That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - December
  • Orpheus
    Bakerteam Records
Video of the Month - December
  • Stage Fright [Blu-ray]
    Stage Fright [Blu-ray]
    by Motorhead
Metalhead Gift Suggestion
  • The 1984 Metal Trivia Quiz and Game Book: 100 Questions to test your knowledge of metal music in 1984 (Trivia Quiz Games Series) (Volume 1)
    The 1984 Metal Trivia Quiz and Game Book: 100 Questions to test your knowledge of metal music in 1984 (Trivia Quiz Games Series) (Volume 1)
    by Dustin Gatchell


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

Swallow The Sun - Emerald Forest and the Blackbird

Finnish melodic doom metallers Swallow The Sun sound a bit like a much heavier Opeth - and it's great.I don’t often listen to doom metal but really only because of thematic differences compared to sludge or stoner metal. At the risk of offending fans of either camp with my tendency for oversimplification, it’s like the Goths vs the Stoners on the metal tip. Suffice it to say all things being equal, I’d rather get high than cut myself. 

But I’ve got to admit Finland’s Swallow The Sun’s fifth studio effort, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird, is a pretty damn fine album. I haven’t heard any of their previous material, but I really dig their melodic doom sound along with all of its Gothic overtones. The slower pace of the music, and the well-used dynamics that carry ethereal clean vocals to guttural growls to banshee-like screams while maintaining a very listenable melody, make me think of a scenario where the lads of Pink Floyd graduated high school at the turn of the 21st century. Sure, I don’t understand the lyrics, but I don’t mind much when the atmospheric noodlings play with such a satisfying crunch. So…Uncomfortably Numb?

The Bottom Line: If you miss the time in between Opeth albums, Swallow The Sun may satisfy your Pink Floyd metal jones with great atmospheric melodies over crunchy rhythyms.

Tracks to Make You Both Love and Fear Your Black Light Posters: This Cut Is The Deepest, Cathedral Walls, Hearts Wide Shut, Silent Towers and Of Death And Corruption

- Genghis remembers his uncle’s blacklight poster with the tiger coming out of the jungle…


The Unclean - The Eagle

Who'da thunk that a bar band from Akron, Ohio could self-produce a down and dirty rock album this authentic?Yes, I've spoken before about bar bands, and how they are some of the most basic examples of pure rock and roll abandon. That's not to say that they're all successful at capturing this classic mode of music, just that when it is done well, it's uniquely satisfying. And so goes it for the Akron, Ohio-based rockers The Unclean. Their sophomore album, The Eagle, continues their efforts in the time-honored tradition of "no-frills, riff-heavy blues-based anthems" which is loosely associated with the retro sound that is en vogue these days. It's like ZZ Top and Motörhead's kids met in high school and skipped classes playing tunes in George Thorogood's garage.

I don't say "retro" in a perjorative sense, seeing as I've reviewed a lot of new bands with this old sound and generally like what I'm hearing. What I really dig about The Unclean is their self-reliance. Having played in the smallest of dive bars for years, rather than waiting around for record companies to come calling, they honed their live sound to a razor's edge and captured that on the album themselves (as in DIY production). If I have to find anything wrong with it...uhh...lead singer "Bremmy" (sound familiar?) needs to smoke a lot more cigarettes to get that voice just right.

The Bottom Line: Great bands like Motörhead can't stick around forever, and if someone has to pick up their torch, The Unclean is one of the many throwing their hat into the ring with thrust of their hip and swig of the bottle, in classic rock and roll fashion. Hell, I'll drink to that.

Tracks to Possibly Cause Spontaneous Moustache Growth: On We GoLive For The Day, Away Too Long, Strange Kind Of Living and Been Gone


- Genghis will never be seen in public without a shirt on, and that's a promise...


Cool As Hell 

Cool as Hell was put out by the same sicko's that brought you Hack Job and I Spill Your Guts.  If you haven't heard of either of these films, it is because the are underground B-Movies.  That is not a bad thing, because there are some really good B-Movies scouring DVD players, world wide.  Cool as Hell is about 2 friends, Rich and Benny, who are pretty much losers, until they get bound to a demon named Az.  Az makes them as cool as they can be, and even helps them score.  If this weren't enough to captivate you, then how about a soul eating monster that kills, all in it's tracks?  

Cool as Hell is a horror/comedy that has a decent plot line, but due to the poor acting and special effects, it will leave you a little flat.  I will say there were some entertaining moments, but they few and far between.  I tried to sit through this one many times, but unfortunately, I never got it.  The highlight of the movie was probably AZ, because he was entertaining, but the rest of the cast comes off a bit annoying.   There are some interesting cameo's from metal band's like Shadow's Fall and God Forbid, but that was not enough to save this one.

Bottom Line: A movie with a good plot, but poor execution.

-Ragman had a hard time focussing during this one.


Podcast #151: Re-Done

Viceroy Biff Von Biffington at your service, m'lord.Is it really necessary for artists to remake their classic tunes? We get it; it comes down to owning these new versions, but is it really necessary? Are the bands tarnishing their images by not adding anything to the original tunes? Join Genghis and Ragman as they discuss the welcomed re-records as well as the ones that should have never left the recording studio. Next, the boys welcome back Biff Byford from Saxon for a fireside chat, as he discusses the band's latest effort, Sacrifice, as well as their current tour plans.

DVD of the Show:  Saxon - Heavy Metal Thunder Live - Eagles Over Wacken

Beer of the Show: Torment (Heretic Brewing Company)
Appearance: 4.0
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.0
Overall: 3.0
"A beautiful beer in one of our all time favorite styles. The only real torment is when the bottle's dry!"

Featured Tracks: Love and Death - Whip It; Saxon - The Eagle Has Landed; T&N (featuring dUg Pinnick) - Tooth and Nail; Pinnick, Gales, Pridgen - Wishing Well; In This Moment - From The Ashes; Saxon - Battalions of Steel, Made in Belfast, Standing in a Queue, Guardians of the Tomb, Walking the Steel and If I Was You

Genghis’ Sponsor Pick: Picture Me Broken - Torture

Ragman’s Sponsor Pick:  Relapse Symphony - Burning Bridges

Classic of the Show:  Krokus - Eat the Rich

2nd Classic of the Show: Haji’s Kitchen - Machine

Ragman’s Pick of the Show: Lavett - Find Your Purpose

Genghis’ Pick of the Show: Paradox - Slashdead

- Ragman is still amazed that he gets to talk to metal legends...

Podcast #151: Re-Done


In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad

This is one damn fine dark progressive debut from the Sacramento groupIt may seem as though Opeth single-handedly crafted the subgenre of Dark Progressive Metal which seems to be growing faster than any other subgenre of metal these days. Sacramento quartet In The Silence certainly seems to have been highly influenced by the band, as evident on their atmospheric debut, A Fair Dream Gone Mad. Now don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic, original debut album chock full of the things dark progmetal fans dig; haunting acoustic rhythyms, ethereal vocals, tight technical production, and moments of satisfying balls and chunkTM. This album sounds fucking great.

While the band formed back in 2007, their musical synchronicity was evident from the beginning and that cohesion can be heard on every track. And while it's easy to say "they sound like this other band", make no mistake that In The Silence should soon be making their name known in the dark progressive subgenre with some really great songwriting and an impressively seasoned sound for such a new band.

The Bottom Line: Fans of prog bands a la Opeth or Porcupine Tree should thoroughly enjoy In The Silence as a new subgenre favorite, but given a chance they may soon secure their own place in the field and have bands compared to their sound. Fantastic stuff.

Tracks to Make You Light Incense and Lie On The Floor With Your Headphones On: The whole album

- Genghis needs to get his mind right...