Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shameless Plug #2

So I've whored out my radio show on WBGU 88.1 FM before, but now it's time to unveil something completely new:

As of tonight @ midnight, I am the newest DJ on 104.7 WIOT!!! I chose the name of "Spaz" as a tribute to my nickname at my other job (and the fact that it kinda sounds cool on the air!). Let's see if I can make the transition to the big leagues!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Pittsburgh, PA - Due to my insanely craptacular schedule, it doesn't leave me a lot of time to sleep on Saturday morning if I am to function properly in the evening. When I make an attempt to wake up early, it usually fails. Case in point; woke up later than I wanted to, left later than scheduled, arrived after Testament and Motorhead had already performed.

Heaven And Hell (Black Sabbath): I walked into the Post-Gazette Pavilion right as Heaven And Hell were taking the stage. Perfect timing! I was treated to "Children Of The Sea" as I found my spot on the lawn. Dio sounds amazing as I'm sure he did when he first sang these songs live all those years ago. To my surprise, they played quite a few off of "Dehumanizer"... songs like "I" and "Time Machine", which I don't believe I've heard played live before. The set continued with a wicked drum solo courtesy of Vinny Appice and some more classics like "Die Young" and "Falling Off The Edge Of The World". H&H closed their great performance with "Heaven And Hell" (of course) and came back with the encore "Neon Knights". I would really enjoy a brand new studio album from this lineup!


OK first setlist, then my thoughts:

Dawn Of Creation/Prophecy
Metal Gods
Eat Me Alive
Between The Hammer And The Anvil
Devil's Child
Breaking The Law
Hell Patrol
Dissident Aggressor
The Hellion / Electric Eye
Rock Hard, Ride Free
Hell Bent For Leather
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
You've Got Another Thing Coming

First, I gotta say that as the sun was setting and the full moon was rising above the stage, it really set the mood for an awesome night of METAL! Priest were top-notch when it came to sound and of course showmanship! I really enjoyed hearing songs like "Rock Hard, Ride Free" and "Hell Patrol"... stuff that I am sure they haven't played since the 80's! I really can't say anything bad about them... I would mention that they only played one new song, but that makes me anticipate the fact that they might tour again later and play 'Nostradamus' in its entirety! That would rule... and I will be there!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


(Here is the first of many reviews that I hope to contribute to this little spot on the internets... what a great show to kick it all off!!!)

Toronto, ON, CA - When I heard that At The Gates was getting back together to play a "few select shows", I figured that I would be unable to check them out due to the fact that I don't live within driving distance to festivals such as Wacken or anything like that. As luck would have it, more dates in North America were released and (more luck) a Toronto date was announced on a day that I would be able to make the trek. Onward to Canada!!!

Toxic Holocaust: I arrived at the Opera House and within a few minutes, Toxic Holocaust took the stage. In true thrash fashion, Joel Grind and Co. rattled off about a half hour set. They sounded as good as they did when I saw them last year. Can't wait for their new album to come out!

Municipal Waste: The crowd had been warmed up and it was time to thrash it up some more! This time, with a little more BEER! I didn't partake in any inebriants unfortunately, but Toronto drank quite a few for me! The Waste did not disappoint... lots of energy and the crowd just became absolutely unruly. Again, a short set, but it was great nonetheless.

Darkest Hour: To play before metal legends is a very tall order. Especially a band which you get compared to constantly! Darkest Hour took the stage to a mixed crowd. The crowd up front seemed to be into them, but there were a few onlookers that were less than impressed. Personally, I've seen them so many times in the past that I was ready for the headliner to take the stage. DH were solid, but I found myself anticipating the main event.

At The Gates: It had been 12 years since At The Gates graced the stage in Toronto and right from the start, they looked like they had done this just yesterday! From the beginning moments of "Slaughter Of The Soul", I knew this was going to be a great show! Tomas Lindberg, arguebly one of metal's greatest frontmen, rallied the crowd with pumped fists in the air and was very gracious of all of our praise. At The Gates's set consisted of practically everything from every single release they have done in their career:

Slaughter Of The Soul
Terminal Spirit Disease
Raped By The Light Of Christ
Under A Serpent Sun
World Of Lies
The Burning Darkness
The Swarm
Forever Blind
The Beautiful Wound
Suicide Nation
All Life Ends
Blinded By Fear
Kingdom Gone

At the end of the set, we were all witness to a piece of metal history. A fitting end to such a legendary band!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


(OK so it has taken me more than "a few days" to get a chance to post my thoughts about the new Priest album. Forgive me, for I have been extremely busy these past few weeks! Rather than give a condensed review, I decided to go track by track on this monster of an album!)

ACT 1:
Dawn Of Creation/Prophecy -
Great start to everything... nice instrumental intro into a huge riff and then followed by the legendary Halford vocals! This is one of those tracks that is easy to get stuck in your head, especially with the singable "I am Nostradamus" chorus. A bit cheesy, but it works.

Awakening/Revelations -
Another "intro/song" combo... I'm very skeptical when bands do this on a record, but it really works well in these cases. The flow of this album thus far is superb. The next song, "Revelations", is a decent track in its own right. It does a great job setting up the coming of the prophet. The 2-headed guitar beast known as K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton finally make their presence known about halfway through the track with a very tasty solo!

The Four Horsemen/War -
Quiet intro into a very different song from what I am used to hearing from Judas Priest. Obviously, with a name like "War", it has to be somewhat dark... this track is very apocalyptic and foreboding. I really enjoy the orchestral part in the middle of the song with the marching drums in the distance. So far, this my favorite song on the album!

Sands Of Time/Pestilence And Plague -
After all these years, Rob Halford's singing voice is damn near flawless! That is just impressive to me. From another intro, we enter another heavier track. Is that French I hear? Well, I guess that makes sense... when in Rome, right? Wait... never mind that doesn't make any sense.

Death -
The atmosphere of death and doom is done very well... creepy vocals, driving guitars and almost a funeral dirge feel to it. Yet another new place Priest has traveled to! Right toward the end of the song, it becomes yet another shredfest for Downing & Tipton.

Peace/Conquest -
Peace is not as fun as Death and Pestilence apparently... this is the only part of this album that I haven't really dug. Kind of a flat sounding intro, but the next song it segues into is good. Not really a stand-out track by any means though.

Lost Love -
Much like the song "Angel" off of Priest's last album, 'Angel Of Retrubution', it's a very slow one. Thankfully, it's only a 4 minute track and I'm sure it's just there to continue the ongoing story.

Persecution -
...and just like that, they are redeemed. This final song on the 1st CD is like a wake-up punch to the gut! Falsettos on this one are definitely epic!!! What I said before about "War" being my favorite track so far may be revoked. This song is a solid contender as my favorite. What a way to mark the (unofficial) halfway point of the album!

ACT 2:
Solitude/Exiled -
Where are we at so far in the story? In Act #1, Nostradamus was born, prophesied a whole lot of bad stuff and then was persecuted and now exiled for it. In the lead-in track on the 2nd disc, you can feel the sorrow and loneliness Nostradamus must have felt.

Alone -
I was afraid this was going to be another slow song much like "Lost Love", but this one, while it starts out quiet, comes through with a very anthemic and catchy chorus. I could see this used as a future single (much like "Worth Fighting For" was off of 'Angel...').

Shadows In The Future/Visions -
Speaking of radio singles, here is the main focus track off of this entire concept album! I love this song... I'm not going to downplay my affinity for this track. This is a definite highlight not only for this concept album, but for the very successful career of Judas Priest.

Hope/New Beginnings -
It's hard to follow such a track like that... this next intro/song combo is kind of forgettable. If I were to cut out some of the filler (dare I use such a term to explain Priest's music!), this song would be the first on the chopping block. Sorry, Rob!

Calm Before The Storm/Nostradamus -
Let's wrap it all up with this very excellent title track! You exiled poor Nostradamus and he ended up being right. Don't you look like a fool now!!! Seriously though, this song has all the makings of a classic as well even though it gets a bit repetative.

Future Of Mankind -
Much like the prophecies of Nostradamus, the CD doesn't end there! There's a plethora of prophecies that haven't come to be as of yet. This 8 minute closer reminds us of that... it's like his last "Told ya so!" before he departs.

Overall, this album is definitely Priest at their finest. It brings back some of the classic sound as well as incorporates a newer feel. As mentioned a few times, I couldn't help but to want too skip through some of the intros and even a few of the slower, dragging tracks. On the other hand, when the tracks get stronger, they are enough to hook you in and make you want to listen on. If this rock opera were performed in its entirety live, I'm sure the production would be massive! As I await that moment, I'm fine with this album and it was definitely worth the wait! While it sadly won't be my "Album Of The Year", it's strong enough to stand tall with whatever I choose.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Well, the moment I've been waiting for has finally arrived! 'Nostradamus' has leaked onto the internet!!! I've already listened to it all the way through and I am still trying to take it all in. It is MASSIVE! Very epic, very excellent, very PRIEST!

I'll probably post a more detailed review in the next coming days, but for now, I'll just say it's most definitely "Album Of The Year" material!

Monday, June 2, 2008


Hey there! This is the very first entry in what I hope will be a long line of posts from yours truly, Metal Steve! I have had several requests from people for me to start some sort of (and I hate this word) "blog" sharing my thoughts on music, concert reviews, etc. So here it is... I shall start with a SHAMELESS PLUG!!!

That's where the magic happens every Thursday night on 88.1 WBGU FM!

Here's a list of some other programs that you might be interested in as well!

Monday: "Metal Storm" w/ Jimmie (8-10 PM)
Tuesday: "Hardcore Holocaust" w/ Alex (8-10 PM)
Wednesday: "Unretrofied" w/ Andre Alphus (8-10 PM)
Thursday: my show :) (8-10 PM)
Friday: "Call AAA..." w/ Matt (7-10 PM)
Saturday: "Metal Storm: w/ Jason (2-4 PM)

Every show is as different as the next! Check them out!