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


When Zoltan Bathory was putting together a band in 2004, he had a vision to bring metal back to the masses. Like em or not, Five Finger Death Punch have been going full steam ahead since then.

And if you want to use the U.S RIAA certification as a metric of success the FFDP tick all the boxes.

Their debut album,‘The Way of the Fist’ released in 2007, is certified Gold in the U.S which means it has moved 500,000 units.

2009’s “War Is The Answer” is Platinum, having moved over a million units. Their cover of the song “Bad Company” is also Platinum. I guess you can’t keep a good song down.  

2011’s “American Capitalist” is also Platinum. 2013’s two album release, “The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell” also have certifications. “Volume 1” is Platinum and” Volume 2” is Gold.

“Got Your Six” released in 2015 is Gold. The most recent album “And Justice For None”, released in 2018, is not far away from a Gold certification and neither is their 2017 best of release “A Decade Of Destruction”.

From the streaming side.

The song “Bad Company” has 144,342,692 streams on Spotify. “Wrong Side Of Heaven” has 166,262,954 streams. And other songs are also in the 100 million range like “Jekyll And Hyde” which has close to 142 million streams.  

On YouTube, the numbers are the same. The film clip from “Wrong Side Of Heaven” has 272 million views. “Wash It All Away” has 162 million views. “Bad Company” is at 109 million views. “Jekyll And Hyde” vide has 86 million views.

The house that Death Punch built is strong.

And FFDP is not the first band the guys were in. All of the guys had skin in the game. In some cases decades of skin.

So what does this tell us?

Inspiration doesn’t take place in a vacuum. All day long we are experiencing and quality doesn’t come with no prior experience. 

Our whole life is a database of information. Be ready to index it and then reference it. Use this database of life to create something better. Learn from the database of life and keep on creating.    

FFDP have found their signature voice and they are servicing their fan base. It is the fans that matter. They are the ones that give the band the chance to create and release albums. Not the record labels or the money that the labels throw at the band. The fans are king in the relationship. Without them, FFDP has nothing and neither does the record label.

Experiences are everything in music. It is the difference between making a connection with a fan or not making a connection.

FFDP have paid their dues and they have mined their lives for content.

And they didn’t quit.

And see you next year.

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

My Listening for 2019 on Spotify

Spotify always has there lists of what we listened to in 2019.

Even though the list is a 100 songs long, there are bands/artists who have multiple songs on this playlist, so here it is;

Spotify 2019 Wrapped Playlist

My 2019 releases posts;

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Hours Spent Listening

Free Spirits Rising

From Australia, with a song a month releases and some cool lyrics.

Freedom comes when you have nothing left to lose

From “Revolution In Black”.

We are Here to throw back the stones

From “We Are Here”.


“The Atlantic” dropped this year and it got a lot of love.


“John Carpenter Powder Ballad” was introduced to me via Henrik and his 2018 Spotify list and the song remained with me this year.

Dream Theater

Their new album dropped this year, so it got some love at the start.


Their new album dropped this year, and it got a lot of love.


Introduced to me via another blog and the band remained with me for 2019.


As a fan, I enjoyed listening to their first album in 13 years.

Days Of Jupiter

I couldn’t get enough of their 2018 album “Panoptical”.

The Butterfly Effect

From Australia, “Final Conversation” from 2007 still gets spins and they dropped a new track this year, their first in over 12 years.


What can I say, Mustaine is always around my life.

Rival Sons

They caught me by surprise and delivered a stellar rock album.


One of my favorite Aussie acts who also dropped a few new tracks this year after a long hiatus.

Matt Nathanson

An acoustic take on one of my favorite Def Leppard tracks.


Their groove metal vibe gets me going and their new album got a lot of love this year.

Killswitch Engage

Their new album dropped and it also got some attention.


Their new album dropped and it also got some attention x2

Royal Bliss

Their new album dropped and it also got some attention x3

Papa Roach

Their new album dropped and a few songs got some attention.


“Rock N Roll Nights” is from the early 90s. A great piece of melodic rock.


How can you not like “Shock”?

Pink Floyd

It’s “Comfortably Numb” and that guitar solo.


A few songs from the “When Legends Rise” album still get some time.


A new album dropped this year and a few songs got some love.

Art Of Anarchy

Scott Stapp’s pained vocals on “Changed Man” still give me goosebumps.

Rag N Bone Man

The song “Human” is a modern masterpiece with crossover appeal across all genres.

Gathering Of Kings

The whose who of Euro Melodic Rock.


Their new album dropped along with deluxe editions of “Slide It In” and “Slip Of The Tongue”.

The End Machine

Dokken without Don Dokken.

Kingdom Come

“Stargazer” from “In Your Face” still gets me.

Alter Bridge

“Wouldn’t You Rather” was one of their first singles dropped in the promo run and it got a lot of attention.


The Night Flight Orchestra

“Satellite” dropped this year and I liked it and I played it.

Black Label Society

I still crank “Angel Of Mercy” for that guitar solo.

Porcupine Tree

“Lazarus” is a melancholic track from the mid 2000’s

Paola Nutini

“Iron Sky” is a great groovy track with lyrics which resonate.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela

“Mettavolution” got a lot of attention.

Skid Row

“Forever” was a song I came across when I downloaded a bunch of demos from the net and then a version was included in the best of release.


“How Did You Love” is still a favorite.

Thirty Seconds To Mars

“Monolith” is an instrumental and a favorite.

The Brink

“Break These Chains” got my attention.


“The Last In Line” is a special Dio song as it has all the epicness jammed in, under 5 minutes and it doesn’t sound cluttered.

Richie Sambora

“Seven Years Gone” is one of Richie’s best songs and way better than anything Bon Jovi releases since the “Have A Nice Day” album.

Scott Stapp

“Purpose For Pain” was the lead single and it got some spins because of its Euro Metal influences.

Horizon Ignited

“Home” is the track which got a lot of spins.


“Retaliation” is an interesting cut, with references to Avenged Sevenfold and AOR Rock.

And that’s 2019 all done.

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

Life, Life, Life

Y&T should have been bigger, but I’m afraid that with time no one will know who they are or were.

Dave Meniketti is one of those guitar heroes who had pipes to sing and play awesome guitar, bassist Phil Kennemore is the underrated lyricist in the band, while Joey Alves, along with Kennemore and Leonard Haze held down the foundations.

And Meniketti, brought his late sixties hard rock roots into the mix merging Hendrix, Purple, Cream, Sabbath and Clapton with the new California sounds of San Francisco and LA.

For Y&T to even get to this stage, it meant they had to survive a label deal which went bad, a manager who ripped them off with royalties, their “Struck Down” album was dead before it even came out, A&R reps telling them to change their music style and other recording industry people telling them to break up.

Y&T (before “Black Tiger”) recorded two demo tapes, a new wave tape and a hard rock tape. Gene Simmons came across both of these tapes and he really liked the new wave songs. He even told the band to pursue that new wave sound and if the band wanted his help, Simmons would need to have artistic control. But Y&T decided to pursue the hard rock sound and A&M Records showed interest here.

“Life, Life, Life” is from the excellent “In Rock We Trust” album released in 1984.

It starts off with a triplet 8th der der der, der der der, derrr de. And it repeats, before it morphs into a sweet tasty lead before it morphs into the verse riff.

It’s a bloody scene
Hear the population scream
As the missile rushes in
Can’t you feel the flames of hell?

What’s changed in the last 35 years?

Missiles are still rushing in and for people living in these war zones, it is hell. And for all of our technological advancements to integrate and socialise, we are even more divided.

There is a status gap, a digital divide gap, a racial divide still exists, a religious divide, a pay divide and eventually when people rise up to demonstrate, they either get ignored, imprisoned or killed depending on the country and the type of government they are demonstrating against.

And that “is it too late” section, puts Def Leppard’s vocal harmonies to shame.

We let the insane play their fools game

We don’t just let the insane, play, we vote them in and give them the keys.

It’s time to make a stand for
Life, Life, Life
It’s time to break down the chain of command

We are the only ones who can make change happen, but we choose to opt out so we don’t upset other people.

It’s time to break down the chain of command and stop the war machines, which also includes the corporations trying to hijack democracy.  

And we need to do it, to preserve life.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, Stupidity

Just A Number

Our digital world is at a dangerous level, as people use our data to make billions in ad revenue and other people are trying to gain access to our lives so they could do up fake accounts and use our information/details for fraud.

And governments put the onus on us to protect ourselves, so we get virus and protection software in the same way we get locks on our windows and an alarm system in the house.

And if you think by using a hacked version of virus software keeps you safe, then you are delusional. The police are not even equipped to deal with cyber fraud and the banks don’t even care.

But how can we protect ourselves, when every organisation we deal with, wants our personal information, otherwise we cannot participate with them. And then how do these organisations store our personal information.

Is it under lock and key, on encrypted drives?

Who has access to it and if they destroy it, how do they destroy it?

Because if we need to go to all these lengths to protect our personal information, why shouldn’t the organizations we deal with do the same.

If you’ve been to a Dr’s surgery, you will notice that there is so much personal information in a box near the receptionists desk waiting to be shredded.

Now I am sure that this information gets destroyed/shredded, but it was there, and all it needs is someone to take that box and suddenly, they have names, addresses and dates of birth of real people. In the hands of criminals, this information is gold.

The governments now also want this data as part of policy research, so what we have happening in Australia, are Doctor surgeries passing on private health information to the government for a fee.

Talk about going back to the well over and over again. Doctors bulk bill the government for each patient via Medicare plus we need to pay a gap payment to the Doctors because they over estimate their worth and now the Doctor surgeries make extra money from the government by sharing our personal health issues with the government.

Dollars for data. To doctors we are just walking fees, as treatment takes a backseat to making money.

I guess the people whose data is exposed don’t benefit in any way. Just the organizations who hold the data.

I guess we are all just a number, like the Bob Seger song.

To ma bell I’m just another phone
I’m just another statistic on a sheet
To teachers I’m just another child
To IRS I’m just another file

To change the above;

To Facebook, I’m just another user, a data mine for profits on a sheet, to doctors I’m just another fee, as treatment takes a backseat to making money.

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

Freewheel Burning

How good is this song?

You know the song, “Baby Please Don’t Go” and the vocal melody that song has, well there is a little riff in “Freewheel Burning”, that reminds me of that vocal melody. A little subconscious recognition, which is perfect.

And those lead breaks from Glenn Tipton have it all.

I am also pretty sure a few members from a band called “Helloween” were listening intently as Judas Priest brought a punk attitude to their blues rock which was speeding up in tempo with each album release.

Fast and furious / Look before you leap has never been the way we keep / Our road is free / Charging to the top / And never give in never stops the way to be

The words that leap off the vinyl, capture the essence of the metal spirit of never giving in and dealing with whatever comes our way.

And it sets the tempo for what the album is, fast and furious all the way.

Rob Halford raps his way through a verse way before rapping became a thing.

And the meaning of the song could be loaded with metaphors. The internet comments on various sites say the song is about Halford taking in code about his sexual orientation. Others say it’s basically about the bands upbringing from the Midlands, which had a healthy car industry and others say it’s just about car racing.

I always saw it as using a high powered car analogy for the metal movement.

One thing that is certain, if you play this song in the car while driving, prepare to get a ticket.

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

2019 – Part 5

And here is Part 5, the final part of my listening experience for new music released in 2019.

And a big thanks to all the various blog sites I visit, who also share their stories. Some of the artists on here, are because of these sites.

Better Part Of Me
Son Of Man
Let It Be Love
When Love Is Hated
Never Alone
Michael Sweet

“Shine” is one of the best songs Michael Sweet has written in the last decade. It sounds timeless and it could have appeared on any 80’s album, 90’s album, 2000’s album, etc.

And is there any other artist releasing as much music as Michael Sweet with his many different projects (maybe apart from George Lynch). If you want to survive in the new world, follow his lead.


Its melancholic and atmospheric and I like it.

Fear Inoculum
Culling Voices

After 13 years, the album is released.

My favourite song is “Invincible” and I guess everyone is googling to see who the hell “Ponce DeLeon” is based on Maynard’s lyrics. I’m resisting doing so, as Tool is known to send people on wild goose chases.

The Rush/King Crimson intro from “7empset” gets me interested and musically the song is a summary of Tool’s career from the debut to the “Aenima” album.

Calm before the tempest comes to reign all over

And this violent windy storm will bring rain, to wash away the deceivers of society. And in typical Tool fashion, if you go the songmeanings website and type in the name of the song, you will see such peoples varied interpretations of the lyrics.

Too Far Gone
Big Wreck

From the “But For The Sun” album. Courtesy of the excellent Thunder Bay blog. You can read Deke’s review here.

Something to Believe
Sacred Reich

From the “Awakening” album. It’s the most rocking song which remains with me long after the song is finished.

Also cool to see Dave McClain return to the band after departing Machine Head.

Out Of My Life
No Halos In Hell
Battle From Within
I Am The One
Dreams Gone Wrong
Blood Brothers
Hit Me
Man Of Eternal Rain
Kings And Queens

From the impressive “No Halos In Hell” album.

The excellent blog “Man Of Much Metal” did an excellent review.

White Lines
Tygers of Pan Tang

It’s their best album since the first three albums.

Let It Shine
This Is How We Roll
Down N Outz

From the “This Is How We Roll” album, a supergroup project which involves members from Def Leppard and Quireboys like the mighty Joe Elliot on vocals.

38 or 44

“Delirious” has this Vita Bratta guitar style in the guitar playing and it connects. And if you don’t know by now, they are from Sweden.

Firesoul Fly
Black Thunder
Pretty Maids

One thing about this band is consistency. They keep recording, keep releasing and each album is a good listen, a cross between metal, heavy rock and pop/hard rock.

Here is an excellent review over at Sonic Perspectives.

Rock And Roll Deserves To Die
In Another Life
Easter Is Cancelled
The Darkness

Read this review over at 2loud2oldmusic. It’s what got me interested in the album.

No Messiah
The Consumerist
Back In The Days
Crying Game
Learn To Walk Again
Bad Wolves

From the N.A.T.I.O.N album.

Doc Coyle is a legend. His work with God Forbid got me interested in him, but his blog posts made me a fan. Yes, his writings on social issues and music, hooked me in. This is the next step in his evolution.

And here is another excellent review over at Sonic Perspectives.


Another act from Sweden who keeps taking the old sound to sound new.

Misguided Love
Be The Believer
Another Night
This Isnt Love
Come Home
If I Could Fly
Destined To Survive
What You Want From Me
Let Me Dream
Work Of Art

From the excellent “Exhibits” album. And I will direct you over to the Sonic Perspectives website who nail the review.

And that’s a wrap for the new music released in 2019 which I liked.

Music, My Stories

Merry Xmas And …

Imagine these albums if they kept their working title.

Metallica, “Kill Em All” but could have been “Metal Up Your Ass”.

REM, “Monster” but could have been “Exploding Head”.

The Beatles, “The White Album” but could have been “A Dolls House”.

Motley Crue, “Dr Feelgood” but could have been “Monsterous” or “Sex, Sex and Rock N Roll”.

Pink Floyd, “The Dark Side Of The Moon” but could have been “Eclipse”.

Radiohead, “OK Computer” but could have been called “Ones And Zeroes”.

Anyway Merry Xmas.

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

The Pirate Vault #7

Twisted Sister – Love Is For Suckers
Whitesnake – Whitesnake

This was my favorite cassette for a long time.

The Whitesnake album is so ear pleasing with its guitar heaviness and as much as “Love Is For Suckers” gets ignored by Jay Jay French and Mark “The Animal” Mendoza, as no songs appeared in a live setting after Twisted Sister reformed, the opening track, Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant) is as good as all of the big songs from the previous albums.

Tesla – The Great Radio Controversy
Stryper Mix to fill up B side

This tape got played to death because I had so much fun learning the Tesla album, especially songs like “Hang Tough”, “Lady Luck”, “Makin Magic”, “Love Song”, “Paradise” and “Flight To Nowhere”.

Bon Jovi – Live On Tour plus Roxus and Paula Abdul
Babylon AD – Babylon AD

Side A had many re-tapes and I can’t even remember what I dubbed over.

And I don’t know why I thought I needed the “Live On Tour” EP on a cassette, “Stand Back” from Roxus was copied from a single I had to fill out the side and the Paula Abdul tracks were copied because a band I was in, wanted to rockify the songs and cover em. But they sounded lame so they never went past the first rehearsal.

And the debut Babylon AD album is a great album, full of riffs, melodic leads and great melodies which lift with the arena rock choruses. It’s commercial performance didn’t match the performances on the tape.

Mix Tape With No Name

I always enjoyed doing these kind of mix tapes.

Side A

Aimee – Ozzy Osbourne (B side)

The Ozmosis album had so many writers and false starts, it was no surprise that Ozzy had a lot of songs left over. This is one of them.

Love Will Keep Us Alive – The Eagles

This from the “Hell Freezes Over” CD. Timothy B Schmidt nails the vocal.

Mother Mary – Heydey

Ross The Boss left Manowar and formed a hard rock band with heaps of melody, but it was too late as the marketing teams and labels abandoned the genre.

Can’t Stop Loving You – Van Halen

Yeah I know it’s pop rock all the way, but it’s EVH which makes the difference and his unique take on simple progressions.

Until It Sleeps – Metallica

The power in this song is undeniable. You don’t need super distorted guitars to sound heavy. The melancholy verses with the abrasive choruses blend perfectly, a reversal of what they did for “The Unforgiven”.

Under A Mourning Star – Conception

From Norway, I got into them because the record store guy told me they are similar to Dream Theater.,

Eve – Dream Theater (B side)

An instrumental full of moods and melancholy which never gets boring.

Deliver Me – Def Leppard

“Slang” gets no love, it’s like it doesn’t exist. But it’s a good album.

Disarm – Smashing Pumpkins

I love this song in its simplicity and delivery.

Side B

While Side A was more 90s releases, side B is more in line with the 80s and 70s.

The Final Countdown – Europe

That keyboard riff.

Out In The Fields – Gary Moore

A duet with Phil Lynott and the guitar lead during the Chorus.

Limelight – Rush

The guitar solo from Lifeson is worthy.

Speak For Yourself – Gary Moore

The speed of the riffs and the lyrical references to being true to yourself.

Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas

This song will never get old. And those riffs in the intro make me pick up the guitar to play along.

Holy Diver – Dio

Ronnie James Dio. Enough said.

In The Beginning – Emerson, Lake, Palmer

For all of their intricate and progressive songs, their fan base was built on the backs of their simple songs.

Manhattan Project – Rush

A song about the US building the atomic bomb getting the Rush treatment.

Wishing Well – Free

So many bands covered it, but no one got the swingy R&B vibe of the original. Paul Kossoff died way too young and the world lost an unbelievable guitar talent.

Angra – Holy Land
Angra – Angels Cry

A band from Brazil that featured the future Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who also co-founded the band.

And their music is more Dream Theater like the “When Dream and Day Unite” album, focusing on progressive time signatures in a power metal setting.

King Diamond – The Dark Sides
Metallica – Creeping Death (EP)
Ratt – Detonator

I really like “Detonator” from Ratt. It’s such a good album and a perfect evolutionary step for the band. But like all things in the 90s, too little too late.

And King Diamond just kept on appearing in my collection because of the guitar playing of Andy LaRocque.

Metallica – ReLoad

My neighbor purchased it and copied it for me. It’s his writing you see here.

And I didn’t know if I liked it but I kept on playing it because it’s Metallica and suddenly songs like “Prince Charming” And “Fixxer” hooked me.

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

Ride The Lightning

The band was broke before they even started recording “Kill Em All” but coming into the making of this album, the band was really broke. Hetfield and Ulrich were 20 years old and Hammet was 21 years old and Cliff Burton was 22. For such young ages, they showed such great maturity in their song writing.

Hammet apparently came up with the “Ride The Lightning” title after reading “The Stand” by Stephen King, where a person on death row said he was waiting to “ride the lightning” and Hetfield takes the viewpoint of a man condemned.

But the song is written by Dave Mustaine, along with Cliff Burton, James Hetfield And Lars Ulrich. So the song would have had a different title and lyric while Mustaine was in the band.

And let’s not forget that Mustaine had a good grasp of melody and intricate technical songwriting as evidenced by the songs he wrote with Metallica, and while James took these ideals further after Mustaine was booted, Mustaine’s vision and influence still exists.

A tom hit and two guitar notes in harmony.

Another tom hit and another two guitar notes in harmony, descending in a minor scale.

Another tom hit and another two guitar notes in harmony,

Another tom hit and another two guitar notes in harmony.

This repeats.

Then it changes to a tom hit with a kick drum hit after it, while the harmony guitars keep playing.

And I’m hooked.

Then the chugging riffs start and the chainsaw vocals of James.

Who made you God to say
I’ll take your life from you

Humans love to play God towards each other. It’s how we live. And we refer to this God to decide what is right and wrong and swear on this God in the court of law to tell the whole truth and then go ahead and lie.

Religion uses a God.

Democratic governments are beholden to greedy corporations, the Gods who pay.

Read the book “American Gods” from Neil Gaiman and you will see how our beliefs in God gets complex as life progresses and evolves.

And while Hetfield crushes all the rhythm guitars and harmony leads, Hammet really shines on the leads, courtesy of his Satriani lessons.

Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Rise Of Skywalker

It’s a Star Wars movie and I’ll always devote time to the franchise, plus my money.

But in the end, it’s more of a stand alone fantasy flick which will be forgotten because Disney kept changing the vision and the end game of the story. And they didn’t have the guts to take risks.

I still came away with the same viewpoint after watching it. There is a crop of writers and directors being used in big movies who just don’t know how to write and rewrite scripts.

George Lucas rewrote the Star Wars script so many times over so many years that there is even a special edition book available of the original script/story, because it is so different.

Christopher Nolan should have been tasked with these films. Just think of his Batman trilogy and how he showcased the battle between good and evil.

And Disney destroyed the expanded universe from Star Wars canon but then delivered movies based on fan fiction.

However, all the scrips needed was some serious editing on some scenes and a little bit of extra context and explanations added to important scenes. But this means that the writers had to think and people don’t like to think these days, it’s too hard for them, so we get awe inspiring visuals without any meaning.

Then again, JJ Abrams and even George Lucas have both said that people want to see a new Star Wars movie and then yell at you when it’s not to their liking.

Watch it and make your own mind up.