Robert Trujillo

Title Tracks: Metallica

metallica_logo

Metallica are one of those bands whose title track songs are among the best in their catalog. There is no denying the power of a song like “Master Of Puppets” or even “And Justice For All.” I’ve said it many times and I’ll continue to say it, James Hetfield is one of the best songwriters and lyricists. Even the song “St. Anger,” though the production and tones are all terrible, there is a certain something about that particular song that just sums up that album perfectly. With all that being said, here’s Metallica’s title tracks for you to enjoy!

 

Metallica- Ride The Lightning:

 

 
Metallica- Master Of Puppets:

 

 

 

Metallica- And Justice For All:

 

 
Metallica- St. Anger:

 

 

Metallica- Hardwired…:

 

Advertisements

Solo Album Spotlight: Jerry Cantrell- Degradation Trip

600x600.jpg

Ever since I started Audioeclectica, I’ve constantly been thinking of different topic ideas to add to the fun. One that I’ve been thinking about a lot as of late is a spotlight on solo albums. There are so many out there and certain ones really deserve to be given their proper due. Solo albums are tricky to pull off. A lot of the time the solo album tends to fall flat or sound too similar to the artists main band.

Back in 2002 following the passing of Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell was readying a new solo album. The album was recorded before Layne had passed but, was dedicated to him when the album was released two months later. The album I’m speaking of is Degradation Trip. This opus is truly a remarkable album. The story behind it is pretty interesting too.  To quote Jerry, “In ’98, I locked myself in my house, went out of my mind, and wrote 25 songs. I rarely bathed during that period of writing; I sent out for food; I didn’t really venture out of my house in three or four months. It was a hell of an experience.” Something else that makes Degradation Trip a stand out solo album is Jerry using a different backing band, enlisting the help  Mike Bordin (Faith No More, ex- Ozzy Osbourne) on drums and Robert Trujillo (Metallica, ex- Ozzy Osbourne. Another intriguing tidbit about this album is that while making it, Jerry would be left without a label and a slew of studio bills. Jerry would go on to mortgage his home to continue on making this record. Upon completion, Jerry would sign a new deal with Roadrunner Records. After the signing, the label had asked for the album to be condensed from 25 songs to 14, but promised it would release the other songs at some point. Which explains why there are two different versions of Degradation Trip.

Jerry Cantrell is one hell of a songwriter and on this album he really carves his own niche. While the material on this album has many similarities to Alice In Chains, there is a purity to it that makes this a memorable and artistic triumph. Songs like “Psychotic Break,” “Owned,” “Angel Eyes,” “Solitude,” “Hellbound,” “Gone,” “Castaway,” She Was My Girl,” “Anger Rising” and “Thanks Anyway” are among my favorites on the album. The guitar work on all throughout the album is masterful. Not only are Jerry’s riff skills impressive, his use of melody is what really separates him from the pack. Always one to write deep and introspective words, Jerry doesn’t stray from that on this album. In fact I find these songs to be some of the most poetic songs he’s written since Dirt.

Jerry Cantrell really comes through on delivering a true solo album. This album deserves to be regarded and given the proper accolades it deserves. It’s not easy to go out on your own especially when you are part of something as special as Alice In Chains but, Jerry did it with grace and artistry. Check out Degradation Trip and let the music consume you.

 

Jerry Cantrell- Degradation Trip Volumes I & II:

 

Anger Rising Video:

Stop Hating On Metallica!!!!

metallica-logo-wallpaper-DjARrUr.jpg

Over the last few days I’ve read a slew of other people’s reviews about Metallica’s new album, Hardwired…To Self Destruct. A good majority of the complaints say there is too much on it, the songs are too long, it sounds too much like Load and The Black Album or there isn’t enough of their classic sound. Are you people ever satisfied? Metallica has written an “album” people!!! You know, one of those pieces of music that you listen to from start to finish. Each song takes you on an emotional ride of aggression, pain, anger, and other tumultuous feelings. Hell, they purposely made it a double album to show you that this is an album. Hardwired is an album that is a summation of everything Metallica has ever done. The songs have elements of their classic thrash style from the Kill Em All era all the way through And Justice For All, the more riff driven Black album style, and the solemn bluesy material a la Load. But that isn’t good enough for some of you elitists out there. This album is seriously one of their best. I for one am proud to say that. Not just as a fan but, as a musician, writer, and someone that understands sonics and dynamics in songwriting and recording. I’m curious to know how many of these so called “critics” have ever actually played an instrument or played in a band. I would bet that 9 out of 10 haven’t. It shows by how you judge an album. You’re opinion is your own, and I won’t begrudge you that, but most of you need to get your heads out of your ass and pay attention to what is happening here.  This album has the ability to help reinvigorate and inspire legions of people to grab instruments and start a band. All you elitist/posers out there remind me of those that are so critical of film, yet have never made one. Until you’ve tried it, and really given it a shot, you can’t say anything. To me you all just sound like trolls.

Let me further explain why you all should stop hating on Metallica. Rather than tarnish their legacy over the years and just throw out albums, like some of their peers (Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax), they have taken the time to work on making the absolute best album they can. And on this new one Metallica really succeeds. Hardwired is the album all you “critics” have been whining about wanting for years. How can you not see it? A good majority of Metallica’s early songs were all six or seven minutes long. It wasn’t until The Black Album, that they wrote shorter songs. You wanted thrashy classic songs? It’s thrashy throughout the entire thing!  You all complain about James’s voice? This is the best he has sounded on an album in years. Even Lars Ulrich’s playing on the new album is great. Yes Lars is playing his ass off on this album. He isn’t trying to be flashy and over do it. Instead he sticks to what he knows the songs needs and it comes across in a way that is pummeling, just like the riffs. Kirk Hammett’s solos on this new album are hypnotic at times and classic. Robert Trujillo’s playing is back to the Cliff days.

Metallica are the Kings of Metal and Hard Rock for a reason. They work hard and play harder than most. They don’t need to have 25 albums in their catalog to show that. How many bands can you name that have a catalog like Metallica’s, where pretty much every album is undeniably great? Their first five albums are classics and game changers. Load is a tremendous and mature album. Give it another listen and you’ll see what I mean.  Reload and St. Anger have some really good songs, and if they were produced and recorded properly, could probably be right up there in terms of great songs Metallica has ever put out. Death Magnetic was a record that got them back to their roots and allowed Hardwired To Self Destruct to be created. Yes the compression levels on it were too much, but you can’t doubt the songs. Especially  “The Day That Never Comes,” ” All Nightmare Long,” “Cyanide,” “Suicide & Redemption,” and ” The Judas Kiss.”

They’ve always done what they wanted, and have grown more as a band than most. Their songwriting ability alone is unrivaled. I would dare most bands to try and write a better song than James Hetfield can. He is probably one of the most underrated songwriters, guitarists, lyricists and singers of all time. This new album is a great example of that. Hardwired To Self Destruct is the Metallica album for the 21st century. These songs like like “Hardwired,” Atlas, Rise,” “Moth Into Flame,” “Halo on Fire,” “Spit Out The Bone,” hell all of them, are going to blow you away live.

Embrace your love for the band, and know that they gave you all what you want and then some!… STOP HATING ON METALLICA.

Album Review: Metallica- Hardwired…To Self Destruct

20160818_193928_7549_939483.jpeg

Metallica is one of my top 3 favorite bands of all time, right behind Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains. I’ve been eagerly anticipating a new album from Metallica for a while now. And I can honestly say that the wait was well worth it. Metallica really delivers the goods on their new album Hardwired…To Self Destruct. This album has everything Metallica fans love about the band. It’s thrashy, riff driven with lots of groove, and harks back to their more raw intense days of say Kill Em All and Ride The Lightning, with bits of the Black album and dashes of Load era blues. Let me simplify that for you, this new album is as though Kill Em All and The Black Album fornicated and did a few lines of Load.

Now here is a track by track rundown of the album:

From the start of the album with “Hardwired,” you know you are in for a ride. The anger and intensity that comes from everyone in the band comes alive on this song. “Atlas, Rise,” is a borderline epic jam that has flashes of Ride The Lightning influence to it as well as an Iron Maiden feel.”Now That We’re Dead” is very groovy, and musically there is a tinge of Alice In Chains to this song. “Moth Into Flame” is one of the best songs Metallica has ever written. There is nothing about this song that isn’t awesome. The melody, the riff, the drums and rhythm, it simply rocks. “Dream No More” is a very “black album/Ride The Lightning” influenced song, with some more grunge rock melody, making for a very gritty track. There is even a mention of Ktulu, which is a nice little ode to the Ride The Lightning era. “Halo On Fire” is  one of the more somber and mellow tracks on the album but, by no means does it lose the edge the rest of the album has. Kirk Hammett’s leads on this song add a sense of melancholy in a good way. “Confusion” keeps with the melodic and heavy riffs. “ManUNkind” is thrashy and heavy. This is one of those songs that really has the Kill Em All/Ride The Lightning feel to it. Plus the video for it is absolutely awesome. “Here Comes Revenge” is another heavy track but, this one has lots of dynamics to it, that separate it from the rest of the pack. “Am I Savage” starts off with a very epic drawl then transforms into a groovy track. “Murder One” is one of my favorite songs on the album. There is something really rocking and cool about this song, as it’s a tribute to the great Lemmy of Motorhead. Closing out the album is the heaviest track on the album “Spit Out The Bone.” This is the type of song many Metallica fans have been waiting for, for many years. This is a song is going to be one of those songs live that will leave you with whiplash from headbanging.

Metallica have delivered a truly great album. From the songwriting, production, artwork, and marketing, Hardwired…To Self Destruct is going to go down as a classic for the band. James Hetfield sounds great on this album. His lyrics are top notch and full of insight and imagery. Kirk Hammett’s solos are tasteful and full of melody. He even manages to lay off the wah-wah pedal enough to showcase his playing. Robert Trujillo provides a layer of thunder with the bass that hasn’t been heard since The Black Album. Lars, well Lars actually brings a speed and intensity that he has lacked in recent years. Sure he’s not playing like he did all those years ago but, he’s giving the songs what they need.

I for one am glad that Metallica took their time and didn’t rush to put out an album. Among their peers in the metal community, they have always done what they wanted and it pays off in the end, with the exception of St. Anger. That was just wretched but, necessary to get the band back to where they need to be, heavy and ruthless in their approach. Take a listen to the entire album and let this album encompass you and make you fall in love with Metallica all over again.

Overall Rating: A

 

Metallica- Hardwired…To Self Destruct: