That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - October
  • z²
    by Devin Townsend Project
Video of the Month - October
  • Ozzy Osbourne: Memoirs Of A Madman
    Ozzy Osbourne: Memoirs Of A Madman
    starring Ozzy Osbourne
Good Reading
  • Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    by Zakk Wylde, Eric Hendrikx


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

Odd Dimension - The Last Embrace to Humanity

Man, what are they putting in the water over there in Italy? If you dig that 90s era progmetal, this is for you.I don't know how many times I've mentioned it, but it sure seems like every time a new band captures my attention lately, it's a progressive metal group from Italy. Case in point: Odd Dimension, who's debut album Symmetrical was quite well received. True to the recent trend, this quintet is packed with talent and fits quite snugly into the mold of Dream Theater circa the 90s.

What sets Odd Dimension apart from the rest of the "influenced by XX" crowd are its occasional Gothic leanings (along the likes of Opeth, HIM, or even Lacuna Coil) and the lung busting vocals of lead singer, Manuel Candiotto. And don't take my singling out Manuel as any sort of slight to the rest of the band; all of these dudes play their asses off. As the sophomore effort to Symmetrical, Candiotto and company's concept album, The Last Embrace to Humanity, chronicles the alienation of mankind. It's all familiar musings regarding our planet's fascination with innovation and scientific progress at the expense of what makes us human, but I've never listened to progressive music for the philosophy. Odd Dimension's strength is its music, and these guys know how to rock song after song. So, you know...go get it!

The Bottom Line: Italy's just churning out the amazing prog metal bands these days like there's no tomorrow. If you sit around pining for the days of classic progmetal à la Fates Warning or Dream Theater, this is your new jam. Fantastic stuff.

Tracks To Make You Get Out Your Black Pirate Shirt Out From The Back of the Closet: Under My Creed, Fortune and Pain and Far From Desire

- Genghis has the strangest craving for some chicken parmigiana...


DGM - Momentum

DGM came seemingly out of nowhere with just the perfect mix of prog, power and melodic metal. Now this is my kind of metal!Hailing from Europe, progressive metal outfit DGM is here to impress the shit out of genre fans with its aptly-titled eighth studio album, Momentum. Offhand you could compare them to Symphony X (whom they toured with last year to wide acclaim), but they go beyond that into melodic metal territory, with its wonderfully appealing choruses, that makes for a really appealing sound. Think Symphony X meets Ark meets Dream Theater and you've got some idea what to expect.

Lending their considerable talents, Russell Allen (of the aforementioned Symphony X) appears on the opening track Reason with a meaty opening riff that sets the pace for the rest of the album, while Norwegian guitar virtuoso Jorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) lends a really nice solo to Chaos. All of this energy, melody and precision puts this band in a Venn overlap group that sits at the center of progressive metal, melodic metal, and power metal, offering the best of each for whatever eager listener snaps this up. And if you're a metal fan, you really should give this a listen.

The Bottom Line: What can I say? DGM has made one really fantastic album that I find myself listening to over and over again. Italy is really coming into their own with some solid, amazingly talented metal musicians that are making some of the best metal I've heard in a long time. Italia, ti saluto! 

Tracks to Make You Consider Just Giving Up the Guitar: Reason, Trust, Numb, Pages, and Chaos

- Genghis could listen to bands like this all damn day...


Picture Me Broken - Mannequins

Yeah, yeah, she's the daughter of Gregg Allman, but Layla can actually sing pretty well - and she does death growls.Let's just get this out of the way from the get go: Picture Me Broken's lovely young lead singer, Layla, is the daughter of the legendary musician Gregg Allman, okay?

Falling straight off the alt metal tree, Picture Me Broken (PMB), on their EP Mannequins, could very easily be mistaken for Evanescence, circa 2003 (though they actually formed 2 years after that). But before you lace up those Doc Martens and show off your angel wings back tattoo, know that PMB throws some new things into the mix such as an 80s rock energy and the melodeath sensibilities of the "aughties".

The former comes through in the guitar work of Dante Phoenix and Jimmy Strimpel, but interestingly the latter is brought to bear in Layla's Gossow-ish death growl on the title track. Let's hope for more interesting twists to the alt metal sound they've been influenced by with some killer guitar work and Layla's ambitious singing. Hopefully, this is just a taste of what's in store for early adopters...

The Bottom Line: Forget who's the famous daddy of the lead singer, that's not what makes Picture Me Broken tick. While some may dismiss this band as an Evanescence wannabe, there's enough on this EP to merit a chance to impress with their first full blown studio album later this year.

Tracks to Dye Your Roots None More BlackTM To: Torture and Mannequins

- Genghis wisely resisted the inclination to include a picture of Layla in this review...


T & N - Slave to the Empire

T & N is the remnants of a failed attempt of a Dokken reunion.  Once the wheels fell off the wagon, once again, former Dokken members George Lynch and Jeff Pilson decided to do the T & N project.  Formerly known as Tooth and Nail, the boys had to change their name or get sued, due to copyright infringement.  For their debut release, Slave to the Empire, Lynch and Pilson penned 7 new tunes and re-recorded 5 classics.  The classics are interesting, because there are some new interpretations thrown in as well as a guest vocalist, well at least on 4 of the tunes.  As a bonus, "Wild" Mick Brown does the drumming on the re-recorded classics.  The original tunes have that blusier more modern sound, with an edge.   It is very simialr to the Lynch/Pilson material, released a few years back.

The re-recorded classics were a nice inclusion to this release.  The highlights for me, were Dug Pinnick (Kings X) on Tooth and Nail and Robert Mason (Warrant/Lynch Mob/Big Cock) on It's Not Love.  These re-recordings were top notch and rival the originals.  The other two were nice, but didn't hit me like these two did.  They also re-recorded Into the Fire featuring Pilson on vocals, but again not as appealing as the other two re-records.  The original material is strong, and Pilson does a really nice job vocally.  The standout tunes from the new material were Sweet Unknown and the title track.  The tunes are a little darker and blusier than their classic material, but it works.  All in all a solid release that will appease the Dokken fans wishing for the re-union, that will probably never happen.

Bottom Line: Lynch and Pilson once again delivering the goods, showing that the chemistry is still there.  It is ashame Don would not agree to join the the two, because this might have worked even more.  Heavy melodic tunes that keep that Dokken fire still burning.

Standout Tracks: Sweet Unknown, Tooth and Nail, Slave to Empire, It's Not Love

-Ragman wonders if Don could have even sung the new material.



Mustasch - Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven

You just gotta imagine that leader Ralf Gyllenhammar has got the meanest handlebar 'stashe, like *ever*.I have gone on record on the whole retro sound that’s been happening in metal pretty much since the beginning of this century; I’m for it as long as it sounds authentic, meaning I like a band to sound like it actually writes and plays this music and it happens to sound like it came from 30 years ago because that’s what’s influenced them. This as opposed to a band that basically mimics an old sound to cash in on the nostalgic feelings of older listeners who fondly remember a different kind of music than they hear today. The only real caveats are that you kind of have to sound authentic to that music on a technical level where possible, but more importantly, you should bring something new to the mix rather than just a rehashing of what was done before.

Thankfully, the hard rocking Swedes of Mustasch do just that with their new release Sounds like Hell, Looks Like Heaven. Under the able rhythmic thunder of guitarist/vocalist Ralf Gyllenhammar, Mustasch does a fine job of rocking an old school sound that mixes old Whitesnake, The Cult, and Thin Lizzy with a nice thick bottom end to give it a more modern weight. I would love to see a bill with these cats opening for someone like Thin Lizzy, or on a tour with the likes of The Sword. A word of caution, though: Listening to this music can cause accelerated moustache growth and loss of the top two buttons on your suede shirt.

The Bottom Line: Don’t expect high velocity shredding or extended proggy jams, this is just great hard rocking as made famous by those liquored up Europeans; with loads of attitude and hugely satisfying grooves. To give your right hip a workout, crank up Morning Star and revel in the cow bell. Moar cow bell!

Tracks to Swagger to With a Cigarette in One Hand and Bottle of Whiskey In The Other: It’s Never Too Late, Cold Heart Mother Son, Morning Star, Dead Again, Destroyed by Destruction

- Genghis couldn’t fit into a pair of leather pants even when he was in high school…