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Heaviness, We Got Heaviness

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Well after the cheesy listening and mellower material of the last few columns, this week we have a whole myriad of serious freaking heaviness. Ranging from the socio-political angst of Body Count to the old school metal of Torture; its heavy as hell. My neck muscles got a work-out that is for damn sure.

DVD Reviews:

Body Count — Live in LA

Body Count, the Ice-T’s all-black from South Central, metal-core outfit has finally gotten together to record a new album. The original band have lost three of its original members: two to cancer and one to a drive-by. This is a bare-bones DVD release with a fairly crude filmed performance from 2004 as its main feature. The sound isn’t anything special and neither is filming. It is a possible that this was deliberate; however the fawning interview (the reviewer comes across as scared shitless) that is a bonus DVD feature was probably not meant to be as rubbish as it turned out. There is not much in terms of extras when it comes to this DVD (well retail will have a 2 track CD included with the new album) but the music is there all the same. The infamous song “Cop Killer” is included, naturally with Ice T declaring it LA’s anthem. If you like the band Body Count a lot this might just be for you. If you just like em’ a bit then I would wait for the new CD.

Trouble — Live in Stockholm

Another live DVD filmed in Stockholm; this one from 2003 and features the legendary stoner/doom/prog metal band Trouble. A group that has influenced much of the modern stoner and doom prog scene. Four of the band’s original members are featured in this the line-up, and the band is in top form. And no that isn’t Howard Stern as lead singer; it’s Eric Wagner. It is patently obvious why these guys are so well respected. The music is heavy yet clever and atmospheric. It’s as if Pink Floyd had followed Black Sabbath in their post psychedelic/Syd Barret life. Unlike the above DVD; this is a crackingly well recorded DVD truly exemplifying the talent of this band. Needless to say this is a must-have for fans of the band and those who love stoner metal. But all metal fans would not do badly picking this DVD up. It just oozes quality and talent.

CD reviews:

Torture — Storm Alert

In 1989 this album was given a 5/5 by Kerrang! magazine. Those of us who followed the metal scene all those years ago might have agreed then. Alas, now despite being re-mastered, remixed, and re-brutalised; it sounds dated most of the time and incredibly twee often. I mean “Slay Ride” is camp thrash metal at its absolute worse; although the addition of Michael Jackson-alike spoken word adds to its humour. The amusement from the song does not last more that a few listens. With titles like “Ignominious Slaughter” and “Terror Kingdom” you know exactly what you are getting here. Its sub-Slayer thrash metal that does not really rise about the level one would expect these days. I guess what I have to say that in the 00s this sort of thing just don’t cut it. Good for nostalgic value and a bit of amusement; but little else.

Jaed — Dirty Days

That the lead singer, Vanessa Eve, seems to be obsessed with sucking penises is the first thing that strikes you. She mentions it in several of the tracks on this CD and is in general keen on the seedy side of life (which one knows all too well) with examples like “Gutter Girl” and “Scream”. “Gutter Girl” is certainly the catchiest track on this album and a highlight. Its not bad music by any means; but there seems to be quite a bit of this female-led angst/drug-addled hardish rock around at the moment. She has a great voice to be fair. I suspect this lot are great live and they are planning to tour on the back of this CD. There is nothing really bad about this CD but there is nothing really that spectacular either.

A few words about the digital music distribution experience. It seems, according to CD Baby, that iTunes has accepted our EP Cry Freedom: Rough & Ready EP for sales on its service. Now no offence to the other two outlets that were quicker off the mark than iTunes but…the fact my music will be available over iTunes is a rather cool concept.

A mixed bag of stuff this week but interesting none the less. Next we got a bit of old school metal in two varieties. While neither is the most original metal in the world it is all still rather fun. Have a good and rocking week.

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