‘War of Words’- Fight

A project of Rob Halford’s after departing from Judas Priest, Fight released their debut record ‘War of Words’ in 1993. This new project of Halford’s represented a shift in musical dynamics from the legendary Priest. Sounding much more modern and possessing far less classical, overarching bombast than that band, Fight were a deliberate attempt on Halford’s part to put a stamp on the down and dirty, gritty sound of ’90s metal. Perhaps oddly enough, Halford’s soaring vocals are able to maintain a level of believability inside of this context. No matter how well things may or may not have worked on this record is an interesting debate, but no matter the verdict, this short-lived project would ultimately become just a little showing on Halford’s resume.

The opening track on the record is “Into the Pit” and seemingly exists as a greeting card to Halford’s newest excursion. Does it work? Well, the monstrosities of its urgency certainly want you to believe so. Halford sounds just as vibrant as at any previous time in his career, as if this was ever in question. The band show off the fact that they were quite diverse on “Life in Black”, which ultimately serves to show that the band were looking to be something more than just a one-off Halford project. The undisputed highlight of the record, though, is “Immortal Sin”, a song that is full of the typically gothic vibes that were present throughout the early-’90s musical scene as a whole, popular culture as a whole. This song, with its metallic inhibition, easily creates an image of the neo-noir, German expressionism-influenced works that were so persistent throughout this time period (films like ‘Batman’ and ‘The Crow’, for example). Fortunately for the overall strength of this record, Halford is clearly quite aware of the unique position that he maintains in the lore of heavy metal. He knows his strengths and he knows exactly how to articulate them every outing in order to keep things fresh and luscious for the listeners. The Metal God does indeed invoke God-like imagery with every shriek and howl he unleashes into this record’s musical offering.

For Judas Priest fans, there is much to cherish on this record. For newcomers to the metal scene, who may not be quite as in tune with the classical underlying of the genre’s illustrious past, there might still be something attractive within these unholy musical passages. There is quite a heavy dosage of dystopic, neo-noir imagery here, which is something that is intrinsically in sync with the context of the ’90s by which it exists. This record doesn’t quite sound like a Judas Priest record, because it isn’t quite a Judas Priest record. The main downside to this record is that the second half of the record tends to drag on a bit. What’s unclear about this unfortunate fact is whether this is due to Halford’s recognizing that he might be out of his element or whether the band just played it too safely and dropped the ball. For my money, it isn’t due to any conception of Halford’s. Nevertheless, the first half of this record provides some real gem moments from the early-’90s heavy metal scene. Many people were of (and still are) the opinion that heavy metal suffered a death in the ’90s and, although there many be certain areas in which there is slight truth to this, it’s certainly far from an absolute truth. Take a ride with the Metal God as he shows you. Well, at least on the first half of the record. Even a God can’t be perfect all the time, right?



‘Super Duper Alice Cooper’

For many years, there had never been an honest, well-intentioned look at the life and career of Alice Cooper. All of that changed in 2014 when Banger Films came together with the legendary shock rocker to create ‘Super Duper Alice Cooper’. There couldn’t have been a better crew to put this together than Banger; anyone who is familiar with their work knows that they always do their homework and there are no better ambassadors for pushing the understanding of metal music in a critical context. This makes Alice Cooper a perfect subject for the folks at Banger, as it’s no secret that Cooper has long been a misunderstood artist. The end result is pure magic and Banger points out a fact about Cooper’s career that fans (like myself) have known all along: underneath the trappings of outrage (which in and of themselves have long been misunderstood), lies one of the most profound minds and creative forces in all of rock and metal.

One of the cool things about this biopic that sets it apart from many of its contemporaries is the way the that Sam Dunn, the director, has chosen to portray this film. It isn’t your typical biopic and/or documentary in which the audience is subjected to interview sequence after interview sequence over and over again. This picture has lots of color, which is of course fitting considering that Cooper is the subject at hand. This is also particularly useful and important when looking their Cooper’s own eyes. He isn’t a man who is bitter or regrets the so-called good ole days in the least. Within his own recollection and the film’s very nature and essence, there is a warmness that is perpetrated and carried out by this film that is quite reminiscent, at least in spirit, to certain episodes of Banger’s great series, ‘Metal Evolution’. There is a love of subject matter that is always worn by Banger that perfectly supplements Cooper’s own devices and outlook on his own legacy and career. Another thing that this film does in incredible fashion is the way that it ultimately is able to separate the character from the man, playing off the Jekyll and Hyde concept in a striking, poignant sense. The humanization of Cooper, though, is perhaps the film’s greatest quality. As a fan, the conclusion should bring you to tears even if you’re already familiar with Cooper’s career resurgence and the sobriety that he has held on to for over 30 years. The lesser known bits, like about Cooper’s childhood, his family, pre-high school life is something that also goes the extra mile in painting a portrait of a man who is, above all else, human.

This biopic is a step above all of the rest. This film does everything right; painting a lovely and infectious view of Cooper’s life now as well the decadent times of the ’70s, while also being shocked and in horror on just how bad things were always capable of becoming. The guests on this biopic, including Elton John, Dee Snider, and John Lydon give you a picture of just how well-loved and accepted Cooper has long been, often contrary to conventional wisdom. One of the great underrated artists of the 20th century; there are many movements of rock and metal that, had Cooper never made his stamp on the scene, would never have existed. Aside from the fascinating subject that is Cooper, equal credit must be given to Dunn. After all, he was the man who took this project and allowed it to flourish. There is no be documentary filmmaker in the world to create a project like this. His mastery has done many things in the world of music biopics and, perhaps even more importantly, Dunn is the ultimate torchbearer for metal music, a broad genre that has long been misunderstood and misrepresented by those who aren’t on the same wavelength. This film will also (hopefully) change the minds of any naysayers out there who still think that Cooper is nothing but a theatrical performer with little actual talent. If this is you, you’re probably not a fan of this particular blog. Pity is reserved for you. This is as good as it gets.


‘Hammerheart’- Bathory

Have you ever been so emotionally moved by a record that it brought you to tears? Has that record ever been a heavy metal record? Has it ever been by a band known for their influence in the extreme underground? In 1990, Bathory shed their skin as pioneers of black metal and arose from the rubble with a cleaner sound and subject matter that only existed in the realm of the most incredible, grandiose, and epic masterpieces of artistic expression. The scope of ‘Hammerheart’ is one of the grandest in all of metal and, given this, Bathory, throughout the duration of this record, was on the verge of creating something that would exasperate everyone who came upon its audio onslaught.

This record opens with the track “Shores in Flames”, which doesn’t take much time to present itself as something dramatically different than anything that had ever been heard before. The credit for this, in large part, belongs to the imagination of the band’s leader, Quorthon, who always maintained a reputation as being very mysterious and having a personality that was uncategorizable. One thing that is clear about him, though, was his love of Scandinavian paganism and viking traditions, both of which dominate the overall concept of this record. “Father to Son” celebrates these ancient traditions and presents them inside of a world that is unhindered by modernity. In order to fully grasp and understand this record, you must be able to take yourself out of the conventional mindset that we’re programmed to occupy in our current culture. This is precisely why heavy metal has long been misunderstood. It’s music that doesn’t exist on our playing field and, because of this, the listener has got to be able to follow the subject matter with their imagination in order to get it. The record also begins to reach for its immense emotional climax on the track “Song to Hall Up High”. This is a record where magic exists and gods reign over the earth, which will undoubtedly be unreachable for many listeners. Nevertheless, the record carries on to what is perhaps the most emotional, heartfelt heavy metal song ever written, “One Rode to Asa Bay”. This track is an absolutely spiritual experience; a perennial powerhouse of magical expression that just has to be heard to be believed. Within the telling of a people building a house for their god, Quorthon has given us an incredible story of faith, belief, and the power of family and community. It’s been said that music is proof of the existence of God. If this has any merit, this track does a great number in carrying that merit.

If you’re someone who thinks that heavy metal is nothing but a bunch of mindless phonies singing about dungeons and dragons or a group of oversexed buffoons who care about nothing but sleeping with as many groupies as possible, well, you’re an idiot. For more reasons than the scope of this review could express, but one of the many reasons exists inside of this record. This is an example of a perfect record. There is no filler on this record and each song serves its own individual purpose in building to its explosively spiritual conclusion. Another thing, much less important than the emotional ramifications, mind you, that Bathory accomplished with this record was the creation of the term ‘viking metal’, which would be used for describing this record and many others later on down the road. The religious nature of this record can’t be understated. This record exists in a place that’s outside of time or space; it’s infinite and eternal, much like the gods that exist in its world. Obviously this record won’t be for everyone and many will scoff at it on principle, but who are they?



‘Fuckin’ A’- Anal Cunt

This 2011 release would go on to be the last full-length record from, arguably, the most offensive band of all time. ‘Fuckin’ A’ was an attempt at parody and satire of glam metal bands of the ’80s. Particularly, as is relayed in the cover art, Mötley Crüe. It goes without saying that there is a good portion of people who will hate this record and hate the band on principle. After all, these guys are so tasteless that they tend to challenge even the most calloused and black-humored of us. With that said, for those who can stomach the band’s most outrageous tendencies and who are able to get on the band’s wavelength, the chances are pretty good this will be an enjoyable listen. After all, this record is hilarious.

The infamous grindcore legends open this record with a track called “Fuck Yeah!” and, for those who find this kind of thing funny, it’s a total blast. There is definitely something to take note of here and that is the change in musical direction. The band have moved away from traditional, bone-splitting grindcore on this record for a sound that is more fitting for this record’s subject matter. Mind you, this record is still unbelievably heavy and abrasive, but it’s closer to crust punk than it is grindcore. This was no doubt a conscious decision from the band to fit the record, on a musical level, closer to the glam metal that it’s satirizing (even though crust punk and glam metal are a far cry from one another). Another highlight on the record is “Kickin’ Your Ass and Fuckin’ Your Bitch”, featuring lyrics that are so offensive and tasteless that it will be sure to make your average school girl question everything she’s ever been told. It’s a bit unclear whether or not this record exists in good spirit or general distaste for Crüe, but one thing is for sure and that is that this record struts along with such a gut-busting blender of disgusting humor that you might find yourself sickened by your own enjoyment of it. The track that seals the deal for this record is “All I Give a Fuck About Is Sex”. By this track’s conclusion, you’re granted full permission to like this record. Hey, there’s no shame in liking this band! Sure they’re disgusting, but they’re damn good at what they do. There’s no question about that. The band’s leader, Seth Putnam, is anything but shy with the pen.

The infamous Massachusetts grindcore trio treat us to what is a solid record on this outing. It does get a bit too repetitive at times, but generally speaking, this is a hilarious record and a record that is genuinely good. This isn’t a record for the thin-skinned, that’s for sure. After all, this band and many of their peers in the grindcore vein of extreme metal represent what is, almost unquestionably, the most extreme style of music ever to come out of a set of speakers. This alone will turn a lot of people off, but if you stick around (and you should), you’ll be treated to some of the darkest, most outrageous humor ever put to record. Perhaps enjoyment of this record is enough to cast a hideous shadow around a listener, but at the very least, that shadow will be a defining attribute to said listener’s character and worldview. Whatever you do, don’t be shy about it. Stand out. In its own putrid way, this record just about stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Crüe record it’s parodying.




‘Satyricon’- Satyricon

Norwegian black metal royalty, Satyricon, released their self-titled record in 2013 to the continued sound of a different beat than what most of their earliest material would attest to. This record would continue with the more traditional style of metal, married to black metal, that the band had been experimenting with on more recent records. Named after the ancient Roman literary work thought by most to have been written by Gaius Petronius Arbiter, this band has gone on to achieve legendary status within the realm of extreme metal, specifically black metal, a comfortable space occupied by relatively few bands in the overall scheme of the scene.

The record opens with the brooding instrumental piece, “Voice of Shadows”, instantly showcasing the band’s continued experimentation with classic metal elements. In fact, of all of the presumed ‘true’ black metal bands, Satyricon is more than likely the most classic of them all. Immortal? Too entrenched in thrash elements. Gorgoroth? Far too blatant and forthcoming with their own extremity. Burzum? Too experimental, particularly later on. Satyricon, of all of these bands, have unquestionably the most subtlety and restraint in their arsenal. This instrumental piece feeds into the sonic onslaught of the following track, “Tro og kraft”, showcasing the great juxtaposition of the band. On one hand, they’re refined, subtle, and classic; on the other hand, they maintain all of the primal, animalistic rage and fervor that black metal has long been famous (and infamous) for. With this being said, this particular record sees the band branching out even further than one has come to expect from them. The track, “Phoenix”, the undisputed highlight of the record, for example, features Sivert Høyem from the Norwegian alternative rock band, Madrugada, on vocals. Further down the record is the track “The Infinity of Time and Space”, which features a heavily blues-influenced base for the song and wouldn’t sound out of place next to a track like “Catch the Rainbow” by Rainbow. This, of course, is even further testimony to Satyricon’s recent obsession with all things traditional metal. The next track, the closing track, is “Natt”, with an opening dreamscape that perpetrates the kind of wonder reserved for the most magical of instances.

As listeners have come to expect from this band, this is yet another solid record. The band are a quite consistent metal institution that, to their undisputed credit, is persistently capable of injecting new and varying musical ideas into their already well-established foundation. The only legitimate complaint that can be waged against this record is that some of the tracks that aren’t quite so exhilarating and fresh tend to serve no purpose other than to act as bridges to the good that will follow. In other words, there a couple of filler tracks in the mix. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this band is that they’re capable of experimenting and expanding on their black metal foundation without having the hordes come after them and accuse them of abandoning the sacred roots of the genre’s more conventional traits. There is an extremely thin line that black metal bands have to constantly walk with the fan base between what is considered acceptable and what isn’t. Whether it’s a deliberate attempt to discredit this sort of mentality or if the band just doesn’t think about the possible consequences of their musical adventurousness is a question one could ask. The thing that remains certain, though, is that Satyricon know how to appeal to us all. Well, those of us who exhibit an air of tastefulness.


‘Stoned’- Acid Witch

In honor of 4/20, it’s only appropriate that we dig into everybody’s favorite psychedelic/stoner/doom/death metal band (Right?), Acid Witch, and their 2010 release, aptly titled ‘Stoned’. Even in the stoner realm of metal, Acid Witch are quite an anomaly. Few bands, if any, are as openly willing to indulge in the kind of subject matter that these guys are so well-defined by. It goes without saying that this band isn’t for everyone and that’s just as well. The conditions presented by this band on this record have a way of dividing up the masses, but in this process, we certainly find out an awful lot about those who stick around for the payoff.

The record opens with “Satanic Faith”, an instrumental piece that features some sampled dialogue to lay the groundwork for the rest of the record. This piece feeds into the next track, “Witchfynder Finder”, featuring that trademark riffing that fans of this kind of music crave so voraciously. After this track, we get “Trick or Treat”, which opens with an organ passage that screams of decades gone past. By this point in the record, it becomes clear that the band are putting on absolutely no airs about who they are and what they’re attempting to present to the world. Musically, they hold very close to the chest old-school metal; the riffing on this record comes straight from Tony Iommi and, of course, the subject matter comes straight from Black Sabbath’s timeless track “Sweet Leaf”. Essentially, the stoner metal vein of metal music is the direct successor to this legendary track. If Black Sabbath had taken “Sweet Leaf” as a building block on which they continued to push in the same context, you’ve got what would undoubtedly be the essential ingredients of every stoner metal band. The cool thing about a band like Acid Witch, is that they’re so extreme in terms of their subject matter and presentation, that they almost come off as parody. This will definitely divide people, but there’s no denying that it’s their strength. These guys are a celebration of all things considered prohibited by polite society. You can’t talk about this record without mentioning the most gloriously ridiculous title on the record, “Metal Movie Marijuana Massacre Meltdown”, a track that best captures what exactly it is that this band is all about. There should be enough organ on this record to please old-school psychedelic rock fans as well as enough guttural vocals to please the more flexible extreme metal aficionados.

This record would definitely piss a lot of people off, but this is exactly its strength. If you’re someone who finds this record and this kind of music to your liking, consider yourself in the same corner as yours truly. The only real drawback of this record is the fact that it can become a bit monotonous at times. However, the band seem to be quite aware of this and are able to inject some fresh blood whenever this becomes apparent. The fact is that bands like Acid Witch are a breath of fresh air, mainly in the fact that they don’t take themselves too seriously. One of the most striking realities about the world of music circa the 21st century, metal or otherwise, is that there tends to be a presumed sense of seriousness in the context of what’s going on in the music. This band turns this notion completely on its head and simply asks us all to sit back and enjoy ourselves and, of course, indulging in a bit of mind-altering substances. When did these noble concepts ever hurt anyone?



Essential Albums: Records That Built Metal

This edition of the ‘Essential Albums’ series will focus on records that served as building blocks to the metal genre. The main timeframe we’re looking at for the scope of this list will be primarily the middle to late-60’s. We aren’t talking about Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, or Black Sabbath here, seeing as they are often referred to as the essential three of the early days of metal. We are talking proto-metal, the stuff that came before metal. However, seeing how contentious of a subject what is and is not considered metal around this time truly is, feel free to make up your own mind.

With that said, here are ten essential records that helped build metal.

  • ‘Vincebus Eruptum’- Blue Cheer

Sometimes referred to as the first metal band, Blue Cheer brought volume to an extreme level that hadn’t been heard up to that point on this 1968 release. Like Cream, these guys took the psychedelic/blues rock format and pushed it to new levels of heaviness. Although, it should be noted that Blue Cheer were even heavier than Cream.

  • ‘Are You Experienced’- The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The early days of metal, or proto-metal, were dominated by the power trio (Blue Cheer, Cream) and Hendrix and his crew knew how to bring the volume. Hendrix, in particular, may be the single most important figure in this early scene in terms of influencing metal. No one before or since has done more to expand the vocabulary of the electric guitar.

  • ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’- Iron Butterfly

Perhaps the most excessive record of the psychedelic era, this 1968 landmark is also one of the heaviest. The distorted guitar riff to the epic title track is something that, unquestionably, would go one to be an influence in the early days of metal. This record is one of the champions of the psychedelic and proto-metal era.

  • ‘Fresh Cream’- Cream

If either Led Zeppelin’s ’69 debut or Black Sabbath’s ’70 debut is the birth of metal itself, this 1966 record from Cream could be pointed to as the birth of proto-metal. Up to this point, no other record had utilized the wah-wah pedal in quite the way that Cream managed to do here.

  • ‘The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

This 1968 masterpiece is also one of the most underappreciated records of its era. Arthur Brown is unbelievably important to the development of metal and, serving as most of the reason why, his transgressive tendencies were some of the most daring and explicit of the musical climate of their time. The first and one one of the best of its kind.

  • ‘Steppenwolf’- Steppenwolf

The record which bears “Born to Be Wild”, sometimes referred to as the first metal song. Whether the band meant to or not, the term ‘heavy metal’, used in the lyrics of the song, would forever go on to be something that this band would be classified alongside. Accidental or not, these guys’ place as proto-metal pioneers is undeniable.

  • ‘Kinks’- The Kinks

There is one primary reason why this 1964 record should be considered among the building blocks of metal: Dave Davies. Davies’ riffing on this record, particularly on “You Really Got Me”, would go on to define what the hard rock/metal riff was and what it was supposed to sound like.

  • ‘Disraeli Gears’- Cream

For exactly the same reason as ‘Fresh Cream’, released the previous year, this record is equally deserving, if not more so, to be included among the essential proto-metal records that were coming out of that era. This record is a bit more psychedelic than its predecessor and, one could argue, perhaps a bit better constructed, but the conditions remain the same.

  • ‘A Quick One’- The Who

The Who are definitely pioneers of what would become known as metal. On this record, in particular, this is noticeable. “Boris the Spider” is perhaps the first rock song to make use of guttural vocals. Pete Townshend, like Dave Davies, was also cultivating what the riff would become defined by on this 1966 record.

  • ‘Electric Ladyland’- The Jimi Hendrix Experience

This is the record where Jimi Hendrix would push the boundaries of electric guitar playing beyond any barriers which the musical climate had thought existed at that point in time. It’s precisely this, Hendrix’s unwillingness to accept the boundaries that were placed in front of him, that makes him a prominent proto-metal figure.

Stay tuned.

‘Bloodlust’- Body Count

Ice-T’s groove/thrash/rap metal band, Body Count, released this 2017 record just a couple of weeks ago and, if you know anything about the band’s prior releases (or the personality of Ice-T), you can probably already guess where this record is going to plant itself on the social spectrum. One that thing that is slightly different this time around, though, is the overall tone of the record. In the past, this band has often had a keen sense of tongue-in-cheek humor to accommodate their social statements. This time around, things are much more gruesome and menacing. This record is mean, folks, and it’s an unfortunate fact that this record accurately captures the anxiety of the times.

This record opens with the ripping track, “Civil War”, which features a guitar spot and spoken dialogue from metal legend, Dave Mustaine, and much like you would find throughout Megadeth’s catalog, there exists an alarming level of paranoia within the subject matter. Of course, the point of the track is to cut through this in order to point of the objective realness of the subject matter in our 21st century world. This record has no shortage of star power, as Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly) gives aid to Ice-T and the guys on “All Love Is Lost”, which is a harrowing critique of the falsehoods that remain so prevalent of our current society. After this track, the band gives us a double-track cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” and “Postmortem”, and frankly, it just feels awkward. The band play it as honestly to the original version as they possibly could, and though the band’s guitarist, Ernie C, certainly has chops and rips through the opening, but by the time Ice-T comes in with the vocals, things just get off track. However, further on down the record, the listener is treated to “No Lives Matter”, which is quite possibly the best metal track of the year thus far. It should be noted that this track could very easily serve as the soundtrack to the revolution, which this record seems to be attempting to paint. The band do an incredible job of encompassing all of the less fortunate citizens of this county on this track, painting a miserable view of class war that will no doubt be uncomfortable for the coziest of listeners.

This record, when all is said and done, turns out to be quite a mixed bag. Certain tracks, life “No Lives Matter” and “Civil War”, represent some of the very best material that this band has ever produced. It’s also worth noting that the guest spots on the record from Dave Mustaine, Max Cavalera, and Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), definitely add to the overall heaviness and intensity of this record. Body Count are not pretenders and they prove this many times on this record. However, too much of the material found on this record is second-rate and surely falls below the standard that has already been set by the band in the past. With that said, Ice-T has definitely earned his place in the history of popular music. His lyrics on this record, when the record is succeeding, are top-notch and he has innate flair and command as a frontman. This alone is capable of keeping the record afloat when it starts to trail off. Sadly, there is just too much filler on this record to prevent it from being an instant classic, even with the backing of “No Lives Matter”.


‘The Last Stand’- Sabaton

The latest record from the almighty Sabaton, 2016’s ‘The Last Stand’, serves as further proof that these guys are one of the most exciting bands in metal today. There is rarely a stylistic diversion between records with this band, at least one that’s blatantly noticeable, but the continuous strength of this band is their incredible ability to rally the hordes with the almighty sing-along chorus. What Sabaton represent is nothing short of a larger than life itself celebration of the joys in belonging to a culture, a sovereign people. They’re also, purposefully and fervently, an impossible band to deny. If you don’t like Sabaton, simply put, you are pretty damn lame.

The opening track on the record is “Sparta”, which tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, and aside from being an absolute instant classic, it’s important due to its implications for this record. This record’s concept centers around famous “last stand” battles throughout history, hence the title of the record. This record serves as a testimony to bravery and, given this implication, it easily lends itself to the struggles that the listener may be going through in their own life. Although, it may be worth noting, as it could be a factor, if you don’t know your history you might not get this record (study up, this stuff is important). Other tracks on this record that serve as undeniable highlights are “The Lost Battalion”, “The Last Stand”, “Shiroyama”, and “Winged Hussars”, which all represent the same quality of existence as “Sparta” and best represent what this incredible band is capable of at the peak of their powers. It’s difficult to discuss these tracks as individual entities, because they are all very similar musically. Power metal is an exciting, enthralling, over-the-top subgenre of metal, but it certainly isn’t a diverse style of music. That said, that’s hardly the point of power metal; it’s about celebration. This, occasionally, will serve as a much-needed breath of fresh air, and Sabaton have certainly come along to fill any vacancy that may have existed in metal.

This record, with its relative sameness throughout, still undoubtedly accomplishes being a solid metal record. Sabaton have a refreshing sense of directness in their messages and their delivery. This certainly makes them one of power metal’s least pretentious acts, seeing as they don’t seem to acknowledge any sort of preoccupation with their own grandiosity. These guys are simply about fun, celebration, and all things that make life worth living in the first place. In fact, that might be the most apt description of Sabaton: a pure, grandiose celebration of life itself. Perhaps not since Ronnie James Dio has the broad, wide-ranging genre of metal had a force for good to the degree that this band has embraced these terms of endearment. This band is without a doubt one of the brightest lights in metal today and their seeming ease in continuing to pump out essential history lessons within a handful of minutes is something that is truthfully unique and, in its own way, rather daring in its scope and vision. This is a record by a band that mas mastered their own terms, which rarely ever tire or bore.


‘Kiss of Death’- Motörhead

For Lemmy and Motörhead, 2006 was just another year to release a full-length record of unrelenting, take-no-prisoners music. There are many things one can say about this band, but one thing that is absolutely set in stone and unable to be argued is the glaring fact that Motörhead take the least of amount of shit of any band that has ever graced the popular music playing field. Of course, Lemmy is the driving force behind the band again this time around, and it’s his uniquely defiant aura that continued to carry the band to the top of the mountain up until their unfortunate ending.

This record opens with what is an instant Motörhead classic, “Sucker”, chock-full of their blatant, forceful ways. One of this band’s continued successes is their uncanny ability to, essentially, use the exact same format on every record, perhaps tweaking things slightly, and never having things sound tired or boring. When you have Lemmy at the helm, though, it’s no real surprise why this is easily accomplished. Lemmy is one of popular music’s greatest characters; a true rock n’ roll/heavy metal warrior who lived his life as if he were an unstoppable force of nature. It’s tracks like “One Night Stand” that do a real number in confirming the predetermined context of Lemmy’s way of life. By the time this record was released, the band’s lineup had been together as a unit for a solid decade and they were definitely hitting on all cylinders (though Phil Campbell had been with Motörhead for a bit longer) and it’s notable that Lemmy seems to be at the peak of his powers as far as being the leader of Motörhead. A band is a democracy, to be sure, but Motörhead was always Lemmy’s band. There’s no question about that. With that said, this incarnation of Motörhead is dangerously tight. The best track on this record is the fourth track, “Trigger”, where Lemmy shares with the listener his uniquely keen and straightforward approach. However, it’s on “God Was Never on Your Side” that the band show off the fact that they’re more than capable of spreading their calloused, chiseled wings. Once again this time around, it’s worth noting that the lyrics on this record, like with all Motörhead records, bite with an acidic savagery that few, if any, other bands have ever been able to match.

It goes without saying that this is yet another impeccably solid record from Motörhead, who had definitely served their purpose as one of the most reliable forces of consistency on the music scene. This band was simply incapable of putting out low-quality material; their run of rock-solid material is truly something that should be cherished and this all of course comes back to, once again, the band’s leader, Lemmy. Though this record may not be as historically significant or as vibrantly youthful as ‘Bomber’ or ‘Overkill’, it still goes a long way in proving the continued virility of this legendary band. As long as Motörhead will remain outside of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there shouldn’t be any further proof necessary in showing what a pile of rubbish the institution really is. Show me someone who claims to know a band more consistent, and you’ll all be shown someone who is unequivocally full of shit.