Are you anxiously awaiting the return of packs to the Rock Band DLC library? Are you a fan of metal music? Do you enjoy fun?
If you answered yes to 2 out of 3 of those questions, then this week’s DLC is for you!
Well, it’s Megadeth. Guitar’s going to be a highlight for sure. The verses are mostly patterns of single notes which carry the melody and is a breath of fresh air compared to tracks like Holy Wars…The Punishment Due or Wake Up Dead (which if you haven’t gotten the Rust In Peace and Peace Sells albums, please consider grabbing those). Then the choruses grab your fingers and nearly rip them off your appendages. Would you expect anything less from Dave Mustaine though? Three solos, all of them get crazy at times, great groove in the bridge. I can’t do anything else to convince you this isn’t a great guitar track, because it is!
Bass is mostly single notes with sustains for most of the song, though with some good movement throughout. As soon as the bridge groove hits, that’s when this bassline gets REALLY fun. Mixes of single notes, HO/POs and movement all around (especially in the outro) make it a great recommendation for those looking to do more than carry the backbeat. David Ellefson proves why he’s one of the chief exports of Minnesota (howdy HMXOwl, how ya doin’? :P).
Drums: What else to say? It’s friggin’ Chris Adler. His playing style really melds with Megadeth’s more straightforward but thrashy tendencies.Little spurts of double and triple kicks (especially in the bridge, which is so much fun). The outro especially will be rewarding with a mix of cymbals, bass pedal, switching between toms and so much more. One of the easiest devil-tier songs you’ll play this year, but definitely in my Top 10 favourite drum tracks for 2016.
Vocals: Much like most Megadeth songs, the vocals are probably the weakest point. And that’s not including the 33-measure break at the beginning. They’re fairly simple, but the backing Harmonies at least help them gel a bit with the awesome instrumentation. Problem is, once you get to the bridge you’re done. So, don’t get this if you play solely Vocals, as there’s not enough here to warrant a purchase,
One of the best overall instrument-oriented tracks this year for DLC, and with the bridge/outro reminding me of a re-imagined Hangar 18, this is a must-buy for any string shredder or drummer in YOUR life. It’s Vic Rattlehead-approved!
Ozzy Osbourne- Road to Nowhere:
Guitar is rather mellow for an Ozzy track, but it’s another Zakk Wylde-filled solo fest. This time, with FOUR SOLOS (ah ah ah; yep, Sesame Street jokes. What a time we live in!). Each one gradually building on the challenge and HO/POness, if I may use that as a word. The verses are mostly strummed single notes mixed with sustains, and the choruses throw in some two-note chords but they’re manageable. While it’s not nearly as hard as tracks like Seventeen or Redneck, four solos. That’s all you gotta know.
Bass is a lot of sustains and single notes, mostly driving the song forward. Once the outro hits, there’s a bit more movement. The nice Red-Yellow-Red-Blue single note riff is one of many fun bursts, really making it feel like you’re not just doing the same general patterns until the songs ends. Easy, but not boring.
Drums are pretty standard with a lot of dead space in the first verse (only hitting the hi-hat or ride every 4 measures) but the main beat switching between the ride and crash cymbal is serviceable. While the outro switches up some cymbal movement, and there’s some slow but nice rolls across the pads, this song DOES kinda go down a road to nowhere after a while.
Vocals: You got 27 measures before you come in, so you’ve got time to grab a drink or a bite to eat. Then you’ve got the Prince of Darkness to deal with. The vocals on this track are a more melodic side to Ozzy and rather reflective of his past, which definitely gives this song a power ballad feel. The three-part Harmonies really give the song a lot of power and strength, quite surprised by how fun this one was.
Guitar and Vocals are both really enjoyable on this one. Bassists and drummers may want to avoid getting their kicks on Route 666, but it’s Ozzy. I like Ozzy.
Slipknot- The Devil in I:
Orange strum lanes. Ok, but let's be real. This one's an aggressive monster from start to finish, with lots of fast strummed single notes (most of the buildup to the chorus riff with its' Red, Green-Green pattern chugging along), some chords and some quieter moments in between . Then the bridge with its' chord alt-strumming hits, and it's a nice break before going back to the strummy choruses. Step inside, and only try this if you're skilled on the strings. This one may hurt.
Bass is nearly identical to guitar (and then SUDDEN THREE-NOTE CHORD). That happens a few times, but other than some strummed single notes going down the fretboard in the verses and bridge, it's about the same. Slightly less strums in the chorus, but same rhythm and everything.
Ah, Drums. Jay Weinberg, you may be a bit of a dark horse here. Combining the standard drum track with the percussion elements from Chris and Clown, the choruses would be tricky enough. Then throw in double bass every few measures. That alone would probably push this song to a Tier 6 EASY. Sure, the verses are simply switching between the hi-hat and rack/floor toms but that can't be too tricky, right? RIGHT?
Then the entire post-2nd chorus section full on RIPS YOUR ARMS AND LEGS FROM YOUR BODY, then proceeds to laugh as you try to keep up with the fills, double bass pedal, and constant snare roll. And then, IT GETS EVEN BETTER.
BLAST BEATS. JUST....BLAST BEATS.
YOUR APPENDAGES HAVE NOW JUST BEEN THROWN INTO THE RIVER. GOOD LUCK FINDING THEM NOW.
Constant Snare, Ride with bass underneath plus short fills in between before going right back to blasting. Devil tier all the way. You want a challenge? Look no further, this will do. For most, a lifetime's worth. And it's already been FC'd on Expert, so truly Rock Band knows no limits.
Corey Taylor's a vocalist with a lot of range, as seen with the haunting verses of The Devil In I. Granted, you have to wait 52 measures before singing a note, but between the good use of Harmonies here and the screams in the choruses and bridge, it's well worth the wait. And even for a nearly 6-minute long song, it's got enough to keep you entertained even when you're not singing.
What other way would Harmonix round out a pack full of metal songs than with the most brutal Drums chart (tongue fully in cheek) since Nevermore by Symphony X? No, I do not make that sentiment lightly. Maggots, you don't need me to tell you to grab this one. Everyone else, see the devil in this game. He's waiting for you...
Whew, that was a thing. Apologies for how long this week's review is, but it's a pack. OF METAL SONGS. I think you guys understand :) Now where were we? Oh yeah!
Final Verdict (If you absolutely HAVE to cherry pick this pack):
Lot of fun on Guitar, Bass and Drums. Skip if you're on Vocals, but even then, you have an excuse to rock out. Might have you Sweating Bullets, but it ain't no Head Crusher.
Ozzy Osbourne-Road to Nowhere:
Again, need I remind you: FOUR SOLOS. Vocals are great to really belt out at parties, and the other instruments are a decent bit of fun! Still waitin' on A.V.H. and Believer, HMX. Well, and for the 2nd Ozzy pack to be fixed, but beggars can't be choosers.
Slipknot: The Devil In I:
Guitar and Bass will certainly be easier than most Slipknot songs we have in RB, but Drums will seriously make you question your devotion to this franchise. Vocalists will get a kick out of this one too, just make sure to practice your screams beforehand.
Wow. This week is definitely the best overall week for Rock Band DLC since at least June or July, and that's really saying something. Sometimes, you gotta love when you get thrown a curveball. Thanks everyone for reading this week's review, and be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on this week's DLC and if there's any legacy DLC you'd like me to review in the future.
Disturbed and Fitz & The Tantrums are coming next week, so be sure to stay tuned! Now to draw an ice bath to heal my legs (blast beats will be the end of me, I just know it).
I'm JC, and I'll see you guys next week right here on Behind The MIDI Notes. Please shred responsibly.