“Monolithic Baby” by Monster Magnet

Artist: Monster Magnet
Title: “Monolithic Baby!”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 5/24/2004
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

Bringing back a hard rocking sound that has been gone far too long is Monster Magnet with their release “Monolithic Baby!” There is nothing like a return to the 1970’s heavy rock vibe every now and again when you are sick and tired of DJ Mixes and raps in your Metal music. Sometimes it is just that you have grown bored with all the arias that are prevalent in the European stuff that has been coming out. If anything like that describes your predicament then this CD by Magnet is just the remedy for you woes. This is pure balls to the wall hard rock and roll delivered by “Dangerous” Dave Wyndorf and his fellow band mates. SPV Records seem to be the perfect label for this group as they offer a wide variety of musical flavors for fans of varied genres to enjoy. The CD begins in overdrive and very rarely slows down the mental assault you will get from the guitar work of Ed Mundell and Phil Caivano. The pair delivers very well under the vocal powers of Wyndorf. Lyrically this is a very smart record and also a lot of fun to listen to. Musically it sets the expectations you might have of it, and raises the bar just a little higher.
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“Monolithe II” by Monolithe

Artist: Monolithe
Title: “Monolithe II”
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 6/28/2005
Genre: Gothic/Doom Metal
Rating: 6.5/10

While I will admit it can be a tad difficult to review a CD that has too many tracks, the same can be said when the CD includes only one track. That is the case with the group Monolithe and their CD release of “Monolithe II” courtesy of Candlelight Records. The track runs a full 52 minutes and there is limited change in the piece. It is a Doom filled trek across the tune and I enjoyed it to a degree but would have liked to see more changes introduced over the span of the piece. Recently, Meshuggah released “Catch Thirty Three” on the world and it was also one long song. However, Meshuggah made sure to divide this epic into segments and offered more interesting changes. I felt the guys in Monolithe could have served their needs better by doing the same thing. Without suggesting they copy the guys in Meshuggah, I fear that this release as a result will appeal to only a select few people. I agree with some other reviews I observed on this French group that there is a certain vibe in this piece that will appeal to those that enjoy groups like My Dying Bride or Anathema. The group was founded back in 2001 by Sylvain Begot.
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“An-Thor-Logy” by Thor

Artist: Thor
Title: “An-Thor-Logy”
Label: Smog Veil Records
Release Date: 7/26/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 7/10

Thor is and always was one of the most interesting people in Hard Rock music. This DVD is a perfect historical document to the first 20 years of Jon Mikl Thor’s career and his efforts to defend the music fan from the forces of evil. It is a battle he has fought well, and you are given the reminder very well in this DVD appropriately titled “An-Thor-Logy”. Starting with footage that dates back to 1976, on the Merv Griffin show of all things, we see Thor first as a Las Vegas styled “strongman entertainer”. He performs the song “Action” by The Sweet, and personally I am not a fan of Sweet covers when I can listen to the real thing. Thor’s voice is also not of the register for such a vocal range. Despite this, even back then he showcases the hot water bottle inflating he is known for. After this piece he is more showcased as a rock music performer and how his act began and grew ever more interesting over time. There are a few more TV appearances to enjoy on this DVD as well and the old school fans will remember them I am sure.
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“Wings Of A Butterfly” (Single) by HIM

Artist: HIM
Title: “Wings Of A Butterfly” (Single)
Label: Sire Records
Release Date: 8/2/2005
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 5/5

The band HIM last came at their fan base with the compilation album “And Love Said No…The Greatest Hits” which was such a comprehensive release that I have to say if you are somewhat unschooled about the group you need that item in your collection. You’re probably scratching your head about adding a hits piece of a band that you never heard of to your stash but I think it will help guide you into the band new material which is what this post is about as the Finnish rockers have just released the first single from their upcoming album “Dark Light”. The song is called “(Rip Out) The Wings Of A Butterfly” and I wanted to let you know about it as someone with a few years in on the bands output. Here I go.
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“Shine” by Edenbridge

Artist: Edenbridge
Title: “Shine”
Label: Massacre Records
Release Date: 10/26/2004
Genre: Melodic Power
Rating: 7.5/10

Edenbridge is described as “Angelic Bombast” Metal” and on first listen this German group certainly shows that they offer a level of difference in the Power Metal genre. With “Shine” the musical delivery is wide and the texture of sounds an open field to play on. Fronted by the stunning Sabine Edelsbacher, the band shows that Germany is not to fall short in the current market of such Female fronted bands from the Scandinavian Countries. While some might form associations between Sabine and Tarja (Nightwish), the both are completely different. Tarja leans towards Opera in her style and Sabine instead is easier and softer melodic singing. There are no yells and arias but that does not take away from her vocal prowess in the least. Sabine truly has a beautiful voice and it is very well showcased on this CD. I think that this difference will allow the fans of one band to quickly find something they like in the other. Overall this CD is a great listen and this was my first real chance to sit with full piece by them. It begins with “Shine” which while an interesting track could have been the second tune. I felt using “Move Along Home” would have been better as the starter. It quickly brings you into the band sound with its fast guitar work and drumming patterns.
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Where Heavy Music & Pop Culture Collide

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