That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - August
  • Light of Dawn
    Light of Dawn
    by Unisonic
Video of the Month - August
  • Live at Wacken 2013
    Live at Wacken 2013
    starring Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Various Artists
Good Reading
  • The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade
    by Martin Popoff


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

Hotel Diablo - The Return to Psycho California

Hotel Diablo is one of those bands that kicks your ass from the first note, and their debut The Return to Psycho California is a CD that will stay in the rotation for awhile.  This band is made up of members from Quiet Riot and WASP, but don't think that is what you're going to get.  Their sound is a mix of alt rock and melodic hard rock.   The songs are well structured and are catchy as hell.  Hook-laden rock at it's best. 

It will be a travesty if songs like Bury You and What You do to Me don't get airplay.  Both songs are very catchy and have that hit factor.  The whole CD flows well and contains a nice variety.  If you're looking for a CD full of solid tunes, then you've found it.  If I had one complaint about this CD it would be that the production is a little flat.  Not sure why the band chose Gilby Clarke to produce, didn't think he could produce, and still don't; Thank goodness the songs are so strong, because you'll be able to overlook it.  Solid CD from start to finish.  Go get it!  

Bottom Line: One of the best bands I have heard in a long time.  Great melodic hard rock with an alt edge.

Standout Tracks: Bury You, What You Do to Me, All These Years and Wicked Lines.

-Ragman wanted this one for CD of the month, but Genghis beat him to it. DOH!


Helstar - 30 Years of Hell

It is hard to believe that Helstar has been around 30 years.  It seems like just yesterday, when me and the crew were banging our heads at Cardi's, to our home town heroes.  Helstar has just released their performance from the 30th anniversary show, filmed in their hometown of Houston, called 30 years of Hell.  It is aptly titled considering the Houston metal scene.  Houston's scene was descent back in the day, but never emerged as a scene to rival either coast.  Helstar luckily emerged from the scene and made a name for themselves; hence the longevity of the band.

30 Years of Hell is a nice package, containing a DVD along with 2 CD's of this historic performance.  The DVD was shot with multiple cameras and is on film rather than video.  That band looks different than they did 30 years ago, but the important thing is, that the sound was not affected.  Rivera and Co. sound as good as they did back in the day.  The audio on the DVD as well as the CD's, is spot on.  The band were on top of their game that night, and this package is a testament to how good they are.  The set list is comprised of material spanning their career.  Nice set list, but was scratching my head with the omission of Dracula's Castle.  I'm just saying. 

Bottom Line: Metal Veterans proving they can still do it live.  For those of you that missed Helstar bakc in the day, this is a great way to aquaint yourself with one of the more underated thrash acts of the 80'/90's.

-Ragman remembers the time he could not lift his head, after attending a Helstar show back in the day.  Talk about being in pain....Ughhh!!!


Re-Machined - A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head

The year 2012, marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary Deep Purple record Machine Head and to pay tribute, Eagle Rock Entertainment has recently released a tribute record called Re-Machined.  Re-Machined brings together Hard Rock's elite, to pay tribute to this classic rock gem.  Unlike many tribute records, this one features many "A" list acts from the genre, like Metallica and Iron Maiden.

The highpoints of the record, were Black Label Society's cover of Pictures of Home as well as anything Glenn Hughes was involved in.  Hughes lent his monster vocals to Highway Star and Maybe I'm a Leo.  Some of the tracks fall a little flat like Chickenfoot's live version of Highway Star as well as The Flaming Lips version of Smoke on the Water, but other than that, the album was a good listen. You never know how these tributes CD's will come out, because you don't know if it will be karaoke or a new interpretation of classic.  There are some interpretations that hit the mark, but there are some, that come off a little stale.  All in all a fun tribute record.

Bottom Line: Some A-listers covering a legendary record.  Some hits and some misses, but still fun to listen to.  A nice tribute, but not strong enough to shelve the original.

Standout Tracks: Pictures of Home, Maybe I'm a Leo, Space Truckin' and Smoke on the Water (Santana version)

-Ragman was hoping for more.


Black Metal Veins

We all choose our paths.  We never know where life will take us, but we are constantly faced with tough decisions, which can effect our lives.  It amazes me how some people go to drugs, to help deal with the curve balls life throws at us.  Once you go down that path, it is pretty much downhill from there.  Black Metal Veins is a chilling documentary of 5 friends that go down the wrong path and destroy their lives with drugs.  The twist is they are metal heads, black metal heads. 

The film, I believe, was shot over a 6 to12 month period, in the apartment of one of the junkies.  It is sad to see how they all deteriorate in front of your eyes.  I can't tell you how many times I had to look away, as these junkies injected their arms and necks with drugs.  Truly disturbing.  This is the new scared straight.  Any kid that wants to do drugs, needs to see this film before attempting, because this one will scare them for sure.  Warning: If you have a weak stomach, you may not to watch this one.

Bottom Line: A film that illustrates the horrors of drug use.  It chronicles the lives of 5 friends that slowly kill themselves with abundant drug use.

-Ragman thinks this one was way scarier than most horror flicks. 


Black Metal (Voices From Hell)

Black Metal (Voices from Hell) is a 20min. DVD featuring some classic footage from some of Black Metal's most notorious bands.  There is footage from Mayhem, Venom and Celtic Frost.  The footage was vintage and cool to see.  This consumed about half of the DVD.  The other half is a weird Norwegian (I think) death metal film short, which was virtually un-watchable.  That lasted 3 to 4 min. and then the remainder of the DVD was a photo montage of Black Metal bands.  Not sure why the makers of the DVD didn't include more live footage, because that is the only real selling point for this one.

Bottom Line: Vintage live footage of some of the legends in black metal, but just not enough.  This one is for fans seeking some live footage of the bands mentioned above.  Other than that, I don't see much of a point.

-Ragman thinks John made a cameo in this one as the dude reading Dracula, whilst dropping the kids off at the pool.