heavy metal

I find that I like the idea of Hell Within. It seems like they’re built in the same mold as Unearth; a Massachusetts-built strong brand of new age metalcore with flying guitar solos that is coupled with a forceful but unfocused vocal performance. The problem is that the cohesiveness of the band isn't quite there. "God Grant Me Vengeance" has a feeling in parts that each individual musician is playing his line in the proper context, but it’s all so raw and unfiltered as to get snarled up in itself.

Metal fans are a fickle lot, aren't we? We demand material worthy of our fandom, and one day's hero can be the next day's goat. Fortunes change both for better or worse in an instant with one album release, one radio hit, or even something as elementary as a haircut.

It's funny to me how the "True Sound of the Underground" sounds suspiciously like the "True Sound of Hot Topic." Everything is a little too arranged, and seems coldly calculated. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the album was assembled behind the soulless doors of a record company marketing meeting, but all the rage and vinegar just seems too convenient.

Tennessee's take-no-prisoners heavy metal outfit The Showdown starts their new album "Blood in the Gears" with a vengeance. The album begins with "Man Named Hell," a punishing and unrelenting southern metal excursion through a wonderful twist of riff-rocking and virile guitars. It is from there that the rest of the experience is set to launch.

Heavy metal news updates! It's been a while. Too long. Let's do this thing.

After all the waiting and back surgery and more waiting, how can I best sum up the experience that was the American Carnage tour? Well, with the help of a free (and possibly unreliable) internet translator, here are a few simple phrases in a whole slew of languages:

It kicked ass!
C'était genial
Fue impresionante
Es war toll
Det var awesome
Ito ay mahusay na
E 'stato eccellente
Ni bora
Det var utmärkt
Ez remek volt
Foi excelente

What a curious little album we have here. Whether that qualifier means “good” or “bad” is solely up to the listener. In 10 Years “Feeding the Wolves,” we see a band that gets caught between directions, but is not without talent.

Obliging the trendy nature of assorted alt-metal, “Feeding the Wolves” capitalizes on the anguished, emotional tropes that dominate the radio waves. Yet, within that somewhat disposable framework there exists a glimpse of creative song writing. The harmonizing that the band uses all too sparingly is a small exhibit of the kind of talent that’s on the table.

Sometimes in the annals of music history, there is a band with a long history of doing things their own way and defying all manner of convention. One of the bands in heavy metal that exemplifies that very ideal is Darkthrone, fresh off the release of their latest effort, "Circle the Wagons." I managed to steal a few minutes of Fenriz's time, and wanted to see what gives him the drive to go on. Read below to see his thoughts on his own band, metal as a genre, and naturally, cinema of all types, including horror. Enjoy!

As a music reviewer, you begin to develop an intuitive sense of what to expect from an album. Either through past albums, band news reports or the paradigm of whatever metal splinter genre you are encountering, it’s easy to create a mindset for an album before you ever sit down and give it your full attention.

Generally, one of three things happens: Either you expect the album to be great and it is great, you expect it to be poor and it is poor, or in disappointing fashion, you expect greatness and are rewarded with mediocrity.