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Random Awesomeness (part 2019.3)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson.

Purchase the self-titled Black Robot album!

Fans can get involved with Inside Metal

Inside Metal


The early ’80s metal scene in Los Angeles has become legendary, as it spawned such worldwide headliners as Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Dokken, W.A.S.P., and originally, Metallica (before the latter relocated to San Francisco). And the new documentary, Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal, chronicles the entire scene.

Directed by Bob Nalbandian and produced by Metalrock Films, Inside Metal features all-new interviews with countless bands and artists that thrived on the scene, and tell its story, first hand. To ensure that this killer documentary receives the attention it deserves, a fundraising campaign has been set up at – which will help strengthen the film’s distribution, marketing and promotion.

This groundbreaking movie features exclusive and candid interviews with members of Metallica (Lars Ulrich), Ratt (Stephen Pearcy), Dokken (Don Dokken), Quiet Riot (Carlos Cavazo), W.A.S.P. (Chris Holmes), Megadeth (David Ellefson), Great White, (Jack Russel), Y&T, (Dave Meniketti), Stryper (Michael Sweet) and Armored Saint (Joey Vera).

Inside Metal is about giving fans the real inside story from the behind the scenes world of metal and hard rock with in-depth interviews, ultra-rare concert footage and photographs, and an original music score from that era; in this no-holds-barred, never before seen, recollection of untold stories.

Check out some sneak previews below:

Early feedback has been exceptional, including renowned video director Jonas Åkerlund (who has worked with the likes of Metallica and Ozzy) raving, “This film captures an era that catapulted metal into the spotlight and takes the audience on a wild ride down memory lane. After watching it I wanted to get in my time machine and experience those days for the first time. You’re hit with a potent nostalgia, a time I thought we couldn’t get back, not until I saw this film. I can’t get enough of this shit, what an amazing film to watch over and over again, well done!”

Metalrock Films ask—and want—real and serious metal fans to be a part of this historic documentary and spread the word that this was the scene where it all began, ground zero. “Our Fanbacked campaign will raise the direly needed financial support to bring this film to one and all in the US and Internationally in order to pay for the marketing and promotion to get it noticed by the general public. We want to bring this film to your theatre, town, bar, club and living room! Unite and support us. We have created some one of a kind opportunities for our friends and fans to participate with us in birth of this film. Get your name on the screen and let the world know that you support metal and the bands that create it. Help us tell the story of the music you love and let the world know you love it. Join in the festivities of our, and your, accomplishments by being at the premiere of the movie and interact with the artist that participated in its creation. Commemorate your participation with a plaque, t-shirt, poster or other limited edition merchandise items that says ‘Metal Rules.’ Keep checking back as we add more tasty premiums.”

And thanks to you and your donation, Inside Metal will finally get the true story of the scene heard – worldwide!

To make a donation, go to:

The Best Albums of 2013

Whether you enjoy classic, modern, or independent rock, 2013 was a great year for music. Several “best of” lists have been posted around the internet already, but it’s time for The Writer’s Journey to weigh in with our list and a brief sentence about each. And away we go…

The Best of 2013

10. Brandon Reeves – A Decent Melody. A fantastic independent release from a Georgia-based blues artist, Reeves’ album is much better than decent.
9. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt. The kings of the nineties rule again with a throwback to the seventies.
8. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2. Part 1 is good, but Part 2 will go down as a historically great record.

The Best of 2013

7. Stryper – No More Hell to Pay. The Yellow and Black Attack is back with soaring vocals and squealing guitar solos, a fantastic hair metal album.
6. J Roddy Walston & The Business – Essential Tremors. Another throwback rock band with hints of Aerosmith and the Black Crowes.
5. Black Sabbath – 13. Ozzy, Iommi, and Butler recaptured the magic of the band’s beginnings and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 charts.

The Best of 2013

4. Newsted – Heavy Metal Music. It’s heavy and it’s loud and it’s everything you would expect from a former member of Metallica.
3. Krokus – Dirty Dynamite. Full of catchy hooks, but the best song might be the Beatles cover “Help,” arranged as a hair metal ballad.
2. Twenty One Pilots – Vessel. Modern rock at its finest, and they really rock out with a ukulele on “House of Gold.”

The Best of 2013

1. Death On Two Wheels – Death On Two Wheels. Traditional hard rock sound with more authenticity than anyone else out there.

Here are some other “Best of 2013” lists around the web…

Stryper – Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin’ Land DVD (2012)

Stryper concert DVD review

Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin’ Land DVD
MVDvisual, 2012
69 mins.

Hair metal, the once heralded king of the late 1980s and the butt of many jokes in the post-Nevermind 1990s, has some of the most rabid fans in the world. Over the past couple of decades, bands that once reigned the rock radio airwaves have been making a comeback, fighting the stereotypes and releasing new music. Religious rockers Stryper, however, may have been one of the last groups people expected to reunite. Singer Michael Sweet enjoyed some success as a solo artist and other band members found other projects, but a few years ago Stryper, whose name is a reference to Isaiah 53:5, decided to take the stage together once again.

With Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin’ Land, fans have the opportunity to relive the glory days of the yellow-and-black attack (sans the spandex). Brothers Michael and Robert Sweet, Oz Fox, and Timothy Gaines blast through 69 minutes of classic Stryper material, from the big hit “Honestly” to the fan favorites “The Rock That Makes Me Roll” and “Soldiers Under Command.” The concert is what you would expect from a band that is three decades old; the songs still pack the same punch, even if the singer isn’t able to quite reach the notes after all these years. That’s not to say he sings poorly; on the contrary, Michael’s voice sounds good, just not perfect…but what’s the point of a live recording if it sounds just like the studio release?

1. Sing-Along Song
2. Murder By Pride
3. Loud ‘N’ Clear
4. The Rock That Makes Me Roll
5. Reach Out
6. Calling On You
7. Free
8. More Than a Man
9. Honestly
10. Open Your Eyes
11. All for One
12. The Way
13. Abyss / To Hell with The Devil
14. Soldiers Under Command

Learn more about MVDvisual.

Learn more about Stryper.

Purchase Stryper – Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin’ Land DVD.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #46 – Stryper “Soldiers Under Command”

Brothers Michael and Robert Sweet, along with guitarist Oz Fox and bassist Tim Gaines, took the world by storm with their Christian-themed heavy metal. The band is still active today, and just released an album last year called The Covering featuring their take on Judas Priest, KISS, and Ozzy Osbourne songs.

Other songs considered: “Honestly,” “Can’t Stop The Rock”

Purchase Stryper music.

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