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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #20- Orion covered by Rodrigo y Gabriela

rodrigo-y-gabriela-area-52Quite famous in Latin America, Rodrigo y Gabriela are a duo of acoustic guitarists that jazz up their music with a great metal flair.  One of their biggest influences from the metal realm is Metallica and they often jam out on their songs on numerous occasions during their live shows.  So, it would only be natural for the 2 to record a full cover of one of their favorite metal bands songs.  Given that the duo doesn’t utilize vocals in their music, a Metallica instrumental would make the most sense, and of the handful of vocal-less songs to choose from, they went with the classic “Orion”.  Of course they totally kill it and add a beautiful Latin groove to the tune, especially in the solo section.  I also love how Gabriela translates the percussion of the song into slaps and taps on the side of her guitar.  Some really cool stuff and worth listening (and do check out more from Rodrigo y Gabriela, they write some wonderful music).  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Rodrigo y Gabriela Version:

Original Metallica Version:

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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #21- Broadsword coverd by Turisas

conanI consider myself a decently sized Jethro Tull fan.  Beyond the copious amounts of flute in their music, everything else surrounding the band is more oft than not, sublime.  Catchy, progressive, engaging, yadda yadda yadda.  And beyond their blockbuster records like Thick as a Brick and Aqualung, they have a ton of other albums that never received the spotlight like their earlier albums.  One era of the band that many people slam was when they took a journey down a more synthesizer heavy route adding many electronic elements to their music.  Personally, I think that the concept of adding non-folk instruments to a band heavily rooted in folk music rubbed many in the wrong way and the handful of albums released on this path never got the attention they deserved.  One of those albums released during that period quickly found its way to becoming a personal favorite Tull album for me.  The Beast and the Broadsword was able to combine that cool synth sound with the heavy folk sound to a successful degree and packs a litany of wonderful Jethro Tull songs with some great scope and tons of proggy progginess.  And by far my choice track off said album is the battle classic “Broadsword”.  The tune is just so powerful and heroic, one can not resist the urge to arm thyself with double-edged steel and feel the desire to rush into battle.

Which brings me to the covering band.  Turisas have made quite the name for themselves for more or less fathering ‘battle metal’.  When one listens to their music, scenes of heroics and grand battles fought with blade and horse flash through the mind and the want to join in the melee looms.  So, what band would be more fitting to cover Jethro Tull’s most heroic song?  Turisas of course, and what a bang up job they do.  Infusing the orchestral elements and insanely huge scope the battlers are famous for, these Finnish warmasters end up adding such a bevy of color and life to the already excellent song.  While I love the synth sound of the original, hearing this particular track modernized with more live instruments and the baritone vocals thrown in I can’t help but wonder what Turisas could do with the rest of The Beast and the Broadsword.  Here’s to wishes 😉  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Turisas Version:

Original Jethro Tull Version:

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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #23- Vulgaris Magistralis covered by Heidevolk

1734917-1330118100The first time I heard this song I had believed that it was an original song done by the Dutch metal band Heidevolk.  In reality though, it turned out to be a cover of a song from another dutch rock band called Normaal.  I’ll be honest and say that Vulgaris Magistralis is the only song from them I now know and will give them mad props on writing a song that is mad catchy and fun to sing, even though I don’t know one lick of Dutch.  But, to my ears Heidevolk simply rocks the hell out of this tune about a Dutch hero the songs name is coined after.  Every time I listen to it my beard becomes more burly, my chest more furry, and my beer more flowing.  Check out the cover and the original (translated lyrics are embedded in the Heidevolk video).  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Heidevolk cover:

Original by Normaal:

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The 12 Days of Metalmas: Day 12: Twelve Drummers Drumming

1018716_eeb6_1024x2000On the 12th day of Metalmas my true love gave to me
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Rocking
Ten Ladies Growling
Nine Iron Maidens Screaming
Eight Heads a-Banging
Seven Glam Bands a- Laying
Six Slayers Slaying
Fiiiiivveee Gooolllldd Riiinnnggsss (to rule them all)
Four Crying Birds
Three French Bands
Two Headless Doves
And an Opeth in a pear tree

Well here’s the end of the 12 Days of Metalmas and what better way to finish the holiday off than a toplist of my favorite metal drummers. I encourage you to take part in the festivities and shout out your toplist. Enjoy! And have a Slayerific Metalmas!!!!

#1 Danny Carey of Tool

The next 11 of my best metal drummers toplist after the jump:

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Album Review: Memories of a Time to Come by Blind Guardian

Often with ‘best of’ compilations, fans of the band releasing the set usually have little to no reason to purchase the record.  With stuff like digital media players and their playlist feature, a fan can easily recreate the ‘best of’ album with ease from all the albums they already own.  And while some bands will toss an unreleased song onto the compilation, more often than not, there was a reason that the song was never released, so it’s a throw-away.  When it comes down to it, ‘best of’ albums are good for those just getting into an established band and those who just want to dabble in a certain band but don’t want to make a full monetary and time commitment to listening to the whole catalog a group has to offer.  But sometimes a ‘best of’ collection comes along that is able to appeal to newbies, casuals, and the hardcore fan offering something of quality for all.  Blind Guardian’s Memory of a Time to Come is one of those albums.  And I write this from the perspective of the hardcore Blind Guardian fan that I am.

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Theme Thursday: Matt’s Top 5 of 2012 So Far

It’s June which means we’re halfway through the year.  As with every year there have been a ton of great music releases and some big ones looming on the horizon.  Here is my top 5 favorite albums so far this year and feel all of them deserve being checked out by all.  I know there are a lot of great albums out there that have been released that I haven’t checked out yet, so hopefully I can play a good game of catch up and they can make the year-end list come January 2013.  As a bonus I’m tossing in my top 5 favorite games I’ve played this year too (criteria for this portion only requires that I played it in 2012, as time, money, knowledge of, and hardware don’t always let me play the latest on the market).  Let me know what your Top 5s of the 2012 are so far down in the comments.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!

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Matt’s(Atleastimhousbroken) Honorable Mentions of 2011

Man, what can I say?  2011 has been a hell of a year.  First things first, since this will be my final post of 2011, I just want to thank all our readers old and new for tuning in to Metal State.  The site has grown so much over the past year and I’m honored to have all you readers and commenters here for the ride!!  And a thank you to my blogger in crime Reggie(Plantera7) for being a completely awesome blogging partner and brother in metal!!!!  And to everyone I say Happy Holidays and have a great start to your New Year, may it be great 2012 overflowing with copious amounts of Peace, chock full of Love, and tons upon tons of glorious Metal!!!

So onwards, like every other media website, Metal State will also be doing “Best of 2011” lists, I’m sure you’ve already seen/read a few of our other various “Best of” posts, and naturally we are waiting till the end to unleash the big daddy, the “Top 15 Albums of 2011”, which you will be able to read as soon as we return from our 2 week holiday break which will start today(we will still be around here and there to respond to comments, report any “huge” news, etc, but the regular posting will be on hiatus while we enjoy our holidays).  On Jan. 4, 2012 we will be posting our “Top 15 Best Albums of 2011”.  While making mine I had a bit of difficulty getting all the albums I really enjoyed honestly on the list, so I decided to make a mention of a handful of some great albums that ultimately didn’t make my personal Top 15.  Some factors I used when doing my list were how often I returned to the album, my initial reaction to it or how well it grew on me, and most importantly, how much I personally and unbiasedly enjoyed it.

The great thing about reading all of the year-end lists for me is being able to see some of my favorites get mentioned, and if there is someone who mentions a good amount of albums I like, chances are there are some great releases on their list that might be right up my alley.  Anyways, here are some of my honorable mentions in no particular order.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Themed Thursday- Best Album Art of 2011

It’s that time of the year where all list loving bloggers start naming the best of 2011.  To kick of my list-mania here are my picks for the best album art of 2011.  Enjoy and let us know what some of your favorite album art was for this year!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Zee Gehrmans Are On Zee Shore!!!

In other Best Of albums news, World renowned German Industrial Metal Band Rammstein are releasing their Best Of collection as well as a disk of remixes on December 6, 2011 and it will be called Made in Germany:1995-2011.  To support this release they have made a video for the unreleased song “Mein Land” and it is absolutely hilarious.  Check it out.  And NSFW(brief shots of some boobs 😉 )

Best Of Albums

Usually when a band puts out a Best Of album, I often pass up on the offer.  Most of the time it’s a selection of their radio hits or the singles that should have been hits and often times really don’t give a good representation of the band as a whole.  And if it’s a band I’m into, chances are I already own everything by the artist already, so what’s the point of wasting money on stuff I already own(unless it has really cool packaging).

That said, one of my all time favorite bands, Blind Guardian, are releasing their Best Of album, Memories of a Time to Come, and I’m quite interested in picking it up.  Not only is it a great selection of songs that really show off their diverse catalog, almost all of the songs are going to be remixed and a handful completely re-recorded.  Of the re-recorded songs is “Valhalla”, a huge hit in the Blind Guardian favorite live songs, but on the album that song just has a weird feel to it(mainly because I don’t care for Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray‘s guest vocals on the track).  So I am actually excited to be able to listen to a great studio version of that song.  They are also including some demos of pre-Blind Guardian years when they were known as Lucifer’s Heritage with the set also, a nice bonus for us long time fans.

So, if you’re a fan of the band this seems to be shaping up to be a great package, and if you’re a newcomer there is some great introductory music on here to(even though nothing will top the full albums, this is a nice taste of whats available).  It will be available in 2 disc and 3 disk editions(I highly recommend the 3 disk, there’s some great stuff on the third disk) and releases January 20, 2012.

Track Listing:

CD 1:

  1. Imaginations from the Other Side (7:11) *
  2. Nightfall (5:34) *
  3. Ride into Obsession (4:46) *
  4. Somewhere Far Beyond (7:32) *
  5. Majesty (7:29) *
  6. Traveler in Time (6:01) *
  7. Follow the Blind (7:11) *
  8. The Last Candle (6:03) *

CD 2:

  1. Sacred Worlds (9:17)
  2. This Will Never End (5:07) *
  3. Valhalla (5:13) **
  4. Bright Eyes (5:15) *
  5. Mirror Mirror (5:09) *
  6. The Bard’s Song (In the Forest) (3:26) *
  7. The Bard’s Song (The Hobbit) (3:41) **
  8. And Then There Was Silence (14:06) **

CD 3: (only available with the deluxe limited edition)

  1. Brian ***
  2. Halloween (The Wizard’s Crown) ***
  3. Lucifer’s Heritage ***
  4. Symphonies of Doom ***
  5. Dead of the Night ***
  6. Majesty
  7. Trial by the Archon
  8. Battalions of Fear
  9. Run for the Night
  10. Lost in the Twilight Hall
  11. Tommyknockers
  12. Ashes to Ashes
  13. Time What is Time
  14. A Past and Future Secret
  15. The Script for My Requiem

*   Remixed 2011
**  Re-recorded 2011
*** Re-worked 2011

Now for the second part of this post.  It seems Blind Guardian have created a Best Of package that looks to satisfy both long time fans as well as newcomers.  I ask you, what are some Best Of collections that you deem worthy of purchasing?

Other good and interesting Best Of collections I liked listening to were Prime Cuts by Suicidal Tendencies where all the songs were given a make over and remixed to show a more funky style of the band, and to be perfectly honest, I prefered a lot of the remixes over the originals.  Same could be said for AmorphisMagic and Mayhem:Tales From the Early Years where they re-recorded their older tracks with the new lineup of the band, and new vocalist Tomi Joutsen adding a new flavor to the songs while keeping the integrity of the original in tact. Dream Theater‘s Greatest Hit(…and 21 other pretty cool songs) was a good one too as it was a great album to pass along to a newcomer and it had a couple different versions of their songs on it for the long time fans.