A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Hired Gun

I watched it last night, however it was released in 2016.

Eric Singer is a legend and the doco cemented that for me.

Between 2004 and 2008, Kiss wouldn’t tour when Alice Cooper was touring and Alice wouldn’t tour when Kiss was touring.

All because of Eric Singer. Both acts had him as a Hired Gun.

And what happened to Billy Joel?

He turned down being produced by George “Beatles” Martin because Martin wanted to use session guys and Joel was loyal to his current band members only to boot 1/2 of em a few years later and then drummer Liberty DeVitto sometime after that after he asked for a pay rise.

Jason Hook from Five Finger Death Punch is involved as Producer so there is a focus on heavy metal/rock acts.

And I didn’t know his past pre FFDP, as the touring guitarist for Mandy Moore and Hillary Duff. It didn’t mention if he played on the albums of those artists. And while these touring gigs could be lucrative, they can also end abruptly.

But it was the Hillary Duff gig that got him noticed by Alice Cooper, so when that finished up, Alice was there.

And there was a bass player who was a hired gun for the band Filter, was paid hardly nothing and said it was his worst experience ever and now he does voice overs.

The guitar player for Pink’s band was mentioned. I forgot his name so I just googled him.

Justin Derrico.

There is footage of him jamming. Derrico brings out some Mixolydian lines, string skipping and sweeps. The dude can play but the last time he played on a Pink album was in 2012 for “The Truth About Love”.

You get to hear how Jason Newsted borrowed money from his friends to fly out for the Metallica bass player audition after Cliff Burton’s death. Once he got the gig, he was put on $500 a week until he became a full member a year later.

Or Derek St Holmes, who sang “Stranglehold” but was never part of the band and people believed that the voice of St Holmes was Ted Nugent.

Rudy Sarzo is there as well, as his stints in Ozzy and Whitesnake were as a hired gun.

The documentary focused on the death of Randy Rhoads and showed footage of the crash, which I think took away from what they were trying to achieve with the doco but as a Randy Rhoads fan I was still glued to the TV screen. They could have spoken about the death like they did for Cliff Burton. I suppose there is never an easy way of dealing with these kind of things.

And Steve Lukather did a lot of session work but his main focal point was writing a song for George Benson. And it’s well known that Lukather and Eddie Van Halen were involved in “Beat It”. Lukather made sure to mention how he played the bass and guitar riff.

But.

At what state was “Beat It” in, before Lukather came and did the bass and guitar riff.

Was it just a keyboard song originally and Lukather needed to come up with something?

Was there a scratch riff for him to refer to?

Or was there someone else’s “Hired Gun” idea there for him to build on?

Or was he given the demo version and told to play it like that but in his style?

Some “unknown” Hired Guns to me are Brett Garsed who did work with John Farnham and Nelson along with Carl Verheyen who was a hired gun for Supertramp before becoming a member and he did a lot of session work for other artists, sometimes without even been credited.

And of course when Bob Ezrin was talking about “hired guns” playing on albums and not being credited, I immediately thought of Kiss and how towards the late 70’s, they started to get different players to perform on songs, but still sold the idea that the band members played on all the tracks to their fan base.

In the end, I wanted a bit more from “Hired Gun” however it was still a cool to watch.

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The Record Vault: Disturbed – The Lost Children

“The Lost Children” was released on November 8, 2011.

By the time this album hit the streets, Disturbed was on hiatus for an indefinite period of time. The band had been on a five album cycle of release and tour. 12 years in total without really having a proper break.

The music industry was also going through another transition. The U.S labels weren’t approving Spotify to operate until they got a percentage stake in the company, so P2P piracy was at an all time high and while the labels procrastinated, YouTube became a dominate streaming service which paid even less.

In the break, Draiman would produce a few bands, with Trivium being the biggest, form a new project called Device, which released an album that sounded like “The Sickness” while Donegan and Wengren hooked up with the “Evans Blue” singer Dan Chandler to form “Fight Or Flight” and release the excellent hard modern rock album “A Life By Design”.

Meanwhile bassist John Moyer would hook up with Adrenaline Mob for the “Coverta” and “Men Of Honour” releases, Art of Anarchy for their 2015 and 2017 releases, Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime project and its 2015 release.

Because of these projects, Moyer wasn’t available to play on “Immortalized”, released in 2015, but returned to the band to tour and then played on “Evolution” released in 2018.

“The Children” in the album title is another term for “The Songs”. And “The Lost Children” is all of Disturbed’s non-album tracks up to 2011.

“Hell”

It’s from the “Ten Thousand Fists” album.

I feel like the riff got tweaked and used to better effect for “Indestructible”. But it doesn’t mean that this song is inferior.

Lyrically it’s about s person in a relationship who keeps coming in and out of the persons life, and every time they come back in, they mess up their world a little bit more.

“A Welcome Burden”

From “The Sickness” album cycle and the song appeared on the “Dracula 2000” soundtrack.

Its flow is like the debut album and it’s groovy Nu-Metal riffs.

“This Moment”

It was written for the “Transformers” album, but never used.

And man, what a riff to start it off.

“Old Friend”

From the “Asylum” album cycle and a song which appeared in Dexter.

The Intro riff hooks me in. It’s head banging and almost progressive by it’s notes phrasing.

The Chorus as usual is huge.

“Monster”

From the “Ten Thousand Fists” album cycle and a riff similar to “Stricken” starts the song off.

I like the single note runs in the Verse riff.

And an excellent guitar lead is also present.

“Run”

From the “Indestructible” album cycle.

A fast double time Intro gives way to a groove verse. Actually the drumming from Mike Wengren is a stand out on this.

“Leave It Alone”

From the “Asylum” album batch of songs. The song has excellent riffs throughout.

In the Verses, there is a natural harmonic lick that comes in on certain bars.

The Chorus riff gets the head banging with its military like groove.

For the solo, it goes to half time and how good is that bluesy solo lick to come out of the lead section.

“Two Worlds”

A song from the “Ten Thousand Fists” album cycle.

Can melodic rock, Sabbath and Nu-Metal be a thing?

On this song they exist in harmony.

And I always enjoy a Donegan solo, but this time it’s the riff after the solo which gets me to pick up the guitar.

“God of the Mind”

A B-side from “The Sickness” and it also appeared in the “Valentine” movie. It’s a derivative version of the songs that appeared on the debut.

The verses do remind me of Tool but I feel like the song has more NIN and early Filter influences.

“Sickened”

A B-side from “Ten Thousand Fists” and a massive head banging Intro kicks it off.

For the verses, a tom-tom drum pattern provides the focus while the guitar belts out chords.

And as usual, the Chorus is melodic and big.

“Mine”

A B-side from “Asylum” and the song is about religion as a catalyst for war.

The first part with the spoken samples of leaders and newscasters with Draiman chanting “hey“ is excellent.

After that I feel like the song becomes a thrash groove song. Wengren on the drums is the star here.

“Parasite”

A B-side from “Indestructible” but with a riff that brings back memories of “Fighting For The Earth” from Warrior.

“Dehumanized”

A B-side from “Believe” that they played live regularly with a big Chorus.

“3”

A B-side from “Asylum”, originally released as a digital single to benefit the “West Memphis Three”.

The lead break is shred-a-licious.

In case you weren’t aware, the West Memphis Three are three Metal heads convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys. During the trial, the prosecution asserted that the juveniles killed the children as part of a Satanic ritual.

Due to the dubious nature of the evidence, the case generated widespread controversy and was the subject of several documentaries. Celebrities and musicians held fundraisers to support efforts to free the men. Metallica, Pearl Jam and Disturbed come to mind.

And after serving 18 years they were freed and the real killers still walk the streets.

“Midlife Crisis”

A Faith No More cover and a B-side from “Indestructible”. And each Disturbed cover is a great rendition. This song could pass as a Disturbed original.

“Living After Midnight”

A Judas Priest cover which starts off with the “Painkiller” drum Intro and a B-side from “Asylum”.

By the end of it, the album didn’t feel like a put together cash in. It actually felt like a new Disturbed album as the sequencing of the songs didn’t follow the chronological release of the songs.

Sink your ears into “The Lost Children”.

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Iron Maiden – Senjutsu

Somewhere back in time, an Iron Maiden album would be purchased, listened to and the cover/lyrics digested, day after day after day, until the next album.

And I kept doing it like this up to their Bruce II era albums “Brave New World” released in 2000 and its follow up “Dance Of Death” released in 2003, along with the “Rock In Rio” and “Death On The Road” live releases.

And then things started to change. “A Matter Of Life and Death” released in 2006 and “The Final Frontier” released in 2010 are like unknown albums even though I own em and have heard them more than a few times.

“The Book Of Souls” album released in 2015 is one that I listened to a lot more and I also watched em playing half the album on tour, so it’s more familiar.

Now in 2021, we have “Senjutsu”.

A lot of the reviews I have read mention how there are no Dave Murray contributions to this album, in the same way reviews mentioned how Kirk Hammett didn’t have a co-write on “Death Magnetic”. But James Hetfield summed it up when he said, “Hammett’s riffs just weren’t there at that point in time”. And if Murray was struggling to be creative or stuck in a rut, lucky for Maiden, they have other songwriters who can step up in Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers and of course, Steve Harris.

Kevin “Caveman” Shirley is producing and mixing again.

And once upon a time, Iron Maiden artwork was just Derek Riggs. Now it’s a team of artists. There is a person leading the Art Designs, there are illustrators, calligraphists and translators.

But Eddie still remains. The constant throughout it all.

“Senjutsu”

It’s an Adrian Smith and Steve Harris composition, and you can immediately hear the Smith riffage, its almost Tool like.

How good is the melodic lead in the Chorus?

The section from 3.30 to 5.20 is pure Tool in the way Nicko McBrain sets the groove with Steve Harris. But the way the guitars decorate the section is more metal and hard rock and Bruce Dickinson’s melodies also stay within the hard rock and metal domain.

The minute outro returns to the Tool groove while the guitars lay down riffs which could come from the “Gates of Babylon”. After eight minutes and twenty seconds, the title track is down.

“Stratego”

A Janick Gers and Harris composition with a riff that reminds me of the “Fear Of The Dark” album and songs like “Judas Be My Guide” with a bit of the Iron Maiden gallop chucked in.

Listen to the section from 1.28, which I think is the Chorus and how the vocal melody and the guitar melody are the same.

“The Writing on the Wall”

A Smith and Dickinson composition.

I like the Steve Earle – “Copperhead Road”/Aerosmith – “Hangman Jury” like influence in the intro and main riff, Then again “Scars” from Smith/Kotzen also comes to mind.

But my favourite part of the song is the lead break from Adrian Smith between 4.26 and 5.08. Its emotive and it gets me playing air guitar.

It brings back the same feeling of the solo in “2 Minutes To Midnight”, the section between 3.26 and 4.06. You know the section I’m talking about, as they build back up into the main riff.

“Lost in a Lost World”

Steve Harris equals nine minutes and thirty one seconds on this one.

The acoustic intro with the vocal reminds me of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and their song “From The Beginning”, which Dokken also covered on their “Dysfunctional” album.

At the 2 minute mark it blasts out into the typical Maiden metal sound.

Listen to the section between 3.38 and 4.14 and tell me if it reminds you of “The Evil Than Men Do” musically.

And I like it, especially the “Revelations” section straight afterwards.

As the song flows, the “Revelations” riff becomes the backing riff for a bunch of harmony solo’s that remind me of “The X Factor” and “Dance Of Death” albums.

The last minute, Harris showcases how tasty bass arpeggios can be when done right, with Synths, a Celtic inspired guitar line and a haunting vocal.

“Days of Future Past”

A Smith and Dickinson composition and the shortest song on the album at 4 minutes. It’s also my least favourite.

“The Time Machine”

The disc 1 closer.

It’s a 7 minute Gers and Harris composition. The fingerpicked clean tone intro gives way to another Southern Rock inspired riff at the 1.10 mark. If anything, Jethro Tull comes to mind.

At 3.11, the galloping feel is back and a Celtic like harmony lead kicks in, something which Maiden have done before, but still enjoyable to hear over and over again.

But the piece d resistance is that change at the 4.30 mark, it’s still in 4/4 but it sounds progressive. Then it goes into an ascending riff for a guitar solo.

At 5.24, the Celtic like harmonies are back and Dickinson kicks in with his melodies.

At 6.20, the Celtic harmony is played in clean tone and I’m thinking of “The Clansman”.

“Darkest Hour”

A Smith and Dickinson composition which clocks in at 7.20 and it’s the disc 2 opener.

The intro has echoes of “Paschendale” and I like it. At the minute mark, the verses kick in.

As soon as the Chorus kicks in, I’m reminded of “Tears Of A Dragon” from Dickinson’s solo career and I’m ready to break my desk.

At 4 minutes, the intro is back in and the lead break starts.

Wow. Brilliant.

I don’t have my CD delivered yet, but I am presuming it’s Smith on the lead break as he is the most technical of the three guitarists and the flow of the solo sounds like a nice worked out Smith solo, a song within a song.

And as the Chorus kicks back in, different melodic guitar leads lay underneath the vocal melody, bringing the song to a close.

“Death of the Celts”

Harris equals ten minutes and twenty seconds.

Again, Harris showcases how musical the bass guitar can be as the whole intro is driven by the bass.

But the song is way too long, lacking a distinctive vocal section and it does get boring.

However I do like the solo section from 7.20 to 7.50. I think it’s Smith and then Gers kicks in.

“The Parchment”

Harris bookends the album with songs over 10 minutes. On this one, Harris equals 12:39.

The start of this song reminds me of “Sign Of The Cross”.

Guitar wise, there is a Ritchie Blackmore “Rainbow” influence.

And how good is that head banging verse riff?

The lead section that starts from 6.40 is familiar and I like it. It comes back in at the 9.28 mark.

The song speeds up for the last three minutes, as different shred lead breaks kick in. But by the end of it, it also could have used some editing.

“Hell on Earth”

The closer, in which Harris equals 11:19.

I think they should have done away with “Death Of The Celts” and “The Parchment” and gone straight into this for after “Darkest Hour”.

The intro is haunting, yet familiar, reminding me of “Alexander The Great” and “Seventh Son”.

At 2.16, the Maiden brand of rock and metal kicks in. The galloping riffs are there and a Celtic like harmony lead is also there.

At 2.49 to 3.08, there is a melodic lead which is a favourite.

The vocals kick in at 3.31.

The chorus (I think it’s a Chorus) comes in at 5 minutes.

Man, check out that section from 9.10 to 9.40. Those harmony guitars are perfect and sing-a-long like.

Then the song quietens down and returns to the haunting intro, reminding me again of “Alexander The Great” and “Seventh Son”.

And the album ends. Iron Maiden is like an old friend that returns for a visit now and then.

So welcome back old friend, let’s have a drink and catch up.

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The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic II

Bjorn Strid did an interview on Robb Flynn’s “No Fucking Regrets” Podcast and Flynn explained em as “80’s Miami Vice Pop”. You can check it out here on Spotify.

Guitarist David Andersson is the main songwriter in TNFO (and he’s also the main songwriter in Soilwork), bringing in his influences of Swedish Pop, Brit Pop, Funk, Disco and Strid’s love of late 70’s, early 80’s radio rock into the mix.

Two of my favourite Kiss albums are “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” because they brought in other styles of music into the Kiss rock sound and they still made it sound hard rock. So I wasn’t surprised to hear that “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” are also favourite albums for Strid and how Strid sees the song “Easy As It Seems” from Kiss as the foundation of Disco Rock and the blueprint for a TNFO song.

Kiss cops a lot of flak for those albums from their U.S fan base, but those two albums basically set up a new sound in different parts of the world. It’s no surprise that Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway liked em along with Australia.

The late 70’s and early 80’s had a certain way of writing and performing songs, which has been lost as the years have gone on.

Strid now feels balanced creatively. He can’t do Soilwork if he can’t do TNFO and vice versa. And by doing TFNO which is out of his comfort zone, has made him a better singer overall.

They missed out on touring the “Aeromantic” album because of COVID-19. Actually they were one week into the tour before they had to go home. And the promoters wouldn’t cancel the shows because they would be up for costs, so they waited until the last minute until the government shut everything down, putting the band into a difficult predicament.

The whole band also got COVID-19. No one went to hospital but David Andersson coped it bad.

And because the band wasn’t done with “Aeromantic”, they remained within the “Aeromantic” vibe and zone.

Recorded at Nordic Sound Lab, 90 minutes from Gothenburg, they do their albums by booking studio sessions and they just write for those sessions. By the end of the writing, they have about 40 songs down. Quantity equals quality.

Originally the core audience back in 2012 was Soilwork fans and general metal fans curious to check the band out, but 9 years into it, the audience is made up of different people who are not generally metal fans, but fans of good crossover rock music.

For Strid, his Mum listened to hard rock music and popular acts like Eurythmics and Bruce Springsteen.

Iron Maiden and WASP was an early experience for him. But Twisted Sister “Stay Hungry” album was very big for him.

A guy in his class had a few compilation tapes from his Tennis coach who was into extreme music and Strid borrowed those tapes and copied em. When he was asked which artists he liked, it was always the fast songs and that’s how he got his nickname “Speed”.

So on to the review.

TNFO are Bjorn Strid on Lead and Backing vocals, David Andersson on Guitars, Sharlee D’Angelo on bass, Sebastian Forslund on Guitars and Percussion, Jonas Kallsback on Drums, John Manhattan Lönnmyr on Keyboards and Anna Brygard / Anna Mia Bonde on Backing Vocals and known as the “Backing Anna’s”.

Violent Indigo

If you like Whitesnake, just think of those big chord synth chords at the start of “Slip Of The Tongue”. Well the chords at the start here are even bigger.

Midnight Marvellous

Each album has a track like this. “West Ruth Ave” on the first album. “Living For The Nighttime” on the second album. “Star Of Rio” on the third album. “Turn To Miami” on the fourth album and “This Boys Last Summer” on the fifth album.

And “Midnight Marvellous” is just as impressive.

Check out the interlude breakdown just before the solo when bassist Sharlee D’Angelo grooves and new keyboardist solos.

How Long

Strid described this song as “90s Deep Purple on cocaine”. And he’s not wrong.

The Chorus is excellent, but it’s the guitar playing and leads that make me a fan.

The ending is smashing.

Burn For Me

As soon as this song starts you will either think of “Modern Love” by David Bowie or “Straight For The Heart” by Toto or “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John or “I’m So Excited” from The Pointer Sisters.

And it’s a favourite to me because of those familiarity.

Chardonnay Nights

It’s going to be a good night of drinking and kicking back. Instead of chardonnay, my poison is Shiraz or Cabernet Merlot.

Change

How good is the intro?

Genesis (their song “That’s All”) comes to mind, but the Chorus is perfect AOR Melodic Rock.

Amber Through A Window

This feels like a New Wave rock cut, for driving in the night, with the window down in summer.

I Will Try

“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from Tears For Fears comes to mind in the verses.

The Chorus is like 80’s Journey and Cher circa 1987. The guitar work feels like its Neal Schon. Brilliant.

You Belong To The Night

The TNFO sound has a Rolling Stones influence and Mick Jagger solo influence. This song is evidence of that.

Listen to “Tattoo You” and “Just Another Night” which TNFO covered for “Amber Galactic”.

Zodiac

Songs from Michael Jackson come to mind listening to this and it’s a great piece of pop rock song writing.

And just listen to it for the joy of Sharlee D’Angelo’s sultry bass lines.

White Jeans

The first single released as part of the album pre-release. I think it hit Spotify about 12 weeks before the album drop.

Can Judas Priest and ELO be combined?

In the world of TNFO, it can. Everything goes.

And that Chorus. Brilliant.

Also check out the clip for it as it’s hilarious.

Moonlit Skies

What a closer.

As soon as you press play, the intro just takes you away. It reminds me of “Edge Of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks and those guitar lines of something else and I like it.

BONUS TRACKReach Out (Cheap Trick cover)

It’s worthy of inclusion on the proper album. Musically is like new wave hard rock and vocally Strid merges Robin Zander with Rick Springfield. Brilliant.

As Strid said in his interview with Robb Flynn, the album is a continuation of “Aeromantic”. And I became a fan of TNFO first and then went back and became a fan of Soilwork.

Maybe one day in the future we’ll get a gatefold issue of both “Aeromantic” albums together.

And if you grew up in the 80’s listening to hard rock and melodic rock, then you need to listen to this.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 30 to September 5

4 Years Ago (2017)

It was a slow start to writing during this period, so nothing was posted on the site during this week.

2014 (Bonus)

Remember “The Raskins” the band who paid $1 million to open for Mötley Crüe on tour, only to have the Motley Crue road crew, come on stage and spray them with urine.

Well they filed a lawsuit against the Crue on 31 August, 2014.

8 Years Ago (2013)

COG

Cog is an Australian band from Bondi, Sydney.

And if you haven’t heard “Sharing Space”, their 2008 album, well you should. Its a post rock progressive tour de force. And read my review while you’re at it.

Fear is the virus they use to divide us
Hoping we’ll all just pretend
That there’s no other way

BON JOVI

By 2013, I was asking what happened to Jon Bon Jovi.

Was he an artist or a CEO or a football team owner or something else entirely?

And sometimes artists forget what brings them their bread and butter?

SONGS FIRST

Brad Paisley was asked, why he thinks his popularity resonates so strongly with audiences around the world, Paisley answered with the following:

“It’s always songs.”

He further adds that the minute an artist starts to think it’s them and not the songs they are singing that resonates, it is the moment that they start to think they are larger than life.

My kids love the song “Cum On Feel The Noize.”

They don’t care which version they hear (Slade or Quiet Riot), they only care about hearing the song. For me, I never went back to hear the original Slade version. I was quite content with the Quiet Riot version.

And that’s another short wrap for another week.

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2001 – Part 3.6 and Australian Method Series: The Living End – Roll On

“Roll On” is the second album by The Living End. It was released in Australia and New Zealand in November 2000, and internationally in March 2001, so I’ll go with the 2001 date.

The band for the album is Chris Cheney on vocals and guitar as well as writing the songs, Scott Owen on double bass and backing vocals and Travis Demsey on drums.

The album is the last work to feature drummer Travis Demsey. In the downtime following the album’s release and subsequent tour, he would leave the band, to be replaced by Andy Strachan.

The album was certified 2x platinum in Australia by November 2007.

Roll On

1,2,3,4 and the band crashes in.

“We roll on with our heads held high” is the catch cry. It remains with you long after the song is finished about a wharfies strike in Melbourne in 1998 and how after a month of striking, if the wharfies didn’t go back to work they would be replaced.

The riffs are classic Aussie Pub Rock riffs, rooted in the blues. You can smell the sweat of the working class in the notes.

Check out the guitar lead.

It’s their big single from the album and a live favorite.

Pictures In The Mirror

It’s a cross between the Foo Fighters, The Beatles and The Clash.

But that solo/interlude section reminds me of Van Halen and Kansas.

“The sun goes down, the moon appears on the horizon, the streets are bare, she walks alone”

The scene is set as the character in the song disappears from the limelight.

Alone.

Because all of those people around you when you’re famous, abandon you when they can’t make money from you.

Riot On Broadway

Similar to “Prisoner Of Society” merging their punk and rockabilly hooks and riffs.

Staring At The Light

One of my favorites.

It’s like a new wave rock track circa “The Police” merged with “The Clash” and made to sound like a modern rock song.

Carry Me Home

That Intro riff would melt the pavement on the Sunset Strip.

Listen to it.

And the NWOBHM influences makes this a metal cut.

And Cheney, is a guitar hero.

Don’t Shut The Gate

A heavy blues rock groove starts it all off before it moves into a Midnight Oil style of cut.

Dirty Man

The Intro lead lick reminds me of something else.

The interlude riff is like a Nu-Metal riff as it’s intertwined with a rockabilly riff.

“I was born on Saturday and I was buried on Sunday” is repeated throughout the song.

Blood On Your Hands

Is there a thing like funk/reggae/punk and jazz?

Well listen to this.

If anything The Police amalgamated these different styles and made it sound rock.

Revolution Regained

It’s a metal cut which has a galloping riff like “The Trooper”, some rockabilly sections and an excellent melodic guitar solo.

Silent Victory

It’s their AC/DC cut.

The Intro is “Dirty Deeds”.

The Chorus is melodic.

And how good is the interlude section between 2.10 and 2.30?

Read About It

Cheney is a master of incorporating so many different styles and techniques into a 4 bar riff.

This song has reggae, melodic rock, punk and metal in it, with a progressive mindset.

The Chorus riff is essential listening.

Killing The Right

Similar to “Read About It”.

Check out the guitar work from 2.30 to 2.50.

Astoria Paranoia

A fast drum riff like “Black Betty” starts the song.

Uncle Harry

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Dokken – Return 2 The East Live 2016

I listened to this album when it came out in 2018 on Spotify. I felt like I needed to. And I have most of the Dokken albums except, “Broken Bones”, this one and “The Lost Tapes”.

Sebastian Bach on Twitter was asked a question recently, “which band does he believe squandered all their talents?” and he answered that with “Skid Row”, but goddamn, “Dokken” is probably the poster artist for “squandering talents”.

It’s Another Day (New Studio Track)

It sounds like a Lynch Mob track with Don Dokken singing.

Nostalgia and my memory of Dokken in the 80’s wants me to like this.

Kiss Of Death

It’s great to hear Pilson, Brown and Lynch rocking out again musically. The crowd at the ball park fakery is unsettling. Don’s voice is more bass than his earlier self. It’s not how I want to hear him, but I also understand that age is never kind to a voice.

When Lynch breaks loose in the lead break, you hear exactly why he’s a guitar hero. He plays it almost note for note as per the studio recording, however he adds in extra notes and phrases and they enhance the lead break.

And the song fades out.

WTF.

The Hunter

It’s up next but it doesn’t feel like it was the next song in the set list.

The riffs in this song are excellent and I’ve always liked the lead break in this.

And like “Kiss Of Death”, Lynch enhances it, evolves it, throwing in his years of experience of playing it live.

I’m not a fan of the overall vocal delivery or the backing vocals.

Unchain The Night

The songs don’t flow like a concert as there is dead silence between the songs, as one song fades out and the other begins.

Even though the live album was put together from different shows they could have made it flow like a concert experience from start to finish.

The riffage in this song is excellent. And the lead breaks again from Lynch shows an artist who is on top of his game and has been for a long time.

When Heaven Comes Down

This song doesn’t get the credit it deserves as a heavy metal cut, as the riffs are very NWOBHM.

Breakin’ The Chains

It’s sped up just a little bit and I like it. Vocally, everyone is delivering.

Listening to Lynch wail away with just Pilson and Brown providing the foundation is rawk and roll in the power trio sense.

Into The Fire

Another cut, that doesn’t get its dues as a metal cut. And Lynch decorates in between the riffs with little fills here and there.

The lead break also has some fast picked lines added to it.

Dream Warriors

How can you not like this song?

The way the drums introduce it, the spooky clean tone riff and then the head banging distorted riff.

Lynch’s tone in the clean tone verses is excellent.

Tooth And Nail

I always enjoy listening to the lead breaks on this song. Especially the finger tapped section.

And “Tooth And Nail” goes straight into “The Hunter” but its faded out.

Why they decided to sequence it like this and not follow the actual concert set list is mystifying.

Alone Again

Although it’s a ballad, it’s a favourite.

Lynch doesn’t miss a note in the lead break.

The best part of the song is the C to D to Em chord progression, while Don is singing “Alone Again” without you over and over again. It would have been great to hear em jam on that a little bit more.

It’s Not Love

It’s like an anabolic ZZ Top cut, a perfect song for the live show.

After the lead break, the band is jamming and Pilson steps on the fuzz to become the centre point.

There’s some more jamming, some crowd participation and they move back into the song.

In My Dreams

Lynch is tuned down to cater for Don’s voice and the riffs suddenly sound menacing.

I think it’s safe to say that the lead break in this song is iconic. You can only play it one way, and that’s the way it was recorded.

Heaven Sent (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

This song would always work as an acoustic cut, because its blues based and the blues started off on acoustic guitars.

Will The Sun Rise (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

A nice re-imagining of a stellar rock song.

Actually the two acoustic tracks are the real highlights here.

And for their return to the East, it would have been great if they did a different set list instead of paying homage to the original set list. But they didn’t.

If you want to hear Dokken at their best, then 1988’s “Beast from the East” is their piece d’resistance and one of my top 5 live albums, along with “Live After Death” from Iron Maiden, “Tribute” from Ozzy, “Alive III” from Kiss and “Live At Budokan” from Dream Theater.

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

The Record Vault: Disturbed – Asylum

August 31, 2010 was the release date. 11 years old.

The cover opens up to reveal the Disturbed mascot trying to break out of the Asylum straps.

“Asylum” is the fifth studio album by Disturbed.

It was their fourth consecutive number one album in the U.S.. The other two bands ever to accomplish this feat in the Soundscan era are Metallica and Dave Matthews Band. Good company they keep.

It was also self-produced and keeping within the “it ain’t broke” formula.

Remnants

An instrumental which showcases Dan Donegan on the guitar. Some of the lead sections remind me of Criss Oliva from Savatage.

It was meant to be one song with “Asylum” but split into two as the label didn’t want the title track to be 7 minutes long, in case it messed up it’s chances of radio play.

Asylum

“Remnant” fades into the title track as a fast bass riff rumbles and then all hell breaks loose.

“Release Me” barks David Draiman.

The “Asylum” has a dual meaning, with the concept of a person losing a loved one as both an asylum driving the person insane, as well as a place of comfort.

The Infection

The major key verse riff is different from the minor key fast Intro. And I like the contrast.

A relationship song that likens the feelings you experience after a break-up to an infection.

There is this head banging riff which kicks in at 2.20, which Donegan then solos over.

And did I mention that the Chorus is melodically massive.

Warrior

A foot stomping open string pedal point riff starts the song off. Almost thrash like.

Another Way To Die

About global warming.

The arpeggios in the Intro give way to a rocker rooted in the blues. The main riff is played staccato like, in a similar way to ZZ Top and how Billy Gibbons plays “La Grange”.

Never Again

About the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.

The riffs are excellent. Pure fury.

The lead breaks feel angry and demented. And there’s a crazy sweep lick thrown in.

The Animal

When midnight comes and man turns to a wolf. Queue up Metallica, “Of Wolf And Man”.

Donegan also takes control of this track with his groove riffs.

Crucified

Another song about a broken relationship.

I almost pressed skip the first time I heard it because the Intro and verses didn’t connect, but then the Chorus kicked in.

Serpentine

Wikipedia tells me it’s about a demonic woman who “utilizes her sexuality to prey on the weaknesses of men.”

Ummm. So what’s the problem.

The Intro riffs and wah drenched melodic lead gets me to pay attention every single time.

My Child

About a miscarriage and dealing with the mental fallout. The sounds of a flatline at the end brings home the reality of it.

Sacrifice

A song about how people seem to have two sides to their personality, a light and a dark side.

With a massive PANTERA inspired riff to create the darkness with.

Innocence

The Intro riff is Rammstein industrial like, which is perfect for a song about “corrupt attorneys and the criminals that they choose to defend.”

Check out the Chorus riff and melodic lead.

ISHFWILF

A cover of “I Still Haven’t Found What I”m Looking For” from U2 done in a Disturbed way.

It was certified Gold in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. and it was certified Silver in the U.K

There’s no doubt that Draiman is one of the premier and easily identifiable voices in Rock and Metal these days.

And like other hard rock singers he stays within the box he created with the debiut. Sometimes the vocal patterns could be interchanged with the vocal patterns of other songs.

But, that’s why we like Disturbed.

And I still haven’t watched the “Decade Of Disturbed” DVD. But I will.

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

The Record Vault: Disturbed – Indestructible

By album Number 4, the Disturbed brand was bigger than ever. Johnny K was gone from the Producers chair. The deals that artists have with producers means that the producers increase their cut and royalty points with each subsequent album. It’s simple business. Instead of paying someone else, they decided to do it themselves.

Disturbed for this album and all albums after is David Draiman on lead vocals, Dan Donegan on lead and rhythm guitars, John Moyer on bass and Mike Wengren on drums.

Released in 2008, it quickly went on its way of matching its predecessors.

In Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S, its certified Platinum. In Finland and the U.K, its certified Gold. It charted well in a lot of countries.

“Indestructible”

It was called “Defend” before it was re-titled to “Indestructible”.

While it is a hopeful song to the armed forces, it also serves as a reminder to everyone that Disturbed is still here after all these years.

Killer metal groove riff to start the song off.

Check.

Anthemic Chorus.

Check.

Guitar Lead.

Check.

Actually, the guitar lead breaks on the album shows the Guitar Community that Donegan is a lot more accomplished than previously thought.

“Inside The Fire”

It was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the “Best Hard Rock Performance” category.

It’s a disturbing song, which Draiman has explained as “standing over the body of my girlfriend, who just killed herself, and the Devil is standing over me, whispering in my ear to kill myself.”

The guitar starts off before the drums and bass kick in.

The chorus shares some similarities to “Primal Concrete Sledge” by Pantera however Disturbed sing it in a melodic and anthemic way and of course the guitar solo is “Guitar Hero” worthy.

“Deceiver”

Another song about a bad relationship or that person in your life that lies, deceives and takes from you.

“The Night”

The original title of the album and the first song written for it. The “Night” in this song is a living entity that surrounds you and hides you.

How good is the intro to this?

And another anthemic Chorus.

Check out the guitar lead. Donegan moves to a new level here with some serious sweeps and string skipping.

“Perfect Insanity”

It’s pre “The Sickness” as the band thought it would be pretty cool, especially for the fans, if they brought back maybe a song or two, that were actually written during the same period that “The Sickness” songs were written.

Another killer lead break from Donegan.

“Haunted”

A bass and drum groove start the song with the sound of rain and a tolling bell, before the guitar riff comes in, all staccato like and in sync with the bass drum.

“Enough”

The way Draiman sings the Chorus showcases his vocal abilities.

“The Curse”

It’s Disturbed from the first album. There’s a bit of everything here.

“Torn”

Another great lead from Donegan.

“Criminal”

The bird calls are back as Draiman sings “huh, huh”.

“Divide”

Another old song from pre “The Sickness”, it’s like a punk thrash song in the intro, before it moves into a groove metal riff that reminds me of Judas Priest’s “Better By You, Better Than Me” for the verses.

Draiman is telling you to be an individual, make your mark and stand out. Don’t be a conformist within the pack.

“Façade”

The drums are frantic for the closer.

And in the same way that AC/DC plays its standard blues rawk and roll, Disturbed doesn’t really stray too much from a style which has brought them public acceptance.

Metal elitists will always look down on em, but Disturbed have flown the flag of metal for many years in the face of hip hop, dance and other crap styles.

Indestructible they are.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 23 to August 29

4 Years Ago (2017)

PEOPLE CREATE VALUE

Do artists create value or does the audience create value?

I believe it’s the audience.

We are the ones who decide what song or album we will give our time and money to.

And it’s a cold hard truth for any creator out there. The art they create has no value at the start. It might later, if people decide it’s valuable.

DEF LEPPARD

Def Leppard was huge from 1983 to 1992. Even their sound was huge with multi-layered vocals and instrumentation.

They had a bit of a back lash in the 90’s and maybe alienated some of their fan base with their 90’s sounding “Slang” album. But like all great bands from the 80’s they had a renaissance.

Because of piracy.

No one could purchases or access Def Leppard’s digital music library legally between 2000 and 2017 (apart from the few forgeries the band did themselves and the live releases), so people obtained the music illegally.

And just like that Def Leppard replenished their fan base with younger fans. 

“In recent years, we’ve been really fortunate that we’ve seen this new surge in our popularity. For the most part, that’s fuelled by younger people coming to the shows. We’ve been seeing it for the last 10, 12 or 15 years, you’d notice younger kids in the audience, but especially in the last couple of years, it’s grown exponentially. I really do believe that this is the upside of music piracy.”

Vivian Campbell

8 Years Ago (2013)

MACHINE HEAD

Machine Head is a favourite. And if you want to read a post on some deep album cuts then here it is.

QUEENSRYCHE

Queensryche appealed to me for a few reasons.

  1. Insightful lyrics
  2. Great messages and themes in the songs
  3. Brilliant arrangements and guitar playing.
  4. Each album that they released with Chris DeGarmo followed my own changing musical tastes.

So I did a post on some semi-obscure Queensryche songs.

RECORD FAIRS

I did a post of my score at a Record Fair.

And I’m thinking what is the point of em when most of the stuff is priced high. But I still go. The collector in me makes me go.

100 MILLION STREAMS

Daft Punk’s track “Get Lucky” by August 2013 had been streamed 104,233,480 times. Spotify generally pays 0.004 a stream to the rights holder. So by doing the math that comes to $416,933.92 in payments from Spotify to the rights holder.

How much of this money is distributed down to Daft Punk from Columbia Records is unknown?

For a song that was released in April 2013, it’s proven to be a pretty good earner.

And i was wondering when Metal and rock bands would cross that 100 million mark. Well by 2021, a lot of em have and in the case of Queen, they’ve even crossed the billion mark.

DREAM THEATER

I was re-reading a Kerrang interview that Derek Oliver conducted with Dream Theater back in 1989. It has the title; “PROG ROCK LIVES… RUN TO THE HILLS.”

It’s the same Derek Oliver that negotiated Dream Theater’s deal with Atco. It’s full of praise.

But it’s not 1989 anymore.

It was 2013.

Dream Theater was about to release their first self-titled album. Music is getting released left, right and centre. Independent DIY bands are competing against label funded bands.

Was Dream Theater still one of the most innovative bands in town?

VITO BRATTA

It’s 1991 and Vito Bratta is doing the rounds for the Mane Attraction album. And he was uncomfortable.

A few years before this is what Vito Bratta said in the June 1989 issue of Kerrang magazine.

“I hate recording. I can’t stand it. I cant stand the pressures of writing and recording a record. If they told me tomorrow that i was going to go out on tour for fives years, i’d say, fine, i love it. Playing every night is what i love.”

When Vito did the Eddie Trunk show in 2007, he had this to say about the expectations placed on them by the Record Label;

“So the record company’s saying we need another “Pride”.

I say, “Ok, so what exactly does that mean?”

The label goes, “we need the hit singles”

I go, “listen the songs we gave you, on “Pride” weren’t hit singles written purposely to be to be hit singles. They were just songs that became hit singles and they were just songs we wrote. Now you’ve got somebody telling you now, you have to purposely write a hit single.

Now how do you do that?

How do you purposely write a hit single, I mean there are people out there that do that…”

In a Guitar World interview from the June 1991, Brad Tolinski asked Vito if Mane Attraction was difficult to make.

“In a way it was. It was the first time I ever felt real pressure. When we recorded our first record, “Fight To Survive”, we were real naive and just happy to have a deal.

Our next record, “Pride”, was also very relaxed. It was written over a period of three years, so we had plenty of time to compose and experiment. “Pride” went double platinum, which was both good and bad.

When we went to record the follow-up, “Big Game”, everyone told us, “Don’t worry, whatever you write will sell a million.”

There wasn’t any real fire or hunger on that record. We were playing arenas, getting big checks in the mail, getting calls that we were going platinum, and so on.

On top of that, we had convinced ourselves that we had to write hit singles in order to maintain our popularity, and in the end “Big Game” was too contrived. It didn’t sell as well as “Pride”.

This is what Vito had to say on the Eddie Trunk show;

“Big Game” was a setback for the Label. It didn’t sell as many. We were doing a headlining tour of Europe by ourselves for the “Big Game” album and they (the Label) said, “wouldn’t it be great if we played at Wembley with Motley Crue and Skid Row?”

Skid Row went on and they were just killing the place. And Motley Crue had a great show and here we are sandwiched in between.

We realized, that night, on stage at Wembley that these songs from the “Big Game” album aren’t translating well in the live show.

So we all looked at each other on stage and said we need to throw in some of our better stuff in here. I was like what better stuff. We need to write more for who we are because these songs are not translating.

Then we went back to the States and we told the record label, no more tours on this album. We are going to do the album that we want to do. And they said well considering how the last album went, they said “go ahead”.

They gave us unlimited funds.

“Mane Attraction” was a half a million dollar record. They just said go and do everything that you want.”

And the album failed to connect with a large audience.

1986 vs 2013

And example of how the post flowed.

In 1986, Jon Bon Jovi was in debt to his record label and still living with his parents. Then the “band” Bon Jovi released their biggest seller, “Slippery When Wet”.

I’m 2013, Jon Bon Jovi was flush with money and the band Bon Jovi released their biggest dud, in “What About Now” and Richie Sambora was booted.

In 1986, Megadeth released “Peace Sells.. But Who’s Buying”, which in their case, everyone was buying.

In 2013, Megadeth released “Supercollider” and no one was buying.

In 1986, Queensryche released a superior album in “Rage For Order”.

In 2013, Queensryche became two seperate bands that ended up releasing two inferior albums in “Frequency Unknown” (Geoff Tate version) and “Queensryche” (Todd LaTorre version).

The fans are screaming for order.

In 1986, Vinnie Vincent invaded the charts, with a point to prove.

In 2013, Vinnie Vincent is.

COG – ARE YOU INTERESTED?

Databases store everything we do online. And one of my favorite acts Cog had a song about it many years ago.

Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this
And they’re scanning all their databases
Hunting terrorists
Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this
And anyone who speaks their mind is labelled anarchist

GOVERNMENTS SPYING

Our Government’s get caught red handed spying on it’s own citizens and artists needed to take a stand on this.

But no one did.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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