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

Australian Method Series: The Poor – Who Cares

When Airbourne came out almost a decade later, most Australians would have said, “we have seen this movie before, and it’s called The Poor.”

But let’s go back a little bit. 

Formed in 1986 in Darwin, Northern Territory. The original line up would go through some changes before they end up with the members who would play on the recorded product.

In 1992, there was “The Poor Boys” who released the EP, “Rude, Crude & Tattooed” on Sony/Columbia Records. It was produced by The Angels’ members Rick Brewster and Bob Spencer. It got the band onto Radio and Music Television. It sounded more like “The Angels”, “Kings Of The Sun”, “Rose Tattoo” and “The Screaming Jets” than “AC/DC”. Then again, all of those bands have roots to AC/DC.

It also got them touring. 

In 1993, another EP called “Underfed” came out, which again, got them on the road. This was produced by Brent Eccles (also a member of The Angels). They followed this release by backing United States acts, “Alice in Chains” and “Suicidal Tendencies”, on the Australian leg of their combined tour. It’s always cool to have an act that rocks like AC/DC.

‘The Poor Boys:” then became “The Poor” to avoid confusion with a US group.

And then came “Who Cares” in 1994. A balls to the wall, sleazy rawk and roll album straight from the pubs and clubs of Australia. It was a middle finger salute to Seattle and Grunge and flannel shirts.

Produced by Paul Northfield, the band is made up of Skenie on lead vocals, original founder Julian Grynglas on guitar, Matt Whitby on bass and the nephew of the Young brothers James Young on drums.

They supported AC/DC on the “Ballbreaker” tour and that is when I got a chance to see them live.

Poison

If you like your AC/DC and D.A.D then you will like this and the innuendo in the Chorus hook, “come on baby, take your poison, you want it, I got it”. The only thing missing is “pulling the trigger of their love gun”.

Dirty Money

This could have come from Baby Animals and I like it. It also appeared as the opening track on their “Underfed” EP from a year before.

Man Of War

A Jimmy Page like acoustic fingerpicked intro kicks it off.

A serious attempt telling the “man of war to stop the bleeding”. I guess things haven’t changed. War is a constant in our lives.

At 1.23 the song kicks into overdrive. 

Tell Someone Who Cares

Oh, that riff in the intro, it could sink ships at its heaviness. It then drops out and lets the bass rumble when the verses kick in.

Press play to hear it. 

And the Chorus is basic, a tribute to those AC/DC Choruses. 

More Wine Waiter Please

What a title? 

Full of decadence and debauchery. The riff to introduce it is heavy and rolling. Once the drumming kicks in, it reminds me of “Deuce”.

If you like your hard sleazy rock, then press play on this. It’s a must on playlists.

Ain’t On The Chain

I know Accept liked AC/DC and on this, The Poor channel Accept’s take on AC/DC with a nod to Udo. Then again, you could say that they are channelling the Bon Scott era of AC/DC. But that is for the vocals. Musically, it has a lot of LA Sunset Strip style of rhythm playing.

This song also appeared on the “Underfed” EP from 1993.

Downtown

You can never get enough of acts showing their love for AC/DC. Think “Sin City” here.

Hair Of The Dog

I like the heaviness.

About going into a bar the other night and getting into a fight.

Liar

She’s a liar, a little two faced bitch.

Enough said, just press play.

Ride

It’s a thrash-a-roll. 

Only The Night

“Hit the road jack, ain’t gonna come back no more” comes to mind in the intro and then it goes into “Hot For Teacher”.

If you want to hear the decadent love child of AC/DC and Van Halen then press play on this.

As a bit of trivia this song goes back to the debut 4 song EP, “Rude, Crude and Tattooed” from 1992.

After the release they toured the U.S supporting, Scorpions before hitting Europe and Japan.

When they believed that the touring cycle was done for the album, they got a call in early 1996 to open for AC/DC on their Ballbreaker international tour.

And they weren’t done. They also got the Kiss support slot and in 1998 they also got the Van Halen support slot.

And we finally got some new music from then, a single called “Simple Livin'”, which was to be the first single from the follow-up to “Who Cares”. There was no identity crisis here for The Poor. While other acts tried to fit into the post Grunge, neo-industrial environment, The Poor channelled their love of Thin Lizzy and AC/DC to create “Simple Livin’” and its B-side “Love Isn’t On Again”.

But the new album never came and they disbanded in 2000 into two separate heavy rock projects called “Lump” and “Blackseed”.

Only to reform in April 2008 to play on an Australia tour with W.A.S.P.

Then a new album called “Round 1” came out in 2009 and “Round 2” in 2010 by Australian label “Riot!”.

And finally The Poor are in full swing with the soon to be released fourth album (first in thirteen years), “High Price Deed” on 2 February 2023.

The pre-release singles “Payback’s a Bitch”, “Cry Out”, “Let Me Go” and “Take the World” have impressed so far.

The band at this stage is Daniel Cox on guitar who joined in 2019, Anthony “Skenie” Skene is still on vocals and rhythm guitar, Matt Whitby is still on bass guitar and Gavin Hansen on drums, having replaced James Young in 1997.

Play it loud. 

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How Has It Aged: Van Halen – Balance

28 years ago. January 24, 1995.

The Seventh Seal

The sound of the monks immediately gets my attention.

When the whole band kicks in, the running bass line from Michael Anthony stands out, while EVH is playing power chords with the high E and B strings ringing out, Anthony is changing the root note.

Then the palm muted riff for the verse begins. It’s perfect.

How good is the section with the lyrics “under darkest skies”?

In relation to album openers, it’s one of their best since “Running With The Devil”.

Can’t Stop Loving You

It’s the Sammy Hagar vocal that rocks here over a chord progression influences by the 60’s and songs like “Stand By Me”.

EVH is also playing a-lot for the song, His free spirited approach is still there but focused.

Don’t Tell Me

When I purchased my 5150 Peavey Combo Amp, this was the first riff I played on it.

A simple riff, with some palm muting, the melodies from Hagar are perfect.

I like how EVH tweaks the chord progression for the second verse, bringing in some arpeggios.

The solo break is perfect. Just the three of em, jamming and no rhythm track. Plus we get an outro solo.

And underpinning it all is the Bonham like drumming from AVH.

Amsterdam

That section from the 3 minute mark. Wow. And I wanted that outro solo to continue until the band stopped but they faded it out.

Big Fat Money

A Bluesy tune but from the fingertips of EVH it’s like progressive blues. The energy is “Hot For Teacher” like level.

Hagar’s breathless delivery in the verses are a highlight. And AVH and Michael Anthony are solid in the rhythm foundations.

Strung Out

Yeah this track was a waste back then and still is. EVH is hitting the strings on the piano I think.

Not Enough

This one is a sleeper hit. Their take on songs like “Hey Jude”. B

Check out the solo here from EVH. His phrasing and his Bluesy bends are the highlight.

Aftershock

My favorite track here. Its shredding. I felt that they tried to rewrite it with “Humans Being”.

Regardless, press play and let your ears enjoy the Van Hagar version at their Metal best.

Especially that section from 2.48.

Then again the solo from EVH is a masterclass in different techniques.

Doin Time

Yeah, I would have left this off.

Baluchiterium

And this as well.

Take Me Back

EVH channels his love of Jimmy Page.

Feelin

An awesome deep cut. Eddie goes to town in the solo.

“Balance” is so underrated in the world of VH. It is heavy, yet it has a bit of everything.

The drama that came after the “Ambulance Tour” between Hagar, manager Ray Daniels and the Van Halen brothers shrouds the greatness of the album.

And before I forget, the production from Bruce Fairbairn is stellar.

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How Has It Aged: Megadeth – Dystopia

January 23, 2016.

Seven years ago, Megadeth dropped “Dystopia”. Their 15th studio album and one of their best in the 2000 era of the band.

I reviewed the album on the site when it dropped and again a few years ago.

I keep making mention of the powerhouse drumming from Chris Adler, who at the time was still in Lamb Of God and worked as a “hired gun” on this. I still don’t believe I have done his contributions justice. His command of the kick drum is a must listen for any aspiring drummer. He locks into the riffs when he needs do, he plays simple when he needs to and he can thrash and roll when he needs to.

The cover is striking and memorable.

Being from Sydney, the Harbour Bridge is an iconic land monument which when built connected the Northern and Southern parts of Sydney, so seeing a bridge that looks very similar to it in a state of destruction and disrepair, immediately gets my attention.

Then you have those “1984” aerial devices that either “spy on you” or act as “judge, jury and executioner” for the ruling party.

And then there is “the humanoid”, holding the decapitated head of another humanoid.

The Threat Is Real

A mournful Middle Eastern voice begins the song before a fast open string riff is deployed with military precision.

And I am hooked.

Dystopia

The title track.

It brings back memories of “Hanger 18” which of course had its main riff based on a progression that Mustaine wrote for “The Call Of Ktulu”.

The whole outro section is essential listening. Especially how Chris Adler brings it to a frantic end.

Fatal Illusion

Groove, chromatics and dissonance. They are not meant to work together but they do in the fingertips of Mustaine.

At the 60 second mark, the bass from David Ellefson stands alone as he plays the main riff.

When the whole band crashes in, my ears tune in again to the drumming of Chris Adler.

In composition it reminds me of “Wake Up Dead”, riffs upon riffs and no section which could be a Chorus as every section could be one.

Death From Within

I didn’t gravitate to this song back then but I was a fool. It’s 12/8 “Children Of The Grave” rhythm hooked me in straight away today.

Bullet To The Brain

The acoustic arpeggio intro is brief. Its classical influenced but not really classical.

But the best bit is the melodic lead played over the verse riff between 0.39 and 0.56. This happens again from 1.40 to 1.53.

I also like the section I call “The Disturbed Section” between 1.12 and 1.29. This also happens again from 2.10 to 2.28.

The lead breaks on this song are “Guitar Hero” wow.

Post American World

A throwback to “Symphony To Destruction” and those accessible riffs.

Poisonous Shadows

The acoustic intro, which reminds me of a solo section from “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” between the 8.50 and 9.10 mark. Since the song is a co-wrote with Kiko Loureiro, I presume he wrote this riff.

Press play to hear it and then compare the two. The keys are different, the speed is different but the way the notes move is the same.

Listen to the way Adler locks in the kick drum with the riff in the verses.

The Chorus reminds me of a similar song from the album “The World Needs A Hero”. I think it’s “Promises” which is another forgotten track from the vast catalogue that is Megadeth.

Conquer Or Die

It’s an instrumental written by Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro.

A flamenco intro from Kiko starts the song which I like.

Lying In State

My favourite song from the album and it’s up there as one of the finest Megadeth songs.

The drums from Chris Adler on this are powerful. While the riffs serve as the songs foundation and Mustaine vocals are top notch, it is the way Adler performs on the drums that elevates the song.

That whole section from 2.19 is “smash the walls” stuff. When the melodic lead break starts, I’m ready to go through the wall.

The Emperor

There’s no way you can’t like the way it starts off. It’s got this “Dread And The Fugitive Mind” kind of feel.

Foreign Policy

It’s a “Fear” cover.

For those who don’t know. FEAR, is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1977. Since its formation, the band has gone through various line-up changes, and at one point featured Flea on bass.

This song appeared on “The Record”, the debut studio album released on May 16, 1982. Dave Grohl holds this album in high regard and he interviewed vocalist/rhythm guitarist Lee Ving for the 2013 documentary film “Sound City”.

Duff McKagan picked the song “We Destroy the Family” for his 2016 list “The 10 Best Punk Songs” and said, “Fear’s debut album “The Record” still gets played backstage before he goes on.

“Let’s Have a War” was included on the “Repo Man” soundtrack album and covered by A Perfect Circle on the album “eMOTIVe”.

Hearing this song, you can hear how thrashy the hard-core punk movement was in L.A. The song could have been written by Mustaine as it has that technicality that Megadeth is known for.

Melt The Ice Away

It’s basically a fast blues NWOBHM track.

For those who don’t know, it’s a Budgie cover. That same Budgie that wrote “Breadfan” which Metallica covered

Budgie remained quite obscure during their career, however a lot of hard rock/metal artists have cited them as an important influence and covered their songs, including Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Van Halen, Queens of the Stone Age, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. It’s an impressive list.

This song appeared on Budgie’s seventh album, released in February 1978 on A&M Records.

Overall, “Dystopia” is a masterpiece.

A lot of bands don’t get to fifteen albums and if they do, it is very rare that the album is any good.

Sort of like “Super Collider” released in 2013 was; where the best song is a cover from Thin Lizzy. Okay “Kingmaker” is one of the best opening tracks Megadeth have written.

But that was it.

Okay the title track “Super Collider” also gets a pass and although it was weird to hear Mustaine sing “Burn, Baby, Burn” and rhyming “fire” with “desire” the song “Burn” is a pretty cool hard rock track which actually reminds me of early Budgie.

But overall, critics hated it and the fans hated it even more. Something had to be done.

So Mustaine corrected the “Super Collider” hard rock experiment with the progressive speed metal album “Dystopia”. He had too and by doing so, he replenished his fan base all around the world and he grew it even more in South America with the addition of Kiko Loureiro.

Plus they won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for “Dystopia” and when they got up to get their award, “Master Of Puppets” played from Metallica. Nice one Grammy’s. Rookie mistake 101.

And the album has aged really well. It sounds as current as it did back in 2016.

Crank it.

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The Record Vault: Dream Theater – Train Of Thought

Each Dream Theater album had touched on the sounds that I would class as Thrash Metal and Heavy Metal. But on “Train Of Thought” they decided to live in this metal/thrash world. And I liked it.

It begins with an album cover that has Black as its main colour screaming Metal. Then again, Pink Floyd did have a black cover for an album that sold multi millions and it had nothing to do with metal, more like dreamy acid rock.

“Train of Thought” was released on November 11, 2003 through Elektra Records before its parent company Warner Music Group decided to merge Elektra Records with Atlantic Records to become Atlantic Records Group in 2004, only to give the Elektra name a new lease of life in 2009 as an independent entity up until 2018, when WMG relaunched Elektra Music as a stand-alone, staffed music company, with labels like Roadrunner Records, Low Country Sound, Fuelled By Ramen and Black Cement under it.

As I Am

This song is a balls to the wall metal classic.

It starts off with the Black Sabbath riff to kick it off. Yes, it is that Black Sabbath riff.

Then it goes into an “Enter Sandman” like groove for the verses. It gets the foot tapping, and the head banging.

Dream Theater toured with Queensryche in 2003. At this point in time, Queensryche’s commercial zenith was in the past and Dream Theater’s star was still rising. Mike Stone was the guitarist in Queensryche, carrying out the Chris DeGarmo role. And Stone decided he should give John Petrucci tips on playing guitar.

Every time you hear the lyric line “Don’t tell me what’s in, tell me how to write”, just think of Mike Stone giving Petrucci tips.

I like the lead break. It is old school and it burns. There is no rhythm guitar track, just bass, keys and drums. Exactly what EVH did when he soloed on a lot of VH tracks.

Vocally, LaBrie is at his metal best. His voice might strain in the live arena, but in the studio, LaBrie is a master.

This Dying Soul

The feedback from “As I Am” segues into the fast groove metal of “This Dying Soul”.

Here, Mike Portnoy continues his “Twelve-Step Suite”, which started with “The Glass Prison” on “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence”.

For those who don’t know, “The Glass Prison” has the following sections; “I. Reflection”, “II. Restoration” and “III. Revelation”. “This Dying Soul” has the following sections; “IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)” and “V: Release”. All of the sections are steps in the Alcohol Anonymous Recovery program.

After the thrash-a-thon in the intro, the song gives way to a Tool like groove and vocal melody in the verses. And I like it.

There is this “Blackened is the end” vocal melody in “V:Release”. Once you hear it, you will recognise it. I can’t say I am a huge fan of the loud speaker rap like verses, but I do give full marks for incorporating new elements into their music.

And since these songs are part of the same universe they do share some of the lyrics and melodies.

Endless Sacrifice

The acoustic intro.

It can remind you of Pink Floyd or Pantera depending on your listening history. They touched on these kind of melancholic riffs in “Peruvian Skies” from “Falling Into Infinity”.

But, it is the Chorus that brings the energy.

Then at 4.56, all hell breaks loose as they make their way into the solo section of the song. It’s got this “Creeping Death” meets “Disposable Heroes” palm-muted patterns.

For 8 seconds between 6.28 to 6.36 it sounds like it came from a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon.

Check out the harmony section from 8.58 which gets em out of the solo section and into the final part of the song.

Honor Thy Father

My favourite song for the riffs and melodies. It’s a metal tour-de-force.

The subject matter about Mike Portnoy’s stepfather didn’t resonate with me, but man, the riffs and melodies are fantastic.

After the heavy intro, press play to hear the first verse. And how good is the arena rock Chorus.

When the second verse rolls again, the original riff is played with distortion and man, it works so well. But at 3.51. instead of going into the Chorus again, they go into a verse with the riff tweaked a little bit more to make it sound different and unique.

And like all the songs on the album, from the 5 minute mark they go into a lengthy solo section.

Vacant

It’s the shortest song on the album, at 3 minutes long. It’s a haunting piano riff (which sounds like the bass riff to start of “Stream Of Consciousness”), with a little bit of an orchestra and LaBrie’s vocals.

The lyrics to “Vacant” were inspired by James LaBrie’s daughter, who fell into a short coma after suffering a sudden, unexplained seizure three days before her seventh birthday.

Stream of Consciousness

The DT instrumentals always have memorable sections via a lead or a riff. This song is no different especially the first two minutes. Essential listening.

The title had been around for a while in the DT world. 

Of course, the solo from Petrucci is Guitar Hero stuff. Yes, there is flash and some fast picking, but it’s so melodic as well. If you like the playing of people like Steve Morse, Al DiMeola, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani, then you will like what Petrucci does here. 

And at 7.30 that fantastic intro music comes back in, more ferocious with a few little tweaks.

The whole  is the longest instrumental on a Dream Theater studio album to date and was the intended title for Falling Into Infinity.

And one of the YouTube comments on the song still cracks me, “LaBrie never sounded better”.

In the Name of God

The closer at 14.15 about religion and how it indoctrinates people to kill in its name.

The acoustic intro sets the tone, before the distortion crashes in. It’s a slow groove by Portnoy before they pick it up and play it double time.

The verse riff is head banging and it reminds me of “As I Am”. Petrucci drops out and lets Myung roll with it on the bass, while Petrucci switches to decorating.

LaBrie is a monster on the vocals here. Listen to him between 4.46 and 5.30. Throat ripping stuff.

As is the theme of the album, they then go into a long solo section in the middle of the song.  

Press play to hear Petrucci wail between from the 8.40 mark.

The album did exactly what it needed to do. It put them on tour again, it got them into large metal festivals, something which they couldn’t do before and it renewed their fan base with metal heads. 

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The Week (Last Few Months Actually) In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 21 to October 31


4 Years Ago

FLYING

Patience. I’ve never confirmed it or looked it up, but i was told once it’s a French word meaning “to suffer”.

And the memories of being patient, flying 14 hours from Sydney to Doha and putting up with screaming little kids. Thankfully they were not mine.

And since the flights are so long, I caught up on movies like “War for The Planet Of The Apes”, “The Quiet Place” and “I, Tonya”. Then we wait 5 hours, board another plane from Doha to Berlin, I watched “American Animals” and “Hotel Artemis” and checked out the audio section. And pressed play on “Walk The Earth” from Europe, along with “Firepower” and “Turbo Lover” from Judas Priest.

During this period, the site became a Travel Blog, as I was doing regular updates of my European adventures in Berlin, More Berlin, Estonia, St Petersburg, More St Petersburg, The Norwegian Breakaway, Macedonia, More Macedonia and The Roma People.

After this holiday I was planning to take in more of the Balkans and the parts of Italy and Austria that surround the Adriatic Sea. This was all planned for 2020. We all know how that panned out.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

It’s messed-up when humans experiment on other humans and mess with their lives.

Like when people of influence placed triplets from a single mother into three different families across different states. And in the name of science, they lied to the adopted families when they turned up to observe how the kids were progressing.

If you haven’t seen this documentary, watch it.

UPBRINGINGS

I grew up in a steel city and the plan was the same for everyone. Finish high school, get an apprenticeship at the local steel mill, become a tradesman and work until retirement with a nice little nest egg and a government funded pension.

Maybe that worked out okay once upon a time, but as Dylan said, “the times started changing”. The steel mill that used to employ 25,000 back in the mid-70s now employs less than 700. My Dad worked his whole life there, I haven’t worked not one day there. Then again. I was a misfit falling in and out of jobs.

STEVE VAI and OZZMOSIS

In 1994, Ozzy started jamming with Steve Vai. After writing for a certain period, Bob Daisley was called in. Once rehearsals started, it was pretty obvious that Vai’s style didn’t fit Ozzy’s style. But the Ozzy Camp didn’t fire Vai. They told him that the label was shelving the album.

With Vai gone, Daisley and Castronovo got a phone call a few days after to reconvene with Zakk Wylde on guitar. Daisley then got replaced by Geezer Butler.

Steve Vai’s involvement on the “Ozzmosis” album became limited to co-writing just one song “My Little Man”.

And while the song is credited to Ozzy and Vai, I always had my doubts if Ozzy wrote the lyrics.

So, if Ozzy didn’t write them, who did?

Well, the lyrics came from the great Lemmy Kilmister.

Yep, Lemmy wrote the lyrics about his son Paul. But Ozzy told everyone he wrote the lyrics about his son Jack.

All of the debates about intellectual property and how it’s valuable and how copyright protects the writer. It’s bullshit. The real writer is not even credited.

Copyright is a mess and the Copyright’s for Ozzy’s songs are even messier. Much like how Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley got shafted for the “Bark At The Moon” album.

DYNAZTY

Dynazty came onto my radar in 2016. Actually I heard of em a few years before but avoided them because of the band name, thinking they would sound like Kiss, and why did they spell it with a ‘Z’.

They exist completely off the mainstream radar screen, doing their thing and building their catalogue of songs. And eventually, people will notice. But it takes time. I’m a fan and I don’t even know who the members are in the band.

How is that possible?

It’s so far removed from the label gatekeeper 80’s/90’s model. But in the new streaming era streams are more important than sales and people are listening. Music is a lifers game. You’re either in it for life or it’s just a passing hobby.

And Dynazty are in it for life.

LIVE AFTER DEATH

It’s the best live album out there and it was my first exposure to Iron Maiden. It’s also a pretty good reason why I didn’t feel the need to buy the first four albums until later on.

At the time I didn’t know it, but the tempo of the songs are just a bit quicker on the live album compared to the recorded versions and I’ve grown to know the songs at those tempos. If you don’t believe me, compare the two “Hallowed Be Thy Name” versions.

And I heard Bruce Dickinson sing the DiAnno era songs first, and because of this I can’t get into the DiAnno versions. But i do like them.

This album is also the reason why I purchased a ticket for each of the two Sydney shows on the “Somewhere Back In Time” tour of 2008.

Maiden did find gold again with the “Rock In Rio” release. Especially the DVD. And on this release, Bruce brought to life songs from the Blaze fronted era.

I also purchased the DVD for “Flight 666” which I rank as Maiden’s third best live album and a great memento for the two nights I watched em perform the same set.

COHEED AND CAMBRIA

“Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures” was the new album in 2018. Another concept album.

My first concept experience was “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensryche, then “The Crimson Idol” from WASP and then “Streets: A Rock Opera” from Savatage. But Coheed take “concept” to another level, with more or less each album except one being part of a concept story called “The Amory Wars”.

Here is my quick summary. There are far more detailed versions out there.

A scientist called Sirius Amory discovers an energy source called “The Keywork” is made up of souls who haven’t transcended. This happens on “The Afterman” album.

Many years later, a person called Wilhelm Ryan starts using the energy of the Keywork to murder and rule. Coheed and Cambria are humanoid robots created to destroy Ryan. Along with a person called Inferno, who also is a robot, they attack Ryan’s fortress and manage to destroy it. Ryan survives, however Coheed and Cambria think he’s dead. Thinking it’s over, their memory is wiped. This happens on “The Year Of The Black Rainbow”.

In “The Second Stage Turbine Blade” Coheed and Cambria get killed and their last surviving son, Claudio, is left to take up the charge. I’m still not sure how humanoid robots have children. But the recent Bladerunner movie also has this story arc.

Claudio finds out that he’s like the chosen one in “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth”.

In “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. I: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” there is a character called “The Writer” that starts to mess up the story because he’s going through a relationship break up. It reminds me of the Matrix characters “The Keymaker” merged with “The Architect”.

In “No World For Tomorrow”, Claudio destroys the Keywork and releases the trapped souls. And the new album “Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures” takes place after this event.

OLI HERBET

“Overcome” made All That Remains (ATR) accessible to me, and I’ve been a fan since.

The first track “Before the Damned” started blasting out of my headphones. Musically it’s excellent. While the death metal vocals happen in the verses, the Chorus is Arena Rock.

At 2.04 we get this head banging metal breakdown and the solo begins at 2.09 over that same head banging breakdown riff. The solo is chromatic and diminished, in the same way Randy Rhoads shreds on “Diary of a Madman”. This concludes at 2.19. It sounds dissonant and atonal.

And the main man behind the guitar is Oli Herbert. A great guitar player, founding member of All That Remains and songwriter who passed away at 44.

Rest In Peace.

I’M READY

It’s a track that Oli Herbert (RIP) co-wrote for Dee Snider’s solo album “For The Love Of Metal”. The other writers are Charlie Bellmore, Nicholas Bellmore and Jamey Jasta.

Crank it.

LEARNING MUSIC IN REVERSE

When I hear a song I like, I seek out more songs from the same artist. And I repeat the cycle with different artists. It’s how I got into music. It happened to me in the 80s.

When I heard Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Kiss and Judas Priest, I didn’t think for a second that these bands would have had influences.

I never understood the debates over Kingdom Come in the 80’s until well into the 90’s when I started seeking out bands from the 70s and started to pay real attention to Led Zeppelin. Then I had that “ah ha” moment and I understood why Kingdom Come were labelled copycats.

I remember when I first heard Aerosmith and Whitesnake. It was in 1987 and I had no idea these bands had a long history dating back to the Seventies.

The beauty of music. I listen, I get moved by the listening and I start to explore.

THE ONE YOU LOVED IS GONE

What a solo from Slash! Actually, two solos. But it’s the middle one that hooks me. And yeah, it might sound like an Alter Bridge song, but that solo is 100% pure grade Slash.

UTOPIA RECORDS

It had the motto “The Home Of Heavy Metal”.

I’d never seen pictured vinyl before, well Utopia had them. I’d never seen 12-inch singles of metal bands before, well Utopia had them as well. And those yellow and black plastic bags with the logo and branding proved to be a badge of honor. It’s like we got patched into the club the same way bike gangs’ patch in their members.

The first location was in Martin Place from 1978 to 1980 and the second location in Martin Place was from 1980 to 1990. It was this second location that I first visited. From 1990 to 1995, they moved to Clarence Street, Sydney, not too far from the original shop. I waited in line for a Sepultura meet and greet because my cousin Mega was a fan of the band. He took in his battered snare skin for signing. Even Igor the Sepultura drummer, was impressed at the brutality of the snare skin.

Hours would be spent here, and some big decisions would be made as to what to buy between my cousin and me Then as soon as we got back to my cousins house, I would dub the records he purchased, and he would dub the records I purchased.

From 1995 to 2001, they moved to George Street, Sydney next to Hungry Jacks and then from 2001 to 2006 they moved across the road under the cinemas. The bigger Utopia got, the uniqueness culture it created for metal heads got lost.

The last time I walked into Utopia was at an address on Broadway in Sydney. They occupied this store between 2006 to 2010. But during this time, they did things differently by having live bands in store and battle of the band’s contests. They kept it going. They kept the name in the conversation. From 2010, they have been at their Kent Street address, and I haven’t been. But I have purchased items online. And I will return one day, because that’s what us Metal fans do.

PIRACY

Debates and arguments never cease when it comes to Piracy.

I became a fan of a lot of bands because of pirated material. Bands like Trivium, Coheed and Cambria, Shinedown, In Flames, Evergrey, Killswitch Engage, The Night Flight Orchestra and Corroded just to name a few. And I had no qualms paying ticket prices if these bands came to town.

High profile bands from the Eighties also had a renaissance in the 2000’s because of pirated material. Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Europe and Whitesnake come to mind immediately. Provided they still wanted to work together. Bands like Skid Row, Ratt, Warrant and Dokken unfortunately missed out because key members hated each other.

It’s a pretty simple business model. Have your music available worldwide for free and people will access it.

All of those bands mentioned above have played cities they’ve never played before and to crowds larger than before. They played these cities without selling any real recorded product in those cities. I can tell you that in Eastern Europe, I did not come across a legitimate music shop. The few shops I did come across (and I use that term loosely) sell rips of albums.

8 Years Ago

ADRIAN VANDENBERG COMPENDIUM

Adrian Vandenberg came to my attention from his tenure in Whitesnake (when he and Vivan Campbell) replaced John Sykes. However, Vandenberg was David Coverdale’s first choice for the lead guitar slot, however Vandenberg turned the gig down to focus on his own band and John Sykes was given the gig instead.

Click on the link in the tile to read my compendium of Adrian Vandenberg classic songs and riffs which covers his projects from 1983 to 2014.

Since then, he has released three Vandenberg’s MoonKings albums with the self-titled debut (2014), “MK II” (2017) and “Rugged and Unplugged” (2018). And then after he was allowed to use his name again as a band name, he released the excellent ‘2020″.

JOHN SYKES COMPENDIUM

Since I was on a Whitesnake journey, click on the link in the tile to read my John Sykes compendium which covers his career from “Tygers Of Pan Tang” all the way to his solo career in the 90’s. But while Adrian Vandenberg re-entered the recorded music market in 2014, John Sykes has been absent since 2001, with only a few YouTube videos appearing in the last 5 years.

HENDRIX AND THE MADNESS OF COPYRIGHT

The music of Jimi Hendirx should be in the Public Domain. When Hendrix wrote the songs, Copyright Law at the time was for a total of 56 years (which involved a 28-year term initially and provided the artist renewed the registration, they would get another 28 years). But laws passed in the 70’s retroactively placed these recordings under new laws which meant, 75 years after death. Basically, it will not enter the public domain for another 20 plus years.

Remember when a Jimi Hendrix Biopic called “Jimi: All Is By My Side” came out and it didn’t have any original music from Hendrix. Well, the Jimi Hendrix Estate denied all attempts to license the music unless they had control over the story line of the movie. The producers felt that this would not gel well with their vision so what the public got was a movie where the actor who plays Hendrix is performing cover songs of other bands.

HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

Evergrey is one of my favourite bands and you can read my biased review on “Hymns For The Broken”.

VOLBEAT AND RIAA CERTIFICATIONS

Volbeat in 2014 just kept getting RIAA Certifications.

It showed the music business that “Recognition Comes Much Later” for Heavy Metal bands. Volbeat entered the mainstream American market ten years after they formed. It also showed the Heavy Metal community that “Streaming Is Not The Enemy” as Volbeat’s streaming numbers are in the multi-millions for certain songs.

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Yngwie Malmsteen released four good albums in “Rising Force” (1984), “Marching Out” (1985), “Trilogy” (1986), “Odyssey” (1988) and two average albums in “Eclipse” (1990) and the big budget “Fire & Ice” (1992).

And here he was in 2014, shooting his mouth off with statements like “no new guitar players” and “no new good music”.

PAUL STANLEY

And Malmsteen was joined by Paul Stanley.

GUITAR HEROES

So I did a post on the new guitar heroes in response to Malmsteen’s comments.

AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AND THE RISE OF THE INDIES

Australian Music is ALWAYS a rich vibrant scene. And it is a scene that is underpinned by independent artists. Financially it is a miserable livelihood however the emotional experience is rewarding. And there is no escaping that Australian Independent artists are some of the hardest working artists around and also the lowest paid members of the Australian workforce. The sad thing is that the elite levels of Government have no idea about the independent artists. Any Government funding goes to the large Industry bodies who don’t really disperse the monies to the artists doing the rounds on the streets.

Independently minded musicians and label owners are the ones that are pushing boundaries in music because they want control over what’s being released, when it’s released, and how it’s released. And they are not afraid to use the major labels when it suits them, but ultimately they’re calling the shots.

For a musician it is an exciting time to be a part of the music scene. Especially if you are an indie.

JUNE 1993

It’s June 1993 and I am flicking through the new issue of Hot Metal Magazine, which at the time was Australia’s premier metal and rock magazine. On the cover there was the John Bush fronted Anthrax.

“The Sound Of White Noise” got 5 skulls in the magazine review, which equates to ‘KILLER’. A few months after its release the album was certified GOLD.

Then you have the bloodbath from the Eighties scene.

Jani Lane (RIP) and Warrant had split and both acts had their contracts reduced to demo deals. Imagine that. You had three albums that had moved 500,000 plus units each, and they ended up on the scrap-heap. Kik Tracee also split with vocalist Stephen Shareaux (bet he wished he tried harder for that Motley Crue vocalist spot) and both of them had been reduced to a demo deal.

Meanwhile Rowan Robertson from “The Lock Up The Wolves” Dio era inked a deal with Atlantic Records for his new band that had Oni Logan from Lynch Mob on vocals. We all know that this didn’t end up going anywhere.

While, Roberston’s former employer, Dio (RIP) was working with WWIII guitarist Tracy G after his “Dehumanizer” venture with Black Sabbath went sour. These sessions would go on to create the “Strange Highways” album while Jake E.Lee was working with WWIII singer (and I use that term loosely) Mandy Lion.

Reports coming through at that time spoke about the new Bruce Dickinson solo album being an “updated, toughened up Santana vibe with a heavy leaning towards Peter Gabriel type atmospherics and experimentation.” That album would become “Balls To Picasso” and apart from the song “Tears Of The Dragon” which sounds like an Iron Maiden song the rest of the album was a listen best avoided.

On the drug front we had David Lee Roth getting busted in New York after purchasing a $10 bag of weed. Seriously, for someone like his stature surely he could have done it more discreetly or gotten that $10 bag delivered to the studio. However, Roth is Roth and he decided that he should go out into the town and look for a dealer. On the other drug front, there was news that started coming out about Tim Kelly (RIP) from Slaughter who was alleged to have been involved in a major drug smuggling ring that was busted after a five-year investigation by the F.B.I.

Then we had the Motley Crue vs Vince Neil shenanigans.

The Vince Neil “Exposed” album got a good review in the magazine. I suppose it was inevitable that the solo album from Vince Neil would sound a lot like Motley Crue, even though NIkki Sixx insisted that Vince Neil had nothing to do with the creation of the songs in Motley Crue or the Motley sound. I think Nikki Sixx missed the memo that the actual voice plays a big part in the sound. Credit music business vet Phil Soussan for delivering a stellar performance in the song writing department that helped kick-start Vince’s solo career.

SEPTEMBER 1991

So I am flicking through an old issue of Guitar World that goes back to September 1991 and there is a D’Addario ad with the title “Young Guns II”. Read the post to find out what happened to these “Young Guns.”

METAL EVOLUTION – GLAM METAL EPISODE

I watched the Metal Evolution Glam Rock, Thrash and Grunge documentaries a few nights ago. When you play “The Trooper” as your intro riff to the series, how can you not like it.

If it wasn’t for “Sonic Temple” from The Cult and “Dr Feelgood” from Motley Crue there would be no such thing as the “Black” sound and the millions of metal bands that the Metallica album spawned.

Franke Banali the drummer from Quiet Riot cracked me up with his assessment of Edward Van Halen “the name sounds like a painter”.

It’s good to see Spencer Proffer get recognition for his idea of trying to find a band to record “Cum On Feel The Noize” from Slade. It was a game changer for Quiet Riot even though they resisted it.

Then you have the big heavy metal day on the 1983 U.S festival. It was a game changer for the LA scene and for metal in general.

John Kalonder was hilarious. When he spoke, I couldn’t stop laughing. He sounded like that baddy voice over dub in the movie “Kung Pow”.

And it was a time of excess. If Tawny Kitaen is to be believed, then the 1987 Whitesnake album cost over $2 million dollars to record and produce.

Dunn’s reporting of the “Guns N Roses Effect” on glam rock spot on. Glam Rock died because it got over saturated with inferior bands, along with Gunners showing up the movement with their nod to Seventies classic rock. When Grunge came along with its nod to 70’s bands and punk rock, it offered an alternative to the clichéd glam rock styles and lyrics.

“Bang you Head.”

And that’s a wrap for stories posted back in October, 4 Years and 8 Years ago. Next up are stories posted in November during the same period.

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

1986 – Part 5.5: Eurythmics – Revenge

How cool is the painting for the cover?

When I first heard “Sweet Dreams” I said, that’s “Crazy Train”. I don’t care how Dave Stewart spins it, he was definitely influenced by Randy Rhoads. If you don’t believe me, listen to this recent cover version of the song from Iron Savior.

I guess they heard the similarities as well.

Anyway, “Revenge” is album number 5, released on 29 June 1986 by RCA Records in the United Kingdom and on 14 July in the United States.

All tracks are written by Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart.

Missionary Man

I like the groove on this song.

Thorn in My Side

This song is excellent. The intro riff alone is iconic in my book.

When Tomorrow Comes

A rarity on the album, written by keyboardist Patrick Seymour.

It’s a melodic AOR rocker.

The Last Time

The rock sounds continue.

The Miracle of Love

This is a song that has survived the test of time. It is one of those crossover songs that works well in hard rock and normal rock. The intro keyboard lead sounds so good on a distorted guitar, sort of like the sax solo on “Careless Whisper”.

For me, it’s a 5 out of 5 for side A.

Side B is a good listen but the track titles always seem to escape me.

Let’s Go!

It’s got a New Wave vibe, with a bit of rock.

Take Your Pain Away

Repetitive with a funky bluesy bass groove.

A Little of You

The Chorus is addictive. Press play to hear it.

In This Town

It’s like they are warming up in soundcheck. And then it kicks in, with a rhythm and blues “Mustang Sally” vibe. The hook of “in this town something got to change” will always be relevant, considering how crazy and divisive towns have become.

I Remember You

A lonely Sax player is wailing away with the sounds of streets noise as the song builds. It’s not a favourite, as it percolates without exploding.

Side B is a 1 out of 5 and not as strong as the opening side.

This album was huge in Australia, reaching number 2 in the Charts and hanging around for a long time on the backs of the singles, eventually reaching a 4x Platinum certification. All the radio stations played the songs and the music video stations played the music clips.

And what is good for Australia, New Zealand likes as well, with the album certified 5x Platinum. Other places the album received certifications include Austria (Gold), Canada and the UK, (2× Platinum), Finland, Norway and Switzerland (Platinum), , while it only got a Gold certification in the U.S, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Press play on the first five songs and check out Iron Savior’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” on the YT link provided.

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A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 1 to August 14

4 Years Ago (2018)

Dee Snider

Dee Snider released “For The Love Of Metal” and it’s basically metal music the way I knew it. Which is very different to how metal music is known these days with hard-core growls and scream vocals added to the mix. I even remember when AC/DC was found in the Heavy Metal section of the record shop, whereas now if you do find a record shop, AC/DC is in the rock section. Even Bon Jovi was classed as “heavy metal” once upon a time. It was a broad classification, that’s for sure.

Dee’s message of the outcasts standing together against oppression and censorship and authority resonated big time with me in the 80’s. I didn’t care about the look. I never got into a band because they looked cool. The music is always the entry point.

The area I grew up in had a lot of migration from Europe. And the residents didn’t like it. Nor did they like the different languages the new migrants spoke. But somehow, we found ways to get along in suburbia. But in the schools’ it was a different story. There was no “cool” teacher like there is nowadays.

Actually, all of the teachers I had were oppressive and they hated rock music. It’s probably why songs like “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll”, “Bad Boys (Of Rock N Roll”, “Come Out And Play” and “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)” resonate.

When Twisted disbanded in 87, Dee wasn’t in the news a lot, except for a few little paragraphs here and there in a magazine about his upcoming Desperado project. Then that project got killed by record label bosses, then Widowmaker got up and running, however Grunge came and suddenly it felt like the biggest voice in my life was missing during the “golden commercial years” of metal and rock music.

But Dee is a lifer. He battled tooth and nail to make it, so there was no way he was going to lay dormant. And like it was written in some holy book, Dee came back, more diverse than ever. He became a movie maker, a radio show host, a solo artist, an author and when TS reformed, he led them up front all the way to the last show.

And his solo music probably doesn’t have the same public acceptance as the Twisted music, but it doesn’t mean it’s not important or influential. As I’ve said before, a million sales of an album doesn’t mean you have 1 million fans. You just have a million people who purchased the album. Some would have liked it and played it over and over again, some would have heard it once and never played it again.

With hundreds of releases coming out each day, compared to the 50 odd each month in 1984, each artist is fighting against the same tide. Fans can spread the word and make the new release rise above the waters.

In saying all that, “For The Love Of Metal” deserves to be in the public conversation and credit Jamey Jasta in challenging Dee to make this record, as well as produce it with Nick Bellmore and write music/lyrics for it.

For the love of metal, check out my review here.

Candlebox – Sometimes

The 90’s didn’t feel that far away, but man the Candlebox debut album dropped in 1993, which makes it 29 years old. The truth is, Candlebox is so good on the debut album, I decided to give other 90’s bands a listen.

The “Purple Rain” sounding “Far Behind” is the star of the debut album. Then you had “Don’t You” and “Change” that rock as hard as any 80’s band and I used to cover “You” in bands I played in. I love the B minor key for songs and to be honest, a lot of punters thought it was an original.

And “Cover Me”, is hidden all the way at the back end of the album at number 10. Brilliant track and a great solo section.

I didn’t get the “Lucy” album until a few years after its release. And something was missing. You know the whole saying, you have a lifetime to write your first album and you just write music that suits your tastes when you start out. Then your music breaks through into the mainstream and suddenly you feel like you need to write hits. I’m not sure if this was on their minds, but something definitely was. Because it was different. Maybe I just moved on. Who knows.

Anyway, “Happy Pills” came out and like “Lucy” I didn’t lay out money on it for a few years after it was released. Actually, by the time I got it, the band was already broken up. I was listening to the album, while I was working, not really paying attention, like it was background music and then “Sometimes” came on.

I stopped and listened. And just like that, Candlebox was back in my headspace.

2014 (8 Years Ago)

Nothing…… No posts. Zero. Zilch.

The European trip I was on, was for a total of 10 weeks all up. The way I see it is easy. The distance from Australia to Europe is massive. So if I am going to pack up my family and go, it needed to be worth it.

To get to any part of Europe from Sydney, will take about 22 hours of flying, plus waiting times at stop overs. For this trip we used Austrian Air, so the path was Sydney to Bangkok (with 8 hour wait at Bangkok), Bangkok to Vienna (with a 4 hour wait at Vienna) and from Vienna you can go to any part of Europe.

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A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1996 – Part 5.7: Sepultura – Roots

Sepultura means grave in Portuguese. It all came to Max Cavalera when he was translating the lyrics from the song “Dancing On Your Grave” by Motorhead. It doesn’t matter where you look, Lemmy’s influence is everywhere.

I met the brothers, Max and Igor Cavalera at a Utopia Record Store Signing in Sydney. My cousin Mega is a huge fan. Mega turned up with his bashed in snare skin which the guys gladly signed and Mega also gave me a poster which they signed for me and I then gave the poster back to Mega.

Sepultura built up to this moment with their three previous releases in “Beneath The Remains” released in 1989, “Arise” released in 1991 and “Chaos A.D” released in 1993.

“Roots” is their sixth studio album released at the start of 1996. It’s also their biggest. The line-up is the classic line up as I know it. Max Cavalera is on lead vocals and he plays a 4 and 6-string guitar. Andreas Kisser is on lead guitar. Paulo Jr. is on bass guitar and Igor Cavalera is on drums and all things percussion related.

Produced by Ross Robinson, so don’t expect to hear any guitar leads as Robinson has openly stated how much he hates guitar leads.

Roots Bloody Roots

The groove metal riff is so much fun to play. There is this dissonance section in the middle which is chaotic and unsettling before the groove riff kicks in.

It carries the message to believe in yourself, be proud of your heritage and be proud of where you come from.

Attitude

There is a syncopated riff in the intro which is cool. The rest is run of the mill, Pantera like groove riffs.

The lyrics to “Attitude” were co-written by Dana Wells, Max Cavalera’s stepson, whose death (in part) led to the events which caused Max to leave the band.

Cut-Throat

“Cut Throat” is about Epic Records who gave the band no love during their previous album “Chaos A.D.” The last words in the song are “Enslavement, Pathetic, Ignorant, Corporations”.

Ratamahatta

It features David Silveria on drums and Carlinhos Brown on vocals, percussion and a lot of other unique native Brazilian instruments.

The song is a celebration of life in Brazil’s favela slums, which tells the stories of people like Coffin Joe and Lampiao, the leader of an early 1900s outlaw gang from north Brazil, whose head was put on public display after he was captured.

Breed Apart

Written by Andreas Kisser and Max Cavalera, it starts off with a military like snare which morphs into a Tool like breakdown before Tool was known to do these kind of breakdowns.

I have no idea what Max is singing, but I don’t really care as the music gets me interested to pick up the guitar.

Straighthate

There is no way you can’t listen to the start and say that doesn’t sound like Tool on the “Aenima” album, which came after.

I also hear a lot of the Nu-Metal like riffs from acts like Slipknot, Spineshank and Mudvayne on this album. Then again Korn was doing something similar as well.

Spit

The riff has a hard rock like swagger, something that bands like Buckcherry and Orgy would do in a few years’ time.

Lookaway

It features guest appearances by Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis, then-Korn drummer David Silveria, House of Pain/Limp Bizkit turntablist DJ Lethal, and Faith No More/Mr. Bungle vocalist Mike Patton. The track alone could appear on a Korn or Mr Bungle album. It’s chaotic.

Dusted

Written solely by Andreas Kisser, it’s more of that Korn and Deftones vibe.

Born Stubborn

It’s got this industrial like vibe. Like all the songs, I have no idea what Max is singing.

It features an Xavante Tribe chant which also appears on the song “Itsari”.

Jasco

An instrumental by Andreas Kisser which feels like a tribute to someone.

Itsári

An instrumental with the Xavante Tribe chants and an acoustic guitar riff that reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s “III” album.

Ambush

I like the intro on this. It reminds me of stuff that Machine Head would do. It’s “a tribute to murdered South American rain-forest activist Chico Mendes”.

Endangered Species

It addresses environmental destruction. Musically it is brutal.

Dictatorshit

It’s about the 1964 Brazilian coup d’état. It’s fast, punk like and angry.

I would say that “People = Shit” from Slipknot is similar.

Canyon Jam

A hidden track on the album. It’s a 14 minute native drum instrumental.

The album was massive in Australia, reaching number 3 on our ARIA charts and a Gold certification to go. In Austria it reached number and a Gold certification. Gold certifications followed in Canada, France, Netherlands, the U.K and the U.S.

On top of that it charted in the Top 10 in Belgium, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

The small subtle change from fast speed metal to groove nu-metal worked. It is the bands biggest album and the last studio album to feature founding member, main songwriter and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Max Cavalera. The offers rolled in for Max to do something on his own. Soulfly would be the answer.

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

1996 – Part 5.6: Yngwie Malmsteen – Inspiration

After battling to make a name for himself on the small Polydor label, Yngwie Malmsteen finally got the big label deal in 1992 with the release of “Fire And Ice” on Elektra. While the album did great business in the Japanese and Eastern/Northern Europe market, it failed in the U.S.

The million plus dollar advance from the label was classed as “unable to be recouped” and he was dropped from Elektra.

One door closes another one opens. A Japanese company called Pony Canyon signed Malmsteen. “The Seventh Sign” came out in 1994, achieving a Platinum certification in Japan, followed by “Magnum Opus” in 1995 which received a Gold Certification in Japan.

“Inspiration” is the ninth studio album by guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, released on 14 October 1996.

Malmsteen was back to releasing an album a year, in order to remain relevant and in the public conversation during the hostile 90s. If he didn’t do that, obscurity was not too far away. Artists these days whinge about Spotify and how they believe that the service is making them release constant product. It’s not the service, it’s the market. The market demands constant product. It always did.

Yngwie Malmsteen on guitars/bass and Anders Johansson on drums play on every track. The rest is a cast of artists like Jeff Scott Soto, Joe Lynn Turner, Marcel Jacob and various keyboard players.

Carry On Wayward Son

Written by Kerry Livgren.

It shows the reach Kansas had, so that a kid from Sweden would consider the band as an influence.

Jeff Scott Soto is on vocals here and his Talisman buddy, Marcel Jacob is on bass. David Rosenthal is on keyboards. During this same period, Malmsteen also appeared on a Talisman release. A sort of, “scratch my back and I will scratch yours” type of agreement.

Malmsteen makes the song sound like an over-indulgent Malmsteen song with his over the top soloing on any part of the song that doesn’t have vocals.

Pictures of Home

It wouldn’t be an influence album for Malmsteen if there was no Ritchie Blackmore. Malmsteen’s poses and looks are straight from “The Look Of Blackmore”. This is the first of four Blackmore songs. Joe Lynn Turner is on vocals here, who also sang on Malmsteen’s most successful album “Odyssey”. Mats Olausson is on the keys.

The lead breaks are Malmsteen lead breaks full of legato runs and of course, sweep picking. A lot of sweep picking.

Gates of Babylon

From Rainbow and Jeff Scott Soto is on vocals here. His voice and tone is perfect for the song. David Rosenthal plays the keys here.

The song would not be out of place on a Malmsteen album. The riffs are already what Malmsteen plays and as soon as he throws in his sweep picking and fast classical legato lines, it’s basically a Malmsteen song.

Manic Depression

From Jimi Hendrix and like his idol, Malmsteen is on lead vocals. I suppose for all the shredding, Malmsteen doesn’t get credit for being a pretty crazy blues player. Vocally, he doesn’t have the swagger of Hendrix.

In the Dead of Night

From the band U.K., the song is written by Eddie Jobson and John Wetton. Mark Boals is on lead vocals here with Jens Johansson on keyboards. And for those who don’t know John Wetton, he’s appeared in King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash and Asia.

But the reason why this track is here is due to Allan Holdsworth being the guitarist. Holdsworth was an unknown name to me until Eddie Van Halen started mentioning him in his interviews in the mid 80’s, which led me to seek out his solo recordings.

Ty Tabor also mentioned in an interview (which can be found on the Wikipedia entry of the U.K album) that the self-titled U.K album is in his “5 Essential Guitar Albums” list, stating that he “had never heard anybody think about playing guitar the way that Holdsworth plays on that record.”

Holdsworth never got mainstream attention. Producers and label heads called his music “without direction”, however to guitarists he was like a god.

You can hear the melodic rock side of Malmsteen here with a bit of progressiveness and how songs like “You Don’t Remember” and “Judas” with the keys and guitars playing great riffs that complement each other.

The solo break groove is excellent, however Malmsteen this time is just too much on the speed, and it just doesn’t fit the groove.

Press play on this track first.

Mistreated

From the David Coverdale era of Deep Purple.

This is the third Blackmore track to appear on this.

Would Malmsteen have covered this, knowing that Coverdale wrote the main riff?

Regardless, the song is perfect for soloing and Malmsteen uses that opportunity to do just that. But if I had to pick a cover version, it is the Whitesnake version with Reb Beach soloing. That solo just hits all the right notes.

Jeff Scott Soto is on vocals here with Mats Olausson on keyboards.

On this version, press play to hear the solo that comes in at the 4.20 minute mark. Malmsteen harmonises, its bluesy like “Still Got The Blues” and I like it.

Also stick around for the ending. It’s excellent. Soto really shines here, as he adds in backing vocals that sound like Gospel vocals and while they are happening he is ad libbing his main vocal while Malmsteen is throwing every lick he knows to the Master Tape.

The Sails of Charon

Another guitar player that influenced Malmsteen heavily was Uli Jon Roth, so it’s no surprise that his most classical sounding metal song with the Scorpions is covered.

Mark Boals is on lead vocals here and does a great job on the vocals, however Malmsteen just solo’s way too much here.

Demon’s Eye

Joe Lynn Turner is on vocals here with Jens Johansson on keyboards. I like how Malmsteen included bluesy Deep Purple here and still added his classical licks with bluesy Chuck Berry’isms.

Anthem

From Rush and Mark Boals sizzles on lead vocals here.

The pace of this song screams energy and I like it. And goddamn it sounds so heavy.

Child in Time

Mark Boals does an excellent job on lead vocals again with David Rosenthal on the keys.

The keys actually take the lead here (i.e. they basically sound like Malmsteen is playing them), carrying the intro and verses. Malmsteen cranks in right when the ohh’s start.

Overall there are six main guitarists that serve as inspiration to Malmsteen. Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Uli Jon Roth. Alex Lifeson, Kerry Livgren and Alan Holdsworth. Pretty cool inspirations if you ask me.

While the massive North American market still had its back turned to Malmsteen along with the U.K and parts of Western Europe, the Japanese, Scandinavian Countries and Eastern Europe markets kept sustaining him.

If you want to hear two songs from this album, press play on “In The Dead Of Night” and “Mistreated”.

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

Australian Method Series: Airbourne – Boneshaker

The method is simple.

Listen to an AC/DC album and write songs that have the vibe from that album. It’s been “Airbourne’s” template for the first four albums, so why change it for album number five.

But on the album, I would like to add a few other Australian bands like Rose Tattoo, Screaming Jets and The Angels to that list of influences.

“Boneshaker” was released on 25 October 2019, produced by Dave Cobb which was a surprise choice, considering his big production credits involve Chris Stapleton and “The Star Is Born” soundtrack. But the band wanted to work with Cobb based on an album he did for a small obscure band called “Black Robot”. Check out their 2009 album to hear a pretty cool slab of AC/DC, Aerosmith, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Airbourne is still underpinned by brothers Joel O’Keefe on Vocals/Lead Guitar and Ryan O’Keefe on drums. Justin Street is on bass and new dude Matthew Harrison is on guitar.

Boneshaker

This track wouldn’t be out of place on an early Y&T album. Maybe because they have the lyric, “Earthshaker” after “Boneshaker”.

Burnout the Nitro

It has a country twang to it, but played through a distorted amp, in sounds rock and roll.

“Racing down the highway” instantly brings back memories of “Long Way To The Top”. And that’s basically the vibe of the song, a cross between “Long Way”, “Shoot To Thrill”, “Let There Be Rock” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”. If you are going to be influenced by AC/DC, you might as well be influenced by some of their biggest songs.

This Is Our City

“This is our city, lets rock and roll”. And the live show is summed up in a simple line.

Sex To Go

Great title and perfect for the fast paced social media lives we live in. At 2 minutes and 34 seconds, it’s probably just enough time to have fast food take away sex. And how can you not go past a lyric like “all I want is your apple pie”.

In the words of Sammy Hagar in “Good Enough”, I’ll have some of that.

Backseat Boogie

“Long Way To The Top” makes another comeback. And I like it

Blood In The Water

A groovy “Whole Lotta Rosie”.

She Gives Me Hell

Being on the wrong side of a toxic relationship sets up the lyrical foundation over a musical influence from “Highway To Hell”.

Switchblade Angel

The speed rock and roll is back and I like it.

Weapon Of War

The slow blues grit and groove is back for a song about war vets.

Rock ‘n’ Roll For Life

The fast “Let There Be Rock” vibe is back.

Rock and Roll along with all things Metal is a life style. Once you are in. you are always in. You might dabble in other genres but you’ll always come back. Because Rock N Roll is for life.

After 30 minutes and 36 seconds the album is over like fast food. Music on the go. Concise and straight to the point, there is no confusion as to what Airbourne is. A highly efficient and lean rock and roll band.

With no ballads.

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