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Reggie’s Essential 25 Favorite Instrumentals #20 & #19

Warlock-Metal-Master-Blade-MMWGSVBKI 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 comprised of 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!

20.  Last of the Wilds – Nightwish

This song has a steady cadence that I like and also has some folk elements that give it a nice touch.  Symphonic metal bands do a good job with instrumental songs in my opinion.  My kids actually like this one too, they think it has a cool beat. When I first heard Dark Passion Play, this song was an instant stand out for me.  Other than that, this is one of the more simple entries without any in depth explanation…I just like it.

19.  Canto 34 – Five Finger Death Punch

I can’t say I wholeheartedly appreciate the direction this band has taken, but I am fond of the War Is the Answer album where this instrumental appears.  It’s a pretty mellow tune compared to most the album’s songs, but I like the guitar work; the riffing and the solos are the driving forces and for me that works out nicely.   The song has nice flow and up to now in this list you can probably tell that most instrumental songs I like are not necessarily the heaviest o
f songs.  There are some heavy songs on the way.

Album Review: Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 2

ffdp-vol-2It’s time for the second edition of The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol 2; Five Finger Death Punch’s second album of 2013.  As you may have read here, my impression of Vol 1 wasn’t exactly that stellar, but I found some redeeming qualities in some of the songs.  I like their groove and level of angst they put into their riffing, but find myself lost on their lyrical content.  It’s strange because usually lyrics are the least important thing to me, but I guess when they are so childish they throw me off preventing me from focusing on everything else I love about metal.  Let’s face it, I am far from being a teenager and to me this is the audience they are appealing to.  I am just not that angst-ridden anymore.  I need more substance in my songs for those situations where lyrical content somehow strikes me.  Just like they articulate in track #2, Weight Beneath My Sin

…It’s the same old fucking story, the same old fucking lies, the same old fucking ending…

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Album Review: Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side of Heaven and Righteous Side of Hell Volume 1

epgvFive Finger Death Punch is throwing a party and you’re invited.  That’s what it seems like on their new album, get ready for the title – The Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side of Hell Volume 1.  That’s a long one and if my research serves me right, we should expect Volume 2 later this year.  As for the party comment, the album is loaded with songs featuring someone else such as Rob Halford, Maria Brink, Tech N9ne, Max Cavalera, and Jamey Jasta.  Tech N9ne appears on a cover of Mama Said Knock You Out originally recorded by LL Cool J.  I have to admit, that song is mildly entertaining, but what about the rest of the album?  Has Five Finger Death Punch regained some of the ferocity from The Way of the Fist and War is the Answer or have they just become America’s party band?

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Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs #12 – Bad Company

5FDP-sepiaI like Five Finger Death Punch.  I wish their latest album was as strong as War is the Answer, but I have no input into their inner circle of song creation.  For now, I fall back to my preferred album regularly and especially like their cover of Bad Company’s song Bad Company.  The band, Bad Company, was formed in the year of my birth and released their first album a year later in ’74.  The band, the album, and the song are all the same name.  Today, it’s probably one of the most recognizable of their songs; believe it or not it was their third single off that landmark debut album.

Five Finger Death Punch is a bit flashier, but sews together some cool headbanging rhythms.  When I saw their set at Download 2010 I was amazed at how much they could get the crowd moving.  It was a very neck bruising experience with (nearly) the entire crowd-crowd surfing.  Anyway, as a military man, I appreciate their video for Bad Company…recorded during their brief tour visiting troops overseas, in fact days before I saw them at Download.  There are more metalheads in the military than you might think.  It’s cool they did that, but more importantly their cover is well done.  It basically holds true to the original; they just injected it with “metal.”

Here is Five Finger Death Punch’s version found on the album War is the Answer.

And, of course, here is the classic in all of its 70s glory by Bad Company found on the album Bad Company.

Favorite Cover Song #13

Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #95-91

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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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.

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Veteran’s Day Video of the Week – 11/11/11

Today is Veteran’s Day in America and Armistice Day in parts of Europe (AKA Remembrance Day).  For no other reason than to remeber the fallen, I bring you a great cover tune from a band some people have grown to either love or hate.  It’s Five Finger Death Punch covering Bad Company.  If you have a day off like me, enjoy it and also have a great weekend.  And remember…

And here is another one made by a fan.

Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist – Review

Five Finger Death Punch is one of (what I call) the new wave of American metal bands.  Since their formation in 2005, they have quickly made a name for themselves.   They have appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, had one of their songs featured in a videogame (Splatterhouse) and received a bit of heavy metal marketing (in the form of publicity) after having their set cut short at U.K.’s famous Download Festival 2010 for excessive crowd surfing (for which I witnessed first-hand).  After releasing their first album, The Way of the Fist, in 2006 (went gold in 2011); they released their third studio album, American Capitalist.

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Friday Night Video Fight – Five Finger Death Punch Vs. Evile

Five Finger Death Punch has pretty much established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.  They rock their live performances as they intertwine Scandinavian melody with American Thrash.  Not too many bands do it quite like 5FDP.  Most of their videos are serious, except for their latest Under and Over it, which is built around sarcasm and chock full of cleavage and butt-cracks; nice ones though.  Under and Over it is the first track off their forthcoming release American Capitalist due out on October 11, 2011. 

British thrashers Evile have also released their first video for Cult off their forthcoming release Five Serpents Teeth out on September 26,2011. Evile is making a name for themselves outside of the United Kingdom appearing at the summer festivals around Europe and also touring the U.S.  Five Serpents Teeth is Evile’s third release and they are proving to grow musically with each album.  If you don’t find yourself headbanging to this…you might need to re-evaluate your status as a metal fan.  Evile is embarking on a 19-date tour of the UK to include one stop in Ireland.  Be sure to catch them because I think I already missed the boat on that one. 

Theme Thursday – Fundamental Instrumental

Call it a filler, call it a waste of space, or call it bits and pieces of leftover music.  Better yet, call it art.  However you want to describe an instrumental metal melody, they seem to be part of many artist’s repertoire.  You can usually find an instrumental song at the end of an album or at the beginning and sometimes somewhere in the middle where it seems purposeful.  An instrumental can be used to set up the feel of an album.  Just ask Ensiferum about that, they do it well.  An instrumental can be used to close out an album; a nice subtle way to say “until next time my friends.”  Chimaira’s last two albums were closed out with instrumentals…damn good ones too.

One might think that a prog band is more likely to produce instrumental songs.  Actually, a wide variety of metal genres produce instrumentals some more than others.  Maybe prog tips the scales a bit more than most, but you can find instrumentals in just about any genre even in death metal.   Some bands surprise you with an instrumental.  Check out Megadeth’s Dialectic Chaos off the album Endgame.  Megadeth isn’t a band that mass produces instrumentals.  It was a nice surprise to hear one from them.

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