album review

As the resident prog guy here, it's a bit surprising that this is my first experience immersing myself in a full Ayreon album.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music - all kinds of music. Certainly I have my favorites but I can usually find something to appreciate in every genre... except Middle Eastern pop music. That's just something I can't get into.

The Melvins remain, after thirty years, part of the bedrock of underground alternative music. The steadfast genre-denial and complete inability to keep still of King Buzzo ensures that The Melvins will always be an entity unto themselves.

Hail Of Bullets did something remarkable with their first album; they made a record that actually sounded like an army of enemy tanks storming into town ready to crush anything in their paths.

There was a time when grunge was an indomitable empire. A musical transcendence that touched and shaped all corners of popular culture.

Gather around, children, and I will tell you the tale of what it was like in the time before time. When the world was a vast emptiness waiting for a spark to ignite the torch of hope and rock and roll.

Last year, Bad Salad came out of nowhere with a debut album that blew me away. “Uncivilized” was, and still is, one of the best Dream Theater inspired collections of progressive metal not to come from the masters themselves.

Ra has been a name in my personal rolodex for a long time. For whatever reason, the Los Angeles band has a notable following in my hometown in Upstate New York, a connection that I still don’t understand. So it is with marked interest that I approach the new Ra release “Critical Mass.”

The seasons are changing here in the great Northeast. The days are getting shorter, the sky is grey and the air is turning colder. It's perfect weather to listen to some death metal.

Answering a question no one asked can be a dangerous enterprise, because the greatest uncertainty involved is in assuming someone cares about the answer.