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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - September
  • Hymns For The Broken (ltd. 2CD digipak edition)
    Hymns For The Broken (ltd. 2CD digipak edition)
    by Evergrey
Video of the Month - September
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall [Blu-ray]
    Breaking the Fourth Wall [Blu-ray]
    by Dream Theater
Good Reading
  • The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    by Martin Popoff
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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
Friday
Jul252014

Corrosion Of Conformity - IX

If you're a Pepper fan, he's not back yet, but this album rocks all the same. So calm yourself!Fans of Corrosion of Conformity (CoC) surely know that the band has been rocking for over 30 years now. And while their heyday was 20 years ago, those Carolina boys still know how to make some bitchin’ rock music. After a second hiatus in 2006 that led to a return in 2010 (sans Pepper Keenan) and 2012’s self-titled album, the original lineup of Reed Mullin (drums), Woody Weatherman (guitar) and Mike Dean (bass, vocals) have just released their ninth studio album, IX.

What I like about CoC is that their music comes with an authenticity that’s hard for new bands to match. But the real problem a lot of people have involves Pepper Keenan, who left in 2006 to play and tour with Down but isn't "officially" out of the band (yes, there's hope for you Pepperheads). Many consider him to be essential to the Southern-fried sound (Keenan being from Louisiana) of the band, having been the vocalist for their most successful album, Deliverance. And while Mike Dean, the band's original vocalist, is no Pepper, his vocals fit the music on this album just fine. The success of this latest LP will have to depend on its merits and not Pepper-era fans. And I think it should succeed, as this is some of the best doom metal tuneage I've heard in a while. The riffs are bigger than a wall of Marshall stacks and the groove is slicker than the bottom of your plate after a mess o' Carolina barbecue. So check it out.

The Bottom Line: Fans of the original, pre-Pepper incarnation of CoC will likely appreciate the return of their sound to its punky, groovy roots. But new fans, unburdened by the weight of a band's glory days, should find a lot to like here too with music that's thoroughly rocking irrespective of its context. So smoke 'em if you got 'em, and enjoy.

- Genghis admits he wouldn't recognize Albatross if he heard it...

Monday
Jul212014

Allegaeon - Elements Of The Infinite

Them Colorado boys not only know how to make some killer tech melodeath, but they make some of the most impressive album covers in the biz.As one of the better technical melodic death metal bands out there, Allegaeon is all about intensity - though not at the expense of melody. And thanks to recent changes in the band, Brandon Park (drums) and Michael Stancel (guitars) have helped breathe some life into the creative process, making the band's latest album Elements of the Infinite one of their finest efforts yet.

One of the things that draws me into their art is the balance they bring to the form. While they are quite adept at high-falutin' concepts like the Golden Ratio (1.618), Dyson Spheres, and Gravimetric Time Dilation, they don't take themselves so seriously they can't have fun. For proof of the latter, check out their tongue-in-cheek video for 1.618 which features the band trying to decide in what style the video should be made, resorting to spinning a wheel of various subgenres with hilarious results (with thrash hitting quite close to home).

The Bottom Line: Technical melodic death metal can easily get way in over its head, but Allegaeon have always managed to keep a tight reign on their music, making the experience not only enlightening but damn fun to thrash to.

- Genghis thought the glam metal vision needed more hot chicks...

Thursday
Jul172014

Super Duper Alice Cooper

You have to hand it to the boys at Banger Films, because these guys know how to make a great rock documentary.  The boys have tackled the world of hard rock and metal with a Headbanger's Journey as well as with Metal Evolution.  They also have also produced solid docs on Rush and Iron Maiden.  Their latest project to tackle is a documentary on the Godfather of Glam, Alice Cooper.  Each film these guys do, is a little different from the last, so be prepared for another solid experience.

Super Duper Alice Cooper dives into the transformation of Vince Furnier to Alice Cooper.  It is a Jekyll and Hyde story, in which a straight laced young man, from Phoenix, turns in to a rock n roll madman.  The film takes you all the way back, to the early days of Vince's career.  It chronicles from his first band, The Earwigs, all of the way up to the rise and fall of Alice Cooper.  It is a wild journey that shows how the excesses of drugs and alcohol, can come close to destroying one's life. 

The film is full of rare archived footage and still photography, which narrated by Alice and and other key people in his life.  I like how the film dove into the breakup of the Alice Cooper Band and how Alice, with the help of Bob Ezrin, was able to move forward, after the split.  Alice succeeded, after the band broke, but in the end fell victim to drugs and alcohol.  It wasn't until he conquered his demons, that he got his career back on track. 

The movie ends, as Alice is making his comeback into the rock world.  I really like that they touched on his comeback and his relationship with ex-guitarist Kane Roberts.  They were a solid team.  It is ashame their partnership didn't last longer.  Super Duper is a solid film from start to finish, which kept me wanting more.  An in depth look into one of the godfathers of glam and stage theatrics.

 

Bottom LineAnother solid rock doc from Banger films.  The rise and fall and resurrection of Alice Cooper.  A classic tale, of a man than lived to the excess of life but was able to wake up before his demons took his life.  A must for all Alice fans.

-Ragman is wondering if there will be a part 2.    

 

Wednesday
Jul162014

The Relapse Symphony - Shadows

Don't cry, hon. With a lick o' paint and some plants, this place'll look cozy for sure.Perhaps the most interesting thing about The Relapse Symphony is that they not only resist easy categorization, but actually think of themselves as constantly evolving, exhibiting no fear of venturing outside of their comfort zone if it means making better music. And it's that sort of pioneering attitude from which legends are born.

So, are The Relapse Symphony legends in the making? Maybe not. But their new album Shadows is definitely worth a listen to anyone who wants to know what's next in metal. The lines between genres are blurring more and more with each passing generation, and bands like The Relapse Symphony are at the forefront of a sound that hearkens back to pop/glam metal, where much more emphasis is put on melody and harmony than crunch and boom. What I find most interesting is the idea that it's metal reaching across to the pop world instead of the other way around. Could you imagine a pop star like Kelly Clarkson doing even one song on one album with, say, Scar Symmetry backing her (in my head, it sounds fucking awesome, come to think of it)?

In any case, I like that not only are there bands like The Relapse Symphone around to prove metal the relevant and innovative music genre that fans already know it is, but they don't play it like a gimmick. I honestly get a similar feeling to what people must have thought when Queen came on the scene with their operatic bombast, straining what people thought rock music was supposed to be. I can't say whether The Relapse Symphony will reach that level of musical reverence, but it's this kind of ballsy experimentation that keeps metal moving forward. 

The Bottom Line: The Relapse Symphony is a band for 21st century; a group that not only acknowledges everything that's come before it, but proudly mixes those influences together into whatever shape feels right at the moment - as long as it rocks. I'll be watching to see where their imaginations take them next.

- Genghis would probably feel more than a little out of place at one of this band's shows...

Tuesday
Jul152014

Podcast #175: Axe

These New York cats keep sounding better with every album they release, so check 'em out.Why can't we all just get along? Surely this thought pops into a metalhead's mind whenever his/her favorite guitarist leaves a band. Let's face it: this has been going on for decades - generally happening in bands featuring the lead singer's name (e.g. Dio, Ozzy, Dokken, etc...) But what drives that wedge between the lead singer and the guitarist? Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss this phenomenon. Next, the boys round up Martyrd guitarist Michael Andreas for a one on one, as Mike discusses the band's latest single, Faceless, as well as their upcoming new album.

DVD of the Show: Dio - Live in London (Hammersmith Apollo 1993)

Beer of the Show: Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Porter (Harpoon Brewery)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 4.0
Overall: 3.5
"This nicely balanced dessert beer has a sophisticated flavor profile that minimizes the bite of its nearly 10% ABV. Nice work!"
 

2nd Beer of the Show: Lenin's Revenge (Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company)

Featured Tracks: Winger - Queen Babylon; Dio - Strange Highways; Eat the Gun - At the End of the Day; Sebastian Bach - Gun to a Knife Fight; Winger - Tin Soldier; Whitesnake - All Out of Luck; Black Country Communion - Afterglow; Gus G - My Will Be Done; Martyrd - Pain of Reason and Faceless

Ragman's Classic of the Show: Lion - Powerlove

Genghis' Pick of the Show: EZO - House of 1,000 Pleasures

Ragman's Pick of the Show: The Intersphere - The Ghost of a Chance

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Prong - Come to Realize

- Ragman is back in the saddle again...

Podcast #175: Axe