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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - September
  • Will To Power [Explicit]
    Will To Power [Explicit]
    Century Media
Video of the Month - September
  • Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition DVD
    Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition DVD
    starring Alice Cooper
#UltimateCoffeeTableBook
  • Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem
    Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem
    by Axl Rosenberg, Christopher Krovatin
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
Sep292010

Demians - Mute

Unlike their first album, this one is more like background musicHot off the heels of their breakthrough debut CD, Demians is back with their sophomore effort Mute.  Mute is a bit of a departure from Building an Empire, because it is more raw and less polished than the debut.  I think the change in sound is mainly due to Nicholas Chapel electing to ditch the samples and use real instruments for the entire record.  The album is heavier and more modern than it's predecessor.  Songs like Feel Alive and Tidal, could be breakthrough songs, for the band, on Buzz radio, with the proper push. 

There are elements of the first record, like on the track Hesitation Waltz, but for the most part this CD stands alone, and takes the band in a new direction.  Demians toured with Porcupine Tree last year, and it appears that they made a big impression on Nicholas.  There are elements of PT on this CD, mixed with the Demians sound. There is also some experimentation on this record, like on the track Overhead, which has a middle eastern vibe to it, but unfortunately I think there was too much.  I missed some of the more proggier moments, that the first CD brought to the table.  Don't get me wrong, the CD has some strong tracks that will grab you, but unlike the first record, Mute takes several listens before you start to get it.

Bottom Line: One of those records you can just put on and forget about.  It is great background music, that unfortunately doesn't grab you enough to force you to bring it to the forefront.   A good record that will take several listens to get into.  Be patient my freind.

Standout Tracks: Tidal, Feel Alive, Heistation Waltz & Porcelain

- Ragman was hoping for a little more

Sunday
Sep262010

Podcast #107: Dream

Last time aboard the train that goes around the world...It is still hard to believe that Mike Portnoy has left Dream Theater.  I shudder to think what might happen to the band having just lost a key member.  Yes, they're all talented, but Portnoy was such an integral part in this band's make up, that it will be hard to imagine them without him.  Join Genghis and Ragman as they discuss the departure of Portnoy and the future of DT.  Next, the boys rounded up former TNT lead singer Tony Harnell for a one on one as he discusses his current project, The Mercury Train, and their debut CD, Round Trip.  Tony gives an in-depth look into the new CD and discusses the challenges of making an old song sound new.

Beer of the Show: Green's - Endeavor  Beer Rating: N/A

DVD of the Show: Dream Theater - Live at Budokan

Featured Tracks: James Labrie - Slightly Out of Reach; Dream Theater - Home; Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare; Iron Maiden - The Man Who Would Be King; Fates Warning - Eye to Eye; Mekong Delta - A Certain Fool; Dream Theater - Ytse Jam; Blind Gaurdian - Control the Divine; James Labrie - Mislead; Black Label Society - Parade of the Dead; TNT - As Far as the Eye Can See; Tony Harnell & The Mercury Train - Northern Lights, Somebody Told You, 10K Lovers, Ready to Fly & Uninvited; TNT - Too Late

Classics of the Show: Dream Theater - A Fortune in Lies & Vanishing Point - Surreal

Ragman Pick of the Show: System Divide - An Intoxicating Affair

Genghis Pick of the Show: Lemur Voice - Akasha Chronicles

- Ragman is spent

Podcast #107: Dream

Friday
Sep242010

Allegaeon - Fragments Of Form And Function

From out of the mountains they came...to conquer!Melodic death metal has been around some years now.  Enough that it's hard to release a debut album and receive critical acclaim right out of the gate.  But everywhere you look these days, you seem to find no shortage of praise for Allegaeon's first full album, Fragments Of Form And Function (their self-titled EP came out a couple of years ago).  I don't know what they're feeding their kids in Colorado these days, but the chops these boys display are phenomenal.

The music itself is both brutal and melodic at the same time - something you'd expect from melodic death metal, but Allegaeon manage to make it sound fresh and powerful without splintering off into yet another hybridization of the genre.  Vocalist Ezrah Haynes performs as expected, with powerful, guttural singing, but it's the twin guitar attack of Ryan Glisan and Greg Burgess that make this album stand out.  Their frenetic exchanges are nothing short of mind-blowing even in an age where guys like Michael Romeo walk the Earth.

The Bottom Line: This is one killer debut from these boys from the Mile High state.  If you're a fan of melodic or technical death metal, you'll probably want to give this a listen.  I only fear what Allegaeon will have to do to top it.

- Genghis will be watching this band from now on

Friday
Sep242010

James LaBrie - Static Impulse

Damn, James, what have you done? This CD fucking ROCKS.It's funny to think of Labrie as anything other than the Canadian vocalist from Dream Theater.  It's not like he just joined one of the biggest bands in the prog metal scene (try the last 20 years).  But his solo work is relatively sparse for a singer with his talent.  After a couple of albums as "Mullmuzzler", James has finally accepted his role as leader of the James LaBrie band.  And their latest effort, Static Impulse is, in a word: incredible.

LaBrie has slowly been gathering an amazing group of musicians with which he's forged a tight, melodic - and now heavier than ever - band worthy of a big tour.  I mean it, this album sounds like it deserves a place on the shelf next to In Flames as well as Dream Theater.  Though many side projects become another "guy from a popular band does his own thing" self-centered solo CD, James and Matt [Guillory, keyboardist extraordinaire, of Dali's Dilemma] are a great song-writing team, crafting songs with punch while maintaining a lyrical sophistication that transcends most solo efforts from lesser musicians.

The Bottom Line: I can't stop listening to this CD.  James and company have made an incredible album that incorporates all of the best elements of his solo work to date in a tightly focused musical force.  If Ragman hadn't already declared a CD Of The Month (the bastard), this would be it for me.

- Genghis is cranking up "Mislead" for the third time...

Wednesday
Sep222010

System Divide - The Conscious Sedation

"I like how they're able to transition from brutality to beauty"Imagine if Soilwork and Lacuna Coil had a baby, I know it's hard to imagine, but if they did, it would sound just like new comers System Divide.  System Divide have just released their debut CD on Metal Blade Records entitled The Conscious Sedation.  System Divide pack the heaviness of Soilwork with the melody of Lacuna Coil.  As you might of guessed, the band is fronted by a male and female vocalist.  It is a nice blend of melodic death metal with a touch of goth.  I really like how the band is able to transition from brutality to beauty. 

The song Echoes is a prime example of this perfect transition.  The song pummels your senses and then goes into this beautiful melody, that take the song to a new level  I have to say this band is a breath of fresh air, because they are able to blend these two genres.  With the success of bands like Lacuna Coil and Evanescence, the metal market has been flooded with copy cat bands, but System Divide has taken it up a notch, and distanced themselves from the pack.  Go get this one, it rocks!

Bottom Line: Great melodic death metal with a little goth.  Well-written tunes that will get the blood pumpin'.

Standout tracks: Lethargy, Echoes, Hollow and Vagaries of Perception

- Ragman has a new favorite band