Music

Imagine my surprise when I saw an album from a band called Electric Wizard in my inbox. I've been a Wizard for many years so I couldn't wait to hear what the electric version sounded like. As it turns out, Electric Wizard plays a style of music referred to as "doom metal" and hails from Dorset, England where all the best doom and dreariness comes from.

For those of you keeping score at home, "doom metal" as a genre is strongly influenced by the great Black Sabbath and tends to be, shall we say, a bit gloomy.  

Paul Allender has long been a prominent name in metal, and equally so a person who refuses to be nailed down.  Allender came to his greatest game as the on-again-off-again (and currently off-again,) guitarist for Cradle of Filth, but has also extended fingers into a variety of other projects, up to and including painting and collections of art.  After moving to the United States in 2012, Allender is following his fancy to a new project, flying under the banner White Empress.  

Frequent listeners of the show often hear us muse on "spooky school," our favorite dead-horse inside joke that only makes sense to a handful of people. For those of you that just can't seem to get on Joe's level of imagination, the folks from the Chicago band Common Shiner have scared up this brilliant music video that re-casts all of your favorite horror villians as high school students.

 Kyle Reese: What day is it? The date!

Cop in Alley: 12th... May... Thursday...

Kyle Reese: WHAT YEAR?

- The Terminator (1984)

It's true, the year is 2014 but it could just as easily been September in the mid to late '80s. The U.S. is having disagreements with Russia, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are hot and "The Tyranny Of Will", the new album from Iron Reagan, is right in line with the hardcore/thrash scene of that era. Heck, just invoking Reagan name turns the clock back a couple of decades.

Most people wouldn't know it by looking at me, but half of my heritage comes from Poland. Knowing that fact, you might think that I would taken at least a passing interest in the music scene from that country, but that isn't the least bit true. Poland has not been a leading exporter of music I would want to listen to, but the fact that Decapitated comes from one of my ancestral homelands is enough to at least pique my curiosity.

Ever since his abrupt and to this day mystifying expulsion from Slayer, there has been a solitary spotlight focused on the activities of drummer Dave Lombardo.  His next move was the subject of much intense scrutiny, as fans worldwide clamored for the barest hint of motion on Camp Lombardo’s part, optimistically hoping that one of the greatest living drummers couldn’t possibly be hanging it up.  A true musicians, Lombardo has rewarded his faithful masses with the second album from side project PHILM, though the continuation of this experimental and musically tangential band may not satiate

If there is a band that is a better example of the dangers that come with artistic evolution in the world of metal, I don't know of them.  In Flames has, over the course of their career, inspired more venomous rage amongst their fans than anyone this side of Metallica.  After pioneering melodic death metal with their early releases, they did the natural thing and changed course as they got older.  At first they dipped their toe into the sounds of nu metal, but quickly moved on to a mix of modern rock and sinewy guitar riffs that was more befitting a band of their age.

I guess it's not unusual to find that one's taste in music changes as you get older. Certainly experience and maturity have something to do with it. Personally, I find that I enjoy seeking out music from artists I've not heard before, regardless of the age or genre of the material. Specifically, I find that I have a much greater appreciation for what some call "progressive" music.

It seems appropriate to be discussing Red Eleven in the aftermath of Gene Simmons declaring rock ‘dead,’ or whatever asinine, old-man thing it was that he said.  It wasn’t so long ago that Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet spoke on these very pages about how rock certainly needed to be brought back to the fore, but that there were musicians out there who believed in real rock music, that the genre may mutate and adapt, but would ultimately survive.  It is in light of Wyndorf’s optimistic viewpoint that Red Eleven’s simply entitled “Round II” hits the airwaves.