Monday, October 8, 2012

Down IV.1 / Stone 16th Anniversary IPA

Considering how badly we both wanted to review this EP, we are doing a JOINT (cwutididthar) review for The Purple EP. Enjoy.

THE MUSIC - Down IV Part 1 - The Purple EP

(Hops' take) Down IV Part 1 - The Purple EP is the first release of four by the band, with the next three due before the end of 2013. It marks the first studio release by the band since 2007's Over the Under, a release that has some memorable tracks and is great in its own right, but ultimately fails to stand up to its predecessors. After a long hiatus (with a lackluster live release thrown in there), Down fans (aka me) were hungry for some new material. The Purple EP is a solid first release of four, and if it is any indication of what's to come, we're in for a great ride over the course of the next year.

After all of that buildup, the natural progression would be to lead into all of the things that are awesome about the album. Well FUCK THAT, I write the reviews here. There's but one lowlight on the album, and it's something that has plagued each release following NOLA - the opening track. "Levitation" opens up promisingly enough, with a slow, heavy riff that fades in and gets your head banging. It goes on to do some unique things and does kind of set the tone for the album (the Black Sabbath influences these gents were raised on literally drip from the album - your hands get all sticky and everything). But once you've heard the rest of the songs, it becomes rather forgettable, and upon future listens you find yourself wanting to just get past it so you can get to the really good tracks. It's kind of like the first time you experience foreplay, you think "THIS IS AWESOME HOLY SHIT SEX" and probably prematurely express your excitement, but once you find out what comes after, and you realize that you're going to have to put up with that bullshit every time you want the end product… yeah, you get what I mean. My analogy is spot-on and you know it. As said, Down has historically had subpar opening tracks apart from "Temptation's Wings", which won the Academy Award for Best Opening Track Ever, so while I'm not surprised, I'm still kind of disappointed.

Now, with that out of the way… THIS IS AWESOME HOLY SHIT SEX. "Levitation" is a good track, but by far the standout track on this album is "Witchtripper". This release could be "Witchtripper" six times in a row, with a kick to the crotch between each track, and I'd still find a way to fuck it - WITHOUT FOREPLAY. I love the song title, the song structure, every riff, the lyrics, the vocals, and any other music term that can be associated with this delicious track. Every time I've spun the disc (too many to count) I turn the volume up as far as whatever device I'm listening to will allow. It makes my truck sound like a subwoofer thrown inside of an aluminum garbage can (just like the snare sound on St. Anger) but I couldn't care less. Best track on the album by far.

Each of the following tracks continue this trend, each containing as much groove and heavy riffs as one can handle. They're not as good as "Witchtripper", but each brings the pain in its own special way, and "Misfortune Teller" wraps the EP up nicely and on a high note. To paraphrase a good friend of mine (who may or may not be the guitarist for Mechanization), "It sounds exactly like what you'd expect to hear recorded by these guys after living in a barn for a while". Well said, guy-that's-not-in-Mechanization. 

I want to go out of my way (it took a lot of effort to type this extra sentence) to applaud Phil's effort here. Yes, I am an unabashed Phil Anselmo fanboy, but here he sounds the best he has on any Down release after NOLA. No, we'll never get 1995 Phil back, but this is the next best thing. Either by production or as a result of what was going on in his life in 2007, his performance on Over the Under felt a little weak. I saw them live in 2008 and he sounded like himself again, but admittedly I was a little worried about what the last 4 years and quitting hard drugs would do to his body, and potentially, his voice. He has bitchslapped my fears and my face by performing at a level far beyond my expectations, and I couldn't be happier.

If you're a Down fan you should have this in your hands by now (assuming you've taken some time off from jackin' it) and should have become very familiar with it, so most of this should be old news. If not, stop reading this and go buy it, and spin it until the disc shatters and your ears bleed. It's that good.

Grade: 9.5/10

(Mosh's take) So, I was going to start this off with a little mini review of Down III - Over the Under, but I realized that would be stupid, and I would have just filled space with me bitching about what I found lacking on the album. Instead, I will briefly sum up why Down IV is very much a return to Down’s previous level of badassitude. It’s hard to pinpoint why this EP is so awesome, but it probably has something to do with the fact that first and foremost, Phil has his voice back. The harmonies reverberate on many levels from track to track, really providing the backbone of this album. But a backbone is only as good as the body it supports. The dark, swampy riffs of this album are the synapses firing through some reanimated corpse deep in the Louisiana swamps. The groovy, shifting, drums are the heartbeat of the sacrificial lamb as it is slaughtered to the dark, ancient gods. The Purple EP oozes equal parts metal and voodoo. The only problem that I have with Down IV is that it is an EP. Yes, I know that this is only part one, but I’m still left wanting more. That, however, is a good sign. If the other parts of Down IV are as good as part one, then this is one spell that will last a while.

Grade: 9/10


You know I like Stone brewery. No anecdote needed.

I'm always on the lookout for new beer, and since Louisiana hates craft beer like a lesbian hates dongs, sadly one of the more decent places around here to get beer is Whole Foods. While navigating the maze of hippies and hipsters, I came across Stone's 16th anniversary IPA. Blah blah blah I love hops blah blah blah IPAs rule etc etc. So I picked it up. Interestingly, it's brewed with some lemon and is close, but not quite, a rye IPA. I admittedly haven't had too much experience with rye IPAs, but have enjoyed the one or two I've had, so this intrigue led to a purchase.

I was actually very disappointed by this brew. Typically Stone can do no wrong, but the main problem I have with this beer is that for the price, and being a special release, I expected to get something unique from it. Ultimately all I got was a Stone Double IPA. There's not really anything wrong with that, because I am a fan of Stone, but I wanted more out of this beer. It, unlike Down, did not deliver.

If you want to try out a new IPA, then give it a shot, but if you're already familiar with Stone's releases, just stick with their normal IPA release or Ruination. This doesn't have much new to offer. - Hops

Grade: 4/10

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Huntress - Spelleater / In This Moment - Blood

Mosh returns from the caretaking of his future hellspawn to supply us a double album review. Sorry kids, no beer this time, if he drinks one he will be too drunk to drive the Hellspawn Carrier to the hospital and we wouldn't want to delay the Apocalypse (he's a lightweight). - Hops

A Belated Birthday Metal Extravaganza of Covens and Asshole Eating Sewer Trolls!

*Due to lack of alcohol consumption out of considerations of pregnant spouse, two albums will be reviewed in lieu of a beer and an album.

So, I’ve been lamenting about not having anything to review for the past couple of months. With my son about to be born (just a few more weeks now), I’ve really not been able to focus on new releases much, and with a new work schedule (no more Israel, so sorry), I really have gotten behind on things. To compound matters, every time I check up on new releases, there is a litter of emo-, screamo-, death-, and whatever other -core you can name, in my face. It was disgusting and a little bit overwhelming, or underwhelming as the case may be. (Side note: Meshuggah’s Koloss was the last big release that Hops and I were stoked for. It was not quite the explosive album it was meant to be. Hops and I were too broken up about that disappointment to even write about it either way). But, there are two recent albums that I can talk about.

In This Moment-Blood

Grade: 3/10

Okay, so the first album is--what? I happen to like In This Moment.  I know they might not seem like it, but they have a sound that sets them apart from the rest of the cookies in the mold, and it makes me come back for more. Or at least they did. Blood is a release that I had been anticipating highly. I liked In This Moment’s first two albums, but I fucking loved A Star Crossed Wasteland. I mean, it took the ferocious (yet identifiably feminine) vocals of A Beautiful Tragedy and the awesome riffage and melody of The Dream. Seriously, the new album has to be awe--wait, what? No more driving riffs? No more breakneck speeds? What the--traces of dubstep? Ok, Maria Brink (and the other interchangeable band mates), what have you done? What a letdown. (Mosh’s note: If dubstep were a person, I’d punch his kitten and push his grandmother down a flight of stairs and then dare him to say something) This is a cookie cutter album: rhythmic, generic chugging riffs, almost no soloing (which isn’t a bad thing on its own, but this band soloed a lot on every previous album), and uninspired drumming. The only saving grace is that Maria’s vocals are still solid. But the rest of this album is quicksand--with a nasty asshole eating sewer troll waiting at the bottom.

*Standout (I use the term loosely) Track: Blood

So, that was a disappointment. Released the week of my birthday no less. Couple that with the fact that I had to wait an extra three weeks for it because I ordered it online, and I was pissed. However, as I was reflecting upon all of this, I realized that I had picked up one of the better new(ish) releases; from a new band; on my birthday, no less. So the award for under-the-radar-slap-you-indaface-awesome metal goes to Huntress.


Grade: 7/10

Huntress is also a female fronted metal band out of California (hrm, themed article maybe?). Huntress, however, instead of sounding like regurgitated bloody stool like the above mentioned album, follow in the vein of Christian Mistress (again with the women?) and Ghost (okay, I’ve moved on) thematically: the songs are mainly occult oriented. Soundwise, Huntress is reminiscent of Mercyful Fate. This album is an all out assault. The riffs are heavy, the shredding will blister your fingers just from listening, the drumming is like an ancient tribal ritual (but coked up and played on fast forward) and the disjointed melodies help set up the dark atmosphere. There is a distinct technicality to the song structures that never leave the listener bored. Vocally, however, this album can take a little while to get used to. Vocalist Jill Janus has a solid range, but the grittiness of her voice, while lending an otherworldly pallor to the songs, can at first be jarring when she wails. However, much like King Diamond’s banshee-like falsetto was required to bring the coven to life, Janus’ screams complete this binding ritual. A welcome addition to King Diamond’s coven, indeed.

 *Standout Track: Eight of Swords

**Special thanks to my wife, Erin, for reminding me that even reviewing a craptastic (her words) album is still a review. That and for carrying my little headbanger for the past seven and a half months.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Katatonia - Dead End Kings / Sierra Hoptimum

Before we get into the review, I just wanted to thank those of you who gave me some positive feedback about the blog over the last few days. I had seriously contemplated killing this off, as Mosh and I have both been strapped for time the last few months, but knowing some of you out there liked this concept and viewed the reviews favorably gives me renewed interesting in keeping it going. Sleep can wait, there are reviews to be written and people to be made fun of!

With that, let's get back to what you really care about: beer, metal and comedy.


GRADE: 9.5/10

It may not be obvious by my moniker, but I'm kind of a fan of hops. Some may call me obsessed. Some may say that I'm a stalker. Some may say that I've had a restraining order filed on me by hops. I say to them: just fifty feet is close enough for me to get what I need from that delicious tasting and smelling flower. I really can't get enough. I tried to eat some and the three days of vomiting was TOTALLY worth it. So as I browsed the beer aisle for something new to try, the "Hoptimum" brew by Sierra Nevada caught my eye almost immediately. I'll try anything with the Sierra Nevada label, so add something with the word "hop" in it and I'm all over that like a hooker on an erection. Plus they cleverly combined the words "hop" and "optimum". Their marketing department should hire a guy to just shit out money for them at will. No matter what it costs. They deserve it. Other pluses include 1) it's a "whole-cone" IPA, which the word whole-cone sounds dirty enough for me to not need a simile or metaphor for it, b) it's Imperial, which typically means you pay the same price as a six pack for only four beers, so obviously they are better quality (or they catch me hook/line/sinker with their marketing ploy, which I am completely okay with), 8) 10.4% ABV and 100 IBU. That means the drunks are incoming and your mouth is going to feel like Mike Ty(hop)son gave you a right cross with a boxing glove sewn out of delicious hops, the hand within being made of hops (both hops skin and hops bones, with hops blood vessels and veins) and also clenching a fistful of hops. Upon impact, hops exploded outward and impregnated your face, and little hops now grow out of you and you have to pay child support for them and alimony to Mike Tyson. Also, hops.

Upon consumption of this delightful concoction, a genie appeared from the bottle. He was voiced by Robin Williams and looked like a huge hop. He granted me three wishes, as long as every wish was to have more hops, which I happily accepted. In (almost) all seriousness though, this is probably one of the tastier "hop-heavy" IPAs I've had. While I typically never turn away or dislike a ridiculously hoppy beer, the water used can have a significant effect, positive or negative, on the overall taste of the beer. In Sierra Nevada's case, the water complements the hoppiness positively, as it does with all of their brews. It also takes the edge off a bit to make the beer more accessible to those who may have less conditioned taste buds, without sacrificing the bitterness a hop-lover craves. Overall, it comes off less overwhelming than, say, Stone's Ruination, but still every bit as tasty. I hope that I can find this on a regular basis, because I will definitely pass up all other Sierra Nevada IPAs in favor of Hoptimum. I may have to have a drink-off between it and Ruination as a competition for my ultimate hop love. Maybe I can do "The Bachelorette", but instead of a chick, it's me, and instead of courters, it's hoppy beers. I'd watch that shit. I'd even buy all the seasons on Blu-Ray.


Grade: 7.5/10

It's a review by me, so you can always expect an anecdote. Not to disappoint, here's one.

Though I never got much into Katatonia in their early days (I was likely more concerned with hardcore metal acts such as Boyz II Men, Bush and "Weird" Al Yankovic), I caught up with them around the Tonight's Decision/Last Fair Deal… era. I dug them for a while, but for some reason just put them away and was disinterested with them from shortly after Viva Emptiness until less than a year ago, when Mosh re-introduced me to LFDGD. Since then I've (again) been a rabid fan, and as such have been heavily anticipating the release of Dead End Kings.

If you're not familiar with the band's work, they are the yang to my normal metal ying. They provide a great counterbalance to the speed, intensity and harshness of what I normally listen to. They tend to the mellower side of things, with completely clean vocals and several quiet passages. Don't fret, as they definitely still know how to bring the pain in the riff department, but they explore a greater breadth of musical directions and have a large array of influences they draw upon to create their songs. The result as a band is a product that a larger crowd of people can get into. However, if this is your first foray into the genius of the band, I cannot recommend this album as your first. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and if you'll wait a goddamn second I'll tell you why. Christ, you're so impatient sometimes.

Previous albums (up until Viva Emptiness, anyway) were more straightforward and accessible, with lots of hooks and groove to keep your head(banging) in the game and to keep up your tough-guy metal image. Sure, it was emotional, but you could still feel good about yourself listening to it with all of those chunky riffs and killer drum fills going around. Nobody can call you gay if those touching sweet vocals are surrounded by sweet, sweet guitar lines. That's what I told myself while listening to it and fawning over my Justin Timberlake poster, anyway. With Dead End Kings, the band appears to be making headway towards the progressive side of things. The power of the riff wanes ever so slightly. Piano and synth have started to take over a bit. Song structure is not predictable and takes pieces from an increasing number of influences. The result is an obviously more complex and mature band and album, but accessibility has taken a hit. It begs to be listened to more times to slowly digest all of what it has to offer, kind of like trying to make your way through the buffet line at a Chinese restaurant for the fifth time. Sure, you've unbuttoned your pants and have puked twice, but something just keeps bringing you back. Probably MSG. I wonder if they put MSG in Dead End Kings. I'll get back to you on the taste test results.

Without comparing it to other efforts, I definitely do like what I hear from the band on this release. There are many delicious solos scattered about, and enough tasty riffs to keep my expectations mostly sated. The deviations and progressive elements encourage further listens, which means more beers consumed, and with more beer comes a more enlightened interpretation of the audio, of course. Also blacking out or open weeping, but nobody has to know about that. Just the tough guy stuff. If you are already familiar with Katatonia, this is a no-brainer addition to your collection. If you are just getting into the band, cut your teeth on Tonight's Decision and Last Fair Deal Gone Down, then come on back to the adult's table and spend some time with Dead End Kings. Remember the beers and leave behind the tears. That's a good sign off line.

- Hops

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Evil Revisited - Mastodon - Leviathan

While on brief hiatus, I thought it'd be hilarious/sad/interesting to dig up some of my old reviews and post them here to see how they held up over time and how opinions have changed or solidified since then. I've even left it with all the original typos, grammar mistakes, and/or poor sentence structure, so you know it's good. This one definitely has stood the test of time, and I definitely predicted an instant classic. Though some of my facts are off and I didn't research a few things enough, the feelings remain. Hopefully it keeps your interest and tides you over until Mosh and I stop jerking off and eating Danish long enough to write a new review.

- Hops 


A few years back an online acquaintance of mine, Mike, introduced me to the mammoth known as Mastodon. He figured I'd like it and sent it on over. The album was their first full-length, Remission. Admittedly, I didn't really like it at first. I listened a few times, then put it away. A few months later, when I heard that the band would be playing nearby, I decided to go check them out live and see what they had to offer in that fashion. I'm really glad that I decided to go because Mastodon puts on one hell of a live show and they are a band that you need to see live in order to fully appreciate their CD efforts. Since then Remission has become one of my top 5 favorite albums and constantly spins in my CD player. Lately I've been getting anxious because the band had been touring in support of that CD for nearly two years and it was definitely time to hit the studio again and record their sophomore effort. This would definitely prove whether or not they had what it took in the long run. Glad I was to hear that they did just that and the product is this album, Leviathan, to be released on August 31st. I'm happy to say that Mastodon has exceeded my expectations with this album and put together another masterpiece that I can enjoy and spin for years to come while they again tour like madmen.

Right off the bat I'll say that if you didn't like Remission you probably won't like Leviathan. The music is equally technical and complex and if that was a turnoff for you then, it'll turn you off here. At the same time, the music maintains an unrivaled heaviness and groove that keeps you hooked. "Blood and Thunder" is a killer opening song. It opens much in the way that "Crusher Destroyer" opened up Remission - heavy, fast and in your face. Brann Dailor displays his ungodly drumming skills straight from the start and doesn't let up all the way through the album. If you aren't impressed by the drumming on the CD, seeing him pull it off flawlessly in a live setting will blow you away. The vocals on the CD are probably the biggest difference between this album and Remission. Whereas pretty much all the vocals on Remission were heavily distorted, low growls, Leviathan mixes it up a bit. The distorted growls are far less distorted and more discernible. There are also some clean vocals through the record and there is one style used on "Seabeast" and "Naked Burn" that really annoys me. It sounds really whiny and kind of stupid and it's my only beef with the album.

The album is mostly comprised of songs that are fairly short (four and a half minutes or below) but each song is carefully crafted of some major timing and style switches. The band seamlessly moves from a heavy repetitive riff to some beautiful melodic guitar work. It definitely takes a few listens to truly appreciate the eloquence of each song. I've listened to this album a good dozen times and I'm still surprised and pleased by it with every new listen. Now, in the sea of these short songs comes "Hearts Alive", which accounts for nearly one-third of the album's total length. Coming in at just over thirteen and a half minutes, it easily makes my list of top songs on the album. The seamless transitions Mastodon pulls off makes this song seem like it's only a few minutes long until you sit back and reflect on what you've just heard. I think that with the way the song ends it'd be a great way to end the album - on a heavy, headbanging note. However, the band opts to end the album similarly to the way they ended Remission - with a somber instrumental track. "Joseph Merrick" is a really good song, don't get me wrong, but as I was hearing the end of "Hearts Alive" I thought "Man, this would be a great way to end this experience." I'm not sure what the big deal about the Elephant Man is with this band (the last track on the last album was called "Elephant Man", and Joseph Merrick is the Elephant Man's real name) but hey, it makes for good music.

By far my favorite track on the record has to be "Iron Tusk". This thing has one of the most catchiest openings I've heard. Very rarely does a song make me smile when I hear it for the first time but this song does exactly that. All I could do was grin, say "That's fucking badass.", throw the horns and bang my head. You can't deny power like that. I was also pleasantly surprised by the bands eruption into a speedy, heavy riff in the middle of "Megalodon". Just listen to that song and melt in the metal goodness.

I'm giving this album a 9 /10. Very solid second effort by these Atlanta natives. I'm thoroughly impressed and I think you will be too. Make sure you catch these guys live. Watching Brann Dailor is worth the price of admission alone. The fact that each other member is equally as talented makes them just that much better. If you don't buy the CD for anything else, get it for the cover art. The cover for this album and Remission are just beautiful to look at. Solid work, fellas.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Eluveitie - Helvetios / Shock Top Raspberry Wheat

Hello again, my endearing fans! Sorry it has been a while since we last talked (I know I promised I’d call you in the morning, but I swear I lost your number), but here I am again to give you an injection of what you know you want—no, not that you little harlot—the metal! (Yes, yes, the beer too. I haven’t forgotten). So, for today, we have an exercise in polar opposites: I will be offering up my favorite pagan metal album in recent years…and an awesomely (used in a highly ironic fashion) bad beer! So…COIN TOSS…well, it looks like you get the bad end first (like you haven’t heard that one before). On to the beer!!


Okay, so Shocktop is a “Belgian Style Lager” and this particular “beer” is a bit confusing. As far as the texture goes, this beer is thick. When I say thick, I mean that it feels like you are drinking a mouthful of bed linens. I’m supposed to *wake up* with a mouthful of linen after a night drinking. If I experience that sensation while I’m drinking…well why would I want to experience more of it? Strike one. Now, as far as taste goes, apparently these linens were rolled in a vat of raspberry syrup. Seriously, there is no “beer” here, just raspberry. I feel like the raspberry syrup acquired a fake ID so he could get into the club. So he passes himself off as an adult, but forgets that instead of his ID saying Eye M. Beer, the ID is for a Mr. Santiago Gomez, and the two don’t have even a passing resemblance to one another. I tried taking the “well this is just maybe an after dinner dessert type beer” approach to Raspberry Wheat, but to hell with that. After two, I decided that there is just no redeeming quality to this beer, unless you just want to be a douche and think you’re cool because there’s some mohawked Pac-Man piece of orange on the bottle. And if you want to be that douche, then this “beer” is for you. Seriously…4/10, Douche.


Grade – 9/10

I like unusual music. There, I said it. In case you don’t follow patterns, I have a thing for metal using cultural influences and instruments. And if the music happens to be about mythology, pagans, warfare, or a combination of all of the above, then if I don’t like it I’m at least going to give it a chance. Eluveitie is a melo-death metal (keep up with the genres!!) band from Switzerland that use folk instruments in combination with traditional metal and sing many of their songs in the archaic Gaulish language. Previous entries into the Eluveitie catalogue have been solid “folk metal” albums, the death vocals meshing quite nicely with the dual female vocals. “Helvetios”, however, is the first metal album (“Evocation I:  The Arcane Dominion” was a full on folk album) that really has vocal duties split between the death vocals and the dual female vocals. Even the background female vocals are more prevalent and in the forefront on this album. A few of the tracks even manage to relegate the death growls to backup vocals, changing pace from the typical (I use that word loosely in conjunction with this band, as there is nothing “typical” about them) rush of Eluveitie’s albums. Now, this emphasis on the melody does not detract from the heaviness of the album. If anything, the shared focus on the melodic vocals and death vocals allow for a better contrast of the feeling of war and supplication, death and peace. There really isn’t a throwaway track on this album. On “Helvetios” more than many of the other album, even the spoken interludes (whether English or Gaul) and instrumentals create a dramatic atmosphere. Normally, I try and listen to an album and find standout tracks, but I was hard pressed to find tracks that truly stood out. But this isn’t because nothing stands out, rather everything stands out. Every time I tried to say “holy crap, this is the best song on the album,” there would be an interlude that would lead into a track even better than the last. “Helvetios” is more than a solid album from a consistent band, this album would have to be considered a high point in the band’s career and it is definitely my favorite in the band’s catalogue.

- Mosh

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Godhunter - Wolves EP


GRADE: 8/10

Anecdote time! Reviews are always better when they start off with anecdotes. It's science.

A bit embarrassing, but it took me several months (maybe even an entire year) after hearing OF Godhunter to actually listen to the band. I "liked" their Facebook page early on (before they were called Godhunter… I don't remember what the previous name was, but obviously nothing nearly as badass as Godhunter, it might as well have been Fairylover), read all of their updates, followed the personal exploits of amazingly-bearded (and tender) guitar player David Rodgers…but just never gave the music a listen. Fuck if I know why. Finally, after much deliberation and procrastination, I parted ways with my hard-earned five dollar bill to nab the "Wolves" EP and hit play. I really didn't know what to expect. The only preconceived notion I had of their sound was based on the name "Godhunter", the inverted cross in their logo, and previous music I'd heard David fuck around with in the past. I guess if I had to put a finger on it, I expected some hard, death-y, weed-fueled stuff akin to… I don't know… maybe Bongzilla? That might be an insult, but fuck it. I'll make up for it with the red hot love for the EP in the rest of the review.

So, back to the action, I cautiously and gently pressed play… and the aural sensations that followed were nothing less than nipple-hardening. What these gentlemen bring to the table is a very focused effort, surprisingly catchy but no less groovy than is to be expected of bands of their ilk, with enough tinges of influences that push my hot buttons to create one all-around sexy package of man-meat. There is a ton of things to love about this band and EP, especially for a Southern boy like myself. It should come as no surprise to me, since Mr. Rodgers tends to know more about my local scene than I do, and he's from Arizona. (As an aside, no offense to anyone else in the band, I just mention David by name a lot since he's the only one of the members I've physically embraced. Maybe I can change all that next time I'm in town. *wink*)

Godhunter as a bad took me by surprise because I really wasn't expecting any or all of the elements that comprise it, let alone wrapped up a a tightly executed package. Overall, the primary vibes I get from them are stoner rockish, but I wouldn't call them a band in that genre at all. They're harsh, dirty, sludgy, 
desert-y, Southern fried, stoner, atmospheric, doomy… but never just one, and never all… you're obviously seeing my expertise in genre classification firsthand. Polka-dot accordion Candyland bacon metal? Hell yes I listen to that shit!

As mentioned in previous reviews, I prefer demos and EPs (and have grown more fond of them in the last two months, even) because the shorter total length allows for more listens during the time my grandma allows me to listen to CDs. The tracks here are longer than I expected, but still clock in at a little over 30 minutes, which is just about the perfect length. (Insert dick joke here…and its follow-up for typing "insert dick".) I listened to the EP three times back-to-back my first time in (and have put in about a dozen listens thus far), and out of the five tracks the one that sticks with me the most is "(Dead Hooker By the Side of) The Road". I get a few strange looks every time I scream "DEAD HOOKER BY THE ROADSIIIIIIIDE" in public, but I'm cool with the guys at Chuck E. Cheese, so they don't kick me out when I do. I'm not sure if it's because it's the last song on the album, so it's the most recent in memory when I reflect on the EP, if it's truly the catchiest, or if I just like words inside of parentheses… but it's a damn good track. (As an aside, I would probably rank "(Stop Being) Sheep" number two for similar reasons, so maybe it is the parenthesis thing. I also just put two sentences inside of parentheses to reinforce my love for them. Actually, make that three. Okay, I'm done.) Overall, the tracks keep my head banging throughout, singing along, and throwing the horns. I don't ask for much more than that from my metal.

The four previous paragraphs of vague praise devoid of unnecessary detail and/or spoilers too specific that you don't need to listen to the EP yourself should suffice. If you're a fan of any of aforementioned genres of music, metal, beards, beer, or parentheses, I imagine you'll find something to love about the "Wolves" EP. 30+ minutes of great music for five dollars is one of the better deals you'll find these days, and the bros in Godhunter deliver just that. After over a dozen listens in the past couple of weeks, I'm still finding little nuances of the album that I enjoy, and I dig the album more with each listen. That gets it into my regular rotation, and a well-deserved 8/10.


I've seen the guys in the band drink a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon (while stalking their photos on Facebook). When I was a much younger beer drinker, I always was informed that PBR was the utter shit of shit beers. This was the beer you'd drink if you were too broke to drink your own piss. I've never actually drank the stuff myself, though, so I really did not know if there was any truth to the rumors. Not sure if the band drinks it ironically, if it's a west-coast thing, or if I'm just a fucking beer snob. I'm really uneducated when it comes to the stuff. So, for the beer review here, I'll be reviewing… 

Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager, naturally! (I really wanted to write the album review and haven't had time to get to Jim's Firearms & Beer or wherever they hell it is they sell PBR. Fuck off.)

I spent some time trying to justify reviewing a fruity, Louisiana seasonal beer along with an Arizona herb-infused organic shampoo band like Godhunter, but eventually gave up and just assumed Kevin Bacon linked them somehow. Mmm, bacon. Herb-infused bacon beer. Somebody brew that shit, stat.

Aaaaanyway, the people of Louisiana know this beer well. Each year I await its arrival with great anticipation. The Abita brewery lies but an hour from my current location, and I try to tour it at least once a year. The best time to go, however, is when the Strawberry Harvest is on tap. It's called a lager, but it's got more of a hefeweizen vibe too it. It "tastes" cloudy like a hefeweizen does. That possibly makes no goddamn sense, but neither does reviewing this beer with Godhunter, so I'm having trouble giving a single fuck at the moment. The beer is infused with Ponchatoula strawberries, a town nearby that is known for three things: strawberries, strawberry-themed shit, and a giant alligator in a cage in the middle of town (completely factual, by the way). It's one of those towns they make TV shows about to stereotype how batshit insane everyone in Louisiana is. (We do get drunk any time of day and sell alcohol in grocery stores, though. That shit's no joke. We rule.) The strawberries in question, Ponchatoula would have you believe, are not only the best strawberries in the world, but should pretty much replace whatever else one's diet consists of. Hell, we should water our plants with strawberries to make more strawberries. We should bathe with strawberry soap, and drive cars with strawberry fuel. This is serious business, folks.

To be honest, it is a pretty damn good beer, though. There's just something about it that is addictive. I can rarely keep myself from downing a six pack of these things. I enjoy many styles of beer, but this one is a beer that tastes good as a standalone beverage, and also happens to be a beer, so you'll get the added bonus of inebriation. It's a staple of our swamp-dwelling, gator-wrestling diet and if it's near you, you should add it to yours also. 9/10 for the hometown brew.

- Hops

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swedglish Update Deluxe - Torture Division, Synebrychoff


GRADE: 9/10

The three incredibly sexy members of Torture Division have been dominating the death metal scene for the past five years. If, for whatever reason, you've failed to listen to the band by now, you have few excuses - they release all of their songs for free, downloadable from their website. How often do bands do that and survive for five years? Hint: Never. So the fact that these guys have continued to release quality death metal for this long is outstanding in itself. When you hear just how good it is, you'll be hard-pressed not to buy a plane ticket to Sweden so you can personally hand-deliver the band your first-born child, your credit card, your clothes, and your motorcycle.

The band (to this point) has released their songs a few at a time, typically three sets of three per "album". "Satan, Sprit och Våld" (which I'm pretty sure translates to "Pastrami, Taxis and Coldbeer") is the second demo of the current set (the third set, if my count is right). If that makes no sense or is wrong, tough shit, I write the goddamn reviews around here. Personally I find this approach to be genius, as it gives the listener plenty of time to get intimate with the songs, cuddle with them, learn about their feelings, and just really get to know them overall. Right before you take the plunge, get down on one knee, and profess your undying love to the demo, ready to take on its last name, another demo comes along and makes you completely forget about the original. Until that awkward moment when it randomly shows up on shuffle uninvited and asks for an explanation of where the hell you've been and why you never called, of course.

Anyhoochie, this demo immediately strikes me as different than the ones before. It's not better or worse than the other fantastic songs previously released by the band, I just appreciate them in a different way. Whereas before you could certainly count on the tracks to be blistering, fantastic displays of what death metal truly should be, this demo loads down on something that really accentuates and brings out the robustness of the band - groooooove (as previously seen on albums such as "Groovy Train 2: Electric Groovaloo"). Don't worry, your favorite death metal band hasn't gone soft, they've just incorporated some new elements into the songs. Think of it like a chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream cone, except the vanilla is death metal, the chocolate is groove, and the cone is an anus. Made of metal.

The first track, "Cirkelstryk", opens up at a slower pace than the intense explosion you may have become accustomed to with previous Torture Division tracks, then quickly shifts pace to the band you know and love. It's a great track to open off the album and keeps pace with the high standard these guys have set for themselves. You may detect hints of the groove I spoke of here and then, but nothing too prevalent. Once the track ends, though, you're in for a real treat. The next track, "Otukt", is by far the highlight of the demo, and stands out as one of my favorite TD tracks ever. Seriously, if you don't headbang from beginning to end through this track, you hate metal, Sweden, beer, sex, babies, and sexy beer-drinking Swedish metal babies. If you can only download one track from this demo (which would be retarded, since they're all free), get "Otukt". You will find a way to print out an mp3 just so you can make love to paper the song is printed on (painfully). This song is where most of the groove I speak of on this demo lies. Everything about this track is just about perfect, from J's always-stellar growls, to K's guitar playing (seriously, is this guy is the death metal riff fucking master or what), and Golden T's amazing drumming (he transitions from a groovy backbeat to a tight, punishing blastbeat more smoothly than the smoothest of man-dongs). Ending the demo is "Satan, Sprit och Våld", which continues to deliver more of the TD you know and love. It's hard to describe as vividly as "Otukt" since I pretty much used my allotment of similes, adjectives and metaphors on that song, and I'm always still riding its high going into the final track, but it's no less awesome than even the worst TD track (which is still better than 95% of death metal currently out).

If my words have not been enough to convince you to go download these three completely free tracks, then go buy some Justin Bieber and Adele CDs, now. Otherwise, head over to their website and check them out. Then, after thanking me for informing you about the best band you've ever heard, donate some money to them so that they can continue to put out more music like this. The end.


Going with the Swedish theme, I tried to get a beer from Sweden to sample for this review. Unfortunately, Swedish beers are hard to come by around here. So, we're going to make this a Scandinavian theme, because fuck you. The lone beer I was able to find among Norway, Sweden and Finland was a Finnish beer called Synebrychoff Porter. I asked someone I know in Finland about this beer and he had never heard of it, so obviously I'm off to a fantastic start.

The beer itself ended up being pretty good. It's a little stronger than your standard porter (the standard porter around here, anyway), and I could see a few of these putting me on my ass (especially with my tolerance being miniscule after my recent run-in with bodily organ removal). It's got a strong start and an even stronger finish, with coffee/dark roasted undertones at the end. It's probably not a beer you'd start the day off with, but more of a mid-to-end range beer, something to build up to and cap off the night with. I'd rate the beer higher than the Sierra porter I had a few reviews ago, but I don't have any food to pair it with to make the orgasmic explosion in my mouth like that one did, so I'll give it a 7/10.

Overall, another positive experience with all things Scandinavian. Someone work on moving everyone and everything from there to here so get some more street cred. Thanks.

- Hops

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Not Quite Dead

Just in case you were wondering, we're not quite dead yet. A small update to thank our friend Derek over at Rickety Old Shack for throwing together a oh-so-sweet logo for us. Look for our review of Torture Division's new 3-song demo very soon!

- Hops

Friday, February 17, 2012

Big Ol' Jewish Update

Since Hops started things off with a bang, I—your humble Mosh—figure I couldn’t let the bang die just yet. You’ve already been given a treat with a multi-review, so how ‘bout another?  Only, I don’t want to overload your brew sensibilities, so how about a nice local (to Israel) brew, and then a double dose o’ metal? Sounds good? Yea—no? GTFO, you know you want it.


So, this review is going to be broken into two parts: the draft and the bottle.  By the end, it’s clear why (and why would you argue with me anyway?)


Goldstar is the local beer here in Israel. Every bar seems to have it, and everyone seems to drink it. Labeled as “Our Original Taste…”, Goldstar makes me think that Israel might have something going on. Goldstar is a dark lager. There is a slightly dry sharpness to it, and the bitterness present in a lot of lagers is not found in Goldstar. It’s not a very full-bodied beer, neither does it taste like it is watered down in any way. This mildness, tempered with its sharp, dry nature allows for an easier consumption of multiple pints (myself, my boss, and one of my co-workers knocked out four or five pints in one sitting once we arrived in Israel). Also of note:  this is a good barbeque beer. Believe it or not, there are quite a few American styled grills in Israel, and the perfect companion to some killer wings or a behemoth burger is definitely Goldstar.

But, wait!  There’s more!

Bottle - 6

What the hell?? Who gave me Budweiser (if that offends you, then you need to pay really close attention to everything we say…ever)? Goldstar—when poured from a bottle—while retaining its body and smooth (maybe) consistency, gains a bitterness. This bitterness, coupled with the sharpness, make it very uneasy drinking for a picky beer drinker. And that, honestly, ruins it. The bottle gives it a cheap domestic Americana taste, and it doesn’t pair well with anything. Give me back my draft!!

**I spoke to the clerk at the music store (see below review) and he says that the above is pretty much how Israel feels about Goldstar. It is a great beer; better draft than from the bottle. And, I quote, “In Israel, we sit around and complain about how bad everything is, but Goldstar is great:  no complaining!”

Okay, so in keeping with the Israeli theme, here’s a good band to check out while you’re consuming that Goldstar:  Orphaned Land. For those of you that don’t know who Orphaned Land are, they are a progressive metal band out of Israel (uh, duh…sorry). Orphaned Land are progressive metal with death elements (vocals and some—but not much—music) and a lot of Middle Eastern musical elements interwoven. Their albums are usually concept albums, revolving around usually Jewish and Muslim themes. Today, we’re going to take a look at two of their albums—their most recent, "The Neverending Way of ORwarriOR" and "Mabool:  The Story of the Three Sons of Seven".  Holy hell, that was a mouthful!


"Mabool:  The Story of the Three Sons of Seven" - 8.5

Ok, so these guys seem a bit pretentious at first, but once you get past the long-winded title, there’s some real meat to this. “Mabool” is a very tight progressive album. Its longest song clocks in at around 9:20, so there’s no listing to be found within the confines of this album. Even though there never seems to be a lot going on, what we have throughout this album are some very tight riffs as well as hook-laden songs. These songs are very structurally diverse:  the story of the flood is woven together with two sets of distinct vocals (powerful and predominant clean vocals offset by pissed-off-God-like vocal growling) and an interesting use of keyboards (at times very much background melodies, other times the driving force of the songs). At times, “Mabool” comes off feeling like an early Dream Theater album, at other times it drifts into the “What if Max Cavelera and Mikael Åkerfeldt had an Israeli love child?” territory. Like any good cultural album, this one makes good use of Middle Eastern rhythms, and a female singing in the native tongue. All of this lends to the depth of the Mabool album.  My only complaint is that the death vocals could be a little more frequent (God is pissed at this point in time, after all).
*Standout Tracks:  A Call to Awake, The Kiss of Babylon

"The Neverending Way of ORwarriOR" - 8

So, for the second round, we have …ORwarriOR. Yes, just because they didn’t want to be any less pretentious with their title this time around.  Once again, we have a tight progressive metal concept album, this time telling the story of God’s chosen warrior. We still have a good use of riffs and hooks, but this time around there is more of a precise feel of the rhythm in the times changes, and song shifts. It is slightly reminiscent of Opeth. The middle eastern elements shine through more in the melodies and instrumentals on this album. Even though it starts to lose focus a little past the middle mark, Orphaned Land manage to bring themselves back for an explosive finish.  Oh, did I say that Mabool didn’t use the growls enough? Well, …ORwarrOR fixes that. The vocal balance is actually nicely perched in the middle of the scale. There is a definite balance vocally on the album. For a nice bonus, the tour edition that I picked up out here comes with a bonus disc with one new song, two demos, and two instrumental workings.
*Standout Tracks:  Operation: Uprising, From Broken Vessels

****A big thank you goes to Arye, at The Eighth Note (Hatav Hasmini).  He found the Orphaned Land cd’s for me and gave me his insight on Goldstar.  So, I’d like to leave you with another of Arye’s quotes:  “It’s easy to be despot in small country.”  So true, Arye, so true.  Remember folks, keep your despotism small, and you’ll easily conquer your own little world.

- Mosh

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Sorry for the delay in the latest posts. I was nearly called to Valhalla to join my metal brethren earlier this week. I have survived and am well on my way to recovery. Look forward to our next update this weekend!

- Hops

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Quick update: we've changed the blog to allow unregistered users to comment on posts. Feel free to let us know how you feel while safely hidden in the anonymity of the Internet!

- Hops

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mechanization - Kenosis / Sierra Nevada MASHUP

What complements metal more than beer? Nothing, that's what. For an indefinite amount of time, at intervals of whenever-the-fuck-we-feel-like, we will be bringing you EXCLUSIVE reviews of the HOTTEST metal albums and beers to ever hit the scene (citation needed). Our first one is a doozy - the kinda-recent album by our friends in Mechanization, "Kenosis", and beers from their home state's popular-ish brewery, Sierra Nevada. Spoiler alert: they're both good.


GRADE: 8.5 / 10 (we know this is all you care about so it's first)

Metal these days comes in numerous mediums, styles, directions and flavors (mint chocolate chip being my favorite, naturally). In the process of innovating and adapting to the changing scene, many bands have lost sight of what makes metal appealing to many listeners in the first place - catchy, punishing riffs that keep you coming back for more (like me at an open bar), vocals that accentuate the music rather than dominate it, thunderous drum beats to add extra punishment to the riffs rather than deviate from them, and placing a bass guitar somewhere near the recording studio just in case the bassist breaks out of his cage and whines about "not being included". Occasionally, a band will come along that executes these elements to perfection without sounding like a clone of the bands that previously patented them. Mechanization is such a band.

Comprised of Ter(ror)ence and HMT (which I believe stands for Heavy Metal Tricycle), "Kenosis" is the second album from the San Diegans. While their previous effort, "Holon", was proclaimed an "experimental" album by the band, "Kenosis" experiments with but a single topic: bringing the fucking metal. You can bet your ass that this album accomplishes just that, while following the scientific method to a mothafuckin capital T (which, coincidentally, also stands for Tricycle). Now, if you've come to get a side by side comparison of this album with "Holon", joke's on you. To be perfectly honest, I purchased both of the albums at the same time, so I'm not any more familiar with one than the other. What I can tell you is that from front to back, "Kenosis" is relentless. If your diet is comprised mostly of riffs, you're in luck, because herein lie some of the tastiest riffs compiled onto a single disc. HMT rarely takes a break from rocking your face off, but when he does, it's to rock your face off. El Terroro brings the pain in the vocal department with a unique delivery that at times reminds me of Dethklok's Nathan Explosion (this is a compliment). While it is an overall change from the prevalent vocal delivery on "Holon", it's a welcome change that adds another layer of brutality to the album.

The most talented musician in the band, however, is the drummer. By far. He pounds the skins like no other I've heard. The drumbeats are performed so consistently, flawlessly and tight, it's like he's a goddamn machine. You won't find a better drummer anywhere else.

…I kid, I kid. It IS a machine! I must admit, though, that if you didn't know that going into your first album listen you wouldn't be able to tell unless you have cyborg ears. The guys have obviously gone through pains to ensure that the drums sound authentic and their efforts definitely pay off here.  They complement the style and songs just about perfectly.

The band's egos certainly inflated by now, I must deflate them ever so slightly. If there is a complaint I must make about the album, samples are used a smidge too much over the album. Now, considering the driving force behind the band is to show that they can deliver the goods without the pretentiousness that seems to come along with metal bands, this overuse could be a biting criticism of scene tendencies, as I know those guys have a pretty fantastic sense of humor… but just in case it's serious, maybe tone it down a bit next album? The content of the samples absolutely contribute to the tone and of the album, but less samples means more room for METAL, and that's what gets the people going, right?

Otherwise, if you consider yourself a metal fan at all, you will appreciate the effort of these two metal scholars to deliver punishing music unladen by unnecessary packaging. I dare you to try and keep your head from banging during this record. It's physically impossible. I made a futile attempt at it, and now doctors say my neck will never again be not quite-so-disintegrated. Sum that all up with the always-pristine production by some dude named Dan Swano (I hear he's been in a couple of bands) (fuck you umlaut, you take too much effort to type), and you've got your new favorite album written by two guys and a drum machine from San Diego (sounds like the new fall sitcom). Grab this record and a frosty brew and enjoy your newfound metal knowledge.


Paired with this lovely record is products of a brewery also inherent to the state of California - Sierra Nevada. Now normally we will only be reviewing a single beer, but fuck it, this is our inaugural post, and we are going to set the bar high. I had the opportunity to attend a beer tasting/dinner at BJ's Brewhouse featuring seven Sierra Nevada brews and what follows is a review of said experience. While food was involved and will be briefly mentioned, beer is the main attraction here, and it's all the food you really need. Ratings correspond to the beer and how likely I would be found snuggling with it.

The first beer was the Kellerweis Hefeweizen. If you're aware that no, "Bud Light" is not a style of beer, and moreover, it's not the only one, then you probably either love or hate this beer just by knowing what it is named. In my experience I've found that many people have a love/hate relationship with Hefeweizens. The coordinator of the event hit us with knowledge about why Sierra's is different than most Hefes and things like that, but I'm not going to pretend to be a beer expert. I just know that as far as Hefes go, I thought this one was okay. I got Blue Moon vibes from it. Paired with the calimari, it helped to cool down the spiciness, but neither flavor really enhanced the other. It was an okay start to the night. 4/10

Next, we were treated to the old Sierra mainstay - Pale Ale. Most people are probably familiar with this one, and it didn't disappoint that night (does it ever?). The beer was paired with a flatbread pizza.  The pizza by itself was delicious. When paired with the beer, it was heaven (or hell, or purgatory, depending on whom to choose to worship / not worship). This was my first experience with a planned pairing of food with beer and it was glorious. This particular pairing truly showed me how the flavors can enhance each other, and that yes, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the Most Delicious Beer Ever Created While Some Guy Was Also Eating Pizza. 7/10

Third, we were treated to my most anticipated beer of the night, Torpedo Extra IPA. I am an IPA fanatic and I have had this beer before many times, but I highly looked forward to have its flavor enhanced with food. Combined with BJ's Kung Pao Chicken, sadly the flavors did not enhance each other. While the IPA did reduce the kick of the dish, the chicken dulled the happiness of the beer, and for me, a hops slave, this was simply unacceptable. Long live hops! 8/10

After the Torpedo, we were treated to a palate cleanser before the primary course. This was the Ruthless Rye IPA. I was skeptical when reading the description because there were fewer IBUs (Idon'trememberwhat"I"stoodfor Bitterness Units) and lower alcohol content in this than in Torpedo, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The hops were milder and the beer was smoother, but it achieved the intended effect and washed away the pain of the Kung Pao Chicken. Touche', Rye. We were also (according to the event coordinator) some of the first people in the state to get to try this beer, so INYOFACE! 6/10

For the main course, Sierra Nevada Porter was served along with a Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich. Around this time is when the wimps at the tasting started falling out. For the next three beers, and increasing number of half or mostly full glasses adorned the family-style table, wounded soldiers in a battle with chumps who couldn't handle real beer. The porter was, well, a porter - thick and dark, just like I like my men. However, a surprise lurked around the corner, like a girl from that one night stand you had three weeks ago holding a pregnancy test. When combined with the sandwich, the beer FUCKING TURNED INTO OPTIMUS PRIME WITH GUNS AND SHIT. Okay, it wasn't that cool, but the flavor did completely change directions. I thought that the Pale Ale combination was fantastic, but this one was by far the highlight of the night. The beer flavors exploded while reducing the initial hit of thickness and nuttiness. Just incredible. 9/10

Our second and final palate cleanser was the beast, Bigfoot Barleywine Ale. At a whopping 99 IBUs and 9.6% ABV, this beer would devour you with a smile on its face were your not fully prepared for it. It spread like wildfire through your mouth the moment it hit your lips. Sierra's version is much hoppier than your typical barleywine (most Sierra Nevada beers are) and this one I found absolutely delectable. I had never given the Bigfoot a shot but I am completely sold on it now. 9/10

Last, but not least, was dessert. We were treated to the Ovila Quad, which apparently was developed closely with one of the Trappist monasteries still in existence, Paired with it was a baked beignet. This was the second best pairing of the night. Alone, the beer reminded me of Xingu, being very dark in color but smooth in taste. The strawberries with the beignet made the sweet aftertaste of the Ovila extraordinary. Great way to finish off the night. 8/10

Overall I was very pleased with the event and was very happy to have tried so many Sierra brews (four of the seven beers we tried, I had not had before). This is a hell of a way to get introduced to new beers, so if you have any events like these around, I encourage you to attend. You will not be disappointed. Unless you worship Milwaukee's Best.

We hope you all enjoyed our first metal and beer review and look forward to hopefully introducing you all to new dominating facets of the industries in the future. Comment below with your thoughts, hatred, tl;dr's, and other certainly-insightful posts. Raise your horns and glasses in salute and long live beer and metal.

- Hops

Monday, January 30, 2012


We done went and got us a twitter. Follow us @moshnhops and all your dreams will come true. Tell your friends!

- Hops

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Willkommen / Blog Synopsis

Greetings, metal brethren. Welcome to a new blog for all things metal. Here we will review whatever we feel like talking about at the time, which will most likely consist of beer and metal, with the occasional movie thrown in (whose soundtrack contains metal). I'm going to go by the handle "Hops" until I can come up with something more original, and my Jewish partner-in-crime will go by "Mosh". While he is off in Israel doing Jew stuff, we'll be doing primarily written reviews. Once he returns, you can start to expect podcasts, which will most certainly be very retarded. We hope you enjoy the content here and make sure to comment telling us how much smarter you are than we are.

\m/ and long live metal.

- Hops