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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - May
  • Two Hands
    Two Hands
    Spinefarm
Video of the Month - May
  • Odyssey / Scala
    Odyssey / Scala
    by TESSERACT
Wanna Be A Metal Chef?
  • Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
    Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
    by Steve Seabury
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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
Friday
Apr102015

Secret Of Boris - Your Ghost

Hard to imagine Secret Of Boris coming out of Dallas of all places, but these guys are worth a listen.Dallas-based post-grunge, hard rock act Secret Of Boris is slowly gaining reputation as a great live band. And their debut album, Your Ghost, captures this energy pretty well.

The vocal harmonies are reminiscent of Five.Bolt.Main or Alice In Chains while the music itself calls to mind outfits like Breaking Benjamin or Saliva, while giving their 90s era sound a bit of a makeover with a well-layered, keyboard-enhanced sound. What makes this band stand out from the crowd is the high energy performance so faithfully captured in production, and its melodic sensibility; these cats understand that there's more to hard rocking than attitude, image, and down-tuned guitars cranked to 11.

The Bottom Line: Don't dismiss Secret Of Boris as another nu-metal, post-grunge, hard rock act until you give their debut a listen. There's more to this band than what some old music reviewer can manage to articulate. This is a secret that rewards investigation.

- Genghis needs a new hat...

Thursday
Apr092015

FM - Heroes and Villains

British melodic hard rock masters FM do it again on their 9th studio album. Outstanding, boys.Good melodic hard rock is one of those things that's harder to find than you'd think, but when you do it's like comfort food (banana pudding, anyone?). The reason pop songs are so pervasive is that everybody loves a good melody; they're catchy and they stick around long after the song ends playing over and over in your head. And melodic hard rock adds the satisfying crunch of guitar and amazing lead work that tips it in the net for metal fans with a sweet tooth.

Such it is with Britain's FM, who've been kicking around for 30 years. And while Heroes and Villains is only their ninth studio album, they sound better than ever - which is in no small part due to guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick's tasteful solos and the band's lush harmonies behind lead singer Steve Overland's fantastic voice. This is the stuff, people.

As far as actual songs, it's solid, mid-tempo goodness reminiscient of bands like Sweden's Nation (one of my favorites) from back in the 90s. To say this music is "by the numbers" - which equates to formulaic - would be pejorative in most cases. But I say that in the sense of a well-trained group of professionals that know their roles and what's expected of them, hitting their marks with a precision and fluidity that's impressive.

The Bottom Line: FM may not be new kids on the block, but their sound is as vital as ever in the genre. Steve Overland's solid, powerful vocals are the frosting on this melodic hard rock cake, and Jim Kirkpatrick's guitar work is the sprinkles. Cut me a big slice of that, please.

Tracks to Go Full Tom Cruise To When No One's Looking: Digging Up The Dirt, Fire And Rain, Call On Me, and Shape I'm In

- Genghis would love to see this guys rock a small club...

Friday
Apr032015

Annisokay - Enigmatic Smile

German quintet Annisokay are back with their masterful genre blending - and they're still quite heavy!You may remember my reviewing this German melodic metalcore quintet's rather impressive debut, The Lucid Dream[er] last year. Amazingly, Annisokay is already back again with their followup, Enigmatic Smile.

The title is based on the timeless mystery of a lovely young French woman found dead in the river Seine (known today as "L’Inconnu de la Seine") of what was assumed to be suicide. The coroner was so taken by the woman's calm, almost smiling expression, he had a cast taken of her face to be displayed decoratively. To this day, the case is unsolved. The music itself is a continuation of the precedent established by their debut album; a thrilling mix of metalcore, melodic death metal, with a touch of electronic (and not being expert, so please don't try to pin me down on what sub-genre of electronic music is actually in play here). These guys just fucking rock, okay?

The Bottom Line: Those melodic metalcore wunderkinds, Annisokay, are back making some of the more interesting metal coming out of Europe these days. Keep in mind it's not that each of the constituent genre influences are new, but the artful blending of them is what these guys do best. Check 'em out.

Tracks That Make Your Neck Go "Uh-oh...": Panic Attack, Fragile Line, and Traveler

- Genghis wishes he was twenty-five years younger (and independently wealthy)...

Friday
Apr032015

Damian Murdoch Trio - Electric Tentacles

Aussie ex-pat Damian Murdoch hooked up with some Austrian musicians to form a kick ass power trio. Das klingt gut, nicht wahr?If you know me, you know I love instrumental music, and having it in the form of the power trio is always a treat. From Rush to The Winery Dogs, you just can't beat the infectious vibe of three talented musicians cranking out some amazing music, and the Damian Murdoch Trio is no exception on their

Things kick off aptly with The Opener, a down-and-dirty, bluesy number that prepares you for the album's vibe. The chickin' pickin' attack style of Funky Desert Rider is reminiscent of classic Michael Lee Firkins. And I love the Dennis Chambers-esque intro to the moody Visceral Circles Of The Cosmos. I could describe each tune on the album, but fans of the genre get the idea; this is a classic power trio exercise, where no one instrumentalist outshines the other because the groove is king. Words aren't necessary because the instruments do the talking in a sweet blend of rock, blues, and jazz (and a touch of latin rhythym) that will make it nearly impossible not to air jam along.

The Bottom Line: Australian guitarist Damian Murdoch has joined with two Austrian session musicians, drummer Michael Posch and bassist Harry Stöckl, to make a groove-heavy album that satisfies that power trio jones that never really goes away for long. 'Nuff said!

- Genghis wishes he was in a bad-ass power trio...

Wednesday
Apr012015

Frankenstein Rooster - The Nerdvrotic Sound's Escape

Frankenstein Rooster is some great Freak Kitchen-style musical insanity. And check out all the Easter eggs in this cover art.You may recall my review of Matthias Eklundh's Freak Kitchen (Land of the Freaks) a while back. Their expert blending of different genres into a metallic soup of virtuosity was mind-blowing. Well, thankfully, they aren't the only ones who have such inclinations. Case in point, Frankenstein Rooster and their sophomore release, The Nerdvrotic Sound's Escape.

The band was founded in 2008 by guitarist Raffaello "Rafahel" Indri (Elvenking, Harduo), who was later joined by drummer Camillo Colleluori (Hollow Haze), with their 2009 debut album receiving critical acclaim. Fans of this sort of thing - like myself - know the drill: this is a genre-bending guitar-based free-for-all that, because of its practitioners' level of musical acumen, keeps from becoming a convoluted mess. Instead you get a brilliant aural intersection of rock, funk, jazz, and good old heavy metal interspersed with enough pop culture soundbites to remind you these guys don't take themselves too seriously. If you dig the sound of that, this is your new jam, kids.

The Bottom Line: Fans of bands like Freak Kitchen, who crave this 21st century version of jazz fusion, should look into Frankenstein Rooster. It's a great way to unwind after, say, some extreme technical metal. Soup's on!

- Genghis really digs this kind of stuff...