Blog Archives

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2003 / #3 – #1

MetalCatIt may seem ironic that Chimaira wins one of the top three spots in my year-by-year hit parade a week after they finally split up, supposedly for ever. They made a live come-back that reportedly drew ridiculously small audiences.

Whatever the reasons for their calling it a day, I wish all of them well. They gave me some good listening, which is ultimately all that anyone can ask of a band.

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Reggie’s Essential 25 Favorite Instrumentals #12 & #11

bc_rich_widow_wmd_bass_top_imageI love the power of a good instrumental song.  Sometimes they can be energizing or even relaxing depending on the band’s intent with the song.  Some bands use an instrumental song to display a different, sometimes softer side.  And, sometimes an instrumental is a collection of left over riffs and drum parts that didn’t make the final cut.  Or, perhaps they just couldn’t find the words to go with the music.  However they are composed, the instrumental song is a track I look for and hope to find on any album; though there are some bands where it’s almost an expectation.  This list is 25 word-less songs that I find essential to my music library.  I wouldn’t sweat over the exact order, but yeah the ones at or near the top of this list are definitely my favorites.  I know there are many more instrumental songs out there, but these are mine…so to speak.  This list is also limited to only three per band and only one band made this list three times.  Enjoy!

12.  Implements of Destruction – Chimaira

For the first minute and 20 seconds, the song starts off sounding like it is going to remain a bit flowery, then it takes on a much more sinister tone incorporating speed and thrash with lengthy, frequent guitar solos.  In essence, you get a little taste of the many different tempos and styles Chimaira puts into their songs rolled up into one prolonged instrumental song.  This clip comes from their very well produced DVD Coming Alive.

11.  Genesis – Ghost

For many reasons, I really enjoy Ghost’s music to include their stage presence.  Genesis off of the Opus Eponymous album I thought was interesting because it sounds like it could be the song during the closing credits of a movie like Salem’s Lot or Phantasm.  It has a consistent rhythm and also sounds like it could have been recorded during the era of both of the movies I mentioned…a bit of retro appeal.

Album Review: Chimaira – Crown of Phantoms

chimaira-crown-of-phantomsFor those that thought Chimaira died when long-time founding members made their final departure out of the band, you may want to rethink your position.  Crown of Phantoms is the band’s first official release with their newly invigorated lineup.  Remnants of former members were still part of the recording process on The Age of Hell, the album I like to call the transition album.  Therefore Crown of Phantoms should be considered the first release with the only remaining founding member Mark Hunter along with new-ish members Emil Werstler (lead), Sean Zartorsky (Keys), Matt Szlachta (Rhythm), Austin D’Amond (Drums), and Jeremy Creamer (Bass).  This is the beginning of a new…darker chapter in the life of Chimaira.

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Mik’s Top 50 – Intros That Instantly Grab My Attention #21-22

#22 Chimaira – The Impossibility of Reason

This is not a band I usually listen to, however this song came up on a random list in Spotify and the cool combination of guitars and drums in the intro made me want to hear more. It proved to be a really good song too, with a slow, heavy chorus

‘You fall face down at the sight of yourself, no one to pick you up. Look what our lives have become…’

and a nice guitar solo at the end. From the album ‘Impossibility of Reason’ released in 2003.

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Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs #20 – Disposable Heroes

disposable_heroes_by_shredric-d302hhdMetallica has a unique distinction when it comes to cover songs.  First, they do great cover songs and second, their own music makes for great cover songs by other bands.  This isn’t the last time you will see some version of Metallica or their music on this short list of favorite cover songs. Chimaira, part of the new wave of American heavy metal, covered the classic Disposable Heroes for the Kerrang Metallica Tribute Album.  This is another cover that holds the line barely straying much from the original.

Disposable Heroes is one of many war-themed Metallica songs.  The lyrics are the thoughts of a soldier…

Bodies fill the fields I see, hungry heroes end / No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend / Running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all / Victim of what said should be / A servant `til I fall…

There is also a second voice in the lyrics; that of the commanding individual (officer or sergeant)…

Back to the front / You will do what I say, when I say / Back to the front / You will die when I say, you must die / Back to the front / You coward / You servant / You blind man

Being a military man myself, these lyrics are not far-fetched.

I believe cover songs should be done one of two ways…either redo the whole thing and make it your own, or copy it as close to the original just adding a little kick to it. Chimaira chose option #2 and did a great job.

On another note, Master of Puppets, is THEE album that got me into the metal I know and love today.  The song Master of Puppets was featured as my #2 favorite song of all time on 2012’s Top 100 list.

Here is the cover by Chimaira which can be found on the Kerrang Metallica Tribute album.

Here is the original song which is on the 1986 album, Master of Puppets.

Favorite Cover Song #21

21 Days ‘Till Doomsday #19 – Impending Doom (Chimaira)

I like the feel of today’s song Impending Doom by Chimaira.  The intro really does give the feeling of impending doom during its slow parts.  Then, of course, it breaks out a little more where you have Mark Hunter shouting at you.  You can find this song on the album, The Infection.  It wasn’t my favorite Chimaira album overall, but it had a few gems to include this more somber song…perfect for the doomsday countdown.

Instead of just posting the song clip, I came across this fan video which appears to feature scenes from the movie remake of the classic Halloween franchise.  This version was remade by Rob Zombie.  Halloween happens to be my favorite horror movie of all time.  The Rob Zombie remakes are pretty cool too, but nothing beats the original John Carpenter movie.  So, with your 19th day of doomsday, enjoy a little blood and guts.   For a better quality song, see the clip below the movie.

Theme Thursday – Metallica Covers

I think most metalheads like a good cover tune. What separates a good cover from a bad one?  Do you like when the cover is basically exactly the same or recreated using  a basic shell of the original song?  For me, it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s good.  I like both kinds of cover tunes.  Some bands lend themselves to being covered more than others.  For example, how many Megadeth covers do you hear out there?  I think there are a few, but not enough to stack a CD full of Megadeth covers.  Is that because Mustaine’s vocals are too hard to recreate?   Is it because the guitar work is too hard for the average guitarist?  You hardly ever hear bands cover Anthrax or Opeth.  I have yet to hear a band cover Blitz’s unique vocals in Overkill.   I am sure there are rough and edgy recordings on YouTube out there, but for the most part they are very rare.

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Theme Thursday – Concert DVDs

Personally, I am huge fan of a live show.  I love the energy, the performance, the roar of the crowd, and most importantly the decibel level of my favorite songs being played by talented metal musicians.  I like being in a crowd of peers; people who have at least one big thing in common with me…the band!  I like looking at all the band shirts and sparking up conversation about the shirt you are wearing.  It is all well worth going to work the next day red-eyed and ears ringing.  The only bad thing about a live show is that the things I love about them rarely translate well to film.  Some concerts have serious production value which is always cool, but in the end a DVD/Blu-Ray concert just does not do a show complete justice.  Does that stop me from buying them?  Hell no, it’s the next best thing to being at the show.  The theme this week is about some concert DVDs that I think are so well made that, if you are a fan of the band, these are must buys.

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

Continuing on with our Top 100 list at The History of Metal, I bring you my next five with a little bit of justification.  If you haven’t checked out The History of Metal or THOM as we call it, please do it’s a cool forum to talk about and share metal.  The page creator does a great job as keeping topics fresh and he also takes the time to pose challenges to the group; Top 100 Albums being one of them.  I think the best part of this whole challenge besides getting to see everyone else’s choices is to reminisce about why I love these albums so much.  It gets me listening to some of these I haven’t heard in a while.  Not to mention, seeing everyone elses favorites gets me to explore some things I haven’t heard yet.  Enjoy!

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Concert Review: Chimaira

Cleveland’s Chimaira rocked Norwich, England last night in front of an energetic crowd.   Special guests Neosis and Revoker provided support which made the evening actually quite diverse, musically. First and foremost, for those that thought Chimaira should hang it up after the mass departure of long-time band members, you should rethink your status with the band.  Despite some negative feedback (not from me) about their latest album, The Age of Hell, Chimaira knows how to put on a show.  And that is reason enough to keep Chimaira on your list of bands to see.  Nothing but smiling faces after the show.

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