That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - January
  • No Cross No Crown
    No Cross No Crown
    by Corrosion Of Conformity
Video of the Month - January
  • Return To Live (Blu-Ray)
    Return To Live (Blu-Ray)
    by Labyrinth
  • Metal: The Definitive Guide
    Metal: The Definitive Guide
    by Garry Sharpe-Young

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

Jorn Lande & Trond Holter - DRACULA Swing of Death

Norwegian Jorn Lande does it again, this time channeling Meatloaf of all people...I have gone on record about Jorn Lande's singing; he's simply one of the best rock/metal vocalists in the world at this point. I haven't heard such a powerful voice since Dio, except maybe Russell Allen. Consequently, he turns out some pretty good product on a consistent basis, including his latest collaboration with fellow Norwegian, guitarist Trond Holter (AKA "Teeny" of glam metal band Wig Wam), DRACULA Swing of Death.

Billed as a new rock opera, DRACULA manages to up its game by going old school. Whereas bands like Vanden Plas have also released a [very good] vampire-themed rock opera, their modern take may one day lose its luster as the genre's fanbase fluctuates. But Jorn and company - including the wonderful voice of Lena Fløitmoen -  chose a more traditional path along the lines of Meatloaf or Alice Cooper, whose more theatrical sensibilities come with a nice hard rock edge. I have to say, this is an album for which I'd love to see an extended video production made to accompany it as a Blu-ray release.

The Bottom Line: This is and old school melding of theater and hard rock/heavy metal covering one of the most enduring stories in modern literature. And the combination of Jorn Lande's masterful vocals and Trond Holter's emotive guitar riffs is immensely satisfying.

Tracks To Make You Consider Purchasing A Cape: River Of Tears, Into The DarkTrue Love Through Blood, and Under The Gun

- Genghis figures, realistically, that the cape will never make a comeback...


Job For A Cowboy - Sun Eater

Love 'em or hate 'em, it's new technical death metal from those plucky Arizonans, Job For A Cowboy.You have to hand it to Glendale's Job For A Cowboy (JFAC); they've been plugging away at making their place in the metal community for over a decade now and, while still polarizing amongst critics, they seem to finally be coming into their own as a technical death metal band worthy of attention, something ably exemplified on their sixth studio album, Sun Eater.

While I tend to avoid bands with logos that look like something Dexter Morgan would be examining at a crime scene, I have come across JFAC's music before and been mildly intrigued. They're not breaking down any genre barriers or reinventing anything, but they do know how to throw down some heavy tunage, even topping it with some pretty sweet solos from Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro, such as what's heard on The Stone Cross (1:23) or The Synthetic Sea (2:21). And it's nice to hear bassist Nick Schendzielos in the mix as many such productions can get a bit sludgey with the weight of the rhythym section needed to support most genre guitarists' wall of sound approach. But producer Jason Suecof does an impressive job of keeping even the most crazy runs listenable as well as heavy as fuck.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Job For A Cowboy will likely find even more to like about this evolving band, while newcomers looking for a good technical deathmetal fix should be pleasantly surprised what they find on Sun Eater. Bon appétit, motherfuckers!

- Genghis may need a new pair of headphones soon...


Podcast #184: Winter

Santa is metal. It's an indisputable fact.All the world rejoice for, lo, the lads have returned for their 8th annual Kicks and Kisses [to the balls] Lists for 2014. Join Genghis & Ragman as they make their picks for the best and worst of the last 12 months over fine food and drink live at Grub's Burger Bar. Then the boys hook up with their old pal, Mr. Big's Eric Martin, who waxes nostalgiac about the new album, ...The Stories We Could Tell. So pour yourself some egg nog and crank it up.

Featured Tracks: Dragonforce - The Sun Is Dead; Astra - Broken Balance; Winger - Queen Babylon; Anathema - The Lost Song, Part 1; Schenker - To Live For The King; Prong - Come To Realize; Marty Friedman - Horrors; Gus G - Dreamkeeper; Unisonic - Beggars At The Door; Project Arcadia - Beggars At The Door; Evergrey - A New Dawn; Saga - Let It Slide

- Genghis figures the New Year's Eve show should take less time...

Podcast #184: Winter


Along Came a Spider - Resurgence

Every time I think the screamo/death thing is dead, a new band comes and restores my faith, in this saturated genre, and that band is Along Came a Spider.  To be fair, I discovered the band Along Came a Spider on their debut release If We Were Normal Men, but with their latest release Resurgence, they have definitely raised the bar.  ACAS are more than just your average screamo band, because they offer variety.  Their music is full of melody and aggression, but they can slow it down if they need to.

Resurgence is a major stepping stone for the band, in that it, shows how they have matured and grown from the first release.  Songs like Metamorphosis and Wanderlust, accelerate the band to new heights and will make them a force to reckoned with in the genre.  Alot of the music that comes form this genre sounds the same, but ACAS has enough versatility in their music, to set themselves apart from he pact.  If you're looking for some aggressive metal with a melodic twist, then you've found your band.

Bottom Line: ACAS sucker punches the sophmore jinx, straight in the kisser and delivers a product better than their debut.  Solid screamo metal, with some cool twists.

Standout Tracks: Wanderlust, Metamorphosis, A Siren's Call and Voice of the Voiceless.

-Ragman is painting his nails black.


Triosphere - The Heart Of The Matter

These cats from Norway know how to make good metal. They even have a bitchin' album cover.Norwegian metallers Triosphere are going like gangbusters these days, due in no small part to the vocals of bassist/frontwoman Ida Haukland. Which is not at all to say that the rest of the gang on their third album The Heart Of The Matter isn't holding up its end of things. Oh no, the musicianship of this quartet is fucking stellar, featuring a fantastic blend of melodic, progressive and power metal with enough energy to power a small town through the winter.

And it's not all breakneck speed either. Too many metal bands tend to go full throttle at all times, forsaking the magic of a balanced effort, allowing space for the music. Check out the solo section of Breathless (around 3:15) and its sweet grooving for an example of this band's understanding of such dynamics. Following that track, Departure engages in some sweet Dream Theater/Rush style rhythmic crunching before its very tasteful solo. These guys are just making some great rock and roll here, folks. Haukland's voice is more on the Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) side of female vocals; not bad-ass rocker chick like Nina Osegueda (A Sound Of Thunder) and not a classically trained opera singer like Tarja Turunen (Within Temptation). This works out great since it allows the music to share the soundscape without competing with what is often considered the novelty of female vocals.

The Bottom Line: Triosphere is some damn fine metal for fans of classic melodic/hard rock and power metal with a touch of the progressive thrown in for some flavor. Even if you're not a fan of female vocals (and why wouldn't you be?) you can't deny that the music here is really really good.

- Genghis would love to catch these cats in a club some time soon...