M. Drew's blog

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.

Album Review: The Sword - "Warp Riders"

Albums like this are why I take so much joy in listening to music. It makes sifting through all the boring, blasé, baseless music seem trivial in the face of unearthing such beaming majesty as this.

Simply stated, and cutting to the chase, “Warp Riders” from The Sword, a band that is sure to be in the ranks of metal aristocracy soon, is my runaway favorite for Album of the Year.

Album Review: The Toadies - "Feeler"

Holy crap, the Toadies! Remember them? I do. I don't think it's too heavy an exaggeration to proclaim that I am the only person in the Western Hemisphere who owns all of the Toadies' albums besides the band's own mothers. I can't really defend that, nor can I put my finger on why I find them such an enjoyable band, especially considering that I probably listen to them only four or five times a year.

Album Review: Autopsy - "The Tomb Within" EP

Somehow, even after all the years of latent dormancy, three of the four original members of Autopsy can come back together and still rock it. It must be like riding a bike, as this incarnation of the long-thought-to-be-dead gore metal classic hasn't really missed a step relative to their other works.

Album Review: American Bang - "American Bang"

American Bang is a raw band with a developing sound. So it will be interesting to see what happens with their career path since the band’s producer is none other than legend/scourge Bob Rock. Sometimes lauded as a rock and roll genius, and sometimes referred to with less positive sentiment as the Man Who Ruined Metallica, Bob Rock evidently saw American Bang perform live and was instantly smitten. With a new heavy-hitting producer in tow, American Bang presented the world with their eponymous debut.

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This week we discuss alchemy, camera technology, a first time guest host joins the show, and we review "As Above, So Below".  

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