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

May 2020 – Part 3

December
Highway To Paradise
Gathering Of Kings

I really need to sink my ears into this album and learn more about the project because even though their brand of melodic rock is derivative, I like it.

On their debut album, it had a lot of guest vocalists, and because Bjorn Strid from Soilwork and The Night Flight Orchestra was involved, I was interested.

These tracks are from the follow up.

The Shift
10 Years

I’ve been a long time fan of 10 Years.

There form of groove rock, which in the beginning, had a nod to Tool but in a concise 4 minute package, got me interested.

And since then, they have kept on morphing into a unique rock band.

Darker Thoughts
Ghosts
Paradise Lost

I became a fan with the “Draconian Times” album and then they lost me with their Depeche Mode style album in the late 90’s.

Since the start of the 2010’s they have started to creep back in. “Darker Thoughts” is sombre, as it percolates with just an acoustic guitar, violins and cellos. Then it kicks in, and that riff from 2.18.

House On Fire
Asking Alexandria

This band did a covers EP once, and they had songs from artists I grew up with.

For example, on the “Life Gone Wild” EP from 2010, they covered “18 And Life” and “Youth Gone Wild” frim Skid Row.

Then in 2012 they dropped another EP called “Under The Influence: A Tribute To The Legends Of Hard Rock” which had, “Separate Ways” from Journey, “Kick Start My Heart” from Motley Crue, “Here I Go Again” from Whitesnake and “Hysteria” from Def Leppard.

This track is from their new album and its different, bordering on the sounds of “Imagine Dragons” in the verses with a massive Chorus, which gets the foot tapping.

Check it out.

Uninvited
Earshot

“Earshot” is another band that found a niche combining the angst of bands like Korn with the progressiveness of Tool, into concise 4 to 5 minute rock songs. This was between 2004 and 2008. Then they disappeared, while similar bands like 10 Years and Chevelle kept on going.

“Uninvited” is a great return.

And I’m interested.

It has this epic, Middle Eastern/Arabic feel as it percolates and rumbles through, with a kicking guitar solo.

The following songs, I have already written about on some of the Release Day Friday playlist posts.

Make It Out Alive
Tell Me How You Really Feel
Trapt

The cover for “Make It Out Alive” is a skull with the American flag painted/engraved into the bone, wearing a gas mask all on a black background. It’s a great piece of art and the song portrays that angst.

Dark Necessities
Luca Stricagnoli

This dude can really play an acoustic guitar.

This is a cover of a RHCP song and what you get, is the guitars, the vocal lines, the bass lines and a percussive beat all played on the guitar.

He also has his own special designed acoustic guitar with three necks which allows him to play these songs live.

Watch his YouTube videos to see him in action.

And it was two of those YouTube videos that made me a fan.

“Thunderstruck” and “Fear Of The Dark”.

Watch em and be in awe.

There is so much talent in the world today, that deserves to be heard and seen, the same way guitarists in the 70’s and 80’s were heard and seen. And Luca Stricagnoli is one of those artists.

Prove Me Wrong
Dee Snider

After 40 years in the business, Dee Snider is still proving people wrong. His recent batch of releases, which takes a stab at modern pop rock with “We Are The Ones” and modern groove metal with “For The Love Of Metal” has returned him to the throne of the black sheep’s, the SMF’s.

And “Prove Me Wrong” has a foot stomping metal riff that could make it on a Metallica album with Dee at his metal best.

Atlas Falls
Shinedown

I am a fan of Shinedown.

Their last two albums moved away from the hard rock sounds that got me into em, but they have enough goodwill in my book, for me to remain a fan, plus they had enough tracks on the last two releases to keep me interested.

So when this track was released, a left over from the “Amaryllis” album released in 2012, I was hooked, because this is the Shinedown I like.

Skyfall
Vandenberg

This tune just smoulders, like those epic 70’s tracks from Rainbow and Deep Purple.

Yep, that’s the vibe I get, a Ritchie Blackmore vibe.

Invasion
Haken

The vocal delivery reminds me of Styx and the sounds in the first minute are like an 80s video game.

Musically, it ticks all the boxes for me.

And just like that, they are back in my life as I became one in 2016, then I was on the fence in 2018 and now I’m back.

Voices
Long Distance Calling

They have no singing, it’s all instrumental, but instrumental music built on a groove or a riff and they just keep building it with derivative versions of the same riff.

You need to listen to it, to understand what I mean.

Change For The Better
FM

I knew about FM from the 90’s but never heard anything from em. And in the 2010’s they started to come into my life.

And then they really came on my radar because of “Shot In The Dark”, the song which is known as an “Ozzy” song.

You see, Phil Soussan wrote that song while he was in a band called Wildlife with the Overland brothers (before FM was created). According to the Overland brothers, they helped develop a lot of the concepts and progressions and lyrical melodies, including the keys for “Shot In The Dark”. But they didn’t get the credit and even questioned what Ozzy Osbourne actually did to the song to get a credit.

So they re-recorded the version they had done with Soussan back in the Wildlife days as a bonus track to their 2016 EP.

Give it a listen on Spotify and or go on YouTube.

And as Wikipedia states, “this authorship issue has become a source of contention over the years, and in spite of its success, the song has rarely appeared on Ozzy Osbourne greatest hits compilations as a result.”

As for “Change For The Better”, it’s a mix of Journey and Toto when they used to rock a little bit.

Blackened 2020
Metallica

It was great to see James Hetfield again on the YouTube video of this.

And what a comeback song for him, with a pretty cool acoustic rewrite in the Ennio Morricone style for one of their most progressive and powerful tracks.

To me, the “Justice” album is an unbelievable record. I don’t care that the bass is missing and that the guitar sound has too many mids or the drums sound too compressed. Because a great song is a great song regardless and the “Justice” album has a lot of great songs.

And man, didn’t “One” really shake up MTV.

For a band that didn’t do any clips, they did two versions, one with the film footage and the other with just the band performing in the warehouse. Suddenly you had a million kids buying a double bass drum kit and off they went to practice the double kick “landmine” section.

But “Blackened” opened the album and it’s 7/4 time signature for the intro riff grabbed me by the throat instantly.

“Termination (termination)”

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

May 2020 – Part 2

Here we are with May Part 2.

The Black Serenade
Gunfire
Sign Of The Times
The End Of The Line
Bad Reputation
Wings Of The Storm
Into The Fire
Axel Rudi Pell

As soon as I saw the song titles and how un-original they sounded, I wasn’t really keen on this, but I’m glad I bit, because it’s a good metal album (metal being, the way I know metal) and Johnny Gioeli who has had vocal duties for over twenty years, delivers.

If you like good riffage plus lead breaks that sound like they came from the 70’s classic rockers and melodic vocals, then this album should be on your list.

“The Black Serenade” has the synth choirs happening while Axel Rudi Pell emotes and then burns for the minute and thirty seconds album lead track. “Gunfire” has the same venom of “Ace Of Spades” with a lead break that goes for almost two minutes, but never gets boring.

“Sign Of The Times” is epic, “The End Of The Line” is just one of those songs that could have come from a Rainbow album, about a “valley far away” and “Bad Reputation” has this major key vibe.

“Wings Of The Storm” is a blues tune, a metalized version of “Fool For Your Loving” and “Into The Fire” is epic, “Kashmir” like.

Cut Me Down
Ryders Creed

From the UK. That’s all I know. So I let the music do the talking and the song ended up in my playlist. They have an album out as well, which I will check it, as I’m interested to hear more.

Mysterious
DeVicious

From Germany.

This is why I like the recording industry and Spotify. Every artist can participate and somehow their music finds a way. From the artists mentioned, there are two German acts and an UK act.

All For Love
Joe Satriani

Satriani wrote a song once called “The Enigmatic” (it was called that because of the scale he was using was the Enigmatic scale) and that is how he has remained with me.

An enigma.

I’m on the train and I’m off the train.

“All For Love” is one of those slower tempo songs that will remain with me for a long time. So I’m back on the train.

Can’t Stop This Train
Hartmann

This song sounds a like those early 90’s songs that hit the charts, which focused on a blues like groove but still rocked hard. And the vocals remind me of David Coverdale so much on this one.

I also really like the lead break on this one, so I need to check out who the guitarist is.

Hollow Convictions
I Feel Alive Again
Prophets Of Treason
Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage live in that world between aggression and harmony, between screaming and melody. In purgatory. It’s a balance. “Hollow Convictions” is excellent musically and it connects the balance for me, with a melodic Chorus. “I Feel Alive Again” also achieves that balance, along with the aggressive “Prophets Of Treason”.

Eternity Now
Love Is Alive
New Event Horizon
Everything You Want It To Be
Big Sugar

I had never heard of “Big Sugar” at all. But thanks to the blogging community and Deke at “Thunder Bay” I now have.

“Eternity Now” sounds like it could come from a Rush album. “Love Is Alive” sounds like the best Don Henley song that Henley didn’t write. “New Event Horizon” sounds like a reggae/Latin song which could be appear on an Enrique album. “Everything You Want It To Be” sounds like a funk song, until that ELO like Chorus kicks in.

Basically if you like variation in your artist, then Big Sugar delivers it.

That’s it for Part 2. May Part 3 is coming up.

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

May 2020 – Part 1

Dark Four Door
A Few More Hours At YYZ
Hell Or High Water
Billy Raffoul

Billy Raffoul came on my radar via the excellent blog, 2loud2oldmusic. Mr John Snow buys a lot of physical recorded product and an album by Billy Raffoul was one of his purchases. Check out the blog here.

So I called up the artist on Spotify and these three songs really stood out to me.

He doesn’t have a Wikipedia page (while a lot of the 80s bands do), but he has a song which has 34 plus million streams on Spotify and other songs all over 2 million plus streams (which a lot of the 80s bands I like don’t have).

In other words, the new artists don’t need an encyclopedic entry as their music is doing the promoting. Furthermore, the majority of music consumers these days don’t really care about this information. My son learnt the solo to “Comfortably Numb” and doesn’t even care to know who the guitarist is.

Until then I’m still looking for you in every dark four door
From Dark Four Door

I should have known, I should have tried to hold on
From Hell Or Highwater

An acoustic and a voice. You can’t get any more simpler than that.

Paper Sun – Live
Def Leppard

The intro is one of my favourite Def Leppard riffs and when I tell people who “liked Def Leppard in the 80’s” about this song, they don’t know of it, as it appeared on “Euphoria” released in 1999.

From the live recordings I have heard, Joe Elliot is pretty conservative with his voice, singing more in a bass baritone voice. It’s a smart move as there is no point in straining the voice each night when a lot of shows are coming his way.

Rodeo – Live
Pretty Maids

Pretty Maids is one hell of a rock band. And they deliver live as well.

“Somebody makes it and somebody don’t” because in the end, life is a rodeo, in which we need to perform publically each day in order to participate in society.

I even associated the rock and roll live show to a rodeo, as the trucks start to turn up to the venues, the road crew then gets the stage ready and the band turns up and performs publically.

I’ll Be Waiting
Believe In Us
Hell Or Highwater

I’ve been a fan of this band since their first EP release. For those that don’t know it’s a another outlet for the drummer from Atreyu (who also does the clean vocals for Atreyu) to showcase his songwriting and vocals.

And it’s all rock songs.

Canary Yellow
Haken

This one took a few listens to grow on me, and I’m glad I invested the time in it.

Haken has been an interesting journey for me. Their 2016 album “Affinity” made me a fan, but “Vector” in 2018 didn’t really cement it for me. The new album “Virus” is coming out in two weeks and suddenly I’m interested again.

Polar Bear
Alcatrazz

Joe Stump came out in the early 90’s and was labelled as an Yngwie clone.

When you have solo albums with the titles like “Guitar Dominance!” (1993), “Night of the Living Shred” (1994) and “Supersonic Shred Machine” (1996), he was an anomaly in the grunge musical landscape and the “no guitar solo nu-metal” movement.

And when I heard the latest song from Alcatrazz, I thought Yngwie Malmsteen re-joined with Graham Bonnet. Because all the guitar parts sound like Malmsteen. But then I read a bit more, and found out that the guitar player is Joe Stump.

And I’m thinking, what a brilliant move by Bonnet.

So if you like the first Alcatrazz album, then you will like this song.

Check it out.

Addison
Birds Of Tokyo

How could you leave me here, my friend?

Relationships either romantic or friendships or family, have an end. Sometimes nothing needs to be said, as life and society is enough to tear it all apart and once months and then years go by, it becomes harder to reconnect.

Birds Of Tokyo rule the charts in Australia with each release.

Ian Kenny from the excellent progressive Karnivool is on vocals, and it was sort of a side project for him, but I think these days, it’s his main project with Karnivool becoming a side project.

And on this album, he’s written the turmoil and angst of his marriage breakdown.

Rainbow In The Dark
A Conversation With Death
Khemmis

The Dio cover is down tuned, sludgy and the way its delivered, it would give Ghost a run. Then it picks up for a shred lead break.

Plus there is an original cut, which sounds like a conversation at the crossroads with death himself.

The New Pandora
Hands Of Time
Line And Sinker
We Don’t Need Them Here
Destination Unknown
Angel Of Dawn
The Unity

This album surprised me at how good it is. “The New Pandora” sounds like it came from Dream Theater’s “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence” and “Hands Of Time” sounds like it came from a Pretty Maids album.

I had to do some reading on them. From Germany, the guys in the band are from various power metal acts and this is their third album. And this album has done enough to make me a fan.

The Way Back Home
Spoken

This band is down tuned and aggressive on the music side, and the clean tone vocals remind me of James Durbin. If you like melodic rock done a bit different from the Euro melodic rock doing the rounds at the moment, check out Spoken.

Give Me All Your Love -2020 Remix
Whitesnake

I suppose Whitesnake will always be in a playlist for me.

The End
Watch Me Drown
Blacktop Mojo

They came into my radar because I saw in some article how they won an opening spot on a Bon Jovi tour a few years back, so I thought I should check em out, plus their name sounded cool.

And I was greeted with a refreshing hard rock sound, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Plus they do a pretty awesome cover of “Dream On” from Aerosmith.

Alive And Kicking (Quarantine Sessions)
Nonpoint

I have always enjoyed the brand of rock that Nonpoint bring and this is a cool acoustic session for a song which is 15 years old.

“Alive and Kicking” was originally released in 2005 on their fourth album. And they have been around since 1997. 23 continuous years in the business.

Stay tuned for part 2.

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