Retro-Review: ‘Diabolical Summoning’ by Sinister

I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to reviewing Sinister’s Diabolical Summoning all year. Back in the day of metal magazines, particularly Metal Maniacs for me, you’d see a lot of music labels buy full-page advertisements for the many, many albums they were releasing. Diabolical Summoning was among these. I didn’t know anything about Sinister aside from them probably being a death metal band. … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Diabolical Summoning’ by Sinister

Retro-Review: ‘Inhaler’ by Tad

Tad was one of those Seattle groups that got signed to a major label when grunge zeitgeist was going on. I had been curious about them at the time, seeing they had been on listening lists for several metal writers I kept up with back at the time. Alas, it was one of those situations where I simply couldn’t find their much ballyhooed album Inhaler. … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Inhaler’ by Tad

Retro-Review: ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass

Carcass made a sharp, piercing statement in 1993 with Heartwork. The early 1990s was the time when death metal was coming to its own and several bands were breaking away from what was then a very, very large pack. Carcass is one of the bands from that period who managed to create a sound that was theirs and theirs only. Sure, Carcass had already carved … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass

Retro-review: ‘Obsolete’ by Fear Factory

Obsolete is admittedly the first album I bought by Fear Factory. I was kind of late when it came to finding out what they were about. I was aware of their existence and their popularity, but the stars were never aligned for me to pick up any of their albums until the internet became a thing. Obsolete wasn’t in my hands until the early 2000s, … Continue reading Retro-review: ‘Obsolete’ by Fear Factory

Retro-review: ‘Screams and Whispers’ by Anacrusis

I was wrong when I said in an earlier review that I put Anacrusis’ 1993 album Screams and Whispers aside and never bothered to listen to it much over the years. I realized I was wrong when I listened to it again and recognized the majority of the songs as they played. Then it occurred to me that I had set it aside, but always … Continue reading Retro-review: ‘Screams and Whispers’ by Anacrusis

Retro-review: ‘Dragline’ by Paw

Paw was one of those bands that should have broke through to the mainstream but never did. It’s hard to figure out why they didn’t, especially after one hears their 1993 album Dragline. The music on Dragline is not easy to classify. You could call it grunge or metal. Considering they’re from Lawrence, Kansas, you could maybe call them “Heartland Grunge.” Paw were in a … Continue reading Retro-review: ‘Dragline’ by Paw

Endearing, enduring anime ‘Trigun’ turns 20

What do you get when you mix science fiction and westerns with a Japanese spin? You get Trigun. It’s the tale of Vash the Stampede, a not-so-lone gunman on the planet Gunsmoke, who has taken a vow to never kill anyone. Vash aimlessly wanders through the first half of the series and then, in the second half, finds himself in, not a life-and-death struggle for … Continue reading Endearing, enduring anime ‘Trigun’ turns 20

Retro-Review: ‘Fit to be Tied’ by Aversion

The 1992 album Fit to be Tied  by the band Aversion is probably the best album of that year you’ve never heard of. Sure, there are a lot of bands that I’ve talked about that may be obscure, but they haven’t been forgotten like Aversion has been. Fit to be Tied is 33 minutes of that fused thrash metal and punk goodness that people like … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Fit to be Tied’ by Aversion

‘Defiance’ wraps darkness, angst in beautiful package

Don’t let the energetic and catchy music fool you, Assemblage 23’s 2002 album, Defiance, matches those two qualities with just as much darkness and anger. Whereas the last album I reviewed, Skinny Puppy’s Last Rights, was abrasive and challenging, Defiance is almost catchy and danceable. Assemblage 23, unlike Skinny Puppy, uses traditional song structure. Their verses are built around a certain number of syllables which … Continue reading ‘Defiance’ wraps darkness, angst in beautiful package

.hack//Sign brings human approach to anime

.hack//Sign is one of those animes which you can watch as an adult and not feel like you’re indulging an immature guilty pleasure. Released in 2002, this anime series is one of the few that you can call rather mature (for an cartoon) and possibly profound. By “mature,” I don’t mean lots of nudity and violence. Instead, I mean the themes and restraint the series … Continue reading .hack//Sign brings human approach to anime