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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #22- The Sound of Silence covered by Nevermore

FbTbLI had always thought that Simon & Garfunkel’s timeless classic would make for a great song to get metalized, but had thought a black metal or a more atmospheric band like NIN would have been the style I would first hear it all metalled up in.  Needless to say, when I first heard Nevermore’s spin on the tune about passing into the afterlife, I was taken aback quite a bit.  Heavy as hell and very straightforward, Nevermore more or less gut the entire song and completely make it their own.  What I find quite interesting about this cover is that, despite the heaviness and the usual stigma that comes with metal music (dark, evil, Satanic, etc), Nevermore’s version comes of as brighter and more energetic when compared to the original, but doesn’t lose that harrowing effect the lyrics make.  This reworking is a real hit or miss with many people, and as you can see it is a hit with me.  What say you?  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Nevermore Version:

Original Simon & Garfunkel Version:

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A couple more quality metal covers of “The Sound of Silence” after the jump:

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Album Review: Jeff Loomis – Plains of Oblivion

Plains of Oblivion is the latest album by guitar virtuoso Jeff Loomis.  Although Jeff has released other self-titled guitar-driven albums, this is the first one since the (kind of) disbanding of Nevermore.  The new album is 10 high-octane tracks covering about 47-minutes.  My experience listening to Jeff Loomis’ solo albums is minimal, but it didn’t take me long into Plains of Oblivion to hear where the brunt of influence in Nevermore came from.  That’s not to say Plains of Oblivion is sounds like Nevermore without vocals, but that Jeff’s style is rather unique and prominent in his old band; it’s easily recognizable.  Ok, maybe it does sound a little like you are listening to Nevermore, but is that really a bad thing?

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Themed Thursday – The Ties That Bind

This week, I am going to explore relationships within heavy metal.  This is about how metal bands are basically tied together like a long list of cousins; some you know and some you don’t.  Each metal band, in its own right, is not very far removed the metal band down the street.  Starting with one of my Top-10 favorite bands, Machine Head, we’ll see how interconnected the metal world is.  Ever heard of 6-degrees to Kevin Bacon?  This is where this Themed Thursday is going.

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iTouch Report – October 2011

It is that time of month for a heavy metal discussion piece.  As usual, it’s time to look at the play count on your personal digital music player…if you have one.  If you listen to CDs then you can guess what you have been listening to the most.  I will do this again for November and December, but will probably discontinue this post.  Mainly, my iTouch is screwy with its play count.  I am not sure why, but there is no way possible that I listened to one song over 1,300 times in one month.  I am not sure why that happened, but I reset the play count every month and refresh my playlist with new music every month.  So, for the play count to be nowhere near accurate defeats the purpose of talking about what I listened to most this month.  December will be my last post on this topic.  For now, here is what my iTouch thought I listened to the most in the month of October.  I can’t say I disagree…I just disagree with the number of times played.

10.  Symphony XWhen All Is Lost – I still can’t get enough of this album.  It is more than likely going to be a top 5 of 2011…easily.

9.  OpethHaxprocess – Although not my favorite Opeth album, I don’t think its as bad as some folks made it out to be.  It’s actually great as a 70s prog album.  But we all know what kind of Opeth we want to hear.  Next time…I hope.

8.  Machine HeadI Am Hell (Sonata in C#) – What an amazing opener for Unto The Locust.  This whole album has great potential for my #1 of 2011.

7.  Amon AmarthDoom Over Deadman – Surtur Rising is another great album release of 2011.  Nuff said!

6.  NightwishThe Poet and the Pendulum – Not sure how this popped up so much on the playlist, but it is a great song.  We should see something new from Nightwish in 2012.

5.  NevermoreThe Termination Proclamation – I never got into this band until this album.  I am glad I did, but also bummed that they done.

4.  Dream TheaterOutcry – Dream Theater is back!  Can’t wait to see them next year.  In fact, my tickets just showed up today and planning to take my son to his first show.  Nothing like spreading the gospel of metal to the generations 🙂

3.  Megadeth1,320′  – This is probably one of my favorites on Endgame.

2.  Chimaira – Scum of the Earth – Chimaira took a bit of flack on some sites, but I dig this album a lot and I am quite happy that they were able to keep the machine working despite a heavy turnover in personnel.  Again, can’t wait to see them next year.

1.  TriviumWatch the World Burn – Another one that took some flack.  In Waves is not their strongest album, but it’s still good music.  This is probably going to at least be in the top 1o for me at the end of the year.

So what’s been causing the ringing in your ears this October?  Is there anything on my playlist that surproses your or something you haven’t heard in a while?  Whatever is your metal pleasure, let’s hear it.  Perhaps you will introduce me to something new.  Have a great night!

iTouch Report – August 2011

Much like last month, one particular band dominated my top 10.  It’s no surprise since a couple of metal albums were released in August in the form of Trivium and Chimaira.  Both bands complete albums were the top two bands on my iTouch this month.  Instead of listing the songs out I will do it like this.  My favorite song on the new Trivium album (In Waves) is Caustic are the Ties That bind.  My favorite song on the new Chimaira (The Age of Hell) is Born in Blood.  At least at the moment that’s where it stands. 

So let’s highlight 10 other songs that scored high on the playlist in no particular order

Jasta – Walk the Path Alone

Six Feet Under – Murdered in the basement (good for working out)

Nevermore – The Termination Proclamation

Nevermore – Without Morals (my favorite on the album)

Opeth – Hope Leaves

Stone Sour – Imperfect

Megadeth – How the Story Ends

James LaBrie – I Need You

Pain of Salvation – Of Two Beginnings

Metallica – To Live is to Die


Song of the Week – Emptiness Unobstructed

Nevermore is a band I would  like to get to know better.  Unfortunately there is too much new music coming out to get a chance to listen to their library.  I have listened to The Obsidian Conspiracy more than any other Nevermore album though.  I am a relatively new Nevermore fan.  I like this album a lot and when I listen to it I actually feel something.  Whatever they put into their music does have an effect on me so that’s got to be good.  There is a lot of emotion in their music whether it’s one of their slower tunes or speedy melodic metal masterpieces.  The musicianship in this band is outstanding, but who am I to tell you something you probably already know.  The Obsidian Conspiracy is my first album from Nevermore and I wanted to share this song with you this week.

When pondering the complexities of life just remember that the world is just a spinning ball of confusion and we are just a small part of that.  Have a great week.

Theme Thursday – A Decade of Thrash

What is your opinion of the standard thrash recipe?  Do you think thrash as become weak over the years, stayed the same, got better, or a little bit of everything?  Does thrash make you want to puke or snap your fingers…snap your neck?  The theme for this week is going to focus on thrash from 2001-2010.  Not so much the bands themselves, but the songs that define the music.  I will cover the last 10 years with a few words on what’s out in 2011 already. Part II of this theme is that all the songs I talk about fit onto one CD-R.  If you like the tunes I picked it makes for a great mix.  I  will let the playlist do the talking and by all means feel free to comment.

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Do You Know What I Like?

When I refer to “You” I am talking about my iTouch.  That’s what this article is about; what my iTouch plays on random for me on a daily basis.  I work in a comfortable office so I have my little radio I connect my iTouch to every single work day.  I also use my iTouch every single time I go to the gym.  I DO NOT workout without music.  I will literally walk right out the door if I forget my headphones or something like that.  Anyway, I do listen to some certain bands during the day when I have that desire; However, mostly, it’s on random so I can be exposed to as much metal as possible…because I need it.  If you are not a metalhead you will never understand so stop reading now.

I decided to look at which songs get played the most.  So I connected my iTouch to the computer, opened iTunes and looked at some numbers.  I am going to list the top 10 songs here and talk about them.  Now I can’t remember the last time I refreshed my iTouch so I was a little surprised to see how many times some of these songs played and the disparity between #1 and #10.   If you are a statistician I have 548 songs on my iTouch (cause I couldn’t afford one with more gigs).  So 10 songs represent roughly only 2% of the metal library on my iTouch.  Here goes…

#10 – Hellyeah – The Cowboy Way – 64 plays.  This is a good rocking song.  I wouldn’t throw the term metal out there for this band.  Hellyeah are one of those bands that just rock…like you should be chilling with a beer in a bar with Hellyeah in the background.  Some people give Hellyeah a bad rap because they say they aren’t heavy enough.  I guess heavy is in the ear of the beholder.  I saw Hellyeah at Download 2010 and they rocked it.  Plus, it’s great to see Vinnie moving on and doing what Dimebag would want him to do.

#9 – Nevermore – Emptiness Unobstructed – 65 plays.  This band is fairly new to me.  This song rocks, I like Warrell Dane’s singing style.  It is unique and I think it sets apart Nevermore from other metal bands.  I would like to see them live.

#8 – Dream Theater – In The Presence Of My Enemies Pt. 1:  Prelude/Resurrection – 65 plays.  I can never say enough about these musical geniuses.  I am not surprised they are on the list. 

#7 – Megadeth – Head Crusher – 68 plays.  Head Crusher kicks arse and so does the video.  I would have volunteered to get kicked in the face by that female cage fighter.  Oh me, I’ll do it?  I guess a prerequisite was to look like a cage fighter and that…I do not.

#6 – Dream Theater –  A Nightmare to Remember – 68 plays.  The beginning of this song could have been the intro to a Cradle of Filth song.  It’s heavy then it segways to more classic DT song and style; all 16+ minutes

#5 – Jordan Rudess – The Grand Escapement – 79 plays.  Dream Theater’s keyboardist.  He’s got some good stuff and if you like DT you should try Jordan out.  He’s one talented bloke.

#4 – Stratovarius – Darkest Hours – 80 plays.  This band is still new to me so I can’t distinguish by the song title which song this is as I type this article.  So I will intentionally listen to it tonight and probably go…oh yeah that is a good song.

#3 – Slayer – Dead Skin Mask – 80 plays.  Hello Mr. Gein; nuff said!

#2 – Megadeth – The Hardest Part Of Letting Go; Sealed With A Kiss – 129 plays.  A slow one for Megadeth, but a powerful and meaningful song.  Mustaine (in his book) said he wrote this for his wife, played it for her, and she said she didn’t like it.  I like it.

#1 – Megadeth – Foreclosure of a Dream – 260 plays.  Like a fine wine; classic Megadeth.  No surprise here.

I guess it’s plainly obvious what some of my favorite bands are.  If you know me you know Megadeth is #1.  Statistically speaking this experiment isn’t entirely valid for the simple reason that some bands have been on my iTouch longer than others.  So what I am going to do for fun is wipe my iTouch clean every month and load fresh stuff.  Then at the end of each month take a look and see if my iTouch knows what I like.  I encourage you to do the same if you have a digital player of some sort.  It could bring up some interesting conversation.  See you at the end of February with a new list.  I need to start deleting.

Song of the Day – The Obsidian Conspiracy – 28 Jan 11

I only just got into Nevermore fairly recently and I like what I have been hearing.  The song The Obsidian Conspiracy off the album of the same name is a great metal song.  It is one of the first Nevermore songs I heard and I liked it right away, thanks to Yungvirticus.  For a Friday The Obsidian Conspiracy is a great closer.  Have a great weekend.

Top 10 of 2010 by Plantera7

The year is about to close, and I am about to lose internet until Sky gets me online at my new house; so I thought I would post my top 10 of 2010 to close out my year in metal.  The only rule is that the bands I select had to release an album in 2010 and I have to own it.  Sorry, I can’t buy everything so this is comprised of music I own which was released this year.  Ok here goes:

Number 10:  Death Angel – Relentless Retribution

This is a quality CD and easily the best DA has put out since Act III 20 years ago.  Placing Relentless Retribution at number 10 on my list is in no way degrading this CD.

Number 9:  Helloween – 7 Sinners

Perhaps benefitting from its recent release, this album beat out some other tunes I have been listening to all year so that says a lot about helloween…a band I lost track of for more than a decade.  7 Sinners is a great album and will be in my car stereo rotation for some time to come.

Number 8:  Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy

This is one band I only just got into this year.  I wish I had heard them years ago, as they do seriously rock.  The Obsidian Conspiracy impressed me greatly.  I like their musical diversity. They cross the lines between metal and prog – only their songs are much shorter.

Number 7:  Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy

I have mentioned before that I am glad Corey and Co. do not sound like their other band Slipknot.  Audio Secrecy is a bit more toned down than Stone Sour’s previous material, but it is still great music.  I have a lot more appreciation for Corey Taylor after seeing him solo at Sonisphere this year.  The dude is talented.

Number 6:  Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

This is another band I only got into in the last year or so.  They are super talented and every time I listen to Kamelot it is an experience.  There is so much more to their music than just some dudes playing instruments.  The range of guest singers on this album is a real treat.

Number 5:  Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

What can I say about Maiden?  At their age you would think they would be putting out another album just to keep their livelihood going, but these dudes hit the nail with the hammer with The Final Frontier.  It is really a throwback to some old school Iron Maiden; quite impressive.

Number 4:  The Sword – Warp Riders

The Sword takes that 70’s metal sound and updates it.  You can easily hear that Austin, Texas blues-rhythm in their music.  Warp Riders is a great album and if you like that old school grungy (not Seattle grunge) metal feel you should like this album.  It’s a great 70’s meets modern rock fusion.  They do this quite well!

Number 3:  James LaBrie – Static Impulse

It may seem I am biased because I am a huge Dream Theater fan, so naturally you would think I would love James LaBrie.  Truth is, I only heard his solo stuff this year for the first time.  The best thing about James LaBrie is that he does not sound like Dream Theater.  Static Impulse impressed me right from the start and I find myself listening to this album quite regularly.

Number 2:  Bullet For My Valentine – Fever

Again, a fairly new band to me.  I actually did not like BFMV the first time I heard them.  I can’t remember which song got me into them, but I started buying their stuff and listening to them regularly.  I like BFMV like I like Trivium.  They are a no frills metal band.  They just rock and there is no more or less generalized way to put it.  The only thing I don’t like, and it’s probably the record company’s fault, is that the singles released to the public tend to be more “pop” sounding than the rest of the album.  I think it’s just a cheap way to market to the masses, and like I said, I think record companies push that on the bands.  So if you base your like or dislike of BFMV on what you hear on the radio or see in videos, try picking up an album you might be pleasantly surprised.

Number 1:  Overkill – Ironbound

I am a huge Overkill fan, but I am also not afraid to say music sucks when it sucks.  Overkill has put out a fairly steady flow of music over the last decade or so.  Some of it was good, some great, and some not so great.  I love the band and I am a fan for life, but I will tell you this; Ironbound blew me away.  I was so surprised at this Overkill release.  I figured it would be standard predictable thrash which is not a negative comment.  Ironbound is just one truly heavy album.  If you haven’t heard it yet it will stomp you in the gut.  Whether you are a new or old fan, Ironbound will not disappoint.

So there you have my personal top 10 of 2010.  So what didn’t make the cut?  Well, not to say that any of these bands are bad, but the top 10 above gave me warm fuzzies more than these bands that didn’t make my top 10 – Korn, Soilwork, Sabaton, Kingdom of Sorrow, Apocalyptica, Fear Factory, Cradle of Filth, Hellyeah, Flotsam and Jetsam, Soulfly, and Dimmu Borgir. 

There were numerous albums that were released this year and what I have presented is only a small chuck of what I purchased in 2010.  So if you think I missed out on something that you think was super great let me know. I am all ears.  I hate to miss out on good music so I am happy to hear any input.  Thank you and have a great 2011.  Personally, I will be looking forward to new releases I know are coming from DevilDriver, Dream Theater, Trivium, Anthrax, and hopefully Megadeth.