The Heavy Metal Review

Archive for the ‘Quick Reviews’ Category

Quick Review: Megadeth ‘Super Collider’ is not great, but it is weirdly interesting

leave a comment »

Megadeth_SuperColliderDave Mustaine says and does some of the dumbest things these days. To the point you have to wonder what the other members of Megadeth are thinking (including the more recently reunited Dave Ellefson). I’m sure it’s along the lines of, “What have I gotten myself into?”

The internet reviews have been highly critical of Super Collider, where some are saying it’s the worst thing the band has ever done. Others have argued the album really isn’t that bad. I don’t think I have seen anyone claim it is the group’s best output anywhere, though I’m sure it’s possible (this kind of person probably also argues Lulu – by Metallica and Lou Reed – is a great record).

I have argued Megadeth has been on the decline since The System Has Failed, due to seeing them several times in concert and just being bored. The band lacks passion even when its playing the old tunes live. Granted I haven’t seen them since Ellefson rejoined the fold.

While Super Collider is nowhere near the top of Megadeth’s catalog, it is different, and that makes it interesting. If I had to categorize the band’s discography into groups, this would go into the bin I’d call “Wild Cards” also containing Hidden Treasures (awesome), Risk (not so awesome, some good moments) and The World Needs a Hero (not as bad as people think). I actually enjoyed listening to Mustaine’s crazily conservative rants and conspiracy theories set to the background of Megadeth guitars, bass and drums, which is basically what Super Collider boils down to.

So don’t be afraid, give Super Collider a full listen. It’s more interesting than United Abominations, Endgame or Thirteen, though I don’t think it’s musically better than those recent releases.

Advertisements

Written by Eric

June 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Review Roundup: Rob Zombie, Ghost B.C. and Killswitch Engage

leave a comment »

The Heavy Metal Review has been slacking lately in the review department, so here is my attempt to play catch-up and analyze the biggest metal releases of the past month or two in a Review Roundup.

rob-zombie-venomous-rat-regeneration-vendorAlbum: Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
Artist: Rob Zombie

Quick Review: Rob Zombie seems to be another one of everybody’s favorite musicians to hate on recently, despite constantly putting on an energetic live show and basically being the closest thing we have to this generation’s Alice Cooper.

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is a mouthful of a name, but the album itself is a concise 38:50 in length, and combines some of the industrial sounds back from the original Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge with the more straightforward style found on Educated Horses and Hellbilly Deluxe 2.

With songs like the hard rockin’ “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” and  the industrial tinged “Rock n Roll (In a Black Hole),” you can kind of guess what to expect here, however, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With VRRV, Rob Zombie releases one of his more consistent solo albums since The Sinister Urge.

Final Verdict: 8.5 out of 10

Read the rest of this entry »

Album Review: Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ EP is enjoyable, but not the record fans need right now

leave a comment »

anthrax-anthems-ep

It’s always intriguing when a famous band decides to release an album of covers. Especially when that band is Anthrax, who released a strong comeback in the form of 2012’s Worship Music with frontman Joey Belladonna returning on vocals and even more recently lost lead guitarist Rob Caggiano, whose last recorded work with the band is featured on the Anthems EP.

The best cover albums come from musicians who put their own signature sound into the tracks they choose to record, such as on Metallica’s Garage Inc. full-length, otherwise a covers album is a passing pleasure that doesn’t do much to enhance a group’s catalog.

Anthrax’s Anthems EP generally plays it safe in the delicate balancing act between staying faithful to the originals and putting the band’s own thrash-fueled spin on things, which results in a mostly pleasant, but not entirely necessary listen, unless you are already a diehard fan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric

March 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Quick Review: Suffocation ‘Pinnacle of Bedlam’ + Coffee = WOOOOO!

leave a comment »

suffocation-pinnacle-of-bedlam

If someone told me Suffocation was going to release one of its best albums (if not my new personal favorite) in the year 2013 that could give the death metal classics a run for their money… I’d probably roll my eyes and say, “Yeah, right.” Well be prepared to do a spit-take if you are drinking a beverage when starting up Pinnacle of Bedlam – because this statement is 100% musically accurate (unlike the bogus claims that Human Centipede was 100% medically accurate).

I happened to be fresh off a strong cup of coffee when I first put on the new album and the combination of the caffeine mixed with the blast beats of Dave Culross and throaty death growls of Frank Mullen on “Cycles of Suffering” fired all the synapses in my brain at once into a euphoric burst of energy. No the lyrics aren’t euphoric themselves of course, it’s just that the technicality of this release as a whole is insane.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric

February 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

Quick Review: Zombified ‘Carnage Slaughter And Death’

leave a comment »

Zombified - Carnage Slaughter and Death

Death metal has come a long ways since early innovators Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Deicide hit the scene. The genre has since branched out into various sub-genres and styles, becoming more technical, or reversely, even more melodic and accessible in recent years. Despite this, plenty of metal fans will tell you there is nothing better than putting on an old death metal record and moshing around like crazy – which is where the musicians in Zombified clearly found the inspiration for their sound on Carnage Slaughter And Death.

While it feels a bit outdated and familiar at times, the group’s sophomore effort is a strong nod to the ’80s and early ’90s era of death metal. “Carnage Slaughter And Death” kicks off the album with plenty of blast beats and intense growling vocals. “Pull the Trigger” is the album’s current single, which features a mix of nice groovy riffs intermixed with your stereotypical death influence combined with a sort of loose punk-rock vibe.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric

February 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

2 for 1 Quick Review: Voivod ‘Target Earth’ and Helloween ‘Straight Out of Hell’

leave a comment »

voivod_target_earth

Voivod‘s latest album Target Earth is notably the first to feature Daniel Mongrain on guitar (who replaced the late Dennis D’Amour). In most instances like this, fans might wonder if the band has maintained its core sound. However, Voivod never really had a set style – if anything the group’s sound can only be described as, well, weird.

Just glancing at the cover for Target Earth leaves you wondering what to expect. It’s part imperfect first album design meets part colorful futuristic space art. And just like the album’s front image the music switches between unpolished metallic imperfection to the sound of a finely tuned machine. The riffs are at times dissonant and at other times more straightforward, but it always seems like Voivod is in control of the chaos.

While Voivod‘s music has always been fairly niche-based, there is plenty to like about the punk attitude delivered on Target Earth. Denis “Snake” Bélanger delivers a strong vocal performance throughout the album and is actually the highlight overall.

It’s kind of amazing a band like Voivod has held out over the years – never resorting to following trends or going mainstream in sound. Target Earth won’t necessarily blow you away, but it serves a reminder that a band doesn’t always have to compromise its sound to persevere. Voivod does what it likes and isn’t afraid to be weird.

Final Verdict 7.5 out of 10

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric

January 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Quick Review: Phil Anselmo and Warbeast’s ‘War of the Gargantuas’

leave a comment »

WarOfTheGargantuas

One of the more anticipated releases among metal circles in 2013 is the upcoming solo album from former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo (credited as Philip H. Anselmo on this EP). The War of the Gargantuas serves as the first taste of music from Anselmo’s solo project and also provides two tracks from fellow Housecore Records labelmates Warbeast.

At this point Anselmo has come out and said the tracks “Conflict” (related to his chronic physical ailments over the years) and “Family, ‘Friends,’ and Associates,” (which seems to deal with his evolving personal relationships) are the safer of the tracks on his solo record. Which leads me to believe things are going to get real wild when we hear the full album.

“Conflict” sounds reminiscent of another Anselmo side project (Superjoint Ritual) meets Great Southern Trendkill era Pantera – with the obvious differences involving a clean and sober frontman and the lack of Dimebagg’s amazing solos. The track is a fairly straightforward hardcore inspired tune that gets the job done – in the sense it leaves you wanting more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric

January 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm