Archive for October, 2008

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Zoltan Bathory, left, and Darrell Roberts of Five Finger Death Punch

Zoltan Bathory, left, and Darrell Roberts of Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch live photos

Review by Greg Maki

Though its hit debut album, The Way of the Fist, had been available for 16 months and the band had been on tour for nearly all that time, Five Finger Death Punch made its first Maryland appearance with this show. Some fans saw them in nearby Virginia on the Family Values tour in 2007 or the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival earlier this year, but many were 5 FDP concert virgins.

This sold-out crowd was hungry for Five Finger Death Punch. Frontman Ivan Moody said he was in a bad mood, but that had to have changed when he heard the fans’ rabid reaction, the chants of “Five Finger! Death Punch!” and the massive sing-alongs to virtually every song. (more…)

PedaltothemetalReview by Greg Maki
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You could call Blessed by a Broken Heart’s music cheesy, goofy or silly, but I think this sextet from Montreal would take it as a compliment.

Don’t get the wrong idea; this band has loads of talent, especially lead guitarist Shred Sean. They’re fairly heavy at times, too, mostly when frontman Tony Gambino spits out lyrics hardcore-style. But it’s tempered by a glossy ‘80s sheen courtesy of keyboardist Simon Fox, drums from Da Bird that sometimes have an electronic feel, and lyrics and melodies that want nothing more than to be the soundtrack to your next party or maybe a montage in an ‘80s action movie in which the cops’ investigation leads them to a strip club (don’t they always?). (more…)

michale-graves-illusionsMichale Graves, former lead singer of The Misfits and staunch supporter of the West Memphis Three, has led a storied career and is definitely not content with artistic mediocrity. Graves has historically been recognized as a aggressive punk rock artist, but has recently evolved into a phenomenal acoustic artist. This transition first manifested itself on Graves’ previous effort Illusions, which included tracks written by Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three. Illusions is an amazing album and one of Graves’ best, but his new live album Illusions Live/Viretta Park stands as the pinnacle of his career musically and may be one of the best live albums in recent memory. (more…)

Black IceReview by Greg Maki
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A few song titles: “Rock ’n’ Roll Train,” “She Likes Rock ’n’ Roll,” “Rock ’n’ Roll Dream,” “Rocking All the Way.”

This can mean only one thing: AC/DC has a new album. (more…)

gojira-fleshIn the swarm of albums and bands that came out in the last few years, I committed a great travesty in overlooking the French metal band, Gojira. If their 2005 album, From Mars To Sirius is only a shade of this monster, The Way of All Flesh, then it’s number one on the to-listen-to list. Sometimes it takes a certain album or band to revitalize my enthusiasm for music and Gojira has done just that. Gojira is hard to describe. They’re not noisecore, even though they’re all over the musical spectrum and have an unconventional way of writing songs. They’re not death metal, although they have double bass, some growled vocals, blast beats and a precise, machine-like sound like that of Meshuggah. They’re not an industrial band, but I hear similarities to groundbreaking pioneers like Godflesh and Ministry. And they’re not a stoner rock band, although they occasionally seem to be inspired by the pure rock fury and sludgy groove of Clutch. They’re all of this and more. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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Sister Sin hails from Sweden, the hotbed of melodic death metal, but its primary influence comes from Hollywood, as if they cut their teeth in the same clubs along the Sunset Strip that spawned Mötley Crüe. Think the Crüe circa Too Fast for Love/Shout at the Devil with a touch of Motorhead’s grimier rock sound (made explicit by a cover of “Make My Day”), and you have Sister Sin. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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Unearth’s The March picks up right where III: Through the Eyes of Fire (2006) left off. It’s packed with heavy riffs, breakdowns, harmonizing guitars and shouted/growled vocals, blending elements of hardcore, thrash and classic metal. With each effort, the band finds ways to improve the recipe. On The March, they do that by giving guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi a little extra room to breathe, with solos in nearly every song. Their playing always has been more intricate than that of most of their peers, so they are deserving of the spotlight this album shines on them. I’m not saying Unearth has turned into DragonForce—the solos are tastefully done and enhance the songs instead of being the point. (more…)