The year is 1995 and an album is about to be released that changes the heavy metal game for the future. This landmark album would not only put the band on the map but it would go on to be one of the most influential and inspirational albums of the 90’s metal scene and beyond. I’m talking about Fear Factory and their undeniable masterpiece, Demanufacture. There is one story I love about the making of this album that I have to share. The album was recorded at Bearsville Studios in rural New York. Also in residence at the studio was New Jersey rockers, Bon Jovi who were in the studio recording their album These Days (which is actually a really good album in the Bon Jovi catalog and quite dark too). Anyways the story goes that Fear Factory were in the studio next door and one of Bon Jovi’s engineers asked them to turn the sound down, as it was bleeding into Bon Jovi’s drum mics, during Bon Jovi’s recording sessions. But that’s a whole other story for another time. What I want is to focus on the title track of the album. The concept for the album is about a man’s struggles against a machine-controlled government, with each song a chapter in his life. The first song on the album is the title track “Demanufacture” and as a tone setter, WOW. This song is blistering. The riffs are pummeling and the drums blast like Thor’s hammer. Then when you add Burton C. Bell’s vocals of clean singing to heavier vocals, you just can’t beat it. What a way to start off an album and a classic one at best. This song has gone on to live in infamy as one of the best title tracks but also as a track one!
Slayer’s Seasons In The Abyss is my favorite album of theirs. As much as I love Reign In Blood, there is just something more intriguing about Seasons. There’s a complexity to this album and also a different vibe than their other albums. From the moment “War Ensemble” starts all the way through to the closing title track “Seasons In The Abyss” there’s no denying that this album is beyond impactful. The title track is quite a departure. It’s a slowed down song with Tom Araya almost singing. The lyrics too are a bit different as well since Tom Araya wrote them and not Jeff Hanneman or Kerry King. This album is a classic through and through. Even though Reign gets all the rah rah acclaim, I still think Seasons is better.
The Velvet Underground is one of my Top 10 all time favorite bands. My mom got me into them when I was still a toddler. There’s something majestic about this band and what they create. Just when you think they are writing a “pop song” they flip the script and out comes something otherworldly. Lou Reed had one hell of a way of telling stories through songs. He was a profound writer and often doesn’t get the credit and respect he deserves. This song “White Light/White Heat” is also the title track of the same name. This song was released in January of 1968. Interestingly the song is about the sensations produced by intravenous injection of methamphetamines. “White Light/White Heat” was also a staple of the Velvet Underground’s live performances from 1967 on. The tune appears on numerous live bootleg albums, and the nearly nine-minute version included on the group’s posthumous 1969 Live double LP is one of the album’s centerpieces. This song holds such a candle with many artists, so much so that David Bowie even recorded a version of it. This track every time I hear it, I have to turn it up super loud and sing along! What a tremendous way to kickstart an album!
2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Converge’s astounding album, Jane Doe. This was the bands first album with bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller, as well as the bands first with guitarist Kurt Ballou behind the board. This album not only put Converge on the map it was a commercial breakthrough and received immediate acclaim, with critics praising its poetic lyrics, dynamics, ferocity and production. Through the years this album has gone on to inspire and influence countless bands. The intensity on this album is often copied but you can’t match the original. The title track on the album is quite interesting. Singer Jacob Bannon stated in an interview that many of the songs on Jane Doe came from the side project Supermachiner. That project was claimed to inspire Jane Doe‘s experimental side.The title track “Jane Doe” as well as “Phoenix in Flight” were initially intended for the Supermachiner album Rise of the Great Machine. I personally remember hearing this album for the first time. A friend recommended I check it out. At first I wasn’t too into it but, I opened up the booklet, put on some headphones listened again and read the lyrics as the album played and it all made sense. This album is an absolute modern masterpiece. The title track is epic and ahead of its time! Converge is a force to be reckoned with any day of the week.
Converge- Jane Doe:
These floods of you are unforgiving Pushing past me spilling through the banks And I fall Faster than light and faster than time That’s how memory works At least in the dark where I’m searching for meaning When I’m just searching for something I want out Out of every awkward day Out of every tongue tied loss I want out Out of the burdening night sweats Out of the rising seas of blood Lost in you like Saturday nights Searching the streets with bedroom eyes Just dying to be saved Run on girl Run on
Since I first heard about Black Map, I’ve been super stoked about them. I’ve had the pleasure to see them a few times as well as sit down with Ben and Mark for an interview. They are one of the best rock bands out there today and continue to impress and get better with each release. Their debut album has one of my favorite title tracks I’ve ever heard in “And We Explode Parts 1 & 2.” This song (let’s just call it one song), packs so much passion and awesomeness in it. The melody that accompanies the riffs and rhythms are pristine and are smooth as butter. It’s really a great showcase for how good of songwriters Black Map are along with players. If you haven’t heard Black Map before, you should definitely change that! Also, if you are in the Los Angeles area at the end of September (Sept 28 to be exact), Black Map is playing at The Whisky with my homies in Centershift.
I’m probably in a very small minority with what I’m about to say. To me, the best Pantera album is, The Great Southern Trendkill. This album emits a level of heavy that I think even surprised everyone involved in the making of it. I’ve always been very fond of the vocal production on this one too (courtesy of the masterful Sean Beavan working out of Trent Reznor’s studio in New Orleans). There’s something a bit more powerful and in your face about Philip’s delivery on this album. One thing is for certain, the first song on the album, the title track, “The Great Southern Trendkill” is one of the best title tracks. Everything about this song is badass. This is one of those title tracks that stands out amongst them all!
The more and more I listen to Coheed and Cambria, I keep finding endless things to love about this band. The musicianship, the concept, the lyrics, etc, it all shows how damn talented this band is. One of the songs that I’ve been stuck on of theirs is, “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3.” This song is epically huge, a bit proggy but, full of rock. As a title track, it’s pretty spectacular. Live this song is even more powerful. Over the years too, it’s become a live staple. Interestingly too, this was the third single from the album of same name.
Coheed and Cambria- In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3-
There are certain title tracks that not only summarize the album but also set a tone. For instance, with Neurosis and the title track to their highly influential and amazing album, Through Silver In Blood, the moment the first beat hits, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride. The layers of sludgey distorted guitars, the pummeling drums, bombastic bass, vocals the create a sense of urgency and summon the depths of the underworld, soundscapes that strike bits of fear and chills in your body along with the sheer magnitude of volume being emitted, it’s no wonder that Neurosis and this album set a blueprint for the post metal movement. Clocking in at a little over 12 minutes, “Through Silver In Blood” is one of those songs that not only is epic by nature it takes on a whole other life of its own. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Neurosis perform this song live a few times and every one of those times, this song rattles the room and the audience becomes so hypnotized by it that, when you look around and see the waves of heads banging and swaying, it’s breathtaking. This title track is one of the best ever and this album is a masterpiece.
There are so many albums celebrating monumental anniversaries this year. One of those albums is the Oasis album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory. I remember when this album was released and I couldn’t wait to buy it. I played the hell out of it. I got so engrossed with this album, that I knew all the words and would constantly sing along to it with my best friend at the time. One of the songs that always stood out to me was the title track, “Morning Glory.” This song has a great rock sound to it with huge guitars, bombastic rhythms and great melodies. Oh, and the little guitar solo is subtle yet perfect. The intro to the song is one of my favorites of all time. And, the moment Liam Gallagher’s vocals come it, you just know it’s going to be one of “those songs.” This is one of the best title tracks of all time, in my opinion.
The wait is finally over. Deftones have announced their new album, Ohms, will be released on September 25. The first single from the new record is the title track and it’s quite good. Sure there might be some bias on that since it has been a while that we’ve had new tunes from the band. Based on the sound of this track, it seems to bridge the gap between White Pony and their 2003 self titled album. Check out the song.