Blog Archives

Monday Metal Madness- Modern Retro Video Battle


Last weeks poll revealed that fellow Dream Theater fans are quite accepting of Mike Mangini as he took the vast majority of the vote!!!

It’s always cool when a band not only pays homage to yesteryear with their sound, but also does it visually.  This week The Sword and their performance piece for “How Heavy This Axe”, complete with Orange Amps and bell-bottoms, does battle with Mastodon and their Deluxx-o-Vision sci-fi epic “Sleeping Giant”(pause at 0:44, Is that Lars Ulrich?!).  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Music Video Mania-Modern Retro Videos


When watching movies I’ve been caught often saying “they don’t make ’em like they used to”, especially if I’m going back and watching a classic such as Ghostbusters, The Dark Crystal(or any Jim Henson movie for that matter), or Conan the Barbarian.  There was something special about those films that gave a warm human touch to them, probably the fact that human hands had touched every aspect of the creation.  I’m not saying that modern movies suck, in fact I enjoy them quite a bit, but you have to admit that some of the movie magic is gone.  The same could be said about music videos.  Back then(err, the 80’s and 90’s) making a music video was usually on a tight budget and people didn’t have access to inexpensive HD video camera or video editing software, but they got by using some creativity and imagination.

Here are some modern(post 2000’s) metal music videos that whether using modern technology or not give a shout out to an age past by incorporating themes, moods, colors, and techniques used in movies and music videos.  Enjoy!! And if you know of any modern retro metal videos that aren’t listed here I’d love to know about it down in the comments!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Opeth-The Devils Orchard

Just like Opeth‘s latest album is a throwback to the sounds of the 70’s it would seem logical that their latest music video would do the same.  It has that 70’s psychedelic exploitation movie style and I love the soft colors throughout the video.  So, who else thought of The Seventh Seal(I think the chess board was a direct nod to that film, especially since it’s a Swedish-made movie and Opeth are Swedish) and Hitchcock, especially Vertigo?

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Album Review- The Hunter- Mastodon


   The time leading up to the release of Mastodon‘s Blood Mountain album I found myself rather surprised that all of a sudden they were getting large amounts of promotion and press in big name magazines and sites leading up to the albums release.  I had become familiar with them through the mind-blowing album Leviathan(which includes, IMO, one of the all time best metal songs ever, “Blood and Thunder”).  While Leviathan wasn’t the most “extreme” album in the world, I would consider it an album “extreme” enough to keep Mastodon in the metal underground and seeing all this popular press about them seemed odd.  When Blood Mountain finally came out and I got my hands on it I understood why they were getting so much positive press.  First off it was a top-notch metal album and it also held a bit of change in style for the band where they were able to take a sludgy, proggy, heavy, and epic-y(?) sound and successfully make it accessible to more straight forward metal fans(and non-metal fans) without compromising their integrity nor deflating their core sound and audience, a feat that is very difficult to pull off.  They followed up Blood Mountain with Crack the Skye and did so successfully with an even more proggy sound this time around.  Now we now have the follow-up to Crack the Skye which comes in the form of The Hunter and instead of following the super proggy concept album path they have been heading down for some time now Mastodon takes a slight detour and goes back to some roots heard on earlier albums such as Remission and still manages to maintain a good amount of their newer prog elements and their accessibility.

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Theme Thursday- Album Covers


I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Most of the time that’s easier said than done.  I’ve purchased a decent share of albums based on the cover alone, some covers gave a good representation of what may be on the album, some misrepresented and I’ve been led to my share of “meh” albums.  When you have an album with great artwork along with some great music contained within you have yourself a special package that pleased many of your multiple senses.  And as an avid CD collector the album artwork is something special to me.  Since many of you are already familiar with many of the classic album covers such as Master of Puppets, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath I’ll make a list(in no particular order) of more modern album covers from 2000 and onward from popular and lesser known bands(one per band).

What are your favorite album covers and how important is the artwork in an album to you?  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Theme Thursday- September Slaughter


Come September the realm of metal will become much richer with a deluge of new arrivals from some highly celebrated bands.  We will soon find out how Dream Theater fairs without Mike Portnoy behind the skins, we will hear the first new music from odd ball institution Primus whom haven’t release a full album since 1999’s Antipop, and we will soon find out how much more prog Opeth can become.  Here is a listen to some upcoming tracks to whet you appetite for more glorious metal.  Which upcoming albums are your most anticipated?

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Sonisphere UK update 28 Jan 11


Slipknot was the first band to be announced as a headliner for the Sonisphere festival UK.  I was pretty much sold on that day right off the bat since I have yet to see Slipknot live.  I hear its a spectacular show.  Then another headliner was announced in the form of Biffy Clyro.  I scratched my head on that one, but I have to remember that festivals are supposed to have a little of everything for everyone.  I guess I can’t complain with that because it made my decision to see Slipknot even easier.  Then there was the big news…Sonisphere promoters signed up the Big Four for their first ever Big Four UK appearance.  Sorry Slipknot, I will be buying a different day pass for my participation in this year’s Sonisphere UK weekend.

So to recap so far, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax will be headlining the Friday 8 July show, Biffy Clyro on the 9th, and Slipknot on the 10th.  The latest announcement listed a few more bands to the mix, but did not list which day they would play.  They are:

Motorhead – Classic

In Flames – No real experience with this band

Parkway Drive – never heard them

Mastodon – Seen them once; this band made my list of bands I think I should like, but do not…and I still don’t know why.

So there you have the latest for Sonisphere.  There are probably 90+ bands yet to be announced.  Are you going to go?  Which day?

You can stay tuned with Sonisphere at their website http://uk.sonispherefestivals.com/

Bands I Should Like, But Do Not!


So don’t throw a hammer at me or anything because of this list.  I think of myself as an equal opportunity metal fan, but there are some bands out there that I have heard numerous times and/or seen in concert and I still can’t get into them.  So if you asked me if i liked any of the five bands I am about to list, I would either say no or shrug my shoulders in uncertainty.  This list is in no particular order.

1. Lamb of God.  There is no underestimating this band’s popularity.  I want to really like them, I really do because they are a no frills metal band.  They kind of remind me a bit of Pantera.  I even saw them three times in concert with Anthrax, Slayer, and at Download 2010.  I also own two of their albums and still…just can’t be crazy about Lamb of God.  This is one of the shrug my shoulders bands.  I think I am missing something here.

2.  Mastodon.  This is another one I just do not get.  I saw them once with Slayer, but do not own any material from them.  I feel I should like them, but again, not sure what I am missing with this band.  When I saw them, they were loud and heavy live, but I sat in the bleachers patiently waiting for Slayer to come on stage.

3.  Avenged Sevenfold.  I have seen probably all of their videos on Scuzz and Kerrang.  I can see that this band has some talent individually, but as a group I think they are missing the mark. I heard that their earlier stuff was more heavy than it is now.  They seem so popular today, but more with the younger metal crowd.  Maybe it’s because I am pushing 40 that I do not get this band.

4.  Coheed and Cambria.  I like when bands come out with a different style of music.  I like some prog bands and I think this is where Coheed and Cambria fit…so why is it that I can’t get into them?  I am not sure why.  I see that they are wildly popular with their fans and that they are highly talented, but when I hear them I find myself scratching my head.

5.  Meshuggah.  No way.  I tried, I really did, and this is one band I feel I should like, but no.  I bought an album, gave it the three customary listens (for proper judgement), and no.  This band is a no-go for me.

I could probably name a few other bands, but I went with a list of bands that I know reached a certain level of popularity and/or success in the metal world.  I should like them, but either I am still uncertain or I just do not like them.  Do you think I am missing the mark here?  What are some bands you feel you should like, but do not?  Chime in, let’s talk about it.