Tag Archives: mastodon

Audrey Horne-Pure Heavy

Audrey-Horne_Pure-Heavya

If you know the name Audrey Horne, you are either a Twin Peaks fan or from Norway. There are 5 guys who are both and have a band known as Audrey Horne that have just released their newest album Pure Heavy. I have never heard them before but I saw that this is a side project of guys in Enslaved and Sahg and was quite intrigued. I love when black metal or death metal musicians have projects outside their genre. Ihshan of Emperor has released some brilliant instrumental music while Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir has Chrome Division a hard rock version of Sons Of Anarchy except their not whiny pussies like the guys on the TV show.
On my first listening of Pure Heavy, the first thing I noticed was the singer Toschie. It wasn’t that he was great or horrible, he’s pretty good, but it was why it sounded so familiar. At times he reminded me of Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger and on certain choruses I could hear some Ozzy. After a couple more tracks it finally hit me, he sounds like Brent Hinds of Mastodon. Musically the band sounds like a nice modern take on 70’s hard rock. Lots of KISS and Thin Lizzy influence along with some more flairs thrown in. Opening track “Wolf in my Heart” has that Lizzy dueling guitar sound down so much I had to look to make sure Scott Gorham didn’t play on it. The twin guitars of Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen are on display again on “Out Of The City” and “Volcano Girl”. The former is the perfect driving with the top down song, as seen in their puppet laden video while the later track has a much more modern sound. “Diamond” has a slow acoustic intro until it kicks into a very Dio-like main riff. “Gravity” is the track where I believe the Brent Hinds similarity hit me. Really evident on the choruses with the song sounding like Mastodon if it was more of a hard rock band.
That is meant as a compliment.
I will admit the album did start to drag towards the end. It’s not that it was bad but the influences were becoming too much when they probably could have used a couple more tracks like “Gravity”. Then again only idiots like me listen to albums all the way through anymore. There is a lot to like about Audrey Horne’s Pure Heavy. Some really choice guitar melodies on display incorporated with very catchy familiar yet fresh rock songs. Don’t know what it is about that area but they are better at American rock than America is.

PS

They got Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth to drive around in a classic Lincoln with suicide doors and that is a pretty damn cool.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Dillinger Escape Plan-One Of Us Is The Killer

Image

Many just got their first taste of Dillinger Escape Plan at the recently televised Revolver Golden Gods Awards. If you had never seen or heard them before, that had to be quite a shock. Lots of screaming, banging on instruments, and blood.

Awesome.

Those DEP virgins might have been scared away from buying the newly released, One Of Us Is The Killer. But they shouldn’t. While there is till the frantic madness that they witnessed on TV, you get a better sense of the band. There is still the craziness, just not as much. The album leads off with “Prancer” & “When I Lost My Bet” the first two songs they played that night. They are the very definition of mathcore. If there is one. Best way to describe it is Dream Theater in a blender. I love the fact that they led off the album with those tracks. They are not accessible and DEP has this attitude of not caring what people think, they’re just going to do what they like. It shows.

After that Killer is a lot easier to get into for a first timer. The title track is a great radio track that owes a lot to Faith No More. There is some more FNM influence on “Nothing’s Funny”. However right after that is some more of the craziness which some might think sounds like the musical score of a NASCAR crash.

The first time I saw Dillinger Escape Plan they opened for Mastodon. The whole time I just stood there because I could not figure out what I was witnessing. If you just relax and let it happen I think most metal fans will enjoy it. One Of Us Is The Killer makes is easier to wade into those waters.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

A look at Sirius/XM for the Metalheads

 

sirius-xm-radio

 

Satellite radio has been around for awhile and I finally jumped on board a year ago. My job requires me to drive a lot so I am in my car a lot. I used Pandora and my iTunes a lot but there is just something about a radio station. I heard Sirius/XM when I was with an ex. Driving around in her car I got a good opportunity to hear what was offered. Sadly, that was the only positive experience I got from that horrible horrible woman. I loved how this product satisfied my musical tastes, all of them. However I just want to focus on the ones that service the heavier stuff. With the Clear Channel effect all over our terrestrial radio dial, satellite is something that metalheads should really look into. The channels I want to concentrate on are Channels 38 to 40, Ozzy’s Boneyard, Hair Nation, and Liquid Metal.

ozzyBoneyard, I refuse to use the Ozzy label because of the horrible woman that is Sharon Osbourne, is a really good classic hard rock/metal station. They do a real nice job of mixing stuff up so you are not hearing “Iron Man” every 30 minutes. Band selection is nice, besides the obvious, Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, you get Tank, and Diamond Head and a plethora of others. You will find yourself saying “I haven’t heard that in a while” a lot. No shows except for an hour hosted by Jim Norton and Ultimate Sinner where a listener gets to pick 5 songs. A nice little feature. They occasionally play some new music from veteran bands already on the play list. Music wise, it is a great listen that you will have no problem leaving on for hours straight.

The big drawback to me is the Ozzy affiliation. Granted I probably hate Sharon way more than anyone else. And that hatred has tarnished Ozzy’s music to me. I cannot even listen to his era of Black Sabbath anymore because of her but I can overlook that most of the time. What bugs me is that every promo for the station is Ozzy related. From him mumbling about some story from 1984 or hearing Sharon or one of their idiotic kids tell a story about him, it’s stomach churning. The ball washing gets worse when they have famous metal musicians talk about how great Ozzy is. It is really sickening and it is the main reason I change the channel.

hairNext on the dial, is Channel 39 Hair Nation. As the name suggests it has all the bands from 80’s and 90’s with big hair that were the lifeblood of Headbangers Ball. This was the station that really hooked me one getting Sirius/XM. I remember driving with the awful ex and on came Sleez Beez. C’mon where else are you going to hear Sleez Beez? When I first got the radio I remember hearing a D:A:D song and thinking this was the greatest purchase that I ever made. What I didn’t realize is that they would play that same song over and over again. I know I am in my car a lot but it is like bad FM radio overkill. Then I noticed that they did this a lot. Heard “Gimme Your Love” from McAuley Schenker Group and got that D:A:D happy feeling. Then I heard it again and again. The station has a pattern of pulling out a band and playing their hit. Then they play that song over and over and then put that band back on the shelf. Why they won’t play another song I have no idea. They will however play the fuck out of Bon Jovi. Someone there loves them some Bon Jovi because you will l hear a BJ song every 30 minutes and that is not a good thing. I seriously think that Bon Jovi has a deal with this channel similar to what Ozzy has with Boneyard. This station never plays new music even though many of the bands the play have released new material. They did however play the new Richie Sambora single, furthering my Bon Jovi conspiracy theory. Plus they do not have a listener show like the other two stations do. This went from being one of my favorites to being one that I hit and run on. Hair Nation is also the home to Eddie Trunk who has a show on Monday night. However he plays more stuff you hear on Boneyard but that vile cunt Sharon had him kicked off that channel because he dared to criticize Ozzy.

sirius_xm_liquid_metalLast but not least is Channel 40, Liquid Metal. They play all of the new metal bands plus lots of the originators. When I say Metal I mean METAL. Cannibal Corpse, Slipknot, High On Fire, real heavy stuff. They do a nice job of crossing the many genres of Metal. Thrash, death, stoner, black you name it. Liquid Metal also does a great job on featuring new bands and letting listeners know when an important album is coming out. Occasionally they play some bands that are better off on Octane, a channel for new Hard Rock, but that is being picky. They also have Listener Domination, their show lets a listener a chance to pick three songs and say why. One of my favorite things about the station is Bloody Roots a show hosted by renowned Metal author Ian Christie. He will have a different theme for each show and does a fantastic job of giving tidbits and back story plus lots of the stuff he plays you will not hear any other time.

I think the reason that Boneyard and Liquid Metal are run so well is that Jose Mangin seemingly is in charge of both. His voice is on promos for both channels and they both have a listener show. He is the afternoon host and some may remember him when MTV did a Headbangers Ball special. He is a nice enough guy that obviously loves Metal. However he kind of bugs me. Maybe because he is always UP or maybe it is that he still has a faux hawk and still wears Affliction shirts. Logic would dictate that he would be in charge of Hair Nation as well and if so he is doing a shitty job.

Earlier I mentioned Octane on Channel 37. They play modern hard rock a long the lines of In This Moment, Chevelle, and Sevendust. It’s not a bad station I listen occasionally but a lot of what they play I don’t care for.

Yes I do realize there is a huge “Kids these days” factor present.

While I have become disappointed in Hair Nation and the Ozzy ass kissing makes me want to puke on my passenger seat, but I cannot recommend getting Sirius/XM enough. It really satisfies my musical desires plus there is a bunch of other great stuff available. I love being able to go from Mastodon to Glen Miller to listening to an Astros game. I got the Onyx model and I am able to take that from my car to another car or inside. Terrific if you drive more than one vehicle plus you can listen to it on your smartphone or online from your computer.

Seriously go get it.

Now.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Enslaved-RIITIIR

images

 

Black Metal can be a tricky lot. Lyrics and image seem to pigeonhole bands into a corner that they cannot get out of. Nor do many seem to want to leave that corner. The genre seems to embrace horrible production thinking it is the most troo. Going so far to releasing stuff on cassette.

Really?

Cassettes?

Except for my 2000 Dodge Neon, I do not know of another cassette player outside of a resale shop.

Then along comes Enslaved and sets the genre on its’ corpse painted ear. Their latest offering from the cold tundras of Noway is RIITIR. To put it mildly, this is a game changer. What Leviathan and Operation:Mindcrime was to its’ time, RIITIIR is to the present.

RIITIIR shows bands what they can do and not to be confined by genre labels.

When describing Enslaved the word “progressive” gets added on to black metal. It is fitting because the band certainly knows how to play. However, it is not the noodling a Dream Theater, more along the mines of Nachtmystium. “Roots of the Mountain” is over 9 minutes long with lots of soloing but it more for building an atmosphere than for showing off. There is still the the guttural vocals most identified with black metal but they are nicely countered with clean ones. It adds a nice contrast and really helps convey emotion to the tracks.

It kicks off with “Thoughts Like Hammers” a perfect representation of the whole album. Starting with a slow heavy dirgy riff and and vocals that are so shredded you can hear the larynx tear. Then comes the chorus with clean vocals and they are harmonized.

HARMONY?!?! In Black Metal? Yes, and it works so good especially when it goes back into the opening sequence. It’s just so refreshing to hear a band push away the supposed definitions of what they are supposed to play. There is a lot of instrumentation and those passages give the album space and a direction.

The beauty of RIITIIR is being a great gateway album for those that may not like Black Metal. The vocals are not as typically off putting and the music, while still heavy, has is not as dissonant yet very powerful.

RIITIIR may have come out in 2012 and I am late to the party, as usual. However, this is a Top 5 release of ’12 and fans of all styles of heavy should get this.

 

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

1st Annual Year In Metal Wrap-up (a little late)

Everyone has read countless lists of top 10’s or Top 20’s or whatever. While I love making and reading these lists as much as the next guy, I want to do something a little different. So here is the 1st Annual, even though it cannot be annual if it is the first, Year in Metal Wrapup.

Album of the Year


Bad City-Welcome To the Wasteland

I came across this album from the good folks at Metal Excess. They gave it a great review and I love it even more. It has to be one of the most fun hard rock albums I have heard in years. The closest example I can think of is when I first heard The Darkness. It has the same throwback 70’s rock feel but sprinkled in with a little 80’s esthetic, namely the “gang vocals” that permeate many of the songs. However, it does not sounded dated as quality knows no age. The cherry on this musical sundae is “Call Paul Stanley”. The four-and a half minute ode to rockstar dreams, name checks the legendary KISS frontman all the while paying homage in the best song of the year.  I cannot recommend this album enough and guarantee that you will like it. Not a money back guarantee because I am broke but you get the idea.  Go buy this album.  NOW!!

Video

Runner up-Overkill-Ironbound

Surprise of the Year


RATT-Infestation

With the 80’s hard rock nostalgia running rampant you had to wander if this was just a cash grab. The propensity for disaster was high. The last time anyone heard of RATT was with ex-Love/Hate vocalist Jizzy Pearl out front and former Crue-er John Corabi singing backups and rhythm guitar. Carlos Cavazo was recruited to replace Corabi and original singer Stephen Pearcy returned. The band could have easily done festivals and shows playing the old stuff. Thankfully what they did was hunker down in the studio and cranked out a terrific slab of hard rock goodies that serve as enduring legacy of the band. It hits you from the go on “Eat me Up Alive” with its’ sexually tinged lyrics and trademark Warren DeMartini riffs. Every song fits easily in to the RATT catalog and if you saw them live this past summer you can attest to that.

Runner up-Accept-Blood Of the Nations

Disappointment of the Year

Monster Magnet-Mastermind

Now I love me some Monster Magnet. I love that mainman Dave Wyndorf has stuck to a formula that only he knows. His brand of stoner/space rock is unique unto itself and the fact that his lyrics seem to be written as if they were from a stream of conscience acid induced rant, just seems to make it better. Mastermind is not a bad album per se, it is just not nearly as good as the previous Monster Magnet releases. There are several good tracks on here “Dig That Hole” and lead single “Gods and Punks” That track is accompanied by a terrific video. Those songs aside, the album just feels very lethargic, I know that may seem ironic since this is Monster Magnet, but  on all the other albums the slower stuff had a swing or a groove to it that drew you in. Mastermind just seems to sit there at times, leaving you very unfulfilled. 

Runner-up-Stone Temple Pilots-S/T

Best Metal Event of the Year

The Big Four Shows

As time has unfolded, the chances of seeing Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax all together has seemed very slight. While some had played with one another on previous tours, a package that included all the Big 4 of Thrash Metal just seemed like chatter. There were so many hurdles for this to come together. Metallica is the biggest band in the world and they do not need to. Megadeth, is burdened with Dave Mustaine and his public feuds with members of Slayer and Metallica. Slayer, had been feuding with Mustaine on personal and musical levels. Anthrax while always up for a show had gone through 3 singers in the span of a year. So when the good fortune happened that this came true, it was a headbangers dream come true. The bands played a series of festivals in Europe and the shows were  immortalized in a DVD set for all to see. They were even shown in theaters in the States and in true metal tradition, the cops were called. Although they did not make it here to the States all the acts have indicated that is something they would love to do. Hopefully the stars will aline for that.

Runner Up-?

Worst Metal Event of the Year

Ronnie James Dio loses his fight with cancer.

When word spread that Dio had died of caner is rocked the metal community. It was only a month before that he had said how good he felt and that his prospects were looking good. Fans had just seen him at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards and it seemed like he was going to beat it. However as strong as Dio may have been, cancer was much stronger. Losing anyone to cancer is horrible but when you lose someone that seemed liked a part of the family to millions worldwide it is devastating. His passing was sad because he was still singing great and releasing quality music. While that may be a selfish  attitude as a fan, Dio being there for as long as he did was an inspiration for many and provided enjoyment that cannot be measured.

We see musicians die every year, that is not a new thing. Losing Dio or legendary metal manager Debbie Abono to caner is sad. Seeing some junkie musician die at their own hands while sad in one way is not deserving of the same emotion. When people like the formers pass, it let’s us know how fleeting life actually is. We are coming upon a time where many of the founders are getting up in age and nature will take its’ course. The obits will start to fill as the legends pass on. And while we will mourn the loss and fondly remember of the joy they brought us, it will also remind us of our own mortality.

There has been some good come out of Dio’s passing. Outreach of cancer awareness in the metal community has come to the forefront. With Ronnie’s and others passing’s, more and more headbangers are hopefully having the necessary checkups done. Wendy Dio, is heading the Stand Up And Shout Foundation and raising funds for cancer research. They recently donated over $100,000 to M.D, Anderson Hospital in Houston, the facility where Ronnie received treatment.

Runner Up-Slash defacing his Guns N Roses legacy by having  that talentless ho bag Fergie sing on Sweet Child O’Mine.

Most Anticipated For This Year

New Mastodon album

This past year was a little light in “holy shit” releases. Last year there was new ones from Lamb of God, Megadeth, and Slayer, among other notables. With the possibility of the Georgia quartet delivering a new platter of metal goodness, I am a twitter like a schoolgirl seeing Justin Beiber. It will be a great day when I open the Sunday ad for Best Buy and see Mastodon listed next to whatever Youtube sensation or middle-class gangster wannabe.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: