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Theme Thrusday- Happy Metal


I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the stereotype that all metal is dark and angry and that people who avidly listen to the metal are the same.  Well, as you all know, that is not the case with most metal heads.  Of course there are those who fit perfectly into that stereotype, but more often than not, that’s not the case.  Like mostly everyone else in the world we like to laugh, smile, and be merry, we’re a happy people.

It’s true that a lot of metal albums are full of anger and sorrow, and that’s cool.  A lot of music portrays anger and sorrow, even in pop and jazz music, but the extreme nature of metal intensifies it.  It’s normal to enjoy songs about the stated feelings, just about everyone does.  But like any good thing, moderation, moderation, moderation.  And moderation does exist in metal.  Not all metal has to do with anger and hate, the vast majority of the songs deal with various other subjects including love and happiness.  So, if the extreme nature of metal can intensify the anger and hate emotions, inversely it can intensify happiness and joy.  So today I bring you a nice little list of metal bands, albums, and songs that make me a Happy Metal Guy™.  I hope that this list puts a smile on your face and makes you merry(and maybe even introduces you to some new music).  This list is just the tip of the iceberg on metal songs that could make someone happy, what are your favorite Happy Metal bands, albums, and songs?  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

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Theme Thursday-Unlikely Covers


Cover songs are a great way for a band to show tribute to their favorite artists, and move out of their comfort zone and have some fun with their music without having to compromise the integrity of their core material.  Here’s a list of some covers done by metal bands that step out of what the bands core sound and cover something that is a little different for them, some of the covers are “metalized” some hone the spirit of the original, but in the end, they’re all pretty damn good covers.  And if you dig the cover version, check out the original, more times than not it’s a great song.  If you know some more unlikely covers let us know in the comments and let us know what your favorite were. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal

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Metal for the Non-Metal Spouse


If you are like me then you married someone who doesn’t listen to metal.  It was never a prerequisite for me to marry someone who listened to metal like I do.  Strangely enough I dated someone in high school (many many moons ago) that listened to music I liked at the time…80′s rock/metal.  One would think that metal + metal = happiness, but this was not my case.  We actually fought about music.  My metal was better than her metal and vice versa.  It was strange and I chalked it up to being young, but I also told myself that musical taste was not a prerequisite to marriage except when it concerned country.

To make a long story short I married a Sting, Billy Joel, Cheryl Crow, Michael Buble fan.  It isn’t the type of music I bought albums for, but I do respect artists that have talent.  So early on I knew my wife didn’t like metal and it didn’t matter.  There is more to a relationship than musical interests and I could tell that my wife, like me, respected talented musicians.  When I told her I liked metal she didn’t make a face or ask “are you satanic?”  She might have thought it, but didn’t ask it.  I knew she was (and is) open-minded and that was good enough for me.  Besides, when we are together I let her listen to whatever she wants.

So I tried to introduce her to some things I thought she might at least like…some things I thought were more commercially accessible.  I started with Dream Theater.  Surprisingly that didn’t work out too well.  Although she accompanied me to a 3-hour Dream Theater concert in San Francisco, it was not her cup of tea.  Her comment was “really talented dudes, but the songs were too long.”  So prog was not her thing.  I even tried some Megadeth songs…nope.  I took her to see Judas Priest.  She actually seemed interested in that show because growing up in the 80′s…who didn’t know Judas Priest?  Well, Anthrax opened and that was a definite bust, but she knew some Judas Priest and thought they put on a good show. I think she enjoyed watching the 40+ year olds in he crowd with mullets and balding heads more than the band.  But it was a nice sharing a bit of my musical culture with her.  Of course it works both ways.  She took me to Matchbox Twenty, a ballet in the front row, and a musical featuring all Billy Joel music.  I thought they were very well-done performances.  So we shared our interests as couples should do.  I still wanted to try to find one band; just one band made of metal that should would like.  Not just put up with, but like.

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Theme Thursday – Workout Tunes


This theme Thursday is going to be a little shorter than normal due to my work requirements.  I have a lot of homework and little time to do it.  I am going to revolve this week’s theme around music to listen to while exercising, specifically while doing cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, or elliptical. 

Running is something that I have to do as part of my job, but in order for me to have an effective run I have to do it to good tunes or it’s just not getting done.  it may seem silly and a bit of metal thing, but it’s just the way I am with exercise and music…it’s a package deal.  I have actually walked up to a treadmill before and realized my batteries were dead so I left and went home.  Listening to music while keeping fit is a must for me. 

Tonight is a good example of what I mean.  I had to run, I didn’t want to because it was the end of a long day and around 8pm, but the music motivated me.  I limited my run to about 30 minutes and toward the end when I felt like stopping, another song came on to motivate me.  So if you exercise because you like to or you have to, then this playlist I am about to talk about might help you out…until it gets old and needs updating.  Here is what I listened to this week in order.

1.  1,320 – Megadeth

2.  Faster - Within Temptation

3.  The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner – Helloween

4.  The Last Fight – Bullet For My Valentine

5.  Destroyer of the Universe – Amon Amarth

6.  Warlord – Cavalera Conspiracy

7.  Insurrection – Trivium

8.  Northpole Throwdown – Children of Bodom

It’s short and sweet this week. If you like to workout or have to, what music do you like to keep you going?  Have a great week!

Song of the Day – The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner – 9 Mar 11


I think my iTouch likes Helloween; it seems to play them on random quite a bit.  I was tempted to move on and find another song of the day, but Helloween has a way of making any topic sound peppy.  For example:

A tramp found dead, in the street, just made the news
Forensics report read ‘drug abuse’
Found a warehouse slip in his sleeve
Marine corps major down-at-heel

The above, is just the first verse of a peppy-sounding song that is not peppy in content.  It’s a snap your fingers to the music Helloween song.  I like Helloween for that.  Today’s song comes off the 7 Sinners album which is a real good album start to finish.  I am glad Helloween is back in my life after such a long absence.  I hope you had a great day.  See you on Friday for the week closeout!

Song of the Day – Long Live The King – 7 Feb 11


It’s always easy to please me musically on a Monday.  I usually stay up late on Sunday so it’s my own fault for not really getting a smooth start to work.  Today’s song of the day picked me up because despite what Helloween sings about it seems so chipper and upbeat.  Today’s song of the day is:

Long Live The King by Helloween off the 7 Sinners album.

The double bass is a great into to the song.  Its one of the faster ones on the album.  In fact I can’t really think of one bad song on the CD….It’s that good.

7 Sinners is a great Helloween album.  It sucks I missed them in December, hopefully they will come back around since they are a European band.  Maybe they will make another pass. 

I hope you have a great week.

Song of the Day- 21 December 2010


Tick Tock everyone, the days left until Christmas and the New Year continues to march upon us.  

The SOTD for 21 December 2010 is “Time” by Helloween, from the album “Better Than Raw”.

There must be a million songs that have “Time” in the title, or some variation of time.  It is pretty annoying most of the time.  This one I am not so aggravated with. 

Have a great day.

Top 10 of 2010 by Plantera7


The year is about to close, and I am about to lose internet until Sky gets me online at my new house; so I thought I would post my top 10 of 2010 to close out my year in metal.  The only rule is that the bands I select had to release an album in 2010 and I have to own it.  Sorry, I can’t buy everything so this is comprised of music I own which was released this year.  Ok here goes:

Number 10:  Death Angel – Relentless Retribution

This is a quality CD and easily the best DA has put out since Act III 20 years ago.  Placing Relentless Retribution at number 10 on my list is in no way degrading this CD.

Number 9:  Helloween – 7 Sinners

Perhaps benefitting from its recent release, this album beat out some other tunes I have been listening to all year so that says a lot about helloween…a band I lost track of for more than a decade.  7 Sinners is a great album and will be in my car stereo rotation for some time to come.

Number 8:  Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy

This is one band I only just got into this year.  I wish I had heard them years ago, as they do seriously rock.  The Obsidian Conspiracy impressed me greatly.  I like their musical diversity. They cross the lines between metal and prog - only their songs are much shorter.

Number 7:  Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy

I have mentioned before that I am glad Corey and Co. do not sound like their other band Slipknot.  Audio Secrecy is a bit more toned down than Stone Sour’s previous material, but it is still great music.  I have a lot more appreciation for Corey Taylor after seeing him solo at Sonisphere this year.  The dude is talented.

Number 6:  Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

This is another band I only got into in the last year or so.  They are super talented and every time I listen to Kamelot it is an experience.  There is so much more to their music than just some dudes playing instruments.  The range of guest singers on this album is a real treat.

Number 5:  Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

What can I say about Maiden?  At their age you would think they would be putting out another album just to keep their livelihood going, but these dudes hit the nail with the hammer with The Final Frontier.  It is really a throwback to some old school Iron Maiden; quite impressive.

Number 4:  The Sword – Warp Riders

The Sword takes that 70′s metal sound and updates it.  You can easily hear that Austin, Texas blues-rhythm in their music.  Warp Riders is a great album and if you like that old school grungy (not Seattle grunge) metal feel you should like this album.  It’s a great 70′s meets modern rock fusion.  They do this quite well!

Number 3:  James LaBrie – Static Impulse

It may seem I am biased because I am a huge Dream Theater fan, so naturally you would think I would love James LaBrie.  Truth is, I only heard his solo stuff this year for the first time.  The best thing about James LaBrie is that he does not sound like Dream Theater.  Static Impulse impressed me right from the start and I find myself listening to this album quite regularly.

Number 2:  Bullet For My Valentine – Fever

Again, a fairly new band to me.  I actually did not like BFMV the first time I heard them.  I can’t remember which song got me into them, but I started buying their stuff and listening to them regularly.  I like BFMV like I like Trivium.  They are a no frills metal band.  They just rock and there is no more or less generalized way to put it.  The only thing I don’t like, and it’s probably the record company’s fault, is that the singles released to the public tend to be more “pop” sounding than the rest of the album.  I think it’s just a cheap way to market to the masses, and like I said, I think record companies push that on the bands.  So if you base your like or dislike of BFMV on what you hear on the radio or see in videos, try picking up an album you might be pleasantly surprised.

Number 1:  Overkill – Ironbound

I am a huge Overkill fan, but I am also not afraid to say music sucks when it sucks.  Overkill has put out a fairly steady flow of music over the last decade or so.  Some of it was good, some great, and some not so great.  I love the band and I am a fan for life, but I will tell you this; Ironbound blew me away.  I was so surprised at this Overkill release.  I figured it would be standard predictable thrash which is not a negative comment.  Ironbound is just one truly heavy album.  If you haven’t heard it yet it will stomp you in the gut.  Whether you are a new or old fan, Ironbound will not disappoint.

So there you have my personal top 10 of 2010.  So what didn’t make the cut?  Well, not to say that any of these bands are bad, but the top 10 above gave me warm fuzzies more than these bands that didn’t make my top 10 – Korn, Soilwork, Sabaton, Kingdom of Sorrow, Apocalyptica, Fear Factory, Cradle of Filth, Hellyeah, Flotsam and Jetsam, Soulfly, and Dimmu Borgir. 

There were numerous albums that were released this year and what I have presented is only a small chuck of what I purchased in 2010.  So if you think I missed out on something that you think was super great let me know. I am all ears.  I hate to miss out on good music so I am happy to hear any input.  Thank you and have a great 2011.  Personally, I will be looking forward to new releases I know are coming from DevilDriver, Dream Theater, Trivium, Anthrax, and hopefully Megadeth.

Album Review – Helloween – 7 Sinners


I became a fan of Helloween around 20 years ago when I first heard the track “I Want Out” off the Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II.  I think it was Pink Bubbles Go Ape that came out not too long after that and then I pretty much lost track of Helloween.  I still reminisced of the Keeper of the Seven Keys, both parts I and II, but I didn’t get any Helloween albums until earlier this year when I picked up the Dark Ride (2000) and Better Than Raw (1998).  I was backtracking to see how Helloween had been doing and I am glad I picked up those particular albums.  They are both excellent and from what I read about the band, most fans seem to feel that The Dark Ride is their best effort.  That pretty much put me 10 years behind the Helloween power curve.

Because of my Interest in The Dark Ride and Better Than Raw, I was elated when I found out 7 Sinners was about to be released so without question, I downloaded it.  Now you have my Helloween history, here is my review.

This album is excellent to say the least!  With Helloween you never really know what to expect, but there is really nothing wrong with this album.  It’s heavy, fast, metal, sing-along, groovy, and fun to listen to all the way through. I like the guitar solos with this effort.  I would even recommend this to a new Helloween listener.  This album is everything Helloween has ever been and still sounds new and fresh.  7 Sinners will be on my rotation for a good while.  Helloween’s question of the album is Are You Metal?  Well, or course I am.

With 7 Sinners you get a solid hour of metal.  Some of the tracks that stuck out for me are:

Are You Metal?

Who is Mr. Madman?

World of Fantasy

Smile of the Sun

If  A Mountain Could Talk

I give Helloween – 7 Sinners 4 1/2 of 5 Devil Horns

Photo Credit:  www.metal-rules.com

SOTD – 10 Nov 2010


Even thought I have the pleasure of a day of leave today, it wouldn’t be complete without a song of the day.  This song goes back to 1998 from a German band called Helloween.  Today’s song of the day is:

Time by Helloween off the Better than Raw album

Have a great hump day ;)