Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2015 – Part IV: My Horns To The Sky

NUMBER 13:
Halestorm – Into The Wild Life
Adele might get all the press, but Lzzy Hale is the one that will outlast them all. This is a pretty solid album and each week it’s still selling units and it’s being streamed. Spotify tells me that 3 million unique listeners streamed 330 years worth of Halestorm music. As an artist, that is all you can ask for.

“All you doubters and haters, actors, and fakers, I don’t have time for you” ….. from “Scream”

The truth is; we do have time for the doubters, haters and fakers. Initially, their spite; upsets us. In time, we harden up and are able to shrug it off.

“’Cause I’m a sick individual and I’m doing this thing called whatever the fuck I want” ….. from “Sick Individual”

It’s a brilliant play on words.

“And just like old school Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Lemmy
I need to drop it down low and make it heavy” ….. from “I Like It Heavy”

“Since I was 13 years old, I’ve had my horns to the sky” ….. from “I Like It Heavy”

I dig the reference to Lemmy instead of Motorhead. His legend is bigger than that of his band.

NUMBER 14:
Europe – War Of Kings
Europe had massive success back in the 80’s. You could tell that while they had fun, they just weren’t comfortable being in a pop world. You could hear in their music that they wanted to explore more territory creatively. And they did just that with their reunion in 2004. Five albums later they are making more money now than what they did in the Eighties. They have their own company, own their music and license it to people who want to work with the band. They plan their tours and merchandise. They work really hard on social media.

Spotify tells me that 6 million listeners played 240 years worth of Europe music in 2015.

I’m a big fan of Europe’s return to mysticism in the lyrics and personal reflection. They have re-invented themselves. And for lovers of the seventies Euro Rock influences, then “War Of Kings” is the album. Dave Cobb who produced “Rival Sons” is on hand to produce.

“Hit” songs on this album are “Days Of Rock N Roll” (how good is that riff), “War Of Kings”, “Children Of The Mind” (what a groove), “Angels (With Broken Hearts) and “Rainbow Bridge” (for the exoticism groove).

“Somebody told me, it’s all the same now
Somebody told me, we’ve had our turn
Gotta believe that times still ours” ….. from “Days Of Rock ‘n’ Roll”

I remember reading interviews with Europe during the writing and recording of “Prisoners Of Paradise” and how the record company asked them for “hits”. Eventually the album comes out; in a marketplace that was changing and morphing into an anti-rock movement. You can just imagine the record heads then telling Europe, “your career is over, your style of music is finished and there is a new style replacing the old style”. Sort of like “Ten Thousand Fists” from Disturbed.

“Nothing can touch the living hope the human spirit owns” ….. from “Rainbow Bridge”
“We build our lives, hopefully the one that we choose” ….. from “Angels (With Broken Hearts) Lyrics”

A decision was forthcoming for one of my kids, that as a parent I had to make for him. The road he will be on next year is a decision that was made solely by me, as a parent. Based on the information at hand right now, it feels like the right decision. Years into the future, hindsight might prove otherwise. And that is life in a nutshell. Born into this world, the main decisions are made by our parents. They set a course for our lives and hopefully it is not too far detached from the life we want to live when we get older.

NUMBER 15:
Periphery – Alpha / Omega
I saw Periphery at a small pub in Sydney called the Annandale Hotel. Impressive was the fact that six of them fitted onto that tiny stage that my three piece band once upon a time couldn’t fit on. It was a sold out show and Periphery didn’t disappoint.

I must say that I am a fan of their songs when they have more clean tone and melodic vocals instead of the screaming/growling vocals. In saying that some of their songs like “Ragnarok” have a mixture of both and a song like that needs that style.

I have seen some websites call them the modern face of metal. Periphery is a band that is technical. Nowadays, the odds are stacked against most bands that deviate from the basic verse-chorus formula. In my view, bands like Periphery and TesseracT always need to innovate with each release. Their style is such that they can borrow/be influenced from any musical style, culture/genre and fans expect that innovation.

And they are a band that is from the people, being formed via forums, blogs and other social media websites. Fans of the band ended up in the band. And they are realistic in their goals. They know they will not be as big as Metallica. So they play to their core and their core sustains them.

Spotify tells me that Periphery have 694,000 listeners, who have streamed 130 years worth of Periphery music in 2015. But if you look at their sales record, it is anemic compared to their streams.

Which brings me to the double album; Alpha and Omega. A concept story, albeit a pretty scary one if you read the lyrics. Check it out.

“What’s yours, is ours for the taking
Take this bruise as a sign that we own you now and forevermore” ….. from “MK Ultra”

“It’s never greener inside the mess we’re in
Wanting what you never have
The less we are content the more we throw away what little time we have left to grow” ….. from “Alpha”

“Staring at the hourglass, my life it feels like a machine running with no direction” ….. from “22 Faces”

“Hold your breath
We’re sinking down for miles in an ocean full of mortal mistake, where the light is much clearer
Is it time to purge our lungs amongst the shipwreck?” ….. from “Rainbow Gravity”

“Now I am a product of a mind that wasn’t ever mine and now it says “Kill them slow”” ….. from “Psychosphere”

“Suffocating in a world of human filth
Yes pull me under
Stop treading in a pool of your own blood
Accept demise” ….. from “Graveless”

“Can we show the ones who are blind?
Show them that we’re not blind” ….. from “Omega”

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