Blog Archives

Themed Thursday – Collaborations

I like when masters of the metal world collaborate to make music.  A couple decades ago the word duet would have been more appropriate, but every time I hear the word “duet” all I can think of is Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.  So, let’s call these a collaborative effort between metal musicians.  Sometimes it can be an epic fail, but more often than not they usually create a great new song or even breathe new life to an older song.  This week I am looking at collaborations I thought were done quite well.  I know there are much more collaborative recordings out there, but that’s what blogs are about…sharing information.  If there is something not on this list you think should be then please, by all means share and share alike.  Here are a few I thought up held up well over the years.

Read the rest of this entry

Book Review: The Bloody Reign of Slayer

The Bloody Reign of Slayer is a biography by British author Joel McIver.  McIver is well-known in the metal world and has written numerous biographies of metal bands and artists such as Metallica, Slipknot, Black Sabbath, Tool, Motorhead, Randy Rhoads, Deep Purple, and Queens of the Stone Age.  He has also written for Rolling Stone and Metal Hammer.  Currently, McIver is working on co-authoring a memoir of the mighty Brazilian thrasher (Soulfly, Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy), Max Cavalera.

Released in 2008, The Bloody Reign of Slayer documents the life and times of one of metals most successful thrash bands, Slayer.  Crowed one of the “Big Four,” Slayer has seen highs and lows, but one thing always remained constant; their live show was intense both on stage and in the pit.  I can testify to that no less than nine times (although I do not get in pits anymore, I’m too old and that shit just hurts).

Like many bands of the early 80s, Slayer was carving out their niche with an extreme style that didn’t really have a label yet.  Some called Slayer ‘black metal” before that genre really took new form by the Norwegian black metal scene.   The term “thrash” hadn’t been coined yet.  Metallica was on the loose making waves of their own which was described as the catalyst for Slayer to be faster than them.  I say they succeeded quite well.  From their first album, Show No Mercy to their most recent World Painted Blood, Slayer has remained relatively constant musically.  In fact, Slayer built quite a reputation as the band no one wanted to play in front of for fear of being booed off stage.  I saw that first hand as well.

Read the rest of this entry

Slayer To Hit The Studio Mar/Apr 2012

For Slayer fans, you will be delighted to know that the quartet will be hitting the studio in March/April 2012 to follow up 2009’s World Painted Blood.  There isn’t much else I can say about this except that I am looking forward to it.  This little tidbit I found from Metal Hammer (via YouTube) says it all.  More thrash coming our way in 2012!  Enjoy!

Video of the Week – Balor

Check out this cool performance video by the German melo-deth band Suidakra.  A killer tune from their awesome album The Book of Dowth.  The album tells the story of an archaeologist that is on an expedition and an ancient book is unearthed which has the power to unleash viscous demons upon the world.  The whole story is based around Celtic lore and is quite interesting and well researched.

Here’s a description of what’s going on in the story at the point this song plays from the band’s website:

When Umór and Biróg removed the book from the mound, “Balor”, the evil leader of the Fomorians, regained his consciousness and was re-united with his evil soul. Escaping his prison in the Otherworld beneath the waves, he was determined to reclaim Erin for his race and to rule once more…


Bonus Video

This one popped up on my Facebook wall today.  Just watch it…

Reggie’s (Plantera7’s) Top Shows of 2011

2011 was a great year for concerts, in my humble life anyway.  I had the pleasurable experience seeing so many of my favorite bands and several new ones.  I feel fortunate enough to live somewhere (for a while) where I can pick and choose which shows I want to see.  I didn’t always have an opportunity like I do here living fairly close to London.  After 9 concerts and 24 bands, I have narrowed my favorite shows to seven.  Here is the pool of candidates:  Black Label Society, Godhead, Overkill, Destruction, Heathen, After All, Children of Bodom, Ensiferum, Machinae Supremacy, Amon Amarth (twice), Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax (Big Four), Iron Maiden, Trivium, Septic Flesh, As I Lay Dying, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Cake, Machine Head, Bring Me The Horizon, and DevilDriver.

Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

Big Four, Knebworth, U.K. – Concert Review

The Big Four finally made it to the United Kingdom and I was one of the lucky one’s that got to be part of such a historic metal experience.  The weather was perfect (except a bit windy) and the set lists were fantastic.

The Sonisphere crowd was ready to rock…obviously having skipped whatever they had to skip to be there early on a Friday afternoon.  By the time Anthrax hit the stage it was packed.  The people of England and all those that travelled here wanted to hear the Big Four!  Fans let their presence be known.  The Big Four unleashed unto England the true power of thrash.  Let’s get this review going and talk about the bands.

Read the rest of this entry

Theme Thursday – War is Hell

War is never a pretty picture, but an unfortunate and inevitable part of our existence.  Whether for resources or religion, wars have been some of the darkest parts of our history.  Because of that darkness, metal bands especially have used war as ingredient in their metal mastery, often with great success.  This Themed Thursday is going to focus on bands that have taken a dark subject matter and turned into a form of musical art.  Sometimes it’s heavy; sometimes it isn’t.  This is not intended to glorify war, but to show you how bands use their music and their videos to portray war as they see it.  Like the written word, the story of war is told many many ways.

First up is Slayer.  Slayer sings about war over and over, but in this case I love what they did with the video Eyes of the Insane.  I like it because you see war through the eye of whoever’s eyeball that is you see through the entire video.  As the viewer you get to see what the protagonist sees.  I think this particular video is very well done.  I like the part around 2:42.  See for yourself.

Read the rest of this entry

Theme Thursday-Unlikely Covers

Cover songs are a great way for a band to show tribute to their favorite artists, and move out of their comfort zone and have some fun with their music without having to compromise the integrity of their core material.  Here’s a list of some covers done by metal bands that step out of what the bands core sound and cover something that is a little different for them, some of the covers are “metalized” some hone the spirit of the original, but in the end, they’re all pretty damn good covers.  And if you dig the cover version, check out the original, more times than not it’s a great song.  If you know some more unlikely covers let us know in the comments and let us know what your favorite were. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal

Read the rest of this entry