Monthly Archives: May 2014

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 6/7/14

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 6/7/14.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

    1. CALIFORNIA BREED – California Breed
    2. MUSHROOMHEAD – The Righteous & The Butterfly
    3. AVENGED SEVENFOLD – Hail To The King
    4. THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell
    5. DOWN – Down IV: Part II (EP)
    6. CHEVELLE – La Gargola
    7. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 2
    8. BLACK STONE CHERRY  – Magic Mountain
    9. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY –  Catacombs Of The Black Vatican
    10. VOLBEAT – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
    11. POP EVIL – Onyx
    12. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1
    13. NICKELBACK  – The Best Of Nickelback: Volume 1
    14. OF MICE & MEN – Restoring Force
    15. AVATAR – Hail The Apocalypse

RELATED ARTICLES:

Black Stone Cherry – “Magic Mountain”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Avatar – “Bloody Angel”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

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

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

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

Volbeat – “Lola Montez”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Volbeat – “Cape Of Our Hero”: Hard Rock Daddy Video Review

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

Avatar – “Bloody Angel”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Avatar Hail The Apocalypse

Contrary to popular belief, Sweden does not solely consist of beautiful blonde women with blue eyes and blonde bearded men wearing Viking helmets.  Anyone who has any doubts about this statement need not look any further than the country’s latest export, Avatar, the self-described “metal-n’-roll vaudevillian visionaries.”  The band has recently released its fifth studio album, Hail The Apocalypse, to follow up their successful 2012 release, Black Waltz, which featured “Smells Like A Freakshow,” a mainstay on SiriusXM’s Octane.  Their first single off of the new album, “Bloody Angel,” deservedly started getting regular airplay on Octane before Hail The Apocalypse was officially released on May 16, 2014.

Inspired by Dave Grohl’s “Sound City” documentary, Avatar abandoned their initial plan of recording the album on a track-by-track basis, as is customary nowadays, for a more old-school, live approach, which can create challenges for even the most straightforward hard rock bands.  Avatar is a lot of things, but straightforward is not one of them, so pulling off their album with a live approach shows just how talented they are as musicians.

Rooted in extreme metal, Avatar adopted their larger-than-life persona during the making of the video for the title track off of their last album.  “Something really clicked on a much deeper plane than we expected when I got my face paint,” explained frontman, Johannes Eckerstrom. “I saw myself in the mirror and I was awakened.  We’ve been riding on that ever since.  It’s hard to even put into words.”

Lyrically, the band is never at a loss for words, but the interpretation of those words will vary from listener to listener, especially in the case of the macabre “Bloody Angel,” which is cryptically poetic.

To fully engage the senses of their audience, Avatar puts equal emphasis on their visual and musical presentation, both live and in their videos.

Visually, the “Bloody Angel” video has the cinematic feel of a silent horror movie.  Musically, the song feels like the soundtrack to a psychotic episode of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde variety.

Avatar shows off their dynamic chops by intertwining tortured crescendos that build to a chaotic frenzy with soft, melodic interludes that have a dark, sinister feel.  Like a roller coaster ride with unexpected twists and turns, there is no time to catch your breath before the next drop, leaving you emotionally spent but still wanting more.

Three For Thursday: Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Y&T

Three For Thursday- Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Y and T

Three For Thursday featuring:  Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar and Y&T.  The theme of the week is revealed below the last video.

 

This week’s “Three for Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:               Led Zeppelin

SONG:                “The Ocean”

ALBUM:               Houses Of The Holy

RELEASED:          March 28, 1973

WEBSITE:            www.LedZeppelin.com

 

 

ARTIST:               Sammy Hagar

SONG:                 “Swept Away”

ALBUM:                VOA

RELEASED:           July 23, 1984

WEBSITE:             www.RedRocker.com

 

 

ARTIST:               Y&T

SONG:                 “Summertime Girls”

ALBUM:                Down For The Count

RELEASED:           November 9, 1985

WEBSITE:             www.YandTRocks.com

This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

SUMMER – The ocean, beaches and summertime girls

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Three For Thursday Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 5-24-14

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 5-24-14.

The 5-24-14 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.

#15 –  “Words As Weapons” – SEETHER

#14 –  “Drown” – THEORY OF A DEADMAN

#13 –  “Pittsburgh” – THE AMITY AFFLICTION

#12 –  “Take The Bullets Away” – WE AS HUMAN (Featuring Lacey Sturm)

#11 –  “Painkiller” – THREE DAYS GRACE

#10 –  “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” – HELLYEAH

# 9 –   “Hail The Apocalypse” – AVATAR

# 8 –   “Would You Still Be There” – OF MICE & MEN

# 7 –   “Love The Way You Hate” – LIKE A STORM

# 6 –   “Dead But Rising” – VOLBEAT

# 5 –   “This Is The Time (Ballast)” – NOTHING MORE

# 4 –   “My Demons” – STARSET

# 3 –   “Strife” – TRIVIUM

# 2 –    “This Means War” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD

# 1 –    “Torn To Pieces” – POP EVIL

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Nothing More – “Nothing More”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Three Days Grace – “Painkiller”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

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

Pop Evil – “The Onyx Trilogy”: Hard Rock Daddy Video Review

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 5/31/14

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 5/31/14.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

    1. MUSHROOMHEAD – The Righteous & The Butterfly
    2. DOWN – Down IV: Part II (EP)
    3. KILLER BE KILLED – Killer Be Killed
    4. BLACK STONE CHERRY – Magic Mountain
    5. BANE – Don’t Wait Up
    6. AVATAR – Hail The Apocalypse
    7. THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell
    8. AVENGED SEVENFOLD  – Hail To The King
    9. CHEVELLE –  La Gargola
    10. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 2
    11. SKILLET – Rise
    12. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Catacombs Of The Black Vatican
    13. VOLBEAT  – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
    14. WHITECHAPEL – Our Endless War
    15. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1

RELATED ARTICLES:

Black Stone Cherry – “Magic Mountain”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Avatar – “Bloody Angel”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

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

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

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

Volbeat – “Lola Montez”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Volbeat – “Cape Of Our Hero”: Hard Rock Daddy Video Review

Skillet – “Sick Of It”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

Three For Thursday: Skid Row, Slash’s Snakepit, Aerosmith

Three For Thursday - Skid Row, Slash's Snakepit, Aerosmith

Three For Thursday featuring:  Skid Row, Slash’s Snakepit and Aerosmith.  The theme of the week is revealed below the last video.

 

This week’s “Three for Thursday” songs:

ARTIST:               Skid Row

SONG:                “Monkey Business”

ALBUM:               Slave To The Grind

RELEASED:          June 11, 1991

WEBSITE:            www.SkidRow.com

 

 

ARTIST:               Slash’s Snakepit

SONG:                 “Monkey Chow”

ALBUM:                It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

RELEASED:           Februaary 14, 1995

WEBSITE:             www.Snakepit.org

 

 

ARTIST:               Aerosmith

SONG:                 “Monkey On My Back”

ALBUM:                Pump

RELEASED:           September 8, 1989

WEBSITE:             www.Aerosmith.com

This week’s Three For Thursday theme is…

MONKEY SONGS – A special dedication

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Three For Thursday Archives

Like A Storm – “Gangster’s Paradise”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Like A Storm Gangster's Paradise

The worlds of rock and rap have collided in recent years in the form of sub-genres such as rap metal and rapcore.  And though rap artists have sampled rock songs for several decades, rock acts rarely cover rap songs.  In recent weeks, SiriusXM’s Octane has been playing a cover version of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Like A Storm (a trio of brothers hailing from New Zealand).

The Kiwi hard rock act has been a dominant force in recent months on SiriusXM’s Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown with their hit song, “Love The Way You Hate Me.”  The song, from their album Chaos Theory: Part 1, was also included on Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 52 Hard Rock Songs of 2013.

Although hard rock cover versions of rap songs are few and far between, it should come as no surprise that Like A Storm is the band to try something different.  After all, they are likely the only band to ever have a hit hard rock song that features a didgeridoo.

The band has taken a few poetic liberties with the song title (“Gangster’s Paradise”) and some of the lyrics, but other than that, it doesn’t deviate very far from the structure of Coolio’s original for the most part.  It should be noted that Coolio’s version from 1995 is actually an adaptation of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” from 1976.

Like the Stevie Wonder and Coolio interpretations, Like A Storm’s version features a dramatic undertone throughout, however they took it up a notch with an epic crescendo of guttural, tortured growls at the pivotal moment of the song…

“They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me…if they can’t understand me, how can they reach me?…I guess they can’t, I guess they won’t…I guess I’m f#@ked, that’s how I know my life is out of luck!”

Whether it is the use of an unusual instrument or the innovative interpretation of a classic rap song, one thing is certain, Like A Storm is a band that is willing to take chances and march to the beat of their own drum.

“Gangster’s Paradise” gets better with each listen.  If and when “Love The Way You Hate Me” falls off of the Big ‘Uns Countdown, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see this song take its place.  Check out the lyric video below…

Black Stone Cherry – “Magic Mountain”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Black Stone Cherry - Magic Mountain

Hard rock music is an ever-evolving genre that is customarily defined by the sound of a generation, or at the very least, the sound of a decade.  This is not to say that all bands sound the same, but there are certain elements that give them a common bond, Black Stone Cherry included.  However, the quartet from Kentucky mixes in an element of southern rock that makes them stand out from their fellow hard rock brethren of this generation.  Their latest release, Magic Mountain, bridges the gap between mainstream melodic hard rock and the heavier southern rock sound of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers and Molly Hatchet.  Ironically, the only other artist to achieve this balance in recent times is New Jersey’s own, Zakk Wylde.

Black Stone Cherry writes music from the heart that is inspired as much by bluesy hard rock bands like Aerosmith and Guns ‘N Roses as it is by their southern rock forefathers.  Though their inspirations are largely from acts that are now considered to be “classic rock,” they have managed to not only bridge the genre gap, but also the generation gap to enjoy radio success with rockers like “White Trash Millionaire” and “Blind Man,” in addition to more introspective, emotive songs like “In My Blood” and “Things My Father Said.”

The radio success is already continuing with the first single off of Magic Mountain, entitled “Me And Mary Jane” – a rock anthem that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser when performed live.  Although the album has other potential singles, Magic Mountain has more to offer than just radio-friendly rockers such as the title track.

The tone of Magic Mountain is established at the onset with “Holding On To Letting Go,” which, at times, chugs along like a Metallica-esque freight train, and features down-home southern flavor and powerful blues guitars in the vein of Robin Trower.  From funky grooves to crunching power chords, all of the eclectic musical styles are held together by Chris Robertson’s incredibly soulful voice, which is indisputably mature beyond his years.

Magic Mountain continues its energetic pace with the Aerosmith/GNR-esque “Peace Pipe,” the powerfully bluesy “Bad Luck & Hard Love” and “Me And Mary Jane” before downshifting gears a bit with the moodier “Runaway,” which is in the same wheelhouse as Black Stone Cherry’s hit song, “In My Blood.”

“Hollywood In Kentucky” also has a similar vibe to “In My Blood,” with an added country flair that might seem out of place on a hard rock album, however, Black Stone Cherry blends genres so seamlessly that you can’t help but appreciate the song as much as the heavier moments on the record.

Just when you think that you have Black Stone Cherry pegged as a hard rock band with southern and country influences, they throw you a curveball with “Sometimes,” a melancholic ballad that harkens back to the early days of Pearl Jam.

The ride on Magic Mountain then takes a steep turn with “Fiesta Del Fuego,” a melodic rocker that combines cool voice effects, infectious harmonies and a dirty, gritty quality similar to the songs on GNR’s Appetite For Destruction.

Great hard rock bands have an uncanny ability to pay homage to the legends that have inspired them in the process of creating something unique and special.  Black Stone Cherry has accomplished that feat throughout the entire Magic Mountain album, especially on the closing track, “Remember Me,” which opens with a psychedelic guitar riff reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” and uses it throughout the song to tastefully accent the band’s classic sound.

Given Black Stone Cherry’s inclusion in all of the biggest hard rock festivals in the United States (Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, Rock On The Range, Rocklahoma), it certainly seems as though the band is poised to join the elite acts in the genre at the top of the hard rock mountain.  I guess you could even call it a “Magic Mountain.”

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 5-17-14

Octane Logo

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 5-17-14.

The 5-17-14 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.

#15 –  “Pittsburgh” – THE AMITY AFFLICTION

#14 –  “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” – HELLYEAH

#13 –  “Take The Bullets Away” – WE AS HUMAN (Featuring Lacey Sturm)

#12 –  “Guilty All The Same” – LINKIN PARK (Featuring Rakim)

#11 –  “Would You Still Be There” – OF MICE & MEN

#10 –  “Painkiller” – THREE DAYS GRACE

# 9 –   “Take Out The Gunman” – CHEVELLE

# 8 –   “This Is The Time (Ballas)” – NOTHING MORE

# 7 –   “Torn To Pieces” – POP EVIL

# 6 –   “Love The Way You Hate Me” – LIKE A STORM

# 5 –   “This Means War” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD

# 4 –   “My Demons” – STARSET

# 3 –   “Strife” – TRIVIUM

# 2 –    “Dead But Rising” – VOLBEAT

# 1 –    “Stardust” – GEMINI SYNDROME

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Nothing More – “Nothing More”: Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Three Days Grace – “Painkiller”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Gemini Syndrome – “Stardust”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

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

Pop Evil – “The Onyx Trilogy”: Hard Rock Daddy Video Review

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 5/24/14

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 5/24/14.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 15:

    1. BLACK STONE CHERRY – Magic Mountain
    2. BEING AS AN OCEAN – How We Both Wondrously Perish
    3. AVENGED SEVENFOLD – Hail To The King
    4. CHEVELLE – La Gargola
    5. EPICA – The Quantum Enigma
    6. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY  – Catacombs Of The Black Vatican
    7. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 2
    8. THE PRETTY RECKLESS  – Going To Hell
    9. WHITECHAPEL –  Our Endless War
    10. MICHAEL SWEET – I’m Not Your Suicide
    11. VOLBEAT – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
    12. SKILLET – Rise
    13. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH  – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1
    14. LINKIN PARK – Recharged
    15. A DAY TO REMEMBER – Common Courtesy

RELATED ARTICLES:

Black Stone Cherry – “Magic Mountain”:  Hard Rock Daddy Album Review

Michael Sweet – “I’m Not Your Suicide”:  Hard Rock Daddy Review

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

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

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

Volbeat – “Lola Montez”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Volbeat – “Cape Of Our Hero”: Hard Rock Daddy Video Review

Skillet – “Sick Of It”: Hard Rock Daddy Review

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives