heavy metal

I'm faced with another possibly ill-advised Ozzy album. Honestly, I'm not sure "Scream" should exist. In truth though, who am I, who are any of us, to tell the father of heavy metal as we know it that he should stop? So, "Scream."

When invoking the name “Danzig,” there are certain musical and idolatrous tropes that immediately spring to mind. First and foremost, the man himself, possessed of a larger-than-life attitude and a booming, rafter-shaking voice. More than that though, Danzig’s music has always conjured gothically romantic images of the single man standing in defiance of the universe, hand clenched and raised in prodigal fury.

The press release that accompanied my copy of "Too Many Humans," the upcoming album from Montreal's extreme metallers The Last Felony spends a great deal of column space talking about how the band is ahead of their time and will revolutionize the Montreal metal sound. While I hate to be blunt, I don't see it.

One of the things I love most about Southern-style heavy metal is that there's very little guesswork, and almost no head scratching. Nothing that comes detuned from Texas is a complicated affair. Musical creativity is, for better or worse, sacrificed in the name of high energy, beer-swilling, head-banging mayhem.

On their previous best day, Godsmack's best efforts sounded akin to James Hetfield singing for Alice in Chains. With the dawning of "The Oracle," we may have a new best day to talk about.

On this new album, we see Sevendust, but not quite the Sevendust we remember. They've matured as a band and grown into their sound. The band has learned over the years how to skillfully temper their anger and emotion into a more balanced and tangible whole.

Sometimes, the only recourse as a metal band is to throw absolutely everything into a pot and see how much of it coalesces. At least, that seems to be the driving idea behind Heaven Shall Burn’s “Invictus.” In its base roots, the album seems like it has a metal skeleton not altogether different from any number of anonymous metal albums. Yet, the album both benefits and suffers from the disease of more. More guitar, more distortion, more percussion, more sheer noise.

The set began tentatively, like it was the band’s very first time on stage all over again. Each note was practiced and perfectly placed, each band member was nervously dreading any mistake that might set the crowd against them.

While “Night is the New Day,” has barely cooled from the forge, Katatonia is capitalizing on the moment and released a companion EP, “The Longest Year.” Almost as if to say “Wait, we’re not done, there’s a piece we’d like to add!” Katatonia pushed two new tracks and two new mixes down the pipe, with a couple companion videos to go with it.

Paul Gray, bassist for heavy metal band Slipknot, was found dead Monday morning in an Iowa hotel. Foul play has been ruled out, but no cause of death has been determined. Toxicology tests will be done on Tuesday. Paul had just joined the metal revival supergroup Hail!, and his wife Brenna is pregnant with the couple's first child. Gray had done one stint in rehab, and in interviews talked at length about his struggles with drug addiction and abuse.