album review

This is Jane’s Addiction. Or is it? Truly, it depends on what the name “Jane’s Addiction” means. If the name is synonymous with west-coast style funk influenced near-psychedelic alternative rock and roll, then “The Great Escape Artist” is not Jane’s Addiction. Contrarily, if the name “Jane’s Addiction” is less about the serialized sound of a band and more about a cadre of musicians constantly looking to experiment and broaden their aural horizons, then “The Great Escape Artist” is perfectly adept at carrying the umbrage of the title “Jane’s Addiction.”

Ripper Owens, the mercenary singer for hire, gives the impression that he's a man trying to prove something. His tumultuous career began while filling in for Rob Halford's sabbatical in Judas Priest. He carried that into a spin with Iced Earth, and then was the singer for Yngwie Malmsteen (and is reported to be again.) An album with Beyond Fear and a solo project thrown on the pile for good measure, and Ripper has been around the block at least once.

More work to do. That's was my initial and lasting impression of Rose Funeral's "Gates of Punishment." The band prides themselves on their unique character of groove-based death metal, but that quality doesn't come through quite like the band would have you believe.

Night in Gales’ “Five Scars” touts itself as one of this year’s finest efforts in melodic death metal. That’s both true and not true.

Where “Five Scars” succeeds is in precision. Every note is timed perfectly, the measures attaching together like links of a long, unified chain. The drums of “This Neon Grave” alone should serve as testament to the band’s dedication to timed perfection.

To observe Glorior Belli's album "The Great Southern Darkness" objectively is to examine what seems like a collection of unaffiliated styles and locales. Bubbling up from the outskirts of Paris, the band carries a blend of extreme metal, black metal and late 90's-bred desert rock.

Crowned By Fire's "Prone to Destroy" is an album that makes connections with all the touchstones of basic, straight up heavy metal. No flowery dalliances, no tangential expositions, no long, emotive complexities. Just guitar, bass, drums and vocals, all locked together with a growling attitude and a blues-backed sensibility.

There’s a fair chance that much of this review will seem like a paraphrased version of our journey through Warbringer’s “Waking Into Nightmares” in 2009. That’s probably fairly accurate, but it stems from the fact that refreshingly little has changed about Warbringer.

And here we are. After a twisting, turning, practically soap-opera-plot sojourn, Anthrax’s long awaited “Worship Music” is finally available to the masses in the form that the band intended. Or at least, intended for the third time. In any event, we’re pretty sure this is it for revisions to the wayward, prodigal album of thrash metal’s recent cycle.

I was first introduced to Edguy during my college years, when "Mandrake" was the band's signature album. That album was possessed of fire and heart, armed with a devil-may-care attitude and a new age power metal swagger.

Gather round, fans of Fates Warning! Jim Matheos and former vocalist John Arch have put together a six-cut record of entirely new progressive metal material under the banner of brand new side project Arch/Matheos. "Sympathetic Resonance" lies somewhere between EP and full album, and was rendered from material that Matheos had written with preconceptions of another Fates Warning album. The musician goes on to say that he and Arch began working the songs one at a time, never really intending a full-length debut, but arriving at that destination in time.