That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - October
  • Full Circle (2CD+DVD)
    Full Circle (2CD+DVD)
    by Pagan's Mind
Video of the Month - October
  • Full Circle [Blu-ray]
    Full Circle [Blu-ray]
    starring n/a
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

Martyrd - The Mortal Coil

New Yorkers Martyrd seem to have a pretty good handle on the whole progressive metal thing. Nice work, guys.I had never heard of New York City band Martyrd until I attended a recent concert here in Houston. They were one of the opening acts. We talked with the band and they were amiable and enthusiastic to chat about their ambitions. When I listened to their latest CD, which they generously provided, I was impressed with the maturity of the songs and the overall musicianship. The Mortal Coil is a good representation of the progressive metal genre I know and love - one that began probably just before these guys were born.

A quick look at their Facebook page and website reveals their influences to be a nice mix of the progressive metallers (Symphony X, Angra, Dream Theater, et al) and old school thrashers (Megadeth, Testament, Metallica, Overkill, et al), and I'm happy to say that these influences and the band's hard work have resulted in a fine sophomore effort. Even the mix was good, which can often be where an otherwise great sounding band can be degraded in the transition from live performance to recorded mediums.

On a side note, I came across a review written years ago for their debut CD that was unusually harsh. I won't mention names, but it was bad enough to seem like the guy had a vendetta against the band or something. If there's any truth to his accusations, then it serves as a real statement to bootstrapping for a band to come from the album that reviewer described to this new one I heard. Kudos to the guys in Martyrd for slogging it out and making a progressive metal album that can stand amongst others in the genre.

The Bottom Line: The Mortal Coil is a worthy CD of progressive metal songs from a band that sounds quite serious about making good music, and I'm very interested to hear where they go on future efforts. Check 'em out.

- Genghis was really shocked at that guy's vitriolic review...


Eternal Tears of Sorrow - Saivon Lapsi

If the national music of Finland isn't heavy metal then I just don't understand the world anymore...If you haven't heard of Eternal Tears of Sorrow before now, their latest album Saivon Lapsi is actually a good jumping on point for this band that's been around about 20 years. After breaking up for a short time, they staged a comeback in 2005 and have been steadily gaining popularity in their native country of Finland with their brand of symphonic/power metal.

Their latest effort, Saivon Lapsi, is a good example of their particular style, which blends the airy keyboard orchestrations of the genre with death metal growls and solos, and equal parts gothic brooding and martial flourish. The addition of female vocals and full on choral sections add to the gothic feel in a very natural sounding way, providing an ethereal framework for the satisfying heavy crunch within to make an impressive package.

My only complaint is that the mix was somewhat muddled. Guitars - solos in particular - tended to get lost in the fray, prompting multiple equalization tweaks for a good listening experience (or maybe I just need to get my headphones replaced). But on the whole, this is pretty damn good album.

The Bottom Line: Them Scandanavians know their metal, and Eternal Tears of Sorrow have been going full force since their comeback. Their latest, Saivon Lapsi, is a great album for anyone looking to enjoy some refined symphonic/power metal.

Tracks To Make You Consider Buying A Cape: Dark Alliance, The Day, Sound of Silence, and Blood Stained Sea

- Genghis thinks the cape might just make a comeback (crazier things have happened)...


Beyond The Shore - Ghostwatcher

Kinda hard to believe that these guys are only in their early 20s, but they know how to rock some metal.I love finding out about new bands comprised of young kids who actually make decent music beyond the usual stuff out there that's little more than a trumped up garage band. This is the age of YouTube, people. Like it or not, if you're in a "metal" band there's really no excuse not to be tight and heavy, even of you are in your teens. And that's what you get with Beyond The Shore and their first full-length album, Ghostwatcher.

Formed while the Kentucky metalcore quintet was still in high school, Beyond The Shore has crafted a cogent musical identity enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with other popular metal acts like Veil of Maya and Born of Osiris. There's not a lot of area to cover in terms of their sound, it's pretty straightforward as far as the genre goes, but the standout performances here are clearly Andrew Loucks' go for broke vocals and Jonathan Pugh's jackhammer double bass drumwork. This is some pretty tight shit here, setting the bar pretty high for any youngbloods that try to come on the scene from this point forward.

Now I'll be honest, like a lot of metalcore, the songs all kind of run together for me. But there's no denying the impressive degree of talent these guys are bringing to the table, and it's hard to imagine they won't be putting out better and better music as time goes on. I can only imagine what they'll be making when they reach their thirties.

The Bottom Line: In the YouTube age the expectations for a group of guys in their early twenties with a metalcore band are high, but Beyond The Shore meet and exceed them ably. Nice work, guys.

- Genghis is more than a little bit humbled realizing he's twice these guys' age... Ugh!


Podcast #161: Kobra

It's another An Evening With... show with the legendary King Kobra! Annnnd a meatball hoagie.What do you do if you're a classic hard rock band and you want to re-unite but your lead singer ain't down? Well, if the drive is strong enough and you're convinced you can move on without him/her you find a new guy that can hold his own and get out there and rock. Which is exactly what hard rockers King Kobra recently did for their 2nd record, II - though, to be honest, they've been re-united since 2010. Join the lads in their latest An Evening With... series as they welcome legendary members from the Kobra: Carmine Appice, David Michael Phillips and Paul Shortino.  All members weigh in on their new record and give their thoughts on the future of the band, as well as some of the other things they're up to.

Featured Tracks: Tough Guys, Ready to Strike, Deep River, Hell on Wheels, Live Forever, Hunger, The Ballad of Johnny Rod, Take Me Back, Running Wild, Turn Up the Good Times, Midnight Woman, Turn Up the Good Times, The Crunch, Got it Coming, Got it Coming and Don't Keep Me Waiting

- Ragman is pretty damned certain Carmine was eating a meatball hoagie during the interview...

Podcast #161: Kobra


Black Label Society - Unblackened

BLS is a just like a doubled edged sword, because they go both ways.  Don't get too excited, what I mean is, that they can mix it up musically.  One minute they can be throwin it down heavy, and the next they can unplug the amps and go acoustic.  One great thing about this band, is their versatility.  Typically, with BLS, you get more of the heavy, than the mellow, so when they do an acoustic style project, then it is a pretty special deal.  I've been a fan of Zakk Wylde's unplugged work, since Book of Shadows.  I always hoped, he would bring that element into BLS, and he eventually did. 

Unblackened is a new live release from Black Label Society, which features the majority of the set unplugged.  The show was recorded at Club Nokia in LA, and was a night to remember.  Unblackened features many of the  acoustic songs has put out over the years, as well as some re-workings, of some of the bands heavier material unplugged.  

The show is shot very well, which gives you a sense of being in the front row.  On top of that, the band sound amazing.  In a show like this, you really get a feel for how talented these guys are.  Wylde sounds amazing vocally as well as on any instrument he touches.  He sings with such emotion, that makes the listener hang on to every word.  The band sound great as well, making this an essential release.

Bottom Line: Zakk and company putting on a stellar show, as usual.  An intimate setting, for one of rock's most powerful bands.  The band proves that they more than a one trick pony and can take it down a notch, if they need to.

-Ragman is hoping this show will tour.  He would love to see BLS unplugged.