The early 1990s of metal were a veritable free for all. In the years preceding the Nu-Metal age, there was definitely a push back if you were trying to be unique and blending genres of metal in any way. If you were anything beyond a typical thrash or hardcore band, with a few exceptions (some death metal, Faith No More) you might have been shunned. In the case of Type O Negative, they didn’t just innovate and try new things, they kicked the goddamn door in and blew us all away. They never did this more than on 1993’s Bloody Kisses (Roadrunner) album. Mostly eschewing the straight up thrash hardcore of frontman Peter Steele’s previous band, Carnivore, Type O was a swampy, sexy mix of Black Sabbath doom riffs, Beatles melodies and The Cure meets Sisters of Mercy Goth rock. The sound would shift the landscape and make unlikely stars of arguably the greatest band to ever emerge from Brooklyn. Continue reading
The tale of this story has been told over an over so much at this point, they have been ingrained in the metal lore for all time. Back when Lars Ulrich put an ad in the Recycler newspaper to form a band for a compilation he talked his way on to. A lanky young guitarist named James Hetfield answered Ulrich’s ad, not knowing the ripples the two of them would make for the next four generations of musicians and fans. Just a few short years after naming their band Metallica, the band released their debut album on Megaforce Records, Kill Em All. Without re-tracing every step and beat you already know about if you are a fan, let’s step back and admire the debut album from Metallica from a high level, on the thirty-fifth anniversary of its release. Continue reading
What do you do for an encore when you have released arguably the greatest album in metal history, at the zenith point for the genre? Well if you are Slayer, you blow people’s minds and release South Of Heaven (Def Jam) as the follow-up to Reign In Blood (also Def Jam). Although some of its slower mid-tempo jams threw fans for a loop, Slayer’s fourth album is full of gritty, true to life bangers and classic tracks. Let’s revisit this masterpiece which turned thirty years old today. Continue reading
Overlooking their first three widely celebrated albums (at least for now), the latest remasters courtesy of Noise Records arrive in the form of the final two studio releases from thrashers, Coroner. Continue reading
Thirty-five years ago this week, Iron Maiden released Piece Of Mind (EMI/Capitol) cementing their legacy as arguably the best band ever in heavy metal. Their second album with Bruce Dickinson, following the spectacular success of Number of The Beast, the band was certainly under pressure for the much-anticipated follow-up. After leader/bassist Steve Harris wrote most of Number, the group chose a more collaborative approach on the new album. In addition to new drummer Nicko McBrain (ex-Trust/Pat Travers) who’s powerhouse drumming has buoyed the band ever since. Continue reading
At the start of 2003 there was a rumbling in the underground that would reshape the musical landscape for the next generation. Lamb of God was coming off of their brutal New American Gospel (Prosthetic) album after transition from their debut album as Burn The Priest. Ears were not prepared for As The Palaces Burn (also Prosthetic), which smashed expectations and brought the band an army of fans that that are still passionate about them today.
Thirty years ago today, Living Colour released their debut album Vivid (Epic Records) on an unexpected heavy music community and changed music history. After a few years of slogging it out in different bands in 1980s New York City, four virtuosos came together like Voltron to form a superior band that challenged the notion of what a band could do, and be wildly successful at it. They certainly weren’t a and overnight success or a flash in the pan, or a one- hit wonder, but they did have a legit hit record, at the same time ar Guns N Roses were blazing up the charts and clubs, hair metal was de rigor and thrash had yet to break through with Metallica. Corey Glover, Vernon Reid, Will Calhoun, and Muzz Skillings (who departed the band after their sophomore release in 1992), poured so much heart and soul into this album you can almost taste it. Continue reading
The year was 1993 and the times they were a changing. The generational pull of Gen X was underway and a new American President ushered in a hopeful, new time for a while. Some of the cultural touchstones of the time included a weekly science fiction program about aliens and monsters dominated prime time in The X-files, the best comedy in ages, Groundhog Day reminded us why Bill Murray was and is a goddamned national treasure, and Jurassic Park was the most dominant movie in half a decade. Also, a little known “alternative metal” band from Los Angeles, by way of everywhere else named Tool hit the scene with their début full-length album and changed the course of modern music. Oddly those particular references to pop culture coinciding with Tool’s ascendance from the underground to popularity all signal a weird synchrony that was represented by the band and the music they brought to bear.
Thirty years ago this week The Pixes dropped their début full-length album, Surfer Rosa (4AD/Rough Trade), and changed alternative rock eternally. The eccentric, genius-level talent in the band made for a lot of well-documented personality clashes between the members, but what was left when the shouting was over was undeniable. Although there were many alt-rock bands founded in the 80s that would have a lasting impact (See also: Joy Division, Husker Du and Sonic Youth for starters), the ascendance of the most infamous non-punk band from Boston that would go from playing smokey clubs on Landsdowne Street to opening for U2 and touring the world in a few short years cannot be understated. Continue reading
Born from the Hollywood glam scene in the 1970s, the best classic rock musicianship in history, and a nod to punk rock independence, Van Halen burst on the scene and changed the face of music overnight. It may have been a foregone conclusion to those that saw them at the time that they would “make it”. However, once the album became a runaway hit, it was the template for the band’s entire career, and the impetus for the next few generations of rock and metal bands as well. Continue reading