New stuff this week (1/23/06)

Hail Horror
Prosthetic Records
46:16 – 10 Tracks

This album is damn near death metal. I thought I remembered Himsa crossing more into metalcore. While it still has a metalcore sound, it seems to be more dark. Nice growling, aggressive in your face sound. Take Lamb of God, throw in some Devildriver and mix it up with some Kataklysm or Krisiun and maybe you have Himsa… I dunno, I like it and you’ll hear it on the “Pit” in the upcoming weeks!

Metal Blade
We’ve had a 3 song EP for a little while and those three songs are pretty impressive. Very “Slayeresque” there’s a lot of “Reign in Blood” on this cd, mix in some Pantera and melodic scandanavian death metal and you have this band. Good solid production

“The Garden of Uneartly Delights”
Nuclear Blast
Yes! They are back and on a new label. These doom icons do not mess around, some scary intro tracks to some other songs. Great catchy pouding songs. There’s not much more you can say about this album, but it’s a great classic sounding Cathdral CD. You’ll hear this on the Pit in the upcoming weeks!

“Chimaira” Re-Issue
2 cds
The first disk is just “Chimaira.” The 2nd disk is really what this release is all about. Two unreleased tracks from the “Chimaira” sessions and audio from “The Dehumanizing Process” DVD recorded in Holland in 2003. It comes in a neat all black jewel case. The live tracks really stand out on this one, crystal clear sound and it sounds like they were “on”

“La Muerte”
Nuclear Blast
64:43 – 12 Tracks
If you like Entombed or Napalm Death, you’ll probably enjoy Gorefest. This is their first album in 6 years. They have the classic death grind core sound. Nothing too complicated, just straight forward grind.

“Victory Over Horseshit” EP
Tortuga / Hydra Head
16:33 – 5 Tracks
Not really metal, more of a hard rock or “outlaw rock” as the Bio says. Seems like a fun lovin’ rock band. If there’s extra time in the show you’ll hear this, but it’s not a high priority. Pretty good stuff, would fit along the lines of Clutch, and they are going on tour with Orange Goblin in May.

“Everyone Into Position”
Beggars Banquet
Another more hard rock album. From the Bio: “Brooding, Dark, spacey, empowering, sprawling and at times angelic” A good rock record, it has all clean vocals, kind of a Porcupine meets Audioslave sound. Another, “unless we have extra time” album on the Pit.

Other releases yet to hear…. Hurtlocker, Dan Lorenzo and a compilation called “Best of Taste of Chaos”

New stuff this week

A lot of good new stuff this week. It’s looking to be a good year so far, what’s nice about this week, is the Top 5 adds are almost pretty different, Callenish Circle with melodic death metal, Dark Funeral with black metal, hard/thrash/metalcore with the Bleeding Through and Sworn Enemy. Then you got the Eddie Ojeda with some old school sounding almost borderline power metal.

Callenish Circle
Metal Blade
43:27 – 10 Tracks
Nice to hear from these guys again, I made them the top “add” for the week. Great vocals, that pounding thrashing metal sound. Nice solid production, nice riffs, and as I like to use the word again, BRUTAL vocals. Seems to be Metal Blade’s version of the Scandanavian melodic death metal. Great band, kind of keeping the “In Flames” sound heavy.

Dark Funeral
Attera Totus Sanctus
Candlelight Records
42:56 – 8 Tracks
Another release from the masters of Satan, Dark Funeral. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from them. Heavy, brutal, well produced black metal. ’nuff said.

Bleeding Through
The Truth
Trustkill Records
43:13 – 12 Tracks
This band played on Ozzfest a couple years ago, toured a lot and helped shape the sound that’s like all the rage these days. Brutal drums, guitar, angry growls, then sometimes a slowdown and a nice melodic break, only to go right back to brutal! Good stuff

Sworn Enemy
The Beginning of the End
Abacus Records
49:11 – 99 Tracks (There’s really 11 tracks, but they split everything up into 20 second tracks to spoil mp3 ripping… here’s a clue, IT DOESN’T WORK, it just makes it a pain for your friendly DJ to cue up the right track!!)
But, I digress. Sworn Enemy doesn’t come to mess around. Good fast paced songs, no fucking around, just an all out aural assault. I can just see the circle pits spinning and thrashing right now. Good solid production, has a good thump and feel, and yup… brutal!

Eddie Ojeda
Axes 2 Axes
Black Lotus Records
Eddie as you may know was/is the guitarist from Twisted Sister. This is his first solo album and the opening track features the metal legend of Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Dee Snyder, Joe Lynn Turner, Rudy Sarzo and others contribute to this release. There’s a fun cover of “Eleanor Rigby” It’s pretty much a straight forward hard rock album. Being that it’s a guitarist’s solo album, there are some great shredding guitar moments and the all-star band does a fine job.

Mistaken Grave
The Curse Records
27:20 – 10 tracks
CD in the inbox, “local” metal from Iowa City. Starts off with some cookie monsterish growl. Production is pretty awful, sounds like I’m listening through a telephone. Maybe not that bad, but there isn’t much in the way of dynamic range or frequency range. The music has some promise, pretty good guitar solos and the songs are put together well. I’d like to see these guys live! Here’s their web site Too bad it’s a tripod site, c’mon guys, you have a domain name, spend the usually less than $50 and get a real site going!

Short Fuse
Hate Brought To This Place Called Home
No Label – Unsigned (Promoted by Freekshow Promotions)
48:42 – 13 Tracks
For a band that isn’t signed yet, the best thing to do is get a good sounding CD produced, hire a promotion company to send it out to a bunch of press/radio stations and get their name out there. They kind of have a Chimaira sound to them with some mudvayne/slipknot thrown in. But it’s a bit more raw. They have a sampler/keyboard thing making some neat effects, but still maintain their heaviness. Just doing a skip-thru of the CD, a lot of the songs sound pretty similar.

Nocturnal Rites
Grand Illusion
Century Media
46:38 – 10 Tracks
Good ol solid melodic power hard rock metal! Nothing too thrashy here, but straight forward melodic metal from Sweden. They kind of have the hard rock anthem, almost sing along stuff going on. A lot of vocal processing, seems like there’s a bunch of keyboard, but they don’t have a keyboard player listed as a full time band member. As I read the bio sheet though, Jens Johansson from Stratovarius plays on the album, also guests from Naglfar, Hammerfall and Evergrey members. All in all, a solid prog-ish metal release from a veteran band of the genre.

Vol. 4
Century Media
Another veteran female fronted metal band. They made their life US debut at Metalfest a few years ago and put on a pretty good show. They aren’t really thrash or heavy metal, more like a hard-rock. Pretty decent release. I was hoping for something a little heavier, but what can you do?

Last week we were supposed to have the Wicked Wisdom sampler. As you might know, this is Jada Pinkett’s band that played Ozzfest in 2005. Their live show was pretty good actually. Her band is made up mostly of people from Fishbone and Body Count. This 2 song sampler is good and puncy, it’s kind of nu-metal sounding, but they’ll always be the band with Will Smith’s wife.

We got a huge package from Black Lotus Records (From Greece) last week. They sent about 10 releases, most of them are pretty good from various European bands encompassing different metal genres. I’ll put reviews up and play some on the air in the upcoming weeks/months.

So, yeah, a lot of good stuff this week. Listen to the ‘pit to hear it, if it sounds good from what I wrote, ca;ll and request it! Thanks…

New Stuff this week

All Riot
Victory Records
36:45 — 11 Tracks
Sounds kind of like the normal run of the Metal-core stuff that’s out these days. Good sounding screamy growls, melodic choruses, guitar melodies. I’m probably too old to like this, as it sounds “EMO” when it’s not being heavy. Good solid production.
You will hear this on the Mosh Pit this week and probably in the future.

This Was Always Meant To Fall Apart
Ferret Records
36:18 — 12 Tracks
CD starts off all whiney with just guitars, I’m hoping this is an intro! Whew… growls kick in right on track 2. Pretty aggressive metalcore sound with the barking vocals and sound double bass thrown in. And there we go with the whiney emo chorus. Pretty decent, sounds fairly similar to the Waterdown, then again, this sound is pretty overdone these days, so a LOT of bands sound like this.
You’ll hear this on the Mosh Pit tonight, and possibly in the weeks to come.

New stuff from Wicked Wisdom and Switched were supposed to be here, but they’re probably in the mail.

Saving the best for last:

Dimmu Borgir
Nuclear Blast
47:24 — 10 Tracks (Promo sleeve)
Fully re-recorded version of Dimmu’s 2nd release. At the time, they didn’t have the dough for decent production, but it was still a great release. They decided to re-record with their current lineup and it sounds great! This is my favorite CD of the week, and so far, duh, the best of the year. Normally I’m not a fan of re-releases, but given the original recording of this and that I like Dimmu Borgir, this is a welcome release.
You will hear this on the Mosh Pit this week and definately in the weeks to come.

Mike's 2005 Year In Review

Here are Mike’s (The Book’s) top lists of 2005….

Overall Top 10 (in no particular order)
Arch Enemy — Doomsday Machine
Soilwork — Stabbing The Drama
Dew Scented — Issue VI
Sentenced — Funeral Album
Byzantine — …And They Shall Take Up Serpents
System of a Down — Mezmerize/Hypnotize
Watch Them Die — Bastard Son
Dream Theater — Octavarium
Soulfly — Dark Ages
Exodus — Shovel Headed Kill Machine

Death and Black Metal List (in no particular order)
Summon — Fallen
Behemoth — Demigod
Dark Tranquillity — Character
Children of Bodom — Are We Dead Yet?
Opeth — Ghost Reveries
Old Man’s Child — Vermin
Cryptopsy — Once Was Not
Nile — Annihilation of the Wicked
Obituary — Frozen In Time
Bloodbath — Nightmares Made Flesh

Best Metalcore (in no particular order)
Between The Buried And Me — Alaska
Still Remains — Love And Lunacy
Agony Scene — Darkest Red
Madball — Legacy
Throwdown — Vendetta

Best Prog/Power Metal (in no particular order)
Kamelot — Black Halo
Nevermore — This Godless Endeavor
Brainstorm — Liquid Monster
Judas Priest — Angel of Retribution
Helloween — Keeper of the Seven Keys III

Best Live Performances
Strapping Young Lad
Iron Maiden
Arch Enemy
Dream Theater
Children of Bodom
Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Worst Live Performances
Fear Before The March Of Flames (Sounds of the Underground)
It Dies Today (opened for Fear Factory)
Robert Fripp (opened for Porcupine Tree)

Honorable Mentions
Apocalyptica — Reflections
Porcupine Tree — Deadwing
Chimaira — Chimaira
God Forbid — IV: Constitution of Treason
Avenged Sevenfold — City of Evil
Candlemass — Candlemass