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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - July
  • Zero Days
    Zero Days
    by Prong
Video of the Month - July
  • Europe - 30th Anniversary Live [Blu-ray]
    Europe - 30th Anniversary Live [Blu-ray]
    starring Europe
#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
Saturday
Aug212010

Podcast #106: Type

Kai demonstrates his "Horn up" greetingWhile to the average person, metal is just loud guitars and screaming, to the aficionado, it's much more complex.  Initially categorized as traditional, hair and thrash, now there are so many genres it's hard to keep track.  Join Genghis and Ragman, as they dig deep into this music to see what they can unearth.  You'll be amazed with what they come up with.  Next the boys have lined up Gamma Ray mainman, Kai Hansen, who discusses his band's latest effort, To the Metal, as well as his relationship with former Helloween vocalist, Michael Kiske.

DVD of the Show: The Haunted - Caught on Tape

1st Beer of the Show: Holzar-Bier Dunkel (Beer Rating: 3.5)

2nd Beer of the Show: Allagash Fluxus (Beer Rating: 3)

Featured Tracks: Y & T - Shine On; The Haunted - Ceremony; Overkill - The Goal is Your Soul; Lillian Axe - Sad Day on Planet Earth; Orange Sky - Roses; Rush - The Spirit of Radio; Anthrax w/Public Enemy - Bring the Noise; Pantera - Clash with Reality; Avalon - Eternal Flame; Steel Panther - Asian Hooker; Gamma Ray - Somewhere Out in Space, Empathy, To The Metal, Time to Live, All You Need to Know & Valley of the Kings

Classic of the Show: Hanoi Rocks - The Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Soilwork - The Thrill

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Vanden Plas - Holes in the Sky

- Ragman is finally getting caught up...

Podcast #106: Type

Saturday
Aug072010

Podcast #105: Air

An Evening With...Dan ReedHave you ever felt [mentally] lost and didn't know where to go?  A lot of us may go through this every now and again, but we come out of it and try to pick up where we left off.  We all go on journeys through life, some take us to places we never imagined, and others take us to places we wish we could forget.  Being a musician has to be a tough thing because things can turn on a dime.  Join Genghis and Ragman as they go on just such an extraordinary journey with singer/songwriter, Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network), as we return to the latest in the An Evening With... series.  Dan discusses his return to music as well as his latest CD, Coming up for Air.

DVD VHS of the Show: Dan Reed Network - Live At Last

Beer of the Show: Ed Hardy (Premium Beer)  Beer Rating: N/A

Featured Tracks: Dan Reed Network - World Has a Heart Too, Get to You, Slam, Long Way to Go (Featuring Nuno Bettencourt), Make it Easy, Take My Hand, Let it Go; Dan Reed - Losing My Fear, Brave New World, On Your Side, Pray for Rain; Dan Reed Network - The Salt of Joy

- Ragman wants Dan to come to Texas.

Podcast #105: Air

Friday
Aug062010

Stratovarius - Infinite (Re-issue) and Polaris (Expanded)

Nice extras, but it's not all gravy...Stratovarius recently issued two new re-releases to spark interest in the band.  The first, Infinite, was the last great CD by the band with ex-guitarist and founder, Timo Tolki.  I found it interesting that the band would be re-issuing this CD now that Tolki is out of the band.  There is no doubt that this was their last great record, starting off with a bang in the anthem Hunting High and Low, and continuing to pummel with solid tracks like A Million Light Years Away and Infinity.  I could go on, but I wanted to get into the portion of this CD that might prompt a fan to buy this again; this deluxe edition includes the original CD as well as another one full of bonus tracks, demos, and a couple of live cuts. 

Getting into the meat of this thing, there are 7 bonus tracks [on this extra CD] that I was most interested in because you sometimes find songs that are stronger than some of the actual original tracks.  The first bonus track, Why are We Here, is a mid tempo rocker full of melody and killer riffage.  It's classic Stratovaius, and sounds like it could have been written during the Destiny sessions.  A killer tune which could have fit well on the original album easily.  The next two tracks are okay, but you can see why they didn't make the original cut.  Not bad, but nothing to knock your socks off either.  Overall, the demos are pretty cool to hear, but nothing that special .  The live tracks sound great, however, and once you hear these tracks, you hear how much Tolki is missed. 

Live Strato is nice, but Tolki is missed.Stratovarius has also just re-released their 2009 Polaris CD, with an additional live CD as well.  This is the first CD without orignal guitarist Timo Tolki, instead featuring his replacement, Matias Kupiainen.  As per the original review, this CD is good but not great.  There are some killer tracks like Winter Skies and a few others, but other than that the CD comes off sort of flat.  The reason for the re-release is to give the fans a taste of what the band sounds like live with their new member.  I have to say, Stratovarius is one of those bands that actually deliver on a live offering.  If you haven't heard Visions Live, you need to go out and buy it today.  A stellar release.

I have to say that I was pretty excited to hear the live CD, since this band always delivers live.  The CD is good and has a nice sound.  I really like the set list for the live CD, because you get a lot of older tunes mixed with a few of the newer ones.  The CD comes off nicely, showing that the band can still do it live with out Tolki.  Actually the tunes off Polaris like Winter Skies and Deep Unknown come off sounding fresher live.  I really like the live CD, because it is a good representation of what the band can do.  As much as I like the live recording, I have to say I miss Tolki's passionate playing.  Matias is a solid guitarist, but does not play with the feeling that Tolki does.  All in all a solid package.

 

Bottom Line: Stratovarius re-releasing two eras of the band: the old and the new.  If you do not have either release, the band has just made them both a little more enticing.

- Ragman wants his classic Stratovarius back.

Friday
Aug062010

Triumph - Greatest Hits Remixed

Is a Triumph reunion tour coming? We sure as hell hope so.When you think of great Canadian rock bands, who do you think of?  I know the new schoolers will probably mention either Nickelback or Theory of a Deadman, and the old school guys will shout out uncontrollably - Rush!  If you think back to the 70's and early 80's, there were just a handful of bands to break out of Canada, and make a major impact on the music scene, and the one's to have the most sucess were power trios; Rush of course, with the other being the mighty Triumph.  Triumph ruled the airwaves in the late 70's through a better part of the 80's, before finally calling it quits in the early 90's.  Triumph delivered a hard rock punch and sound that was unmatched.  The band had a period in the 80's, where they were on top of the world, by releasing such geat albums as Allied Forces, Never Surrender and Thunder Seven.  Unfortunately in the late 80's, the wheels started to fall off the wagon, and one major piece of the puzzle left (The departure of Rik Emmett), and then the band never really recovered from there. 

Well time heals all wounds, right?  Well in some cases at least.  After the band's induction in the Canadian Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the guys put their differences aside and apeared on stage together for the first time in over 20 years.  2010 brings hope to Triumph fans for a full blown re-union, that this reviewer can not wait for, but to keep us at bay, the band has just released a really cool greatest hits package.  This isn't your standard package because it is all of the hits plus it includes a DVD of all of the tunes.  The DVD contains the classic videos from Mtv as well as some fairly rare live footage.  Really a cool package.  *Sam Dunn if you are reading this review, their is another Canadian band that could use the star treatement, if you know what I'm saying..  Again this is a nice package including 14 tracks on the audio CD as well as on the DVD.  Cool stuff.

 

Bottom Line: The perfect release to pre-empt a reunion tour.  Hopefully this is what will get the boys back on stage together again rocking our world.  This is a great package and the remixed versions come out fuller and punchier.

- Ragman will grow a mullet, if Triumph tours again.

Thursday
Aug052010

Rage - Strings to a Web

This album is a MUST BUY!Every time Rage come out with a new CD, I have to say I get pretty geeked.  I was a late bloomer with Rage, not discovering them until 1999 with the release of Ghosts.  From the first listen I was hooked, and it made me crave more.  Luckily for me, for the next 5 years the band put out some of their strongest material to date.  To be honest, I haven't dug too deeply into the band's back catalog, but I will one day.  To me, the band hit a little bit of a snag from 2006-2008 with the releases of Speak to the Dead and Carved in Stone.  Don't get me wrong, there was some solid stuff on those records, but I think they got away from the signature riffage and core sound that fans have come to know and love.  I strongly believe that Soundchaser was the last solid CD that the band has put out, but with that said, the band has just released their 18th studio album called Strings to a Web.  Let's see if they got back on track.

Strings rips right into action with the barn-burner, Edge of Darkness.  This track starts off with a killer Eddie Van Halen (a la Mean Streak) style tapping riff by guitarist extraordinaire, Victor Smolski.  It is amazing.  The dude is a certified guitar monster.   The song then rips into a killer uptempo track with all of the trademark Rage elements intact.  The next track, Hunter and Prey, is old school Rage, reminding me of the classic track Down off of the Unity record.  It's punchy and full of great riffs and a solid chorus.  The assault doesn't stop there, because the next 2 tracks will continue to pummel the senses until you get to the killer 5th song, Empty Hollow.  This is Rage at their best, delivering monster riffs combined with killer melody.  The songs are memorable and will stick with you.  By far the best album the band has done in years, and my first pick of the month on the new site!

Bottom Line: Rage at their best.  This album delivers some of the best riffs I've heard in awhile.  The band's gone back to doing what they do best: rocking your balls off.  There are a few surprises, but they do not take away from the flow of the CD. Note: As a bonus, this package comes with a great live DVD of the band.  This is a must buy!

Standout Tracks: Hunter and Prey, Beggar's Last Dime, Empty Hollow Saga and Savior of the Dead

- Ragman wishes he and wifey were back in Germany rocking to Rage...