Auditory Assault

Intro …

From the request to readers folder: Thanks for all the feedback regarding satellite radio (a question I asked last week). I think I’ve decided to hold off for the time being. There’s really no better time to listen to the multitude of CDs I have besides in the car (or while I sit here and work). Paying for the radio would make me feel obligated to listen to it … and then the CDs would go unlistened.

Speaking of CDs releases, last week I had a bunch of new stuff to listen to. This week, I got some older material I had been waiting to get my hands on, most notably Lamb of God’s first release. I’ll get into new releases a little later on, but for now let’s just get on with this…

I HATE re-releases …

So, Nine Inch Nails has finally returned from the either with a new album on the horizon. But, low and behold, it’s simply a re-release of the band’s “classic” (in some circles at least) “The Downward Spiral.” Get all the info straight from the horses mouth here.

So, we’re talking about two discs here: the original album remastered in 5.1 surround and a disc of remastered demos, b-sides, remixes and unreleased tracks.

Now I already own “The Downward Spiral.” I still remember waiting for the thing to hit shelves. I’d probably be interested in checking out the second disc, but do I really want to buy the entire album again just to get these songs?

Not really. It’s a similar scenario to that which I faced earlier this year when Weezer’s “blue” album was re-released as a two-disc set. I bought it when it first came out. I’m one of “those” fans. You know, the ones that run out and buy something the day it comes out because they’re fans. The people, without whom, bands would not be where they are today.

This is different than Mustaine going back and re-recording old Megadeth album’s (myself and Inside Pulse recluse Brian Blottie’s debated the releases earlier this year). This isn’t Anthrax or Suicidal Tendencies re-recording older material with a new lead singer.

This is a band essentially raping die-hard fans by making the material they want only available by buying two-disc sets for more money (not to mention fans already bought the release to begin with!). Of course, at the moment there is no list price over at Amazon for the new NIN offering, but from experience (the Weezer disc is usually hovering around $30 in stores around here) it’ll cost a lot.

I hate this whole concept. I hated when Motley Crue started releasing back-catalogue with a couple of demos or live tracks tacked on at the end. I hated when the first couple of Warrant albums were released again with a couple of tracks tacked on.

It especially sucks when you, as a die hard fan of “band X,” run out on a Tuesday to pick up the new album, only to have a digi-pac hit shelves two months later. Roadrunner and Victory Records are particularly guilty of this.

Most notably with Roadrunner, the self-titled Slipknot album, Fear Factory’s “Obsolete” and Jerry Cantrell’s “Degradation Trip” immediately spring to mind. I’m willing to offer a little lee-way with the Cantrell release as it was scaled down to a single album (from the original two-disc recording) upon initial release, but when Roadrunner saw how good it sold they offered up the original two-disc set the way it was intended by the artist.

Victory is much worse. I run out and buy Atreyu’s debut with it shelves, or Silverstein, and then once the label decides to “push” the band, or, in the case of Atreyu, a new album is coming out, they release the initial disc with an extra track or DVD.

And they wonder why people are downloading music like crazy.

On subject but off the subject of metal, the only musician I’ve ever noted as being “cool” with this re-release stuff was Lisa Loeb. Loeb’s album “Cake and Pie” was re-released by a new label as “Hello Lisa” with a couple of different songs. Loeb, in turn, offered a EP of the new songs on the Web-site so fans wouldn’t have to shell out big money for the few songs. A classy move.

The show will go on …

A post on the Ferret Records Web-Site confirms that a previously announced tour featuring Eighteen Visions, Remembering Never, Boys Night Out and It Dies Today has been cancelled. “Sadly, the coming tour featuring 18 Visions, Remembering Never, Boys Night Out and It Dies Today has been canceled. 18V got an awesome opportunity for a massive tour in Europe. We’ll get em next time. So the TK and Ferret kids rubbed their brain cells together and put together another awesome run. Remembering Never will head out across the U.S. co-headlining with Most Precious Blood with It Dies Today and Dead To Fall in tow. Look for that to run from Thanksgiving to Xmas, we’ll have details soon. Boys Night Out will be headlining the U.S. with Emery and From First To Last at the same time. Roses Are Red will be along for most of the ride as well.”

That would’ve been a sick show, but I’m pretty sure Eighteen Visions will hit the road before next spring.

But as awesome as Eighteen Visions is, Remembering Never is ten times better, so to see them top-billed will be even better. The band’s last release, “Women and Children Die First” is simply blistering, a great metal/hardcore album.

Ferret has cranked out a lot of good material the last couple of years. Check out the label’s catalogue.

In brief …

..:.. Do you have Nirvana in a box? ..:.. A couple of Internet sources, including, are reporting that a Nirvana Box-set will hit shelves mid-November. The set, “With the Lights Out,” will feature three CDs and a DVD (something similar to the Alice in Chains “Music Box” release I imagine) and will be available Nov. 23. The CDs will feature over 40 tracks of rare and previously unheard demos, alternative versions and radio session tracks while the DVD will be packed with archive footage.

..:.. Two faces of Slipknot ..:.. Last week, Slipknot’s “Vermilion” and “Vermilion Pt. 2,” both off the band’s current album, “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses),” were sent to radio. Guitarist James Root recently talked to Launch about the band’s evolution. “It’s time for us to move on, and we choose to evolve. I think you kinda have to in music, otherwise you’re just basically shooting yourself in the foot,” he said. “And that’s where ‘Vermilion’ comes in. And not just ‘Vermilion Pt. 1’, but ‘Vermilion Pt. 2’ especially. You know, I mean, that’s a place that I never thought Slipknot would be able to ever go, and we were able to go there.” The band is touring Europe right now without Craig Jones (he rushed home for emergency dental surgery). Slipknot are planning a U.S. tour for early 2005, with a much more elaborate set than the group’s Ozzfest stint earlier this year.

..:.. Obituary follow-up ..:.. It’s no secret I love death-metal legends Obituary. The band seems to be hard at work in the studio preparing to record a new album (Obituary posted a couple of recent studio shots here). According to a post over at Blabbermouth attributed to the band: “We went into the studio for a couple of reasons,” explains OBITUARY singer John Tardy. “One: To try out RedRoom Recording Studio in Ybor City, FL to see what kind of sound we get. Two: To try out Donald’s [Tardy] new Yamaha drum set and variety of Yamaha snare drums. Three: To try out a variety of Sabian cymbals. Four: To get a feel of the new material. We worked with Mark Prator who was involved in many other OBITUARY recordings through the years.” I’m sure the new material will be sick. There hasn’t been very much noteworthy on the death metal front since Obituary disbanded, so it’ll be a welcome reunion.

..:.. Bell hasn’t given up on Watchers..:.. Fear Factory frontman Burton Bell is still working hard on his side-project Ascension of the Watchers. I’ve heard some of the material and it’s way “out there” in the vein of Fear Factory’s “Timelessness.” I’m not sure where this is headed, but Echo online recently interviewed Bell who assured us the project was still on and got a couple of good jabs in at former label Roadrunner (at least in my mind). Check out the whole interview.

I just came out yesterday. Check me out…

— Dream Theater: “Live at Budokan” (Rhino)
I can think of one Inside Pulse staff member that is in a tizzy over this release. (She’s probably been listening to a downloaded copy for weeks!)

Dry Kill Logic: “The Dead and Dreaming” (Psychodrama/Repossession)
Icemagazine is listing this band as Dry Kill Approach for some reason. Great, great band that was mis-promoted by Roadrunner. I’d rank this band up there with 40 Below Summer in that they were both mis-handled on a major label. 40 Below bounced back nicely, so we’ll see how this DKL album turns out.

— Fates Warning: “X” (Metal Blade)
Metal in the vein of Dream Theater and Queensryche.

— Helmet: “Size Matters” (Interscope)
Finally. This was supposed to be out a couple of weeks ago, but was delayed (obviously). A new release from a band that is emulated by many well-loved acts of today.

— Nightwish: “Once” (Roadrunner)
I’m still not sure how Nightwish ended up on Roadrunner. I’m assuming the label is looking for an answer to Century Media’s Lacuna Coil. I don’t think Nightwish stacks up, but is an interesting companion to now-labelmates Cradle of Filth.

— Twisted Sister: “Still Hungry” (Eagle Rock)
This is a re-recorded version of 1984’s “Stay Hungry” with seven bonus tracks. We already discussed this above; however, the band seemed perturbed by the final version of “Stay Hungry” so maybe this release will blow us away. Maybe not. How many fans still remember Twisted Sister anyway?

— Official Soundtrack: “Saw” (Koch)
This movie looks kick-ass, so I’m assuming the soundtrack will follow suit. Not quite as packed full of metal like the “Resident Evil” or “Freddy Vs. Jason” soundtracks, there’s still some interesting material on here from the likes of Chimaira and Fear Factory.

I’m coming out next week. Don’t forget me …

— Recover: “This May Be the Year I Disappear” (Universal)
The band’s first release for Universal will be out next week…

— Straylight Run: “Straylight Run” (Victory)
Decidedly not metal, I am still psyched for this album to finally hit stores as I’ve been listening to the demos all year. In fact, it’s probably the “most listened” to item in my collection. This’ll be out next week.

— Sum 41: “Chuck” (Island)
The band always had a little metal edge. I heard the first radio single off this album and loved it. Definitely going to check this out next week.

You (and I) need to hear this…

Here’s some CDs I want, recently picked up or already have that I haven’t listened to nearly enough (you should check them out too):

Dry Kill Logic: “The Dead and Dreaming”

Lamb of God: “New American Gospel”
American Head Charge: “War of Art”
God Forbid: “Gone Forever”
Straylight Run: “Self-titled”

In closing…

I think next week I’ll take a better look at the upcoming metal releases for the rest of the year, there’s a lot — the future looks heavy!

Turns out, the new Used CD I was checking out last week really has grown on me. There’s a couple of real stand out tracks on there, but a good amount of mellowness too.

Now I’m knee-deep in Shadows Fall (and trying to get my cat Kittie used to a new apartment and a new cat – big pain in the ass!).

And that’s that. As always, drop me a line. Until next time, I’ll be here at Inside Pulse making sure no metal news falls through the cracks.

Take it easy…