Back in 1994, Bay Area thrashers Machine Head released their debut album “Burn My Eyes”. From first listen, I was hooked and knew that Machine Head was my band. A band that would help carry the flag of heavy metal along side Pantera and their game changer “Vulgar Display of Power”. Machine Head resonated with me that much, and for the rest of that year until present day, I have sung the praises for “my band”. I defended and would fight on the spot any one who dare disrespect the Head in my presence. It was hard at times when it was easy to jump on the they sold out on “The Burning Red” Robb thinks he is a rapper bandwagon. That is easy to do, shit on someone else’s art and passion. Fans, and fellow musicians shit all over the “Supercharger” record for being lame and generic. My retort to that, and this may be a shot but so be it, “Diabolus In Musica”. Bad timing coinciding with the tragic events of September 11 helped hault Machine Head as the first single for the album was “Crashing Around You”. By this time I was pissed because in my mind Machine Head were big time and got no respect, and seemed like the band got no push from their record label. Then something happened that started a buzz in the metal community….. “Through The Ashes of Empires” was released. The Maiden riffing, the aggression, the early stages of complexity, and all of a sudden Machine Head were back. Back I ask? They never left, they always were a band that wore their heart on their sleeve, and all you fools that took shots had to feel pretty stupid right about now! The progression continued with the release of “The Blackening” and “Unto the Locust” Enter the end of 2014, and what we have is a masterpiece. Continue reading
Back in June of 2011, a happenstance of historic proportion took place at the initial installment of The Days of The Doomed Fest. Eric Wagner of Blackfinger, Ron Holzner of Earthen Grave, and Jeff ‘Oly’ Olson of Retro Grave were all scheduled to play the Doom in June. What happened was that former members of Doom Legends Trouble, reunited onstage to play a few classics the doomsters were known for. What started as a very casual jam, turned into more. A few shows here, a few shows there, playing some Trouble favorites. Oly left the band, citing he would wait for a proper Trouble reunion. Wagner and Holzner carried on and continued to have fun, belting out some of the songs their former band were leaving off their current set list. The beast began to take on a life of it’s own, and fans were excited to hear some of these classics again with the original voice singing them. After a few line up changes, Oly has returned and the the guitars have been solidified by Lothar Keller and ex Pentagram riff slinger Matt Goldsborough. All the while fans wondered what the band had planned as far as original music. Wonder no more, as 2014 sees The Skull drop the debut album “For Those Which Are Asleep” Continue reading
Exodus have long been a thrashers salvation. The band have endured the loss of original frontman Paul Baloff, record companies jumping on the grunge bandwagon, numerous line up changes, and members time devoted to other projects. They were there in the beginning, in the thrash metal capital of the United States, the Bay Area, helping pioneer the genre. Often going unrecognized due to the success of other bands that broke at the same time. To the fans however, Exodus has always had the respect and street cred for staying true to themselves and not pandering to the times trends. 2014 is a new beginning for the band again, as they welcome back former vocalist Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza to the fold for the first time since 2004′s “Tempo of The Damned”. When a band makes a change of this magnitude to a “classic line up”, sometimes the expectations can be difficult to live up to. Continue reading
“Into The Mirror Black”, Sanctuary’s last record was released in Europe in 1989. Stateside, we saw a release in February of 1990. Anyway you slice it, it has been almost a quarter of a century since the band had any recorded evidence of existence. The band seemingly fell off the face of the earth. In the wake of the growing popularity of the grunge scene, Sanctuary was Nevermore……Literally Continue reading
Doom isn’t always low and slow, and it most certainly isn’t a forced eleven minute opus with the same recycled riff churning over and over. Doom is so much more than any of that.You feel it in your bones, it consumes you. The pain, the sadness, the despair, and the ugly becomes the most beautiful feeling in the deepest corner of your mind and your gut. Black Sabbath, were the first to fame the devil’s note. Witchfinder General followed suit. In the States bands like Trouble, Saint Vitus, and Pentagram planted the seeds of American Doom. Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, and The State of Maryland helped further the melancholic movement. Enter Apostle of Solitude, and their latest offering “Of Woe and Wounds” Continue reading
Electric Wizard are back after a four year absence since their last offering “Black Masses”, which was labeled a return to the fuzz dusted classic sound that fans could not get enough of on what is often considered the measuring stick of the bands discography, “Dopethrone”. Lets get right to the gettin, “Time To Die” is not “Dopethrone”, or “Black Masses”. I know, no reason to continue reading right? Wrong! Few select bands can get by with putting out the same record time after time. The Wizard are known for their thunderous low end, venomous psychedelia, and their misanthropic down tuned messages of Satan, dope, and morose outlook of mankind and humanity. Couple this with the return of drummer Mark Greening, and you have the recipe for total destruction.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Some for the good, and some for the bad. Overkill come roaring back with their latest offering “White Devil Armory”. Overkill have always been a grossly underrated band, that year after year continue to progress and evolve the way in which they bludgeon the ear drums of their legions of fans.How can there be a Big 4, 8, 12 , or any stupid number of thrash bands and not have a sincere mention of Overkill? There can’t,and any fan of metal that has any knowledge of thrash will most definitely want “The Wrecking Crew” included.
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Crowbar has been churning out sludge crusted, downtrodden morosity for 25 years.The seasoned veterans of the low and slow battalion are the architects of devastation and destruction. Let there be no curiosity unsatisfied, as Crowbar come roaring back with their tenth studio album “Symmetry In Black”. They deliver an album that only they could, an album that would be welcomed and gospel to the masses that followed and supported the band from it’s earliest days. Continue reading