Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Apology For The Holidays

So I have been slacking. First it was projects then it was finals. Now it is Christmas and I am off on adventures. Tomorrow I leave on a 4 day cruise for the Bahamas, then I am back in Orlando for 2 days and then back to my parentals place for the Christmas weekend. So although I wanted to get another article out (I have done nothing in over a week, sorry no Guns N' Roses articles) I didn't. When I get back to society on the 29th I will try to bang a few out, but no promises. The lack of school really makes my drive for articles go away. It's odd really...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

IGN Lists The Top 10 Doom Metal Bands

Ok, yet again to "borrow" information from MetalMartyr.com, I present to you IGN's The Top 10 Doom Metal Bands. After checking out the article on MM and reading through IGN's List, I began to leave a comment on the article at MM, and 20 minutes later I had several paragraphs written. So I decided to cop-out and use this for my own needs. Sorry MetalMartyr but we all help out each other right? (I hope so anyway).

Now, I am a fan of this genre, but even I can't listen to it all the time. It's too moody. I have to either be in a really good mood or a really bad one in order to stand more than one song.
This list on IGN is decent, and it does highlight some of the genre's greats, but then overlaps them with bands who have only one or two doom albums, or who mash genres together which really doesn't make it "Doom" anymore.

Their list in no order (I hope):
  1. Saint Vitus - Classic, well deserved. They are one of the "Big Three (or Four depending on who is listing)" of doom metal, along with Pentagram, Candlemass (and Trouble as the fourth). I am happy to say that all of these made this list. Album of note: debut album Saint Vitus
  2. Trouble - A surprise, but 100% right on. Trouble is most times looked over when lists are compiled, this gives me a little more confidence in this reviewers abilities. An odd thing about this group is that most of their songs have a highly Christian influence, not normally seen in Doom. Albums of note: Psalm 9 and The Skull.
  3. Candlemass - One of my favorites. Single handedly began "Epic Doom Metal." I love the lead singer's voice on their first albums (even though it is two different people, you can barely tell). Albums of note: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall
  4. Witchfinder General - Another of the founders. Don't know much about these guys because I can't find any of their albums anywhere.
  5. Type O Negative - Now, Type O Negative is one of my favorite bands, but they aren't exactly doom metal. They only released one straight forward doom album (World Coming Down), dealing with drugs and death. They are more sludge metal, which is a crossover of Doom and Hardcore Punk. If you were going to count Sludge Metal on the list, there are a number of bands that are more influential than Type O Negative (Eyehategod and Crowbar off the top of my head). Albums of note: Bloody Kisses and Dead Again
  6. Paradise Lost - Not a good choice. They originally were Death Metal, then Death/Doom for 2 albums, then Gothic rock and now they are Synth-rock/metal. They never really were in the Doom category, and nothing they did was that special.
  7. Earth - Alright I'll give you this one, Earth is Drone Metal, which is a super-super-slowed version of Doom. One which focuses on minimalistics, which is a type of music (within all genres, it's big in classical) that is characterized as having almost no key signature, so things seem to happen randomly without warning. I can't stand it, but it does qualify, I guess...
  8. Sleep - Another crossover; Stoner Doom. Again not my favorite sub-genre, but it qualifies as Doom. Like Earth, Sleep focuses on epicly long songs, with one song being the entire album, clocking in at over an hour long (Dopesmoker). It is way to trippy and out there for me to enjoy. But if you were high it might add a little something.
  9. Pentagram - Another classic. Made the jump from straight-forward heavy metal to doom, and was one of the first to do so. A must have for any Doom List. Album of note: Day of Reckoning.
  10. My Dying Bride - Death/Doom, which with my experience it falls more into Death than Doom, but I haven't listened to alot of their stuff. I am not a fan.
So, while the IGN list isn't a bad one, there are some bands that I feel should not be included. If you are making exceptions for cross genres like Death/Doom or Sludge Metal, than you need to include better ones to it.
Thanks to MetalMartyr.com

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rant: 20 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original

So there are alot of covers out there. Most of them are utter shit. Either they are direct copies of the originals, or they try to put a creative spin on them that send down the spiral of hell. However, every so often a truly great cover comes along, a song that is so awesome that I cannot enjoy the original song nearly as much as I did before. Some of these are great songs covered by great bands, and some are crappy songs made great. This is my list of those songs:
  1. Bruce Dickinson with Godspeed - "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" - Originally by Black Sabbath
  2. Demons & Wizards - "Immigrant Song" - Originally by Led Zeppelin
  3. Dope - "You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)" - Originally by Dead or Alive
  4. Eric Clapton - "Cocaine" - Originally by J.J. Cale
  5. Eric Clapton - "I Shot The Sheriff" - Originally by Bob Marley
  6. Foo Fighters - "Darling Nikki" - Originally by Prince
  7. Gary Jules - "Mad World" - Originally by Tears For Fears
  8. Guns N' Roses - "Hair of The Dog" - Originally by Nazareth
  9. Guns N' Roses - "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" - Originally by Bob Dylan
  10. Guns N' Roses - "Sympathy For The Devil" - Originally by The Rolling Stones
  11. GWAR - "School's Out" - Originally by Alice Cooper
  12. Helloween - "Hocus Pocus" - Originally by Focus
  13. Iced Earth - "Shooting Star" - Originally by Bad Company
  14. Iced Earth - "Transylvania" - Originally by Iron Maiden
  15. Jimi Hendrix - "All Along The Watchtower" - Originally by Bob Dylan
  16. Johnny Cash - Hurt" - Originally by Nine Inch Nails
  17. Metallica - "Sabbra Cadabra" (With "A National Acrobat" mixed in the middle) - Originally by Black Sabbath
  18. Tesla - "Signs" - Originally by Five Man Electrical Band
  19. Type O Negative - "Hey Pete" - Originally "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix
  20. Ugly Kid Joe - "Cat's In The Cradle" - Originally by Harry Chapin

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Band: Black Tide

I love finding new music, and I love even more to find new bands. Some people may have heard of Black Tide at this point, they had a very successful Ozzfest tour in 2007 (which I went to) and have their album, Light From Above, out for 9 months now, so they are growing in popularity and known.

Now, not to brag (lies) but I found these guys before all that. Months before the start of the Ozzfest tour, when I decided to go, I went and researched all the bands performing (because that's what kind of music geek I am), to find those that I know I'll hate (the screamers) and try to learn some of the music of the groups that aren't bad. This is how I found Black Tide. At the time they didn't have any album out, and not even an EP per se, they just had their MySpace. I listened to said MySpace, liked what I heard and added them as a friend (I no longer have a MySpace because I would like a job one day), to keep updated.
Time passed, and I forgot about these small-time artists who had a lucky break. Later, while I was on MySpace one day I saw a bulletin from them that caught my eye. Apparently, because all of this band's members were under the age of 21 (I think the oldest was 18 at the time) they were being kicked off the tour. See, the second stage (where these guys were opening) was hosted by J├Ągermeister, and they had a problem with a bunch of underage kids playing on their stage. So they were off the tour, and a little pissed (as would be expected).
About a week passed and I saw another bulletin, a 180 on the previous one. It seems that Ozzy, the man himself (with probably a push from his wife), thought that what was happening to these guys was crap. So he decided to bump the band up to opening for the mainstage, a honor usually held by those bands who have been around for over a decade. So Black Tide jumped from being a no-body band that most people would miss (I rarely make it in time for the first band, especially for Ozzfest), to the openers for the mainstay of metal.
So they went on to play a great show (I guess, I really don't remember, with 14 hours of metal, it all seems to blur together. But they weren't bad, I would have remembered that), and released their debut album shortly after. The album did alright, breaking the Billboard Top 100, landing at 73, not to shabby for a debut band and album within the metal community.

I have the album (obviously) and I think that it is great. They do a cover of Metallica's "Hit The Lights" and don't suck at it. As I was listening to it, it struck me that they are a mix of the golden-age Thrash, reminiscent of Metallica, and NWOBHM, with Judas Priest-esq vocals and lyrics. My favorite song, by far, is "Warriors of Time." It's a simply-lyric'd song, with only one real verse and alot of guitar-work, but it keeps me enthralled, and my the hair on the back of my neck prickles every time I get to their haunting voices chanting "We are the warriors, the warriors, the warriors of time!" This disc is a must have for anyone who enjoyed the days of Iron Maiden but wants a little more of a kick.


Black Tide - Light From Above

  1. "Shockwave" - 3:38
  2. "Shout" - 3:26
  3. "Warriors of Time" - 5:53
  4. "Give Me a Chance" - 3:34
  5. "Let Me" - 3:30
  6. "Show Me the Way" - 3:59
  7. "Enterprise" - 4:31
  8. "Live Fast Die Young" - 3:01
  9. "Hit the Lights" (Metallica Cover) - 3:42
  10. "Black Abyss" - 4:06
  11. "Light From Above" - 5:46
  12. "Black Widow" (UK Bonus Track) - 3:48
  13. "Again" (iTunes Bonus Track) - 3:18
  14. "Rise" (Hot Topic Bonus Track) - 2:46

Monday, December 1, 2008

Albums Listened To In November

Another month is done, and with it comes my list of albums listened to. This month started out very bright, with over 25 albums listened to in the first two weeks, I thought I would do better than October (50 albums), but within the end of November, the numbers started to slack. To many bands, not enough time. Plus my epic playlist took up some of the time.
Only 40 albums this month (not counting my Epic Playlist)

My favorite newly listened album of the month: Paint By Number by 3. I really enjoyed the mix of traditional Progressive Rock and Funk Rock. It completely switches feel after the first three songs. It was unexpected and I loved it! Favorite song: You Call Me Baby
Honorable Mention: The Honeydrippers - The Honeydrippers: Volume One. A surprise find of some of rock's greatest performers playing covers of songs from the 40's and 50's.

My least favorite newly listened album of the month: Hopkins (The Whitchfinder General) by Cathedral. After hearing this band's first few albums I could not wait to get to the rest, but this EP really let me down. The band goes from it's doom/heavy sound to more of a psychedelic/rock overhaul. Not one song stood out to me in any way.
Dis-honorable mention: Folkearth - Father of Victory. Disliked the band considerably, will probably never listen to them again. May not be a bad albums, but it is a bad band to me.
  1. My Epic Playlist In It's Entirety!!
  2. 3 - The End Is Begun - Newly Listened!
  3. 3 - Paint By Number - Newly Listened!
  4. 3 - Summercamp Nightmare - Newly Listened!
  5. AC/DC - The Razor's Edge
  6. The Answer - Rise - Newly Listened! - See My Take
  7. The Beatles - Revolver - Newly Listened!
  8. Billy Joel - 52nd Street - Newly Listened!
  9. Billy Joel - An Innocent Man - Newly Listened!
  10. Billy Joel - The Bridge - Newly Listened!
  11. Billy Joel - Cold Springs Harbor - Newly Listened!
  12. Billy Joel - The Nylon Curtain - Newly Listened!
  13. Billy Joel - Piano Man - Newly Listened!
  14. Billy Joel - Songs In The Attic (Live) - Newly Listened!
  15. Billy Joel - The Stranger - Newly Listened!
  16. Billy Joel - Turnstiles - Newly Listened!
  17. Cathedral - Hopkins (The Whitchfinder General) - Newly Listened!
  18. Clutch - Jam Room
  19. Dream Evil - Evilized
  20. Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory - See My Take
  21. Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
  22. Fates Warning - Disconnected - Newly Listened!
  23. Firebird - Firebird
  24. Folkearth - Father of Victory - Newly Listened!
  25. Guns N' Roses - GN'R Lies
  26. Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
  27. HammerFall - Renegade - Newly Listened!
  28. The Honeydrippers - The Honeydrippers: Volume One - Newly Listened!
  29. Kiuas - The New Dark Age
  30. Kiuas - Reformation
  31. Kiuas - Spirit of Ukko
  32. Mushroomhead - XIII
  33. Mushroomhead - Savior Sorrow
  34. OSI - Office of Strategic Influence - Newly Listened!
  35. Queensr├┐che - Empire
  36. Regina Spektor - 11:11 - Newly Listened!
  37. Reel Big Fish & Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer - Duet All Night Long - Newly Listened!
  38. Spock's Beard - Day For Night - Newly Listened!
  39. Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard - Newly Listened!
  40. Sturm Und Drang - Learning To Rock
  41. Transatlantic - SMPT:e - Newly Listened!