MANOWAR – THE LORD OF STEEL

Manowar: The Lord of Steel
(2012, Magic Circle)

  Hail Metal Warriors! The Kibitzer is back again and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a brand new Manowar CD (and I’ve been a big fan for a very long time too!)
  Manowar’s latest release, The Lord of Steel is a different breed of animal compared to the rest of the other releases within their catalog. Truthfully, I haven’t been this excited since Louder Than Hell! This new CD proves that Manowar can still bring it and have also proven that their sound has  evolved without straying away from the Manowar brand!
  The production is impeccable and robust, as the material on the CD is also light years away from Warriors of The World and Gods Of War. No slow starts here, folks, no sir! It’s full throttle with tracks like “Expendable”, “The Lord Of Steel”, “Manowarriors”,  “Annihilation”, “Hail, Kill and Die”, and “El Gringo” (which is also the first track that Manowar has ever written specifically for a major motion picture).
  The Lord of Steel also marks the debut of new drummer, Donnie Hamzik. With no disrespect intended to previous drummer, Scott Columbus (R.I.P.), Hamzik is a breath of fresh air to Manowar and is definitely what the band needed to progress to the next phase of their existence. Eric Adams’ voice is amazing as it hasn’t changed over the years and has been consistent with delivery and quality. Karl Logan and Joey DeMaio’s guitar and bass sound is thicker and fuller this time around with more distortion and mid range added to DeMaio’s bass that just makes all of the new songs roar with thunder (no pun intended!).
  I can go on and on, but this is their best work to date! I give The Lord of Steel 5 out of 5 stars! All of the haters can say what they want about Manowar, but they’ve outlasted a lot of trends and a lot of other bands that have since been long gone and in the history books. Get this CD when you can! Until next time my Metal brothers and sisters……. RAGE!!!
– THE KIBITZER
@XKIBITZERX on Twitter
Track Listing
Annihilation
Black List
Born In A Grave
El Gringo
Expendable
Hail, Kill and Die
Manowarriors
Righteous Glory
The Lord Of Steel
Touch The Sky

FEAR FACTORY – THE INDUSTRIALIST

FEAR FACTORY:
THE INDUSTRIALIST
(2012, CANDLELIGHT USA)
 

      Hail and Kill Metal Warriors!
  Truthfully, I haven’t followed (nor am I faithful follower) of the band Fear Factory since 1995’s Demanufacture. Since then, I’ve only listened to some of Fear Factory’s songs here and there. When I first discovered the band in 1995, it was during a time when Heavy Metal was in it’s all time low with Metal bands being dropped from their labels and everybody was flocking to follow the trend of the Grunge scene (Man, I really hated that era!!!). Albeit that Fear Factory was a breath of fresh air for me and they were like no other band out there at the time, the fusion of Metal and Industrial Music was the culmination and trademark of that era. However, for me personally, it was lacking something -lead solos! Sure, there are Metal bands out there that have written and released songs without lead guitar solos, however, they are the main staples within our art and culture of Heavy Metal. That’s just my preference. With Fear Factory, they were the game changers in the Metal scene in 1995. Being a band that is mostly based on rhythmic patterns, odd time signatures and sound samples, that was cool, but to me, it got old fast.
  Fast forward to 2012, the band hasn’t evolved much since the last time I listened to them, but they still retain their signature sound. Although there have been numerous roster changes within the band over the years, the masterminds behind Fear Factory have always been Burton C. Bell (vocals) and Dino Cazares (Guitars). Now that Cazares is back in the band, they have regained full strength and can now go full speed ahead!
  Their latest CD, The Industrialist, marks the band’s return to the concept album. A concept based on an age where all industries are in the form of an automaton and where machines start to think independently for themselves. In the story, the automaton becomes aware of its existence and evolution in which will lead to mankind’s demise. A very cool concept (although not original), so I decided to snag a copy for myself just to see what’s new within the Fear Factory camp.
  Well, from what I can tell you, they got my attention and this is the album that got me interested in Fear Factory once again. I wouldn’t say that this CD is ground breaking, but it’s definitely a must have for those of you that are die hard fans of the band. Bell and Cazares handled all of the instruments and the production for The Industrialist with no additional band members available during the recording sessions of the CD. They even used a drum machine as a proxy instead of recruiting a live drummer. The reason being that Bell wanted to go back to that type of sound that they had on some of the earlier CD’s. (Personally, I couldn’t tell the difference nor did I even miss the presence of a real drummer for this CD. It may be a big deal to you musicians out there, but I don’t think anybody really cares to be honest with you. So I’m not going to be picky about that.)
  Nonetheless, this is a good CD and I like it. As for the core band members themselves, Bell is a very good vocalist and I’ve always liked his style. Cazares, on the other hand, is a one dimensional guitarist in my opinion. He only focuses on riffs, yet he manages to pull it off all the time and has been successful at it. That being said, kudos to Dino Cazares.
  As for the new release, tracks like ”Recharger”, “Virus of Faith”, and “Depraved Mind Murder”, serve as the mainstay and platform from which the CD is based on.
  Overall, “The Industrialist”, is definitely a return to the feel and sound of old, just with updated technology. To me, it’s been done before with the new material sounding rather hackneyed in theory and design. I’m not trying to dispel or besmirch the band’s name or legacy that it has made for itself within this business, but the The Industrialist is nothing new (other than being another new release from them).
   I give The Industrialist a 3.75 out of 5. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the new CD but it’s not one to stay in my CD player for days at a time. If you’re a die hard fan, go out and get it. For those of you that aren’t, it still could be something new for you to explore. So until next time…… RAGE!!!
 
Tracks
The Industrialist
Recharger
New Messiah
God Eater
Depraved Mind Murder
Virus of Faith
Difference Engine
Disassemble: Religion is Flawed because Man is Flawed
Human Augmentation
–        THE KIBITZER
@XKIBITZERX on Twitter
 

EPICA – Requiem for the Indifferent

EPICA:
 REQUIEM FOR THE INDIFFERENT
(2012, NUCLEAR BLAST)
            Hail Metal Warriors!! THE KIBITZER here once again to bring the music to the masses and spread the word about Metal as much as I can! This time I’m reviewing Epica’s latest release, Requiem for The Indifferent. I’ve been meaning to review this new opus of theirs, so here it is! This is a concept album about how mankind is facing the challenges in today’s society with the constant tension and turmoil between different religions, cultures, wars, natural disasters and a huge global economic crisis just looming over our heads. It’s also about the unification of the earth’s population and how we will all need each other to overcome these problems. All I can say is that it is an elegant piece of tapestry. Labeling this band as a “Goth Metal” band would be unfair. They are just so much more than that. I mean, they really got my attention with this new release! Epica has proven that not only can they bust out the heavy artillery, but their music can be elegant and beautiful too. Simone Simons’ voice solidifies the band roster and takes them to different places in the universe time and time again with every one of their releases.
  The second track, “Karma” is a real heavy hitter but it also exhibits their other strengths. There were some blast beats that caught me by surprise too, but they didn’t stray too far from the main focus of the song. A great display of form and functionality. Another track that I really like a lot is “Serenade of Self-Destruction”. It has the feel of a musical score for a motion picture and that’s great!
  Epica is a multifaceted unit and is well versed in the symphonic and operatic arts. The bonus track, “Twin Flames” at the end of the CD is really poignant and tugs at the strings of the heart. I don’t really say something like that very often, but that song is really special to me.
               Well, I can go on and on about how much I love this CD, but to sum it up, this is really a must have CD! You won’t be disappointed. I give this “Requiem for The Indifferent” 5 out of 5 stars.
  Wow, so far, there has been some really great material from a lot of cool releases this year that I’ve been giving perfect ratings on! The most that I’ve ever given at one time if I may add! Then again, that’s just my opinion. Regardless, don’t let the theatrics of Epica fool you. They can play! This is THE KIBITZER signing off and until next time……. RAGE!!!
       Tracks
Karma
Monopoly on Truth
Storm The Sorrow
Delirium
Internal Warfare
Requiem For The Indifferent
Anima
Guilty Demeanor
Deep Water Horizon
Stay The Course
Deter The Tyrant
Avalanche
Serenade Of Self-Destruction
        Bonus Track: Twin Flames
–        THE KIBITZER
@XKIBITZERX on Twitter