The Kiddo in a Union camp at Gettysburg
Hope the 4th of July was good for all of my American readers (and for everyone else I likewise wish each and every one of you well). Spent mine in the company of my family at our annual picnic as is tradition every 4th and I am proud they have brought our soon-to-be-adopted child into the inner circle.
So we come to that part of the week again where I try to pause, catch my breath, look back on what's been going on personally and with those around me and I'm just befuddled by all of the recent celebrity deaths which have come in alarming doses. The funeral for Michael Jackson has been nothing short of a circus but also a fitting remembrance to one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever known.
On another maudlin note, Metal Church just announced their break-up, and I'm equally concerned for their record label which I've sent a query to their upper echelon for a hopeful good return of news. On the other hand, I received correspondence about Slayer's new album World Painted Blood from their press rep and it's bound to cause controversy as well as peel the skin right of out of the ear canals of their listeners. Can't wait for that one.
Been rather busy fixing up the yard and creating a pit for the kiddo's swingset which was donated to us and we'll now be working hard on getting it put together plus tackling the fearsome prospect of cleaning out the dreaded garage. The older you get, the harder it is to dedicate whole weekends to these projects, but the results are turning out nicely. If there's any way I want to grow up in this life, it's to make our property beautiful inside and out so that the child has a good place to live. Then again, I just picked up a couple seasons of Superfriends for ten bucks a pop, so he'll care about nothing but them once he gets a look at 'em. Already he's identifying Spiderman and Batman everywhere; little goof sounded out and pointed to Batman on the Superfriends box, so that makes myself, aka "Batjerk" very happy.
Listening-wise, heavy up on the new Devildriver and I'm way submerged in The Moody Blues. I spent most of the time I had available yesterday analyzing the new Mars Volta album and I'd jokingly stated on Facebook I was going to use that and a big cup of coffee to wake up since the Volta is some of the most caffeinated music out there. Octahedron, however, is more like a comforting carafe of decaf, hardly on the uppity side but still excellent and beautiful at times. I suppose Omar and Cedric (along with the Chili Peppers' John Frusciante and others) wanted to prove they could be just as effective and detailed at slow-to-mid-tempo. Takes some adjustment, but the Mars Volta continues to be as brilliant as ever.
Viewing-wise, wifey and I are plowing through Dallas Season 10 and I managed to review a couple of the music DVDs from my insane pile, Maiden's Flight 666 which you read about here at The Metal Minute and The Moody Blues' Isle of Wight 1970 concert, currently running at DVD Review.com. I'm also managing to carve out a few minutes at will to read James Patterson's Double Cross; that guy's like a bullet with his snub-nosed chapters and he still manages to be entertaining where you feel like a baby having a toy yanked out of your hands when you have to stop. Hey, kiddo, what's your opinion on that, little buddy?
Despite my schedule and the fact I am diving back into writing my second novel, I'm going for broke itinery-wise so be on the lookout here at The Metal Minute in the upcoming weeks for reviews of Ex Deo, Killswitch Engage, Job For a Cowboy, Church of Misery, Suffocation, Celan, Bury Your Dead, Lord Mantis, Eluveitie, Devin Townsend Project, Vinnie Moore, Devil's Whorehouse, Axel Rudi Pell, Hypnose, Delain, Sunn O))), Khors, Elvenkind, Assaulter, Eagle Twin, Dark Castle, Alex Gilbert & Freddie Nelson, HOD and Leeches of Lore. Plus I am rather late with that Take 5 piece with Luna Mortis, aren't I? Indeed I am, but once I have that running for you folks, be ready for a special Take 5 guest The Metal Minute is proud to bring you, Phil Labonte of All That Remains...
As if that wasn't enough to get excited about, a possible Sunday Potpourri selection may manifest as well as an Album You Can't Live Without. Metal Mark is here to take you Somewhere in Time every Tuesday and a couple other writers answered the call for contributions, so expect to see a few guest pieces crop up in the near future.
Hotter than hell, refusing to be the Sam Krubish of our time, I am humbly yours at The Metal Minute...
Ray Van Horn, Jr.
Devildriver - Pray for Villains
Ted Nugent - Free For All
Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings
The Moody Blues - Days of Future Past
The Moody Blues - On the Threshold of a Dream
The Moody Blues - 20th Century Millennium Collection
Novembers Doom - Into Night's Requiem Eternal
Novembers Doom - The Novella Reservoir
Novembers Doom - The Pale Haunt Departure
The Mars Volta - Octahedron
Ex Deo - Romulus
Glittertind - Landkjenning
The Crimson Armada - Guardians
Psychostick - Sandwich
Janis Joplin with Big Brother and The Holding Company - Live at Winterland '68