Sunday, December 21, 2014

(Not that) Restless and Fairly Mild

Accept – Blind Rage

Nuclear Blast Records – 2014

Muthas, the Teutonic Terrors Accept are back with their third album since their reformation in 2009 – Blind Rage. The previous two albums with Mark Tornillo were both great slabs of excellent traditional Metal that had all the hallmarks that fans expect of Accept.  How does this new album stack up agaist the standards set by Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad

Unfortunately, Blind Rage is something of a disappointment.  Interviews with the band made it sound like this album would be very heavy and aggressive – it’s titled Blind Rage after all, and the album starts off quite well with the kickass “Stampede” and the celebration of the history of Metal that is “Dying Breed.” 

It’s then that the album comes to a screeching halt with “Dark Side of My Heart.”  This track starts out with a riff borrowed from “Up To The Limit” (which is awesome) but then slides into a melancholy bore.  WTF?  This is followed by a succession of underwhelming songs – “Fall of the Empire,” “Trail of Tears,” and “Wanna Be Free.”  At this point, the listener wants to be free of boredom by listening to something else.   

Thankfully, the pace, and the song quality, pick up with “200 Years” and “Bloodbath Mastermind.”  Both cuts are very good and are up to the standard set by the other Tornillo helmed albums, but the next two songs - “The Curse” and “From The Ashes We Rise” - are plodding and just as melancholy as most of the rest of the album.  The last track, “Final Journey,” does finish off the album with a bang and is one of the best tracks on the disc.

I know the band had more time to write and record this album, and I think this lack of urgency is reflected in the overall tone of the album.  It’s a weird, gloomy album that both musically and lyrically feels depressing.  A couple of speedier tunes in the vein of “Pandemic” or “Beat The Bastards” would have really helped to propel this album and break up the slower material. 

Does anyone really want to hear several slow songs bemoaning the fate of the world and the trite pablum of “Wanna Be Free”?  I know I don’t.  This is Metal for the love of God!  Strap it on and start kicking some ass!  Sheesh.


The Bottom Line: Accept’s new album is a something of a disappointment and is definitely the least of the Tornillo trilogy.  Not enough songs with that killer Accept viciousness help to drag Blind Rage down to the merely ordinary.  Accept fans will find some good tracks, but this album isn’t essential by any means.  At least the deluxe edition comes with a great live DVD – so we’ve got that going for us.  Which is nice.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Metal Is Forever!

Primal Fear – Delivering The Black

Frontiers Records – 2014

Muthas, the ever prolific Primal Fear has unleashed their tenth studio album in just sixteen years and it’s sehr gut!  Delivering The Black features a bumper crop of memorable, anthemic cuts that herald a great return to form.  The band hasn't had any terrible albums, but their material has become a bit formulaic and forgettable in the past several years.  Thankfully, the new album proves that Primal Fear can still (ahem) deliver the goods.      

The album kicks off with “King For A Day” and it’s immediately clear that Primal Fear has stepped up their game on the new record.  The song is speedy, beefy Power Metal that they have specialized in since their debut way back in 1998.  Check out the video for “King For A Day” below for confirmation:

There are many other excellent songs such as the absolutely killer and epic “When Death Comes Knocking,” the amped-up speedball “Rebel Faction” and the anthemic, mid-paced grinder “Alive & On Fire.”  Frankly, there are virtually no songs on the album that aren't excellent. Check out the video for “When Death Comes Knocking” below:

The centerpiece of the album is the amazing and emotional “One Night In December.”  This song will certainly rank among the best tracks in their catalog. I was lucky enough to see the band live on the tour for this album and this song went over great.  The crowd absolutely ate it up and didn't notice that the track was over nine minutes long.  
As an aside, this record is a great example of how important sequencing is when it comes to the flow of an album.  Delivering The Black offers up two speedy tracks, then a mid-paced song, followed by three more fast cuts and then they hit you with the nine minute epic.  This is how you do it people!  Grab the listener’s attention right off the bat and then take them on a journey.  If you don’t hook a listener early on, you are probably never going to get them back.  I know I harp on sequencing, but so many albums are ruined by the lack of flow in the modern day. Vinyl at least forced bands to think about how to place tracks for maximum impact, and that’s sorely missing in our benighted digital age. 

The only real clunker on the album is the ballad “Born With a Broken Heart.”  It’s not terrible, but feels like a perfunctory bit of filler. Another minor issue is the song title “Inseminoid” which is cringe-inducing and reminds me of a couple of Roger Corman movies. Egads! I’ll just chalk it up to English being a second language for the band.  The song itself is good though, so that will help you not focus on the absurd song title. 

As mentioned previously, I had the good fortune to see Primal Fear live and the band ripped the roof off the venue.  They sounded great live and gave it their all, even for the paltry crowd of 100 or so that turned out to see them.  They played four songs from the new album and they slotted in great with such staples as “Running In The Dust,” “Chainbreaker” and “Nuclear Fire.”  Go see them if you get the chance.  Ralf approves of this sentiment:

Thumbs Up Pittsburgh!

The Bottom Line:

Primal Fear have delivered a great slab of Power Metal that will satisfy any Metal fan.  Go out and grab it and don't fear the Inseminoid! (Unless you happen to be in a Roger Corman film.)  

As always, MAKE MINE METAL!   

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Heart Clad In Iron, Soul Clad In Steel

Grand Magus – Triumph and Power

Nuclear Blast Records – 2014

Muthas, Grand Magus has returned with their seventh album just a scant 20 months after the release of their last LP.  However, the band has decided to head down the path that leads to the mead hall of heroic epicness, rather than the more hard-rockin’ barroom of their previous album The HuntTriumph and Power is packed with loads of mid-paced, epic tunes that will get your head banging without becoming boring.  Main man JB wasn’t kidding in interviews when he said that this album would have been a huge seller in 1983.  This is 100% pure Scandinavian glory metal from the days of yore! If you were hoping that they’d return to their earlier Doom Metal sound, you will be sorely disappointed.   

The album does have several longer songs and it does take a bit of listening to get into some of them.  Unfortunately this is certainly true of the lead cut, “On Hooves of Gold.” This track seems a bit plodding upon the first listen, and a couple of speedier cuts up front would certainly help with the flow of the album.  However, there are several great mid-paced songs such as the amazing “The Hammer Will Bite” and the superb title track.  Check out the lyric video for “Triumph and Power” for a bit of Viking epicness:

The speedier cuts really shine on this album - “Dominator,” “The Naked and the Dead” and “Holmgang” in particular are good - but the absolute highlight of the album is “Steel vs. Steel.” Of course Grand Magus has no trouble cranking out a crushing song about Elric of Melnibone and his sword Stormbringer!  This song kicks ass with a memorable chorus and is sure to be a concert staple for Grand Magus in the years to come.  

 The lyrical theme of the rest of the tracks deal with tales of Vikings, battles, warriors, Valhalla, Frost Giants and Thor.  These are all worthy topics that certainly match the epic tone of the LP, and would impress even the mighty Heavy Load.  The cover art reflects these themes and is, quite simply, exceptional. It’s easily the best they’ve ever had on one of their albums.  It would make a great subject for a shirt, poster and backpatch.  In fact, the vinyl comes with just such a poster!


The Bottom Line:  Triumph and Power is an excellent album that is loaded with rock-solid traditional Metal.  It might take a bit to get in to the album, but it’s worth your time and effort.  Pick it up and get the vinyl for that kick-ass artwork!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Down To The Bone

Overkill – White Devil Armory

EOne – 2014

Muthas, guess who’s back with another excellent thrash album?  Megadeth? Metallica? Anthrax?  Of course not. It’s Overkill!  At this point, one begins to wonder where the Overkill tribute albums and documentaries are because this band is so damn reliable.  They never falter and are consistently excellent while their peers wallow is various failed experiments with “mature song writing” or some other bullshit.  How the hell do they keep doing this and why aren't they lauded?  I have no idea but this album will only further burnish their sterling reputation.

White Devil Armory is another disc packed with stone cold classic songs.  Is it better than The Electric Age or Ironbound?  Maybe, but it’s at the very least as good as those modern classics.  You headbangers will delight in smashing tracks like “Down To the Bone,” “Bitter Pill,” “Where There’s Smoke,” and “Freedom Rings.” The pit will really get moving to the crushing “Pig.” Check out the video for "Bitter Pill" below:

There’s a limited edition digipak that contains two bonus tracks – “The Fight Song” and “Miss Misery.”  The first track recalls the song “Old School” from Relixiv and would be a great sing-along cut for live shows.  “Miss Misery” is a Nazereth cover and it features a vocal duet with Mark Tornillo of Accept!  It’s another great song by a band that always delivers the goods when it comes to cover tunes.

The Bottom Line:

Frankly, reviewing Overkill albums is a bit boring because it’s difficult to keep coming up with reviews that don’t all sound the same.  The album is great, just like the rest of their catalog.  Go out and get the limited edition and go see them live.  This is definitely a band that we should all be supporting.  They are Metal down to the bone!

As always, MAKE MINE METAL! 

Welcome To My World Of Steel

Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls

Epic Records – 2014

Muthas, the Priest is back! It’s been six long years since the disappointing, turgid mess that was Nostradamus.  In the interim founding member K.K. Downing retired and was replaced by Richie Faulkner. With the loss of one third of the Halford/Tipton/Downing triumvirate would it be possible for Redeemer of Souls to live up to the rest of the Judas Priest catalog?  Believe it or not, it actually does.  This is a damn fine return to form for the band that personifies Heavy Metal. 

Sadly, it takes several listens to get into Redeemer of Souls because of a couple of a few odd choices that the band has made.  Firstly, the mix on this album is garbage.  The guitars are buried in the mix and Halford’s vocals are pushed way up front.  This robs many of the cuts of power and makes them a bit inaccessible upon the first few listens.  Secondly, the sequencing of the album is poor because the first several tracks are nowhere near the best and lack the immediate hooky-ness that can really kick-start an album.  A remix and a re-sequencing would do wonders for Redeemer of Souls. Finally, this is a very long album with the standard version having 13 tracks and the deluxe edition featuring a bonus disc with an additional five songs.  Eighteen tracks is essentially two albums worth of material and is a huge amount of music to digest in a single sitting.

Those criticisms aside, this is probably the best album Priest has released since Painkiller.  Once you get past the okay “Dragonaught” and the ho-hum title track, the album really kicks into gear with “Halls of Valhalla” which should have been the album opener and first single.  “Sword of Damocles,” ”Battle Cry,” and “Metalizer,” are all excellent, speedy cuts. “March of the Damned” is the second single while having a modern sound is a total earworm.  I defy anyone not to get into the amazing riff that is all over this track. “Hell & Back” sounds like it could have been from 1978 and “Cold Blooded” could have been on Screaming For VengeanceThis album is packed with quality songs throughout. Unfortunately, the album ends with the “Beginning of the End” which is a crap ballad and it should have been left off the album.

The bonus disc features five tracks, four of which are equal to, or better than, the material on the standard album. “Snakebite” is a catchy, sassy, commercial track that recalls the British Steel era.  “Tears of Blood” is a fantastic, emotional song that builds to a great ending, and is the best track of all of the eighteen cuts!  This should have been the centerpiece of the standard album.  “Creatures” is a classic Priest “monster” song like “Nightcrawler” and is damn good.  “Bring It On” is decent and sounds like it was written in the late 70s/early 80s.  Unfortunately, “Never Forget” ends the bonus disc - it’s a horrid, treacly ballad.  Vomitous.

The Bottom Line:

The mighty Judas Priest has cranked out an excellent album that is overstuffed with metallic goodness.  The Deluxe Edition is worth the coin, and will provide you with hours of quality listens.  So get out there and get it if you haven’t already. 
As always, MAKE MINE METAL! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bits, Bobs, Odds & Sods - February 2014

Attic –  The Invocation

Van Records - 2012

Do you like King Diamond and Mercyful Fate? Well, you probably don’t like them as much as the guys in Attic.  Hailing from Germany, the band is probably the best Fate/KD doppelgänger in the history of Metal.  No, they are not helmed by a King, but rather a Meister – Meister Cagliostro.  Guess what?  Cagliostro sports ye old face paint and is a dead ringer for King Diamond!  The songs are about witches, covens, Satan, ghosts, etc… and the only thing that really separates Attic from Mercyful Fate/King Diamond is the guitars, which aren’t as lethally sharp and razor-etched as those of Sherman, Denner or LaRocque.  This is a minor quibble really, and the songs will make you think that you are listening to some long lost King Diamond demos.  If you need a fix of that sound while you wait for some new material from the King, then you could do worse than Attic. Check it out:


3 Inches of Blood – Warriors of the Great White North

Self Financed - 2014

Tireless road dogs 3 Inches of Blood have just dropped an excellent documentary of a recent tour of their Canadian homeland.  It’s a fifty minute journey with the band through the various stops and shows as they blast ripping Metal to the masses.  It’s a nice insight in to the life of a true touring act that is still accessible to the average fan.  You get to see firsthand that the band works their collective asses off for everything they’ve achieved, and that they certainly aren’t living any kind of rockstar lifestyle. In fact, this documentary is self-financed and you can purchase it from Vimeo for a mere $4.99.  Go buy the damn thing here!  Check it out:


Blues Pills – Devil Man EP

Nuclear Blast Records - 2014

Have you had enough of the “Occult Rock” albums that have glutted the market recently?  You know, those albums with a female lead singer, occult lyrics and proto-Metal riffs? Thankfully, Blues Pills from Sweden doesn’t have anything to do with that trend, rather they sound like Adele fronting Sabbath or Zeppelin.  Holy shit Elin Larsson (the lead singer) has some of the most amazing pipes I have ever heard!  Her voice is tremendously powerful, and the band plays bluesy, heavy, 70s rock of the best kind.  If you like Zep, Bad Company, Scorpion Child, Black Sabbath etc… then you should definitely pick this four track EP up.  It’s available on CD as well as on a really sweet gatefold 10”.  Check it out:    


That's it for this month my friends. 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Bombastic Baker’s Dozen

The Top 13 Metal Albums of 2013
 (and some other stuff)

Muthas, 2013 was yet another great year for Metal and we have picked a Baker’s Dozen of the best metal albums of the year. We’ve also picked the best live releases, best reissues, best concerts and the biggest disappointments of the year.  Read on!

The Thirteen Best Albums of 2013

2013 brought an avalanche of quality steel to abuse your tattered eardrums. These are the thirteen albums that dominated our turntables, CD players, and MP3 players at The Metal Blog of Metal. 

Enforcer – Death By Fire

Swedish speedsters Enforcer crush skulls on their third LP with a stellar mixture of U.S. Speed, NWOBHM and Scandinavian Glory Metal.  This is a very focused, all killer-no filler collection of ripping Speed Metal and at just under 40 minutes, it's the perfect length for vinyl.  Take a listen to the awesome triumvirate of “Mesmerized By Fire,” “Take Me Out of This Nightmare,” and “Crystal Suite” if you want to hear superb traditional metal done like the titans of ye olden daze.  If only Iron Maiden could conjure up something as compelling rather than being an old man prog band.

Orchid – The Mouth of Madness

The Band That Can Do No Wrong continues their dominance with their latest full length disc of 70s doom.  The Mouth of Madness is what everybody wanted 13 to sound like, which of course, it didn’t.  Orchid serves up more amazingly hooky traditional metal as if they’ve been doing this since 1971.  Damn these guys are good.  Once again, Theo Mindell’s art matches the music and adds to the overall experience - believe it or not, things like cover art and fonts matter.  You should immediately buy this platter of crushing doom mastery. 

Holy Grail – Ride The Void

California metallions Holy Grail return with an album chock full of guitar wizardry and catchy anthems.  It’s easy to see that they will be one of the modern traditional metal bands that will gain a large audience. Once again the songs are loaded with insanely tasty riffs, leads and solos, as well as a pounding bottom end and the masterful vocals of James Paul Luna. They also have an amazing work ethic and are tireless road warriors.  We managed to catch them twice this year alone in two separate cities.  Hailz to them for cranking out a disc that simply announces – WE CAME TO SHRED!

Saxon – Sacrifice

Speaking of road warriors, Saxon has released yet another album of rock hard traditional metal. This time they have returned to more of the power metal sound they had on Metalhead, rather than the midpaced material of their last album.  The result is excellent and another solid entry in their lengthy catalog. All hail the mighty Saxon

Hell – Curse & Chapter

Hell’s second official album is about 80% new material with a few re-recorded ancient demos.  It’s a great follow up to Human Remains and dispels any fears that Hell wouldn’t be able to put out new material to match their 80s output.  Once again they offer up a riff-packed journey through diabolically dangerous metallic landscapes. Definitely worth the coin and 
one of the best of the year. Buy it!

Night Demon – Night Demon

This is absolutely our favorite release of 2013 here at The Metal Blog of Metal.  Our opinion of the album hasn’t changed since we reviewed it here back in May.  It’s an amazing EP that showcases a superb NWOBHM sound akin to Grim Reaper, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head.  It’s a goddamn metal masterpiece in every way possible!  We eagerly await their full length LP in 2014 and it should kick much ass.  Hailz boys and thanks for a great EP!  

U.D.O. – Steelhammer

U.D.O. the band and Udo the man finally crank out an album to match the ferocity of the latest Accept releases and ditch that shitty electronic guitar sound that had marred their last couple of albums.  There are a couple of weird diversions on the album, but it is dominated by vicious, pounding steel the majority of the time. Check out our full review here. This is definitely worth adding to your U.D.O./Accept collection. 

Witch Cross – Axe To Grind

Who ever thought Witch Cross would release another album? Not us, that’s for sure.  1984’s Fit For Fight is one of the crown jewels of Danish metal, so it would be tough to follow up.  Unfortunately, original vocalist Alex “Savage” Nyborg Madsen did not take part in the reunion, but, fortunately, the band chose Kevin Moore as his replacement.  Moore is a former touring member of Oliver/Dawson Saxon, and as a result, Axe To Grind has a heavy Saxon influence.  This is straight down the middle, meat and potatoes, traditional heavy metal.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s executed brilliantly and is very enjoyable.  Sure, it doesn’t sound like “Tears of a Clown,” but it still kicks all kinds of ass.  Pick it up!

Motorhead – Aftershock

So who thought we might never hear another Motorhead album?  Thankfully, Lemmy and the boys managed to record one hell of a great album considering Lemmy’s health problems.  Amazingly it’s much more aggressive than the somewhat lackluster The World Is Ours and there’s not a dull moment on it.  It’s probably their best since Inferno and we have you banging your head with wild abandon.  Isn’t that what you’ve come to expect from Motorhead? Damn straight it is.

Vicious Rumors – Electric Punishment

Vicious Rumors continues down the path that they forged with Razorback Killers and put out another excellent album that showcases their superb USPM sound.  Unfortunately, this album has gotten lost in the shuffle do to vocalist Brian Allen having to leave the band due to family issues. Don't let that dissuade you as there are many killer cuts on it such as “I Am The Gun,” “Electric Punishment,” and “Thirst For A Kill.”  Get it!

Black Sabbath – 13

We expected this album to be an unmitigated disaster, but, amazingly enough, it’s a good album.  Certainly the cover art is completely lazy bullshit and the album title sucks ass.  Also, the lack of Bill Ward is very noticeable and the album is another victim of shithead Rick Rubin’s loudness wars.  However, Tony Iommi’s riffs are amazing as ever, Geezer’s bass is crushing and Ozzy’s voice is acceptable.  The tracks sound like either a very good early Ozzy album, or a Dio Sabbath album with Ozzy on vocals.  13 doesn’t invoke memories of the Sabs 70s mastery (if you want that, listen to the new Orchid), but it’s not a black mark on their legacy 
either. Be sure to pick up the special edition with the track "Naivete In Black" on it, as that song is excellent.

BAT – Primitive Age (Demo)

This was a late entry to the list, but it’s very worthy of high praise.  BAT is made up of Ryan Waste from Municipal Waste and Volture, Felix Griffin of DRI fame, and Nick Poulos of Cannabis Corpse and Volture.  What we have here is greasy, dirty speed metal/thrash that pays a great amount of homage to the mighty Venom.  Waste does his best Chronos on vox and bass and the result is cranking steel fury that will please both the oldest and youngest Thrashers alike.  It might only be a demo, but it’s better than the majority of slickly produced albums that are constantly foisted upon the Metal buying public.  Go here and download it for free!  I hope they do a 7” vinyl release asap!  Total wreckage indeed!

Satan – Life Sentence

Well holy shit, this is awesome!  One usually cringes when an old NWOBHM band has a reunion and promises a return to their original sound.  Normally the result is a sub-par collection of middling garbage that fails to re-capture the magic of their early material.  That couldn’t be further from the truth with Life Sentence because it’s a face-melting collection of NWOBHM excellence.  Brian Ross sounds great and the songs will wreck your neck like it’s 1982.  This should have been the follow up to Court In The Act back in the day.  Buy this album immediately if not sooner! Damn it's good!

Live – In the Raw!  - The best live albums/DVDs

Testament – Dark Roots of Thrash

Bay Area bruisers Testament deliver a new live album/DVD that perfectly captures their current live set.  The camera work on the DVD is particularly good and it is one of the most cinematic treatments we have seen of concert footage.  The setlist is evenly split between classics and current material, but omits most of their 90s output.  Thankfully the mix is much better than the last couple of times we saw Testament live, because you can actually hear Chuck's vocals!  If you like Testament then you should definitely add this to your collection.

Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart – Live In Philly 1986

This CD/DVD features Dio at the height of their popularity with their massive stage show featuring lasers, knights in plate armor and a huge, animatronic dragon.  The band sounds great and Ronnie is in fine voice.  Viewing the DVD is a somewhat melancholy experience because it will remind you that the Man On The Silver Mountain has taken his final bow, but seeing him at his ferocious best helps take your mind off of it.  Long Live Rock n Roll!

Iron Maiden – Maiden England ‘88

Another in a long line of Maiden archival releases that really illustrates that Maiden knows how to make money like Gene Simmons.  What you get is the legendary Maiden England ’88 show on CD/DVD that showcases Maiden on the cusp of slipping into disarray, but still at their peak. They still sounded great at this point and Seventh Son was a decent enough album, but mediocrity was waiting in the wings.  The second disc of the DVD is especially nice because it features part 3 of the history of Iron Maiden as well as the long out of print 12 Wasted Years documentary.  

Best Reissues

2013 featured several excellent reissues that were long awaited in the Metal world.

Heretic From The Vault…Tortured and Broken

Finally!!!  Metal Blade Records released this excellent box set that includes the Torture Knows No Boundary EP, the Breaking Point LP along with tons of bonus tracks and a DVD!  It’s well worth the cost for the EP alone, which had never officially been released on CD. Grab this one before it goes out of print!

Jag Panzer – Tyrants, Ample Destruction, Shadow Thief, Dissident Alliance

We never thought there would be official reissues of Jag Panzer’s early catalog due to disagreements between former guitarist Joey Tafolla and the rest of the band.  Somehow that was all worked out and not only do we get these reissues, but Joey is back in the band!  You can pitch your shitty bootlegs in the trash and snap up these reissues from High Roller Records in a variety of formats – CD, colored Vinyl, Picture Disc and even a luxurious Picture Disc box set.  All the releases have been nicely remastered with loads of bonus tracks and restored artwork.  Buy or die!

Y&T – Earthquake: The A&M Years 1981-1985

This is a very nice 4 disc box set with the best output form San Francisco legends Y&T.  The set includes the Earthquake, Black Tiger, Meanstreak, In Rock We Trust, and Down For The Count studio albums along with the Open Fire and BBC Friday Rock Show live albums.  This release showcases Y&T at the peak of their careers and is fairly cheap as well.  If you don’t already own these albums, you should definitely buy this and enjoy the hard rocking excellence of a band that should have been huge. 

Witch Cross All That’s Fit For Fighting

This superb 3CD/1 DVD box set essentially purges the vaults of everything Witch Cross did before their new album Axe To Grind.  You get the ultra-classic Fit For Fight along with all their 80s demos and, amazingly enough, a DVD of a live show and music videos(!) that had never seen the light of day.  It’s all wrapped up in a very nice, thick, flip top box with a magnetic closure.  Truly an exceptional release and a must have for fans of classic Metal.

Best Concerts

Metal Alliance Tour – 4/7/13 Cincinnati, Ohio

Great package tour featuring, Anthrax, Exodus, Municipal Waste, High On Fire and Holy Grail ripping it up for 5 hours!  All the bands sounded great and it was a real treat to get our copies of Among The Living and Worship Music signed.  The only complaint was that Holy Grail didn’t have a very long set as it would have been nice to hear more from them.

Orange Goblin/Holy Grail/ Lazer Wulf – 10/26/13 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The mighty Orange Goblin tore it up on Halloween weekend in the Steel City.  They played an energetic set featuring songs from most of their albums.  It was their second swing through town in just 6 months and they did not disappoint.  Holy Grail once again was excellent and proved that they should be making the step up to headliner soon.  

Biggest Disappointments

Ghost – Infestissumam

It’s become fashionable to hate on Ghost because of all the coverage they get in the music press, but the problem with their new album doesn’t have anything to do with hype.  The real problem is Infestissumam is mostly boring and forgettable.  The album sounds pleasant enough, but nothing really sticks in the memory after the album is done.  In fact, the If You Have Ghost EP is more interesting and it consists of cover songs.  Try working on some more memorable hooks guys and better luck next time.

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music

We really wanted to like this album and it pains us to have to write this.  Jason is a great guy and his enthusiasm for his new band  and metal is obvious.  Unfortunately, Heavy Metal Music is rather bland and generic and Jason's vocals leave much to be desired.  The whole album sounds like a heavy/alt record that would have been released in 1994. Blah. Also, what’s with all the stupid song titles like “Soldierhead,” “Ampossible,” “Kindevillusion,” and “Futureality?”  Stop that shit Jason, it's goofy.  Here’s hoping that his next album is killer.

Have a great 2014, and, as always, MAKE MINE METAL!