Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 1.4: Megadeth – The World Needs A New Hero

The Evergrey – “In Search Of Truth” post, the Muse – “Origin Of Symmetry” by post and the Machine Head – “Supercharger” post were meant to be part of one 2001 – Part 1 post, however after I finished writing those posts they had a lot of words in there to be part of one, so they ended up as separate posts.

This post is 1.4 and the upcoming Ozzy post will be 1.5.

Megadeth – The World Needs A New Hero

I was excited for this album as I am a fan of Al Pitrelli. I like his work with Widowmaker, his session and song writing work with Alice Copper (plus touring), Y&T, Savatage, Danger Danger, TSO and many more. Plus in the few interviews he had in the guitar magazines, he shares a wealth of information about soloing and modes and what not.

“The World Needs a Hero” is the ninth studio album and a return to the metal and sometimes thrash of Megadeth between the “Countdown To Extinction” to “Cryptic Writings” era.

And to understand this album, you need to understand what a commercial disappointment “Risk” was in 1999 and how it eventually led to the departure of Marty Friedman and Nick Menza.

And it’s their first album on Sanctuary after they parted ways from Capitol Records with cover art by Hugh Syme.

Drummer Jimmy DeGrasso also features on this and the usual two Dave’s, but in this case, this would be the last album Ellefson would feature on until 2010. It was DeGrasso who actually recommended Pitrelli to Mustaine.

“Disconnect”

The intro riff reminds of “Trust”.

I like the interlude when it’s just bass and chords ringing out and then the lead break from Pitrelli starts. And I played air guitar to every note.

Lyrically the song deals with living a double life between the person we portray to people which is very different to the person’s inner thoughts or even Google search history.

“The World Needs a Hero”

If it’s a musical hero, a techie hero, a sporting hero, an author, a politician, whatever. We all need someone to look up to, to aspire to be like. Sometimes it’s a parent, a brother or a sister or another family member. It’s not my favourite song but I do like the title.

“Moto Psycho”

This song is about people who commute to work every day and spend a lot of time on the road.

In between 1997 and to the end of 2000, I drove 80 minutes to get to work and 80 minutes to get home. Then I changed jobs and commuted via a train, which took me 90 minutes to get to work and 90 minutes to get home.

Do the math.

160 to 180 minutes a day on travelling. That’s 800 to 900 minutes a week travelling. 41600 to 46800 hours in the year wasted on the road building someone else’s dream instead of my own.

“1000 Times Goodbye”

The intro riff is enough to hook me in. And then the drums come in, building the section until the verses explode.

And for some reason it keeps reminding me of “Tornado Of Souls”.

From about 3.57, the solo section begins. And after Mustaine says “you suck”, Pitrelli takes over for another guitar hero moment.

Check it out.

“Burning Bridges”

Check out the harmonized guitar riff in the Chorus.

“Promises”

The acoustic riff reminds me of “Dream On”. The violins make it haunting.

The song is about relationships that can’t be together in this life because of religion or social norms.

“Recipe for Hate… Warhorse”

It’s fast Intro gives way to a bass riff and spoken verse. And it’s a weird song with flamenco inspired passages. More like MegaZappa than Megadeth.

“Losing My Senses”

No one likes it when people speak the truth and that’s how this song starts off.

Check out the main riff. It puts all those alternate metal acts to shame.

Or the “When The Levee Breaks” inspired solo section which gets Pitrelli soloing with a Middle Eastern vibe.

“Dread and the Fugitive Mind”

My favorite song on the album. Especially the “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine” section.

And don’t forget the whole interlude build up into the Pitrelli solo section.

“Silent Scorn”

An instrumental which gets played over the sound system at concerts.

“Return to Hangar”

The sequel to “Hangar 18” as the captive aliens from the first song escape and kill their captors. When I saw the band live, they played both songs back to back.

Make sure you check out the harmony lead break.

“When”

The main riff and structure of “When”, is reminiscent of “Am I Evil?” by Diamond Head, which Mustaine said was intentional.

After this album, the band was ended as Mustaine had to deal with a career ending arm injury. Then once he resurrected Megadeth, he had to deal with lawsuits from former members. But that story is for another day.

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The Record Vault: Coheed And Cambria – The Color Before The Sun

The album came out in 2015 and it’s the only non-conceptual album the band has released and easily there most accessible. Then again, with each release their old emo hard-core and metal roots got less and less as some prog rock influences came in and then classic rock.

I got the limited edition, deluxe box set which includes two CDs, the album and a disc of demo tracks, plus two hardcover books, one featuring album lyrics and artwork and another featuring a “behind-the-scenes look” of the album’s creative process, plus an in-studio DVD, and a clear 7-inch record of unreleased demo tracks.

I also got a custom house key, a lapel pin, a certificate of authenticity; as well as exclusive, members-only access to new music, videos, concert tickets, merchandise and commentary from the band to a special website that requires a log in and all that.

“Island”

The acoustic single note riff to kick off “Island” is addictive. It reminds me of Rush and “The Spirit Of Radio”(not because the riffs sound the same, but because of its feel) and then a riff which reminds me of “Jessie’s Girl” kicks in with the same single note riff in distorted played over it. It’s upbeat and poppy, but lyrically the song deals with doubt and about “getting off the island”, in which this case the island is a metaphor for the comfort zone of our lives or the war we have within our head about starting something new or staying with the old.

I live inside this head, and I’m at war
Hero and villain, Same type, keeping score

“Eraser”

It has a groovy bass played in the verses and drums which dominate.

Oh Middle age, bring me a crisis
What am I worth, does the truth hurt?

Yes what are we worth and what are our lives worth. There’s nothing like age to get you reassessing and re-evaluating. In this case, Claudio wants the clocks to be turned back to the way things were.

I’ve been nostalgic recently, maybe because I am watching “Sopranos”, but when I think to turning the clocks back to the past, it might sound exciting, but I don’t want to live in a world with a few channels, no internet or slow dial up internet and listening to music based on purchases instead of leasing.

“Colors”

I lost myself along the way
Restless nights mixed with purposeless days
Counting forward, taking steps
To a better man, the one you can live with

The song deals with changes like selling a house, moving to a new house and spending time away from family. And until you get settled again, it takes weeks maybe months before you make sense of it all.

“Here To Mars”

It’s in the stars
And you’re my everything from here to Mars

A very upbeat love song from Claudio to his wife Chondra, like “Blood Red Summer” upbeat.

Make sure you check out the interlude section from 2.18 to 3.02 as it builds up into the Chorus again as Claudio sings, “I will never let you go”.

“Ghost”

The acoustic guitar riff keeps repeating like a metronomic grandfather clock. The song is simple, as Claudio’s vocal harmonies carry the song.

“Atlas”

That you’re the weight of his anchor,
The love that is guiding him home,

Written for Claudio and Chondra’s son, Atlas.

“Young Love”

The song is an apology to The Big Beige, Claudio’s old house in New York. And for those fans who always wondered why the demo releases are called the “Big Beige” versions, well it’s because he did them at home.

I like the repeating guitar lick.

“We leave for the coast/In the wrong hands/You where bruised, disposed”

I like the ending, as at it transitions into “You Got Spirit, Kid”.

“You Got Spirit, Kid”

It’s the first single released for “The Color Before The Sun”.

The plastic king of castle polyethylene
Go on, time to be a good little pig

Cause when the rug gets pulled out from underneath
Just embrace the fall
Oh you got spirit, kid
You’re number one
Go on living that farce
Cause nobody gives a f… who you are

Manufactured pop stars don’t have a long shelf life which is a shame, because there is talent there, but it’s never given a chance to be its own beast as others control it. And when it all goes bad, the people who control just move on to the next wannabe. In other words, you will come to a point in life when you realise that the problems you see as big aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

There is a nice little Pink Floyd jam at the end which makes an amazing segue into “The Audience”.

“The Audience”

This song became a favourite instantly with its Tool like groove. Just listen to the music in the verses. The guitars play an intricate riff, the bass syncs up with the bass drum while the drums free style and still keep a beat.

This is my audience
Forever one together
Burning Stars
Cut from the same disease
Ever longing, what and who we are

The fans of Coheed and Cambria have expectations as to how the band should sound, the industries who make money from Coheed and Cambria have expectations as to how the band should sound and the band members themselves as they grow older have evolving wants as to how they should sound. Sometimes they don’t align and sometimes they do.

“Peace To The Mountain”

It’s a simple acoustic, drum and vocal song.

I learned to keep quiet,
How to keep my distance.
Afraid to let strangers in,
How to keep my secrets.

I see this as Claudio hiding behind the characters and the Sci-Fi world he created because he was scared to express his own feelings in his songs. But he’s now older and wiser and at peace with who he is.

So if you were scared to check out Coheed and Cambria before, because of the Armory Wars saga, check out this album.

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2001 – Part 1.3: Machine Head – Supercharger

The Evergrey “In Search Of Truth” post and “Origin Of Symmetry” by Muse post were meant to be part of this large post, however after I finished writing all of the posts they had a lot of words in there to be part of one post, so they ended up as separate posts.

The Machine Head post will be 1.3, the upcoming Megadeth post will be 1.4 and the Ozzy post will be 1.5.

Machine Head – Supercharger

Supercharger is their fourth album.

It came out just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and it got lost in the aftermath. Roadrunner also gave them zero promotion and to this date, its considered a commercial failure by the label. They even went on tour for the album without any label support which was a slap in the face to the band as Robb Flynn has admitted that “The Burning Red” and “Supercharger” were albums that Roadrunner pressured them to do, so they could break into the mainstream.

But when the mainstream didn’t come, Flynn said that the band was going to return to “what we they did best”.

It is also the band’s last release to feature lead guitarist Ahrue Luster and as a by-product it set in stone the next 15 years.

For me, this was the first album I purchased from Machine Head.

And in relation to the album being a commercial failure, in a 2015 interview with LouderSound, this is what Robb Flynn had to say about it.

“Supercharger sold 250,000 copies. If that’s a disaster, I’ll take it.

We played nine shows in the UK, all sold out, and the US tour was mostly sold out, which was a first.

Every night when we play “Bulldozer”, that whole theory that everybody hates “Supercharger” gets completely stomped into the ground. We play “Bulldozer” and it’s one of the top five reactions of the night, every time”

After a minute of “The Declaration”, the iconic riff of “Bulldozer” kicks in. Listen to the drumming from Dave McClain in the intro. In the live arena, this song is powerful, mosh pit powerful.

“Full steam we go against the odds, headfirst we go against the grain”.

But the lack of solos is going with the grain, as between 1999 and 2005, there was a “no guitar solo” movement. This song was missing a ripping lead.

“Crashing Around You” is a great hard rock song. It was the only single from the album and it had a film clip with a burning San Francisco skyline and stuff crashing down around them.

It was pulled from MTV and rock radio because the term “crashing” was found to be offensive.

But the lyrics are excellent, the music grooves and having this song pulled from every promotional outlet definitely hurt the band. But the fans loved it.

When they pulled this song out for the concert, the place went nuts.

“Kick You When You’re Down” sounds like a track from the “Catharsis” album with its catchcry about believing in yourself and following your heart.

“Only the Names” deserves more attention. This Robb Flynn penned track is classic Machine Head merging all the doom from the early era. Tracks from the current era even sound like this song. That distorted riff would sink submarines it’s that heavy. Early Tool comes to mind here.

“All in Your Head” is one of my favourite Machine Head tracks. That intro, especially live, is head banging material and in its essence it’s basically a hard rock song.

“American High” kicks off with a Tarzan like vocal chant, which is actually the riff of the song. It sounds like the guys are having fun and Flynn brings out some of his spoken word raps in the verses but this song got slammed by the reviewers, for the Tarzan chant.

“Nausea” feels like a Deftones style track especially in the verses.

“Blank Generation” reminds me of early Tool. It’s Aggressive with a capital A.

“Trephination” has a cool bass riff to kick it off.

“Deafening Silence” keeps building until it explodes towards the end.

“Supercharger” has a great intro riff, but that dissonance Korn style riff in the first part of the verse didn’t enhance the song in anyway.

The Japanese version has a cover of “Hole in the Sky” from Black Sabbath as its bonus track. A lot of fans saw this as a weird choice considering the nu-metal style of the album.

But from a rhythm guitar point of view, there is a lot here to unpack.

And after being exposed to Machine Head by various band members this album was my first financial commitment to the band, so it holds a special place in my history.

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2001 – Part 1.2: Muse – Origin Of Symmetry

The Evergrey “In Search Of Truth” post from last week was meant to be part of this post, however after I finished writing it, it was close to 2000 words, so it ended up as a separate post.

And as I was writing the rest of the posts for Muse (which will now be 1.2), Machine Head (which will be 1.3), Megadeth (which will be 1.4) and Ozzy, (which will be 1.5), I started to realise that maybe it’s best for these posts to be separate as well.

So here we go with the rest of 2001 – Part 1 in various stages

Muse – Origin Of Symmetry

Matt Bellamy is on vocals and guitars and midi sound effects and piano and organs and everything else, Chris Wolstenholme is on bass and Dominic Howard is on drums.

At the time, this was officially album number 2, hot on the heels of “Showbiz” from a few years before. It’s a progression, putting the building blocks in place for “Absolution” which came out in 2004 which to me is the piece d’resistance in their catalogue.

“New Born”

It starts off with an arpeggio guitar/piano that is sort of classical/lullaby like.

The bitterness inside
Is growing like the new born

The titles of the songs are hidden in verses or not even mentioned at all in the songs. They are linking something beautiful (the new born) with something bitter.

Check out the double time drumming, octave bass lines from the 2 minute mark over a pseudo classical chord progression and falsetto vocals.

And at the 3:30 mark, Bellamy pulls out one of his normal tremolo picked leads that outlines the notes of the major and minor chords in the progression.

“Bliss”

It’s got that TonePad effect to start off which continues throughout the song, under a layer of distorted bass lines and crashing drums.

“Space Dementia”

The piano riffs are clearly influenced by Sergei Rachmaninoff and his “Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor Op.18.” And I hadn’t listened to Rachmaninoff at all, until I read an interview with Bellamy who mentioned him as a major influence on this album and that actual concerto.

“Hyper Music”

It has this Hendrix like riff to start off the song or “Snakecharmer” from Rage Against The Machine comes to mind, before it moves into the Muse pseudo classical like chord progressions before moving back into blues hard rock and back again.

“Plug In Baby”

It’s got a great arena rock chorus and a memorable single note guitar riff done in the Muse pseudo classical way.

“Citizen Erased”

The intro riff hooks me in immediately to pick up my guitar and jam it. It’s metal like and with a lot of groove.

Break me in
Teach us to cheat
And to lie, cover up
What shouldn’t be shared?

The concept that we are all born without any viewpoints and we are made to be who we are by culture, the family, society and institutions.

The whole quietened down section is haunting.

You also need to listen to the outro.

“Micro Cuts”

A simple arpeggiated guitar riff, with a locked in bass and drum groove starts off the song, before Bellamy’s falsetto vocals take over. Make sure to stick around for the blues like breakdown riff to close out the song.

I’ve seen what you’re doing to me
Destroying puppet strings
To our souls

“Feeling Good”

It’s a great hard rock cover of a Nina Simone song released in 1965. It’s sleazy, groovy and it follows the pseudo classical chord progressions that Muse are so well known for.

Check it out.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – April 5 to April 11

4 Years Ago (2017)

I was writing about the labels and streaming services.

Spotify is a service, that provides music to users. It was created by techies because the record labels didn’t have the clout to do what was required for their artists and the vast copyrights they hold. But for Spotify to work, it needed access to the vast libraries of copyrights the record labels hold. And in the process the three major labels got a stake in Spotify.

And the labels still control the narrative. They have done such a great job with their fake news stories about streaming rates killing music, but at the same time their revenue goes up due to streaming payments.

8 Years Ago (2013)

It was a Bon Jovi week. I tracked how “What About Now” dropped from #7 to #34 in a week.

Sales had dropped from 101,000 to 29,000 to 16,000. And news happened about Richie Sambora dropping off the tour due to personal issues.

In comparison to sales with other acts, “Babel” from Mumford and Sons was still moving 37,000 units, and “Night Visions” from Imagine Dragons was moving 47,000 units. Both albums had been on the charts for 27 and 30 weeks respectively at the time.

Then I did another post which had “What About Now” dropping from #34 to #50 at week 4.

It only moved 2,383 units for the week but the tour was selling out. I wrote that the album is the worst Jovi album ever. It debuted at number 1, then went to number 7 and then it went to number 34 and then at 50.

I even got creative and asked the question what could have Bon Jovi done differently.

But reading back now, I went on a misguided rant which is embarrassing to read but still part of this blogs history.

Last Man Standing” from Bon Jovi is a classic song waiting to be rediscovered.

Everyone knows the hits. However, there are a lot of songs that deserve more attention than what they have received. 

“Last Man Standing” is written by Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Falcon. The studio version was meant to be on 2003’s “This Left Feels Right” greatest hits package, however, it ended up on the “100,000,000 Fans Can’t Be Wrong” box set released in 2004.  It was a laid back acoustic style ballad with slide guitar and all the country twang you can get into a song.  An acoustic live version of the song was added to the “This Left Feels Right” DVD.

It was then re-worked into a great rock song for the 2005 “Have A Nice Day” album.  The intro grabs you and makes you want to pay attention and the theme of the song is about kids turning up to a circus/freak show act to see the last real performer of live music.

I also wrote about “Undivided” which is another classic Jovi song waiting to be rediscovered.

“Undivided” was written by Bon Jovi, Sambora and Billy Falcon and it’s probably the heaviest song Bon Jovi has recorded. The producer was Luke Ebbin (who was introduced to JBJ by A&R legend John Kalodner) and the song was originally called “One”.

I wrote about how Black Sabbath was employing the same scorched earth marketing that Bon Jovi employed to promote their new album “13” and their first with Ozzy since 1978.

I got into Black Sabbath via Randy Rhoads and the “Tribute” album. The “Blizzard” and “Diary” albums became my bibles in relation to guitar playing. I needed to learn every riff, every lick, every bass line and every vocal melody line. It was an obsession.

On “Tribute”, I heard three songs that where not written by the usual Ozzy, Randy and Bob Daisley combination. I actually feel sorry for Bob Daisley. The Osbourne’s have tried hard to write Daisley out of the Ozzy history. 

It was “Children of The Grave” that got my attention. The way it’s done on “Tribute”, with faster tempo and the wonderful Randy Rhoads Guitar Hero solo.

I was listening to a lot of Periphery at the time as well. And I wrote a post about their song “Ragnarok”.

I saw Periphery live at the Annandale Hotel in Feb 2013, as a sideshow they did from the Soundwave tour. 

They were good. Very good. Technical and melodic. Technical and aggressive. Technical and progressive. Technical and rocking. Technical and serene. Technical and mechanical. 

Ragnarok. The end of the world in Norse mythology by submersion of the world in water. Afterward, the world will resurface anew and be repopulated by two human survivors. Does this sound familiar to all? 

This song explodes from the 2.20 minute mark to about 4.30. Check it out.

Andy Johns also passed away. He was a pretty big deal in my life as he was involved in quite a few influential albums for me.

Cinderella and the “Night Songs” and “Long Cold Winter” albums. Then came “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” by Van Halen. Ted Templeman was on board to record Sammy Hagar, as Andy Johns was too demanding for Sammy.

Majority of music lovers will remember the artists and the songs attached they wrote and the producers become forgotten.

I discovered a Swiss band called Polution that played a brand a rock I like, so I wrote about em.

I checked em out on Spotify to see if anything else has come out since and nothing has. So I guess another one bites the dust.

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Australian Method Series: Parkway Drive

Formed in 2003, Parkway Drive are from Byron Bay, New South Wales. From Sydney it’s a 8.5 hour drive North and close to the NSW and Queensland border. It’s a great place to visit. Thor himself Chris Hemsworth has set up residence there.

I didn’t get into em as the screaming was too much on the earlier releases but then they released “Reverence” in May 2018. It went to Number 1 on the ARIA Charts, and it was the melodic heavy metal sound that hooked me in. You can hear influences from Maiden, Judas, Metallica, Megadeth, In Flames and Sabbath.

The band is made up of Winston McCall on lead vocals, Jeff Ling on lead guitar, Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick on rhythm guitar, Jia “Pie” O’Connor on bass and Ben “Gaz” Gordon on drums.

“Wishing Wells” kicks off the album, in which McCall speaks the intro over a dark acoustic guitar riff as it builds into a massive melodic death metal piece.

I spoke a vow today and asked if God would come and play
I’ve dug a shallow hole for him to sleep
But I swear he just won’t answer me
I call on out is he afraid, I’ll bury him down with the ones he keeps
And if the devil is listening, I’ll come for him as well
If I suspect he had a hand to play
And if I see his face in town, there’s room for two down underground
Nothing’s gonna stop me ’til I’m done
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
‘Cause tonight I’m killing gods!
Killing gods!

There has been death within the band members circle and they are pissed. Pissed at everyone.

“Prey” has an intro riff that will hook you in. It’s the best riff that In Flames didn’t write. And at 42 plus million streams, its definitely a star for em on Spotify. Hell, their numbers on Spotify make all of the people whinging about Spotify sound lame.

Apart from “Prey”, “The Void” from the same album is at 33.3 million streams, “Vice Grip” is at 48.4 million streams, “Wild Eyes” is at 36.9 million streams and “Carrion” is at 34.8 million streams.

In comparison, I’ve been listening to a lot of Coheed and Cambria lately as I’ve been reviewing their albums and their streams for their Top 5 are “Welcome Home” at 76.1 million streams, “A Favour House Atlantic” at 25.8 million streams, “The Suffering” at 22.3 million streams, “Wake Up” at 12.4 million streams and “Blood Red Summer” at 10.1 million streams.

“Absolute Power” crushes with its intro riff, reminding me of Rage Against The Machine.

The truth drops like a bomb

What do we know as truth. Most people are afraid to speak up, for fear of standing out, for fear of being ridiculed, they just want to get along.

The past you know has been written by the victor
So I ask you now, who is it writing your future
The butcher, the liar, the thief or the killer
Your freedom died quiet in the halls of power

When you read and learn history you read a version of events from a certain point of view. Even our parents are guilty of changing the past to suit their point of views.

As the outro chorus sings, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

“Cemetery Bloom” has a choir that gives me chills.

“The Void” is a hard rock song. There is a guitar hero moment in the song, but the overall feel of this song reminds me of “In Flames” at their melodic best.

“I Hope You Rot” has melodic leads and symphonic choirs.

“Shadow Boxing” has a phased/chorus guitar riff to kick off the song and McCall showcases his clean tone vocals. And the violin section is haunting.

All my life I’ve been told the same old
Don’t step out, don’t test the mould

It’s the same message from the 80s.

“Chronos” has guitar playing which is metal up your arse. The last two minutes are a must listen. So melodic and powerful.

The title deals with Chronos, the keeper of time and how everything within time returns to him.

“The Colour of Leaving” is the closer. It’s melancholic.

I saw death’s face today
As he led my friend away
So I’ll ask who I gotta pay
To bring him back
Bring him back to me
Bring him back to me

To release something like “Reverence” six albums deep, is to be commended. And they’ve cemented themselves as one of Australia’s great exports.

Check em out.

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St Anger

I was doing the endless Twitter scroll and I came across a post from a Twitter user called @BookOfMetallicA;

April 8th, 2003: Metallica finished recording the album “St. Anger”.

“There’s two years of condensed emotion in this. We’ve gone through a lot of personal changes, struggles, epiphanies, its deep. It’s so deep lyrically and musically”. James Hetfield.

So I thought, why not. Let’s go back there again.

I saw the band on the “St. Anger” tour when it hit Australia. In a live setting, “Frantic” and “St Anger” were not out of place when matched against the other songs from the band catalogue, but Lar’s didn’t play the fast double kick sections.

I remember picking the album up and it had the DVD of them jamming the album live in their rehearsal studio. I didn’t even play the album, I went straight to the DVD. I purchased the majority of the singles released because of the B-sides. James Hetfield singing off key is jarring, a throwback to the old days of speed metal when it was more about the aggression than being in tune.

The snare sound or the general drum sound didn’t bother me, as some of the music I was listening too had weird percussion drum sounds already like Slipknot, Spineshank and Mudvayne.

“Realistically though if you really think about it – it was the fact that there was NO real songs. That was because the guy who writes the songs – couldn’t write the songs because of where he was personally.

So, what St. Anger became was what the band could do at that point and it is exactly that. It was riffs strung together…

The way I look at it was like raw power or a garage band. It was just riffs… It was garage band and that was supposed to sound like that and what I learned out of it is that people in metal just don’t want it to change. So, it’s best that Rick Rubin continue the metal thing and not Bob.

Bob Rock on the making of “St Anger”

Hetfield still did a “master of puppets” like job manipulating and piecing together all of the lyrical streams of consciousness’s from the other guys into lyrics.

The title “Some Kind Of Monster” is more attached to the no holds barred documentary/film than the actual song. But the first two minutes of just instrumental music grooves its way into your brain and it would not be out of place on a “Corrosion of Conformity” album.

In “Dirty Window”, Hetfield is judge, jury and executioner while he finds ways to rhyme defecator and rejecter.

“Invisible Kid” has a lot of potential.

“My World” is “Frantic” part 2. And I feel like it’s a dig at their performance coach, with the lyric. “it’s my world and you can’t have it”. At one stage, the performance coach thought he was part of the band.

“Shoot Me Again” could have come from Alice In Chains.

How good does “Sweet Amber” start off?

That bluesy feeling.

“The Unnamed Feeling” has this “Outlaw Torn” feel with some slide guitar as Hetfield sings about something coming alive while he dies a little more. “Purify” is the only song that had nothing there to jam to.

“All Within My Hands” should have been titled “Control Everything, Kills Everything”. And it’s strange because Hetfield is singing on key but the music is downtuned chaos.

Overall, there is enough riffage on the album that makes it fun for me to pick up the guitar to jam to and for that, it still stands the test of time as Metallica always had the balls to do what they wanted to do.

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Music, My Stories

Then And Then

The January 1994 issue of “Guitar School” well and truly showed who was on top of the charts.

White Zombie on the cover and transcribed songs from Gin Blossoms, Danzig and of course, White Zombie themselves.

Rob Halford also talked about how he wanted to work with modern guitarists.

Paul Gilbert and Thunder Bays favourite son Billy Sheehan are interviewed and there is a nice U2/The Edge section in which they show The Edge’s favourite U2 riffs with detailed analysis.

Fast forward to June 2006 and you get an issue titled “The New Guitar Gods” but all the songs transcribed are from artists who released material between the 70’s and the 90’s.

You would think one of the new Guitar Gods would get a song transcribed like the 1994 issue.

Lamb Of God guitarists Mark Morton and Will Adler are on the cover. These two dudes are still at it. If LoG is too extreme for ya, check out the solo work of Mark Morton.

The Mars Volta, Dragonforce, Mastodon, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall Jr, Unearth, Avenged Sevenfold, Rise Against and Bullet For My Valentine round out the list.

The Mars Volta is no more when At The Drive In reformed and then broke up again.

Dragonforce are still around testing the limits of how much super fast shredding can someone be exposed to. For me, not too much and especially not in every song.

Mastodon are still downtuning along and appearing as Free Folk behind the Wall.

Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall Jr had appeared on a lot of albums, especially Bramhall.

Unearth are still going.

The Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine guitarists are still rocking out together while the lead guitar position in Rise Against was reaching Spinal Tap drummer proportions until they settled on one in 2007.

So..

How many of the new breeds from back then did you get into?

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Descension

“The Afterman: Descension” is the seventh studio album by progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria and the second part of a double album, the first part of which is “The Afterman: Ascension”.

You can read my review on it here.

The deluxe version of the album was released with a coffee-table book co-written by band member Claudio Sanchez and writer Peter David, giving a song-by-song experience of the concept album. The album follows the Amory Wars storyline, and concentrates on the character Sirius Amory.

In summary, “The Afterman’s” story takes place at the start of the saga. It follows Sirius Amory, an astromner and his All Mother spaceship as they explore a powerful energy source known as the “Keywork” which is powered by the souls of the departed, imprisoned in some form of purgartorial afterlife.

“Pretelethal”

“WHO WILL REPAIR THIS HEART?” is the repeating lyric, as this song is the set up for the next one.

In the book, Claudio explains that the musical ideas came from him jamming with a lot of new gadgets that he picked up on the road.

And he stuck with the lyric because it represents loss and pain.

From a story point of view, a weakened Sirius is being protected by the energy of Evagria The Faithful, from the other entities. But Vic The Butcher, Domino The Destitute and Holy Wood The Cracked are bombarding Evagria, trying to get to Sirius, so they could possess his body and leave this place.

“Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant”

A sombre acoustic guitar starts off with a droning open string and a high melody.

Then the song explodes into the riff and the whole band is in.

If you remember from the “Ascension” review, there is a character called Vic The Butcher, who wanted Sentry to kill innocents on his behalf, but when Sentry refused, Vic The Butcher organised others to kill Sentry by hanging, making it look like a suicide to Sentry’s family.

And now both their souls are trapped in the purgatory stage of the Keywork.

The feel of the song reminds me of “No World For Tomorrow”.

Sentry is the last entity that Sirius will encounter.

Evagria explained to Sirius that he had been in the Keywork for 547 days even though to Sirius it was no more than a week. Just think of the movie “Interstellar”.

For Sirius, it was time to go home, only if he could find a way. As the All Mother told him, his chance of survival to return was 30%.

And I saw Sentry as a pseudonym for “Claudio The Defiant” as the music and lyrics came after Claudio had an argument with his manager because the Manager requested that Claudio try and write more accessible music, which Claudio already thought he was. This was his response.

“The Hard Sell”

“You’re selling out to be in!” is the main hook on this song.

In “The Afterman” book, Claudio mentions how this song comes from a personal viewpoint about his struggles with record labels and managers who want him to write more accessible lyrics.

No one starts writing songs for em to become a hit. There is a need inside a person to create.

Sirius has now returned to Heavens Fence and is being questioned about what he saw and what happened. But he doesn’t tell the whole truth, scared as to the consequences that could come if everyone knows that an “afterlife” exists.

And his wife Meri has moved on with her life. She is in a relationship with the Police Officer who saved her at the bar in “Goodnight, Fair Lady” when her drink was spiked.

“Number City”

This is a different Coheed and Cambria with a groovy, funky, fuzzed out bass riff, taking control of the song. It’s almost disco rock and I like it.

And in the story there is a car accident with Sirius and Meri in which Meri is unconscious and taken to ICU.

“Gravity’s Union”

It’s the longest song on the album and it’s the moods that hook me.

And from the 5 minute mark to the end, it’s desk breaking stuff, with all the layered guitars, the emotive drumming, locked in bass and those infectious vocal melodies from Claudio.

It goes back to before the accident. Sirius and Meri are arguing in the car when it crashes.

And the song ends with a heart monitor beeping.

“Away We Go”

It reminds me of “Feathers” from “No World For Tomorrow”. It has a synth lick to kick it off which is memorable.

This song deals with Meri and her transition into the afterlife.

“Iron Fist”

This is Sirius dealing with the loss of Meri and how he ruins a lot of things.

And you don’t think that a song called “Iron Fist” would be an acoustic ballad, feeling like it’s recorded in the heartland of the country.

The lead from Travis Steer. Its bluesy and full of soul.

“Dark Side Of Me”

As soon as the drums start and the finger picked guitar intro kicks in, I am hooked.

There are bits and pieces from “Here We Are Juggernaut” in the Chorus and the build-up of “Mother Superior”.

It deals with Sirius facing Meri new partner who was also going to be a father. But Sirius ruined it all.

“2’s My Favourite 1”

This one also reminds me of “Feathers” from “No World For Tomorrow”.

Sirius makes the decision to go back to the Keywork and find Meri, to help her transition into the afterlife.

Both albums are different and worthy to be heard.

Check em out.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories

AI Riffs And Lyrics

AI created music is always talked about when it comes to Copyright.

Who actually has a right to it?

Especially when you start to get AI-generated songs that sound like copyrighted bands and it starts to become a bit more complicated.

In the case of AC/DC and Metallica, the AI Bot scraped all the lyrics the bands wrote and wrote new lyric passages. But a human still needed to discern which lines to use. And for these songs, the music and vocals are performed by a person.

For the AI Jimi Hendrix song called “You’re Gonna Kill Me” and the AI Nirvana song called “Drowned In The Sun“, the organisation behind these songs had AI algorithms created to listen to hooks, rhythms, riffs, chord structures, solos, melodies and lyrics of the artists and then the AI learns how to generate a new string of ideas that could be used for songs. And the same AI used to create the AC/DC and Metallica lyrics was used to create the lyrics for these songs.

The AI would create about five minutes of new riffs, which only 10% was usable. So humans would then take out the stuff they thought was good and discard the rest and then press the create button again for a new 5 minute sample of music. And the process will repeat, until there are enough new ideas to create a song. So while the music is computer generated, it’s still a laborious task to put it all together by a human.

Also the vocals that the AI produces are just mumbles and hums that outline a melody, which you sort of get to hear on the Hendrix track, but for the Nirvana song, the vocals are handled by a Nirvana tribute singer, so it actually sounds like a Nirvana song.

Finally the “The Lost Tapes of the 27 Club” project was created to highlight mental health, but it also reminds us that there is still a lot of human involvement and decision making to create a song based on musical ideas generated by a computer.

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