Thursday, June 30, 2011

What I Do With My Eyes While I Listen to Music

Aside from magazines, which do demand a lot of my reading time and bookstore cash, I do actually consume some books as well. And while I tear through a lot of fiction I also enjoy my share of music-related material, too. There are three reads I'm looking at on the shelf right now that stand out as recent favorites that probably belong in any music fan's library.

Misery Obscura: The Photography Of Eerie Von (1981-2009)
 After all my Jerry Only-inspired anger yesterday, I feel some Misfits remorse and need to hug the puppy I just smacked. Except, in this case, I'll direct the love to Eerie Von, bassist for Samhain and Danzig and photographer to the Misfits. Eerie's work has been collected in an incredible volume, Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009). This book has been in print for a year and a half and I am earnestly hoping it has found its way into not only the hands of all Misfits fans but also anyone interested in punk rock and music photography in general. You can get a great preview of the contents at the publisher's, Dark Horse Comics, website

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Misfits History Revisited! Don't You Mean "Revised?"

Still on the Misfits Version Whatever mailing list, I got a message this morning advertising "Limited Edition Vintage Misfits Shirts." Misfits History Revisited! the page proclaims.

How are these "vintage" when the only band member featured is the lone Jerry Only? Weren't there a few other noteworthy guys in this group? Who else loves the Beware EP cover art?  OK, now who wants a t-shirt with 1/4 of it?

I have stood by the newer incarnations of the Misfits for some time but with every last rat leaping overboard it is time for Jerry to hang it up, re-brand and continue as Jerry Only's [Whatever]. He has turned the Misfits into a sad, sad poor man's version of Kiss - re-writing the past and making and marketing everything but new music.

Amon Amarth Continue to Destroy the Universe with a Kick-Ass Video

Check out SoulMotor's Wrong the Right Time!

A fun, new Twitter discovery, I happened across Sacramento, California's SoulMotor and their new album, Wrong the Right Time! on its release date June 28.

In a way oversimplified nutshell this feels like Dave Wyndorf driving a van full o'White Zombie, Thrill Kill Kult and Crud through the Southwest. This is thoroughly cinematic rock and roll. The brainchild of Tesla's Brian Wheat, these guys have real rock-n-roll pedigree, though, and this project has been around for 15 years. I'm just slower than most catching up.

My personal favorite off the bat is "Five Megatons of Love." You can check out the video for the leadoff track, "Down in Mexico," right here, right now:

You can stream the album in its entirety on the band's Facebook page, read more at, buy Wrong the Right Time! on iTunes or find the CD on Amazon later this week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Worth the Effort: 777: I Luciferi (2002) & Circle of Snakes (2004) - Danzig

Neil Young had Freedom. Lou Reed had New York. Enter, then, Glenn Danzig's 777: I Luciferi?
777: I LuciferiIt's true. The prolific Godfather of Ghoul-Rock, practicing his craft for well over 20 years by the release of his namesake band's seventh album in 2002, has produced surprisingly varied works within his genre. Like other rock-and-roll trailblazers, determined not to please anybody but himself, Glenn Danzig makes albums his way - whether or not fans agree has often seemed secondary to his musical vision. This has resulted in a rocky road for some listeners, especially since 1996's divergent 5: Blackacidevil, but it's safe to say that I Luciferi, a rebirth worthy of mention alongside rock's greatest, will bring a smile to even the most jaded misfit's face. It is, simply put, a powerhouse.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Powerwolf release a new video...trailer.

The almighty Powerwolf is in full-on tease mode for Blood of the Saints and have released a new video for their, um, new video, "We Drink Your Blood." The only thing that could make this better would be a topless Sybil Danning. And some music.

Until then, check it out - and get a little more info at Metal Blade.

I Confess

I spend a lot of time writing about things I like. I have been tempted to go the snarky route and pick on artists or music I hate or deride trends that I find laughable but, for the most part, if I know something isn't for me, I avoid it. If I hate something, I generally prefer to leave it alone and focus on what I enjoy. The end result just leaves me feeling better. That said, there are some musical sacred cows I feel I must come clean and blaspheme. I apologize but also know I cannot be alone:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Warpath - Six Feet Under - 1997

WarpathSuggested to me via a recent post (many thanks, New Wave of Thrash Metal!), Six Feet Under's sophomore full-length release, Warpath, has successfully satiated my seemingly unquenchable desire for all things similar to Jungle Rot. Death metal's All-Star team (Cannibal Corpse's Chris Barnes on vocals, Obituary's Allen West on guitars and Death bassist Terry Butler with Greg Gall on drums), Six Feet Under were brand-new to me and Warpath is an excellent surprise as this is exactly the uncomplicated, repetitive (in the best of all possible ways) groove assault I was seeking. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One-Off Wonder: Flesh Caffeine - John Christ - 1999

Flesh CaffeineFollowing the demise of the American Records-era lineup of Danzig I expected John Christ would immediately go on to join another band or start his own project. But it was a long, quiet wait for 1999's Flesh Caffeine, to date the only album to surface from the metal master to date. It's a varied affair, ranging across lots of familiar sounds and styles - and it would be easy for the Danzig fan listening blind to recognize a lot of Christ's signature touches and identify the player.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Live at Donington 1990 - Whitesnake - 2011

Live at Donington 1990A handsome package at a great price, Whitesnake's Live at Donington 1990 finally saw an official release this week thanks to Frontiers Records. Available in several iterations, the full show on two CDs may currently be had with a third DVD disc of the entire concert for under $15.00. The audio portion alone (reproduced in spectacular 5.1 surround on the DVD)  is worth twice the price and that's a good thing - as the visual portion of the DVD is a curiosity for completists only that will likely only merit a single viewing and an incomplete one at that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Metal in the Mail - This Week's Swag

If there's one good thing about business travel, it's got to be the accumulation of mail resulting in a heap of loot awaiting your return. I got in late last night and first thing this morning tore into a few padded envelopes and added a half-dozen new CDs to my shelf:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kill on Command - Jungle Rot - 2011

Goddamn, look at that cover.

Someone commanded that dude to kill and he did so.


Jungle Rot have bellowed forth a new album, Kill on Command, and I am more than pleased to inform you that it exceeds my highest expectations. "The Finest Hour" is indeed that. And yet, somehow, it gets better. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upcoming Releases and Reissues - June 21-July 12, 2011

So much great stuff  - starting with today...

Kill on Command - Jungle Rot - June 21, 2011

Ritual - The Black Dahlia Murder - June 21, 2011
RitualI have never yet checked these guys out but the insanely good press they're getting around this record has convinced me to start right here, right now.

Human - Death - June 21, 2011
HumanA 20th Anniversary Edition chock-full of bonus tracks and B-sides available in 2- and 3-disc versions.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Worth the Effort: Chaos and Disorder - Prince - 1996

Chaos & DisorderSwitching gears again, it's back to Prince today for yet another out-of-nowhere vault-clearing contractual obligation release to sever the Purple One's relationship with Warner Brothers. Chaos and Disorder, another album credited to the Symbol, was certainly not celebrated by the label, went largely ignored by consumers and went out of print fairly quickly. It's not a momentous work of art worthy of elevation among his established classics but Chaos and Disorder does contain some of Prince's most straightforward rock tracks. And for an artist about whom everyone always adds "he's one hell of a guitarist," an album with some great rock guitar is definitely a must-hear. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And Hell Will Follow Me - A Pale Horse Named Death - 2011

And Hell Will Follow MeEssentially a Sal Abruscato solo record, A Pale Horse Named Death's And Hell Will Follow Me is an impressive departure for those who may have expected Type O Negative (or Life of Agony), Part II. Immediately calling to mind the Foo Fighters following the death of Kurt Cobain, And Hell Will Follow Me is familiar but different, entirely Abruscato's own. It's a record that is hard to label but great to hear. I've only had it in my hands for a couple of days but it's been a rewarding listen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Uriah Heep - June 17, 2011 - Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, Ohio

Oh, Jesus Christ Almighty, Uriah Heep is alive.

Hard rock's best kept secret for over forty years was no stranger to the crowd that turned out for a beautiful evening at the Fraze on the cusp of summer for ninety minutes of an absolute rock-and-roll smash.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 - Black Country Communion - 2011

Black Country Communion 2Defeating the feared sophomore slump, Black Country Communion's simply titled 2 cements their status as a super group as opposed to supergroup. They're a band if ever there was one and 2 is a marvelous record of growth in all directions since 2010's Black Country Communion hit less than a year ago. Whereas BCC had an off-the-cuff "this-may-only-happen-once" charm, BCC2 comes together as a fully-developed work by a band who has already hit their stride and, frankly, instills an optimism that the lightning may not only be captured in the bottle, it may also be allowed to age for a while, then pulled off the shelf and shared amongst the masses with some regularity.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Illud Divinum Insanus - Morbid Angel - 2011

Um, I kinda thought it was OK. In fact, I really liked it. And I'm not just being contrary. After speaking way too soon last week, I picked up a copy of Morbid Angel's newest, Illud Divinum Insanus, and, to tell the truth, have been listening to it - and enjoying it - all week.

Illud Divinum InsanusAdmittedly, it is a rocky start. "Omni Potens" recalls Glenn Danzig's Black Aria and still comes nowhere close to that record's dark depths. The then decidedly non-ominous intro gives way to the album's immediate low point, the much-mocked "Too Extreme!" Did they really need to add the exclamation point? Doing my very best not to imagine the band riding snowboards while guzzling Mountain Dew and pounding Cheetos, I can digest "Too Extreme!" as a throwback to the early days of industrial metal though, frankly, with all its whirs and treated vocals and repetitive, unvaried percussion, it's less effective even than material off of Ministry's embryonic Twitch, the harder edge of which it recalls. That said, after a few dozen spins, I've kind of become attached to the track, feeling a sympathetic fondness for it as you may for your child when they not only fail but fail spectacularly.  From that ground zero, then, Illud Divinum Insanus ascends.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lupus Dei - Powerwolf - 2007

Lupus DeiEver since last week's new albums arrived I have been hooked on Powerwolf. And since Blood of the Saints won't be out until August 2 (and also because my copy of Black Country Communion 2 is still in the mail), I thought it would be worthwhile to start spreading the gospel via 2007's Lupus Dei.

This is, without a doubt, the best, absolutely most shameless embodiment of power metal I have come across in a long, long time. Powerwolf come at you full-throttle with werewolves, vampires and Satan, one after another and back again, all the while maintaining high-tempo, majestic and melodic rock with incredible vocals and lyrics that, to be honest, are much more fun than frightening. A run through Lupus Dei is as entertaining as a Hammer film on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Worth the Effort: The Revölution by Night - Blue Öyster Cult - 1983

A follow-up to the later career surprise hit of Fire of Unknown Origin, The Revölution by Night was Blue Öyster Cult's first record without founding drummer Albert Bouchard. The fractured result was the beginning of a decade of decline for the band, at least in terms of "new" material (the very satisfying Frankenstein's monster, Imaginos, excepted). A Bruce "Loverboy" Fairbarn production, The Revölution by Night is certainly missing much of the immediate sardonic menace associated with BÖC's heyday but, regardless, remains an effort worth adding to your library.