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

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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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New Tours/New Material/NFl Cuts/Dodgers Trade good or Bad?

In metal news…It has been announced that Lamb of God will officially kick off their cancelled tour on October 30th 2012. They will be touring with In Flames and HateBreed. As many metal fans heard…the original tour was cancelled due to Lead Singer Randy being put in prison overseas for reportedly throwing a fan off the stage at a concert and the fan apparently died due to injuries of the fall. This tour was much anticipated after the release of their new album this past year. Anthrax will be co-headlining a Canadian Tour starting next month with Testament and Death Angel. Testament fresh off their new album is looking forward to this tour. Anthrax will also be featured on a new series on the Google AudioBiography Site and will include material from their more famous albums Among the Living and Spreading the Disease as well as their most recent “platinum” album Worship Music. The series actually begins tonight @8PM. Trivium (who is also working on a new album) is scheduled to Headline a tour in Europe this fall with As I Lay Dying and along with Caliban and Upon a Burning Body! It was announced today that ChickenFoot will be re-releasing their self-titled debut album as a Double Disc feature with Bonus Tracks on October 16th. It should be interesting as their sophomore album was a flop. Bullet For My Valentine has skipped the US to Thailand to record their 4th Album. According to the band, it will have a little of everything but will go back to the heavier style closer to their album Poison. As stated the other day…Aerosmith and Kiss are both working on new studio albums. It should be interesting to see what the old heads can put together. Now onto Sports…some notable names were cut from NFL rosters today including Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney from the New England Patriots. Thadeus Gibson a Defensive End from Chicago, Jets Kicker Chad Brown, and Eagles Cornerback Cliff Harris. The most notable name to get cut though was Terrell Owens….yes you heard it right T.O. He was trying to resurrect his career in Seattle but that doesn’t look promising now. Boy we have come along way from a few years ago when TO and McNabb were trying to win a Superbowl together and then shared a huge drama story for years. In Eagles News….it was announced that the Eagles will honor former Running Back Brian Westbrook who will officially retire as an Eagle on Wednesday. He will be honored at a game in December against Washington. In his short career….Brian Westbrook was arguably the best Running Back in Eagles history. The NFL deadline for cuts is Friday and the Rosters must be at 53 players by 9PM. Well its too early to judge the trade the Dodgers made but they did not give up their 3 best pitching prospects which is absolutely absurd. Boston’s GM should be fired. How can you give away that much talent and not get the number 1 pitching prospect in return. To be continued!

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