Source – Totality

Whilst Progressive Metal is an overcrowded scene, it is undeniable that there is a depth and range within its ranks of late, arguably the most it has ever showcased. New soundscapes and directions are being explored and virgin terrains conquered, with even tried and tested ideas being given new shades and colours. With a well-received debut album and resulting tours across USA with the likes of Trapt, where do relative newcomers Source find themselves with album number two? Continue reading

Die So Fluid – One Bullet from Paradise

Starting out life as alternative rockers Feline in 1995, renaming as Ultraviolet after getting dropped by EMI in 1998, and finally forming as a heavier outfit in 2000, we have Die So Fluid. Fusing alternative rock and metal together towards one melancholic whole, Die So Fluid’s latest studio album One Bullet From Paradise (Strataville) is their fifth and comes after a traumatic time for the three-piece. Drummer Al Fletcher passed away two years ago after contracting pneumonia followed by sepsis, Georgina ‘Grog’ Lisee (vocals and bass) and Drew Richards (guitar) decided to soldier on with the help of Justin Bennett on drums. Continue reading

This Year’s Ghost – Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today


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With hints of Smashing Pumpkins and Alter Bridge, Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today (self-released) commences in a cascading shimmer before the opening song is supplemented by a flowing guitar line and an understated chorus, as Paul McKenzie’s honest vocals form a frontline for alt.metal trio, This Year’s Ghost and their current EP.

Elements of grunge, alternative rock and post-rock all fight to make themselves heard across the five tracks and seventeen minute breadth of the release; second track ‘December Sun’ starts with a riffier approach, before opening out in an expansive chorus, while TYG tease a metal side as ‘Carry Us In Blue’ kicks off acerbically, before twisting away and revealing a more thoughtful, if underwhelming, underbelly.

With ‘Silver Tongue’ meandering and a stolid ‘Black Dogs’ leaving the album closing with a yelp rather than a bark, as an introduction to the band Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today, is a mixed bag. While it is a deluxe sounding release, with Matt “Slipknot” Hyde performing a slick job twiddling the knobs, and while each moment is well crafted, there is a feeling that it’s all a bit so near, yet so far. Riffs don’t quite snap, McKenzie’s vocals are decent but not exceptional or overtly distinctive, choruses don’t keep the attention, and the hooks, well, don’t always. All in all, while the songs are decent they lack any tangible identity and YBTT is all a bit nice, and all a bit not quite.

 

6.0/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

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In Solitude – Beastmilk – Obnoxious Youth: Live at Sound Control Manchester, UK

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A wet and inhospitable Saturday sees occult Swedes In Solitude roll into town bringing with them the scent of incense and apocalyptic Gothic post punk act Beastmilk in tow. Kvost’s deep rich speaking voice gives way to a powerful howl. The “Superstition” wins over the few early arrivals which tear themselves away from the bar.

Before the vespertine delights of Scandinavia are opened to us we get a change of pace in the form of Daniel Bay. Stepping into the breach for punk Obnoxious Youth, Bay delivers heart felt gothic rock which has more appeal than just his Lost Boys chic torn jeans and frizzy hair.

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The charismatic Mat McNerney leads the newly expanded Beastmilk, including recent recruit Linnea Olsson (formerly of The Oath) through a masterful performance. The man known to many as ‘Kvohst’ is a leviathan master of ceremonies, introducing each song with a quick witted remark before unleashing his distinctive croon. Olsson oozes charisma with the extra fire power having added a new depth to the band’s sound. The raunchy ‘Void Mother’ and a stunning ‘Nuclear Winter’ inspire manic dancing at the front of the stage with many punters as keen to see the apocalyptic rockers as the headline act.

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Lilies adorn the stage and the smell of incense fills the air as In Solitude begin their energetic set. Pelle Ahman possesses the air Nick Cave back in his days in The Birthday Party. Throughout tonight’s ten song set the quartet combine a youthful vigour with impressive stagecraft and dynamite songs. ‘Death Knows Where’ and ‘Lavender’ are soaring paeans to ‘Lucifer’ funelled through classic rock and blues with a visceral punk aesthetic.

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Witnessing In Solitude perform, you can instantly recognise the chemistry the members have built from beginning life in their tender years. The maturity and atmosphere in songs like the all-consuming ‘He Comes’ has the audience in rapture. Still only in their early twenties, if the momentum they have built on latest album Sister (Metal Blade) is any indication, they will be a force for many years to come.

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In Solitude on Facebook

Beastmilk on Facebook

Obnoxious Youth on Facebook

WORDS ROSS BAKER

PHOTOS BY LUKE DENHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Islander – Violence and Destruction

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For a new band just getting started, garnering praise from musicians in the industry is a major benefit. More than just a stroking of the ego, these types of recommendations can help to build hype around an artist as fans of the famous admirer take note of what their musical hero is saying. Islander are a band who have been given such praise, with H.R. from punk legends Bad Brains and Sonny Sandoval from nu-metallers P.O.D. lapping up the foursomes brand of alternative rock/metal.

 

However, just because they like it doesn’t mean everyone will, and when it comes to their debut album, Violence and Destruction (Victory), that certainly rings true.

 

A mixture of heartfelt lyrics and nu-metal/alt-rock tones, Islander’s first full-length is a grower not a shower, with some tracks neither showing nor really growing. A mixture of the two, opener ‘Counteract,’ an angst-ridden metal affair and ‘The Sadness of Graves,’ an aggressive but melodic track, set a high standard from the off but not everything that follows is cut from the same entertaining cloth. ‘New Wave,’ ‘Count Dracula’ and ‘Cold Speak’ are half-decent almost sombre tracks with sincere lyrics but lack anything to really make them stand out, while songs such as the zealous ‘Side Effects of Youth’ and creative ‘Pains’ show a different, more musically passionate side to the band, a side which is much more entertaining to hear.

 

Then there’s the nu-metal anthem ‘Criminals,’ which features the aforementioned Sonny Sandoval and sounds like it was taken straight from the 90s, a great track for anyone who into their nu-metal or is looking for some nostalgia to their youth. In the next breath is ‘Mira,’ a very short track that feels pretty much pointless. Finale ‘Violence and Destruction’ however leaves the album going out the way it came in; with an explosive yet harmonious bang, giving you at least a good last memory.

 

Violence and Destruction is a tale of two halves, one being great and the other being rather unmemorable. If you like your alt-metal with a douse of unpredictability, this album with surely quench that particular thirst, but not always for the right reasons.

 

5.0/10.0

Islander on Facebook

 

EMMA QUINLAN