Archive for the ‘Album Of The Week’ Category

thehaxanspartymonsterscdI am always on an endless search to bring new and exciting albums to you guys that I am also discovering at the same time as well. I do this especially when I cover Halloween/horror/Goth themed music for the Album Of The week posts when October rolls around. This past Friday The 13TH, one of those opportunities came knocking on my door when I was presented with a group that features a member of Rob Zombie’s band and New Year’s Day. The group I am talking about is a Goth Pop duo by the name of The Haxans (named after the 1922 silent horror film) which features Matt Montgomery a.k.a. Piggy D (Vocals & Guitar) and Ashley Costello (Vocals) of New Year’s Day. The name of the album is Party Monsters and here is Matt talking about it, “This record is a party for everyone else like us. The cover, the songtitles, the energy and the colors of this record are going to pull together an amazing cross section of people. It’s just everything we like and celebrate every day, but amped up to eleven! It’s got a kids-jumping-on-the-bed-while-the-parents-are-out-of-the-room feeling to it to me, which is kind of what this record was for us.” I’m not 100% positive on who else performed on the record, but I believe Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Ex-Rob Zombie) may have helped in some way.

lights out1. Lights Out– A very cool Goth Pop song that has a little of The Munsters flavor to it combined with the Zombie feel. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and it seems like it’s all about the fun starting when the lights go out. 5/5

2. Young Blood– A cool track that starts off rocking before it mellows out with only bass and drums during the verses before turning it up to 11 again. 4.5/5

3. Dirty Magic– A cool track off the album that has a little bit of that electronic club feel to it along with the rock. Ashley proves in this track that she is a frontwoman as she sings about how she can’t believe that she fell for someone so it must have been dirty magic. 5/5

4. Black Cat Bone– This is a cool track that has a more rock version of a Shania Twain/Robert Palmer track. This is a track that Matt and Ash sing together on the track. Costello talked about the track saying, ” In voodoo culture, wearing a black cats bone would ward off unwanted romantic gestures. Something to think about.” 5/5

5. Party Time– More of a horror like track than what we previous heard as it almost has a Zombie feel in a track that is about a bunch of kids who are on the brink of death in the name of partying. Cool guitar solo from Matt on this track for sure. 4.5/5

6. Chains– A cool more mellow and eerie track from the duo that Costello told Alternative Press, “The song ‘Chains’ is the first song that we recorded together and it has such a groovy vibe. The lyrics are about someone who is like a ghost in your life. Someone that just won’t go away. This song is the direct message to them.” 4.5/5

7. Witch Wave– Definitely a electro-pop track with Ash’s vocals having a hip hop feel to it about a girl who feels betrayed so she’s out for revenge. 4/5

haxans8. I Think Of Demons– A very different track with some keys in it, but a very much a pop track in this track that is a duet between the two again which is a sympathy track for demons cause who else thinks for them? 4/5

9. Professional Weirdo– This is a song that is sung int he same style of another that I can’t think of right now. It runs on the idea of teenage angst where the narrator is mad at the world that they don’t fit in. 4/5

10. Slick Black Coffin– More of that electro goth pop fun that is actually a great signature sound for the band. The track has that feel of if Lady Gaga decided to be more hard rock. 5/5

11. Boo– A very cool b-horror themed intro along with the Zombie-esque rock before it mellows out for the verses. The track seems to be about a ghost who loves scaring people. 5/5

12- Vampira– The band’s cover of the famous Misfits track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I honestly think that these guys could have a future if they decide to do any more music. Most of the album goes from sounding like a female fronted Zombie band to a Lady Gaga gone horror rock/pop style. Ashley is an amazing vocalist whose style fits the music perfectly. I am a huge fan of the record and I hope to hear more from them in the future. Check it out for yourselves, I am giving the record 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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a0250331809_5Halloween is now officially 20 days away and I am super excited for what the month has already brought for me and what it has in store. We are continuing on in our tradition of covering bands who dabble in the macabre for our album of the week post and we have a good one for this week. One of the most bad ass underground American Death Metal bands comes all the way from San Jose, California and they are sometimes referred to as a goregrind and even deathgrind band in none other than Exhumed. The band has been dabbling in the art of horror in their lyrics since their first album in 1998 (Gore Metal) and that is why we chose to cover them for this week. The album that we are looking at is the band’s third studio record in Anatomy Is Destiny which is a famous quote that was coined by Sigmund Freud. The album featured Matt Harvey (Guitar/Vocals), Bud Burke (Bass), Sakara Birdong (Add. Vocals), and it was the last record to feature Mike Beams (Guitar) and Col Jones (Drums). I don’t have exact figures as to how many copies of the album the band sold or if this album charted, but it is considered to be their critically acclaimed record.

exhumed 21.Anatomy Is Destiny– This is an intro track that fades in with some guitars and some sound effects. 4/5

2. Waxwork– The band comes blasting in with those blast beats on the drums and the razor fast melt your face off guitar riffs about a mad man who is turning humans into wax figures at his museum. 5/5

3. The Matter of Splatter– The next track on the record that starts with Harvey and a major scream from him that sets the tone for the rest of the track in which a man is lingering on the edge of a killing spree. 4.5/5

4. Under The Knife-Much more of a metal track that leans on Thrash rather than a death metal track even though it does contain elements of it. The track is all about the chance you take when you’re in surgery. 4/5

5. Consuming Impulse– The intensity of the last track keeps going in this one whose lyrics are pretty intense as our narrator threatens to feed his victim with the said person’s own body. 4.5/5

6. Grotesqueries– a hammering intro starts the track before the thrash like riffs take over in this song about how band humanity really is. The whole world is a Grotesquery if you think about, just look at supermarkets. 4/5

exhumed7. In The Name Of Gore– Not lifting the foot off your throat, the band charges on in this track that celebrates everything awesome about gore. The track features a great guitar solo in the last half of the song. 4/5

8. Arclight– My favorite part of this track is around the 1:28 mark where the band goes from 1000MPH to slowing it down with an intense Thrash riff and an epic guitar solo that would make Exodus proud. 5/5

9. Nativity Obscene (A Nursery Chyme)– a track that seems to be about stillborn children (they die in the womb). 4/5

10. Death Walks Behind You– a track that is all about a man who decides that he is death and he wants to carry out his work. 4/5

11. A Song For The Dead– A very cool track that is a punishing metal track, but a very cool tribute to those who have passed only the way Exhumed knows how to do. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is the first time that I listened to an album from Exhumed and I have to say that I don’t regret listening to a single second of it. This is a lesson in just how brutal and beautiful death metal can be. One thing that I will say about this is the lyrical sense of the band is on point, just read the lyrics for yourself if you don’t believe me. I am giving the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

king_diamond_abigail_1500x1504px_100326093214_2Every October since 2012, we here at Moshpits and Movies have celebrated the great holiday known as Halloween by dedicating the whole site to the month. One of the things we love doing for the month of October is Horror/Halloween related posts for our Album Of The Weeks. So, our very first one this year belongs to a man that needs no introduction in the master of the macabre King Diamond. In 1987, King Diamond would release what is considered by most to be a pure masterpiece in his concept album Abigail. The album featured Diamond (Vocals/Producer), Andy LaRocque (Guitar), Mikkey Dee (Drums), Michael Denner (Guitar/Assistant Producer), Timi Hansen (Bass), and Roberto Falcao (Engineer/Keyboards). Here is part of the plot of the story, “Abigail tells the story of a young couple, Miriam Natias and Jonathan La’Fey, who move into an old mansion that La’Fey inherited. It takes place in the summer of 1845. At their arrival they are warned by seven horsemen not to move into the house because if they do “18 will become 9.” They do not heed the warning and proceed to move into the mansion. During their first night, Jonathan meets with Count de La’Fey, the Family Ghost, who is a deceased relative. The ghost shows him a casket in which a corpse of a stillborn child, Abigail, rests. The ghost informs him that Miriam is carrying the spirit of Abigail and that the child will soon be reborn. He insists that Jonathan must kill Miriam at once to prevent the rebirth.” To read the rest of the plot, click here.

king diamond1.Funeral– The intro to the album that narrates what happened to the countess and her unborn child Abigail who was a bastard child which was considered evil so when she laid to rest she was nailed down. 4/5

2. The Arrival– The twin guitar attack of King Diamond kick off this track that is all about Jonathan and his wife’s arrival to the mansion which he inherited. They are visited by the four horseman and told to turn around and leave because she is pregnant with a child that is Abigail. 5/5

3. A Mansion In Darkness– The next track kicks off and it follows the story as they enter the house and Miriam becomes possessed by the spirit. I love the overall riff of this track, it’s a headbanger for sure and Diamond’s vocal range is insane. 4.5/5

4. The Family Ghost– The story continues as Count de la Fey shows up and talks to Jonathan and shows him the crypt below where Abigail lies and he proceeds to tell him the story of what happened. The track has a really cool guitar solo in it. 4.5/5

5. The 7TH Day of July 1777– The track is about the very day that Count de la Fey killed his wife and her bastard child. The track starts out with Andy playing the acoustic guitar before the band kicks in and turns it up a notch. 4/5

king-diamond-abigail-18083206. Omens– An amazing track in which Jonathan is starting to see things that shouldn’t be happening coming to life like a rocking cradle, etc. Maybe the count was right after all. I love the duel solos by Denner and LaRocque. 4.5/5

7. The Possession– The story takes a dark turn in this track as Jonathan figures out that his wife really is possessed by the spirit of Abigail. 4/5

8. Abigail– The title track is one of my all time favorite King Diamond tracks just because it kicks that much ass. The track is Jonathan pleaing to Abigail to let get of her possession of his wife, but she refuses. 5/5

9. Black Horsemen– The ending of the story where Miriam pushes Jonathan down the stairs where he dies, but she dies during the childbirth. The horseman arrive to try and kill the baby by putting it back in the coffin. I love the acoustic intro, it’s very dark and helps set the mood. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you’re into power metal and metal with a horror concept story then this is one to check out for sure. The musicianship alone on this album is top notch and worth the listen. 15 years later, he would release the sequel to this album, but we’ll cover that for another time. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

black_label_society_-_mafia_-_frontI figured since I gave you a more pop/post punk record for an album of the week, I would do another one for this week with a metal album. In the four or five years that I have been blogging, I can not believe that I have never covered an album from guitar maestro Zakk Wylde’s band Black Label Society. I have covered at least three different Ozzy records featuring Zakk, but never BLS. 2005 was a very weird and somber year for metal due to the fact that 2004 ended with the death of one of metal’s most beloved in Dimebag Darrell (Pantera/Damageplan). For Zakk, it was a very sad way to end a year especially when you are getting ready to release an album in three months time, but he soldiered on in honor of Dimebag Darrell releasing his sixth album with BLS in Mafia on March 5, 2005. The album featured Zakk (Lead Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Piano), James LoMenzo (Bass), Craig Nunenmacher (Drums), and Nick Catanese (Guitar, but does not perform on the album). The album to this day still remains as one of the most commericially successful albums the band ever released as it sold well over 250,000 copies in the US and it peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while also going number one on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart.

Black-Label-Society-Mafia-2005-Back-Cover-741881.Fire It Up– The very first track on the record that when it fades in, it’s Zakk on the talk box and it helps drive the song forward with a cool groove in this track about the joy of riding motorcycles. 5/5

2. What’s In You– Another beefy metal track that has plenty of false harmonics from the Wylde man in this track that is about madness or possibly Charlie Manson. 4.5/5

3. Suicide Messiah– a bad ass lead single from the album that was actually written about Scott Weiland of STP. Zakk explains, “I actually wrote that song about Scott Weiland. A buddy of mine who is one of my best friends is like the Captain Shield of Black Label. He is a NYPD Narcotics detective and ended up busting Scott. You know in certain parts of town, you know if you are down there, ya know what is going on, and he said dude this is Scott. I love Scott, he is amazing. He is like Dude, I got a problem, and I gotta stop. So that inspired me to write “Bow Down, You Chose Your Maker, He Never Gives, He is always a taker, he is the Suicide Messiah.” Everyone I have ever know, I have never done that stuff in my life, always winds up dead or broke from doing that crap.” 5/5

4. Forever Down– A very interesting track that starts off making you think its going to be a piano track until the band explodes on to your speakers. I think the song is about nuclear war and how it will engulf us. I love the part in the chorus when Zakk is sliding the guitar pick down the neck after saying forever down. 4.5/5

5. In This River– This is truly one of the most amazing songs on the album that wasn’t intended to be about Dimebag Darrell, but after his death Zakk dedicated the song to him. 5/5

6. You Must Be Blind– The track fades in with the band go full speed ahead with the chugging riffs and false harmonics. I think the song is about drug use once again and the downward spiral associated with it. 4.5/5

7. Death March– I always thought that this track would be a perfect wrestling theme for someone in this track that is all about war. 5/5

mafia-4f8991b7b702a8. Dr. Octavia– This is an awesome instrumental track from the band. 5/5

9. Say What You Will– This is definitely one of my top three favorite songs on this very album and it showed how great of a writer Zakk really was in this track that could be about the end. 5/5

10. Too Tough To Die– a cool bass line opens up this bluesy groovin track and it carries the track for the most part. The song seems to be about knowing that you are not God, but you have the strength to accomplish anything. 5/5

11. Electric Hellfire– The beginning of the track has a nod to The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown with what is said in this track this all about how you’re a fool if you mess with Zakk Wylde. 4.5/5

12. Spread Your Wings– A cool intro to the track with what sounds like a shaker and a cool bass line before the rest of the band comes in this track about rising above everything life throws at you. 4/5

13. Been a Long Time– a cool call and response effect with the vocals and the music in the beginning of the track. The song seems to be about someone who finally felt that they have awoken from all the lies that they had been fed. 4.5/5

14. Dirt On The Grave– A very cool track that is nothing but acoustic guitars, talk box, and piano in this track that is about someone who just keeps ruining relationships with people. 4.5/5

15. I Never Dreamed– This is Black Label Society’s cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This was a dynamo release from Zakk and co. that while none of their other releases have matched the intensity of this record does not mean he hasn’t released solid material. This was just the perfect album for the time that cemented him as this Guitar God if he wasn’t already one before. I am going to give this one 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

joy_division_unknown_pleasuresAt one time in my life, I was a die hard metal head who couldn’t possibly imagine listening to any other form of music. That was back when I was an ignorant 17/18 year old who didn’t realize that as you get older, your tastes for music definitely change. One of the changes in taste of music came when I discovered my love for late 70’s/80’s post punk music and that was also due to Chino Moreno of the Deftones who also influenced that move for me. If you have followed my Album of the Week posts then you know I have an eclectic taste in music and I like to expose that every now and again. Today is definitely one of those days when I decided to cover Unknown Pleasures by English Goth Rock/Post Punk legends Joy Division. The band was made up of the late Ian Curtis (Vocals), Bernard Sumner (Guitars/Keyboards), Peter Hook (Bass), and Stephen Morris (Drums). Upon it’s release in June of 1979, the band had only pressed about 10,000 copies with the first 5,000 selling in the first two weeks and the rest within the next six months. The album never charted while Ian Curtis was alive, but after his suicide it finally charted on the UK charts at number 71.

Joy-Division-Unknown-Pleasures-NZ-Label1.Disorder– The track starts off very upbeat with a cool bass line before the guitar picks up the tempo in a track that is about an artist who struggles to find meaning even though he is creative. 4.5/5

2. Day Of The Lords– a track that starts off with a slower tempo than the previous track, but I am blown away by the sound of the track. The music is very full and kind of has a Doors People Are Strange kind of feel to it at times. It seems to be about the atrocities of World War II lyrically. 5/5

3. Candidate– An eerie sounding, slow track that deals with the idea of corruption and the struggle a candidate has with it. 4.5/5

4. Insight– Some can say that the title of the track really does describe what the song is about. It’s one of those tracks that makes you sit there and say to yourself, what the hell have I been doing? It also could be about being faced with death and telling him you’re ready to go. The utilize the idea of throwing unique sound effects into this track as well. 5/5

5. New Dawn Fades– The track starts with a backwards playing of the last track before it goes and relies heavy on an kind of ying yang effect by Sumner and Hook (ascending guitar riff by Sumner/descending bass riff by Hook). 5/5

joy-division-unknown-pleasures-vinyl-record-clock-sleeve2-80s6. She’s Lost Control-Peter Hook’s bass line drives this song whose lyrics deal with a woman who has violent epileptic seizures. It could really be about Curtis who suffered from those in his life as well. 5/5

7. Shadowplay– a cool bass riff from Hook and some cymbal playing by Morris start the song off before the guitars take over with that post punk prototype guitar sound. I think the song is about a character who feels that is alone in the world and he doesn’t know how to change it. 5/5

8. Wilderness– A cool funky bass riff from Hook once again opens this track which is a stab at how organized religion has been a road block for society through out time. 4.5/5

9. Interzone– a very upbeat tempo and punk feel to the track which is a tribute or homage to the William S. Burroughs book Naked Lunch which deals with a setting set in the “Interzone”. 4.5/5

10. I Remember Nothing– The last track on this classic record that starts very slow and ominous at first with the ominous bass riffs. Ian Curtis once said, “Everyone’s living in their own little world. When I was 15 or 16 at school, I used to talk with my mates and we’d say: ‘As soon as we leave, we’ll be down in London, doing something nobody else is doing.’ Then I used to work in a factory, and I was really happy because I could daydream all day. All I had to do was push this wagon with cotton things in it up and down. But I didn’t have to think. I could think about the weekend, imagine what I was going to spend my money on, which LP I was going to buy… You can live in your own little world.” 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is an amazing collection of songs from a band that was just brilliant. The band would live on to form New Order, but there was a magic in the voice of Ian Curtis. One thing that I have always kept true to my heart is that no matter who passes away, we will always have their music to remember them by. This is one of their most definitive works, so go pick it up or listen to it on Spotify or whatever the hell you use. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

joy

Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God (2008).jpgOne of the coolest bands on the metal scene that is repping Viking Metal is none other than the mighty Amon Amarth. I was looking for an album to review for this week’s Album Of The Week and I came across the Swedish Melodic Death Metal kings. I decided that I wanted to cover the band’s seventh studio album Twilight Of The Thunder God which was released on September 30, 2008. The album featured Johan Hegg (Vocals), Olavi Mikkonen (Guitar), Johan Söderberg (Guitar), Ted Lundström (Bass), and Fredrik Andersson (Drums) while the album was produced by Jens Bogren (Moonspell, Kreator). It is said that the album is based on the story of Thor’s slaying of the serpent Jörmungandr. When the album was released it peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Top 200 charts which marked the first time that the band had charted in America while the album peaked at 11 in Sweden which was the band’s highest chart spot there in their native country. The album was also ranked at number six on Metal Hammer Magazine’s Top 50 albums of 2008 marking the band finally making a stamp in the scene with Metal Blade Records on their side.

Twilight-Of-The-Thunder-God-2-picture1.Twilight Of The Thunder God– The title track kicks off the album and it kicks off with one heck of a metal riff before blasting into overdrive. The track is about Thor having to battle Jörmungandr at Ragnarok. The track features one of the best guitar solos I’ve ever heard and it features Roope Latavala doing the solo. 5/5

2. Free Will Sacrifice– A fierce riff opens up the track that is all about the soldiers of Asgard who are willing to die for Asgard in order to reach Valhalla. 4.5/5

3. Guardians Of Asgard– I love the riffage in these tracks because this is another example of a track that has classic metal written all over it in a track that is all about the men that protect Asgard (the einherjar). The track also features Lars Göran Petrov of Entombed on vocals. 5/5

4. Where Is Your God?– Another thunderous metal riff drives this track that seems to be about when the Vikings raided a land, they would ask where is your God now to protect you from them. I think that is what they are talking about. The track bounces from that metal riff to a more traditional death metal riff with the sonic face melting fast guitar playing. 4.5/5

5. Varyags of Miklagaard– A cool track that is all about the Varangian Guard who were sent to protect the Emperor to the east. 4.5/5

twilight-of-the-thunder-god-4df64327444cb6. Tattered Banners And Bloody Flags– The song starts with a battle like drum and guitar riff in this track that is all about the final battle between the Gods in Ragnarok. You want to hear some bad ass playing then check out this track and that double bass fury. 5/5

7. No Fear For The Setting Sun– Another bad ass metal riff from the band that is hard charging and in your face. The track is about a soldier who realizes that today could be his last day as he is in the middle of battle, but he is ready to make his final stand. 4.5/5

8. The Hero– A very interesting track that seems to be about a man who is a mercenary that is asked to protect a town and he dies doing it. He is then dubbed a hero by the people just because of this one act, but he doesn’t feel that he is because of his past. 5/5

9. Live for the Kill- This has a Judas Priest feel to it at first with the guitar riff which is pretty cool and the track even features Apocalyptica playing cello on it. 4.5/5

10. Embrace of the Endless Ocean– The last track on the album which is a tragic way to end the album not because of whether it’s a good track or not, but because it has an unfortunate ending. The track is about a slave who has finally gained his freedom, but n his way home his ship is struck and he drowns. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you are a fan of unbelievable guitar riffs and the technical abilities that Mikkonen and Söderberg possess then this is the album for you. These guys are amazing and they prove it with every album, but this one is special. This is one of my favorite albums from the band who are also great story tellers. Check it out for yourselves and prepare to be blown away. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

state of euphoriaFor this week’s album of the week, I was inspired by the new hit horror film IT which has broken box office numbers when it came to this week’s record. One of the characters in the film is wearing an Anthrax shirt and one of the scenes features the track Antisocial which is off of this week’s album State Of Euphoria which was released on September 19, 1988. The album featured Joey Belladonna (Vocals), Dan Spitz (Lead Guitar), Scott Ian (Rhythm Guitar), Frank Bello (Bass), and Charlie Benante (Drums) and it was produced by Mark Dodson and the band. The album’s back cover is pretty cool because it was designed by famed caricaturist artist and Mad magazine artist Mort Drucker who drew the band. After the release of the album, it peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it was certified Gold selling over 500,000 albums even though critics were not warm to the album. A lot of critics felt that the album didn’t live up to the name of the previous albums even though it contained some amazing tracks.

state1.Be All, End All– The song kicks off with cellist Carol Freedman before the band comes in with a monster riff in a track that is all about controlling your own destiny. 4.5/5

2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind– Another in your face track with a monster bass riff from Bello runs this track that is about bands ripping off other bands. 4.5/5

3. Make Me Laugh– an interesting track on the album where the band attacks TV evangelists like Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker who were targets of a lot of thrash bands at the time. 5/5

4. Antisocial– This is the band’s amazing cover of French band Trust’s classic track, but the thing is the band had to do their best to convert the lyrics from French to English to make it work 5/5

5. Who Cares Wins– The track starts very melodic before it gets heavy in this track that is all about the homeless and their struggle to live. 5/5

state-of-euphoria-50008585db5756. Now It’s Dark– The track starts off with someone breathing before Bello and Spitz lead you right in to this track that is about Dennis Hoppers character in David Lynch’s film Blue Velvet. 4.5/5

7. Schism– The drums fade right in as the track kicks off with some punk laden metal riff where the lyrics talk about if you peel all the layers of labels that society has for us, we are all the same. 4/5

8. Misery Loves Company– This is a track the band wrote based on the novel by Stephen King in Misery. 4/5

9. 13– an instrumental track on the album that the band recorded that was an intro to the next track. 4/5

10. Fīnalē– The aptly titled last track on the record and it features some razor sharp riffs with that insane bass playing from Bello in a track that is all about marrying the wrong person. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I thought that this was a really good record from the band despite what the critics thought at the time. It features some really amazing tracks that are essential to who Anthrax is. Check it out for yourself, I am giving the record 4.45 stars out of five for a final grade.