My Sunday Song – “Monsters” by Shinedown

For My Sunday Song #322, we are talking about “Monsters”…not real ones, but the ones in the mind. It is by the band Shinedown and off their 2018 album ‘Attention, Attention’. The song is their third single on the album and was released on March 1, 2019. It is yet another Platinum selling single and went to #7 on the US Rock Airplay chart and #10 US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs. Even Canada got in on the fun where it went to #34 on the Canada Rock charts. The song was written by Brent Smith and Eric Bass.

The song isn’t about physical, real life monsters although there are those. These monsters are in your mind. These are the demons you fight with everyday and if you are someone who has battled addiction or alcoholism and are now sober, those demons are picking at you everyday. Each day can be a battle and that one slip up can push you over the edge back on to the binging. Brent struggles with it everyday and that is what inspired the song.

Musically, the song is rather gut-wrenching like the lyrics. They are ominous and threatening and make you feel like the demons are pounding on the door wanting to get in. The music is so powerful at the chorus, a thundering explosion of struggle. The verses are tender and solemn and Barry Kerch’s cymbal work is so good and adds such a cool sound as if the demons were signaling their attack. Zach Myers guitar work is splendid with a killer solo while Eric Bass’ bass (I guess he was destined for that instrument) drives the rhythm. Brent’s vocals are powerful and you can feel every ounce of pain he is going through. A splendid song.

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My Sunday Song – “Blood Red Skies” by Judas Priest

For My Sunday Song #294, we are going to discuss the song “Blood Red Skies” by Judas Priest off their 1988 album ‘Ram it Down’. The song is not an official single from the album which had some real crappy singles so this would’ve been way better as a single then what the chose. Ok, probably not a better choice as the song is over 7 minutes long so way to long for radio. The album did go gold thanks to songs like this (but mostly due to past success). The song was written by the normal trio of characters with Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Rob Halford.

The song to me is so powerful. There is a real struggle and battle with the singer. And since the singer is Rob, I believe the battle is his struggle with and the world’s acceptance of his homosexuality. He was so afraid of being found out and what that would do to the band and to him. Rightfully so as this was the metal community back in the 80’s and being gay was not widely accepted yet. The song dives in to his personal struggles and what religion says will happen if you are gay, he’s being watched by everyone and is afraid the fame will all go away. But damn it, he is who is and he is going to fight for the right to be who he is and as history has shown, no one cares that he is gay. We all love Rob for Rob and it never hurt him or the band and he is finally happy being who he is.

The most epic song on ‘Ram It Down’ is “Blood Red Skies” the song feels like it is wrapped in a whole Terminator-like vibe. It feels like science fiction in music. The song starts off slower and it sounds like we are in space or something atmospheric like that. There are some acoustic guitars and Rob comes in soft and gentle to keep with the feel of the music. His falsettos are stellar. The song kicks up the tempo with some guitar synthesizer sounds and heavier drumming (although they sound programmed which sucks a little). Rob changes his vocal approach as well getting a little more sinister and angrier. The song takes me back to earlier Priest when they were doing a little more Prog stuff (without the synths though). This is one of the better songs on the album and really reaches new heights with the grand levels it reaches. It is engaging and feels like it is telling some powerful journey which it actually is.

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