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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - December
  • Clowns Lounge
    Clowns Lounge
    Frontiers Music s.r.l
Video of the Month - December
  • 35 Years And A Night In Chicago [Blu-ray]
    35 Years And A Night In Chicago [Blu-ray]
    starring Night Ranger
#ShoppingForGirls
  • The Complete David Bowie (Revised and Updated 2016 Edition)
    The Complete David Bowie (Revised and Updated 2016 Edition)
    by Nicholas Pegg
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
Friday
Oct032014

The Order Of Israfel - Wisdom

Doom metal may not be the newest and freshest sound on the planet, but this is some damn fine metal gettin' debuted here.Primarily the work of guitarist Tom Sutton (Church Of Misery) and bassist Patrik Andersson Winberg (Doomdogs), Gothenburg-based The Order Of Israfel (TOOI) is a pretty straightforward doom metal band with folk music accents and a progressive touch. This keeps things interesting, and not sounding like the self-important or preachy stuff that tends to ruin much of the retro offerings out there. Otherwise, Wisdom - the band's debut album - takes a page from the classic doom metal playbook.

[Black] Sabbathy tunes that have all of the customary weight of the ominous abound, as in the epic plodding of The Noctuus. But the particular aforementioned mix of styles gives the more introspective parts of songs a nice Opeth feel, as on the [Ennio] Morricone-flavored The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires. But to show it's not all rubbery necks and closed-eyes, TOOI shows its more peppy side with tracks like Born For War or Morning Sun (Satanas) which call to mind the groovy chug of Black Label Society, or The Black Wings A Demon, which comes off like a thrilling version of The Doors meets Motörhead.

The Bottom Line: Don't let my mention of the word retro (which is becoming pretty stale these days) scare you off of this Swedish doom metal band's impressive debut. This is some damn fine metal. I dare say Zakk would approve.

- Genghis never did understand what the all the fuss was about The Doors...

Sunday
Sep282014

Podcast #178: Faith

The G-Man can rock the shit out of a house, no lie.Does religion belong in music? Some say yes, some say no, while others just don't give a shit [ed. - I'm in the latter group of people; if it sounds good, then that's all that matters]. Join Genghis & Ragman as they delve into Christian metal, musing that some of these bands rock so hard, it's hard to believe they're belting out the gospel. The boys also discuss the demise of the record store. Next, the boys are joined by the one and only Mr. Tracy G, for a heart to heart, as he discusses the release of the latest Dio DVD and what the G-Man is up to these days...

DVD of the Show: Demon Hunter - 45 Days

Beer of the Show: Bear Hug Chocolate Cherry Stout (Bridgeport Brewery)
 
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 2.5
Overall: 3.0
"A low ABV (7.5%) stout with a strong roasty aroma, this brew could've used a little more flavor for our tastes."
 

Featured Tracks: Emil Bulls - Behind the Sun; Flyleaf - Magnetic; Impelliteri - Ball and Chain; Demon Hunter - The Last One Alive; Helstar - Cursed; Ploar - Shadowed by Vultures; Kyng - Electric Halo; Night Ranger - High Road; Arch Enemy - War Eternal; Dio - Jesus, May and the Holy Ghost; Tracy G - Red House, Pain Savior, and Last Words

Ragman's Classic of the Show: Lizzy Borden - Notorious

Genghis' Classic of the Show: Damn the Machine - Lonesome God

Ragman's Pick of the Show: Avatar - Bloody Angel

Genghis' Pick of the Show: Corrosion of Conformity - Brand New Sleep

- Ragman is running on empty...

Podcast#: 178 - Faith

Thursday
Sep252014

Mr. Big - ...The Stories We Could Tell

The boys are back to rock the house with their signature mix of hard rock and AOR ballads.

When What If... came out in 2011, it heralded the much anticipated comeback of Mr. Big with some of their most mature and thoughtful songs to date, but without losing the energetic appeal of the band's most popular material. Songs like Undertow and As Far As I Can See showed a more focused and relaxed group compared to the quartet's last work together, 1995's  Hey Man. Well, that trend largely continues with ...The Stories We Could Tell. The name alone suggests a resolution to the sentence begun previously, as if the full statement were "What if they made a big Hollywood production of the story of Mr. Big? Oh, the stories we could tell."

The lyrics have become more introspective and philosophical over the years, and the playing has become more mature and refined. Back in the day, Paul Gilbert was barely 23, fresh out of Racer X and hungry to prove to the world his guitar mastery in a more radio-friendly but hard rocking ensemble. Today, he's a recording and touring veteran with scores of fans spanning the globe. Having nothing left to prove, his playing is restrained and confident (while still technically amazing), and perfect for the current version of the band he helped found a quarter of a century ago.

But, let's get to ...The Stories We Could Tell. For the most part, this is much like an extension of What If..., having the same "it's good to be back" easiness to it all. The heavier songs sound like they could be future bar band classics while the slower ones demonstrate the template for modern AOR ballads - right down to the string section backing the chimey acoustic strumming of The Man Who Has Everything. It's so "perfect" that it might be called formulaic if it were made by a younger, modern band, but here it's the simply the reflexive output of masters of their trade. If I'm forced to find any fault with the album, I would say that I wanted to hear a lot more from Billy [Sheehan], whose legendary fills and runs seemed more subdued this time. And Eric Martin, who's one of the best rock vocalists around, seems to be getting lower in the register these days, but his constant, infectious energy seems ageless. There's a reason these guys are a no-brainer for a go-to live band.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Mr. Big will surely enjoy another dose of these hard rock veterans, whereas new fans may likely come across this in their parents' music collection and find this to be a master class in rock music songwriting. Either way, this is the epitome of good rock music. If you're looking for the "next big thing", look elsewhere. Why worry about old dogs coming up with new tricks when they've already mastered (and can still do) all the best ones?

- Genghis is still addicted to that rush 25 years later...

Wednesday
Sep172014

Orange Goblin - Back From The Abyss

The Gobs know how to make some good stoner metal, tell you what.Across the pond, they know their way around some heavy tunes. And stoner metal outfit Orange Goblin knows it damn well after nearly twenty years in the biz. Which brings us to their latest release, Back From The Abyss, which is a worthy follow-up to their most successful album in the US to date, A Eulogy For The Damned.

Kicking around since 1995, this English quartet knows how to wreak some spacey metal grooves on ya for sure. And this album is no exception. From the loose swagger of opener Sabbath Hex and Demon Blues to the Motörhead gallop of The Devil's Whip or Bloodzilla, there's ample energy across the dozen new tunes on hand. But for the more laid back, there's more languid fare like the easy shuffle of Into The Arms Of Morpheus and the psychedelic sway of Titan. Great stuff, lads.

The Bottom Line: Fans of good stoner metal - assuming you're not already into the Goblin - should find a lot to like about their latest album, cuz this thing rocks ass. Check it out.

- Genghis plans to have this album on hand for the next road trip...

Thursday
Sep112014

Kattah - Lapis Lazuli

This Kattah makes some good Brazilian metal with a unique Middle Eastern twist. Sweet album cover too.It's no secret to metalheads that Brazil is a hotbed of genre talent; they clearly take their music seriously and know how to rock a casa. And one of the cool aspects of metal in other countries is how their local musical influences make their way into what becomes a new permutation of the metal formula. Kattah is a great example of this, as heard on their sophomore release, Lapis Lazuli.

Not only do they incorporate traditional music in their writing like fellow metallers Angra (who was impressed enough to ask Kattah to join them on their 2011 tour), but lead singer Roni Sauaf proposed the idea of adding Arabian aspects to the band's style to founders Victor Brochard (guitars) and Cristian Alex (drums). The name itself is supposed to represent an Arabian aura. In any case this is some great Brazilian heavy metal in the aforementioned Angra vein, replete with chugging Iron Maiden style riffage, great melodic solo shreddage, and some of that Arabian influence that adds a nice flavor to the formula. What more do you need?

The Bottom Line: If you're a fan of that South of the border metal sound that is so perfectly embodied in the music of bands like Angra, you'll probably want to check out this album. Not saying they're a rip-off, just that they take what's become a regional sound and added their own unique something to it that's really worth a listen.

- Genghis would have loved to see that tour (Angra/Kattah), you betcha...