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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - June
  • Diamond Head
    Diamond Head
    Dissonance Productions
Video of the Month - June
  • The Theater Equation [Blu-ray]
    The Theater Equation [Blu-ray]
    by Ayreon
#ProgmetalMatters
  • Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal
    Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal
    by Jeff Wagner
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
Feb172016

Dissona - Paleopneumatic

Out of nowhere, Chicago's Dissona comes to challenge your percetion of prog.I can't say I hear the city of Chicago mentioned in the list of progressive metal hotbeds, but clearly they have something to offer the genre in the band Dissona. The intriguing quartet approach the music through the prism of their backgrounds in classical and extreme metal with elements of jazz and other diverse sources.

From the get go, it's clear that this band has a different approach, seeming almost like new age or alternative prog metal if it's not too crazy to say. And that's not a bad thing at all; one of the biggest knocks against prog metal by those who are not fans is that "it all sounds the same, like Images and Words recycled again", so it's refreshing to hear a band in the genre that adds something to the mix. A big part of this sound is the use of guitar textures and ambient sounds as layering. Even the keyboards have an ethereal feel to themselves, as if floating in and out of existence.

Not that there's any lack of the genre's trademark pyrotechnics, as Craig Hamburger and Matt Motto (bass and guitars respectively) can lay a groove down as solid as you please. But the gothic flavor of David Dubenic's vocals lend a melancholia to the album that tempers the usually overwrought nature of proggy excess even as it screams over drummer Drew Goddard's moments of explosive brilliance as on Fire-Bellied. This isn't their first album, and I certainly hope it won't be their last. Especially when they come out with the inevitable progmetal staple, the full-blown concept album. Then again, that would be too predictable, wouldn't it? And Dissona ain't havin' it.

The Bottom Line: Dissona is the rare musical animal that combines several disparate genres into a cohesive whole that loses none what makes each unique while transmogrifying into something new and compelling. It's a juggling act that rarely works so well, and I will be following this interesting band.

- Genghis was tripping balls on this album at some point...

Tuesday
Feb162016

Brainstorm - Scary Creatures

You know, I'm preeeeety sure I don't want to attend this particluar show. Sorry, creepy doll guys.German power metal band Brainstorm hits your ears with their latest album Scary Creatures, and these cats aren't fooling around. Their previous effort Firesoul was understandably well-received, but they really get some traction with the cruncy in milk distortion of their latest offering.

Founded in 1989, Brainstorm has been crafting classic metal for over 25 years, with guitarists Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric laying down some of the nice harmonized leads and nasty rhythyms us metalheads crave. Tracks like We Are... have a great Judas Priest feel to them that must play great live. I can imagine an audience of people chanting "We are, we are!" in unison. Vocalist Andy B. Franck does a nice impression of Halford, deliberately or otherwise, and Antonio Leva and Dieter Bernert setup a solid foundation on which Brainstorm builds its epic sound. All in all, this is classic European power metal and there's little to dislike about it.

The Bottom Line: Brainstorm rolls over you like a frieght train of metal, so be prepared for some killer headbanging and no mistake. 'Nuff said!

- Genghis is rifling through his closet for his studded belt...

Monday
Feb082016

Podcast #204: Lemmy!

Requiescat in pace, Mr. Kilmister. You will be missed.Lots o' doings here at The Right To Rock as the lads pay tribute to the fallen. In this case one Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known worldwide as Lemmy. Join Genghis & Ragman as they celebrate the life and music of Lemmy's Motörhead (we know he was in other bands, but we really like Motörhead). This show also includes the premiere of our first Beer Flight Fight, where the lads go through 4 beer contenders to choose the Beer Of The Show. Annnd, we have our first song dedication for one of our long-time fans, Brian!

Next, check out a great interview with Alex Staropoli of Rhapsody Of Fire as he tells the boys about touring and the making of the band's latest album, Into The Legend.

Video Of The Show: Motörhead - The Birthday Party

Beer of the Show: Goose Winter Ale (Goose Island Beer Company)
 
Appearance: 3.0
Aroma: 3.0
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.0
Overall: 3.0
"One of our favorite breweries delivers a balanced, delicious winter warmer that hits the spot nicely with deep flavors."
 

Featured Tracks: Motörhead - (We Are) Motörhead, Stay Clean, & Hellraiser; Twisted Sister - The Kids Are Back; Motörhead - Love For Sale; Wendy O'Williams - It's My Life; Rhapsody Of Fire - The Power of the Dragonflame, Realms of Light, Kiss of Light, Shining Light, Winter's Rain, & Holy Thunderforce

Ragman's Classic of the Show: Thin Lizzy - Renegade

Genghis' Classic of the Show: Pile Driver - Witch Hunt

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Art Nation - Wage War Against The World

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Chronos Zero - The Compression Of Time

- Genghis regrets missing that last Motörhead show...

Podcast #204: Lemmy!

Wednesday
Feb032016

Junkstars - This Means War

Punk rockers still exist? In Sweden? Damn right they do. And Junkstars is leading the charge.Neo-punks Junkstars are dead set on keeping the punk rock flag flying in the 21st century, and it's hard not to root for them when you see this young trio playing every song like it's their last. After touring Europe extensively and releasing two albums, it's time for their latest release This Means War. Whether they're declaring war on us is anybody's guess.

Right off the bat, I have to say the production of This Means War is fantastic. You really get the feeling of standing in somebody's garage as three hyped-up dudes play their asses off. Because let's face it, with punk it's not about playing in odd time signatures, Michael Bay level pyrotechnics, or grandiose concept album material. It's about aggression, energy and attitude. And the Junkstars have it.

With influences from the likes of The Clash, The Ramones, and Rancid, there's no question they've got the right blueprint, and with the world being in the state it's in, there's certainly no shortage of lyric potential. Max Malmquist (guitar, lead vocals) is a quite capable frontman with a strong, gravelly voice and tight riffs, while bassman Tobbe Ljungqvist adds a nice warm bounce to the bottom end to compliment human dynamo Mathias Wanneberg on drums.

The Bottom Line: The spirit of punk rock lives on in Europe through the likes of Junkstars. In a country where cutting-edge metal rules with an iron claw, this trio of grass roots rockers defies convention with a toothy grin. Punk lovers, get those jean jacket vests on cuz it's time for some slam dancin'.

- Genghis remembers when he had this kind of energy (he was 5)...

Wednesday
Feb032016

Beseech - My Darkness, Darkness

Swedish goth metal band Beseech returns with their first album since 2005.Sometimes it's better to have never heard a band's previous works at all so that no pre-judgement clouds your mind while introducing yourself to their latest material. Such is the case with Swedish goth metal band Beseech, who've been around since the early 90s. Having disbanded about 10 years ago and recently reforming with new members (half the band is new), they're back with their sixth studio album, My Darkness, Darkness.

From the first minute of opener Beating Pulse, the stage is set for a great melodic, moody jam with lead vocals supplied by veteran guitarist Klas Bohlin, who assumed the role in late 2013, and is joined by Angelina Sahlgren Söder. Angelina's vocals fit beautifully with Bohlin's baritone, especially on tracks like Highwayman, which at times sounded almost like a duet between Kate Bush and the late Peter Steele (Type O Negative). This is good stuff, and will see some rotation into my new music mix.

The Bottom Line: Gothic metal can often become mired in its own existential crises, leaving fans bored and unsatisfied. Thankfully, the change in Beseech's line-up may have been just what the band needed to move forward with a new album and outlook. I'm not saying the characteristic tone of the genre is gone, but the band does manage to transcend those trappings on a - dare I say - "catchy" album. Highly recommended.

- Genghis is quite curious to check out some more of this band...