I am excited to announce that I have joined forces with Philly Rock Radio and will be on a new blog site. To continue following my Blog click this link: http://www.phillyrockradio.com/sports-n-metal. I so look forward to this new opportunity to take my talents to the next level. Join me an my friends at Philly Rock Radio. Keep METAL alive! Make sure to favorite the link so you have instant access!
Black Sabbath deserves all of the credit for being the Grandfathers and ForeFathers of Heavy Metal. However, Judas Priest can be seen as the Godfathers of modern day metal. Judas Priest brought metal to a new level with the dual thrashing guitar playing of KK Downing and and Glen Tipton. Priest was formed in 1969 in Birmingham England. Not only was their music loud, but it was mind blowing. Rob Halford, arguably the best Heavy Metal vocalist in History has that raging voice as well as the stage presence to make fans lose their shit. As of today, Priest has sold over 50 Million Albums worldwide and that number rises everyday as youngsters become enamored with a band that has been in existence almost 45 Years. Their most notable lineup was Rob Halford (Vocals), Dave Holland (Drums), Ian Hill (Bass), and KK Downing/Glenn Tipton (Lead Guitar). Their release of “British Steel” in 1980 was what personified what we know of today as modern day Heavy Metal.
Judas Priest has gone through a few lineup changes and even went through a period of time where Rob Halford left the band for his own solo projects including the band “Fight” and “Halford”. However, in 1995, the band got together in a small kitchen in Birmingham, England, their birthplace. They were discussing the release of their new box set when they also made a decision to reunite. You know that moment when heavy metal fans get chills down their spine when they realize their favorite band is having a reunion. We have saw it with KISS, AC/DC, even the Rolling Stones. Well that emotion was felt by many when Priest announced to the world that they would be releasing a new album…”Angel of Retribution.” Fittingly, the first track on the new album was “Judas is Rising.” When you hear the song live, it really brings chills to the bone.
If you are a Heavy Metal fan and you have never saw Judas Priest live you have missed out tremendously. Judas Priest has released 16 Studio Albums as of now and are currently working on a new album due out sometime in 2014. The Priest as they are also referred to have been one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. Their most recent material was the album Nostradamus, which is a concept album about the life of Nostradamus who was one of the most famous prophets in history who has predicted many life changing events on earth. The album features 23 songs. The first disc focuses on his life and predictions and the second disc focuses on his life, after being exiled and his death. It covers how mankind had saw how right he was on his predictions after death. The band even used keyboards, synthesizers and choirs which was extremely new to their repertoire. NOSTRADAMUS did not have the critical success that was expected, but nonetheless this album is extremely powerful. Shut the lights out one night, pop in the CD and kickback and listen and you will see what I mean.
The band is currently working on their 17th Studio album, which is due out later this year. KK Downing has retired, but the band has not lost anything with newcomer Richie Faulkner. If you do not believe me, check out their latest live DVD, Epitaph which has 23 live tracks spanning their entire career. Epitaph was recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo, London on May 26th, 2012. The DVD was released as both a normal version and Blu Ray. I highly recommend this DVD for any METAL Fan. Especially any newcomers that may have never witnessed Judas Priest live. Judas Priest is absolutely amazing and their music is even more special.
So as we go forward on this Thursday, let us remember the influence that Judas Priest has had on all of our favorite Metal Bands. Every band that joins today wishes they could be the next Judas Priest. However, there is only ONE Judas Priest. Rob Halford in my opinion is the greatest vocalist of all time. I have blogged about this in the past when I did my TOP 50 Metal Vocalists of all time. You can also check that out in the archives. I easily place Priest in the TOP 5 Metal Bands of all time along with Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and AC/DC. So, if you are bored and looking for a change, go to ITUNEs and download some Priest. Also…Don’t forget to check out Philly’s hottest Internet Radio Station going…PHILLY ROCK RADIO. Also check out their website. You will be entertained I promise. Until next time, this is JJ Rock saying goodbye.
The Shepherd of Fire Tour went on sale today at 10AM Eastern Time. This Tour will span the United States and Canada as Avenged Sevenfold will promote their latest release “Hail to the King.” I have reviewed this album numerous times in past posts and every time I listen to this album it gets better and better. The Tour will include 20 Shows at many big venues throughout Canada and the US. Avenged Sevenfold will kickoff the tour in British Columbia, Canada at the EnCana Events Centre on April 12th. They will then proceed to the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia. The tour will also visit Saskacthewan, Winnepeg, Minneapolis Minnesota, Huntsville Alabama, Tampa Florida, Jacksonville Florida, Lafayette Louisiana, Hollywood Florida, Virginia Beach, Charlotte North Carolina, Knoxville Tennessee, Hershey Pennsylvania, Bangor Maine, Montreal Quebec, Syracuse New York, and will end in Columbus Ohio on May 17th.
For those of you that have never saw Avenged Sevenfold, I strongly suggest you purchase tickets to one of these shows. Sevenfold, otherwise known as AX7, has been a band on the rise for the past ten years and this latest album, Hail to the King is by far their best material to date. Synester Gates is like the modern day “Slash.” He plays the same kind of guitar style as the former Guns N Roses standout and matches his intensity. Johnny Christ on the Bass guitar is equally ferocious. M. Shadows has become quite a vocalist and has raised his game. Zacky Vengeance compliments Synester Gates and together they are like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest combined. By that, I mean they share the heaviness of Priest and the dual guitar melody of Maiden. The band rounds out with new comer Arin llejay who takes over for “The Rev”, who was AX7’s world class drummer. The Rev died in 2009, however his legacy lives on and his talent still influences the Band. Hail to the King reached #1 on the Billboard 200 in both the United States and the U.K. To date, AX7 has sold over 8 Million Albums world wide. This tour should be special, as the band has stepped up its game.
In other Metal news, Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee has gotten engaged to his girlfriend Sofia Toufa. He announced the news to 430,000 of his Twitter followers. This is the fourth time that the Rock Star will be married. The 51 Year old Lee has been previously married to Elaine Starchuk, Heather Locklear, and Pamela Anderson. Lee insists that this is finally his life partner. This news comes amidst the Crue’s latest news that they will be doing a farewell tour and album. I don’t know about you, but I put the over/under on the length of this marriage at Five Years. Tommy Lee has always been outspoken and is probably second to Vince Neil in female attraction.
It was also announced that former Megadeth Guitarist will be releasing a new album called “Inferno.” This should be interesting as Friedman had lost interest in Metal when he left Megadeth. AC/DC will also be releasing a new studio album and going back out on the road. I love Angus Young. He is like the energizer bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. Brian Johnson has lost some of his vocal power, but he can still sing with the best of them. There is a DIO tribute album being released in March that will include covers from Anthrax, Metallica, Pantera and others. Sebastian Bach is ready for the release of his new album, which should be KICK ASS!!!!!
Finally, we will play This or That:
1) Black Sabbath w DIO vs Black Sabbath w Ozzy.
2) Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets.
3) Cowboys from Hell or Vulgar Display of Power.
4) Deep Purple or Thin Lizzy.
5) Bon Scott or Brian Johnson.
6) Cinderella or RATT.
7) Testament or Overkill.
8) Bad Company or Foreigner.
9) Dave Mustaine or Kirk Hammett.
10) Alice In Chains or Soundgarden.
OK….Now for my answers. 1) Black Sabbath w DIO, 2) Master of Puppets, 3) Cowboys from Hell, 4) Thin Lizzy, 5) Brian Johnson, 6) RATT, 7) Overkill, 8) Bad Company, 9) Dave Mustaine, 10) Alice In Chains. So what were your picks?? Anyways, rock on mates. Stay tuned for more Metal Mania.
******Album of the Day- Def Leppard (Slang)*******
The United States Men’s Olympic Team squandered a great opportunity to bring home Gold to America. A roster that was made up of Star Players including Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessell, Jonathan Quick, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, Blake Wheeler, Zach Parise, Ryan Callahan, James Van Riemsdyk, Paul Stastny, and Dustin Brown could not even win the Bronze Medal. After starting off 4-0 through the Quarterfinals, Team USA was shutout in back to back games losing 1-0 to Canada and then losing to Finland 5-0 in the Medal Round, costing them a Bronze Medal. After outscoring their opponents 20-6 through the Quarterfinals, they were outscored 6-0 when the games counted the most.
Of course, it is easy to play monday morning quarterback when analyzing the results of the tournament. I am sure that Hockey experts throughout the hockey community are placing blame on many facets. There were many great memories during the tournament, the biggest being T.J. Oshie and his four goals in the Shootout Round to beat Russia 3-2. However, it was very dissapointing to see them shutout in back to back games to lose out on a medal. And it would be easy to say that the other teams just wanted to win more. But, I don’t feel that is the case. Unfortunately, I think this collapse was more due to the lack of firepower on the roster. Don’t get me wrong, the US had some top scorers in Patrick Kane and Phil Kessell. But at the end of the line, it seems like this team may have been built too much defensive minded.
Players like Brooks Orpik, David Backes, Paul Martin, and Derek Stepan, and Ryan Macdonagh (all great players in their own right) were chose for the roster over others such as Bobby Ryan and Keith Yandel, and even the veteran Jack Johnson. I can understand going with a younger roster with Cam Fowler and Justin Faulk, however it is a travesty that Bobby Ryan was left off the roster. Also left off the roster were two players with over 40 Points in Jason Pominville and Kyle Okposo. In my opinion, the US lacked enough firepower to keep up with Team Canada and Team Finland. Meanwhile, Team Canada boasts a roster of Sidney Crosby, Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, Steven Stamkos and the list goes on. If it was not for Jonathan Quick, the US would have not even sniffed the medal round. And once the US lost to Canada, it was like the wind was let out of their sails. And then after a strong First Period against Finland, which ended with no score, two goals in eleven seconds did the trick. The United States could not even muster one goal. Not one goal.
So the United States comes home with no medal. In 2010, they took Canada to overtime and earned the Silver. It really is ashamed because they started out so hot. And after the huge win against Russia, in front of the Russian fans and their leader Putin as they watched in vain. So here we are, Canada has won the Gold and Sweeden the Silver and Finland the Bronze. The US however has to wait another four years to try and catch magic in a puck. Maybe next time the Goalie will stand on his head during all six games. Jonathan Quick had a tremendous tournament, the last game notwithstanding. Also, Patrick Kane missed two penalty shots by inches and the final game could have been different. It is what it is. Now all of these players come home to the NHL as we enter the home stretch towards Lord Stanley’s Tournament. Better luck next time.
Here we are, its Thursday February 13th. The day before another Valentines Day. Just a note, in my opinion Valentine’s Day is extremely overrated as you should always treat your loved ones to such things as flowers, jewelry, etc. on a consistent basis. Too many people are shallow in my mind as they wait for this day to flex their muscles. This shallow behavior is all too familiar. Anyways, sorry to get off track, but I had to voice my opinion on the day otherwise known as Saint Valentine’s Day. Well, today is also the official day for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training for many Baseball Teams, which marks the beginning of the longest run in sports. Here in Philly we are having another super snow storm that has added to an already unheard of total of 52 Inches of snow so far this winter. So as snow, sleet, ice and rain are pelting the North East once again, our baseball teams head south to sunny Florida and Arizona.
So as we head into another Baseball Season, there are many questions that remain for every team in the league. I would say that this may have been the quietest offseason as far as free agency goes. There were not many big name signings throughout the league as Robinson Cano lead the way. Jay Z made sure his client got his pay day. The Yankees made some noise as always as they signed Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston), Brian McCann(Atlanta), Carlos Beltran(Saint Louis), and Mashiro Tanaka(The Best Free Agent Pitcher from Japan). So the Yankees were very proactive in Free Agency, but this is no surprise. The Seattle Mariners signed the top free agent, Yankee’s 2B Robinson Cano.
There were some other Free Agent transactions, however for the most part these moves involved average players. In a stocking move yesterday, the Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent Pitcher A.J. Burnett to a one year 16 Million Dollar Contract…are you kidding me? No folks, this is correct. The Phillies are at the end of the line and I guess Ruben Amaro is trying to load up for one last magical run that will never come. The Phillies window has closed. And signing A.J. Burnett for 16 million is a major disappointment for me as a baseball fan. If A.J. Burnett is worth 16 million, then what is Jon Lester worth. The Red Sox signed Lester to a 13 Million Dollar Contract and Lester is a far better pitcher than Burnett, with a higher upside as well.
If we take a look back at the past few World Series winners, the formula remains the same. Keep getting younger, mix in a few key free agents at position of need and build from the farm. Well, Amaro has completely emptied the Phillies minor league system. Since their World Series win in 2008, the Phillies have been on a constant decline. Ryan Howard has only played in half of the Phillies games the past two seasons, due to various injuries. Chase Utley has also missed significant time. Jimmy Rollins is maybe one year from retirement. The Phillies main offseason signing, Marlon Byrd is 36 Years old and definitely overrated and overpaid. If the Phillies were going to try and revamp the outfield, why did they not just keep Shane Victorino. Victorino is not only a better player than Byrd, but he is much younger and is a playoff beast. Pitching, the back bone of the Phillies the past few years has also been a question mark. Roy Halladay retired. So that leaves Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee as the Phillies top 2 Guns.
Well, yesterday it was reported that Cole Hamels has tendinitis in his shoulder and will not be ready for the start of the season, maybe not playing until May1st. This is not exactly the news that the team wanted to hear that is going into the season expecting their entire roster to have career years to just have a chance of making the post season. So what does Ruben Amaro do? He goes and signs A.J. Burnett to a 16 Million Dollar Contract. Don’t get me wrong, Burnett is not a horrible player. However, he is 36 years old, and he has had major control problems his past five seasons. He is definitely not the same pitcher he was with the Blue Jays and Marlins. Yes he could be a nice third starter for the Phils. However, I think this was an act of panic on Amaro’s part. Why not save the 16 Million and ride the young talent in the pitching realm.
The Phillies should have began rebuilding a few years back. Instead, they head into the 2014 season with the oldest team in Major League Baseball with an average age of 33. On top of that, they sign 40 Year Old Bobby Abreu to a minor league contract and 36 Year Old A.J. Burnett. I would have to point to that Ruben Amaro has ruined this franchise. But all of these moves in the offseason are typical of how the Phillies conduct business. In a future post I will give my Preview and Predictions for MLB this season. The Yankees have to be the favorite in the AL and the Dodgers in the NL. However, never count out the Saint Louis Cardinals or San Francisco Giants who have won 4 of the last 5 World Series.
Yesterday at work, I saw a coworker who had tears in his eyes. I thought, what could possibly be wrong. At that moment he informed me that Derek Jeter has announced that he will retire after this season. Derek Jeter is that kind of player. He is like Mariano Rivera. These type of players are icons that bring fans so much joy and happiness. Derek Jeter is one of those players that becomes a fan’s childhood idol so this is very big news for any Yankee fan, as well as Baseball Fans alike. Of course in other notes, we had all of the Replay institutions that were put into the Rule Books. I am sure this should ad to an already ever-changing game.
As we sit in our homes watching another snow storm, pitchers and catchers are on their flights to Spring Training. This should put a smile on any sports fans face that is going through withdrawal as Football Season is over. Baseball means nice weather. This alone puts a smile on my face. Well, as I said I will have my preview and predictions soon to come. The start of a new season also means a new Fantasy Baseball season. Im sure there will be many draft parties to come. Until next time, enjoy your day off of work here on the East Coast. Thanks again to INTHENEUTRALZONE. Until next time have an awesome weekend.
Iced Earth is not one of the most well known Metal Bands of today. However, they have actually been pounding out true Heavy Metal classics since 1985. The Band was originally formed in 1985 by guitarist Jon Schaffer (No Relation…DAMN) and original drummer Greg Seymour. The Band’s original name was Purgatory. Since 1990, when Iced Earth released their self titled debut album, they have released a total of ten studio albums, four EP’s, three box sets, one live album, and a cover album. Ironically, their first album actually shared three different album covers: European/Japanese, American, and Remastered version. The first two albums followed a traditional thrash metal sound like Metallica, but then transitioned into a Power/Progressive Metal Sound with new singer Matt Barlow.
Iced Earth has saw many members come and go, including Barlow who quit the band to become a police officer. Jon Schaffer is the only remaining member from the original lineup. During Barlow’s hiatus, Judas Priest’s Tim “Ripper” Owens joined the band for two albums “The Glorious Burden” and “Framing Armegeddon.” Their most recent album “Dystopia”, has had many positive reviews and many Metal Experts say it’s Iced Earth’s best album to date. As mentioned, there have been over 20 different musicians to belong to this band and now Stu Block has taken over on lead vocals. His vocal style fits this band perfect. Common lyrical themes of Iced Earth has been religion, history, fantasy, literature, and movies. Several of the band’s albums were Concept Albums. The two part album Framing Armegeddon and the Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part 1/Part 2) told the story of Jon Schaffer’s creation of the Setitians. In this story the Setitians are actually invaded by humans. Listen to both of these albums back to back with the lights out and you will have a better idea of what a Concept Album is.
Iced Earth recently released The Plagues of Babylon, which features part of his concept creation, while the other half of the album is a normal style album. Most music critics have given the new album positive reviews overall. In January, Plagues of Babylon reached #5 on the German Media Control Chart. This is actually the highest position Iced Earth has ever hit in the band’s entire career. In the United States, the album sold 6,500 copies the first week and debuted at 49 on the Billboard 200. The album begins with “The Plagues of Babylon” the albums cover name. Plagues of Babylon is a spin off of the Something Wicked concept that has been created by the band’s leader and captain Jon Schaffer. The album follows Iced Earth’s traditional Progressive/Power Style and has a few hooks here and there. I have just recently become a fan of Iced Earth; however in that short time I have grown to really enjoy this band. Their latest album, “Plagues of Babylon” is their best album to date and I give it an 8.5/10. I strongly recommend this album for any metal fans that like to get taken away by the music.
“Revolution Rise” is the sophomore album of the new band KILL DEVIL HILL. For those of you not familiar with this band, this band was formed in 2011 by Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell/DIO) and Rex Brown (Pantera/Down). The band consists of Lead Vocalist Dewey Bragg, Guitarist Mark Zavon, Bassist Rex Brown and Drummer Vinny Appice. Not coincidentally, the band is named after the town of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Apparently this was an area that had extreme pirate activity in history. They use a heavy/modern sound but they don’t shift to the mainstream sound and stay away from the typical contemporary hardcore sound. As far as this album, I give the new “Revolution Rise” a strong 8/10. Kill Devil Hill keeps it real and it does not hurt to have musical geniuses Rex Brown and Vinny Appice. KILL DEVIL HILL will be a Metal Powerhouse for years to come.
In other metal news, the band Halestorm released their second Cover EP. In their first cover EP, they covered Slave to the Grind by Skid Row. They have an awesome sound and with a female vocalist they do not lose any of the power metal sound. Among other new releases to look forward to, Limp Bizkit, Overkill, Exodus, Sebastian Bach, Lacuna Coil, Steel Panther, Chevelle, Sevendust, Anthrax, Puddle of Mudd, Corosion of Conformity, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Godsmack, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Testament, Whitesnake all plan on releasing new albums in 2014. Metallica has released their 3D Movie Through The Never. Motley Crue is planning their farewell tour. And I am sure there will be many other great metal stories to come. Until next time, ROCK ON MY DROOGIES!!!!!!! KEEP METAL ALIVE!
Super Bowl XVIII reminded us once again that sometimes these games become blowouts. I cannot remember a team that dominated Sports #1 Event like the Seattle Seahawks did since the 1980 49er and 1970 Steeler Dynasty Teams Did. In no way am I comparing the Seahawks to those teams as they have much work to do to reach that level. However, I think every sports fan in America was taken by surprise with the result of Sunday’s Game (Including all Seattle Fans). Yes, the line was only 2 Points and the Broncos were favored. How could they not be? Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demariyus Thomas, Knowshon Moreno and all of that offensive talent. That talent set many NFL records this season.
Well I guess the old saying Defense wins Championships is really true. Just like they always say that in Baseball that Pitching wins Championships. We had an immovable object in this game with the League’s #1 Offense vs. the League’s #1 Defense. When I look back at all of the previous Super Bowl Champions of years past there truly is one fact that stands out. The teams that win the Big Dance always have a better than average Defense. Let us just look at the past few years. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens had the league’s most vaunted Defense with Ray Lewis and Company. Before them, both Giants teams that won also had great defenses. The Patriots teams that won in the past also had great defenses (in spite of their stellar offenses). The list can go on and on. The last Offense that I can remember that was on Denver’s level playing in the Super Bowl was the Saint Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf. However, that Rams team had one of the better defenses as well that season and went unnoticed.
The Denver Broncos of 2013 surely set many Offensive Records. However, the Denver Defense may have been one of the worst ever. They were ranked at the bottom in almost every category. So fast forward to the game. If it was not an omen on that first play from scrimmage when the ball was errantly hiked over Peyton Manning’s head that resulted in a safety, then I don’t know what an omen is. Then Seattle went ahead 15-0 at halftime and people were like…ok the Broncos can still make a comeback. I don’t know what coach John Fox said to the troops at halftime…however the players must have been listening to headphones because they came out after the half and let Percy Harvin go 109 yards for a Kickoff Return. The game was definitely over there.
The Seattle Seahawks earned this win the old fashioned way. They played smash mouth Football and totally dominated the line of scrimmage. Everyone in the media is focusing on how Denver choked and that Peyton Manning can never win the big game. I seriously do not think anyone is giving Seattle enough credit for what they were able to accomplish, with a sophomore Quarterback no less. Yes, the Broncos failed to show up. However, that had more to do with Seattle’s tenacity than a lack of effort from Denver. Everyone will debate how Peyton Manning is just another Quarterback and thats a debate for another day. This day needs to be a focus on the Seattle Seahawks and their amazing run to the championship. I must admit, Im not a Denver fan but I did pick them to win the game. I was STUNNED!!!
Ok here we are now, Eli Manning is 2-0 in Super Bowls and Peyton Manning is 1-2. Does that mean Eli Manning is a better Quarterback than his brother? Of course not, Football is a team sport. However, this loss did a lot to damage Peyton’s legacy. No one will take away what Manning has accomplished and I still rank him in the Top 5 Quarterbacks of all-time. However, he cannot be #1. The Seahawks Defense were able to do what no other team did this season. The Seahawks pressured Manning. He threw two Interceptions. He just was not the same player he was all season. Through all of that, ironically he set a Super Bowl record for completions with 34. Demariyus Thomas, Peyton’s favorite target in this game also set a record with 13 receptions. And yes, Julius Thomas dropped quite a few would be first downs. However, Kudos to Pete Carroll and the Seahawks for an excellent game plan.
Check out this Tweet from NY’s WFAN. I think this is perfect of an assessment that has been made regarding Peyton. I am sure there will be many debates in the days to come. However, I think people need to stop dwelling on the negative (Denver and Peyton Losing) and focus more on the positive (The Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions). Wow, I can’t imagine. I am an Eagles fan and still waiting for the thrill of winning. Maybe next year. Ok, well this was a great day for a Seattle and a dark day for Warren Sapp, who reportedly bet 10,000 Dollars on the Broncos. Even more crazy, Floyd Mayweather bet 10,000,000 Dollars. Ten Million Beans. Oh well, thats why I never bet. Well, stay tuned as I will be monitoring whats in store in the new year for music.
I usually don’t do politics but I saw this online and had to share. I know this whole conspiracy thing makes for great drama, but really who cares! Christie has done some great things for New Jersey and he has my vote for President if he runs. Anyways…just thought this was funny and wanted to share😊