Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 7/20/15.
Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.
In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.
This week, we feature an exclusive from Tad Morose frontman, Ronny Hemlin, discussing the meaning behind the band’s single, “Forlorn.”
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
TAD MOROSE – “Forlorn”
Some days, you just need to lose yourself in the music and let metal be your therapy. Today is one of those days. Thankfully, I was turned on to Tad Morose and “Forlorn” in time to include it in this week’s Music Discovery Monday. Amazingly, the band has been around for over 20 years, but like many Swedish bands, has not broken through in the U.S. The lack of radio opportunities for bands like Tad Morose is a story for another day. For today, the story is one of melancholy, and an impassioned vocal delivery by Ronny Hemlin that makes you feel the despair, yet somehow feel uplifted at the same time. “Forlorn” features Yngwie-esque guitars and vocals that are reminiscent of Graham Bonnet’s early work with Alcatrazz. Simply put, this is pure power metal that deserves to be heard by an audience well beyond the borders of Europe.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Tad Morose frontman Ronny Hemlin shared the meaning behind “Forlorn.”
“ ’Forlorn’ is a glimpse into a very possible future, and about losing something / someone – without noticing until it’s too late, leaving us with nothing but a spinning mind and regrets. Even though BIG and LOUD warnings are given to us all the time, and we’re struck down to our knees, we stand ourselves up just to receive another punch from the very same direction. The future will be very dark unless we open our eyes and read the signs.”
WHILE SHE SLEEPS – “Four Walls”
A haunting chant sets the stage for a metal onslaught highlighted by melodic growling vocals where the lyrics can be understood without sacrificing any intensity. In fact, the vocals in this case only serve to enhance the story being told in the song. “Four Walls” is not for the faint of heart, but its melodic quality is likely to have an appeal that lies well beyond the realm of a typical metalcore audience. Like Tad Morose, the timing of this one worked out well, having heard the song for the first time on Octane this past week. The song addresses death with a rage so intense that it ends up being a cathartic experience…the healing power of metal, I suppose.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
METAL ALLEGIANCE – “Can’t Kill The Devil”
The word “supergroup” gets thrown around quite a bit these days, but there might be a need for a new word soon because Metal Allegiance is bigger than just a “group.” The core of the project includes Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs & 422 other bands), but it’s the enormous cast that they’ve assembled that makes the forthcoming album one to watch for. For the first full song—one that you could have convinced me was new Metallica without too much effort – the vocals come from Testament’s Chuck Billy, while guitars are supplied by members of Machine Head and Sepultura. Yes, I believe “supergroup” falls a little short.
STRYPER – “Yahweh”
While the return of groundbreaking Christian metal band Stryper in 2013 was welcomed by many, it may be only now that long-time fans feel like the band is completely back. There wasn’t necessarily much to complain about with the recent work, however, it’s the first track from the new album due this fall that seems certain to transport listeners back to the band’s platinum selling heyday. The lyrics are as uncompromising as anything from the past, but it’s the combination of Michael Sweet’s soaring vocals and the blistering dual guitar work of Oz Fox and Sweet that makes this feel like the complete Stryper package. Three decades may have passed since the band first exploded onto the metal scene, but you’d never know it from any aspect of this song…a simply spectacular effort.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
MAXX EXPLOSION – “Crazy Hot”
House of Lords members Chris McCarvill (vocals, bass, keyboards), Jimi Bell (guitar), and BJ Zampa (drums) also deliver melodic rock in a group of their own, Maxx Explosion. Through intricate musicianship, outstanding sound production, and the fact that all three contribute to the vocals, they manage a much fuller sound than most three-man bands. Their latest single, “Crazy Hot,” (from the band’s sophomore album, Dirty Angels) was released just last week, and highlights those vocal harmonies while striking an addictive groove.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
SERPENTINE – “Season Of The Witch”
Serpentine brings solid driving AOR/Melodic Metal from the UK. “Season of the Witch” is a track from their most recent release, Circle of Knives. This tune has a great buildup to the screaming guitar of Chris Gould to start things off before it settles back into a steady, driving rhythm. You can hear Gould’s solos paying homage to his heroes: Randy Rhodes and Zakk Wylde. There’s a heavy synthesizer presence as well (Gareth Noon).
BENEDICTUM – “Scream” (2013)
San Diego is home to female-fronted Benedictum, formerly known as both Bound and Regime. Veronica Freeman has a big voice and belts out impressive screams on this appropriately named track. Pete Wells (guitars), Aric Avina (bass) and Rikard Stjernquist (drums) grind out this solid and skilled heavy metal quartet. This is from the band’s 4th studio album, Obey.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
D.A.D. – “Sleeping My Day Away” (1989)
American hard rock fans may very well think of D.A.D. as a one-hit wonder, and even that would be using the term loosely, since “Sleeping My Day Away” was never a huge hit for these Danish rockers in the U.S. It is, however, the one song that received some radio airplay, although in recent months, I’ve heard “Rim Of Hell” on SiriusXM. Both songs appeared on the band’s third studio album, No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims. D.A.D. didn’t start out as an acronym; they ended up with the moniker after Disney threatened to sue the band for calling themselves Disneyland After Dark. It took 25 years and 11 studio albums, but they finally found a way to cleverly sneak in their original name as the title of their 2011 release, DIC-NII-LAN-DAFT-ERD-ARK. Clearly, the band has a sense of humor. Ironically, as much as I like “Sleeping My Day Away,” it isn’t the song that made me remember them after all of these years. It’s their name and the fact that their bass player, Stig Pedersen, is known for playing a 2-string bass (since he only played the “A” and “E” strings). After you check out this song, Google “Stig Pedersen bass” so that you can fully appreciate his uniqueness.
GUNS N’ ROSES – “14 Years” (1991)
It’s hard to say that any GNR song flies under the radar, much less one off of the band’s epic Use Your Illusion double album, but this song was chosen for a few reasons. It is incredibly fitting in a personal symbolic way, as my life was forever changed 14 years ago on this date. Lyrically, most of the song does not apply to my situation, but the chorus is spot-on…
“It’s been 14 years of silence…it’s been 14 years of pain…it’s been 14 years that are gone forever, and I’ll never have again.”
“14 Years” never received the attention that many other tracks on Use Your Illusion did, but it has always been a personal favorite, due in no small part to the rollicking piano which is rare to find in a hard rock song.
NOTE: Although the connections are not readily apparent, all of my selections this week are fitting for what this day represents to me.
TESTAMENT – “Practice What You Preach” (1989)
The title track and lead single from the third studio album by California thrash metal heavyweights, Testament, was a song that managed to break through into more mainstream avenues such as MTV, and helped establish the band as one of the true leaders of the thrash scene. While they were already notable within the niche, this was a track that helped bring them attention from a broader swath of rock/metal fans and helped to cement them as key figures.
BARREN CROSS – “Imaginary Music” (1988)
While Stryper was the band that brought Christian metal fully into the mainstream, they were certainly not the only member of the genre. Among the notables of the time was a Los Angeles band that had less glam and more NWOBHM influences in their sound, particularly the similarity of vocalist Mike Lee’s sound to that of Bruce Dickinson. This was the lead track from their first album for mainstream label Enigma Records, produced by John Elefante (Kansas) and his brother Dino. The band’s first stint lasted from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. After a 16-year hiatus, the band returned to the scene. The original lineup is now intact once again.
SISTER SIN – “Hearts Of Cold” (2012)
Sister Sin is a female-fronted band from Sweden that rocks out hard with old school metal. Liv Jagrell has that perfect metal voice, and the rest of the band plays off of it beautifully with driving rhythms and memorable riffs. I caught them last week here in New York, and they blew away a small audience as if they were playing to an arena. This favorite from 2012 was one of the highlights.
PARADISE INC – “Steel Or Stone” (2011)
Carsten “Lizard” Schulz is the kind of exceptional and prolific vocalist whom you can follow to any band and know that you’re about to discover some amazing music. Here he fronts for a Brazilian hard rock band on their debut album. This uplifting ballad was a personal favorite, especially the acoustic version (linked above), which was included as a bonus track.
HORIZON’s END – “Cover My Eyes” (2008)
Greek prog metal band, Horizon’s End, was on their way to releasing their third studio album in 2008, when they produced and shot the video for “Cover My Eyes.” Unfortunately, they shelved the un-named album, and moved on to other projects. They leave behind this great track as a sign of what might have been if the rest of the tracks weren’t gathering dust somewhere…
ELEGY – “Destiny Calling” (1997)
Ian Parry’s great vocals headline this epic and emotional song of remembrance and regret from the Netherland’s power metal band, Elegy. A clear sign of the times for ’90s metal is the keyboard work bringing a melancholy undercurrent to the power guitars (both are the fine work of Henk van der Laars).