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Monday Metal Madness – Mangini Vs. Portnoy

Last week’s Monday Metal Madness resulted in a win for Sweden’s Opeth over touring buddies Pain of Salvation.  Both equally talented bands, but someone has to win.  Now, on with this week’s battle!

The dust has settled and we have all had sufficient time to absorb A Dramatic Turn of Events.  This leaves us with one question.  Do you like the new and improved Dream Theater with Mike Mangini on the drums or do you sit and wait patiently in hopes of a triumphant return of Mike Portnoy? Here are a couple of videos to help you decide.

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Theme Thursday – Drumming

The heavy metal drummer is the official timekeeper of the band.  Often taking a back seat (literally) to the glitz and glam of the lead singer and guitarists, the drummer has perhaps the most difficult job…especially in metal.  First of all, they have to use all four limbs in rapid succession.  They must also use said limbs in an orderly fashion of some sort both of which require countless hours of practice and dedication.  An indirect benefit of being a drummer is that they get to A.  Sit down on the job and B. get a cardio-intense workout while sitting down on the job.

I wanted to take a Theme Thursday and focus some time and energy on the dude (or chick) sitting at the back of the stage somewhat perched up higher than the rest of the band.  Some drummers are well known for their drumming while others just drum and that’s cool too.  Some metal drummers have made a name for themselves in the business  so I wanted to take some time to recognize them, but also note some drummers that you may have not heard of that deserve some recognition.

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Mike Portnoy’s New Project

Mike Portnoy, that name has been in the center of metal news as of late with his departure from Dream Theater and the drama surrounding it.  He has now formed a new band, Adrenaline Mob with another musician I highly respect, Russell Allen, vocalist of Symphony X.  Rounding out the band is Mike Orlando, Paul DeLeo, and Rich Ward.

Allen states that it is “a straight-up rock band with just rock songs — kind of like an edgy, modern kind of sound. It’s not progressive or trying to be too metal or anything — it’s just good, old crunchy rock stuff.” He added, “I think it will be really well received by people who like to hear that kind of stuff. This is a new thing for Portnoy and myself, too. I’ve always done kind of done stuff with Ayreon, but that’s more of a vintage-y vibe, but nothing like this, which is kind of modern-sounding, almost like Rob Zombie meets Black Label Society meets Disturbed, with Dio singing. It’s all this kind of craziness. So it’s definitely different and it’s cool.”

I don’t know how to feel about this project, Portnoy and Allen are awesome musicians and I love their respective bands, but what worries me is the comparisons to the other bands they are citing.  Black Label Society and Dio are awesome, but Rob Zombie and Disturbed that scares me (Rob Zombie not to be confused with his amazing previous band White Zombie which were awesome).  I guess we will find out when they get around to releasing an album.

And someone should tell them to rethink that logo, it’s pretty lame in my opinion.



Song of the Day – A Nightmare to Remember – 20 Jan 11

This particular song of the day lasted for 16:11, so that narrows it down to a few bands that are capable of creating epic songs.  A Nightmare to Remember has an opening that is uncharacteristic of this mysterious band.  The opening minute or so sounds like it could have come from the latest Cradle of Filth album, but then the melodies smooth out to a band I know (not personally) and love called Dream Theater.   The song of the day is:

A Nightmare to Remember by Dream Theater off the Black Clouds and Silver Linings album

Despite my affections toward Megadeth, Slayer, and Overkill…Dream Theater is right up there in my top 3 of all time.  If you haven’t seen them live, you should they are a great live band.  Currently, DT entered the studio this month and hopefully we will see a new release by summer.  If you live in or near England, you can catch DT headlining at the High Voltage festival in London at Victoria Park sometime in July 2011.  I can’t wait!

Oh, this also marks the first DT album without Mike Portnoy.  Should be interesting…