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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
Jul282010

Classic Albums - Black Sabbath - Paranoid (Blu-Ray)

A great documentary about a great album!It amazing to think that Black Sabbath released Paranoid 40 years ago.  It is an album that has stood the test of time, and still sounds fresh today.  Paranoid is one of those records that artists dream of making, because it is an album full of solid tunes.  No fillers.  To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Paranoid, Eagle Rock Entertainment has recently released the Classic Albums special on Blu-Ray and DVD.  The show originally aired on VH-1 Classic as part of their classic albums series, but this release comes with so much bonus footage, it warrants a view.   The Classic Album series is a cool concept, because it gives you a behind the scenes look into how the magic was created.  This show does a good job of gathering all of the original members of Black Sabbath as well as the producer Tom Allom for a total recount of what went down when they made the record.

Paranoid was a great watch.  The Blu-Ray is full of great interviews with the band as well as a one on on with Iommi and his axe.  The material with Iommi was probably my favorite, because it features him playing some or the fiercest riffs from the record.  It is almost like a one on one lesson with the master.   Another highlight, is hearing the original, improvised lyrics by a young Ozzy for the title track.  Priceless.  Paranoid explores the band's origins, before kicking into the making of one of their best albums ever.  It is full of classic footage as well as new interviews done especially for this special.  The clarity of the Blu-Ray is unmatched and gives you a sense of being in the room with the lads as they recount the making of the album.  A solid watch from start to finish, with 42 minutes of extras.

Bottom Line: Classic Sabbath at its best.  Find out how one of the greatest metal albums of all time was created.   Even if you’re not the biggest Sabbath fan, this is a great watch because it is interesting to see how the band worked out the songs and recorded back in the day.

- Ragman is a sucker for a good documentary.

Wednesday
Jul282010

Primal Fear - Live in the USA

Even live records should do a little moreWhen is it a goodtime for a band to put out a live CD?  It is anybody’s guess.  Some do it after the first CD, and some wait until well into their career before they pull the trigger.  Primal Fear is one of those bands that have waited until their 12th year to release a live recording.  The band flirted with it, with the DVD release of a A History of Fear in the late 90’s, but it wasn’t until now, that the band had decided to put out an official live recording.  These recordings were taken from the bands last tour, for The Devil Knows Your Dead.  This live recording has been issued in CD and DVD, but separately.  For the purposes of this review, only the CD portion was reviewed.  Primal Fear is on of those bands that seem like they would be amazing live, so this combo should be a real treat.

The CD starts off with the high energy track Under the Radar, which is high impact and a good way to start off a live show, with a bang.  The track is cool, but the first real track to get my head banging is the live version of Battalions of Hate, from the first record.  The band sounds killer and is pretty true to the album version.  The next track to catch my ear was Angel in Black off of the Nuclear Fire CD.  Vocalist Ralf Scheepers sounds amazing, as usual, and re-assures us that he can deliver the goods live. 

Live in the USA is a good representation of the band and show that they can deliver.  There are a few things that did bother me about this CD though; the set list and one the lack of mixing things up, leaves things a bit stale.  The set list isn’t that bad, but there is one glaring omission, which is the lack of material from Black Sun.  How can this band go on stage and not play Armageddon?  This is a travesty.  The joy I get out of a live album is when a band mixes things up, and adds to the tunes live.  If the songs sound exactly like the studio version, then what’s the point of buying a live CD?  Not a bad CD but not a great one either.  Only for the true PF fans.

Bottom Line: PF mix it up a little, but for the most part regurgitate the songs, just as they were recorded in the studio.  Not a bad thing, but when I look at getting a live record, I look for a little more.

Standout Tracks: Sign of Fear, Battalions of Hate, Angel in Black and Fighting the Darkness

- Ragman totally wants to see this DVD.

Tuesday
Jul272010

Pretty Maids - Pandemonium

Still rocking after 20+ years!It is hard to believe the that Danish rockers Pretty Maids are coming up on their 30th birthday next year.  It seems like yesterday when I first discovered the band on Future World.  At the time, the riff that fueled the title track, was one of the heaviest around.  The band has had moderate success in the states, but for some reason, they made it here.  Fortunately the rest of the world clued in to what a killer band they are, and now they are coming up to their 30th year in existence.  If you’re not familiar with the band, they are a hard rock band that teeters on the metallic side.  They are masters of blending heavy riffs with melody.  One thing that you are guaranteed to get with a Pretty Maids record is heavy songs mixed melodic rockers.  It is the best of both worlds.  2010 brings us the band’s 12th studio recording entitled Pandemonium; let’s see if they still have what it takes to deliver the goods.

Pandemonium starts with the title track which is an up tempo rocker, which has a classic Maids feel to it.  It has a killer keyboard riff that begins the tune before guitarist Ken Hammer chimes in with his crunchy guitar.  It is one of the heavier tracks on Pandemonium, and a great way to begin the CD.  The next track to grab my attention was the first single Little Drops of Heaven.  Man this a killer track.  It is a great choice for the first single, because it is one of those tracks that grabs you and never lets go.  It is a mid-tempo rocker that has a killer melody and a very catchy memorable chorus.   Another track that is golden, is the track Final Day of Innocence.  This [The] Who-inspired track has a classic rock vibe, but with a modern edge to it.  That is the cool thing about this CD, because the guys have once again put together a solid CD full of melodic rockers and metallic burners.  All in all a solid CD and a welcome return from the band.

Bottom Line: Pretty Maids sound as well as they did 20+ years ago.  Hammer and Atkins have once again shown us how the big boys do it.  This could be one of the heavier records the band has does in a while.  Great songs that will stick with you.

Standout Tracks: Little Drops From Heaven, Final Day of Innocence, Cielo Drive and Breathless

- Ragman wants to know where the DVD is already


Tuesday
Jul272010

Inbred Redneck Vampires

When B-movies go bad...I like a good B-Horror movie like the next guy, but it has to be somewhat watchable for me to get into it.  Some try to mix comedy with horror and some just try to go for that full-on fright angle.  If the director is really trying and is clever, I’ll buy into it, but if there is a lack of effort and it is painful to get through, then that is where I have to draw the line.  As we all know, vampire flicks are all the rage these days, especially with the success of the killer HBO series True Blood and the lame Twilight series.  You have to be careful when making a movie about bloodsuckers, because there is so much out there, you have to distinguish yourself from the masses.  The latest vampire flick to hit my DVD player was Inbred Redneck Vampires, let’s see if it has what it takes to make it into the rotation.

Redneck Inbred Vampires is about a female vampire, and her human minion, who’s plot is to turn a whole redneck village into a vampire army, in order for her to battle a vampire slayer.  Sounds interesting, but it has to be done well, to pull it off.  As with most B-rated flicks the acting is somewhat poor and the effects are pretty cheesy, but I’m okay with that, as long as the story stays on track and remains somewhat entertaining.  Instead of focusing on the vampires, the movie focuses on a couple of dip-shit rednecks and a gay decorator.  Sounds weird, I know.  A small portion of the movie focuses on the vampire and her quest for redneck domination,  but the majority focuses on the decorator, a dwarf and a moron.  I have to say I came close to turning this one off several times, because it was soooo bad.  This was not one of the better B-flicks I have seen, by far.  Some may enjoy this one, but my guess is, it won’t be many.

Bottom Line One of the worst movies I’ve seen in some time.  It was painful to watch at times, and it is a miracle I made it through the whole thing.  Some might get a kick out of it, but I‘m sure the audience that this flick will attract will be fairly small.

- Ragman has a headache

Monday
Jul262010

You Maybe Wanna Talk?

There are some interesting discussions happening over in our Discussion forums if you want to chime in.  Check it out and "hip us to your personal wisdom".

- Genghis loves to bust out his Dennis Miller quotes...