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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - July
  • Zero Days
    Zero Days
    by Prong
Video of the Month - July
  • Europe - 30th Anniversary Live [Blu-ray]
    Europe - 30th Anniversary Live [Blu-ray]
    starring Europe
#SoundSmarter
  • Heavy Metal Music and the Communal Experience
    Heavy Metal Music and the Communal Experience
    Lexington Books
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
Friday
Mar202015

Sylvan - Home

Prog rock fans will find lots to like in Sylvan's latest, impressive, concept album.It's not always the heavy music that attracts us here. And when the mellow comes in the form of European art rock, we're down with it. North German band Sylvan tends to fit the progressive end of the spectrum in terms of lyrical and compositional sophistication, weaving an emotional concept album with their latest, Home.

There's a great dichotomy to this album, at once sprawling and majestic, but also intimate and humbling in its treatment of the album's protagonist who journeys through life's brutalities to find the titular place of safety and belonging that she desires. The music here, like a lot of progressive music, ranges from soft and mellow (Not Far From The Sky) to heavier and aggressive (In Between), and interestingly, it sounds more German in the latter moments, with a definite European sound a la Rammstein or even Vanden Plas. Ultimately, it's that sense of dynamics that elevates this music, and I would love to see a full video presentation of this album should it ever come to fruition.

The Bottom Line: European progressive music is some of the best of the genre, with Germany's Sylvan ably demonstrating some of the most sophisticated composition to be found without threatening to bring the house down around themselves with the weight of excess. Wunderbar!

- Genghis always get nostalgiac when he hears Ronald Reagan soundbites...

Sunday
Mar082015

Podcast #187: Box

They don't come much more rocking than the legendary Metal Queen, Doro Pesch. Horns WAY up!The lads are hitting their stride with the second full show of the year as they discuss the topic of the CD boxed set. Does it have the same relevance it once enjoyed in this digital era? Tune in as Genghis & Ragman discuss what they consider the best ones and what they like to see in an official boxed set of their favorite artists.

Then check out an interview with the Metal Queen herself, Doro Pesch, who discusses her plans for 2015 and what it's like being one of the few female metalheads who've been rocking as long and hard as she has.

Video Of The Show: IQ - Stage (Dark Matter Live in America and Germany 2005)

Beer of the Show: Ignis Fatuus (The Bruery)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 2.5
Taste: 2.5
Overall: 2.5
"This last pumpkin beer in our cellar was good, but the sour finish was a bit off-putting..."
 

Featured Tracks: Black Stone Cherry - Magic Mountain; Impellitteri - Answer To The Master; The Custodian - The Man Out Of Time; IQ - Ocean; Gotthard - My Belief; Rage - Down; Doro - Long Lost For Love, Coldhearted Lover, Raise Your Fist in the Air, Hero and Something Wicked This Way Comes

Ragman's Classic Of The Show: Aldo Nova - Monkey On Your Back

Genghis' Classic Of The Show: Scorpions - Can't Live Without You

Ragman's Pick Of The Show: U.D.O. - Speeder

Genghis' Pick Of The Show: My Brother The Wind - Songs of Innocence Part I

- Genghis is gettin' that live show itch...

Podcast #187: Box

Thursday
Mar052015

U.D.O. - Decadent

U.D.O. are back, and they may have just released their strongest CD, of their career.  There were some questions, about the band, with the departure of longtime bandmate Stefan Kaufman back in 2011.  Their first release, post Kaufman, Steelhammer signaled the return of the classic U.D.O. sound.  Questions answred!  It was a solid release, but not as strong as this new platter. Decadent is chock full of instant classics, that will keep you wanting more. 

Decadent starts off strong, with the opener, Speeder, which is an in your face, up tempo rocker, that is sure to be a big hit live.  It is melodic and full of killer riffs.  The band sound crisp and Udo's vocals sound stronger than ever.  It is hard to believe that Udo Dirkschneider has now been fronting his namesake, for almost 30 years.  From the opening track, to the final track, Words in Flame, this one is solid.  The best thing about this record, is how it blends all facets of Udo's career.  From the crushing mid-tempo rocker Untouchable to the more melodic Pain (ala Accept - Metal Heart era) this one gives you the whole enchilada, and more. 

Bottom Line: U.D.O. may have stumbled, a bit, over the past few releases, but they have re-established themselves, as a force to be recknoded with.  Solid form start to finish.  Ok, there's a ballad and ya know.

Standout Tracks: Speeder, Untouchable, Words of Flame, Pain

-Ragman is shaving his head, and getting out his fatigues.

Thursday
Mar052015

Attack of the Morningside Monster

Looking for a slasher flick, with a pretty solid story line?  Well look no further, because that is exactly what you get with Attack of the Morningside Monster.  Attack isn't your typical B-Flick, because it contains some somewhat known actors and a solid story line.  The movie is about, a small town in New Jersey, that has recently been sticken with a number of murders.  The murderer wears a tribal mask, and seems to have a thing for drug dealers.  Not only does the killer kill, but he also performs tri-ballistic rituals. 

This was a pretty solid movie, which kept me guessing until the end.  The story follows a cop, as he tries to unsolve the mystery, of whom the killer is.  It is as much of a drama as it is a horror flick.  The murder scenes weren't too graphic, until the killer has his way with them post mortem.  All in all a fun flick, which kept my interest for its entirety.

Bottom Line: A B-Flick that breaks the mold.  Good acting with a good story.  A murder mystery that will keep you guessing.

-Ragman thought this one was a bit cheesey until the plot unraveled before his eyes. 

Thursday
Mar052015

Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band - Black Flower Power

If you're wondering where these guys' heads are at just check out that album cover. I mean let's not be coy, shall we?You may remember the name Brant Bjork as founding member of stoner rock legends Kyuss. And now he's on his own with his Low Desert Punk Band looking to give genre junkies a fix of his blend of stoner rock, blues, and doom prescription with new album Black Flower Power.

I've stated many times that while intitially on the fence about it (leaning to shunning it), I've since come to really dig this stoner rock/metal revival business - and Bjork's band rocks the shit out of some tunes, man. There's the traditional Sabbathy plodding of songs like Controllers Destroyed, but things can sometimes pick up into fast grooving jams as on Stokely Up Now or even turn into ballsy blues riffage as on Buddha Time (Everything Fine). And during it all, Bjork's Gene Simmons-like growl becomes its own instrument, like a second lead guitar wailing through the din. In any case, if you just wanna get high and have your fave fuzzed off, this is the joint for you, my man. Just stock up on the munchies.

The Bottom Line: This is, like, classic stoner blues rock, man. So don't hassle it.*laughs*

Tracks To Jam To While Motherfucking Stoned To The Bone: Shit, all of 'em, man.

- Genghis knows that's a dog and that's a cat, but wonders where the potato chips are...