Archive for the Century Media Category

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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