That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - February
  • The Grinding Wheel
    The Grinding Wheel
    by Overkill
Video of the Month - February
  • & There Will Be a Next Time: Live From Detroit [Blu-ray]
    & There Will Be a Next Time: Live From Detroit [Blu-ray]
    by Def Leppard
  • Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam
    Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam
    by Mark LeVine

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

Podcast #206: Replacement

Pull up a chair and prepare to get sermonized by the one and only Mike Howe.It's been a very big year in the world of metal and we're only half way through it. Who'da thought Guns n' Roses would be back together (sort of), and AC/DC would be replacing Brian Johnson? Not me. Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss who they think should replace Mr. Johnson - as well as the rumors surrounding his departure. Also, the boys tackle the G&R "reunion". Do we really care? Is it really a reunion with only half of the guys returning? Tune in to find out.

Next, the guys round up Metal Church vocalist Mike Howe for a one on on as he discusses his return to the band as well as their current album, XI. So grab a beer and have as much fun as the guys had making this show (Pimples notwithstanding).

Video of the show: Slash with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators - Live at the Roxy

Beer of the Show: 013 Kentucky Habit (Karbach Brewing Co.)
Appearance: 4.0
Aroma: 4.0
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 4.0
Overall: 3.5
"One of our favorite local breweries takes a dive into the whole 'aged-in-bourbon-barrels' thing and comes up a winner."

Featured Tracks: The Unguided - Heatseeker, Slash - Bent to Fly; Ted Poley - Hands of Love; Airborne - Live it Up; Rage - Down; Metal Church - The Dark, Sky Fall In, It Waits, Reset, and No Tomorrow

Ragman's Classic of the Show:  Tommy Bolin - Teaser

Genghis' Classic of the Show: Ted Nugent - Tied Up in Love

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Almanac - Reign of Madness

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Myrath - The Needle

- Ragman is ready for another show!!!

Podcast #206: Replacement


It's that time of year...

Not that you'd notice based on our recent track record but we're hitting our summer sabbatical season and us folks at the Nightmare Studios campus will be taking some time off to do our thing for the next couple of months or so. That doesn't mean we won't post anything, it'll just be slower than usual (God knows what that could mean, right?).

Mostly, we'll be working on keeping John out of the loop on our whereabouts. We don't want a repeat of that time he showed up unannounced to one of our family reunions in his custom 4th of July jockstrap. I've never wanted to burn a flag before, but Crimeny!

In the meantime, you might keep an eye on Twitter or Facebook for the latest TRTR info like concert attendances or cool releases, fair enough? Have a great summer everybody, and be safe. It'll probably be our last gasp as a relatively happy country before the election...


- Genghis wants to know who the big write-in vote is this year...


Podcast Interview: Laki Ragazas

Ragman chats with Laki Ragazas, guitarist and vest enthusiast.The Ragster chats with guitarist Laki Ragazas (Mystic Prophecy, Devil's Train), who shares his thoughts of all things metal, working on two new albums, and possible tour plans related hereto. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

And we also recommend checking out the latest offereings from both bands - Mystic Prophecy's War Brigade, and Devil's Train's II - both of which are available online and off in the usual locations. HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Mystic Prophecy - Forgotten Soul, 10,000 Miles Away, Metal Brigade, The Crucifix, and War Panzer; Devil's Train - Mr. Jones; Mystic Prophecy - Sign of the Cross

Laki Ragazas Interview


Thunderstone - Apocalypse Again

I was syked when I heard that Pasi Rantanen had re-united with Thunderstone.  I have been a fan of Thunderstone since the band's second record The Burning in 2004.  Pasi left in 2007, after the tour of the phenomenal record 4.0.  The band got a new singer and released Dirt Metal in 2009.  After Pasi left the band, it just wasn't the same for me.  Though Dirt Metal had some solid tracks, I just didn't dig it as much as I did the prior material with Pasi.  In 2013, the band re-joined forces with Rantanen, but it took another 3 years before they released a new album, which is titled Apocalypse Again.

It wasn't until the 3rd track, that I got hooked on this record.  The track Fire and Ice is an uptempo rocker with some solid melody's and a catchy chorus.  There is a sweet keyboard intro by Jukka Karinen, that starts the track, and prepares you for metal annihilation.  Killer tune.  The next track, is the type of track that I love from Thunderstone, because it is slow, heavy melodic metal, but with lots of power.  Check out the track Through the Pain, and you'll hear what I mean.  I love it when the band gets into these powerful grooves, that just embrace you, and don't let go.

Apocalypse Again is a solid offering, which contains a nice variety of up tempo and mid-tempo rockers.  The band seem to have regained the momentun, that they lost with Dirt Metal.  If I have one complaint, it would be that I think that the production is a little soft.  I was hoping to get the heavy sound/crunch of the previous material, especially with the return of Pasi.  Don't get me wrong, the CD sounds good, but I just wish it sounded a little heavier.  A solid CD.  Apocalypse Again has a nice variety, which will make any Thunderstone fan proud.

Bottom Line: With the return of Pasi Rantanen, it seems like the song writing has gotten stronger and the band is sounding better than they have in years.  Great melodic power metal.

Standout Tracks: Through the Pain, Higher, Fire and Ice and Days of Our Lives.

-Ragman must see Thunderstone live.



The Defiants

To say that I was excited, when I heard that Paul Laine and Bruno Ravel were doing a project together, would be the understatement of the year.  I have been a long time fan of Paul's early solo work as well as his work with Danger Danger.  I was really happy to see that the two had joined forces with current D2 guitarist Rob Marcello, to do a project called The Defiants.  The Defiants is basically D2 minus vocalist Ted Poley and drummer Steve West.  Though it is obvious why Poley was not involved, I was surprised not to see West involved.  It would have been a D2 reunion of sorts, but under a new name, which is justly so.  

The Defiants, is pretty much what you would expect.  It is a mix of early Paul Laine, mixed with his more melodic era of D2.  The songs are catchy, but lack some of the punch I was hoping for.  Don't get me wrong, I like this record, but was hoping for something a little heavier.  The is a nice variety on the CD, with a nice mix of up tempo and mid tempo rockers, with a few ballads thrown in for good measure.

There are some really strong tracks on the record like the When the Lights Go Down.  It starts off with a really catchy riff, and some nice rip-age from Marcello.  It is a mid-tempo rocker with one of those catchy choruses, that will stay in your head for days.  It is followed up by the killer Waiting on a Heartbreak, which is catchy as hell.  The next track to stick out was the ballad Save Me Tonight.  Laine sings his ass off on this one.  It may be my favorite ballad of the year so far.  It reminds me of Simply Out of Reach from James LaBrie's solo effort back in 2012 Elements of Persuasion.  Soft but powerful.

This album has really grown on me with each listen.  Not only are the songs strong, but the musicianship is strong as well.  I knew that Rob Marcello was a solid guitarist, but this guy friggin rips on this album.  Check out the solo on Take Me Back.  Solid performance.  As I said, this one is strong, but there are a few hiccups like the overly poppy Runaway and Lil' Miss Rock N Roll.  Runaway is so drenched in syrup, that I thought that it was either a Katy Perry or Taylor Swift cover.  Sorry boys, but not diggin this track.  All in all, this is a party rock album, that would be fun at any kegger or get together.  This will be a fun one to jam to this summer, go get it.

Bottom Line: Great 80's tinged melodic hard rock.  Even though it gets a little candy coated at times, but fortunately, the end result is solid enough to take away some of the sweetness.  You will need to give this one several spins before passing judgement, I'm glad I did.

Standout Tracks: Save Me Tonight, Waiting on a Heartbreak, We All Fall Down and Take Me Back.

-Ragman is hoping this isn't a one off.