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 well...it 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 Voivod...at 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!)