Monthly Archives: August 2008

Metallica Feature in The New York Times

Pick up your copy of today’s New York Times to check out the special Metallica feature, “Some Kind of Refined Monster.”

The article discusses the song writing on Death Magnetic with the recent concert in Bucharest as its setting. If you are a Metallica freak, then this article really does not break any new ground. But if you need to brush up in time for the release of Death Magnetic, it is definitely worth a reading.

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Flashback: John Lennon Rocks Madison Square Garden [1972]

On this day, in 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono played a charity show at the “most famous arena in the world,” Madison Square Garden. Some of the tracks from this performance appeared on the Live In New York City album [Source: garylessard.com]. Here is the performance of “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” from that legendary show.

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Flashback: Black Sabbath Debuts On The US Charts [1970]

This time in 1970, Black Sabbath’s debut LP reached it’s peak on the US charts at #23 [source:rockhall.com].

There really are no words to describe the importance of this record on rock music. This album marked the official birth of heavy metal. I don’t think there is a rock and roll soul in the world that does not own this album in some form.

Check out this amazing footage of the band performing “Black Sabbath” in Paris, 1970.

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Review: AC/DC "Rock 'N Roll Train" [2008]

AC/DC released the first single from Black Ice titled “Rock ‘N Roll Train.” After several weeks of watching the silly YouTube impersonations of the song, it was refreshing to hear the studio version.

The song begins with a classic Angus riff, followed by steady drums and bass, which cues up the Brian Johnson growl. It is a basic rock n roll blues song with a sing along chorus. The Angus guitar solo is a little weaker than usual; I figured after waiting 8 long years he’d unleash more fury. Overall, true fans of AC/DC will not be disappointed with this track. 7/10

The song is currently streaming at the AC/DC MySpace page.

Rage Against The Machine Perform During 2008 Democratic National Convention

Rage Against The Machine performed a free protest show in support for the Iraq War veterans on August 27 at Denver Coliseum. Following the concert, the band led a march from the Coliseum to the Pepsi Center where the Democratic National Convention is held throughout the week. RATM also plans on performing in Minneapolis during the Republican Convention on September 3.

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Lemmy: The Movie Teaser Trailer

Motörhead released Motörizer on Tuesday, August 26. After a quick listen, I can say that this album is 100% solid rock and roll, no different from the last 19 albums.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the “Lemmy: The Movie” teaser trailer below [warning: adult language]

Bonus: Here is a classic riddle for your rock and roll soul:

“Who’d win in a wrestling match: Lemmy or God?” Airheads [1994]

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Track-By-Track Review: DragonForce – Ultra Beatdown [2008]

“Heroes Of Our Time” is the speedy opening track to Ultra Beatdown which could have easily fit on any DragonForce record to date. In fact, it sounds exactly like anything from Inhuman Rampage. If you loved the last record or the ending of Guitar Hero III, then you’ll love this tune as well. DragonForce still sounds like Journey on steroids, singing about eternity, star chasers, and colliding oceans. The guitar solo races at a ridiculously fast speed…or ludicrous speed to all you “Space Balls” buffs. 7/10

“The Fire Still Burns” begins with keyboards and vocals while the guitars enter at lightning speed. The song speaks of winter and fallen angels, and even a journey ever after. This band has kept to the formula that worked so well for them on the last record; if it ain’t broke then don’t fix anything. I am unsure how to express the different parts of the song in words; it’s just not worth trying. They play fast on record, real fast. 7/10

“Reasons To Live” does not have as great of a fast intro as the previous tracks but is still cool. One of the things that sets this band apart from other modern speed Metal bands is that the singer can actually sing, and that is something I really appreciate. DragonForce proves that a band can play fast and heavy without lacing death grunts throughout their songs. This tune has a really cool and twisted mid-section with a progressive feel; picture Dream Theater playing their instruments on a haunted old abandoned carousel. It is one of the best parts of the record. 7/10

“Heartbreak Armageddon” starts with a drum roll into keyboards and guitar. You think the song is going to be a ballad compared to the other tunes then, SMACK! all chaos ensues. I am unsure how the band can tell these songs apart because they are almost identical at this point. I guess this song would be the one with the mellow guitar break in the middle, or the one with the cool title. 7/10

“The Last Journey Home” also begins with a fast guitar intro and continues to go fast. There are some good sing-along “Woah-ohs” in this tune followed by a slower arpeggiated guitar part. The song stops 2:30 in for a refreshing lead guitar buildup. The riff towards the end reminds me of the main one in Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon” [Bark At The Moon]. 7/10

“A Flame For Freedom” is one of the best songs on the record. It stands out with its vocal harmonies, a pleasant piano part, and glorious guitars. I guess we can call this one “the ballad.” If you were to buy just one song from this album, this is the one. It also happens to be the shortest on the record at 5:20. 9/10

“Inside The Winter Storm” goes back to speed demon guitars and drums. It has a softer interlude with clean and acoustic guitars, then goes back to the insanity. There is a great chugging-along riff at the 4:20 mark. You can tell this band has a blast playing these songs. 7/10

“The Warrior Inside” closes Ultra Beatdown. It begins with a funky keyboard intro in the style of Andrew W.K., then the song administers rapid fire assaults of guitars and drums. It really is an ultra beatdown. This song contains the most entertaining keyboards on the album and is my second favorite track next to “A Flame For Freedom.” 8/10

Average Track Rating: 7.4/10

DragonForce is ZP Theart [Vocals], Herman Li [Guitars], Sam Totman [Guitars], Vadim Pruzhanov [Keyboards], Frederic Leclercq [Bass], and Dave Mackintosh [Drums].

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Review: Metallica "My Apocalypse" [2008]

Yesterday, Metallica generously uploaded another track from Death Magnetic to metallica.com. The song is titled “My Apocalypse” and is the third song from the upcoming release that we have been exposed to since August 8.

“My Apocalypse” has an …And Justice For All feel to it; the intro guitar riff and drums summon the evils heard in “Harvester of Sorrow.” The song is fully equipped with thrash guitars, fast drums, and ferocious vocals. There is also a start-stop tempo in the middle after the shredderiffic Kirk Hammett solo. James Hetfield’s voice sounds better than ever on this track, or at least the best since the Black Album. 8/10

So far, Metallica is batting 3 for 3 [“Cyanide,” “The Day That Never Comes,” “My Apocalypse”] leaving us fans really excited for the release of Death Magnetic on September 12.

On a side note, the band has been using the internet in a very appropriate manner to promote this record and have been showing more care than ever to their fans since the Napster debacle. Cheers!

Listen To ZZ Top Eliminator Collector's Edition For Free

Rock legends, ZZ Top, are reissuing their classic record Eliminator on September 9, 2008. Included with the release are some live versions and a DVD featuring the famous music videos from the 1983 album.

If you act now, you can stream this release at AOL’s weekly listening party. Make sure you check in with classics “Gimme All Your Lovin,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “TV Dinners,” and “Legs” if it has been a while. Remember, these free streams are only available for a limited time.

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