Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review: Dimmu Borgir, "Abrahadabra"

I’ve never been a huge fan of black metal, a dabbler at best, but hearing “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse” from Dimmu Borgir’s 2003 outing “Death Cult Armageddon” made me an immediate fan. Then again, the hardcore black metal crowd would probably tell you I still don’t like the genre because Dimmu Borgir is no longer part of it, and they’ve sold out because more than five people know who they are. Maybe they’ve got a point.

Certainly, what’s on the band’s latest effort, “Abrahadabra,” bears little resemblance to other acts in the genre, apart from the raspy vocals and a few occasional blast beats.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blast Beats: Disturbed, Jaldaboath, James LaBrie

Here are quick shots of a few more recent records:

Disturbed, "Asylum"
After delivering their best effort since their debut with 2008’s “Indestructible,” Disturbed had me really looking forward to this record. Much like “Believe,” the follow-up to their debut, “Asylum” is a disappointment. The songs here are not as catchy as those on “Indestructible” and, like “Believe,” they lean more toward the mellow and melodic. I know a lot of people don’t like David Draiman’s “monkey screams,” but to me, when he uses the more melodic approach, his vocals are like wallpaper, and that’s the case here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Halford, "IV: Made of Metal"

A glance at the cheesy, amateurish cover of Halford’s IV: Made of Metal, likely wouldn’t inspire metal fans to give it a second glance if not for the fact that it bears the Metal God’s name. Luckily for the legendary screamer, it’s not what’s on the cover, but what’s under the hood, and Rob Halford’s latest effort with his solo band has the power where it counts.

That’s not to say that there’s not plenty of cheese factor to the music, too. The chorus of the title track is practically made out of aged cheddar. It’s silly and campy, particularly at the beginning with the quintessentially 1980s synthesizer. But it’s a tasty variety of cheese. I dare you to listen to it a couple of times and then get it out of your head. It’s insidious in the same way as the theme songs of the kids’ shows my son watches on TV.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Flotsam & Jetsam, "The Cold"

The last Flotsam & Jetsam record to make an impact on me was 1995’s Drift. While I know that some fans of the band will disagree, I consider that record one of their finest moments. I loved the more progressive slant, and as much as I like No Place for Disgrace and Cuatro, it remains my favorite record from the band. In all honesty, with the exception of High, which I found quite disappointing, I haven’t spent much time with the last few Flotsam & Jetsam records, but there was something about their latest effort, The Cold, that grabbed my attention quickly.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Overkill: Songs that I could use a break from

Since my XM subscription expired, I’ve been listening to regular radio in my truck off and on, and after hearing many of the same songs over and over, I started thinking about songs by bands I like that I’d probably be perfectly happy if I never had to hear again. In many cases, these are songs that I really enjoyed at one time or another, but I’ve heard them so often they bring a groan every time I hear the opening notes. So, while I realize no one will listen to me, I nominate these songs for a long break. Feel free to argue the point.