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That time Genghis said...
Buy me coffee?Buy me coffee?
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
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...

Thursday
Sep022010

Black Label Society: Doom Troopin' Live (Blu-ray)

Zakk and company rock the shit out of ParisZakk Wylde has had a rough couple of years, but he has bounced back in 2010 with a new CD (Order of the Black) as well as the re-release of his 2006 concert DVD, Doom Troopin' Live - The European Invasion on Blu-ray.  It is hard to believe that Zakk has been kicking our ass for over 25 years, and whether it be with Ozzy or BLS, this guy always brings it.  After losing the Ozzy gig, Zakk had some health issues, but now he's back stronger than ever, placing all of his focus on Black Label Society.  

Doom Troopin' Live features the band supporting their 2005 release Mafia, on the European leg of the tour.  The DVD features a full length show from the band at the Elysee Montmartre in Paris.  Killer venue.  The DVD also features 4 songs from a show they did at the Astoria in London.  The shows are shot very well and give you a sense of being there.  The sound is impecable as well.  I never saw the standard version of this package, but the Blu-ray is amazing. 

Doom Troopin also comes with an addtional disk that features a 50 min. documentary of Zakk and BLS on the road, as well as some promo videos.  Any documentary featuring Zakk is entertaining, and this one is no different.  There are some funny moments as well as some interesting ones i.e. when Zakk gets into it with the video director.  This is one dude you do not want to piss off.  All in all a very enjoyable watch that will stay in the rotation.

Bottom Line: This is one of those Blu-ray's that you'll put in and will give you such a rush, that when it is over, you'll rush to your computer to find out when BLS is coming to town.

- Ragman is racing out to get the new CD

Thursday
Sep022010

FART: The Movie

A movie that lives up to its nameI should have known by the title that this movie would probably suck, but being a fan of B-Movies, I decided to give it a shot.  FART - The Movie is a cult classic film, that was released in the early 90's and has just been released on DVD.  I'm not sure who thought this was a classic, or why it warranted a release on DVD, but now it is out there for the public to consume. 

FART is about a guy named Russell who has two loves in his life: Farting and his girlfreind Heather.  Man, this dude has issues.  The film centers around Russell and his constant need to fart.   Heather does not like the farting but supposedly puts up with it, because she loves this douche bag.  She is constantly opening windows and spraying air freshener to cleanse their home.  Long story short, one night Heather goes to a party while Russell dreams of a world where everyone on TV farts.  Stupid, I know. 

I still can't figure out why I wasted 90 minutes on this piece of shit.  I'm one of those guys that keeps hoping it will get better, but unfortunately for FART, it got progressively worse.  The only thing that would make this movie worth watching, is if you made a drinking game out of it.  Mercifully, you would probably be passed out after about 20 minutes.

Bottom Line: One of the worst flicks I have seen in sometime.

- Ragman has to take a FART: The Movie shit now

Saturday
Aug282010

Tony Harnell & The Mercury Train - Round Trip

Tony Harnell doing what he does bestSince Tony Harnell left TNT back in 2006, he has kept himself busy with various projects like Starbreaker as well as flirting with a solo career.  Tony got close when he released Cinematic, which was a solo EP comprised of some demos that he had been working on, back in 2008.  The EP was released exclusively on his website.  2010 brings the man a little closer to fulfilling the promise of a solo CD, with his latest release Round Trip

Tony has recently re-surfaced with his new band The Mercury Train, for a reworking of some of his tracks from TNT and Westworld.  For Round Trip, Tony decided to strip things back and make the majority of the tunes acoustic based, which he hopes will gives these classic tracks new life.  This seems to be a fairly popular trend for established rockers to revisit classic tracks and modernize them.  When an artist does this, it can breathe new life into a classic track, but it can also uncover some hidden gems that may have been overlooked the first time around.  I think it is a cool trend, but you have to be careful re-doing a classic songs, because, if it sounds the same or worse, then what is the point. 

Round Trip starts with the re-working of the classic TNT track Somebody Told You off of the Firefly record.  The track starts off with a cool funky bass line and then kicks into the tune.  The re-worked version comes off fresh and fun.  You can tell by the first tune, that Tony has put a lot thought into the track and has added a new twist to this classic tune.  Tony has done a nice job by changing up the tracks and making them fresh again.  Check out the re-workings of Intuition, Lonely Nights and Northern Lights.  I think the stongest thing about this CD is Tony's vocals.  The dude just sounds amazing.  This CD really highlights what a stong vocalist he is.  He has not lost anything as a vocalist. 

Round trip contains 14 tracks.  The CD is primarily made up of classic tunes, with the exception of Univited (Alanis Morisette) which was originally covered for the Westworld - Skin record as well as the sole original tune Anywhere but Here.  I'm glad he included Uninvited, because the version has a really cool dark vibe to it, which ends up being one of the highlights on the CD for me.  Anywhere But Here leaves a lot to be desired.  It has a Beatles vibe, but never really goes anywhere.  It is just a subpar track, and probably the weakest on the CD.  Too bad, because I was hoping for more.  The CD has a mellow vibe, but is done well and should keep fans happy until the next release.

Bottom Line: Tony Harnell stripped back.  The CD borders on that adult contemporary vibe, but is still cool because it's Tony Harnell.  This CD truly showcases what a great vocalist that Tonay Harnell is.  The only down side, is that the one original track on the CD, is not that strong.  Hopefully there will be better things to come in the future in regards to new original material.

Standout Tracks: Uninvited, Lonely Nights, Somebody Told You, and Northern Lights

- Ragman is looking for his lighter