heavy metal

So, what do you do when you're a drummer and your dad is also a drummer but not just ANY drummer. He's one of the most iconic metal drummers ever. What is a son to do? Join a power trio and put out an album filled with some of the best hard rock this reviewer has heard in a long time. That's what you do.

I first heard about Dragonforce before they became popular through the Guitar Hero games. I heard about their first album when it came out, and I was quite puzzled by what I was hearing. It was lightning-speed power metal, played at tempos I could barely register, and topped off with some of the most gloriously cheesy vocals and melodies I had ever heard. On paper, it sounded like a disaster, but they somehow made it work.

Strap in. Along Came a Spider’s new record “Resurgence” is a twisting ride. Dive in when you’re ready.

One of the interesting things about hanging around the music scene long enough is seeing how a band changes and grows from album to album. Of course, when many bands take between three and five years to put each record out, doing that is a chore. We easily forget where we were and how we felt when those records came out by the time the next one is released, which blunts the impact the evolution of a band can have. After five years, anything will sound good, because we've been so anxious to hear new music. It's a subtle trick that bands lacking creativity readily exploit.

Longtime fans of heavy metal will surely recognize the subject of this week's review. It's a little band from Germany known as Accept. Personally, Accept holds the distinction of being the very first metal band I ever saw live. At the risk of dating myself, I saw them in support of their "Metal Heart" album when they opened for Iron Maiden at the Glens Falls Civic Center back in 1985. Their classic "Balls To The Wall" is still one of my favorites.

As the tumult surrounding As I Lay Dying unfolded, I may have been one of the only people with a tangential attachment to the metal universe who had no opinion on the matter. That's not because of the details of the situation, but merely because no matter how big the band may have been in the mainstream of metal, I had never heard a note of their music, nor had I wanted to. The type of music they represented was not what I was interested in hearing, a feeling that somehow felt morally justified, not just artistically, as the saga continued to drag on.

I know what you're thinking; What's going on with that Swedish "death 'n' roll" band, Entombed? Well, it looks like after releasing 9 albums since 1990 Entombed may or may not be calling it a day. It seems the boys are having some personal issues and the Entombed name is off limits. Fortunately for us we have "Back To The Front", an album from a Swedish "death 'n' roll" band called Entombed A.D. to listen to.

By and large, anyone who has listened to a guitar album knows that there’s a certain acceptance bound into the very act of listening; that the ‘songs’ on the record will not be so much songs in the traditional sense, but rather long stretches of creative fretwork and mixing that makes something resembling a high-class tech demonstration crossed with an introspective poetry reading.

It's been a long road for Mushroomhead, and while the band has run through hot and cold times, the solidarity of their core has led to a remarkable streak of consistency. Fresh off the release of their newest studio record and holding up a pillar Mayhem Fest, Mushroomhead remains a popular and capitvating live performance. As much as any of their contemporaries, the band are artists, blending their music with personal flair and inspriations far and near. Taking a few minutes out of their schedule to sit down, we talked with Skinny and St1tch about their band, balancing all the pieces and the state of horror cinema.