heavy metal

Somehow, even after all the years of latent dormancy, three of the four original members of Autopsy can come back together and still rock it. It must be like riding a bike, as this incarnation of the long-thought-to-be-dead gore metal classic hasn't really missed a step relative to their other works.

Disturbed always leaves me in a strange place as a metal fan. The selfish, select, protective metal fan in me wants to write them off as another example of metal overproduction; a band that some record label wants me to like. Conversely, the honest music fan in me can’t help but admit that they have written a whole bunch of incredibly catchy songs.

As a side note, someone whispered to me that Disturbed will be talking with fans on Ustream about the album on release date, which is Tuesday the 31st (5:30 PM EST.) So if you're a fan, scope that out for yourself.

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.