Monday, October 31, 2011
I will be releasing my ambient black solo album sometime within the next week or two, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST if you have any questions about the exact release date or if you would like to order a copy of it. You can visit the official website of my project by clicking here.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
ATTENTION ALL SMART PHONE USERS! (and all people who can access the internet on their cell phone). There is now a special version of my blog that is easy to read on a phone screen. I have many more reviews coming to you including bands like Katatonia, Iron Maiden, Cipher System, and Opeth!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Ashes of Erin is one of the bands that I discovered in my gothic/symphonic metal phase. I found this group along with Xandria, Elysion, Edenbridge, Elis, and Whyzdom via Spirit of Metal. The thing about this band that’s not common amongst the gothic metal and symphonic metal scene is that they’re American, unlike most others being European. They also have a sound that I can’t really find in many other groups. I’ve been listening to Ashes of Erin for a couple of months now and they’ve grown on me greatly.
When it comes to gothic metal, I’m used to the more melodic sound that comes out of bands like Katatonia and Sirenia. Ashes of Erin has a heavier, more angry sound. I haven’t found much background information on any of the members regarding their musical history, but there is a small biography on their MySpace that doesn’t give much helpful info. So I’m writing this from a perspective of a listener that knows nothing but the members’ first names and the sound of their music. There are a lot of abstract sounds in this record regarding the weird chords and out of tune guitar lines and singing. Now I don’t know how much of this is on purpose or if it’s all just because they’re new to the music world; but the majority of it sounds intentional. Now just like almost every other band in their genre, there is a hot female vocalist involved.
Jenna doesn’t have that soft, mushy, and sometimes operatic voice that most other female metal vocalists have (like Simone Simons, Tarja Turunen, and Floor Jansen). I’m having trouble coming up with a singer that has a similar voice to her, so I guess Jenna’s voice is more unique than I had originally thought. She is though, similar to Lacey Mosley of Flyleaf. Not in the sound of their voices, but they both have a gut-wrenching scream that sends chills down your back. I did not see this coming when I listened to the second song off the album. Here is a link to it so that you can see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGUw_BihQc0
The songwriting is excellent. It has an abstract sound that shifts from a very angry sound to an eerie melodic ballad. The harmonization is great and it fits the music perfectly, but it’s not my favorite style. I really wish this band takes off so that I can see what their live performances are like, because they’ve apparently only played local shows, mainly as an opening act for bigger bands on a US tour. And if they do end up going on tours, people will love them. My favorite song off of this album is the melodic song Distorted Revelation. This album gets 16/20.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky (SWWAATS), Swashbuckle, Ex Deo (Kataklysm's alter-ego), and Annotations of an Autopsy are on the "former bands" list on Nuclear Blast, the one that confuses me the most is Ex Deo, because all except for one of the members are in the successful Nuclear Blast band Kataklysm, so wouldn't it be easier for everyone if Ex Deo was on the same record label? I would think so, if anyone knows anything regarding reasons for all of this please let me know.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I have burned through dozens of Mp3 players. Mainly because I fill them up too fast and I end up having to get bigger ones. So the day finally came where the thought crossed my mind that I don’t want to keep spending my damn money on a new music player every 4 months, so I’m just going to get the biggest one I can find. So after naturally avoiding the Ipod, I went and got the (at the time) new 120GB Microsoft Zune. I had owned the 8GB Zune previous to my purchase of the big klunky Zune 120, so I was already pretty familiar to the software and user-interface. So knowing Microsoft’s experience and skill in the sound quality area, I was expecting good sound output. I will tell you this, I got my first Zune 4 years ago and I’ve had one ever since.
I’m going to start with the positives. Everything is huge! The size of the screen makes room for a bigger font size so I don’t have to strain my eyes while flipping through the bands list, the album covers can display in high detail for ultimate enjoyment, and it works perfectly as a mini widescreen TV screen for video watching. Even though it takes an hour or so to figure it out at first, navigating around the device is a breeze. One of my favorite things about the Zune that can’t be done on any other Mp3 player that I know of is that you can set a background. It’s actually pretty neat how you can put a picture on your Zune and then set it as the background.
The sound quality is amazing, but the thing that I noticed is that there’s no equalizer! You can’t add in that extra bass boost when needed; you can’t cut back on the treble when you’re listening to some older stuff. Even when I hook up some really nice headphones to it, I still don’t get as much of a bass kick as I have with other devices. I would imagine that since there’s an extremely detailed and customizable equalizer in Windows Media Player, that there would be one on a Microsoft Mp3 device.
It seems that all of the Zunes I’ve had except for my current one have been part of batches with factory defects. I mean come one guys, one or two bad batches is understandable, but when you’ve got dozens of bad batches that are being put on the shelves and sold and when you finally discover that tons of people are having the same problem and you don’t do a recall?? I mean they knew about all of these bad batches, but they didn’t say anything about them! And all of the customers (me included) had to send ours in and wait for almost TWO MONTHS to get our replacement back, only for a few of us (me included) to find out that the replacement we got was defective too!! That’s the one thing that has pissed me off. But without all of the bugs (which only a few of them have), they last a lifetime and satisfy you to the fullest extent.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It’s been awhile since my last thrash metal review, so I guess I’ll tell you about what is now one of my favorite thrash albums of all time. The 2010 thrash metal masterpiece known as Ironbound has had a great influence on my whole general outlook on thrash metal. I first heard about Overkill about a year or so ago when I saw a flyer saying that they were going to be playing in Seattle on their 25th anniversary tour. If I had the time I would have gone, but unfortunately, one of my friends went without me. The next day he came to me and said it was one of the best thrash metal acts he had ever seen. But for some reason I didn’t bother to actually look up their music until about two months ago. And the first album that I got was Ironbound.
Now there is a huge dispute amongst metalheads over what thrash metal has turned into and if it’s still alive or if it’s turned into something else, as well as if it’s still any good or not. I tend to disagree with the people that claim thrash metal died in the 90s. But I love the 80s thrash metal era with classics like Reign in Blood, Pleasure to Kill, Master of Puppets, Welcome to Hell, etc. But I love a lot of more recent thrash metal bands like Bonded by Blood, Warbringer, and Black Breath. In fact, my favorite thrash metal band of all time is Havok, a band that formed in the 21st century. But there are a lot of thrash metal bands that formed in the 80s and are still around that have gone more on the progressive side (Metallica, Death Angel, Megadeth, etc.). I guess if it was up to me, I would put Overkill somewhere in the middle. Because they’re not 100% traditional thrash metal, but they haven’t gone completely progressive like Metallica. I think this is a perfect place to be because Overkill adds twists of other kinds of music into their blazing thrash inferno.
The musicianship amongst the members of the band is quite prominent. The member that’s been with the band for the least amount of time would be the drummer who joined in 2005, right after the release of Killbox 13. I think that Killbox 13 was their first truly good album since The Years of Decay. And ever since Killbox 13, they’ve gone nowhere but up, so I think that their current drummer has had something to do with that. Bobby is one of my favorite thrash vocalists; mainly because he doesn’t have a super high-pitched voice. I don’t really know what it is about that but it kind of bothers me when thrash metal vocalists have a really high voice. Some examples of vocalists like that would be the vocalist of Destruction, Bonded by Blood, Megadeth, and Sodom. But Blitz has his voice at the perfect pitch; so that earns him a lot of points from me.
I’ve always wondered why I didn’t run into these guys earlier. I’ve been exposed to just about every other major thrash band, so why didn’t I come across these guys back in middle school like I did with Slayer, Kreator, Exodus, and many others? So overall, this is an amazing album and I would give it a perfect score.