Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Metal Project: Colombia

  The last time I did a post devoted to Colombian Heavy Metal bands was back in 2012 (HERE) so I thought a return visit was long overdue.  As always, I live in hope that I'm about to introduce you to some cool new music. Enjoy.

Highway - Por El Metal (2008)

(All female Heavy Metal outfit that like to mix up the tempos -not bad at all.)
Honour to:  Catalepsia Rigus Mortis 

Virgin Killer - No Muere El Metal (2013)

(Chuggy Heavy Metal with a pissed-off singer.)
Honour to: necroziur

This blog doesn't normally do instrumentals - but every now and again I make an exception.

Hammer - Speed Metal Hammer (Demo 2010)

(Short, Fast And Raucous.)
Honour to: headwar88

And off the same Split CD

Hellpike - Thrash Metal Vulcano (Demo 2010)

(More heads-down, no frills thrash - Vocals a bit muffled which is a shame)
Honour to: headwar88

Riler - Thrash Metal (2013)

(Hmm. South Americans really like their Thrash, don't they?)
Honour to: RilerPamplona

And finally.

Persecutor - El Grito Del Metalero (2012)

(Slightly over 3 minutes of harsh Thrash/Black Metal.)

See you soon for some more South American Metal Mayhem. 
That's all folks. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Review: Charlie Fletcher - Dragon Shield (2014)

"We have woken and our ancient magic is wakening too.
Feel the power.
It grows with every hour..."

 When something ancient awakens in the British Museum, a flash of magic brings London to a halt, frozen in time. 
 For some reason young siblings Will and Jo are the only people immune to the curse but right now they have more pressing concerns.
 Like the dragon statues that have come to life and keep trying to kill them. 
  But London has her own army of protectors...

 A few years back I stumbled on Charlie Fletcher's "Stoneheart" - about a hidden London where statues walk. talk and are divided into hostile factions - and was instantly riveted. It was only when I got to the end that I realised I was reading something aimed at 10-year olds. 
"Sod it." I thought and promptly went to get the other two books. Very good they were too.

 So when I saw "Dragon Shield" in the library I snatched it off the shelf with a happy cry of "Oh yes! This I have to read." 

 Like the aforementioned "Stoneheart" series, this book features a troubled young boy accidentally catapaulted into The Twilight Zone, with the major difference that his crippled sister is along as well. Why is she crippled? Well that's one of the things hero Will is troubled about. 
  Incidentally, Fletcher utterly nails the relationship between Will and sister Jo - a mix of affection and squabbling that should be familiar to anybody who grew up with siblings. Neither is perfect so that makes them easy to relate to.

  Once again the statues (heroic "Spits", monstrous "Taints") are brought to life as memorable, complex characters. Try this for a game. Next time you visit London, try to imagine how the next statue you see would talk if it stepped down of its plinth. Fletcher does that but better.  
 The gold statue from the Bank of England is capricious and arrogant, a statue of Tragedy is a lost, lonely little boy and the dragons...Jesus, they're like something out of the scarier Dr Who episodes. 

 This is the first book in a planned trilogy. It packs quite a lot into a short space and I'm already  impatient for Book 2.

  In all fairness, this is a book aimed at children so it might not be to everybody's taste. However, if you want a quick fix of fantasy or you have a ten year old with a lively mind "Dragon Shield" is worth a look.

 Just don't blame me if little Jason refuses to go to the church because the Gargoyles might get him. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Cigarettes And Alcohol

  Welcome to another collection of Rock/Metal album covers that celebrate the beauty of the female form.  Or blatant fanservice, whichever you prefer.

 The theme today is...young women indulging in things that are bad for them. Mostly alcohol and cigarettes because so far I haven't found any cover art depicting a gorgeous young lady about to tuck into a bargain bucket of KFC.
 Not saying it isn't out there, just saying I haven't found it yet.

3 Wheeler Band - Smoke N Groove (Mexico 2014)

album cover sexy woman smoking
  She's holding a fag and a ginormous mug of beer and still manages to look classy. 
I may be in love. 

Checking out the band on Youtube reveals a bluesy rock outfit with bags of groove.

Black Mariah - Done & Dusted (Austria 2013)

Gorgeous woman with bottle of Jack Daniels
Oh. It's one of those parties. 
The sort nobody ever talks about because if you can remember 
what happened, you weren't doing it properly.

Black Mariah are down to earth Hard Rockers.Check them out. 
Honour to: OfficialBlackMariah

Lover Under Cover -Into The Night (Sweden 2014)

album cover woman in lingerie smoking
A cover that just calls out for a husky, Film Noir voiceover.
"She stood on the balcony, cigarette in her hand, looking out over the city.
 She was trouble and we both knew it, but as I contemplated those long, lovely gams, 
I reckoned she was worth whatever bad things came my way. 
"Johnny" she said, her voice like raw silk on my ears. "There's a bloke in the next block watching me with binoculars 
and I don't know what he's doing with his other hand. Also, I'm bloody freezing."

The band are sleek Swedish AOR

And now, the first band on this list that actually counts as Heavy Metal

Absolute Steel - Womanizer (Norway 2005)

Tattooed woman with beer
I know she's gorgeous and all but she's a crap barmaid. There's way too much froth on that beer. 

This song seems appropriate - although the guitar duet is more tasteful than you'd expect from a song about booze. 
Honour to: davebombdavebomb

And finally, a cover I rather like for some reason. 

Sonic Pulse - Larger Than Life (USA 2012)

busty warrior woman with beer
The star of some ...weird Hentai Anime Fantasy thing... kicks back with a cold brew or 12.
Just watch out when she decides to start jamming. Last time, she put an entire Wetherspoons in hospital. 

Another appropriate song. Is" Alcohol Thrash" a genre?
Honour to: Sonic Pulse 
Band homepage here:

That's all folks. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

DVD Review: Wasteland (2011)

"Every World needs A Hero"

 "In a post-apocalyptic barren wasteland where animals are on the edge of extension (sic) and cannibalism has spread like wildfire, Keo - a troubled warrior with a dark past - embarks on a journey of revenge. In search of the religious zealots who tortured and left his wife and son for dead, he must survive the unholy horrors the wasteland has in store for him in order to avenge his enemies and fight for the freedom of his people"

Before I go any further, let's quickly deal with some things that bug me in the above blurb.  
1. An act or instance of extending
2. The state of being extended
3. That by which something is extended
4. An additional period of time given to meet an obligation.

1. The act or process of becoming extinct; a coming to an end or dying-out.

  While we're discussing the English language and proper use thereof, I'm pretty certain that you can't avenge your enemies. The whole point of avenging is doing quality violence unto thine enemies, preferably with great wrath. 

 Lastly, at no point does our hero fight for "His people"  He doesn't have any people - unless you count the teenage girl he picks up along the way, and that's reluctantly.

Wait, I almost forgot...

Oh look it's another DVD cover ripping off "Sin City".  Even the font, FFS.

I'm assuming you thought the same thing I did.
"So the hero teams up with the three slightly grubby Sorority girls and they kick ass."  


Here's what actually happens.

 After Keo's farm is visited by a gaggle of cultists, he gets to see his wife raped and murdered, and his son kidnapped before being shot repeatedly and left for dead. 
 Many years later, he's wandering around a California that's been devastated by a worldwide environmental collapse, hoping to meet said cultists again and do unto them, etcetera, etcetera...
 Meanwhile several other people in need of a good wash are also trekking across the desert: a small group of young women who are introduced as being utterly kick-ass (but aren't),  a squabbling married couple with their teenage daughter and some other people that we never see again.
 It says a lot that inside two sentences you start hoping that the wife will end up getting eaten by mutants. 

  After kicking the shit out of some ex-cultists gone cannibal, Keo arrives just in time to save the teenage daughter from mutants but not, sadly, before her obnoxious mother gets open-heart surgery Aztec-Style. 
 Trust me, if you do happen to find yourself watching this film, you won't give a shit either. 

 While this is going on, the cultists (The oh-so-originally-titled "Church") are looking for attractive young women to fulfill some bollocks about renewing the world. No prizes for guessing where this story is going. 

  After some more wandering about, an encounter with the grubby cheerleaders that results in most of them dying like terrified rabbits, and a rather hamfisted Vision sequence, our hero finally catches up with the Church, ready to rescue the girl and get some some avenging done...
 ... And the ending is a bit of a damp squib. A pretentious, downer of a damp squib at that. 

  When it comes right down to it, I found myself asking "How the hell do you make a film with mutants, cannibals, post-apocalypse cults and gun-toting sorority girls and manage to come up with something so dull"
   The director tries to liven things up with some music-video style editing but just ends up annoying the viewer. Well, this viewer anyway. 
     I can't help feeling that if this movie had been made in 1985 it would have been more fun. As it is, "Wasteland" isn't good enough to be watched on it's own merits and not cheesy enough to be entertaining schlock.

 Not recommended. 
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