Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WAR OF AGES

Bashes Face like: The Ghost Inside/Oh, Sleeper/August Burns Red


Pride Of The Wicked

Holy Jesus, where did these guys come from? I know what your christian mother would say after listening to even the slightest second of this: "This is not God's music! How could you listen to the crap!" And you know what? She could not be more wrong. War of Ages is by and large the most influential christian metalcore outfit today, and I have no doubts in saying this. They already display a vast amount of skill with their album, "Pride of the Wicked" where even though the lyrics can be a little preachy (what christian band isn't) they compose themselves with pride and a clear understanding of their music and the life around them. Great tracks would be "Rise From The Ashes" and "Fall Of Pride".

Fire From The Tomb

Christian metalcore does not get any better than this. War of Ages continually surprises without losing their spirit as that influential metalcore band. On top of that, this band works nonstop in both creating and supporting their music. Being a re-release of an older album, "Fire From the Tomb" the quality does fall far from amazing. There is an incredible level of talent with this band and they are not afraid to flaunt what they are about. God, and bashing the shit-soaked world we live in. So here's to a better tomorrow and a great album overall. Listen to "Stand Your Ground" and "Only The Strong Survive".

Arise And Conquer

"Don't hide behind your weakness!" Just when you thought you heard the best, War of Ages definitely got better. The instant "All Consuming Fire" came on my iPod I was hooked! I believe, "Hell yah!" were my exact words. Their continual rise to the top of metalcore shows no indication of slowing. "Arise and Conquer" displays everything that a metalcore band is about and more! Nothing but unrelenting screaming, breakdowns mixed professionally with solos, ceaseless and seamless drums, and just pure awesomeness. Do not let the Godly lyrics scare you away though, War of Ages is definitely worth the listen. Gander at "All Consuming Fire" and "Through the Flames".

Eternal

Don't give up on WOA just yet folks! Yes, those are clean vocals that you hear to start off this album, but I can assure you that War of Ages is only getting better. "Eternal" takes us through melodic harmonies, unforgiving riffs, and ear-splitting solos which again, is more than what one would expect from a metalcore band, much less a christian metalcore band. If you are just being introduced to the scene, this is a great album to start with, that will instantly grab your attention. Such an exciting band to listen to. Great songs would be "Collapse" and "Failure".

Return To Life

I honestly have nothing more to say about War of Ages. Another great album to go into the niche of metalcore, which is, by design, an undeniably, unforgiving, highly talented niche. Yes, you may be hearing similar elements being played over again, but can you really start to judge such a great band?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

THE HUMAN ABSTRACT

Serves Eargasms Like: Protest The Hero/Periphery/Today I Caught The Plague


Nocturne

 Attention all of you metalcore/hardcore scenesters, there is at last a glimpse of originality to be dealt, and they go by the name of The Human Abstract. Their first album, "Nocturne, definitely features a progressive sound that definitely stems from an almost classically trained ear. THA drives through so many emotions, twists in spontaneity, and holds true to that highly experimental sound that separates them from all other bands. There are sparse flaws, mostly with the limited vocals that sound little almost a little immature for such a progressive sound, but overall, a great album.

Midheaven



With a new singer, usually comes a new sound, and with a new sound, you might as well go ahead and rename your band, because The Human Abstract has lost a lot of what they were known for with their debut album, "Nocturne". "Midheaven" is a mess of an album, often confused between the lines of progressive metal and alternative rock, not to mention the new lead singer is far from what made THA stand apart from other bands. There just seems to be no more technical flair woven within the fabrics of their songs, and as if instead of driving down that path less traveled, they just decided to not take any path at all, and wander instead through a forest that no one wants to explore. They've lost a lot of what initially brought them out, in the scene, but I guess they still have a general progressive rock aesthetic.

Digital Veil

Wait!... Could it be? Is it possible for a band to come back alive after burying themselves underground, and far beyond what anyone is remotely interested in listening to? Well here is "Digital Veil", The Human Abstract's third album, and what a comeback it is. Rejuvenated with yet another lead singer, THA has taken their classically trained, musical minds to the same level as "Nocturne" and beyond. This album features a reformed, matured progressive metal sound that once again serves to push the boundaries of musical ability. Intricate riffs woven more delicately between the perfect fit for a vocal voice, pound your eardrums with complexity and musical talent that is Abstract by nature, but makes a hell of a lot more sense, than in the past. 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

HIGH ON FIRE

Rocks Like: Baroness, Mastodon, Dethklok


Blessed Black Wings

High on Fire is all about giving a big "Fuck YOU" to anything that sounds remotely cliché in the world of music. Like during practice, when the band hits a good sounding melody and somewhat of a melodic tone, they throw it away... Added to the heavily distorted guitar riffs, relentless metallic sound, and stoner metal racket, DIY production value gives this album a must-listen quality... That is... If you're up to the challenge. Blood, sweat, and popping blood vessels is all what Hight on Fire is about.

Death Is This Communion

To me, this album was almost a step backward in the classic direction of High On Fire. The lyrics have always been somewhat cheesy, but almost melodic sounds, that they've preached in the past to be inferior, adds to the cheesiness of this album. Yes, they are still driving and still relentless upon the realm of heavy metal, but there were a lot of songs that lost stars. Maybe I am just not quite ready for a big change from the dredging stoner metal, into a thrash metal....

Snakes for the Divine

And the metal mastery continues... Snakes for the Divine definitely gives fans a glance back to the stoner side of metal, and returns to the hellish roots from which they were incarnated from. Raw, unrelenting riffs, and brutality, brutality, and more fucking brutality. There were some songs that still resonate a little bit of melodic "ness" however High on Fire is still out to tear through your eardrums, and is a "testament" to HoF's sound.


De Vermis Mysteriis

Here it is... The pinnacle (but hopefully not beginning of a downfall) of High On Fire. Experience has molded an already talented trio, into an unstoppable force in metal. Adam Thomas says it best, "...thundering coalescing of distraught sludgy chords and powerful plodding drums ends the album by taking a trip through quicksand while wearing lead boots. It's disgusting. It's massive. It's fucking incredible."Enough said. De Vermis Mysteriis is a MUST listen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GRIEVES

Rhymes like: Gymclassheros/Shad/Kid Cudi


The Confessions Of Mr. Modest

And what a perfect title. I'm just wondering why Grieves isn't as well know as Kid or even Eminem. With in your face, honest lyrics, unbelievable rhymes, and a great groove, Grieves has easily earned its place upon one of the most listened to artists in my iPod. I am definitely excited for the future of this artist, and I hope that the lyrics keep on flowing.

Together/Apart

Again, just unbelievable honesty and modesty from this hip hop artist, and great production with partner in crime Budo. Addictive lyrics to grab onto and take to heart, mixed with great beats. I absolutely love bopping down the street with the stereo on full, blasting the best of Grieves. And the best part about it, is it's not rap by any standards. No money, bitches, or cars, become cliched further within Grieves's lines, again, only the most honest, down to earth rhymes you can imagine. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BREAKING BENJAMIN

Plays Like: Seether/Three Days Grace/Chevelle


Saturate

Breaking Benjamin, right out of the gates, is a driving force of hard rock to be reckoned with. In "Saturate" you have both edgy, driving guitar riffs and tempos, and agressive lyrics. For those who are familiar with later Ben, this album may not be as impressive, but for long time fans, this album is a must have. Do not get too used to this sound, because Breaking Ben definitely evolves. Saturate falls short though when some songs become overbearing with unimpressive lyrics or repetitive sounds. Great songs to listen to are, "Wish I May" and "Medicate".

We Are Not Alone

We Are Not Alone is easily one of the most successful Breaking Benjamin records. This record was the first album that I started listening to of Breaking Ben and I was instantly hooked. I have since evolved my taste in music, but this album, again, is an easy go-to. Not many may enjoy some of the slower songs, but it is in these songs that Ben shows a lot more dynamics, especially with lyrics. Great songs to listen to are "So Cold" and "Sooner Or Later"

Phobia

Phobia is the pinnacle of Breaking Benjamin albums. This album features (besides Saturate) some of their hardest songs yet, and although they are officially very mainstream, they stay true to the sound that  they have been preaching since Saturate. Unfortunately, this consistency does start to become a little monotonous, and the songs start to sound alike and unoriginal. Still a great album. Take a gander at "Diary Of Jane" and "Evil Angel".

Dear Agony

Now this is where Breaking Benjamin starts to lose a little focus with their music. Most bands evolve and grow with their sound, especially after years of experience, and become great... Ben fell a little short. They definitely went from evolving to selling out with this album. Dear Agony still features good old Ben, but just a less hard rock version with the occasional cheesy orchestra line. I kind of hope that Ben decided to be lazy, because I'm sure there are a lot of disappointed Ben fans with this album. A good single to listen to, which I'm sure you've heard is... You guessed it, "Dear Agony".

 


Monday, August 13, 2012

MONTY ARE I

Plays Like: Envy On The Coast/Ivoryline/Dropping Daylight


Wall Of People

Monty Are I is easily one of the most underrated bands out there today, which is why I have no problem giving them 5 stars. Monty throws an existential amount of sounds at your rather unequipped ears (for first time listeners), and you know what? They make it sound great! From a horn section, to synth rhythm's, Monty offers it all, and performs their songs with ease, which is backed fully by such a talented lead singer who writes edgy and eloquent lyrics. Give "Between the Sheets" and "In This Legacy".

Break Through The Silence

Again, Monty Are I is by far one of the most under rated bands in the scene. "Break Through The Silence" offers the same great arena rock/indie rock/almost nu metal sound, that is completely original and interesting to listen to. Coupled with great album artwork Monty Are I have become one of my favorite bands now on my iPod. I give big props to a band that can incorporate a bunch of different sounds and make them sound good together. Take a gander at "Hope" and "Kaleidoscope".

Monday, August 6, 2012

OH, SLEEPER

Plays like: Thrice/Underoath/August Burns Red

Son Of The Morning

Initially, Oh Sleeper's first album was what turned me on to their music. As a metalcore/christian metalcore outfit, they offer some great breakdowns, harsh lyrics featuring the battle between good and evil, and pretty good on a technical scale. Definitely a good album that keeps my attention all the way through.

When I Am God

 Another great album from christian metalcore's Oh, Sleeper. This band express's great technicality in their music and their themes of good versus evil extend further into "When I Am God." Unfortunately some songs received three or even two stars due to a sudden switch to slow ballads, or sometimes even acoustic interludes. I find myself skipping over these songs to get back to the onslaught of "Vices Like Vipers" and "Building the Nations"

Children of Fire

Personally, I think, as Oh, Sleeper progress's through their albums, they become even more skilled with their instruments and the way that they play their music. Again, just relentless on the metalcore scale, with great breakdowns and technicality. However, more and more songs see more clean vocals, exchanged for the emotionally charged screaming, which isn't bad for most songs, but some songs dropped to 2 or 3 stars again, for dropping below that Oh, Sleeper standard that we are used to. Good songs to listen to are "The Marriage of Steel and Skin" and "Dealers of Fame".

Monday, July 30, 2012

THE FAINT

Plays like: MGMT/Muse/Bright Eyes


Dance Macabre

Literally an album centered upon the idea of death, The Faint blows listeners away in "Dance Macabre" with pulsing electronic beats and almost sadistic, but catchy vocals. This is a great album to listen to on a run or while exercising, because even though the theme suggests anything buy liveliness, the upbeat tempo keeps my interest at a high. Listen to "Posed To Death" and "Glass Danse".

Fasciinatiion

The Faint is back with this rather over the top, punk/dance/electronica album. However out in left field their sound may be, I find this album just as catchy and fun to listen to as the last. Interesting synths and driving beats weave my attention through each and every song on this album. Yes, the stress on the electronic feel may get carried away on some songs, but again, I think this a great album. Listen to "Get Seduced" and "The Geeks Were Right".

Wet From Birth

If you've enjoyed the 80's revival/new wave sound that The Faint has offered thus far, you will not be disappointed with this album. And although their sound has not changed all that much, they have resorted to that conceptually themed soundtrack. Obviously this album is about, none other than, birth, which actually makes this album very awkward to listen to... But you find yourself listening anyway! Take a listen to "Erection" and "Paranoiattack".