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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - March
  • Emperor Of Sand
    Emperor Of Sand
    by Mastodon
Video of the Month - March
  • Fest: Live Tokyo International Forum Hall a [Blu-ray]
    Fest: Live Tokyo International Forum Hall a [Blu-ray]
    by Michael Schenker
#JudasFeast
  • Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook
    Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook
    by Annick Giroux
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
Thursday
Jan292015

My Brother The Wind - Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One

Sweden’s instrumental cosmic rock quartet, My Brother The Wind, knows how to groove old school, and that's a fact. Okay, I'm just going to come right out at the beginning of this review and say that I'm a sucker for what bands like Sweden's My Brother The Wind (MBTW) do on their latest LP Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One. These guys make the kind of classic instrumental cosmic rock (I've always called it space rock, but whatever) that Pink Floyd made famous in their more contemplative, if self-indulgent, moments for generation of stoned teenagers where the sense of time goes by the wayside. And I couldn't be more into it. Dat title though.

Recorded live, and completely improvised, with no overdubs during one January day in Åmål, Sweden, the thoroughly analog feel of the album came from using vintage flangers, plate reverbs and tape echoes recorded to 2" tape on a 44-year-old 16-track Ampex. How's that grab you for authenticity? But it's all for naught if the tunes don't work, right? Luckily MBTW has the goods, indulging in songs that sometimes break the 12 minute mark without sounding like the needle's stuck on the record. And it's that kind of solid grooving that makes or breaks this genre; chill and groove out, but don't be boring, man. Nice work, lads.

The Bottom Line: Sweden's reputation for musical innovation and revival continues to grow to the delight of eager listeners with bands like My Brother The Wind. This is classic head-tripping stuff, and the fact that it's all performed without a net makes it all the more amazing. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta get my vape on.

Tracks To Enjoy While Lying On Your Bokhara Rug With Your Headphones On: Songs Of Innocence Part 1, Misty Mountainside, and Garden Of Delights

- Genghis is feeling toasted, nicely toasted...

Monday
Jan262015

Podcast #185: Resolution

It's new year's eve and the lads have rustled up Harem Scarem's Pete Lesperance for a chin wag. Bottoms up!Happy new year! Okay, we know it's almost February, but work with us. Made your resolution(s) yet? We haven't, but we're kind of slow with these sorts of things (you may have noticed). Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss what tunes, concerts, collaborations and movies they'll be anticipating in the new year. If everything comes together, we're looking at another solid year of music. Next, the boys welcome back Harem Scarem guitarist Pete Lesperance for a one on one as he discusses the new CD Thirteen as well as plans for 2015.

DVD of the Show: Live at Wacken 2014

Beer of the Show: Smoked Porter with Chocolate & Orange Peel (Stone Brewing Co.)
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.0
Overall: 3.0
"Stone's latest is not too unlike a rauchbier with one of those chocolate oranges dropped in it, but the flavor's more sophisticated than it sounds."

2nd Beer of the Show: Bourbon County Stout (Goose Island Brewery) Rating: 3

Standout Tracks: Empire 21 - When You're Falling; Gary Moore - The End of the World; Avantasia - Invoke the Machine; Savatage - Sirens and Handful of Rain; Lynch Mob - Believers of the Day; Van Halen - You and Your Blues; Harem Scarem - I'll be Brief, Garden of Eden, Saints and Sinners, Live It, Stardust, Change Comes Around

- Ragman is looking forward to another hard-rocking year...

Podcast #185: Resolution

Friday
Jan232015

Jorn Lande & Trond Holter - DRACULA Swing of Death

Norwegian Jorn Lande does it again, this time channeling Meatloaf of all people...I have gone on record about Jorn Lande's singing; he's simply one of the best rock/metal vocalists in the world at this point. I haven't heard such a powerful voice since Dio, except maybe Russell Allen. Consequently, he turns out some pretty good product on a consistent basis, including his latest collaboration with fellow Norwegian, guitarist Trond Holter (AKA "Teeny" of glam metal band Wig Wam), DRACULA Swing of Death.

Billed as a new rock opera, DRACULA manages to up its game by going old school. Whereas bands like Vanden Plas have also released a [very good] vampire-themed rock opera, their modern take may one day lose its luster as the genre's fanbase fluctuates. But Jorn and company - including the wonderful voice of Lena Fløitmoen -  chose a more traditional path along the lines of Meatloaf or Alice Cooper, whose more theatrical sensibilities come with a nice hard rock edge. I have to say, this is an album for which I'd love to see an extended video production made to accompany it as a Blu-ray release.

The Bottom Line: This is and old school melding of theater and hard rock/heavy metal covering one of the most enduring stories in modern literature. And the combination of Jorn Lande's masterful vocals and Trond Holter's emotive guitar riffs is immensely satisfying.

Tracks To Make You Consider Purchasing A Cape: River Of Tears, Into The DarkTrue Love Through Blood, and Under The Gun

- Genghis figures, realistically, that the cape will never make a comeback...

Thursday
Jan222015

Job For A Cowboy - Sun Eater

Love 'em or hate 'em, it's new technical death metal from those plucky Arizonans, Job For A Cowboy.You have to hand it to Glendale's Job For A Cowboy (JFAC); they've been plugging away at making their place in the metal community for over a decade now and, while still polarizing amongst critics, they seem to finally be coming into their own as a technical death metal band worthy of attention, something ably exemplified on their sixth studio album, Sun Eater.

While I tend to avoid bands with logos that look like something Dexter Morgan would be examining at a crime scene, I have come across JFAC's music before and been mildly intrigued. They're not breaking down any genre barriers or reinventing anything, but they do know how to throw down some heavy tunage, even topping it with some pretty sweet solos from Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro, such as what's heard on The Stone Cross (1:23) or The Synthetic Sea (2:21). And it's nice to hear bassist Nick Schendzielos in the mix as many such productions can get a bit sludgey with the weight of the rhythym section needed to support most genre guitarists' wall of sound approach. But producer Jason Suecof does an impressive job of keeping even the most crazy runs listenable as well as heavy as fuck.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Job For A Cowboy will likely find even more to like about this evolving band, while newcomers looking for a good technical deathmetal fix should be pleasantly surprised what they find on Sun Eater. Bon appétit, motherfuckers!

- Genghis may need a new pair of headphones soon...

Wednesday
Jan142015

Podcast #184: Winter

Santa is metal. It's an indisputable fact.All the world rejoice for, lo, the lads have returned for their 8th annual Kicks and Kisses [to the balls] Lists for 2014. Join Genghis & Ragman as they make their picks for the best and worst of the last 12 months over fine food and drink live at Grub's Burger Bar. Then the boys hook up with their old pal, Mr. Big's Eric Martin, who waxes nostalgiac about the new album, ...The Stories We Could Tell. So pour yourself some egg nog and crank it up.

Featured Tracks: Dragonforce - The Sun Is Dead; Astra - Broken Balance; Winger - Queen Babylon; Anathema - The Lost Song, Part 1; Schenker - To Live For The King; Prong - Come To Realize; Marty Friedman - Horrors; Gus G - Dreamkeeper; Unisonic - Beggars At The Door; Project Arcadia - Beggars At The Door; Evergrey - A New Dawn; Saga - Let It Slide

- Genghis figures the New Year's Eve show should take less time...

Podcast #184: Winter