Monday, April 16, 2012

Reviews 4/16/12

Allegaeon "Formshifter" (Metal Blade)
This album starts out with "Behold (I am god), which really aughta be called "Behold (We are generic)." I don't know where to start. From the stupid
drums flipping out like an electric typwriter on random mode to the elegant sweep pick solos which blurs in and out of the mayhem like some colorful
butterfly appearing in the front row of a gwar concert..."The Azazel Trigger" is a promising song title. Unfortunately, this "promise" is over produced
Mushugga knock off riffs and pointlessly discordant passages which seem to be in the same key as every other song. I guess all the classical training these
guys got didn't rub off by way of writing a memorable part. The photoshop font logo pretty much sums this up. A cheap overly produced and gleamingly polished

Burzum "Umskiptar" (Candlelight)
The title is an old Nordic saying, which means to sort of "Skip" whilst thinking aloud and playing guitar. Ok anyways - back when Varg was imprisoned for
stabbing Euronymous in the back like 30 times and instantly became an "amazing musician" because of this, as well as his wonderful racist rantings of course,
and let's not forget the church burnings - which always improve guitar and vocal skills! Anyhow, when he walked into the sub zero prison cell he was famously
served some Nordic Moose soup (as documented by Peer Beeste and "Lords of Chaos"), which was so cold that it froze within his beard instantly. It remained frozen within his beard for the duration of his stay within the cold walls of the Swedish maximum security facility. Since he has
left prison, his beard has begun to thaw, and so he's been "milking" his beard for every last drop when it is time to enter the studio. Sure, it is the old
recipe - but after too much you need some nice Thai soup or something to change the pace for a bit. His wife Helga has told him this on numerous occassions,
which pisses him off to no end. Therefore, he wrote "Hit Helga Tre" in mockery of her. Back to the soup...once you thaw something out it immediately begins
to spoil. Like george Thoroughgood, Varge drinks alone. The only one that will hang out with him is his dear old grandad, who brings
tales of ancient nordic lore to the ever curious, maturing jailbird. Now pardon me, I must UMSKIPTAR out of here - my cherry tomatos are ripe and a salad
would be nice right about now.

Cattle Decapitation "Monolith of Inhumanity" (Metal Blade)
Stupidly fast grind. ANyhing memorable flies by so fast it doesn't stick. Drums sound like he's hitting Campbell's soup cans. Bass drum sounds like
Maralyn Manson slapping his thighs really fast with hard salami. Vocals try to be extreme in just about every way possible. Yet still sounds like a 12 year old
kid who just discovered grind and thinks it just came out. Some stupid circus chorus chants floating around here and there, lots of "flibity flabity sweep
guitar solos" I haven't heard a ton of this band over the years, but I can't remember the last time a band tried so much harder and sounded so much shittier.
I suppose that is a feat. Ok, it has a few moments...but I am not into this shit these days obviously...or it's just gotten too cliche to appreciate anymore.
The mindless grind slam bros will eat this shit up though.

Havok "Point of No return" (Candlelight)
New EP probably rushed out into the market so that they'd have something new to give out on the tour with Death Angel and Krisiun and Sepultura. Nice guitar
tone, good producion. Stupid vocals, stupid songs. Tracks 3 and 4 consist of 1 stupid Sepulura cover and 2 stupid Slayer covers both from Reign in Blood.
These dudes are so ignorant about the history of good underground Thrash and it shows very clearly in their display of lowest common denominator cliches which miss the heart and soul every time. Hate to be so brutal but it is
warranted here. In fact, this review is more brutal than this band. If this is the "new school" then bands like Slayer and Exodus have ZERO to worry about,
as their thrones are not getting passed on anytime soon. AT least not to bands like this.

Katana "Storms of War" (Listenable)
This band's bio name drops like 50 people and 50 bands for 2 paragraphs before even describing the music of this album. So I'm not gonna bother mentioning
that Andy La Rocque produced it and that they toured with "American Metal Legends" Lizzy Borden and Where Angels Suffer (featuring Chris Holmes and Stret
Howland (ex WASP))...Oops. Anyways, as much as all that info has already sold me on this band, let's talk about the music (even though we really don't need to) this singer is your typical Euro soft voiced traditional Metal falsetto. Kinda sounds like the Stryper dude. Songs are
traditional Euro Metal with more of a Stryper leaning, than say, Metal Church. In fact, I think Stryper is their main influence. Just kidding. This is fun
Euro traditional Metal. That's about it. Catch them at every side stage at every Euro Metal fest this summer.

Lakei "Konspirasjoner" (Indie Recordings)
Nordic Hipster Crusty Punk packaged nice and clean and marketed as "underground." Yeah the guitar sound is dirty and Swedish, the themes are appropriately
apocalyptic, guitar solos are not allowed, vague references to just about anything "dark" yet saying fuck all about anything in reality, yada yada...this shit was done to death in the 90s - do we need another 2nd rate cleaned up version? Appearantly so.

Moonloop "Deeply from Earth" (Listenable)
Like the band name implies, these guys think they are quirky and original. Like the album title implies, they think they are doing something super deep and
important. Well Shaxul says that mixing Joe Satriani and Death Metal is a bad idea. But then, he did produce a Possessed album. Still, his Alien Love Music
just doesn't belong in a Spanish Death Metal band. Or does it? Perhaps it is their quest to prove or disprove this. These guys need to come out of the closet instead of hanging on to Death Metal in order to prove their
heterosexuality. With any luck, they will score a tour with opeth or Tool (their heroes).

My Dynamite "s/t" (Listenable)
This bands trying to be all 70s Rock n Roll. The album cover is totally trying to look retro. Even the guitars are super lightly fuzzed and intentionally
loose. It's not bad, but that pretty much sums it up. Like a good 70s Rock cover band. Like the singer says, "Take it or leave it."

Never to Arise "Hacked to Perfection" (Bad god Music)
The slaughered naked bald chick depicted on the front of this is presumably the one who has been "hacked to perfection." Question is, why did they hack off
her hair while leaving her scalp intact? Anyways, I'm sure the drummer is responsible - as his arms and legs seem to move sporratically in all directions
at once. So they just put him behind a drum kit and the search was over! You might say he is a born drummer. The downside is he cannot take medication or
his drum abilities vanish...anyways, this is extremely brutal and fast. What the fukk else do you want me to say? I mean - fucking Nile sings about Egypt,
Krisiun sings about whatever the fukk they sing about - fukking brazilian fukking beaches - and Never to Arise sings about "Mysogynistic Acts of Barbaric Sadism."
These bands are so literal in their titles that reviews are not even needed. The descriptions are all but spelled out. Some nice "your in deep shit" riffs here and there. Very Cannibal Corpsey when
they slow down. Ok what the fuck is this? Either this is a drum machine or the drummer has some serious triggers. He plays this beat which is a "double blast."
But the drums don't even matter here. It's all about the riffs - which are pretty cool and kinda fucked at parts. For "BRUALITY IS THE LAW" music, this
ain't bad. Just get a more original drummer and the next album might be a classic! Yeah I don't care if he is fast and chops meat faster than Martin Yan. Martin Yan makes killer food, this guy doesn't.

Trioscapes "Seperate Realities" that's a cool way to start a fucking album! This is hard prog Jazz rock, it isn't Metal but there is some obvious Metal influence. This is like
really killer ELP or Mahavisnu with a contemporary Metal influence. Shit, this was a complete surprise. Thank god there is some non shit on my review list!
If you wanna hear some REAL prog throw away your Dream Theatre and pick this up. Killer killer production. Why can't Metal bands sound this good? I don't
think there's vocals on this. Way to go Metal Blade. Although I must say, this so does NOT fit on the label. I guess they really are moving away from Metal.
Weird, but at least it's quality.

Unisonic "s/t" (Armoury)
Super polished, overly produced, commercial sounding Rock with hints of only the most mainstream of 80s Euro Metal cliches. Basically, this is pop rock in
the guise of "Metal." Comparable, I suppose, with bad Saxon material - which is still better than this. They should change their name to Bad Saxon. That would rule.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Last Rampage Radio Show...

No, it's not an April Fools joke! Below is a playlist and link to my final Rampage Radio show. Funny enough, this would have been exactly 4 years from the date I opened the Record store back in 2008. How appropriate! Anyways, I think this was one of the best shows I've done and I encourage you to check it out. Besides the usual crazy mixture of music, there is an exclusive interview I did with Pat Obrian (Cannibal Corpse) last week.

If you are not familiar with Rampage Radio - it began in 1982 on KUSF college radio, 90.1 FM. It is the longest running Metal Radio show I know of in the USA. It was where many bands were introduced to the bay area, and in some cases, the US. Yngwie, Metallica, Mercyful Fate just to name a few. And you can look this up - it is documented out there.

I was asked by Tonus "the DJ from Hell" Atkins to join a few years back (2007 or so???) and I was flattered and honored to do it. Though it is tough staying up from 2AM to 8Am on a Sunday morning, it was worth losing my mind to a dedicated audience every few weeks. And I mean that!

Unfortunately not so long ago KUSF was sold without consulting anyone and now 90.3 is a classical station. However, as far as I know the sale has not yet been approved by the FCC - which is required for the sale to be legal and complete. For more info on this, visit For the past year or so KUSF "in exile" has been operating from a make-shift studio near the Bayshore area of San Francisco and is only online at the present time.

I want to thank anyone who ever listened to any of my shows at any time and for supporting Rampage Radio in general. It's been a pleasure and an honor and who knows, maybe some day I will be on again. Most importantly, I hope you all understand how important KUSF and Rampage Radio are for San Francisco - and that you spread the word and/or support actively in some manner, the restoration of the REAL KUSF to the airwaves. I mean really, San Francisco WITHOUT a killer diverse college radio station? Man, what happened to this town???

Ok, now click below and listen to my LAST Rampage show ever!!!

Listen to it HERE

Winger - Seventeen
David Lee Roth - Just Like Paradise
Madam X - Reserve the Right to Rock
Steeler - Born to Rock
Stryper - Free
Richard Cheese - War Ensemble
Uriah Heep - The Wizard
Rainbow - Temple of the King
Onslaught - Flame of the Antichrist
Massacre - Mutilated
Razor - Take this Torch
Sodom - Iron Fist
Motorhead - Whiplash
Manowar - Power of the Sword

Pat Obrian (Cannibal Corpse) interview
Cannibal Corpse - Demented Aggression
Cannibal Corpse - Skewered from Ear to Ear
Cannibal Corpse - Dead Human Collection
Cannibal Corpse - gallery of suicide
Cannibal Corpse - Pulverised
Cannibal Corpse - Exorcist

Cannibal Corpse - Covered with Sores
Cannibal Corpse - A Skull Full of Maggots
Body Count - Voodoo
Mystifier - The Witch Poison Recited our gloat
Morbid Angel - World of Shit
Bethlehem - The Eleventh Commandment
Slayer - Spill the Blood
UFO - Rock Bottom (Live)

Type O Negative - Summer Breeze
Metallica - Fade to Black (slow)
Avenger - Hot and Heavy Express (slow)
Reverend Bizarre - Doomsower
Black Flag - Rise Above
Saint Vitus - The Troll
Kiss - Rockin in the USA

Mercyful Fate - Nuns have no Fun
Pagan Altar - Pagan Altar
Helstar - Face of the Wicked
Coroner - Nosferatu
Coroner - Masked Jackal
Manilla Road - Children of the Night
Rush - Anthem
Angus - Heavy Weight Warrior
Majesty - Heavy Metal Desire
Montrose - I got the Fire

Trouble - Psychotic Reaction
Ratt - You think your Tough
Isengard - I Kamp Med Kviteckrist
Dissection - Somberlain
Cirith Ungol - Black Machine
Saxon - Motorcycle Man
Heaven and Hell - Rock and Roll Angel
Insanity - Dread the Dawn
Kyuss - gardenia
Ozzy - No More Tears
Ramones - Surfin Bird
Scorpions - Virgin Killer