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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - December
  • Orpheus
    Orpheus
    Bakerteam Records
Video of the Month - December
  • Stage Fright [Blu-ray]
    Stage Fright [Blu-ray]
    by Motorhead
Metalhead Gift Suggestion
  • The 1984 Metal Trivia Quiz and Game Book: 100 Questions to test your knowledge of metal music in 1984 (Trivia Quiz Games Series) (Volume 1)
    The 1984 Metal Trivia Quiz and Game Book: 100 Questions to test your knowledge of metal music in 1984 (Trivia Quiz Games Series) (Volume 1)
    by Dustin Gatchell
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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
Thursday
Dec182014

Triosphere - The Heart Of The Matter

These cats from Norway know how to make good metal. They even have a bitchin' album cover.Norwegian metallers Triosphere are going like gangbusters these days, due in no small part to the vocals of bassist/frontwoman Ida Haukland. Which is not at all to say that the rest of the gang on their third album The Heart Of The Matter isn't holding up its end of things. Oh no, the musicianship of this quartet is fucking stellar, featuring a fantastic blend of melodic, progressive and power metal with enough energy to power a small town through the winter.

And it's not all breakneck speed either. Too many metal bands tend to go full throttle at all times, forsaking the magic of a balanced effort, allowing space for the music. Check out the solo section of Breathless (around 3:15) and its sweet grooving for an example of this band's understanding of such dynamics. Following that track, Departure engages in some sweet Dream Theater/Rush style rhythmic crunching before its very tasteful solo. These guys are just making some great rock and roll here, folks. Haukland's voice is more on the Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) side of female vocals; not bad-ass rocker chick like Nina Oseguedo (A Sound Of Thunder) and not a classically trained opera singer like Tarja Turunen (Within Temptation). This works out great since it allows the music to share the soundscape without competing with what is often considered the novelty of female vocals.

The Bottom Line: Triosphere is some damn fine metal for fans of classic melodic/hard rock and power metal with a touch of the progressive thrown in for some flavor. Even if you're not a fan of female vocals (and why wouldn't you be?) you can't deny that the music here is really really good.

- Genghis would love to catch these cats in a club some time soon...

Wednesday
Dec172014

The Doors - Feast of Friends

Feast of Friends is a documentary that was funded and produced by The Doors.  The movie was filmed during the band's 68' tour, by one of Jim Morrison's college buddies.  This documentary, if you can call it that, chronicles some interesting moments on the band's 1968 tour.  The movie had a limited release, but was then shelved, until now.  The movie looks great, and the audio is there as well. 

If you're looking for a true blue doc. on the band, then you'll be very disappointed with this one, because there is no continuity.  Most documentaries tell a story, but this film kind of skips around, and never really goes anywhere, but that being said, this DVD was still very enjoyable.  There is some rare footage of the band on and offstage, which makes this one a must have for Doors fans.

 

Bottom LineA documentary that's name is false advertising.  A behind the scenes look,of an iconic rock band. 

-Ragman was hoping for something a bit more structured, but still enjoyed it.

Thursday
Dec112014

Podcast #183: Tech

Technology and heavy metal aren't necessarily mutually exclusive terms, ya know.In the thick of the holidays, as the lads work on their Kicks and Kisses lists for the end of the year show, join Genghis & Ragman for their last little chat of 2014. As usual, the conversation gets a little weird from time to time (read: John and McCheese are involved), but somewhere in there is a discussion about technology and its connection with metal. There's a popular assumption that metalheads aren't the smartest people in the crowd, with metal having no appreciable effect on the sciences, but Genghis begs to differ.

Video Of The Show: Blind Guardian - Imaginations Through The Looking Glass

Beer of the Show: Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Stone Brewing Co.)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.0
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
"Brewers, take note: This unique, delicious milk stout shows how important it is to balance your ingredients."
 

Featured Tracks: Blind Guardian - Into The Storm; Allen/Lande - Down From The Mountain; Stratovarius - Kiss Of Judas; Lacuna Coil - I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name); AC/DC - War Machine

Ragman's Classic Of The Show: Vanishing Point - Forgotten Self

Genghis' Classic Of The Show: King's X - Lost In Germany

Ragman's Pick Of The Show: Planet Hard - Play Harder

Genghis' Pick Of The Show: A Sound Of Thunder - Udoroth

- Genghis is looking forward to recording the next G&R show...

Podcast #183: Tech

Wednesday
Dec032014

Kiko Loureiro - The White Balance

It goes without saying, that Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro, is a monster, on the guitar.  His last solo instrumental release, Sounds of Innocence was phenomenal.  So what more can fans expect, you ask?  Well a live DVD, of course.  Kiko has recently released a live solo performance, called The White Balance.  The show was filmed, last year, in Sao Palo Brazil.  The set list was broken up into 3 different styles: Rock, Acoustic and Brazilian fusion. 

This DVD is simply amazing.  It is shot well and gives you a sense of being in the front row.  The rock portion of the set, blew me away.  It was awesome seeing Kiko perform much of his last album live.  The acoustic section of the show, demonstrates another side to Loureiro's playing, which was very entertaining.  And lastly the Fusion part of the show, is pretty amazing as well.  Being a rocker, I have to say, I really dug the rock portion of the set, the most, but it was also cool to see the other aspects of Loureiro's playing, because it shows how versatile this guy is.  This is a must for any guitar geek.

 

Bottom Line: Kiko showing off the many sides of his virtuostic playing.  A very well shot DVD that will keep you entertained throughout.

-Ragman is salivating for the new Angra record.

Wednesday
Dec032014

soul sign - Life in the Dark

Ain't it great when you discover some cool new music, which isn't that new anymore.  If you think about it, it is new, if it is the first time you've heard it.  Right?  Well my latest, late, discovery is a band called soul sign.  Soul sign is a supergroup of sorts, featuring members of members of Yngwie Malmsteen (bassist Bjorn Englen) and Leatherwolf (vocalist Michael Olivieri) as well as some well renown studio musicians (guitars - Rob Math and drums Mike Taylor).  I gotta tell ya, I was pretty pumped when I heard Olivieri was singing with the band, because I'm a huge Leatherwolf guy.  Spoiler Alert - Michael is no longer in the band and has been replaced by Ex-Yngwie vocalist Mark Boals.  Also, Math and Taylor have been replaced as well.

Soul sign's sound, is heavy with a modern edge.  I have to say, this is a strong CD, which gets better with each listen.  Most of the songs are mid-tempo, with a dark vibe to them, while keeping a nice melody.  The beginning of the CD starts off with the track I'm Bleeding, which is a mid-tempo track, that is catchy, but won't fully sell you on this band.  It is the latter tracks, like the melodic Life and Human Evil, that make this one a keeper.  Like I said, the beginning of the CD is not as strong as the mid section, to the end of the disc.  I just think the songs get stronger as you go through the album.

As excited I was to hear that Olivieri was in the band, I felt he struggled on some of the slower darker tracks.  He has not lost anything vocally, but it seems like he is straining at times.  I think Boals may be a better fit, due to his higher vocal range.  It will be interesting to see how they do on their next studio release with Boals at the helm.  Another thing that struck me, was the musicianship.  It is stellar.  Bjorn has a nice heavy sound and style, which reminds me a little of Tony Franklin.  Math is a monster on the guitar, delivering killer riffs, every time he gets the chance.  All and all not a bad debut.  Strong songs with great musicianship.  What more can you ask for?

 

Bottom LineOne of those albums that gets better with each spin.  Solid modern edged rock with an edge.  Well constructed songs that will stay with you.

Standout Tracks: Life, Human Evil, You (Control) and Out of Obsession

-Ragman can't wait to hear what these guys do next.