Friday, July 28, 2006

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (DVD)

I watched this DVD a few days ago and I must say it's a really interesting look at heavy metal culture. It's not really about the bands, but more on the different genres of metal and how it developed through the ages. From the early Black Sabbath era, to the glam era, up to the now more extreme metal era. And even a look at the bizarre Norwegian black metal movement.
Even though they do make a visit to the annual Whaken Festival, don't expect to see any actual performances by the bands featured, save for maybe a few short clips. The primary focus of this documentary is on the music itself and the fans who follow it. You'll get insight from some of the top metalheads from the past and present like Tony Iommi (Black Sabbat), Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Dee Snyder (Twisted Sister), Corey Taylor & Joey Jordison (Slipknot), George "Corpse Grinder" Fisher (Cannibal Corpse) and a host of others as they give their take on the rabid following of heavy metal.
This is definately recommended viewing if your into a look at heavy metal history and the changes and evolution of the music through the ages. Give it a look if you get the chance.
DVD Rating: ****

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hatebreed - Severity

You could easily write off Jamey Jasta and Hatebreed's style of speedy sing-along anthemic fist-pumping hardcore metal as redundant and the same thing everytime, but the formula just works for them!
Jasta again releases his pent up anger and frustration as fuel to the fire of their latest album, Severity. And if you've heard their previous material, you know what to expect and you either love it or you hate it. But you could definately imagine crowds of angry teens pumping their fists and singing along to Hatebreed's anthems of rebellion, and they don't let up for one second throughout this sonic assault.
CD Rating: ***

Dagoba - What Hell Is About

Dagoba was a nice surprised I discovered while looking for something new to listen to. I was looking for some loud, fast and aggressive, and these guys more than fit the bill!
When I first came upon this one, it had a tagline "If you like Hatebreed...". Well, I can tell you now these guys have more in common with the industrial style of Fear Factory and the crushing mix of metal & melody of MachineHead (who both are inspirations of the band) than the speedy anthemic style of Hatebreed.
So if your a fan of machinegun speed double bass drum attacks, aggressive screaming to melodic singing vocals, loud chugging guitars, and a mix of industrial and black metal electronics, then definately check this one out.
CD Rating: ***1/2

Saturday, July 22, 2006

From First To Last - Heroin

After hearing "Chrismassacre", the band's contribution to the "Taste of Christmas" compilation last year, I checked out the band's major label debut, "Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count", and was utterly dissapointed as the band sounding just like any other screamo band as opposed to the brutal assault that was Chrismassacre.
Fast forward to now and I read that the band changed their sound and added more black metal and industrial influences. So I gave them a second chance and checked out their lates offering, Heroin. Now while the band upped the ante on this latest offering with a heavier and faster sound, there still really isn't anything special on hand here. They still sound like an angsty emo band and the so called black metal influence is barely noticeable. The best they come up with is sounding like an Iron Maiden tribute band. Hopefully the band can still improve since they are still a young band. But pass on this one for now.
CD Rating: *

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

SOiL - True Self

They might have a new singer (who sounds identical to the original one), but SOiL have returned with another killer album! From front to finish, they've put together a great sounding package reminiscent to their past albums Redefine and Scars, and managed to improved on it even more. Despite a more mellow sound, they can still also turn it up a notch when required, and it's this mix of metal and melody that grabs your attention with great riffs and vocals. If your looking for a good hard-rockin' CD, this is definately one to consider.
CD Rating: ****