Three Year Blog-versary: Still going…and going…and going…

Today marks the third year of Heavy Metal Addiction and it’s been a lot of fun…..and a lot of work. What started out as a small hobby has grown over the last few years to where I’m getting recognized more and more and submitted music is piling up. The cool thing is the friends and contacts I’ve made all over the world, I don’t really have people around me who like Hard Rock and Heavy Metal so this is my main outlet.

So what happened in 2008? Well, readership went through the roof! I may not be racking up the hits that other websites do but I’ve had my fair share of the pie. I ended up with just over 200,000 last year at this time, and now I’m up over 750,000 total (an increase of 540,000 this year). I’m really looking forward to reaching the Million mark sometime in the next few months…..I didn’t think anyone would come to my little site when I first started out.

The most viewed posts for 2008 include the AC/DC – Black Ice release date, anything on Journey with Arnel Pineda, and the album info on Dragonforce’s ULTRA BEATDOWN. The most viewed album reviews for the past year include: Ozzy’s BLACK RAIN (2007), Lita Ford’s OUT FOR BLOOD (1983), Legs Diamond’s TOWN BAD GIRL (1990) and Monowar’s GODS OF WAR (2007). What’s interesting about that is that two of those albums (Manowar & Ozzy) made my The 5 Worst Albums of 2007!

Some what’s on tap for 2008? I have no idea really. Maybe my age is catching up to me but I’m finding it harder to balance my family, work, and 4 hours of sleep a night with my music obsession. My posts (and readers) grew every month of the year and peaked in August, then everything went downhill as my schedule got a little more hectic. What I’m hoping to do is get back into a groove posting once every day. I think I’ve said the same thing every year!

One thing I am going to try and concentrate on is Album Reviews & DVD Reviews. I’m going to try and tighten up the writing and do more reviews, they are the meat & potatoes of the site and the whole reason I started doing this in the first place. A major problem I’ve had is falling behind on the albums people have sent in for review. I’m making a concentrated effort to catch up in January and post as many reviews as I possibly can. I’m also going to do more WANTED! and Ebay Madness columns because they are fun to post, I get a lot of feedback and offers. I think I’m also going to get a little more consistent with the Band Weeks and try to do them at the end of every month. I used to post a lot of news bits but you can get the better coverage at Blabbermouth, Bravewords, and MelodicRock so that’s going to get cut a little except for press releases, new album info and release dates.

So that’s about it for now. I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by and giving the site a look. Hopefully as traffic continues to grow more people will comment on the posts. I’d also like to thank all the bands, labels and PR people that have sent me promos in the last year, it’s been a great year for discovering new music.

Here’s to a great 2009! Cheers!

— Steve

Coming this week…..

Christmas is over but we have the New Year to look forward to. I love the new year because it gives everyone a chance to “start over” when the reality is that life just keeps going!

Life will continue here at HMA as I already have an eye on 2009. I’ve got some new albums to review that will be released in January and I have enough albums from 2008 that I didn’t review or didn’t pull from the pile. There are also a few DVDs that I need to review as well.

I should be posting everyday from now on (hopefully!) and I’m not really sure what I will write about this week except for a review of the new Saxon album INTO THE LABYRINTH and my 3 Year Blog-versary on Saturday. And I already have a Scavenger Hunt to post because I had to go and blow all the gift cards I got for Xmas!

If you haven’t looked already, please check out the Heavy Metal Addiction 2008 Awards Week for my picks of the best and worst albums & DVDs of 2008. Also look at the links for the reviews and for all the other blogs that posted their list on the same day.

Looking forward to 2009!

— Steve

Happy Thanksgiving!

I like Thanksgiving because it’s a time to get together with family without all the gift giving and fanfare. You can just kick back and relax with people you enjoy being with and then eat some great food. It’s also a day that reminds you of what is important in life and what you have to be thankful for. I have a lot to be thankful for: my wife & kids, my dog, the rest of my family, our home, health and jobs. When you really stop and think about it, if you have some or all of these things, then you are doing all right in life. Everything else is gravy!

So I wish everyone out there who visits the site a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Cheers to all of you!

— Steve

I’m back!

After two weeks of computer problems, I am finally back online and firing on all cylinders!

As you know, I got hit with a trojan horse virus that shut down my main computer. My laptop was also infected because it somehow snuch through the wireless connection and got there. Lucky for me I installed a new McAfee Virus Protection into the laptop because it didn’t take much to get it to recover. The problem was that the main computer needed 2 separate visits from the tech guy and I couldn’t connect the wireless until the main was fixed! Unfortunately, I lost everything stored on the main computer. Everything from downloaded programs to pictures, documents to songs, and any other custom enhancements we’ve made in the last 2 years. I backed up a few things on the laptop and disc but not everything.

Now that everything is fixed and the main is back to the original factory settings, I can get back online! I’ve been listening to plenty of music in the last couple of weeks so watch for new posts this week. One thing I’ve been trying to do is sort my lists for the end of the year: Top 30 Albums, Top 5 DVDs, Top 5 Worst Albums. That will all come in the last week of December.

It’s good to be back! Cheers!

— Steve

On hold due to virus attack…..

Everything here at HMA is on hold due to a trojan virus attack that has infected my entire home network. My main terminal is out and my laptop just went too. I have a tech guy coming on Wednesday because my anti-virus software (which is up to date) didn’t catch it.

When the tech guy gets everything back up and running, I will post all the AC/DC posts that were supposed to be up last week and I will start a new round of reviews.

Cross your fingers!

What’s going on…..an update on where I am and what’s coming up

I hope everyone liked Live Album Week last week, I know I did. Unfortunately I was behind on publishing the posts because I was having trouble with my laptop. Actually, it’s my wife’s laptop. It was given to her at a previous job 6 years ago and she took it with her when she was laid off. It’s a wonder it lasted this long!

Anyway, the laptop died the other day and all of my posts were stuck inside on Microsoft Word. We have free wireless throughout the house so it was easier to work off the laptop with 2 kids and a dog creating havoc, it was just an Internet portal for family. So everything is locked inside and it won’t turn on so I started to re-write everything, putting me behind schedule. I had written everything in advance so I could write some more reviews in advance to keep the site going while my personal schedule went into overdrive. Unfortunately, everything was on hold for a few days.

So what’s coming up?

Not sure actually. My schedule is pretty hectic this time of year and I’m trying to cram everything in with only 4 hours of sleep each day. I’m sure you all know how it is: family, work, and activities all crammed into a small window of time called a day! Reviews are coming but getting them done is a little harder lately with less free time. I am listening to some interesting albums so there will be some cool features this month.

One thing I can promise is that I’m going to make one week each month a Band Week. October will have AC/DC Week to celebrate the release of their new record, BLACK ICE. I haven’t decided if it will be the 3rd or 4th week of the month yet. I’m leaning towards the 3rd week because BLACK ICE is released on the 10/20 and I’d like to do a few features for Halloween the following week.

Stay tuned…..

— Steve

On vacation

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am on vacation and that regular posts will resume Sunday, September 7.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned…..

Vacation again!

Here we go again, I’m on another vacation! Being in a Union is very nice, my 14 years of service to my company affords me 4 weeks vacation a year.

So what do I have planned this week? 

OLYMPICS! I have always been a fan of the Olympics and I devour as much TV time on a variety of sports everytime. This is the first Olympic Games where we have a DVR so my wife has 2 major channels recording round the clock and we are enjoying a ton of swimming, basketball, gymnastics, rowing, fencing and all the rest. When track & field starts, I’ll be glued to the TV.

As far as the website goes, I’m going to try like hell and catch up on any long outstanding reviews and prepare for my first ever Live Album Week.

Personally, my birthday is Saturday so I am celebrating by taking my younger brother to the Metal Masters show at Mohegan Sun on Friday. It’s only Testament, Heaven & Hell, and Judas Priest…..for some reason Motorhead is playing a headlining gig at The Palladium in Worcester, MA and not playing at the casino. I’m a little disappointed because Motorhead always has a great show but what can you do? Look for a review on the show early next week.

A long overdue shopping spree is coming as well because all I ever get for my birthday is gift cards to the local record store…..I think my kids also went with my wife to pick out a couple of CDs, I noticed my list is missing.

So that’s what’s up……keep tuned in.

–Steve

My Heavy Metal vacation!

Yes! It is finally here…..a week’s vacation from work!

I’m a very lucky guy because I get 4 weeks paid vacation every year and every year I take July 4th week, the 2nd week of August, and the week of Halloween for vacation. (The 4th vacation week I use as individual vacation days for things like concerts or football games.) So here I am starting my first full week of vacation since Halloween 2007 and all I did was sleep and setup my Metal week…..

So what do I have planned for my vacation?

The first thing is to catch up on all the CDs piling up on my desk…..I am going to listen to music 24/7 even if that means sacrificing sleep!

The second thing is I’m going to catch up on this site. I’m going to try to write up as many reviews in advance so I can post more often. I may also tweak a few things in the sidebar, etc.

I have a few more Metal related projects that I would like to get a move on: cataloging my collection is the priority and creating a want list is also at the top of the list. I’m also going to start to frame some of my vintage posters this week hopefully.

Stay tuned…..

What’s up this week…..

If you’ve visited in the last 24 hours, you’ll have noticed that I posted 3 new album reviews almost right away: the new Kataklysm, Ihsahn, and Shannon. Unfortunately, a computer issue crept up and I had a spotty connection all week so I had to cram everything into one day. Things have been fixed and everything will hopefully return to normal so I should have a few things coming this week…..

At the top of the review list I have the new W.A.S.P. and Michael Schenker albums that I have been promising to write up but haven’t and the new Dokken record that is getting a fair amount of airplay. I’ve also been listening to the new Night Ranger album that comes out in July and the new Moonspell and Headhunter albums that are being released June 10th…..I wouldn’t mind getting a couple of these done by the weekend so everyone knows what they might be buying in the next few weeks but only if there’s time.

Some notable releases this week include the Man Raze debut, SURREAL, with Phil Collen (Def Leppard/Girl), Simon Laffy (Girl), Paul Crook (Sex Pistols) and the new Journey record, REVELATION, that is going to be a controversial album with the Steve Perry fanatics taking aim. The new Disturbed album hits stores also on Tuesday but I’m not sure if that’s on my list especially when I didn’t go out and buy the new Royal Hunt album last Tuesday! I’ve been spinning that Man Raze album and I’ve been on a Def Lep kick lately so that review is a definite.

So here’s what’s coming:

  • Man Raze – Surreal review
  • Journey – Revelation review (by the weekend)
  • Dokken – Lightning Strikes Again review
  • MSG – In The Midst Of Beauty review ( this WILL get done!)
  • W.A.S.P. – Dominator review
  • Current playlist
  • Metal Mixtape
  • any news that comes along

I have two projects that are ongoing: the first is making that database of my collection…..it’s not going well, I’m only about 300 albums in. The second is answering some questions that were sent to me for an interview, more on that later. I am also going to hit a Metal shop that I forgot about in Providence but I’m not sure what day that will happen. I normally don’t hit it because the selection is spotty but a search for a certain album has made this a mandatory stop this week and I’ve heard from a few people that the shop is doing well. I might take the digital camera with me so I can add some pictures to the hunt!

Rock on!

Steve

What’s going on this week…..

As usual, I’m way behind listening to CDs. Right now I have a pile of 40 CDs that are either new releases I bought or albums I’ve received from bands/labels to review. There’s a lot of different styles and a ton of new music so things are going to get very review intensive around here.

The reviews that are definite this week are the latest from Engel, Shannon, Anvil, Swashbuckle, Tyr, and the Gigantour 2 DVD. I was supposed to have these last week but it’s safe to say I’ll never catch up!

The reviews I’m going to TRY to fit in are the new MSG, new Dokken, & the upcoming Kataklysm and W.A.S.P.’s DOMINATOR. Not sure if that WASP record will get in, I’m still listening to it.

An ambitious week for sure…..wait and see what happens!

I’m working on a couple of things to be posted later in the year:

  1. I’ve already started compiling my Top Albums of 2008. It’s never too late to start and I’ve been good at keeping up with major releases so this year’s list should be a Top 25 at least.
  2. I started a list of 2007 albums I missed and would have made the Top 15 or an expanded list.
  3. I have a list going of releases I haven’t picked up yet this year and why.

Coming this week…..

All the momentum gained with Whitesnake Week was lost last week when my laptop died and went in for service. Of course there was always the home terminal in the music room but my ISP (Cox Communications) decided it was time to have a service outage. With barely any connection to the Net & email, I decided to take some time out and relax…..listening to CDs of course!

I’m looking to catch up on last week’s schedule right away…..

  • Testament  – The Formation Of Damnation (2008) review up today (Sunday)
  • Def Leppard – Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (2008) review (Monday)
  • the rest of the reviews scheduled for last week will show up sometime this week – Zero Hour, Asia, and DC4

What I have planned for this week…..

  • Saints Of The Underground review
  • Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2008) review
  • Tyr – Land (2008) review
  • Swashbuckle – Crewed By The Damned (2006) review
  • Shannon – Angel In Disguise (2008) review
  • Engel – Absolute Design (2007) review

I will also post any news that comes my way plus anything else that comes my way.