It is quite outstanding when we sit down to realize how human nature can easily adapt (for better or worst) to its surroundings and environment. Particular historic examples in the music industry like the shift of the typical major label model, to music piracy, to streamings platform era, and some more social events, like a pandemic, are some of the major challenges that musicians have had to deal with through history. How some musicians have been able to, somehow, stay on their feet and continue to deliver quality products to their fans it’s simply remarkable. Some bands have been able to release some formidable production, and an example of this is Tesseract’s latest livestream event P O R T A L S (Kscope Records), released in December 2020. Continue reading
Jinjer is a Ukrainian four-piece act that has captivated and charmed varying music scenes all around the world. Just over a decade ago, the band started to make waves in their own country and around Europe when they released their EP Inhale, Don’t Breath. The vibrancy and viciousness of their Modern Metal sound stood out and has led them to be one of the most noteworthy bands in the genre. Now they are getting ready to release their fourth full-length album, Wallflowers (Napalm Records) and the expectations are high. Their determination, creativity, and uniqueness has many wondering if this new album can be a crown on top of the quartet’s budding stardom.
Nearly fifteen years ago, current Killswitch Engage members Jesse Leach and Adam Dutkiewicz teamed up to birth the collaborative project Times of Grace. This dynamic duo pushed their creative boundaries by conjuring a fresh take on the heavy-yet-melodic sound. They delivered their debut album, The Hymn of a Broken Man (Roadrunner Records) in 2011. The gloom and aggression let loose on that record was ignited by the brutally honest songwriting. The themes of struggle, heartbreak, and hope were potently delivered with a real and plaintive spirit. These two brought forth a discovery of powerful melancholy and now ten years later, they are offering a sequel to that revelation. Their second full-length Songs of Loss and Separation (Wicked Good Records) is carrying on the melodic mournfulness, yet wonderfully wholesome sound that is Times of Grace.
At The Gates is a household name to every Melodic Death Metal fan out there. Formed over thirty years ago, this group of guys invigorated the scene by gifting the people with their unruly and extreme proclamations. Along with several other eager acts from their hometown, like Dark Tranquility and In Flames, ATG bolstered what is now defined as Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal. The signature sound that they captured still storms the scene today, showing off the band’s Swedish roots with a grim and wistful flourish. They continue on to profess their dark truths on their new seventh full-length record, The Nightmare of Being (Century Media Records).
Like 2018’s Becoming A Demon EP before it, Silver Talon’s first full-length album feels like the missing link between Sanctuary and Nevermore. The latter is especially felt with the sweeping layers of Jeff Loomis-style shred guitar, modern tones, and densely arranged vocal melodrama ala mid-era Warrel Dane. There is also an underlying Power Metal spirit throughout is perhaps most rooted in something like Refuge Denied or even classic Queensryche. The band has only doubled down on that spirit with Decadence And Decay (M-Theory Audio).
Masters of baroque melodic extremity, it is befitting that Suffolk symphonaires Cradle of Filth has grabbed the goat by the horns with a suitably slick foray into the live stream arena. Atop a multi-layered theater stage set, ring leader Dani Filth sets the tone, holding aloft a flaming torch and emerging from a cowl straight out of one of the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania entrances, before announcing the commencement of the invocation of the unclean…Continue reading
After a year and change of no live shows, every single band on the planet has got to adapt themselves into the world of live streaming. The few live stream concerts I’ve seen have portrayed each band’s unique style and vision, but none as bizarre as The Melvins’ Volume 3: Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! which aired last Saturday, May 1st. The complete show is exactly what you would expect from this legendary band. The live stream started with acoustic versions of ‘Dark Brown Teeth’, a King Buzzo cover, and ‘Up The Dumper’. The most interesting and funny aspect of this particular live stream is that it felt like you were hanging out with the band in between songs. Each transition from song to song had a small interview that started with the whole band, then with Buzz Osborne, followed by Steven McDonald, and finishing with Dale Crover. Each interview featured hilarious stories of the band and their lives that covered the usage of masks to, of course, weed. The overall performance of the band was superb with a sound the sound quality you would expect from a band like The Melvins and the visuals were in the more psychedelic side that went along well with each of the played tracks. Overall this was a fun and refreshing way of conducting a live stream event and one that only sets up for the upcoming return of live shows.Continue reading
NOÊTA is a duo based between Norway and Sweden and consisting of multi-instrumentalists Ândris and Êlea, the latter of whom also provides vocals. Their music is an intriguing hybrid of dark folk and dark ambient styles, with just a hint of black metal seeping in around the edges.
The last live show I attended was on February 22nd, 2020 watching Opeth at the Apollo Theater in New York City. It was a magical night, but little did I know that was going to be the last live music I was going to be watching perform in a year. I miss live shows, as I’m sure every single one of you does as well and I was particularly reminded of this since the beginning of last week. Having said that, when The Ocean Collective announced that they were going to play a live stream show of their amazing album Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Pelagic Records) in its entirety, I immediately jumped to my feet and said: “I NEED to watch that”, I knew it was going to be magical as everything the German band does.
Avatar took my live stream “virginity” away in this concert Ages|Madness from their series of Livestream concerts titled Ages, which has been running since January 9th and will end this upcoming weekend on January 30th. The Swedish band demonstrated why they are one of the most popular and entertaining bands in the genre right now by giving a performance that very well is worth the “price of admission” that COVID normalcy has given us for these types of events since we cannot go to live shows for the time being. Avatar was able to set a tone and ambiance like no other with this performance which was concentrated on tracks from the albums Black Waltz (Gain Music Entertainment) and Hail the Apocalypse (eOne Music).