Tag Archives: Metallica

Wyrd Ways Rock Show 5th July 2017

You have to admit this is better.

Hasn’t been a month this time!

Anyway… this week’s Wyrd Ways Rock Show is a packed show yet again. Then again, isn’t it always? Rammed to the gunwhales with brand new music, including stuff from Alestorm, Iced Earth, Venom Inc, Helstar and Rex Brown.

Yes, THAT Rex Brown!

Not only that, but there’s also THREE tracks from the brand new album by the Italian Metal maestros, Arthemis.

Were Megadeth Trolled at the Grammys?


There was plenty of the weird and wonderful at the Grammys this year, but one of the oddest moments surely has to be this. Megadeth, on their twelfth visit to the Grammys, finally won the coveted Best Metal Performance award. As they made their way to the stage, they were accompanied by the riff from that most famous of Megadeth songs, Master of Puppets. Yep, no, that’s right, it’s a Metallica song.

Now for literally any other band in the universe, it might not have been so crazy, but of course, Dave Mustaine used to be in Metallica, doncha know. He was kicked out in 1983, causing some rather bad blood for many years. Do the organisers of the Grammys not know this? I just can’t get my head around the mindset of whoever chose that particular track, from that particular band. Were they trying to piss Mustaine off?

Megadave actually took the whole thing in very good humour, giving the camera a bit of air guitar as he marched towards the stage. In a follow up tweet (and man, this guy likes to tweet!), he said You can’t blame them for not being able to play Megadeth.‘ OK, but Metallica? I mean, if they needed a generic metal theme but the organisers weren’t comfortable playing the band they were awarding (which is madness, sheer madness) then for goodness’ sake, pick any other band than Metallica.

The good thing is, while fans are super pissed off, the band seem not to be, and Mustaine told Billboard …you’ve just won a Grammy and you’re going to worry about some house band doing a cover song in the background?‘ Good man.

What do you think? Deliberate troll or organisational cock up? Let us know in the comments. Watch the award being presented below.

Metallica gain new member after Grammy Awards?

Is it possible that, in the aftermath of their storming performance of Moth Into Flame at this year’s Grammys, that Lady Gaga will become the fifth member of Metallica?

According to several news sources, including Vulture and Rolling Stone, Lars Ulrich has been gushing about the collaboration between Metallica and pop singer (and dyed-in-the-wool Metalhead) Lady Gaga.  Although there were some technical problems, namely James Hetfield‘s mic apparently not being plugged in, that marred the performance.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s a “fixed” version:

Pretty good, eh?  Seems like we weren’t the only ones to think so.  As they walked offstage, Gaga apparently suggested to the band that “this is just too good to leave“.  An assertion that Lars agreed with, but he says he knew it was going to work from the outset:

“It was totally in her wheelhouse… The only question was at what level it was going to work. We did one run-through. The way her and James’ voices worked, it gelled so well together we all kind of stood there like, “Huh?” It was really fucking next-level.”

That impression was confirmed during their rehearsal time.  Going by what Lars was saying during various interviews, Lady Gaga might well have been invited to join Metallica on a more permanent basis:

“As you spend 72 hours with somebody, and there’s this connection and this intimacy, part of it is that maybe you don’t want it to end.  When these moments work, you always leave them open to re-connection.  Obviously, we’re not sitting in a recording studio today writing songs for a record or anything. I think that our weekend together was so seamless and so authentic and such a natural fit that the idea of revisiting this at some point down the road (is a good one)”.

Quoting from the interview with Rolling Stone:

“[She is the] quintessential perfect fifth member of this band.  Her voice, her attitude, her outlook on everything is so awesome.  [The performance] was so effortless and organic and she just has the spirit of hard rock and metal flowing through her veins.

It comes really easy for her. There’s nothing contrived; she just has this super warm, easy energy.  We already started fast-forwarding to the next chapter when we can do more of this. It’s not one of those “20 lawyers, strategists and managers trying to force two people from two different worlds to figure out how to spend four minutes together on a national telecast”.

Of any of these undertakings, this is about as organic and authentic as there’s ever been one. We’re just getting started.”

It’s certainly interesting.  Personally, I hope they end up in the studio together.  Any collaboration will be much more listenable than Lulu (which many of us have managed to block from our memories!), since Gaga writes decent pop songs and (as mentioned earlier) is a known Metalhead.  OK, the Metal Taliban will HATE even the IDEA that this may well happen.  Then again, they’ve hated Metallica since the early 90s, so neither myself nor the vast majority of the planet really don’t give a flying one about their opinions.

So… is it going to happen, or is the Danish stixman just winding everyone up?  Personally, I hope he isn’t.  She’s certainly got the pipes for it and the musical taste.  Fingers, as far as I’m concerned, are firmly crossed.

Soma Dark announce new members

Manchester-based Heavy Metal band Soma Dark posted the following announcement on Facebook early on this afternoon:

All of you who made it down last night [to their gig at Grand Central in Manchester] will now be in the loop. But for those of you who didn’t, you really missed something special.

First things first, towards the end of summer last year, Drummer James McMurrough and bassist Luke Jones had to make the tough decision to step down from their positions in Soma Dark. Although this choice was no doubt difficult for them, other commitments in life had to take priority. We wish them all the best in the future and thank them dearly for their contributions to the band over the years.

But… Not all news is bad news. So it is with great pleasure we announce our new members into the Soma Dark family.

Firstly, taking to the rhythm throne on drums we introduce Charlie Stack (ex-Digital Buffalo/ex-Bob Dean). Charlie has brought a new angle to the sound and a new imagination in keeping us solid as a rock, while keeping that groove interestingly heavy.

Locking in with Charlie and completing the rhythm section, it is with great pleasure to introduce you to Simon Robertshaw, who some of you may know from his time in fellow Manchester Metal band, Vice. Simon has brought a new energy and enthusiasm, which for those of you who were there last night, will have been witness to.

We’re very proud to have these boys on board with us. Don’t miss us on the road… But also, keep your eyes peeled for news of our new album which is now mixed and going off for mastering. Artwork is complete, logo updated. We are currently looking into finding a label to release this through. So if you are reading this from a label and are interested, get in touch!

We’ll see all of you very soon…

Wyrd Ways Rock Show Presents: Powerzone #157 – 13/2/17

Welcome to Powerzone! This week’s show features new songs from Firewind, Blaze Bayley and Trollfest, good mix eh? We’ve got plenty of power metal and folk metal too, the Gentleman of Metal has a go at singing and playing the jaw harp, and we discuss Metallica and Lady Gaga. Oh yes, theres another round of Metal Kombat, so get your votes in on our Facebook page! (facebook.com/powerzonemetal). Playlist below! \m/ – GoM

Firewind – Rise From The Ashes
Blaze Bayley – Endure And Survive
Bruce Dickenson – Chemical Wedding
Trollfest – Fräulein Helluva
Finntroll – En Mäktig Här (Live) [Livewire track]
Head-On – Sunrise
Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
Battle Beast – King For A Day (Metal Kombat!)
Svartby – Goat Crack (Metal Kombat!)
Iced Earth – The Reckoning
Blind Guardian – Turn The Page
Ensiferum – Lai Lai Hei (Epic Track)
Turisas – Stand Up And Fight
Primal Fear – Heart Of A Brave (Volt Track)
Eternal Of Sweden – Human
Rhapsody Of Fire – Power Of The Dragonflame (Cheese Sandwich)
Twilight Force – Powerwind (Cheese Sandwich)
Enslaved – Isa
Satyricon – Fuel For Hatred
Enforcer – Mesmerized By Fire (Overload)
Evil Invaders – Shot To Paradise (Overload)
Skull Fist – Ride The Beast
Sonata Actica – My Dream’s But A Drop Of Fuel For A Nightmare

Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCCXLII

Blimey… one of these days I’ll get back onto a weekly schedule! Remember to listen to Powerzone and Metal Ashes while you’re on The Wyrd Ways Rock Show website. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.

Anyway, this edition of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show features an interview with Symphonic Metal maestros, Aonia, and since they’ve just released the really rather excellent Popestar EP, Occult Metal magi, Ghost take their turn in the Spotlight. You can probably guess who has won Record Of The Week this time out… Finnish monsters, Lordi. As usual, the new stuff abounds.

Want to know more? Turn it all the way up.

Here’s what you’ll be listening to:
Evil Invaders – Raising Hell
Graham Bonnett Band – My Kingdom Come
Kee Marcello – Black Hole Star
Covered: Iron Fire – For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica cover)
Monte Pittman – Obliterated
Vulture’s Vengeance – A Curse From The Obsidian Realm
Spotlight: Ghost – Year Zero
Interview: Aonia – Warrior’s Path
Interview: Aonia – SOS Festival 2017
Interview: Aonia – Sunchaser
Spotlight: Ghost – Absolution
Delain – Danse Macabre
Eden’s Curse – Unconditional (feat. Liv Kristine)
Record Of The Week: Lordi – Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man
Record Of The Week: Lordi – Heaven Sent Hell On Earth
Record Of The Week: Lordi – Hug You Hardcore
Spotlight: Ghost – Square Hammer
Warfather – For Glory Or Infamy
The Agonist – The Hunt
Battlelore – The Great Gathering

Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct

Blackened Records

Review by Mabh Savage

Was there ever an album title that felt so apt currently? For a year when so much seems to have gone so wrong, even their logo has been adapted to a ‘glitch’ version, which seems to be breaking up, like there’s a poor reception signal on an old TV set.

Musically, the album is much less 2016 than 1983. There’s a real sense of the band returning to their roots. Death Magnetic (2008) started in a dark, haunting style, before kicking it with some crunching riffs. There’s no such ‘easing in’ on Hardwired. The very first notes grab you by your roots and start forcing your head up and down rapidly. There is physically no way to not head-bang to this music.

The title track is also the first track on the album, and while the staccato beat forces you to twitch uncontrollably, the lyrics tell you just how shit everything really is.

We’re so fucked
Shit out of luck”

No really, don’t beat about the bush, tell us how it really is guys! This kind of Punk Metal approach to lyric writing is most refreshing at the moment. It sums up the desperation felt across a nation, even across the globe, and instead of trying to be poetic about it, goes straight to the heart of things; we’re fucked guys.

Does the album cheer up from this point?  Nope!  The shortest track apart from the just-over-three-minute opener is 5.45, and these are long tracks of crushing misery, angst and pain.  And I love it! Atlas Rise! is a monster of a tune, a real anthem with a chorus and post chorus guitar riff reminiscent of early Maiden, circa Killers. Now that We’re Dead has such an unusual ‘tappy tappy’ drum sound accompanying classic, crunchy guitars and a sound so wide it needs a stadium all to itself.

Moth Into Flame is a classic Metallica shout-a-long track.  Chromatic guitar riffs, 2/4 drums that have been produced to sound as if they are coming from everywhere all at once, and a brief melody in the refrain that gives way to more anger and bile.

Dream No More sounds just for a moment like Rage Against The Machine, then morphs into something slower than the previous offerings; a reprieve, if you will. Halo on Fire continues this slower pace, but with some more mainstream sounding drums and melodies that are actually quite fantastic. The last couple of minutes of this song are like the end of a great movie, gripping and epic.  Great song.

The album is split into two CDs, if actually owning music is your thing.  Doesn’t everyone use Spotify these days? I always feel weird streaming music from a band that once spent a couple of years trying to get Napster shut down…

CD two takes us straight back to chug-town, with a guitar riff that speaks of Black Sabbath to start with, then simply early-day Metallica by the time we hit the second minute of the song. ManUNkind is one of the worst song titles I have ever heard, but what a tune!  The gentle start lulls you into a false sense of security before your ear drums are assaulted by some extremely densely produced drums and guitar.  Classic Hetfield single word pronouncements pepper this fun and bouncy track.

James Hetfield sounds really angry on this album. Vocally there is a tone of bitterness and self-loathing, that melds with the incredibly produced tapestry of Metal and Thrash to create one of the most upbeat yet downhearted albums I have heard this year.  Fuck your false optimism and positivity.  This is how it is.

Here Comes Revenge is a song title that kind of sums up the feel of the whole album for me. This album says ‘We’re pissed, and we’re not going to take it lying down.’

Hardwired has shot straight into the US charts at number One, which is not unusual as the last five studio albums before also did the same. What’s interesting is that although 282000 actual albums were sold in the first week after release, the songs were streamed 9.3 million times. That’s an awful lot of people listening to one album in one week. The album has also hit the top spot in another 22 countries.

Back to the tunes, Am I Savage seems a bit thinner than some of the other offerings.  The sound isn’t as fat, and Hetfield isn’t as, well, angry.  Murder One will be emotional for some, as it’s an ode to Lemmy Kilmister. Hetfield said that “Motörhead had a lot to do with Metallica sitting here right now”, so this song is a fitting tribute to a hugely influential man.

The final track, Spit out the Bone is an unrelenting war-horse of a track, crushing from the start, then moving into some crazy stop/starts. All the vim and venom is back, and we end the album with over seven minutes of vicious Metal aggression.  

This album is unusual in that guitarist Kirk Hammett is not listed as a credited songwriter. There’s nothing nefarious about this; apparently the poor guy lost his iPhone, on which he had recorded hundreds of riffs, which may have eventually made it onto this album. Gutted. Isn’t it strange to think that, without that odd little incident, this album may have been an entirely different beast.

This is a great album, one of their best in recent years. Its main flaw is that it sets the bar so high from the start, leaving some of the later tracks struggling to reach those heights. What I think is really special about this album though, is that it should appeal to all Metallica fans, even those that haven’t looked sideways at their albums since they heard Enter Sandman. Go on, give it go. I dare you.

Verdict: 8/10

Wyrd Ways Rock Show Presents: Powerzone 28/11/2016

The Gentleman of Metal and the roadie return to the airways once again with a feast of metal! Including new tunes from Metallica, Cronica, Theocracy, Hammerfall, Disturbed and a world first ‘Dolby Atmos’ track from Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. Plus another challenging instalment of WATT Year, power, folk and classic metal galore. Enjoy and drop us a line to let us know what you thought! This weeks playlist is listed below! \m/

Cronica – Na Tej Ziemi
Hammerfall – Built To Last
Powerwolf – Mr. Sinister
Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Rosenkreuz [The Rose And The Cross]
Xandria – Nightfall
Die Apokalyptischen Reiter – Friede Sei Mit Dir (WATT Year?)
Dream Evil – Blind Evil (WATT Year?)
Sabaton – In The Name Of God (WATT Year?)
Metallica – Spit Out The Bone (Epic Track)
Megadeth – Dread And The Fugitive Mind
Bloodbound – The Ones We Left Behind (Volt Track)
Theocracy – Wishing Well
Abinchova – Vom Grünen Grund
Eluveitie – From Darkness
Crimfall – Wildfire Season
Northern Oak – Arbor Low
Kreator – Lucrectia [My Reflection] {Sisters Of Mercy Cover}
Crematory – Eiskalt
Disturbed – Stricken (Live)
Pantera – 5 Minutes Alone
Judas Priest – Freewheel Burning (Overload!)
Toledo Steel – City lights (Overload!)
Iron Maiden – Can I Play With Madness (Overload!)
Evil Scarecrow – Robototron

Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCCXL

Back in the proverbial saddle with another Wyrd Ways Rock Show.

This big news this week is an interview with Sabaton, recorded for us by Nick over at Nuclear Blast, and a MASSIVE slab of music from next year’s SOS Festival in Manchester.  Nine bands have been announced.  I’ll be playing you something from seven of them, including the Friday night headliner.  I’ve also got Wyrd Ways Rock Show favourite, Lordi‘s new single, released in advance of the new album, a couple of bands from Canada, new music from a certain Mr Hansen (you may know him from bands such as Helloween and Gamma Ray) and… well… quite a lot of other things.  Don’t just take my word for it, look at the playlist below and click on the Soundcloud player above.

Want to know more?  Turn it all the way up.
Lordi – Hug You Hardcore
Medevil – Nightwalk
Chariots Of The Gods – Ages Unsung
Covered: Sabaton – Camouflage
Iron Mask – Cursed In The Devil’s Mill
Kai Hansen – Born Free
SOS Festival 2017: Kill II This – Typhoid and Swans
SOS Festival 2017: I Saw The World Burn – Apostasis
SOS Festival 2017: Pythia – The King’s Ruin
SOS Festival 2017: Crowsaw – Bitch Blues
SOS Festival 2017: Fahran – Take This City Alive
SOS Festival 2017: Resin – End Of Level
SOS Festival 2017: Screaming Eagles – One Man Revolution
Sabaton – Sparta
Sabaton speak to Nick from Nuclear Blast
Sabaton – Blood Of Bannockburn
Record Of The Week: Jinjer – Captain Clock
Record Of The Week: Jinjer – Sit Stay Roll Over
Record Of The Week: Jinjer – Under The Dome
Metallica – Hardwired
Testament – Brotherhood Of The Snake
In Flames – The End

Who Are The Metal Taliban?

I recently joined a couple of Metal forums, to see if anything had changed in the years since I last had the time to use them.  It seems that they have, and not necessarily for the better.  The experience shows a lot of what is wrong with the Metal scene at the moment, and has been for about the last ten years or so.  Actually nearer 20.  That problem is fracturing of the fanbase, caused by elitism.

What do I mean by that?

It’s in the title: The Metal Taliban.

They seem to think they have the right to decide what is Metal, and what isn’t.  If it’s not Metal, it is derided and so are it’s fans.

They are the reason the live scene as a whole is struggling and why Metal will not be able to reach the heights it did in the late 80’s.  The Metal Taliban have decreed that if it doesn’t have Cookie Monster vocals, it’s not Metal.  If it doesn’t sound as if it was recorded inside a biscuit tin, it’s not Metal.  If more than three people like it, it’s not Metal.

That’s bollocks.  Are these people saying that Ronnie James Dio wasn’t Metal?  Are they saying Simon Hall, Dave Mustaine, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Jorn Lande and Ozzy Osbourne aren’t Metal?  They’ll also tell you, with that air of smug superiority they all seem to have, that anything “-core” isn’t Metal.  I’m here to tell you that it is.  It ALL is.  Just because you don’t like it doesn’t give you the right to decide it’s not Metal.

So what, I hear you ask, is Metal?  It’s very simple.  Far simpler than The Metal Taliban would have you believe.  It’s a more aggressive, louder, faster offshoot of Blues.  That’s all you need in terms of a definition.  Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Judas Priest, Dimmu Borgir, Bring Me The Horizon, Black Veil Brides are ALL Metal.  Why?  Offshoot of Blues.  Blues-y chord progressions with lyrics with meaning (sometimes stories).  That is Heavy Metal.  That is what it all boils down to.  -core is what happens when Hardcore (which is really Punk cross pollinated with Thrash) cross pollinates with… well… Thrash.

The list goes on, but they are all formed by another form of music cross pollinating with Heavy Metal.  That makes them ALL Metal.  Don’t like that?  Tell it to someone who gives a flying one.  That, dear friends, is the crux of it; “Like”.  There are people (The aforementioned Metal Taliban) who decide that they like Metal.  They then decide that if they don’t like it, it’s not Metal.  They’re like the “troo kvlt” Black Metal kids (and they usually are kids).  Blinkered fools who want to be seen as “special”.  Just like the hipsters they so despise.  That’s actually what they are, though.  Hipsters in Metal band shirts.

Just like all hipsters, they should be laughed at, generally derided, possibly pitied for being so narrow-minded, but ultimately discounted and ignored.

When the whole Metal family can do that, we may just regain the position we had 30 years ago.