Archive for the progressive metal music Category

IRON MAIDEN “The Number Of The Beast” – Metal Excellence From 1982 Is Never Forgotten

Posted in hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal songs, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, new wave of british heavy metal, progressive metal music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

IRON MAIDEN – Just the album cover art with Eddie descending upon the devil is Metal excellence. Derek Riggs was the real deal in creating Iron Maiden album covers… no one else comes even close in my Metal opinion. Getting past the album cover art from The Number Of The Beast and diving into the songs is like a parallel journey of the Metal senses. This is an album, where the cover art represents the songs heard within to brilliant perfection. Invaders, The Number Of The Beast, Run To The Hills, Hallowed Be Thy Name and Children Of The Damned are songs that I can listen to and instantly have this album cover art imbedded in my minds eye. Every song on this ultra-incredible Iron Maiden album does this to me for argument sakes.

This album cover art for The Number Of The Beast has never lost it’s awestruck affect on me, nor have the songs. I toil away, within my own thoughts, as to which album is the “greatest” Heavy Metal album ever… almost on a daily basis. I chose the Black Sabbath classic, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath from 1973, some years ago and have stuck to it since, as being the “greatest” Heavy Metal album ever. Of course this is a “personal” choice of mine and it may change one day… so is the life of being a devout Metalhead, I guess. What gets at me though, is every time I listen to The Number Of The Beast, I feel as this album can very well be considered “the greatest” Heavy Metal album ever. Metal be thy name.

I have always looked upon the first six Iron Maiden albums as being my personal favorites. Convict me of being “Old School”… only I’m not crying in any damned beer about it. God forbid If I remember which albums are the true “classics” of the Heavy Metal genre. To embrace Iron Maiden’s The Final Frontier as the way it “should be” and totally disregard the true essence of this legendary band’s Metal identity of style and sound would make me a phony fan. The Number Of The Beast is an unforgettable Heavy Metal album for me, due to it’s dark themes and 100% dark sound, feel and vibe. The Final Frontier is a new album from Iron Maiden, while The Number Of The Beast is a pulsating highlight of this bands career.

The Number Of The Beast would be the last studio album that has Clive Burr sitting behind the drums. Yes, Iron Maiden did have another drummer… and he was pretty damn good too. Clive Burr was the drummer on the first two Iron Maiden albums as well: Iron Maiden and Killers. This album is also the first that showcases the uncannily soaring vocals of Bruce Dickinson. I look upon The Number Of The Beast as one of the keys that unlocked the door to Metal for me, introducing me to a darker side of Metal when it came to lyrics, as well as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal – (NWOBHM).

The Number Of The Beast was released back in March of 1982, while Screaming For Vengeance by Judas Priest was released in July of the same year. Suffice to say, I realized quickly that these British Heavy Metal Bands were very serious about their Metal back then… and still are. The mood that The Number Of The Beast radiates is untouchable by any other band, a mood so unique that it seems to zero in on my sub-conscious and touches off a feeling of eerie psyche-outness.

Hallowed Be Thy Name is my favorite song on this album, very haunting and desolate are the lyrics. Waiting for your time to die by hanging is as depressingly creepy as you can get with lyrics, only Iron Maiden makes this song seem almost inspiring through it’s melodic Metal… thanks to Dave Murray and Adrian Smith on guitars. Steve Harris on bass even makes the rhythmic melody escalate on this classic Metal song.

On these earlier Iron Maiden albums, especially The Number Of The Beast, the sound coming from Steve Harris’s bass is unlike anything I had ever heard before, almost like Steve Harris was a lead guitarist playing bass. Steve Harris brought to my attention as a young lad, that the bass guitar was just as magical as the guitar to my Metal sponges otherwise known as ears. The atmosphere that Steve Harris created with his bass along with Dave and Adrian’s duo guitars throughout the songs on The Number Of The Beast is what gives this album and band their Metal trademark, in my Metal opinion.

Even as a young lad, I never interpreted Iron Maiden to be a Satanic band due to this or any album they created before it. I was into Creature Feature on Saturday mornings and I never thought of Boris KarloffBéla Lugosi or Lon Chaney Sr. or Jr. to be Satanists either. I’ve always left the Satanic finger pointing to the self-righteous Phd’s and scholars, that try to tell the human race how to live. Metal be thy name.

Any band of any Rock genre can tweak or change their entire approach, in how they want to sound or write music. The one constant that can never change is which album or albums that any respective band created that are considered to be measuring sticks of a particular Metal era… and looked upon as classics. The Number Of The Beast is one such classic, from an era when Heavy Metal was not just being molded into form, Heavy Metal was breathing a new found life into a generation of fans that are undisputedly loyal to this very moment. I’m one of them… and The Number Of The Beast shall continue to breathe it’s tantalizing, Old School and macabre teetering spell on me till the end of days.

This is one Iron Maiden album I still have the vinyl copy of… still in unreal great condition too. I without question, upgraded this classic to CD years ago as well. No, I don’t have a cassette version, yet if I find one I’d probably buy it, just to play in my good ‘ol Ford Taurus. The Number Of The Beast has become, over the decades, not just a required album to own if you are a Metalhead… this Iron Maiden album could easily be described as an absolute and necessary appendage to thine Metal senses. This is my Metal opinion, so let it be Metal written, so let it be Metal done.

* For more info on IRON MAIDEN, just click this link: IRON MAIDEN

IRON MAIDEN as they appeared on The Number Of The Beast:

Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals

Steve Harris – bass

Dave Murray – guitar

Adrian Smith – guitar

Clive Burr – drums

Original 1982 Track Listing For The Number Of The Beast:

Invaders

Children Of The Damned

The Prisoner

22 Acacia Avenue

The Number Of The Beast

Run To The Hills

Gangland

Hallowed Be Thy Name

* On May 9, 2009, I posted why I feel Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the “Greatest Heavy Metal Album of All Time”. Just click the large header below to read it… if you like.

The greatest Heavy Metal album of all time is…

* On December 6, 2009, I posted about my antique store find… the picture disc of IRON MAIDEN – Run To The Hills. The B side is the song – Total Eclipse, which did not appear on The Number Of The Beast in 1982. Total Eclipse later appeared on the 1995 CD reissue of The Number Of The Beast. You can read more about this fantastic picture disc I found, with photos of it, by clicking the oversized header below:

IRON MAIDEN “RUN TO THE HILLS” PICTURE DISC – AN ANTIQUE STORE FIND!

LONG LIVE IRON MAIDEN.

Stone.

REDEMPTION “SNOWFALL ON JUDGEMENT DAY” – A PROGRESSIVE METAL ALBUM NOT TO OVERLOOK

Posted in hard rock albums, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal albums, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

REDEMPTION – Snowfall On Judgement Day is an entertaining listen in quality Progressive Melodic Metal. Released on October 6, 2009, (on InsideOut Music/The Century Family Inc.). Snowfall On Judgement Day marks the fourth studio album release from Redemption. Each song is thoughtfully written lyrically, with very impressive musicianship throughout. The songs on this album are layered with an almost exquisite sheen, with all the ambiance and textures one can expect from a Progressive Metal Band of substance.

The vocals of Ray Alder are pronounced, while never overreaching. Ray Alder is a veteran of the Metal Music world, while also being the lead vocalist for the quite famous – Fates Warning. Redemption plays as a seamless and cohesive unit, making each song the star on Snowfall On Judgement Day. Nick van Dyk and Bernie Versailles are a potent duo on guitars, adding very interesting and downright likable melodic moments from beginning to end on this album. Greg Hosharian on keyboards adds all the atmospheric and melodic elements of mysticism, openness, sense of flight and emotional highs and lows. I guess Greg seems to cover it all, when it comes to sensory interpretation of his keyboard playing.

Chris Quirarte plays drums in the spirit and style of one Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater fame. This comparison may sound complimentary, which is rightfully justified, in my Metal opinion. Chris comes across to me as a drummer not trying to play hard and stand out, he is just simply mastering the beats and adding all the right drum fills within each song heard. What more can one ask for from their drummer? With each musician in Redemption seeming to convey their astuteness for their craft, I still need to mention Sean Andrews on bass, who helps anchor the rhythm section and doesn’t fall short on speed when the song dictates.

James LaBrie, lead vocalist for Dream Theater, is a guest vocalist on the song Another Day Dies. This song captures an almost total Euro Power Metal sound and feel. It’s the guitar leads and solo that seem to keep it from melting over completely into this comparison. James LaBrie’s vocals makes for a perfect match, with this Progressive Metal style that is Redemption. I still like Ray Alder fronting this band though, he is by no means a second tier front man. The harmony and tone of Ray Alder’s vocals are tailor made for Redemption… to my ears anyways.

Hopefully, my descriptive thoughts on Redemption as musicians, can help you understand just how the songs play out on Snowfall On Judgement Day. This band and this particular album should not be relegated to the back of the line. Flying under the Progressive Metal radar can’t be a reality in Redemption’s future. When there are so many bands and their albums to choose from in the vast world of Heavy Music genres, it’s a band like Redemption that just can’t go overlooked. I invite anyone who loves to hear songs and not four minute hits, to step right into the Progressive Metal creation that is Snowfall On Judgement Day.

Fans of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Coheed And Cambria and Mastodon should be very enthused by Redemption and Snowfall On Judgement Day. I’m pleased to have purchased this album and I highly recommend Redemption to any fan of Hard Rock or Heavy Metal that is looking to expand their music listening interests in a more progressive way.

* The song Keep Breathing, is an emotional and tender song written in dedication to Nick van Dyk’s daughter Parker. On the last page of the liner notes, what I read broke my heart. Being a father of twin daughters, the medical battle that Nick’s daughter Parker is going through just really hit home with me. To directly quote Nick van Dyk: “my daughter Parker was diagnosed with a terrible eye condition called Cone Dystrophy. This is a genetic condition, that prevents the retina from forming properly, resulting in the loss of central vision”. Nick writes: “there is currently no cure or treatment for Cone Dystrophy… even with corrective lenses, her vision will be 20/200 or worse. She will be unable to drive a car and do many things that people take for granted”.

Nick van Dyk continues, in the liner notes: If you are looking for a charity to support, please consider the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which can be found at http://www.blindness.org”.

* For more info on Redemption, just click on the links below:

REDEMPTION – Official Website

REDEMPTION – myspace music page

Redemption, as they appeared on Snowfall On Judgement Day:

Ray Alder – vocals

Nick van Dyk – guitar & keyboards

Bernie Versailles – guitar

Sean Andrews – bass guitar

Chris Quirarte – drums

Greg Hosharian – keyboards & keyboard solos

* Snowfall On Judgement Day was produced by Nick Van Dyk and Tommy Hansen.

Track listing for Snowfall On Judgement Day:

Peel

Walls

Leviathan Rising

Black And White World

Unformed

Keep Breathing

Another Day Dies (With guest vocalist James LaBrie)

What Will You Say?

Fistful Of Sand

Love Kills Us All/Life In One Day

Stone.

IRON MAIDEN – “THE FINAL FRONTIER” ALBUM INFO TO KNOW!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, heavy metal videos, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

IRON MAIDEN – The fifteenth studio album from the unparalleled legends of Metal will be released on August 17, 2010, on Sony Legacy. The album is called…

IRON MAIDEN – THE FINAL FRONTIER

Check out – The Final Frontier – Directors Cut, which was aired worldwide on July 13, on Iron Maiden’s official website! (See link below)

As a lifelong fan of IRON MAIDEN, I will readily admit my unreal anticipation and excitement for The Final Frontier. Each time I listen to the song, Satellite 15..The Final Frontier, (the new Iron Maiden music video), I realize that Bruce Dickinson’s vocals have never sounded more prolific and the band never more powerful. IRON MAIDEN hasn’t just stood the test of time, they have obliterated any thoughts of not staying on top of the Metal world.

The Metal world as I know and listen to it… would never be this dynamic, proud, supercharged and full-scale if not for IRON MAIDEN. Truth be told… my life as a Metalhead would not have been the same, if not for the catalog of albums created by IRON MAIDEN. I can only state this about a select group of Metal bands… and IRON MAIDEN rises triumphantly from this group. Metal be thy name.

* Visit the IRON MAIDEN official website by clicking here: IRON MAIDEN

* The Final Frontier album cover artwork is created by Melvyn Grant. For more info on this amazing artist, click the link below:

MELVYN GRANT – Universal Artist and Illustrator

IRON MAIDEN ARE:

Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals

Steve Harris – bass

Dave Murray – guitar

Adrian Smith – guitar

Janick Gers – guitar

Nicko McBrain – drums, percussion

Track listing for – THE FINAL FRONTIER:

Satellite 15..The Final Frontier

El Dorado

Mother Of Mercy

Coming Home

The Alchemist

Isle Of Avalon

Starblind

The Talisman

The Man Who Would Be King

When The Wild Wind Blows

LONG LIVE IRON MAIDEN!

Stone.

IRON MAIDEN – “BRAVE NEW WORLD” ALBUM FROM 2000

Posted in hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal videos, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

IRON MAIDEN – In May of 2000, the beyond legendary Iron Maiden released the twelfth studio album of their unparalleled Heavy Metal career. Brave New World is studio album #12 from Iron Maiden and marked the return of their most prolific lead vocalist – Bruce Dickinson. (After 1992’s Fear Of The Dark album, Bruce Dickinson left Iron Maiden to pursue what became a successful solo career). The two Iron Maiden albums before Brave New World, The X Factor from 1995 and Virtual XI from 1998, featured the strong and capable vocals of Blaze Bayley. There was and always shall be, however, only “one” Bruce Dickinson and Brave New World resonates with his unreal unique, Metal/operatic vocals.

Brave New World is the album that also glistens with the return of long-time Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith. The 1981 album Killers was Adrian Smith’s coming out party for Iron Maiden. With two signature band members in Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, returning to the Heavy Metal historic band known as Iron Maiden, Brave New World was a real return to the make-up of how this band is truly embraced and perceived by their countless fans across the continents.

IRON MAIDEN – Rock In Rio (2002), concert supporting the Brave New World album.

IRON MAIDEN RETURNS! WITH STUDIO ALBUM #15!

THE FINAL FRONTIER – RELEASES AUGUST 17, 2010!!!

LONG LIVE IRON MAIDEN!

Stone.

KARNIVOOL – “SOUND AWAKE” IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF PROGRESSIVE & HEAVY ROCK

Posted in alternative rock music, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal music, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

KARNIVOOL – Released on February 16, 2010, on Sony Music Entertainment, Sound Awake has already achieved Gold Certification in Australia, (Karnivool’s home country). Following their impressive and progressively hard & heavy album debut Themata from 2005, Karnivool has shown their fans and the music world they are not about to be stamped out by any sophomore jinx. If life is about taking chances, then Karnivool has inadvertently self inflicted themselves as being risk takers in the vast world of Heavy Music. A Progressive and Alternative sound can be a make or break proposition, when a band wants to embark on the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Universe. Karnivool has not only embarked with their Themata release from 2005, they have now forged their very own identity and placement, among the Progressive and Alternative Heavy Music battalion with Sound Awake.

Sound Awake opens up with Simple Boy, immediately setting the table for what Karnivool is serving one’s ears. Layered with exquisite guitars, the breakdowns are smart and intensely interesting. Throw in the buzzing sound of a bee and Simple Boy is just the beginning of this Heavy Progressive mind buffet. Ian Kenny on lead vocals resonates, hitting some high pitches that are Arena quality. Set Fire To The Hive showcases vocal and sound effects to heighten the modernism that this song permeates. Karnivool never loses sight of their musical heaviness on Set Fire To The Hive, while delivering an upper cut to the chin with their multi-layered progressive attack.

The Medicine Wears Off times out at 1:50, quite contrary to any Old School Progressive standards. Just bear in mind, this is not about sticking to convention with Sound Awake, a strong musical characteristic that Karnivool bestows is diversity and The Medicine Wears Off mellows down the pace with this semi-surreal song. Illumine can and rightfully should be a standout song on this album. The consistent up-tempo combined with it’s overall melodic vibe, makes Illumine a song that’s incredibly memorable. To label Illumine a hit is non-essential, this song is a star amongst many on Sound Awake.

Deadman is one of two songs on Sound Awake that has a running time of over ten minutes. This is what Progressive Rock is about, the song. If one is looking for the mind journey experience with Karnivool, thou shall not be disappointed with Deadman. Lyrically complete as it is musically precise, Deadman leads with it’s formidable and Alternative vocal presence courtesy of Ian Kenny, which fuses so well with the abstract sound and feel of it’s hard edged music. The abrupt climax to Deadman only exemplifies the artistic style that Karnivool has established for themselves as a band. Listening to Deadman makes me truly realize that Karnivool is all about music and all about the song.

To mention Deadman and not acknowledge the other ten minute-plus epic would be a travesty. Change is a song that develops itself into an array of musical doors that keep opening around me, inviting me in and weaving it’s Progressive signatures, in a manner that is embracingly captivating to my senses. It is very easy to wander off into a kaleidoscope of musical thoughts while listening to Change, an all natural affect that I am more than willing to experience again and again. In it’s totality, Sound Awake is a Progressive Kaleidoscope of songs, just waiting to be heard by anyone who loves music… period.

The musicians of Karnivool are obviously incredibly astute, with an awareness for capturing the nuances of their instruments in their most enhanced state, coupled with the almost sense of urgency to articulate the music as if it is fine art. Has Karnivool broken any new ground in this ever changing landscape of Progressive Rock genres? I can confidently say yes, with their uniqueness being highlighted by their musical and vocal diversity. Karnivool is not a band concentrating on making the hit single. Instead, Karnivool obviously has succeeded at making a complete album of richly written songs, which only reflects on their being a highly talented band that shall continue to rise. Please excuse me now… Sound Awake beckons me to listen once again.

KARNIVOOL IS:

Drew Goddard – guitar

Ian Kenny – vocals

Jon Stockman – bass

Mark Hosking – guitar

Steve Judd – drums

Track Listing For Sound Awake:

Simple Boy

Goliath

New Day

Set Fire To The Hive

Umbra

All I Know

The Medicine Wears Off

The Caudal Lure

Illumine

Deadman

Change

* Check out the music video for Set Fire To The Hive:

* For more info on KARNIVOOL, just click on the links below!

KARNIVOOL – MySpace Music Page

KARNIVOOL – Official Website

YouTube

Stone.

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – “THE GREAT MISDIRECT” IS A PROGRESSIVE & HEAVY MIND ADVENTURE

Posted in Album Review, alternative metal music, current heavy metal albums, current progressive metal albums, current progressive metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal 2009, progressive metal albums, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, progressive metal songs, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – The Great Misdirect is a Progressive Metal album that was released on October 26, 2009, on Victory Records. I received this CD as a Christmas gift from my wife and daughters, therefore, my first listen to The Great Misdirect was in the final days of last year. Metal truth be told, this is my very first Between The Buried And Me album that I have ever owned… or listened to. Stagnant, same-old, status quo and ho-hum are words that DO NOT describe The Great Misdirect. Heavy, progressive, semi-psychedelic, retrospective, layered and mind adventure are words THAT DO describe this dynamic album. As I listened intently to The Great Misdirect, I swear that this is a band that has taken a time machine from the mid 1970’s to present day… and they have been kidnapped and forced to create heavier music than they are used to, while still being able to incorporate their own style of Classic Rock into the structure of the songs. Call this thought nutty, call it science fiction, still, this is the type of mind wandering that Between The Buried And Me are all about with their lyrics anyways! It’s not just a fascination with this band being different that gets me… it’s the sheer fascination that this band is damned good at writing Heavy Progressive Music and playing it too.

Just by reading the lyrics to Fossil Genera – A Feed From Cloud Mountain, I realize that BTBAM’s vocalist Tommy Rogers is open minded and embraces the science fiction side of thought and conspiracy theories, (where his actual views stand on such topics, I do not know). Needless to say, just reading the lyrics found within the liner notes is an adventure. As goes Progressive Metal, the moment I sit back and chill to a lengthy interlude of mellow musical interplay, the quicker I have to sit up/get up to the heavy guitar riffs and leads, the bombastic rhythm section and/or the Extreme Metal vocals. (Pssst… I don’t mind it one Metal bit).

Yes, Grand Funk Railroad and any other Classic Rock band of legend should be proud of the astute usage of keyboards found within The Great Misdirect. Once again, Tommy Rogers is at the helm on the keys, raising such a familiar 1970’s sound that actually seems to resonate above the heaviness. Tommy Rogers also seems to go back and forth from extreme to traditional vocals rather effortlessly. As a unit, BTBAM are smart as they are talented with their playing, improvisation with this band in a live setting should never pose a problem.

Mirrors opens The Great Misdirect in a solemn, ultra mellow and quaint way. Lyrically, Mirrors exhibits a person who is without question, disassociated with the world around him/her… both people and things included. Ah, don’t let the opener of Mirrors fool you however, Obfuscation burrows right into my Metal soul… almost without warning, then subsides into a legitimate progressive pattern that BTBAM have indeed succeeded at. Metal Odyssey Note: Obfuscation means to be unclear, evasive or confusing. I actually had to look this word up, yeah, I did. Using a dictionary is cool.

Disease, Injury, Madness is over eleven minutes long, basically a Progressive Metal epic. Too bad this song wasn’t an hour long… it’s that good for me. As being an admirer of Mastodon, DaathDream Theater, Yes and The Electric Light Orchestra, my progressive Rock fan roots are as diverse as the Universe itself. Then again, when I think about it, isn’t the word diverse a major characteristic of Progressive Metal to begin with? Between The Buried And Me have recruited a NEW fan, I will gleefully dig into their back catalog without blinking a Metal eye.

Track Listing for The Great Misdirect:

Mirrors and Obfuscation – Metal Odyssey Note: (Mirrors plays out as an introduction to Obfuscation)

Disease, Injury, Madness

Swim To The Moon

Desert Of Song

Fossil Genera – A Feed from Cloud Mountain

Between The Buried And Me, as they appear on The Great Misdirect:

Tommy Rogers – vocals, keys and lyrics

Dan Briggs – bass, fretless bass

Dustie Waring – electric guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar and guitar effects

Paul Waggoner – electric guitar, steel string acoustic guitar, classical guitar and lap steel guitar

Blake Richardson – drums and percussion

MASTODON – “DIVINATIONS” PICTURE DISC SINGLE IS A METAL MUSIC FIND!

Posted in collecting heavy metal albums, collecting metal music, cool album covers, current progressive metal music, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal on vinyl, heavy metal picture discs, heavy metal record finds, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, picture discs, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock music, progressive metal, progressive metal 2009, progressive metal albums, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MASTODON. Hot Topic. What do these two Metal Music names have in common? I recently, (last weekend), found the Mastodon – Divinations, 12″ picture disc single… at Hot Topic. Oh, that’s not all… this Mastodon picture disc single only set me back $2.54! That’s not a type-o… $2.54. Much cheaper than a pound of imported ham, currently selling at the local deli. (The original retail price for this picture disc runs around $14). You might query, as to how did I pay such a rock bottom price for this unreal great, Mastodon picture disc. Clearance racks RULE. As I entered Hot Topic, my wife informed me she was heading to the back of the store… to the clearance racks, was my Metal suspicion. It’s funny how I always become engaged by looking over the other stuff at Hot Topic, each time I go there, forgetting to hit the clearance racks first. The t-shirts, rings, vinyl album and CD racks never fail to distract my attention from those glorious clearance racks. I can always count on my wife to hone in on those racks of discounted Metal treasures though!

It’s always a Metal thrill when you can score your favorite bands on the discount racks. This is not the first time we have found very cool vinyl, discounted at Hot Topic. Just as we were checking out at the register, one of the Hot Topic employees raced over to the discount racks where this Mastodon picture disc was found… this employee proceeded to nab the lone remaining copy of Divinations, as well as other assorted vinyl too. She said she wanted to make her move, before the discounted stuff was gone. I can’t blame her one Metal bit. We did pick up other discounted vinyl at Hot Topic that same visit… I will wait to blab about it on future posts because the finds are that unreal great.

This Mastodon Divinations, 12″ picture disc single has the following two songs:

Side A: Divinations(From the 2009 release – Crack The Skye)

Side B: Divinations (Instrumental)

I really, really, like the Progressive Metal that simmers with touches of psychedelia, from the Crack The Skye album that Mastodon released in 2009. I like it so much that I picked it to be #7 in my list of top 25 Heavy Metal albums for 2009. You can check it out by clicking the link below:

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP 25 HEAVY METAL ALBUMS OF 2009

You can also just click on the header below to read my review for Mastodon – Crack The Skye, which I posted on May 6, 2009:

Mastodon “Crack The Skye” is a cool Metal journey to take

Here is the front view of this terrific Mastodon 12″ Divinations picture disc single:


HEAVY METAL 101: GREATEST HITS CD’S WORTH OWNING

Posted in 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In striving to make the world a better place, by spreading the blissful two words of Heavy Metal (and any and all Extreme Music), here is a cool list of Greatest Hits CD’s from some very worthy bands and musicians. This list may quite possibly trigger a mad dash to itunes or your nearest record/CD store upon your review. Greatest Hits or Best Of CD’s are sometimes the perfect fix if you do not have any of the respective band’s albums/CD’s already. If you are like me, (a collector and sometimes over excited fan), you may like some or many bands so much, you just need to own everything that is available by such bands, including Greatest Hits. If this list of incredible Greatest Hits CD’s recruits even one new fan to the Heavy/Extreme Music genres, then I have done a fine Metal deed. Please note, I own each Greatest Hits or so named CD on this list… I could never recommend an album/CD without listening to it’s entirety and/or having ownership of. Integrity in Heavy Metal Music recommendations is an ethical must.

The Best Of Ted NugentGreat Gonzos! – Absolutely a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal fusion with The Motor City Madman. Cat Scratch Fever, Stranglehold, Wango Tango, Free For All and Dog Eat Dog are late 1970’s into early 1980’s FM radio Classics. Old School and not a lick here that isn’t memorable for Metal life. Plus, the reissue has 3 bonus tracks too.

IRON MAIDEN – Somewhere Back In Time/The Best Of 1980 – 1989 – An undeniably great assortment of Iron Maiden classics, spanning the unreal Metal ’80’s. 2 Minutes To Midnight and The Trooper are enough to get me psyched out of my Metal mind for at least an hour. In my Metal opinion, Iron Maiden could have/should have released a 2 – disc greatest hits, they have that many incredible songs in their Metal catalog. Yes they do.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix – A Hard Rock evolving into Heavy Metal history lesson is heard here on this album. This album of Jimi Hendrix songs are beyond great… their damn sacred. Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, Hey Joe, Foxy Lady, All Along The Watchtower and the Rock historical – Star Spangled Banner… c’mon, these songs are the Metal building blocks of every Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock genre out there today. 20 songs total on this masterful collection, not a must have… a no brainer must own.

DIO – The Very Beast Of DIORonnie James Dio is a living Metal legend. His vocals for me, are the epitome of what Heavy Metal singing is all about. Dio’s solo career takes center stage on this amazing collection of greatest hits. Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark, Rock and Roll Children, Mystery and The Last In Line are DIO songs that pack the same potent Metal punch to my ears and senses… as they did back in the 1980’s. 16 songs total on this DIO disc. Metal masterpieces only sound better with age.

Black Sabbath – The Dio Years – I find this collection of Black Sabbath songs to be uncannily irresistible. These are the Black Sabbath songs from the Ronnie James Dio era, with the Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer albums all represented. This same Black Sabbath lineup may be called Heaven and Hell in 2009, yet does it really matter? Their still Black Sabbath to me.

Twisted Sister – Big Hits and Nasty Cuts – Dee Snider made Heavy Metal all the more visible on MTV with the Twisted Sister video We’re Not Gonna Take It, back in 1984. This Twisted Sister greatest hits album is loaded with 6 live bonus tracks as well. This is another band that could easily fill up more than one disc of great songs from their Heavy Metal catalog. Under The Blade and The Kids Are Back are my two favorites on this one.

KISS – Double Platinum – I have proudly owned this album since it’s release back in 1978. I was in seventh grade back then and this was my very first KISS album. My Double Platinum album is still in beautiful condition too. A 2 record set, opening up as a gatefold, this album also included a platinum record certificate to the fan who purchased it. (I wish I kept this piece of KISS memorabilia, it was just made of paper and it hung on my bedroom wall for several years, when I was a kid of course). The important thing is I still have Double Platinum on vinyl… plus I upgraded Double Platinum by buying the CD many years ago too. (It is not a double CD, all the songs are on just one… I don’t know if this ever changed over to a double CD over the years). Just about every important and cool KISS song from the 1970’s is on Double Platinum, with Hard Luck Woman and Calling Dr. Love being my two vintage KISS favorites.

Queensryche – Sign of the Times, The Best Of QueensrycheBuying this CD suited me well since many of my Queensryche “albums” were purchased on cassette years ago. Queensryche has always been a favorite of mine, a high powered – progressive Metal Band that crossed over into Rock and Hard Rock too. Musical diversity is no stranger to Queensryche. My two favorites are Queen of the Reich and Jet City Woman. Yes, those two songs are tops on my list.

Alice Cooper – Alice Coopers Greatest Hits – This album was released back in 1974, it is the Greatest Hits of Alice Cooper (The Band). Man, this is Old School Heavy Metal. Sure, some may argue it is comprised of Old School Hard Rock as well… that is fine by me. The Metal bottom line is this: Alice Cooper (The Band), was just as much as important to the creation of Heavy Metal as any other band of their time or before them. That is my Metal opinion and I have to tell it to the world. Oh, yeah, my favorite songs from this Greatest Hits are – No More Mr. Nice Guy, Under My Wheels and well, just every song on this Greatest Hits is great.

Motorhead – The Best Of Motorhead – This is one great and comprehensive double disc, greatest hits of Motorhead. I bought this Motorhead disc due to my needing any and all of their releases, regardless if I already have the songs. This Best Of was released in 2000, with two live bonus tracks included. There are 40 songs total on this double disc Motorhead bounty! Also found on The Best Of Motorhead are: Hawkwind playing Motorhead, Girlschool covers Bomber and Headgirl covering Please Don’t Touch. The history of Motorhead is covered up to the year 2000, from Ace of Spades to the Motorhead cover version of God Save The Queen. Plus, my favorite Motorhead song of all time is on here too – Killed By Death, from the No Remorse (Greatest Hits album). Long live Lemmy and Motorhead.

I could go on and on with this list of Heavy Metal Greatest Hits CD’s worth owning. Showing and quipping about some of the Greatest Hits CD’s I own, can maybe help out someone who is on the fence about one of these bands or musicians. These CD’s above are all consistently listened to by me, they are perfect for when I’m in the mood to hear the choice songs from these bands/musicians. As Dee Snider has sung, with Heavy Metal pride: You can’t stop Rock and Roll!

DREAM THEATER – “WITHER” IS MY STANDOUT SONG FOR 2009

Posted in 1990's progressive metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal songs 2009, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal, progressive metal 2009, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal songs, progressive metal today, progressive metal videos, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Dream Theater are such amazing musicians, it is scary. I liken Dream Theater to a “Heavy Metal Electric Light Orchestra”. Of course, that is my humble, Metal opinion. The song Wither, from the 2009 Dream Theater album Black Clouds & Silver Linings, (on Roadrunner Records), is an incredible work of Progressive Metal. This song has struck a chord with me, (not to sound sappy), with all of it’s content. With it’s layering of music, lyrics, mood and edginess, Wither is a song that stands out amongst a ton of music I have been listening to, this past year of 2009. I always tend to shy away from ballads, only this is Dream Theater… and I’m all ears to Wither. James LaBrie has flawless vocals on Wither, amazing. Hopefully you can enjoy this song and video of Wither as much as I do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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MAGNUM – Discography of studio & live albums

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock music, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock music this decade, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, progressive rock, progressive rock discography, progressive rock music, Rock, rock music, vintage hard rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

magnum

Magnum, the Progressive Rock/Hard Rock band that I really get a thrill out of listening to. At times, they can be heavy, ever so melodic… if you are into true Classic Rock/Hard Rock and/or Progressive music, you should give Magnum a try… this discography you may find useful. Magnum has been making music since their debut album “Kingdom Of Madness” from 1978. Covering four decades, this is a band that gets my attention and respect. Musicianship, Magnum.

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Studio Albums: 

Kingdom Of Madness * Magnum II * Chase The Dragon * The Eleventh Hour * On A Storyteller’s Night * Vigilante * Wings Of Heaven * Goodnight L.A. * Sleepwalking * Keeping The Nite Light Burning * Rock Art * Breath Of Life * Brand New Morning * Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow * Into The Valley Of The Moon King *

Live Albums:

Marauder * Invasion Live * The Spirit * The Last Dance * Stronghold * Days Of Wonder * The River Sessions * Wings Of Heaven Live *

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IRON MAIDEN “FLIGHT 666” is now boarding Metalheads!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ISIS – “Holy Tears” EP is Prog Metal worth checking out

Posted in Album Review, avant-garde metal albums, avant-garde metal music, cool album covers, current metal albums, current prog metal albums, current prog metal music, current progressive metal albums, current progressive metal eps, current progressive metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, progressive rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I have read many an article and interview recently in regards to Isis. In my Metal opinion, Isis is a Progressive Metal band. Now, I have read professionally paid critics label Isis as an… Art Metal Band??? I have absolutely, positively, no clue as to what an Art Metal Band is supposed to look like or sound like. Maybe there is an Art Metal Band out there somewhere… and this band draws and paints on stage while they play Metal music. I dunno. The only thing I find artsy about Isis is the CD cover artwork. Despite the mislabeling that goes on every day in Metal music… rest assured… Isis is Progressive Metal. This is a darn right decent band too – they have all the Metal tools to create some elaborate and layered Metal tunes. (In other words, Progressive Metal tunes). I like the Death Metal growls, the vocal placement that Isis gives for them on their songs works out rather well for me. The combination of normal vocals with Death Metal vocals is not new, yet set within the Metal – musical framework of Isis, it sounds rather cutting edge. 

Isis is different, they stand out, that is cool. They show their musical influences, yet they are rather original when it comes to Progressive Metal, that is my Metal take anyway. Yeah, the Pink Floyd influence is evident with the Metal of Isis, yet that is what you can expect from Progressive Metal. Now, maybe the members of Isis would say they do not hear any Pink Floyd influence in their Metal… that is fine, it is just my Metal ears telling my Metal brain what they hear. Many Progressive Metal bands have proved to me, that you can space-out to this genre of Metal, Isis is no exception. That is why I like Progressive Metal in the first place, this type of Metal affects me a whole bunch differently than say, Manowar. (It would be next to impossible to space-out to the legendary and explosive Heavy Metal of Manowar).

If you are thinking of diving into some Isis Progressive Metal, my recommendation would be to get a copy of the “Holy Tears” EP, (released February 5, 2008), it is not as costly as a regular CD and it is a cool barometer of just what Isis has to offer with their music. The three tracks on this EP are: “Holy Tears”, “Not Rivers, But In Drops” and a live version of “Holy Tears”. A video (CD-rom) for “Holy Tears” also comes on this EP as well. I have no Metal reservations about recommending Isis to fans of Progressive Metal at all. Metal fans of other genres may want to diversify a bit and give Isis a listen too. I know I did, I have no Metal regrets.

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Enslaved “Vertebrae” – Progressive, Black Metal raises the bar

Posted in Album Review, Black Metal, black metal 2008, black metal 2009, black metal from norway, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current progressive metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, norwegian black metal, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, recent heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Enslaved, from Norway, has created quite the exquisite Black Metal album with “Vertebrae”. Why do I use the adjective exquisite to describe this album? Well, I revere the Progressive Metal of Mastodon and Dream Theater, the legendary Progressive Rock of Pink Floyd and the groove infested Black Metal of Satyricon. Enslaved encompasses the most Metal and progressively delicious elements from these favorite bands of mine, while incorporating them into their very own startlingly, mind popping sound. What Enslaved has done here, is taken Rock and Metal influences to a new level, creating an album that embraces everything that is brilliant about Heavy and Progressive music. (I am not saying Enslaved actually looked to these bands for inspiration, this is just my musical and Metal interpretation and/or opinion). Enslaved has their roots in Black Metal, a musical track record that overflows with Metal bragging rights… “Vertebrae” by no means exemplifies this band as not being original. This album is as original as it gets… I cannot truly count how many Metal bands there are, that dare to experiment with music so valiantly.

Black Metal has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis over the years… so have the other Metal genres. There will always be the blue collar – true to the roots style of Black Metal, it deserves it’s rightful place in the Metal universe. Enslaved, like their counterparts Satyricon, have taken the Black Metal stylings and tweaked them, in this case, Enslaved progressively tweaked. As with anything in life, change is a natural necessity that either is accepted or rejected. Change in the musical circles of Metal can often times be equated to selling out or mellowing down, every fan of Metal has their own right to personally object or accept what they want from their music. My point I am trying to make here is, Enslaved has not deceived me or let me down with their brand of Progressive, Black Metal on “Vertebrae”. Vintage Venom and Mercyful Fate will forever and always be at my Metal reach, Enslaved “Vertebrae” is an extension of what happens when musical and Metal barriers are broken down. 

In an all encompassing summary of the seven songs on “Vertebrae”, I hear the nod to the forefathers of Black Metal, with especially the lead vocals and the dark, macabre and searingly moody ambiance, coming from the musical background elements. The keyboards and organ can create Black Metal which pays homage to the original sound of this band and genre, it can also create the progressive path in which “Vertebrae” aims for as well. Herbrand Larsen is simply unreal on the keys, organ and vocals. The same can be said for each member of Enslaved… as a cohesive unit they have connected not only with each other with their Metal skills and prowess, they have also raised the bar musically, in a Metal world that is rapidly interconnecting with each others genres. I cannot resist myself by recommending highly “Vertebrae”, Enslaved has created an album that will be at the top of my Metal list for decades to come.

The members of Enslaved are: Ivar Bjornson on guitars, Grutle Kjellson on vocals & bass, Herbrand Larsen on keyboards, organ & vocals, Cato Bekkevold on drums and Ice Dale on guitars. Enslaved has given the Metal world seven brilliant new songs with “Vertebrae”, thus inspiring me to delve and journey even further into the vast genres and sub-genres of Metal music.

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CKY “Carver City” is diverse, macabre Metal at it’s finest

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current progressive metal albums, hard rock album review, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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I am hopelessly addicted to Metal music. CKY is just another reason why my Metal addiction will never cease. I grabbed, uh, bought my copy of “Carver City” – smack dab on the actual release date of May 19, 2009. You betcha. I was innocently wandering the CD aisles of Wal-Mart, minding my own business, then CKY “Carver City” came into view. I could not resist, nor did I want to try hunting down this new CKY for a cheaper price. For it was there, so shall I buy. I am a steadfast and loyal enthusiast of all Metal, that is why I am very intrigued by CKY and “Carver City”. CKY brings to the Heavy Music table a whole bunch of Metal genres woven into one. These guys are giving Metal fans something different, a change of pace, a stray from the Metal norm, in my Metal opinion.

“The Era Of An End” is heavily saturated with what I will call spooky synthesizer sounds. This is the closing track on this album, a fitting end to an overall macabre Metal work of genius. “Old Carver’s Bones” is heavy, again with sci-fi atmospherics meets creepy synthesizer music and sound effects. The vocals on this tune are enough to not make me want to walk alone at night on a deserted road. Good stuff. “A#1 Roller Rager” is more commercially acceptable, melodic and harmonious. I find this tune to be quite catchy, again different from what is currently flooding the Metal market today. The vocals on “A#1 Roller Rager” sound familiar to the style of 1980’s Arena Rock, yet I am not complaining. (I said earlier CKY is different). “Hellions On Parade”, the opening track that every Metal fan should have heard by now, (due to it being on the internet everywhere prior to the release), works it’s melodic, Metal thumping magic for me. The synthetic textures of music found here on “Carver City” are such an integral style of CKY, that without them, this Metal would not sound so good. “Carver City” is loaded with plenty of cool riffs, impressive backing vocals and heavy ambiance. Everything CKY did here musically seems to seamlessly blend together, forming an imaginative and macabre sound scape of Metal, that I cannot get enough of. The stylistic and progressive theme that CKY ventures into on “Carver City” makes me appreciate this total package here. As a side note, the artwork on the front/back cover and inside the liner notes are perfect, this art fits right into the “Carver City” theme and musical environment. This is a cool, new, Metal album to own for the Summer of 2009 and beyond.

Now I want to call out the names of these guys – they get a gigantic Metal thank you from me for creating “Carver City”: Deron Miller on lead vocals, guitar, bass, moogs, orchestration * Chad I Ginsburg (CIG) on lead guitar, bass, moogs, orchestration and backing vocals * Jess Margera on drums * Matt Deis on bass. RoadRunner Records has yet another amazing Metal band on their roster, this label knows great music when they hear it.

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Mastodon “Crack The Skye” is a cool Metal journey to take

Posted in Album Review, current heavy metal music, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive rock, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9231716I have been reading “professionally paid” music critic reviews about the newest release from Mastodon – “Crack The Skye” – the majority of them  are not even worth discussing or repeating. I dig the new Mastodon album, simply put it rocks. For Metal sakes, anyone who knows Metal, should know and/or understand that Mastodon is and always has been a Progressive Metal band. With the Progressive Metal bands, you never know exactly what you are going to get with the next album. (To solidify my point, just look at Rush, Dream Theater and Queensryche, these bands have always experimented musically). So what, big deal, so the new Mastodon album is not as heavy as their last release “Blood Mountain” – give me a Metal break.

bm-bandThe Metal musical “escape” I feel and hear while listening to “Crack The Skye” is cool for me. The vocals are still heavy, the guitar leads are still heavy, and the rhythm section is the farthest thing musically from 1970’s Hard Rock as you can possibly get. This album was not created in 1977, this Metal is happening now. Sure, there are plenty of synthetic sounds applied to “Crack The Skye,” that is what makes this album progressive. The synthetic interludes and backdrops along with the lyrics are why I call “Crack The Skye” a Metal journey. Mastodon did not provide here, a “rip and tear – let it all loose, heavy frenzy” – if I or any other true Metal fan wants that, heck, I will listen to a Metal band that is supposed to play that way. Suffice to say, in my Metal opinion, Mastodon has created a Progressive Metal gem. Paid and uninformed music critics can call this new album from Mastodon anything they want. The sole reason why I live for Metal music in the first place, is due to it’s diversity with all of the Metal genres. At the end of the day, when you break it all down, musically, Metal will always be… Metal

icons_3I really give praise to the vocals, musicianship, song writing and lyrics on “Crack The Skye” – do I find any flaws? Nope. I could never write or play Metal music this darn good. I recommend to all Mastodon and Metal fans across the globe to chase this album down, play it, enjoy it. Rock out to it. Jump onto “Crack The Skye” and experience the Progressive Metal journey that Mastodon created. Now, just because I want to, here is a roll call of the fine Metal musicians that are Mastodon: Brann Dailor (drums, vocals & percussion), Brent Hinds (lead guitar, vocals & banjo), Bill Kelliher (guitar) and Troy Sanders (bass, vocals & bass synth).

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