That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - August
  • Bad Magic
    Bad Magic
Video of the Month - August
  • Metal Evolution (3 Discs)
    Metal Evolution (3 Discs)
    starring Sam Dunn
What's in the mind of Behemoth?
  • Confessions Of A Heretic: The Sacred And The Profane: Behemoth And Beyond
    Confessions Of A Heretic: The Sacred And The Profane: Behemoth And Beyond
    by Adam Nergal Darski, Mark Eglinton

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

Beyond The Shore - Ghostwatcher

Kinda hard to believe that these guys are only in their early 20s, but they know how to rock some metal.I love finding out about new bands comprised of young kids who actually make decent music beyond the usual stuff out there that's little more than a trumped up garage band. This is the age of YouTube, people. Like it or not, if you're in a "metal" band there's really no excuse not to be tight and heavy, even of you are in your teens. And that's what you get with Beyond The Shore and their first full-length album, Ghostwatcher.

Formed while the Kentucky metalcore quintet was still in high school, Beyond The Shore has crafted a cogent musical identity enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with other popular metal acts like Veil of Maya and Born of Osiris. There's not a lot of area to cover in terms of their sound, it's pretty straightforward as far as the genre goes, but the standout performances here are clearly Andrew Loucks' go for broke vocals and Jonathan Pugh's jackhammer double bass drumwork. This is some pretty tight shit here, setting the bar pretty high for any youngbloods that try to come on the scene from this point forward.

Now I'll be honest, like a lot of metalcore, the songs all kind of run together for me. But there's no denying the impressive degree of talent these guys are bringing to the table, and it's hard to imagine they won't be putting out better and better music as time goes on. I can only imagine what they'll be making when they reach their thirties.

The Bottom Line: In the YouTube age the expectations for a group of guys in their early twenties with a metalcore band are high, but Beyond The Shore meet and exceed them ably. Nice work, guys.

- Genghis is more than a little bit humbled realizing he's twice these guys' age... Ugh!


Podcast #161: Kobra

It's another An Evening With... show with the legendary King Kobra! Annnnd a meatball hoagie.What do you do if you're a classic hard rock band and you want to re-unite but your lead singer ain't down? Well, if the drive is strong enough and you're convinced you can move on without him/her you find a new guy that can hold his own and get out there and rock. Which is exactly what hard rockers King Kobra recently did for their 2nd record, II - though, to be honest, they've been re-united since 2010. Join the lads in their latest An Evening With... series as they welcome legendary members from the Kobra: Carmine Appice, David Michael Phillips and Paul Shortino.  All members weigh in on their new record and give their thoughts on the future of the band, as well as some of the other things they're up to.

Featured Tracks: Tough Guys, Ready to Strike, Deep River, Hell on Wheels, Live Forever, Hunger, The Ballad of Johnny Rod, Take Me Back, Running Wild, Turn Up the Good Times, Midnight Woman, Turn Up the Good Times, The Crunch, Got it Coming, Got it Coming and Don't Keep Me Waiting

- Ragman is pretty damned certain Carmine was eating a meatball hoagie during the interview...

Podcast #161: Kobra


Black Label Society - Unblackened

BLS is a just like a doubled edged sword, because they go both ways.  Don't get too excited, what I mean is, that they can mix it up musically.  One minute they can be throwin it down heavy, and the next they can unplug the amps and go acoustic.  One great thing about this band, is their versatility.  Typically, with BLS, you get more of the heavy, than the mellow, so when they do an acoustic style project, then it is a pretty special deal.  I've been a fan of Zakk Wylde's unplugged work, since Book of Shadows.  I always hoped, he would bring that element into BLS, and he eventually did. 

Unblackened is a new live release from Black Label Society, which features the majority of the set unplugged.  The show was recorded at Club Nokia in LA, and was a night to remember.  Unblackened features many of the  acoustic songs has put out over the years, as well as some re-workings, of some of the bands heavier material unplugged.  

The show is shot very well, which gives you a sense of being in the front row.  On top of that, the band sound amazing.  In a show like this, you really get a feel for how talented these guys are.  Wylde sounds amazing vocally as well as on any instrument he touches.  He sings with such emotion, that makes the listener hang on to every word.  The band sound great as well, making this an essential release.

Bottom Line: Zakk and company putting on a stellar show, as usual.  An intimate setting, for one of rock's most powerful bands.  The band proves that they more than a one trick pony and can take it down a notch, if they need to.

-Ragman is hoping this show will tour.  He would love to see BLS unplugged.


Freedom Call - Ages of Light

Power metalheads will probably love this compilation CD, but the real treat are the alternate versions of Freedom Call's best songs...I have always had somewhat mixed feelings with power metal. Largely a European thing, it always seemed a little too hard to give in to it completely. It just has an air of being a little too self-serious, even if I otherwise love the thundering beats and fiery riffage that tell my brain "cool, it's metal!" At least with melodic metal - admittedly similar in a lot of ways - you get sweet solos instead of the rote, neo-classical sorta stuff we've been hearing for nearly 30 years.

Still, for every band that does it right, there are hundreds of them that sound plain bad. Luckily, this isn't the case with Freedom Call, founded by buddies Chris Bay and Dan Zimmerman (Gamma Ray) over 15 years ago. Even those unfamiliar with the band may appreciate their excellent representation of the genre over the course of their career so far as heard on their new best of compilation, Ages of Light.

Possibly the best part of this 24-track 2 CD compilation are the extras included on the second disc that include unusual versions of their songs that show a lighter side of the band in a way that really gave me a new respect for them. I always appreciate people's willingness and ability to not take themselves too seriously. And hearing a "speed ska" version of Hero On Video or the "melodic reggae" version of Mr. Evil is much cooler than the usual acoustic versions usually offered as alternate offerings - though the "camp fire" version of Freedom Call is pretty good too.

The Bottom Line: If your'e a fan of the genre, Freedom Call delivers with all of their biggest hits along with some nice extras beyond the usual stuff you find on these sorts of compilations.

- Genghis really liked those alternate versions and thinks more bands should follow suit...


Eyes of the Woods

Eyes of the Woods is a movie about a guy, several hundred years ago, that sold his soul to the devil, to avenge his daughter's death.  Little does he know that the deal he made, was not what he was expecting, because he turns into a flesh eating zombie.   Long story short (fast forward to present day), some twenty something's stumble across his burial ground, and then all hell breaks loose.  Not a bad premise, but it requires, back up, to make it work.  

Unfortunately, three things contributed to the demise of this piece of crap of a movie. STRIKE1: The acting is horrible.  Some of the worst that I have seen, in some time.  STRIKE 2:  The sound is so low, on the DVD, that you have to turn it up to 11, just to hear the damn thing.  STRIKE 3:  The movie is just plain, ass boring.  Yeah, there is some gore, and a few cool special effects, but that that wasn't enough.  


Bottom Line: Horrible!  It is pretty bad when you watch a full movie, and realize that the only thing worth watching, was within the first few minutes of the film.  Creepy scene with little girl was cool.

-Ragman thinks this one should stay in the woods, and be buried deep.