For years, these thrashers have earned the op of the food chain as one of the best metal performers ever to exist. Slayer has been displayed in mainstream culture as part of the “Big Four,” with Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth. This would be the last album that guitarist Jeff Hannerman worked in, dying in April 2013 of liver failure. His ghost lives on in many of Slayer’s songs for his powerful shred guitar playing. I cannot even forget to say Kerry King, who has fun with dual solos in many of Slayer’s songs with Hannerman. “Unit 371” has the funky typical Slayer punk riffs. Down tuned guitars ready for King and Hannerman to take off the runaway and into the air like a jet fighter. Also, Dave Lombardo who would eventually be fired from the group, sets his hands ready to hit those cymbals on the drum. The key for a successful Slayer song like this and even “World Painted Blood,” require seed on the drums. Lombardo was the perfect candidate for this album.
Tom Araya’s loud and fast vocals makes him like the Joey Ramone in the song “Public Display of Dismemberment.” A two-minute song, which was typical in Ramone songs, proves how powerful Araya has developed as a true punk metal thrasher knight. Yes dark lyrics, but most importantly the fast single note playing helps make this song a huge influence to many people wanting to hear typical Slayer songs. “Human Strain” provides the calm tempo and haunting lyrics that many hardcore Slayer fans can find in a song like “Mandatory Suicide.” The unfortunate part of “Human Strain” is no solo present. Had their been a solo, I would probably like this song even more. At least “Psychopathy Red” truly makes up for that issue. Abrasive tempo and Hannerman/ King solo. What? Hell yeah I am going to like that. Many people of metal shall not be disappointed by this album. Heck, it was even polished nicely by veteran record producers Rick Rubin and Greg Fidelman. [B+].
For a song that sounds mellow, you may have heard it in the first music video game “Rockband.” Released from the first album, “Pablo Honey” of English rock group Radiohead, “Creep” is the lucky choice. Gentle strokes on the guitar, but then heavy distortion are key for this song’s huge success. Thom Yorke’s loud face makes this tune even better.
The mighty English power metallers are currently wrapping up their tour in Europe with Epica . They will both head out to South America starting in Curitiba, Brazil and finish in Santiago, Chile. Dragonforce will then meet up with progressive metal group Kamelot to kick off the North American tour starting in late April.
A special limited edition vinyl of Ronnie James Dio’s “This is Your Life” was available from Rhino for Record Store Day, Friday, November 28.
For you exciting Metallica fans, these metallers have tour dates set up for 2015. Check it out here.
Well the 20th anniversary is going on this year for Dream Theater’s third studio album, “Awake.” Being longer than the second studio album, “Images and Words,” “Awake” is more heavier/darker. The amazing thing about this album is the craftiness of guitarist John Petrucci to throw in a seven stringed guitar. He would use it in the songs “Caught in a Web,” “The Mirror,” and “Lie.” “Caught in a Web” would become one of the main hit songs because of James LaBrie’s high pitching vocals, making him one of the best vocals of heavy metal.
Even though Grunge was hitting the United States hard with Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, etc, Dream Theater was able to lift themselves to success with the “Awake” album. “Enrotomania,” a fine instrumental piece created by the group. Though not as abrasive when contrasting the later tune “Enigma Machine” released in the twelfth studio album, “Dream Theater,” it is still one awesome song. Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Rush seem to cross hands. Petrucci warms up doing the dazzling acoustic calm song “Silent Man.” “The Mirror” features the dark lyrics that are hammered well by LaBrie. Petrucci uses continuous third strokes on a seven stringed guitar that makes him unique, someone who you do not really find using a wonderful piece of instrument to make music. “Lie” would be the following song to display Petrucci’s ultimate shred, as a respectful musician.
With the music dying down in “Scarred,” keyboardist Kevin Moore’s “Space Dye Vest ” would appear. Written by Moore, the opening of this song provides the audience a world of soft piano playing. Even with his last presence with Dream Theater on this album, he had a great time making good songs for the group. One thing that could be upsetting is the fact no guitar solo exists on this song. Although, on the later recent released live album, “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” Petrucci performs an outstanding solo much like that of Dave Murray from Iron Maiden. A hardcore Dream Theater fan or someone looking into these progressive rockers/metallers shall not be disappointed purchasing this exciting artwork. [B]