Maiden pulls out all the stops to make Seventh Son number one!

Truth be told, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son isn’t my favourite Iron Maiden album, by any stretch. More synth-heavy and progressive-sounding than their previous releases, even singles such as “Can I Play With Madness” or “The Evil That Men Do” fall flat compared to the likes of “2 Minutes to Midnight” and “The Trooper.” But does that mean I’m skipping their Seventh-Son-heavy summer tour? Awwww hell no!

New venue, same Acid Mothers Temple…

For the past four or five years, I’ve counted on Japanese spaced-out psych merchants Acid Mothers Temple coming through town in April. They always seem to take a trip over here right when spring starts to bloom. Well okay, so spring was a little late this year. Also of note: this gig wasn’t at the El Mocambo, their typical Toronto tour stop for as long as I can remember, but rather at The Garrison, down by Dundas and Ossington.

Finally, a way to combine football and heavy rock without a single note of “Don’t Stop Believing!”

As a die-hard sports fan, I’m often disappointed by the musical selection at sporting events. For every time that a stadium DJ might play “Run to the Hills” or “Hit the Lights,” there are at least a couple hundred renditions of “Don’t Stop Believing,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Blitzkrieg Bop” and whatever Nickelback’s latest single happens to be at the moment. I can’t remember the last time any of these songs actually fired me up. And when a football player’s idea of a metal band is Free Reign, well, let’s just say that I was starting to believe that good music and the gridiron don’t mix. But that was before I became tuned in to the greatness of Vince Lombarrdi.

My Top 10 Albums and Concerts of 2011, now posted for your reading pleasure…

Well, it looks like two of my Top 10 made our overall Top 20 this year, which seems to be more or less on par with last year, if I recall correctly. Still have not heard that 40 Watt Sun album (Metal Blade dropped the ball on distribution, or what?), and I can’t believe that Progpeth took the top spot, with Mastodon not far behind. And here I thought we had more discriminating tastes at Hellbound… At least Lulu was nowhere to be seen!

Hey, wanna see KYUSS LIVES! on New Year’s Eve? Got 200 bucks to spare?

Anyways, I was looking at Rotate This’ concert tickets page to check if they were selling tix for Deep Purple (negative!), when I saw something interesting. Apparently, Kyuss Lives! is doing a second show in Toronto this year–on New Year’s Eve, no less–at tiny Queen & Bathurst bar Cherry Cola’s. Aye, but here’s the rub. This “once in a lifetime opportunity” will set you back a cool 200 big ones.

The end of the road for Judas Priest?

I gotta say, I’ve always been more of a Maiden man. Put it this way: I heard “2 Minutes to Midnight” before “Living After Midnight.” Well, maybe not, but the former made more of an impression on me. However, when Judas Priest announced their Epitaph farewell tour in the summertime, I didn’t think twice about getting a ticket–even though Kyuss Lives! went on sale the same day. Finally, after several months of waiting, the time has come for their final Toronto gig: Tuesday, November 22nd. I’ll be there with bells on.

Fu Manchu – Still Kings of the Road!

Scratch Acid may have been the hipper choice, but I headed to the Horseshoe last nite to catch quintessential stoner rockers Fu Manchu, touring in support of a new vinyl reissue of In Search Of… There seemed to be quite a few aging, balding pudgy rockers on hand–the place was pretty packed!

Voivod – Warriors of Ice

Warriors of Ice is a definitely a high point in the career of Voivod and a show that will certainly go down in Canadian metal lore. Whether the band attempts to write an album of new material or even continues on in this (re)incarnation remains to be seen. If they decide not to continue on they have left us with one hell of a live record to day dream with. This is a must for any Voivod fan, or new-to-the-scene metal head.