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


Its track 4 on the new Vanishing Point album, “Dead Elysium”. I’m presuming “Salvus” is a combination of Salvation and Us.

A few distorted chords, the orchestral synths and then a guitar lead. Just before the minute mark, it all becomes quiet, just a vocal melody and some choir synths.

Staring at the edge
Reaching out to the world
Feels like I’m alone

The way this section comes in, I felt like I was alone, at the edge of the world. The movie “City Of Angels” comes to mind, how the character played by Nicholas Cage, stands at the beach, at sunrise, listening to some choral symphony being played in the atmosphere.

Then the drums and bass come in, no guitar as yet, because when they do come in again at the 1.38 mark for the pre-chorus, they are effective.

You don’t have to change the world
I will keep you safe

With all that is happening in the world, it’s hard to even feel safe. No one really knows what is going on at the moment and in years to come, some of the decisions made will be looked back with agreeance or disagreement. The only thing I can do is promise to keep my loved ones safe.

Bring our dark to light

Kids these days have been sold a lie via social media. They constantly see posts of people in faraway places, smiling and laughing and they believe they need to have the same life. They don’t, but there is a FOMO effect happening here, the fear of missing out. Each person has a different journey in life, a different path to walk on. No paths are the same, even if the road they are on is the same.

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

The Fall

Six years between albums.

“Distant Is The Sun” came out in 2014 and now we have “Dead Elysium”.

Before “Distant Is The Sun”, “The Fourth Season” came out in 2007, a seven year wait.

The thing with Vanishing Point is that they write the music that makes them happy. With Silvio Massaro behind the mic and Chris Porcianko on guitars, they act as the mainstays and the main writers within the band which came to my attention in 1997 with their debut album “In Thought”.

And while Massaro was on vocals for the debut the guitarist wasn’t Porcianko. The guitarist’s on the debut were handled by Andrew Whitehead and founder Tom Vucur. Porcianko joined the band after the debut album was done and never left.

Vucur left during the writing of “Distant To The Sun”, which meant they had to restart again as they couldn’t use his riffs.

And here we are in 2020, so far removed from normality. Our grandkids will be asking us, what was it like in the pandemic.

While the title track could have come from an Evergrey album, it’s tracks like “The Fall”, “Salvus” and “Count Your Days” which provide the variation.

I should of seen the signs

Foresight is a wonderful thing but in real time we aren’t the best at seeing the subtle signs.

“I can make believe or I can take the fall”

How I would love to escape sometimes instead of facing reality.

Throughout my life I’ve been knocked on my arse so many times by people and by society in general, that once I’ve fallen the only way up, is to stand again.


Sometimes with broken bones.

“I won’t give up, give in”

It’s repeated in the outro, like a mantra, a new awakening and a new awareness.

Don’t give up and don’t give in. I swear by these words.

And the guitar work from Porcianko is brilliant. A true guitar hero.

Copyright, Music, My Stories


From a streaming point of view, the basic rule of scale is to increase the subscribers, so more artists are sharing the pool of money. This increase of subscribers doesn’t require an increase in resources and there’s no extra effort needed.

And this might mean that each and every stream might be worth less per stream but the lump sum should be higher.

But streaming doesn’t have scale from one company alone.

Combined it might, once you add YouTube to the mix. But have you seen the numbers on YouTube of popular songs compared to their Spotify numbers. Their lower which might correlate that people have made the transition to Spotify streaming.

And entities becomes more valuable as more people use them. It’s a big reason why record labels became valuable, as we had to use them to get our fix of music.

But we don’t need to use the labels today. However streaming companies do need to use them, hence the reason why the streaming companies are the labels biggest client and the labels don’t care the rest, especially us fans.

And the labels profit even more from all the innovations that happen in streaming. But it’s the artists that make the connections with fans.

So are the streaming providers the real problem or the labels?

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

The Record Vault – Crimson Glory

From Sarasota, Florida, Crimson Glory started off in 1979. One of their earlier band names was “Beowulf”, one of my favourite stories.

The line-up which is known to me as the classic line up had vocalist Midnight, guitarist Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson, bassist Jeff Lords and drummer Dana Burnell.

Their style of metal was pioneering and along with bands like Queensryche, Fates Warning and Watchtower, (with Dream Theater added in a few years later), they are seen as pioneers of the U.S prog metal movement.

And because their original style still had traditional NWOBHM influences, they were able to tour with such diverse acts like Celtic Frost, Anthrax, Metallica, Ozzy, Queensryche and Doro.

The masquerade mask angle was strange to begin with, but I understood their message, that the music should lead the way, not how they looked but by the third album the masks ceased to be and hard rock abs were on display.

Now if you like hard rock/blues rock, then check out their third album “Strange And Beautiful” first and go backwards, otherwise, if your preference is metal, then start with the debut and go forward.

Crimson Glory

The self-titled debut came out in 1986 but I didn’t hear it until 89, along with the second album.

And the Dio-era Black Sabbath style was immediate to me, but there was some Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Scorpions and a little but if UFO. And the vocals, so distinct and unique, very Geoff Tate like, but still original. The references to those bands is important because in 1989, I was looking forward to hearing metal albums from those bands.


Scorpion’s didn’t really amuse me with “Savage Amusement” in 87, UFO still powdered their noses and had no recording contract, Queensryche went hard rock (which was a good thing) but I also liked their metal style, Iron Maiden lost an important band member and went even more streamlined with “No Prayer For The Dying” and Black Sabbath was still trying to replenish their worth and value after the “Born Again” debacle while Dio was starting to lose his star power from 5 years before.

So I went looking elsewhere for my metal fix and Crimson Glory filled the void.

And I like to play the guitar, so any album that makes me pick up the guitar to learn the songs gets my attention, and this is what the Crimson Glory albums do. Overall the riffage is excellent.

“Valhalla” sizzles as it kicks off the album, with chugging chords and harmonizing leads with a pretty wicked solo.

“Dragon Lady” starts off with a Midnight wail, harmony guitars and then a Deep Purple “Stormbringer” like riff in the verses. Make sure you check out the Chorus, which has a combination of harmony guitars and an AOR rock chorus. But it’s the harmony lead lick that comes after the Chorus that really gets me hooked.

“Heart Of Steel” starts off with acoustic guitars and harmony leads. It reminds me of 70’s Scorpions with Uli Jon Roth on guitars, with a nod to the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. And it’s probably their most catchiest and at 5 minutes long it doesn’t get boring. Especially the guitar playing and those harmony leads. The last 15 seconds is that good, the only thing you can do is press repeat.

“Azrael” is the song to listen to from the debut. The intro is a mix of acoustic guitars, symphonic voices, violins and Midnight’s unique voice which sounds like Geoff Tate from “The Warning” album. This then leads in to one of the best metal tracks I have heard with harmony guitars and galloping riffs.

“Mayday” is the fastest song on the album, relentless like “Screaming For Vengeance” and that ball tearing falsetto from Midnight rattled my windows.

“Queen of the Masquerade” is more hard rock than heavy metal with the “I Love Rock N Roll” chords in the verses and some serious shred.

“Angels of War” is very reminiscent of Iron Maiden while closer “Lost Reflection” is a haunting acoustic piece, built on two chords and Midnight’s gloomy and mournful vocals. From 3.10, distorted guitars crash in with reverb drums and after 30 seconds it fades out to how it started.


They really hit a peak with this album, released in 1988. It was talked about in the same breath as “Operation: Mindcrime”, “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” and “Keeper Of The Seven Keys pt. II”.

That intro riff in “Lady Of Winter” is metal fists in the air worthy and Midnight is more focused on his vocal delivery than the vocal gymnastics this time.

“Red Sharks” sounds like it came from a Mercyful Fate album with its all guns blazing riffage and double kick drumming. But its Midnight’s vocals which take it out of the Earth, as his voice moves between operatic, falsetto, tenor and baritone. Make sure you check out the guitar solos.

“Painted Skies” is my favourite, with the acoustic intro and a haunting Midnight vocal melody before it explodes for the Chorus. It’s probably the best Queensryche song that Queensryche didn’t write.

“Spread your wings you can fly, but the dark is never free, in painted skies that chain the colours of your dream”

It’s all in metaphors.

The harmony leads which mimic the chorus vocal line need to be heard. And the solos after that as well. Brilliant songs within a song construction.

“Masque Of The Red Death” has one of the best intro riffs and “In Dark Places” has this riff groove which rumbles along like Kashmir from Led Zeppelin.

The first 70 seconds of “Where Dragon’s Rule”. Listen to it.

“Lonely” starts off similar to “Painted Skies” and when the harmony guitars kick in, it’s massive. And the harmony lead break at the end is similar to “Heart Of Steel” from the debut album.

The closer “Transcendence” is fitting to close the album with acoustic guitars, a chilling choir, a Midnight vocal line that sounds like it came from the Misty Mountains that Robert Plant used to frequent.

A sign of things to come.

Strange And Beautiful

Released in 1991.

So much change happened in the 90’s and the world was never going to be the same again. While the first two albums put Crimson Glory on the metal map, the third one on Atlantic, would alienate their fan base and the band.

They went from a five piece to a four piece with one guitarist departing and not being replaced. They changed drummers. They changed labels from Roadrunner to Atlantic. New musical trends started emerging and artists tried to incorporate some of those sounds into their own sound. They got in outside writers. And Crimson Glory took of their masks, showed their abs and went back to their 70’s roots for this album, which seemed to be the trend that all bands were doing.

If you want to hear how Led Zeppelin would have sounded in the 90’s then this is the album for you.

Musically, this album has no resemblance to the sound of the previous two albums. This is a blues rock album with some progressive elements and hard rock overtones. Even Midnight sounds like he was the vocalist in Guns N Roses, The Cult, Cinderella or Led Zeppelin, depending on the song.

And I like it.

“Strange And Beautiful” and “Starchamber” are two tracks that immediately scream Led Zeppelin. The influence is clear, but these songs are not copycats. They stand on their own. Especially that intro riff to “Strange And Beautiful”. Listen to it.

“In The Mood” has Midnight delivering a vocal line reminiscent of Ian Astbury and Axl Rose. “The Chant” could have come from a Cinderella album, which is not surprising as it was written by outside writers.

“Promised Land” starts off with various chants and world instruments before it moves into a riff which Jake E Lee would be proud off. Hell this track would have been a perfect Badlands track.

“Love and Dreams” sounds like it came from a Bad Company album, especially the first two albums.

“Deep Inside Your Heart” starts off acoustically like “Painted Skies” and “Azrael”, a nod to their first two albums. But it’s a power ballad of the highest quality. The Chorus is massive and catchy, while the guitar work from Drenning is guitar hero worthy.

“Dance On Fire” feels like a Blue Murder song and “Far Away” could have come from a CCR album in the 60’s.

And everyone that I know judged this album on being the successor to “Transcendence” and saw it as a miserable failure, but to me it was a perfect progression of a band needing a progression.

In the years after, guitarist Jon Drenning said that “Strange and Beautiful” was more or less a Midnight solo album, and when the album got panned, Midnight didn’t stay in the band long enough to tour on the album. But if that is the case, why does Drenning have so many songwriting credits on the album?

In other words he was all in with this change.

And while it might have been a Midnight solo album, it’s his vocals which unifies this album with the first two albums. And Drenning on the guitar showcases his abilities even more moving between metal, rock, blues and folk and pulling out techniques like slide guitar, fast alternate picking, legato techniques and what not. A true guitar hero.

Sink your teeth into “Strange And Beautiful”, “Promised Land”, “The Chant” and “Deep Inside Your Heart” first.

And Midnight left the band, paving the way for others to fill his spot like Todd Le Torre who we all know as the current Queensryche vocalist.

In the 2000’s Midnight passed away from a stomach aneurysm and the world lost a great talent.

A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Originality And Competing With The History Of Recorded 🎶

Everyone who wants to play can play in the music industry. It doesn’t mean you’ll get paid for it. It doesn’t mean that you are entitled to be paid for it.

Creating art and finding connections with art happens at curious times for people. When we lived in the monoculture created by MTV, the chances were high for an artist to connect based on their music video being put on rotation.

How long those connections lasted was a different thing entirely?

And the system of the old legacy players would like to tell artists that if they don’t chart they don’t exist, but if you look at what’s in the streaming top 50 it doesn’t correlate to the Billboard charts top 50 or any other chart. And what was old and done is back again. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is back and so is “In The Air Tonight”. And the Black album outsells them all.

Previously the general viewpoint was that the artists new release was competing against other artists new releases for people’s attention. Now, the new release is competing against the whole history of recorded music for people’s attention.

It’s always been about longevity.

The first week numbers in 10 years are irrelevant, but whether you can last and sustain, is important.

How relevant are the first week numbers for Dokken, Quiet Riot, Skid Row, Ratt and White Lion today?


And there will be heirs of artists and failed artists who believe that someone else’s hit song is from an idea of theirs.

To quote Adam Grant, “Originality doesn’t mean being first, it means being different and better.”

Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Feed The Copyright

It’s not even funny how much money the legal fraternity makes from music and Copyright issues. The legal teams of labels, artists and the heirs of artists make money from Copyright disputes. The legal teams of the same group make money from just representing those groups in contract negotiations and so forth.

But depending on what you read, streaming services are the problem because they don’t pay enough. Because these services also make money. While the streaming companies are running at a loss, the value of the people at the top of the Executive doesn’t diminish and their stock value is high.

Everyone is making money from so many different things except the artist. But it’s the artist who creates the content that engages with a person, who then becomes a fan and decides to spend their money on the artist.

This is what happens when artists are never allowed to be in the negotiation room when legislation is being drawn up.

When Corporations like the record labels are involved in the negotiations with their list of politicians on their payroll, well legislation looks very one sided. And when the labels get artists involved like Sonny Bono, these artists gets a handsome payday from the labels for their involvement which is probably a lot more than they would get from sales or even streams of their recorded music at that point in time.

So artists are now waiting for a judge to clarify whether they can reclaim their rights from record labels, even though the Copyright legislation states that they can.

The labels are digging deep with their counter arguments to prove that the termination requests are invalid. There best one is to say that the songs are “works for hire” which means that the label was an employer and the artist an employee, however the label didn’t meet any commitments that an employer needs to meet to be classed as an employer like annual leave, long service leave, sick leave, retirement pension contributions and yearly review of said salary and bonuses and so forth.

And the lawyers make even more money.

Remember when the streaming bodies disagreed with the Copyright Royalty Board on the new rates they need to pay to songwriters for streaming.

Well this disagreement went to an Appeals Tribunal and it’s all going back to the Copyright Royalty Board to renegotiate/review and to be a bit more transparent as to how the CRB do things or come up with things. Of course, this will be another public relations nightmare for Spotify, but then again they are the labels biggest client.

And it’s more money from the artists diverted to lawyers.

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

1985 – Part 5

Megadeth – Killing Is My Business

My relationship with Megadeth started with the “Rust In Peace” album in 1990. That was a wow moment for me, in relation to song construction, guitar playing and pushing the boundaries of thrash metal even further and more progressive.

So I started collecting more Megadeth albums. “So Far So Good So What” and then “Countdown To Extinction” was released. Then I went back to “Peace Sells” and then “Youthanasia” came out.

Then I went back to the debut, and it was the mid 90’s. And I thought it was average. I couldn’t hear a song that I liked but each song had sections/riffs which got me interested. And it infuriated me.

I suppose that’s what you get, when you spend half of your $8K recording budget on drugs and alcohol and then had to fire the producer because you couldn’t afford him, which meant you had to produce the album.

“Loved To Deth” has this open string pull off riff that I like. “Killing Is My Business” is the NWOBHM movement on steroids and speed and other hallucinogens. The first 90 seconds of “The Skull Beneath The Skin” is groove metal mixed with speed. “Rattlehead” is so fast, it’s a speed metal anthem. 

Whatever Metallica was, Megadeth was going to be faster and more aggressive.

“Chosen Ones” has this “Jump In The Fire” style riff and it’s probably their slowest song. “Mechanix” is 4 minutes of relentless anger. And I’m sure everyone knows that this song became “The Four Horseman” when Mustaine was in Metallica. When he played it live with Megadeth at a Sydney concert he merged the two songs and it was a perfect homage to both.

And Mustaine didn’t want to sing, but after spending six months searching for a vocalist, he took on the reins. It was like Deja-vu as James Hetfield also didn’t want to sing, but did it due to a lack of suitable vocalists.  

Savatage – Power Of The Night

There is a Savatage before “Gutter Ballet” and a Savatage post the death of Criss Oliva for me.

This album is pre “Gutter Ballet” and it’s a band trying to find their sound and style. Max Norman is producing. 5 years before, he was doing Ozzy with Randy and 5 years later he would do Megadeth and Lynch Mob albums.

I like the intro riff to “Power Of The Night”. “Hard As Love” has a title which is a product of its time, but while this kind of title would have worked for Danger Danger or Bulletboys, it felt wrong with Savatage. But musically, its brilliant, catchy.

“Fountain Of Youth” is the embryo of what Savatage would become. The musical structure and different grooves would become more prominent on the albums that came after.

But the album is hit and miss in the lyrics department.

Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club

I picked up their first two albums in the 90’s because I saw that Spencer Proffer was involved.

They are a very underrated band from Canada and I like “Welcome To The Club” more than the debut album “Vices”.

“Welcome To The Club” is a different kind of track, rooted in hard rock, but those clean tone arpeggios give the song a very UK Pop sound. Then you have a song like “Feels Good Don’t Stop” which swings, grooves and rocks its way all the way while “Comin’ After You” feels like a Marillion song while “Make Your Move” is a hard rock song through and through.

How good is the intro to “Never Let Go”? And overall, I feel like I am listening to a Y&T cut merged with Triumph.

“Hellraisers” has some serious good riffage in the intro and verses.

“Can’t Take It With You” has those big “I Love It Loud” drums but the riffage and vocal melodies would have given birth to the recent Swedish Melodic Rock movement. It sounds like H.E.A.T built a career on songs like these.

“Too Loud… Too Old” sounds like an unchained and frantic VH song and it also reminds me of a blog I visit regularly called 2Loud2OldMusic.

The way the staccato bass rolls in “Feel The Power” gets the foot tapping. Check out those harmony leads as well.

And the album closes with a cover song, “With A Little Help From My Friends” but even though Lennon and McCartney wrote it, the definitive version is from Joe Cocker.

Keel – The Right To Rock

Gene Simmons is producing under his label Gold Mountain Records while Steve Riley plays drums on the album but left to join WASP.

The band had three songs written before they got sent to the studio (“The Right To Rock”, “Back To The City” and “Electric Love”), so they covered three Gene Simmons demos (“Easier Said Than Done”, “So Many Girls, So Little Time” and “Get Down”) and re-recorded three songs from the debut album (“Speed Demon”, “Tonight You’re Mine” became “You’re The Victim (I’m The Crime)” and the Rolling Stones cover “Let’s Spend The Night Together”).

I still like the intro to “The Right To Rock”, it’s perfect for the time.

“All of my life I’ve been fighting for the right to make my stand” and we are still fighting to make our stand. It will never stop.

“I’m gonna do it my way or not do it all” sounded so easy back then, but as you grow up, you start to realise that it’s not that easy to do things your way and still participate in society. In order to live, you need money and to get money you need to work. If doing things your way, generates money, great, if it doesn’t, then you need to work for someone else and suddenly you are not doing it your way.

“Back To The City” is interchangeable with their other songs and I really like the Rolling Stones cover “Let’s Spend The Night Together”.

The verse riff of the Gene Simmons penned “So Many Girls, So Little Time” is pure heavy metal. “Electric Love” is melodic rock, with Ron Keel delivering a vocal line at 11. “Speed Demon” is pure NWOBHM with Ron Keel again delivering a vocal line at 11. There’s just 11 in his delivery and that’s it. 

“Get Down” is another Simmons cut which feels like a re-write of “I Love It Loud” but lyrically, its dumb. “You’re The Victim (I’m The Crime)” is another cut inspired by the NWOBHM, with fast “Overkill” double kick drumming in the intro.

Even though the album is a mixture of new songs, re-recordings and Gene Simmons penned songs, Keel earned “The Right To Rock” after it.

Also if you’ve seen a Y&T cover on A&M Records, a Foreigner cover or some different posters around the Mad Max and Star Wars movies, then there is a pretty good chance you’ve seen the artwork of John Taylor Dismukes.

Autograph – That’s The Stuff 

Autograph were either loathed or liked. There was no in between.

I liked the first album “Sign In Please” and loathed the second album “That’s The Stuff” which really wasn’t the stuff.

And the second track “Take No Prisoners” is a rewrite of “Turn Up The Radio”. This is an album that is lacking in ideas and very hard to listen to.

A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Streaming Hate Continues

The record labels and music news sites that benefit from reporting positive articles about the labels, talk about the billions of dollars the music industry made in the financial year just before Napster hit.

So from a simple viewpoint, when Napster hit, sales of music started to decline. For the RIAA and the record labels, these two events correlate, so it implies that one is causing the other to move. But the sales of music had been falling for some time.

What happened during the 90’s just before Napster went worldwide was a lot of re-purchasing.

People started to re-purchase the music they already owned on vinyl and cassettes on CD’s. These re-purchased items, in most cases re-mastered or super deluxe editions with bonus content at higher prices would skew the record label figures to make it look like new recorded music was bringing in billions of dollars when in fact it was people purchasing old catalogue items. And once we had those albums on CD, we didn’t really need to re-purchase them again.

But Napster also highlighted a gap in the business models of the labels. People liked to have access. If anything, people liked to have terabytes of culture saved on disk drives.

Some artists maintain that it was the right action to go after Napster. Others can’t wait for Spotify to die. They must think that people would just go out and buy their albums on physical again. The hard core always will but the majority won’t. They’ll revert to downloading.

The Napster gap allowed people to share their music collections (bootlegs and original recordings) in a very simple and convenient way. Napster got popular because of it, and the labels should have created something to match it.

But the labels did nothing, and more sharing applications kept coming. Then a small company called YouTube did fill the gap that Napster was really servicing. YouTube allowed people to upload their music collections. And YouTube today, generates billions of dollars. These billions could have been in the profit and loss statements of the record labels but they messed up.

We are 22 years post Napster, and the record labels did absolutely nothing to counter it, except scream for legislation and gestapo like police powers.

You want to know who is the labels biggest client. Spotify and the other streaming services.

You want to know who artists see as their biggest enemy. Spotify, but not the other streaming services..

The arrival of YouTube and eventually streaming services put a dent into the traditional sales model, but did these sharing and access platforms assist in increasing the crowds for artists?

Iron Maiden came back with Bruce Dickinson on “Brave New World”, bigger than ever and played to sold out crowds in countries they’ve hardly sold any recorded product in. Even the album “Brave New World” did nothing sales wise.

Twisted Sister and Motley Crue also came back bigger than ever post Napster and played to their biggest ever crowds until they retired. Then again Motley Crue just faked their retirement.

Did sharing of music assist in these high concert attendances as well?

To use the record label analogy of post Napster sales and pre Napster sales, these two events correlate, so it implies that one is causing the other to move. The same can be said about music being shared illegally and bands playing to their largest audiences ever. One event is causing the other to move.

And here we are in 2020 with a pandemic killing off the live show and no one really knowing how it will look once it is over. And the record labels are winning, making money from streaming revenue while the hard rock artists who have a presence want streaming to die.

But it’s the labels with the greatest share of the streaming revenue.

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

Banali and WASP

It’s his work with Blackie Lawless that I really like as it covers some of my favorite WASP albums.

“The Headless Children” released in 1989, “The Crimson Idol” released in 1992, “Still Not Black Enough” released in 1995, “Unholy Terror” released in 2001, “Dying for the World” released in 2002 and “The Neon God: Part 1 – The Rise” released in 2004 are some of WASPs best releases.

And Bob Kulick who has left for the great gig in the sky appears on quite a few of em as well.

Check out “The Headless Children”. Banali’s drum groove in the intro came straight from the depths of hell in its intensity and power.

It feels like the song is built on the drum pattern. And the piece d resistance is from 4.12. I call it the Iron Maiden section.

Listen to it and be moved by it.

And “The Real Me” introduced the drum fills that would give Stet Howland a bad name. Is it really Howland’s fault or Keith Moon’s since “The Real Me” is a cover?

On “The Crimson Idol”, Banali provides the drumming on the actual songs and Howland provides drum fill percussion on each song.

Check out the power of “Doctor Rockter”.

The same deal is worked out for the follow up “Still Not Black Enough” but this time Howland is credited as the percussionist. And Blackie more or less rewrote “The Crimson Idol”.

Check out the restraint and build on “Scared To Death”.

In 2001, “Unholy Terror” came out and Banali plays on five tracks. Check out “Charisma” and the Kashmir style groove laid down.

Check out “My Wicked Heart” from “Dying For The World” in 2002 for some epic drumming.

And “The Neon God Part 1” released in 2004 closed his WASP career. My favorite is the ballad “What I’ll Never Find”.

Rest In Peace.

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

The Record Vault – Cerebus

It was a random purchase at a record fair in the 90’s. The bin had a large sign that said 7 records for $10.

How could I refuse that offer?

The dystopian landscape cover painting got my attention, as its reminded me of various movies.

I dropped the needle and I was pleasantly surprised.

I was hearing early Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and Riot.

The raw production and the treble biased mix had me thinking of those Metallica albums. Which means that the bass player is hardly heard, which is a shame as Eric Burgess is the main songwriter in the band.

Cerebus is an American act. There is also a deathcore band with the same name that came out in the 2000’s who have nothing to do with this 80’s version.

They released a Demo in 1985, a full length album “Too Late To Pray” in 1986 on a label called New Renaissance Records, an EP in 1987 called “Like a Banshee On The Loose” on a local North Carolina label, another demo in 1988, another EP in 1991 called “Regression Progression” on a local label and a best of album in 2019 called “From Beyond The Vault Door” on a label called “Heaven And Hell”.

And their label “New Renaissance Records” was created by Ann Boleyn after her band Hellion had a record in the British Music Charts, but was unable to find an American deal. So Boleyn sold her car and musical instruments to fund the initial pressings of compilation albums and eventually full releases by bands. King Kobra (the band founded by Carmine Appice and Mark Free) was an act that was on the label as well.

So the label signed the band to an 2 album deal, but the label offered no tour support. Cerebus played an extensive US tour on their own budget but going to Europe proved impossible as they didn’t have the means, which is a shame, as the majority of their sales were in Germany and Western Europe. After the U.S run of shows, the band and label parted ways.

The band kept writing and releasing, but in a market dominated by gatekeepers, they needed a label and a distributor. Which didn’t come as easy as they thought.

And as the EP releases kept coming, the band kept tweaking their sound, moving from their Iron Maiden/Saxon style to a more Deep Purple, Whitesnake and UFO sound.

Running Out Of Time

Its speed metal and those harmony leads from Andy Huffine and Chris Pennell (RIP) in the solo section sound like they came from a Saxon album.

The vocal lines from Scott Board are like the chainsaw vocals of James Hetfield from the first two Metallica albums, with the Rob Halford banshee wail.

And the double bass drumming from Joby Barker just keeps pummelling along.

Taking Your Chances

A different style of cut, in the hard rock vein with a melodic rock style chorus.

Distant Eyes

Acoustic arpeggios kick it off with a guitar solo before it explodes into a UFO style cut merging “Lights Out” and “Too Hot To Handle”.

Too Late To Pray

It also starts off with acoustic guitar arpeggios, before it moves into a military style drum beat. Then the harmony guitars kick in, but it’s all part of a long intro, before the main song kicks in with a head banging riff.

And the vocal line is ball tearing.

Rock The House Down

It has the “One Riff To Rule Em All”, which a lot of people would know as “Two Minutes To Midnight” but it goes back all the way to the 70’s.

Catch Me If You Can

Sounds like “Running Out Of Time”.

Talk Is Cheap

It sounds like “Running Out Of Time”, but with no singing, and bass solos which you can actually hear.

Longing For Home

It has these “I Still Love You” arpeggios in the intro which I like.