So here's how this week's review went down... I popped in the new album from Stormwitch, a band with which I was not familiar. I listened to it a couple of times, jotted down my thoughts and THEN moved on to the bands bio. Imagine how surprised I was to discover that not only is Stormwitch not a new band but they've been around for quite a long time. I had to double check my heavy metal encyclopedia.
I've got some good news and bad news for fans of the Canadian metal band The Agonist. Lead singer and founding member Alissa White-Gluz has departed the group to take over lead vocalist duties for Arch Enemy. But I said there's good news! She has been replaced by the outstanding Vicky Psarakis on the latest release from The Agonist, "Eye Of Providence".
“Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know.” – Groucho Marx
Sometimes when I hear a band for the first time I find myself thinking about their motivation. Why did they choose this style of music? What is their ultimate goal for the band? For example, when James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich started Metallica their stated goal was to create the greatest rock and roll band in the world. Other bands have slightly less lofty goals such as, "I just wanna rock and roll, man".
Are you familiar with the Corrosion Of Conformity song "Diablo Boulevard" off of their "America's Volume Dealer" album? Well, the subject of this week's review is familiar with it. In fact, they liked the song so much they named their band Diablo Blvd. On a related note, "Diablo Boulevard" is actually a very good C.O.C. song. You should check it out. But enough about the song... on to the band.
Diablo Blvd is a group that formed in 2005 and they have just released their third full length EP titled "Follow The Deadlights".
Many, many years ago when I was just a budding metal-head, my band of choice was Iron Maiden. I had not yet developed an ear or a liking for metal other than Iron Maiden with the possible exception of Black Sabbath but, even then, it was Paranoid and not much else. Then, one day, my buddy Rod introduced me to Venom's "Welcome To Hell" album and, frankly, it scared the crap out of me.
Never before had I been exposed to something so brutal, so heavy, so demonic. I had no interest in it. I was content to listen to the first four Iron Maiden records and go about my business.
Happy new year, friends. I hope you had a chance to check out the list of my top 10 favorite metal albums from 2014. If not, I recommend you find it and read it. If you already have then you may recall that one of the bands at the top was a group called Calabrese.
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of top ten lists but my pals here at Bloody Good Horror have been doing them around this time of year for a while so I figured, "what the hell". There are rules, though. All albums must be original studio releases from the year that was 2014. No live albums, no cover albums and no re-releases. And, to streamline things, I will limit my list to those metal albums I've reviewed this year. Lastly, this list is comprised of the ten best albums as I see them. Your list may be (and probably is) different.
As we approach the end of another calendar year I find myself asking reflective questions... is it time to change my impossibly high standards and the inevitable disappointment that goes along with them to something more realistic? Do I expect too much from people? Should I just be happy with what I have or should I continue to strive for more? Is "good enough" really good enough? And what about all this new music I've been hearing?
So, I'm sitting in my favorite chair with a turkey sandwich in one hand and a fresh cup of coffee in the other. The album I'm reviewing this week begins to play on the hi-fi. It starts off innocuously enough with your standard thrash guitar beginning. I take a bite of my sandwich. The song kind of sounds like something Testament or Death Angel might have done back in the day. Then, 48 seconds into the album, it snaps into some killer NYC hardcore straight outta 1993. Was I shocked? Indeed. I nearly dropped my turkey sandwich.