heavy metal

Album Review: Sasquatch - "IV"

Every once in a while, when lamenting the lack of quality music in today's marketplace, you come across a record that just makes your day. It's like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or eating a Wonka bar and realizing you found the last golden ticket. It's unexpected and it makes you feel like there is some hope in this God-forsaken world. Well, that might be a little over the top but I just found me a new record and I can't get enough.

Album Review: Iron Man - South Of The Earth

One of the things that gets overlooked when talking about music is the difficulty in finding the perfect name for your band. As an artist, you need to come up with something that is evocative, that captures the imagination, but also something that captures the spirit of your band in a few short words. And what you really want to do is avoid picking a name that saddles you as a joke for the duration of your career. No matter how much I may love an album from a band like Spock's Beard, there will always be a part of me that cringes when I have to say the name aloud.

Album Review: The Answer - "New Horizon"

You're going to see your favorite band in concert and there's some group you've never heard of before opening the show. Here's the thing about most opening acts - they're just an inconvenience to get through before the act you came to see takes the stage. The thing for the opening band to remember is when they start, the audience is ready for a show, has high hopes and wants to be impressed. The band has exactly 5.25 seconds to accomplish this. If they're not hooked immediately, the audience could turn ugly.

Album Review: Dream Theater - Dream Theater

Dream Theater's new album is one that I can't help but judge with unrealistic expectations. Their previous album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", was not just an amazing album, or the best album in the band's storied history, it was so much the perfect encapsulation of what I think progressive metal to be that it has risen to the point where I call it my favorite progressive metal album of all time. It's high praise, to be sure, but every time I listen to that record, I'm amazed by how the band can take such technically demanding material and mix it with some truly glorious vocal melodies.

Album Review: Conquest - "The War We Rage"

"Thrash /THraSH/ (verb) - to beat violently and repeatedly". This definition fits the band Conquest and their newest album, "The War We Rage", perfectly. Thrash metal as a genre has been around now for more than 30 years. To be defined as a thrash band requires you to stay true to certain compositional elements which were developed "back in the day" and repeated time and time again. These are generally low-register, "chugging" guitars, double bass drumming, high-register guitar solos and screaming vocals. Conquest is truly the definition of thrash.

Album Review: Carcass - Surgical Steel

Anyone who knows me, or has read enough of my writing, knows that I'm not much of a fan of death metal. Most of it is too sloppy, too noisy, or just too far removed from what I consider the heart of music for me to get a lot of enjoyment from it. I understand why people love it, but I would never be able to throw myself headlong into the genre. In a discussion I had with my colleague Drew a while back, I challenged myself to make a list of my five favorite death metal albums. Smack dab in the middle of that list was Carcass' landmark “Heartwork”.

Kyuss is Dead, Long Live Vista Chino - An Interview with Brant Bjork

It’s been a long, convoluted and indirect career path for Vista Chino co-founder Brant Bjork. Most readers probably associate Bjork’s name with the seminal band Kyuss, but after a long series of bitter fights and court battles, Bjork has started Vista Chino with fellow veteran John Garcia and is on the forward path again. Hoping to ignite a new chapter of his career with his new brand and familiar faces, Bjork sat down for a few minutes to talk about this chapter of his musical life, the past litigation and what desert rock means to him. Read on!
M.DREW: You’re releasing “Peace,” under the title Vista Chino. Walk me through this album, how did this album come to be?

Album Review: Mark Deutrom - "Brief Sensuality and Western Violence"

Music is art and, as such, there are endless interpretations and styles to be had. Throughout history, there have been many, many musicians who have used a basic and culturally approved composition structure to put together a product which is readily digestible by the masses and the "art" of the music becomes lost in a sea of glory-hounds and pre-cast corporate templates. Every once in a while we are treated to an artist who breaks the music down to it's most basic parts and attempts to create a product that pushes the boundaries of what we have come to expect from our musicians.

Album Review: Fates Warning - Darkness In A Different Light

The bedrock of progressive metal as we know it is built upon two bands; Dream Theater and Fates Warning. With apologies to fans of Queensryche, it's the truth. No bands have been more instrumental in the development, propagation, and flourishing of progressive metal than those two standard-bearers. While Dream Theater has been earning accolades, and racking up bigger sales and a higher profile through the years, Fates Warning has faded into the background. After their landmark “A Pleasant Shade Of Grey”, Fates Warning has been the forgotten legend of progressive metal.

Album Review: GWAR - "Battle Maximus"

As time goes by, it becomes increasingly difficult to do reviews of GWAR albums. The simple fact is, there are only so many ways in common English that you can say “well, it sounds like GWAR.” Amidst all the blood and fluids that GWAR has dispensed over the last thirty years (or thereabouts, which seems unbelievable,) the band has quietly been highly prolific, never waiting more than three years to unleash a new album on their faithful followers.

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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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