AC/DC, Anvil & The Answer in concert at Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, MA) – 7/28/09

The AC/DC show was the third Heavy Metal concert of the season and fourth show this summer (I went to Billy Joel/Elton John 2 weeks ago at Gillette Stadium). Originally, I wasn’t going to go, I saw AC/DC on the STIFF UPPER LIP Tour years ago and I didn’t really want to pay the $100+ for a decent seat. I ended up getting the fever for the concert when Anvil was added to the bill and ticket deals started popping up on Ticketmaster. I grabbed 2 tickets at $50 each and went with my father-in-law to the show. Great seats: Section 102, Row 18, Seats 14 & 15 (on the aisle)…..2 sections over from my endzone Patriots season tickets!

The Answer setlist:

The tickets said the show started at 6pm so we were in the arena for 5:45pm and I showed my father-in-law the stadium. Around 6:30, The Answer came on…..they played about 30 minutes and there were definitely 6 songs. There was a small crowd and they got a decent reaction. Unfortunately, the two Answer CDs I own are sitting on my desk in a pile of discs I haven’t really listened to yet so I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs. The Answer has an AC/DC-ish sound so they are definitely a good fit for the opening slot on the tour.

Anvil setlist:

March Of The Crabs
This Is Thirteen
666
School Love
Winged Assassins
Race Against Time
White Rhino
Metal On Metal

I have been an Anvil fan for a long time. A lot of people say that nowadays because of the buzz the Anvil movie has created and the backing by VH-1 Classic but I remember listening to FORGED IN FIRE on a record store turntable back in 1983 and I’ve had some of the early albums since they were released. The latest album, THIS IS THIRTEEN (2007), is a great record and it’s getting a re-release this Fall and the band is gaining momentum with heavyweights like AC/DC in their corner. Rumor is that Angus Young himself wanted Anvil added to part of the tour because he thought the Anvil story was incredible! No matter the reasons, Anvil took the stage and I went mental! I missed the band this past April when they played a small venue outside Boston on their movie promotional tour so this was my glory moment.

Lips, Robbo and Glenn 5 tore into the instrumental ‘March Of The Crabs’ and then gave up ‘This Is Thirteen’. I sang every word to the title track and the people behind me thought I was some weirdo. Actually, I sang every word to the entire set! The highlights for me were ‘This Is Thirteen’, ‘Winged Assassins’, ‘School Love’ and ‘Metal On Metal’. I could have done without a second instrumental but ‘White Rhino’ was a Robb Reiner drum solo showcase. I had looked up the band’s Castle Donnington set earlier in the day and they played a few classics that I hoped they would play at this show (‘Jackhammer’, ‘Mothra’ & ‘Forged In Fire’) but time was a factor and AC/DC was the main attraction. The band had a great response from the growing crowd and there were a few old school metalheads out there besides me who knew the songs. I was able to hopefully convert a few teenagers and turn them on to Anvil with my encyclopedic Metal mind and enthusiasm for the set. Anvil were my conquering heroes of the night and I went up right after their set and proudly bought my $35 Anvil tour shirt!

AC/DC setlist:

Rock ‘N Roll Train
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Big Jack
Shot Down In Flames
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Thunderstruck
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot To Thrill
War Machine
Dog Eat Dog
Anything Goes
You Shook Me All Night Long
TNT
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock (with extended Angus solo)

Encore:
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

The band everyone came to see…..AC/DC came on about 30 minutes after Anvil as the sun was setting on the stadium and the band absolutely kicked ass! AC/DC’s music is timeless, everyone knows the songs and the crowd was singing along to almost every word. It was a high energy set of 20 songs, 5 came from the new album BLACK ICE (2008), 4 from LET THERE BE ROCK (1977) and 4 off the classic BACK IN BLACK (1980). The set had a few predictable songs along with the BACK IN BLACK tunes like ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’,  ‘Dirty Deeds’ and ‘TNT’ but there were a few songs for the diehards like ‘Dog Eat Dog’, ‘Let There Be Rock’ and ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’.

The show started out with a quick cartoon on the big screens to get the crowd pumped up…..nothing like seeing a devilish Angus, fighting some women and an out of control train to get the crowd cheering! The band roared into ‘Rock ‘N Roll Train’, complete with a big train engine on stage above Phil Rudd’s drums, and then into the deep track of ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’. I was psyched right away but the crowd picked up a lot more when they heard the opening riff to ‘Back In Black’. With the exception of the new songs and a couple of oldies, most of the set was songs everyone knew, AC/DC gets a ton of airplay in New England. I thought all of the new songs went over pretty well live but the highlights for me were ‘Rock ‘N Roll Train’, the heavy ‘War Machine’ and ‘Anything Goes’. That’s not to say that ‘Big Jack’ and ‘Black Ice’ were bad, I just like the others better. The good news is that there was a lot of sing-a-long to the new songs so the BLACK ICE record has reached a lot of people.

The other 15 songs were all AC/DC classics from both the Bon Scott years and Brian Johnson’s tenure. Obviously, the more popular songs were crowd favorites but I was excited when they played the songs off LET THERE BE ROCK. ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ were surprises for me. ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ had the band’s trademark “Rosie” balloon riding the big train above the drums and the set closer, ‘Let There Be Rock’, clocked in close to 15 minutes with an extended Angus guitar solo. The cool thing was the catwalk the band had from the main stage to a small stage in the middle of the floor…..this is where the majority of Angus’ solo was played, complete with pyro, confetti and smoke! A couple of other crowd favorites were ‘The Jack’ and ‘Thunderstruck’. Gillette Stadium is the home of the New England Patriots and ‘Thunderstruck’ has been a staple at the games since the mid-’90s to get the crowd pumped up for kickoffs. It’s almost a team anthem! The crowd went nuts for that song. During ‘The Jack’ the cameras focused on a lot of pretty girls in the crowd and put them on the big screen. Two people the camera caught (not women) were actors David Spade and Chris Rock…..Spade was clear as day singing along and fistpounding but Chris Rock was shown just as the camera started to pan away. It was cool though and the crowd threw up a big cheer, maybe bigger than some of the girls on the screen!

The band closed with the classic ‘Highway To Hell’ and the full cannon blast of ‘For Those About To Rock’…..both expertly done. As the band left the stage there was a nice fireworks display that delayed the bulk of the crowd, this helped my father-in-law and I get out of our section and up the ramps to leave before the bulk of the crowd created a massive jam to get out. Overall, AC/DC was in top form and had a great sound. Say what you want about all the songs sounding the same or the band getting older (Brian Johnson is 62!), the band can Rock and they blew apart the Foxboro crowd. Definitely a great concert and I’m glad I went. If the rumors are true and this is the band’s final tour, I’m glad I got to experience them live one more time.

Current Playlist

I’ve got the AC/DC concert, with Anvil opening up, on Tuesday so I’m listening to a lot of both bands lately but the latest studio records from both bands have been getting the majority of the spins…..

AC/DC – Black Ice (2008): I haven’t really listened to much of BLACK ICE in the last couple of months so I figured I’d give it a few fresh spins, especially since the band has been playing about 5 new songs live!

Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007): This album has been played a lot since I bought it in 2008 and I’m still not sick of it. I definitely can’t wait to hear a couple of tracks live on Tuesday.

Praying Mantis – Sanctuary (2009): I just got this album in the mail the other day and I’ve only given it one quick spin. I’m a big NWOBHM fan and Praying Mantis released one helluva debut with TIME TELLS NO LIES back in 1981 so I’m hoping that this album will be one of the year’s best. I need to really sit down with this over the next week and give it serious time.

Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil (1983): I’ve been on a Crue kick for the last week so I pulled this one out to relive some childhood memories. The Crue were the biggest band back in the ’80s and his album along with their debut (TOO FAST FOR LOVE) were the most Metal the band would get. I never get sick of listening to this album,

Motley Crue – Generation Swine (1997): A lot of people hate this record but I always liked it. It was definitely a more modern Hard Rock sound compared to the party metal Crue had in their ’80s heyday but you have to remember that this album was written with John Corabi in mind…..then the reunion with Vince Neil was pushed in to cash in. There are some standout songs like ‘Afraid’, ‘Glitter’, and ‘Confessions’ but there are also stinkers like ‘Brandon’…..I had to sit there and listen to Tommy Lee gush this out on piano when I saw the tour in Worcester, MA back in 1997. Awful song!

Tesla – Forever More (2008): I missed out on this album last year because I was lazy. I bought it right around the time it came out and I left it wrapped until Christmas. I think I’ve only given it one spin, maybe two. I’ve read a lot of reviews and everyone really seems to like it so I think I need to spend more time with it.

Motorhead – Everything Louder Than Everyone Else (Live In Hamburg, Germany) (1998): This is one of my favorite live albums and I haven’t listened to it in a very long time. This album was recorded on the tour for 1998’s SNAKE BITE LOVE but the 25 song set is wide ranging from obvious classic like ‘Iron Fist’, ‘Overkill’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’ to songs that were newer then like ‘Love For Sale’ and ‘Take The Blame’. I especially like hearing four tracks from 1993’s BASTARDS, a seriously underrated Motorhead record.

KISS – Carnival Of Souls (The Final Sessions) (1997): The “lost” KISS album. CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a good modern Metal record and definitely a twin companion to REVENGE (1992). I had a bootleg of this record for a couple of years but I was glad that the band finally released the album properly in ’97 in the middle of the reunion with Ace & Peter. Too bad it didn’t come out in 1994 or 1995 because it’s definitely a solid record from the band’s most talented, and stable, lineup since the original makeup days.

Alestorm – Black Sails At Midnight (2009)

Alestorm - Black Sails At Midnight (2009 limited edition)Alestorm - Black Sails At Midnight (2009 original)

Alestorm – Black Sails At Midnight (2009, Napalm Records)

  1. The Quest
  2. Leviathan
  3. That Famous Ol’ Spiced
  4. Keelhauled
  5. To The End Of Our Days
  6. Black Sails At Midnight
  7. No Quarter
  8. Pirate Song
  9. Chronicles Of Vengeance
  10. Wolves Of The Sea

(The limited edition includes a bonus DVD – Live At Wacken Open Air 2008)

Band Lineup:
Christopher Bowes – Vocals, Keyboards, Tin Whistle
Dani Evans – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Ian Wilson – Drums, Percussion, Vibraslap, Backing Vocals
Gareth Murdock – Bass
Migo Wagner – Session Drums
Lasse Lambert – Session Guitars, Backing Vocals

Producer: Lasse Lammert

Country: United Kingdom (Scotland)

Total Time = 46:17

Alestorm
Alestorm MySpace page
Napalm Records

Alestorm have set sail on their new voyage across the Metal seas to bring us their new album, BLACK SAILS AT MIDNIGHT, the follow-up to last year’s adventurous debut CAPTAIN MORGAN’S REVENGE. Alestorm is a band of Scotsman who really enjoy their fantasy realm of pirates, pillage and plunder and they use their Power/Folk Metal sound to create what they call “Pirate Metal”. Their music has elements of Thrash, Folk, and Power Metal mixed with orchestration and symphonics to give it a high seas sound. I have to admit I like the pirate gimmick because it’s something different, usually it’s all dungeons & dragons, but the fact that Alestorm are really good musicians makes the gimmick work.

‘The Quest’ opens the album with furious riffage and double bass drumming mixed with folk, it’s a seriously fast and heavy song that starts this pirate tale, a solid straight forward opener. The band immeadiately shows off it’s epic side with the equally heavy ‘Leviathan’ with it’s rolling riffs and symphonic orchestration to narrate the story of hunting one of the high seas’ legendary beasts. Christopher Bowes sings pretty much clean throughout the entire record but there are some aggressive growls on the bridge and chorus, especially the backing vocals, and adds to the diverse sound.

A pirate likes his rum and Alestorm likes it too, ‘That Famous Ol’ Spiced’ is their power tribute to the drink. It’s another speed riff song with the hook filled chorus and orchestration to bolster the sound. I like the tin whistle that mirrors the lyrics on the chorus, if you listen to the album closely you can hear that whistle on almost every song. So what do you do after you drink all that rum? You make a traitor walk the plank! ‘Keelhauled’ is a more traditional pirate sounding song with all the bells, whistles, bagpipes and violins thrown into the Power Metal mix as the band sends their tied traitor overboard to be drowned along their ships’ keel. Sounds like a brutal way to die but the pirates in Alestorm make it sound more of a celebration with a lot of “yo-ho-hos” in for good measure!

The voyage slows down for a ballad…..yes, a ballad! ‘To The End Of Our Days’ is slow and epic and uses the orchestration and some sounds of the sea to create the musical landscape. The song sounds like something Manowar would do but with subpar vocals. Bowes is no Eric Adams and his aggressive snarl doesn’t really fit a ballad but I guess pirates get sentimental at times too! The title track bursts in to keep the album going strong with another power riff feast mixed with complimentary keyboards and heavy drums while ‘No Quarter’ is the same type of song but with more prominent keyboards and no vocals except for a couple of “heys”. I’m not always a big fan of instrumentals because I always feel like it’s an unfinished song…..the band couldn’t come up with any words? The key is to keep the listener interested and ‘No Quarter’ has enough musical layers to keep my attention and it’s pretty good. Now you know there is no way that Alestorm was going to go a whole record without having a song with “pirate” in the title did you? ‘Pirate Song’ is a little to pirate for me and it suffers from the weakest guitar performance of the album until the duelling guitar/keyboard solo. I think the pace has more to do with it because it’s more mid-paced and the pirate theme really works well when the band moves at breakneck speed.

Alestorm moves into epic territory again with ‘Chronicles Of Vengeance’, a tale of battle on the high seas full of powerful guitar and symphonic composition. I have to pair this up with ‘Leviathan’ as two of the top tracks on the record, not just because they are both epics but because both songs are examples of how Alestorm uses a variety of sound to give their songs such an adventurous feel. The closing song, ‘Wolves Of The Sea’, is actually a cover song of the Latvian musical project Pirates Of The Sea, who performed at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. There are a lot of “hi hi ho’s” and “hi hi hey’s” in this song that set the pirate feel right away but the song is another Power Metal feast…..the gang vocals are really catchy and it’s pretty much straightforward Metal until a quick middle solo that has a Caribbean flavor. If there was ever an anthem for Alestorm, this would be it! I can just see this being a concert favorite complete with audience participation on the chorus. I know it’s a cover song, and I can’t stand that, but it’s a really catchy tune…..the hook in the chorus is what gets you.

Bottom Line:
I’m a sucker for a good gimmick and Alestorm have sucked me in with their lyrical imagery of all things pirates! The concept is still pretty fresh when you consider how much swords & sorcery there is in Metal today, there really are only a few bands out their flying their jolly roger high for Pirate Metal. Alestorm has stormed back with a sophomore album that really doesn’t stray too far from the debut’s direction but I guess that’s the whole point. When you’re do something well then you keep doing it until it’s not successful. There’s enough different styles of Metal to please a wide range of fans but the core focus is probably on the Power, Epic and Viking Metal fans. There are some diverse songs with different sounds and tempos but there are also couple that sound like they’ve been done before. I really like the album and I haven’t stopped playing it since I bought it…..I guess you could say I’m “hooked”! Definitely a really good solid fun record, one of my favorites of the year so far.

Favorite Songs:
‘The Quest’, ‘Leviathan’, ‘That Famous Ol’ Spiced’, ‘Keelhauled’, ‘No Quarter’, ‘Chronicles Of Vengeance’, ‘Wolves Of The Sea’

Grave Digger – Pray E.P. (2009)

grave-digger-pray-ep

Grave Digger – Pray E.P. (2009, Napalm Records)

  1. Pray (extended version)
  2. Overkill (Motorhead cover)
  3. My Blood Will Live Forever (non-album track)
  4. When The Sun Goes Down (non-album track)

Band Lineup:
Chris Boltendahl – Vocals
Manni Schmidt – Guitar
Thilo Herrmann – Guitar
H.P. Katzenburg – Keyboards
Stefan Arnold – Drums
Jens Becker – Bass

Produced by: Grave Digger

Total Time = 16:29

Country: Germany

Grave Digger
Grave Digger MySpace page
Napalm Records

When I review the latest album from Grave Digger, BALLADS OF A HANGMAN, I mentioned the PRAY E.P. briefly towards the end. Turns out that I’ve had more then a few emails wanting a review.

The PRAY E.P. was released in the U.S. a week before BALLADS OF A HANGMAN but it had been available overseas since November 2008. For collector’s, the PRAY E.P. has 3 non-album tracks (one is a cover of Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’) and an extended version of ‘Pray’. The first single from the album is ‘Pray’ and it’s a melodic mid-tempo song that retains it’s power when the gang style backgrounds come in for the chorus. The guitars are the cleanest of the album with their clear twin melodies and solos, definitely a song that brings me back to the Melodic Metal heyday of the mid-’80s.

‘Pray’

Second song is the Motorhead cover ‘Overkill’ and it’s pretty straightforward in it’s delivery. Usually I’m against all covers on a new album but this is a special E.P. so it belongs here. A cover song is a bonus, a novelty track, to me so having one on a single or an E.P. makes it more acceptable to me. If the band had put it on the actual album then I would be critical. The two non-album tracks could have easily been included on the new record and they are worth the price of the E.P. alone (I paid $8!). ‘My Blood Will Live Forever’ has the trademark chugging riffs that Grave Digger is known for and it’s definitely a solid Power Metal feast with aggressive vocals from Chris Boltendahl.  ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ is more a mid-paced song but the heaviness isn’t lost as the band slows down, it’s the best song of the four without being typical Grave Digger. There’s a groove to it and the intensity is in the simple delivery, it’s aggressive without being overpowering.

Bottom Line:
If you’re a Grave Digger fan and/or a collector then you will want to pick this E.P. up, especially at the low price! Three out of four songs you can’t get anywhere and the two non-album originals are as good as anything on BALLADS OF A HANGMAN. Actually, I’m a little disappointed that these two songs aren’t on the new album, they would make it even better! I always like to collect different releases from bands I like and these kind of releases make it easier to pick up some cool bonus tracks.

Favorite Songs:
There’s only four tunes and I like all four but the best are the originals not found on the proper album release: ‘My Blood Will Live Forever’ and ‘When The Sun Goes Down’

U.D.O. – ‘Black & White’ new video available

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t allow Flash players so the best thing I can do here is post the link for the new U.D.O. video, ‘Black & White’, from the upcoming DOMINATOR album.

Check it out on RockTube.us — http://tinyurl.com/l7fcfv

U.D.O. – Infected E.P. (2009)

udo infected

U.D.O. – Infected E.P. (2009, AFM Records)

  1. Infected
  2. Systematic Madness (non-album track)
  3. Bodyworld (non-album track)
  4. Plachet Soldat (non-album track/remix version in Russian)
  5. Poezd Po Rossii (non-album track/live in 2008)

Band Lineup:
Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Igor Gianola – Guitars
Stefan Kaufmann – Guitars
Fitty Wienhold – Bass
Francesco Jovino – Drums

Producer: Stefan Kaufmann

Country: Germany

Total Time = 24:18

U.D.O.
U.D.O. MySpace page
AFM Records

In the last five years, U.D.O. has released three EPs to announce the coming of the band’s new full-length album. MISSION NO. X (2005) had the 24/7 E.P., MASTERCUTOR (2007) had THE WRONG SIDE OF MIDNIGHT E.P. and now the new DOMINATOR (2009) has INFECTED. The cool thing about all these EPs is that there are a lot of non-album tracks, remixes and/or bonus tracks from previous releases…..this makes the CD special for collectors and diehard fans. Now the last couple of albums I bought but I missed out on the EPs, especially THE WRONG SIDE OF MIDNIGHT, an E.P. I am still trying to track down for all the non-album tracks. INFECTED became a top priority especially when AFM Records announced that the release would be limited to 2,222 copies worldwide!

The title track is also going to be on DOMINATOR and it is a heavy as hell, speed track that sounds like classic Accept around the METAL HEART era in 1985. The whole U.D.O. sound is classic Accept so you kind of get the idea of what you’re getting. The first of two non-album (and E.P. exclusive) tracks is ‘Systematic Madness’, another song that sounds like classic Accept and/or early U.D.O. Great guitar work here and pounding drums, the song really has that fast and loud Metal sound. The second non-album track is ‘Bodyworld’, another cruncher of a song but the chorus really doesn’t fit the intensity of the music. It’s a solid modern U.D.O. song, if the rest of DOMINATOR follows these first 3 songs then it will be one of the best records of 2009!

‘Plachet Soldat’ is the Russian language version of ‘Cry Soldier Cry’ from MISSION NO. X (2005), it originally appeared in 2007 on THE WRONG SIDE OF MIDNIGHT E.P. and the Russian pressing of MASTERCUTOR but this version is a remix so it’s the 3rd version of the original song. ‘Poezd Po Rossii’ is another Russian language version of a previously recorded song, ‘Train Ride In Russia’ from 2004’s THUNDERBALL, but recorded live. It was recorded live in Russia on the Mastercutor Tour so I wonder if there are more livetracks that didn’t make last year’s live record MASTERCUTOR ALIVE.

Bottom Line:
Udo Dirkscheider decided to stay with U.D.O. rather than do an Accept reunion and I can’t say I blame him. Listening to the three new tracks on INFECTED shows that the sound of Accept is/was Udo and that some of the best Accept-style material is still flowing from U.D.O. Definitely a solid E.P. with 4 cool bonus tracks…..now we need the new record, DOMINATOR, in August to kick everything into high gear!

Favorite Songs:
I like all five songs…..the three new songs are excellent and the Russian remakes are very good.

Anvil announces the U.S. re-release of THIS IS THIRTEEN with bonus material on 9/15/09 via VH1 Classic Records

Press Release:

ANVIL CONTINUES EXTRAORDINARY COMEBACK
WITH AC/DC DATES AND NATIONAL RELEASE OF ‘THIS IS THIRTEEN’

Los Angeles, CA – July 22, 2009 — Certainly one of the most feel-good rock n’ roll comeback stories of recent times is that of Canadian heavy metal band Anvil. The band, considered a major influence for a generation of hard rockers including Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Guns N’ Roses, was the subject of a critically acclaimed, must-see rock-doc, ‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil,’ directed by Sacha Gervasi. And in the process, the film has made the group (led by singer/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner – both founding members) a household name. But the group’s story will certainly not end with the film.

First up for Anvil are U.S. shows opening for Aussie rock legends AC/DC – in football stadiums. “We’re really excited about these shows, we’ve only heard awesome things about playing in football stadiums. I was with the Green Day guys last night, and they were telling me, ‘Man, it’s probably going to be the gig of your life’!”

anvil-this-is-thirteen-2007

And then on September 15, THIS IS THIRTEEN will finally see proper national distribution on CD and vinyl via VH1 Classic Records. The CD will feature the newly recorded, never-before released bonus track “Thumb Hang.” The collectible double vinyl LP boasts newly re-recorded versions of Anvil classics “Metal on Metal” and “666.” The album, originally recorded in 2007 and produced by Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy), was primarily available directly from the band via their website and at their concerts.

“THIS IS THIRTEEN is more like our first three albums,” says Lips, “which represent our real identity. For many of our albums, we went on an ‘integrity hunt’ instead of on a ‘commercial/radio hunt,’ so we became extremely inaccessible to radio. This time, we stepped back and said, ‘What were we originally?’ And we rediscovered ourselves, I suppose.” Reiner adds, “There are three tracks that in my opinion, are definitely, 100% AOR/hard rock/commercial radio tracks – ‘American Refuge,’ ‘Flying Blind,’ and ‘Feed the Greed.’ Catchy melodies, incredible drum feels – they just all rock.”

The title track is about as classic Anvil as you can get – that slow, powerful, heavy backbeat with cool changes. The violent-sounding “Bombs Away” is, according to Reiner, “the almightiest metal track on the entire record,” “Ready to Fight” is pure speed rock ‘n roll – Nugent on steroids – that boasts super-heavy drumming, and “Big Business” is akin, musically-speaking, to Cream’s classic “Sunshine of Your Love.” And then there’s the true classic, Anvil near-anthem, “Shoulda’ Woulda’ Coulda’,” that’s about living life with no regrets.

Reiner points out that the input from acclaimed producer Tsangarides (who produced early Anvil albums) was a major reason for This is Thirteen turning out the way it did. “The last four or five albums, material-wise, were all similar. We had been trying to find the direction back to the classic Anvil style and sound – it’s just that the production hadn’t been up to scratch. Chris was a big missing part on our past albums.”

Despite some zany Spinal Tap-like parallels between Anvil and David St. Hubbins and company in the film, Anvil has always been taken seriously by metalheads, including some very well known rock stars, who praise the band in the film. “Anvil was one of those bands that just put on this really amazing live performance,” said Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, while Motorhead singer/bassist Lemmy added, “They were a great band – I always liked Anvil,” and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich gushed, “These guys were going to turn the music world upside down.”

So, the AC/DC dates, the release of THIS IS THIRTEEN, what else can fans expect from Anvil in the future? Lips was willing to provide a hint: “Working. More recording. More gigs. More – more than ever!”

AC/DC DATES:
JULY
28 Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
31 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

AUGUST
6 Magnetic Hill, Moncton, New Brunswick CANADA

Anvil official website
Anvil! The Story Of Anvil

WANTED: Queen – Hot Space (1982)

WANTED

Queen-Hot-Space-1982

Queen – Hot Space (1982)

Nothing is worse than thinking you’ve had an album for years and then you realize that it’s missing from your collection…..missing because you never bought it! I’m going to have to turn in my Queen fan club card because I have been seriously slacking in my Queen collecting. I’ve been a big Queen fan since I was a kid and I would consider them in my Top 5 favorite bands but I’ve been off my game trying to complete the Queen collection. I’ve thought I owned HOT SPACE for years and I went to grab all my Queen CDs to load them in my iPod and there’s no HOT SPACE! I looked all through the CD cases to make sure it wasn’t misplaced but I didn’t find it. That’s because I don’t have it! Now I’ve seen this CD around some of the local stores for $15 but, for some reason, I don’t feel compelled to buy a $15 CD, especially for an album that is 27 years old and a CD reissue that’s turned 19 years old. I ran into the same problem a couple of years ago when I thought I owned THE GAME (1980) and I didn’t. So now I am on the hunt to complete the Queen collection and I will be placing HOT SPACE at the top of my list.

Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil (1983)

Motley Crue - Shout At The Devil (1983)

Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil (1983, Elektra)

  1. In The Beginning
  2. Shout At The Devil
  3. Looks That Kill
  4. Bastard
  5. God Bless The Children Of The Beast
  6. Helter Skelter
  7. Red Hot
  8. Too Young To Fall In Love
  9. Knock’em Dead Kid
  10. Ten Seconds To Love
  11. Danger

Band Lineup:
Vince Neil – Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Mick Mars – Guitars
Tommy Lee – Drums

Producer: Tom Werman

Total Time = 44:10

Motley Crue
Motley Crue MySpace page

I was already a Motley Crue fan by the time SHOUT AT THE DEVIL came out because I had the band’s first record, TOO FAST FOR LOVE (1981). I bought that cassette based on the ‘Live Wire’ video I saw on MTV at some point in late 1982 so when I saw the video for ‘Looks That Kill’ I knew I had to buy this album. Back in ’83, I was in the 6th grade and everyone was into the Crue so having the album was considered cutting edge and extremely cool. My friends and I would listen to that cassette on the walk home from school and then we would play it to death on weekends. It was important listening!

The album was so exotic for us kids. First, the band was from L.A., if you read Circus or Hit Parader then you knew that L.A. was a Heavy Metal hotbed. Second, the vinyl was black with a pentagram on it…..anything to do with the devil was cool. Same thing with the song titles, you had the title track, a song with “kill” in it, a song with “beast” in it, a swear, knocking someone dead and danger…..they were dangerous and evil sounding so they were cool. Then you had the band pictures in all the magazines!

Motley Crue circa 1983

Listening to the CD today is a little weird because I was so used to the cassette and vinyl versions…..you know, with Side 1 and Side 2? Side 1 was my favorite because all the two big singles were on it: ‘Shout At The Devil’ and ‘Looks That Kill’…..two of the biggest Metal songs of the ’80s! The opening intro of ‘In the Beginning’ was always looked upon as a waste of space, as was the instrumental ‘God Bless The Children Of the Beast’. Why could they just give us a real song? And what a waste of a good song title! ‘God Bless The Children Of The Beast’ always reminded me of Iron Maiden’s ‘The Number Of The Beast’ so I had hoped it would be just as good a song. Today I skip both to get to the album cuts. ‘Bastard’ was always a favorite if for nothing else than the title and ‘Helter Skelter’ just sounded evil, that is until I found out that it was an original by The Beatles. Normally I disregard cover song, especially in my later years, but I didn’t care when I was 11 years old. Even today I still listen to it.

Side 2 was the side that only the guys with the long walk home from school would get to hear during the week, the others had to wait until the weekend. I always skipped Side 2 when I listened at home until i saw the ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’ video and then I started to listen to the whole album a lot more. ‘Red Hot’ is still a scorcher that I always thought sounded like something off TOO FAST FOR LOVE, a great tune. ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’ is a great single but gets forgotten by many, so does ‘Ten Seconds To Love. I wish Motley Crue would kick these into the live set once and a while, they do occasionally but not regularly since 2005. ‘Knock’em Dead Kid’ is a another cool song with a big catchy simple chorus but ‘Danger’ is the low point. Nothing like album sequencing back in the old days! You could just start the album with ‘Shout At The Devil’ and end with ‘Ten Seconds To Love’ and only have to deal with a minor instrumental interruption.

Bottom Line:
One of my favorite albums from the ’80s and definitely a classic! I grew up with this record, I listened to it so much that I wore the cassette out and this was one of the first CDs I bought when I got my first CD player. This was Motley Crue at their polished Metal best and they could easily compete with any band from Europe not only with music but image too. There are two throwaways with ‘In The Beginning’ and ‘God Bless The Children Of The Beast’ but the rest of the album is top notch radio-friendly Heavy Metal. The worst song for me here is ‘Danger’ but I still give it an occasional listen and the Beatles cover is one that I actually like. I just wish the band continued with this sound and look for the next album…..THEATER OF PAIN (1985).

Favorite Songs:
‘Shout At The Devil’, ‘Looks That Kill’, ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’, ‘Red Hot’. ‘Ten Seconds To Love’

1,000,000 readers!

The counter just hit one million readers and I’m pretty psyched! When I started Heavy Metal Addiction over 3 years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d get anyone to read what I had to say and now a million people have stopped by. There are a lot of Metal websites and blogs out there and it’s pretty cool to know that a million people have read what I’ve written. Thanks to all for stopping by and I hope I can get the 2 million mark in quicker than 3+ years!

CD Scavenger Hunt – 7/21/09

Just a quick update to let you all know what I’ve picked up the last couple of weeks online and in store…..

halestorm - selftitled (2009)Halestorm – s/t (2009) – $9.99: I know absolutely nothing about Halestorm but they seem to be everywhere! I’m not above trying out something new so I’m hoping that the medieval looking cover art is a prediction of some good Hard Rock or Heavy Metal inside. I would feel better if the band was on an independent label, they are signed to Atlantic Records and a lot of new bands on major labels are copycats designed to make quick money. I hope this CD is good, if not, the sale price wasn’t too bad.

Lillian Axe - Sad Day On Planet Earth (2009)Lillian Axe – Sad Day On Planet Earth (2009) – $15: A couple of weeks ago when this album was released, I went to the record store with it at the top of my list. Unfortubately, the store only stocked ONE copy of the album and I have been waiting ever since. I saw this lone copy mixed in with the Lizzy Borden CDs so I grabbed it right away. Maybe someone “hid” it and they were coming back? I do that all the time! Today I made sure that a couple of Tankard albums were under “T” instead or “Tankard”!

Music Review Cheap TrickCheap Trick – The Latest (2009) – $14: Cheap Trick is one of those classic bands that I always forget about and then, when I hear some songs on the radio, I remember to pick up some of their CDs. On the way to the record store today I heard ‘Dream Police’ and I quickly added THE LATEST to my mental list of CDs to buy. I probably should have picked up a copy a month ago when the band opened for Def Leppard & Poison but it was $20 at the merchandise booth. Cheap Trick is definitely an underrated band.

Stryper - Murder By Pride (2009)Stryper – Murder By Pride (2009) – $9.99: Stryper’s new record came out today and I wasn’t missing the special sale price. The band’s last record, REBORN (2005), wasn’t the best Stryper album but I always support the bands I liked in the ’80s so I’m willing to give this one a fair listen. The sale price was a good deal and the guy at the counter told me that this album was better than REBORN…..bigger riffs and more solos and more old school than modern.

global_metal1Global Metal DVD (2009) – $24: I had no idea that GLOBAL METAL was getting a U.S. release today! I have been after this DVD since it was released everywhere else in the world late last year so this is a great surprise and well worth the regular price. If you’ve seen Sam Dunn’s other films (FLIGHT 666 and METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY) then you know that this will be a top notch DVD set. Remember those two Tankard albums I said I hid? I hid them because I bought this in their place and I want to pick them up over the weekend.

mrcd5Melodicrock.com – Vol. 5: Writing On The Wall (2009) – $23: I have been reading Melodicrock.com daily since 1998 so I support the website any way I can. I have bought the other four volumes through the pre-order and this one was no exception…..the price included shipping from Australia for the 2 CD set and there is also a CD worth of extra downloads for pre-orders only. Not a bad deal! There are always a lot of exclusive tracks by a lot of different bands and there are always some new bands included…..I always find a new band through these compilations.

7th Stranger - Push Harder7th Stranger – Push Harder (1992) – $6.25: Another band that I haven’t got a clue about! I have been seeing this CD pop up on Ebay a lot lately so I started watching the auctions and doing research on the band. The only thing I really know is that 7th Stranger are from Seattle and that they start the album with a cover of The Sweet’s ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’. I figured I could get the CD cheap on Ebay and I was right…..add me to the dozen or so list of people who bought this on Ebay in the last month.

Railway - Climax (1987)Railway – Climax (1987/1997 reissue) – $18: Back in 1997, High Vaultage Records from Germany started to produce some great reissues full of bonus tracks, pictures and extended liner notes. The releases they put out are now out of print and getting harder to find at decent prices. Railway’s first three records were reissued on High Vaultage and they are high on my want list. I saw this copy on Ebay from a seller I’ve bought from in the past and this was the last copy they had. Other retailers were charging $25 + shipping so I used BUY IT NOW and made sure I got a fair price. Now I need the first two reissues.

Alestorm – Leviathan E.P. (2009)

alestorm - leviathan

Alestorm – Leviathan E.P. (2009, Napalm Records)

  1. Leviathan
  2. Wolves Of the Sea
  3. Weiber und Wein
  4. Heavy Metal Pirates

(Track 2 is a cover of a song that represented Latvia at the Eurovision Song
Contest. Track 3 is a German version of ‘Wenches and Mead’. Track 4 is another re-recording of the Battleheart-era song that was initially
redone as a single in 2008. Both Tracks 1 & 2 were released on BLACK SAILS AT MIDNIGHT.)

Band Lineup:
Christopher Bowes – Vocals, Keyboards
Dani Evans – Bass
Lasse Lammert – Guitar on tracks 1 and 2.
Gavin Harper – Guitar on tracks 3 and 4.
Migo Wagner – Session Drums

Additional Musicians:
Brendan Casey – Bass
Ian Wilson – Drums

Producer: Lasse Lammert

Country: United Kingdom (Scotland)

Total Time = 17:43

Alestorm
Alestorm MySpace page
Napalm Records

Pirate Metal seems to be a genre that is gaining a lot of ground lately with old school metallers Running Wild still kicking and bands like Swashbuckle, Verbal Deception and, of course, Alestorm ushering in a new breed of Metal set on the high seas. LEVIATHAN is an E.P. Alestorm released to get the fans excited for the new album, BLACK SAILS AT MIDNIGHT (2009), and give a couple of bonuses a wider release. The first two songs ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Wolves Of The Sea’ are tracks that are on the proper full-length record and they are both very different. ‘Leviathan’ is a Power Metal tale of the mythical sea creature, the Leviathan, and it’s battle with the pirates…..it’s a very heavy song with some cool orchestrations. ‘Wolves Of The Sea’ is actually a cover song of the Latvian musical project Pirates Of The Sea, who performed on the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. There are a lot of “hi hi ho’s” and “hi hi hey’s” in this song that set the pirate feel right away but the song is another Power Metal feast…..the gang vocals are really catchy and it’s pretty much straightforward Metal until a quick middle solo that has a Caribbean flavor. ‘Weiber und Wein’ is the German version of the song ‘Wenches And Mead’ from Alestorm’s debut album, CAPTAIN MORGAN’S REVENGE (2008). There really isn’t anything different here as the song is pretty much the same except for the vocals, it’s more of a bonus to the fans in Germany who have really given Alestorm some serious support. The last song is another Alestorm track that has been released before, ‘Heavy Metal Pirates’ is actually a song that came from the band’s formative days as Battleheart and was re-recorded in 2008 as an online single sold through Napster and iTunes.

Bottom Line:
Basically LEVIATHAN is a teaser for the new album with the first two songs being tracks that will be featured on BLACK SAILS AT MIGNIGHT. The two bonuses, ‘Weiber und Wein’ and ‘Heavy Metal Pirates’, are the reason to buy this E.P. because you aren’t going to get these tracks anywhere else on CD. This E.P. has some excellent music and some catchy songs so if you’re new to Alestorm then this might be something to grab to give them a preview.

Favorite Songs:
There’s only four songs and I liked all of them! The best one is ‘Leviathan’.