metal music

New Music Monday Avenged Sevenfold Hail To The King


In this Music Monday Blog, we are going to get into the latest studio record from Avenged Sevenfold.  “Hail To The King” is their sixth studio record from this band.  We are going to get into the history of this band and then the music.  Let us get into the history.

History

The band was formed in 1999 at Huntington Beach, California.  The founding members of this band are M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, The Rev, and Matt Wendt.  M. Shadows came up with the band name from the Bible’s story Cain And Adel.  Justin Sane replace Matt Wendt before they record their first record.  Dameon Ash replace Justin Sane around 2001.  Justin was checked into the hospital because of drinking too much cough syrup and try to commit suicide.  The band recorded their first record, which was “Sounding The Seventh Trumpet” in 2001.  Most of the members were around eighteen and still in high school.  Johnny Christ replaced Dameon Ash and release their second record, which was “Walking The Fallen.”  In 2004, the band after touring several times on the Vans Warped Tour signed with Warner Bros. Records.  In 2005, the band released their third studio record and their first under a major label.  The record was called “City Of Evil.”  They played on Ozzfest in 2006 and also won Best New Artist at the MTV Music Awards.  They returned to the Van’s Warped Tour.  “City Of Evil” gave them a few hits on the modern rock charts.  In 2007, the band released their fourth studio record, which was self-titled.  Two years later, their drummer “The Rev” was found dead.  At this time, band members in several interviews thought about disbanding and breaking up.  However, Mike Portnoy, who was with Dream Theater at time and now with Winery Dogs, stepped up to record the drum tracks for “Nightmare,” the band and the music community loved the fact the music sounded like The Rev was playing drums.  “Nightmare” was released in 2010 and it was their fifth record.  Mike was not the replacement of “The Rev” and the band found a new drummer, who was Arin Ilejay.   In 2013, the band release “Hail To The King,” which was the first record with Arin Ilejay on drums.  Let us get into the music.

Track List:

Shepherd Of Fire

There is some sound effects of rain and a bell to start the song.  The guitar comes in with the drums.  This is pretty good beginning to the record and this song.  The bass playing is pretty good.  M Shadows has a nice melody and lyrics.  I have to be honest.  I kept on hearing how this record is supposed to be different from the rest of their records.  To me, it sounds like all their old music.  There is a nice guitar solo towards the middle of the song.  Their new drummer has about the same drumming style as their old drummer.  I love how they ended this song with a nice fade out.

Hail To The King

“Hail To The King” is the first single off this record and is the name of the record.  The guitar solo at the beginning is like something off this first few records.  The second guitar comes in but it is a little different.  I love that guitar riff.  The second guitar riff reminds me of something that Metallica would have written.  I do not like the fact that the other guitar player is playing a guitar solo throughout this song.  That is a little too much.  I love the lyrics on this song.  M Shadows has melody like something off Metallica’s Load and Re-Load.  There is a extended guitar solo towards the back half off the song.  I love the back up singing.

Doing Time

I love the music at the beginning of the song.  I am really not a fan of M Shadows singing.  Hello, you are not Axel Rose and please, stop thinking you are.  I love the lyrics.    I love the pace of this song.  There is a pretty good guitar solo in the last-minute of the song.

This Means War

I love the guitar work at the beginning.  I love how the drums and bass are playing at the beginning of the song.  I love the sound effect on the nuclear bomb blowing up.  The music is really good on this song.  M Shadows has pretty good singing and lyrics.  I just feel they are listening to way too much 1980’s and early 1990’s metal.  They are starting to sound like a cheap version of those bands.  There is a nice guitar solo towards the middle of the song.  This is a really good song but I just feel this song is way too long.

Requiem

There is worship singing like church singing at the beginning.  The music is pretty solid.  I just feel lead singer’s singing is a little loss in the music.  I just feel they are running apart.  This is just a mess of music and white noise.  It kind of came together just before the guitar solo.  The guitar solo is pretty good in the mid-point of the song.

Crimson Day

There is some nice acoustic guitar work at the beginning of “Crimson Day.”  I love the singing from M Shadows.  I love the heavy guitar playing on the main part of the song.  The acoustic guitar stays in the background.  Mr. Shadows has put some thought behind these lyrics.  This is a pretty solid song and by far the best one so far on this record.  There is some nice guitar solos towards the end of the song.

Heretic

Here is some old school Avenged Sevenfold fade in guitar riffs at the beginning of the song.  I am not a fan of the main part of the song from a music stand point.  Mr. Shadows’ singing is not up to his standards.  I love how they are using the keyboard in the background.  I do not like how they shaped the music around his singing or how he is singing with the music.  It does bend good.  I love how they pushed the keyboard playing to the front in the back half of the song.  There is a well placed and written guitar solo towards the end of the song.

Coming Home

The start of this song reminds me of something from Iron Maiden.  The singing is something off Iron Maiden’s first two records with their original singer.  The main part of the song is like themselves.  The lyrics are good, however, I just feel they do not fit well on this song.  There is a pretty good guitar solo half way through the song.  I love how they build up the ending as it fades out.  I love the double bass action at the end from the drummer.

Planets

I love the build up to the start of this song.  The drumming and bass playing are insane.  The guitar playing I believe are step down to the rest of the record.  The singing is pretty solid with some below average lyrics.    This song has loss me over the half way point of the song.  I love the music but the singing and lyrics are making my mind wander in a bad way.  There is an average guitar solo towards the end of the song.

Acid Rain

I love how they started the song with the music.  Nice touch on the piano.  I love the guitar solo over the top of the music.  This is a pretty solid song to end this record.  M Shadows has some good singing and nice lyrics.  There is a pretty good guitar solo in the first quarter of the song.  I love the sound effects of rain falling at the end of the song.

Original Line Up:

  • M. Shadows – Lead Singer, Acoustic Guitar, and Keyboards
  • Zacky Vengeance – Guitars
  • The Rev – Drums, Back Up Vocals, and Piano
  • Dameon Ash – Bass

Current Line Up: 

  • M. Shadows – Lead Vocals
  • Zacky Vengeance – Guitars And Back Up Vocals
  • Synyster Gates – Guitars and Back Up Vocals
  • Johnny Christ – Bass Guitar and Back Up Vocals
  • Arin Ilejay – Drums

Here is their website and twitter addresses:

Website:  www.avengedsevenfold.com

Twitter:  @TheOfficialA7X

Closing, I am happy for any band that gets back on the iron horse and makes new music after a death of band member or a key member leaving a band.  I give them a ton of credit and I know how hard it might be to do that again without a brother.  However, the member they loss in this band was a key song writer, they wanted to do something different but keep true their sound.  I just feel this band has loss too much and they are living on their past success right now.  I hope they find it soon because I do love their style.  It took me half way through my radio DJ career to really love what this band was doing in the past.  I am not saying this is a bad record because it is not.  It is a solid record but for Avenged Sevenfold this is not up to their standards.  The band came out before this release saying this record will be different from the rest of their music.  I do agree to some point but it still sounds like their old music.  I just feel the loss of their old drummer made them change their sound.  I still recommend checking out his record and let me know what you think of it.  Go get some!  Drink it! Enjoy it!  Metal it!  \m/

Cheers!

Bill DJ Weiser

Email:   djweiser13@comcast.net

Twitter:  @djweiser

New Unknown Music Thursday Blog The Winery Dogs Self Titled


In this Unknown Music Thursday blog, we are going to get into the latest super group that might be around a lot longer than most.  You might know the names but not the band name.  I am talking about The Winery Dogs and this is their first record, which is named after the record.  The band is Richie Kotzen, who is Lead Singer, Keyboards, Guitars, and Percussion, Billy Sheehan, who is Bass and Back Up Vocals, and Mike Portnoy, who is Drums, Percussion and Back Up Vocals.  Richie Kotzen was part of Poison for one record in the early 1990’s and put out several solo records.  Billy Sheehan has been part of several bands like Mr. Big and Dave Lee Roth solo band.  Mike Portnoy is best known for his time with his old band Dream Theater and was part of Avenged Sevenfold for one record.  There is not much history on this band.  They were formed in Brooklyn, New York in 2012.  They were looking to a more of a classic hard rock sound for their music.  Let us get into the music.

Track List:

Elevate

A classic hard rock start to the opening track.  Richie is rocking it on the guitar while the bass and drums are solid.  This is a solid song.  I love the drumming and bass playing.  I love Richie’s singing, which I have always loved it.  This band wrote some nice lyrics to go along with the music.  Mike is a mad man on the drums.  I love the bass break that they gave Billy on this song.  Mike is going nuts on the drums during the bass solo.

Desire

I love the guitar riff at the beginning of the song.  Billy is dancing all over the place on bass.  Richie’s singing is pretty strong with some really great lyrics.  I love how everyone in this band is singing.  It is a pretty rare situation.  I am loving the music on this song.  I love the bass break towards the middle of the song.  There is a nice guitar break right after the bass solo.

We Are one

I love the heaviest on the bass and drums at the beginning of the song.  The guitar riff is simple but bends nicely with bass, drums and the singing.  I love how Mike and Billy sing with Richie on this song.  I love the lyrics and he is singing is pretty strong.  I love Richie guitar breaks between the singing.  There is some pretty solid playing towards the end of this song.  I am enjoying the music middle point and at the end.

I’m No Angel

I love the guitar playing at the beginning with some solid drums and bass playing that comes in seconds after the guitar playing.  The slower is perfect at the point of this record.  There is some solid lyrics.  There  is some really nice music on “I’m No Angel.”  I really like the back up singing on this song.  The guitar playing is pretty good with those short guitar solos.

The Other Side

I love the drumming at the beginning and the bass player enters with a nice riff.  Richie comes in with a nice high-end guitar riff to float over the top.  Richie’s singing is solid on this song.  I love the lyrics.  The music is pretty solid on this song.  The guitar break brings on some nice fast pace drumming from Mike.  It turns into a nice guitar solo at the midway point of the song.  I love the trade-off from the drums and bass in the last two minutes of the song.  The guitar solo over the top is just right and perfect.

You Saved Me

I love the fast pace acoustic guitar with the echo from the bass in the background.  The drums are calm and fade which makes it just right.  I love the layers on the guitars.  I am not going to say this much but multiple guitars are just right for this song.  It sounds good and right.  I love Richie’s singing and there is some nice lyrics.  There is some well placed back up singing.  I am really loving the music on this song.  I love the ending of this song.

Not Hopeless

I love the solid start of this song on a music stand point.  Richie’s singing is solid with some nice back up singing.  Winery Dogs wrote some nice music on this song.  I love the trade-off on the solos from the guitar and bass player.  There is some solid lyrics and music on “Not Hopeless.”  I love the meaning and theme behind this song.  There  is a nice exiting guitar solo at the end.

One More Time

I love the guitar playing at the beginning of the song.  Billy comes in dancing all over the bass with some solid drumming from Mike.  I love Richie’s singing.  There is some well written lyrics on “One More Time.”  There is a solid ending.

Damaged

I love the music and the pace of this song.  I love the lyrics and how Richie’s singing is calm and relax.  This is a nice relaxing song.  He has a nice melody on “Damaged.”  I love drums and bass playing on this song.  There is a nice guitar solo towards the end of the song.

Six Feet Deeper

I love the music at the beginning.  It has a nice pace to it.  Billy has some nice movement on the bass guitar.  There is some nice lyrics and the lead singer singing is solid.  I love the well placed back up singing.  There is a nice guitar solo towards the middle part of the song.  I love how they ended the song.

Time Machine

I love the guitar playing at the beginning.  It reminds me of something you would hear from Soundgarden or Alice In Chains.  This whole song sounds like something from the Grunge era of metal in the early to mid 1990’s.  They did a great job on the writing between the lyrics and music.  I believe this is my favorite song on this record.  I love bass break at the end of the song.  I love the ending of “Time Machine.”  There is a nice guitar solos towards the end.

The Dying

“The Dying” starts off slow with some nice guitar playing.  The singer has some solid singing.  There is some nice lyrics.  I love drumming from Mike.  I love distorted guitar effected.  It is not over the top but it is just right.  He has a nice overdrive pedal to make that nice powerful warm sound.  I love the how they are using the back up singing on this song.  There is a nice build up to a guitar solo towards the middle part of the song.  I love how they ended this song.

Regret

I love the drumming and the keyboard playing on “Regret.”  They twisted some piano and organ playing.  I love melody and lyrics from the singer.  I could see Bruno Mars singing on this song and writing it.  Richie and Bruno has some nice soulful singing voices.  I love the music on this song.  They put some thought behind this song.  There is some nice guitar and piano action towards the middle of the song.  It turns into a nice guitar solo.  This is a perfect ending to this song and this great first record for this band.

Line Up:

  • Richie Kotzen – Lead Vocals, Guitars, and Keyboards
  • Mike Portnoy – Drums and Backing Vocals
  • Billy Sheehan – Bass and Backing Vocals

Here is their website and twitter addresses:

Website:  www.thewinerydogs.com

Twitter:  @TheWineryDogs

In closing, when I heard this band was happening, I was pretty excited to hear the music.  I have always been a huge fan of Richie Kotzen and Mike Portnoy.  This is pretty much what I thought the record would sound like.  It reminds of a Richie Kotzen solo record.  I mean that in a good way since I am a huge fan of this guitar playing and singing.    Richie writes some great tunes and put Mike behind some of the songs to help write them.  It is something else.  The lengths of these songs are just right.  They are not too long but not too short.  Some I do feel need to be a little bit longer.  The music on this record is off the charts good.  I hope they have success with this record and tour.  I would love to hear more tunes from this group.  I highly recommend this band and record if you are a fan of the classic hard rock sound.  Go get some!  Drink it!  Enjoy it!  Metal it!  \m/

Cheers!

Bill DJ Weiser

Email:  djweiser13@comcast.net

Twitter:  @djweiser

New Music Blog Testament Dark Roots Of Earth


In this music blog, we are going to get into one of the godfathers of thrash metal.  The band and record is called Testament Dark Roots Of Earth.  Testament was founded in 1983 under the band name Lagacy but later had to their change the name to Testament because of another band using that name. Testament has put out ten studio albums, three live records, and two EPs in their thirty year career.  Their latest record has them the highest on the US music charts in their career, which is twelve.  This band has went through so many lineup changes but they still found success.  Let us get into the music.

Rise Up

Nice start to the record is right in your face and classic thrash metal guitar playing.  Drumming is holding up its end.  This is a great start to the record.  Billy Chuck is stronger than ever with his singing.  I am loving the lyrics.  This song sounds like something you would hear in their 1980’s heyday.  I love the guitar solo in this song.  This is what thrash metal is and always will be in its lifetime.  This is a great opening track.  Perfect ending.

Native Blood

Native Blood starts out with some killer guitar playing and nice back up from the backbone of the band, which is the bass and drums.  I love the pace of this song.  It is not as fast as the opening track but has a great pace to the song.  I love the rhythm of the singing and drums.  The drummer is the most under rated drummer in the world of music.  This is a well written song.  This is a strong start to Dark Of Earth.  There is a simple and straight to the point guitar solo that gets a little complex towards the end of its run.  Nice touch of having singer sing on top of it for a bit.  The lyrics are little average but the music brings it to above average.  I am loving the build up for the ending to the song.  Classic thrash metal ending.

Dark Roots Of Earth

I am loving the acoustic guitar with distorted guitar at the beginning of the title track of the record.  I am loving the lyrics and the pace of the singing.  The drums and bass are pretty solid in the song.  The guitar work is over the top but in good way.  Nice guitar break towards the middle of the song.  This song has a nice pace.  This is my favorite song so far on the record.  I love the pick up of speed towards the back half of the song and the guitar solo.  Then the moving back to the opening the riff and enters back to the main riff.  The opening riff is the closing riff which is perfect for this track.

True American Hate

I love how everyone starts at the same time on the True American Hate.  I love the guitar solo at the beginning.  This is a strong in your face main guitar riff.  Billy Chuck is in your face on his singing.  I am love the theme of the lyrics.  There is some great drumming and bass playing on this song.  I am loving the double bass action from the drums.  To be honest, True American Hate could live without a guitar solo but that is just me.  If it was going to have one, it should be simple and straight to the point like the lyrics and the rest of the song.  It is still a good guitar solo but it drags the song too long.  This is one song that needs to get to the point and end it.

A Day In The Death

I am loving the opening bass line and the drums with guitar coming in over it.  Nice start to A Day In The Death!  This song is not too fast but not too slow.  I am loving the lyrics and theme.  There is some pretty solid guitar work on the song.  There is some well placed back up vocals.  I am loving the build up to the guitar solo.  There is a well place guitar solo and an extremely well written one.  I love how the band is putting a little focus on the bass player.  Most bands do not do that too much.

Cold Embrace

Cold Embrace starts out with some acoustic guitar with another guitar dancing in the background.  The drums come in with the bass with a simple and smooth beat.  The singer comes with a nice calming singing.  Cold Embrace is showing the talent in this classic metal band.  This is a great thinking song and a very well written song.  Testament did a great job on this track.  Here is another track that is in my favorite column.

Man Kills Mankind

Man Kills Mankind gets back to the old school thrash metal.  This song has a great pace and solid playing all the way around.  Nice pace on the singing.  I am loving the lyrics.  There is a nice guitar solo towards the end of the song.  Man Kills Mankind has a solid finish. This is another song I could hear back in the day.

Throne Of Thorns

Throne of Thorns has a nice acoustic guitar riff with a heavy guitar over the top of it.  The drums and bass are pretty solid in the song.  The main guitar riff is pretty something else.  This band has always found some great guitar riffs.  I am loving the theme of the lyrics.  It is has fantasy feeling to it.  There was a nice guitar solo towards the end of the song.  This a pretty good song but I know for a fact I could not sit through the extended version of this song.  Nice ending to the song!

Last Stand For Independence

Here is a nice in your face metal song.  I am love the drum break at the beginning of the song and throughout it.  There is solid playing from the drums, bass and the guitar players.  I love the lyrics and the singing.  This song has a nice pace.  There is a pretty good guitar break and solo towards the back half of the song.  I love the ending to Last Stand For Independence.

Dragon Attack

This is a Queen cover song.  The music is solid.  I am a fan of bands doing covers but I could do without this one.  If I still had my radio show, I would throw this into the my cover show.

Animal Magentism

This is a Scorpions cover song.  I could do without this song.  Not a fan!

Powerslave

This is an Iron Maiden cover song.  Just like Animal Magentism, I pass on this song too.

Here is their website and twitter addresses:

Website: www.testamentlegions.com

Twitter:  @testamentband

Closing out, I have been a huge fan of this band for a while.  I believe they are the most under rated band coming out of the thrash metal scene.  I did not see them topping their last record, which was The Formation Of Damnation.  Dark Roots Of Earth is an awesome follow-up to their last one.  I hope they put out another record sooner than later.  I could do without the covers but the original songs are pretty solid.  I really enjoyed the title track, Cold Embrace, and Rise Up.  If you are a fan of thrash metal, you need to get into the pit and check out Testament new one. If you are a fan of this band back in the day and have been gone, go get this record.  It is a solid great and gives you everything that your thrash metal heart seeks.  Go get some!  Drink it!  Enjoy it!  Metal it!  \m/

Cheers!

Bill DJ Weiser

Email:  djweiser13@comcast.net

Twitter:  @djweiser