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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
Tuesday
Oct122010

Tangents - One Light Year

Middling 90s-era alternative rock? Meh. Could be worse.Tangents is a non-metal project from Unearth drummer Derek Kerswill and Of the Hour vocalist Dave Witham (who?).  The two of these guys wrote and recorded the full CD via the net.  Pretty amazing what you can do online these days.  The music they came up with sounds like early 90's alternative.  The band mixes the early alt vibe of Radiohead with with the pop sounds of Oasis.

Alright, If I haven't scared you off yet, then you might be willing to check out a fairly descent CD.  The songs are well put together and do give off a vibe of early 90's alternative.  The first track Arrow in the Heart has a dark vibe to it, before kicking into a alternatively tinged tune.  The rest of the tracks pretty much fall in suit.  There is a not a lot of variety on this CD, which unfortunately makes the disk drone on a bit.  The music on this CD is very mellow and subdued. 

This is one of those good background CD's, because it is pleasant to listen to while you're working.  I think the musicianship on the CD is solid, but the vocals sometime come off a little irritating.  Witham is not bad vocalist, but can come off a little whiney at times.  Not a bad CD, but not a great one either.

Bottom Line Nothing to write home about, but nothing to discard either.  90's tinged alternative rock, that is good, but not great.

Standout Tracks: Missing (One Light Year), Nothing Left Undone and When Will it End

- Ragman is ready for bed after this one

Tuesday
Oct122010

Killing Joke - Absolute Dissent

Killing Joke is back and sounding better than ever!I'll never understand why some of the greatest bands of our time have never gotten their due.  On the surface, it seems like these bands have all that it takes to take over the world, but for some reason it never happens.  Killing Joke is one of those bands.  They are a band that have influenced many of the big names out there today, and have received consistent praise by the critics, but for some reason, they were never quite able to make it to the big dance. 

On and off for over the past 3 decades, Killing Joke has been a driving force in the alternative/metal community.  The band has just released their 14th studio album Absolute Dissent, which could be one of their most complete records to date.  I think that is so cool that bands that have been around, for as long as Killing Joke has, can still put out relevant product. 

Absolute Dissent brings the original line-up back together again, which will be a treat for KJ fans.  When I first heard that this CD was coming out, I was curious as to if the band still had any gas left in the tank, but after a few listens, it was apparent that there was, and it is some pretty high octane shit, because this CD rocks. 

The thing I like most about this CD, is that it mixes the aggression of the band's more recent material, with the more melodic sounds of Brighter Than a Thousands SunsJaz Coleman has such a commanding vocal style, because his vocals can soothe when melodic and terrorize when angry.  There are a variety of tracks on the CD ranging from the pummeling This World Hell to the melodic electronica sounds of European Super State.  A very complete CD that will get Killing Joke fans giddy.

Bottom Line: Killing Joke is back sounding better than ever.  The band has put out a CD that encompasses the sounds of their whole career.  There are a few duds on this one, but for the most part, it rocks!

Standout Tracks: European Super State, This World Hell, The Great Cull and Absolute Dissent

 - Ragman is glad to hear the more melodic side of the Joke again; it's been a while...

Tuesday
Oct122010

Logan - The Great Unknown

Strong songs that get in your head and don't let go.If you're not familiar with Logan, well neither was I until about a week or two ago.  Logan is a 5 piece from Glasgow, Scotland who sound like they came from Canada.  The band has been givin er hell since 2003, but has just recently made it over to the US shores, with their new release The Great Unknown.  Logan has the power and aggression of a pissed off Nickleback mixed with the melody of Theory of a Deadman

Logan is not your typical buzz band because they're heavier and they have some elements of grunge mixed into their music.  Songs like Rock n Roll Way and Hallowed Ground have sort of a Pearl Jam vibe to them.  You know, a cool groove mixed with a little blues.  Nice!  I think my favorite track on the CD, currently, is the power ballad (don't say it), Save Me.  It is a late 80's style power ballad, that will get the lighters fickering (cell phones) lighting up an arena.   The structure of the song is solid, with a great melody.  I'm also favoring the following track Jump in Again, which is a slow rocker with a powerful chorus.  All in all a solid CD.

Bottom Line: Solid modern rock with an edge.  If these guys get the proper push, they will be a household name.  Strong songs that get in your head and don't let go.  A nice mix of modern rock with heavy blues.

Standout Tracks: Save Me, Jump In Again, Lost and Found, Hold My Hand and Hurricane

- Ragman is feeling lost

Tuesday
Oct052010

Rites of Ash - Like Venom

A metal band using auto tune? Riiiiiiight...Ever wonder what a metal band would sound like on auto tune?  If you're not familiar with auto tune, it is that weird vocal effect, that lots of pop artist's use, to make their voice sound robotic.  Not a fan of pop, I always attributed this vocal enhancer as a way to disguise a lack of vocal talent.  Rites of Ash are the first band, of the heavy nature, that I have heard using this effect, and I'm not sure it works that well.  Vocalist 80-2, yeah that's his name, can sing, so it boggles the mind as to why they would incorporate this effect into the mix.  Thank goodness, it isn't present throughout the whole CD. 

Rites of Ash is a different animal, because they mix sounds of pop, rap and rock into one interesting sound.  Don't get me wrong, the band is primarily a hard rock band, but they do infuse different elements, into their sound, to give them a distinct sound.  I think that is where the use of auto tune came into play.  It is hard to describe their sound, especially like on a track like Toxic (Her Lip Are Like Venom) because it sounds like a hard rocking pop song.  This CD is full of variety and surprises.  The next song Burn will definitely throw you for a loop, because of the death metal overtones represented in the tune.   This CD has it all from funk to pop to death metal.  A musical roller coaster ride that never comes off of the tracks.

Bottom Line: Rites of Ash offer the listener many different styles while sticking to their heavy roots.  A CD that will not get stale due to all of the different styles represented on the disk.  The songs are played well and the musicianaship is there.  I would say the mid-section of this CD is the strongest part of the record.

Standout Tracks: Burn, Dead Side of Hollywood, 3 Leaf Clover and The Sleeper

- Ragman takes off half a horn for the auto tune and is still scratching his head as to why this was used

 

Tuesday
Oct052010

Filter - The Trouble With Angels

Looks like the ol' boys still got it!I have to say, I haven't really followed Filter too closely over the years; aside from the track Hey Man, Nice Shot, I really couldn't tell you any song titles from their catalog.  It's not that they don't rock, because they do, but I think I always just viewed them as a NIN knock off.  Once NIN broke big, there were alot of copy cat bands that came out, and so the market just got too saturated for me. 

Well Richard Patrick and Co. have just released their 5th studio record called The Trouble With Angels.  I have to say that I was impressed after putting this CD, because it turned out being quite a bit more solid than I had originally thought.  This band is more than a NIN clone, by offering a nice mix of hard modern rock and industria.  I actually found some cool grooves on the CD like on the track No Love.  There is this cool heavy groove groove that gets the foot tapping and the head nodding.  Another track that I found interesting, is No Re-Entry where Patrick sings with so much conviction, that he comes off sounding like Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke).

I would say the first half of the record is okay, but with a few standouts.  It is the latter part of the record that I think some of the stronger tracks lie.  Tracks like the killer Catching A Falling Knife will keep you hitting the back button on your CD player repeatedly.  It has the vibe of Hey Man, but takes it to a new level.  This track make the whole CD worth the price of admission.  It rocks.  All in all a solid CD.

Bottom Line: Filter proves that they're still a viable force in the modern rock arena with solid songs and catchy melodies.  After a slow start this CD takes off and doesn't let up until it's over.

Standout Tracks: Catching a Falling Knife, No Entry, Drug Boy and Clouds

- Ragman realized this pony has more than one trick