Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Music As A Weapon

The Disturbed Record Vault series is almost at an end.

“Music as a Weapon” is a series of concert tours created by Disturbed. All up this tour did the rounds seven different times.

In 2001, the first edition featured Disturbed, Drowning Pool, Adema, Stereomud and Systematic.

In 2003, which is also the tour captured on the CD, it featured Disturbed, Chevelle, Taproot and Unloco.

In 2006, the tour featured Disturbed, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Nonpoint.

In 2008, the tour came to Australia and New Zealand which I caught. It featured Disturbed, P.O.D., Alter Bridge, Redline and Behind Crimson Eyes.

In 2009, the tour featured a bigger line up, with Disturbed, Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil, Chimaira, Suicide Silence, Spineshank, Crooked X, Bury Your Dead, Born of Osiris and After the Burial.

In 2011, the line-up was Disturbed, Korn, Sevendust, In This Moment and StillWell. It’s also the first time the tour had co-headliners with Disturbed and Korn. The Australia and New Zealand edition had Disturbed, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, Forgiven Rival and These Four Walls.

But back to the “Music as a Weapon II”.

It was recorded at The Aragon in Chicago in 2003, and released in 2004.

The DVD also contains Disturbed’s video for their single “Liberate” and it was Disturbed’s last release with bass guitarist Steve Kmak.

On a different note, it was also Unloco’s final release before splitting up. But vocalist Joey Duenas did form a new band called “Anew Revolution” and released two excellent albums called “Rise” in 2008 and “iMerica” in 2010. But that band is also no more.

“Loading the Weapon” (instrumental)

An instrumental track from Disturbed that is not on any album. I love the mood that this track creates.

“Bound”

It then explodes into “Bound” from the “Believe” album.

“Myself”

This CD was my first exposure to Taproot. The live recording didn’t captivate me to listen any further.

“Dehumanized”

It was written and recorded for the “Believe” album, however it didn’t make the final cut. But it was played live during the “Believe” tour and released as a B side to the “Stricken” single from the “Ten Thousand Fists” album, alongside “Hell”.

And it was finally released on “The Lost Children” album.

“Forfeit”

My first exposure to Chevelle and I was instantly a fan. The live recording isn’t the best, but the Tool like grooves into a concise 4 minute song was of interest to me.

“Fade to Black”

From Disturbed.

A Metallica cover. And how good is the whole intro with the acoustic arpeggios and lead break.

“Empty”

My first exposure to Unloco.

“Sumtimes”

Taproot’s other song on the album. It’s like Staind and the track is more accessible than the previous one. But still not interested.

“Darkness”

From the “Believe” album. The piano and acoustic guitar is haunting. Draiman’s vocal delivery is excellent.

“Bruises”

From “Unloco”. This song was in “The Matrix” movies and various video games.

“Prayer”

From the “Believe” album, the fast staccato riffing in the Intro isn’t as powerful as the album version, but I do like the slight increase in tempo which makes the fast staccato riffing even faster.

And Draiman delivers vocally.

“The Red”

David Draiman makes an appearance with Chevelle. Its pitchy especially when Draiman joins in with the harmonies but that’s what performing live is all about.

“Poem”

Song number three from Taproot. The riff sounded interesting and a bit complex, so from this song, I would go on to check out more Taproot eventually.

“Stupify”

From “The Sickness” album, and Peter Loeffler from Chevelle and Joey Duenas from Unloco make an appearance.

In the end, it’s live with no studio overdubs and very different to the live albums I grew up with, (which were basically re-cut in a studio).

I also like how Disturbed put three unreleased songs on this album.

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

The Record Vault: Dokken – Hell To Pay

It probably didn’t make a big impression on me, because I forgot I had purchased it, so I purchased it again and now I have two CD’s.

The most dangerous job in the world at that point in time was the Dokken guitar player spot. After George Lynch, the band went through Reb Beach and John Norum.

For “Hell To Pay”, released in 2004, there was another newbie, Jon Levin on guitars.

Production was once again handled by Don Dokken.

The Last Goodbye

The song is written by Don Dokken, Mick Brown and Jon Levin, who quickly announces himself with a bone crunching riff inspired by “Kashmir” over a rock steady groove by Brown.

Dokken has been dabbling with exotic sounds on previous albums and that spirit has carried through on this.

Make sure you check out the lead break from Levin.

Don’t Bring Me Down

Written by Dokken, Barry Sparks and Levin.

It’s fast.

This is Levin’s statement.

That lead break.

Wow. Just listen to it.

And he did something on that lead break, not heard on a Dokken album, a harmony solo.

Escape

Another Dokken, Brown and Levin cut.

This one is like a dark rock song, almost alternative but still delivered with hooks from the 80s, something they copped shit for, but to me that’s what’s special about the album. Sounding current and modern with a sense of pop melody in the vocals.

Haunted

Another Dokken, Brown and Levin cut and one of my favourite Dokken cuts from this version of the band.

Levin goes a bit high octane bluesy in the lead break and I like it.

Prozac Nation

It’s written by Kelly Keeling, Dokken and Levin.

A familiar riff and vocal melody rule this song.

Levin goes all chromatic for his brief solo spot light.

Care For You

Written by Dokken and Keeling.

Yeah I didn’t care much about this song and I was disappointed when the bonus track was this song in an “unplugged” setting.

Better Off Before

Another Dokken, Brown and Levin cut.

A groove metal riff kicks it off, very Disturbed like.

Dokken is bringing his sense of melody to it and the 2004 version of the band is definitely rocking.

Still I’m Sad

No relation to the Rainbow song.

It’s a cut penned by Don.

It’s got groove and I like it’s three distinct parts, the clean tone verses, the distorted melodic pre chorus and the anthemic Chorus.

I Surrender

Again, no relation to the Rainbow song.

This one is also a penned by Don. It percolates with a hooky riff as Don builds it vocally.

The Chorus riff reminds me of “Unchain The Night” and I like it.

Levin is also channeling Neal Schon on the lead break.

Letter From Home

Written by Keeling, Levin and Dokken.

The band is channeling The Beatles and Led Zeppelin on this one.

The lead break from Levin is excellent. Very Jimmy Page like.

Can You See

A Dokken and Levin cut. it’s got that Dokken 80s spirit from “The Hunter” but Don’s voice is low, almost monotone like which was slowly becoming his style.

And Levin brings it again for the lead break.

If this is your first Dokken experience, there is enough here to get you interested to hear more.

If you grew up with Dokken in the 80s then this is a good listen.

C

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