Author Archives: Reggie

Album Review: DevilDriver – Trust No One


devildriver_trustnooneWhen Dez Fafara announced DevilDriver was going on hiatus back in 2014, I felt it was the end of the band.  Long-time band members were dropping off the roster like flies while Dez’s other band, Coal Chamber, was making a momentous comeback. I was beginning to think Winer Kills was the last album we’d see from DevilDriver.  But, that was not the case.  With Mike Spreitzer being the remaining musician with any sort of tenure, they recruited Austin D’Amond, Neil Tiemann, and a bassist (Diego Ibarra – listed as touring bassist) and began working on new material in 2015.  It was a short-lived hiatus and for DevilDriver fans, it’s a good thing because Trust No One takes DevilDriver in a slightly different direction than we are used to.

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RoundTable Review: Fleshgod Apocalypse – King


fleshgodalbumnovAlbum:  King

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Release Date:  5 Feb 2016

Songs:   22

Length:  1 Hour, 48 Minutes

Genre:  Symphonic Black/Death Metal

Studio Albums:  Oracles (2009); Agony (2011); Labyrinth (2013).

Location:  Italy Read the rest of this entry

RoundTable Review: Dream Theater – The Astonishing


Dream-Theater-The-AstonishingAlbum:  The Astonishing

Label:  Roadrunner Records

Release Date:  29 Jan 2016

Songs:   34

Length:  2 hours, 11 minutes

Genre:  Progressive Metal

Studio Albums:  When Dream and Day Unite (1989); Images and Words (1992); Awake (1994); Falling into Infinity (1997); Metropolis Pt 2:  Scenes from a Memory (1999); Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002); Train of Thought (2003) Octavarium (2005); Systematic Chaos (2007); Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009); A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011); Dream Theater (2013).

Location:  United States Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Black Tusk – Pillars of Ash


0781676729425_300It’s been a while since Black Tusk’s EP Tend No Wounds graced the paged of A Metal State of Mind.  Somehow, I missed the 2014 EP, Vulture’s Eyes; it’s impossible to catch everything, right?  At least someone back me up on that.  So, here we are with Pillars of Ash, the first full album release since 2011. Was it worth the wait? Well, if you are into sludgy, hardcore-infused metal, then my short answer is yes.  Despite coming in at just 35 minutes, the album packs a punch that I am sure will be inspiring a frenzy of circle pits or at the very least, a few thrown chairs.

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Album Review: Megadeth – Dystopia


megadethdystopiacd-300x300Album:  Dystopia

Release Date:  22 Jan 2016

Label:  Universal Music Enterprise

Songs:  13

Length:  55 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash Metal

Previous Albums:  Killing is my Business…and Business is Good (1985); Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying (1988); Rust in Peace (1990); Countdown to Extinction (1992); Youthanasia (1994); Cryptic Writings (1997); Risk (1999); The World Needs a Hero (2001); The System Has Failed (2004); United Abominations (2007); Endgame (2009); Thirteen (2011); Super Collider (2013).

Location:  United States Read the rest of this entry

Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of the Year + Honorable Mentions


2015-woodWell, here we are again, another end of year list.  First, big thanks to you for reading and engaging with us.  I have to say, this year’s list is more well-rounded than previous year-end lists.  I guess it is because I continue to get exposed to new bands and others that have been out a while, but are new to me.  Take my #1 for example.  I knew they were out there, but took it took me a while to sit down and have a serious listen.  I am glad I did.  One major difference between this year and my other lists is the (almost) absence of thrash metal bands.  While there are a few, not as much as I would normally have on my list.  Seems as though my taste in progressive based metal is expanding.  I guess it’s time to see for yourself.  Enjoy, and let’s have another great year in metal. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Queensrÿche – Condition Humän


queensrycheconditioncd-300x300As I age (I’m in my lower 40s now) I ponder the fate of my long-standing favored bands.  Let’s face it we’re all getting older and for me that means there will come a time when I read a story about a favorite band of mine quitting or retiring.  Queensrÿche, along with the Big Four bands and many others have been around long enough that I dread the day of their eventual end.  I thought Queensrÿche might have been headed there earlier than necessary with their former vocalist at the helm and all the craziness that ensued.  But damn, Queensrÿche dusted themselves off, picked up a great lead vocalist, and threw some uppercuts.  2013’s self-titled album paved a new foundation for the band and there appears to be no looking back…only aiming forward.  Read the rest of this entry

Festival Review: Loud Park 2015 (Tokyo, Japan)


IMG_1633When I left England, I thought my days of hitting up summer festivals were over. America (my home) is not known for festivals though there are a few traveling ones here and there, but nothing on the scale of Europe’s legendary metal festivals. Now that I live in Japan, it’s great to see a three-stage major metal event called Loud Park. And, it’s in Tokyo! Lucky me! This year’s annual experience was the 10th anniversary and was well stocked with heavy-hitting brand names such as Slayer (day 1 headliner), Anthrax, Arch Enemy, Gojira, All That Remains, Testament, Children of Bodom, Metal Allegiance (featuring Big Four members and then some), Hammerfall, Royal Hunt, and Gamma Ray. Since I typically attend one day, I felt this lineup was the weaker of the two. Here is my review of day 2 featuring headliners Megadeth.

First things first though. Attire is important; at least the top half anyway. When going to a festival it makes choosing my tee more difficult. I have a general rule against wearing a shirt of a bands I am going to see. I think it is obvious I like the band if I am there. Therefore, I opted for a Machine Head shirt; one I hadn’t worn yet since I got it from their show in July. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Slayer – Repentless


Slayer-RepentlessAlbum:  Repentless

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Release Date:  11 Sep 2015

Genre:  Thrash

Songs:  12

Length:  42 Minutes

Previous Albums:  Show No Mercy (1983); Hell Awaits (1985); Reign In Blood (1986); South Of Heaven (1988); Seasons In The Abyss (1990); Divine Intervention (1994); Undisputed Attitude (1996); Diabolus In Musica (1998); God Hates Us All (2001); Christ Illusion (2006); World Painted Blood (2009)

Location:  United States

I didn’t realize that it had been so long since Slayer’s “World Painted Blood” album back in ’09.  I went to look back and see if we reviewed it, but Metal State didn’t exist back then.  So, this is our first ever review of a Slayer album.  Looks like a retro-review is due.

Back in the day…or a long time ago in the late 80s, early 90s listening to Slayer meant you crossed the line as a metal fan.  I wasn’t keen to what was going on in Europe as a teenager (except for Helloween), but for American standards listening to and loving Slayer meant that you were full-blown metalhead and there was is no coming back from that.  It was a one-way ticket to hell and I was in the front row.  Slayer was a more extreme level than the rest of the Big Four and being a fan was taken seriously.  Seeing a Slayer show in a small club was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had.  On another note, I remember cutting school just to buy their live “Decade of Aggression” album with my buddy…we were such rebels, not!  Just die-hard geeks.  Anyway, owning Slayer material, going to their pummeling shows (10 of them), and trying to interpret their lyrics was time consuming, but time well spent.  Read the rest of this entry

EP Review: Every Hour Kills


Every Hour Kills - Every Hour Kills EP Cover 2Album:  Every Hour Kills EP

Release Date:  18 Sept 2015

Label:  N/A

Songs: 5, plus same songs five as instrumental versions, plus one demo

Length:  20 Minutes for five original songs

Genre:  Melodic Metal / Electronic / Djent / Alternative

Previous Albums:  N/A

FFO:  Soilwork, Sevendust, Lacuna Coil, Celldweller

Location: Calgary, Canada

I tend to get wrapped up in a comfort zone of reviewing music I know or at least bands that fall into genres I am comfortable with; usually death, thrash, and any variation of anything progressive.  Canada’s Every Hour Kills is challenging me because of the profound electronic presence in their songs; something I tend to shy away from for no real explanation except that…I shy away from it.  I wouldn’t say they rely heavily on the electronic elements, but for my taste, it is more than usual. Read the rest of this entry