Category Archives: metal

Iron Maiden – “The Writing on the Wall”

What? Were they listening to a lot of Bon Jovi during quarantine?  Before the vocals cut in, I was expecting, “I’m a cowboy/On a steel horse I ride/I’m wanted dead or alive …”  I know that’s unfair, because it does have some weird gypsy/folky stuff going on, but my first reaction was “Wanted Dead or Alive,” only a little heavier… Read more »

Marty Friedman – Tokyo Jukebox 3

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Full disclaimer: I was only able to get through about 2/3 of the 51 minutes of this album. Marty Friedman is the kind of guitar player I really hate. He can put his chops up against anyone, but it’s all wasted on flash rather than performances with substance. Tokyo Jukebox 3 is even more frustrating, because there are hints of… Read more »

Van Halen – Fair Warning, Albuquerque NM, 1981

Album cover for Van Halen's Fair Warning

I’m hypnotized by the wall of used cassettes when the in-store sound system yanks me out of my reverie. The song is dark and aggressive and exciting. It makes me feel an urgency unlike anything I’ve felt before. I’m a shy kid. I’m chubby and have a lot of pimples and I don’t understand what to do with the mop… Read more »

Saxon – Inspirations

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Cover albums are pretty common despite being a difficult feat to pull off. Really, it’s not simple to cover a single song, let along a whole album of them with most being in the generic style of a genre rather than a band. Saxon’s Inspirations is the latest attempt to sell records by regurgitating the band’s influences. Despite the band… Read more »

Accept – Too Mean to Die

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Released: January 29, 2021 When Lester Bangs’ character in Almost Famous said the Guess Who had the “courage to be drunken buffoons,” I always remembered it as the “courage to be stupid,” which while incorrect, really got to the character’s point in that scene. The notion of that kind of courage made sense to me even as I so often… Read more »

Review: Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

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Released: August 17, 2010 Label: UMe After waning over the last couple of albums during Bruce Dickinson’s first stint, two ill-conceived releases with Blaze Bayley and a lackluster return for Dickinson on Brave New World, Iron Maiden stormed back to life with their last two albums and an outstanding tour documentary. Perhaps no other band in their third decade could… Read more »

Review: Stone Axe/Mighty High split 7 inch

Released: June 29, 2010 Label: Ripple Music Stoner rock always conjures up images of slow, sludgy tunes played in dark, smoky rooms…but it isn’t always like that. The bands on this split EP are perfect examples. Stone Axe’s “Metal Damage” is a mid-paced tune that mixes metal heaviness with a 70s hard rock groove. It has more punch and a… Read more »

Review: WASP – Babylon

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Label: Demolition Records Released: October 13, 2009 Are you sick of the 80s? I certainly am. Having the synthpop of my youth sold back to me as if it’s a new thing is bad enough, but the more egregious offenders are the old hair metal dinosaurs who not only want to resell their corporate sound, but also the mindless, superficial… Read more »

Review: Incite – The Slaughter

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Label: I Scream Records Released: October 20, 2009 Considering they’re fronted by Max Cavalera’s stepson Richie, there’s probably no way that Incite can avoid comparisons to Sepultura. That has to be a bit daunting for a young band on their debut album. After all, they’re going to measured against one of metal’s most intense and creative bands. Incite, however, doesn’t… Read more »

DVD: Blue Cheer Rocks Europe

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Label: Rainman Records Released: June 26, 2009 There’s a handful of bands out there whose influence has been felt far and wide decades after they made their mark, yet they never enjoyed significant commercial success. The Velvet Underground comes to mind. So does Nick Drake. There are others, but in heavy rock circles, one of these bands rises above all… Read more »