Sunday, April 26, 2009

MOTD - Alter Bridge: Metal or not metal, this song kinda kicks ass

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Alter Bridge
Song: Ties That Bind
Album: Blackbird
Style: Heavy metal/Hard rock, alternative metal, post-grunge
country/location: Orlando Florida
release: 2007

Since the birth of metal, there has always been the debate of what is metal and what isn't. Was 80's hair/glam metal? Was/is Korn ever a metal band? Why isn't Slipknot considered metal, they're heavier than Iron Maiden? Is metalcore a metal genre or not? Now my opinion on a lot of these questions and in general is yes, but I don't usually argue them to the ends of the earth (with hair/glam metal being a notable exception for it is a metal genre!). Now I present to you a track that I consider metal, but many others might not. Surprisingly it comes from a band that used to be called Creed...

This band Alter Bridge is essentially the instrumental parts of Creep plus singer/guitarist Myles Kennedy. I don't know much about their first albums, but this song sounds nothing like the old Creed. First of all, it's heavier and more riff/groove oriented. None of this radio friendly slow stuff. The riffs sound almost power metal in origin, the main one being particularly kick ass (at least I think so). The other main difference is Myles sounds like an strong, but melodic rock vocalist, opposed to whiney, teeth clenched, Eddie Vedder-sounding style of Scott Stapp. It's a very clean but still heavy style that works well for fast paced, chugging verses and the anthemic chorus. The chorus is so damn catchy and epic, I love it. I suppose that many elitist metalheads will argue against this, and when I first got introduced to this, I was skeptical too. Now it's one of my favorite tracks and it gets stuck in my head way too often! haha

Alter Bridge - Ties That Bind

Saturday, April 18, 2009

MOTD - Zerfetzer: Warhammer 40k Smashed Hamster sorta

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Zerfetzer
Song: Hammer Smashed Hamster
Album: Emergenza Bonus CD (demo)
Style: Heavy/Thrash Metal
country/location: Paterzell, Bavaria, Germany
release: 2006

Lol! So some of you might remember from like two months ago I had people request themes that I would post a song relating to that theme. Well I've already posted the initial three that I received. There was a fourth that came along that I was tempted to try. Warhammer 40k was the request (or something similar). I came across a song entitled "Hammer Smashed Hamster" and decided that this song was the perfect representation of Warhammer 40k. Even more amazingly enough, I had the track already!

There's not too much to say about Zerfetzer (which means Zerfetzer in German) other than they're a fun and clever German heavy metal band with some thrash aspects. Nothing ground breaking about their music, but they are pretty decent songwriters and create some damn infectious riffs. This song is a hilarious brooding song about a guy who wants to join a Satanic band (metal I'm assuming). So to prove his evilness, he gets a hamster from a pet store with the intention to smash it with a hammer. Of course, he fails in several amusing ways. The music follows the story pretty awesomely going from the brooding dark feel of the verses to a faster almost death/thrash style during the chorus. I'm not crazy about the vocals for this band, but they're far from awful (though his extreme style could use some work). It is nice to hear some full bodied double bass drum. None of this trigger or light tap sounding stuff. It is a catchy little gem of a song. Hopefully a worthy song for Warhammer 40k, but if not, it's definitely worth a listen!

Zerfetzer - Hammer Smashed Hamster

Monday, April 13, 2009

MOTD - Chris Appleton: A Melodic, Shredding, Kick Ass Guitarist

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Chris Appleton
Song: Harley-Quin
Album: The Machine
Style: Heavy Metal/Shred
country/location: Manchester, UK
release: 2005

This post is dedicated in a silly fashion to my friends' cat who is named Harlequin. Harley-Quin is close enough hehe. I seriously did want to post this guy too so it works perfectly.

For awhile, I had a strange curiosity to solo projects. Shred projects, prog projects, etc. Whenever I browsed the metal archives, I'd always stop at the solo artists (specifically full named solo artists like Marty Friedman or Pete Prodoehl). Anyways, I came upon this guy, Chris Appleton, and on a whim, bought his little five song EP. Much to my surprise, it's really good stuff. Shredding, melodic heavy metal without the ego boosting pretension. I mean, the guy is an amazing player, able to shred tall buildings in a single bound, but he's also able to play in a melodic riff-oriented fashion as well. The melodies here are infectious and his incredibly skillful playing works with the composition of the song opposed to be just random showing off shredding that doesn't fit. That said, he does show of a bit and damn he's good. The best aspect about this song is that it's short and to the point. He doesn't drag the song out longer than he needs to. I wouldn't mind hearing a longer version myself, but it shows his restraint by keeping things concise. Chris is definitely a talented musician worth checking out.

Chris Appleton - Harley-Quin

Saturday, April 11, 2009

MOTD - And now for an amusing interlude featuring Nathan Explosion and Zimmers Hole

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Zimmers Hole feat. Nathan Explosion from Dethklok
Song: The Vowel Song
Album: When You Were Shouting At The Devil...We Were In League With Satan
Style: Speed/Thrash/Death Metal
country/location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
release: 2008

Think of today's MOTD as more of an interlude or an intermission or just a random track I felt like sharing or me wanting to post something from work, but can't remember what was next on my list.

A friend of mine is discovering her love for Nathan Explosion and I remembered this hilarious and kick ass little gem of a song/track. Essentially it's Nathan attempting to read a little announcement about how there's a literacy problem in America. Of course, he can't read himself so he just pretty much butchers it and then adds his own commentary. He then introduces Zimmers Hole who come in full death/speed/thrash metal glory singing the vowels of the English alphabet like it's the coming of Satan himself. And in true parody/comedy metal style, the lyrics that follow seem to make no particular sense. Amazingly enough the musical part is really awesome and well done. It's a silly track that's a lot of fun. AEIOU and SOMETIMES Y!!!

Zimmers Hole feat. Nathan Explosion from Dethklok - The Vowel Song

Friday, April 10, 2009

MOTD - Gayang Kulintangan: Tribal/Ethnic Asean Brutal Death Metal Part 2

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Gayang Kulintangan
Song: Kinoposikan do Mondou
Album: Lambayad Naga do Totuvong
Style: Ethnic/Tribal/Avant-Garde Brutal Death Metal
country/location: Sabah, Malaysia
release: 2008

So just over a year ago, I was doing a MOTD series of bands from less-known-metal countries. I posted this incredibly unique band called Gayang Kulintangan Revolt, who hail from Malaysia. They create what can best be described as Tribal Brutal Death Metal. Some of you might remember this. The song I posted "Kinoposikan do Mondou" was only a sample, for despite my legal and illegal efforts I couldn't find the full track. I said that I'd post the full song if I ever got my hands on it.

About a month later I get an email from one of the band while googling his band. Henry said that he'd be willing to send me a copy of their album in exchange for three cases of Marlboro Red cigarettes. I was totally down with that, but I later realized that sending them might have some difficulties so I never got around to it.

Fast forward to November when I get a mass message (somewhere I don't remember exactly) from the guy saying that the project had been reformed sorta. Well, it went from a band to more of a one man project reissuing/re-recording the old tracks while expanding upon the ideas. Even better, he was selling a new album/compilation on (links to their page). So I bought it right away. Not only did I get the album, he also sent a second album of stuff which includes a description on how the listening experience should take place and/or it was recorded. Totally awesome!

Well, as I promised, here is the full track of Kinoposikan do Mondou. My description from a year ago still holds true, though this version is even more raw and brutal than before and with even more of a traditional/ethnic feel. It's a beautiful blend of western brutal death metal and Traditional South-East Asean Sounds. With blast beats, guttural vocals, crunchy heavy guitars over layed with Gamelan gongs/instruments, the Kulintangan (a xylophone like instrument), tribal sounding screeches, and other traditional nuances. It's awesome stuff. Like I said a year ago, this is definitely for fans of Nile and like minded bands. And if Henry who emailed me a year ago reads this, thank you for making such creative and awesome music! I can't wait to hear more from you!

Gayang Kulintangan - Kinoposikan do Mondou

Thursday, April 9, 2009

MOTD - Attika: An old school power/heavy metal gem from Florida

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Attika
Song: The Motherlode
Album: Attika
Style: Power/Heavy Metal
country/location: Melbourne, Florida, US
release: 1988

So whenever a friend or buddy of mine goes somewhere, I always look up metal bands from that area. It's a weird quirk of mine, but often it leads me to awesome bands. A month ago a buddy of mine went down to Melbourne Florida, and as a result of my little quirk I discovered Attika.

This Melbourne Florida based power/heavy metal band was active in the late 80s and early 90s releasing two albums before disappearing into the abyss of time. While they weren't the most original band out there, Attika are definitely worth a listen. The guitarist churns out some pretty sick riffs at points and can shred with the best of them. He's certainly no Yngwie, but his solos are more melodic and slightly more blues inspired than the usual 80s/90s soloist. The vocalist is both unique and bland in his delivery. It's a rock inspired natural style with no falsetto or anything. It's nice to hear someone not trying to be Dickinson or King Diamond. The drummer is pretty good and the bassist comes through doing his thing at points. There are couple quirks to this track like a thrashy solo section that transitions into a country/blues-esc section that morphs back into heavy metal riffing. It's kinda random but pretty awesome. Attika is not a classic band by any means but they certainly are a gem worth checking out.

Attika - The Motherlode

Monday, April 6, 2009

MOTD - Up and Coming: Heaven and Hell

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Heaven And Hell
Song: Bible Black
Album: The Devil You Know
Style: Heavy Metal
country/location: New York/Birmingham
release: 2009

(sorry, another bout of writer's block haha, I apologize!)

Well this is sorta a first! The first time I've posted a song before the album release! Also the first time I've posted a "single" hehe. I figured that along with the old and previously released, I should post some up and coming stuff once and awhile. And what better way to do this, than with one of the more anticipated albums of the year by a classic but new band! (at least anticipated by me hehe)

That classic but new band is the legendary Heaven and Hell! While the band name is new, you might know these guys better as Black Sabbath. Well the Black Sabbath that featured Dio, Toni Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice (and Scott Warren)! A few years ago, this lineup reunited to do tour together and perform songs from those days under the name Heaven and Hell (as not to infringe upon the original Ozzy-fronted lineup). The creative and metal spark was so strong that this group of metal legends decided to record a new album. This song comes off of that album that comes out in April.

These musicians are still in full glorious metal form! Dio sounds the best in years, still incredibly powerful is his vocals while not being overly aggressive. Just the perfect blend of melody and evil. Iommi is still a master of the riffs, churning out powerful, awesome, crushing audible doom. Geezer is in full form laying down the low end backup to Iommi. Vinny Appice isn't the most incredible drummer in the genre, but his simplicity works well with the music created by the band. This song is an awesome combination of pure doom heaviness, rock sensibilities and evil storytelling. With lyrics like:

"He reached for a book all bound in leather
Something that he knows he's never read
And the first page says beware you've found the answer
The next one says I wish that you were dead..."

A little cliched, but still awesome! (totally love that part!) The track is a natural evolution and continuation of the style and sound they created with the three songs they did for The Dio Era best of package. The song starts off slow and haunting before exploding into dooming epic-ness. It's infectious and wonderfully singalongable (I found myself singing along with it). It's weird, the first couple listens I absolutely loved this song, but after awhile it started to drag in parts. Now it's one of my favorite songs and I'm totally excited for the new album. See what you think!

(note: It seems that I acquired a "radio-edit" of sorts. This track is about 4 minutes 30 seconds while the full track is 6 minutes. Think of it as a long teaser and get the full track with the album when it comes in at the end of April!)

Heaven and Hell - Bible Black