Archive for the “The Metal Minute” Category

LMAO…

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So on the second day of Rock Harvest, I had the pleasure of interviewing west coast thrashers Attackhead (stay tuned for excerpts of that chat appearing here at The Metal Minute) and Metal Church vocalist Ronny Munroe. 

Ronny was in town as a special guest of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s Ghost of War and together, they whipped out a mini-set of Metal Church classics, plus a fresh selection from the latter’s new album, Generation Nothing. 

Be on the lookout in the immediate future for my review of Generation Nothing over at Blabbermouth.  In the meantime, enjoy a few shots from that banging tag-team between Ronny and Ghost of War:

 

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Since it’s been a little while, here’s a round-up of current reviews I have live at Blabbermouth:

Albums:

Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood               Monster Magnet – The Last Patrol
Trivium – Vengeance Falls                                       Vista Chino – Peace
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals – Walk Through Exits Only
Devildriver – Winter Kills                                         Annihilator – Feast
Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood                         Ashes of Ares – s/t
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance                 Soulfly – Savages
Sepultura – The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must be the Heart
Carcass – Surgical Steel                                            Watain – The Wild Hunt
Hank 3’s 3 – A Fiendish Threat                                 Doyle – Abominator       
Gwar – Battle Maximus                                             Trouble – The Distortion Field
Chthonic – Bu-Tik                                                      Norma Jean – Wrongdoers 
Revamp – Wild Card                                                 A Storm of Light – Nations to Flames
Scale the Summit – The Migration                            Eve to Adam – Locked and Loaded
Freedoms Reign – s/t                                                 FaithXtractor – The Great Shadow Infiltrator
Dead – Idiots                                                              Moonbow – The End of Time
Erihma – Reign Through Immortality                        Sworn In – The Death Card
Katatonia – Dethroned and Uncrowned                    Night Demon – s/t EP
Bone Cave Ballet – Will of the Waves                       Ferocity – The Sovereign
Emblazoned – The Living Magisterium                     Nephren-Ka – The Fall of Omnius
Masada – Hideous Rot EP                                          Infernal Opera – Emissary of Steel
Lair of the Minotaur – Godslayer EP                         Crossfaith – Apocalyze
The Dead Daisies – s/t                                                Be’Lakor – Of Breath and Bone
Potential Threat SF – Civilization Under Threat       Admiral Browning – Give No Quarter
Reptilian Death – The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence

DVDs:

Judas Priest – Epitaph
Iron Maiden – Maiden England ’88
Mudhoney – I’m Now:  The Story of Mudhoney
Rammstein – Videos 1995-2012


…and it doesn’t stop there.  New reviews have already been submitted and will appear live in the immediate future.  Visit www.blabbermouth.net, as if I needed to link you all…

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My favorite album reviewed last month for Blabbermouth was, hands-down the debut album by Ashes of Ares, featuring former Iced Earth vocalist Matt Barlow, ex-Iced Earth bassist Freddie Vidales and one-time Nevermore drummer, Van Williams. 
                                                                                       
I was honored to be invited down to the Rock Harvest II festival by Matt Barlow at The House of Rock in the Baltimore suburb of White Marsh.  The festival was a three-day benefit show for Fallen Blue, a charity organization for the families of police officers lost in the line of duty. As an active duty officer himself, Matt Barlow and Ashes of Ares put on a monster set as headliners of the opening night of Rock Harvest II, playing the self-titled Ashes of Ares album in its entirety.
 
For me, it was a terrific night getting to meet Matt, his wife and the Ashes of Ares crew, including touring bassist Dean Sternberg (also of Into Eternity fame) who was kind enough to buy me a beer at the venue.  Cheers, brother! 
 
The entire night was spent meeting musicians, publicists and making new friends plus scoring a copy of the expanded 18-song Japanese version of Iron Maiden’s Maiden Japan.   I was flattered to meet numerous readers of Blabbermouth who came up to me and struck conversation.  A damned good first night of the festival and I want to thank Matt Barlow personally for having me down.
 
Stay tuned for photos of the second night of Rock Harvest II featuring Metal Church vocalist Ronny Munroe.                                                         
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Photo by Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Sorry to be incommunicado lately, readers!  I’ve had much going on lately, which I’ll get into with future posts.  For today, I’d like to direct you to a quick little essay I have running at ReadWave.  It’s a brief glimpse into the world of a rock journalist with what I hope carries an upbeat message. 

Click below to check out “Your Rep Means Everything, Especially in the Music Business”

http://www.readwave.com/your-rep-means-everything-especially-in-the-music-business_s16409

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Hello, readers!
 
I wanted to share the publication of my short story, “An Off Night” at New Noise magazine.  The story is a no-holds-barred satire of the rock journalism life as seen through my eyes, but with more of a gonzo twist.  Have a go by clicking on this link:

 http://newnoisemagazine.com/night-ray-van-horn-jr/

 
Next month I have a flash fiction piece scheduled to run at Akashic Books’ “Mondays are Murder” series, “Off the Record,” so stand by for that official announcement in the near future.  I have also recently completed a 64 page graphic novel script entitled “Drowning Man” and as ever, I continue to serve up media review analysis for Blabbermouth. 
 
Thank you all for your ongoing support.  Game on…

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My recent interview with Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke is currently running in the print version Issue # 3 of New Noise magazine.  Jaz is by far, one of the most intriguing individuals I’ve ever sat across in this life and this was my second time interviewing the man.  Below is a pair of excerpts from the New Noise session.

RVH:    I think what you’re touching on with today’s generation being constantly plugged in to tech and being obtuse to just about everything else supports the line “ADD generation” from “Corporate Elect,” one of my favorite lyrics from the MMXII album.  I think it’s a dead-on statement.  I remember ferrying into Manhattan a few years ago and everybody looked like the Borg from Star Trek:  The Next Generation, cords dangling out of their ears into gadgets.  It looked so dead and mindless to me and I think this disaffection partially raises a homegrown terrorism from these twenty-somethings we’ve had to cope with here in America the past couple years.
 
JC:  Well, it’s nothing new.  Governments and establishments for centuries always needed an enemy to divert the attention of the people.  Of course, the last American administration really made sure of that, you know?  (laughs)  The situation is so complex for anyone who should take government, because whoever gets into power, they inherit a protocol, a system, which refuses to change in itself.  Here’s the thing; the lives that we enjoy with our motor cars and flying on airplanes, Mr. (Zbigniew) Brzezinski was very clear about it in ’98, where he said effectively, if you want to continue this lifestyle we’ve all become accustomed to, we’re going to need to secure the Eurasian oil fields.  Otherwise, a consortium of Russian and Chinese will likely do so before us.  He said the problem is the domestic electorate in America is not interested in foreign policy.  It’s not interested in overseas adventures, least of all, military adventures.  Unless we have a catalyzing effect like a new Pearl Harbor, it would remain like this.

You can see what’s really required is such a massive, colossal change, and the only thing that can initiate that is cataclysm, because people do not want to change.  They will not stop drilling up oil.  There are 18 new nuclear power stations about to be built up around the world.  Man hasn’t learned his lesson, so cataclysm will be.  Not long.  Professor (James) Lovelock says surely by 2020.  

RVH:  I was thinking within 50 to 60 years. 

JC:  You’re optimistic, aren’t you?  I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  We need to change our ways.  We’re parasites.  

RVH:  And we’re trying to colonize other planets if we can reach them, so we’ll leave this one a wasteoid one day and go infiltrate another planet…

JC:  I so believe in sustainability.  You’re motivating me.  If you go back to our third album (Revelations),there’s a song called “Chapter III.”  It says, “Attack behind attack, a war behind a war, wise thoughts to broad horizons, a nation the very least.” I didn’t really understand that until I changed the music in the national anthem, the meaning of that.  I believe and I am certain that there’s a special force around you, us.  If I survive to 2018, I’ll so be part of that, the next stage, you know?  All we need is one successful model of sustainability so we can emulate it.  You know, they said I was mad when I said I used to dream of an island.  Well, now I’ve got one in the Pacific.  There’s 300 of us on a big island, covered in rainforest.  They said I was mad for my dreams.  Now I’m dreaming of the idea of green collectivism.  I’m dreaming of how I can serve the public in a small way.  Part of that will be my farm assisting farms.  It’s sustainability.  The other part of that will be…I have political ambitions.  (laughs)  Even when they dig up the shit on me, they’re mad because I’m a Christian and repented, so fuck off!  (laughs)

RVH:  (laughs)  Well, you know, it’s going to have to go back to the primitive, and to me, that’s what a lot of Killing Joke’s music is about, especially the songs with the tribal beats and elements to them.  It’s back to the primitive and reject modernism, you know?

JC:  Well, I love Killing Joke, but you must understand I’ve never seen the band.  I’d really like to go to one of our concerts.  
 
RVH:  People at-large tend to de-value as much as they embrace reminiscence… 
 
JC:  As a public, we should cherish our natural history and our local resources, our forests and our rivers.  We shouldn’t let corporations just take over what is rightfully the people’s to be shared.  I believe this, and I’m not a Marxist or a socialist.  All we need is one successful model.  Sustainability is what we must strive for.  Every back garden, every public park is a source of food.  The Reverend Thomas Malthus who believed basically in population control by stealth, I’m against this.  As a meat eater, we should only eat livestock on festival days and we should be vegetarian the rest of the time.  We need to take ponds and breed fish, not just one species, but a polyculture.  I really have a vision of Paradise.   

The population of New York is being born every two weeks.  I believe if we resort to Malthusian means of depopulation, we lose our humanity.  We change our diets, so we should then let Mother Nature by cataclysm regulate population.  Otherwise, we lose that which defines us, our humanity, our sense of empathy, our compassion.  All of these attributes are, you could say, Christ-like, because Christ, to me, is nothing historical; it’s a metaphor.  When you’re in a state of grace doing your God-gift, you are the Christos, the Anointed One.  Christ is in each and every one of us.  It’s the God-gift.  I believe in an inner-revolution.  By changing ourselves, we can change everything, so don’t you worry about anyone else!
 
 

Photo and interview footage (c) Ray Van Horn, Jr.

 Click here to visit New Noise magazine

 

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My recent interview with Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke is currently running in the print version Issue # 3 of New Noise magazine.  Jaz is by far, one of the most intriguing individuals I’ve ever sat across in this life and this was my second time interviewing the man.  Below is a pair of bonus excerpts from the New Noise session you’ll only find here at The Metal Minute.

RVH:    I think what you’re touching on with today’s generation being constantly plugged in to tech and being obtuse to just about everything else supports the line “ADD generation” from “Corporate Elect,” one of my favorite lyrics from the MMXII album.  I think it’s a dead-on statement.  I remember ferrying into Manhattan a few years ago and everybody looked like the Borg from Star Trek:  The Next Generation, cords dangling out of their ears into gadgets.  It looked so dead and mindless to me and I think this disaffection partially raises a homegrown terrorism from these twenty-somethings we’ve had to cope with here in America the past couple years.
 
JC:  Well, it’s nothing new.  Governments and establishments for centuries always needed an enemy to divert the attention of the people.  Of course, the last American administration really made sure of that, you know?  (laughs)  The situation is so complex for anyone who should take government, because whoever gets into power, they inherit a protocol, a system, which refuses to change in itself.  Here’s the thing; the lives that we enjoy with our motor cars and flying on airplanes, Mr. (Zbigniew) Brzezinski was very clear about it in ’98, where he said effectively, if you want to continue this lifestyle we’ve all become accustomed to, we’re going to need to secure the Eurasian oil fields.  Otherwise, a consortium of Russian and Chinese will likely do so before us.  He said the problem is the domestic electorate in America is not interested in foreign policy.  It’s not interested in overseas adventures, least of all, military adventures.  Unless we have a catalyzing effect like a new Pearl Harbor, it would remain like this.

You can see what’s really required is such a massive, colossal change, and the only thing that can initiate that is cataclysm, because people do not want to change.  They will not stop drilling up oil.  There are 18 new nuclear power stations about to be built up around the world.  Man hasn’t learned his lesson, so cataclysm will be.  Not long.  Professor (James) Lovelock says surely by 2020.  

RVH:  I was thinking within 50 to 60 years. 

JC:  You’re optimistic, aren’t you?  I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  We need to change our ways.  We’re parasites.  

RVH:  And we’re trying to colonize other planets if we can reach them, so we’ll leave this one a wasteoid one day and go infiltrate another planet…

JC:  I so believe in sustainability.  You’re motivating me.  If you go back to our third album (Revelations),there’s a song called “Chapter III.”  It says, “Attack behind attack, a war behind a war, wise thoughts to broad horizons, a nation the very least.” I didn’t really understand that until I changed the music in the national anthem, the meaning of that.  I believe and I am certain that there’s a special force around you, us.  If I survive to 2018, I’ll so be part of that, the next stage, you know?  All we need is one successful model of sustainability so we can emulate it.  You know, they said I was mad when I said I used to dream of an island.  Well, now I’ve got one in the Pacific.  There’s 300 of us on a big island, covered in rainforest.  They said I was mad for my dreams.  Now I’m dreaming of the idea of green collectivism.  I’m dreaming of how I can serve the public in a small way.  Part of that will be my farm assisting farms.  It’s sustainability.  The other part of that will be…I have political ambitions.  (laughs)  Even when they dig up the shit on me, they’re mad because I’m a Christian and repented, so fuck off!  (laughs)

RVH:  (laughs)  Well, you know, it’s going to have to go back to the primitive, and to me, that’s what a lot of Killing Joke’s music is about, especially the songs with the tribal beats and elements to them.  It’s back to the primitive and reject modernism, you know?

JC:  Well, I love Killing Joke, but you must understand I’ve never seen the band.  I’d really like to go to one of our concerts.  
 
RVH:  People at-large tend to de-value as much as they embrace reminiscence… 
 
JC:  As a public, we should cherish our natural history and our local resources, our forests and our rivers.  We shouldn’t let corporations just take over what is rightfully the people’s to be shared.  I believe this, and I’m not a Marxist or a socialist.  All we need is one successful model.  Sustainability is what we must strive for.  Every back garden, every public park is a source of food.  The Reverend Thomas Malthus who believed basically in population control by stealth, I’m against this.  As a meat eater, we should only eat livestock on festival days and we should be vegetarian the rest of the time.  We need to take ponds and breed fish, not just one species, but a polyculture.  I really have a vision of Paradise.   

The population of New York is being born every two weeks.  I believe if we resort to Malthusian means of depopulation, we lose our humanity.  We change our diets, so we should then let Mother Nature by cataclysm regulate population.  Otherwise, we lose that which defines us, our humanity, our sense of empathy, our compassion.  All of these attributes are, you could say, Christ-like, because Christ, to me, is nothing historical; it’s a metaphor.  When you’re in a state of grace doing your God-gift, you are the Christos, the Anointed One.  Christ is in each and every one of us.  It’s the God-gift.  I believe in an inner-revolution.  By changing ourselves, we can change everything, so don’t you worry about anyone else!
 
 

Photo and interview footage (c) Ray Van Horn, Jr.

 Click here to visit New Noise magazine

 

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Now running at Blabbermouth, my reviews of the latest from H.I.M., Sevendust, The Ocean, Skid Row, Suicidal Tendencies, Anger as Art, Sacred Steel, Oceans of Slumber, Fall City Fall, the Dust reissues and Iron Maiden’s “Maiden England ’88” DVD.

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Metal purists and longtime scene haunts Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins have assembled an unconventional (and frequently hilarious) book on the ethos of heavy metal that calls for an unconventional mode of review.  Metalheads and punkers, more so than any other type of music fan, have historically been compelled by nature to create lists to somehow organize their obsessive inner babble about outsider music seldom few actually get, much less care about.  In here, Abrams and Sacha methodically list the best of the best and of course, the not so best in heavy metal music.  Yet there’s much more to their compendium of chaos that not only includes a forward and afterword by Kerry King and Phil Anselmo respectively, there’s a reckless, no-rules ethic presiding that reflects the core of its topic at its most authentic.  Opinionated, brash, occasionally annoying yet ultimately comprehensive, Abrams and Sacha have assembled one of the nuttiest yet most entertaining examinations of metal culture delivered in compact fashion.

I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to analyze a book entitled The Merciless Book of Metal Lists than to follow suit in list fashion. 


10 Questions My Five-Year-Old Son Asked While I Reviewed The Merciless Book of Metal Lists:

1.   “Dad, could Pirate Mickey Mouse take Spiderman in a fight?”
2.   “Is that a boy or a girl in that picture, Dad?”
3.   “Why do you like loud music so much, Dad?”
4.   “Is that grown-up drink you’re putting in your cranberry juice?”
5.   “Was the Scarecrow (from The Wizard of Oz) ever a baby, you know, like a Scarebaby?”
6.   “What’s a Sepultura?”
7.   “Did you interview that band, Dad?”
8    “What’s a cassette tape?”
9.   “What are those things on that scary guy (Lemmy Kilmister)’s face?” 
10.  “Can animals toot like us, Dad?”

10 Things From The Merciless Book of Metal Lists That Put Me On the Floor:

1.   Richard Christy’s “Quadruple Poople.”
2.   Richard Christy pissing his pants three times during a Maiden show so he wouldn’t miss a minute.
3.   Richard Christy cooking his own shit in an oven.
4.   “10 Observations From Lemmy’s Warts.”  (alone, this sells the entire project)
5.   “What Would Varg Vikernes (Burzum) Do?”
6.   “Half-off trip for two to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. with Varg Vikernes,” from “10 Heavy Metal Livingsocial/Groupon Deals You Never See.”
7.    “The Very Best Qualities of Metallica’s Load and Reload Albums.”
8.   Candlemass’ “Bewitched” video roasted in “Thoroughly Embarrassing Metal Videos.”
9.   “10 Illegible Black Metal Logos (Rorschach Tests?)”
10.  “Best iTunes Playlist to Set On Repeat for a Drive of Eight Hours or Longer,” by Danny Lilker (totaling “around eleven seconds of playtime.”)

10 Things The Merciless Book of Metal Lists Gets Spot-On:

1.   Including the mighty Voivod in many categories.  To do less would make this book a sham.
2.   Proposing that Led Zeppelin is “JNM” (Just Not Metal).
3.   “Completely Unnecessary Heavy Metal Subgenres”
4.   “The Very Best Qualities of Metallica’s Load and Reload Albums”  (lampoon genius)
5.   “25 Great Hardcore/Metal Crossover Albums”
6.   “Glorious Paul Baloff Stage Banter”
7.   “All Hail the Original Man – Some Metal Bands That Have, Or Have Had, Black Members” (also “10 Things You Should Know About Being Black in a Metal Band,” by Hirax vocalist Katon W. De Pena)
8.  “Some Non-Metal Artists Metalheads Love” (perfecto list DESPITE omitting Killing Joke and Can)
9.   “The 10 Best and Worst Things About Being a Female Fronting a Metal Band,” by Betsy Bitch.
10.  “20 of the Greatest Metal Voices”

5 Things The Merciless Book of Metal Lists Shanks:

1.  While agreed that Def Leppard’s Pyromania is not a metal album, but a melodic hard rock album, it’s hardly the “turd dropped from pop music’s ass.”  Pardon me, gents, but that dishonor goes straight to the shameless huckstering that was Hysteria.

2.   Maiden’s Somewhere in Time, a shark-jumping record?  No arguments with Celtic Frost’s Cold Lake, which Tom G. Warrior himself told me directly was “an abomination.”  Ditto for Load and Reload, but Somewhere in Time?  Bull to the fucking shit.

3.   The Merciless Gay Bashing of Rob Halford.  Seriously, a joke’s a joke and funny once, but a persistent flogging of the man?  The rest of us have let Halford off the hook, for Christ’s sake.  He is the Metal God, period, the end.  Having interviewed him, I say the man is a king who doesn’t know he has a crown.  Just leave him alone.

4.    The dismantling of Overkill while listing them as a candidate to make “The Big 4” of thrash a 5.  While maybe straying for a couple albums, this is one of the most consistent bands speed metal’s ever seen.  Suggested Listening only for the Power in Black demo?  Groan.  Horrorscope, The Years of Decay, Taking Over, Feel the Fire…even their last two albums have been faster than just about anyone outside of Slayer or grind tech.   C’mon, brothers.

5.    Picking on Grim Reaper has been fashionable since Beavis and Butthead torched the “See You In Hell” video long before Abrams and Jenkins do so here.  It’s passé.  While the video does betray a cheese element relative to the time in which it was conceived, Grim Reaper was a damned fine band also relative to their time.  It’s just lame getting on their asses about this video.

10 Coolest Guests Appearing in The Merciless Book of Metal Lists:

1.   Betsy Bitch
2.   Danny Lilker
3.   Katon W. De Pena
4.   Kerry King
5.   John Gallagher
6.   Phil Anselmo
7.   Brian Slagel
8.   Jon and Marsha Zazula
9.   Paul Baloff (vicariously through the authors and Gary Holt)
10.  Hoya Roc
11.  Max Cavalera (okay, make it 11 Coolest Personalities Appearing On the Guest List of The Merciless Book of Metal Lists, sue me)

10 Things I Learned From The Merciless Book of Metal Lists:

1.   Producer Flemming Rasmussen’s recount of jumping from 12 hours a day in the studio to 14-16 hours during the recording of Metallica’s …And Justice For All.  I wonder how Jason Newsted would tally it.
2.   My editor at Blabbermouth, Borivoj Krgin, is considered a master guru of the pre-internet tape trading days that I cherish and miss dearly.
3.   Max Cavalera and Sean Lennon did a duet together, “Son Song.”
4.   Ron Fair, who engineered Slayer’s Hell Awaits, is responsible for the discovery and production of Christina Aguilera.  Strange cosmos.
5.   The Goo Goo Dolls and Cannibal Corpse played shows together in their beginnings.  Um, wow
6.   Ace Frehley ordered a tuna fish sandwich at an upscale restaurant in Manhattan in the company of Jon and Marsha Zazula.
7.   Jaromir Jagr is a metalhead.  Dammit, wish I’d known that when I was covering the NHL.
8.   The intro to Raven’s “Rock Until You Drop” consists of the band “stamping on plastic coffee cups in a stone bathroom.”
9.   There are idiots in the world who truly believe Scott Ian is Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
10.  Betsy Bitch laments not having a boob job.  As if one was needed, crikey.  She’s still hot.

10 Albums That Were Played While I Reviewed The Merciless Book of Metal Lists (when my son wasn’t up my crawl):

1.   The Cramps – Psychedelic Jungle
2.   Killing Joke –  Absolute Dissent
3.   The Return of the Living Dead soundtrack
4.   Slayer – Haunting the Chapel EP
5.   The Ocean – Pelagial
6.   Can – Ege Bamyasi
7.   Bitch – Be My Slave
8.   Raven – Life’s a Bitch
9.   AC/DC – Flick of the Switch
10.  Voivod – Dimension Hatross

5 Things I Plan To Do After Wrapping On This Review:

1.   Pour myself another cranberry and vodka.
2.   Watch some Stanley Cup, Phantasm II and Frank Zappa:  The Torture Never Stops in succession.
3.   Knock out a review for Blabbermouth, starting with the new Kylesa joint. 
4.   Attempt to convert my wife to heavy metal for the 2,397th time before asking for a shag.
5.   Say hello to Mr. Happy Hand when # 4 fails royally.

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