If you’re a fan of any music that Caleb Scofield created or played, bring the tissues for this one. Cave In‘s aptly-titled Final Submission (Hydra Head) is a collection of recordings made with the band’s late bassist before his tragic death last year and contains much input from the man himself. It’s a slightly different album than fans might expect, but in many ways, it’s more meaningful for it. Continue reading
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
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
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
WORDS ROSS BAKER
They say never say never, but it is definitely happening. Faith No More, a band that last released a brand new album almost 20 years ago is working on a new album, due next spring. preceding that album will be the 7” single version of ‘Motherfucker’, a song the band has been playing live this summer, which they debuted at the Hype Park concert opening for Black Sabbath in July.
The single will be a limited edition (5000 copies). “Motherfucker” will precede the April 2015 release, available via Record Store Day’s BlackFridayevent (Nov. 28). The single will be released digitally onDec. 9.
Said band bassist/mouthpiece Bily Gould to Rolling Stone:
“We’ve always shared a chemistry between ourselves that’s unique to this band, but these past few years of touring together have made us aware that we not only play better as a unit, but we like the new stuff we’re coming up with,” explained Faith No More founder and bass player, Bill Gould, who also spoke with Rolling Stone in more detail So we’ve decided: we’re going to get busy in 2015…make an album we’re proud of, kick things up a notch, get out there and perform it and maybe even dedicate a little more focus to our fans in the States this time.”
From the press release:
The as-of-yet untitled album is being recorded in an Oakland, Calif. studio with Gould handling production. The release will be the first from Faith No More’s newly formed imprint, Reclamation Recordings, which will be distributed by Ipecac Recordings.
Prior to the new album’s release, Faith No More will headline Australia’s Soundwave Festival in February 2015. Worldwide tour dates will be announced soon.
Faith No More on Facebook
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.
Islander on Facebook
Continuing their rise in the US as one of the best new post-rock/gaze/post-punk bands of recent memory, Nothing will storm the shores of Europe this Fall, playing dates in the UK, Italy, Austria, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and return to the Netherlands. This return to European soil follows their acclaimed turn at this past April’s Roadburn Festival with a performance that left tongues wagging and mouths agape.
Nothing released Guilty of Everything on Relapse in March. Surely to mark year-end best of lists in 2014, Nothing has been universally hailed as a new hope in modern, heavy music, Ghost Cult’s own scribe Tiago Moreira raved in his review of Guilty…, referencing the best in post-metal, shoegaze, and even some legit comparisons to Nirvana:
“The high levels of energy are a constant throughout these ten tracks. Jesu, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive can be influences, but they don’t restrain Nothing’s freedom, not even for one second….You just need to pay attention and let the repeat button do his job. In the end I can promise you this: the music and lyrics on Guilty of Everything will make a huge impact on you. You will not explore Nothing’s music, you will explore yourself.”
Front man, Domenic “Nicky” Palermo commented: “Can’t wait to get out of the United States for a while and come visit Europe. I hope someone takes me in so I never have to go back home.”
We know how you feel Nicky!
NOTHING Tour Dates:
04 November IT Bologna Freakout Club
05 November IT Rome Circolo Degli Artisti
06 November IT Milan Ohibo
07 November AT Linz Ahoi! Pop festival
08 November HR Zagreb Mochvara
09 November AT Vienna Arena
10 November CZ Prague Podnik
11 November DE Berlin Cassiopeia
12 November DE Hamburg Hafenklang
13 November DK Copenhagen Loppen
18 November NL Eindhoven Dynamo
19 November DE Stuttgart Jugendhaus West
20 November BE Kortrijk De Kreun
21 November UK Brighton Green Door Store
22 November UK Birmingham The Oobleck
23 November UK Glasgow Broadcast
24 November UK Leeds Brudenell Social Club
25 November UK London Birthdays
26 November BE Antwerp Het Bos
27 November NL Amsterdam OCCII
Stream to Guilty of Everything here
With winter’s frozen spirit finally broken we got out on drizzly, but not too awful Sunday night to see some of sludge and prog’s finest bands at The Sinclair for the last night of this trek. Before the show we hung out at a local dive/diner Charlie’s Kitchen, where we sipped beers with buds, and our contest winner, who won two free tickets to the show, Mike Vargus, courtesy of Prosthetic Records. Thanks guys! Good times!
With the popularity of prog, especially local to Boston with Berklee School of Music right nearby, it was a confluence of music nerds, “girlfriend metal” types, hipsters, crusties, vest wearing mofos, and our usual army of Boston metal types in the house. It’s funny to me sometimes how clique-ish groups of people are at metal shows these days, in many way reminding me of the early 90s again. Silver Snakes from L.A. hit that stage first and sounded tight, but were a little uneven musically at the start. I think it was their set list because they got stronger as they played on. They play an energetic mix of post-hardcore and alt-metal that you can definitely get into. They had their fans in the house, so that helped.
The Atlas Moth came next, and when we last saw our mid-western sludge heroes, they blew our brains out opening for Gojira and Devin Townsend last year. In the meantime they have been hard at work recording their highly anticipated new album, The Old Believer (Profound Lore), due this June. The Atlas Moth has always been a humble bunch, willing to open for anyone, stick to their guns and slog it out on the road in vans for a long time. Judging by tonight’s performance, including three new songs, I think their days as an opening band are numbered. Doing what they do best, a slow-burn and churn of layered riffs and waves of sounds, and just bludgeoning the crowd sonically with songs like ‘Coffin Varnish’ and ‘Holes In the Desert’. The interplay of the band, especially Stavros Giannopoulos and Dave Kush who alternate guitars and vocals, just kills. Of the new numbers in the set, ‘Halcyon Boulevard’ was a real face peeler, and you could tell the band has advanced their sound once again. I was impressed with the quality of the volume tonight too, since sometimes the band is so loud, it hurts. Basically never trust a fart at The Atlas Moth show! You might regret it.
The Ocean was next and I was beyond excited to see them.. The co-headlining tour has afforded this musically adventurous troupe the ability to add a little more production value to their show now, which is great. Awash in blue lights and with a cool video screen full of quirky images synchronized to their set, the band put on a great show. Playing Pelagial (Metal Blade) in its entirety was a magical experience to witness. Granted, it was my personal favorite album of the year for 2013, so I have probably spun it more times than anyone except Robin Staps’ mom, but this heady masterpiece of an album was meant to be enjoyed complete, not unlike Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd, or even more recently Crack The Skye by Mastodon. The band is very purposeful in their performance and definitely feel the heavy emotions of the music they play. Vocalist Loic Rossetti definitely plays to the crowd, although atypical of many singers, he spends most of his time lurking toward the back of the stage, except when singing. It was a masterful performance and as far as I could tell the music was played to perfection. I ended up missing the last quarter of their performance to do some interviews I had to conduct back stage, but I did catch the unexpected highlight of the night. Stavros from The Atlas Moth came out to do a lead vocal turn towards the end of the set. It was a pretty killer and the crowd was a little stunned. Some folks filed out after The Ocean, which is always a little disappointing.
Last up, Scale the Summit were due to hit the stage. With a little sparser set up that The Ocean, STS is a band I respect a great deal. Some instrumental prog bands and even some of your post metal bands like Rosetta and Pelican) try too hard to “put on a show” rather than just let the music do the talking. They set up quick with the lights up and started to play without so much as a word to start things off. Like their co-headliners, Scale the Summit made great use of the video screen behind them. I had seen the band as an opener, but never for a headlining set and certainly not on as big. Each man played their instrument to perfection as they had the audience entranced with their music. Well, most of the audience. I definitely saw a few put upon girlfriends and spouses who were dragged out tonight, likely against their wills. Meanwhile the band, fairly oblivious to the audience for them most part, played with a lot of passion and not really machine-like perfection, but with a lot of soul. STS is heavy, but a different kind of heavy. They definitely leaned on The Collective and The Migration for the set list, but there were few complaints. It was a very enjoyable show and the again, staying true to what the band is about: simplicity in style, and outstanding musicianship. After the show the band hung out and signed autographs and took pictures with fans, which was really cool too. We caught up with Chris Letchford to thank him for the show, and talk about their upcoming prog cruise show opening for Yes.
Scale The Summit Set List:
The Dark Horse
The Olive Tree
Origin of Species
Words: Keith Chachkes
Photos: Echoes In The Well