Fleshgod-Apocalypse-King-500x500When you think of Death Metal, the places that come to mind are Sweden, Poland, Norway, and Florida (among other places in the US because history has given us bands like Possessed (US), Behemoth (Poland), At The Gates (Sweden), and a young Darkthrone (Norway) before they turned to Black Metal. What if I told you that there was a death metal band from Italy? If you know the band I am referring to then props to you, but if you do not then I am talking about Fleshgod Apocalypse. The band is currently on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and I figured I would check out one of their albums and I am going with their fourth studio album King. The band at the time was made up of Paolo Rossi (Bass/Clean Vocals), Francesco Paoli  (Drums/Guitars), Cristiano Trionfera (Guitar), Francesco Ferrini (Piano), and Tommaso Riccardi (Vocals/Guitar) who would leave the band in 2017 making this his last album with them. When describing the concept of the record, Tommaso told Decibel Magazine, “The King in this album represents the brave part of ourselves: the one we should cultivate to become strong and rise again from this Dark Age. He’s the only positive figure of this story—a man who has integrity and love for the values and truth that we all should hope for ourselves. All the other characters in the court represent the fears that can lead us to make everything worse. They try to affect the King’s decisions for their own advantage and hope for a loss of power, regardless of the suffering they’re going to create for their own world and people. As we already said when we presented King to our fans, we should all hail the King who lives inside every one of us.”

FLESHGOD-APOCALYPSE---KING-2016-German-Gold-LP-21. Marche Royale– an instrumental that slowly fades in kicks off the album and it kind of sets the tone for what to expect in this album conceptually. 4.5/5

2. In Aeternum– It continues right into this track that kicks off with some epic playing from the band and some insane double bass barrage that will have you headbanging. The title is Latin for Forever and that could be a direct hint to the theme where the King is saying that I am forever meaning his bloodline. 5/5

3. Healing Through War– The all out metal assault continues on this track as the band talks about how a general or war minster looks at war as the answer to solve societies problems. The track also contains a speech from ‘De Bello Gallico’ by Julius Caesar. Musically this is a dynamo track featuring an amazing guitar solo and some awesome drumming from Paoli. 5/5

4. The Fool– I thought that this was an interesting track lyrically because one look at the title and one could say it’s about a jester or fool. It seems to me they are talking about a man who wished for certain things and is now paying for it dearly because he is now the fool. It starts with the jesters song before launching into a symphonic metal assault. 4.5.5

5. Cold As Perfection– I see a lot of influence on this track from what Dimmu Borgir has done in the past and it works beautifully. It seems like the King in this track is trying to persuade a woman who has been down on her luck or as equally cold as him to join him. I could be wrong. This is one of two tracks that features Nate Kantner doing a speaking role. 4.5/5

6. Mitra-Mitra is a Indo-Iranian divinity that has been known as the protector of truth and order. I’m not sure in the context of this hammering track what they are talking about with mentions of the birth of christ, God of scum, and lord of cum. 4/5

7. Paramour (Die Leidenschaft Bringt Leiden)Die Leidenschaft Bringt Leiden literally translates to The passion brings suffering. It features lyrics taken from Trilogie der Leidenschaft’ by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe and Veronica Bordacchini sings soprano on this uncharacteristic track by a death metal band. 4/5

FLESHGOD-APOCALYPSE-King-LP-2-400x4008. And The Vulture Beholds– After a little break, it’s back to the symphonic operatic death metal that we love. I am trying to figure out the lyrics to the song because it seems that it’s about the devil saying that he wants to rise from hell and take the crown that is rightfully his. The semetrics are there with words like Lion (God), but then again it could be about the heir to the throne wanting to take his rightful place. 4/5

9. Gravity– The track opens and pummels through with an intensity that reminds me of Morbid Angel in a track that could be talking about the effects of greed or drugs. 5/5

10. A Million Deaths– The track keeps the all out assault raging forward with some amazing guitar work in this track about honor through war and showing your devotion to your king. 5/5

11. Syphilis– A seven plus minute epic from the band showcasing their talent musically. The track once again features Veronica Bordacchini in this track that seems to be a call and response track between the King and his Queen where the King wants to protect his bloodline at all costs while she just wants him to protect her now. 5/5

12. King– a four minute piano track closes out the album kind of bringing an end to this epic journey that we were on. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is actually the very first record that I have ever heard from these guys and this was quite the journey musically. I love the fact that they are not afraid to keep a sense of nationalism in adding the operatic material to their arsenal. It definitely differentiates them from the rest of the herd and I won’t knock that. My favorite tracks on the album are In Aeternum, Healing Through War, and Syphilis. My least favorite track to be honest is probably Mitra only because of the lyrical content making no sense to me. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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110430One of my first memories of industrial metal giants Ministry is the image of the cassette my brother gave me and the title that came with it. I will never forget reading the words The Land Of Rape And Honey and being so confused because I was only 11 at the time. If you wondering about the title of the band’s third album which was released on October 11, 1988 it was taken off a slogan that Tisdale, Saskatchewan used since their most major export was rapeseed and honey. The band at the time of the release was made up of Al Jourgensen (Vocals, Guitars, Programming, Production) and the first appearance of Paul Barker (Bass, Keyboards, Programming, Production) as a member of the band. The album also featured William Rieflin (drums, programming, keyboards, guitar) and Eddie Echo also served as a producer. The album did pretty well for the band as it peaked at 164 on the Billboard Top 200 and it was certified Gold by 1996. Al Jourgensen has gone on to say that even though this is the third album, he feels that this is the first true Ministry record and it’s still one of his favorites.

ministry1. Stigmata– Widely considered Jorugensen’s least favorite song because it was, “too simplistic. His complaint was that the song did not have any guitars on it but were all sampled; using only two chords in every riff and the second one was bent with a pitch shifter.” Still one of the coolest and intense tracks in my opinion that paved the way for every one else. 5/5

2. The Missing– A hard charger that drives with a punk attitude and that metal tinge in a track that I think is about Jesus considering they are talking about someone who is preparing to be a Martyr. I love the overall beat of this track, it’s a banger for sure. 5/5

3. Deity– It follows the same idea, but more drum driven at times and you can definitely see where the influence comes for bands like Fear Factory. The track is about how we worship the television and we believe everything we see. 4/5

4. Golden Dawn– A very cool track that features samples of Aleister Crowley and his Call of the First Aethyr as well as samples from the film The Devil, and Israel Regardie translating the English version of the First Enochian Key in this song about cultism. 5/5

5. Destruction– An instrumental track that has more of that industrial dance beat to it that we’ve known from these guys. 4/5

6. Hizbollah– a track that samples Fairuz’s Kad Ataka in the track which adds a middle eastern flow to the industrial track. 4.5/5

the-land-of-rape-and-honey-4f5c472a832e37. The Land Of Rape And Honey– One of my favorite tracks on the album that has that beat that you just feel has been sampled in Hip Hop or even some early 90’s pop music. The track si all about nationalism and how it has gotten the world into trouble before. 5/5

8. You Know What You Are– An amazing track right from the get go with this fast paced industrial dance beat which samples The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for it’s chorus as well as a laugh from Fistful Of Dollars, samples from Alien and Platoon. 5/5

9. I Prefer– A bass driven track with that drum machine sound helping drive the song forward complete with a vacuum sound effect in it. You can see some of the influence in this track that Trent Reznor would take. This is also a track that Chris Connelly sings lead vocals on. 4/5

10. Flashback– A very angry track complete with samples of the film Platoon within this industrial metal dance track. 4/5

11. Abortive– An industrial instrumental complete with samples from NASA. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is the album that started it all for Ministry fans and it’s definitely one of my personal favs. Jourgensen and co. definitely paved the way for everyone else in the industrial metal scene. My favorite tracks on the record are definitely the title track, You Know What You Are, and The Missing. My least favorite track is probably Deity and Abortive. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

One of my favorite segments that I used to do on this blog some time ago is the What If… posts. It was a post that was meant to suspend reality and imagine if something was real or the norm. We’ve done What Ifs that made you imagine what it would have looked like if certain titles came out on VHS. I had another What If that imagined horror icons as beach models or just models in general. It’s just a fun little segment to help us suspend our beliefs even if only for a few minutes which brings me to today’s What If. Today’s What If is our tenth one that we have done overall and today we imagine horror films as a popular teen book line of the 90’s. I am sure anyone that grew up in the 1990’s remembers how Iconic R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books were because I would get as many as I could at the school book fair. Now, let’s imagine what if some of your favorite horror films like Halloween, Child’s Play, The Thing, The Exorcist, A Nightmare On Elm Street, and so much more were Goosebumps books. That is exactly what horror fan Cam (@maskman93) did when he posted them on his Instagram page. Cam did such a bad ass job making thebooks look so believable. If you didn’t know any better you might think that these were the actual books. I am only presenting three of them to you guys because if you want to see any more then click on his username in the paragraph and check out the rest.

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crow soundtrackI honestly believe that if you were to ask me what were some of the greatest movie soundtracks of the 1990’s, one of them would definitely be the original soundtrack to the 1994 film The Crow. The Crow was a film that starred the late Brandon Lee that was based off of a comic book created by James O’Barr about a man who comes back from the grave thanks to a crow to have vengeance against those who killed him and his fiance. The soundtrack featured some of the best 90’s alternative acts like The Cure, The Jesus and The Mary Chain along with some really awesome up and comers in the Industrial rock scene like Machines Of Loving Grace, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult, and the Nine Inch Nails. The soundtrack also featured some bands that were either already on the rise like Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, or about to make a huge splash like Rage Against The Machine . It was definitely the album that made a splash on us because it made the film come to life and helped bring out the raw emotions of the characters. It did well on the charts as it peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and it has been certified platinum three times.

crowost1. Burn by The Cure- This is my favorite song on the whole album that made me fall in love with Simon Gallup and his bass playing abilities as he drives the song forward while Robert Smith does his best invoking the spirit of the Crow in his lyrics. 5/5

2. Golgotha Tenement Blues by Machines Of Loving Grace- Machines bring the industrial rock sexiness with this blues tinged goth classic. Golgotha is the place that Jesus was crucified so the track could be their way of saying that this is where Eric Draven was “crucified” if you want to use those terms. It’s an awesome track. 5/5

3. Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots- This is a classic STP track, but it’s not the original track intended for the soundtrack. Apparently, they had written one song called Only Dying, but management thought it wasn’t a good idea to release since the death of Brandon Lee had happened. This was definitely a great substitute as this is an STP classic. 5/5

4. Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails- Trent Reznor went all out with this cover of Joy Division’s Dead Souls which is amazing. This is a very haunting track lyrically and Trent does a great job adding his flair to it while trying to remain true. 5/5

5. Darkness by Rage Against The Machine- A very young Rage brings this track to you with all the in your face, boombastic sound that we are used to while Zach De La Rocha spits that gospel. Zach is talking mostly about how AIDS was an epidemic in Africa and America was barely doing anything about it. 5/5

6. Color Me Once by Violent Femmes- Life can be cruel and tough and that is the message that legendary folk rock act Violent Femmes brings to you on the soundtrack. The track features a very cool bluesy guitar solo that is a true highlight. 4.5/5

7. Ghostrider by The Rollins Band- Henry Rollins reverting back to his punk roots as he covers Suicide’s Ghostrider for the soundtrack. This was always a surprise track for me because the music is just infectious with those big bass riffs. 5/5

BSO_El_Cuervo_(The_Crow)--CD8. Milktoast by Helmet- this is an alternate version of the band’s track Milquetoast where this one was mixed by Butch Vig as it features a distorted outro and some feedback loops that weren’t there before. This track also features some bad ass bass playing by Henry Bogdan. 5/5

9. The Badge by Pantera- Any soundtrack that features the late and great Dimebag Darrell is a winner in my book. This is Pantera’s cover of Poison Idea’s The Badge. It’s heavy and fast and it showcases some of Phil’s other influences. 5/5

10. Slip Slide Melting by For Love Not Lisa- I had never heard of this group, but the song has quite the kick to it cause the track drives. 4.5/5

11. After The Flash by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult- an industrial banger that is bound to get the inner goth out of you with it’s Ministry/Electric Hellfire Club like industrial dance beats. This track kicks ass and you can’t help but groove to it. 5/5

12. Snakedriver by The Jesus and The Mary Chain- an alternative rock track that is a little different than the rest of the songs on here and it’s a good change as the singer talks about how life can be just as we thought it would be. 4.5/5

13. Time Baby III by Medicine- I think this is a very underappreciated song on the soundtrack because her voice is hypnotic. The band makes a cameo in the film playing the club. 5/5

14. It Can’t Rain All The Time by Jane Siberry- This is the actual version of the track that Eric Draven’s band’s song that appears on the soundtrack. The track is about no matter how tough or bad things get, it can’t be that bad all the time. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of the greatest soundtracks of it’s time and it will live on in the hearts of all those that loved the film and soundtrack. My favorite tracks on the record are Burn by The Cure and Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails. My least favorite track is probably Color Me Once by Violent Femmes. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

morbid-angel-kingdoms-disdainedI think I described this memory before when I last reviewed a Morbid Angel album, but one of my all time favorite concert memories involves an interaction with Steve Tucker. You see, Steve Tucker is back in Morbid Angel and he told me at a concert to get off the bar top where I was sitting because no one sits down at a Morbid Angel show. I may have been disgruntled a little over his choice of words when referring to me, but I can’t blame the guy he didn’t know my name. Anyways, in 2017 Morbid Angel released their ninth studio album in Kingdoms Disdained which was their first album with Steve Tucker (Bass/Vocals) since 2003’s Heretic and it’s the first album to feature Annihilated drummer Scott Fuller with Trey Azagthoth on Guitars. The album has gained some critical acclaim since it’s release as it was voted number 9 on Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Metal Albums of 2017, number 14 on Revolver’s 20 Best Albums of 2017, number 19 on The Quietus’s The Best Metal Albums of 2017, and it took home the award for Extreme Metal Album Of The Year on this blog’s 7TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards. Steve Tucker talked about the mindset heading into the record saying, “The first thing Trey said to me was, ‘I want to make killer music with killer people.’ To go into any more detail than that, honestly, I don’t even remember, but it was really just about, ‘Hey, man, I want this to be MORBID ANGEL. I don’t want this to be what it was being changed to be.”

morbid angel back cover1. Piles Of Little Arms– The track opens right out of the gate at you going 200 MPH with that fierce double bass playing and the face melting guitar shredding. The track is an attack on religions being forced upon the people. We’ve seen this countless times before in society. 5/5

2. D.E.A.D. [Department of Eradication and Disposal]-An in your track that explores the idea of Machines taking over the world and their being nothing humans can do to stop it. 4.5/5

3. Garden of Disdain– The track talks about God and any other being that is disgusted over what humanity has done so they want to eradicate the Earth of us. The track has your typical death metal sound to it, but when it comes to the chorus, it turns into one heck of a metal track. 5/5

4. The Righteous Voice– Another track that deals with the fact that humans kill one another for the love of their God and how we have been doing it for a very long time now. A fierce track that smashes like a sledgehammer at first before launching into death metal mayhem. 5/5

5. Architect and Iconoclast– This is a track that kind of grooves with some real heavy elements like the double bass and shredding guitars in a track that I think they are talking about Satan. I am not sure because they reference the keeper of the soil which could be Cain from the Cain and Abel story. 4/5

6. Paradigms Warped-Another in your face metal track that is just unrelenting as smashes through your ear drums. The track seems to be told in the view of a God who is sick and tired of humanity and what it has turned in to that he is ok with eliminating it. 4.5/5

19554804_10155438277872748_6482179096562658997_n7. The Pillars Crumbling– It may not seem like a track that is declaring social awareness, but it is in my opinion. They talk about how we are being led by false prophets, we value personal possession more than life, and we have fallen into a society that is fighting addiction. Check out the lyrics for yourselves. 5/5

8. For No Master– This is a track all about being free my which that enslaves us from being totally free in mind which is religion. This is more of a traditional death metal track than previous tracks. 4/5

9. Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)– My version of the album did not contain this track for some reason as you can see above, but here it is. This might be one of my favorite tracks on the album musically as it just kills. It’s a sledgehammer like track that smashes your ear drums like a death machine. This track seems to be about any dictator that takes over, he wants total control or you die. 5/5

10. From the Hand of Kings– A track that breaks down the fact that these leaders your fear are not larger than life, they are just mere men like yourself who have been able to fool you. My favorite lines: “Caesars were men not gods/Idols change as needed through time
Generals are irrelevant without war/Kings mean nothing without fools” 4.5/5

11. The Fall Of Idols– The last track on the album that talks about taking down regimes or empires and how they will be erased from the minds as if they mean nothing. The track does not disappoint as it hammers away. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is an amazing record from the guys that is just solid from track one all the way to number 11. The band sounded like they had never lost a step even with losing so many members. I just want to send props to Scott Fuller who just killed it on the record. My favorite tracks are Declaring New Law (Secret Hell), The Pillars Crumbling, and Garden Of Disdain. My least favorite track on the album would be Architect and Iconoclast. I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

code orangeEvery once in a while, there is a band that comes out of nowhere and shocks me when they win an award on The Monster Entertainment Awards. Bobaflex did it one year winning the rock album of the year and this year we can add metalcore act Code Orange to that list. The band made up of Eric Balderose (Vocals/Guitar), Reba Myers (Vocals/Guitar), Joe Goldman (Bass), and Jami Morgan (Drums/Vocals) were able to snag the award for Metal Album Of The Year with their major label debut Forever. It’s the band’s third album overall, but their first with Roadrunner Records and it did pretty well for itself. While the album did not crack the Billboard Top 200 Charts, it peaked at 62 on the Top US Album Sales, number four on the US Top Hard Rock Albums, number 7 on the US Top Tastemaker album charts, and number 12 on US Vinyl Albums. It was also voted number one on Revolver Magazines 20 Best Albums Of 2017 and Rolling Stone’s Best Metal Albums of 2017. Loudwire ranked it number three on their 25 Best Metal Albums of 2017 while Exclaim! ranked number three on their Top 10 Metal and Hardcore Albums of 2017. While some may have trashed the album and it’s lyrical content, it did pretty well in other people’s eyes.

code orange back1. Forever- The album’s opener and title track opens up with one heck of a groove that drives forward with Morgan’s screams. The song just screams intensity and it’s a statement that Code Orange is here forever. 5/5

2. Kill The Creator-The track explodes right out of the gate and right where the last track left off with it’s mix of industrial elements and the most bad ass breakdown you’ve ever heard all in two plus minutes. 5/5

3. Real– if you thought the last couple of tracks featured that in your face metalcore madness then brace yourself for this track, but one thing it’s does is mix in some cool electronics. 4.5/5

4. Bleeding In The Blur– This is a rock anthem that mixes in my favorite stoner metal elements that just bodes well with Myers clean vocals. I love Goldman’s bass playing on this track as well, it just shines when he is called upon. 5/5

5. The Mud– This track has that sluggish sledgehammer like riffs that just drives with the mix of electronic elements reminding me a little of a White Zombie track musically anyways. 4/5

6. The New Reality– A track that takes influence from the Nu-Metal genre, but they do it in a way that makes it their own with the hardcore element.  4/5

Code-Orange7. Spy– This is the better of the two tracks that features the Nu-Metal elements because it grooves like the best of them. It reminds me a little of Puya’s track Ride. 4.5/5

8. Ugly– This is a weird track compared to the others, but I love it. it starts with eerie clean channel playing that is just stalking until it hits the chorus and they turn it up. A very cool track and different from the rest. 5/5

9. No One Is Untouchable– A sledgehammer to the face kind of track that is going to get everyone going in a circle pit. It’s hardcore music at it’s finest. 4/5

10. Hurt Goes On– A track that makes you believe that it was totally influenced by the Nine Inch Nails with it’s spoken word vocals and industrial machine like beats. it’s an eerie gothic like track that will haunt you all the way into the next track. 4/5

11. dream2– This is another track that Myers shines on vocally as she hypnotizes you with every word on this eerie track. It just further showcases all of the ingredients the band poured into this record right here. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– The first time I saw these guys it was on a WWE event for their NXT Takeover show and I was hooked or at least interested. The album is a melting pot of musical styles and I think that’s a great thing. Bands should be able to explore a little bit as far as musical diversity. I’m all for that and I enjoyed listening to the album. My favorite tracks on the album are Ugly, Bleeding In The Blur, and Kill The Creator. My least favorite tracks are The New Reality and The Mud. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

Recently, Ghost revealed a couple of things to all of their fans with one being that they had chosen their next frontman and it wasn’t going to be in the Emeritus lineage, but a man named Cardinal Copia. Then they announced the title to their fourth studio album in Prequelle and that it was being released on June 1, 2018 via Loma Vista once again. The band then went on to announce a lead single in Rats and that they had a music video ready for the track and we have it for you as this week’s Music Video Of The Week. The video for the track is primarily a performance based video with the very charismatic new man in charge dancing around like it was a evil musical. They are in a world that looks like it has been plagued by rats to the point of an apocalyptic look. My only problem though and I wanted to talk about it is Cardinal’s mask. All of the other masks were great because at times you couldn’t tell unless you looked up close that Tobias Forge was wearing a mask. This one is a little too obvious for me as his lips barely move when he sings. The track itself is amazing and I feel they steal a page from Ozzy as far as song structure and the way it feels. I’ll get over the mask issue because  love the music these guys put out. Check out the video below: