Archive for the ‘Revisited’ Category

1991_GunsNRoses-UseYourIllusionsOn this date in history, Sept. 17, 1991, Guns N’ Roses released Use You Illusion I and Use You Illusion II, its last studio albums to this date featuring original members Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, Slash and Izzy Stradlin (drummer Matt Sorum already had replaced Steven Adler for the recordings). With media outlets recently reporting Slash and Axl are speaking once again, the nonstop chatter of a reunion has picked up yet again. Will it ever happen? It will take millions and millions of dollars and an office building full of attorneys, but, yes, I think it eventually will happen. But first, let’s look back at those classic albums from GNR. (more…)

Machine-Head-Burn-My-EyesBy Jeff Maki
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Founded by vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn (formerly of thrash metal band Vio-lence) and bassist Adam Duce in 1991, Bay Area thrash metal titans Machine Head will leave behind a surefire legacy as one of the only bands I can recall having two successful eras dominating the metal scene—one from 1994 to 1999 and then again from 2003 to the present day. The Machine Head we all know today—the one that is working on its yet-untitled eighth album—is not the same Machine Head that first broke on the scene. The band started as a formidable street metal act, eventually winning over audiences worldwide with its first two releases, only to ultimately hit a wall with two much-maligned albums, 1999’s The Burning Red (I’m sorry, but I think it’s damn good) and 2001’s Supercharger. After lineup changes and a battle with record labels, they came storming back with a trio of epic thrash metal albums, Through the Ashes of Empires (2003), the now-classic The Blackening (2007) and its most recent studio effort, Unto the Locust (2011). So as we wait for the next album and chapter in Machine Head’s long career, let us celebrate the 20th anniversary of its debut album, Burn My Eyes, by telling you the experience I had with the album and how it helped changed the face of metal for the future. (more…)

nailbomb_point-blankFor years, there had been widespread rumors and speculation about a reunion of the classic lineup of Sepultura—the Brazilian thrash and death metal band that was viewed as deities in the ’90s metal scene. However, with Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser and original vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera putting those thoughts to rest repeatedly in the press, the closest to a Sepultura reunion fans probably will ever see is Max and his drummer/brother Igor in The Cavalera Conspiracy. So what we have had for years is the current—and still solid—Sepultura lineup with Derrick Green as vocalist and Max’s own band, his “baby,” Soulfly. But what this ugly split, and sometimes dispute, has done for over the past decade is allow Max to bring us some of the most exciting new bands, collaborations and side projects, some of which may have never have happened otherwise. (more…)

"On with the Body Count"

Body Count featuring Ice-T, 2014

With the exciting and unexpected news that a new Body Count album called Manslaughter would be dropping (June 10, 2014, Sumerian Records), once again I find myself in a retro type of mood. For the new generation of rock and metal fans, the band Body Count—led by gangsta-rapper-turned-actor Ice-T—is all but unknown. Ice-T, you say? The same Ice-T that plays a detective on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit? The same Ice-T who’s been a star of reality television? Yes, that Ice-T. As unexpected as this may sound as I write about it today, just think about how surprising or even shocking this was more than 20 years ago as I attempt to recount my memory of Body Count’s 1992 self-titled debut album and the chain of events that followed. (more…)

in_flames_-_soundtrack_to_your_escape_As I was sifting through our website archives recently, I stumbled upon a review of this album, realizing Monday, March 17, 2014, marked the 10-year anniversary of its release. Already? Soundtrack to Your Escape is not the most popular album among diehard In Flames fans and never will be—I realize that. But this was an important release for the influential Swedish metal band, and I’ll try to explain why. (more…)

Korn-debutSo I decided to spin Korn’s debut album a few weeks ago on a road trip. Why? I’m not entirely sure. As a diehard fan back in the day, I had heard this album, and my friends and I recited the lyrics hundreds upon hundreds of times. I can play the entire album out through my head without even hitting play. It’s a CD I see every day, as I have a copy autographed by all five original band members on my shelf display.

After some thought, I realized why I pulled it out again. For my own curiosity, I wanted to revisit Korn, not to have something to write about, or for nostalgia. I wanted to hear how the music, and the 12 songs that make up the album—from “Blind” to “Daddy”— sound today, 20 years later. After two decades of trends, genres and sub-genres and the enormous wealth of music I have taken in over that time while growing up into an adult, I wanted to know what the original appeal was, what made me become obsessed with Korn and if I still could get enjoyment from spinning this record. (more…)

type_o_bloody_kissesThe sky is cloudy and a dreary gray with sprinkles of cold rain. Colored leaves are falling on the damp ground, and the wind has regained that hint of wintry chill. The atmosphere and setting seem more desolate, and there is an ominous aura in the air. There’s a level of unpredictably, mystery, sexuality and barrels of fun waiting to be had by all. And of course, there’s a shitload of candy.

It’s hard to put in words the feelings of thistime of the season, but there’s no better metal record to do that than Type O Negative’s 1993 goth metal classic, Bloody Kisses. (more…)

By Greg Maki
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My introduction to Marilyn Manson came Dec. 6, 1994. About two months past my 15th birthday, I was in the company of my dad and older brother Jeff to see Nine Inch Nails at the Baltimore Arena. Remember, this was the year of The Downward Spiral and “Closer,” the year a mud-covered performance stole the show at Woodstock. The fervor surrounding Trent Reznor was never greater—before or after this period. I had no clue who the opening acts were to be that night, and I didn’t care. I was there to see Nine Inch Nails, which had become something of an obsession to me in the months prior. (more…)

Dream_Theater_-_Metropolis_Pt._2-_Scenes_from_a_MemoryBy Greg Maki
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A ticking metronome.

A voice. Soft, comforting, yet firm, in control.

“Close your eyes and begin to relax.”

A hypnotherapist. He puts his subject under, leads him back through time to find a girl waiting for him.

And so begins Dream Theater’s concept album, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, a tragic yet life-affirming tale of love, betrayal, murder and reincarnation. (more…)

album-chaosadOne can make the argument that any of the Max Cavalera-fronted Sepultura releases (1984-1996) are now heralded as classics.

Beneath the Remains (1989) was the Brazilian band’s first major breakthrough, a lethal combination of raw and primitive thrash and death metal. Arise (1991) was more straightforward death metal—faster, heavier and even more bleak. But 1993’s Chaos A.D. is the band’s pinnacle album of their career. (more…)

faith_no_more_the_real_thingIt was 1989, and for many of us, the music video “Epic” was our introduction to Faith No More. These guys were clearly a bunch of weirdos, but that song and video were infectious as hell. You have this singer in high-top sneakers and funky, bright-colored ’80s clothes, a strange looking guitarist with nerdy glasses, and keyboards. And let’s not forget the infamous flopping fish at the end of the video, an image burned into the minds of millions of people. What was this band? Rap? Rock? Metal? Elements of each are in the song. I wasn’t sure what to think at first, but something drove me and many others to purchase the album. (more…)