From the Vaults: Pox Americana

As I finish writing the review for a new book, here’s a look back at an awesome album from independent artist, “Jim Strange”. His blend of post-punk, americana, and heavy music is one hell of a ride! Here’s Jime Strange with The Proud and the Damned, with their latest album “Pox Americana”.
Jim Strange
“A nihilist descendant of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave. Portland, OR resident Jim Strange is not afraid to write about the darker side of life. After years of playing in metal bands that went nowhere, in 2008 Jim decided to take the bull by the horns and start his own project. His new band The Proud and the Damned would be based around American Roots music but with the bombast of heavy metal and echoing atmosphere and chilling vocals of gothic rock. Guitarist Kyle Faircloth joined soon after and brought a flashy lead guitar element to the sound.”

– From the band’s Bio.

Howdy, tumblrland! Doc. Necrotic, here; returning to my endless search for music, both known and not so known. This time, I venture into the work of “Jim Strange” and his band “The Proud and the Damned.” His latest album, “Pox America” is a hard and heavy ride through roadside America; and we took a wrong turn straight on leading into the pits of Hell themselves. And ya know what? The result is… groovy.
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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