That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - March
  • Pictures
    by Cyrax
Video of the Month - March
  • Heavy Metal Parking Lot
    Heavy Metal Parking Lot
    starring n/a
Great Metal Reading
  • Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes
    Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes
    by Thomas Scott McKenzie


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

dUg Pinnick - naked

dUg Pinnick's latest solo album is appropriately titled, Naked, because dUg lets it all hang out, on this one.  Okay, don't get the wrong idea, his junk ain't out on the cover, what I'm talking about, is that he is very transparent with this release.  dUg apparently has a lot of demons, which he has released, on his latest CD.  Lyrically dUg bears all emotionally on this disc.  I'm not a guy that pays that much attention to lyrics these days, but it hard to ignore what he is singing about on this record.  dUg sings with so much emotion, so it is hard to ignore what the guy is singing about.

Naked is a bit heavier than his last solo effort Strum Sum Up, which was more groove oriented.  The CD is heavy is sound and emotion.  As I mentioned before, dUg lets it all hang out on this record.  The CD is not that much different than what you expect from Pinnick.  It is heavy groove ladened  rock with a major edge and killer melody.  dUg brings back a lot of the killer harmony styled vocals for this album, which I have been diggin on.  As you would guess, their is a bit of soul on the album, and the track Ain't That the Truth is a perfect example.  I really dug the first part of the CD, but some the latter tracks, I have been having a harder time getting into.I think this one is one, that will get stronger with each spin.  

Bottom Line:  dUg Pinnick exposes himself emotionally, on this release.  Songs that are moody and uplifting, at the same time.  I don't think I have heard his bass ever sound this heavy.  Soulful, melodic, grooving tunes.

Standout Tracks:  If You Fuk Up, What Ya Gonna Do?, Courage and I Hope I  Don't Lose My Mind.

-Ragman will not be getting naked for the next podcast.


Dio - Magica (Deluxe Edition)

To be honest, when Magica came out originally in 2000, I was thoroughly disappointed.  Not only had Tracy G left the band, but they had brought back Craig Goldy.  No knock against Goldy, because he is a talented guitarist, but I just never thought he fit into the band that well.  Though talented, he just came off a little boring.  Take Goldy out of the equation, and I still, back 13 years ago, thought the album was stale and tired.  It wasn't until the best of release, The Very Beast of Dio 2, that I decided to check this CD out again.  The song As Long As It's Not About Love, struck my ears and made go re-visit this now cult classic.

Recently Magica has been re-released in a deluxe 2 CD edition.  The first CD contains the re-mastered album and the second "bonus' CD contains some interesting gems.  The bonus CD, has Ronnie James Dio, narrating the Magica story line, how cool is that?  Next there is the bonus track, from Japan, Annica, as well as one of the last recordings by the great one, Electra, which was to be featured on Magica 2 or 3.  Unfortunately Mr. Dio passed before he could finish his story.  There are also 5 bootleg live tracks included.  These could have been left off in my opinion, but I guess they need to fill up the rest of the disk.

Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't get this CD the first time around.  Though it is not Dio's best work, it is definitely a strong effort.  There is a nice variety on the CD, from the slow brooding track Lord of the Last Day, to the Rainbow inspired Fever Dreams to the dark ballad, As Long As It's Not About Love, this album pretty much covers the gamut.  I'm not sure if the re-mastering had anything to do with how punchy this record sounds now, but I have a new respect for this album.  If you love Dio and do not have this one, then you should pick it up in it's deluxe form, because it is the shit!

Bottom Line: A Dio cult classic re-discovered.  A solid performance by the man and his supporting cast.  Hopefully some of the lesser known Dio CD's will get this sort of royal treatment.

Stand Out Tracks:  As Long As It's Not About Love,  Lord of the Last Day, Fever Dreams and Eriel

-Ragman wants to see the expanded version of Strange Highways....Please....


Battlecross - War Of Will

Holy shit this band knows how to rock. Who knew Detroit was hiding talent like this in its dessicated husk of a city? No offense.Detroit maniacs Battlecross have released their latest album, War Of Will, 2 years after their impressive debut Pursuit Of Honor and this sophomore disc is replete with brutal, ass-kicking tunes to satisfy lovers of different genres. From full throttle, Overkill-style thrash, to the harmonized riffage and thrilling shred of melodeath, to the harmonic squeals of Pantera-style Southern metal, Battlecross knows how to fucking rock a room and they're clearly after nothing less than global domination.

As if the disc wasn't impressive enough, they only just entered the studio in March of this year having attacked a year with a relentless thirst for touring that would make grizzled veterans beg for a vacation. It's like they're assassin musician robots from the future with the single mission of destroying [the eardrums and necks of] the human race. Man, I have to quit drinking when I write these things.

The Bottom Line: So imagine Marty McFly (Lamb of God) is in the parking lot during the Enchantment Under The Sea dance with his mom ([old] In Flames) and decides, "what the hell, let's do it, baby". Their paradoxical, time-destroying baby would be named Battlecross. Marinate on that, kids. And if you like headbanging, check out this band!

Tracks That Make A Good Case For Disturbing The Neighbors:  Flesh & Bone, Get Over It and Wage A War

- Genghis did more than a couple of double takes listening to this disc...


Pursuing The End - Symmetry Of Scorn

"You got your Swedish death metal in my Lacuna Coil!" - Prissy guy in frilly white shirt with tattoos.You know as long as I've been listening to and enjoying music of all sorts (going on five decades), it's taken an inordinate amount of time to understand about production and what it can do for a musician's efforts. As it turns out, it may make all the difference in more cases than not. Which brings us to Italy's Pursuing The End (PTE), and their debut studio album, Symmetry Of Scorn. First things first, I love this music. It's much easier in theory to take a given formula like melodic metalcore and weave in pop, electronica and symphonic elements, all fronted by a female singer.

I mean these guys aren't lacking in ambition. They know what they're after and they do it well, with songs that are tight, heavy and appropriately atmospheric - especially in their deft juxtaposition of [lead singer, Maria] Bonfanti's soothing mezzo-soprano and [vocalist, Giacomo] Benamati's gutteral assault (though he does good clean vocals too). My only real complaint has to do with the nature of complex music like this. Like progressive metal, there are a lot of layers going on sonically, and it takes a really good producer/engineer to make sure that everyone gets heard without it becoming muddy. While I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and look forward to hearing more from PTE, I had to tweak the EQ settings quite a bit to hear everything. Still, this is a great new band that's pushing the envelope in the right ways in an otherwise crowded subgenre.

The Bottom Line: If you're one of those people that wishes there was a little more Swedish death metal in your Lacuna Coil then you're likely going to want to check out Pursuing The End. If these guys can get a really great producer for their next album, I predict big things for them.

Tracks For Trying To Get Your Girlfriend Into Metal: Something Remains, In Vain, and Changes

- Genghis really digs the whole chick-fronted metal band thing...


Cynthesis - ReEvolution

Holy crap those Tipton brothers know how to play some guitar, and they've got a great band with Cynthesis.Four piece prog outfit Cynthesis certainly has a good pedigree. To start with you've got twin Tipton guitar brothers, Jasun and Troy (Zero Hour),  drummer Sean Flanagan (Enchant), and finally, vocalist Erik Rosvold. While perhaps not household names outside of the prog community, those in the know would surely salivate at this lineup of talent. But if you require something to procure your aural investment, you need only check out a track like Convergence to know "we're dealing with a badass group of musicians over here".

Formed in 2010, Cynthesis wasted no time in releasing the first album (2011's DeEvolution) in a planned trilogy of dystopian concept albums. ReEvolution represents the next stage of this ambitious project with an intriguing storyline of a tribal shaman burdened with his participation in slave trading who uncovers a secret about his past. The lyrical content tries to be as complex as the music these mad geniuses weave...and does okay, but I wasn't exactly expecting the eloquent, poetic musings of Neil Peart. Besides, Erik's voice sounds great over the dynamic sound of Jasun, Troy and Sean.

There's always a danger when you're dealing with musicians as insanely skilled as the Tipton brothers; the temptation to go off on atonal, albiet precise, Jarzombekian unison runs at the expense of a cohesive sound that serves the song is great - and often indulged. But Jasun and Troy display a marvelous sense of restraint that makes this album all the more impressive. If you're a progressive/technical metal fan and like the concept album thing, this is right up your alley. And as much as I harp on it for those efforts that miss the mark, I have to give kudos to Forrester Savell's masterful mix of this album. Every instrument and vocal is crystal clear, making this an incredible headphone experience.

The Bottom Line: The Tipton brothers and company, known collectively as Cynthesis, have once again made that rare album where incredible skill meets genuinely enjoyable music with a sense of atmosphere and melody. Well done!

Tracks To Teach You About Skill Versus Listenability: Convergence, The Grand Facade, and Release the Deity

- Genghis just can't imagine being this good at guitar - ever...