That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - April
  • Electric Tentacles
    Electric Tentacles
    by Damian Murdoch Trio
Video of the Month - April
  • Stillness in Motion: Vai Live in L.A. (2 DVD)
    Stillness in Motion: Vai Live in L.A. (2 DVD)
    by Steve Vai
Wanna Be A Metal Chef?
  • Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
    Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes, and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal
    by Steve Seabury


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

Pretty Maids - Motherland

You know, Pretty Maids is one of those bands, that is fairly consistent with every release.  They do have their slip ups now and again, but after 30+ years, I think you're allowed to have a few mis-steps.  That being said, their latest release, is the furthest thing from a mis-step as you can get.  Motherland is the best thing that the band has put out in years.  Not to say, that they haven't been putting out great music, because they have, but this new CD is so solid from start to finish, that you can't deny it.  The band is firing on a ll cylinders on this release.  

Fresh off the stellar live release It Comes Alive (2012), the band has delivered once again with Motherland.  The CD starts off in fine form with the opening track Mother of All Lies, which is a mid-tempo rocker full of melody and vigor.  Classic Maids, with the catchy chorus and melodic guitars.  It is a killer track like this, that proves that vocalist Ronnie Atkins and guitarist Ken Hammer have not lost a thing over the years.  They just keep getting better with age.  The following track To Fool a Nation, probably my favorite, has an infectious guitar riff that is constantly running though my noggin.  If that doesn't get you, then the chorus will attack your ears, and show no mercy.  Killer track.   I could go track by track, but what's the point?  This CD rocks, and there is no way around it.  If you dig solid melodic hard rock then this is for you.

Bottom Line: Another veteran hard rock/metal showing that they still have the goods after 30 years. Pretty Maids sounds fresher and stronger than in the past couple of years.  

Standout Tracks: To Fool a Nation, Mother of All Lies, Bullet for You and I See Ghosts

-Ragman is thinking that he needs to make a treck to Europe to see the lads do this live.  Anyone want to lend Rags a few bucks, to make this happen?



Isaac James Band - Shut Up and Listen

I always find it intriguing, when I discover a new band, that has been out there for some time, but now just discovering them.  This recently happened, when I found, the not so new, killer band Isaac James Band. The band was named, after original drummer's Joel Ekman's (Ex-Stone Sour) son Isaac James. Unfortunately, Isaac lost his battle with cancer, at a young age, but his name will live on with this killer band. The band was conceived in 2008, but I have just recently been introduced to their awesomeness (Is that a word?).   They have released an EP - Too Much Horsepower (2008) as well as their full length debut Shut Up and Listen (2011).  Really? These cats have been around that long, and they're not a household name?  Something is wrong in suburbia.  One listen to The Rain, and you'll know what I mean.

Isaac James is what I like to call a buzz band with balls.  Their music has that nice alt rock formula, but with some kick.  If I were to compare thei sound to another band, I would say either Shinedown or one of my personal underground faves, Double Drive.  Vocalist Blackie Starks reminds me alot of Donny Hamby from Double Drive, because they both have really emotional deliveries, which make the tune.  It is really apparent on songs like All Again and The Rain.  The band delivers a nice mix of rockers, mid-tempo tunes, as well as a few ballads to make a complete effort.  This is one of those CD's that you put in, and then just keep hitting the repeat button.  So it stays in the deck awhile.  Well constructed songs with great melody.  Go get this one, because you will be missing out, if you do not check out this band.

Bottom Line:  Solid songs delivered, with lots of emotion and power.  Songs that will stick with you and will keep you craving more.

Standout Tracks: The Rain, All Again, The Real Me and Life in Eternal Review

-Ragman would have made this one CD of the month, had Genghis not beat him to the punch.


Be'lakor - Of Breath and Bone

I really like this band and this album, but I absolutely *love* this album's exquisite cover art. Check it out.So I don’t know if it’s been this way all along and I just haven’t noticed it, or if the youth of today are being slipped some sort of government-sponsored superdrugs, but there seems to be a spate of new bands with an impressive degree of talent and musical maturity. Bands like Cinema Sleep and Australia’s Be’lakor are putting out freshman and sophomore material you’d expect from more seasoned outfits – often with members nearly twice their age - in their respective subgenres and I couldn’t be more happy about it. Fittingly, it reminds me of the story of Athena springing fully formed (and armed) from the cleft head of Zeus, shouting a cry of war.

The Melbourne band, established in 2004, took the name of a demon from the Warhammer games (Non-nerds: To the Google!) and have been steadily impressing people in the melodic death metal community with each album getting better and better reviews. And now, they’re coming to America with their third effort, Of Breath and Bone. I have to say, this is some damn fine melodeath right here. If I had my druthers, there would be much more shredding solos – or any at all, for that matter. But, considering the great use of dynamics in establishing atmosphere, it’s a small disappointment as the album is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to “wait, it’s not over is it?”

The Bottom Line: Ignoring how young the members of Be’lakor are to be making music of this depth, Of Breath and Bone is an impressive example of melodic death metal from down under. The only disappointment subgenre fans might experience is the absence of shredding solos, but everything else on this album is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see these guys on a stage in the near future.

Tracks Prompting You Investigate the Ingredients of Vegemite: Abeyance, Fraught, Absit Omen, and The Dream And Waking

- Genghis would tell these kids to get off his lawn, after they finish a tight 30-minute set…


Niacin - Krush

Niacin lovers, it's time to take your vitamins! Come get some of this sweet instrumental groove.I have been a big fan of the neo-fusion that Billy Sheehan, John Novello and Dennis Chambers have been putting out as the band Niacin for about 15 years now. I've mentioned many times on the show that I'm a huge fan of instrumental jams and whenever these cats get together, I get a big smile on my face. I first came on to them with High Bias' release in 1998, and I played the hell out of my Blood, Sweat & Beers DVD on many a lazy Sunday.

There's no surprise here for fans of the band in terms of the level of musicianship, as each member of the band is one of the foremost instrumentalists in their field. From Chamber's nimble percussive accents, to Novello's lush Hammond flurries, to Sheehan's incredible dexterity on bass, you just can't get enough of this stuff.

The Bottom Line: If you're a Niacin fan, come and get more of the stuff you love. If you're new to this awesome jazz rock trio, do like ol' Samuel L. Jackson says and "hold on to your butts".

Tracks to Keep You Musicians Nice and Humble: Krush, Tone Wheels, Car Crash Red, Cold Fusion, Prelude & Funky Opus, Drifting, Sly Voltage and Triple Strength

- Genghis would die a happy music lover to see these dudes play in a nice, small club...


Cinema Sleep - Make Your Way

This band could be the next big thing in the contemporary metal scene...seriously.It’s becoming clear that the current way of doing things in the music biz of the 21st century is to release an EP to help build buzz and anticipation, be it for a new album from popular veterans or a debut from intriguing newcomers. The latter situation is where we find Cinema Sleep, whose Make Your Way makes for a tempting sonic appetizer from the young band - and I don’t just  mean young in terms of new; the average age of Cinema Sleep is 22, but you would be understood for believing this is the work of a more mature group of seasoned musicians.

The production is tight and polished but satisfyingly heavy while also being melodic – a winning formula in my book. There’s a lot of influence from numetal and post hardcore but it lies over a foundation of the melodeath I’ve come to enjoy for its heaviness and slick lead guitar work. I could see these guys getting a lot of positive feedback with the various buzz tours every summer. Seriously, there’s no reason these kids couldn’t be the next big thing in the contemporary metal scene.

The Bottom Line: I hope Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine have collected all of their checks and paid off their homes, because this ride wasn’t gonna last forever. There’s a new band in town, and they’re hungry.

Tracks to Make You Throw Out All of Your Non-Black T-Shirts: Light To Shadows, In Dreams and The Response

- Genghis is at that age where he wishes he was half his age again…