Monthly Archives: September 2013

Five Finger Death Punch – “Battle Born”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Five Finger Death Punch The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 2

In July, Five Finger Death Punch released The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell (Volume 1).  Ahead of the release of Volume 2 on November 19th, the first single, “Battle Born” is already making a radio impact, replacing the band’s hit song “Lift Me Up” (see HRD Review) on the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown.

Five Finger Death Punch fans have grown accustomed to Ivan Moody’s ability to channel his rage into anthems of anger, but he also has a more introspective side that he shares from time to time.  “Battle Born” falls into the latter category.  Fans of FFDP classics “Remember Everything” and “Far From Home” will undoubtedly love the band’s latest single.

To the average fan, rock stars of Five Finger Death Punch’s caliber appear to enjoy a life of fortune and fame, however “Battle Born” shows that the perceived life of glamor isn’t necessarily reality based.  The days of selling millions of albums are a thing of the past for most artists, especially those in hard rock and metal.  Because of this, most successful artists nowadays spend more time on the road than they do at home enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Five Finger Death Punch’s rise to the top of the hard rock / metal genre has largely been fueled by anger and rage, but their ability to pull back and deliver songs with catchy melodies and introspective lyrics, as they have done with “Battle Born,” is what separates them from the pack and makes them truly unique.

“Battle Born” promises to be another Five Finger Death Punch single with staying power, giving FFDP fans something to look forward to when Volume 2 drops in November.

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 9-28-13

Octane Logo

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 9-28-13.

This 9-28-13 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists from 2013.

#15 –  “Perfect Life ” – RED

#14 –  “Adrenaline” – SHINEDOWN

#13 –  “Never Never” – KORN

#12 –  “America” – MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

#11 –  “Battle Born” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

#10 –  “Paralyzed” – RED LINE CHEMISTRY

# 9 –   “You Think You Know” – DEVICE

# 8 –   “Die For You” – OTHERWISE

# 7 –   “Deal With The Devil” – POP EVIL

# 6 –   “That Day” – NONPOINT

# 5 –   “Tired” – STONE SOUR

# 4 –   “Good Man” – DEVOUR THE DAY

# 3 –   “Light Up The Sky” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 2 –    “Lola Montez” – VOLBEAT

# 1 –    “Hail To The King” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD


Avenged Sevenfold – “Hail To The King”:  Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

That Day

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 10/5/13

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 10/5/13.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.


  1. AVENGED SEVENFOLD – Hail To The King
  3. STRAY FROM THE PATH – Anonymous
  4. CARCASS – Surgical Steel
  5. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1
  6. RISE AGAINST –  Long Forgotten Songs:  B-Sides & Covers 2000 – 2013
  7. GWAR – Battle Maximus
  8. SKILLET – Rise
  9. DANGER KIDS – Collapse
  10. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – …Like Clockworkrom 
  11. EYES SET TO KILL – Masks
  12. BLACK SABBATH – 13
  13. VOLBEAT – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
  14. ASKING ALEXANDRIA – From Death To Destiny
  15. HALESTORM – The Strange Case Of…



Three For Thursday: Airbourne, AC/DC, Longreef

Three For Thursday - Airbourne, ACDC, Longreef

Three For Thursday featuring:  Airbourne, AC/DC and Longreef.  The theme of the week is revealed below the last video.


This week’s “Three for Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:             Airbourne

SONG:               “Nobody Fits Me (Better Than You)”

ALBUM:              Black Dog Barking

RELEASED:         May 21, 2013




ARTIST:               AC/DC

SONG:                 “Let Me Put My Love Into You”

ALBUM:                Back In Black

RELEASED:          July 25, 1980




ARTIST:               Longreef

SONG:                 “She Likes The Ladies”

ALBUM:                Dirty Motel

RELEASED:           June 12, 2012


This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

“GOING DOWN………………UNDER THAT IS” –  Sexually charged lyrics by Australian hard rock acts.


AC/DC Archives

Three For Thursday Archives



Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1981 & 1982: For Those About To Rock

ACDC For Those About To Rock

Back in the early 1980’s, junior high school boys had two choices…take shop class or be ridiculed for taking home economics with all of the girls.  Like most boys, I had no interest in cooking and sewing, but I also didn’t grow up very handy, so shop class held only slightly more appeal than home economics for me.  Needless to say, my limited skills made disassembling and reassembling a lawn mower engine challenging and tedious.  The shop teacher, Mr. M, was kind of a goofy guy who was always warning us about the dangers of oily rags.  When the following semester rolled around, Mr. M directed us towards the metal lathe to assign our next project, but the only metal that I was interested in back then was heavy metal.

When Mr. M told us that we would be making miniature cannons, inspiration struck!  I begrudgingly went through the process of grinding the metal cylinder into a cannon, as the song “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” played over and over in my head.  The song was the title track off of AC/DC’s latest release, and it just so happened that the album cover featured a black cannon over a copper background.  My cannon looked like everyone else’s for the most part, with one exception.  On a piece of copper that was attached to the frame, I drew the AC/DC logo, and wrote the words…“For Those About To Rock!”  It’s been over 30 years, but I still have that cannon packed away in a box somewhere.

Considerably less torturous was the print class that I also took in junior high school.  I can’t remember the teacher’s name, but I do remember that he was not nearly as goofy as Mr. M.  Although I didn’t have much interest in learning the printing process, it did give me the opportunity to create some pretty cool hard rock inspired projects.  The first project involved screen printing our names and an image onto our own stationary.  A friend of mine, who has gone on to become a respected tattoo artist, created a unique logo for the band Zebra.  The stationary is also packed away in a box somewhere.

The more challenging project, screen printing an image onto a cut-up sweatshirt (80’s style), didn’t survive numerous washings, but I wore it proudly for as long as I could.  The logo for my favorite local rock station was sprawled across my chest, and the Rush logo / star man from the “Archives” album cover covered the entire back of the sweatshirt.

Beyond the assigned projects, my text books, with brown paper shopping bags as book covers, were all emblazoned with hand-drawn logos of my favorite bands (Rainbow, Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, AC/DC and many others).  Reflecting back makes me realize the profound impact that hard rock and heavy metal had on my youth.  Good times! \m/ \m/

Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame: Why Geddy Lee Wanted to “Kill” Alex Lifeson During Rush’s Induction Ceremony

Rush Hall Of Fame Induction

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile band breakups in the hard rock community due to dissention within the ranks.  So, when word got out that Geddy Lee wanted to “kill” Alex Lifeson during Rush’s long overdue Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, you had to wonder if yet another legendary band was about to fall by the wayside.  Of course, Lee’s tongue was planted firmly in cheek when expressing his desire to “kill” his longtime friend and bandmate of 44 years, although he and Neil Peart were likely shocked by Lifeson’s unique acceptance speech (see video below).

If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a serious institution, Lifeson’s speech, while funny, would likely have been seen as insulting to more than just Jann Wenner (co-founder of Rolling Stone Magazine and the HOF).  But since it is largely considered a joke to those in the hard rock community, Lifeson’s speech was nothing short of perfect, and the only one that anyone even talks about.  While it angered the powers that be, it certainly delighted Rush fans, especially the ones who were also fans of Andy Kaufman’s iconic “Taxi” character, Latka Gravas.

Click here to see the full list of Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees.  It is a veritable who’s who of not rock and roll.

While Geddy Lee may publicly state that he wanted to “kill” Alex Lifeson for his antics, in private, you have to imagine that both he and Neil Peart thought that the speech was funny and appropriate given the ridiculous wait that the band had to endure to be inducted into the misnamed – “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame.

ALTER BRIDGE – “Fortress”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Alter Bridge Fortress Album Cover

Alter Bridge is one of the most unique bands in hard rock today.  Formed nearly a decade ago, the band has built a cult-like international following, despite the fact that their record label experiences can best be described as tumultuous.  The band’s fourth studio album, Fortress, will be released on September 30th around the world, although AB fans in North America will have to wait until October 8th to hear the band’s latest release.  Those who have already heard the first single, “Addicted to Pain,” are likely chomping at the bit to hear the full album, and with good reason.

Fortress is, quite simply, one of the best hard rock / heavy metal records to be released in recent memory.  While “Addicted to Pain” may end up being the most impactful single in the band’s history, Fortress is a 12-song collection that does not need radio airplay to make hard rock music fans stand up and take notice.

In a recent interview with Music Radar, Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti revealed that, because “Addicted to Pain” was the clear-cut choice for a single, it afforded the band the freedom to expand their boundaries on the rest of the record.  The end result of this creative freedom is a musical masterpiece that is likely to stand the test of time alongside other classic heavy metal albums.

Fortress begins with a fingerpicking, nylon-string guitar intro that was incorporated into the opening track, “Cry of Achilles,” after the song was already written.  Sweet and melodic, the intro leads you to believe that you are about to hear a song in the vein of the AB classic, “Broken Wings,” but the tracks on Fortress are anything but predictable.

You can feel your pulse start to race as “Cry of Achilles” transitions from the acoustic intro into a fever pitch of crunchy riffs and thunderous drums, a feeling that is similar to a roller coaster drop after a slow, methodic climb.  Heavy, melodic and moody, “Cry of Achilles” features unexpected twists and turns that are commonplace with prog rock bands like Dream Theater, but nothing so intricate that you need to be a musician to appreciate what the song has to offer.  Kennedy and Tremonti’s guitars lay the foundation for the spectacular vocals that the world has come to expect from the dual-threat frontman.

“Addicted to Pain” features an infectious melody over blood-pumping guitar riffs.  Kennedy’s vocals harken back to the days of 80’s metal, as does Tremonti’s stellar guitar playing (see full HRD Review).

You don’t have to get very deep into the album to realize that Alter Bridge has gone beyond the realm of modern-day hard rock into classic heavy metal as you listen to “Bleed it Dry.”  Most songs that are as heavy as “Bleed it Dry” nowadays, feature screaming or growling.  Kennedy proves with his powerful, brooding vocals that singing still has a place in metal.  “Bleed it Dry” will make fans of classic Queensryche and Rainbow (with Ronnie James Dio) feel like they have traveled back in time, as will the track that follows it – “Lover” – which is a lot darker than the title would suggest.

“Lover” seamlessly vacillates between melancholic, raw, emotional power and haunting, airy vocals that demonstrate Kennedy’s massive range.  Listening to “Lover” through headphones lets you fully appreciate the subtle nuances that add a layer of depth to the song.

“The Uninvited” almost didn’t make it onto Fortress after drummer, Scott Phillips, pointed out that the hammer-on technique used to create the riff sounded like Tool’s hit song, “Schism.”  Ultimately, the band kept it because, as Tremonti says…“everybody is influenced by someone or something – a lot of times, it’s a subconscious thing.”  Ironically, the more notable resemblance to another song – Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” – takes place at the song’s outset, and some of the thrash-inspired riffs are very Metallica-esque.  However, influences aside, “The Uninvited” is distinctly Alter Bridge.

“Peace is Broken,” which could easily be the next single, is a heavy, melodic track, with anthemic vocal harmonies that invoke the spirit of Iron Maiden and Queensryche.

“Calm the Fire” showcases Kennedy’s spiritual falsetto as well as his unbelievable range.  By the time that you get to the chorus, you can’t help but wonder if Kennedy and Tremonti found a lost track off of Queensryche’s epic album, Operation Mindcrime, and put their own spin on it.  Not that there was any doubt about the duo’s writing ability, but “Calm the Fire” is proof positive that Kennedy and Tremonti have the potential to be the next Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo.  Years from now, it would not be at all surprising if Fortress is held in the same regard as Operation Mindcrime.

Kennedy and Tremonti are unique in that both have the uncanny ability to sing lead and also to play lead guitar.  On “Waters Rising,” Tremonti’s vocals are front and center.  The vocal trade-off between the duo, in conjunction with the dynamic guitar parts, makes this track stand out on the album.  Though unlikely to be released as a single, this is the type of album cut that true music fans appreciate.

“Farther than the Sun” is pure melodic metal.  With angry, balls-to-the-wall riffs, bended notes (a la Zakk Wylde) and shredding dual guitars, the heaviest song on the album should be a concert crowd pleaser.

The album concludes with “Cry a River” – a radio-friendly track in the “Addicted to Pain” mold, “All Ends Well” – a slower, more lyrically positive song that gives listeners the chance to catch their breath after an non-stop barrage of intense energy, and the title track “Fortress” – a dynamic song highlighted by vocal harmonies and the battling dual guitars of Kennedy and Tremonti.

It may seem a bit strange to say that a band with a cult-like international following is underrated, but Alter Bridge does seem to be flying under the radar a bit, at least in America.  Building on the momentum that was created with ABIII, the release of Fortress should absolutely propel Alter Bridge into the upper echelon of hard rock and heavy metal bands.


Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – “World On Fire”: Hard Rock Daddy Review


Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 9-21-13

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 9-21-13.

This 9-21-13 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists from 2013.

#15 –  “Never Never ” – KORN

#14 – “Die For You” – OTHERWISE

#13 – “Addicted To Pain” – ALTER BRIDGE

#12 – “Burn It Down” – MINDSET EVOLUTION

#11 – “America” – MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

#10 – “Lola Montez” – VOLBEAT

# 9 – “Light Up The Sky” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 8 – “You Think You Know” – DEVICE

# 7 – “Good Day” – DEVOUR THE DAY

# 6 – “Misery Loves My Company” – THREE DAYS GRACE

# 5 – “That Day” – NONPOINT

# 4 – “Deal With The Devil” – POP EVIL

# 3 – “Tired” – STONE SOUR

# 2 – “Lift Me Up” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH (Featuring Rob Halford)

# 1 – “Hail To The King” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD


Avenged Sevenfold – “Hail To The King”:  Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Alter Bridge – “Addicted To Pain”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

Five Finger Death Punch (Featuring Rob Halford) – “Lift Me Up”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review 

That Day

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 9/28/13

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 9/28/13.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.


  1. AVENGED SEVENFOLD – Hail To The King
  2. RISE AGAINST – Long Forgotten Songs:  B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013
  3. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell:  Vol. 1
  4. SKILLET – Rise
  6. HALESTORM –  The Strange Case Of…
  7. MINISTRY – From Beer To Eternity
  9. REDLIGHT KING – Irons In The Fire
  10. ASKING ALEXANDRIA – From Death To Destiny
  11. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE–  …Like Clockwork
  12. BRING ME THE HORIZON – Sempiternal
  13. VOLBEAT – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
  14. DEVILDRIVER – Winter Kills
  15. SHINEDOWN – Amaryllis



Three For Thursday: Red, Black Veil Brides, Otherwise

Three For Thursday - Red, Black Veil Brides, Otherwise

Three For Thursday featuring:  Red, Black Veil Brides, Otherwise. The theme of the week is listed below the last video.


This week’s “Three for Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:              Red

SONG:               “Die For You”

ALBUM:              Release The Panic

RELEASED:         February 5, 2013




ARTIST:              Black Veil Brides

SONG:                “Die For You”

ALBUM:              Set The World On Fire

RELEASED:          June 14, 20011




ARTIST:                Otherwise

SONG:                  “Die For You”

ALBUM:                True Love Never Dies

RELEASED:           June 1, 2012


This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

“DIE FOR YOU THRICE OVER” – Three years in a row (2011, 2012, 2013), bands played regularly on Octane released a song entitled “Die For You.”



Three For Thursday Archives