Thursday, September 16, 2010

Linkin Park-A Thousand Suns

I’m surprised that this album is on spirit of metal because this album isn’t metal!! With “Minutes to Midnight”, they switched from an astonishing Nu Metal sound to more of a heavy rock sound. And in my review of that album I said that their sound had drifted away from the Linkin Park sound. But this?? A Thousand Suns has drifted so far from it that their original sound is way beyond the horizon. Even Chester Bennington himself said that he doesn’t fully like A Thousand Suns. And I don’t blame him for thinking that! I have been checking up on Linkin Parks spirit of metal page and I’ve noticed that ever since they released their new single (which is one out of only three songs I’ve heard from the new album), the amount of fans have gone down at a dramatic pace. The thing that I just can’t understand is that there are people out there that actually like this album!

Let’s talk about their new sound. They still have a guitarist and a bassist, but I can’t hear any guitar or bass in the music, unless they have been digitized and edited so much that you can’t even tell that they even have a guitarist or bassist. Another thing I would like to say is that in the good old days (the Hybrid Theory and Meteora days), Chester Bennington sang and screamed, and Mike Shinoda did the rapping and occasionally sang to add some harmonies to Chester’s vocals here and there. But now, they both just sing. And I will tell you this, THEY AREN’T GOOD AT IT! I bet that in the studio recordings, they just use a drum machine, and when they play live, they use an actual drummer, because only techno bands would make the drums sound that automated and digital. Basically what I’m saying is that all I can hear is keyboard and vocals.

Another thing that I would like to note is that I hear quite a bit of auto-tune in the vocals. Auto-tune is typically used when a singer can’t hit the right notes when he’s singing. The thing that I don’t like about auto-tune is that there isn’t a smooth transition between notes. On top of Linkin Park switching to techno, the worst thing is that they aren’t any good at it. Unlike some of the better techno bands like Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, and Blaqk Audio, their songs are repetitive, boring, and have too much of a mainstream sound. In music, I am an extremely open minded person. I want bands to change their sound every once in a while. But if they’re changing, and not getting better (or if their getting worse), that’s something that I strongly dislike. I’m a techno fan and love listening to it, but this thing that Linkin Park has done is horrible. It’s more of a techno/pop sound, which is something I don’t like. As you can see, I’ve given this album 1/20 on spirit of metal, but if I could I would give it an infinite negative numbered score. I miss Linkin Park.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nightrage-Wearing a Martyr's Crown

I’ve been listening to this band for many years now, so I think it’s about time I reviewed one of their albums. Nightrage has a very distinct, recognizable sound that I would know anywhere if I heard it. They have been known by some to be one of the better live metal bands. Unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure of being present at one of their live performances yet. Their sound has progressed in many positive ways over the years, and they just keep getting better and better.

Their old sound had a very heavy, dark sound. There wasn’t much diversity in their music back then, but their vocalist really had hopes that someday the band would come out with an astonishing album, so he kept the band going. And now they’ve finally come out with something great. Now their sound is darker, but sometimes really soft and melodic, occasionally having parts with acoustic guitars and some singing here and there. The new lineup is perfect for the band. Antony claims that the musicians in the current lineup (unlike the previous ones) are actually dedicated musicians that really want to be a part of Nightrage’s sound. The one thing about this band that really bothers me is the vocalist. His vocals sound horrible, and I wouldn’t like this band if the music wasn’t so good. But for some people, me included, have gotten used to Antony’s vocal sounds. But they still bother me a little bit. I do think that their current drummer is holding them back. His drumming is a little too simple for Nightrage’s sound. Nightrage is also one of the fastest melodic death bands I’ve ever heard. Usually, melodic death bands (like Dark Tranquility, Cipher System, and Dark Lunacy) are much slower, to give their music a darker sound.

There aren’t any songs on this album that stand out to me enough for me to talk about. The music on this album is for you to find out for yourself. I would like to talk about the band and each member’s influences according to their official website. Marios Iliopoulos is the lead guitarist. The bands that influence his music are Iron Maiden, Metallica, Testament, Thin Lizzy, Death, Obituary, Pestilence, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Gales, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Xentrix, Sepultra, and Pantera. Antony’s main influences are At the Gates, Sepultra, Immortal, Slayer, W.A.S.P., Hypocrisy, Death, Testament, Dimension Zero, Motorhead, Stone, The Crown, Napalm Death, and Darkthrone. The bands that influence Olof’s guitar playing are Nightrage, At the Gates, Testament, Metallica, Pantera, Zakk Wylde, and Steve Vai. Jo Nunez’s drumming is influenced by Aborted, Arch Enemy, Avenged Sevenfold, Angra, Children of Bodom, DevilDriver, Dragonforce, Megadeth, Firewind, Wintersun, Pantera, Rage, Soilwork, Symphony X, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Their Bassist is influenced by Dead Can Dance, and Elend. Oh…..WOW! I’ve been listening to this album while writing this review, and I just came across a song that has a beautiful, amazing guitar solo! The song is Sting of Remorse. It’s an instrumental that starts out with a soft, ambient acoustic part that is just beautiful. Then, the other members kick in, and the guitarist breaks out in what I think is one of the best solos I’ve heard in a long time. I would recommend this album to all melodic death fans. 14/20.