Friday, October 17, 2008

Presenting my numbers 15 and 14 of my Top 25 Metal Album countdown:


This fourth CD by Led Zeppelin is known by many names: Led Zeppelin, Four, IV, ZOSO, Four Symbols, and Ruins. This CD turned them from mere superstars into giant behemoths of the rock world. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant knew the band had something special when they completed the album. Each song holds incredibly well by itself. The album contains many genres of music from rockabilly-inspired to folk-rock to music that technically did not have its own category

The group's roots have always been in hard bluesy British rock, and on this LP there are several good examples of this -- the most outstanding is "When The Levee Breaks." But, as with the third album, they have spliced in some folky things and these provide a pleasant contrast. "Going To California" is a dreamlike acoustic piece which segues in and out of the echo chamber. This is where Heavy Metal was plucked screaming from the womb of blues and rock'n' roll.

Every song on this album is an instant classic, from the back and forth calling of voice and guitar in "Black Dog," to the driving riff rocker "Rock and Roll," and on and on, every song here is in top form, to the more delicate and atmospheric "The Battle of Evermore," and the blues classic-gone-heavy "When the Levee Breaks." It's all great.

Of course, no review is complete without mentioning "Stairway to Heaven," possibly Zep's most famous song, but to say that that one piece defines this album is to have a very limited understanding of the albums magnificence. "Stairway to Heaven" may be played to death but you can't overlook its impact.

Line-Up: Jimmy Page – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin; Robert Plant – vocals, harmonica; John Paul Jones – synthesizer, bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin, recorders; John Bonham – drums

P.S : Owing to the lack of an official title, Atlantic Records initially distributed graphics of the symbols in many sizes to the press for inclusion in charts and articles. The album was one of the first to be produced without conventional identification, and this communicated an anti-commercial stance that was controversial at the time


After being released from a twelve-step program, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine had hired drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman to record Rust in Peace, creating what would become the band's first stable line-up, lasting to 1998. Bassist David Ellefson along with Mustaine were the only members who were not replaced.

Politics, warfare and the environment are the main topics explored throughout the album, with songs such as "Rust in Peace... Polaris," which is about intercontinental ballistic missiles, and their effects on the world (Polaris refers to Polaris missile); "Take No Prisoners," which is about prisoners of war; and "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due," which is a two-part song containing "Holy Wars," which is not referring to any historical place or event and "The Punishment Due," which is about the Marvel Comics character The Punisher, of which Mustaine used to read at the time. "Dawn Patrol" is about the environment being destroyed by global warming and greenhouse gases.

This is a thrash masterpiece with intelligent lyrics, structure, and most importantly, musicianship. There are some progressive metal passages, and even some melodic harmonies that add even more life to the songs. “Hangar 18” is probably closer to progressive metal than thrash metal, with a strong neo-classical influence even in the riffing.

Rust In Peace is an absolutely incredible album with great songs, incredible composition, progressive moments, superb musicianship, and intense focus. All metalheads of all subgenres, and non metalheads who just want to hear great rock music, this album is a must have.

Line-Up: Dave Mustaine – guitar, lead vocals; Marty Friedman – lead guitar; David Ellefson – bass; Nick Menza – drums

P.S: Lay your hands on the re-mastered CD released in 2004, which has better production values.