THE BIG FIVE: WHO WOULD BE YOUR NEXT BIG FIVE?

 

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    When it comes to Heavy Metal, there are so many subdivisions and styles.  These styles and subdivisions are constantly changing and adapting to changes in society and mingling between the lines of Mainstream and Underground.  As a teenager, I grew up in the eighties during the initial rise of Heavy Metal Music to the forefront.  During my early dabbles in the Metal Music community, I became enamored with the Thrash wave which was the beginnings of “THE BIG FIVE.”  Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, and Testament quickly became my favorite bands.  I could not get enough of this music and of course, like a drug I became addicted.  Don’t get me wrong, the depths of my Metal likes goes far beyond The Big Five.  Pantera came to the forefront much later but they quickly became one of my favorites.  

     I was always a Glam Metal fan as well.  I also have become a fan of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, DIO, and Faith No More.  My Metal Catalog grows larger everyday.  In the days of new technology and the ability to listen to all of your favorite bands on outlets such as Pandora, Amazon, ITUNES, Satellite Radio and such, we as a society have been spoiled.  I am probably one of the rare fans that still enjoys buying the CD and reading the lyrics and admiring all of the cool artwork i the albums jacket.  There is no secret who the “Big Five” in Metal is.  This leads me to my next question…what bands would make the next Big Five??

     Well, as much as I am a fan of the original Big Five, my Metal List would not be complete without the mention of OVERKILL!!

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     Overkill has been one of my Favorites since Day One.  Overkill is cut from the same mold as The Big Five.  I also cannot deny the local connection as OVERKILL hails from the “Ironbound”, Newark New Jersey.  Overkill has a ton of material, and unlike the other previous big five, they never went mainstream.  Overkill can Thrash with the best of em.  They are extremely good live and they are also very talented.  Overkill would definitely make my next Big Five.

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     The Metal Community would never be the same if it were not for Pantera.  Pantera was the one band that came during the rise of Alternative Metal and the fall of Thrash Metal.  Pantera is just one of those bands that you could never stop listening too.  With the screeching vocals of Phil Anselmo, the dominant double bass drums of Vinnie Paul, the power bass chords of Rex Brown, and the dynamic guitar artwork of Dimebag Darrell.  Pantera was one of the best bands ever during their heyday and they definitely make the next list.  Who knows how far Pantera would have went in popularity and notoriety had Dimebag not been murdered.

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     Lamb of God is like Pantera on steroids.  Many people do not think that Lamb of God could possibly belong on a list like this but I will fight anyone on that assumption.  Lamb of God has some of the most talented musicians today.  Lamb of God has taken Thrash Metal at its core and really branched out to make an amped up version.  They are always one of the largest draws today for a live show.  Lamb of God has some of the sickest Pits known to man.  Ashes of the Wake put them on the map and Wrath solidified their place on this list.

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     Tool makes this list.  Tool is really not a Thrash Band but they combined the Thrash style with the Progressive Style.  Anyone that has never heard the band Tool, I highly suggest a hardcore listening session.  Tool is just one of those bands that has non-stop action and keeps the crowd on the seat of its pants.  Maynard, the vocalist, is one of the greatest Power Metal Vocalists of today.  Tool is definitely in my next Big Five.

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Image  Killswitch Engage and Sevendust round out my next Big Five!  Both of these bands infuse the old Thrash Metal sound with the new age hooks and progressive styles of todays music.  I am sure I forgot a few bands and maybe left some out.  I will give an honorable mention to Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold.  I highly suggest Metal Church also.  The new Metal Church album “Generation Next” is phenomenal and may be one of the greatest albums of 2013.  Stay tuned for more Metal News and talk.  Don’t forget to check out the new season of That Metal Show.  There are so many awesome stories going on in the Metal World.  I also highly suggest the new Metallica Movie…Through the Never.

 

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NATIONAL METAL DAY 2013

Image     Hey folks…Today is National Metal Day.  Looking back at 2013 so far, the greatest loss to the Metal Community this year was the passing of Jeff Hanneman (49 Years Old), the famous guitarist in the band Slayer.  I remember I was at work when I heard about the passing of this great guitar player.  It was very sad news as Slayer has always been one of my favorite Metal Bands.  Slayer’s latest album “The World Painted Blood”, may have been their best ever produced album and Hanneman was responsible for writing most of the material.  As a veteran Metal Head, this is a very special day for me as well as many of you.  Of course, I will spend my day jamming all of my favorite bands and enjoying the Music that has been the soundtrack of my life.

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     For any Def Leppard fans, I highly recommend their latest release of Viva Hysteria in Las Vegas.  This deluxe set includes 2 Live CD’s from their performance in their Vegas Rock Stand as well as a DVD of their entire Hysteria album live.  I am a huge Def Leppard fan and have always been enamored by their Greatness.  However, these past few years their sound quality has not been as good as Joe Elliot seemed to have lost his voice.  Well, I must say that this performance is truly epic.  First of all, I remember when Hysteria was first released.  I probably listened to the album 30x the first day I purchased the CD…lol.  I also remember reading the jacket and admiring the artwork.  When Hysteria was released, the Band hit a Grand Slam.  This album was highly anticipated as it took over three years to produce.  “Viva Hysteria” is the Hysteria album in its entirety.  Well, from the opening song “Women” to the final tune “Love and Affection” this is the best Def Leppard has sounded in forever.  Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen are brilliant as is Drummer Rick Savage and Rick Allen their bassist.  However, the biggest surprise on the album is how good Joe Elliot sounds.  Its almost like he is a new person.  Trust me, this is a must see performance for any Metal Fans.

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     Megadeth and Iron Maiden both continue their World Tours.  Megadeth, after taking a break to do the “Countdown to Extinction Live” Tour is back on the road promoting their latest album Super Collider.  They even hooked up with Iron Maiden on a few shows out west this past summer and fall.  One show had Death Angel, Testament, Overkill, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth.  Now, that must have been some show!!  Anyways, Iron Maiden continues to be beasts on Tour, even at their ripe old age.  Bruce Dickinson has to be one of the most energetic Front Men in Metal, even to this day.  Dave Mustaine has signed up for an opportunity to do a solo album with an orchestra.  I am so looking forward to that.  Also, Bassist David Elleffson has released an autobiography.  I have not read the book yet; however, I am planning on picking it up very soon.  Some other good books that came out recently is Rex Brown’s new book which chronicles the end times of Pantera.  

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     Avenged Sevenfold (AX7), recently released their newest album “Hail to the King.”  For those of you that are not familiar with any of Avenged material, I highly suggest purchasing some of their albums.  In reality, it was going to be hard for AX7 to out due their past album “Nightmare”, which was a multi-platinum giant.  However, the Band has managed to go one step further.  Their latest release, “Hail to the King” is a masterpiece.  The first leg of their tour went across the nation and they also had guests Device, Five Finger Death Punch, and Def Tones.  They are now currently touring Europe.  “Hail to the King” sold a very impressive 159,000 copies during the first week of release.  The album stormed to Number #1 on the Billboard 200 as well.  Of course, there are many naysayers that feel that Avenged Sevenfold is not original an that they steal riffs from other great bands.  I have to disagree totally.  Although many of the new songs on the album mirror other great bands such as Guns N Roses, Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden, the production level is top notch.  And may I ask, what is wrong with creating material that is driven from some of the greatest Metal Bands ever.  The album also has a Black Sabbath feel to it at some points.  At any rate, this was a great release, and along with Volbeat, these are my two favorite albums of 2013 so far. 

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     Speaking of Black Sabbath, the Grandfathers of Metal released a new album in 2013 called ironically, “13”.  Well, as far as the album goes, the material was probably some of their most dynamic since back in the DIO years.  Everyone has their favorite Black Sabbath lineup, mine is surprisingly with Ronnie James Dio at the helm.  Dio in my mind is a way better vocalist than Ozzy.  Ozzy may be a better stage presence, however I like music for the lyrics and vocals.  So, I am more of a fan with Sabbath with Dio.  However, their best albums have come from the classic lineup of Ozzy, Geezer, Iommi, and Ward.  Their new album goes back to the roots of Sabbath and has an extremely dynamic sound.  The band was able to make Ozzy’s voice appear like he was 21 again.  I love the new album, if you have not heard it pick it up!

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      The popular Christian Metal band, Stryper has also released their first new album in fifteen years.  Their new album is titled “No More Hell To Pay.”  Michael Sweet has always been one of the greatest vocalists to take the stage.  Stryper has some awesome material and this album is their heaviest in years.  To me, this album goes back to the roots, like their well known track “To Hell With the Devil.”  I have sampled the album and I give it an 8/10 rating.  Michael Sweet has not lost a step and the rest of the band is at the top of its game.  Oz Fox is brilliant with his guitar playing.  Although Stryper has always fit in the Progresive Metal category, this album is a more classic metal sound.  The guitar work is excellent and there are many impressive riffs.

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     Metal Church has also released a new album titled “Generation Nothing.”  This may sound crazy, but in my opinion this is their best Metal album ever.  Although, this is the band’s 3rd Lineup, I feel that this album is top notch from start to finish.  Every song on the album could easily be a hit.  Seriously, check out this one, I promise that you will not be disappointed.  The opening track “Bullet Proof” is a thrash style punk metal riff that rips open the album.  “Dead City” and “Generation Nothing” are hard anthem type Metal songs.  Then the Fourth Track, “Noises in the Wall” uses a ton of bridges, hooks, and even has some unique change ups, kind of like Metallica used to do in their early albums.  My favorite two songs on the album are “Suiciety” and “Hits Keep Coming” which are both hard and fast and rock your core.  The finale’, “The Media Horse” portrays a realistic viewpoint on how the media of today has stained American Life.  Metal Church is underrated in my mind and they are one of the forgotten thrash metal bands of the eighties era.

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    In conclusion, I would like to take a close look at the icon Tim “Ripper” Owens.  Most people recognize Owens as the vocalist that took over for Rob Halford of “Judas Priest”, when Rob left the band.  This is true, and the movie Rockstar was loosely based on the story of Tim Owens.  However, Tim Owens is much more than just “that guy.”  Tim Owens was born in 1967.  He is currently a solo artist, but he also does some guest appearances with “Beyond fear” and “Charred Walls of the Damned.”  He has also recently done work with “Dio’s Disciples” and Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Rising Force.”

     Tim Owens began his stardom in the British cover band “British Steel” a tribute band that did Judas Priest cover songs.  In 1996, Owens went from a fan to being the Lead Singer of Judas Priest.  He was actually nominated for a Grammy Award for the song “Bullet Train” from the album Jugulator but lost to Metallica’s Better than You.  In 2003, Halford reunited with Priest and Owens quickly jumped into the band “Iced Earth” as their lead singer Matt Barlow.  His career with Iced Earth was short lived and included two albums.  I am a huge Iced Earth fan and although I love Matt Barlow, I must say that the band sounded at its best behind Owens.  Tim has started his own cover bar named Tim Owens Tap House, which is a World renowned Eater and Music Bar and Restaurant.  The bar is currently located in Akron, Ohio.  Tim Owens is a legend, just because of his story and the way he became famous.  Not to mention, he is an incredible talent as far as a vocalist.

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******ROCK ON METAL HEADS!!!! HAPPY NATIONAL METAL DAY….KEEP THE METAL ALIVE!!!  Stay tuned for more great posts…until next time Y!

CRASH COURSE IN METAL: MY HEAVY METAL JOURNEY

     For most of you that know me…Metal Music is a passion for me.  As a 37 Year Old, I have pretty much lived through every Heavy Metal genre besides the very beginning.  Its funny because in my current career…I see many young kids that have once again chose Metal as their passion.  For awhile, it may have seemed that Metal was on its decline…but any sort of thought has been blown up like a bomb in Baghdad.  Heavy Metal is once again on a DRAMATIC rise and there is no sign of this phenomenon going away.  In Fact, although Metal may never reach the peak that it did during the mid eighties to early nineties when different forms of the music grew offspring.

     During the mid seventies to the early eighties, Heavy Metal began to form a pillar of Iron.  Beginning with Black Sabbath, the “God Father’s of Metal” in just about anyone’s opinion…Heavy Metal began to branch out with light speed.  During the late seventies and early eighties…the British wave of Heavy Metal was taking the world by storm.  I was only four years old in 1980…but I can still remember when AC/DC released “Back in Black.”  My father made such a big deal about buying that album.  It marked the return of the band, after parting ways with Bon Scott and the emergence of Brian Johnson as it’s frontman.  At that time, I didn’t know what Heavy Metal was or even had a clue what the different styles of music were.  Bands such as Iron Maiden, KISS, Judas Priest, DIO Motorhead,Van Halen, Def Leppard and many more began to make waves in America as well as Europe.  

     For the sake of not making this a boring drawn out history lesson, I am not going to get anymore into the definition or roots of metal.  All that I know is, my first Metal album was “Appetite For Destruction” by Guns N Roses in 1987.  I was merely an eleven year old kid trying to find my way through this ever changing world.  Guns N Roses quickly became my first “favorite” band.  I quickly began to build a collection of audio cassette tapes, as CD’s were not out yet.  My catalog spread like a disease and I soon had over Forty Tapes.  At that time, I was still in Christian School, so this type of music was frowned upon.  Pretty soon, my mom stumbled upon my collection, and soon my set morphed into a measly five tapes, as my mom threw the other thirty-five out.  I couldn’t believe it…it was like I lost my new best friend.  I would liken it to someone today being an avid face book junkie and then having it stripped away from them like a tornado.

     Anyways, as the years went by, CD’s were invented and became the popular choice for music fans.  Not only did my CD Catalog increase, my tastes in Metal Music filtered out and I was finding all of the traditional sub-genres of metal…British Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Glam Metal, Stoner Metal, Speed Metal, Power Metal, Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, ETC.  The Sub-Genres continue to evolve to this day and I would not be able to tell you every one nor do I care.  I just know what I like.

     My first love was Glam Rock…beginning with Motley Crue, Poison, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Warrant, RATT, Cinderella, Queensryche, WASP, Winger, Autograph, White Snake, Bon Jovi…the list is too long.  These were the bands that I could not get enough of.  I was mostly a Motley Crue and Poison fan but I developed a natural love for all of these bands as well as their CD’s.  During the same time, I was heavy into Van Halen, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and AC/DC, Skid Row.  

     Then it happened…my neighborhood buddy introduced me to a band that I had never heard of and from there it was all over.  The band was Anthrax.  The CD was an EP “I’m the Man.”  And the song was “Im the Man”.  I can remember it like it was yesterday in his back yard.  We blared that CD over and over again.  After this, I became a THRASH METAL MANIAC.  I went out and bought every CD I could get my hands on.  I started with Megadeth “Countdown to Extinction.” and Metallica “Black Album.”  After this it was every Thrash Band…Testament, Slayer, Metal Church, OverKill, and like wise this list began to grow.  Then as the music continued to evolve…so did I.  Now I was listening to Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More, Slipknot, Seven Dust.  I loved “everything” metal.  YES… I am and always will be a METAL HEAD as my friend Cheryl always reminds me.  However, this does not mean that I do not like other music.  I enjoy all types, including RAP, Classic, Blues, Country, basically anything that I can jam to.  But it always goes back to Metal.

     Then it was Nirvana, Pantera, God Smack, Hate Breed, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head, Typonegative, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Disturbed, Death Angel, and Linkin Park.  Every year, I have developed new likes and dislikes as far as Metal Music.  However, I still traditionally am pulled to the Eighties/Nineties Glam/Speed/Thrash/Alternative categories.  Like today, I really enjoy the band VOLBEAT.  I also like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Hell Yeah, Lacuna Coil, Black Label Society and many others.  However, its not a secret that “Early” metal is back on the rise.  I mean, Black Sabbath just released a brand new studio album “Thirteen” with three of the original members Ozzy, Geezer, and Iommi.  WOW!!! In case you have not heard this album…go get it now!  AWESOME!  KICK ASS!  BAD ASS!  These would be the adjectives I use to describe this new album.

     As of today, my CD collection stands at 545 CD’s and Counting.  I have another 3,000 songs on my IPOD/IPHONE.  Yes, I am a music junkie.  Although music is available at the touch of a button, I still enjoy purchasing CD’s because I like the artwork and reading the lyrics and credits…call me old fashioned.  I have started sets consisting of my favorite bands.  Right now, today I own every CD for the following bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Slipknot, Testament, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and Lamb of God.  I am always continuing to build on my sets.  The next set that I will have complete is Black Sabbath including all Ozzy and Dio releases.  I always forget bands when mentioning my favorites.  My all time favorite band is Megadeth for my own personal reasons.  However, I am a huge fan of all The Big Four Bands, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Guns N Roses.  I hold these bands at my highest standard.  The next would be on a step down.  I am loving all of these comeback tours and new studio albums.  Metal is alive and well Folks!  I see it out in the neighborhood.  I see it in the workplace.  Its showing in the schools.  Its everywhere!!!!!!  I also attribute the re emergence to Guitar Hero…the popular video game…MTV, VH1, Facebook, Pandora and all of the other music social media outlets.  Well, this was a quick path through my Heavy Metal journey.  I am sure we all have our own tales and war stories.  All of the albums, concerts, tours, festivals, etc.  Heavy Metal will always be one of my passions and music is one of my defining attributes.  Besides listening to music, I have this blog which I write about metal, I read all kinds of books, and I am even currently taking Guitar lessons.  I also write Lyrics.  Maybe I did miss my passion……..ImageImageImage

METAL MANIA SPARKS NEW MATERiAL

I’m such a Metal Head. I feel like the only thing that gets my passion going is new music. It’s so amazing these past few years how many bands that are putting out top notch music. Bands that have not produced material in years are making new albums in record numbers. In past blogs I have wrote about the ultimate concert and what bands I would want to be present at these shows. Well anyways…I will be reviewing the new releases of 2013 and rating them on my own scale.

I have to start with “13” that was just released by Black Sabbath on Tuesday. First lets start with the album cover. WOW! OMG! Two statements that come to mind when you first lay eyes on this cover. What a masterpiece. It has what appears to be a dark field in the background, stilts that look like witch stakes, and the Number 13 in Flames with a 3D effect and hologram that appears to be burning. Extremely effective for a band that has not put out a new studio album as the original band since the Reunion Album, which only featured two new songs. 13 is tremendous and actually exceeds all expectations. This is an album that includes all new material. From the moment I popped the CD in I was mesmerized by the sound of what I heard. It felt like I was back in 1970 listening to Classic Black Sabbath from their first three albums. This album is a BADASS work of art. I’m giving it ***** stars and a 9/10 rating. This should be up for an GRAMMY award when the time comes.

The first track “End Of The Beginning” sounds like a new version of “Black Sabbath” the title track of the band’s debut album. “Zeitgeist” sounds like a similar version of Planet Caravan with a very trippy sound and classic Sabbath chords and use of the harmonica. “Live Forever” is similar to “Iron Man” with its dark eerie power chords and the mood the song creates. “God is Dead”, already a radio hit, sounds like a combination of Iron Man/Children of the Grave. This song is classic Sabbath at its best. Of course, this like any album that Sabbath has produced with any of their different lineups will be controversial with their lyrics and song titles. Oh well, just another false stereotypical judgement by people who are misinformed.

Ok, let’s move onto another brand new release, “Super Collider” from Megadeth. This album has been highly anticipated since their last release if Thirteen. Just a coincidence…the same title as the new Sabbath album. After Thirteen, Dave Mustaine decided he wanted to go a little different direction with this new album. Of course, once again there has been extreme backlash by many loyal Megadeth fans, citing the lack of the classic Heavy sound. However, I couldn’t disagree more. In my opinion, the past few Megadeth albums have grown stale and all had the Endgame sound which was very dull and lacked variety. I can’t say that I did not see this coming. I may be one of the rare few that was a huge fan of RISK. When RISK was released, Megadeth was accused of selling out. Although Risk lacked the thrash element, it was an extremely well put together album and had a ton of variety.

Super Collider is no different. The first track Kingmaker is a traditional Megadeth sound that starts out slow and then builds, showing many other aspects of Metal such as bridges and dual solos. Super Collider, the title track is more of a hard rock tune but Dave really pushes his bands opinions and views and is able to make this song come together. “Off the Edge” reminds me of a song from the World Needs a Hero album…”Burning Bridges”. “Dance in the Rain” is another poetic masterpiece and the addition of guest singer David Draiman makes this song kick ass. I love how they conclude with a cover of Thin Lizzy, perhaps one of the most underrated bands in history. “Cold Sweat” is done masterfully with Megadeaths own stamp of approval. I also give this album **** and an 8/10 Rating.

Alice in Chains has released a new album recently as well. “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” was released last month. Now I am a huge AIC fan, especially early AIC and have always been fascinated by Layne Staley’s voice and the perfect compliment of Jerry Cantrell to the melodies. When the band made their comeback with “Black Leads to Blue” I was extremely floored at how well new lead vocalist William was able to sound so close to Layne. This album was an extreme hit. I must admit…I am a little disappointed with the latest release. I mean there are a few hits…Hollow being one. But I think the album sounds dull. There is not as much variety as I would have expected and I would have liked to have heard more of Williams voice. I say **** and 6/10. Not bad but not good…just average.

Killswitch Engage is back with a vengeance with their new title “Disarm with Descent”. Killswitch has always been able to mix screaming and melody together with the perfect twist. I have always been a Killswitch fan and this album is no different. I say **** and 8/10. Solid Metal album with a lot if different variety and sound. Also, SevenDust gets the same rating for “Black out the Sun”

Ok, for those of you that have not heard “Anthems” from Anthrax, you must rush to the store and pick up a copy. Anthrax is almost as Thrash as you can get and yet they cover Rush, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Journey, Boston, and Cheap Trick on this album, definitely not your classic metal bands. Actually, none of them have ever really been considered Metal, maybe AC/DC being the closest. Anyways, Anthems gets a 10/10 rating and is off the hook. The reason I rate it so high is that Anthrax could not went further out of their element and they “KILLED IT” on this album. All I can say is “WOw”!

Skid Row also released a new album…United World Rebellion Chapter One, which is the beginning of a few chapters. I have always been a huge Skid Row fan, obviously more so when Sebastian Bach was there, but they are still thriving in the metal scene. I give this one a 7/10…very heavy and too the point. Finally, we had 2 DVDs released, Epitaph from Judas Priest and Maiden England. Both of these compilations get an 8/10 Rating. A must buy for any metal guru. Ok, this concludes my review session, I will be exploring the new Black Sabbath release in more detail at a later date. Stay Tuned…

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METAL MADNESS

On Monday, it was announced that Megadeth and Iron Maiden will co- headline a US tour beginning in September. The tour will start in Charlotte, North Carolina. So far, the bill has eight shows including the final two in Las Vegas an San Bernardino, California.

This will mark the first time since the late eighties that Megadeth will share the same stage with Iron Maiden. This tour should be one of ten most highly anticipated this summer. Megadeth will be coming off their new release tour for “Super Collider” which is due out in June. Megadeth has been on a role since their release of Thirteen in 2012. This will also mark the first time since Cryptic Writings and Risk that the band will feature the same line up for two albums in a row.

In recent interviews, Dave Mustaine has been noted to say that this new album will be one of their best ever and that there are many “Potential Hits” on this album. Megadeth recorded this album under Mustaine’s brand new label. 2013 is an exciting year for albums and tours.

Anyways, the Iron Maiden-Megadeth show will be a hot ticket. And to add to the already huge news that these two super bands will be sharing the same stage…a huge announcement was also made. The final show in California will also feature Anthrax, Testament, Overkill and Sabaton. So, two of the Big Four Megadeth and Anthrax will be together. One of the all time legends Iron Maiden will be there. And if there was such a thing as the Big Six…number five Testament and number six Overkill will all be on the same stage together on one night. This show will take place at the Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA.

Anthrax is coming off their recent release of Anthem…a cover album of some classic bands. Likewise, Testament is coming off their latest album…”The Dark Roots of Earth.” For those Metal fans that are not familiar with Overkill…Overkill is an amazing Metal band that packs power thrash and punch. They are also a local band which gives us an extra rooting interest. Sabaton is also a very good Metal Band. This concert will be one for the Ages and I hope that I can attend this show somehow. I will look forward to to others feed back of where this show can go as far as stardom.

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ANTHRAX: ANTHEMS ROCK

On Tuesday, Anthrax released their LP cover album called “ANTHEMS.” To start off…I give Anthrax credit for stepping away from their comfort zone and taking a break from the Thrash Metal that they are so known for. This album has a great mix of covers from 70’s and 80’s bands.

First of all…the sound quality is TOP NOTCH! Scott Ian and Rob Caggliano kick major ASS on Guitar as they both provide lead and rhythm on the entire album. As always, the entire band does a great job on backing vocals. Frank Bello hits it hard on the BASS! Charlie Bennante overpowers on the Drums. And Joey Belladonna absolutely kills it on lyrics.

The album begins with the first track Anthem from RUSH. Joey Belladonna does a tremendous job on vocals with all of these songs. Honestly, he has a very underrated voice. Actually, his voice kind of sounds like Sammy Hagar on a few tunes, especially Anthem and Keep on Running. Scott Ian and Coglianno are so impressive and Bennante and Bello set the pace.

The second track TNT is an AC/DC classic. Their version is very similar to the original…with a little heavier rhythm section. Belladonna does his best AC/DC impression on the vocals and Caggliano and Ian rip it up on the solos. Excellent cover that has never been covered on a major label to my knowledge. It was very close to the vest, even the ending.

Smokin by BOSTON another stellar classic. Anthrax is able to kill this song in every aspect. The Drums are awesome and the BASS makes your back tingle. Scott Ian says this is his personal favorite along with their next cover of Keep on Runnin from Journey. One would say…what business does Anthrax have covering a Journey song? Well, once again they kill it. This album is so good you would never peg Anthrax for a Thrash Metal band if you didn’t already know what they were about.

The final two covers are Big Eyes from Cheap Trick and Jailbreak from Thin Lizzy. These two songs are probably the best two on the album, however the entire album is a masterpiece. Honestly, all of the material is phenomenal. My buddy has posted a link to their cover of Jailbreak on Facebook. Sick, sick, sick!!! I rate this album a 9/10 and a must have for any Rock fan. You don’t even have to be an Anthrax fan to enjoy this cover. They end the album with their own song Crawl which is off the Worship Music album and is one of their signature songs on the disc. They also have a remix of the song. If you are a fan of ROCK go buy ANTH

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METAL MANIA

It has become an ongoing trend the past few years for bands that have not released new studio material in some time to get back in the grind to release new albums. Last year we saw SoundGarden, Aerosmith, KISS, Megadeth, Queensryche, Testament, Sevendust, and many other iconic bands release brand new studio albums. After listening to all of these new albums, there is one noticeable difference in the sound quality. Music Technology has hit a home run as these new albums that are being produced have such good sound quality.

It is 2013 already, and bands are already making their mark. Bullet For My Valentine released Temper Temper. This is their fourth full studio album, coming after Fever, Scream Aim Fire, and their first album The Poison. Although one may argue that Scream Aim Fire was their best all around album to date, Temper Temper does have that extra bump in sound quality that is being described. The one problem that arises with certain bands like Bullet, is that the style of music makes a lot of their material sound mundane.

BuckCherry also just released their new album “Confessions”. This album gets an 8/10 in my eyes. There is superb sound quality and they left their old label to reach new heights. This album has more of the raunchy feel of their very first album but also incorporates some new style. I highly recommend any one who enjoys straight in your face rock n roll to purchase this album. The first song Gluttony is an in your face onslaught about addiction. Nothing Left But Tears is my favorite track on the album. This album has a Velvet Revolver Billy Idol combination of sound.

Ok…these are just two examples of new albums that have been released in 2013. Anthrax will be releasing a new album at the end of March that is a compilation of Cover Songs from the sixties and seventies. This should be a true hit as Anthrax always has a way of making any song sound like their specific style. Michael Sweet has left Boston and has rejoined his original band Stryper, who will be releasing their first new Studio Album since 2009. The album is titled Second Coming and is said to sound like the original Stryper, adding some heavier riffs. This should also be a great addition to the 2013 release party.

Bon Jovi will be releasing a new studio album “What about Now” On March 11th. I have not been able to sample much of it, but the few songs I did hear sound like classic Bon Jovi, which is good considering they have become so mainstream.

The following bands will be releasing new studio albums in the coming months:
David Bowie, Clutch, Sevendust, Killswitch Engage, Paramore, Fallout Boy, Goo Goo Dolls, Switchfoot, Alice In Chains, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Iron Maiden, Limp Bizkit, Motörhead, Pearl Jam, Sixx Am, Suicidal Tendencies, and Volbeat are all slated for new albums in 2013.

Slayer is working on new material which could also make the 2013 cut. No matter what, it should be a great year for Rock N Roll/Heavy Metal Fans. Keep supporting Metal and be sure to watch That Metal Show every week with Eddie Trunk. There is great material each week and plenty of guest appearances from the band members we have grown to love. There are also many up and coming bands that are making their way to the spotlight. My friend Mario’s band Red Carpet Masquerade is a band to keep an eye on in 2013! Long Live Metal! Rock on Folk

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MISCELANEOUS

Ok…so it’s been awhile. Had some personal issues to attend to but I am back with a vengeance. Today I will cover a wide variety of topics. First off, I would personally like to give my condolences to the entire Saint Louis Cardinals Extended Family for losing one of the true Baseball Legends that were still alive. Yesterday, Stan Musial died at the ripe old age of 92. Well, many of us will not even see 75 so that is quite an accomplishment in itself. Musial in my mind has to be in the top 3 MLB players of all time list and he was an offensive legend. Stan Musial was probably the best all around hitter with both power and tenacity to ever play the game. RIP Stan…You were a true legend and gentleman.

Yesterday also marked the return of the NHL from its extended labor strike. There were quite a few key markee match ups including the Pittsburgh Penguins opening on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers. Well, the game did not disappoint as it was a well played game considering the long layoff…it took the Flyers two periods to really break off the rust. I must admit, I was totally shocked with the amount of support and fans that showed up all over the league yesterday, especially in Philly. There was. 10,000 people alone in the XFINITY Entertainment Lounge. With a shortened 48 game season, it should be interesting which teams will ultimately make the playoffs. By judging the games from Saturday, the playoffs are already here in spirit. This should make for some very exciting games and story lines. Stay Tuned.

Well, I worked all day and have not even turned on the TV…I had heard that Atlanta had an early lead on the 49ers in the NFC Championship. Well, my original picks for the Superbowl did not even make it to this round so at this point anything is possible. I was going to take the 49ers, but I feel that Atlanta has the edge at home. Also, I think they are out to prove that their season was not a fluke. The AFC Championship tonight…The Patriots are favored to beat the Baltimore Ravens. I’m going out on a limb to say that Ray Lewis will have one last hurrah and stun the Patriots faithful.

Speaking of Football, the Eagles did finally get a head coach this week by signing Chip Kelly. We will visit this topic many times in the near future but my only early opinion is that the Philadelphia Fan Base is out of control for some of the statements that they have made. C’MON give the guy a chance! Lets see what he can do?

On the music scene, Anthrax announced a new release of an EP this spring featuring cover songs from bands of the 60’s and 70’s. Anthrax also announced that they will be doing the Among the Living Anniversary Tour, following the footsteps of its other Big Four members. They are actually scheduled to play a show in AC so I’m sure that I will try and make it again. Also in other big news, Metallica announced that they will be doing the Orion Festival once again this summer. Should be AWESOME!

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Heavy Metal, but I am far from proclaiming myself Eddie Trunk or anywhere close to his knowledge of music. I would even venture to say that my best friend Aaron knows much more about music than me. Well, while using Pandora I actually heard a tune from Stryper…who??? Yes Stryper! I totally forgot how good this band was and them I did some research and realized that they released an album in 2011 called “The Covering” in which they covered some classics from such bands as Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, the Scorpions and a few others! The album is SICK and I would recommend it to any fan of metal or hard rock. These guys are way underrated in my mind. Michael Sweet is a Musical genius. Look for his new autobiography due out this spring along with a Greatest Hits Remaster album followed by a Brand New Studio Album! Awesome News! Can’t wait…so looking forward to this. Anyways, I was researching Christian Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Bands and I came across a band named Pillar. Let me tell you, heard some of their material and was absolutely impressed. More music news to follow, so many exciting stories including Def Leppard doing Hysteria as a Week Long Guest in Las Vegas. Wow! Wish I could be there for that.

Finally, I thought it necessary to bring up the fact that I think I had posted back when the school shootings occurred in Connecticut, that the one major problem of our government during these crises…is failure to act! Well, here we are a month has went by and still morning on the part of our government. Not even one BILL! I mean…geez they owe it to these families to do something. And the other horrible thing about these tragedies is that after time they are forgotten. This crime cannot and should not be forgotten and the Government must take action in the Gun Control and Mental Health realms. Well…thanks for letting me vent lol. Anyways…it’s good to be back…thanks again to my loyal fans!

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TESTAMENT: THE BIG 5

Many people ask the question if there was a BIG 5…who would be the Fifth Band amongst METALLICA, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. Everyone has their own opinion and there are probably a few bands that would come close but the Band that would receive the most votes would be Testament.
Testament is an American Thrash Band that was formed in 1983 in Berkley, CA. Considering the Band played the San Francisco Bay area, they received widespread exposure from the underground metal community just as fellow bands METALLICA and Megadeth. The band was originally formed by guitarist Eric Peterson…and has been through numerous line up changes during its 29 years of existence.
Many people don’t know this, but Testament was originally named Legacy, which actually became the Title of their first album…that was released in 1987. Originally joining Eric Peterson in the band was Alex Skolnick, a Joe Satriana disciple. Also joining the band was lead vocalist Chuck Billy, who replaced Steve Souza, who went on to form the Metal Band Exodus.
When “Legacy” was released in 1987….Testament quickly became a popular trademark in the Thrash Metal Community. In order to promote their new album, they began a tour with Anthrax, who was actually promoting their own new album “Among the Living.”. Legacy and it’s follow up album, consisted of many dark and gothic themes along with the occult. Testament continued to rise to the top of Metal Charts across the world.
Their 3rd album, “Practice What You Preach,” was released in 1989 and shared more realistic themes like politics and world corruption. Then came the Grunge era and Testament was failing to connect with their fans so they released a slower metal album called “The Ritual” was released in the late summer of 1992…over 20 years ago. When it was released it hit 55 on the Top 100 Bilboard List, which was the highest Testament ever went up to this day. The single “Return to Serenity” received favorable reviews and topped the charts at 22. This song received extended radio airplay…allowing them to gain a larger audience.
Up until now, Testament has released 10 Studio albums in the following order:
1) The Legacy (1987)
2) The New Order (1988)
3) Practice What You Preach (1989)
4) Souls of Black (1990)
5) The Ritual (1992)
6) Low (1994)
7) Demonic (1997)
8) The Gathering (1999)
9) The Formation of Damnation (2008)
10) The Dark Roots of Earth (2012)
From 1999-2008 the band failed to produce an album. Chuck Billy was even diagnosed with Cancer and had to temporarily quit the band. They reunited and toured from 2005-2008. Finally, in April of 2008 Testament released Formation of Damnation, which marked the return of Alex Skolnick who had left the band after “The Ritual.”. Now just recently, they released “Dark Roots of Earth” which marked the return of the original lineup. Their newest album, which was released in July , 2012 went back to their heavy roots and Alex Skolnick was better than ever.
Most people are aware of the Big 4…the concerts that toured all over the world with METALLICA, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. One always wonders who would make the list of the Big 5 if there was such thing. Testament fits the bill as closely as any other bands of this era. Even though they went through much adversity…it’s no different from these other 4 Bands.
Let’s go back 20 Years ago to 1992 when Testament released “The Ritual.”. This album was “their” Black Album (METALLICA)/ “Countdown to Extinction (Megadeth), “Among the Living (Anthrax), and “Reign in Blood” (Slayer). This album was much more mainstream than what they had put out in the past and was able to sustain some serious air play with a few songs, mainly “Return to Serenity.”. “Electric Crown” also garnered a lot of positive attention from the Metal community. This album is still heavy and really shares Alex Skolnick’s talents on guitar as he has a lot of solos…but more it established that Chuck Billy is capable of singing a more classic heavy metal than the style of Thrash that it’s fans had become accustomed to.
Testament in my mind is right up there with these bands and they deserve much consideration when establishing the Top 5 list of Thrash Bands in America. Last fall…thy supported a tour with Death Angel and Anthrax which promoted the new studio album by Anthrax “Worship Music.”. The tour was a huge success and put Testament back on the map. Me and my best friend had the pleasure of seeing a show on this tour, in north Jersey, and I was very impressed with Testament and their live stage presence and musical talents. Of course…They just released their 10th Studio album “Dark Roots of Earth” which went back to their heavy roots. I give the album a 9 out of 10 rating and highly suggest any Thrash Metal fan pick this album up. It may be their best album to date. Classic Thrash sound and heavy guitar/drum riffs. Next year I am suggesting they create the Big 5. Testament belongs in this group although they never were as popular as the other 4 bands…but they showed they belong in this class. Let’s get a petition up to METALLICA to form the Big 5. Chuck Billy still rocks and Alex Skolnick has refined his guitar skills and can play lead and rhythm with the same intensity. Buy this album…support this band!

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Metal Is Back

I’m a 36 Year Old Metal Die Hard! The first CD I ever purchased as a young kid was “Countdown to Extinction” by Megadeth. I will never forget my trip to the music store…it was a Tuesday morning and the CD was released earlier in the day. I rode my bicycle from my little neighborhood in Echo Beach, Bensalem to the Woodhaven Mall. I cannot remember the name of the store but that’s where I purchased the CD. The year was 1992. I was not even of legal driving age (hence the bike). Anyways…as I raced home on my bike with CD in hand…I could not wait to pop it into my brand new CD player that my father had purchased for me a week earlier. This CD just happened to be the first one I bought because it was a new release. Many of my child hood friends were avid metal fans so I had heard some of Megadeth’s material at the time, mainly from the “Peace Sells but Who’s Buying” era along with a few songs from “Rust in Peace.”. My friend Sean was a huge METALLICA fan and I had listened to “Ride the Lightning” and “And Justice For All.”. So after listening to METALLICA I became enamored with the back story of Dave Mustaine…who at the time I really did not know all too much about, but only that he had been in METALLICA for a short time before being kicked out because of his widespread drug abuse. I had learned that Mustaine had formed his own band “Megadeth” and when I heard my first Megadeth song, Peace Sells But Who’s Buying I sensed that we had a musical genius on our hands. I’m sure whenever you hear this song you picture the video of the young kid watching a Megadeth Video and the father tells him to turn on the news and he replies…”This is the News.”. So anyways…back to the day that I purchased Countdown. When I got home…I made a BLine for my bedroom and tore apart the plastic covering and opened the CD. The artwork was impressive with the old guy in chains…in what looked to be like his own personal prison. So I popped the CD into my player…cranked up the volume and for the next hour I was blown away! The first track…”Skin of My Teeth”, with the opening heavy guitar riffs and the infamous was siiiicccck! I must have replayed the song 3x before moving onto the next song. Then I heard this slow sounding synthesizer on the next track that went into a hard crunching riff! This was “Symphony of Destruction.”. One thing I noticed right away about this album was the tremendous melodic tones and chords that were used in Its production. Symphony was an awesome production and to this day I know all the words by heart. Of course…this song became one of Megadeth’s signature tunes. “Just like the pied piper…led rats through the streets…we danced like marionettes…swaying to the symphony of destruction.”. Wow powerful lyrics which underlayed an obvious anti-political theme. Then Architecture of Aggression and Foreclosure of a Dream which were both hits in their own right. They may not have gotten the air time but they were absolutely metal high fives. Then it was “Hello me…it’s me again…you can subdue but never tame me…It gives me a migraine headache…thinking down to your level.”. One could tell right away the dark theme of this song and how it correlated with Dave Mustaine and his crazy past. “Sweating Bullets” another signature song. Then perhaps the most underrated track on the CD….”This Was My Life”….more powerful guitar and electrifying lyrics. Then “Countdown to Extinction” the title track…a very creative title and theme and an even better song to boot. Then it was the song about the band’s passion for jumping out if airplanes…”High Speed Dirt!”. This song made you feel like you were in the plane with the band taking the plunge. Then “Psychotron” yet another underrated song. Then one of my personal favorites…”Captive Honor” which if you read the lyrics has a double meaning about being in prison and being addicted to drugs…and it’s close relationship to being in prison. Finally, the album ended with “Ashes in Your Mouth”, which truly fit perfect as the last song on the album. Needless to say…that day I was blown away and from that day forward…Megadeth was my favorite band. To this day…I try to hit as many concerts as possible. This brings me to my next point about how the new trend is bands are tending to play entire albums at concerts. I think this is an awesome idea and truly brings back excitement to a once dying brand of Metal. A few years back, Motley Crüe did the entire Doctor Feelgood anniversary tour. This is by far my favorite Crüe album and this tour had tremendous success. Iron Maiden has been doing this for years…they may be the forefathers of this trend. Over this past summer they did the “Maiden England” tour which virtually covered the entire “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” a concept album. Hearing these songs together brought back lots of memories. METALLICA did the Orion Festival, which was out of this world awesome!!!! What they did those 2 nights in June was take over the entire Atlantic City night life that weekend. They decided to do 2 successive albums the first night performing “Ride the Lightning” and the second night performing “Black” their signature album, which was actually released after “Countdown to Extinction”. Countdown hit number 4 on the chats only to see the “Black” album hit number 1. Needless to say…Megadeth will be performing the Countdown Anniversary Tour in October. I am so looking forward to being at this show and would not miss it for the world. Not only was this my first CD….it led me to my favorite band…which further led me down the path of Metal Mania. I believe that as more bands adopt this type of concert…that it will only further cement Thrash Metal as a Superpower in todays music world. I am so looking forward to the first riff out of Dave’s Guitar. This will bring back so many childhood memories…some good and some bad…but nonetheless will be an extreme boost for me in general.

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