Content tagged 'Metal'
Ritual De Lo Habitual (Album of the Day)
No less an authority than Alice Cooper declared Jane’s Addiction's RITUAL DE LO HABITUAL “their peak album, where they really went out on a limb,” and it's tough to argue with the rock legend on this point. The second and final studio set from the L.A. quartet's original incarnation spans alt-rock ragers (“Stop”), mainstream rock hits (“Been Caught Stealing”) and haunting ballads (“Classic Girl”) as well as progressive epics (“Then She Did”). Frontman Perry Farrell and axeman Dave Navarro play every song as if it might be their last, and today we'll cue up the double-platinum RITUAL DE LO HABITUAL to celebrate the guitarist's birthday.
SONG OF THE DAY - "Run to the Hills" (Album of the Day)
With dynamic new lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson in place and a breakthrough album, 1982 was a pivotal year for new wave of British heavy metal standard-bearers Iron Maiden. THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST was the band's first U.K. chart-topper, and the multi-platinum collection includes the group's first U.K. Top 10 single in “Run to the Hills.” Penned by bassist Steve Harris, the song looks at the arrival of European colonists in the New World from both the settlers' and Native Americans' viewpoints and, as you might imagine from such a culture clash, it rocks relentlessly. It remains a favorite in concert, so as the band continues on its current Legacy of the Beast world tour, we'll make “Run to the Hills” our Song of the Day.
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Album of the Day)
After a grueling world tour behind VOL. 4 and a month of fruitless sessions at Los Angeles' Record Plant, Black Sabbath decamped to Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, England, to work on their fifth album. With its dungeon and resident ghosts, the place was just what the band needed, and SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH brims with inspiration. “We'd managed to strike just the right balance between our old heaviness and our new, 'experimental' side,” noted frontman Ozzy Osbourne of the 1973 set, which features such classic originals as “Killing Yourself to Live” and the title track while successfully incorporating orchestration and synthesizers (Yes' Rick Wakeman guests on “Sabbra Cadabra”). The last great album by the original quartet, the platinum-selling SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH belongs in any heavy metal collection.
Never Say Die! (Remastered Edition) (Album of the Day)
Despite its title, NEVER SAY DIE! proved to be the final album from the original lineup of Black Sabbath until the group's reunion some 20 years later. The 1978 collection was recorded in the bitter cold of Toronto under difficult circumstances; frontman Ozzy Osbourne had briefly quit the band before sessions began, and left again shortly after the set's release. As beleaguered as the quartet may have felt in the studio, many Sabbath fans (including Soundgarden's Kim Thayil) have a soft spot for the underrated album, and such highlights as the experimental “Air Dance,” “Hard Road” and the storming title track show why. If you're looking for a Black Sabbath record to play on Halloween, ignore the obvious choices and give another listen to the gold-certified NEVER SAY DIE!
Love It To Death (Album of the Day)
The first two albums Alice Cooper cut for Straight Records went largely unnoticed, but when Warner Bros. bought the Zappa-affiliated label, the band got a second chance and made the most of it. LOVE IT TO DEATH introduced the group to producer Bob Ezrin, with whom they'd make a string of hits, and the 1971 WB collection perfects the quintet's full-throttle hard rock attack. The songwriting also reaches a new peak, with such highlights as “Is It My Body,” “Caught in a Dream” and “I'm Eighteen,” a Top 40 single that provided inspiration to both the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. Those anthems – and a spectacular stage show – made LOVE IT TO DEATH Alice Cooper's first big success (it would eventually go platinum), and we'll give the album another spin now to wish the shock rocker a happy birthday.
State of the World Address (Album of the Day)
Biohazard's third studio album, STATE OF THE WORLD ADDRESS, helped lift the Brooklyn band from underground favorites to mainstream commercial contenders. Helmed by Ramones producer Ed Stasium, the 1994 collection was the group's first for Warner Bros. Records, and their first to make the Billboard chart - though the quartet's mix of hardcore, metal and hip-hop remained as ferocious as ever. As you'd guess from the title, the music is also politically aware, and originals like the title track, “Down For Life” and “How It Is” (featuring Cypress Hill's Sen Dog) are blistering dispatches from the urban jungle. The final Biohazard album before the departure of founding guitarist Bobby Hambel, STATE OF THE WORLD ADDRESS was released 25 years ago today, and has lost none of its power.
Holy Diver (Album of the Day)
Ronnie James Dio had already established himself as a world-class hard rock singer-songwriter through his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath but it was HOLY DIVER that made him immortal. The 1983 solo debut features an outstanding set of originals ranging from fist-pumping anthems to gothic fantasies; “Rainbow in the Dark,” “Stand Up and Shout” and the title track all qualify as stone-cold classics. Though Ronnie James' name was front and center, Dio was a band, and the Warner Bros. collection benefits immeasurably from the powerhouse performances of guitarist Vivian Campbell, bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Vinny Appice. Cited by Rolling Stones as one of the 100 greatest metal albums of all time, the platinum-certified HOLY DIVER is the perfect way to celebrate what would have been Ronnie James Dio's 77th birthday.
Vulgar Display of Power (Album of the Day)
For their follow-up to COWBOYS FROM HELL, Pantera set out to make the heaviest record of all time, and in VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER, the Texas quartet succeeded. The punch-in-the-face cover to the 1992 Atco album sets the tone for 11 hard-hitting originals, including “Mouth for War,” “Walk” “Hollow” and “This Love.” Phil Anselmo's deep, growling vocals sound like something out of The Exorcist (the album title is drawn from that movie), and “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott's pummeling riffs sound just as possessed. Abbott was born on this day in 1966, and we'll remember the late guitarist with the double-platinum VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER – arguably Pantera's finest hour, and certainly one of the 1990s' most influential metal albums.
Technical Ecstasy (Album of the Day)
With punk on the rise and managerial problems dogging them, the members of Black Sabbath had their backs against the wall in 1976, and TECHNICAL ECSTASY was their response. Recorded at Miami's Criteria Studios (where the Eagles had to put HOTEL CALIFORNIA on hold several times when Sabbath got too loud), the collection is among the quartet's most diverse as they tried to broaden their sound. There's a Beatle-esque ballad sung by drummer Bill Ward, a funky groove to “All Moving Parts (Stand Still),” and Gerald Woodroffe joined the foursome to provide keyboards. But like earlier albums, Tony Iommi's guitar riffs remain immense, and there are some powerful rockers here (“Dirty Women,” “Back Street Kids”). TECHNICAL ECSTASY was the next-to-last from Black Sabbath's original incarnation; we'll give the set another spin to wish singer Ozzy Osbourne a happy birthday.
Tooth And Nail (Album of the Day)
Dokken's debut was not a big commercial hit, and label Elektra was ready to give the quartet the heave-ho, but the band fought TOOTH AND NAIL for a second chance and made the most of it. The 1984 collection of that name has a more commercial glam metal sound than its predecessor, and as such originals as “Into the Fire,” “Just Got Lucky” and power ballad “Alone Again” (which reached the Billboard Hot 100) make clear, the songwriting had taken a leap forward. Frontman Don Dokken and axeman George Lynch clashed during the recording - to the point that they worked separate shifts in the studio – but that individual focus may be why the vocals and endlessly inventive guitar riffs are so strong. Dokken was a band on the rise, and the platinum-certified TOOTH AND NAIL showed them ready for their close-up.