That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - September
  • The Book Of Souls
    The Book Of Souls
    BMG Recorded Music
Video of the Month - September
  • Full Circle [Blu-ray]
    Full Circle [Blu-ray]
    starring n/a
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

A Sound Of Thunder - Tales From The Deadside

A Sound Of Thunder's latest epic album is out and even the cover looks fucking great.Holy shit, there's a new album out from DC-area A Sound Of Thunder and I couldn't be more excited. You may recall my review of their fantastic fourth album, A Lesser Key Of Solomon, and how lead singer Nina Osegueda sings the shit out of some great American heavy metal. Well, Oz and company are back to kick your ass with a new concept album based on popular Valiant comic book superhero Shadowman, Tales From The Deadside. Fuck yes!

From the killer opening track Children of the Dark, it seems to me that if you aren't already a fan of Nina's singing you soon will be. Like everything about this band, this is classic heavy metal all the way: big metaphysical themes, meaty, overdriven riffs, powerful, emotional vocals. ASOT goes for broke from the get go and I fucking love it. There's a narrative link between each track to lay out the story, making it a bit hard to listen to a given track on its own, but this may likely be the intent of the band to make a cohesive story-driven record, like a 10-issue limited comic series. Huge props to everyone on this disc, from Nina to co-founders Josh Schwartz (guitar) and Chris Haren (drums), to Jesse Keen (bass), 'cause each of them performs their asses off.

What amazes me most is that this is a simple four piece band with no great diversity of instrumentation - save for bassist Jesse who sometimes mans the keyboards - yet they have this arena-level sound (kudos to Kevin '131' Gutierrez on producing chores, by the way) that makes you imagine at least a half dozen people onstage to produce a sound this big - and some of these tracks are anthemic as hell. Man, their live shows must have a phenomenal vibe, especially if they do this album in its entirety. Miss Osegueda alone should have young women across the country contemplating a career in heavy metal.

The Bottom Line: At the risk of hyperbole, I think this band kicks serious ass in terms of classic American heavy metal and if there's any justice these guys should one day be counted among the greats of the genre. Classic metalheads GO GET THIS ALBUM. 'Nuff said!

- Genghis is crossing his fingers and toes that this band tours through Houston *soon*...


Scale The Summit - V

It's another great album (and bitchin' cover to boot) from Houston's own Scale The Summit!It's funny how hometown-boys Scale The Summit's release schedule seems as precise as their compositions, releasing new material with impressive consistency. And the latest from release from this league of extraordinary djentlemen (oooh it hurts, don't it?) is every bit as satisfying in that shreddy but melodic instrumental goodness I crave.

Getting used to a new drummer (the impressive J.C. Bryant, who takes over for erstwhile original member Pat Skeffington) doesn't seem to have been any kind of issue for the lads as everything sounds fantastic - perhaps due in part to returning mixer and collaborator Jamie King's (Between The Buried And Me, The Contortionist) expert ministrations. Guitarists Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier continue to grow their talents, each producing thrilling counterpoint to the other rather than the simpler harmonized runs of most twin guitar-fronted acts. And let's not forget bassist Mark Mitchell, whose sinewy bass lines provide the musculature the melodies hang on. Now don't think it's all chunka-chunka here as the mellower moments can be quietly beautiful. These textural contrasts - on tracks like Soria Moria's tapping exchanges that give way to moments of intensity seeming more like the result of gravity than sheer force - are the band's stock and trade. The dynamics at play are truly impressive, as exemplified on Trapped In Ice, going from furious riffing to ethereal, delayed chordings on the outro. By the way, Stolas' unmistakeable Shawn Lane vibe (God, how amazing would it have been for Shawn to do guest work on this track? RIP, bro.) gave me a chill, reminding me that this is one of my all time favorite subgenres.

The Bottom Line: Fans of bands like Animals As Leaders or even Cynic should be all over this. This is instrumental progmetal or djent are sure to enjoy another album from Scale The Summit, but newcomers looking for melodic, textural, instrumental jams would do well to spin this disc.

Tracks To Make You Not Even Want To Look At Your Guitar For A While: Soria Moria, Stolas, and Kestral

- Genghis would give his left nut to play in a band like this...


Casablanca - Miskatonic Graffiti

Ignore the fact that these guys look a bit on the odd side (that helmet tho), Casablanca makes great music.It's tempting to peg any new concept album from a European band as progressive music. But Casablanca's album Miskatonic Graffiti is less about self-involved noodling and more about glam rock in the grand old Bowie tradition. And to have it juxtaposed with the thematic content of H. P. Lovecraft is only one of the unusual aspects of this fantastic album/band.

So, yeah, there's a definite 70s vibe happening here, but that's not to say it's all trebly Gibsons and Leslie cabs. The production gives everything a nice big space to play around in, making the spooky lyrics more ethereal and effective. Tracks like the 10 and a half minute opener, Enter The Mountains, make for an appealing opening act to this three stage saga which kicks into the Alice Cooper-esque groove of Closer. I really like it when a band goes a different path when it comes to this sort of source material. What I really like is that every song, while part of a larger work, stands on its own as a testament to the talent of this band. I'm totally digging this album.

The Bottom Line: It would perhaps be more natural for a death or doom metal band to do Lovecraft with a heavy-handed approach, but Casablanca fucking rocks this shit, with solo sections that sound like full-throttle classic Boston or Kansas. And that contrast accents the underlying dread of the dark lyrical themes at work, like shambling horrors waiting in the shadows of a bucolic scene. Great stuff.

- Genghis wants to finish playing Dark Corners Of The Earth now...


Thundermother - Road Fever

Itchin' for some more of that sweet Scandinavian rock? Say hello to Thundermother.It's a testament to the pure energy of rock n' roll that bands like Motörhead can still pack venues, from small clubs to arenas crammed with screaming fans, armed with not much more than a handful of chords and a semi truck of attitude. And what I find truly amazing is that we seem to be enjoying a new era of bands that embrace this stripped-down, no bullshit approach to the genre with an authentic sound that doesn't feel recycled.

Which brings me to Thundermother and their second album Road Fever. In the spirit of hard rocking bands like the aforementioned Motörhead or Australia's Airbourne, this hellraisin' quintet shares a love of classic, AC/DC-style, hard rockin' and is road-tested and good to go. The combination of lead guitarist Filippa Nässil's raunchy riffing and singer Clare Cunningham's whiskey-and-cigarette marinated delivery make for a one two sonic punch to the dome that should keep a bar crowd going all fucking night. This ain't gonna re-write the rule book or anything, but it's satisfying to hear genuine material like this coming from a group of rowdy women that doesn't come off like a gender-swapping gimmick. Hell, there's even the requisite hard rock staple, a song about self-pleasure. Horns up, man - uh, ma'am.

The Bottom Line: Thundermother is some of the best bar music you could ask for. If you're looking for a soundtrack to an evening of beer-fuelled hell raising, this'll do ya.

Tunes That Require You To Wear Some Kind Of Leather: FFWF, Deal With The Devil, Enemy, and Thunder Machine

- Genghis is down with the rock n' roll sisterhood...


Podcast #197: Grub

Cormac Neeson of The Answer stops by to Raise A Little Hell. Nice.Genghis & Ragman do their out-and-about thing where they sample a little local food why they chew the fat about all things heavy metal - in this case, the summer touring season comes to a close with tales to tell. So join the lads and pop open a Mexican Coke for a little lunchtime chattage.

Next, the boys talk with Cormac Neeson of The Answer, who speaks about the Irish band's rise to success, including touring with AC/DC on their Black Ice tour. These guys got the goods, ya hear? HORNS UP!

Food of the Show: Tacos Al Pastor (Tacos A Go-Go in The Heights)
"Tacos A Go-Go is a local favorite for a quick and cheap Tex-Mex fix that satisfies nicely. Don't miss their fish tacos!"

Featured Tracks: Huntress - Flesh; Vicious Rumours - Children; Motionless In White - Break The Cycle; Steve 'N' Seagulls - Holy Diver; The Answer - Trouble, Gone Too Long, Strange Kinda Nothing, Raise a Little Hell, and Pride

- Genghis can't wait for the fall concert season...

Podcast #197: Grub