Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Metallica: Death Magnetic

I bought Metallica's Death Magnetic yesterday at my nearest record store, which just happens to be Wal*Mart. I just got done listenin' too it and all I can say is "HOLY SH!T!!!!" This album is LEVELS upon LEVELS better than St. Anger, and this is comin' from a guy who not only BOUGHT St. Anger the week it came out, but likes every track on the cd. I just mean WOW, this album really goes back old-school, and I like it. The riffs are great, and THANK GOD they didn't have the same drum and guitar sound as on St. Anger I mean it sounded like they were playin' inside of a 55 gallon drum. But on Death Magnetic it's completely different. This is one of the better albums I've heard in a long, long, LONG time. My personal favorite tracks are "Broken, Beat, & Scarred", "The Day That Never Comes", "All Nightmare Long", and "Cyanide."

Now let us break it down some. The vocals, well, it's James Hetfield, what can I say? His voice is one of the greatest music HAS ever or WILL ever hear. And on Death Magnetic his vocals return to the master form that we all know and love from their early releases, and hopefully we won't have to wait another FIVE YEARS to hear more new stuff. The guitar, Kirk Hammet, you are a master. He is by far one of the best guitarists in the world. The sound of his guitar was a brutal mess on St. Anger, but now here is a good example of bein' able to return to what works well and not have any ill effects from an experiment gone wrong. I say he's still in top form on Death Magnetic. Bassist Robert Trujillo has an impressive debut on Death Magnetic with what fans have come to expect from Metallica bassists, great deep rhythmic bass work that is right up there with the best in the business today. Good show old boy. (Had to crack at least one joke.) And now onto the best part, my brother!!! Oh wait, sorry that's Lars Ulrich, sorry he looks like my older brother, it's kinda creepy. By far the best drummer in the world. Move over John Bohnam, Lars Ulrich has dropped you down a peg. Once against Lars brings the best drummin' in the industry to a Metallica release. The few constants in this busy are simple, Elvis is dead, Jimi Hendrix is the greatest guitar player to have ever lived, Ozzy Osbourne is still incoherent when he speaks but competely clear when he sings, and Lars Ulrich will always bring the best drummin' in the world to the new Metallica album, and he does on Death Magnetic. And lastly the producer, what else do you expect from Rick Rubin, a man who has produced albums for some of the best acts in metal, along with legends such as Johnny Cash. Another home run for the legendary producer.

So after all that, I just have this to say, GO BUY Death Magnetic NOW!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mandy Lion

Take Rob Zombie's gutteral vocals, mix in a leather trenchcoat, turbo charged sexuality, a bitchin' motorcycle, long coal black hair, a Bret Michaels leather cowboy hat, and a slight German accent and what you get is one of metals best and most unsung lead singers, Mandy Lion. What can I say about Mandy Lion? Hmm....how about he's one of the best things to come out of Germany since Oktobefest. Not to mention he's a great guy. He LOVES; dogs, he's a dog breeder (see here for a picture of his own dog), martial arts, and metal. When he's not makin' great music, he spends his time tryin' to dispell false rumors about the statistics of dog attacks.

Lion has been in the American music scene since 1986 when he immigrated (legally) from Germany, after havin' a few successful bands there. He arrived here when glam metal and bands like Poison, Whitesnake, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, and Warrant where toppin' the charts. Once settled in L.A., he began formin' a new band which wouldn't be the oh-so popular glam metal, but what was more himself, one of the first American gothic metal bands, named World War III (WWIII). While with WWIII Lion created a new vocal style, extreme power vocal, which others have mimmicked and made even more popular.

In his 22 years in the American music scene Lion has recorded four albums, three with bands, one solo, and appeared on the George Lynch album Sacred Groove. A look at the list of artists he's performed with reads like a who's who of metal music. Although his career has spanned three decades three stints of WWIII, one of Wicked Alliance, and even one as a solo artist and he's only released four albums, I would say that Lion is an artists that EVERY metal fan MUST listen too, and see perform live, though I never have just watch his video for his cover of the song "Kiss" (link provided below) and you'll know what I'm talkin' about. I give Mandy Lion 4 1/2 leather clad stars out of five.

Crash Underride

Official YouTube channel
Mandy Lion and WWIII at MySpace
Wikipedia page
Cover of the Prince song "Kiss".

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Marazene is a three piece industrial metal band from the small town of Chicago, Illinois. They consist of Nikk Skum on vocals and multiple instruments, DieTrich Thrall on multiple instruments, and Kristov on drums. They are a completely 100% Do It Yourself band. Production, mixing, performing, it's all done by the band. Marazene effortlessly blends new tech, with the heaviest of metal. They are like Ministry with a splash of Disturbed and a sprinkling of Rob Zombie. Shake well and you get one of Chicago's hottest acts. Marazene have released one album, which is 2006's self-released MachiNation. Of the songs of Marazene's that I've heard, I highly recommend "gIVe (Skumfukker's)", and "AnTiThesis". I recommend you swing by their official YouTube channel and have a look at a few of their official videos. Or if you feel like hearin' a few more tunes head right on over to their MySpace page (provided above) and give'em a listen and maybe even a friend request.

I will warn readers, they are NOT for the younger crowd. Take their song "gIVe (Skumfukkers)" for example, lyrics include, "...give me a hole I'll f**k it, give me, give me chance I'll blow it, give me some love I'll choke it, give me a pill I'll pop it, give me a line I'll drop it, give me some smack I'll shoot it, give me a gun I'll do it...", and "Whatever you got I'll put it in me...". So as I said, some of their material is not for the younger crowd. However, I still highly recommend that you go and see Marazene if you ever get the chance. I honestly don't think you'll regret it one bit.

For Marazene, I'll have to give me a four stars out of five. It's not everyone's shot of Jack but I find them refreshin' and I recommend to every metal fan.

Crash Underride

"gIVe (Skumfukker's)" 
"gIVe (Skumfukker's)" [live] on YouTube

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stoker 7

Stoker 7 is a three piece rock band from Glenville, West Virginia. They consist of Dustin Wagoner on vocals and guitar, Joe Park on bass guitar, and Tyson Price on drums. The band has been playing college towns all around West Virginia for the past few years, and draw influences from various straight-forward rock trios of the past. They have a sound that reminds you of classic rock from such bands as The Eagles. I would honestly say that Stoker 7 is one of the few true rock bands out there. They are a rare band live, they actually sound good live rather than some bands who can't live up to the album live. The live video of them performing "Let It All Go" at Trezans, a bar in Glenville, West Virginia.

The band may be small, but the sound is big. I highly recommend this band to any fan of straight out rock. I give Stoker 7 a four out of five.

Crash Underride

"Let It All Go" live at Trezans