Rare Breed by The Shrine

Writer’s Note: Before I continue, I gotta say that it’s been too long!  Life has been insane and I’ve gone a little more insane too!  There is far too much for me to catch up on.  Movies, video games, music albums, whatever!  But, I’m back in action in one form or another.  Even though I’m not completely back together, I’ll continue to shamble on with this reanimated corpse of a blog as well.  Will I be back to a weekly basis?  Not sure, I’m trying to kick my gaming projects into full gear.  You might get me weekly, maybe every 2 weeks.  But enough about me, let’s talk about THE SHRINE with their 2016 album, “RARE BREED!”

The Shrine wasn’t a band I would have stumbled upon by myself.  That credit goes to some of my good buddies who love hopping bars and venues to support local and smaller name bands.  But none the less, I was intrigued upon hearing their raw and awesome sound at the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn back in October 2015.  It was a joined show between them and Dirty Fences with “Big Truck” opening for them.  It was a sick sound to make for a truly sick show.  While the band did not have the newest CD available to the public yet, I was hooked on their righteous riffs and violent vibrancy.

Now, how would I describe The Shrine?  They’re a thick and fuzzy soundscape of rocky bluesy tradition, colliding with classic yet fresh hard rock alongside a screaming torrent of skater punk rock rage.  Now, what does that mean?  An eclectic mix of rock music sounds blended into a distinct, modern sound.  Containing an energy that brings to mind classic era punk and alternative groups, while bringing a heaviness and raw power associated with a Sabbath era sound; The Shrine proves to be a band that keeps a crowd rolling.  Their most recent release, “Rare Breed”, unleashes a raw and lively sound to capture the spirit of Rock and Roll.

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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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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