That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - October
  • Full Circle (2CD+DVD)
    Full Circle (2CD+DVD)
    by Pagan's Mind
Video of the Month - October
  • Full Circle [Blu-ray]
    Full Circle [Blu-ray]
    starring n/a
Most. Metal. Comic. Ever.
  • Black Metal: Omnibvs
    Black Metal: Omnibvs
    by Rick Spears, Chuck BB

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

To Die For - Cult

I've been a To Die For fan, since the late 90's, when they released their debut album, All Eternity.  I followed the band, snatching up every release, up until their 2002 release, Jaded.  After that record, for some reason, they fell off my radar.  Most likely, it was because the music scene really took off at that point, and it was hard to keep up, unless you saw an add, or read a story on Bravewords or Blabbermouth.  If you're not familiar with the band, they are a melodic/goth metal band, from Finland.  They mix melody with a dark sound, which is what drew me to them, over a decade ago.

To Die For have just released their 7th album, Cult, which is their first studio effort in 4 years.  Since I had lost track of the band, I was really curious to check this one out, since I hadn't heard any new music, from them, for quite sometime.  Cult started off a little slow for me, because it wasn't until the 2nd track Screaming Birds, that I got interested.  It is an up-tempo rocker, with a dark melodic vibe, which resonates an early In Flames sound. Unfortunately, after that, it wasn't until the 5th track, You, that I got wired back in.  It is another fast paced tune, that has big powerful chorus, that just oozes with melody and aggression.  Not a bad CD, but not their best.  Another down side is their cover of Paula Abdul's, Straight Up.  Yep, you read that right.  Not a bad cover, just a little kookie.

Vocalist Jape Peratalo, is in fine form, on this release, sounding like a more polished Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke).  The funny thing is, is that I didn't remember his voice sounding, as gruff as it does now.  Don't get me wrong, I like it, I think he sounds really good.  Cult is a nice re-introduction to the band, unfortunately, I don't think that the song writing, on this release, is as strong, as some of their past work.  There are some solid tunes on this release, but there is not the consistency, on this release, that there was in the past.  I'm thinking this is going to be one of those releases, that is going to have to grow one me.

Bottom LineA nice goth metal platter, that has a case of the hiccups.  To Die For returning with some solid and not solid material.  If you're a fan of the band I would recommend it, because there are some bright spots on this disk, it just a few low spots. that leaving you scratch your head.

Standout Tracks: Screaming Birds, You, Let it Bleed, End of Tears

-Ragman was hoping for more.


Eat the Gun - Howlinwood

Eat the Gun is a band, that we discovered a couple of years ago, with their release, Stripped to the Bone.  They are a really killer 3 piece, from Munster, Germany, that has an alt-rock sound, with an edge.  Their music is catchy as hell, and will stay with you for days. They have been around since 2002, and have just recently released their 5th album, on SPV, titled Howlinwood.

Howlinwood starts off in fine form, with the title track, which is an up-tempo rocker, that has one of those sing along style choruses, that gets in your head and doesn't let go.  The next track Falling, probably my fave, is also melodic, as hell and will have you singing along as well.  It reminds me, of the melodic side of Volbeat, because of the infectious melody and catchy ness of the tune.  It is also up-tempo rocker, that is destined to be a hit for the band, if they can get some airplay.  About every tune on this CD is solid.  The only one that didn't standout, is the last track on the CD, Anger.  

I could go on, and on, about every track, but you need to hear this thing for yourself.  There is a nice blend of up and mid-tempo songs, rounded out by some slower tunes, to finish the CD.  As many of you know, I'm big on tracklistings, and I think this one flows well.  They hit you in the face, for 3/4 of the record, before letting you up for air, towards the end, starting with the classic rock vibe of The Drudge and then ending with the acoustic song, Anger.  Solid effort from the lads.

Bottom LineA fresh new band, even though they've been around 13 years.  Great songs, and solid melodies round out this new disk.  A nice mix of alt rock with some classic vibes.

Standout Tracks: Falling, The Drudge, Blood on your Hands, Electric Life

-Ragman is digging this band, more and more, with each listen.


Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators - Live at the Roxy 9/25/14

When Slash teamed up with Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), on his 2010 solo record, it was destiny, that these guys would end up, in a band together, one day.  To be honest, I have not been much of a fan, of Slash's music, post Guns N Roses.  Yeah, there were a few Velvet Revolver tunes, that were okay, but for the most part, there was nothing that stood out, until his solo release.  The solo release featured some of his strongest material, in years.  After that CD came out, he put a band together, with Myles Kennedy, to support it, and the rest is rock n roll history.

After releasing their second CD, World on Fire, Slash and the band, decided to hold an intimate show, at the Roxy, in Hollywood, to support their latest work, which has just been released on Blu-ray, DVD, and CD.  As with most Blu-rays, the picture on this thing is awesome.  It gives you a sense of being in the club, that night, in the front row, but without the hassles, that can come with a live show. 

I have wanted to see this band live, since the first album.  I'm a huge Myles Kennedy fan, and he does not disappoint, on this Blu-ray.  This guy can sing anything, and does, in this performance.  He takes on the Axel Rose and Scott Weiland material, and makes it his own.  The rest of the band are solid as well, and put on a great show.  I have to say, I haven't seen Slash perform live, since the first G n R tour, and was thoroughly impressed with his playing, during this performance.  All and all, a solid Blu-ray, which shows the band, on fire, no pun intended.  Go get it!

Bottom Line: Slash and the gang in fine form.  The band were on top of their game, and are proving to the masses, that this is the strongest line up that Slash has been involved with post G & R.  So if you're a Guns fan, then this is a must, because this band sounds so much better, than the touring entity, that calls themselves Guns N Roses, these days.

-Ragman was more impressed by this one, than he thought he'd be.  Solid live Blu-ray.


Borealis - Purgatory

A poignant cover considering the dark thematic content of this concept album from Borealis.Ontario, Canada may not be the first place you think of when you think melodic power metal, but the lads in Borealis will no doubt change your mind with their latest album, Purgatory. After their first two albums made a name for them on the scene, they've matured into a musical force to be reckoned with in the vein of Symphony X, and that's some rarified air in this subgenre, my friends.

But don't mistake this album for a simple cloning of another successful band's signature sound for fun and profit. This is a fully realized album from start to finish with some nice orchestral touches, and vocals from fellow Canuck Sarah Dee, that help lend a grander feel to the proceedings. And, by the way, the members of Borealis each have chops to spare - from the soaring vocals of singer/guitarist Matt Marinelli (seriously, this guy sounds great) to the confident bombast of drummer Sean Dowell, there's enough going on in this band to merit an objective listen. This is an up and coming young band that has the goods to play alongside genre greats like Evergrey or Stratovarius. And that ain't hay, people. 

The Bottom Line: You can never have enough really good melodic power metal, and thankfully there's another band to help you get your fix: Borealis. This concept album, based on a child trapped in purgatory, contains some great moments that belong in your ears. 'Nuff said!

Tracks To Play Your Friends Who Don't Listen To Power Metal: From The Ashes, Destiny, Darkest Sin, My Peace, and Place of Darkness

- Genghis broke into a sweat jamming to this album...


Steve'N'Seagulls - Farm Machine

Gosh dangit if'n these boys don't look like the pride of Finland o'er yonder. Damn fine musicians, too.Now here's something. When a group of Finnish countrymen jokingly shot a video of themselves playing a bluegrassed version of AC/DC's Thunderstruck, the dang thing went absolutely viral in the metal world, garnering praise (and 13 million views) from sites/mags like Guitar World, Revolver, Loudwire, Blabbermouth and Metal Sucks - and leading ultimately to (ahem) Steve'N'Seagulls signing with Spinefarm Records. Which brings us to their full-fledged debut, Farm Machine.

As a bluegrass fan (and a really crappy amateur mandolin, banjo, and fiddle player), I was intrigued to hear what I assumed would sound something like 2006's Strummin' with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen. But I'm happy to say this is an even better execution in part because it involves more diverse source material from several different bands. Their faithful yet inventive interpretations of artists like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dio and Pantera make you wonder why this doesn't happen more often. And despite the band's origins, there's not a trace of mockery in what they do. These guys are clearly big fans of heavy music. In fact it's often with the more serious subject matter (e.g. Nothing Else Matters and Cemetery Gates) that their performances (particularly lead singer, 'Remmel') seem to show more earnestness. I'm a already a huge fan, and I think multi-genre music fans will take to this pretty well - at least enough to get these guys touring America, dammit!

The Bottom Line: One of the tests of a song being truly great is that it can be performed in any number of different forms and still retain its essential appeal, possibly even gaining a new appreciation. Steve'N'Seasgulls may be just a few Finns goofing around, but this album is replete with some truly impressive interpretations (Holy Diver is fucking amazing) of hard rock/heavy metal standards, conveyed through air-tight playing and fearless fervor. Hallelujah!

Tracks To Whittle To In Your Rockin' Chair: Thunderstruck, The Trooper, Seek And Destroy, and Holy Diver

- Genghis needs to get back to the ol' woodshed...