Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Augury-Fragmentary Evidence

This band has taken extreme music to a completely new level. Augury is one of the best progressive death bands ever. Not only are they signed on to a record label that only accepts the best of the best (Nuclear Blast); they also have one of my favorite bassists. I got temporarily addicted to this album; I listened to it over and over for about a week and a half. Canada has produced only a few good metal bands, and Augury is one of them.

The giant explosion on the first song is amazing, you can tell right then that their sound is going to be powerful. In most death metal albums, the emotion is primarily uncontrollable anger and violence. But Augury gives you a relaxed feeling at some points. This music filled me completely with multiple emotions, it was amazing.

Their bassist is one of the best in the entire metal genre. He plays a fretless bass (as I do as well). In songs such as “Orphans of Living” and “Simian Cattle”, he takes his bass parts past the limits of complexity and creativity. I have heard from others that when he plays live, he plays each song completely different than the studio versions.

My favorite song from the album is “Brimstone Landscapes”. I absolutely love the song from the first to the last seconds. The beginning reminds me of the rocky, icy parts of Mount Rainier. It’s awesome! Towards the end, there is a small twist of something completely different with the female guest vocalists. Fragmentary Evidence is clearly and unarguably a milestone in the metal genre.

Annotations Of An Autopsy-The Reign Of Darkness

I've been listening to Annotations of an Autopsy since day one. I have always considered them one of the best deathcore bands of all time. I bought this album on pre-order, so i got a shirt with it too. Anyways, I still am stricken with complete surprise on how much this band has changed! They have made some major and minor modifications to EVERYTHING in their music! Everything from the style of music to the logo is very different than what they used to be. And I love it.
The change that they made that stands out the most for me is that the vocalist completely changed what he does! Before, he was doing inhales 90% of the time, pig squeals and everything. But now, it's all exhale growls, and a little bit of screaming here and there. One of the things that Steve (lead vocalist) has been known for is for his near perfect inhales, so I'm very surprised that he made the choice to change.
Second, they've completely changed their music style. They have more of a brutal death sound more than a deathcore sound. You can still hear a lot of deathcore bits here and there, but the deathcore sound is topped off with a heavy layer of brutal death metal. Personally, I still consider them deathcore, but with a heavy twist of brutal death. I'm saying that they have a brutal death metal sound for several reasons. First, Steve is doing almost all exhale growls. Second, there are not many breakdowns in their music. Third, they don't alternate speeds as often as they did in The Throne of Infection.
A last remark that I would like to make is, I miss the logo that they used in The Throne of Infection. That logo was one of the best death metal logos of all time. I can't see any reason why they would replace it with a new logo! (let alone that it doesn't look nearly as cool and professional as their previous one)
I would give this an 18 or 19 out of 20. I have yet to see this band in concert, and am looking forward to doing so.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Soilwork-Sworn To A Great Divide

This is without a doubt Soilwork's best album yet. These guys are like no other melodic death band. Having a small twist of thrash and a hint of metalcore in their sound, it fits in perfectly, especially in this album, which is a tad bit more on the melodic side, but still pretty thrashy. Speed described their sound being mainly influenced by Meshuggah, Pantera, and Carcass. The members claim that Dark Tranquility and Killswitch Engage inspired the new sound for Sworn to a Great Divide.
First off I would like to compliment the sound of the guitar distortion. It's not very crunchy, but it's still very rough, and I love it. I've always loved their amazing drummer. Dirk drums like a wild animal, with amazing skill and deep creativity. Once again, Speed's ability to go from a very dirty yell, to one of the best male singing voices is still utterly impossible for anyone but him.
The first song (the title song) off the album is very heavy and shows strong shades of thrash metal to get your heart racing. But up until As the Sleeper Wakes, the album gets very calm and melodic. I love it when a band shows off how many different sides they have with the different sounds. I would have to say that Silent Bullet is my favorite off this album. Great drums, it has both speedy and melodic parts to the song. Overall I would give this perfect album 20/20. I can't wait for The Panic Broadcast.

Soilwork-Natural Born Chaos

This is Soilwork's fastest album. Soilwork started a European tour right before this album was released, obviously the tour was to support it. For the first time, they toured the United States with Hypocrisy, Scar Culture, and Killswitch Engage. This was also the first album with their current keyboardist. Although this is not my favorite Soilwork album, it is still pretty astonishing.
The way everything was tuned sounds amazing and fits together perfectly. The guitar is relatively low distortion, but with a very crunchy sound. The bass stands out, but not in a way to where it gets annoying. The drums aren't in the background, they are almost one of the loudest instruments, but again, it's not loud and annoying. My favorite musician in this band would unarguably be Speed. He is the only vocalist I know of that can change almost instantly from a yelling vocal, to singing beautifully. That has always amazed me.
My favorite songs off this record would have to be Follow the Hollow, As We Speak, Mindfields, and Soilwork's Song of the Damned. This is a completely new sound for Soilwork, I am giving this an overall 15/20 and would recommend it to ALL Soilwork fans.

Inherit Disease-Procreating An Apocalypse

Inherit Disease hasn't been around for that long. But I have seen them on several occasions. Due to appearing on several tours and shows, they have made themselves well known across the country, especially in California, where they are from.

First off I would like to say that their musicianship is very optimal. Especially their drummer, his skill is amazing, I love how he never misses a beat with the double-kick, and he's creative as well. The next best musician in the group is unarguably the vocalist. He has one of the best inhale growls I've ever heard. The guitarists' technical skills are very good as well, but I would honestly have liked it if the distortion covered a wider range and if the bass was louder for a more powerful sound.

Probably my favorite songs from this album would be "Myasis", "Pleasures of Lunacy", and "Procreating An Apocalypse". "Procreating An Apocalypse" has a very crunchy sound that really always gets the pit moving every time I see them. I would give this album an overall 14/20 and would recommend it to anyone who likes discovering new bands. I can't wait to hear what their next album sounds like.

Obituary-Xecutioner's Return

I think that this is Obituary's best album, even better than their new smash hit, Darkest Day. This band is unique in many ways and has expressed their musicality in ways that no other band of their genre has before. Plus, they have been around since the late 1980's, and have proved to be a successful and long-lasting death metal group.
One of their most unique properties is the sound of the vocals, Tardy has this high-pitched growl that sounds like it's being forced out, but also sounds like he is completely relaxed. I have never heard any vocalists that could even come close to this sound of growl.
The sound of the guitars and bass sound very tight and a nice, clean distortion in this album. When i hear distorted guitars, I like it best when I can turn up the volume very loud, and have the guitars not hurt my ears. The bass also sound almost perfectly in-tune with the guitar, which is something you don't find often in metal.
My favorite songs from this album are....basically the faster songs, "Lasting Presence", "Evil Ways", "Lies", and "Drop Dead". I'd give this a 16/20.

Breaking Benjamin-Dear Agony

Not quite as good as Phobia but still friggen amazing. I bought this on pre-order so I got it a day before its release. This album has a completely new sound that sounds amazing. It doesn't have much of the really angry and aggressive sound that Phobia and Saturate had. But it doesn't bring back signs of We Are Not Alone either. It sort of has somewhat of a more melodic sound to it, and also the drumming sounds a bit more creative. Benjamin Burnley took a lot more time in writing these songs and choosing which ones to put on the album. Also, most of the lyrics have powerful messages, for example, Dear Agony, Fade Away, Crawl, and Without You have very deep thought in the words. My favorite songs are I Will Not Bow, Without You, or Dear Agony. Without you has a very deep message about being in a relationship with someone close to you and has very beautiful singing. OH and in the other past Breaking Benjamin albums, Ben had a huge lung infection and this is the first album with him not having that infection, and his singing sounds phenomenal compared to the other albums. I would give this a 5/5 and highly recommend this to all benheads

Linkin Park-Minutes To Midnight

Minutes to Midnight is very different than Meteora and Hybrid Theory. To me, Minutes to Midnight is mainly a disappointment. Yes, the band has progressed and is exploring a new field of their genre, which I admire. But it's not Linkin Park sound anymore. This album has caused Linkin Park to lose some fans, as well as gain some new fans.
The band was the first to have this unique sound, with sort of a remixed nu metal sound, and it sounded really good and was the main reason for me getting into them. But since the new album, they got rid of their old equipment and started using new technology. It doesn't sound as good and as complex anymore. I miss their old sound very much.
Another thing that bothers me is that they changed the lineup, and the new members are part of the reason for their dramatic change in style.
It's just not Linkin Park anymore.

Bring Me The Horizon-Suicide Season

This album is completely different from Count Your Blessings. That is good and bad. The good thing is is that it shows that they have a broad range of music that they can play. The bad thing is is that I miss their old stuff. First of all, the difference that stood out the most to me is that there is less screaming compared to Count Your Blessings. Oliver does more of this yelling sort of thing that actually sounds pretty cool, as well as his trademark scream. Also another thing that they added is there's somewhat of an electronic sound in some of the songs like certain parts of "Chelsea Smile" and "Suicide Season". These two things give it more of a metalcore sound rather than their typical deathcore sound. I also think that they were more focused on the music of this album than Count Your Blessings mainly because they were tighter and more together along with using better equipment and choosing better sounding distortions on the guitars. I'm more impressed with Suicide Season because there is nothing else that I've heard that sounds even close to this. Because with Count Your Blessings, I could pick out other records that sounded like it. For some examples: Nocturnal by The Black Dahila Murder, The Truth by Bleeding Through, and Ills of Modern Man are similar to it. Only "Football Season is Over" reminded me of something and that is "This is Exile" by Whitechapel. Over all, i give this album a 9/10. I can't wait for Bring Me the Horizon's new release.

Breaking Benjamin-Phobia

This is the most powerful and amazing release that Breaking Benjamin has come out with. Especially with the songs "The Diary Of Jane" and "Breath" both reaching #1 on the modern rock charts, this album proves to be their best yet. Out of all of Breaking Benjamin's albums, this is my personal favorite. It has a more angry and powerful sound compared to their other releases. Unlike We Are Not Alone with a more post-grunge sound with more screaming and higher pitched bass, Phobia has a more powerful and deep sound. Some of the sound is brought back from Saturate with some of the certain kinds and amounts of distortion used on the guitars. In Phobia, Ben Burnley put more time and creativity into his work. Like for example, the epic sounding intro of "Until The End" shows that he has been putting more into his songwriting. He also chose to use a fair amount of acoustic guitars like in "Here We Are" and "You". Probably the most interesting and unique song off this album would be "You Fight Me" with various computer generated effects. Especially in the intro with the synthesized drums and pianos. Phobia is without a doubt, the most amazing album to come out of Breaking Benjamin.

Breaking Benjamin-We Are Not Alone

Two words: Pure Art. The second chapter in the Breaking Benjamin collection and a truly amazing one. As well as being better than Saturate, it has a whole different sound showing the broad range of music this band can play. One thing that interested me about this album is that in the songs, the bass lines were very similar to the guitar notes which showed how skilled Mark is. Soundwise, We Are Not Alone has more of a post-grunge sound with a sharper sounding bass and the lower guitar pickups tuned down. In alot of the songs, the backing guitar worked as the lead like for example in "Sooner or Later" and "Simple Design". The songs that i was most impressed with were "So Cold", "Break My Fall", and Sooner or Later". "So Cold" had an amazing intro that kept building and adding onto itself. "Sooner or Later" was my personal favorite mainly because it kept changing and the complicated guitar riffs blew me away. And the part that really amazed me was the chorus where they brought in the acoustic guitar. Yet again annother set of masterpieces come out of Ben's mind and I don't think he has any plans to slow down.

Breaking Benjamin-Saturate

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania band Breaking Benjamin signs on to major record label Hollywood Records to release a masterpiece that still today amazes many. Everything about it is perfect from the cover art to the lyrics to the music itself. Its impossible to skip through the songs and fully enjoy it. Its like you're cheating on yourself if you dont listen to each song. Starting with "Wish I May", the first chourds leap out of the speakers and surround you. "Polyamorous" starting with the trembeloed guitar, the music doesnt stop changing throughout the whole song. "Skin" having several different creative guitar riffs throughout the song make it sound somewhat led zeppelinish. At first, I didn't care much for "Sugarcoat" untill I actually listened to the whole entire thing. The screamed vocals during the chorus melted my face off and truly amazed me. And ending with my absolute favorite song, "Shallow Bay". This song has two sides: the first is an angry sound with a powerful message and then, it turnes around completely. with the acoustic guitars and the melodic strings backing it, it adds up to a really pretty sound. I have no doubt what so ever that this band is going to be huge.