Here we are, the final 2000 post which brings to an end, the tandem 2000, 1985 and 1977 series before I move on to 2001, 1986 and 1976 series.
Motorhead – We Are Motorhead
Its fast and fast and fast. A perfect statement of intent for the 2000’s.
Certain songs had different producers like Bob Kulick, Bruce Bouillet and Duane Baron.
Phil Campbell on the guitar is phenomenal. Very underrated. And of course, Mikkey Dee on the drums is a metronomic machine when he needs to be and sleazy swingy when he needs to be.
Then you have Lemmy.
Heavy as lead, all fuzzed out with his bass lines and throwing his voice into the concrete and still sounding good.
“See Me Burning” clocks in at 3 minutes as the double kick pattern is relentless from the start to the end. “Wake The Dead” has another fast double kick pattern from Dee. “We Are Motorhead” sounds like it came from the “Ace Of Spades” album. “Stagefreight” and “Heart On Your Sleeve” continue the speed.
“Slow Dance” is the mid-tempo hard rock track and my favourite. The riff is sinister like and I like it. Especially that harmony lead before the lead break.
And my other favourite, is “One More Fucking Time”. At 6 plus minutes it’s the longest song on the album.
I like the idea behind the first Fozzy album and the funny backstory they put into the promo.
They had signed with a record company and moved to Japan to be huge rock stars, but the company went out of business, leaving them stranded in Japan for 20 years, while all their demos were snatched and recorded by other bands. Once they returned to America, they realized that many famous artists had ripped off their songs.
So this album is mostly cover songs (which are like the Fozzy songs that other artists took) however, the album does have two new original songs, so that these thieving bands don’t have enough time or a chance to “rip” off these new songs.
So who is Fozzy.
Well wrestler Chris Jericho (credited as Moongoose McQueen) is on vocals, Rich Ward (credited as Duke LaRüe) on guitars, Dan Dryden (credited as Shawn “Sports” Pop) on bass, Frank Fontsere (credited as KK LaFlame) on drums and Ryan Mallam (credited as The Kidd) on guitar.
Megaforce Records had high commercial hopes for this album, but it disappointed the label heads and they more or less cancelled their support of the album and the band.
One more album would come two years later called “Happenstance” and when it did even less business than the debut, Megaforce ran to the hills.
“Stand Up and Shout” written by Ronnie James Dio and Jimmy Bain and performed by Dio kicks off the album.
“Eat the Rich” is a Krokus cover, written by Butch Stone, Marc Storace, Fernando von Arb and Chris von Rohr.
“Stay Hungry” is a Twisted Sister cover and written by Dee Snider. Less than 3 minutes long, it’s a speed metal cut.
“The Prisoner” is an Iron Maiden, written by Adrian Smith and Steve Harris.
“Live Wire” is a Mötley Crüe cover, written by Nikki Sixx.
“End of Days” is written by Rich Ward and Chris Jericho. It got some fast palm muted picking but it doesn’t have that classic riff like the songs above, but it does have a wicked pre-chorus vocal melody, when Jericho/Moongoose sings “Can you believe in love?”
“Over the Mountain” is an Ozzy Osbourne cover, written by Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake.
“Blackout” is a Scorpions cover, written by Sonja Kittelsen, Klaus Meine, Herman Rarebell and Rudolf Schenker
“Feel the Burn” is another cut written by Rich Ward and Chris Jericho but its forgettable.
“Riding on the Wind” is a Judas Priest cover, written by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K. K. Downing. Like all of the other tracks on the album, they are played with a bit of a pedal to the floor attitude.
The album is basically an 80’s Heavy Metal jukebox under 40 minutes.
Symphony X – V The New Mythology Suite
I read some stuff about this band and how good Michael Romeo is on guitars. But to me, it was Russell Allen on vocals that got me interested, because Romeo was too much like Malmsteen on a lot of the stuff, or maybe he wasn’t like Malmsteen, instead it was the keyboard lines of Michael Pinnella that made it sound like Malmsteen.
Wikipedia tells me it is a concept album dealing with the story of Atlantis, ancient Egyptian mythology, and astrology.
There is a lot of same same here, but “Communion And The Oracle” is a bit different, with its soundtrack like feel and very Kansas feel in certain sections. Its progressive the way I like progressive to be.
Nightwish – Wishmaster
I’m a fan of the riffs. The operatic vocals are hit and miss for me on this album, but they do get better with subsequent releases.
“She Is My Sin” has a kicking intro riff.
“The Kinslayer” has another great riff, but on this one, the vocal line is like that “O Fortuna” vocal line. Brilliant.
If the intro to “Come Cover Me” doesn’t get you playing air guitar then you have no heartbeat.
“Wishmaster” continues that symphonic “O Fortuna” element in the Chorus, when they sing “Mas-ter”, “A-pprent-ice” in that style. Check out the harmony leads as well.
In Flames – Clayman
This is the album that put them on the map for me. Thirteen songs at 50 minutes. No fat whatsoever in the songs.
I really like the melody and aggression in the riffs and those European Minor key harmonies and leads.
Case in point, check out the riffs and leads in “Bullet Ride”. Vocally, its more in the vein of acts like “At The Gates” so if you want to hear a more commercial sounding In Flames, then Ghost AD does a pretty good job as the riffs they use are very similar.
Then you get the fast speed metal of “Pinball Map”. But hang around until the 2.20 minute mark, when it breaksdown into a head banging groove. Then the lead break starts, which copies the Chorus vocal melody before it picks up the speed metal.
How good is the intro melodic lead and that chugging staccato riff for the verses in “Only For The Weak”?
Listen to the lead break in the Chorus for “Square Nothing”.
I wanted Metallica to write a song like “Clayman” around this time. But who knew the dramas that Hetfield was going through during this period.
The clean tone arpeggios and harmony lead to kick off “Satellites and Astronauts” always gets me to pick up the guitar and then the madness starts before it goes back to those clean tone arpeggios for the verses.
The riff at 1.30 in “Brush The Dust Away” reminds me of Lynch/Dokken era. And the lead break starts off with some fast legato lines, some melody, then sweeps and harmonies.
“Swim” sounds like a Europe song from the first two albums, but then it moves into a Dream Theater/Petrucci like riff before the Euro melodic riffs kick in.
Finally “Another Day In Quicksand” feels like it’s the younger brother of “The Fire Still Burns” from Twisted Sister.
Children of Bodom – Follow The Reaper
RIP Alexi Laiho.
A Children Of Bodom album has riffs. A lot of fast riffs and a lot of groove rock riffs and a lot of progressive riffs.
And it has leads plus harmony leads with guitars and keyboards and breakdown grooves.
Check out the intro riff to “Follow The Reaper” and those lead breaks in between.
The verse riff in “Bodom After Midnight” is the best Malmsteen riff that he didn’t write.
How good is the intro to “Children of Decadence” and the 80’s melodic pop grooves for the intro to “Mask Of Sanity”?
Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage
For the debut album, Adam Dutkiewicz played drums and he moved to guitars on the albums after. Jesse Leach is on vocals, Joel Stroetzel is solely on guitar and Mike D’Antonio is on bass guitar.
The debut album is way too extreme for me, vocally, with every song in that screaming range. But musically, there are a lot of good riffs in this.
“Temple From The Within” opens the album and listen to that riff at the 1.10 minute mark to 1.33 mark. Then the bass kicks in and its heavy when the guitar kicks in. This track was re-released on the follow up album “Alive And Breathing” in 2002.
Check out the acoustic flamenco section from the 3 minute mark in “Irresversal”, an oasis of melody in the chaos of heaviness and aggression. This track was also re-recorded for “The End Of Heartache” album in 2004.
“Prelude” is only 2 minutes, but that’s enough for an instrumental, with head banging riffs and a sing-a-long lead break. “One Last Sunset” is another instrumental, sad and melancholic.
Nonpoint – Statement
The debut album reminds me of “Sevendust” and “Mudvayne” with a bit of “Tool” on this album. I think it’s a big reason why I gravitated to them.
“Mindtrip” has the vocals kick in start right away and that vocal line “trip inside your mind” reminds me of Tool.
“Endure” is the superior track here, combining melody, aggression and powerful riffs into a cohesive 3 minute track.
“Years” is a cross between clean tone arpeggios, busy drumming and aggressive down picking with a melodic Chorus, very Tool like.
Taproot – Gift
Bands classed as Nu-Metal had a lot of promo in Australia.
But Taproot, while classed in that style had a bit of progressive in them, clean tone vocals, hard core vocals with metal and rock overtones.
“Again And Again” has this groove, which people might say is more Disturbed than anything else, but both bands came out the same time, so let’s just say it’s a 2000 groove. Reminds me of Staind.
“I” is a favourite.
And thats it folks, the year that was 2000 comes to an end.