In the beginning…

When I was 9 or 10 years old, my neighbor friend who lived two doors down introduced me to ELVIS. Why all caps? Because he’s the king of rock ‘n’ roll! But you already know that (right?).

His music was my very first taste of rock. My friend, Dawn, also introduced me to an Elvis tribute singer who went by the name ‘Alan’. I mention him only because Elvis had died by the time I discovered his music. So, my friend and I would sit and listen to Elvis and write fan letters to Alan (hey, I was 9).

After that, my push into music stalled until that fateful day I heard “… I’m baaaaaack! I’m back in the saddle again!” — from my brother’s tape recorder. Soon, it was on to Rush, Styx and The Who.

Then, on yet another occasion of visiting with my brother, I heard my very first metal band: Motley Crue. I think that was the event that opened the heavy metal flood gates. Dio, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, the Scorpions and others soon followed.

By the mid ’80s, I was fully immersed in all things hard rock and metal.

I know that was very brief, but there really isn’t much more to say about it (just being honest).

In the near future, I’ll post about an event that happened in late 1985 that changed my life forever. Stay tuned.

But next, I’ll most likely post my review of the new studio album by NARNIA.

Until then, keep it METAL!

Album Review: Empire 21 — Empire 21

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I’m going to kick off my album reviews with my pick for melodic hard rock/metal album of 2014 — the debut release from Swedish rockers Empire 21. Yeah, it’s that good.

Once in a while, an album comes along that simply blows my mind. It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally I find myself pleasantly surprised. Empire 21 is the latest group to melt my earphones.

CJ and the boys have really outdone themselves with this effort. There isn’t a bad song on this album — not one track that will make you want to push ‘skip’ on your CD player. The production is the best I’ve heard in many years. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard a mix this good. We’ve come to expect excellence from CJ Grimmark with his work in Narnia and Rob Rock, but I think he’s taken things to the next level with this disc.

Rounding out the line-up is newcomer Ricard Hulteke on lead vocals, Andreas Alov on bass, John Svensson on keys and Tobias Enbert on drums. This is a MUST HAVE for any serious hard rock/metal fan. You’re going to want to drop the coin for this one, trust me!

–Martin

Score: 10/10

Feast your ears on THIS: 

You can purchase the album and other merchandise at the band’s website here http://www.empire21.se Empire21_band Continue reading

Why this blog?

At the prompting of family and friends, I’m starting this blog. It’s an opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge of hard rock and heavy metal music — particularly the Christian varieties.

My metal journey began sometime in 1980. My brother and his friend were playing some very distorted “music” on a tape recorder (if anyone remembers what that is). I remember thinking, “what is that noise?”. That noise turned out to be ‘Back in the Saddle’ by Aerosmith and it wasn’t long before I was beginning to like it. Within a few months, Aerosmith became my favorite band. I started buying all of their albums (on vinyl) and began discovering other hard rock acts along the way. Before long, I was delving into heavy metal bands like Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Queensryche.

More later…

I plan to expand on my story later along with experiences, album reviews and maybe a little theology.

For now, Happy New Year!