Archive for 1980’s metal music

MERCYFUL FATE – “MELISSA” FOREVER REIGNS A METAL CLASSIC!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1983 heavy metal music, black metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1983, heavy metal songs 1983, heavy metal videos, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Mercyful Fate released their first full length studio album, Melissa, back in October of 1983. I remember back then, a high school buddy of mine named rich, he had this album in his clutches as soon as it was released. Rich eventually asked me if I wanted to borrow this album and give it a thorough listen. Listen I did. Metal truth be told, this album spooked the hell out of me back then. Heck, it was 1983, how many bands were out there that sounded like Mercyful Fate with Kind Diamond’s vocals? I remember staring at this album cover, wondering to myself… I’ve been introduced to a band that is heavier than Judas Priest. In 1983, getting my Metal taste buds wet with Judas Priest and Black Sabbath was a big deal… Mercyful Fate just shook my Metal senses loose.

Quite honestly, I cannot recall which album I listened to first back in the day… Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All or Melissa. It doesn’t really matter. The Metal fact is clear, these albums changed the way I and countless others listened to Heavy Metal Music back then… period.

I appreciated Rich lending me Melissa back in 1983, he was a real deal Metalhead and a good dude. Fast forward to today, I have Melissa on CD, it is a staple in my collection, a true Metal Classic. Each time I listen to this album, I am blown away realizing Melissa is from 1983 and it still reigns with all the Metal fury it bestowed from it’s initial release. This was just the beginning for King Diamond… so much Metal history and total quality surrounds Melissa. I never hesitate to consider Melissa as one of the greatest Metal albums ever. If you never heard Mercyful Fate – Melissa before, don’t despair… it’s never too late to appreciate this album and song. Give Melissa a listen below and crank it LOUD!

Mercyful Fate, as they appeared on Melissa:

King Diamond – vocals

Hank Shermann – guitar

Michael Denner – guitar

Timi Hansen – bass guitar

Kim Ruzz – drums

LONG LIVE MERCYFUL FATE AND KING DIAMOND!

IRON MAIDEN – “KILLERS” STILL REIGNS AS A KILLER OF A METAL ALBUM

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1981 heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal bands, essential heavy metal albums, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1981, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from england, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, progressive metal, rock music, scary album covers, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

As decades pass and thousands of Heavy Metal albums are released, there will always be those select titles that are still left standing tall. Iron Maiden Killers is one of those select albums that reigns as a killer for me… 28 years after it’s June 1981, U.S. release. Killers epitomizes Old School Heavy Metal, plus Iron Maiden legitimizes the single word – Metal, as it’s very own sub genre. Whenever I think of “Metal” the first band that comes to my mind is Iron Maiden. I sometimes debate myself senseless, asking why isn’t Iron Maiden my favorite Heavy Metal band of all time? Then, I ease my confusion by just knowing that Iron Maiden is and forever will be a “core” band of mine. Killers essentially was faster and harder than many traditional Heavy Metal albums of it’s time… the great part is that Iron Maiden was just beginning to “touch upon” the progressive side of Metal Music, an attribute they became so legendary for.

Back in 1981, the Thrash Metal movement was the welcomed storm on the horizon… Iron Maiden was the baddest and heaviest outside of just a select group of their peers. Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions and Accept come to mind, when deciphering which Metal bands were as hard and heavy as Iron Maiden, back in 1981. Still, outside of Motorhead, Iron Maiden was about speed, the songs on Killers are overall – fast. Exceptions do exist, Prodigal Son is a slower paced Iron Maiden song without a doubt. The tempo being dictated by the acoustic guitars only magnifies the slender tempered sound of Prodigal Son. (Going back to the debut Iron Maiden album, Remember Tomorrow signified the flirtation with somberness that this legendary band would revisit in future albums, Prodigal Son carry’s over this assertion).

Backtracking to the intro of Killers, The Ides Of March, I insist that this was the sign of all Metal things to come on this prolific album. The Ides Of March is heavy, it is melancholy, dark and foreboding… in essence, a Metal prelude or warning if you will, that Iron Maiden was not fabricating or pretending. Twilight Zone is the song from Killers, where I feel Paul Di’Anno is at his giant best, vocally. Certainly, it is my personal opinion, as is the case with this entire article. Genghis Khan is the Metal instrumental that catapulted the musical identity of Iron Maiden, the trademark sound of this soon to be – historic Metal band. My eyeballs still pop open wide, to this very day, each time I listen to Genghis Khan.

When it comes down to musicianship, what honestly can be nit picked here? Iron Maiden as a unit on Killers made layering famous and vogue – basically instigating Progressive Metal from it’s dormancy. I cannot and never will find a fault with this legendary Iron Maiden lineup, Paul Di’Anno was the lead singer for this band in 1981 and a damned great one too… Metal case closed. Even back in the mid 1980’s, I never gave a damn about comparing Paul Di’Anno to Bruce Dickinson… what’s the point? Any seasoned Metalhead knew then and should know now, that these two lead singers are worlds apart with technique and range. In my Metal opinion, one is not better than the other, they are both unique and stylistically genuine. Paul Di’Anno gave the songs on Killers a mysterious tone, his vocals created a fog invading sound scape that bordered on macabre.

Murders In The Rue Morgue is my favorite song on Killers. Again, it’s speed, hard and heavy that this song illuminates. Paul Di’Anno never needed to hit the highest note on the planet to make Murders In The Rue Morgue an Iron Maiden classic, instead his fiery swagger is not just heard vocally, it is felt. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith unleashing their duo guitar leads proved that there was another one-two Metal guitar punch out there… alongside Metal guitar legends Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing of Judas Priest. Clive Burr on drums was not an enigma, he was THE drummer for Iron Maiden during the most important years of their maturation. And then, there is THE bass guitarist for Iron Maiden. To better accentuate my Metal point here, what Babe Ruth will forever be to the history of baseball, what the Mona Lisa will forever be to the history of fine art portraits, Steve Harris will forever be of equal importance to the history of Heavy Metal and Metal Music. Go ahead, listen or re-listen to Iron Maiden Killers… then listen really closely to the bass guitar playing of Steve Harris, hopefully you might just understand what I mean.

BLACK SABBATH – 1983 “BORN AGAIN” ALBUM IS METAL OF PROFOUND IMPORTANCE

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, Album Review, black metal roots, classic heavy metal, classic metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, doom metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal album review, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school metal bands, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Black Sabbath "Born Again"Back on October 4, 1983, Black Sabbath released their eleventh studio album – Born Again. I was serving time in high school as a senior in 1983, I also became a born again Metalhead that same year, thanks to this most underrated Black Sabbath album. I am not kidding or trying to sound like a yahoo by stating that. Born Again was a match made in Metal heaven for me… the prolific vocals of Ian Gillan uniting with the ultra legendary Black Sabbath. I have to admit, with Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio not fronting Black Sabbath, it was common place for professionally paid Rock Music critics to easily overlook the other lead singers this Rock And Roll Hall of Fame band has bestowed over the decades. I never overlooked a damned thing Black Sabbath had done, especially when they joined forces with Ian Gillan. From the front album cover artwork of the demon baby, to the down right eerie and chilling Metal Music heard on Born Again, this album is a must listen and own in Metal Music 101.

When I first listened to Born Again, back in good ol’ 1983, the synthetic instrumentals of Stonehenge and The Dark left a Metal imprint on my subconscious like none other… all I could think back then and now is this is the soundtrack of doom… all hail Black Sabbath. The guitar riffs, leads and solo on Zero The Hero sound as if I am listening to a descent to the darkest depths of inner Earth… I love that descent. Trashed is not just an amazing song lyrically, this is an early introduction of Heavy Metal making the transition to pure… Metal. Comparing Born Again to other Heavy Metal albums of that time is what separates the Heavy Metal label from Black Sabbath, thus anointing this iconic band to true masters of Metal Music.

The Metal of Born Again is not Thrash, yet it is not Accept, Quiet Riot or Saxon of that time period either. With Born Again, a black album was unintentionally or intentionally created, (both with album artwork and the Metal Music within), while Black Metal itself was simultaneously being born into a genre, courtesy of Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer . I can’t compare this Black Sabbath album to their earlier albums with Ozzy. Nor can I make a comparison of Born Again to the Dio led Black Sabbath either. The song Born Again alone is a study in just how far Tony Iommi would go in making a unique Black Sabbath album, one that would stand apart from the entire Black Sabbath catalog… forever. Listening to Ian Gillan’s vocals on this song honestly takes my Metal breathe away. Ian Gillan is beyond unreal great on Born Again – all one needs to do is open their Metal mind to the song Hot Line and thou shall understand and realize why. Seriously, the vocals of Ian Gillan on Hot Line makes me imagine what life would have been like for this Metalhead, if more Black Sabbath albums were created with his legendary voice. I guess it is obvious by now, that I revere Ian Gillan.

Digital Bitch may have been the most popular song from Born Again, the song that advertised their Born Again Tour on FM Radio back in 1983-84. Despite the fondness that commercial FM radio had for this song, it blazed with Metal fury like no other song back then. Disturbing The Priest, this song title alone made for my own personal battle cry for serving eight long years of time – in a parochial school. Trust me on that one. In Metal hindsight, maybe the professionally paid Rock Music critics of the world were never ready for the dark Metal Music that Born Again was about. This was not the Deep Purple version of Ian Gillan, nor was this the Children of the Sea version of Black Sabbath. Keep It Warm actually grounded this Born Again album, keeping it from being a non-stop onslaught of apocalyptic, melancholy and dark sided themes.

In a Metal nutshell, this Born Again album was forged by the union of Ian Gillan joining the legends of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill ward. This version of Black Sabbath has suffered through too many years of comparisons to the Ozzy and Dio fronted bands of the same name. All too often, the ignorance of professionally paid Rock Music critics can water down the integrity of a great album from an elite band. Such is the case here with this incredible Born Again album from Black Sabbath. I never saw this Black Sabbath lineup as anything other than Black Sabbath, only with a different lead singer in Ian Gillan who rose to the Metal occasion with unparalleled pipes.

Over the years it has been amusing to me, to even read that Ian Gillan himself was never satisfied, actually displeased, with the music and demon baby artwork of Born Again. (The liner notes of this Born Again CD detail this, as written by writer Hugh Gilmour). If only Ian Gillan knew, just how much this Born Again album has meant to me, as a lifetime fan of his prominent vocals. Black Sabbath fans who appreciate the music created by Tony Iommi, (guitar), Geezer Butler, (bass) and Bill Ward, (drums), know that the Ozzy, Dio and Ian Gillan versions of this band carry their own Metal identity that captivates with it’s own powerful mystique. Born Again by Black Sabbath is more than a vintage Metal album that I recommend, it is a vintage Metal necessity, that should be embraced and heralded as an important contribution and moment – to the history of Metal Music.

To my best Metal buddy Scott… thank you for buying me this hard to find CD. Having owned a copy of Born Again on cassette, spanning three decades, deserved a righteous Metal upgrade. I truly wish I kept the vinyl album of Born Again that once was in my collection.

Black Sabbath "Born Again"

U.D.O. – “DOMINATOR” Unleashes Potent Heavy Metal

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands from germany, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

U.D.O. "Dominator" small album picU.D.O. is another justified example as to why I consider Germany the worlds greatest exporter of Metal Music outside of the great United States. U.D.O. does not stray from their Heavy Metal norm on Dominator, (released on October 6, 2009 in the U.S.A., on AFM Records). The first two songs on Dominator are like smash mouth football… Old School and punishing. The lyrics are not meant for NASA academics, they are meant for the Metalheads of the world who take pride in their Heavy Metal Music and bands. The Bogeyman and Dominator are song titles with lyrical content that follow a simple rule of Heavy Metal… thou shall not conform. Vintage Heavy Metal, baby. No political statements or hard to decipher words to be found. I love this stuff. I live for this stuff. Black and White is song three and glorifies the elegance of Heavy Metal guitar, not to forget Heavy Metal chorus as well. Udo Dirkschneider on lead vocals sounds as great as ever, anyone who states otherwise is simply jealous of this ageless Metal icon. Udo Dirkschneider has forever forged his legacy twice in Heavy Metal history, both with U.D.O. and Accept. Heavy Metal lightning does strike twice, Udo Dirkschneider is living proof of that.

Listening to Udo sing on Infected, I imagine him atop a high mountain, looking down upon a land of chaos and condemning all to hell. Udo’s vocals are more than steely and mean streaked, they encompass Heavy Metal theater. Cast me off into damnation for having imaginary thoughts while I listen to Heavy Metal Music, that is how my mind reacts and I’m damn proud. Anyone who says they do not create their own mental imagery to music is either a liar or a cyborg. Doom Ride takes the more consistent approach of Old School Heavy Metal, no real blazing guitar licks or profound moments. Still, Doom Ride gets it’s doom message across and that is Metal enough for me. Stillness of Time is a (gulp), U.D.O. ballad. Well, a fast paced ballad it is. Udo has his unique vocals for sure, he pulls me into Stillness of Time, like a glazed over Old School loyalist that I am. Having a piano included into any U.D.O. song is quite the diverse moment and I admire that. Stillness of Time just might be the best kept secret on Dominator.

Devil’s Rendezvous has me itching to get up off my butt and… do some wacky dance. You know, the kind of dance that drunk people do at weddings. Or, the kind of spastic dance that you can only do in the privacy of your own home… with the blinds shut. Quite the Metal surprise is Devil’s Rendezvous, U.D.O. put some fun into this Dominator album. Crap, did I just use the “F” word? This is starting to become a semi-habit of mine… I must be be too happy or something. Speed Demon is the fastest song on Dominator. No, no, no, it is not because the word speed is in the song title. Speed Demon really does crank up the Metal meter a few bars and it kicks. To sum up my Metal feelings on this U.D.O. Dominator album, it rightfully cements all things great about Heavy Metal… Old School Heavy Metal that is. Dominator is a standout Heavy Metal album for 2009, no Metal questions asked. I thank my best Metal buddy Scott for steering me to Dominator… a Metal referral that is incredibly appreciated.

U.D.O. "Dominator" large album pic

My Least Favorite Ozzy Osbourne Song Ever Is…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1983, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal songs 1983, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, spooky metal album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyOzzy Osbourne, the Heavy Metal Prince of Darkness. Ozzy Osbourne – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with Black Sabbath. Honestly, I revere the living hell out of this Heavy Metal legend. I did get to see Ozzy Osbourne live in concert twice during my lifetime. For me, those two concerts were unbelievable, with Metallica opening up for Ozzy in New Haven Connecticut, (at the spooky New Haven Coliseum) – it was The Ultimate Sin Tour for Ozzy and Metallica was promoting their legendary Master of Puppets album. The other Ozzy concert I saw had Queensryche open for Ozzy in Springfield, Massachusetts, (at the Springfield Civic Center), on this same Ultimate Sin Tour. Alright, so it is obvious I think the Metal world of Ozzy Osbourne… fine. However, by process of elimination, there has to be my least favorite Ozzy Osbourne song out there and there is one. I do not think much of the song, uh, ballad So Tired from Ozzy’s Bark At The Moon album. This song, ugh, ballad is responsible for my distaste of most Heavy Metal ballads ever released since, by any band. This album was released on December 10, 1983. Don’t get me wrong here, the Bark At The Moon album as a whole, is unreal good. Three songs on this album are incredible for me… Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel, You’re No Different and of course – Bark At The Moon. These three Ozzy songs I can hold up on a Metal pedestal forever. Plus, Jake E. Lee on guitar is a Metal bonus to listen to.

So Tired is a song that in my Metal opinion, is overwhelmingly dull and depressing and does absolutely nothing but annoy me beyond belief. Who exactly is supposed to be so tired in this song? Is it Ozzy himself? Someone that Ozzy knows? I really do not care in the darn least who is tired. I get tired too, yet I never whine about it like Ozzy did in this song. Sure, maybe the tired theme was about waiting around for a love lost… who cares. So Tired is a perfect example of what happens when a Heavy Metal icon decides to go the Pop and Bubble Gum Music route with a song. Sappy city is open for tourists with So Tired. Get out the kleenex, So Tired is now playing… sniffle, sniffle, I am so moved. The orchestration in this song only annoys me more.

To me, So Tired just never seemed to fit in with the Bark At The Moon album. So Tired is a downer in the midst of some riveting Heavy Metal songs, a huge let down, like the depressed dude at a party trying to bring everyone else down with him. The video for So Tired, (which was on MTV too often back in the day), was so ridiculous that even I felt embarrassed for Ozzy. When the Bark At The Moon album was reissued, So Tired should have been omitted from the track list… it is that lousy – for me. In my Metal opinion, So Tired is the lowest moment of Ozzy Osbournes unparalleled and ultra legendary Heavy Metal career.

Ozzy Osbourne "Bark At The Moon" Large album picture

“Frankenstein” – The Edgar Winter Group Rock Classic, an Over Kill Thrash Metal cover song

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's thrash metal albums, 1990's thrash metal bands, 1990's thrash metal songs, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock instrumentals, classic rock music, classic rock music 1972, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential thrash metal albums, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school thrash metal music, Over Kill, Rock, rock music, Thrash Metal, thrash metal albums 1991, thrash metal cover songs, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 1991, thrash metal music instrumental songs, thrash metal music reviews, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Edgar Winter Group "They Only Come Out At Night" small picIf I had to choose one of my favorite Rock instrumental songs of all time, there is no doubt “Frankenstein” comes to mind. The Edgar Winter Group released “They Only Come Out At Night” in November of 1972, this is the album you will find this original song on. Written by Edgar Winter, how ahead of it’s time was this song? Realistically, this now Classic Rock masterpiece of an instrumental song was as diversified as it was heavy. The multi talented musicianship of Edgar Winter is standout on “Frankenstein”, with the keyboards creating enough spookiness to validate the song’s title. The saxophone, in my Metal opinion, has always had a macabre sounding affect on me, only adding to the overall eerie coolness that “Frankenstein” erupts. I fell Metal head over heels for this song decades ago… I still slap this song on very frequently, especially around Halloween. Seriously, this song just goes perfect when Autumn arrives… once October hits, I have plenty of scary and heavy songs to bust out and revel in their dark side glory, “Frankenstein” leads the pack. No Halloween season can ever get by me, without listening to this song on a consistent basis. The Edgar Winter Group released a mammoth of a Rock album with “They Only Come Out At Night”, “Frankenstein” just made this release immensely complete, with it’s inclusion.

Now, step in… Over Kill. “Horrorscope” was released on September 3, 1991 and on this album, Over Kill includes the cover version of “Frankenstein”. The running time of this Over Kill  cover version comes in at 3:29, compared to The Edgar Winter Group’s original version of 4:44. Despite the shortened length of time, Over Kill demonstrated a monstrous Thrash Metal approach to honoring such a legendary Rock instrumental classic. Yes, I bought this Over Kill album within the first week of it’s release back in 1991, (I still have it on cassette too). When I first listened to Over Kill’s Thrash Metal burn on “Frankenstein”, I was stunned, all I felt was the immediate power force of guitar, bass and drums all coming together like a Metal typhoon. The only word that I honestly can remember saying aloud, listening for the first time to Over Kill’s cover version was… whoa. I also dropped plenty of complimentary f-bombs alongside the adjectives of great, incredible and insane. I still do, when talking about this Over Kill cover of “Frankenstein”. I will not lie, I look upon Over Kill, past and present, as if they were and still are the Thrash Metal kings of the entire universe. That type of Metal bias has no persuasion whatsoever, when I tell the entire planet that this cover by Over Kill is one for the Metal record books. As for the “Horrorscope” album itself… Thrash Metal of profound intensity.

I will succumb by stating, I honestly without a Metal doubt, cannot choose one version of “Frankenstein” over the other. This is a wicked example of how an original Rock Classic can be so legendary and inspiring, yet the cover version with all of it’s grand Thrash Metal bite and might, results in my saying it is a Metal tie. September is just around the corner… October shall be upon us very soon… “Frankenstein” will be played very loud by me very many times starting now… my home stereo speakers are going to get a Metal workout like they never experienced before.

Over Kill "Horrorscope" album large pic

GIRLSCHOOL – “Play Dirty”, a Heavy Metal song from 1983 revisited

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's classic rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1983, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal songs 1983, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Girlschool is a female and British Heavy Metal band that formed back in 1977. The first time I ever heard a song from Girlschool was back in 1983… on the infamous “Metal Shop” Heavy Metal – FM radio show. The early 1980’s were my Metal Music nurturing years, so many bands, songs and albums to digest as a hungry teen Metalhead. I would not trade in those Metal Music learning years for anything. There are bands that I revisit from time to time, that have perhaps just a few songs that I really listen to over the decades. Girlschool is one such band, they have one particular song that, man, I just can never forget about… “Play Dirty”, from their “Play Dirty” album, (released in 1983). “Play Dirty” was the fourth studio album from Girlschool. Over the years, I realized from reading many an article and collecting enough Metal Music, that the great Lemmy Kilmister of (the legendary) Motorhead, has his Metal ties to Girlschool. (This always made me feel that Girlschool was ordained with Metal integrity).

When I first heard “Play Dirty” back in 1983, I was blown away by the fact that this song was not just cool, it really rocked the roof off for me. I probably should have delved deeper into the Girlschool catalog of albums over the years… there still is time to do so. This song has stayed with me ever since my first time hearing it… I continue to make certain that this Heavy Metal classic of a song is always at the ready to be cranked up – whenever I get the Metal itch for it. I even bought this song off of itunes this past Winter, while buying up a bunch of Heavy Metal songs… just to make certain I had an extra copy of it. (Yeah, I really like this song a lot). Simply put, it is a high powered, melodic driven, heavy chorus laden, 1980’s Heavy Metal song. I surmise that it is the way this song all came together, with everything just seeming to click for me, that makes it so unreal memorable to my Metal senses.

Girlschool "Play Dirty" album cover large pic

MANOWAR – “Battle Hyms” 1982 album is required Heavy Metal Music

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1982, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, Power Metal, power metal music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

14727432Manowar plays Heavy Metal, their name screams Heavy Metal and they are Heavy Metal with a hundred exclamation points. “Battle Hymns” (released in 1982), was the first album from this prolific and what I consider historic Heavy Metal band. Why historic? Well, the last time I checked, Manowar held the Guinness Book of World Records title for having the loudest live performance. (I always disliked the word performance, especially when it relates to Heavy Metal). Besides being extremely loud, Manowar presented upon the world of Heavy Metal a gloriously lean, mean and heavy album with “Battle Hymns.” All eight songs on this album are laced with forcefully driven guitar leads, riffs and all things sacred to Heavy Metal. The first two song titles say it all – “Death Tone” and “Metal Daze”. What I like most about this album is that there is absolutely not one second of waste to be heard… from start to finish this is muscular, Old School, 500% – Heavy Metal. Of course, this Metal adulation I have for Manowar and “Battle Hymns” is all my Metal opinion, however, this is an album that needs to be heard by todays younger generation of Heavy Metal fans.

Manowar never complicated anything with their brand of Heavy Metal, no smoke and mirrors to be found. What can be so difficult about embracing heavy, loud and melodic music? In my Metal opinion, the Heavy Metal of Manowar is just as essential as any of the basic food groups. I could thrive just fine, on the Metal of Manowar, if it was to be the only music left on earth. “Death Tone” opens this initial album as if it is unleashing Manowar onto the universe, with their sole purpose to spread the word of Heavy Metal on every living being in existence. “Metal Daze” is my favorite song from “Battle Hymns”, it is the musical personification of Heavy Metal. What would a Manowar album be like without a battle song? It would be like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread. “Battle Hymn” takes care of the need for listening to a Manowar call to battle… Heavy Metal style. “Dark Avenger” is another standout song on an album of standout songs, plus the narration found in the midst of this powerful and heavy music, by the late Orson Welles, adds to the mythical ambiance. 

I find the lead vocals of Eric Adams to be very reminiscent of early and legendary Judas Priest vocalist , Rob Halford. Ross The Boss without any doubt in my mind, exhibits some of the finest Heavy Metal guitar licks I have ever heard… a guitarist that commands and justifiably earns my Heavy Metal respect. “Fast Taker” is a song that sounds better each time I listen to it, even if it has been a zillion listens. “Shell Shock” is a Heavy Metal song that I always wanted to crank up extremely loud in my car, with the windows down, while at a crowded intersection of uptight people. (Maybe that wish will come through for me one of these days). “Manowar” is a Heavy Metal call to conquer, this song is not just named after the band, it signifies their tenacity and perseverance as a leader of the Heavy Metal genre. No matter how loud I play this album, there is the thought that this Heavy Metal has been played louder… rightfully so. If Heavy Metal 101 really did exist, as a college course, I would feel confident that “Battle Hymns” would be a required listen and study as to just how Heavy Metal was molded, American style, courtesy of the great Manowar.

Manowar, as they appeared on their first album, “Battle Hymns” from 1982: Eric Adams on lead vocals, Ross “The Boss” Friedman on guitars & keyboards, Joey DeMaio on four & eight string bass & bass pedals and Donnie Hamzik on drums & percussion.

ManowarBattlehymns

DIO “The Last In Line” will last my Metal Music lifetime

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, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, power metal music, ronnie james dio, scary album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150DIO, Ronnie James Dio, my Heavy Metal vocal savior, when I served time in High School, back in the 1980’s. (I know I use that punch line about High School often, regardless, it is just the plain truth). The lyrics of DIO’s songs were motivating, captivating and always exhilarating for me while I was growing up in my late teen years. For Metal sake, DIO’s lyrics were influential to me while I was in my early twenties as well. What I took from the lyrical creativity of Ronnie James Dio so many years ago, I no longer take hold of as strong. As I grew up, (well, I think I matured somewhat since the ’80’s), the lyrics of DIO seemed to take on a more entertaining feeling… lyrical interpretation has changed for me over the years, based on life experiences. Seriously, when I used to listen to the song “The Last In Line”, back in High School, well, I equated the lyrics to my being the last in line. I was a typical authority hating – know it all as a teenager, therefore, totally normal for a Metalhead back in the 1980’s. Fast forward to 2009, I equate the lyrics as inspiring still, only I do not dwell on myself and always being the victim, (as I did as a teenager). Plus, being a middle aged Metalhead, I now respect or tolerate authority, depending on the situation. The Heavy Metal of DIO and many, many other Metal bands from decades past encouraged and instilled a strong feeling of hope for me, when I was young… I shall never forget this. The escapism of DIO’s Heavy Metal was the elixir that worked for me years ago… this escapism still works for me now. That is why this 1984 album from DIO “The Last In Line”, will last my Metal Music lifetime.

“Mystery” is another song from the “Last In Line” album that is in my Metal opinion, untouchable. This is one song, that lyrically, I can still relate to. Life is a mystery, plain and simple. There really is nothing more to scrutinize… no one really knows where they are going to be tomorrow. Heck, back in High School, the guidance counselors used to waste their time with us kids, asking us where we want to be, what we want to do when we grow up. These guidance counselors all had a job to do, with fine intentions. The truth is, the paths I took to get where I am now were filled with detours, delays, trauma, luck of the draw, misfortune and certainly fortunate opportunities. In other words… mystery. They don’t teach this in school. I never knew when I was going to get married, plus I never knew how many children my wife and I would have. Mystery.

This is by far and large, the single most influential Heavy Metal song I have ever listened to in my life. Now, the next time you are on a dreaded job interview and the interviewer asks you – “where do you want to be in five years, ten years from now”?… look at this fool straight in the face and tell he or she, as Ronnie James Dio so eloquently put it, “it’s always a mystery, not what it seems to be, it’s always a mystery,  just like you and me”. 

200px-DioTheLastInLine

U.D.O. “Nailed To Metal” is live, world class Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal drum solos, heavy metal from germany, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, heavy metal music 1983, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, live heavy metal albums, Metal, metal music, metal music this decade, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage live heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

U.D.O. "Nailed To Metal" large picAccept is a legendary Heavy Metal Band from Germany, blazing through the late 1970’s and releasing crushing Old School Heavy Metal right up until 1996. U.D.O. is the Heavy Metal brainchild from the iconic lead singer from Accept… Udo Dirkschneider. U.D.O. released their first studio album in 1987, with “Animal House”… in 1988 their second studio album released, titled “Mean Machine”. U.D.O. has released many albums over the years, with their latest studio effort being “Mastercutor”, released in 2007. I have and always will be a huge fan of Udo Dirkschneider, Accept was an incredible Heavy Metal band, they never wavered or catered to any musical flavor of the day, just 100% Heavy Metal albums they released back in the day. With Udo carrying on his grand Heavy Metal career with U.D.O., it only makes me psyched – knowing this legend is still around. Udo may not receive the glamourous adulation from the mainstream Rock press like Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Brian Johnson or Ozzy, however, he is just as important to the history of Heavy Metal as any of these lead singers are.

“Nailed To Metal” (subtitled “the missing tracks”), is a live, eleven song album, released back in 2003. The liner notes state that the songs were “recorded during the European Tour 2001”. Let me just say that… this live U.D.O. album does not just exemplify Heavy Metal, it is Heavy Metal. Hail U.D.O.! Thank you Germany! Udo Dirkschneider sounds just as prolific with his vocals on “Nailed To Metal” as he did on his Accept album “Breaker”… or any of his Accept albums for that matter. What I always anticipate from U.D.O. is that powerful, thunderous, monster of a sound from their Heavy Metal… “Nailed To Metal” brings it all and with the excitement of the live ambience. The Heavy Metal barometer explodes with the first two opening songs – “Holy” and “Raiders Of Beyond”. Both of these U.D.O. tracks are nothing short of Heavy Metal liberation, capturing the very essence of what Heavy Metal 101 is all about. The “Drum Solo” comes in at 4:26… (this is a Heavy Metal drum solo, not a Thrash or Death Metal drum solo), my point being, just as I am enamored by Extreme Metal, I embrace a cool, traditional, Heavy Metal drum solo in the spotlight, any day of the week. Lorenzo Milani on drums, is not out to compete with Neil Peart (of Rush), he is only out to play some solid drumming the Old School Heavy Metal way. In my Metal opinion, “Holy” and “Raiders Of Beyond” hold their own against classic Accept songs… and classic Accept songs are here.

The vintage “Fast As A Shark” and “Restless & Wild”, (from 1982), are unmistakably Heavy Metal defining, two throwback songs from the Accept catalog that have never lost their ability to supercharge me. “Metal Heart”, (from 1985), is an Accept song that careens into this live set like a long lost Heavy Metal friend. The closer of this live album is none other than… “Balls To The Wall”. At 8:48 long, I wish this Heavy Metal anthem would carry on for an hour… raising my fist to the air and banging my head never felt so good. Accept found their FM radio acceptance back in 1984 with “Balls To The Wall”, a trip down Heavy Metal lane “Nailed To Metal” is. Udo Dirkschneider was and always will be the voice of Accept, therefore U.D.O. does not just cover these legendary Accept songs, they celebrate them. With the combination of live U.D.O. and Accept Heavy Metal on “Nailed To Metal”, this album easily, hands down, gets five out of five beer kegs from me. Keep bringing the Heavy Metal U.D.O. and I will forever listen.

U.D.O. as they appear on “Nailed To Metal”: Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, Stefan Kaufmann on guitar, Igor Gianola on guitar, Fitty Wienhold on bass guitar and Lorenzo Milani on drums.

*As a Metal side note, the only Accept album that Udo Dirkschneider was not the lead singer on, was “Eat The Heat”, released in 1989. David Reece was the lead singer for this Accept album.

U.D.O. "Nailed To Metal" large pic

Scorpions “World Wide Live” – 1985 album revisited

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's live heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal from germany, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Music, old school heavy metal, Scorpions, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage live heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150In 1985, I received a really cool Christmas present… the Scorpions “World Wide Live” double LP. That is what I am talking about when memorable Christmas gifts come to mind. My Mom, she certainly knew the bands I liked back then. I could always feel confident she would have a decent Heavy Metal album on her Christmas shopping list, just for me. My Mom would wrap and hide the album she bought each Christmas, making certain it was secured from my finding it. Not a chance. Each year, I would find that album, heck, I would actually smell where that album was hidden, like a Heavy Metal bloodhound. In 1985, “World Wide Live” was wrapped and supposedly hidden, until I unwrapped it and gazed away at the album cover – front to back. I was in Metal glee, knowing that on Christmas morning I would be able to crank up the Scorpions “World Wide Live”, a double live album no less. Each year, my Mom always knew I would find and unwrap the album she had bought for me, it was a cool and funny joke that I always was able to share with my Mom.

It is experiences like this, while growing up, where you actually bond with your music and albums, due to the personal stories that are attached to them. My Mom is now in Heaven, thus these memories mean all the more to me now than ever before. It is the memories that are the most valuable of course, not the actual albums. As for the Scorpions and “World Wide Live” – powerful, live, Heavy Metal to the max. This is one unbelievable live album, based on the overall sound quality, song selection, production and of course… the Heavy Metal Music. Vintage, live Scorpions this “World Wide Live” is. Hearing the fans screaming for the Scorpions throughout this album makes it real, with a live album it is always a key ingredient to capture the atmosphere of the concert crowd. My original album of “World Wide Live”, well, I either sold it or gave it away years ago. The kicker is… I found this double live beauty at a thrift store this past Winter… for fifty cents. Each time I find one of my favorite albums from the past, in second hand shops like this, I feel the vindication and relief of being able to replenish my Heavy Metal collection… to where it once was. Why I sold or gave away so many Heavy Metal albums long ago is still an uncanny period of my life. Regardless, I have what I consider, a perfect album specimen of “World Wide Live” now, safely tucked away into my Heavy Metal collection.

My favorite song from this album is “Big City Nights”. The in your face power of this song has always grabbed me with a psyched out feeling. “Countdown”, the instrumental and intro to this double live, Scorpions feast of Heavy Metal, never ceases to rev me up, it sets the table for “Coming Home”“The Zoo” and “No One Like You” are just as great as their studio counterparts, the live versions only add more intensity to the music. The live version of “Rock You Like A Hurricane” with it’s commercial breakthrough from the “Love At First Sting” album, makes me forget that it was overplayed on FM radio and MTV during it’s chart existence. Klaus Meine joined the pack of Heavy Metal ballad crooners, with his praise worthy vocal accomplishment – “Still Loving You”. I will take the live version of this song over the studio cut, (it’s a personal preference). If there ever was any tweaking or over dubbing during the mixing of this album, frankly I could care in the least. The end result for me has always been, “World Wide Live” is a must live Heavy Metal album to own and a Scorpions achievement.

*”World Wide Live” was released on June 20, 1985. The Scorpions, as they appeared on “World Wide Live”: Klaus Meine on lead vocals, Matthias Jabs on lead guitar & backing vocals, Rudolf Schenker on rhythm guitar & backing vocals, Francis Buchholz on bass guitar & backing vocals and Herman Rarebell on drums, percussion & backing vocals.

fullsize

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. 

  main-150-1main-150-1

Dee Snider – Widowmaker “Blood And Bullets” is 100% Metal Music

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, essential heavy metal albums, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals, W.A.S.P. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

708Dee Snider is and forever will be a real Heavy Metal icon. (I have said this time and again, this is just how I feel). This man needs no introduction to Metalheads worldwide… he has flown the flag for Metal with unmistakable pride. Dee Snider had another kick to the face Heavy Metal Band during his illustrious career – Widowmaker. My best buddy in the universe introduced me to Widowmaker just a week ago. You heard that right, just one week ago. Let’s face it, there is an infinite amount of Hard Rock and Metal music out there to be heard and enjoyed. I could never fathom the task or have the time, to listen to everything ever created in Metal Music. Widowmaker just so happened to be a band I was always aware of, yet I never heard more than a couple of tracks from them throughout the years. Having my buddy give me a copy of “Blood And Bullets” was a great surprise, like a Heavy Metal bonus falling from the sky and into my lap.

Dee Snider sounds quite simply, awesome, as the front man for Widowmaker, on “Blood And Bullets”. In my Metal opinion, this album ranks right up there with Twisted Sister’s “Under The Blade” and “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” albums. I use the Twisted Sister albums as comparisons for obvious reasons, plus the full throttle Heavy Metal power is all over “Blood And Bullets”. This album is just like mixing in the old school sound of these Twisted Sister albums I mentioned, while adding a major dose of extra confidence and Metal attitude from Dee Snider’s lead vocals. The way in which I interpret Dee Snider’s vocals, is that of a man who was set out on a mission, a mission to prove to the Metal world that Dee Snider had no intention on making a commercial Metal album. Instead, this was a Metal release that was infused with dynamic song writing and musicianship – Metal musicianship.

Granted, this album was released in the early 1990’s but do not let this fool you for one Metal second. There are throngs of Metal bands out there today, that could only wish to have created an album this good. I think of another steadfast favorite Metal band of mine, while listening to “Blood And Bullets”… W.A.S.P.. Why you may ask? It’s all about the grooves, the uncanny and powerful feeling I get when listening to this brand of Metal. W.A.S.P. is a band that I can pinpoint with accuracy, as having released albums containing great Metal songs, no fillers. There are no fillers to be found from Widowmaker here as well. “Blue For You” is the one song that had me smirk upon my first listen, for I anticipated that maybe it would inherit some Blues quality, judging by the song title. This song does rip with a bluesy guitar sound from the get go… the Metal Blues that is. “Emaheeval”, “The Widowmaker”, “Evil” and “The Lonely Ones” are the first four tracks on this album… I cannot put into words the Metal excitement these songs carry.

My buddy set off for a trip to Lebanon, accompanied by his wife and son, after I received this Widowmaker album from him.  I wish him and his family the safest and happiest trip they could possibly wish for. I also cannot wait for him to get back to the States, then I can rant and rave his ears off about what a Metal trip “Blood And Bullets” has been for me. Yes, without a doubt, I am beating the Dee Snider – Metal drum very loudly here. I felt the sense of urgency to get the word out and remind those who love Metal, that Widowmaker’s “Blood And Bullets” is damn good music. I am forever being Metal schooled, it is a profound and exhilarating experience each time it happens. It only serves me right, that this time around, it is the legendary Dee Snider and his other band Widowmaker.

708

My favorite Ozzy Osbourne album is…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, ozzy, Ozzy Osbourne, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock keyboard musicians, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I would like to take this opportunity, to let the entire world know, which Ozzy Osbourne album is my favorite of all time. Oops, it is a tie. “Blizzard Of Ozz”, (1980) and “Diary of a Madman”, (1981). Why, you may query? These first two Ozzy albums to me, represent the real, original, building block, style of Heavy Metal sound, that energized the 1980’s into the powerhouse Metal decade it was. Plus, lest we never forget, the greatness of the late Randy Rhoads on lead guitar, on both of these essential Heavy Metal albums.

It is very important to note that on the reissue version of “Blizzard Of Ozz”, during the re-mastering process, Mike Bordin is now on drums and percussion with Robert Trujillo on bass. The original drummer, on the original album, was Lee Kerslake and on bass was Bob Daisley. They are all fabulous musicians, I am not swayed either way. Don Airey is on keyboards for the original album. The key is that the legendary, late Randy Rhoads is the guitarist! Just to hear Randy play his signature sound on “I Don’t Know”, “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley” still sends chills 28 years after this release. Randy Rhoads and his unique guitar sound and style truly helped shape the evolution of Heavy Metal and it’s many prominent guitarists for decades. This album is not just a turning point for Ozzy, it is a focal point of reference and reverence for so many Heavy Metal musicians and fans alike. A bonus track is added into this reissue, “You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You”. This song is similar in structure to “Rock & Roll Rebel” from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon”. It is a song that is a welcomed addition to this classic album, any song is – that has Randy Rhoads playing. This album has stood the test of time, it feels strange for me to now say that the lyrics, song structure and arrangements with Randy Rhoads leads and riffs are powerhouse. Yet, with the new generation of Ozzy, Randy Rhoads and Heavy Metal fans, getting the word out after all these years is worth every second if it means passing this Heavy Metal jewel on to new listeners.

I know that I do reflect a couple of decades back, (quite often), in my posts… the reason is simple, this incredible Heavy Metal music was created and released decades ago! That is my point of relevance for me, so much of the Heavy Metal that I was into in the late 70’s onward, I still listen to this very day and is now considered classic and vintage. I can remember having the coolest algebra teacher back in High School, Mr. Z. was his name. Mr. Z. allowed his students to bring into class – albums to play on his stereo. How cool is that? It is not too often, with any generation, to reflect on any Algebra teacher from High School as being cool. Well, one of my buddies back then, brought into our class one day, the “Diary Of A Madman” album. This was really the first time I gave this Ozzy gem a thorough listen. I was ecstatic, thrilled beyond Metal belief upon hearing these tunes on this album. (Mr. Z. seemed to dig this Ozzy album too, I can still remember seeing his face showing the appreciation, while the Metal blared). Needless to say, my grades in Mr. Z.’s Algebra class were very respectable, due in part to the cool nonconventional way of teaching, using Heavy Metal as an inspiring teaching tool. Mr. Z. rocked back then, I hope he is still as cool today, wherever he may be.

With tracks such as “Over The Mountain”, “Believer”, “Little Dolls”, “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll”, “Flying High Again” and “S.A.T.O.”, the odds of ever hearing such amazing Heavy Metal songs this potent and on one album again, are pretty slim. Back in 1982, after listening to this Ozzy album, I was set Metal straight – for a lifetime.

fullsize-1  fullsize

Paul Dianno “The Living Dead” is very much alive with Metal Music

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Extreme Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, recent heavy metal albums, spooky metal album covers, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Paul Dianno “The Living Dead” was released on May 16, 2006. Why I lead with this, is due to my impatience for waiting on this album… I counted the days leading up to it’s release. It was like I was eight years old again, waiting for Christmas morning to come. For the few who may not know, Paul Dianno was the original lead singer for Iron Maiden. Paul Dianno was lead vocalist on the debut “Iron Maiden” album and the “Killers” album. Of course you can count bootlegs and the “Maiden Japan” EP as well, with having Dianno as lead vocalist. If it wasn’t for Bruce Dickinson taking over as lead vocalist for Iron Maiden, starting with the “666 The Number of the Beast” album, I would say that Paul Dianno could never be replaced as lead vocalist. However, It is my Metal opinion that comparing Paul Dianno to Bruce Dickinson is apples to oranges. Why compare? They are both completely different vocalists, both in style and range. The Paul Dianno fronted version of Iron Maiden, with the first two studio albums, (mentioned above), are undisputed Metal classics, that are revered and influential to countless Metal fans and/or Metal musicians. I feel Paul Dianno shares the same equal glory among the other original members of Iron Maiden for these albums being so iconic. (Phew, I got that off my chest, now I can blab about the actual album – “The Living Dead”).

The opening track “The Living Dead” is sung with power and emotion from Dianno – yeah, you can have emotion in Metal music. Lyrically, this song tackles loneliness, hunger and human despair. (Nope, this song is not about the cult horror film classic). This tune is a heavy – very heavy ballad if you will. For every song I mention on “The Living Dead”, bear in Metal mind, that this is a very, very heavy album. Dianno sounds more hungrier, angrier and confident than ever. (That is what my Metal ears are telling me anyways). “Mad Man In The Attic” has Dianno doing a little exploring, into the world of Death Metal vocals. These growling vocals are not constant throughout, Dianno apparently was looking for some vocal horror texture and he succeeds here, in my Metal opinion. I find Dianno to be a touch reminiscent of the legendary Alice Cooper on this song. “War Machine” is a tune built on speed and dark heaviness. “Brothers Of The Tomb” has Dianno hitting the extreme high notes vocally, with some angry gang vocals added into the mix as well. “P.O.V. 2005” is a down right Thrash Metal tune… excellent riffs and a very cool solo as well.

Dianno does a cover of the Megadeth classic “Symphony Of Destruction” – it is structured and arranged differently than the original version. The biggest difference is the vocals, plus this version is not nearly as fast overall, as to what Megadeth delivers. I like this cover for it’s diverse Metal approach though, the Megadeth original will always be the best. Two legendary Paul Dianno era – Iron Maiden tracks are included as live bonus tracks: “Wrathchild” and “Phantom Of The Opera”, the liner notes do not suggest that these live recordings were done with Iron Maiden, rather with Paul Dianno’s band. Dianno is all over these two tunes… the quality, musicianship and vocals of Dianno make these bonus tracks a worthwhile addition to “The Living Dead”.

The copy of “The Living Dead” I picked up back in 2006, has a bonus DVD that includes the video for the song “The Living Dead” and an interview with Paul Dianno. The video is dark, almost haunting with it’s imagery. Paul Dianno is shown alone, singing against the backdrop of images of strife, humanity and despair. The interview with Paul Dianno is very interesting, with really no details as to why he and Iron Maiden split ways decades ago. One neat bit of info that Dianno shared is that he feels Max Cavalera (of Sepultura & Soulfly fame) is currently the best lead vocalist in Metal today. Hey, I really like everything that Max Cavalera has done with Sepultura and Soulfly myself. I definitely recommend “The Living Dead” to any fan of Metal, especially Iron Maiden fans who want to hear some recent Paul Dianno, he did a fabulous Metal job with this album.

The Metal musicians behind Paul Dianno on “The Living Dead” are: Paulo Turin, Chico Dehira, Javier Cuevas and Claudio Duliba on guitars * Felipe Andreoli & Marcelo Bracalente on bass * Aquiles Prieser & German Rodriguez on drums.

fullsize

Saxon continues to Rock with Old School Heavy Metal

Posted in 1970's heavy metal, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic metal, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, 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, old school heavy metal, Power Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7670060929Saxon – the words durable, old school, enduring and still excellent at their Metal craft, come to my mind. Let’s be honest, this is not the same Saxon from their “Denim and Leather” days, yet they are Saxon 2009 – that is Metal-good enough for me. Saxon was an essential part of “the new wave of British Heavy Metal”, going back to the late 1970’s into the early 1980’s. When I first heard Saxon back then, I felt like I found a band no one else knew about… I had a cool Metal secret. Well, the secret was already out, as I later found. Saxon was justifiable a favorite of legions of Metalheads, therefore I was not alone with my new found Heavy Metal band after all. 

568497a3ad“into the Labyrinth” is the newest album from Saxon, released on January 13, 2009. “Battalions Of Steel” and “Valley Of The Kings” have an almost majestic Power Metal sound, complete with keyboards and what sounds to me like an enlightened choir. For me, Saxon pulls it off extremely well when they go the Power Metal route. “Live To Rock” is the single being pushed off of this album, it is bona fide Old School Heavy Metal with a cool, vintage, anthemic delivery to it. This is the fist raising – head banging tune that will stir up plenty of 80’s Heavy Metal memories for many. “Slow Lane Blues” is another fine example of how Saxon holds onto the Classic Metal approach, a fun tune that tells the complete story of a dude being pulled over by a cop for speeding. “Crime Of Passion” is heavy, heavy, Metal. Nigel Glockler punishes the drum kit on this song, again, head banging can and may occur when listening to this song too. If there is to be a song on this album that is considered a ballad, well, “Voice” is it. However, this is a heavy ballad – staunch Metalheads need not worry – Saxon does not get sappy here at all. “Hellcat” is my favorite track on this album, it is fast, furious and heavy. The three key Metal music ingredients I always embrace! “Come Rock Of Ages (The Circle Is Complete)” is a Heavy Metal exclamation point for Saxon on this album, man this song is good. “Coming Home (Bottleneck Version)” is a back woods – lets stomp in the swamp – foot stomping tune. It is a cool way to come down after the previous 12 tracks of fired up Heavy Metal.

Biff Byford on lead vocals sounds fabulous throughout “into the Labyrinth”, he is what I consider truly underrated, as a Heavy Metal front man. Biff Byford is like the silent elder Metal statesman – compared to the press the other more popular lead vocalists of Old School Heavy Metal receive. Doug Scarratt and Paul Quinn are a cool and talented guitar duo to listen to, I have sincere Metal admiration for both. Nibbs Carter on bass hooks up with Nigel Glockler on drums to provide a top tier rhythm section of crushing Heavy Metal. Overall, long time Saxon fans should gobble up this new album, new fans should be easily recruited. When you have 13 songs this good, with tunes that Rock this heavy, I feel you have a Metal winner. 

fullsize

Heavy Metal 101: 10 (or more) most underrated Metal albums you need to know

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, Black Metal, Black Sabbath, classic metal, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, horror metal, king diamond, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, Over Kill, Power Metal, speed metal, Thrash Metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

 

 1096030

 

If you are a veteran Metalhead, these ten (or more) Metal albums that I consider underrated may not surprise you. Heck, you may already have owned them for several years or even decades. In the Metal event you are a new recruit to the dynamic world of Heavy Metal, welcome aboard and go out and BUY THESE METAL ALBUMS for they will serve you right! Oh, what do I mean by underrated? Well, for starters, these are Classic/Vintage Metal albums that do not seem to get enough attention these days – as I surf around the world wide web, these are the albums that tend to go unnoticed for some oddball reason or another. It is my goal to surround the readers of Metal Odyssey with the knowledge necessary, to make prudent Metal album buying decisions too. These ten Metal albums, in my Metal opinion, have most definitively stood the test of Metal time. Enjoy and absorb this list, please note that these Metal albums are not in any specific order. (These Metal albums are my own personal choices for most underrated, I am sure many knowledgeable Metalheads out there will have differing opinions).

42959617239865

3283645

4296112

 

 

 

 

 

MERCYFUL FATE – “MELISSA” – King Diamond, plus, absolutely NO radio friendly tunes found here. This band laid down a whole bunch of Black Metal groundwork for others to learn from.

TWISTED SISTER – “YOU CAN’T STOP ROCK ‘N’ ROLL” – Just before Dee Snider & the boys became really famous. I find this album to be just as inspiring today as it was in 1983. My favorite Twisted Sister album.

BLACK SABBATH – “BORN AGAIN” – Ian Gillian on vocals, ’nuff said. O.K., this is one tough album or CD to find. “Trashed” is very heavy stuff, a very fast Black Sabbath tune. This version of Black Sabbath is incredibly good. Bev Bevan of Electric Light Orchestra fame actually was the drummer on the “Born Again” Tour during 1984/85. That is correct. You did read this right. Now that is cool, having an ELO and Black Sabbath connection. 

MOTORHEAD – “ANOTHER PERFECT DAY” –  Of all the Motorhead albums, this one deserves more respect. The tune “One Track Mind” is reason alone to own this vintage Motorhead release, plus the album cover artwork and liner notes are extremely diabolical and cool. 

GRIM REAPER – “See You In Hell” – The album title says it all… the title track “See You In Hell” is for me, a Heavy Metal anthem that brings back memories to my Metal heart. This was one heavy duty band for me… worth every Metal second of listening enjoyment. Overall, great band, great album, I wish they could have done twenty albums.

EXODUS – “FABULOUS DISASTER” – Gary Holt is such an important guitar player in Thrash Metal history. Exodus is always grouped in with the Thrash Metal originators. In my Metal opinion, each original Bay Area Thrash Band is just as important as the next… I am giving Exodus their just due here and “Fabulous Disaster” is just that, fabulous Thrash Metal.

VINNIE MOORE – “MINDS EYE” – Hey, this guy can play guitar. Heavy Metal guitar too. An all Metal instrumental album could never hurt no one, especially a Metalhead. Listening to Vinnie Moore in college helped me get unreal grades in fine arts, I am not kidding. I drew some of my best stuff listening to Vinnie Moore – thanks Vinnie.

MANOWAR – “HAIL TO ENGLAND” – Very loud and Old School Metal. This album has all the Metal attitude and heavy music you could ever ask for, plus, as a bonus, these guys are quality Metal musicians too! There are those times, when I need a cool Power Metal band that is Old School, that I can sing along to. They very well might be… “The Kings of Metal” as they advertise… heck, I would never think of telling them they are not.

OVER KILLEvery album they have ever made. Yeah, this sounds crazy, yet these guys are that great at playing Thrash Metal. Over Kill always seems to have been the hardest working Thrash band on the planet, with no star status or star treatment from the wide world of professionally paid critics. Different lineups throughout the years has not affected my loyalty… as long as there is Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and D.D. Verni leading this potent Thrash attack, I am Metal happy.

W.A.S.P. – “K.F.D.” – This is one heavy, monster of a W.A.S.P. album. Extremely heavy W.A.S.P. – Blackie Lawless was not fooling around with this album… I listen to “K.F.D.” when I have both good and bad days, the end affect is still just like opening up a can of Metal whoop ass and getting straightened out – Blackie Lawless style. Thanks Blackie Lawless.

KROKUS – “HEADHUNTER” – O.K., sure, there is some commercial appeal here with the tune “Screaming In The Night”, yet it is a far cry from any of the heavy ballads that blitzed us all in the 1980’s. Factor in the raging track “Headhunter” and the Metal grooviness of “Stayed Awake All Night” and you have served up yourself some decent party tunes.

Black Sabbath "Born Again"

main-150-1

main-150

 

 

 

 

 

main-150Over Kill "I Hear Black" big picmain-150-2

Danzig – debut album from 1988 is all Metal muscle

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic metal, cool album covers, Danzig, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, horror metal, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Misfits, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

logodanzig

 

 

 

Listening to the debut album from Danzig, (titled “Danzig”), is always a refresher course in what smash mouth Metal is about. Released in 1988, this album in my Metal opinion, has all the ingredients necessary to be looked upon as a muscular Metal Classic. I will admit, that this is one of my favorite Metal albums ever and Danzig does hold high rank in my Metal universe. Before Glenn Danzig went the all Metal route with his music, well, was there anyone else in Metal that sounded like him? My answer is nope. I liken Danzig’s vocals to be of profound Metal uniqueness, where he will clearly deliver the spoken word, then sing and/or belt out vocally with real conviction.  Sure, I even agree that Danzig’s vocals sound a tad like Jim Morrison at times… not a bad dude to be compared to for vocals. The ten tracks on “Danzig” are laced with the lyrical darkness that are open for interpretation. Musically, Glenn Danzig is a Metal mastermind at combining the straight up and anti-commercial approach to these songs, while not over complicating any of the songs structure. “Mother” is the closest you will get to ever seeing a Danzig tune dabble with mainstream popularity.

I can recall how the great Danzig song “Mother” gave me an unexpected surprise that actually made my day. My best buddy in the Galaxy, well, he is a steadfast and loyal Boston Red Sox fan, (I am not). He took me along to Fenway Park a couple of times, (paid for my tickets too) and we both took in two fine games. I will always appreciate his generosity. Well, at one of these Red Sox games, the relief pitcher – closer was called in to the game, his name was Keith Foulke. I did not realize that this pitchers theme song and/or warm-up song to get pumped up to – was none other than Danzig’s “Mother”. Here I am, innocently sitting in the historical Fenway Park, by the historical “Pesky Pole”, within a sea of Red Sox fans and I am taken by Metal surprise to the electrifying and heavy loudness of Danzig’s “Mother” coming over the stadium speakers! I felt so proud to be a Danzig fan at that moment. Let me tell you, that song lit up the thousands of Red Sox fans at Fenway Park that day. 

Now, back to this Danzig album, my favorite four tunes, (not in any specific order), are: “Twist Of Cain” – which has the sandpaper tough, do not mess with me attitude oozing from the lyrics and music, “She Rides” – a track that has that slowly driven, heavy beat that gives me an instant, devious, Metal grin, “End Of Time” – which is melancholy and spooky lyrically and rocks heavy with thick Metal grooves, leads & riffs, then of course, “Mother”. I will say that in my Metal opinion, all ten songs on “Danzig” are fully loaded for maximum heavy musical enjoyment. The Danzig lineup for this debut album was: Glenn Danzig on vocals, Eerie Von on bass, John Christ on lead guitar and Chuck Biscuits on drums. Not that Glenn Danzig needed any introduction to the Rock universe back in 1988, he did arrive with storied and musically historical careers with the Misfits and Samhain behind him. However, I firmly believe that this debut album was built to last, succeeding in launching the Metal legacy that Danzig has so brilliantly created.

danzig1

Black Sabbath – “Mob Rules” still rules the Metal world

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, Black Sabbath, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, dio, essential heavy metal albums, heaven and hell heavy metal band, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, ronnie james dio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In my Metal opinion, this is such a tremendous album, a true Metal mainstay for so many years. Released in 1981, this is Old School, Black Sabbath that time cannot age. I highly endorse “Mob Rules” to be in every Metal fans music collection. Every song is enormous, with the prolific riffs and leads from Tony Iommi on guitar, I so admire this musician. Geezer Butler on bass and Vinny Appice on drums make for what I consider one of the greatest rhythm sections in Metal history. Ronnie James Dio is pure Metal perfection on vocals. Between the music and Dio’s voice, this Black Sabbath lineup takes a back seat to no one. “Voodoo”, “Turn Up The Night”, “Slipping Away” and “Mob Rules” are songs that have that unrelenting Metal energy that does not subside. Unbelievable Metal Classics, in my Metal opinion. “E5150” is an instrumental that has the eerie Black Sabbath ambiance flowing over, a perfect fit for this album. The real sleeper tune on this album, for me, is “Country Girl” – this song has a really cool groove going on, a real Heavy Metal song that doesn’t get the same attention as the previous tracks I mentioned.

“Mob Rules” is, as I see it, one of the most complete Metal albums ever made, it has the songs, vocals, Metal and lyrics. The album artwork definitely gets a Metal thumbs up! This macabre artwork definitely fits in with the song “Mob Rules”. I remember the very first time I heard the opening riff to “Voodoo”, I still get the same Metal rush from it now as I did back in 1981. I distinctly remember when this Metalhead buddy of mine, back then, held this album jacket in his hands, put the vinyl on the turntable, turned to me and said: “Dude, wait ’till you here this song “Voodoo” “. I knew at that moment, it was some special Metal awaiting me. It is an amazing Metal accomplishment, for these four musicians to still be creating new music together in 2009, as Heaven & Hell. Do not skip over this Metal gem for too long, you could be enjoying it right now!

fullsize

%d bloggers like this: