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Concert Review – Violetta at the Newport Music Hall (12/12/09)

December 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Violetta is a band that I have spoken very highly of in the past. My review of their EP, Are We There Yet? explains why this group of rockers is one that should not be ignored. But, the one thing that continues to amaze me even further about Violetta than the brilliance of their EP, is their live performances. It seems that with every internationally-known band I listen to, their live performances are sub-par to what you hear on albums. This is understandable, of course, as there’s no studio-tech making them sound like gods. Still, some quality is expected. Violetta delivers that quality, without question.

I think tonight, at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Violetta truly showed just what they were made of. More so than they did at the other three performances I’ve seen from them. Everything that makes them great, whether it be Brooke’s awe inspiring voice that Haley Williams of Paramore could only dream of having, Austin’s ripping solos, or… well, everything else about them. All of these things were present at this concert, and it showed in both the band themselves and the audience. I saw four bands during my time there, and out of those four, Violetta was the only one that really got the crowd into the show. Some would say that part of that came from the fact that they played three different covers throughout the concert, but still, it worked. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a better cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, and there’s an awful lot of those. Sure, the lead of This Is My Suitcase jumped into the audience on more than one occasion, but not even that got them the same amount of attention that Violetta did. That’s not to say the performance from This Is My Suitcase was bad, though.

I’m honestly not sure what more there is to say about this concert, other than that it was absolutely incredible, and I wish that you all could have seen it. Put your V’s up, bizznitches.

If you still haven’t heard Violetta, you should do that right now. RIGHT NOW. Have you done it yet? No? Well GO DO IT! Here’s a link: http://www.myspace.com/violettarocks

Review – War Is The Answer

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment
Five Finger Death Punch is not one of the world’s best known bands. But they’re certainly on their way there. They won the Metal Hammer Golden God Award for Best New Band earlier this year, and this album’s single Hard To See hit #12 in the U.S. Main Rock charts. These guys have it set up for success, and their first full-length album The Way Of The Fist, was loved by critics and fans alike. Yes, it seems that Five Finger is one their way to becoming the next SlipKnot (Okay, that’s a little too far). But does this new album live up to the growing reputation the band is building? You bet your ass it does.
War Is The Answer is the second album that these newcomers have released, and it’s takes everything that makes FFDP great, and increases it ten-fold. Ivan’s incredible screaming keeps things heavy and powerful, but is countered epicly by his singing voice, which provides a slower break from the face-melting power of most of the album. The backup vocals add a nice touch to the sound, and make it far more pleasing to the ear than if it was just Ivan’s roaring.
Zoltan (Lead guitars) lets out an impressive show, the many guitar solos you hear are executed with brilliance, and he retains that metal ‘twinge’ that makes any metal band, a metal band. Jason Hook (rythym guitar) keeps things interesting as he, well, does his job as a rythym player. He adds some great harmony to the guitar parts, and creates that extra layer of music that sometimes is missing from metal. I’d make a comment about Matt, their bassist, but, as any good bass player knows; you can never hear him. I’m sure you’d know if they took him out, though.
And dear Lord have mercy on Jeremy Spencer’s legs! That double-bass just sounds painful. But boy, is it awesome.
Really, the only thing I can say bad about War Is The Answer is this; every song follows the same pattern. “Heavy opening, verse, singing chorus, verse 2, sung chorus, bridge, repeat the chorus two or three more times.” That’s seriously it. Now, they do stray away from this through the songs “Hard To See,” “Crossing Over”, and “Canto 34”. Which are mostly singing – save for Canto, which is an instrumental song.
Trust me, though, this one flaw can be overlooked while you headbang your brains out to the awesomeness of this album. Whatever you may think of Five Finger from their silly name, this is an album that any metal head needs in their collection. Get it. Now.
Key Tracks;
  • Hard To See
  • Dying Breed
  • Bulletproof
  • My Own Hell
  • War Is The Answer

Review – I’m Not A Fan, But The Kids Like It!

September 4, 2009 1 comment
Why do I get the horrible feeling that the kids don’t like it. Anyways; brokeNCYDE, a screamo-crunk (lolwut) group from Albaquerque. And they’re pretty much the worst thing to happen to music in the past decade. After forming in 2006, and releasing three different EPs, brokeNCYDE finally put out their first album on June 16th, 2009.

‘Tis the day that music died.

This album is what could only be described as a disgrace to all things musical. It’s a mashup of everything that you should never, EVER, do when recording an album. We can all learn from the things that go on within this album.

Let’s see, where can we start with this monstrosity? I suppose the best thing to talk about are the lyrics: Allow me to sum them up in one sentence. “Fuck all ‘dem bisches in da club bro.” That’s pretty much it. Every single song is about sex. Whether you be drunk, high, or a combination of the two while gettin’ some, it’s all about getting freaky. I was left desiring some… oh, I dunno, creativity in this stream of garbage. The vocals themselves are awful, as well. You have “Se7en” (creative name, right?), who is constantly wailing in your ears in the most painful was possible. For the note; through almost every song, he screams the same thing over and over with no change in the way he does or the lyrics themselves. And then there’s “Mikl” (…what?), who raps really really badly into your ears and causes more bleeding than Cannibal Corpse and Insane Clown Posse combined. And finally, we have “Phat J” (How clever…), who growls in a way that would make Nergal of Behemoth want to bury him alive with how horrendous it sounds.

But! They have four members, don’t they? Ah yes, how can we forget “Antz” (Wow…)? The guy who doesn’t so shit except control the lights and smoke effects on stage. So, basically, on record, he’s useless. Phat J does all of the synth stuff, so don’t think Antz is there for the only part of this album that is slightly musical.

Is there anything redeeming about this album at all? Well, it’s kinda catchy. But these definitely aren’t songs I want stuck in my head all day.

I really question how these idiots developed such a massive fanbase, but hopefully those folks will all come to their senses soon enough.


TL;DR: The most pathetic excuse for “music” you can find today. It’s an absolute disgrace to screamo, and an even bigger disgrace to the music industry.

Key Tracks:

  • None, they’re all horrible.
Categories: brokeNCYDE, Review

Review – Butchered at Birth

August 27, 2009 2 comments

Oh, Cannibal Corpse, you sicken me so. The first thing that clued me in on your existence was the cover to “Tomb of the Mutilated”, which didn’t exactly make me want to run out to the store and buy your new album. I’ve heard many mixed reactions from both critics and regular people alike on these death-metal maniacs, but the few things that I’ve heard have not impressed me in the least. I finally decided to sit down and listen to one of their albums in whole. While Butchered At Birth may be 18 years old (Yea, they’ve been around that long), from what I can tell, the critics think it’s their best album (And they didn’t like it that much), so I figured I’d give this one a shot.

It’s a thirty-six minutes that I’d kill to get back.

I heavily question what the hell these people were smoking when they decided to write these songs. When I saw the title of the opener, Meat Hook Sodomy, I was turned off. My media player has a lyrics app that automatically found the lyrics, and I attempted to read through them with the song. While doing this, I came across two strong issues:

  1. These lyrics suck. Every single song on the album – and probably all of their other albums as well – are all about disgusting acts of murder and violence. The band claims that they’re all songs that could easily be turned into a horror movie. But, seriously, if I wanted to hear something violent and horrific, then I’d go watch a horror movie, not listen to a metal album!
  2. I was often thrown off while reading the lyrics with the song by the fact that their vocalist doesn’t seem to know what multiple syllable-words are. Even if they’re written in, the ear sore-causing roaring skips over the last syllable in any word that has more than one. Seriously.

There’s pretty much only one thing outside of vocals that can be taken into account on a metal album: Instrumentals. I have never, EVER, heard a more sorry excuse of guitar and drum playing. Every single song as an opener that gets my hopes up ever-so slightly, but then they fall like a rock. Why? Because after the semi-impressing opening, it resorts to “NUHNUHNUHNUHNUHNUHNUH” on the guitar, and the classic, “SNAREBASSSNAREBASSSNAREBASS” pattern on the drums. I’m not kidding, it’s like that on EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. After the first three songs, one really, really can’t help but want some variety in the instrumentals… or the vocals, for that matter.

Please, don’t think I went into this without an open mind. I hated Cannibal Corpse before I listened to this, yes, but I really did try to give them a chance. Well, I did give them a chance, and they failed. Miserably.

TL;DR: Generic instrumental noise and disgusting lyrics make for an absolutely pathetic performance. Don’t buy this. Ever.

Noteworthy Tracks:

  • None. They’re all awful.
Categories: Cannibal Corpse, Review

Album Review – Crack The Skye

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Mastodon is a rather complicated band. They fail to fit into any specific genre, as their unique blend of Prog. Rock, Symphonic Metal, and Power Metal brings out a very imaginative sound that completely separates them from the norm. Crack The Skye is the latest endeavor from Mastodon, and it’s by far their best work.


From the beginning, Crack The Skye proves to be something truly amazing. The opener, Oblivion, captures your attention with some amazing blending of the three different vocalists. They switch off seamlessly, and quickly lead themselves into a vocalized game of Catch. Tossing the parts back and forth, leading into the chorus with glory. This awesomeness continue through the entire album, and the occasional screaming portion doesn’t take away from the smoothness of their voices. On lyrics; there is a wonderful performance out of whichever member(s) of the band do the writing. The words fall straight into one another, and form amazing stories and messages that are simple, but oh so sweet.

The thing that pulls Mastodon away from the typical metal band so much are the instrumentals, and they continue that in this new addition to their discography. The guitarists play like they really, truly want to be heard, and nothing quite beats the Banjo solo at the beginning of Divinations. The drummer doesn’t abuse his bass too much, as many other metal bands are victim of (*cough* Cradle of Filth *cough*), and keeps some good variation in his playing, but never gets boring. None of the instrumentalists that also have vocal parts (Three of the four members) seem to be hindered by the multiple parts, although that may have been a recording trick. No matter, it’s still kick-ass.

To put it in TL;DR form: Crack The Skye is without doubt, glorious. It will capture your attention from start to finish, and loses quality at very few moments throughout. Get this album, you will not regret it.

Key Tracks:
  • Oblivion
  • Divinations
  • Crack The Skye



Categories: Mastodon, Metal, Review

Album Review – Evangelion

August 9, 2009 2 comments

$50 if you can tell me what this means - 'cause I don't know!

Behemoth is typically regarded as one of the best Death Metal bands to come out of Europe. Their heavier-than-the-Earth-itself musical style has captured metal heads everywhere since their debut. Evangelion is no exception. From the very first track, you are treated to intense guitar riffs, the sound of double-basses being slammed till their pedals break, and Nergal’s intense roaring, all at the top of their game.


The lyrics – something the band has always been known for – continue to be impressive. Nergal’s writing succeeds in being cryptic, but not so much that you can’t understand what the song’s subject is. The writing is beautiful, and when you can actually understand what the hell Nergal is wailing, it’s a thrill to hear. Speaking of Nergal; I’ve never heard a better roar. His deep, and louder than hell voice carries on wonderfully throughout the entire album. It still amazes me that this guy is only 32, yet has such an incredibly deep roar.

To talk instrumentals; Orion, Nergal, and Seth all give an amazing show. The few solos that dot the album are both written and executed amazingly, and really show the skills of the guitar trio. Otherwise; it’s the cliché heavy-metal “NUHNUHNUHNUHNUHNUHNUHNUH” throughout pretty much the entire album, which was a bit of a letdown, but it can be made up for. I can say only a few things about the drums; Inferno must have the strongest legs and arms in Death Metal history. I have yet to hear someone abuse their snare drum more than in this album, and it would not surprise me in the least if he had to replace his bass pedals on more than one occasion while recording, or the drums themselves.

Overall; Evangelion is an absolute triumph of metal. It’s a tremendous feat for the band, and is definitely a 1-up from their last album, The Apostasy, which was mediocre at it’s best moments.
Now, if only they could stop all of the controversy with the video “Ov Fire and the Void.”

 

Key Tracks:

  • Shemhamforash
  • Ov Fire And The Void
  • Defiling Morality Ov Black God
Categories: Behemoth, Metal, Review