Blog Archives

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2003 / #6 – #4


MetalCatMy goodness, today we have a head-to-head between Angela Gossow, my favourite female growler, and Simone Simons, my favourite metal soprano. That’s just how the sorting worked out.

Black Label Society and Ozzy bring the temperature back down to normal in my office.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Album Review: Black Label Society – Catacombs of the Black Vatican


blacklabelcatacombscover.102307As any fan of a sludgy, southern, bluesy style of metal, the impending release of a Black Label Society album comes with a certain level of anticipation…and expectation.  Catacombs of the Black Vatican is the latest in a long line of studio albums, EPs, live, and compilation albums.  Despite being busy with Ozzy for many years, Zakk Wylde has managed to carve his own path to success with guitar in hand.  It took me a while to appreciate the southern vibe from any band, but several years ago when Order of the Black was released, it opened the door to a genre I feel filled a void in my heavy metal heart.  Since then, my collection of sludgy stuff increased exponentially thanks to that particular album.  In kind of a twist of fate, my non-metal wife liked it too.  Who would have thought the genre I was avoiding would be one she “kind of” liked.

Read the rest of this entry

Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #13: A Whiter Shade of Pale covered by Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde


pianoI bet by now you’re starting to notice a trend in my covers list.  I tend to prefer covers of older classic, mainly non-metal songs, brought up to the modern age.  Can’t say exactly why, but I just really dig it.  Anywho, today’s entry seems a bit off kilter because it’s not exactly a ‘metalized’ cover of a song even though it is covered by a very prominent voice in the metal realm.

If you had parents who grew up in the 60s or are grew up in that time period yourself, you probably heard Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” countless times.  It was a big hit then, and even today it is one of the most played and requested tunes on classic rock radio.  It’s a very sad song, but damn if it isn’t beautiful.  If you’ve followed Black Label Society you’ve noticed by now that every so often they release an off the path album filled with more chill and mellow music instead of their groove laden, guitar theatrics album.  On those records, branded as the Hangover Music series, it’s Zakk Wylde who takes even more of the forefront and shows off a different vocal style (and IMO, better) and utilizes his stellar piano skills.  On Hangover Music vol. II he finds himself delivering one of his best performances ever as he tackles Procol Harum’s classic tune.

The soul he shows in both his vocals and piano playing is simply staggering.  The emotion he pour into the song feels like nothing he’s done before and his rendition of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” totally outdoes the original in every aspect IMO.  Having the piano at the forefront adds so much to the song and his rough and rugged vocals transform the song’s theme into something I can much easier connect with.  So, check it out, let us know what you though, and have a great day!  Peace Love and Metal.

Black Label Society/Zakk Wylde Version:

Original Procol Harum Version:

<<Previous Entry #14

Next Entry #12>>

21 Days ‘Till Doomsday #13 – Doomsday Jesus (Black Label Society)


kill your past and all you thought you knew
blacked out, hatred running through & through
horsemen rolls, tomorrow’s fading fast
make damn sure, aint nothings gonna last
ohhh, ohhh
doomsday jesus we need you now

This is perhaps the only song on this list with a call to jesus; 13 days left to find out what is going to happen.   Personally, when we do wake up on the 22nd, I look forward to hearing all the analytical views as to what the Mayan calendar really meant…

For now enjoy one of the slowest songs on the doomsday countdown, except for maybe tomorrow’s song.  Have a great Sunday and plan accordingly.  Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock…where have I heard that before?

This song appears on the album The Blessed Hellride released in 20o3.

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #85-#81


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#85 Voimasta ja Kunniasta by Moonsorrow

When I first discovered the world of folk metal by way of Eluveitie I was instantly driven to go out and hunt down some more bands in the genre. In my search I found many great bands, but one day I came across a fan made video for the song “Sankarihauta” (posted below). Let’s just say that it was love at first sight and within a matter of minutes I ran out and grabbed my first of many Moonsorrow albums, Voimasta…. The epicness of this record is only superseded by some of the bands later works.

Read the rest of this entry

Concert Review: Gods of Metal (Day 4) (Ozzy & Freinds, Opeth, Black Label Society, Lamb of God) Milan, Italy June 24, 2012


From the second I heard that one of my all-time favorite bands and fathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, were going to reunite for a tour I jumped on grabbing tickets as soon as possible.  No other bands were yet announced, but man, an opportunity to see Black Sabbath in what could be their final tour, hells yeah, you can’t put a price on that.  Unfortunately due to Tony Iommi’s battle with leukemia which arose after tour dates were set in the Black Sabbath show that was scheduled was canceled.  Luckily Mr. Tony Iommi was able to muster up enough strength to pull of a single homecoming show in his hometown of Birmingham, England and got to get the satisfaction of having the band come full circle and land back at home.  To Mr. Iommi, I say get well soon and I can’t wait till you can get the Sabbath ball rolling again.

But what about all the other shows that Black Sabbath promised to play?  Well, what’s the next best thing to Black Sabbath?  How about the face of the band, Mr. John Michel Osbourne, err, Ozzy!  Well, I bought tickets to see Black Sabbath, I’ve already seen Ozzy God knows how many times now and Black Sabbath only twice.  They tossed in Slash, Zack Wylde, and Geezer Butler, so I guess I can say I was sold on not trying for a refund on my ticket.  Having Opeth on the bill too, helped a pinch 😉  But before I get too ahead of myself, how about a little info on what else went down that day, it was a festival after all.

Read the rest of this entry

Concert Review: Download Festival (Sunday Only)


Another Download Festival came and went…this year marking the 10th anniversary of the famed UK metal festival.  Here is my review of my one-day pass for Sunday, 10 Jun 2012 with Black Sabbath headlining and closing the event.   Before I talk about my day I want to note that this is most likely my last Download Festival for the foreseeable future.  Later this year I will move back to the United States and if this is in fact the last Download Festival I ever see, I honestly couldn’t have asked for more out of a one-day ticket.  The icing on the cake was the fact that it was sunny.

Read the rest of this entry

Themed Thursday: Metal Your Nonmetal Lady Might Like


I want to take this moment to dedicate this theme of the week to my wife who is turns 21 today…for the second time.  Happy Birthday babe! This is a repost of an article I wrote a while back about an experiment to find metal my wife would enjoy.  It’s not to turn her into a metalhead like me, but an experiment to find some common ground.  I like some of her nonmetal music so this was a way for me to find metal that wouldn’t make her feel like she was a lamb in a slaughterhouse.

If you are like me then you married someone who doesn’t listen to metal. It was never a prerequisite for me to marry someone who listened to metal like I do.  To make a long story short, I married a Sting, Billy Joel, Cheryl Crow, Michael Buble fan.  Although I respect these artists, they were not part of my music library.  Early on I knew my wife didn’t like metal and it didn’t matter. There is more to a relationship than musical interests and I could tell that my wife, like me, respected talented musicians. When I told her I liked metal she didn’t make a face or ask “are you satanic?” She might have thought it, but didn’t ask it. I knew she was (and is) open-minded and that was good enough for me.

I tried to introduce her to some metal I thought she might at least like…some artists I thought were more commercially accessible. I started with Dream Theater. Surprisingly that didn’t work out too well.  Although she accompanied me to a 3-hour Dream Theater concert in San Francisco, it was not her cup of tea. Her comment was “really talented dudes, but the songs were too long.” So prog was not her thing. I even tried some Megadeth songs…nope. I took her to see Judas Priest. She actually seemed interested in that show because growing up in the 80’s…who didn’t know Judas Priest?  Anthrax opened and that was a definite bust, but she knew some Judas Priest and thought they put on a good show. I think she enjoyed watching the 40+ year olds in he crowd with mullets and balding heads more than the band. But it was a nice sharing a bit of my musical culture with her. Of course it works both ways. She took me to Matchbox Twenty, a ballet in the front row, and a musical featuring all Billy Joel music. I thought they were very well-done performances. So we shared our interests as couples should do. I still wanted to try to find one band; just one band made of metal that should would like. Not just put up with, but actually like.

Read the rest of this entry

Reggie’s (Plantera7’s) Top Shows of 2011


2011 was a great year for concerts, in my humble life anyway.  I had the pleasurable experience seeing so many of my favorite bands and several new ones.  I feel fortunate enough to live somewhere (for a while) where I can pick and choose which shows I want to see.  I didn’t always have an opportunity like I do here living fairly close to London.  After 9 concerts and 24 bands, I have narrowed my favorite shows to seven.  Here is the pool of candidates:  Black Label Society, Godhead, Overkill, Destruction, Heathen, After All, Children of Bodom, Ensiferum, Machinae Supremacy, Amon Amarth (twice), Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax (Big Four), Iron Maiden, Trivium, Septic Flesh, As I Lay Dying, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Cake, Machine Head, Bring Me The Horizon, and DevilDriver.

Read the rest of this entry

Metal for the Non-Metal Spouse


If you are like me then you married someone who doesn’t listen to metal.  It was never a prerequisite for me to marry someone who listened to metal like I do.  Strangely enough I dated someone in high school (many many moons ago) that listened to music I liked at the time…80’s rock/metal.  One would think that metal + metal = happiness, but this was not my case.  We actually fought about music.  My metal was better than her metal and vice versa.  It was strange and I chalked it up to being young, but I also told myself that musical taste was not a prerequisite to marriage except when it concerned country.

To make a long story short I married a Sting, Billy Joel, Cheryl Crow, Michael Buble fan.  It isn’t the type of music I bought albums for, but I do respect artists that have talent.  So early on I knew my wife didn’t like metal and it didn’t matter.  There is more to a relationship than musical interests and I could tell that my wife, like me, respected talented musicians.  When I told her I liked metal she didn’t make a face or ask “are you satanic?”  She might have thought it, but didn’t ask it.  I knew she was (and is) open-minded and that was good enough for me.  Besides, when we are together I let her listen to whatever she wants.

So I tried to introduce her to some things I thought she might at least like…some things I thought were more commercially accessible.  I started with Dream Theater.  Surprisingly that didn’t work out too well.  Although she accompanied me to a 3-hour Dream Theater concert in San Francisco, it was not her cup of tea.  Her comment was “really talented dudes, but the songs were too long.”  So prog was not her thing.  I even tried some Megadeth songs…nope.  I took her to see Judas Priest.  She actually seemed interested in that show because growing up in the 80’s…who didn’t know Judas Priest?  Well, Anthrax opened and that was a definite bust, but she knew some Judas Priest and thought they put on a good show. I think she enjoyed watching the 40+ year olds in he crowd with mullets and balding heads more than the band.  But it was a nice sharing a bit of my musical culture with her.  Of course it works both ways.  She took me to Matchbox Twenty, a ballet in the front row, and a musical featuring all Billy Joel music.  I thought they were very well-done performances.  So we shared our interests as couples should do.  I still wanted to try to find one band; just one band made of metal that should would like.  Not just put up with, but like.

Read the rest of this entry