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

Arrows In Words From The Sky

This October, Machine “Fucking” Head will make 30 years!

In the early 90s, Robb Flynn decided to quit the band he was in, to start Machine “Fucking” Head, so he could call the shots and not have to answer to anyone.

Throughout the years he’s had different versions of the band with “The Blackening” line up being the most favored and then the “Burn My Eyes” line up.

Over the last three years, Robb’s motto is simple. If he has a song, or two, he’s going to get it recorded and released. And he’s still calling the shots.

Jared MacEachern on bass is still there, a dedicated right hand man.

In 2019, “Do Or Die” was released.

In February 2020, “Circle The Drain” came out.

In June 2020, the “Civil Unrest” single, featuring the tracks “Bulletproof” and the Jesse Leach collaboration “Stop The Bleeding” came out.

In November 2020, the stand alone “My Hands Are Empty” was released, a collaboration between Robb Flynn and Logan Mader from the “Burn My Eyes” version of the band.

And on 11 June 2021, the 3-Song digital single, “Arrows In Words From The Sky” dropped.

In total 8 songs have been released. They could represent an album that came out today, but we all got to spend time with these songs when they came out and make em special at that particular point in time.

On his blog, Robb said that, “these three songs represent Machine Head better than anything I could ever try to explain here.

The way these songs grew and took shape over time, tells us our future is more exciting than even we would like to admit.

Being able to corral all the chaos, pain, confusion, and yes, hope, into music has never made me feel more alive. These songs will hopefully do the same for you, after all, that’s who they were written for.

Arrows In Words From The Sky

As soon as the droning open string tones and natural harmonics kick in, I was hooked.

It sounds sad and when the vocal melody comes in, it’s mournful. But all of this is the calm before the storm.

Centuries of pain, under a paper sword
Arrows in words from the sky

When the distorted section with the vocal melody “breaking down (I am reborn)” kicks in, it’s desk breaking stuff. It hits a raw nerve and unleashes a lot of emotions.

Listen to the lead break.

It’s guitar hero stuff from Robb Flynn. His lead work is so underrated.

Check it out.

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

2001 – Part 1.3: Machine Head – Supercharger

The Evergrey “In Search Of Truth” post and “Origin Of Symmetry” by Muse post were meant to be part of this large post, however after I finished writing all of the posts they had a lot of words in there to be part of one post, so they ended up as separate posts.

The Machine Head post will be 1.3, the upcoming Megadeth post will be 1.4 and the Ozzy post will be 1.5.

Machine Head – Supercharger

Supercharger is their fourth album.

It came out just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and it got lost in the aftermath. Roadrunner also gave them zero promotion and to this date, its considered a commercial failure by the label. They even went on tour for the album without any label support which was a slap in the face to the band as Robb Flynn has admitted that “The Burning Red” and “Supercharger” were albums that Roadrunner pressured them to do, so they could break into the mainstream.

But when the mainstream didn’t come, Flynn said that the band was going to return to “what we they did best”.

It is also the band’s last release to feature lead guitarist Ahrue Luster and as a by-product it set in stone the next 15 years.

For me, this was the first album I purchased from Machine Head.

And in relation to the album being a commercial failure, in a 2015 interview with LouderSound, this is what Robb Flynn had to say about it.

“Supercharger sold 250,000 copies. If that’s a disaster, I’ll take it.

We played nine shows in the UK, all sold out, and the US tour was mostly sold out, which was a first.

Every night when we play “Bulldozer”, that whole theory that everybody hates “Supercharger” gets completely stomped into the ground. We play “Bulldozer” and it’s one of the top five reactions of the night, every time”

After a minute of “The Declaration”, the iconic riff of “Bulldozer” kicks in. Listen to the drumming from Dave McClain in the intro. In the live arena, this song is powerful, mosh pit powerful.

“Full steam we go against the odds, headfirst we go against the grain”.

But the lack of solos is going with the grain, as between 1999 and 2005, there was a “no guitar solo” movement. This song was missing a ripping lead.

“Crashing Around You” is a great hard rock song. It was the only single from the album and it had a film clip with a burning San Francisco skyline and stuff crashing down around them.

It was pulled from MTV and rock radio because the term “crashing” was found to be offensive.

But the lyrics are excellent, the music grooves and having this song pulled from every promotional outlet definitely hurt the band. But the fans loved it.

When they pulled this song out for the concert, the place went nuts.

“Kick You When You’re Down” sounds like a track from the “Catharsis” album with its catchcry about believing in yourself and following your heart.

“Only the Names” deserves more attention. This Robb Flynn penned track is classic Machine Head merging all the doom from the early era. Tracks from the current era even sound like this song. That distorted riff would sink submarines it’s that heavy. Early Tool comes to mind here.

“All in Your Head” is one of my favourite Machine Head tracks. That intro, especially live, is head banging material and in its essence it’s basically a hard rock song.

“American High” kicks off with a Tarzan like vocal chant, which is actually the riff of the song. It sounds like the guys are having fun and Flynn brings out some of his spoken word raps in the verses but this song got slammed by the reviewers, for the Tarzan chant.

“Nausea” feels like a Deftones style track especially in the verses.

“Blank Generation” reminds me of early Tool. It’s Aggressive with a capital A.

“Trephination” has a cool bass riff to kick it off.

“Deafening Silence” keeps building until it explodes towards the end.

“Supercharger” has a great intro riff, but that dissonance Korn style riff in the first part of the verse didn’t enhance the song in anyway.

The Japanese version has a cover of “Hole in the Sky” from Black Sabbath as its bonus track. A lot of fans saw this as a weird choice considering the nu-metal style of the album.

But from a rhythm guitar point of view, there is a lot here to unpack.

And after being exposed to Machine Head by various band members this album was my first financial commitment to the band, so it holds a special place in my history.

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Catharsis

“Catharsis” from Machine Head, had its three year anniversary a few days ago.

I posted a review here, not long after it came out.

As the review stated, I have no issues with lyrics of any kind and I do not have a problem with artists I like, taking a stance and commenting on what they see is the state of the world. Opinions are important whether a person agrees or disagrees with them.

So it’s no surprise that on “Catharsis”, Robb Flynn is giving his take on the world. It’s not pretty, but no one said the six o’clock news is pretty.

Most of the songs were written during the time of Trump’s running for President and election. There is despair, anger and some forecasting as to what the future would look like, under a Trump presidency in the lyrics of the songs.

And Robb Flynn was right with every word.

Check out the song “Bastards” with its catch phrase of “Don’t let the bastards wear you down”. Because it happened. All of the lies and the hate speech wore everyone down. Even internationally, our news bulletins spent a lot of time fact checking Trump’s claims and others just basically laughed at him and made unflattering jokes about him.

Robb copped a lot of flak for taking a stand on politics, from U.S magazine writers, U.S music websites/blogs and U.S fans. It was an American thing. As Dee Snider said on Twitter recently, a lot of metal fans in the U.S, are also Trump supporters and was anyone really surprised when the majority of writers for the U.S metal magazines and websites came out as Trump supporters. Especially the ones, on the more extreme side of metal.

And what was surprising about all this, was how many of the U.S “fans” and “writers” kept posting that Robb Flynn should just keep his views on politics to himself and just sing.

But politics have been a big part of Machine Head. The songs, “A Thousand Lies”, “Clenching The Fists Of Dissent”, “Halo”, “In The Presence Of My Enemies” and “A Farewell To Arms” are all political.

What did these guys think he was writing about?

Making cookies.

I believe that Machine Head is more popular outside the U.S and the international audience stood with Robb Flynn on this. We didn’t have the U.S problem.

Is the album bloated?

Yep, a few songs too many. At 75 minutes long, it’s a lot to take in, especially in a world that has a lot of distractions and people just don’t know how to manage their time effectively.

Is it the best Machine Head album?

Depends on what you grew up with. I like “The Blackening”, “Through The Ashes Of Empires”, “Supercharger” but my favourite is “Unto The Locust”. It’s the most focused and at seven songs, it’s pretty much all killer.

And the message of standing your ground is important. It’s easier said than done, because to stand your ground, means that you need to move out of your comfort zone.

Because standing bye and watching the unacceptable become the acceptable is not an option.

Play it loud.

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November 2020 – Part 3

Pyramaze

From Denmark. “Epitaph” is album number six.

The album kicks off with the title track “Epitaph”, a 1.40 instrumental that would not be out of place on the “Braveheart” soundtrack or “Game Of Thrones”.

This song bleeds into “A Stroke Of Magic” and that Evergrey djent/syncopated style of riffing captures me. “Steal My Crown” starts off with a catchy piano lick and when the power chords come crashing down, in the words of Rob Halford, “they go tearing through my senses”.

“Knights In Shining Armour” is a power metal cut with a catchy keyboard melody underpinning the Chorus and “Birds Of Prey” is a hard rock sing with an AOR Chorus.

“Particle” reminds of Evergrey and for that memory, it is elevated to stand out status.

“I’m chasing every particle of you”

God damn, even Desmond Child or Max Martin can’t come up with a line that good.

“Indestructible” asks the question “for why we try to die so young” in the Chorus.

“World Foregone” also reminds me of Evergrey and I’m all in with the alternate picked verses and ballad like Chorus with “how long, how long, can we go on”.

It’s about pollution and climate change. An important message that needs to be heard over and over again. Something that White Lion was onto but ignored.

Machine Head

“My Hands Are Empty” keeps the single song drops from Machine Head going.

From a new music point of view, prior to this song, MH released “Do Or Die” in 2019 and in 2020, “Circle The Drain” (and an acoustic version), “Stop The Bleeding” and “Bulletproof” have been released. If any of em end up on a long player, who knows, but as a fan I’ve enjoyed the single drops.

The songs “Stop The Bleeding” and “Bulletproof” appeared like an EP called “Civil Unrest”.

AC/DC

The mighty Acca Dacca return with one of the best album titles ever in “Power Up”. Their return was met with enough fandom, which pushed their album into number 1 and decent sales, something that Bon Jovi couldn’t muster with his 2020 release.

“Realize” storms out of the gate with its “For Those About To Rock” intro before it starts cranking with its “Problem Child/Sin City” vibe. And I’m all in.

“Shot In The Dark” is better than a walk in the park, with its instantly recognisable riff, which people state sounds like “Rock N Roll Train” and “Rock N Roll Train” sounds like other AC/DC songs, because Angus and Malcolm are brilliant at creating derivative versions of the same riff.

Tracks like “Through The Mists Of Time” is AC/DC bringing in something extra and the way the Chorus happens, well it’s just a little bit different. In Australia, a band called Choirboys did songs like this.

“Kick You When You’re Down” makes me pick up the guitar to learn that intro riff.

“Demon Fire” is fast blues. It sounds like Airbourne’s “Blood In The Water”. “Let There Be Rock” comes to mind and so does “Safe in New York City” and “Caught With Your Pants Down”.

Other favourites are “Money Shot” and “Code Red”.

Power up for 2020 and rock on.

Chris Stapleton

This is a real good blues rock album in the style of John Fogerty and Steve Earle. The first three tracks are a triple combo knockout with “Starting Over”, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice” (which sounds like it came from the same family tree of “Old Man Down The Road” by John Fogerty) and “Cold” which is basically a re-write of a Paolo Nutini song called “Iron Sky”.

“Arkansas” keeps that Delta blues vibe going with its swampy riffs. “Hillbilly Blood” sounds like a Steve Earle track. “Maggie’s Song” feels like “Shooting Star” from Bad Company.

Lunatic Soul

Opening track “Navvie” is an acoustic Celtic like romp, more colonial, tribal and folky sounding than anything modern. And I like it. So I went to Google to find out more about the band.

Lunatic Soul is a progressive rock side-project, founded by Riverside vocalist and bass guitarist Mariusz Duda in 2008. “Through Shaded Woods” is the side projects seventh album.

Riverside has been in my life since the early 2000’s and I had no idea there was a side project. All instruments and vocals are performed by Duda. He found inspiration for the album from his hometown in Poland, which is surrounded by forests and lakes.

“The Passage” is up next. This track clocks in at 8.57 as it weaves its way through its Norse and Slavic folk influences in the riffs, all done in a haunting way.

“Through Shaded Woods” continues the Celtic tribal folk feel from “Navvie” with a tremolo effect vocal melody. “Summoning Dance” clocks in at 9.52 and its underpinned by an acoustic bass riff that reminds me of Tool.

The acoustic finger picked intro to “The Fountain” starts and the melancholy gets me interested.

Volster

I added “Arise” to my playlist because I saw their name in a list of new releases.

Another hard rock band from Sweden.

“Turn The Tide” with its Led Zep like influences immediately grabbed me and “End Of The World” could have been a Dio cut with a Blackmore style solo.

But it’s the hard rock tracks with a little bit of prog thrown in that are my favourites. Check out the Rush influenced “I Wish” and the Kings X influenced “Sign of the Times” and “Highroad to Nowhere”.

Spirit Adrift

From the U.S.

It started off as a solo project in 2015.

And since then, vocalist/guitarist/bassist Nate Garrett has taken his melodic doom metal influences and tweaked them into an old school metal machine, all within four albums and two Eps.

The new album is called “Enlightened in Eternity”. Garrett does everything except the drums, which are carried out by a person called Marcus Bryant.

“Ride Into The Light” could have been on an Accept album and their take on mixing Judas Priest with AC/DC.

“Astral Levitation” has two sections. Section 1 is Sabbath/Dio “Heaven And Hell” era while section 2 is all Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy with the harmony guitars.

“Cosmic Conquest” has so many riffs in the song, that a whole album could have been written of those riffs got fleshed into individual songs.

I’m interested, let’s see what comes next.

Part 4 is coming up.

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

Unto The Locust

9 years old yesterday.

I was a first day buyer and I got the CD/DVD deluxe version.

7 original tracks and two covers for the deluxe, which had a kick ass version of “The Sentinel” from Judas Priest and “Witch Hunt” from Rush. In addition, there is an acoustic track of “Darkness Within”.

The DVD has a making of documentary which I watched once and I don’t really remember much of except for a debate they had about a song.

Coming into this the album, the thrash tour de force “The Blackening” came out in 2007 and the band went on a three year victory lap with it. That’s right, a three year tour.

And then they dropped this album.

“I Am Hell” kicks it off.

Its a 3 part classical movement, consisting of the main thrash part, the classical outro, and the Latin intro of which Robb recorded 24 separate voices to create it. The Latin words chanted are “Sagre Sani” = Blood saint”, and “Bellator Inferni” = “Hell warrior”.

And I wasn’t all in.

But the last two minutes when the acoustic kicks in for the classical outro had me loosening up to it.

Then the finger tapped intro to track 2 begins and I was really in.

“Be Still And Know” is one of my favourite Machine Head songs.

In this struggle / Are we dead or alive?

What’s the saying, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept” or something like that.

And life is a struggle, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s all down to the standard we accept. The one that brings change is uncomfortable and the other is comfortable.

And there’s heartache / As we search to connect

We like to say that we know what we are doing but in reality we don’t. We are just working and living off our best guess. So we have heartache and we keep on connecting.

Because relationships are not easy. They need work and sometimes they need downtime.

There is love / Know that we are one / We are all in this together / Weather the storm

If I have my best day or my worst day, that feeling will pass. And in time I’ll forget it because it doesn’t matter. And I’ll experience other days of highs and lows and those feelings will be forgotten as well.

And the fast double kick drum in the solo harmony section is so fast it makes me wonder how all the modern drummers do it so easily.

Glaciers will melt and the oceans rise / Waves will come crashing ashore

Maybe global warming will not pass and we’ll need to deal with the fallout.

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

And if this was the only good song on the album it was worth it.

But then “Locust” started.

Viewed by many critics at the time as a disappointing follow up to 2007’s “The Blackening”, “Locust” went on to become Machine Head’s #1 streamed song of the digital-era, racking up 25 million streams to date plus 11 million and counting YouTube views.

The clean tone dropped D (but in C#) arpeggio riff is now iconic. It’s a singalong riff in the live arena.

And the lyrical theme is different.

Behind an angel’s disguise, an insect preys
Mandibles cut like a knife, the reckoning

The Locust is an analogy for bad people in human relationships who come and rip you off, rob you off your affection and then leave you stripped and destroyed, the same way a swarm of locusts leave a crop stripped and destroyed.

And if these two tracks proved the best I was happy with the follow up.

But Robb Flynn had been practicing classical guitar and the classical intro to “This Is The End” starts. And I was all in over and over again.

When the harmony guitars come in, the 220bpm riff-a-thon begins.

But the centerpiece is “Darkness Within”. Just listen to it and you will know why. It’s a heavy hard rock song and the lead break from Phil Demmel is Randy Rhoads worthy, a song within a song moment.

Could this album get any better?

It does with the last two originals “Pearls Before The Swine” (think Metallica “Ride The Lightning” era) and “Who We Are” (think Judas Priest Classic album era).

And the cover songs.

Blistering and recorded live in the studio.

Happy 9th birthday.

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Circle The Drain

The song started its life 13 plus months ago. It had a hook about “Treading Water” initially and that was probably going to be the title.

Robb Flynn then mentioned how the song title came about. He had a friend, who returned from Afghanistan only to have his relationship fall apart. His girlfriend messed around on him while he was gone, then she got paranoid about him messing around on her and drove him crazy. The title came from the words Robb’s friend said to him, “they were just circling the drain”.

Circling the drain means to be very near death and have little time to live. It is also used to describe a project or relationship that is on the brink of failure.

Robb also lost two long term band members who decided to leave Machine Head.

I don’t know if it was a relationship gone bad or if it was just time to move on, as nothing lasts ever, even the cold November Rain.

But when relationships do go bad, either romantic or band breakups, the people’s lives change forever. Suddenly, people/friends take sides, and you are not being invited to the events you used to go to and you are exposed to it all via social media and societies quest to showcase how great their lives are on it.

So artists channel this pain and anger and aggression into their music and their words.

Treading water, were just numbing the pain
Spinning round as we circle the drain

You know how it’s going to end, but you are too scared to move on and break ties. So we go around in circles, walking on egg shells and taking care to not hurt each other’s feelings, while our real feelings left the building a long time ago.

Excuses don’t mean anything when tears run down our eyes

No one said break ups are easy. And totems of the relationship are left behind everywhere, like a song or a movie that you don’t like anymore, because it brings back memories of that person.

And if it’s not tears running down the eyes, its blood. For all of our advancements in science and technology, we still can’t control our lizard brain, that small section of the brain that controls everything once it’s activated. It’s dangerous and on occasions deadly.

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The Sentinel

I forgot about this song in the 90’s and the 2000’s. It’s like it didn’t exist. Then I purchased the deluxe edition of “Unto The Locust” by Machine Head, and it was a bonus track. And I immediately ripped the CD and copied the song/album to my iPhone and added it to my playlists. The song was back in my life after a long hiatus.

And that is how our relationship with music works. We fall in and out of love with the songs.

Due to blowing away all of the mp3 tracks I had on my iPhone when I switched to streaming, I lost my mp3 rip of the Machine Head version. And it is not on Machine Head’s Spotify account, which irks me, but a Rock Covers album list.

And “The Sentinel” is my favourite track on the “Defenders Of The Faith” album. I could listen to it over and over again.

It’s music made for the sound system and not the earbuds/headphones, however in this day and age, the headphones will do.

A power chord crashes in.

As it buzzes out for a bar, a single note melodic riff is played.

Then another power chord is played, and another single note melodic riff. It repeats, until it gets into the speed metal riff of the verses.

And Halford sets the scene along deserted avenues with figures primed and ready for a quick surprise.

Then we are into the Chorus.

Sworn to avenge
Condemn to hell
Tempt not the blade
All fear the sentinel

It’s an arena rock chorus but it’s lyrical message is so far removed from the pop charts and the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “Cum On Feel The Noize” type of messages. “The Sentinel” is like an avenger for the down trodden and forgotten, or just a no bullshit bounty hunter.

The guitar solo has tapping, pentatonic lines, arpeggio pull off licks, natural minor scalar runs and a whole damn of legato.

And there is silence at the end of the solo, as they move into a melancholic and subdued verse, slowly building it up as the vicar stands expressionless, unmoved by his victory.

And how good are the riffs underneath the Chorus vocal melody.

Sworn to avenge.

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My Spotify Top Artist For 2018 is … Machine Head

Don’t let the bastards grind you down is the catch-cry from Machine Head this year. It pissed some people off and inspire others.

Apart from dropping a new album at the start of the year, Machine Head’s back catalogue features heavily in my life.

And Robb Flynn’s vocals are an acquired taste as he merges aggressive throat breaking barks to soaring melodic passages. It’s a voice built from his lifestyle. No one else can mimic it.

Thanks for the music and even though 2018 ends a bit uncertain for the band with two members leaving, I am sure Robb Flynn will go on and deliver a stellar Machine Head album.

The world is watching. New drummers and guitarists are waiting to join. It’s up to you.

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2018 – Legends Will Rise – Part 1

It’s time to start the year in review.

Here is the playlist for all the songs.

I have over 150 songs saved, and I’ve broken my comments on each song over a few posts.

When Legends Rise
Godsmack

It’s the title track. Generic nu-Metal in the music, but those vocal melodies from Sully Erna are addictive.

Legs are tired
These hands are broken
Alone I tried
With words unspoken
A silent cry
My breath is frozen
With blinded eyes
I fear myself

It’s the mindset that makes it happen. If the mind believes it’s possible, you will find a way to make it possible, even when your body screams stop.

It’s burning down
It’s burning high
When ashes fall
Legends rise

When your backs against the wall, when you have that last play, that last punch, that last kick, that last run left to do, the ones who succeed are the ones who have failed before.

I played it to my kids and they immediately connected with the lyrics.

Eye Of The Storm
Godsmack

In the eye of the storm I make my stand
But I’m not waiting for the walls to close in
I just brace myself for the winds to change their ways

Great analogy about the chaos of life we face everyday.

Forever And A Day
Gathering of Kings

The song is written by Victor Olsson. Actually all of the songs are written by Victor on this album and there is hardly a mention of him in the news, sort of like how Alessandro Delvecchio is the silent partner in Frontiers project.

This project is like a Steely Dan project in Swedish Melodic Rock circles with musicians from The Night Flight Orchestra, Spiritual Beggars, Treat, Eclipse, Corroded, Saffire and Pretty Maids all involved.

What can I say I’m a sucker for tunes like this.

Through
Remember Me
Gioeli Castronovo

Another Frontiers Records project of getting certain people together to deliver a melodic rock album written by Alessandro Delvecchio.

And how cool does the “Heavens On Fire” vocal melody sound over different chords on “Through”.

Sorry
Stryper

One thing about Stryper is they are still in the game, releasing albums and each one has a classic song or two on them with some killer guitar playing.

Like the lead break on this song.

Check it out.

Monolith
Thirty Seconds To Mars

It’s only a minute and thirty seven seconds instrumental, but it’s enough. It couldnt be any longer as it sets a feel and emotion of something big to come.

Great Wide Open
Thirty Seconds To Mars

Into the great wide open
Across a land of blood and dreams

I remember when Dad and my older brother got our first family car, which was a shitty Mitsubishi L300 Van. It just felt like all the borders and city limits evaporated and suddenly we were traveling into the great wide open.

Live Like A Dream
Thirty Seconds To Mars

Live like a dream
Broken but free

Life is tough. It tries to break us, make us obey and it tries to make us fit a mold made by someone else.

Burn
W.E.T

Get ready to be sent back to the mid 80s in another Frontiers Melodic Rock Project.

Calm Before The Storm
Light The Torch

Howard Jones delivers a stellar vocal performance that deals with addiction.

The nights are getting colder
The days are growing long
And you do not know what you’re fighting for
Come back to where you started
Come back where you belong
And I won’t be your calm before the storm

How good is the Chorus vocal melody?

This Is War
Audrevolution
Blackout

Audrey Horne

From Norway.

I’m fuel to the fire
Flame rising higher
This is war
We we’ll never be silent
Or divided
This is war

When I turn to the news pages on the web, there is so much abuse of power.

Bankers are abusing their position, getting rich by selling debt. Politicians are abusing their positions to cater for corporations instead of the people who voted them in. People in power abusing their positions for sexual gratitude and if the victim doesn’t comply, they railroad their career.

So what can the rest of us do?

Do we just stand divided, so focused on our ones and zeroes in our bank accounts or do we get together and make change.

It’s up to us.

Welcome to the Audrevolution
666 our own constitution

I sing the 6-6-6 with drink-drink-drink.

A Love Unreal
Black Label Society

My review of this song is here and that guitar solo.

Luminary
Juno

Tesseract

Progressive rock has come a long way from its 70s explosion. To me a song can be in 4/4 and still be progressive. TesseracT sit someone in between with their off beat polyrhythms, atmospheric guitars or jarring guitars with melodic vocals.

Are you alone, locked inside
That prison in your head?
You walk through the crowd
Lost in the sound
Invisible to every passing eye

It’s a symptom of the times. We are connected socially by digital means but when in public, we put our headphones on, keep to ourselves and get lost in the crowd, with our thoughts to keep us company.

Walls Come Down
Pink Cream 69

A German act.

You never tried to soften your words
Twisted your terms, took us for fools
And all you know is what you’ve been told

Upbringing, family and the social class you keep as you grow are all pivotal in how you understand the world.

If there is a racist in your circle, you will have racist views. If their is a climate change denier in the group, you will have denial views as well.

And when you come across people with views that differ, how do you respond. Do you yell back with your own views?

The Peace
WASP

Blackie can sure write a kick arse ballad. You can read my review here.

Behind A Mask
Machine Head

Another song which I have covered in a separate blog post.

Right Left Wrong
Strange Days

Three Days Grace

So here I go
Left right left
Right left wrong
I don’t know where I’m going
But I just keep moving on
Moving on

So true. Wandering aimlessly without a thought. You know you need to get away but to where.

Raise a glass to the end of it all
Who’s to blame when it’s everyone’s fault?
And we celebrate our way through dangerous times
Strange days are comin’ for us
Say goodbye to the way that it was
And we celebrate our way through dangerous times

The times in a nutshell. We are comfortable and oblivious to all the shit we allow people in positions of power get away with. To raise our voice, to demonstrate, means to be uncomfortable and the majority just want comfort.

No Surrender
Judas Priest

The riff hooks me and then the chorus lyrics seal the deal.

Chasing a dream as I go higher
Playing it mean, my heart’s on fire
Living my life, ain’t no pretender
Ready to fight with no surrender

Yeah it all rhymes and it’s simple and it’s dumb and i fucking dig it.

Next Few Steps
Surrender The Crown

From Germany.

I know for a fact that duty always bounds to love

Duty means a responsibility or a task of action that one is required to perform as part of ones job.

So when Love gets in the way, get ready for duty.

Transition
CrashCarBurn

From South Africa and they’ve been rocking since 2006. They came into my listening headspace back in 2014 because of piracy.

And since then I’ve been a fan on Spotify. This is from the new album “Headlights” and no one even knows about it.

Love Can Only Heal
Myles Kennedy

The feel of this song and the outro is what hooks me.

Nevermind the pain
‘Cause love can only heal
If only you could trade the dark for light it might reveal
That there’s a place inside
Don’t be afraid to feel
‘Cause love can only heal

Sometimes love is not enough especially when you don’t have it around you.

Blues Won’t Leave Me Alone
RSO

Orianthi kills it on this track. Her vocal line delivery is outstanding and her leads on the track is what legends are made off.

On Spotify it’s totally forgotten at 35K streams and on YouTube it’s sitting at 217K views. Still anemic for the quality in this song.

Creatures
Monsters

Shinedown

As they chase the charts with songs that don’t sound like Shinedown, let’s hope they don’t forget why they made the charts in the first place, by playing kick ass rock.

These two songs are how I like Shinedown to sound.

The Void
Chronos
Prey

Parkway Drive

From Australia.

This is the album that connected with me and it’s album number 6 from them.

Musically the riffs are there, bone crushing when they need to be and melodic when they need to be.

No Masters
Bad Wolves

This is a great song with lyrics that connect.

Back on that chain gang, strumming along
Hammering nails so I can sing my song
The devil done this to me
I drive the spikes down, profound
Building the cages that all broke us down
Boy get back down on your knees

As Sebastian Bach from Skid Row belted out, “how can I be king of the world if I’m a slave to the grind”.

So why are we spending our time building someone else’s dream instead of ours?

So take these chains from me
We’ll break these bastards
There’s no masters here

Sounds great on paper but reality is so much different. As much as we said we’re not gonna take it, we did take it and became slaves in the process.

A thousand boots down on the ground
Beating a drum under a marching sound
You better fucking believe
They’re screaming left right, left right
Fist in the air you better pick a side
Against the plutocracy

Plutocracy means government by the wealthy. And god damn it, it’s true. If the politicians are not wealthy, their faceless sponsors are.

Because even though politicians are voted in by the people, they refuse to serve the people, while the bend over for the corporation and their lobbyists.

Stay tuned for the other parts to come..

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

This Shall Also Pass

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

I think Phill Demmel wrote the lyric.

It was inevitable that something had to give. People do grow apart. Yes that’s true and the songs that people want to write and play also changes. That’s also true. But in this social media world, artists also don’t want to piss people off. So a lot of artists choose to live with a filter in public. Not Robb Flynn.

So Phil Demmel and Dave McClain leaving Machine Head was just a matter of time. All the best, thanks for the great tunes and two unbelievable albums in “The Blackening” and “Unto The Locust”.

But the show must go on. Robb Flynn needs to continue and fly the Machine Head flag high. Maybe he won’t. I hope he does.

Because when members leave and the band name continues, those people who were in the band previously would still need to get paid, especially if you play the songs they were involved in writing. So lawyers get involved and band agreements get messy and Robb Flynn would think, why the fuck am I working my arse off, city by city, to pay people who are not in the band anymore.

Remember when the Osbourne’s sued Tony Iommi because he continued to release albums under the Black Sabbath name which Sharon claimed Ozzy helped to build up as part of the original line up, so he must be entitled to a cut even though his solo career was running riot over Sabbath’s.

And Machine Head have made some changes to their line up, probably not as much as Megadeth but still a decent turnover. Then again Mustaine parted ways with Effelson, got sued by Effelson and then brought him back. Maybe Adam Duce would come back.

And new bassist Jared MacEachern has done nothing wrong to be fired. Then again, Jared is a guitarist and could fill the vacant guitar spot if Duce returns.

But I’ve always seen Machine Head as Robb Flynn. As long as he’s there, it’s Machine Head, the same way James Hetfield is Metallica and the same way Dave Mustaine is Megadeth and Tom Englund is Evergrey.

Those guys can replace the band members around them and it will still sound like the band. But bands are also about friendships and the hangs. So members stay in bands for those friendships, even when they feel they shouldn’t.

A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet

Everybody goes throw changes as Bowie said. Machine Head is changing. Robb Flynn embraced the social side and is connecting with his fans. The loyal ones. Who are there through thick and thin.

And there are fans who are swingers. They move in and out based on the new music. And then there are fans who like a certain line up or just a certain album.

This is who we are
This is what I am
We have nowhere else to go
UNITED we will stand

The lyric in capitals is actually divided but it always should have been united in my eyes.

Into glory we will ride.

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