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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - August
  • Destrier
    Destrier
    Long Branch Records
Video of the Month - August
  • Metal Evolution (3 Discs)
    Metal Evolution (3 Discs)
    starring Sam Dunn
What's in the mind of Behemoth?
  • Confessions Of A Heretic: The Sacred And The Profane: Behemoth And Beyond
    Confessions Of A Heretic: The Sacred And The Profane: Behemoth And Beyond
    by Adam Nergal Darski, Mark Eglinton
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
Monday
Aug242015

Kingcrow - Eidos

Kingcrow is back with more great Italian progmetal. Too bad this guy isn't having as good a day...Back when I reviewed Kingcrow's previous album In Crescendo, I mentioned that some may consider them a mere amalgamation of their influences, parroting back the highlights of their favorite 90s' era prog bands rather than making their own truly original modern prog metal. I disagreed then, and now I really - vehemently - oppose the claim as I listen to their latest effort, Eidos.

There's nothing wrong, obviously, with paying tribute to your influences. But where it all comes together is when you springboard to the next level and start making your own influential music. And I think Kingcrow is at that precipice with this album.

Adrift keeps the establishing acoustic riff as the driving force of the track à la Opeth, while Yes-style vocal harmonies lend a deceptively light feel to the song. Juxtaposed with that lighter side is the balls and chunk™ progmetal fans crave without giving over completely to the dark side, while sylistic embellishments like the saxophone accents on Slow Down provide a good example of how well these Roman rockers can blend instruments that add to, rather than distract from, the song's momentum. Ballads like Open Sky have a great old school prog feel to them in the vein of The Custodian or Spock's Beard that lets the solo section explode with a satisfying release that guides you into the more turbulent latter half. The mysteriously-named Fading Out Pt. IV transforms its opening Andalucían-flavored acoustic flurries into an energetic jam that hits the throttle and hardly lets up, refreshing the progmetal formula with various European elements. This is what makes the genre so amazing for me. These are some great jams, people.

The Bottom Line: With each release Kingcrow steps out further from under the shadow of their influences, which is no mean feat. Eidos is a fantastic progmetal album in a world where the subgenre has been around for almost 30 years, and every other band sounds like a bad Dream Theater wannabe. I already can't wait to hear the next one, boys.

- Genghis figures he'll never get to see this band live *sigh*...

Wednesday
Aug192015

Agent Fresco - Destrier

When you wondered where to find some killer new prog rock, you didn't think Iceland, did you? Big mistake.Holy shit I love to be amazed by bands I've never heard of. It's like hearing music in a new way even after all of my years listening. And such is the case with the incredible musicians known collectively as Iceland's Agent Fresco and their sophomore album Destrier.

Billed as a progressive art-rock band, their sound is an exhilarating mix of progressive rock, metal, alternative, post rock and even jazz. But the whole listening experience is far greater than the mere sum of its parts. What this band has put together is an album of universal emotional struggle as interpreted through their masterful use of different musical textures. Dark Water is an excellent example of how this is done with lead singer Arnór Dan Arnarson's voice laying a fragile narrative over an aggressive rhythym in a deft counterbalance that captures the complexity of human relationships good and bad. The rest of the album follows this basic template, but the sound is anything but basic.

This is some of the freshest music of the genre I've heard in a long while. Arnarson is fantastic and sings with the earnestness of a young Freddie Mercury. And the rhythms are complex without veering into that music-for-sound-engineers-and-calculators territory that prog can sometimes go. Drummer Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson has a wonderful light touch to his playing that reminds me of guys like the criminally underrated Stewart Copeland that I never get enough of. Proggers should dig this.

The Bottom Line: Agent Fresco is a band that deserves to have its name out there being heard. They have the uncanny knack for mixing seemingly disparate rhythyms and sounds as though they belong together in a way that's catchy without losing depth. Fans of Spock's Beard or The Custodian should really dig this.

Tracks I Wish I Could Listen To On My Old Beloved Sony Walkman WM-F20: The whole damned album

- Genghis really did own a lot of Sony Walkmans in his time...

Monday
Aug172015

Podcast #194: Shredder

The lads continue their post-summer sabbatical cleaning as they check in with two veterans of the guitarhead crowd, Chris Impelliterri and Joe Stump, for some lively conversation about all things metal.

Chris Impelliterri (Impelliterri, AniMetal USA) sat down to chew the fat about his new album, Venom, as well as his work with AniMetal and upcoming tour plans with his solo band.

Joe Stump (Exorcism, Raven Lord, Reign of Terror) is another solid shredder who sat down with us to discuss his decades long career including his latest projects and touring plans.

Video Of The Show: Van Halen Live: Right Here, Right Now

Beer of the Show: Black Raz Stout (Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 4.0
Palate: 4.0
Taste: 4.0
Overall: 4.0
"Buffalo Bayou Brewing describes this excellent cigar beer as 'dessert in a glass' and we're inclined to agree..."
 

Featured Tracks: Van Halen - Fire In The Hole; The Firm - Radioactive; Van Halen - Summer Nights

Ragman's Classic Of The Show: Diving For Pearls - Gimme Your Good Lovin'

Genghis' Classic Of The Show: Queensrÿche - I Don't Believe In Love

Ragman's Pick Of The Show: Eclipse - Stand On Your Feet

Genghis' Pick Of The Show: Cyrax - Cockroach

- Genghis is cleanin' up this one horse studio...

Podcast #194: Shredder

Sunday
Aug162015

Lynch Mob - Rebel

Lynch and Logan are back at it with some down and dirty hard rock sure to please.Being guitar fans, we're always excited about new product from our favorite guitarists like the venerable George Lynch and his latest studio album with Lynch Mob, Rebel. At this point George has made more albums with Lynch Mob (yeah, I know about REvolution, but it was a studio album, so bear with me) than he did with Dokken, making this an interesting and expected point to make comparisons in terms of songwriting and longevity, if I may.

There are probably two general camps within the base of Lynch Mob fans; Oni Logan versus Robert Mason. Both are great vocalists, and both appeared on what are probably the two best albums of Lynch Mob's career, but getting back to Rebel, it's definitely great to have Oni return on vocals, as he's my favorite of the two.

Testify, with it's swampy Zeppelin trudge is a perfect example of how Logan's clear and steady tone layers nicely on top of the heavy bottom beat. And it's always nice to hear those more adventurous tunes that Lynch pulls out since leaving Dokken like the funky Pine Tree Avenue and Jelly Roll. It's gotta be obvious to anyone by now that so much more was brewing in that coiffed head of his than that former band allowed.

The Bottom Line: Long time Lynch Mob fans will no doubt be pleased at this raucous new outing, but old fans that left when the Mob got a little too experimental (Smoke This) just know that this may not be the old Lynch, but he's still making some damn fine modern rock music.

Tracks To Play While Packing Your Old Leather Pants For The Salvation Army: Between The Truth And A Lie, Pine Tree Avenue, Jelly Roll & The Hollow Queen

- Genghis has been air guitarring relentlessly for hours to this album now...

Thursday
Aug132015

Beauvoir Free - American Trash

I have been a fan of the Beauvoir-Free pairing, since these guys first joined up forces, in Crown of Thorns, back in the early 90's.  Believe it or not, but Beauvoir, used to be in the iconic punk band, The Plasmatics, before exploring his more melodic hard rock side.  The guy has worked with Kiss, John Waite, and many others. 

Beauvoir and Free just have a great chemistry together, and I was really geeked, when I heard, that they had gotten back together, to do a project, for Frontiers.  Much like their other band Crown of Thorns, the songs are melodic and catchy as well.  Beauvoir's voice is as solid as ever, and so are Free riffs.  This could be the best thing either has done, since the first Crown of Thorns record; it is that good.

American Trash is solid from start to end, without one clunker.  The first track to really grab my attention was, strangely enough, the opener Angels Cry.  It is a mid-tempo rocker, oozing with melody, as well as one hell of a catchy chorus.  It is one of those choruses that stays in your head for days.  There is a nice mix of rockers and ballads on this one.  The bonus is that each tune with packed with killer riffs from Free.  Check out the tune, It's Never Too Late, to hear what I'm talking about.  It has one of those classic 80's style riffs, that just makes the hair's, on your arms, stand up to pay respect.  If you're looking for some solid melodic hard rock with attitude, then this one is for you.

Bottom Line:Beauvoir and Free proving that when they get together, they make musical magic.  Another killer release, from this duo.  Hopefully this is not a one off, because this one is a killer release.

Standout Tracks: It's Never Too late, Angel's Cry, Cold Dark December and Never Give Up

-Ragman likes when friends get back together.