Thursday, 22 August 2013

Avenged Sevenfold - Hail To The King

First question; where to begin? With an album like this, I honestly don't have a clue. Despite multiple warnings from the band about the change in musical direction, one would simply shrug off all suggestions and rumours of Avenged adjusting their sound to become an emulated product of their God-like ancestors, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica and the like. We would generally assume that Avenged would do what they normally do; produce an album full of non-stop, frantically fascinating metal songs with mind-blowing guitar solos and heavily syncopated drumming patterns as provided by late drummer "The Rev". They were a band who catered for their own niche market.

But with time comes change, and the warnings were true, oh so very true. The song structures have been simplified, the riffs are less complex, but without a doubt heavier than ever before and each song has potential to be a future classic. I will be providing a track by track breakdown and delving deep into the depths of the Avenged mindset when it came to making "Hail To The King".

My initial response after listening to the entire album first time round was one of bewilderment. I was inquisitive as to why they had made the choices they had, and I was letting it sink in that Avenged had moved on from the wild, bamboozling tracks from their previous albums that put them on the map. In my opinion, this is the equivalent of their "Black Album", a sort of commercial album that would cement the band in the top-tier of all metal bands. Immediately I was craving a track with a fast tempo, I was even craving some screaming vocals from M. Shadows. Hail To The King left me dumbfounded.

"It would grow on me" is the main message I repeated to myself, and I was hoping that would be the case. So with multiple listens came more hope, and I found myself being correct. This is an album that needed attention and a large amount of replays. Not only are there elements that cater to the original fans, albeit only a few, this will certainly make any doubters turn their heads and see Avenged's true talent and ability to draw in a huge market.

Track 1: Shepherd Of Fire

The opening track on any album always has to be the defining track. It must set the scene and provide an insight into the rest of the album. Although in this case I don't think it's a true representation of the album as a whole, many would probably disagree. The track begins with a riff that would definitely fit on previous album "Nightmare", it is slightly haunting as well as showing glimpses of Avenged becoming a heavier band. The vocal hooks are as strong as they always have been, and there is no denying as quirky as M. Shadows' vocals are, he is one of the best in the game. The guitar solo is slightly more stripped back than usual, it is not a case of guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance showing off anymore, they are crafting well thought-out solos, as opposed to scales being played at raging speed for the sake of it. Again, Avenged are thinking outside the box and the chilling use of a brass section blended into the background draws out a musically dexterous sound to the song.

Track 2: Hail To The King

The song that you all have heard by now, the first single released off the album and the title track. I absolutely loved this song when it first came out, but after listening to the whole album, I wouldn't even class it in my top 5 off the album. It is an incredibly catchy song and it will sound anthemic live. There are elements of 1980's era Iron Maiden and a lot of Dio mixed into Hail To The King. The guitar solo sounds like it came straight off of "Powerslave". Avenged have clearly done their homework and have studied the bands that have heavily influenced them, and have injected into their sound the best bits of each band.

Track 3: Doing The Time

One of the weaker songs, sounds like it could fit on the tail end of "City of Evil". It's a very rocker specific song, with blues elements incorporated. You could imagine "Doing The Time" blasting out your speakers whilst you're speeding down Route 66. This will be the main song that will attract an older audience who have previously neglected the band. Play this song to your Dad, he might like it. You never know.

Track 4: This Means War

Definitely one of the highlights of the album. It's a huge song right from the get-go. The main riff is crushing, with a direct influence from Metallica's "Sad But True". This song is the true definition of how a band can simplify their sound drastically, yet the end product is amazing. Everything about "This Means War" is spot-on. I can almost guarantee you'll be hearing this one live for years to come.

Track 5: Requiem

Now this is where things get interesting. The song kicks off with what I like to call a 'Satanic Choir', chanting ominously. Again, this is another song that proves how simple can mean effective. The song seems to have a "Ghost" vibe. They are a band who are notorious for their ridiculously crazy stage presence and dare I say, "evil" music. "Requiem" would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of any film based in post-apocalyptic times.

Track 6: Crimson Day

We've finally reached a soft moment on the album! If anyone says that the guitar tone doesn't remind them of Pantera, then they don't listen to enough metal. This song is a beautifully crafted tune, in the vein of "So Far Away" on their previous album. Lyrically one of the best songs on the album, it is magical to listen to. With Avenged, when it comes to softer songs, they are either amazing, or extremely cheesy. For example you'd either get an incredible song like "Crimson Day" or "So Far Away", or you'd end up with the bore that they call "Seize The Day". Sorry guys, it's just never been a favourite of mine.

Track 7: Heretic

Any song with the name "Heretic" in it, you'd automatically associate with mayhem. That rule still applies greatly for Avenged's "Heretic". This is the type of song you'd see fitting in with the Self Titled era Avenged. One of the only songs on the album which pretty much incorporates every aspect of their career. Also this is a track that will instantly become a favourite of yours, and it only gets better with every play. One for the old-school fans.

Track 8: Coming Home

Maiden. Maiden. Maiden. Did I mention Maiden? This is by far the clearest moment where an influence has been used in a song from Hail To The King. Lyrically, musically, everything about "Coming Home" stinks of Maiden (in a good way of course) Also this is proof of how the album gets better as it goes on. Enjoy this classic by Maiden ... I mean Avenged ...

Track 9: Planets

I still don't quite know what to make of "Planets". The riff is astonishingly brutal, but the song seems to lack consistency. It's one thing a song being heavy, but if there isn't any cohesion, then it won't work. Some people might enjoy the jagged nature of "Planets", but for me, it could have easily been left off the album, or worked on with the same care that every other track has.

Track 10: Acid Rain

It wouldn't be Avenged if they didn't close their album on a soft track. Acid Rain is another beautiful track, the melodies are alluring, the use of piano is reminiscent of the classic "Fiction". It is a perfect closer, definitely in the top 3 best songs on the album.

So that's my review of Hail To The King. Although in my opinion it is not quite as good overall as "Nightmare or the Self Titled album, it is still a testament to one of the best bands in the world today, making a statement of how they will become legendary.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bullet For My Valentine - Live at the Camden Roundhouse 17/3/2013

Live Review #1:

I went to see Bullet For My Valentine perform in London last week. It was a gig that I've been looking forward to for a while just due to the fact that they're one of my favourite bands and also because I've never seen them live before. Despite their newest album 'Temper Temper' not being that great, it didn't change the fact I was still excited to hear their older tracks live.

Also, the Camden Roundhouse is by far my favourite venue. The acoustics in there are brilliant and you can still get a good view of the musicians wherever you stand. Whether you prefer to be right in amongst the mosh pits, or just on the sideline, you'll still have a great time.

So the first support act of the night was a Metalcore band called Miss May I. They burst onto the stage, filled with adrenaline and made an instant impact. They got everyone in the crowd jumping and head-banging as soon as the first song kicked in. Miss May I were undeniably heavy, and had a strong mix of shouting and melodic vocals, each from the front man and the bass player. The band really knew how to put on a good quality show, as well as being able to actually perform live. The guitar playing was scorching, especially the solos. Although they were only on for a short time, they still rocked the house.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Shortly after Miss May I departed the stage, Halestorm came on to perform. I've heard a couple of tracks from them before and they are a good band, basically what Paramore should have been. Female fronted bands often get criticised, particularly in the live scene, but Halestorm are a different kettle of fish. Opening with their classic 'Love Bites', it immediately sunk in that they were here to put on a stunning show. Everybody in the crowd warmed to them straight away, and we were stunned by how front woman Lzzy could hit them screeching high notes with absolute ease. They were energetic on stage and this reflected in how the crowd acted in accordance to the music. Again, they too were only playing for about half an hour or so, but they put on a fantastic performance and by this time the crowd were definitely pumped for Bullet.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Finally, at around 9:15pm, after a humorous sing-a-long to 'Delilah' by Tom Jones, the headliner, Bullet For My Valentine took to the stage, brutally opening with 'Breaking Point'. The crowd erupted in chaos from that moment onwards, and it was more or less non-stop from then on. But for me, the show truly started when 'Breaking Point' ended and the iconic riff from 'Your Betrayal' started. That's when the ball got rolling. The band sounded tighter than ever playing through the classics, and Matt Tuck's voice is the strongest it has been since the early days. It was indeed noticeable that the newer songs such as 'P.O.W' didn't have the same impact that the hits like 'Her Voice Resides" had.

A nice 'surprise' was Lzzy Hale joining Bullet to sing 'Dirty Little Secret', it provided a new depth for that song. Also I got partially excited when they played an excerpt of 'Take It Out On Me', all to not much avail. The main highlights for me were 'Waking The Demon' basically tearing the roof off of the venue, it was ridiculously heavy and had the place heating up. Of course, another strong point of the show was the sing-a-long during 'Tears Don't Fall', proving how loved that song is by the majority of ... the world. Bullet keeping 'Alone' in their set list was a brilliant move, the song fits in so well in their live set and is one of their best songs of recent times. Overall it was an extremely good gig, and you know a concert is great when you come out of it sweating. It shows how Bullet can take to any crowd and how much they have achieved over the years. I am looking forward to seeing them again at Download Festival, and it will be interesting to see if they can entertain a crowd that was much bigger than the one in London. Also I will be expecting pyro this time round. Here's hoping.

Rating: 9 out of 10

(Picture from rocksins.com)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

2000 Views! Another Milestone

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to share the great news that my blog's hit 2000 views! A fantastic achievement from someone who has been blogging for just over half a year. Thanks for all of the support and for the continuous amount of people I get reading my reviews on a daily basis. To show my appreciation, I am going to put out my first live concert review tomorrow to share with you all!

Hopefully you'll keep reading my blog as I have many exciting reviews planned.

Cheers,

Tom

P.S. I am well aware that it says 2001 views, I'm kind of gutted I couldn't capture it at 2000, but c'est la vie ....

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mini Review (I.M.P) - Monks of Mellonwah - Sky and the Dark Night

The Monks of Mellonwah are a four-piece alternative band from Down Under (Australia) and have been heavily influenced by Rock giants such as Led Zeppelin, Muse and Pink Floyd. Their sound has evolved enormously over the years. They now depend on experimental elements combined with awesome, crushing riffs and melodic and euphoric synth pads.

The latest release from the band is their third EP, entitled 'Sky and the Dark Night'. It is a fantastic example of a band having fun making incredibly extrovert music. The sound is almost dance-like at some points, but blended in with the rock theme, it sounds completely cohesive throughout the short duration of the EP (only at 8 minutes). Although it is a short release, it is progressive in terms of genre and how much they manage to achieve in the duration of the EP.

Split into three songs, it's a journey through different aspects of what could be considered day and night, the moon and stars, anything with a natural and "out-of-this-world" connotation. Musically, it emulates the Muse vibe when they decided to include the 3 part "Exogenesis Symphonies" on 'The Resistance'.

I highly recommend downloading this EP when it gets released on the 1st of April. It is a breath-taking experience, whilst also remaining energetic enough to rock out to. For those of you who haven't heard of Monks of Mellonwah before, now is the perfect time to get to know them and to familiarise yourself with their back catalogue. They are currently working on a full-length album and it should be out this year.

Below are a couple of links to listen to the Monks of Mellonwah:


http://www.independentmusicpromotions.com/monks-mellonwah-stream-ep-sign-ar-worldwide/

http://monksofmellonwah.bandcamp.com/

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal

Horizons are broadening

Firstly, I'm finally back with a review! It's been a while, but admittedly I've been so busy with other work, that it's been the first opportunity I've had in a couple of weeks to review an album. What better album to review than a new Bring Me The Horizon album!

One of the most controversial bands of the last 10 years in British Metal, a band that have received so much hate and backlash during their career, and yet at the same time an incredible amount of love and respect from their forever growing fan base. Arguably in the Top Five biggest Metal bands in the UK at the moment, Bring Me The Horizon have a lot to live up to, and with their latest release, Sempiternal, have they managed to finally make an album that would be completely and utterly well-received by the public, and not just their own fan base? Or are they in-bound to receive yet more negative comments from angry Metal fans and Internet Trolls?

Without an ounce of bias being dripped into this review, I have never liked BMTH, I found Oli Sykes (lead "vocalist") to be a pretentious and often moronic character, and their music had not properly resonated with me. But being the nice guy that I am, I have decided to give them a chance and in doing so, have broadened my horizons (no pun intended) to try my best to engage with their music. In the past, it seems that when they crafted their songs, they hadn't really put 100% effort or thought into the musicality and lyrics, definitely in a similar vein to Bullet For My Valentine. However, from rumours that I heard before listening to Sempiternal, it was said that the album would have moments of Pink Floyd-esque genius. Now that made me feel particularly enthralled and ready to give the record a chance. Without further ado, I present you with my review of Sempiternal, and more importantly whether my opinion of the band has changed or not.

There I was, sitting comfortably with a pen in hand ready to make notes, my usual procedure. I proceed to click play on my laptop and as I do, I lean back in my chair and begin to listen to the album. No less than 30 seconds in, I had to double check to see what I was listening to. "This surely can't be BMTH" I pondered to myself with absolute surprise. The small amount I had heard led me to feeling ambiguity and astonishment. Such an immediate difference, with musical direction, with the fact that the screaming had generally disappeared and attempted, GOOD vocals by Mr Sykes were present. It almost seemed electronic in parts. So I let the album continue playing, and song by song it just felt like I was being proved wrong. This album has so many different elements and combinations of musical genres, it would be ideal for any audience, more or less. A prime example is the ambient, trippy moments of a track like "And The Snakes Start To Sing" which wouldn't be out of place on a Deftones or Pink Floyd album. Also, they have slightly stuck to their original sound with a couple of beat-down moments and heavier, crushing motifs. But for me, the definite element that stuck out more than anything is the fact that they aren't afraid to try and develop their sound, trying out new and exciting things. Each song sounded like its own entity, like being transported to another universe, each with a twist. With the exception of the last 3-4 songs on the album which sounded fairly similar to each other and repetitive in parts.

It is evident that this is by a country mile Bring Me The Horizon's best album to date. Obviously that's a personal preference, but from a general Metal/Rock fan's perspective, they would get more out of an album like this than one of their older albums (Suicide Season being the main example) After listening to all of the songs off of Sempiternal, it didn't particularly make me want to go back and listen to their older music, just because I know it would feel like an anti-climax compared to what I had just heard. It's not a case of ignorance, because I will give them a chance in the future, and I believe Sempiternal to be the best album I have heard this year so far. They have done British music proud, and at a time where Metal is on the rise in terms of the standard of top quality tracks and albums, BMTH have managed to meet and surpass the expected standards. Overall it is a very good album that has so much replay value. There are many songs on there that will be in their live roster for years to come. Anyone seeing BMTH during festival season will have the time of their lives going insane to tracks like 'Antivist'. And yes I thought it was called 'Anti-Virus' at first.

Stand-out tracks on the album: 'Can You Feel My Heart', 'And The Snakes Start To Sing' and 'Antivist'

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Download Festival

Hello everyone,

Thought I would mention that this year I am lucky enough to go Download Festival in the mighty Donington in June!

Therefore I will be doing a Download Fest Special Review blog in the summer, letting you know my thoughts on the festival, the highlights, the possible low points/shocks (which I doubt will happen) and all of that fun stuff.

http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk/line-up - This year is the ideal line-up for any metal fan, I have attached a link for you to look at and drool over.

Stay tuned for more info

Tom

Bullet For My Valentine - Temper Temper

Tears Might Fall

Now here's an album I've been particularly excited to review. One of my favourite bands of recent years, Bullet For My Valentine have released their fourth album with the vicious name of 'Temper Temper'. The Welsh metallers are what I like to refer to as a 'Marmite band', with the obvious connotations that you'd either love them or hate them, but for me, I definitely love them, and admire how much they've progressed in the last few years. In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect from the newest release, would it sound like 'Fever' (their third album) or would they go back to their roots, and make songs that have an essence of 'The Poison' (debut album), or would it possible that they would change their sound altogether?

I must admit that I had to listen to this album multiple times before I could give it a solid review, mainly because I wasn't quite sure what I thought of it on the initial listen. It was a good album, that's all I could think. But after giving it another couple of listens I felt I could break it down more analytically. My first thought of the album was that it sounded most similar to 'Fever' than any other album they've made, which in a way is a smart move as 'Fever' was generally well-received, much more so than 'Scream, Aim, Fire'. They've stuck to using fairly basic metal riffs and have chosen to use practically the same tempo throughout. Although this annoys me slightly, I can see why they've chosen to do this. It's apparent they're a metal band for casual listeners, and they want to appeal to the most widespread audience that they can. For me, the band's priority should be to work on music that captures their essence without worrying about how big their fan base will be. It's obvious that their first album contains their best music, but they won't go back to using that as a framework for any newer material. However...

When I saw the track listing and my eyes locked into 'Tears Don't Fall Part 2', I cried a little inside. HOW could they take their best song and try and make something different of it? Basically after listening to that song, it is a highlight on the album, but doesn't need to be a sequel of a classic song for it to be appealing. The fact they included Matt Tuck growling "Let's go again!" in the song makes it clear that there's nostalgia present. In general, the songs are of a decent standard, a couple of softer moments as you would expect, but for the most part it is a hard rock/metal album. The tracks are definitely all growers, especially the singles 'Temper Temper' and 'Riot'. First listen they make you feel nonplussed, but with further listens, it is clear why they are the choices of singles. The short, but catchy nature of the songs are great, and will be in their live arsenal for sure this year, and for years to come.

It has to be said though that it is probably the least best album they've made (I won't say worst, because that would imply that the album is bad, when it is in fact mediocre) and the lyrical content is ridiculous at times, so much so that you just know the band need to hire a lyricist to write their songs. Also another criticism is that the songs need to be crafted more intricately, and bundled with well thought out solos. Anyway, it may appear like I've given a bad name to a great band, this isn't the case at all. They're still one of my favourite bands, and I'm seeing them live twice this year. Their older hits will always be my favourite, as well as my undying love for most of 'Fever', but 'Temper Temper' just doesn't fulfil any expectations. Hopefully they'll realise that they need to make an album for all of those fans who have stuck with them from day one, otherwise they'll end up taking the same route Linkin Park have.

Stand-out tracks on the album: 'Dirty Little Secret', 'Riot', 'Tears Don't Fall, Part 2' <--- (If you ignore the name and just concentrate on the song, you'll enjoy it!)

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Courteeners - Anna

Welcome to Manchester

The Smiths Jr are back with their third album 'Anna', three years after the release of 'Falcon'. With the new album, it is apparent that they have developed as a band and have taken a slightly different route, as they venture into the sophisticated side of Indie, whilst being openly experimental with the musicality of 'Anna'. Don't get it twisted though, as The Courteeners are still the same, typical Mancunian four piece.

The band have managed to make a compromise between their earlier two albums, picked the best sections from each and have merged them together to form 'Anna'. Throughout we hear the harsher tones and the multi-dimensional lyrics that were contained in the first album, as well as the anthemic vibe of the second album.

The first single off of 'Anna', called 'Lose Control' is definitely reminiscent of older tracks such as 'Cross My Heart and Hope To Fly' and 'You Overdid It Doll', with a dance feel to it. 'Lose Control' is another song The Courteeners can add to their legendary live arsenal as a classic that the die-hard fans will love.

The album as a whole has a vibe of 'by the Mancunians, for the Mancunians', especially because it is so alike the forefather figures such as Oasis (early-ish days) and The Smiths. However if you look past a lot of the lyrical content, and focus mainly on the music, you'll see that is meant to appeal to a wider audience. Anyone who's a fan of Brit-Pop, Indie, Rock, or pretty much anything will enjoy at least a song or two off this album. For me it's a great record from The Courteeners and the bar is certainly held high, and just to top it all off, I'm very glad I bought a signed copy of the album, something for the collection!

Stand-out tracks on the album: "Lose Control", "Welcome To The Rave"

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Independent Music Promotions

Hi everyone

Just wanted to share some information and spread the word about the company 'Independent Music Promotions'. Basically they are what it says on the tin, a promotion company who are entirely based on the interest of promoting music. They have a number of ways of promoting their artists and bands, anything from an album review to posting their work on their website. They are all about the press.
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Also, IMP are successful in offering full-package marketing to acts of all genres, making sure each act gets its money's worth. They are phenomenal at promoting, and are unlike any regular PR company.

If you are interested in finding out more about what IMP do, then visit the link to their webpage below:

www.independentmusicpromotions.com

As with Projekt Records, I will also be reviewing plenty of music from IMP too. Please read my reviews and help share the awareness of Independent Music Promotions.

Many Thanks,

Tom

Biffy Clyro - Opposites

Do Opposites attract?

This is a review that should have been posted a couple of days ago, but I needed to listen to this album multiple times for it to sink in. Seeing as Opposites is a double album, it required a lot of time and concentration in order for me to give a break-down on it. Alas, I'll begin.

The good ol' Scots of the Rock world; Biffy Clyro are back with their sixth studio album, and it's a double album too. Exciting stuff right? After the huge success of their previous effort, Only Revolutions, it was hard to predict where the band would next head in terms of their musical direction. Would they continue along the path of big anthems which attract a larger, albeit 'light rock and mainsteam' fanbase?, or would they delve deep into their roots and pull out some of their quirky style songs and use them as the guidelines for the new album? So many questions asked that need answering, and after having listened to Opposites, I am here to answer the questions.

As the album is split into two discs, I'll review each disc separately, starting with the first one which is entitled 'The Sand at the Core of Our Bones'. It seems that each disc has a theme, with the former being about the past and the "ifs, buts and maybes" of the world. The lyrics throughout suggest how you can look at an issue and pick out the worst possible solutions from it. It's rough-edged, like how you would expect. The songs are mainly speedy, like most Biffy songs are, but also the odd time signatures are back, like 'Puzzle' era and prior to that too. The jangly, furiously plucked guitar sound still exists in their tracks, making the songs equally as hard rocking as they've ever been. Overall the first disc sets the listener up on a journey, with the anticipation of what the second disc will bring.

The second disc is entitled "The Land at the End of Our Toes". You would think it would be an echo of the first disc, and in some parts that's exactly what it is, but there are also a number of different elements in the songs that portray the musical difference and incoherency between the discs. An example of this would be moments like the mariachi propelled song 'Spanish Radio' and the electronic components that trickle through the entire album, all in reasonably sized doses. Lyrically it is the more uplifting of the two discs, with this one exclaiming optimistic thoughts for the duration of the record. Simon Neil's voice is sounding strong, and so incredibly Scottish, just as we expect.

In my opinion the first disc is slightly more superior to the latter, but both have their strong points. If you want original, angular Biffy, mixed with aresemblance of their arena-filling hits off of the last album, then The Sand at the Core of Our Bones will be perfect for you. Generally, the whole album seems to lack the same spark that their previous albums have all had, it's almost as if they are trying too hard to top 'Only Revolutions' but have fallen slightly flat. Maybe a double album isn't the best idea, they could have just worked on a single album until it was incredible sounding and would be rewarding to listen to. However, Opposites doesn't have this effect. To conclude, it shows signs of promise throughout, but with the exception of a few songs, it is nothing groundbreaking, just generally lacklustre. The cliché of a rising Rock band releasing a double album has been completely met here.

Stand-out songs on the album(s): "Different People", "The Joke's On Us" and "Stingin' Belle"

Rating: 6 out of 10

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hatebreed - The Divinity of Purpose

Love of Hatebreed

One of the pioneering bands from the Metalcore scene, Hatebreed, are back with their sixth studio album. Be warned; they are as angry as ever.

Hatebreed are a band that have often slipped under the radar in terms of mainstream attention. They are definitely a band who have given hours of blood, sweat and tears into crafting themselves as a group who dominate the Metalcore and Hardcore scene. So with their newest release, have they proved that they are as vital to the underground as they always have been?

The Divinity of Purpose kicks off with a short, stabbing track, typical to that which they are famous for writing. The opener is also their single, entitled "Put It To the Torch" and immediately we can hear the Celtic Frost and Slayer influence with the shouting vocals and pounding drumming which pierce through your eardrums. Pure aggression is bursting at the seams throughout the entire record, it wouldn't be a Hatebreed album if it was soothing. Each track flows into the other, as the abrupt endings lead into the harsh riffs and fast tempos of the next song. The best example of the transitions between songs is the fourth song on the album; "The Language" as it brutally comes to a halt and the next track "Before the Fight Ends You" powerfully kicks in.

If anyone is able to listen to this album and not feel the urge to head-bang, then they shouldn't be listening to Hatebreed, or any kind of metal and rock. They should probably stick to One Direction. Hatebreed is the perfect band to see in a tent at a festival or in a dingy venue. Imagine the brutality of the music banging through the amps and the crowd's participation in screaming the words to every song back to the band, not to mention the circle pits forming.

Overall a solid album from the Metalcore vets, it's a record that will cement themselves as the kings of the underground, as well as it lining up well against their previous releases. Let's hope we see them at some festivals this year!

Stand out tracks on the album: "Before the Fight Ends You", "Dead Man Breating" and "Bitter Truth"

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Everything Everything - Arc

Hooray for Indie!

This is a review I was meant to post a couple of days but I got caught up in my incredibly busy life and have just managed to get some time to post it on here.

I suppose this is my first official review of 2013 and it feels good to be back! So without further ado; I present you with Everything Everything (so good you have to say it twice)

A band that I've been fairly familiar with from the get-go. It's a poncy kind of Art-Rock but made to appeal to the Indie masses. They're back with their second album, called 'Arc'. Throughout it contains falsetto vocals that are worrying for a male singer, as well as catchy songs, supported by fun-filled guitar riffs and bass lines. If you're a fan of Indie, but fancy something a little different to the bands out there making the same generic music, then this album is certainly worth your time of day. It is basically the ideal summer festival music, Arc contains tunes that you would wanna listen to in a tent at Glastonbury.

The band seem to have a humorous side to them, with song names like 'Torso of the Week' and 'Hands For Feet', it's no wonder that they're worth a listen. But be warned, this band will blow up in the UK throughout 2013. They will be playing bigger venues to larger crowds, their true fans from day one will be proud of 'Arc' and will see it as a step up from their first album 'Man Alive' , which was released in 2010. Everything Everything have said goodbye to those odd time signatures used in Math Rock, and have worked out a formula for a well constructed record.

So overall it's a great album full of musically refreshing songs and is a classic example of a young band growing up and progressing in the right way. The only criticism I have is the awful use of autotune in the opening song 'Cough Cough', it must be deliberate because it's disgraceful. They always say the second album is the hardest to make; however Everything Everything have nailed it.

Stand-out tracks on the album: "Torso of the Week", "Don't Try"

Rating: 8 out of 10

Mini Review (Projekt Records) KatzKab - Objet No.1

Electro + Punk + Cabaret = ?

Every now and then I'll be posting a mini review for albums I listen to through Projekt Records, and this is the first I'll be reviewing:

To start with, quirky is not a strong enough word to describe this band. KatzKab is an electro/punk/cabaret band with a female vocalist. Their use of electronic synth licks and syncopated drumming have a strong effect on their music. They are a clever band who have managed to combine very different genres of music to create this futuristic hybrid which seeps with cohesion.

They are beginning to make a name for themselves in Europe; particularly Germany and Belgium, but I'm here to spread the word and urge you to check them out. If you fancy listening to something that sounds so crazy yet it actually works, then this is the album for you. Sonically it is a huge experimental experience, yet one worth taking.

Here is their bandcamp: http://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/objet-no-1

Enjoy listening.


Objet No. 1 cover art

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Back For 2013! - An Insight Into Projekt Records

Hello everybody, Happy New Year!

I am back and ready to review, but today's post is something a little more different. I received an email about a record label called 'Projekt Records'. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, like I was, they are a US independent label which have entered their 30th year, a pretty amazing feat for an independent record label. They mainly specialise in darkwave, shoegazing and gothic music. Sam Rosenthal runs the label, and for three decades has done an outstanding job to maintain its survival.

Below is a link of their webpage and Bandcamp if you wish to find out more, or listen to the artists/bands on their label:

http://www.projekt.com/  http://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/

Throughout the year I'll be doing a fair amount of reviews from albums that have been released from Projekt, just to show support and spread the word. If you enjoy the music they release, you too can spread the word about them and help them to gain new fans.

Thanks for reading; plenty of reviews will be coming soon!

Tom