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"The Big 4"

Where do I start with "The Big 4"? At age 13, I started playing guitar and when I heard Metallica's "Master of Puppets" my life was changed. The album consistently ranks number 1 on the list of greatest heavy metal records of all time. The guitar tone is so powerful, so in your face, and so aggressive that I had to learn all their songs. It was the beginning of an obsession that continues till this very day.

After getting into Metallica, I discovered that their original guitar player Dave Mustaine was kicked out for exccessive drug and alcohol abuse. He told Metallica not to use his music but they went on to record some of his stuff anyway and eventually became the biggest heavy metal band of all time. This fueled Mustaine with rage and he formed Megadeth so he could get revenge on his former band mates.

Metallica




Megadeth




I was always fascinated with this story and thought it was inspirational. Mustaine was so insanely driven to get back at Metallica so he could prove himself worthy that he achieved great success on his own. Megadeth were the only band to give Metallica a fight for the title of my favorite band. They are known as the "thinking man’s band” since their lyrics and themes deal with politics, the military-industrial complex, war, religion, insanity, and many other somewhat taboo topics.

I was fortunate enough to have met Metallica and Megadeth several times (now if only I could jam with them on stage). They’ve had a consistent influence on my guitar playing for over 17 years. The complex and intricate riffs and solos in their music kept me busy for quite a along time.

Next up in "The Big 4" is Slayer, a band that formed in Huntington Beach, California in 1981. Slayer is known for writing about serial killers, necrophilia, Satanism, religion, anti-religion, and warfare. Their music has been highly influential, often being cited by many bands as an influence musically, visually, and lyrically. Some notable songs include "Behind the Crooked Cross", "Angel of Death", "South of Heaven", and "Raining Blood".

Last but not least in "The Big 4" is Anthrax, a band from New York that formed in 1981. They were inspirational in starting the rock/rap crossover when they teamed up with Public Enemy to write “Bring the Noise”. My favorite Anthrax song is definitely “Inside Out" which was made into a video featuring a creature on the wing of an airplane. The video was a nod to "Terror at 20,000 feet", an episode of one of my favorite shows, The Twilight Zone.

Slayer




Below you can find pictures from several concerts I’ve attended throughout the years. Stay posted for more since I never miss any of their shows in South Florida. Be sure to also check out some of my own covers of their music on my YouTube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/DanielMessemer/videos



Metallica



Megadeth



Slayer



Anthrax