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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Al's Not Dead Yet


Ministry - Relapse
2012 13th Planet Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

I'm not one to throw stones at Al Jourgensen for putting Ministry to rest in 2008 then coming back four years after. Those of you who support this site know full well I'm subject to my own retreats and returns and you forgive me once I'm back in action. Al had his reasons for shelving Ministry, but the more important matter to address today is if his return should be taken seriously. Well, good news, mutants. Ministry beckons your eardrums and then screams bloody havoc upon them with some of the most agitated industrial metal ever laid down behind the moniker on Relapse.

The first three songs of Relapse are some of the fiercest, zaniest and ultimately finest in Al Jourgensen's noisome career. Certainly the layoff gave him some kinetic itches in his cyberpunk loins as "Ghouldiggers," "Double Tap" and "Freefall" charge up the first fifteen rabies-laden minutes of Relapse. Not that Ministry hasn't been heavy in the past decade-plus, but these three songs alone boast lineage to The Land of Rape and Honey and The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, yet quicker with more nanosecond-timed focus. Even the thrash blast and the pounding bridge on the mid-tempo cruncher "Kleptocracy" is like a rumbling preamble to something you either consider righteous or a tirade against the inevitable right wing takeover coming down the pike.

It's hard not to think these four venomous cuts as a standalone might've made for an all-time Top 5 EP. "Ghouldiggers" is an epic tirade against the music industry, which lends insight as to why Al first laid down Ministry (aside from health recovery issues) and though it takes two minutes of kvetching before the song kicks into gear, it's still hilarious stuff. The writhing pulse of "Ghouldiggers" is only superceded by its unhinged angst. Dogs are loose and they're pissed from being chained. "Double Tap" and "Freefall" are so frigging fast and precise with their ratchet-hammer digital flogging your brains feel like they've taken an overdose of the "Crope" Al pretend-hawks on the latter tune. Consider "Freefall" and the title track his revisit to "Just One Fix" territory where addictions will break you in half and metal is the only soundtrack loud enough to cram the message into your head. Of course, there will be enough potheads out there who take the "smoke more marijuana" soundbyte loop on the "Relapse" remix as gospel.

It's when Relapse opts out for a maniacal cover of S.O.D.'s "United Forces" when the album turns into a strange pill. The cover is fast...crazy fast, but ultimately unnecessary. It throws in a couple extra chorus hails and extends what was an effective statement of underground unity in its original abbreviation. Tony Campos even gets to noodle with the opening bass bars of S.O.D.'s "Milk" and okay, nyuk nyuk, but a bit of a distraction considering all of the adrenalized lunacy opening Relapse. On a personal note, I prefer Al's chunky rip on Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" under his long-ago side project, 1,000 Homo DJs.

Somewhat dominated by Al's unabashed proseletyzing and political barnstorming, it's a bit of a surprise there wasn't a song titled "Nuge, I Hate You" cropping up on Relapse. Albeit you can probably expect a similar endearment aimed towards Mitt Romney depending on the outcome of the next election. Lending a thundering march to the Occupy Movement on "99 Percenters" and urging his listeners to register and hit the polls this fall (and, not-so-subliminally imploring them to go anti-Republican) on "Git Up Get Out 'n Vote," Al Jourgensen does everything in his power to make this reboot count for something. His point-of-view is either your cup of tea (pun intended) or you're more sympathetic to Uncle Ted's red, white and shotgun creed. At least Ministry throws pistons into their platform and Relapse becomes a genuinely loud affair.

The nutjob lambasting on "Weekend Warrior" is dashed with gonzo moshing segments (as are most of the songs on Relapse, to be honest) you can't help but surrender and bang along. Suffragette City isn't all that pretty, so says Al on "Git Up Get Out 'n Vote," yet the entire bit sounds like it could've been a part of MTV's campaign publicizing years ago. Okay, so Ministry's a bit too evil-sounding for "Rock the Vote," thus there's something disconcerting about Al Jourgensen and company throwing out a PSA. Weird enough, though, it works. The frantic pace of "Git Up Get Out 'n Vote" makes it a near classic, but you get the feeling it'll provoke more slam-dancing (sorry, I'm forver old school) than than actual voter turnout.

Still, Al has a purpose with Relapse and the Killing Joke-flavored "Bloodlust" might be one of the freshest summoning-to-arms finales put down in awhile. Devoid of the "Relapse" remix, it would've been a wholly appropriate closer.

Best of all for Ministry's purposes in 2012, the Who's Who lineup behind Jourgensen is tighter than the group's been since the Psalm 69 days. Tommy Victor you know is money. Tony Campos, who's been all over the metal underground including Static-X and Soulfly...he's money. Rigor Mortis and Revolting Cocks shredder Mike Scaccia...cha ching. Even Sin Quirin (formerly of Society 1) gets his licks in as a recurring member in Ministry and you know Al must be feeling a relapse of a different sort with all of this talent in his stable. Indeed, he must be high on life throwing out an album that tears this much ass. Relapse has a few quirks and it could've maintained the same outrageous fortunes of the first four tracks, but in the end, it sounds off, loud and proud.

Now if Al and Ian MacKaye could find it within themselves to kick Pailhead back into action for another EP, ahhhhhhhh yessssss...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Van of the Dead Blu Ray/DVD Review: Mother's Day 2011



Mother's Day 2011
2012 Anchor Bay Entertainment/Lightower Entertainment
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Once again we have a pathological experiment of the new-is-old-is-new theory in contemporary horror. While recent overhauls of The Thing, Dawn of the Dead and I Spit On Your Grave have come through with surprisingly memorable results, most of the horror remakes of the past eight to ten years have been more than dubious.

The original, straight-outta-Tromaville Mother's Day from 1980 you either consider a craptacular trash classic or straight-up garbage. Either way, that film boasts a sizable cult audience which keeps its insidious legacy alive and of course, has prompted modern horror filmmakers to give it another shot. And, of course, what that spells is less emphasis on the cartoonish nuttiness shadowing the original film's inherent brutality, instead going right for the jugular as the reinvented Mother's Day 2011 does.

Rebecca DeMornay, who will forever be typecast as an ultra-compulsive nutjob who operates within the constructs of nuclear families (or quasi, in this case), takes the helm in the new Mother's Day. Don't expect her to reprise the looney-tunes bewitched couture of Rose Ross from the original film. There is virtually no camp to Mother's Day 2011. Camp, though, was the reason the 1980 film has any kind of staying power three decades beyond its release.

That film was cheap and sloppy with the disgusting premise of a sadistic mother training her barnyard-bred progeny to hold women hostage and then rape them like scenes in a backwoods stage production of Caligula. Yet the movie was freaking hilarious, the setting was creepy, the dilapidated house was a true terror zone and at the time, Mother's Day 1980 ran for broke with a subliminal sock-in-the-puss attack on consumerism. On top of it, you had two dolt brothers constantly needling at one another over their music preferences, i.e. "Punk sucks..." "Disco's stupid..." It took sibling rivalry to an unexpected, funny place and it took some of the shock value out of the awful things that were going to happen to Nancy Hendrickson and her friends.

Aside from incorporating a psychotic mother and the two core brothers, Addley and Ike from the original film, Mother's Day 2011 is by all means its own beast and the film is a beast, make no pretentions otherwise. It's savage, it's gory, it's detailed and prolonged. It's also just another ugly film in a seemingly interminable series of ugly "realistic" horror films designed to get the rocks off of today's generation of bloody thrill seekers. There is no real comic relief to Mother's Day 2011 and this Addley and Ike (Warren Kole and Patrick Flueger) are far more reprehensible than their 1980 predecessors, Billy Ray McQuade and Holdern McGuire. They almost never squabble. What the hell, man? Wasted opportunity to have "Plain White T's sucks..." "Bieber's stupid..."

Moreover, Addley and Ike (Koffin's the last name here instead of Coffin from the original, you know how this generation rolls with cooler-than-you deliberate misspellings) get two other siblings as part of Rebecca DeMornay's kidnappped-from- birth clan, Johnny and Lydia. Forget the woods here. That slasher-in-the-forest motif's been overcooked (if they remake The Burning at this point, I'm hanging it all up) and producer Brett Ratner wisely changes the setting to midwest suburbia. In fact, Mother's Day 2011 bears almost no resemblance to the 1980 film and that is its biggest merit. Ratner and company take the bare fundamentals from Charles and Lloyd Kaufman's (who do show up in cameos in this film) mutated killer family angle and turns the story on the edge of a knife and a shotgun shell.

The cast of this film doubles the original's, which gives director Darren Lynn Bousman the opportunity to stage one chewy slaughter scene after another. Most of the kills here come with juicy gun blast squibs, and after the film starts grinding its abrasive pistons, everything goes berserk. The thing is, a little more oil to keep the movie calibrated might've been in order because the eruptive massacre becomes such a loose cannon the final sequences derail some of the overall believability presented.

The gist this time around has DeMornay's bank robbing sons crash into a house that was once their's, now owned by a young couple grieving the loss of their young son and who are also dealing with infidelity (discovered later in the plot). The third son Johnny has been shot in the side and the boys return to the house they knew, unaware it was foreclosed. A housewarming party for the new owners turns into a gradual pickoff once "Mother" arrives to claim her family and to demand money her sons have forwarded her at the soon-to-be splattered domicile. Unlike the original film, in which Rose Ross keeps her savage brood at arms-length, DeMornay has turned her heathen scum loose upon society for presumed months on end, then summons them back to her side. If DeMornay has any connection to Ross' psychosexual surrogate, it's when she forces one of the characters to give her wounded "son" Johnny is a lap dance.

The film gets nasty in a hurry as Addley and Ike torment the party guests, albeit without the graphic rape segments of the '80 flick. Rape is implied and simulated as sheer head games against their prey and the events devolve so much friend is set upon friend in a dastardly brawl for the Koffins' amusement. While DeMornay sends Ike out with lead character Beth Sohapi (ugh, what a terrible name) to scrape up valuables for them to loot on their way out of the country, the house becomes a veritable hellhole. Threats of mass killing pervade the entire film, particularly in a race against time with a doctor in the house trying to keep Johnny alive--all with murder and torture spraying about him.

That much of Mother's Day 2011 works effectively as a chilling bit of splatter cinema. It would've been enough if this film was the "psychological" terror tale it's been purported to be. In essence, this is a slightly higher budget snuff film. With so many extra characters this time around, however, the viewer has to pay a bit more attention to people who are going to get blasted or mauled. This is nearly a two hour film, which is a bit long and ultimately the plausability over those who survive their misfortunes and those who die becomes a hazy gray area. People you think are goners somehow rematerialize, while Beth and "Mother" have an over-the-top dukeout which isn't quite sellable. I don't want to spoil the ending, but let's just say Beth has been hiding many secrets of her own despite her husband's affair with another character, one of the biggest being the unborn in her belly. You can safely assume what the final scene will be given the set-up of the film. Slick, but too slick.

To her credit, DeMornay plays her hand even shadier than her signature sexy babysitter from the edge role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. At this point in DeMornay's career, she carries more sage and she brings a Kathleen Turner-esque (think The Virgin Suicides) nihilism to this film and it's hard to turn away from her. Far more attractive and more calculating than Rose Ross, DeMornay carries this film largely on her shoulders. Why else should we bother to watch, because Mother's Day 2011 is otherwise a sanguinary by-product of the times we live in.

Today's humor is dark if there at all, but it's without humor most of the time. I find the "Dobber" flashback scene in the original Mother's Day goofier than just almost anything in horror since the Kaufman brothers had the moxy to break up their horror tale with Tommy James and the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now" overtop that grossly-unrelated side story. It did give us sympathy for those girls, though. Editors today would demand this be cut out since it slips off the pace of the story, but Mother's Day 1980 still wrapped within an hour-and-a-half and its ending was so gonzo it left an impact. We were subtly worried who or what this "Queenie" was until she sprang up in the final frame. Of course, we were laughing so hard that Rose Ross was asphyxiated by an inflatable boob pillow and her sons had been dispatched with a television and liquid Drano that the parting shot of the film was a near shock. I still wince at the wire cutting into the hands as the girls lower one another out of the house in sleeping bags in that old film. It looked real and felt real. Still, it was all so outlandish you didn't get as nauseated as you do scalding water poured down ear canals and scalp torching as you're forced to witness this time around.

2011, the bloody business looks even more on the dime (if you consider that an asset), though Queenie isn't real at all; she's just used by DeMornay's "Mother" as an urban legend to keep her outlaw band in check. When your kids are ravenous hedonists, there's nothing to keep them in check other than death. Audiences today don't give a damn who dies, just so long as they do die so there's something to talk about over the messageboards. That, unfortunately, is what it takes to sell horror today. Frankly, I was much more enthralled by Donnie Yen clocking the arrogant British boxer in Ip Man 2 than waiting for the dirty dogs in this film to meet their maker.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pyrrho and Epicurus Step Into the 21st Century



Pelican - Ataraxia/Taraxis EP
2012 Southern Lord
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

As ever, those lads in Pelican are busy dudes. Aside from delivering a recent split with These Arms Are Snakes, Pelican gears up for an active April with their upcoming 7-inch vinyl release, "Playing Enemy," due for release on the 21st.

If you're a devout follower of the band, though, you know Pelican's motif has always been to prime their audience with an obligatory kickoff EP to what will be followed by a future full-length. Thus we have Ataraxia/Taraxis, Pelican's four song EP which gives us a somewhat safe and somewhat exploratory peep through the keyhole of their distortion-fed parallax of art metal.

It's a widely shared opinion Pelican refined their craft on 2009's What We All Come to Need and Ataraxia/Taraxis continues the trend with crisp production, tight songwriting, angular mid-tempo shredding and all of the booming chord slides they've perfected at this point. What that means is Ataraxia/Taraxis is a kickback piece with two center cuts of familiarity bookended by two revelatory steps outside the box.

Indicated by the title of this EP, "Ataraxia" and "Taraxis" are the extensive intro and outtros to the meaty and rhythmic middle songs, "Lathe Biosas" and "Parasite Colony." If you'll excuse the blase terminology, the latter two songs are so Pelican-esque you'll either sink and smile in comfort or you'll scratch your chin a bit and hope their next LP takes more of a risk as "Ataraxia" and "Taraxis" does by mingling acoustic paths with sequencers and Moogs.

Then again, consider what's implied by Pelican's titling here. Ataraxia is the Greek term for a lucid, relaxed state of mind, to rid one's self of worry. Certainly this EP carries an epichurial free-float to much of it and this scheme works like a charm. Particularly once the listener is sedated by Pelican's lofty platitudes within the first four minutes of "Taraxis" before they're sucker punched with a choppy and loud deneumont. Quite a brash finish Pelican delivers on this abbreviated ride through their tone-drenched pastures, one which allows for a stopover at a sedate audile lake they've kept mostly in private.

As always, worth the investment of your time. In this case, you either step into Ataraxia/Taraxis without preoccupation and allow Pelican to noodle you along for twenty minutes, or you open this EP's portal and study to your heart's content. Either way, you'll end up at the same destination, which is why Pelican is just that danged smart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Whattya Listenin' to Wednesday (The Late Night Edition) 4/11/12

Evening, readers! After a full 12 hour shift, I'm pretty far gone for the night, but I know some people have inquired me about resurrecting the Whattya Listenin' to Wednesday segment here at The Metal Minute. If that applies to you, you'd best be participating and kick out your jams right here! I can't promise to do it every week, but we'll let nature dictate.

A new Boris album is due out on the 17th of this month and I'm giddy just thinking about it. This is the best band on the planet outside of Maiden and I'm psyched beyond words for some future Boris mania. Thus my playlist reflects more than just a little love for Wata, Atsuo and Takeshi. Hails forever to the thunder from the east, and I'm not talking about Loudness--still a cool, classic metal band of their time. Boris, though? These cats occupy a different space on this planet than the rest of us.



Boris - Heavy Rocks
Boris - Attention Please
Boris - Pink
Boris - Smile
Boris - Akuma No Uta
Boris - Flood
Boris - The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked
Boris - Amplifier Worship
Boris - Absolutego
Boris With Michio Kurihara - Rainbow
BXI - s/t EP
Sunn O))) & Boris - Altar
The Spittin' Cobras - Year of the Cobra
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Accept - Stalingrad
Epica - Requiem for the Indifferent
Pelican - Ataraxia/Taraxis EP
Ufomammut - Oro Opus Primum
Long Distance Calling - Satellite Bay
Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express
Can - Delay
Can - Future Days
Neu! - s/t
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Amy Winehouse - Frank
Roxy Music - s/t

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Tornillo Is Here To Stay Awhile, So Just Accept It



Accept - Stalingrad: Brothers In Death
2012 Nuclear Blast Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

I consider myself an open-minded individual and don't mind being proven wrong if I suspect something amiss at face value. Still, there are few things I give a genuine pass to, in particular with music. Wolfgang Van Halen gets a pass in place of Michael Anthony on A Different Kind of Truth because Wolfie went the extra mile to prove himself and to prove his sire's faith in him. Blasphemous as it may be to many power metal fans to say, goddammit, I'm giving Mark Tornillo more than just a pass.

For the most part, Accept 2.0 has been well, accepted by the metal community. Face the facts, everybody; Udo Dirkschneider is a legend and he is to Accept what David Lee Roth is to you-know-who. Let me tell you something, though. I've sat down with both Udo and Wolf Hoffmann in recent years and though I cued neither gentleman, there remains an undercurrent of angst expressed by both parties that doesn't look to be resolved anytime soon. Never say never, of course, but in the meantime, Dirkschneider continues to steamroll ahead with U.D.O. while Accept have staged one hell of a comeback in the new millennium. To whom do they owe this rousing resurge?

Mark Tornillo.

Some people still cannot give poor Derrick Green of Sepultura a break despite the fact his stay at the mike well exceeds Max Cavalera's. Sepultura stays relevant in large part because of Green's energy, much as Accept has benefited from the gunslinging enthusiasm of Mark Tornillo. 2010's Blood of the Nations was a wonderful howdy-do for Wolfmann, Tornillo and company but the proving factor Tornillo is no fluke and no scab comes this year with Stalingrad: Brothers in Death.

I'm telling you right now there is no way Accept would sound this urgent and excited with Udo in the band. Tornillo's range, his broader pitches and best of all, his never-say-quit attitude has left a monster imprint upon Accept and if you care about power metal the way it should sound, then cut Tornillo some slack if you haven't already. Accept, for the second album in a row, comes to play on Stalingrad and you might say the subtitle ought to instead be Russian Roulette Redeemed.

Still fast as a shark on "Hung, Drawn and Quartered," "Flash to Bang Time" and "Quick and the Dead," Accept hearken the old days with Stefan Schwarzmann's pounding velocity, Wolfmann and Frank Herman's sparkling guitar solos, low end thunder from Peter Baltes and commanding delivery out of Mark Tornillo's confident pipes. Once in awhile you might catch him nailing some of Udo's high altos, but mostly Tornillo remains his own man and Accept flies alongside him. Watch them play live together if you have further doubts.

Stalingrad is probably best considered a quasi concept album through its banging title song in tandem with the marching "Hellfire," "Shadow Soldiers," "Revolution" and "Against the World." Tornillo growls harmoniously about carrying a fire inside one's heart in the name of freedom (i.e. the Russian Revolution) on "Shadow Soliders." Academics aside, this is as much a message about Accept as a band and where they're at right now. The fire blazes inside their Teutonic (and American) hearts and whereas 1986's Russian Roulette had more than a few shortcomings due to in-house separatism, Stalingrad is expelled from an undivided front professing unity. Hard not to notice the duality at work here. The cool swagger of "Twist of Fate" is full-on declaration this incarnation of Accept is more than comfortable with themselves. You can't teach that kind of camaraderie; it's natural and then fostered.

There are very few moments of serenity on Stalingrad. It's as methodic and loud as its subject matter but hardly cold. As with Blood of the Nations, the songwriting is crisp and memorable. Okay, we likely won't have another "Balls to the Wall" or "Screaming For a Love Bite," but we don't need Accept to re-commercialize. They're damned good as they are and you're not going to find too many competitors who can stand up to the sheer force of "Galley," much less the precise axis tilt of "Flash to Bang Time."

If there's anything left to be said about why Mark Tornillo should or should not be fronting Accept, listen to this album and then go back to Objection Overruled and Russian Roullete. Moments of goodness on each, but it's beyond obvious why Tornillo deserves to stay at the helm of a heavy metal juggernaut hitting stride at the perfect time.

Friday, April 06, 2012

2012 Just MIGHT Be the Year of the Cobra



The Spittin' Cobras - Year of the Cobra
2012 Omega Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Seattle might be considered the doldums capital of the United States, but someone forgot to tell Jules Hodgson that. When he's not shredding for Sascha Konietzko and co-producing KMFDM, Hodgson has an outlet where he can turn his wolves loose. In Seattle, he and The Spittin' Cobras are catching on in a big way. Even The Reverend Horton Heat's taken notice by offering this band some opening gigs. God help those folks coming to those shows, because the Psychobilly Freakout will actually need to compete with his warm-up. Yeah, I'm saying it--and I love the Rev with all my heart--because The Spittin' Cobras are that awesome.

The underhanded problem with metal and hard rock today is the high expectancy heaped its upon artists. It's not enough anymore to just kick ass, which was the founding principle of seventies and eighties-based hard rock and metal. The genres have been escalated to such proficiency levels one almost needs to bring a Juliard degree to the table, thus scrutiny becomes automatic. If you have a metallic sound at all to your vibe, you're under the gun to write progressions of such complexity you'll be a zero or a hero in nanoseconds depending on your pedigree.

That's fine, but seriously, what the hell is wrong with just plugging in and going balls-out with everything you have? What's wrong with stirring your loins to the point of lust behind your instruments and letting that tension sieve out through straightforward, cocks-up belligerence? Rock and roll in the beginning was partially an act of rebellion and partially an act of autoeroticism. This applies to both performers and listeners. Somewhere in today's rock and metal manual, however, that element has been skipped over if not obliquely omitted. The core sentiment of heavy music, people, is to rock.

With lead vocalist Alx Karchevsky bearing shades of Bon Scott (minus the latter's Aussie horndog pub drawl) and a collective dead-eyed focus upon blasting eardrums out with old-fashioned thrash and bar rock, The Spittin' Cobras deliver one of the coolest and loudest albums in quite some time. Year of the Cobra is unpretentious, it's boisterous, it's fast as hell, even at mid-tempo. Nine songs of ass-kicking mania, including a rowdy cover of Rainbow's "Long Live Rock 'n Roll," and the cover is just a well-met decoration, really.

Year of the Cobra is headbanging heaven, just from the blistering mosh rhythms of "Built For Speed," "10,000 Broken Bodies" and "Criminal Mastermind," three of the giddiest thrashfests you'll enjoy in 2012. For certain, Jules Hodgson brings some of KMFDM's faster elements into play on these songs, yet they're still grounded in Van Halen, Motorhead, Nashville Pussy and Rose Tattoo. Hodgson is a freaking maniac all over "Criminal Mastermind," torching both the top and bottom straits of the track. It's hard not to sink into this stuff while going berserk from "Criminal Mastermind's" furious charge.

L.A. Guns at their most menacing is reflected all over "Throw Your Horns," a song that deserves a pump from the fans. Guaranteed The Spittin' Cobras won't have to shamelessly ply and beg for horns from their audiences like everyone else does. It will be a reflexive act because this tune peels the paint along with "Coup D'Etat," "Hooker With a Heart of Gold" and the boomming lead cut, "All the Way." The Spittin' Cobras have not only given Chrome Division a run for the money in the alter-ego throwback sweepstakes; they zip down the final stretch for a hefty win.

Alx Karchevsky threatens to take his listeners all the way and subsequently blow them gone on "All the Way." There was a time when such poser bravado was considered cheesy. Out of this guy's wrangling pipes and backed up by three other men who obviously hold four beers worth of piss inside them whenever they play, there's genuine moxy to such a claim. Indeed, The Spittin' Cobras will blow you away.

So if you're just a bit hung over on tech metal, death metal and black metal, take a break for a moment and step up to Year of the Cobra. Take Alx's invitation to have another beer and have another whiskey while "Last Chance Saloon" spins. It's worth the dumbing down from whatever you're listening to right now. This album will remind you why you got into heavy music in the first place.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pardon the Interruption



At the request of For Today's record label, with whom I have enjoyed excellent rapport with over the years, I have temporarily removed yesterday's review of the band's forthcoming album, Immortal until the week of its release. Fans of For Today should mark their calendars for May 22nd as the official drop date of Immortal.

The review will return at that point. Until then, stay tuned for more transmissions here at The Metal Minute. Apologies to all for the inconvenience and thanks to everyone who came by the site yesterday. The traffic meter spiked considerably, so your support, as always, is much appreciated.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ray Is Featured In the "Be Our Guest" Section at Steppin' Out Magazine This Week




This week I'll be plugging my Smashwords short story "John's Dead" in the "Be Our Guest" segment in Steppin' Out magazine.

A special note of gratitude to Dan Lorenzo of Hades, Non-Fiction and The Cursed for hooking this up for me. You rule, brutha!