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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - October
  • z²
    by Devin Townsend Project
Video of the Month - October
  • Ozzy Osbourne: Memoirs Of A Madman
    Ozzy Osbourne: Memoirs Of A Madman
    starring Ozzy Osbourne
Good Reading
  • Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    by Zakk Wylde, Eric Hendrikx
Feedback

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
Oct172014

Podcast #179: Axe

Look, bottom line: Steve Blaze is one of the coolest guys in metal. He's the fucking man. 'Nuff said.It doesn't get much better than meeting one of your metal heroes. Yeah, we listen to these guys, but when we get to meet them it's can really be an honor - especially if they're cool as shit! Join Genghis & Ragman as they talk about the great Lillian Axe. Why haven't they made it bigger? Tune it to hear the lads' thoughts. Next, Ragman grabbed the Metal Munchkin and headed over to a local rock club to meet with Lillian Axe main man Steve Blaze for another installment of An Evening With... where Steve and the band rolled out the welcome mat backstage to discuss the band's latest release, One Night In The Temple.

Featured Tracks: Lillian Axe - Show a Little Love, Dream of Lifetime, Until the End of the World, Nobody Knows and Death Comes Tomorrow

- Ragman was honored to chat with Mr. Blaze, once again...

Podcast #179: Axe

Thursday
Oct162014

Beastmilk - Use Your Deluge

You just know that each of these post-punk, Gothic rock dudes is thinking "Don't cry, man, don't cry"Helsinki post-punk, Goth-rock quartet Beastmilk has reportedly built up quite the rabid following in a short time, beginning with an utter clamor for their EP Use Your Deluge, which was heavily bootlegged on eBay for lack of available [vinyl] copies through their Finnish label. But thanks to some savvy industry dudes, their music is coming stateside through Magic Bullet Recordings.

Lead singer Kvohst sounds like a foreboding Jim Morrison as he croons through the EP's four tracks, which displays a unique if vaguely familiar sound not unlike 80s alt bands backed by the wall of sound of today's post-hardcore bands. Think something like the B-52s plus East of The Wall minus Fred Schneider's goofy shtick. Fair enough?

The Bottom Line: Beastmilk could easily entertain at your next hipster cookout, making for good background music that sounds avant garde without being a noisy fucking mess. This is a band that could go places, so I'm gonna keep an eye on these jokers and let you know what I find out. Tattooed fingers crossed.

- Genghis briefly imagined himself in a pair of black stovepipes and broke out in a cold sweat...

Thursday
Oct162014

Project Arcadia - A Time Of Changes

Can't say I know of any Bulgarian metal bands, but Project Arcadia can rock like nobody's business, I tell you what.I can't honestly say if I've ever heard of any metal bands coming out of Bulgaria. But if Project Arcadia's new album A Time Of Changes is any indication of the kind of music they're making over in Eastern Europe these days, it might be time to book a flight.

This is just classic metal circa 1989 - and that's not a backhanded compliment by any means. Right away, with the album's opener, Here To Learn, you get a rush of nostalgia as the razor sharp distortion cuts through the atmoshperic spoken word greeting and it doesn't let up for the album's 46 minute running time. The band's musicians comprise a tight, talented crew of rockers, all of them Bulgarian save for their new Swedish vocalist, Urban Breed (Tad Morose), whose clean, powerful voice makes him a perfect fit here. Even on the slower songs like I Am Alive or The Ungrateful Child, the music is polished and pure, bearing repeated listens. Old school shredheads be sure to check out the solo for Shadows Of The Night (3:16), which is simply a study in classic metal wailing, melodic and tasteful.

The Bottom Line: For a dose of old school metal with a nice touch of modern, progressive-tinted orchestration, Project Arcadia has the goods in spades. I can't praise this band enough. Check them out!

- Genghis did in fact indulge in many epic air guitar sessions during this review...

Thursday
Oct092014

Allen/Lande - The Great Divide

Another eagerly awaited collab between two metal gods comes up a bit short compared to previous releases.I love it when I see a new Allen/Lande collaboration. Ever since the two vocal powerhouses of Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Jørn Lande (Masterplan) began singing over songs performed, composed and arranged by Primal Fear guitarist, Magnus Karlsson, the music has been great with the vocals taking already good metal to the next level. Since their 2005 debut (The Battle), we've had two other albums leading up to the their new, fourth studio release - and the first one without Karlsson as songwriter: The Great Divide.

Replacing Magnus is none other than Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius), though Lande did contribute to the songwriting as well. But the meat of these albums is the expert pairing of two of metal's greatest vocalists today. And were it not for their level of expertise, it could easily turn into a singer's pissing contest where two bad-asses try to outdo each other with no regard for the music. This is why these albums work so well, letting the music breathe underneath while the two metal gods go at it.

Sorry to say, however, I really miss Magnus Karlsson's writing. His subtly progressive brand of melodic metal just worked better with these vocalists. Timo's no slouch of course, but perhaps being away from Stratovarius for so long, indulging his other musical tastes has left him a bit rusty when it comes to ensemble writing. The music is energetic, there's good guitar playing, the vocals are solid, but in the end, it just doesn't come together like previous albums. Interestingly, the slower songs seem better, which is in almost complete contrast to Karlsson's stuff, where the slower stuff got a little boring. This isn't to say The Great Divide is a bad album by any means - there's just so much raw talent involved here, how could that be true? But when compared to previous works from this outfit, there just seems to be something missing. I'm willing to wait a bit longer to see if the next album's material solidifies for me a bit more.

The Bottom Line: The Allen/Lande collaborations have been going strong for four albums now, but with a change in the songwriting department has come a different feel to the whole thing that's a little less...intriguing. Hopefully, this is just an initial impression that will change with repeated listens. Sorry, Tolkki.

- Genghis really wanted to get into this album...

Friday
Oct032014

The Order Of Israfel - Wisdom

Doom metal may not be the newest and freshest sound on the planet, but this is some damn fine metal gettin' debuted here.Primarily the work of guitarist Tom Sutton (Church Of Misery) and bassist Patrik Andersson Winberg (Doomdogs), Gothenburg-based The Order Of Israfel (TOOI) is a pretty straightforward doom metal band with folk music accents and a progressive touch. This keeps things interesting, and not sounding like the self-important or preachy stuff that tends to ruin much of the retro offerings out there. Otherwise, Wisdom - the band's debut album - takes a page from the classic doom metal playbook.

[Black] Sabbathy tunes that have all of the customary weight of the ominous abound, as in the epic plodding of The Noctuus. But the particular aforementioned mix of styles gives the more introspective parts of songs a nice Opeth feel, as on the [Ennio] Morricone-flavored The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires. But to show it's not all rubbery necks and closed-eyes, TOOI shows its more peppy side with tracks like Born For War or Morning Sun (Satanas) which call to mind the groovy chug of Black Label Society, or The Black Wings A Demon, which comes off like a thrilling version of The Doors meets Motörhead.

The Bottom Line: Don't let my mention of the word retro (which is becoming pretty stale these days) scare you off of this Swedish doom metal band's impressive debut. This is some damn fine metal. I dare say Zakk would approve.

- Genghis never did understand what the all the fuss was about The Doors...