Tag Archives: Metallica

Avenged Sevenfold Pull From Their Influences to Create, ‘Hail To The King’

The metal community came together in 2009 to support Avenged Sevenfold after the death of their drummer, James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan. It was a sad time to be a fan of the band, but the band rebounded quite well with the release of their fifth album, Nightmare in 2010, which the band was working on at the time of the Rev’s death. The drums on the album were completely recorded by former Dream Theater drummer, Mike Portnoy. After some touring they announced a new drummer, Arin Ilejay, would be touring with them. In 2013 they made Ilejay a full-time member, and is now featured on the band’s latest album, Hail To The King.

Hail To The King is very different from the band’s previous work. It has a very classic rock vibe with a lot of their influences displayed prominently throughout the record. It is unclear whether or not this was intentional or not, but some of the tracks are clearly shoutouts to the bands that have influences, Avenged Sevenfold. The first track, “Shepherd of Fire”  is a clear example of this as it sounds like a mix of “Raining Blood” and the bells are reminiscent of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

Next up is the album’s title track, “Hail to The King.” The intro to this song this sounds like AC/DC’s “Thunder Struck.” But this new track sounds like Maiden throughout the guitars yet has an Avenged Sevenfold feel due to the vocals provided by M. Shadows. who sounds excellent. This track moves at a steady clip, but could have been brought up several BPM. The guitar playing by Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengance is excellent. Lyrically M. Shadows is on par with many other metal vocalists and lyricists.

“Doing Time” is a great track that reminds a great deal of Guns n’ Roses. I don’t hate it. And Honestly I can say I don’t mind it. Rock needs a track like this to clear out all the crappy radio rock that is played these days (i.e. Theory of a Deadman.) “This Means War” is up next and this track also lends its self well to comparison of other classic metal songs. This song particularly makes one think of the classic Metallica tune “Sad But True.” “Requiem” is the fifth track on the album, and is one of my favorites on the record. It has a very old school vibe which is awesome. It reminds me of “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin in the orchestrated part too.

The next track really slows down, and is entitled, “Crimson Day.”  It’s also one of the best tracks on the record, as it shows that M. Shadows is a great vocalist. And also shows the great melodic guitar playing of Synyster Gates. “Heretic” is the next track on the album, and this one is definitely influenced by another Big 4 band, Megadeth. It sounds without a doubt like “Symphony of Destruction,” write down to the punishing bass line. There is also a part that sounds like Megadeth’s “Hangar 18.” Again I don’t hate it, in fact I quite enjoyed it.

The next track that really caught my ear was the final track, “Acid Rain” which is a beautiful ballad centered around a piano very reminiscent of so many great songs, but the thing is they made it their own and came up with a great song.

Hail To The King, is a great album and will stand side by side with their best work. They have mastered the formula that includes many of their influences and created their own signature brew.

avenged-sevenfold-2013

Avenged-Sevenfold-Hail-to-the-King

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Newsted Release New Song, “Heroic Dose”

Jason Newsted has been instrumental to the thrash scene since the mid 80’s when he played with one of the best underground thrash metal bands, Flotsam and Jetsam. Newsted then came to the forefront of thrash metal when he took the bass slot for Trash Metal’s forefathers, Metallica, after the tragic death of Cliff Burton. In 2001 Newsted left Metallica, after differences with both James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. After he left Metallica, he played in his band, Echobrain and played bass for a short period for Ozzy Osbourne. Newsted  then joined Voivod under the stage name, Jasonic.  In 2009, Newsted was present with Metallica when they were inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

In the 3 years since the Rock and Roll induction ceremony, Newsted has been honing his sound for his latest project, Newsted. Newsted released Newsted was originally a metal three-piece that includes Newsted on bass and vocals, Jessie Farnsworth on guitar, and Jesus Mendez Jr.  Staind Guitarist Mike Mushock joined Newsted in March.

Recently the band released the first track from their upcoming debut album, Heavy Metal Music. The track is titled “Heroic Dose”  and runs at about five and a half minutes long.  It starts out nicely with a riff that reminded me of Testament, especially the vocals which reminded me of Chuck Billy. Newsted’s voice is great for thrash, and it’s a shame that it was barely used when he was in Metallica. Around the three and a half minute mark we get hit with great dueling solos, that really make this track stand out in extra ordinary fashion.

Be sure to check these guys out and look for new music from them this summer. They’ll be on tour with Megadeth this summer, so be sure to check them out if you’ll be attending Gigantour.

-B. Harlow 

newsted

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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:

metallica_press-photo

Quebec-Magnetic

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,