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

The Record Vault: Disturbed – Asylum

August 31, 2010 was the release date. 11 years old.

The cover opens up to reveal the Disturbed mascot trying to break out of the Asylum straps.

“Asylum” is the fifth studio album by Disturbed.

It was their fourth consecutive number one album in the U.S.. The other two bands ever to accomplish this feat in the Soundscan era are Metallica and Dave Matthews Band. Good company they keep.

It was also self-produced and keeping within the “it ain’t broke” formula.

Remnants

An instrumental which showcases Dan Donegan on the guitar. Some of the lead sections remind me of Criss Oliva from Savatage.

It was meant to be one song with “Asylum” but split into two as the label didn’t want the title track to be 7 minutes long, in case it messed up it’s chances of radio play.

Asylum

“Remnant” fades into the title track as a fast bass riff rumbles and then all hell breaks loose.

“Release Me” barks David Draiman.

The “Asylum” has a dual meaning, with the concept of a person losing a loved one as both an asylum driving the person insane, as well as a place of comfort.

The Infection

The major key verse riff is different from the minor key fast Intro. And I like the contrast.

A relationship song that likens the feelings you experience after a break-up to an infection.

There is this head banging riff which kicks in at 2.20, which Donegan then solos over.

And did I mention that the Chorus is melodically massive.

Warrior

A foot stomping open string pedal point riff starts the song off. Almost thrash like.

Another Way To Die

About global warming.

The arpeggios in the Intro give way to a rocker rooted in the blues. The main riff is played staccato like, in a similar way to ZZ Top and how Billy Gibbons plays “La Grange”.

Never Again

About the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.

The riffs are excellent. Pure fury.

The lead breaks feel angry and demented. And there’s a crazy sweep lick thrown in.

The Animal

When midnight comes and man turns to a wolf. Queue up Metallica, “Of Wolf And Man”.

Donegan also takes control of this track with his groove riffs.

Crucified

Another song about a broken relationship.

I almost pressed skip the first time I heard it because the Intro and verses didn’t connect, but then the Chorus kicked in.

Serpentine

Wikipedia tells me it’s about a demonic woman who “utilizes her sexuality to prey on the weaknesses of men.”

Ummm. So what’s the problem.

The Intro riffs and wah drenched melodic lead gets me to pay attention every single time.

My Child

About a miscarriage and dealing with the mental fallout. The sounds of a flatline at the end brings home the reality of it.

Sacrifice

A song about how people seem to have two sides to their personality, a light and a dark side.

With a massive PANTERA inspired riff to create the darkness with.

Innocence

The Intro riff is Rammstein industrial like, which is perfect for a song about “corrupt attorneys and the criminals that they choose to defend.”

Check out the Chorus riff and melodic lead.

ISHFWILF

A cover of “I Still Haven’t Found What I”m Looking For” from U2 done in a Disturbed way.

It was certified Gold in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. and it was certified Silver in the U.K

There’s no doubt that Draiman is one of the premier and easily identifiable voices in Rock and Metal these days.

And like other hard rock singers he stays within the box he created with the debiut. Sometimes the vocal patterns could be interchanged with the vocal patterns of other songs.

But, that’s why we like Disturbed.

And I still haven’t watched the “Decade Of Disturbed” DVD. But I will.

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2001 – Part 3.4: Saliva – Every Six Seconds

“Back Into Your System” released in 2002 was the album that got me into the band. I purchased it because it had ONE song on it, written by Nikki Sixx and James Michael called “Rest In Pieces”. That’s right folks, I purchased an album that I’ve never heard from a band that I’d never heard off, based on ONE song written by an artist I was familiar with.

And man, that album blew me away, so I went back and listened to the first one “Every Six Seconds”.

Released in 2001, it’s listed as their second album on their Wikipedia discography, however on Spotify it is their first. Their independently released debut from 1997 doesn’t rate a mention on Spotify.

In July 2008, “Every Six Seconds” was certified platinum by the RIAA.

Saliva for this album are Josey Scott on vocals, Wayne Swinny on lead guitar, Chris D’Abaldo on rhythm guitar, Dave Novotny on bass and Paul Crosby on drums.

The cover is like a Glam Rock disco album but the influences are Sabbath, Crue, Steve Earle, Metallica, Sevendust and Skynard.

“Superstar”

Sitting at 18.1 million streams on Spotify.

Written by vocalist Josey Scott.

I think it appeared in a “Fast and Furious” movie as well.

It’s like a Guns’N’Roses cut on some sections, and even the vocal melody of the “all that I” section sounds like an Axl vocal melody.

“Musta Been Wrong”

It’s got a metal groove which sounds like Bush or the groove which is known as the “post grunge” or “Nu-Metal” riff, but vocally it’s an amalgamation of what Oasis created in the mid 90’s and hard rock from the 80’s.

“Click Click Boom”

Sitting at 146.799 million streams on Spotify. Written by Scott, D’Abaldo, Swinny and producer Bob Marlette. I was listening to P.O.D at the time and this song could be interchanged with a track from their “Satellite” album or anything from Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”.

The riff is sleazy and as good as any hard rock riff that I grew up with. Production wise, it’s got all those Korn sound effects with arpeggios and downtuned industrial sounding guitars

Vocally, the word rapping is different, but it works.

Check out the section from 3.16 to 3.30 when Josey Scott is singing, “it’s all inside of me”.

“Your Disease”

Its a heavy Dropped D bluesy in the riff department.

“After Me”

The vocal melodies get me interested in this song.

There is also a brief guitar melodic lead which enhances the interlude.

“Greater Than/Less Than”

It feels like an Alice Cooper cut, from his “Brutal Planet” and “Dragontown” era’s.

Six songs in, I wasn’t bored at all.

“Lackluster”

Sevendust comes to mind listening to this.

“Faultline”

A tremolo effect shimmering chord progression starts the song. Under it, is a heavy palm muted groove. The shimmering guitar part changes to a shimmering arpeggio riff.

“Beg”

Another heavy riff to start it off, with a loudspeaker vocal melody in the verses. The octave melodic idea reminds of Tool and the song “Sober”.

“Hollywood”

Another cut written by Josey Scott as the strummed acoustic guitar riff starts it all off. “Take A Picture” from Filter comes to mind. Also “Life Is A Highway”. And for some reason “New Tattoo” from Motley Crue also comes to mind.

“Doperide”

It’s been a skip since day one and still is.

“My Goodbyes”

An ominous tritone arpeggio riff starts it all off. The longest song on the album and a perfect closer.

Overall, Saliva’s has a dropped D rock/metal “Soundgarden” meets “Bush” meets “Tool” meets “Alice In Chains” sound with bluesy Southern/Country Rock influences.

Bob Marlette as the producer got those Mesa Boogie Rectifiers sounding big, loud and messy (but tight as a G-string tuned to A).

Check it out.

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The Record Vault: Disturbed – Indestructible

By album Number 4, the Disturbed brand was bigger than ever. Johnny K was gone from the Producers chair. The deals that artists have with producers means that the producers increase their cut and royalty points with each subsequent album. It’s simple business. Instead of paying someone else, they decided to do it themselves.

Disturbed for this album and all albums after is David Draiman on lead vocals, Dan Donegan on lead and rhythm guitars, John Moyer on bass and Mike Wengren on drums.

Released in 2008, it quickly went on its way of matching its predecessors.

In Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S, its certified Platinum. In Finland and the U.K, its certified Gold. It charted well in a lot of countries.

“Indestructible”

It was called “Defend” before it was re-titled to “Indestructible”.

While it is a hopeful song to the armed forces, it also serves as a reminder to everyone that Disturbed is still here after all these years.

Killer metal groove riff to start the song off.

Check.

Anthemic Chorus.

Check.

Guitar Lead.

Check.

Actually, the guitar lead breaks on the album shows the Guitar Community that Donegan is a lot more accomplished than previously thought.

“Inside The Fire”

It was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the “Best Hard Rock Performance” category.

It’s a disturbing song, which Draiman has explained as “standing over the body of my girlfriend, who just killed herself, and the Devil is standing over me, whispering in my ear to kill myself.”

The guitar starts off before the drums and bass kick in.

The chorus shares some similarities to “Primal Concrete Sledge” by Pantera however Disturbed sing it in a melodic and anthemic way and of course the guitar solo is “Guitar Hero” worthy.

“Deceiver”

Another song about a bad relationship or that person in your life that lies, deceives and takes from you.

“The Night”

The original title of the album and the first song written for it. The “Night” in this song is a living entity that surrounds you and hides you.

How good is the intro to this?

And another anthemic Chorus.

Check out the guitar lead. Donegan moves to a new level here with some serious sweeps and string skipping.

“Perfect Insanity”

It’s pre “The Sickness” as the band thought it would be pretty cool, especially for the fans, if they brought back maybe a song or two, that were actually written during the same period that “The Sickness” songs were written.

Another killer lead break from Donegan.

“Haunted”

A bass and drum groove start the song with the sound of rain and a tolling bell, before the guitar riff comes in, all staccato like and in sync with the bass drum.

“Enough”

The way Draiman sings the Chorus showcases his vocal abilities.

“The Curse”

It’s Disturbed from the first album. There’s a bit of everything here.

“Torn”

Another great lead from Donegan.

“Criminal”

The bird calls are back as Draiman sings “huh, huh”.

“Divide”

Another old song from pre “The Sickness”, it’s like a punk thrash song in the intro, before it moves into a groove metal riff that reminds me of Judas Priest’s “Better By You, Better Than Me” for the verses.

Draiman is telling you to be an individual, make your mark and stand out. Don’t be a conformist within the pack.

“Façade”

The drums are frantic for the closer.

And in the same way that AC/DC plays its standard blues rawk and roll, Disturbed doesn’t really stray too much from a style which has brought them public acceptance.

Metal elitists will always look down on em, but Disturbed have flown the flag of metal for many years in the face of hip hop, dance and other crap styles.

Indestructible they are.

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Australian Method Series: Jet – Get Born

Released in 2005.

Riding the wave of “old is new” to a whole new audience who was too young to know the old or to have heard it.

Listening to this album got me to call up a 60’s Rock Anthems playlist on Spotify and it’s surprising how many songs released in the 80s moving forward have riffs from 60’s songs. There are the artists that we all know like Hendrix, Cream, The Who, Steppenwolf, The Doors and Zeppelin but artists like The Kinks, The Kingsmen, CCR, The Animals and even Marvin Gaye have been influential in developing the hard rock and heavy metal riffs.

Jet are from Melbourne.

Nic Cester is on vocals and guitar, Chris Cester is on drums and vocals, Cameron Muncey is on guitars and vocals and Mark Wilson is on bass, piano and harmonica.

Last Chance

“Can you give me one more try at that?”

And LOUD RAWK AND ROLL kicks in.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl

It’s sitting at 347.811 million streams on Spotify.

On the Jet YouTube account the video is at 122 million views.

Yeah, it sounds like other songs (Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” is mentioned a fair bit), but who cares. Imitation is a form of flattery. And all hit songs are derivative versions of songs which came before.

Rollover D.J.

It’s a Rolling Stones track in the verses and a 12 bar blues track in the Chorus.

Look What You’ve Done

58.066 million streams on Spotify.

A piano riff starts the song, with a Beatle-esque “Sexy Sadie” like vocal. Even the lyrics have a similarity.

The Beatles have “Sexy Sadie, what have you done! / You’ve made a fool of everyone”.

Jet has “Oh, look what you’ve done / You’ve made a fool of everyone”.

Progress is derivative. Take something that came before and tweak it.

Get What You Need

The drum groove gets me, but it’s the reminders of other songs that makes me a fan.

If you’ve heard “All Day And All Of The Night” from The Kinks, you’ll hear some similarities.

If you’ve heard “If It Feels Good, Do It” from Sloan you’ll hear similarities.

And if you played NHL 2004, you would have heard the song and become a fan.

Move On

It feels like a Free/Bad Company/Rolling Stones acoustic cut which Guns N Roses also used as an influence for “Patience”.

Radio Song

Say hello to “Hey Jude” or a slower version of “Baby Blue” from Badfinger.

Get Me Outta Here

I went down to the bank just to get me my pay / I’m gonna get me, outta here / I got me some cash, I’m headed back to LA / I’m gonna get me, outta here

Keeping with the theme of “old is new” again, even the lyrics were based on pre 2000 pay days.

Cold Hard Bitch

It’s at 52.995 million streams on Spotify.

They bring so many vibes to this track.

Listen to it and you’ll spot “Woman From Tokyo” by Deep Purple, “Best I Can” by Rush, “Shoot To Thrill“ by AC/DC, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who and a little bit of Stones mixed in.

Come Around Again

A country rock ballad with a Bad Company feel.

“I don’t know when I’m right that I only know when I’m wrong”

Sometimes our minds become our worst enemies.

Take It Or Leave It

The Kinks “unhinged”.

Lazy Gun

The “High Voltage” riff to a funky bass riff. Brilliant.

A Beatles influenced Chorus which also reminds me of “Purple Rain” from Prince and “Faithfully” from Journey. Brilliant.

Timothy

All death is tragic.

Sgt Major

The bonus track.

Check out the main riff. It reminds me of “Kings And Queens” from Aerosmith.

They had some serious momentum in promoting this album in Australia with national station Triple J having em in constant rotation that all the other stations followed pretty quickly.

In Australia, it’s 8x Platinum.

In Japan and New Zealand, it’s Gold.

In Argentina, Canada, UK and US, it’s Platinum.

In other words it was everywhere.

Crank it.

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2001 – Part 3.3: Avenged Sevenfold – Sounding The Seventh Trumpet

“Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” is the debut album by Avenged Sevenfold, released in 2001.

I started my journey with “City Of Evil” in 2005 and went forward with em. Sometime after the “Nightmare” album, I went back to listen to this one and “Waking The Fallen” as a tribute to The Rev. Even though he was the “drummer”, he was a lot more to the band. Just listen to the self titled album released in 2007 as proof.

This album was recorded on a $2,000 budget. The guys in the band had to have their individual parts down so they didn’t waste time. The Rev did his drum parts in one take. All the guitars are played by Zacky Vengeance as Synyster Gates was not in the band at that point in time. M. Shadows is the vocalist and bass is played by Justin Sane.

“To End the Rapture”

A short 90 second track to introduce the album and musical style. The first 50 seconds has some serious guitar virtuoso work.

“Turn the Other Way”

A lot of technical playing and progressive song writing as a Pantera style groove kicks off the song, while The Rev is channelling Vinnie Paul.

Musically it’s a thrash metal cut. Vocally, the screamo vocals don’t do it for me, however at 2.45, clean tone vocals kick in.

The section from 4.21 to the end is Maiden-esque musically and vocally. The last 30 seconds has a synth playing the chords as the harmony guitars fade away.

“Darkness Surrounding”

Musically its punk thrash. The Rev is a fucking machine on this and somehow he worked out how to put a drum solo into the song.

Check out the metal reggae section between the 3.00 and 3.25.

I dislike the scream vocals but enjoy the clean tone ones.

“The Art of Subconscious Illusion”

Another punk thrash song.

The intro is great to play on the guitar.

“We Come Out at Night”

I like the section from 1.20 to 1.40 musically, but dislike the screamo.

From 1.41 to 2.05, Shadows sings in clean tone and this same section comes back in at 3.18. The last 40 seconds is a piano playing the riff and Shadows singing in clean tone.

“Lips of Deceit”

Great riff to start the song. Actually the first 70 seconds are excellent.

But the screamo vocals don’t do anything for me and they detract from the excellent riffs.

“Warmness on the Soul”

My favourite song.

Excellent piano playing and emotive vocal melody leads the song. At 1.57, a country/southern rock solo kicks in. A highlight of the song.

“An Epic of Time Wasted”

It’s hard to listen to because of the screaming.

But the head banging riff from 2.50 to 3.09. Listen to it. And from then on, there are clean tone vocals and the song feels redeemed.

“Breaking Their Hold”

A fast pop punk drum beat starts the song. At 50 seconds it’s the shortest song. And it’s all screaming.

“Forgotten Faces”

Nice intro riff, but the screaming.

“Thick and Thin”

A skip.

“Streets”

The drum/bass groove to start the song gets me interested. After 33 seconds, it becomes a fast punk song. The good thing about this song is that Shadows is singing in clean tone and by now I wish most of the albums tracks were in clean tone.

“Shattered by Broken Dreams”

The closer.

An arpeggio acoustic guitar that reminds me of hard rock songs kicks starts the song. And for the first part of the song, Shadows is in clean tome. The guitar work is brilliant and The Rev plays those drums like they are part of him.

It reminds me of the 70’s closer tracks which experiment with different styles. Almost progressive like.

This one moves from slow rock to hard rock at 2.10. This time around, I didn’t mind the screaming vocals. And then it moves to speed metal, then groove metal and at 4.24 its back to slow rock and clean tone vocals.

I heard this album once circa 2010 in its entirety and today was my second time. I don’t like it. But I do have “To End The Rapture”, “Warmness On The Soul” and “Shattered By Broken Dreams” in my Avenged Sevenfold playlist. And the stuff they did after this album is so much better. But all bands need to start from somewhere.

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Rammstein – Paris

I own no Rammstein records. All of my listening experiences from em is via burnt CD’s from ex band members, YouTube and Spotify. Recently streaming services can be added to that list as they have a few concert videos of the band showing.

But.

For a person who doesn’t own any of their music, a band I was in between 2000 and 2005 used to cover “Du Hast” from Rammstein. And if I could get my hands on a ticket, I would go to watch em live.

So in which category do I fit in. I’m a fan, who hasn’t spent a cent on the band.

And who can forget their comeback song circa 2009 with the “Pussy” porno video clip.

So when I saw this concert on Amazon Prime I was interested to check it out.

The concert film was actually released on 19 May 2017. So I’m late to watching it.

And the concerts used for the footage are even older, filmed entirely on 6 and 7 March 2012 in Paris.

Every show was filmed with 30 cameras in front of 17,000 people. And i was surprised how big they are, so I looked at live returns for concerts and Rammstein is up there, with the big acts.

Their 2019 Europe Stadium Tour grossed 116.66 million Euro’s from 31 shows. Each show had an average attendance of 41,715 people.

The whole start of the concert is like a ritual. A funeral march. Almost scary.

Remember those movies scenes when people are clothed in black, holding a candle and leading/taking someone to their sacrifice. Well that’s how Rammstein begins their concert.

They walk out into the audience from a side door and make their way to a bridge which connects the main stage to a smaller stage in the middle of the GA floor attendees.

And once they plug in and play, you get to see how massive their live show is.

Apart from the normal fire and pyro which most bands do, they also wear suits which produces pyro and Fire.

Fire also comes out from under the stage so you don’t want to be standing in the wrong place.

Fire comes out from the microphone stands. From flame thrower guns. From face masks they wear. Pyro also comes from props they hold.

And they have steam jets all over the stage and under the stage. Plus massive industrial fans.

Their riffs are head banging and bone crunching. I have no idea what they are singing about but I couldn’t take my eyes from the TV.

Vocalist Till Lindemann is unsettling in appearance and stage presence, demented and looking like he escaped from an asylum

In the “Mein Teil” (My Part) song, Lindemann comes out all bloody and looking like he decapicated someone, which is fitting for a song dubbed “The Cannibal Song”.

The keyboard player Christian Lorenz is walking on a treadmill as he plays. It looks bizarre but it works.

There’s a fake cock which Lindemann produces in the song “Buck Dich” which means “Bend Over” and it starts squirting piss all over the audience. Even the drummer gets a mouthful of fake piss.

“Mein Herz brennt” (“My heart burns”) has an excellent Kashmir like groove.

In “Engel (Angel)”, Lindemann is wearing Angel wings that spit fire and pyro.

I didn’t understand a word, but the music was excellent and the theatrics/stage show was massive.

Du. Du hast.

It can mean you hate or you have depending on context. So you’ll either hate Rammstein or you’ll need their controversy. The fact they never conformed and did an English vocal album shows their resilience and mentality. And it didn’t stop them from filling arenas all over the world.

And Till Lindemann. Wow.

So unsettling in appearance. And man, doesn’t he know how to push buttons. He said in an interview on the “Metal Evolution” episodes, he doesn’t know what else to do to shock people anymore on stage, except kill someone.

Du. Du hast.

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The Record Vault: Disturbed – Ten Thousand Fists

After the excellent “Believe”, I was eagerly anticipating this release and I was a first day buyer. The cartoonish comic cover got my attention, as people from all walks of life are together, raising their firsts in the air.

Released in 2005, “Ten Thousand Fists” is the third studio album from Disturbed.

John Moyer joins David Draiman, Dan Donegan and Mike Wengren this time around. However, Moyer was considered a session musician during the time of recording, and only became a full-time member during the tour supporting the album.

Johnny K is also producing. This would be his last album with the band.

The album was also dedicated to Dimebag Darrell, who was murdered the year before the album’s release.

“Ten Thousand Fists”

A great song about the metal show and the glorious sight of “ten thousand fists in the air”.

Musically its classic Disturbed, in which the vocal melody follows the syncopated drum and guitar riff in the verses.

The Chorus’s by now have become anthemic for Disturbed.

You will remember the night you were struck by the sight of ten thousand fists in the air

The interlude with the backwards guitars gives it all a Middle Eastern vibe. Check it out.

“Just Stop”

Another killer riff to start the song off. Check.

Verses is syncopated, with riffs, vocals and bass drum. Check.

Anthemic chorus. Check.

Just stop enough of the limitless critical comments on my life
Just drop the judgment and all of your pseudo-involvement in my life

We might see our Metal hero’s as indestructible, but they are normal like all of us and they have feelings, which do get hurt within relationships.

“Guarded”

A speed metal cut, as it comes racing out with double kick drums and fast alternate picked lines.

Guarding yourself from the love of another
Left you with nothing tonight

How much are you willing to let people in?

Then it goes into an arpeggio riff that reminds me of Coverdale/Page’s “Whisper A Prayer For The Dying”.

“Deify”

“Deify” means to worship someone or treat as a god.

The song starts off with a sampled speech of George W Bush Jnr before it cranks into an angry song against the Bush administration.

I won’t let them
Deify you
They view you as the new messiah
Deify you
Renew belief in some demented man

It’s a divisive time. A lot of people disagreed with our Government’s at sending soldiers into Iraq and Afghanistan. And look how that’s worked out for Afghanistan at the moment. And Iraq hasn’t been stable since.

Check out the speed metal in the Interlude.

“Stricken”

One of my favourite tracks on the album. It has a groove riff similar to “Remember” in the intro.

The Chorus is anthemic as you would expect by now.

And finally Dan Donegan shreds.

2005 was the era for guitarist who didn’t normally shred on albums to start shredding.

“I’m Alive”

Another song with an anthemic chorus.

How good is that Tool like groove in the Bridge?

There will never be a reason why I will surrender to your advice
To change myself, I’d rather die

Would you rather fail doing it your way or on someone else’s advice?

“Sons Of Plunder”

The dog and bird barks are back vocally with the catchcry “Tell me you like it” as Disturbed rocks the new metal sounds in the verses and goes all anthemic in the Chorus.

At 1.53 it goes into this bass feel that reminds me of “My Friend Of Misery”. But the way the guitars and drums build it back up, needs to be listened to.

Lyrically Draiman is attacking artists that create soulless songs just to have a hit.

You say you’ve found yourself a new sound
The shit’s loaded and ready to go
A bit too much just like the old sound
Already heard it for the hundredth time
One hundred more, all have the same sound
Running around with all the sheep that you know
“It’s so sublime, they’re breaking new ground”
“They’re sure to have another hit this time”

It sounds like the decline of Hard Rock music between 1988 and 1992.

I’m still surrounded by the “new sound”
I’ve had enough and I’m ready to go
A strangle-hold throughout the world now
The new obsession will fade in time
A thin reminder of the past now
All convoluted hardly ready to go
Their whines and moans will never last now
I think you’ve given us our fill this time

And the Grunge came (“the new sound”) that took over the world only to see if fade within 5 years.

“Overburdened”

The bass riff again echoes an influence of “My Friend Of Misery” with a bit of the “Orion” interlude and “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” interlude chucked in.

Then it becomes a groove cut, reminding me of Tool. And all of those little references to songs I know, makes me like this song a little bit more and it also gets me to check out those influences.

Lyrically it’s about war.

Check out the anthemic Chorus.

At 3.54, the Bridge begins. The riff is like ascending before it descends giving an eerie feeling.

At 4.26, Donegan clicks on the wah-wah pedal and we get another lead break. His style is more bluesy, but when needed he can break out some fast legato lines or alternate picked lines.

And the song ends the way it started, with the bass riff.

“Decadence”

A throwback to the debut in the intro and verses but the Chorus is the new Disturbed. Anthemic and melodic.

“Forgiven”

How good is the interlude/bridge section between 2.00 and 2.43 and then Donegan breaks out another lead break?

“Land Of Confusion”

The Genesis song from 1986 gets disturb-iz-ied.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in

This is truth, but how many are willing to risk being uncomfortable.

There’s a perceived safety in comfort so we put up with our Government’s invasion of our privacy and removing more liberties in the name of security and keeping us safe.

“Sacred Lie”

Verses like the debut album. Check.

Anthemic Chorus. Check.

Massive drumming. Check.

My conviction is stronger today
As I fight to uncover your sacred lie
And the fear isn’t going away
As the soldiers still die

Remember the war on “weapons of mass destruction”. The biggest bullshit ever.

“Pain Redefined”

Read the comments for “Sacred Lie”, but this one has a lot more electronics, like “The Game” from the debut.

Then again, how can I not mention the massive Chorus.

“Avarice”

Avarice means extreme greed for wealth or material gain.

So we get a speed metal barrage to finish the album off just to show the anger.

Politics and evil
All one in the same
Satan hides behind a different name

There is a small demented chromatic like lead break I like which kicks in over an ascending chord progression.

In Australia, it was certified Platinum. In Canada, it was certified 2× Platinum. In New Zealand, it was certified Gold. In the United Kingdom, it was certified Gold and in the United States, its certified 2× Platinum.

It charted well in a lot of other European countries. It was everywhere.

P.S. All the solos on the record are excellent. Kudos to Dan Donegan for stepping up.

P.S.S. This is Disturbed at their best and itt’s a great addition to any Heavy Metal Collection.

P.S.S.S. The “wah-ha-ah-ah!” scream is still there.

Wah-ha-ah-ah to it. Crank It.

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

2001 – Part 3.2: The Rasmus – Into

“In The Shadows” from their 2003 album “Dead Letters” made me a fan. And I followed em with each subsequent release after that.

Around 2013, I decided it was time to go back and listen to their earlier albums, before “Dead Letters”.

“Into” is their fourth studio album, released in 2001. When they broke through to the international markets and mainstream attention it was with “Dead Letters”, which was their fifth album. Imagine that. Five albums deep into your career and you are finally breaking through the borders of your homeland, which in this case is Finland.

With this album, The Rasmus continued to move away from their earlier sound and into a more hard popular rock sound with the mood of the album being more contemplative and melancholic. Also the songs are concise, trimmed to ensure that the majority are lean and under 4 minutes.

The Rasmus band is Lauri Ylönen on vocals, Pauli Rantasalmi on Guitar, Eero Heinonen on Bass and Aki Hakala on drums. Names that are hard to remember in the English language but that shouldn’t detract from the great musicians and songwriters they are.

“Madness”

A pop punk distorted riff kicks off the song.

I like the Pre-Chorus with its acoustic guitars and electric guitars dynamic and its auto-tuned vocal melody, which also acts as a fuzzed out guitar lead the second time the Pre-Chorus comes around.

At 2.27, a violin solo kicks in, which mimics the vocal melody and it keeps going until the song finishes with the vocal melody over it.

“Bullet”

A heavily processed guitar riff starts it oft and it’s sitting in the background when the normal music kicks in.

The verses remind me of Whitesnake, Muse, Scorpions and there is a pop song there as influence that I can’t think of.

The Chorus is typical of the Chorus’s that would appear on the subsequent albums.

I gotta leave to make you see I’m over you
‘Cos if I stay I’m number two anyway

What do you do when you still like the person but they don’t like you the same way anymore?

“Chill”

The clean guitar melody in the intro is catchy and it was that good, it would appear on other songs on later releases.

I gotta make a phone call to my best friends.
I gotta let them know that I’m leaving.
Everything behind me and politely I don’t wanna hurt their feelings, oh no.

The first three lines. It’s sung fast but so melodically.

You want to leave but you’re not sure. You are going out on your own with no safety net. And you don’t want to burn any bridges because if you do return, you would want to have those friendships kick-starting again.

Reading Tommy Bolin’s story, he hitchhiked, by himself at the age of 15, from his hometown to a bigger city to play with better musicians.

And every time when I painted my room
like a fool I hid my feelings.
And every time when I painted my room
I thought about leaving.

The Chorus hook. For all the talk these days about mental health, the issues of mental health are nothing new. They seeped into lyrics of songs since music was invented.

“F-F-F-Falling”

It was number 1 in Finland for three weeks.

At 3.52, it’s my favourite song. It’s what “Dead Letters” was built on. The staccato like intro riff is arena rock.

The verses then roll along with its strummed acoustic guitar being the main riff and a tasty distorted guitar playing some single note licks in between. It reminds me of songs from Collective Soul, The Wallflowers and Eagle-Eye Cherry (think “Save Tonight”).

F-F-F-Falling down with the sun
I can’t give it up
The night is calling me like a drum
I keep on F-F-F-Falling

The Chorus hook. Its anthemic.

At 2.01, the Bridge kicks in, and the way the vocals are layered is excellent.

At 2.35, it all quietens down, as it builds back up into the Chorus and the excellent Bridge. There is also a nice guitar lead buried in the mix which mimics the vocal melody.

“Heartbreaker”

Another masterpiece in pop rock song writing.

The intro I believe is played on a synth, and it sounds like an 80’s retro riff. Then the acoustic guitar kicks in with its strummed chords and the vocal melody.

Oh yeah, oh yeah. She wanted to be a heartbreaker
Oh yeah. She was so greedy but a lousy love maker

The Chorus is anthemic. The music is in a pop punk fashion, but the vocal melodies are hard rock.

She used to be the queen of the scene
She had a key but she lost it
Nothing’s gonna last and the time goes fast – she knows

Descriptive story telling. Maybe Warhol was right. We all will get some form of 15 minutes of fame. All the Kings and Queens of the past, don’t seem to hold their title for long.

“Smash”

The way it started off, with processed drums and phased/tremolo’d guitars, didn’t prepare me for the arpeggios to come in the verses and the melodic rock hooks vocally.

Understand that you’re holding a bomb in your hand
Take control, hand in hand with yourself from now on
Take this advice, aim to the skies

Is the bomb the person’s dreams and wishes?

“Someone Else”

It’s a great power ballad, about drinking blood off dinosaurs and other strange things. There has to be some peculiar metaphorical meaning behind it.

Check out the Chorus. It’s huge.

“Small Town”

The intro reminds me of Bon Jovi but then it goes into a “Teenage Dirt Bag” kind of verse with the Chorus going back to a Jovi feel.

“One & Only”

The intro reminds me of “Save Tonight” from Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Overall, the track is in the vein of the tracks to come on subsequent albums.

“Last Waltz”

A music box intro starts off this bolero waltz groove.

P.S. The album went 2x Platinum in Finland.

P.S.S. All ten tracks are listenable. There is no filler.

P.S.S.S. “Into” is their great leap album, bridging their past with something new to come and international success.

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Dokken – Broken Bones

I was a streamer by the time this album came out, so it felt like I purchased it.

And it didn’t feel right not finishing off the Dokken series for three more albums.

“Broken Bones” came out in 2012 on Frontiers. Mick Brown didn’t play on the album as I think he was touring with Ted Nugent at that point in time, so the drumming was handled by Jimmy DeGrasso. Joining Don Dokken and Jon Levin was new bassist Sean McNabb.

And the star of the album is Jon Levin on guitar again. His solos are excellent, songs within songs moments and he can write a mean riff. Vocally, Don Dokken sings in his lower register while Mark Boals is doing the backing vocals.

“Empire”

Like most of the Dokken albums released, they start off with a fast rocker. This one is more like “Till The Living End”.

Check out the guitar leads from Jon Levin on this.

What Will You Rule In The End
A Burnin Empire

“Broken Bones”

“It’s Not Love” is instantly recognisable and it also reminds me of a cut from “Back For The Attack”.

An emotive lead break from Levin is a must hear.

All These Bones That Lie Within My Spirit
Broken Just Like Me

“Best of Me”

Very grungy (think “Even Flow” from Pearl Jam).

“Blind”

A slower groove doesn’t hide “The Hunter” influence.

“Waterfall”

At 2.48 long, it feels like an unfinished cut, a left over psychedelic track. A miss for me.

“The Victim of the Crime”

The intro is head banging material before it moves into an exotic sounding riff and groove, more Tool like. And I’m always interested when bands do these kinds of things.

The lead breaks from Levin are worthy, reminding me of a cross between Uli Jon Roth and Yngwie Malmsteen.

“Burning Tears”

A haunting melodic acoustic arpeggio similar to “Alone Again” starts the song, but it’s the distorted riff which kicks in after that gets the head banging.

And Jon Levin again shines on the lead guitar here.

“Today”

It started to become a trend, since “Dysfunctional” that a cover song would appear on a Dokken album. This one is from Jefferson Airplane cover, written by Marty Balin and Paul Kantner.

It feels like an inferior “From The Beginning” ELP cover they did on “Dysfunctional”. Better to be left off, but Frontier’s likes to put old songs under a new sound copyright which they control.

“For the Last Time”

Jon Levin again steals the light, with his movement from acoustic passages to full out rock and metal riffs.

“Fade Away”

It has a feel from “The Hunter” in the intro and “Dream Warriors” in the verses. Then it’s like “Stop Fighting Love” and “Will The Sun Rise”. Musically, it’s great to jam to, vocally, Don is in the lower register and its very monotonous.

But Levin shines again in the lead break.

“Tonight”

It’s another fast rocker, to close the album with, similar to the title track in speed, but very Euro sounding, more Scorpions like. Levin just keeps shining throughout the album with another guitar hero lead break.

And make sure you check out the guitar harmony lead break to close the song and album out.

“Can’t Fight This Love”

It’s a bonus track from the cloth of “Back For The Attack”.

If you’re a Dokken fan there is something here for ya. If you’re a guitar player, you’ll be impressed by Jon Levin.

P.S. Even though some of the songs are dull, Levin’s performances are anything but dull.

P.S.S. What happened to the drum sounds on some of the albums during the 2000’s? Is it because artists are recording at home or in cheaper studios than the studios before. Is the mixing bad?

P.S.S.S. Don Dokken’s voice on this album is very monotonous and same same on each song. But he does get the job done with the help of Mark Boals.

P.S.S.S.S. Did I mention that Jon Levin is a Guitar Hero? He is.

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

Australian Method Series: Wolfmother – Wolfmother

The Wolfmother debut.
 
Sometime in 2000, founding members Andrew Stockdale on guitar and vocals, Chris Ross on bass/keyboards and Myles Heskett on drums got together to jam.

But it was in 2004, when Wolfmother was born.

And suddenly things started to happen. After playing a gig in April 2004 in Sydney, they got a record deal with Aussie independent label Modular Recordings with whom they released their (EP) “Wolfmother” in September.

While touring on the EP, Universal Music came in and signed em to an international recording deal.

The self-titled debut produced by Dave Sardy was originally released in Australia via their independent deal on 31 October 2005.

The album was later released internationally by Universal in early 2006.

Like other Aussie artists who got a later international release, the album had an additional track and a rearranged track listing. Spotify carries the international release listing and release date.

As an owner of a book of Frank Frazetta paintings, seeing “The Sea Witch” on the album cover grabbed my attention immediately.

Prior to the release, the band had some serious momentum in Australia. They had the EP out on the charts, they toured and nationwide radio station Triple J, had the band in constant rotation.

Dimension

The bass and drum groove reminds me of an amalgamation of Sweet and Cream in the verses before a Chorus kicks in that sounds like a Sabbath cut.

And a new game is created here in which the listener has to guess which band or song influenced the next song.

And I like games like these.

White Unicorn

You know that section half way through in “Stairway To Heaven” when Jimmy Page starts to play major sounding triads over a droning D note.

Well that’s how “The White Unicorn” starts off. And I like it. Take something that came before and create something new from it.

Woman

Its basically a Sabbath cut with that driving galloping groove from “Children Of The Grave”.

Then again “Roadhouse Blues” comes to mind as well.

The addition of the keyboards makes it sound like a demented Doors cut.

And like other Aussie bands, (Airbourne comes to mind) they capitalized on the video game phenomenon that was happening. “Woman” was licensed to appear in over 12 video games which came out between 2006 and 2008.

Where Eagles Have Been

The beginning reminds of “Goin To California” from Led Zep or “Mother Nature’s Son” from The Beatles or “Brain Damage” from Pink Floyd.

This is the beauty of music. Familiarity is in every song which is created.

Check out the sound effect which increases in intensity at 3.42 and then the guitar solo. This is the best part of the song.

At 4.24 to 4.46 reminds of me of “Dazed and Confused” from Led Zep.

Apple Tree

It has a punk style “My Generation” feel from The Who in the Intro and first verse.

Joker & the Thief

This song has crossed over onto a higher astral plane. It’s everywhere. If you sit down to watch a movie or a TV show, there is a chance you’ll hear it. If you buy a video game, there is a chance you’ll hear it.

When I hear “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss, it reminds me of this song.

“The Hangover” and “Shrek” movies have scenes in the movie, which has this song playing.

Colossal

It feels like a Sabbath cut that hadn’t seen the light of day.

How good is the riff that comes in at the 3.30 mark?

It reminds me of “Ace Of Spades” from Motörhead.

Mind’s Eye

My favorite track.

The arpeggios to start it off are hypnotic. Metallica used a similar progression for “The Day That Never Comes”.

When the verses come in, simplicity at its best. It’s just a single strummed chord and a haunting vocal melody.

I like the simple ascending chord progression just before the Chorus. And it comes back again after the Chorus.

How good is the organ riff?

And they jam on it till the end.

Pyramid

Another song that became a favorite amongst people that didn’t even like this kind of music because it appeared in the “FlatOut 2” car racing game.

Witchcraft

A flute solo. Jethro Tull anyone.

Tales

It’s not a favorite.

Love Train

Listen to “Moby Dick” from Led Zep. Imitation is a form of flattery.

Vagabond

A simple drum metronome style click and an acoustic guitar playing a sort of Country Blues Delta riff start off the song.

Swampy it is and the album is done.

I’ve read reviews that they are copyists and unoriginal. But music is judged on the fun and enjoyment you get out of it. And this album is a whole lotta fun.

Going back to the originality question, the bands that influenced em where also copyists. Led Zeppelin’s first album is a great cover album rebranded as a Zep album.

After all was said and done, the album was certified 5× Platinum in Australia, Gold in Canada, Gold in Germany, Gold in the U.K and Gold in the U.S.

By the time the band started to record album number 2, it was just Andrew Stockdale who remained. But the sound and the songs still remained.

You can read my review on “Cosmic Egg” here.

And spend your weekend cranking Wolfmother.

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