Tag: metal

Behold the Strange Beauty of the Metal Ballads Album Covers

Behold the Strange Beauty of the Metal Ballads Album Covers

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I can't tell if these album covers for a compilation series called Metal Ballads are serious or not, but they are 100% undistilled awesome either way. They were released in Germany between 1988 and 1991, before grunge made things like this look even more foolish than they already did, so I'm inclined to think that RCA Records didn't realize they were unintentionally goofing on the entire hair metal scene. But still, look at these things. You could take the title off these drawings and pass them off as the covers to some astoundingly bad romance novels. Ones that take place in a world where shirts are but a distant memory and only the tender, rocking ballads of the Scorpions will see you through another hellish day sharing body heat for survival. Oh and for the curious, I've included ...
It’s the Geoff Tate Queensrÿche Experience!

It’s the Geoff Tate Queensrÿche Experience!

Music
I haven't posted much of anything about the ongoing soap opera in Queensrÿche land, mostly because it's all too depressing for this long-time fan to contemplate. But for those not in the know, vocalist and band co-founder Geoff Tate was fired from Queensrÿche about a month ago. Queensrÿche then went out and got a new singer. I figured Tate would leave well enough alone and just go for a solo career. I was kind of excited about this prospect, actually. But nope, turns out we now get to deal with two Queensrÿches. That's right, Tate put together his own version of the group -- this one featuring former Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, ex-Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer, and former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover. Maybe this band will be good, maybe not. But the f
The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

Music
The usual disclaimers about my year-end music lists still apply. I'm only one man and only have so much time to listen to new albums. So even if I hear an album and it's really good, if nothing about it grabs me right away I may end up forgetting it. Also, naturally I'm going to gravitate toward music either from acts I already know and like or that's recommended by friends and writers/critics I respect. These, then, are the ten albums that I have returned to more than any other in 2011 and probably will in 2012. Because at the end of the day, isn't that the only mark of a good record? #1. Mastodon, The Hunter As much as I was disappointed with Crack the Skye, I absolutely love The Hunter. I've read a lot of comparisons between it and Metallica's "Black Album," and I can see why. It's...
Album review mini-roundup: Anthrax, Ladytron, and The New Mastersounds

Album review mini-roundup: Anthrax, Ladytron, and The New Mastersounds

Music
Anthrax, Worship Music (Megaforce Records) -- No disrespect to John Bush, but Anthrax only sounds like Anthrax to me with Joey Belladonna behind the mic. Interestingly enough, his first album with Anthrax in more than 20 years is a much more modern-sounding album than I expected. While parts of Worship Music -- tracks like "Earth on Hell" -- are right out of the Persistence of Time era, others ("Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" and "I'm Alive") sound more the like modern, radio-friendly hard rock found on more recent discs. Belladonna was in a tough spot here, as he and Scott Ian publicly admitted that Worship Music was largely complete when he was brought in. So he was basically singing over songs that were written with former singer Dan Nelson in mind. To his credit, Belladonna sounds at hom...
My favorite music: 1983

My favorite music: 1983

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1983. (Spotify users, check out the accompanying playlist and subscribe!) Robert Plant, The Principle of Moments -- While I would in no way claim that Robert Plant's solo output bests Led Zeppelin's music, a lot of times I simply prefer to listen to Plant. In fact I'd say that Plant has enjoyed one of the most artistically rewarding solo careers of any artist who was part of a popular band that I can think of. The Principle of Moments is probably my favorite Plant solo effort (next to Fate of Nations) -- he sounds freed from the constraints of creating larger-than-life rock and the music just crackles with energy. "In the...
Listening booth — Mastodon, “Spectrelight”

Listening booth — Mastodon, “Spectrelight”

Listening Booth, Music
It's probably not going to be as awesome as Leviathan, but Mastodon's upcoming LP -- The Hunter -- promises to be better than Crack the Skye. At least based off the first three singles. First there was "Black Tongue," which has the same vibe as Blood Mountain and is quite good. Then there was "Curl of the Burl," which incidentally looks like the title of a Burl Ives exercise video. In any case, it was a bit disappointing. Now there's single/video #3, "Spectrelight," which sounds the most like the Mastodon I love (and looks like a really cool screen saver to boot!). The rawness of the Remission/Leviathan era has been polished away but it's still hella aggressive and cool. It features Scott Kelly from Neurosis on vocals. The Hunter comes out September 26 on Roadrunner Records. Rel...
Listening booth — RIP Jani Lane of Warrant

Listening booth — RIP Jani Lane of Warrant

Listening Booth, Music
Today brings sad news for hard rock and metal fans around the world, as Jani Lane -- lead singer of Warrant during their most successful period -- was found dead yesterday in a Woodland Hills, California hotel room at age 47. In addition to serving as Warrant's lead vocalist, Lane wrote the band's most popular songs, including "Heaven," "Down Boys," "Sometimes She Cries," "I Saw Red," and "Cherry Pie." I'll admit that I was never a huge Warrant fan back in the day, but Lane was a very good vocalist and seems to have been a genuinely good -- albeit troubled -- person. So let's remember Lane in happier days with a few classic Warrant cuts. "Down Boys" "Cherry Pie" "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Related articles Warrant's Jani Lane dead at 47 (brooklynvegan.com) Hollywood reacts to...
Listening booth — Mastodon, “Black Tongue”

Listening booth — Mastodon, “Black Tongue”

Listening Booth, Music
I really should know better by now than to predict how much I'll like an album based off one song. I was certain Mastodon's last album, Crack the Skye, would be a total face-melter, but I was sadly wrong. But I do have renewed hope for their upcoming LP, The Hunter. Why? Check out the first single, "Black Tongue." Aw yeah! This sounds like the Mastodon I love - heavy and vengeful, but still melodic. The Hunter is out September 27. Related articles New Mastodon! "Black Tongue!" Full Song! Listen Now, You Fools!!! (metalsucks.net) Mastodon Roar Back With Monster Metal Anthem (spin.com) Mastodon's B-Sides Are Better Than Most Bands A-Sides. (popblerd.com) Mastodon Releases New Song, Forgets They're Mastodon (allmetalresource.com)
My favorite music: 1972

My favorite music: 1972

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1972. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees -- Oh sure, I love Rumours as much as the next person. But there's something about this particular, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band that speaks to me. Bare Trees is a bit uneven in spots but I keep coming back to it just the same. That said, the original version of Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady" found on this record is far superior to the 1977 hit single version. Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill -- I don't care if Donald Fagen and Walter Becker want to disown this record, I love it and I know a ton of Dan fans love it. Like all classic Steely Dan records, the hits are only part o...