Thursday, July 29, 2010

Immortal-All Shall Fall

After 7 years of waiting, Immortal finally releases their new album. When I noticed on the Nuclear Blast website that Immortal had released a new album, I bought it as soon as I could and laid down to listen to it. This is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had listening to music. Immortal has made an astonishing comeback. After the album was finished, I was so blown away I couldn’t sit up to restart the CD.

Immortal’s sound has changed dramatically. They’re not as driving, quick, or as aggressive as they used to be. They’ve slowed things down a bit, as well as being more melodic and complex in the song structures. This album reminds me of At the Heart of Winter, due to the melodic sound; the only difference is that All Shall Fall is a million times more creative. The quality is crystal clear, obviously because it was released under Nuclear Blast Records. The overall creativity and complexity of the album is nothing short of astonishing and mind blowing.

The first song of the album is the most recognizable. The title song is an amazing song that is filled with delicious guitar riffs and some if the fastest kick drumming I’ve ever heard. The Rise of Darkness I believe primarily focuses on drumming. Reidar really tries his best to put his drumming skills to the test. The one downside on that song is that the guitars are just a tad bit repetitive. Hordes to War is the fastest and heaviest song on the album. Norden on Fire is my favorite song on the album. The intro to the song is just flat out amazing. The way they blend perfectly from an ambient sounding guitar to a heavier, black metal is really something you don’t hear very often. Arctic Swarm is another heavier piece with its extreme tempos and aggressive guitar lines. Mont North is all about the snowy, icy landscape of northern Norway, and the music fits it perfectly. The beat, drumming, and guitar parts to Unearthly Kingdom are amazing; this is the perfect headbanging song. I would give this a perfect score. There is no stopping this band.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Wintersun is a melodic death trio hailing from southern Finland. They are the side project of Jari Mäenpää, the guitarist for folk metal band Ensiferum. After obtaining a record deal, Mäenpää scheduled studio time to record the first album. Ensiferum's tour to support their 2004 release was scheduled at the same time, which forced Mäenpää to request time off from the band. The band instead fired him, and Mäenpää was free to go ahead with the production of their self-titled album.

Wintersun is a beautiful combination of melodic death, power metal, speed metal, and a little bit of folk metal. The quality of the album is crystal clear (mostly because it was released under Nuclear Blast), the musicianship is astonishing; the guitarist can play amazingly fast, with outstanding creativity, and the drummer plays extremely fast, but is almost completely relaxed. Their theme is winter, snow, ice, and supernatural magic. The songs get gradually longer throughout the album, the first song being 2.38, and the last song being 10.16. My favorite song off the album would be Beyond the Dark Sun. Its technicality and speed blows me away every time I listen to it, I think that it also has the best melodies and bass lines.

An article on Wikipedia says: Recording for the second album, tentatively titled Time, began on May 2, 2006. Wintersun entered Sonic Pump Studios with Thunderstone's Nino Laurenne as sound engineer. Recording of Hahto's drum tracks began on May 3. Rhythm guitars and bass were also recorded during the session. Mäenpää would record synthesizers and sampling, guitar solos, acoustic guitars, vocals, and Mäntysaari's guitarwork at his apartment studio. The album will have seven songs and an intro and outro. The songs' compositions are complex, being composed of 200 to 300 tracks each. Time would face multiple setbacks, delaying the album's release for years. On October 23, 2006, Wintersun released a statement that, because recording was continually delayed, the dates for the album's mix would be pushed back to May 2007, causing Wintersun's appearance at Ragnarök Festival that same month to be cancelled. A tentative release date for August 2007 was given. On April 17, 2007, Mäenpää released a statement updating the status on the album, detailing that difficulties with hardware failures caused further delays in the recording process. The mix dates were cancelled, and because Laurenne's schedule at Sonic Pump Studios was full for the remainder of the year, the album's release would be pushed back further. By this time, all guitars, including solos and acoustic, were recorded, and the intro was completed. Mäenpää had begun composing and arranging the synth layers, but stress and frustration had been hindering his creativity. I’m giving this album 18/20.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Demonical is an extremely unknown Swedish death metal band. I discovered this band via internet and loved what I heard. They show great creativity and talent that is simply laid out. None of the songs on this album sound the same, none of them are boring or repetitive, and some of their members have been in other successful metal bands. As unknown as they are, they have been quite successful in their home country of Sweden.

First off, for an extremely underground band, the recording quality is amazing! The guitar distortion is my favorite part of the album. It sounds similar to Soulskinner by Fleshcrawl, but better and broader. The vocalist is one of the best I’ve heard in quite awhile, I can tell easily that he growls the correct way. The song speeds vary greatly. Quite a few of the songs start out slow, and then speed up. Some of them are fast and brutal all the way through.

The beginning of Bloodridden sounds a lot like Black Sabbath’s title song. World Serpent has some of the best guitar work off the album. Infernal Void has a traditional death metal sound with some technical creativity in the bass and drums. Death Metal Darkness is my favorite song off of the album. It has an all original traditional death metal sound that can’t get any purer. This album is fast and brutal and will mow you down if you’re not careful. This deserves an 17/20.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Intestinal Strangulation-Pathological Brutalistic Fermentation

Intestinal Strangulation is a brutal death trio hailing from Whittier, California. I’ve seen them once and their music is a treat to the ears. They have brutal music right along with brutal lyrics. Anyone who loves the really brutal bands, this is just the band for them to sink their teeth into.

Their theme is gore, and the lyrics and music fit it perfectly. An interesting thing about them is that both the guitarist and the bassist do vocals. One of them does a deep inhale growl, and the other does exhale screams. The drummer is very good; he’s my favorite out of the three. He has a medium to large size set, and he uses it with creativity and precision. The overall quality of the recording is lovely considering they are a practically unknown band.

Some of the songs off of the record that I like are Homicidal Artistry, mainly for the very delectable drum solo at the end of the song. Thrones of Abysmal Torment really shows a lot of technicality and talent through the musicians. Leather face has an interesting twist of thrash metal that sounds great. My favorite song by this band is Postmortal Prostitution. This band is for anyone who loves traditional brutal music and gore. 17/20.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Threat Signal-Vigilance

This is the second studio album by my favorite metalcore band. This is also one of my favorite albums of all time. This album blew my mind in many ways. I saw this band live once and they were so good, it even impressed my dad (who is not easily impressed). Of course they are signed on to Nuclear Blast Records, no Nuclear Blast band has not blown me away. I have only listened to this album a couple hundred times probably which obviously shows that I am crazy about this band.

First, I would like to point out that when the vocalist sings, he sounds a lot like Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. The best musicians are definitely the drummer and the lead guitarist. I like how in some of the guitar solos, the guitar sounds a lot like a keyboard, originally I thought that it actually was a keyboard. My dad was impressed by the drummer, who is honestly nothing but amazing. This album has many more melodic elements than Under Reprisal, even having acoustic parts.

My favorite song by this band (and off the album) is The Beginning of the End. This song really took me on a journey of hate of anger, and then ending with a relaxing nirvana feeling. Some other of my favorites include Through my Eyes, Afterlife, United we Stand, Beyond Recognition, and Another Source of Light. This is an album to die for. Recommended to EVERYONE. 20/20.

Soilwork-The Panic Broadcast

I am truly amazed at what these guys have done. It would seem as if they couldn’t possibly come up with any more new ideas; that they have used up all of their good ideas, but NO! They proved us wrong! This is a must-buy. I was so stunned by this album that I couldn’t even move to get up to replay the album. This album really introduces sounds from other genres suck as blues rock, alternative metal, and metalcore. This record also has more of a polished production quality; they spent more time on making the sound quality sound nicer.

This album marks the return of the long-time Soilwork guitarist and founder Peter Wichers, who also produced the album. They claimed that they wanted to take more of a technical approach to the album, but still keeping the catchy choruses in the songs, have more guitar solos, and have some more space for drumming. The Panic Broadcast really is where the musicians play at their absolute best performance level. The band thought that the other albums have been lacking the technicality and complexity. Wichers also stated that this album will have more blues elements than the other albums and even said that one of the riffs off The Thrill was inspired by a bluegrass riff.

Every single song on The Panic Broadcast is amazing. The album starts with a strongly blues influenced, melodic song called Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter. My favorite songs off of The Panic Broadcast would have to be The Akuma Afterglow, The Thrill, and Let this River Flow. I will never forget this album.


This is true metal the way it should be. Max Cavalera has once again created an astonishing masterpiece. I got stuck listening to this album for about a week and a half straight. The seven figures in the album art (on the standard edition three figures are on the cover, and four are on the back) are meant to represent that this is Soulfly's seventh studio album. Each of the seven figures, inspired by the Star Wars creatures the Tusken Raiders, were also meant to represent each of the seven deadly sins from what they hold in their hands.

This is where the members of Soulfly really show their full technical skills. All of the riffs and solos are amazing and delectable. The smooth sounding guitar distortions amaze me and give me a very relaxed feeling. The drummer never goes overboard on the double-kicks, but I still feel that he is capable of doing more with his set. Some of the songs have a soft, moving progressive rock sound, like Soulfly VII.

My favorite songs off the album are Mega-Doom and Lethal Injection; mainly for their complex beats and drum patterns. Bloodbath & Beyond is repetitive and towards the end it gets kind of boring, but it’s still an enjoyable song, but not my favorite. Most of the other songs are very extreme, as well as experimental and progressive. Kingdom is one of the more extreme songs, but it also has a very melodic background guitar which surprised me because it doesn’t seem like they would fit if you heard the parts separately, but they fit together perfectly. I am extremely delighted with this album. This gets a 19/20.

Kataklysm-In the Arms of Devastation

This is the first album by Kataklysm that I ever listened to, and it is still my favorite. These guys are one of the kings of death metal. Inspiring many bands, they have come a long way. This is probably one of their most famous albums as well. Since I first listened to this, I have become a good fan of Kataklysm and I am longing to get my hands on their new 2010 album.

This album is one of their most progressive albums, really exploring new realms. The volume of everything is just right; nothing is too loud or too soft. They stuck with the really crunchy guitar sound, which is what their music sounds best with. The drummer did lack in creativity in this album, which disappointed me a bit because I know he is capable of doing more than what he did on this record. In songs like Open Scars, In Words of Desperation, and Let them Burn, the melodies and guitar parts are repetitive and grow boring at times.

The song Crippled and Broken is very delectable. The sound is thick, heavy and crunchy. The song is about how soldiers suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after serving time in military combat. The music video is very good too, uploaded in high quality. This album deserves a solid 16/20.

Deftones-Diamond Eyes

The long awaited release has finally arrived! When I heard that Deftones was releasing a new album, I HAD to get it! I am glad to say that I am greatly impressed by this new release. I am also very surprised by how different this album is from all of the others. This is a new kind of nu metal.

The Deftones official bassist is not featured on this album due to a car accident. An article on Wikipedia says “on November 4, 2008, bassist Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident in Santa Clara, California. As a result of the injuries sustained in the crash, Cheng has remained in a minimally conscious state since that time. Following the accident, Cheng's bandmates and mother, Jeanne, began using the Deftones blog to post updates on Cheng's condition. On December 9, 2008, it was announced that Chi had been moved into the care of an unnamed hospital that "specializes in the care and management of traumatic and non-trauma related brain injuries". Sergio Vega played the bass in this album.

The thing that surprised me the most about this album is that the vocalist sings! It’s not all yelling and screaming! I would like to say that his singing voice isn’t really that bad, I’m impressed. Deftones really got experimental on this album, trying to create a new realm of music. My favorite songs off the album are Diamond Eyes and CMND/CTRL. The overall sound of the album is less noisy, has cleaner distortions on the guitar; it’s something completely new. I would score this album 16/20.


Hellyeah is an amazing mix of Pantera, Mudvayne, and Damageplan. Hellyeah introduced me to a new genre of music known as sludge metal. Sludge metal has a really thick, heavy sound with really down-tuned, dark guitar distortions, a really crunchy bass sound, and usually yelled vocals with occasional singing or screaming. Some other well known sludge bands include Down, High on Fire, Black Label Society, and Superjoint Ritual. Hellyeah combines the traditional sludge metal sound with heavy metal, some thrash and some groove metal (due to Vinnie Paul being from Pantera).

My favorite musician from this band is without a doubt Vinnie Paul. Vinnie Paul was the drummer for Pantera (R.I.P.), and is the current drummer for the band that he founded called Damageplan. This album was recorded in a homemade studio in the backyard of a friend of the band in roughly one month. It was very successful and received mostly positive reviews (including this one). Bassist Montano left the band about a week after the album’s release due to personal differences. He was then replaced with the current Damageplan bassist.

Listening to this album was really an enjoyable exploration of territory I hadn’t uncovered yet. My favorite song off the album is the title song. This song really describes who these guys are and that they are not the band that you want to mess around with. The single of the album, Alcohaulin’ Ass, was a huge success and was played on satellite radio stations around the world. I honestly like every single song off the album. I am extremely impressed and cannot wait for their new album. I’m giving this one 19/20.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Attack Attack!-Attack Attack!

Two tours after the release of their debut, the lead vocalist for Attack Attack! was kicked out of the band because of personal differences. I didn’t get the chance to hear their new vocalist until a couple of weeks before their sophomore self-titled album was released. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube of them performing Stick Stickly from various tours like the 2009 Warped Tour, and their most recent headlining tour. The first scream that left his mouth made me laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair. I saw comments saying he sounded like a dead cat puking up a hair ball, I honestly think he sounds worse! I am still amazed by the fact that they replaced one of the best screamers ever by one of the worst!

He also screwed up the band. They’re not nearly as tight as they used to be, yes, they are still great musicians (especially the drummer), but they’re not a band anymore! Even all of the editing in the studio wasn’t enough to make them sound good, which failed. Their singer’s “singing” is basically 98% auto-tune. The overall band’s creativity has completely disappeared; the sound quality of the album is very low and cheap.

The only songs on the album that are at least descent and actually have some creativity are A for Andrew, Smokahontas, and AC-130. My favorite would have to be Smokahontas, which I think was written before their original vocalist was kicked out of the band. Overall I will give this a 8/20