Dust Bolt – Trapped In Chaos

From the opening evil strains of ‘The Fourth’ on Dust Bolt’s newest 2019 killer pixie from hell Thrash album entitled Trapped In Chaos (Napalm Records) to the closing typewriter-on-meth induced ‘Who I Am’ there is not a beat dropped, nor a wall devoid of blood splatter. Trapped In Chaos lives up to its name as Dust Bolt delivers a manic chaotic Thrash album that rings in the new year with head-banging, ear-bleeding aplomb. Continue reading

Mark Deutrom – The Blue Bird

The first song on an album is important. It sets the tone for what’s to come. Get this right, and everything flows. Get this wrong, and, well… it’s better to get it right. Unfortunately, Mark Deutrom’s The Blue Bird (Season of Mist) is in the latter category. The opening track seems messy and disjointed and is followed by ninety seconds of a solo guitar playing whole notes…. Slowly…. The listener is unsure where this is going to go.  Continue reading

Metal Church – Damned If You Do

Metal Church has graced its fans with Damned If You Do (Nuclear Blast/Rat Pak Records). It’s refreshing to listen to new, pure unadulterated Heavy Metal. Some music doesn’t need bells and whistles and Metal Church creates such music. Vocalist Mike Howe still sounds amazing – I, for one, was well chuffed at his return for 2016’s XI – and he shines again on this, the twelfth full-length Metal Church album. Kurdt Vanderhoof and Rick Van Zandt are twin guitar aces and added to this headbanging mixture is the rhythm section of Stet Howland on drums and Steve Unger on bass. Well, this is a win-win for all involved. Continue reading

Transmaniacon – The Strange World Of Suzie Pellet

I love random. I honestly thought when I received Transmaniacon it was just… random fate. Then I put on my glasses and actually read what I had been sent. Transmaniacon featuring  Lydia Lunch and Maya Berlin. Lydia Lunch… Lydia Lunch… the same Lydia Lunch of my childhood? The same Lydia Lunch from the Lower East Side? The Lydia Lunch from those movies? The Lydia Lunch I had just seen with Anthony Bourdain on Parts Unknown? Continue reading

Lacuna Coil – The 119 Show Live In London (DVD)

Lacuna Coil celebrated twenty years by filming The 119 ShowLive in London (Century Media) in that bastion of musicality, London Town. The more than two-hour show showcases all that’s good about Lacuna Coil and features amazing performances by Incandescence Circus Theatre Company. From the freaky circus backdrop to the band taking the stage in unsettling white face paint, The 119 Show is a mélange of American Horror Story Season 4, a wicked Lacuna Coil show, and amateurish editing. Continue reading

Cave – Allways

Hailing from the windy city, Chicago, Cave drops their sixth full length album Allways (Drag City); an instrumental profusion and six songs and forty-one minutes of mind altering fare.  Cave have been around since 2007 and have released a plethora of 7” and cassette tapes in addition to albums. Continue reading

Hangman’s Chair – Banlieue Triste

The ten tracks of the fifth album by Hangman’s Chair, Banlieue Triste (Spinefarm) clock in at a wee bit over an hour. The title track ‘Banlieue Triste’ opens the album. It was an odd choice. It’s almost three minutes of maudlin slow-moving fare. It gives you no indication of what’s to come. To wit, if I were a casual listener, I’d switch it off and that would do a disservice to the rest of the album. Banlieue Triste, the album, is best described as atmospheric angsty Sludge. The second track ‘Naive’ more encapsulates the overall sound of Banlieue Triste: the music sounds as if it’s in an echo chamber. This production choice enhances the listening experience as it impacts the depth of the music. The listener feels just a tad “off”.  There is a constant unnerving expansive feel to every song. Continue reading

Korpiklaani – Kulkija

Korpiklaani’s tenth album Kulkija (Nuclear Blast) is the tale of a wanderer; “Kulkija” meaning, well, wanderer. I didn’t find this out until after I listened to the album. Learned something new! What isn’t new is the incredible musicianship of Korpiklaani and the compositional depth of their music. Kulkija showcases fourteen songs and spans an hour and twelve minutes where each song tells a tale of our illustrious wanderer and his life during his travels. It isn’t necessary to speak the Finnish language to enjoy Kulkija but I’m sure it adds an insightful layer to the album if you do. Continue reading

Moonspell – Lisboa Under the Spell

After a quarter of a century, what is there left for a band to do? If you are Moonspell, you put out a live three disk cd with accompanying three-hour long video that includes a documentary and three albums played in their entirety live. Vocalist Fernando Ribeiro, drummer Mike Gaspar, Pedro Paixao on keyboards, guitarist Ricardo Amorim, and bassist Aires Pereira present the epic Lisboa Under the Spell (Napalm Records). Continue reading

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Pt. 1

Michael Romeo of Symphony X has released an epic album entitled War of the Worlds Pt. 1 (Music Theories/Mascot). True to the title, the disk evokes the famous 1938 radio program by H.G. Wells combined with Steven Spielberg’s sense of wonder. The ‘Introduction’ is a sweeping symphonic masterpiece that effortlessly blends traditional symphony with extreme rock guitar playing. The result is an aural masterpiece that heightens the senses and bewitches the mind. Continue reading