Saturday, 21 December 2013

Five Finger Death Punch "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell - Volume 2"

The good thing about having already discussed Five Finger Death Punch when I wrote about Volume 1 of The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell is that I can just go straight to the point with Volume 2. There have been a number of bands doing what Five Finger Death Punch did in releasing an album in two parts a few months away from each other. Stone Sour also recently did it, and Green Day released three albums in a matter of about four months last year. It’s a trend I hope doesn’t stay. I mean sure, the more music from a band that I like the better, but why does it have to be released in the same year?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Top 10 Albums of 2013

Something different today; I decided that rather than reviewing an album, I’d write an article based on my Top 10 albums of 2013. I figured I’d explain why each album made the list. And probably reiterate some of each albums best moments. Hope you enjoy, I’m definitely excited to write this! I’ve provided a YouTube video to each album. Each video is the song I initially considered the highlight.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Protest the Hero "Volition"

Reviewing any Protest the Hero album is a near impossible task, but I’m going to try it anyway. Anybody who has listened to a Protest the Hero album hopefully knows what I mean. The entire “mathcore” movement is a heck of a subgenre but Protest the Hero is in their own league. “Mathcore,” for those who don’t know, is a subgenre of progressive metal that essentially requires some of the most tightly and precise playing of instruments out of any genre. It has odd time signatures and out of the ordinary music breaks, just like general progressive metal, only the intensity and complexity is raised through the roof.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Morning Fame "Back and Forth"

The first thing I thought of when listening to Morning Fame was how much they reminded me of 90’s alternative bands similar to those of Gin Blossoms or early Foo Fighters. Funny thing is that when I went on their Facebook page and looked under info, the first band they put under “Influences” is “Gin Blossoms.” The problem with Gin Blossoms is that, while they have some very catchy hits that I love such as Follow You Down, Hey Jealousy and my personal favourite Till I Hear It From You, beyond those hits, their other songs, for the most part, didn’t sound much different. I mean, I’m a fan and can listen to their stuff and thoroughly enjoy it, but I would never argue with someone who might listen to Gin Blossoms and not enjoy them.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Kill Devil Hill "Revolution Rise"

There was a time when active artists would, more consistently than not, release a new album every year. The main reason for this being, in a world with no internet, the only way bands could be sure they would remain relevant in the music world was by always releasing new music. Many times I wish bands still did this; it gets frustrating sometimes waiting the usual three years for new music from an artist. The reality, though, is that by waiting an extended period of time between albums, artists have more time to make sure they are writing the best material possible. The term “filler” doesn’t apply to as many albums now as it used to.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Peur "We Can Build Astronauts"

When I got more in to newer rock music, I went through a period where I listened to a lot of post-grunge alternative metal bands; the bands like Puddle of Mudd or Seether or Chevelle. While I still very much enjoy bands like this, I found that they lacked something that kept them from being great. I’m not going to say that these bands sound the same from one another. While some do, not all do. They just seem a bit too comfortable in a small bubble of song writing style and are too afraid to experiment.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Bloody Nerve "Red"

Nashville has famously been coined as “Music City” for years. It’s no surprise really. It has been the designated home for country music for decades; it got that nickname in 1950 and still stands tall to it today. It has always been the city for country artists to migrate to, just as Los Angeles was for rock music in the late 60’s/early 70’s. It is also the home of the Grand Ole Opry, which is essentially the Country Music Hall of Fame; and apparently the oldest music hall of fame also. But with such a reputation for country music, how would a rock band formed in this city sound?

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Trivium "Vengeance Falls"

I’ve spoken negatively on “metalcore” before. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. I do. It is good music to listen to when you want something loud, but in many cases, that’s all it is good for. Some bands stand out over others, but much of the time, it is the same blend of screaming and clean vocals; sometimes these clean vocals can be quite melodic, and sometimes just bland. A must in the genre seems to be fast virtuoso guitar playing with notes going so fast that you can’t even remember what just happened. Then there are the haters; the people who, no matter how hard the band tries to change their sound or whatever, still hate the band for everything they are.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pearl Jam "Lightning Bolt"

The early 90’s “grunge” movement was such a unique movement; arguably the last true music scene. It was so unique and important to music that you could almost compare each bands impact with that of bands from the golden age of early 70’s British hard rock. I can make a pretty good argument as to why Alice In Chains are the Black Sabbath of grunge, just like I can make an argument, maybe not as good of one, that Soundgarden are the Deep Purple of grunge. Due to me not wanting this article to be a novel, which it already almost is, I won’t discuss those arguments here (but you’re free to ask me). I will, however, reveal my argument as to why Pearl Jam are the Led Zeppelin of grunge. I only recently came to this realization. (If you’re wondering where I’d put Nirvana, I’d go a decade sooner than the previously mentioned Brit bands and say they are the Beatles of grunge. I have more than just a simple argument for that as well.)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Red Nightfall "Late in the Fever"

I like to think I have a broad sense of music taste. It may only really centre in the realms of rock, but which seems to confuse people when I tell them I have a broad taste. Sure there are people out there whose iPods feature rock along with hip-hop and country and what not, in a sense I guess that’s a broad taste, more in genres than in music though. I mean they have country, but only two or three different artists and only a song or two by each artist, than they have whatever the latest hit is by Katy Perry or whomever. And the people who listen to classic rock, I’ll be damned if I find more than just Stairway to Heaven on their iPod. These people should listen to Supertramp, then Joe Walsh, then Our Lady Peace, then move up to Alter Bridge and Protest the Hero, THEN tell me I don’t have a broad sense of music taste.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Halestorm "ReAniMate 2.0"

I’ve written two articles on Halestorm by now, one on their TheStrange Case Of... album (the first album I ever gave a 10/10 to) and then one on their debut, so there really is no need for paragraph after paragraph on the history of the band. Hence this article may be shorter than most (at least pretend that’s a bad thing for my sake).

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Alter Bridge "Fortress"

I wish I had this blog in November of 2010. If I had it then I would have been able to write an article on Alter Bridge’s AB III, and I would have written about how it was one of the greatest albums I had ever heard. I may have even written how I believed it was the best or second best all around album released since the turn of the millennium. I thought that after first listen, and three years later I STILL think that.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Coney Hatch "Four"

I’m not sure how many people can remember the first time they ever heard music. Most people might be lucky and remember around what age but not what artists. I however remember pretty much all of them. Thanks to my dad’s cassettes that he’d play in the car, I remember Van Halen and Boston being the first two bands I ever listened to who I liked enough to remember their names and want to hear more. This moved on to listening to my dad’s mixed cassettes in the car with artists that ranged from Don Henley to Rush to Ronnie James Dio. I was even introduced to some of the more obscure artists that my dad would listen to that I know a lot of people have never heard of such as Tygers of Pan Tang and Riot. I grew up with all of these artists and I credit this to my love for music and most importantly my love for classic rock.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Naked and Famous "In Rolling Waves"

The Naked and Famous is different from the artists I usually write about. I must admit I’m surprised just how much I enjoy their music considering their music style is completely different from the norm of what I usually listen to. But at the same time, their music style is different in general. Now two albums in to their still relatively new career, the New Zealand band show no sign of giving in to musical norm.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Flatliners "Dead Language"

I have known of The Flatliners for a few years. Around the time they released third album Cavalcade in 2010 is when I first heard of them, but I never did give them enough of a chance. On that album they had a pretty good punk sound, some elements of what I’ve found to be called “melodic hardcore” though I’m not sure how “hardcore” I’d call it. However, it didn’t capture me the way I’d have wanted it to and my interest in the band, at the time, didn’t grow. Hell, I didn’t even know until about a month ago that the band formed in a town which is about a 10 minute drive from my house. Eventually I found out that the band started out as a ska-punk band, which made sense as to why a song or two on Cavalcade had a ska-punk sound.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

David Paige "This Is Love"

Having grown up in the 90’s, I have a pretty exceptional idea and memory of what music was like. My memory goes back to when I was about four and would hear songs like All Apologies by Nirvana or Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots on the radio. Then eventually I remember bands like Our Lady Peace and Collective Soul coming in to play on the radio. I was only a kid though, not knowing what I was listening to. It was when I turned about seven that I started learning artist’s names; unfortunately that was right about the time the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys hit the airwaves. A couple of years later, in the mid/late 90’s, probably ’98 or so, before I boycotted all modern music altogether, I remember the heyday of alternative pop rock bands that I quite enjoyed.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Rise Against "Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers (2000-2013)

Rise Against has climbed the ranks to being one of the biggest bands of the modern day. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, at least compared to some other of today’s biggest rock acts. Success wasn’t, and still isn’t, handed to the band on a silver platter; in fact, they still have a long way to go. They started off, as most bands, an independent who gathered enough of their own money to go and record a full length debut album The Unraveling, as well as a second album, Revolutions Per Minute.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Brothers of North "Stolen Cars"

One genre of music I don’t quite understand is “Indie” rock. Don’t misread that, I’m not saying I don’t like it, I just don’t understand it. “Indie”, of course, stands for “independent”, and started a few decades ago by bands, well, basically being independent. They recorded the music themselves, distributed it themselves, etc. The part that confuses me is; if, say a heavy metal band, like the next Metallica, were to record and distribute music independently, they still wouldn’t be considered “indie” because they don’t have that sound that “indie” bands have; a sound that isn’t harsh and requires the main instruments of a rock band; guitar, drum, bass and vocals, maybe keyboards and other instruments if wanted. These bands don’t sound similar to each other, but they have something in common with their sound that keeps them indie. I guess a better way to describe my confusion is, when did “indie” become an actual sub-genre rather than just a title, and why when a band, such as Metric, becomes big and no longer distributes their own music, are they still considered “indie rock”?

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Rides "Can't Get Enough"

For the past few months, on every Tuesday (new music day) I’ve been checking out any and every new rock album that comes out to see if it’s worth a listen. I usually hope these albums aren’t too hard to get my hands on, because I, of course, would like to write about them. A few weeks ago, I came across The Rides. I was impressed, on the short clips that I heard of a couple of their songs, at how they sounded; blues-rock but more on the blues side, something I didn’t think modern rock bands were capable of. I had only listened to bits of two songs before I saw, right on the album cover, it showed the name Stephen Stills.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Avenged Sevenfold "Hail to the King"

 
I don’t think I know a rock band that is disliked more than Avenged Sevenfold. The most amazing thing is that none of these “haters” have any credible reason to dislike the band. It appears that ever since the turn of the millennium, any hard rock/metal band that gains popularity of any kind gets a lashing; it’s impossible to win. But at the end of the day I’ve never met any of these seemingly professional music analysts in person, they prefer to remain hidden, while in reality (you know, that world beyond the computer screen) I meet more and more fans of the band as they become among this generations biggest hard rock acts.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Pantera "Cowboys From Hell"

I’m going to take the time to write an article on another not-new album. This time I’m going to go back to the summer of 1990, when heavy metal would forever change. Many who know Pantera (and let’s face it, there are MANY) know the band to have been the band to create the “groove” metal genre, though I’ve never truly understood, beyond the music of Pantera, what classifies as a “groove metal” band. The band didn’t truly break ground on this new genre until their 1992 album Vulgar Display of Power, but before that, the world got a glimpse of what was to come with Cowboys From Hell.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Soil "Whole"

Alternative metal band Soil never did break out in to rock stardom. Likely because there was never much differentiating them from fellow contemporaries that were on a slow rise at the time such as Puddle of Mudd, Seether and Drowning Pool. Albeit, all three of these mentioned bands are mainly just known for just one song each; with a slight exception going to Seether.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Newsted "Heavy Metal Music"

Earlier this year, former Metallica bassist Jason Newted’s new band, simply titled “Newsted” released their 4-track debut EP Metal. Earlier in the summer I wrote an article about it, not actually aware that Metal was so quickly going to be followed up by a full length album. Considering I’ve already written an article about the Metal EP, I suppose I can skip the whole history of the band and what not, besides I’m sure most of you already know who Jason Newsted is anyway.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Eagles "Desperado"

It’s the last week of summer. As it saddens me, I look back on it, and I’m sure many do, as a terrific summer full of memories. I’m going to take this opportunity to write about a classic rock album for the first time, something I’ve wanted to do since starting this website. The problem is, there are just so many albums to choose from. But I thought about this, and if there is one album that has defined my summer, one album that I listened to the most out of any album is The Eagles 1973 sophomore album Desperado.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals "Walk Through Exits Only"

All, to almost all metal fans know the name Philip Anselmo (for reasons that I think are obvious, I prefer to refer to him as “Phil” rather than “Philip”). Whether or not you’re a fan, it is undeniable that he and a little band named Pantera made such a difference in heavy metal music that it is still being talked about today in the form of god status. Phil, as well as drummer Vinnie Paul, bassist Rex Brown and of course the late guitarist Dimebag Darrell are all equally responsible for changing metal as we know it.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Laura Wilde "Sold My Soul"

I believe it’s been about a year since I discovered Laura Wilde. Late August/early September of 2012 she followed me on Twitter, as I’m sure she did to a lot of people to broaden her reach. I told her that day that I was sure glad she followed me otherwise I’d never have discovered her music. I then realized that this lovely 23 year old young woman from Australia (who moved to L.A.) had spent the better part of 2012 touring with none other than Ted Nugent and had already slowly started making a name for herself.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Five Finger Death Punch "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell: Volume 1

If the name Five Finger Death Punch sounds familiar, it’s probably because they’ve become one of the biggest names in modern metal over the past five or so years. Coming in to the metal world with their 2007 debut album The Way Of The Fist, the band caught some attention with their song The Bleeding. It didn’t take long before they released their second album, War Is The Answer, which rocketed to number 7 on Billboard. When their third album American Capitalist went to number 3, it was clear that they had established themselves with a true fan base.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Evan Egerer "Evan Egerer EP"

I don’t know if I’ve ever said this, but the basis of my music interests, as wide as they stem, always comes back to that simple blues influenced hard rock. Guys like Slash or early Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, etc. After listening to (and of course loving) the latest in metal and alternative, I always find my way back to artists such as the previously mentioned artists and remember that they are where my roots of my love for music come from.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Black Sabbath "13"

Did anybody have their doubts when Black Sabbath announced a new album that it would be a display of the same excellence that the band made a reputation of recording in the early 70s? I think a lot of people did. Even I, among the more optimistic of music fans, was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what 34 years of separation would have done to the chemistry that Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi once had. I think when it was announced that Bill Ward would not be participating in this reunion for the ages, even more doubt was put in the minds of fans. Hell, it created quite some backlash with fans, some even boycotting listening the project altogether. It reminds me exactly of Van Halen carrying on without bassist Michael Anthony. What these estranged fans (of both bands, frankly) have to consider to themselves is this: is the absence of one member so much worse than the band as a whole never touring again?

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Butcher Babies "Goliath"

I’ve been wondering for weeks how to start off this article on the Butcher Babies. There is so much I can say, but I don’t know what would kick this off on the right foot. The reason being that every week or so I learn something different about the band that changes my perception of what they are about. Originally I was thinking of saying something along the lines of “some people would do anything to get noticed”, since in the early days of the band, their two female singers Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd would perform on stage wearing nothing on the top half of their bodies but tape covering their nipples. But not long after I discovered them, they dropped that gimmick, which was initially a tribute to punk legend Wendy O. Williams (the band’s name comes from her song Butcher Baby from the first Plasmatics album).

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Heavens Fire "Judgement Day"

 
Toronto-based band Heavens Fire may not be a well enough known name in rock music, but they sure have as interesting of a back story as any of the many bands to have come before them. I personally think of Def Leppard’s well documented misfortunes when I think of the heaven and hell that the band has gone through over the past thirteen or so years. The story is well documented on the bands Website, so to shorten it slightly, after the release of their debut album in the year 2000 and what looked like a promising start having gained attention in Europe and Japan, the band’s drummer suffered a very untimely death. Not long after that, guitarist JT Harris was given months to live after being diagnosed with cancer. After defying those odds and surviving, JT’s father grew very ill and the band was once again put on hold.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Skillet "Rise"

For the past few years, Skillet have been the front runners in the slew of Christian rock bands to have hit any success. This movement of bands who are labelled as Christian rock without any complaint by the bands include artists such as Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Fireflight, and the list goes on. The impressive thing about these bands is their ability to make music so easily accessible to the ears of moderate rock fans, while sneaking in their own messages of peace and goodwill and what have you in to their lyrics.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Scorpion Child "Scorpion Child"

If you read my review on Monster Truck, you’d have read a bunch of words that sum up to me ranting and raving about a band finally able to harness the sound of classic hard rock and successfully modernize it and call the style their own. After a number of bands that I have heard, some popular and some underground, who concentrate on trying so hard to sound like what much of them refer to as the good old days of rock, but lacking any true identity, Monster Truck turned my hopes, and the hopes of many people in the world, including Slash, that the future of hard rock was in good hands.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Halestorm "Halestorm"

I had so much fun writing about Halestorm’s The Strange Case Of... album a few months ago that I decided I’d go back to their self-titled debut album. I discovered Halestorm when the first Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival was announced. Since there was no way I was going to miss what was essentially an Avenged Sevenfold/Disturbed co-headliner, I checked out what other bands were going to be there. Only two really caught my attention, and the main one was Halestorm. This was approximately a year after the April 2009 release of their debut album, so I immediately went to HMV to pick it up.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Megadeth "Super Collider"

In the seven or so months since I started this website, I’ve never been so nervous to write about an album. The reason being I’ve never disagreed more with fellow reviewers on an album. Megadeth have been an established metal band for a couple of decades now. Everyone knows the story, but for those who don’t I’ll be happy to share; Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine was originally the lead guitarist and co-lead vocalist of a band. Metallica was the name of this band, you may have heard of them. Anyway, he was kicked out from the band practically overnight, and to get back at them he started Megadeth. They are coined a thrash metal band due to the aggression and personal anger that was heard in the bands first few albums, and because of the movement of thrash metal that was developing directly around them. Some of these “thrash” albums the band released were pure excellence, such as Peace Sells...But Who’s Buying and Rust In Peace.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Barenaked Ladies "Grinning Streak"

Scarborough, Ontario’s Barenaked Ladies have always been somewhat of a novelty act to some. Probably over 90% of the population has heard of them, and most of them could only really name two songs (If I Had $1,000,000 and One Week). Fortunately there are plenty of people out there who do know more of the hits that the band has had such as Old Apartment, Enid, Falling For The First Time etc. While there are people out there who may not take them seriously because of such quirky songs as Be My Yoko Ono, the bands more serious side has never truly hit the public eye the way it deserved to with songs such as Jane and What A Good Boy being two of the absolute best examples.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dio "Magica"

I will admit to being a huge Ronnie James Dio fan, one of those fans who stand by the fact that he is one of the most important figures in heavy metal. For those who don’t know, after years of hanging around the music business with several incarnations of his first band, which would end with the title Elf, Ronnie was asked to join none other than Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in his first post-Deep Purple band called Rainbow (or as the first album read, “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow”). The band was essentially the Elf line-up just with Ritchie on guitar instead of guitarist David Feinstein. After various line-up changes (which continued after Ronnie left), Ronnie continued his climb to the heavy metal top by joining none other than Black Sabbath after the departure of original lead vocalist, some guy named Ozzy Osbourne. It was now that Ronnie gained the attention required to be a credible name in heavy metal. Having already started a popular transition while in Rainbow with his lyrics of wizards and sorcery, he brought this lyric style in to Sabbath’s sound, as well as the “devil horns” hand gesture which became the heavy metal symbol from that moment on.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Monster Truck "Furiosity"

I’ve mentioned this in past articles, and I’ll mention it again; there is a huge surge lately of bands trying to revive the classic rock sound in to modern music. Most bands try it but sound too generic, all of which remain in a mostly unknown bar band status. One band that I find generic that was lucky enough to breakout is The Sheepdogs, but that is the only exception I can think of.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Don Ray Band "Kickstands Up"

For some time now, I’ve had an acquired taste for country rock. Country and rock are two genres that have not been mixed in to one often enough. Two main bands that I can think include two of my favourite artists; there’s the obvious choice that are the Eagles, and then there is country legend Charlie Daniels. The former made a career, particularly on their first four albums, by releasing music more on the side of rock music but with a definite country influence at the heart of all of their songs, some songs even being closely classified to country. The latter artist, Charlie Daniels, made a career in contradiction to the Eagles, by making music more toward the side of country music, with a great deal of southern rock influence in a countless amount of his songs.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

John Fogerty "Wrote a Song for Everyone"

Among the many living legends from the dawn of the classic rock era, few are more respected by fellow musicians and less appreciated by modern music fans than John Fogerty; the main man of Creedence Clearwater Revival from 1967-1972, and writer of countless hits still sung in peoples to this day, and someone who I regard as the first truly bad ass guitarist.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

New Medicine "Race You To The Bottom"

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of discovering Minnesota rock band New Medicine. The band managed to develop an important friendship with rising rock superstars Halestorm, so I saw New Medicine when they opened for Halestorm along with Ottawa band Doll. I had heard of New Medicine before; they had toured in the first ever Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival on the second stage, but unfortunately something got messed up during the Toronto stop on that tour and both stages played at the same time, so I never got the chance to see them perform.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Black Star Riders "All Hell Breaks Loose"

Thin Lizzy were among the top rock acts in their prime in the mid/late 70’s. Nowadays they are really just remembered for their song The Boys Are Back In Town and the odd person should also know the song Jailbreak, but there was a time, particularly in the UK where when people would hear Thin Lizzy they would think of Whiskey in the Jar, The Rocker, Still In Love With You, Bad Reputation, the songs go on. The band enjoyed much success lead by the charismatic Phil Lynott on vocals and bass.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Anvil "Hope in Hell"

The “Story of Anvil” sure was a popular one a few years ago in the wake of a documentary released about the Toronto metal bands career. If you haven’t seen it, here is all you have to know; it depicted yet another of the countless bands who set out to be the next big thing but never became a Metallica or Judas Priest or even a Saxon or Accept. There was, however a point in the early 80’s when it appeared they might be. Their second album Metal on Metal was praised by metal fans and metal musicians alike for its proto-thrash sound, but due to mainly management botcheries the band just became irrelevant.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Alice In Chains "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here"

The late 80’s/early 90’s “grunge” surge from Seattle was definitely a unique moment in the history of new music. It’s always debated who are true grunge bands and who just kind of got the title because they made similar sounding music at the time. Bands like Stone Temple Pilots for instance, happened to have been making heavy not-quite-heavy metal music in the early/mid 90’s so they kind of got thrown in to the mix, but it’s bands like Soundgarden and of course Nirvana who truly carried the torch as “grunge” musicians through and through. Pearl Jam has always been referred to as grunge because they are from Seattle and were making popular music around the same time, but I disagree that they are “grunge” and more just early since of alternative rock.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Screaming Eagles "From The Flames"

Ireland has been the home of a few legends in rock music. In particular it was the birth country of the late hard rock turned blues guitar legend Gary Moore as well as the pride and joy or Dublin himself, the late great Phil Lynott, main man of hard rock giants Thin Lizzy. Even though it has been a while since these two men graced us with their songs, it has made the country of Ireland a very credible location to breed great rock talent.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Beach Boys "That's Why God Made The Radio"

With summer finally starting up to be in full swing, it has put me in the mood to do something a little different; review a Beach Boys album. The mood just caught me and I don’t see why not.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dead Sara "Dead Sara"

Yes, I have already reviewed this album, but I have been unpleased with my review of this album since probably the day after I wrote in back in January. It was only my second review and I had not found a comfort in doing reviews yet, so I feel I owe it to just redo it and only keep one or two parts the same, including the introduction...I really like the introduction.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Escape the Fate "Ungrateful"

If there’s one genre of heavy music I’ve grown a bit tired of, it’s this genre of “post-hardcore” blended with pop-punk elements, a genre that doesn’t truly have a name but they seem to be taking over the world. Bands such as Pierce the Veil and Blessthefall all fall under this sub-genre with their distorted music behind a singer who sounds like he (or sometimes she) could be singing modern day pop hits, but occasionally they don’t shy away from screaming, as well the bands don’t shy away from using the odd electronic element. These are the kind of bands that appeal to kids who don’t generally like heavy music but not-so surprisingly find appeal in these bands.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Holy Grail "Ride the Void"

California heavy metal band Holy Grail have the right idea. They have the apocalyptic dynamics of a classic heavy metal band, the vocals of a thrash metal band, the pace of a speed metal band and the lyrics of a power metal band. Ingredients of this nature put in to one band makes for one hell of a ride. Most bands lately that follow similar traits such as White Wizzard (a band that at one point featured a couple of members from Holy Grail) only succeed to make novelty songs that sound like an American New Wave of British Heavy Metal Band (which worked for Metallica but that’s an exception). Holy Grail manages to keep their sound more contemporary to something that more modern metal fans would like while maintaining an appeal to classic metal fans as well, as opposed to just appealing to the latter.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

One Day Late "One Day Late"

There has been an uprising in young talent trying to give a rebirth to the old fashioned hard rock sound. Back in the days when The Doors played a song like Roadhouse Blues and you believed every word Jim Morrison sang, or when all ZZ Top wanted was some Tush; this was a time when a rock standard was a good badass guitar riff and a good groove in the back ground and a singer with some balls who you’re not sure whether to be scared of or be best friends with. Every now and then there is a slight murmur from modern rock bands by releasing the odd song that has that old style vibe to it, but lately there have been a few bands, particularly relative unknowns, whom have found a way to harness this sound. Some even do it quite well.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Newsted "Metal"

Jason Newsted was always just a tad out of place in Metallica. He came in to the band just months after the death of bass legend, and arguably the best metal bassist to ever record an album, Cliff Burton. Immediately after joining the band he faced sort of an initiation by his band mates. My personal favourite story is that when he would sign autographs for fans, he would write “bassface” and when other members of the band signed the same item, they would cross out the “b” in “bassface”...yah you get it. Even after the initiation ended he was still just the new guy in the band, and that always held a spot in the memory of the band and older fans of the band that he couldn’t seem to live up to despite being an excellent bass player. Jason himself at many times during his career still to this day has mentioned Cliff as being the best bass player to ever live, to demonstrate that he knew he wasn’t ever in Metallica to be better than Cliff.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Step Echo "Jagged"

Ontario’s Niagara region may be more known as a tourist attraction to most rather than a place to live. It best known for its Casino, haunted houses, Marine Land, wax museums and the gorgeous Niagara-On-The-Lake, among many many other things. It hasn’t, however, been known for its music scene. While it did in fact give birth to Canadian rock legends Honeymoon Suite, it still remains disregarded and highly underrated for the many local bands it has.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Volbeat "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies"

Whenever I think of Danish metallers Volbeat, I think of the first time I ever discovered them. Like so many of their fans, it was their fortune of touring with Metallica in 2009 that first introduced me to their unique sound. Having not one clue about this band beforehand, not even knowing that Metallica had more than one band (Lamb of God) opening for them, I was completely taken. They didn’t put on a spectacular show, for the most part they just stood there and played their instruments, and let their music do the talking.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Semeron "Breathing Scarlet"

There are generally two kinds of modern metal bands as of late: Alternative metal, which derives from the sound of alternative rock/grunge bands just with much heavier distorted instruments with bands such as Godsmack or Stone Sour, and then there is Metalcore, which involves for the most part intense guttural vocals with classic metal influence incorporated in its music with bands such as All That Remains or As I Lay Dying. There really aren’t many modern metal bands that step out of these styles, with few exceptions (Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold for instance).

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Paramore "Paramore"

Pop punk band Paramore have practically made a career for themselves, at such a young age, for being one of the most recognizable names in modern rock. They have released three albums, 2005’s All We Know Is Falling, 2007’s Riot! And 2009’s Brand New Eyes, all of which have a distinctive signature sound that no other band has really been able to duplicate. Much of the credit for the band’s sound has always gone to lead vocalist Hayley Williams and her powerful yet charming voice and her capability to sing a rock song and still be taken seriously. Not enough credit ever does go to the band itself, which consists of bassist Jeremy Davis, guitarist Taylor York (who joined in 2007) as well as the Farro brothers Josh and Zac respectfully on lead guitar and drums.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Alice Sweet Alice "Mandala"

Kansas City rock outfit Alice Sweet Alice has been compared to a few artists since they started recording music. Artists such as Evanescence and Garbage have been mentioned in the same sentence as them rather frequently. Understandably they have a uniquely dark style of an alternative rock sound, which is complimented by the spooky yet smooth vocal styling of female singer Ali Kat, whom I personally would compare to that of Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, only without the distinctive lilting style of singing that Dolores has.  What is important is that ASA do in fact have their own identity, which has been showcased on three independently released albums, from 2008’s First Light to 2009’s Moloko & Ultraviolence, and their most recent release, 2011’s Mandala.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Device "Device"

By the time Disturbed released their fifth and most recent album, Asylum, in summer of 2010, fans pretty much had an idea of what a Disturbed album would sound liked; David Draiman’s growl of a singing voice and Dan Donegan’s heavy and sometimes over-computer processed guitar licks on top of many different electronic sounds that only a production studio could muster. There were definite differences between each album, but by the time Asylum came out, the band just sounded uninspired and unwilling to really try anything new. To no surprise the band would go on “hiatus” approximately a year later.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Art of Dying "Art of Dying"

I had so much fun reviewing Art of Dying’s Vices and Virtues a few months ago, and I’ve enjoyed writing my reviews of independent bands and their independently released albums so much that I decided to mix the two, to show how far these bands can possibly go.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Rush "Clockwork Angels"

It has been well documented lately how Canadian progressive power house Rush have made it from being the world’s “Least-Hip Rock & Roll band” to being one of the biggest names in rock history. And this is true. There was a time when Rush fans may have stayed in the closet of their love for the band, didn’t really go out and admit they were fans because they weren’t the coolest band around. In the past ten or so years this has changed drastically; so much so that the band is about to be inducted in a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

J'nai "J'nai"

Probably the best albums to review are the ones by independent artists. These are the bands that know they have everything to lose and everything to gain, so it’s important to put every bit of effort possible in to the songs they record, and the ones who really know what’s good for them put even more effort in to their live shows.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Kiss "Monster"

Long gone are the days that classic rock mammoths KISS were a relevant rock band that were taken (to an extent) seriously. They went from being revolutionary shock-rockers with their then never before seen rock shows, to recording many anthems that are still listened to religiously by rock fans to this day, to taking off the make-up and letting their music do the talking. Then in the late 90’s when the make-up came back on, that changed everything. Ever since, KISS have been pretty much just a novelty act.