heavy metal

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. These death metal veterans made a statement right out of the gate, becoming one of the biggest and most important death metal bands since the nascent days, all with one record. That they were able to then turn around and use their second album to further their sound with new elements and more expansive songwriting meant that this was no one trick pony.

There was a time when grunge was an indomitable empire. A musical transcendence that touched and shaped all corners of popular culture. For reason abound that empire crumbled quickly, vanishing within four years of its apex, the symbolic final nail coming in the form of Soundgarden’s dispersal following “Down On the Upside.” The Seattle scene fell silent and the embers went dead as they were either ignored, or worse mismanaged, by the bands that followed. Grunge went to seed, living on in memory and the shadow of Pearl Jam’s adaptive evolution into a popular, relevant rock band.

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. It was 1975 and the spark erupted when a man we'll call "Lemmy" appeared on the scene with his band Motorhead. They would go on to bring the world "Overkill", "The Ace of Spades", "Iron Fist", "Eat The Rich", "Rock and Roll" and so much more. 38 years and 21 studio albums later, Motorhead gives us another gift in the form of their latest record "Aftermath".

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. That album showed not only that Bad Salad was a band with limitless potential, but that they were emerging fully formed, ready to take on the heavyweights of progressive metal with an approach that was all-encompassing and exciting.

If the title weren't already (sort of) taken, "There and Back Again" would be a fitting headline for the career of both Dave Wyndorf and his erstwhile epithet Monster Magnet. It's been a wild road for the man and band, emerging from the woods of New Jersey to achieve momentary super stardom, and finally settle into a career groove. Wyndorf, as ever, is making the music he wants, and after several long tours of Europe, the musician, songwriter and comic book aficionado is gearing up to return Stateside for the time in ten years. Following the release of the appropriately contemplative and personal "Last Patrol," Dave Wyndorf sat down with us to talk all things music, the current state of rock, Monster Magnet, comic books and Roger Corman. Read on:

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. And, with Halloween fast approaching, it is fitting to now review "Resistance", the latest release from California "deathcore" band Winds of Plague.

It's time for a little theology lesson. Stryper has gotten a bad reputation over the course of their career for their beliefs, but the people who criticize them are either intellectually lazy, or dangerously ignorant. For all the bands that sing about, if not outright praise, Satan and other demons, they miss the bigger picture. The opposite of God is not Satan, it's nothingness. Like yin and yang, light and dark, you can't have one without the other. So congratulations all you heathen black and death metal bands, you may not know it, but you're exactly like Stryper.

Whoa, what is this?

You ever seen the Robert Redford movie “Sneakers?” There’s a scene where the character Whistler (played by one of the all-time great character actors David Strathairn,) figures out that the computer hardware his crew stole is the most powerful decryption tool ever created; that possessing it gave him complete access to every secure network in the United States. Whistler’s reaction, accompanied by a symphonic crescendo, is “Whoa.” That’s how I feel about Warbringer’s new album “Empires Collapse.”

Over the course of his career, Max Cavalera has become a name just shy of metal royalty. Beginning with Sepultura, Max has been producing fan-adored metal for over twenty years, and now it's become a family affair. As Soulfly releases "Savages" upon the world, Max is joined in the band by his son Zyon on drums. Filled with notable guest appearances and overflowing with power, "Savages" is just the latest added chapter in Max's storied career. The man himself, the one and only Max Calavera, sat down with me to talk about this new album, the head space he's in, having his son in the band and naturally, Brazilian soccer.