Friday, January 31, 2014

Over My Grave, Nicolas Waldo, Metal Anger, Pad Mosh, Open Mind, Leonardo Esjaita, Ariadna Project, Dream The Electric Sheep, Vaselyne, Barbus, The Sand Collector, Diavolopera, Mad July, Tight Leash, The Elements, Starbreeze, Ashelyn Summers, May & The Black Lamb, Kaine, Loverlorn Dolls, Morpheus Rising, and Eden Shadow

Some good and legally free heavy metal music over at Don’t Pay Music…

Today’s listening pleasure…

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Roine Stolt, Bullet For My Valentine, Egypt Central, Nasty Habit, Ninetails, Christopher Franke, Circus Brimstone, James LaBrie, Joe Satriani, Widek, Bonnie Raitt, Stone Sour, Bad English, Badlands, Josh Groban, Anglagard, Adelita's Way, Steven Patrick, Anomaly, Dokken, Depeche Mode, Taproot, Steve Vai, Sisilain, Cuerock, Zentraedi, and Unexpect

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted what albums I have been listening to, so here’s the speed review…

#nowplaying Roine Stolt “The Flower King” … The album that started legendary neo-progressive band, The Flower Kings. There is a lot of magic to this album, and some of the songs are still the Roine and band’s best. Easy to see how this helped fuel the prog-rock resurgence. But, I will say that there are later band albums that I prefer end to end and that have held up better over time.

#nowplaying Bullet For My Valentine “Fever” and “Temper Temper” … Two amazing albums with slightly different approaches to their sound, but still 100% BFMV. Love how this band combines classic thrash-metal riffs with modern glam-core vocals. Contemporaries are hard-pressed to match these hooks and melodies.

#nowplaying Egypt Central s/t and “White Rabbit” … Two great modern hard-rock albums with slightly different styles. Shame this band broke up.

#nowplaying Nasty Habit “Nasty Habit” … Modern hair-band trying to pull off the same cliché riffs and vocals in the today. Not horrible by any means, but not memorable.

#nowplaying Ninetails “Blue Bottle Flu” single, “Rawdon Fever” EP, and “Slept And Did Not Sleep” EP …

#nowplaying Christopher Franke “Babylon 5: Sleeping In The Light” … Easily my favorite soundtrack album. I loved the television series and I’m an Tangerine Dream fan, so it’s only natural that I’d like Christopher Franke orchestrating a series of B5 soundtracks. And the B5 theme (slightly altered for each of the 5 seasons) really captured the drama of the show. Ironically, this episodic soundtrack doesn’t contain the theme like all the others do. “Sleeping In The Light” was the series finale where Captain Sheridan joins the First Ones in the light. The episode didn’t have battle-scenes or high drama, but was a perfect ending to the B5 saga and the love story with Delenn, and this soundtrack captures all that emotion. This is one of my “get in the zone at work” albums.

#nowplaying Circus Brimstone “Live – BrimStoned In…” … The Flower Kings live without vocals. How could you go wrong? These classic TFK songs minus the vocals are just as engaging.

#nowplaying James LaBrie “Static Impulse” … One of my favorite albums. Such an incredible return to glory for the Dream Theater vocalist.

#nowplaying Joe Satriani “The Extremist” … “Summer Song” is easily Satriani’s best song ever and the entire album is engaging, but “The Extremist” is not my favorite Satriani album.

#nowplaying Widek “Aurora Borealis,” “Multiverse,” and “2010 Songs” … Instrumental djent done right. Couple vocals tracks thrown in for good measure, but the guitar riffage from this band grabs me every listen.

#nowplaying Bonnie Raitt “Souls Alike” … I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of her albums since “Nick Of Time,” except this one. The first track is engaging enough, but the album just has no energy, no groove. It’s like Bonnie was too tired to record an album. Real shame.

#nowplaying Stone Sour “House Of Gold & Bones, Part 2” … I have always liked Stone Sour. In fact, hearing Corey Taylor in Stone Sour made me go back and listen to Slipknot again. Still like Stone Sour better, but anyway… Corey’s vocals are amazing on this two part release. Energized songs. Thought provoking lyrics. Strong recordings.

#nowplaying Bad English s/t … So the album has lost a little of its luster since its 1980s heyday, but still some incredible sing-along tracks here.

#nowplaying Badlands s/t … I was so excited when Adrenaline Mob recently covering “High Wire.” This debut Badlands album was (and still is) amazing. The second album took them away from heavy melodies to a more bluesy sound, which was still solid; but after that, Badlands was never the same. RIP Ray Gillen.

#nowplaying Josh Groban “Closer” … Easily his best album, preceded by too traditional of a classic opera album and then followed by albums filled with opera masquerading as pop music. “Closer” is a masterpiece of melody and emotion.

#nowplaying Anglagard “Viljans Oga” … Considered the band that kick-started the modern prog-rock phenomena . And regardless of how sporadically they release studio albums, Anglagard are pure genius.

#nowplaying Adelita’s Way s/t … Went back to this debut album after liking the more recent “” album. More pop, less edge, but still quality hard-rock.

#nowplaying Steven Patrick “Red Reign” … I was a huge fan of Holy Soldier, regardless of which vocalist. If you liked Holy Soldier’s “Last Train” album, you’ll love Steven Patrick’s solo album. Soaring vocals over AOR hard-rock music; not too different in style from the first two solo albums from Michael Sweet (Stryper).

#nowplaying Anomaly s/t … Heavy but melodic prog-rock in the vein of Tiles and other progressive bands in the late 1990s and early 2000s that didn’t know whether they were prog-rock or prog-metal. Amazing songs and introspective lyrics. Incredible Led Zeppelin cover track.

#nowplaying Dokken “Back For The Attack” … Such an epic album, considered by many to be their last relevant release. 60 minutes of music was a lot for a hair band album back in the day, often even by today’s standards. And George Lynch was at his peak with impossibly catchy grooves laced with ridiculous solos and virtuoso.

#nowplaying Depeche Mode “Violator” … In the 1990s, I thought this album was the start of a new sound for the band; mach 3, if you will. But listening to it 23 years after its release, I realize that it’s just the perfecting of what the band started on “Black Celebration.” “Clean” is one of my favorite songs of all-time for its simplicity and emotion.

#nowplaying Taproot “Long Road Home” … This is a band that I rarely remember to listen to, even though I have most of their albums and even though I thoroughly enjoy all of Taproot’s albums from end-to-end. Their first two albums were in-your-face and raw, but so well executed; heavy, but melodic, with the successful single “Poem” being the epitome of excellent songwriting. Every album after that has been enjoyable, but at the risk of trading in that intensity for more radio-friendly melody. If this was the first Taproot album I heard, I would consider this a great hard-rock album. But I want them to return to their more progressive emo-core roots.

#nowplaying Steve Vai “The Ultra Zone” … For the first five tracks, this is a Steve Vai album, not unlike his first two solo albums that took him out of David Lee Roth’s shadow and into the limelight. Expect incredible guitar harmonies, weird guitar noises, and narrative voices on top of brilliantly simply melodies. But the rest of this album is a prog-rock gem with Steve dropping some excellent vocals. Who knew?

And today’s listening pleasure…

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Led Zepagain, Steamforged, Grandhorse, Prospekt, Radiance, Alter, Dream Steel, Dire Insanity, Turned To Stone, Brutal Hand, Warder, Leviathan, Silent Voices, Emphatica, Thought Sphere, Vitriol, Sebas Honing, and 2014 Grammys performances

Today's listening pleasure...

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