Blog Archives

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1993 / #8 and #7


Continuing my personal tribute to metal from the last 21 years, 1993-2013.

1993, #8: Voivod – Moonbeam Rider

Album: The Outer Limits
Country: USA
Genre: Prog Metal

 

1993, #7: Rush – Nobody’s Hero

Album: Counterparts
Country: Canada
Genre: Prog Metal

 

 

One Album – Three Perspectives: A Review Dream Theater’s Dream Theater


album_610_340Firs the first time, A Metal State of Mind (all three of us) are reviewing one album.  It’s something we have never done before and thought it would be cool to get three perspectives on one album.   The three of us have our favorite metal genres we gravitate to, but Dream Theater is one band we like that we all have in common.  Though we do not all agree on which of their albums are the best, you will find at least one Dream Theater album on all three of our “favorite albums” lists.  Therefore, it goes without saying, this is probably a good opportunity to compare our thoughts on a new album from a band that has impacted the lives of the three of us at some point in time.  Dream Theater’s self-titled album was released on September 23rd and here are or thoughts on their 12th studio album.

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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #9- Witch Hunt covered by Machine Head


witch-hunts-22149-20120730-503When I grabbed my copy of Unto the Locust one big surprise other than how absolutely solid the album is was the fact that their choice of cover song bonus tracks included a Rush cover.  In case you didn’t know, Rush is one of my Top 1% favorite bands and Machine Head have a pretty damn good track record of making some fine covers, so naturally I was really excited to hear the Machine Head rendition of the kick ass tune “Witch Hunt” off of Rush’s landmark album Moving Pictures.  Needless to say I was really impressed with the metal version of the synth heavy song.

Robb Flynn’s vocals work great with the song and somehow make the song sound more ominous and the guitar tone chosen really gives the tune a nice extra metal punch and a cool doom metal feel.  I also love how all the synth sections are translated into the 2nd guitar parts and Adam Duce’s awesome work replicating Geddy Lee’s bass lines staying true to the original yet adding a heavy metal attitude to the low-end.  Check the songs out and let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Machine Head Version:

Original Rush Version:

<<Previous Entry #10

Reggie’s Top 15 of 2012


2012Just when I thought 2011 was a banner year for metal, I think 2012 might be equal to or better in terms of both quality music and sheer volume of albums released.  It surely was not a dull moment if you ask me; it seemed like I was listening to at least a couple new albums each week.  Interestingly, I can probably look at half my list and tell you that some of these albums, I had no idea were coming.  They completely snuck on me or I never expected them like Kreator…a band I nearly forgot about came out with a killer album.  The band at #15 I never knew existed until just a few weeks ago and I am still impressed with them.  There are definitely some surprises on my list this year.  Some of these bands have been around for years and I am only now getting into them. I hope you had a great 2012 in metal!  Here are my Top 15 albums of 2012.

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Matt’s Top 15 Albums of 2012


bestof2012I know every year I say that this was one of the best years in metal, but its true, and 2012 was no different.  I guess that says a lot about the state of modern heavy metal.  The genre has grown into something that was unfathomable at its inception.  In no other genre will you find such a diverse set of different acts all boasting such pure passion for what they do.  I was also exposed much more music than usual this year since Metal State kinda took off with a spike in readers (thank you!!!) and we started receiving promos from labels and bands looking for exposure (don’t worry, we won’t tell you about the crappy stuff or skew our opinions because a label hooked us up with some free music or a t-shirt).  So, when I think about 2012 in metal I can’t help but to return to reflecting on how diverse the genre has become.  You will see in my toplist that no single sub-genre really dominates (well I guess you can tell I am a fan a prog metal and was big into the female fronted doom metal bands this year) and there are some amazing albums all across the board in metal this year.  There were also a ton I left out which I will post about in the coming days in a quick honorable mentions post.  So enough dilly dallying, let’s get it on!  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #10-#6


Is it Top 10 time already!?  It’s been fun recounting my favorite albums to you all.  Thanks for reading!  Doing the list was fun and gave me a great excuse, not that I need one, to go back and listen to some amazing records that I haven’t spun in a while.  Here in the Top 10 is where the big dogs come out.  My ‘stranded on a deserted island’ albums per say.  Each one here holds something special for me and some have helped shape me into the man who I am today and some are just really damn great records.  Here’s the first half of my Top 10 Favorite Albums of All Time with the second half including #1 to drop next Monday.  Enjoy and if you have a spare couple of minutes, let me know what your favorite albums all.  Sharing is caring!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

#10 Fly By Night by Rush

Picture if you will, a young and impressionable lower-middle class American suburb kid at around the age of 7 in the back yard of his neighborhood buddies home digging a big hole because, well, who really questions a kids motives on stuff like that. Then the older brother of the friend comes out back and does what any awesome older brother should do. “Hey, you kids really need some music to dig that hole to” he says as he plugs in his boombox and proceeds to play 3 albums for the youths. Included in that trio of albums are 2 records that would help shape the passions and interests of the visiting child.

The first to make a massive impact is a hard rocking prog rock album called Fly By Night by a Canadian band called Rush. The opener “Anthem” give him such a surge of energy that he attacks that hole at full force and the following tune, “Best I Can” makes him want to make sure that the crater he is making is the best damn crater in the world where people would travel around the world to see his magnificent work.

Tune by tune the sweet music connects with the dirt encrusted kid as he learns life important skills like quality ditch digging and the pleasures of air-drumming. Soon a period of rest comes as sweet sun tea is guzzled by the glassful in the warm sun and the chill sounds of “Rivendell” grace our ears and initiate a lesson on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (who would also go on to be another favorite of the impressionable child).

Even at such a young age, there are events in one’s life where the memory sticks vividly as it just had happened an hour ago. This was one of those days, especially when the other album, which will be talked about at a later date, was included. And in case you’re curious, the odd man out album was Appetite For Destruction, which the kid thought the music and songs were great, but the singer sounded like a pig getting his nuts stepped on and it kinda killed the album for him.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #30-#26


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#30 King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime by Faith No More

While the bulk of King for a Day… features the heavier material that FNM are known for Mike Patton, Billy Gould, Mike Bordin, and Co. took more deviations from their metal/hard rock roots. The uber-smooth crooning in “Evidence” makes me feel like those girls in those famous Beatles videos, the Tom Jones/Las Vegas inspired “Star A.D.” make me feel like a high roller, and “Caralho Voador” make me feel like I’m chilling on a nice tropical beach (with Satan). Then there’s the heartfelt ballads. “Take This Bottle” is a sweet little country inspired rock ballad and “Just a Man” with it big soul back up singing, fat grooves, beautiful lyrics, and amazing vocal performance by Mike Patton easily sends shivers down my spine. And then there is the heavy metal and groove filled end to the record with nutzoid tunes like “Cuckoo for Caca” and “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”. With so much substance and diversity on this record, it has always boggled me why this record never received the accolades that FNM’s earlier work did.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #40-#36


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#40 Imaginations from the Other Side by Blind Guardian

What more could a metal head nerd ask for? A band that writes top shelf quality metal and sings about things such as fantasy, sci-fi, history, video games, and all other nerdish troupes. When a buddy mentioned that Blind Guardian was Lord of the Rings metal I knew I had to check them out and my introduction to them was by way of the classic Imaginations from the Other Side (which was their most recent album at the time). My teenage nerd brain was melted, not only were there high energy rockers on the album, but the band had been able to write some of the best metal ballads ever (which, at 15 years old, I wasn’t a huge fan of yet). The Arthurian “Past and Future Secret” and “Mordred’s Song” will go down as a pair of my all time favorite songs by the Bards and my neck still hurts from the copious amounts of headbanging done to “I’m Alive”.

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Theme Thursday – Bands I Want To See Live


Other than listening to metal, one of my other favorite things to do is going to live shows and listen to it at ear-numbing decibel levels.  Being 39 and having a job has given me ample time and decent resources to see shows wherever I have lived at that moment in time.  Location has also been a huge factor.  Growing up near Boston, MA and living in San Antonio, TX, Northern California, and England has made things much easier to catch my favorite bands.  For that, I am very thankful yet, some bands still elude me.  I have managed to catch Megadeth 14 times, Slayer 10 times, and Dream Theater 5 times, plus many others multiple times, but for some reason others have slipped away; some by no fault other than my own.  This list is of bands I have yet to see live and still want to see live very much. If you have seen these bands live and think I shouldn’t go, let me know.

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Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time #55-51


This is the part of my Top 100 favorite albums list that seems to be fluid.  I have moved these bands around several times trying to make sense of how they can be lumped together.  Some of these bands span a generation…perhaps they mean something different to me from two dissimilar time periods even if I don’t really listen to some of these older albums much today.  Either way, they made an impression on me either at age 38 or 13.  Strangely, it was harder to place these albums in the 60, 50, and 40 range than it was to select my top 20 albums of all time.  This all-time list is an ongoing effort started by our friends at The History of Metal page on facebook.  Each day we list another album until we get to the end.  Below is my next list of five as we near our way to the mid-point and follow-up to #1 several weeks down the road.

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