That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - November
  • For the Journey
    For the Journey
    Nuclear Blast
Video of the Month - November
  • Scott Ian: Swearing Words in Glasgow
    Scott Ian: Swearing Words in Glasgow
    starring Scott Ian
Good Reading
  • Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination
    by Zakk Wylde, Eric Hendrikx


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

Kill Ritual - The Serpentine Ritual

Now *this* is the kind of metal I'm looking for. Rags calls it meat and potatoes, I just call it METAL.Former Imagika members Steven Rice and Wayne DeVecchi were dead set on making an original straight ahead metal band, and found a similar intent in former Eldritch guitarist Roberto Proietti, and former Dark Angel bassist Danyael Williams. The result is Kill Ritual and their impressive debut album, The Serpentine Ritual.

Generally speaking, this is what Ragman would call "meat and potatoes metal", in that it's straight ahead heavy metal, not swinging too far into any particular subgenre. It's not symphonic, but it is satisfyingly dramatic. It's not progressive, but it's got more sophistication than, say, Motörhead. It's not power metal, but it does have moments of gothic bombasticity. Basically, this is the kind of thing you were headbanging to in the late 80s when metal ruled the airwaves with an iron fist.

Vocalist Josh Gibson really tops the sound of the band off with a classic metal voice, usually coming off like a cross between Bon Scott and Vince Neil. You can just picture this band rocking the shit out of clubs all over the place. BONUS: Andy La Rocque plays guest solo on Coat of Blood. Score!

The Bottom Line: This is good old-fashioned heavy metal at its finest, wreathed in smoke, smelling of beer and whiskey, and making it impossible to keep your head from banging and your leg from moving. Swagger, damn you!

Tracks To Make You Consider Getting a Pair of Leather Pants: The Serpentine Ritual, Ambush, Old School Thrasher, and Coat of Blood

- Genghis is an old school thrasher (and he wants metal tonight)...


Germ - Wish

This is wild stuff from down under. Think black metal meets 80s era alternative music (lots of synth).Germ is a one man show, the product of the fevered Aussie brain of Tim Yatras. It's billed as black metal meets electronica but to be honest, I'm not sure if that's totally accurate or not. Not because it's bad or anything, but when you come across such a different bit of artistic expression it's hard to know what to make of it.

There are times when it seems sublime and other times when you're finger hovers over the next track button. In between is a sonic landscape that's both familiar and alien. I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard musicians bemoan the industry's tendency to label everything that artists put out. Perhaps Tim, as Germ, has managed to produce something closer to being truly uncategorizable. On the black metal side, there are banshee vocals that are downright chilling in an appropriately ethereal mix, while on the electronica side, the hypnotic pulse of keyboard rhythms provides a a steady canvas for the rest of the musical onslaught.

I've heard a lot of buzz about how brilliant this music is, and I'm not saying it's without any appeal. I certainly appreciate the guitar solos (yeah, there are some) that try to pierce the sonic tapestry that Yatras weaves, but there's such a spacey feel to everything - like it was recorded live in a giant concert hall - that the mix often becomes muddy. Still, there's definitely something there that bears appreciation. I would love to hear a remix of this by one of the European melodeath master producers, like Fredrik Nordström.

The Bottom Line: Many have called Tim Yatras' music the creation of a genius. And it definitely shows talent and promise. The only thing missing at this point is a really good producer - one used to capturing music that's moody and melodic, but also brutually heavy - to capture a faithful respresentation of it, helping to bring out the essence of Yatras' musical inspiration for a sure to be eager audience.

Tracks To Make You Wonder What's In Them Vegemite Sandwiches Anyway: Asteroid Of Sorrow, Your Smile Mirrors The Sun

- Genghis has always wanted to visit the land of Oz...


D.I.S. - Becoming Wrath

Lace up your Vans and grab your board. It's time to try to ollie over the stage while D.I.S. pumps out the tunes.The young L.A. band Destroyed In Seconds (aka D.I.S.) has been around the last few years extolling their brand of heavy music apparently known as D-punk. Which goes to show you that Rock is clearly the most prolific music on the planet with seemingly endless variations. In this case, D-punk (which basically sounds like punk music played by a thrash band) has been around since the late 70s over in Europe - by way of Sweden, no less.

Admittedly, listening through this album was a bit like listening to one half hour song as it sort of all blends together. But that's not to say they're phoning it in. The energy is brutal and relentless, I'll give 'em that. And Jon Tomala's throat must be made of galvanized steel, cuz this guy screams like the Incredible Hulk caught his junk in his zipper after taking a whiz. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that there are moments of the music where a nice chunky groove weaves into the mix as on No Guillotine Like The Truth, that sounds like a forgotten Sevendust track.

One last middling criticism: I know it's sort of accepted, but if you can't play a good solo (even simple ones can be good), just don't even try. Okay?

The Bottom Line: I've no doubt that this is a young man's band, and they've got the goods to be respected by any young punk looking to drink and take out his anger at the world on fellow moshers all in a good night's fun. So, skaters: pick this up and work on those sneers.

Tracks So Heavy They'd Scare Jeff Spicoli Out Of The Park: Becoming Wrath, No Guillotine Like The Truth, Built For The End, and The Crushing Low

- Genghis shamefully never did learn to skate in high school in the 80s...


Wildestarr - A Tale Tell Heart

Man, these people kick ass. Old school metal in the vein of classic Savatage or Queensrÿche.It seems like everywhere you turn, a new band crops up sporting "the retro sound" that's so popular in rock music these days - particularly in the rich, hard rock and heavy metal genres. And, yes, I'm telling you about one of them called Wildestarr. What do they bring to the table? For one, a female singer in London Wilde, who will often remind you of Ann Wilson on this amazing old school album inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe - how's that for O.G. metal source material?

Original bassist for Vicious Rumors, Dave Starr, lends some considerable talent to the guitar side of things, giving the music an authentic 80s era metal punch on their second album, A Tell Tale Heart. And I mean it, the guitar work sounds fantastic on this album, replete with harmonized runs, chugging power chords, and all the sonic trimmings.

Now where a lot of these efforts run afoul is in middling production that just doesn't do the material (or talent) justice, but that's not an issue here. Everything sounds great, with all of the atmosphere of classic 80s metal acts like Savatage or Queensrÿche. Bravo, guys.

The Bottom Line: This is old school metal done right. If you've got a jones for the classic sounds of your teenage years, listening to vinyl records in your friend's bedroom after school, grab this album and crank it the fuck up. Ahh, the good old days.

Tracks to Make You Air Guitar Your Ass Off In Front of Your Bedroom Mirror: In Stacatta, Transformis Ligea, Last Holy King, A Perfect Storm, Usher In The Twilight

- Genghis wishes he had this on vinyl - and a record player...


Podcast #145: Hallow

Bona fide local legend James Rivera talks turkey about zombie killing and 30 years of Helstar.Well, Halloween 2012 has come and gone but at The Right to Rock we live it 24/7.  Join  Genghis, Ragman, Jon and Mel as they go on their annual zombie hunt.  Once again, the boys go above and beyond the call of duty to keep metalheads safe from zombie infestation - all while mixing in some metal talk, including which new bands are tackling the horror metal thing and whether they're worth checking out.  Next, James Rivera from Helstar checks in from his bunker to discuss his band's latest release 30 Years of Hel.

Beer of the Show: Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale (Stone)
Appearance: 3.0
Aroma: 3.0
Palate: 3.0
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.0
"Some initial intense hoppyness is balanced a bit by the roasty notes in this fine American Black Ale."

Featured Tracks: Sigh - Lucid Nightmare; Cradle of Filth - Frost on Her Pillow; Cadaveria - This is Not The Silence; Drone - Zombies in the Moshpit; Witchcraft - Leva; In Flames - Episode 666; Daylight Dies - Ghosting; Helstar - Dracula’s Castle, Good Day to Die, Alma Negra and Angel of Death; Havok - Point of No Return; Helloween - Halloween

Classic of the Show: Dimmu Borgir - Progenies of the Great Apocalypse

Ragman Pick of the Show: Murder of My Sweet - Idolize

Genghis Pick of the Show: Kill Devil Hill - Gates of Hell

- Ragman is still scared after this one...

Podcast #145: Hallow