Archive for progressive metal music

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.

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HEAVY METAL FACTS TO NOURISH THE METAL MIND!

Posted in hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

HEAVY METAL FACTS – Here are some cool and thought provoking Heavy Metal facts that you may find enlightening and/or life changing. Enjoy this list… enriching the Metal mind might just serve you right!

* Paul Mario Day was the original lead vocalist for Iron Maiden. Of course, Paul did not record an album with Iron Maiden, he was their lead vocalist from 1975-1976.  Paul Mario Day later formed a NWOBHM band named More, which recorded two studio albums: Warhead (1981) and Blood & Thunder (1982).

* Lemmy Kilmister, vocalist, bass guitarist and founding member of the unreal legendary – Motorhead, celebrates his birthday on Christmas Eve… December 24th. Lemmy was born in 1945.

* The tombstone on the front cover of the live Iron Maiden double album – Live After Death, reads: “That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with strange aeons even death may die”. This quote is taken from the iconic H.P. Lovecraft’s book – The Nameless City.

* Ralf Scheepers, lead vocalist for the German Power Metal Band – Primal Fear, was a finalist to replace Rob Halford as the new lead vocalist for Judas Priest. As the Metal story goes… Tim “Ripper” Owens became the “new” lead vocalist for Judas Priest, being hired by The Priest back in 1996. Rob Halford returned to Judas Priest in 2004… with Angel Of Retribution (released in 2005) being the “reunion” album for these Heavy Metal legends of all legends.

* Vinnie Moore – this guitar legend appeared on the Alice Cooper album Hey Stoopid, released back in 1991. Vinnie played guitar on two songs: Hurricane Years and Dirty Dreams. Vinnie Moore is the lead guitarist for the incredible…  UFO, has been since 2004.

* Rob Zombie’s birthname is: Robert Bartleh Cummings. Rob Zombie was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, on January 12, 1965.

LONG LIVE HEAVY METAL!

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.

JOHN OLIVA’S PAIN – “FESTIVAL” THIS DARK SONG IS WORTH A LOUD LISTEN!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal songs, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Festival is just one great, dark, heavy and hard album of songs. Jon Oliva added some of his patented Old School touches within the mix as well, lending for an unforgettable listen in his unique music. Jon Oliva’s Pain is back… with a new album – Festival, delivering with a hard and heavy vengeance!

I really, really, really like this song and album. I Really do.

* Check out John Oliva’s Pain myspace music page by clicking the link below:

JOHN OLIVA’S PAIN

* John Oliva’s Pain will be released in the U.S.A. on April 13, 2010!

LONG LIVE JOHN OLIVA’S PAIN!

Stone.

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