Category Archives: Retrospectives

When there is time, we like to look back at some albums or artists worth talking about all over again.

Retro Roundtable Review: Devin Townsend – Ocean Machine: Biomech

BiomechLabel: HevyDevy/InsideOut

Release Date:  July 21 1997

Songs:  13

Length: 74 minutes

Genre:  Unique progressive metal

Studio Albums: Too many to mention!

Location:  Canada

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Retro Roundtable Review: Sepultura – Chaos A.D.

download (1)Release Date:  1993

Songs:   13

Length:  51 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash

Studio Albums:  A lot

Location:  Brazil (at the time) Read the rest of this entry

Theme Thursday: Clutch

Summer is approaching, and I don’t know about you, when the seasons change, so does my go-to music.  In the Autumn I tend to prefer jolly folk metal, in the Winter time cold and bleak music finds itself getting a lot of play. and in Spring thrash and power metal tends to get a lot of rotation as I come out of my winter hibernation.  In the summer, I find my preferred seasonal genres rather eclectic ranging from trying to cool myself down with some Moonsorrow or embracing the heat with some blistering speed metal.  But if there’s one band that always seems to completely dominate my summer time playlists it’s one of my all time favorite bands, Clutch.

While I wouldn’t exactly call their music exactly metal (with the exception of their first 2 albums) these Maryland rockers are the perfect band to put on whether you are doing some cruising with the top down taking in the sun, grilling up some grub and kicking back with some beers and buds in your backyard, or roasting yourself on the beach.  There isn’t a summer activity occasion where Clutch won’t fit the bill.  And there is the perfect Summer treat, a Clutch live show.

Since the bands inception in the early 90s, they’ve been rocking with same lineup of Neil Fallon on vocals, Jean-Paul Gaster on drums and percussion, Dan Maines on the bass, and Tim Sult on guitar.  For 2 albums (Robot Hive/Exodus, From Beale Street to Oblivion) Clutch invited Mick Schauer to play on the Hammond electric organ as well as jam on a few live shows with them.  Their musical style could be described as Southern Appalachian Americana hard blues rock.  They take a lot of influence from American folk music, mainly the blues style akin to Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf, and add insane amounts of groove and flow to it.  The vast majority of their albums are recorded live and very little to no studio trickery such as drum triggers or computer programs like Pro-tools are used.  This gives all of their records a really home-grown feel and while not downplaying the skills and necessity of Neil Fallon and Tim Sult, the natural sound of the drums and bass (you really need to see Dan Maines live set, those Marshall stacks are f’n thundering) really give Clutch the feel they need to be the unstoppable powerhouse they are.

Here I’ll highlight all of their major studio albums.  But keep in mind that they have a ton of excellent E.P.s, live albums/DVDs, and Bside and rarity collections that are well worth hunting down.  And if you ever have the chance to see Clutch live (should not be hard, to this day they tour constantly hitting up as many spots in the States as possible) do not turn down the opportunity.  There’s a reason I’ve seen them live 13+ times (they also will never play the same set twice, so each show is completely unique).  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Grooves.

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Crash Course In Amorphis

It seems that in my experience of showing people the following band, most people have heard the name but are not overly familiar with their albums. This is fairly understandable given the width and breadth which their discography covers, so I intend to provide a crash course into the band’s various styles, for your education and entertainment. Amorphis (taken from the word amorphous, meaning shapeless) have shifted their sound a surprising amount since their formation in 1990, taking elements of melodic death metal, doom-death, folk metal, and some psychedelic influences. I intend to take you as the reader on a journey through their albums, but for the sake of brevity I will divide their career into four eras.

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Metal Retrospective: Pantera

There are no metal bands that have garnered the universal love and respect of just about every single metal fan on the planet quite like Pantera did.  I have met many people who don’t like Metallica and Slayer, I’ve met some that are indifferent toward Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden and others that outright hate Slipknot. Of all the metal heads I’ve met in my life I have never come across anyone who did not say “Pantera is f*cking awesome!!!!!”(emphasis on the exclamation points!!!) Whenever a Pantera song is mentioned or played you will immediately discover who all the metal heads are in the surrounding area in no seconds flat. To call Pantera the ultimate package in metal would be an understatement. They bring everything one would want to hear in a metal band to the table and after that they bring some bonus beer and whiskey.

I’m completely sure that everyone who reads this blog owns(or at least heard) every Pantera album multiple times (not including the ones from their hair metal days) and knows the whole back-story and what became of the brothers Abbot(R.I.P. Dime), Rex Brown, and Phil Anselmo quite well by now so some details have been left out. Here are my thoughts on every Pantera album released.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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