Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review: Heaven and Hell, "The Devil You Know"

Metal bands of the world, look on this creation and despair. It doesn't matter how fast you play or how low you tune your guitars. It doesn't matter how high you scream or how deep you growl. You will never be as heavy as the almighty Black Sabbath.

Sure, the name on this record says Heaven and Hell, but we know the truth of it. And if you don't, the first few notes of album opener "Atom and Evil" will certainly clue you in. This is the reformation of the second incarnation of Sabbath, featuring vocalist Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice, along with original members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. It's also the most powerful record from the Sabbath camp since 1980's "Heaven and Hell."

In an age of screams and growls, guitar histrionics and machine gun-like drum lines, Heaven and Hell delivers up 10 tracks of beautiful simplicity. It's melodic, it's powerful and it's about as heavy as you can get. But it's far from old-fashioned -- more like timeless.

Let's start with the first single "Bible Black," which is arguably the best song the band has recorded since the title track of that 1980 album they took their new name from. It opens with a soft, clean guitar riff and builds to a sinister crescendo that features all of the best elements that classic metal had to offer -- a memorable guitar riff, great melody and fantastic vocals from Dio. It's a trend that's repeated throughout the record, which offers a nice mix of the slower dirge-like tunes like "Atom and Evil" and "Breaking into Heaven" and more upbeat numbers like "Eating the Cannibals" and "Neverwhere."

Iommi, metal's all-time undisputed riffmaster, is in better form here than he's been in years. The strongest riff is perhaps the ultra-heavy opening licks from "Follow the Tears," which is also overall one of the strongest songs on the record. But almost every track here has those solid, lasting riffs that have been the hallmark of Iommi's career. While I don't think there's anything here as iconic as "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath," "Symptom of the Universe" or, of course, "Iron Man," they do stick with you better than those on even some of the previous Sabbath records.

It's also nice to hear bassist Geezer Butler, who I've always felt was the real backbone of Sabbath, getting a little love on this record, too. His thumping bass lines add to the overall heaviness of the record, and he even gets the spotlight on "Double the Pain," opening with a bass lick similar to the classic "N.I.B." He and Appice are locked in perfectly on this record, running like a well-oiled machine.

That, of course, brings us to Dio. One of the greatest, some (and I'm one of them) would say THE greatest metal vocalist of all time. His voice just oozes metal. At the age of 67, it's not quite as clear and smooth as it was 30 years ago, but it's still better than most of the singers out there. His work here on songs like the aforementioned "Bible Black" and "The Turn of the Screw" is impeccable, which is really what you expect from him.

While they're using the name Heaven and Hell because of some silly dispute with Ozzy Osbourne's camp (despite the fact that Iommi used the Black Sabbath name for years when it was just him and three guys he picked up off the street), you can call this what you want. Call it Heaven and Hell, call it Four Cuddly Kittens, if you must, it's still Black Sabbath and it's still the heaviest thing going -- even with the members in their 60s. Guys a third their age could learn quite a bit by listening to this record.

It's only April, but I'll be stunned if I find a record better than "The Devil You Know" this year.

Get "The Devil You Know."

If you can't wait until the album hits shelves on Tuesday, get an early listen to the full album at VH-1.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Review: Black Label Society, "Skullage"

Your first thought on looking at Black Label Society's latest collection, "Skullage," may be "didn't we just have a BLS best-of package a few years ago?" Aside from the most obvious difference, the CD/DVD deluxe package (also available as CD and DVD seperately), "Skullage" offers quite a bit that first collection didn't.

The first difference you'll note quickly by looking at the track listing for the CD. It's light on singles and heavy on album tracks. Sure, the band's most well-known songs, like "Stillborn" and "Suicide Messiah," are represented, but you'll also find the punishing down-tuned riffing of "13 Years of Grief" from their "Stronger Than Death" record, the kind of song you're not likely to find on any "best of." Likewise, the collection avoids the obvious choices from bandleader Zakk Wylde's southern rock project Pride & Glory and his acoustic record "Book of Shadows," instead giving listeners deeper cuts like "Machine Gun Man" and "Dead as Yesterday." The track list also includes songs from his two most recent records, "Mafia" and "Shot to Hell," that weren't on the last collection.

The first real treat for fans, who likely have all of those songs already, is the inclusion of the Slightly Amped acoustic performance that was available previously only as an iTunes download. The show features Wylde and guitarist Nick Catanese on four stripped-down tunes that showcase Wylde's talents as an acoustic musician. After a stunning instrumental intro with Wylde shredding away, the duo launches into impressive acoustic versions of "The Blessed Hellride," "Spoke in the Wheel" and a surprising "Stillborn." The performance is also captured on the DVD, which adds the fourth track, "We Live No More." The video version is amateur shot, grainy and a little unsteady at times, but the audio is perfect.

That brings us to the DVD portion of the collection, which opens with a live version of "Spoke in the Wheel" from the European "Doom Troopin'" DVD. Wylde starts the song out on stage alone and acoustic, but it builds into a rousing full-band performance. Then we get three tracks from the "Boozed, Broozed and Broken-Boned" DVD -- "All For You," "13 Years of Grief" and "Bleed For Me" -- with a powerful backing band that includes former Suicidal Tendencies and current Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo and drummer Craig Nunenmacher. That's followed by a collection of music videos including the Rob Zombie-directed clip for "Stillborn," "Suicide Messiah," the Dime tribute "In This River," "Fire It Up" and a brand new video for "New Religion."

The highlight of the DVD portion, though, is a 30-minute documentary called "Welcome to the Compound." In the video, Wylde takes viewers around his home and property, while explaining some of the inspirations behind Black Label Society songs and offering fans a look into his personal life. There are some heartfelt and sincere moments during the movie, such as when he talks about his friend "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and the song "In This River," and fans get a look at Wylde's impressive guitar collection. But by and large, Wylde and the crew have fun with the often-hilarious documentary that shows a very different side of the guitarist than the grizzly, leather-clad tough guy image that he presents to the public.

So while Wylde's fans probably own most of this material, possibly in several forms, there are still some real treats to be found. It's also a good opportunity for those less familiar with Wylde and Black Label Society to get a look that goes beyond the videos they've seen on "Headbanger's Ball." For fans, it's well worth picking up for the Slightly Amped performance and the documentary alone.

Get "Skullage" DVD/CD set.

Get "Skullage" CD.

Get "Skullage" DVD.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review: Lacuna Coil, "Shallow Life"

Dance beats are not something that I look for in music. Quite the opposite, in fact. They're usually something that will make me run as far away as I can. Which makes it really puzzling why, as I was driving to work this morning, I was blasting "I Won't Tell You" off Lacuna Coil's latest record "Shallow Life," due out Tuesday. More troubling, I hit repeat -- twice.

It's a theme that runs throughout this album from the Italian goth rockers, which is perhaps their most commercial effort to date, but is also undeniably good.

After kicking around since the mid-90s, Lacuna Coil captured some attention outside the metal world with the release of 2002's "Comalies," an amazing record that offered a blend of melancholy tunes and hook-laden rockers. The follow-up, 2006's "Karmacode" just didn't hit me right, though. The bouncy, more commercial approach on the record didn't appeal to me. Which again, brings me back to wondering why I'm digging "Shallow Life" so much.

Certainly, there are bits on "Shallow Life" that go back to the "Comalies" and earlier sound, but the bouncy rhythms and more commercial elements are still there, too. Perhaps it's the blend. After opening the record with the more rocking "I Survive," they dive right into the high energy "I Won't Tell You," which like I said, is really a dance song (albeit a heavy dance song). That's followed by mid-tempo numbers "Not Enough" and "Not Afraid," which both have more than their share of heavy guitar riffs to go with the quieter, more introspective moments.

Then the energy gets kicked up a notch for the surprisingly fun "I Like It," which finds singer Cristina Scabbia showing some real attitude, being flirty and caustic by turns. (Did I just use the word "flirty?" First dance beats and now this, I must really be losing my edge.) The song is absolutely infectious, and one of the high points of the record even though it's the poppiest track to be found.

"Underdog" is one of the heavier tracks here with some nice thick guitars and a more prominent role for male vocalist Andrea Ferro. Normally with Lacuna Coil, I prefer Scabbia's vocals and like Ferro in a supporting role (it was one of the problems I had with "Karmacode"), but occasionally it really works to give him a heavier load. It works again on the first single "Spellbound," where Ferro delivers the verse, turning the chorus over to Scabbia for a response. It's a high energy, rocking number and perhaps the best on the record.

There are a few stumbles along the way. The ballad "Wide Awake," despite being interesting in the beginning seems to drag after a while, and the title track, which closes the record, seems a bit of a downer to close a really good album on.

While the standout numbers are "I Won't Tell You," "I Like It" and "Spellbound," there are plenty of very solid songs to be found on the record. "The Pain" is a slow number with an unusual melody, but really catchy. The striking chorus of "Unchained," combined with some nice crunchy guitars also provides a much needed shot of energy toward the end of the record.

Scabbia and Ferro's vocals are really spot on, the band is tight and the record sounds great. The hooks come often and they stick with you. Everything seems to fall into place for a pleasant surprise.

Is it commercial? Definitely. Does it have some very non-metal elements? Absolutely. Is it the equal of "Comalies?" I don't know. I'll reserve my judgment on that. What I do know is that it's an amazing record, and once you hear it, you won't be able to get it out of your head.

News: Vader announces tracklisting for new album

Polish death metallers VADER have announced the track listing for their new album, Necropolis (named after the first VADER song ever), tentatively due out on Nuclear Blast Records in late summer.

The upcoming release will mark the recording debut of the band’s new line up: Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek - Guitar, Vocals; Reyash – Bass; Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka (DECAPITATED) – Guitar; Pawel Jaroszewicz (SOUL SNATCHER) – Drums.

Necropolis is being recorded at Hertz Studios in Bialystok, Poland with the Wieslawski Bros.. Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Kataklysm, Behemoth) will mix the album at Antfarm Studios in Denmark. Album artwork and design will be provided by famed Polish artist Jacek Wisniewski.

States guitarist/vocalist Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek: "Necropolis has its shape now. Today we finish recordings of main guitars and after a week break we coming back to the studio to make all leads, bass and vocal parts. We will show you the life in a studio, the process of creation and recording the new album. Gates To Necropolis, Part 2 is gonna be available in a week. STAY VADERIZED!!!"

Necropolis track listing:

01. Devilized
02. Rise Of The Undead
03. Never Say My Name
04. Dark Heart
05. Blast
06. Impure
07. We Are Horde
08. Anger
09. When The Sun Drowns In Dark
10. The Sigil
11. Dei Nostri
12. Summoning The Futura
The first of several planned videotaped studio reports can be viewed here.

Demo versions of “Rise Of The Undead” and “Impure” can be streamed at

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

News: Chimaira to stream full album starting Thursday

Chimaira has confirmed that their new album, "The Infection," will be streaming in its entirety on April 16 and 17 at the band’s official MySpace page,

Chimaira is currently playing the Music As A Weapon tour with Disturbed, Killswitch Engage, and Lacuna Coil. The album streets April 21 on Ferret Music, which is also the same date the band’s Golden Ticket contest begins. Fans have the chance to win a signature ESP guitar and more. The Golden Tickets are randomly placed in the band’s special box set. The box set is encased in a metal briefcase and features an assortment of goodies, from a laminate and flag to a USB with bonus tracks, and more.

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review: Queensryche, "American Soldier"

I'm really torn when it comes to this record. On the one hand, I want to like it because it's an ambitious project, and perhaps one of the most important concepts that Queensryche has attempted. On the other, I've had trouble really getting into anything that Queensryche has done since "Empire," way back in 1990.

After putting out three classic records in a row with "Rage for Order," "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Empire,' the band began to explore some different sounds and, along the way, lost its focus. The result over the past nearly 20 years has been a mish-mash of styles and a general lack of the spark that fired the band on those three records.

Now we have "American Soldier," a concept record inspired by singer Geoff Tate's father's experiences in Korea and based around the life of soldiers from World War II to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In writing the record, Tate interviewed a number of soldiers to get the feel of life as a soldier. Many of these interviews have made their way onto the record in the form of sound bites. Some songs, like second track "Unafraid," are little more than a series of comments from soldiers set to music. Actually, these moments are some of the better pieces of "American Soldier." The soldiers, certainly, can tell their own story better than the band.

The record starts with boot camp on the song "Sliver," which is a little darker and more modern than the rest of the record, with an almost rapped delivery in places. The first real taste of Queensryche comes in the third track, "Hundred Mile Stare," a droning, melancholy ballad-ish tune that's not bad, but really has nothing to recommend it either. The same could be said of the next tune, "At 30,000 Feet." On those two tracks, it seems that the band is going for a gut-punch on the listener, but like much of Queensryche's later work, the songs really lack the intensity and connection to produce that reaction.

Things begin to pick up a little with "A Dead Man's Words," another dark song that gives me a little more of the progressive elements and layers that I want from Queensryche. It's the beginning of an uptick in the middle of the record. Next track, "The Killer," offers the most memorable hook on the record, and "Middle of Hell" is one of the more interesting musical pieces on the record. First single, "If I Were King" opens with a haunting and harrowing story from the front lines that delivers the gut-punch that the band hasn't been able to do musically and raises the stock of a song that's really not that interesting otherwise.

"Man Down!" will likely be a favorite of fans of Queensryche's older, heavier style. It's one of the most aggressive tracks here, and it's not bad. Tate brings his daughter in for a vocal appearance on "Home Again," which despite being one of the poppiest tunes on the record is one of the few that makes an actual emotional connection.

"American Soldier" is not a bad record and certainly worth a listen for subject matter alone. It's well-written and well-played, though many of the songs are very similar and tend to blur together. Ultimately, I wish that the music could create the same kind of emotion and connection that the recorded stories from the soldiers do. That would have made it a great record.

Get "American Soldier."

Monday, April 13, 2009

News: Misguided Aggression offers full album download for $1.99

Misguided Aggression is currently offering a full digital download of their entire debut album “Hatchala” for $1.99 at for a limited time. The download includes the album cover and DRM-free MP3s.

“We’ve had such great feedback from everyone that’s bought the album so far,” says guitarist Ben Dobson. “The goal when we recorded this record was to share our music with as many people as possible, so we’re offering the full album as a digital download for ridiculously cheap. We just want people to hear it and hopefully they will dig the music enough to come out to a show and throw some horns up.”

"We just thought that it was a great idea to offer up one of our new releases in this way," says Year of the Sun owner Chris Benn. "Everyone knows the industry's changing and that times are tough right now so, this was a way for us to offer up something to metal fans everywhere. All the money goes directly to the band to help them out on tour while people can get a killer record for less than a Starbucks. It supports everyone and it's definitely something that we'll consider doing a lot more of in the future."

Courtesy: Year of the Sun Records

Friday, April 10, 2009

News: Play guitar with Saxon

Legendary hard rock band Saxon is offering fans a chance to play guitar with them.

The band has posted the song "Live to Rock" on YouTube, and faded out a spot for the solo. That's where you come in. Play your best solo, record it on a webcam or video camera and submit it.

A panel of judges will choose the best performance, and the winner will have the chance to take the stage with Saxon in Brazil, Japan or Germany. There are also other prizes available, including a signature guitar.

For more information on the contest, visit the contest's site,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Review: Wolf, "Ravenous"

It's nice to know that every couple of years I'll get a blast from the past from Sweden's Wolf.

While the traditional melodic metal that I grew up on has been gaining a foothold again recently, these guys have been playing the throwback style for years -- well before it became a trendy thing to do.

If you're familiar with Wolf's previous efforts, you know pretty much what to expect. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel. They take the building blocks provided by classic bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and, particularly on this record, Mercyful Fate, put them together and try to play it as well as they can. They're certainly not ashamed to play an old-fashioned brand of metal, and I'm happy about that.

That said, they don't stick to just one brand of traditional metal. The record opens with the Priest-influenced burner "Speed On," and it really sets the tone for what's to come. That's followed by "Curse You Salem," influenced heavily by Mercyful Fate. Vocalist Niklas "Viper" Stalvind even sounds like an early King Diamond on the track. Then comes "Voodoo," which is more along the lines of the early '80s sound that was coming out of Los Angeles. All three are great tunes that get the record started well.

Guitarists Johannes Axeman and Richard "Raptor" Holmgren give fans of old-school metal a lot to celebrate in their riffing on songs like the galloping "Hiding in Shadows" and "Whisky Psycho Hellions," which appropriately sounds a bit like a crunched-up Irish drinking song. The pair are obviously heavily influenced by Priest's Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing and Fate's Hank Shermann, who also lends his guitar talents to the record.

Stalvind's vocals are solid for the style, though he does occasionally get a little nasally for my tastes. Lyrically, the content on "Ravenous" is not exactly Dickinson (not even Bruce). There's a lot of cliche, particularly on songs like "Hail Caesar," but that almost comes with the territory. The only time I actually cringed was at the awful imagery in "Love at First Bite," fortunately the song is saved by a fantastic opening riff and a melody that sticks in your head. (Though you're not likely to sing it out loud.)

So, yes, "Ravenous" has its hits and misses, and I don't believe its quite as good as their last record, 2006's "The Black Flame." But if you long for those halcyon days of early 1980s metal, you can't go wrong with Wolf, and "Ravenous" is a worthy addition to their catalog.

Get "Ravenous."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

News: Lacuna Coil streaming "Shallow Life" in its entirety

If you can't wait until April 21 to check out Lacuna Coil's new record "Shallow Life," the band is streaming the record in its entirety on their MySpace page. To get a sneak preview of the record, visit

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

News: Black Water Rising delays debut release

Note from the Mountain King: I highly recommend this record, and you can look for a review of it coming soon at Hall of the Mountain King.

The self-titled debut from Black Water Rising, originally slated for release April 7, has been pushed back to a Summer ’09 release. The band planned on releasing the CD independently, but are now finalizing a deal with a record label. Drummer Mike Meselsohn checked in with an update:

“We have partnered up with a record label and are in the final stages of negotiating a deal,” says Meselsohn. “We will now have the resources to help take the band to the next level with a worldwide release. Unfortunately, our original release date of April 7th must get pushed back to allow for a full campaign with a new release date of Summer ‘09. We know that many of our fans have been anxiously awaiting the release of this album, but this is a great opportunity for us to get our music out to a much larger audience. We truly appreciate everyone's support, and we'll keep you all posted with any new developments. Come out and see us in the meantime!”

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Archival posting

If you happen to notice some really old posts popping up over the next few weeks, I'm in the process of transferring some of my older reviews over from a previous version of Hall of the Mountain King that got zapped by AOL in October. Mind you, I don't necessarily agree with some of those reviews anymore, but they are what they are, and maybe there will be some folks out there who enjoy them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

On the eve of Metallica's induction ...

On the eve of Metallica's induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, I've rediscovered this gem from Black Sabbath's induction. Just wanted to share it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Review: Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc., "Rev It Up and Go-Go"

It's hard for a three-chord AC/DC-style band to win me over, but somehow Jackyl managed to do it in the early 1990s. Maybe it was the humor in their music, maybe the Southern rock overtones, maybe the Ted Nugent-style attitude. Whatever the reason, I still occasionally pull out one of their records and give it a spin today. So when I heard about frontman Jesse James Dupree's new project, I had to give it a try.

"Rev It Up and Go-Go" is an interesting record -- really an interesting couple of records. The first half of the album is pretty much what you'd expect. It's straight up, attitude-filled, occasionally raunchy rock 'n' roll in the Jackyl style. The title track kicks the record off on a solid note with an opening banjo riff and plenty of energy once the rock kicks in. Dupree extols the virtues of good old boy Southern life, while giving shouts to some of his favorites -- Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kiss and Hank Jr.

"Bite," "Drop Dead Ready" and "Tank" follow in that style, filled with Southern grooves, dripping with attitude and loaded with solid hooks. When Dupree turns down the attitude a little, the results are mixed. "1095 Days" has its moments, but isn't quite as strong as the earlier tracks, and "Get to Me" seems to drag a little in places compared to the higher energy tunes. But songs like the infectious "Money, Lovin' and Speed" more than make up for the lost momentum.

Guitarist Charlie Star lays down some nice crunchy and catchy guitar riffs under Dupree's ranting and raving vocals, and the rhythm section of Jackyl bassist Roman Glick and drummer Mike Froedge is solid. In short, if you like Jackyl, you should love the first half of the record.

The second half of the album, is a little different. Dupree is joined by Richard Young and Fred Young from the Kentucky Headhunters for a set of country songs. The format of this part of the record, modeled after an old-fashioned country radio show, is a little corny, but I guess that's the point. Surprisingly, it sounds like Dupree is having a lot more fun here than on the Jackyl-styled music.

Some of the country songs, co-written by the Youngs, are surprisingly solid. The humor of "Reality Star" and "Had to Get Stoned," which cover very traditional country songwriting territory are a lot of fun. "The Party" and "Well Enough" are also solid tunes. While I'm not sure Dupree could make a go as a full-time country singer, it's still a blast to listen to.

Get "Rev It Up and Go-Go."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

News: Shadows Fall reveals a few details of album due this fall

Details for the new record from Shadows Fall have recently been disclosed to With regards to some of the new music for the band’s Fall 2009 release, singer Brian Fair says, “There are songs based on pure aggression and chaos, like 'My Demise' and 'Embracing Annihilation,' that showcase the thrash metal and melodic death metal influences that have been the bedrock of the Shadows Fall sound. There's tons of shredding guitar leads, double bass drum insanity and full on screaming.”

For more on the new record, check out the full story at

As previously announced, Shadows Fall will be releasing their Fall 2009 release on their own label in collaboration with Warner Brothers’ Independent Label Group, Ferret Music and ChannelZERO entertainment.

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools: Songs on the goofy side of rock and metal

In honor of April Fool's Day, I thought I'd take a look at some of those goofy songs that bands often throw on a CD just for giggles. Maybe you love them, maybe you hate them or maybe they're a guilty pleasure that you really don't want people to know you like. Here's a look at a few of my favorites. This list is by no stretch of the imagination comprehensive. It's done completely off the top of my head, and I'm sure I've missed even a few that I enjoy. Please feel free to add your own.

AC/DC, "Big Balls" (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1976). This one's become such a classic that it hardly belongs on this list. I've never known anyone who didn't laugh at this (barely) double entendre goof.

Aerosmith, "Big Ten-Inch Record" (Toys in the Attic, 1975). As with the first one on the list, this tune that draws its humor from the pregnant pause is a classic. But I still love it, and I've got to get Aerosmith on here.

Annihilator, "Kraf Dinners" (Never, Neverland, 1990). Sandwiched between heavy subject matter like environmental responsibility and dark tunes about insanity is this fun ode to mac and cheese. Somehow, it works.

Anthrax, "Startin' Up a Posse" (Attack of the Killer Bs, 1991). Anthrax has a few tunes that could fit on this list, but none quite as good as this ditty about Tipper Gore and the PMRC that manages to work in a thrash version of the "Bonanza" theme.

Body Count, "KKK Bitch" (Body Count, 1992). Body Count often used humor to make serious points, but this tune poking fun at racists is way over the top.

Bruce Dickinson, "Dive, Dive, Dive" (Tattooed Millionaire, 1990). I'd always thought of Bruce Dickinson as very proper and dignified until this song, filled with bad maritime sex puns, and it's companion piece "Zulu Lulu" arrived on his first solo record.

Guns 'n' Roses, "I Used to Love Her" (G'n'R Lies, 1990). You can't go wrong with Guns 'n' Roses' three-chord tongue-in-cheek ballad about a relationship gone wrong.

Infectious Grooves, "You Lie and Yo Breath Stank" (The Plague that Makes Your Booty Move, 1991). I'm not sure that Infectious Grooves belongs here because so many of their songs were tongue-in-cheek. Lyrically, this one is pretty bad, but for some reason I still love it.

Nuclear Assault, "Poetic Justice" (Something Wicked, 1993). While the killer title track was the centerpiece of this record, the band's take on a famous song from "The Sound of Music" has certainly given me my share of snickers over the years.

Pride & Glory, "I Hate Your Guts" (Pride & Glory, 1994). Basically Zakk Wylde's answer to GnR's "I Used to Love You," it covers similar ground with a southern twang.

Scatterbrain, "Don't Call Me Dude" (Here Comes Trouble, 1990). Like Infectious Grooves, I'm not sure if Scatterbrain belongs here because humor was their norm. But I can't resist this ode to a guy down on his luck with some serious thrash licks to back up the humor.

Suicidal Tendencies, "Institutionalized" (Suicidal Tendencies, 1983). "All I wanted was a Pepsi."

Tesla, "Tommy's Down Home" (Five Man Acoustical Jam, 1990). Having grown up around people like the one portrayed in the song, this tune always brings a smile to my face.

Van Halen, "Happy Trails" (Diver Down, 1982). Van Halen has a few tunes to choose from as well, including "Big Bad Bill" from this same record, but for some reason I've always had a special connection with their cover of "Happy Trails." ... bombadida, bombadida ...

Wrathchild America, "I Ain't Drunk" (3-D, 1991). I spent many nights tipping a glass to this cover of Albert Collins' classic drinking song.

Dweezil Zappa, "I Want a Yacht" (Havin' a Bad Day, 1986). While I love his cover of his dad's "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama," this tune featuring the screams of comedian Bobcat Godthwait is just too bizarre to not make the list.

News: Haunted frontman Peter Dolving lashes out at other bands on eve of U.S. tour

The Haunted's outspoken and sometimes controversial frontman, Peter Dolving, checked in with his thoughts in regards to the band’s upcoming North American headlining tour, which kicks off tomorrow, with The Agonist and Merauder in the support slots. The Haunted are supporting their latest record "Versus." Visit to view their complete itinerary.

“Seriously folks. You could go out and see any of a number of bands in the next four weeks. What you'll receive will of course be generic deliverance of generic metalcore by the numbers and certainly you won't be more than slightly disappointed. The big one this time around out there being the Lamb Of God tour. Which will according to business-planned management crawl itself around the North Americas for the next year and a half or so like a big snake. You could dig that shit and think ‘Holy mutherfucking hell! That shit rocks!’ or you could go and see the Haunted once and for all prove what metal is all about. But only if you want to have a good time. Only if you want to feel alive. Only if you like that feeling of actually realizing everything is not fucked utterly and beyond belief. But I guess if you are a sad, self-pitying son of a bitch you won't go. Oh what the hell, really, don't go. Most of those who read this don't really give a shit anyway do you? You'd rather stay in a saline filled tank fed intravenously with a constant intake of whatever, whoever carries the biggest gun and wad of dollars has to say wants to feed you.

“You know how fucking sick we are of the bullshit that surrounds trying to tour and survive in a market completely oversaturated. You know there are 50 shit bands out there to every good one. And no, I'm not saying YOUR band is shit. I'm just stating a fact, one we all know is true. I kinda feel bad for everyone who's caught in the middle of it, promotors, PR people, marketers. Sure there's plenty of work, but it sure as fuck must be getting to people. All the horseshit involved with bringing the next ironic bunch of just out of high-school dooods with the right tattoos or t-shirt based identikit to the stage. And when they get there it's the same shit as the one before. What do I know. Maybe it will all mutate into something completely new. Something else that the wolves can sink their teeth into and suck empty of lifeblood. Come on people. Do you think that is going to happen? Of course it will. Hopefully there will be those bands out there that just keep going. No matter what. As far as we're concerned. Fuck it all. We are touring the North America again and we're looking forward to it. If you want a world class performance and a kick ass night of metal come and see us. If not, fuck off.”

Courtesy: Century Media