That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - April
  • Madness
    by All That Remains
Video of the Month - April
  • Awaken the Guardian LIVE [Blu-ray]
    Awaken the Guardian LIVE [Blu-ray]
    by Fates Warning
  • Metal Cats
    Metal Cats
    by Alexandra Crockett

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

Podcast Interview: Titus Hjelm

Ragman chats with Titus Hjelm of Thunderstone who clearly needs to replace some light bulbs at home.Ragman chews the fat with Mr. Titus Hjelm of Thunderstone who discusses the band's latest album and tour plans this fall with Stratovarius. It's some good stuff with some great music as well, so check it out.

And if you dig their music as much as we do, show the band some love by purchasing their lastest album, Apocalypse Again, from your favorite online store, won't you? HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Thunderstone - Ghosts of Youth, Fire and Ice, Through the Pain, The Path, and Holding on My Pain

Titus Hjelm Interview


Podcast Interview: Harry Hess

Ragman chats with Harry Hess of Harem Scarem and First Signal for the four-peat!!Ragman welcomes back the one and only Harry Hess (Harem Scarem, First Signal) for a little one on one with his fourth chat with The Right To Rock. Will he get a prize? Maybe a beavertail? How about a beavertail?

In any case, be sure to check out First Signal's latest album, One Step Over The Line, available now in all the usual places. HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Harem Scarem - Karma Cleansing; First Signal - Broken, One Step Over the Line, and Love Run Free; Harem Scarem - Voice of Reason

Harry Hess Interview


Imminent Sonic Destruction - Triumphia

On the plus side, I hear this album cover is getting accolades. Sweet.I stand by my statements regarding Imminent Sonic Destruction's debut album, Recurring Themes, a few years ago. That said, Tony and company seemed to have doubled down on the prospect of writing epic progmetal with touches of death and doom in spite of some overly ambitious decisions in the vocals/guitar department. And boy am I glad for that because, while still not quite up to the heights I'm still convinced they're capable of, they've honed their skills yet keener and resulting in Triumphia, their sophomore offering.

Tracks like The Fog and its gothic-tinged opening exemplify the raw power metal bedrock upon which the more progressive, deathy ornamentations are built. Lead singer/guitarist Tony Piccoli is toned down (vocally) on this album while the arrangements have become more impressive, so that's great to hear. But while the solo work seems a bit improved, I'm still longing to hear some great legato phrasing à la Simone Mularoni. That said, there are still some great songs on this album as with its predecessor. The grungy, low-end riffing of The Knife is a great tune that adds a doom-style edge to counter the proggy structures of other parts of the album like Something In The Way's midsection.

The Bottom Line: Imminent Sonic Destruction is making strides towards being a really good progmetal band with interesting elements of other genres thrown in for a different take on the aging genre. With a powerful vocalist and a melodic shredder, I really think this band could take off. In the meantime, it's interesting to watch the evolution.

- Genghis is looking around for Mularoni's phone number...


Steve 'N' Seagulls - Brothers In Farms

Their sense of humor is a big part of Steve 'N' Seagulls' appeal.Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, them country boys from Finland, Steve 'N' Seagulls, are at it again with their eagerly awaited follow-up to last year's Farm Machine - which I personally enjoyed mightily. Their sophomore entry into the small subgenre of bluegrass metal, Brothers In Farms, picks up where the last one left off and takes it all to whole 'nother level. This stuff is solid gold, people.

In a land famous for its metal fervor, it's gratifying (and perhaps most appropriate) to see a few farmboys offer their take on some of the most memorable metal tunes of the last 20 years. Running the gamut from Nirvana to Nightwish to Megadeth - to Deep Purple, The Seagulls know their way around a metal tune and handle solos and progessive-tinged interludes with tongue planted firmly in cheek. When it all comes together it can be practically sublime, as the band's unique perspective gives Nirvana's In Bloom a major key upgrade and peppy beat that may fit the tune's lyrical wryness even better than the original. Similar results apply to the lads' rendition of Foo Fighters' The Pretender - though I still prefer the more metal songs as potent examples of how classic heavy songs are cross-genre goldmines in the hands of talented performers. While each musician is proficient in their instrument(s) of choice, the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts largely due to the obvious enthusiasm the lads have for the source material and their own reimaginings of it.

The Bottom Line: The real bottom line is that heavy metal works in pretty much any genre, but Steve 'N' Seagulls are worthy pioneers of this particular (and hopefully growing) sub-genre of bluegrass-y jamming. Sallllllute!

- Genghis looks forward to seeing these cats' outstanding live show again...


Styx - Live at the Orleans Arena Las Vegas

I have been a fan of Styx for years, especially the early days, of the band.  They kind of lost me at Mr. Roboto, but we won't go there.  That said, I always look forward to when they have a new Blu-ray release.  The band always puts on a killer show, which keeps me coming back for more.  Their latest release, Live at the Orleans Arena, was actually released on CD last year.  The performance was taped back in 2014, but had only been available on CD, until now.

The performance on this Blu-ray is stellar.  Tommy Shaw brings it just as hard as he did back in the day.  Vocally the guy has not lost a thing.  He also still shreds on the guitar.  He is one of those guys that you forget how good of a player they are, until you see them shred.  I was really impressed on how well the band sounded as a whole.  They ripped through their classic tunes like it was nothing.  A highlight from the show was when the band was joined on stage by Don Felder (Eagles) for a ripping version of Blue Collar Man.

The show was shot very well, and gives you a sense of being in the front row.  The audio is strong as well.  I actually enjoyed watching this Blu-ray more than the last time I saw them live.  This isn't your average concert video, because the band intersperses some documentary type footage, between some of the live segments.  The footage focuses on life on the road with Styx.  I liked it, but found it a little distracting.   The good thing is, is that if you feel the same way I do, then you can access the full concert, sans interviews, within the bonus sections.  This one's a keeper.

Bottom LineStyx proving that they can still rock.  A solid performance, from on of the U.S.'s most solid rock bands.

-Ragman is glad that this show had Lawrence Gowan, on the keys, and not the tool that we saw live.