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

Score Card V4.0

Mutiny Within
In 2010, Mutiny Within released their self-titled debut on Roadrunner Records. It didn’t get the traction they hoped for and Roadrunner didn’t get the return on investment. Roadrunner blamed piracy, however, the whole marketing campaign was centered on stating that the band is a cross between Killswitch Engage and Dream Theater. It was a terrible comparison and a terrible marketing campaign.

They had tours booked, but no financial support the label, plus they had to contend with band member departures. Then in 2011, vocalist Chris Clancy left the band due to financial reasons. He had some interesting viewpoints on piracy and recording contracts in general. For some reason, he believed that just because he got a recording contract for album number 1, he was guaranteed to make an income from music. A few weeks after Clancy left, Roadrunner dropped em. 9 months later, the band was on hiatus due to the difficulties of finding a new vocalist.

Then social media came to the rescue. In 2012, they posted some unreleased demo tracks from unreleased album number 2 on YouTube and got a positive response from fans. By the middle of the year, Chris Clancy was sort of back, finishing off vocals on the unfinished tracks.

In January 2013, they released album number 2 in “Synchronicity”. Clancy also set up a project called Industry Embers, an organisation dedicated to spread the word about music piracy. He revealed that music piracy had been the downfall of Mutiny Within, with the debut album only selling around 10,000 copies since released, and the album being shared and pirated at least 100,000 times.

I don’t really subscribe to the theory that 100,000 downloads = 100,000 lost sales. If your music is getting pirated, it means people are interested, but when they choose to pay is really up to them. It could be instant, it could take years. I like Mutiny Within, however I don’t own any of their music. The first album I heard on YouTube, the second album again on YouTube and once I had a Spotify account, on Spotify.

Anyway, the response album number 2 was surprising for the band and one of the Facebook posts mentioned how the band was left speechless. Maybe 20% of the 100,000 people who downloaded the first album illegally, became monetized fans this time around.

Regardless, there is no denying the excellence of “Become”.

Can’t forget what I’ve become

In February 2017, “Origins” came out and “Reasons” is the track that is connecting with me. And to my surprise, guitarist Andy James makes a surprise guest appearance on the song.

All I wanted was a way to survive,
A simple reason to make me feel alive

The album was written by collaborating digitally over two continents and leaving the joining of it all to Clancy who also mixed and mastered the album. Music is a lifers game and the guys in Mutiny Within are in it for real this time.

Evans Blue
By 2013, I was spinning “Graveyard Of Empires” their 2012 release. Then the band went on hiatus, while singer Dan Chandler hooked up with Dan Donegan from Disturbed to create the band Fight Or Flight.

In July, 2013, “A Life By Design” was released and it had the excellent tracks “Leaving” and “First To The Last”. But the album got no traction. It couldn’t rise above the noise. Donegan went back to Disturbed and Chandler returned to Evans Blue and in 2016, we got a brand new Evans Blue album called “Letters From The Dead”. The songs are not as good as their previous releases but Dan Chandler has one hell of a voice and he keeps it sounding fresh. I’m still interested to see what comes next.

Corroded
In 2012, they released “State Of Disgrace” with the excellent “Let Them Hate As Long As They Fear” and “Believe In Me”. But I forgot about them, because the album was not on Spotify.

Then the new song “Fall Of A Nation” came up on my Release Radar playlist. So I was interested, as nothing new had come out since 2012. I went to check out the Spotify account and lo and behold, their previous albums are now available.

They are another band from Sweden that I dig, and musically, if you like Machine Head, Black Sabbath and groove orientated Judas Priest, then you will like Corroded.

Another Lost Year
In 2012, they released their debut album “Better Days”, which to be honest was a pretty good f listen. Then I heard nothing from them via the normal news cycle.

But when I went on Spotify to check em out a few weeks ago, I saw they had been busy.

They released an EP called “The Revolution: Pt. 1 The Other Side” in 2014, another EP called “The Revolution, Pt. 2: It’s a Long Way Home” came out in 2016 and an album called “Alien Architect” was also released in 2016. While the EP’s are hit and miss, “Alien Architect” is a return to form.

Hell Or Highwater
An excellent side project from Atreyu drummer and their melodic vocalist Brandon Saller.

So when Atreyu went on a “Disturbed inspired” break in 2011, Saller decided it was a good time to bring out his side project where he is the main vocalist. In 2011, the excellent hard rock album “Begin Again” was released. I came across it in 2012 and dug it.

“Gimme Love”, “Find The Time To Breathe” and “Rocky Waters Edge” are pretty good rock tunes.

But then I heard nothing from them. Most of the metal news outlets focused on Atreyu getting back together and releasing a new album.

But from writing this post, I now know an EP called “The Other Side” came out in 2013. So off to Spotify I go.

“The Other Side” is a brilliant track, along with

I’ve been feeling like a stone here
All my gathered moss in tow
So I packed up my cases
And headed into the unknown

Heartist
In 2012 they released the excellent EP “Nothing You Didn’t Deserve”. And they went silent, until the album “Feeding Fiction” dropped in 2014. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the EP. However I am still interested to see what comes next and a recent Facebook post mentions that vocals are complete for the new album.

I Am Giant
2014 gave us “Science And Survival” but it was “The Horrifying Truth” from 2011 that cemented their status, plus it had a re-recording of my favourite song, “City Limits” which first made its debut on the “The City Limits/Neon Sunrise” released in 2010.

In between, they toured, placed their music with corporations, became ambassadors of certain clothing ranges, became X-Factor NZ judges and helped produce other bands.

Fast forward to February 2017 and a new single called “Dead Flower” is doing the rounds on my Spotify release radar, however, it’s with a different singer.

Fates Warning
The addictive “Disconnected” album, released in 2000 is a perfect blend of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Tool and “Images and Words” era Dream Theater with the unique Matheos song crafting underpinning it all.

After a few more albums, the band went on hiatus circa 2005, only to resurface in 2013, with “Darkness In A Different Light”, which had the excellent “One Thousand Fires”.

Then in 2016, “Theories of Flight” came out, with a few more gems in “Seven Stars”, “The Light And Shade Of Things” and “White Flag”. To have a career and a future in music is to keep on creating music. You cannot rest on past successes.

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Music

Albums From 2012 That Need To Be Heard

The Night Flight Orchestra
Internal Affairs

If you never experienced the Seventies, then this album from a super group of melodic death metal bands recaptures it all. From the “Immigrant Song/Achilles Last Stand” references in “Siberian Queen” to the “I Was Made For Loving You” references in “West Ruth Avenue” or the “Play That Funky Music/ Stevie Wonder’s Superstititious in “Internal Affairs”.

It captures it all and more.

Fen
Of Losing Interest

I didn’t know what to expect hearing this. It’s like Rush on Thrash Metal. Then its Rush on Hard Rock. Then its Rush meets Tool. Then it’s Rush on Groove Metal. Then it’s a cross between Rush and Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam. Being from Canada, the Rush influences are real strong.

Progressive music doesn’t have to be all time changes and technical playing ability. It can be Fen. Just doing something that blends so many different styles together and making it sound infectious.

Check out “Riddled”, it starts off with a thrash metal riff, then it goes into a verse that is Tool like merged with Kansas.

Adrenaline Mob
Omerta

It is balls to the wall metal classic in the style of Accept, Scorpions, Dio merged with the metal stylings of Disturbed and Godsmack. “Undaunted”, “All On The Line”, “Angel Sky”, “Indifferent” and “Hit The Wall” are worthy additions to any metal bands setlist.

The cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone” is also a fitting metal tribute to a pop number one hit.

So put aside all of your views on the members that make up the band and from what bands they come from and embrace a great balls to the wall metal project.

Digital Summer
Breaking Point

DIY band from Phonenix, Arizona, getting stronger with each release. “Breaking Point” was a Kickstarter funded project and it didn’t disappoint. The lead single “Forget You” has racked up 1,027,533 views on YouTube. They are great numbers for an independent band, that also manage themselves, record and release their own music and hold down day jobs.

If you like modern rock, then you will like this band.

Richie Sambora
Aftermath Of The Lowdown

The good old Richie Sambora released a great modern rock album that didn’t get the recognition it deserved because at that point in time he was still in Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi (the band) needed him to start the promotional interviews for the “What About Now” album.

Check out “Seven Years Gone”, “Nowadays”, “Every Road Leads Home To You”. Hell, the whole album is good. Give it your time.

Lizzard
Out Of Reach

This band is definitely under the radar for what they do. Think of Earshot meets Tool meets 10 Years meets modern rock. Vocalist, Mathieu Ricou has a voice that crosses between Chad Kroeger, Aaron Lews and Maynard James Keenan.

There is a feel of Progressive Metal, TOOL, Hard Rock, Trance & hypnotic music, DEFTONES, YES and PINK FLOYD. It’s a potent mix.

Vaudeville
Vendetta

Vaudeville is one band that deserves more recognition for what they do. They merge the styles of Muse and Radiohead with Hard Rock. It sounds beautiful and original.

Check out the song “Restless Souls”.

Will you stand up
And fight against their wrath
Or will you run
Until there’s nothing left

Hell Or Highwater
Begin Again

The new band from Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller. Hell or Highwater finds Saller stepping away from his drum kit and taking the mic to be the band’s lead vocalist. It’s hard rock people and it rocks real good and it doesn’t sound generic.

Burnside
Evolution

One of many great bands from Australia. It’s modern rock done really well. Check out “Remember When”, “Lost The Will”, “The Last Time” and “What You’ve Become”.

One Less Reason
A Blueprint For Writhing

This EP was my first introduction to One Less Reason. I knew nothing about them and when I heard “All Beauty Fades”, I was left speechless when the rest of the music and melody kicked in. And they are another DIY band.

It’s a six song EP and there is no filler. A very smart decision to release the best.

Corroded
State Of Disgrace

Corroded have a decent following in their own country of Sweden.

They are a skillful band that create groove based hard rock. Stand out songs are “Let them Hate As Long As They Fear”, “I Will Not”, and “Believe In Me”.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Shinedown, Trivium, Mutiny Within, Machine Head and Corroded – Classic Songs To Be Discovered

Driving into work today, I had the music on shuffle.  It is interesting to hear in which order songs come up.  In this case, the shuffle got it right, putting five metal/rock bands together, that have different styles, but when played one after each other, form a sequenced album.

BULLY – Shinedown
BLACK – Trivium
BECOME – Mutiny Within
BE STILL and KNOW – Machine Head
BELIEVE IN ME – Corroded

If these five songs where by one band and they were on one side of a LP, the album would be called a classic.  Back in the day to play these five songs, I would have had to change the LP five times.  Alternatively I could have copied them onto a cassette tape as a mix tape.  It was okay to copy songs onto cassettes back in the eighties, however it is not okay to copy songs on the internet today, or to burn a CD of your favourite songs. 

Seems I’ve crossed the line again
For being nothing more than who I am

Shinedown is a combination of the eighties and seventies, repackaged in the two thousands.  They have the seventies classic rock element, the eighties sleaze and the nineties move to modern alternative rock.  They can be soulful and heavy, bluesy and poppy.  They tick all the boxes and cover a lot of styles.  Bully is from their most recent album Amaryllis, the follow-up to the mega successful The Sound Of Madness.  How simple and yet effective is that lyric?  Getting punished for being who you are.  We have all suffered this fate in our lives.    

Even though the bands play different styles, for some reason, when the syncopated intro for Black starts right after Bully, it sounds like it could come from the same band.  Instead it came from Trivium, and it’s from the album In Waves released in 2011.  After the epic sounding Shogun album, the band moved more into a shorter format of song writing, much like how Metallica did the Black album, after the epic And Justice For All album.

You can say that in the eighties, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Exodus were the big 5 in the thrash metal genre.  The nineties saw the rise of the Pantera juggernaut.   No one could come close to rivalling the power of Pantera.  The two thousand’s say Machine Head evolve into a thrash juggernaut, especially after The Blackening, along with bands like Slipknot, Trivium, Killswitch Engaged, Shadows Fall and Chimera. 

Black!
Downfall of decimation!
Black!
It tears apart the night!

The intro of Become from Mutiny Within kicks off, and it brings back memories of Megadeth’s Lucretia from the Rust In Peace album.  Mutiny Within, had a major label deal with Roadrunner.  The first album they released, was promoted as Killswitch Engage meets Dream Theater by Roadrunner.  Being a fan of both bands, I decided to purchase it.  I heard the Killswitch Engage similarities but couldn’t really get the Dream Theater vibe.  Anyway, due to low album sales, Roadrunner dropped the band. 

Seriously, who measures low album sales as gauges for success.  Obviously Roadrunner does, as well as the singer of Mutiny Within, who is involved in some stupid website called Embers, which is a voice against piracy and how piracy effects artists.  Here is a tip.  Piracy is here to stay.  Accept it, and start competing with it.  Piracy was alive and well, when Five Finger Death Punch released American Capitalist, and it didn’t stop it from moving 500,000 units.  

I can’t justify this life,
I have no reason to start again,
Can’t forget what I’ve become

I read a few interviews from the band on-line, and from what I gathered, they all believed that they made it once they signed to Roadrunner, and when the untold millions didn’t eventuate and they were on their backsides, they needed someone to blame.  That is when they should have gone to their fans.  Look at what Protest The Hero did with their Indiegogo funding.  Mutiny Within had fans, but failed to connect with them.  Regardless, Become is a tough song, check it out.  This band has a future, lets see if they can fulfill it by doing what the new paradigm requires, connecting with fans.  At the moment, they are still stuck in the old paradigm.     

The mighty Machine Head was up next.  What can I say, I have seen Machine Head live on three occasions.   I love this band.  They have survived so many trends in the music business and in the end have come out on top, by doing it their way.  How good is that 7/4 intro , that always seems to remind me of Iron Maiden’s Wasted Years.  How insane is that solo section and the super quick double bass drumming.  Unto The Locust was an album without any filler.  The songs were tight, trimmed and lean.

And the sun will rise
Dawn will break through the blackest night
Distant in its glow
This shall pass be still and know

Finally, Corroded.  From Sweden or Sveden, depending on how you want to say it.  Believe in Me is from their third album, the excellent State of Disgrace.  It’s groovy and it rocks.  It’s heavy and it boogies.  This is one band, that I am hoping can break out of Sweden.  They fill a void in the heavy rock scene.

 

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