Posts Tagged ‘slayer

09
Mar
11

Sonisphere 2010 & Big 4 – 3/19 on Palladia HD

Very cool news for us metalheads who were not able to take our private jets to Sofia, Bulgaria to witness the Big 4 (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax); it would seem that the new music concert channel Palladia (formerly VH1) will be playing the concert (highlights only I’m sure) on March 19th during their Metal Mania Day.  The 2010 Sonisphere from London will first play at 8 p.m. EST, and then The Big 4 at 10 p.m. EST.

I’ve been pretty happy with the programming on Palladia since it emerged on my HD channel listings; last night I was watching Glastonbury 2007 and was amazed at the line up of bands I had never heard, and still hadn’t up until last night!  Palladia is still a hit or miss channel, something for everyone I guess, but I try to avoid the Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert concerts at all costs.  Otherwise, they have featured some great concerts on a regular basis and a keep things fresh for the most part.  I highly recommend the 2010 Austin City Limits concert they featured last week; clearly Ben Harper and Coheed and Cambria stole the show in my opinion.  The headliner was Pearl Jam, and I guess I just feel that their time has come and gone; one of the most boring acts of the lineup, especially for a headlining act.

Check out the Metalfest on March 19th and tell us what you think!

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07
Oct
10

And the 2011 inductee is…the Beastie Boys?

I felt compelled to comment on the newly announced inductee’s to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2011.  One of the main acts is the Beastie Boys; talented yes, but deserving?  I’m not really sure.

I grew up listening to the Beastie Boys in high school and college; although I must admit that at this point in my life I absolutely dread when I hear “Fight For Your Right”; however, I do remember it as a pivotal song in my early adolescent years that contributed to the legitimacy of Rap as a form of artistic expression.

With that said I still find myself at a crossroads with regard to the recent announcement that the Beastie Boys will be inducted into the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  First of all, clearly the hall of fame should be “The History of Music Hall of Fame” and not Rock and Roll. Clearly the Beastie Boys are not a rock act, however they may have contributed some influences to the evolution of todays rock music, but only slightly if so.  Actually, if I were to think of a contemporary band that has incorporated both Rap and Rock and would be more deserving of this award I would consider bands like Rage Against the Machine or perhaps 311; clearly these bands have played a larger part in influencing todays Rock/Rap style, no?  Sorry, but the Aerosmith / Run DMC doesn’t count folks, actually that is probably the tipping point for any respect that I had for either of those groups (makes me cringe just thinking back, yuck!).  Yes, Kerry King of Slayer did play guitars on “Fight For Your Right” and “No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn” but I think he has contributed more to Rock than the album Licensed to Ill.

What the Beastie Boys DID do was change the social perception of Rap;  Rap was  no longer restricted or defined to be performed by African-American artists. White kids (and further, Jewish White kids!) could participate as well, and be taken seriously.  Although I’m not sure how much of the African-American community ran out to by anything they have released.  The Beastie  Boys clearly expanded the diversity of that form music as a whole.  Acts like Vanilla Ice, may have inspired some at the time, but as we all know who lived in the 80’s, that reality came crashing down in full form and very little respect was earned in the end. 

When the Beastie Boys originally entered the scene with the realease of Licensed To Ill (1986) I thought they were more of a goof act that was attempting to disassemble the Rap stereotype, intentionally or not.  Clearly after the commercial success of the Licensed To Ill and the release of Pauls Boutique (1989) they were for real, and clearly were intent on making their mark in music business.  Pauls Boutique, although not the strongest follow up album initially,  has become a landmark album for the band and is probably the most popular by hardcore fans if asked today.

Check Your Head (1992) was a much stronger album and in my opinion did much in revitalizing the band after the lukewarm reception that Pauls Boutique initially received.  Subsequent albums have been successful, actually every one going Platinum or multi-Platinum in the US.  Although they have sold millions of albums and touched the lives of many, perhaps inspiring some successful bands today, I still don’t feel that inducting them into the Hall of Fame is still deserving, if it is, ahem, a true “Rock and Roll” hall of fame.  Actually, we know that it isn’t and perhaps my blog entry should be more about bashing the Hall of Fame rather than the Beastie Boys, which is not my intention.

It has been noted that the RR Hall of Fame inductions are kind of a joke; they are not basing their decisions solely on those groups who influenced bands of today, rather on bands that will draw attention (and a crowd at the ceremony) and ultimately increase funding towards its expansion and growth.  There are so many groups from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s that paved the road for todays music scene and will never be recognized;  the Canadian band Rush (third all  time in album sales under The Beatles and The Rolling Stones!) are not worthy of being inducted this year, but the Beastie Boys are? Huh? It just doesn’t smell right in my opinion.  “Popularity” is what reigns supreme in the induction process and not bands that no longer draw a crowd or are no longer household names.  It’s sad but true, and perhaps the the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has seen its sustainability and longevity in having to take the low road and cater to popular music of today rather than yester year.  Granted they have inducted some old timers, but its often rare.  Oh, don’t forget that LL Cool J is being inducted as well, great.

What are your thoughts about the induction process?

30
Sep
10

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock – 2112 a highlight!

I could not resist and had to post what I consider “groundbreaking news” for us dorks, geeks, and super nerds; the newly released Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock game features the album 2112 in its entirety!  What an epic album to feature on Guitar Hero; the entire 21 minute masterpiece!

Rush worked with game developers assisting with various parts of the game and complex time changes and signatures of the music.  Apparently this will be the ultimate test of how good one is a Guitar Hero.

I thought it was cool and worth reporting; it also peaks my interest of perhaps going out to purchase a 360 just for this game.  If you have already purchased this (it was released yesterday), please let us know if it is worth all of the hype.  Other bands featured on this are Megadeth, Ozzy, Anthrax, Steve Vai (wow!), and Slayer.

I find it odd however that Rush was looked over (yet again) for induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, what gives?  However, LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys make the list?  Clearly the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not to be taken seriously these days; no wonder the Sex Pistols refuse ever to be recognized by that goofy museum.

You can read more on this game by clicking here.

13
Aug
10

American Carnage Tour: Not for Faint of Heart

“You can’t kill the metal.  The metal will live on.”  —Tenacious D

People fell into the pit, a holy war began and it was raining blood in Glens Falls on Wednesday night.  The American Carnage Tour, featuring Testament, Megadeth and Slayer, brought its thunderous assault to Upstate New York, leaving a satisfied crowd of metal-heads in its wake.  This event was supposed to take place 6 months ago, but Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya needed back surgery.  It seems the delay only made the fans more bloodthirsty, and the arena was pretty packed.  These three veteran speed/thrash metal bands played a very good show, although some technical issues kept it from being a great show.

Testament has never achieved the worldwide success that Slayer and Megadeth have, but they do have a well-deserved devoted following.  Lead singer Chuck Billy, a looming figure with giant frizzy hair, nearly died about 9 years ago from a rare form of cancer.  But following chemotherapy he has beaten it into submission, and seeing him back on stage rocking hardcore was a good thing.  They played a few newer songs which were good, but it was their classics that had the crowd moshing madly. “New World Order,” “Into the Pit” and “Practice What you Preach” still sounded great after nearly 25 years, with Billy’s voice not missing a beat.  Original guitarist Alex Skolnick, who left the band for a while, rejoined Testament 5 years ago and sounded terrific on Wednesday, leading the charge on “Dog Faced Gods” and “3 Days in Darkness.”  The one negative aspect of Testament’s performance was sound-related – the guitars, at times, sounded very muddy and unclear, making it tough to really hear their signature grinding riffs.  But overall their short set got the crowd pumped for what was to follow.

Megadeth has undergone many lineup changes over the years, with the one constant being its founder, guitarist/singer Dave Mustaine.  Megadeth peaked in 1990 with its masterpiece album “Rust in Peace,” and the band has graciously decided to play that album in its entirety for this tour.  Musically, it was amazing.  “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due,” “Hangar 18” and “Take No Prisoners” catapulted the crowd into the rafters.  Hearing the guitar solos played with such precision after so many years was impressive.  But Mustaine’s vocals were another matter.  They were sporadic, at best.  You just couldn’t hear him singing.  At first I thought it was an issue with the microphone, but after a while it was clear that he simply wasn’t singing into the mic most of the time.  Perhaps he wasn’t able to hit the higher notes and just decided to shy away; whatever it was, it really brought the set down.  Luckily most of the crowd knew the lyrics, so the words were sort of floating around the arena, but it would have been nice to hear Mustaine actually singing.  Following the “Rust in Peace” album they played a few newer songs like “Headcrusher” and “Trust,” of which I am not a fan, but the crowd was rockin’ out. They closed with their classic “Peace Sells,” sending everyone into a tizzy.  It would have been a really solid set were it not for the vocal absence.

Slayer has to be one of the most uncompromising bands of all time.  They have been churning out their evil speed metal for almost 30 years now, with no attempt to mainstream their sound or kowtow to any trend.  Their lineup has remained solid (other than having several different drummers), with Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman handling the guitars and Araya on bass and vocals.  They banged out a couple of tunes from their new album “World Painted Blood” before playing their entire “Seasons in the Abyss” album, which like “Rust in Peace” was released in 1990.  “Seasons” is not Slayer’s best album, but it has some sure-fire classics and some of the deeper tracks are terrific.  The ferocious “War Ensemble” kicked it off, and throughout other tunes like “Blood Red,” “Dead Skin Mask” and the title track, King and Hanneman were trading blistering solos while Araya thumped the bass and howled away.  They closed with the expected classics “Raining Blood,” “South of Heaven” and “Angel of Death,” but sandwiched in there was a very unexpected oldie-but-goodie “Aggressive Perfector.”  There were no technical issues with Slayer – just bruised and bloodied bodies in the mosh pit.

It was nearly 4 hours from start to finish, and although the sound issues were disappointing, it was good to see these bands still cranking out the hardcore metal.  It really highlights the lack of good metal being made these days, generally speaking.  These songs will live on forever as classics of the genre, and it was a treat to see them live while we still can.

The American Carnage Tour gets 3 out of 5 stars!

10
Jun
10

The Big Four

Can’t make it to Bulgaria on June 22nd to see Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax at the Sonisphere Festival?  Well here’s the next best thing…the concert will be simulcast live to movie theaters across the country!  Here is the web site for all the info, including the list of theaters showing the concert.  4 hours of the four greatest thrash bands of all time!  METAL!!!!

09
Dec
09

Pandora Web Radio

For those that may be searching (or have searched) for decent free web radio station that plays the music you specifically like please check out The Pandora Genome Project.  I’m a huge Frank Zappa fan but find it incredibly difficult to find any Zappa on the internet; Pandora actually has a nice assortment of Zappa on the Zappa radio station.  You can create nearly any artist station and Pandora does a good job matching similiar artists in the mix.  I created an Al DiMeola station and have discovered other artists that I had never heard before (and actually liking!).   I have a Supergrass, Bob Marley, Gwar, Slayer, Eliot Smith, Iron and Wine, Jimmy Smith, John Coltrane, Cal Tjader, and other radio stations to choose from that I created.  The possibilities are quite endless.  I found a cable that connects from my laptop to my stereo and was able to feed Pandora through larger speakers, the sound quality was very good.

A cool thing about Pandora is that if you like the song you can give it a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and it will assist you in creating a more personal play list.

Yes, there are commercials every once and awhile, this is actaully something quite new and I would suspect allows Pandora to provide this music for free.  There was a time, I was told, that Pandora began limiting the amount of free songs you could listen to, but I have not experienced any limitations yet.  Commercials are just part of the World Wide Web these days whether you like it or not, but hey…it’s still FREE, so don’t complain.

Check it out and I hope our readers in Iran, Saudi, and other countries where the Web is monitored can access this great station.

Please take the time and tell us what you think!

05
Dec
09

Poetic Slayer

In anticipation of the February arrival of the all-time Gods of Metal, Slayer, I present to you a poem I wrote following their concert in June of 2006.  Enjoy.

Heavy Metal Poetry

I went last night
To a heavy metal show
The last one I’d been to
Was quite a while ago

I feared that I would be
The oldest one there
But I found many others
Like me, with thinning hair

The seats were vibrating
From the thumping bass drum
It wasn’t too long
Before my ears started to go numb

The mosh pits were thrashing
With shirtless sweaty men
Somebody remind me
How’s that not gay again?

We all came to see Slayer
But four bands played prior
The first three weren’t memorable
But Lamb Of God nearly stole Slayer’s fire

Then Slayer hit the stage
At about a quarter to ten
From the first notes of “South Of Heaven”
I was 21 years old again

I jumped around and head-banged
For over an hour
When I got home my wife opined
That I really needed a shower

Today my neck is sore
And my head is still ringing
But last night was so fun
With all my air-guitar and singing

So thanks to you Slayer
For kicking my ass last night
Right now I don’t regret it
But later when I can’t move my neck, I might

I hope that all of you
In some way, shape, or form
Can share the same joy as I did
And have a piece of your youth reborn

SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER! SLAY-ER!