The Atomic Bitchwax “Force Field” Album Review + Stream…

THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX

Force Field – Vinyl // CD // DD // Merch

TeePee Records: released December 7, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

Formed:  1993

Current Members:
Chris Kosnik bass, vocals (currently of Monster Magnet, formerly of Godspeed and Black NASA)
Bob Pantella drums, percussion (formerly of Raging Slab, currently of Monster Magnet, Riotgod, Cycle of Pain)
Finn Ryan guitar, vocals (formerly of Core)

Previous Releases:
The Atomic Bitchwax (1999)
TAB-2 (2000)
Spit Blood EP (2002)
TAB-3 (2005)
Boxriff EP (2006)
TAB-4 (2007)
The Local Fuzz ‘single’ (2011)
Gravitron (2015)

 

 

Review:
Veterans all, referring to the members of this long-running unit, that all started as a side-project in the summer of 1999 and has since evolved into this raging storm comprised of three forces that meld seamlessly into the animal that stands before us, represented by the band’s seventh offering, “Force Field”.

Twelve songs and thirty-four minutes make up this release and is by far the strongest release yet from The Atomic Bitchwax aka TAB, bringing all of the honing, sharpening and precision born of endless touring here in the States and internationally over the last 18 years together to blast you out of your seat as never before. Having been previously described as a band that ‘specializes in high-octane, 70’s based hard rock, space rock and psychedelia’, TAB has taken that base formula from the edge of the century and brought it to the front in ALL of it’s sonic glory.

From the drum intro of “Hippie Speedball” through the histrionics of “Humble Brag“, there is no lack of bravado tinged with sheer brilliance of power chords, psycho-quick time shifts, hyper-rumbling bass lines and all of the lyrical twists and turns we have come to love and expect from TAB and tracks such as “Tits And Bones” fill that order with ease. Closer “Liv A Little” let’s those 70’s root fly high with the keyboard fills and an over-modulated vocal line that brings you to the sound and feel of what is must have been like at a T-Rex crowd with the energy that is necessary for the listeners of this century.

Band Pic

 

Two stand outs to me from this instant classic and MUST-HAVE for the long-time fans and the ones just discovering this trio are “Super Highway” with it’s phase-shifted drum intro into a high-speed jaunt with lyrics to match is one of those songs that begs to be played at full-volume and gets your heart racing alongside, trying to keep pace and would be a great track to feature as the lead off, in MY opinion.  The second is “Fried, Dyed and Laying To The Side“, an instrumental romp that allows each guy to shine in their own mastery of their individual ‘weapon’ which only brightens the genius of this release.

If you were expecting something closer to a Monster Magnet record, hope you weren’t too disappointed. While the interweaving and endless touring with each band has not stopped and will more than likely not change anytime soon, The Atomic Bitchwax have proven time and again that they are their OWN entity and their finest-hour to date is upon them with “Force Field”. See ’em if they come anywhere close and convert the ‘unknowing’ in your circle.

Let it roll endlessly and keep it LOUD!!


Writer Eric Layhe Top 25 Albums of 2017 + Links…

Eric Layhe Top 25 Albums of 2017

 

1. Caligula’s Horse – In Contact (Inside Out Records)
https://caligulas-horse.backstreetmerch.com/

 

2. Pain Of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day (Inside Out Records)
http://painofsalvation.com/

 

3. KXM – Scatterbrain (Rat Pak Records)
https://kxmmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

 

4. In The Presence of Wolves – Of Two Minds – Stages 1 & 2 – The Ape And The Cage (Self-released)
https://inthepresenceofwolves.bandcamp.com/

 

5. The Burden Remains and The Horns Of The Seventh Seal – Touchstone (Self-released)
https://coldsmokerecording.bandcamp.com/album/touchstone

 

6. Icefish – Human Hardware (Self-released)
http://www.icefishband.com/

 

7. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore Records)
https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/heartless

 

8. Toehider – “GOOD.” (Birds Robe Records)
https://toehider.bandcamp.com/album/good

 

9. Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves (Eleven Seven)
http://nothingmore.net/

 

10. Mother Mars – On Lunar Highlands (Pepper Shaker Records)
https://mothermars.bandcamp.com/

 

11. Ayreon – The Source (Mascot Label Group)
http://www.arjenlucassen.com/content/

 

12. Sons Of Apollo – Psychotic Symphony (Inside Out Records)
http://www.sonsofapollo.com/

 

13. Others By No One – Book I: Dr. Breacher (Self-released)
https://othersbynoone.bandcamp.com/

 

14. Sons of Texas – Forged By Fortitude (Razor & Tie)
http://www.sonsoftexasmusic.com/

 

15. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn (Season of Mist)
https://neobliviscarissom.bandcamp.com/album/urn

 

16. Starset – Vessels (Razor & Tie)
https://merch.starsetonline.com/

 

17. Subterranean Masquerade – Vagabond (ViciSolum Records)
http://vicisolumrecords.com/album/vagabond

 

18. Leprous – Malina (Inside Out Records)
https://www.omerch.eu/shop/leprous/

 

19. Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence (Roadrunner Records)
http://store.trivium.org/

 

20. Voyager – Ghost Mile (IAV Records)
https://www.discogs.com/artist/2684097-Voyager-30

 

21. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand (Reprise Records)
http://www.mastodonrocks.com/

 

22. Alice Cooper – Paranormal (EarMusic)
http://www.alicecooper.com/shop/

 

23. Steven Wilson – To The Bone (Caroline Records)
http://www.stevenwilsonhq.com/

 

24. Big Wreck – Grace Street (ole)
https://www.bigwreckstore.com/big-wreck/music-295/big-wreck-grace-street-cd.html

 

25. 10 Years – (how to live) AS GHOSTS (Mascot Label Group)
http://10yearsmusic.com/site/


Container “Mountains of Gaia” Album Review + Stream…

 

CONTAINER

Mountains of Gaia – Limited Edition 12” Vinyl // Digital Download 

Independent: Released – March 26, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Daan – vocals
Boudewijn – bass
Rutger – guitar
Erwin – drums

Location:
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Review:
One might expect and album that opens with a piano excerpt from “Entry of the Gladiators”, more commonly known as the song they play at the circus as the clowns pile out of their tiny car and climb on their unicycles to juggle bowling pins, or break into a tumbling routine or whatever else clowns do… well you might expect an album that opens with this to be a bit of a joke.

 

 

But you’re not quite right. While Mountains of Gaia does have its fun moments, most are relegated to the opening track which is appropriately named “Circus”. Once the piano fades behind the percussion, the bass takes over, carrying the tune while distorted screams point us in a different direction. Thankfully, the screams give way to more melodic, though still filtered, singing. Really, this is where the lightheartedness goes out the window and we begin a musical adventure.

“Backstabber” takes us to a completely different locale of Container’s sound with a little 70’s Black Sabbath worship and an edge all their own. It’s a bit stoner and a bit “garage”, as they put it. It’s clear listening to the band that this was recorded in a studio, but I still think garage is a very apt term to describe a certain rawness or lack of refinement in Container’s style.

 

Band Pic

 

“Challenger” is an 8 minute, long, slow piece that musically reminds me of the Doors. Maybe Riders on the Storm or LA Woman, but then there’s some spoken word reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine, if you can imagine these two together. That’s only the first couple of minutes. It picks up with more of a Vol. 4 ambiance before slowing again to that Doors-y, wandering-through-the-dessert-on-peyote feeling with one last increase in pace to close it out.

Even though we’re only about halfway through, it’s hard now to look back and remember the silliness Mountains of Gaia opened with. The album leads us down a path of variety with different tracks blending the (aforementioned) base elements, stoner rock & “garage rock”, with a touch of post-rock, punk and hardcore. The result is an eclectic adventure that might seem to stray yet is uniquely Container. It’s almost surreal how after the 8th and final, the title track, another 8 minute opus taking us through the Mountains of Gaia until the music ends. Surreal, I mean if we decide to press play and take the trip again. We realize we’re started back at Circus. Is it a metaphor?

 

Live Band Pic

 


Spacelord “Spacelord” Album Review + Stream…

Spacelord

Spacelord – Digital Download

Self released:  October 10, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Lineup:
Bass: Chris Cappiello
Drums: Kevin Flynn
Vocals: Ed Grabianowski
Guitar: Richard Root

 Tracklist:
Five Days in a Hole (5:34)
That Witch Rises (6:56)
Livewire (4:11)
Warlike Prelude (1:16)
Warlike (6:15)
Hollow Moon (4:11)
The Old Road (3:09)
Black Sword (4:28)

 

 

Review:
Monster Magnet is a band whose far-reaching influence on the world of Rock music is not always properly appreciated. Without them, such Hard Rock giants such as Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal may have never seen the light of day, and yet Monster Magnet has never become the household name that they probably should be. After all, the school of Monster Magnet is a deceptively large one, and an excellent recent graduate of that school has recently surfaced with the name of Spacelord.

There are Monster Magnet followers of two basic varieties: Desert Rockers a la Queens of the Stone Age, Brant Bjork and Kyuss; and Stoner/Sludge Metallers a la Soundgarden and Red Fang. Spacelord straddles this line a bit, but tends to adhere a bit more to the Stoner Metal side of things. As a matter of fact, Spacelord’s self-titled debut is quite reminiscent of the early days, sounding like they’d be right at home among the track-list of Louder than Love, especially tracks like the 6-minute sludgey atom bomb “Warlike”, which opens with lots of reverb and closes with sinewy guitar lines that Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil would be proud of.

Logo

Spacelord is first and foremost a very genuine affair. There’s nothing absolutely perfect here. It is perfect in its imperfection. That’s not to say the music is bad – in fact, it’s very much the opposite – But a huge amount of personality is found in those little moments where a backing vocal is a little flat, or a guitar comes in the tiniest bit late. This is not a tightly-composed Progressive Rock opus, and it shouldn’t be. This is an intentionally organic album. The performance here is not done by robots programmed to hit every note with surgical precision, it is done by humans – real living humans, and the interplay and charm associated with such a work breaths through this album impeccably.

Spacelord is the album that it needs to be and not an iota less. With their very first record, Spacelord has asserted a very real identity for themselves.  It is one that regales you with the feeling of the early 90’s, when Stoner Metal was at its absolute finest.  It gives you hope for another golden era that Monster Magnet and Kyuss would likely welcome with open arms.

Band Pic


Deaf Radio “Alarm” Album Review + Stream…

Deaf Radio

Alarm  – Vinyl // CD // DD

Self-released:  January 9, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Panos Gklinos (Vocals & Guitars)
Dimitris Sakellariou (Guitars & Vocals)
Antonis Mantakas (Bass & Backing Vocals)
George Diathesopoulos (Drums & Backings Vocals)
Honorary Member : Vassilis Petris

Previous Releases:
A two track E.P. from 2015 “Deaf Radio”, containing; “Down On Her Knees” & “No Hay Banda”

Tracklist:
Aggravation                                       03:25
Backseats                                           05:06
Vultures & Killers                            04:11
Anytime                                             05:03
Flowerhead                                       04:32
Revolving Doors                              04:32
Trapped                                             03:01
Oceanic Feeling                               04:23
…And We Just Pressed The Alarm Button 06:05

 

 

Review:

Deaf Radio are a Post-Punk/Alternative/Hard Rock band from Athens, Greece. On their Bandcamp they describe themselves as “a rock quartet inspired by the independent rock music scene.”

Track-by-track Breakdown:

Aggravation – This track launches us into what we will hear on and off for the rest of this of this album. Rockin’ riffs and lyrics that sound like they are from the late 90’s revival of Punk music.

Backseats – This song starts of slow with a repetitive strumming and builds up with quick little riffs interspersed between the delivery of lyrics. In the final two minutes it introduces some screaming in the background making the song harsh. It reminds me of a We Are Harlot song that I cannot remember the name of.

Vultures & Killers – Here we get another change where their Post-Punk influences come out again and we hear a mid tempo beat with some almost falsetto vocals.

Anytime – (Don’t get too mad at this analogy but) this is their Lana Del Rey song minus the orchestra. It is a slow drug filled atmospheric falsetto vocals (like the last track) until the last minute and the music picks up speed and returns back to the Hard Rock that we have heard so far.

Shot by Evan MaragkoudakisPro Shot

Flowerhead – This song is a lot like Vultures & Killers, almost like it is a continuation or sequel to it. They are structure similar and the vocals are sung in the same way. The exception is this one is heavier on the bass and heart monitor beeping in between bass notes.

Revolving Doors – Here we return to a style close to Aggravation, which reminds me of some of Rise Against’s music. A repeating structure with it being changed in the last minute or two.

Trapped – This song reminds me of a mix of Bush and Muse types of playing and singing. The guitar almost sounds surf like with it’s reverb. The tempo and rhythm change a bunch in this song the music goes back and forth between the types we have heard in the songs before it but it isn’t disorienting.

Oceanic Feeling – This song begins with a simple drum pattern that changes to signal the reverb guitar and bass to kick in. We return to backseats but a slower version of it.

…And We Just Pressed The Alarm Button (Favorite track) – Here we return to the Bush/Muse mix.

Photo: A Memory of Live of September 22nd, 2017
Live Band Pic

The band reminds me stylistically of early Rise Against and Queens of the Stone Age with a good mix of 90’s Hard Rock with Punk influences. Panos reminds me of a mix of the two singers as well. The main guitar reminds me of music that I used to listen to a lot but I cannot pinpoint from what. The bass is one of my favorite parts of the music, especially when it is alone, Antonis just goes at it without it going on too long, making me want more.

This album is good for playing in your car (on the verge of too loud) on your way to work or wherever (which is how I’ve listened to it). It is heavy but not too heavy to add to road rage and is chill enough to kind of zone out and relax to.  In essence, Deaf Radio have given us a 1-Stop-Shop with “Alarm”.  This band has a very bright future!!  Highly Recommend!!

 Download, stream; buy the CD, DD, and Vinyl here.

Additional Links:
https://deafradio.bandcamp.com/

https://www.discogs.com/artist/4863064-Deaf-Radio

https://www.discogs.com/Deaf-Radio-Deaf-Radio/master/1175259

https://www.youtube.com/user/12gafs

https://www.discogs.com/Deaf-Radio-Alarm/release/9690126

https://www.facebook.com/deafradioband/

 


Foo Fighters “Concrete and Gold” Album Review + Music Videos…

Foo Fighters

Concrete and Gold – Vinyl // CD // DD

Released By Some Big Label on September 15th, 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

So….I’ve been asked to review the new Foo Fighters record.  Taste Nation owner Matthew Thomas prefaced our conversation around the possibility of this review happening by saying that he’d talked to another reviewer he’s friends with, and this particular guy had said that “it was actually pretty good.”

Okay – let’s just take a moment right here to talk about the significance of this statement.  What does it actually mean that in order for folks in our business to take a band seriously, we need to be told that the record is “actually good” in advance?  What does that say about Foo Fighters, and about the way we operate in the review business?

In full disclosure, I’ve never been a Foo Fighters fan.  Okay, there was this one song, on one album that they released in the early 2000’s that I actually enjoyed (the song was “Come Back” from the album One By One, thanks Googles!!), though that’s really about it. I actually bought the album, because someone told me that it was “actually good”, then I sold it because I never really listened to it more than a handful of times or appreciated it beyond that one song.  I can, however, appreciate Dave Grohl’s contributions to the canon of punk and rock n’ roll, obviously with Nirvana, though also with Scream.  And I recognize his contributions to our little scene itself: when he took over drumming duties on the third Queens Of The Stone Age album, and with his Probot record, which brought some of the biggest movers and shakers in the underground metal scene into the limelight by virtue of Grohl’s musical reputation.  And I believe that it’s Grohl’s reputation that has prompted the writing of this review – I may not be a Foo Fighters fan, though I recognize that in an industry filled with some real d-bags, he doesn’t seem like a total asshole.  He seems earnest and passionate, hell, even humble….well, as humble as a guy in his position can be.  Aside from that, I do want to recognize his contributions beyond Foo Fighters, and let’s face it – Foo Fighters are a mainstream alternative radio rock band with a huge following and fan base.

Pro Band Shot

Also, the album ACTUALLY is good, by mainstream alternative radio rock standards.  That’s what we’re really talking about in the underground when we say that a record of this stature is “good” – we’re saying that it has at least something that appeals to those whose tastes tend to either veer away from the mainstream, or who are perpetually in search of something beyond the mainstream.  We’re saying that it’s not run of the mill radio swill, and I’d be tempted to dismiss much of Foo Fighter’s catalog as that kind of fluff.  That’s not entirely the case this time around. In regards to reaching beyond the mainstream norms, Concrete And Gold delivers the goods, ironically by embracing the mainstream norms.

Bear in mind, I’m not 100% behind it.  Grohl’s grandiose statement that its a combination of Sgt. Peppers and Motorhead is patently absurd.  I’m not fully endorsing the Foo Fighters as the second coming, nor am I hailing this album as the one that’s going to “save rock and roll.”  There’s some critics who love to drop those kinds of statements; always have been.  I remember in the “alternative 90’s”, when Fig Dish released That’s What Love Songs Often Do.  Great album, you should pick it up if you like 90’s guitar driven alt rock.  It’s a beauty, eh.  I like it well enough, I still own my original CD copy and it’s gotten a lot of repeat plays over the years.  They managed to get a single on the radio that was pretty decent, though it didn’t make much of an over all impact.  My point is, I read this one review of the album in Spin Magazine or some other big name rag, that praised it with outrageous hyperbole and  bold prophesy, saying that in 10 years we’d be referencing Fig Dish as a household name, that we’d be comparing all other similar bands to them, and saying things like “oh another band that sounds just like Fig Dish.”

…………………………………………………

Obviously none of these things came to pass.  Granted, we’re talking about the post-Nirvana 90’s, where everyone in the industry was both eager and unable to recognize the “next big thing” in the wake of Nevermind’s surprising impact and legacy.  I’d like to think that we can all agree that the conditions in the music industry of the time were what made Nirvana’s meteoric rise from promising indie rockers to colossal megastars possible, and that those conditions are no more.  Everything about the music industry has changed, and things will never go back to how they were.  The other key ingredient in Nirvana’s success, that’s more nebulous and harder to define, was their ability to take all of the angst and alienation that our generation felt after the impact of the 1980’s, and channel that into an album that succinctly and directly addressed to how many of us were feeling.  That’s what gave “Smells Like Teen Spirit” it’s anthemic quality and lasting resonance – at the time it DID smell exactly like teen spirit.  Not the cheap, superficial spray that simply masked  what lies underneath: the lyrics, jagged power chords, dynamics, even the simply chorused solo that echoed the song’s main melody cut right through all the glitzy and glossed wool that had been perpetually pulled over our eyes during the 80’s.

I bring this all up because simply making an album that’s “actually good” isn’t going to have the same impact; it’s not going to magically save rock and roll from the vapid auto-tuned pop ditties and overproduced pop country that dominate the airwaves.  Lots of folks would love to see that, I get it.  Part of me would love to see that as well.  The stark reality is that it’s not 1992, and this isn’t Nevermind.  It’s Concrete and Gold, and much like that long-lost Fig Dish album, we’re not going to be saying “oh another band that’s trying to sound like Foo Fighters on Concrete and Gold” in 10 years.

Part of what makes this album actually good is its over-the-top production.  Instead of rebelling against the machine and recording a raw, stripped down rock album, as his prior outfit did with In Utero, Grohl opts for the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach.  It makes sense, since Foo Fighters have basically pumped out pop-rock since their inception.  This is as overproduced as anything that Taylor Swift has ever recorded.  That’s actually not a bad thing, as it makes an otherwise milk toast band sound pretty peaches and cream.   It’s got plenty of layers and nuance, little touches here and there that really make the album shimmer and shine.  Grohl and company have definitely made excellent use of their studio time and a veritable “who’s who” list of special guests (look them up), and I can appreciate the album solely on that level.

What really makes the record work better than prior Foo releases is that it feels more album oriented to me.  It showcases a chance to explore music within the context of a studio, rather than just to write a collection of hit songs.  Sure, there are obvious singles; I guess the second track (after a brief but bombastic intro track), “Run”, is the first single off the album.  It’s the obvious choice.  It’s upbeat and catchy with a huge, hook laden chorus followed by a crunchy, remotely heavy two note riff and harsh screams that will make those whose musical tastes gravitate towards modern rock radio pronounce “Wow!  Grohl’s got his edge back!!  He’s angry.”  Yeah, sure he does….it’s a pretty transparent ploy, and I’m sure it will be lauded and successful in its re-branding effort, thanks to sly marketing campaigns, plenty of PR, and the credulous naive, gullible, and downright disingenuous critics at more “respectable” music rags.

The rest of the album has its moments, its ups and downs.  “Make It Right” has a funky/fun guitar riff that’s akin to what Queens Of The Stone Age are doing.  “La Dee Da” also reminds me a bit of QOTSA, though Josh Homme and company are much quirkier in terms of songwriting and instrumentation.  “The Line” sounds like a classic Foo Fighters track, simple, non-offensive guitar driven rock, treated to the production standards of modern pop.  “Dirty Water” is similar, although it’s more subdued, like the kind of track a band would release as their third MTV video in the 90’s daze of Alternative Nation after their first two hard-hitting singles.  These songs, though unremarkable, are at least coherent – I’m not sure what Grohl was thinking with “The Sky Is a Neighborhood”. The composition and arrangement make about as much sense as the song title, and his attempts to write “political” lyrics are frankly embarrassingly disconnected from the zeitgeist.  His weak, equivocal words don’t capture any spirit of our current age, they simply smell like Axe body spray.  “Sunday Rain” is a fucking mess; the intro has some bluesy licks before the verse uses a reggae styled downbeat/offbeat and keyboard swirls underneath the overproduced vocals, which seem an attempt at Grohl sounding “soulful.”  Instead it’s pure cliche heaped upon cliche.

It’s actually the more somber, understated songs that I prefer.  “Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)” sounds like a bar room ready drinking song, and although there’s much better music I’d prefer to have a beer to, it stands out as a stronger track, as does the title track, which finishes the album on a melancholy note, with drawn out passages of slow, longingly over-saturated guitars and moody vocals….

I don’t know folks.  Sure, this album is “actually good” in that it’s not totally boring and takes some unexpected turns, which I think is largely a product of the modern pop production combined with some actual ambition on Grohl’s part to push himself outside of the typical verse/chorus/verse format that’s par for the Foo Fighter course.  It’s also not going to have very much replay value for me, nor is it going to save rock and roll.  Plus, Taylor Swift’s last album was much better.


GoatWhore “Vengeful Ascension” Album Review + Stream..

GOATWHORE

Vengeful Ascension –Vinyl // Digital Download // CD

Metal Blade Records – Released – June 23 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Ben Falgoust/ Vocals
Sammy Duet / Guitars and Vocals
Zack Simmons / Drums
James Harvey / Studio Bass
Robert “TA” Coleman / Live Bass

Born:
December 20, 1996

Review:

GoatWhore: Just saying the name puts a smile on my face. Say it with me now: GoatWhore. Did you smile? If you didn’t I’m willing to guess you didn’t say it out loud. Maybe you’re on a bus or waiting for the doctor and afraid to be judged? Toughen up a little. PC culture would love to take our GoatWhore away. Are you going to sit back, stay silent and let them take our GoatWhore? Let me hear you! GOATWHORE!

Fuck that feels better! I sure got some dirty looks stopping through white bread America wearing my GoatWhore shirt on my way home from seeing them live at Full Terror Assault. (Check this shit out, best kept secret in American metal). Seeing GoatWhore live has been a treat each time. The energy is electric and these guys know this full well. In fact, according to their Facebook page when they recorded Vengeful Ascension, GoatWhore aspired to match the live experience as much as possible. Let me say, they 100% have the right idea. On one hand, it’s unfortunate that you simply can’t package up the energy of a GoatWhore concert so they’ll never reach this goal. On the other hand it’s fortunate you can’t simulate a GoatWhore concert because you’ll never be able to download it and that means you have to get off your ass and go see them. Each time I have, Ben Falgoust says roughly the same thing (paraphrased): “Get the album. Buy it from the merch booth, off Bandcamp or steal it off the internet BUT come out to a concert and support the band.” So just what are we stealing off the internet?

First the cover of Vengeful Ascension depicts what I believe to be their rendition of Lucifer, having fought his way back from the depths of hell and risen to the earth, clutching the sun and marking it with some sort of magic symbol. He appears to be sucking the energy out of it and into himself no doubt to power himself for impending battle. This imagery seems to hold true to the theme of the album. Straight from their Facebook page, the following is what they intended the album to be all about. I feel compelled to directly quote Falgoust, his words eloquent and clear:

“There’s that whole idea of Lucifer being the anti-hero. He’s cast out from this place in Heaven to the depths of nothing. He keeps trying to ascend to the top again but no matter what, there’s always this significant force trying to destroy him at any point and banish him back to Hell. If you look at it from an everyday aspect in life, it’s the idea of people, hitting the bottom of the barrel or you know, things just aren’t going right in life… emotion plays a huge part in how people react. Whether it’s based on love or hatred or sadness or whatever, there’s always an aspect of emotion that drives people to an extent. So the whole idea of a ‘Vengeful Ascension’ is built on being at the bottom, working your way to the top, and realizing along the way that there’s other facets to the journey aside from just pure retribution. Within negativity there can exist a positive angle as well.”

I would have needed to write a 10,000 word essay to convey this concept. And for this idea alone I would buy this album and use it as a theme to my rise.

live Shot

Musically speaking, Vengeful Ascension is very similar to what GoatWhore has been offering up for the past 17 years. They somehow manage to blend elements of several different sub-genres together in order to create their own unique sound. Wikipedia lists GoatWhore as “Blackened Death Metal”, whatever that means. GoatWhore’s Facebook page list them simply as “Metal”, which I feel is more accurate. Album to album, track to track we get emphasis on different sub-genres. Vengeful Ascension leans toward black more so than any.

Track 2, “Under the Flesh, Into the Soul” has elements of speed metal yet mysteriously sounds like something that might have come out of Dimmu Borgir’s playbook. This is one of my favorite tracks on this album and these jerks have not deviated from the practice of giving the most complicated titles to the earworms. Try yelling out “Under the Flesh, Into the Soul” between songs next time you see them live. As if to prove my point, “Mankind Will Have No Mercy” shows up later on the album again with that speed metal feel that I can’t get enough of. This one probably has the least blackness on the album.

They follow this up with the title track, “Vengeful Ascension”. Again, this track is heavy in the black metal but thankfully not without a slightly off-key melody. Later tracks, “Abandon Indoctrination” and “Those Who Denied God’s Will”, are structured very similarly. It allows the track to keep that black metal feel without being boring.

Pro Band P

Where the “Sun is Silent” is a slower paced track, thankfully the only one of its kind on Vengeful Ascension. I’ll admit my bias right now; I want to spend my live GoatWhore experience in the pit. I’m getting a bit old so one or two slow ones is a welcome breather. I really don’t have time for any more than that.

In summation, Vengeful Ascension is another great GoatWhore album. The band wants you to hear it and it sounds to me like they don’t really care how. The one caveat is that you go out to the shows. I think that’s a pretty fair deal. For those who just aren’t in the right geographical area or for those who aren’t in a financial position: Go back and review the Falgoust quote above and use it as motivation to bring yourself into a better position where you can afford to get out to a show or maybe plan that trip to the festival you’ve always been dreaming of… where you’re sure to see GoatWhore… and maybe pick up a shirt too.


Monster Magnet Monday “Mastermind” Limited Edition + Videos + Review…

Monster Magnet

Mastermind Limited Edition + 2 Bonus Tracks – Released October 25th, 2010

Napalm Records – Vinyl // CD // DD

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Space Rock Voodoo

In the years leading up to “Mastermind” “Monster Magnet” had transformed into a 5 member outfit with the addition of Phil Caivano on guitar to give the band a more dynamic range in sound. They also went from  Atpeek Music to A&M Records where they went Gold in the US with their 1998 album “Powertrip”,  moved to “SPV” then in 2009 signed with “Napalm Records” then released “Mastermind”  in 2010.  Lead guitarist Ed Mundell parted ways after 18 years with the band “to collaborate with other musicians and Producers”, forming The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic. Following their European tour replacing him was Garrett Sweeny.

monstermagnet band pic_Mastermind

For some a review of  Monster Magnets 8th album “Mastermind” might be kinda old hat. But for me and anyone else who has never listened to it, “Mastermind” is brand new. Having never heard it I chose to do this review just so I could have an excuse to listen to it when we came up with our nifty Monster Magnetic Monday Idea.

What came to my mind when I first listened to this is when it had been made Monster Magnet had been together for 20 years when most bands are lucky if they manage two albums. Like many bands that last that long they have managed to keep their core sound that makes them the band they are but change with the times. Unlike Superjudge and earlier albums “Mastermind” has a bluesy feel to it musically and lyrically with more mature subject matter. All in all a solid album. Some the songs I like most are ‘Bored with Sorcery’, ‘Gods and Punks,’ ‘Mastermind,’ ‘100 Million Miles,’ ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Ghost Story.’

Limited Edition Track Listing:

  1. “Hallucination Bomb” – 5:27
  2. “Bored with Sorcery” – 4:02
  3. “Dig That Hole” (Wyndorf, Phil Caivano) – 5:34
  4. “Gods and Punks” – 5:32
  5. “The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby” – 3:36
  6. “Mastermind” – 5:08
  7. “100 Million Miles” – 5:01
  8. “Perish in Fire” – 4:42
  9. “Time Machine” – 5:30
  10. “When the Planes Fall from the Sky” – 5:46
  11. “Ghost Story” – 5:20
  12. “All Outta Nothin'” – 4:29
  13. “Watch Me Fade” (Bonus Track) – 3:05
  14. “Fuzz Pig” (Bonus Track) – 3:13

Line Up for Mastermind:
Dave Wyndorf- Guitar, Vocals
Philip Caivano – Guitar
Ed Mundell-Guitar
Bob Pantella – Drums
Jim Baglino – Bass

For Fans of:  Fu Manchu, White Zombie, Masters of Reality, VAST, Queens of the Stone Age, Rob Zombie, Biohazard, Trouble, Danzig, Burning Brides


RIOT FEST 2017 Shares First Round Of Confirmed Acts Including QoTSA, Dead Cross, N.I.N., Wu-Tang Clan, GWAR, & More

The first round of confirmed artists has been revealed for this year’s Riot Fest 2017 which will take place in Douglas Park in Chicago, IL from September 15th-17th. Headlining acts this year include Nine Inch Nails (Friday), Queens Of The Stone Age (Saturday) and Jawbreaker (Sunday.) Here is who has joined the bill thus far:

Nine Inch Nails
Queens Of The Stone Age
Jawbreaker
New Order
Paramore
Prophets Of Rage
M.I.A.
Wu-Tang Clan
Mike D
(DJ set)
A Day To Remember
Gogol Bordello
Taking Back Sunday
Vic Mensa
Dirty Heads
TV On The Radio
Ministry
Dinosaur Jr.
New Found Glory
Fidlar
Bad Brains
Death From Above 1979
Action Bronson
Pennywise
Built To Spill
X
Peaches
The Lawrence Arms
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
The Orwells
Bayside
Say Anything
Mayday Parade
Streetlight Manifesto
Dead Cross
Minus The Bear
The Menzingers
Liars
Gwar
Buzzcocks
GBH
Real Friends
Hot Water Music
Shabazz Palaces
Andrew W.K.
Fishbone
The Story So Far
State Champs
Four Year Strong
Beach Slang
The Cribs
That Dog
Knuckle Puck
CHON
Slaves
The Hotelier
The Flatliners
Dessa
Saul Williams
Engine 88
Nothing More
Alice Bag
Tobacco
Sleep On It
Downtown Boys
The Smith Street Band
The Regrettes
Hdbeendope
Gazebos
Kitten Forever
Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue

An additional 25 artists will be revealed in the months to come. Tickets are available NOW via Ticketfly.


The MELVINS Announce Dual Album Release Via Ipecac In July

On July 7th, the legendary masters of mighty music, the Melvins, will issue the dual album ‘A Walk With Love And Death‘, via Ipecac Recordings. The double header finds the trio of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Steve McDonald showcasing two distinct sides to the band’s music: First, with Death, a proper Melvins’ release and then secondly, with Love.  The latter release is the score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short film also titled A Walk With Love And Death. A release date for the short has not been announced yet but a trailer can be seen below.

“This was a huge undertaking,” explained band ringleader Buzz Osborne. “All three things: the album, the soundtrack and the film are benchmarks for us.”

Drummer Dale Crover added, “A Walk With Love And Death is one giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip! Not for the faint of heart. You’ll sleep with the lights on after listening.”

The albums, which include guests Joey Santiago (The Pixies), Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes/Crystal Fairy) and Anna Waronker (That Dog), were self-produced with engineer Toshi Kosai.

A North American tour is in the works for this summer with dates to be announced soon.

melvins awwl&d

A Walk With Love And Death tracklisting:

Love
“Aim High”
“Queen Powder Party”
“Street Level St. Paul”
“The Hidden Joice”
“Give It To Me”
“Chicken Butt”
“Eat Yourself Out”
“Scooba”
“Halfway To The Bakersfield Mall”
“Pacoima Normal”
“Park Head”
“T-Burg”
“Track Star”
“The Asshole Bastard”

Death
“Black Heath”
“Sober-delic (Acid Only)”
“Euthanasia”
“What’s Wrong With You”
“Edgar The Elephant”
“Christ Hammer”
“Flaming Creature”
“Cactus Party”
“Cardboro Negro”