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Album Review: Cavalera Conspiracy – Pandemonium

CC_Cover_Symbol_v7_#10E0D85Album:  Pandemonium

Label:  Napalm

Songs:  12

Length:  52 Minutes

Previous Albums:  Inflikted (2008); Blunt Force Trauma (2011).

Location:  United States / Brazil

FFO:  Anything that involves Max Cavalera and/or classic Sepultura. Read the rest of this entry

Monday Metal Madness: Max Cavalera

Max Cavalera certainly has been busy over the years.  Would you say he watered himself down, can’t find himself, has ADD, or is a musical genius?  Some say Sepultura crashed and burned when he left and took the band’s identity with him.  Other say Cavalera Conspiracy is the new Sepultura…or what Sepultura should be today.  Soulfly, of course, is somewhere in the middle.  Or perhaps you like (Derrick Green) Sepultura better than all of this. Have you ever heard of Nailbomb?  Given the choices, which incarnation of Cavalera do you like the best, if any?  Have you seen any of these bands live?  Your vote doesn’t necessarily have to be based on the video.  These are just here for reference.  Happy voting!

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Plantera7’s Top-10 of 2011 So Far

This year has been great for metal and I feel the best is yet to come later in the year, namely September 2011.  Housebroken did a great job outlining his top-10 for the first half of 2011.  Let’s see how die-hard metal fans tastes compare and contrast.  Here is my top 10 for 2011, January through June.  I will keep this relatively short since I will be posting a full report on the Big Four sometime this weekend.

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Theme Thursday – A Decade of Thrash

What is your opinion of the standard thrash recipe?  Do you think thrash as become weak over the years, stayed the same, got better, or a little bit of everything?  Does thrash make you want to puke or snap your fingers…snap your neck?  The theme for this week is going to focus on thrash from 2001-2010.  Not so much the bands themselves, but the songs that define the music.  I will cover the last 10 years with a few words on what’s out in 2011 already. Part II of this theme is that all the songs I talk about fit onto one CD-R.  If you like the tunes I picked it makes for a great mix.  I  will let the playlist do the talking and by all means feel free to comment.

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iTouch Report – April 2011

It’s that time of the month to talk about what you have been listening to.  My list surprised me a little, but when I gave it some thought I see why my list for the month is  a bit more mellow than usual.  The reason for that was the long flight to the States.  I tend to listen to less metal and more prog and other slower stuff to keep me realized.  So here is what I have been into in April  starting with #10 and working to my most played song on my iTouch.  This list is based on about 600 songs loaded to my iTouch.

10.  Biffy Clyro – Born on a Horse

9.  Ensiferum – Twilight Tavern

8.  Biffy Clyro – Mountains

7.  Biffy Clyro – That Golden Rule

6.  Bullet for my Valentine – The Last Fight

5.  Biffy Clyro – The Captain

4.  Cavalera Conspiracy – Warlord

3.  Biffy Clyro – God & Satan

2.  Children of Bodom – Northpole Throwdown

1.  Amon Amarth – Destroyer of the Universe

I guess you can imagine which of these songs I worked out to and which ones were not on my workout playlist.  Biffy Clyro is one band I first heard of when they were announced as headliners on the Saturday bill of U.K. Sonisphere in July 2011.  Up to that point I never even heard of the band.  There was a lot of grumbling on Facebook about it, but I had to hear them for myself.  IMO, festivals are supposed to please a wide variety of people so seeing Biffy there is not surprising to me.

Of course, Scuzz and Kerrang starting playing Biffy videos and you what?  Biffy Clyro really isn’t that bad.  In fact my best comparison to Biffy Clyro would be Weezer and Foo Fighters, both of which I like.  Biffy might be a bit harder and darker than Weezer, but in the same ballpark.  So I bought their latest album, Only revolutions and listened to it a lot on the flight over.  That explains why they appear so much on this month’s list.  Their song Mountains was actually a good running tune along with the other metal I was running to.  If you like Weezer or Foo Fighters you might go for Biffy. Check them out.

The rest of the songs on the list really kick ass and kept me motivated while running.  I don’t have a lot of time to you use my iTouch since I am at school all day then busy with homework at night.  I have been using my computer to listen to tunes more than my iTouch, which is mainly used to help improve my fitness level.  So in May you might see a genre reversal on my playlist.  But, you never know.

So what have you been listening to?  Does your playlist change based on something like traveling or studying?  Have you heard Biffy Clyro?  What’s on your mind?

Here are a few of clips of this months iTouch top 10.

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Theme Thursday – Workout Tunes

This theme Thursday is going to be a little shorter than normal due to my work requirements.  I have a lot of homework and little time to do it.  I am going to revolve this week’s theme around music to listen to while exercising, specifically while doing cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, or elliptical. 

Running is something that I have to do as part of my job, but in order for me to have an effective run I have to do it to good tunes or it’s just not getting done.  it may seem silly and a bit of metal thing, but it’s just the way I am with exercise and music…it’s a package deal.  I have actually walked up to a treadmill before and realized my batteries were dead so I left and went home.  Listening to music while keeping fit is a must for me. 

Tonight is a good example of what I mean.  I had to run, I didn’t want to because it was the end of a long day and around 8pm, but the music motivated me.  I limited my run to about 30 minutes and toward the end when I felt like stopping, another song came on to motivate me.  So if you exercise because you like to or you have to, then this playlist I am about to talk about might help you out…until it gets old and needs updating.  Here is what I listened to this week in order.

1.  1,320 – Megadeth

2.  Faster – Within Temptation

3.  The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner – Helloween

4.  The Last Fight – Bullet For My Valentine

5.  Destroyer of the Universe – Amon Amarth

6.  Warlord – Cavalera Conspiracy

7.  Insurrection – Trivium

8.  Northpole Throwdown – Children of Bodom

It’s short and sweet this week. If you like to workout or have to, what music do you like to keep you going?  Have a great week!

Album Review: Cavalera Conspiracy- Blunt Force Trauma

The review for the Cavalera Conspiracy album is here.

I have had this album for a little while now, and I have made every effort to listen to it whenever I can.

First, I want to give a quick overview of Cavalera Conspiracy’s first album, Inflikted, released in March of 2008.  The Inflikted album was great, and it really was a solid groove metal album.  But there was something I didn’t like about the album.  I guess the biggest problem I had with the Inflikted album was that most of the songs had a bunch of atmosphere-type add-ons to the songs, artificially lengthening the song without substance.  It became a little frustrating when it came to making a mix for running or working out.  There would be this great song, but it would end with a minute of noise.  Other than that, the album was great.

Fast forward three years to their newest release, Blunt Force Trauma, releasing this month.  I was very excited to get a hold of this album.  It was definitely one of my top five anticipated albums of the year (so far). 

The first thing I will say about this album is that it is a good album.  There are some groove metal songs as well as a lot of thrash metal riffing.  Cavalera Conspiracy must have had a lot of people tell them to knock off all the atmosphere stuff on a thrash album, and they listened.  There are no songs with any of the long-winded atmosphere, which means it is straight music from beginning to end. 

The album has 11 songs, 1 of those songs being a 1:51 thrash snippet (Torture).  The album itself is only 34 minutes long, with the longest track being “Genghis Khan” at 4:23.  Whether you think this is a good or bad length for the album is up for debate, but I think they could have squeezed another song or two on the album. 

When I say this is a good album, it is mainly because there is 34 minutes of music, and all the music on the album is good.  That being said, every song has parts that I really like, but every song has parts that I don’t like.  It’s kind of a weird feeling listening to a song only to wait for the part of the song that I like.  Overall, though, I liked the album.  The musicianship on this album is great, and it shows an improvement from the last album, almost like they went out of their way to make it a little more technical.  Some specific parts on the album that I like- 1) the voiceover-type lyrics in “Genghis Khan” is reminiscent of old Sepultura stuff, 2) the guest vocals of Roger Miret of Agnostic Front on “Lynch Mob” (who I have never heard before but I like,) 3) the syncopated vocals in the title track.  Like I said, parts of songs were great for me. 

So, in conclusion, I give Cavalera Conspiracy’s Blunt Force Trauma 4 out of 5 devil horns.  A solid album, but I guess I just expected more.

Agree or Disagree?  Chime in.  All are welcome. 

Have a great day.

The Perfect CD

Have you ever bought an album based on a song you heard that you liked only to find the rest of the album sucked ass?  Well you are not the only one that has been affected by a studio engineered hit only to be disappointed by the rest of the album:  Songs that have no depth, creativity, or originality. 

This post is about one of those rare occasions when you buy an album and actually enjoy listening to every song on the CD; every one of them.  You could probably count them all on two hands which is exactly why I am about to list 10 metal albums (for 10 fingers) released since the year 2000 that rock from start to finish.  In other words, there is not one song that needs to be fast forwarded.  All the songs are great to listen to anytime of the hour, day, week, month, or year.  As far as I am concerned those albums are fairly far and few between. 

I chose to do this since the year 2000 to keep it fairly fresh.  Some of the older albums that fit this bill are Rust in Peace (Megadeth); Reign in Blood (Slayer); Master of Puppets (Metallica); Back in Black (AC/DC); Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (Iron Maiden); and Act III (Death Angel).  All of these albums are tried and true and good to the last note.  So here are my picks for 10 albums that rock…since the year 2000 (in no particular order).

Megadeth – Endgame

Queensryche – American Soldier

Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thunder God

Trivium – Shogun

Cavalera Conspiracy – Inflikted

Overkill – Ironbound

Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

Into Eternity – The Scattering of Ashes

Machine Head – The Blackening

Bullet for my Valentine – Fever

Are you surprised by any of these?  Do you agree or disagree with some/all of them?  If you haven’t heard any of these albums check them out, they should be worth your dime.  Also, if you think I left out any particular band let me know, I would like to hear your choice.

Quarterly Release Update

In addition to the album release announcement in a previous post a few days ago, there will be two more this quarter.  To recap, the following albums we knew about are:

Stratovarius – Elysium Out now – 18 Jan 2011

The Bronx Casket Company – 25 Jan (D.D. Verni of Overkill side project)

Children of Bodom – 8 Mar

Cavalera Conspiracy – 29 Mar

There are two more releases I just read about.  Well, at least two more that I care about anyway as far as major releases are concerned.  There may be more, but for now this is all I know of coming out this 1st quarter 2011.  If you know of others please let us know.

DevilDriver’s Beast is being released 22 Feb – so that prevents Feb from being a dry metal month.

29 March will be a good day in metal due to the release of not only Cavalera Conspiracy, but new Amon Amarth as well…just in time for my 9th Wedding anniversary 😉

I think 2011 is shaping up to surpass 2010 for metal.

Ultimate Workout Playlist!

Even metalheads need to stay in shape for a night in the pit.  I have devised a brutal playlist that is an assault on the senses.  It will surely keep you motivated for 30 minutes of intense cardio.  This playlist took some deep thought, then it was put to the test today for my 30-minute 3.47 mile run on the comfort of a gym treadmill.  Let me tell you that each song kept my blood pumping as well as a desire to thrown something.  I looked forward to each song and never felt the need to forward through any of this playlist.  This list should be assembled in order for best results.  Disclaimer – this playlist is rated “R” for mature headbangers only.  Here goes:

1.  DevilDriver – Nothing’s Wrong – DevilDriver

This one is raw power and is great to get the workout started.  It never lets up and if it makes you want to throw a chair, channel that energy into getting your workout on.

2.  Chimaira – Power Trip – The Impossibility of Reason

Another song of great aggression and angst!  It’s short and to the point.

3.  Slipknot – Disasterpiece – Iowa

The longest song of the set and a bit toned down from the first two.  You should be getting into the groove by now.

4.  Slayer – Hate Worldwide – World Painted Blood

Just when things let up a tiny bit, Slayer kicks in and kicks your butt.  Step it up!

5.  Cavalera Conspiracy – Terrorize – Inflikted

Another song of great speed and angst (we like that word). 

6.  Hatebreed – Defeatist – Supremacy

The third song in a row that should keep you motivated…you are halfway done!

7.  Cannibal Corpse – Make them Suffer – Kill

A quick switch to death metal – this song does not let up, its quick, and should keep you moving.

8.  Bloodbath – Devouring the Feeble – The Fathomless Mastery

Continuing with death metal – this is probably my favorite death metal song of all time.  This song is just so damn heavy.  This is the one that will take you to the limit…terminal velocity approaching!

9.  Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thunder God – Twilight of the Thunder God

Nothing like Swedish viking melodies to take you to the 30-minute mark.  This is where your workout will come to a close.  If you are too tired to finish the workout, just imagine Amon Amarth chasing you down in the woods late at night with sword and shield.

10.  Pantera – Walk – Vulgar Display of Power

As cheesy as it is, this song is intended for the cool down and should take you to the 35-minute mark overall…yes walk, as the name implies.  Just a bad ass groovy metal tune. 

I hope you enjoy your workout with this playlist.  It made my workout go by pretty quick which is the way I like it.  If you think this is too heavy, let me know.  I am an equal opportunity metalhead.  I can easily do a toned down playlist for let’s say…a bike ride or something.