Reviews by Shane Copher
Sponsored In Part By
20 Dead Flower Children - CANDY TOY GUNS AND TELEVISION
Hook-laden techno-industrial metal with catchy rhythms, hip-hop overtones,
and sledge-like power. Gone is the pseudo-psychedelia of their debut, replaced by a
more futuristic vibe. It's kinda like an excursion into metal's next step.
Bruce Dickinson - ACCIDENT OF BIRTH
Reunited with former Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith, Bruce delivers a rock solid
effort that contains all that made Iron Maiden the premier metal act in the eighties,
with none of the fluff that made them such a disappointment in the nineties. Mr.
Dickinson's vocals are in fine form, delivering his strongest stuff in recent memory,
with slicing fretwork, crushing rhythms, and a stellar selection of material. This
album returns Bruce to the form his long term fans adore and gives the bland format
that has become metal a much needed kick in the ass.
"Freak," "Welcome to the Pit," and "Man of Sorrows" are just a few of the reasons
not to miss this release; there are ten others, so what are you waiting for?
Crushed - CRUSHED
Heavy alternative with slick grooves, power when needed, and outstanding vocals.
Crushed hails from Phoenix, Arizona and proves that the sun ain't the only thing
burnin' in the Southwest. The five cuts included here display a diversity of styles
that will surely satisfy fans of heavy music in general. Well-penned lyrics,
crisp production, and an ample supply of talent make this a disc you don't
want to overlook.
Knobby Low Boy - BUTTERFLY
New West Records
This release grabbed me right off the bat -- aggressive without being
abrasive, powerful without simply pounding. A very "musical" offering that
blends elements from many of metal's diverse categories into a fresh, energetic
sound that's very comfortable and distinct at the same time. "Officer" kicks this
off in grand style, followed by seven more cuts; no filler. This should open the
door for KLB, and I'd be willing to bet we'll be hearing a lot more from this
talented bunch in the near future.
Six Feet Under - WARPATH
Metal Blade Records
Chris Barnes' side project has stuck around to become one of death
metal's most promising bands. HAUNTED set the stage, while last year's
ALIVE AND DEAD EP proved SFU was capable of carrying their power to the
masses. With the release of WARPATH, they're proving their debut was no
fluke. This set rips from beginning to end, with Allen West's frantic
riffing front and center. "A Journey Into Darkness" and "Death or Glory" are
lethal displays of death metal at its horrific best!
Bile - BILEDEGRADABLE
Stepping even deeper into the industrial cellar, Krysztoff
and company take the post modern techno sound they developed on
TEKNOWHORE, rip off the skin, and present a raw example of industrial
distorted dementia that's more demanding of attention and almost impossible to ignore.
The production is stripped bare, providing a sound that is pulsating to the point
that it damn near swallows you up. "Rubber Love" is the most devastating track,
while the mutated offering of the Who classic "My Generation" is given the Bile
treatment to astonishing effect.
BILEDEGRADABLE showcases all that is interesting in techno while avoiding the
droll repetition that alienates fans of other heavy genres.
Fueled - IN THE HOUSE OF THE ENEMY
Fueled tackles plenty of topics on this, their debut release. From religion to
the abuse of power, from drug addiction to self-pity, they cover a lot of ground
in quick fashion. Not only do they come to grips with many of today's problems,
but the way in which they touch the subjects is every bit as powerful as the music.
Masterful writing, backed by powerful rhythms and complex structures, provides
Fueled with all the tools to take their message to the masses. This release escapes
categorization but contains all the elements of hardcore, techno, and thrash in a
musical melting pot that produces universal appeal. A strong outing.