Author Archive

‘Martyrd’ at the feet of ‘Testament’

Testament greets their legions

After many months fate brought me, once again, to B.B. King’s for another evening of excitement and metal. It seems like it’s been forever since I was last at a metal show, but the night of April 6, 2008 was not to be missed for any reason. The legendary thrash metal band Testament has returned to New York City and has brought with them all the power and…oh, wait…let’s start from the beginning.

The first band of the night was a local band from Queens with a penchant for old school thrash. Martyrd blends an old school thrash sound with new school vocals and with classic extended guitar solos. Lead by the impressive guitar work of Queens native, Mike Stylianou, Martyrd has been on the scene since 2003 normally playing small venues such as The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale or The Lion’s Den in Manhattan. This was their biggest show to date, drawing an impressive audience, even by opening band standards. The overall crowd response was positive as Martyrd supplied the thrash appetizer to what would be Testament’s entrée. “The general consensus from our guys was that it was one of our best shows…”, says Stylianou, “we were all really amped to play with Testament…We worked really hard selling our tickets, and [we] practiced a lot…In the end it paid off.” Martyrd will be playing again at B.B. King’s on June 11th with God Forbid and Death Angel on the last stop of the IN THRASH WE TRUST TOUR, and also the TMT Metal Fest in upstate New York, so head out and catch this budding group of Metallers. Continue reading

CGI Does not dampen the Epic Glory of Beowulf


Imagine you and your friends are at the local pub having a good old time. Then the police show up due to noise complains and ruin your whole evening. Now, replace the “police” with the Grendel and “ruining your whole evening” with tearing your friends limb from limb, and you’ve got the beginning to the epic tale of Beowulf.

It has taken many years of planning and writing, but the brilliant minds of Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary were able to bring life to the ancient Norse warrior Beowulf. In this modern epic Beowulf is the greatest hero the world has ever known. His exploits are told all across the northlands and his reputation precedes him wherever he travels. Beowulf (Ray Winstone) and his crew of brave warriors arrive in Denmark after pleas from the great King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) whose kingdom is being threatened by the monster Grendel (Crispin Glover). Grendel dispatched, Beowulf is faced with the Grendel’s Mother (Angelina Jolie) who lurks deep in her watery cavern. Continue reading

‘UnexpecT’-ed Surprises at Sonata Arctica

The night of September 30th turned out to be a night of surprises at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill. Sonata Arctica was in town once again, and although they were the reason I attended, they weren’t the highlight of the evening. I was flying more blind than usual where general knowledge or a deep appreciation of the bands went but that turned out to be a bit of a blessing. It was the start of a night that will not be soon forgotten.

First on stage was a little-known band called UnexpecT. Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada this not so little band blew me away right from the start. They have such a unique sound that my knowledge of metal wasn’t up to par in the arena of classification. The almighty Wikipedia describes them as, ”avant-garde extreme metal…with a unique amalgamation of completely different styles of music, including black metal, death metal, metalcore, progressive metal, melodic heavy metal, European Classical music, opera, medieval music, gypsy music, electro, ambient, noise, circus music, and jazz.”

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The Triumphant Return of Machine Head

(This article is brought to you in fragments and overlaps by both Dazvsemir and ETL. And sorry, clicking on the pics will just force you to sign into Flicker and then meet with disappointment.)

Rob Flynn (vocals) of Machine Head

Dazvsemir: Before I could even catch my breath after Finntroll I found myself rushing to see Arch Enemy and Machine Head at Nokia Theatre on September 22nd. Unfortunatly, due to a lapse of memory on my part I was delayed slightly and arrived late to the venue. Luckily, I was able to breeze through security without missing any more of the show than i already had.

ETL: Nokia is one of my favorite, but least visited venues. They should play more metal more often. It is spacious, but the floor in front of the stage is still a cozy and intimate battlefield. There are a great many seats in the back which I like to think of as the geriatric and budding metalhead section. There are also waitresses intent on serving drinks and striding through moshpits as if they were full of kittens instead of thrashing guys who look like they might have cortical damage. Continue reading

Finnish Trolls Make Great Pets

(photo by

Thursday, September 20th was a cool, crisp night and yet another I would be spending at B.B. King’s Blues Bar and Grill. It has become my second home lately. The goal was to see Finntroll live in concert and it was certainly achieved. I had been wondering if there would be any opening bands, since Finntroll had only been billed by itself, and much to my dismay there was but one opening band. Needless to say, this was one of those times I wish I had arrived late. This band (which I will not name to make sure they get as little press as possible to contain the tragedy that is their band) was horrible, to say the least. Of the 5 or so songs they played the last song was the only tolerable one. On the bright side, it made me hunger for Finntroll all the more. Once that ordeal was over with the wait for Finntroll had begun. The set list was in sight and was about as long as my forearm. I could tell then that the audience was in for a nice long night of pure Folk Metal.

A little background on the band first. Finntroll are actually from Finland, despite claims that they are from Sweden. This innacuracy stems from their song lyrics being sung in Swedish (the second native language of Finland, along with Finnish). The original vocalist Katla chose to sing in Swedish because “Swedish just sounds damn trollish” (also it is his first language). Their brand of Folk Metal is generally light hearted and includes elements from traditional Finnish folk music. Continue reading

Ah, The Good Old Dangerous Days

Dangerous Book for Boys book jacket Do you often find yourself thinking back to when you were a child? When things seemed simple and there were no cell phones, laptops, and wireless…anything? Well, Conn and Hal Iggulden have thought back to those technologically innocent times and these brothers from across the pond decided to create a volume of knowledge for today’s youth which harkens back to this much simpler time.

Originally a best seller in England, The Dangerous Book for Boys was redeveloped for release in the United States. Slight changes, such as substituting The U.S. Constitution for British Patron Saints, were made to appeal to us Yanks. This volume contains a wealth of knowledge from varying fields such as science, literature, and history, but also more child specific information like how to play stick ball and marbles, and how to talk to girls. The Dangerous Book was written to satisfy some of that boyhood curiosity innate to all young lads that can’t be gratified by video games alone. Continue reading

The Rise of the Hybrid Children: Beatallibangers Unite!

the band

Beatallica on stage, breaking it down.

“What happens when you combine the greatest band of the 60’s with the greatest band from the 80’s? You get the greatest band of the 21st century!” This quote from Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) sums up the band that has created not only its own unique sound, but a whole new genre in itself: Hybrid Metal. Beatallica combines the catchy, unforgettable tunes of The Beatles with the speed and intensity of Metallica in a style all their own. Their songs, or “Bash Ups” as they are known, are just as catchy as they are ingenious.

Titles such as “I Wanna Choke Your Band”, “A Garage Dayz Nite”, and “The Thing That Should Not Let It Be” represent their ability to combine two genres, which are seemingly worlds apart. Their lyrics, while containing some allusions to both The Beatles and Metallica, are all original. They address such important topics as drinking, keeping Heavy Metal pure, beer, the death of Glam Metal, more beer, hatred of posers, and, most importantly, beer. Targeting Glam Metal bands, such as Dokken and Winger who are mentioned specifically, Beatallica is on a crusade to keep metal strong and pure, while ridding it of posers who only care for soft music and ballads. This originality has spawned a phenomenon, which has come to the attention of metal fans on an international level.

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