Classic Albums Column – Iron Maiden – Powerslave

Posted in Audio, Classic Albums Column, Feed on August 8th, 2013 by marsaries

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Iron Maiden’s Powerslave. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 77 features comments from Jon Schaffer, Gene Hoglan, Richard Christy, Brian Tichy, Glen Drover, Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, author Martin Popoff, journalist Mitch LaFon, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal, Andrew from Metal Assault and Roch from Radioactive Metal. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Below you will find links to purchase not only Powerslave, but music featured throughout the episode.

Dan Lorenzo – I have a confession to make. I do not like Iron Maiden’s Powerslave album. I loved the first two maiden cds with Paul on vocals. My band HADES were, at the time primarily a cover band and we nailed early Maiden. When Bruce came aboard I was into it and I loved the first two Maiden cds with Bruce. After that…not so much. Honestly Iron Maiden Powerslave to me is as goofy as Spinal Tap. It embodies all that can be cheesy about heavy metal. I hate when metal is cheesy. I know how popular Iron Maiden are and I’m shocked. I still listen to all the albums I “grew up” with: AC/DC, Aerosmith old Kiss, old Cheap Trick, Judas Priest etc., but I NEVER ever pull out any Iron Maiden cd to listen to in 2013. I don’t think it’s aged well at all. Sorry if I offended any lovers of cheese metal.

Peter Ellis – As far as I am concerned this is the best Maiden album ever. It has everything you could ever ask from a Heavy Metal album. Maiden always had great songs, so the fact that Powerslave has all those amazing classic songs is no surprise but it’s the production that separates this album from all the other Maiden albums in my opinion. This is simply the best that Iron Maiden has ever sounded in the studio, the production values are immense in this album and it proves once again that Martin Birch was the best Heavy Rock/Metal producer of his day! I also think this album was the highlight of Bruce’s career (next to Piece of Mind). The vocal performances in this album are unsurpassed to this day. And of course Powerslave includes my all-time favourite song, Aces High as its opening track which makes me dig it even more! haha. If I had to describe Powerslave with one word it simply would be: PERFECTION!

Jon Leon – Probably the overall fan favorite album. Timing was perfect as it was probably the heaviest and most energetic the band ever was, and the melodic interplay is furious.
It is an amazing album, but I played it so much when I was a kid, it got a little burned out for me. That said……the 1-2 punch at the beginning of the album is as good as an opening 2 songs you will hear. Sleeper track on the album is the short Back in the Village-possibly the heaviest tune they ever did. Wish they would do it live. The title track weaves an amazing feel of Middle Eastern dynamics and melodic interplay. I feel Rime of the Ancient Mariner lags a bit at times however, and that it could have been a couple minutes shorter. The part coming out of the clean interlude with dry ice creeping fog into the guitar solos is the best live Iron Maiden moment in my opinion. It may be the most dramatic live moment in metal performance I have ever seen. Amazing dynamics that must be seen live in person to appreciate. Overall one of the coolest art concepts in my opinion beaten only by the next 2 amazing Riggs pieces (Live After Death and the most detailed album art ever on Somewhere in Time). This is when Maiden would become a world class act and start tasting true success. The merchandise and shirts/art from Powerslave became visually recognizable on kids everywhere, and the band would never look back. Was also probably the beginning of Metal’s peak from 84-89 and really gave metal one of it’s big albums and defining moments. One of the most important 80’s albums.

Erik Kluiber – it’s a great album. My favorite song is Aces High. I got this on Vinyl back in the 80’s. Side b is a bit long in the tooth. I don’t care for the songs Powerslave or Rhyme of the Ancient Marinor. Even though it’s a good album, I think Powerslave is my least favorite of the “Classic” Maiden albums.

Pest – I remember well my fascination with Iron Maiden’s Powerslave. I remember owning a copy of the “Live After Death” concert on a VHS tape. This was years before there was a real VCR at my house, this was in the days of renting “movie-box”. This was a small VCR that would play VHS tapes, but you could not record on them. I remember they came in a black plastic suitcase when we rented them. Every time i rented one of these movie-box things I watched the video repeatedly for 24 hours before the “player” was due back at the local video store. The stage was set like the albumcover, and the setlist was incredible.

Sean Bryant – One weekend a few friends and I decided to take acid and hike up 5 miles and camp. As we were cruising up the trail, haphazardly carrying all of our gear, trading off periodically to relieve the strain, there was one item that didn’t really fit into the serene beauty of the trail before us. We had to have our little ghetto blaster as we traversed up into the Wasatch Mountains, blasting all along the way was Maidens’s Powerslave. Needless to say, on top of other quite intoxicated moments throughout the night, I am sure that, somewhere along the path, our music pissed someone off. The next morning as we were about to leave we decided to pull up onto a rock and break out the steamroller. My paranoid nature got the best of me as I stared about our surroundings and as soon as the first puff of smoke lifted into the clean air, I noticed a couple walking up, dressed in gray and brown and wearing stupid hats. Turns out they were park rangers and that because we were such a menace to the camping area, which, wasn’t truly a camping area, folks along the trail reported us. Weeks later they made a surprise appearance at my parents’ house and insisted on explaining how to camp properly. What they forget to inform was the extra-curricular options that are usually available and chosen to escalate said camping experiences.

Will Carroll – Maybe the most PERFECT metal album ever recorded. nuff said

Steve Smyth – One of my alltimes favorite albums, next to Somewhere in Time. I learned this whole album by ear as soon as I heard the first notes of Aces High! Every songs is a favorite here, and the band is on fire throughout, great performances from everyone on this. Only wish I could have seen the tour!

David Ellefson – Number of the Beast was the last Maiden album I bought as for me it was the essence of the ‘best of the best’ of Maiden. However, some albums get better to me over time and one of those is Powerslave. It had a great album cover and the title track is just a classic. Plus, Aces High and Two Minutes To Midnight are like metal standards in every rock bar around the planet. ‘Up The Irons’ for Maiden on this one!!

Bat – My next favourite band of all time after Thin Lizzy is Maiden, I got hooked onto metal after hearing Number of the Beast, Powerslave was another amazing release for maiden, they released 7 classic albums in a row, I don’t think any other band in the world can say that. The guitar work of Smith and Murray really shines through on this album, I love the mood and feel of the playing on the title track.

Luke Wenczel – My first and perhaps largest influence is Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden. The way Nicko makes his drums bark and crack and the tones he struck out of them through the 80s have heavily influenced my drumming. The other aspect of Nicko’s drumming that perks my ears time and time again are his stickings through rolls and fills from a lot of the albums in the mid 80s – they blew my mind when I was starting out and still do today – the opening fill in Powerslave and the ensuing rolls throughout the track are a great example. Nicko is the reason I have more than a few toms and a raft of Paiste cymbals! He is also the reason I mount my Ride cymbal up over the toms almost vertically.

Aquiles Priester – The first band I joined with my “huge” drum set was “Stylo Livre” in 1987. At that time, everything was recent and new and the fact that we were the only Rock Band in town opened up some doors and gave us opportunities that nowadays an amateur band wouldn’t have. We used to perform in several TV and Radio Station programs as well as be shown in magazines and newspapers. At that time, an essential fact for my musical directing happened: I listened to “Caught somewhere in time” by Iron Maiden on a local radio station and after that, getting to know all the discography of this band would be a major influence for many years.
In 1987 I was 16 years old and for sure I did not have a lot of money, so I used to listening a lot all the cassette tapes at that time. I even had money to have a nice stereo, just a Walkman by Sony. So I love this record. For sure it’s the album I have listened more in my entire life. All songs are very inspiring and even though some people find strange the synthesized guitars, I love this album like no other in my life. My favorite songs are The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (they only played the first show of the tour in 1986), and also Alexander the Great. There are other things that make this album much more special for me. In 2006 I had the chance to meet Nicko McBrain during the Drummer Live Festival, in London, where I played and had a chance to talk to him backstage and in hotel for a long time. He told me many nice things about making this recording, especially about the recording session of the drums. He used to record his part very quick to get all the free interpretation of those songs.  After that night, listening to this album always makes me travel somewhere back in time… By the way, this is the main theme of the album and for me it makes perfect sense!

Jose Izquierdo – The title track is the first metal song I ever heard. My brother and I were listening to it, and looked at each other and said, what the hell is this? Someone gave us a tape that had something else on the other side, and after listening to the album we decided that we only wanted to listen to Iron Maiden.

Davish G. Alvarez – This album has my all-time favorite track by Maiden, Back in the Village. The song still blows my mind. I would spend hours playing this song. We also did a cover of Losfer Words years ago. I could still play that album on guitar and still love it. This is also an album that a lot of my students have asked about when taking lessons. The cool thing is so many students have a favorite off of the album, and it isn’t the same as say Piece Of Mind where they all ask to play The Trooper.

Jorge Salan – Great, great album, another album that I listed to a ton back in the day. Aces High is just ridiculously good. I went to go see the tour where they commemorated the tour of the album, and I got all emotional when they kicked things off with the track. I felt like a kid again.

Chris Howorth – Fucking love this album, the artwork is epic (used to get stoned and try finding all the eddies or little creatures hiding throughout the artwork) I also took this album into my 8th grade history class taking advantage of the subject matter as an excuse to play rhyme of the ancient mariner during class, haha my favorite songs are aces high, Powerslave and of course 2 minutes to midnight, this is easily my all-time favorite album from Iron Maiden!

Erun Dagoth – I love it, my favorite of all is Piece Of Mind, followed by this album, Powerslave. Piece Of Mind was the first album by the band that I heard, the tracks on the album just seem so epic to me. The same thing occurs with Powerslave. I love the way Bruce Dickinson sings, it is just epic, at another level. If the song isn’t epic enough, his voice just puts it over the top. When I purchased the album I literally spent hours examining the cover art, it is just amazing. I spent so much time reading the lyrics, and looking at the photos on the album jacket, but I spent so much more time just looking at that artwork, same thing for Somewhere In Time. Iron Maiden is one of my all-time favorite bands, three are albums here and there that I don’t care about, but I still love seeing them live. The thing that gets me about them is they seem the same as they did 30 years ago. Other bands get older and change, Maiden just keeps being as genuine as they were back in the day.

Bruce Moore – I have always been a fan of Iron Maiden especially their early material. Powerslave is a good album but definitely not my favorite. Perhaps because it was the follow up release to my all time favorite Maiden album, Piece Of Mind. I think it was a good album with a few great moments. I totally love 2 Minutes To Midnight and the title track but I feel Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner is way to long for my limited attention span.

Patrick Kennison – My first concert ever. WASP opened. My 11 year old mind was blown. I wore the 3/4 WASP jersey from the show til it literally became a rag. Many concerts after that one couldn’t touch it. I still have the ticket stub today. Powerslave is my 2nd fav Maiden album after NOTB. The concept & lyrics were like metal history to me.

You can purchase Powerslave or on CD from Amazon from here.

You’ll also hear snippets of songs that come off of the following albums, please support our contributors and buy their albums or at least purchase the tracks you enjoyed hearing:

Charred Walls of the Damned – Cold Winds On Timeless Days

Dave Reffett – Shredding The Envelope

Hollywood Superstars – Let It Shine

Iced Earth – Live In Ancient Kourion

Megadeth – United Abominations

Non-fiction – Preface / In the Know

S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing

Testament – Dark Roots of Earth

To purchase any of these albums on CD visit our Amazon store here, it contains every album, single and some extras pertaining to this episode.

The episode can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction

Posted in Audio, Classic Albums Column, Feed, Interviews on June 12th, 2013 by marsaries

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Guns N’ Roses‘ Appetite For Destruction. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 73 features comments from Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante, Gene Hoglan, Alan Tecchio, Jon Leon(both written and verbal), Dave Reffett, Lonny Paul of the band Adler, author Martin Popoff, journalist Mitch Lafon, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal, and Roch from Radioactive Metal. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Below you will find links to purchase not only Appetite For Destruction, but music featured throughout the episode.

Before jumping into the standard comments that we post along as part of the column, I wanted to include an excerpt from former Rip editor Lonn Friend great book Life on Planet Rock: From Guns N’ Roses to Nirvana, a Backstage Journey through Rock’s Most Debauched Decade. Here is a small bit regarding Appetite For Destruction:

Appetite unfolded like a prurient postcard depicting the zeitgeist of Hollywood near the end of the millennium-s most dubious decade. “It’s So Easy”, “Nightrain”, “ Out Ta Get Me”, “Mr. Brownstone”, “Paradise City”, “My Michelle”, “Think About You”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “You’re Crazy”, “Anything Goes” and “Rocket Queen” – the LP is a seamless glorification of excess where every recorded moment burns with ball-busting truth.

Producer Mike Clink-who would prove to be the George Martin of GN’R, manipulating the dials to every release the band would create-told me that the female groans of ecstasy during “Rocket Queen” were authentic. “The guys were taking turns fucking this girl in the studio,” recalled Clink. “Those are actual sounds of sex, captured live on tape.” But above all, Appetite signaled the breech birth of the most charismatic, morally corrupted, possessed, and passionate front man since the mike-stand-wielding, loose-lipped junkie Steven Tyler stepped off the Cambridge streets fourteen years before.

Growing up William Bailey in the heartland town of Lafayette, Indiana, W. Axl Rose sang, stalked, swam, and smelled like no other fish in the big-hair, heavy-eyeliner, poseur-polluted L.A. hard rock sea. While he borrowed bits in vocal technique and body language from his heroes Iggy Pop, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, and, of course, Jagger, and Tyler, Axl was a complete and inexplicable original prone to personal misbehavior and public misunderstanding.

To read more check out Lonn’s excellent book Life On Planet Rock!

Here are the written comments that were submitted:

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – It was about 3 in the morning, and this video comes on MTV, some new band… was ballsy, groovy, great vocals, cool riffs, not your typical cookie-cutter song arrangements, there were some real roots in this stuff… next day I told some friends about it – they had already heard about ’em. Within a week everyone knew about ’em.

Greg Prato – At the time of its release, this album had the same effect on me as Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ would a few years later – as both albums were a return back to basics, and a reaction against horrible hair metal. Sadly, G n’ R (like Metallica) would become the same overblown rockers that they were initially a reaction against.

Dave Starr – Huge. Not really a fan, but you can’t deny the impact this record had on millions of people.

Dan Lorenzo – The most overrated band in the history of music. Yes this cd is good. “My Michelle” is vicious hard rock at it’s best. There are a couple of other fantastic songs. Maybe even 4-5. WHY are we still talking about them though?? How the hell could people fall over themselves with a song that rhymes the words “pretty” and “city”? C’mon. Really?? Still?? Yes…it IS a good cd. But since then? You STILL care? Really? I’m going to go listen to Aerosmith ‘Rocks” now.

Peter Ellis – Quite simply, the best Hard Rock album of all time.

Jon Leon – The definitive album of all LA bands of the 80’s. Along with Van Halen 2, it is the most important release by an LA band. It is sunset blvd 1986-7 in all its glory. One of the best sounding records of all time. Like them or not after this release-I can think of no band that can rock a legacy off one album more than this one. The Back in Black of the Hair metal world.

Ron Scalzo – This was a benchmark album for me. I saw the video for “Welcome To The Jungle” on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball and I was off to the record store – this was a regular practice for me at that age. One song and I was sold. This was a controversial album for a 13 year old kid in a fairly strict household, but the kicker was that I actually won the album on vinyl from the big Top 40 station in NYC. Once the package showed up at my house, “Appetite” and Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” rarely left my piece-of-shit record player (I wouldn’t even call it a turntable). Sinking into “Appetite” was the equivalent of a kid watching porn for the first time – it was another world, the first down n’ dirty badass sweaty & shirtless album of my teenage years. It was a 12 song fuckfest without a condom. By high school a few years later, GnR were legendary and I put a band together to play at our HS Battle of the Bands. We played “Stairway To Heaven,” Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The other guys wanted to do “Paradise City” but I was not yet talented enough on the drums to pull off those Steven Adler hits and fills that bring the song into hyperdrive. Ah well, we won anyway. Fuck you Steven Adler.

Joel Gausten – Axl Rose is a sage. His lyrics paint the clearest, most vivid picture of life in Los Angeles ever committed to tape. “Think About You” is the best song Hanoi Rocks never wrote.

Erik Kluiber – One of the greatest albums of all time even if radio has numbed us from it.

Phil Rind – Took me a while to get over the fact that they looked like posers. Sick record though. You can hear the hunger in it.

Ricky Armellino – If I go back and listen to any of this I’m just going to picture new Axl singing it. He looks like the kind of bum I just don’t want to give any change.

James J. LaRue – I loved this, still do. Schminese Schmemocracy, this was G’n’R. I wasn’t allowed to buy the entire album, but mom gave the greenlight on the Sweet Child single. She was worried about the subject matter. Mr Brownstone was the B Side,
but I had no idea what it was about. Brown colored rocks I thought. Never liked that song as a kid anyway, but now I listen to the entire thing and skip Sweet Child. That’s their signature tune, everyone knows it, I even played it when I was in a disco cover band? It’s a little too popular with everyone and next thing you know Fergie is butchering it.

Scott Middleton – The ultimate marriage of punk rock, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. The benchmark for modern rock music. Appetite sounds like a cross between a less fake version of the Sex Pistols, meets an ultra badass version of Aerosmith. Nearly every song on this record was a hit and still sounds more vital than any contemporary rock record.

Chris Tsangarides – When this little epic first came to my attention I was wondering what all the hype was about, it sounded like music that was a bit dated given the current musical climate. I wasn’t overly impressed that is until I got the album and listened to it in my music room from start to finish… I was amazed at the consistency of the song writing and was left feeling elated and like every guitar player tried to figure out how to play “Sweet child of mine” I was sold on this now Classic Rock album and it’s still one of my all-time faves.

Jim Florentine – Genius. This album alone will put them in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Raul Galvan – Just from the bombastic opening riffs you could tell this album was going to sweat pure rock n roll. This album impacted my adolescence, and is one of the greatest albums of all time, and contains some of the greatest songs of all time.

JL – Not my favorite album of Guns by sheer stubbornness, but a manual for sleazy rock. To open an album with a great song such as Welcome To The Jungle leaves you god smacked for the rest of listening. My Michelle, Sweet Child ‘O Mine, Nightrain … another one of those debuts that makes history, with Izzy Stradlin in a state of grace, Slash his Les Paul come alive. I think we should thank Erin Everly for having been a muse so propitious.

Gonzalo Leiva – I think that for many people (like myself), it is the best album GNR released. It is an album with twelve songs in which there are very few low points. In an age where most bands used keyboards, this album maintains certain segments that has nothing but a basic foundation of bass, guitars and drums. Another album that you listen to from beginning to end and between songs you say “oh what a good song.

David Lozano – What rock n roller hasn’t listened to this album?

Sean Bryant – I remembered that I really disliked most people that liked this album. I am guessing it was mostly due to the fact that MtV took hold of GnR and blasted it everywhere. Turns out Axl was truly an asshole. Who’d of guessed?

Will Carroll – I saw Guns N’ Roses open for The Cult on the Electric tour at The Warfield in S.F. in 1987. This was a couple of weeks before Appetite came out and I had no idea who they were. By the third song I was trying to return my Cult shirt for a GN’R one. That was one of the sickest live performances I’ve ever seen. And when the album came out I was not disappointed. If someone who claims to be into rock or metal and hears this album and can’t get anything out of it than maybe you should check them for a pulse.

Steve Smyth – I actually really hated this band when they came out, because I felt like they were trying to rip off Aerosmith, being that I am a big classic Aerosmith fan. Then I realized that Aerosmith were never going back to their 70’s sound, and this album grew on me. Favorites are Night Train and Mr Brownstone, but to me, I can have the whole album on in the background and not really mind….

David Ellefson – This is one of the most pivotal albums of my young adult life. I remember clearly the day I heard “Mr. Brownstone” on Los Angeles’ KNAC radio station as me, Jay Reynolds and Dave Mustaine were driving to Lake Elsinore to go jet skiing on a day off. You could just tell this was going to be HUGE!!

Bat – This album was huge when I was a teenager, I loved it, Ill never forget the summer when “Sweet Child of mine” came out, Its the only GNR release I like. I still listen to it now and again. A classic.

Chris Czynszak – Appetite for Destruction was like a gateway drug for me. The reason that I say that is due to the fact that my 12 year old self was immersed in the hair band culture. I was completely caught up in the aesthetic of bands like Poison and Motley Crue. I loved the whole mindless culture of party rock that allowed everyone to just forget everything and have a good time. While I still enjoy some of that stuff even today, I was introduced to a whole other sect of rock music when I saw the video for Welcome to the Jungle late one night on MTV. I had never seen anything like it. While Axl was straddling the hair band look a little bit in the video, the song was pure, unadulterated hard-edged magic. I felt like I had been flattened by a steamroller….and loved it. This album truly stands the test of time. Aside from the great songs on the album, it opened me up to check out music by GNR’s influences. Suddenly, I was discovering groups like Nazareth, Hanoi Rocks, and Shark Island. I credit the Appetite for Destruction album for increasing my musical vocabulary and giving me an appreciation for a wider variety of rock music. It’s hard to pick a favorite track from Appetite as I don’t feel that there’s a weak track on the album. I have a special soft spot for It’s So Easy and My Michelle but feel that Rocket Queen encompasses the whole album in one song with all of its twists and turns. I love that the song starts with such a moody, dark sound before erupting into full-anthem mode by the end. I’ve found things to like about all of Guns n Roses albums since but don’t think it’s possible to top Appetite. You hear things about planets aligning and blah blah blah but I truly think that was the case with this album. You had five guys that were at the right point of instability and recklessness that poured their souls onto two-inch tape and left a masterpiece that still holds up today.

Shawn Duncan – What can be said! Appetite came out at the very peak of the Hollywood scene in the 80’s. Everything going on at that time was captured on this record. Sex, Drugs, Aggression it is an explosive record to this day! The impact of this record is historic. They were REAL! Nothing manufactured or pre-conceived about this album. The songs are first rate and always will be. Saw G&R many times in the clubs before the album came out and it was obvious they were going to do well..but when I first heard Appetite I was floored. You can’t mention this record and not mention Mike Clink, he managed to catch lightning in a bottle..A top tier classic.

Grover XIII – I’ve never been a G’N’R fan, although I owe them a serious debt of gratitude just for helping to kill hair metal, and later for giving us a musical equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever.

Jason Bittner – Not much needs to be said here – this is one of the greatest rock albums of all time and I was lucky enough to see the real band open for Aerosmith touring for this album back in 1988. A night to remember for sure!

Davish G. Alvarez – I love every track off of this album. A lot of people have told me that Use Your Illusion is a lot better, but you read Slash’s book, and they were very sloppy and sleazy playing, but it was there thing, and you keep reading the book, and read tales about them being so drunk and high, and you think, how did this gang of junkies record something so good? I love My Michelle, the solo at the end of Paradise City is just beyond awesome, it is perfect. The ways the guitars sound on the album are just unbelievable. I actually think Matt Sorum is a better drummer from his body of work, and love his playing, but Steven Adler just has this feel on the album that is just unbelievable, and adds to the greatness of the album.

Jorge Salan – Huge album, my favorite album by the band. Who doesn’t know a track off of this album? The entire thing is full of megahits that made them rock stars. With all of this said, You Could Be Mine is my all-time favorite track by the band. I think it is one of the best hard rock tracks off all time. The solo is just spectacular, how the intro that leads into the solo with the drums, and bass, combined with that sleazy guitar part leading into the solo is just awesome and over the top.

Militia – I was pretty young when this album came out. I don’t remember how I first heard about it but I remember wanting the album so bad. GNR were all over MTV and I has never seen anything like them before- they were strangely erotic to my innocent little eyes.
I asked my dad to get APPETITE for me and he said he would- I was beyond stoked. When the album finally arrived, he wouldn’t give it to me! It had an parental advisory sticker on it and he said he listened to it and decided not to give it to me because of the language in some of the lyrics. ARRRGH! I was crushed. When I see that freggin cassette in his music collection, still to this day, I wanna steal it.
APPETITE is GNR at their best. All the pieces fit- the artwork is killer and now iconic. The songs were varied- heavy, yet, radio friendly. And the intro to Welcome to the Jungle alone… it just makes you turn you stereo on B L A S T. ((Dad, give me my tape, dammit! Yeah, I can buy my own now and I don’t even own a tape player anymore, but still!!))

Patrick Kennison – I remember getting my drivers license & being considered cool by some older girls who were friends with my older sister, for blasting that in my car. That album helped me become a man. Even if it was only for less than a minute. Even though it’s a focused album, the song styles vary nicely track to track. From the jangly Think About You to the sinister My Michelle, it’s a perfectly imperfect album.

Black Paul – I got to sing in my first band, Sweet Jane and the Sugardaddies, when I was eighteen. The other guys were extraordinary players who loved to rock. We only ever played house parties but we had high standards and we hit the classics like the Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Hendrix and Cream. The only new band we ever covered was Guns and Roses.

When Appetite For Destruction broke, mainstream rock was all about trying to be the next Bon Jovi and the mainstream was all I knew. It was a frustrating time but thankfully, the next Jimmy Page appeared wearing a top hat, in a band that sounded raw and restless and that wrote lyrics about a world beyond vikings and unrequited sex.

When I discovered I could do a fair mimic of Axl’s voice, the challenge was on.
“Sweet Child” was a no-brainer. Hearing the distinctive harmonic opening made the audience’ eyes bug, it has lyrics I could pour all my bitter-sweet yearnings into and you know how amazing that solo is. It should be in the all-time top five.

We also loved “Welcome to the Jungle” with that huge, rocking groove, the violence and desperation in the vocals and that incredible break: “You know where you are?”. We just had to attempt it but always had trouble keeping it all together in rehearsal. We hammered at it, though, and decided we had to play it in front of an audience at least once to justify all the time spent rehearsing it, and because it was such a cool song. We’d never played it right so were looking sideways at each other before launching into it on the night of our first gig. To our surprise, we nailed the fucker and knocked the a room full of 17-18 year olds into next week. We decided not to challenge our good fortune and relegated that performance to legend.

It wasn’t long before I graduated from the recommendations of big brothers and the mainstream and met that cool girl who knew about Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Rollins Band. GnR didn’t seem so cutting edge anymore although I thought it was appropriate that Appetite For Destruction shared a home-made cassette with Never Mind the Bollocks.

I thought I was done but I got another perspective on AFD when I met a girl with a thing for “Rocket Queen”. I got to hear it a lot and found I’d never considered that Axl portrays a strong female role in the song. Respect! And it’s a damn fine song, too!

Aaron Rossi – The first band I joined when I moved to LA was a Guns N Roses tribute band. At the time, I was really into progressive rock and was playing a million notes on the drums. Playing along to Steven Adler’s drum parts on “Appetite” really taught me the true essence of rock n roll drumming, and how to incorporate the cowbell. Every song on this album is a timeless rock n roll classic. To me, Axl Rose is the epitome of rock singers, incredible voice mixed with the bad boy attitude, much like my singer Al Jourgensen from Ministry. Slash changed every guitar players life with his amazing riffs, and stage presence. One of the greatest albums, by one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

You can purchase Appetite for Destruction on mp3, or CD here.

You’ll also hear snippets of songs that come off of the following albums, please support our contributors and buy their albums or at least purchase the tracks you enjoyed hearing:

Back from the Dead – Adler

Fight – Doro Pesch

Anthems – Anthrax

Alien – Strapping Young Lad

Unfinished Business – Eric Carr

The Devils Cut – White Wizzard

Sinister Ambassador – Captain T

Dethroned – Autumn Hour

The Call of the Flames – Shredding The Envelope

The episode can be streamed or downloaded from here:

Download From iTunes
Download From Stitcher

Appetite For Destruction (Explicit Version)

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Classic Albums – Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss

Posted in Audio, Classic Albums Column, Feed, Interviews, News on March 13th, 2013 by marsaries


This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Slayer‘s Seasons In The Abyss. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 68 features comments from Gene Hoglan, Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, Jon Leon and Giovani Durst of White Wizzard, author Martin Popoff, Mitch Lafon of Pure Gain Audio, Andrew from Metal Assault, and Roch from Radioactive Metal. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Here are the written comments that were submitted:

Dan Lorenzo – Well I’ve been awake for 25 straight hours as I just flew home from Italy. So let me throw on some Slayer so I can stay awake a bit longer. Slayer to me, are one of the most consistent bands with the most integrity. I would put South of Heaven and Reigning Blood at the top of their output, but I am listening to Seasons right now for you Victor. War Ensemble is classic Slayer, particularly the break at 2:35. Blood Red is bad ass. The opening of Dead Skin Mask is pure evil. The title track is probably the 2nd coolest intro they ever wrote. When I first heard it I actually thought it was Trouble! Great production, great performances, a bit more melody/singing from Tom than previously, but another classic by….SLAYER!!!

Jon Leon – The finest hour of Slayer in the charts. Rick Rubin and the band dumbed down the sound JUST enough to crack Slayer in the Billboard top 100. Slayers best will always be Reign in Blood though….seriously. Show no Mercy also pisses on this album. So does South of Heaven. Then again…only Master of Puppets can even hang with those 3. Slayer are THE masters of thrash PERIOD.

Erik Kluiber – Born of Fire!

Ricky Armellino – This record ruled.

Mitts – An improvement in the thrash department from South Of Heaven. After Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven seemed like someone pulled the emergency brake. Seasons brought back the pace.

Scott Middleton – Most people will hail Reign in Blood as Slayer’s best record, but I had Seasons first, and really, this has all the best songs. The title track is certainly the catchiest and most hook laden Slayer has ever been. This is the Slayer sound perfected. Evil melody, brutally heavy, frightening lyrics, and terrifying artwork make this the quintessential Slayer record.

JL – Slayer have always been the exception. They have a lot of what I hate in other bands and yet how they present it they make it undeniably attractive. This album is a demonstration of full-fledged fierceness, from the very beginning “War Ensemble” it is clear exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

Fer Fakyea – Well, what to say about the legendary Slayer? Their career spans nearly 30 years and with 10 albums behind him, all heavy and known for their uniquely characteristic “speed metal”. Seasons In The Abyss is composed of long, elaborate songs, combining speed with half time playing, that helped drive the band to the monster career they are today. The album isn’t as fast its two predecessors, but it’s definitely a very complete and extreme album that brought us classics like “War Ensemble”, “Dead Skin Mask” or one of his most emblematic yet perhaps less know tracks due to how stylistically different it is, would be the title track, “Seasons In The Abyss”. I honestly would not recommend the disc to someone who had never listened to Slayer, but it is an album that any fan of the band should have in collection.

David Lozano – Dead Skin Mask is the first song I ever heard by the band, as a result I have special attachment to this album. Great album that came out during such hard times.

Chris Shrum – A piece of metal art from a deep, dark place.

Mikey Pannone – The first time I heard this album, I had to check my skull to make sure it was still intact…it wasn’t. That’s all I have to say. None more evil than the almighty SLAYER!

Sean Bryant – So evil!! there were a few tapes that I had in my VW bug and those were Slayer, Seasons, Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy, and probably Lenny Kravits Let Love Rule, all of which got significant amount of play time. I can say that when Seasons came out, I was certain that they were products of an under-worldly creation, especially when you heard the demonic chords of the title track and that first drum roll. My steering wheel was certainly abused by the pounding out of the drums while blasting this, windows down, rolling through the Mormon neighborhoods. 666!!

Will Carroll – I never understood the popularity of this album. Aside from the two video songs (War Ensamble, Seasons In The Abyss) its pretty generic. The follow up (Divine Intervention) blows doors over this one This is my least favorite Slayer album not counting anything after Divine..

Steve Smyth – Slayer really grew into something with this album, I think. Lots of powerful compositions, great ensemble playing from the team of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, Dave Lombardo and Tom Araya. Every song is a favorite of mine, I can’t pick favorites when it comes to Slayer! Ha ha!

David Ellefson – We did a lot of touring together during this time period and I personally liked that Slayer was doing more than just playing fast. To me, this album showed a lot of maturity in their song writing and broadened their scope of world views, which Thrash fans love.

Domonic Rini – Seasons In The Abyss is a natural progression for Slayer. This one really, in my eyes was one of the heaviest ones they put out. With tracks of “Skeletons of Society” and the title Track “Seasons In The Abyss” it made you want to break something whenever you heard it.

Niek – I love this album for only one reason: the title track! What a delicious piece of ass! For a band that spent 99.9% of its career on making lightning-fast but not all too intelligent Thrash, the song Seasons in the Abyss is an absolute masterpiece. And it would have been for any other band too. The long-stretched tension-building intro has a habit of making me very impatient, in particular because I know what’s coming. But never is what’s coming so amazing as when you’ve listened to the intro in full. When the main riffs breaks loose, there’s no helping the headbanging. The progression of chords and vocals in the chorus is tasty as bacon. But the best things in the whole songs are the heroic drum fills by Dave Lombardo and the characteristic tearing-up-the-sky guitar solo by Kerry King (still with hair) and Jeff Hanneman.

Jason Bittner – Just spent the last 5 1/2 weeks on tour with Slayer watching them every night…Still one of my favorite bands ever and they still crush every night! Seasons- not much need to be said about this album- its my favorite!!! Well maybe “Reign” is, but this is damn close!

Davish G. Alvarez – This is my favorite Slayer album, we’ve been talking about covering the title track live. The song is unbelievable, and is possibly my favorite by the band. When this album came out I was listening to a lot of Mercyful Fate, I was looking to discover something new, and you hear that song how it builds, little by little, how the arpeggios come in, and the song keeps building, to me it’s the perfect song. They were playing the song live while we were opening up for them, and I watch them do the song, and get almost like a holy shit type feeling. You see them play the song, and the guitar parts aren’t that complex, but it’s the entire composition, the whole package, how it builds, and changes, and then the end, just an awesome song.

Erun Dagoth – This album really blew my mind. When I started listening to extreme metal I started with Life And Death and Show No Mercy by Slayer. I started listening to them in like 91, so by that time they had release a bunch of albums by then. I started listening to every album Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits, all the way up to this album, and again, it just blew my mind. The album has a certain feel to it, a certain atmosphere that sound super satanic, especially the title track. At the same time I started discovering bands like Venom, and Bathory, and things of this nature, and it was like a extreme metal boom time for me. Then they put out Diabolus In Musica and it was the last album of theirs that really blew my mind. After that, things just weren’t the same, the band had changed. And a lot of people had criticized them over Divine Intervention because they had slowed down a little, but it still sounded really cool to me, it still had the same appeal.

Keith “Keefy” Chachkes – When the bands from the 80s Thrash scene era continued releasing albums into the 90s, and interesting split occurred among people. Many bands tried to shift with the already changing times in music to get further away from labels like Thrash or Speed Metal. Other bands were changing more naturally on their own, modernizing the sound of what had been a sub-genre with a growing cult following and making it more successful overall. SLAYER’s Seasons In The Abyss set a bench mark for the old-school American bands, which is saying a lot since both MEGADETH and ANTHRAX released great albums in the months prior to its release. Yes, there were unhappy fans griping that the totality of “Speed Metal” days of the band were lost to the past. Critics and fans that didn’t like South of Heaven, didn’t say they loved SITA when it was new. People were finding fault with a more grown up, better songwriting band that was trying to stay true to who they were and still progress further out. As it turns out SITA is one of the most complete and solid of the DAVE LOMBARDO albums, with better production, memorable riffs, sick solos and batshit insane, yet smart lyrics. “Dead Skin Mask” was even said to be a sellout by some at the time, but is one of the most enduring cuts by any band of the time. “War Ensemble” was a throwback to the early days of the group. Other tracks like “Spirit In Black”, “Expendable Youth” and “Skeletons of Society” have so much balls and groove to them, it’s tough to believe people at the time said they were lame. The title track is a masterpiece all on its own. Personally, I count SITA as one of the top four SLAYER albums ever and it still sounds fresh and vital to me today as when I first heard it.

Bruce Moore – I am a huge fan of Slayer especially their earlier material like Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits. Seasons In The Abyss is a mixed bag for me while it contains some of my favorite all time Slayer tunes War Ensemble”, “Dead Skin Mask”, and “Seasons In The Abyss other songs just fell flat for me and did not get my blood flowing.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

Download MP3

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Cast Iron Ring Special Edition: KISS

Posted in Audio, Cast Iron Ring, Feed on November 13th, 2012 by marsaries

For those keeping score Mars Attacks Podcast was asked to form part of the Cast Iron Ring a few months back. The various hosts of the shows associated to “The Ring” tend to talk quite a bit behind the scenes about each others show, guests etc. So when we started discussing things like the iPhone app, we started kicking around the idea of doing a joint podcast with various hosts. We sort of took advantage of the fact that Kiss was releasing their new album Monster, and decided to do a show centered around a band. A band that the four hosts featured have followed for pretty much their entire lives. The host in question are John from Iron City Rocks, Roch from Radioactive Metal, Scott from Focus On Metal, and yours truly Victor from Mars Attacks Podcast. Hopefully this will be the first of many Cast Iron Ring Podcasts. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting the episode together.

The episode can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Suicidal Tendencies – Suicidal Tendencies

Posted in Audio, Classic Albums Column, Feed, Interviews on July 25th, 2012 by marsaries

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Suicidal Tendencies‘ self-titled debut. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 64 features comments from Charlie Benante, Gene Hoglan Alan Tecchio, author Martin Popoff, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal, and Aaron from Iron City Rocks. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

This month we kick the comments off in a special way, Keith “Keefy” Chachkes of Metal Army America was nice enough to send us some regarding the album from ST frontman Mike Muir. This actually is part of a series Keefy has started over at Metal Army America called Conversations from the Crypt. Here are the excerpts that were sent along:

Asked about the DIY history of the band and carving out success

MM: “When we put out our first record. We had two labels call us about signing to a major. They both said ‘you have to change your name to sign with us’. They said ‘most of the stores won’t carry your albums because of your name.’ We said ‘forget that, we’re not changing our name!’ Then we put out our second record and we had eight labels call up. When we signed to CBS at the time, which became SONY, we were the first band ever in the history of that label to have it written in our contract that we had complete artistic control of the music, lyrics and artwork and if the label didn’t put our records out, we could leave the contract and still own everything. That’s how we were able to put out a record like (Controlled by Hatred)Feel Like Shit…Déjà Vu at the same time the PMRC was trying to whine and this and that. So we never had to submit any songs (to the label) or do anything like that.”

When asked about the legacy of the band after 30 years since the first record

MM: “When we first started off the punk magazines said ‘first record sucked, it was metal’. The metal magazines said ‘it sucked, it was punk’. Other than the skaters who were the first kind of people to get into us, nobody really like us. We didn’t have a built in audience to cater to, we built our own audience. We were able to get people that were really open minded. Consequently this really helped us out years later being able to play to really diverse crowds. We’re able to do a lot of things that other people haven’t, and it’s because we refused to kind of fit into to other people’s ideas of what success is. That is the most important thing. We did the right things and didn’t listen to the people who ‘knew what was going on.’ We were more concerned about the music than what other people wanted us to do. “

You can find the entire interview with Mike Muir here.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – Great fucking band, ahead of their time.

Greg Prato – I love punk rock (I’m talking real punk rock from the 1970’s and early 1980’s though – not the crap that MTV played after the fact), and some could say that ST’s debut was the last true classic punk rock release. It’s amazing how many of the melodies in these songs stick in your head INSTANTLY, while it’s still pretty darn vicious. And the video for ‘Institutionalized’ remains one of the best!

Jon Leon – Classic anthems all over this record. I hold it in high regard. Everytime I see them and Mike live-they really bring it. How can you not like ST-like Motorhead they just kill you with anthems and character. First ST like Ace of Spades is as essential as it gets.

Erik Kluiber – Favorite album by far is how can I laugh tomorrow.

Ricky Armellino – I seriously spent a week learning a few of their bass parts. I love Tendencies.

Mitts – Classic debut record from a highly underrated band. This came out during the peak of the “speed race” years. Metallica, D.R.I., S.O.D., and tons of other bands, in a competition to see who can play the fastest.

Scott Middleton – Suicidal Tendencies A Crossover classic that still holds up to this day. Mike Muir and Rocky George produced a record that actually bridged the gap between metal and punk, not to mention skate boarding and street gangs. No band has ever sounded anything like these guys, yet everything about this band has had huge influence on my own band and music.

Jaye Schwarzer – This record rules!! I used to listen to this a lot while my cousin was teaching me to skateboard. Shred!!

Scott LePage – DRI and Suicidal were my two favorite bands at the time this came out. This is my favorite Suicidal album still. Very powerful album with damn good production compared to the first albums of other bands around the same time.

JL – I found out about the band thanks to the skater videos I used to watch, every time I hear them I remember all of the good times I spent skating. Back then it was infinitely more difficult to get your hands on certain albums, when you’d get a hold of an album like this you’d play it like there is no tomorrow.

Jandro Storm – A friend gave me a tape that had Metallica’s 91 performance at Donnington. To “fill out” the tape he added side one of the first ST album. The first thing that came to mind was “this album is perfect to skate to”, I wasn’t all that off. Since then Suicidal Tendencies has become one of my all-time favorite bands. Not only because of their music, but because of what they represent.

Chris Shrum – Some of the best and funniest punk rock ever!

Sean Bryant – God damn this reminds me of skating so much. Getting rad, breaking shit, throwing skateboards through windows and pissing off the cops. We used to wear our tattered clothing and destroy our Chuck Taylors shoes every week. sorry mom. it truly was the music. you did a wonderful job, I swear!!

Will Carroll – This is an album which seems to me if you listen to thrash than you HAVE to like it. Well I’m not one of those people. Its OK but I have a copy of it (which a friend GAVE me) and I NEVER listen to it.

Steve Smyth – Total classic album by the masters of LA hardcore punk/crossover thrash, or whatever “genre” you want to call them. I had friends that were deep into the band at the time, and they got me into them. Institutionalized is of course is a classic, but what about Two Sided Politics, Subliminal, the ever borrowed from I Saw Your Mommy?

Domonic Rini – All I can say about ST in 1983 was: Mike Muir and crew was a genius at putting out the classic hit “Institutionalized”. The punk scene was in high gear and ST was trying to capture both the punk and the metal scene and their debut was able to get them into the mainstream punk scene and movement into the metal world. ST was very well known for their gear. The inverted cap lids with the scribed Suicidal Tendencies were everywhere. A great record for a wondrous period of time.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

Posted in Audio, Classic Albums Column, Feed, Interviews on May 31st, 2012 by marsaries

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Pantera‘s Far Beyond Driven. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 60 features comments from Rex Brown formerly of Pantera, and currently in Kill Devil Hill, Gene Hoglan, Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, author Martin Popoff, Mitch Lafon from Bravewords, and Aaron from Iron City Rocks. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – This is the album that made me a total Pantera fan, this, Vulgar, Cowboys, Trendkill, Steel… another band that inspired a thousand more…

Dan Lorenzo – Before I tell you my thoughts on this album I have to interject with one of my highlights of my musical career involving Pantera. Right after ‘Cowboy’s came out, my band NON-FICTION opened up for Pantera in NYC. I don’t even think I even met any of the members of Pantera that night. In all honesty I thought ‘CFH’ was a bit too derivative of Metallica when I first heard it. I fell in love with Pantera when ‘Vulgar’ was released. By that time NON-FICTION had gotten signed and I was in L.A. with Alan Tecchio doing press for the first NON-FICTION cd. At one point I went back to my hotel room and I found myself alone in the hallway. Phil Anselmo was walking towards me. I said, “Phil..I don’t know if you know who I am, I’m Dan from Non-Fiction.” Phil said, “Of course I know who you are.” Then he started singing “The My Way” (the first song off the first NON-FICTION cd ‘Preface’) at the top of his lungs. How cool is that? Anyway, Far Beyond Driven contains the songs, “I’m Broken” and “5 Minutes Alone”. Monstrous riffing. Incredible vocals. Barreling drumming. And they just ripped it up live. ‘Vulgar” is still my favorite Pantera cd, but Far Beyond Driven is “Far Beyond” anything new coming out today for sure.

Peter Ellis – By the time Far Beyond Driven came out Pantera was a beast of a band! Each member had found their place and was comfortable within the spectrum of the band and were comfortable taking their music to uncharted territories. Also this album features one of my all-time favourite covers, Planet Caravan by Black Sabbath. I honestly don’t think any other band on the planet could have done a better job than Pantera did covering this song. Phil Anselmo will always be the best extreme Metal singer in history and the reason no other hardcore singer can sound like him is the fact that HE COULD ACTUALLY SING!!! He didn’t get into screaming because he couldn’t sing well like 99.9% of screamers. One of my favourite albums by one of my favourite bands.

Jon Leon – Dimebag was a hero of 90’s metal guitar. That said….Pantera put out 3 albums that helped save metal in the 90’s, this one being the best of them. RIP Dimebag and Pantera will always be one of the all-time great heavier bands.

Erik Kluiber – must have seen Pantera 10 times between 93 and 95. They hit Detroit every few months. Their scene kinda turned less cool as time went on due to skin heads and jocks.

Phil Rind – Vulgar Display of Power is my favorite. I love the song “Rise”.

Mitts – Pantera’s best album. They were one of a few bands who kept metal alive through the 90’s era of grunge rock.

James J. LaRue – I got into Pantera with Vulgar Display. But I can’t stand phil’s voice or MMA/bro-down attitude. He ushered in a whole bunch of angry bros with thick necks shouting over stuff (“bro-cals”) and trying to be tough instead of learning proper vocal technique, but Dime was so great, and I suffered through the alpha male vocals because of that ultra-heavy guitar tone and wild leads. Once in a while I’ll throw this one on if I’m really really pissed. Anyways, I love Dime and his whole personality on the guitar and as a person. He had a huge effect on how I approach getting heavy tones. Pre-distortion EQ and solid state amps, later the tube Krank heads. He was friends and jam-buddies with another favorite player of mine, Blues Saraceno. I wish there was more recordings of Dime outside of Pantera. He was awesome.

Scott Middleton – Essentially Far Beyond Driven is the bench mark for modern heaviness and true attitude. Anything since has copied, borrowed, or stole something from this band. Straight up, this record is where 90% of metal and hardcore bands have stolen their tones from, whether they realize it or not! This band changed the way things were done, and no one since has put out a true metal record that really eclipses what this band accomplished. For christ’s sake it debuted at number one in ’94 when most metal bands couldn’t give away their records.

Jaye Schwarzer – The song ‘The Badge’ is a shredder of a tune that uses sound clips from the movie Taxi Driver. This record rips!! Dimebag Forever!

Seth Thacker – I personally think Pantera is the greatest metal band ever, always have and always will feel that way. I remember Far Beyond Driven being the first real metal record that I heard. It was so powerful, and it had so much attitude. It really opened me up to metal because up until then I really never cared for music of any kind. Once I discovered Pantera it was no holds barred on looking for other metal bands. Naturally I went backwards and discovered the previous records Pantera released. But Far Beyond Driven is probably one of my favorite records of all time. You just and beat it, the groove, the guitars, and Phil’s vocals just make for the perfect sound.

Scott LePage – Good Lord. This album is far beyond brutal. Especially for 1994 when most of the popular stuff was mid tempo grunge. I think I blew the tweeters in my car to this cassette. The riffs! And that clicky kick drum! My ears are still ringing….. Hold on, I’m gonna go put this on now!

Chris Biermann – Total fucking destruction in every note.

Jim Florentine – The heaviest album I ever heard at the time!

Raul L.R. – This sonic temple was released in ’94, it made clear to me that I would choose Pantera for life, instead of the metal gods like Metallica or Sepultura. I am no ashamed to say this. Phil Anselmo stands out, and is Darrell my favorite guitarist, I love the way his development of riffs and solos, the perfect balance, just perfect, just great, the whole album stands out, but to me tracks like 3 and 4 just shatter my brain, 5 Minutes Alone and I’m Broken, possibly because seeing the videos for this song really resonated and help form how I play guitar.

JL – With the “Vulgar Display of Power” Pantera were gaining considerable notoriety, which made many of us imagine that the next album would take advantage of the notoriety the band was having (with Vulgar Display). What happened was that none of us saw what was coming. As a result, the album is heavier, less polished, sharp as a razor, and powerful as a wrecking ball across the face.

Fer Fukyea – To begin I must say that Pantera is one of the best metal bands of all time, pioneers in this genre (abstain from mentioning Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and these sort of groups that do not belong to this style) and that have influenced probably 99% of the groups of metal today. What to say about “Far Beyond Driven,” well it is a very impressing, great album, the heaviest album they recorded up until then. It did not shake things up like when “Cowboys From Hell” was release, and won’t be remembered like “Vulgar Display Of Power”, but it is a tremendous album from start to finish. The Abbott brothers put together one hell of a set of song, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott (guitar) and Vinnie Paul Abbott (drums), they demonstrate strength and incredible skill of the instrument on this album. Vinnie Paul does not need to play hundreds of notes per minute to back up a strong and brutal riff, and Dimebag … How original is the fucking man! Each song is different. I must say, while I am critical of James Hetfield (lead singer/guitarist of Metallica), and Phil Anselmo, lead singer of Pantera, I must say that in the studio he has a voice that varies between lower and higher registries, gravely and melodic, with impressive ease, but live, well, I do not know if he would have performed better sober, but he was drunk, almost always, and left much to be desired.

Jandro Storm – It was the album that we were all anxiously looking forward to hearing, after Vulgar Display Of Power. The truth is that nothing I was not disappointed and definitely put Pantera on my top 5 metal bands of the moment. I have the vinyl edition of this album, which has a different more explicit cover.

David Lozano – With Far Beyond Driven I discovered an energy in music that I had previously never experienced. They are definitely one of my favorite bands, and one that has influenced me a great deal as a musician.

Mikey Pannone – I honestly didn’t believe it was possible for any band to be THIS heavy. This album is the very definition of metal. Every song on this thing is like a natural disaster…tornado, hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption…all the above. R.I.P. Dimebag.

Owain Williams – One of the heaviest albums ever! Everything just sounds brutal. Except the bass drums. They sound like a typewriter! Haha. Throes of Rejection has to have one of the best Dime solos ever. I miss Dime.

Steve Smyth – Standout album from the legendary Pantera! You had the amazing chops of Dime and Vinnie, Rex holding it down, and Phil getting across all kinds of crazy sh*t vocally and lyrically! Awesome power on this album, in tracks like Strength Beyond Strength, Becoming, Five Minutes Alone, Shedding Skin, and their cover of Planet Caravan? A hard album to beat by a band on fire at the time, and in my opinion, I think they found it hard to follow as well…

Bat – I loved Vulgar display of Power and it has such great riffs and grooves and hooks. I found this album difficult to get into but I loved the version of “Planet Caravan” I was very lucky to meet and smoke spliff with Dimebag and Phil Anselmo in Dublin 93 just before this album came out

Clay Withrow – When Far Beyond Driven first came out it put Pantera on the map for a lot of metalheads. At a time when Korn and Limp Bizket were mainstream radio acts, most critics had given up on heavy metal thinking the audience had moved on. Thank god Pantera wasn’t led astray and continued to fly that heavy metal flag high. I honestly can’t think of many albums that top this, aside from the band’s later effort The Great Southern Trendkill. It’s a perfect mix of abrasive vocals, groovy rhythms, infectious guitar riffs and precision drumming. My favorite songs on that album would have to be “Hard Lines Sunken Cheeks” for its breathtaking solo and “Shedding Skin” for that insanely awesome opening verse. There’s no doubt in my mind Pantera is the most important metal band to come out of the 90s and one of the most influential heavy bands in history.

Kenny Pierce – Oddly enough by the time that “FBD” was released my interest was waning in Pantera. Having owned and loved “Cowboys From Hell” and “Vulgar Display Of Power” when they were released I was not prepared for the changes in the bands groove as this slightly new sound and direction were not my cup of tea. Back in the day this shift of interest was thanks to my switching over to more melodic Power Metal and believe it or not I sort of embraced the earliest providers of the Grunge Movement who were manifesting on that side of the USA. I felt that the strongest of the Hard Rock and Metal bands would survive that wave of “newness” that many felt was killing Metal, so while the USA moved to the plaid shirts my musical head turned to Europe where Power Metal continued to proliferate and dominate for many years. Looking back on “Far Beyond Driven” I can say that it was a solid album but not one of my favorites. I did enjoy the bands take on Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” of course and was shocked to see that one pulled out of the idea bank and delivered to fans.

Etan Rosenbloom – Far Beyond Driven was the first Pantera album I bought, and one of the first albums to spark my interest in the more extreme forms of metal. The album meant the world to me when I was a teenager and it still holds up. It’s got some of the band’s all-time grooviest riffs (“5 Minutes Alone,” “I’m Broken,” “Slaughtered,” “Shedding Skin”), and just as important, this was where Pantera embraced the swampy blues vibe that made them unique – “Hard Lines Sunken Cheeks,” “25 Years” and, especially, their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” all pointed to a more nuanced, subtle approach to aggression than we’d heard from Pantera before, but also a nastier one – no wonder it was also the first Pantera record where our dear departed Mr. Abbott changed from “Diamond Darrell” to “Dimebag Darrell.” This must count as the heaviest album ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. Man…times have changed!

Grover XIII – When it comes to Pantera, Far Beyond Driven is a distant third behind Cowboys From Hell and Vulgar Display Of Power, but this album has some great tunes. The drumming on ‘Becoming’ is fantastic, and it took serious balls for these guys to cover a song like ‘Planet Caravan’, just because it’s so different from what they normally played.

Wayne Findlay – Far Beyond Driven is EPIC… Love that album.

Doug Gibson – Far Beyond Driven marked a noisier sound than the previous albums and it took me a while to warm up to it. “Becoming,” “Five Minutes Alone,” and “Becoming” were instant winners, and worth the purchase price alone. The latter half of the album pushed the boundaries a little more into noisier and more extreme sounds. Eventually, the entire album grew on me and is one of my all-time favorites, right behind Vulgar Display Of Power.

Jason Bittner – Great fuxking record by a great band- Becoming has one of the greatest double kick grooves ever by VP- the Bonham of groove metal!! Actually were in Australia now doing a lot of hanging together once again!! I met the Abbott brothers for the first time way back in 2004 when we toured with Damageplan- always straight up good dudes and never rock stars towards us!! Vinnie is the man, my bro-and we all still miss Dime every day! LITE ‘EM UP!!!

Jose Izquierdo – That’s the first album I heard by the band. A friend’s sister bought it for him on vinyl with the original cover. The first time I heard a song by the band was on the show El Pirata (famous metal show in Spain), I was sitting there with my brother, and my other brother and we all looked at one another and sort of said “What is this?” Getting back to my friend, his album is completely scratched, due to all of the times that we listened to the album. It was also the typical what is this reaction where the music just punches you in the face, and you’re trying to figure out exactly what you’re listening to. Planet Caravan winds things up perfectly, you really enjoy all of the other crushing tracks on the album, and then this track winds it all down perfectly.

Davish G. Alvarez I remember listening to Becoming for the first time and things, my god how is doing that. To this day, I don’t think I know exactly what he’s playing during that solo, I can’t play it exactly the same. You also have to look back and realize that with all of the Grunge that was being played at the time, they came out with a crushing album, heavy as anything, and it was the number one album. In reality I probably prefer Vulgar Display of Power, but this album was an evolution of the band, great, strong tracks throughout, even their cover of Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan was incredible. It worked perfectly with the album, perhaps they put this cover on another album, and you sort of thing to yourself, what have you done? But it works on this album, it’s perfect.

Jorge Salan – Great album, Dimebag Darrell definitely had his own style, the way he played his solos, and in my opinion they created a style that so many others have followed. They have fans everywhere. I was actually invited to a Dimebag Darrell tribute in Madrid where I got to play Shattered, which is my all-time favorite track by the band.

Erun Dagoth – Crystal Moors lead singer Uruksoth brought this album to my attention, he’s a big thrash metal fan. He bought the album, and loved it, so I asked him to let me borrow it, since I was curious to hear what the band was all about. I also found it odd that a lot of people here in Santander (Spain) wore Pantera t-shirts. I listened to the album, and didn’t like it. Years later I asked to borrow the album again, and the same thing, I tried, and tried, but I just can’t get into them. They have songs that I think are really cool, and they’re all great players, but there is something about their style that I just can’t fully get into. They created their own style, which is very admirable, but they unfortunately don’t do anything for me.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Win David Ellefeson’s Autograph

Posted in Cast Iron Ring, News on April 5th, 2012 by marsaries

Our good friends from over at Iron City Rocks are giving away David Ellefeson from Megadeth’s autograph. The drawing comes to a close tonight at 11PM EST, go to the Cast Iron Ring‘s Facebook page to register to win.

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Iron City Rocks interviews Joe Satriani

Posted in Audio, Cast Iron Ring, Interviews on March 2nd, 2012 by marsaries

In episode 145 of the Iron City Rocks Podcast ( we talk to legendary solo and Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani. Joe talks about his new movie Satchurated which debuts on March 1st. He talks about the upcoming Australia G3 tour with Steve Vai and Steve Lukather. We get some funny stories about his cameo in Moneyball. He talks about the Chickenfoot Different Devil tour. We learn about a second G3 tour in Europe in July. In October G3 will be going to South America with John Petrucci and Steve Morse.

More Informaiton go here.

To stream or download the episode go here:

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Joe Satriani Interviewed by Iron City Rocks for Guitar World

Posted in Cast Iron Ring, Interviews on March 2nd, 2012 by marsaries

Our good friend John Katic from ICR has just interviewed Joe Satriani for Guitar World, if you’re interested in reading the article, go here.

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Iced Earth Ticket Give Away

Posted in News on February 24th, 2012 by marsaries

To all of you keeping score these past few weeks, you know that Mars Attacks Podcast has joined the Cast Iron Ring. Our good friends Iron City Rocks, are also part of the Cast Iron Ring. Again, if you’re keeping score, you’ll know that John and Aaron from Iron City Rocks have also lent their comments to the Mars Attacks Classic Albums Column. Not only have they been swell enough to comment on the albums, but their giving tickets away to see Iced Earth in Pittsburgh on 3/15.

What do you need to do to enter? That’s simple, go to Cast Iron Ring’s Facebook page, hit like, and you’re automatically entered!

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