Friday, August 29, 2014

Album Review: "Fractured Frequencies" by Shards of Humanity

Fractured Frequencies
Duo groups are cool, but you know what's cooler than a duo?

A trio. The wisdom of Bender Bending Rodriguez was not lost on the subject of today's review, the full length debut album of Shards of Humanity.

Several extreme metal duos have been traipsing into my sphere, but I wonder how they would tour?

Shards of Humanity went from a duo to a trio with the addition of guitarist Larry Mercado on guitars in 2013 joining Ryan McAlister, drums and Todd Cochran, guitars/vocals.

Our new friends hail from the City of Memphis, TN which is also the home of Beale Street...a section of town that your friend and humble narrator greatly desires to visit, but that's neither here nor there. Memphis, obviously, is not well known for metal, but for another oft maligned genre, the Blues.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Album Review: "Feed The Ego" by Algebra

Feed The Ego
For today's consideration, we have a thrash band from the not so very metal, but very neutral country of Switzerland.

They go by the name of Algebra.

Personally, hearing the word algebra gets me angry as all get out. This has always been the Achilles Heel of my Mensan mind....I'm still thrilled I passed a math course and ended up with my degree.

But that's neither here nor there.

Feed The Ego is the sophomore release from this group. Their first album was released back in 2012 and later re- released by Stormspell Records.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Album Review: Casey Jack's Eponymous Debut

Casey Jack
Are you aware that I reside in St. Louis, Mo? Hopefully, my readership is larger than my metro area and that everyone who's just read that didn't think, well duh, yeah....we all knew that, anyway...moving on.

Well, the object of today's review is from my home state of Missouri, but on the far southwestern end of it, Springfield, Mo.

Springfield is about four hours down Interstate 44 from where I live. It's a nice little town in that corner of the state. My mother lived in Springfield for a time.

I've been down there a few times. I intended on getting out there soon to catch a Springfield Cardinals AA minor league baseball game. Beyond my couple times down there, I don't really know a whole lot about the area and I certainly have no concept of the music scene, but today, we get a sneak peak into their scene, with Springfield's own, Casey Jack.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Album Review: "Drone Maintenance" by BLACKWOLFGOAT

Drone Maintenance
BLACKWOLFGOAT is the side project of guitarist Darryl Shepard.

Shepard has been in about thirty different bands. He however, has chosen to create a side project in order to get out, well, whatever the hell this stuff is.

Drone Maintenance is the third record by BLACKWOLFGOAT. The previous two offering solidified the modus operandi: layered guitars, looped works, ambient music.

The current, well, we'll get to that later on in this review.

This particular record is a semi concept album, but who can honestly tell? There is so much going on that it's pretty hard to keep up with any implied story lines....that's not really a bad thing though.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Album Review: "Three Poisons" by Elephant Stone

Three Poisons
Today's story begins in the historic city of Montreal, Quebec.

I have never been there, but I surely desire to go there one day, if not perhaps even live there for a time.

It has the reputation of being the most European styled city in North America, and perhaps my European heritage always has me looking eastward across the one day walk the streets of my forefathers....

I've lost the plot. This group was founded years ago by sitarist/bassist, Rishi Dihr. How many bands can you name that not only have a sitarist, but were founded by one.

Now think of all of the bands from the Sixties and Seventies that had Eastern vibes. Led Zeppelin? Pink Floyd? Even the mighty Spinal Tap had a sitar on a song.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Album Review: "Our Cult Continues!" by Cardinals Folly

Our Cult Continues!
I have a gift for being able to tell if I'm going to be interested in a record when I hear the name or see the cover.

Or I'm a closed minded so and so.

Well, based on the name, the title, and the cover, I was interested in hearing this record. That in and of itself brought up a whole different can of worms that just had to be picked through.

Listening to this album made me think stoner metal, but their bio lists them as Doom Metal. Frankly, I'm not entirely certain I know what the difference between these two closely related sub-genres is.

If you do know, please hit it in the comments. A point by point with references to significant artists and songs should do well enough.

Here's what I can tell you....whatever you want to call it, be it Stoner Metal or Doom Metal, or whatever, I thinthink that it's the true 2nd Generation of metal and these boys from Finland, sure have it figured out.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Album Review: "Inner City Wolves" by Johnny Touch

Inner City Wolves
The world is a smaller place today. Is it because of the robot master race as discussed in The World's End or are we just advancing?

Thankfully, that connectivity is making it easier to find new music in an age when terrestrial radio has achieved a smug sameness across the country. In this modern world, it's easier and harder than ever to find new metal...

Today's album review is of a debut record. Johnny Touch, the band in question, is from Australia, and has released small bits of music here and there: demos, split 7"s, and not much else.

Outside of their home nation, they are virtually unknown, but that's all going to change soon.

Hopefully. For those metal fans who don't enjoy cookie monster vocals, ultra high gain music that all sounds the same, and desires music that hearkens back to the good old days of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, keep reading.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Album Review: "The Awakening" by Powerlord

The Awakening
Have you ever heard of Powerlord?

Well, in my opinion, to know about this band you'd have to be one of those fabled tape traders from the early days of thrash metal that got Metallica noticed by Johnny Zazula on the East Coast.

I surely had never been introduced to this band and I've been metal for a long time.

As is normally with the case with demos that are discovered and later released as albums, this album sounds gritty. There's literally no polish on this record at all. It takes money to be able to hire a producer and get it to sound clean.

Well, it's not entirely true to say that this album has no polish, because it does, just not in the production. This band was wildly talented.

Monday, August 11, 2014

"To Him That Wills The Way" by Walking Bicycles

To Him That Wills The Way
 I love a great story and Walking Bicycles definitely has that.

Julius Moriarty, the band's guitarist was incarcerated in 2009 just weeks after the release of the band's third album, GO?.

He was released in 2012, after his three year incarceration, the band is back.

(I'm assured that it was a non-violent offense, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I do not know what his offense was, however, he was given a sentence and has served it.)

The rest of the band waited for him to be released and they did nothing during that time. Now as a free man, Moriarty returned to the fold after his release and they have unleashed their fourth album, To Him That Wills The Way on Highwheel Records.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Album Review: "Goin' Under" by Black Trip (Re-Release, sort of)

Goin' Under
Today's review is the debut album of a side project. Ex-Entombed drummer, Peter Stjärnvind, who's playing guitar on this album, hatched the idea for this project way back in 2003.

Black Trip was put on hiatus until 2011, yes a full eight years, until a meeting with vocalist, Joseph Tholl. They recorded a demo and then returned with a full band....and fast forward a bit...

Well, many years later and the album now has its very own US release on Prosthetic Records.

The band is considered to be "classic heavy metalists." Frankly, I'm really beginning chuckle at the classifications of metal. Can't we just say heavy metal anymore? Of course that's neither here nor there, as the band claims to be influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Album Review: "Overhaul" by Monsterworks

Well, who would have thought we would be here again so soon?

The clearly insane New Zeleanders have return with another album full of their signature brand of multiple personality disorder.

You may recall their brilliant album from earlier this year, Universe.
The funny thing is, it gets even crazier when you dig a little deeper into it. It's hard to believe the amount of material they are writing and recording.

In 2013, they released two full length albums as well and in 2012 they released two extended plays. Before they had started on their torrid pace of two releases per year, they had already released seven full length albums!

Monsterworks has music in their soul that they frankly cannot keep inside of them and it continues to pour out. They may not be working as hard as Buckethead, but how long can they keep this pace up?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Album Review: "Brimstone Coven" by Brimstone Coven

Let's review: Black Sabbath is awesome.

Retro rock is awesome.

Harmony is awesome.

Psychedelia is so awesome that it's a crime against humanity that the art form died out in the early 70's.

Enter today's review, Brimstone Coven. Even though they are on Metal Blade Records, I question how truly metal they are.

They remind me a bit of Baroness, insomuch as they are not a metal band per se, but have metal influences. As this post goes on, I think that you'll be able to understand this quite well.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Album Review: "System Subversion" by Methedras

System Subversion
For today's album of record, we're reviewing the latest release by Italy's Mathedras, System Subversion.

Originally formed in 1999, Mathedras has released three other albums preceding this album: 2009's Katarsis, 2006's The Worst Within, and 2004's Recursive.

So, it has been five year since these death thrashers (as they so succinctly put it) have put out any new music.

They took a break after the release and tour for their Katarsis record, but now they are back, seeking interested labels, and they're ready to get the death machine rolling again.

Thankfully, the time off has not slowed them down, softened them up, or caused them to have mellowed out in any way, shape, or form.