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CD review SEVENDUST "All I See is War"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Sevendust, Modern Metal, CD Review, News, All I See is War

CD review SEVENDUST "All I See is War"

(8/10) Atlanta, Georgia based Sevendust worked hard on the successor of the band's 2015 release "Kill the Flaw". In the meantime things progressed and the next record is ready to be shipped to the record stores.

"All I See is War" is Sevendust's 11th longplayer and the first one for their new label Rise Records. In an interview with All That Shred guitarist John Connelly talked about the creative process for the new record. The band wrote far more songs than what ended up on the tracklist. In total 50-60 songs have been the pool to choose from and in the end 12 new tracks ended up on this excellent longplayer.

The new album starts with "Dirty", which is a heavy grooving track with a certain Tool-expression. With a bit more than 3 minutes of length the tune is spot-on and helps the album to get out of the boxes very easily. After such a great start into the album it is "God Bites His Tongue" that continues the winning streak. "Medicated" is rounding of the starting triple and all three songs together showcase Sevendust's great sense for heavy modern riffing and well-executed melodies. These two ingredients, together with a merciless pounding rhythm section, can be seen as the most important elements of Sevendust's sound, on earlier records and on "All I See is War".

I couldn't identify any weak spot when it comes to the tracklist. To use a standard term: No fillers, just killers. Regardless if we are talking about the exciting interplay of loud and calm in "Monuments", the catchy "Descend" or the aggressive "The Truth" - each of these tunes is very well-crafted and it's a joyful experience, listening to this longplayer. 

Spring 2018 is obviously a great time for fans of modern alternative rock and metal. Godsmack releases a new album and so does Shinedown. Last but not least it's the new Sevendust longplayer that will be a delight for fans of this genre. I like "All I See is War". It's the energy, dynamic and great melody lines, making this longplayer to a true highlight and a treat for your ears. It's an album to recommend.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Dirty
  2. God Bites His Tongue
  3. Medicated
  4. Unforgiven
  5. Sickness
  6. Cheers
  7. Risen
  8. Moments
  9. Nor Original
  10. Descend
  11. Life Deceives You
  12. The Truth
  13. All I Ready Know (Bonus)
  14. What You Are (Bonus)

 

Label: Rise Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: May 11th, 2018

 

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BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE reveals a new song

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2018 von Markus W. in Bullet For My Valentine, BFMV, Gravity, News, Modern Metal, Metalcore, Alternative Metal, Spinefarm Records

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

Bullet For My Valentine will release with "Gravity" their next studio album by June 29th, 2018. The first single has been unveiled already and it's entitled "Over It". Here you go...

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CD review TESSERACT "Sonder"

Veröffentlicht am 22. April 2018 von Markus W. in TesseracT, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, News, Modern Metal, KSCOPE, CD Review, Alternative Metal

CD review TESSERACT "Sonder"

(8/10) TesseracT from Milton Keys, UK worked hard over the last months to get their forth album ready to be shipped to the record stores. April 20th this year will be the day when "Sonder" will be released and it's another well-crafted piece of work.

The fourth delivery of British riff architects features eight songs with some being more cinematic interludes while others are longer masterpieces of progressive metal music. The opener "Luminary" kicks-off the longplayer with an ease. The song starts calmer before it evolves to a modern prog-rocker that comes round the corner very well.

"King" is next and things start to get longer. Seven minutes of multi-layered metal power is what you get to hear. The track has an oppressive vibe esp. due to the strong bass line that's weaved in. The darker vibe with some powerful screams breaks due to some more silent sections that create an exciting mixture of aggressiveness and peaceful elements. Tesseract creates some arcs of suspense that are thrilling.

A soulful moment is entitled "Orbital" which is a harmonic bridge towards "Juno", the next longer tune on "Sonder". Downtuned guitars start the song that belongs to the heaviest ones on this excellent longplayer. With an almost funky approach TesseracT spices-up this well-done masterpiece that's booming from beginning to end.

The pattern of a loud and calm interplay comes back with "Beneath My Skin" before "Mirror Image" takes over the scene with some atmospheric keyboard sounds. The track doesn't belong to the loudest ones on "Sonder". Actually it's mainly the opposite with TesseracT showing the soulful aspect of their music. There are some heavy outburst though, but those are more the pepperoni on the pizza. Loundess slowly returns with the raging "Smile" with its complex rhythmic approach before it's up to "The Arrow" to close a challenging but also exciting album that proves the fact that complex music can be thrilling for non-musicians too.

"Sonder" is the next cornerstone in TesseracT's musical career. These guys have great musical skills, are real craftsmen of progressive music and have a really good sense for melodies at command. This album is definitely to recommend and listening to it as for sure no waste of time.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Luminary
  2. King
  3. Orbital
  4. Juno
  5. Beneath My Skin
  6. Mirror Image
  7. Smile
  8. The Arrow

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018

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CD review NALE "Death. Skulls, Satan”

Veröffentlicht am 14. April 2018 von Markus W. in Nale, Death Skulls Satan, CD Review, News, Modern Metal, Thrash Metal, Hea, Black Lodge Records

CD review NALE "Death. Skulls, Satan”

(7/10) Nale is a Swedish metal outfit that had its start in 2007. The self-titled first EP saw the light of day in the same year and it was in 2012 when Nale premiered with a full-length longplayer. The label info tout the band as ‘Sweden’s hottest underground metal act’ which might be a bit over the top. However, the quartet delivers with “Death. Skulls, Satan” a rock solid album that feels like a punch right into the face.

The tracklist comprises of eleven songs, reminding of bands like Pantera and The Haunted. The first two songs on the album speak a clear language. Nale is heavy and aggressive when it comes to their sound. “Filth!” is an extremely powerful riff attack that follows the ruthless opener “Slither!”

After getting out of the blocks very well Nale’s sound slightly shifts towards rock. “Dead Man’s Song” is a track that again shows some references towards bands like Pantera, mainly due to the Southern vive, but there’s also more traditional rock involved in this tune. Melody plays a more important role when it comes to “Dead Man’s Song”, an approach that’s finds a counterpart in the title track. “Dead. Skulls. Satan” is an uptempo song, somewhere between metal, rock and punk.

The first four songs give a good idea of what you get with “Death. Skull. Satan”. The album features aggressive metal track that never fade away into calmness and ease. The fourpiece band unleashes real metal vigor, mainly driven by mighty riffs, a merciless groove and dynamic vocals. Listening to this album is definitely no period of suffering. The songs stick right from the beginning and it’s solely the wider variation of style that made me think of a band searching for the essence of their sound. Anyhow. Good stuff for people searching for riff power.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Slither!
  2. Filth!
  3. Dead Man’s Song!
  4. Death, Skulls & Satan!
  5. Exit!
  6. No Escape!
  7. Drive!
  8. The Black!
  9. Hell's Wrath!
  10. Smasher!
  11. Pigs!

 

Label: Black Lodge Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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CD review UNDEROATH "Erase Me"

Veröffentlicht am 5. April 2018 von Markus W. in Underoath, Erase Me, News, Fearless Records, CD Review, Modern Metal, Metalcore, Alternative Metal

CD review UNDEROATH "Erase Me"

(7/10) “Erase Me” is Underoath’s first album since 2010 when the band released their latest record “Ø (Disambiguation)”. In the meantime the band disbanded in 2013 and came back two years later, with a next record another three years further down the road.

“Erase Me” marks the return of founding member Aaron Gillespie, drummer of the powerful band and also responsible for the clean vocals.

The album was written over summer last year and it was recorded with Matt Squire at the helm. Ken Andrews did the mix and the result is a melodic album that has some louder outbursts while aiming for a bigger audience.

The band’s eighth longplayer features eleven new songs that are as heavy as catchy. So let’s laser in on what the new album can deliver when it comes to tunes that found a spot on the tracklist. Underoath never takes things too far when it comes to adding extremes to their sound. Songs like “Wake Me” are definitely a dynamic wake-up call, but there’s also a lot of catchiness involved, which makes the tune to an easily approachable one. The same goes for the following “Bloodlust”. There are modern riffing guitars but there are also some keyboard and synthesizer moments, which adds too much sugar to the cocktail. But the most confusing song for me is “No Frame”. One thing is for certain; there is no frame that limits Underoath when it comes to their sound. Looking for guitars is an almost fruitless endeavour since the song is completely based on samples and keyboard. OK, towards the end things get louder but most of the tune remains being a confusing one.

The metalcore roots are fortunately present too. The opener is a clear statement of Underoath still being able to play hard and heavy, esp. when screams and shouts dominate over melodic vocallines. Another example of unleashed energy is entitled “Hold Your Breath” which is quite aggressive in the verse while the chorus stands for the melodic counterpart. Such a combination is not jaw dropping new, but it’s executed in a professional way, which makes things very entertaining.

“Erase Me” is an album that for sure doesn’t cause earache, but it also didn’t wow me. Things sound too clean and too less edgy. It misses the frictional sparks that ignites each of the songs to become a modern metal firework. “Erase Me” features good music that doesn’t include a lot of risk-taking.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. It Has To Start Somewhere
  2. Rapture
  3. On My Teeth
  4. Wake Me
  5. Bloodlust
  6. Sink With You
  7. ihateit
  8. Hold Your Breath
  9. No Frame
  10. In Motion
  11. I Gave Up

 

Label: Fearless Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: April 6th, 2018

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CD review CALIBAN "Elements"

Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2018 von Markus W. in Caliban, Modern Metal, Elements, Metalcore, News, CD Review, Century Media

CD review CALIBAN "Elements"

(8/10) German metalcore veterans Caliban worked two years on their next longplayer, succeeding the acclaimed “Gravity” record from 2016.

Caliban’s effort pays back with an excellent metalcore album. The band has the ability to combine modern riff fireworks and melodic elements to a bigger total that manifests itself in songs like the tremendous opener “This is War”. It a brutal metalcore attack that fires on all cylinders while maintaining a popular melody line in the chorus.

Another song belonging to the same category is “Ich blute für dich” which is kept entirely in German language. Tunes like “Set me Free” are not slowing down things. The opposite is the case. “Set me Free” sounds even more aggressive than some of the earlier songs even though the atmospheric start makes you think about something else.

There are songs though that reduces pace a bit without compromising on intensity. “My Madness” is a track that reflects this very well. A more moderate tempo gives the song a slightly different expression, still fitting in to the context of “Elements”. It’s the grooving parts that get more to forefront and the calmer middle section adds extra suspense to the mix.

Things stay on a high level from beginning to end. Also the later songs on this longplayer are a push in the face. “Masquerade” isn’t compromising anything and is a highlight on “Elements”, followed by “Incomplete” which another metalcore anthem on Elements.

I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Caliban till now. “Elements” changes things. This album features excellent songs, breakdown-driven structures, it gains from a brilliant sound and offers a heavy load of energy to listeners. Good stuff.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. This Is War
  2. Intoxicated
  3. Ich blute für Dich
  4. Before Later Becomes Never
  5. Set Me Free
  6. My Madness
  7. I Am Fear
  8. Delusion
  9. Carry on
  10. Masquerade
  11. Incomplete
  12. The Great Unknown
  13. Sleepers Awake

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Metalcore

Release Date EU: April 6st, 2018

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CD review LIGHT THE TORCH "Revival"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2018 von Markus W. in Light The Torch, Devil You Know, Metalcore, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Revival

CD review LIGHT THE TORCH "Revival"

(7/10) You might hear the name Light The Torch for the very first time, but if you’re into metal the name Devil You Know sound far more familiar. Now, Light The Torch and Devil You Know are the same. After going through some rough times in 2016 the band unveiled in 2017 their new name, followed by the first Light The Torch album as we speak.

The powerhouse from Los Angeles, CA consists out of Howard Jones, Francesco Artusato and Ryan Wombacher with Mike Sciulara who took place behind the drum kit.

“Revival” is the title of Light The Torch’s debut, comprising of 12 songs that bridges metalcore with modern metal and melody.

After spinning the album several times I must say that I like what I heard. What’s the thing though too with “Revival” is that I miss the some surprises, these jaw-dropping good moments that you haven’t expected.

No doubt, riffs are heavy (“Raise the Dead” and “Virus”) and brutal outbursts, like “The Sound of Violence”, are well done. Great craftsmanship, in general on a very high level, isn’t something unexpected, knowing the musical vita of the quartet. The album sounds to me like a first step of four guys to get back into a productive mode after some rougher days, weeks and month. Many ideas, that probably grew over the last years found a spot on this longplayer - a true 'revival'. 

To sum up: “Revival” is a well-done modern metal album with some metalcore references here and there. It doesn’t provide many moments of wow and it doesn’t push the listeners out of the comfort zone either. The album is very much according to the book, which isn’t necessarily something bad. If you’re looking for solid and powerful modern metal record it’s “Revival” that can still your hunger.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Die Alone
  2. The God I Deserve
  3. Calm Before the Storm
  4. Raise the Dead
  5. The Safety of Disbelief
  6. Virus
  7. The Great Divide
  8. The Bitter End
  9. Lost in the Fire
  10. The Sound of Violence
  11. Pull My Heart Out
  12. Judas Convention

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

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CD review ESCAPE THE FATE "I am Human"

Veröffentlicht am 27. März 2018 von Markus W. in Escape The Fate, News, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, Metalcore, CD Review, Eleven Seven Music, Post-Hardcore

CD review ESCAPE THE FATE "I am Human"

(6/10) "I am Human" is Escape The Fate's 6th longplayer. The album will be released on March 30st which means that fans had to wait a bit longer since the release day was moved by a few weeks. However, here it is.

"I am Human" is slightly different. "Empire", unveiled as a video a while ago, gave already a first indication of what to expect. The band from Pahrump, Nevada always added a solid portion of melody to their postcore/metalcore songs, but this time the go one step further. Elements of pop music found their way into most of the songs on "I am Human", with synthesisers that are close to the edge of becoming cheesy. "Broken Heart" is such a song that has the bigger masses in focus and "Resistance" is more of a friendly 'No' rather than real 'resistance'.

Last but not least there is an acoustic ballad on the tracklist. "If Only" is the title of the distracting track that immediately brings up the question of why this song ends up on an album of a former post-hardcore band. 

Some better moment, even though still being far away from post-hardcore, are the heavy "Digging My Own Grave" and harder "Recipe For Disaster". "Riot" is not too bad either and reflects the sleaze influences in a dominant way. 

With having all this in mind I can't give more than points to an album that includes songs that are a bit too much mainstream-based. I can't get rid of a thinking that commercial success was steering too much and that's why the band played safe with "I am Human".

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Beautifully Tragic
  2. Broken Heart
  3. Four Letter Word
  4. I Will Make It Up to You
  5. Bleed for Me
  6. Do You Love Me?
  7. I Am Human
  8. If Only
  9. Empire
  10. Recipe for Disaster
  11. Riot
  12. Digging My Own Grave
  13. Resistance
  14. Let Me Be

 

Label: Eleven Seven Music

Genre: Melodic Metalcore

Release Date EU: March 30st, 2018

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Photo report TRIVIUM/POWER TRIP/VENOM PRISON, Patronaat, Haarlem, 10.03.2018

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2018 von Markus W. in Trivum, Venom Prison, Thrash Metal, Power Trip, News, Live, Live Review, Metalcore, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal, Deathcore, Patronaat, Haarlem

Photo report TRIVIUM/POWER TRIP/VENOM PRISON, Patronaat, Haarlem, 10.03.2018
Photo report TRIVIUM/POWER TRIP/VENOM PRISON, Patronaat, Haarlem, 10.03.2018

Beginning of March I had the chance to witness a powerful metalcore package that's on it way through Europe at the moment. Trivium, Power Trip and Venom Prison embarked on a tour and I did some photos of the show for my friends of Zware Metalen. I don't want to withhold the photos from you, my dear readers. Therefor enjoy the photo-report and, if you have any chance, visit the show. It's worth it.

 

More photos on FLICKR

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CD review SAVAGE HANDS "Barely Dead"

Veröffentlicht am 11. März 2018 von Markus W. in Savage Hands, Barely Dead, News, Post Hardcore, CD Review, Modern Metal, Sharptone Records

CD review SAVAGE HANDS "Barely Dead"

(7/10) Reading the bands name, Savage Hands, made me think of a powerful metal outfit, dressed in leather and denim. Wrong assumption I must conclude after having given this album a first spin.

Savage Hands has nothing to do with traditional metal. The five guys are more into modern metal which they combine with some post-hardcore element and shouts. To balance the wild outbursts, the quintet balances things with catchy melodies that mainly come back in the chorus. The title track is a good example since it includes all the mentioned sound pieces. 

"Barely Dead" features seven songs, all within a three to four minutes running time. Most of the tunes follow a similar pattern, described earlier. However, needed or not, there is a ballad on the album too. "Taken" is the calm and soulful moment on a dynamic album. A moment of peace in a hectic world.

"Barely Alive" is by no means a bad record. The guys focus on vigorous songs that are well-crafted and properly produced. The only downer is the fact that there are already many other bands that play similar music and what's missing with this release is the own identity that would make the band stick out from the rest.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Red
  2. Barely Alive
  3. Unconditional
  4. Known It All
  5. Taken
  6. Dream Dead
  7. Your Own Hell

 

Label: Sharptone Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: March 2nd, 2018

 

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CD review MINISTRY "AmeriKKKant"

Veröffentlicht am 8. März 2018 von Markus W. in Ministry, News, Industrial, Nuclear Blast, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal, CD Review, Al Jourgensen, Uncle Al

CD review MINISTRY "AmeriKKKant"

(8/10) It's no secret that the last two Ministry longplayers didn't belong to the best things Al Jourgensen ever brought to table. "From Beer to Eternity" as well as "Relapse" sounded uninspired and bloodless. Creativity and energy were lacking; records that sounded like the desperate attempt to keep a ghost alive. Bad records and Jourgensen's unstable health conditions didn't support a positive outlook of getting a new Ministry longplayer served that can remind of the earlier days.

Now, Jourgensen is a fighter and it feels like he regained energy and passion. It looks like one of the factors of revitalisation was the blond 'blow-dry hairstyle pompadour' that moved into the White House a year ago. Finally there was a counterpart for Jourgensen which allows the iconic singer to process emotions and anger through new songs that belong to best ones since the 2004 released "House of Molé".

"AmeriKKKant" is Ministry's fourteenth studio album and it showcases the band in a much better shape than what we could expect. The first videos that have been revealed over the last weeks send already positive signals to the metal world, but it's the entire album that needs to prove the good first impression.

After having given "AmeriKKant" some spins to date confirms a revitalisation of the industrial metal legend. The new longplayer features powerful industrial tracks that express the entire anger about what happens at the moment in the US.

"I Know Words" is a first statement. Like with "N.W.O" it's this time samples of quotes of the current President of the Untied States that build the base for the opener. It's an oppressive start into the album, which is followed by "Twilight Zone". Jourgensen and Ministry continue with the same vibe, being the base for an eight minutes industrial metal smasher. 

Also "Victim of a Clown" can live-up to a high quality level and it's songs like "Wargasm" that brings back the old Ministry spirit. Furthermore it's the raging and ultra-fast "We're Tired of It" that is a pure adrenalin, packaged in a song with less than three minutes of length. 

The new album doesn't contain any bad or boring song. The change in the White House obviously was the trigger for Jourgensen to recharge Ministry, with the result of an electrifying new longplayer that I haven't expected to be that strong. Ministry is alive and far more impactful than what we saw and heard over the last decade.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. I Know Words
  2. Twilight Zone
  3. Victims of a Clown
  4. TV 5-4 Chan
  5. We're Tired of It
  6. Wargasm
  7. Antifa
  8. Game Over
  9. AmeriKKKant

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Industrial Metal

Release Date EU: March 9th, 2018

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CD review WE SELL THE DEAD "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in We Sell The Dead, In Flames, Spiritual Beggars, HIM, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, News, earMUSIC, Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full, CD Review

CD review WE SELL THE DEAD "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full"

(8/10) You might not heard of this band before and therefor we need to have a look into who these guys are. Actually we are talking about well-known names in rock and metal. We Sell The Dead is no less than Niclas Engeling (In Flames), Gas Lipstick (ex-HIM), Jonas Slättung (Drömrikets) and Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars, Firewind).

The overarching question that led to this outfit was: What, if Jack the Ripper would have been part of a band? In a metal band? This was the starting point for We Sell The Dead and their debut "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full".

The album sounds very interesting, which is meant in a positive way. I have to admit that I had a bit of problems to find my way into We Sell The Dead's sound. The first time I listened to it wasn't a thrilling exercise. However, there are records that need to grow and this one belongs into this category. 

Contemporary heavy metal is what you can expect of the nine songs that made it on the tracklist. These tracks are linked to each other with a common theme being the bridge. "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full" takes you back to the 19th century when the mentioned Jack the Ripper was up to mischief. This theme leads to morbid and dark expression on the album, starting with the creepy intro "The Body Market".

"Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full" is an unusual album that doesn't remind of 'home-base' bands like In Flames and Spiritual Beggars. We Sell The Dead created their own sound and signature, built on their individual path through rock and metal. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Body Market
  2. Echoes of an Ugly Past
  3. Leave Me Alone
  4. Imagine
  5. Turn it Over
  6. Too Cold to Touch
  7. Trust
  8. Pale and Perfect
  9. Silent Scream

 

Label: earMUISC

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: February 23rd, 2018

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CD review DON BROCO "technology"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Don Broco, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Crossover, News, Sharptone Records, CD Review, Hardrock, Alternative Rock

CD review DON BROCO "technology"

(7/10) I don‘t know why, but when I heard the band name Don Broco my association was a hard rocking outfit that fits sound wise best in a bar that is filled with a s smoky air, beer and sweat. The bigger was my disappointment while listening to the opener.

Don Broco is about alternative rock which is spiced-up with some catchy melodies, hardcore-related parts and rap-elements. This doesn‘t need to be per se something that‘s bad. History showed some exciting mixtures of styles like this and the so far published Don Broco longplayers also found quite some fans over the last years. The debut went into the UK charts as well as the sophomore record that even went into the Top 10.

But even with having all the achievements in mind, I was disappointed of what "Technology" had to offer. It‘s the missing thrill and it's songs from the shelve that make the album to a scattered melange of styles that fits perfectly into fast moving times. As the predecessors also „Technology“ might end up in some charts with catchiness, melodies and styles as the main ingredients, but it's pepper and salt that's missing.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Technology
  2. Stay Ignorant
  3. T-Shirt Song
  4. Come Out to LA
  5. Pretty
  6. The Blues
  7. Tightrope
  8. Everybody
  9. Greatness
  10. Porkies
  11. Got to be You
  12. Good Listener
  13. Y
  14. Something to Drink

 

Label: Sharptone Records

Genre: Modern Metal /Crossover

Release Date EU: February 2nd, 2018

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CD review MACHINE HEAD "Catharsis"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Machine Head, Thrash Metal, Modern Metal, News, CD Review, Catharsis, Nuclear Blast, Nu Metal

CD review MACHINE HEAD "Catharsis"

(8/10) The 90's were a tough decade for metal bands. However, some metal outfits gained momentum even in a time when nu metal and grunge stood in the spotlight. Vio-lence from San Francisco was one of these band with the sophomore release "Oppressing the Masses" belonging to my personal faves when it comes to thrash metal. Guitarist Robb Flynn played a crucial role in this five-piece band from California. Unfortunately Vio-lence never made it to the top, followed by a split some years later.

But the ending of one thing also means the beginning of something new. Robb Flynn started Machine Head and found with Logan Mader, Adam Duce and Chris Kontos three excellent musicians, all together recording the debut "Burn My Eyes". The album is a milestone in thrash metal with classics like "Davidian" and "Old" being brutal and timeless metal tracks. The sophomore longplayer "The More Things Change..." featured with songs like "Ten Ton Hammer" more cornerstones, followed by "The Burning Red" and "Supercharger", which couldn't live up to the quality of first two terrific albums.

Machine Head belongs to the group of bands that never stands still. For the good or the bad there's a constant evolvement embedded which led to an impressive return with "The Blackening" and "Unto the Locust". Since Robb Flynn and bandmates never stood still it's also not very surprising that the new album, "Catharsis" comes with some new twists.

Machine Head fans us quite a curve-ball when it comes to their ninth studio record. Robb Flynn and bandmates sound more modern on the new album as well as "Catharsis" became more melodic than what was to expect. The album sounds still hard and heavy, including the mighty Machine Head riffing, but the quartet also moved away from brutal thrash by adding more modern metal references to the total of 15 songs.

"Volatile" is the starting point of this metal adventure and it's a brutal one in the verse. The chorus adds more melody with the aggressiveness still being the anchor point for every note of this opener.

The title song is next. It starts and ends atmospheric with a catchy chorus that I can't remember having heard from Machine Head. It's these songs that are challenging for Machine Head fans from the early days, but it also shows the musical freedom Flynn and Co. have chosen as an approach for this longplayer.

One of the best tunes on the album is "Triple Beam". Mighty and ferocious riffing is the base and it's a brutal groove that comes back in the chorus. Also this tune is different than what we heard of the band over the last years but it has the potential of becoming a live highlight. New and different doesn't mean bad, that's what the song proves.

"Catharsis" has more shades of sounds. The half-acoustic "Bastards" is one of them, a track that is more rock than metal. The other calmer moment on the album is entitled "Behind a Mask", a ballad that reminded me of "Room with a View" from Death Angel. Unusual, surprising and 'why not'.

After these side -tracks brutality returns with "Heavy Lies the Crown" and the freaky "Grind You Down".

Machine Head combines their thrash metal roots with some modern metal sounds, known from bands like Slipknot and Korn. I must say that the new studio album still sounds heavy and powerful. It's also still Machine Head, but it's different too and might not live-up to expectation while having earlier releases in mind. "Catharsis" is a disc that showcases a band that is on an journey of evolvement - final destination to a certain extend uncertain.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Volatile
  2. Catharsis
  3. Beyond the Pale
  4. California Bleeding
  5. Triple Beam
  6. Kaleidoscope
  7. Bastards
  8. Hope Begets Hope
  9. Screaming at the Sun
  10. Behind a Mask
  11. Heavy Lies the Crown
  12. Psychotic
  13. Grind You Down
  14. Razorblade Smile
  15. Eulogy

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Modern Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: January 26th, 2018

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