The 21st Century has, so far, been very kind to the Metallic genre! After nearly 10 dreary years of whiny college brats droning on about their real and/or imagined heroin experiences, REAL Heavy music is taking back its` rightful within the world`s eardrums. Well, ok, maybe it hasn`t crossed back into the mainstream JUST yet, but who cares? THE NEW SODOM IS HERE!!!! All`s right with the world! Yes children, The German War Machine has returned to roll right over all those pathetic, tantrum throwing, Rap/Metal inbreds that seem to be polluting our society of late. "M16" is a concept album, more or less, dealing with the Vietnam war, and bassist/vocalist Tom AngelRipper seems especially fascinated by `Nam oriented flicks like "Full Metal Jacket" [portions of the incidental music from this film were used as an intro on Sodom`s 1999 release "Code Red"] and "Apocalypse Now". "Among The WeirdCong" kicks the whole thing off, followed by the piledriving "I Am The War", and then "Napalm In The Morning". The title, of course, comes from "Apocalypse Now"; remember that famous line spoken by Robert DuVall [as Colonel Killgore]? Part of that speech can be heard in the beginning of the tune. Brings a tear to my eye every time I hear that line! The arrangement here is a bit different from most of Sodom`s tunes, but it`s still a crusher. "Marines" is one of the stand outs, a military-style anthem given the full Sodom treatment! They`ve even added a hilarious version of the `60s` oldie "Surfin` Bird" [also heard in "Full Metal Jacket"] to close things out. That`s one of the things I love about this band; their sense of humor! So basically what you have here is the Tet Offensive put to music. The band, in alliance with long time engineer/co-producer Harris Johns, have topped themselves once again, something they`ve been doing through out their 20 year existence. Want to see how far they`ve come? If you get the Limited Edition of "M16", you`ll also be getting 2 bonus tracks; "Witching Metal", from the demo of the same name, recorded waaaayyy back in 1982! And "Devil`s Attack" from the "Victims Of Death" demo of 1983. These unbelievably primitive demos, with their septic tank production, badly broken English and non-musicianship, are what got the ball rolling for Sodom! The "songs" themselves are beyond horrible, nothing more than a curiosity, really. But it`s interesting to compare these tunes with what the band is doing now. Here`s to ANOTHER 20 years of Sodomania!!!!!!!!!!!!
SAXON!! SAXON!! SAXON!!!!!! YES! It`s here; NEW Saxon! [ahem] Ok, I`m calm again. While most bands of their generation have either faded into oblivion or [worse yet!] become shadows of their former selves, condemmned to playing "Classic Metal" has-been, moldy-oldie festivals, Saxon is at their peak! From 1993`s "Forever Free", 1995`s "Dogs Of War", `97`s "Unleash The Beast" and `99`s "Metalhead", the pride of Yorkshire have, like a fine wine, gotten BETTER with age; and HEAVIER! Over the course of their last 4 albums, the band have refined their sound, pumped it up, honed it to razor sharp perfection; only age and experience can accomplish this. Which brings me to the latest, "Killing Ground". Superbly engineered by guitar wunderkind Nicolo Kotzev [of
Poughtown`s very own PipeBomb is BACK! After releasing the demo CD "Half Price Beatin`", the band have returned to finish the job! "How `Bout Now" is a full length, 10 song affair that shows a clear progression for the band; all the more amazing when you consider the fact that they haven`t been together very long! 5 of the tracks ["Dead", "Restitution", "Knock", "Shep", and "Neighbor"] are from the first release. The new tunes are; "Killing Time", "Cell", "Shot", "Unchanged", and "Sights Unseen". CRUSHERS one `n` all! One thing that strikes me about the band is that their lyrical delivery [and the lyrics themselves, for that matter] is a notch up from other bands of their age/genre, most of whom come off like a bunch of whiney anger management rejects. No such problems HERE! And the band definitely knows how to use [NOT abuse] the sonic capabilities of 7-string to it`s fullest, another pitfall for bands of their ilk. Mark my words; Watch out for these guys! Once again, a thousand thanks to Kevin Trabucco for sending me the CD! For more information, click below. [On a somber note, this CD is dedicated to Allen Boyle, a close friend of the bands`, who died in the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon. You are not forgotten.....]
Ok, this one`s gonna be short & sweet! Moonstone is a 4-piece Melodic Hard Rock/Metal [my usual brief description!] band from France. And that`s pretty much all I know about `em! Their website [see below] has plenty of info about the band, but it`s all in French; I only spent a day and a half in Paris, which is hardly enough time to pick up on the local lingo! [I have enough trouble with English!] So if anyone out there can translate, please E-mail me! The band is; Paula Guttard, vocals, Alex "Sacha" Sorokin, guitar & keyboards, Isabelle Toussaint, bass, and Miky-Lee on drums. So how did I find it and why did I buy it in the first place? I liked the name. Simple as that! Plus, you don`t hear too much about "Melodic Power Metal" bands from France. But I`m here to tell you, the US [and much of Europe, for that matter] is missing out, `cause this band is AWESOME! Some of the best stuff I`ve heard in a while. Even a lackluster production [I believe the band put this out themselves] can`t cover up the fact that Moonstone dishes out a potent brand of Metal that at times reminds me a little of latter day Maiden, Nightwish, and perhaps Magnum, but Guttard`s vocals give the tunes their own stamp. You`ll be singing the opening track, "For Blood Is Life" in your sleep, I promise! "Love Song For A Liar", "Blood From My Blade", "Down To Hell", all seethe with a rare combination of pounding Metal and melodic power, which is not an easy thing to do, believe me! You can buy this from the same place I did:
DAMN! Didn`t anyone tell David Neil Cline that high precision axemanship is, according to the current media taste makers, "OUT"? It`s doubtful that DNC would listen anyway; Detroit Rock City`s finest has made a career of doing things his way, no matter what the trend of the day was! But David [notice how most of the cool people have that name? Not counting David Berkowitz, David Koresh....] is HARDLY one of those twinkle-toed, boring-as-hell shred heads; he likes his Rock HARD and his Metal HEAVY! And he has a sense of humor, something all those GIT clowns lacked in spades. On "Thorough Scrutiny" [his third release], I hear a lot of Deep Purple/Rainbow in many of his tunes; that`s right, these are songs, not excuses for 6-string masturbation! No sir, this guy has dirt under his nails, as well as a guitar tone that can kill small animals at 500 yards. From the Power Metal leanings of "Miss Miority" to the kick ASS cover of the Pat Travers classic "Snortin` Whiskey" [recorded live at the I Rock Nightclub in Detroit], and all points in betwen, David ROCKS with an intensity that few can match! [there`s also a great rendition of the late, great Rory Gallagher`s "Follow Me"] Why the HELL isn`t this guy famous? You can change this sad state of affairs by going to the link below and picking up this album, so do it NOW! [HUGE thanks to David Neil Cline for sending me the disc; first round`s on me, `bro!]