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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - February
  • Beyond the Red Mirror
    Beyond the Red Mirror
    Nuclear Blast
Video of the Month - February
  • Live at Koko [Blu-ray]
    Live at Koko [Blu-ray]
    starring Not Available
Great Metal Reading
  • Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes
    Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes
    by Thomas Scott McKenzie
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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
Feb052015

Emigrate - Silent So Long

When Richard Kruspe tells you he's gonna rock, all you can say is "Alles klar, Herr Kommisar".It's kind of cool how Rammstein is so beloved by hard rock and metal bands. And even cooler that founding guitarist Richard Kruspe's alternative metal band Emigrate, having released its debut album back in 2007, continues to provide an outlet for his creative energies.

And it's a tribute to the fabled German work ethic that Kruspe doesn't choose to sit around on his main band's laurels. He recorded in his own Berlin studio and played host to a nice assortment of guest vocalists such as Lemmy from Motörhead, Korn’s Jonathan Davis, Canadian born Berlin-dweller, Peaches, and Frank Dellé from chart-topping German collective Seeed.

There's a nice mix of sounds on this album, ranging from the familiar industrial metal sound of Rammstein on tracks like Hypothetical and Get Down, to more punkish rocking (Rock City), to more traditional metal sounds (My Pleasure). There's a great energy evident here, as if Kruspe is enjoying every minute of doing this, and it translates to the overall vibe. Aushezeichnet.

The Bottom Line: Herr Kruspe continues to pour his songwriting energies into projects that benefit from him having so many fans in the business. The guest vocals and collaborations in Emigrate are thoughtfully decided, and it shows. Nice work.

- Genghis doesn't pull off that eyeliner thing so well...

Thursday
Feb052015

Crazy Lixx (self-titled)

You'd be hard pressed to find a more authentic sounding 80s hair metal band than these Swedes. Yup.For all of the subgenres of heavy metal you have certain eras of sound that are unmistakeable, able to transport you instantly to that time in your past when you first heard those familiar rhythyms. And I reckon you can almost smell the fog machine kicking in, accompanying a small adrenaline surge as you hit play with Crazy Lixx queued up on your music player of choice. This is late 80s hair metal, as if the spelling of their name wasn't obvious enough. And it's quite good.

If you didn't know better, you'd probably swear this band came straight off the Sunset Strip, but this Swedish hard rocking outfit has only been around since 2002. Their self-titled fourth album has everything you'd expect from the era - hell, I wouldn't be shocked to see their name in the credits for that legendary doc The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II - The Metal Years. As such, there's not much to speak of here except to say that all of the great, flashy guitarwork, big harmonized choruses and drunken swagger of that time in music is present and accounted for on every track. This is some damn good genre tunes.

The Bottom Line: The next best thing to a highly modified DeLorean with the controls set for 1986, Swedish rockers Crazy Lixx bring you all of the authentic sound of that era. So, tie those scarves around the leg of your faded and tattered skinny jeans, and put on your pirate shirt, cuz it's motherfucking party time.

Tracks To Crank While You Shake Up That AquaNet: Outlaw, Ain't No Rest In Rock And Roll, and Heroes Are Forever

- Genghis wouldn't mind taking a ride in that Delorean now that you mention it...

Thursday
Jan292015

My Brother The Wind - Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One

Sweden’s instrumental cosmic rock quartet, My Brother The Wind, knows how to groove old school, and that's a fact. Okay, I'm just going to come right out at the beginning of this review and say that I'm a sucker for what bands like Sweden's My Brother The Wind (MBTW) do on their latest LP Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One. These guys make the kind of classic instrumental cosmic rock (I've always called it space rock, but whatever) that Pink Floyd made famous in their more contemplative, if self-indulgent, moments for generation of stoned teenagers where the sense of time goes by the wayside. And I couldn't be more into it. Dat title though.

Recorded live, and completely improvised, with no overdubs during one January day in Åmål, Sweden, the thoroughly analog feel of the album came from using vintage flangers, plate reverbs and tape echoes recorded to 2" tape on a 44-year-old 16-track Ampex. How's that grab you for authenticity? But it's all for naught if the tunes don't work, right? Luckily MBTW has the goods, indulging in songs that sometimes break the 12 minute mark without sounding like the needle's stuck on the record. And it's that kind of solid grooving that makes or breaks this genre; chill and groove out, but don't be boring, man. Nice work, lads.

The Bottom Line: Sweden's reputation for musical innovation and revival continues to grow to the delight of eager listeners with bands like My Brother The Wind. This is classic head-tripping stuff, and the fact that it's all performed without a net makes it all the more amazing. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta get my vape on.

Tracks To Enjoy While Lying On Your Bokhara Rug With Your Headphones On: Songs Of Innocence Part 1, Misty Mountainside, and Garden Of Delights

- Genghis is feeling toasted, nicely toasted...

Monday
Jan262015

Podcast #185: Resolution

It's new year's eve and the lads have rustled up Harem Scarem's Pete Lesperance for a chin wag. Bottoms up!Happy new year! Okay, we know it's almost February, but work with us. Made your resolution(s) yet? We haven't, but we're kind of slow with these sorts of things (you may have noticed). Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss what tunes, concerts, collaborations and movies they'll be anticipating in the new year. If everything comes together, we're looking at another solid year of music. Next, the boys welcome back Harem Scarem guitarist Pete Lesperance for a one on one as he discusses the new CD Thirteen as well as plans for 2015.

DVD of the Show: Live at Wacken 2014

Beer of the Show: Smoked Porter with Chocolate & Orange Peel (Stone Brewing Co.)
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.0
Overall: 3.0
"Stone's latest is not too unlike a rauchbier with one of those chocolate oranges dropped in it, but the flavor's more sophisticated than it sounds."

2nd Beer of the Show: Bourbon County Stout (Goose Island Brewery) Rating: 3

Standout Tracks: Empire 21 - When You're Falling; Gary Moore - The End of the World; Avantasia - Invoke the Machine; Savatage - Sirens and Handful of Rain; Lynch Mob - Believers of the Day; Van Halen - You and Your Blues; Harem Scarem - I'll be Brief, Garden of Eden, Saints and Sinners, Live It, Stardust, Change Comes Around

- Ragman is looking forward to another hard-rocking year...

Podcast #185: Resolution

Friday
Jan232015

Jorn Lande & Trond Holter - DRACULA Swing of Death

Norwegian Jorn Lande does it again, this time channeling Meatloaf of all people...I have gone on record about Jorn Lande's singing; he's simply one of the best rock/metal vocalists in the world at this point. I haven't heard such a powerful voice since Dio, except maybe Russell Allen. Consequently, he turns out some pretty good product on a consistent basis, including his latest collaboration with fellow Norwegian, guitarist Trond Holter (AKA "Teeny" of glam metal band Wig Wam), DRACULA Swing of Death.

Billed as a new rock opera, DRACULA manages to up its game by going old school. Whereas bands like Vanden Plas have also released a [very good] vampire-themed rock opera, their modern take may one day lose its luster as the genre's fanbase fluctuates. But Jorn and company - including the wonderful voice of Lena Fløitmoen -  chose a more traditional path along the lines of Meatloaf or Alice Cooper, whose more theatrical sensibilities come with a nice hard rock edge. I have to say, this is an album for which I'd love to see an extended video production made to accompany it as a Blu-ray release.

The Bottom Line: This is and old school melding of theater and hard rock/heavy metal covering one of the most enduring stories in modern literature. And the combination of Jorn Lande's masterful vocals and Trond Holter's emotive guitar riffs is immensely satisfying.

Tracks To Make You Consider Purchasing A Cape: River Of Tears, Into The DarkTrue Love Through Blood, and Under The Gun

- Genghis figures, realistically, that the cape will never make a comeback...