Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Albums Of 2009

  1. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Slumberland
  2. Death - ...For The Whole World To See, Drag City
  3. Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall, Matador
  4. Built To Spill - There Is No Enemy, Warner Bros.
  5. Sonic Youth - The Eternal, Matador
  6. Dinosaur Jr - Farm, Jagjaguwar
  7. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains, self-released
  8. Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine - The Audacity Of Hype, Alternative Tentacles
  9. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast, Fat Possum
  10. Future Of The Left - Travels With Myself And Another, 4AD
  11. Entrance Band, Ecstatic Peace
  12. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career, 4AD
  13. Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know, Rhino
  14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz, Interscope
  15. A.C. Newman - Get Guilty, Matador
  16. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns, Parlophone
  17. Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life, Century Media
  18. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone, ANTI-
  19. Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong, In The Red
  20. Jemina Pearl - Break It Up, Ecstatic Peace
  21. Megadeth - Endgame, Roadrunner
  22. Mission Of Burma - The Sound The Speed The Light, Matador
  23. Slayer - World Painted Blood, American/Sony
  24. Iggy Pop - Préliminaires, Astralwerks
  25. Dark Was The Night: A Red Hot Compilation, 4AD

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Of '00s

Everyone else is doing it, so why not me?

Top Albums Of The Decade
  1. The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic, 2000
  2. Nina Gordon - Tonight And The Rest Of My Life, 2000
  3. Lacuna Coil - Comalies, 2002
  4. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, 2007
  5. A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms, 2000
  6. The Distillers - Coral Fang, 2003
  7. Elliott Smith - From A Basement On The Hill, 2004
  8. Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk, 2001
  9. Mark Lanegan Band - Bubblegum, 2004
  10. Foo Fighters - In Your Honor, 2005
  11. Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08, 2008
  12. Elliott Smith - Figure 8, 2000
  13. Ministry - Houses Of The Molé, 2004
  14. The New Pornographers - Challengers, 2007
  15. Sonic Youth - Murray Street, 2002
  16. Explosions In The Sky - Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever, 2001
  17. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP, 2001
  18. The Darkness - Permission To Land, 2003
  19. Danzig - The Lost Tracks Of Danzig, 2007
  20. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven!, 2000
  21. Billy Idol - Devil's Playground, 2005
  22. Fucked Up - The Chemistry Of Common Life, 2008
  23. Ministry - Animositisomina, 2003
  24. Shakira - Laundry Service, 2001
  25. Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf, 2003
  26. Jay Reatard - Blood Visions, 2006
  27. Poe - Haunted, 2000
  28. Be Your Own Pet, 2006
  29. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, 2007
  30. Broken Social Scene, 2005
  31. Fucked Up - Hidden World, 2006
  32. Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse, 2004
  33. Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, 2007
  34. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind, 2000
  35. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - The Reincarnation Of Luna, 2001
  36. Elliott Smith - New Moon, 2007
  37. The Distillers - 2000
  38. Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death, 2006
  39. R.E.M. - Accelerate, 2008
  40. Death - ...For The Whole World To See, 2009
  41. Beyoncé - I Am...Sasha Fierce, 2008
  42. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away, 2007
  43. Shakira - Oral Fixation, 2005
  44. Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward, 2008
  45. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad Of The Broken Seas, 2006
  46. A Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band With Choir - Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards, 2001
  47. Ministry - Rio Grande Blood, 2006

Top Songs Of The Decade
  1. “King's Crossing," Elliott Smith from From A Basement On The Hill, 2004 (Elliott Smith)
  2. "Casino Nanaimo,” The Besnard Lakes from Casino Nanaimo, 2007 (Lasek/Goreas)
  3. "For All These Things That I Have Done,” The Killers from Hot Fuss, 2004 (Brandon Flowers)
  4. “The Rat,” The Walkmen from Bows + Arrows, 2004 (Barrick/Bauer/Leithauser/Maroon/Martin)
  5. “3 Libras,” A Perfect Circle from Mer de Noms, 2000 (Keenan/Howerdel)
  6. “Halo,” Beyoncé from I Am...Sasha Fierce, 2008 (Knowles/Bogart/Tedder)
  7. “Knockers,” The Darkness from One Ticket To Hell...And Back, 2005 (J. Hawkins/D. Hawkins/Poullain)
  8. “Stan,” Eminem featuring Dido from The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000 (Mathers/Armstrong/Herman)
  9. “Party Hard,” Andrew WK from I Get Wet, 2001 (Andrew Wilkes-Krier)
  10. “A Sorta Fairytale,” Tori Amos from Scarlet's Walk, 2001 (Tori Amos)
  11. “Threshold Apprehension,” Black Francis from Bluefinger, 2007 (Charles Thompson)
  12. “Mass Romantic,” The New Pornographers from Mass Romantic, 2000 (A.C. Newman)
  13. “Vicarious,” Tool from 10,000 Days, 2006 (Carey/Chancellor/Jones/Keenan)
  14. “Supernatural Superserious,” R.E.M. from Accelerate, 2008 (Buck/Mills/Stipe)
  15. “Haunted,” Poe from Haunted, 2000 (Danielewski/Elizondo/O'Brien)
  16. “Safe Home,” Anthrax from We've Come For You All, 2003 (Benante/Ian/Bello/Bush/Caggiano)
  17. “Underneath Your Clothes,” Shakira from Laundry Service, 2001 (Mebarak/Mendez)
  18. “City Of Angels,” The Distillers from Sing Sing Death House, 2002 (Brody Dalle)
  19. “No Way Back," Foo Fighters from In Your Honor, 2005 (Grohl/Hawkins/Mendel/Shiflett)
  20. “Heaven's A Lie,” Lacuna Coil from Comalies, 2002 (Biazzi/Coti Zelati/Ferro/Migliore/Mozzati/Scabbia)
  21. “Wonderboy,” Tenacious D from Tenacious D, 2001 (Black/Gass)
  22. “Something That You Said,” The Bangles from Doll Revolution, 2003 (Hoffs/Peterson/Caffey)
  23. “Die Dead Enough,” Megadeth from The System Has Failed, 2004 (Dave Mustaine)
  24. “Death Threat,” My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult from Death Threat, 2009 (Nardiello/Daley)
  25. “Idle Hands,” The Gutter Twins from Saturnalia, 2008 (Dulli/Lanegan)
  26. “No W,” Ministry from Houses Of The Molé, 2004 (Al Jourgensen)
  27. “Just Like A Pill,” P!nk from M!ssundaztood, 2001 (Moore/Austin)
  28. “Cold, Cold Rain,” Danzig from The Lost Tracks Of Danzig, 2007 (Glenn Anzalone)
  29. “See/Saw,” Jay Reatard from Matador Singles '08, 2008 (Jimmie Lindsey)
  30. “Walk On,” U2 from All That You Can't Leave Behind, 2001 (Clayton/Evans/Hewson/Mullen)
  31. “Runnin' (Dying To Live),” 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. from Tupac Resurrection, 2003 (Shakur/Wallace/Harvey/Winter/Mathers/Resto)
  32. “Sex On Fire,” Kings Of Leon from Only By The Night, 2008 (C. Followill/J. Followill/M. Followill/N. Followill)
  33. “Zero,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs from It's Blitz, 2009 (Chase/Orzolek/Zinner)
  34. “Futurama,” Non Phixion from The Future Is Now, 2002 (R. Braunstein/W. Braunstein/Manzanilla)
  35. "Devasation," The Besnard Lakes from The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, 2007 (Lasek/Goreas)
  36. “Los Angeles Is Burning,” Bad Religion from The Empire Strikes First, 2004 (Graffin/Gurewitz)
  37. “Unforgiven,” The Go-Go's from God Bless The Go-Go's, 2001 (Caffey/Wiedlin/Armstrong)
  38. “Demon Speeding,” Rob Zombie from The Sinister Urge, 2001 (Cummings/Humphrey)
  39. “Coin-Operated Boy,” The Dresden Dolls from The Dresden Dolls, 2004 (Amanda Palmer)
  40. “Mojo,” Peeping Tom from Peeping Tom, 2006 (Patton/Nakamura)
  41. “Missed The Boat,” Modest Mouse from We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, 2007 (Brock/Green/Judy/Marr/Peloso/Plummer)
  42. “Christmas Lights,” Nina Gordon from Bleeding Heart Graffiti, 2006 (Nina Gordon)
  43. “The Age Of Innocence,” Iron Maiden from Dance Of Death, 2003 (Murray/Harris)
  44. “Bruiser,” The Misfits from Cuts From The Crypt, 2000 (Gerald Caiafa)
  45. “You're The Only One,” Maria Mena from White Turns Blue, 2004 (Mena/Solvang)
  46. “Oxygen,” Soul Asylum from The Silver Lining, 2006 (David Pirner)
  47. “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” The Darkness from Permission To Land, 2003 (J. Hawkins/D. Hawkins/Poullain/Graham)
  48. “Fake Palindromes,” Andrew Bird from The Mysterious Production Of Eggs, 2005 (Andrew Bird)
  49. “The Laws Have Changed,” The New Pornographers from Electric Version, 2003 (A.C. Newman)
  50. “Closer (My Love),” Entwine from Gone, 2001 (Hanttu/Heikkonen/Miettinen/Mikkola/Tauriainen)
  51. “That Teenage Feeling,” Neko Case from Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, 2006 (Neko Case)
  52. “Sherri,” Billy Idol from Devil's Playground, 2005 (William Broad)
  53. “Lose Yourself,” Eminem from 8 Mile, 2002 (Mathers/Bass/Resto)
  54. “Vincent O'Brien,” M. Ward from Transfiguration Of Vincent, 2003 (Matt Ward)
  55. “Right Where It Belongs,” Nine Inch Nails from With Teeth, 2005 (Trent Reznor)
  56. “Kissing The Lipless,” The Shins from Chute Too Narrow, 2003 (James Mercer)
  57. “Thrown Idols,” Airiel from The Battle Of Sealand, 2007 (Wrenn/Osbourne/Rungger/DeBrizzio)
  58. “Archetype,” Fear Factory from Archetype, 2004 (Bell/Herrera/Wolbers)
  59. “Like Eating Glass,” Bloc Party from Silent Alarm, 2005 (Lissack/Moakes/Okereke/Tong)
  60. “My Idea Of Fun,” The Stooges from The Weirdness, 2007 (R. Asheton/S. Asheton/Osterberg)
  61. “Red Red Red,” Fiona Apple from Extraordinary Machine, 2005 (Fiona Apple Maggart)
  62. “Saints Of Los Angeles,” Mötley Crüe from Saints Of Los Angeles, 2008(Feranna/Michael/Ashba/Frederiksen)
  63. “Capt Midnight,” Tomahawk from Mit Gas, 2003 (Denison/Patton/Rutmanis/Stanier)
  64. “Yasmin The Light,” Explosions In The Sky from Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever, 2001 (Hrasky/James/Rayani/Smith)
  65. “Umbrella,” Rihanna from Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007 (Carter/Harrell/Nash/Stewart)
  66. “Fire Department,” Be Your Own Pet from Summer Sensation, 2006 (Abegg/Orall/Stein/Vasquez)
  67. “Broken,” Bruce Dickinson from The Best Of Bruce Dickinson, 2001 (Dickinson/Ramirez)
  68. “Ibi Dreams Of Pavement (A Better Day),” Broken Social Scene from Broken Social Scene, 2005(Benchetrit/Canning/Cranley/Drew/Millan/Peroff/Shaw/Whiteman)
  69. “Easy Way Out,” Elliott Smith from Figure 8, 2000 (Elliott Smith)
  70. “Teen Angst,” M83 from Before The Dawn Heals Us, 2005 (Anthony Gonzalez)
  71. “Do It Again,” Nada Surf from The Weight Is A Gift, 2005 (Caws/Lorca/Elliot)
  72. “The False Husband,” Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan from Ballad Of The Broken Seas, 2006 (Isobel Campbell)
  73. “Count On My Love,” Liz Phair from Somebody's Miracle, 2005 (Phair/Shanks)
  74. "Times Like These,” Foo Fighters from One By One, 2002 (Grohl/Hawkins/Mendel/Shiflett)
  75. “Cult,” Slayer from Christ Illusion, 2006 (Kerry King)
  76. “Bring Me To Life,” Evanescence from Fallen, 2003 (Moody/Lee/Hodges)
  77. “Kim Gordon And The Arthur Doyle Hand Cream,” Sonic Youth from Sonic Nurse, 2004(Gordon/Moore/Ranaldo/O'Rourke)
  78. “You Rock My World,” Michael Jackson from Invincible, 2001(Jackson/Daniels/Jerkins/Jerkins/Payne)
  79. “Civilize The Universe,” Ozzy Osbourne from Black Rain, 2007 (Osbourne/Wielandt/Churko)
  80. "September Sun,” Type O Negative from Dead Again, 2007 (Peter Steele)
  81. “Baiting The Public,” Fucked Up from Hidden World, 2006(Abraham/Cook/Falco/Haliechuk/Miranda)
  82. “Gentle Sons,” The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, 2009 (Berman/Feldman/Naidus/Wang-East)
  83. “Doublewide,” Corrosion Of Conformity from America's Volume Dealer, 2000(Keenan/Weatherman/Dean/Mullin)
  84. “Don't Bother,” Shakira from Oral Fixation Vol. 2, 2005 (Mebarak/Christy/Spock)
  85. “Anything Goes,” AC/DC from Black Ice, 2008 (A. Young/M. Young)
  86. “Under Your Spell,” Amber Benson from Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Once More, With Feeling, 2002 (Joss Whedon)
  87. "Down To Earth,” Peter Gabriel from Wall-E: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 2008(Gabriel/Newman)
  88. "Gone Inside The Zero,” Rollins Band from Nice, 2001 (Garfield/Wilson/Mackenroth/Blake)
  89. "Criminal Piece,” Ted Leo + The Pharmacists from Shake The Sheets, 2004 (Ted Leo)
  90. "You Know You're Right,” Nirvana from Nirvana, 2002 (Kurt Cobain)
  91. "Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé from B'Day, 2006 (Knowles/Björklund/Eriksen/Hermansen/Lind/Smith)
  92. “Challengers,” The New Pornographers from Challengers, 2007 (A.C. Newman)
  93. “Don't Stop,” The Rolling Stones from Forty Licks, 2002 (Jagger/Richards)
  94. “Naked As We Came,” Iron And Wine from Our Endless Numbered Days, 2004 (Sam Beam)
  95. “Your Time Has Come,” Audioslave from Out Of Exile, 2005 (Commerford/Cornell/Morello/Wilk)
  96. “Revival,” Soulsavers featuring Mark Lanegan from It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land, 2007 (Lanegan/Machin/Glover)
  97. “Y Control,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs from Fever To Tell, 2003 (Chase/Orzolek/Zinner)
  98. “Lateralus,” Tool from Lateralus, 2001 (Carey/Chancellor/Jones/Keenan)
  99. "Bam Thwok,” Pixies iTunes exclusive single (Kim Deal)
  100. "Lieslieslies,” Ministry from Rio Grande Blood, 2006 (Al Jourgensen)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Year In Metal Debate

I have found myself recently getting into Slayer more than I have in my life and it brought up a question in my head: What is the greatest year for Heavy Metal music?

Was it 1981, with the arrival of the NWOBHM and other new bands:
Mötley Crüe - Too Fast For Love
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of A Madman
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry
Iron Maiden - Killers
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

Kind of impressive but hardly earth shattering or plentiful enough to be considered the greatest. Maybe 1983:
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil
Dio - Holy Diver
Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon
Slayer - Show No Mercy
Motörhead - Another Perfect Day

Um, no. Especially with terrible records from Black Sabbath and AC/DC (the albums don't even deserve mention) that year and it being just the beginning for Slayer and Metallica. Most metal heads will point to 1986 and, with this list of classics and strong efforts, who can argue:
Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Slayer - Reign In Blood
Megadeth - Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
Samhain - November-Coming-Fire
Europe - The Final Countdown (!?!)

While that is a landmark year for metal, I contend that 1988 was actually better in terms of album quality and quanitity. Metallica came back with their commercial breakthrough (and arguably better album, though I don't believe so). Slayer returned with another thrash lesson, while Megadeth and Iron Maiden had better efforts than their '86 albums. Ministry is a bit of a stretch since all of their previous efforts were techno.

Metallica - ...And Justice For All
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Megadeth - So Far, So Good, So What
Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey
Slayer - South Of Heaven
Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest For The Wicked
Anthrax - State Of Euphoria

So, while I do believe that Master Of Puppets is the finest masterpiece of any on all these lists, I think the output of 1988 is more impressive. Any submissions, comments, votes?

Friday, December 18, 2009

In The Spirit Of The Holidays...

I felt that taking shots at low-fidels was kind of jerky. As a result, I converted this very limited edition vinyl of the You Weren't There: A History Of Chicago Punk 1977-1984 to MP3 and posted it here for your listening pleasure. Personally, I recommend the tracks by Strike Under and Trial By Fire. Some of the tracks are of questionable quality but, I assure, you that is because of the source material. Almost none of these songs were done in proper studios but is an important historical recording nonetheless. Hopefully, these songs will make you want to see the very well-done documentary of the same name. There are plenty of Steve Albini gems in there. And yes, that is J. Yuenger from White Zombie in Rights Of The Accused. That was his first band. Enjoy.

  1. "Wham Bam Son Of Sam," Tutu & The Pirates
  2. "Gacy's Place," Mentally Ill
  3. "Who Are The Boys?," Buzzards
  4. "Surf Combat," The Way-Outs
  5. "Reactor," Painterband
  6. "Elephant's Graveyard," Strike Under
  7. "Dark Rooms," Da
  8. "Eyesore," Subverts
  9. "Spy Guy," Toothpaste
  10. "They Love War," End Result
  11. "Tojo [Demo]," Naked Raygun
  12. "Rocks Of Sweden," Trial By Fire
  13. "I Got Mine," Articles Of Faith
  14. "Anti-Pac Man," Negative Element
  15. "Slump Shot," Verboten
  16. "Fuckup," Rights Of The Accused
  17. "Big Big Sky," Savage Beliefs
  18. "Bounty," Nadsat Rebels
  19. "Lipsynch To The Go-Go's," Seismic Waves

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009's Year In Re-Issues

When compiling this list, there are a few things to remember. There is the rarity factor (Was the source material readily available or was it out-of-print?) and, of course, the quality of the material.

  1. My Bloody Valentine - Before Loveless
  2. Nirvana - Live At Reading
  3. You Weren't There: A History Of Chicago Punk 1977-1984
  4. The Beatles Remasters
  5. Def Leppard - Pyromania: Deluxe Edition
  6. Nirvana - Bleach: 20th Anniversary Edition
  7. The Jesus Lizard - Head/Pure/Goat/Liar/Down
  8. R.E.M. - Reckoning: Deluxe Edition
  9. Iron & Wine - Around The Well
  10. Pearl Jam - Ten Redux
Before Loveless is a vinyl-only (sorry, infidels) collection containing four extremely rare EPs (Strawberry Wine, Ecstasy, Feed Me With Your Kiss, and You Made Me Realize) re-mastered and fantastic. They sound nearly as great as the Isn't Anything and Loveless vinyl re-masters (another dig at American CD and MP3 shoppers). The previous difficulty to find this material makes this tops.
Live At Reading is the best live album of the year and a long overdue addition to the Nirvana catalog.
You Weren't There (available as a limited edition LP/DVD set) is a fine collection and initiation for anyone interested in the underappreciated Chicago Punk Scene of the '80s. With all rare tracks, like The Way-Outs' "Surf Combat," (later recorded by Naked Raygun, who also appear) and "Elephant's Graveyard," by the mighty Strike Under, it's a must.
Do I really need to explain The Beatles?
Def Leppard's Pyromania is a landmark album where the band perfected their blend of heavier aspects with pop savviness. The live performance from the L.A. Forum that accompanies the deluxe edition is top notch.
Bleach is merely the prelude of things to come from Nirvana. There are some gems but the newly released live tracks are great. The same goes for R.E.M. 's Reckoning. It is not an album the caliber of most of their '80s catalog but the live CD from Chicago's Aragon Ballroom makes this special.
The re-mastering of The Jesus Lizard's Touch And Go Records output is at the same time unnecessary and wonderful. The albums sound fantastic but the additional tracks have already been issued on the Bang compilation (except "Pop Song," which is a nice rarity) and the albums were still in print. What would be more helpful is for Capitol Records to muster up the balls to re-issue Shot and Blue, which were way underrated.
Iron & Wine has been most prolific in their career when it comes to non-album tracks which makes the Around The Well compilation worth having. There are fantastic covers of songs that you would never consider them doing (Flaming Lips' "Waitin' For A Superman," and New Order's "Love Vigilantes,") as well as the great original b-sides ("Call Your Boys," and "Kingdom Of The Animals,"). And yes, included is their amazingly somber rendition of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights,". Sam Beam and company can make even the peppiest tune break your heart.
As if this list wasn't grunge-heavy enough, Pearl Jam's Ten Redux came out this year. the re-mastering was all well and good but an audio recording of the Unplugged performance would be hanve been better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review Round-Up

I had some technical difficulties in the past couple of months (computer died) that kept me from posting. So, here are some grades I had missed:

Alice In Chains
Black Gives Way To Blue


Ghostface Killah
Ghostdini: Wizard Of Poetry
Def Jam


Monsters Of Folk
Monsters Of Folk
Shangri-La/Rough Trade


Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures


Reviews: Metal Edition


I know that I'm a bit late on this one but in a year where two thrash metal giants release albums as strong as these and with a supergroup making (good) noise, it seemed best to wrap them together. Everyone knows the story by now about the genesis of Megadeth and how it roots in founder Dave Mustaine's jealousy and anger towards wiping Metallica off the planet. For the better part of this millenium, Mr. Mustaine should have rested easy, as his former bandmates experimented themselves into near irrelevence. With Risk closing out the '90s and The World Needs A Hero starting this decade, it seemed as though the mighty 'Deth had lost its way. But despite being "born again", Mustaine has proven to be reinvigorated since his sleeping accident that almost took away his ability to play guitar. He has followed those "efforts" with now 3 strong, politically charged albums: The System Has Failed, United Abominations, and Endgame. While the band most likely will never reach the heights of Countdown To Extinction again, there is certainly nothing to be ashamed of in this present incarnation. The musicianship is as tight as in the Rust In Peace era and the material is nearly as strong. This is a relentless assault that you don't mind being hit with. And speaking of relentless...

World Painted Blood

Admittedly, I have never been much of a Slayer fan. I have seen them perform and it is quite an experience but being put on record seems to bottle up their fury. This album, somehow, pulverizes me just the right way. Slayer has zero pop sensibilities. Their idea of a chorus is to slow down enough so that the listener can maybe catch a few of Tom Araya's yells so that they know the song title. Dave Lombardo is easily the best drummer in metal and the guitars of Hanneman and King serve their purpose. Their strength as a band is their unrelenting beating upon the eardrums almost forcing a listener to submit, maybe, rather than enjoy. Well, I give. I give. And I enjoy.


I know I said "supergroup" but bear with me. The lineup is Scott "Wino" Weinrich from Saint Vitus, Dale Crover of the Melvins, Scott Kelly of Neurosis, and Al Cisneros of OM. I realize this is hardly a who's who of metal but, believe me, the combo shows a lot of promise. Crover has been a solid drummer for over 20 years and Weinrich was a fixture at SST Records in the glory years, so there's definitely some cred here. While definitely slowing it down from the thrash legends reviewed above, there is a dirge quality to the tracks reminiscent of Black Sabbath along with growling that is far more overtly evil than the wailings of Osbourne or Dio. A solid debut from grizzled vets that doesn't outdue any of the bands mentioned here but will make them sleep with one eye open.

The Grades:

  1. Dialectic Chaos – 7.7
  2. This Day We Fight! - 8.0
  3. 44 Minutes – 6.7
  4. 1320' – 8.4
  5. Bite The Hand – 7.2
  6. Bodies – 7.4
  7. Endgame – 7.5
  8. The Hardest Part Of Letting Go...Sealed With A Kiss – 8.3
  9. Head Crusher – 8.6
  10. How The Story Ends – 8.8
  11. The Right To Go Insane – 8.2



  1. World Painted Blood – 8.5
  2. Unit 731 – 7.3
  3. Snuff – 7.1
  4. Beauty Through Order – 7.4
  5. Hate Worldwide – 8.1
  6. Public Display Of Dismemberment – 7.8
  7. Human Strain – 6.7
  8. Americon – 8.4
  9. Psychopathy Red – 8.0
  10. Playing With Dolls – 7.6
  11. Not Of This God – 8.3



  1. Solar Benediction – 7.8
  2. Pyramid Of The Moon – 7.1
  3. Blind For All To See – 6.7
  4. The Architect – 8.0
  5. Science Of Anger – 8.6