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Strictly Metal – Vol.1

Calling all rock rebels and metalheads! Hello and a very warm welcome on this chilly December day to your first weekly round-up of all things of the metallic persuasion. I will be your willing guide and (hopefully) keep you up to date with the latest news, reviews and whatever else is kicking off in the world of rock. So, let’s get down to business… 


Okay! So first things first. To coincide with their 30th anniversary, the mighty Metallica laid waste to a packed out crowd at San Francisco’s The Fillmore this week as part of a week-long celebration. Guests joining James and co. on stage for the festivities included former bassist Jason Newsted as well as Saxon’s Biff Byford, Lou Reed and members of Mercyful Fate. Rumour also has it that another unreleased track from the Death Magnetic studio sessions got an airing that very night.

Disappointed you missed it? Well, panic not my friends as “Just A Bullet Away” has now surfaced online so go out and get your downloads (I mean legally of course!) on.

You may (or may not) be interested to hear that Guns and Roses are about to be inducted into the official Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Yes, according to Rolling Stone’s official website, Guns will join acts including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys in the Class of 2012. Let’s hope Axl and Slash can get over themselves and actually turn up for the occasion.

Now for the news that REALLY made my week (if not year) and reduced a 28 year old to a quivering wreck at their computer- an exciting admission from a certain industrial songwriting titan. Trent Reznor has revealed that he will “spend a good portion of 2012″ working on new material for Nine Inch Nails. Reznor crushed the dreams of many a fan by stating at the end of 2009 that NIN were going on indefinite hiatus. God bless you Trent. Here’s hoping for a festival appearance or two next Summer!

Not a fan of The X Factor? Well, here’s your chance to do something about it. The record label of grunge stalwarts Nirvana are re-releasing the epic anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in order to aid the Facebook campaign that is trying to get them to the infamous UK Christmas Number 1 spot. I bet Kurt is turning in his grave but hey ho that’s the music biz for you.

I don’t want to end things on a sombre note, but feel that it would be wrong not to mention this. It was seven years ago today that we lost one of metal’s finest guitarists in a senseless tragedy. I am, of course, referring to the legend that was and still is for countless fans and artists alike, Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott. RIP.                  

Album Of The Week: Korn: The Path To Totality 

Finally it’s here! This is one of my most anticipated albums of 2011 and by god, it did not disappoint. Undoubtedly, it won’t be to everyone’s taste and I’ve heard every side of the argument- from Davis’ whiny lyrical angst ruins the sound to the die-hard fans who reckon the band have sold out and picked the worst possible direction in which to develop musically. 

Personally, I have a great deal of respect for artists who aren’t afraid to break the mould and get experimental in the studio. Okay, I’ll admit that it is the Skrillex produced tracks that are the highlights of the album. The bombastic “Get Up!” and catchy as fuck “Narcissistic Cannibal”, are full of infectious vocal hooks and some solid production with a smattering of juddering wobbles and grimey blast beats. Okay, so the guitar solos are thin on the ground this time around but these are more than compensated for with the ever present double drum kicks and anthemic choruses which will stick in your head hours after you’ve given these tracks that all important first listen. And if you like the idea of some old skool 90′s Korn infused with a dash of futuristic creativity, you will struggle to leave it at that. The slightly fuzzy electronica threatens to overshadow proceedings on tracks like “Sanctuary” and the … of dubbed vocals on “My Wall” are a bit of a low point on an otherwise stellar offering.    


New Tracks/Single of The Week: Korn: Narcissistic Cannibal

I won’t go into this in great detail as I’ve probably already done that and bored some of you to death- either in the paragraph above or in the last article I wrote for Strictly RandL! Yes, Korn’s “Narcissistic Cannibal” remains my Single of the Week. An awesome blend of two of my favourite (albeit contrasting) genres of music- metal and grimey wobbling dubstep. Epic.

Introducing: Black Stone Cherry

An amazing band who I’ve just recently got into. Hailing from Kentucky in the good ol’ U S of A, this four-piece have been rocking the world of many a fan with their delectable blend of Lynyrd Skynard inspired southern rock. Imagine if Nickelback had balls and made songs that didn’t make you want to reach for something sharp to poke out your own eyes. Latest album Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a great story telling opus and White Trash Millionaire is one of the catchiest songs I have heard in a long time. Check them out.        

Well, that’s all for this week people. Hope you enjoyed and I shall see you all soon for more tantalising tidbits from the world of rock and roll. Sophie Maughan



Author: david

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