Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/4/17
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.
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)
RUSH – “Afterimage” (1984)
The synth era of Rush brought a mixed reaction from fans, but those that listened to these songs with an open mind found that there was still plenty of meat on the bones. To this day, Grace Under Pressure remains an underrated album, one that Alex Lifeson has referred to as “the most satisfying of all our records.”
Of the eight songs on the record, “Afterimage” was an instant favorite. While still heavily reliant upon synthesizers, the song has a little bit more of an edge to it, particularly the riff and driving drum beats. Dealing with the aftermath of a painful loss, the song was dedicated to Robbie Whelan (who worked as an assistant engineer on both Moving Pictures and Signals).
The opening lyric of the song – “suddenly…you were gone…from all the lives you left your mark upon…” – was quoted in the liner notes of the band’s 1998 live album – Different Stages. It was dedicated to Neil Peart’s wife and daughter who passed away in 1997 and 1998 respectively.
With the amount of classic Rush songs, many fans didn’t care if they heard anything new in concert. I remember really wanting to hear “Afterimage” when I saw the tour in 1984, and left disappointed when they didn’t play it. The disappointment was heightened by the fact that it was the only song from the album that they didn’t play. Still, all these years later, it remains my favorite from Grace Under Pressure.
FINGER ELEVEN – “Paralyzer” (2007)
The impact that Rush made in America cannot be understated, but many other Canadian bands have managed to fly under the radar in the states. Finger Eleven had one major hit with “Paralyzer,” but other than that, most of their catalog is obscure in the US. If you’re going to be known for one song, it’s hard to think of one better than “Paralyzer.” The song has an infectious groove to go along with a cool, uplifting vibe that gets your blood pumping. A decade later, this is one of those songs that still takes me back to a specific place and time as if it happened yesterday. Play this one loud!
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
DETHKLOK – “Awaken” (2007)
One of the best bands to never actually exist is Dethklok (which was featured on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse). Due to the popular demand of the songs, an album was released featuring the songs performed on the show. The creator of the show (Brendon Small) ended up hiring session musicians to play these songs live. The drummer chosen for this honor was one of my favorite drummers of all time, Gene Hoglan. “Awaken” is from Dethklok’s debut album, The Dethalbum. It is arguably the best death metal ever recorded by a fictitious band.
IN FLAMES – “Come Clarity” (2006)
One of the pioneers of melodic death metal was Sweden’s In Flames. They released a total of thirteen albums (with 2006’s Come Clarity being their eighth studio album). The band evolved over the years from their melodic death metal roots to a more toned down melodic style full of emotion and feeling. Around this time, they started being described as alternative metal with Anders Friden trading in his growling screams for cleaner melodic vocals. Despite the change in direction, In Flames is still considered one of the best Swedish metal bands to date.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
EVERGREY – “A Touch of Blessing” (2004)
Swedish band Evergrey delivers a dark brand of melodic, progressive metal. They are touring America now and coming to New York next month, in support of their latest album, The Storm Within (which I rated one of the top 10 power metal albums of 2016). It seems like a perfect time to look back at some of their amazing hits from past years. This 2004 masterpiece was the opener from the band’s fifth studio album, The Inner Circle, which tackled the subjects of religious cults and child abuse. All these years later, it remains one of the most anticipated songs at every show.
EVERGREY – “For Every Tear That Falls” (Live 2005)
Vocalist / guitarist Tom Englund has a voice that captures the yearning and gravity of every dark song. Here, his wife Carina shows her own amazing skills as she joins him in a live duet at a 2005 concert in Gothenburg, Sweden. The song is originally from the band’s debut album, 1998’s The Dark Discovery.