After the bluesy Southern Rock of 2018s rollicking Family Tree and the two blues covers EPs Back to Blues comes The Human Condition (Mascot Records) – out and out hard rock upon which they built their career. Like Clutch, Black Stone Cherry do not make bad albums and this new one – their seventh – is another example of this.
Skraeckoedlan’s newest offering is entitled Eorpe (Fuzzorama) – or Earth for the non-Swedes. Eorpe is part Stoner, part psychedelic music, with much sounding like New Wave music from the eighties with modern production values. There’s a familiarity to the tone and pacing of the music that us old fogies will enjoy, but, it’s “out there” enough for younger listeners to turn on, tune in, and drop out – the blending works as it’s a relaxing non-offensive listen. Continue reading →
Minimal waffle, maximum music – I’m very aware that there is too much music and not enough time! I’ve had close to 1,000 albums pass through my inbox this year alone (I’ve probably only been able to listen to about a third of them), and what I’m presenting are my favourite albums of 2018, the albums that I’ve connected most with, that matter most to me, one way or another.
One of the few original emo bands left, Senses Fail (Pure Noise)has released their seventh studio album If There Is Light, It Will Find You. The New Jersey natives debuted onto the scene in 2004 with megahit Let It Enfold You and much of the strong energy that was presented on that album has been carried into this new LP. Continue reading →
Off the back of the critically acclaimed sophomore record Blush, Canterbury quintet Moose Blood are back with a new record I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore (Hopeless). Kicking off with ‘Have I Told You Enough’, I was immediately taken with the musical approach by the band as the lead guitar motifs perfectly complemented the vocals, and the whole thing gave off a very warm summery tone. ‘Talk In Your Sleep’ picks up the pace a bit more and features the outstanding chorus of the entire record – an arena-ready anthem for sure. The breakdown towards the end was also a good addition to the feel of the song.Continue reading →
Polish and English progressive rock and metal quartet Disperse returns to present their third studio album Foreword (Season of Mist). This band may take inspiration from bands such as Pink Floyd, and Dream Theater, but it ends up with a very modern sound , in some parts similar to pop bands such as Kensington, but with a more progressive bent to their music. Continue reading →
Modern rock band Skillet have released a new video for their track ‘Feel Invincible’ from their forthcoming album Unleashed, due out on August 5th. You can watch the video at this link or below:
Frontman John Cooper commented on Unleashed:
“I wanted to make an album that could make people feel the music. I always aim to write songs to which people can relate, but this time I wanted to see not only how the songs would connect lyrically, but also how they’d connect musically.”
Unleashed will be the follow-up to 2013’s Rise album which earned the band a Grammy nomination. Along with the band teamwork of husband and wife John (lead vocals, bass) and Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar, keyboards, programming, backing vocals), Seth Morrison (lead guitar) and Jen Ledger (drums, vocals), they worked with a production team of Brian Howes, (Daughtry, Halestorm, Nickelback), Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch), Neal Avron (Twenty One Pilots, Walk The Moon, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park) and Seth Mosley (Newsboys, TobyMac) on Unleashed. Pre-orders for the album are now live:
Once again Hellyeah has proven why they are dubbed with the name “supergroup”. This all American heavy metal band consists of many of the biggest names of metal to date. Including vocalist Chad Gray of Mudvayne, former guitarist Tom Maxwell of Nothingface, bass player Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple/Monstro), guitarist Christian Brady, and former Pantera drumming legend Vinnie Paul. Release their fifth album since their debut in 2007, entitled Unden!able (Eleven Seven Music).
This in your face power house of an album will get your body begging for the pit. From beginning to end the album shows the raw talent of the five member team. Fast paced riffs, wicked blastbeats, brutal break downs, and demonic vocals, this thirteen track album reminds us of what it means to be “Born and Breed a metalhead”.
The album opens up with ‘!’. This powerful intro begins raising the intensity inside your body until you are slapped in the face by track 2 ‘X’. This track is full of a strong lyrical rhythm accompanied with powerful double bass, strong break downs, and mind shredding riffs. Then it leads my personal favorite song on the album track 3 ‘Scratch a lie’. Chad Grey brings those blood chilling screeches, and fast paced lyrics that made him the monster he is today. This song will make you want start a mosh pit at your family reunion. The fourth track ‘Be Undin!able’ is what I like to call the anthem song. Most albums have them. It is the song where it seems to bring the crowd together, though heavy and still has the possibility to knock your teeth out, it’s a song with a positive message and encourages us to stand together as one.
Next song ‘Human’ was the first single off the album. This song gave you the sneak peek of this monstrous album. Though not as heavy as the rest, it still gives you the adrenaline pumping, head banging feeling the rest of the album gives you. The album slows down a bit with the next couple tracks. Though still pure metal, it is just not as in your face as the beginning half. ‘Leap of Faith’, ‘Blood Plague’, the Phil Collins cover of “I Don’t Care Anymore” and ‘Live or Die’ bring you back to the typical Hellyeah style, the heavy metal outlaw, showing a little bit of that southern side of metal. ‘I Don’t Care Any More’ features some leads courtesy of Vinnie Paul’s brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, making an appearance via tapes from beyond the grave.
Then there is the track ‘Love Falls’. A melodic ballad that pulls at the heart-strings. Chads’ lyrics transport you to a heartbreak we have all received before, showing his embarrassment and humanity. It’s a refreshing song in the midst of such chaos and brutality. Then the sirens fill your ears. A short intro ’10-34′ that leads into a riot, ‘STARTARIOT’. This song alone makes me want to bleed in a pit. The impact of the drums, the lyrics, guitar, amazing bass riffs, all of it. It’s the perfect storm for a circle pit. Lastly, ‘Grave’. The last song of the album. Just as strong and in your face but has a nice fade out giving you a sense of rejuvenation. Like you just won a war. All and all this album is strong, fast, brutal, and most importantly, HEAVY!
In closing. This album is a must have for any metal fan. It shows the roots and development of our beloved genre. Combining southern and heavy metal together into a sweet harmony of chaos. I recommend this album to anyone and it will be in my playlist for a while. Did they make a great album. I say Hellyeah.
If life is a journey, Bring Me The Horizon are living one helluva good one. From hated deathcore upstarts, bottled and attacked when playing support shows, to the slick, progressive metalcore of their breakthrough album Sempiternal (RCA/Epitaph), their career has been one of continuous upwards movement, both creatively but also commercially, a trend that is perpetuated by their excellent fifth album That’s The Spirit (RCA/Columbia).
While BMTH are no longer a “metal” band (while they haven’t been for a while, they’ve truly stepped outside those bounds now) their continued exploration of a poppier, slicker sound unreservedly suits them. Leaving behind the trappings of scenes metalcore and deathcore, That’s The Spirit takes the band into unchartered territories of song-writing and production to create an excellent modern rock album.
Starting the album with the subdued build of ‘Doomed’, the tone is set for something special as the reflective piece resets expectations, all subtle electronica and disseminated guitars. Partner in crime ‘Happy Song’ picks things up, utilizing a child vocal hook much like Faith No More’s ‘Be Aggressive’ before a lurching, thick riff courtesy of Lee Malia, who really shines as a diverse and clever player across the spectrum of the album, backs up the songs eponymous hook.
Smartly, …Horizon have continued their evolution, replacing the frenetic punkcore style of There Is A Hell… (Visible Noise), via Sempiternal, with a more controlled, dynamic and poppier approach; an approach that has led to a thousand-fold improvement in their song-writing. Whatever you do, don’t confuse replacing aggression with control as a sign of weakness – there is a powerful energy throughout.
They always had an x-factor, now they have refinement and intelligence and know how to channel that spark into top quality songs. Tracks like ‘Avalanche’ are enhanced by the full integration of keyboard player Jordan Fish adding strings, synth motifs and subtle electronica to back up a beast that swirls from down to upbeat, and another strong chorus, led by the excellent Oli Sykes.
Only the sedate ‘Follow You’ shows a slight dip in quality and there are highlights throughout; no less than ‘Throne’ with its poppy synth intro and Linkin Park trappings, a truly uplifting pop metal anthem. ‘True Friends’ and ‘Blasphemy’ BMTH show they’ve lost none of their cynicism, but more than that, they demonstrate the progression of Sykes from screamer to genuine lead singer, with powerful throaty moments leading to sweeping choruses, and he combines the two on the rockier catchy ‘What You Need’, a track fuelled by a juddering stadium-filling death rock bass line. ‘Drown’, initially released a year ago to prepare the way for the new BMTH sound, is an expertly crafted modern alternative rock song. Final track ‘Oh No’ closes the circle, a reflective yet upbeat poppy piece, reminiscent of the best moments of 30 Seconds To Mars, with Woah-ohs and dance synths closing things off with a smile.
Kudos must also go to Fish and Sykes for a stunning production job, with all the touches and trappings of the best pop productions balled up into huge rock sound. Influences may have switched from Norma Jean and At The Gates, but by moving beyond their contemporaries in quality, style and songwriting, BMTH now stand in class of one; truly at the top of the mountain.
If Suicide Season (Visible Noise/Epitaph) was their rebirth, There Is A Hell… the teenage ruttings of a band truly finding themselves and Sempiternal their coming of age album, That’s The Spirit is Horizon maturing into a fine young adult, confident, strong and secure in themselves and the knowledge that they are now master craftsmen.
Successfully combining every good aspect of alternative rock and metal of the last fifteen years, That’s The Spirit is Bring Me The Horizon’s “Black Album” moment.