Normally, I am not a fan of cover albums, finding them lame at best. It’s always been my belief that if a band is going to take the time to go into the studio and record an albums worth of someone else’s material, why can’t they make the extra effort and record their own songs? However, Hatebreed has me rethinking the cover album a little bit.
For The Lions is a slamming disc containing 19 of the hardest covers you’ll ever hear, by bands that are not everyday household names, featuring songs that you do not experience often. That’s what makes this record stand out from the overpopulated crowd of cover albums.
For The Lions opens with a ripping version of Slayer’s Ghosts of War and never lets go from there. Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, and The Misfits are all covered on this disc as well. Great songs from lesser known bands such as Madball, Obituary, and Bad Brains are included for your listening pleasure.
What is most unique about For The Lions is lead singer Jamey Jasta’s ability to channel the spirit of the frontmen for each of the bands that he is covering. During Metallica’s Escape, there are moments when I could swear that I was listening to the actual Metallica version of the song. The band plays the music note for note and Jasta comes as close as he can to sounding like the original singer. This is more a tribute than a cover, but it works wonderfully.
Other songs are definitely a Hatebreed interpretation as the vocals go more toward the gravelly side that Hatebreed is known for. However, not knowing the original versions of those songs, Jasta could be spot on with those vocal inflections.
The music itself is fast, loud, and raw; music your mother or wife would probably hate. Angry speed and thrash metal with a powerful lead singer belching out the hits. It fills you with a raw energy that makes you want to throw your fist in the air, scream as loud as you can, and shout at that you are alive! Hatebreed channels your inner warrior through the power of music and has a fun time doing it.
Covering 19 of their favorite songs, Hatebreed scores a winner with For The Lions. Incredible guitar work, exceptional vocals, and a ton of raw power and energy highlight this disc as a standout piece that is worthy of adding to your heavy metal collection. If you’ve never heard the original versions of these tunes, then this is an excellent introduction. If you know the songs well, this is a great way to appreciate a new interpretation on these classics. Feel the power that Hatebreed delivers with For The Lions.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Ghosts of War (Slayer) 4:00
2. Suicidal Maniac (Suicidal Tendencies) 3:06
3. Escape (Metallica) 4:38
4. Hatebreeders (Misfits) 2:52
5. Set it Off (Madball) 2:37
6. Thirsty and Miserable (Black Flag) 2:21
7. All I Had I Gave (Crowbar) 3:16
8. Your Mistake (Agnostic Front) 1:43
9. I’m in Pain (Obituary) 4:11
10. It’s the Limit (Cro Mags) 1:41
11. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura) 3:08
12. Supertouch Shitfit (Bad Brains) 2:22
13. Evil Minds (D.R.I) 0:58
14. Shut Me Out (Sick of it All) 2:14
15. Sick of Talk (Negative Approach) 0:39
16. Life is Pain (Merauder) 3:22
17. Hear Me (Judge) 1:55
18. Boxed In (Sub Zero) 2:59
19. A Spoiler (Sheer Terror)
Jamey Jasta – Lead vocals
Chris Beattie – Bass Guitar
Wayne Lozniak – Lead Guitar
Matt Byrne – Drums
Frank Novinec – Guitar
Starting out over 40 years ago when they were just kids, Blackwood Creek could hold the record for longest amount of years passed before a reunion. Theirs was longer than even the Eagles. However, it’s a good thing for the fans that the band waited so long to get back together, because it gave one of their members a chance to become famous and form a great hard rock band in Winger. Now known (unofficially) as Kip Winger’s side band, Blackwood Creek is releasing their debut album here in the states on January 12th.
After coming off a great record in Winger’s Karma, it’s questionable whether Kip could put together two great albums in a 6 month span. Well, after listening to the record there’s no doubt that he can. Blackwood Creek rocks! The disc has a little of the new Winger sound, blended with some southern rock (ala Lynyrd Skynyrd). Blackwood Creek combines the high power charges of party rock and roll and mixes them with simple free style guitar riffs, easy steady drum beats, and a lot of fun.
Blackwood Creek opens with Out In Outer Space, which sets the tone immediately and makes you sit up and take notice. After the first spin of this song, you just know there are good things coming. The opening guitar chords and drum beats throw a warning punch, the first verse announces their presence, but the chorus has you hooked. If you’re not singing along to this song by the third listen, you may not be a rock music fan.
Nothing But The Sun continues where Out In Outer Space left off. Kip’s voice sounding bold and clear and the musical melody holding steady with foot tapping, enjoyable rhythms. Love Inspector is a good time party song about babes and beer, something that any healthy male can enjoy and sing along too.
The great songs continue with “Your Revolution”, “Dead Stung”, and “Albatross”, just to name a few.
Kip’s voice continues to have that blend of former Kip Winger and David Coverdale that stood out on Winger’s last CD, Karma, but just as then, he makes it work to his advantage. While he may not be able to hit the high notes of Madeline anymore, he doesn’t need to, because he has great current songs that are well within his range. His grainy, grungy vocals give his new music a rougher age that is very appealing to older music fans. The squeaky clean high vocals of the glam era are gone and the grittier, throaty vocals are fronting the songs now.
Blackwood Creek is amazing in its simplicity. The guitar playing is straight forward, three chord rock. The drums are simple 1-2-3-4 beats, with not a lot of rolls or changes. There are few guitar solos, there are no crazy bass lines, and there’s no screaming or wailing glam metal vocals. And that’s why this record is so amazing. A stripped down, easy feeling, good time, bar band rock and roll. Kip Winger and the band focused on the product (in this case the music as a whole) more than the packaging (glitzy guitar solos or musical tricks). This is down to earth rock for fans that have been musically starved for too long.
Rating: Out of 10
- Out In Outer Space
- Nothing But The Sun
- Your Revolution
- Dead Stung
- After Your Heart
- Jimmy and Georgia
- Rack of Greed
- Love Inspector
- Joy Ride
- Wooden Shoe
Blackwood Creek Is:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals and Bass Guitar
Nate Winger – Drums
Peter Fletcher – Guitars