Monday, October 25, 2010

Breathe Carolina-Hello Fascination

I think that this is my first review on a band that isn’t metal. I’ve only been listening to Breathe Carolina for about a couple of months. At first, I wasn’t particularly fond of their music, but I have actually grown to greatly appreciate them. I think I started liking them more when I saw them live with Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, and Bury Tomorrow. I was mainly at that concert to see Alexandria and Attack. But I decided since I have some of Carolina’s music that I would stick around in the crowd and watch them. Since then, I have listened to them quite a bit more, and decided to buy this album at the concert, since I already had their first album.

In my opinion, Breathe Carolina is one of the more creative and experimental crunkcore bands. And this album is one of the more experimental albums out of their three releases (two full lengths and one EP). I think part of the reason is that this album is under Fearless Records. I have noticed that most of the Fearless albums out there are more experimental and unique. I think that Fearless Records encourages bands to be more elaborate and unique with their writing and musical styles. Every song on Hello Fascination sounds almost completely different from all the other songs, which is a trait that I always look for. One thing that I like about crunkcore is that the speeds of the songs differ. Unlike techno, where I noticed most or a lot of the songs are the same general speed. The inhale screams are pretty good, I would usually say that they could use to be a bit higher, but I think that the pitch that the screams are really fit the music. The singing is also really in tune, and the singer has a very pretty voice. But I’ll say again, autotune bothers me because I like a smooth transition between notes.

The title song is a great song to dance to. I love how it has the electric guitar sound, and has a really mystical sound in between the choruses. And during the choruses, the mood of the song changes into a really upbeat, gleeful sound that gives it a great twist. I.D.G.A.F. is probably the most techno sounding song on this album. Mainly because of the fuzzy keyboard sounds and the synthesized vocals. Tripped and Fell in Portland is probably the “heaviest” song and is the closest to real traditional crunkcore. In the beginning of the song, the music sounds almost like a screamo breakdown. Most of the song is distorted guitars, which really surprised me whenever I listen to the album straight through. Rescue is one of the songs that I don’t like. The song is very repetitive and the keyboard riffs are uninteresting and boring; some of them are even kind of annoying. So this album has its ups and downs. Overall I like the album quite a bit. I would recommend at least giving this album a try. I would score this album 16/20.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SWWAATS-The Grand Partition and the Abrogation of Idolatry

This band the best deathcore band of all time. SWWAATS is an acronym for Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky. I discovered this band via YouTube. SWWAATS was formed in late 2006 by members of Dehumanized, Filth Porn, and Bodies in the Gears of the Apparatus. They have appeared on many U.S. tours including the “Monsters of Death” tour with Vader, Augury, Decrepit Birth, Warbringer, and The Amenta. That is the tour that I actually had the pleasure to see them on. I’m surprised how underground they are considering the fact that they’re signed on to a major record label being Nuclear Blast. I’m hoping that this review will help spread the word of this amazing group. I’ve been having some trouble finding a recent biography that covers what they’ve been doing since the release of their debut masterpiece.

SWWAATS is an amazing mix of deathcore and brutal grindcore. First off, I would like to say that the way everything sounds is perfect. The kick drums aren’t too high-pitched, the bass has a deep, growling sound, the guitars have some crunch to them, and the vocals are a treat to the ear. The band is exquisitely tight and on tempo 100% of the time. I can tell that the musicians know the fundamentals of death metal because they play with such technicality and creativity. The drumming on this album is absolutely flawless. His blast beats are like no other blast beat technique I’ve ever heard. I can tell that the vocalist growls the right way, and it sounds fantastical. Their bassist is one of the best metal bassists I’ve ever heard. He plays a 6-stringed bass that has 4 pickups. Each song on the album sounds completely different than each other. There is no repetition in any of the songs. And their political messages are powerful and realistic. There are many songs in the album that sound like complete chaos at first, but then the band completely pulls the song together with an amazing breakdown, and then release the song to go completely berserk! So far, everyone that I’ve showed this band to has gone completely nuts over them, so I can tell that someday, this band will be a landmark in metal history. Their lyrical themes show political themes through the eyes of people that work for long shifts for pretty much next to no money at all. And then some of their songs are predictions of the lower class eventually becoming the rulers over all.

I don’t know what song to start with, so I guess I’ll show you my views on the first song. The first song is extremely fast and brutal. I love the chords that the bassist plays. This song depicts how many of the leaders of the huge churches have become more focused on power, money, and political status, rather than spirituality and religion. I have no idea what the hell Cattle is about, but I will tell you that it has some of the most astonishing drumming that I’ve ever heard. Despot is probably the most well known SWWAATS song. This is a headbanging song that has very tight breakdowns. This song has my favorite blast beats in it. Automated Oration and the Abolition of Silence has chaotic drumming throughout the song which really gives it an odd twist, because the other members are playing stuff that almost sounds a bit melodic. A Path is definitely the most brutal, and the most chaotic song on this particular record. This is an example of how the band lets the song go crazy, and then they capture it to create an amazing breakdown, and then let it go loose. I’ve saved my favorite song for last. Agenda is one of the greatest deathcore songs ever written. The band is very chaotic, but then again, they’re very tight throughout the song. This song has more than one astonishing breakdown that is just face-melting. This album has amazed me. This gets a perfect score on ANY scale. WOW.

Suicide Silence-The Cleansing

Suicide Silence has become one of the most popular and mainstream bands in the deathcore genre. I myself am quite a fan of their music, owning both of their albums. The release of their self-titled EP really got their name out and got them on several tours. Their claim to fame is the album that I am going to talk about today. The Cleansing has introduced so many people to death metal. In an interview, one of the members said that they are “going to stay true to death metal, and not branch out away from [their] core metal sound”. My hopes are that this band stays around for a long time, keeping the spirit of metal alive.

There are a few downsides to their music, which is what I would like to talk about first. Mitch Lucker’s vocals are edited a little, because in the high quality live recordings/videos that I’ve heard, his screams are not quite as good as they are in the studio recordings. I personally like the vocals to be at least 93% pure and unedited. Another downside is that the guitar and bass parts aren’t really as creative as they should. I honestly believe that the guitarists and bassist are capable of creating a much more creative sound than what they did here. I can tell that their parts are very simple, most of the songs consisting of three to five basic notes. My favorite part of this band is their astonishing drummer. He does a lot of blast-beat drumming, which isn’t something I’m particularly a fan of, but he’s really good at it. His riffs and solos are purely amazing, and he is always on time and tight with the rest of the band. But I would like to say again, his parts are lacking a bit in the creativity part. My absolute favorite thing about their music is their extremely brutal breakdowns. A few of the breakdowns on this album are some of the best and most brutal I’ve ever heard. My favorite being on No Pity for a Coward. This album is definitely for fans of the most brutal music out there.

The most well known song from this album is without a doubt Unanswered. This song’s breakdowns and fast parts are extremely tight and unbelievably brutal. The one downside to this song is that it’s composed of only four notes. Bludgeoned to Death is honestly the most brutal song on The Cleansing. There is a breakdown in the middle of the song that is literally “melt your face off brutal”. One of the songs that I’m really not fond of is Hands of a Killer. The song’s intro is just really unappealing to me, and that same riff that’s played at the beginning is played pretty much throughout the whole song. I would say that the breakdown at the end is exceptional. No Pity for a Coward is best known for one thing, and that is the breakdown at the end of the song. They even made some of the lyrics from that breakdown into a shirt design. Eyes Sewn Shut is a song that is one of my favorite deathcore songs, but for some reason they have never played it live (that I know of). Green Monster is a political song talking about money (the green monster) consuming people and basically taking over them and “eating” them alive. Green Monster is one of the slower, more brutal songs. It’s also one of the longest (not counting the silence at the end of the track, I personally hate it when bands do that). For some odd reason, most people can’t really get the full message of this song, which is why I just spelled it out for you. My all time favorite song from this album is Girl of Glass. The blast beats are tight and creative, the song consists of more than four notes, and the lyrics really stand out to me.

Suicide Silence is known as one of the best and one of the most influential death metal bands in existence. Although they aren’t one of my favorite bands, I do think they are capable of doing a lot in the metal world. And for all you people that were thinking of commenting me saying that Suicide Silence is a “pussy emo band”, don’t, I personally am not someone that likes to get in the middle of that stuff, I consider Suicide Silence true deathcore, end of story. This album gets 17/20.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Engel-Reina El Caos

I’m still not sure how I found out about Engel. I think I typed in “deathcore” in Google images and the album cover of this album came up in the results. Engel is one out of two known deathcore bands from Panama. The other one being Murder the Frail. I have no idea if there is any relation between the two bands. I’ve searched the internet far and wide looking for some kind of biography on Engel, but so far I’ve found nothing. This band has been around for about two to three years and has gone on one full European tour as an opening act for French deathcore band Eths. I’ve found this album quite delectable so I decided I’d review it, hoping to spread the word on this band.

My favorite thing about this album is that everything is over distorted to the point to where it sounds really cool. The vocals are very distorted, which gives them a unique sound that I’ve never heard before in a metal recording. I’ve heard something similar to this in some songs by Queens of the Stone Age. I think the drumming is creative and I can tell that the drummer uses a lot of different auxiliary percussion items. The bassist I believe could use to be a bit more creative with his lines, because his parts are a little too simple for the band’s music. Another thing about the vocalist, I’m guessing that he does inhales (which is not something that I usually like), but the extra distortion on the mike really gives it a sweet sound. The logo is also very well made for a super underground band like Engel. Also I would like to add that I don’t know what the band’s lyrical themes are because they speak Spanish, not English.

The “song” that is very intriguing to me is the intro “song” (it’s not really a song; it’s the intro track that has just talking). I’m wondering who the guy on the phone is talking to. Then, it leads into Culpable with a sick drum intro. The breakdowns in the song are very tight and interesting. The title song has one of my all time favorite breakdowns at the end that has a really unique time signature. There is something very weird about this album that I noticed just a few days ago. That if you take out all of the songs and just play the intro and the outro, the two songs blend into each other! I think that this was intentional. I love it when bands add odd twists like that to their music. Overall, this is one of my favorite deathcore bands of all time and most likely will stay that way for quite a while. 19/20

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bring me the Horizon-There is a Hell believe me I've seen it, there isa Heaven, let's keep it a secret

The time that I really started to notice BMTH’s clime in popularity was around five to six months after they released Suicide Season. I have known about them since day one, but I didn’t truly get into them until about early summer in 2009. I currently own all of their albums on CD except for this one. In Count Your Blessings, BMTH was very creative, and was amazing in the area of technicality, musicianship, and tempo. The guitar solos were a bit primitive, but hey, no one’s perfect. Suicide Season somewhat lacked in the musicianship area. But the band was so creative it blew me away. I also noticed that they started drifting towards metalcore a little bit in that album. Two of the songs were pure metalcore.

Now, in their third full length album, they have dropped majorly in musicianship and technicality (except for the drummer, who has gotten much better), they aren’t all that tight anymore, and they aren’t very creative at all. Oliver has officially fucked himself over. He screamed the wrong way, and the yelling thing he does is slightly damaging to his throat. So now, all he does is that yelling thing (which is cool, but it gets old really fast). He does growl a line or two in every other song or so. There are two types of songs on this record. There are the really fast, driving (and sometimes) heavy metalcore sounding songs, which I actually like, most of them aren’t that bad. But the problem is, is that they all basically sound the same. The other songs are more of a soft, really melodic metalcore sounding songs, which annoy me. They have no creativity, and yelling doesn’t sound good with soft music. I would also like to note that the album cover is one of the worst covers I have ever seen. It’s just too weird.

I am only going to talk about the songs that stuck out to me in some way. The first song is a longer than normal song. It’s one of the softer songs, with a few driving parts with the really high pitched melodic trembolo picking that the guitarist likes to do. Then, at the second half of the song, this annoying girl’s voice comes in all digitized (in a very disturbing way) and ruins the whole song. My favorite song off of the record would probably have to be Anthem. The guitars are very simple and not very creative, but the drumming is amazing. This is a song that I would mosh too, and there is some screaming and growling in the song to put the icing on the cupcake. Blacklist is a fairly ok song that has quite a bit of growling in it, and is a good song for the headbangers, but the song is pretty repetitive, and the tempo doesn’t change very much. The song Fuck is stupid. There is no creativity or tempo that I know of. But the lyrics are friggen hilarious.

So overall, the album is pretty crappy for a band like BMTH. The drummer though has improved greatly, so I’ll give the thumbs up on that. I am a diehard BMTH fan, and I'm majorly disappointed with this release. For all you metalcore fans out there, it wouldn't hurt to give this album a try, some of you out there might like it. This album gets 12/20.