Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 8/31/15.
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.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
PARKWAY DRIVE – “Vice Grip”
With a hard rock / metal foundation built in the ‘80s, I tend to favor melodic songs and clean vocals. Although my appreciation has grown in recent years for a well-placed growl when it captures the angst, rage or torment of a particular lyric, songs that exclusively feature “unclean” vocals generally do not grab my attention. That being said, “Vice Grip” – by Australian metalcore artists Parkway Drive – instantly made me turn up the volume the first time that I heard it on SiriusXM’s Octane. The combination of incredibly melodic guitar riffs, anthemic gang vocals and a big hook gives the song an appeal that transcends the metalcore niche. Although more extreme, at its core, “Vice Grip” is in the same wheelhouse as anthems from bands like Accept and Five Finger Death Punch (to name a few). While Parkway Drive is well-known and highly accomplished in the metalcore world, they were chosen as the featured artist for Music Discovery Monday to give readers who favor hard rock (and listen to Active Rock radio) the chance to discover music that might otherwise fall below the radar.
LAMB OF GOD – “Overlord”
For six studio albums (including one as Burn The Priest), Lamb Of God was far from mainstream. Although their current sound is still far from being commercial, they have managed to garner some attention on Active Rock radio with “Overlord.” Of course, the attention that they have received at radio pales by comparison to making an appearance as the musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week. Despite their appearance on a national talk show, the band is still not known to mainstream audiences, as evidenced by the “Christian Metal” label that was attached to the band on Jimmy Kimmel. Drummer Chris Adler had some fun on social media questioning the band’s apparent new genre. If LoG is now a Christian Metal band, then they have the most “energetic” congregation in the world (see Kimmel mosh pit), led by Randy Blythe (the frontman who is most widely known for being unfairly charged with manslaughter after the unfortunate death of a fan at an LoG concert in the Czech Republic). If you are looking to discover the more “accessible” side of LoG, check out “Overlord,” a track that features the haunting influences of Alice In Chains, and is reminiscent of the overall sound of Metallica’s black album.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES – “School’s Out / Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”
When is a cover band not just a cover band? When it’s got Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp at its core, that’s when! Continuing (albeit more soberly) in the spirit of the (in)famous ’70s gatherings of some of rock’s biggest names, instead of pounding drinks, the latest configuration pounded out an entire album with a host of guests joining the primary members. Where else can you hear Brian Johnson sing classic Pink Floyd?
AUDIOTOPSY – “The Calling”
While it may not be the long-awaited reunion of Mudvayne that fans of the band have clamored for, there should be no real disappointment with the debut of the new project for guitarist Greg Tribbett and drummer Matt McDonough. The sound is at once both familiar and fresh…a very promising debut effort.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
LEAVES’ EYES – “The Waking Eye”
In 2003, Norse singer Liv Kristine (ex-Theatre of Tragedy) combined with German metal band Atrocity to form the symphonic metal band Leaves’ Eyes. Her melodic vocals play off the death growls of keyboardist/vocalist Alexander Krull to create a style that she likes to call “beauty and the beast.” That style is on display here on their newest single, portending the release of their new album, King of Kings, on September 11th. It tells the story of Harald Fairhair and how he defeated numerous enemies to unify Norway and become its first king. Kristine and Krull are married, and in the video, Krull plays the adult Harald, while the young Harald is played by their son.
JETTBLACK – “Black And White”
British hard rockers Jettblack have released their fourth album, Disguises, moving away from anthemic rockers in favor of a more grooving, edgier sound. This ballad, while perhaps a bit more subdued than the rest of the songs, is quite stirring, with a haunting guitar and some heartfelt vocals.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
HIBRIA – “Sir Duke”
I never expected to be writing words about the metal-izing of a Stevie Wonder song. This surprise was buried deep as a second bonus track on the Japanese release of Hibria’s just-released, self-titled album. Known for power, speed and articulation, their extra kick gives this song a metal boost while staying true to the funky core of this classic song. This is a multi-layered tribute: to Stevie Wonder, who wrote the original as a tribute to Duke Ellington with other jazz greats. Great vocals from Iuri Sanson lead a truly talented group from Porto Alegre, Brazil in this terrific performance.
WICKED SENSATION – “Misery”
A bright, upbeat, melodic metal song is not what one would expect from a track named “Misery.” Behind it, is the band Wicked Sensation, with notable performances from Michael Klein and Sang Vong on guitars, and the familiar powerful vocals of David Reece (Tango Down, Accept) who guests stars on the album. “Misery” grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go.
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
ACCEPT – “Screaming For A Love-Bite” (1985)
Following up the most successful album of their career (Balls To The Wall), Accept released Metal Heart in 1985 to much less fanfare. In a departure from their more “ballsy” sound, the album focused more on hooks and melodies, and less on raw, in-your-face metal. Although the change of direction was met with resistance from critics, the album did feature a number of tracks that have stood the test of time. Because it followed up the politically charged Balls To The Wall album, the lyrical content of songs like “Screaming For A Love Bite” seem a bit superficial. However, the song features a lot of the same qualities of other anthems of the era…crunchy power chords, heavy melody and musical breaks that allow the song to breathe, highlighted by the distinct vocal style of Udo Dirkschneider. As far as lyrics go, “Screaming For A Love Bite” was actually more relatable to most young fans than the politicized Balls To The Wall. Who among us wasn’t “screaming for a love bite” at that age?
WIDOWMAKER – “The Widowmaker” (1992)
After Dee Snider parted ways with Twisted Sister in 1987, he formed a short-lived project called Desperado. Label problems caused the band’s album to go unreleased for several years (although it was heavily bootlegged). In between his departure from Twisted Sister and the eventual release of Desperado’s album, Snider released two albums under the Widowmaker moniker. If the band’s first album, Blood And Bullets, came out five years earlier as a Twisted Sister release, there is no doubt that it would have been much more favorably received than Love Is For Suckers (widely considered to be the most disappointing Twisted album ever). “The Widowmaker” features the signature vocal sound that Snider honed during his Twisted days…the perfect mix of passion, angst and melody with a huge hook. Like Desperado, Widowmaker was also short-lived (1992-1994). I consider myself fortunate to be amongst the people that got to see the band perform live in a club setting during their brief existence.
MUDVAYNE – “Not Falling” (2002)
Time flies. Rock is not immune to that old adage, as proven (in part) by the realization that it’s been thirteen years since the debut of the first single from the sophomore album by Mudvayne. A hit in its own right, the song seems to lag behind several others that would follow in terms of recognition today. It’s worth revisiting nevertheless.
AC/DC – “War Machine” (2008)
There’s something almost fitting about the first Grammy won by a legendary hard rock band being awarded for a song that wasn’t among the four singles released from the album that contained it. Along that same line, it’s probably not shocking that the award-winning song doesn’t seem to be nearly as familiar as some of the other songs on the album (although it was the only non-single to be included in the set list on the supporting tour). Massive album sales or not, this seems like a song that deserves more “discovery.”
RAGENHEART – “The Spartan” (2010)
Greek power metal band RageNHeart found a winning combination in driving guitars and the clean, rarefied vocals of John Koroneos. Of special note on this track, from their self-titled debut album in 2010, is the precision drumming of Nick Speedy. Also listen to “In The Name Of God,” a favorite that was originally released as a demo in 2006, and is re-released here on their debut.
S.I.N. – “Junia’s Eyes” (2008)
The story of Julian, the thirteenth apostle, is fabricated by S.I.N. (Somewhere Into Nowhere) on their 2008 concept album, The Thirteenth Apostle. The German progressive metal band had gone through some lineup changes after their first two albums, but ultimately settled on a worthy cast for their third. New vocalist Patrick Simonsen plays the role of Julian, and is beautifully complemented on this standout track by female vocalist Renee Walker, as Junia.
CENTAUR – “In This World” (1993)
Rather unknown, and certainly off the radar, Centaur brings us traditional metal from Germany. This track is from their 1993 sophomore album, Power World. Solid, articulate guitar work from Stefan Lohmann and Michael Böing behind the strong vocals of Rainer Küppers.
KELDIAN – “Starchildren” (2008)
Keldian is a Norwegian metal band with members Christer Andresen and Arild Aardalen composing, producing and leading a talented group of session musicians. “Starchildren” is a good blend of heavy and symphonic metal with an infectious melody and harmonic vocals featuring plenty of drive and heavy riffs throughout.