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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - April
  • Electric Tentacles
    Electric Tentacles
    by Damian Murdoch Trio
Video of the Month - April
  • Stillness in Motion: Vai Live in L.A. (2 DVD)
    Stillness in Motion: Vai Live in L.A. (2 DVD)
    by Steve Vai
Wanna Be A Metal Chef?
  • Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
    Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
    by Steve Seabury
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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
Friday
Dec192014

Along Came a Spider - Resurgence

Every time I think the screamo/death thing is dead, a new band comes and restores my faith, in this saturated genre, and that band is Along Came a Spider.  To be fair, I discovered the band Along Came a Spider on their debut release If We Were Normal Men, but with their latest release Resurgence, they have definitely raised the bar.  ACAS are more than just your average screamo band, because they offer variety.  Their music is full of melody and aggression, but they can slow it down if they need to.

Resurgence is a major stepping stone for the band, in that it, shows how they have matured and grown from the first release.  Songs like Metamorphosis and Wanderlust, accelerate the band to new heights and will make them a force to reckoned with in the genre.  Alot of the music that comes form this genre sounds the same, but ACAS has enough versatility in their music, to set themselves apart from he pact.  If you're looking for some aggressive metal with a melodic twist, then you've found your band.

Bottom Line: ACAS sucker punches the sophmore jinx, straight in the kisser and delivers a product better than their debut.  Solid screamo metal, with some cool twists.

Standout Tracks: Wanderlust, Metamorphosis, A Siren's Call and Voice of the Voiceless.

-Ragman is painting his nails black.

Thursday
Dec182014

Triosphere - The Heart Of The Matter

These cats from Norway know how to make good metal. They even have a bitchin' album cover.Norwegian metallers Triosphere are going like gangbusters these days, due in no small part to the vocals of bassist/frontwoman Ida Haukland. Which is not at all to say that the rest of the gang on their third album The Heart Of The Matter isn't holding up its end of things. Oh no, the musicianship of this quartet is fucking stellar, featuring a fantastic blend of melodic, progressive and power metal with enough energy to power a small town through the winter.

And it's not all breakneck speed either. Too many metal bands tend to go full throttle at all times, forsaking the magic of a balanced effort, allowing space for the music. Check out the solo section of Breathless (around 3:15) and its sweet grooving for an example of this band's understanding of such dynamics. Following that track, Departure engages in some sweet Dream Theater/Rush style rhythmic crunching before its very tasteful solo. These guys are just making some great rock and roll here, folks. Haukland's voice is more on the Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) side of female vocals; not bad-ass rocker chick like Nina Oseguedo (A Sound Of Thunder) and not a classically trained opera singer like Tarja Turunen (Within Temptation). This works out great since it allows the music to share the soundscape without competing with what is often considered the novelty of female vocals.

The Bottom Line: Triosphere is some damn fine metal for fans of classic melodic/hard rock and power metal with a touch of the progressive thrown in for some flavor. Even if you're not a fan of female vocals (and why wouldn't you be?) you can't deny that the music here is really really good.

- Genghis would love to catch these cats in a club some time soon...

Wednesday
Dec172014

The Doors - Feast of Friends

Feast of Friends is a documentary that was funded and produced by The Doors.  The movie was filmed during the band's 68' tour, by one of Jim Morrison's college buddies.  This documentary, if you can call it that, chronicles some interesting moments on the band's 1968 tour.  The movie had a limited release, but was then shelved, until now.  The movie looks great, and the audio is there as well. 

If you're looking for a true blue doc. on the band, then you'll be very disappointed with this one, because there is no continuity.  Most documentaries tell a story, but this film kind of skips around, and never really goes anywhere, but that being said, this DVD was still very enjoyable.  There is some rare footage of the band on and offstage, which makes this one a must have for Doors fans.

 

Bottom LineA documentary that's name is false advertising.  A behind the scenes look,of an iconic rock band. 

-Ragman was hoping for something a bit more structured, but still enjoyed it.

Monday
Dec152014

Harem Scarem - Thirteen

Those Canadian boys are back with their shiniest album cover to date. The music rocks too!Fans of the [Genghis & Ragman] show know of our love for that Canadian rock troupe known as Harem Scarem. Between Harry Hess' glassy vocals and Pete Lesperance's fiery guitar work you've got a combination every bit as formidable as heard in Extreme or Enuff Znuff; beautiful choruses, thrilling solos and an overall package that's made for radio. Of course, that radio part doesn't carry as much cache as it did 20 years ago, but that doesn't change facts: Harem Scarem still has the goods.

And their latest album, Thirteen, hits all the right beats from the get go, with lush, layered choruses reminiscient of Journey or Queen - check out the perfect example of what I'm talking about in Early Warning Signs (2:32) - and killer solos like those found in The Midnight Hours (2:28) and Garden of Eden (2:40). I can't claim that they're reinventing themselves or making groundbreaking music, Harem Scarem just makes great genre music period. Bet on it.

The Bottom Line: It's always to have old favorite bands come back making more of the great music you remember them for. Harem Scarem's one two punch of Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance is easily one of the classic duos of melodic rock.

- Genghis sits by the window willing this band to tour Texas...

Monday
Dec152014

Bailey - Long Way Down

Nigel Bailey is really making a name for himself on the melodic rock scene. And this album cover is fucking classic.Nigel Bailey may be a relatively new name in the genre (unless you're a Three Lions fan), but he's steadily making a name for himself as a purveyor of that classic melodic rock sound. And his new self-titled album, Long Way Down, has all of the hallmarks of the genre in spades, from driving rhythyms, flashy solos and huge, anthemic choruses in the vein of classic Mr. Big or Bad English.

Now, while I am totally behind this album in terms of genre and even songwriting, I do have a few nags. Bailey is a good singer, sounding like a cross between a young Paul Stanley and Jack Blades (with maybe a touch of John Waite thrown in). And I'm not honestly sure whether Nigel plays the solos too or if it's the guitar work of Mario Percudani, but it hits the right tone and is very well-suited to Bailey's songwriting style. What this album really could've benefited from however is some high-level production. It's not bad here, but with the gloss of a veteran like, say Mutt Lange, this could be a stellar album. Looking forward to more from this band.

The Bottom Line: Fans of the hard rock/melodic metal genre will find a lot to like on Nigel Bailey's solo debut even if the production needs a bit more polish.

Tracks To Wash Your Camaro To At Full Blast: In The Name Of The King, Bad Reputation, Love Falls Down and Dirty Angel

- Genghis did a lot of fist-pumping during this review...