That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - November
  • Underlying Issues
    Underlying Issues
    Scarlet records
Video of the Month - November
  • Second Flight: Live At The Z7 (2CD + Bluray)
    Second Flight: Live At The Z7 (2CD + Bluray)
    by Flying Colors
Most. Metal. Comic. Ever.
  • Black Metal: Omnibvs
    Black Metal: Omnibvs
    by Rick Spears, Chuck BB

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
  • 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
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts

Helen Money - Arriving Angels

Helen Money is mad. Mad call I it, for to define true madness, what is't but to be nothing else but mad?Mad cellist Helen Money (AKA Alison Chesley) is one of the few crossover musicians that, like the lads of Apocalyptica, dare to transgress the boundaries of classical and heavy music. Her collaborations, including gigs with the likes of Disturbed and Anthrax, are not the typical thing you'd expect from a female musician with a masters degree in cello performance. Which brings us to her third solo album, Arriving Angels, now being re-issued in a limited vinyl edition.

Money's approach to composition is spartan, making the notes that do get played all the more prominent against the space surrounding them. And thanks to the copious amounts of signal processing (you ought to see the pedal boards laid out around her feet onstage), her tone has the variability of any guitarist, expanding the timbre of the instrument handily to fill the space left by the absence of a traditional backing band.

Now, for the most part this is your basic minimalist stuff - Money being joined only by Neurosis drummer/percussionist Jason Roeder on all tracks - with an unpredictability (including Bernard Herrmann-esque Psycho attack interludes) that makes the whole album seem completely spontaneous. If you favor traditional music at all, you may have a hard time getting into this stuff. But if you're the more open-minded type that likes to veer off the beaten path musically, this may be your new jam. Personally, I have a hard time connecting to this, but I salute Chesley's bold musical presence.

The Bottom Line: Every now and then someone comes along to remind us jaded rock fans that ours is the music of rebellion and the pushing of envelopes, great and small. Alison Chesley's Helen Money persona, armed with her processed cello, marches forward in the avant-garde field of "ambient doom", leading her followers like a deranged pied piper to the precipice of tradition - and leaning out over it menacingly.

- Genghis is actually looking to learn to play the cello...


Terrorway - Blackwaters

Damn, Italy, what you feedin' them kids? Cuz there's some serious metal chops in their eggs and bakey...Man, it's crazy how many, and varied, metal bands are coming out of Italy. Case in point, extreme metal technicians Terrorway have just dropped their debut, Blackwaters, on an unsuspecting public and I'mma give you the lowdown.

The Sardinian quartet formed only a few years ago, releasing an EP very quickly and playing shows across the land, giving you a hint as to their level of acceptance before even a debut album has come out. But now it's here, and I can honestly say this is some pretty full-bodied metal. I tend to fly a little flag for extreme metal sometimes, if only out of appreciation for the sheer technical ability on display. But the downfall of such bands is the all-too-often tendency to overdo it, causing everything to devolve into a muddy wall of sound with little nuance or listenability. But what Terrorway bring to the table is a desire to stay back and let the music speak for itself, and they do that by invoking a fair amount of melody and heavy grooves. In fact, the songs get more brutal while also getting more groove to them as the album goes on.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Meshuggah or other extreme groove metal bands may need to look into this one. If they keep up this trajectory, they could be a major player in the genre. 'Nuff said.

Tracks To Play The Next Time The Neighbors Start Getting Uppity: Chained, Renewal, and A Cursed Race

- Genghis would like to hear show tunes done death metal style...


Monster Magnet - Last Patrol

Comic fans may dig Monster Magnet's new album cover and its Rob Zombie meets Jack Kirby aesthetic, eh?So Monster Magnet has been doing their thing since 1989, right? And while I've heard of them many times before I've never actually gotten around to listening to any of their stuff. And now, with the retro thing chugging along, their latest album drops on my desk for review. So where does it fall? Let's see.

Seeming to attempt to answer the question "What if Jim Morrison had replaced Ozzy as lead singer of Black Sabbath after their first album?", Monster Magnet does the old school vibe as good as anyone in the business, that much is clear. There's just a great classic sound with Monster Magnet that is as authentic as anything else out there - perhaps because they've been doing it for well over 25 years now - and they continue the trend with their 9th studio album, Last Patrol. Lead singer/songwriter (and sole remaining original member) Dave Wyndorf was a teenager when Black Sabbath's first album came out, but it would seem to have had a profound effect on him. This is some really great 70s era psychedelic rock here, including some nice moody, acoustic stuff that reminds me of old Pink Floyd, and a bitchin' cover of Donovan's Three Kingfishers. I feel silly for not having bothered to check them out before.

As a lyricist, Dave explores the standard philosophical issues of life through sci-fi and archetypal, comic book imagery with a voice that sounds authentic and passionate. I can't claim that the music is trancendent or revelatory in any big way, but it does what you expect this kind of music to do, and after doing it for this long, it's nice to hear they're still going strong.

The Bottom Line: Monster Magnet does the old school thing while being old enough to actually be an old school thing. If you dig the classic tunes of bands like The Doors, Black Sabbath, or even newer ones like Opeth, you'll probably dig some Last Patrol pretty well.

Tracks To Make You Want To Break Out The Patchouli: I Live Behind The Clouds, Three Kingfishers, Paradise and Stay Tuned

- Genghis isn't actually that surprised he didn't know about Monster Magnet...


Michael Schenker - Bridge the Gap

Over the past several years, Michael Schenker albums have been pretty much hit or miss.  There's no doubt, he is one of the greats, but like many of our heroes, he has let his demons get the best of him, at times.  I think he turned the corner, with his last release, Temple of Rock.  It was the best thing he had put out in years.  Now he is back with a new band and a new record called Bridge the Gap.  Joining Michael for the new album, are former Scorpions, Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass as well as the return of vocalist Doogie White.

Bridge the Gap builds on the momentum from the last album.  This is probably the purest Schenker record in years, because it delves back into the guitarist's past and bridges it with the present sound of the band.  It is a retro album of sorts, bringing back the classic feel of early MSG.  The sound of the record, reminds me of classic 80's MSG mixed with Rainbow.  A perfect example of this, is on the track Shine On.  Slow, melodic and heavy. 

I gotta say, that I was more impressed with White's vocals on this release, than anything else I've ever heard him sing on.  The guy has a Dio vibe to his voice, that I have never noticed before.  He is amazing on this release.  Also, Schenker never ceases to amaze me either.  He is playing like a man possessed on this release.  It is some of the best riffage, he has given us in a while.  Check out the solo in Beacuse You Lied, and you'll hear what I mean.  Schenker showing why he is still one of the best ones out there today.

Bottom LineSchenker is showing no signs of slowing down, by churning out two solid releases within a 3 year period.   A solid set of classic tinged tunes all complete with some major shreddage.

Standout Tracks: To Live for the King, Black Moon Rising, Shine On and Bridges That We've Burned

-Ragman is liking the temple that Mr. Schenker and company have built.



When is the last time you had a horror film make you cringe?  It had been a while for me, until I sat down to watch Thanatomorphose.  This is the most disturbing moving I have seen, in quite sometime.  The movie is about a loner girl who starts having some severe health issues.  She first notices some bruising, which turns to more bruising and then eventually skin rotting off.  Let's face it, she's turing into a zombie.  She is not sure why this is happening, but seems to come to terms with it.  It is as though she has contracted this disease, that is slowly killing her each day.

The film is based in the woman's apartment, and pretty much focuses on her deteriorating physical condition.  She does have guests from time time to time; Mainly a loser boyfriend as well as another love interest, but other than that, that is pretty much it.  Word of warning, this one is very graphic and will make those with a weaker stomach turn away more than once.  I have to say, I've seen alot of fucked up movies in my time, and this one made me look away a time of two. 

This is one of those avant garde horror flicks, you know the type, the one that tries to be artsy, while still trying to appeal to the horror genre.  There is some symbolism, in the movie, that I'm still trying to figure out, and it's something that the director focuses on from time to time.   The ceiling above the main character's bed, seems to be deteriorating at the rate her body is.  Not sure what that symbolizes, but the two go together.    A very well done movie, that will keeping you interested all the way through.

Bottom LineOne of the most disturbing films, I have ever watched.  I haven't been sicked out by a movie in ages, but this one got to me.  The special effects are amazing. 

-Ragman is thinking that many barf bags will be filled during the viewing of this one.