ALBUM REVIEW: Elder – Omens

Did you daydream as a kid? Just stare off into nothing and let your imagination run wild? I did. A lot of my early childhood was spent amazed at what my mind could cook up with if I had a lack of books or toys, and before my soul was captured by music. Laying on my back in the grass, seeing shapes in the clouds or constellations at night, that was pure happiness as a kid. I never really stopped chasing that vibe as an adult, because I still drift off and let my brainwaves go crazy. Expect nowadays my field is my headphones and a turntable, and the clouds my mind is chasing down are inside of my eyelids, and not the sky. If you are looking for the ultimate “drop out, tune in, and turn on”  soundtrack for 2020, it is definitely going to be Elder’s new opus, Omens (Armageddon Shop/Stickman Records). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Infinity Shred – Forever, A Fast Life

Infinity Shred‘s Forever, A Fast Life (3DOT Recordings) is like if Health had their own interpretation of Deafheaven‘s Sunbather. Yeah, I never thought I’d type out a such a sentence and half of the readers have probably walked away at this point but hear me out. Again, imagine Sunbather, but only strip away George Clarke‘s corrosive vocals and replace them with copious amounts of synths. Again, not the best sentence to describe Infinity Shred, so I’m going to need you to put on some headphones and take this thing for a test drive. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Overththetop -“Fact/Trust”

Members of New York city metal bands Alekhine’s Gun, Desolate and Severed, have come together in a new group Overthethetop! Mashing up brutal grindcore and tasteful synthwave, Overthetop comes off like the bastard child of Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Carpenter Brut. The band is preparing their debut album for release this summer. Check out their new single “Fact/Trust” right now! Continue reading

Van Halen’s Masterpiece “1984” Was Released 35 Years Ago

 

The 1980s was a truly golden age for rock music. As a lot of the successful bands from 1970 transitioned to new era of music competing with heavier styles of rock, New Wave, Punk, Post-Punk and Pop music, many acts had to step up their game to stay alive. While some adapted to new sounds to stay a float and reach for ears and hits, others fell by the wayside. One band that managed to changed while keeping true to what made them great was Van Halen. As proved by their definitive work on 1984 (Warner Bros.), released thirty-five years ago on January 9th, 1984, the album would not only mark the final chapter (at the time) for the David Lee Roth led period of the group, but set a new bench mark for them at the same time.

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The Sacrifice – The Sacrifice


Electronic music comes in many waves. From new, to old to 80’s electro-rock, not many succeed in creating a memorable electronic record. For the French trio, The Sacrifice, it’s a point to revive the genre with nostalgic moments as they debut with their self-titled (Season Of Mist) on their own terms. They have taken synth-wave and incorporated classic 80’s pop and metal to produce this modern electro groove. The 11-track album is an experiment that involved a dozen of vintage synthesizers and drum machines, according to the band. But what listeners will gather here is a record that balances sonic synths full of color and life. The Sacrifice is here to make you dance. Continue reading

The Browning – Geist

Being able to sound fresh both within metal, and then within your own career, is a hard thing to achieve. So, credit where credit is due, The Browning are still leading the way with their brand of synth-heavy Metalcore. New album Geist (Spinefarm Records) shows the band cementing their sound and even bringing more extremity to the table. Continue reading

Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains

It’s hard for established bands to take risks in the landscape that is 2017 in music. Especially when your band comes attached with a cultural cache like Queens Of The Stone Age, on album number seven, with love from the critics, indie cred, and what amounts to major label distro. Having conquered many frontiers as a headliner, but still looking for the challenge, QOTSA teamed up with hit-making pop and dance producer Mark Robson to create what would become Villains (Matador). Ronson’s name comes with little to no background in the greasy stoner rock the band is known for, but rather for putting Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lady Gaga and the ubiquitous (for better or worse) ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars on the map to the tune of millions in sales. Continue reading

Nine Inch Nails – Not The Actual Events

One thing about Trent Reznor, he never seems to get complacent. Part of that is the artist inside of him won’t allow atrophy of his creative muscles very long. The strength of his need to keep growing forward and evolving, Reznor continues an over decade long hot-streak of new and varied output either as a solo artist, entrepreneur, film composer, visual artist, fashion designer, his other band projects such as How To Destroy Angels and of course with Nine Inch Nails.

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Moonspell – Extinct

Moonspell Extinct

Despite heaps of plaudits and a sturdy career as metal stalwarts, Portuguese brooding metallers Moonspell have never quite achieved the huge acclaim and success (outside of their native country where they are a chart topping act) that they perhaps warrant. Certainly their latter day output surely has some mainstream appeal and accessibility, especially considering the worship that some Gothic metal bands (HIM being the prime example) have garnered. If any album of theirs should see them herald a wider audience then Extinct (Napalm) could well be that moment.

Certainly their most instant album to date, Extinct showcases the band’s finest elements to the full. Dark and melancholic in tone and subject matter but the hooks have an almost pop vibe to them, with some remnants of the pace and ferociousness of their black metal days, such as on album opener ‘Breathe (Until We Are No More)’, an anthem and potential rock club floor filler in the making. Fernando Ribeiro’s vocal displays are as luring and diverse as ever, veering from a seductive croon to a visceral bark with ease and fluidity.

The real ace in the hole is the Pedro Paixao’s atmospheric samples and piercing synths; adding a whole new dimension and tone to proceedings; exceptionally so on the likes of the title track where they steal the limelight with ease. There are even the faintest hints of a prog influence, shown on the eerie, piano led close ‘La Baphomette’.

Always a familiar name to some, especially those in the know, but now one that has all the qualities that scream out mainstream success, Moonspell should begin to hit the big time with Extinct if there is any justice. Bleak and full of despair yet anthemic and catchy as hell, with plentiful layering and nuances to find; a stunning work.

 

9.0/10

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CHRIS TIPPELL