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

Phil Demmel on The Jasta Show

Here’s the link to the Jasta Show interview with Phil Demmel.

Phil Demmel, lead guitar player for VIO-LENCE, formerly of Machine Head is on The Jasta Show. For hard rock fans, Jamey Jasta is the person who wrote the majority of material for Dee Snider’s “For The Love Of Metal” album and working with Dee on a new album. Plus he has albums out as a solo artist and as part of Hatebreed.

I didn’t know of Demmel until he joined Machine Head and I then saw a past link between him and Robb Flynn, when they both did time in the band VIO-LENCE.

It’s a great easy chat between em. Just two muso’s talking and catching up.

Demmel talks about the moment he passed out on stage in Europe at the same time his Dad passed away in the U.S. And he’s spiritual, taking into his life the concepts he likes from Christianity, Buddhism and other religions.

He talks about children.

He found out he has a 33 year old daughter who messaged him via Facebook while he was on tour with Machine Head in the 2000’s and is a product of a 1987 one night high school romance. He has another child from a previous relationship as well.

He also had a vasectomy in 2009, which he then reversed when he got engaged to Bleeding Through keyboardist Marta Peterson in 2012. They have one kid via IVF and another one which “is a miracle”, according to Demmel.

Demmel laughed about never taking the easy route in life.

And both Jasta and Demmel talk about how kids give them focus. Jasta got into podcasting because his daughter wanted to get into it. And I can relate. My kids wanted to make stop motion mini movies so I learned about stop motion. I started to blog because my kids wanted to blog and I did it to show them how. They blogged a few times and stopped.

He talked about his earlier high school bands playing covers of Maiden, AC/DC and Def Leppard. He plays aggressive music and is known for his work with Machine Head but his influences are the same as all of ours, when everything was known as Metal before the labels made up different titles for every sound.

He joined Machine Head in 2002 and he was still working a tradie job, up until 2011. Once the Jackson endorsement money started coming in, he could become a full time musician.

Think about that for a second.

He played and toured the world for a 9 year period and in downtime, had to hustle on a building site for a payday. He remained in Machine Head up until 2018 and he laid down a lot of crushing riffs and a lot of iconic solos, ala Randy Rhoads song within song solo moments.

A listener asked him some of his favourite tracks he’s been involved in.

Demmel mentioned “Farewell To Arms” as he wrote the intro and outro and those sections still give him chills, the Chorus to “Locust” and some of the melodic contributions to “Darkness Within”. “Killers and Kings” was also mentioned as a song he wrote 95% of music to.

He loved being in Machine Head, it was a band he wanted to be in and stay in, but it got to the point where Robb Flynn was going in one direction musically and Phil Demmel was going in another direction musically. So he bailed.

He’s still emotional about the way it ended, the awkward tour and the goodbyes. It wasn’t a clean break, and Demmel mentioned how none of his past break ups have been clean. They’ve all been pretty professional in relation to the departures. He spent 16 years in the band and 98% of it was good, so he’s not going to let the 2% take over the 98%.

If you havent heard him play check out “Darkness Within” and “Locust”.

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

Albums That Influenced Jake E Lee

The great Martin Popoff released a book a while ago called “10 Albums That Changed My Life”.

Jake E Lee was one of the artists who gave Popoff his top 10.

The albums “Bark At The Moon” and “The Ultimate Sin” with Ozzy Osbourne introduced Jake E Lee to the masses, but its “Badlands” and “Voodoo Highway” which really showed what Jake E Lee is all about.

But that all ended by 1991.

Since Badlands, he became a recluse and did a few solo releases here and there and he sold some gear for extra cash. He eventually re-appeared with the “Red Dragon Cartel” which didn’t set my world on fire, but as a fan, it was great to have him back, recording and releasing music. And with every release he does I’m still interested to hear it.

So here are the 10 albums which changed Jake E Lee’s life?

Ozzy Osbourne – Bark At The Moon

His first album with Ozzy Osbourne, who told the world he wrote the album with one finger and a piano.

Lee said that this record changed his life. It was exciting to work with pro musicians like Bob Daisley and Tommy Aldridge and to write with Bob Daisley (but Ozzy is credited as the only songwriter on the album) and to record in a foreign country.

The song “Bark At The Moon” is almost at 72 million streams on Spotify. And who can forget that intro riff and the outro solo.

Scorpions – Virgin Killer

This is what Lee said about the album.

“I was in bands by this point. I was going through a lot of different bands.

I was in a funk band and we had a full horn section and I loved playing that stuff.

I was also in a fusion band, where we did a lot of Return To Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra. It wasn’t a popular band, but it was a fun one to play in.

I was in a rock band and for me, at that point, Ted Nugent was huge but he was not really my cup of tea. He sort of simplified everything and it was making it less interesting and I was getting a little bit tired of rock.

So I think the only band I really enjoyed back then at that moment was Scorpions. Uli Jon Roth was a beast on guitar. But like I say, I was not 100% in rock. I was in other bands that interested me more.”

When “Bark At The Moon” came out, Lee came across as very accomplished and experienced, but when you look at the hours he put in with different styles and different bands, you get an idea of the work ethic in place to expand his mind outside of just rock music.

Led Zeppelin – III

Lee saved up his allowance to buy this album and it became his favourite Led Zeppelin album. This is what he had to say on it.

“I heard “Immigrant Song” on the radio and it was such a nasty riff and a spooky song and I was like, great, this album’s going to be bitchin’.

And I took it home and that’s the only song like it on the whole record. It pissed me off.

I tried to take the record back and they wanted to know why.

And I said, “Because I don’t like it”.

“You can’t bring a record back just because you don’t like it”. And I was stuck with it for the next month, until I could buy another new album. So it was the only new music I could listen to then.

And then it grew on me.

After a month, it was and still to this day is, my favourite Led Zeppelin record. And the reason I wanted to address that is, I kind of feel like our Red Dragon Cartel record “Patina” is like that, most of the songs on there aren’t immediately accessible.”

That’s how it was when you had to buy a physical album. Like it or not, you were stuck with it, so you listen to it a little bit more and you start to like it a little bit more. But from the mid 80’s, a lot of filler started coming onto records and it didn’t matter how many times you listened to the album, you just couldn’t like all of it.

And what are people’s views of “Patina”?

I listened to it once and filed it away. It’s time to get it out and give it a re-listen.

Deep Purple – Machine Head

Lee listened to “Machine Head” a lot as he liked Ritchie’s blues influence and how he made a Strat sound so big and powerful. At this stage, Lee was a Gibson guy.

But when he made his debut to the world with Ozzy he was a Strat guy.

Montrose – Montrose

Lee talks about Ronnie Montrose and how he should have been more applauded than he was, because he was a monster guitar play, with a great tone who could write solid songs.

Aerosmith – Rocks

The first record he got from Aerosmith was “Get Your Wings”. It made him a fan, but it was “Rocks” that became his favourite because of the looseness in the guitar playing of Joe Perry.

Van Halen – Van Halen

Lee basically said, when Van Halen came along, they changed his life.

When this record first came out, he quit the other bands he was in and just stayed within the rock bands. They did a lot of Van Halen covers and he started to write songs in this style.

He goes on to say “Eddie’s playing really turned everybody’s thoughts on how to play guitar upside down”.

Long live the King. RIP. EVH.

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Band Of Gypsies

Lee mentions how “Are You Experienced” is the reason he picked a guitar up, but “Band Of Gypsies” is the album he can’t get enough of.

Lee mentioned how Hendrix was so much harder to learn than the other guys like Page and Clapton, and I agree with him. The other guitar players stuck within normal shapes and patterns when it came to leads and playing, whereas Hendrix was different. Lee called him “John Coltrane on guitar”.

Iron Butterfly – In A Gadda Da Vida

This was Lee’s first rock record he purchased. Before that, he was exposed to James Bond soundtracks. He thought it was the heaviest thing he ever heard.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Lee thought Iron Butterfly was the heaviest thing he ever heard and then he heard the Black Sabbath debut. Nobody sounded like that according to Lee.

I posted another post previously when Jake E Lee mentioned his Top 5 guitar solos in a July 1989 Guitar World interview. And he more or less has stayed true to what his top 10 albums are.

The list is Jimi Hendrix and “Red House” from the “Hendrix In The West” album released in 1971.

“Crossroads” from Cream’s “Wheels Of Fire” featuring Eric Clapton.

“Since I’ve Been Loving You” from Led Zeppelin “III” featuring Jimmy Page which shouldn’t be a surprise.

“Mean Town Blues” from Johnny Winter and “Stratus” from a Spectrum album featuring Tommy Bolin.

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Australian Method Series – Bad Juju

I only got into these guys last year. The cover got me interested.

There is a normal looking human hand reaching out from dark grey water and another human hand trying to pull up the person, who is submerged. Then there are two other hands, withered and decaying and white, trying to keep the submerged person in the water and trying to bring the unsubmerged person also into the water. And this takes place in front of a red moon.

I pressed play on the EP called “You’re Not Alone” (released in September 2020) and became a fan. I mentioned it in my September 2020 post. Prior to this, they had another EP release called “Hidden Desire” in 2018, which I pressed play on today, but it’s nowhere near as accomplished as this EP.

So I did some reading.

They are from Melbourne, Australia. A lot of the websites have them listed as an emo act or a pop punk act or an alternative Brit Pop act but this album is basically anthemic rock.

“Disappoint”

The layered guitars of the intro is enough to get me interested. It reminds me of bands like Anberlin.

I don’t want to disappoint you
I don’t want to ask the question where I already know the answer

None of us want to be hated. Acceptance is important. It’s instilled in us from birth. If we are not part of a group, then something must be wrong with us. But that’s not the case.

Sirens

Another catchy guitar layered intro hooks me in which also serves as the chorus music.

Picture Us

It feels like a Brit Pop 90’s song, mixed with The Cure and a little bit My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.

Dawn

My favourite song.

The fuzzed out intro reminds me of Bowie and The Wallflowers. The song deals with being lonely at night and giving life to those dark thoughts. And it’s another song, created on a bed of layered guitars.

Bad Juju’s vocalist Russell Holland mentioned that the song was influenced by a text message which said, “Do you get lonely? Because I get lonely too”.

What do you do when a friend is using drugs to deal with isolation.

The “wo oh” slow interlude section needs to be heard.

Say It”

It feels like a track from “Mellon Collie” from The Smashing Pumpkins. There is also some Blur, maybe some Cure and New Order and maybe a bit of a grungy alternative rock sound if anything.

The truth is I’m not fine and it’s not okay / tell me what you want to be hearing I will say it like I fucking mean it” is the hook in the Chorus.

It’s basically a FU to “Are You Okay?” day.

Because the truth is, we always have doubts and fears.

Let’s Talk”

It’s a pop song about giving up on a toxic relationship.

“I’ve been feeling really really shitty, since you came and moved to this city”

And eventually, he’s leaving town on the interstate, with the window down and a feeling of freedom as to what is next.

After two EP’s, I am interested to hear what is next.

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The Record Vault: Coheed And Cambria – Year Of The Black Rainbow

Coheed and Cambria had released four albums that covered the story of Coheed and Cambria and their son Claudio against the villain Wilhelm Ryan. On “Year Of The Black Rainbow” you get to hear and read how Wilhelm Ryan became the villain.

This is from the book blurb that came with the deluxe edition, which I tried to get but it sold out so quick.

Welcome to the worlds of Heaven’s Fence, where a lattice of mysterious energy known as “the Keywork” binds and sustains life on a triangular network of planets–from the bleak and hellish Howling Earth to the spare beauty of Bendelesh.

Beneath the Keywork’s glow, under the governance of the twelve grey-skinned Mages and the watchful gaze of the winged Prise, humanity goes about it’s daily life unaffected by the goings-on of the higher powers at work in the universe.

Until the day when the ambitious Wilhelm Ryan, newest member to the brotherhood of Mages, acts on his growing discontent at being branded another ordinary Mage, ruling over one lowly Sector.

Shrewd and silver-tongued, Ryan launches the Mage Wars: a devastating campaign to win control of the entire Fence and take on the legendary mantle of Supreme Tri-Mage, a position likened to God himself.

Dr Leonard Hohenberger, the Fence’s top scientist is summoned by the Prise to stop Ryan. His creations, Coheed and Cambria, are thus born and lead the battle to save Heaven’s Fence.

Released in 2010.

This is the first and only album to feature Chris Pennie on drums and the last to feature Michael Todd on bass, after he was arrested on charges of armed robbery. Claudio Sanchez as usual is on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards and synthesisers, while Travis Stever does lead guitar and lap steel guitars.

Other songs to come out of this period is a cover of the ZZ Top song, “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”, for the tribute album “A Tribute from Friends” and a new song “Deranged”, which was released on the soundtrack for the video game “Batman: Arkham City” on October 18, 2011.

“One”

It’s a one minute, soft piano piece, with ambient and creepy noises as you hear the creaking noise of the piano keys when they are pressed down.

“The Broken”

The verses are technical and the Chorus rocks. The breakdown in the middle is as powerful as the band had gotten and the blah blah vocal chant after the Chorus is unsettling but it works.

“Guns of Summer”

This song divided the fans. Drummer Chris Pennie really shines on this. The whole Intro is like a drum solo with vocal melodies and electronica.

It showcases how technical the band can be. The verses are progressive (I saw a comment once that called the verses mind-bending) and the chorus soars.

“Here We Are Juggernaut”

Dark and heavy and progressive metal like.

Listen to the fuzzed out bass in the verses and the addictive vocal melody in the Chorus.

Also the “bodies breaking” vocal melody in the verses always gets me to pay attention.

“Far”

A dreamy electronica influenced ballad. It reminds me of My Chemical Romance and Smashing Pumpkins.

Check out the repeating guitar lick in the Chorus. Simple and effective.

And also check out the fuzzed out lead break from Travis Steer. Neil Young would be proud.

“This Shattered Symphony”

Typical Coheed song which moves between pop rock like riffs and melodies and then switches to those art rock and Metal kind of riffs with frantic vocal melodies.

“World of Lines”

If you like rock music you should be able to get into this song. I was hooked from the intro. And the chorus is one of their best.

“Made Out of Nothing (All That I Am)”

Would not be out of place on “No Word For Tomorrow”. It’s a beautiful mix of pop and hard rock.

“Pearl of the Stars”

Chris Pennie brings some unusual percussion to this song and the guitar work is haunting, yet beautiful. Claudio moves between low pitched vocals to his normal pitch at the right times.

“In the Flame of Error”

Drummer Chris Pennie shines on this track as well. It’s heavy and dark. Check out the riff in the verse.

“When Skeletons Live”

This song is, plain and simple, awesome. From the keyboard led intro, to the brilliant chorus, this is one of my favourite Coheed songs of all time.

“The Black Rainbow”

A cacophony of noise rock, progressive rock and alternative metal. Make sure you check out the outro when Claudio is singing “It’s over” and there’s a fuzzed out decaying lead by Travis Steer with emotive drumming.

For the hardcore fans, the Deluxe edition bonus tracks are “Chamberlain”, “The Lost Shepherd” and the iTunes edition bonus track is “Hush”.

You’ll need to go to YouTube to check them out. The Chorus of “The Lost Shepherd” is worth your time to invest.

The DVD is pretty cool as it shows how the new tools and effects brought in my the producers allowed the guys to be more creative and to express themselves.

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Australian Method Series – Birds Of Tokyo

I’m keeping within the realms of Karnivool and “Birds Of Tokyo” is a byproduct or maybe main product these days which features Karnivool vocalist Ian Kenny.

“Human Design” is the sixth studio album. It was released on 24 April 2020 and debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Charts.

The lyrics reflect on the breakdown of singer Ian Kenny’s marriage in 2017. Kenny stated in interviews he started writing to keep himself sane, and that he probably could have said things better in the lyrics, but he kept the honesty as is.

The bitter split also led to some changes for him as well. He was living in Melbourne at the time and he returned home to Perth. He shut down from people and went into healing mode. Alcohol is always a welcome friend in times like these.

Songs started appearing as single releases a few years before. “Unbreakable” came out in September, 2018. “Good Lord” came out in February, 2019. “The Greatest Mistakes” came out in August, 2019. “Two Of Us” came out in January, 2020.

The album had momentum. And sonically it was a bit different, more acoustic rock than alternative rock.

“The Greatest Mistake”

It’s also about the marriage breakdown, but with some perspective after the event, such as “It was 13 months ago / When I went through hell alone”, whereas “Good Lord” is raw and more in the moment.

“I’m done wasting all my time on perfection / All my failures are the reason I am who I am”

Relationships are a compromise, but how much does a person need to compromise before they fail to recognise who they are.

“Two Of Us”

A single note moving guitar riff plays over the chords of a piano. The vocal melody from Kenny hooks you straight away.

The massive Gospel like backing vocals in the Chorus gives the song a healing feeling.

After going through a lot of searching, Kenny moved on. He eventually found a new partner and they have a son. “Two Of Us”, “When Home Calls” and “My Darling My Son” capture these positive moments in his life.

“The two of us / we got it all / Don’t need no designer distractions
Cause in the end / I found a friend / My one and my only obsession”

Be who you are people. If you like your music loud, listen to it loud. If you like to dress simple, dress simple. If you like to hang at coffee shops, do it. Others like you, will find you, eventually.

“Good Lord”

It’s the massive break up song. Certified 2x platinum in Australia. It struck a chord with people, at the honesty and openness in the lyrics, something Kenny rarely did as a lyricist.

The video clip is unsettling. Kenny starts off the video looking normal but as it progresses, his fave starts to get bloodier and bloodier.

As Kenny has said in every interview I’ve read, he’s not the first person to go through a marriage breakdown nor will he be the last. But he never saw it coming, thinking that everything was okay. And then one day, he saw his wife with someone else.

“Drinking in Fitzroy pubs till two / Singing those Fleetwood songs with you / But it all changed when I saw you with someone else”

If you’ve been to Fitzroy, you would know Brunswick St, Fitzroy St, Gore St and George St. If there isn’t a pub on the street, there will be a cafe or a restaurant or a night club to hang and socialize in.

“I fell so hard to my knees / My eyes said no this can’t be / Who was that guy, he ain’t me / Good lord, good lord, good lord”

Falling in and out of love is common. I don’t know why people can’t get with someone after they break up.

Why cheat on your current partner?

Break up, then go and do your thing.

“Designed”

This one is raw.

Kenny writes about how his self-confidence was destroyed.

“Borrowed lines from other guys / To make me sound good / Terrified to be myself / When I know that I should

We can’t help it. We always try to fit in and be liked. Hell, social media thrives on likes. And sometimes by “trying to be someone else”, we end up attracting the wrong people into our lives.

“I wish you could have loved me the way that I’m designed / I wish you could have seen how hard I had to try / To be somebody else in somebody else’s eyes”

I know a lot of people who said these things when relationships break down. I even said em to my wife when things weren’t going to good. And they got repeated back to me as well.

It’s important that we keep those special unique things about people in tact, instead of trying to make em fit some mold.

“When Home Calls”

From all the disaster of a break up there is always a new path waiting to be travelled.

“It’s 10.35 I’m on the last flight out of Sydney / Three thousand miles a little more wine and then you / I’m on a plane with two hundred souls / I can’t help but feel I’m alone

I’ve caught late planes before, and it’s bizarre. Some people are just too gassed from the day to be alive and others are too buzzed, looking forward to their destination.

“I stare at my phone at pictures of you and our new born / I wonder if he knows that I missed his birthday this year / This trip away’s been the hardest by far

Being on the road when you have a family is hard. A lot of people turn to addictions to cope with it. And you miss a lot of life, a lot of growing and you miss creating those memories with em.

And our phones are painful reminders sometimes of the things we miss. I have 13 years worth of photos available to me via my iPhone.

“Photo By The Lake”

“When you leave you have to take / That photo by the lake / In that place we were the best we’d ever been

When relationships end, there are too many memories. Suddenly your favourite artist reminds you of them, or your favourite book.

And photos, man, they hold the most memories. These days, each photo is just a delete button away but when photos are printed, it’s an albums worth of destruction.

“Addison”

It starts off with this acoustic/banjo lick over an C to F chord progression.

“I felt a shift in the sand / As you pulled away from my hand”

Later on in the song, Kenny sings about holding on to her hand as long as he could, but she pulled away, breaking the connection.

“How could you leave me here my friend / Somewhere between alive and dead / I thought we’d make it to the end / Don’t leave me Addison”

Its weird how it’s all worked out. Kenny used music to cope with the separation, but after the success of this album and the songs as singles, he needs to relive the separation each night when he performs the songs live on stage.

And to finish off the posts on Ian Kenny, Karnivool (which is the reason why I am a fan of Birds Of Tokyo in the first place) are working on Album Number 4, due around May/June this year.

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No Fucking Regrets Episode 77: Brian Tatler from Diamond Head

Here is the link.

Legendary New Wave Of British Heavy Metal guitarist Brian Tatler sat down with Robb Flynn from Machine Head for an in-depth chat.

The first 20 minutes, Flynn talks about his friendship with vocalist LG Petrov, the frontman for Swedish metal bands Entombed, Entombed A.D. and Firespawn who had just passed away. LG was diagnosed with bile duct cancer and doctors couldn’t remove it. They tried to treat it with “chemotherapy” to prolong his life.

Flynn mentions how he got turned on to Diamond Head by Metallica covering their songs. Before Metallica got signed, people even thought the Diamond Head covers were Metallica originals.

Their debut album in 1980 was called “Lightning To The Nations”. There are seven songs on the album and Metallica covered five of em, throughout their career.

Diamond Head re-recorded their debut album a few years ago and in a great twist, covered a Metallica track, “No Remorse” for the album as it had “DH qualities” according to Tatler.

There is an awesome cover of “Sinner” from Judas Priest as well and Tatler talks about how Priest was a band they looked up to, how Priest influenced em and how he’s “pretty sure” he nicked bits from “Sinner” and “Victims Of Changes” for Diamond Head songs.

He stole the name from a Roxy Music album called “Diamond Head”. Funny how Robb Flynn also took the name “Machine Head” from Deep Purple.

For one weeks studio time, they signed away 15 years of publishing. They were young and they had no idea what publishing was. So when Metallica covered their songs, the publishing was going elsewhere and finally in the late 80’s Tatler went all legal, to get the publishing back.

They didn’t know about the other young bands in the UK at the time like Def Lep, Saxon, Maiden, Angelwitch until Sounds started writing about em. And then so many other bands started coming out, all looking for a record deal.

Geoff Barton from Kerrang was a massive fan of the band and he did a massive write up in Kerrang. They saw that Maiden, Leppard, Saxon and Angelwitch got signed and people wondered why no one signed Diamond Head. So they went the independent route.

Sean Harris (their singer) mom managed the band, which ended up being a bad idea.

Diamond Head never toured the US in the 80s and Robb mentioned how he just presumed that Diamond Head was super huge and that they toured relentlessly in the US.

They finally got a deal with MCA, did two albums, did one tour of Europe and got dropped.

He talks about writing a pop rock song for their first MCA album “Borrowed Time” called “Call Me” because of label pressure, so they could get on to “Top Of The Pops” and they’ll sell a lot of records because of it. But they didn’t. And MCA was not the label for metal bands to be on.

They started touring the US in the 2000s and it was Dave Mustaine from Megadeth that made it happen. Mustaine offered them his crew to help em with set up, sound checks and everything else.

Because Tatler mentioned that DH doesn’t have the pulling power to get crew and buses, so they do their own set up, pack up and their own driving in a van.

He talks about how a 17 year old Lars Ulrich heard “It’s Electric” from a magazine sampler and he then wrote to the fan club, and he said he’s coming over to the UK to watch em play live. And Lars Ulrich ended up sleeping on Tatler’s floor in a sleeping bag in Tatler’s parents house. Lars slept for a week at the Tatler’s and three weeks at vocalist Sean Harris’s parents place.

And my favorite quote from Tatler is “Not everyone gets to make it.”

But he’s okay with it and where he’s at. He’s still doing what he loves. Playing guitar in a band.

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The Record Vault: Coheed and Cambria – No World For Tomorrow

Released in 2007.

I know the album as “No World For Tomorrow” (from here on in, it will be referred as “NWFT”) but its official title is “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow”. Another serious challenge to the length of Meatloaf’s song titles.

“NWFT” is the album that brought the story of Coheed and Cambria and their son Claudio to an end. Well that is what we as fans suspect, as no official story book or comic has been released, but in May 2020, Claude Sanchez announced that a story release for “NWFT” is in the works.

From a legacy perspective, after the “NWFT” album, we got a prequel story of how Wilhelm became the Emperor, an origin story of Sirius discovering “The Keywork”, an album not tied to the story at all and a new story post “NWFT”.

Changes in personnel happened for this album as well, with the previous drummer Josh Eppard departing and replaced by Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters for the album recording.

“The Reaping”

An ominous acoustic guitar arpeggio riff with an emotive vocal kicks off the album.

Purge these days
Will we accept the things we must?
The world will now learn of change to come, or no world

From reading about the story, Claudio has accepted that he is The Crowing, and as The Writer said on the previous album, all things must burn. Sort of like the Mad King in “Game Of Thrones”, “Burn em all”.

Accept the change, or there will be no world.

After 80 seconds the song ends.

“No World For Tomorrow”

And the iconic riff of NWFT starts. It’s a leaner and heavier “Welcome Home”.

“Bye, bye world, or will our hope still hold on?”

It’s dark as it deals with the end of the main character’s world.

“The Hound (of Blood and Rank)”

It starts off with a “Baba O’Reily” meets “Pinball Wizard” synth.

“Feathers”

I know CoCa fans will hate it when I say this, but the start of this song reminds me of “Fallen Angel” from Poison.

It’s one of their most underrated and forgotten tracks.

“The Running Free”

It’s those major key pop punk songs that Coheed and Cambria do so well.

“Mother Superior”

The single note acoustic guitar riff with ringing notes kicks off this ballad like song. It was actually a piano riff to begin with.

How good is the emotional vocal melody especially in the Chorus?

“Gravemakers and Gunslingers”

This one is hard rock all the way with the guitars smacking you awake.

“Justice in Murder”

The harmony guitars to kick off the song. Stick around for the interlude/solo section from 3 minutes in.

Then begins the highlight of the album, “The End Complete”, divided into five sections with a total running time of around 24 minutes.

“The Fall of House Atlantic”

The first is a short orchestral song built on a Spanish Flamenco guitar riff and syncopated drums/vocals chants, coming across as an orchestral hit.

“Radio Bye Bye”

The second is a short pop rock song, more Queen like.

“The End Complete”

The third has it all, heavy riffs, a great hook, some mellow moments, and the whoas from “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth” come back in.

“The Road and the Damned”

The fourth is a short one. More Coldplay and The Verve like with the violin synths.

And that Guitar melody in the Chorus. Classic Rock Pentatonic perfection.

“On The Brink”

The fifth ends the album. It begins soft, with backwards music playing and a Dave Gilmour like lead.

And then it gets heavy.

The vocals are chanting “Hail” and all of this is followed by an ear piercing scream. This one is more Pink Floyd like, like a forgotten track from “The Wall”

Check it out.

P.S. In a tragedy of epic proportions, I cannot locate my CD of NWFT. Too many House moves and too many misplaced boxes. I’m hoping the book release they have planned will be packaged nicely with the album included.

I also haven’t mentioned the debut album “The Second Stage Turbine Blade” so far, because I don’t have it and have been waiting for a definitive edition to come out so I can purchase.

Onto “The Year Of The Black Rainbow” next.

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Music, Unsung Heroes

Rev Theory

I was listening to “The Rev Theory” today.

I got into em with their 2008 release “Light It Up”. I thought it was their debut album but that happened in 2005 with “Truth Is Currency” which I just heard recently.

Check out the songs “Hell Yeah” (currently at 76 million streams on Spotify), “Broken Bones”, “Wanted Man”, “Ten Years” and “Far From Over”.

Then came the “Justice” album in 2011, a couple of hit and miss EP’s/singles and an album in “The Revelation” in 2016. Some connected and some didn’t, so I sort of lost them afterwards.

It’s just how it is these days. We fall in and out of liking artists who are also competing with the history of music, plus their old hits for our attention.

For me, the 2008 album is what stands the test of time and because of it, I am interested to see what the comes next.

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

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – March 8 to March 14

4 Years Ago (2017)

I was writing about 1983.

“Frontiers” from Journey is the response from a band at the top of the charts as the “Don’t Stop Believin” and Jonathan Cain era was in full swing.

“Separate Ways” is the piece d resistance. How good is the opening keyboard lick?

“Faithfully” inspired “Purple Rain”. In This Moment also use this song as an influence for the outro of their song “World In Flames”.

“Troubled Child” is one of those underrated gems on an album.

“Bent Out Of Shape” from Rainbow is how far MTV changed the way bands wrote albums. Suddenly experimentation, longer guitar solos or longer songs in general went out the window. Every band was trying to make that arena rock song.

But the single here should have been “Stranded” instead of “Street of Dreams”.

“Flick Of The Switch” from AC/DC is a solid album.

The producer of their holy trinity albums, Mutt Lange was also out. Their manager Peter Mensch was also out. Angus and Malcolm stepped up to give the world a live and raw version of AC/DC.

There is a lot of groove and swagger. The slower tempo’s make it sound HEAVY. But the songs don’t get played live, and the album remains largely forgotten to the masses.

“Never Surrender” from Truimph showed a band that could write ambitious and melodic tracks along with metal and rock tracks as well.

Yngwie Malmsteen was involved with Alcatrazz and “No Parole from Rock N’ Roll” with Graham Bonnet on vocals and “Steeler” with Ron Keel on vocals.

8 Years Ago (2013)

I listened to Bon Jovi’s new album “What About Now” and had a rant over it. And then I heard “That’s What the Water Made Me”.

Cause devils in heaven
There’s angels in hell

We live in a world of fakes, a world of avatars and the lines between good and evil are blurred these days.  

1994 (27 Years Ago)

“Superunknown” from Soundgarden and “The Downward Spiral” from Nine Inch Nails are released.

1987 (34 Years Ago)

U2 started their world domination era with the release of their fifth studio album, “The Joshua Tree”.

1986 (35 Years Ago)

Rick Rubin got Steven Tyler and Joe Perry to record parts of “Walk This Way” so that he and Run DMC could transform it into a hip-hop jam.

Both acts weren’t enthusiastic about the collaboration but money talks and the track resurrected Aerosmith’s career and pushed Run DMC’s name to a whole new audience as well.

1984 (37 Years Ago)

Ian Gillan’s days in Black Sabbath came to an end, just as Mark II of Deep Purple reformed.

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

Australian Method Series – Karnivool

“Sound Awake” was released in 2009 and it peaked at Number 2 on the Australian Charts.

Karnivool is an Australian progressive band formed in Perth, Western Australia in 1997, with an interesting set list of Nirvana and Carcass songs.

The group currently consists of Ian Kenny on vocals, Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking on guitar, Jon Stockman on bass, and Steve Judd on drums.

The last album they did was “Asymmetry” released in 2013. Vocalist, Ian Kenny is also the lead singer in the highly successful pop rock act, “Birds Of Tokyo” which started off as a side project for him and I’m pretty sure it is now his main project as the Gold and Platinum and Multi-Platinum certifications mount up for em.

So, after touring in the US on the “Themata” album, Karnivool returned to Australia in 2008 and entered the studio to write their follow-up. While writing the album, they still toured around Australia, testing out some of the new songs in the live arena.

While “Themata” was written mostly by guitarist Drew Goodard, “Sound Awake” was much more of a collaborative effort from everyone.

“Simple Boy” and Goliath” show an influence from The Mars Volta and pack a one two punch to kick off the album.

“New Day” at 8 minutes long, is a must listen, with its melodic vocals and progressive structures and how it just keeps building. If you want to hear how Birds Of Tokyo sound then this is the bastard child of their sound. It even has a Live feel.

“Set Fire To The Hive” is a nod to Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger” days, a bit of modern “System Of A Down” and their Alternative Rock style from the first album.

“Umbra” has a catchy hook to start the song. The ending is excellent, stick around for it.

“All I Know” has an odd riff and a Tool like rhythm.

“The Caudal Lure” is the most progressive track, moving between time signatures and feels.

“Illumine” is a metal cut.

And the last two tracks are the piece d resistance with guitarists Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking shining.

“Deadman” just keeps building up and the song ends around 10 minutes, with some ambient noise and then a re-recorded version of “Change (Part 1)”, starts. But when this song was on “Themata” it built and when we expected it to blast off, it ended. Now we finally hear what comes after the build-up.

“Change (Part 2)” has all the best things of Sabbath, Tool, Radiohead and hard rock.

Musically, Tool, Porcupine Tree and early Muse come to mind. There’s some Deftones and Radiohead there. There’s an Alternative Rock vibe from the debut that’s still there. It’s catchy, has heaps of melody because Ian Kenny is one of Australia’s best singers. The rhythm section of Judd and Stockman is excellent, creative and full of ideas to change it up. And Goddard and Hosking make a wonderful twin guitar outfit.

Check em out.

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