That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - June
  • In Vaults
    In Vaults
    by District 97
Video of the Month - June
  • Live at the Roxy 09.25.14 [Blu-ray]
    Live at the Roxy 09.25.14 [Blu-ray]
    starring Slash/ Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators
Are you an old metal head?
  • Metal Fatigue: The Making of a Middle Aged Metal Head
    Metal Fatigue: The Making of a Middle Aged Metal Head
    by Todd Baker

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

Black Label Society - Unblackened

BLS is a just like a doubled edged sword, because they go both ways.  Don't get too excited, what I mean is, that they can mix it up musically.  One minute they can be throwin it down heavy, and the next they can unplug the amps and go acoustic.  One great thing about this band, is their versatility.  Typically, with BLS, you get more of the heavy, than the mellow, so when they do an acoustic style project, then it is a pretty special deal.  I've been a fan of Zakk Wylde's unplugged work, since Book of Shadows.  I always hoped, he would bring that element into BLS, and he eventually did. 

Unblackened is a new live release from Black Label Society, which features the majority of the set unplugged.  The show was recorded at Club Nokia in LA, and was a night to remember.  Unblackened features many of the  acoustic songs has put out over the years, as well as some re-workings, of some of the bands heavier material unplugged.  

The show is shot very well, which gives you a sense of being in the front row.  On top of that, the band sound amazing.  In a show like this, you really get a feel for how talented these guys are.  Wylde sounds amazing vocally as well as on any instrument he touches.  He sings with such emotion, that makes the listener hang on to every word.  The band sound great as well, making this an essential release.

Bottom Line: Zakk and company putting on a stellar show, as usual.  An intimate setting, for one of rock's most powerful bands.  The band proves that they more than a one trick pony and can take it down a notch, if they need to.

-Ragman is hoping this show will tour.  He would love to see BLS unplugged.


Freedom Call - Ages of Light

Power metalheads will probably love this compilation CD, but the real treat are the alternate versions of Freedom Call's best songs...I have always had somewhat mixed feelings with power metal. Largely a European thing, it always seemed a little too hard to give in to it completely. It just has an air of being a little too self-serious, even if I otherwise love the thundering beats and fiery riffage that tell my brain "cool, it's metal!" At least with melodic metal - admittedly similar in a lot of ways - you get sweet solos instead of the rote, neo-classical sorta stuff we've been hearing for nearly 30 years.

Still, for every band that does it right, there are hundreds of them that sound plain bad. Luckily, this isn't the case with Freedom Call, founded by buddies Chris Bay and Dan Zimmerman (Gamma Ray) over 15 years ago. Even those unfamiliar with the band may appreciate their excellent representation of the genre over the course of their career so far as heard on their new best of compilation, Ages of Light.

Possibly the best part of this 24-track 2 CD compilation are the extras included on the second disc that include unusual versions of their songs that show a lighter side of the band in a way that really gave me a new respect for them. I always appreciate people's willingness and ability to not take themselves too seriously. And hearing a "speed ska" version of Hero On Video or the "melodic reggae" version of Mr. Evil is much cooler than the usual acoustic versions usually offered as alternate offerings - though the "camp fire" version of Freedom Call is pretty good too.

The Bottom Line: If your'e a fan of the genre, Freedom Call delivers with all of their biggest hits along with some nice extras beyond the usual stuff you find on these sorts of compilations.

- Genghis really liked those alternate versions and thinks more bands should follow suit...


Eyes of the Woods

Eyes of the Woods is a movie about a guy, several hundred years ago, that sold his soul to the devil, to avenge his daughter's death.  Little does he know that the deal he made, was not what he was expecting, because he turns into a flesh eating zombie.   Long story short (fast forward to present day), some twenty something's stumble across his burial ground, and then all hell breaks loose.  Not a bad premise, but it requires, back up, to make it work.  

Unfortunately, three things contributed to the demise of this piece of crap of a movie. STRIKE1: The acting is horrible.  Some of the worst that I have seen, in some time.  STRIKE 2:  The sound is so low, on the DVD, that you have to turn it up to 11, just to hear the damn thing.  STRIKE 3:  The movie is just plain, ass boring.  Yeah, there is some gore, and a few cool special effects, but that that wasn't enough.  


Bottom Line: Horrible!  It is pretty bad when you watch a full movie, and realize that the only thing worth watching, was within the first few minutes of the film.  Creepy scene with little girl was cool.

-Ragman thinks this one should stay in the woods, and be buried deep.


Going Underground

In the mid 1960's, in the UK, an underground movement began which changed a generation.  A group of radicals united, because they were sick and tired of the norm, and wanted to shake things up a bit.  The documentary, Going Underground (Paul McCartney, The Beatles and the UK Counter Culture), explores this explosive scene, as well as some of the bands, that helped shape it.  Paul McCartney and John Lennon, at separate times, help push this movement into the mainstream.  The late Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd) did his part as well.  This film dives into this scene, and exposes it, and the bands, that help shape it.

Going Underground, was a very an entertaining film, even though it didn't focus on The Beatles, as much as advertised.  The film focuses not only on The Beatles, but it also takes a look at Pink Floyd, as well as art rock band AMM.  This was a very interesting doc, that will hold your interest, from beginning to end and that is a tough feat, especially with this thing, clocking in over 2hrs.

Bottom Line: An interesting look into the Avant Guard movement of the mid to late 60's in England.  An informative and entertaining documentary.

-Ragman, liked this one better, than he thought.


Podcast #160: Cruise

Edgar Ramos and his band Message to Venus are just part of (yet) another megashow.What is going to be the next great live experience? Hard to tell, but our money may be on the Rock Cruise. How cool would it be on a boat, in the Caribbean, with 15+ bands and 1,500 crazy metalheads? Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss this latest thing, trend or fad? Tune in to find out. Next, the boys welcome in Message to Venus bassist Edgar Ramos for a one-on-one as he discusses the band's EP, The Envelope, as well as the upcoming full length debut. After which G & R continue their discussion on metal cruises as well as some in depth discussion on the current happenings in hard rock and metal. HORNS UP!

Dave Felton starts over with a powerful new band in Kridiaz, and we've get the skinny as a bonus.The Bonus Plan: It ain't over yet, because the boys also wrangled in Kriadiaz guitarist Dave Felton (Ex-Mushroomhead) for a heart-to-heart as he discusses how he put this powerhouse together as well as what it is like to start over.

DVD of the Show: Saxon - Heavy Metal Thunder Live (Eagles Over Wacken)

Beer of the Show: Prairie Ale (Prairie Artisan Ales)
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 2.5
Palate: 2.5
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.0
"Everything about this beer is fantastic, except for the peppery Saaz Hops that leave a little too much spice on the palate."

Featured Tracks: Thunder Tribe - Part of the Black; Saxon - Sacrifice; SpiralArms - Blackmoon Morning; The New Black - The Superhuman Mission; Anathema - Untouchable Pt. 1; Message to Venus - Change; Stripped, The Show, Universal You, and The Smile; Kriadiaz - 10 Lives, Feed the Rats, Suffer, and Bloodline

Ragman's Classic of the Show: Sinergy - Midnight Madness

Genghis' Classic of the Show: Shotgun Messiah - The Explorer

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Devil's Train - The Answers

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Bangladeafy - Show Me the Gold

- Ragman is thinking the fans better not get used to this (6 shows in 6 weeks? This is a new record!)...

Podcast #160: Cruise