Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 10/26/17
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)
QUEENSRYCHE – “Sign Of The Times” (1997)
If you just read the lyrics to “Sign Of The Times” – Queensryche’s lead single off of their 1997 release, Hear In The Now Frontier – you would swear that they were written about America’s current climate.
Thinking back to 1997, it felt like the biggest issue on my mind was the resurgence of hard rock and metal following the grunge movement. Sure, there were always issues, but until 9/11, none of them hit close to home for me personally.
All of the lyrics to this song (with a surprisingly uplifting vibe) seem relevant today. However, the lyrics that resonate most for me are…
“But the hate’s alive…a sign of the times…Would someone please let me know how we have spun out of control? Has the captain let go of the wheel? Or could we please try to find a way to be a bit more kind?”
Musically, this entire album marks a transitional period in Queensryche’s history. Quite frankly, the band was never the same after this release due to the departure of guitarist Chris DeGarmo.
BRUCE DICKINSON – “Man Of Sorrows” (1997)
In 1997, Bruce Dickinson was still pursuing a solo career as Iron Maiden attempted to go on without him. Dickinson’s 1997 release, Accident Of Birth, actually would have made an outstanding Iron Maiden album. Though it’s a solo album, there is a Maiden connection. Adrian Smith was one of the two guitarists featured on the album (alongside Roy Z.). The duo would return to the band together a few years after this album was released.
The one thing that Iron Maiden never did was jump on the power ballad bandwagon. It’s hard to say that “Man Of Sorrows” is a traditional power ballad, but it does show another side of Dickinson…slower, moodier, with no galloping pacing driving the song.
Dickinson’s emotional vocal delivery on this song offers a dimension of theatricality that is unlike anything that he ever did with Maiden. If you missed this album two decades ago when it was released, I highly recommend going back and checking it out in its entirety.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
HATEBREED – “Before Dishonor” (1997)
1997 was a weird time for metal. There was a surge in “extreme” metal bands flying the death/goth metal flag. Bands were trying to make their albums heavier and heavier, in what seemed like some sort of competition. Judas Priest lost Rob Halford, and Iron Maiden still didn’t have Bruce Dickinson back in the fold. One band that brought me back to my youth was Hatebreed. Their debut album, 1997’s Satisfaction is the Death of Desire, blew me away. “Before Dishonor” is from the album that had all the aggression of the hardcore bands that I listened to when I was a kid, combined with the heaviness of 1997 metal. I was immediately hooked, since I was a huge hardcore punk fan back in the day. Jamey Jasta and the rest of the boys from Connecticut brought hardcore back to the masses, and for that I am thankful.
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD – “Detox” (1997)
City was Strapping Young Lad’s second album, and what a great sophomore release it was by these extreme Canadian metallers. Fronted by the hardest working musician in the metal genre, Devin Townsend, City is probably one of the band’s best albums ever released. The album as a whole is heavier than a ton of bricks, complemented by Townsend’s riffs and screams, and Gene Hoglan’s thunderous (and always impressive) drumming. This was one of my favorite albums by one of my all-time favorite bands. Townsend continues to write and release albums under his own name. Who knows maybe SYL will reform for a one off show one of these days.
KEVIN GRAYSON – HRD Music Scout
MACHINE HEAD – “Ten Ton Hammer” (1997)
Formed in 1991 Machine Head, a groove metal band from Oakland, California, was right there at the very beginnings of what is considered the new wave of American heavy metal. “Ten Ton Hammer” is a hard-chugging, groove-filled tune that will grab your attention from the beginning. The song is featured on Machine Head’s 1997 release The More Things Change, a very solid album through and through.
MEGADETH – “Use The Man” (1997)
Being a product of the ‘80s, I had tons of music that I was familiar with, but moving on into the ‘90s, I felt a little lost at times. Megadeth was one of those bands that made me feel something more familiar. “Use The Man” is a catchy tune, and listening to it again two decades later, it still sounds current.