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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2000 / #3 – #1


MetalCatIt does happen. The three songs I’ve chosen as my top favourites of 2000 all feature clean singing. I’m not particularly biased towards either dark or clean vocals, although most of the metal I listen to these days does have plenty of growling.

Dark Metal Cat has a growling purr and a clean sandbox.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1995 / #10 and #9


My 1995 kicks off with two bands I’ve loved for two decades. OK, Ayreon is a project, not a band as such, but you know what I mean.

1995, #10: Ayreon – Sail Away To Avalon

Album: The Final Experiment
Country: Netherlands
Genre: Prog Metal

 

1995, #9: Monster Magnet – Dopes to Infinity

Album: Dopes To Infinity
Country: USA
Genre: Stoner Metal

 

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1993 / #10 and #9


The-Big-BangThe decade of the 1990s was the period when metal started making its full impact on my life. Up until then I’d been listening to plenty of prog rock, classic rock, classical music and some hard rock and heavy metal. For me, the ’90s exploded with new metal sounds that didn’t just change my world, they altered the very fabric of existence.

This will be my personal tribute to metal from the last 21 years, 1993-2013. It will list my top ten songs from each of those years. Since any music is so subjective, I won’t try to explain why any particular song grabbed me. I’ll list the band, song, album, country and genre (I enjoy making catalogues!).

1993, #10: Monster Magnet – Cage Around The Sun

Album: Superjudge
Country: USA
Genre: Stoner Metal

 

1993, #9: W.A.S.P. – The Gypsy Meets The Boy

Album: The Crimson Idol
Country: USA
Genre: Heavy Metal

 

Christopher Mammal’s Top Albums Of 2013: #10 – #1


Metal 2013

One day when I’m old and grey—.

Start again. When I’m even older and greyer or hairless, I’ll still be listening to all of these albums pretty often. I work alone in an office at home. I play music while I pretend to be busy. Often I get through ten albums a day. Without music, I’d go mad. My wife says that without metal, I might become sane, but she also says she’s used to my music making the panels on my desk vibrate. She’s lucky she can’t see what it’s doing to my insides.

May 2014 bring all of you great wealth, health, happiness and gut-thumping good metal. Read the rest of this entry

Musings of the Heavy Metal Hippie: Spine of God by Monster Magnet


mm08IMO, NJ’s pioneering stoner metal band Monster Magnet embody the sex, drugs, and rock and roll aspect of rockstardom quite perfectly. From their hard rocking tunes about, well, sex and drugs to frontman Dave Wyndorf’s who bleeds charisma and sex to their killer live shows where they often hang a banner that reads “It’s a Satanic drug thing. You wouldn’t understand.” and pole dancers on stage it’s hard to top these guys in the sex, drugs, and rock and roll dept. Luckily, they aren’t all about image and deliver where it’s important and write some of the best stoner metal songs ever written.
One of my favorite tracks from Monster Magnet is their über-trippy title track off their debut album Spine of God. I love how it gets all psychedelic and space-like yet still remains grounded enough to deliver on some catchy music. If you enjoy stoner metal and have yet to check out Spine of God, you’re doing yourself a great disservice as it is easily one of the best and most influential albums in the genre. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #2- Into the Void covered by Monster Magnet


charlie_dont_surfBlack Sabbath’s anti-Vietnam classic tune “Into the Void” has been covered numerous times by many different rock and metal bands, but out of the many that are out there, none seem to not only capture the essence of the song, but also elevate it to a ‘higher’ plane.  Starting out with a low-key drum procession ushering vocalist Dave Wyndorf acting out the part of a paranoid infantryman in the jungles of Vietnam the slow build up of downtuned guitars begin to add a healthy dose of Jacob’s Ladder to the sound as it trips out into a bit of psychedelia.  And then the song proper starts and Monster Magnet simply just own it slipping out here and there to embrace delusions of Charlie round the corner and the Tango sluts dancing in Hell.

While the original is a timeless classic that will never stale, Monster Magnet really went above and beyond the call of duty and injected such a huge amount of color and personality to the tune.  When I listen to the Sabbath version I get imagery of the whole broad picture of Vietnam, but when Monster Magnet jam it out it all becomes much more intense and personal.  I get the picture of a soldier directly in the bush gripping a rifle as he looks at his dead squadmates and is laughing maniacally as he prepares for his last stand vowing to take Charlie down with him, and maybe dreaming of some surfing afterwards.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Monster Magnet Version:

Black Sabbath Version:

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Monday Metal Madness: The Original Stoner Rockers


Last weeks poll/quiz resulted in no one guessing the correct answer with the majority believing that Annihilator had a revolving door of members wider than a hooker’s (insert favorite word for the female genitalia here).  The band with the most members in and out of the group goes to Suicidal Tendencies with a whopping 26 different people in the band at one time or another.  Here’s the amounts for the rest:

Megadeth – 18
Annihilator – 25
Iced Earth – 25
Overkill – 13
Metal Church – 19
Opeth – 15

While my days of burning doobies is behind me for the most part, the music that I loved to listen to while flying high stuck with me.  Due to massive amounts of psychedelia rock/metal with those trippy elements gets labeled as stoner rock/metal, but I find that the music is highly enjoyable even without the aid of certain naturally occurring plants that are dried and lit on fire for recreational purposes.  The 3 biggest names that get dropped when referring to the pioneers of the style are Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and Sleep.

All 3 bands released their debut albums at around the same time, so it’s difficult to say which one was the true originator.  But since they each offer a much different sound from the other, let’s just say they all share the pioneer honors.  Eventually Kyuss and Sleep broke up as members of the bands went on to form bands like Queens of the Stoneage and High on Fire and Monster Magnet gradually drifted away from the heavy psychedelic sound in lieu for a more hard rock focus (they still do retain a lot of their original trippy sound though).  So, of the 3 which one appeals to the THC drenched part of your metal heart the most?  Enjoy!!

Monster Magnet:

“Cyclops Revolution” off of the album Superjudge

Kyuss:

“Thong Song” off of the album Blues for the Red Sun

Sleep:

“Dragonaut” off of the album Holy Mountian

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #25-#21


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!!!

#25 Sailing the Seas of Cheese by Primus

As I look back at the Excel file with my ‘list’ on it one common theme that seems to be running through a large part of the albums is that they all include well pronounced bass and rhythm sections. One could argue that having heavy bass dulls down the music and muddies up the intricacies, but I digress and say that some well used bass adds a nice full body to the music that makes it even more tastier. Like a good whiskey, wine, beer, or woman. When it comes to bassists, one of the most skilled and eclectic that will come to many’s mind is Les Claypool. What that man has done with the low-end tones is unique to say the least, but as well as being a titan on the bass he also is a damn fine songwriter/storyteller/lyricist and collaborator. Without the aid of the other 2 members of Primus the complexities of his style wouldn’t come to fruition. Larry LaLonde’s trippy and shredy guitars work wonders when paired with Les’ groove accentuating rather than carrying. And to keep up with the insanity of Claypool a damn fine drummer is needed, and Tim Alexander’s jazz beats dance in tandem with the quirky bass. While the trio have released some damn fine albums, their second full length collects the best the band has to offer in one package. Not a stinker or a dull moment the whole record and this is always the Primus record I cram down everyone’s throat when they tell me they never listened to Primus. So, if you enjoy some thick bass in your music and for some strange reason never heard Primus before, I implore you to go get your hands on this album right now.

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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.

 

 

 

Video of the Week: Gods and Punks


It’s always nice when a music video tackles important topics going on in the world.  The video for “Gods and Punks” by Monster Magnet takes on a myriad.  From asking the viewer who the real evil in the world is and presenting the unemployment crisis in a clever way they have crafted one of the best music videos I’ve seen over the past couple years.  It’s humorous and at the same time very serious and has great visuals paired with a totally rockin’ tune.  Check it out and let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!