Monthly Archives: December 2012

Alice In Chains’ New Song, “Hollow”

Alice in Chains is set to release a new album in the spring of 2013, but recently the band released a track from this new album entitled, “Hollow.” This is the first track to be released off the new album, which is being produced again by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Trivium). The yet to be titled album will be the band’s fifth studio album and second without original vocalist Layne Staley.

Let me just start off by saying that “Hollow” is a great song if you like music that is a mix of stoner or doom metal and grunge. The song starts off with some feedback that soon launches into a very chorus soaked grunge riff that is accompanied by heavy drums and bass. This intro section concludes and the song goes into a very sludge or stoner metal influenced verse where the instruments chug along at a very lethargic pace that is kept tight by the rhythm section of Mike Inez and Sean Kinney. But then the chorus comes in and picks up things with Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall’s harmonized vocals. This sequence repeats itself one more time and then the listener gets a great guitar solo at 3:43. This solo continues until we hit another verse and chorus which marks the end of the song.

I look forward to hearing more of this album, and I hope that this is just a sample of more great music that is set to come from the four-piece.

-B. Harlow

Alice in Chains 2013


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Metallica’s New Concert Film, “Quebec Magnetic”

On Halloween night of 2009, Metallica played a concert in the city of Quebec on their extensive World Magnetic Tour. Recently the band released the concert on Blu-Ray and Dvd, and let me say this is a great concert movie, but else would you expect from the San Francisco thrash giants.

The movie is shot in excellent quality, and is done in a professional manner. It is definitely was not shot guerrilla style as many of today’s concert movies are, as the shots and angles seem like they are well planned, and the band doesn’t seem to let the camera crew get in the way of putting on a great performance for their loyal fans. This is all thanks to Director, Wayne Isham [Cunning Stunts, S&M] who presents a great film.

The film starts with the great intro music of “The Ecstasy of Gold” a classical piece by contemporary Italian composer, Ennio Morricone. This intro music is accompanied by film footage of the city of Quebec along with short clips of the band getting ready. Eventually this music concludes and the band launches into a performance of the song, “That Was Just Your Life” off of 2007’s, Death Magnetic. This song is great when it comes to performance, but what caught me was the excellent light show throughout the song. The band followed this up with a performance of “The End of The Line” off of the same album. The band sounds great especially on the soft part of the song.

Metallica then launched into the thrash classic, “The Four Horsemen” which was originally written by Megadeth main-man Dave Mustaine, and titled “The Mechanics.” The band performed the track excellently, and you can tell that they had found their groove at this point. The band continued on with the track, “The Shortest Straw” which I thought sounded excellent, except when it came to James Hetfield’s vocals.

The arena went dark, and then we hear gunshots, and pyro. Any Metallica fan will tell you this means that the classic, “One” is about to be performed. As the clean arpeggiated chords and solo creep out of Hetfield and Kirk Hammett’s guitars the viewer can’t help but get chills. I found that this was one of the best performances on the film, and quite enjoyed how well the band pulls off the loud/quiet/loud dynamic, and also the bridge of this song always makes any listener happy.

The band then launched into a performance of the track, “Broken, Beat, and Scarred.” I found that this track was kind of mediocre, and was very hard to pull off, as the gang vocal, lead vocals, and riffs sounding weak and sloppy. But this performance was redeemed when the band followed it with the track “My Apocalypse” which is a great track that is even better live. After the song Hetfield gives a shout out to the openers, Volbeat and the mighty boys from Richmond, V.A., Lamb of God. Hetfield then addresses the audience, and asks them if they wanted ‘Something Heavy’ and the band delivered with an incredibly tight performance of their song, “Sad But True” off of their 1991 self-titled album which is often referred to as the Black Album. The band then goes into another classic, “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” off of 1986’s Master of Puppets. This is definitely another great performance of a classic Cliff Burton-era Metallica Song.

The band then played “The Judas Kiss” which is one of my least favorite tracks by the band, but the guitar Hammett was playing was pretty cool, but as a said the only good thing about this performance was that it ended. Hammett then played cool solo featuring pieces of the great Scorpions song, “Sails of Charon.”  This lead into a performance of the song “The Day That Never Comes” which is one of my favorite tracks off of Death Magnetic, and also one of my favorite music videos ever.

Metallica then played two tracks off of 1986’s Master of Puppets the first being the epic thrash title track, “Master of Puppets” which was very tight and showed the bands musicianship especially Hetfield’s tremendous Rhythm and melodic lead playing. The harmonized solo between Hetfield and Hammett also sounded amazing. The great “Battery” was played next and the band was on all cylinders as they sped through the thrash classic.

The stage clears, and Hammett plays another solo which leads into a great performance of the band’s best ballad, “Nothing Else Matters.” This song is played expertly by the band and sounds just like the recording, but Hetfield’s vocals are often off pitch.  This is only a small flaw, but does not take anything from the performance. This track is followed by the epic metal anthem, “Enter Sandman” which finishes off the regular set quite well, and leaves the audience wanting more. The band delivers again with an encore consisting of a cover of “Killing Time” by Sweet Savage. They continue their encore with performances of the thrash classics, “Whiplash” and “Seek and Destroy” which are a perfect way to finish the set.

Overall I think this is a great concert film, and I think that it has a great audio and visual presentation. The audio is actually better on some of the live versions of tracks from Death Magnetic than on the actual album which was poorly produced. Be Sure to check it out!

-B. Harlow

Check Out The Full Film Below:



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iTre! – The Best for Last of Green Day’s New Trio of Albums!

This album completes the trilogy of albums that Green Day has released in the past 4 months.  And personally, they saved the best for last.  The album is titled iTré! as a play on words with drummer Tré Cool’s name and after iUno! and iDos!

iTré! Opens with “Brutal Love.”  This song rocks.  It reminds me of “Restless Heart Syndrome” off of 21st Century Breakdown, and is a good first impression of this third album.  Next up is “Missing You” which sounds like good old Green Day with power chords and palm muting just like old times.  Third is “8th Avenue Serenade.”  This is definitely new Green Day, but still has their root elements in it.  It’s good new, not bad new.  After that comes “Drama Queen.”  This one is slower with a nice acoustic intro and change of style with a piano solo in the middle which fits perfectly into the song followed closely by a nice guitar lick.  Up fifth is “X-Kid.”  This one is average.  It fits pretty standardly into any of the new albums.  Number six is “Sex, Drugs, and Violence.”  I like this one cause of how the vocals and music harmonize.

To start the second half of the album is “A Little Boy Named Train.”  This song is good.  Long time Green Day fans will appreciate it as well as new aspects. Eighth on the album comes “Amanda.” I like this song as well.  (like I said, this album surpasses both iUno! and iDos! )  Next up is “Walk Away” which is about facing problems and being the bigger person.  It does sound like new Green Day but I‘m not saying that’s a bad thing.  Tenth is “Dirty Rotten Bastards.”  It opens with Billie singing “Yeahhhhhhh” but with a lot of flourishes.  It will be a good one in concert definitely.  It sort of falls under the “American Eulogy” (21st Century Breakdown) category.  It has a bunch of quick chord progressions and vocals meshed together into one song. It’s Mike’s song.  There are so many bass solos and a pretty sweet guitar solo as well.   I really like this one.  Second to last is “99 Revolutions.”  The way that this song flows is particularly well, and the song is rather pleasing to auditory sense .  It works.  It’s Green Day doing what they do best: making music.  Lastly is “The Forgotten.”  This song is awesome it consists of just a piano and some orchestral backing like violins and cellos with Tré’s drum keeping beat.  Then the guitar comes in for a fitting solo.

This album is straightup kickass.  It totally beats the crap out of both iUno! and iDos!  (reviews for them are also on MD)  It is just as good as 21st Century Breakdown (given, some people didn’t like 21st ,but I did.)  iTre! is a great album.  I’m quite pleased that Green Day didn’t disappoint with their trio of albums.  I wasn’t too stoked on iUno! or iDos!, but iTre! definitely made up for its predecessors’ shortcomings.  Hopefully Green Day will announce their new tour dates (because they cancelled their 2012 and 2013 shows due to front-man Billie Joe Armstrong’s rehab.)

Z. Guida


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Ghost Release New Song, ‘Secular Haze’

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the hard rock and heavy metal world you know that one of the hottest bands out is the Swedish cult metal favorites, Ghost. Ghost is a masked band featuring  a singer who goes by the name of Papa Emeritus, and a band of ghouls. The band released their debut album in 2010 entitled, Opus Eponymous, which made the band an instant hit among metal listeners looking for something different. Ghost also got high-profile endorsements from people in the metal scene including Metallica’s James Hetfield and Down frontman, Phil Anselmo. The band also got to play onstage with Down last year (2011) at Download.

On Sunday, Ghost debut a new song called “Secular Haze” during their show in Linköping, Sweden. Today the band uploaded a studio recording of the track which will presumably appear on the band’s follow-up to Opus Eponymous . The song starts with an organ riff that sounds like it would be played at a carnival from your worst nightmare. It is soon joined by drums and guitar. Eventually the vocals join, but around the 1:34 mark the song gets very melodic within the music and vocals. Around the 3:15 mark there is a great musical interlude which ends in another verse, which then goes into another chorus, but with this chorus the song ends.

-B. Harlow

Get a free download HERE



Ghost live at Cupolen in Linköping, Sweden, where the throne of Papa Emeritus I was usurped by Papa Emeritus II at the end of Genesis. Papa Emeritus II is the apparent successor to singer Papa EmeritusIt is believed to be the same vocalist playing an updated version of his character.


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Quick Artist Profile: Nadia Kazmi

With a voice that is a mix of Soul and pure Rock and Roll it’s almost impossible to go wrong. This is the combination that Candian artist Nadia Kazmi plays with. Her voice and music is a mix of both grit and smooth beauty, which is reminiscent of artist from the 60’s and 70’s, but she is not a novelty act by any means.  She brings something new that adds to the music of the past, yet still respecting and honoring her idols.

She has released two records so far the first of which was called, Arrival, and was released in 2009. The album was crafted by Nadia, Alex Elena, and Josh Valleau. The album mixes poetry with awesome vintage style grooves all with a modern feel. One of the best tracks on Nadia’s first release was “Mothers” a track that moved slowly like a blues number, but was so clearly a modern song. One of the albums other stand out tracks was the title track, “Arrival”. This track sounds like a soulful Elton John track, but with a beautiful melody put over by Nadia.  Another standout track is, “My True Love” who’s strong beat and keyboards keep the listener enticed.

Nadia’s second album is a lot different from most other artists’ sophomore release, as she chose to do a collection of covers. She chose to put a collection of songs of fellow Canadian songwriter, Leonard Cohen. On this album she puts together nine carefully picked tracks, and she put her own spin on each of them. Most notably, “Came So Far for Beauty” with its fuzz-tone guitars really stands out.

If you want to listen to a modern artist with a vintage feel Nadia is definitely the artist for you. You will not be disappointed with her mix of actual poetry and music that add so much to the listening experience.

-B. Harlow

Check out the Music Video for “Julian” Below:

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Artists On The Rise: Lord Huron

I often stumble around the internet looking for new music, yesterday I happened to stumble upon a great band called Lord Hurron. Lord Huron started off as a solo project, but soon turned into a full band with Singer-songwriter Ben Schneider, Mark Barry on percussion and vocals, Miguel Briseno on bass, Brett Farkas on guitar and vocals, and Tom Renaud on guitar and vocals.

I was so impressed by the music when I found Lord Hurron, that I instantly downloaded a lot of their music and was blown away by the projects uniqueness and feel. The project which released their first EP, Mighty returned this year with their great full length album, Lonesome Dreams which features ten great tracks. Schneider says that the album is actually the product of reading a series of books called Lonesome Dreams which are Western tales by George Ranger Johnson an author, that doesn’t exist, but in Schneider’s mind, but the visionary would be able to produce the series in hard-copy  But will they ever be produced? That remains to be seen, but until then we have some great music to listen to.

-B. Harlow


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Quick Artist Profile: Menomena

Menomena is a great two piece based in Portland. Oregon. The duo consists of multi-instrumentalists, Justin Harris and Danny Seim who share singing and songwriting duties. The bands formed in 2000, and were originally a three-piece until Brent Knopf left the band in 2010. Justin Harris and Danny Seim who had played together kept on playing music together, just as they did when they were in high school.

Menomena self-released their debut album, I Am the Fun Blame Monster! in 2003. It was later distributed by Portland-based label FILMguerrero. The band released their sophomore album in 2005 entitled, Under an Hour. The music on Under an Hour was all instrumental and consisted of only three tracks.  In 2008 the band released their third album Friend and Foe on The Seattle Based Label, Barsuk Records which lead them to also sign with City Slang for European distribution. The album also received a Grammy nomination for “Best Recording Package.” In 2009 the band released their fourth album, Mines, which was quickly followed by a world tour. This tour was followed by the band’s latest album, Moms which came out in September 2012 and was the band’s third release on Barsuk Records. If you like great music, Menomena is definitely a band you should check out!

-B. Harlow



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RIP John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell Abott

December 8th is a sad day in the music world as it is the anniversary of two murders. On this day in 1980 John Lennon was gunned down in front of his apartment. In 2004 nearly 24 years later almost to the moment we lost the great, Dimebag Darrell, guitarist of legendary metal band, Pantera, when he was tragically murdered on stage. Today we remember these amazing musicians.

John Lennon’s “Imagine” the title track off of 1971’s Imagine

Pantera’s “Hollow” off of their 1992 album Vulgar Display of Power


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Who Is The White Buffalo?

One of my favorite shows is the FX network series, Sons Of Anarchy. On the show’s season finale last year they chose to feature a haunting rendition of the Leadbelly song, “House of The Rising Sun.” The song more closely resembled The Animals cover of the song, but had a very cool   bluesy feel and altered lyrics to fit the story of the show. It was truly one of those songs that fit the show perfectly. What I really wanted to know was, who was behind this awesome rendition. At that moment I stumbled across The White Buffalo.

The White Buffalo is actually the stage name of singer, Jake Smith. Smith has a big voice, and he knows how to use that gift to display tremendous songwriting and storytelling talents. His songs encompass blues, country, folk, and at points straight up rock. What I enjoy about Smith most is his amazing lyrics and singing ability. His songs vary in topic from things such as everyday life, to various outlaw characters. His ability to tell stories through his songs reminds me a lot of Bruce Springsteen.

Smith has put out two full lengths and three EP’s under the White Buffalo moniker. Most recently he put out the full length album, Once Upon A Time in The West. The album consists of thirteen songs, and also produced two singles, “BB Guns And Dirt-bikes” and “Wish It Was True.” The songs on this album take the listener back to when all was good and when vagabonds traveled the countryside, much like Smith’s stage-namesake, the buffalo.

Anyone that likes music would enjoy The White Buffalo. I hope that this man continues on his great path of success.

-B. Harlow

Check Out The Music Video for “Wish it Was True” Below:

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Local Music Monday: Our Interview with Seth David Christian From Our Burgundy

A few months ago I asked a group of local bands if they’d like to do interviews for Musically Diversified. One of the bands that responded immediately was the Connecticut based two piece, Our Burgundy. I then listened to their EPs and was blown away by the originality of vocalist and guitarist Seth David Christian and drummer Alex Herr. Both are influenced by rockers like Neil Young and Nirvana, and this shows throughout their music. Their songs are great and all of their EP’s are recorded on vintage 4 track tape machines which gives the music a real analog tone. Our Burgundy is currently recording their debut full length album, Itinerant Statesmen, and I look forward to reviewing it when it comes out.

-B. Harlow
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