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