Metal Edge, Metal Reviews, Metallica, Misfits, Music, Over Kill, ozzy, Paul Stanley, Power Metal, Punk rock, Ramones, revolver magazine, Rock, rockabilia, Scorpions, Skid Row, Slayer, Slipknot, styx, Thrash Metal, Trivium, Vocals, W.A.S.P. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7505434It is so refreshing, extremely comforting, to know that there are factually dozens of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands that MATTER, bashing out their new releases and touring, since the 1970’s and in some instances, the late 1960’s!! So much for critics who cite “shelf life” of Heavy Metal. There are so many legendary Heavy Metal bands out there that are in their 3rd or 4th decade of championing the flag of Metal for all of us Metalheads. I hereby SALUTE the following list of legendary and historical bands that were/still are instrumental in shaping and defining the world of METAL music – as we know it and enjoy it today. I say THANK YOU to these bands! It is my opinion, that these bands are still around today for they are masters of their musical craft. It is my METAL opinion, that each and every one of these bands belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (some bands on this list already are there). I may miss some bands that should be on this list, however feel free to comment on those bands who belong on this HEAVY METAL & HARD ROCK list and they shall be added. The criteria I am using is: The band is Heavy Metal or Hard Rock * The band has been around since the late 1960’s or 1970’s and still are performing as a band or members are doing solo careers and/or recording new material – the band is current. Here is the list (in no particular order), enjoy:

DEEP PURPLE * MOTORHEAD * NAZARETH * BLACK SABBATH(HEAVEN AND HELL) * VAN HALEN * SAXON * AC/DC * TED NUGENT * MISFITS * RUSH * KROKUS * OZZY OSBOURNE * ZZ TOP * QUEEN & PAUL RODGERS * JUDAS PRIEST * CHEAP TRICK * IRON MAIDEN * ROBERT PLANT * GIRLSCHOOL * FOREIGNER * PAUL STANLEY * LITA FORD *  TOMMY SHAW * STYX * DENNIS DEYOUNG * GLENN DANZIG * TWISTED SISTER * WHITESNAKE * HEART * Y&T * SAMMY HAGAR * REO SPEEDWAGON * MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP * UFO * SCORPIONS * UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER * PETER FRAMPTON * JOURNEY * GARY MOORE * ALICE COOPER * MOUNTAIN * KISS * URIAH HEEP *

To compile a complete list on this topic would be rather time consuming and laborious. The point I strive to make here is that as this list proves, quality musicianship coupled with Metal and/or Hard Rock will forever be in demand and last for decades. I have always been a strong believer that the Hard Rock of the late 1960’s and that of the 1970’s helped evolve Heavy Metal into the 1980’s and beyond. I simply cannot help but feel that bands such as Styx, Cheap Trick and Foreigner are relevant to the glorious world of Heavy Metal. I have been won over by these Hard Rock bands that stood the test of time. Listening to Cheap Trick’s “Gonna Raise Hell” from the “Dream Police” album is all the proof I need to hear in regards to any relevance to Heavy Metal. The same holds true for me in regards to “Renegade” by Styx and “Double Vision” by Foreigner. If these same songs were written today, would they have the same historical significance of “shaping Heavy Metal”? I believe the answer is no. These Hard Rock bands and their songs were born in the 1970’s, at a time when there were no multiple genres of Metal.

To make an analogy, in professional sports, athletes and fans are always reminded to be reverent of the past sports teams and athletes who helped shape and change their respective sport for the better. I definitely admire, respect and continue to listen to these bands that helped Metal evolve. By no means do I ignore or disregard the Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands of yesteryear that for one reason or another disbanded and are no longer current. This article is a celebration of quality Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands that have persevered, stood the test of time through the Disco era, the PMRC and their silly “parental advisory stickers”, the changing cultural and economic climates over the decades, with little or no help from the mainstream media and yet these bands still exist in 2009! I praise all of these bands and say to them all – WELL DONE!

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