Blog Archives

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/2/17


Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/2/17

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

DEF LEPPARD – “Women” (1987)

When Def Leppard’s Hysteria came out 30 years ago, the world was a much different place.  The album that launched Def Leppard into the upper echelon of rock acts remains their most successful release to date.  One of the first singles released was “Women” – a song that goes back to the creation of the gender.  It’s not exactly a song of empowerment, but that was then and this is now.

Fast forward to 2017…an anthem about women takes on a whole new meaning.  There have always been political movements, but the common bond was never a gender.  Many people in America thought that 2017 would be historic because we would have our first woman president.  After a shocking election, 2017 is historic for women, but it is not because the glass ceiling was broken.  Rather, it is historic because millions of women have been galvanized by troubling political times.  They are poised to be the next populist group to make their voices heard.

Given the circumstances, it seems appropriate that Def Leppard’s “Women” comes from an album entitled Hysteria.  This album offers proof positive that good things can come from troubling times, and that the seemingly impossible can be achieved with unwavering determination.

Hysteria is the first Def Leppard album to be released after drummer Rick Allen tragically lost his left arm in a car accident.  Rather than finding a new drummer, the band stuck by their bandmate as he learned to play drums with one arm.

The tour to support Hysteria featured Def Leppard playing in the round.  This gave the audience a unique perspective that is rarely seen in rock and roll.  I still remember seeing this tour.  We were seated on the side of the stage that allowed us to see backside of Allen’s drum kit.  It was awe-inspiring to watch.  It seems impossible, but losing an arm arguably made Allen and even better drummer than he was before.

If a one-armed drummer can become the star of the show, you have to believe that anything is possible.  It gives me hope that the women of today will become the driving force for change in the future.



QUEENSRYCHE – “Resistance” (1990)

Opening for Def Leppard on many Hysteria tour dates was Queensryche.  Keeping with the theme of the women’s movement, the band was touring in support of their 1986 release, Rage For Order.  It wouldn’t be long after that Queensryche would release their epic, politically-charged concept album, Operation: Mindcrime.  While Mindcrime is the quintessential Queensryche album for die-hard fans, the band garnered their most commercial success with the follow-up album, Empire.

Although the title track of Empire featured Queensryche’s political views front and center, most of the other songs tackled the more customary rock theme…matters of the heart.  However, one other song stayed with the political theme, and seems particularly poignant today – “Resistance.”

The title of this song has become a battle cry for the opposition to the current administration of the United States.  A lifetime ago, “Resistance” was merely one of the deeper cuts on an album filled with hits.  Today, it represents something much more meaningful.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow” (1988)

In my opinion, the first thrash metal album released by Suicidal Tendencies was 1988’s How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today.  The band’s first two albums were rooted in punk and hardcore, but when this album was released, I was blown away by the sheer musicianship and thrash-filled style change.  What made this such a breakthrough album?  The addition of a rhythm guitarist to the lineup, the intense soloing of Rocky George and  the addition of Robert Trujillo (Metallica) on bass.  The songs became more lengthy and structured, and the sound quality was highly polished.  This is one of the best thrash albums to be released in the 1980s.


JUDAS PRIEST “Freewheel Burning” (1984)

When this song came out (off of Defenders of the Faith) in 1984, it shook the metal world and knocked us all on our asses.  Sure, there were thrash metal bands playing that speed, but none that incorporated the speed of this song with the elements that Judas Priest displayed…Dave Holland’s drumming, Ian Hill’s thunderous bass, the heavy, fast riff wizardry of Glenn Tipton and KK Downing, topped off with the soaring operatic vocals of Rob Halford.  This was unheard of before “Freewheel Burning.”  This song always takes me back to my middle school years, sitting at the back of the bus with a boom box blasting it.  I memorized every drum fill, every screech of the guitar and every lyric while sketching the Judas Priest logo on my notebook.




BRUCE DICKINSON – “Devil On A Hog” (2005)

When not fronting Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson has put out some amazing solo albums.  This rocker comes from his 2005 album, Tyranny of Souls.  His vocals are as powerful as ever, against a backdrop of driving guitars and pounding drums.  The music is fierce, but always melodic and insanely catchy.


AIRTIME – “Headstream/River Runs Deeps” (2007)

Airtime saw guitarist/vocalist Rik Emmett of Triumph pair with Michael Shotton of Von Groove.  They put out only one album together, Liberty Manifesto, but it is filled with everything that made them both stars.  This one tiptoes in on acoustic guitar before racing into some heavier melodies, and shows that, twenty years after Triumph, Emmett could still belt out some powerful notes.

Top 10 Metal Albums of 2016


By Andy Cheung


1 – DEATH ANGEL – The Evil Divide

I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it came in May.  The Evil Divide is thrash metal at its finest, and one of the band’s albums since releasing Act III in 1990.  The guitar work is phenomenal, the rhythm section is heavy and grooves, and Rob Cavestany’s vocals soar and growl…providing the emotions portrayed in each song.




The fathers of metalcore impress once again with their release of Incarnate.  Jesse Leach’s passionate lyrical musings and delivery are top-notch, with his clean vocals and death growls throughout the album.  The Killswitch recognizable sound is there with Adam D’s and Joel Stroetzel’s guitar mastery, rounded out with bassist Mike D’Antonio and Justin Foley’s pounding rhythm section.  Incarnate is a great album released by a great band.



3 – ANTHRAX – For All Kings

This member of “The Big Four” released one hell of an album this year.  For All Kings might very well be one of Anthrax’s best releases to date.  The album is heavy and polished, something to be expected from veterans of the thrash metal scene.  Joey Belladonna sounds just as good now as he did back when the band first started 35 years ago, as does Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante.  Jonathon Donais (ex Shadows Fall) is a great addition to the classic lineup of a classic thrash metal band.



4 – GOJIRA – Magma

These environmentalist metallers from France released their 6th album this year.  The band has always made their own rules (as far as sound goes), and Magma is no different.  It’s atmospheric at times, brutally heavy at other times.  One of Gojira’s best releases to date.




Another album that I have not stopped listening to is Twelve Foot Ninja’s Outlier.  This album is so eclectic and unique – heavy with a mixture of djent, folk, and jazz – that dissecting each song would take years to do.  Their musical compositions have impressed me and made me an instant fan.



6 – AMON AMARTH – Jomsviking

Brutal and melodic, two reasons why Jomsviking is one of the best releases of 2016.  Their 10th studio album is the band’s first concept album, and probably one of their strongest to date.  This melodic death metal band takes the Viking/Norse mythology and dials it up a notch.  Raise your horns!



7 – OPETH – Sorceress

Metal fans will always gripe about Opeth’s change in direction from death metal to progressive rock/melodic metal, but at the end of the day, the band’s 12th studio album is a great one.  Sorceress is chock-full of imagery, ranging in sound from folky prog-rock, to bluesy to heavy.  The album is an overall excellent addition for all progressive metal fans.



8 – KATATONIA – The Fall of Hearts

In the realm of emotional metal, there is none better than Sweden’s Katatonia.  Each song on The Fall of Hearts drips with passion and emotion as the band laments on love and loss, while backed with beautiful, haunting melodies and gorgeous music.



9 – LACUNA COIL – Delirium

“The House of Shame” was the first single I listened to when the album was first released in May.  From the eerie intro, to the death metal growl of Andrea Ferro, and the operatic voice of Cristina Scabbia, I knew right away that this was going to be one of their best albums yet.  The rest of the album is just as heavy and dark (even more than their previous releases).




Classic crossover hardcore/metal band from Venice Beach, CA, Suicidal Tendencies released a highly-anticipated album this year.  The addition of Dave Lomabardo on drums is awesome!  The classic Suicidal sound is there, with Mike Muir’s vocals, the funky bass and heavy guitars are all accented with the ex-Slayer’s pounding drumming.

Music Discovery Monday – 10/17/16


Music Discovery Monday – 10/17/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

BLACKFOOT – “Southern Native”

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke’s history with Blackfoot goes all the way back to the early ‘70s.  Medlocke is still a part of the current incarnation, but not exactly in the way that you would expect.  While the co-founding member of this storied southern rock band is no longer an active member, he is the one responsible for recruiting the current lineup to carry on the band’s name.

“Southern Native” is the title track of the band’s 11th studio album (released in August).  It’s been 22 years since the band’s last studio album, After The Reign (which featured a guest appearance by Zakk Wylde on the title track).  Medlocke calls the band’s latest release “classic rock for a new generation.”  The title track is classic rock meets southern rock with a powerful tribal backbone befitting of the Native American-themed lyrics.  Although Medlocke is not an active member of the band, he provides guest guitar work and backing vocals on this outstanding track that also features the soulful guest vocals of Stacy Michelle.

KENNY DUBMAN – “Ain’t Too Late For Memphis”

Kenny Dubman’s “Ain’t Too Late For Memphis” is a southern rock anthem with an arena rock feel.  Like Blackfoot, there is a connection to Zakk Wylde and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I actually discovered Dubman when Wylde posted an article about the song on his Facebook page.  Both New Jersey guitarist/vocalists may have been born in the north, but you would never know it when you listen to their brands of southern rock.

“Ain’t Too Late For Memphis” sounds like the lovechild of Skynyrd and Bad Company (in a good way).  According to Dubman, “the song is the story of a musician who has been out of the game for a long while and longs to break back in, but is not quite sure how to make it happen.”  Dubman also says that the song is autobiographical.  If that’s the case, he has certainly figured out a way to create memorable, inspired music for a comeback.  The only question now is whether it will get the attention that it deserves to reach the masses.



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

KYNG “Breathe In The Water”

Hard /stoner rock fans in the vein of Black Sabbath, Clutch and Queens of the Stone Age will appreciate Kyng’s recently released third studio album, Breathe in the Water.  This great Los Angeles band is a breath of fresh air in today’s heavy metal market.  The riffs are massive and thick with a Sabbathy feel, the vocals melodic, and the rhythm section pulses and pounds like a metal band should.  Keep your eyes on this band.  This album may be the one that puts them into the mainstream.



Suicidal Tendencies is back with their new album, World Gone Mad.  I have two words that sums up my excitement for this album – “Dave” “Lombardo.”  Yes, the ex-Slayer, ex-Testament, double-bass thrash master is the touring and studio drummer for Suicidal Tendencies.  “Clap Like Ozzy” is classic Suicidal Tendencies…fast, furious, heavy and chaotic with Mike Muir’s unique blend of humor, inspirational messages and nihilistic attitude on life.  Even after 30 years of listening to this band, these fathers of crossover metal never cease to amaze.





Finnish power metal veterans Sonata Arctica have been churning out quality music for nearly 20 years now.  They’ve gone through some lineup changes, but one constant has been the melodic vocals and keyboards of founder Tony Kakko.  This song comes from their ninth (and newest) release, The Ninth Hour.


HARDLINE – “Nobody’s Fool”

Hardline is a melodic rock group that, back in 1991, united vocalist Johny Gioeli (Crush 40, Axel Rudi Pell) with Journey members Neal Schon and Deen Castronovo.  Gioeli is the only original member remaining as the band celebrates its 25th anniversary with a new album, Human Nature.  This one packs some groove, while managing to stay true to the band’s melodic roots.




THE NEW BLACK – “Long Time Coming”

“Long Time Coming” is the lead track off of The New Black’s fourth full-length release, A Monster’s Life.  This tune has an infectious groove, and cool, edgy vocals with a locomotive rhythm a terrific melodic theme.  Formed in 2008, these metalheads sound like they are from the southern part of America, rather than from their Bavarian homeland.


THUNDER & LIGHTNING – “Mary Celeste”

Germany’s Thunder and Lightning returns with their fifth full-length album, Neuntöter“Mary Celeste” is an epic, tragic tale of an ill-fated sea voyage brought to life brilliantly by guest vocalist Der Schulz from Unzucht.  His vocals are captivating, especially the glorious (yet haunting) chorus.  The band’s musical skill is top-notch, creating a sonic storm – the perfect backdrop to the story.



To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to –

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 10/22/16

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 10/22/16.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.


      1. OPETH – Sorceress
      2. JIMI HENDRIX – Machine Gun: The Filmore East: First Show 12/31/69
      3. EPICA – The Holographic Principle
      4. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – World Gone Mad
      5. SKILLET – Unleashed
      6. GHOST – Popestar (EP)
      7. SOUNDTRACK – DOOM: Original Game Soundtrack
      8. FAMOUS LAST WORDS – The Incubus
      9. A DAY TO REMEMBER – Bad Vibrations
      10. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      11. LED ZEPPELIN – The Complete BBC Sessions
      12. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Got Your Six
      13. ALCEST – Kodama
      14. EVERY TIME I DIE – Low Teens
      15. OATHBREAKER – Rheia


Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums Archives

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/16/16

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - The Who - Had Enough

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/16/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

THE WHO – “Had Enough” (1978)

Songs have a powerful way of marking a moment in time.  Sometimes music can become the soundtrack to nostalgic memories.  Other times, song lyrics inevitably come to mind when dealing with the trials and tribulations of life.  Such is the case this week after all of the tragedy that plagued Orlando, FL, and the United States as a whole.

The Who’s “Had Enough” is open to lyrical interpretation.  Clearly, the love aspects of the song don’t apply to my feelings about what happened this week, but many of the lyrics could be isolated to become a journal entry of sorts.

The song – from the band’s 1978 album Who Are You – has an upbeat feel that contrasts with the lyrics, especially because it is more keyboard than guitar-driven.  This was the last album that featured Keith Moon on drums (he died a month after its release).  Moon’s playing had been deteriorating at this point, and the recording sessions were rife with tension and obstacles, particularly on “Had Enough.”  Displeased with the rough mix of the song, and the added string arrangement, Roger Daltrey ended up punching producer Glyn Johns and rendered him unconscious.

The vibe of the song may not capture the essence of the lyrics, but the back story most certainly does.


HELLOWEEN – “I Want Out” (1988)

Keeping with the theme of songs that have been running through my head this week, Helloween’s “I Want Out” is high up on the list.  Unlike The Who’s “Had Enough,” the intensity of this song perfectly captures the essence of the lyrics.

The beauty of lyrics is that they can resonate with different people in different ways.  This classic Helloween track, which was written by guitarist Kai Hansen, is about his desire to leave the band.  Frontman extraordinaire Michael Kiske delivers the lyrics with such visceral emotion, that it’s hard to believe that they weren’t coming from a personal place (even though he didn’t write them).



 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES “You Can’t Bring Me Down” (1990)

One of the most underrated bands to have come out of the ‘80s was Venice Beach, California’s Suicidal Tendencies.  Back in the day, we would skateboard in parking lots while blasting Suicidal on our boomboxes, so this band has always brought me back to those times.  Headed by Mike Muir, a young Robert Trujillo on bass and Rocky George on lead guitar, Suicidal Tendencies started out as a punk/hardcore band and slowly crossed over into the thrash metal genre (while keeping the punk hardcore vibe).  Listen to the musicianship of these guys.  Their ability to hang with other metal musicians in the same genre is clear.  George’s solos are blazing fast and precise.  Trujillo’s bass lines are poppy and funky.  Muir’s unique vocal style, and his intelligent yet humorous lyrics, brings the whole emotional Suicidal sound together.  Off of one of Suicidal Tendencies’ best albums, Lights…Camera…Revolution!, “You Can’t Bring Me Down” is the epitome of maniacal metal slam dancing…full of emotion and musical chops.

LIFE OF AGONY “Through And Through” (1993)

Back in the early ‘90s, punk and hardcore started incorporating elements of thrash metal (and vice versa) breeding a new wave of crossover metal.  Although the two never got along until these crossover bands started gaining notoriety, the seed that was planted resulted in a new hybrid sub-genre.  Life of Agony was one of those bands that blended the street-tough punk/hardcore lyrical content and mosh pit breakdowns with the heavy crunchy guitar and speed metal aspects of thrash.  “Through and Through,” from their album River Runs Red, is a great example of this mixture.  Notably, the emotional wailings of Keith Caputo (now Mina Caputo), the heavy riffs of Joey Z, the drumming of Sal Abruscato (who also drummed for Type-O-Negative) and Josh Silver’s production made this album one of the classics in metal/hardcore.  Silver also happened to have been the keyboard player in Type-O Negative.




BLAZE BAYLEY  “While You Were Gone” (2008)

After hundreds of auditions, Blaze Bayley was the man whom Iron Maiden turned to in the mid-‘90s (after Bruce Dickinson left the band).  It was a curious choice, given Blaze’s baritone voice.  After a couple albums, Dickinson returned and Bayley was out.  He went on, though, to form his own band and release some amazing material.  This heartbreaking (but headbanging) ballad comes from his fourth solo album, The Man Who Would Not Die.  It was dedicated to his wife, whom he credits with getting his career back on track.  She was seriously ill at the time, and has died since, which only heightens the emotion of this intense masterpiece.  Bayley has a new album in 2016, Infinite Entanglement (review soon to come!).


MISS CRAZY  “Shut Eyes” (2006)

These California rockers channel AC/DC and Cinderella on this fun single from their debut album, Can’t Get Enough.  Vocalist/guitarist Markus Allen Christopher hits some high notes and addictive riffs.




MEGADETH  “Symphony Of Destruction” (2012)

This version of “Symphony of Destruction” is from DirecTV’s Guitar Sessions, where Dave Mustaine and company relive the classic title track from their 1992 album.  As part of that show, he described the “stroke of luck” inspiration that he had he was stricken with a headache while driving home, which gave way to the lyrics…“My metal brain’s corroding, my head is going to explode.”  Also check out another great one from the Guitar Sessions archives, “Angry Again.”


ACCEPT  “Kill The Pain” (2010)

“Kill the Pain” is a tremendous power ballad of woe and regret from Accept, featuring Mark Tornillo debuting with terrific vocals and Wolf Hoffman cranking out gut-wrenching, blue-mood setting guitar solos. This great track is a deep cut from their 2010 studio album, Blood of Nations, which was very well received, and considered a great comeback for the band.


Billboard Top 15 Hard Rock Albums – 4/13/13

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart 4-13-13

Billboard Hard Rock Album chart.  Top 15 albums ranked by sales data and compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.


  1. SevendustBlack Out The Sun
  2. Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell And Angels
  3. Senses FailRenacer
  4. ClutchEarth Rocker
  5. SoundtrackRock Of Ages
  6. Red – Release The Panic
  7. Soundtrack – Sound CityReal To Reel
  8. The Color MoraleKnow Hope
  9. StryperSecond Coming
  10. Shinedown – Amaryllis
  11. Iron MaidenMaiden England ‘88
  12. Bullet For My Valentine – Temper, Temper
  13. AnthraxAnthems (EP)
  14. Three Days Grace – Transit Of Venus
  15. Suicidal Tendencies13


  • Sevendust
  • Senses Fail
  • The Color Morale
  • Stryper
  • Iron Maiden
  • Suicidal Tendencies