Monday, 14 January 2013
The Cleansing, consisting of 14 tracks, is Suicide Silence's first album. This album is the beginning of an unhealthy addiction to Mitch Lucker's vocals. I am also aware that he has been taken from this world. A motorbike accident on Halloween. It is a terrible tragedy and the heavily tattooed front man will forever be in our minds. I'm also quite upset that he crashed a 2013 Harley Davidson, but that's my biker self talking.
Where were we? Oh yes, The Cleansing. 14 tracks (One hidden) of pure Deathcore metal. I was so pleased that my friend had their album lying around under the seats of their car. They let me borrow it to burn it to my iTunes and off I was. I knew about Suicide Silence and knew they were good. It was just unlucky timing that I found new albums by bands I knew and followed. Before I truly start this review, I would just like to say how happy I am that this is there first album. Its always nice to start from the beginning. Don't you think?
Revelations is a gentle intro. 33 seconds to ready yourself for what is to come . You can gently hear it pick up momentum in the final few seconds and then we are off.
"Where is your God? Where is your fucking God?" I'd answer him if I were you. "Unanswered" starts exactly how I imagined it would, insane! This heavy and quickly paced rhythm sets the mood. You can feel yourself in the music. Lyrically this song is simplistically awesome. The repetition of "Where is your God" is really effective. If you chose to truly think into what Mitch is asking, then it's smart. Musically, it's just a really good track. Can't criticize at all.
"Hands Of A Killer" follows swiftly, keeping the whole theme going. I was worried that I was going to be force-fed Deathcore the entire album, but It's so moving. Pausing at just the right moment makes the music that more effective.
The next song paints a very colourful picture. Not a pleasant one, but it speaks none the less. A man, on top of a woman with his hands round his throat. She has spent effort and years creating this false beauty and the man plans to revert and undo all that she has created. Ruin her and make the final product irreversible "What cosmetic will fix this mess?" This song is called "The Price Of Beauty" and I recommend you listen to it with your eyes shut so the image is more clear.
"The Fallen" is another track in which the picture has been painted for me. This framed picture of a person falling off a stallion comes to mind. I liked this song, not the best one so far, but it's enjoyable. It serves it's purpose of keeping the consistency of the album.
"No Pity For A Coward". Now that is what I call a name for a track. Several things shoot through my mind, all gory with a body hitting the floor at some point. This song contains two styles of vocals. You have the high pitched scream mixed with the deep, grunting vocals. This has always been a style I've enjoyed and will continue to do so. "Seconds from the end. What's it gonna be? Pull the trigger bitch". I mean come on! That is just epic. That kind of genius gives me the chills. I may have myself a favorite Suicide Silence track.
"The Disease" is us. The human race. We are the sickness that is destroying the world. That's a pretty big accusation, but after listening to the music, you realise that Suicide Silence can defiantly talk, but are also able to walk. Simply listen, and you shall understand. I'll say no more about this track.
I don't even need to mention the imagery on this track. "Bludgeoned To Death" has once again shown us that Suicide Silence can have, what I refer to as "Duel Vocals". The pace forever changes keeping the music interest, therefore enticing you further into the album. There is another brutal line. "And doctors won't be able to recognize your fucking face" Wow! Pausing the music so you can only hear these lyrics gave me shivers. Just epic.
This song doesn't hang about when getting into it. This pleases me as it flows and continues the album. "Girls Of Glass". There is a story in these lyrics, like most songs on this album. It's really interesting and it makes you think. This isn't just noise unlike a lot of bands who share a similar sound. Sophistication has been established within the music and lyrics.
"In A Photograph" is, I'm sorry to criticize not great. The repetition of lyrics is usually alright with me and effective when making your point. I hate to be negative but you can't like them all. "Duel Vocals" make it a lot better, but it's a very average song. Semi-interesting lyrics. Listen anyway, because you may enjoy it.
Now, "Eyes Sewn Shut" is a tune! Double bass and chugging (You know what I mean). Head banging music. The contrast of vocals and then the duet as well. Really good track from Suicide Silence. I am pleased that we are this far into The Cleansing and decent songs still appear. Very encouraging indeed.
Green Monster has "Marxist" influences. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. An interesting twist and idea to incorporate into a track. Music, after all, is about expressing yourself and your views. I love songs like this. Simply because thought went into this and it shows. The music itself is brutal. Consistent with the rest as expected.
There are two more tracks on the album, "A Dead Current" and "Destruction Of A Statue" (Not that very well hidden at all and I felt a hint of "Unholy Confessions" by Avenged Sevenfold). These two songs are consistent with what Suicide Silence delivers. I really enjoyed this album overall and would happily purchase the following album. I recommend that if you like screamo vocals, you defiantly give these guys a fair chance.
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Progressive Metal is becoming a huge part of my day to day listening and The Great Gamble is on my list. From
, The Great Gamble has recorded their new concept album “Book 1”. Instantly upon flicking through the tracks, you can tell that they love what they do. Once I found myself with a spare hour, I quickly removed myself from the outside world and involved myself into their music. Scranton, PA
“Release The Kraken”, the opening track to “Book 1” is a lengthy 10:06 long. Instantly, I could tell that I had stumbled upon something brilliant. Starting off slow but strong, the song is the definition of progressive rock/metal. It is unpredictable, but as each layer unfolds, you get a pleasant surprise (An exciting version of pass the parcel). There is so much going on but each layer is as intense as the next. A remarkable opening to what feels like an awesome album.
The second track is purely instrumental. It starts off mellow and maintains it (To a certain degree. “The Marketplace” is short and is mostly there to set up the following track.
“Legends Of The Symmetria” continues on from track 2, but you can hear the build up rather quickly. At 8:56, we have another long track. This pleased me very much as I knew we would be blessed by progression once again. The Great Gamble did it so well in the first song, why not do it again? I would also like to make note that by now, you should have got a feel for the vocals. I thought it was similar style to Gojira, but we all think differently. It is nice to hear such good lyrics with awesome music. They truly compliment each other to make something better.
“The Ghost Of Three Reflections”. I would just like you to notice how fucking awesome that song title is. This song starts off with the feel of a power ballad. Everyone enjoys a good power balled, so I was pleasantly surprised by The Great Gamble. With beautiful vocals to begin this song, but after a short while the progression begins. It keeps the power balled feel, but steadily gets heavier. This is my favorite track on “Book 1” if you were interested. I just love the ending as it picks up the pace and gets brutal. Progressive metal/rock at it’s finest!
“Breach At Fort Mycenae” reminds me a lot of Avenged Sevenfold, especially with the back up vocals. It’s a good track. I can imagine a theatrical music video and lots of screaming metal chicks (Metal band’s dream right?). The vocals are mesmerizing is all I can really say. I got lost in the music. Taken from my world and placed in theirs.
To finalize “Book 1”, they have a 16:35 song. I was half expecting an advert for car insurance to pop up half way. Luckily, that wasn't the case. It’s quite a long song, people could argue too much. I enjoyed it for sure, but it was long. This is once again, a rather theatrical song.
The band consist of Al Joseph on lead guitar and vocals, Christopher Joseph doing back up with vocals and bass, Steve Michael also doing back up vocals as well as drums and finally Matt Weaver on keyboard and Violin (Nice touch by the way).
Friday, 22 June 2012
Now we all know that Tenacious D aren't always exactly metal but I am a huge fan myself and insist that they are close enough to "Metal" (Also, it's my blog and I will do whatever I want). So where do I start? The misspelled title? The giant cock as their album cover? Or do I mention their background, origins and back catalog?
Well I think this could suffice for their “History”.
“This is a song called the history of Tenacious D,
And it’s not just a list of bullshit that we’ve done in the past
It’s a chronicling of our rise, to power!
We ride with kings on mighty steeds
Across the devils plain
We’ve walked with Jesus and his cross
He did not die in vain, NO!
We’ve run with wolves, we’ve climbed K2
Even stopped a moving train
We’ve travelled through space and time my friends
To rock this house again, rock!”
Now, how many bands can honestly say they’ve done that? There’s only one that I know of. So, their first “Self-Titled” album was pretty awesome. Some tracks on that album that I listen to daily (“Fuck Her Gently” being one). Tenacious D then released “The Pick of Destiny” which was an album I enjoyed. Even more so when I get to sing along with them film and go from casually sitting on my sofa to power sliding across the room. “The Final Showdown” with the devil, “Kickapoo” and “Classico” are all mesmerising songs. Seriously, this third album has a lot of pressure. Jack Black and Kyle Gass had better serious been crafting some hardcore songs in the depths of hell.
“Rize of the Fenix” is the first track on this similarly named album. It is a great song that switched pace and style a few times through the 5.57mins. It’s an epic track. Jack explains about how much “POD” was criticised and that “The D was done”. We learn that the album name is actually a metaphor for Tenacious D’s return. From the ashes they are reborn into a beautiful elegant creature (Like a phoenix/fenix). The song actually feels like they have risen from a gloomy opening to a fun, typical “D” song. It does however have a moment of doubt but then it returns to the happy reformed “D”. It’s brilliant! This song truly tells you the story of their return.
Where would a Tenacious D album be without some form of song based on a man’s genitals? The second track is “Low Hangin’ Fruit” and this song is exactly that. It’s a fun song that is really addictive. I’m constantly singing along and rocking out all by myself. As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of fruit mentioned in this track and also Jack’s famous noise making (Random noises he makes that aren’t needed but make any song which has them that much more awesome). You’ll know what I mean when you hear it.
“Classical Teacher” isn’t a song. It is purely Jack and Kyle chatting about something ridiculous. It’s hilarious listening to it. I won’t tell you too much because you should hear it for yourself. Basically, Jack thinks Kyle needs guitar lessons and hires a Spanish guitar tutor. Enjoy!
I absolutely love the forth track. “Senorita” is a great song about Jack defending a woman from ‘Larry” who is a dick. “He laughs and tells me to fucking fuck myself”. This is sung really well and it just makes me giggle every time. It has a really good story. I think it’s tragic for Jack’s character in the song but still keeps up the humour throughout. This one is always on my playlist.
“Deth Star”. This is obviously based on Star Wars but Tenacious D puts a fun twist on it. It starts off slow with Jack describing how the earth has problems “We have to stop the overpopulation”. They suggest that they build a “Deth Star” so they can build a new human race in the sky. There is plenty of flaws in their plan but still, it’s fun and me being picky cause I’m a Star Wars fan. Musically, it is catchy and very enjoyable. It has some fun lyrics and basically it’s just enjoyable.
The next song is a tribute to all the Roadies. It’s in league with Motorhead’s “We are the (Road Crew)” “Roadie” is brilliant, very possibly one of my favourite Tenacious D songs ever. It starts off slow and beautiful with such a real feel to it. It obviously still Tenacious D so it does get typically fun but this song is phenomenal. The song even goes into the Roadie getting sucked off by a beautiful woman for a backstage pass. It’s hilarious but you get a sensation of pride for the roadie for all his hard work. “Roadie” has a music video so I suggest you find it because it really helps put the song into perspective.
We have another track based on a conversation with Kyle and Jack in the recording studio at 2am. “Flutes & Trombones” Don’t talk. Just listen.
“The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage” is my favourite song on “Rize of the Fenix”. Don’t laugh, but this song spoke to me. It’s about friendship and how two friends have differences and are reunited. I think of my friends when I hear this. I don’t know which perspective best suits me (Kyle or Jack), but it speaks to me. It’s a simple but touching piece of acoustic mastery. It tells the beautiful story from start to finish and you can’t help but feel sorry for Kage and proud of Jack for his actions later on. I fell in love with this song and it is now my most played song, ever! Sad, but I’m ok with it. Seriously, I can talk about Jack’s beautiful voice and lyrics all day long. Listen and feel.
“Throw Down” is such a mellow song. I imagine it based in an old saloon with Jack wearing a cowboy hat and gently strumming around telling his stories to people who pass by. The song itself is about famous characters from religion. “When Moses came down from the hill, holding the rules in his hand, looked all around, suddenly found, no one was listening now it’s time to throw down.” I like the chorus, even if it is just a repetition of “Throw Down”. “All the religions of the world today, we gotta leave them alone. We gotta use our fucking brains today, before we’re gone, before we’re gone”. Stab at religion?
“Rock Is Dead” is decent enough. It’s basically a list of things rock related things that are now “dead”. It’s nothing special unfortunately, catch music with a decent solo, just lyrics are all over the place and I found this song different, pointless and irrelevant from the rest of the album. 5 out of 10.
So, the next song is really odd but highly comical. “They Fucked Our Asses”. I’m not sure who fucked their asses, or why but Jack explains how. The track starts of really slow with a gradual build up. Then with Jack holding an awesome vocal length, there is some catchy and ‘Metal’ riffing involved which makes this song that moment and contrast that much more magnificent.
“To Be the Best”. This is a short montage song. The song you listen to before you take on Rocky or perhaps the Hulk. It’s quick paced and fun. The video is hilarious so I highly recommend you watch it!
We all love a good love song and Tenacious D is renowned for doing the best love songs. “Double Team” and “Fuck Her Gently” are songs I highly regard when it comes to women. “39” is another love song which I love. It has beautiful lyrics and a great, memorable acoustic riff. You really get the sense that Jack is singing from the heart. It’s about the love for his “39” year old partner. The song does go into some pretty private details of Jack’s personal life “When we text each other, I fiddle with my anus”. Too much information? There is a lot more information like this, but it describes how he is content with his woman “Boobies drooping but she's good enough for me". It's beautiful, just take into consideration that perhaps this song isn't about 'every' relationship. It's an epic song that i truly love and am constantly singing. I can't get enough of it! We need more love songs like this!
“Rize of the Fenix” is forever going to hold a special place in my heart. I can’t imagine my life without songs like “39” and “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage”. They have meant something and spoke to me. This has kick started my love for music as a whole and has made me appreciate what a fine art acoustic guitar is. Thank you Tenacious D. You truly are the “greatest band in the world”.
Friday, 11 May 2012
Lorcan, crafted by "Balor's Eye" is really something. From Baltimore, Maryland, this progressive metal band is redefining the term "Progressive metal band". Still a new, upcoming band having only formed March 2010, they are quickly making a name for themselves with the help of their label "Dark Harvest Records". One band I want to see go far.
I fell in love with the first track "Pissing Rainbows". Not only is that a side effect of eating too many Skittles, but what a cool track name! The song itself is really good. I wasn't expecting it to be instrumental though. I thought "It's the first track, some bands don't add vocals to the first track" but to my surprise, not a single word was spoken during this album. This is the point I am trying to make though. THIS ALBUM DOESN'T NEED VOCALS! (subtle, I know).
"Door Fuhrer" was an alright track. It was shorter than the rest and as good as it was, It didn't sound like the first one as much as I has hoped. It is still a good listen, but I think the following track is a hell lot better. This song does however, keep a good pace but progressively changes sound 3 to 4 times throughout.
The third track, "Lobotomy Please" is my favourite on this album. For starters, it's a nice long track and if you enjoy the whole thing and not get bored or distracted by butterflies whilst it's playing, then you know you're onto something brilliant. I also found myself thinking back to my point. it's instrumental, yet vocals couldn't keep up and would therefore ruin this fine piece of craftsmanship.
I think this is the point where you go out and buy "Balor's Eye".
The next three tracks which completes the 6 track album, are good. I enjoyed them a lot. I listened to them a few times and defiantly decided they are good. I recommend listening buying the album purely for "Pissing Rainbows" and "Lobotomy Please".
Thursday, 1 March 2012
I had never heard of Bloodtribe before I was asked to review them and I have one question. “Why the hell was I not told about them before now?” I was actually a little annoyed by the lack of sharing throughout the metal scene. So, here I am telling you about Bloodtribe, and I assure you, you’re going to want to listen to them.
I was sent the album “Repulse” in the post and was quite excited when I opened my package. I immediately played it and the second it finished, I was already uploading it onto my iPod and throwing it in a playlist with “Bloodbath” and “Cannibal Corpse”. This 5 track E.P. is quite simply astonishing. It has deep growling vocals which, if turned up loud enough, could shake the very foundations in which you stand upon.
With Drew on vocals, Tom and Danny on guitar, Clay drumming and Matt on bass, they have formed a band which could rip the head off your staggering body. Bloodtribe proves that they have practiced and conquered their sound because I can’t help but listen from start to finish whenever I hear them.
The first song on “Repulse” is “Reflections”. My favourite by far and slowly becoming one of the highest played songs I have in my collection. This song is phenomenal. I enjoy the dark intro which introduces the drumming brilliantly. There is no beating around the bush with Drew’s vocal work. He’s straight into the savage vocals and some great, memorable vocals. “Reflection of your imperfections double in numbers as your body decays”. I love this track. Listen to it now or else.
“Manipulated Sexuality” is interesting. The intro contained a lot of symbol work which I wasn’t expecting and didn’t really think much of it. I was then getting into the mind-frame that “Repulse” would only have one decent song. Luckily, I was wrong. This song has some duel vocals with the heavy shouting vocals which we all love, but it also had screaming and strained vocals which was an awesome mix. “Manipulated Sexuality” also contains a great breakdown which I recommend that you indulge yourself in.
The third song is only 2 minutes 20 seconds which I thought was rather short considering how awesome the song is. There is a great opening verse in “A Scar for Every Sin” which is quickly paced and savage. You’ll be aware of the terrific drumming almost immediately. This song is just immense.
“Force Fed Suffering” is pure chaos. 30 seconds in and you can already feel a sense of an evil doom creeping down, past your ear drums to eradicate any happiness which remains in your soul (In a good way). Seriously, this song is the reason why metalheads exist. Pure suffering and brutality awaits those who listen to this. This song is awesome!
The final song on “Repulse” is smart. I like how it includes good imagery and some personification “From the dawn that dies”. This makes it easier to picture and as a result, makes this song memorable. It also contains some contrasting vocals and music to go with it. At one point you’ll have a heavy yet slow style of metal but in a seconds notice, we will be listening to a double bass pedal, quick riffs and a screamo vocal style. Love it!
Thursday, 2 February 2012
"Shark Bites and Lightning Strikes" by Loss of Reason
Loss of Reason are a five member band who are raising the standards of metal everywhere. Ian Tobey/Vocals, Chris Love/Guitar, Clarence Freeman/Guitar, Ryan Ware/Bass, Andrew Hess/ Drums have made an EP, “Shark Bites and Lightning Strikes”, that is astonishing and just plain savage. Their influences vary from “Rage Against The Machine” and “God Forbid” to bands such as “Muse” and “Eric Johnson”.
The opening track, “I’m an F.18, bro”, is a great intro that grabs the attention of the listener and encourages them to continue on. It has an enticing melodic sound that, in partnership with its heavy guitar riffs, gives promise of an epic sounding EP. One track in and I was already suggesting Loss of Reason to friends.
“Party, Jannetty, til the Break of Dawn, Michales” introduces Ian Tobey’s contribution to the band as a brilliant vocalist. With his ability to use clean vocals as well as screamo, he has proven to be an essential part of the band. The song itself drew a picture for me. I can easily imagine myself at the front of a crowd, climbing the barrier with the rest of Loss of Reason’s fans. I can just picture myself moshing with the rest of them and enjoying a great performance.
The following two tracks show off this band’s drumming and guitar techniques as well as the level of skill in which they are played. Loss of Reason are competent when synchronising their instruments with vocals. It really gives this band the credentials to be up there with the best.
This EP has already been put onto my iPod but “Helpful Phil” is the most played song out of the six songs which form “Shark Bites and Lightning Strikes”. I just love this song. Its intro is genius without effort but also introduces breakdowns which cause the listener to unknowingly tap their foot and head bang along.
It is always great to finish on a high, which is exactly what Loss of Reason have accomplished. Kurtrusslecrowe is an epic finish to an epic EP. This track alone shows the potential of this band. They show promise and this is one band which I would love to see live on stage.
This EP, in my opinion, is just overall awesome. I have it mixed into my regularly used playlists. They have joined my “Savage” playlist along side bands such as All That Remains, Dead By April and Bring Me The Horizon. Loss of Reason is one band I will recommend when asked “Name an awesome metal band with duel vocals.”
Saturday, 28 January 2012
This is Saving October’s first album that has been released. It is a serviceable first album which I enjoyed listening to. They’re a heavy metal band who deal in a mixture of screaming and heavy vocals backed up by the expected chugging riff-age. They have a memorable guitar riff which is suitably heavy and the foundation of most of their songs. They deploy this style of guitar riff often which at first gives the album a dynamic and cohesive feel, but I thought that perhaps they're over reliance on it smacked of playing it safe. This being their first album it is understandable that they may not want to take risks but this does lead to this effort sound over familiar to anyone who is a fan of the genre.
Saving October consists of 5 members Danny Scythes/Lead Vocals, Seth Cordrey/Guitar, Ross Elliot/Guitar Zane Maxwell/Bass and Patrick Liberatore/Drums. There have been a few switches with band members since they begun in 2009, but all of the members have live show and recording experience. The band has written two EP’s, “Cut your Losses” and “Hail the Captain”. Decades is their first full album that screamo band has produced.
“Striking an Artery” has to be my favourite song on their album. It’s intro is melodic which stood out from the rest of their album. It has Saving October’s preferred riff present and correct within the song but I found that the contrast between it and the melodic side really made this song brilliant.
Another stand out track is “Roger Rabbit What’s Your Habit?” With its double bass and duel vocals this song really kicks the album off and sets out Saving October's stall early. Lyrics like “I need you like I needed sleep” really stood out in this song. They gave out some emotion which worked well with the gloomy guitar, which lasts throughout the song.
Most of Saving October’s song are similar. They all sound the quite similar with one or two standing out tracks, as mentioned. If you enjoy their style of music (Which I do), then there is not an issue, but others may criticise this and be put off. “Infamous” is one that, even though it sounds similar to the others, is a song that can be recognised. Apart from the vocal style, I felt like I could be listening to Pantera. I enjoyed this track because the guitarist and drummer sync. It sounds epic. I highly recommend this song.
Another thing I found with “Decades” is they have a intro and an outro. If you listen to the album from start to finish then you’ll get to enjoy it more. I like the way the radio broadcast bookends the album pulls it together. I am not sure of the broadcast itself, but the fact that the style is there at the beginning and end means that I earns a few bonus points.
“Decades” is an enjoyable album, not a masterpiece, but defiantly a starting point for a band which I would like to see a lot more from. I hope that “Dark Harvest Records” have plans for Saving October.
You can listen to “Decades” by Saving October at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/decades/id494464869