heavy metal

For a band so comparatively young, Escape the Fate has been through the wringer, back again, and still find themselves able to conjure up their third, eponymous album.

What’s striking about this new effort is that from a musical standpoint, “Escape the Fate” is the album that Rob Zombie should have released in place of “Educated Horses.” There are enough heavy, chugging, downbeat riffs that could be isolated and restacked into a convincing Zombie simulacrum.

Wow, what a hot mess this is. The most frustrating is that it didn’t have to be. I salute The Famine for soldiering on after a fire quite literally destroyed their entire studio and all the original tracking for this new release “The Architects of Guilt.” Unfortunately, that’s about as far as that goes.

So, despite promising an update on tour "dates" (plural) as late as yesterday, the Big 4 of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax have released a statement concerning just a single date.

Just one.

Saturday, April 23rd, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10, a day earlier if you're a member of the fan club.

What seems like a lifetime ago, I can remember sitting in my college radio station and giving Stratovarius a shot. I had of course heard and read much from friends and in publications, but as a kid growing up in the whitewashed suburbs of New York State’s capital city during the days before downloadable music, Stratovarius albums eluded me.

Preconception can be a subtle but influential force on the human psyche. Often, knowledge of past or present environments and decisions can color a person's view of any new situation, person or object he or she encounters.

Sometimes, you get bored with eating filet mignon. Prosciutto with melon loses its kick, you grow weary of truffles, you get tired of fine wine and you can't stomach anymore decadent crème brûlée. Sometimes, all you desire and the only thing that will give you satiety is to trundle over to the local greasy spoon and choke down the drippiest, greasiest, densest cheeseburger on the menu.

So it is with Shroud Eater.

Even after repeated listening, it’s difficult to give this album sort of cohesive context. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it speaks to the creative and musical range of Danish rock/metallers Volbeat. They’ve been taking the world by seeming storm, and their rapid ascension is at least in part attributable to the wide range of talents they can showcase.

Heavy metal and comedy can be a caustic combination. The frequently acerbic nature of either medium can, if not properly mixed and settled, create an overly acidic and tartly sardonic solution that is unfit for consumption.

You got alternative rock in my metal! You got metal in my alternative rock! Thus was born “The Damned Things,” a supergroup formed of pieces from Anthrax, Every Time I Die, and Fall Out Boy. Their debut album “Ironiclast” is an attempt to bridge the gap between genres and pump out some classic-rock inspired throaty jams.

You remember Valora chapter 1? Well, Chapter 2 is fresh out this week!