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Album Reviews Articles 

The Ramones – Revisiting Too Tough To Die

The Ramones had gotten too far from their core in the early eighties. Fruitless efforts to win over radio had transformed the boys from Queens into a pop band. It was time to recapture the inspired simplicity of their formative years. Hailed as their comeback record, Too Tough To Die recaptures the excitement of the early days. It was like 1978 all over again. Not only had Tommy reprised his role as producer, The Ramones also had a brand new drummer. Replacing the recently fired Marky, Richie Ramone seemed determined to…

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Top 10 Thrash EPs

The EP was a popular format for thrash bands signed to cash strapped labels. Typically holding between three to five songs, bands filled these shorter records with a variety of material. Sometimes an EP unveiled new songs. Other times the format doubled as a live album. Cover songs were another popular option. Join us as we explore the glory days of the Thrash EP! SLAYER- HAUNTING THE CHAPEL Clocking in at just over 13 minutes, Haunting the Chapel was the perfect follow-up to Show No Mercy. “Chemical Warfare” and “Captor of…

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Hardwired…to Self-Destruct: Reconciling with Metallica

Full disclosure. I was one of the fans that felt alienated by the “Black Album.” Those feelings only intensified with the release of Load and Reload. I hated their new image, the haircuts, the music, but most of all, I resented that they had turned their backs on metal. In short, I disconnected from all things Metallica. Please don’t be angry with me. I know many fans stayed with the band every step of the way. Millions came on board during the era that caused me to flee. I don’t…

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Black Sabbath: Revisiting Born Again

Born Again has enjoyed renewed interest in recent years. The only album to feature vocalist Ian Gillan, the lineup faced the unfair burden of competing with preconceptions of what Black Sabbath should be. Gillan soon returned to Deep Purple while Iommi began work on the Seventh Star record. Born Again has since become a half-forgotten gem in the vast Sabbath canon. Time has a way of mending wrongs. As older fans listen with fresh ears and younger ones retroactively explore Deep Sabbath, Born Again has earned a cult following. Not only…

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ROCKET TO RUSSIA: THE PUNK ROCK ART OF THE RAMONES

  The Ramones had high expectations for Rocket To Russia. Songs like “Rockaway Beach,” “Locket Love” and “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” were pure pop. When the album peaked at 49 on the billboard charts the band was bitterly disappointed. Many blamed the stalled momentum on a rival band from the U.K. The Sex Pistols had dirtied up the punk aesthetic with their nihilistic self-destruction. For better or worse, the genre was now viewed as confrontational and dangerous. Radio shunned all things punk. Any chance of Rocket to Russia yielding…

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MEGADETH – DYSTOPIA ALBUM REVIEW

Dystopia is the product of perseverance. When Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick abruptly quit the band after the disappointing Super Collider, Megadeth fell into disarray. Rampant rumors of a Rust in Peace reunion failed to materialize. A complete transformation was necessary to get the band back on track. Enter Kiko Loureiro and Chris Adler. These two giants were exactly what was needed to re-energize Mustaine. With the familiar presence of Ellefson holding the band together, this latest incarnation has created the best Megadeth album in decades.   There was never…

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TOP 10 THRASH METAL ALBUMS

Compiling a list of the greatest thrash albums is no easy task. With so many worthy contenders, it’s quite a challenge to narrow the options down to ten. After much contemplation, the task is complete. The following records represent the finest thrash metal has to offer. EXODUS – BONDED BY BLOOD The music of Exodus was groundbreaking. Their mission was simple. Play fast, heavy and embrace an inner love for pure metal. In the process, Exodus helped create a new genre. The excitement of these early years are forever immortalized…

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SAINT VITUS – V ALBUM REVIEW

Saint Vitus fans have been spoiled. Most of the classic Vitus albums have been reissued. The band’s 5th album, V, had long been the exception. Thanks to Hankenstein records, this lost classic is available on vinyl once again. Remastered and limited to 1000 copies, this pressing will soon become a rarity.   Originally released in 1990, V is a pivotal album in the Saint Vitus discography. After nearly a decade with SST Records, the band found themselves signed to a new upstart label. In addition to V, Hell Hound Records decided…

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IRON MAIDEN – THE BOOK OF SOULS ALBUM REVIEW

Fifteen years have passed since Iron Maiden reunited with Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith. Brave New World, made it apparent that a new Iron Maiden had reared its head. Rambling lyrics and clean guitars were miles away from vintage Maiden. Tours promoting new albums focused almost exclusively on newer material. Many older fans felt abandoned but the strategy of divorcing past from present proved wise. Iron Maiden emerged a contemporary success rather than a nostalgia act. Secure in this triumph, the band finally seems comfortable embracing their history within the…

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Don’t RUSH to Judgement: An Impassioned Defense of Caress of Steel

Rush fans are a funny bunch. Passionate and opinionated, they love to argue amongst themselves. From Zeppelin-esque beginnings, to prog-rock glory, to misadventures with keyboards, the band simply followed their musical instincts. While most fans embrace all eras, an emotional minority clings to specific periods that they hold near to their heart. For me, this narrow connection roughly translates to 70’s Rush. True, I love parts of Permanent Waves and freely admit that “YYZ” is an indisputable work of undying perfection. Yet, to me, Hemispheres was the last great Rush…

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