Saturday, July 16, 2011

40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room (Album Review)

40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room
Release date: July 19, 2011 (Metal Blade Records / Cyclone Empire)

I feel obliged to admit right out of the gate that, prior to reading the press materials for British trio 40 Watt Sun's debut album, The Inside Room, I'd never even heard of singer/guitarist Patrick Walker's former band, Warning. After listening to what Walker has accomplished with 40 Watt Sun, it's safe to say that Warning is a band I will be checking out in the very near future.

On The Inside Room, 40 Watt Sun prove that heavy music can be just as haunting, melancholy and heart-wrenching as folk, shoegaze, indie rock or any other genre those adjectives are more frequently applied to. Actually, the only thing keeping this from being a straightforward folk album is the presence of distorted electric guitars.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fair to Midland - Arrows & Anchors (Album Review)

Fair to Midland - Arrows & Anchors
Release date: July 12, 2011 (E1 Music)

Fair to Midland are an anomaly in the world of progressive rock. They make smart, complex and compelling music while somehow managing to avoid the inherent pretension that runs rampant throughout the prog rock genre. They're musically gifted, but they're not above letting their hair down and just rocking out when the urge strikes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Destruction - Eternal Devastation: Part 2 in a 10-part series looking back at the best thrash metal albums of 1986

Throughout 2011 I'll be looking back a quarter century at 10 iconic thrash metal albums of 1986. For my money, 1986 was the best year in the history of thrash -- and probably the metal genre as a whole -- giving us seminal releases by many of thrash metal's best acts. Each entry will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the album's release date and will feature interviews with band members and/or people who were part of the album's creation.

 For Part 2, I'll take a look back at Destruction's classic sophomore release, Eternal Devastation, which was released on July 1, 1986. I e-mailed some questions to Destruction bassist/vocalist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer (via ridiculously helpful Nuclear Blast publicist Loana Valencia), which resulted in an entertaining and informative Q&A.