40 Years Ago: Judas Priest Release ‘Point of Entry’

By 1981, Judas Priest had notched seven albums into their studded leather belts, carrying the torch for heavy metal in the late ‘70s while genre godfathers Black Sabbath hit a bump in the road after six landmark records. Responsible for the spikes and leather imagery and twin guitar attack, Priest finally made their mainstream breakthrough at the turn of the decade with the punchy and to the point British Steel. Following the massive success, they flew to Ibiza Studios in Ibiza, Spain to record their follow-up, Point of Entry, which was released on Feb. 26, 1981.

Time has not treated the album so well, as it often gets overshadowed by its surrounding counterparts, the aforementioned British Steel in 1980 and the heavy metal cornerstone, Screaming for Vengeance in 1982. The songs demonstrated simple structures and simpler riffing, relying heavily on vocal melodies and hooks to lead the way. For the first time in their already well-established career, Judas Priest had the finances to record outside of the U.K. and the result was a product of their relaxed and luxurious environment.

Sticking with the radio-friendly themes of British Steel songs like “Breaking the Law” and “Livin’ After Midnight,” the British quintet set out to repeat their success, cutting three singles, “Heading Out to the Highway” which closely mirrored the anthemic style of “Livin’ After Midnight,” “Don’t Go” and the fist-raising “Hot Rockin’.”

Judas Priest, “Heading Out to the Highway” Music Video

With each prior record, Priest had entered the studio with material already prepared. Point of Entry marks the first album the band wrote spontaneously in the studio, which bolstered their conscious effort to track with the intent of presenting a more “live” feel, utilizing the talents of producer Tom Allom for the second consecutive record. Of course, there could be no better representation than a live feel in the studio than the 1979 barn-burner Unleashed in the East. The record famously contains a blistering live performance, but the original vocal recordings from the show were ruined and Rob Halford had to sing over the music live in the studio.

Upon its release, two different album covers graced the front of Point of Entry. The United States and Japan received the artwork (pictured) depicting a long, open road ahead that narrowed as it approached the horizon, glowing with the last rays of the setting sun and the album’s title above it. The white stripe dividing the road was constructed using computer printer paper and the top right corner shows the newly unveiled 3D version of the Judas Priest logo, which would be used through the release of 1986’s Turbo. The rest of the world received the original album cover (seen at the top of the page) depicting the lengthy edge of a cliff and the warm red, orange and yellow hues against the oncoming night shades as the sun dips below the horizon. The two dimensional logo was left in tact as it had been displayed since 1978’s Stained Class.

Judas Priest embarked on the North American leg of the World Wide Blitz tour in Columbus, Ohio on May 4, 1981, bringing Iron Maiden in tow as the latter band promoted the release of their frenetic Killers.

Though not released as one of the three singles, “Solar Angels” was featured as the show opener on the tour and the fan-favorite “Desert Plains” was a can’t miss. Speaking about the latter in 2011, guitarist K.K. Downing said on his official website (via Blabbermouth), “’Desert Plains,’ to me, is just one of those songs that you can get into instantly because of the tempo and where the accents are in the riff. Additionally, and particularly in the States, the lyrical content making reference to the desert has that extra appeal for the fans in places like Arizona and New Mexico.”

Judas Priest, “Solar Angels

Priest toured heavily in support of Point of Entry, including two European legs of the tour in addition to their lengthy North American run featuring fellow Englishmen Saxon on the first leg and Accept as support on the second.

Point of Entry was certified gold in the U.S. by the RIAA and reached No. 39 on the Billboard 200. Its successor, Screaming for Vengeance, proved to be an even bigger breakthrough than British Steel, reaching No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and sold in excess of 5 million copies worldwide.

Judas Priest Albums Ranked

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27 Years Ago: Cradle of Filth Release Their Debut Album

Years before they played orchestral, convoluted gothic / black metal and titillated rebellious fans with slogans like “Jesus is a C–t,” Cradle of Filth were a novel, literate death metal band that played straightforward chainsaw riffs and relied on classical-influenced keyboard passages to provide atmosphere, not drive the songs. The group’s first album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, which came out Feb. 24, 1994, is raw and simple, but not icy or nature-influenced enough to qualify as genuine black metal.

That doesn’t mean it’s not a visceral or innovative. In fact, the scarcity of tremolo riffs, sepulchral shrieks and perpetual blast beats makes it a more enticing debut than many albums by Nordic bands the underground was fawning after. At the same time, compared to the handful of death metal demos that preceded it, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh is a leap further into the black.

The album was written through much of 1993 and tracked from September to November at Academy Music Studio in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England. While the band recorded with producer, Robert “Mags” Magoolagan, who had previously worked with majestic doom bands including My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost, Magoolagan was unable to capture the huge sounds that frontman Dani “Filth” Davey was envisioning.

“We were aiming for a really moody, dramatic vibe that had become synonymous with the British metal scene, but at the same time we wanted the ferocity of the European scene,” Filth told Kerrang! in 2008. “It ended up being a very underground record, but we weren’t actually trying to do that. We wanted to make a very big sounding record and I think even to this day it’s a record with a very unique flavor.”

Influenced more by British Hammer horror films and romantic poetry than pagan rituals and church burnings, Cradle of Filth were a new kind of band, though their anti-religious agenda and stage attire caused many to lump them in with groups like Emperor, Immortal and Mayhem. Contributing to Cradle’s iconoclastic flavor are Filth’s lyrics, which stray from the primitive ranting of many Nordic bands and exhibit the singer’s penchant for flowing poetry. In the title track, he shrieks, “The Liliot suckle on her fruitful breasts, and yield the swords that sever and stain / There will be no act or passion wrought. That shall not be attributed to her names.”

The lyrics, along with the keyboards that fill the intros and accompany the buzzsaw guitar riffs, lend a gothic flavor to the album that Cradle of Filth built upon for subsequent releases. At the same time, the rhythms are unrelenting and savage, demonstrating the brutality of which the band was capable. Nick Barker’s drumming is precise and slamming and the dual guitar work of Paul Ryan and Paul Allender is fierce and menacing.

While both departed the band before the release of 1996’s Dusk and Her Embrace, Allender returned for 2000’s Midian and remained with Cradle of Filth until 2014. At present, Filth is the only original member from the lineup for The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, though considering how many lineup changes the band has undergone and how many musicians have left and returned, there’s no pact that would prevent another musician who played on the album from returning.

To some black metal fans, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh is the only Cradle of Filth album worth listening to, but for those who were willing to roll with Filth’s flamboyant presentation and penchant for experimentation there would be many more eclectic and gothic delights to come.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Dani Filth in 14 Rock + Metal Musicians With Insane Vocal Ranges

Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985

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Korpiklaani’s Jonne Jarvela Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

One of the great things with Loudwire’s Gear Factor is when artists go a little deeper in showing you how a song was constructed. Korpiklaani‘s Jonne Jarvela does exactly that, showcasing two songs from the recently released Jylhä album.

First up is the song “Miero,” a track that needed some beefing up with some metal intros. But hearing it now, you might not realize it started on acoustic guitar. Jarvela breaks out his acoustic to show you the fingering patterns while letting his studio console provide you the full fledged metal version you hear on the album. “I think it is one of the best riffs of the new album,” says the singer-songwriter.

He also breaks out another key song on the album titled “Tuuleton,” once again showing the contrast of the singular acoustic instrumentation against the fully realized metal backdrop.

As with most of our Gear Factor episodes, we also dig into Jonne’s early days picking up the instrument. Heavy riffs appealed to him at an early age while growing up in the ’80s, with Jarvela breaking off bits of Deep Purple‘s “Smoke on the Water,” Black Sabbath‘s “Paranoid” and AC/DC‘s “Live Wire” as the first things he attempted to learn.

Watch the episode in full below and be sure to pick up Korpiklaani’s Jylhä album, currently available here (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases).

Korpiklaani’s Jonne Jarvela Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

The Best Metal Album From 40 Subgenres

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David Lee Roth With Zero Context Is Pretty Much Normal DLR

David Lee Roth is one of the most entertaining rock stars of all time. Do we understand what he’s saying most of the time? Not entirely… but it all makes sense now with this compilation.

Shu ba da du ma ma ma ma
Shu ba da du ma ma ma
Shu ba da du ma ma ma ma
Shu ba da du ma ma ma
Yeeaahh

The amount of high-profile interviews David Lee Roth has done is exceptional, including TV appearances with David Letterman, Joan Rivers, Jon Stewart and many others. DLR always brings over-the-top energy to an interview, electrifying any studio audience with stories about sex, drugs and awkward celeb encounters.

Humala bebuhla zeebuhla boobuhla
Humala bebuhla zeebuhla bop

Ever watch DLR: The Movie? Nobody has, but on Roth’s official YouTube channel, the Van Halen legend released a trailer where he plays a hitman in Asia. Don’t even try and hide your milk from Diamond Dave, because he’ll put a pistol to your head and drink it in front of you. Do not test him.

Bop, boze-de-boze-de-bop, se-de-bop

Watch this compilation of David Lee Roth With Zero Context in the video below.

David Lee Roth With Zero Context

Best Hard Rock Album of Each Year Since 1970

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25 Years Ago: Sepultura Release the Groundbreaking ‘Roots’

I say we’re growing every day / Getting stronger in every way / I’ll take you to a place where we shall find our roots!!!” screamed Sepultura vocalist and rhythm guitarist Max Cavalera in “Roots Bloody Roots,” the opening track on the band’s sixth album Roots, which came out Feb. 20, 1996.

The lyric was more than a boast, it was a statement of purpose. Sepultura had previously explored their Brazilian heritage on the acoustic track “Kaiowas,” from 1993’s Chaos A.D., and the vibe they got from the groove of the song was a wakeup call. “Kaiowas” featured tribal percussive exchanges between drummer Igor Cavalera and bassist Paulo Jr and acted as a template of sorts for Roots.

“We decided to do an album that expanded what we started on Chaos A.D.,” Max Cavalera told me when the record came out. “We had already used this unusual percussion with heavy music, and it worked out really well so we thought we could do more with it. That’s why we brought Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown into the scene. He’s a mad, magic kind of guy.”

Sepultura originally invited Brown to join them at an MTV Brazil concert appearance in 1995, and for the final song of the set, “Kaiowas,” numerous musicians, including Brown, picked up a drum and played together.

Sepultura on MTV Brazil

“At the end of the show I knew Carlinhos was the man for Roots,” Cavalera said. “And once we had a drummer we could look for an actual tribe that could make the record an even more authentic mix of heavy music and Brazilian culture. For the last eight years, everyone was asking me when our roots were gonna really show up in our sound. Nobody’s going to listen to this record and think we’re from L.A.”

After reaching out to a cultural center of indigenous music Sepultura were able to contact the Xavante Indian tribe, which lives in the remote jungles of Central Brazil. When they first met the tribe’s chief, Cavalera picked up a powerful spiritual vibe. The Xavantes wanted to hear a sample of Sepultura’s music, so the band played them “Kaiowas” as they had done it for the MTV show in Brazil.

“When we finished it they started talking to one another and we couldn’t understand anything they were saying,” Cavalera said. ”But the chief spoke a little Portuguese and he said they liked it and wanted to hear it again. So we played it again. That was probably one of the most intense audiences we’ve ever played for because it was a different kind of audience; it was 200 Indians just sitting down and listening.”

Mick Hutson, Getty Images

For the actual recording session with the Xavantes, Sepultura did 15 takes of two different songs, “Itsari” and the 13-minute-long bonus track “Canyon Jam.” “We just kept playing and in the end we used the best recordings we had,” Cavalera said.

“The experience was amazing, but it was also weird. We were covered in mosquito bites because even thought we had got this special repellent before we left, it didn’t work for shit. Also, there was no electricity so we had car batteries hooked up to the recorders. The problem with that was we couldn’t play stuff back because there wasn’t enough juice. So we did 15 takes and just prayed that anything we did got recorded.”

What got recorded helped define the spirit of Roots, but there were also other factors that contributed to the creative vibe of the record. Since releasing Chaos A.D., Cavalera had been arrested twice – once in Brazil for defacing the country’s flag by superimposing a big ‘S’ on it and then displaying it in concert – and again in Phoenix for getting into an altercation with some locals.

“My wife and I went to see a Rage Against the Machine concert, and as we were getting out of the concert to go home a jeep full of jocks started to give us shit,” he recalled. “I screamed , ‘Fuck you!, and they came back with guns, and shot at us. I got really freaked out because my wife was pregnant, and then I was trying to protect her. The police heard the shots and showed up. They grabbed my passport, which was Brazilian, and they said, ‘We’re gonna deport you, motherfucker.’ I explained that these guys had shot at us and it was like talking to a wall. The cops ignored me and came up with their own story. They blamed us and let these asshole jocks go. We spent 18 hours in jail and the whole time I was thinking, ‘When I get out of here I’m going to write so much hateful shit. ’Straighthate’ is very personal, hateful song. Perhaps the most hateful I’ve ever written. It’s about being fed up with all the people that put you down for what you are, and then accepting you and stuff. Kiss your ass or something. That kind of shit makes me sick.”

Sepultura, “Straighthate”

“Sick” is an accurate description for the tribal groove and boiling hate that comprises Roots. “Attitude,” for instance, opens with the exotic sounds of a Brazilian one-stringed instrument called a Berimbau which segues into a storm of guitar feedback and tribal percussion before bursting into blaze of rhythmic rage. Throughout, Roots is unrelenting, filled with experimental flourishes, but packed with so much anger and aggression that the adventurous passages only enhance the aggression.

In addition to working with the Xavante tribe and Brown (who contributed to “Ratamahatta,” “Dictatorshit” and “Endangered Species”), Sepultura enlisted some friends to help write and perform, including Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton, Korn singer Jonathan Davis, ex-Korn drummer David Silveria and Limp Bizkit’s DJ Lethal.
“It was kind of like a big jam album for us,” Cavalera said. “We brought all these guests, we wrote songs in the studio. We never did that stuff before so it was more fun, adventurous and unpredictable.”

While Roots could hardly be considered a nu-metal album, it shares more than just a few of the subgenre’s band members. Songs lunge and bite like early Korn and the album was actually produced by Ross Robinson, who helped sculpt early efforts by Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot. Sepultura started tracking the album at Indigo Ranch in Malibu, California in October 1995 and finished about two months later.

Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” Music Video

“It’s an angry, weird album that incorporates so many different kind of things, “Cavalera said. “It really has its own identity and I don’t think we could ever repeat this album again even if we tried.”

Roots debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard album chart and was certified gold by the RIAA on Nov. 16, 2005.

Considering how forward-thinking Roots was, it would have been amazing to hear what Cavalera and his band mates could create for a follow-up. Sadly, that never happened. In 1996 Cavalera quit the band after the rest of Sepultura announced they wanted to work with a new production and management team. That would have meant ousting Cavalera’s wife/manager Gloria Cavalera, which caused a 10-year feud between the Cavalera brothers that only ended when they formed Cavalera Conspiracy in 2007.

“I felt like they were biting the hands of people that fed us, you know?,” Cavalera said. “These people put themselves on the line for us. Gloria worked for us for two years without earning one dollar, man, just for the passion of the music. So I said, ‘If this is how it’s going down, I’m out. I can’t do it. I can’t just put a mask on and go do what I do knowing that I backstabbed a bunch of people that trust me.’ And just for the fact that Igor came back to me, that was proof that they were wrong and they shouldn’t have done that and we should have stayed as we were with the people we had because we were doing good. Why change things when they’re good?”

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

Top 90 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1990s

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Morbid: I Still Receive Hate Messages for the Death of Elisa Lam

When Pablo Vergara checked into Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel in 2012, he filmed a quick video of himself and posted it online. One year later, the hotel room clip made him a main suspect in the case of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old woman who mysteriously disappeared after being caught acting in a bizarre manner by a Cecil Hotel elevator camera. The video of Lam subsequently went viral.

However, it wasn’t police who targeted Vergara, it was instead a gang of internet sleuths, who haphazardly connected Vergara’s 2012 video with Lam’s 2013 disappearance due to his career as an extreme metal musician. The corpse-painted artist, also known as Morbid, had released a music video for the song “Died in Pain,” which depicted a woman running from a killer before ultimately being caught. In another track, Morbid sang about dumping a corpse in a body of water, adding the line, “I’m thinking China.”

Elisa Lam, who happened to be Chinese, was found dead in a Cecil Hotel water tank. Though Vergara wasn’t even in the United States when Lam disappeared, internet sleuths haplessly connected the dots within Morbid’s music, becoming certain that Pablo Vergara had murdered Elisa Lam.

Elisa Lam Video

The internet mob attacked Morbid’s social media and streaming accounts, getting his music deleted from YouTube and his accounts banned from Facebook and Google. They also publicly labeled Vergara as a murderer while circulating his photos online, even getting a Taiwanese news station to report Vergara as an official suspect.

“You’re constantly looking over your shoulder, you get death threats everywhere, all the time,” Vergara tells Loudwire in an exclusive video interview. “You can’t win, so you’ve got to formulate a way to survive. Mine was trying to walk away from it, completely turn my back on it, but that was after my suicide attempt. At a certain point … it feels like there’s no escape.”

Elisa Lam’s death was ultimately ruled as accidental, while her behavior in the elevator video was found to be a symptom of bipolar disorder, for which Lam had stopped taking her medication.

The online harassment Vergara suffered was an early case of extreme cyberbullying, which has become increasingly common in the age of social media. “This is a criminal act,” Vergara insists. “Cyberbullying is a criminal act. These people need to be prosecuted and when we see it happen, we need to take a stand, not just watch. You could be saving a life.”

Vergara also speaks of the misjudgment and vilification that metalheads often face. “Ted Bundy’s favorite music was the Beatles. Listening to the Beatles doesn’t make you good, just as listening to black metal doesn’t make you bad. I was just reading about Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Rob Maltby from the U.K. They get savagely beaten and she dies. She’s only 20 years old and they do that just because she’s looking goth, because she’s wearing goth makeup and dark clothes. People need to wake up, we’re losing lives. People are being killed and people are killing themselves because of this. This is a serious issue.”

Thanks to a new Netflix docuseries, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, Vergara has now cleared his name on a massive platform. “It took [Netflix] a while to convince me,” Vergara admits. “I just figured it’s something that’s gonna follow me all my life. Still to this day, I get hate messages. I’m going to have them all my life. I’m okay with that now. I think I did the right thing, because I’m starting to get a lot of [positive] messages from people around the world. They’re also taking an active stand in trying to stop cyberbullying.”

Vergara also says he hasn’t been able to make music since the 2013 swarm of cyber sleuths. “Sometimes I even think to myself, ‘I’ve been doing music all my life, since I was 16.’ I had a label, I had management, a lineup in Norway, all this stuff. Then it just stopped. I’m trying to get back to music. I do have a lineup here in New York, we’re thinking of making new music. I do have a lot of lyrics, especially now with all this crap. I have a lot to say.”

Watch our full interview with Vergara below.

Morbid: The Metal Musician Falsely Blamed for Elisa Lam’s Death

Pablo Vergara can be seen in Episodes 3 and 4 of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, now streaming on Netflix. You can also watch a teaser clip for one of Vergara’s songs, “Died in Pain,” below and listen to his Died in Pain album here.

Slitwrist Died in Pain (Preview)

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15 Rock + Metal Music Video Cliches

The history of music videos is fascinating. The surest way to promote a hit new single, viewers watching closely will notice that music videos have specific tropes within various genres.

Pop music videos tend to be the most avant garde, featuring scenes that literally make no sense or have nothing to do with the song itself (think Britney Spears’s space-Titanic themed “Oops!…I Did It Again” or Lady Gaga’s poolside Dalmatians in “Poker Face”). Hip-hop is littered with voluptuous ladies in sexy, barely-there outfits and over-the-top markers of wealth.

And of course, rock and metal have their own music video clichés seen in plenty of popular music videos. Now, just because a music video depicts some type of cliché doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, there are some straight-up classics in the list below.

From vixens on cars to sad rain, here are the rock and metal music video tropes we’re used to (and very often tired of) seeing.

  • 1

    Performance Videos in Stereotypical Locales

    Performance videos are essential to rock, metal, punk and hardcore bands — everyone knows it’s all about the live show. Yet, for all the creativity that abounds in these genres, bands automatically default to the same locations: abandoned houses or warehouses, open fields, churches (ironically, of course) and empty swimming pools.

    The common denominator here is that rock and metal bands show up to locations where they’re not wanted. The type of location varies depending on the message: a church for the wicked, an empty pool for the Venice Beach-born skater punks and empty homes that signify a broken family or shattered self.

    Examples: Bring Me The Horizon – “Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake”; August Burns Red – “Composure”; Attack! Attack! – “Stick Stickly”

  • 2

    Bands Walking Down the Street Like It’s West Side Story

    They’re comin’ for a rumble! Sporting leather jackets and a don’t-mess-with-me attitude, bands enjoy walking side-by-side down streets, heading directly toward the camera like they’re on a mission.

    They own this town, and everyone should know it. Sometimes they even come face-to-face with a rival street gang, and then it’s a battle of intense facial expressions — winner takes all. Also common is the band leading an army of fans.

    Examples: Motionless In White – “Devil’s Night”; Vanna – “Toxic Pretender”; Michael Jackson “Beat It” complete with knife fight during Eddie Van Halen solo

  • 3

    Relationship Fight

    The breakdowns may sound brutal, but in the end the band is most likely singing a love song. Even big, burly metal dudes get their hearts broken (and, of course, the skinny emo ones). Whether it’s in a motel room or over the phone, yelling at your lover and storming out in a huff or breaking bottles is a rock music video trademark.

    Example: Pierce the Veil – “Caraphernalia”; Nickelback – “Someday”; Bon Jovi “Always”; Guns N’ Roses – “Don’t Cry”

  • 4

    Off-the-Wall Party

    One of the oldest rock and metal music video clichés in the book is as old as rock music itself: crazy, sexy parties. Whether they’re in Hollywood or some random person’s apartment, they give meaning to the phrase “party like a rockstar.” Totally ill-advised and 1000 percent fun, these music videos usually involve Strip Poker, aggressive makeout sessions and drunken hijinks. It’s an extension of tour life and the devil-may-care philosophy that comes with it.

    Examples: Bring Me The Horizon – “Chelsea Smile”; Every Time I Die – “Decayin’ With The Boys”; Beastie Boys – “Fight for Your Right”; Jimmy Eat World – “The Middle”

  • 5

    Trapped In A Box

    Metalcore and post-hardcore bands tend to get trapped in literal glass cases of emotion. The metaphor here is obvious; the quick cuts between camera angles amplify the feelings of claustrophobia and panic.

    In some instances, the imaginary box merely serves to emphasize that the sheer power of the music cannot be contained!

    Regardless of the scenario that inexplicably stuck these musicians in a cube, the lighting is actually what ends up being the most important aesthetic factor in these cramped spaces.

    Examples: Silverstein – “Infinite”; Paramore – “Ignorance”; Wage War – “Low”

  • 6

    Overly Normal

    Pop punk, emo, and rock bands often fall into the trope of exaggerated normalcy in their music videos. These geeky caricatures of the average Joe working a typical 9 to 5 provide clear foils to rock musicians’ rebellious lifestyle. It’s the most obvious declaration of individuality, juxtaposing the headbanger’s life with that of a pencil pusher.

    Examples: Pierce the Veil – “King For A Day”; Halestorm, “Amen”; The All-American Rejects – “Gives You Hell”

  • 7

    Girls on Cars

    This metal music video cliché is so tired and misogynistic, it should’ve completely died out after the 1980s. Alas, the tradition has carried on up to the present day, largely because of musicians desperate to portray the classic rock ’n’ roll image of success. They have money and they’re in the fast lane, but apparently that leaves no room for originality.

    Examples: Falling In Reverse – “Good Girls Bad Guys”; Bowling For Soup – “1985”; Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again”

  • 8

    Satanic or Occult Ritual (Usually Involves Fire)

    Metal bands of all types embrace the weird, the supernatural and the demonic. Satanic and occult rituals are ubiquitous in these music videos, usually featuring hooded figures, altars, and enough wax candles to warrant calling the local fire department. Metal music is all about what is forbidden and the imagery that comes with it, which is why metal bands have some of the most cinematic music videos.

    Examples: Behemoth – “O Father O Satan O Sun!”; Mayhem – “Falsified And Hated”; “Atreyu – Long Live”

  • 9

    High School

    Odds are most of the rock and metal bands you listen to got started in high school. They’re also likely the bands that you listened to in high school, which sets the stage for an incredibly nostalgic experience. These are usually songs about feeling like an outsider or being bullied. This music video trope lends itself to being either really dramatic or really funny, as we remember that high school, for better or worse, was a time of extremes.

    Examples: My Chemical Romance – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”; Motley Crue “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”; Pearl Jam “Jeremy”; Blink-182 “Josie”; Simple Plan “I’m Just a Kid”; Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”; Van Halen – “Hot for Teacher”

  • 10

    Mirroring

    First and foremost, mirroring is originally a horror trope, both in literature and in film. Mirroring or doubling works to throw the viewer’s sense of reality off balance. It’s also a way of getting into the protagonist’s frame of mind. The mirror — or a split screen that acts like a mirror — provides a look into an alternate, imaginary landscape, as well as the musician’s innermost feelings.

    Examples: Motionless In White – “Voices”; Megadeth “Sweating Bullets”; The Used – “The Bird And The Worm”

  • 11

    Lost in the Woods

    Another horror trope that extends to the rock and metal world is that of the woods. In literature, from medieval times up to the present, the woods represent a certain lawlessness and mystery. Likewise, bands wishing to evoke that kind of mood tend to find themselves performing in the woods, which is made all the more strange by the fact that they should have nothing to plug their electric instruments into.

    Examples: Harm’s Way “Mind Control”; Paramore – “Decode”; Weezer – “Lost in the Woods”

  • 12

    Rain, Because Emotions

    Water is one of the most ancient themes in storytelling of any kind, often connoting a sense of sadness and heaviness. Water can also represent purification, which is also common in music, often washing away sadness and pain.

    Examples: Asking Alexandria – “A Prophecy”; As I Lay Dying – “Confined”; Architects – “Downfall”; Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”; Bullet For My Valentine – “Tears Don’t Fall”

  • 13

    In the Van, On the Road

    Often a band’s first music video is the found-footage of van trips past, travelling between last night’s show in North Carolina and the day’s show in Tennessee. These are youthful, innocent, and adventurous scenes about experiencing freedom for the first time. Conversely, van and tour footage can also be used in montage videos.

    Examples: Journey – “Faithfully”; Motley Crue – “Home Sweet Home”; FFDP – “Battle Born”; Wage War – “Surrounded”; All-American Rejects – “Top Of The World”

  • 14

    Metalcore Postures 101

    Every music genre is accompanied by a certain type of posturing: hip-hop slouches, pop seduces and metalcore flexes. In the case of the last, it is such a popular trope that YouTubers have made names for themselves imitating them. One metalcore posture is for the vocalist to have their arms stretched out and open wide. This is basically an invitation for a challenge: “I know I can take whatever you’ve got, so come at me.” Another metalcore vocalist habit is taking an open palm to the chest, indicating that they’re in this with all of their being.

    Examples: Basically every metalcore music video ever.

  • 15

    Intimidating the Camera

    Some bands take metal posturing to the next level and get down right ferocious, snarling and spitting into the camera. There are also music videos that attempt to do this but fail, and end up being unintentionally hilarious. Either way, the close-up is standard in genres that love to get in peoples’ faces.

    Examples: Parkway Drive – “Shadow Boxing”; Guns N’ Roses – “Garden of Eden”; The Acacia Strain – “Cauterizer”

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System of a Down’s Serj Tankian Has Something to Say

Serj Tankian is the most powerful force for activism in the history of metal. Having used his voice for over two decades to spread awareness of environmental injustice, the Armenian Genocide and other human rights issues, the enigmatic System of a Down and solo vocalist is now the subject of a new documentary, Truth to Power.

Despite System of a Down’s monumental success, Serj Tankian’s activist mission as an artist — worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide —  remains unfinished. Almost no countries in the region of Asia have acknowledged the Genocide, and the United States only officially recognized its 1.5 million victims in 2019.

“An activist rarely sees the fruit of their labor,” Tankian explains. “Eventually, results, if enough people congregate around a particular cause of justice, there will be change. Sometimes it takes a year, sometimes it takes decades, sometimes it’ll take many lifetimes. It doesn’t matter. If you’re on the right path, keep on the right path, irrespective.”

In Armenia, however, System of a Down’s music helped fuel a peaceful ‘Velvet Revolution’ in 2018, which successfully forced then-Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan to resign. Tankian was beckoned home by Armenian protestors, and the System frontman made the trip across the globe to experience the fruits of his activism.

“Going to Armenia at the tail end of the revolution and seeing the elation in people’s eyes on the street was something I’ve never experienced in my whole lifetime. I’ve seen happy people, I’ve seen partying people, I’ve seen excited people, Rock in Rio and people going crazy, but I had never seen elation. Elation is a different level of happiness. I relate it to emancipation. The 2018 Velvet Revolution in Armenia created that.”

Truth to Power Official Trailer – Oscilloscope Laboratories HD

Along with his new EP, Elasticity, which marks Serj Tankian’s solo return to music rooted in rock ’n’ roll, the vocalist also spoke about System of a Down’s first new music in 15 years and how the two songs — “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” — took a far more direct approach compared to past System releases.

“In most cases, I do believe that art should be interpreted by the listener, the viewer,” Serj begins. “[System] generally don’t share what everything means, especially lyrically, but in terms of the two songs we released with System, it was for a very specific cause. Our people were being attacked in Artsakh by the combined forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Syrian mercenaries, and the press was being manipulated by social media bots paid by Azerbaijan, as well as the caviar diplomacy that they’ve been conducting for years — bribing politicians of different countries and media outlets, even non-profit organizations, even humanitarian non-profit organizations, even UNESCO … For us, it was a way of breaking through that in the media and letting people know what’s really going on and what, really, this means to us.”

Serj continues, “Daron [Malakian] wrote both songs. ‘Protect the Land,’ he already had it in the can and he was going to release it on his Scars on Broadway record, his next record. He said, ‘Hey, this would actually really work if you guys wanna use this.’ We jumped on it because it worked perfectly … We had to be specific because the cause was greater than the band.”

System of a Down’s Serj Tankian Has Something to Say

Watch our full chat what Serj Tankian above. Truth to Power will be released worldwide on Feb. 19, while Tankian’s Elasticity EP will drop March 19. Listen to the title track below and click here to pre-order the EP. (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases)

Serj Tankian, “Elasticity” (Official Video)

Top 50 Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time

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A Ranking of Every Ozzfest Lineup From Worst to Best

Ozzfest was a revelation when it debuted in 1996. What began as Sharon Osbourne’s revenge plot against Lollapalooza for rejecting her husband morphed into a massive annual roadshow, spawning countless circle pits, protests and riots across its 20-plus-year history. Ozzfest was a breeding ground for fresh talent, giving several metal superstars their break while also hosting historic performances from the genre’s titans.

While every Ozzfest had something to love, not every lineup was created equal. We’ve ranked every U.S. Ozzfest lineup from worst to best, so you can take a trip down memory lane or weep over missed opportunities.

Note: Marilyn Manson appeared on several Ozzfest lineups, some of which are ranked highly on this list. While his inclusion may have improved those lineups at the time, no mention of Manson in the context of this list is meant to overshadow or trivialize the myriad abuse allegations levied against him.

Every Ozzfest Lineup, Ranked

Photos: Ozzy Osbourne Through the Years

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Architects’ Josh Middleton Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

Architects continue their ascent as one of metal’s bigger modern bands, but long before writing brutal riffs for Architects and Sylosis, guitarist John Middleton was getting his start with grunge.

The guitarist tells Loudwire’s Gear Factor that he first picked up the guitar around the age of eight. “Around that time, my friend gave me a cassette tape and he was like, ‘Check out my brother’s band.’ But it wasn’t his brother’s band, it was Nirvana. It had like, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ ‘In Bloom’ and then he had some Prodigy songs on there. I think he was trying to convince me that all those bands were his brother’s band. I kind of half believed him.”

Turns out Nirvana was quite huge in young Josh’s world, as he eventually learned to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on guitar and played the song unaccompanied at a high school event. “That must have been tedious for people to watch,” he adds.

When asked about his first riff, the guitarist says, “I don’t know if I’d classify this as a riff, but Radiohead, ‘Street Spirit,’ the picking thing. That was one of the first things I learned and it’s still kind of tricky.”

Josh reveals that he struggled early on with his bending technique and sweep picking, but he later mastered the latter and credits a Metallica favorite for really paving his path musically, adding, “As soon as I could [play ‘Battery,’] the world was my riff oyster.”

Having shown the riffs and solos that helped shape his playing, the guitarist turns his attention to his favorite Architects riffs. He opens with “Mortal After All,” reflects on the ease of coming up with the “World Beggars” riff, and admits that while he views it as a “meathead” riff, he loves playing “Modern Misery” live.

Middleton also serves up two newer riffs from the upcoming For Those That Wish to Exist album. First up is “Animals,” the last song written for the new album, and the main riff to “Black Lungs,” revealing that he used his octave pedal to make it sound a little more quirky.

For Those That Wish to Exist is due Feb. 26 through Epitaph Records and you can pre-order your copy right here (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases).

2021’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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10 Unforgettable Amy Lee Evanescence Moments

Evanescence will release their newest album, The Bitter Truth, on March 26. To celebrate the band’s massive career, we put together these unforgettable moments from Evanescence legend Amy Lee.

It was only a matter of time before everyone’s childhood was captured on camera, and a high school recital tape of Amy Lee made it all the way to YouTube. The duet of Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection” was actually posted by the guy who sings alongside Lee and was filmed on an ancient Hi-8 camera in Little Rock, Ark. From the very beginning of the performance, it’s plain to see how talented even a young Amy was.

It’s true that Evanescence’s breakout hit, “Bring Me to Life,” wasn’t supposed to feature its famous male vocal part. With the nu-metal movement at its height, Evanescence’s record label wanted a rapper added to the band, but the group refused, nearly losing their deal because of it.

“[We drove] all the way back to Arkansas with tears in our eyes,” Lee told Loudwire. “I guess we called their bluff enough that they were like, ‘Okay, we have a movie opportunity and we’re gonna let you do your thing, but you do have to have the rapper on the one song, because they specifically asked for it.’

“It did work out,” Lee laughed. I can’t be mad about it now.”

Check out these 10 Unforgettable Amy Lee Evanescence Moments in the Loud List below and click here to pre-order The Bitter Truth. (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases)

10 Unforgettable Amy Lee Evanescence Moments

2021’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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31 Years Ago: Black Crowes Release ‘Shake Your Money Maker’

It was the turn of the decade and the rock world needed something fresh to break through the glut of highly produced hair metal / hard rock that was flooding the airwaves. Though grunge would eventually be the force to overturn rock radio as we knew it a year later, The Black Crowes eventually became the breakout band in 1990 that started to show there was finally a fresh appetizer on the menu.

This strong five-piece rock band emerged as a force with their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker — a record that embraced early era rock’s soulful R&B influences while bringing back a Rolling Stones-esque swagger for a new generation.

The group started six years earlier with brothers Chris and Rich Robinson forming Mr. Crowe’s Garden in 1984 while still teenagers. The group went through a series of other members in the years leading up to settling on a lineup that would eventually playing on Money Maker and the changes didn’t stop after the album was recorded. Guitarist Jeff Cease played on the record, but eventually gave way to Marc Ford who would handle duties on their second record. Johnny Colt played bass on four albums, while drummer Steve Gorman was the other constant through the band’s entire first era prior to their 2019 reunion.

The early years provided some challenges with a still underage Rich Robinson having to hide out in the car at times before being allowed to come into clubs to play the shows. But eventually George Drakoulias, a staffer at Rick Rubin’s Def American label, caught the group playing a New York show and was so impressed that he not only helped to get them their label deal with Def American, he also stepped in to produce Shake Your Money Maker.

Splitting time between Atlanta’s Soundscape Studios and three different studios in Los Angeles, the now newly renamed Black Crowes laid out their bluesy yet Southern rock inspired record throughout the course of 1989. Speaking of the name change, Chris Robinson told Q Magazine, “We were really into the Dream Syndicate, the Rain Parade, Green on Red — all those Paisley Underground bands, so we wanted a psychedelic name. When we changed, we kept the Crowes because that’s what people called us anyway.”

The sessions also provided some stellar assistance, with The Allman Brothers’ Chuck Leavell helping out on piano and organ, noted backing singer Laura Creamer helping to accentuate some of the record’s chicken skin-raising moments and a young engineer named Brendan O’Brien chipping in on “a potpourri of instruments.”

The Shake Your Money Maker album arrived Feb. 13, 1990, but it wasn’t an instant hit. “Jealous Again” was the first song released from the record, but it didn’t catch fire immediately. Though the song’s muscular opening riffs and killer piano backing are fan favorites now, it was a slow build until the track eventually climbed to No. 5 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and enjoyed a bit of crossover hitting No. 75 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

However, people did take notice, picking out influences ranging from ’70s-era Rolling Stones to making their Georgia connection to Southern Rock roots. “What Southern rock became is not what the Allmans started out to be. They were creating a new Southern sound. And what we do now is what I’d like Southern rock to become,” Chris Robinson told Rolling Stone, adding, “But there is a lot of the South in us. I don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s just that we’re a little closer to the ground. We have no pretensions about what we do. We’re just a little earthier. We do things a little slower, more casual.”

Black Crowes, “Jealous Again”

The second single, a cover of Otis Redding’s soul classic “Hard to Handle,” was the song that helped the group really start to see things take off. Drakoulias in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution recalled pushing for a cover on the record. “I thought we should do a cover (on the album), and I think Chris came up with ‘Hard to Handle.’ I think he was kind of reluctant to doing Otis (Redding) and I said, ‘We’ll make it into a rock thing.’ I was reading the review (of the album) in Spin magazine and they quoted the song and said, ‘Pure poetry from Chris Robinson.’ (Laughs) We had an opportunity to expose kids to Otis and this amazing song and put this music out in the world.”

Indeed, “Hard to Handle” was a rocked up version of the Otis original — an easily memorable guitar line, an undeniable beat and Robinson’s hoarse but swagger-filled delivery that made listeners want to heed the calling of the album’s title. The song topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and became their first Top 40 hit climbing to No. 26 on the Hot 100.

Black Crowes, “Hard to Handle”

Keeping the rocking momentum going, “Twice as Hard” came next. The bluesy bend of the guitars and Chris Robinson’s powerful belting provided more of an anthemic track for the band. Though not as big as its predecessor, “Twice as Hard” would hit No. 11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart and would be the last harder rocking single from the record.

The Black Crowes, “Twice as Hard”

While Black Crowes were starting to hit their stride with the listening audience, there were some critical of the group mining familiar territory, but that didn’t bother Chris Robinson any.

“What is original?” the singer remarked to Rolling Stone. “I’m not going to bang two badger carcasses together and recite poetry and say, ‘Hey, here’s the new thing.’ We sing a traditional type of music in a very untraditional way. It’s country music, and blues, and R&B, and other things. It’s ethnic music. That’s what we do.”

Still, after a trio of bluesy rock bangers to make listeners stand up and take notice, the group showed their softer side, digging into their teen years output and finally sharing the acoustic guitar-leaning and soulful “She Talks to Angels” with the masses.

While the song deals with a darker theme of drug use, it was penned during a period when the Robinson brothers had yet to really experiment with their future excesses. “‘She Talks to Angels’ is about a girl I kind of knew in Atlanta who was a goth girl who was into heroin, so I made up a story about what if that was your girl,” said Chris Robinson in their 2010 Croweology video series. “I didn’t really know about that stuff except from afar at that time, which is probably why that song has a sincere relationship to a dark subject.”

Indeed the song was able to connect. The video became an MTV hit and song inspired many fans to sing along to the heartfelt aches dripping from Robinson’s voice. “She Talks to Angels” became their second chart-topper on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, hit No. 30 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and opened the door for the band to a lot of new avenues, especially with “unplugged”-type material really finding popularity at the time.

Black Crowes, “She Talks to Angels”

The band would release one more single, the heartbreak-inducing “Seeing Things” before concluding their radio promotion, but in all honesty they could’ve gone even further down the rabbit hole with killer tracks such as “Sister Luck” and “Could I’ve Been So Blind” still remaining favorites in the catalog despite never being issued as singles.

By the time all was said and done, Shake Your Money Maker had hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, but more importantly, it had provided a different voice in the rock world.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re carrying the flag,” Chris Robinson declared in a 1991 Rolling Stone interview. ”One part of it is, we were in the right place at the right time for our thing. But here’s a band that people check out on MTV or in Rolling Stone and realize: ‘Yeah, they say what they really wanna say and play what they really wanna. What a novel concept! That rock ‘n’ roll can be interesting and feel good and be a real living, breathing animal. And young people, too! With some new kicks. Then again, maybe it’s just that we play some songs and people like ’em.”

In the years since its release, Shake Your Money Maker has been certified as  five times platinum, so yeah, people “liked ’em.”

Top 90 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the ’90s

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