Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Megadeth's "Go To Hell" and Timeless Miracle's "The Devil"

This post I've decided to feature 2 songs about Hell.  That's right.  Megadeth's brilliant "Go To Hell" from the Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack.  From there we'll meet "The Devil".  A song on Timeless Miracle's only album, the infectious Into The Enchanted Chamber.

In the movie Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted go to Hell.  The original title of the film was Bill & Ted Go to Hell.  The soundtrack is actually really quite good, with tons of killer songs on it.  The best tune is Megadeth's "Go To Hell".  This is probably my favourite Megadeth song as well and it's unfortunate it wasn't a single.  It could have easily fit on Countdown to Extinction.  It was released on a compilation album of other soundtrack songs and covers called Hidden Treasures. 

Anywho, onto the tune.  The song waxes poetic on the perils of sin.  The old, we reap what we sow.  The song starts off with a dark slow thrash riff and the child's prayer "Now I lay me down to Sleep ..." reminiscent of Metallica's "Enter Sandman".  Then the song breaks into a killer thrash riff and some of Mustaine's most venomous vocal deliveries.  Throw in the smoking guitar solos and we have one hell of a bleak vision of the afterlife's darker side. 




If you've found yourself in Hell, you're bound to meet the Devil.  Timeless Miracle's song "The Devil" tells the tale of Lucifer's fall, but from his own point of view.  The Devil doesn't think he did anything wrong.  Lyrically it's clever, but musically this song is Symphonic Power Metal done right.  It's of the more upbeat power metal variety with folky elements not unlike Alestorm, but less piratey.

The song kicks off with a folky melody, the verse's plod along to showcase the lyrics.  But the real treat here is the uber catchy chorus.  I challenge anyone to try and not sing along to this chorus.  Vocalist Mikael Holst has a deliciously wonderful voice and the band has a fantastic knack for memorable melodies.


I'm not sure how I stumbled across this band, but their lone album Into The Enchanted Chamber is Symphonic Power Metal at its finest.  It will stick with you long after it's over.  The album is hard to fine too.  Used copies on eBay and Amazon are going upwards of $130.00 dollars.  I think I'll wait for the inevitable reissue to get my copy.  But I am glad to have heard this album.  Go on and give the Devil his due.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living Sacrifice "Enthroned '98"

The song I'm showcasing today is from Christian Metal Legends Living Sacrifice and it's their song "Enthroned'98".  Not to be confused with their song Enthroned off of the album "Nonexistent".  I'm talking about the re-recorded version included on the Living Sacrifice Best of album "In Memoriam".

That's right.  The band re-recorded one of their songs (which is not unusual, Suicidal Tendencies has re-recorded half their catalogue).  The difference here is this re-recorded version is VASTLY superior to the original.

Living Sacrifice started off as a solid thrash band on their self-titled debut, but on their follow up,"Nonexistent", the band down-tuned and brought in a more death metal oriented sound.  This was all great except original vocalist Darren Johnson was just simply awful.  He was decent as a thrash vocalist, but his meager attempt at death metal is painful to listen to.  He was just to muffled with no clarity and sounded like he was inhaling all the vocals.  Completely ruins the whole album and their next one "Inhabit".

He left the band after "Inhabit" and what a benefit that was.  Living Sacrifice retained the death metal elements, with some thrash, but mostly the band shifted into Metalcore territory.  Good Metalcore territory.  However, let me get back to the song being featured.

During the "Reborn" recording sessions, the band re-recorded the song "Enthroned" with founding guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh now on vocals.  The original version is almost forgetable, but when I heard this rare new version on "In Memoriam" I was blown away.  The song is faster, with a heavier feel and Bruce's vocalists are powerful.  The song retains it's thrashy/death metal feel for the first minute before slipping into a slow atmospheric interlude for 45sec and then crushing us with a heavier then sin breakdown (the way breakdowns should be done) and finally blasting through to the end of the song leaving no head unbanged.

Go ahead and have a listen and see if this song doesn't renew your faith in heavy metal!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sepultura's "Territory"

Today is just a one off post showcasing Sepultura's song "Territory".  I remember seeing this video as a teenager as I was just starting to explore heavy metal.  I thought this song was brutal then and 20 years later, this song is still one of my all time favourite heavy metal tunes.

This song was a single of their Chaos AD album (which in itself is a massive slab of sheer heaviness as virtually every song just crushes).  Sepultura at this point were branching out from their earlier death metal / thrash roots into a hardcore metal sound with a Brazilian flavour.

"Territory" is a fine example of that.  This song has a hardcore sensibility with a killer thrashy breakdown.  Mix that with a solid tribal rhythm and socially relevant lyrics and that's a recipe for a great heavy metal tune.  If you're not banging your head by the 2:30 minute mark, you clearly have no neck.

Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Slechtvalk - The Spoils of Treason & Twin Obscenity - The Usurper's Throne

Here is another double header of awesome heavy metal songs.  Today has a Viking Metal theme.  First off is Christian Black Metal band Slechtvalk and their Viking metal anthem "The Spoils of Treason".  Slechtvalk are essentially a melodic black metal band with Viking tendencies lyrically and some musically.  These two styles can be somewhat inter-changable.  What these two songs have in common is lyrical subject matter.  The perils of war during the middle ages.


Slechtvalk's "The Spoils of Treason" is a powerfully poignant tale of People's tired of war and go off in search of independence, only to become slave's to those whose help they sought for protection.  The melodic tremolo picking mixed with the atmospheric keyboards and Shamgar's haunting raspy vocals just oozes sorrow.  You can feel the pain these folk have suffered.  When the chorus comes in with it's deceivingly uplifting choirs is when the crushing sense of hopelessness washes over you.  Avery powerful tune.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyXZI8P-5s4


The next song is Twin Obscenity's "The Usurper's Throne" (no clip available, sorry).  This is a slower melodic tune the reeks of melancholy.  The tale of a kingdom invaded and an old king dethroned.  The keyboards are haunting, the guitars are dark and the vocals are sickly.  This is just a downright bleek song.  Twin Obscenity are by far one of the most under-rated viking metal bands around, but alas they are no more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Metal Church's "Metal Church & Sword's "The Trouble Is "

It's been a while since I've posted.  But I'm looking to get back into something.  I've been wanting to start running a series of posts showcasing what I consider awesome heavy metal tunes.  I'm going to stay away from most popular songs since they've been covered 'O' plenty.  I'm going to start with a double header.

The song that inspired me to start this series is Metal Church's eponymous song from their debut album.  I got into Metal Church late in the game, but I have no regrets.  The song Metal Church is 5 minutes of pure Heavy Metal glory.  From its dark atmospheric opening into it's killer signature riff through the trade off solos, drum fills and David Wayne's scratchy wale, this song is essentially perfect.  The true definition of Heavy Metal.


The next song I'd like to showcase is from the little known highly underrated Canadian band Sword.  I could pick any one of their songs for this since both of their albums are solid slabs of awesome heavy metal, but the song I tend to drift to is "The Trouble Is" off their sophomore album Sweet Dreams.  Many consider their debut Metalized the better album, but I heard Sweet Dreams first (bought the cassette for $0.50 at a bargain store) and wore that tape out long before I picked up a copy of their debut.  It's special to me.  "The Trouble Is" is a mid-paced melodic number that does not sacrifice heaviness or aggression.  The riff sticks with you and the chorus is crushing.  Add to that the gritty vocals of Rick Hughes ,who deserves a seat next to the other greats like Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford.  Rick spews his vocals with a venom seldom heard anymore.




Alright.  Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dirty Beloved "Brain Bleeder"



Ottawa based rock band Dirty Beloved are back with their third outing "Brain Bleeder".  An album best describe as darker and heavier then their previous efforts, "Brain Bleeder" oozes out of the speakers into your ears beating your brain until it bleeds out your ears.

I've been chewing on the new album for a few weeks now and it grows on you.  The first thing I noticed was the amped up aggression.  Although I wouldn't call Dirty Beloved heavy metal, they do delve into metal territory at times.  You can't help but notice that right from the opening track "Priests Of Hiroshima" which happens to be one of the best songs on the album.  There is also a raw energy which is invigorating especially since this is their third outing.  Dirty Beloved have not lost their passion and continue to push forward with their sound.

The band is rooted in solid hard rock (check out the arena ready "Set it all Alight", but never restricts themselves to a single minded effort.  "Brain Bleeder" sees them throwing down some funk on the hooky "Slaves and Drones".  They brush with metal on the melodic "Karma Phala" , "Cause & Defect" and "Rise & Shine".  We even see a punk-like edge on "Mind Your Luck" which also features some delicious double bass pummeling.

Dirty Beloved steep their music in melody which gives lasting power to their songs and keeps you humming them long after listening to the album.  It's this quality that allows them to experiment without ostracizing their fan base.  It's also this sense of melody that makes me enjoy their ballads.  Here it's the haunting "No Guide", the well paced emotional centerpiece of the album.

I like this darker, heavier edge to Dirty Beloved (being a metal head at heart).  I can honestly say that the band has found their sound and still left room for surprises. 

Be sure to check them out on Facebook or at the band website http://www.dirtybeloved.com

Monday, February 13, 2012

Voices Within The Walls

Before my extended break, I was drawn to explore bands featuring former members of Iced Earth while waiting for the new Iced Earth album. This time it's Charred Walls Of The Damned which features no less then 3 former Iced Earth members. Richard Christy, Steve DiGiorgio (Guest) and Tim "The Ripper" Owens. Each individuals involvement was not long lasting, but they have worked with Iced Earth.

I'll admit, I was not a huge fan of Tim Owen's time with Iced Earth (I'm a Matt Barlow supporter), but I can't deny Tim's talents. Therefore, when I had read some decent reviews on a new super group project with The Ripper, I decided to give them a shot. I believe Charred Walls Of The Damned is a perfect home for Tim Owens.

Tim's brand of gritty wails really shines with Charred Walls Of The Damned . I always felt he did not have the baritone sound that made Iced Earth unique. Looking back, he was a fine vocalist and the albums were solid, but here his voice is almost an instrument in itself and blends with the band perfectly. His soaring vocals and haunting melody lines brings this album to new heights.

Charred Walls of The Damned blend of classic metal, extreme metal and melodic power metal is brilliant. I remember listening to this album and enjoying it, but it sat to the side for a while until I started going through all my albums. I listened to it again and was thoroughly impressed. Richard Christy's brainchild is a wonderful blend of melody and brutality.

This is like extreme metal for classic metal fans. Christy's and DiGiorgio's work with Death seeps in with some blistering flourishes like on the opening track "Ghost Town" and "Darkest Eyes". Guitarist Jason Suecof doesn't have a large catalogue of work (mostly production credits) but his style of melodic and black metal like riffing works. Nothing super fancy, but very effective.

Songs like "From The Abyss" and "Voices Within The Walls" will stick with long after the album is over. Melodic without ever sacrificing their metal edge. This album is simply a benchmark in how to create perfect melodic heavy metal. At times I'm often reminded of Woods Of Ypres as for as the melancholic mood is concerned.

My biggest complaint is that this album is simply too short. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, I'm left wanting more. This was remedied come their follow up album (review to follow shortly). Overall Charred Walls Of The Damned is a solid effort from some metal veterans which does not feel like any sort of super group. This album flows well and the talent involved have a great chemistry. A thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Coming up, Charred's follow up album and the new Iced Earth album.