THURSDAY SPOTLIGHT: JUDAS PRIEST

Image

     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.

Image Image

     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.

Image

Image

 

     Image

     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.

Image

Image

 

     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.

Image Image

ImageImage

 

      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.

 

Image

Advertisements

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

JUDAS PRIEST EPiTaPh SICK FINALE

There is not much that Judas Priest has not done in the realms of Metal. The roots of Heavy Metal came from Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Priest. Judas Priest has been rocking venues all over the world for over Forty Years. No matter what type of music you are accustomed too nor what your musical interests are, you have to respect Judas Priest as a legend in the Music world.

Rob Halford is the front man and there is no doubt that he has one of the most talented voices in Heavy Metal. Years back…Halford took a hiatus from Priest and did his own solo albums. However, they came back with a bang with Angel of Retribution. Their latest work of art was a Two Disc set called Nostradamus, which was a Concept Album based on Nostradamus who was a well known prophet in the dark ages, who predicted many future events and tragedies.

Nostradamus is an incredible work of art that was not a huge seller but remains extremely underrated to this day. However, Priest has been touring all over the world for the past three years. They concluded their most recent tour called Epitaph almost a year ago. On May 26th, 2012 Priest played at the Hammersmith Apollo Theater in front of over 100,000 fans. This concert was put to video and has 23 Songs and over 2 Hours of Music.

Priest covered their entire catalog from their grand beginnings to the latest album, Nostradamus. KK Downing has left the band but Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner rock the house. This DVD is extremely powerful and shows Priest at their absolute best! Rob Halford sounds just the same now as he did over forty years ago when he began fronting the very loud band. Any Priest fan must purchase this Concert and you will be treated to two hours of Metal Magic!

20130605-172011.jpg

METAL MADNESS

The End of May Is approaching fast, and June is right around the corner. There are so many current events that are in full blown attack. We have the Jodi Arias Murder Trial, The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, the Ongoing War and Terror in Syria, the Obama Health Care Reform Referendum, The Oklohoma Tornado, the Boston Massacre II, and many other current events. The NHL is down to the Final Four after skipping half of a season. MLB is in full swing and this year it’s anyone’s crown. NFL training camp is also right around the corner.

However, there is nothing more vivid than the news and notes and stories coming out of the Heavy Metal Community. Alice In Chains just released their new album on Tuesday. Saturday is the debut of That Metal Show with a guest appearance from Vinnie Apiece. Then we have both Megadeth and Black Sabbath releasing brand new studio albums this Tuesday. Also, Gigantour, The Rock Star Energy Concert in California, The Metal Hall of Fame.

June will also see a new biography from Pantera, which will cover the career of the Super Bands journey, including the tragic death of its star guitarist, Dimebag Darrell. Judas Priest is releasing a Blu Ray DVD called “Epitaph” which will include 22 Tracks from their latest tour in Europe. We have Gigantour, Metallica’s 3D Movie, Rock Star Energy Show, as well as many other concerts. Pantera is also contemplating a reunion tour with star Guitarist Zack Wylde. There are so many stories that are about to arise in the Metal Community. Finally, we have many other new albums that are due out. Also, there will be many huge shows in 2013.

Slash is working on a new album, Slayer is still mourning the loss of their Star Guitarist, Jason Newsted is about to embark on tour with Metallica, so many stories…lets get excited Metal Fans! Let me see your Liighhhterrs! As Ozzy says it best!

20130530-003220.jpg

20130530-003232.jpg

20130530-003248.jpg

TOP 10 ALBUMS YOU WOULD WANT TO SEE LIVE

Last month my friend and I were fortunate enough to see Megadeth perform the entire “Countdown to Extinction” album in New York. The concert was originally scheduled to be performed at the Starland Ballroom. Due to unforeseen circumstances and the Hurricane known as “SANDY”, the concert had to be moved to another venue. Megadeth played at the Best Buy Arena (for those who are not familiar….an incredible place to see a live band)…and they did not disappoint. Megadeth sounded so good their live sound matched their album. They played 6 other hits besides the Countdown album. The concert was a huge success. Earlier in the summer…we were able to see Metallica perform the ” Black” album in its entirety. Let me tell you…Metallica sounded much better live than they had in years. This concert was part of the Orion Festival, which will be a huge show yearly. Metallica kicked major ass that night in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A year prior, we witnessed Judas Priest perform the British Steel album. It was incredible to see Rob Halford hit those high notes and make it look so easy. My favorite performance was “Metal Gods” which sounded just like the album. A few years earlier, my buddy and I were blessed to see Mötley Crüe perform Dr. Feelgood, which happens to be my favorite Crüe album. Nikki Sixx and Mik Mars were awesome on guitar, And Vince Neil showed that he could still enthrall a crowd. Many other countless bands have performed the entire album from start to finish. Iron Maiden does this a lot and I was making sure to hit as many as possible. This brings me to the purpose of my blog. If you had your chance to see one band perform one of their albums through its entirety, what band and album would it be??? I will give you my Top 10 from worst to first.

10) Alice In Chains- ” Facelift”, Their debut album ahead of there other catalogs. Wish Layne Staley was still alive, it was their most complete album. Jerry Cantrell has that grunge sound that mixes well with the metal style of it’s day.

9) Anthrax- “Among the Living”- There most influential album to date. I Would love to see them up close and personal with the way they get the most out of their fans. Me and my buddy saw Anthrax perform last fall on the Worship Music Tour and they were absolutely AMAZING!

8) Poison- “Look What the Cat Dragged In”- Poison has always been one of my favorite bands throughout my many years of listening to metal. They made my top 5 Hair/Glam Metal list and this album truly put them on the map as true rock giants. Singles…Every Rose Has its Thorn, Talk Dirty To Me, Nothing but a Good Time as well as some other great classics can be heard on this album.

7) Ozzy Osbourne- “No More Tears”- Maybe not Ozzy’s best album ever but my personal favorite. Every song could have been a hit and Zack Wylde can jam with the best of them. The Title Track sends chills down my spine every time I hear it. Mama Im Coming Home is an awesome ballad.

6) Skid Row- “Skid Row”- The debut from one of the most underrated metal bands of all time. I mean Skid Row was always a tad heavier than its glam/hair metal cousins. This album pounds out hits after hits and would definitely bring me back to my early childhood. Sebastian Bach is a true genius on vocals as he is able to cover every range like none other.

5) Iron Maiden- “Number of the Beast”- Already having saw Iron Maiden play the entire Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and Matter of Life and Death, I cannot imagine being able to hear this classic live. Bruce Dickinson really knows how to put on a live show and this album was their top album as far as AirPlay and hits.

4) Def Leppard- “Hysteria”-Probably Def Leppard’s best album from 1-10. Every song on the album was a hit and I would live to hear every one of these songs.

3) Bon Jovi- “Slippery When Wet/New Jersey”- This is a stretch but Bon Jovi would probably sell out every concert if they played either of these albums live. Bon Jovi is such an important band in the journey through different genres of heavy metal and this album includes many hits as well as hit singles.

2) AC/DC- “Back in Black”- The first AC/DC album with Brian Johnson, who replaced Bon Scott. This album may be in the Top 5 albums of all time as far as talent and raw power and music energy. Just hearing Angus Young rock out and Brian Johnson’s deep but subtle voice. Songs like Back in Black, Shook me all Night Long, Hells Bells and the list goes on. I would pay top price to see AC/DC perform this entire album at a concert. I know that hearing it would give me such a rush.

1) Guns N Roses- “Appetite For Destruction”- The debut album For a band that for a short time was on the Rolling Stone’s level. This album has so much awesome beats and lyrics. Axle Rose and Slash both have distinct songs in vocals and guitar playing respectively. Welcome to the Jungle…..Your gonna die baby….Paradise City…It’s so Easy, Night Train…Out to Get Me, Rocket Queen, My Michelle, wow this would provide quite a rush. In pretty sure that If Guns N Roses decided to have a reunion tour and they decided to feature this album, they would sell out every venue in every state and country. I would so love to hear Slash play the Solo on Sweet Child o Mine.

Honorable Mention- Warrant (Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich), Megadeth (Youthanasia), Slayer (Reign in Blood), Metallica (Master of Puppets), and Metallica (And Justice for All), Black Sabbath- (Paranoid).
Anyways….we can have a little fun with this topic…I am looking for feedback. Who would you want to hear and which album if you had the opportunity. Just thinking of some these songs and albums has my heart rate up. In case you metal fans have not happened to see an album performed in its entirety, pleases try to attend such a show. They are awesome concerts.

20121206-170319.jpg

TOP 10 BANDS THAT CHANGED METAL

So many bands have come and gone in the Metal Music Scene. In fact, Heavy Metal has evolved and grown many subsets throughout the years. VH1 Classic had an awesome documentary on Heavy Metal this past summer that gave a chronological history of Metal Music and it’s roots. Of Course…the Forefathers of Heavy Metal was Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. There was also Rainbow, AC/DC, Aerosmith, And many other bands alike that pushed Heavy Metal to the forefront of the music industry. Whether it be “one hit wonders,” like Autograph or bands that have stood the test of time like AC/DC or KISS….there have been so many good metal bands to surface from the early nineteen eighty’s until modern day metal. Many bands have made their mark and changed the style of music and how it is played. However, some Bands have risen above the rest to make significant impacts on the music genre known as metal and these bands have influenced these styles in ways that are unfathomable. The following article shares my Top 10 Bands that have changed and influenced Heavy Metal today.
1) Iron Maiden- Iron Maiden was formed in 1975 in England by Steve Harris. Since their inception, Iron Maiden has produced 15 Studio Albums, 10 Live Albums, and 7 Video Compilations. They were pioneers of the new wave of British Heavy Metal. In most music congregations…Maiden is considered an underground Metal Band because of their lack of Television and radio support and exposure. Iron Maiden has sold 85 million records, which is a huge accomplishment for a band that does not hit the radio circuit. For most of their career, Bruce Dickinson has piloted Maiden as the lead vocalist…except for it’s very beginning when Paul Diano was the lead singer and also 1994-1999, when Blaze Bayley took over the Helm. They have played over 2000 live shows all over the World and have produced many hit singles. A lot of their style and sound is progressive and uses melodic and harmonic style of guitars. They have produced a few concept albums using this creative style. I would venture to put Bruce Dickinson right up there with the all time great vocalists in Metal History. Iron Maiden has definitely influenced Metal in enormous proportions. Their best album is probably Number of the Beast which includes the title track and Run to The Hills…another Maiden Classic.
2) Judas Priest- Judas Priest was also formed in England, Birmingham to be exact in 1969. Judas Priest was one of the first Metal Bands to feature the “Twin Guitar” style. Glenn Tipton and KK Downing have been able to modernize this sound and perfect it’s effect on the metal style of music. When you combine these two phenomenal Guitarists with the vocals of Rob Halford, you have the making of a Super Power Band. Rob Halford may even be a better vocalist than Bruce Dickinson. Judas Priest was the first band to truly use the double guitar strategy and thus produced a very heavy fast dark sound of music. They were also responsible for introducing the black leather and S/M look to the Metal Scene. They have produced 16 Studio Albums…their last one being a Concept Album “Nostradamus” about the life of Nostradamus who was an ancient philosopher and prophet. Judas Priest is in the Metal Hall of Fame an they continue to tour and make kick ass tunes. In fact…they will release their 17th studio album in 2013. Judas Priest was a catalyst for the New wave of British Heavy Metal, which has totally influenced all major styles of modern metal today. They have sold 50 million records and stood the test of time.
3) Def Leppard- Another English Heavy Metal Band, formed in 1977 in Sheffield England. Def Leppard truly brought a new sound and style to the table and they really took off in the early eighties. They were the first Metal Band to enjoy major commercial success and their high point was between the early eighties and nineties. Def Leppard has produced twelve studio albums and as mentioned achieved huge success in the commercial record area and mainstream metal population. High and Dry, which was their second album (released in 1981) and the single “Bringing on the Heartbrake” became the first metal song played on MTV Videos. Their next album, Pyromania turned Def Leppard into huge stars and the song Photograph was released in 1983 and also received major airplay on MTV. As of 2004…Pyromania was ranked 384 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of all time. In 1987, Def Leppard released Hysteria which topped the charts in both the United States and United Kingdom! This album alone has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide and Hysteria reached 12x Platinum in 2010, one of the most successful albums ever. The album spawned 6 Hit Singles in the Billboard Top 100. Def Leppard is one of five bands to have two albums certified as Diamond Platinum (Pyromania/Hysteria) 2 Original Studio Albums to sell over 10 million copies each. They are the number 1 album seller of all time in the US ha ing sold over 100 million records. Def Leppard was recently ranked 31 in the top 100 Hard Rock Bands of all time. Def Leppard brought Metal to new grounds and was the first metal band to achieve huge commercial success. They will always be recognized as a band who changed the face of Metal.
4) METALLICA- METALLICA was formed in 1983 in Los Angeles California and they are known as the founding member of the BIG 4, which is a term for the 4 greatest thrash metal bands of all time. They were the pioneer of Thrash Metal, which became the most popular form of metal music in the mid 1980’s! METALLICA in it’s roots was a Heavy Metal Underground Icon and achieved commercial success with their third album, Master of Puppets. This album is still considered one of the most heavy influential heavy metal albums of all time. Many Thrash Bands were formed during Metallica’s rise including Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer who join METALLICA in the Big 4. Other Thrash stars included Tetament, Overkill, Quiet Riot, Metal Church, and many others. METALLICA hit their high point when they released their Fifth Album “Black” which debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100. Thus far…METALLICA has produced 9 Studio Albums and since 1991 is the highest selling band in the Music Industry. Like Def Leppard, METALLICA too has sold over 100 million records worldwide. The Black Album is actually the 25th most sold album in United States History. METALLICA will always be known for it’s tremendous influence on the emergence of “Thrash” metal which incorporated speed heavy fierce guitars with powerful double bass drums and screeching vocals. Thrash Metal is still one of the most popular forms of Heavy Metal today.
5) Motley Crüe- Motley Crüe was formed in Los Angeles California in 1981 by Bass Guitarist Nikki Six and Drummer Tommy Lee, and were later joined by Mik Mars and Vince Neil on Vocals. Through the years, Motley Crüe is has been considered the most notorious Rock Band of all time. Motley Crüe was the catalyst for the Hair Metal revolution, which was basically heavy metal bands that played themes such as sex, drugs, and rock n roll and they sported long hair and wore makeup. Motley Crüe has produced nine studio albums and are currently working on their tenth. They have been ranked 10th on the MTV Top 10 Heavy Metal List and 9th on the VH1 Top 10 Heavy Metal list respectively. Motley Crüe was a raucous bunch that provided fast heavy guitar with cutting vocals from Vince Neil. Between all of the band members…they probably have all been in trouble with the law than any other heavy metal bands. Motley Crüe achieved great commercial success and thrived with their popularity with MTV exposure…especially among ladies.
6). Poison- Poison was another Hair Metal band that was formed in Pennsylvania by Vocalist Brett Michaels and they combined Motley Crues look with a more mellow sounding rock sound. Poison was also more popular with the ladies. They actually became the catalyst for Glam Metal Bands in the mid eighties which took on a huge part of the metal population. Other bands that followed Poison’s success included Warrant, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Ratt, Winger, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Wasp, and many more bands. Poison is most known for their album Open up and say Ahh…their best hit number 1 single “Every Rose Has it’s Thorn.”. Poison popularized Ballads which used heavy guitar but incorporated a mellow sad sound. So many bands followed this trend.
7). Guns N Roses- Guns N Roses was formed in 1985 in Los Angeles California by Slash, Duff McKagan, Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, and Steven Adler. The band only released six studio albums but managed to still sell 100 million records worldwide. This gives you a little clarity on the enormous impact that this band had on Heavy Metal. Appetite For Destruction debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 and their single “Sweet Child O Mine” reached number 1 on the Top 100 Billboard singles. The album had sold over 18 million copies in the United States alone making it the Number 1 Debut album of Metal history of all time. Guns N Roses has to receive credit for popularizing heavy metal in an era where pop music had taken over the industry. Guns N Roses had a Rolling Stones type of demeanor and they brought Metal to another level. They were not the classic thrash metal or British style…nor were they the hair glam style either. They brought their own style to the table…a combination of hard rock, punk and metal that thrived and gained quick popularity. The Band was around only a short time but they still remain one if the Greatest American Heavy Metal Bands of all time! The Band’s classic lineup was just recently inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012…the Band’s first year of eligibility. This was a tremendous accomplishment considering they were only around a very short time.
8) Nirvana- Nirvana was formed by Kirk Cobain and Dave Grohl in 1987 near Seattle. They quickly became the catalyst for a new style of Metal known as Grunge. Many Grunge Bands were formed in Seattle in the late eighties. The Grunge style of metal relied on dynamic contrasts in sound, between quiet verses and loud heavy choruses. Nirvana’s second Album, NeverMind achieved dramatic success in the grunge community as well as the Alternative Style of Metal. The band was short-lived as Curt Cobain died in 1994. Even with their short lived career…Nirvana has managed to sell over 25 Million Records in the United States alone and over 75 million world wide. Nirvana set the stage for many other bands including Alice In Chains, SoundGarden, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Collective Soul, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Nirvana is kind of like the Beatles of the 1990’s even tho the Beatles lasted much longer. Curt Cobain is John Lennon. The star vocalist whose life was cut way too short.
9). Pantera- Pantera was formed in Arlington Texas in 1981. However…it wasn’t till many years later that the band made it’s mark. They began as a glam metal band producing four albums in the eighties. In 1990, Pantera released “Cowboys From Hell” which was much more of a thrash metal sound. Then Vulgar Display if Power was released which was even heavier. Finally, Far Beyond Driven which was heavier yet. They are responsible for the New Wave of American Heavy Metal which spawned many bands that are still popular today…KORN, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie/Rob Zombie, Tool, HateBreed, Mastadon, and the list goes on and on. Pantera saw it’s high point during the early 90’s and were famous for their mosh pits. The Band disbanded after the brutal murder of it’s star guitar player…Dimebag Darrell on stage by a crazed fan. Pantera is still considered one of the Best Heavy Metal Bands o all time today.
10). Lamb of God- Lamb of God is like Pantera on Steroids. They carry the torch today for Heavy Metal Music and have a Dark Side but they are not quite raucous enough to be considered Death Metal. The band was formed in 1990 in Richmond Virginia and they have produced 6 Studio Albums. They have a cult fan base and thrive on live shows. Ashes of the Wake is their best selling album and they have sold over 10 million albums in the United States alone and over 15 million world wide. Lamb of God uses Pantera like riffs and the demonic vocal sound of Randy Blythe to get the crowds into a rucus. Lamb of God is carrying the torch now for the New Wave of Heavy Metal. Thy have spawned such bands as Avenged Sevenfold, Buck Cherry, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, and As I Lay Dying. They have stood the test of time also.

Honorable Mention- Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot. Well…that is my top 10 list and it’s not in any particular order. If I had to pick the number 1 band for influence it would be Guns N Roses. Stay tuned for the next Heavy Metal installment.

20121020-201510.jpg

20121020-201534.jpg

20121020-201557.jpg

All TIME GREATS

It has been a very busy weekend. I’m going to have some fun today with my blog so I hope that I can spur a debate by doing so. As most of you know…this is the end of my first week of blogging. It has been trial and error and I want to raise my game to a new level. Yes…it’s nice to report news on a variety of topics and discuss the finer points. However, the blog becomes more interesting when you pick a certain topic and back it up with facts and opinions alike. I really would like to get more participation from my followers so feel free to Comment, Criticize, or Compliment but please do respond. I’m going to start this debate by giving you my list of my Top Metal Bands. As I have stated before these are strictly opinions and are based on my own likes and dislikes:
1) Megadeth- My favorite band of all time…Dave Mustaine is a musical genius as far as writing lyrics, producing music, and guitar playing. Megadeth uses a lot of political, economic, and abuse as most of their themes. Megadeth has been through Many lineup changes during their existence. As far as being one of the Big 4…Megadeth is the most technical as far as instrumental and the musical production….my top Megadeth albums:
A. Countdown to Extinction.
B. Rust in Peace.
C. Youthanasia
D. The World Needs a Hero
E. Cryptic Writings
F. Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying.
G. Thirteen
H. United Abominations
I. Endgame
J. The System Has Failed

Now onto the second favorite as far as my all-time Bands. Talk about distinct sound…and bundles of extreme energy and pit stomping beats. Anthrax has it all…they bring many talents to the table. Joey Belladonna is an active frontman that not only has a great voice but also an amazing stage presence. When I think of Anthrax…I see the picture of Joey with the Indian headpiece on his head and running back and forth on stage to the fast pace “Indians!”. Anthrax has been a force in metal since the early 80’s and they continue to perform at a high level. In fact…out of the Big 4 Bands…they definitely are the best as far as live concerts. My Top Anthrax Albums:
A) Among the Living
B) Worship Music (New- Most Recent)
C) Spreading the Disease.

Of course…I cannot have a list without this next band. I actually did not really get into them until later years, but have recently spent a lot of time listening to their music and I now have a greater appreciation for their talent. Slayer sometimes gets a bad stereotype when people hear the name because they automatically think evil when they hear the name. Yes…many of Slayer’s Songs have deep dark sounds but when you listen to the lyrics you get a better idea of what they stand for. Tom Ayraya is one of the few Bassists who are also a Frontman in the Metal industry. He does an awesome Job of capturing the audience. Slayer is not Death Metal as some people may believe. They have stellar talent including Kerry King on Guitar who previously auditioned for Metallica and was in Megadeth for a very brief time.
My favorite Slayer albums:
1) Seasons in the Abyss
2) Reigning Blood
3) South of Heaven
4) World Painted Blood
5) He’ll Awaits
6) God Hates us All

Now we get into the deep roots of metal with Judas Priest. Judas Priest has long been one of my favorite bands period! I can remember as a teenager listening to the song “Breaking the Law.”. This song strikes a nerve in all the disenfranchised youth in America and it paints a picture iLife how society makes it so easy to become a criminal with all it’s rules and regulations. Rob Halford in my opinion has the greatest voice range in Metal History…right up there with Ronnie James Dio, Sebastian Bach, and Bruce Dickenson. KK. Downing and Glenn Tipton are the perfect combination on Guitars and they provide a true metal experience with a lot of melodic hard rock sounds….

Obviously my favorite album is British Steel.

To Be Continued

20120903-130149.jpg