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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - August
  • Light of Dawn
    Light of Dawn
    by Unisonic
Video of the Month - August
  • Live at Wacken 2013
    Live at Wacken 2013
    starring Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Various Artists
Good Reading
  • The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    by Martin Popoff
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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
Wednesday
Jul022014

Outline In Color - Masks

Holy crap these Tulsans know how to rock a fucking joint. Think In Flames with a poppier edge.I don't know how many metalcore bands you can name from Tulsa, Oklahoma, but if you're in the market for that you've got to check out Outline In Color, and their latest LP, Masks. Sounding a bit like a poppier In Flames of sorts, this talented sextet of twenty-somethings knows how to lay down a seriously heavy beat with a melodic grace that stands out from the crowd.

"Genghis, this isn't a unique band by any means." Okay, disembodied nay-sayer, but I'm telling you, once the first track Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea kicks off you get an immediate sense of energy that I don't find in most modern metalcore. This isn't just the typical cathartic screamo sessions that most of the subgenre seem to sound like. Animal Masks' clean tone break (1:16) lets the listener breathe before the mosh break (2:01) in a way that belies a deeper understanding of the power of dynamics. And the end transitions perfectly into Beautiful Secrets and that simple, but perfect pre-chorus riff. This band is firing on all cylinders and then some.

The Bottom Line: With a knack for compelling riffage that sounds mature beyond their years, Outline In Color seems poised to rock the shit out of all before them. If they keep this up, we may all one day worship them or fall at their feet.

- Genghis can hardly imagine what a killer live band these guys make...

Wednesday
Jun112014

October File - The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair - An Introspective of the Human Condition

Fans of industrial metal would likely dig these UK boys' work in the field. Good stuff.Handily trouncing all comers for unnecessarily longest album title of the year, October File has released their fourth studio album (big breath), The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair - An Introspective of the Human Condition. The band has been gaining significant traction in the industrial metal sub-genre of post-punk as exemplified by bands like Godflesh - in fact, Justin Broadrick produced their last album, so there's a definite nod there.

Industrial metal fans know the drill: Basically, these cats create a soundscape of gritty guitars, fuzzy bass, pounding drums and tortured vocals that would be nothing more than a wall of sound if not for the melodies weaved throughout. More than just there for texture, it's these melodies that bear the listener above the churning rhythymic sea, providing something familiar to latch on to rather than drown in chaos below. Sounds high falutin', but I'm saying that this music is angry and heavy but..."catchy", for lack of a better word.

The Bottom Line: If you like introspective concept albums and the sound of industrial metal's angry, machine attack, this is a good band to check out.

Tracks To Make You All Introspective And Moody: The Water

- Genghis liked this even though he never could understand all the fuss over NiN...

Wednesday
Jun112014

Nightmare - The Aftermath

It's great to see a band that's been around this long still making relevant music for today's audiences. Incroyable!French metallers Nightmare have been around since Jimmy Carter was president even if you don't readily recall their music. But (luckily, for us) they broke up for about a decade in the late 80s and reformed in 1999 with a new sound. Okay, it was really just a shift from a straight NWoBHM sound to power metal, but that shift - along with drummer Jo Amore handing his drumsticks to his brother David and taking the reins as lead vocalist - has made all the difference to fans of heavy, driving rhythyms, and some of the best singing to be found in the genre.

Amore and crew know their way around a good metal riff, and their latest album, The Aftermath, showcases this fact on pretty much every track of its 50 minute running time. For me the real thrill is Jo and his voice; this guy sounds amazing. Like Symphony X's Russell Allen, he has the powerful rasp of Ronnie James Dio but can also wail on big choruses like a champ. And let's not forget the killer guitarwork of Franck Milleliri and Matt Asselbergs, who keep a satisfying crunch going from start to finish. All in all, this is some damn fine power metal.

The Bottom Line: If you're thirsting for some great power metal, look no further than Nightmare and their latest, The Aftermath. They'll set you straight. Vraiment!

- Genghis aimeraient voir ce groupe en concert...

Sunday
Jun082014

Podcast #174: Out

What makes a great tribute band? Much of is based, on how well the band re-creates the original music. Another key component is the set list. Do you want the hits or some underground, lesser known tracks? Join Genghis and Ragman as they hit the town to discuss this topic, with local tribute band legend, Sean Ocker (Echoes). Sean gives us the do's and don't of how to have a successful tribute band. The guys also have some good discussion on other hard rock and heavy metal related topics. So grab a beer and a burger and dig in for some great conversation.

Beer of the Show: Buried Hatchet Stout (Southern Star Brewing Company)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.0
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.0
Overall: 3.0
"The boys from Conroe sure do know how to make a tasty stout with just the right mix of sweet and bitter goodness. Zounds!"
 

Featured Tracks: Steel Panther - Gang Bang at the Old Folks Home; Fight - Immortal Sin; Steel Panther - Party All Day (Fuck All Night); Helstar - Souls Cry; KXM - Rescue Me

Sean's Classic of the Show: Soundgarden - The Day I Tried to Live

Ragman's Classic of the Show: Sponge - Molly (Sixteen Candles)

Sean's Pick of the Show: Black Country Communion - The Great Divide

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Black Stone Cherry - Blame it on the Boom Boom

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Pretty Maids - My Soul to Take

- Ragman wished the crowd could have kept it down a bit...

Podcast #174: Out

Wednesday
Jun042014

Annisokay - The Lucid Dream[er]

This quintet of hard rocking Germans is really great stuff if you're looking for a cross-genre metalfest.Every now and then a new band comes along that causes this somewhat jaded reviewer to look back at his stereo and go "woah, who is this again?" Newcomers Annisokay are just one of a number of great new bands coming out of Germany these days and I couldn't be more impressed.

While some may call them post-hardcore or metalcore, there are elements of other genres (including melodeath) that come together in a satisfying mix of melody and metal crunch. Even their name belies their crossover mindset in a reference to Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal ("Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?"). Starting with a music box melody, you get the feeling you're entering some sort of Tim Burton dreamscape, but it quickly breaks into an In Flames-esque guttural onslaught. And that's just the opening track. There are other sounds here that are as innovative as they are familiar and that's probably what makes it all work, but it's the fact that these young guys from Germany are doing something that seems very American in its sensibility and self-assuredness but with a clever and experienced European spin on it.

Even more fascinating is how they incorporate electronic elements into the mix without taking the metal edge off of things - and for clubbers there's even a dub step version of the opening track (the HoppiTronic Remix) that actually kind of rocks. I'm not gonna run out and start clubbing or anything, but I'm in awe of how these musicians crank out highly listenable music from such an unusual mix of genres. Nice work.

The Bottom Line: Annisokay seems to be the best amalgamation of innovative, 21st century metal from both sides of the pond and it sounds great. If you're looking for something fresh and full of energy, check out these young Saxons' debut.

- Genghis totally did the robot guy dance from The Dave Chappelle Show during that last track...