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  • Album Review: Blues Pills - Blues Pills

    When I reviewed Blues Pills' “Devil Man” EP last year, I came away from it thinking that they were a rock band that needed to rock less. That sounds odd, but it was their softer songs that floored me, that made me take notice that they were a band with massive potential. There was something special in that sound, something that wasn't captured by their heavier numbers. I feared that they were going to insist on proving their rock credentials, thereby holding themselves back from greatness. For once in my life, I'm happy to say I was wrong.

  • Album Review: John Garcia - "John Garcia"

    At the risk of sounding like a press release, John Garcia has managed to carve himself out a unique niche in the music world solely by being among the progenitors of his chosen style. Beginning with Kyuss and continuing through Slo Burn and then with Vista Chino, Garcia is a prominent face on the Mount Rushmore of desert music, whether it be called desert rock or desert metal.

  • Book Vs Television: The Strain S1:E2 The Box

    The second episode of FX’s The Strain picks up immediately from where we last left it, opening to Gus the hustler transporting the Master’s coffin across the river. Though the episode begins delving deeper into the “virus” itself – and, more enlighteningly, its potential commercial and political implications on one of the world’s largest cities – the plot plods at a pace nearly rivaling Gus Van Sant’s Last Days. Whereas the book’s monolithic, apolocalyptic atmosphere loomed high, the show has thus far largely missed the mark.

  • Album Review: Judas Priest - "Redeemer of Souls"

    Resurrection is a funny concept and particularly ironic for a band with ‘Judas’ in the name. The idea of coming back from the dead is a totally alien concept in the general human condition, but in music it happens frequently and with reckless abandon. A veritable arsenal of artists have proclaimed their retirement only to find after a short time that the heart still burns with passion for the music, or as cynics suggest, the wallet still burns through dollars.

  • Album Review: Boneyard - "Fear of a Zombie Planet"

    I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. When it comes to metal, I tend to lean more toward thrash especially if it has a Southern flavor to it. This week's band is not what you would call traditional thrash and it certainly doesn't have a Southern flavor. Boneyard is the band, "Fear Of A Zombie Planet" is the title of the album and grindcore is the name of the game.

  • Album Review: Monuments - The Amenuensis

    Recently, I was embroiled in a debate over the nature of progressive metal. What was at the heart of the discussion was the old schism between prog and Prog, a distinction that has never been fully sorted out. When spoken, and without the capitalization made apparent, we could be talking about music that either attempts to circumvent traditional structures by exploring musical boundaries, or music that is fully dedicated to playing technically challenging material. Both claim the mantle of progressive, but my mind can only legitimately give the title to one of them.

  • Album Review: Envenomed - "Evil Unseen"

    When one thinks of Australian metal or rock, invariably AC/DC and Jet are the stereotype. Airbourne and some others are in there too, but everybody at this point knows exactly what’s being talked about. So when Envenomed was reportedly a melodic thrash act from the continent down under, there was a certain amount of cynicism that was probably to be expected. Why break the stereotype now, it’s been working so well?

  • Book Vs Television: The Strain S1:E1 Night Zero

    If you’re a horror or fantasy devotee of any shade, hopefully you’re a student of master filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro. With the help of Chuck Hogan, he recently expanded his storytelling into the written word, delivering the terrifying Strain trilogy. Now, FX has brought the story to life as del Toro originally intended: a television show. The story vividly captures an apocalyptic nightmare initially disguised as a post-9/11 paranoid disaster.

  • Album Review: Channel Zero - "Kill All Kings"

    When I say "channel zero", what comes to mind? Is it the Public Enemy song "She Watch Channel Zero"? Or maybe you think of a half-hour sitcom/sketch hybrid about a post-apocalyptic colony that broadcasts a pirate television station in the wastelands near what used to be Glendale. While both are good, and correct, answers the answer I was looking for is "Belgian thrash metal band who just released their latest album "Kill All Kings" on Metal Blade Records". Better luck next time.

  • Album Review: Goatwhore - "Constricting Rage of the Merciless"

    Let’s face reality right off the hump – coming off the success of “Blood for the Master,” it’s all been on the upswing for Goatwhore, a band of that rare breed that still fervently believes metal is best as a DIY, furious experience. For Pete’s sake, their poster (albeit edited,) appeared in a SportsCenter commercial. To quote that network’s Stephen A Smith: That’s. Box.

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