Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Shuffle: Alice in Chains, Warrel Dane, Grand Magus, Sebastian Bach, Sepultura

A pretty heavy lineup this week, though we do at least hit five different subgenres ...

Alice in Chains, “Frogs.” From the album Alice in Chains (1995). For some reason, Alice in Chains’ 1995 self-titled album never seems to really get its due. It produced its hits, but wasn’t quite as straightforward, perhaps, as Dirt or Facelift. This dark, moody number is a perfect example of that with a quirky melody and Layne Staley delivering the end of each verse line in a lilting, high tone. Not my favorite song from the record, but good stuff nonetheless.

Warrel Dane, “August.” From the album Praises to the War Machine (2008). The Nevermore/Sanctuary singer made his solo debut with this record, and it was an outstanding one. “August” brings a huge, heavy guitar riff with Dane wailing over it in an almost dirge-like style. It’s an interesting mix of heavy and melancholy.

Grand Magus, “Dominator.” From the album Triumph and Power (2014). This is one of my favorite old-school metal albums of the last few years. “Dominator” is not my favorite song from the record, but it’s a good old-fashioned, timeless tune with a solid guitar riff and a few memorable hooks.

Sebastian Bach, “Temptation.” From the album Give ’Em Hell (2014). Happily, I’ve been very pleased by the recent output from both Sebastian Bach and his former band Skid Row in recent years. Bach’s tendency toward diva-like melodies gets in his way sometimes, but I love the blend of a big, stomping riff and the lilting chorus on this tune. It’s one of the best from this record.

Sepultura, “Subtraction.” From the album Arise (1991). To me, Arise was the first album where Sepultura really started to find their niche. There’s still a bit of Slayer worship, as evidenced by much of "Subtraction," but you can still hear the tribal elements that would move a little forward on Chaos A.D., which remains my favorite Sepultura record.

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