Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – 24 January to 30 January

4 Years Ago

I was writing about the glorious year that was 1983. My fifth post on the year involved Night Ranger, Gary Moore, Marillion and Michael Schenker.

Music magazines became my filters to tell me what’s good and not.

  • Faces, Hit Parader and Circus up until 1988.
  • Guitar World from 1986 to current day.
  • Guitar For The Practicing Musician from 1987 to when it was absorbed by Guitar One and then until Guitar One was absorbed by Guitar World in the early 2000’s.
  • Metal Edge between 1989 to about 1998.
  • RIP for a few years around 1989 and 1990 and I think it also went bust.
  • Hot Metal (an Australian mag) from 1989 to when it ended and in the early 2000’s Metal Hammer became a filter.
  • Kerrang was another mag I purchased here and there.

8 Years Ago

I did a post on the January 1986 issue of Guitar World.

Part 1 is about Malmsteen.

Part 2 is an interview with Dave Meniketti from Y&T, in which he rates other guitarists.

Part 1

It mentioned in the magazine that Billy Sheehan would be joining David Lee Roth on his new solo project and that DLR is also trying to get Yngwie Malmsteen in there. 

Who would have thought how interconnected Malmsteen and Steve Vai where at that time. 

Malmsteen came to America and played in Alcatrazz. He left that band to do Rising Force.

Alcatrazz hired Steve Vai as his replacement. 

DLR is looking at putting a new band together post Van Halen and Malmsteen is sought out, however it is Vai that gets the job.

“I’d rather have people dislike my style than change it,” he says. “If someone says, ‘Hey, Yngwie, you play too damn much’ –- I don’t care. The way I play is the way I like to play. If people like it – great.  If they don’t, it’s still fine with me.”

I think 35 years later; it’s safe to say that Yngwie didn’t conform to any record label standard.

The magazine came out in January 1986. 

Malmsteen was promoting “Marching Out” which came out October 1985. 

In September of 86 he released “Trilogy”. 

Three albums in three years as a solo artist. 

In total if you include the Steeler and Alcatrazz releases that is six releases in four years.

Remember Malmsteen’s motto, it’s all about the music. 

Releasing frequently was how it was done back in the day so that artists could get traction and that is how it should be done in this day and age. 

Six album releases in four years. 

A total of 50 songs over a 48 month (as one Alcatrazz album was a live release). A song a month should be the aim of every artist as a minimum. And its something which artists do on streaming services these days.

Funny that.

Part 2 – Dave Meniketti Shoots His Mouth Off.

That is the title of the segment by Bob Grossweiner. It’s very hard to find anyone these days that is honest in their views of other contemporary musicians.

This article got me started in seeking out the music by Y&T.

Anyway let’s get to some of his views;

Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden): “I don’t like them. Both are poor to adequate guitarists”. 

Iron Maiden is coming off the mega successful “Powerslave” World Tour which resulted in the also mega successful “Live After Death”. Ballsy by Meniketti.

Mick Mars (Motley Crue): “Not the greatest player but a great guy. He’s not inspired and he’s very sloppy. He sounds like he picked up a guitar two years ago.”

Mick Mars likes the blues and along his path to play the blues he ended up in Motley Crue and the rest is history. 

Chris Holmes (WASP): “I don’t like him. It’s bullshit guitar playing.”

Holmes was more noise and appearances for me.

Matthias Jabs and Rudolph Schenker (Scorpions), K.K Downing and Glen Tipton (Judas Priest): “Guitarists to fill holes where solos are. I don’t find them inspiring soloists.”

A bit harsh on the Scorpions and Judas Priest duo, especially when the Scorpions where coming off the success of “Love at First Sting” and Judas Priest where on a commercial roll that started with “British Steel” in 1980.

Nevertheless Meniketti was asked his views and he gave them and I became a fan in the process, without even hearing a note of his music.

George Lynch (Dokken): “He reminds me a lot of the Los Angeles guitarists. Good and technical but relying a lot on the bar. He gets boring after a while.”

As Lynch got older and wiser, even he himself commented on his overuse of too much distortion and whammy.

Meniketti spoke highly about Yngwie Malmsteen, Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), Eric Clapton, Van Halen, Gary Moore, Angus Young, Neil Schon, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend, Ted Nugent, Ronnie Montrose, John Sykes, Ritchie Blackmore and Billy Gibbons.

For Neal Schon, he mention how he learned a lot from Neal, how Clapton is a master and not a clone, how Hendrix was his biggest influence, how Billy Gibbons is the ultimate R&B influence in Rock N Roll and how Jeff Beck is an innovator.
And in case you didn’t know, Meniketti was asked to join Whitesnake at one stage and Ozzy Osbourne’s new solo band before Randy Rhoads came on the scene.

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

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – The Screaming Jets

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.

Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.

So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

The debut album “All for One” came out in April 1991. It went to Number 2 on the Australian charts and it was certified Gold in the Australian market.

But The Screaming Jets had some serious momentum coming into the album release.

They formed in January 1989, in Newcastle with singer Dave Gleeson, drummer Brad Heaney, guitarists Richard Lara and Grant Walmsley and bass guitarist Paul Woseen.

By November, they won the first ever National Band Competition run by radio broadcaster Triple J.

They released an EP in 1990 called “The Scorching Adventures of the Screaming Jets” and they toured with The Angels around Australia.

Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, said that “All for One” included the flash of early Van Halen mixed with the traditional sounds of AC/DC and The Angels.

I reckon there is definitely a Kiss influence, some of the British blues rock influences and an overall punk like feel. Maybe that’s more from the production than anything.

The album kicks off with “C’Mon”.

A foot stomping AC/DC style groove with a ringing pedal point over the chords. This one is written by Lara and Gleeson.

I watch my TV screen, life flashing before me

Australians were pretty good at wasting their time in front of the silver screen during this period that advertisements were made to show the unhealthy aspect of our infatuation which they then made into TV commercials so we could notice em.

I hear the radio and the songs they play, makin’ my stomach turn

Once upon a time we had rock stations run by music fans and DJs who played deep cuts.

By the end of the 80s, the radio stations became corporations with investors and stock prices and suddenly it wasn’t about the music but profits and payola and playing the same songs over and over and over again.

I see the plastic people, leading plastic lives, Substitute child, disposable wife

Nothing much has changed. Fake people still lead fake lives. They just to glorify it with social media.

“Better” written by Walmsley is a stand out. The bands I was in the late 90s used to cover it.

They said you’d never get anywhere,
Well they don’t care and it’s just not fair
That you know, and I know better.

“Better” became like a national anthem in Australia. The whole groove of the song is infectious. It was the album’s lead single and it peaked at number 4 on the Australian Singles Chart.

“Needle” is written by the bassist Paul Woseen. It has a Dokken style riff with a punk vibe. It’s strange to write it as a description but it works.

The guitarists Lara and Walmsley took influences from everywhere but played the riffs in a loose swingy way.

“Shine On” is also written by Woseen and its a bluesy dirge like “The Jack” but lyrically it’s very different.

“Stop the World” is written by Woseen and Gleeson. The lead break from Richard Lara is worthy.

“Blue Sashes” has a feel from The Angels but the riff ideas feel like they came from the Sunset Strip.

“F.R.C.” (aka “Fat Rich Cunts”) is written by Woosen. It’s one of my favourites on the album.

You drive your fast car,
All over the town,
You got your offices up, 50 floors from the ground.
You hire your slaves to bid for you,
You’ve got a couple of wives and a mistress or two.
And I can’t wait to see you tumble and fall.

I worked as an insurance broker once upon a time. Most of the people around me had second or third marriages, partners on the side and a cocaine habit to match.

The ones further up the corporate ladder had us as slaves running errands for em. And I thought of this song.

You fat, fat, fat rich cunts.

The war cry. Because back in those times most of the people in power fitted those words. They were men who had weight issues.

It changed when the techies became the rockstars.

Following the album’s release, the group relocated to the UK where they based themselves for over two years.

They toured there, the rest of Europe and the US as they supported varied hard rock and heavy metal bands.

The band would release a lot more albums through the 90s and 2000’s. But that story is for a record vault post. Sometime in the future.

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

Trivium – “What The Dead Men Say”. 2020 Album You Might Have Missed

“What The Dead Men Say” from Trivium came out just as the whole world was going into lockdown or already was into lockdown in April, 2020.

Everything was stopped.

They could have delayed the release like so many other artists but they didn’t. It hit streaming services without a physical release.

The songs “Catastrophist” and “What The Dead Men Say” are in their top 5 most popular songs on Spotify.

But my favourite is “The Defiant”.

There are people who surround celebrities, CEO’s and leaders and they allow or enable these people to get away with things that they normally shouldn’t get away with.

In order to stop these people from doing something wrong, someone within their circle needs to break rank and stand for something.

Be the defiant person in between the innocent who are affected, and don’t worry that it’s going to affect your career.

Explicit deviance
Don’t have to hide
Display their wealth of sin
Right ‘fore our eyes

Complicit in ruin
Protect with lies
Defenestrate, destroy
Mock and victimize

People don’t speak out because they are afraid of what would happen if they do.

And if they do speak out, the powerful perpetrators and their enablers will do their best to make their life a living hell, via social media and whatever other means necessary.

I stand in defiance of your ways
(The defiant, the defiant)

Be the defiant one.

Because Trivium defied 2020 and thrived.

Vocalist and guitarist Matt Heafy was an early adopter of Twitch, and even prior to the lockdown, he had built a community on Twitch for people to chill out while he practices songs, does covers, chats or plays computer games with em.

He is keeping in touch with his fan base and connecting with them. By doing this via Twitch, he also gets an income.

Stand and be defiant to the traditional money making avenues in the recording industry and make something different happen. There are ways.

You just need to think differently.

On top of that, apart from releasing an excellent Trivium album, he has a new EP out and he finally finished his Black Metal album with Ihsahn.

And if you want to read a fantastic track by track review, head over to the Music Radar website.

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


“Catharsis” from Machine Head, had its three year anniversary a few days ago.

I posted a review here, not long after it came out.

As the review stated, I have no issues with lyrics of any kind and I do not have a problem with artists I like, taking a stance and commenting on what they see is the state of the world. Opinions are important whether a person agrees or disagrees with them.

So it’s no surprise that on “Catharsis”, Robb Flynn is giving his take on the world. It’s not pretty, but no one said the six o’clock news is pretty.

Most of the songs were written during the time of Trump’s running for President and election. There is despair, anger and some forecasting as to what the future would look like, under a Trump presidency in the lyrics of the songs.

And Robb Flynn was right with every word.

Check out the song “Bastards” with its catch phrase of “Don’t let the bastards wear you down”. Because it happened. All of the lies and the hate speech wore everyone down. Even internationally, our news bulletins spent a lot of time fact checking Trump’s claims and others just basically laughed at him and made unflattering jokes about him.

Robb copped a lot of flak for taking a stand on politics, from U.S magazine writers, U.S music websites/blogs and U.S fans. It was an American thing. As Dee Snider said on Twitter recently, a lot of metal fans in the U.S, are also Trump supporters and was anyone really surprised when the majority of writers for the U.S metal magazines and websites came out as Trump supporters. Especially the ones, on the more extreme side of metal.

And what was surprising about all this, was how many of the U.S “fans” and “writers” kept posting that Robb Flynn should just keep his views on politics to himself and just sing.

But politics have been a big part of Machine Head. The songs, “A Thousand Lies”, “Clenching The Fists Of Dissent”, “Halo”, “In The Presence Of My Enemies” and “A Farewell To Arms” are all political.

What did these guys think he was writing about?

Making cookies.

I believe that Machine Head is more popular outside the U.S and the international audience stood with Robb Flynn on this. We didn’t have the U.S problem.

Is the album bloated?

Yep, a few songs too many. At 75 minutes long, it’s a lot to take in, especially in a world that has a lot of distractions and people just don’t know how to manage their time effectively.

Is it the best Machine Head album?

Depends on what you grew up with. I like “The Blackening”, “Through The Ashes Of Empires”, “Supercharger” but my favourite is “Unto The Locust”. It’s the most focused and at seven songs, it’s pretty much all killer.

And the message of standing your ground is important. It’s easier said than done, because to stand your ground, means that you need to move out of your comfort zone.

Because standing bye and watching the unacceptable become the acceptable is not an option.

Play it loud.

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


I’m reading the book “Working Class Man” from Jimmy Barnes. A review will be coming soon.

And I just finished the chapter that covered his first solo album “Bodyswerve” released in 1984.

I always saw Barnesy as indestructible, taking the world head on, with no fucks given.

But there was fear. He was like all of us. Unsure of choices and decisions.

He had the uncertainty and fear of going it alone after Cold Chisel broke up and the fear he had of coming up with songs for his first solo album.

He kept comparing his writing to Don Walker’s from Cold Chisel, but they are very different writers.

He persevered and kept on writing and he delivered.

Once the songs were written, he had to assemble a band.

He got people he felt “safe with”.

Drummer Ray Arnott recorded with Barnes on Cold Chisel’s final album, “Twentieth Century”. Bruce Howe was the bass player and founder of Fraternity, a band that Barnes had sung with for a short time in 1975 after Bon Scott left.

Bruce Howe was a hard taskmaster back in the day and he should be credited for pushing Bon Scott and Barnesy vocally, and by doing so they both developed their high octane singing style.

Mal Eastick had played with “Stars” and second guitarist Chris Stockley, was selected because he played, “old-style rock, like Little Richard and Gene Vincent”.

And then they went on the road, playing small pubs. They fine tuned the songs and when they went into the studio to record, the energy of the band and their tightness, transferred onto the tape.

And the rest is history.

The album dropped, people were expecting it and went straight to Number 1 in Australia. Jimmy Barnes was reborn as a solo artist.

Listen to the riff and groove of “Vision”.

Then there’s this soul style groove for “Daylight” which reminds me of “Mustang Sally” but it’s more hard rock as the guitar riff wouldn’t be out of place on an AC/DC album.

And what a beautiful combination it is, merging soul with hard rock.

“Promise Me You’ll Call” is a slower tempo song, ballad like, with a soul rock vocal melody.

“No Second Prize” has that “Stand By Me” feel, all rocked up, 80s style. And it became an Aussie pub rock classic.

“Boys Cry Out For War” has a riff which reminds me of “T Rex”. And I like it, as it romps it’s way through my brain.

“Paradise” is a rewrite of his “Rising Sun” song from his Cold Chisel days. A 12 bar rock and roll blues romp.

“A Change Is Gonna Come” is another blues like ballad.

“Fire” and “World On Fire” close the album.

Two great rockers which are virtually ignored.

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

1985 – Part 10

Supertramp – Brother Where You Bound

Album number 8. It’s also the first album without original member Roger Hodgson, which left Rick Davies as the main songwriter and singer.

According to A&M Records, the album went Gold, but the RIAA hasn’t certified it as yet.

The glory days of the band were behind them.

And then I heard “Brother Where You Bound”, the title track. At 16 minutes and 30 seconds long, it’s a tour de force, with Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham on rhythm guitar and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on the guitar solos.

During the intro, there is an ominous keyboard synth droning while politician speeches are intermixed with readings from George Orwell’s “1984”.

Its self-indulgent in some sections, it reminds me of ELP, The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd and other jazz rock fusion artists. But a ballsy move, regardless.

King Kobra – Ready To Strike

I always saw the ads for King Kobra but my finances limited my purchases. So in the 2000’s I finally listened to the full albums from em.

King Kobra are Mark Free (now known as Marcie Free) on vocals, David Michael-Philips and Mick Sweda on guitar, Johnny Rod on bass and Carmine Appice on drums.

“Ready To Strike” opens the album with mournful arpeggios and a classical inspired guitar solo before it kicks in to a head banging riff.

“Hunger” is a Kick Axe song.

How good is the intro?

Free starts his chant while the toms and guitars are in synchronicity. It reminds me of the “Rock Star” movie with Mark Wahlberg.

“Shake Up” has a similar intro to “Hunger” but that’s about it. This one is a melodic rock cut, virtually unknown. Carmine Appice’s drumming is thunderous in the intro and his rolls between bars are perfect.

“Breakin’ Out” reminds me of Y&T. Its high energy and the drumming of Appice in the verses has this “Radar Love” shuffle, which Tommy Lee also used in “Kick Start My Heart” a few years later.

One thing about King Kobra that would have worked against em is their choice of song titles.

“Tough Guys” is a perfect example.

Musically and melodically the song is excellent, but the title is terrible and the lyrics about “the world’s greatest lie being that tough guys don’t cry” are a miss.

“Second Thoughts” is typical of the melodic rock being played during this period. Think of “Tears Are Falling” from Kiss.

Raven – Stay Hard

They stormed the U.S a few years earlier and then watched all the bands who opened for them get bigger, while they stayed within their cult audience.

So album number 4 is also their first for Atlantic.

“On And On” is excellent musically and “Restless Child” sounds like an UFO cut. These two cuts stand out because they have this mainstream feel to them which I like.

Instrumental closer “The Bottom Line” has the riffs and little melodic leads, but the horn section was a bad idea.

The writing was on the wall.

Rough Cutt – Rough Cutt

This band was more famous for the members who departed it and the management team of Ronnie James Dio and Wendy Dio than their music.

In version 1, they had Jake E Lee on guitars and Claude Schnell on keyboards. Well, Lee would join Ozzy and Schnell would join Dio.

Version 2 had Craig Goldy on guitars and Chris Hager joined from Ratt. Well, Goldy would take the spot left vacant by Vivian Campbell in Dio.

And finally they had enough stability, a record deal and their debut album.

Produced by Tom Allom. If you own a Judas Priest album, you will know who he is.

“Take Her” had a committee of songwriters in Chris Hager, bassist Matt Thorr, vocalist Paul Shortino, drummer Dave Alford, previous guitarist Craig Goldy and Ronnie James Dio.

There is a misplaced cover of “Piece of My Heart”.

There is another cover called “Never Gonna Die” from Australian band, The Choirboys, who had a hit with it in Australia. Shortino misses the energy that Gable brings to it.

“Dreamin’ Again” sounds a lot like a Dio cut from “The Last In Line” album. This one is written by Alford, Hager, Thorr, Shortino and Wendy Dio. It moves between a slower tempo acoustic verse into a distorted Chorus with harmony vocals. The lead break is also guitar hero worthy. It has melody, shred, harmonies and pentatonic lines.

“Black Widow” opens up Side 2. Its written by Amir Derakh, Alford, Thorr, Shortino and W. Dio. I can’t stress how much this sounds like a Dio cut. The feel and tempo is slow driving, the way Dio likes it. The song title is overused and it doesn’t do the music justice.

Actually overused rock titles became a big problem for rock and metal bands.

Like “Kids Will Rock”. The title has been used before, and they even borrowed from “The Kids Are Back”.

Then you have song titles like “You Keep Breaking My Heart” “Dressed to Kill” and “She’s Too Hott”.

It’s probably a good reason why albums like “Slippery When Wet”, “Appetite For Destruction”, “Hysteria”, “Dr Feelgood” and the Black album, broke out in a big way, with the main singles having titles unique enough to separate them from the generic.

Amir Derakh on guitars has a few song writing credits and he is the one who had a pretty interesting career. While most of his guitar contemporaries had retired in the 90’s, Amir was the guitar synthesizer player in the rock band Orgy.

Coney Hatch – Friction

It’s not on Spotify, which is a pain as the album is solid and a great piece of melodic hard rock.

They were on Mercury/Polygram.

Bon Jovi hadn’t broken big yet, but when they did break big in under a year, the label would put the rest of their roster on the backburner.

How good is that pulsing bass riff on “This Aint Love”?

It lays the foundation for whatever riff the guitarists wanted to do and to be honest it wouldn’t be out of place on an AC/DC album.

“She’s Gone” is pure AOR Melodic rock and I like it, especially that small lead break after the Chorus. Even the main lead break is pretty cool.

“Wrong Side Of Town” reminds me of an Y&T cut and god damn, the bass is prominent and pulsing on this song as well.

How catchy is the guitar riff to “Girl From Last Night’s Dream”?

And give the solo section a listen as well.

“Coming To Get You” has a 10 second intro that reminds me of “Dog Eat Dog” from AC/DC before it moves into a more generic Zeppelin like riff.

Then there is “Fantasy”, another melodic rock riff which is memorable.

“He’s A Champion” brings back the hard rock edge of the opening song “This Ain’t Love”. This time the riff reminds me of “In The City” from Joe Walsh.

“State Line” and “Burning Love” close off the album. One is a fast rocker and the closer is a hard rocker with a melodic rock chorus.

Such a good album and virtually unknown in Australia.

Since 1977 is done and dusted, back to 2000 for Part 11.

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


“Dystopia” is one of my favourite Megadeth records in the 2000’s. It’s five years old right now but it feels like yesterday.

Hell, I’m writing about 2000, 1985 and 1977 releases at the moment and even those albums feel like they got released yesterday.

Time does go bye. Way too quickly.

The last few days, I was listening to my Spotify 2016 playlist. Man, so many good songs released during the year and not enough time to listen to everything.

If you are an artist releasing music right now, it’s never been easier, but if you want to get heard above the noise, it’s never been harder.

There is so much new music being released and it’s all competing with each other and it’s also competing with the history of music.

“Dystopia” is a rejuvenated Megadeth. While most of the songs are still written by Dave Mustaine, the performances of new guys, Chris Adler and Kiko Loureiro are energetic.

Lyrically, Mustaine is at his spittiest best.

The drumming from Chris Adler, who at the time was still a member of Lamb Of God, is powerful, technical and when needed an enhancer to the riffs. Kiko Loureiro on guitar, shreds with the best of em, his style a unique combination of so many guitar heroes and his Brazilian roots.

“The Threat Is Real” kicks off the album at full throttle speed. “Dystopia” has musical similarities to “Hanger 18”. I guess you can’t keep a good riff down.

“Fatal Illusion” completes the three punch knockout to kick off the album. It’s got chromatics and a sinister groove to kick it off and then the bass riff kicks in at high octane speeds and once the whole band is in, the driving double kick from Adler stands out and its circle pit time.

There is a section which I call the “Flatline” section. It starts off with the sound of a heart monitor and a beating heart, with a Motorhead influenced riff playing underneath, and once the flat line sound begins, the riff becomes dominant.

“Bullet To The Brain” starts off with an acoustic arpeggio riff which sounds ominous and then the heavy groove kicks in. It’s Megadeth at their best, working with tempo changes and grooves. It’s all 4/4 but it sounds progressive because of the tempo changes.

“Post American World” has a lot of musical similarities to “Symphony Of Destruction” and I like it. Check out the lead break from Kiko on this one.

“Poisonous Shadows” starts off with a Spanish/Flamenco like guitar intro as it builds into a metal behemoth with a Chorus that is memorable. And it ends with a solemn piano playing the chords and vocal melody of the Chorus.

“Conquer Or Die” also starts off with a Spanish/Flamenco like guitar intro before it morphs into a classical like guitar section ala “Randy Rhoads – Dee”. This goes on for about 80 seconds and then the distortion kicks in and the leads kick in. Under 4 minutes, it’s a cool instrumental.

The piece d’resistance is “Lying In State”. The speed of the song is what metal is about.

And the whole section from about the 2.30 minute mark to the end. Just listen to the riffs and how Chris Adler enhances em.

The album should have ended here, but we get another three more tracks called “The Emperor”, “Foreign Policy” and “Melt The Ice Away”.

Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – January 17 to January 23

2017 and 2013

I didn’t have any posts during this period 4 years ago and 8 years ago.

So here is a brief history.

2008 (13 Years Ago)

Gene Simmons got fired by Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice.

I don’t know why, but I saw this as funny.

2001 (20 Years Ago)

Jason Newsted asked his Metallica band mates to take a year off to work on side projects.

They said no and Newsted left.

Mike Portnoy tried the same with the Dream Theater guys in 2011 and the same result happened, with Portnoy leaving.

1991 (30 Years Ago)

AC/DC had to complete a show based on the recommendation of a Fire Marshall even after three fans got killed when they were crushed by the crowd at a show in Salt Lake City, Utah

1989 (32 Years Ago)

The embryo of the massive Black album begins, as Metallica drops an almost 8 minute music video, for “One”. This got em into the public eyes and minds.

1982 (39 Years Ago)

Ozzy becomes even more famous because he bit the head of a bat. Plus he gets rushed to hospital for rabies shots.

1974 (47 Years Ago)

One of my favorite bands is formed, by taking two bits of Free and a bit of Mott The Hoople and a bit of King Crimson to form Bad Company.

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

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Vanishing Point

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.

Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.

So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

Vanishing Point are from Melbourne, Australia.

“Dead Elysium” came out in 2020. Six years since they released the excellent “Distant Is The Sun” and during that period they had their setbacks in getting this album done, especially around vocalist Silvio Massaro and his throat infections and respiratory illnesses.

And before “Distant Is The Sun” there was “The Fourth Season” which came out in 2007.

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 actually came to my attention in 1997 with their debut album “In Thought”.

And while Massaro was on vocals for the debut, Porcianko wasn’t.

The guitars 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 the writing process again as they couldn’t use his riffs.

And in 2020, they dropped “Dead Elysium”.

Guitarist Chris Porcianko doesn’t get the recognition but he is an excellent song writer, and guitarist, creating intricate and syncopated riffs. And the dude can shred and be emotive as well.

The haunting piano kicks off “Dead Elysium” and then that syncopated riff comes in, which reminds me of “The Masterplan” and “A Touch Of Blessing” from Evergrey blended together.

And I was all in.

“Count Your Days” starts off with crunching guitars and an octave lead which gels with the symphonic elements.

Then the singing starts.

The day when I waved goodbye I remember it well

Those momentous days of saying goodbye to someone are engraved in our minds. One chapter ends and a new one begins, for better or worse. And it’s hard to say goodbye to something, because of fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of other people’s opinions or the sadness that comes with saying goodbye.

Once the Chorus kicks in, it takes the track into AOR territory.

I took a look inside and I felt the great divide
In a world I fear that’s giving in to lies

The world was always giving in to lies. People believe what they read from the various newspapers and books. Reading critically is not easy, because it means you need to take another opposing view in mind, plus invest time to read widely. And people don’t want to take in a view that opposes their current beliefs.

And that melodic harmony lead break in the Outro.

How good is it?

The emotions it evokes, just makes me press repeat.

On YouTube, the video clip its shortened, so make sure you get the 6 minute plus version, so you can hear this lead break repeated endlessly before it fades out.

“Salvus” has this major key vibe in the intro, which hooks me in.

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.

Bring our dark to light

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

Just listen to the Chorus.

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.

And the guitar work from Porcianko is brilliant.

Check out Vanishing Point.

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

2000 – Part 10

Kings X – Please Come Home Mr Bulbous

Creativity is all about experimenting and I like it when artists experiment. It alienates some and it might not even bring in anyone new, but as a fan of music, I enjoy it when artists try to grow out of the box that the record labels tried to fit them in.

I didn’t hear this album until 2012.

After feedback and noise, the opening track “Fish Bowl Man” finally kicks in with its groove orientated riff. It’s a product of its time, more alternative than the hard progressive groove rock the band is known for.

On the other hand, “Julia” could have come from a Bush album.

“She’s Gone Away” moves between clean tone arpeggios and syncopated palm muted riffs, with a Beatles vocal melody. That riff before the Chorus should have been repeated a lot more.

“When You’re Scared” has another Beatles like riff, from “She’s So Heavy” with another vocal melody inspired by the Liverpool legends. And it’s no surprise that a lot of artists during this time had Beatles like vocal melodies. I called it the “Oasis Phenomenon”.

Check out the lead break from Ty Tabor on this track. Emotive, bluesy and when he had to shred, he did.

“Charlie Sheen” has some great guitar moments in the opening arpeggio riff and the staccato clean tone verse riff.

Here is a review from Mike Ladano that I agree with (and if you are a Kings X fan, he has reviewed most of their stuff).

Babylon A.D – American Blitzkrieg

The first two Babylon A.D albums are great listens, especially the debut. Then the labels started dropping hard rock bands while they started chasing Alternative sounding bands and Babylon A.D was lost to me.

I saw that this album came out via the Metal Edge magazine, but I never really looked for it in Australian shops, nor did I have any interest at that point in time. It was about 2008 when I came across it via a torrent. I downloaded it and pressed play on my winamp player.

Musically, it sounded different, but it was still hard rock to me.

The title track kicks it off with a rap like vocal line which reminds me of the Beastie Boys and a certain song called “Fight For Your Right”.

Then it goes into the song “War”.

You know the one.

“War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, say it again.”

That one.

“Magic Mary” has a voodoo power and a Charlie Manson smile. It’s hard rock but its sounding dirtier and grungier. It doesn’t matter what sound effects producers put on the guitars, a rock riff is a rock riff.

“I Wanna Live” has a Tool “Sober” like riff as inspiration for the Verses with a Cheap Trick inspired Chorus. A brilliant combination and one of my favourites on the album. “One Million Miles” from their newer album has a similar intro and verse which is like the Chorus.

“Sinking In The Sand” is one of their best tracks. Its heavy and melodic and the way the verses roll along with just the bass and the vocal line, it reminds me of “Lost Behind The Wall” from Dokken.

“The Sky Is Falling” is a slower tempo song and I like it. Other songs start to become interchangeable with previous songs and the album closers with “Superstar” a perfect hard rocker about seeking your fifteen minutes of fame. Its riffs remind me of songs like “Creepshow” and “Mudkicker” from Skid Row.

Cold – 13 Ways To Bleed on Stage

Released on Geffen Records.

“13 Ways To Bleed On Stage” is the album in which their spider logo made its first appearance.

It was a bargain bin purchase in Australia even though it was a Gold selling album in the U.S, as I always saw this album in discount bins. I picked it up in a 3 for $10 bin, so I paid $3.33 for it.

And I became a fan.

I really liked the Staind/Bush vibe of the album.

Scooter Ward on vocals sounded a lot like em but I didn’t care.

“No One”, “End Of The World” and “Confession” stood out right away. Modern rock songs.

“It’s All Good” has a vocal melody in the verses which is catchy.

“Bleed” has an acoustic arpeggio riff that reminds me of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

As the album closer it is my favourite.

On a side note, guitarist Terry Balsamo would depart after the 2003 follow up “Year Of The Spider” to fill the vacant guitarist spot left by Ben Moody in Evanescence.

Mudvayne – L.D. 50

The singer from a band I was in, who introduced me to Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit (mentioned in the 2000 – Part 9 post previously) also introduced me to Mudvayne.

I mentioned in the Kings X post that creativity is all about experimenting. Well, meet Mudvayne.

The press labelled em as “Slipknot Part 2” because they had painted faces. The press labelled em as Nu Metal as they released an album during the Nu Metal movement. But to compare Mudvayne to anything, you needed to listen to em.

They had progressive elements in their music and odd time signatures and because of these, another term came out of this debut which was “math rock”.

They had speed metal songs, jazz fusion breaks, and death metal vocals on some of the songs.

Pushing the boundaries of what is known as metal, that’s Mudvayne. To compare them to Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Creed, who became the faces of Nu Metal was wrong.

Bassist Ryan Martinie is unbelievable. His bass lines don’t just compliment, they add and enhance the song, as he mixes slap funk bass lines with metal, jazz, rock, chromatics and whatever other musical style he could find.

Guitarist Greg Tribbett is from the era of being influenced by Randy Rhoads.

Drummer Matt McDonough makes sense of all the chaos by keeping time, with tom rolls and a lot of double bass, and some excellent cymbal work.

Vocalist Chad Gray, who formed Hellyeah with Vinnie Paul and Tribbett, after is unique as well, moving between screaming, growling, gravel chainsaw like and melodic and leaving his $40K factory job to chase his dream of being a rock singer.

The album’s title is short for “Lethal Dosage 50”. It basically means the level of toxicity needed in a drug to kill half of the population.

“Dig” blasts out of the speakers with a funky bass riff, drums, power chords and gravel-throated vocals. Its telling the music business suits that they don’t care about their two cents input into their art. And it sets the trend of the album.

My favourite is “Death Blooms”. Musically its perfect and vocally the song moves between clean tone vocals and Gray’s talking vocal lines with a melodic Chorus which wouldn’t be out of place on a Tool or A Perfect Circle album.

Mob Rules – Temple of Two Suns

How could you not give a band a listen who carries a name from a pretty cool Black Sabbath album?

I pressed play, only to be confronted with sounds of Rainbow and Deep Purple on the opening track “Pilot Of Life”.

And I liked it.

It’s basically 80’s Hard Rock with some nice acoustic classical moments and in one song, some violin folk. It all sounds metal and for their second album, it’s a band still finding their feet.

There was enough here to get me interested to hear what would come next.

Tad Morose – Reflections

From Sweden, who play a sort of dark melodic progressive metal. Evergrey is a well-known band who plays this kind of dark prog.

“Reflections” is a compilation album from their first three albums, “Leaving The Past Behind” released in 1993, “Sender Of Thoughts” released in 1995 and “A Mended Rhyme” released in 1997.

The “Sender Of Thoughts” album is a favourite and I’ve been a fan since. So if you want to get a feel for the band, then this compilation is it.

See ya in 1985 for part 10.