metal Archive

Some Long-lost Artist Biographies

Way back in the depths of the Great Recession (2007-2009), one of my former writers (from my time as Editor in Chief of a now-defunct magazine I won’t dignify by naming) put me in touch with the good people at Amoeba Music. The California-based record chain had an ambitious plan: creating artist bios to serve

Album Review: Screaming Headless Torsos — Code Red

This charmingly-named outfit weds aggressive, metal-riffage styles to funk textures (a la Red Hot Chili Peppers), and some hip-hop vibe. The result is difficult to pin down, but it’s a mite compelling. Equal parts Metallica and Parliament/Funkadelic, this is easily one of the more boundary-pushing releases of this year. Pig squeal guitar, shouted choruses and

Morelouderfastermore: The “Cacaphony” of GWAR

Anyone who’s ever viewed the 1982 film classic This is Spinal Tap will recall the famous “eleven” dialogue between filmmaker Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner) and Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest). Tufnel proudly displays his prized amplifier, kitted out with control knobs that all go to eleven. A puzzled DiBergi asks him, “Why don’t you make ten

Concert Preview: Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath

Shine a light into some of rock history’s less well-lit corners, and you’ll discover some strange yet intriguing detours. Among the most remarkable of these is the conceptual mash-up: combining not two different songs, but two different musical sensibilities. The results can often be noteworthy. Take, for example, the one-off music film clip made for

Album Review: Volto! — Incitare

In the related and sometimes overlapping fields of marketing and customer service, “bait and switch” is – quite rightly – considered a bad thing. Drawing a potential customer in with promises of one thing only to deliver another (or worse yet, a sales pitch for another) is considered an unethical practice. But somehow when it’s

Book Review: Louder Than Hell

For journalist-authors, there are myriad ways to tell a story. The easiest – and often most effective – is to write the story as narrative, and insert quotes from those who were there to supports the assertions made in said narrative. It’s a tried-and-true method that works, and readers can follow it. But there’s another

Opeth: Mixing Metal and Melodicism

Initially a Swedish death metal band, Opeth has since its 1990 inception in Stockholm expanded both its sound and its appeal. While the band was an exemplar of the hard-edged sound, they have proven to be masters at mixing metal and melodicism. In May 2013 the band played a twelve-song headlining set at Asheville’s Orange

Album Review: Blue Cheer – Rocks Europe

They didn’t call it garage when ? And the Mysterians were playing “96 Tears.” They didn’t label it punk when The Stooges sang about “No Fun.” And they didn’t use the term heavy metal when Blue Cheer released their dipped-in-acid 1967 reading of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues.” But heavy metal is most certainly what it

Album Review: Blue Öyster Cult — Imaginos

Imaginos has a tortured history. The eleventh studio album released by Blue Öyster Cult (they had by this time released no less than three live albums), Imaginos was comprised of material that had been around for quite some time. Way back in the 1960s when most of the band were together in an outfit called

Album Review: Cradle of Filth — Thornography

This is some very silly music. The first track “Under Pregnant Skies She Comes Alive Like Miss Leviathan,” comes in with a bombastic movie-soundtrack vibe, all robed-choruses and scratching cellos. Of course that’s all flown in, having little to do with the group. Yet it’s the best thing about the album. Think Metallica meets Dead