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

September 2020 – Part 4

Seether

Originally from South Africa.

Seether these days are founding members Shaun Morgan on vocals and Dale Steward on bass. Drummer John Humphrey joined in 2003 and now they have Corey Lowery on guitar who has been in a few modern rock bands like Saint Asonia, Dark New Day, Eye Empire and Stuck Mojo and is the brother to Clint Lowery, the guitarist from Sevendust.

The album is called “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”. The title translates from Latin to, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’.

There form of fuzzy rock always gets me interested. And man, Shaun Morgan can write riffs.

And the first track “Dead And Alone” starts. It’s doomy and very Sabbath like with a very Tool meets Rage Against The Machine vibe in the verses. Or Deftones.

On a side note, did you know that guitarists Tom Morello from RATM and Adam Jones from Tool were in a band together before they went and formed the bands that the world knows. These two dudes changed modern rock guitar.

And the bass guitar is always prominent in Seether like in “Bruised And Bloodied” with an addictive and melodic vocal melody showcasing the pipes on Shaun Morgan.

“Dangerous” is another melodic post grunge rock song. The bass guitar kicks it off again and the vocal line is catchy.

The last two minutes of “Buried In The Sand” are so doomy yet melodic.

“Failure” is another track that kicks off with the bass and a catchy melodic vocal line. And man, the lyrics.

And yeah I live my life like a broken-hearted failure / I’m trying to shed some light on the scars left by the razors

The feelings of depression, self-loathing, and anxiety are conveyed in the lyrics and the music builds in intensity at the right moment.

And the closer, “Written In Stone” keeps the melancholy going, with its clean tone arpeggio intro and slow build as it percolates. And I’m waiting for it to explode in intensity, but it doesn’t, which is also a good thing.

I read a Kerrang review of this album which said the “songs are either power-chorus cheese that’s still waiting to see if the invitation to appear on the Spider-Man soundtrack with Chad Kroeger turns up in the post, or mid-paced nu-metal with the volume turned down.

In other words the review states the album sounds dated.

But that’s exactly why I like em.

Needtobreathe

The first time I came across this band was via an Amazon referral when I purchased either a “Casting Crowns” or “Skillet” or “Thousand Foot Krutch” album back in 2012. So I went to the pirate sites and YouTube and sampled em. And I moved on. There was a lot of material there to digest and I wasn’t really in the mood to explore deep. My third child was under six months, I had surgery on my foot three times to put screws in and then to take the screws out and my mindset wasn’t on exploring new music.

Fast forward many years later and Mr Jon Snow at 2loud2oldmusic.com is a fan of the band and writes enthusiastically about em. You can read the review from 2loud2old here. The enthusiasm rubs off and I’m keen to explore, and my mood is very different.

“Alive” kicks the album off nicely and “Out Of Body” feels like a Springsteen song in the verses and I like it. “Riding High” sounds like a cross between Bad Company and The Eagles. And there are other songs to check out like “Who Am I”, “Banks”, “Bottom Of A Heartbreak” and “Seasons”.

Disturbed

“If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” is Disturbed trying to re-capture their “The Sound Of Silence” moment.

Stryper

Michael Sweet is working hard, writing and recording new music via his many different projects but the project which is his bread and butter and which led to him being who he is, is Stryper.

“Even The Devil Believes” is basically pushing the metal Stryper sound of the last few albums, which in reality was a return to their “Soldiers Under Command” sound from the 80’s and it showcases the influence of Judas Priest to their music.

Standout tracks are “Blood From The Above”, “Make Love Great Again”, “Do Unto Others”, “Even The Devil Believes”, “How To Fly”, “Invitation Only” and “For God & Rock ‘N’ Roll” which starts off with the same drum pattern that Robert Sweet uses for “To Hell With The Devil”.

Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen is always here and there with me. “Letter To You” means he’s back to being here. It’s one of those “My Hometown” style tracks which I like.

And theres this interview video of Springsteen doing the rounds on social media about “when Trump loses the next election”.

The Boss has spoken.

Mastodon

This is an old track that appeared on a new compilation album.

And how can you not like a track called “White Walker”?

But the tribal drum start that gets you. It makes you feel like you are in the snow, living the life of a Wilding with the threat of these ancient beings.

September became a big month for releases in 2020 because so many albums got pushed back to this month because of coronavirus, so there will be a few more posts to come.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Review in 40 Words

February 2020 – Part 2

The Final Frontier
Die Young
Naked City
Ride Like The Wind
Lonely Nights
New York Minute
Needles and Pins
Love
Mystery
Running Up That Hill
Jorn

Jorn Lande is one of the best singers to have come out in the last 30 years. His style is rooted within the classic signers of Coverdale, Dio, Dickinson and Gillan. And to his detriment, the previous labels he was on, marketed him heavily as a clone of those singers which either will get a curious audience to check him out or people would just ignore him, because hey, why would they need a clone.

He started off with a band called Vagabond, which had TNT members in it, released an album on a label, got dropped from the label and released another album independently. Then when TNT reformed, Vagabond was done, and Jorn joined a band called The Snakes with Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, which sounded like another band that has Snake in the title. He was fired from that band, did a few projects here and there, until he formed the band Jorn and started a long partnership with Frontiers Records.

“Heavy Rock Radio” is a project which has Jorn Lande covering some classic songs which inspired him. Of course, it’s another project funded by Frontiers who is trying its hardest to get so many recordings under its control.

One of my favourite Kiss songs is “Naked City” and it gets an updated rendition here. Which I certify as 100% excellent.

“Ride Like The Wind” from Saxon and “Lonely Nights” from Bryan Adams got taken out of the early 80’s and brought into the 2020’s as modern rock songs.

And there is no cover album from Jorn without a tribute to Ronnie James Dio material, in this case, “Die Young” and “Mystery”.

“The Final Frontier” actually sounds better than Maiden’s version and Jorn delivers on the vocal front.

“New York Minute” is a Don Henley cover and the intro highlights were “18 And Life” might have come from.

“Needles and Pins” is from the 60’s by The Searchers and the band Smokie made it a rock like ballad in the 70’s which sounds like the version that Jorn took and modernized even more into a melodic rock anthem.

“Love” is from Santana’s 1979 album, “Marathon” and this version is so good.  

Suffering’ night and day
People all around me crying
Enough–what’s the use
We don’t even feel like trying

Lyrics like the above, is a big reason why music is special to me. It’s easy to give up than continue especially when you don’t feel up to it, to face the day. And when you feel alone, you hear that others are feeling the same.

Hatred, doubt, and fear
It’s not the way toward the solution
There must be a way
To be free from all illusion

The people try to find a way, but money and fear clouds everything. Doomsday scenarios of financial Armageddon and what not always abound.

And humans are bad at making decisions. We have a strong view point against illicit drugs, while we hold a cigarette in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other. We are scared to travel because of a virus but the virus is in our country as well.

Love
Oh, love
All we need is love

We have it in abundance. We share it carefully.

History loudly claims
That we never learnt our lesson
We kill one another
We put the blame on greed and passion

Has anything changed?

We move from one conflict to the next, from one virus to the next, from one recession to the next and the cycle keeps repeating, because greed rules everything. As long as corporations exist on foreign soils, exploiting the native lands and its workers, we will kill one another.

Wise men calmly say
Every man shall reach perfection
If we help each other
We will reach our destination

And that’s the problem.

Have we forgotten how to help each other?

I’ve include “Running Up That Hill”, a cover from Kate Bush, which appeared on Heavy Rock Radio Volume 1 from a few years before because Jorn has taken a unique pop song and turned it into a beautiful rock track.

Feeling Whitney
Royal Bliss

Royal Bliss are a great band. This is a cover of an acoustic song from Post Malone, released in 2016.

The chord progression reminds me of “Dust In The Wind”. And for those hard rock and metal elitists who mocked the Ozzman for collaborating with Post Malone, should check out this song (along with tracks like “Hollywood Bleeding”) and understand that just because someone has 53 million Spotify listeners a month, and has dance beats in their songs, it doesn’t mean they don’t have any rock credibility.

The intro of the voices humming out the melody is enough to get me interested and then the opening line sealed the deal.

I been looking for someone to put up with my bullshit

Isn’t that teamwork. Find someone to love, to put up with your BS and in return you put up with their BS and you live happily ever after.

Show no emotion, against your coding, just act as hard as you can
You don’t need a friend, Boy, you’re the man

Masculinity is toxic. Having more testosterone doesn’t make a man invincible. Emotions and feelings are still the same as everyone else’s. And we need to be allowed to show these emotions without judgement. Because it is part of our coding.

From about 1.42, the song kicks into overdrive.

Fireline
Shakra

Shakra really knows how to deliver some heavy melodic rockers. Crank this song and if it doesn’t get your foot tapping and your head banging, you are too uptight to let go.

Death Of Me
Another Lost Year

The guitar lick after the singing at the start gets me playing air guitar and the vocal melody lingers for a long period.  

I remember everything that you said

We have a tendency to remember more bad things than good.

Part 1 is here.

Part 3 is up next.

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