It’s 11/11/11, Nigel Tufnel day!
…”Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more.”
G’n’R used to be my favorite band. They were at one time the most awesome band on the planet and it was not even close. I was actually late for my last day of school in the 8th grade, because the night before I had gone to see them play at the Richfield Coliseum, for what was up to that point their longest concert ever.
Flash forward 20 years later and a few all-you-can-eat buffets later and Axl Rose is fronting a band that may technically be called Guns-n-Roses, but is nothing more then a crappy cover band fronted by a fat rock star who can’t sing any more.
From the U.K. Daily Mail:
He was once a pin-up for millions of rock and roll fans throughout the world.
But it seems Axl Rose’s poster boy days are over, judging by photographs of the 49-year-old singer performing with the band in Brazil last night.
The Guns N’ Roses frontman was unrecognisable as he took to the stage at the Rock In Rio music festival, with his attempts to cover up his larger frame in a coat failing miserably.
Rose appeared to have gained a significant amount of weight in recent months, with his slimline frame at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards a distant memory.
The rocker teamed his yellow coat with a black hat and sunglasses, with the whole ensemble contributing to his bizarre appearance.
It’s not the first time Rose’s weight has sparked concern, as he previously shocked fans with his overweight look in January 2010.
Uh Oh. Mastodon have gone pop.
No not really, but their recently released fifth studio album The Hunter is probably the most accessible (and by that I mean radio ready) album to date. Much like Opeth’s newest album “Heritage,” The Hunter has more clean vocals as opposed to balls to the walls screaming then any Mastodon album before it.
No, that is not a bad thing and no, Mastodon have most definitely not ’sold out.’
On The Hunter the Prog elements on the last album have been toned down just a bit for just a bit of a dare I say stoner rock – for lack of a better term – influence. “Curl of the Burl,” the albums first single and the second track on the album sounds like it could have been written by Joshe Homme for the next Queens of the Stone Age record.
Tracks 4 and 5, “Stargasm” and “Octopus Has No Friends” as well as the albums title track have a very space rock sound that reminds me very much of Sweden’s Dozer.
Mastodon haven’t really broken any new ground in heavy metal on this album, but they have at the same time made a stellar sludge/doom/stoner album and have proven that they can’t really do no wrong. If you were looking for an in your face make your ears bleed full on heavy assault, The Hunter may not be the album for you. But if you like a little bit of melody and atmosphere in your metal, kick back with your favorite adult beverage of choice or spark one up if that’s your thing and enjoy the ride.
Anthrax have a great new album out Worship Music, with the ‘classic era’ vocalist Joey Belladonna back. But here is a great song from my favorite era of Anthrax, “Inside Out” off of Volume 8: The Threat Is Real, with John Bush on vocals and the late great Dimebag Darrell on lead guitars.
The first thing you will notice instantly upon first listen to “Heritage,” the opening track on Opeth’s 10th studio album of the same name, will be that it sounds like no other Opeth album before it. It is a two minute piano medley that sets the stage for the tone of the album. A tone that will more then likely piss of a good chunk of Opeth’s fan base, while also adding a lot of potential new fans.
I am not one of those people on the side that will be pissed off. Now I fully admit to not having any idea of who Opeth were until Blackwater Park came out. That album just simply blew me away when I first heard it, and I still rank it as one of my all time favorite albums, over a decade now since it was released. Because of Blackwater Park I went back and picked up their first couple albums, and while I enjoyed them they never really came close to Blackwater Park for me.
Mainly because of those pesky death metal growls. Which is where, Heritage will piss off a large chunk of Opeth’s fan base. This album is completely devoid of any remnants of Opeth’s death metal past, as a matter of fact it could probably be debated that Heritage isn’t even a metal record at all. Now I did listen to some death metal, I loved Death mainly because the late Chuck Schuldiner was such a great guitarist, I got into Cannibal Corpse a bit in High School, but the cookie monster growls were just too much for me.
2003’s Damnation, is the closest that Opeth has come before to this kind of album, but even that album was still a metal record. On Heritage, much like on Damnation, Mikael Åkerfeldt uses only his clean vocals, but that’s pretty much where the comparisons end. Heritage is, if you have been paying attention since Blackwater Park, the album that Mikael Åkerfeldt has been working towards. It is much closer to a progressive rock record with elements of jazz fusion, then a heavy metal album. The jazz fusion elements appear mostly on “Nepenthe” and “Häxprocess” the fifth and sixth tracks on the album.
“Famine” is the stand out track for me on this record, starting of piano heavy and very tranquil and then delving into a Richie Blackmore 1970’s Deep Purple type midsection, only to end in a Jethro Tull inspired jam. Despite all that “Famine” is probably the ‘metal’ song on Heritage.
All in all, despite being the biggest departure from Opeth’s musical ’roots,’ Heritage still very much sounds like an Opeth record. It’s just Mikael Åkerfeldt ode to his 70’s progressive rock fandom.
This is from the old AM Cleveland on WKYC 3, in probably 1987. It is the Cleveland synth-pop band Slam Bamboo which briefly featured Trent Reznor. Even then he just looked completely out of place.
Few debates in the metal community get more contentious then the Joey vs. John debate. Just take a look at the official Anthrax message board or the comments section of sites like blabbermouth.net, and you’ll see you will have more civil discussion of topics like abortion, gun control and religion then you will about who is the better Anthrax singer.
I will admit that I myself fall into the “John” side of the debate. I myself further admit that when the topic of, “could have Joey sang on the Bush records” comes up, I was firmly on the side of hell no. Well having had just listened to a few spins of Anthrax’s newest release Worship Music. I’m going to have to change my mind on that one.
As a matter of fact, Worship Music may very well be the best Anthrax record ever. Which is an amazing thing when you consider the turmoil that surrounded the making of this album.
First, you had the much debated reunion with Joey, which I and many other Anthrax fans (those that never jumped of the Anthrax bandwagon that is) felt was done for all the wrong reasons. Anthrax’s own Charlie Benante even admitted in a recent interview that it was done for the wrong reason. Then came the decision to move forward without Joey and pluck from obscurity Dan Nelson to sing on the new record. (At some point even Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour was rumored to be in line for the job.) Then they realized that Nelson was not a fit, and John came back for a few shows… only to decide that his heart really wasn’t in it any more, and he didn’t want to re-record vocals on an album that was written with another singer.
Enter, the return of Joey Belladonna for the third time. Joey could have easily (and probably should have) told Scott Ian and Charlie Benante to go fuck themselves after the way he was treated by them, but he didn’t.
And Anthrax fans have now been treated with, as I said earlier, may very well be the best Anthrax album ever.
Scott Ian and his right hand show why he may very well be the best rhythm guitarist in metal, Charlie Benante is drumming out of his mind. And Joey… well Joey still has those sweeping operatic at times highs that he is known for, but has mixed in just the right amount of grit and aggression in his voice as well, which is where I have to admit I have changed my mind and decided that Joey really could have easily sang on 1993’s Sound of White Noise as well as the albums that followed.
2011 Anthrax is a blending of both era’s of Anthrax, while at the same time not really looking into the past and opting for a trip down memory lane just for the sake of nostalgia.
In The End, a tribute to Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio, may very well be the best song Scott Ian ever wrote. Earth On Hell, is probably the closest “thrash” song on the album to appease the AnThrash purists out there. Judas Priest is epic, Crawl sounds like it was written for John Bush’s voice, but Joey nails it down anyways. And even the slightly poppy Fight ‘em till’ You Can’t, and The Devil You Know are killer tunes.
All in all, and I fully admit to being a mark for Anthrax, Worship Music is a brilliant album, and if it grows on me any more after what I have heard so far I’ll have to change my tune from “this may very well be,” to “this is the best Anthrax album ever.”
Former Warrant frontman Jani Lane passed away last week at the age of 47, in another one of the all too often tales of rock and roll excess. Just another lesson to stay off the hard stuff.
Musically, and song-writing wise Warrant and Jani Lane were probably the most underrated of the 80’s “hair metal” bands.
They also were the first band I ever saw live, as they opened up for Poison in November of 1990 at the old Richfield Coliseum.
Nice, Not only did is this cover way better then the original version, they’re hot too!
Wow. This is just about one of the coolest videos ever. This girl is only 10!
I just wanted to wish my readers, err reader… and anybody else who may be stumbling upon my site a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Here’s some TSO…
I really wish Al Gore’s global warming would become actual truth and get here already, I’m sick of this snow. We’re in the middle of a blizzard here in Cleveland, so here’s some Snowblind.
This song has absolutely nothing to do with “snow,” but you can never go wrong with some Black Sabbath.
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