USA

Kylesa: Static Tensions

Kylesa could otherwise be known as “that sludgy-sounding band from Savannah with two drummers.” While technically accurate, this would be a great underestimation of what the band can do. Static Tensions, the latest album from the group, is made up of short but to-the-point songs and, while not a long album, packs quite a punch.

Label profile: Shadow Kingdom Records

Taking the name of his label from the first of writer Robert E. Howard’s fantastical Kull story series, it’ll probably come as no surprise that Shadow Kingdom Records’ and Distro deals extensively in material where swords, shields, impossibly tall marble castles and scenic green hills are stained claret-red with the remnants of some mythical battle feature prominently on album covers. But a random sampling of both the titles Shadow Kingdom owner Tim McGrogan distributes and the bands with which he works illustrates that he’s not as dogmatically dedicated to epic/traditional metal as you might expect.

Graf Orlock: Destination Time Today LP

There are three indisputable facts of life: death, taxes and that Graf Orlock is the greatest cinema-grind band of all. Granted, they may be the only cinema-grind band, but if there is such a micro-genre, they top it based on merit, not by default.

Fatalist: Rechanneling Swedish Death Metal In Ventura County

While the classic Swedish death metal scene of the late eighties and early nineties has influenced today’s scene immeasurably, there are legions of new metal fans today that have yet to discover classic bands like Nihilist, Carnage, Unleashed and Grave. The retro thrash movement is of course all the rage as of late, but not a lot of new bands have yet to pay homage to those classics captured in the formative days of Stockholm’s Sunlight Studios. Ventura County, California based quartet Fatalist is one band that would like to try and help reintroduce that classic Swedish sound to the burgeoning metal masses.

Slough Feg: Ape Uprising!

We’ve seen a lot of goofy gimmicks in metal, and monkey metal has to be a first, but if there ever was a band that could convincingly serve up a concept album based on the blatantly Hestonian notion of apes conquering the world and wiping out mankind in the process, it’s Slough Feg.

Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction @ Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto ON, June 2, 2009

Fans gathered en masse at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre looking for a bit of nostalgia. Some were there to relive Perry Farrell’s early 90’s Lollapalooza tour. Others who weren’t even born at the time were there to find out what they missed. There were definite highlights to this performance but this tour, as almost all other of the nostalgia tours didn’t quite live up to the days of old.

The Great Kat: Beethoven’s Guitar Shred

The claims about being “one of the fastest shredders of all time” and “a musical genius” The Great Kat (nee Katherine Thomas) lays down are always up for subjective debate, no matter how much she yells and screams and claims them as fact.

Superchrist: Defenders Of The Filth

This three-piece Chicago band’s music is like an intriguing mix of Motorhead and The Exploited. Their new ten-song CD has some absolutely KILLER tracks like “Stay Black,” “Take You Out” and “Still Drunk Enough” with very heavy riffs, great guitar solos and choking vocals.