Friday, April 30, 2004

Hit Parader's Top 5's of 2003

Since I had published Revolver magazine's reader's survey results for the best of 2003, I thought I'd post the editor's top 5 picks from Hit Parader magazine along with some of my thoughts on the picks. They had some interesting choices compared to Revolver's editors.

Top 5 Albums:
1. Metallica - St. Anger
2. Staind - 14 Shades of Grey
3. Marilyn Manson - The Golden Age of Grotesque
4. Deftones - Deftones
5. KoRn - Take A Look In The Mirror
- Geez. Like God Forbid once since, "If your not angry when writting heavy metal songs, you end up with St. Anger..." I couldn't agree more with that statement.

Top 5 Bands:
1. Linkin Park
2. Metallica
3. System of a Down
4. A Perfect Circle
5. KoRn
- I really don't agree with the top 3.

Top 5 Live Acts:
1. Metallica
2. Godsmack
3. KoRn
4. Cold
5. Kiss
- The last time I saw a live Metallica show on VCD, they totally butchered their own songs! I don't know if they fixed so far. Cold were a suprise entry here.

Top 5 New Acts:
1. Motograter
2. The Datsuns
3. Velvet Revolver
4. The Darkness
5. Jet
- The only truly original act of the year, Motograter beat out 4 rock bands. I knew I should have bought the CD in S'pore...

Top 5 Personalities:
1. Ozzy Osbourne
2. Marilyn Manson
3. Chris Cornell (Audioslave)
4. Wes Scantlin (Puddle of Mudd)
5. Chino Moreno (Deftones)

Top 5 Videos:
1. Metallica - St. Anger
2. Staind - Price To Pay
3. A Perfect Circle - Weak And Powerless
4. Evanescence - Fallen
5. P.O.D - Will You
- I know ALOT of videos better these choices.

Top 5 Overhyped:
1. Slipknot
2. Limp Bizkit
3. Creed
4. Guns 'N' Roses
5. Kiss
- Wonder why Slipknot were overhyped when they weren't even around in 2003.

Top 5 Loudest Bands:
1. Metallica
2. Superjoint Ritual
3. Deftones
4. System of a Down
5. Iron Maiden
- Listening to St. Anger, I don't think this vote was based on that album.

Top 5 Strangest Bands:
1. Marilyn Manson
2. Motograter
3. Mushroomhead
4. Slipknot
5. MuDvAyNe

Top 5 Annoying Performers:
1. Britney Spears
2. Avril Lavigne
3. Michelle Branch
4. Puff Daddy
5. Train
- I'd add Maroon 5 to that list.

Top 5 Tatooed Rockers:
1. Ozzy Osbourne
2. Philip Anselmo (Superjoint Ritual, Down)
3. Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)
4. Sully Erna (Godsmack)
5. Sonny (P.O.D)

Top 5 Female Rockers:
1. Amy Lee (Evanescence)
2. Nadya (Coal Chamber)
3. Brett Anderson (The Donnas)
4. Morgan Lander (Kittie)
5. Gen (genitorturers)

Top 5 "Bald" Rockers:
1. David Draiman (Disturbed)
2. Aaron Lewis (Staind)
3. Scooter Ward (Cold)
4. Jeff Hanneman (Slayer)
5. Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
- What happened to Kerry King?

Top 5 Album Titles:
1. Marilyn Manson - The Golden Age of Grotesque
2. Led Zepelin - How The West Was Won
3. Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
4. Alien Ant Farm - truANT
5. KoRn - Take A Look In The Mirror
- I would have replced Alien Ant Farm with SuperSuckers' Mother F***ers Be Trippin'.

Top 5 Rumours:
1. Led Zeppelin reunion
2. Kiss finally retiring
3. Black Sabbath studio album
4. Slipknot breaking up
5. New Van Halen album

Top 5 Missing In Action:
1. Slipknot
2. Van Halen
3. Guns 'N' Roses
4. System of a Down
5. Led Zeppelin
- Notice a contradiction with the top 5 here as they were heavilly hyped in other categories.

Top 5 Movie Soundtracks:
1. 2 Fast 2 Furious
2. School of Rock
3. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
4. Matrix Reloaded
5. Daredevil
- What happened to Freddy VS Jason and House of a 1000 Corpses?

Top 5 Cartoons:
1. Southpark
2. MTV's SpiderMan
3. The Simpsons
4. Spongebob Squarepants
5. Teen Titans

OK, So overall there were quite a few bad choices with their editor's picks. But coming soon, I'll post Metal Edge magazines top picks for best albums of 2003.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The People have spoken!

Just received the April and May issues of Revolver magazine. Like most other rock mags, the April issue remembers the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's passing as well as a look at grunge in the '90s.
But the May issue had the results of their reader's survey and I'm glad to say the readers made much better choices than the crap the magazine editors picked for their awards. Here's what the people voted for along with some thoughts of mine:

Best Band:
1. Slayer
2. KoRn
3. Slipknot
4. AFI
5. Metallica
- I agree with the top 3, but not the 5th.

Worst Band:
1. Limp Bizkit
2. Good Charlotte
3. Linkin Park
4. Metallica
5. Simple Plan
- Interesting that more people hated Metallica than supported them.

Best Album:
1. KoRn - Take A Look In The Mirror
2. AFI - Sing The Sorrow
3. Hatebreed - The Rise of Brutality
4. A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step
5. Superjoint Ritual - A Lethal Dose of American Hatred
- Revolver thought Lamb of God's 'As The Palaces Burn' was the best album of the year. Obviously the people thought better. None of the albums they picked for 25 albums of the year are in this top five even!

Worst Album:
1. Metallica - St. Anger
2. Limp Bizkit - Results May Vary
3. Linkin Park - Meteora
4. P.O.D - Payable On Death
5. The White Stripes - Elephant

Best New Talent:
1. Shadows Fall
2. Motograter
3. Devil Driver
4. Evanescence
5. Lamb of God
- Revolver's golden boys finally make it onto a list, though at the bottom covered by some better talented bands.

Most Overly Hyped Band:
1. Metallica
2. Evanescence
3. Good Charlotte
5. Blink 182
- I would have put all punk bands at the top and included Good Charlotte and Blink 182 in a three way tie! I still wonder why various magazines always give multi-page coverage to Blink 182 whenever they release a new album. The band is just a joke!

Favorite Video Game:
1. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
2. EA Sports Madden NFL 2004
3. Halo
4. Manhunt
5. Tony Hawk's Underground
- Sooner or later I gotta remind myself to finish Halo...

Favorite Movie:
1. House of 1000 Corpses
2. The Matrix: Reloaded
3. Kill Bill Vol.1
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
5. Freddy VS Jason

Famous Person You'd Most Like To See NAKED:
1. Britney Spears
2. Jennifer Aniston
3. Amy Lee of Evanescense
4. Juliya of "Uranium"
5. The Olsen Twins (?!?)
- You could probably ask Fred Durst for a description of the no.1 pick.

Famous Person You'd Least Like To See Naked:
1. Oprah Winfrey
2. Ozzy Osbourne
3. Chino Moreno (Deftones)
4. Marilyn Manson
5. George W. Bush
- No Comment...

Who Should Be President?
1. Henry Rollins
2. Ozzy Osbourne
3. Jonathan Davis (KoRn)
4. Tom Morello (Audioslave guitarist)
5. Howard Stern

Best Tour
1. Ozzfest
2. Vans Warped Tour
3. Headbanger's Ball Tour
4. Summer Sanitarium Tour
5. Jagermeister Tour

Best TV Show:
1. Viva La Bam!
2. Headbanger's Ball
3. The Simpsons
4. Uranium
5. Family Guy
- I didn't even know skateboarder Bam Margera had his own show!

Overall, like I said earlier, the readers had much better choices then what was hand picked and usually forced down our throats by the Revolver editors. Hopefully they get the hint!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Music Video Reviews

Ill Nino - This Time's For Real
- From their 'Confession' album. Video features an down on his luck boxer training to re-live past glory with shots of the band jamming in the gym. OK video and song. Noticeably the band is toning down their singles a bit.
Video Rating: ***

Soulfly - Prophecy
- From their up-coming 4th studio album, this is the standard Max Cavalera style of music video. The band jams in the desert with American Indians, a step away from their usual Brazillian themed videos, but still tribal none the less. Great song too.
Video Rating: ***1/2

Fear Factory - Cyber Waste
- The return of the Factory! From the new album 'Archetype' comes the first their first video from the re-organized kings of Industrial metal! With the departure of original guitarist Dino Cazares, Christian Olde Wolbers now plays guitar instead of bass, so now Byron Stroud formerly of Strapping Young Lad is the newest member of the crew. The video is pretty simple though unlike many of their previous, more epic efforts. It's just the bands jamming away in an abandoned warehouse sorrounded by a moshing crowd. Burton C. Bell also has dropped his trademark choir like singing for this one, giving the song a more grinded feel like most death metal bands. Great overall though.
Video Rating: ***1/2

Thursday, April 15, 2004

This might not be heavy metal related, but I just thought I'd mention that Weird Al Yankovic's parents were both found dead on 4/11. The cause of death was said to possibly be smoke inhalation.
My condolences go out to Al on his loss.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

In Memory of...

Kurt Cobain 1967-1994

I first got into listening to hard music as my older brother was a big fan of old school metal acts back in the day like Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, etc. Later on I even became a fan of early rap and even the freakin' New Kids On The Block! Then one day my brother bought the Weird Al Yankovic album 'Off The Deep End'. The cover was a spoof of Nirvana's 'Nevermind' album, and the lead single 'Smells Like Nirvana' was a spoof of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. I then heard the original version of the song being played on the radio regularly.

Then late one night I saw a clip of Nirvana's 'Come As You Are' video from the Billboard Music Awards where they were nomiated for Best New Act. They didn't win, but for some reason the riff and opening line of the song was stuck in my head almost permanantly and I really became interested to hear the rest of the song.

Sometime after that it was then widely reported the Kurt Cobain had commited suicide and it seemed every newspaper around the world would report the story. I can honestly say it really didn't effect me much at the time. But I did manage to borrow a copy of Nevermind from a friend and finally manage to hear the complete 'Come As You Are' song. It would become my favorite song of all time!
Some time after that, some classmates of mine from school aksed me if I were interested to go 'jamming' with them. Not sure what to expect, I went along and spent the afternoon watching them play Nirvana covers (Quite badly). But it was from hanging and jamming with them that I learned to pick up and learn to play guitar, though I'll admit I'm not all that good.
But I was really into Nirvana and brought every cassette of theirs that came out, even though I knew the guy had already passed on.

And it was from that life experiance that I now have my interest of heavy music. On my trip to KL last week, I picked up an issue of Hit Parader magazine and it had a special tribute to the late Kurt Cobain in it. I was shocked to learn that this month marks the 10-year anniversary of his passing! It's been ten long years since Nirvana changed the way modern rock music would be written, and a new boundary in lyric writting was crossed.

And now I pay my own tribute to Nirvana in my own way. While in KL last week I picked up the CD of Nirvana's Unplugged in New York album and am currently playing it in my car stereo. The significance being that it replaces American Head Charge that was sitting in the fifth CD slot for almost 2 years! I finally found something worthy of taking it's place!

Fear Factory got me into heavy metal, KoRn got me into nu-metal, but it was Nirvana that started it all for me. For that, I will forever remember the man behind the music, Kurt Donald Cobain. To this day, there are still many who can't believe he's gone, but I for one still can't believe such a man existed that would help change my life so much just by listening to his music.

Friday, April 09, 2004

New CDs!

Back from my trip to Kuala Lumpur and I picked a few good CDs while there. Check back soon as I'll also be writting a special music related article just for this blog. Heres what I got from KL:

Soil - Redefine
An early nomination for hard rock album of the year! Soil's first album 'Scars' was one of the best new CDs when they first came out in 2002 and this highly anticipated follow up more than surpasses expections!

Staind - 14 Shades of Grey
Staind's platinum selling 4th album and includes a free VCD. Picked it up at the discount bin at Tower Records.

Ozzfest Live 2002
16 live recordings from various metal artists from the biggest metal tour on earth. Includes Ozzy Osbourne himself, Black Label Society, Rob Zombie, Soil, Adema, Ill Nino, Drowning Pool, System of a Down, P.O.D, Andrew WK, Flaw, Meshuggah and many more. Also picked this one up at the discount bin.

Local H - Pack Up The Cats
A long missed alternative/grunge/rock act. These two guys were doing the two man guitarist/drummer band long before the White Stripes came along.

Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York
Finally picked this one up in the discount bin mainly for sentimental reasons. Most people don't know this, but this month marks the 10-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death.

I also picked up a few metal magazines that I can't find here, Hit Parader and Metal Edge magazine. Had lots of good and interesting news, including Slipknot's new album scheduled for mid-May 2004 release (YES!!!), Cradle of Filth's new album coming soon, and kind of a shocker that vocalist Johnny Santos of Spine Shank has left the band!
Was a bit dissapointed thought that the one album I really searched high and low for but couldn't find was Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society's 'The Blessed Hellride' CD. I did find one small CD shop at Sg. Wang Plaza that sold import CDs, but they were expensive due to being imports (80-120bucks each!) and I just didn't have the budget to get any of them.