This is a fun one for you all. Back in 1996 on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Omaha’s own 311, made their national television debut with a performance of their hit song “Down.” This was the year that 311 broke and everyone knew the song “Down.” It was and still is infectious. To this day, anytime I hear this song it takes me back and I can’t help but turn it up loud! 311’s self titled album or the “blue album” as some refer to it as, still holds up quite well to this day! If it were ever announced that the band would do a full play through of this album, I’d definitely go! In the meantime, enjoy this classic performance of 311’s “Down.”
311- Down (Live on Late Night with Conan O’Brien/ 1996):
It’s been way too long but, now the day has arrived. Mudvayne are officially back! It was announced today that the band would be reuniting for a series of festival shows including, Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Welcome To Rockville and Inkcareration. After 12 years, it’s very refreshing to have them back. I have to say too, I’m glad they are doing this. I couldn’t stand Hellyeah. Mudvayne has always been a live favorite of mine. Hell I even spent my 21st birthday at a Mudvayne concert (with Life Of Agony, American Head Charge, and the awesome Bloodsimple). Their debut album, LD 50 is one hell of an album to this day, 20 years after it’s release. I was also quite fond of the follow up, The End Of All Things To Come. Their 3rd album, Lost and Found is a pretty rocking album with some choice cuts on it like “All That You Are.” The New Game was ok. Their final album, 2009’s self titled was actually a nice sort of return, though it was more a return to Lost and Found than LD 50. Either way with their catalog of songs and intense live shows, this reunion hopefully will be long lasting.
Lamb Of God have been at this for over two decades now and have solidified their place in the heavy music community. Throughout their time, they’ve released two albums that have become classics in the metal world (As The Palaces Burn and Ashes Of The Wake). Now, in 2020, Lamb Of God have released a new album with a renewed sense of energy that hasn’t been heard from them in a long while. That’s not to say that this sounds like a different band, it’s still Lamb through and through. Longtime drummer Chris Adler is no longer in the fold and has been replaced with the very accomplished Art Cruz (formerly of Winds Of Plague and Prong).
This album definitely seems to pick up where their previous one, VII Sturm Und Drang left off. There’s plenty of intricate parts, thrashy elements and metal to go around as well as a new groove that seems to have energized all the members to pick it up a bit more. Album opener “Memento Mori” has some very cool vibes that show that this is more than just a run of the mill song. The clean vocals from Randy Blythe actually fit in really well on this track. “Checkmate” lyrically is hard charging but, musically it does sound a bit familiar. “Gears” offers a bit more of that new groove I mentioned. I have a feeling this song live would be crowd favorite. My favorite song on the new album is “Reality Bath.” This one shows off a lot of diversity in what this band can do. The arrangement on this song along with “that groove” makes this one a stand out. “New Colossal Hate” is straight up Lamb Of God. This song needs to be added to their set list. It definitely has a bit of an Ashes vibe to it as well. “Resurrection Man” is a pretty fun song in that it has a bit of a Pantera-ish vibe mixed with a bit a sort of prog element too. This would be an interesting one to hear live. “Poison Dream” features Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta. This song is another very Lamb sounding song. Jamey’s vocals do tend to get lost in the shuffle on this track. It would have been cooler if there was a badass breakdown and he was unleashed. “Routes” is a very introspective song lyrically about Randy’s time spent protesting at the Dakota Access Pipeline. Testament’s Chuck Billy guests on this track in a passionate way. “Bloodshot Eyes” is a song that musically could have fit very easily on guitarist Mark Morton’s solo album. The inclusion of mostly clean vocals on this one is sure to separate some fans but, it’s definitely a welcome change. “Off The Hook” closes out the album and this one is pretty hard charging.
This album is Lamb Of God doing what they do. It’s not reinventing the wheel. It does have a bit of a different vibe since Chris Adler is no longer involved but, it was needed change. Art Cruz, like I mentioned before, has brought a new energy and groove to the band. That groove he learned from playing in Prong, definitely shows through. Mark Morton and Willie Adler have really become quite the guitar duo over the years and on this album it really comes to light a bit more. John Campbell is a seriously underrated bass player. His style along with Art’s are super in sync and it allows for the right amount of breath to be let out on these songs. Randy Blythe’s vocals have really taken shape in interesting ways. He’s still ferocious and gritty but, being able to expand upon the dynamics of the songs with clean parts give these songs something more than just a run of the mill vibe. Overall, this album is solid and a great place to start anew. I can definitely see a few of these songs becoming live staples for a good amount of time. Also, I can really see Art Cruz finding his own place in this band and helping to push the boundaries of what this band can do.
Ever since Slipknot’s new album, We Are Not Your Kind came out, I’ve been hooked on it. We Are Not Your Kind is one hell of an album. In my opinion it’s the best album they’ve released since Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses. This new one has some of the darkest/heaviest lyrics since Iowa and musically it’s got a really interesting balance of Volume 3 and the self titled debut. With all that in mind, I thought a new ranking of Slipknot’s albums would be quite fitting.
The Cult have long been one of the best and most consistent rock bands in the world. I’d even go as far as saying they are one of the best rock bands of all time. They’ve released some of the best rock albums and continue to make it known that they are still a force to be reckoned with. With that in mind, take a delve into their catalog and see why they are one of the best!
Last week Slipknot released a new song from their upcoming new album, which is due out in 2019. Naturally, I went on a kick of listening to them for a few days. While having my own personal listening party, I started to think about all the b-sides they have from their albums. Well now, here they are.
From Volume 3- The Subliminal Verses:
Don’t Get Close:
I’m sure a lot of you have noticed through your music listening experiencing how impactful some bands end of album songs are. Certain bands really have a knack of putting “that” song as the last song and creating a visceral experience. One band I’ve noticed over the years that have really embraced the end of album song is Deftones. Not so much on Adrenaline but from Around The Fur onwards they really know how to end their albums.
When you look back at Alice In Chains’ discography, most people tend to look at Dirt and Jar Of Flies as the bands masterpieces. Facelift is often looked as a great album as well. Their self titled and final album with Layne is often overlooked. The album, most commonly referred to as “the tripod” album due to the three legged dog on the cover, is quite possibly one of the deepest and darkest albums the band has ever written.
This album is truly a remarkable record filled with all the things you know and love about Alice In Chains. In a way, it has a bit of a Jar Of Flies vibe to it with the way the acoustic layers are put in, as well as the signature heavy sound. Something else that I’ve always held in high regard about this album is that Layne wrote all the lyrics for the album minus three songs (“Grind,” “Heaven Beside You,” and “Over Now,” all of which Jerry sang lead on). Before this album was recorded, Layne spent his time working with Mike McCreedy on the Mad Season album.
I remember first hearing this album when it came out in 1995 and I was hooked, and that’s not just because “Again” was a rad song. There are so many great songs on this album that have truly become timeless classics like “Sludge Factory,” “Shame In You,” “Brush Away,” “Head Creeps,” “God Am,” and “Frogs.” Though Alice In Chains never toured on the record, probably due to Layne’s increased drug use, some of these songs were performed live during their Unplugged performance. My favorite of these songs done at that time has to be “Sludge Factory.” What a great song that is. I really wish the band would play more from this album live these days. Layne’s performances on these songs are absolutely remarkable. He’s always had a knack for creating great vocal melodies but on this album he really set a standard for how it should be done. Something else about this album that I’ve always loved is the way it flows. The themes of depression, isolation, drug use, anger and death are all found throughout but, the way the arrangement of the songs are on the album, really leaves a lasting impact the way all the emotions hit you.
I highly recommend you all taking some time and re-introduce yourself to this unsung masterpiece. Not only will it leave you with a sense of awe but, it will add another level of love for Alice In Chains.
When System Of A Down first came on the scene, it was something intriguing and exciting. Their debut album was released in June of 1998. At first they enjoyed a bit of success following the release of the singles for “Sugar” and “Spiders.” It was also during this time that they went out on tour with Metallica, Slayer and Ozzfest. The group’s big break arrived when their second album Toxicity was released September 4, 2001 and debuted at No. 1 on the charts. Even through the events of September 11, Toxicity would go on to see over 3 million copies in the US and has since sold over 12 million copies worldwide. With songs like “Chop Suey,” “Toxicity,” and “Aerials,” it’s no wonder this album went on to be as big as it was.
Personally, I enjoy the first album more. The message is still the same throughout all their albums, but the sense of urgency of the delivery on the first album really comes through. The production on the first album is a bit more raw as well. Not to take anything away from how good Toxicity is, that album to me just has a bit too much polish on it, almost to the point of being too theatrical. The first two System albums are awesome. It’s too bad they couldn’t carry on this level after. Their follow ups were miserable and lackluster.