Archive for recent heavy metal albums

DISTURBED – Indestructible Metal

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current metal albums, 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 this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal concerts, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, recent heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150My wife is a loyal fan of Heavy Metal. (Thank goodness). Well, I knew this over 20 years ago before we ever married. This turned out to be quite the Metal bonus, having my wife being a fellow Metalhead. I get cool Metal gifts for my birthday and Christmas from her and she encourages and nurtures the love I have for Metal music. I am a very fortunate Metalhead to have a wife like her. Her favorite Heavy Metal band of all-time has always been Def Leppard… until I introduced her to Disturbed. (I still believe both these bands are tied for my wife’s favorite). So, as I write away with Metal Odyssey, she keeps looking over my shoulder… waiting to see when Disturbed makes it to this blog. I without further Metal ado… will give my Metal opinion on Disturbed. I feel Disturbed is an excellent Metal band. Sure, Disturbed came around during the Nu-Metal phenomenon, yet I still never would classify them as such. No matter how much I try to dissect it… Disturbed holds up as being Metal.

The debut album from Disturbed, “The Sickness”, (released in 2000), has it’s Nu-Metal appeal… regardless, I am not buying into this label. “The Sickness” for me, is a fabulous album that brought about a Metal sound that I never heard before. This sound I am talking about is truly derived from the vocals of David Draiman, I honestly have never heard anyone else sing like him. The sound effects that David Draiman belts out vocally are to me, unique. This guy can sing, I am not going to ever dispute this. The deep rooted emotion and anger has always been a believable staple with David’s vocals, in my Metal opinion. Usually a band has to do a knock out, killer job of covering a tune from years past to impress me… Disturbed blows away the original version of “Shout” from Tears for Fears. There is no comparison. Man, this song gets me Metal pumped, that is how it affects me, so shall it be. The “Ten Thousand Fists” album (released in 2005), cuts the Metal mustard for me as well. Hey, I always thought Genesis was a cool Progressive Rock band… I would give this band a listen from time to time. Then, when I first heard the cover version of “Land of Confusion” done by Disturbed – again, blown away. The Genesis original version of this song I always found to be intriguing, it is Disturbed that made it a Metal treat for my ears.

Last Summer of 2008, when Disturbed released “Indestructible”, I fell Metal victim again… the entire album was exactly what I was hoping for – the heaviest Disturbed yet. I will will say this much, without any hesitation, that “Indestructible” was one of the finest Metal albums released in 2008. Every song on this album is heavy duty and powerful, I could not endorse this album any louder than that. Dan Donegan on lead guitar is tremendously good… I cannot ignore this fact. John Moyer on bass and Mike Wengren on drums smack it down with the rhythm section, they are tremendous players as well. David Draiman sings to maximum Metal capacity too, always has. As a Metal side note, I feel it is extremely cool, that Disturbed has played for our U.S. troops overseas. To wrap this Disturbed post up, yup, I am a fan. I am not trying to sound like a fart head when I say – what is there not to like? Disturbed has released four very cool Metal albums in a row, that is quite the Metal task. Yes, music is always a personal preference, my personal belief is that Disturbed is as their newest album suggests… indestructible.

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Ronny Munroe “The Fire Within” – Metal Church vocalist roars on solo debut

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic metal, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, dio, essential heavy metal albums, Guitar, guitar solos, 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 solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Metal Church, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rainbow heavy metal band, ronnie james dio, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

30649First of all, I am a fan of Ronny Munroe, the current lead vocalist for Metal Church. I just happen to gravitate towards the Old School Metal sound, both vocally and musically. Ronny Munroe in my Metal opinion, has the unmistakable Old School Heavy Metal vocals… and in no way do I subscribe to the opinion that this sound is dated. This brand of Old School Heavy Metal has been proven successful for decades now. For me, it is another Metal genre that lives on. With that said, I have obtained a copy of the new Ronny Munroe debut CD… The Fire Within, (released 2009), I am impressed by the total package of music here. This is Heavy Metal made the old school way, no frills, bells or whistles get in the way of the straight ahead approach that Ronny Munroe has taken on with “The Fire Within”. Honestly, Ronny Munroe comes with his Metal Church – front man credentials… he delivers a mightily solid twelve tunes alongside some talented friends. Rick Van Zandt of Metal Church, plays lead and rhythm guitars superbly throughout, with Michael Wilton of Queensryche delivering a solo on two tracks I will mention.

“Across The Sea Of Souls” is the song I feel Ronny Munroe is at his finest, his vocals sound sharp, as if he has been singing this song his entire life. The Michael Wilton solo on this song is cool, I cannot ignore or resist his guitar talent. “Ivory Towers” and “Evil Genius” are tracks that showcase moments of the higher extreme of Ronny’s vocal range, (yes, think of Rob Halford), these songs are groove laden with images of 1980’s Arena Metal concerts in my mind! “Ride Me” is a Metal-macho tune that rocks heavy, the lyrics are tailor made for a Hair Metal band… Ronny makes this song work, Randy Cooper kicks in with a lean & mean solo, a Heavy Metal tune with plenty of swagger. “What You Choose To Call Hell (I Call Home)” comes across to me, as the signature track for Ronny on this album. It is dark, heavy, moody and effectively bridges the gap between Metal Church and Ronny Munroe’s solo career. Michael Wilton appears again here, providing another memorable solo.

After listening to “The Fire Within”, it is my Metal opinion, that Ronny Munroe places Old School Heavy Metal high on a pedestal. I hear while listening to this album, the influences of Judas Priest, Dio and Dio era Rainbow. My opinion could not be better solidified, after listening to “Man On The Silver Mountain” (a vintage Rainbow song), covered by Ronny Munroe. This being the last track, it fittingly closes out a fine Heavy Metal album of creative tunes. Ronny does a terrific cover of this song, I really enjoy this version a whole bunch. This cover version found here, is a fine tribute to an everlasting, Heavy Metal classic of a song. Ronny’s vocals at times, do have comparisons to the legendary Ronnie James Dio, especially on this classic Rainbow cover. I will say, my favorite will always be the original “Man On The Silver Mountain” as sung by Dio himself. In summary, “The Fire Within” will be an album that I will tune in to on a regular basis, it is what I like. I was looking forward to this solo album from Ronny, I have not been disappointed. I recommend Ronny Munroe’s debut solo effort to any fan of Old School Heavy Metal, 1980’s Heavy Metal, Rainbow and of course, Metal Church. New fans should just dive in… this brand of Metal needs to be passed on!

Upon searching for “The Fire Within”, I did locate this CD on the worlds greatest online record store… Century Media Records… aka… CM Distro.com. (I highly recommend CM Distro.com). “The Fire Within” is on an independent record label called Ratpak Records. *Not to leave out the cool musicianship of the following on this album: Izzy Rehaume on bass guitar, Rick Pierce on rhythm guitar, Johnny Ringo and David Van Zandt on drums.

Ronny Munroe "The Fire Within"

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. 

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Heaven & Hell “The Devil You Know” is Metal greatness!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, Black Sabbath, classic rock, dio, Hard Rock, heaven and hell heavy metal band, Heavy Metal, 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, Music, new heavy metal album, Power Metal, recent heavy metal albums, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, ronnie james dio, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

92776864Alas, I finally received via U.S. mail, on April 29, 2009, directly from Best Buy online, the brand new Heaven & Hell release – “The Devil You Know” – (I pre-ordered the CD/DVD version) and I am simply ecstatic over this Metal! I feel I am exonerated from all the praise and hype I have been giving Heaven & Hell for their embarking on making this new album. Greatness is not enough of a positive adjective to describe the Metal tunes on “The Devil You Know” – and I mean all ten songs are enormously great. My favorite tune on this album is “The Turn Of The Screw” – it sounds incredible with Tony Iommi on guitar, for Iommi seems as if he let his melodic side take over with the leads and solo. Ronnie James Dio sounds like he is thirty years old again on not just this tune, all ten of these tunes!

Am I going too far with the praise so far? In my personal Metal opinion, nope. Anyone, albeit fan or professionally paid music critic, who does not agree that “The Devil You Know” is Metal greatness should go out and start listening to dance club music from the 80’s. Heaven & Hell sound as if they have let out their finest and most creative ideas musically, for this new album. Oh, yes, the vintage Tony Iommi guitar riffs are abundant, with dark and doom ambiance aplenty. Lyrically, the songs are what you can expect from Heaven & Hell, with the legendary Ronnie James Dio leading the way vocally, accentuating each syllable with Metal precision. Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice sound so tight as a rhythm section, I would swear they play & practice music together weekly, for the past twenty five years! The old school Metal meets a current Metal groove is happening on this album, I find it extremely addicting.

By no means has Heaven & Hell released a retrospective Metal album that carbon copies the work they accomplished during the 1980’s, no way. In my Metal opinion, this is as current a Metal sound as any recent Metal album release, by any band. Heaven & Hell did not just step it up  a notch, they stepped it up with class and respect for us fans – by writing and creating what I consider the highest quality of Metal I have heard in recent memory. I feel Heaven & Hell did reach back to their roots, yet they combined it with the maturation of their musical talents, giving my ears not what Metal used to sound like but what Metal truly is. “The Devil You Know” has instantly become one of those Metal albums, where I cannot believe how great and intense each song is. No skipping over any tune or quick sampling here. Veteran Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell fans should be thrilled by this new album, new fans most certainly will be Metal impressed. It is not the cliche’ that Heaven & Hell has become of age, it is more that Heaven & Hell proves they are ageless.

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