Under The Influence #49: Messiah on “Use Your Illusion” by Guns n’ Roses!
These days releasing a double album that isn’t split into two discs and at least six months apart doesn’t happen, but back in 1991 Geffen Records took the unusual approach of releasing parts 1 & 2 of “Use Your Illusion” as two separate albums on the same day. The first week sales for the pair were staggering 685,000 and 770,000 copies respectively and they have both gone multi platinum since. The pair marked the bands first work with drummer Matt Sorum, with part #1 being considered the more hard rocking of the two. There has been criticism that suggests there is an amount of filer however you’ll find those critics few and far between.
Messiah comment: “Guns and Roses isn’t a band a lot of Heavy Metal enthusiasts are fond of openly, but they are. Personally speaking, they were a big influence for me in my growing years. Messiah isn’t a band, but more of a project. We had Bob Campbell on the Vengeance trilogy, who sometimes reminds you of Bob Dickinson (Iron Maiden), but also reminds you of Axl Rose. I am not aware if he has been told this or not. The Use your Illusion series was a game changer not only for the Music scene, but for me as well. It wasn’t just a Rock project, but much more. The territories it explored musically and lyrically were limitless. I have never seen a band at work in a more brilliant fashion. The very fact that they were not on talking terms during the making of the album is quite baffling. The fact that they were not even in the same studio is even more unbelievable. A lot of bands survive the test of time because it has one or two leaders and the rest are followers. Guns and Roses, though it is identified as an Axl and Slash band, was a band of heroes. You could see the talent of the entire band being exhibited in the Use your Illusion series. Never forget what Duff brought to the table. Never ever forget how Izzy was the backbone of this double album (and the band) even though all we talked about was November Rain and Don’t Cry. I was hardly 7 years old when I saw videos of Don’t Cry and November Rain on MTV. Though I was just a child, the imagery of the videos struck a chord which stuck with me at a subconscious level, only to re emerge when I hit 15. Considering the fact how much India was ruled by Bollywood numbers in the late 90s and early 2000s (and even now to a huge extent), it was a miracle I was pulled to their music. Hearing those songs again made me realize it wasn’t just the imagery of the videos, but the music as well, because I could recollect it. That was the power of this album. Technically speaking, “Use your Illusion” exhibited how a Hard Rock album can have multi layered songs. When you start your albums with Right next door to Hell and Civil War, you know you are in for a treat. Songs like Estranged and Coma blew my mind away. Dead Horse, Garden of Eden, Yesterdays, Dust and Bones, So Fine, etc. gave the albums the flavor it needed. Get in the Ring was a rant like I never heard before. I am not very fond of November Rain, but that’s a personal choice and it doesn’t make the song bad. Bad Apples and My World were, well, bad apples. They didn’t affect the rest of the apples because the rest were too good. Emotionally speaking, you don’t care what songs are present in the album. You just listen to them and drown with the tides, not caring when they start and when they end. Let the Gods descend from the heavens and strike the world with lightening. Let the core band reunite and come out with more music. We deserve it.”
You can find “Vengeance” by Messiah over at Sound Cloud here.