Metal Past Present and Future

19 05 2008

For todays post I decide to chose a topic I am not very knowledgeable about, and that is Metal. While I believe all genres have there place in music metal I have always had a hard time with. It was just until recently when a friend of mine suggested and album to me, after listening to it I was stunned by the quality of musicians and their producers. Since then I tired to go back through what Metal I own and try to retrace the steps of one of the most successful genres to date. I started my look back at the late 1980’s with Slayer. Though I had heard only one song of their (Raining Blood) I had foolishly placed them in the no talent rack. I then was given a copy of Reign in Blood there most successful and most highly praised album to date. Both my friend and others that I know who like Metal suggested that I start here.

Reign In Blood is Slayer’s 3rd album and is their most structured to date, only 30 minutes long the album breaks barriers with its striped down songs and faster then light tempo. Slayers opening song “Angel of Death” starts with a deathly scream that sets the mood for the rest of the album. Of what I could get from the lyrics the albums seems centered around the Nazi extermination camps of World War Two. The paces seems to never really slow or falter at any place. After “Angel of Death” comes another highlight of the album “Piece By Piece” sticking to there strip down style of the album the song only runs to about two minutes. After “Piece by Piece” the next great highlight is “Postmortem” which builds up to the finally song of the track which pretty much every kid knows now (including myself) “Raining Blood”, while out of context (say in Guitar Hero 3) its an odd song when you mash it in with the whole album its truly one of the best ending songs to an album ever.  Its power and sound smooth finish the album of with a great breakdown that then leads into a crack of thunder and rain. Overall I feel like I should go try to repent my sins to the music gods for ever labeling this as bad. This album really feels like an essential to anyone wanting to see where most modern metal bands got there inspiration .

5 out of 5

Slayer's "Reign In Blood"

Next up on my metal Journey we turn to one of the current leaders of American metal Lamb of God, I always thought the whole screaming thing was there to compensate for lack of talent. I then was forced to listen to Lamb of Gods “Ashes of the Wake” and I will say I was impressed. Though I am not totally sold on the vocal styles and the ideas behind them I still feel like they convey an emotion of some sort which I feel is rather important. The album begins with the well known song “Laid to Rest” (another Guitar Hero song) though powerful I thought it truly lacked the extra one two to be considered greatest thing ever as some put it to be. Don’t get me wrong its is a great son but not as good as some of the other tracks on the album, like the next song on my highlight reel “Omerta” which begins with a great speech about laws of life. With a driving beat and great heavy drum part I would put this up as one of if not my favorite song of the album.  With a great breakdown toward the center that crescendos towards a great ending. My finally song I really like on this album is “Ashes of the Wake” which has a very odd speech that has an odd Iraq overtone to it, the song starts and is constantly elaborating on it self, mostly instrumental the feeling of the overall song is one of anger. Overall it comes in second for favorite song of the album. Though overall I think at points some put Lamb of God to high up there as greatest Metal band of all time, they have their share of both hits and misses like every band.

4 of 5

Lamb of God "Ashes of the Wake"

For my final review I chose to look to the future of metal and a small outfit out of my home state of Pennsylvania, August Burns Red. Originally I was planning to talk about their second album Messengers but started to listen to their first album Thrill Seekers during my trip out of state and grew more and more fond of the structure of the album. Opening with the powerful “Your Little Suburbia in Ruins” which then mold into a set of three really powerful and well molded songs, the speed dips up and down as the album elapses in and out of its own mold. The next highlight of  the album is “Barbarian” that opens with a great drum beat that molds into a great speed beat that just seems never to want to back down. The singer grow more and more intense overtime giving off almost a violent tone to himself leading many including myself to be intimated by him. The final highlight of the album is to date one of my favorite songs I have ever heard, “The Seventh Trumpet”, I first heard this performed by a kid at my school and thought it was just a original. I  later asked him what song it was and if he had copyrighted it because it was so good, he then told that it was just a cover. I then and went and listen to the original and I was stunned, the song gave such a raw feel and attitude and also had the greatest breakdown ever. At one point it quiets just for the lead singer to quietly whisper “and the stars begin to fall” that line put chills down my spine. I really could not explain to this date why it did that other then it just brought up an image of nuclear weapons and missiles. It a song that I will never forget and that in some way would get a place in my mind. If you have never heard of them or never thought of listening to them give them a try. To this date they are still I feel the future of Metal as both a genera and driving force in music.

5 out of 5

August Burns Red "Thrill Seekers"

So after this great journey I feel that I should try to better understand Metal as both a genera and an art form, I now need to go beg the music gods for forgiveness and hope they don’t smite me.






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