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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #25- Snowblind covered by S.O.A.D.


snowblind-1Well, I guess you can now see we have become a bit list obsessed here at A Metal State of Mind 😉  Now we are going to drop our top 25 lists of our favorite cover songs.  You will see 2 a week from both me and Reggie for a total of 4 a week, so enjoy!

And to kick off my list I chose System of a Down’s excellent cover of the almighty Black Sabbath’s, “Snowblind” off the album Vol. 4.  What I love about SOAD’s cover is first off, they injected their unique style into the song, and second the big increase in tempo matches the songs subject of cocaine much better.  Not saying that Sabbath’s mid paced masterpiece isn’t great, but, if you have ever done or know about the effects of cocaine, there is no other speed other than ludicrous speed, that stuff will make you go plaid (and it’s really bad for you and you should never try it #lifelessons).

The first time I heard this song was at a SOAD concert (Snocore festival in Asbury Park, NJ, with Mr. Bungle and Incubus); it blew me away live and was a totally unexpected song for them to cover.  Right after that show I hunted around for the tune to no avail (mind you, the internet and stuff like Youtube weren’t in full swing in 1998).  Luckily, a couple of years later the excellent Black Sabbath cover album Nativity In Black II (great disk and includes acts like Megadeth, Machine Head, Pantera, Slayer, and Soulfly) was released and had the SOAD cover on it.  That album is well worth hunting down and I can assure you this won’t be the last you will be hearing about it on this list.  Soooo, Enjoy the cover and original!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Audio after the jump:

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #5-#1


Is it the end already?!  That went faster than I thought it would.  Well, it was a lot of fun actually sitting down and drawing the whole thing out and asking myself why I love these records as much as I do.  While some I dug just cause they were f’n great albums, others I found I had quite a bit of history with.  I loved catching up with some classics I may haven’t listened too in a while and also rediscovering some records (some of which missed the Top 100, but I’ll make an honorable mention post in due time).  The other big fun I had with this list was as well as posting all of it in its glory here on Metal State I was posting entries on a Facebook forum dedicated to metal where many others were doing just the same thing.  It was/is (many are still posting theirs and some other have just begun) great to talk about all these albums with many other people and also see what their lists had to offer.  I have to say, my mind is inundated with a ridiculous amount of music to check out and I look forward to hearing it all.  If you’re feeling like talking some metal and use Facebook you can join the group through this link.  There are cool metal nerds within and some very fun metal discussions.  If you don’t have FB, I’d still love to see your list so post it to your blog, write it in the comments, or send it to me through email.

Anywho, here are the final 5 entries in my Top 100.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did making it and I hope you discovered some cool new albums to check out or were inspired to revisit something you may not have spun in a while.  So, without further ado,  we come to the end of ‘The List’ (which I now feel slightly depressed is over, will make up for with my top cover songs list which will begin at the start of the new year).  Drum roll please! Drtrtrttrrttrrttrttrtrrttrtrtrtrrttrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtr!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!!!

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Monday Metal Madness Poll – Good Cover Songs


Looks like the Stoner votes are in and Kyuss took the victory for best Stoner rock band over Monster Magnet and Sleep.  Thank you for playing in that poll and if you haven’t casted your vote there is still plenty of time.  You can check out that poll here.

Starting sometime in January, A Metal State of Mind will post our Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs in increments in lieu of the Theme Thursday.  The Theme Thursday will become an as necessary post since we have been doing that nearly two years.  For this week’s poll I am going to give you a small glimpse into what you will see on my (plantera7’s AKA Reggie) Top 25 cover song list.

These three cover songs represent the high, medium, and low of my list…a top 10, bottom 10, and one in the middle.  I am not going to spoil my list that much as far as who places where, but I am curious to see how you vote for what you think is the better of these cover songs.

Here are your choices…

First up is Coal Chamber’s version of Shock the Monkey.  The original was recorded by Peter Gabriel which makes this cover qualify for an “unlikely” cover which was the subject of a theme some time ago.  I like their take on the song where they made it their own, but didn’t stray too far from the core of the song.  Do you also notice the cameo?

Second is Megadeth’s rendition of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.  I have to say it is all the cover songs of Black Sabbath that got me more into Black Sabbath themselves.  That sounds like it doesn’t make much sense, but I am more fond of Sabbath covers than the band itself, but that is slowly changing.  This is not the ony Sabbath cover on my list; just one I chose for this poll. What to you think?

This cover struck me as odd when I first heard Aerials covered, but it is very well done.  I would have never imagined Amon Amarth knew who System of a Down was, but I stand corrected.  Again, this is another example of a band making the song their own, but not steering too far from the core of the song.

 

 

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #15-#11


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!!!

#15 Colors by Between the Buried and Me

In the early and mid 2000’s I found myself a bit disenchanted with new metal. I had kept in touch with the established bands in my catalog, but anything new just ‘didn’t do it for me’. Then I stumbled on BTBAM and their newly released Colors. Never have I heard metal quite like this, ferocious, complex, organic, beautiful, chaotic, and so unorthodox. How each song flowed into the next created a neat flow and the musicianship in each one seriously blew my mind and gave me a new-found faith in modern metal. I also love while on one end the music and themes on this record are pretty serious, the band knows how to sit back and have some fun at times and get playful with the music breaking that ‘more brutal than thou’ mentality that was plaguing metal at the time in my eyes. After this record I became more adventurous with my music returning to actively seek out/check out music by stuff I never heard of in hopes I find something that blew me away like Colors. To quote Forrest Gump: “I must have drank me 15 Dr. Peppers”. Returning to this album 7 years after my big first impression it still holds up wonderfully and BTBAM received much deserved success and took the right path and upped their talent (seriously, check out the new record 😉 ).

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Top 10 Halloween Songs


Since this past Wednesday was Halloween, I was going through my iPod listening to songs I considered to have a Halloween theme. It’s probably no surprise that many of them were by metal bands. By the end of the day I had come up with what I thought provided the best soundtrack for the day. Feel free to leave suggestions as to what I should put on my playlist for next year!

10-I Was Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery by Woods of Ypres: The song is a haunting one, perhaps best suited for those with a more philosophical side to them. After all, who knows what the afterlife holds and what happens if you’re a ghost.

9-This Situation is Getting Hairy by the Workout:  What would you do if someone you knew turned into a werewolf? The Workout seek to answer this in this semi-romantic song.

8-Dragula by Rob Zombie: Zombie describes what might make for a good Halloween night: Burning witches! (Maybe I’m a little biased on this one since  I live close to Salem)

7-Welcome Home by King Diamond: Having your granny back in your life may seem nice at first, but turns into a nightmare when you realize she rose from the dead.

6-The Fatal Feast by Municipal Waste: Two words: Space Cannibalism

5-Enter Sandman by Metallica: Metallica’s hit song and accompanying music video gave me plenty of nightmares as a child.

4-Bark At the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne: Horror is a theme in classic Ozzy tunes but this one’s particularly campy. Bonus: Ozzy in werewolf makeup.

3-Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden: Iron Maiden has some pretty dark songs but this one is the most nightmare worthy.

2-American Psycho by the Misfits: There are plenty of spooky songs by the Misfits but this encapsulates the way one feels when watching a classic slasher flick.

1-War Pigs by Black Sabbath: Iron Man is the usual Halloween favorite to play but this embodies the holiday perfectly.

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #20-#16


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!!!

#20 Still Life by Opeth

And here is where Opeth hits the ball out of the park. With a sizable recording budget and a huge vision everything about Opeth improved immensely over their previously recorded material (which is a trio of damn fine albums, so that’s saying something). The inclusion of new member Martin Mendez on bass brought some much-needed full body to Opeth’s sound and perfectly compliment Mikael’s much deeper growls and the massive improvement of Martin Lopez’s drumming add a great groove to the album ultimately adding yet another enthralling dynamic to Opeth’s sound. I love everything about this record from its flowing and serpentine song structures to the somewhat cliché’ yet Opeth makes it work narrative about a man exiled from his village and torn away from his love for not believing in God. There’s that harrowing intro the album in “The Moor”, the acoustic melody section in “Godhead’s Lament”, that solo in “Benighted”, the insanely sick riffs of “Moonlapse Vertigo”, the damn cool jazzy nature of “Face of Melinda” (pointless Opeth trivia: did you know Mikael’s daughter is named Melinda?), and the brutality of “Serenity Painted Death”. If you need proof that Opeth are one of the best bands in the whole of music you needn’t look any further than Still Life (or further down my list 😉 ).

#19 Sabotage by Black Sabbath

The last great Sabbath album before the Ozzy-era Sabbath started to show signs of wear and tear Sabotage contains some of the bands most diverse and solid work. From the hard rockers “Hole in the Sky” and “Thrill of it All”, the rock epics “Megalomania” and “The Writ”, and the ‘I swear if I ever become a pro wrestler this will be my epic intro music’ “Supertzar”, there is so much to love about this album. As always Tony Iommi is a beast writing some of the riffs which would later inspire me to pick up a guitar and Ozzy’s unique voice sounds superb throughout the whole record. Not much more to say other than I adore this record, Bill Ward’s red pants and Ozzy’s high heels on the cover crack me up, and “Megolomania” is one of my favorite songs of all time.

#18 Panopticon by Isis

Hearing Isis for the first time is an experience I will never forget. I was attending a Tool concert at an open-air venue and had lawn seats. Me and my buddies got there early enough for the opening bands. I happened to be in a really chill mood that day and the weather was beautiful out so I thought I would pass some time by just laying down on the lawn and zoning out. Isis happened to be the opening band at the show and when they took the stage I just continued to lay there staring at the sky turn from day to night in my own little world while they played their music. Feeling the vibrations from the amps in my body and the tones from the my ears it wasn’t long before the combination of my self-inflicted trance and the hypnotizing music of Isis transported me to another world and for the hour that they were on stage I just lay there blissfully floating on cloud 9. To put how that experience felt into words is hard to do, but it felt so spiritual and out-of-body. Needless to say the next day I was quick to the record store to grab me an Isis record which happened to be Panopticon and I was instantly in love with it. Any time I need to put my spirit to rest and just zone out this is one of the first records I reach for. And when I just want to hear some great post-metal Panopticon also fits the bill. All of their other records are excellent, but this one holds a special place in my heart due to the above experience.

#17 Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera

While I love Cowboys from Hell, on VDoP Pantera really found their sound and took it to a new level. Angrier vocals spat from Phil’s mouth for war, insane riffs and solos rise to make listeners fucking hostile, a tighter rhythm section you’d have to live in a hole not to notice, and a crisper production make this album take a walk across the Rubicon as one of the must have classic metal albums of all time and without it your record collection is quite hollow. Even regular people who once thought metal was no good grooved on this album as it stormed the charts. This love I have for this album is immense and, by demons be driven, I will constantly spin this album regularly until the day I day.

#16 Jar of Flies by Alice in Chains

As much as I love AiC’s heavier works, I feel the band shined brightest when they mellowed out and played their somber semi-acoustic ballads. While the tone on Jar of Flies is anything but happy, the sincerity in the songs is more than true. Layne’s lyrics and vocals may be about his struggles with addiction, but written so well that just about any human can find a way to perfectly relate to his introspection. Paired with Jerry Cantrell’s amazing guitar work and songwriting skills, JoF is a 30 minutes of intensely powerful music that brings positivity to a brooding session. For me, JoF is a very personal album with songs like “Rotten Apple” and “No Excuses” really hitting me on a very personal level and “Nutshell” almost bringing me to tears every time I hear it.

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Song of the Week: Into the Void by Monster Magnet (cover)


OK, my music player is on random, let’s see what metal band wins the spin.  Annnnnd, oooo, a cover song!  And not just any old cover song, one of the best covers of a Black Sabbath song ever.  Originally off of Black Sabbath’s 1971 groundbreaking album Master of Reality, NJ’s stoner rock trailblazers Monster Magnet follow every rule on how to make the best possible cover.  Stay true to the original while adding your own style to make it your own.  I love that trippy intro with Dave Wyndorf sounding like a shell-shocked Vietnam vet before breaking into the iconic anti-war song.

This song comes off of the 2nd of the 2 very excellent Black Sabbath cover albums titled Nativity In Black 1 & 2 (named after the song NIB, which is really not an acronym for nativity in black, but just simply ‘nib’, the nickname of drummer Bill Ward’s beard, the source of all evil).  If you ever come across these cover records, I highly recommend them, some great covers by great bands like Machine Head, Ministry, Megadeth, and System of a Down covering a wide variety of Ozzy era Sabbath songs.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

And the slim chance you’ve never heard the original, here’s that too.

 

 

 

Album Review: Otehi – Noisy Spirit


Having previously taken on one of Cosmic Swamp’s roster before, I was a little more prepared for the fuzz-attack that this release was going to bring, although several surprises awaited as I sat down with Otehi’s début Noisy Spirit EP. Firstly, the band’s name means “negative karma” in the Lakota tongue, an appropriate name for the music despite the band’s Italian origins. Secondly, the strong songwriting belies the band’s lack of an anniversary, having formed in March 2011 and released this EP before the year was out. Thirdly, the DIY production puts much punk and black metal to shame, while the 37-minute runtime outstrips many full albums. And fourthly, their influences stretch across 4 decades and 3 continents. If the souls of Kyuss, Sleep and Fu Manchu (with the obligatory touch of Sabbath) were to telecommunicate between the Aussie Outback and dusty US Midwest, that should paint a good starting point for where Noisy Spirit crashes in.

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Monday Metal Madness: Black Sabbath: Ozzy or Dio?


In their long and storied career, besides practically inventing this genre of heavy music we all love to death, Black Sabbath have employed 2 of metal’s best and most prolific vocalists.  John ‘Ozzy’ Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio.  Not too shabby.  Both were excellent fits for the band and they also brought different flavors for the rest of the band to play off of.  So, fans of Black Sabbath, I ask you, which is your favorite Sabbath vocalist.  Do you prefer the doom-y beginnings of Sabbath or the high-flying later years of the band.  Tough choice, I know, lol.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!

Ozzy Era

Dio Era

 

 

 

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.

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