It is a question that has plagued hard rock and metal lovers for 30 years. A question that keeps some up at night rolling and sweating in their own nightmares. Where does the ‘Guns’ in Guns N’ Roses come from? Well, it comes from the bands first guitarist Traci Guns. Continue reading L.A. Guns Reunion and New Album ‘The Missing Peace’!
It’s been eight years since Living Colour have graced the masses with new material. And the wait was worth it. Continue reading New Album Review – Living Colour ‘Shade’
I know I know, I’ve written a ton about Mastodon lately. But that’s because there’s a lot to write about. With their number one album ‘Emperor of Sand’ coming out in the spring. And yesterday they released ‘Cold, Dark Place’. An Ep consisting of songs that didn’t make the ‘Once More Round the Sun’ or ‘Emperor of Sand’ albums. And it’s good. Really really good. Continue reading Album Review – Mastodon ‘Cold Dark Place’ EP
The year started out slow. But once June hit it seems like every band and their dog is now releasing new material (not that I’m complaining). I just wasn’t expecting it. The other matter I wasn’t expecting was a new Mr. Big album. Continue reading Mr. Big – ‘Defying Gravity’ Album Review
There’s a couple of categories that super-groups fall into: Not particularly good, uninspired, or the ‘Decent, but I was expecting more’ thought. The latter of which most groups fall into with the exception of Velvet Revolver. The other exception to that rule is The Winery Dogs. Continue reading The Winery Dogs – Dog Years (Live in Santiago) Album Review
Holy hell in a hand basket, where is the lid on Tommy Victor and Prong? Since 2012 they’ve released five albums: ‘Carved Into Stone’, ‘Ruining Lives’, ‘Songs From the Black Hole’, ‘X-No Absolutes’ and now ‘Zero Days’. That’s some serious productivity folks. And what’s really amazing the consistency of quality through out all of the albums. Continue reading Prong’s ‘Zero Days’, Nailing it Yet Again
It’s hard to believe that less than 18 months ago I was doing an album review for Cheap Trick’s latest outing ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello!’. The reason? Because Cheap Trick have already released a new album with fresh material. Continue reading Cheap Trick – ‘We’re All Alright’ Album Review
For the past 30 years or so Overkill have been delivering solid release after solid release. Thrash metal at is purest and finest. After all, a band doesn’t develop a loyal following like Overkill’s writing half assed material. Their latest album ‘The Grinding Wheel’ is no exception. Continue reading Overkill – ‘The Grinding Wheel’ Album Review
2017 has certainly been less than stellar in terms of, well, really everything. But that everything includes heavy metal and these past four months have not been particularly inspiring for the genre. Yes, KXM’s sophomore effort is a near five star masterpiece. Deep Purple has a new album which is cool but I don’t really have the drive to get it. I was expressing how this year has been lackluster for music to a good friend. He asked me if I had heard the new Mastodon album. I said no and told him that I purchased ‘Blood Mountain’ recently and I was expecting a lot, because people rave about this band. Needless to say I felt pretty let down when I spun the disc. He said that ‘Blood Mountain’ wasn’t particularly strong and that I should check out ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Crack the Skye’. I was blown when I started digging. Particularly on their newest release ‘Emperor of Sand’. This is a band that has evolved in the truest sense and they just keep getting better. Some cry sell out. But those are just the folks who think that if there is any sort of melody what so ever in heavy metal than it’s automatically not heavy metal. Which is of course total crap. In many ways Mastodon are the definitive heavy metal band of the past 15 years. They flew the flag when many jumped the ship. And they’ve been successful in pushing the genre forward while still respecting and honoring it’s past. The pushing forward is done in the rhythmic arrangements and guitar tone. The honoring and respecting is done in the actual notation of the riffs and the vocal melodies. Honestly, how many bands have three singers? King’s X and, well, that’s all I can really think of off the top of my head. Oh, and KISS. All of the musical elements that Mastodon have adopted over the years are in full swing on the new album ‘Emperor of Sand’. The record is just pure ear candy. The sweetest, darkest, most delicious audible chocolate. ‘Sultan’s Curse’ opens with neo-classic metal glory. The album keeps up the momentum with the simple ‘Show Yourself’ before giving way to ‘Precious Stones’ featuring Brent Hinds’ haunting yarling melodies. The strongest track may be the groove masterpiece ‘Steambreather’. It just pockets and rides with catchy hooks, memorable beats and a classic metal instrumental bridge. ‘Roots Remain’ is pure prog Mastodon while ‘Andromeda’, ‘Clansdestiny’ and ‘Scorpion Breath’ will please long time fans of their heavier side. The album closer ‘Jaguar God’ however, is one of the peaks of Mastodons entire career. It runs the gauntlet from folk to blues to Mastodon style heavy metal. Just brilliant!! The album as a whole has completely morphed me into a Mastodon fan. I’ve been searching for a band to get into. It’s been a while since I’ve immersed myself in an unfamiliar band. It’s paying off big time. If you do not have the ‘Emperor of Sand’ album, get it! It’s been a slow year for heavy metal releases but Mastodon’s ‘Emperor of Sand’ is an absolute exception to what’s been released. Or not released for that matter.
The purest of heavy metal glory!
Groove, groove, groove. And melody. Smoothly and seamlessly put together.
How do you feel about the new Mastodon album? Feel free to comment and discuss.
WOW!! I’m going to have to give this a 4.5 out of 5. That’s on a strict scale too. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal albums ever. Continue reading KXM – Scatterbrain Album Review