From The Vaults: A Look at Blue Cheer

This was from a theme month where I looked back at “forgotten greats”. In this one, I looked at heavy metal pioneers, “Blue Cheer”

Blue Cheer

(Leigh, Dickie, and Paul, the original members of the band)

When people think of the origins of heavy metal, the first band to come up is Black Sabbath. However, many have speculated that one of Sabbath’s greatest influences also deserves that title. While many consider Heavy metal to come from one source, it’s more so a mix of several groups, including this one.
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From The Vaults: Iced Earth’s Dystopia

Here’s a look back at the Iced Earth album before “Plagues of Babylon”. Personally, I liked Dystopia a lot more! Find out why!

Iced Earth - Dystopia
As promised, the sequel to my Horrorshow review is here! Does Dystopia hold up to previous great records? Can Stu Block bring back that essence Iced Earth was lacking?
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Album Review: Ghost Stories (2014) – Sam Haynes/Horror Haunt Music

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Mid-spring may seem a bit late for Halloween-oriented music for most “normal” folks, but early Ministry put it best; “Every Day is Halloween.”  Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a healthy dose of horror every now and then!?

Today, the Doc looks into the dark electronica and eerie soundscapes of Ghost Stories by Sam Haynes.  More musings on morbid musics ahead!

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From The Vaults: Horror Show (Iced Earth)

Enjoy another review from the Vaults

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In 2001, Power/Thrash Metal band Iced Earth decided to release another entry in their series of concept albums.  This one might be considered their best effort (until Dystopia was released)

I won’t deny that I love Iced Earth, despite my mixed feelings towards the head of the band.  Bias aside, Horror Show is a pretty solid album.  The CD ranges from some softer, more ballad influenced tracks to rock solid thrashing tracks!

Speaking of the thrashier side of the album, what better way to start than talking about the opener, “WOLF”.  Of course, this track is an homage to werewolves and more so the classic “Wolf Man” story.  The riff are solid and intense, just as Barlow’s vocals really shine in this track.  Not to mention, the drumming by Christy adds to the intensity, making the track sound like a run for one’s life.

Damien stays true to that warped, demonic Iced Earth spirit.  And in that spirit, we’re presented with a diabolic nine minute epic.  We start with some weird, eerie intro and then the listener is immediately smacked by heavy riffs to make the faithful flee in terror.

The tracks Dracula and Phantom Opera Ghost really strike a chord (no pun intended) for trying something really different.  This shows that power metal angle really playing out.  The ballad like structure, melodic vocals, and epic incorporation of vocalist Yunhui Percifield.

Most of the other songs stick to Iced Earth’s triple style riff formula.  Is that a bad thing?  Not at all!  The tracks Jack, Im-Ho-Tep, Dragon’s Child, Frankenstein, and Jekyll & Hyde are just fine.  In fact, while not as good as the above mentioned, are still mad fun on their own.

Overall, HORROR SHOW is a great addition to anyone’s heavy metal library or even a collection of tunes for Halloween and beyond.  Stay tuned for a review of their sequel to this album, DYSTOPIA!

8.5/10

Album Review – Plagues of Babylon (Iced Earth)

Set as seen in Plagues of Babylon cover

 

Doctor Necrotic checks out the latest nightmarish concept album from Iced Earth!  And this time, the music dives into the depths of a desolate Hellscape, with the help of Set Abominae.

As many know, Iced Earth is one of those bands that really excel around making hard-hitting concept albums.  These tend to be about gritty anti-heroes like Spawn and the band’s official mascot, Set; not to mention albums that span entire genres like Gothic horror, dystopian fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction.  Iced Earth’s latest, Plagues of Babylon, hones in on the last subject.
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Rest In Peace, Mighty Cosmic Overlord

Oderus Urungus

My first official post is far from a pleasing one.  As many have already found out, GWAR’s frontman, Dave Brockie, alias “Oderus Urungus” died in his home some time last night.  It was later confirmed by his fellow bandmates.  Like many members that have left or passed prior, he helped to really shape the face of GWAR and create an iconic image of b-movie camp, shock horror, trashy lyrics, and incredible stage shows.

Jack Flanagan, the band manager stated the following in response to the tragedy;

“It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of GWAR, passed away at approximately 6:50 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23, 2014. His body was found Sunday by his bandmate at his home in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963. My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.”

The band was pretty much a big part of my public school and college experience.  I still loved hijacking the college cafeteria speakers to play GWAR instead of the trite, bland Top 40 “music” that passed through the air waves.  The reactions of revolt and disgust were enough for me, and it was GWAR that made that wonderful experience happen. While I never had the privilege of going to a concert, I was still treated to their brutal mock-executions and awesomely tasteless humor through video streams on the internet. While it wasn’t as good as seeing them live, they created a stunning display none the less.  Of course, I’ll always love GWAR, but it simply won’t be the same without Oderus leading the team.  May you return to the cosmos in peace, mighty space conqueror!