A Sound Of Thunder
OUT OF THE DARKNESS
With each and every press release that comes down the pike with the term “female fronted metal band”, I find that title generally slides to the back of my “reviews” playlist. I won’t lie. What they are calling “female fronted metal” these days bores me. I hate Nightwish, and I hate the 2nd and 3rd tier bands spawned from Nightwish that much more. There’s a small handful of female fronted metal bands/acts that I truly like. Benedictum is probably the best. Doro is up there. I loved the first Otep album SEVAS TRA a lot. And yes, there’s the occasional tune from Arch Enemy that’s cool. That’s pretty much it. I’m sure there’s others that I have enjoyed from time to time, but not too many.
WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER
I'm one of those guys that just worshipped the work Donnie Vie did with Enuff Z'nuff. Even now, where I've actually hosted shows where Vie was a drug addled embarrassment to the point where I regretted having the name of my radio show tied to his performance, I never stopped appreciating the enormous musical talent that Vie has. I have all those Enuff Z'nuff albums on my IPod and they get regular play in my ears.
Ahhh...another lullaby for my sickened soul! The masters of horrific death metal are back once again. Here's a surprise - this is heavy and fast! Stunning, right? Honestly, this is one I could probably have written without ever hearing a note of the album. It's heavy. It's fast. It kicks all kinds of ass if you are into this type of thing.
We all have bands that never made it big but we really liked. If you are really honest about it, those bands generally have a very distinct reason they didn’t make it big. In short, some bands just don’t have that “it” factor. For me, Halloween are one of those bands. I always loved their tunes and thought they were great. Yet, I think I always fully understood why they didn’t make it. When you listen to the bands of their ilk that did break big and compare them to the bands that had pretty much the same impact, it’s very clear. Halloween was much more “Helstar” than they were “King Diamond”. For me, the lesser known certainly had more impact to me.
THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION
Not being the biggest fan of death metal hybrid bands of any kind, let alone bands that try to fuse black metal and goth together, I didn't have a whole lot of great expectations for THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION by long time Florida metallers Wykked Wytch. To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to listening to it. To be even more honest, the only reason I decided to listen to this was because of the lineage of the past members of the band. This band has seen some great musicians come through it - especially on drums where both Kevin Talley and Richard Christy have chaired the kit at some point. Imagine my surprise when this release turned out to be pretty much an unstoppable brutality train.
WOLFSBANE SAVE THE WORLD
I've been disappointed with many releases over the years...and this is one of them. Clearly one of my favorites, I expect better from Blaze Bayley. To be clear, I've thoroughly enjoyed almost all of his solo material. SILICON MESSIAH is one of those albums that I ensure never leaves my IPod, my phone and whatever other listening device I might use when I leave the house. While I didn't care for his Iron Maiden stuff (like, well, everyone else), I have always thought it was just a bad fit for his style.
THE AGE OF REMIX HELL
I like Mark Hunter. I consider him a friend, and I'm pretty sure he considers me as a friend as well. That said, "what the fuck, bro?"
Maybe I'm just getting old and am no longer in tune with what the kids want to hear today. I get that. I understand that this whole Dubstep crazy is in right now. I get that today's kids are just as content to listen to the work of a DJ that never touches an instrument as they might be to an actual band that plays their instruments and creates their music organically. I get all that. I just don't get why.
XI: THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW
To say the least, Lillian Axe continuing on must just be the mission of guitarist Steve Blaze. Certainly, even he would have to admit that the band has suffered it's share of setbacks over the last few years. With five years of seemingly a new vocalist fronting the band for each release, it's just been tough to get continuity as a band for Blaze and company. For THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW, they even had to switch albums mid-cycle when former Metal Church vocalist Ronnie Munroe left the band. Still, they have carried on.
When it comes to power metal bands out there that a lot of people don't know but should, Mystic Prophecy jumps right to the top of the list. Their albums are consistently excellent, with their SATANIC CURSES being a tremendous effort that's still in steady rotation in my IPod almost 5 years after it was released. With every band though, when you set the bar extremely high, you have that moment where you fall back a little bit. Being fair here, I do really like RAVENLORD, but it's simply not as good as their past releases. It's solid, but probably the worst of their catalog.
A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED
It took five long years, but seemingly those years were well spent away by Orange Goblin. Since HEALING THROUGH FIRE came out in 2007, the band has seemingly rediscovered themselves, which is a very good thing. That last album was almost the death of the band, as they nearly completely abandoned their stoner metal heritage and dumbed down their sound to become a typical metal band. Thankfully, those five years since then have seemingly reminded these guys of their roots. They are back with what might be the strongest album of their career.