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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - August
  • Vampiro
    Vampiro
    by HELSTAR
Video of the Month - August
  • Live at the NEC
    Live at the NEC
    starring Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Steve Morse
#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
Thursday
May052016

Lita Ford - Time Capsule

When an artist comes off a hot record, do you ever wonder if they stashed away some tunes, from that session, or preceding sessions, that never saw the light of day?  I do constantly.  I always wonder how many tracks were written for a classic record, and if there were leftovers, what happened to them.  Well, recently artists like Scorpions and Lita Ford have dug into their vaults and found some real gems.  In fact, both artists' latest releases are comprised of music that they did back in the day.  Lita is the latest of the two, to give of a taste, of some tunes that should have been released decades sooner.

Time Capsule is made up of 11 tracks that have sat in Lita's vaults for over 30 years.  I have to say, this is the best material, that she has released since her self titled record, back in 88'.  The album features a virtual who's who of hard rockers featuring, Gene Simmons, Jeff Scott Soto, Billy Sheehan and members of Cheap Trick.  The CD starts off strong with the song Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight which is a duet with Jeff Scott Soto.  It is a rocking ballad, which sets the tone for the CD.  The next track keeps the momentum going, with the ballad Killing Kind.  This is the track that features Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick.  Both songs are melodic and memorable.  They both contain infectious choruses, which will stick in your head for days.

This CD is full of solid material that was hatched over 30 years ago.  These tunes were brought back to life, thanks to Lita digging through some old tapes.  I have to say I really dig the melodic ballady tracks on this record, opposed to the rockier tracks.  I think that the ballads are more solid and have more hooks.  Also, I have to give props to Lita on her guitar playing on this CD.  I really dug her take, on the classic Hendrix instrumental, Little Wing.  All in all a solid effort.  Some of the faster tracks, can come off a little dated, lyric wise, but it doesn't matter, because they still rock.  This one's a keeper.  Go get it.

Bottom Line: Lita unearthing some of her best material in years.  Even though some of these tracks are 30+ years old, they still stand up today. Great songs with great melody. Get your space suit on, because this one will transport you back to 1980 or something.

Stand Out Tracks: War of the Angels, Killing Kind, Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight, and Little Wing

- Ragman was taken by surprise with this one...

Thursday
May052016

The Zero Boys

Well, Arrow Films has done it again, by bringing back an underground classic on Bluray.  The latest film they have un-earthed and given the first class treatment, is a film called The Zero Boys.  The Zero Boys is about a paintball team of the same name, that decides to take a roadie, to celebrate their latest victory.  As the team and their respective lady friends, are taking a break from driving, they hear a woman screaming through the woods.  Of course, they go to check it out and discover and abandoned house ala Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but with nicer interior.  Long story short, they have stumbled across the home of some demented serial killers and the only thing that can save them are their mad paintball skills.

The Zeros Boys looks great with the transfer to Bluray.  I had never scene the original, but can tell that Arrow did a nice job bringing this one into the 21st century.  The acting as you would expect is subpar, but this is an 80's action horror flick, so what do you expect?  The special effects aren't bad, especially for the 80's.  It is your prototypical 80's slasher flick, leaning heavily on films that had succeeded before it.  All in all an entertaining watch. 

Bottom LineThis is a poor mans Texas Chainsaw.  Kids in the woods, who stumble across a demented mass muderering family.  Sound familiar?

-Ragman is thinking that Tobe Hooper is saying, been there done that.

Monday
May022016

Red Tide Rising - Voices (EP)

There aren't many Colorado metal bands, but they can certainly rock.Colorado seems like a good place to form a band and begin the path to world domination, right? Strange then that there aren't more of the heavy metal variety. For every Jag Panzer or Havok, you seem to find a dozen folk bands, but enough of that. Denver quartet Red Tide Rising flies the metal flag on their latest EP Voices, filled with over 20 minutes of raging modern metal.

One of the highlights of the band's sound is the impressive voice of Matthew Whiteman. Despite being in his early 20s (and looking even younger), his voice belies the maturity and control of a seasoned musician from every guttural growl to every clean-toned chorus (check out the end of Suffocate for some solo vocals to get a good idea). And working with his brother Andrew (guitars) seems to contribute to a synchronicity that fuels this quintet of heavy grooves, which should generate considerable anticipation for a forthcoming, full-fledged studio album. The rest of the band (Matt Guerin on drums and Michael LeBois on bass) provides back up with a solid foundation that supports the Whiteman brothers like metal bedrock. This group is solid and poised for stardom, man.

The Bottom Line: Don't be surprised to see this band start to show up on [and rock the shit out of] a lot of summer tours. They've got a firm grip on the modern metal sound and perform with an energy that goes well beyond the old angsty-youth-with-7-string-guitars-and-cargo-pants stereotype. Good on 'em.

- Genghis recently read that cargo shorts are out (but why?!)...

Wednesday
Apr272016

The Tracy G Group - Tramp

Oh, it's a tramp - I see what they did there...At this point we shouldn't have to mention that Tracy G is one our good friends, which may imply a bias in our review. But give a listen to his band's latest release, Tramp, and try to tell us we're wrong about it. The man has been steadily putting out music for years, collaborating with like-minded individuals with whom he feels a strong musical connection and the results speak for themselves.

Firstly, I have to give props to vocalist Michael Beatty whose cultivated hard rock chops belie his rough, biker bar bouncer look. What I'm saying is there's a momentary disconnect when you hear the vocals on, say, Fireball and picture a 20-something, shirtless, 80s hair metal band lead singer type, and then you see the guy on camera in the Leech video. In any case, this guy sings his ass off and he's perfect for Tracy G's dirty guitar sound. His vocals are a satisfying mix of Bruce Dickinson's authoritative bellow and Ozzy's serpentine serenade. Great choice.

The tunes themselves are classic examples of the G Man's penchant for somewhat unusual riff-based music; you think the melody is gonna zig and he zags every time, leaving you with something much more than just another metal song. And while The Tracy G Group doesn't necesarily always make you bang your head - Tracy loves a good, slow, bottom-heavy riff like The Revolution's mighty chorus - it will definitely rock the shit out of you with serious grooves. One of the standout jams is Leech, with an aggressive riff that's reminiscient of Tracy's time with Ronnie James Dio circa Angry Machines. And dig that System Of A Down style break before the solo. Instrumental fans - and those who may question Tracy's range - will surely dig tracks like P.C.H., a tasty driving groove over which he dives and wails in a shreddy, spiritual homage to [one of his idols] Jeff Beck's Freeway Jam, and The California Country Jamboree Funkfest, a nearly 6-minute jam that starts out like a classic Iron Maiden historical epic that suddenly kicks into a sweet riff that calls to mind the effortless fluidity of Blues Saraceno or Buck Dharma. Two thirds of the way in to that track there's some really great funk rhythm action that showcases Tracy's ability to pull out an unexpected style (including some banjo-style licks) and make it seem totally organic to the song. I'm telling you he's got the goods.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Tracy G know what to expect from his latest album, but if you're new to his solo work you're in for a treat. He's simply one of the most criminally underrated artists consistently putting out original, guitar-based music that deftly blends old and new school techniques. 'Nuff said!

- Genghis would love to see the G-Man play live in a small club some day...

Monday
Apr252016

Scar Of The Sun - In Flood

Who'da thought that you'd find a killer melodeath band in Athens, Greece?You tend to fall into paradigms when it comes to music - certainly music reviewing. Case in point, I read about this band Scar Of The Sun and their sophomore album, In Flood, and saw that hails from Greece. "Cool", I thought to myself. Then I read they were in the melodeath genre. Whaaaa?

Turns out they rock the shit out of some metal over in the Med. Opener Among Waters And Giants is a moody jam with enough machine gun double bass to throw your heart rate off and a good introduction to the band's sound; confident, insistent vocals over powerful, melodic, meaty riffs with a little fretboard pyrotechnics thrown in for good measure. My favorite on the album however is without a doubt Enemies Of Reason. This is the album's showpiece. Starting out with some foreboding piano, it moves into that classic chugchugchugCHUG that gets my head banging. And that bridge at 3:14 is the kind of atmospheric groove I love about the genre. I'm keeping my ear on these cats, I'll promise you that.

The Bottom Line: Fans of old In Flames who miss that classic Swedish melodic death metal sound may thoroughly enjoy Scar Of The Sun's stuff. We're talking solid metal here, folks.

- Genghis would love to play in a melodeath band - if only for the pinch harmonics...