Archive for June, 2006

metal-church_light-in-the-darkReview by Ryan Mavity
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We live in the age of the reunion. In the music scene alone, we’ve had the recent returns of Bruce Dickinson and Iron Maiden, Rob Halford and Judas Priest, Dave Lombardo with Slayer, Motley Crue with each other and The Killers with obscurity. In this age of divorce, it’s almost inevitable that after the band gets successful and breaks up they will have a resurgence of popularity, a “Behind the Music” episode, get thrown a ton of money and, of course, have the music equivalent of makeup sex, the reunion tour. (more…)

celladorPower metal is a mostly European sub-genre, with Germany, represented by Helloween, Blind Guardian and Edguy, as one of the leaders. Now comes Omaha, Nebraska’s Cellador. The band was founded in 2004 with the intent of introducing the Midwestern United States to this style, which combines traditional metal trademarks, a strong emphasis on songwriting and musicianship, and lyrics often based in fantasy (dragons and other mythical creatures are popular). (more…)

gorgoroth-gloriam“In the name of terror and fear, fear of the powers of darkness: prepare for a coming of a modern day inhuman and non-secular Satanism channeled through the vehicle of metal music as only these infernal servants are able to.” —www.gorgoroth.org 

The above statement couldn’t hold more true on Gorgoroth’s seventh release, Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam, an eight-song black metal opus that intends to punish the listener–violently. The band–founder/guitarist Infernus, bassist King ov Hell, vocalist Gaahl and session drummer Frost (1349/Satyricon)–churn out a layered, blasting effort which rarely comes up for air. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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As Shadows Fall makes the jump to Atlantic Records, it easily could have mailed in a live album or compilation to fulfill its “contractual obligation” to Century Media. Instead, the band hit the studio to flesh out a handful of ideas left over from The War Within sessions, reinterpret a pair of rare songs from its catalog and record an interesting trio of covers. (more…)

acacia-strain-dead-walkThe Acacia Strain’s intent is to pummel the listener from start to finish with their new release The Dead Walk. But amidst the wall of grungy, down-tuned guitars and guttural vocals, it falls flat. (more…)

Avenged-Sevenfold-–-City-of-EvilAvenged Sevenfold is one of the slew of metalcore bands that broke out in the last few years. But after their last release, Waking the Fallen, they clearly were leaps and bounds ahead of most others of the genre. The album was solid metalcore with a punk vibe, Swedish metal elements, excellent vocals and memorable songs.

If you have heard Avenged Sevenfold before then City of Evil will be somewhat of a shock on first listen. The band has abandoned most of its old sound in favor of a cross between Guns N’ Roses, old-school metal and punk rock. This is dirty, in-your-face rock n’ roll. (more…)

artimuspyledriverReview by Greg Maki
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Artimus Pyledriver, whose name is a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, look and sound like they just crawled out of some Southern swamp, chugged a few cases of beer, pounded a couple bottles of whiskey, then somehow stumbled into a studio to lay down tracks for its self-titled album. Please understand I mean that with the greatest possible affection. (more…)

DBZTheBlackSeaReview by Greg Maki
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Crossing musical genres is one of the hardest things for a band to pull off. System of a Down does it, building a strong following and becoming critical darlings in the process. But to me, their music always has come across as sloppy and incoherent. It’s practically unlistenable to my ears. There’s a fine line between ambition and schizophrenia.

It’s a different story when it comes to Divided by Zero, which on its debut album, The Black Sea, takes elements of metal, hard rock, punk and reggae, and wraps it all up in an incredibly listenable, infectious package. I don’t care what you label it; this is good music by any name. (more…)

faith_no_more_the_real_thingIt was 1989, and for many of us, the music video “Epic” was our introduction to Faith No More. These guys were clearly a bunch of weirdos, but that song and video were infectious as hell. You have this singer in high-top sneakers and funky, bright-colored ’80s clothes, a strange looking guitarist with nerdy glasses, and keyboards. And let’s not forget the infamous flopping fish at the end of the video, an image burned into the minds of millions of people. What was this band? Rap? Rock? Metal? Elements of each are in the song. I wasn’t sure what to think at first, but something drove me and many others to purchase the album. (more…)

triviumember+to+infernoMy first taste of Trivium was with their release, Ascendancy, which is without a doubt one of my favorite albums of all time. So when I saw this extended edition of Ember To Inferno on the shelf I just had to pick it up. This album was re-released through Lifeforce Records containing a few bonus tracks, and demos. (more…)