Author Archives: Reggie

Reggie’s July (2016) Roundup


July was a plentiful month for releases with Fates Warning, Centinex, Periphery, Black Crown Initiate, and Revocation leading the charge; at least concerning the albums I was able to get a hold of and take the time to listen to.  Here is a quick rundown…

Fates-Warning-Theories-of-Flight

Fates Warning – Theories of Flight / Progressive Metal – Released on 1 July 2016 by InsideOutMusic

For fans of the earlier days of Fates Warning, this should be right up your alley. It’s tight, progressive, melodic, and heavy. It’s a solid Fates Warning album; probably one you’ve been wishing for, for a long time.  4 out of 5  Read the rest of this entry

The Metal Elitist


tumblr_niwmgl7li31thdy8lo1_500I am not sure when I first started seeing people toss the word elitist around within the metal community.  I thought we are all playing for the same team whether your preferred genre be death metal, black metal, thrash metal, or blackened-technical-atmospheric-doom oriented metal with a touch of industrial-sludge.  After all, metal is metal even if your favorite band is Korn, right?  Apparently not.

Metal elitism exists, unfortunately.  If you are unsure you have ever met a metal elitist, you may very well be one.  But, here are some traits I have noticed about metal elitists while scanning forums, websites, and blogs for my daily dose of metal happenings.

  1. No matter what band you like, the metal elitist will always say they suck.
  2. No matter what shows you have seen live, they pale in comparison to those the metal elitist has been to. Even if you have seen the same bands live from the same tour, the show they saw in their city was better.
  3. You spent three days at a metal festival and had the time of your life. The elitist will still brag about the festival they went to 10 years ago…and it will have been better.
  4. No matter how jazzed you are about anything metal or metal-related, the elitist will take that away from you and crush your soul.
  5. Chances are, most of the music the elitist listens to is shit you’ve never heard of.
  6. You’re standing in line waiting to get into a show. They look at you and look at the shirt you are wearing and based on that shirt, their eyes roll and they turn around and ignore you.
  7. Everything the elitist likes is “the old shit.” They rarely, if at all, praise anything new.
  8. The elitist cannot be bargained with.
  9. The elitist’s opinion cannot be changed.
  10. If you are talking with an elitist and you agree with everything they say; congratulations, you are also an elitist.

c434f14efdeda11f14ac045f308a42c0Bottom line:  This shouldn’t be taken seriously.  However, it shouldn’t matter if someone is total fanboy (or girl) just can’t stop going on and on and on and on about Kamelot as if other bands don’t exist.  We’re all part of the metal family and should treat each other respectfully and respect others’ opinions.  Sometimes the best part of going to a show or hanging with metal friends is talking about metal, shows, lists, and being introduced to new music.  We should be a tight knit community and not allow ourselves to become divided by pointless snobbery. Strength in numbers, I say!

Album Review: Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts


katatonia_thefallofheartsFirst of all I am not going to mention that other guy from that other band that is known to be vocalist Jonas Renske’s buddy.  Not even going there.  I keep seeing those comparisons and it’s driving me nuts.  Second, it’s going to be hard not to be a bit biased because of my love for Katatonia’s depressively wonderful melodies.  But, The Fall of Hearts is upon us, all 1+ hour of it, and I must speak about it.  That’s a huge chunk of melancholy, but the good thing is that it doesn’t “feel” like an hour.  So, I expected the album to follow the path of Dethroned and Uncrowned.  I mean, let’s face it, that haunting remix of Dead End Kings was well transformed, produced, and engineered.  The live concert footage is killer!  Why not ride that wave?  I probably would, but that’s me.  I can milk a cow till she runs dry. Read the rest of this entry

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