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

Australian Method Series: Airbourne – Boneshaker

The method is simple.

Listen to an AC/DC album and write songs that have the vibe from that album. It’s been “Airbourne’s” template for the first four albums, so why change it for album number five.

But on the album, I would like to add a few other Australian bands like Rose Tattoo, Screaming Jets and The Angels to that list of influences.

“Boneshaker” was released on 25 October 2019, produced by Dave Cobb which was a surprise choice, considering his big production credits involve Chris Stapleton and “The Star Is Born” soundtrack. But the band wanted to work with Cobb based on an album he did for a small obscure band called “Black Robot”. Check out their 2009 album to hear a pretty cool slab of AC/DC, Aerosmith, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Airbourne is still underpinned by brothers Joel O’Keefe on Vocals/Lead Guitar and Ryan O’Keefe on drums. Justin Street is on bass and new dude Matthew Harrison is on guitar.

Boneshaker

This track wouldn’t be out of place on an early Y&T album. Maybe because they have the lyric, “Earthshaker” after “Boneshaker”.

Burnout the Nitro

It has a country twang to it, but played through a distorted amp, in sounds rock and roll.

“Racing down the highway” instantly brings back memories of “Long Way To The Top”. And that’s basically the vibe of the song, a cross between “Long Way”, “Shoot To Thrill”, “Let There Be Rock” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”. If you are going to be influenced by AC/DC, you might as well be influenced by some of their biggest songs.

This Is Our City

“This is our city, lets rock and roll”. And the live show is summed up in a simple line.

Sex To Go

Great title and perfect for the fast paced social media lives we live in. At 2 minutes and 34 seconds, it’s probably just enough time to have fast food take away sex. And how can you not go past a lyric like “all I want is your apple pie”.

In the words of Sammy Hagar in “Good Enough”, I’ll have some of that.

Backseat Boogie

“Long Way To The Top” makes another comeback. And I like it

Blood In The Water

A groovy “Whole Lotta Rosie”.

She Gives Me Hell

Being on the wrong side of a toxic relationship sets up the lyrical foundation over a musical influence from “Highway To Hell”.

Switchblade Angel

The speed rock and roll is back and I like it.

Weapon Of War

The slow blues grit and groove is back for a song about war vets.

Rock ‘n’ Roll For Life

The fast “Let There Be Rock” vibe is back.

Rock and Roll along with all things Metal is a life style. Once you are in. you are always in. You might dabble in other genres but you’ll always come back. Because Rock N Roll is for life.

After 30 minutes and 36 seconds the album is over like fast food. Music on the go. Concise and straight to the point, there is no confusion as to what Airbourne is. A highly efficient and lean rock and roll band.

With no ballads.

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Australian Method Series: Lord – Set In Stone

2005.

A band called Dungeon is opening for Megadeth in Sydney. I knew of the name, but never heard any of their music. The band name just didn’t do it for me. It was my mistake. I listened with my eyes instead of my ears. Well that was to change.

After the gig, Dungeon was definitely on my radar and I did purchase a few of their albums. And as soon as I got into them, they called it quits.

Sort of.

You see, Lord was originally started as a side project for Dungeon guitarist/vocalist Tim Grose, which was meant as something different from his main band sound. Lord’s first album was released in 2003 and it wasn’t so different from Dungeon. After Dungeon disbanded in 2005, Lord just became a continuation of Dungeon’s sound with new members. You could even purchase Dungeon albums at shows Lord did.

“Set in Stone” is the third album released in September 2009 by the band’s own label Dominus in conjunction with Riot! Entertainment. The album was recorded in my home town of Wollongong, Australia. A small foot note in history, is that a band I was in at the time opened up for Lord when they played Wollongong touring on this album.

The band is Tim Grose (also known as Lord Tim) on vocals and guitars, Tim Yatras on drums, Mark Furtner on guitars and Andrew Dowling on bass.

Spectres of the Ascendant

48 seconds of sound effects to introduce “Redemption”.

Redemption

Written by Tim Grose and drummer Tim Yatras, who would depart the band after the album was completed.

Its face melting speed metal.

100 Reasons

Another Grose and Yatras track.

It’s hard rock, with a major key Arena melodic rock Chorus.

Eternal Storm

Co-guitarist Mark Furtner gets a co-write with Grose and Yatras.

Fast, Malmsteen like from the “Marching Out” album. The solo is very Vinnie Moore like, running through different scalar patterns.

Set in Stone

Another track written by Grose and Yatras.

My favourite song on the album. The intro riff is a brilliant mix of Classic NWOBHM and American metal. Judas Priest and Maiden come to mind, with vocals bordering between a cross between Dickinson and Tate at their classic metal best.

There is this “wo-oh-oh” chant after the solo. I can imagine thousands of people chanting it at a gig.

Someone Else’s Dream

Written by the band.

An 80’s sounding synth and a syncopated guitar line set the foundations. At stages it feels like it’s a song from the Gothenburg metal scene, but the Chorus is huge and melodic.

Forever

It’s almost Maiden like with a lot of musical influences from the “Fear of The Dark” album.

I play air guitar to the harmony guitars.

Written by Tim Grose, Tim Yatras and Andrew Dowling.

The lyrical theme is pretty clear. Boy falls in love, gets rejected and goes all Michael Douglas “Falling Down” on the girl and the world.

The guitar playing in the lead break is brilliant.

Beyond the Light

Written by the band.

Judas Priest and UFO “Lights Out” era comes to mind, vocally and musically. It’s a great song to sing along to.

The End of Days

Written by Grose and Yatras.

It’s like a thrash metal song, with the vocals being a cross between Rob Halford and Tom Araya (in the verses).

Staying true to its title it ends with a nuclear bomb going off.

Be My Guest

Written by Tim Grose, Tim Yatras and ex Dungeon bassist Brendan McDonald.

This is like “Stars” on guitar with a lot of guest solos.

It’s an instrumental track featuring guest solos from Craig Goldy of Dio, Glen Drover from Eidolon, Olof Mörck of Dragonland, Yoshiyasu Maruyama of the Japanese thrash band Argument Soul, Angra’s Felipe Andreoli, the former Enter Twilight member Richie Hausberger, Chris Porcianko from Vanishing Point, Chris Brooks and former Dungeon members Stu Marshall and Justin Sayers.

New Horizons

Written by Grose and Yatras. It’s your typical power ballads.

Pete Lesperance from Harem Scarem plays a solo on this.

On a Night Like This

A Kylie Minogue cover as the bonus track.

The fact that the band would attempt such a cover shows the versatility of the members.

Reviews for Australian artists are difficult to do as I want to highlight influences of their sound without making them sound like copyists, and if people from other continents want to check them out, my aim is to give them a reference point as well.

If you haven’t dabbled in the power metal genre, then let Lord be your entry point.

It’s easy really.

Just press play on the melodic rock tracks first like “100 Reasons” and “Beyond The Light”.

If you like em, then press play on the classic metal track, “Set In Stone”.

If you like that, press play on the more ambitious tracks like “The End Of Days” and “Forever”.

Then you are at the fast speed metal with “Redemption” and “Eternal Storm”.

Enjoy.

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Australian Method Series: Cold Chisel – Cold Chisel

1976 saw AC/DC’s first internationally-released album, “High Voltage”. The demand for Oz Rock was already on the up.

Enter Cold Chisel.

After years of hitting every place and pub in Australia and drinking those places dry with their road crew, or getting banned due to fighting, Cold Chisel finally got a record deal and released their first album on WEA/Elektra in 1978.

But.

If you ever caught the band live, the self-titled debut sounded nothing like the band did on stage.

They also had a producer that kept telling em that live is live and the studio is the studio. They cannot intersect. Well tell that to Bob Rock who made it his mission to capture how good a band sounded live, in the studio.

Before the album was even released “Khe San” was already a crowd favourite however it was a lot faster live than the studio version. But there is something special about the slowed down studio version as well.

Juliet

It’s a rocker, more STYX like with a little bit of “Evie” from Stevie Wright and “Mississippi Queen” from Mountain.

Khe Sanh

“Khe Sanh” was released as a 45 rpm single in May 1978. It captures, the despair and the anger of an Australian Vietnam war veteran. There were no parades for these guys. They came back home, hated. And the promises made by the Government to look after them never came to be.

It was banned from commercial radio as the lyrics had references of sex and drugs. Lines like these were scandalous. “And their legs were often open/But their minds were always closed”.

But a great song is never born from marketing. It’s from word of mouth.

And the Battle of Khe Sanh was fought mainly by US Marines but this didn’t matter.

The piano riff is rocking and the best part of the song is when Jimmy Barnes sings, “the last plane out of Sydney is almost gone”.

And maybe all of us were a bit damaged as well so the song resonated with a lot of people who had addictions and couldn’t make meaningful contact with woman, and the need for casual sex with East Asian women.

Home And Broken Hearted

The verse riff reminds me of AC/DC, who were influenced by Chuck Berry.

One Long Day

The bass rumbles while the piano plays a jazzy riff that reminds me of “Long Way To The Top”. And it takes a left turn when it changes to lounge rock.

Northbound

Blues rock at its best

Rosaline

It could be a STYX or Bee Gees cut. It’s almost progressive the way Don Walker plays the piano.

Daskarzine

Its fast and aggressive.

Almost Rose Tattoo like and when “they speak her name in cheap hotels/From Turkey to Marseille” we get an understanding as to who Daskarzine is.

Just How Many Times

Its lounge jazz blues rock, slow and relaxed. The lyrical message is more important than the rest. Barnesy is a crooner on this, an R&B style of crooner.

They never got the big break in North America that they wanted, but it’s pretty hard to sell your act when your lyrics paint a picture of Australia.

And we loved em for it.

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The Record Vault: Baby Animals – Baby Animals

The debut Baby Animals album was everywhere in Australia. Before the album was released in September 1991, they had some serious momentum over 15 months coming in to the album. The Angels was one of the biggest bands in Australia during this time and the Baby Animals was the opening act between 1990/91.

The album debuted at number six on the ARIA Album Charts and spent six weeks at number one, eventually going eight times platinum and becoming the highest-selling debut Australian rock album of all time (until the release of Jet’s album, “Get Born” 12 years later).

I saw em live at the Revesby Workers Club on the tour. An up and coming band called Judge Mercy was opening for them. They were excellent, but they unfortunately disappeared when the labels started dropping metal and rock acts in a years’ time.

And the Baby Animals rocked. Drummer Frank Celenza was huge behind the kit, laying down the foundations along with bassist Eddie Parise. Dave Leslie on guitar is so underrated, playing a chicken picking style and Suze DeMarchi on guitar rocks hard. Everyone raves about Lzzy Halestorm, but I’m pretty sure she would have been influenced by DeMarchi. And on vocals, DeMarchi is bluesy and soulful.

The album was produced by task master Mike Chapman and engineered by Kevin Shirley. The personnel alone shows the albums intention.

And my favourite track is “Working For The Enemy”, that whole break down section, lead break and build up is excellent. My second favourite is the metal like “Waste Of Time” with its energetic double kick intro and heavy blues boogie rock riffs.

“One Too Many” is “Rock N Roll Noise Pollution” in spirit and influence, while “Aint Gonna Get” is AC/DC on steroids and highway speed tempos with a Chorus that reminds me of “I Love Rock And Roll”.

And I haven’t even gotten into the singles yet.

How good is the intro to “One Word”?

But DeMarchi didn’t like the song after it was finished and asked the label to keep it off the album. The song went through a transformation, from a country-ish rock feel in the demo (which can be heard on the 25th Anniversary Edition) to the melodic rock beast it became, as Chapman kept asking them to work on it.

Guitarist Dave Leslie paid his dues in a Cold Chisel covers band called Swingshift, playing Australian pub rock classics on a nightly basis and he knew what worked with audiences. His chicken finger picked intro to “One Word” is guitar hero worthy.

“Rush You” is the opener as the power chord crashes down and the cymbals ring before it goes into a double time beat and some series riffage and how cool is that “Back in Black” walking chromatic riff just before the verse.

“Early Warning” begins with the drums while a slide guitar plays a rock riff and the music then stops while DeMarchi sings, “Too Young To Know and Too Old To Listen”.

The band kicks in again. Then the verses come and it’s like a Jimi Hendrix song, before it moves into the power of the Chorus.

“Painless” has this funk blues boogie which I like. If you haven’t heard it, today is a great day for it.

They toured hard on this album, playing all the major cities and regional towns in Australia, and once Bryan Adams heard the album, he added them to his European leg.

The Black Crowes added them to their Australian and New Zealand tour, while Eddie Van Halen, asked for them to be the support act on the “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” tour after he heard the album via his wife Valerie Bertinelli.

By the time their touring commitments ended for the album in August 1992, they had played over 500 shows.

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Australian Method Series: Airbourne – Breakin’ Outta Hell

Released in 2016.

By now people knew what to expect with an Airbourne album. Fast blues rock, sleazy blues rock and hard rock, inspired by AC/DC, Rolling Stones and ZZ Top.

And no power ballads.

Bob Marlette is producing.

Breakin’ Outta Hell

It’s fast and maniacal like they are really breaking out of somewhere. It’s tempo reminds me of songs like “Let There Be Rock” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”.

Rivalry

If you enjoyed the debut Audioslave album, you will like this, as it has a riff similar to “Cochise” in the Intro.

Otherwise the Verses and Chorus are straight from the playbook of AC/DC and Slade.

In the PR for the song, Joel O’Keefe said:

“As with other songs we’ve done, there’s an aspect here of rock‘n’roll taking a stand against those corporate forces that seek to restrict our freedoms, that try to shut down the little live venues, leaving bands with nowhere to really hone their craft.”

Challenge accepted.

Get Back Up

This can be interchanged with any AC/DC song of the Brian Johnson era and not be out of place. In some stages, the throaty vocals remind me of Tom Keifer.

It’s Never Too Loud For Me

With its “RNR Ain’t Noise Pollution” influences merged with “Sin City”, you know exactly what you get with this.

Thin The Blood

It’s super fast.

An image of Tommy Lee in the Crue movie comes to mind as they recount his daily routine on the “Dr Feelgood” tour, like waking up chained to a bed, trying to work out what happened the night before, callin his wife, taking a lot of drugs and alcohol and the cycle repeats.

I’m Going To Hell For This

“Hail Ceaser” comes to mind and I like it.

Down On You

That whole Chuck Berry influence which AC/DC used to great success on “Long Way To The Top” and “High Voltage” is back here.

And the guys really broke out the big guns in the lyric department, about a boy playing with his toy and kissing a woman between her knees.

Never Been Rocked Like This

It’s not groundbreaking but the passion for loud blues based rock and roll is evident here.

When I Drink I Go Crazy

It’s fast and the title sums it up.

It also has one of the funniest lyrics ever, “I’m standing in the middle of the road, directing traffic like a ninja”.

Only Joel O’Keefe can get away with using Ninja in a rock song. Maybe the Steel Panther guys could as well and lyrically this is who the album is competing with. Steel Panther.

Do Me Like You Do Yourself

The Intro gets the foot tapping.

And the lyrics just keep getting Shakespearean.

Like “you’re hands are moving with a mind of their own, having the best sex and you’re all alone.”

Pure poetry.

It’s All For Rock ‘N’ Roll

A perfect closer with a tribute to Lemmy.

Listen to it, raise a glass and enjoy.

Appreciate Airbourne for what they are, a hard working rock and roll band who write music that needs to be listened to loud while beer is being consumed.

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Australian Method Series: Karnivool – Asymmetry

Atonal. It means not written in any key or mode.

It’s one way to describe this album musically.

But it’s not the correct word either as the album is full of melody and atmospheric melodic passages.

The voice even acts as an extra instrument in some songs with the Ohhhs and ahhs.

Karnivool are pushing boundaries here. There are no genres you can use except the word progressive.

But progressive in the sense of how the songs are stuctured and arranged. Because when people think of progressive rock, they think of virtuosos playing super fast passages over complex time changes.

Even progressive is not the correct word.

The band was burnt after a massive worldwide tour in support of their second album, “Sound Awake”, so they took a break in 2010.

Vocalist Ian Kenny started work on his, Birds of Tokyo project.

The band would get together on occasions over a two year period and write the album.

“Asymmetry” is the third studio album by Karnivool released in 2013.

Produced by Nick DiDia, he got the band of Ian Kenny (Vocals), Drew Goddard (Guitar), Mark Hosking (Guitar), Jon Stockman (Bass) and Steve Judd (Drums) to fire on all cylinders and record the album in 3 months.

It divided people.

One review I read said that the band needed someone to tell them “No”. Another review said to “listen to this album with headphones to fully appreciate the album”.

Aum

It’s a short atmospheric ambient introduction that’s hard to even hear.

Nachash

The words “Hash” and “Nac” is backwards for Can and it sounds like they used hash writing this.

A.M.War

The drumming is dominant, the bass is distorted and progressive while the guitars feel jagged and grey.

Vocally, Kenny is channeling his love of Maynard from Tool.

At some stages it’s hard to keep track of the beat as the tempo competes with the other instruments.

There is a lot happening so press play.

We Are

The single.

If you like funk and the kind of funk that Omar Rodriguez is known for, then you will like this.

Stockman rumbles throughout on the bass and Kenny is singing with passion.

Goddard and Hosking are going nuts decorating on guitars.

Like all albums that are classed as progressive, this song is like the commercial song. If you want to call it that.

The Refusal

Bass guitarist Jon Stockman does the screaming vocals. It feels dystopian and industrial. Almost like early Tool.

Aeons

It’s atmospheric and echoey with fast picked guitar notes in the beginning.

The song moves between full heavy sounds and clean tone sounds. And by the time the 6th minute rolls around and Kenny is singing about chemical fires signaling our death, you can only press repeat.

Eidolon

It’s like Muse but like the other songs, there is so much going on.

Sky Machine

This is how the live child of Tool and U2 would sound like.

Amusia

A little interlude that sets up the next song.

The Last Few

The love child of Tool and The Mars Volta.

It feels frantic yet restrained.

Float

Psychedelics are back. Kenny’s vocal is like an instrument throughout the song.

Alpha Omega

Tool and Led Zeppelin this time get together and out comes “Alpha Omega”.

Om

A weird way to finish the album with a spacey instrumental

In Australia it went to number 1 and a Gold certification.

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Australian Method Series: Jimmy Barnes – My Criminal Record

“My Criminal Record” is studio album number 18 for a Jimmy Barnes. When you add his output with Cold Chisel, his career is massive.

Released on 31 May 2019.

With this album, he became the artist with the most chart-topping albums in Australia with 12 number 1 albums, overtaking U2 and Madonna.

The band for the album is his live band, made up of Jimmy Barnes on vocals, Daniel Wayne Spencer and Davey Lane on guitars, son in law Ben Rodgers on bass, Clayton Doley on keyboards, and son Jackie Barnes with Warren Trout on drums and percussion.

Lending a hand in the song writing department is his Cold Chisel bandmate Don Walker, who co-wrote six of the songs, country artist Troy Cassar-Daley chimes in with two songs, Chis Cheney from “The Living End” contributes a song, Mark Lizotte (otherwise known as Diesel) contributes a song, as well as others, plus there is a John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen cover.

Writing for the album began in 2015, but once his books came out, “Working Class Boy” and “Working Class Man”, well his career took a different turn and suddenly he was a bestselling author, doing speaking tours with music in between and creating documentaries based on the books.

My Criminal Record

Written by Jimmy Barnes and Don Walker.

It’s a slower bluesy tune with the piano setting the mood.

Well I came from a broken home

Writing his books has given Jimmy a different opportunity to write differently and approach different subject matters. If you’ve read “Working Class Boy” you’ll know how broken that home was.

The fact that he made it to 12 number one albums in Australia is amazing.

I keep it locked away somewhere, I know
In a cellar that I call my youth
It’s my criminal record
It’s the truth

It was a burden he carried for a long time. The ghosts of his youth growing up in Elizabeth.

Shutting Down Our Town

Written by Troy Cassar-Daley, this is a great country rock song. It could appear on a Springsteen or Petty album and not sound out of place.

This used to be a place where a man could find some work / Put together Holdens or a foundry job at worst

The car making facilities in Australia are all gone, transported overseas because it’s cheaper. And a lot of towns have suffered this kind of fate around the world in the corporations quest for profits and progress.

Its also autobiographical as all the men who worked at the factory went missing from their homes on payday.

I’m In A Bad Mood

Written by Barnes and Walker it’s got another blues noir soul like groove.

I got me a car but I lost my keys
Got me a girl that I can’t please

Sometimes things don’t roll as they should.

Stolen Car (The Road’s on Fire, Pt. 1)

Written by Barnes and Walker, it’s a smoldering blues cut in the verses before it rocks out with a lot of soul in the Pre Chorus and Chorus.

My life is like a stolen car, out of control
I’ve got no destination, I lost my soul

Great metaphor to sum up his life.

My Demon (God Help Me)

Written by Barnes, Cassar-Daley and bassist Ben Rodgers.

A Blues stomp groove crashes in after the steel guitar Intro which reminds me of “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle but different.

And my demon he was patient
He just waits till I had nowhere else to turn
And he knew my situation
He was laughing as I burned

Great lyrics.

It showcases that our predicaments in life are down to our own choices. For Barnesy, his Demon didn’t have to do anything, as Barnesy was pretty good at doing shit to himself.

Working Class Hero

Written by John Lennon.

Keep you doped with religion, sex, and T.V.
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I see

The song is political, a criticism on the difference between social classes and how the working class individuals are being processed into the middle classes, into the “machine”.

Belvedere and Cigarettes

Written by Harley Webster, Jade MacRae and Rodgers.

Belvedere and cigarettes, I’m bleeding myself dry

Sometimes that glass of alcohol is always a friend when your down and out.

I Won’t Let You Down

Written by Chris Cheney from “The Living End”.

It’s a great ballad in which the verses deal with alcoholism/partying and the Chorus deals with making a promise to a special someone that they will change and not let them down.

Stargazer

Written by Barnes and Walker.

She’s a stargazer
Always looking at the sky
And she don’t even look up to me
When she’s on her back at night

A simple laid back tune in which the woman in his life is not paying attention to him or their relationship (hence the staring at the stars).

Money and Class

Written by Barnes, Walker and Rodgers.

I could fight, I could drink, I could shout, I could sing
I could light up a party but I didn’t fit in
Every door that was closed was a door that I had to kick in

Drink, bash and smash your way to the top in this country blues rock tune.

Stolen Car (The Road’s on Fire, Pt. 2)

Written by Barnes and Walker.

It’s a faster take but the same attitude and spirit is still there.

If Time Is on My Side

Written by Mark Lizotte, otherwise known as Diesel or Johnny Diesel, this song wouldn’t be out of place on a Springsteen or Petty album.

The Chorus is loud and you singalong to it. It also reminds me of “Ride The Night Away”.

People come and go
Just like dust in wind they’re blown
As long as I am standing here
I’ll never let you go

That’s life in a nutshell, people would come and go but in the end, it’s just you and your partner.

Tougher Than the Rest

A Bruce Springsteen cut and a fitting song to sum up Barnes and his resilience to life and love.

And that’s Jimmy Barnes in 2019, a Blues Rocker with a little bit of Soul and a little bit of Country.

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Australian Method Series: Parkway Drive – Ire

My journey into the world of Parkway Drive started with “Reverence” in 2018 and backwards I went.

“Ire” came out in 2016. It’s their fifth album, but the second album I’d heard from em. It went to Number 1 on the Aussie Charts and the U.S Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums chart.

The band for the album is Winston McCall on lead vocals, Jeff Ling on lead guitar, Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick on rhythm guitar, Jia “Pie” O’Connor on bass and Ben “Gaz” Gordon on drums.

The label even invested in a vocal coach for Winston McCall to increase his melodic skills as he’s already well known for this guttural vocals.

From listening to “Reverence” first and going back to “Ire”, it’s safe to say that this album was the start of the Hard Rock and Classic Metal tunes this band fine tuned with “Reverence”.

This fusion of Nu-Metal, Thrash Metal, Classic Metal, Power Metal, Hard Rock ad Death Metal is not meant to go together and work, but it does and it works very well.

Destroyer

A repeating guitar lick starts the album. Its low, it build in intensity and it’s a lick that the crowd could sing-along with along with the “Destroy” vocal chant. But this section wouldn’t work without the rhythm and drum work. It’s thunderous and like a military march.

Once the main riff comes in, its melodic and heavy at the same time. If you grew up on a diet of hard rock, then this riff would fit the criteria.

Dying To Believe

Any song that starts with the lyric, “like dragging nails through my skin” is going to be fast and aggressive. And that’s exactly how it plays it in the blast beat intro.

Vice Grip

Sitting at 52.7 million streams on Spotify. The video clip on YouTube has 23 million views.

Another sing-along guitar riff to start the song and a Chorus you can chant along to with the “Yeah, yeah, yeah” vocals.

Musically, it’s a hard rock song and I’m picking up the guitar after I finish this post to learn it.

There is a “Rise” chant section, which reminds me of the “Die” section from “Creeping Death”.

Crushed

Religious chants give way to “tear the throat box out” vocals and riffs which are too good to not listen to regardless of your preference for vocal styles.

The section from the 40 second mark to 1.01. Press play for that, just to hear how the religious chants work with heavy music.

Or stick around from 3.26 onwards, just to hear the guitar melody under the vocals which could have come from an Iron Maiden album.

But the overall style of the track is Nu-Metal. Weird I know, but it works.

Fractures

The riffs remind me so much of the 80’s and Pantera’s first two albums.

But press play for the Chorus guitar melodies and “wooahs”.

Check out the section from 3.30 as it slows down and then builds back up. As soon as the guitar lead lets loose for the last 30 seconds of the song, someone decided to fade out the song. Nooooo.

Writings On The Wall

The drum groove is like “We Will Rock You”, so you hear McCall carrying the vocal over a bed of ominous piano notes, synths, bass and abstract guitar lines.

“Put your hands up, put your hands up, we’ll fight until we die, this ain’t ever gonna stop”, whispers McCall in true spirit of the 80’s ethos like “Stand Up And Shout”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “Bang Your Head”.

Then at 2.30, the song kicks in with some metal like riffage.

At 2.55, my favourite melodic riff from the album kicks in. And the song ends with the haunting piano lines heard throughout the song.

Bottom Feeder

There are so many riffs that people will class as hair metal in this song. But it’s all Metal to me. It’s one of the heaviest tracks and catchiest.

The Sound Of Violence

The intro riff gets me to pay attention and the breakdown Chorus would work well in the live arena.

Vicious

Musically, this song has some serious hard rock cred. Even Metallica “Black” album era.

Dedicated

I feel like I’m listening to a Killswitch Engage tune on this.

Stick around for the breakdown at the end.

A Deathless Song

Acoustic guitars with a fusion of flamenco vibes and baroque start the song. But at 0.44, those iconic sing-along melodic leads kick in.

And those melodic sing-along leads are heard throughout the song, especially in the last minute outro, as they give way to the same riffs, but played with violins.

In the end it’s a “hard core hard rock” album, Somehow it makes perfect sense.

Check it out.

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

Australian Method Series and 1996 Part 3.7: John Farnham – Romeos Heart

“Romeo’s Heart” was released in Australia on 3 June 1996 by John Farnham.

His comeback to mainstream success started with “Whispering Jack” released in 1986. It is certified 24x Platinum in Australia, Platinum in Sweden and Gold in Canada and Germany.

“Age Of Reason” came in 1988 and it is certified 11x Platinum in Australia.

“Chain Reaction” in 1990 is 7x Platinum in Australia.

“Then Again…” in 1993 is 4x Platinum in Australia.

This album is also 4x Platinum in Australia.

The band is top notch as well with Brett Garsed from Nelson fame on guitars along with Stuart Fraser from Noiseworks.

Joe Creighton from The Black Sorrows is on Bass and Angus Burchall also from The Black Sorrows is on drums with Steve Williams on harmonica.

Vocals are provided by John Farnham with Lindsay Field and Lisa Edwards providing excellent backing vocals.

And from when Farnham made his comeback in the mid 80s as a solo artist, the songs he performed on his albums were written by other artists/songwriters.

This album is no different, with every song on it coming from outside writers.

Have a Little Faith (In Us)

Written by Russ DeSalvo (who at the time was writing and working with Celine Dion) and Arnie Roman (who also was working with Celine Dion).

Great song title and a major key chord progression to give its uplifting vibe.

But press play for the gospel like backing vocals in the outro which

Little Piece of My Heart

Written by C. Celli, A. Levin and Jack Ponti.

The same Jack Ponti who co-write “Shot Through The Heart” with Jon Bon Jovi and a heap of songs for Baton Rouge, Alice Cooper and Babylon A.D.

I’m not sure on why they would use this song title for a totally different song. It’s like reusing “Smoke On The Water” for a totally different song and not for a cover.

But in the end a simple funky rock groove is heard throughout the song and it’s cool to jam to.

A Simple Life

Written by Jon Lind and Richard Page. The same Richard Page from Mr Mister and Jon Lind had written or co-written songs like “Crazy For You” for Madonna and songs for Earth, Wind And Fire.

This one is a soft rock song.

Check out the vocal melody for the Chorus.

All Kinds Of People

Written by Eric Pressley, Sheryl Crow and Kevin Gilbert.

Yep the same Sheryl Crow and her songwriting partner Kevin Gilbert from her debut album were in demand and writing songs for other artists as well.

It’s in that soul contemporary pop rock vibe which was prominent in the 90s.

Romeo’s Heart

Written by Jennifer Kimball and Randy VanWarmer it appeared on Randy’s solo album “The Third Child” released in 1994.

And here it is a few years later as the title track. It has a soft rock Springsteen vibe.


Don’t Let It End

Written by Aaron Hendra an Australian-born songwriter, singer and guitarist who lives in the U.S.

It reminds of “Time Of My Life” from the “Dirty Dancing” movie.

Hearts On Fire

Written by Tom Kimmel and S. Lynch. I was wondering which S Lynch is a co-writer.

Could it be the Steve Lynch from Autograph?

Nope it’s Stan Lynch, the ex drummer from Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers who became a successful producer and songwriter.

On a side note, “That’s Freedom” was also written by Kimmel which Farnham recorded and it became a Top 10 hit for him in late 1990. So it’s no surprise that Farnham used him again.

The “Rocky IV” track comes to mind but it’s not it. The song is more blues soul rock.

Hard Promises To Keep

Written by Kimmie Rhodes ‎and the song appeared on her “West Texas Heaven” album released in 1994 and it’s in the vein of country ballads musically, but the vocal melodies are more in line with pop melodies.

Over My Head

Written by Ricard Pleasance and A. Tanner.

Richard Pleasance is an Australian rock musician and producer. He was a founding member of Australian band “Boom Crash Opera”.

It’s a ballad and it’s chord progressions is more like country rock ballads, reminding me of current songs like “Home” from Daughtry.

May You Never

Written by John Martyn it’s an up beat acoustic track that is played in the way Nuno Bettencourt plays on “More Than Words”.

John Martyn, is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist who released 23 studio albums over a 40-year career. He’s been described as blurring the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues”.

Second Skin

Written by John Farnham, producer Ross Fraser and Chong Lim.

Finally Farnham gets a co-write in a track that is a cross between “Superstition” and “Play That Funky Music”.

If you want to hear John Farnham in a rock way, then “Whispering Jack” and “Age Of Reason” would suffice. If you want to hear Farnham in a soul and country rock way, then this album would donyje

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

Australian Method Series: Black Majesty – Stargazer

How can you pass up an album with “Stargazer” as its title?

Black Majesty is from Melbourne, Australia. The band is made up of John Cavaliere on vocals, Steve Janevski and Hanny Mohamed on guitars with Pavel Konvalinka on drums. There is no bassist listed.

Steve Janevski on guitar lists George Lynch, Zakk Wylde, John Sykes, Michael Wilton & Chris DeGarmo, Warren Demartini, Ronnie Letekro as his favourite guitarists. All great influences to have.

And apart from playing in Black Majesty (Power Melodic Metal), he also plays in Wicked Smile (Heavy Rock) and The Radio Sun (AOR Melodic Rock).

“Stargazer” was released in 2012.

Falling

The lead breaks are excellent. Steve Janevski and Hanny Mohamed showcase their abilities from the outset.

Lost Highway

Harmony guitars and fast double kick start the song off.

Voice Of Change

A killer Chorus and another killer lead break section. Actually killer lead breaks as there are a few.

Killing Hand

It has a “Paris Is Burning” riff to start off and I like it.

Check out the Chorus. Great vocal melodies, fast double kick and the guitars just play power chords.

As it’s becoming the norm, the lead breaks on this album are guitar hero moments.

Journey To The Soul

How good are the harmony guitars in the intro, before it moves into a Maiden like groove?

Holy Hillers

Another great harmony guitar intro.

Symphony Of Death

The slow Intro reminds of Queensryche circa first two albums and once the gallop riff starts, Helloween and Maiden come to mind.

But the lead breaks. Guitar hero stuff again.

It starts off with an open string harmony lick, then each guitarist gets a chance to shred and tap away before coming back to the open string harmonies to close the solo.

Edge Of The World

It’s blasting fast and loud.

And when it comes to instrumental section, Janevski and Mohamed don’t disappoint.

Stargazer

As soon as the Intro leads start, the song could have appeared on “Brave New World” and people would think Maiden wrote it.

The lead section part of the song is essential listening. it starts off with a sing-a-long harmony lead before it goes into individual solos. And man, what solos they are.

By the end of it, you can only press repeat.

If there is a criticism, the drums seem to be on cruise control with the stock fast double kick patterns Power Metal music is known for.

Steve Janevski and Hanny Mohamed deserve special mention here on guitars.

Vocalist John Cavaliere is a multi-octave vocalist. His voice and style ranges between David Coverdale, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske but still sounding unique enough to be original.

I’m not a huge Power Metal fan but I do listen to bands that play that style purely for the guitar playing.

If you like Power Metal, you’ll like this. If you like Melodic Metal you’ll like this. If you like Heavy Metal, you’ll like this.

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