Archive for the cover songs Category

ZZ TOP – ‘A Tribute From Friends’ Cover Song Album: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, cover songs, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, rock albums, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

ZZ TOP – Legends. Rock ‘N Roll Hall Of Famers. Mammoth Influence on all genres of Rock. Now then, when a cover song album of ZZ Top songs is released, these “covers” better be damn good. I can’t stand it when a band or musician just messes around with a Rock classic and “thinks” their famous name alone will give them a pass. Not here folks. I will present to you: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly when it comes to these ZZ Top cover songs I’ve been listening to on: A Tribute From Friends. Plus, I won’t be swayed by the fact that these are “friends” of ZZ TOP. Sometimes “friends” can ruin a classic song without even trying.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

______________________________________

THE BAD:

The opening track is Sharp Dressed Man performed by The M.O.B. Who’s The M.O.B.? Mick Fleetwood, Steven Tyler and John McVie. At first, I found this song fun. Then, it irritated the living hell out of me. All I kept picturing was The M.O.B. performing this song at a senior citizen Summer picnic or some Sunday afternoon church fair, with all in attendance going crazy for it. When a cover song sounds “old” and trudging… that’s what happens to my imagination.

Somehow Wolfmother had Cheap Sunglasses thrown in their lap to cover. Not good. I dig the first two studio albums from Wolfmother, only I don’t grasp this cover of Cheap Sunglasses. Annoying. I’ll have to admit, this is the first time I’ve ever been not keen to Andrew Stockdale’s vocals. Another problem is, this cover song sounds way too much like… Wolfmother. A disinterested Wolfmother at that.

THE UGLY:

So sorry that a Rockaholic and Metalhead like myself had NO clue who Wyclef Jean is until now. Rough Boy sounds so over-covered here entirely. Come on now, a Hip Hop / R&B artist covering a ZZ Top song? That is not an entirely bad idea, as long as this song is on an album of covers from ALL artists of Wyclef Jean’s genre.

This song unfortunately doesn’t fit in with the “Rock” flow for me, on this album. To my ears, Rough Boy was as “commercial” as it could get for ZZ TOP back in 1986 and this cover only magnifies it’s “Pop” personality to an embarrassing level. If Wyclef Jean is a friend of ZZ Top’s, then ZZ TOP should have remembered: “friends don’t let friends cover their songs”.

THE GOOD: 

Nickelback. Yes, Nickelback. This love ’em or hate ’em Hard Rockin’ band knocked it out of the Classic Rock park with their cover of Legs. This song does sound like Nickelback, yet they did not stray from the non-stop Rockin’ groove that this song originally was all about. Nickelback just gave it more heaviness.

Daughtry. Yes, Daughtry. This guy sings Waitin’ For The Bus / Jesus Left Chicago as if he really digs and feels the song thoroughly. I make NO apologies, Chris Daughtry sings this ZZ TOP classic straight from the heart. Hell, that’s how it comes across to me anyways. Plus, Daughtry didn’t screw around with this songs tempo or try to “reinvent the F’n wheel” with it.

Mastodon. These guys gave Just Got Paid their signature stamp of progressiveness without even trying. Turning Just Got Paid into a relevant Hard Rock song that smokes was obviously… the mission of Mastodon.

Filter covers Gimme All Your Lovin‘ with a grand Alternative meets Industrial sound that is admirable. It’s Filter. The legendary Billy F Gibbons lends his vocals and electric guitar to La Grange. Cool. The remaining tracks are fine listens, just watch out for the bad and the ugly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

ZZ TOP – A Tribute From Friends was released back on October 11th, 2011, via Show Dog / Universal.

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A Tribute From Friends – Track Listing:

Sharp Dressed Man – The M.O.B. (Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie)

Gimme All Your Lovin’ – Filter

Tush – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

Legs – Nickelback

Cheap Sunglasses – Wolfmother

Got Me Under Pressure – Duff McKagan’s Loaded

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers – Coheed & Cambria

Just Got Paid – Mastodon

Rough Boy – Wyclef Jean

Waitin’ For The Bus / Jesus Just Left Chicago – Daughtry

La Grange – Jamey Johnson

LONG LIVE ZZ TOP.

LONG LIVE “GOOD” ZZ TOP COVER SONGS.

Stone.

SCORPIONS ‘COMEBLACK’ – Heavy Metal Legends Do It Their Way, On Album Of Covers & Re-Recordings

Posted in classic rock, cover songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

SCORPIONS COMEBLACK – The Scorpions latest CD release, Comeblack, is a combination of  seven re-recorded classics from their legendary catalog of albums along with six Classic Rock cover songs. I realize there are fans who don’t applaud when a band makes an album of cover songs and I understand that. Personally, I enjoy hearing a band covering other band’s songs. I really am thrilled with Comeblack for more than half of this album is, essentially, the Scorpions covering themselves!

In my opinion, some of the re-recorded songs the Scorpions did for Comeblack are actually better than their own originals. I point to the first three songs on Comeblack to state my point: Rhythm Of Love, No One Like You and The Zoo. All three songs are outstanding Scorpions originals, yet on Comeblack each of these mentioned songs has a harder and edgier zeal to them, which I really dig, especially on one of my all-time favorites The Zoo. The harder energy on these three cover songs are so good and breathe some new life into them.

Unfortunately, I can’t state the same for the new versions of Rock You Like A Hurricane and Winds Of Change. I feel the original versions are superior to their re-recorded selves on Comeblack. Then again, these two songs are this iconic band’s biggest hits, so I imagine it would be almost impossible to improve on them. Blackout and Still Loving You are done well and both are very solid re-recordings. If there is one thing I would have done differently on this half of Comeblack, I would have included some of their lesser-known hits like Big City Nights, Alien Nation and In Trance and re-recorded them with the same updated heaviness.

Now for the cover songs. First of all, I find this a very interesting collection of songs to cover. For example, I was never a big fan of the song Tainted Love by the New Wave/Post-Punk band Soft Cell. Actually, I find it a very annoying song. Therefore, even before I heard this cover version by the Scorpions I was preparing to be disappointed. Man, was I surprised! The Scorpions came up huge here. What a terrific job the Scorpions did in creating what I would call a wuss of a song and transforming it into Metal!

Children of The Revolution and Tin Soldier are solidly done. Across The Universe is probably my biggest complaint, in terms of song selection for Comeblack. I can’t say I’m a big fan of this song. All Day And All Of The Night packs a good and Hard Rockin’ punch that I believe The Kinks would praise.

This brings me to the final song. The Scorpions end Comeblack with grand style! What do you get when you combine Klaus Meine, Metal guitar riffs by guitar legends Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs and a song written by The Rolling Stones? This is Scott Coverdale’s “Song Of The Year”: Ruby Tuesday. I can’t begin to tell you, just how much I love this cover version of Ruby Tuesday. After listening to this song over and over again, I’ve come to the conclusion that Ruby Tuesday was meant to be a Metal song and we’ve been delivered just that… 40 years later.

* Scorpions – Comeblack was released in November of 2011 on Sony Music.

* For more info on the SCORPIONS, click the link below:

SCORPIONS

LONG LIVE SCORPIONS.

Scott Coverdale.

PUDDLE OF MUDD – RE:(DISC)OVERED: A ROCKIN’ COOL TRIBUTE TO 11 TIMELESS SONGS

Posted in classic rock, cover songs, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

PUDDLE OF MUDD – Cover song albums have been and forever will be a debatable topic. Is it a “good move” on the part of a band or individual musician to cover a “particular” song or (gasp) record an entire album of them? As I see it, at the end of the day it’s all about the music and cover songs are (supposed) to celebrate the original song without destroying it’s structural foundation. That’s my Metal opinion on the Metal matter and it is an endless discussion for certain. Lead guitarist Paul Phillips states it perfectly within this album’s liner notes: “Our goal in interpreting these songs was to pay more tribute rather than reinvent”. With that gabby intro of mine out-of-the-way, Puddle Of Mudd released an 11 song album of covers back on August 29th, 2011 via MRI/Arms Division that’s called: Re:(disc)overed.

Actually, the title of this cover song album is quite fitting for me, for Puddle Of Mudd has made me rediscover these songs that are undisputeded Rock classics. Over time, as I’ve read and conducted many an interview with musicians, the undeniable truth is that they are fans of music too. Musicians are artists and they can unquely re-package an already established Rock song, which in turn (hopefully) brings new life to such established songs. Making younger generations of Rock fans aware of the classics is so important, the roots of Rock can never be forgotten. Puddle Of Mudd have not only paid tribute to songs that mean something to them here, they have also given these 11 songs a substantial relevant vibe that I cannot resist.

This cover song album has grown on me like there is no tomorrow and I’m very glad I decided to buy it. I bought Re:(disc)overed without hearing a single sample or track beforehand, knowing that Puddle Of Mudd has no choice other than to deliver the goods. Honestly, I never expected to like all 11 songs and deep down inside of me I feel relieved that Puddle Of Mudd pulled this one off! This is an album that makes me feel so damn proud to be infatuated with Rock and Roll. As I listen to T.N.T., I really do hear a sincere admiration that Wes Scantlin has for the late and legendary Bon Scott.

After hearing the recent Redlight King cover of Neil Young’s Old Man, albeit with a sample style, I was blown away to realize that Puddle Of Mudd has also rediscovered such a monumentally historic Rock song too. I don’t know how Puddle Of Mudd did it here, yet their cover of Old Man doesn’t seem to be as depressing as it was originally meant to be by Neil Young himself. Maybe Puddle Of Mudd made Old Man sound more reflective than just plain sad? My hands down favorite cover here is Shelter Me. The Rolling Stones should send Puddle Of Mudd a congratulations card in the mail for the way they present and play their iconic song. Just fabulous.

I feel Billy Squier has too often been overlooked for his legacy of Hard Rock. With Everybody Wants You, Puddle Of Mudd makes certain this Rocker gets his proper Hard Rockin’ due. It’s funny, how hearing this cover of Everybody Wants You, it all reminds me of when I used to jump around the house to the original song as a banana brained young teen. Rocket Man has Puddle Of Mudd stamped all over it and still this band did not insult one single note of Elton John’s creation. Just an extraordinary Rock classic among the 11 others I am continuing to enjoy on Re:(disc)overed. In my Metal opinion, you should discover Re:(disc)overed, especially if you love and cherish the roots of Rock like I do. Puddle Of Mudd has proven to me, with this album, their reverence for Rock’s classic songs and artists.

PUDDLE OF MUDD:

Wes Scantlin – vocals & guitar

Paul Phillips – lead guitar

Doug Ardito – bass guitar

RE:(DISC)OVERED – Track Listing:

Gimme Shelter

Old Man

T.N.T.

Stop Dragging My Heart Around

Joker

Everybody Wants You

Rocket Man

All Right Now

Shooting Star

D’yer Mak’er

Funk #49

* For more info on PUDDLE OF MUDD, click on the link below:

PUDDLE OF MUDD – Official Website

LONG LIVE PUDDLE OF MUDD.

LONG LIVE THE SONG.

Stone.

SIX FEET UNDER – “GRAVEYARD CLASSICS III” A DEATH METAL ALBUM OF COVER SONGS!

Posted in 1990's death metal bands, 1990's death metal music, 2010 heavy metal albums, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, current death meal bands, current death metal albums, current death metal music, Death Metal, death metal albums 2010, death metal cover songs, death metal guitarists, death metal history, death metal legends, death metal music, death metal music 2010, death metal vocalists, extreme metal music, extreme music, heavy metal albums, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school death metal music, scary album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

I really get into Death Metal and have my core favorite, Death Metal bands. Six Feet Under is one of my core Death Metal bands of mine. When I listen to Death Metal, it’s like I’m getting back to my Metal basics… there’s no fooling around with this genre, just extreme vocals and groove infested, thunder splitting – Metal. Chris Barnes, with his ultra legendary, Death Metal growling vocals, is at his finest on Graveyard Classics III. This album marks the third installment of the Graveyard Classics series of cover song albums from Six Feet Under. Six Feet Under not only groove along at an impressively addicting pace, this album is damn F’n fun too. Yes, it is fun to hear Chris Barnes belt out his original and extreme vocals to ten amazingly historical Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Black Metal and Punk Rock songs.

One of the many reasons to admire Six Feet Under and their Graveyard Classics series, is their allegiance and recognition to so many historical and great bands from Rock Music’s past. It’s all about roots with these cover songs… and Six Feet Under covers them with Death Metal brilliance. My two favorite cover songs on Graveyard Classics III are: Destroyer by Twisted Sister and Not Fragile by Bachman Turner Overdrive. Six Feet Under plays Destroyer like they are going to take over the world… and implement a Death Metal master plan. Not Fragile showcases the guitar mastery of Steve Swanson, he really steals the Death Metal show on this song.

As I listen to Chris Barnes sing these two songs, I cannot help but not recognize that he is a fan of these bands he covers so well. Influence is a powerful word and bands like Slayer literally explode with it for so many musicians… Six Feet Under attests to this by covering At Dawn They Sleep. Six Feet Under may never be able to capture the Thrash Metal fire and intensity that only Slayer can deliver with At Dawn They Sleep, still, hearing such a fantastic Death Metal version of this classic is a thrill for me. The Frayed Ends Of Sanity is such a monumental choice for Six Feet Under to undertake as well, Metallica being the iconic Thrash Metal Band they are only drives home the reverence Chris Barnes upholds for Metal history. Oh, yeah, Six Feet Under plays this Metallica classic quite deadly well too.

What would a 2010 Death Metal cover song album, from Six Feet Under, be without an Anvil song? Metal On Metal only solidifies the fact that Anvil is as important a band to the history of Metal as any. Chris Barnes may not ever take over the vocal helm for Anvil’s Lips, regardless, he employs his very own grunt and growl trademark to a fabulous cover version. Just when you think Graveyard Classics III has all the historic Metal firepower to cover, A Dangerous Meeting by the unreal legendary Mercyful Fate is on this album too. A tough song to sing no matter who you are… Chris Barnes takes this song on and laces it with Death Metal vocal glorification. Psychotherapy by the Ramones and Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck by Prong are the fun moments for me on this album… two songs that probably no one ever would consider Death Metal material years ago. On Fire by Van Halen and Pounding Metal by (the blue collar) Thrash Metal vets Exciter, round out the ten Death Metal cover songs on Graveyard Classics III.

To say that Terry Butler on bass and Greg Gall on drums are very good is a Death Metal understatement… they are both excellent… the proof is in the songs. Six Feet Under has established their Death Metal legacy years ago, they are now just compounding this legacy, with an album of deliriously deadly cover songs called Graveyard Classics III. This is one damn fine listen – in Death Groove.

* Graveyard Classics III was released on January 19, 2010, on Metal Blade Records.

* Album Cover Art By: Dusty Peterson – Unreal great stuff… now thats Metal. Death Metal.


JOEY RAMONE – “CHRISTMAS SPIRIT… IN MY HOUSE” GETS ME IN THE SPIRIT

Posted in 1970's punk rock, 1980's punk rock bands, 1980's punk rock music, Album Review, christmas albums, classic punk rock, cool album covers, cover songs, essential punk rock albums, essential punk rock songs, metal odyssey, Music, old school punk rock, Punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock album review, punk rock albums, punk rock bands, punk rock christmas albums, punk rock christmas songs, punk rock cover songs, punk rock music, punk rock musicians, punk rock solo albums, punk rock songs, punk rock vocalists, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame members, rock music, rock music christmas albums, vintage punk rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

If you are prodding, looking, searching and asking around for a really great and cool Christmas album to buy, your search is over. Joey Ramone Christmas Spirit… In My House is a true Punk Rock gem. The late and legendary Joey Ramone has always captivated me with his trademark Punk Rock vocals. He had such an easy going delivery with his voice, yet it also contained the required toughness, swagger and Punk attitude that came out so naturally for Joey. Don’t Worry About Me, Spirit In My House and What A Wonderful World are three Punk Rock classics from Joey Ramone’s solo work. What A Wonderful World is covered here with remarkable, inspired spirit that flows over you like a wave of Punk Rock joy. These three songs can be enjoyed all year long, heck, this EP is so good I will listen to these Christmas songs all year long too! After I here Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), I feel like I never want to hear another vocalist sing this song again, Joey Ramone sings it that incredible, for me.

Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) is Joey Ramone singing a ballad while not straying away from his trademark vocals, I get a real kick out of this song with it’s 1950’s Rock and Roll vibe happening. This song isn’t sappy either. Spirit In My House is the hardest song on this EP, the grooves are strong and the beat is contagious. Ronnie Spector lends her vocals on Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), while the ever legendary Marky Ramone is a special guest on What A Wonderful World. I am going to listen to this EP probably constantly throughout this holiday season, I am looking forward to each listen. I absolutely cannot exhaust myself from hearing these songs limitless times. All fans of the Ramones and Punk Rock need to own this EP. Fans of all other Rock genres need to lend an ear to what Joey Ramone created here and add this brilliant work to their Christmas music collection and enjoy it all year long too.

Based on the excited reaction my ten year old twin daughters showed, as they listened to this Joey Ramone EP today, it is safe to say his Punk/Rock and Roll legacy will live on for generations to come. I have never seen my daughters dance around and get as happy to music, like this, since they listened to Misfits Project 1950! It was a terrific sight to see, coupled with the feeling of knowing my daughters love some of the music I listen to as well.

* Christmas Spirit… In My House was released on December 10, 2002, on the label Sanctuary (USA).

* Don’t Worry About Me, Spirit In My House and What A Wonderful World are also on the Joey Ramone studio album – Don’t Worry About Me, (released on February 19, 2002).

* What A Wonderful World – was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. The first recording was sung by the timeless legend – Louis Armstrong, being released in 1968 as a single.

EXODUS “LET THERE BE BLOOD” – A TRIBUTE TO THEIR VERY OWN THRASH METAL LEGACY

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1985 thrash metal music, Album Review, cover songs, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, spooky album covers, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 2008, thrash metal today, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Exodus album Let There Be Blood, (released on October 28, 2008), is a complete cover album of their very own debut release from 1985 – Bonded By Blood. Exodus is from a select group of Thrash Metal Bands, considered by me to be one of the originals who were instrumental in shaping and defining the Thrash Metal genre. I have been listening to Exodus since their debut, this band has had their share of ups and downs, just knowing they are still around making music is a great feeling for me. Let There Be Blood is dedicated to Paul Baloff, the original lead singer for Exodus, who passed away from a stroke in 2002. Gary Holt, the life long guitarist and leader for Exodus, states very clearly in the liner notes of this CD as to why Bonded By Blood was covered in it’s entirety with Let There Be Blood. To paraphrase Gary Holt, he states these songs are his lifetime connection to Paul Baloff. He also states “no way can you replace Bonded By Blood.” As Gary Holt sees it, people can discover the original Exodus lineup from 1985 and their Classic Thrash Metal debut album, by listening to Let There Be Blood.

I never needed to be convinced that covering Bonded By Blood was a great idea by the current Exodus lineup, many bands have recently been doing the same thing lately as well. Foreigner and Journey are perfect examples, both of these Hard Rock titans have issued a full greatest hits CD recently, that spotlights their current lead singer and lineup. Exodus has paid a tribute to not just an album of songs, Bonded By Blood was and still is an important Thrash Metal album, one that represents a time period of the birth and creation of the prolific Thrash Metal genre. Paul Baloff was not the run of the pack Thrash Metal vocalist either, he was unique in keeping his voice from overpowering the song… I have never heard another singer like him since, truly irreplaceable.

Rob Dukes, the vocalist for Exodus on Let There Be Blood also is quoted in the liner notes, “this (Let There Be Blood) was recorded for fun, not to replace the original. The origninal (Bonded By Blood) will always be there and will always stand the test of time.” Plus, Rob Dukes refers to Paul Baloff in the most sincerest and reverent way. True class acts are Gary Holt and Rob Dukes, for the way they expressed themselves through these statements, found in the liner notes of Let There Be Blood. With Tom Hunting on drums, Exodus has two original members playing on Let There Be Blood.

I have read some pretty despicable and mean spirited album reviews over the years… from guess who? Answer: professional overpaid music critics who do not listen to the albums they review! Instead, their idea of “listening” to an album is “sampling” and/or they are jealous they are not famous Rock musicians themselves. Exodus, in my Metal opinion, DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CASH-IN ON THE LEGACY OF BONDED BY BLOOD. The Old School Thrash Metal Bands have their core following, while enlisting younger and new fans along the way. This album was never going to hit #1 on any damned and useless music chart to begin with. Old School Thrash Metal is about pride… something that the lame mainstream Rock music critics no nothing about. Grubby politicians cash-in everyday on tax payers… Exodus is too busy kicking ass with their Thrash Metal legacy and credibility, rather than cashing in on any of their fans.

In my Metal opinion, sure this is a heavier version than the original. Yes, Rob Dukes sings with a much more aggressive and angered tone than the late and legendary Paul Baloff. Rob Dukes is a powerhouse Thrash Metal vocalist – period. He is his own persona, just as Paul Baloff once was. The end result is, for me, a quality driven, Thrash Metal celebration of one of the greatest albums of it’s genre. Gary Holt made a great point in the liner notes, that these same songs are performed live by Exodus to this day. As I see it, this is Exodus, regardless if this is a 2008 version of this band or a listen to the 1985 original Bonded By Blood. I cannot deny or condemn any Thrash Metal Music that Gary Holt and Tom Hunting want to recapture or create with their band. All I can do is be thankful that they are still alive and capable of keeping the Exodus Thrash Metal machine forging ahead. I appreciate my favorite bands and never have or ever will… take them for granted.

Exodus, as they appear on the 2008 album Let There Be Blood:

Gary Holt – guitars

Tom Hunting – drums

Jack Gibson – bass

Rob Dukes – vocals

Lee Altus – guitars

Here is the original cover artwork for the 1985 Bonded By Blood album:

BRITNY FOX – 1989 “BOYS IN HEAT” IS A GLAM SLAM OF A HEAVY METAL ALBUM

Posted in 1980's hair metal albums, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal cover songs, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1989 heavy metal music, Album Review, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, cover songs, glam metal, glam metal music, Hair Metal, hair metal music, hair metal music genre, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal bands, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The 1980’s, here I go again. There were Heavy Metal Bands aplenty to choose from back in the ’80’s, Britny Fox being one. Only thing is, I never bought any Britny Fox albums back then. It wasn’t because I did not like this band, it all came down to choice and what albums would I throw my (little) money at. Now it is 2009, (obviously) and the Britny Fox Boys In Heat CD is blaring it’s Hair Metal glory for me today. Um, I have to thank my best Metal buddy, Scott, for landing me this CD. Thanks dude. Would I have eventually bought this Britny Fox CD or any Britny Fox CD for that matter? The Metal answer is… probably yes. I just don’t know when precisely that would have happened. The same mindset holds true for me today, with so many choices out there and a reality cap of spending. I am in awe at times, realizing how much catching up I have in Heavy Metal listening. Catching up on Heavy Metal albums going back decades is not a bad hobby, I am not complaining. For all Metal intents and purposes, this Britny Fox CD, Boys In Heat, is some decent Hair Metal candy for my ears.

Cutting to the Metal chase here, my favorite song on Boys In Heat is the cover song – Hair of the Dog. With that stated, I do revere the original version of Hair of the Dog by that legendary band known as Nazareth. This cover of Hair of the Dog is not better than the original, however, Britny Fox did a glam slam job of covering it. Not that it matters, yet Britny Fox gets my Metal approval for their version of Hair of the Dog. Throughout this entire Boys In Heat album, the one constant that I notice is… Britny Fox can play. Britny Fox obviously came out with a throng of other Hair Metal Bands back in the mid to late ’80’s, what really sets this album apart from the Hair Metal pack? I always like quality, not quantity. Boys In Heat is a 13 song album that is consistent with quality, both in it’s Metal and vocals.

Long Way From Home has a kickin’ guitar solo, plus the song has more grooves than I can count. Dean Davidson on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, has those vintage Hair Metal pipes. I truly compare his vocals to that of Tom Keifer of Cinderella. Quite frankly, that is not a bad dude to be compared to. Stevie is as rock solid a Hair Metal song as I have ever heard. Shine On is a song that carries the beat non-stop, it is that kind of song I want to crank up extremely loud on my car CD player, with the windows down on a long drive. The melodic drive of each song on Boys In Heat, never ceases from the opening track of In Motion… this album epitomizes Hair Metal heavy. I also liken this album to be a funk buster, if Boys In Heat can’t get me out of a funk I’m in, then nothing will. What’s that? Did someone say feel good? Once again, if Boys In Heat can’t make me feel good, uh, then something is wrong.

Michael Kelly Smith on lead guitar is as cool as they come, his guitar licks are impressive on Boys In Heat. This album does not lack in the powered up lead and solo department, thanks to him. Billy Childs on bass and Johnny Dee on drums, give me every reason in the Metal world, to turn the bass control up to high, while this album is busting out. It is always a great experience to hear an album that is from years past and like it, especially when it is of the Heavy Metal genre. Britny Fox may not have been on my purchase list back in 1989, yet they are on my current playlist today… courtesy of my best Metal buddy Scott and this CD – Boys In Heat.

Children Of Bodom – “Skeletons In The Closet” Album Of Cover Songs Is Metal Thrashing Good

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, extreme metal bands, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, new thrash metal albums, scary album covers, spooky album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal albums 2009, thrash metal bands, thrash metal cover songs, thrash metal from finland, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, thrash metal songs, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Children Of Bodom "Skeletons in the Closet" small album pic!I really get a kick out of Alexi Laiho, his lead vocals and lead guitar play are extreme to the Metal maximum. I know that sounds rather yahoo, only there is no other way to really explain it. I like this guys style, he is hell bent on playing some of the fastest Thrash Metal Music out there. On the new Children Of Bodom album, Skeletons in the Closet, (released on September 22, 2009), there are seventeen cover songs. Of the bands and musicians that are covered here, there is one song that I simply cannot get into or simply stomach. Hey, one lousy song out of seventeen isn’t too shabby. Consider the fact, that I really like the other sixteen songs on Skeletons in the Closet and I declare this album a Metal winner. Let’s cut to the Metal chase here and I’ll just state that the cover of the Britney Spears song, Oops… I Did It Again is equally lame as it is annoying. I have never been intrigued by Britney Spears, nor do I give her even one millionth of an ounce of respect for any music she has done in her life.

I don’t hold anything against Alexi Laiho and Children of Bodom for doing this crappy cover song, the liner notes spell out clearly as to why this song was covered in the first place. I will paraphrase the explanation found in the liner notes  – apparently, Children Of Bodom, during a night of heavy drinking, were listening to a party CD they made and this crap song was looping over and over. The members of Children Of Bodom made a pact that someday they would cover this crap song, obviously they did, on Skeletons in the Closet. The explanation, (in the liner notes) for this crap cover song goes on to finish: “… and pissed a lot of people off! That’s just what we do”. In the Metal end, sure, after listening to this crap cover of Britney Spears, I felt pissed off – now I think it is damn funny, a song intended to be a joke, not to be taken seriously like it’s original artist Britney Spears.

As I stated, the remaining sixteen cover songs I like a great deal. The Thrash Metal representation of these songs explode with the power and aggression that I have always admired with Children Of Bodom. Many of my favorite Metal bands are covered extremely hard and heavy on this album: Silent Scream from SlayerAces High from Iron Maiden, Hellion from W.A.S.P., Don’t Stop At The Top from Scorpions, Mass Hypnosis from Sepultura and Waiting from King Diamond. Children Of Bodom give these songs their stylistic Thrash Metal stamp on them, I find myself appreciating their versions a whole lot. Whenever it comes to covering Slayer, man, that is a tough Metal task to take on.

Other cover songs on Skeletons in the Closet that are powerful Thrash Metal listens are: Rebel Yell from Billy Idol, Hell Is For Children from Pat Benatar and Talk Dirty To Me from Poison. These three songs standout for I like them a great deal more than the original versions. Ghost Riders In The Sky appears on this album too, (it appears on the Children Of Bodom album Blooddrunk as an unlisted ghost song, excuse the pun). Somebody Put Something In My Drink from the Ramones is excellent! Alexi Laiho sounds like he is really enjoying this song as I listen to him sing it. Still, nothing can ever top the original version of this song by the unreal great and legendary Ramones. Trust me, you will NEVER know that the song Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) is from Kenny Rogers. NO WAY, am I ever interested in hearing the original version either… especially since this cover version Thrashes like there is no tomorrow.

Overall, the Metal verdict is Skeletons in the Closet is loaded with fiery Thrash Metal passion from Children Of Bodom, with their trademark keyboards only enhancing the experience. I will listen to this covers album for years, hopefully decades to come. I am soon going to use the “F” word… watch out… here it comes… Children Of Bodom made a darn fun album here. Thankfully the crap song is the very last on the track list, making it easier to just end the album at song #16. I recommend Skeletons in the Closet and always highly recommend Children Of Bodom to all.

Children Of Bodom "Skeletons in the Closet" large pic #2


RAVAGE – “The End Of Tomorrow” – A Monster Of A Heavy Metal Album

Posted in Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting metal music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, essential metal music albums, halloween songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands from boston, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal music today, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, speed metal, spooky album covers, spooky metal album covers, thrash metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Ravage - Banner group photo  2009

Ravage is a Heavy Metal Band from Boston, (actually Malden), Massachusetts and is hell bent on keeping Classic Metal Music alive, loud and damn proud. Every song on this second album from Ravage, The End Of Tomorrow, (their Metal Blade Records debut, released on August 18, 2009), is writhing with Old School Heavy Metal influence. Ravage does a credible job at flexing their Metal muscles on each song, heavy, hard and speed are irreversible elements that dominate The End Of Tomorrow. No where is the Old School Heavy Metal influence more evident than in the cover of the Judas Priest classic – Nightcrawler. Ravage shows Judas Priest their deserved Metal respect by not ripping Nightcrawler to pieces with any unnecessary fills or excessiveness. A fabulous cover Ravage does with this song, Nightcrawler is a genius choice to add to their track list on this album, based on it’s creepy and dark theme.

I have found that, the more I listen to The End Of Tomorrow, the more I am being convinced that this album was released back around 1985. Alas, that is not such the Metal case… Ravage brings forth to 2009 the Heavy Metal song structures and ambiance of what I have come to expect from vintage Metal Church and early Judas Priest and Armored Saint albums, to name just a few Old Schoolers. After each listen to this album, it is very obvious that the members of Ravage have done their Classic Heavy Metal homework. Knowing and creating all of the heavy nuances of their influences only catapults quality and integrity, on an upmost consistent level throughout The End Of Tomorrow. The Halls Of Madness not only has a vintage Metal title, it also is quite the convincing Heavy Metal instrumental intro that brings back memories of early Helloween and Savatage, for me. There really is not a scapegoat song to point out on The End Of Tomorrow, all twelve songs have their own distinctive Metal bite, an album that I can hit play and let the Heavy Metal assault take it’s natural course. Excuse me for a Metal second as I proclaim The End Of Tomorrow as being a top favorite Heavy Metal album for me in 2009, in my Metal opinion. Ravage can play Heavy Metal… their original brand too… I would not tell a Metal lie.

Ravage "The End Of Tomorrow" tiny picReign Fall lyrically expresses the ghastly imagery of what happens to those who cannot think for themselves, wasting away at the mercy of ones very own doing. Reign Fall, as well as every song on The End Of Tomorrow, is a throwback Metal feast of melodic speed crashing into riffs that are beyond run of the mill. Al Ravage reminds me thoroughly of a young Rob Halford, (Judas Priest), intertwined with a young Paul Dianno, (of early Iron Maiden). Hey, I am by no means putting Al Ravage in this heroic class of Heavy Metal vocalists… (not yet anyways), what I am pointing out is Al Ravage can sing Heavy Metal with marked influences and originality combined. Ravage knows they are Old School, using this phrase so much doing a review may sound very redundant, yet for any veteran fan of Heavy Metal from yesteryear, you know just how juicy it can get when a new album excretes all things good about the glory days of MetalThe End Of Tomorrow is an unleashed monster of what I am talking about here.

My other favorite songs on this album are: The Grapes Of Wrath, which takes a Heavy Metal swipe at all the idiot talking heads on television, these plastic morons get called out on the Metal carpet by Al Ravage here rather eloquently. Plus, The Grapes Of Wrath is authentically memorable for my Metal mind, I just cannot shake this song out of my senses. The Shredder is another manifestation of early Judas Priest influence, only it takes on it’s own Ravage originality… reminding me of the Judas Priest classic – The Ripper, only The Shredder is absolutely not a knock off or copy cat by any means. The End Of Tomorrow is one powerful way to conclude this album, fittingly the title song… lyrically doom laden, the end result is a reality check on the life we are leading and living now. The End Of Tomorrow has a Power Metal approach that echos of great Heavy Metal triumphs to come in the future for this killer “new” band they call Ravage.

Ravage, as they appear on The End Of Tomorrow:

Al Ravage on lead vocals

Eli Firicano on lead and rhythm guitars

Nick Izzo on lead and rhythm guitars

G.T.B. on drums

Howie Snow on bass

Track Listing for The End Of Tomorrow:

The Halls Of Madness

Reign Fall

Freedom Fighter

Damn Nation

The Shredder

Into The Shackles

In Shattered Dreams

The Nightmare’s Hold: Part One

Nightcrawler

The Nightmare’s Hold: Part Two

Grapes Of Wrath

The End Of Tomorrow

C’mon, is this album cover OLD SCHOOL HEAVY METAL or what? Not only does the Heavy Metal of Ravage stand on it’s own, (they could have issued a plain blue cover and that would not change the quality of Metal songs heard inside one bit), yet man, this is cool throwback artwork happening here. I cry out a huge Metal bravo! – to artist Edward J. Repka for creating a REAL Heavy Metal album cover for Ravage.

Ravage - "The End Of Tomorrow" x-large pic

When a Grocery Store Song Gets You Psyched…

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's soft rock music, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, cover songs, current grocery store songs, department store experiences, electric light orchestra, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, everyday experiences, everyday people, feel good stories, grocery store experiences, grocery store song playlists, Music, people, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock vocalists, soft rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyI am going to embark on a topic that may be sensitive to some people… what really happens when a grocery store song gets you, well, psyched? I have decided tonight, to come out of the grocery store song closet. Yup. Please note, that department store chains also play songs over their central speaker system as well… I will refer to grocery store songs to simplify things. Be honest with yourself, there just had to be at least one moment in your life, where you were innocently shopping in a grocery store and then… that song was played. For me, I have had numerous experiences while grocery shopping and suddenly a song begins that just touches my Rock and Roll nerve. How do you act when this situation arises? Do you show emotion? Maybe you hide your psyched out – inner feelings and pretend that nothing is going on at all, you are in a public setting… a damn grocery store for Metal sakes. Let’s explore this incredibly taboo subject together now, shall we?

ELO "Flashback" small album picIt is really senseless to ignore that this grocery store song phenomenon exists… it is o.k. to hear a song playing in a grocery store that psyches you out. My top three grocery store songs ever are: Lido Shuffle by Boz Skaggs, Sweet Talkin’ Woman by The Electric Light Orchestra and Call Me by Blondie. Seriously, I really strain to hold back my psyched out feelings when Lido Shuffle gets played at the grocery store – really. I can remember each moment when I heard these three songs in the grocery store… I felt so good I wanted to run up and down the aisles, high five strangers while shouting yeah! I have been fortunate enough to have heard Sweet Talkin’ Woman several times at the grocery store now, each time is a psyched out charm. Now, for the truth… when I do hear a grocery store song that gets me riveted, I stay cool and collected. My face may show signs of Rock Music satisfaction, a semi-grin if you will, however, staying cool is the best advice I can give anyone who hears a song they like in the grocery store. Just this evening, I was meandering about in an antiques mall, my wife and one half of my twin daughters were close by. Anyhow, inside this antiques mall, Old School Country Music was being played through the stores speaker system. No songs were psyching me out… no problem, until… Carly Simon came on with Your So Vain.

Carly Simon " The Best Of" small album picUh, Carly Simon did get me semi-psyched out at the antiques mall tonight. Maybe it was due to my surroundings… all of this old stuff… antiques everywhere, the ambiance within the framework of this store is quite calm and somewhat like a rerun of The Walton’s. With all of this mellow and old fashioned stimulus around me, hearing Carly Simon sing Your So Vain in the midst of all the Old School Country Music just did it for me. Honestly, I now understand why Faster Pussycat did a cover of Your So Vain… this song most likely struck a chord with Taime Downe (lead singer of Faster Pussycat), like it did me tonight. Weird stuff. Remember, we as a society, are most likely 35 years away from hearing Megadeth and Obituary songs being played as grocery store songs. This is a shame. I have to take what is given to me here, then my Rock and Roll mind filters out the very best of what I do hear with these current grocery store songs that are being played… the psyche me out ones. Now, before you ever step foot into a grocery store again, please take some solid Metal advice in regards to getting psyched out by a song you may hear once there…

Please, if you like to hum along to your favorite grocery store song – stop! I find the annoying humming of a stranger in a grocery store, to be just as offensive as a stranger walking by me and dropping a fart. If you feel the need to sing along to a grocery store song that psyches you out – stop! The setting of a grocery store is not karaoke night at the Wonderland Pub. In the event you find yourself starting to dance and/or move in a groovy manner to a grocery store song – stop! I and potentially many other people, could possibly get anxious by your actions and report you to the store manager or security detail. Remember, the grocery store is not the dance floor of your cousin Jackie’s wedding. Then again, you may ignore my advice altogether and find me to be a tad too sensitive… however, when I hear my next psyched out city, grocery store song, I will remind myself that staying cool is the rule.

Boz Skaggs "Silk Degrees" large album pic

ACE FREHLEY IS BACK! “ANOMALY” ALBUM IS PROOF BY QUANTUM LEAPS!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's heavy metal, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock music, collecting music, cool album covers, cover songs, current hard rock albums, current heavy metal albums, current rock albums 2009, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, guitar legends, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2009, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal songs 2009, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Ace Frehley "Anomaly" small album picAce Frehley has waited a long time to create and produce a new album, Anomaly is so incredibly worth the wait. I finally bought Anomaly today, (September 23, ’09, yeah, I am a week late from it’s release date), what an album of 12 songs. An unreal good album, a can’t miss for any fan of any Rock genre. I cannot stop listening to this new Ace Frehley album, oh darn. Anomaly for me, is one of those albums that I get contagious about and addicted to… oh darn. Before buying this album, I had not a clue as to what any of the songs sounded like. Man, what an incredible surprise to hear these songs for the first time… this album leans more towards Ace Frehley’s 1978 KISS solo album – not towards the sound of his Frehley’s Comet band from the late 1980’s. The Metal kicker is this… Anomaly rocks harder and heavier than the Ace Frehley 1978 KISS solo album, my ears cannot tell a lie. Where Anomaly gives a nod to 1978 is this: Old School Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. With that being said, Anomaly definitely embodies the grooves and heaviness of today’s Heavy Metal sound, while veering away from any resemblance of late 1980’s commercial heavy sound that was so popular in it’s day.

Ace Frehley - KISS solo pic smallAs I listen to Ace Frehley play guitar throughout Anomaly, all I can say to those who want to listen is this – Ace Frehley is back!! Ace Frehley shall remind the Rock and Roll world with all of it’s genres that yes, he can play guitar very well… and sing too. Ace Frehley’s vocals do not sound like a man who has been out of the recording studio for so many years, instead, it is my Metal opinion that Ace Frehley’s vocals are damn good and cool. Just listening to Anomaly takes me back to the days when quality songs were an important staple to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands. A sense of urgency to be real, is what I hear through the entirety of Anomaly, Ace Frehley has fused his very own Hard Rock and Heavy Metal sound with a nod to yesteryear, making Anomaly an album that far extends any relevance factor. From the song writing to the band backing up Ace Frehley here, this is a total album package. Ace Frehley has plenty of cool and damn good solo’s throughout this entire album, one of the many quality points of Anomaly.

I have been a KISS fan since the late ’70’s, I guess once you follow a pack of musicians throughout your entire life you feel lucky that they are still around and making music. Honestly, this Anomaly album is genuine, I wouldn’t just settle for liking an album because of it’s past KISS association. Here are my top choices for songs on Anomaly: Genghis Khan, Space Bear, Fractured Quantum and Fox On The Run. (I could list more, yet I have made my Metal point already). Genghis Khan Rocks out at 6:08, the rhythm section introduces this song in pumped up heavy fashion, just a tremendous song overall. Space Bear and Fractured Quantum are the two instrumentals, two songs that justify Ace Frehley as the brilliant guitar player he is, not to mention songwriter. Fox On The Run is a cover of the 1974 Sweet song, from their Desolation Boulevard album. What a blast of Rock this Ace Frehley version of Fox On The Run is, a fabulous cover version. Alright, here are a couple more standouts for me – It’s A Great Life is a Hard Rock song that takes me straight down Old School memory lane, with straight up lyrics to compliment it. A Little Below The Angels is a self reflective song by Ace Frehley, in my Metal opinion, a very cool song that is straight from the heart. In Metal summary, I give a boisterous yeah! Ace Frehley is back!!

Here are some Ace Frehley notes to enrich your Metal mind:

With the exception of Fox On The Run, Ace Frehley wrote every song on Anomaly, as well as producing the album. 

Anton Fig is the drummer on nine out of the twelve songs on Anomaly.

On the back cover of the Anomaly CD jacket sleeve, there reads: … And In Memory Of Eric Carr & Dimebag Darrell. This type of dedication to late friends, shows that Ace Frehley is a class act.

The CD digipak for Anomaly is die-cut with 5 sides, instructions are enclosed to build this packaging into a three dimensional pyramid. The album cover art concept and design is by Ace Frehley.

Be sure to check out Ace Frehley’s official website… it is really cool. http://www.acefrehley.com/

Ace Frehley "Anomaly" large album pic

Some SCARY SONGS to Search Out for this Halloween Season

Posted in 1960's classic rock music, 1960's rock & roll, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's thrash metal bands, 1990's thrash metal songs, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's thrash metal music, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential heavy metal songs, halloween rock music songs, halloween songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, horror metal, horror punk, horror punk albums, horror punk rock music, Metal, metal odyssey, misfits album covers, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, old school punk rock, power metal music, punk rock music, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, scary rock music songs, spooky album covers, thrash metal music, vintage rock and roll cover songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Misfits "Cuts From The Crypt" large album pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween is coming and there are scary songs aplenty out there, to get me in the spooky spirit. I came up with a list of my favorites, each song a true Classic in it’s own frightful right. Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Punk Rock are all represented here well with cool and frightening songs… go ahead… peruse and enjoy this list – if you dare!

Monster Mash – Misfits – I really get a kick out of the Misfits cover version of this 1962 Bobby “Boris” Pickett original. The Misfits cover version can be found on their albums Project 1950 and Cut’s From The Crypt. The Bobby “Boris” Pickett original version of Monster Mash reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart on October 20, 1962. I covet the original version just as much as the Misfits cover.

Werewolves of London Warren Zevon – this song is originally found on Warren Zevon’s 1978 album Excitable Boy.  I just bought the live version of Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London on itunes a week ago… the live version is unreal good. Since I first heard this song in 1978, it never ceases to put me in the Halloween mood, no matter what time of year I listen to this great song.

Godzilla – Blue Oyster Cult – this song is found on the Blue Oyster Cult album Spectres, released in 1977. The live version of Godzilla is found on their 1978 album Some Enchanted Evening… I lean towards liking the live version more, always have. The live version just seems to have more total heaviness – a Classic Rock gem.

HalloweenHelloween – alright, now we are talking about some serious Metal here. The 1987 album Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1 is where you can find this song, truly an amazing Power Metal epic… at 13 minutes & 18 seconds long, yet every second is Metal brilliance. This song exploits the vocal excellence of Michael Kiske, he was an incredible singer for Helloween, period.

Boris The Spider The Who – Released in 1966 (the year that I was, gulp, born) – A Quick One is The Who album where this legendary song is found. A short song, at 2 minutes & 29 seconds, the late John Entwistle gives this creepy little song it’s Rock character through his bass and vocals too.

The Number of the BeastIron Maiden – Whoa, this song gets better each time I hear it… I am sure I am not alone in stating that. Released on the Number of the Beast album from 1982, it seems like yesterday to me.

Old Carver’s BonesCKY – From the 2009 CKY album Carver City, this song is scary with multiple exclamation points. The music and lyrics of this song makes the creep out meter catch on fire.

Dead Skin MaskSlayer – In 1990, Slayer released Seasons in the Abyss – just the title of this song says enough… F’n Slayer rules.

This Is HalloweenMarilyn Manson – I practically inhale this song every late September up until Halloween night. This Is Halloween sung by the legendary Marilyn Manson, can be heard on the re-release of The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack, (re-released in 2006). Metal truth be told, this is probably my most favorite Marilyn Manson song ever… and I like a ton of Marilyn Manson songs a great deal. Marilyn Manson sounds so damn mean, nasty and scary on this song that it creates a thunderstorm in the sky above, wherever it is played.

FrankensteinOver Kill – this Thrash Metal cover of the Edgar Winter original is frighteningly unreal good. An instrumental, there is no need for lyrics… the music is alarmingly spooky to the maximum. I embrace the Edgar Winter original as much as the Over Kill cover version… bear in mind the Over Kill cover version is damn heavier!! The Over Kill cover version is found on their 1991 album Horrorscope. The Edgar Winter Group original version of Frankenstein is on their 1972 album They Only Come Out at Night.

Black SabbathBlack Sabbath – from the debut self titled album Black Sabbath, (released in 1970), the song Black Sabbath carries me through a nightmare that I never mind revisiting. Everything about this song spells chillingly scary… from Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals to Tony Iommi’s doom laden riffs, the godfather of creepy Metal songs without a doubt in my Metal mind.

I could go on until Doomsday with a master list of scary and horror laden songs that get me pumped for Halloween. These songs are the ones that I seem to listen to the most, (or so it seems). Maybe you agree with this list of shock and scream songs, maybe you have a song to add to this list too… don’t hesitate to give your suggestion or two for songs that are just as frightening or more so. Happy Halloween.

Black Sabbath "Black Sabbath" 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

CHILDREN OF BODOM – “Skeletons In The Closet” album devoted to cover songs

Posted in 1990's thrash metal bands, Alice cooper, cover songs, creepy album covers, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current metal albums, current thrash metal, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, Death Metal, essential metal music albums, essential thrash metal albums, Extreme Metal, extreme metal music, extreme music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal this decade, melodic death metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music ep's, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, new thrash metal albums, scary album covers, spooky metal album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal cover songs, thrash metal music, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Children of Bodom "Skeletons In The Closet" small picI am Metal psyched about another great Metal album coming out in this month of September of 2009, Children of Bodom – Skeletons In The Closet, (on SPINEFARM records). This is an album totally devoted to cover songs. (See complete track list below). It is my Metal opinion, that Children of Bodom have blended together, the great Metal genres of Death Metal, Thrash Metal and Speed Metal… a unique fusion of styles that are heavily laden with keyboards, courtesy of Janne Warman. Alexi Laiho is as competent and skilled of a Metal guitarist as you can ask for, one of the best there is today. Alexi is as equally talented on lead vocals as well… again, this is my Metal opinion and this style of Extreme Metal is my preference. Three cover songs on Skeletons In The Closet have been previously released, (these are the 3 that I am aware of): She Is Beautiful and the Alice Cooper classic – Bed of Nails, can be heard on the Children of Bodom EP Trashed, Lost & Strung Out. The Billy Idol classic Rebel Yell was released as part of the Blooddrunk import single.

Children of Bodom group photo blueI cannot wait to get my hands on this new album and crank it up extremely loud, on September 23, 2009, I will. I am just very curious as to how the Britney Spears cover of Oooops! I Did It Again… is going to sound like. What about the Kenny Rogers song? Man, that should be a Metal hoot. Knowing the way Children of Bodom play their Metal, I am confident they will rage these songs into Extreme Metal bliss. Still, I cannot believe I am writing about Britney Spears, Kenny Rogers and Children of Bodom in the same post. One thing is for sure here, Children of Bodom can never be accused of not being diversified. The cover songs represent a darn cool list of bands here… Slayer, W.A.S.P., Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Scorpions, Ramones – these are legendary bands without question. Thank you, Finland, for the fine Metal export they call Children of Bodom.

Children of Bodom are:

Alexi Laiho - vocals, guitar
Roope Latvala - guitar
Henkka T. Blacksmith - bass
Janne Warman - keyboards
Jaska Raatikainen - drums

Tracklist:

01 Lookin' Out My Back Door
     (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
02 Hell Is For Children
     (Pat Benatar)
03 Somebody Put Something In My Drink
     (Ramones)
04 Mass Hypnosis
     (Sepultura)
05 Don´t Stop At The Top
     (Scorpions)
06 Silent Scream
     (Slayer)
07 She Is Beautiful
     (Andrew W.K.)
08 Just Dropped In  (To See What
     Condition My Condition Was In)
     (Kenny Rogers)
09 Bed Of Nails
     (Alice Cooper)
10 Hellion
     (W.A.S.P.)
11 Aces High
     (Iron Maiden)
12 Rebel Yell
     (Billy Idol)
13 No Commands
     (Stone)
14 Antisocial
     (Trust/Anthrax)
15 Talk Dirty To Me
     (Poison)
16 War Inside My Head
     (Suicidal Tendencies)
17 Ooops!… I Did It Again
     (Britney Spears)
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LULLACRY – “Fire Within” EP – Gothic Metal Music and a W.A.S.P. cover too

Posted in Album Review, cover songs, gothic hard rock bands, gothic hard rock music, gothic metal, gothic metal albums, gothic metal bands, gothic metal from finland, gothic metal music, gothic metal music 2004, gothic metal music this decade, gothic metal songs, hard rock music this decade, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, Music, rock music, symphonic metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

16842Lullacry is a Gothic Metal/Hard Rock band straight out of Helsinki, Finland. I stumbled upon this band, by perusing the incredibly insane selection of Metal Music – over at Century Media Records online, (CM Distro.com). What caught my attention with this Lullacry “Fire Within” EP were two things: the price was $2 for the CD (!) and this band does a cover of the legendary W.A.S.P. song – “L.O.V.E. Machine”. Hey, for two bucks it seemed like a pretty risk free proposition… especially since I never listened to this band before. (I purchased several items on this order, therefore my shipping cost per CD was low). One of the recurring living on the edge moments of my life is when I purchase a Metal CD without really knowing what I’m getting. Well, what I did get with Lullacry, is a darned solid and sound Gothic Metal/Hard Rock band that has raised my curiosity in their other albums out there. This is the only Lullacry CD that I own… delving deeper into their catalog of music might be a Metal option for me in the near future. Before I go any further, this band is not for every Metalhead out there, the overriding Metal sound is Gothic, due in large part to the lead vocals of Tanja. This female vocalist is very reminiscent of Amy Lee, (from Evanescence fame), on the song “Crucify My Heart pt. II (piano version)”, as Gothic sounding of a song if there is one. This song is definitely a Gothic ballad, Tanja emits quite a captivating voice here, in my Metal opinion.

This five song EP opens with “Fire Within”, it is a fast paced and catchy Heavy Metal song, no real trace of Gothic styles, musically. Tanja’s vocals on “Fire Within” can be compared to Dale Bozzio of early 1980’s New Wave Band – Missing Persons (yeah, that is my Metal opinion, believe it or not). “Be My God (tribal reprise)” has all the Gothic Metal elements happening, the guitars, vocals and slow downs make for a rather impressive song at that. “The #1 Rebel” is Gothic Metal with a faster tempo and a tad edgier than “Be My God (tribal reprise)”. Now, for the cover song from Heavy Metal legends W.A.S.P. – “L.O.V.E. Machine”… Blackie Lawless and only Blackie Lawless can sing this song… with W.A.S.P.’s crushing Heavy Metal overpowering everything and anything around it. With that said, it is an interesting and cool cover version. Listening to Tanja sing this song, only solidifies why I consider myself such a diversified Metal Music fan in the first place. Lullacry as a band, will never match the Metal intensity of W.A.S.P. with “L.O.V.E. Machine”, yet I do not think that this was their intention to begin with.

 

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As I previously mentioned, Lullacry is definitely a band for Gothic Metal fans or fans of Metal Music that do not mind diversifying outside their own Metal genre realm. Symphonic Metal fans and fans of Lacuna Coil might just get a kick out of Lullacry as well. A commercially accessible and at times, heavy Gothic band can lend itself to a cool listen, for me, Lullacry is just that. The Lullacry lineup, as they appeared on the “Fire Within” EP: Tanja on vocals, Sami Vauhkonen on lead guitar, Sauli Kivilahti on guitar, Heavy on bass and Jukka Outinen on drums & percussion. This “Fire Within” EP was released in 2004. The website for Lullacry is Lullacry.com.

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IRON MAIDEN – “Cross Eyed Mary” 1983 cover song is a rare Metal Music treasure

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, cover songs, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, essential progressive metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1983, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Iron Maiden, Metal, metal music, metal music ep's, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal music eps, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Iron Maiden "The Trooper"  EP album artworkIron Maiden released their fourth studio album, “Piece Of Mind” in 1983. An amazing Heavy Metal album it was and forever will be. I bought that album back in ’83… stared at the front cover for hours, which in fact, probably equals out to actual days. I have always been mesmerized by artist Derek Riggs artwork of mascot Eddie. This album does not contain the cover song of “Cross Eyed Mary”, instead, it was released as a “b” side to the single “The Trooper”, taken from the “Piece Of Mind” album. To the best of my Metal research, “The Trooper” single was released on June 20, 1983. I frequented a small and independent record store on an almost daily basis back in the ’80’s, (I won’t divulge the name of this store for personal reasons), upon a daily stop there… there it was… Iron Maiden “The Trooper” Maxi Single on vinyl no less!! My Metal memory is very vivid about this moment… I stared this beautiful Iron Maiden rarity down, bought it and have kept it pristine ever since. Plus, this was the only copy this store had, I never saw this Iron Maiden single on vinyl again. (Certainly, there has to be more out there in collections or online today, I just never happened to come across one in person). This Iron Maiden Maxi Single as it is called, again, is on vinyl that is the actual size of an album -(an EP if you will), it plays at 45 rpm.

As for “The Trooper” it is and always will be an amazing work of Metal Music, this song no Metalhead could ever possibly tire from. An unreal great Metal song is “The Trooper”. Now, for the Metal juicy part of this important single… “Cross Eyed Mary”. I always have and will continue to give Jethro Tull a listen now and again… they are cool by me, despite what Metallica may think of them. The original Jethro Tull version of “Cross Eyed Mary” does not even come remotely close, to the prolific Metal power of Iron Maiden’s cover version though. I am talking extremely Metal prolific, when I mention this Iron Maiden cover of “Cross Eyed Mary”. Whoa, man, this Iron Maiden cover sends Metal chills up and down my spine. I am not sugar coating a thing… this Iron Maiden cover is the real thing, hands down it is my most favorite and cherished Metal cover song that has ever been recorded. Not to sound cheesy or lame here, the opening guitar leads sends me into Metal orbit… really. Bruce Dickinson is outstanding on vocals with this song, Iron Maiden took hold of “Cross Eyed Mary” and turned it into a Metal masterpiece. NO flutes or piano are on this Iron Maiden cover version of “Cross Eyed Mary”, no sir.

My copy of “The Trooper” vinyl single looks just like the above image, with the exception that my copy has “Maxi Single – super sound version” printed on the front cover, inside a red outlined circle. The bottom image shows what the Japanese import version of “The Trooper” looks like on CD, however, “Cross Eyed Mary” is NOT on this CD single!? The two songs on this Japanese import are: “The Trooper Live (2003)” and “The Trooper” (album version). Go figure that out, the same artwork, it is “The Trooper” single, yet “Cross Eyed Mary” is not included anymore. It would have been Metal genius, if Iron Maiden included “Cross Eyed Mary” on their “Somewhere Back In Time: The Best Of 1980-1989″ album, that would have been a perfect song to add into the historical Metal mix. I am just psyched that I still have this vinyl single of Iron Maiden, this is one Metal treasure I just will not part with – no way.

Some Metal extra notes about this Iron Maiden single, to benefit, guide and nourish your Metal mind: 

Iron Maiden, as they appeared on “The Trooper” and “Cross Eyed Mary”: Bruce Dickinson on lead vocals, Dave Murray on guitar, Adrian Smith on guitar, Steve Harris on bass guitar and Nicko McBrain on drums. * This 1983 “The Trooper” single was originally released on EMI records.

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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.

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Motorhead and Anthrax both covered “God Save The Queen”

Posted in 1970's punk rock, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic punk rock, cool album covers, cover songs, essential heavy metal albums, extreme music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, legends of punk rock, Metal, metal music, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, old school punk rock, punk rock cover songs, punk rock music, punk rock songs, Thrash Metal, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage punk rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Motorhead and Anthrax. Each band is a prominent member in the Metal Music world. Motorhead and Anthrax have always hinted, albeit with Metal stylings, their musical taste for Punk Rock Music. Both of these legendary Metal bands covered the Sex Pistols classic “God Save The Queen” from the “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” album, (released in October of 1977). This song was written of course, by Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) and Glen Matlock. Both cover versions are really cool and heavy, with Motorhead having their unmistakable, heavy coated vocals and bass guitar of Lemmy Kilmister leading the way. You know it’s Motorhead when you hear their cover of this prolific song… no pretensions, no frills, no sugar coating. The Motorhead cover version of “God Save The Queen” can be found on the “We Are Motorhead” album, (released on May 16, 2000). The Anthrax cover version is found on the EP – “Armed And Dangerous”, (released in February of 1985). In my Metal opinion, Anthrax covers “God Save The Queen” with convincing Punk Rock attitude, the reasons for this lays in the lead vocals of Joey Belladonna as well as the backing vocals. Musically, Anthrax is right on the Punk Rock bulls eye, which always led me to believe this particular lineup could have experimented even more with Punk Rock songs.

Anthrax has been a diverse band throughout their career, the same can be said about Motorhead too. Therefore, it is only fitting that these two bands picked up “God Save The Queen” to cover – and cover it well, both of these bands did. Of course, I repeatedly state that there is nothing like the original. I would be hallucinating, if I were to say that there is any cover song of “God Save The Queen” out there, that blows away the Sex Pistols original. Regardless of that mindset, both Motorhead and Anthrax honestly pay tribute to this song and the Sex Pistols with the upmost Metal respect. The proof is in the cover songs themselves, they both pulsate with the Punk Rock angst and anti-establishment message that the Sex Pistols originally created in the first place. I always felt this message in the song’s music, while hearing it of course, in the lyrics. 

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Shaw Blades – “Influence” pays a solid tribute to Rock Music’s Roots

Posted in 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock music, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cover songs, essential rock albums, folk rock music, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock cover songs albums, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock and roll cover songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

8244526After just one listening experience with “Influence” (released March 6, 2007) and you hear and feel the unique musical chemistry, that both Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades have together. The overall up beat vibe throughout “Influence” will have you not putting this disc away for a very long time. What an accomplished set of Classic Rock gems that Shaw-Blades covers! Typically, I always approach cover songs with skeptical tendencies. Usually one or two listens to a cover tune, will be enough of a listen for me to either like it or cherish the original version. With “Influence”, I was taken completely by surprise by how Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades brought new Rock life to these classics. While I listen to this album, I cannot help but go through a Rock and Roll reality check, realizing where the roots of Rock music actually come from. The Mama’s and the Papa’s, Simon and Garfunkel and Seals & Crofts may have their legacies emblazoned in the Rock Folk and Easy Listening genres, yet their lyrics, song structures and melodies can so easily be considered the building blocks of true Classic Rock. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades took hold of these musical building blocks and ran with it… creating a sensational album of Classic Rock, that breaks down any generational barriers that carry the tags of dated and non-relevant.

I used to never care for “The Sound Of Silence”, now I cannot wait to listen to the Shaw-Blades version. These guys have taken “Summer Breeze” to an entirely different Rock level, making it seem that much more alive and vibrant. Tommy Shaw sings lights out on “California Dreamin”, having the void of not having a female vocal anywhere in this tremendous song, seem totally appropriate. (However, there will always be only one Mama Cass Elliot). “Time Of The Season” gives me the chills no matter how many times I listen to it, the vocal harmonies and overall musical arrangement and tempered up-tempo of this Shaw-Blades version hits home. “Lucky Man” is an abbreviated version of the original, Shaw-Blades treat this masterful song with the upmost respect. “I Am A Rock” is covered here with a dose of more energy than the original, making it sound even more inspirational the second this song begins. I obviously have fallen head over heels for “Influence”, this is one disc that will lift your spirits in a good old fashioned, Classic Rock way.

All fans of Tommy Shaw and Styx, Jack Blades and Night Ranger have to positively, absolutely, add “Influence” to their music collection. Shaw-Blades have proven to me that they are a class act and stand alone musically. If their musical talents on “Influence” do not blow you away, their vocals surely will. It is not the easiest of tasks to take on so many revered Rock and Roll classics and cover them for a sound that rings of relevancy. I always stand up for Rock and Roll, no matter how far back the roots may lie. If it was not for these legendary bands of yesteryear, along with their brilliant songs, where would any of todays Rock genres be? I live by the credo – know your roots and know where you came from… this holds true for the music I love as well. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades have proven to me over the years they are unique and outstanding musicians. On “Influence” they have done it again, while also upholding the respect and reverence for the history of Rock and Roll.

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HAMMERFALL “No Sacrifice, No Victory” – Power Metal on high

Posted in 1970's Rock, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's power metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, 2009 power metal music, Album Review, classic metal, cool album covers, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current metal albums, european power metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, power metal from sweden, power metal music today, speed metal, symphonic metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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HAMMERFALL has done it again. This Power Metal outfit wasn’t about to release a sound scape of easy listening, calming, ocean waves… no way. “No Sacrifice, No Victory” (released March 24, 2009), is Power Metal with several exclamation points after it. For anyone new to Hammerfall, they are similar in musical style to that of Helloween, a long standing originator of this Power Metal genre. With approximately 15 studio albums behind them, (not counting EP’s, Greatest Hits or Singles), Hammerfall on this new release, sound as if they are hell bent on dominating the world with their Power Metal brand. I am not about to get in their way, if anything I will raise my Metal fist into the air and cry out the lyrics to “Hallowed Be My Name” and be glad I did. If you are totally into Power Metal and cannot become inspired by “No Sacrifice, No Victory”, well, then you are not into Power Metal music at all.

In my Metal opinion, I find beauty to be an attribute of the musical sound of Power Metal. (Yeah, I did say beauty… let’s not get carried away here). On “Something For The Ages”, if one cannot hear the beauty in the melodic guitar leads and solos, then I will stand alone with my belief. (From this day forward, I shall call it Metal beauty). How many Metal bands can make a church organ sound cool in any song? Hammerfall can… on “Between Two Worlds”, courtesy of Power Metal veteran Jens Johansson. Now, do not hesitate to think for one Metal second, that Hammerfall does not hand unto us a heavy, Power Metal album… they do hammer down the heavy, the power… the Power Metal. The background vocals throughout are trademark and at the upmost heightened level throughout “No Sacrifice, No Victory”. Without these backing vocals on high, it would not be Power Metal. If I was to choose one track off this album that carries each crucial characteristic of Hammerfall’s Power Metal, it is “One Of A Kind”. The sweeping and confident lead vocals of Joacim Cans coupled with the musical totality of this band make this song a signature example, for me.

I found it to be a cool surprise, that Hammerfall added the cover version of “My Sharona” to this new album. (Not that Hammerfall is new to cover songs, their “Masterpieces” album is nothing but Vintage Metal cover tunes). The Knack originally released this song on their “Get The Knack” album, (circa 1979), a band and album I always felt was at least a decade ahead of their time. (I found this vintage album at a thrift store a couple months ago… mint condition and 50 cents too). Not to get stranded here, I really do admire Hammerfall for covering “My Sharona” and recognizing a true classic, a song that bordered and teetered on Punk, New Wave and Rock – an interwoven treat of a band is celebrated here by Hammerfall, The Knack should feel great about now. As for the cover version by Hammerfall? It Rocks, very well indeed. I have made a new rule about this “My Sharona” cover song… I must always play it extremely loud for maximum listening pleasure. Will Hammerfall resurrect “My Sharona” and once again make it a #1 hit single? Of course not, yet who cares? This song, being the last track on the album, is a grand way to end “No Sacrifice, No Victory”.

From the high, all enveloping lead and backing vocals, to the searing and soaring guitar leads, numerous and melodic solos, combined with the groove and thump of the rhythm section – add the keyboards and organ for the sensory surround sound that gives Power Metal it’s name… you will have ventured into the Metal world of Hammerfall’s “No Sacrifice, No Victory”.

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