That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - November
  • For the Journey
    For the Journey
    Nuclear Blast
Video of the Month - November
  • Scott Ian: Swearing Words in Glasgow
    Scott Ian: Swearing Words in Glasgow
    starring Scott Ian
Good Reading
  • Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    by Zakk Wylde, Eric Hendrikx


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

Saxon - Sacrifice

It seems like the older they get, the more active Saxon gets.  Hot off the heels of their killer live release, Heavy Metal Thunder - Live, as well as their documentary dawning the same title, Saxon forge into 2013 with their 20th release, Sacrifice.  The boys are showing no signs of slowing down, on the contrary, they are just getting stronger.  The band have been consistently recording and touring over the past couple of years and it appears 2013 will be no different.  Poised to take the world by storm, with their new release, let's see if the band still has enough in the tank.  

Sacrifice picks up where 2011's Call to Arms left off, once again proving that the band is showing no signs of slowing down.  Actually, this CD steers in to a heavier direction than it's predecessor.   The tunes are a bit faster and heavier, than the last one, but the melodies are still there.  Songs like Stand Up and Fight and Guardians of the Tomb will have you singing along whist banging your head.  It not all speed, there are some nice mid-tempo tracks like Walking the Steel and Wheels of Terror to balance things out.  Actually the first half of the CD is uptempo and the second half is full of midtempo rockers.  It is a nice blend.

Sacrifice is similar to the last album, in that it includes elements from every era of the band.  I think this one, focuses a little more on the latter material, due to the heaviness of the CD overall.  Never fear though, there are some classic moments, especially with the track Standing in the Queue, which hearkens back to the early 80's.  Their are a couple shaky moments on the CD, but they are small in comparison to the whole enchilada.  What can I say, another strong release from one of the greats.

Bottom Line: Saxon show no signs of slowing down.  Byford and co. deliver once again.  Solid songs and melodies, that get stronger with each spin.

Tracks to bang thy head to: Sacrifice, Standing the Queue, Walking the Steel and Stand Up and Fight

-Ragman can't wait for the boys to make it back to H-town.


Bath Salt Zombies

There is nothing better than a good zombie movie.  The zombie genre is one that can be taken seriously or just as a goof.  The cool thing is, is that neither is better than the other.  You have your good and your bad in either style, but for the most part, you can usually find merit in both.  To capitalize on the recent news, of bath salts turning people into maniacal zombies, MVD Visual has just released Bath Salt Zombies.  

This is a unique film, because has an old school feel to it, especially with the cartoon intro.   It is in the style of 50's propaganda film, which warns people about bath salts. It gets a little cheesy when the characters start cursing, but I'm sure that was just for an added laugh.  After the propaganda film, the movie kicks into live action.   The story focuses around two main characters: an addict named Ritchie and a vigilante cop hell bent, to stop the infestation.   Apparently there is a zombie epidemic due to drugs laced with bath salts.  When the junkies smoke the bath salts, they become homicidal maniacs, which turned out to be a fun plot line.  

The movie was very entertaining, but is not for everyone.  You must be a fan of B-horror flicks to get what these guys are throwin' down.  The acting is subpar and the effects are laughable, for the most part, but that is what makes these films great.  The visual effects are a mix of CGI and old school (70/80's) gore.  It's fun, but you have to appreciate this movie for what it is.  This is one to pop a cold one to.  

Bottom Line:  A fun, entertaining B-movie, which is soon to become a cult classic.  Lots of gore and laughs, it doesn't get much better than that.

-Ragman is pouring wifey's bath salts down the toilet.


Odd Dimension - The Last Embrace to Humanity

Man, what are they putting in the water over there in Italy? If you dig that 90s era progmetal, this is for you.I don't know how many times I've mentioned it, but it sure seems like every time a new band captures my attention lately, it's a progressive metal group from Italy. Case in point: Odd Dimension, who's debut album Symmetrical was quite well received. True to the recent trend, this quintet is packed with talent and fits quite snugly into the mold of Dream Theater circa the 90s.

What sets Odd Dimension apart from the rest of the "influenced by XX" crowd are its occasional Gothic leanings (along the likes of Opeth, HIM, or even Lacuna Coil) and the lung busting vocals of lead singer, Manuel Candiotto. And don't take my singling out Manuel as any sort of slight to the rest of the band; all of these dudes play their asses off. As the sophomore effort to Symmetrical, Candiotto and company's concept album, The Last Embrace to Humanity, chronicles the alienation of mankind. It's all familiar musings regarding our planet's fascination with innovation and scientific progress at the expense of what makes us human, but I've never listened to progressive music for the philosophy. Odd Dimension's strength is its music, and these guys know how to rock song after song. So, you know...go get it!

The Bottom Line: Italy's just churning out the amazing prog metal bands these days like there's no tomorrow. If you sit around pining for the days of classic progmetal à la Fates Warning or Dream Theater, this is your new jam. Fantastic stuff.

Tracks To Make You Get Out Your Black Pirate Shirt Out From The Back of the Closet: Under My Creed, Fortune and Pain and Far From Desire

- Genghis has the strangest craving for some chicken parmigiana...


DGM - Momentum

DGM came seemingly out of nowhere with just the perfect mix of prog, power and melodic metal. Now this is my kind of metal!Hailing from Europe, progressive metal outfit DGM is here to impress the shit out of genre fans with its aptly-titled eighth studio album, Momentum. Offhand you could compare them to Symphony X (whom they toured with last year to wide acclaim), but they go beyond that into melodic metal territory, with its wonderfully appealing choruses, that makes for a really appealing sound. Think Symphony X meets Ark meets Dream Theater and you've got some idea what to expect.

Lending their considerable talents, Russell Allen (of the aforementioned Symphony X) appears on the opening track Reason with a meaty opening riff that sets the pace for the rest of the album, while Norwegian guitar virtuoso Jorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) lends a really nice solo to Chaos. All of this energy, melody and precision puts this band in a Venn overlap group that sits at the center of progressive metal, melodic metal, and power metal, offering the best of each for whatever eager listener snaps this up. And if you're a metal fan, you really should give this a listen.

The Bottom Line: What can I say? DGM has made one really fantastic album that I find myself listening to over and over again. Italy is really coming into their own with some solid, amazingly talented metal musicians that are making some of the best metal I've heard in a long time. Italia, ti saluto! 

Tracks to Make You Consider Just Giving Up the Guitar: Reason, Trust, Numb, Pages, and Chaos

- Genghis could listen to bands like this all damn day...


Picture Me Broken - Mannequins

Yeah, yeah, she's the daughter of Gregg Allman, but Layla can actually sing pretty well - and she does death growls.Let's just get this out of the way from the get go: Picture Me Broken's lovely young lead singer, Layla, is the daughter of the legendary musician Gregg Allman, okay?

Falling straight off the alt metal tree, Picture Me Broken (PMB), on their EP Mannequins, could very easily be mistaken for Evanescence, circa 2003 (though they actually formed 2 years after that). But before you lace up those Doc Martens and show off your angel wings back tattoo, know that PMB throws some new things into the mix such as an 80s rock energy and the melodeath sensibilities of the "aughties".

The former comes through in the guitar work of Dante Phoenix and Jimmy Strimpel, but interestingly the latter is brought to bear in Layla's Gossow-ish death growl on the title track. Let's hope for more interesting twists to the alt metal sound they've been influenced by with some killer guitar work and Layla's ambitious singing. Hopefully, this is just a taste of what's in store for early adopters...

The Bottom Line: Forget who's the famous daddy of the lead singer, that's not what makes Picture Me Broken tick. While some may dismiss this band as an Evanescence wannabe, there's enough on this EP to merit a chance to impress with their first full blown studio album later this year.

Tracks to Dye Your Roots None More BlackTM To: Torture and Mannequins

- Genghis wisely resisted the inclination to include a picture of Layla in this review...