Episode 269: Metallica, Ion Dissonance, Protest the Hero 2016 Album Reviews + Black Map and Within the Ruins Previews

Sleep is for the Weak

If you feel like Brian sounds “tired as fuck” in the episode, you’re not alone…Nick already pointed that out.  You are not wrong either…I was shot.  I still made it through this jam-packed and kinda long episode, giving you 100% of the 50-60% capacity I was at because the show must go on….


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Metallica Hardwired…to Self Destruct (Blackened)
Ion Dissonance Cast the First Stone (Good Fight)
Protest the Hero – Pacific Myth (Razor & Tie)

First Impressions:
Black Map – “Run Rabbit Run” taken from In Droves out March 10, 2017 from eOne
Within the Ruins – “Death of the Rock Star taken from Halfway Human our March 3, 2017 from eOne

Live Review:
The Dillinger Escape Plan, O’Brother, Car Bomb, and Cult Leader at The Webster Theater in Hartford, CT on November 19, 2016


Metallica – Hardwired…To Self Destruct

Ion Dissonance – Cast The First Stone

Protest The Hero – Pacific Myth



  1. I saw Allegaeon play at Dingbatz in New Jersey last night. When I said I didn’t want to hear that Allegaeon’s latest release Proponent For Sentience was too long because it might be the band’s last release, I meant that comment not as a general statement (because any release could be a band’s last), but rather I meant it specifically for this band. Allegaeon had been through some lineup changes and was struggling financially when Proponent For Sentience was released, so I got the sense that the band wasn’t on the most stable ground at that time. Last night’s show only proved to further that sense.

    At the show, I didn’t recognize the guy at Allegaeon’s merch table so I asked him how he knew the band. He said he was in the band. Huh? He said that their guitarist Mike Stancel couldn’t make this tour so he was filling in. Then he asked me if I’d heard about Brandon Park, their drummer. Their drummer’s father died so he had to take a few days off from the tour. So Allegaeon decided to play the show backed by a drum machine that had the drum parts pre-recorded on it. You might be able to guess how that went. It was a train wreck. It wasn’t all their fault, as there were clearly issues with the sound cutting in and out for the entire performance. They started by playing half of a song but cut it short due to the technical issues. They labored through 3 more songs before calling it a night. The crowd actually took all this quite well, as the band did explain at the start about the situation with the drummer, so people knew that shit like this can happen and that the show must go on. But I get the feeling that if stuff like this keeps happening to Allegaeon, I can’t see how much longer they will be functioning as a band.

    1. Wow. I am really glad I didn’t go. That sounds like a disaster! I respect the band for pushing forward and making the show go on, but somebody like you – who hoofed from NYC after work – must have been kinda pissed.

      How was the rest of the show?

      1. I wasn’t pissed about driving out to New Jersey to witness Allegaeon’s poor performance last night. I mean, the drummer’s father died. As for the rest of the show, it was actually pretty good. I didn’t stay for Battlecross because they came on after 11. But that still left 5 bands for me to catch (including Allegaeon). Necromancing the Stone was quite good. As I’m watching their performance, it became immediately apparent that one of their guitar players played flawlessly and really put in the effort to get the crowd into it like a real professional. He seemed somehow familiar to me. Then during Allegaeon’s performance, guitarist Greg Burgess made some off hand reference to Arsis. I put 2 and 2 together and realized that the guitarist for Necromancing the Stone was none other than James Malone from Arsis (I had to look it up to confirm it). James wasn’t the vocalist, and the band’s style and vocals were “classic” metal. If I get around to it, I’m considering checking out Necromancing the Stone’s album released earlier this year.

        As for the rest of the show there were 3 local acts, all of whom weren’t bad. The openers looked like they were 17 years old. Or maybe that’s just a reflection about everyone looking younger because I’m getting older.

        Dingbatz as a venue was pretty cool. It was a standard bar setup with a bar in the front and a room in the back with a stage. It reminded me of Saint Vitus, but I imagine there’s about 1,000 bar venues that look like that. I can’t remember if you’ve said if you’ve ever been to Dingbatz. But one of the cool things about these types of small venues is that there’s no where for the band to hang out except for the same places the audience hangs out (meaning either at the bar or watching another band). So there is generally a good amount of opportunity to interact with the band.

  2. I can’t disagree with most of what you said about Metallica’s Hardwired To Self-Destruct. Some minor points would be that I do think Death Magnetic is a better album, but that’s not because of any flaws of Hardwired To Self-Destruct, but rather due to the high regard I hold for Death Magnetic. I would also say that there are enough guitar solos on Hardwired for my taste. Are there any killer solos? Not really, but asking Kirk Hammett to come up with a solo as good as “Unforgiven” would be just as unrealistic as asking the band to make an album as good as Master of Puppets. Some highlights for me on Hardwired are the riffs in the chorus of “Atlas Rise” and the tremolo picking on the riffs on “Moth Into Flame”.

    You call it “Paul McCartney syndrome”, I call it “George Lucas syndrome” when someone achieves such success that no one is willing to tell them that their creation isn’t good (or could be improved).

    So I guess this means you are skipping the latest Animals As Leaders album even though you did a first impression. I can’t blame you for skipping The Madness of Many. I did buy the album and the biggest impression of it is that it isn’t very metal. Sure, there’s some djent-y sounding stuff in there, but some of the tracks don’t even feature much distorted guitar (and those are the best tracks, IMO). It’s not a bad album, but it also doesn’t do much to demand your attention to make you want to keep listening to it. Nor are there enough guitar pyrotechnics to wow you as a listener.

    1. Spoiler alert – we are reviewing Animals as Leaders in 270. So, I’ll reserve further comment for the episode.

      I agree Death Magnetic is better, albeit a little different of an album than Hardwired. That said, when I want Metallica, I rarely find myself playing Magnetic…I tend to go to the first 4. I am sure that is most people too, but I guess my point is that the two latest are good for what they are but they will never be as good as the early days. So, as I have said with many other legacy bands – if Metallica wants to stop writing new music and strictly tour on their legacy, I would be very OK with that.

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