That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - November
  • Disconnect
    by Threat Signal
Video of the Month - November
  • Dimevision Vol. 2 - Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over
    Dimevision Vol. 2 - Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over
    by Dimebag Darrell
  • 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

Nova Collective - The Further Side

Okay, one could argue that this album cover is rather 90s-era Magna Carta or Laser's Edge, but that's cool.When you're basically a Trioscapes/Haken supergroup, how can I not go full on jam mode? Cuz that's the case with Nova Collective, who's debut album The Further Side showcases the enormous skills each individual posseses while also blending together into a sublime prog/jazz stew I can't ever get enough of. Dig, if you will, a picture...

The opening track Dancing Machines sets the mood early on by presenting each instrumentalist as they come in one at a time to add to the beat. This is when you know what kind of band you're dealing with. As in "Holy shit, this is one of those killer jazzmetal groups" like the aforementioned Trioscapes. And the second track Cascades is a fantastic example of the deft touch this caliber of musicians can bring to a frenetic groove with Pete Jones' shimmering keys contrasted against some sweet fuzzy phrasing. This is the kind of stuff I sometimes forget I love until I hear that sweet drum/bass groove from Matt Lynch and Dan Briggs, respectively. It's a visceral reaction that is impossible for my neck and feet to ignore as I get into the groove, air guitaring my silly ass off. Math majors will appreciate the call and response riffing of Ripped Apart And Reassembled, while the more heavy-minded will find their chunk in the closer The Further Side. It's all here, man - including some beautiful shredding from guitarist Richard Henshall on State Of Flux. This band has more talent going on in 48 minutes than most performances you'll come across.

The Bottom Line: Nova Collective is your run-of-the-mill bad-ass jazzmetal prog band that performs as a fluid, cohesive musical unit in order to blow your mind. Fans of this subgenre know what they're in for and will love it. 'Nuff said.

Tracks To Make You Look At Your Guitar In Shame: Cascades, State Of Flux, The Further Side

- Genghis will now begin waiting on his porch for this band to come to town...


Oni - Ironshore

When you go to fam's house and he's all like "Check out my water feature, bro!"Looks like Ontario is coming up in the metal world. Metal bad-asses Oni are poised to take shit by storm with the release of their full-length debut Ironshore. Rooted in modern progressive metal à la Between The Buried And Me or Protest The Hero, Jake Oni (vocals) and company strive to rise above the genre conventions by making each song individual and meaningful apart from the others, and this is one impressive debut, let me tell you.

The first single off the album, Eternal Recurrence, provides a handy snapshot of the band's skill set. Thrilling unison runs, a thunderous backbeat (courtesy of Oni's bassist, Chase Bryant, and drummer, Joe Greulich), and even the addition of a Xylo-synth player in Johnny D - something you may have to see to believe. Meanwhile tracks like Spawn And Feed provide a salient example of the band's penchant for mixing sophisticated phrasing with brutal riffs. It's like prog for black metalheads. Thankfully, tracks like The Science give singer Jake Oni the chance showcase his skillz.

Producer Josh Wilbur (Gojira and Lamb Of God) pulls the strings behind the scenes to pull it all together, even bringing Randy Blythe along for some guest vocalizations on The Only Cure. It all comes together in the most satisfying way, marrying progmetal's erudite pyrotechnics with black metal's visceral energy. This is some good shit.

The Bottom Line: Having only been around as a band for about 3 years, Oni is a force to be reckoned with in terms of technique and chunk™, amirite? Get out there and see this band. NOW!

- Genghis is crossing his fingers these cats come rock Houston's collective ass...


Ancient Ascendant - Raise The Torch

I must say, I do enjoy some hand-drawn album cover art. Yessir.You don't often think of Britain when you think of black or death metal, but you're in for a pleasant (?) surprise with the lads in Ancient Ascendant, whose third album Raise The Torch is an impressive mix of many different metal styles in a cohesive new hybrid. Blimey.

After a brooding intro (Reawakening), things kick into full gear with Our Way. The gutteral vocalizations of death metal are prominent, but over the 70s style guitar riffs in the chorus it takes on a cool vibe rather than the usual menace that pervades the genre; imagine a Scandanavian Black Sabbath, not bent on scowling through corpse paint, but drinking and smoking weed. It's perhaps a little confusing at first. I mean the album's [John] Baizley-esque cover art and the band's medeval logo say death or doom metal, but then you hear the hand claps in the chorus of Scaling The Gods like it's a lost Monkees tune.

Don't get me wrong; I love it. The future of metal at this point is largely based on new bands and their artful blending of seemingly disparate styles into new and entertaining hybrids - something much easier said than done. But these blokes pull it off quite handily without becoming self-parody. Don't expect the blazing solos of melodeath, but the groove here is genuine and highly enjoyable.

The Bottom Line: Ancient Ascendant may not be a household name, but their music is authentically heavy metal, going back to its British roots, while incorporating the aggression and energy of the Scandanavian innovations of black and death metal. Good stuff that.

- Genghis can dig some groovy tunes, 'specially now that summer's arriving...


Plasmatics - Live (Rod Swenson's Lost Tapes 1978-81)

Rarely, do the Plasmatics get the credit they deserve for their influence on Punk and Heavy Metal.  Yeah, there were bands that were pushing the envelope, back in the day, but not like the Plasmatics.  Imagine a punk version of Alice Cooper with a female vocalist, and you'd be pretty close.  Wendy O Williams, pushed the genre further than any other female vocalist before her.  That said, MVD Visual has recently released Plasmatics Live! (Rod Swenson's Lost Tapes 1978-81), so you can witness it for yourself. 

This release is from Rod Swenson's archive, which had thought to be lost.  If you're unaware, Swenson was the visionary behind the Plasmatics shows as well as their manager.  Apparently, Swenson filmed many of their shows, back in the day, and now we, the fans, get to enjoy the archived footage.  The DVD is made up of 5 different shows spanning from 1978 through 1981.  The footage in most of these shows looks good, but the audio suffers in parts.  The footage looks like it was restored off old video tapes, but who cares, because this is some rare shit.

If you are not sure who the Plasmatics are, or if you didn't get them back in the day, then this is something you should check out.  This band was innovative and really pushed the bar, when it came to live performances.  A cool aspect of the video is seeing how the band changes their look from tour to tour, as well as their stage show.  This one's a keeper.

Bottom Line: A DVD that shows a band pushing the limits live.  They may not be the most talented musicians, but they sure could put on a show.  If you ever wondered if there was a female Alice Cooper, then look no further and check out this DVD.

-Ragman is thinking it is time to finally pick up Coup D'Etat. 


Brain Damage

Well Arrow Films has done it again.  They have brought another lost horror classic back to life, with the BluRay treatment.  The latest movie to get a facelift, is the somewhat horror classic, Brain Dead.  Unfortunately, I never caught this one back in the day, but if you remember, in the mid to late 80's horror flicks were coming out in an abundance, so films like this got lost in the shuffle.  Brain Dead is about a guy named Brian that becomes obsessed with a parasite, named Elmer, that gets him high.  Well that sort of sums it up.  Haha....  No really, this parasite injects a fluid in the back of Brian's head, which sends him on some sort of LSD trip.  The only thing that Brian has to do to keep the rush going is give the parasite brains.

In theory, your thinking cheese, and you would be right, but this one brings alot to the table.  There is some nice special effects, especially for this one being produced in the 80's.  The clay-mation of the parasite, could use a little work, but still comes off fun.  That is the thing with this movie, it mixes in some comedy with the horror.  Again, the special effects are done well, and for those with weak stomachs, you might get a little queezy.  All in all a very fun watch, so grab a 12 pack and a bucket of popcorn.

Bottom Line: A lost gem, that stands the test if time.  The restoration on this film looks amazing.  This one is fun and freaky all at the same time.  If you're looking to be scared, then you don't have the right movie, but if you're looking for a laugh and some good gore, then you got it.

-Ragman is trying to erase the memory of the club scene out of mind.  Yikes!