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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
Feedback

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
Wednesday
Feb272013

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…

Monday
Feb252013

Paradox - Tales of the Weird

Heyyy, aren't these guys from the same part of town as that dude that followed the droids around in Mos Eisley?Bavarian thrash band Paradox is no stranger to the metal game; its cofounders were in their own thrash metal cover bands a few years before starting their own original effort in 1986. Though they debuted to great acclaim and released two critically popular albums, multiple line-up changes and illness have kept the band from being as active as other long-lived acts from the legendary 80s metal scene. Fast forward to now and the release of their 6th studio album, Tales of the Weird.

Band leader Charly Steinhauer handles the chores of guitar and vocals, but perhaps the real star is lead guitarist Christian Münzner who absolutely shreds all over the place, giving the songs on the album that oomph to keep it lively (and relevant) in today’s metal market. It’s a classic formula: heavy breakneck riffage, thunderous back beat, and razor sharp solos blanketed on top. And true to their old school roots, there are acoustic intros, sweet cover art, dirge-like moments of respite and enough political commentary to start a left wing radio show.

The Bottom Line: Old school thrash fans will find a lot to like in this latest album from the Bavarian metal masters. This album is chock full of high octane, headbanging fury played at breakneck speed. With music like this, there's only one place to go: INTO THE PIT!

Tracks That May Require You to Wear a Patch-Covered Denim Trucker Jacket: Tales of the Weird, Day of Judgement, Escalation, and Slashdead

- Genghis still has his old [too small] Levi's denim jacket in the closet somewhere...

Saturday
Feb232013

Podcast #149: Cover'd

Old, rusty barbed wire, or horns up? You make the call!You've heard us talk about cover songs before, but what about the so-called tribute albums that revolve around the work of a given band, usually featuring some amazing collaboration between some of your favorite artists who rarely get to work with each other? It's like forming a supergroup for one song on an album of other supergroups! Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss some of their favorite tribute covers, inlcuding the direct hits and dismal misses. Next, the boys are paid a visit from Colin [AKA Mayor McCheese], who discusses his latest...proceedings.

DVD of the Show: Moonspell - Lusitanian Metal

Beer of the Show: Monk's Stout Dupont (Brasserie Dupont)
 
Appearance: 3.0
Aroma: 3.0
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.0
"A beautiful dark Belgian ale that starts out with a cherry, smoky start and pleases with a nice coffee finish."
 

Featured Tracks: Dreamshade - Photographs; Moonspell - Luna; ZZ Top - I Gotsta Get Paid; Ian Moore - Not in Vain; Kings X - Manic Depression; Ronnie James Dio/Malmsteen - Dream On; Nightrage - Photograph; Vince Neil/George Lynch - Paranoid; Jeff Scott Soto/Bruce Kulick - Shot in the Dark; Enuff Z'Nuff - Green Tinted Sixties Mind

Ragman's Sponsor Pick: Gypsyhawk - Overloaded

Genghis' Sponsor Pick: Witchcraft - If Crimson Was Your Color

Classic of the Show: Waysted - Heaven Tonight

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Prototype - The Chosen Ones

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Hollow Haze - Never Turn Back

- Ragman actually had a few more covers up his sleeve...

Podcast #149: Cover'd

Monday
Feb182013

Karnya - Coverin' Thoughts

Fans of early 90s progressive metal should be thrilled by what these Romans have turned out. Bravo!For all the talk of trying out new music more often, it’s a comfort to return to the type of music you have that particular connection to. For me, generally speaking, that’s heavy metal, but more specifically the high energy rocking of progressive metal in the style of classic outfits from the early 90s when the genre really solidified. Sure the balls and chunk of metal with its headbanging abandon held everything together, but the musical dexterity on display tweaked a more sophisticated sensibility much in the way that jazz does (which explains my fusion leanings). It was through that mélange of predilections that I came to know and love the music of Dream Theater and Enchant.

And now from Rome comes Karnya with their debut concept album, Coverin’ Thoughts. While billed as being heavily influenced by 70s era prog, they are much more like the aforementioned progmetal bands with a strong sense of dynamics, deft musicianship and the right amount of drama to lend weight to the music without straying into the overwrought territory of so many failed wannabes. It’s actually kind of exciting to hear how much of this album’s spark comes from the impressive vocals of singer/guitarist Riccardo Nardocci – who ain’t too shabby in the soloing department either. Sounding a bit like Saga’s Michael Sadler, Nardocci belts it out like such a total pro and I can’t get enough of it. Check out the vocal extravaganza Sliver (with its cool Shy Boy riff sneaking around) to get an idea of what I mean. Oh, and check out that sweet bass playing on Hariel!

The Bottom Line: Nobody’s claiming that Karnya’s [re-]inventing the progressive metal wheel, but damn they sure make really great music. This is some of the freshest, most energetic, and (most of all) impressive progressive metal to come along in a long time. Genre fans, GO GET IT!

Tracks To Make You Risk Carpal Tunnel From the Air Guitaring: Fallen Angel, Stronger, Sliver, and Ego’s End

- Genghis is searching for those old Enchant CDs…

Monday
Feb182013

Diagonal - The Second Mechanism

"Waiter, there seems to be some jazz in my progressive rock." - Overheard in Genghis' fevered mind for the purposes of this articleOver the last year or so, I’ve noticed a small but growing contingent that pushes the envelope of what us metalheads consider our sonic domain. Outfits like Astra, Trioscapes, Ihsahn and others have put out music that contains examples of the proggy rhythms and virtuosic instrumental flurries that call to mind some of my favorite metal bands.  But this aural stew is ladled over a soft, warm bed of psychedelic rice that puts it on another level of musical extravagance.

More energetic than stoner metal, but more freeform than progressive conventions, UK-based Diagonal’s latest work, The Second Mechanism, is a unique and interesting album for metalheads of the aforementioned leanings. Like last year’s Separate Realities from Trioscapes, Diagonal plays in the sound space between jazz fusion, metal, and post punk without alienating any one group with too much of the unusual. I’m beginning to refer to these as Venn groups (as in Venn diagram). And I’m liking them a lot.

That being said, I should point out that while it has its moments, this music is actually more progressive rock than progressive metal. So, don’t be misled into thinking you’re going to bang your head much, it’s more like The Mars Volta without vocals and more jazzy, or maybe if Rush went with horns instead of synthesizers on Subdivisions.

The Bottom Line: If you’re into the prog scene, but favor a little experimentation with some jazzy flavor, this may just scratch your itch.

Tracks to Rock Your Next Sunday Jazz Brunch: The whole damn album

- Genghis really did dig this groovy, kooky stuff…