The Punk Rock MBA Analyzes Why Paramore, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, & Blink 182 Are Successful

Finn McKenty, The Punk Rock MBA is back again with another video at his popular YouTube channel critiquing musicians and bands. What matters the most? Vocal ability? Good looks? Star power? Specifically, he has a chart to analyze the talents of popular singers and bands such as Hayley Williams (Paramore), Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), Tom Delonge (Blink-182), Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Fronzilla, Andy Black, Phil Anselmo (Pantera/Down), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Rob Zombie, Oli Sykes, M Shadows, Brendon Urie (Panic At The Disco) Austin Carlile (ex of Mice & Men), Gwen Stefani, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, Lil Peep, Charli XCX and more! Finnposts new videos every week and just launched a brand new podcast too!

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Bring Me The Horizon Surprise Release New Album of Collaborations

Bring Me The Horizon has closed out 2019 by surprise releasing a new album. Music to listen to~dance to~blaze to~pray to~feed to~sleep to~talk to~grind to~trip to~breathe to~help to~hurt to~scroll to~roll to~love to~hate to~learn to~plot to~play to~be to~feel to~breed to~sweat to~dream to~hide to~live to~die to~GO TO is avaialble now on most digital platforms. The eight-song album has long-form tracks, runs for an hour and fifteen minutes and features guest appearances from Halsey, Happyalone., Toriel, Yonaka, Lotus Eater and Bexey. Two of the tracks clock in at more than 10 minutes each, while ‘Underground Big {HEADFULOFHYENA}’ runs over 24 minutes long. Continue reading

Bring Me The Horizon Drop New Single, Announces New Album “Amo”

Bring Me The Horizon have announced their new album via social media, sure to be the most hotly anticipated album of early 2019. Amo will release January 11th 2019 via their labels RCA (UK) and Columbia (USA). The album is the long-awaited follow-up to 2015s That’s The Spirit. Pre-orders are available now and enable fans early access to tickets for their upcoming European tour dates. Hear the powerful new track, ‘Mantra’ right now! Continue reading

While She Sleeps – You Are We

It’s nigh on impossible to put a finger on quite why While She Sleeps’ sophomore effort Brainwashed (Search and Destroy) didn’t explode. Everything was in place. It was, as we at Ghost Cult opined at the time, the right album at the right time from the right band. And yet, while it undoubtedly moved them forwards, the smashing of the glass ceiling never happened. Whether that shattering and reaching of new heights is being reserved for You Are We (Sleeps Brothers / crowd-funded) time will tell, Continue reading

Knotfest 2015: Live At San Manuel Amphitheatre in Devore, CA.

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Slipknot brought back heavy music into their brand of a festival called Knotfest once again to Southern California as they packed two days (plus a VIP only Friday evening event for campers) full of headbanging and mayhem at San Manuel Amphitheatre in Devore, CA.

The VIP pre-party show consisted of brief sets by Khaotika, Motorbreath, Rings of Saturn and The Faceless, while Sepultura became the main focus of that evening, performing many longtime favorites from their 30th anniversary tour, such as ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Arise’ and ‘Propaganda,’ while working on a few of the newer songs such as ‘Choke.’

 Corrosion of Conformity, by Melina D Photography

Corrosion of Conformity, by Melina D Photography

Saturday’s main stage led the charge with the return of Pepper Keenan with Corrosion of Conformity, working in favorites such as ‘Clean My Wounds’ and ‘Albatross’; then Trivium and Mastodon both brought out powerful sets of powerful guitar driven hard rock leading into Korn’s semi-setlist of their début self titled album (ie they played only half of the album but they still brought their usual powerful live show) while working in other favorites like ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Falling Away From Me.’

Korn, by Melina D Photography

Korn, by Melina D Photography

 

Mastodon, by Melina D Photography

Mastodon, by Melina D Photography

 Corrosion of Conformity, by Melina D Photography

Judas Priest, by Melina D Photography

Headliners Judas Priest came out strong with a cross-section of newer songs such as ‘Dragonaut’ and ‘Valhalla’ while working in longtime favorites such as ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ as well as ‘Turbo Lover’. Following a strong showing on their previous tour, they did not disappoint and showed that after all of these years they can still deliver classic metal the right way.

Unlike the 2014 edition, Slipknot only played one day instead of both days, and they brought back the mini roller coasters and the Slipknot museum for attendees to enjoy. Another addition to this year’s edition was the Extreme Stage with such bands as Kataklysm, Abysmal Dawn, Belphagor and Inquisition living up to their musical brand and the headbangers representing as well.

 Reaktion, by Melina D Photography

The ReAktion, by Melina D Photography

The only band who did not quite fit the stage was Chilean-Canadian alternative-metallers The ReAktion, where their synth-driven riff metal was something fans grew accustomed to but was greatly out of place on that stage. The early set time worked in their favor on Sunday, with fans enjoying sightings of Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson around their set. Despite that, their eclectic sound was refreshing and somewhat interesting to see how they evolve from here.

Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor made a brief appearance with fellow Iowans Green Death during their brief set later on Sunday. Fans got acquainted quickly with the band despite their lack of recognition prior to the show.

Stages 2 and 3 were placed on the revolving stage where bands could get going much easier. Saturday’s set began with Battlecross, Red Fang and Goatwhore getting early set calls, but the packed crowd showed up to rock out with each band. Even the well publicized Josh Barnett joined in the pit action early on.

Trivium, by Melina D Photography

Trivium, by Melina D Photography

 

At The Gates, by Melina D Photography

At The Gates, by Melina D Photography

Veteran metallic hardcore outfit Earth Crisis brought back memories of their appearance of Ozzfest 1996 at this venue. Other highlights included At The Gates’ aggression driven set, while Body Count plowed through their set of classics (despite minor technical difficulties with Ice T killing time with his attempt at telling jokes on stage). GWAR capped out the stage with their usual antics and over the top stage show, moving forward post Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie).

Mobb Deep, by Melina D Photography

Mobb Deep, by Melina D Photography

Sunday’s main stage opened with Ghostface Killa and Mobb Deep’s brief old school hip hop set that attracted curious onlookers, while Clutch came in with their usual power riff rock set that their stripped down stage show appeared a bit bare for such a large sized stage.

Clutch, by Melina D Photography

Clutch, by Melina D Photography

 

Bring Me The Horizon, by Melina D Photography

Bring Me The Horizon, by Melina D Photography

Bring Me The Horizon’s updated stage show and sound definitely caught the attention of the crowd with their LED powered backdrops with the letters to SPIRIT aligning with each word of their opening song ‘Happy Song.’ Frontman Oli Sykes had the crowd moving along with his commands, and kept the show entertaining. Plus their newer synth oriented melodic rock sound on songs like ‘Throne,’ and ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ made their live show much more anthemic driven tunes for the crowd to sing along to. Even with the older heavier songs like ‘Chelsea Smile,’ Bring Me The Horizon showed that they have a full arsenal within their bag of tricks and is no surprise why they have the attention of the hard music world.

Slipknot, by Melina D Photography

Slipknot, by Melina D Photography

 

Slipknot, by Melina D Photography

Slipknot, by Melina D Photography

When Slipknot took the stage, they unveiled their new stage setup that resembled the carnival from hell, and they took charge from the opening minute. Opening with ‘Sarcastrophe’ and leading into ‘The Heretic Anthem’, Slipknot was on a mission to show why they are one of the biggest hard acts on the planet and can command their own festival. They even worked in ‘Me Inside’ (which they have never played live before apparently) and ‘Eeyore,’ giving the crowd more to get manic over.

The second and third stages on Sunday featured hard rockers Devour the Day and Kyng giving the crowd energetic melodic rock to nibble on, while semi-hometown favorites Snot got the crowd rocking with selections from their Get Some album while paying tribute to their late singer Lynn Strait.

Cannbal Corpse, by Melina D Photography

Cannbal Corpse, by Melina D Photography

Helmet, All That Remains and Beartooth all plowed through power sets of rock and metal that got the crowds working up a sweat, while led into the massive stampede of fans eagerly awaiting Cannibal Corpse and Suicidal Tendencies to perform. Cannibal Corpse simply owned Knotfest’s second stage and possibly had the largest crowd of headbangers and mosh pit participants of any act, which bled into Suicidal’s already veteran LA punk rock fan base. Overall, the insanity that came with those acts simply made the observing that much more enjoyable.

Overall, Knotfest 2015 brought together a strong collection of acts within the heavy music world once again and gave fans something to be excited about. After two consecutive years, hopefully Knotfest will continue to be an annual event (or something close to it).

 

PHOTO SET DAY 1:

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PHOTO SET DAY 2:

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WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO 

PHOTOS BY MELINA D PHOTOGRAPHY

Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit

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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.

BMTH_Press Hi-res.jpgOnly 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.

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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.

 

9.0/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

Oceans Ate Alaska – Lost Isles

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Making waves (see what I did there…) following two introductory EP on Density Records, talented quintet Oceans Ate Alaska, from Birmingham, England, are a schizophrenic psychotic tick in musical guise. Dubbing themselves as progressive metalcore seems to undersell and mislead, as Lost Isles (Fearless) showcases a high degree of technical proficiency, spurting spasming rhythms of meticulous, systematic precision and understated melodic britcore (yes, I’m using that phrase and with no apologies – British metalcore sounds different to its American counterpart).

As if adamant to prove that under the sea lives all manner of chaotic life form, within 43 seconds of opening track ‘Blood Brothers’ (we’ll ignore the inevitable, ubiquitous, unnecessary “intro” track) we’ve been treated to convulsion of rhythmic battery alongside vocal paroxysms that spit out three different styles, screamo, death metal growl and sung, over three different riffs, before the song lurches off-kilter into yet more spasmodic sections.

The process of bursts of rapid-fire arrhythmic violence continues throughout, seeking to cuff the brain into submission with unyielding sonic ruptures, a tech metal death by a thousand guitar stabs, before Oceans Ate Alaska open up their sound on ‘Vultures and Sharks’ and start to truly display the potential within.

There are inevitable comparisons to Bring Me The Horizon, mainly in that James Harrison’s sung tones and the melody lines used are not a million miles away from Oli Sykes, but Oceans… are a different beast; there’s added Meshuggah and spice to their stylings. Fellow scribe Chris Tippell coined them BMTH meets The Contortionist and his radar is as tight as the intermittent punch that permeates ‘Over The Edge’ on his tech-prog-core.

It can be difficult setting out to try and differentiate yourselves from others, and Oceans Ate Alaska perhaps push things too far in setting their stall in the kitchen-sink side of headfuck music, though they can take credit from the fact that not only are they ploughing their own furrow, but they have the technical chops and ear for melody to make it happen for themselves. Lost Isles is a sensory overload that will make an impression on the ears and minds of those who like their discordance delivered as a staccato premeditated cudgelling, while with tunes like ‘Downsides’ in their arsenal, the band have the breadth to push into more melodic and conventional streams.

So, now they’ve consumed Alaska, it’ll be very interesting to see what they fancy making for dessert…

 

7.5/10

Oceans Ate Alaska on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY

Colombian Necktie – Twilight Upon Us

 

When you stick the word ‘core’ as a suffix to a particular genre tag, many over the age of thirty tend to roll our eyes and dismiss the forthcoming sound as generic, derivative pap. This sophomore effort from self-styled Los Angeles ‘sludgecore’ quintet Colombian Necktie does unfortunately commence in that fashion. Twilight Upon Us (Self-Released) starts with a slow, heavy crunch, soon ripped apart by a tinny, death style production and an irritating, unwavering high pitched scour from front man Scott Werren which resembles the unflinching pitch of Oli Sykes. The initial time changes tend to cheapen the sound initially also, especially for the low end fraternity led into the ‘sludge’ element of their description.

Bizarrely, the thing begins to actually grow on you. The filthy undercurrent accompanies a quickening of the pace in many of the tracks, introducing a hardcore element reminiscent of Raging Speedhorn or Cancer Bats in its sound and intensity, and lending a variation which sharpens the album’s somewhat formulaic edges. ‘Sleepwalking’ and ‘Ready to Burn’ see post-hardcore flecks paint the ripping savagery with pastel colours whilst drummer Ben Brinckerhoff, arguably the unsung star of this show, constantly introduces deft changes which paradoxically pummel the brain.

The vast majority of tracks here remain below the four minute mark, short sharp shocks which don’t outlast their welcome. Only closer ‘Kevin’s Song’, a track dedicated to a sadly departed friend and founder band member, bucks this trend, a brutally funky and ambient workout with elements of “post” guitars and Spaghetti Western-style centre, slowing to the coda with truly crushing yet emotive sound. In truth the low-end purists will find little to keep them hooked in here, but it’s a worthy set and one which will find those with open minds tapping their toes at the very least.

7.0/10

Colombian Necktie on Facebook

 

PAUL QUINN