Monday, November 23, 2015

Ronnie James Dio-This Is Your Life (Tribute 2014)

Post #318

When Ronnie James Dio lost his battle with cancer in 2010, the world of heavy metal mourned the loss of one if its most iconic vocalists of all time.

As far as tributes go, it is hard to top this one. The roster of artists performing on this tribute CD are all practically legends themselves. Killswitch Engage, Scorpions, Corey Taylor (of Slipknot and Stone Sour), Halestorm, Anthrax, Tenacious D, and even the mighty Metallica have all included a song on this collection. That should show you the significance of Dio's influence alone, but do yourself a favor and listen to this collection of songs, penned by one of the greatest vocalists metal has ever known.

Recommended tracks:
-Neon Knights (Anthrax)
-The Last In Line (Tenacious D)
-Rainbow In The Dark (Corey Taylor and others)
-The Temple of the King (Scorpions)
-Straight Through The Heart (Halestorm)
-Ronnie Rising Medley (a blend of 4 tracks from Ronnie's material by Rainbow-arranges and performed by Metallica)
-This is Your Life (Dio- this one is a Dio original, and one I hadn't paid close attention to before. It is from his album Angry Machines. The lyrics make it a very fitting inclusion here.)

Do not forget that 100% of the proceeds from sales of this tribute album benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Post #317
It is time again to vote and decide the new Independent Band of the Year here at Check out each of the following contestants and vote for your favorite! If you have a couple you can't decide between, you do have the option of voting for more than one. When the poll closes, the band with the most votes will become the featured independent band on this site for the 2016 calendar year.

MAKESHIFT TRAGEDY (NuMetal/Post Hardcore- Indianapolis, IN)

These guys from Indianapolis are tearing things up with their modern Nu-Metal sound. A hardcore vocal style with alternative-metal elements

Check out:
Half Life Homicide

VIA (Melodic Death/Progressive Metal, New Castle, DE)

This band has a serious hardcore riff structure and a vocal repertoire to match. Primarily hardcore/death metal music and vocal styles, but they incorporate melodic elements and progressive song-structures.

Check out:
-Royal Bloodshed
-Hell's Gate

EL FAMOUS (Melodic Metalcore- Chicago, IL)

Chicago natives deliver intense, furious metalcore riffage, with technical guitar elements and a peppering of melodic vocals. Lyrics convey self-empowering themes.
Check out:

ARCANE FRAMEWORK (Melodic Metal/Alt Rock- Wauconda, IL)

A female-fronted metal band that delivers a great mix of heavy and melodic songs. Beautiful vocal qualities clash with thundering and heavy riffs broken up by melodic guitar passages.
Check out:
-Some Kind of Grace

STAND WELL AMONG GIANTS  (Electronic Post-Hardcore- Orlando, FL)

A hardcore metal band with a little something different. A melodic hardcore structure, layered throughout with electronic music elements and percussion.
Check out:
-Pluto of Jupiter

SCARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Progressive-Power/Traditional Metal- McHenry, IL)

A tight heavy metal band with a full, heavy and balanced sound. Heavy traditional metal that incorporates progressive elements. There is no shortage of technical expertise in the guitar work while the vocals remind me of a fusion of grunge and power metal.
Check out:
-Our Dying Day
-Edge of Darkness

ANCHORS OF EMPIRES (Alt. Rock/Post-Hardcore- Kenosha, WI)

A melodic metal band, with catchy hooks, melodic vocals, powerful hard rock riffs, and thrash-metal elements. These guys are poised for mainstream accessibility.
Check out:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Eliminator-...and the Brokenhearted Balladeers (2011)

Post #316

Eliminator... at one point they were dubbed the 'Masters of Speed-Black', back in 2008 with the release of their first full-length album, Breaking the Wheel. Then in 2010 they decided they didn't like being boxed into a specific genre, even if it was a unique one of their own invention, and incorporated several different stylistic elements on their 2nd album The One They Were Waiting For. I've reviewed both of those releases (follow the links above to see more of my thoughts on them!), but their 3rd album, released in 2011, was so unprecedented I feel almost like it rewrote the rules of music for me, or perhaps it is more accurate to say it defenestrated all the rules of music...

In any case, I've wanted to write this review for a long time, and now its time has come. Eliminator's 3rd album: And The Brokenhearted Balladeers

While many of their established fans may shun the music recorded here for its daring new directions and seeming abandonment of the 'speed-black' metal style from their debut, I do believe the open-minded music fan will find this release almost incomparably unique among rock/metal releases in general. The album opens with 'Cuttin' You Down (Switchblade Fighter)', a song that emulates a power-ballad vibe with a raw, almost under-produced sound. Though the recording quality is high throughout, the production seems like the sounds were left in their original state- not doctored up in any way. Guitar music purists out there will love this aspect of the album, regardless of which track they may choose to sample. A power ballad is already a totally novel concept coming from Eliminator, but that's just the beginning...

The second track, 'No Answers' is best described as a hardcore-punk/metal song. It is not quite as intense as their work on Breaking the Wheel, but it's as close as you'll get on this album. Fans from that early Eliminator album may find this to be the only song worth recommending, but I dare anyone reading this to listen to the album front-to-back and then see what you think. It is a listening experience truly unlike any other.

My personal favorite from this album is the third track, 'Near Dark'. This one is much more traditional metal in its approach and execution. Themed after the cult-classic vampire flick of the same name, this song deliveres a more 'metal' subject matter as well. The intro guitar solo will grab you with shredding hooks, and pull you under... Go willingly! You'll thank me for it later.

As 'Near Dark' winds to a close the drums transition in an instant to 'Sex, Drinks, and Music... In My Grave', an old-school rock and roll song, complete with boogie-woogie piano. It almost has a vibe like an ole' west drinking song. The seamless transition from one song to the next brings the shocking contrast of style home with full force. Here again is an instant where listeners will need a moment to process what they're hearing, and ultimately decide for themselves if they like it or not.

The album continues to shift back and forth and sideways between several rock and metal genres. You may start to wonder what they were thinking when composing such diverse music and juxtaposing the songs on a single album, but if you can set that all aside and simply listen... you'll find this to be a very creative, innovative, and above all unique collection of music. Overall, I find And the Brokenhearted Balladeers to be ambitious in its originality; daring in its blatant destruction of walls between the genres of rock 'n' roll, blues, and metal; yet still appeasing in its surprising listenability. An essential recommendation for those with eclectic tastes!

Recommendations from And the Brokenhearted Balladeers:
-No Answers
-Near Dark
-Sex, Drinks and Music... In My Grave
-Amor Fati (This one is also quite unique, even within the context of this album! electric-guitar avant-garde, slow and melodic...)
-Time is On Your Side (Another heavier offering: next to 'No Answers', perhaps the heaviest tune on the album.)

(FYI: when viewing the Eliminator Bandcamp page, the tracks are simply numbered. Here is a reference to the song titles: 1-Cuttin' You Down (Switchblade Fighter), 2-No Answers, 3-Near Dark, 4-Sex, Drinks, and Music... In My Grave, 5-Just Ain't the Same, 6-Route 69, 7-Punk Island, 8-Amor Fati, 9-Time is On Your Side, 10-Crystal Ball)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Imminent Sonic Destruction-Recurring Themes (2012)

Post #315

Imminent Sonic Destruction, from Detroit, MI are like the 2nd coming of Dream Theater. There are some specific examples of similarities you can directly compare, but as is the case with any new band, they forge their own unique elements into those they take from their influences. Beyond that first impression of mine, they do seem to be true disciples of prog rock and prog metal as their name is a direct inspiration from the progressive space-rock band Hawkwind. It is just with their heavy tonality, and balanced instrumentation, Dream Theater is the most accurate comparison that comes to mind...
Recurring Themes is a full-length album (it's hard not to be when they employ such an accomplished prog-metal style!) that is packed with technical prowess, grand ambition, spectacular musicianship, and jaw-dropping execution. Although a self-released title, they did catch the ear of famous metal producer Roy Z (whom has produced albums for the likes of Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson), and he offered to produce this album.

The opening song, 'Driving Home' features heavy guitars, synthesizers, and elegant guitar solos. It clocks in at just over 10 minutes and instantly gives you a heavy dose of this band's abilities. Fans of Dream Theater (like myself) will find them to be a promising young talent with a bright and promising future.

Another track, 'With Death This Story Ends', gives you a bit of something new, as it incorporates a subtle amount of hardcore screaming in the vocal palate. At first it is a slower, subdued song, with a mild tempo primarily driven by bass and drums. Overall the vocals are still primarily melodic, it is just that we hear their potential for the harder edge after a transition towards the end of the song. In this day and age almost any serious metal band will use some degree of hardcore vocals. Imminent Sonic Destruction are no different, and they can do so as well as anybody, they just choose to use it sparingly.

Describing their style as "progressive super metal" is no understatement, and neither are the comparissons to Dream Theater! It takes a lot to reach that level of musicianship, and it is not a comparisson to make lightly. They can compose and execute compositions of epic length with professional scope and vision. no less than 3 of this album's tracks break the 10 minute mark. 'Raven', the longest of them all, clocks iin at 16:36, and closes the album in stellar fashion.

Another favorite track I want to highlight is 'Here, It's Over'. This one has a dark, melodic intro that feels like it's building to something. The bridges and choruses are heavy thrash metal segments, while the verses revert to the melodic minor-key vibe of the intro. The lyrics depict a personal relationship: a life built together that is slowly disintegrating. Vocally, there are hardcore screams that come into play when the emotions intensify.

So if any of you are a Dream Theater fan wondering when another band might come along to follow their footsteps, or carry that style of metal into the next generation, wait no longer. That band has arrived, and their name is Imminent Sonic Destruction!

Visit their Youtube Channel to see music videos, interviews, stunts, updates, etc...

Though this release has been out for a couple years already, they are still touring in support of it. As a matter of fact, ISD are opening for Fates Warning on their North American Tour this fall!
Visit their facebook page for more details and updates...

Recommended tracks from Imminent Sonic Destruction's Recurring Themes:
-Driving Home
-With Death This Story Ends
-Here, It's Over

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dee Snider: Shut Up And Give Me The Mic (A Twisted Memoir)

Post #314

Dee Snider has lived quite a memorable life in the world of rock n' roll and heavy metal music. In his 2012 autobiography, Shut Up and Give Me the Mic, he tells his tale, and that of Twisted Sister, with an often humbling honesty born from clear-minded, 20/20 hindsight of a career that was a rock n' roll roller coaster ride. I know that sounds cliché, but there are few more-accurate analogies to make!
Dee's childhood and teen years from his middle-class suburban New York upbringing are covered with enough detail that you get a sense that you knew a kid like Dee at some point or other in your life. As he began to pursue his passion for rock music by singing in local bands, his reputation and natural talent eventually led him to audition for Jay Jay French's band Twisted Sister.

Years of building a cult following on New York's club scene, and a reputation as the hardest working band in the city would eventually pay off as they were finally signed to a major label in the early '80's. However, the circumstances and details of the contract, management at the record company, and promotional support (or lack thereof) would each be key ingredients of the band's fall from grace a few years down the road.

First, however, there was their unprecedented rise to the top of the heavy metal music scene. A couple albums into their career Twisted Sister hit the jackpot. Stay Hungry was their 3rd album, released in 1984, and featured their first genuine hit, "We're Not Gonna Take It". It broke open many doors for the band; international touring, commercial success, multi-platinum album sales... Heck, the entire genre of Glam-Metal (AKA 'Hair Metal') probably got its image from Dee Snider's hair! But one of the biggest keys of Twisted Sister's, and Dee Snider's, success as a cultural phenomenon was their success on MTV.

The band jumped into the MTV music video business with true flair. Dee himself had a specific vision of a semi-scripted mini screen play that would serve as an intro to the actual song. The resulting video was of course, "We're Not Gonna Take It". If you look into the history of music videos, you'll find that this was the first ever music video to feature an extended, scripted segment preceding the song, acting out a story-line that sets the mood for the song, and continuing the plot throughout.

For the next year or so the band enjoyed the success of rock-stars, as their stereotype expectations of a dream-career as rock musicians actually came true... But an unfortunate set of circumstances that would doom their career was just around the corner.

Ironically, the cultural phenomenon that Twisted Sister and Dee Snider had become would also play a role in their downward spiral as the parents of this generation of metal fans would make them an example of the 'evils' they believed lay in the music's themes and lyrics. The Parents Music Resource Center (aka P.M.R.C.) originated at about this time as a crusade of sorts against profanity and violence in music. They sought to demand that music which contained certain offensive lyrics and imagery be labeled with Parental Advisory stickers to make consumers aware of their content. This concept quickly brought up the first amendment and the right to free speech.

Dee was invited to give a statement at the senate hearing for the PMRC's proposed parental warning labels for rock music packaging.
(I.E. the 'Parental Advisory-Explicit Lyrics or Content' labels that are now found on a great many album covers- this is where that practice began, and the artists were against it for the most part...) What the PMRC expected was a wasted, unsophisticated, profanity-spewing, blasphemous, high school drop-out, whose demeanor would incriminate itself and become an example of the exact thing they were against. But what they got was Dee Snider: a 100% clean and sober, composed, intelligent, family man who happened to be the lead singer for one of the most popular rock and roll bands of that era. I could describe Dee's speech in detail, but it's easier to just see it for yourself here:

To put it in a nutshell: The PMRC were unprepared for Dee's logical arguments and defense of his craft. Before they knew what hit them, it was all over, and the pompous politicians and their wives were stuck in a perpetual verbal back-pedal, and having difficulty defending or justifying their own words that Dee Snider had quoted to them.

The down side? There was no social media back in 1985, and the masses who would have been educated from hearing this speech didn't get the chance. Coverage in most media outlets was limited to a couple of paragraphs in a newspaper, or 30 seconds on the nightly news. And each reporter was able to put their own spin on the debate, or the spin they were told to put on it by the company they worked for... in 1985... in the height of the Republican's wave of conservatism... at the peak of Reagan's popularity.

Sure, nowadays, every metal-head who is worth their weight in denim and leather will champion Dee for taking a stand for metal music, and representing the artists with dignity, respect, and composure. But what difference did it make back then? Well, do you see those parental warnings on the cover-art for your cutting edge artists? And even more relevant to this specific review: can you name a top-40 Twisted Sister hit AFTER 1985??? In the fallout from the PMRC's demonizing of heavy metal in general, and Twisted Sister (and Dee Snider) specifically, record stores cut their promotion of their music, parents wouldn't let their kids buy their albums, and MTV even banned their high-budget music video from their follow-up album from their network! That song was 'Be Chrool to Your Scuel', and it featured a guest-appearance by the one and only Alice Cooper, but it was never aired! (Of course now it is available on youtube, you'll see I've posted it below...)

For Twisted Sister, their rise and fall has been a mixed bag of blessings and curses, with one often tied-to or wrapped in the other. Dee recounts all of these circumstances with humble clarity, and foreshadows what's to come as the proverbial dominoes are set up right in front of his face, only to be tumbled down in a collapsing house of cards. By the end of the 80's, Twisted Sister was dead in the water, and for all the ambition, creativity, and side projects that Dee could muster, it was years before he was able to find other successful in-roads back into the entertainment business.

Overall, I have found Shut Up, and Give Me the Mic to be one of the most enjoyable and insightful memoirs of a heavy metal artist I have read yet. I am grateful to Dee for taking the time to write this book, and tell his own side of his life-story. I find I am more appreciative of the music he has made because of my understanding of the work that went into creating it, and circumstances that surrounded it. I sincerely hope I am able to catch Twisted Sister live in concert before they hang it up for good. Even if they remain a nostalgia-act, performing just their hits from the 80's, I would still appreciate the chance to see the hardest working band in show business.

In closing, I'll leave you with links to Twisted Sister's trilogy of classic music videos... (well, 2 classics and the 'controversial' banned-from-MTV 3rd video), followed by some recommended tracks that give you a good slice of Twisted Sister's legacy...

Recommended tracks from Twisted Sister:
-Under the Blade
-Bad Boys (of Rock N' Roll)
-You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll
-I Am (I'm Me)
-Burn In Hell
-Stay Hungry
-The Price
-I Wanna Rock
-Be Chrool to Your Schuel
-We're Not Gonna Take It
-Heroes are Hard to Find

Friday, July 10, 2015

Scarlet Canary-Arise (2015)

Post #313

Scarlet Canary are a female-fronted metal band from Denver, CO. I first discovered them when they came to Chicago to play Dame-Nation in August 2013. Their style could be called hard-rock as easily as it could be called melodic metal. I prefer the latter, especially as they incorporate elements of hardcore and metalcore into their sound.

Scarlet Canary's style and formula is actually quite comparable to Halestorm's for the most part. They employ a crisp and heavy tonality, song structures that vary form alternative rock to classic metal or even thrash, memorable guitar riffs, lead guitar solos, and catchy vocal melodies. Singer Hannah Haze delivers the lyrics with a primarily melodic style, but when she goes for it, her voice has a gritty edge when she pulls out her hardcore screams.

Their newest EP: Arise, gives you everything you'd expect from them for those who have heard their previous recordings, but adds the slightest hardcore edge. Since their last album they've had a change in their line-up and some of the new members bring their own influences into the mix. Overall the results are great! This band was poised to step to the next level and Arise certainly takes them in that direction.

Now for a breakdown of the tracks...
Fade-Clean guitar intro, and clean vocal melodies. The song progresses to include distorted guitars, but remains within a radio-friendly structure. This one is pretty much alt-rock through and through.

Regrets-A little heavier, this slow-to-mid tempo rocker builds to a strong chorus where hardcore vocals are used to deliver the line, "Your strength is beautiful to me!"

Death of Rock and Roll-This one is a great metal song with a strong groove, and could also be called a drinking song. Although if one would listen closely its lyrics are a tongue-in-cheek satire and lamentation of the hardships of struggling to make it in the music business as an independent artist. The crux is summed up best near the song's end when they suggest that the 'shots' you get at the bar will be the only 'shot' you'll get.

Bring Forth the Fire-Here is where Scarlet Canary up the ante a bit. During the choruses of this song hardcore screams are featured more prominently. On this one we may be hearing some of the influence from newer members, but it reveals a promising and versatile palate with which this band could continue to create music. To them I would say, 'Bring forth more music!'

Bottles and Anchors- This one has a more traditional metal/hard rock sound, keeping Scarlet Canary's sound accessible yet still heavy. Backing vocal elements tempt me to compare this number to the style to Iron Maiden. Coincidentally this song also contains one of the better guitar solos on this EP. Lyrically the song walks you through the ashes of a broken relationship, and the protagonist experiences betrayal, despair, and later some retribution.

Ghosts- This one has a memorable riff in a minor key which sets a dark mood, util the chorus brings a key-change and lifts the mood. Then the song returns to the darker mood for the next verse. This song has a true ebb and flow with the well-structured key-changes that keep the mood in flux. Another awesome guitar solo can be found here too.

Scarlet Canary are on tour again this summer and will be appearing in northern Illinois once again. This time they're hitting Rockford, IL on August 29th. Tracks from Arise are sure to be prominently featured in their set-list. If you like what you hear in the links below, then you should definitely catch them when they come through town. Visit their Official Website or facebook page for tour schedule, streaming audio and news updates. Also visit them on Reverbnation, itunes, or Bandcamp for downloads. Or you could buy a CD copy here.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dark Entropy- 2014 Demos (plus new recording 'Crucifixation')

Post #312

Dark Entropy are a thrash metal band from Chicago. They've been writing, recording, and performing in the greater-Chicago area since 2011. The founding members of guitarist Matt Schering and drummer Richard Spoo have persevered through a couple line-up changes since then, keeping their vision of thrash-centric heavy metal alive. Their current line-up includes vocalist Brandon Castaneda and bassist Chico Weeks. You can catch their live performances around Chicago and the neighboring suburbs this summer-follow their facebook page for dates and venues...

Their formula is strongly influenced by the classic thrash era: Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Slayer, Sepultura... the tonality and riff structure of their songs is unmistakably thrash. Vocals are rough-edged growls, occasionally skating on the edge of hardcore screams and guttural growls. Castaneda also employs some melodic vocal passages. The melodic vocals are a decent change of pace but the aggressive vocal style is certainly the singer's comfort zone. The guitar solos are on par with classic thrash metal in technique, and provide the artistic highlight on several of their songs.

Now for an overview of the demos they recorded recently. If you do make it to a show, then you are bound to hear at least a couple of these tracks (which can also be streamed in their entirety on the previously mentioned facebook page.)

FEAR I said Dark Entropy were thrash metal, and that's exactly what you'll get with this number. A mid-tempo thrasher with a couple segments of double-time feel, hardcore vocals, sparing amounts of both melodic singing and darker, black-metal style screams.

Dying to go Insane Another great example of  Dark Entropy's thrash abilities, with a little something different. This one incorporates a touch of black-metal style vocals during the bridge and choruses.

Sins of Our Fathers  This song has an intro that reminds me of Metallica's 'That Was Just Your Life', proving yet again how true-to-form these guys are when it comes to thrash metal. This blending of rough and melodic singing continues...

Enlisted in Suicide This song is another solid thrash number. Again Dark Entropy make their influences apparent, either deliberately or subconsciously, this song has a vocal rhythm and melody that recalls the likes of Metallica's 'Phantom Lord' or Pantera's 'Primal Concrete Sledge'.

Crucifixation (2015 Single) This most-recent recording is driven by a relentless rapid-fire drum beat. This is the essence of thrash metal: killer tempos, and shredding, heavy riffs you ears can barely keep up with! This one gets my top pick for this collection of songs.

Overall I find the music of Dark Entropy filled with the promise of even better music to come as they persevere with their vision and hone their craft on Chicago's local scene and beyond. Again, visit their facebook page for tour schedule and links to these songs on Reverbnation for stream or download.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Metallica Mix Challenge

Post # 311 (The Metallica Mix Challenge!)

I thought of this challenge as a way for Metallica fans to exercise their fandom while awaiting the release of the next Metallica album. The challenge: what 13 tracks would you put in your Metallica mix (and can you keep it under 80 minutes-to fit it on an audio-CDR?) Try to make the track-list flow with a purpose and direction, and give your reasons for your picks. The hits? The covers? Deep tracks? Early tracks? Later tracks? From the radio-staples to the rarities, anything is game. I polled several of my friends and followers through this blog's facebook page to get some people to participate.

Here are the Metallica mixes that were created by some of the most die-hard Metallica fans I know. You will see that to each fan, different songs speak to them. Sure, there are several examples of truly essential songs that appear in most of these mixes, but as a long-time fan who appreciates every era of Metallica's career, it is interesting for me to see the songs that mean the most to others. Starting with my own Metallica Mix....

HappyHeadbanger's Metallica Mix: I wanted to compile some of Metallica's recent contributions to tribute albums that have not appeared on a Metallica record yet, plus their performance with Lang Lang from the recent Grammy Awards show, then round out the playlist with some deep tracks- favorites of mine that are never played on the radio, and rarely- if ever- performed by Metallica in concert.
1-The Ecstasy of Gold (Studio version, from the tribute to Ennio Morricone: We All Love Ennio Morricone)
2-Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover)
3-The God That Failed
4-Fight Fire with Fire
5-The Unnamed Feeling
6-No Remorse
7-53rd and 3rd (Ramones cover, from the tribute to Ramones: We're a Happy Family)
8-Dyers Eve
9-Broken, Beat and Scarred
10-Phantom Lord (Live- taken from the 'Jump in the Fire/Creeping Death EP')
11-Rebel of Babylon
12-Ronnie Rising Medley (From 'Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life' a tribute to Ronnie James Dio)

Lance H's Metallica MixAll are just my favorite Metallica songs:
Harvester of Sorrow
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Call of Cthulu
Dyer's Eve
The Thing that Should not be
The Four Horsemen
Hit the Lights
The God that Failed

Matt A's Metallica MixHere is my list. This would be my Metallica concert setlist in order. 13 songs is tough. I want it crazy the whole way 

Creeping Death
Don't Tread On Me
(Anesthsia) Pulling Teeth
The Four Horsemen
And Justice For All
Welcome Home Sanitarium
Fade To Black
Last Caress (cover)
The Day That Never Comes

Denny J's Metallica Mix:

1. One
2. Creeping Death
3. Call of Kluto(spelling I'm sure is wrong lol)
4. Damage Inc.
5. Cyanide
6. Master of Puppets
7. Breadfan (cover)
8. Battery
9. Fade to Black
10. Four Horsemen

Norry M's Metallica Mix:
The Unforgiven (Black album)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Seek & Destroy
...And Justice for All
Enter Sandman
Master of Puppets
Creeping Death
Wherever I may Roam
Sad but True

JP S's Metallica Mix:
In no particular order:
All Nightmare Long
Sad But True
Hit The Lights
Devil's Dance
Creeping Death
Disposable Heroes
The Frayed Ends of Sanity
Bleeding Me
Wherever I May Roam
Sweet Amber
Ain't My Bitch
Ride The Lightning

Mauricio S's Metallica Mix:

1 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
2 Damage Inc.
3 Orion
4 Battery
5 Fade to Black
6 Blackened
7 2X4
8 The Four Horsemen
9 Motorbreath
10 Fight Fire with Fire
11 Disposable Heroes
(1st 12th pick- later omitted: Bleeding Me)
12 My Friend of Misery
13 For Whom The Bell Tolls

Aarin O's Metallica Mix:
1. Unforgiven
2. One
3. Leper Messiah
4. Battery
5. Sad but True
6. Of Wolf and Man
7. Trapped Under Ice
8. Ride the Lightning
9. Seek and Destroy
10. Enter Sandman
11. Creeping Death
12. Harvester of Sorrow
13. Turn the Page ( Cover )

Ian A's Metallica Mix:
1- The Ecstasy of Gold (Live version)
2- The Mechanix (Live '82)
3- No Remorse
4- Fade to Black
5- The Thing That Should Not Be
6- Dyers Eve
7- My Friend of Misery
8- Ronnie
9- Where the Wild Things Are
10- So What? (cover)
11- Unnamed Feeling
12- The Day That Never Comes
13- Hate Train

Ryan B's Metallica Mix:

Enter Sandman
The Unforgiven
The Unforgiven II
The Unforgiven III
King Nothing
Breadfan (cover)
Master of Puppets
The Day That Never Comes
The Memory Remains
Turn The Page (cover)

Some fun facts about these 10 Metallica Mixes:

Most picked songs: Battery (8), One (7), The Four Horsemen (4), Fade to Black (4), Blackened (4)

Most picks by album: Master of Puppets (23), Ride The Lightning (19), ...And Justice For All (19), Metallica (17)

Mixes featuring every Metallica studio album: Ian A's, JP S's

Mixes that remained under 80 minutes: Happy Headbanger's, Matt A's, Denny J's, Ian A's, Aarin O's

Master of Puppets was the only album to have every track picked for somebody's mix out of these first ten mixes.

Feel free to post your own Metallica Mix (13 songs or less) as a comment on this post, or on this blog's Facebook Page.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Her Name is Mercy-Oceans (2015)

Post #310

Her Name Is Mercy are the current Independent Band of the Year for this blog, and although I've been trying my best to keep up with announcing their shows throughout the year, I am long overdue to review their recent album 'Oceans'.

Her Name Is Mercy are a hardcore metal band from Lafayette, IN. Their  eight-track debut album, 'Oceans', gives you a little bit from each facet of their musical formula. The most prominent features of their music are of course hardcore screamed vocals, heavy crunching guitar riffs, and intense tempos with powerful double-bass drum rhythms. This is essentially their hallmark, but their talent and creativity doesn't stop there. A close listen to this album in its entirety reveals more layers to their sound...

The first track is simply entitled 'Intro', and sets the mood for the album. Fade-in with the sound of ocean waves washing upon the shore, and gulls squawking in the background. Then a minor key melody begins playing on piano. Cellos join in on the melody, then synthetic percussion followed by true bass-drumming. Lastly come the electric guitars with their powerful heavy riffs. All this is simply to prepare you for the over-the-top intensity that is to follow.

'Faceless' is non-stop riffage and hardcore screams. Vocalist Kory Rogers' voice dwells in the guttural death-metal range for much of the song. This song's formula may be the norm for the album,but there are a few small departures...

'Aftermath' is without a doubt the biggest departure for Her Name Is Mercy on this collection of songs. A clean-tone melodic guitar at the start lets you know this song has something different to offer. While this soft riff continues at a mild tempo, a lead guitar joins the mix. These solos are reminiscent of Metallic's 'Fade to Black'. In fact, 'Aftermath' does for Oceans what 'Fade to Black' did for Ride the Lightning; it gives the album some true variety and depth, making it more memorable in the process.

'Oceans', the title track, is probably the album's crowning achievement. It may not provide anything new, but the intensity, hardcore heaviness, and downright insanity of the vocal delivery are done with some intangible precision that elevates this track a notch above the rest. They even have a music video for this one. Check it out:
For any of you who appreciate hardcore and death metal, take a minute to download Oceans from Her Name Is Mercy. It's currently available for free/name-your-price through their bandcamp page:

Recommended Tracks:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Her Name is Mercy playing in support of Makeshift Tragedy at their CD release show

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Her Name is Mercy, are performing in support of Makeshift Tragedy's CD Release show this Friday, May 29th in Indianapolis, IN and the 5th Quarter Lounge. It's another chance to see this year's Independent Band of the Year live...

Click the link below for details!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Her Name Is Mercy: FREE SHOW This Saturday, April 18th! (Frankfurt, IN)

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Her Name is Mercy are about to perform another free concert. 21 and over/no cover, this Saturday, April 18 at the Animal House in Frankfurt, IN. Show starts at 6pm. Guaranteed to be a night of blistering hardcore and death-metal!! Also performing: Damn Us All, Speed God, Only Human, Born Under Burden and more!
Download their album 'Oceans' from

Monday, January 12, 2015

Her Name Is Mercy: FREE SHOW, January 17th- Frankfurt, IN!

Post #307

Her Name Is Mercy recently won the title of 'Independent Band of the Year' here at Their first show of 2015 is a free show at Animal House in Frankfurt, IN. As chance would have it, last year's 'Independent Band of the Year', Psychopathic Daze is also playing this show. Wonder if they'll do any 'Passing of the Torch' ceremony as part of the show? In any case, pure face-melting metal is sure to be heard! Don't miss it!