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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - July
  • Underworld
    Underworld
    Nuclear Blast
Video of the Month - July
  • Like It Is-Yes Live At The Mesa Arts Center (BR) [Blu-ray]
    Like It Is-Yes Live At The Mesa Arts Center (BR) [Blu-ray]
    starring Yes
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
Tuesday
Jun022015

District 97 - In Vaults

Great googly-moogly, prog wunderkinds District 97 have finally released a new album. To the stereo!Oh, frabjous day, District 97's latest album In Vaults has come to brighten up my summer lethargy. I've been all about this Chicago quintet since I heard their sophomore effort Trouble With Machines nearly three years ago. Suffice it to say, I was pleasantly and amazingly caught off guard with some of the best sounding progressive tuneage I've heard in a long time with no small amount of credit going to vocalist Leslie Hunt's brilliant voice. Don't get me wrong, even without Hunt in the equation this is some stellar progressive jamming and no mistake.

The opening track, Snow Country, sets the stage for proving my case with a sinuous riff that sounds like an amazing cross between Genesis and Black Sabbath. Death By A Thousand Cuts escalates things nicely with more chunky rhythyms - I can't get enough of jams like the verse line. Handlebars keeps the proggy train rolling with a tasty keyboard solo (3:27) and some Leslie rotating outro vocal jittering that blends into the bassy beat of A Lottery. The second half of the album, heralded by All's Well That Ends Well's mellow noodling, is where the band turns up the knobs on that old school progressive feel (save for the grungy Takeover that exemplifies the District 97 signature sound). And the coda of On Paper (2:25) is the closest the album gets to its more Liquid Tension Experiment groove many have mentioned before. I think Leslie's voice shines on the wistful opening to the most diverse tune of the album, Learn From Danny, before kicking into a Spock's Beard-style guitar solo before winding its way into some chunk before progging out hard for a bit and getting into some trippy call and response vocal riffing (4:16). Lastly, you'll float away on the high of an eleven and a half minute jam session as Blinding Vision closes out the proceedings. All in all, this is another home run for prog fans as District 97 gives us more of what fans loved with their previous album. I'm loving it.

The Bottom Line: District 97 is absolutely one of my favorite new progressive bands and their latest album, In Vaults, is a perfect example why: Fearless musical invention executed with flawless ability. If you're a progressive music fan, you've got to be a District 97 fan. 'Nuff said.

- Genghis is sitting by the window awaiting a sign that this band is coming to town...

Wednesday
May272015

Kamelot - Haven

Them metalheads are at it again with their riffin' and their singin'. Nice to see Kamelot getting better and better.Kamelot's one of those bands that's so good at the particular sound they're doing, you naturally confuse them with other bands. And by that I mean their symphonic metal sound is so European-sounding (a very good thing), I was genuinely surprised to find out they're from Tampa. And yet, I've been listening to them since Siége Perilous back in 1998.

Now that they have Swedish vocalist Tommy Karevik, who joined them back before Silverthorn, German keyboardist Oliver Palotai (who's been with the band since 2005), and guest vocalists from Nightwish and Delain, the European connection is stronger than ever.

And things start off nicely with Fallen Star, as the band's expert technique gives a taste of what to expect: moody keyboard-driven backdrops to songs about restlessness, oppression and subsequent rebellion sharpened with the aggressive metal edge of Thomas Youngblood's meaty riffing. This carries throughout the album with slower ballads like Under Grey Skies and Here's To The Fall to provide dynamics. I'm really digging the power of Liar Liar(Wasteland Monarchy) with Arch Enemy's Alissa White-Gluz providing some of her bad-ass growl. All in all, things are falling in to place with Karevik after the loss of erstwhile vocalist Roy Khan, who was with them for a really great run. Haven isn't perfect by any means, but it's clear Kamelot is on a comeback trail, and I couldn't be happier about it.

The Bottom Line: Haven shows a steady improvement of the band's symphonic power metal sound since the loss of Khan as new vocalist Karevik explores the soundscape a bit more over the band's world-class rhythym section. I'm looking forward to future albums from one of my favorite old school bands.

- Genghis missed seeing these guys thanks to Rush's R40 tour (not complaining)...

Wednesday
May202015

Turbowolf - Two Hands

Bristol rockers Turbowolf know how to fuck your brain up with some killer grooves. Puff, puff, pass.If you haven’t had enough of that sweet, sweet psychedelic punk rock that’s been floating around for the last few years, you’re gonna be happy with the Turbowolf’s latest album, Two Hands, yessir. And that the British rockers know how to lay down a seriously hip groove, there is little doubt. But let’s get to the particulars of this sophomore outing.

What gives Turbowolf its power is the unstoppable energy of its music. And while raging tracks like Rabbit’s Foot and Nine Lives can keep a crowd jumping, the counterpoint of mellow trips such as the Ennio Morricone-meets-Alice Cooper shimmer of MK Ultra prove this band isn’t a one trick pony. There’s even the interesting diversion of what seems like a lost Nintendo soundtrack in the 44 second Toy Memaha to cleanse the palate for the second half of this surreal feast. This is trippy stuff in the best way.

The Bottom Line: For every given sub-genre of rock music, there’re countless bands jumping on the bandwagon hoping to cash in on the popularity. Turbowolf is NOT one of those bands. These cats epitomize cool with every bad-ass bass line and fuzzy guitar riff that cook behind frontman Chris Georgiadis’ manic mojo. Check ‘em out.

- Genghis can’t even imagine how crazy this band is live…

Thursday
May142015

Podcast #190: Feud

This episode we talk to the one and only Carl Canedy of The Rods. It's possible his hair no longer looks like this.Like the infamous enmity between the Hatfields and McCoys, there's nothing like a feud to capture the interest of fans in the music industry. Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss some of the biggest and latest feuds in the rock industry, including how current technologies like Twitter and Facebook make it even more public.

Next, the boys check in with drummer Carl Canedy (The Rods) who discusses his band, touring plans and his experiences in the world of heavy metal. It's old school talk up in here from a veteran rocker, so grab a beer and settle in. Horns up!

Video Of The Show: Jorn Lande - Live In America

Beer of the Show: Tripel Perfection (Ommegang Brewery)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 4.0
Taste: 4.0
Overall: 4.0
"One of our favorite brewers of all time does it again with a delicious, well-balanced Belgian tripel. Exceptionnel!"
 

Featured Tracks: Revolution Saints - Locked Out Of Paradise; CPR (Coven, Pitrelli & Reilly) - CPR; Jorn - We Brought The Angels Down; Winger - Battle Stations; Lion - Hands on Heaven; Slash with Myles Kennedy - Wicked Stone; Thin Lizzy - Cold Sweat; Alice In Chains - Check My Brain; Metallica - Trapped Under Ice

Ragman's Classic Of The Show: Scorpions - Restless Nights

Genghis' Classic Of The Show: Living Colour - Elvis Is Dead

Ragman's Pick Of The Show: Flying Colors - The Fury Of My Love

Genghis' Pick Of The Show: Cyrax - Cockroach

- Genghis is saving all of his energy for Rush this week...

Podcast #190: Feud

Wednesday
May062015

One-Eyed Doll - Witches

In a world where so much music is processed media packaging, it's nice to know One-Eyed Doll exists and thrives.Vocalist/Guitarist Kimberly Freeman and drummer Jason Rufus Sewell (AKA "Junior") together form the goth punk duo One-Eyed Doll, but there's so much more to the story than that - probably more than I can adequately explain here, actually. Suffice it to say their unique blend of metal, punk, and indie rock is an acquired taste that may be your new jam if you're in the mood for something truly off the beaten path in today's saturated music business.

Their latest album Witches is actually a concept album based on the Salem witch trials of colonial America, with lyrics featuring direct quotes from the original handwritten witch trial court documents. True to their artistic nature, the music was written all at once almost completely on banjo and mandolin in the Redwood Forest near Santa Cruz, California, which vocalist Freeman says provided "this great 'forest metal' vibe". Tracks like Prayer and Remember serve to drive this idea home, coming off like a foreboding cross between Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. But don't worry that the band's gone straight up folky, as tunes like Black In The Rye often break in with their heavy chunk counterbalancing Freeman's fierce, beautiful voice. There be moshing here.

And it's the clever juxtaposition of so many disparate elements that is ultimately the true appeal beyond the enjoyable quirkiness of the band itself. Less talented performers would be quickly crushed under the weight of such ambition. There's Freeman's childlike stage persona versus her obvious (though downplayed) sexiness, the barebones live setup of guitar and drums versus the complex musical structure of their recordings, and the Rob Zombie-esque combination of horror, humor and showmanship that holds it all together. And for all of their artsy weirdness, their tireless DIY efforts clearly demonstrate that these people are totally legit. You got a new fan right here, kids.

The Bottom Line: One-Eyed Doll is an indie band filled with dichotomies. And it is the seamless - and successful - interplay between those dichotomies that makes this band so fascinating. If you get the chance, check them out live. In the meantime, here's to the true artists (in every sense of the word) of today's music scene.

- Genghis doesn't know if he's got what it takes to see these kids live...