In this issue: Music CD/DVD reviews of 69 Eyes, Amon Amarth, Armored Saint, Austrian Death Machine, Autumn's Eyes, Behemoth, Black Dahlia Murder, Black Label Society, Combichrist, Cronos, Danzig, Darkness Dynamite, Gwar, Hail of Bullets, League of Shadows, Middle Finger Mob, Ministry, Murderdolls, Neaera, New York Dolls, Molotov Solution, Joe Perry, Iggy Pop, Raven, Scarlet Angel, Seventh Calling, Slayer, Valkyrja, Various Artists-'A METAL CRUSADE: Tribute to Saxon,' Veil Veil Vanish, W.A.S.P., Rob Zombie.
DVD Reviews: 'Baseline Killer,' 'Bikini Jones,' 'Blood Ties-Season 1,' 'BTK,' 'Bundy: Legacy of Evil,' Carnivorous,' Ghost of Goldfield,' 'Ghost Month,' 'Goosebumps,' 'Grub Girl,' 'Sam's Lake,' 'Rifftrax: Night of the Living Dead,' 'Simon Says,' 'Stockholm Syndrome,' 'The Taunting,' 'Twilight Vamps,' Vicktory to the Underdog.'
Book Reviews: 'Grave Whispers,' 'Dolor: Chrissy, Book II,' 'Dolor: Lila, Book I'
Reviews by: David Necro, KK, The Pusher, Creeper, Blue Mayhem, Napy
The 69 Eyes
Back in Blood
(The End Records)
'Back in Blood' marks the ninth studio release from The 69 Eyes and packs an addictive array of power ballads and anthemic rock slathered in a sexy vampiric Goth package that will leave you begging for more. I have never been one to give much credit to the Goth rock scene with its prepackaged rock stars babbling on about zombies, vampires and all facets of the undead but every now and then an album comes around that transcends the stigma and “Back in Blood” is definitely one of those albums. The 69 Eyes deliver a true since of old school rock that amazingly enough never blurs the line of dark wave yet still maintains a sensual atmosphere about it that’s sure to speak to the most dark and depraved of souls. Jyrki 69 blends perfectly catchy lyrics with a tell tale swagger that’s sure to make all the little dead girls swoon. Gothalicious so delicious 69 Eyes FTW. -Blue Mayhem
The Avenger (Bonus Edition)
We have all heard of the Viking death metal act Amon Amarth and have heard of their album "The Avenger," but as we all know, every band just has to re-issue an album from the past to the present with "bonus" material just to hyphen their name and music even further than it already has gotten itself. So what makes "The Avenger," from these guys so darn special and worthy of another listen? Let's not forget the band has four other re-issues floating about, "Once Sent From The Golden Hall," being the first and here is the second and what is so different about this album than when it first came into effect? Nothing! Just new artwork and a bonus track or two along with a bonus disc capturing the band perform the entire album for their loyal fans during the band's "Bloodshed Over Bochum" concert. So what can be said now that hasn't been? This album has been known to be Amon Amarth's best in their musical career, having such classics as "Bleed For The Ancient Gods," "The Last With Pagan Blood," and "Metalwrath." A special bonus track is also included entitled 'Thor Arise,' and in the end, this material sounds a lot better but to me, it doesn't make a difference. Amon Amarth is metal plain and simple as that.
(Metal Blade Records)
“Left Hook From Right Field” is the title of one of the new singles off of ARMORED SAINT’s new LA RAZA CD, although it would probably be a better title for the CD itself. ARMORED SAINT marched on your skull with SYMBOL OF SALVATION, then came back to march on your nuts with REVELATION (One of the best metal albums ever made by anyone, in my opinion)…and now instead of marching on you, they’re massaging you. Where their previous cover art was all huge, conquering knights, this cover’s of a sunlit L.A. Mercado complete with doves. If you’ve heard their earlier work, you’re apt to think “What the hell’s this?” when you put on LA RAZA. That’s not to say it’s bad, ARMORED SAINT probably couldn’t make a bad album if they tried. It’s just such a different ‘flava’ it takes a few spins to appreciate. Think Santana on steroids, or a rocket ride through the 70’s, or a fusion of metal, jazz, funk and flamenco. Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan wield artistic axes through “Loose Cannon” and “Get Off The Fence”, cranking out a steady stream of staccato riffs to match Joey Vera’s virtuoso bass lines and Gonzo’s energetic drumming. John Bush’s unique voice is as strong as ever. Each song starts with an offbeat bit of latin percussion, then tears into its own world. If you’re looking for something fast, you’ll have to wait for “Little Monkey” for Saint to hit top speed, but the other songs grind along at a good clip. LA RAZA doesn’t have the bone-crushing intensity of REVELATION, but they’ve been there/done that already. LA RAZA still rocks appreciably, albeit in a lighter, jazzier vein. It’s a must buy for all true Saint fans, but if you’re just starting to get into them, buy REVELATION first and then get LA RAZA. --KK
Austrian Death Machine
(Metal Blade Records)
Can there be too much of a good thing? Kind of. The Metal Genius that is Tim Lambesis created AUSTRIAN DEATH MACHINE, with none other than Ahhhnuld on vocals and sketches (Hyaaagggh!)…and now it’s so massive it’s about to crush itself under its own weight. DOUBLE BRUTAL is a James Cameron Blockbuster of a double-CD with 23 various skits and songs. The first 13 are inspired by Schwarzenflicks: “Come on Cohaagen, Give Deez People Ehyar”, “Let Off Some Steam Bennett”, “I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, And Your Motorcycle”, etc., all crazy good fun with ‘guest shredding’ by no fewer than 9 different guitarists! Disc Two provides some thundering covers of Metallica’s “Trapped Under Ice”, Megadeth’s “Killing Is My Business”, Judas Priest’s “Hell Bent For Leather”, and Motorhead’s “Iron Fist”…which are all great, but that damned “Iron Fist” cover sounds better than the freakin’ original song in my opinion. It’s hilarious hearing a Schwarzenegger impersonator ‘sing’ any of these, especially the “Cry OWWT” of “Trapped Under Ice”. There are also covers of The Misfits, Agnostic Front and Goretorture in case the previous bands aren’t heavy enough for you. The awesome guitar shredding throughout DOUBLE BRUTAL makes this double CD a metal must-have. The one flaw is stated by Ahhnuld himself on Track 7: “You know Timmy, that sounded great, but your voice sounds terrible…it sounds like the Cookie Monster, or a dying moose or something…” to which Lambesis replies “Hey Arnold, I’m just trying to keep up with the latest metal trends…” And I say DON’T DOOO IT, Tim…HYAARRGGHH! Don’t keep up with the latest metal trends, set them like you did with ADM’s debut TOTAL BRUTAL. -KK
3-Song Demo Sampler
On MYSPACE(Com.RockHerWorld), I wrote that I would no longer review bands from the “Shriek-Gargle-Roar” school of ‘Nu-Metal’…which would include Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God, and/or anyone else that screeeeeeeeaaaaammmmms their lyrics to the point where they’re indecipherable. That remains true. However, AUTUMN’S EYES brings enough class with their noise that I reconsidered. There is the unfortunate “Shriek-Gargle –Roar” element, but there’s actual skill, as well. The opener “Greedy Demon Parasites” grows from a creepy gothic intro to a bludgeoning anthem of powerhouse drumming and chilling demonic vocals. “Provoke The Nightmare” sounds like a thrash number built over a Scottish Folk Ballad, complete with deft acoustic guitar breaks and a medieval-style chant, and “Shallow Hole” is a graceful, mid-tempo symphonic rocker akin to a NIGHTWISH or SYMPHONY X song that thankfully replaces the “Shriek-Gargle-Roar” with a deep, melodic vocal. If this is just a sample, AUTUMN’S EYES are probably going to be everyone’s favorite band very soon. Get their demo via www.autumnseyes.com.
Four out of 5 Crypts…K.K.
BARNHOLTZ LETS THE HORROR OUT!
GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD
Thanks to a distribution deal with the horror-gods at LIONSGATE, North American Motion Pictures, and Madonna’s Maverick Films, BARNHOLTZ Entertainment is coming out swinging with five pretty decent horror flicks: SAM’S LAKE, BTK, CARNIVOROUS, GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD, and BASELINE KILLER. As a bonus, Barnholtz is offering a cool deal: Buy Three DVDs, Get One Free Blu-Ray!
At first glance, a few of these thrillers come off as a bit formulaic: SAM’S LAKE, GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD and CARNIVOROUS all begin with a cast of photogenic young stars leaping happily into SUV’s for a hedonistic trip to Slaughterville. Thankfully, each film rises above the typical ‘run from the maniac’ horror plot, and the cast members are all decent performers as well as being physically ‘hot’.
SAM’S LAKE (inspired by a true murder mystery) in particular packs a chilling sucker-punch when its ‘Crystal Lake’ setup becomes a savage new rendition of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Its killers are so tactically clever some viewers will find themselves rooting for them and their prey…especially once the hunters become the hunted themselves! (Four out of Five CRYPTS--KK)
CARNIVOROUS will especially appeal to fans of the PUMPKINHEAD franchise, considering its plot is nearly identical. When vacationing partiers accidentally run down a rural artist’s wife (without even realizing it—“What was that? Did we hit a deer? Nah, I don’t think so, keep going”…), he avenges her death by sending a gigantic Voodoo Serpent out to get them. The CGI monster has all the moves of ANACONDA, striking like lightning, and alternately biting, crushing, swallowing or decapitating its victims…one actress merely gets swatted by the snake and flies about 60 yards through the air! (I fancied her screaming “Hey, I can see my house from herrrrrre…” SPLAT!)
Fortunately, the badass rapper DMX just happens to live nearby, with a Dragon Anti-Tank Missile! How convenient, since the giant snake merely sneers at point-blank shotgun blasts. DMX might never get an Oscar but he remains a very good actor. The remaining cast members are mostly eye candy (soon reduced to bite-sized chunks), but still perform well enough…and there’s finally a scene where a guy shares his girlfriend with a friend, rather than fighting over her. It’s rewarding to see polyamory making inroads into the horror genre.
(Three out of Five Crypts—KK)
GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD seems like an episode of GHOST HUNTERS gone horribly wrong. A (young & hot) documentary film crew investigate a supposedly haunted hotel in Goldfield, Nevada (hmmm, maybe I ought to investigate it too, it’s right down the street) and get a HELL of a lot more than they bargained for. When They Live’s Roddy
Piper welcomes your crew with a cold stare, you know you’re about to experience hard times. GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD requires a huge suspension of disbelief, since there has never been a documented case of a ghost actually physically harming anyone. However, this titular ghost, bound to the hotel by a cruel adultery-based murder, does in fact harm the whole crew straight into the Afterlife. Kellan Lutz of TWILIGHT and Roddy Piper steal the show, but the other characters are so immature and vapid that viewers are apt to side with the ghosts. For its realistic tone, GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD is a decent horror movie, but it’s among the weakest of Barnholtz’ new offerings.
(Two out of Five CRYPTS—KK)
BTK is a chillingly accurate depiction of the Bind/Torture/Kill murderer who rampaged all over Wichita for decades (killing from 1974-1991, then evading capture until 2005!). Kane Hodder (FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH, WISHMASTER, etc.) takes off his “Jason” mask to deliver a truly stunning performance as a Jekyll & Hyde churchgoing family man who spends his free time sadistically killing every woman he can. Hodder’s performance is unfortunately the only good thing about the film, unless you enjoy scenes of people getting bound/tortured/killed. Most ‘true crime’ films feature at least one detective who can put two and two together, but in BTK, the police are nowhere to be seen until the last fifteen minutes of the film. BTK shames not only Kansas law enforcement, but women in general—virtually every woman depicted goes from nagging bitch to pleading victim in a matter of moments. Moreover, there’s a larger, societal danger in producing films like BTK (which producer/director Michael Feifer seems to overlook as he creates films such as BUNDY, BOSTON STRANGLER, ED GEIN, ad nauseum)…in a book called THE GIFT OF FEAR, author Gavin DeBecker includes a chapter entitled “Better To Be Wanted By The Police Than Not Wanted At All”, and speculates that some criminals become criminals because criminals make the news, while most hardworking, normal citizens are ignored by the society at large. (I’ve warped a bit of Latin to describe the syndrome: Leto Ergo Sum…”I kill, therefore I am”) Therefore it requires no great mental leap to presume that one ignored citizen somewhere in America might watch BTK—or one of Feifer’s other films—and think “That’s how I can be famous, too!” Let’s hope everyone who views BTK does so only for its ‘entertainment’ value, not as a ‘how-to’ guide.
(Five out of Five Crypts for Hodder’s performance; Two out of Five Crypts Overall.)
BASELINE KILLER is also based on the true story of a serial killer who stalked Baseline Road in Phoenix, Arizona in 2004. In this budget DVD, a girl’s night out becomes a tragedy when a misogynistic sniper targets the women. This film ought to be dropped from Barnholtz’ roster. Director Ulli Lommel’s budget was probably fifty dollars. It seems to have been shot on video, with flashlights for lighting. The story begins with a cocktail party and disintegrates into the women running from point A to point B and then back to point A (when they’re not getting shot, that is). Dialogue seems improvised, when it isn’t composed of panicked screams. A bit of research reveals that the DVD’s cover art was snagged from another film called THE PERFECT WITNESS aka THE UNGODLY. Ironically, The Ungodly is a perfect title for this film since it’s an Ungodly waste of time. (One out of Five Crypts).
"Evangelion" a Greek term meaning "Good News" which usually refers to biblical stories of God, from saving humanity to Jesus and his substitutionary death upon the cross leading up to his resurrection. Vocalist/guitarist Nergal says along with the co-lyricist Krzysztof Azarewicz. This taking Behemoth's standards and own versions of this so-called "good news" to a whole another level. This ninth installment of theirs goes beyond their past creations completely. The instrumentals guide the music making it pattern itself in a formula that conquers up spirits and demons of all sorts. Let alone having the vocal chords take on their own vibration screeching and screaming into the darkened dimension causing a rapture of utter chaos. Nergal's vocals have a more "live" feeling when it comes to this album showcasing his skills a lot more you can hear every note spoken. The guitars and drums taken on a much faster method of creating music, going at a non-stop pace of action and adrenaline altogether. Making this album is a more uplifting one that keeps the music constantly flowing. Some of the tunes offered that stick out the most includes: "Ov Fire and the Void," "The Seed ov I," and "Lucifer." "Ov Fire and the Void," portions sounding slightly similar to Dimmu Borgir's instrumental styling's. While the other two "The Seed ov I," and "Lucifer," tend to uphold a more black metal influence a "classic" essence if you will. Behemoth's latest LP is indeed a step up for the band both musically and lyrically and shall not disappoint whatsoever. In closing, has the darkness found you yet? -Napy
Bikini Jones and The Temple of Eros
(Retromedia/Infinity Entertainment Group)
Whomever says porn isn’t better with a plot line CLEARLY has not seen “Bikini Jones and The Temple of Eros“. “Bikini Jones and The Temple of Eros” is a timeless tale that goes to show that your never to old to still play Pretty Pretty Princess--or too old to be high enough to get off watching porn stars be eaten by Dinosaurs. The always witty Christine Nguyen stars as Dr. Bikini Jones in an epic-not to mention erotic- journey to find the lost Temple of Eros. With a golden idol as her guide Dr. Jones sets out to defeat the bedazzled bikini clad Evilla (played by the 2007 Penthouse Pet of The Year Heather Vandeven) and her sinister clan of moronic minions from claiming the throne as Empress of Moronica. This must see adventure combines flawless comedic timing and every man (and woman’s!) erotic fantasies for the perfect porn plot. A win-win for RHPS fans and bro dudes alike, this is the perfect late night party movie to convince your friends to play drunken naked twister and make bad choices so live it up my friends. -Blue Mayhem
The Black Dahlia Murder
The Black Dahlia Murder is a band from Michigan and is named after the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, often referred to as Black Dahlia. The band played Ozzfest (2005), Sounds of the Underground (2006) and Wacken Open Air (2007) who knew what else they could possibly accomplish. Why not three LPs a batch of EPs and a brand new DVD? Going from "Unhallowed," (2003), to "Miasma," (2005) onto "Nocturnal," (2007), the "Majesty," DVD made The Black Dahlia Murder who are they today. The DVD is a two-disc combination the first disc contains the documentary, consisting of ridiculous tour antics, live footage, and band interviews. While the second disc takes various footage from all over the world of the band's performances making a set list of eleven tracks worthy of the time and effort to watch. But the audio and video quality does lack in sound and visual effects going back and forth through performance clips showing the band at one angle one minute and then a whole another angle another minute making the whole concert experience annoying. Whereas the audio doesn't tend to keep up that well making the whole video quality lack even further. On the brighter side the first disc does offer you the full blown documentary and behind the scenes footage that captures the band at their most craziest moments while out on the road and then showcases them at their best during their interview presentations. To top it all off you get The Black Dahlia Murder's music video collection and photo gallery demonstrating the band at their highest peak in the music industry. Showing the hard earned work they've gone through pays off sooner or later. Overall concluding that The Black Dahlia Murder's 'Majesty,' DVD is a double dose of disappointment.
Black Label Society
(EAGLE VISION, from Eagle Rock Entertainment)
There are any number of rock musicians that might not be your particular cup of smack, but you simply have to respect them anyway due to their body of work. For me, one prime example is Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society, which is proven by the amount of material on his new CD/DVD combination SKULLAGE. I first saw Zakk playing on Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Babies” music video (a while back, obviously), bounding around like a madman while he practically combed innovative riffs out of his shaggy hair. I hadn’t seen that amount of guitar skill, or testosterone, since Ted Nugent.
With Ozzy’s CD residuals covering the rent in style, Zakk’s continued to scale the heights of metal fame. He’s co-starred in Rock Star, produced the solo album Book Of Shadows and the Pride and Glory side project, nine albums and two live DVDs with Black Label Society, and of course all of his work with Ozzy. SKULLAGE contains the concert videos for “All For You”, “13 Years of Grief”, “Bleed For Me”, “The Blessed Hellride”, “Spoke In The Wheel” and “We Live No More”, and theatrical videos for “Stillborn”, “Suicide Messiah”, “In This River” (a brooding ballad dedicated to Dimebag Darell), “Fire It Up” and “New Religion”. It also contains a hilarious interview feature called “Welcome To The Compound”, where Zakk takes you inside his Fortress of Solitude, pumps iron (and drops a 45-pound plate on his foot!), explains some of his lyrics, shows off his prized Barbie Doll Collection (“Beyonce gave me this one…and this one was given to me by Kerry King of Slayer…”), puts on a dress (tell him it doesn’t look good on him, and he’ll probably stomp you into next week), waters his plants (with urine), witnesses for Christ, hangs out with Dimebag Darrell (in earlier footage), reads Maureen McCormick’s biography, accidentally electrocutes himself and has all kinds of fun. It’s great to see a hulked-out guitar virtuoso not take himself too seriously.
The Best-Of CD included with SKULLAGE contains Machine Gun Man, Dead As Yesterday, All For You, Thirteen Years Of Grief, Bleed For Me, Doomsday Jesus, Stillborn, Won’t Find It Here, Suicide Messiah, In This River, Fire It Up, New Religion, and acoustic versions of The Blessed Hellride, Spoke In The Wheel and Stillborn. Zakk’s voice is as unique as his guitar style (he sounds like a cross between Ozzy and James Hetfield), and BLS will shake anyone’s stereo with their own thundering blend of metal. BLS doesn’t truly thrash as much as they pound; I think perhaps only Black Sabbath themselves create heavier beats. Between the CD and DVD (with approximately 115 minutes of running time), you get a truly astonishing value…and if you aren’t yet a Black Label Society fan, you probably will be.
(Five Out Of Five CRYPTS—K.K.)
Blood Ties-Season 1 DVD Set
Eagle Media (A co-production of Insight Film Studios and Kaleidoscope Entertainment. Based on the books of Tanya Huff; Created by Peter Mohan; Stars Christina Cox, Kyle Schmid, Dylan Neal.)
“A Crime Series with Bite” is the tagline of BLOOD TIES, but it’s actually an understatement. Possibly missed by American audiences, this Canadian TV series oozes passion and class. Predating the US vampire series MOONLIGHT (which brazenly lets its undead hero walk around in the daylight), BLOOD TIES combines the best elements of ANGEL, THE X FILES and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Based on the novels of Tanya Huff, (Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, et. al.) the show follows the investigations of policewoman-turned P.I. Victoria Nelson (Cox), and her allies, Detective Michael Cellucci (Neal) and the 470-year-old vampire (and former Duke of Richmond) Henry Fitzroy (Schmid). The trio battles witches, ghosts, gorgons, wendigos and other creeps in style, while simultaneously battling their own too-close-for-comfort feelings for each other. The romantic tension adds to the drama, almost making it the first polyamorous tv series (not to be confused with Big Love, which is polygamous). The cast is suitably ‘hot’, the acting is seamless, the scripts are lively and the effects are quite good. BLOOD TIES is a worthy addition to anyone’s DVD collection, and let’s hope Sci-Fi Channel picks it up soon.
5 out of 5 CRYPTS…K.K.
Bundy: Legacy of Evil
(Barnholtz/North American Pictures/Lionsgate films), Stars Corin Nemec, Kane Hodder,
Gaaaahhhhhhhh. Here we go again with the “Let’s make a few bucks off of the infamous serial killer” Lionsgate movie. “Legacy of Evil” is an inaccurate subtitle, but “The Life and Crimes of an Oversexed Scumbag” probably wouldn’t have sold as much. As Ted Bundy’s killing spree ended in the 70’s, there really is no Legacy for Bundy…except perhaps as the Fall Guy for porn; Bundy admitted he was ‘addicted to violent pornography’ to Christian Supremacist James Dobson (of Focus On The Family), who took that particular ball and ran with it…so now, we’re continually barraged with “Porn Causes Rape” propaganda. Just so you know, the existence of pornography tends to lower rates of sex crimes (in studies conducted in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Japan). But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Bundy would say anything to delay his appointment with the electric chair. He promised detectives he would help them find the Green River Killer (that story probably coming soon from Lionsgate), but they soon decided Bundy was stalling, and left him to his death sentence. He also escaped from two jails.
Corin Nemec (The Stand, Stargate SG-1) might be accurately portraying Ted Bundy if anyone knew what was going through that maniac’s head besides tumbleweeds, or fever-dreams of strangled sorority girls. Kane Hodder is good as a somber, relentless detective.
Direction, Cinematography, etc, are all good, but the actual film conveys more tragedy than horror, however, as Bundy’s intelligence and charisma had him poised for success, if he hadn’t surrendered to his misogynistic rage.
Two out of Five Crypts—K.K.
Slayer may have beat him to the title, but Andy LaPlegua has
created the soundtrack to the apocalypse…
With a sound that seems to draw as much from the past as it points toward the future, MAKING MONSTERS may very well be his magnum opus; “Declamation” & “Follow The Trail Of Blood” (featuring guest vocals by Brandan Schiepatti
of Bleeding Through) set a disturbingly menacing tone straight out of the gate,
and songs like lead single “Never Surrender” & the aptly titled “Fuck
Machine” are standard issue floorkillers that hit harder than a station wagon
filled with sexually frustrated nuns.
Though I doubt you’re likely to find a terrestrial radio programmer with balls big enough to play it, the crossover appeal of “Throat Full Of Glass” is hard to deny; but, even more surprising, however, may be “Through These Eyes of Pain". Both of these songs sound like they could have been penned for Icon Of Coil but, when contrasted against the nightmares dreged up by the rest of the album, stand out as beacons of human emotion in a soundscape dominated by machines.
“Just Like Me”, though…
I know that’s a pretty bland summation, but I sat here for a
good 45 minutes trying to think of big, fancy words to describe it, and nothing
is coming to mind… With it’s simplistic chours of “’Cause deep inside, you’re
just like me / And it’s killing you” ~ I think you’d be hard pressed to find
ANYBODY who can’t relate to feeling that way at some point in their life. I can’t
even begin to tell you how many times I’ve played it since getting this 12 days
ago but, I can assure you, it’s been a fucking LOT.
“Monster:Murder:Kill” & “They” are both equally amazing
& continue the ascent forward, but “Reclamation”
is where the record boils over… Reprising the same minimalist beat that kicked
the album off; equal parts subtle AND intense, it’s one of those songs that KINDA makes you want to exact revenge on someone, slowly and deliberately.
On a scale of 1-10, this is at LEAST a 13. And you need your friggin' head examined if you don’t pick this up. -The Pusher
STREET DATE:September 28, 2010
HELL TO THE UNKNOWN—THE CRONOS ANTHOLOGY
You may not be familiar with Venom, but Metallica and Slayer certainly are, since those bands were inspired by the “Godfathers” of Black Metal. Cronos (Conrad Lant) was/is the bassist/vocalist of Venom, and one of its main songwriters. At a certain point in their career, Venom claimed to be “moving in a Van Halen direction”, and recruited two truly amazing guitarists (Jim Clare and Mike Hickey) to achieve that. They might have actually become like Van Halen if their fans had been cool with it, and if they’d maintained that line-up. After the CALM BEFORE THE STORM album, Venom separated and Cronos took the new guitarists with him to America to form CRONOS. Three criminally unnoticed albums (Dancing In The Fire, Rock and Roll Disease, and Venom) were released independently and dropped off the radar until Cronos rejoined Venom. Fortunately, the best work of both bands is now available on HELL TO THE UNKNOWN: THE CRONOS ANTHOLOGY. This two-cd set offers 40 (count ‘em, 40!) songs, ranging from remixes of Venom’s hits to Cronos’ original songs. Virtually every song has some of the craziest, most brilliant guitar riffs you’ve ever heard. Clare and Hickey are both wizards of the whammy bar; you’ll think they wreck a guitar with every song. “Speedball” has got to be one of the fastest songs of all time, and the riffs of “Rock and Roll Disease” must be heard to be believed. Whether Cronos is a Satanist or not (he seems ambivalent on the topic), the devil worship in his solo work has been shelved in favor of sex (“Sexploitation”, “Sweet Savage Sex”, “Aphrodisiac” et cetera), or mere rock & roll fun. “Boobytrap” is a crazily humorous jam session, “My Girl” is an actual (gasp) love song, “Chinese Whispers” is an awesome instrumental, and there’s even a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Bad Reputation”. Cronos was never much of a singer in Venom…he mostly shouted…but in Cronos, he at least tries to sing, and it’s a definite improvement. Drummer Chris Patterson pounds the skins like a maniac as well. If you like Venom—or just want to experience some of the greatest riffs of all time—you can’t go wrong owning THE CRONOS ANTHOLOGY.
Deth Red Sabaoth
In the last 6 years, some people (you know who you are) proclaimed (for various silly reasons) that Glenn Danzig was a washed up, burnt out has-been. With the release of this new album, 'Deth Red Sabaoth,' they're gonna have to think twice. This is a magickal, powerful journey into the dark corners of the mind; of life, lust, and death. Glenn and the boys (guitarist Tommy Victor, and drummer Johnny Kelly) really rip it up here, and the diversity of the songwriting is apparent. I wasn't expecting much, but this definitely is a damn good album to say the least. Heavy riffs, searing melodies, and pounding drums really bring the point across. And the point is, is that Danzig is back, and with a vengeance. I now realize there's no limits to this man's creativity! This is prime Danzig with a little sprinking of Samhain over the top. Sounds delicious? Yes, deliciously evil, that is. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be disappointed if Glenn played this entire album live and forget the casual fans just there to hear the hits. All of this begs this question; could this very well be one of the best albums in the Danzig catalog? I believe so, and truly I feel this will rank very favorably with the classicks from years gone by and become a classick of its own. To all the detractors out there, can you feel it? -DN
The Astonishing Fury Of Mankind
France has not only the sights and scenes that millions have come to enjoy over the past years but also has the sounds to match. With the debut release of "The Astonishing Fury Of Mankind," by Darkness Dynamite this metalcore rock n'roll sensation shall determine whether music will remain the same boring self it has been or, soon to be blown away with a completely different style and tone. With the success of the band's first EP "Through the Ashes of the Wolves," and constant touring with international metal bands from all over, Darkness Dynamite has made themselves well known in the eyes of metalheads from all around the globe thus far into their career. But now that they've got what it takes, can is to become of their debut efforts? Nothing except pure rock n'roll entertainment, throwing out 11-tracks of heart pulsing guitar blasting solos with drumming tempos to back it all up. While the vocals sing out loud mastering it altogether. Each of the 11-tracks offered not only expresses the band's creative talents through the many influences they?ve been inspired with, but allows them to craft together the music that sets them aside from all the other bands in this industry. "Supernatural," begins with such raw in your face emotion and energy impact all the instruments build up fast and heavy maintaining that musical influences just torn out from legendary acts Metallica to Motley Crue down to Pantera. "15$," takes the music to a whole new level having the vocals be more intense and heavier than the opener. The instruments slowly come in and out at certain times being mellow at some points and then become heavy in other areas where the vocals come back in. With such thundering force it's unbearable. "Vice," on the other hand seems to maintain that same source of energy that the opener had intended to do and accomplished. Except one minor factor the guitars and drums used this time around are ten times faster and send out those vibrations that make your ear drums burst. The vocals are a little less fast paced but manage to keep up with the instruments as they manage to blast on through the entire song's progress. Overall Darkness Dynamite's debut tends to affect the metalhead era of a new generation one that will be on their knees begging for more!
Dolor: Lila (Book 1)
by Rick Florino
artwork by Tony Caso
(New American Deities)
Lila, book 1 of the Dolor saga, is a truly inspired and unique work by entertainment writing veteran Rick Florino. The Dolor Series is based around a man’s discovery of a series of journals inside a burning house somewhere in the small town of Dolor. The first journal is the tragic account of a little girl named Lila whom drowned in a lake and her father’s search to uncover the truth of what happened to her that day that ultimately lead to her death. Lila’s father, Caleb, is a police officer in the town of Dolor. Shortly after Lila’s Death Caleb is forced by a demonic stuffed teddy bear to recount the month leading up to his daughter’s death and his wife’s decision to leave them both and the town of Dolor behind for good. The story is coupled with illustrations by Tony Caso which lead the reader to believe some other worldly demonic force is at play here in this town of Dolor when in fact the story is a good old fashioned American made tragedy. Florino’s simplistic style of writing allows the reader’s minds to throw their own ideas into the piece and enhance the depth of the let down at the end of the novel as every good tragedy should do. I highly recommend reading this book and recounting it whenever you find yourself sucked into one of those mind numbing 3AM phone conversations about love and relationships and life and blah blah--you be sure to think twice next time your girlfriend gives you one of those creepy little talking Build-A-Bears! -Blue Mayhem
DOLOR: CHRISSY, Book II
Story by Rick Florino
Art by Kristel Lerman
Published by New American Deities
Here’s an exciting new literary ‘horror party’; DOLOR: CHRISSY, a one-two punch by the words of Rick Florino and the art of Kristel Lerman. Each perfectly complements the other—as they should—but it begs the question, would DOLOR be worth it without one or the other? Possibly…Lerman’s art could rule any gallery, even without the literary framework of Florino’s story…but DOLOR would be a rather pedestrian reading experience without the art. That’s not to say it’s bad. As a vampire story, it’s in an exceedingly popular genre, and Florino does inject a bit of mystery and romance into its brief 42 pages. CHRISSY is the second in a series of ten illustrated novellas set in the town of Dolor (“The City You Can’t Leave”), and in CHRISSY, an EMT named Rob is stood up by one date, then run over by a criminal waitress, then rescued by a beautiful ‘stalker’. More drama ensues, but far be it from me to spoil its plot. I just wish there had been some sex to go with the romance, or a few more horror scenes. Luckily, when there is a horror scene, Kristel Lerman fleshes it out for you in graphic detail. CHRISSY seems to stop just as it’s getting interesting, but perhaps that will entice readers to buy the next installment of the DOLOR series. The only other downside to DOLOR: CHRISSY is that it’s priced a bit high; $15.00 for 42 pages (Although CHRISSY also includes two bonus poems from Florino’s poetry collections). The review copy was a PDF file so perhaps the physical book is large enough (or perhaps in hardcover?) to justify that cost…you could get an offbeat read and then decorate your crib with the art. Otherwise, I wouldn’t mind checking out what happens next in the DOLOR series if it wasn’t prohibitively priced…and I hope to see more artistic works by Ms. Lerman soon.
(3 out of 5 CRYPTS for the story; 4 out of 5 CRYPTS for the art.)
www.bookofdolor.com, www.rickflorino.com. -KK
GHOST MONTH is Director Danny Draven’s (DEATHBED) attempt to mine some chills from the Asian horror Genre (The Ring, The Grudge, etc.), and he succeeds in making a slick mystery, if not a particularly jolting horror film…GHOST MONTH would be an instant hit on LIFETIME, and could otherwise be the first “G-rated” Horror Film.
Ditching her abusive boyfriend, Marina Resa runs off to the middle of nowhere to be the housekeeper for Chinese recluse Shirley To and her quiet aunt, Akiko Shima. She’s told that any wrong move during Ghost Month (turning around when your name is called, sweeping ashes when it isn’t warranted) will result in her being haunted by vengeful Chinese ghosts. Clueless caucasian that she is, the ghosts start hitting on her right away in glorious living color…echoes of THE RING and THE GRUDGE abound as phantoms and tentacle-like hair explode out of nowhere. As Ghost Month continues, our heroine’s hallucinations (or perhaps visitations) get worse and worse until she’s seemingly raped by a ghost. Her reality isn’t much better, as her employers get nastier, the only neighbor for miles around seems to have stalker tendencies, her abusive ex is tracking her down, and she’s stuck. No car, no one else to turn to, only intermittent access to a phone, and she’s on Jackrabbit Lane in West Nowhere, Colo-fornia. That provides GHOST MONTH with a good horror premise to build upon…the realization that your life depends on the kindness of strangers, and the discovery that most of them aren’t all that kind. GHOST MONTH isn’t an over-the-top shocker (perhaps some of you would like a break from that), but it does have an original story, a decent cast and effects, and a lesson well learned. (3 out of 5 Crypts—K.K.)
GOOSEBUMPS: Return Of The Mummy
GOOSEBUMPS: The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight
These two DVDs of GOOSEBUMPS are film adaptations of R.L. Stine’s childrens’ books. Return Of The Mummy features the title film and two others: Don’t Wake Mummy and You Can’t Scare Me! The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight also contains Don’t Go To Sleep and Calling All Creeps. Each of them involve cute kids tangling with the supernatural, and they’re subsequently about as scary as live-action Scooby Doo. Still, if you’re a parent with a penchant for horror, it’s best to give your kids some GOOSEBUMPS early on to get them accustomed to your own escalating weirdness. And if you’re dating a single mom (and who isn’t, nowadays), GOOSEBUMPS make a cool gift for her own spawn.
(Five Out Of Five CRYPTS (for kids), One Out of Five Crypts (for everyone else)—K.K.)
GRAVE WHISPERS by Ryan B. Clark
(Black Bed Sheet Books: www.downwarden.com)
Here’s the first BOOK review from CRYPT, and I’m proud to say it’s from Nicholas Grabowsky’s BLACK BED SHEET BOOKS…since Black Bed Sheet is also publishing my NEW collection, STAPLEGUN LOGIC: MORE INHUMAN RESOURCES this summer (buy it, Buy It, BUY IT, BUY IT!!! I promise you shan’t be disappointed).
Perhaps it’s a conflict of interest for me to review another author from the same publisher, but it got tossed into my lap, so here we go…
GRAVE WHISPERS is Clark’s first novel, and it’s a big ol’ slab of horror, weighing in at 474 pages. The cover art by Rebecca Hollingsworth depicts a lovely graveyard above a pristine gated community, but it’s a bit too lovely and pristine in my humble opinion for a horror novel cover. GRAVE WHISPERS revolves around Phillip Ormand, a shy and reclusive youth who’s born into a troubled family (Dad’s alcoholic, Mom sleeps around for marijuana) but becomes quite the artistic painter. Unfortunately his chief subject is the vengeful ghost of a satanic missionary, who has the power to kill with a glance. The more he paints him, the stronger the ghost becomes. Phillip and the ghost (“Francis B’Jorness”) are seemingly dependent on each other, with disastrous results for anyone who gets between them….
(When Phillip is bullied on the school bus--)
“His body was lifted into the still space of shocked lack of breath and the air in the claustrophobic bus was still and dead. The boy spun, it was a display spinning under the glass at a museum; everyone could see. The bleeding eyes hanging from fried, black optical nerves…the trails of red gore across cheeks hollow with the lack of fleshy insides…the lips left tangled and ripped over the remains of vilely shattered teeth…the smoking guns of nostrils and ears that steamed like volcano vents. Rodney Roadham was cooked from the inside, and no child, no matter how horrible, deserved to die like that.”
As you see, Clark can conjure up a death scene worthy of Clive Barker. (When the demon attacks, I was reminded of the murders in the film Darkness Falls.) Unfortunately, if you’re truly a hardcore horror freak, you have to wait 86 pages before reading another one. In the meantime, Clark also adds in a succubus, a vigilante killer who’s also linked to B’Jorness, and a love interest for Phillip who hears voices (also, the requisite small-town sheriff and priest). These characters would make for a decent cast, if only there was a bit more cohesion to the story. Clark’s narrative leaps around from year to year (1978 to 1989 to 1991 to 2005) as well as from place to place. It’s somewhat risky to do that in one’s first novel; some readers are apt to be baffled and frustrated. Clark also tends to overwrite some scenes and there should have been a bit more proofreading (the vigilante’s car of choice is a ‘Camaro’, for example). Still the heart of a strong horror story beats within Grave Whispers, making Ryan B. Clark a writer to watch.
(3 out of 5 CRYPTS)—K.K.
Directed by Craven Moorehead, Starring Brittney Skye, Eva Angelina, Charmaine Star, Teanna Kai, Gigi; based on the Verotik Comic by Edward Lee.
It’s always cool to see a modern XXX feature taking a stab at adding an actual plot, or an interesting character, or virtually anything at all besides wham-bam-thank ya ma’am. GRUBGIRL does this by introducing Edward Lee’s Verotik comic character of a zombie hooker. You certainly don’t see that every day. It doesn’t hurt that the title character is played by the white-hot Brittney Skye, either. Skye is beyond reproach in XXX films, and I suspect she’s the reason you don’t see much of Jenna Jameson around anymore. It’s a bit jolting to see her as a brunette for once…make that a decomposing brunette…but her awesome body takes a knockin’ and keeps on rockin’. She actually has lines for once, too. GRUBGIRL takes on guys and girls alike, with voracious oral skill, and there’s a bit of bloodshed to go along with the sex but thankfully not wholesale gore of the SAW variety. It’s also rather short for an adult film but it delivers plenty of bang for its buck.
(4 out of 5 CRYPTS—K.K.)
Lust In Space
(Metal Blade Records)
Gwar the act that has amazed and soaked us head to toe in blood and anything and everything they could possibly think of during their live performances..... But once the band departs the stage and goes behind closed doors it's a whole another story....a story made of lyrics and instruments rounded off to become "Lust In Space." A celebration of the band's twenty-five years of being together makes this a celebration indeed. This time around this album impacts the band as a whole and demonstrates the bands' creative ways instantly. The lyrics are clearly driven directly to the music and mixtures it all together into a nice rounded piece of art. Speaking of artwork the cover design it's placed into full effect here and captures the bands' uniqueness all over. -Napy
Hail Of Bullets
(Metal Blade Records)
Hail Of Bullets "Warsaw Rising" features Gorefest drummer Ed Warby, Thanatos guitarists Stephan Gebdi and Paul Baayens, along with former Pestilence/Asphyx singer Martin Van Drunen and former bassist Theo van Eekelen of Houwitser. This time around Hail Of Bullets have unleashed their brand new EP entitled 'Warsaw Rising," a collection of 6-tracks that blow their previous works to dust. The instruments play out loud and clear never wanting to stop letting the lyrics gather their thoughts and creative ways and send out a series of notes that never get old. The music presents itself fast and with raw heavy detail that keeps the music in high motive emotion. Guitarists play right on through each of the songs engraved upon this EP delivering an exposure of supreme power and an adrenaline rush you'll be feeling all over your body. For instance "Liberators, and "Destroyer," take the cake when it comes to this EP. Expressing intensity so strong with emotion it overwhelms you as soon as you hear the first note. The lyrics are powerful and really impact the band as a whole and showcase Hail Of Bullet's capabilities all over, be sure not to miss out on all the fun and excitement that these guys can deliver. You will not be disappointed.
League Of Shadows
A rock band with a dream to succeed in life, but isn't that the dream lifestyle that every band and artist wants? The answer is yes but there is one band based out of Chicago, IL that wants that dream so much more than anyone else in this music industry. They're called League of Shadows and are happy to announce their forthcoming release upon the masses entitled "Resurrection." To this band, music is no less than a righteous, living and breathing entity with a powerful force that just wants to live and breathe all on its own. They've placed themselves on the high ranking systems of the rock and roll world, where they gaze at their glory shining a new light of hope and happiness that is the light of classic rock.
Raised from the ground up, and taking their very first steps of childhood these toddler-hood brothers known as Nick and Marko Akrap were inspired from day one to form League of Shadows after experiencing an epiphany in which their mission in music was to become clean and clear for everyone to bear witness too. Since then, the decades have gone throughout the fusing sounds of their own take on the rock and roll scene in 2009 and behold look what they've done! These brothers were joined by Eddie Gerber on lead guitar, and Rico Haron on bass, with Ant Capers on the drums, thus creating a force field of absolute madness that cannot be controlled. The group's chemistry alone is electric and spiritual in all ways possible bringing out that brightness of pure hope and fortune. With the four tracks posted on the band's official website www.leagueofshadows.net they have more than enough accomplishments under the belt. Allowing the mission of "Resurrection," to slowly unfold itself, letting the influences of Pink Floyd to Def Leppard take their proper placement throughout building up their own originality of pure rock and roll music.
League Of Shadows is focused on promoting their latest release as much as possible, performing a free outdoor performance at Club Mirage in Schiller Park Illinois, to raise money for the deadly childhood disease, Lymphoma Cancer. For more information see the bands website.
Middle Finger Mob
Songs of Life, Sex, and Death
This is one Hell of a disc! This is straight up sleazoid rock n' roll (with a little bit of punk in there) from the streets of Hollywood. Played by a bunch of drugged-out, drunk kids (well, they're a little older than that) from the streets of Hollywood. These are not people that you wanna introduce to Mom and Dad. Great! So, what we have here is a true reflection of their environment, and they wear it proudly on their sleeves if the photo on the back cover is of any indication. It's about chasing the dream, wild parties, and lost love and lost friends (in this case the late Peppermint Creeps drummer Traci Michaelz) Again, this can be (and really is as a matter of fact) the soundtrack to the streets of Hollywood. And it sure sounds like it. Big choruses, smashing drums, and fiery guitar solos make this an exciting and rewarding listen. The production is pretty bare bones, but a big production doesn't really suit this type of music. The sound quality is pretty good though a bit dynamically compressed. Most modern discs suffer from this anomaly. But, who cares about my audiophile pretensions (sorry but the stereo system in the Crypt Magazine listening room reveals all, good or bad,) this is a disc that you wanna check out...before you check out, motherfuckers. -DN
Adios Puta Madres (Ministry’s Final World Tour)
Thinking they were some sort of Industrial/Gothic band, I’d always ignored MINISTRY in the past. Shame on me; ADIOS PUTA MADRES proves that Ministry puts on a hell of a show with plenty of punk and metal flavorings to go along with its Industrial roots…one wonders if their onstage chain-link fence is to protect the audience from the band, or vice versa. Scratch that…Ministry used to put on a hell of a show, but Al Jourgensen is apparently closing up shop. He explains: “I had a five-year plan to get out, so I wouldn’t end up like these other bands, that just tour forever…” If that’s the case, then ADIOS PUTA MADRES shows Ministry going out in style, with a live thirteen-song Audio CD, a live concert DVD with 15 songs (including a hilariously heavy cover of “What A Wonderful World”…it’s slightly like watching Slayer sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.) and an additional bonus DVD “Fuchi Requiem” with behind-the scenes rehearsals and band interviews mixed in with more life performances…you get to see Jourgensen meet Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top! (Again, slightly like watching Ozzy Osbourne meet Elvis.) Jourgensen’s assembled a Supergroup for his last tour, with Prong guitarist Tommy Victor and drummer Aaron Rossi, Revolting Cocks guitarist Sin Quirin, Static-X bassist Tony Campos, original keyboardist John Bechdel and special guest Burton Bell of Fear Factory. The resulting show is a blast furnace of punk/metal/industrial noise with just enough quality riffing to make it musical. You’ve got to have industrial or punk leanings to really appreciate Ministry (although their faster songs like “Let’s Go” will appeal to speed metal fans) but there are certainly enough fans of those genres to make ADIOS PUTA MADRES go platinum—and it deserves to.
(Five Out Of Five CRYPTS—K.K.)
Molotov Solution is the perfect solution to whoever has experienced a "bad day." "The Harbinger," delights and entertains from all angles possible embracing that over the edge in your face momentum. The 11-tracks alone set the whole theme Molotov Solution is dishing out, with "Living Proof," along with the title track both of which go down the lines of sounding a lot like Impending Doom and Unearth. Molotov Solution's instrumental sides take a whole new effect allowing the guitars and drums to work together maintaining that instrumental flow of energy that goes along with the vocal tones. The guitar riffs thunder their movements all throughout the album as well as the drums that do the same, having a much more fast approach that backs up the guitars raging solos whereas the vocal chords just slowly but surely slither their way through. Molotov Solution's 'The Harbinger,' is indeed a fast driven in your face energy blaster that will surely attack you head as soon as you hear the first listen.
Women and Children Last
The Murderdolls are back from the dead with their new album “Women and Children Last.” Joey and Wednesday’s new collaboration has similar sounds that “Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls” had. All though the overall tempo is a bit slower but the songs are better put together. Lyrically this album is much darker with a lot less word play. Wednesday’s voice resonates and Joey’s drumming is always super tight. “Chapel of Blood” and “Bored’ Til Death” are very aggressive, punch you in the face songs. While “Nowhere” and “Nothings Gonna Be Alright” are instant sing-a-longs and “Rock N Roll Is All I Got” and “Hello, Goodbye, Die” are just badass. Here is the track listing.
The World According To Revenge
Chapel Of Blood
Bored’ Til Death
Drug Me To Hell
Death Valley Superstars
My Dark Place Alone
Blood Stained Valentine
Pieces of You
Rock N Roll Is All I Got
Nothing’s Gonna Be Alright
Hello, Goodbye, Die
I definitely give this album a passing grade and recommend it to anybody who likes the first Murderdolls’ album or Wednesday’s solo projects Wednesday 13 or the Frankenstein Drag Queen’s from Planet 13. If you didn’t like the first album they haven’t changed dramatically so you probably won’t like this one. I, personally, am a fan and this album hasn’t left my car stereo since I got it and I can’t wait to hear it live. -Creeper
Neaera - Omnicide
Germany has dished out a handful of various artists and bands from the metal genre for some time now and they don't plan on stopping anytime soon. An extreme metal outfit Neaera has released their fourth album ""Omnicide - Creation Unleashed," a 10-track selection of tunes that bashes together metalcore with melodic death metal to combine a sensational rhythm sounding slightly similar to Amon Amarth's style. The guitars are fast and drive this express but raw pulse wave of energy that gets in your face with each riff played. The break-through solos and breakdowns set the whole scene perfectly letting the vocals and drum tactics build up piece by piece in the end creating a upbeat sense of style all its own. Opening the album is 'I Loathe," a brutalizing tune with force your ear drums can only withstand for so long. The vocals directly drive themselves forward letting the drumming in the background follow through with the guitar riffing ground breaking solos that keep on pushing. "Grave New World," takes the next step up creating a sensational tone and beating that lets the vocals constantly spinning and growling until their sore and worn out having the remains drip along the sides of the vocalist's mouth. Whereas "I am The Rape," takes matters into their own hands and continues this upbeat tone of music drowning out the other tunes mentioned to pieces, letting this conclusion to "Omnicide - Creation Unleashed," end on a high note. Neaera's album contains high energy that truly delivers and doesn't stop to take a break when expressing itself musically and will forever rein the height in this band's musical career until the band is dead and securely buried.
New York Dolls
'Cause I Sez So'
'One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This' was a great album. It proved to the world that the Dolls were indeed back, and with a vengeance. Their new cd, 'Cause I Sez So,' pushes this notion further. With bluesy swagger, beautiful harmonies, and pure emotion. The music on this cd is very real and tangible. A "reach out and touch" quality. On top of that, the production and sound quality is superb. The playing is top-notch as well.
No, it isn't as raucous as the 70s albums (both of which you definitely should own,) but it has the same ebb and flow of those past albums.
The fact of the matter is, I really had trouble writing this review, because sometimes words don't describe the effect a piece of music can have on an individual. Just go and buy the damn thing. Why? 'CAUSE I SEZ SO!!!' -DN
Have Guitar, Will Travel
Roman Records (Distributed by Mailboat Records)
What can you say about Joe Perry that hasn’t already been said? Except, perhaps, Damn, I wish I was THAT guy? Four Grammy Awards, An Academy Award, 22 other awards, and 150—count ‘em—150 MILLION records sold over three decades with Aerosmith and his own solo career. Beat that. As you consider it, bear in mind, simply surviving being in Aerosmith is an accomplishment in itself. In the biography Walk this Way, a roadie admitted there was an “Eight Hour Rule” during an earlier Aerosmith tour: if a band member spent more than eight hours in their hotel room, you broke the door down to see if they were still alive. Yet, not only has Perry persevered through excesses akin to Keith Richards, he’s got the physique of an action hero—albeit a rock & roll action hero as opposed to a cinematic one.
So Joe’s fifth solo album Have Guitar, Will Travel deserves to go platinum as a tribute to the guitarist himself—and it should, due to his wide fan base. However, Have Guitar, Will Travel will probably knock a lot of those fans for a loop, at first.
When you think of Joe Perry, and the majority of his work with Aerosmith, you tend to think of blue-collar ‘street’ rock and roll; Boston nightlife on beer and steroids, cranked up to 11. Have Guitar, Will Travel proves Perry has traveled extensively, because the CD sounds nothing like Aerosmith, or even like his earlier work in the Joe Perry Project. After the opener “We’ve Got A Long Way To Go” has ended and the honky-tonk sounding “Slingshot” begins, any listener unfamiliar with Joe is grooving on it. Listeners familiar with Joe are thinking What Is This? Not in a bad way, although some will doubtlessly wish there was something more reminiscent of Aerosmith on the CD. Stick with it, though, and eventually you realize: This is a Jazz record…and a damned good one, at that. It doesn’t have sax or wind instruments, but it does have heavy keyboards and percussion (from no less than three drummers), even a glockenspiel. Joe’s bluesy riffs add a rock flavoring throughout, but the overall sound still has the improvisational, experimental quality of jazz. German vocalist Hagen has a low voice similar to Billy Idol’s or Jim Morrison’s, making some songs sound like The Doors reincarnated. Perry’s own vocals (he sings lead on four songs) are even lower, and unfortunately almost flat-sounding on “Oh Lord (21 grams)” and “Freedom”, but he deserves to deliver them any way he sees fit.
As the situation of ‘Smith remains up in the ‘Aer’ (sorry, couldn’t resist), perhaps there’s a deeper meaning to the title Have Guitar, Will Travel. In any event, the instrumental talent and collective fun of the work shines through the record. Buy Have Guitar, Will Travel just to pay tribute to Admiral Perry. ‘Cause as the Bulletboys wrote “Everybody’s talkin’ ‘bout the debt they Owed To Joe…” --KK
Can Iggy Pop do no wrong? The answer is no. With 'Preliminaires' he breaks convention and puts out an album not unlike 1999's 'Avenue B.' Some of his best lyrics are contained in that album, and the same goes for 'Preliminaires.'
But the subject matter here is entirely different. Instead of personal experiences, this album is based on a 2005 novel by French author Michel Houllebecq called 'The Possiblity of an Island.' The book is about death, sex, and the end of the human race. Well, Iggy Pop is no stranger to these subjects, but the presentation is entirely different. With mostly acoustic instrumentation and a deep croon that Iggy holds the patent to.
To quote Iggy himself;"I read the book with intense pleasure when it came out and, in my mind, I created music that would have been the music that I would hear in my soul when I read it."
Is this true? It sure sounds like it. This music is transcendent and satisfying. It's not a punk album, or a hard rock album, but it captures your imagination and stirs the soul. It's not pretentious in the slightest, and is captivating. It might even take your breath away, as corny as that may sound.
The bottom line is, Iggy nails it on this album. He's been doing this for years, and his music, whatever form it takes, has always been the real shit. -DN
Walk Through Fire
(Metal Blade Records)
RAVEN might not be God, but they are truly messengers of God. Let me explain… There’s a scene in the film QUILLS where the Marquis De Sade tells a priest “We eat, we sh*t, we f*ck, we kill and we die”. The priest replies “Yet we build cities, we compose symphonies, and we endure.” The former statement might be the philosophy of ‘nu-metal’ bands like Slipknot and Korn; the latter is the message of RAVEN: We Endure. It’s probably also the message of God: You can do it. Get up. Keep Going. Don’t let anything stop you. Over and over again, through three damned decades, they’ve broadcast the most upbeat battle cries: “No Pain No Gain”, “On The Wings Of An Eagle”, “Take Control”, “Roll With The Punches”, “To The Limit/To The Top”, “Break The Chain”, ad infinitum. And if there was ever a band that was entitled to sing the blues—but refuses to--it’s RAVEN. Never mind the hard luck stories you saw in THE STORY OF ANVIL; a freakin’ wall fell on top of guitarist Mark Gallagher and crushed his legs. This was after their house burned down. So WALK THROUGH FIRE is an apt title, and another great record from this criminally underrated band. RAVEN composes symphonies, all right, but they’re not for the faint of heart. Opener “Against The Grain” sounds like a helicopter taking off, then strafing your house. Joe Hasselvander’s battering drums propel the trio through a rollercoaster of riffs, and John Gallagher’s trademark six-octave scream has lost none of its volume. Raven generally only play at two speeds—fast (“Under Your Radar”), and insanely faster (“Attitude”)—but their true talent is in playing tightly enough together that their songs sound less like generic speed metal and more of a sound all their own. They do slow down for a few numbers, “Bulldozer” and “Long Day’s Journey”, and “Trainwreck” actually has a pop-rock feel while remaining extremely catchy. Throughout it all, Mark Gallagher creates some of the most unique notes ever heard on a guitar…listen to the solo in “Grip” and you’ll think that instrument is being TORTURED…is he using power saw on it? Another reviewer once wrote that Raven had the greatest hooks in the genre, and WALK THROUGH FIRE reaffirms it. Their sound might be a bit too fast and heavy for the mainstream rock crowd, but for heavy metal, RAVEN is practically unbeatable…and they still carry a positive message along with the carnage.
The CD also contains a cool cover of Montrose’s “Space Station #5”, played at their usual breakneck pace, and live versions of their classics “Live At The Inferno” and “Rock Until You Drop”. With all that going for it, WALK THROUGH FIRE is sure to become a classic heavy metal album. --KK
Against the grain
Walk through fire
Under your radar
Long day’s journey
Running in circles
Armaggeddon: the beginning
Space Station #5
Live at the Inferno
Rock until you drop
'Night of the Living Dead'
(Legend Films, Inc. & www.Rifftrax.com )
If any of you are fans of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000, you’ll be glad to know that particular crew is back in action with RIFFTRAX, a series of older horror films that can be viewed with or without the MST Critics’ corrosive yet comedic commentary. However, if you’re a fan of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, don’t listen to the commentary since you’ll be infuriated. It’d be like watching your grandmother being slapped repeatedly. If you’re not passionate about MST or NOTLD, then Rifftrax is truly cool, going from amusing to flat-out hilarious over the course of the film…I was laughing so hard I had to have woken my snoozing girlfriend 17 times. Having worked on several films, I know it’s a laborious experience that can break your back (watch BIOHAZARD: THE ALIEN FORCE to see me getting ground into the floor) and/or your bank...so in one sense it’s needlessly cruel and petty to mock a film all the way through. (Message to Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett: use the profits of RIFFTRAX to Write/Produce/Cast/Shoot/Edit/Distribute your own original movie, and send it to CRYPT for some ink…we’ll go real easy on ya.) Having said that, the RIFFTRAX narrators only mock the flaws of NOTLD…for example, its ‘heroine’ really IS the most useless character in horror film history (the actress didn’t get another film role for thirty years, and perhaps set the damnable precedent of women tripping, falling, complaining ). Otherwise, they just toss in wry in-jokes wherever possible, and there are too many to count. If you’d rather hear the MST critics beat down a different film, RIFFTRAX also offers LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, REEFER MADNESS, CARNIVAL OF SOULS, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE (They’re shouldn’t be too many defenders of that one), SWING PARADE and THE BEST OF RIFFTRAX SHORTS, Volumes 1 & 2. They’re all $9.95 apiece, available via www.rifftrax.com.
(Four out of Five CRYPTS—K.K.)
Scarlet Angel (Debut)
Here’s another GREAT American metal band that’s not afraid to do it their way: producing their own CD and marketing it everywhere aggressively. SCARLET ANGEL should be on a major label, but it seems as though major labels are trying to promote just the grungiest and darkest bands out there. SCARLET ANGEL aren’t grungy or dark, nor do they need to be. They bill themselves as ‘Baltimore’s finest predominately female metal band’, but the fact that three players in the quartet are female isn’t wildly relevant. They ought to bill themselves as Baltimore’s finest metal band, period. “The Coming Of The Angel” sets the tone of the CD much like Motley Crue’s “In The Beginning”, except that SA’s signature song “Scarlet Angel” blows “Shout at the Devil” out of the water. Lead singer Jackie Joyce is a siren of both the ‘air raid’ and ‘sweetly singing’ varieties, and guitarist Michelle Armiger lets loose a fusillade of power chords that instantly get your horns up. Drummer Kim Yates and bassist John Mooney propel the band through all their equally powerful songs. The overall sound is akin to Keel or Krokus; not wildly intricate, but a good mix of solid metal guitar and vocal that appeals to the widest range of rock fans. Lyrics range from post-armageddon orphans (“Iron Clad Warriors”) to warnings of female wiles (“I Won’t Hurt You”) to post-breakup guilt (“Fear the Night”) to a lament for lost veterans (“Airborne: Death From Above”) Only the rather plodding ‘gag reel’ of an ender (“Jack-O-Lantern”) falls slightly short…and not by much, either. Let’s hope SCARLET ANGEL hangs in there and delivers even more metal salvation! (5 out of 5 CRYPTS—K.K.)
Seventh Calling’s MONUMENTS sounds like a Hammer horror film in heavy metal form. From the opener “Dark Angel” and “Silent Screams”—two chilling anthems drenched in gothic-sounding melodies—you’ll think Damn, these tunes sound like they’re made for a horror movie. That would actually be a pretty clever marketing strategy on SEVENTH CALLING’s part. They actually perform their own horror tale in “The Damnation Trilogy”, a three-song suite (“The Process”/”Insanity”/”My Blood—Your Veins”) about a cryogenic freezing/cloning experiment gone terribly awry. They take on vampires in “Mercyless” and aliens in “Invasion”, but it’s not all horror. “Faces of Deception” is a beatdown for liars, while “Fight For Your Life” puts you in a modern war-zone. As a faster song, “Fight For Your Life” needed to come fourth on the CD since the slower songs preceding it—decent though they are—were in danger of putting SEVENTH CALLING in the ‘All the songs sound the same’ trap. As guitarists and vocalists, Lance C. Lange and Steve Handel are good, but not stellar. At least they’re singing and not croaking like so many other ‘vocalists’, and Handel’s scream of “FIIIIIIIGHT!!!” in “Fight For Your Life” will certainly wake up your neighbors. There are other power metal bands with a similar sound and more intricate guitar work and solos—DRAGONFORCE, HELSTAR and JAG PANZER come to mind—but that’s damned good company to be in, and any fans of that sound should enjoy MONUMENTS.
(Dark Moon Pictures/Barnholtz Entertainment/Lionsgate Films) Stars Crispin Glover, Blake Lively, Margo Harshman, Kelly Platz; Produced by Ernie Lively; Written & Directed by William Dear.
I’m guessing William Dear felt a little ‘held back’ by directing warm family fare such as Harry and the Hendersons and Angels in the Outfield, so now he’s pulling out all the stops with the crazed, over-the-top gorefest Simon Says. Just when you’ve thought you’ve seen every possible way to fold, spindle and mutilate the human body (in every horror flick from Friday The Thirteenth to Saw), Messrs. Dear and Glover prove you wrong by delivering death scenes of diabolical creativity. Glover plays Simon and Stanley, identical twins who are alternately mechanics, shopkeepers and homicidal maniacs in a rural town. When a group of nubile college-age campers visit his neck of the woods (a staple of the Barnholtz Horror Plot Playbook), they soon discover that Simon and Stanley have their campsite surrounded with deathtraps that make Saw’s look like a day spa by comparison. Simon’s weapon of choice is a pickaxe, but he doesn’t just swing one…his tow truck has them on catapults. (The DVD ought to have a special feature of “Count The Flying Pickaxes In This Scene”…and if they made a 3-D version, you’d probably flip behind your sofa for safety.) The film includes cringe-inducing scenes where a CD player is shoved into a victim’s head so the CD emerges from her mouth, and cinema’s first ‘death by marijuana’, in which Simon ties the campers’ stereotypical stoner to a tree, shoves a monstrous joint into his face and continually punches him in the stomach, forcing him to inhale until he catches fire. Some viewers will doubtlessly think “Now, that’s how I want to go out…minus the stomach-punches and burning, of course.”. Glover’s performance as a backwoods schizo is brilliant, up there with Anthony Perkins in Psycho, but his self-imposed stammer gets irritating since it seems to take forever for him to speak a complete line. (I’m scratching my head to remember a film where Glover didn’t play somebody with some sort of mental imbalance.) The aforementioned Stoner (Greg Cipes) also gives a standout comedic/dramatic performance—possibly horror’s first portrayal of ‘Stoner as Hero’—but it requires a huge suspension of disbelief to think someone could smoke weed for hours on end and then suddenly turn into MacGuyver. The actresses in the cast emote fairly well, although the script forces them into portraying jealous, self-centered in-fighters. There’s more humor than the average horror film…Cipes’ acoustic guitar song “When’re we gonna f**k the pain away” is hilarious, and the clever ending hints at a deserved sequel. Simon Says will appeal to any and all fans of Friday The Thirteenth, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Evil Dead as it combines all their best elements, and gore that would make Sam Raimi or Tobe Hooper jealous. Stuart Alson of Independent Film Quarterly has already called it “The Best Horror Film of 2009!” It may or may not be the best, but it’s up there. (Four out of Five Crypts—K.K.)
World Painted in Blood
Ugh…Slayer. What a fucking cool name for a band. Simply put I’m not a Slayer fan (blasphemy--I know!) But I did find a new found respect for them when I was rocking out to “World Painted in Blood” in my bedazzled blue VW beetle at a complete stand still on the 15. There’s nothing better then seeing the disgruntled faces of Top 40 addicts as they try and crank their Lady Gaga up to 11 to cover up the musical assault my speakers are waging on them, save for the horrified grimaces of parents toting their Mini Vans full of children home from day care as they try and weave through the stopped cars to spare their children’s virgin ears. Man, you gotta give it up for Vegas conservatives! Slayer fans will be elated to hear that “World Painted in Blood” delivers a power packed punch of true plain and simple metal with cut throat vocals inspired by serial killers and excessively elaborate guitar riffs that seem to go on forever. Slayer is metal done right through and through and their latest work brings their signature style as hard as ever. Yay! -Blue Mayhem
(Fourth Floor Pictures; Written/Produced/Directed by Ryan Cavalline.)
The depths of depravity have finally been breached. Sometimes you have to applaud filmmakers willing to go to ‘any lengths’; sometimes you have to say ‘Enough’. I will leave it up to the individual viewer to make that decision in the case of STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, but I will warn them that it’s one of the most brutalizing experiences ever set to celluloid. It begins with the message “There are more human slaves today than at any point in human history”, then a rather straightforward kidnapping explodes into an ongoing criminal enterprise of murder, white slavery, torture, prostitution, brainwashing, etc. If you’ve ever wanted to witness a black-market abortion being performed—or a prostitute being sodomized by an evil priest, here’s your big chance. Afterwards, check yourself into the nearest psycho ward. There is a good, anguished performance by a mobbed-up gangster trying to go straight (Todd David Humes); everyone else acts fairly well but they’re all homicidal scumbags …with the exception of the victims, who simply scream until your ears beg for mercy.
(One out of Five CRYPTS…K.K.)
(XXX) Spice Studios; Directed by Zenova Braeden, Created/Produced by Bob Johnson; Stars Amanda Emino, Regan Reese, Cassidy Blue, Katja Kassin and more.
THE TAUNTING gives XXX fans more ‘bang’ for their buck, by combining some wicked BDSM scenes with a Creep factor. A Grudge-like ghost (Lystra Faith) leads a young couple into an old dark house with a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on. Katja Kassin and a chained-up Lee Stone have a thrashing make-out session in a stairwell, reminiscent of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. A female three-way has two performers hung from the ceiling (for that well-hung feeling) while their mistress goes off on them with a strap-on. (and, while it might be a visual thrill to watch a girl suck a strap-on, one wonders what the point of it is…). Foot fetishists will rejoice over one of the hottest toe-fucking scenes ever taped. Most of the girls in THE TAUNTING are a treat for the eyes, especially Cassidy Blue in her flame-red latex get-up, but some of the male performers are a bit on the undernourished side (one ‘sub’ remains tied up for the whole scene and just sits there the whole time—let’s hope he got paid something). Bonus features include Zenova’s XXX scene with Regan Reese (At one point, Zenova must’ve said “All right, one of you bitches is gonna lick me…hmmm…YOU! Reese! Get over here.” Zenova’s getting a bit chunky now but she’s still attractive and sexually knowledgeable) and a masturbation scene from the ghost, Lystra Faith. Too bad there’s no actual story here, otherwise THE TAUNTING could be a work of art instead of porn. Still, even as porn, THE TAUNTING rises far above typical adult fare for its flair, eccentricity and production values.
(4 out of 5 CRYPTS—K.K.)
(Retromedia/Infinity Entertainment Group)
Twilight Vamps is yet another bad spin off capitalizing on the Twi-hard fan base. With minimal humor and a lack luster plotline its hard to imagine that even if underscored by Rob Pattinson’s incorrigible moaning--reminiscent of the sound of a dying orgasming cow--that this movie could be saved from bursting into flames in the sunlight of our minds. Twilight Vamps is the age old tale of a vampire coven opening a strip club and luring ill fated business men to their erotic doom. Starring Brandin Rackley, Ashley West, Christine Nguyen, and Beverly Lynne Twilight Vamps, which would have done well to have been named Twatlight Vamps, places a heavy emphasis on dildo less lesbian scissor sex which insights myself, not to mention most female viewers, to want to out and try it if for no other reason then that the concept of grinding less vagina bumping seems senseless at best. Probably the most disappointing part of the film was not the dripping blood and bat laden segways nor the epic failure of seeing immortal vampires in cheap plastic boned corsets (They should know better! Steel boned or bust!) but rather the most disappointing part was the way in which the vampires die. The protagonist accompanied by his trusty red dollar store lucky rabbits foot douses the lusty vampire vixens in cheap expired perfume and they merely evaporate into thin air…really? …REALLY?!? Is that seriously the best you’ve got? I do believe even if I watch Nosferatu on repeat for the next five years it would still be impossible to undue the damage Twilight Vamps has done to the vampire name. Epic fail… -Blue Mayhem
The Invocation Of Demise
(Metal Blade Records)
Valkyrja's "The Invocation Of Demise," is the debut attempt by black metal darknesses most roughest music around. The instrumentals are intense and bring out that raw intense emotional energy. Making you bring to mind Immortal and Dimmu Borgir status while listening to such tracks as "Plague Death," "Twilight Revelation," and "Sinister Obession." Just to name a few, which tend to dish out the most creative guitar riffs you'll ever hear. Not only mixing it up with the drums that share their part take with the guitars on these selected tracks, but the vocal chords bring out that rapture of the music. Rounding it altogether as a whole which captures Valkyrja at their most finest points. So we pretty much got it all covered instrumnetal wise and lyrical wise when listening to this album. It displays and clearly showcases this band's creative ways and they shall remain a band that will continue to grow as much as possible. Expanding their likeness of the darkness even further. There is nothing on here not to like.... You get it all when you listen to "The Invocation Of Demise." -Napy
'A METAL CRUSADE: Tribute to Saxon'
One of the sure signs that you’ve made your mark in music is when your band gets a tribute album.
The first in memory was A CALL TO IRONS, dedicated to Iron Maiden; then it was like a dam broke. Black Sabbath, Metallica, Judas Priest, Slayer, W.A.S.P., UFO, Venom…the list stretches on to include (Gaaakkk) Marilyn Manson and others, but finally tribute has been paid to Great Britain’s “Rolling Stones of Metal”, the indestructible SAXON.
Dwell Records actually released this CD in 2001, but you may have not have realized it, so I’m out to change that.
A METAL CRUSADE features 11 of Saxon’s best, from some known metal veterans (Agent Steel, Abbatoir) to some up-and-comers (Silent Shadows, Diary, Brazen, et.al.) STEEL PROPHET opens up with “The Eagle Has Landed”, with the vocals actually surpassing Biff Byford’s but the guitar work falling somewhat short of the sonic maelstrom Saxon created on that song (indeed, “The Eagle Has Landed” has some of the greatest riffs of all time).
OCTOBER 31 pounds “Power And The Glory” into the ground, making that classic even more fast and furious. DIARY channels the same speed and passion into their take on “20,000 Feet”, and AGENT STEEL unleashes their own brand of “Heavy Metal Thunder”. These first four songs are worth the cost of the CD itself! From there, though, it’s hit or miss. DECEASED plays “Fire In The Sky” reasonably well, but the vocals are from the grunt school. BLACK EARTH’s version of “Set me free” is an odd choice, as it’s a cover of a cover…but if Saxon gave that Sweet song steroids, BLACK EARTH gives it steroids and PCP…thrashing it out so hard and heavy you can barely understand it. PREMONITION plays “Dallas 1 PM” very well, as does TYRANT with “747/Strangers in the night”. BRAZEN slightly overreaches their ability with “This Town Rocks”—as most bands would if they tried to play metal and bluegrass at the same time—but they don’t butcher it, either. ABBATOIR turns “Motorcycle Man” into, you guessed it, an abbatoir of Motorhead-like thrash, and SILENT SHADOWS ends the CD on a softer, almost pop note with their version of “Rock and Roll Gypsy”…a version that might have climbed the charts when Poison was in their heyday.
Naturally, if you’re not a SAXON fan, you’re dismissed. If you are a SAXON fan, and you should be, track down this CD however you can, because it’s a great rendition of the songs of a great band. --KK
VICKTORY TO THE UNDERDOG: HELL AND BACK
This is probably the most important and relevant film CRYPT MAGAZINE has assigned me to review. I have watched, reviewed and enjoyed countless horror films that have contained unimaginable brutality without blinking an eye…however, filmed images of dogs being forced to fight and kill each other, for mere entertainment and profit, made the flesh almost crawl off my bones.
Anyone with access to any news at all has probably already knows of the decline and fall of the Atlanta Falcons’ Michael Vick, who has been prosecuted and imprisoned for illegal dogfighting. What they probably don’t know is…
A: Michael Vick is the tip of the iceberg, the One Who Got Caught. Georgia is the shameful ‘dogfighting capital of America’. It’s not illegal to raise fighting dogs or bring fighting dogs into the state. It IS illegal to actually force dogs to fight, but it’s a misdemeanor. Now that the Vick Dogfighting scandal has drawn national attention, the Georgia legislature is raising the criminal penalties for dogfighting. Meanwhile, when authorities bust a dogfight, everyone in attendance immediately says “That’s not MY dog” and swears innocence and anonymity, making that particular festival of scumbags almost impossible to prosecute. So Dogfighting marches sickeningly onwards.
B: The Pit Bulldogs seized from Michael Vicks’ estate…cruelly chained to car axles or radiators…were held as evidence, then sent to ‘Kill Shelters’ (an oxymoron if there ever was one). Once their legislative worth was done, they were effectively scheduled for ‘termination’.
C: There’s an undeclared war against the Pit Bulldog here in the United States; the municipality of Denver in particular will impound and kill your dog if it has enough ‘Pit Bull’ in its lineage. Something like nine million dogs are killed each year nationwide, with 85% of them being pit bulls. The prevailing ideology is that the Pit Bulldog is inherently dangerous; this film might change your mind.
Renowned tattoo artist Brandon Bond directs this eye-opening documentary…which could be blared all over ANIMAL PLANET and elsewhere if it didn’t have an arsenal of F-Bombs…and nearly drops the ball with too much self-promotion and introspection early on. But he redeems himself—and more importantly, some of Michael Vick’s nearly-doomed dogs—when he and his crew step in to rescue them. One of the dogs has been starved to death’s door, but Brandon and his wife are able to nurse it back to health. His friend Devon nurses another Pit named “Seven” (after Vick’s NFL number) back to health, only to see her die months later in an auto accident. The experience leads Bond to other dog lovers: Actors Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman and Donal Logue add their insights, as well as tattoo celebrity Pixie Acia, and most importantly Tia Torres, owner of VillaLobos Rescue…and who has 200 Pit Bulldogs WAITING TO BE ADOPTED! So get there NOW and adopt one…as long as you want a Pit Bull for a friend, not a status symbol. You can also get involved via—
VICKTORY TO THE UNDERDOG also has an ass-kicking soundtrack with equal amounts of raging rock, rap and celebrity soundbites. All in all, this is a great documentary that demands to be seen.
Five out of Five CRYPTS.
Veil Veil Vanish
Change in The Neon Light
Veil Veil Vanish--Hell yes! Have I mentioned my uninhibited love of little Goth boys lately? Well Veil Veil Vanish is no exception. Their latest effort “Change in the Neon Light” lands them somewhere in the misty in between juxtaposed the likes of The Cure, Diary of Dreams, and Joy Division and I love them all the more for it. Their crooningly somber lyrics and flair for dark wave had me at first listen. As if they needed to win me over any more they sight their signature sound as a fusion between New Wave, Dark Wave, and Cold Wave…but different. There is nothing I love more then Goth boy logic when it comes to music labels. So as I began my pursuit of pinning down just how Cold Wave differs from Dark and New Wave respectively I asked my favorite R&B obsessed pixie stick toting partner in crime to explain the concept to me. She went on to detail that Cold Wave is so named for the Emo boys who sit alone in the corner and cry. This apparently makes them cold so as they need to watch porn on their I Phones to get their blood flowing and warm them up. Dark wave she recalled was for the Goth boys who always wear black clothes and eyeliner--which is dark, and New Wave was for the Top 40 kids because Top 40 is always new….Sadly my cookie cutter Drake Groupie of a bestie with no actual musical knowledge was not so far off. This CD is at its core a concept album but is coupled with strong stand alone tracks that any one of which would make a solid single and if this was in fact 1984 could easily fit into the Top 40 charts. The melancholy brooding lyrics will appeal to the pathetic little Emo child that lives inside all of us only to be awakened when jaded by a lover of downcast by a close-minded conservative society. The ethereal mingling of the guitars and bass coupled with the styling of a garage sale keyboard one can only hope will provoke that innate sense in little Goth boys around the world that yes it is really worth it even in theses times of recession and economic hardship to put on those trench coats and spend that extra $6.47 on eyeliner every month once again. Veil Veil Vanish, I commend you. -Blue Mayhem
A “Kinder, Gentler” W.A.S.P.? Say it ain’t so, ho! I’m afraid so. But not to worry, this new offering from W(e)A(re)S(exual)P(erverts) goes down pretty easy, not unlike your sister. Call BABYLON “W.A.S.P. Lite”, if you will. It rocks, of course, there’s no way it couldn’t…it just doesn’t throw you into a bondage-harness and threaten you with death like their earlier albums did. And I for one think that’s a good thing. Blackie Lawless wanted to be a heavier/more modern Alice Cooper, and succeeded to an extent, but W.A.S.P. always seemed to have more props than chops. Alice Cooper made ‘shock-rock’ first; Black Sabbath and Venom had sicker lyrics and more pyro; Motley Crue and Poison garnered more sex appeal, and the Big 4 (Metallica/Megadeth/Anthrax/Slayer) played harder and faster. So W.A.S.P.’s blend of sex/sin/shock rock never made them Metal Gods, but they’ve had a hell of a career, regardless. At first listen, BABYLON comes off like Judas Priest’s TURBO…something of an experiment, but a well-deserved one from a band that’s done everything else already. Opener “Crazy” sounds a bit like “Wild Child” from THE LAST COMMAND, only softer. “Live To Die Another Day” is a rollicking anthem, apparently celebrating Blackie’s born-again Christianity (and goes to show you can be Saved and still keep your metallic ‘nads). Their cover of Deep Purple’s “Burn” is freakin’ awesome—W.A.S.P. shreds the hell out of this song, even without keyboards. “Burn” also seems to be the high point of the album…not that the other songs are bad, they’re just kind of there. “Godless Run” seems to be a refutation of rock and roll excess, and “Babylon’s Burning”, “Thunder Red”, and “Seas of Fire” all sound like the Book of Revelation set to a fierce yet light style of heavy metal. Throughout, the guitars sound as if they’re synthesized, but the drums are heavy as hell. You might even detect a C&W/Bluegrass groove going on within the songs “Into The Fire” and “Promised Land”. Anyone who liked THE LAST COMMAND will like BABYLON; anyone who thought K(ill)F(*ck)D(ie) was W.A.S.P. at their best, has another thing coming. For my part, it’s a damned cool album. (Four out of Five CRYPTS.) -KK
Hellbilly Deluxe 2
Rob Zombie is packing his directorial bags and hitting the proverbial road back to Rock ‘n’ Roll hell with 'Hellbilly Deluxe 2.' Always the innovator Rob Zombie’s twisted sense for smattering song lyrics with sex and the undead never fails to amuse me, however, I have to disagree with his choice to open his CD with the anthemia lyric’s “All Hail Jesus Frankenstein”. This whole concept of “All Hail Satan!” was played out by the ‘80’s and now has digressed into every single rock band trying to dispense their own take on the satanic siren song. Oh dark lord, I implore you, gag me with a spork and get it over with already! I will say overall I was thoroughly pleased with the album. I was happy to see that Mr. Zombie has moved to a more anthemic form of rock from his past radio friendly dance-esque efforts of yesteryear. With Catchy repetitive lyrics I’m certain the new material from 'Hellbilly Deluxe 2' will be kicking ass and taking names when Rob Zombie hits the road on this years Mayhem Fest. Horns High. -Blue Mayhem
© 2009-2013 Crypt Magazine. All Rights Reserved.