Groove Metal

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Groove metal is also known as neo-thrash, post-thrash, or power groove, groove metal consists of slow or mid-tempo and down tuned thrash riffs, bluesy guitar solos, greatly emphasized drum work and harsh vocals. Pantera is considered the most important groove metal act and very much revolutionized the thrash metal genre, and were followed by other influential acts like Machine Head. So great was the impact on thrash metal by groove acts like Pantera and Machine Head that already established thrash metal acts changed their style in a more groovy direction. For example, speed metal veterans Overkill took a more groove metal oriented direction on "I Hear Black", as did Exodus on "Force of Habit" and Sacred Reich on "Independent". While these would quickly return to their roots, other bands, such as Anthrax, continued to explore groove metal to the extent that their music was not even considered as thrash metal anymore. In their exploration of groove metal on "Chaos A.D." and "Roots", Sepultura gave rise to the sub-subgenre of tribal metal, whose central feature is primitive and groovy riffage. Many alternative metal bands, especially those belonging to the nu metal wave, would draw on groove metal, and perhaps that is why many post-1993 releases by acts like Anthrax and Sepultura are considered alternative metal releases. Groove metal also found its way into death metal, giving birth to the subgenre of death 'n' roll, which is included under death metal on the MMA.

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Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

PANTERA Cowboys From Hell Album Cover Cowboys From Hell
PANTERA
4.32 | 103 ratings
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PANTERA Vulgar Display of Power Album Cover Vulgar Display of Power
PANTERA
4.22 | 70 ratings
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SOULFLY Dark Ages Album Cover Dark Ages
SOULFLY
4.32 | 14 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Ashes of the Wake Album Cover Ashes of the Wake
LAMB OF GOD
4.18 | 23 ratings
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SEPULTURA Machine Messiah Album Cover Machine Messiah
SEPULTURA
4.29 | 12 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Burn My Eyes Album Cover Burn My Eyes
MACHINE HEAD
4.15 | 27 ratings
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FIGHT War of Words Album Cover War of Words
FIGHT
4.19 | 18 ratings
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SOULFLY Conquer Album Cover Conquer
SOULFLY
4.30 | 10 ratings
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DEVILDRIVER The Fury of Our Maker's Hand Album Cover The Fury of Our Maker's Hand
DEVILDRIVER
4.34 | 8 ratings
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CHIMAIRA The Impossibility Of Reason Album Cover The Impossibility Of Reason
CHIMAIRA
4.29 | 9 ratings
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WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1 Album Cover La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1
WHITE ZOMBIE
4.13 | 16 ratings
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CHIMAIRA Resurrection Album Cover Resurrection
CHIMAIRA
4.24 | 8 ratings
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groove metal Music Reviews

PANTERA Vulgar Display of Power

Album · 1992 · Groove Metal
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martindavey87
If you're a metal fan, you're no doubt gawking at this three-star review and seething with anger, and nothing I say will justify my views in your eyes. So let me just say, to Pantera; I'm sorry.

Pantera were one of the first metal bands I got into way back in the day, and I'm sure there was a time when I first purchased this CD that I thought it was awesome, even though I'd never really heard it enough times to familiarize myself with it. As a result, years of neglect and seeing absolutely nothing but the highest reverence for it has set the bar very high. Too high, in fact, as 'Vulgar Display...' has failed to live up to my expectations.

It's not a bad album, but it's very much the same as its predecessor, 'Cowboys From Hell', in that it's a good record with its fair share of filler songs, but it hasn't been helped by the expectations set by the countless fans who treat it like an absolute masterpiece. I mean, c'mon now... 'By Demons Be Driven' and 'No Good (Attack the Radical)' are incredibly forgettable.

But when Pantera do get it right... oh boy! 'Mouth For War', 'This Love', 'A New Level', 'Regular People (Conceit)' and the legendary though slightly overrated 'Walk' are all ballsy songs that are heavy as hell and groove-laden to the brim, with enough attitude and energy to make up for the albums shortcomings.

And the performances are all-round pretty good. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell shows off all the skills that would validate his countless accolades as one of the genres all-time greats, and vocalist Phil Anselmo screeches passionately with pure disdain at the world. While not every track is to my liking, there's no denying the chemistry between everyone.

In conclusion, 'Vulgar Display...' is one of the most influential metal albums from the 90's, and while it's reputation may be justified, I don't think it's stood the test of time too well. Perhaps it's one of those things where "you had to be there" to truly appreciate it.

MACHINE HEAD Catharsis

Album · 2018 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
To say this album is controversial is an understatement. To understand it, you really have to look at the psychology and recent history of the band and it’s frontman, Rob Flynn. When Machine Head first arrived on the scene in the early ’90s with their almost universally loved debut album and its follow up they were the hot new thing. By taking Thrash Metal, slowing it down, adding in lots of groove and Hardcore they ended up creating something unique that genre pedants still can’t agree on (Groove Metal or Post Thrash or just a weird version of Thrash, the arguments are endless). After that, when Nu Metal was popular and still new and exciting, the band who had always been talking about Hip Hop and Rap since their early days introduced Rap and Hip Hop elements into their music and changed the production and guitar styles, in so doing they made something altogether different that garnered both huge success and then huge backlash for their next two albums. After the backlash and all the constant criticism, the band almost broke up and their popularity plummeted drastically, but instead of throwing in the towel, they changed paths again and then released what can only be described as four of the best albums in the entire history of Heavy Metal… their stellar run from their return-to-glory Through The Ashes Of Empires to Bloodstone And Diamonds are four straight up faultless masterpieces, crowned by their beyond-popular The Blackening which is hailed as a classic by more people than there is time to list.

For the two albums after The Blackening though, even though they were incredible, it did not get the band the Festival Headliner status they justly deserved. Furthermore, after touring the material from those four albums, most of which is so lengthy and diverse that it absolutely ate up all the time they would get on festival slots thereby letting them only really play 4 or 5 songs… the band decided to start doing ‘An Evening With Machine Head’ shows where they could play multiple hour sets (often without a support act, although I’ve seen them twice, once with support bands and once without).

When doing those ‘evening-with’ shows and now having room to play more than just 4 or 5 of the newer era songs, they were able to drop in material from all over their career. Even tracks from the Nu Metal period that many people claimed to hate, but which the band are now getting nostalgic for and people seemed to be loving live.

So here we are in 2018; after four albums of absolute perfection, melding progressive flair, blistering thrash, flashy technicality, beautiful dual guitar melodies, and diverse mixtures of fast, slow, sludgy and groovy… the band needed to try something else to make a play for their absolutely-earned but frustratingly elusive festival headliner status. Full of nostalgia for the Nu Metal era and feeling no reason to be tied to a formula that isn’t giving them the success they deserve, Machine Head entered the studio and came out with Catharsis. The name has been explained as describing the writing process. Instead of having to hide away new ideas like incorporating poppy keyboard sounds that Rob is listening to on the radio, or delving back into the in their eyes unfairly overlooked Nu Metal stuff was cathartic for the band. Even though it is superb, they don’t want to just repeat The Blackening fifty times. It wouldn’t be fun as musicians. So back come the bouncy riffs and street-level lyrics, and newly incoming are the Jordan Fish sounding keyboard sections. That gets mixed in with the successful formula from the previous four albums, and the resultant mixture is what we have here on Catharsis.

Now; there’s two things that can make a certain time of metal fan do a spit-take. One of them is a Heavy band going Nu Metal. Another is anything that sounds like Bring Me The Horizon. So naturally; there has been a hell of a lot of negative reaction to this album. Not helping that is the world being so much more right wing now, people are complaining constantly about the socially conscious lyrics of this as if its a new thing. As if they weren’t singing about this all the way back on Burn My Eyes. As if the universally praised The Blackening didn’t have ‘Slanderous’ on it. As if Metal fans haven’t been praising bands like Anthrax and Nuclear Assault for being socially aware all the way back in the ’80s. As if music fans haven’t been praising bands like Dead Kennedys and Rage Against The Machine and the hundreds of other bands (I mean, there are so many more left wing or liberal rock and metal bands than its even worth counting, why is this even a topic of discussion?). I mean, its not as if Rob Flynn has ever guest starred on an Earth Crisis album or something is it? Oh wait…

Ok. So that’s the broad strokes out of the way. On to the specifics. It is almost an album of two halves (its almost two albums its that long, over 70 minutes… how does that compare to Unto The Locust getting pettily criticized for being too short?). The first half shows off the more experimental stuff. Songs like ‘Kaleidoscope,’ ‘California Bleeding,’ ‘Triple Beam’ and the album’s centerpiece ‘Bastards’ is where the real diversity and controversy lies. If you haven’t heard it or about it yet, ‘Bastards’ has been described as a folk song; four chords that have been around hundreds of years etc, and it climaxes with a shuffly drum beat that could be Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphies. It is a very surprising move from the band and sounds like nothing they’ve done before. ‘California Bleeding’ has that same style of lyrics that the much criticized ‘American High’ off of Supercharger had. ‘Kaleidoscope’ and the Title Track have touches of keyboards that have that Jordan Fish BMTH sound. There is a slight Slipknot influence on opener ‘Volatile.’ ‘Triple Beam’ despite having an absolutely brutal sledgehammer riff in it, is much-hated by people for being a very clear Nu Metal nostalgia moment. I think bands like Cain Hill and King 810 coming out, and bands like Coal Chamber reuniting, as well as fans at ‘Evening-With‘ shows enjoying the Burning Red material so much can explain this. This type of music was important to the band at one point and it must feel fun to write like this again and not have to feel ashamed of it. (Well, until now when the inevitable backlash came).

The rest of the album however is a bit more traditional. Its nothing you’ve heard before but if you really think about it, it is within expected limits of Machine Head. I mean, this whole album’s titular catharsis was them rejecting and pushing against those limits and that’s why the first half is the way it is. So of course, sure there is a bit of diversity in the second half too, with ‘Hope Begets Hope’ having a slight System Of A Down influence in the quiet guitar parts, and the odd melodic pre-chorus on the Motorhead tribute ‘Razorblade Sigh’ are a new addition but its all within the limits of a between-albums jump in their last four albums run. They were never four exactly identical albums and there was a reasonable jump between each, but the second half here is very much suitable for anyone who has loved the band’s renasiance period. Don’t let people who don’t like all the change in the first half let you miss out on the quality stuff at the end. There are riffs as crushing as anything on ‘Locust or ‘Diamonds, there are guitar solos as good as the stuff on The Blackening and there are vocals as good as anything on ‘Empires. I mean ‘Heavy Lies The Crown’ opens up with violins, but so did ‘Now We Die.’

Even though the heavier moments are what we all come to Machine Head for, one of the highlights is ‘Behind A Mask;’ a semi-ballad that sounds like a superb mixture of ‘Darkness Within’ and ‘Descend The Shades Of Night’ but with an almost Bon Iver backing vocal, some tasteful electronic snare sounds, and absolutely and a stunningly simple but beautiful guitar solo.

Now; I don’t think this album is anywhere near as deserving of criticism as it is getting. (Really?! Your review was so impartial thus far, how shocking!). That being said, I do have some personal-preference issues. I for one am not a fan of the lyrics. Not the political stuff, I actually like that. Its the poor-taste vulgar stuff that feels out of place. I don’t want to hear ‘sucking dick’ or ‘getting head’ or ‘eating pussy’ or ‘a boner for miles’ from the same band who wrote the excellent lyrics to ‘Locust’ and ‘Clenching The Fist Of Descent’ …that is not to my personal taste. I also am not a fan of the weird effects on the drums at times. Sometimes, the music will cut out and Dave will be about to drop a really powerful drum fill but the production job will put an effect on it and make it sound strange and toy-like and detract from the impact. I also don’t like the decision to use less rhythm guitar and do the dual leads over only bass. It sounds a bit empty compared to previous albums some how. Lacking a certain power. Not album ruining but a little niggle worth pointing out.

Is it going to topple Unto The Locust as my own personal favourite Machine Head album? No. Is it going to topple The Blackening or Burn My Eyes as the band’s most known and loved classic album in the public opinion? No. That being said; It is the travesty people have been hyperbole-gushing about? Hell no. Is it a return to Nu Metal? Not really no, there are tiny amounts only. Is it a betrayal? No, don’t overdo it now guys. Is it even a bad album? No.

There are a few aspects that aren’t to my taste, there are a few aspects that will have more militant bullet belt wearing fans crying foul. The majority of the album however is still the same thing Machine Head always do: Unique drums. Heavy riffing. Interesting solos. Rob Flynn’s voice. There is an absolute load of good moments on the album, and the lesser moments have been greatly blown out of proportion.

PS. Another really great reason to check this album out? The bonus disc! If you get the right version you get a full length ‘An Evening With’ show live in San Francisco in 2015. It has 21 entire songs performed superbly and well captured. It has all the MH livery and banners and the good light show. The band are firing on all cylinders. The crowd seem pretty into it. The camera work and editing aren’t annoying or distracting like some concert DVDs. Heck; The DVD is good enough to be a full price release on its own merit. I highly recommend you check it out. Even if you’ve heard ‘Kaleidoscope’ or ‘Bastards’ or something and are skeptical about the new album, how can you argue with live renditions of tracks like ‘Game Over,’ ‘Aesthetics Of Hate,’ ‘Imperium’ and the like?

MACHINE HEAD Catharsis

Album · 2018 · Groove Metal
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Vim Fuego
In the past, Machine Head has soared to mountainous metallic highs, and then plunged deep into despairing sewage filled depths. To say the band’s career has been inconsistent is a massive understatement.

At times, the band has been a shining beacon through eras of simpleton nu-metal and generic metalcore. “Burn My Eyes” was an intense indicator of where the post-thrash metal scene could have gone, but didn’t. Follow up “The More Things Change…” was heavier and more groove oriented, and was the peer to anything Pantera produced. In “The Blackening”, the band produced one of the most lauded metal albums of the first decade of the century, followed by the occasionally stunning “Unto The Locust”.

And then there were the misfires. The awful duo of albums “The Burning Red” and “Supercharger” are the red headed step-children best left confined to the attic. So which end of the spectrum are we getting with “Catharsis”?

Um… both.

Initially, this album sounds like a lame compilation of the worst metal pretenders of the past two decades.

The first track is “Volatile”. So far, so Devil Driver. All the ingredients are there to produce something which could and should be good, but isn’t. Yeah, it’s heavy, is played at a decent tempo, and the guitars aren’t bad, but there’s none of that breath-taking kick to the guts of Machine Head at top form. Ever wondered what Linkin Park might have sounded like if anyone in the band had ever learned to play guitar? The title track “Catharsis”. The less said the better… “Beyond The Pale”? Imagine Disturbed stealing riffs from The Bloodhound Gang.

“California Bleeding” lifts things a little, with more of a John Bush-era Anthrax feel with some decent melodies and strong riffs, and some fucking good solos. Yes, Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel remembered they can play their fucking guitars!

“Triple Beam” is probably the worst offender on the album. The listener is inflicted with a sub-Limp Bizkit turd, which even Fred Durst would be embarrassed by. The rapping is awful, the attempted melody out of tune and very forced, and the plodding, ultra-cliché’d riff is just dumb. It might be a song about a fight resulting in murder, but it’s insulting to the intelligence.

The clapping intro of “Kaleidoscope” is cringe-worthy, but it opens out into a bit of a rager, the likes of which the band made their name with. This song hits a sub-hardcore groove, and has powerful hardcore-shout vocals with suitable hard-hitting lyrics, but the word “Kaleidoscope” just can’t be sung aggressively and still sound convincing. It’s the best song so far, but not a redeemer.

And just when all seems lost, along comes “Bastards”. There’s that fucking shining beacon again. This is far from the typical Machine Head song. The song starts with a noodling guitar line, backed by an acoustic guitar. It is a “what the fuck”? at the Great Leap Backward which hit the United States politically and socially in 2016 and 2017 and, unfortunately, for the foreseeable future. It targets the newly empowered alt.right redneck “make ‘Murica great again” cadre of Neanderthals, racists, and religious zealots determined to drag the United States back to a time when people were property, a man could wear his pointy white laundry in public without shame, and God blessed it all.

This song was written the day after the Untied States of America (no, not a spelling mistake) decided an orange, racist, misogynist, former reality TV bullshit artist best represented what they stood for. Flynn’s heart felt, politically loaded lyrics perfectly portray the sense of disbelief, betrayal, and impending danger felt by decent people throughout his country, and the world over, as a once proud nation lurched into a state of quasi-fascism. And this is not one-off posturing from Flynn either. Earlier the same year, he rightly called out Phil Anselmo for a highly publicised white power Nazi salute.

As the song’s lyrics turn from disbelief to to anger, the music picks up an old school punk feel. Imagine Social Distortion gone feral. And the anger turns to resolve. “So give us all your faggots, all your niggas, and your spics/Give us all your Muslims, your so-called terrorists/We’ll welcome them with open arms, and put ‘em in our mix/We’re better off together now, embrace our difference”. A huge chunk of right wing metal fans are going to hate this song, because it cuts far too close to the bone.

And then it’s followed by “Hope Begets Hope, and the cliché and lameness is gone. THIS is the Machine Fuckin’ Head of days gone by. Big riffs, hard, harsh vocals, a driving beat, a well-placed solo, and it’s metal nirvana. And it keeps going, with “Screaming At The Sun”.

“Behind a Mask” finds Flynn singing within his limitations, and finally hits upon a decent vocal melody. It’s a ballad only in the sense it’s played with acoustic guitars and it’s not a balls out rocker. It’s followed by a string section intro, which turns into the epic “Heavy Lies the Crown”. The song expands into a sort of crusty power metal saga, then hits a thrash section, breakneck solos and all, before fading back to strings. “Psychotic” lives up to the title. “Grind You Down” has some of the most vicious vocals ever produced by this band. “Razorblade Smile” is traditional old school Machine Head, equal parts thrash, groove and hardcore. Then just for a final unbalancing step, “Eulogy” meanders for half it’s duration, with lazy guitars and lethargic vocals, but is unexpectedly overcome by a sludgy doom metal passage, and an ominous fade-to-black drone.

The initial reaction to this album is to go back to the start and try again. Were the first few tracks really so bad? Yes they were. Is the second half of the album almost like an entirely different band? Yes it is. Is it time to write these fuckers off? Up until “Kaleidoscope” I thought so. The rest of the album proves that you do so at your own peril.

PANTERA The Great Southern Trendkill

Album · 1996 · Groove Metal
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Warthur
Compared to the subgenre-defining Cowboys From Hell and the staggeringly aggressive Vulgar Display of Power, I just can't quite get behind The Great Southern Trendkill. Oh, sure, it's another aggressive beast of an album, but it tries too hard at it; whereas Vulgar Display of Power was a disturbingly believable offering, here Anselmo's layered vocals feel a bit too overplayed - it seems more like cartoonish posturing than a genuine threat.

The involvement of Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt fame on backing vocals kind of says it all really - I've never found his contributions to be especially musically interesting, and the decision to include him feels like a dose of bad judgement on the part of Pantera themselves - the same sort of slip in aesthetic vision which makes this less compelling than it could be. Perhaps you can put some of the blame on Anselmo's heroin addiction, and the way the tensions it created in the band seeped through into the recording process - once a band member's issues have gotten bad enough that they can't even work in the same studio as the rest of the band, you inevitably aren't going to have as tight and as effective a collaboration as you might otherwise.

MACHINE HEAD Burn My Eyes

Album · 1994 · Groove Metal
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UMUR
"Burn My Eyes" is the debut full-length studio album by US, thrash/groove metal act Machine Head. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in July 1994. Machine Head was formed in 1992 by former Forbidden and Vio-lence guitarist Robb Flynn (who is also the lead vocalist in Machine Head), guitarist Logan Mader, bassist Adam Duce, and drummer Tony Costanza. With that lineup Machine Head recorded their 1993 demo, which eventually got them signed to Roadrunner Records. Before recording "Burn My Eyes" Tony Costanza was replaced by Chris Kontos. Upon release "Burn My Eyes" was an almost instant success and with 400.000 copies sold, it was the best selling debut album released through Roadrunner Records until the release of Slipnot´s debut album in 1999.

While main songwriter Robb Flynn came from a Bay Area thrash metal background, the times they were a changin´ in the early 90s and especially Pantera and Sepultura (with "Chaos A.D. (1993)") had brought a more groove oriented element to thrash metal music, and with "Burn My Eyes", Machine Head followed suit.

The music on the album is at it´s roots thrash metal, but it´s far from the sound of 80s thrash metal (except for the fast thrashy riff on "Blood for Blood") and features hard edged groove oriented riffs and rhythms, raw and shouting hardcore influenced vocals, and the occasional alternative metal leaning. The latter is mostly heard in the clean vocal sections. The material on the 11 track, 55:37 minutes long album is of a consistently high quality, although tracks like the iconic album opener "Davidian", "Old", and "Death Church" are among the highlights.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. Machine Head are a tight unit, delivering precision playing, but never to a point where an organic approach is forgotten. While all involved are skilled musicians, I´ll give a special mention to drummer Chris Kontos, who´s relatively inventive playing style and impeccable sense for grooves carry the music far. The vocals by Robb Flynn are the only minor issue I have with "Burn My Eyes". They undeniably suit the music well, but he just doesn´t have a very powerful voice and his clean vocals aren´t that interesting either. He makes it´s work with what he´s got though, and that deserves some praise.

"Burn My Eyes" is a very well produced album featuring a powerful, heavy, and detailed production. It´s one of the most well sounding Colin Richardson productions, and considering his vast number of high quality production jobs, that says a lot. "Burn My Eyes" is through and through a high quality release, that to my ears is just short of being a masterpiece, but a 4.5 star (90%) rating is still well deserved.

groove metal movie reviews

LAMB OF GOD Walk With Me In Hell

Movie · 2008 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Walk With Me In Hell is a fantastic DVD for fans of Lamb Of God, full of honest and informative interviews, storming live performances and footage from all around the world.

The DVD features four and a half hours of content; including The main feature, the 117 minute documentary `Walk With Me In Hell ,' as well as six entire live songs from various tours that were featured in the documentary. The Second disc features the fantastic 77 minute `Making of The Sacrament,' documentary,' and an entire 40 minute Set from Download and lastly the music video for Redneck.

The main documentary is brilliant, following the band from just having finished recording their fantastic Sacrament album and embarking on a world tour full of interesting encounters, mishaps and mild adventures. Interviews unravel a tale of ups and downs, of bad luck and of increasing success and really give you an idea of what life is like for a touring metal band. From adjusting to foreign food, being cut of from your family and living in a cramped bus with band and crew members for months on end to photo shoots merch signing sessions and radio interview obligations.

The band are both really candid and entertaining, giving honest impressions of situations and not being afraid to look bad, while also cracking many jokes or playing a few childish pranks that never fail to raise a few laughs. Where some band DVDs may over emphasize the comedy aspects, Walk With Me In Hell is very tasteful and has the balance just right. The whole documentary is full of Lamb of God music, both recorded versions playing over footage of busses or set ups, and snippets of excellently shot concert footage that can last up to a minute or two.

Redneck, Again We Rise, Walk With Me in Hell, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Blacken The Cursed Sun, and Pathetic can be seen in full from these various performances featured in the documentary, a nice way to augment Killadelphia without repeating it.

`Making of The Sacrament,' documentary is of the same very high standard, and features a lot of the decision making processes, actual song writing and much footage of practicing and perfecting songs that would eventually make up the album. The band also talk a lot about their place in the world of metal, their music and how each album differs from the last, very interesting stuff for a fan to watch.

The Download set is a real highlight here, the excellent audio and visual quality and extremely energetic performance by the band make for an amazing show. The track list is: Laid To Rest, Again We Rise, Walk With Me in Hell, Pathetic, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Blacken The Cursed Sun, Redneck, and Black Label.

Overall this DVD is highly recommended to fans of the band, featuring tones of content, really interesting documentaries and very well shot, edited and performed live material focusing heavily on The Sacrament album so as not to just repeat the band's previous two DVDs.

LAMB OF GOD Killadelphia

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Killadelphia is a fantastic DVD that captures Lamb Of God in 2005 just as they were really breaking into the big time, with a mixture of documentary segments and a sixteen track concert that has a total playtime of almost two hours.

The concert is of very high quality, the band deliver music from New American Gospel in a clear and professional way and give tracks from Ashes of the Wake an energy and rawness that improves them similarly. The band are brilliant performers and know how to command an audiences attention, when to play up to the crowd and also crucially when not to, in order to preserve the spirit of the written songs.

Randy is the type of singer who you may expect might not be able to pull it off live, given the intensity, speed and complexity of what he delivers on record; but in reality his live performances are astounding, if anything better than on record.

Performance is only one quality on which a live concert stands or falls, and thankfully a very strong performance is not the only thing which Killadelphia has to offer, the sound is terrific, with a very clear drum and vocal sound, heavy guitar tones and a good clear mix which gives each instrument a fair chance to shine without sacrificing much in the way of heaviness.

Furthermore, the camera work, direction and editing, in addition to the lighting and stage show are excellent bringing a real excitement to the video without having to resort to cheesy wipes or frequent quick cuts like other concert DVDs sometimes do, but which only ever give the illusion of energy.

On top of all this, the track list is excellent with tracks from each of the band's early albums together and performed to the highest quality. Then as if the concert wasn't interesting enough (and there is an option to play only the concert, plus a CD copy of the concert for added value) you get a really candid and informative set of documentary segments which are of the same tone as those on the band's Walk With Me in Hell DVD, and include the infamous fist fight which fans always seem to love.

Overall, Killadelphia is a brilliant DVD, honestly one of the best metal DVDs on the market and an absolute must buy for Lamb Of God fans.

MACHINE HEAD Elegies

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Elegies was the first live DVD from Machine Head; recorded, just like their Hellalive album at the Brixton Academy in London, three years later in 2004 and released in 2005.

Like with Hellalive, the band play a mixture of material from all of their studio albums up until that point to an excited british crowd, but this time the band were riding high on the critical success of Through The Ashes Of Empires. Their performance is very strong indeed, with new guitarist Phil Demmel giving the band an additional edge. The dual guitar sections from Through The Ashes Of Empires sound amazing on this DVD, they really take on a life of their own in the live environment.

The tracklisting is excellent, presenting the very best of Machine Head, new songs like ‘Imperium,’ and ‘Seasons Wither,’ sound fantastic alongside the all time classics like ‘Ten Ton Hammer,’ and ‘Davidian.’

The band aren’t afraid to drop some of the more emotional, sophisticated music like ‘Descend The Shades Of Night,’ and the title track from ‘The Burning Red,’ confidently bringing the evening to a chilling standstill, before returning to the blistering metal that made them famous.

Visually and in terms of audio, the DVD is pretty great. I personally would’ve preferred if the film grain filters hadn’t been used so often and that the concert was shown in a straight beginning to end session, without the non-live footage in between songs, but ignoring that, the look and sound is great and when you add that to the incendiary performance you have a really great concert recording overall.

The extras feature a short but interesting history on the making of Through The Ashes Of Empires in addition to some music videos.

To summarize, the Elegies DVD is a must have release that no Machine Head fan should be without.

SOULFLY The Song Remains Insane

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Soulfly’s DVD The Song Remains Insane from 2005 is a pretty strong release; consisting of all the bands music videos, assorted live footage from various sources, an entire concert and a fantastic documentary about the band.

The music videos are nice to have, but not what anyone would buy this for and the assorted live footage (featuring a cameo apperance from Biohazard during a tribal drum solo) is a great addition which contains host of songs not in the main concert and a DVD-highlight where Chino Marino joins the band on stage to perform ‘Pain,’ from the band’s ‘Primitive,’ album.

The main concert is well filmed, but unfortunately the sound is out of synch with the video and it is therfore pretty annoying, but if you just listen to it in the background the concert is still fantastic, this out of synch problem is a pretty large disappointment for the real meat of the DVD. If you want a full length pro shot Soulfly concert from the Prophecy era that is properly synched, one is available with Digpak editions of the band’s sixth album Conquer.

Thankfully this DVD is saved by an excellent Documentary, which is informative, interesting and well edited. The DVD is still a real good buy at the price, and would be worth five stars if the audio in the main concert was in synch with the video.

Even with that flaw in the main feature, the collection of music videos, a great documentary and the other excellent (and in synch) live material are well worth the interest of Soulfly fans. It may not wholly stand up visually to modern metal DVDs but is still worth exploration for fans.

CHIMAIRA Coming Alive

Movie · 2010 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Chimaira’s Coming Alive is an absolutely tremendous package, a true must-own that no Chimaira fan should even consider being without. The set contains a concert DVD taken from the band’s tenth annual hometown Christmas concert, a CD of the same concert minus the final song and as the main feature, a three hour Documentary in four parts that covers everything the band have been up to in the two years prior to its release. First off, the concert DVD is simply put and without hyperbole the greatest concert DVD I have ever bought (and this compliment comes from someone who absolutely loves concert DVDs)

Director Todd Bell is a genius and this film is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, his unique and inspired cinematography really pushes the boundaries of what a concert film should look like. It almost seems like up until now concerts were just filmed and edited in a utilitarian way and Todd Bell is the first person to really ask how else it could and should be done. The only thing that is even close in style is Nine Inch Nails’ amazing looking `Beside You In Time,’ concert and `The Slip,’ bonus DVD, but this goes even further. From the choice of shots, the unusual choices in depth of field and framing and the band’s own excellent light and video show you really get a truly unique and fantastic viewing experience.

From a purely visual perspective this is the finest looking concert DVD on the market, not just from metal bands but even from million dollar rock bands who can afford the best. Don’t think however, that this is just a treat for the eyes because the performance which Chimaira lays down is practically unrivaled and again this is without hyperbole, the energy and passion in the practically note perfect and ferociously heavy concert is breathtaking. Every musician either plays or sings their heart out, with Chris’ cutting backing vocals and Rob’s guitar solos being particularly noteworthy.

Highlights include an extended slightly version of `Severed,’ a Mark-on-guitar featuring `The Flame,’ with a very passionate vocal performance and the stupidly good performance of `The Disappearing Sun.’

The track listing is really great and no Chimaira album is left unrepresented, the band do a good job mixing obvious choices and fan favourites like `Power Trip,’ and `Pure Hatred,’ with surprise inclusions like `Dead Inside,’ and the instrumental closer `Implements of Destruction,’ (which is intermittently inter-cut with credits but not in an intrusive way) and the result is a varied and hugely entertaining concert.

The sound is fantastic, at first unusual given the trend in sounds of recent music DVDs but by the end of the first song you will realise how excellently the actual live sound of Chimaira has been captured, any drummer will love the live tom and snare sounds and everyone can enjoy the guitar tones which actually convey the fact that musicians are playing the instruments rather than a soulless studio perfect style that masks the musicians performance. Palm muting especially sounds fantastic here and I hope more bands adopt this recording and mixing style in the future.

This concert is only one of the two features; The four part documentary on disc one is superb (in addition to the bonus feature of the previous released `Making of Resurrection,’ documentary on disc two.) Only one part has been previously released on the `Making of The Infection,’ bonus disc with the majority of the content being completely new.

The content in question involves following the band around in the build up to the release of The Infection, on release day and on the subsequent tours in a similar manner to Lamb of God’s `Walk With Me In Hell,’ documentary.

If you’ve seen a Chimaira Documentary before you’ll know what to expect and if you haven’t this package includes most of them anyway. If you thought that the band couldn’t make a package to top ‘The Dehumanizing Process,’ you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Overall this is a truly astounding package featuring over three hours worth of excellent and entertaining documentary footage from a very likable and down to earth band, a live CD and possibly the greatest Live DVD ever made.

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