M. Drew's blog

Nirvana - Live at Reading

Nirvana headlining the Reading Festival in the UK in 1992 has come to be one of the single most bootlegged gigs of all time. It has been largely regarded as one of the most pivotal moments of Nirvana's career, and quite possibly their best show over their entire career.

It's finally being released on DVD and CD, both as a set and individually. The release on November 3rd contains all twenty five performances from the set list, which spanned the entire length of their career to that point ("Spank Thru" anybody?)

Children of Bodom - "Skeletons In The Closet" Review

Children of Bodom's covers album is both a tribute to artists the band loves, and a tongue-in-cheek mockery of artists they love to hate.

Unlike many of their Scandinavian brethren, Children of Bodom has an obvious sense of humor regarding their particular brand of black metal, and that sense shines through on "Skeletons in the Closet."

KMFDM - Concert Review

There are few bands that I have seen before who I will still travel three hundred miles round trip to see again. KMFDM is one of them. I had previously seen them on consecutive Halloweens in 2003 and 2004, and each of those shows is likely included in my personal top seven favorite shows. So, ticket in hand, I packed into the car, and off I went to Boston, and the House of Blues.

Shadows Fall - "Retribution" Review

Shadows Fall’s “Retribution” is an exercise in metal-by-numbers. Start with acoustic beginning A, attach distorted guitar riff B, growling verse about pain C, slide that into the connection for guitar solo D, and then cover with double kick E, and you’re done.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. The end result is an album that lacks any true firepower. It is a paper tiger with no actual bite, no heart. “Retribution” is like any number of brightly colored snack foods that have no real flavor; seems like it should be enjoyable, but fails to satisfy upon ingestion.

AFI - "Crash Love" Album Review

AFI has matured considerably since we last saw them. The adolescent simple punk themes have been replaced with more ominous overtones and a more mature sense of self. Not to say that the pubescent themes have completely grown up. More likely, they’ve grown into awkward young adulthood, but each comes in its time. “Crash Love” is an exercise in introspection, a long question in being and state of mind. AFI is a band in transition, as it seems like they’re trying to forge a bridge between their old sound and something they themselves can’t quite define.

Children of Bodom - Concert Review

I was no mood to go to a show. It’s rare that I say that. It was a Sunday night following two hellish weeks at work, with a third on deck. I had no desire to drive the fifty miles round trip to the venue, especially for a band I’d seen before. I needed to sleep.

Still, I already had my ticket in my wallet, and I figured once I got over myself, pried my eyes off of televised football and got my ass to the club, I’d be happier for being there. So, I crammed myself into my car and away I went.

Megadeth - "Endgame" Album Review

When one sits down to listen to any new album from Megadeth, there are a handful of constant truths that simply have to be accepted before one can get anywhere.

1) Dave Mustaine's ability is a given. He will fire off guitar solos at any and all opportunities. They will possess both remarkable precision and unimaginable free-form capability.

2) The lyrics of all the songs will be underdeveloped and meaningless

3) Dave Mustaine's voice is awful.

Skillet - "Awake" Album Review

As a music critic, I feel that it's my duty to be at least informed in all manners of my chosen genre. So, I find myself led to Skillet, and their chart-topping new studio album "Awake." I can hear you already: Christian metal? Is that even possible? Well, I wasn't sure myself, it seemed like a contradiction in terms. If I've learned anything over the years, it's to never take anything for granted, and not judge anything until I've actually listened to it. So, I figured I had to delve into this subgenre and see what it's about.

Lazarus AD - "The Onslaught" Review

In the history of heavy metal, there have been many hotbeds of activity. New Jersey, New York, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the entire nation of Germany, and most of the Scandinavian states. In all that time and distance, no one has ever mentioned the town of Kenosha, Wisconsin. That sounds more like a town where serial murders happen. It sounds like a place where if you’re driving along the load and see “Welcome to Kenosha,” you know you’re lost.

Municipal Waste - "Massive Aggressive" Review

First and foremost, Municipal Waste's new album functions best as a punk album more than a metal album. It is filled with simple chords, thrashing rhythms, wild riffs and short, very short songs. It is entirely possible that it will take me longer to pen, read, edit, correct, and post this review than it did to listen to the album beginning to end. At count, I think there are only three or four songs that crest three minutes, and an equal number that come in under two.

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