Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/16/17
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.
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)
CINDERELLA – “Long Cold Winter” (1988)
Cinderella’s “Long Cold Winter” is actually a song about a love lost. The song has nothing to do with the temperature; it’s just poetic license. However, living in a cold climate that has already been pummeled with snow (and still only half way through the season), this song has been running through my head in recent weeks.
If you look at the photo featured above, it’s plain to see why Cinderella has always been looked at as a “hair band.” Aesthetics aside, their music has always been more in the realm of blues-based hard rock bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. Had they arrived on the scene a decade earlier with a different look, there’s an excellent chance that they would have been looked at as one of the great bands of the generation.
“Long Cold Winter” is a brooding, slow-tempo blues rock song that, if not for Tom Keifer’s distinct vocals, may leave you thinking that it was Led Zeppelin as you listen. Although it is about lost love, the song captures the melancholic feeling that you get from the winter blues. If “hair band” is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Cinderella mentioned, I strongly suggest listening to “Long Cold Winter” to see that they are being unfairly categorized.
SAVATAGE – “Dead Winter Dead” (1995)
If ever there was a band that comes to mind during the winter, it is Savatage. Well…sort of. While this underrated band flies below the radar of many, Savatage spawned the tremendously popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra (a band whose music transcends genre preference). The Savatage name and perception as a metal band ended up creating a barrier to the masses. Founder Jon Oliva admitted to being frustrated that the success of “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/4” (originally featured on the Dead Winter Dead concept album) came under the TSO moniker.
Dead Winter Dead was the first Savatage album after the tragic passing of Oliva’s brother (Criss), who was killed by a drunk driver in 1993. Criss was the original lead guitarist for the band. This album featured Al Pitrelli on guitars.
The title track off of the album is a gritty rocker that chugs along underneath theatrical vocals. Like sun breaking through dark, ominous clouds, Pitrelli’s guitar work shines like a beacon of light.
If you’re only familiar with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and have yet to discover what Savatage has to offer, this is a good place to start, before working your way backwards through their catalog.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
MACHINE HEAD – “Davidian” (1994)
In 1994, a little heavy metal band from California released an album called Burn My Eyes. Combining groove-laden Pantera-esque riffs with the thrash metal speed of Slayer and Exodus, Machine Head rose to the top of the metal genre in the mid-‘90s. One of the more socially aware bands during that time period, the band screamed and tore their way through topics such as the L.A. riots, abuse, urban decay and disillusion for society. Although their sound has changed a bit in recent times, “Davidian” is a great song that provides a snapshot of life in the mid-‘90s.
SOULFLY – “Back to the Primitive” (2000)
Upon leaving Sepultura in 1996, Max Cavalera immediately went to work and started his new band, Soulfly. Taking the Brazilian tribal influences evident in Sepultura’s roots, Soulfly continued on its course by mixing Brazilian tribal drumming and world music with thrash metal, resulting in a groove-heavy eclectic sound. The debut of Soulfly boasted a plethora of top-named musician contributions such as Roy Mayorga on drums, Tom Araya from Slayer, Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares from Fear Factory and Chino Moreno from Deftones. The band is still going strong, with an album recently released in 2015.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
LORDI – “It Snows In Hell” (2006)
They wear monster masks and litter the stage with horror props, but despite the showmanship, ultimately it’s about the music. Layered and pounding, at times playful, at times chilling, this is some powerful melodic metal. This one comes from the band’s 2006 breakout album, The Arockalypse, and is likely to be performed when the band comes all the way from Finland for their much-anticipated American tour.
DAVID READMAN – “Evil Combination” (2007)
When he’s not fronting for Pink Cream 69, Voodoo Circle or Almanac, this busy vocalist can be found putting out some amazing solo material. This melodic metal piece comes from his 2007 self-titled album. He is currently reforming that project, bringing on some Dutch musicians and changing the name, slightly, to The David Readman Band. New music is expected soon!