M. Drew's blog

Album Review: Anti-Mortem - "New Southern"

Every now and again, we need an album like this. A concise record that isn’t particularly concerned with technicality or image and instead seeks only to slake our thirst for the base impulses of metal as we know it. Anti-Mortem’s “New Southern,” the debut record from the band hailing from Oklahoma, hangs its hat on the idea that metal burns brightest in the furious furnace of the heart more than the unchained imagination of the mind.

Album Review: Triptykon - "Melana Chasmata"

Triptykon’s debut full-length record from 2010 “Eparistera Daimones,” was a confused affair, even though it was greeted with unqualified praise from the reviewing universe. It lacked direction, rambled on in random progressions, and never established a musical purpose beyond trying to cram as much force-fed anguish into the product as possible.

Tonight We Tribute Tonight - "This is Spinal Tap" Final

A tribute project of two people does not a true tribute make. Particularly as it relates to "This is Spinal Tap," the only true measure of the film's success is the critique of its peers. To that end, as with every tribute we do, Chris and I step aside to make room for the opinions of those who make the music we all love. Before we begin, allow me to take a moment to thank all the musicians listed below, and all the promotional and label reps who helped gather these anecdotes. As ever, our tribute project is only a success because of the legwork they do to make it come together.

Tonight We Tribute Tonight - "This is Spinal Tap" Part 2

M. DREW: Let's run with your posit for a moment that metal culture no longer exists in a cohesive sense (which I still dispute, but I can't debate without arguing in circles, which will get us nowhere.) We can at least agree that metal culture is fractured and in some state of disrepair. There's almost certainly a qualifier in front of the word 'disrepair,' but which one and how serious it is, is likely in the beholder's eye.

Tonight We Tribute Tonight - "This is Spinal Tap" Part 1

CHRIS: Metal's history in the movies is not particularly long or illustrious. All of the odd glances and snickering asides that metal gets from music fans of other stripes are magnified when the medium changes, as filmmakers seldom know what to do with a form of music that is the aural equivalent of a Michael Bay movie (take that for what you will). Most of the time, we end up with metal either being portrayed as music for idiots, or are subject to movies that try to deal with the subject matter with respect, but are terrible attempts at film. I'm looking at you, "Rock Of Ages".

Album Review: From Hell - "Ascent From Hell"

Paper is a deceptive medium. It always has been. Insidiously, paper sits idly by and lets people scrawl out visions that look like can’t miss propositions until they get into planning and ultimately, execution. Paper never voices an opinion or contrarian voice – it never gives any indication that the information encoded on it might be faulty or without merit. So when From Hell, a band composed of members of Nevermore, Slayer and Death Angel slides across the desk, promising a semi-concept album full of crafted horror stories, it seems like a great idea…on paper.

Concert Review - Texas Hippie Coalition, Anti-Mortem

There was a time when sludgy, fuzzy metal reigned supreme. It doesn’t seem possible, but it was almost fifteen years ago that we were satiated by the overdriven, detuned glory of pinnacle acts like White Zombie, Pantera and Powerman 5000. All of those acts did something a little different, to be certain, but they all subscribed to one basic core principle; that metal needed to be loud, rhythmic and easily accessible above all other qualities.

Album Review: Lacuna Coil - "Broken Crown Halo"

Lacuna Coil at one time seemed poised to absolutely dominate the metal universe and become the next great breakthrough artist in the genre. Unfortunately, they were stalled by an ill fate – a section of their fans backed away and resented the band’s natural evolution toward a more accessible sound, angry that the fury of Lacuna Coil’s early releases had become, in their eyes, too commercial.

Album Review: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em"

The rock and metal revival movement that got off to a running start a couple years ago has continued in earnest, thriving into 2014. With the joyful reception of that material by fans and press in the past, it’s time to produce and prove sustainability.

Personal Reflections on Dave Brockie of GWAR

By now, everyone has heard the news that Dave Brockie, better known under the alias Oderus Urungus of GWAR, has passed away, too young, at age 50. While the entire metal community feels this loss in a profound way, it seems doubly like a gut punch on the heels of Cory Smoot’s sudden passing in 2011. For years, GWAR has been such a mainstay that their continuance seemed a given. Now for the first time, the future of the band is in doubt.

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