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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - August
  • Live - Back to the Roots - Accepted [DVD + 2 CD]
    Live - Back to the Roots - Accepted [DVD + 2 CD]
    by DIRKSCHNEIDER
Video of the Month - August
  • Live - Back to the Roots - Accepted [DVD + 2 CD]
    Live - Back to the Roots - Accepted [DVD + 2 CD]
    by DIRKSCHNEIDER
#SoundSmarter
  • Heavy Metal Music and the Communal Experience
    Heavy Metal Music and the Communal Experience
    Lexington Books
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
Sep222010

Roswell Six - Terra Incognita (A Line in the Sand)

A proggy concept album based on best -selling novels? What a country!Terra Incognita is a epic fantasy book trilogy, created by author Kevin J. Anderson, based on world discovery and battles for religion.  Not too far from what we see and hear about today.  All that being said, it appears that Mr. Anderson is a metal head and has decided to put his books to music.  Anderson enlisted the talents of many names in the progressive rock industry to give him a hand in bringing his books to life, via music.  For the project, he asked Frame Shift multi-musician Henning Pauly to create and play all of the music on the CD.  I have to say, I was not familiar with Pauly, before this project, but now that I've heard this guy play, I'm truly amazed.  Dude is a bad ass.  The vocals were primarily handled by Steve Walsh (Kansas), Michael Sadler (ex-Saga) and Sass Jordan (This one left me guessing when I saw her name on the liner notes, because she is not affiliated with the metal community what so ever.  Not sure what rock they found her under, but she does a nice job).  A Line in the Sand, is the second in this trilogy and promisses to be heavier than it's predecessor.  I haven't heard the first CD, but this one is dark and heavy and very catchy.  The songs are well crafted and flow very well together.  The songs are progressive and have a very heavy edge to them.  All in all a very enjoyable listen.

Bottom Line: A concept album from a best selling author.  Much like the Ayreon projects that we are more accustomed to, Roswell 6 delivers the same sort of progessive punch.  A well crafted disk that gets better with every listen.

Standout Tracks: Barricade, When God Smiled on Us, My Father's Son and Whirlwind

- Ragman is looking for his reading glasses

Wednesday
Sep222010

Rush - Classic Albums: 2112 & Moving Pictures (Blu-Ray)

One kick ass behind the scenes documentary!Classic Albums is at it again, by releasing an expanded version of the VH-1 Classic show's feature on Rush.  This episode focuses on two of the greatest Rush records ever: 2112 and Moving Pictures.  Hot off the heels of the Rush documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage, Classic Albums has released a nice companion to this now legendary documentary.  An interesting thing about this DVD, was that it seemed like some of the footage from the this classic albums special, was used in the movie.  I need to check that.  The classic albums series digs deep in to these classic records and gives a little more insight, as to how these records were created.  The DVD is full of interviews and classic footage of the band.  As I always say, the BluRay version gives the viewer a sense of being in the room with the artist, which comes off pretty surreal.  It was very cool seeing each member play their instrument separately as they played along with the original studio track.  The DVD is packed with approx. 54min. of bonus footage that was not originally aired.  Killer DVD!

Bottom Line: A must for Rush fans.  Wanna see how two of the greatest rock records of all time came together?  Then check this one out.

- Ragman can't wait to see this live...

Wednesday
Sep222010

2Cents - Dress To Kill

Not re-inventing the wheel, but solid enough to stand out from the pack.Hailing from Southern California, 2Cents look to make a dent in the ever populated metal market with their debut Dress To Kill and as an opening slot on the BLS Berserkus tour.  2Cents is a modern hard rock/heavy metal band that packs a punch as fierce as Pantera or Killswitch Engage mixed with the melody of Chevelle.  Actually the band sounds like a cross between Mudvayne and Slipknot, but with a modern edge.  Vocalist Adam O'Rourke can sing as angry as Chad Gray, and as precise as a pissed off Corey Taylor, which is evident on the track The Distance Traveled.  The music on the record reminds me of early Mudvayne, but more accessible, due to the melody within each track.  A refreshing note about this CD, is that unlike early Slipknot or Mudvayne offerings, 2Cents guitarist Adair Cobley has chosen to solo on this CD.   The CD is full of solid heavy tunes, that contain enough melody to get them played on the radio. 

Bottom Line: 2Cents are on to something.  They are not re-inventing the wheel but they are a solid enough band to stand out from the pack.  The songs are well crafted and catchy enough to make you remember them.

Standout Tracks: She's Gone, The Distance Traveled, Dressed To Kill and Deeply, Madly

- Ragman has given his 2 cents

Monday
Sep202010

Triumfall - Antithesis Of All Flesh

Why is black metal so boring? Don't ask these guys.I'll be the first to admit; I'm not much of a fan at all of black metal.  It's not because I'm Roman Catholic - I mean, I am, it's just the reason I oppose the genre.  It's just that I find the whole theatricality of it all rather sophomoric.  If the music were there, like jazz or blues, that would be one thing.  But it's the thing with the make up, the album covers with skulls and crosses, and whatnot that just seems so contrived and silly.  A lot of times, Ragman will be playing some sort of metal at the studio, or in the car stereo on the way to a concert, and I'll say "Hey, this sounds great, who is this?" and it turns out to be a black metal band.  Which only seems to prove my point that if the music is strong enough to stand on its own, why do all the other silly shit?

So, here we have our first Serbian black metal band, Triumfall, and their debut album, Antithesis Of All Flesh.  Their website's manifest is as follows:

Triumfall's main goal is to play fast and aggressive, but yet melodic and atmospheric Black Metal, and also to express their beliefs and attitudes that thrive from the darkest mysteries of the Left Hand Path. Band's spiritual quintessence is the one with the aesthetics of the Darkside. Glorification of Darkness and Death is not a matter of free choice, but an self-consciousness outcome of the rebellious spirits and purity of the Black Hearts.

The Bottom Line: They're towing the company line all right.  Oh well.  There's no question that the boys have talent.  Their music is tight and well established in the genre.  I just feel like every song sounds the same and I don't know how to recommend an hour's worth of one song...

- Genghis just doesn't get it, does he?

Thursday
Sep092010

Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater

"...We'll meet again, my friend. Some day soon..."I can barely wrap my head around it, but apparently Mike Portnoy is leaving Dream Theater after 25 years.

Though the split is reportedly amicable, Mike has decided that he "needed a break" from the band he's been a major part of since before its inception.  From the sound of it, he's gotten kind of burned out on pouring so much of his time and energy into the band even during their down time between albums (only 11 studio albums since 1985 isn't exactly a busy schedule, after all) and it got to the point where playing in other projects was more fun than writing and recording with the band his own father named so many years ago.  And regardless of what you may think about Dream Theater as a band, there's no question as to their musical legacy.  Or to the fact that Portnoy was a major driving force behind their sound.  And with the band still on track to start recording in early 2011, who knows what direction things will go for DT?

I'm not sure what to think of it all, but as a fan of both the band and Mike as a talented musician, I respect their decision and hope everyone prospers from here on out.

Fans will miss you, Mike.  Keep up the good work!

- Genghis is feeling a little nostalgic...