heavy metal

Katatonia is another of those bands that is blessed with a large following overseas, but just has never really hit a solid chord with Western audiences. I get the feeling that their newest studio album, “Night is the New Day” will do little to change that.

This is absolutely the kind of marketing gimmick I can get behind. It combines two of my favorite hobbies, heavy metal and zombie killin'...no wait, I mean gaming.

In the past, I have been a serious critic of Atreyu. I found their music to be uninspired and derivative. However, with a new album on the way, it was upon me to shelve my previous prejudices and see what the band had to offer.

Listening to Wolfmother’s “Cosmic Egg” is a refreshing break from the usual blasé fare offered under the aegis of “rock revival.” Even with an almost entirely new band in tow, Wolfmother has produced a second album that can stand the test of time. The linchpin in the entire effort is that Wolfmother plays stand up rock and roll without any of the ironic sense that has become so fashionable in music and pop culture. Andrew Stockdale isn’t playing rock and roll out of some grand nostalgia, or to impress any sort of image on the listener.

I couldn’t let this get by without a review. I kept holding it on the back burner, with the mindset that I would get to it eventually. Well, that time is now.

Okay, I admit it. I am the one guy that actually has bought a couple GWAR albums. Yes, me. I’m the one. So anyway, “Lust in Space.”

Arch Enemy’s “The Root of All Evil” is an interesting study. It has all the tenets of typical European death metal fare, but at its darkened and fiery center beats an irrepressible heart of old-school thrash. Beneath the prominent blast beats and screeching vocals is an album that features intricate and calculated guitar work, down to earth riffs stretched over simple but infectious rhythms, and an integrated understanding of powerful metal themes.

Children of Bodom's covers album is both a tribute to artists the band loves, and a tongue-in-cheek mockery of artists they love to hate.

Unlike many of their Scandinavian brethren, Children of Bodom has an obvious sense of humor regarding their particular brand of black metal, and that sense shines through on "Skeletons in the Closet."

After several years of cooking, outspoken Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth has completed his book, "Gospel of Filth." The book serves both as a chronology of the band and their influences, as well as a complete study of the occult and man's obsession with it throughout history.

Each chapter is filled with parallels between the occult and themes found in horror, heavy metal, black metal, comic books, literature, and just about every other facet of popular culture. Many luminaries in each field are showcased or interviewed. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Dani concerning the book, and his career as a whole.

I ran across this article today while doing some job searching of my own. It's the story of how a freelance musician and writer was able to beat the blues of unemployment through heavy metal, and the ways in which the musical form allowed him to vent his frustration with the world without becoming an outwardly violent or negative person.