Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Jonas Akerlund is a video director(Madonna, The Prodigy, U2, Smashing Pumpkins). What is more important to know is that he was once the drummer for Bathory. This connection is both funny and awesome. What is also awesome is that his Bathory heritage and the fact that he is Swedish meant that he was game for directing Satyricon's video for Fuel For Hatred. This song is great, it's like caveman black metal and it really grows on you.

Warning, if you like a bit of naked woman you won't be offended by a small portion of this video.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Bit of a follow up here merely to point out that so far the first two of the three MAYhem shows have been just awesome. I'll work my way backwards.
Last night was Between the Buried & Me. The night got better when I found out that a friend of mine's band was opening as Chiodos had to cancel due to an illness in the band. I have no idea who Chiodos are and hadn't seen this friends band play live before so i was pretty happy with that turn of events. They're called
Arise and Ruin, they're good, check them out.
As expected BTBAM tore the place apart. One of the guitar players actually moved a bit this time which made it somewhat more visually entertaining. Either way they just killed. Glorious glory was had in the form of sweep picking, drum crushing and vocal magic.

Destruction - Awesome awesome. Total old school thrash goodness. These German's know how it's done and if I thought I could pull it off without looking like a complete twit I'd definitely rock a leather studded vest. Let's just say that the kids last night in their white belts and tight jeans didn't come close to being as awesome as Schmier and his leather and tight jeans.
Vader - Vaaaay Duuuuur!!! Holy hell. One of the best metal performances I've ever seen. Mr Robot drummer was unreal. They were absolutely punishing. Imagine standing in front of a tank, having it shoot you in the face and then run over you several times. Watching them was like that, tank metal.

Anyway, so far so good. Tomorrow night is Tomas Lindberg time when he struts his punk n' roll swagger with Disfear. Check them out

Friday, May 26, 2006


Metal, of course, can be very regional. Bay area thrash, Florida Death and more recently the Gothenburg sound are examples of how geography can somewhat define the style of music that is bred within it's borders. Now this may or may not help define this next band but for some reason when you hear that The Black Dahlia Murder is from Detroit you just think 'yeah, that sounds about right'.

A city made famous for it's automobile factories, techno and Eminem for some reason doesn't have as much of a reputation for metal bands, at least not many that I can think of. Surprising though considering how desolate and deprived many people consider it to be. Now, I mentioned before that Black Dahlia don't necessarily have a 'Detroit' sound but their material is so dense, caustic and vacant of melody that it just seems to fit. That's not to say that there is no apparent Scando influence happening here but there is something very American about their sound, especially on their more recent release, Miasma.

Anyway, they're pretty cool. Check out this video from Miasma called A Vulgar Picture.

Sidenotes: One singer, two styles.
Like Children of Bodom, the Black Dahlia is an infamous murder case.
More songs on

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


So this pick will be a little more obvious and mainstream but that doesn't take away from the chaos, or beards for that matter. It's Mastodon time.

Praise, praise, praise and more praise plus indie to major label jump has pretty much summed up the last two years for this band. Well the 'praise' part has been going on for longer than that but trust me when I say that it's all deserved. These guys are exciting.

Despite their pretty short recording career(2 full lengths, 1 ep)everything from the production to the songs themselves has in some way created a unique sound and structure that separates this band from most of what else is out there. Let's just say that their placement in the Relapse family was well suited. However sometimes certain leaps must be made and it's understandable that they were swiped by Warner.

If you haven't heard Leviathan you're really missing something. It's important to note that thematic albums can walk a fine line between failing miserably or being really great. More often than not most fail with miserable albums and the bands regret poor decisions and lame content. Here we have a record that's so committed to it's theme and so genuine that's it's not so much trying to convince you as it is laughing at you if you're not interested. The thing is that in order for this scheme to work it has to also come from not only the music but also the artwork and the band. So, if you were at home thinking about recording an album about Captain Ahab and his struggles with the Sea and Moby Dick, take a look in the mirror and think to yourself if it's something you can actually pull off. Seen pictures of Mastodon? They look like they could have been on the boat chasing that damn whale. In other words, they pulled it off.

How does a record become a classic? I'm not asking as if I have the answer but I do think that it helps when you can wear something out, take time away from it, and through time crave it again. Then, once you hear it again after a bit of a breakup you're reminded of how much it

Blood & Thunder: I know, I know, another obvious choice, trust me it wasn't easy. Here's something to think about though, Blizzard of Oz's I Don't Know, Master of Puppets' Battery, Radiohead's Airbag, whenever these first songs kick off it's like 'YES!', it just hits you and this first song from Leviathan has the same effect. And let's not forget the drums of course. Braan Dailor is one of those drummers that would make me self conscious as a song writer and probably struggle to come up with material that will be intriguing enough to keep this guy interested. If you want to learn a JazzMetalDrumline style, here's your teacher.

I really wanted to post Iron Tusk because it's like pancakes and bacon but I don't want to over do it. Listen to Blood & Thunder, take a break and then listen to Iron Tusk on the Mastodon MYSPACE.

Sidenote: Blood Mountain is supposed to be coming out this summer. I'm excited. Also, Neil Fallon does some vocals on Blood & Thunder. This is noteworthy because I think Neil Fallon is a championship whale wrestler.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Sidenote: When all else fails, pickscrape

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Here it is. You want to know what I'm listening all the time? The new Decapitated record. This thing killlllls. What these guys have accomplished in this bands career to date is pretty remarkable.
Let's examine this, Decapitated were formed in 1996, released their first demo in '97, an indie full length in '98 and the follow up on Earache in 2000. What's most notably interesting about this is that the average age of each band-member in 1996 was 14....FOURTEEN. So when 2000's Winds of Creation was released they were, well you figure it out. Now, 18 year olds(in case you didn't figure it out) releasing a record isn't
that big of a deal except these guys absolutely shredded/ripped/slayed/destroyed etc. They've released four more records since Winds and to say that their skill in light of their age isn't staggering would be like saying something really clever that you would normally see on some smart ass blog.

Ok, Organic Halucinosis, the new release. First of all I should say that while I've always enjoyed the music these guys have put together I was never a fan of the vocals. Too much growl, not enough bite. They now have a new vocalist and his style is much cooler(oh yeah, they're Polish so his vox sound a bit more like Vaders do, VADER! POLSKI!), either way, a step in the right direction. This record is pretty short with only 7 songs but what they lack in length they make up for in content and prolificacy.

Day 69 - Here we go. What
should hopefully jump out at you right away is the main riff. The part that makes you think 'how come I've never heard a guitar part go like that before?'. You know what I'm talking about, THAT DAMN ONE NOTE BEND!!! GENIUS!!! Ugh, this song makes me tired. And the weird drum break? Wow. I also really enjoy how at the end of the song the rest of the band cuts out and seemingly leaves the singer high and dry, 'NO PLACE TO...'. Way to screw with the new guy. Awesome. The thing is that in my opinion this isn't the best song on the record but people just have to hear that bennnnnnnnnnd.

Sidenote: Damn

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I wish I could say that I know more about Voivod but I'm afraid I don't as they are a bit ahead of my time. Interesting I should say that though as most who know will argue that Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour was ahead of his time. It can safely be said though that they are metal pioneers/legends/icons. If you don't know their music very well it would probably be wise to check them out, same goes for me.
Anyway, a bandmate of mine is now a bit of a
movie maker and his last project allowed him the opportunity to talk with Voivod, sadly right before the untimely death of Mr. D'Amour. However with this meeting a relationship was formed and he was invited back to put together a mini documentary about the upcoming new album from Voivod, fittingly titled 'Katorz'. An album that was assembled through pre-production recordings that Piggy had put together and a stockpile of home demos on his laptop. Pretty cool.
So there's an online preview of this upcoming doc online now,
check it out.

Read about Voivod's history
here or here. Read more about the mini doc here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I was given this record one day, took one look at the back and almost dismissed it immediately when I saw the Victory Records logo, "great, more ______ core from Victory with some guys trying to be Metal". I decided to play it anyway and, well, "this isn't really...Metal...what...yaaaargh". I don't even know how to describe what you'll hear. If you're familiar with Dillinger Escape Plan then you probably know what it's like to be attacked by a psycho with a firehose. Now while these guys don't really sound like Dillinger they're sort of coming from the same place in the sense that they look like annoying jazz school guys and that I can't figure out how they write their songs.

I'll say this, if a bunch of vikings went on a fishing trip this would be the soundtrack. That's my description.

The song "All Bodies" is from the album Alaska which was released last September and it's all over the place. As I've said before I tend to lean more towards heavy stuff that can carry a groove as opposed to something like Dillinger which can be a bit too much. Something it seems that even they realized on their most recent CD 'Miss Machine' which does cross over into some more mellow material that somehow comes off sounding like Downward Spiral era NIN. Anyway, I'll have to break it down by section because I can't think of any other way to do it.
:00 - ok, apparently we're getting right to the point.
:28 - :40 - this is getting weird, what are they doing?
1:20 - I sense moments of glory coming up.
1:45 - Glory arrives in the form of...Immortal?
1:57 - Glorious GLory arrives with a fleet of pirates carrying brooms and begin swabbing the decks with grandeur. Yo ho ho.
2:25 - Electro blast beat mayhem
2:53 - The brooms commence sweeping with fury.
3:28 - 3:45 - Heavy
3:47 - 4:13 - HEAVY
4:14 - 5:01 - A computer composed this section using various equations and viruses.
5:04 - 5:29 -
5:30 - 5:31 - ...riiiight.
5:32 - 6:14 - After a long battle the chanting begins and all is well on the high seas.

Rarely have I heard such mayhem come together so wonderfully. The entire record is like this only sometimes the pirates make it ashore and have lovely tender moments with maidens only to have their guts spilled out seconds later. This is triumphant stuff.

I saw these guys with Dillinger which is probably why I associate them together and while I preferred BTBAM to DEP they did have a few lessons to learn from them. Watching Dillinger is like watching a Royal Rumble on stage and these guys were like watching Stonehenge. The singer was awesome though and he did double duty on the keyboard parts which is cool. If you get a chance to hear the record look out for the song Selkies: The Endless Obsession, it's like the bastard children of Rush going crazy. If you want you can also listen to Selkies on their MYSPACE.

Sidenote: As mentioned in the MAYhem post they're on tour. Go see them.

Monday, May 15, 2006


So this is pretty cool. Thanks guys.

Sidenote: I need more text to fill out this post.


Quick post courtesy of Rusty Stu.
Contrary to every single other post i've made I do not solely believe that heavy music is defined with distorted guitars and clattering drum patterns. In other words, I do not listen to metal exclusively. While the words Heavy Metal work well together they can be separated in order to take on different meanings. For example, Portishead is obviously not Heavy Metal, but they sure as hell were Heavy. Anyway, check out this artist named St. Vincent. I don't know that much about her other than some great pictures and a song called 'Paris is Burning' which I heard for the first time about 25 minutes ago and the fourth time Really good, girls are Heavy when they want to be.

Sidenote: I'm considering changing my name to John.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


If you live in Toronto these shows are coming up and you should be there:
May 27th - VADER w/Destruction, Kataklysm, Speed Kill Hate, Graveworm and The Absence
@ The Reverb.
May 29th - Between the Buried & Me w/Chiodos, August Burns Red and Number 12 Looks Like You @ the Kathedral.
May 31st - Disfear w/Misery Index, Strong Intention and Mesrine @ Lee's Palace.

Vader, as you know, is insane. Destruction, come on, German thrash legends.
Between the Buried is awesome awesome. Total shred nerd techy pirate metal. Bring your brooms, they'll be some serious sweep picking.
Disfear, two names: Tomas and Lindberg. Put them together and you've got a sore throat.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


If you're interested, this is a video of the new Guns n' Roses guitar player. His name is Ron Thal and he's from Brooklyn, NY. His style is surprisingly similar to Bucketheads minus the nun-chuks and freakishly long fingers. I'm not sure when the video was shot but I do know that it's from some guitar clinic in France which might explain the really weird Godzilla Diddy Kashmir intro(french children are strange). His previous project was a band called Bumblefoot so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out the heinous guitar.

So it's pretty impressive and tappy happy but I certainly can't get through the whole thing. Despite what anyone thinks about the new Guns they are still infinitely better and cooler than Velvet Revolver.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Soilwork is a good band. Not 'was', is. People seem to think otherwise for reasons that I can't really figure out. Like In Flames they seem to be crucified because they've had lasting power. Sure they've added more melodic elements and maybe dropped the pace a notch for some songs on more recent albums but to me it's an understandable move. If you're in a band, playing live nightly, at some point you're going to want to mix things up a bit to make your live show more interesting. And frankly, any fan that isn't interested in a band they like evolving, well, they're not really needed as a fan. Not that I really feel as though I have to justify my liking either of these bands as I still think they both make good music. Besides, up until recently the Soilwork guitarists were uncle and nephew, that's something.

Now, of course Soilwork has a load to choose from in terms of songs but this is chaosbeard so you'll probably know what's coming.

Henry Ranta was a wicked drummer, like insanely good. I saw them play on the tour after he quit and when that Daniel whateverhisnameis was filling in and they played Chainheart Machine he made a complete mess of the fill towards the beginning. Later though when I found out that Dirk Verbeuren was joining them it was time to get psyched. This guy is awesome. When you have Gene Hoglan saying that you rule, you rule. This guy is like conservatory technique metal chops with Bonham feel. He doesn't slack on anything but makes it all look really easy. I saw them play again with him and it was like watching a master class. He also looks like a crazy skeleton with headphones on.

Press play below and watch this crazy French bastard rip. Pay attention to his 'high-hat hand', yikes. It's Blind Eye Halo from the newest Soilwork record.

Sidenote: Although Dirk is a permanent member of Soilwork his real project is the band Scarve. They're heavy but a bit more prog. They're good.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Sometimes success comes to really bad bands with even worse band names(Hoobastank) and other times it doesn't come at all because of an awkward name. If you've never heard of Mors Principium Est I wouldn't be surprised, but you're seriously missing out. The name is a total mouthful and doesn't do them any favors despite the fact that translated I think it means "ha ha ha you wish you could play guitars like us".

They released an awesome debut a few years ago and followed up with last years "Inhumanity". Both records are really cool except the first one (The Unborn) suffers from some minor mixing issues(why are the vocals so quiet?), an issue that was greatly resolved on the follow up. Too bad the guitars didn't get the same improved treatment as the leads are still a bit low in the mix. Not that the guitar players really have anything to hide as they can burn the place down with their chops. Some people may be put off by the keyboards but they're really not that prominent and the songs are already pretty melodic so it's really just filler. They(the keyboards) can at times even come off as Electronic(dancy?) but you get used to it so if it bothers you that much either get over it or this band just isn't for you.

The Unborn is a good example of what I'm talking about. It has the electro keyboards and some female vocals which are obviously elements that aren't for everyone. Let's just that the guys that believe 'it ain't metal if it ain't Morbid Angel' probably won't dig this. To me it's cool because these are young guys adding different textures to something that is clearly metal and morphing it into something else.

Highlight - The guitar riff that comes in at :45. Is that in time? Yeah it is, and it's wicked.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


There’s thrash and then there’s thrash, sounds/looks stupid, I know, to me there’s a difference. Thrash can be stuff like Darkest Hour, Soilwork, The Haunted etc. Speedy riff based stuff that tends to avoid the start/stop rhythms of more progressive material and whose guitarists aren’t afraid of ripping lead work. Thrash though, while maintaining the obvious elements, separates itself with the incorporation of more rock leanings. Bands like Slayer, Metallica, Exodus, Sodom thrashed with bullet belts, leather jackets and attitude. Now although this may look like a case of the old vs. the new, and for the most part it is, there are a few exceptions. In this case the exception is The Crown.

The Crown is like thrash defined. Complete attitude, breakneck speeds, biker gear and all out riff madness. They put out a few records in the nineties under the name Crown of Thorns until they dropped the ‘of Thorns’ part. Something to do with Gene Simmons, go figure. Anyway, they pretty much went about their business putting out some solid stuff until 2000 when they released Deathrace King which, most who know the record will agree is a metal high point. Johan Lindstrand’s vocal performance and lyrics are so over the top it’s almost on a comic book level but his delivery is so killer you just can’t help but sing along with whatever ridiculousness he’s growling about.

Everything about this record rules. The vocals are great, the guitars are great and, of course, the drums are great. I mean really, there’s nothing worse than a drum circle and people who call themselves ‘hand drummers’ are people who sucked at every other instrument but desperately want to be known as a musician. Janne Saarenpaa is pretty much a drum circle by himself, but cool. Maybe even a drum festival, absolute chaos.

Here’s Total Satan from Deathrace King. It’s awesome.
The Crown unfortunately broke up after putting out two more albums post Deathrace which was a big loss but they left a huge mark.

Highlight: I DON"T WANT TO GET TO HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!

Sidenote: There are too many to mention. Guest vocalists, re-recorded albums blah blah blah. All the members have splintered off into new projects, whatever.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


A quick post today about a good band from Manitoba. Following in the footsteps of the Eagles and Skynyrd, Electro Quarterstaff choose the path of three guitars which is always cool as far as I'm concerned. Unless you're Collective Soul. These guys whip up some pretty heavy duty material with a good stew of drumming lunacy. They also ignored the bass player requirement and when you listen it doesn't really seem all that necessary.

Their Myspace has a couple of tunes to listen to. The first being 'The Right to Arm Bears' which I think contains about eighfty riffs. The 2nd being a 'cover' so to speak. Apparently they're working on a new record so look out for it.

Good stuff and they're playing in Toronto this June. You should go.