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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - May
  • In Flood
    In Flood
    Scarlet records
Video of the Month - May
  • Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock - On A Mission: Live In Madrid
    Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock - On A Mission: Live In Madrid
    starring Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock
Like He Needs More Money...
  • Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
    Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
    by Gene Simmons
Props

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
Inspiration
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    by Michael Moynihan, Didrik Soderlind
  • Retribution
    Retribution
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts
Thursday
May262016

Thunderstone - Apocalypse Again

I was syked when I heard that Pasi Rantanen had re-united with Thunderstone.  I have been a fan of Thunderstone since the band's second record The Burning in 2004.  Pasi left in 2007, after the tour of the phenomenal record 4.0.  The band got a new singer and released Dirt Metal in 2009.  After Pasi left the band, it just wasn't the same for me.  Though Dirt Metal had some solid tracks, I just didn't dig it as much as I did the prior material with Pasi.  In 2013, the band re-joined forces with Rantanen, but it took another 3 years before they released a new album, which is titled Apocalypse Again.

It wasn't until the 3rd track, that I got hooked on this record.  The track Fire and Ice is an uptempo rocker with some solid melody's and a catchy chorus.  There is a sweet keyboard intro by Jukka Karinen, that starts the track, and prepares you for metal annihilation.  Killer tune.  The next track, is the type of track that I love from Thunderstone, because it is slow, heavy melodic metal, but with lots of power.  Check out the track Through the Pain, and you'll hear what I mean.  I love it when the band gets into these powerful grooves, that just embrace you, and don't let go.

Apocalypse Again is a solid offering, which contains a nice variety of up tempo and mid-tempo rockers.  The band seem to have regained the momentun, that they lost with Dirt Metal.  If I have one complaint, it would be that I think that the production is a little soft.  I was hoping to get the heavy sound/crunch of the previous material, especially with the return of Pasi.  Don't get me wrong, the CD sounds good, but I just wish it sounded a little heavier.  A solid CD.  Apocalypse Again has a nice variety, which will make any Thunderstone fan proud.

Bottom Line: With the return of Pasi Rantanen, it seems like the song writing has gotten stronger and the band is sounding better than they have in years.  Great melodic power metal.

Standout Tracks: Through the Pain, Higher, Fire and Ice and Days of Our Lives.

-Ragman must see Thunderstone live.

 

Thursday
May262016

The Defiants

To say that I was excited, when I heard that Paul Laine and Bruno Ravel were doing a project together, would be the understatement of the year.  I have been a long time fan of Paul's early solo work as well as his work with Danger Danger.  I was really happy to see that the two had joined forces with current D2 guitarist Rob Marcello, to do a project called The Defiants.  The Defiants is basically D2 minus vocalist Ted Poley and drummer Steve West.  Though it is obvious why Poley was not involved, I was surprised not to see West involved.  It would have been a D2 reunion of sorts, but under a new name, which is justly so.  

The Defiants, is pretty much what you would expect.  It is a mix of early Paul Laine, mixed with his more melodic era of D2.  The songs are catchy, but lack some of the punch I was hoping for.  Don't get me wrong, I like this record, but was hoping for something a little heavier.  The is a nice variety on the CD, with a nice mix of up tempo and mid tempo rockers, with a few ballads thrown in for good measure.

There are some really strong tracks on the record like the When the Lights Go Down.  It starts off with a really catchy riff, and some nice rip-age from Marcello.  It is a mid-tempo rocker with one of those catchy choruses, that will stay in your head for days.  It is followed up by the killer Waiting on a Heartbreak, which is catchy as hell.  The next track to stick out was the ballad Save Me Tonight.  Laine sings his ass off on this one.  It may be my favorite ballad of the year so far.  It reminds me of Simply Out of Reach from James LaBrie's solo effort back in 2012 Elements of Persuasion.  Soft but powerful.

This album has really grown on me with each listen.  Not only are the songs strong, but the musicianship is strong as well.  I knew that Rob Marcello was a solid guitarist, but this guy friggin rips on this album.  Check out the solo on Take Me Back.  Solid performance.  As I said, this one is strong, but there are a few hiccups like the overly poppy Runaway and Lil' Miss Rock N Roll.  Runaway is so drenched in syrup, that I thought that it was either a Katy Perry or Taylor Swift cover.  Sorry boys, but not diggin this track.  All in all, this is a party rock album, that would be fun at any kegger or get together.  This will be a fun one to jam to this summer, go get it.

Bottom Line: Great 80's tinged melodic hard rock.  Even though it gets a little candy coated at times, but fortunately, the end result is solid enough to take away some of the sweetness.  You will need to give this one several spins before passing judgement, I'm glad I did.

Standout Tracks: Save Me Tonight, Waiting on a Heartbreak, We All Fall Down and Take Me Back.

-Ragman is hoping this isn't a one off.

Wednesday
May252016

SKILLET UNLEASHED AUGUST 5th

New Studio Album Now Available For Pre-Order Via All Digital Retailers

(New York, NY – May 20th, 2016) – Grammy-nominated rockers Skillet will release Unleashed, their new studio album and follow up to their 2013 release Rise, which bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.  The 12-track album, a year in the making, is currently available for pre-order via all digital retailers including iTunes at: www.smarturl.it/SkilletUnleashed and Amazon.com at: www.smarturl.it/SkilletUnleashed_A. Pre-orders will include an instant download of the debut single “Feel Invincible,” a lyric video for which can be seen at https://youtu.be/tmk_cTMqF58. Skillet can also be found on Google Play at: www.smarturl.it/SkilletUnleashed_GP and streaming on Spotify: www.smarturl.it/StreamSkillet.

From the bombastic opening riff of “Feel Invincible” to the memorable closing of the album finale “The Resistance,” it is clear the band has created an album that lets their music speak loudest, while still delivering some of their most personal and heartfelt collections of songs to date.  “I wanted to make an album that could make people feel the music,” said Skillet’s John Cooper.  “I always aim to write songs to which people can relate, but this time I wanted to see not only how the songs would connect lyrically, but also how they’d connect musically.” 

Songs like “Back From The Dead,” “Stars” and “Out Of Hell” showcase the musicianship and songwriting that has garnered the band a rabid worldwide fan base, a platinum selling album and multiple Grammy nominations. Comprised of husband and wife John (lead vocals, bass) and Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar, keyboards, programming, backing vocals), Seth Morrison (lead guitar) and Jen Ledger (drums, vocals), the band wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album.  Once again they collaborated with Brian Howes, (Daughtry, Halestorm, Nickelback), as well as, Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch), Neal Avron (Twenty One Pilots, Walk The Moon, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park) and Seth Mosley (Newsboys, TobyMac) to create Unleashed.

The track listing for Unleashed is:                                     

1)     Feel Invincible

2)     Back From The Dead

3)     Stars

4)     I Want To Live

5)     Undefeated

6)     Famous

7)     Lions

8)     Out Of Hell

9)     Burn It Down

10)   Watching For Comets

11)   Saviors Of The World

12)   The Resistance

Skillet has cemented its place as one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands. Selling more than 11 million units worldwide, the Wisconsin quartet have received two GRAMMY® Award nominations and won a Billboard Music Award for the platinum-certified Awake. Their double-platinum single “Monster” is “the eighth most-streamed rock song of 2015” with a total of 57 million plays (and counting) on Spotify and would earn the distinction of becoming “the best-selling digital single in the history of Christian Music.”  2013’s Rise bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release and received resounding and eclectic acclaim from the likes of USA TodayNew York TimesRevolver Loudwire, and more.

Thursday
May192016

Dynazty - Titanic Mass

These Swedish metalheads are firing on all cylinders like it's for a world's record. Check them out.Swedish melodic rockers Dynazty are back with a new studio album, Titanic Mass, which clearly tries to live up to its name through 11 tracks of fast and furious power metal tinged fury. This is some great stuff from a band that's been tearing through Europe for nearly a decade culminating a couple of years ago with their album Renatus and an evolution in their more traditional hard rock sound to something more akin to the current state of metal. Works for me!

The best part of Dynazty is their sense of melodicism, something that never goes away no matter how heavy the riffage on Titanic Mass becomes throughout this 47 minute headbanger's ball. The framework of which is supported by the twin powers of vocalist Nils Molin and guitarist Rob Love Magnusson. Nils has vibrato and power for days as he belts out anthemic chorus after chorus while Rob's fluid, melodic leads weave about like lit fuse that burns through the solo sections with an urgent energy. But the meaty rhythms being laid down by the rest of the crew (George Egg on drums, Jonathan Olsson on bass, and Mike Lavér on guitar) are still a bedrock upon which any metal band would do well to stand. This is top quality melodic power metal, people, and no mistake. It's pretty hard for me to hone in any one song as they're all pretty well balanced throughout the album. I plan to be cranking this in my car for a while, so would-be passengers be warned.

The Bottom Line: This is grade A prime melodic power metal from a seasoned band that knows how to write a killer jam. Dynazty has made a classic of the genre that should be played loud and long. Kudos, guys.

- Genghis hasn't liked music like this since Nation...

Monday
May162016

Podcast #205: Elders

Today we talk to Mark Tremonti. *pinches cheeks* Such a sweet boy!Crimeny, we did it! The lads have returned from their self-imposed exile to give you a brand spanking new podcast about what a lot of us may be already thinking: who among the musical elite may be next to pass on to The Great Beyond? Join Genghis & Ragman as they wax philosophic about aging rockers and the frailty of life.

Then, the boys talk to the one and only Mark Tremonti about his new solo album, Dust. Mark dishes about the music biz, Alter Bridge, and tour plans of the near future. So, pop some corn and belly up to the bar. And HORNS UP!

Video Of The Show: Judas Priest - Battle Cry

Beer of the Show: Apis IV (Elevation Brewing Co.)
 
Appearance: 4.0
Aroma: 4.0
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 4.0
Overall: 4.0
"This quad from Colorado has some great fruity flavors to compliment its Belgian history. Kudos to Elevation."
 

Featured Tracks: Red Tide Rising - Writing On The Wall; Judas Priest - March Of The Damned; Extreme - (Mutha) Don't Want To Go To School Today; The Ramones - Pet Cemetery; Tin Machine - Under The God, Alter Bridge - Addicted To Pain, Tremonti - Dust

Genghis' Classic of the Show: Scorpions - Animal Magnetism

Ragman's Classic of the Show: Ark - Feed The Fire

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Gygax - World Breaker

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Cheap Trick - Heart On The Line

- Genghis really needs an assistant...

Podcast #205: Elders