Signals From Mars – Change Or Lack There Of

Posted in Signals From Mars on May 22nd, 2015 by marsaries

Been reading online how Spotify has now added Podcasts and Videos in certain countries. Given my geographical location, the update has yet to be applied, but I am waiting to see how this may or may not affect what I do with the podcast. I have read all types of things regarding Spotify recently, from them doing away with their free service, to them being buried by iTunes radio, to people no longer purchasing music because of what they offer. I am weary about most of what I just mentioned, because I think in most cases you need to take the source into consideration. Is it someone that is part of the cult of Apple that is behind it? Spotify has conquered most of the world with their streaming services, but I’m not sold on what they offer like most other are. I receive ton of promos that are not on Spotify until an album is released. Try to discover new acts or songs to play on the podcast takes up a good chunk of my listening time, so the service doesn’t work for me from that aspect. I tried the pay service for a while, but discontinued because I could never use it away from home. No need to have a pay-player that can only be used from home. I have to factor in the fact that the part of Spain where I am located has third world amenities when it comes to the internet as a whole. Even still, if I’m at home, I usually just listen to music via iTunes, check out a podcast, a TV show or a movie. There are very few times where Spotify, Pandora, etc. start to play their picks, and get it right for me. I do understand that I have a strange taste in music, but their selections are usually hits, or some rubbish that I’ve heard a million times, and prefer not to listen on that occasion or ever. Also, with the free service, they throw in ads that have zero to do with the music I’ve been listening to. If I’m listening to Mastodon, or Angelus Apatrida, why on earth am I subjected to a commercial for the latest track by Pitbull or David Guetta? To me that is sloppy, lazy, and just disrespectful to users of your service to not have an algorithm in place that says “this guy won’t go for this crap, choose something closer to what they’ve listened to as a whole.” As far as people no longer buying CDs and using Spotify as an alternative, there are tons of albums, and artists that are not on Spotify. In my opinion this also leads to me to think it is not a viable option to use to listen to my current collection, or purchasing new music on iTunes, or Amazon. As I am writing this I have hit play on the album We Have Come For Your Parents by Amen, only to realize that the only other album on Spotify by Amen is their 1999 self-titled album. Again, how is this an alternative?

Recently Forbes published an article regarding how the labels had regained their stranglehold on the music industry by cutting deals with streaming services, YouTube and the like. Ok, let’s get things straight, one of the reasons why Napster, P2P, Torrents, etc. became so huge was because labels decided, “we’re no longer going to sell these albums”. Earlier this week I chose Millennium by the band Killing Joke as the Classic Video Of The Week. I was looking for the band’s 1994 release Pandemonium, which originally contained the Millennium, and much to my surprise found out that the album is nowhere to be found on the internet. No iTunes, no Amazon, no Spotify, etc. The album came out on the now defunct Zoo Records, but are you telling me that there is no market to make this album available even if it is only via a digital format? Makes no sense to me, you also have albums by Ace Frehley, Vinnie Vincent, Jake E. Lee’s post Ozzy band, Badlands, etc. that were all discontinued for years. Recently they have been re-released by smaller labels, but as limited runs. So as fans we’re expected to just forget about albums, and not try downloading it by any means necessary if it isn’t legally available? Does that help the downward trend in sales? Of course it does not, but the labels are 100% to blame for this. A label list Century Media has decided to do digital only releases with quite a few of their acts. This makes sense, very little overhead, they’re just throwing the albums on their existing servers, no need to print CDs, booklets, or any of the other accoutrements that usually need to be made to coincide with an album’s release. These digital releases are readily available throughout the world, with limited physical copies made available in a band’s home country or region. Why is it that others don’t follow suit? We are still a long way from seeing the absolute end to the music industry as we know it, but when it does finally all come to a head, the majority of the blame should go to the labels for forcing fans to download albums they refuse to make readily and legally available for sale.

The big labels have evolved into a two bit thug from any of your major network cop shows. One racket is up, and they’re just looking for another way to make a quick buck at others expense. In any other situation, they would be shut down, and forced to work fairly with their employees. Somehow the music industry has been exempt of any legal persecution when it comes to wrong doings versus artists. Sure the majors can go after a single mother for downloading nursery rhymes, but no one goes after them for how they make artists indentured servants. The sad part about it is the only way that this could truly go away is if artist unilaterally band together and combat label’s strangle hold on how things are run. But the industry is so fragmented, it is difficult to envision this taking place either. Now don’t get me wrong, not every label is “evil”. Metal counts on some great labels, which have gone from being small, to the saviors of the genre. Labels like Metal Blade, Century Media, Nuclear Blast, Napalm, Candlelight, Frontiers and a small hand full of others, have become the mainstays for the music we all love. Their business models have not changed all that much over the years, and they have allowed countless numbers of bands to flourish without the Billboard charts being the only thing the label is worried about. Things are changing, but until the three majors are gone, I wouldn’t start exactly think change has finally come to how things are handled within the industry. The game changes, mostly due to how buyers react, but the labels shift gears and find a new way to grab a hold of the market and squeeze what they can, while they can.

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Videos – Enter Shikari – Anaesthetist

Posted in Video on May 22nd, 2015 by marsaries

Enter Shikari is a band I have followed since the album Motherload. I was lucky enough to see them perform at Sonisphere Spain a few years back, and they were definitely one of the best live acts at the festival. Been playing this track quite a bit, it comes off of latest album The Mindsweep.

Support the bands you love, and the podcast at the same time, The Mindsweep up from Amazon or iTunes.

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Video – Lieutenant – Believe The Squalor

Posted in Video on May 22nd, 2015 by marsaries

Ok so this isn’t really hard rock or metal, but check the video out it features none other than our good friend Eric Kluiber on guitar, and Eli Santana of Holy Grail on bass. Lieutenant is actually the new side project from Foo Fighter’s bassist Nate Mendel, the track also features Page Hamilton from Helmet.

If you want to pick up Nate’s album, you can find it here on iTunes or Amazon, CD Universe, or used from Second Spin

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Bootlegs – Scorpions – Live in Tokyo 1984

Posted in Bootlegs on May 21st, 2015 by marsaries

A lot of younger fans do not realize how big of an influence Scorpions are on modern metal. Countless players from bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Arch Enemy, etc. all point to one or multiple guitarists that have played with the band as one of their main influences. But, popularity sometimes splinters a band’s fanbase, and for classic rock radio and the casual fan, Rock You Like A Hurricane or Winds Of Change are the only tracks ever released by the band. Although the band has always taken chances and changed with the times, this is Scorpions at the height of their popularity, when they were rubbing elbows with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, vying for the top spot in all of metal. The band is still headlining festivals world wide, but this them in 84.

Check out the band’s latest album Return To Forever, pick it up from Amazon.

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Video – Waltari – Diggin The Alien

Posted in Video on May 21st, 2015 by marsaries

Yesterday we brought you a video by Waltari called Only The Truth, there is the second video they released off of their album You Are Waltari. I’ve just been turned onto the band and really enjoyed what I have listed to so far.

Check out the band’s latest release You Are Waltari Amazon or iTunes.

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Classic Video Of The Week – Killing Joke – Millenium

Posted in Classic VIdeo Of The Week on May 20th, 2015 by marsaries

Killing Joke is a band that has directly or indirectly influenced an infinite number of bands. They have been covered by bands such as Metallica, Fear Factory and Prong. They have dabbled in all kinds of rock, hard rock, industrial, and even bordering on metal. Check out this week’s Classic Video.

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Video – Waltari – Only The Truth

Posted in Video on May 20th, 2015 by marsaries

I remember back in the day when Faith No More won best new artist at an MTV awards show. The band had been around for quite sometime, releasing their debut album years before winning the award, and the subsequent release of their break out hit The Real Thing. The reason I bring this up is because I’ve been turned on to Waltari only 25 years after their first release. Better late than never they say!

Check out the band’s latest release You Are Waltari Amazon or iTunes.

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Video – Hell’s Fire – Bury Me In Smoke

Posted in Video on May 20th, 2015 by marsaries

Our friends Hell’s Fire are back with a video for their cover of the Down classic Bury Me In Smoke.

We don’t know what they’re cooking up, but a few weeks ago we also featured their cover of the Black Sabbath classic Neon Knights.

Support the bands you love, pick up the band’s last full length album A.M.M.O. on iTunes.

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Video – Blak29 – Sweet Nothing

Posted in Video on May 19th, 2015 by marsaries

A few years back we had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Zing when he released the an album with the band Marra’s Drug. For those of you that don’t know who Steve is, he’s played with Samhain, Danzig and grew up in Lodi, New Jersey with members of The Misfits. This summer he will be releasing a new album with a project called Blak29, this is the first video by the band called Sweet Nothing.

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Ryan Shutler of Lazarus A.D. Passes Away

Posted in News on May 18th, 2015 by marsaries

Was extremely saddened to read that Ryan Shutler of the band Lazarus A.D. passed away on Sunday May 17th. I met Ryan four years ago when Lazarus A.D. was doing a tour of Europe with Bonded By Blood. Ryan was very upbeat, and very easy going when I spoke to him, being a drummer myself we talked a bit about how he learned to play, and who his influences where. One of the first things I noticed about his playing was how he played the ride cymbal with his left hand, something that the majority of players do not do. However, Gene Hoglan does play the ride in this fashion, and Ryan mentioned how Hoglan’s playing with the band Death influenced him. He also mentioned how his father initially taught by his father to play 70s classic rock and then evolved from there into the fearsome metal drummer that he became.

To me the band’s last studio album Black River Flows is one of the best metal albums to come out this decade, and possibly this century. When Machine Head’s Unto The Locust came out, I immediately said how I thought the Lazarus A.D. album influenced them, and made them change direction a bit to maybe accommodate younger ears. Many people have scoffed at me stating how they were probably influenced by some of the same bands, and it just so happened that both albums coincidentally sound somewhat similar. Could be, just odd that they would pursue something similar to Black River Flows shortly after its release.

Condolences go out to Ryan’s family, his bandmates, and fans that have no doubt been affected by his passing.

Here is a video I shot of the band some four years ago.

RIP.

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