Archive for Metallica

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

I have said many times throughout the journey through 1984, it was the golden year of the golden decade for heavy metal. Many metal bands got mainstream exposure on radio and MTV. Not only that, the exposure gave many metalheads a look into bands that were up and coming or just out of the limelight. One of these up and coming bands was Metallica with their second album, “Ride the Lightning.”

Thinking back to that year, I don’t ever recall Metallica getting any airplay on the radio or MTV. As I listen to the album, I have to conclude that while mainstream media gave many metal bands some great exposure, I don’t think they were quite ready for a band like Metallica, even if metalheads were. After spending the year listening to all the great bands, Metallica was something different but interesting. It definitely had my attention. When I heard this album, I was blown away by the sheer power and hunger of this band.

While their debut album, “Kill’Em All,” just wants to pound the crap out of you, “Ride the Lightning” does offer some, I stress some, melodic moments. One gets that impression on the opening notes of the first track, “Fight Fire With Fire,” because it starts out with a full acoustic intro. However, it goes right into some very hard chords which lasts for three songs. In fact, all the times I’ve listened to the album, I seem to miss where “Fight Fire With Fire” ends and the title track begins. The comes the great “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a loud pounding but at the same time rhythmic tune. I really like this track but I was disappointed when they played it at Donington 1987. It just didn’t grab me the way that it always does on vinyl.

Afterwards comes what I mean about melodic moments, my favourite track on the album, “Fade to Black.” The first half of this song is a near power ballad and while it would be another seven years before we got to hear their most famous ballad, “Nothing Else Matters,” I do hear some resemblances on “Fade to Black.” But it doesn’t stay melodic as the second half of the song goes back to more traditional Metallica soundings. An added bonus is the way that Kirk Hamett rips his guitar solo at the end.

With “Trapped Under Ice” and “Escape,” you get more great Metallica mashing and like the first two songs on the album, you have to listen carefully or you’ll miss where the one ends and the other begins. Then, if you thought your eardrums might get some relief, you’d would be sorely disappointed because “Creeping Death” comes along to kick your ass. This is a power song only slowing down slightly to deliver a more melodic chorus but then goes back to ear bashing. “Creeping Death” is decidedly my second favourite track on “Ride the Lightning.” It may not have the melodic approach of my number one but it lets you know it’s there and says you will like this song. Kirk’s solo on here is very cool too. The album ends with the very interesting instrumental “The Call of Ktulu.” All in all, this is a fantastic album and it reminds me of when Metallica were hard and hungry. The music on “Ride the Lightning” bears witness.

Track Listing:

  1. Fight Fire With Fire
  2. Ride the Lightning
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. Fade to Black
  5. Trapped Under Ice
  6. Escape
  7. Creeping Death
  8. The Call of Ktulu

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Cliff Burton- bass

Lars Ulrich- drums, backing vocals on “Ride the Lightning”

In the opening pages of “Rock and Roll Children,” while the main characters are driving to the first concert in the book, one of them introduces the others to a new band called Metallica. It was the “Kill’Em All” album. Yes, back then, they were still making their way in the world and “Ride the Lightning” provided a springboard that would help launch them to greater things.

On another note, this album has been labelled thrash and speed metal. These were terms which I wouldn’t hear for another year. I just considered Metallica great metal at the time. Furthermore, this trip down memory lane makes me sad that I missed the Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint show. That must have been fantastic.

Next post: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: WASP

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

At this moment, I’m kicking myself for my lack of foresight in these last few posts. Knowing I would be posting about Black Emerald, I should have waited until after my posts about them to visit the Armoured Saint album. This would have made my links to this debut album from WASP and the “Ride the Lightning” album from Metallica more cohesive. Why am I obsessing about this? You may be asking yourself. Well that’s because back in 1984, Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint toured the US together. While I didn’t see this package, something I duly regret, I heard some amazing accounts of the shows and that’s why I wanted to post the 1984 releases from these three bands in succession. After all, it is part of our metal history.

The second this album was released, it became the subject of much controversy from the American religious right and eventually groups like the PMRC. The first target was the track “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast).” If you bought this album back in 1984, this track wouldn’t have been on it. Reason being was that it caused such an uproar with the zealots that Capital records decided to pull it from the album. Wimps! Therefore, I’m going to rewrite history a little an include it here because it is my all time favourite WASP song.

On the original copy, the album begins with the single “I Want to Be Somebody.” This was the song that actually got a little airplay on the radio and it is good. I don’t know how he does it but Blackie Lawless manages to write tunes with a catchy vibe to it. Fortunately, Blackie and the band don’t veer too far from that formula on the rest of the album. It is certainly there on the follow up track “L.O.V.E. Machine,” although the following track “The Flame” isn’t quite as catchy as the last two but not a bad song in any way. “B.A.D.” has a a very cool opening riff and possibly the best guitar solo on the album.

If offending the religious fanatics wasn’t enough, WASP had to go and have the America right question their patriotism. The track “School Daze” starts with a class full of children reciting the pledge of allegiance, which some attacked them for. However, if they bothered to listen to the lyrics, they would know that it’s about the drudgery of high school and nothing unpatriotic. The pledge of allegiance was there because that’s how the school day begins in America! Not that that ever bothered me because right after the pledge, the song goes into some hard  riffs and it’s possibly the heaviest song on the album.

WASP’s formula ticks things over very nicely on “Hellion.” It’s a cool track but nothing about it stands out from the other songs on the album. Afterwards though, comes the weakest link on the album. Now most of you know, I love a good power ballad and “Sleeping (In the Fire) is a brave attempt at one. However, Blackie doesn’t have the voice for singing such songs. He sounds to strained as if his voice is going to crack at any second. It is redeemed by a great guitar solo.

Three really good songs close out the album. I especially like how “Tormentor” begins with the guitar solo but keeps its pace throughout. It’s my vote for the hidden gem on the album and “The Torture Never Stops” makes the best closer for the album and gets the runner up vote for hidden gem.

Track Listing:

  1. Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
  2. I Want to Be Somebody
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. The Flame
  5. B.A.D.
  6. School Daze
  7. Hellion
  8. Sleeping (In the Fire)
  9. On Your Knees
  10. Tormentor
  11. The Torture Never Stops

WASP

Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, bass

Chris Holmes- guitar

Randy Piper- guitar, backing vocals

Tony Richards- drums, backing vocals

The debut album from WASP would be a tool used by the religious right to wage war on rock music all throughout the 1980s. Like KISS, idiots would say that the band’s name was an acronym for We Are Satan’s People and We Are Sexual Perverts. While I am still lmao about this thirty plus years on, I still enjoy what a great album their debut was.

Next post: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Metallica- Kill’Em All

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-metallica_-_kill_em_all_cover

God, I’m thinking about the near fatal gaff I made back in the summer which would have caused me to write about this fantastic album in the wrong year. Never should have allowed myself to have been misled by Hit Parader. Then again, the article wasn’t about Motley Crue so they were bound to be misleading. Furthermore, I didn’t hear of Metallica until 1984 and experienced their second album before this one. Anyway, now that’s history, I can pontificate on what a great album, “Kill’Em All,” Metallica’s debut album really is.

It certainly is a great album. Back in 1983, Metallica were hungry and not weighted down by what they thought listeners wanted or dictated to by corporate record producers. That fact surely shines through on the entire album. Some have argued that this album came out when Metallica were good. Nah, I say they’re still good, it’s just back then, they just didn’t give a fuck. That attitude was what got this album and their next three into hearts of many a metalhead like me.

“Kill’Em All” might not sound as polished as other albums but that’s a good thing here. It opens with a thrash sounding “Hit the Lights,” which opens things up very nicely. If I had listened to it when I should have, I would have embraced thrash right then and there. Probably my favourite track on the album, “The Four Horsemen,” defines what Metallica both were and would be come. The song may be over seven minutes long but it’s not one that has you looking at your watch waiting for it to end. Especially with all the changes in it. “Motorbreath” has my favourite Kirk Hammet guitar solo from the album on it.

After “Jump in the Fire,” which is a good song, I just can’t explain why, comes the very intriguing bass instrumental compliments of the late, great Cliff Burton. It’s very interesting to say the least and it paves the way for some more really good thrash tunes. There’s a cool intro on “Whiplash” while “Phantom Lord” is straight ahead thrash and my second favourite here. Things only seem to improve on “Kill’Em All” after that. I love the intro to “No Remorse” with the lead guitar wailing away before the crunching rhythm sets in. A trademark that many thrash bands have copied ever since. Hearing it, I am of the mindset that Kirk owes some of his lead guitar greatness to the rhythm support provided by James Hetfield. Things don’t end there! The albums closes out with not one but two great songs, “Seek and Destroy” and “Metal Militia.” Both are great! It can be said that in 1983, Metallica thrust themselves and thrash upon America.

Track Listing:

  1. Hit the Lights
  2. The Four Horsemen
  3. Motorbreath
  4. Jump in the Fire
  5. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
  6. Whiplash
  7. Phantom Lord
  8. No Remorse
  9. Seek and Destroy
  10. Metal Militia
Metallica

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammet- lead guitar

Lars Ulrich- drums

Cliff Burton- bass

Whether or not the world was ready for it, Metallica brought something new and fresh with “Kill’Em All.” A raw, ferocious sound that would influence many thrash bands for years to come. I do regret not listening to the album in the year it came out but I’m glad I got it now.

Next post: Fastway

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Anvil Got Dropped on Gloucester

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s been less than 24 hours since I went to Gloucester to see the metal delights of Anvil. To make a long story short, Anvil totally kicked ass at the Guildhall in Gloucester, UK. However, it wasn’t only a great night on account of Anvil, the two bands in support played their part in making metal history in Gloucester.

It was close, after fighting loads of traffic in my home town of Stroud and then trying to find a parking place in Gloucester, (Geography lesson: Stroud and Gloucester are about ten miles apart), then walking to the Guildhall, waiting in line only to be told that the tickets I ordered on line were waiting for me at the door, getting there and quickly buying my t-shirt, we got there just in time for the opening band.

Classic French metallers, Mystery Blue, opened things up very nicely. They are a five piece band front by lead singer Nathalie Geyer. While the sound sometimes made it difficult to tell, she does have a very good voice. But she is assisted by lead guitarist Frenzy Phillipon who knows a thing or two on how to smoke a fingerboard. Together with a sound rhythm section, Mystery Blue got the crowd in the mood for metal that night. While I can’t remember all their songs, the two that stood out were “Running With the Pack,” not a cover of the Bad Company classic and the title track from the latest album, “Claws of Steel,” which ended their half hour on stage exceedingly well. I’d definitely recommend this band and I was going to go out on a limb and say that Mystery Blue were the best thing to come out of France since Gojira but after a look on their website, I found they have been around longer than their mentioned countrymen.

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Second up was German thrash metal band Rezet. While I can’t say that they were the best thing out of Germany since The Scorpions, Accept, Bonfire, Helloween, Kreator or Doro, they were a brilliant band nevertheless. The first thing I noticed about Rezet was there was a definite early Metallica influence here and I’m not just talking about their sound either. Their look was the same as Metallica from that era. I remember an article in Hit Parader, (Motley Crue Magazine), in 1985 which stated that Metallica looked like they belonged in the high school detention class. Rezet were just as youthful looking and like the band mentioned, they played like they were just as hungry as that band was in 1985.

Rezet compounded the assault on the audience with some really good thrash. The comments about detention hall kids definitely applied to both guitarists who traded off solos on some songs and played individual ones on others. Frontman Ricky Wagner proved to be both a good singer and guitarist but the rest of the band played their part too. The most memorable song was “Gargantua,” which as dig at modern politics and they closed with a tribute to Lemmy by playing the Motorhead classic, “No Class.” This is definitely another band worth checking out.

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Rezet coming down the the finish

Rezet coming down the the finish

Everything I expected from Anvil went away as soon as they hit the stage. Things started with Lips going into the midst of the crowd to play and he got a very welcoming response as he jammed away for several minutes. When he got back to the stage, I thought, “Okay, now they’re going to play ‘Metal on Metal,’ they didn’t. The first official Anvil song of the night was “Sex” but it got the crowd going. Also my prediction that they would play many of the songs from their latest album proved to be wrong. They only played two, one was “Daggers and Rum,” a ditty about pirates and I can’t remember the other one but Robb Reiner played a really cool drum solo on it. “Winged Assassin” from the last album I posted about did get played and right after another song from the same album, “Free As the Wind” which Lips dedicated to Lemmy. He also mentioned that Lemmy once invited him to join Motorhead but Lips declined because he was in Anvil.

From the outset, Anvil were out to have a good time during the 90 minutes they were on stage. They didn’t care about the small venue because everyone inside was cheering them on. Lips especially was enjoying things and yes, he pulled out the sex toy and used it to play guitar to “Mothra.” Unlike the documentary however, this one was battery operated and that also produced some cool sounds from Lips’ guitar. Even without the toy, Lips surprised me by his ability to play. I knew he was good but I didn’t realize he was that good. He really jammed away. Plus, I got to mention new bassist Chris Robertson. When introduced, Lips stated that it was great to have finally found the right bass player after going through so many. I have to say, Robertson is the real deal.

We were treated to a good cross section of Anvil material. The title track from “This is Thirteen plus a couple of songs from “Juggernaut of Justice,” one of them being “On Fire.” While he didn’t open with “Metal on Metal,” it was the last song they did before leaving the stage. The audience wouldn’t have let them leave without playing that one. Then when they returned, a dude behind me and I both started yelling for “Forged in Fire.” Lips looked in our direction and said, “This guy wants us to play “Forged in Fire” so we will play “Forged in Fire.” That made my night totally complete. After that, they played one more song, a cover of the famous Steppenwolf song, “Born to be Wild.” I thought it was a great way to end the night.

Lips in the crowd

Lips in the crowd

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips and Roberson going for it

Lips and Roberson going for it

Chris's bass solo

Chris’s bass solo

Singing to the crowd

Singing to the crowd

Out came the toy

Out came the toy

Here's a better picture of it

Here’s a better picture of it

Robb's drum solo

Robb’s drum solo

The End

The End

In their 39 year history, this was the first time Anvil toured the UK as a headliner. Hopefully after this night, they will be back again to tour even bigger venues because they were brilliant. When coming home from the gig, my step son couldn’t fathom why Anvil weren’t bigger. That is what’s strange.

Next post: A Non Musical Tragedy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Clarifications and Corrections

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

It has come to my attention via Facebook, that in my previous post “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy,” that I may have stated something that wasn’t entirely accurate. In that post, I said that the mentioned debut album from Slayer may have paved the way for bands like Metallica. I have been informed and I have checked and found it to be so that Metallica’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All” actually came out before the Slayer album. Therefore, if anything, Metallica would have paved the way for Slayer.

Slayer

Slayer

Metallica

Metallica

There is absolutely no excuse for not checking my metal facts! I know that this is no explanation nor is it any attempt to be but I remember reading an issue of “Hit Parader” magazine, (I used to call it Motley Crue magazine) in December 1985. That magazine had an article on Metallica and their album “Ride the Lightning” and it being so late in the year, I assumed that this album was released in 1985 and subsequently the debut album “Kill ‘Em All” in 1984. Why I never checked to be sure is beyond me but it is no excuse.

One thing I have always prided myself was unlike Hollywood, I always got my facts right. It was the same way when I wrote “Rock And Roll Children.” The one thing I can take pride in from that book was that it was historically accurate. Therefore, I must humbly apologize to Metallica and Slayer fans for my error and promise to be more diligent in the future.

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Slayer_-_Show_No_Mercy

Excitement and anticipation has me fully in its grasp. In just four days, I’ll heading to Bloodstock for three and a half days of headbanging fun. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a full account of the festival, over several posts, when I get back. With that in mind, I thought it would be fitting to post about two bands playing there who had albums out in 1983 and what better way to start than with the band who will be closing out the festival, Slayer.

One has to bear in mind that in 1983, things were a lot different for Slayer when they released their debut album, “Show No Mercy.” They were unheard of back then, hell, it would be another two years before my knowledge of their existence came into being. On account of that, these guys were hungry and that hunger is reflected all throughout the album. Note: I will probably repeat that fact with many bands in future posts but it is unarguably true here.

“Show No Mercy” is an unbridled explosion of hunger, anger and attitude. Hard crunching guitars, thundering bass, cool guitar solos, maniac drumming and the raw vocals of Tom Araya flow through each and every song. Furthermore, I think that Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King raised the bar for bands with two guitarists trading off solos, phenomenal, although I still think they learned it watching Don Felder and Joe Walsh on “Hotel California.” The songs themselves may seem stereotypical to heavy metal nowadays but then, it was groundbreaking.  Just look at the titles. Satanism, violence and the occult are covered all through the album. If the PMRC existed then, this album would have been at the top of their hit list.  Then when you think you’ve heard everything, they surprise you like the semi melodic riff that begins, “Fight Till Death.” However, because of the fierce power in every song, I find it impossible to pick stand outs. Every song does that in its own right. What can be said about “Show No Mercy” is that the title of the album is perfectly accurate. Slayer show no mercy here as each song is all killer and no filler.

Track Listing:

  1. Evil Has No Boundaries
  2. The Antichrist
  3. Die By the Sword
  4. Fight Till Death
  5. Metalstorm/Face the Slayer
  6. Black Magic
  7. Tormentor
  8. The Final Command
  9. Crionics
  10. Show No Mercy

slayer

Tom Araya- bass, vocals

Kerry King- guitar

Jeff Hanneman- guitar

Dave Lombardo- drums

It has been said that “Show No Mercy” by Slayer paved the way for bands like Metallica. I tend to agree with that analysis. They might not have realised it at the time but “Show No Mercy” introduced thrash metal to an unsuspecting populace although it would take another two years before I would come to know it. No wonder the album was the Metal Blade label’s best selling record by far at the time. Today, the album has got me all psyched to see Slayer at Bloodstock this year and unlike 2013, my stepson promises not to get tired before they finish. I hope they play at least one song from this album, that would be so cool.

Next post: Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Diamond Head- Borrowed Time

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Borrowed_Time_By_Diamond_Head

“Borrowed Time” by Diamond Head another album that passed me by in 1982 but then again, I had never heard of the band until a year later when I came to Britain and happened to see them at Donnington in 1983. While I thought they were okay, I still never got around to buying any of their albums. When I came to Britain to stay in 1986, it was only then I got to experience them because two of my new friends were heavily into them. In fact, one was nicknamed Diamond Head Andy because of his love for the band. Although the character based on him in “Rock and Roll Children” is called Diamond Head Martin. Even then, I can’t say that I really listened to them. That is why, like a good number of the albums of 1982, I am only listening “Borrowed Time” for the first time before making this post.

What is my impression of Diamond Head? Well listening to “Borrowed Time,” my first reaction is Led Zeppelin. It is very obvious that Diamond Head draw a major influence from the great Zep, not that I can blame them for that. Lead singer Sean Harris sounds quite a lot like Robert Plant on most of the tracks and guitarist Brian Tatler has a style very similar to Jimmy Page. The tracks which prove the point the most are “Borrowed Time” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me.” However, there is a little of the Zeppelin influence in the other tracks too and that includes the closer, “Am I Evil” which any metalhead knows was covered by Metallica. But calling Diamond Head Led Zeppelin clones would be grossly unfair and inaccurate. Sure the Zep influence is definitely there but they aren’t clones. Take “Am I Evil” for an example. There is some good power metal riffs in that song that I can see why one of the most famous thrash bands in the world would cover it. The same can be said for “Lightning to the Nations.” That is another song where Diamond Head put their own stamp on it. Comparisons and contrasts aside, I found “Borrowed Time to be a great album to sit back and bang your head to and I have to give credit to Tatler as a guitarist, he can cook.

Track Listing:

  1. In the Heat of the Night
  2. To Heave from Hell
  3. Call Me
  4. Lightning to the Nations
  5. Borrowed Time
  6. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  7. Am I Evil
Diamond Head

                         Diamond Head

Sean Harris- vocals

Brian Tatler- guitars

Colin Kimberly- bass

Duncan Scott- drums

My trip through 1982 has been full of pleasant surprises for me. Because so many albums passed me by that year due to my military commitments, (though I can’t use that excuse here), I have had the pleasurable experience of having to catch up on them. So far, every one of them has been a good experience but I have to say that Diamond Head’s “Borrowed Time” has been the best surprise thus far.

Next post: UFO- Mechanix

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London