That time Genghis said...
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CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
  • 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
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts

Podcast #105: Air

An Evening With...Dan ReedHave you ever felt [mentally] lost and didn't know where to go?  A lot of us may go through this every now and again, but we come out of it and try to pick up where we left off.  We all go on journeys through life, some take us to places we never imagined, and others take us to places we wish we could forget.  Being a musician has to be a tough thing because things can turn on a dime.  Join Genghis and Ragman as they go on just such an extraordinary journey with singer/songwriter, Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network), as we return to the latest in the An Evening With... series.  Dan discusses his return to music as well as his latest CD, Coming up for Air.

DVD VHS of the Show: Dan Reed Network - Live At Last

Beer of the Show: Ed Hardy (Premium Beer)  Beer Rating: N/A

Featured Tracks: Dan Reed Network - World Has a Heart Too, Get to You, Slam, Long Way to Go (Featuring Nuno Bettencourt), Make it Easy, Take My Hand, Let it Go; Dan Reed - Losing My Fear, Brave New World, On Your Side, Pray for Rain; Dan Reed Network - The Salt of Joy

- Ragman wants Dan to come to Texas.

Podcast #105: Air


Stratovarius - Infinite (Re-issue) and Polaris (Expanded)

Nice extras, but it's not all gravy...Stratovarius recently issued two new re-releases to spark interest in the band.  The first, Infinite, was the last great CD by the band with ex-guitarist and founder, Timo Tolki.  I found it interesting that the band would be re-issuing this CD now that Tolki is out of the band.  There is no doubt that this was their last great record, starting off with a bang in the anthem Hunting High and Low, and continuing to pummel with solid tracks like A Million Light Years Away and Infinity.  I could go on, but I wanted to get into the portion of this CD that might prompt a fan to buy this again; this deluxe edition includes the original CD as well as another one full of bonus tracks, demos, and a couple of live cuts. 

Getting into the meat of this thing, there are 7 bonus tracks [on this extra CD] that I was most interested in because you sometimes find songs that are stronger than some of the actual original tracks.  The first bonus track, Why are We Here, is a mid tempo rocker full of melody and killer riffage.  It's classic Stratovaius, and sounds like it could have been written during the Destiny sessions.  A killer tune which could have fit well on the original album easily.  The next two tracks are okay, but you can see why they didn't make the original cut.  Not bad, but nothing to knock your socks off either.  Overall, the demos are pretty cool to hear, but nothing that special .  The live tracks sound great, however, and once you hear these tracks, you hear how much Tolki is missed. 

Live Strato is nice, but Tolki is missed.Stratovarius has also just re-released their 2009 Polaris CD, with an additional live CD as well.  This is the first CD without orignal guitarist Timo Tolki, instead featuring his replacement, Matias Kupiainen.  As per the original review, this CD is good but not great.  There are some killer tracks like Winter Skies and a few others, but other than that the CD comes off sort of flat.  The reason for the re-release is to give the fans a taste of what the band sounds like live with their new member.  I have to say, Stratovarius is one of those bands that actually deliver on a live offering.  If you haven't heard Visions Live, you need to go out and buy it today.  A stellar release.

I have to say that I was pretty excited to hear the live CD, since this band always delivers live.  The CD is good and has a nice sound.  I really like the set list for the live CD, because you get a lot of older tunes mixed with a few of the newer ones.  The CD comes off nicely, showing that the band can still do it live with out Tolki.  Actually the tunes off Polaris like Winter Skies and Deep Unknown come off sounding fresher live.  I really like the live CD, because it is a good representation of what the band can do.  As much as I like the live recording, I have to say I miss Tolki's passionate playing.  Matias is a solid guitarist, but does not play with the feeling that Tolki does.  All in all a solid package.


Bottom Line: Stratovarius re-releasing two eras of the band: the old and the new.  If you do not have either release, the band has just made them both a little more enticing.

- Ragman wants his classic Stratovarius back.


Triumph - Greatest Hits Remixed

Is a Triumph reunion tour coming? We sure as hell hope so.When you think of great Canadian rock bands, who do you think of?  I know the new schoolers will probably mention either Nickelback or Theory of a Deadman, and the old school guys will shout out uncontrollably - Rush!  If you think back to the 70's and early 80's, there were just a handful of bands to break out of Canada, and make a major impact on the music scene, and the one's to have the most sucess were power trios; Rush of course, with the other being the mighty Triumph.  Triumph ruled the airwaves in the late 70's through a better part of the 80's, before finally calling it quits in the early 90's.  Triumph delivered a hard rock punch and sound that was unmatched.  The band had a period in the 80's, where they were on top of the world, by releasing such geat albums as Allied Forces, Never Surrender and Thunder Seven.  Unfortunately in the late 80's, the wheels started to fall off the wagon, and one major piece of the puzzle left (The departure of Rik Emmett), and then the band never really recovered from there. 

Well time heals all wounds, right?  Well in some cases at least.  After the band's induction in the Canadian Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the guys put their differences aside and apeared on stage together for the first time in over 20 years.  2010 brings hope to Triumph fans for a full blown re-union, that this reviewer can not wait for, but to keep us at bay, the band has just released a really cool greatest hits package.  This isn't your standard package because it is all of the hits plus it includes a DVD of all of the tunes.  The DVD contains the classic videos from Mtv as well as some fairly rare live footage.  Really a cool package.  *Sam Dunn if you are reading this review, their is another Canadian band that could use the star treatement, if you know what I'm saying..  Again this is a nice package including 14 tracks on the audio CD as well as on the DVD.  Cool stuff.


Bottom Line: The perfect release to pre-empt a reunion tour.  Hopefully this is what will get the boys back on stage together again rocking our world.  This is a great package and the remixed versions come out fuller and punchier.

- Ragman will grow a mullet, if Triumph tours again.


Rage - Strings to a Web

This album is a MUST BUY!Every time Rage come out with a new CD, I have to say I get pretty geeked.  I was a late bloomer with Rage, not discovering them until 1999 with the release of Ghosts.  From the first listen I was hooked, and it made me crave more.  Luckily for me, for the next 5 years the band put out some of their strongest material to date.  To be honest, I haven't dug too deeply into the band's back catalog, but I will one day.  To me, the band hit a little bit of a snag from 2006-2008 with the releases of Speak to the Dead and Carved in Stone.  Don't get me wrong, there was some solid stuff on those records, but I think they got away from the signature riffage and core sound that fans have come to know and love.  I strongly believe that Soundchaser was the last solid CD that the band has put out, but with that said, the band has just released their 18th studio album called Strings to a Web.  Let's see if they got back on track.

Strings rips right into action with the barn-burner, Edge of Darkness.  This track starts off with a killer Eddie Van Halen (a la Mean Streak) style tapping riff by guitarist extraordinaire, Victor Smolski.  It is amazing.  The dude is a certified guitar monster.   The song then rips into a killer uptempo track with all of the trademark Rage elements intact.  The next track, Hunter and Prey, is old school Rage, reminding me of the classic track Down off of the Unity record.  It's punchy and full of great riffs and a solid chorus.  The assault doesn't stop there, because the next 2 tracks will continue to pummel the senses until you get to the killer 5th song, Empty Hollow.  This is Rage at their best, delivering monster riffs combined with killer melody.  The songs are memorable and will stick with you.  By far the best album the band has done in years, and my first pick of the month on the new site!

Bottom Line: Rage at their best.  This album delivers some of the best riffs I've heard in awhile.  The band's gone back to doing what they do best: rocking your balls off.  There are a few surprises, but they do not take away from the flow of the CD. Note: As a bonus, this package comes with a great live DVD of the band.  This is a must buy!

Standout Tracks: Hunter and Prey, Beggar's Last Dime, Empty Hollow Saga and Savior of the Dead

- Ragman wishes he and wifey were back in Germany rocking to Rage...


Paul McCartney Really Is Dead - The Last Testament of George Harrison

Interesting concepts end up seeming phonyThere are many unsolved mysteries that have perplexed mankind for years - and will continue to, until the day we die.  Who killed JFK?  Are Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin on an island partying together?  Is Paul McCartney really dead?  Who knows? But it's always fun to speculate, right?  Highway 61 Entertainment has just released a DVD containing "evidence" that may shed light on one of the great mysteries in rock and roll: Is Paul McCartney dead, or alive?  Again, who knows (work with me here)?   But it sounds like it might be an interesting watch, so let's check it out.

In 2005, a mysterious package appeared in the mail at the offices of Highway 61 Entertainment (right, "who?") containing 2 tapes that were supposedly recorded by former Beatle, George Harrison.  These tapes fuel the documentary, by trying to uncover one of the biggest mysteries in rock n rock history.  To be fair, the documentary does state that they have not been able to authenticate the voice on the tapes, but do say that the voice is eerily similar to George.   This is was a very entertaining watch - though on a down note, the dialog seems scripted at times.  If these were indeed tapes originating from Harrison, I don't believe the dialog would be so thought-out and calculated.

There's some cool footage, and the film is put together well.  The clues presented may get you scratching your head at times, but for the most part you go with it because there are some interesting clues that the lads supposedly left.  An entertaining watch for Beatle and non-Beatle fans. 

Bottom Line: A cool documentary that asks some interesting questions.  Unfortunately, the DVD seems scripted and ends up coming off a little phony.  Still entertaining, if sometimes a little far-fetched.

- Ragman is looking for a bowl to cut his hair