That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - July
  • White Devil Armory
    White Devil Armory
    by Overkill
Video of the Month - July
  • Last Tangle In Paris - Live 2012 DeFiBrilLaTouR - Live 2012 Defibrila Tour (Blu-Ray+2xCD)
    Last Tangle In Paris - Live 2012 DeFiBrilLaTouR - Live 2012 Defibrila Tour (Blu-Ray+2xCD)
    starring Ministry
Good Reading
  • The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    by Martin Popoff


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

Solisia - UniverSeasons

Another female fronted symphonic/power metal band that really knows how to headbang? Nice!With bands like Denmark's Within Temptation and Finland's Nightwish flying the flag of symphonic/power metal bands fronted by powerful female vocals, it's no surprise that Italy's Solisia should come vying for their place in the genre. And make no mistake, they're not just going through the motions; these guys are good.

The most striking difference between Solisia and its sonic brethren is its more varied style. Culling different bits from thrash, progressive and symphonic/power metal, and combining it with the voice of new singer Elie Syrelia, these crafty Roman metalheads have forged a unique sound that comes together nicely on their ambitious concept album, UniverSeasons. Having not heard their debut album, I can't truly speak to their dodging a sophomore jinx, but after listening to it, there's no way they can't have topped it. This album kicks ass.

There are moments of brilliance where their use of dynamics breaks up monster grooves, showing a masterful sense of tension. And in fact, you'll find a great many moments of metal inspiration calling to mind the works of bands as varied as Dream Theater, Megadeth, Evanescence, and Anthrax. There's no question that this band is well set with talented musicians and I look forward to their next work.

The Bottom Line: Solisia takes a cue from the female-fronted sym-power metal playbook while adding their own heavier leaning influences from thrash and prog metal to make a gothic sound with a more throughly metal edge to it. The result is very impressive. Fans of Lacuna Coil who want more heavy grooves should check this out.

Tracks to Headbang to While Applying Your Heavy Eyeliner: UniverSeasons, Mind Killer, Dirty Feeling and Symbiosis

- Genghis was really impressed with this one...


Podcast #146: Cane

And we heard him exclaim as he emptied his cup, "Merry Christmas, podcasters, and a big ol' Horns Up!"It's that time of year again: Merry Belated Christmas!  It's time for Genghis & Ragman to pull out their annual Kicks and Kisses lists, so join G & R while they discuss the hits and misses of 2012, recapping one of the strongest years in metal in quite some time.  So grab a cold one and get by the fire, because it's gonna be a long night.

DVD of the Show: Twisted Sister - A Twisted X-Mas (Live in Las Vegas)

1st Beer of the Show: Lupulus (Brasserie Les Trois Fourquets)
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.0
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 2.5
Overall: 2.5
"A tripel that has everything going for it, but strangely fizzles out on the taste."
2nd Beer of the Show: Tröegs Mad Elf (Tröegs Brewing Company)
"An incredible holiday beer made with cherries, honey, and chocolate malts that craftily hides its 11% ABV in rich taste."

Featured Tracks: Bad News - Cashing in on Christmas; King Diamond - No Presents for Christmas; Halford - Come All Ye Faithful; Twisted Sister - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Tracy G - White Christmas; Killswitch Engage - The End of Heartache; Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers; Riot - Heavy Metal Machine; Geoff Tate - Take a Bullet; East of the Wall - The Apologist; The Magnificent - Satin and Lace; District 97 - Open Your Eyes; Wildestarr - Transformis Ligea; Mystic Prophecy - Hollow; Jeff Scott Soto - Damage Control; Jorn - The World I See; Teenage Casket Company - Cocaine; Love Might Kill - Perfect Mistake; Danger Danger - Naughty, Naughty Christmas

- Ragman is burning the mistletoe...

Podcast #146: Cane


Pelican - Ataraxia/Taraxis

Who knew that Chicago is a hotbed of interesting new metal? Well, NOW you know!Stoner Metal has an appeal that's a bit inexplicable. That's not to say there's no reason I should like it, not at all. In fact, there's something almost comforting in allowing it to carry you along its lumbering groove much like a good buzz (however you may get yours). 

What I find most fascinating about listening to good stoner metal is the imagery it conjures. There's always a very clear mood that it sets for me, like a soundtrack to a movie that's writing itself in my mind as I listen to it; I'm always intrigued by what my mind's eye conjures for me with each instrumental session.

In the case of Pelican's Ataraxia/Taraxis, I am whisked away to a science fiction western where cowboys roam an alien landscape. Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but as it concerns this Chicago quartet, Pelican has wisely eschewed the pigeon-holing that can come from having a singer. The focus is on the music and the mood that it sets.

The Bottom Line: Call it stoner, sludge, or post metal, but you can't deny there's some good heavy and atmospheric grooves all over their latest EP, from the industrial Tangerine Dream opener, Ataraxia, to the dobro-flavored cadence of Taraxis, this is 18+ minutes of trippy jams for a lazy Sunday of gettin' your mind right, dig?

Tracks to Enjoy While You Break In A New Vaporizer: Ataraxia, Lathe Biosas, Taraxis

- Genghis is intrigued by the Ploom Pax...


Hungarian Rhapsody - Queen (Live in Budapest)

It seems like there have been alot of Queen releases over the past year or so, and that is a good thing.  Apparently the boys (May and Taylor) have been scouring through the archives to put out new product.  The latest release is a concert film from the last tour they did, with Freddie Mercury.  The show was shot in Hungary, right after their legendary performance at Live Aid, back in 1986 on the A Kind of Magic tour.  Unfortunately, I was never able to catch the band back in the day, so footage like this is priceless to me.

Hungarian Rhapsody shows the band in top form, ripping through the classics.  The  band was on fire that night and this performance re-affirms why they are such an iconic band.  The package comes with a DVD and 2 CD's.  As one would expect, there are more tracks on the CD's than made it on the DVD, but I'm sure it was a space issue.  Also as a bonus, there is a short documentary included, which features footage from the band from that tour.  The only thing that I found a little disappointing about the film, was the insertion of footage of the band, on their days off, within the flow of the concert.  The archived film footage was cool, but it interrupted the flow of this amazing concert.  Other than that, no complaints.  Queen fans this is a Must!

Bottom Line: One of the last live preformances of the band featuring the late great Freddie Mercury.  A solid show from one of the greatest rock bands ever.

-Ragman is still pissed that he never caught the band back in the day.


Twisted Sister - A Twisted X-Mas - Live in Las Vegas

Originally only available in the Bars to the Stars box set; now A Twisted Christmas - Live in Las Vegas can be yours, by itself, in the CD and DVD format.  Twisted Sister released their metal'd up versions of Christmas classics 6 years ago, and have been heavy-ing up the holidays ever since.  Since the inception of this idea, the band has been making it a tradition to perform around the NY area to spread their form of holiday cheer.  After the success of those shows, the band took their Merriment to Las Vegas for metal Christmas, that fans will not soon forget.  

The band was firing on all cylinders that night, and sound as good as they did back in the day.  The show is Christmas themed, as one would guess, with Dee Snider in full Santa gear.  The set list is a mix of Christmas tunes as well as some classic TS.  The show was filmed well and looks great.  The only problem with the DVD, is the fans seemed pretty lame.  Can't believe people could be sitting down watching this killer show.  Maybe they should of filmed this in Houston, I'm just sayin...  The audio on the CD's is clear and gives you a sense of being at the show.  It was as entertaining watching as well as listening to the CD in the car.  This will be a new holiday tradition in the Ragman household.

Bottom Line: TS showing that they can rock the holidays better than anyone else.  A nice mix of classics and Christmas tunes.  The band sound and look so great, it makes you yearn for some new material.  Maybe, one day.

-Ragman is thinking Santa never looked so scary.