M. Drew's blog

Album Review: Alter Bridge - "AB III"

Let me start with a compliment to Alter Bridge. Although they will likely always share an inseparable bond with Creed, they have managed with this new effort to emerge from that other band’s shadow. Some of that comes from the lack of allegedly righteous pretension that has bloated Creed’s legacy, but much of it comes from a musical edge that Creed continues to lack.

Album Review: Monster Magnet - "Mastermind"

Talk about a band that's been through the wringer. Despite lineup changes, multiple periods off, a rumored fight over the production of 2001's "God Says No," and just on November 3rd, the departure of longtime guitarist Ed Mundell, Monster Magnet rolls on.

American Fortunes Clothing Halloween Shirt!

Hey, check it out! The good people over at American Fortunes Clothing have put together their first ever limited release t-shirt for Halloween! Depicting the classic horror trope of the wife finding out that her husband is a skeleton/zombie/vampire/phantom/undead of some sort, the shirt is limited to fifty pieces (50!) and will be available starting on Saturday at Noon eastern. Check it out here.

Album Review: Black Label Society - "Order of the Black"

For what probably amounts to a couple of decades all said and done, Zakk Wylde was a hero of heavy metal, the everyman kid lucky enough to find his way onto the world’s largest metal stages. His was a modern story reminding us all to not forget our musical dreams; that the big break could be just around the corner.

Now, the genre judges Zakk much differently. Following some self-important antics, two uninspired, pedestrian Black Label albums and a split from longtime paycheck Ozzy Osbourne, we now see Wylde back at the drawing board with “Order of the Black.”

Valora Motion Graphic Novel

Well, this is a new idea. Up and coming female-fronted heavy metal outfit Valora is slowly unveiling their new songs one at a time through the lens of a motion video graphic novel. Part 1 (check it out below,) is the first of five, and also serves as the launching point for their single, "Live." The story isn't terribly convoluted, but like my love for Tom and Jerry cartoons, it appeals to my admiration for the ability to tell a concise story without dialogue. The art isn't super fancy, but it's crisp, and the video rolling inside the comic panels is a unique touch.

Album Review: Soundgarden - "Telephantasm"

Normally, greatest hits albums, whether they're masked as "career retrospectives" or some other convoluted term, go unnoticed by me. I remember coming to the conclusion at a younger age that most greatest hits albums are simply shams by record labels to perpetuate sales of a band that might have gone stale. This was the principle reason that Soundgarden's "A-Sides" release in 1997 garnered no interest from me, even though it contained the previously unreleased (and pretty solid) track "Bleed Together."

Album Review: Iron Maiden - "The Final Frontier"

Metal fans are a fickle lot, aren't we? We demand material worthy of our fandom, and one day's hero can be the next day's goat. Fortunes change both for better or worse in an instant with one album release, one radio hit, or even something as elementary as a haircut.

Album Review: Jimmy Eat World - "Invented"

I see your eyes going wide. “Jimmy Eat World!” you’re yelling. “Good gravy, man! Are you mad?!” Quite possibly, yes. Though I maintain that has little to do with this review.

When I was sent “Invented” for review, at first, I sneered. I had the option to turn it down, and my gut reaction was that I would. And yet, here we all are now, sharing this together as I write it and you read it. What on the good earth might have possessed me to go forward with the review? I’m glad you asked (if you didn’t ask, please humor me and pretend you did.)

Album Review: Sully Erna - "Avalon"

Sully Erna's solo album "Avalon" seems to serve two purposes. First, he finally gets to explore his fascination with tribal drums and acoustic music to his heart's content, without the weight of the Godsmack name and subsequent label expectations. Second, he created a vehicle which allows him to create all the songs about longing and soul-searching emotional torment that it seems he's been brimming with since his band's eponymous album.

Album Review: Serj Tankian - "Imperfect Harmonies"

There are a certain number of things that must be said in regard to Serj's album, and they relate to both the man and the music. He possesses a nearly flawless sense of the dramatic. Sometimes teetering on the precipice of melodrama, Tankian has an innate talent for crafting music of grand context. This album, not unlike any of his solo adventures, would be well adapted for stage, complete with larger-than-life characters, exotic sets and resplendent costumes.

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