That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - November
  • Underlying Issues
    Underlying Issues
    Scarlet records
Video of the Month - November
  • Second Flight: Live At The Z7 (2CD + Bluray)
    Second Flight: Live At The Z7 (2CD + Bluray)
    by Flying Colors
Most. Metal. Comic. Ever.
  • Black Metal: Omnibvs
    Black Metal: Omnibvs
    by Rick Spears, Chuck BB

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

Suhy, Silvergold & Alvarado - Tessellations

The trio of Suhy, Silvergold & Alvarado should satisfy your jazz-rock jones quite nicely.New Jersey based jazz rock power trio Suhy, Silvergold & Alvarado have released an amazing album of eclectic tunes that speak to my instrumentalist heart. Yes, this is ostensibly a metal site, but interestingly guitarist Ray Suhy has been playing rock and metal for years, including playing with East Of The Wall (I've mentioned before how this band seems to be some sort of musical nexus, with the various members of having seeded other bands I've raved about on this site) for a few. The man has chops. His playing is deft and confident, belying the years spent studying the finesse and creativity of masters like Coltrane. He can comp like a champ - Special Cadence is a wonderful seven minute jazz excursion that had me practically smelling the smoke-filled club it evokes - then turn around and rip like a demon - Temporal Landrons recalls the melodic shred of Shawn Lane without letting homage veer into soulless mimicry.

Rolando Alvarado's bass work is masterful, be it the satisfying timbre of plucking the double bass through jazzy tunes like Special Cadence, or the nimble rhythymic understructure he weaves like a spider on tracks like Malachite Dream. The East of the Wall connection here is his avant-metal trio El Drugstore, which featured guitarist Kevin Conway and drummer Seth Rheam, both of the former.

Which brings us to the most amazing member of all, drummer Alex Silvergold, who after only playing drums for the last 7 years is merely [a jaw-dropping] 16 years old. Be it his youth, his extraordinary dedication - or both, his high-energy playing is most impressive. I don't doubt many will be monitoring his career which probably won't even begin slowing down 'til maybe around 2065 (Crimeny!).

The Bottom Line: This New Jersey-based jazz-rock trio is jam-packed with talent and promise. The creative force of its virtuosi is evident on a debut many would hope to achieve just once in their entire careers. This is the real deal, folks.

- Genghis can't stop watching these guys jam on YouTube...


Podcast Interview: Hank Shermann

One of the founding fathers of black metal, Hank Shermann stops by for a chin wag.The boys are a bit starstruck as they chat it up with none other than guitarist Hank Shermann about his new project with fellow ex-Mercyful Fate guitarist Michael Denner. Listen in as the man with the metal plan waxes philosophic about the metal industry and where he sees his place in it.

Be sure to show the love if you're a fan of their music by buying Denner/Shermann's EP, Satan's Tomb, which is now available from motherfuckin' Metal Blade Records. HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Mercyful Fate - Desecration of Souls; Denner/Sherman - Seven Skulls and War Witch

Hank Shermann Interview


VLY - I/(Time)

If the idea of a post-rock Transatlantic scratches your itch, VLY may just be the band for you.One of the best things about music is the fact that, being art, the rules aren't set in stone. Traditionally, people would meet each other through mutual friends, love of a certain location (e.g. music club or store) or what have you, and after getting to know one another decide to collaborate to make music.

But British-based guitarist Karl Demata began writing with New York singer/artist Keith Gladysz after a mutual friend hooked them up, sending files back and forth across the pond without the two ever having met. This led to keyboardist Elisa Montaldo giving things her 70s Italian style progressive stamp, which led to bassist Chris Heilmann, whose classic rock attitude drove the project foward into the hands of Swedish drummer Mattias Olsson who even added the odd analog noise. After a little polish, the result was the [oddly-named] debut of the band known as VLY, I/(Time).

The result is a pretty righteous combination of classic and progressive rock, with the satisfying melodic sensibility of pop (often contrasted against post-rock guitar's wall of soundtm) and accented with the soothing ambience of electronic music. It's one of those conceptual music styles that makes the most sense when you hear it. And you really should. Tracks like Headache have a wonderful Spock's Beard or Transatlantic feel to them - largely suggested by Keith's vocals - that I thoroughly dig. All in all, this is a great album that deserves a listen by all prog lovers.

The Bottom Line: Progressive rock lovers should take to this well, especially if you like a European flavor with a modern sensibility in your jams.

- Genghis is a sucker for good, mellow prog like this...


Eldritch - Underlying Issues

Italy's prog metal homeboys, Eldritch, are at it again with a fine example of the genre.It's getting to the point where if I hear that a new band is 1) Italian, 2) progressive metal, and 3) produced or mixed by Simone Mularoni, my liking them is a fait accompli. Case in point, the 10th studio album from Eldritch entitled Underlying Issues is steadily climbing up the list of contenders for our upcoming annual Kicks and Kisses List. I mean this is some great progressive metal from a band that's been around nearly a quarter of a century, bringing to bear the confidence and efficiency you'd expect to come from that experience.

My favorite thing about European progressive metal, especially the Italian variety, is the clever blending of power metal into the mix. That element of drama, held in check by prog metal's inherent sense of dynamics makes for a wonderful variation on what often ruins one of my favorite genres of metal: wankery. Too many progmetal bands focus on super intricate themes and interludes, apparently forgetting that music should be fun and - dare I say it - catchy. Eldritch gets this, as heard in Danger Zone's opening groove or in The Face I Wear's soaring chorus. From Eugene Simone's tasteful soloing (he also co-produced) to Terence Holler's temperate vocalizations, this is a solid album of proggy jams.

The Bottom Line: There's no shortage of progressive metal to be had in the world today, but some of the best of the genre relies on the restraint of experience to reign in the tendency to overdo and overplay a song. Eldritch has been around long enough to know what to avoid, which some may characterize as "playing it safe", but this implies a fear of the unknown. Veterans just know what they're doing.

- Genghis happens to like a little power metal mixed in with his progmetal...


Horisont - Odyssey

On top of everything else about Horisont's latest album, the cover art is friggin' magnificent, amirite?That Scandanavian retro rock revival sound shows no signs of stopping and I can't say I'm upset about it. Especially where it concerns bands like Horisont and their latest studio album, Odyssey. And there's a lot to appreciate from this quintet, with influences as varied and impressive as Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Yes, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath. The amalgamation and presentation of this rock soup is pretty amazing I must say.

Billed as a concept album space saga by the band, Odyssey kicks off with a nearly 11-minute title track whose beginning sounds like a cross between Rush's Temples of Syrinx and Genesis' Turn It On Again. From then on it's classic riffs and tones from these guys like they stepped out of a Land Of The Lost pylon with their plush moustaches fully intact. I'm constantly amazed at these Northern European bands' ability to utterly capture a sound as wild as early 70's rock without sounding cheesy or cliché. This stuff sounds like it dropped out of a time warp and I love it. There's a very analog feel to everything, and the songs may not make a lot of sense, but it's more about the ambience at play here. Horisont conjures up a mood that's authentic and fresh despite it obvious inspiration.

The Bottom Line: This is some great 70s style jams with a progressive touch that knows where its roots lie but doesn't trade on nostalgia. It treats its audience like fellow time travellers who want to share a journey to a much groovier time in rock n' roll. To the Wayback Machine!

Tracks Greg Brady Would Totally Play For Chicks In His Own Bedroom: Odyssey, Light My Way, Back On The Streets, and Timmarna

- Genghis felt his moustache grow THREE sizes that day...