We know that metal and rock bands need to get their heads away from the album format. From all of the 2014 releases that I heard, there was not an album that I loved from start to finish. So for my top 10 list, I have sequenced my favourite songs like an “album”. (Everyone gasps).
It looks pretty solid from start to finish.
Machine Head – Now We Die
It’s the first track and lead single from “Bloodstone and Diamonds”.
Cast off the shackles of the past
Live in the moment nothing ever lasts
So true, live in the now because no one knows when that last day being alive is.
A family friend died last week at 50 years of age however he actually died over 10 years when his wife left him. He just never got over it and it led to 4 heart attacks, stents, pace makers and in the end it was a brain haemorrhage that did it. A few days ago, the mother of a kid I coach in football died from a heart attack. She was under 40 years of age.
The recording business is so enraptured about what they lost that they fail to see the opportunities of the day and what they stand to gain.
Vanishing Point – Distant Is The Sun
One of Australia’s best kept secrets when it comes to melodic metal. This is the title track of their new album that almost didn’t get made.
How many times can you walk away
How many years can you give to crying
It covers the years in between albums and the struggle to get the album done due to life being life. They dealt with a record company going bust, band members leaving, shelving the music written with those band members, starting from scratch again, the death of a family member and then finding inspiration to continue.
Evergrey – King Of Errors
The anti-heroes from Sweden. As a fan, there has not been a bad release from them. “Hymns For The Broken” is no different and “King Of Errors” is a great comeback song.
They call us kings
And then we fall down broken
Social media accounts put out an image that all is well in our lives. There we are, happy, smiling, taking selfies with others and having a good time.
I know that life is peaks and valleys. We could be kings and queens for a while but it doesn’t sustain. We all have our lows. We all make errors. I made errors and I made choices that led me to where I am today.
Black Label Society – Angel Of Mercy
“Zakk’s developing into a monster. If you listen to his guitar playing there’s a little bit of Hendrix here, some other stylings there. He’s putting it all together in his own way. Zakk’s a musician for the future.”
OZZY – Guitar World, October 1989
Door of memories
I love the analogy of using the door to keep the memories from leaking out. We never want to lose all of those good and bad memories. In the end they make us who we are today.
Intervals – Automation
Intervals is another progressive band from Canada with a cult like following. I came across their name when I saw them on a tour poster with bands that I support like Periphery, Protest The Hero and TesserAct.
“Automation” is from their 2014 self-funded/released album “A Voice Within”.
After a few instrumental releases, this is their first one to feature vocals and what a stellar job they did with it.
The gears pulling forward
Always falling into place
The battle I know is over
Despite the effort and haste
The Kindred – Heritage
Yep, another band from Canada that was formerly known as “Today I Caught The Plague” and one of the best progressive bands out there that everyone needs to hear. This song is from the album “Life In Lucidity” released on Sumerian Records.
Now stand on the shoulders of history’s tallest thinkers
See that their height is borrowed from predecessors
And even the worst ideas can spur better conceptions
Pushing humankind along an evolutionary rite of passage
The whole British Rock movement in the Sixties came about because of the love the British musicians had for the American Blues movement. They borrowed from their predecessors to make new creations. Hell, Led Zeppelin took blue and folk staples and built a career of that. That E7(#9) chord that Jimi Hendrix so famously used in “Purple Haze” was used consistently by Wes Montgomery years before. However it is known to the masses as the “Hendrix Chord”.
We’ll be tomorrow’s heritage
The giants of advancing thought
But if only we respect the statuesque preceding
Machine Head – Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
It was hard to pick a song from Machine Head because “Sail Into The Black”, “Killers and Kings” and “Game Over” are all up there as well, however “Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones” was a favourite right from the start. That whole intro build up made me want to pick up my work desk and throw it out the window.
From my throat the agonies emit
My demons wrestle and my thoughts conflict
The stench of bile, as I purge this hate
An inner struggle I can’t separate
With all that was happening behind the scenes between the Machine Head members it is a miracle that this album was finished and finally released.
Adrenaline Mob – Dearly Departed
Adrenaline Mob’s aura is a throwback to the Eighties period. Yeah, I know they might have had some nu-metal style of riffing in some songs, overall, the feel is still classic Eighties.
I gave you everything
Took you under my wing
With open arms brought you in the family
I don’t allow people into my life that easily anymore. The band members from my last band left me cautious and then when they put in song writing claims for songs that I had registered in 2005 (and the band formed in 2008, with the bass player that also put in a claim joining in 2010) I was furious. The deceitfulness shown by them I thought wasn’t possible in humans and it was a real eye-opener to me to be more careful.
Fight or Flight – Leaving
The side project that featured members from Evans Blue and Disturbed.
Living life through compromise
Being married for more than fifteen years is basically living a life through compromise on both sides. Having kids further compromises that life. Working a Monday to Friday job is another compromise. Get where I am going with this. Are there any people out there that have never compromised anything of themselves?
Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died
Sanctuary are a cult favourite of mine and the thing is as much as I tried to get into Nevermore, I just couldn’t. Then came Warrel Dane’s solo album and I was like “yeah”. And with Sanctuary’s new one, it’s a “Fuck Yeah”.
What if there is nothing more?
What if there is only emptiness?
What if there is nothing more
Beyond the code of deliverance?
What if everything decays?
What if we’ve all just been betrayed?
The code of deliverance leads us closer
We are closer to the end
It’s like a modern-day “Draconian Times” from Paradise Lost all wrapped up into one song.
ONE LAST ENTRY: Black Veil Brides – Faithless
Say what you want about them and their look but man, this band has two deadset shredders in Jinxx (plus he plays a mean violin) and Jake Pitts.
“Faithless” is a riff romp and the Bob Rock production just takes it to another level. Even the vocal tone of Andy Biersack which I am not a big fan off is pretty good under the tutelage of Rock.
Live with defiance
It’s time to fight
Don’t ever let them keep your words from being heard
Dee Snider would be proud.