Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

Iron Maiden: ‘The Book Of Souls:Live Chapter(2017)

So today at work on my coffee break as I was scrolling my timeline on FaceCrack out of nowhere comes direct from Iron Maiden HQ’s the news that Maiden is releasing a live album to coincide with the recently finished Book Of Souls tour.  Here comes the live album!

Whut???

That was my first reaction. My second reaction was to show my pal at work Deaner the Maiden posting as well!  This came out of nowhere and what a pleasant surprise as the studio album and tour were stellar!

November 17th 2017 is when this bad boy drops and I CAN’T WAIT!

The packaging looks spectacular! Check out the pics below! 

Must also mention that Maiden is going to stream the Concert Video of this album for free at a date to be determined.

The full show recorded at various points round the globe!

The track listing is as follows!

01. If Eternity Should Fail – Sydney, Australia
02. Speed Of Light – Cape Town, South Africa
03. Wrathchild – Dublin, Ireland
04.
Children Of The Damned – Montreal, Canada
05. Death Or Glory – Wroclaw, Poland
06. The Red And The Black – Tokyo, Japan
07. The Trooper – San Salvador, El Salvador
08. Powerslave – Trieste, Italy
09. The Great Unknown – Newcastle, UK
10. The Book Of Souls – Donington, UK
11. Fear Of The Dark – Fortaleza, Brazil
12. Iron Maiden – Buenos Aires, Argentina
13. Number Of The Beast – Wacken, Germany
14. Blood Brothers – Donington, UK
15. Wasted Years – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Posted the live version of Speed Of Light at the top of the page that Maiden dropped today as the lead single from Live Chapter!

Maiden to this day still know how to do it right!

Up The Irons!

Iron Maiden/ Book Of Souls(2015)

Yes folks today I’m cheating with a repost of this review from April 2016! The reason? Well  I’m off to see Maiden Live in Minneapolis tonight(June 16th) and that’s thanks to my brother Todd who got us tickets on a presale as the show sold out in 2 days back in January! So thanx to Todd I’m outta here but fret not…Full Live Review….ASAP!

It wasn’t for the fact that Maiden after 35 years of albums would release a double studio album too psyche me out! Nope! It also wasn’t for the fact that Maiden as per protocol would have some tunes that clock in at 13 minutes and one at over 17 minutes! Nope…

It was the fact that in the credits as it listed the bands  names  their’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson credited with both vocals and piano!

Scccccreeeeeeech…..HALT! Yep my fine readers at Stick It In My Ear that is the difference between Maiden 2015 and Maiden 1985!

If you’re looking for Maiden speed metal  in Aces High from yesteryear just keep on trucking. They can still hold down the Metal Fort thank you very much but their sound has advanced proggy,epic in spots,a different kind of recording beast in 2015!

Just like how Rush stepped up and delivered a classic in Clockworks Angels back in 2012. Iron Maiden step up and deliver what I would say is there best album since Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son(1988)

Rush and Maiden have nothing left to prove but how they managed to step up and release such majestic epic recordings pushing  the age of 60 years young  is mind-boggling but yet for us Lovers of Hard Rock its a win win…..

Bruce Dickinson(vocals) Dave Murray,Janick Gers,Adrian Smith (all guitars) Steve Harris(bass) and Nicko McBrain (drums) are still alive and kicking into The Final Frontier(Ha!) ….No slouching around at Maiden HQ when Commander Harris is at the controls!

IF ETERNITY SHOULD FAIL- Ahhh so the proceedings begin with Bruce and some Voodoo Hoodoo Mayan like vibes. Yep all is fine with the Air Raid Siren and at age 57 his vocal pipes are as strong as ever  and why wouldn’t they be? Before too long the rest of Maiden shoots out of the gate and I like the production courtesy of Kevin Shirley who keeps things dry in other words he doesn’t overproduce  Maiden he keeps things sonically balanced. First thing is that I notice is Harris bass is mixed  down and not that twangy vibe like some sonic beef was added to the grill. Great chorus and Bruce’s vocals just sail over and Frigg his voice is outstanding. Dig how the song shifts into a Steve/Nicko mashup before the solos are launched by the Three Amigos on guitar. What a powerhouse opener as Maiden always deliver on the first song on each of their albums! Stand up and take notice Fokkers! Must also mention that I dig Bruces old creeper voice at the end of this song where he talks…”Good Day My Name Is Necropolis…….” Love it! Also a round of Hip Hooray for a close to 9 minute opener!

SPEED OF LIGHT- When I preordered this album from iTunes they dropped this tune Into my iPod! Read how at the age of 48 I still go Bonkers over these guys! …https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/iron-maidenspeed-of-light/

FYI- I posted a live clip of this tune from Mexico a few weeks back! Check out the crowd at the beginning as you see now nutty the crowd is with beer flinging through the air people just flat-out Rockin! Well done people of Mexico! Plus you see how a frontman aged 57 named Bruce has not lost a step like the frontman  he was at the age 27!

THE GREAT UNKNOWN- It starts off chill with some nice electric picking along with Bruce’s voice and then builds up into a heavy kick of Maiden Prog as Nicko sets the tempo with his driving Sonor drums and the chorus here is the money shot. Bruce soars vocally (Shocker! Not!!) and lifts the song as only he can do. Nice guitar work and as the song wraps up its back to where it began with some nice electric picking and Bruce’s voice!

THE RED AND THE BLACK- How about a 13 minute plus Maiden Attack as Bruce and Steve lead the charge from the get go and now about that guitar that cruises along with Bruce’s vocals during the verses. The Red And The Black has a bunch of music and it gets heavy proggy at the end and when you think it ends it keeps going and why not? Stop? Naaaa when the riffs are rolling keep em rolling! Nice interplay between all three guitars and I’m sure this song will go down a storm  when played live! As per protocol the song ends as it started!

WHEN THE RIVER RUNS DEEP-Kinda could have been on the Somewhere In Time album from 1986 me thinks! The song super charges ahead and theirs Nicko riding that Paiste Cymbal like no ones business. When the song crashes into the verse Maiden slip gears and crank it up with a slower doomed pace with some slick backing vocals perhaps Bruce doubling up but regardless When The River Runs Deep is a great track! Freight Train Maiden Full Steam Ahead!

THE BOOK OF SOULS- 10 minutes of the title track and if you want tempo change look no further! This track sweeps through all kinds of musical landscapes meshed with the Maiden Synth firmly entrenched in the background but not overstepping the boundaries of the guitars of Dave,Adrian and Janick. One of the things I love about  Maiden is right around the 5 minute mark the song does indeed shift gears and that’s thanks to Nicko as he does his smooth as silk drum n tom rolls and Maiden go into the zone and blast off with solos and its back to the Prog but Maiden Heavy Prog!

DEATH OR GLORY-A nice little ditty that kicks ass! It launches right out of the Maiden Gate with all hands on deck! Nicko is smashing the cymbals while the guitars play off each other and man oh man there’s the Air Raid Siren stretching his tonsils and laying down a great vocal. Believe it or not it’s a Maiden tune under 6 minutes! Video is posted so play it please!

SHADOWS OF THE VALLEY- The beginning riff is straight outta Wasted Years kinda and this tune would have fit nice and snug on side 1 of Somewhere In Time! Tons of Maiden synth fill the backspace along with Maiden ensemble! Great tune and better solos. Nice pace as well!

TEARS OF A CLOWN- A song inspired by Robin Williams (RIP)and its a fabulous piece of musicianship,lyrics and voice! It’s all here. Love the  Crispy Crunch sound of the guitars and the amped up Maiden Synth during the chorus. One great track but I have been saying that all along this review haven’t I!?

MAN OF SORROW-A mid tempo track that is paced once again by Nicko and the features a ton of Maiden triple guitar combo attacks and also features some real slick bass playing by one Mr Harris! Nice Cymbal riding at the end of this tune!

EMPIRE OF THE CLOUDS-And Here It Is …Piano! Ha! But well done and played by Bruce(what can the guy not do!) Cellos sweep across the backing of Bruce’s Piano playing and it’s a great hook! Nicko does his marching snare to Bruce’s vocals! Amazing that Bruce composed this tune about a Military Airship ( to understand the scope of this the Titanic could have fit in this Airship!)pre Hindenburg and can keep the song and more importantly us the listener interested as the song clocks in at 18 minutes! Yep 18 minutes! It’s a journey it’s not Metal but Maiden keep it moving as for the first time ever in Maiden History the piano drives the tune!  Epic comes to mind! I know people were going on about Bruce only writing a couple of tracks for Book Of Souls. This qualifies as about 3 plus tunes! Give the guy a break! Ha! Fantastic song! It ends how it started with Bruce at the piano!

Holy Heck Maiden show up yet again and knock me on my ass! A double bubble epic album release. If you’re a reader at Mikeys site you know this was my Numero Uno #1 of album releases in 2015! No one came close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Maiden/Live After Death(1985)

Live After Death is in the upper echelons of my all time favourite Live Albums Period! Still to this day!

Shall we rewind back Somewhere In Time?

A week after my 18th Birthday in October of 1985 Iron Maiden drop on my senses this Double Whopper Of  A Live Album. The Double Whopper being its a Double Album.

Live After Death was released on Friday October 15th 1985 to be exact and I remember this day well as I had seen the ads in Circus Magazine  pre hyping it’s release a month or two before and I was chomping at the bit to go and fetch this upon its release which I did after the school bell rung on that Friday.  Basically barricaded myself in my bedroom with this album for the whole weekend! Frigg ya as Maiden as per their protocol went all out on this album. Cool artwork by Derek Riggs Double Gatefold Sleeve/Tons of Pictures/All the tour dates/Lyrics/Pics/Stats (like how many guitar strings and pics were used and how much booze was consumed) you know the important stuff involving suds! Even the Road Crew schedule was posted!

I drooled as here I am in Tbay with my head fried from my  Grade 12 Sociology Class yet Maiden and band mascot Eddie made me forget the hard trials of school that day and well….

So here it is Iron Maiden recorded over 4 Nights in Scream For Me Long Beach( California ) on there very successful World Slavery Tour 84/85. Plus a an added kicker they released this on VHS Video as well. A  few years back as Maiden released this on DVD with a bunch of extras…. They still know how to package their product!

Maiden Men…

Losfer’s Words & Music…

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Intro: Churchill’s Speech Winston Churchill 1:09
2. Aces High” (from Powerslave, 1984) 4:07
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight” (from Powerslave, 1984) Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson 5:52
4. The Trooper” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) 3:59
5. “Revelations” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Dickinson 5:59
6. Flight of Icarus” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson 3:21
Side 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (from Powerslave, 1984) 13:03
2. “Powerslave” (from Powerslave, 1984) Dickinson 7:06
3. The Number of the Beast” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 4:48
Side 3
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Hallowed Be Thy Name” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 7:17
2. “Iron Maiden” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) 4:11
3. Run to the Hills” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 3:52
4. Running Free” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) Harris, Paul Di’Anno 8:16
Side 4
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Wrathchild” (from Killers, 1981) 2:54
2. “22 Acacia Avenue” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) Harris, Smith 6:04
3. “Children of the Damned” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 4:19
4. “Die with Your Boots On” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson, Harris 4:51
5. “Phantom of the Opera” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) 7:01
Total length: 98:09

YUP! Just over 98 Minutes of Maiden! Now you know why I locked myself in Bedroom with my stereo blasting this album on that cold October weekend! Special mention must be made to my parents who never ever once told me too turn it down but at times they must have wondered what the hell was going on in my bedroom! No worries Folk’s I was on the Flight Of Icarus!

Basically you have the first three sides recorded in Long Beach and man oh man did Bruce trademark the “Scream For Me Long Beach!” If he hadn’t he should!

Of course with Maiden on  this tour was the stages of all stages with a Mummified EDDIE leading the way! Massive is what I would call it!

The album opens with Churchill doing his War Speech and about never surrendering and Bam! Here’s Maiden ripping into Ace’s High  and tons of rolling/rolling turning/turning through out! The songs are crisp and clear. The Musicianship is second to none! Bruce’s vocals soar through out the whole album.

This is just one rock solid album from start to finish! The songs all stand on their own merit! It’s basically a Greatest Hits set done live while spreading throughout songs from the current Powerslave album that had walloped me outside the noggin the previous year!

Adrian Smith and Dave Murray in my opinion are the best two lead guitar duo’s ever in the business of Music! There playing is friggin unbelievable even up till this day (Along with current sidekick Janick Gers)  The solos’ are slick/well thought out and are hammered into our skulls as epic riff’s. Nicko the lunatic playing the drums does all the drum rolls and you want epic crash n smash style but keeping it smooth look no further than the track Powerslave after the Dave/Adrian solo’s man he just is so smooth as in making it look easy. Steve Harris being the main songwriter and he is the leader(much to Bruce’s chagrin at the time I suppose) as this was his vision put forth by him and manager Rod Smallwood. 

So if you want an  epic Harris track  look no further than Rime Of The Ancient Mariner as it weaves over it’s 13 minutes of tempo changes and keeps you the listener entrenched and no boredom ever sets in with this track.  Pure Greatness!

Course the big end of the set tune Iron Maiden pulls out all the stops! Just watch the clip below and see for yourself!

Side Four is recorded in England at the infamous Hammersmith Odeon and if my memory serves me correct this side was for the diehards across the pond as Maiden would mix up the set list as to keep the hardcore fans happy as America hadn’t caught on as quickly as Europe. I may be wrong here ….

22 Acacia Avenue rips accordingly and I love how Bruce drops the line of Speak For Me Hammersmith!” over the guitars of Davey and Adrian before Bruce ramps back up vocally on the second verse!

Die With Your Boots On is another kicker of a track. Great everything about this one as well! Love the guitar playing  on this track as Nicko drives the bus with his drums and keeps it all together!

Phantom Of The Opera always fascinated me back than as did the other tracks that were sung by original singer Paul Dianno on the studio versions before he got tossed and Bruce took charge. Of course now in 2017 it’s nothing new when Bruce sings the Paul tunes but back in 1985 other than hearing a B-Side of Bruce singing Remember Tomorrow you had no idea how the Dianno songs would come across with Bruce singing them!

Well the answer after listening to Live After Death was that Bruce basically took them over and made him his own.

Don’t get me wrong folks I love Dianno’s singing style on the debut Maiden album/Killers and especially Maiden Japan but the Air Raid Siren just belts it out like there is indeed no tomorrow!

Live After Death was the bridge gap between 84’s Powerslave and 86’s Somewhere In Time albums but this live audio/video showcase features a band showing everyone else in the Metal Spectrum how it’s done!

 

 

Deep Purple/Infinite(2017)

 

Mikey Ladano has to be the biggest Deep Purple Fanboy I have ever known. The dude loves his Purple so when this album dropped in early April of this year I knew Mikey in his review would give Purple’s latest Infinite a fair shake!

Mikey raved on about it even reviewing a couple of the singles before the actual album dropped! He was invested in this album Huge. I commented that the track Time For Bedlam was pretty good. But to be fair I thought I would wait for Mikey’s review of the whole Purple Meal Deal of Infinite to see if i would purchase it myself!

When the album was finally released Mikey reviewed it and raved about it so I took the plunge a few days later and purchased it myself!

Before I go any further I like the cover of that Ice Freighter carving it’s way thorough the Ice and making the DP Logo. Very bright looking!

Actually this is my first Deep Purple purchase of a new studio since 1996’s Perpendicular which featured Guitarist Steve Morse making his Purple studio debut replacing everyone’s favourite Loose Cannon Man In Black Ritchie Blackmore.

I guess you could say I was long overdue to hop aboard the Purple Tour Bus and give it another go!

Boy…Am I glad I ever did!

“Time For Bedlam”
“Hip Boots”
“All I Got Is You”
“One Night In Vegas”
“Get Me Outta Here”
“The Surprising”
“Johnny’s Band”
“On Top Of The World”
“Birds Of Prey”
“Roadhouse Blues”

Ian Gillian/Ian Paice/Don Airey/Steve Morse/Roger Glover along with producer Bob Ezrin(Alice Cooper/KISS/Pink Floyd/Hanoi Rocks) have put out a real fine piece of Hard Rock that delves into the sound of there 70’s past but have also made it sound modern as well basically a mashup of the 70’s and 80’s with an added touch of keeping it current!

Time For Bedlam begins with a Gillian like chant almost hypnotized if I say so myself and before long the boys in the band fire up behind him and this is a good straight ahead rock track. Guitarist Steve Morse and Keyboardist Don Airey lock in together and Ezrin does a great job at keeping the mix of the guitar and keyboard from not overpowering the other. The chorus here is the money shot! Great opener! Must also mention the one line Ian sings which is ‘Sucking my milk from the venomous tit of the state’  Is Tbone writing lyrics for Deep Purple?

So we delve back into the time capsule and put our Hip Boots on and this is a swampy like Purple N Jam tune. Love the lyrics to this one.

You can bury me up to my knees in shit
Or anything else… I don’t mind a bit
You think I’m gonna drown but you’re wrong
‘Cos man I got my hip boots on

Hip Boots just sounds like a total Jam tune as I had mentioned and I just love the laziness feel good vibe it projects….

Purple open All I Got Is You with that eery creepy like Hammond Keyboard Sound that we have heard for years but don’t be fooled as the song picks up the Paice(ha) and propels the song forward with tons of Morse and Airey Guitar/Keyboard mashing up throughout this song and the album as a whole!

One Night In Vegas is a great song with a ton of fun like Gillian lyrics where basically he was  snapped up on drink in Las Vegas met a girl went to the chapel had no recollection of this happening and they are still together 30 years later! True story? Dunno but a great tune with some nice riffing by Morse.

Drummer Ian Paice’s drums sound awesome at the beginning of Get Me Out Of Here.  Ezrin once again let’s the boys get to it and this is one of those tunes that has a decent pace to it with the keys and bassist Roger Glover producing a huge wall of sound but make no mistake when I’m listening to this album I don’t think of it as I’m hearing a bunch of old guys playing rock. No sir! I’m thinking it’s a bunch of old guys creating new Rock!

The Surprising leads off with some real cool 6 string picking courtesy of Mr Morse. This song  eases of the Purple Gas Pedal a bit but Paice and his drums keep the song moving forward. Hey,I have no squabbles about slow songs but I hate slow like mush tunes like many act’s get sucked into but as long as the drummer fella keeps the beat moving  forward.  I have no problems whatsoever!

Now here’s a cool tune called Johnny’s Band. A song that is written about a dude named Johnny and the fella’s in his band which would be Bill/Pete and Benny, Johnny’s Band in the lyrics of this song hit the top than hit the skids(like so many do!) but Johnny keeps given ‘er even though he’s playing the clubs. Cool interplay between Steve on guitar and the vocals of Gillian on the chorus!

On Top Of The World has a pretty cool groove to it and thats because Airey knows how to add space to let Morse soar on these songs on guitar.

Time for a psychedelic like stomping tune that’s called   Birds Of Prey. This song is out there, kinda trippy but  enough oomph to not make it a wimpy  waste of space. This track has Ian and the boys out there to  and heading into infinity and beyond. Basically loading up and going Space Truckin!

Roadhouse Blues. Yup this is The Doors cover from decades back and you know what! I love this cover of it. Tons of harmonica/tons of guitar and tons of musical swagger shown in Roadhouse Blues. Here’s a little tip for you folk’s out there reading this…’Yeah, keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel!”

The iTunes version I purchased has 4 added bonus tunes.  Paradise Bar/Uncommon Man/Hip Boots(demo)/Strange Kind Of Woman(live)

What a great record in the year 2017 from The Deep Purple Fella’s! It’s cool to see a band with about 50 years of history being able to cook up a batch of great rock tracks.

Steve Morse totally rules on this album as he plays flawlessly not overdoing it with a whole bunch of  wanker fest wang bar diddle daddle look at me soloing! Nope! Than again Morse has never been that kind of 6 stringer! Everything about this album is solid…Songs/Musicianship/Singing/Production. It’s all here!

This album is worth the dough folks!

 

Motorhead/No Sleep Til Hammersmith(1981)

Amazing how a cover could sell the album to you! No Sleep Til Hammersmith did just that to me back in early 1982. That album cover with the Bomber airplane being used as a lighting truss and another power trio band(Power Trio being the term used lightly here) playing METAL!

Lemmy(RIP) Fast Eddie and Philthy  Phil blew my brains out with their style of Metal. It was loud/noisy/fast but there was still hooks buried somewhere in between Lemmy’s vocals/rumbling distorted Bass and Eddie and Phil’s thrashing about on the Guitar and Drums respectively.

Ace Of Spades opens the 11 song album and Spades just destroys anything in its path. Welcome to the world of Motorhead as an 15-year-old! Stay Clean/No Class/OverKill/Bomber and my favourite tune on this album We Are The Road Crew just reek of booze/smoke! Just general chaos!

This fellow in high school with me at the time David Kunis bought all of Motorhead’s stuff so the next album I had heard was Iron Fist but it didn’t take to me at all and it wasn’t until 1992’s March Or Die that I would purchase another Motorhead album!

Make no mistake though No Sleep is Live! No OverDubs!

Loud Metal!

Kick Axe/Welcome To The Club(1985)

 

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Kick Axe slammed down a great debut in Vices(1984) and in 1985 here comes the followup Welcome To The Club.

WTTC is a more polished sounding album than the debut but make no mistake this album can still pack a wallop when spun! George Christon delivers these songs with a great rock voice especially on the title track and Make Your Move as these songs also feature  the wickedly great guitar dual of Larry Gillstrom and Raymond Harvey.

This album is a more progressive sound from the Saskatchewan Bunch.

Kick Axe could write more than just cheese like tunes as they had bands like King Kobra and an Ozzy Less Sabbath checking out there song’s.

The one set back for Kick Axe was Spencer Proffer. Proffer signed Quiet Riot and a bunch of other bands and used the same production team for these acts so the sound of each artist albums sonically was the same. Shame really as Kick Axe had superior songs than what QR and K.K were putting out at that point.

Kick Axe is in the record books here in Tbay as they were the first ever band to headline in our Shitty Auditorium back in 1985!

Metal Shuffffffle!

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Krokus/Heart Attack(1988)

 

Krokus named there 1988 release Heart Attack and it was an appropriately named album if there ever was one. It’s basically Krokus flatlining once and for all after a  promising start career wise in the early 1980’s.  By the end of the 80’s Krokus and more importantly there creative gas tank was on empty….

The dry up started back in the 86 with the Change Of Address album where Krokus got all glammed up and put out a stinker of an album. I bought it…..Tbone bought it….we were fooled by the zany Swiss fellows…. Krokus man in that pic below would have had their asses handed to them if they were involved in a street brawl against the Village People!

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Swiss Cheese…

Marc Storace – vocals
Fernando von Arb – lead guitar
Mark Kohler – rhythm guitar
Chris von Rohr – bass, piano, percussion
Dani Crivelli – drums

Tbone was smart. He zipped right off the Krokus Tour Bus after the Change Of Address fiasco whereas I stayed the course and bought the awful live album Alive And Screaming.  The awful part was the recording of  it. I think I only listened to it a few times as the sound was atrocious. The cover was Goofy….see pic below…

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See what I mean….Gah!  Show a live action shot for Gawd’s sake! Crap Cover =Crap Album…

Yet still…

1988 and Krokus ditch the glam look that scared Tbone away and went for a street look and a back to basics kinda vibe with trying to release a Rock N Raw album. Like a true Music Fan Boy I bought  Heart Attack in the summer of 88 on cd….

The verdict….

Not Good! It’s surprising that outside the drummer this is the classic lineup that demolished my senses with the Headhunter release from 1983. Von Rohr split before the Blitz album from 84 but returns here to salvage a sinking ship but it’s too late ….

Code Blue…The Song’s..

Side one
“Everybody Rocks” – 3:50
“Wild Love” – 4:01
“Let It Go” – 4:31
“Winning Man” (Fernando von Arb, Chris von Rohr) – 5:15 (originally on Hardware)
“Axx Attack” – 4:24

Side two
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Tonight” – 3:58
“Flyin’ High” (Krokus, Jürg Naegeli) – 4:14
“Shoot Down the Night” – 4:37
“Bad, Bad Girl” – 5:58
“Speed Up” – 6:24

The only song I recall even somewhat liking 1988 style is Let It Go(posted the video for it

The production handled by Von Rohr and Von Arb is decent enough but that isn’t gonna salvage the tunes…

 

Heaven&Hell/Live From Radio City Music Hall(2007)

The Great Ronnie James Dio(RIP) once again hooked up with pals Tony Iommi/Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice to have another go round of Dio fronted Sabbath. 

The only catch is this time they were calling themselves Heaven And Hell not Black Sabbath perhaps due to legal stuff who knows but any hard rock music listener will know the deal!

When I reviewed the  epic Mob Rules(1981) this incarnation of the band was my first introduction to Black Sabbath and I just loved and still do the Mob Rules album as sometimes those first listens to a certain period of a band just resonates with you the listener just a little more!

Special thanks to our family member…Fender The Wonder Dog whom hung out with me on a Sunday afternoon while I scribbled this review!

Of course as soon as dug Dio Sabbath RJD split and released the epic solo album Holy Diver(1983) and from there in the early 90’s Ronnie once again hooked up with these guys for the Dehumanizer (1992) album and of course that went down in flames as well….

But….

2007 and the Sabs….er I mean Heaven And Hell are back in town, well Radio City in NYC that is and they record a Live Album. So following the purchase of a Dio/Sabbath Greatest Hits set to coincide with the Tour here comes once the tour winds down the live album and Deke’s is up for it!!

Disc One
No. Title Length
1. “E5150/After All (The Dead)” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 8:30
2. “The Mob Rules” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 4:04
3. “Children of the Sea” 6:52
4. “Lady Evil” 5:20
5. “I” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 6:27
6. “The Sign of the Southern Cross” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 9:06
7. “Voodoo” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 7:42
8. “The Devil Cried” (Dio, Iommi) 11:40

Disc two
No. Title Length
1. “Computer God” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 6:41
2. “Falling Off the Edge of the World” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 5:45
3. “Shadow of the Wind” (Dio, Iommi) 6:05
4. “Die Young” 7:44
5. “Heaven and Hell” 15:15
6. “Lonely Is the Word” 6:48
7. “Neon Knights”

This album is chalk full of Huge and I mean Huge Bombastic Iommi Riffs and man I just  dig the Sabbath Sludge crawl of opener After All which upon first listen is kinda of a head scratcher but this is there deal and they’re gonna do what they wanna do! Pay your $6.66 to the bus driver folks as Ronnie and Crew are taking us on a one way trip to Hell! Crazy opener but cool!

The next 6 songs that follow…Mob Rules/Childern Of The Sea/Lady Evil/I/ The Sign Of The Southern Cross and Voodoo are classic Ronnie Sabbath. The songs have a quicker tempo than any of the Ozzy era led Sabbath for the most part and perhaps it was a calculated move back in 1980 when Ronnie joined. Shake  up the Sabbath song structure retool it for the 80’s. New band …New set of rules. Sounds like to me anyways especially the track Mob Rules with Appice driving the beat forward folks and the guy is a monster on the drums on this show as well as he gets the complimentary drum solo on The Devil  Cried.(one of the new tracks that was on the Dio Sabbath Comp)

Disc 2 opens with Computer God from the Dehumanizer album and this is another one of my Dio Sabbath Fav’s. Sure it trucks along at a snail’s pace at times but when the chorus kicks in it’s all bets off with Geezers grumbling Bass. Vinny smashing the cymbals while Tony hooks it altogether musically with his King OF Doom Riffs. Ronnie harness it all in with the vocals!

Cool that these guys don’t play for years together yet when they put there issues aside it’s like a step has never been skipped! This album proves that as they fire away at Die Young along with a 15 minute sing along with Satan on Heaven And Hell  and to finish things up a big round of blast off with Neon Knights! Neon Knights is a huge fireball of speed riff’s  and drums that are rocking off the Highway To Hell!

This is a fantastic live record ….

Metallica/ ….And Justice For All(1988)

 

Wowzers!  Got And Justice For All this past Christmas(2016) from my Vinyl Loving Daughter Lexie! Thanks a bunch Lex!

Story Time…..

Lets step inside and go back in Deke’s Time Machine to August of 1988 when I was a soon to be 21-year-old still scooping everything Metal!

The hype for this record at the time  was Huge as Metallica with And Justice being there 4th album was a term we say nowadays “Trending Upwards”  after 1986’s Masters Of Puppets had sold a bunch as people were expecting huge things and huge things were delivered by the Men Of Metallica!

That summer of 88 Metallica were playing on the North American Monsters Of Rock tour featuring Headliner Van Halen/Scorpions/Dokken and Kingdom Come. 

Dokken on this tour was in shambles and they had to follow Metallica every night. So picture this for a second. Here’s Metallica bringing teenage angst to the masses in these stadium shows playing tracks like Battery/Creeping Death leaving the audience wanting to break things or each other than Don Dokken and Curious George follow that by playing the big Power Ballad Alone Again!  Haha…

Betcha those Dokken guy’s were sulking big time every night when they  walked off the stage realizing they got there asses handed to them by having Metallica lay down the Metal Law night after night before them.

Just Saying…. 

So I purchased  this upon release and quite quickly began spinning it and not before too long my younger brother Todd who was at the old ripe age of 11 at this time(1988) took a total shine to this record and it’s still one of those albums he recalls fondly when we talk Rock or should I say METAAAAAAL!

So James/Lars/Kirk and New Dude Jason. We all know there last names and what instruments they play Blah Blah Blah so let’s skip that silliness and delve into some of the tracks….

POUNDING METAL!

No. Title Music Length
1. “Blackened” Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Jason Newsted 6:40
2. “…And Justice for All” Hetfield, Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 9:44
3. “Eye of the Beholder” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:25
4. “One” Hetfield, Ulrich 7:24
5. “The Shortest Straw” Hetfield, Ulrich 6:35
6. “Harvester of Sorrow” Hetfield, Ulrich 5:42
7. “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 7:40
8. “To Live Is to Die” Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 9:48
9. “Dyers Eve” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 5:12
Total length: 65:17

Spread out over Two albums and this album I love front to back not only in the songs(more on that later) but the look as it was kinda like an anti somewhat metal looking like cover with the whole Lady Liberty blindfolded  and it reeks of corruption/filth/dollar bills flying around. It’s just a cool cover love the colours. Dig the graffiti like spray of the album title in the bottom right hand corner. Total eye catcher….

Still recall picking this up the day of its release as the hype as I mentioned earlier was huge.  It was a hot August day when I bought this album and after making a stop at a local convience store to snag the latest copy of Kerrang it was home and a drop of the needle was in order!

The first few bars of album opener Blackened just blew me away as it was a pile driver of a track right out of the gate. Lars drums were huge. James and Kirks guitars were loud. New Dude Jason. Where’s your Bass? Ha ..it’s there but kinda buried under the drums and guitars. Razzing the new guy? Who knows for sure but kinda crazy that the bass is somewhat laid back but perhaps James/Kirk and Lars from what I read in the past were still dealing with the death of Bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 and with drink n drugs floating around I’m sure this didn’t help Jason’s cause! Too be totally honest here I originally thought my vinyl was screwed as the bass was dialed in low..hahaha….silly 20 year old me at the time!

Must mention what the charm for me and this album is not only for the fact that Metallica is at the time writing 5-10 minute songs but the production is dry and think about this for a second as in 1988 it was bands with huge album sounds and 3-4 Radio Friendly Tailor Made Radio Tracks  (I’m not naming names!) so kudos to producer Flemming Rasmussen who was brought back to tidy up and produce this album after original producer Mike Clink got fired.

1988 and a Double Album with the exception of Side 3, Two tracks per side! Also interesting to see in the credits that James is credited with Rhythm Guitars and Kirk with just Lead Guitar. I recall reading at the time that was how they recorded this album. Kinda interesting way of doing things but for this band its Colonel Lars and Captain James!

…And Justice For All the title track is the second and last track on Side 1! Clocking in well at over 9 minutes this song is driven by Lar’s drumming which suffice to say is complex and even the lyrics about social injustice and the environment is crazy as these guys are partying hard at every turn but still taking the craft seriously! That’s saying something!

Eye Of The Beholder with its military like mash-up of drums and guitars take a shot at the mainstream music and censorship at the time the PMRC.  Do you remember all that silliness? Stickering albums as offensive and making Kids wanting music that was offensive  even more….

MuchMusic here in Canada went squirrelly like I’m sure MTV did in the States when Metallica released the video for One.  MuchMusic premiered one night and yup I was home to record it on VHS as this was big news as these guys were the last known holdouts from making a video and when this video was shown everyone went bat shit crazy over it… not your typical video either(no happy joy joy ) as there was no editing involved so it was the full tune. Once again I love when the guitars and drums do that  military like mashup. So  heavy yet pure brilliance as well!

Shortest Straw leads off the second album and it’s a full-out sonic brawl. Straight ahead blistering Metal. The lyrics when you follow them you know James was taking them seriously. Than again I always mention that it blew my mind he was writing lyrics to songs like Fade To Black in 1984!

Huge guitars lead the way with Harvester Of Sorrow. Another stomper of a track that they still play to this day! Great solo in this tune by Kirk.

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity.  What a great title! Lars goes off the rails with his drumming on this one. More guitars/More Drums/More Bass…ummm ok maybe not so much Bass but it’s there……kinda buried under an avalanche of Hetfield rhythm’s!

How about a 9 minute plus musical tribute to Cliff and call it To Live Is To Die a mixture of classical guitar and metallic stomps and it’s a deep long track. Cliff would have been proud ….

The album ends with Dyers Eve which features an all out assault on guitars and drums. If you think Tallica was gonna the end the album on a chill note. Think again….This song is HEAVY!

There ya have it folk’s! 1988 and Metallica step up and do what no bands were doing in 1988 and for one thing that’s a double studio album filled with vocals/riffs/more riffs and drums! How about the length of the tunes! Blitzkrieg!

Too be honest when I first got this back in 1988 like I have said a few other times that there was so much music out that it was hard to devote a full 100 percent to anything as bands were putting out stuff  it seemed like every two weeks.

This album was complete grower on me and here we are like 29 years later and I appreciate this album more now than I did back in 88!

Kudos to James/Jason/Kirk and Lars on this album….

 

 

 

Iron Maiden/No Prayer For The Dying(1990)

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Maiden 1990 is a different animal than the band that released what I consider their best album ever 1988’s Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes……

Gone is Guitarist Adrian Smith who already had contributed a ton of Classic Tracks to the Maiden albums of years before. Case in point check out my review of Somewhere In Time as Smith is the MVP of that album in my eye’s. So when he bailed on Maiden I was disappointed but I knew Bassist and Maiden Creator Steve Harris would carry on as that’s Maiden’s tendency! Replace and move on!

Gone are the elaborate stage shows that came with each album release in the 80’s. A more stripped back stage with the backdrops and Eddie of course but more Marshall Amps added and yada yada. This did not bug me in the least as it’s the tunes that count right?!

So Harry and Crew recruit Janick Gers (playing guitar at the time in Lead Singers Bruce Dickinson solo band) and keep the Maiden Juggernaut heading into new frontiers. But are we ready for it?

1990 was a great year not only did we get like I mentioned earlier the fantastic Bruce solo album Tattooed Millionaire but along with it a new Maiden album as well.

October 1st 1990 is when No Prayer was released and SHOCKER I was not a first day buyer of it! I had purchased Peace OF Mind/Powerslave/Live After Death/Somewhere In Time and 7th Son all on their release dates.  My first day Maiden purchase streak ended at 5!

Reason you ask? Simple a little less than a week later myself and Tbone were gonna be in Winnipeg going to see ZZ Top and per our protocol on road trips was to load up on discs! Tbone especially as he would drop coin on say 20-25 discs on a given road trip! So with this in mind I thought i would hold out and at least purchase 1 for myself! Haha….

Still recall unwrapping the plastic from No Prayer in out hotel room in the Peg and scanning the lyrics/pics as Maiden always delivered in the cd department!

Course when I got back to Tbay the first order was to listen to No Prayer….

The Verdict! Good not Great. Not a let down either but a band that I had thought was maybe trying to ditch a bit of the past(80’s) and move into the 90’s with a new kinda look and new Metal like sound.

Maiden Men …

Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Janick Gers – guitar
Steve Harris – bass guitar
Nicko McBrain – drums

No Prayer Maiden Mix…

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Tailgunner” Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson 4:13
2. “Holy Smoke” Harris, Dickinson 3:47
3. “No Prayer for the Dying” Harris 4:22
4. “Public Enema Number One” Dave Murray, Dickinson 4:03
5. “Fates Warning” Murray, Harris 4:09
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “The Assassin” Harris 4:16
2. “Run Silent Run Deep” Harris, Dickinson 4:34
3. “Hooks in You” Dickinson, Adrian Smith 4:06
4. “Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter” Dickinson 4:42
5. “Mother Russia” Harris 5:30
Total length: 43:42

Couple of things you may notice right away about the track listings! Steve and Bruce team up on three tracks. Dave Murray even steps up with 2 contributions as ex member Smith is featured in a co write with Bruce. Second of all the album clocks in at 43 minutes. Not only are Maiden cleaning house but there also doing away with the Epic Long Tune’s. All tracks are under 5 minutes except for album closer Mother Russia.

Let’s Do This…

Tailgunner has Maiden beginning studio album Number 8 with Harris and Nicko along with the guitars of Janick and Davey usher in Tailgunner! Tailgunner what a great name for a late night establishment don’t you think? I could picture it now with Tbone dialing his phone circa 1990 and a voice on the other end answering with a “Good Evening Welcome To Tailgunners How can I Direct Your call?” hahaha…oh wait this isn’t it a Dance Club? Gah! Sorry lost my trail of thought there! Maidens Tailgunner  is  a song about World War 2 Pilots…..Bruce as always delivers a great vocal “Nail That Fokker Kill That Son” ahh clever writing fella’s! It doesn’t take long to realize that Maiden to  my ears is making a Street Sounding Album. The production by Martin Birch is dry sounding which kinda suits the vibe of the album.

Second song Holy Smoke is bona fide classic in my humble opinion! Loved it in 1990 and still love it 27 years later! This song takes charge and at the time with all the corrupt TV Preachers goings on Steve and Bruce nail out a Gem writing about it. Super Duper catchy chorus! Super Duper Metal Slop Rock Solo from New Boy Janick and Wow Man! Gem! Posted the video to this song and look at those Brits! They are a funny bunch! Great video!

The title track No Prayer For The Dying  almost sounds like at some spots  like a Maiden Jig! A little slower tempo but like all Harris written tunes it’s gonna speed up and go into overdrive and lift off at which it does. Real cool leads from both Davey and Janick as they just do what they do.

Whoah! Another Gem in the form of Public Enema Number One. Janick and Dave take charge with those cool dual leads right out of the gate with Steve and Nicko taking charge in the rhythm department! Bruce as he always does take charge in his vocal delivery and man oh man another Great Track!  Watch the live video! Actually I’m pasting the last verse in the tune which features my favourite paragraph of Bruce written lyrics on this album…

A million network slaves
In an advertising new age
I don’t need a crystal ball to sell ya
Your children have more brains
Than your drug infested remains
California dreaming as the Earth dies screaming

Woo-Hooooo!

Fates Warning is a straight forward no frill’s Metal Track. It’s a decent enough one for sure and it was interesting to revisit this one as on any other Metal Release at the time this would have been a great song but with this being Maiden they set they set the Bar High.  Pretty good actually….WTF am I going on about?

The Assassin builds and builds with Harry and Nicko doing their quick snare and bass riffs. One of those tracks which is ok not great. The Verses build and build and the chorus is for me a little on the lacklustre side.

Run Silent Run Deep has Bruce singing in that sinister style vocal and man oh man after the last two previous songs kinda lagging things pick up with this track. Love the pace of it. Great chorus as well and love the guitar work and bass on this tune. Nicko man plays like only Nicko does and that’s awesome! Love how the tune ends with just Bruce and bit of guitar!

Speaking of Nicko you want Cowbell? Hooks In You leads off with a slick riff with added cowbell. Pretty good track nothing spectacular but still a decent round of Metal. Maiden man set and drank the bar high n dry.

Ok. Bruce is the only singer in the world who could sing the chorus to Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter and making it oh so catchy. Case in point when this album was first out I found myself singing it at work in a moment of pure unconsciousness except I wasn’t! Some one near by said “Pardon me” and snapped me back into reality and I mumbled away …. Great track actually and as an added bonus a real cool guitar solo! Bruce as always delivers in spades.

Mother Russia is your end of the album Harris concept piece as it’s another one of those epic pieces but for me I dunno I kinda missed the Metal Boat on this one. The playing/singing is all there of course but I just don’t get this one at all.

Maiden enter the 90’s with more of a street vibe and it’s a pretty decent album with some standout tracks and some not so standout tracks. Something has to give after a while really. I mean 8 studio albums over 10 years including tours it’s impressive to say the least.

So although Harry & Crew did not hit one totally out of the park No Prayer is still a decent album with a real couple of good standout tracks!