My 2012 New Year’s Resolutions for Metallica

Metallica

 

I love Metallica. I really do. I listen to their songs regularly and hum to their tunes from time to time. They play an important role in my life and their music has influenced me in so many ways. However, like any bands, they make a few blunders over the years and make us fans look bad. While James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted and Robert Trujillo are not known to have wild behaviors like most musicians do, they as a whole have made some dumb decisions and leave you to wonder why they do things that they do and vice versa.

We all know about the Load/ Re-Load incident – the two albums that most consider to be one of Metallica’s biggest flaws and an absolute joke because the music strayed far from Thrash Metal or even Metal for that fact. St. Anger corrected that mistake but while the music was a lot heavier, the tracks sounded really awful with buzzing drum sounds, over-the-top vocals, the lack of guitar solos and off-beat melodies. For me, I’ve never disliked those albums. I accept them for what they are and I enjoyed majority of the tracks like the Unforgiven II, Until It Sleeps, King Nothing, Mama Said, Fuel, etc. I believe that bands should never stick to one sound and one genre. They must be diversive in their music.

Death Magnetic was a great comeback to the Metal roots with hits like All Nightmare Long but overall, I was not satisfied with the record. I find the tracks to be dry, repetitive and not that interesting. As for the Lulu album…sigh! It was bad. Lou Reed is a douche. What was Metallica thinking?

With all these mistakes pointed out, I thought it’d neat if I can share my personal input of what Metallica should do in order to please the fans this year or in many years to come so here it is: the top 6 things Metallica should do in 2012:

  1. Produce an official compilation – To this day, Metallica is yet to release an official Greatest Hits compilation featuring all their super hits. Devoted fans may not feel the need to have one but I was thinking of taking this opportunity to attract newer fans. I don’t normally favor the idea of bands launching a greatest hits album after only producing 3 – 4 albums but for Metallica, they are long overdue for one.
  2. Remastering their albums – It baffles me as to why Metallica hasn’t yet re-released their first five albums (Kill ’em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All and The Black Album) into remastered editions. While the current versions are still in great shape, it’d be a lot better if they can crank up the vocals, guitars, basses and drums a bit more like what Megadeth and AC/DC had done with their albums. I’m aware that Metallica did re-release these five albums in 2010 but they were only released in Japan. Why?
  3. Adding the bassline on the Justice Album – For those of you who don’t know, the fourth album (“…And Justice for All”) had no bass in it from the get-go. It was the first album to feature Jason Newsted in the band who replaced Cliff Burton after he died in a tragic bus accident in 1986 and I find it insulting for his basslines to be removed from the album. For many years, Lars and James have given all kinds of excuses for this blunder – ex-bassist Jason Newsted wasn’t present during the mixing session, it was in loving memory of Cliff Burton, bla bla bla bla. Whatever the excuse is, I’m not buying it. Just add the basslines already! It is worth pointing out that there do exist a version of the Justice album on the Internet with the original bassline included appropriately dubbed “…And Justice for Jason”. It may not be an official work but majority of the fans including myself think it’s a much superior version than the original bass-less version so bottom line Metallica, please put the bassline this time.
  4. Adding extra tracks on the remastered albums – Remastered albums should always include extra tracks in them whether it’d be demos or unreleased tracks so…please do so.
  5. Fully orchestrated version of Nothing Else Matters – Nothing Else Matters is one of my favorite tracks of all time. It’s got great harmony, beautiful words and plenty of exquisite guitar playing. Michael Kamen was asked to add orchestration to the track to help amplify the song but even though he had it done, Metallica and producer Bob Rock did a lousy job of mixing it. The song does have the orchestra tune added in but you can’t really hear it for the most part. My request to Metallica is to please add the orchestration to Nothing Else Matters.
  6. No more collaboration with other artists – The Lulu album sucked ass. Nuff said.

Metallica, I love you very very much and if you love your fans, please fulfill these tasks with love. We’d appreciate it.

– Psykhophear

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Paul Gray (1972 – 2010) part II

This is a video of Paul Gray being interviewed during the time the band was making the Voliminal: Inside The Nine DVD. I like the fact that he acknowledged each and every one of the Slipknot members, including Craig “133” Jones, the Silent One.

God, it’s so sad to look at this video when you’re a big Slipknot fan. You will be greatly missed Paul Gray. The number 2 will be a special number from now on.

Rest In Peace, Paul Gray (1972 – 2010)

It is with deep regret that I have been informed that Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has passed away today on the 24th of May. The cause of his death is yet to be revealed, which I am eager to find out real soon. He was only 38 years old. Slipknot has been a part of my life since their debut in 1999. Their music, energy, and image are truly inspirational to me and have affected my life in positive ways and I owe them for that. Even though regular musicians can’t appreciate his low end bass sounds due to the heaviness of their songs, we “maggots” are fully aware that without Paul, there can be no Slipknot.

I am not certain what will happen to Slipknot because the band members have quoted a few times saying that if one of them leaves the band or due to natural causes, Slipknot will be disbanded. No compromise. If they stay true to their word, then I have no choice but to respect their wishes. To Corey, Mick, Clown, 133, James, Chris, Joey, Sid and Paul’s family members, you have our deepest condolences.

Rest In Peace, Paul. You were a true Rock Legend.

Your fan,

Psykhophear

Limp Bizkit is Back!

It was announced last week that the new album Gold Cobra is coming out sometime this year. It will be the first studio album after seven years with the original members- including Wes Borland, one of my favorite guitarists of all time. I see that he’s in his old self again, wearing those sweet make-ups and over the top costumes. I sure hope he’ll stick to the band permanently this time. Limp Bizkit will never be the same without you and you will never be the same without Limp Bizkit.

A track from the upcoming album is “officially” been leaked by frontman Fred Durst and it’s available at the band’s website. The new song Why Try is really cool but feels a little too short. Could’ve been longer. I really can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. Limp Bizkit, don’t let us down again.

January Update: Games and Music

2009 has been good to me for the most part and I hope 2010 will be better and a promising year for me. I missed quite a lot of good games last year which I’m very disappointed. I missed Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed II, Killzone 2 and many other games that probably ends with the number two. However I did play Batman: Arkham Asylum, Resident Evil 5, Left 4 Dead 2, Ghostbusters, Cryostasis and The House of The Dead: Overkill and I had a blast playing each game.

…I’m Batman!

Arkham Asylum sticks to me as not only the best game of 2009 but also the best Batman game by far. Way better than Dark Tomorrow :P. Everything about the game is so picture perfect and highly detailed from the characters to the backstory to the storyline and to the environments. It’s completely seven heaven from beginning to end. I look forward to the upcoming sequel. The next game that I had a great time is Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the very sequel I’ve been waiting for for a long time. Ever since the last movie they made in 1989, I eagerly awaited for next movie to come up but after a dead silence or almost a decade, I began to lose hope. But when it was announced that an official sequel will be made in a video game format, I was speechless. Who would thought a cult classic franchise will be making its return not as a cinematic picture but as a video game. And guess what? It was good.

Busting still makes me feel good after all those years.

I was initially skeptical with the game’s choice of letting you play as neither of the Ghostbusters members but as this new rookie. The thought kept lingering in my mind but after playing the game, it wasn’t that awkward after all. I bought Ghostbusters for the XBOX360, PC, DS and the PSP because I love the game so much. It’s a real treat for a Ghostbusters fanatic like me.

The following game that I was glad and happy to play is Resident Evil 5. I played the PC version because I don’t have my 360 with me at the moment but the experience is still the same I think. The graphics and the plot is pretty damn good as it follows the same mechanics as Resident Evil 4 but like the previous game, the gameplay can get really boring later on as you are to upgrade weapons, buy new stuff, slash boxes with your knife and maintain your inventory slot over and over again. I kinda miss the old fashion Resident Evil with its fixed camera angles, item boxes and most importantly zombies. I don’t understand when people complained about the fixed camera angles because it never occurred to me. I love it! The other thing that I don’t understand is the racism issue with 5. I’ll say it again and I’ll say it clear: Resident Evil 5 is not racist! Seriously, it’s not. Even the voice actress of Sheva Alomar said so. It just so happens that the viral outbreak takes place in South Africa and all its inhabitants are infected. That’s it. So what’s the fuss all about? Resident Evil 4 took place somewhere in the rural areas of Spain so how come you don’t hear anyone complaining about a guy killing spanish people? It’s all about popularity bullcrap. Just because you heard someone is talking about it you decided to join the club as well. It’s ridiculous. I think the reason the public went on to an outcry with Resident Evil 5 is because of the screenshots they saw before the game was released and assumed the worst.

(SPOILER STARTS HERE)

A well worth playing game.

There are two things I like and dislike about Resident Evil 5. The positive side is the (SPOILER ALERT!) final demise of Albert Wesker. When he died in the game I was like “yeah, finally! It’s about goddamn time that sonnafa bitch dies.” Don’t get me wrong, I like Albert Wesker but when an antagonist slips away more than three games in his career, it gets pretty silly and you just grow tired of seeing him getting away repeatedly. On the negative side, it was sad to see Excella Gionne, Wesker’s partner in crime, gets killed in the game. I thought she was a great antagonist for the Resident Evil franchise with her evil looks and devilish talking but unfortunately she died too soon. I was hoping for Capcom to use her as a replacement for Wesker but sadly, they don’t see it my way. Oh, well.

(SPOILER ENDS HERE)

Another great game I had fun with is Overkill. It is called the best game in the series by fans and the worst by the other party. If you asked me, I love Overkill. The plot and the humor is well done and I love watching the cutscenes. I even have all the cutscenes in my iPhone right now and watch them whenever I feel bored. That says it all. The performances for each character is well done especially Agent G, Isaac Washington and Papa Caesar. Their constant swearing and hatred towards each other is priceless and some of their quotes like “what does a brother have to do to pacify a bitch” still lingers in my mind to this day. I love that stuff.

If there’s one game I wished I could play is Brutal Legend. I only played the demo in a gaming convention and I wished I could play more. My disappointment with the game is that it’s not been made available for the PC. Previous Tim Schafer games have all got games for the PC fanboys so I was surprised that Brutal Legend didn’t have any PC port. Hopefully there shall be one someday. Other than that, I really don’t have any regrets of missing other games like Dragon Age and Demon’s Souls since I’m not a fan of RPG and Online play.

Now for some updates on music. Aside from video games, the next thing I love in life is music. Though I focus my attention more on Heavy Metal and Rock, I’m generally a universal listener and listen to all kinds of music. I stop listening to radio for a few years now because I really don’t have much love for today’s music. Today’s music has evolved into something really commercialized and too mainstream which hurts me in some ways. Music nowadays has evolved into new age R&B, strange mix of alternative pop and rock, clubbing and god knows what else. Majority of the new songs don’t leave an impression on me anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love pop music and I like R&B in some angles but today’s music lack soul, melody, body and control. There’s no love to them anymore.  It’s all about fame, boobs and fortune. I dig good beats but when it comes to today’s R&B and clubbing music, they feel so empty.

I also don’t watch music videos on TV nowadays because it’s all dominated by clubbing scenes and soft porn materials which has become extremely excessive and very misleading. I miss the old music videos where it’s about stories, dancing, humors and fun. That is why I now stop listening to the new stuff and begin listening to the old stuff. I literally start listening to a lot of music which I grew up with and slowly make my way back to the basics. As a guy who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, I started listening back to good ol’ music that these decades have to offer including pop music. Yeah, other than Metal, I also listen to pop music like boy bands stuff. Yeah, it might not be cool for some people but whatever man. I don’t care, I grew up with that s**t. I also listen to old influential artists like AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Twisted Sister, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead and more. For dessert, that would be hip-hop and R&B like RUN-DMC, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Beastie Boys and a whole lot more. Basically, I’m going all the way back rather than forward and it feels good.

So that’s my honest opinion about today’s music. If you love them to bits, good for you. But if you hate ’em, then sign me up. But having said that, I do like one or two of them. I hate to admit but Lady Gaga is pretty cool. Sure, her music is very clubby and such but there are some pop elements in them which I dig so overall, Lady Gaga just barely makes it out of my hate list. Nothing else to add except I also hate emo! Speaking of music, I enjoy video game soundtrack and I have a whole bunch of them in my iTunes right now. My favourites are Metal Gear stuff, Biohazard/ Resident Evil stuff and SIlent Hill stuff. Akira Yamaoka is the bomb but I’m disappointed that he officially left Konami in December of last year. What a tragic news. What will ever happen to the Silent Hill series now?

Well, that’s about it for now. Hope you all enjoy reading my long blog.

Psykhophear