Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/12/16
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
IRON MAIDEN – “Fear Of The Dark” (1992)
If you’re like most fans, when you think about “classic Maiden,” your thoughts immediately go to the early ‘80s, when they released two of their best albums (The Number Of The Beast and Piece Of Mind). The first two albums with Bruce Dickinson at the helm rank among the greatest heavy metal albums of all-time. Some may think of “classic Maiden” as the albums that preceded Dickinson’s arrival, but most probably don’t think of their post-‘80s work as “classic,” largely because it feels too recent. As the saying goes…“time flies.”
Yesterday marked the 24th anniversary of the release of Fear Of The Dark. The album had some memorable moments, but none that compare to the title track that closed the album…saving the best for last. An epic, seven-minute plus track, “Fear Of The Dark” is a song that resonates as much as Maiden’s classic work of the early ‘80s, and has become a fan favorite (especially when performed in concert).
Iron Maiden is known for a high-energy, galloping style of heavy metal. “Fear Of The Dark” features dynamic transitions that mix their high-energy sound with slower, more haunting moments, making this one of the band’s more unique offerings.
BRUCE DICKINSON – “Darkness Be My Friend” (2002)
In 1992, Bruce Dickinson sang “Fear Of The Dark” with such conviction, that you’d think that the fear was real. However, the lyrics to the song were actually written by Iron Maiden bassist, Steve Harris. A decade later, when Dickinson’s 1990 debut solo album – Tattooed Millionaire – was re-released with bonus tracks, the Maiden frontman showed his affinity for the dark with “Darkness Be My Friend,” a melancholic ballad that is vastly different than his work with the heavy metal legends.
The acoustic guitar work on the song is reminiscent of the Metallica classic, “Nothing Else Matters.” The vocals capture the emotion of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes,” and the Jethro Tull-meets-Emerson, Lake and Palmer flute work adds an unexpected layer of intrigue to this powerful song that is just over two minutes long.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
BIOHAZARD – “Shades Of Grey” (1992)
As a huge fan of the New York hardcore scene back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Biohazard was one of those bands that provided the aggression and musical talent that I was looking for. Of course, being a teen during that time period, all I wanted to do when I went to a show was go into the pit, stagedive, slam and mosh (all before “moshing” became a household word). Listen to “Shades of Grey” from the band’s 1992 album, Urban Disicpline, and tell me that the song doesn’t make you want to move. The breakdowns alone will make you want to jump into the middle of a thousand flailing arms. Although the band has broken up – and recently re-formed without Evan Seinfeld – “Shades of Grey” will always be one of the pivotal songs from my teen years.
DEATH – “The Philosopher” (1993)
The first time that I heard the album Scream Bloody Gore in high school, I was floored by the sheer brutality and heaviness of the music blaring through my Walkman headphones. I was literally scared listening to this album; the blood curdling screams, the lyrics, the heavy aggression. It was like listening to a horror movie with the scenes acted out lyrically in my head. Labeled as one of the first death metal albums (and a huge influence on modern death metal today), Death was, in a sense, way ahead of their time. “The Philosopher” is off Death’s 1993 release, Individual Thought Patterns, and performed by three of my favorite musicians of all-time. Although the band has ceased to exist since founding member Chuck Schuldiner’s passing in 2001, the impact that this band has on metal today will last for years to come.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
JOHN WETTON – “Hold Me Now” (1995)
Vocalist and bassist John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson, Uriah Heep) gets some help from Toto guitarist, Steve Lukather, on his 1995 solo album, Battle Lines. On this heartwrenching rock ballad, Wetton delivers a vocal tour de force, with every lyric dripping with emotion as he sings about the empty relationship with his mother.
FAITH CIRCUS – “Hold On” (2008)
Faith Circus is a Norwegian melodic hard rock band. They’ve gone through many lineup changes, but their one constant has been vocalist Marc Farrano, who shines here on this yearnful (but optimistic) track from their debut album.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
PERSUADER – “…And There Was Light” (1999)
“…And There Was Light” is a terrific track from Persuader’s first full-length album, The Hunter. Session guitarist Magnus Lindblom on lead guitar is the anchor of this aggressive tune with screaming, intricate riffs, matched by equally outstanding bass play from Fredrik Hedström. The tone is completed by the raw power of Jenns Carlsson’s vocals.
MESSIAH’S KISS – “Night Comes Down” (2002)
Messiah’s Kiss is a German power metal band formed back 2001. “When Night Comes Down” is a deep cut from the band’s debut album, Prayer for the Dying. The track has a great change-of-pace beginning, which erupts into power chords and a classic metal sound, matched perfectly by Mike Tirreli’s vocals. Excellent guitar intro and solo along with a tremendous galloping beat from Eckhard Ostra.