album review

Anytime someone from the West is engaging Japanese media, there’s an intrinsic sense that anything and everything could happen.  Music from Japan in particular tends to not bend to the conventions of Western genre labels, so that implies that a single band can be a lot of things to a lot of people (see: The Mad Capsule Markets, or those teen girls who sang death metal in that one viral video.)  What we have here with Vamps is a Japanese alt-rock supergroup formed by members of the two of the island nation’s more popular bands – L’Arc~en~Ciel (that’s rainbow in French!  Not li

The word of the day is "eclectic" and the band that brings this word to mind is Von Hertzen Brothers. Regular readers of the Bloody Good Horror metal reviews know that my fellow reviewers and I delight in bringing you, the reader, the very best new metal bands from around the world. While the Von Hertzen brothers hail from Finland the music they play is not what the average listener would immediately think of as metal.

I've noticed a trend in power metal recently, where the genre is getting fractured in a way that does no one any favors.  On the one hand, there is a group of bands that are taking power metal in a darker, heavier, more modern direction.  While I like some of these bands, they largely suck the fun out of the music, which is one of the things that makes power metal special when done well.  On the other hand, there is another group of bands that has taken the term 'flower metal' to heart, and sucked all of the heaviness out of the music, which only serves to make it sound weak

One of the most elusive of finds as a music journalist is Something Different.  Now, that’s similar to Something Unique, but they’re not the same thing.  Something Unique is still rare, but you encounter it every so often – somebody has a novel guitar tone or a specific vocal magnetism or some completely bananas subject matter.  Something Different is…well, different.  Readers might recall that last year’s Album of the Year runner up, Destrage’s “Are You Kidding Me?

This week we have another band that is not new but is new to me. It's California's own experimental-alternative-progressive metal band Chrysalis. An internet search will lead you to no fewer than four bands named Chrysalis, two from Germany, the oldest, dating back to the 60's, from Ithaca, NY and the one I'm listening to now from Southern California.

This SoCal incarnation of Chrysalis is a five member group comprised of vocalist Yessi Burton, guitarists Gabe Gallego  and Gabe Julian, Jared Sturgis on bass and drummer Billy Norris.

We’ve had this discussion several times over the years, but it bears repeating in this instance – metal will always provide a home for a band that indulges in the dingiest, sludgy depths of overdriven distortion and no holds-marred mayhem making.  For clarity’s sake, we’re not talking about the depravity of early Scandinavian black metal, but rather the destructive tendency of blues-based metal in the greater Black Sabbath family tree.  Kansas’ Midnight Ghost Train is such a band.

 

It has always struck me as a bit insulting that when you consider the roles of women in guitar-driven bands, they are either treated as curiosities, or they are the eye-candy representatives of something other than what you're listening to. The majority of female singers in this kind of music get broken down into two camps; the pop stars who never found their big break, or the classical singers who are used to make metal seem more dignified.

Ever since the death of 'real' rock and roll, and the rise of modern rock as we know it, there have been a few bands that have tried to resurrect the style and spirit of Guns N Roses, who are probably the last pure rock band to ever hold the status as the biggest band in the world.  The problem with almost all of these is that they either hold too close to the template to be of any artistic note, or they completely forget about the rich diversity Guns was able to showcase in their short career.  Doing sleazy rock and roll is easy, but none of the bands that found success did it ex

Metal fans have come to associate the name Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal with cutting edge projects in the genre.  He ended up being among the seeming thousands of faces that gave the world Guns ‘n’ Roses “Chinese Democracy,” made a guest appearance on the signature comeback album of Indestructible Noise Command and found some time to make an impact on the cutting edge coming-out party for Destrage last year.  That’s just a sampling of the times that Bumblefoot has graced music fans with his talent, but the eminent question then remains, what does this highly talented guitarist sound like

30 years ago, I never would have guessed that Scott Ian of Anthrax would become the Renaissance man that he is today. Musician, lyricist, television host, poker player, spoken word performer, father and now guitar player for the rock and roll band Mother Sister.