Saturday, April 24, 2010

Overmaster - "Madness Of War" CD

The debut album of Italy's Overmaster examines the absurdity and ramifications of armed conflicts across the world, using a musical template rivaling the classic German metal outfits of the 80's. Most striking are Gus Gabarro's power metal vocals, which remind me slightly of a heavier (but less operatic) Bruce Dickinson (not a bad thing). Precision riffage, a tight rhythm section, and perfect production make the stunning "Marble King" an early highlight. "Spartan Warriors" is even more intense, showing elements of thrash alongside the band's ultimately melodic metal attack. As veterans of power metal bands like White Skull, these guys aren't new to the scene, and that professionalism shows brightly here. With few concessions to modern metal trends, Overmaster's powerful and dramatic sound harkens back to the days of yore, where leather-clad warriors ruled (but forgive the guys' cheesy promo pix). Superb old-school metal to pump fists and nod heads to. (Cruz Del Sur Music)

Cruz Del Sur site


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Frank Zappa - "The Freak-Out List" DVD

Frank Zappa's comprehensive knowledge of musics both scholarly and street-level was rather impressive (to say the least), as this unauthorized look at the man's influences covers basically what amounts to a history of 20th century musics. So, in effect, this DVD is, in itself, a good history lesson.

From the early modern classical and avante-classical inspirations of Edgard Varese and Stravinsky to doo-wop, early blues, r&b, and along the path to free jazz and fusion, Zappa always had his fingers on the heart of sound itself. The man was literally one of the century's greatest artistic minds, and when he left this mortal coil in 1993, he left a legacy of always-smart, often silly, and sometimes outright weird recordings, many of which attest to the genre-bending capabilities of Zappa himself. He brought in a number of since-became-legendary musicians (George Duke, Adrian Belew, Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio, and others) to realize his projects. Some of these players, peers, writers, and Zappa fans are allowed their say here, and it comes together rather well. "The Freak-Out List" isn't only for avowed Zappa will make non-fans curious to hear more of this man's seminal works. Now I need to track down "Weasels Ripped My Flesh"... (Sexy Intellectual via MVD Visual)

Zappa's official site

Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Dogfish Head Brewery - "Robot Brewery Tour" (director: Ryan Collerd)

Ah, two subjects dear to me team up for this curious little short film...(good) music and (good) beer. Director Ryan Collerd presents this curious and humorous short film for famous Delaware-based craft brewery Dogfish Head. Louisville's own Will Oldham (of Bonnie "Prince" Billy fame) stars with Dogfish owner Sam Calagione in this tongue-in-cheek look at the future of corporate beer...check it out.

Dogfish Head site