Monday, August 30, 2010

Unreleased Pantera track, "The Will to Survive," available on Facebook

I remember Vinnie Paul saying he had a whole slew of unreleased Pantera tracks along with another Damageplan album he compared to Vulgar Display of Power (but Vinnie is in the mediocre Hell Yeah nowadays, so don't know whether we can trust his musical opinion...). So it was inevitable these tracks would eventually be released.

Which brings us to today, when the group debuted "The Will to Survive," (a Cowboys From Hell era demo) on its official Facebook page (you do have to become a fan / hit the "I like" button to access the song).

"The Will to Survive" gives fans a look into the transition from 1988's Power Metal to the breakthrough 1990 album, Cowboys From Hell. It definitely feels more like Power Metal vocalwise, but musically, the group sounds like it is developing a sound of its own (although there is still plenty of Judas Priest and 80s metal influence).

Especially note the groovin' bass intro courtesy of Rex Brown and the familiar guitar riff that can also be found on "This Love".

My only complaint about issuing this song by itself, is that it means Vinnie will likely be staggering the release of any additional tracks as the Pantera albums are reissued (which I assume they all eventually will be).

I understand Vinnie wants to keep the legacy of Dimebagg alive, but I would be more willing to buy a box set with the final Damageplan album and a CD of all the unreleased demos, in addition to the unreleased Dimebagg DVD Vinnie still has lying around, rather than a reissue of an album all us loyal fans already own.

Putting all this aside though, it does feel good to hear Dimebagg shred once more.

UPDATE: Well I figured the label would take down that clip of "The Will to Survive", so I guess you will all just have to go the Facebook route to check it out. Old school Power Metal track is now below.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Skeletonwitch "Submit to the Suffering" in new music video

When I first heard Skeletonwitch in the video for "Repulsive Salvation" I wasn't all that impressed and thought this was the case of yet another overrated metal band.

Eventually I saw the band live and still wasn't impressed, due to the muddy sound quality and similar sounding tracks in the live setting.

And now, after hearing the song / watching the video for "Submit to the Suffering" off Breathing the Fire, I'm actually impressed! Not too long. Cool riffs and vocals. And good imagery.

Maybe I'll give Skeletonwitch another shot... check out the video below.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Not Quite Metal: Killing Joke's influence on the music world

I'll admit, I didn't even really give Killing Joke a proper listen until I heard Fear Factory's cover of "Millenium" on the lackluster 2005 album Transgression.

I thought enough of Fear Factory's cover to check out the English post-punk band (who had a mix of punk, prog and industrial sounds) and picked up a copy of 1994's Pandemonium.

Revamping the Metal Blog

Hey everyone. I just wanted to say thanks for bearing with me through some infrequent posting. I really do hope to make this blog bigger and better, and have begun making some changes of the small variety.

First off, I finally got around to reviewing Iron Maiden's latest album The Final Frontier. Better late than never right? You can check that out right here.

You may notice that I gave the album an "8 out of 10." I used to use a five-point scale because it worked with the job I had previously at The Daily Iowan, but I always found that to be restrictive. I think I am going to try and keep reviews to whole numbers too.

Also now on the main page, I've switched over to the "jumps" blog format in which on longer posts, you actually click on, "Read More," if you would like to do so. I feel this helps clean up the main page, and it has proven popular on a number of other major blogs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bonded By Blood: Wanted By the Crong

There's one thing about not growing up in the thrash explosion of the 80s that many fans of metal fail to realize - for every Testament or Exodus, there were five more mediocre to poor generic thrash bands in their wake.

Sure, this is a common theme among any "trend" in music (and some trends, such as nu-metal, were pretty much all bad, with atrocious bands following suit), but it seems like it is currently hitting the recent "thrash-revival," of the mid to late 2000s.

I've heard of a number of bands recently that have put out some music that might have been best left in the 80s, but the one that inspired this is Bonded By Blood.

Now, I'm not saying this song sucks. In fact, I think it's decent and you have to hand it to a modern thrash band who writes a concept album (Exiled to Earth) based off of defeating an evil overlord named Crong. The group is definitely not doing this for the money.

Ozzy Osbourne "Life Won't Wait" Music Video

First off, I know I've been slacking on updating the blog once again. But the rest of this week I plan to get things up and running again (and finally write that Maiden review, moreso just to hone my review writing skills at this point).

However, over the weekend, I remember seeing that Ozzy released his new video for, "Life Won't Wait." The video was directed by his son Jack, and while not amazing, it is tolerable.

The track is a one of the better softer ones on the album, but if you still haven't checked out the CD yet, there are better (and more rockin') songs to be found on Scream.

Check out the video below (and don't mind the goofy freeze frame).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Iron Maiden Final Frontier CD Review

Iron Maiden
The Final Frontier
8 out of 10

Iron Maiden’s latest album, The Final Frontier recently made the number four slot on the Billboard Charts in the U.S., while reaching number one in a places ranging as far away as our northern neighbors in Canada to the Godzilla-fearing Japan.

So what’s America’s problem? Are we just a bunch of metal hating music snobs? Not exactly.

Sure, Iron Maiden’s 15th album is a solid offering (and kicks the ass of most anything released in the last few months), but it definitely doesn’t hold up to the classics, and isn’t even the best record the group has released in its “later years,” (that honor goes to Brave New World).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tila Tequila, Andrew WK, and Juggalos

So, I'll briefly mention this, only because I know a lot of metalheads dig Andrew WK and I was interested by this video of him performing at the Gathering of the Juggalos (presented by the Insane Clown Posse).

If you missed the recent news, Tila Tequila was recently "attacked," at this year's annual jughead fest.

Where I come from, if you don't like a performer (even if they suck as much as Tequila), you don't EVER physically abuse them. It's scum like this who give metal, hip-hip, whatever form of music a bad name.

What disturbs me the most, is this isn't just one person throwing shit on stage, it's at least 20 or 30 goddamn juggalos! That would not be tolerated at any metal show I've been to. Just ridiculous. Especially when you think of that bastard who went onstage and took Dimebagg Darrell's life.

On a lighter note, check out Andrew WK performing at 2008's annual gathering and having to be dragged off stage, probably because people were in fear of an all out riot breaking out. Part of me says this is idiotic for him to even try and perform and part of me says, "well done."

Killer of Giants

These last few days haven't brought in too much amazing metal news, but I did find the setlist for Ozzy Osbourne's first Ozzfest performance.

Osbourne played the staple tracks, like "Mr. Crowley," "I Don't Know," and "Iron Man," but he also broke out some other songs I didn't expect...mainly "Killer of Giants" off The Ultimate Sin and "Fire in the Sky" off No Rest For the Wicked.

The complete setlist is available on

This news inspired me to post the song "Killer of Giants" below. I wonder if Ozzy remembered the words?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Behemoth releases another cinematic video for 'Alas, Lord is Upon Me'

By now, many of you probably know that Behemoth vocalist Adam 'Nergal' Darski is undergoing treatment for an illness (of which he has not yet revealed).

I'm not going to make any speculations on his condition, just wishing him a speedy recovery. I can't say I agree with all his views, but Nergal has created some interesting and creative heavy music for the world, and hopefully he can continue creating soon.

Despite his sudden illness, Nergal and the rest of Behemoth were able to finish a new music video for "Alas, Lord is Upon Me" off the latest album Evangelion. Didn't follow the video's story too closely in the first viewing, but it is cinematic and I'm guessing Darski could talk for a long time about its subject matter (which is anti-Christian).

UPDATE: I originally tried to post the uncensored version of the video, saying, "I think the uncensored version would be Darski's preference," however, the video embed code won't allow me to do so. So, below is a censored video, but check out a better quality, uncensored video RIGHT HERE.

UPDATE 2: It was announced that Nergal actually has leukemia. I wish him the best of luck in fighting cancer and hope he pulls through to make even more extreme metal.

Slayer performs on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Although I don't particularly like Jimmy Fallon's brand of humor, I do appreciate that he isn't afraid to have metal acts perform on his show (it seemed like Conan used to do this a lot too in this timeslot). Granted, Fallon probably doesn't book the bands, but I imagine he might have some say in the matter.

Check out Slayer's performance of "Hate Worldwide" below off the album World Painted Blood. I haven't actually listened to that record in awhile, so maybe I'll give it another spin.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cannibal Corpse announces Des Moines stop with support from Dying Fetus

Is Des Moines the new mecca for Midwest metal shows?

OK, maybe I shouldn't go that far, but it seems someone who books for People's Court has got an eye for metal acts, since both Meshuggah and Fear Factory have performed shows there recently (and don't forget about the upcoming Black Label Society and Children of Bodom gig at 7 Flags Event Center in October).

I've also been able to partake in a variety of cool metal shows here over the years, such as In Flames, Shadows Fall, Exodus, etc.

And now, it was announced that Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Vital Remains and Devourment will all be stopping by for some death metal fun at People's Court on November 12!

How many female's do you think will be at this show? (just a joke, I know there are plenty of death metal fans that are women!). But seriously, should be an interesting night.

After the jump is a complete list of stops for those "out-of-state" readers, with the Des Moines' show in bold, in addition to some music from the bands.

Municipal Waste debuts yet another 'horror-themed' video on Fangoria

I always love me some Municipal Waste, so I figured I should put up the link to the group's new video for the song "Acid Sentence" off Massive Aggressive.

Here is some info on the video straight from the press release:

"Based on the legendary serial killer John Haigh, the song/video center around a serial killer who bathes his victims in acid. The clip was shot over several weeks in May and June of 2010 and features the band as well as plenty of Fangoria-style gore. The gore and body parts were provided by the world-renowned Dapper Cadaver, whose fine gore craftsmanship has graced TV shows like 'Bones' and 'Dexter.'"

Check out the video via and I'll post the video straight on the blog, once/if it is available to do so.

Randy Rhoads gets a tribute wine

That's right! For only $53 bucks, you can be the proud owner of Randy Rhoads' tribute wine.

As much as I love Rhoads' guitar playing with Ozzy before he passed away, I can't see myself purchasing this anytime soon (although if I was rich, who knows...).

It looks like a portion of the proceeds go to the "Randy Rhoads Charitable Trust" - to carry on his legacy. It might be more honorable to donate part of the money to another charity... I think the music will preserve Rhoads' legacy just fine!

If you are curious you can check out the D'argenzio Winery's website for more info.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Exodus Release seizure-inducing "Downfall" music video

Exodus' new video for "Downfall" can be 'seizure-inducing,' - for those prone to get seizures that is (no joke). So if you don't fall into that category, enjoy the video.

I haven't been able to spend as much time listening to the new Exodus album, Exhibit B: The Human Condition as I'd like, but there are some solid tracks on there (some are just still a little too long for their own good, but it's still above average thrash).

As for the video, it's a bit ridiculous towards the end, with death-by-gavel smash, but has a sort of '80s feel with the dudes headbanging on the jury. I also think the song shows off some of Gary Holt's ability to take influences from newer metal genres (like metalcore) and incorporate it into his thrash repertoire. Good stuff.

UPDATE: Oh and as a 2-for-1 video bonus, also below is the latest video from Evergreen Terrace. Yes the music does have a bit of a trendy metalcore feel, but these guys' are really into their music, and after chatting with some of them / seeing em' live, the group puts on an energetic show every time.

CD Review: Black Label Society's "Order of the Black" is a solid stomper

After checking out today (as I always do shortly after waking up), I noticed Black Label Society is streaming its new album, Order of the Black on AOL Music.

Part of me wanted to wait until tomorrow to check out the CD, but my curiosity got the best of me (although I mainly just skimmed the songs with a few exceptions, because I'd rather give it a full listen after picking up a copy).

So, while this is not meant to be a full review, here is my take so far.

Order of the Black is not another "classic BLS" sounding album like Sonic Brew or Stronger Than Death. It also isn't as amazing as 2002's 1919 Eternal.

However, soundwise, it is on par with The Blessed Hellride with elements of Wylde and Co.'s older and newer outputs intermixed. There's plenty of metal stompers this time around ("Crazy Horse," "Parade of the Dead," "Black Sunday," "Godspeed Hellbound," etc.), so those fans who miss the "take no prisoners" style of BLS brewtality, should be satisfied.

There are also plenty of southern-tinged ballads, which seem pretty hit-or-miss, but none are terrible (and "Darkest Days," is actually pretty damn good). There is even an acoustic instrumental entitled "Chupacabra", which is another one of Wylde's homages to Eddie Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" (think "Speedball," off 1919 Eternal).

Order of the Black feels like the album that should have came after 2003's The Blessed Hellride and fits well into the band's catalog of music.

Most impressively, Wylde has shown that a true musician doesn't need to use performance enhancers (in the form of booze or drugs) to create great art. All you need is practice, songwriting ability, and some personality to make a truly brutal album.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blind Guardian release awesome new song, with slightly cheesy video

This isn't the first time I've logged in to The Official Metal Show Metal Blog to geek out on Blind Guardian. In a previous post, I even claimed the group is one of the best metal bands of all time (you can check that out here.

However, this time around, I'm just going to let the new track, "A Voice in the Dark," do the talking for itself. This song sounds like something off Somewhere Far Beyond and the new short-haired Hansi still delivers one of the best vocal performances around.

Blind Guardian's new disc, At the Edge of Time, is set for an August 24 release in the U.S.

Watch the video below and enjoy!

Can an Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath make an album as good as "The Devil You Know"?

I'm going to pose a question to all of you metalheads. Do you think that Ozzy, if he were to reunite with the other members of Black Sabbath, would be able to put out anything close to the excellent Heaven and Hell release, The Devil You Know?

It almost seems like blasphemy for me to even ask this, after the death of the legend that is Ronnie James Dio. However, it's likely going to happen, assuming Ozzy makes it to the recording sessions (which hopefully he will, don't get me wrong).

While I think another Black Sabbath reunion could be cool, I don't know if a new album with Ozzy's 'processed' vocal styling of today, would go over as well. Maybe I'm just biased towards Dio though...

Below are examples of each band's latest work. And feel free to voice your opinion and leave a comment.

Heaven and Hell - "Fear"

Ozzy Osbourne - "Diggin' Me Down"

Best news I've heard in awhile from Shadows Fall

In a recent interview with the Rock it Out! Blog, Shadows Fall frontman Brian Fair was asked about plans for a new studio album.

This is what he had to say:

"We've been talking about the new record. We haven't really started writing, but me, Matt [Bachand, guitar] and Jon [Donais, guitar] were talking, [and] we wanna write a really fast, technical thrash record this time around — really just kind of keep it nice, brutal and heavy."

As a long time Shadows Fall fan, I just want to say 'hell yes!' This is the news a lot of us old school fans were waiting to hear, and while I do like a lot of the slower more melodic Shadows Fall songs, the heavier stuff on Of One Blood, The Art of Balance and The War Within is still where it's at.

Let's hope the band delivers on its word. If so, Shadows Fall might just be my favorite modern metal band once more (Retribution was great in my opinion, but it takes a lot to make up for Threads of Life).

A Perfect Circle rumored to reunite

I was first introduced to A Perfect Circle in what I remember as early high school by my guitar instructor Michael Curry (who worked at the great Ye Olde Guitar Shoppe in Urbandale).

Between goofing around and playing music, we also listened to great number of bands, and Michael was the one who got me into such metal greats as Pantera and Fear Factory. However, a slightly 'less metal' band he got me into was A Perfect Circle. He called it "some dark shit," if I remember correctly, and I would say he was right.

Mer De Noms is a masterpiece of an album in my opinion, which I enjoy almost more than anything Maynard James Keenan has done with Tool. I did like the band's second album, The Thirteenth Step, but can't say I still listen to it regularly, and even the covers album was decent.

I'm looking forward to see what the guys in A Perfect Circle can put together, since they have had time to recharge since breaking up in 2004. This should be interesting, at the very latest, and something I would keep on your metal/music radar.

Children of Bodom set to record new album, perform on Black Label Berserkus Tour in Des Moines

Children of Bodom has been very 'hit or miss' lately.

Blooddrunk had a few solid songs, like "Hellhounds on my Trail" and the title track, "Blooddrunk", Are You Dead Yet was a little stale, and I won't even get started on the covers album.

The last really great album the group put out was 2003's Hate Crew Deathroll (which is what took the band slightly away from the neoclassical style to all-out-heavy music).

Now, word is the band is preparing to record its next full-length album. If the band can somehow channel the energy and technicality found on the older discs (including my personal favorite, Follow the Reaper, and combine that with the heaviness of Hate Crew, then maybe Alexi Laiho and co. can finally get the respect they all deserve, while making us longtime fans happy.

However, it's not Bodom's job to impress us, so I guess we will just have to wait and see. In the mean time, Children of Bodom will be hitting the road and playing a show in Des Moines, Iowa, along with Black Label Society (whose newest album hits stores on August 10).

It should be interesting to see Zakk Wylde perform sober and Children of Bodom break out some new tracks.

Concert info is below:

Black Label Berserkus Tour
Featuring Black Label Society, Children of Bodom and Clutch.
7 Flags Event Center, Clive, IA
Fri, Oct 1, 2010 7:00 PM