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

Australian Method Series: Parkway Drive – Viva The Underdogs

I watched the documentary/movie on Netflix last night.

How did a self-managed band from Australia come to headline the largest metal event ever, in Wacken?

To play to 90,000 screaming metal heads.

Watch it.

The realities of touring are laid bare.

Even all the months of planning in Berlin couldn’t prepare the band for the gastro bug that got em on “opening night”.

There is a part in the movie towards the end of the first leg of their tour.

The band is coming back out for their encore. The way its meant to go, is that vocalist Winston McCall would step out, light up a Molotov cocktail and throw it at the band logo behind the drums. And that is meant to trigger flames to rise up from the bottom and burn the logo. It looks cool if it works. But on this occasion someone in the road crew dropped the ball and it didn’t work out. No flames came from the bottom. It was almost Spinal Tap’ish.

Afterwards McCall is not happy. It’s towards the end of the first leg and they haven’t had a show go smooth. He’s questioning why the crew can’t get it right this far in. There’s always a problem. If it wasn’t with the pyro or the flames or lights, it was the sound board blowing up at a gig in L.A. Also an outdoor gig in Spain was almost canned due to lightning and strong winds.

When they returned back to Australia, bass player Jie O’Connor would destroy his knee playing football, so he played “Wacken” in a wheelchair.

And for a band that is self-managed, the buck stops with them. They fund the tour, they pay the road crew and they are putting every cent they make into the tour, so they can establish themselves as an “arena” act.

Most of the management is handled by Rhythm Guitarist Luke Kilpatrick and there are days when he’s tired or fried but he’s still going.

Regardless if you like the music or not there are a lot of lessons learned here.

That if you don’t risk, you don’t gain. But you could also lose as well. The band could have been comfortable playing smaller venues but they wanted to take the next step.

They had the perfect album for it, as “Reverence” was really accessible compared to earlier albums. Tracks like “Prey” are at 45.5 million streams on Spotify and “The Void” is at 35.8 million streams are selling it but “Chronos” is my favourite.

And as the band grew so did their road crew.

Of course the best thing is seeing the guys back in Byron Bay. Guitarist Jeff Ling is walking his dog on the beach and the dog is shitting everywhere so he needs to pick it up in a doggie bag. That’s big world problems right there. Drummer Ben Gordon is catching waves and is so underrated.

And they jammed but we didn’t hear any sound that the cameras could pick up. It was all in their headphones as they all plugged in to some device.

The biggest thing the documentary shows is that the band is huge both here and overseas.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Parkway Drive

Formed in 2003, Parkway Drive are from Byron Bay, New South Wales. From Sydney it’s a 8.5 hour drive North and close to the NSW and Queensland border. It’s a great place to visit. Thor himself Chris Hemsworth has set up residence there.

I didn’t get into em as the screaming was too much on the earlier releases but then they released “Reverence” in May 2018. It went to Number 1 on the ARIA Charts, and it was the melodic heavy metal sound that hooked me in. You can hear influences from Maiden, Judas, Metallica, Megadeth, In Flames and Sabbath.

The band is made up of Winston McCall on lead vocals, Jeff Ling on lead guitar, Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick on rhythm guitar, Jia “Pie” O’Connor on bass and Ben “Gaz” Gordon on drums.

“Wishing Wells” kicks off the album, in which McCall speaks the intro over a dark acoustic guitar riff as it builds into a massive melodic death metal piece.

I spoke a vow today and asked if God would come and play
I’ve dug a shallow hole for him to sleep
But I swear he just won’t answer me
I call on out is he afraid, I’ll bury him down with the ones he keeps
And if the devil is listening, I’ll come for him as well
If I suspect he had a hand to play
And if I see his face in town, there’s room for two down underground
Nothing’s gonna stop me ’til I’m done
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
‘Cause tonight I’m killing gods!
Killing gods!

There has been death within the band members circle and they are pissed. Pissed at everyone.

“Prey” has an intro riff that will hook you in. It’s the best riff that In Flames didn’t write. And at 42 plus million streams, its definitely a star for em on Spotify. Hell, their numbers on Spotify make all of the people whinging about Spotify sound lame.

Apart from “Prey”, “The Void” from the same album is at 33.3 million streams, “Vice Grip” is at 48.4 million streams, “Wild Eyes” is at 36.9 million streams and “Carrion” is at 34.8 million streams.

In comparison, I’ve been listening to a lot of Coheed and Cambria lately as I’ve been reviewing their albums and their streams for their Top 5 are “Welcome Home” at 76.1 million streams, “A Favour House Atlantic” at 25.8 million streams, “The Suffering” at 22.3 million streams, “Wake Up” at 12.4 million streams and “Blood Red Summer” at 10.1 million streams.

“Absolute Power” crushes with its intro riff, reminding me of Rage Against The Machine.

The truth drops like a bomb

What do we know as truth. Most people are afraid to speak up, for fear of standing out, for fear of being ridiculed, they just want to get along.

The past you know has been written by the victor
So I ask you now, who is it writing your future
The butcher, the liar, the thief or the killer
Your freedom died quiet in the halls of power

When you read and learn history you read a version of events from a certain point of view. Even our parents are guilty of changing the past to suit their point of views.

As the outro chorus sings, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

“Cemetery Bloom” has a choir that gives me chills.

“The Void” is a hard rock song. There is a guitar hero moment in the song, but the overall feel of this song reminds me of “In Flames” at their melodic best.

“I Hope You Rot” has melodic leads and symphonic choirs.

“Shadow Boxing” has a phased/chorus guitar riff to kick off the song and McCall showcases his clean tone vocals. And the violin section is haunting.

All my life I’ve been told the same old
Don’t step out, don’t test the mould

It’s the same message from the 80s.

“Chronos” has guitar playing which is metal up your arse. The last two minutes are a must listen. So melodic and powerful.

The title deals with Chronos, the keeper of time and how everything within time returns to him.

“The Colour of Leaving” is the closer. It’s melancholic.

I saw death’s face today
As he led my friend away
So I’ll ask who I gotta pay
To bring him back
Bring him back to me
Bring him back to me

To release something like “Reverence” six albums deep, is to be commended. And they’ve cemented themselves as one of Australia’s great exports.

Check em out.

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

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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