Living With Lions – Island

“There was so much more we wanted to accomplish as a band” said Living With Lions’ lead vocalist Chase Brenneman after previous singer Stu Ross left in 2012. With such a bold statement, it is a clear indication that Island (No Sleep/Redfield), their first full-length album featuring former guitarist Brenneman on vocals, was meant to be ground-breaking. Continue reading

TAPED – [Empires]

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TAPED is a metalcore/hardcore band from a place in the world rarely considered when it comes to heavy music: Lichtenstein. For a group that comes from such a small country, they have grand ambitions. [Empires] (Redfield Records) is their attempt to reach a bigger audience.

Opener ‘New Chapter’ is a piece that is meant to pump up the listener and slam into the next song ‘Turn the Page.’ The energy dies off after a while though and it all starts sounding like any average American band in the metalcore and hardcore genres. One wishes that ‘Turn the Page’ was a twist on Bob Seger’s classic instead.

This mood continues throughout most of the album. The interludes: ‘Rise’ and ‘Head Up’ are the most engaging part of it all. They have the most energy of all the tracks. ‘Convictions’ is closer to the end of the album and serves as a break from the monotony of everything else; it offers a glimpse at what could have been. The guitars and vocals sound balanced and infused with spirit. Overall, it is the most developed sounding song. With the next track, ‘Behind the Mask,’ it goes back to the same noise. It feels as though the album was uninspired and that nothing different is being done.

Credit should be given to TAPED for even attempting to break out of their small corner of the world. They would feel right at home in the hardcore American scene, but that is not a good thing when it comes to being noticed. [Empires] may be interesting to those who are looking to expand their hardcore and metalcore tastes beyond America. Otherwise, it may be better to look elsewhere.

3.0/10

MELISSA CAMPBELL