Monday, November 28, 2011


Sorry it has been a very busy month. That tends to happen sometimes when running your own law firm. I have multiple trials in the coming weeks. Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know I am still around and hope to get back to posting more regularly very soon. I have a few bands that have contacted me recently and I will get those reviews out as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reader Submissions: Amputation Spree: Three/Inferno EP

I reviewed some of Amputation Spree's material a few weeks back when I did Slam Week. Sole member Spencer Van Dyk apparently caught wind of this and contacted me when his band released this third EP for a review. He promised a leap in quality on this release. So I was pretty eager to check this out as I was very impressed with Amputation Spree's previous material.

This EP certainly delivers. Amputation Spree refers to itself as "thinking man's slam" and I can honestly agree with that. Amputation Spree pushes the boundaries of slam death. This is not a soulless and generic Devourment ripoff like so many other groups. This band has a lot of depth and utilizes progressive structures to go along with their increasingly heavy slams.

The biggest surprise on the EP is the inclusion of clean vocal moments. That's right, slam with some clean vocals. Who would have thought? The band also uses some occasional dissonant chord progressions which gives off the impression of a slammier Ulcerate and some downright Atheist or Cynic-esque moments in the second and third tracks.

Amputation Spree continues to push the boundaries of slam death metal, forcing the genre to evolve somewhat away from the simplistic style it has largely become known for. This is extremely impressive. This band should really be checked out.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black Sabbath Reuniting


I guess this was just a matter of time. Ozzy was becoming completely irrelevant and Heaven & Hell ended with the unfortunate death of Ronnie James Dio. A new studio album is in the works. I will probably check it out. Hopefully Ozzy will not have much creative input. The last several Ozzy albums have been pretty much terrible. I did enjoy the Heaven & Hell album though. I am just not sure how Ozzy's voice will sound along with that.

This is obviously a huge announcement. The original heavy metal band has decided to reunite. Hopefully this is more than just a cash grab, but I am not too optimistic.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Initial Impressions: Megadeth: Th1rt3en

I am a big Megadeth fan. Even through the years the band was putting out subpar material, I continued to loyally buy their music. I have made that fact fairly clear over the years. Even after the band released Risk, an album so bad that I prefer Metallica's Load, Reload, and St. Anger to it, I continued to be a Megadeth supporter. Thankfully, the band never released another album quite like that one. So it should come as no surprise that I picked up the band's latest album, despite the ill-advised title. After Endgame, I thought Megadeth was going to put out another very good thrash metal album.

Unfortunately I am kind of disappointed with this one. I can't really put my finger on it. It just feels off. Most of the songs are medium-paced and reasonably catchy. It is like they just did not know quite what to do on this album. It feels stilted, like they were trying too hard and did not have any real good ideas.

This album marked the return of David Ellefson, longtime bassist for the band. That along with their last album which was very impressive, made me think that they were due for a late-career resurgence. But things just fell flat. This album is not a bad album really, it just is not what it should be. And that is disappointing. All of the elements are there, Mustaine's incredible guitar skills and his trademarked sneer, Ellefson's thundering bass, and some impressive work done by the other members, but it does not add up to a really good album.

I suppose the best thing that can be said is that at least Megadeth did not recruit Lou Reed to provide vocals.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Initial Impressions: Immolation: Providence

Immolation's newest EP is available for free download on Scion's website. For those who are familiar with the venerable death metal band, this EP provides no surprises. Immolation simply does what they do, and that is dark and occult death metal with razor sharp, jagged riffs and a gloomy, morose atmosphere.

Immolation continues to prove with this EP that they have a lot left in the tank. This is a short EP with only five tracks, but each track is strong. These are not leftovers from some album, they are individually great songs that really could have fit onto any of the band's albums.

Ross Dolan provides his usual impressive deep-throated roar on the tracks. It has become one of the band's primary characteristics. The other being the Morbid Angel-on-steroids riffing style that the band has used since the beginning. Of course that is compounded with the heavy bass and drumwork. Immolation has been going strong for nearly 20 years and they certainly sound like they could go another 20 on this EP.