Reviews

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Gods & Guns

My main problem with God & Guns is its lack of focus. It’s all over the place, almost a series of slow songs sketches loosely tied together rather than a classic 70’s-style Skynyrd southern rock album. I’m admittedly skeptical of anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd since that terrible Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 record, but getting back to this one I would only recommend it to diehard Skynyrd fanatics or Johnny Van Zant Band fans.

Children of Bodom/The Black Dahlia Murder/Skeletonwitch @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, October 1, 2009

If there’s one band that fully deserves a “victory lap” tour, it’s Children of Bodom, who after a good dozen years plying their distinct brand of melodic extreme metal, is finally experiencing some significant success in North America. For most fans who live in the smaller centres, they best they could manage before was to catch Alexi Laiho and his booze-fueled band of flashy Finns as part of a package tour, be it the Unholy Alliance or Gigantour, which usually meant a measly eight or nine songs, maximum, and when a band has six studio albums under their belts, it’s tough to get some variety. So the venue was packed with fans hoping to get a huge dose of the old stuff, and that’s exactly what Bodom gave them.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop on the CoB/BDM/Skeletonwitch tour.

Hysterica: Metalwar

Metalwar is somewhat similar to an 80’s band called Leather Angel; this has the same sort of feel as their 1982 album We Came to Kill. I actually expected Hysterica to be another dreadful, typical, cheesy female band and all that. Luckily I was wrong, well at least somewhat wrong.

OM: God Is Good

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sleep, the quintessential stoner/doom band that kept the Sabbath dream alive throughout the 1990’s. While guitarist Matt Pike eventually decided to play faster with High on Fire, the other two thirds of the equation kept the stoner grooves going with OM. At least until recently. Drummer Chris Hakius left the band last year with little fanfare, and was replaced by little-known Emil Amos. Not much has changed, otherwise. Al Cisneros was the anchor holding Sleep together, and he continues to man the bass and vocal duties of the guitarless duo.

Incoming Cerebral Overdrive: Controverso

Controverso is the about to be released album from Incoming Cerebral Overdrive. This is the Italian band’s second full length album. The sound is mostly metalcore with prog rock and metal influences. Each song is heavy hitting and meant to get the listener moving.

DragonForce/Sonata Arctica/Taking Dawn @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, September 25, 2009

About once a year we here in Saskabush are treated to a little variety by a reputable band that actually likes to sing every once in a while, and it’s always remarkable to witness the turnout. There’s a definite hunger for the melodic stuff out here, and judging by the big, lively crowd that packed the Odeon on this gorgeous early autumn night, yours truly wasn’t the only one who thought the double-bill of Guitar Heroes DragonForce and Finnish stars Sonata Arctica was a welcome deviation from the norm. Decked out in t-shirts that would otherwise be greeted with scorn at underground metal shows, these folks were out to get their wank on in a big way, and by night’s end, they sure got what they wanted.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop of the current DragonForce/Sonata Arctica/Taking Dawn show – even after his promised reviewer’s pass wasn’t left at the door. Read the rest of this article to see if he got his $37 worth.