That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - June
  • The Sound of Steel
    The Sound of Steel
    by Exmortus
Video of the Month - June
  • The Similitude of a Dream Live In Tilburg 2017 [Blu-ray]
    The Similitude of a Dream Live In Tilburg 2017 [Blu-ray]
    by The Neal Morse Band
  • The Led Zeppelin Curse: Jimmy Page and the Haunted Boleskine House
    The Led Zeppelin Curse: Jimmy Page and the Haunted Boleskine House
    by Lance Gilbert

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

The Tracy G Group - Tramp

Oh, it's a tramp - I see what they did there...At this point we shouldn't have to mention that Tracy G is one our good friends, which may imply a bias in our review. But give a listen to his band's latest release, Tramp, and try to tell us we're wrong about it. The man has been steadily putting out music for years, collaborating with like-minded individuals with whom he feels a strong musical connection and the results speak for themselves.

Firstly, I have to give props to vocalist Michael Beatty whose cultivated hard rock chops belie his rough, biker bar bouncer look. What I'm saying is there's a momentary disconnect when you hear the vocals on, say, Fireball and picture a 20-something, shirtless, 80s hair metal band lead singer type, and then you see the guy on camera in the Leech video. In any case, this guy sings his ass off and he's perfect for Tracy G's dirty guitar sound. His vocals are a satisfying mix of Bruce Dickinson's authoritative bellow and Ozzy's serpentine serenade. Great choice.

The tunes themselves are classic examples of the G Man's penchant for somewhat unusual riff-based music; you think the melody is gonna zig and he zags every time, leaving you with something much more than just another metal song. And while The Tracy G Group doesn't necesarily always make you bang your head - Tracy loves a good, slow, bottom-heavy riff like The Revolution's mighty chorus - it will definitely rock the shit out of you with serious grooves. One of the standout jams is Leech, with an aggressive riff that's reminiscient of Tracy's time with Ronnie James Dio circa Angry Machines. And dig that System Of A Down style break before the solo. Instrumental fans - and those who may question Tracy's range - will surely dig tracks like P.C.H., a tasty driving groove over which he dives and wails in a shreddy, spiritual homage to [one of his idols] Jeff Beck's Freeway Jam, and The California Country Jamboree Funkfest, a nearly 6-minute jam that starts out like a classic Iron Maiden historical epic that suddenly kicks into a sweet riff that calls to mind the effortless fluidity of Blues Saraceno or Buck Dharma. Two thirds of the way in to that track there's some really great funk rhythm action that showcases Tracy's ability to pull out an unexpected style (including some banjo-style licks) and make it seem totally organic to the song. I'm telling you he's got the goods.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Tracy G know what to expect from his latest album, but if you're new to his solo work you're in for a treat. He's simply one of the most criminally underrated artists consistently putting out original, guitar-based music that deftly blends old and new school techniques. 'Nuff said!

- Genghis would love to see the G-Man play live in a small club some day...


Kinlin - The Last Stand

I love when I find a new band, but I'm always a little perplexed when I find out that  they've been around 10 plus years.  The latest band, with these credentials, to kick my ass is Florida's Kinlin.  Kinlin brings the heavy on their latest release The Last Stand.  The band mixes in several influences to create a killer sound.  They are a mix of solid hard rock with a metallic edge.  Think Shinedown and Godsmack mixed with a little Metallica and you would be pretty close.  The Last Stand marks the bands 3rd studio release.

The Last Stand starts off strong with the opening track Wake Up, which is an uptempo rocker with a killer riff that drives the tune.  It has a little bit of a Godsmack feel to it, but with more melody.  The next track to really get my ear was the ballad Forever and a Day.  The song starts off with an acoustic intro before kicking into a very nice melodic guitar harmony.  It has a classic rock vibe to it, that draws you in right away.  The chorus is infectious and will stay in your head.  Great song.

This album is chock full of great tracks and flows very well.  I really like how this band brings in elements of the past and melds them with a new more modern sound.  A great example of this is the killer track Suffer and Pray.  Again, this band is able to create very memorable choruses, that will stick with you for days.  There are a few clunkers on this release, but all in all this is a very solid release from a new band, that ain't so new.  This one's a keeper.

Bottom LineSolid hard rock with lots of melody.  This band can bring it.

Standout tracks: Forever and a Day, Wake Up, Suffer and Pray and Stand or Fall

-Ragman is thinking that he needs to dig into to these guys back catalog.


Jane's Addiction - Alive at Twenty-Five

It is hard to believe that Ritual De Lo Habitual is 25 years old.  Damn I'm getting old.  I remember when me and the boys would hit the streets, on a Saturday night, and crank up Stop! and Been Caught Stealing.  Man, those were the days.  That said, this album stands up very well over time and is a bona fide classic, with alternative as well as metal fans. 

Last September Jane's Addiction took the stage at Irvine Meadows, before it was tore down, and performed their masterpiece in it's entirety.  Thank goodness for those of us that weren't able to attend, the band shot this magical performance and have just released it via MVD Visual and Cleopatra.  The band was on fire that night and executed each song with perfection.  As a bonus, they also threw in some other classics to round out their 13 song set.

Alive at Twenty-Five is shot beautifully.  It is one of those Blu-rays that gives you a sense of being in the front row.  The picture is crystal clear and the audio sounds amazing.  The Silver Spoon edition includes the Blu-ray, DVD and an audio CD.  This is a really nice package and is a must for Jane's Addiction fans.

Bottom Line: A fitting tribute to one of the band's stronger efforts.  The band play and sound amazing.

-Ragman has to see these guys live at some point.


The Slayer

Recently, another 80's cult classic horror movie was given the 4K transfer treatment, by our good friends at Arrow VideoThe Slayer is your classic slasher film with a twist.  The Slayer was a film that has not been seen for several years, unless you still have a VHS.  It wasn't until just recently that the film became available again.  The 4K transfer is very nice and really brings this movie into the new millennium.

The Slayer is about 2 couples that go to a secluded island for a relaxing retreat, but little do they know, that a storm is heading their way, as well as a serial killer.  The film has a nice dynamic, making you wonder if the lead character is going crazy or losing touch with reality, because of her realistic dreams/delusions.  This film was very well done.  The kill scenes are very impressive and the special effects truly add to these scenes. 

As I have said in the past, there were so many horror movies coming out in the early 80's, that some got lost in the shuffle and The Slayer was one of them. This is a classic slasher flick and should be picked up by most horror fans. 

Bottom Line:  A classic 80's slasher flick that you most likely have not seen.  A good film from start to finish.

-Ragman is wondering how this one never came onto his radar, back in the day.


Blood Feast

I know that Halloween has come and gone, but that doesn't mean that you have to stop watching horror movies.  Especially if they are old and cheesey.  The latest film to come across my desk was the classic Blood Feast.  Deemed as the first true splatter film, Blood Feast has recently gotten the Blu-ray treatment, courtesy of Arrow Video.

Blood Feast centers around the eccentric character named Fuad Ramses, who is a serial killer with a purpose.  His purpose is to collect body parts, from young women, and prepare meals with them, in an effort to bring an ancient Egyptian princess back to life.  Fuad is a caterer with a sharp knife that will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. 

This movie was entertaining from start to finish.  Bad acting, cheap effects, but a good story line.  The movie was shot in the early 60's and was revolutionary for the horror genre.  Yes the effects are a bit cheesey, but no one was doing this in the early 60's, so for the time this movie had to be pretty shocking.  All and all a good watch, and is a must buy for true horror fans.

Bottom LineA groundbreaking film from the 60's.  The first splatter movie.  It is a fun watch.  It is interesting to see how these type of films began and how they have evolved over time.

-Ragman is craving a good horror movie.