Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween

I just want to wish all the readers a Happy Halloween! Hope it's a blast! Now, stay scary all you ghouls!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Sektor - Grave Danger!

Here we have the debut all the way from across the pond from Sektor. In this mostly dance influenced, horror flavored album it draws up memories of films from the late 90s and early 2000s for some reason for me. I cannot put my finger on it as it reminds me of movies I know but, at the same time, is completely different. This one person band uses samples to get the mood of the song across perfectly and doesn't end up sounding like some happy go lucky dance music which is a trap that so many fall in so easily. Yes, I am not a fan of dance music (that's what I call beats) as most of it sounds the same. What I do like is music that draws up a feeling or a memory in me of something I do like, or can invoke some sort of response or emotion out of me and this does that. Sometimes, the music is making me recall a scene from a movie or has me wondering where they'll head next and, that is good. Standouts include "Burial Grounds", "Scavenger", "I Killed Him", "Warlock" (that has me thinking of mid 90s Nine Inch Nails for some reason), "Darkness", "Grave Danger!", "Scream" (with some beautiful vocals) as well as the song that features our old friend from Lupen Tooth, Tommy Creep "Lost in Space". This is something different that has me wanting to check out more! Yes, different can be good if you are not afraid where it will take you. So, if you are not, then check it out.

Hollywood Vampires - Hollywood Vampires

Before the Misfits, Wednesday 13 and Horror Punk, me and my friends had one name in Horror music and that man is still king to us to this day: Alice Cooper. Armed with Johnny Depp, Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper band), Bob Ezrin, Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction), Dave Grohl (Nirvana and Foo Fighters), Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Robby Krieger (The Doors), Sir Christopher Lee (in his last recorded performance!), Paul McCartney (The Beatles and Wings), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Slash (Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver), Neil Smith (Alice Cooper band), Zak Starkey (The Who), Joe Walsh (The Eagles) and Kip Winger among others we get an album of mostly covers that is just fun! Named from his old drinking club that featured Jim Morrison and Keith Moon, we get a great album from front to back. From the creepy opener with Christopher Lee that surges into the first of two originals "Raise the Dead" that is just electrifying! Then, the covers flow nicely from one another (with the exception of the first minute or so of "Whole Lotta Love") that is just fun. This is a great album that serves as a great tribute to a bygone era of Rock that shows you how those songs from the 60s and 70s still hold up to this day. It even features a cover of the Cooper band classic "School's Out"! See? All fun and great performances by all! The album ends with a tongue in cheek "My Dead Drunk Friends" which is a salute to drinking with no consequence and those friends who have passed on. I'd pick a standout if I could though Cooper singing "put the lime in the coconut" has to be up there! You will laugh, you will be stunned and you will enjoy this album. It is not reinventing the wheel but, it shows, that the master has way more fun then you do and that, like him, greatness doesn't age as this vampire still has bite!

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953

In this one shot, Hellboy is in England as there are two mini stories to add more to the lore that we have all become accustomed to. In the first story, Hellboy, Trevor and company come face to face with a phantom hand that is much more then it appears where in the second story, Trevor and company tell Hellboy about their first paranormal experience in Scotland. The stories are short, never overstaying their welcome and just awesome. Yes, all Hellboy fans should grab a copy as Big Red never seems to disappoint me at all. Art and story, nothing is better than Hellboy to me....maybe Deadpool and Daredevil but, not much else.

Gotham by Midnight (#10)

With Drake and Corrigan on the run after a little incident with the Specter at GCPD headquarters that left two officers dead, Tarr investigates Sister Justine's death spot for answers of the black flowers that are growing around Gotham while getting more then he came for. This is an explosive issue that will have you wondering what Gotham will do as the GCPD has maybe closed down the Midnight Shift for good? Guess we'll have to see how this all unfolds as the swamp monsters from earlier issues are back....and they are pissed!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Conversation with Shadow Windhawk

Hello and thank you for doing this again. For those who don’t know a thing, can you please introduce yourself?
It’s my pleasure man, thanks for having me. I am Shadow Windhawk. I’m an entertainer from SLC, UT. I have a solo Horror Punk project called Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians and I also play guitar from time to time for Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight. Aside from rock n’ roll, my mission is to keep horror and Halloween alive.

So, how is the new Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians album coming along? What can we expect?
It’s coming along nicely. The album is called Cremation Garden. I’m working on 10 tracks for it at the moment with my sound engineer, Bruce Kirby of Boho Digitalia Studio here in SLC. I always want to one up myself and with this album I’m not pulling any punches. I feel good about everything I’ve written for this one; I’m aiming to give the record an even bigger, warmer and more classic tone with the guitars than my last record. I’m going to be doing a lot vocal layering as usual, and continuing to play with contrasting harsh overdriven vocals against my clean harmonized vocals. I started doing more of that with my most recent studio recording, "Stigmata Martyr", which is a Bauhaus song. I made my version into a strange menagerie of post punk, horror punk, goth and stoner rock…when I started to work on that, I wanted to make the song a bit more industrial and aggressive in how it is arranged, but still with all organic drum sounds. That was a fun experiment and I hope to do more of that kind of thing in the studio with Cremation Garden. It will be an interesting process. I’m recording this new album with a classic Marshall JCM 800 that is all tubes like I did on the "Stigmata Martyr" cover, whereas on the last SWATM record I used an old solid state Crate combo amp that had this great crunch and tone to it. So that’ll be fun. The new songs are really diverse. There’s a heavier edge to a lot of them, but then I also have a song for this one that uses both electric and acoustic guitars (with a full backing band) and also a fully acoustic track with a full backing band. I never like to stagnate or narrowly focus on a specific sound, I always try to give the songs what they need as opposed to forcing things. Obviously everything I do will still carry over the aspects of my songwriting style that define my ‘sound’, but I intend to expand on that with every record and make it constantly bigger and more diverse. If one song comes out and it sounds better acoustic, I’ll do it that way. If it would sound better with a fast tempo and a blistering punk beat, then I’ll do it that way. But nothing is forced. It’s all just a natural progression. As people have come to expect from me, this record is going to be a dark, violent journey into a world of monsters in the same way that Casket Spray was. Many of the songs are related to cult horror films in a similar fashion to Casket Spray. But I am taking a lot more time to create this one, and I feel like these songs are turning out to be more complex than my past work. I’m not done pushing the boundaries and experimenting with blending horror and rock n’ roll. This album will be the longest release I’ve done in terms of run time, too. I’ll be working on it all Winter. Hoping to release it by February 2016.

Anything that you would like to do with SWATM that you haven’t done yet?
The sky’s the limit…there are always more things I want to do with SWATM and as an artist. I’d love to get the band to play out more, I really want to get us on some shows in Germany - maybe WGT Festival in Leipzig or something. And of course I still want to play a lot more shows in different parts of the US. DIY touring is just insane. Tons of money. Tons of work and commitment. And did I mention money? Haha. That’s usually the biggest issue for any DIY band.

One thing that has impressed me about you guys is how much bigger you guys appear to be even though you are a DIY band running your own label and making all your merchandise. What are the challenges in keeping up with that demand?
Thanks, I appreciate that. We’re certainly not a “big” band, but if people see us that way then that’s great. I think a lot of that has to do with the work ethic that is maintained and the quality standards that I uphold for my work and output. Black Flame Records is my brain child and I run it out of my house. Right now it’s a one man operation. And while I do enjoy it, that can be hard sometimes. In terms of quality, with everything I do - merch, vinyl, CD, recordings, media that comes out online (photos and video), I always strive to work with the best people and put out the highest quality music and products that I can. I always want to do everything above and beyond. And as I’ve been running the band, I have had my successes and failures but most importantly I keep learning. I’m always aiming to make all of it better and better. The day I start cutting corners, is the day I should quit doing this stuff. Consistency and quality are extremely important to me. Quality over quantity. Aside from all the other aspects of managing a band, the biggest challenge in starting Black Flame Records has been raising and generating the funds to keep it running. It’s going pretty well for only being two years old.

Recently, you collaborated with Goosebumps artist Tim Jacobus. How was that experience?
It was fantastic. Tim is a unique talent in the industry; an incredibly talented illustrator. I have been a big fan of his work since I was a little kid. Dark Shadows, Goosebumps and old Universal Monster films were my doorway as a child into the wide world of horror. I was always that guy with his nose in a Goosebumps book throughout my early years in school. The cover art Tim created in the 90s for Scholastic left a lasting impression on me during that time. It was truly an honor to work with him on the cover artwork for my first 12” vinyl LP, Casket Spray, and I couldn’t be happier with how the piece turned out. It has all the hallmarks of a classic Goosebumps cover, but is still distinctly the vision I had when I first contacted Tim back in May of 2014. The idea was to turn the Michael Myers mansion from Halloween 5 into the Dead House (from the first ever Jacobus Goosebumps book cover) and place myself and the Morticians in front of the house. Tim knew exactly what I wanted from both an aesthetic and tonal standpoint, having done 100 or so Goosebumps covers. I didn’t need to explain much. He was excited to revisit that style of work with the album cover, because it just suited the look of the band so well. He told me we fit really well into the Goosebumps style. The process was simple, I gave him references and spoke to him about my ideas and just let him do his thing. The end result is not only the cover of my first self produced and distributed vinyl release as a solo artist, but also the first vinyl record ever to be pressed and released with Tim’s artwork as the cover. Tim has said in interviews that he grew up inspired by prog rock and the cover artwork of Yes LPs. That’s what helped push him towards painting, so it’s really awesome to have been in the position to bring both of us “full circle” so to speak with the Casket Spray LP. It was definitely a dream come true for me. Tim’s a true professional and a really down to earth guy. When SWATM flew out to Jersey to perform at Dingbatz this past July, Tim surprised me by taking a small break on his work for the Goosebumps movie and showed up at my concert. That says a ton about him, I think. He’s an interesting guy and I’m thankful to have worked with him.

As a musician, you have played not only in your own band, but also in DieMonsterDie and Argyle Goolsby’s solo band, having worked with some of the genre’s best. In this 2 part question; first, is there anyone that you have played with in the past that you would like to work with either in the Morticians or, in another project? As well, is there anyone living or dead, that you would like to work with that you haven’t?
Oh, definitely. In an ideal world, I’d love to have Argyle Goolsby and Johnny Ott appear on some future SWATM songs. It would be great to work with them more and it would be fun to collaborate on a recording. Gools, Johnny and I did the first live Roving Midnight shows together in NJ and Indiana and it was a blast. There’s a lot of people I’d love to work with both living and dead…to answer the second part of your question, if I could choose anyone to work with on an album or project, it would be Lux Interior of the Cramps and / or Peter Steele from Type O. Those guys were both fucking brilliant musicians and performers.

As an artist, what inspires you (movies, music, comics, books, etc.)?  What got you into this?
I’m inspired by so many things. Just being alive is inspiring. Dealing with the good times and the bad. The new experiences, love, joy, pain, sorrow, death. All of that translates into my music in someway or another, as it does with all people who create music or art. Obviously, I draw a huge amount of inspiration from Horror culture, from cult films, books, ghost stories and tales of monsters. If I was to trace back to my earliest inspirations, I believe they would be the original Dark Shadows soap series from the 60s, the Universal Monsters and old movies on VHS (like Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill and Last Man on Earth), Goosebumps, John Carpenter’s Halloween and of course early to mid 90s kid’s Halloween stuff, like Hocus Pocus - which as it happens, is where the name of my record label (Black Flame Records) was derived from. I remember Halloween was always the time of year I felt most drawn and connected to; I used to have dreams about it during the year, that I was trick or treating and carving jack o’ lanterns. Then I’d wake up and be really upset that it was still the middle of March, or whatever. Haha. I was that kid. I think in a way, I still am.

Before the Morticians, you did a solo acoustic EP based on Twin Peaks called Tales from the Black Lodge. How was it stepping out from the comforts of being a guitarist in a band, to just being you armed with nothing but a guitar and your voice?
It was a very different experience recording Tales From the Black Lodge. I did it all live in the studio, singing and playing guitar at the same time into live mics in an isolation room. It was all done with very minimal mixing and mastering. On the same day that I tracked the EP, I walked out of Annex Studio with a finished copy. Being totally on my own is something I am very comfortable with and I think a lot of that has to do with the experience of recording Black Lodge. In seeing that project through, I forced myself to step away from the comfort zone of being just a guitarist and backing vocalist who was dabbling in songwriting and I actually began my foray into becoming a singer, solo artist and front-man. It was a very trans formative experience and you can hear the progression a lot from Black Lodge to Casket Spray. It was my first step toward who I am today and I’m proud of it for that reason. It was also a very natural and organic process doing that EP. It’s super stripped down and raw sounding, but I wanted it to be that way. That was the concept of the entire thing, to create a piece of music that is tonally and conceptually coherent, emotional, honest, raw and dark. A bleak sounding record. A tale of a man trapped in the Black Lodge, armed with only an acoustic guitar, his stories and his voice. 

Will we see another solo release like that? I found it to be awesome and haunting at the same time as I feel it gives you another dynamic to your music.
Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it. I enjoy many different styles of music and have influenced by tons of different bands and songwriters. As such, I wanted Casket Spray to be the opposite of Black Lodge and do some straight up Horror Punk, laced with doom and death rock, to contrast the acoustic material I had previously done on my first EP. I might do another live acoustic record. You never know. But there’s no plans for that at the moment. With my new album, Cremation Garden, I intend to integrate a song or two that is cut from a similar cloth to the songs heard on Tales From the Black Lodge - with the exception that the songs will all be recorded with a full backing band, as has been the case since I reformed SWATM in Nov. 2013. My recent cover of "Stigmata Martyr" (by Bauhaus) was actually just me in the studio tracking bass, guitars and vocals with my friend and sound engineer Brucifer playing session drums for me. So the idea of doing more stuff 100% alone is definitely not out of the question. I’m sure I’ll do more stuff that way in the future. 

Along those lines, how does it feel to be a front man of your own band? What challenges or difficulties did you face when making that transition?
It’s great. It was challenging and a lot of work to make the leap and start my own project, front it, write all the music for it, etc. but at the same time, it really just came naturally. I’m just so happy to be doing what I love and what I’ve always wanted to do since I was a clumsy 12 year old, clanging away on my first Strat and recording shitty garage / noise tracks on my dad’s old tape recorder. It was a bit crazy going from being a guitarist in a band to being at the center of things, but I’ve found that if you have a vision and you want it to be seen through in a very specific way, the only way you can have that kind of creative control is to do it all yourself. Nobody can tell you what to do or fight with you about what direction you’re taking things in a solo project.  If they do, then that’s absurd. So you can just do it your way. And maybe it will make me sound like a prick, but I don’t care. I like being able to do it how I want to - without outside interference. Compromise is good for some people and some bands, but what I create it tends to be the result of a solitary process. That’s just how I work best.

Right now, in addition to Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians, you also play with Goolsby in his solo band, Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight. How does it feel collaborating and playing with someone that you are a fan of?
It’s been a blast. Goolsby is really a humble, amazing person and over the last three years, we’ve become good friends. We live all the way across the country from each other, but obviously keep in touch on a regular basis. It is a lot of fun performing with the Roving Midnight and I hope to do a lot more with Gools in the future. I play guitar for his band at all the shows I can make it out for. I have been a Blitzkid fan since I was a kid and was massively influenced by them. Five Cellars Below was one of my favorite albums in high school, so to be on stage playing "Starlite Decay" alongside Gools in his new band…it’s still fucking crazy for me sometimes. I was honored when he asked me to join in for his debut solo show back in 2013 at Ghouls Night Out. And then re-visiting that project this year with a new revolving group of guys and with the fresh, extremely focused approach Goolsby has - it’s been a great experience. I’m thankful for it and for the friends I’ve made along the way.

In the past, I’ve asked people their current assessment of the scene. Instead of that, are there any new artists or bands in the Horror Rock/Punk genre that you think people should know? Someone who is exciting you with the music they make?
There’s a ton of great “undiscovered” bands out there. I’m into a lot of doom metal / stoner rock bands. Last month I saw a band called Ruby the Hatchet, opening for Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. They were great. But there’s a ton of great DIY bands out there that I enjoy. Among them - The Cryptkeeper Five, Argyle Goolsby, Midnight Syndicate, The Other, The Loveless, Nekromantix, The Big Bad, The Lurking Corpses, Blood Ceremony, Kylesa, Bloody Hammers, Vladimirs, Stellar Corpses….the list is long and endless.

Are there any new releases that you are looking forward to (movies, music, etc.)?
Well, I am stoked as shit for the new Ash vs. The Evil Dead series…and the new Danzig covers album, the new full length Danzig LP…and the Danzig Sings Elvis record. Haha. Of course, I am anxiously anticipating the upcoming Argyle Goolsby full length LP and the new Cryptkeeper Five LP. Those are going be some incredible albums.

In case some don’t know, you are also a film student! Will we see any releases from these movies you write?
I’ve been taking a break this semester from school, but yes I have been studying film at the University of Utah for awhile now. I’ve been working on a couple of screenplays, but I seriously doubt they’ll ever be made. That’s ok. People would be amazed at how many screenplays never turn into movies. My screenwriting professor once told me that every successful screenwriter has probably 50 screenplays on the shelf that never see the light of day for every one script that actually is purchased, let alone turned into a film. It’s a hard business, to say the least. Always has been. Right now I’m focused elsewhere, on making records and getting music videos made - "1428" is getting an official video soon, so I’ve been working with our director, Adam Judd, on organizing that, as well as working on the next SWATM record with Bruce Kirby and the guys. It’s so hard to find time for film making on top of all that, especially feature length stuff. So I honestly just hope to graduate soon and live long enough to see one of my stories appear on a big screen one day. Haha. If I get even one feature made in my life, that would be huge. Only time will tell.

In Horror, sometimes a movie is so bad it’s good. We all know movies like this! What are your feelings and/or favorites?
My favorite movie that is so bad it’s good. That’s a tough one. It’s probably a three-way tie between Basket Case, Fulci’s House by the Cemetery and the first Toxic Avenger flick.

Along those lines, what makes a movie good? As a film student, how do you view a movie differently then how someone else would?
I think what makes a film “good” is super relative…it can be anything. The worst movies can be well loved because they are unintentionally hilarious or maybe the art direction is brilliant but the acting sucks. There’s a lot to appreciate about cinema that is often seen as garbage. On the flip side, there’s also a lot of bad movies that have no charm. They just fucking suck. It’s hard to pin down exactly what makes a film good, but I believe that the main key to it lies in the hands of the writers and the storytellers. If the story holds my attention and interests me and draws me in with characters that are interesting to watch, that is the biggest thing. It’s the story and the ability of the storyteller to strike a chord with the audience that often makes a movie brilliant. It really it is all a matter of how that story translates visually and that involves a talented crew and artists and a great director and cinematographer. When you write a screenplay, you are telling a traditional story first and foremost, but you are also telling a very specific visual story. You’re writing literally for the screen. Everything happens in the present. I could ramble on and on about all of this shit forever, but in the end what makes a movie good is a matter of personal taste!

Thank you once again for taking the time to do this! Are there any parting words you have for the readers?
Anytime. Okay, parting words… 
Always check your candy. Respect Halloween. And Long Live the Horror! You can listen to my latest solo studio recording that was just released this October“Stigmata Martyr” by Bauhaus (from the 1980s cult classic, Night of the Demons) right here:
You can also join the Official Shadow Windhawk “Morticians Assistants” Fan(g) Club and get a one-year subscription that includes a pre-order of a special Fan(g) Club only CD variant of Cremation Garden, which will be shipped to subscribers before the album is released to the public, among TONS of other kick ass member exclusives.
Sink your fangs into yours at:
Also, everything on the official merch store is currently 25% off, when you use the code: october at checkout. The code expires on November 1st.
Thanks so much to all of you out there reading this and supporting my work.
Much love and respect to you guys!

Monday, 26 October 2015

WolfCop (2014)

Dear reader, if you have learned anything about me by now, I like reviewing Canadian content. Yes, that is where I am from and a country that has a Horror tradition as well as this one tends to go unnoticed at times. Thus, this is my friendly reminder to you that we are all not just nice in the Great White North as we get some twisted ideas from time to time. Enter the latest movie that is destined for cult status as we are introduced to WolfCop. This movie is AWESOME! Tons of gore, lots of jokes, over the top action, awesome effects and one of the best transformation scenes that I have ever seen! At the end of this movie, you'll not only be asking yourself what can't he do but, why don't more police forces employ werewolves? There is a great story with a bit of a twist that unfolds near the end as no loose strings are left unattached and, a talk of a sequel has me wanting more! I can't believe I waited this long to see this movie as all fans of B-Movies, werewolves and stuff not to be taken too seriously should watch this. Again, I cannot overstate how much I loved this movie! Who would of thought that this simple idea would be this good? I had a hunch when I heard about it sure but, this has gone beyond and exceeded my expectations for it. So call the fuzz, grab a bottle and enjoy this movie as even the tag line at the top has hit it right on the head!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


In a Horror band and need someone to review your music? Look no further ghouls as I will do it no problem! Get me the music any way you can and I will give it a listen. Even if it is on the Youtube or a site where it lets me stream I will do it!

Big Trouble in Little China (#17)

So, we change the artist and the results are REFRESHING after the cartoony looking Jack Burton! The gang have headed to China to find a friend who made off with the restaurant's cash to find themselves in a Hell convention where Jack gets suckered into a game of cards for his souls and everyone else who came along for the ride. Yeah, sounds about right! The story is getting much stronger in the post John Carpenter issues as it is starting to find its footing as it continues Jack Burton's adventures. I know that I was against the idea originally but, as the story gets better, I am starting to warm up more and more to the idea than I originally did. Get on this now!

Escape from New York (#11)

So Snake and the president meet again and all hell breaks loose! Bomber planes, bounties and Snake fighting a whole crowd on top of a building for liberty. This has really gotten interesting as they, in my estimation are building towards L.A. and combining those movies. It is only logical in my sense unless they are forgetting about it completely and leaving it to hang much like the president was doing to Snake earlier in the book. Read it and you'll understand what I mean.

Godzilla in Hell (#4)

Wow is all I can say following this epic packed, battling issue of Godzilla as he battles some undead monsters while hitting against a wall in Hell. Yes, it looks like Godzilla has found a way out with only one issue left! This series has been great as each writer continues the story in such a way that it keeps your attention. That is something hard to do when a writer or artist is changed but, in this series, you don't notice it at all.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Cavaverman - Tales from Cavafistool

Wow is all I can say after checking out this album from Cavaverman! These guys from Italy make the Horror tradition there proud with an explosiveness from the first notes to the last. Great, catchy and well structured songs by these guys from the land of Giallo movies that bring to mind some Ramones and, I don't know how but, early Green Day. I never tried to figure out how my brain works and I won't start now. Now toss in a little Horror and you can get a picture of what you are getting however, you won't be ready for it as it will just FLOOR YOU! Standouts include "Vampiro", "Dead in Berlin", "Yellow King", "Green Goblin", my personal favorite "Don't Cross the Streams", "Inside You", "Hero", "Lora Ashley", "Dead Boys of Summer", "Don't Worry About Me", "Teen Wolf" and "Just Another Day". I know I say this a lot but, with an album this good it has me drooling at the idea of what these guys will release next! Trust me when I say that you need to keep an eye on these guys from Italy as only more good things could come from them in the future.

Ghost - Meliora

I am hard pressed to find another band that has come out of nowhere that as many people love as Ghost. I mean, take one part metal, one part King Diamond, one part awesome songs and you get these guys. This new album is no slouch as you can tell as these guys just bring it! I am floored with how good it was as they just seem to one up themselves with each album of new material! If you are not already a fan this album might convert you to the masses! Standouts include "Spirit", "From the Pinnacle to the Pit", "Circle", "Sporsonat", "He Is", "Mummy Dust", "Majesty", "Devil Church" and "Dues in Absentia". Papa Emeritus III and crew have done it again as this fan is just floored with this awesome release. Whoever these guys really are, it doesn't matter: as long as the music is this awesome they can call themselves whatever they want, it's just that good! So, join the congregation if you haven't already, there is just so much to love when you have Ghost.

King Diamond - Dreams of Horror

Everyone, take time out of your day and bow down to the king of metal, King Diamond. From Mercyful Fate to his own solo band, no one is as awesome as him with his theatrics, concept albums or just his voice. Now, we have a new release that is a retrospective of his solo years. Disc one features his work on Roadrunner and Disc two features his work on Metal Blade. Every era is represented here and we could debate all day on what was included and what was omitted. Two omissions for me personally are "Abigail" and "Give Me Your Soul" but that's just me. Some people would argue for more deeper tracks but, overall, this is a good representation of his work and a great introduction for people just being introduced to him. As well, the art is just fantastic! I mean, it takes all eras of his solo records and mashes it together. So, while we could fight all day or argue about how taking the songs out of their context on the albums is harmful or not, we can agree that the art looks good and that this is a way of introducing a new generation to the king. With that said, I can't wait for him to drop an album of new material as listening to his old stuff makes me water with hunger for something new.

The Crow: Pestilence

Let it be known that I am a fan of the character of the Crow as I find he can be very versatile as there is just so much that you can do with him. Enter the latest incarnation of a boxer seeking revenge on a gang for the murders of himself, his wife and child after refusing to throw the fight taking their money for himself. A little twist at the end and some added flair but it boils down to the same thing in the end. There is not much that will shock long time fans though it is a good story with some great art and some graphic detail. This won't win over new fans as I recommend them to start at the beginning with the original graphic novel and movie that inspired it all. Predictable? Yes. Entertaining? Very much so.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein (#1)

So, let me preface this by saying that I was a huge fan of the Frankenstein novels by Dean Koontz. I not only love the character but the way that the story was formed as a whole over those 5 novels. Thus, when Previews showed that there was a new comic book series returning to that universe I was over the moon excited for it! Now that it's here, I don't know how I feel. Taking place after the events of the 5th novel, we find Erika and Karloff in the house with a storm approaching. She enters the lab and finds not only the other Erikas that he can replace her with if she shows any faults but his means of transportation between times and universes. There is no more monster Deucalion in the story (though he is on the cover) and it seems to be teetering on the edge of something. It's been a while since I've read the novels so maybe I have forgotten something or the sequence of events mind you. The art looks great but I am hoping that the story picks up a little instead of dragging on needlessly to something better. Something that rewards my excitement as, right now, it doesn't excite me at all for issue number 2.

Constantine: The Hellblazer (#5)

After being reintroduced to a lost love in the previous issue, John Constantine seeks the help of an old friend to help rid her of his life through tricks as only John can. There is a lot more going on but, I am not going to spoil it for you dear reader, no. It is a great story that wraps up the initial story line quite nicely as he shows you why people both love and hate him at the same time. This is the John we know and love, thank you DC for bringing him back instead of that New 52 version you had for a while there.

The Goon - Theatre Bizarre

Listed as a prelude to the upcoming Lords of Misery series, we find the Goon, Frankie and kid on the road, following their carnival through a fog. After getting lost and some jokes, they end up at the Black Carnival featuring Zombo on Halloween Night. Insert laughs, great artwork and the return of Roxi D'Lite and you have an amazing one shot. I know I mentioned this before but, there are jokes and laughs in here. Fans of The Goon series may have missed that over the last couple of stories that took a more serious tone then previous issues. I for one think this is great and the laughs were missed as good as those stories were. So, follow Frankie on his quest for butts as, if this story is any indication of what is to come, I cannot wait!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Argyle Goolsby - Saturnalia of the Accursed

When the mornings and nights get colder, truth be told, on my cd player in my car I have 2 bands I must play to prepare me for the night when the wall between the two worlds are thinnest and spirits roam free. Those bands are the Misfits and Blitzkid because Halloween wouldn't be the same without hearing Danzig, Graves, TB Monstrosity and Goolsby sing those songs. Just in time for Halloween, we have a collection of Goolsby's solo records on one disc that makes a great addition to my Halloween listening. Though, lets be honest, I will be listening to it all year round. Included here are his 2 out of print EPs A Dream Not Quite Remembered and Under the Witness Stars along with his 2 singles and the song featured on his split vinyl release with the Big Bad all in chronological order. As a fan of physical releases, it is nice to have the digital singles in hard copy and "The Being" on CD as well. The songs flow nicely together even though some would think it wouldn't as this is a great presentation of the first chapter of his solo work thus far before we have chapter 2 drop. The man's talents are on full display as each song just pops and, if you live under a rock and haven't heard these brilliant songs before, they will have you singing along in no time. I cannot even pick out any standout songs as I just love them all. They are just that awesome just like the man himself. As well, the packaging and artwork are fantastic with its carnival feel. Just eye popping and catching. This could easily grab anyone's attention like the music itself. So, if you find a copy, grab it as this is a great package or grab the songs on the ITunes if you must. Just make sure you own them in some capacity. Then, you can hear him howl. 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time (#4)

Wow is all I can say after reading this epic final issue of the storyline. Misery is embodied as it battles the Goon in a final showdown! The story and the art are both epic and fantastic as we are left with an ending that brings it all full circle as well as introducing a new story that will be coming soon called Lords of Misery. It looks like it features the goon and that makes me happy that Powell and company are not done with this awesome character yet.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Dead Vengeance (#1)

In this new mini series by Dark Horse, a long forgotten Detroit radio host comes back from the dead in a carnival. Along with his best friend he pieces together how he ended up where he was, who put him there and why they framed him for the murder of his wife. This story that takes place in the 1940s is an amazing first issue that sets it all up gloriously and with some eye popping art to go along with it. I cannot wait for the new 3 issues to see how the whole story unfolds from there as John Doe the "Everyman" comes from vengeance beyond the grave a decade later.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Ghostbusters: Get Real (#4)

Here we have the conclusion of this fun and whacky series from IDW that decided to tie in a classic Real Ghostbusters episode near the end. Both the story and art were amazing along with tons of action and fun thrown in. Ghostbusters fans allover will be extremely happy with how an idea this novel actually turned out. It could have been awful but, it was anything but. Great work guys, you have this long time fan smiling from ear to ear.

Godzilla in Hell (#3)

So, Godzilla does battle with an old friend in Hell with the aid of Heaven. However, we see which side Godzilla truly answers to! The story and art is great as we get a revolving door or writers and artists with each issue that allows for each issue to feel fresh. This has been a great series so far as fans of the king of monsters will not be disappointed at all.

Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

Up the irons as Maiden is back! I have been a long time fan since I first heard the song "Number of the Beast" during a metal show years ago and have been addicted since! First thing though is that this album is long! Maybe their longest (I am pretty sure of this) as it being split into 2 discs makes a great break as there is so much going on within the music that you need to catch your breath. It's an assault from the Metal masters as it is epic, heavy and rocking from beginning to end. This also a total band effort as everyone (except Nicko) gets a writing credit here as Harris actually didn't write every song on the album himself for the first time in a while. All souls have been unleashed as this shows that there is no slowing down for Maiden who always seems to release an amazing album no matter how many they have done, how old they are or how long you have to wait to get new material. Standouts include "If Eternity Should Fail", "Speed of Light", "The Great Unknown", "The Red and the Black", "When the River Runs Deep", "The Book of Souls",
"Death and Glory", "Shadows of the Valley", the emotional and heartfelt Robin Williams tribute "Tears of a Clown", "The Man of Sorrows" and "Empire if the Clouds". I guess that is the whole album. Well, it is a fantastic listen from beginning to end as they have done it again. UP THE IRONS and always look on the bright side of life with Maiden.

Slayer - Repentless

As JV Bastard would say, "May Slayer be with you". Yes, I am a long time Slayer fan and an old school Metal fan to boot even though the majority of this blog houses Punk. I was on the shelf about getting this album as there was, for the first time ever, no Jeff Hannenman. As well, there is no Dave Lombardo leaving us with only half of the original band. Instead we get the returning Paul Bostaph and Gery Holt who I am a huge fan of from Exodus! However, my curiosity pushed me to get this album. Now, I was still on the fence about listening to it as, when King takes the leads on albums (God Hates Us All and Christ Illusion) they are not the best Slayer albums. I will say this though, Kerry King has stepped up BIG TIME! This is the second best Slayer album since Divine Intervention (World Painted Blood is still the better) as the riffs and the songs are huge upon the first listen. Yes, this is a Slayer album and they are not reinventing the wheel with power ballads or anything like that. This is a punch to the gut as it shows no signs of slowing down yet. The standouts include "Delusions of Saviour", "Repentless", "Take Control", "Vices", "Cast the First Stone", "Chasing Death", "Implode", the Jeff Hannenman penned "Piano Wire" that is maybe the best of the punch as it is just classic Hannenman through and through, Tom Araya co-written "Atrocity Vendor", "You Against You" and "Pride in Prejudice". Slayer fans can now take a breath, this album is much better then we thought it would be.