Singled Out (9/26 – 10/2): New Music From The Faceless, Megadeth, Coheed and Cambria, and More!

Coheed and Cambria – “Eraser” Coheed’s use of a chunky, hyper-distorted guitar tone and their trademark enthusiasm are in full swing here. The “Gravity’s Union”-esque tone in the intro quickly gives way to Claudio Sanchez’s trademarked high-pitched croon and a chorus that shows off the band at their jangliest and most poppy. Despite the defiantly malign undertone, the upbeat drive of this track is incredibly hard to resist; it’s hard to resist a smile when listening to “Eraser”. The whole song reeks of the band’s typical sickly-sweet vibe, the tangy tones of modern alternative rock splashed with the emotive and lush sound of Mars Volta-style prog. It’s a potent combination, and it’s served the band well in the past. We’ll see how it serves them on The Color Before The Sun come October 16th, but seeing as this is Coheed, I can guarantee it’ll be somewhere between amazing and fucking godly. -Simon Handmaker

Driftoff – “Dying Light” We’ve often been highly skeptical of supergroups on this blog. That’s why it’s refreshing to hear a collaboration between giants of a certain sub-genre sound so damn cohesive and self-aware. Driftoff combines talent from Junius , Rosetta and City of Ships , all names that are downright seminal in their own fields. The first taste of this heady brew is “Dying Light” and it’s a perfect introduction into the post-punk/hardcore that is Driftoff’s measure. Let us skip over the obviously delicious guitars and drums and focus on the vocals. Put briefly, they are outstanding. Merging the two different styles that are most often heard in this sort of music, they draw on both harsher, raspier sounds that hark to mother-band Rosetta while the more emotional vocals are firmly grounded in the history of the scene. Long story short, this is both new and traditional, fresh and yet wholly recognizable. Get excited for this release. -Eden Kupermintz

The Faceless – “The Spiraling Void” After a period of silence and line-up shuffles, out of nowhere, The Faceless are back! As one of the more visible and accessible bands in technical death metal, them putting out new music is always worth watching. This time, they’re back with The Spiraling Void , and it’s such a warm, welcoming feeling to hear the trademark Michael Keene riffing again. Going back to elements of their older sounds and retooling them to create this new tune, the band sound reinvigorated. They’ve brought back the slight Cynic influence from Akeldama , and the more progressive leaning sound from Autotheism ; and the end result is something instantly recognizable as The Faceless. Original singer Derek Rydquist is back, and Justin McKinney of The Zenith Passage is now also on guitar duties. It makes a lot of sense to have Justin on board, as his band is also influenced in turn by The Faceless. Michael Keene’s vocoder cleans from Akeldama are back, the extended solo sections over arpeggios from Autotheism are back, and Planetary Duality ‘s riff style is all over. Basically, The Faceless are back in full force. While they haven’t officially announced a new album, they’re touring with new material so this can only mean one thing. We’ll get our faces shredded off. -Noyan Tokgozoglu

Megadeth – “Fatal Illusion” When the years go by and the dust settles, there will be many questions asked about our times: why were there so many wars? Why did it take them so long to go to space? Space is freaking awesome! One of these questions will undoubtedly be: why did Megadeth make more than two or three albums? They clearly ran out of ideas years before they finally took a bow. Don’t believe me that this will be the case? All you need to be convinced is to listen to “Fatal Illusion”, given that the track name itself hasn’t put you to sleep already. If the soporific name wasn’t enough, one listen to the track should be. It has zero new ideas: the guitars are all where you expect them, the pointless shredding follows and above it all is crowned the voice of the man, the ego, the washed out, Dave Mustaine. That is, if you can find it below all the effects and layers they’ve put on it to hide the fact that the man just can’t sing any more. To be sure, he surrounds himself with talented musicians, he always has, but as always he completely under utilizes them. Whatever shine this man’s name once had has disappeared, the glamor is gone and all that’s left is a boring rivet in the already collapsing machine that is “old school thrash”. -Eden Kupermintz

Mestis – “Pura Vida” Javier Reyes is rather underrated, but I guess that can happen when you’re the second guitarist in a band where the primary guitarist is one of the most famed one of recent years. This should only be a testament to Javier himself though, as it means he’s up to par. His solo project Mestis had an EP a few years ago, and it was just delightful. Combining Latin and jazz elements with the groovier aspects of the Animals As Leaders sound, the record left many wanting for more. Well, fret not (pun intended), as there’s new Mestis material! It’s still chock full of that relaxing-yet-engaging sound. For “Pura Vida,” Javier has recruited Mario and Erick from fellow guitar-and-chill band Chon , and the combination works well. The track is a bit more mellow and melancholic than the Mestis usual (though admittedly we have a very small sample size to discern the Mestis sound), but that is most likely due to the Chon influence. Either way, this makes us only more excited for Polysemy , the next Mestis outing, which is coming out on the 6th of November. -Noyan Tokgozoglu

Revenge – “Wolf Slave Protocol” As I mentioned in my Starter Kit for Bestial Black Metal , Canadian-based Revenge are not only my personal favorite band in the subgenre, but the current poster-boys for anyone wishing to point out why the style is so viciously primal in the best way possible. As the band gears up for their latest, Hemingway-esque titled album Behold.Total.Rejection , they have released the savagely titled lead single “Wolf Slave Protocol (Choose Your Side),” and while claiming that a band is going through the motions may seem like a critique, in the case of Revenge, “going the motions” translates to eviscerating everyone in a one-inch radius. Every instrument blares in a flurry of sound and aggression that initially startles and then commands complete attention. People can may question the quality of this single and Revenge in general, and that is ok; we are all allowed to be wrong about some things. But not a single person can dispute the fact that Revenge is one of the most sonically violent band operating today, and this single both proves that assertion and should stoke anyone keen to truly abrasive metal. -Scott Murphy

Read more here:
Singled Out (9/26 – 10/2): New Music From The Faceless, Megadeth, Coheed and Cambria, and More!

Trivium – Silence In The Snow

I just picked up Trivium’s new CD, Silence in the Snow, and it’s a good listen from one of my favorite bands. Here is a review by Heavy Blog Is Heavy.

Every Trivium release after Ascendancy has initially been met with some backlash by fans of the band. Pretty much every band by the album is solid, but every album is a departure from the previous one, so getting fixated on certain aspects of the sound of the band always leads to disappointment. That’s not to say that all criticism of their work is invalid, but there is always a yearning for older elements of the band’s sound from some. Yet, despite this, Trivium keep pushing forward, and with every album they change the shell around the core of their sound. Sometimes it works better than others, as the intricate and progressive Shogun was an absolute masterpiece, In Waves was their most diverse album, and while Vengeance Falls was met with some degree of negativity, its second half had some of the best songs they’ve ever written. Silence in the Snow  is the Florida quartet’s seventh album, and it sees them taking a different direction yet again, with a heavy bent towards traditional metal and the complete eschewing of screaming (which works out surprisingly well), and bringing back the elements of the fabled Shogun sound. And while the end result works more often than not, it’s a bit flawed. It’s hard to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Silence in the Snow against each other, as they’re mostly disparate.

The songs have structure issues, but the actual riffs that are in there are pretty great. Perhaps the easiest way to sort this out is to just lay the issues out there and let everyone sort them out for themselves. There is really one prime problem with this album, and everything else stems out from it. That problem is the reliance on choruses, or more specifically, song structures that emphasize choruses. Pretty much every song has a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus structure. Some of the best aspects of Trivium songs are “the riffs in between”, things that lead verses into choruses, interludes, pre-solo sections, et cetera. The band not having any screaming on this album is really no issue, as there aren’t any riffs that make one go “I wish there was some screaming here”, but that’s actually the root of the issue here. It’s not that the band are no longer doing harsh vocals, it’s that they’re not writing riffs that they normally play when they’re doing harsh vocals. And while the screaming isn’t really missed, the riffing is. Further exacerbating this issue is the fact that the choruses area repeated a lot, which makes the songs feel rather simplistic and repetitive. It’s also a problem when a lot of the songs have their verses start with the “guitar plays a note or two then stops, and Matt sings over a bassline” bit, which gets old even faster.

While those issues sound a bit grave, when the album works, it really works. It has some of the best lines they’ve ever written. The riffing isn’t really the focus on most of the songs, the vocals are, and the riffing just provides a backdrop for the singing. While Matt Heafy isn’t the best singer out there, he’s better than he ever was (and he doesn’t rely heavily on pitch correction either, as live videos make very evident) and he pulls off a singing-driven album well. And while the complaints about choruses being too prevalent stands, they’re damn good choruses. It’s so easy to sing-along to everything in the album, and it’s all ridiculously catchy and memorable. The heavy metal influence is prevalent mostly on a few songs, whereas the rest are Shogun-era Trivium songs with the screaming bits cut out and the choruses emphasized.

That album has been the holy grail for the band’s fanbase since its release, and this album brings back pretty much every aspect of that sound minus the heavier parts. The lack of more intense riffing probably partly due to the fact that the singing is a lot more difficult than what the band has done before, and Matt has to focus on his voice, which forces him to just play basic rhythms. The band mostly cover that up with great song writing, proving their claim they’ve been making for years that it’s not about how hard the riff you play is, but how good the riff sounds. And for guitar enthusiasts, the band still have neat riffs in some of the songs, and their solos, which every song has, are some of their best. Really, how much one enjoys this album will come down to what they’ve come to expect from Trivium over the years.

If their image of the band was that of a metalcore band with screaming and melodeath-esque riffing, they will probably be disappointed. But if they liked Trivium for their melodies, Matt’s singing and the memorable lines, this album contains more of those than ever. They’ve brought back some of their best songwriting elements, and while the implementation is a bit flawed due to the simplistic structure of the songs, the end result is really good and is full of stupidly catchy riffs and choruses. In ways, Silence in the Snow is the “Black Album” of Trivium’s career, as it reflects a position in their musical progression similar to how that album was situated for Metallica . And while this might (rightfully) alienate some longtime fans, it’s just a different direction and not really a bad one. The aspects that are lacking are undeniable, but what’s here is also compelling in its own right. ? Trivium –  Silence In The Snow gets… 3.5/5 -NT

Read more:
Trivium – Silence In The Snow

Lamb of God Delivers In Houston, TX

 

 

Last night Lamb of God delivered the goods on the Slipknot tour in Houston, TX. This was the 4th time I had seen Lamb of God and the only thing that disappointed me was the amount of time they got to play. I am used to them being the headliner and seeing them for an hour and a half to two hours. But the time they did have was not wasted one bit. They played for about 45-50 minutes.

They came out strong with Walk With Me in Hell as their opening number, which I got on video, but it did not come out as good as this video, shot by my 15 yr old daughter who was also with me and my wife. Lamb of God is truly one of the best heavy metal bands currently playing.

Slipknot was no slouch either. They also came out and gave us one of the best shows I have seen. I’ve seen Slipknot 5 times since 1999 when I caught them on Ozfest. Slipknot also played Kill Pop, which was unexpected. Slipknot went almost 2 hours.

I must be getting old, cuz I was dead tired after that show. This was our second time seeing Slipknot in a year, which was last October in Corpus Christi. I never get tired of seeing Lamb of God and Slipknot.

Megadeth Reveal 15th Album Track List

Megadeth

 

Megadeth have issued the tracklist for their 15th album – but not the record’s title.

Blabbermouth report that mainman Dave Mustaine revealed the news to members of the band’s fan club, the Cyber Army.

He’d already revealed that the follow-up to 2013’s Super Collider includes covers of Budgie’s Melt The Ice Away and Fear’s Foreign Policy along with 13 new tracks.

Earlier this week Mustaine confirmed that producer Josh Wilbur was on board for mixing duties on the record featuring David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro and Lamb Of God’s Chris Adler.

The drummer won’t leave his main band – instead he’ll perform with both Megadeth and Lamb Of God on their co-headline tour of the UK and Ireland in November.

TRACKLIST

1. Death From Within
2. Fatal Illusion
3. Conquer… Or Die!
4. Lying In State
5. Me Hate You
6. The Emperor’s New Clothes
7. Dystopia
8. Bullet To The Brain
9. Last Dying Wish
10. Post American World
11. Look Who’s Talking
12. The Threat Is Real
13. Poisonous Shadows
14. Melt The Ice Away (Budgie cover)
15. Foreign Policy (Fear cover)

1980’s Heavy Metal Kids Turned Out OK

Relax, Mom and Dad. The kids aren’t really into Satan.

A new study claims that kids who listened to heavy-metal music in the 1980s turned into “middle-class, gainfully employed, relatively well-educated” adults. That is, despite taking in hour after hour of people screaming about sex, drugs, suicide and the devil himself, most of heavy metal’s fans turned out OK. All those warning labels on albums brought to you by Tipper Gore were a giant waste of time and money.

The study, which was just published in the journal “Self and Identity,” included 377 adults, about half of whom described themselves as heavy-metal fans. Compared with the kids who listened to other kinds of music the metal fans were actually less likely to seek psychological counseling and more likely to say they had no regrets about what they had done when they were younger.

What does this mean? It’s hard to draw any definitive conclusions. Perhaps the metal music was, as the authors suggest, a way of coping with the problems of adolescence. And really, who can blame teens for preferring Black Sabbath over a mewing shrink trying to dig up their innermost secrets? Or maybe the parents of metal heads were just less likely to take their kids to therapy in the first place. Read more »

Lamb of God Unleash ‘Erase This’ Song Ahead of New Album Release

[pb_vidembed title=”” caption=”Lamb of God” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xjlfyQyOw8″ type=”yt” w=”500″ h=”385″]

Lamb of God are not being stingy with their new music, unleashing yet another new song ahead of the release of their VII: Sturm und Drang disc. This time it’s a track called “Erase This” getting the advance preview.

Simply put, it’s a heavy rocker that’s sure to please the Lamb of God faithful. With Chris Adler‘s double kick powered into overdrive and some nifty riffing from Mark Morton and Willie Adler, “Erase This” is the sort of high-energy track that’s sure to translate well to the live stage.

“Erase This” follows on the heels of “Overlord,” “512,” and “Still Echoes” off the forthcoming VII: Sturm und Drang disc. And given the previously released tracks, it’s evident that the new album may be one of the band’s most diverse discs to date. “This is a very, very dark, yet sonically highly varied, record,” frontman Randy Blythe previously stated of the disc.

If you’re interested in picking up the disc, it’s available for pre-order in a variety of bundle options at this location. The album is due July 24 via Epic Records. Keep abreast of Randy Blythe’s Dark Days book signings and all of the band’s tour dates here.

 

New Lamb of God – Overlord

%d bloggers like this: