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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - February
  • Buried In Violence
    Buried In Violence
    Napalm Records
Video of the Month - December
  • Live at the Phoenix [Blu-ray]
    Live at the Phoenix [Blu-ray]
    by Harem Scarem
Tales Of Thin Lizzy
  • The Emerald Rebels: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of Philip Lynott and Thin Lizzy
    The Emerald Rebels: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of Philip Lynott and Thin Lizzy
    by Xaviant Haze
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
Wednesday
Feb032016

Junkstars - This Means War

Punk rockers still exist? In Sweden? Damn right they do. And Junkstars is leading the charge.Neo-punks Junkstars are dead set on keeping the punk rock flag flying in the 21st century, and it's hard not to root for them when you see this young trio playing every song like it's their last. After touring Europe extensively and releasing two albums, it's time for their latest release This Means War. Whether they're declaring war on us is anybody's guess.

Right off the bat, I have to say the production of This Means War is fantastic. You really get the feeling of standing in somebody's garage as three hyped-up dudes play their asses off. Because let's face it, with punk it's not about playing in odd time signatures, Michael Bay level pyrotechnics, or grandiose concept album material. It's about aggression, energy and attitude. And the Junkstars have it.

With influences from the likes of The Clash, The Ramones, and Rancid, there's no question they've got the right blueprint, and with the world being in the state it's in, there's certainly no shortage of lyric potential. Max Malmquist (guitar, lead vocals) is a quite capable frontman with a strong, gravelly voice and tight riffs, while bassman Tobbe Ljungqvist adds a nice warm bounce to the bottom end to compliment human dynamo Mathias Wanneberg on drums.

The Bottom Line: The spirit of punk rock lives on in Europe through the likes of Junkstars. In a country where cutting-edge metal rules with an iron claw, this trio of grass roots rockers defies convention with a toothy grin. Punk lovers, get those jean jacket vests on cuz it's time for some slam dancin'.

- Genghis remembers when he had this kind of energy (he was 5)...

Wednesday
Feb032016

Beseech - My Darkness, Darkness

Swedish goth metal band Beseech returns with their first album since 2005.Sometimes it's better to have never heard a band's previous works at all so that no pre-judgement clouds your mind while introducing yourself to their latest material. Such is the case with Swedish goth metal band Beseech, who've been around since the early 90s. Having disbanded about 10 years ago and recently reforming with new members (half the band is new), they're back with their sixth studio album, My Darkness, Darkness.

From the first minute of opener Beating Pulse, the stage is set for a great melodic, moody jam with lead vocals supplied by veteran guitarist Klas Bohlin, who assumed the role in late 2013, and is joined by Angelina Sahlgren Söder. Angelina's vocals fit beautifully with Bohlin's baritone, especially on tracks like Highwayman, which at times sounded almost like a duet between Kate Bush and the late Peter Steele (Type O Negative). This is good stuff, and will see some rotation into my new music mix.

The Bottom Line: Gothic metal can often become mired in its own existential crises, leaving fans bored and unsatisfied. Thankfully, the change in Beseech's line-up may have been just what the band needed to move forward with a new album and outlook. I'm not saying the characteristic tone of the genre is gone, but the band does manage to transcend those trappings on a - dare I say - "catchy" album. Highly recommended.

- Genghis is quite curious to check out some more of this band...

Monday
Feb012016

Product Of Hate - Buried In Violence

You might ask yourself "can they thrash in Kenosha?" Fuckin' A they can.Wisconsin-based thrash newcomers Product Of Hate have been honing their skills for the last several years - and it shows. Their debut album Buried In Violence is a thrash tour de force and no mistake. Their particular sound appeals to metalheads that thrill to the Swiss clock precision of classic thrash and speed metal, but filters it through a melodic, groove-oriented sensibility that modern 'bangers dig.

Vocalist Adam Gilley delivers his policitally-charged rhetoric with formidable throat-destroying growls while remaining understandable, but the true power of POH is in the guitar duo, the brothers Rathbone (Cody and Gene) who provide the electric rails that this train runs on - and this motherfucker is full speed ahead. As far as songs go, they got the universal thrash metal playbook and they're running it step by step: sociopolitical commentary, monster riffs (love the little pull-off riff on the opening of Blood Coated Concrete), machine gun drums, pounding bass, even [the thrash version of] a ballad à la Testament's Musical Death (A Dirge) - it's all here. And it's fucking great.

The Bottom Line: Good gravy this is some pumped up thrash. Seriously, I was fucking tired after this album finished, but I was in a damned good mood. Product Of Hate's cathartic debut album lets its "pissed flag" fly and you get to mosh along for the ride. 'Nuff said!

- Genghis would love to see these dudes open for Testament (suck it, neck!)...

Friday
Jan292016

Prong - X (No Absolutes)

Tommy and company are back with some righteous thrashy hardcore and I dig it heartily.Ol' Tommy Victor's outfit has been on a pretty nice roll the last few years, putting out an album pretty much every year since their comeback from hiatus in 2012, most recently impressing with their last studio album [of original tunes] Ruining Lives, which I liked a lot.

Well, thankfully the trend continues as Prong continues to crank out high-energy, thrashy hardcore you're likely to find. Seriously, whatever Tommy's been drinking to remain so fresh and prolific after 30 years of making music with Prong, get me a case of that shit. Tracks like Sense of Ease exemplify this tireless groove, with the verse riffage of Without Words sounds like a Testament B-side from Souls of Black. I say verse because the chorus has a catchy melodicism that you don't often hear in straight up thrash metal - which is Prong's strength and perhaps the secret to their longevity. That formula plays out for most of the album, including some righteous soloing from Tommy.

The Bottom Line: Prong is firing on all cylinders these days with more energetic hard core. Perhaps the arranging and recording of their preceding album Songs From The Black Hole (filled with covers by such bands as Hüsker Dü and Neil Young) galvanized the band with a newfound creativity, I don't know. But this latest effort sounds fantastic.

- Genghis is looking forward to checking these cats out in April...

Saturday
Jan232016

Podcast #203: MMXVI

Genghis sits down with Jill Janus of Huntress to see what makes this band tick.It's the annual New Year's show where the boys discuss the year ahead in hard rock and heavy metal, recorded live at Hubcap Grill in Houston, where some damn fine burgers are made. This year the lads look forward to some amazing music and concerts, while lamenting the passing of some big artists that didn't make the Kicks and Kisses list for 2015.

Then check out as Genghis interviews Jill Janus, lead singer for Huntress, before their amazing set opening for Black Label Society a couple of days before New Year's Eve. He swears you gotta see 'em live and you'll be a believer. So kick back, and HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Grave Digger - Stand Up And Rock; Motörhead - End Of Time; Iron Maiden - If Eternity Should Fail; Enchant - Juggling Knives; Huntress - Sorrow, Eight Of Swords, Spectra Spectral, Snow Witch, and Four Blood Moons

- Genghis wanted to mention that Eli Santana fucking killed at that show...

Podcast #203: MMXVI