The Daily Tonality – 01/24/17

The Daily Tonality – Your song of the day – January 24, 2017

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Electric Wizard Devil’s Bride (from the album Electric Wizard, 1995 Rise above Records) If you like your music full of heavy, grinding guitar riffs, Electric Wizard is is the perfect remedy for what ails you. These British purveyors of doom have been recording brilliant sludge for twenty years. Their lyrics speak of witchcraft, horror movies, and marijuana, which seems to be a common theme among bands of this genre. The song Devil’s Bride is no different as the band speaks of the woman whom Satan has chosen to bear his child. Bloody lovely. Electric Wizard came along when the doom, stoner rock scene was just beginning to pick up main stream awareness, but they have also managed to stay somewhat underground. This is one band that I have not had a chance to see live, but I would jump at the opportunity.

The video is accompanied by scenes from the 1967 film The Devil Rides Out.

Riff of the Day BLACK SABBATH – Hole in the Sky

March 5, 2016

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black-sabbath-artist-page-pic-zumicBlack Sabbath – Hole in the Sky (from the album Sabotage, 1975 Vertigo/Warner Bros.) The inventors of doom were in town last night, and I missed them. I saw them a few years ago, but it still would have been great to witness Black Sabbath one last time. The band is one of the main reasons I play guitar and listen to heavy music to this day. Tony Iommi, in my eyes, invented doom metal on his Gibson SG. From Ozzy to Dio and in between, Black Sabbath went about their business and changed rock n roll.

Sabbath Factoid: The title of their sixth album Sabotage was named as such because the band were entangled in a legal battle with former management. According to Iommi, the band felt as if were being “sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides“. This lead to the album having a heavier, more aggressive sound.

T.

 

Five Favorite Doom/Stoner Guitar Players

Top 5 Favorite – Doom/Stoner Guitar Players

Heavy music is a fine art, and guitar is the brush that puts the finishing touches on the work. I have been a player for some years now, and I am forever gaining inspiration from many bands and genres. Doom and Stoner are my go to styles of rock, and many players influence my guitar playing. I have chosen four players and one guitar team as the guitarists that have influenced me the most over the past few years. I have had the opportunity to see these bands/artists play, and they are among the biggest reasons music burns in my soul. In no particular order, here are my five favorite Doom/Stoner Guitar Players

Matt Pike (Sleep, High On Fire) When it comes to bottomed-out, guttural riffs, Matt Pike is a beast. His current band, High on Fire, is a force to recon with as they continue to make heavy duty albums. Always shirtless on stage, Pike was also part of seminal stoner metal forefathers Sleep. He is also responsible for the constant ringing my ears. I got a little to close to the stage during a HOF show a few years ago.

Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity, Down) As part of arguably my favorite band Down, Pepper is responsible for some of the riffs that get stuck in my head every day. He has been part of Down and C.O.C. for twenty five years, and has even done a little jamming with Metallica. Also the lead vocalist for Corrosion, and a New Orleans bar owner, Mr. Keenan is quite a renaissance man. Not to mention, one hell of a guitar player.

Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) I would go to hell if I did not include the legendary guitar player for the original doom band, Black Sabbath. Iommi drop-tuned his guitar to make the strings loose, and subsequently easier to player with his severed finger tip. Out of necessity, a new genre of music was born. He does not jump around on stage or play fifteen minute solos. What Iommi does do is play riff after riff of songs that changed the landscape of music. He sold his soul for rock n roll.

Buzz Osborne (Melvins, Phantomas) Without Buzz Osborne and the Melvins, our generation may have not seen Nirvana, or a lot of grunge bands of the time. With dozens of studio albums under his belt, “King Buzzo” is a diverse and intense musician, whose influence can be heard through out the scene. The Melvins have been a constant in a forever changing world for almost thirty years, and it is always refreshing to hear new material. A friend of mine once touched Buzzo’s arm at a show. Buzz gave him a menacing glance and walked away without saying a word. It was terrifying, but brilliant.

J.D. Cronise and Kyle Shutt (The Sword) Age of Winters and Gods of this Earth are two of my favorite albums of the last ten years, with some of the best guitar riffs to match. I love this band, and see them every time they come to town. Cronise and Shutt are an amazing team that are both equally responsible for the guitar groove of the Sword. The sound of the band is evolving, but the first two Sword albums will always have an impact on my own sound. Give a couple dudes a Les Paul, and amazing things can happen.

T.

Riff of the Day 10/29/15 Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

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Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (from the album Black Sabbath 1970, Vertigo) You can pretty much pinpoint the start of doom metal to the opening riff of Sabbath’s title song on their self-titled album. Tony Iommi dropped his guitar tuning down one and a half steps out of necessity, but what came out of it was a sound that still defines heavy music today. Ozzy Osborne,  Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward changed music with one album. One of the darkest sounding songs of it’s era still conjures evil to this day.

T.

Riff of the Day 10/02/15 DOWN – Witchtripper

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Down – Witchtripper (from the album Down IV Part One ‘The Purple EP’, Down Records, Roadrunner Records 2012) The riff created by guitarists Pepper Keenan and (former member) Kurt Windstein (Crowbar) can only be described as “heavy duty”. Down took a five year break from recording before returning with Down IV. The album instantly became one of my favorites. Keenan is someone I admire and his style influences my guitar playing, and this album is full of emblematic Down songs to inspire. Just like the song, the video for Witchtripper is bad-ass. It has an old 1960’s Mario Bava vibe going on. New Orleans is home to some amazing doom/sludge bands, and Down are the overlords of NOLA scene.

Riff of the Day 09/13/15 Orange Goblin – Quincy the Pig Boy

Orange Goblin – Quincy the Pig Boy (from the album The Big Black, Rise Above Records 2000)  Orange Goblin is one of the best UK bands to represent the heavy end of rock. I saw these guys perform twice now, and I am impressed by their all-round show. Singer Ben Ward is a 6’5″, charismatic hulk of a man, and the rest of the band are tight and lose at the same time. Right from the wah pedal heavy lead in riff, Quincy the Pig Boy is something that grabs your skull and shakes it.

Cool Fact – Before choosing the name Orange Goblin, the band was known as Our Haunted Kingdom. A pretty cool name, but not near as bad-ass as on the one they go by now.

Riff of the Day 09/10/15 Goatsnake – Black Cat Bone

Goatsnake – Black Cat Bone (from the EP Trampled Under Hoof, Southern Lord 2004) Goatsnake was formed out of the ashes of The Obsessed in 1996. They have had a few line up changes, and a couple long hiatuses, but are currently working on a new album. Which is good news for anyone who is a fan of doom. Listening to Black Cat Bone,it could easily be a Danzig song, but I’m happy it’s not. Check this one out!

Top Five Favorite Doom/Stoner Debut Albums

Everybody band has to start somewhere. Some take years to polish their sound before they record their first album. Some bands hit the ground running. In either scenario, you don’t always get a gem on your first try. For some bands, they smash it out of the park their first swing, and capture gold. Look at Gn’R. They made the greatest rock n’ roll record of all time, raw and relentless. Then they imploded. That is a whole discussion for another time. Today I share my top Doom/Stoner band debut albums. I’m sure you won’t agree with a few of my choices, but that’s the fun of it all.  I can’t really decide on a ranking for these five albums. It was hard enough to pick five. So, in no particular order…

Queens of the Stone Age – Queens of the Stone Age (Ipecac, 1998) What do you do if your ground breaking band Kyuss disbands? If you are Joshua Homme, you find a few other musicians and record QOTSA’s self-titled debut. This band has become my favorite over the past decade, and this record still stands up seventeen years later. The riffs drone out and create a total robot-rock feel. Homme proves he has some great falsetto singing chops as well. Listen to: If Only, How To Handle A Rope

Down – NOLA (Electra, 1995) It is hard to believe that this album is twenty years old this year. Pepper Keenan and Phil Anselmo wrote this album of the course of 5 years. The music is heavy and dirty and the lyrics are personal and dark. New Orleans has an amazing history of Doom and Sludge metal, and the members of Down borrowed a little inspiration to bring this amazing record to life. Listen to: Stone the Crow, Bury Me In Smoke

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (Vertigo, 1970)  What kind of list would this be if it didn’t have this album as part of the list. The word influence cannot even describe the effect that these lads from Birmingham have had on heavy music for the past 45 years. The title/opening track is still one of the darkest riffs ever played. Tony Iommi created the heavy guitar sound out of necessity as the result of a factory accident. He lost a couple of finger tips, so drop tuning the guitar made it easier to bend the strings as he played. This created his ominous, heavy sound. Listen to: The Wizard, N.I.B. (Nativity in Black)

The Sword – Age Of Winters (Kemado, 2006) It is almost embarrassing to admit that the first time I remember taking notice to The Sword was on the game Guitar Hero II. The song was Freya, and I was blown away by it. I went out and bought the album and listened to it for the better part of the summer. The album is well balanced and the guitar work from J.D. Cronise and Kyle Shutt complement one another perfectly. The riffs are huge, as they should be. These boys are from Texas. Listen to: Barael’s Blade, Winter’s Wolves

High On Fire – The Art of Self Defense (Man’s Ruin, 2000) Stoner rock giants Sleep mad some amazing material, but all good things must end. Guitar player Matt Pike formed High on Fire after his departure from Sleep, and took the musical style into a harder, more aggressive direction. Pike, along with drummer Dez Kensel and bass player George Rice (now former member) recorded The Art of Self Defense. From the opening song Baghdad, you get hit with a wall of riff and sound. After you listen to a High on Fire album you need to sleep it off, because you feel like you just got your ass kicked. Listen to: Fireface, Baghdad

T.

Riff of the Day – 08/03/2015

Black Sabbath – Lord Of This World (from the album Master of Reality 1971) My favorite song from my favorite Sabbath album, Lord of this World is a true blueprint for modern doom and stoner metal. Tony Iommi has written the best riffs for forty-five years, and the rest of these guys are pretty damn good too. I have been blessed to see both the Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio incarnations of Black Sabbath. True legends. Crazy fact: Master of Reality was the only Sabbath album to crack the U.S. top ten until their album ’13’ did it forty-two years later.