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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
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…

Wednesday
Feb132013

Jorn - Symphonic

It goes without saying that Jorn Lande is one of the best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal vocalists out there today.  Jorn has been with established bands as well as solidifying himself as a solo artist.   If you're not familiar with the man and his music, and you're not sure which CD to get, then you have you have a fresh choice with Jorn's latest release Symphonic.  Symphonic is a best of, but with classical arrangements added in.  The original recordings are there (remixed), but Jorn has gone in and added orchestrations to give the songs new life.

Symphonic pulls from various stages of Jorn's career, and is a nice introduction to folks wanting to hear what Jorn is all about.  The cool thing about this release is that it does not include all of the obvious tracks.  Jorn hand picked which tracks he thought would best benefit, by the added orchestrations.   In my opinion, this is just a glorified best of record, with some added flavor.  I'm not saying it is a band thing, but that's all this is.  The record sounds good sonically, and will be a great tool to pull in new fans.  I'm just not sure this will be special enough for folks that own the entire Jorn catalog, like myself.

Bottom Line: Jorn trying to put a spin on a new best of.  Rocking tunes classed up a bit.  Fun, but not essential.

Standout Tracks: Mob Rules. I Came to Rock, The World I See and Man of the Dark.

-Ragman didn't know that a crow could play a violin.  Intriguing....

Wednesday
Feb132013

Vicious Rumors - Live You To Death

Vicious Rumors are one of those bands that just won't go away, and that is a good thing. This band has been through alot over its 30+ year existence, and just seem to be getting stronger, with age.  The band never really re-covered after the passing of vocalist Carl Albert, until just recently.  The band has continued to put out music over the years, but it has never matched the caliber of their material from the mid-80's, until recently.  The band got rejuvenated with the addition of vocalist Brian Allen back in 2009, and have been going strong ever since.  The band has just released their 3rd live record, Live You To Death which solidifies, why they are still force to be reckoned with live. 

Live You To Death was recorded on their 2011 European tour, in support of Razorback Killers.  The set list comprised of 9 original tracks and 2 covers.   The band covered Black Sabbath's Sign of the Southern Cross as well as Judas Priest's Running Wild.  I have to say I was a little bummed out, when I saw that the band had included (2) covers on this release.  They have so much great material to pull from, that it boggles my mind that they would include covers.  The band sounds great, and vocalist Brian Allen proves to the audience that he is the right man for the job.  It took awhile but I think they finally found the right replacement for the great Carl Albert.  All in all a solid listen.

Bottom Line: An electrifying performance by one of metal's greats.  The show is mixed well and gives you a sense of being at the show.  Crank this mutha up!

Standout Tracks: Digital Dictator, Lady Took a Chance, Hellraiser and Soldiers of the Night.

-Ragman is still shaken from his experience with the lads backstage... He's got a gun!!!!!

Wednesday
Feb132013

John Corabi - Unplugged

John Corabi is one of those guys, that I always root for, to break through.  The guy is a major talent, but for some reason, even though he's had a few breaks, has never seemed to hit it big.  Needless to say, when he has a release, I'm definitely gonna check it out.  His latest release, is a best of, of sorts, done acoustically.  John has dug out some of the best tunes he did with The Scream, Motley Crue and Union to make his new album Unplugged.  As a bonus there are 5 new tracks to sink your teeth into.  

Corabi just has one of those voices that can fit in any scenario.  He can scream tunes out with distortion and come off very tasteful when unplugged.  I'm generally not a fan of acoustic records, but this one was fun to listen to, because Corabi does such a nice job with the re-interpretations of these classic tunes.  The classics are good, but don't forget about the new tunes either, because they are strong as well.  A very enjoyable listen.  

Bottom Line: Corabi showing that he still has the chops.  A solid mix of some re-done classics as a few new gems.  For fans of solid acoustic rock, this is right up your alley.

Standout Tracks: Love (I Don't Need it Anymore), Man in the Moon, Loveshine and Crash.

-Ragman is jonesing for a Corabi (plugged in) rock record.