Saturday, December 15, 2007

Whiplash Neckbreakers 07

Anvil - This is Thirteen

This suckers still in the mail but damn just hearing that title track reserves first place for the Canuck Metal Prime Ministers

highs: T.I.T., Ready To Fight, Bombs Away

Exodus - The Atrocity Exhibition

Why so heavy? Crushing! Just crushing! The definitive thrash team of Holt/Hunting back in action! The vocalist bores the shit outta me (see "As It Was..") but that doesn't even matter...These riffs are thrash metal defined.

highs: Children of a Worthless God (lose my shit at 0:51-1:18 every fucken time, heaviest recorded thing this year), Riot Act, Funeral Hymn, Bedlam 123

WASP - Dominator

Still rips my head off 10 months later. "There ain't no way out tonight!"

highs: Mercy, The Burning Man, Heaven's Blessed

Darkthrone - F.O.A.D.

"Fucken listen to Venom's Acid Queen!"

highs: These Shores Are Damned, FOAD (Algy Ward to a tee in those first two lines), Raised on Rock!

Arch Enemy - Rise of the Tyrant

sure most of these harmonies sound like they were lifted from a day time soap opera, but they work fine when folded into all these vicious riffs. possibly their best ever but certainly good enough to make me forget the last two.

highs: Blood on Your Hands, The Great Darkness (an homeage to"Entombed's Chief Rebel Angel" or what?), Vultures

Devin Townsend - Ziltoid The Omniscient

something is seriously wrong with this record. humour in metal is toxic for me, but damnit this album just works. i've never been a fan of this guy's work either which was an even bigger surprise. hawkwind + floyd + starwars + muppets w/ metal gtrs and drums = an enthralling hour long space battle that all takes place in a coffee shop.

highs: the whole journey. it's hard to listen to this in installments

Prong - Power of the Damager

what a surprise, but this really made me remember why their BTD and PYW albums were so great and it might actually be better than both. Coulda really done with a better drum production though.

highs: Messages Inside of Me, The Banishment, 3rd Option, Looking for Them, POTD

Entombed - Serpent Saints


highs: Serpent Saints, Masters of Death, Ministry, Warfare Plague Famine and Death

Dark Tranquility - Fiction

crushing riffs, endless harmonies and totally infectious tunes. DT never dissappoint and overall this could be their best yet (minus the experimental album closer ).

highs: Blind at Heart (thrash!), Nothing to No One, Empty Me

Naglfar - Harvest

A very nice replacement for the D666 vacancy this year. not familiar with their older stuff but this one is bloody ripping!

highs: The Mirrors of My Soul, Way of the Rope, Breathe Through Me

The Hidden Hand - The Resurrection of Whiskey Foote

The godfather of the sludge guitar returns. It's quite a trip. Who let the other guy sing? That's blasphemy!

highs: Dark Horizons, Majestic Presence, Purple Neon Dream, Spritually Bereft
(all the Wino tunes)

Mors Principium Est - Liberation = Termination

masters of super speed riffing. well it sure aint making the list for the club beat breakdowns/intro and "tinkle tinkle" kybd bits. WTF dudes!? alright back to the fireball riffage and ultra noodlely shredding. \m/ GO! \m/

Highs: Terminal Liberation, Sinners Defeat, It is Done (scale riff insanity), Finality

Megadeth - United Abominations

as close a return to form as you could possibly hope for. a little too overtly political at times, small price to pay for some pure Mustaine venomous gold though.
the gtrs just rip on most tunes.

highs: Sleepwalker, You're Dead, Washington

Dimension Zero - He Who Shall Not Bleed

as you'd expect this is riff central! I coulda sworn this was a new singer. pretty lack lustre in the vocal dept. a little blacker than before but they're more insignificant overall. whatever, THRASH!

highs: Unto Others, Paler Shade of White, Hell is Within, Deny

Scarve - The Undercurrent
damn. loved the last one but i just aint getting this one.

Mediocre at Best:
One Man Army (and i aint even gonna say the rest) - Error in Evolution
some of the worst lyrics recorded this year. too bad cause the riffs are decent.
Dimmu - In Sorte Diaboli:
less orchestral for sure which is a needed change but still too same ol', same ol' otherwise.
Impious - Holy Murder Masquerade
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. oh cool riff!!!! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.oh.yeah!\m/...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Utter Disappointments:
Akercocke - Antichrist:

You can't record the follow up to WTGU DTGU in a cardboard box. There could be some good stuff in here but it's just so damn hard to listen to this thing.
Nightrage - A New Disease is Born:
those bubble gum vox are inexcuseable. No wonder Lindberg left.

Simply Embarassing:
DimZero - Staying Alive
piss off!!!
Most overlooked of 2006 :
Dissection - Reinkaos
this thing is a masterpiece. woulda topped my list last year if i'd only known.

The "let's have an album already" awards '07:
Morbid Angel - let's have a full on FLA transam death metal album w/David Vincent. like now!
Destroyer 666 - gawdammit. get in the freakin studio. looks like it might finally happen in '08.
Hollenthon - thankfully they're back from the brink this year. another shoe-in for '08

Monday, December 03, 2007

Get Your Straightjackets On Tonight!!!!

RIP - Kevin Dubrow

damn. this was some real crappy news last week.

I caught two shows with the re-united MH lineup (Elmo and Reverb) and an earlier one with KD and Carlos.KD was always stellar. A true RnR frontman in every sense. At the Reverb show he had to match the volume of Carlos' gtr which was insanely screaming that night. i can't imagine this guy ever putting on a bad show cause he surely was in it for the love of music. it's hard to miss that razor sharp voice (Blackie's only competition).

i missed the best foto-op ever at the corner of queen + bathurst when the entire MH lineup came walking down the street and stood on the corner directly in front of me just in front of the pizza pizza. wow! Kirb can back me up on this one. he witnessed it while crossing the street and we shared the HOLY SHIT THAT's QUIET RIOT!!! moment.

i must've played Breathless and MH 10 times in the last few days. if there was a QR show tomorrow i'd be goin. damn. later dood. we'll miss ya.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Attack from the Sepulchre!!!

Malhavoc - Age of the Dark Renaissance (1987)

H.P.Lovecraft, Bathory and Celtic Frost were the prime inspirations for Malhavoc in '87. Spine chilling riffs with the creepiest vocal style ever created. The intro is just killer and that first riff is never to far back in my sub conscience (kind of a variation on Instellar Overdrive). The gtr tone has always reminded me a little of Kill 'em All though the music is light years away. There are so many killer riffs on this but my fav riff has always been the one in Fey at 1:42. Also known as "The Riff That Never Dies!" Throw out yer meter cause the drums are real slop in places, but it only adds to the frankenstein effect in the end. I cut alot of gtr teeth on this demo and still consider these tunes to rank with the best of that era.

Unfortunately, Malhavoc abandoned their classic style a couple of years later after an failed attempt to release an album, Shrine, on Toronto's ever inept Fringe Records. Thankfully some of these recordings were tagged on as bonus tracks to later Malhavoc releases, but here are the demos in all their raw tape-hissing glory. Unfortunately I'm missing Dunwich Horror (a very key track) due to a tape malfunction.(yeah, they used to do that sometimes). Though I might be able to resurrect it with a little re-agent in the lab.

check it out: Malhavoc-AOTDR-1987

Saturday, May 19, 2007

WASP - Dominator

Gawdammit! This thing opens with some killer chuggin four on the floor fist banging mania that builds up some serious intensity by the end of the first verse. (blood curdling vocal tone on) "You got no prayer, nowhere! There ain't no way out tonight!" (blood curdling vocal tone off). We get a slight musical reprieve before Blackie kicks in the first chorus of the album. A chorus that makes me wanna rise up like Apache Chief and sweep aside everything in my way. EnukChuk!

After seeing WASP at WOA2001 and some pre-festival research on what Mr. Lawless had been up to since his 80s heyday, I was pretty well hooked. That voice! Holy shit! Crushing! His go for the throat vocal style is in full effect through this whole album. The context of the lyrics is American imperialism but it's far from blatant and you're certainly not beaten over the head with it if you don't give a shit. Though you might be seriously confused into thinking this album was about domestic abuse. ha! yeah it's a pretty damn good metaphor. Blackie's certainly no slouch in the venomous lyric category and there's a buncha instant classics on this sucker. "Feed your children to the hellbent war machine!".

Of course there's a good mix of tunes on this thing too. A couple ballads of sorts, some crushing chuggers and a full on rock'n'roll closer. I've played this shit outta this thing, more so than any record in recent memory. It's a pretty good testament to an album's staying power when you wake up daily with these tunes stuck in yer brain. My only complaint is i can't play this damn thing LOUD ENOUGH!!! I guess I just need a live fix, complete with the Giger Harley Pogo Mic Stand.

highs: Mercy (ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!), Long Way To Go, The Burning Man, Heaven's Blessed

Mercy live (sans GHP Mic Stand)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tapping in to Hell's Computer!

WOAH! infuckencredible! BLIND ILLUSION RISE AGAIN! far beyond stoked!
Saturday July 7th / Sunday July 8th, 2007
SF FREE!!! 12PM - 6PM
hear the greatness.
alongside Dimension Hatross my fav album of '88. brilliant!
now if i could just get my hands on The Medecine Show demos.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Mordred - Bottom of the Hill, SF, 4/12/07

A Mordred reunion with a set featuring both lineups (yeah the funk infused one too). The classic lineup were up first of course, and the chainmail and swords on the singer helped emphasize the fact that the original Mordred incarnation was ALL METAL. Guitarist Danny White was nailing everything but whoops, gtrst#2 was a little negligent a fewtimes on the gtr harmonies. Old school early 80s riffs galore from a Gibson V. Awesome.

The funk lineup only played 3 tunes (this was part of a larger bill of locals). Singer#2 (Scott) really sounds alot like John Bush now. Maybe he did in 1990 too but I've forgotten or maybe it was buried in the "whacca whacca" gtr lines. They played Johnny The Fox for all the TL fans. Someday I too will be into Phil Lynott. I just know it.

btw that's the actual setlist. i'm not THAT big a fan but it was laying there for the taking. I really have to dig out the first record. There were alot of bells ringing while watching the set but it's been a very long time since i've heard these tunes. This was a good way to boycott the band formerly known as The Haunted at Slim's this same night, but damn I would've liked to have sees DarkT again.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tap Into a Reunion Movie Clip

nice to see Nigel's doin well.

Megadeth/Sabbath - 4/24/07 - Shark Tank, SJ

MegaDave is running one damn fine tuned outfit these days. This show just smoked and was hands down the best Megadeth show I have ever seen. Mustaine stepped right outta 1983 for this gig. No puffy button down shirts tonight just lotsa headbanging and some seriously ripping guitars. The vocals were in fine form too which was a nice surprise. The tank was nicely populated (well the floor and first level anways) and most ppl right into the R.I.P and Peace Sells. It woulda been nice to hear Sleepwalker from the new record (that tune rules) it's more lively then WashingtonIsNext. Now while guitar tossings and fit throwings (see Gigantour'06 in Toronto) are nice to remind us that the pissed off Dave is still their under the reborn one, it was just great to hear the band total rip. Well except that White Lion bass player guy. I kept expecting to see him to do piruettes on stage and ruin the whole vibe.

setlist (not exactly in order and missed first 1 or two tunes):
...Take No Prisoners/Wake Up Dead/Hanger 18/Kick The Chair/Symphony/Tornado of Souls/Washington Is Next/Peace Sells/Holy Wars

Sabbath w/ Dio. Heaven&Hell (the song not the new lame $haron enforced moniker) was totally OTT in theatrics. Ronnie raised smoke up from below the stage. woah. Man some of their catalog though is just not stage worthy though. They shoulda busted out Symptom of the Universe or Children of the Grave to liven things up at several points. The encore Neon Knights was totally worth the admission price though. except for Captain Slow Poke Lazy Stroke behind the kit coating each tune in in 3 layers of molasses. damnit he wanted to drag every tune down to a standstill and only charlie watts coulda played fewer hihat hits.

missed openers Machine Head while the damn venue try to cram several thousand floor ticket holders through a single door in the back. WTFF!? No big loss though, while the new MH album makes some good strides to being a decent record, you still have to listen their horrible original (old?) new metal style on all the even #'d tracks. uggh. i got no time for that crap.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Unleashed - The Metro, Oakland, CA - 2/17/07

"Hell's Unleashed, yeah all insane
Freakin' hard so fuckin' wild
Join the madness or step aside"

Well we didn't get that one (and i lost my voice trying damnit!), but that was the rule of the night. Yes Warriors, it's hardly news but Johnny is fully possessed by Cronos circa 1983. "Do you want some more? .... Noooooo?" he says taunting the audience into a frenzy in a very effective and very Conrad Lant manner. Luckily he didn't get pissed that some ill informed dude kept yelling "Norway" all night. In fact, he was damn thrilled with the crowd's reaction. The "We're going home.......I AM home" comment pretty much explained that, along with the many fist_slammed_to_heart acknowledgements from Mr Hedlund. cheers!

Frederik fucken ripped. The 5150 was cranked up just right for every killer lead that he tore outta that Rhoads-knock-off V. I would've loved to have heard "Fly Raven Fly" (total killer Yngwie-strat tone lead) and "Burnt Alive" (complete with a beer bottle slide intro) for the leads alone (and BA is now my fav tune), but there were plenty of other great solos. "Blood of Lies", "Midvinterblot" and "In Victory..". gawd damn that dude can kill it.

There were alot of gaps between tunes (for bass tuning or beer drinking), that the crowd filled with song requests (and mistaken homeland shouts...uggh). "You gotta give an old man a chance to have a drink" was Johnny's eventual explanation. Crowd particpation (packed btw) was in full effect too. Cheese? oh yeah, but ahh whatever, take another drink of the $2 PBR and soak it up. Fucken good times!

Hedlund promised to return soon. Hope that's true. Check Midvinterblot if you haven't yet. Perfected old world metal.
Blood of Lies (killer opener!)
In the Name of God
Never Ending Hate
I Don't Want To Be Born (yeah!...\m/Cronos\m/)
To Asgaard We Fly
Triumph of Genocide (major head banging!)
Execute Them All
In Victory or Defeat
The Long Ships are Coming
Death Metal Victory
Into Glory Ride
Legal Rapes
The Immortals
Before The Creation of Time (crowd choice from WNLD)
Shadows in the Deep

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


in case ya hadn't heard, the rock and roll cosmos finally came back into alignment last week. Diamond Dave is back in VH with tour dates in the works and just in time for that RnR HOF induction. overhyped? yeah sure they're a little past their prime (pfff), but for those of us that missed the Diver Down tour, you can actually go to a VH show now without being tortured by "pound cake" or "how do i know when it's shite" (not that i ever considered it). what a bloody waste of time. forget that DD wears his pants around his ears and EVH is toothless porn composer (WTF?)
...ya wanna hear why this is soooo important?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Testament - The Independant, 1/27/07, SF, CA

The Independant was sold out (~500 or so) for the return of several local metal acts. The show was opened by The Ruffians who have apparently been around the bay area since '83 and sounds like they haven't learned a thing since. Yawn! stale cheese. The evenm more senior Vicious Rumours were next up with killer killer killer dueling leads and harmonies. New singer James Rivera (ex Helstar) was freakin incredible. There weren't any fake ironic metal bullshit falsetto screams here. This dude is the real thing in the grande Halford/Dickinson style. wow. nice surprise.

Testament were up next with their guitar genius and yet another drumming power house in tow. It was Nick Barker's night to shine as this was his first gig with the bay area thrash legends. The crowd reaction was a little luke warm to his announcement, but likely due to the older school crowd's ignorance of this dudes track record and abilities. Let's face it the drums were never the highlight of a Testament record, but Barker was expectedly solid and added slight Barker-isms to old Testament tunes. Just enough to keep the beat driving ahead and never stomp all over the tunes. The drumming highlight had to be DNR though with Nick doing his best Lombardo impersonation. The tempo was a up a little bit from the album version and just smoked. wow! He was sporting a Rush 2112 shirt, which must've been some Yin/Yang kinda statement. Skolnick was note perfect as usual. He whips out classic lead lines like they were microwaved butter. Completely effortless yet sooo accurate. Burnt Offerings was called out last minute by Chuck. It was obviously rehearsed but possibly not with Alex. He gave the nod though and of course killed some of the best lead playing from the debut album. Wicked set. No complaints. The crowd was kinda tame and only really whipped up a pit during....what else..."Into The Pit".

The Preacher
The New Order
The Haunting
Electric Crown
Trial By Fire
DNR (fucken firestorm!!!)
3 Days in Darkness
True Beleiver
Practice What You Preach
The Legacy
Into the Pit
Over the Wall
Alone in the Dark
Disciples of the Watch
Burnt Offerings
(dedicated to Zetro "he wrote this one" who was side stage)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Destruction/Death Angel - Slim's, SF, 1/23/07

DA were pretty stoked to see the packed hometown crowd at Slim's on a Tuesday night. They opened with what sounded like a part of a new song. It was pretty basic but built up in typical DA fashion. This was weaved straight into S.E.T. which totally ripped!!!. Cavestany's gtr sound and playing was bloody stellar. A few more thanks were exhanged to the audience for choosing the metal show with "roots that go deep down into the heart of this scene" (God Forbid/Mnemic/Arsis were in Oakland this night as well). Yeah, Osegueda was in fine form with his stage banter.

Some intro/new riff thing
Seemingly Endless Time
Evil Priest
Thicker Than Blood
Voracious Souls
5 steps to Freedom
3rd Floor
Devil Incarnate
Mistress of Pain
?? (All seems diff to me)
Thrown to the Wolves

Destruction took to the stage with a gawd awful guitar sound. Mike was pretty quick to start fucking with his amp after the first tune. He was playing a Krank amp which might be a new experiment for him. It improved somewhat but still sounded like an Electrolux played through a Big Muff. Damn roadies and soundman. Too much preset gtr wanking without any real "checking" during the sound check. Of course the sound issues ticked Schmier off quite a bit. They actually stopped the set at one point to chastize their soundman. Anyways, the crowd made the best of it of course. Schmier was stoked to be playing with DA in their hometown and that there was a real bay area style going on in front of the stage. Anyways, the band still ripped despite the sound problems and we got to hear Schmier say "I'M FUCKING PISSED OFF!". We wouldn't have any other way.

Curse of the Gods
Nailed to the Cross
Mad Butcher
Cracked Brain
The Defiance Will Remain
Antichrist/Sign of Fear/Release From Agony (medley)
Death Trap
Life Without Sense
>>Schmier gets pissed off at the soundman (rightfully so), Impromptu drum solo while guitar is fixed
Thrash til Death
Soul Collector
Bestial Invasion
Total Desaster
The Butcher Strikes Back (by audience request)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Whiplash Neckbreakers 2006

Darkthrone - The Cult is Alive
C'mon you fuckers!
highs: Whiskey Funeral, Too Old Too Fucking Cold, Graveyard Slut

Melechesh - Emissaries
Sphynx was a real monster that will be tough to ever top, but Emisaries rips. it has all the hooks, turnarounds and breakdowns in the right places. The riffs have teeth. Reeaaaargh!
highs: Deluge of Delusional Dreams (1:29 is riff of the year...bite!) , Ladders to Sumeria, Rebirth of the Nemesis (call and answer intro kills!)

I - Between Two Worlds
Immortal - blast beats (Horgh) + more rawk = Between Two Worlds Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!
highs: The Storm I Ride (fist banging mania), Battalions (unmistakeably Immortal)

Enslaved - Ruun
Prob the best of their space rock era so far.
wall of sound from another world.
Fusion of Sense and Earth, entroper, ruun, tides of chaos

Napalm Death - Smear Campaign
Quite possibly the best ND release ever. Barney is in fine form.Mitch's panic screams actually open the album this time. Riffs galore. HC/DM/GC crossover to the extreme. Chuffed! Waaaaarghhh!!!!
Highs: SinkFastLetGo, When All Is Said and Done, Deaf and Dumbstruck, Persona Non Grata

Vader - Impressions in Blood
Like an Atomic Steamroller, this is endlessly crushing.
highs: Shadow's Fear, As Heaven's Collide, Field of Heads

Keep of Kalessin - Armada
see Vengeance Rising for the perfect example (where did that buzzing swarm of locusts come from?)
highs: Winged Watcher (a cinematic peak), The Black Uncharted, Vengeance Rising, Many Are We

Gojira - From Mars to Sirius
technically 2005, though i did the most of my listening in 2006. with the strength of a thousand toho monsters this album crushes all of the nuclear reactors in japan. musically it's Morbid Angel meets least in the heavy bits. godzilla could so take these flying whales. highs: The Heaviest of the Universe (windmill central!), Ocean Planet

Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
cinematic.dramatic.complex.diverse.challenging. yeah like Keep this is some elaborate and involved shit. this holds back more on the accelerometer though. and like Keep the vox are all over the map.
highs: Verdelet, Shelter from the Sand (moog alert 8:36)

Lamb of God - Sacrement
What the hell? NWAHM sucks but these guys have finally put all the riffs in the right places. well deserving of all it's successes. this fucker's bloody infectious.
highs: Beating On Death's Door, Again We Will Rise, Redneck (shit and I hate Pantera too, but this makes me do the throw down the horns routine)

Decapitated - Organic Halucinosis
Math Metal. Occasionally too self-indulgently robotic, but far more than enough frenetic riffing to make your head spin.Not since Ironman has a note been bent so effectively in a riff.New vocalist is a Barney clone, but a welcome change.
highs: Post Organic (windmill storm!), Day 69.

Unleashed - Midvinterblot
crushing riffs with fat tones and tunes about Sauron bringing man kind to it's knees. the leads frickin rip!
highs: The Avenger, This Is Our World Now, Blood of Lies

Sadus - Out For Blood
One of the most interesting and demanding releases of the year.Occasionally verges on a bass gymnastics routine, but thankfully not to excess.
highs: Sick, Out for Blood, Smackdown

Mastodon - Blood Mountain
could use more blood and thunder and less QOTSA, but still a damn interesting listen.
highs: Capillarian Crest, Circle Cysquatch, Crystal Skull...yeah basically all the "C" tunes... oh, and Bladecatcher

Necrophobic - Hrimthursum
stretching out their Sunlight studios sound a little more on this. not too far strayed from the Left Hand Path though.
highs: I Strike With Wrath, Blinded by Light, Enlightened by Darkness, Black Hate (woah..makes me wish D666 would've released a damn album this year!)