Friday, September 9, 2011

Attention Deficit Domination

File:Attention Deficit Domination.JPGHardcore Hank3 fans have been waiting a long time for Mr. Williams' doom metal release. He has been playing doom for many years at his concerts, but, due to his contract with Curb Records he was able to release just one metal album. Now that he is free of his contract with Curb and is self-releasing his albums he has finally decided to put out his first Attention Deficit Domination doom record.

Attention Deficit Domination is exactly what you would expect from a doom metal album. It's slow and sludgy, extremely heavy, and has mountains of distortion. The songs on the album are excellent and far worth the years of waiting for this album. That being said, nothing on this album is groundbreaking. Then again, a genre that tries it's hardest to stay true to it's roots with straight-up Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, and Trouble worship is the last place you'd be looking for innovation anyways.

The album opens up with "In The Camouflage", a very catchy song that has a nice chorus. This song transitions into the very old-school, Black Sabbath-sounding "I Feel Sacrificed". "Sacrificed" is an album highlight that would have any old-school headbanger throwing the devil horns up in the air.

As the album slowly (pun intended) proceeds to it's mid-point the listener is hit with the best track on the album, "Livin' Beyond Doom". A nearly 9 minute masterpiece that asks all of life's tough questions (Are we aliens? Are we reptilians? Are we just an experiment for sacrifice?) it even has the requisite scary/haunted house interlude in the middle. Deeper into the album you find some more heavy gems as well. "Demon's Mark" would be a great song if it didn't share the exact same riff as Ghost's "Con Clavi Con Dio" (which came first, though? Hank may have written this song long before Ghost even existed. He also may not have.) Album closer "Goats 'N' Heathens" is another stand-out track on this release. It is one of the faster songs on the album, complete with double-bass drumming and some growled vocals. The lyrics cover the same heavy metal fair that you have heard before (Demons! Lucifer!).

Don't let the sometimes cheesy lyrics detract from your enjoyment of this album, though. This is an excellent doom metal release that should alert those in the doom world who are unaware of Hank3 that he is a force to be reckoned with. Very old-school sounding.


1. In The Camouflage
2. I Feel Sacrificed
3. Bend
4. Make A Fall
5. Livin' Beyond Doom
6. Demon's Mark
7. Aman
8. Get Straight
9. Goats 'N' Heathens

3 Bar Ranch-Cattle Callin'

Hank3's four album drop on September 6th promised to bring us a new country record, a doom record, and a speed metal record. 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin is the speed metal album. But, after listening to it, I'm not sure that speed metal is the correct term. Is it fast? Yes. Is it loud? Yes. Does it annoy those who don't get Hank3? Yes. So, I guess speed metal is as close a known genre as your going to get from this release. In reality, though, it's exactly what you would expect from Hank3. Something entirely different from anything you've ever heard.

The main premise of this album is that it is supposed to be metal music paired with cattle auctioneering laid over top of the music. And that's exactly what this is. In fact, every single song features an auctioneer. So much so that by the midway point in the album you would do anything to make the auctioneers shut up. It's annoying. Really annoying.

When the album begins with opener "Black Cow" you may think that this is kind of an interesting concept. And it is until songs start repeating. That's right, some songs are on the album more than once. And the only difference? That some of them have Hank3 screaming some unintelligible stuff over the auctioneers. Don't get me wrong, this album does have it's moments. In fact, the music on many of the songs is downright awesome. If this album were to be released as a metal album with standard vocals I would probably be hailing this as a masterpiece right now. "Mad Cow", with it's black metal musical styling is probably the best musical piece on the album. But, the fact is that the cattle auctioneering pretty well ruins the album. Once the novelty wears off and you realize that you still have 16 songs left to go on this 23 song album you probably will just turn it off. This album was a nice idea that, in the end, just doesn't work.


1. Black Cow
2. Now There's A Bull
3. 37 Heffers
4. Mad Cow
5. Branded
6. Square Bailor
7. Cuttin' Hay
8. Y Bar Ranch
9. Countin' Cows
10. Mad Cow
11. Lot 53
12. Cow Sold
13. Cow Mortal
14. Bull Balls
15. Heavy Cattle
16. Y Bar Ranch
17. Black Cow
18. Longhorn
19. Square Bailor
20. Moo You
21. Angus of Death
22. Cattle Callin' Lonesome Blues
23. Branded

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hank3-Ghost to a Ghost

Remember how in the past I have said that we sometimes stray off the topic of thrash metal? This is one of those moments. Today all you thrash metal crazies and hardcore headbangers are getting a lesson in outlaw country. On September 6th Hank Williams III, the grandson of country legend Hank Williams, Sr., will be releasing a double dose of country material as well as two metal albums. And let me tell you, even if you hate country with a burning passion, give this album a listen. It is worth every penny you may spend on it. As long as you go into this album with no preconceived notions about how country should sound or be played you will love this album.

The first disc of Hank3’s country album is entitled Ghost to a Ghost and features 11 fairly straight shooting country songs. By fairly straight shooting I mean it in the Hank3 kind of way. There’s some hellybilly parts here and there, but mostly just country. The album opener “Guttertown” is an excellent song that will have you toe-tapping in no time. The third track on the album “Ridin’ The Wave” is the first song with a real hellbilly flavor to it. Double bass drums and distorted guitar riffs are present throughout the song. The fourth track, “Don’t You Wanna” may be the best track on the Ghost to a Ghost disc. It is about as catchy as any country song you would hear on the radio today. Except it won’t get played on the radio, because, much like thrash metal, Hank3 and outlaw country have been shunned by both the radio and major record labels.

The next track “Ray Lawrence, Jr.” doesn’t feature much of Hank3 and is mostly sung by a guest singer (Ray Lawrence, Jr., maybe?). That, however, doesn’t stop it from being an excellent (well, two excellent) track(s). It is as close to old-school honky-tonk as you will find anywhere. Following track “The Devil’s Movin’ In” is another old-school sounding song. Sad and doomy, yet at the same time catchy, it provides an excellent half-way point for the first disc. The eighth song on the album is “Trooper’s Hollar”, a track that features banjo as the lead instrument as opposed to guitar. This is probably a close second to “Don’t You Wanna” for best song on the album. It has some weird sound effects but that doesn’t stop the song from being an excellent addition to this album. “Outlaw Convention” is a traditional sounding song that talks about how Hank lives his life by the rules of this convention. Ghost to a Ghost penultimate track “Cunt of a Bitch” is probably the strangest track on that disc. It is as profane as anything Hank has ever written, and basically describes his anger towards a woman who cheated on him (think “P.F.F.”). Disc 1 closer “Ghost to a Ghost” is a traditional sounding song that heads in to “Rebel Within” territory with some screamed vocals toward the end.

Ghost to a Ghost is as good as any country album Hank has put out, however, disc 2 entitled Guttertown is about as far from Ghost to a Ghost as you can get. Think disc 2 of Straight to Hell. Don’t get worried if you didn’t like that part of STH, this is much, much better. It appears to be a concept/theme album, however, with no lyrics to look at it is somewhat hard to tell what that concept is exactly. It’s hard to describe this disc track-by-track as it all seems to be one big concept/song.

Guttertown opens up with some outdoor noises and goes into a strange sort of reprise of the song “Guttertown” from disc 1. Following this intro the album goes into some of the most old-school sounding music you will ever here. You can hear mariachi, Cajun, and traditional American country influences everywhere. Some songs feature accordions, while others take an almost haunting gospel approach with Mr. Williams singing over a backing track of nature noises. This album is as fun as it is haunting. Sometimes happy, often doomy, but always an album that will keep you entertained. Guttertown is nearly indescribable. In the way that Dark Side of the Moon has to be listened to in order understand, so this album goes. It is honestly one of the best albums I have heard in years.

If you do not like this album upon first listen, listen again. As I said in the beginning you cannot approach this double album thinking you know what you are going to get. I did and hated this album on first listen. By the second listen I realized that this album is one of the most unique albums I have ever heard. Words fail me at this point to explain it. It just has to be listened to in order to be explained. This album demonstrates the amazing creative talents Hank3 has. As Hank himself has always said ,this album was his “new beginning”. And a damn good new beginning at that.


Ghost to a Ghost
2. Day by Day              
3. Ridin' The Wave              
4. Don't Ya Wanna             
5. Ray Lawrence, Jr.              
6. The Devil's Movin' In              
7. Time to Die              
8. Trooper's Hollar              
9. Outlaw Convention             
10. Cunt of a Bitch
11. Ghost to a Ghost

Gutter Town
1.Goin' to Guttertown 
2. Gutterstomp 
3.The Dirt Road 
4. Mu Sha              
5. The Dream Before             
6. Dyin' Day          
7. I Promised             
8. Chord of the Organ        
9. Move Them Songs              
10. The Low Line 
11. I''ll Be Gone 
12. Trooper's Chaos 
13. Chaos Queen 
14. Thunderpain 
15. Fadin' Moon 
16. The Round 
17. I'll Save My Tears 
18. It's Goin' Down 
19. With the Ship 

Check back in the next week for reviews of Hank3's new metal albums, 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin' and Attention Deficit Domination.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Diamond Plate- Generation Why?

For those who have been following this blog for a while, you know that I have been high on Diamond Plate since the first time I heard their Relativity E.P. about a year ago. Now, the Chicago area band are set to release their debut album on August 9th in the US via Earache Records. And let me tell you, it's another awesome thrash album for 2011.

The album opens with an intro track entitled "Entertainment Today". The track does an excellent job setting the tone for the rest of the album (the bands disgust with generation y and the rest of the world) by opening the album up with news clips from around the world. This intro segues right into the first "real" track "Generation Why?"The track is one of the better ones on the album with a nice, catchy chorus "I ask you why?" shouted by vocalist/bassist Jon Macak. As the album moves along you begin to realize that Diamond Plate are some seriously skilled musicians. Songs like "Pull The Trigger" and "Tomb With A View" have some incredible riffage in them.

As the listener gets deeper into the album three songs appear that were on the bands Relativity E.P. "Relativity", "Casualty of War", and "At The Mountains of Madness". These may be the three best tracks on the album. They are all out thrashers that sound much better than they did on the E.P. The band  finishes the album with "Empire Tomorrow", an all-out thrasher that leaves the listener feeling as though they have been run over by an eighteen-wheeler. 

Generation Why? is an excellent debut album and one of the best albums of the year (right up there with Toxic Holocaust's Conjure And Command and Ghost's Opus Eponymous). The guitar riffing and drums beats are complex and show the band's musical prowess (which is far beyond their years. The oldest member of the band is 18). The only minor complaint I have with this album is the vocals. They take some getting used to as at first they sound somewhat like something you would find on a screamo album. However, on repeated listens they do seem to fit with the album rather well.

4.5 out of 5

1. Entertainment Today
2. Generation Why?
3. Pull The Tigger
4. Tomb With A View
5. Fool's Paradise
6. Relativity
7. Waste of Life
8. Casualty of War
9. More Than Words
10. At The Mountains of Madness
11. Empire Tomorrow

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toxic Holocaust- Conjure And Command

Retro-thrashers Toxic Holocaust have released their fourth studio album entitled Conjure And Command. And it's good. Really good. In fact, it is one of the best thrash albums released this year. Gone are the somewhat hokey lyrics and somewhat questionable production that every other retro-thrash group has (remember, this is the band that had the underground hit "Nuke The Cross"). In their place frontman and songwriter Joel Grind has placed Venom-inspired lyrics and guitar riffs that sound evil to the core. If this were 1985, Toxic Holocaust would be the PMRC's worst nightmare with song's about witches and executions ("Bitch"), the end of the world ("Judgement Awaits You", "Revelations"), Satan ("I Am Disease"), eating the flesh of dogs ("Agony of The Damned"), and rebellion ("Red Winter"). Not to mention the human sacrifice that is depicted on the front cover.

The first thing that immediately stuck out to me when listening to this album was the excellent production. This album makes the listener want to do one thing: Turn the volume up to 11. I dare anyone to listen to this album quietly. It can't be done. What's more amazing is that this was accomplished, according to the album booklet, with "absolutely no drum replacement, triggering, quantizing, or amp modeling". Pretty impressive for an album that was recorded in the digital era.

The second thing that stuck out to me about this album was the change in sound from Toxic's previous three albums. The band appears to be venturing more into old-school death metal territory as opposed to the thrash that was on their previous efforts. The listener can here Sepultura and Morbid Angel circa Beneath The Remains and Altars of Madness on nearly every song on the disc. Some Venom and a small dose of Bathory can also be spotted here and there.

Lastly, this album has far superior lyrics to other Toxic albums. When frontman Grind growls "We are the left hand, we've bound the right!" You actually believe that he may be serious (Did anyone actually take him seriously with lyrics like "nuke the cross" and "war is fucking hell"?) The third track on the album, "Bitch", actually has an extremely catchy chorus which is hard to believe for music as extreme as this. In no time you'll be pumping your fists in the air and yelling "Tie her up, start the fire, burning in torment alive. For her crimes, for her sins, the bitch will be burned at the stake!"

Anyways, this is an album that fans of old or new school thrash should pick up. This is honestly the best metal album I've heard since Ghost's Opus Eponymous, maybe better. At 32 minutes this album has to get straight to the point. And it does. It takes no prisoners, kicks ass, and leaves enough time to listen to the whole thing all over again.

4.5 out of 5

1. Judgement Awaits You
2. Agony of The Damned
3. Bitch
4. Red Winter
5. Nowhere To Run
6. I Am Disease
7. In The Depths (Of Your Mind)
8. The Liars Are Burning
9. Revelations
10. Sound The Charge

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bonded By Blood Losing Two More Members

Bay Area thrashers Bonded By Blood have announced that guitarist Alex Lee and bassist Jerry Garcia will be departing the band. This comes not long after the departure of vocalist Jose Barrales who left the band in late 2010. Remaining members Carlos Regelado, Juan Juarez, and Mauro Gonzales will continue the band. Bonded By Blood have released two albums that have been well-received by the thrash metal underground. 2008's Feed the Beast and 2010's concept album Exiled to Earth

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am here to apologize for the lack of updates on this blog.  I have been on vacation recently and have had some other, more pressing issues to take care of. I will resume posting shortly, however. Thank you for your patience.

The Metalman