heavy metal

Skillet - "Awake" Album Review

As a music critic, I feel that it's my duty to be at least informed in all manners of my chosen genre. So, I find myself led to Skillet, and their chart-topping new studio album "Awake." I can hear you already: Christian metal? Is that even possible? Well, I wasn't sure myself, it seemed like a contradiction in terms. If I've learned anything over the years, it's to never take anything for granted, and not judge anything until I've actually listened to it. So, I figured I had to delve into this subgenre and see what it's about.

Lazarus AD - "The Onslaught" Review

In the history of heavy metal, there have been many hotbeds of activity. New Jersey, New York, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the entire nation of Germany, and most of the Scandinavian states. In all that time and distance, no one has ever mentioned the town of Kenosha, Wisconsin. That sounds more like a town where serial murders happen. It sounds like a place where if you’re driving along the load and see “Welcome to Kenosha,” you know you’re lost.

Municipal Waste - "Massive Aggressive" Review

First and foremost, Municipal Waste's new album functions best as a punk album more than a metal album. It is filled with simple chords, thrashing rhythms, wild riffs and short, very short songs. It is entirely possible that it will take me longer to pen, read, edit, correct, and post this review than it did to listen to the album beginning to end. At count, I think there are only three or four songs that crest three minutes, and an equal number that come in under two.

Monkeys Relax to Metallica

This originally appeared in an article under the science section of the Guardian online, and I just plain couldn't let it go by.

Evidently, Metallica, as well as Samuel Barber, Nine Inch Nails and Tool, were played in 30 second bursts for a group of monkeys, at which point their reaction to the music was logged and chronicled. (The actual point of the study was to examine the effects of monkey-sound-inspired music on monkeys. Make your own joke here.)

Swashbuckle - "Back to the Noose" Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the released video of "Cruise Ship Terror" from the band Swashbuckle, and proclaimed it one of my favorite videos in the past couple years. So, when their album "Back to the Noose" began streaming online, I had to get a listen of what would no doubt be an interesting experience.

I was absolutely right; "Back to the Noose" is a fun, side-saddled romp of consistent if unimaginative thrash metal with heavy old-school punk influences. Whether the album is...what's the word...good, is another argument altogether.

A Lifetime in Heavy Metal

With my birthday having passed not so long ago, I found myself performing an old ritual that I seem to do every time another year gets added to the total, which is wonder what I was doing ten years ago.

No More Megadeth Coffee

In the midst of a procedure to correct some vertebrae in his neck, preparing for the upcoming Australian tour with Slayer, and with the new album "Endgame" on the way, Dave Mustaine has also taken the time to announce that he's canceling his run of "Black Gold" coffee.

Originally bagged and brewed as a charity fundraiser, you could at one point buy four bags and get a fifth autographed by Mustaine himself. The idea was a joint project of Dave and his wife (he's married? who on earth could tolerate him for that long?) along with Net Worth Coffee Brokers.

Havok - "Burn" Album Review

Maybe just because it's been long enough and maybe because it's overdue, the American thrash spirit seems to be undergoing a rejuvenation. Enter Havok, who is trying to shoehorn their way into a scene that has gone from being bare to suddenly being overcrowded. Still, in the eighties, there were four separate kings of American thrash: Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. Saying that Toxic Holocaust and Warbringer have assumed the pedestal, it wouldn't be impossible to envision Havok taking a place next to them.

Street Sweeper Social Club - Album Review

When Audioslave released their first album, comparisons to Rage Against the Machine were inevitable. Unfortunately, they were also unfair. Audioslave had a whole different feel than Rage could have ever conceived, and musically was branching off in a totally different and new direction. The attitude was different, the affect was changed, the music was on a different path. To compare Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine was to compare the proverbial apples and oranges.

Ellsbeth - "Well-Dressed Killing Machine" Review

Hey, you remember “Repo! The Genetic Opera”? Well, Sean Lacefield, a guitar player who had more than his share of responsibility for the soundtrack, is now working with Los Angeles goth metal band “Ellsbeth.” They self-released their album “Well-Dressed Killing Machine” digitally, in preparation for a summer long tour beginning right about now.

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