That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - February
  • The Grinding Wheel
    The Grinding Wheel
    by Overkill
Video of the Month - February
  • & There Will Be a Next Time: Live From Detroit [Blu-ray]
    & There Will Be a Next Time: Live From Detroit [Blu-ray]
    by Def Leppard
  • Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam
    Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam
    by Mark LeVine

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

Harem Scarem - Thirteen

Those Canadian boys are back with their shiniest album cover to date. The music rocks too!Fans of the [Genghis & Ragman] show know of our love for that Canadian rock troupe known as Harem Scarem. Between Harry Hess' glassy vocals and Pete Lesperance's fiery guitar work you've got a combination every bit as formidable as heard in Extreme or Enuff Znuff; beautiful choruses, thrilling solos and an overall package that's made for radio. Of course, that radio part doesn't carry as much cache as it did 20 years ago, but that doesn't change facts: Harem Scarem still has the goods.

And their latest album, Thirteen, hits all the right beats from the get go, with lush, layered choruses reminiscient of Journey or Queen - check out the perfect example of what I'm talking about in Early Warning Signs (2:32) - and killer solos like those found in The Midnight Hours (2:28) and Garden of Eden (2:40). I can't claim that they're reinventing themselves or making groundbreaking music, Harem Scarem just makes great genre music period. Bet on it.

The Bottom Line: It's always to have old favorite bands come back making more of the great music you remember them for. Harem Scarem's one two punch of Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance is easily one of the classic duos of melodic rock.

- Genghis sits by the window willing this band to tour Texas...


Bailey - Long Way Down

Nigel Bailey is really making a name for himself on the melodic rock scene. And this album cover is fucking classic.Nigel Bailey may be a relatively new name in the genre (unless you're a Three Lions fan), but he's steadily making a name for himself as a purveyor of that classic melodic rock sound. And his new self-titled album, Long Way Down, has all of the hallmarks of the genre in spades, from driving rhythyms, flashy solos and huge, anthemic choruses in the vein of classic Mr. Big or Bad English.

Now, while I am totally behind this album in terms of genre and even songwriting, I do have a few nags. Bailey is a good singer, sounding like a cross between a young Paul Stanley and Jack Blades (with maybe a touch of John Waite thrown in). And I'm not honestly sure whether Nigel plays the solos too or if it's the guitar work of Mario Percudani, but it hits the right tone and is very well-suited to Bailey's songwriting style. What this album really could've benefited from however is some high-level production. It's not bad here, but with the gloss of a veteran like, say Mutt Lange, this could be a stellar album. Looking forward to more from this band.

The Bottom Line: Fans of the hard rock/melodic metal genre will find a lot to like on Nigel Bailey's solo debut even if the production needs a bit more polish.

Tracks To Wash Your Camaro To At Full Blast: In The Name Of The King, Bad Reputation, Love Falls Down and Dirty Angel

- Genghis did a lot of fist-pumping during this review...


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


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.


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.