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.

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.

MY FAVORITE HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVER IS…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal music, heavy metal records, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

My favorite Heavy Metal album cover, (of my entire Metalhead life), is… IRON MAIDEN’S debut from 1980 – IRON MAIDEN.Why? It’s Heavy Metal art, in all of it’s glorious Metal infancy. This was 1980 for Metal sakes, well before the multi-thousands of “other” Heavy Metal album covers came forth. Artist Derek Riggs made Eddie into this haunting and nightmarish creature of all things horrible. This mascot called Eddie symbolized an enormous turning point, in the way Heavy Metal was to be portrayed visually, for decades to come. The Metal of Iron Maiden on their debut album coincides with the album artwork with precision… melancholy and haunting are both. It’s probably best summed up this way… the Eddie artwork of Derek Riggs and the Metal of Iron Maiden, on this initial album, was always for me, a match made in Metal heaven.

Don’t get me wrong, the ensuing Iron Maiden album covers of Killers, The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind and Live After Death are ultra legendary. I choose the debut Iron Maiden album cover for it is just thatthe first appearance of not just a mascot and symbol of Iron Maiden, arguably Eddie was then and still is now, a mascot and symbol for all of Heavy Metal as well. Back in 1980, who would have predicted the rise and Metal proliferation of Iron Maiden? With Eddie being a prominent and symbolic fixture of the band spanning four decades now? It all had to start somewhere, commercially, for Iron Maiden. It started with their influential debut 1980 album and this cover, with Eddie as the macabre centerpiece, with those demonic eyes, standing underneath a moonlit creepy sky, amongst eerie street lamps.

Back in 1980, (when my Mom forbid me to have this album for its “bad news” cover), I would still seek it out at the Caldor Department Store… and stare at it in sheer bewilderment, (when my Mom wasn’t looking). The shock and awe this cover instilled in me back then, still gets my shock and awe meter ticking now. Sometime around 1985, my Mom was much more schooled on Heavy Metal… she bought me the Iron Maiden debut album one day, on a whim!

It’s funny how times have changed over the years and decades. Back in 1980, I’m certain there were a ton load of nervous parents out there, who fixed their eyes upon this Iron Maiden debut album… only to be handing down parental mandates to their sons and daughters, stating that this was the second coming of the anti-christ. It’s weird now, looking back on 1980, as a much more “innocent” time. As a parent of ten-year old twin daughters in 2010, there are many times I want to “shield” them from seeing and/or hearing what I deem inappropriate. They are only ten years old after all!

I witness for myself, the over sexed and gory album covers of today, with the infinite number of television, print and movie media’s sexual and violence laced appeal. I guess, after all this time, I can sympathize with my Mom’s feelings back then, in 1980. Regardless, I am anti-censorship when it comes to artistic freedom, our freedom of speech and to assemble as well!!

Picking out one’s favorite Heavy Metal album cover of all time can be difficult, I found this to be quite easy. Sure, Judas Priest and KISS, (just to name a credible twosome), had some incredible album covers in the 1970’s… before this Iron Maiden album was released, yet the visual impact, that this Iron Maiden cover had on me since I was straight out of eighth grade has never wavered. Oh… and every song on this Iron Maiden album, made just as equal an impact on me too. What is your favorite Heavy Metal album cover?

LONG LIVE IRON MAIDEN!

LONG LIVE EDDIE!

LONG LIVE DEREK RIGGS!

* My favorite song on this Iron Maiden debut album is – Remember Tomorrow. This song seems to drift along in such a dreamscape and melancholy way. A true chameleon of a song, if there ever was one… the mellowness and somber mood, changes over to heaviness… and then repeats itself all over again.

I could go on and on about this Iron Maiden album cover… the pleasure I derive from looking at this artwork is worth its weight in Metal gold.

Stone.

METAL ODYSSEY CELEBRATES 1ST METAL ANNIVERSARY!

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, alternative metal music, anniversary, classic rock, classic rock music, collecting metal music, everyday experiences, everyday people, extreme metal music, gothic metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal birthdays, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, horror punk, living, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, people, power metal music, Punk rock, rock and roll, rock music, southern rock music, thrash metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

On March 1st, 2009, I embarked on a Rock and Roll journey… to blog my Metal heart out about the music, bands, musicians, albums and songs I love the most. This Rock and Roll journey was named – MetalOdyssey. Both past and present bands, my concert experiences, what I buy for music, album reviews, Heavy Metal hunting finds and my best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale have all been covered. Scott researches Metal like a Metalaholic. Once in awhile, I have vented about what ticks me off: The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, reality show know-it-all dads, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Grammys and the dreadful PMRC. I even posted about my new cat Toby that my family adopted too. My unreal great wife, well, she is responsible for prodding and suggesting that I do this Metal Odyssey blog gig. I look back now and understand why she wanted me to do this. Without her computer, graphics and software expertise, I never would have gotten this blog off the Metal ground. I Thank her with all the love and everything I’ve got for coaxing me into such a Metal thrill ride! It has been a ton of Metal fun.

Did I think I would cover, (most of the time, like, 90% of the time), Metal Music? Kinda did. You see, I also have a love affair with Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Southern Rock, Alternative Rock, Rock and… at times, movie soundtracks. So, my Rock and Roll infatuation covers quite a bit of ground… it’s been that way my entire Metal life. Some may want to call me a Rock Music junkie… so Metal be it! I’m not bashful to express my allegiance to ELO, The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, The Doors, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Boz Scaggs. Nor will I ever fib and say the Rocky movie soundtrack doesn’t still pump me up and psyche me out of my Metal mind! Bill Conti is a musical genius, John Carpenter is too.

What does the future hold for Metal Odyssey? MORE METAL! With that said, I will warn all of my loyal visitors and new visitors right now… don’t ever be bewildered if you find me blabbing and praising about straight forward Rock and Roll either. I love the roots of Heavy Metal, always have I been amazed at how this incredible form of music came to being. Heavy Metal history is sacred to Metal Odyssey.

Punk Rock I like to blab about too from time to time. Misfits, Ramones, Osaka PopstarRancid and The Casualties are my top favorites, they all shall get their justified and respected due on Metal Odyssey again.

In the coming months, hopefully years, I will continue on with this Rock and Roll journey called Metal Odyssey just as I have been doing. I would like to continue to inform, entertain and inspire friendly debate through my writings and reviews. I also get the biggest kick out of consistently finding Metal albums and CD’s dirt cheap at thrift stores, antique stores/malls and flea markets… lending my anecdotes and experiences of such finds to the world makes me feel happy. Any and all personal Metal experiences, (no matter how large or small), that I may encounter in the future will no doubt, be found right here on Metal Odyssey!

I also want to thank the new Metal buddies I have encountered through Metal Odyssey. These guys are fun to correspond with and make me more Metal wiser with each new post they create on their respective blogs, due in part to their personal perspective and knowledge of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Here is a roll call of these great fellow Metalheads who share the same passion as I do for Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music… check them out in the list below, if you already haven’t, they are a Metal kick!

Hard Rock Hideout – I write reviews and do interviews for this unreal cool site… the dudes and dudettes over there are super nice Metal buddies too. Hard Rock Hideout is super loaded with up to the minute news, reviews, interviews, Hard Rock Hideout Radio, videos and… you get the Metal point!

The Metal Files – This Metal buddy was the first to put Metal Odyssey on a blog roll! An industry insider and musician who knows more than a thing or two about what is really going on in Metal. Plus, I really take stock in his Metal opinions, even if he doesn’t like Steelheart.

Heavy Metal Addiction – A Metal buddy who invited me into a group of fellow bloggers to post the “Best Of” lists for 2009. A Metal gracious move I truly appreciate. Great reviews and insight aplenty to be had over there from this Heavy Metal blogging veteran. From his CD Scavenger Hunt to his concert reviews… good Metal stuff.

Metal Excess – This Heavy Metal site is loaded with reviews and honest insight too. A KISS fan exists at Metal Excess, which makes it all the more a Metal pleasure to go there constantly.

Demolish Fanzine – 1980’s Heavy Metal Revival – This Metalhead buddy loves 1980’s Metal, what’s not to love about it? This blog is enriched with the knowledge of a 1980’s fanzine veteran who has loads of Metal interviews and info to share… and I’m reading it.

Heavy Metal Time Machine – An old school Heavy Metal blogger who calls it the way he see it! That’s the way it should be for Metal sakes. Uniquely insightful and fun, (Clash of the Album Covers & Battle of the Bands), the reviews, opinions and anecdotes over there always keeps me thinking.

* I also want to thank WordPress.com for having a kick butt and easy to navigate blog site!

I do want to THANK EACH AND EVERY VISITOR to Metal Odyssey over this past first year! Regardless if your comments were friendly or not, heck, at least you commented! Without visitors to Metal Odyssey, there is no fun in blabbing about the music that gets us all through each day.

BE TRUE TO THE MUSIC YOU LOVE AND THE MUSIC WILL BE TRUE TO YOU!

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE FREEDOM TO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC WE CHOOSE!


Thank you all again,

Stone.

SKYFIRE – “Under A Pitch Black Sky” Progressive Death Metal Song That Cured My Funk

Posted in black metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current death meal bands, current death metal albums, current death metal music, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, Death Metal, death metal 2009, death metal albums 2009, death metal music, death metal vocalists, death metal vocals, extreme metal bands, extreme metal music, extreme metal music albums, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal videos, melodic death metal albums, melodic death metal bands, melodic death metal music, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive death metal bands, progressive death metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Based on the type of funky day I’ve been having, coming across the song Under A Pitch Black Sky by SKYFIRE was all the Metal elixir I needed, to get that funk out of my day. This song is from Skyfire’s 2009 release – Esoteric. Skyfire is a Progressive Death Metal Band, originating from Sweden. I first heard Under A Pitch Black Sky from a compilation CD of Metal songs, courtesy from an issue of Metal Hammer that I picked up, sometime back in 2009. (Getting free Metal compilation CD’s from an issue of Metal Hammer… or from any source, is a very cool Metal deal). I really enjoy the Death Metal genre, throw in melodic and it suits me just the same. There is the atmospheric element of Symphonic Metal heard throughout this great song. Lead vocalist Joakim Karlsson sounds brilliant on Under A Pitch Black Sky, some may equate his vocals to having a touch of Black Metal fire as well. The blistering guitars are a focal point of this song… just one listen and you shall understand my Metal glee. At the end of the Metal day, SKYFIRE is an excellent Progressive Death Metal Band for me. I hope you enjoy Under A Pitch Black Sky as much as I do… crank this Metal up and it might get the funk out of your day too!

LONG LIVE SKYFIRE!

SKYFIRE:

Joakim Karlsson – (Vocals)

Martin Hanner – (Bass & Keyboards)

Andreas Edlund – (guitars & keyboards)

Johan Reinholdz – (Guitars)

Joakim Jonsson – (Drums)

To find out more about SKYFIRE, just click on this link that takes you to their MySpace Music page: SKYFIRE

It is METAL Music and bands like SKYFIRE, that never let me down…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track Listing for The Great Misdirect:

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

Disease, Injury, Madness

Swim To The Moon

Desert Of Song

Fossil Genera – A Feed from Cloud Mountain

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

Tommy Rogers – vocals, keys and lyrics

Dan Briggs – bass, fretless bass

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

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

Blake Richardson – drums and percussion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Side B: Divinations (Instrumental)

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

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP 25 HEAVY METAL ALBUMS OF 2009

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

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

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


SAVATAGE – “Day After Day” cover song was in my head today

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal cover songs, 1980's live heavy metal albums, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1986 heavy metal albums, 1986 heavy metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, 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 albums 1986, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal on vinyl, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

16375You know those moments or days when  you experience a song that just seems to arrive or enter your mind, without being invited? It is subconscious for certain, something triggers a particular song to begin playing in my brain, be it secondary thoughts, reflections, images and/or events that happen in the course of a day’s routine. Today, I had the Savatage cover song of “Day After Day” playing repeat in my head. I honestly do not know why. I have not listened to this song from Savatage for many years, possibly a couple of decades. “Day After Day” is a song from the Savatage album “Fight For The Rock”, (released back in 1986). It is a cool song, without doubt  a Hard Rock, borderline Heavy Metal cover version, compared to the original 1971 Rock version from Badfinger. I used to have this original “Fight For The Rock” vinyl, heck, I bought it back when it first came out. Over the years, I sold it for some oddball reason or another.

“Fight For The Rock” was not an album representing the Progressive Metal that Savatage is now so well known for. This is a unique album out of the Savatage  Metal catalog. Personally, I cannot look down on this album just because it was a detour from the Metal sound that Savatage was creating, up to the point of it’s release. Savatage certainly powered back mightily with future albums that bestowed their heaviness and Progressive Metal songs. As I see it, I bought this album back in 1986 for a reason… I liked it, I liked Savatage and their brand of Metal, still do. I have always been an admirer of the vocals of Jon Oliva and the guitar play of his brother Criss Oliva. This album must have made an impression on me many years ago for “Day After Day” to suddenly play over inside of my head today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blind Guardian covers “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” – Power Metal style

Posted in 1960's acid rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1960's psychedelic rock music, 1960's vintage rock albums, 1960's rock music, Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, heavy metal album review, heavy metal from germany, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, power metal music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal music eps, rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll cover songs, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7744373Blind Guardian is a Power Metal meets Progressive Metal band, straight out of the fine country of Germany. I enjoy the Power Metal and Progressive Metal genres immensely, Blind Guardian for me, is always a cool listen. As I was browsing around the Century Media Records online site (CM Distro.com) several months ago, I happened to find an EP from Blind Guardian that quickly caught my Metal attention. The name of this EP is “Fly”, (released in 2006), it contains three songs: “Fly”, “Skalds and Shadows” and the cover version of the Iron Butterfly classic – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. I knew instantly I needed to purchase this EP. I have always and forever revered this Psychedelic, Classic Rock, gem of a song that Iron Butterfly created with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, (originally released in 1968). I placed my order for this Blind Guardian EP without ever hearing it first… I had complete confidence in Blind Guardian delivering a decent cover version of this song, plus as I stated earlier, their Power – Prog Metal style never put me in the doldrums whatsoever.

525284Blind Guardian “Fly”, as with any of this bands albums, never fail to peak my curiosity based on the album cover artwork on their releases. Going in, I knew they are a capable, talented and quality Metal band, with intellectual lyrics and story telling to coincide with their songs. I am pleased at purchasing “Fly”, all three songs are diverse, with my favorite being the cover song from Iron Butterfly “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Blind Guardian’s version is very heavy, all power, it rocks tough and hard, while paying great respect to this songs originally intended hardness and dark landscape. The only key aspect here, is to know that this is the shortened cover version of this song, at 3:38 long, (the original Iron Butterfly album version is 17:05 long). Blind Guardian if anything, makes this song sound just as macabre and melancholy, (quite a musical feat), with the vocals and music sounding equally haunting as the original. Some may feel Blind Guardian makes “In-A-Gadda-Da Vida” sound more spooky than the original version… there have been times I have thought just that. Now, as to the age old argument… is the cover version better than the original? Of course, it would be a monstrous feat to blow away the original Iron Butterfly rendition of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”… I will always like the original version more. With that said… once you hear Blind Guardian cover this song, you may very well be like me and think – whoa, this is a really cool and heavy way to commemorate a classic… a Metal job well done.

“Fly” is a more open ended Progressive Metal example, with the vocals being more punctual and deliberate. “Skalds and Shadows” is an acoustic version of it’s original, musically you are surrounded by an almost medieval atmosphere of mood and senses, making me feel as if I am about to enter an ancient, abandoned castle. I am impressed by the way lead vocalist Hansi Kursch changes and adapts his vocal approach, according to the individual song, this type of diversity and quality in singing is appreciable. Blind Guardian gives the listener a rather nice mix of Heavy Music on this “Fly” EP, even though there are only three songs. I am obviously pleased with this EP, it is a Metal keeper. The liner notes are 8 pages with full lyrics and credits. The center spread within the liner notes are two pages depicting the Blind Guardian band logo. With the musicianship, vocals and diversity of song found on this one EP, anyone new to Blind Guardian’s music should find this as an invitation to check out their impressive back catalog of albums. I recommend “The Fly” to all Progressive and Power Metal fans. Fans of Metal music in general should appreciate what Blind Guardian has created here as well.

04-Wacken

IRON MAIDEN “FLIGHT 666” is now boarding Metalheads!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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