Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 9/15/16
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)
AVANTASIA (f. JOE LYNN TURNER) – “The Watchmaker’s Dream” (2013)
Avantasia – a supergroup rock opera – is the brainchild of Edguy vocalist Tobias Sammet, who plays bass with the group (in addition to being the primary songwriter and vocalist). The first five studio albums featured mainly European power metal guest vocalists. However, on 2013’s The Mystery Of Time, Joe Lynn Turner appears on a number of tracks, adding an interesting mainstream rock element to the intricate musical composition. The song also showcases a theatrical side of JLT that might surprise fans of Rainbow, Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen.
Most classic rock fans would think of The Who’s Tommy upon hearing the term “rock opera,” but Avantasia takes the concept to an entirely different level. “The Watchmaker’s Dream” blends the bombast of Jim Steinman’s writing style with prog-infused power metal, and the theatricality of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
The challenge for projects like Avantasia is exposing the music to the masses. Because there is no natural radio fit, this is best achieved when artists share the music directly with their fans. Although I am a lifelong fan of JLT, I only discovered this brilliant track when he shared it on Facebook on a recent “flashback Friday” post.
KANSAS – “Play The Game Tonight” (1982)
In early 1982, after parting ways with Steve Walsh due to creative differences in lyrical direction, Kansas chose John Elefante to replace their original vocalist. Elefante, who landed the gig over the likes of Sammy Hagar and Doug Pinnick (King’s X), took the band in a more Christian rock direction with his lyrics. Ironically, though the majority 1982’s Vinyl Confessions featured Christian lyrics that appealed to founder Kerry Livgren, “Play The Game Tonight” was not one of those songs. It ended up being the biggest hit on the album, and the third biggest hit in the band’s history behind “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust In The Wind.” Elefante’s time with the band only lasted for two albums – Walsh would return a few years later with a different lineup – but while he was there, he left a big mark with “Play The Game Tonight.”
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
STONE SOUR – “Get Inside” (2002)
Metal musicians love side projects. It allows them to explore, and write music that they normally are not associated with. In the realm of side projects, Stone Sour made an impressionable mark mainly due to Corey Taylor’s job screaming and growling for his main band, Slipknot. Stone Sour is a far cry from Slipknot. The band features a lot more melodies and harmonies. Despite the difference in styles, Stone Sour has done well over the years with their stripped down modern rock/metal sound. “Get Inside,” from the band’s self-titled debut album, is probably one of their heavier tunes, although not as heavy as the likes of Slipknot.
DAMAGEPLAN – “Breathing New Life” (2004)
Founded by two of the greatest musicians of all-time, Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell Abbott, Damageplan was a powerhouse metal band in 2004. “Breathing New Life” was probably one of the best songs from their only album, New Found Power. It was heavy, it was angry, and it showcased Dimebag’s phenomenal guitar playing. One of the saddest days in metal history took place on December 8, 2004, when Dimebag was murdered on stage during a Damageplan show. The world lost one of the best guitarists, and kindest, most genuine people in metal that day. His legacy lives on in his recordings.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
CROWN OF GLORY – “Inspiration” (2008)
Swiss melodic metal band Crown of Glory crafted a complex piece of power metal with progressive influences on this song from their 2008 album, A Deep Breath Of Life. Complementing the yearning vocals and staunch guitar riffs are subtle orchestrations, hints of the Middle East, and delicate piano interludes that explode into guitar fury.
LORD – “New Horizons” (2009)
This lamenting power ballad was the closer on Australian band Lord’s 2009 album, Set In Stone. The band began in 2003 as a side project for singer/guitarist “Lord” Tim Grose. It gave him an outlet to share some amazing music that he wrote, but had been saving because it was unsuitable for his main band, Dungeon. When Dungeon broke up a couple years later, LORD became his full-time endeavor. Pete Lesperance of Harem Scarem contributes a guest guitar solo on this track.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
SPLIT HEAVEN – “Iron Witch” (2008)
Split Heaven has a terrific throwback, heavy metal sound that is enhanced by quality production. “Iron Witch” – from the band’s 2008 release, Psycho Samurai – showcases this style. The standouts on this track are the excellent drum work of Tommy Roitman, and the terrific guitar work from Armand Ramos and Pedro Zelbohr.
LEIDER – “Dream Of Dragon” (2012)
Killer heavy metal from Mexican band, Leider. Tremendous vocals from Diego Trejo lead the way on this kickass track from their 2012 album, Seven. Julio Romo and Japo Lopomontiel drive the relentless, menacing rhythm while, Sergio Trejo and Jhovany Lara complete the track with great wailing guitars.