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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - April
  • Pretending 2 Run
    Pretending 2 Run
    by Tiles
Video of the Month - April
  • Monsters of Rock Live at Donington 1980
    Monsters of Rock Live at Donington 1980
    by Rainbow
Like He Needs More Money...
  • Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
    Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
    by Gene Simmons
Props

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
Inspiration
  • 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
    Retribution
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts
Thursday
Mar062014

Michael Schenker - Bridge the Gap

Over the past several years, Michael Schenker albums have been pretty much hit or miss.  There's no doubt, he is one of the greats, but like many of our heroes, he has let his demons get the best of him, at times.  I think he turned the corner, with his last release, Temple of Rock.  It was the best thing he had put out in years.  Now he is back with a new band and a new record called Bridge the Gap.  Joining Michael for the new album, are former Scorpions, Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass as well as the return of vocalist Doogie White.

Bridge the Gap builds on the momentum from the last album.  This is probably the purest Schenker record in years, because it delves back into the guitarist's past and bridges it with the present sound of the band.  It is a retro album of sorts, bringing back the classic feel of early MSG.  The sound of the record, reminds me of classic 80's MSG mixed with Rainbow.  A perfect example of this, is on the track Shine On.  Slow, melodic and heavy. 

I gotta say, that I was more impressed with White's vocals on this release, than anything else I've ever heard him sing on.  The guy has a Dio vibe to his voice, that I have never noticed before.  He is amazing on this release.  Also, Schenker never ceases to amaze me either.  He is playing like a man possessed on this release.  It is some of the best riffage, he has given us in a while.  Check out the solo in Beacuse You Lied, and you'll hear what I mean.  Schenker showing why he is still one of the best ones out there today.

Bottom LineSchenker is showing no signs of slowing down, by churning out two solid releases within a 3 year period.   A solid set of classic tinged tunes all complete with some major shreddage.

Standout Tracks: To Live for the King, Black Moon Rising, Shine On and Bridges That We've Burned

-Ragman is liking the temple that Mr. Schenker and company have built.

Thursday
Mar062014

Thanatomorphose

When is the last time you had a horror film make you cringe?  It had been a while for me, until I sat down to watch Thanatomorphose.  This is the most disturbing moving I have seen, in quite sometime.  The movie is about a loner girl who starts having some severe health issues.  She first notices some bruising, which turns to more bruising and then eventually skin rotting off.  Let's face it, she's turing into a zombie.  She is not sure why this is happening, but seems to come to terms with it.  It is as though she has contracted this disease, that is slowly killing her each day.

The film is based in the woman's apartment, and pretty much focuses on her deteriorating physical condition.  She does have guests from time time to time; Mainly a loser boyfriend as well as another love interest, but other than that, that is pretty much it.  Word of warning, this one is very graphic and will make those with a weaker stomach turn away more than once.  I have to say, I've seen alot of fucked up movies in my time, and this one made me look away a time of two. 

This is one of those avant garde horror flicks, you know the type, the one that tries to be artsy, while still trying to appeal to the horror genre.  There is some symbolism, in the movie, that I'm still trying to figure out, and it's something that the director focuses on from time to time.   The ceiling above the main character's bed, seems to be deteriorating at the rate her body is.  Not sure what that symbolizes, but the two go together.    A very well done movie, that will keeping you interested all the way through.

Bottom LineOne of the most disturbing films, I have ever watched.  I haven't been sicked out by a movie in ages, but this one got to me.  The special effects are amazing. 

-Ragman is thinking that many barf bags will be filled during the viewing of this one.

Thursday
Mar062014

Hatriot - Dawn Of The New Centurion

If you dug their debut, you'll totally dig this. It's the classic Bay Area Thrash sound.It was only about a year ago that Hatriot unleashed its classic Bay Area Thrash sound on us with their thunderous debut, Heroes of Origin, handily grabbing CD of the Month for January in the process. And now they've come back to march all over our asses again with their follow-up, Dawn of the New Centurion. Backed by his sons, Cody and Nick, vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza is known to most any longstanding fan of classic thrash, and with the twin guitar attack of Kosta V and Miguel Esparza, he turns shit to 11.

Dawn Of The New Centurion continues the theme of it's predecessor with vignettes of the plagues of our modern political American society; ignominious death, murder, and war. And like last year's Heroes Of Origin, Zetro and company's intention is not to revolutionlize metal or innovate, but to restore the former glory of classic thrash metal and basically does that. Tracks like Honor The Rise And Fall or the brilliantly named Superkillafragsadisticactsaresoatrocious sound like they've been unearthed from a time capsule buried in the mid 80s. I'm like a pig in shit over here.

The Bottom Line: Fans of Hatriot's impressive debut will find more of the same on Dawn Of The New Centurion to love, albeit with a little more restraint and lyrical refinement. It's a tactical narrowing of focus for a more precision strike, and thrash metal fans should definitely get this right now. Well?! GET GOING!

- Genghis is reminded that he needs to get some new camouflage cargo shorts...

Tuesday
Mar042014

Def-Con-One - II

Yes, my fellow metalheads, England still turns out some kick ass metal bands. You betcha.You may remember my review of Def-Con-One's first full-length album, Warface, a couple of years ago. Being exposed to the Newcastle quartet for the first time, I was struck by how they wore their musical influences on their sleeves (and speaking of sleeves, you could do a full episode of LA Ink on these guys alone) while still managing to have their own sound. I'm happy to say they've realized that evolution as a band with their new release, II.

Built on a solid foundation of metalcore, there are certainly a lot of similarities to bands like Pantera, as on tracks like Debt To Society or H8 Ball. While tracks like Soul Possessed will casually throw out a great Sabbath-y drone when you don't necessarily expect it for a more old school feel. But, what should get emphasis here is that while you can definitely still hear those influences, the band continues to develop their own sound, as on Skinhead Shaped Dent with its punctuating King's X-style chord, or the doom metal opening to Need A Reason that becomes a cathartic, screaming chorus a la Sevendust. It's a good sign to be able to hear a band's sound progress naturally like this, and I bet their live show is classic heavy metal goodness.

The Bottom Line: This is great angry metal for when you need that tension release while you rock the fuck out, and I think these dudes are at the beginning of what should be a long career. Cheers, mates!

Tracks That May Likely Turn All Of Your Clothes Black: Broke, Soul Possessed, Need A Reason, Debt To Society, and Damned Disgrace

- Genghis may have pulled a hamstring moshing around his office...

Tuesday
Mar042014

The Intersphere - Relations In The Unseen

German buzz band The Intersphere may seem like another in a long line of such groups, but this one really knows how to choose its guitar sounds.German band The Intersphere impressed me with their last album and their energetic pop-rock sound that managed to be both catchy and fun, yet full of depth and meaning. Toss in the fact that they recorded the album almost completely live in about a week, and you get the idea that whatever you may think of their brand of music, these guys have got legitimate talent.

Their latest effort, Relations In The Unseen, eschews the pomp and circumstance of a full-blown concept album, opting instead to convey a thematic message of how unconscious communication (e.g. body language) can influence the thoughts and even actions of others. Music-wise there's still a considerable amount of talent going on here albeit with a little less aggression than what we heard on 2012's Hold On, Liberty! But with that change comes perhaps a greater sophistication in songcrafting. There's still a clear influence of the atmospheric textures of bands like U2, so if you're expecting some crunch, you may be disappointed. But adjusting that expectation to something more like well-constructed alt-rock will likely reward you with a fine follow-up from a mature new band.

Of note, I really enjoy the lush and varied guitar textures employed by this band. Fellow guitarheads should pay special attention to the Dick Dale-inspired verse of Joker, the expertly delayed, dripping-but-clear chorused sound of Tonight and Golden mean, or even the dirty, manic strumming of the title track. Nice work that.

The Bottom Line: This ain't heavy metal by a long shot. Fans of modern alt-rock with a sweet tooth for pop music's jangly guitar-based melodies will be quite satisfied with The Intersphere's ode to the vagaries of 21st century interpersonal communication.

- Genghis is fondly remembering his short-lived garage band from 20 years ago...