Tag Archives: Megadeth

Bang Your Head: The Raise and Fall of Heavy Metal


Bang Your Head: The Raise and Fall of Heavy Metal

Written by David Konow

Three Rivers Press – 2002
ISBN 978-0609807323
480 Pages, $16.00

Written before his outstanding tome on horror films Reel Terror, author David Konow wrote another fantastic book that covers the world of heavy metal in its heyday.  Konow is one of the guys that can talk about the music form because he is passionate about it.

I’ve been a listener of heavy metal since its inception, so I know the music very well.  What struck me most about this paperback is the overall careless attitude the majority of the musicians held  about their success.  It’s almost if as all the rock stars from the 80s felt they were entitled to act like spoiled little brats; trashing hotel rooms and blowing money because they could.  Rampant drug/alcohol abuse, inhabited sex and generally acting like teenagers fighting amongst themselves.

The worse part of their immature actions was that many of the groups we came to love split up and we lost music that could have been.  If those folks would have been more mature and appreciated what they had, maybe this type of music would have carried on a bit longer and the fickle listeners would have not turned against them.  But in some ways it’s almost as they deserved to go down.

This volume has far too many good stories for me to relay them here.  I will say Konow talks about the greats like; Alice Cooper, Kiss, Van Halen, AC-DC and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.  He especially focuses in on his home turf of the Los Angles scene with all the famous bar-clubs that broke bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken and Poison. Konow origins thrash metal with Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  Then he moves onto Pantera, Guns & Roses and so many more.

Konow has interviewed not only the musicians, but record producers, band managers, record label executives, MTV hosts, groupies and fans to get a complete overview of this rocking story.

I found much of it funny, some of it dramatic, definitely nostalgic and quite a bit of it sad and in some ways tragic.

The coolest thing about this written work is that it will give you a chance to go back to a time where the type of music I love to listen to was more out in the open whether it be on radio, live, when MTV actually showed videos and when these bands were at their prime, making their best music.

Live it again by reading the rise and fall of heavy metal in Bang Your Head.



Marty Friedman – Inferno


Marty Friedman – Inferno

Prosthetic Records – 2014



Ex-MEGADETH Guitarist Mary Friedman doesn’t rest on his laurels.  Instead he challenges himself by creating this explosive, multi-dimensional music offering.  It’s the first album I’ve heard him play on in many years and I think his best work to date.

The title track blazes with an onslaught of Friedman’s shredding power riffs, all done with skillful finesse.

The give and take between slow, dark chord progression and heavy distortion makes “Resin” a killer tune.  Some of the guitar runs are musically dangerous.  The heavy licks that go along with the drumming would make the late “Dimebag” Darrell smile.  The slow-down parts open up the metallic environment for palpable texture and make the heavy sections more significant.

“Wicked Panacea” is my favorite track so far in 2014.  This song features Rodrigo y Gabriela providing energetic acoustic flamenco guitar that sets up an extraordinary contrasting guitar duet with Friedman’s metal attack.  The softer rhythms are catapulted into megaton riffs when converted to Friedman’s charged guitar.

Friedman flexes his six-string muscle in “Steriodhead”, which features SKYHARBOR’s Keshav Dhar.  The two guitarists rip a hole in the atmosphere with heavy duty riffage and beautiful soaring leads.

Rock guru Danko Jones adds the vocals to the punk-metal tune “I Can’t Relax.”  The hyperactive nature of the song title is carried out musically and is done in such a way that gives it a touch a humor as well.

Norwegian Jazz musician Jørgen Munkeby’s (SHINING) tenor saxophone is unexpected and a cool addition to “Meat Hook.”  Munkeby shreds on his sax, which of course Friedman is more than willing to join along with.  Musical virtuosity has never been so fun as when these two let it go.

“Hyper Doom” is a little snidbit that sounds like it came out of the MEGADETH fold.  Guitars engage like a locked-in gun on a moving target.

Guitar whiz David Davidson (REVOCATION) joins Friedman for “Sociopaths.”  Davidson’s voice reminds me a little of Pantera’s Phil Anselmo.  This is the second longest track on this album and allows the guitarists time to let the notes flow.

“Lycanthrope” features vocals from both Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM) & Danko Jones.  This rocking song has Friedman release the hairy beast inside with guitar riffs that should make any metal listener howl with joy.

In “Undertow”, Friedman expresses himself with sorrowful guitar weeping.  It’s impressive how he is able to convey his emotions through his instrument.  Beautiful work, really.

I really love the idea and respect Marty Friedman for including a brand new collaboration with Jason Becker.  The fact that Becker was diagnosed with ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease) more than 20 years ago, didn’t’ stop Friedman from creating a new song with his CACOPHONY partner.  It’s even more astounding when you think that Becker communicates with his eye movements.

I find this not only amazingly special and a unique relationship but when you listen to the music that they created together, it should blow you away.  The playing is just eye-opening and jaw-dropping.  Friedman says, “The song, it’s definitely CACOPHONY, and it’s definitely what Jason and I would be doing in 2014 and the future.”  To make it all possible, a friend named Ewan Dobson, who is also a friend of Jason’s, played with Jason wrote and what Friedman arranged for Jason’s parts.  It’s just an astounding song in every way.

The album closes with a reprise of “Inferno”, that is both shorter and gentler version of the title track.

I know that Marty Friedman will be touring the world to support Inferno.  I absolutely want to see him perform this live when he comes to my town.