Archive for December, 2011

State of the Uber Address – 12/30/2011

Posted in General Stuff on December 30, 2011 by heavyuberalles

 

2011 is drawing to a close, a year that seemed to come and go extremely fast. It was a year that was filled with ups and downs, the biggest down being the loss of my father in August. I know he’s still up there looking down on me saying “WTF are you listening to??” like he always did. For years I would try to explain it to him, but sometimes Dads just don’t understand things like Slayer.

On a more positive note, 2011 saw the birth of Heavy Uber Alles. I created this site as an outlet for me and the thing I am most passionate about – the music that I love. As anyone that has been to this site or knows me personally will attest to, music is the central driving force in my life. I am hopelessly addicted, never doing without. I originally set out to focus on heavy music, but I am a fan of almost every music genre out there, and as I go along I have worked on redefining the term “heavy”. Sometimes I post something heavy because the riffs, the double bass, the screaming vocals instantly defines it as “heavy”. I have found heaviness in so many other places in music: a Mozart concerto, a Delta blues song, a Johnny Cash song…heavy is not just about the sound itself, but the tone, emotion, message, and the overall feeling that is being conveyed through the music. Heavy is everywhere, you just have to know how to look for it.

I hope that you, the reader/listener have enjoyed HUA so far…but we’ve only just begun. I hope to bring you much more in 2012. Some things to look for in the new year at HUA are more reviews (both album and live), interviews, more Guest Tuesday Sixes, interaction with things like Spotify, and much more.

I thank you for reading and hope you like what you see, whether you have followed from the beginning or if it’s your first time here. I encourage you to spread the word if you like what you see so far…it’s only getting better from here.

Thanks again, and have a Happy New Year!

Stay heavy.

Jon

Tuesday Ten – Top Ten of 2011 – 12/27/2011

Posted in Tuesday Six on December 27, 2011 by heavyuberalles

Another year has come and gone, 2011 is just about behind us. For me personally, I am welcoming 2012 with open arms, whether it’s for a new start on things or a Mayan apocalypse. Either way, it’s gonna be a good year. 2011 had a lot of downs for me, but also had a lot of ups, like some great music and the birth of Heavy Uber Alles.

 

This is my Top Ten for 2011, in no particular order, with some very notable Honorable Mentions to follow.

 

1. Anthrax – Worship Music

Worship Music was by far my most anticipated release of 2011. Anthrax has been one of my favorite metal bands through the years, dating back to Among The Living. This was Joey Belladonna’s grand return to the Anthrax fold, and it does not disappoint. excellent writing, powerful songs, and Joey in superb form. All of that carried over to their live show, where they performed with a renewed energy that was infectuous, the crowd hailing not only the classics but the new songs as well (Read my live review here)

 

2. Red Fang – Murder the Mountains

Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang released their follow-up to 2009’s self-titled debut in April, and are really hitting their stride. Keeping their stripped-down stoner sound, but adding a more slightly more polished approach, the heaviness churns out on such tunes as “Wires” and Hank Is Dead”. Red Fang followed up the album by hitting the road, first on the Metalliance tour (alongside Howl, Kylesa, Crowbar, Saint Vitus and Helmet), and ended the year supporting Dillinger Escape Plan and Mastodon. Don’t pass these guys by.

 

3. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Virginia’s prodigal son has returned, and Mr. Grohl and company have released one of their best albums to date (in my book, you just can’t top their first album). They even had a little help from old friends Bob Mould and Krist Novoselic. I especially love the song “Arlandria”, mostly because people outside of the NOVA/DC area have no idea what or where Arlandria really is.

 

4. Mastodon – The Hunter

While some Mastodon purists (i.e., “old-school fans”) are chiding The Hunter, dismissing some songs as “too commercial” – primarily referring to “Curl of the Burl”, easily their most accessible song to date – I love the direction they have taken on The Hunter. While still hitting all points of the musical compass as far as musical style goes, this album has a more focused, cohesive sound, vastly improved vocals, and is beautifully produced. The video above is the opener of the album (and my favorite track), “Black Tongue”. Give this one a few listens – don’t stop at just one.

 

5. Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising

The viking horde from Norway have returned to rape and pillage our eardrums! Not much new ground on this one, but it is one hell of an album, doing what Amon Amarth does best. Furious guitars, nonstop double-bass, and that unmistakeable growl from singer Johan Hegg, this album kicked my ass from the first listen. The tour for this album was a real treat – they did 2 sets, the first set being the whole Surtur Rising album, the second an assortment of previous tunes.

 

6. Pentagram – Last Rites

The Virginia doom-metallers are back, heavier than ever and completely re-invigorated. Between the one-two punch of Bobbly Liebling’s vocals and Victor griffin’s guitar tone, and the rhythm section of Greg Turley and Tim Thomaselli holdin down the big low end,  Last Rites is a contender for Comeback of the Year.

 

7. Machine Head – Unto The Locust

Machine head started their career strong, charging out of the gates at full steam. Trying to keep up with current musical trends, their popularity waned. Then, in 2007, they shocked the whole metal world with The Blackening, a monumental opus that (deservedly) won Album of the Year all over the place. Many worried that they wouldn’t be able to follow up such a huge album, but rather than try to change again, they stuck with what worked on 2011’s Unto The Locust. Very similar in style to The Blackening, Machine head have definitely hit their stride and made people take notice. Definitely looking forward to their headlining tour in 2012!

 

8. Social Distortion – Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes

After a loooong break between albums, (7 years!) Social D are back, and sounding better than ever. Stylistically, Hard Times… covers the usual Social D bases, save for the fact that it’s less rockabilly and more straightforward rock n’ roll. Also worth hearing is one of the bonus tracks, a countryfied version of Down Here With The Rest Of Us.

 

9. Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination

The blackened thrash crew from Ohio returned in 2011 with their finest effort yet. Hard-chugging thrash riffs mixed with machine-gun drumming and some seriously fast picking all comes together like a syncopated machine of metal. Singer Chance Garnette alternates betweeen gutteral growls and a higher-pitched snarl, with each used at the perfect time to fit the moment of the song. Expect much more from these thrashers in the future.

 

10. Kvelertak – Kvelertak

This one definitely took me by surprise. I had never even heard the name before until my buddy Metal Chris couldn’t say enough good things about them, especially after seeing them live. It doesn’t even matter that you can’t understand a damn word they are saying (the vocals are in their native Norweigian). Kvelertak rocks, and rocks hard.

 

The following didn’t make my own top 10, but came damn close:

Crowbar – Sever The Wicked Hand

Black Tusk – Set the Dial

Graveyard – Hisengen Blues

Megadeth – Th1rt3en

Dropkick Murphys – Going Out In Style

Borracho – Splitting Sky

Kyng – Trails In Veins


 

The following are albums that came out in 2011, are on my radar, but I haven’t devoted time to give them a good listen. I will, I swear.

Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions

Darkest Hour – Human Romance

Chickenfoot – III

Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare

Electric Wizard – Black Masses

Black Country Communion – 2

The Gates of Slumber – The Wretch

Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction/Ghost

Yob – Atma

The Haunted – Unseen

Maylene & the Sons of Disaster – Sons of Disaster: IV

Weedeater – Jason…The Dragon

40 Watt Sun – The Inside Room

Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground

The Roots – Undun

The Black Keys – El Camino

Iced Earth – Dystopia

Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light Part 1

Tuesday Six – 12/20/2011

Posted in Tuesday Six on December 21, 2011 by heavyuberalles

Ok so I’m a day late posting this. 2 jobs, moving, Christmas…Trying to keep my head above water and this week’s Six fell victim. Fear not, it’s here. Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday. Look for a best of 2011 Tuesday Six next week!

1. Graveyard – Rss

Graveyard, hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, is a powerful mix of retro-stoner rock and blues, with a little psychedlic fun thrown in. One listen and you would swear it’s the late 60’s/early 70’s all over again. Hisengen Blues came out in March, and is a great listen from start to finish. Don’t miss them on 1/16/2012 at DC9, with Radio Moscow and Dave Davies opening.

2. Clutch – What Would A Wookiee Do?

I’ve been kind of on a Clutch kick this past week, but listening to lesser known albums like Jam Room and Pitchfork & Lost Needles, which this one came from. Great song with that trademark Clutch groove, this was an outtake from the Robot Hive/Exodus recording session.

3. Sepultura – Desperate Cry

Off of 1991’s Arise album, This was Sepultura truly coming into their own, adding more of a tight thrash sound mixed with the heavier death metal style, but still before fully integrating the tribal sound of Brazil into their music. I look back fondly on this album, recounting seeing them at Wilmer’s Park in Brandywine, MD with Sick of it All, Napalm Death and Sacred Reich opening. Fantastic show, and an awesome metal memory.

4. Dropkick Murphys – Going Out In Style

While I tend to prefer the older Dropkick Murphys stuff, they still make some damn good music. They have shied away from their celtic punk roots opting for more of a celtic rock n roll style. This is the title track off their last album, and it’s just a fun song. And besides, the video has Bobby Orr in it which propels it to the next level of awesome.

 

5. Metallica – Phantom Lord/Jump in the Fire

Love em or hate em, Metallica has always been one of my favorite metal bands of all time. The friction over the years between them and former member/Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine has been well documented. In the beginning of December, Metallica played 4 nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco for their 30th Anniversary concert, and had a bevy of special guests: Ozzy, Geezer Butler, Glenn Danzig, Jason Newsted, Rob Halford, King Diamond, Jerry Cantrell, on and on. But the most special was Dave Mustaine joining them for 2 classics that he co-wrote with Metallica on Kill Em All. Consider the hatchet buried. This was just special.

*Bonus video

This is Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo (one of my favorite bassists) paying tribute to the late great Cliff Burton at one of the anniversary shows with Cliff’s classic solo “Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth”

 

6. Lemmy, Billy Gibbons and Dave Grohl – Run Run Rudolph

I figured I had to leave you with one Christmas song, and I figured I’d make it a cool one. Lemmy, Billy and Dave do a kickass job on the Chuck Berry classic. You can actually see video of the recording of this on the Lemmy documentary.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc etc etc. Have a fun, safe, rockin holiday from Heavy Uber Alles!

Tuesday Six – 12/13/11 – That Guy at the 9:30 Club

Posted in Tuesday Six on December 13, 2011 by heavyuberalles

Ok, so I know doing 2 guest Sixes in a row is kind of a cop-out. Lame. Whatever. There are two reasons for this:

1. I’m being admittedly lazy this week. Too much shit goin on in my brain. and

2. This guest six was too damn good to wait to post.

I have mentioned before on HUA about having different views at times on what “heavy” means when it comes to music, and Josh has truly embraced this and chosen a fantastic Six for this week. Look for more guest Sixes in the future, and I promise more stuff from me soon. 

For those who may not know, Josh, a.k.a. “That Guy at the 9:30 Club” has been a fixture of the DC music scene for years. If you ever visit the 930 Club, you will always remember seeing or talking to “that guy”. Read on…it may surprise you. – Jon

i have been tasked with creating a “tuesday six.”  i don’t know if you know how exactly how hard an assignment that is for me.  first, i have to pick SIX bands/artists out of the hundreds that i think that people should be exposed to.  then, i have to pick ONE song from each artist to share?  this is killing me, but i have come up with something.  i had to make some tough cuts.  there’s no clutch on this list, even though there should be.  i left off my boys in king giant because i figured they would be covered here already.  i tried to focus on some artists that the audience of this website might not know as much about.

first, some backstory.  i know the site is focused primarily on “heavy” music.  i like my fair share of the heavy stuff, and i like it loud from time to time, but lately my musical taste has been changing.  evolving.  this list will not be “heavy” by the standard definition.  some of these songs are heavy with soul, or heavy with emotion, or heavy with pure awesomeness, but there won’t be much headbanging going on while listening to my list.  lately i’ve been on this mission to find what it is about music that i like, to find out what all of the music that catches my ear has in common.  i don’t claim to have the answer quite yet, but i feel like i’m getting closer to figuring it out.

my first memories of music are from very early in my life.  my father used to play an acoustic guitar and sing me to sleep at night.  this is not to disparage my father’s musical skills in any way, but part of what i remember is the squeaks and squeals of his fingers on the strings.  acoustic guitar, and particularly that playing style, has appealed to me since then.  a lot of the music i love the most could be seen as “sloppy,” especially if you see it live.  it ain’t perfect, but that imperfection is what makes it so good.  there are times in songs when voices tremble, the notes might not come out quite right, a string breaks, or the emotion behind the songs can sneak out and show itself even if it is a little bit ugly.  this is what i love about music.  keep your autotuners and your prerecorded tracks out of my music.  i want the real deal, even if that means that sometimes you screw up the song and have to start over.  if you are writing songs honestly and performing them with all that you have every time you get on stage, i’m in.

so, the music might not be loud or heavy, but it’s got heart.  and balls.  i promise you that.  ok, enough rambling.  all of the video links are live performances, because these artists need to be seen live.  i’m sure there are cleaner versions out there somewhere if you want to look for them. now, on to the songs (in no particular order):

murder by death: “boy decide”

i can’t even begin to describe murder by death accurately.  they need to be experienced firsthand.  songs of drinking, gambling, and murder have never sounded so damn beautiful.  the line that always gets me in this song is: “you’re too old to fuck around and too young to die, time to try life on for size.”

 

chuck ragan: “done and done”

chuck ragan is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  his music lifts my spirits, and he is quite possibly the most positive person i’ve ever met.  he was in an amazing band called hot water music, and i think his solo albums are even better.  he is responsible for the creation of revival tour, which is not to be missed.  what more motivation do you need than this: “wake up now, we’ve got to go.  somewhere higher’s all i know.”

 

william elliott whitmore: “lift my jug (song for hub cale)”

i have a soft spot for the banjo (thanks to jim henson and “the rainbow connection,” probably my favorite song ever), and william elliott  whitmore can make a banjo sing.  will has the soul, and he brings it out on stage every night.  if you want honesty in your music, look no further. “i don’t care about my sorrows.  i don’t care about my woes.  i put my knees down in the sand, down where that river flows.  i put my hands in the water, up to my elbows in the cold.  let it wash my dirty face, let it cleanse my troubled soul.”

 

lucero: “chain link fence”

lucero shows are always an adventure.  there’s a setlist, and they usually start off like most other shows.  at some wonderful point in the evening, the whiskey has flowed enough to create a magical time where the band takes requests from the audience, ben forgets the words to his songs, and john says things like “make sure to watch out for all the women-ladies out there.  shake your hips, not your fists.”  this song always reminds me of my summer trips to michigan as a kid, where i had a few short lived summer flings as a kid. “hold on, hold on, hold on to me, sweet girl.  don’t let go for the world.  i’m not from here, and i’m afraid that i might never see you again.”

 

two cow garage: “what dying is for”

two cow garage has a great energy live, and not enough people know who they are yet.  i find new things in the lyrics of their songs that i have heard a hundred times before.  for me, this song is about figuring out what it is about life that is worth dying for.  “we’re running bright eyed into the slaughter, with anthems and hearts to the sky.  we move towards the light to sleep through the night, and come running back for more, to remember what dying is for.”

 

frank turner: “i still believe”

if there’s an anthem for the kinds of things i’m talking about here, about the kind of music that i love, it’s this song.  frank turner shows are like going to church for me.  there’s an energy there that is unmatched.  music still has the power to make everything ok, and frank is leading the charge.  “who’d have thought, that after all, something as simple as rock and roll would save us all?”

there you have it.  my tuesday six.  i’m going to cheat right now and tell you to also go listen to dave hause and the reverend peyton’s big damn band and audra mae and tin horn prayer, the artists that it hurt the most to cut from this list.  enjoy!

You can follow the adventures of That Guy on Facebook by clicking here.

Tuesday Six – 12/06/11

Posted in Tuesday Six on December 6, 2011 by Metal Chris

Metal Chris of DCHeavyMetal.com

Heavy Uber Alles has decided to occasionally let guests pick songs for the weekly Tuesday Six post and they’ve been cool enough to let me, Metal Chris from DCHeavyMetal.com, be the first to do so! If you’ve ever seen DCHM before you’ll know that I focus on live music, particularly getting people off of their asses and out to more metal concerts. So with that in mind I decided to have a theme for this week’s Tuesday Six: all of the songs are by bands that have upcoming concerts in the Washington DC and Baltimore area, and all of the songs are from albums released in 2011. If you’re not in the area don’t worry, most of these bands are touring right now as well. Now, on to the songs…

 

Black Cobra – The Crimson Blade

Black Cobra is a band from LA but they have a sound that fits in perfect with all of those sludge bands coming out of Georgia these days. The Crimson Blade is a perfect example of the band’s power, it’s a great song that will hit you like a herd of mammoths! They are playing in Baltimore tomorrow as the opening act for Kyuss Lives! at Rams Head Live, however you can see them perform a headlining set at the Black Cat on December 15th.

 

Hail!Hornet – Shoot The Pigs

Hail!Hornet is a North Carolina based band that features Troy Medlin of Sourvein on vocals, Dixie Collins of Buzzov•en and Weedeater on bass and Alabama Thunderpussy guitarist Erik Larson behind the drum kit. Check out their song Shoot The Pigs, the first track off of their new sophomore album, Disperse The Curse. It takes a minute to build up but this song ends up kicking your ass. Be sure to check them out at the Black Cat on February 7th when they play after a screening of the documentary film Slow Southern Steel which is about metal from the American south.

 

Lock Up – Rage Incarnate Reborn

Lock Up is another band with members that have quite a metal pedigree. The band features Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates fame on vocals, Shane Embury from Napalm Death on bass, drumming by Nick Barker of Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Testament, Brujeria and too many more to list, and Anton Reisenegger from the Chilean band Criminal on guitar. This is the fastest song I picked this week and it is the kind of metal that will melt your face off. They were supposed to perform at Maryland Deathfest IX back in May but due to visa issues they never played. However they are touring in North America soon and you can catch them at Sonar on February 15th.

 

Graveyard – Buying Truth (Tack och Förlåt)

Let’s slow things down a bit after Lock Up with a great song by the Swedish rock band Graveyard. Their second album, Hisingen Blues, has caused quite a buzz in the underground scene and this song will give you an idea of why. The song’s subtitle is Swedish for Thanks And Sorry but don’t worry, the song is in English. They’ll be playing at DC9 on January 16th and it should be a great show.

 

Ghoul – Destructor

Ghoul is a fun band that is something of a mix between the Misfits, Gwar and the classic 80s thrash bands from the Bay Area they live in. Their songs are simple yet catchy and drenched in the fake blood of a thousand campy, horror B flicks. Destuctor is off of their latest album, Transmission Zero, which I haven’t been able to get out of my regular listening rotation since I first heard it. Ghoul will be playing on day two of this year’s Maryland Deathfest which is over Memorial Day weekend in late May.

 

Borracho – Concentric Circles

I wouldn’t be Metal Chris if I didn’t throw a band from DC on this list. Borracho is Spanish for a drunkard and these guys are playing some great stoner riffage you can drink like a lush to! Their song Concentric Circles is off their new album Splitting Sky and you’ll be able to catch them live on Friday the 16th of December at the Velvet Lounge for the official CD release party. As an added bonus I’ll be MCing the show and introducing the bands and generally making a drunken ass of myself, it should be a blast! Yes this is a shameless plug but these guys are a great local band and are worth your attention.

 

Well it’s been fun putting this post together, thanks to Heavy Uber Alles for letting me be the first guest to post a Tuesday Six. I hope you enjoyed reading it as well as listening to some kick ass tunage. And remember, you can get info on all of these upcoming concerts and tons more on DCHeavyMetal.com’s upcoming metal concerts calendar here. Stay heavy everyone!