Category Archives: Jeff Blackburn Reviews

CD Reviews on Maximum Threshold

Death Angel -The Evil Divide (2016 Nuclear Blast)

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death-angel-the-evil-divide-artworkDeath Angel have always been that thrash band that is mistakenly left out of the biggest thrash bands debate that has seemingly gone on forever, while being the peoples champion with their undying cult like following. Since the live reformation in 2001, and the release of 2004’s “The Art of Dying”, the band has been a fine tuned machine of power and precision leveling anything that gets in their way. 2016 flips the switch, and sees the band prepping for total domination with the release of their eight studio offering “The Evil Divide”.
Continue reading Death Angel -The Evil Divide (2016 Nuclear Blast)

The Ritualist – Hell’s Doom (2016 The Ritualist)

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In the current landscape of heavy metal, many bands focus on image, or having that perfect sounding recording, but most fall short on the total package. The Ritualist, featuring Chad Davis, the mastermind behind underground titans Hour of 13 and Night Magic encompass the sound, passion, and precision of the most skilled surgeon on the bands debut offering.  Chad is a metal workhorse, and a one man wrecking crew when it comes to his vision. Dude can flat out play the shit out of any instrument, and as is the case with Hour of 13, that is once again on display on Hells’s Doom. Continue reading The Ritualist – Hell’s Doom (2016 The Ritualist)

MTRS..The Pit To Get A Knife Edge Chop Starting Friday February 26

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knife edge chopHow many times have you been listening to the station, or the live show on Saturday nights and just wished Dom and his infinite wisdom could get hit with a steel chair, or infamous listener Beavis wold just get a power bomb through a table and shut the hell up???!!!!! I know…… me too, we can dream right? The next best thing is set to happen starting Friday February 26 at 8 pm EST,  and re-airing throughout the week,as Maximum Threshold Radio welcomes Iann Robinson, of Headbanger’s Ball fame, and his tag team partner Travis Tubesing  and their Knife Edge Chop  show to the airwaves. The shows delivers an honest discussion of what is happening in the entire world of professional wrestling.  Continue reading MTRS..The Pit To Get A Knife Edge Chop Starting Friday February 26

In Times Of Darkness And Light…..Stronger Than All

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Forget all that has transpired over the last two weeks involving Phil Anselmo, and all those that are quick to jump off a so called “sinking ship”. The witch hunt of the trendy, flavor of the week hipsters, and the newly found righteous, still carries momentum to kick a man when he is down. For all the righteous, new school of the underground, and I use that term very loosely due to the fact that the youth of today are clueless to the rich history that is ingrained for all to find and discover, and more importantly embrace, shit all over the scene with their lack of respect and entitled feeling of self importance and worth. Lets take a look at what this “big bully” has done for heavy metal, and even for some of his detractors.phil hope Continue reading In Times Of Darkness And Light…..Stronger Than All

The Skull EP (2016 Tee Pee Records)

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Skull EPThe Skull have been quite busy since the release of 2014’s “For Those Which Are Asleep”. Touring the U.S. and playing a few hometown shows, and once again getting some new members to the fold. The EP was done to help spread the word for the upcoming extensive European tour the band will embark on, that will see the band overseas for a good part of the first few months of 2016. To introduce the new members, Rob Wrong, of Witch Mountain on guitar, and Sean Saley, ex-Pentagram on drums, the band will open two Chicago shows for Sleep.

Continue reading The Skull EP (2016 Tee Pee Records)

Brimstone Coven – “Black Magic” (2016 Metal Blade Records) CD Review

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Remember the days of anxiously awaiting the release of a new album by your favorite band? Hearing an ad for the bands upcoming release on a station thBrimstone Coven - Black Magicat had the balls to play heavy metal and hard rock. That little taste lit a fire that would not die  until the release was in  hand. In a day where music, especially hard rock and heavy metal has seen the influx of hipster self proclaimed aficionados, where masterful writing and techniques of the past are blatantly ripped off, and everything has to have a label and fit perfectly into a sub genre that exsists or is made up to fit the steaming pile of dung……..Behold Brimestone Coven, and their second Metal Blade Records release “Black Magic.” Continue reading Brimstone Coven – “Black Magic” (2016 Metal Blade Records) CD Review

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats- “The Night Creeper” (2015 Rise Above Records)

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uncle-acid-the-night-creeperReview By :Jeff Blackburn

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats are known throughout the underground, the true underground of rock n roll. The mythos of Uncle Acid  began in 2010 with the surfacing of  “Volume 1”. To further send the gutter pop masses into frenzy, 2012’s “Blood Lust” propelled  The Acid Coven to the top of Mount Sabbath. Continue reading Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats- “The Night Creeper” (2015 Rise Above Records)

Pentagram – “Curious Volume” (2015 Peaceville Records)

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Pentagram CV

CD Review:  Pentagram – “Curious Volume” (2015 Peaceville Records)

By: Jeff Blackburn

Pentagram…One of the most dangerous bands , in doom or other genres, on the planet featuring the volatile Bobby Liebling on vocals. From the very beginnings of Pentagram, Liebling was ready for rock n roll  before it was ready for him. Bobby has always had a maniacal aura about him that has made he and the band an iconic cult legend. From an early age, we are taught we grow up and fit into what society says one should be. Hopelessly punch a clock, let go of childish dreams and fall in line. For some though, that is not an option, and raging against the machine is what makes one feel alive. Going against the grain for the cause, for the music is what wins the fight. Ladies and gentlemen, the reigning, defending, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Bobby “Pentagraaaaaammmmmmm” Liebling.

Continue reading Pentagram – “Curious Volume” (2015 Peaceville Records)

Lamb of God-VII:Sturm Und Drang (2015 Epic Records)

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By Jeff Blackburn

I hear the train a comin’………Sorry folks, VII: Sturm Und Drang isn’t Lamb of God’s  version of Folsom Prison Blues. If you are looking for that I suggest reading Randy Blythe’s new book “Dark Days: A Memoir”. There are two songs that deal with Randy’s incarceration, “Still Echos”, and “512”. As far back as the bands Burn the Priest days, and the first two offerings as Lamb of God (“New American Gospel” and “As the Palaces Burn”) the band had a sound that was new and different, “Ashes of the Wake” was the major label debut, and the sound again was different from the previous efforts. Point being throughout their history, the band has had the core sound, and have expanded on it many times. The debate about these changes has fueled intense discussion between fans and the god damn “heavy metal” media for years. Some dig it, some don’t. When I first heard Lamb of God, I dug what I heard, then it sounded the same.Then the incorporation of different elements, which sounded cool, then it sounded the same again. With VII: Sturm Und Drang, the band has returned with a vicious, out for blood sound that made my ears say “Holy Shit this is good!” Continue reading Lamb of God-VII:Sturm Und Drang (2015 Epic Records)

CD Review – Carousel – “2113” (2015 Tee Pee Records)

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Carousel – “2113” (2015 Tee Pee Records)
Review By Jeff Blackburn

You wanted the best???…. You got the best, The……. I’m out, I
don’t want Gene and Paul’s attorney contacting me for gimmick
infringement! Upon first listen of Carousel’s debut album, “Jeweler’s
Daughter” (2013) the dirty, grittiness of the title track served as a
warning as to what was about to invade the unsuspecting ear holes of
fans who yearned for the good ‘ole days of Van Halen jams, not the
watered down,bloated, salt and peppered, ego driven version present
today. Carousel expand on the heavy rock sound that came before them, add a pinch of metal, and a heaping helping of early punk attitude. Adding to their already growing credentials, Carousel tout former and current members of cult icons Pentagram, The Skull, and Bang. Not bad for a little old band from Pittsburgh!

“2113” is a more mature, and polished record. The dirt is still there
in bunches, waiting to be discovered under the Thin Lizzy dual
harmonies, thick bass lines, and razor sharp rhythms. The best line in
rock and roll today comes in the second track “Photograph”, as front
man Dave Wheeler says “Ain’t nothin in this world that’s meant to
last, and that’s the only thing that’s true. And when it starts to go,
don’t it sure go fast, and there ain’t nothin that you can do”
followed by the stoner Clutch like mountain riff that kicks in and
will have yinz fuckers rockin out and moving like it’s the last riff
to ever be heard. Carousel is backed by a very tight and precise
rhythm section of bassist Jim Wilson and drummer Jake Leger, here in
known as thunder buddies.The dual electric guitar assault is
solidified by Wheeler, and the addition of Matt Goldsborough, a bad
ass picker that should be on your radar if he isn’t already. Not often
in today’s rock landscape is such masterful guitar playing recorded as
evidence to showcase all the possibilities of lead and rhythm playing.
Many guitar players can dabble with a part here or there, but few take
seriously the craft of soulful playing like Wheeler and Goldsborough
do on “2113”.

I know Matt will say something to the point of I am more a metal dude ( haha thanks brother!), but I know a thing or two about a thing or two! Overall “2113” by Carousel gets a 9 out of 10 in this metal dudes book. The musicianship is refreshing, as much of what comes out today is stale and re hashed material that has been done a million times before. On “2113”, Carousel takes us back to the future again.
Carousel have been taken back to the mid seventies in a time machine, and have expanded the sound of their brand of what is foolishly referred to as “classic rock” Bull shit, classic rock and early hard rock stations and aficionados still pimp Led Zeppelin and early Van Halen as what is new with the times. Instead of searching out and drawing attention to something that has a mid seventies/ early eighties attitude that rocks. Carousel is the arena band that was around before there was an arena to play. The classic Lizzy influence, early Henley/Frey ideology, shit they even cover Joe Walsh’s “Turn to
Stone”.

These are some of the sounds that help bring hard rock and
metal be sought after by those crazy kids that it called out to. David
Lee Roth without knowing it does the poorest David Wheeler I have ever heard. Diamond Dave Wheeler has that snarky and monstrous voice that huge “rock stars” have used as a reason to walk with unjustified swagger. Those big movie soundtracks of the seventies and eighties can re dub the score and use this record accordingly. “Highway Strut” would be a perfect fit in “Detroit Rock City”. Songs that stick out on “2113” are “Photograph”, “Man Like Me” “2113”, and the cover of Mr. Rocky Mountain Way’s “Turn to Stone”. Ladies fret not, as there are a few songs that would be categorized as the “pantie dropper” in “Buried Alive in Your Arms”, and “Strange Revelation”. There is something for all the rockers, punks, stoners, doomers, and metal loving maniacs on this album.Carousel are on their way and bringgin the Crippler, to bring yinz to your knees.

Track Listing:

1.) Trouble
2.) Photograph
3.) Buried Alive in Your Arms
4.) Jim’s Song
5.) Highway Strut
6.) Strange Revelation
7.) Man Like Me
8.) 2113
9.) Turn To Stone (Joe Walsh Cover)