Saturday, September 24, 2011

REVIEW: WORSHIP MUSIC


Release Date: 2011

The Band:

Charlie Benante: Drums, Acoustic and Electric Guitar
Scott Ian: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Joey Belladonna: Vocals
Frank Bello: Bass, Backing Vocals
Rob Caggiano: Guitar


Damn it's good to hear Joey Belladonna on an Anthrax album again!

I had very high expectations for this album. It was rumored to be a return to form (i.e. late 80s), and almost a "reunion" album with the return of Belladonna, and, thankfully, I can report, after listening to it multiple times, that it not only lives up to most of my expectations, it exceeds them!

The album is solid from beginning to end. The first track, "Worship," is a somewhat serene introduction that leads right into the chaos of "Earth On Hell." The album then carries the listener through a "metal, thrashing mad" collection of some of the the best tracks Anthrax has ever recorded! Believe me, it's not the newness of the album that is making me think it's one of Anthrax's best albums, I've listened to it multiple times just to be sure, it really is just that damn good!

Many of the tracks sound like they belong on some of Anthrax's classic albums, especially "Fight'em 'Til You Can't, whereas one or two songs, "Crawl" for instance, hearken back to the Bush era. It really presents itself as an album of Anthrax's best qualities: premium thrash, heaviness, memorable melodies and choruses, and top notch musicianship.

All said and done, this album presents us with a band of mature, accomplished musicians who have not lost one ounce of their youthful exuberance or their love for the genre they helped create.

Highly recommended!

5/5

Favorite tracks:

"Fight'em 'Til You Can't"
"The Devil You Know"
"In The End"
"Judas Priest"




What I was listening to while writing: DARK FUNERAL: THE SECRETS OF THE BLACK ARTS

Sunday, September 11, 2011

IT CAME FROM THE BARGAIN BIN: KEEP MY GRAVE OPEN

Title: Keep My Grave Open
Release Date: 1976
Director: S. F. Brownrigg
Alternate Title: The House Where Hell Froze Over

From the Collection: Pure Terror

The first film in IT CAME FROM THE BARGAIN BIN!!! is S. F. Brownrigg's Keep My Grave Open. This is an interesting little, low budget flick from the director who brought us Don't Look in the Basement (The Forgotten) and Don't Open the Door. It's plot is essentially a poor man's Psycho with main character Lesley Fontaine (Camilla Carr)talking to her "dead" brother and dressing as him to kill people.

The transfer of this film is pretty bad (even by Mill Creek standards), and the film's editing was slightly choppy. So, most of the film is really dark and muddy with highly muffled audio...which makes following the story line a challenge.

The general idea of the film is the psychological downward spiral of main character Lesley Fontaine who dresses up as her dead brother to murder various people who come to "their" house.

The film itself is very sloooooooooooooowwww and focuses way too much on presenting scenes that do not further the plot (see the various "horse montage" scenes), but it isn't really a "bad" film. The story line itself is intriguing and various scenes were very well done (especially the murder scenes), but the true strength of the film, in my opinion, is Camilla Carr. She gives a hell of a performance as a woman on the edge and is extremely believable as a schizophrenic.

Some of the best scenes involve Fontaine's "love" scenes with her brother. The first being a montage of her putting on make-up in the mirror that was oddly similar to some of Buffalo Bill's scenes from Silence of the Lambs and the other being a "love making" scene with the camera that is very...interesting.

All in all, Keep My Grave Open is an interesting little bargain bin classic that deserves at least a curious viewing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ANNOUNCING: IT CAME FROM THE BARGAIN BIN!!!!

I'm sure you've seen those horror and sci-fi collections out there that consist of public domain movies packaged 50 films to a set. Most of the films are of a piss-poor quality (save for some like Night of the Living Dead), but they are incredibly fun to watch.

Anyway, I plan to start featuring some of these films in a new blog feature I'm calling: IT CAME FROM THE BARGAIN BIN!!!

Most of these films are guilty pleasure classics, and I feel it is my duty to persevere them...plus I have to do something with all the sets I've bought...I'm a sucker for 'em!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

FILM FOCUS: ZOMBI 2


Release Date: 1979 (Italy); 1980 (United States)
Director: Lucio Fulci
Alternate Titles: Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Woodoo


Synopsis:

-An abandoned yacht drifts into New York harbor setting off a chain of events that leads to the mysterious island of Matool where the dead have begun to walk the earth.


Opinion:

-This is, hands down, one of my five favorite horror films, and my second favorite Fulci film (The Beyond being the first). Fulci creates an atmosphere that is ominous and unsettling with some of the best looking zombies in the genre. It's also refreshing to have a film explore the voodoo origin of zombies instead of falling prey to the military experiment gone wrong or radiation from above pitfalls.

Outstanding Scenes:

-As with any film by Lucio Fulci, this movie is more a series of outstanding, genre defining scenes than a cohesive narrative. From the yacht drifting ominously into New York harbor, to the wind blown, dusty streets of Matool, to the ending shots of the Brooklyn Bridge, this film is a buffet of classic scenes.

Some of the highlights:

1. Zombie vs. shark
2. The ever popular "splinter through the eye" scene
3. The zombie buffet
4. The rising of the conquistador zombies (as showcased on most posters)
5. The ending scene with the zombies walking over the Brooklyn Bridge (one of the most powerful scenes in the film, in my opinion)



Rating:

5/5 (a BEYOND THE AGONY must see!)


Soundtrack:

-Fabio Frizzi offers one of the best scores to come out of the era, rivaled only by his soundtrack to The Beyond and Goblin's soundtrack to Suspiria. The soundtrack ranges from upbeat, island songs, to pounding voodoo drums, to classic, synth drenched soundscapes. The final track, Sequence 8, (also known as the "Zombie March") is, in my opinion, the greatest theme to come from a horror movie. Even topping John Carpenter's classic Halloween theme. The soundtrack is hard to find, but I highly recommend searching it out.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5 MINUTES WITH PHIL ANSELMO

Last year at LARF (Louisiana Renaissance Festival), I ran into Phil Anselmo and snagged a photo with him! I'd seen him the previous year, but didn't have a chance to talk to him. A really nice, down to earth guy!