Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

post grunge

CD review SHINEDOWN "Attention, Attention"

Veröffentlicht am 28. April 2018 von Markus W. in Shinedown, Rock, Hardrock, Post Grunge, News, CD Review, Atlantic, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, Attention Attention

CD review SHINEDOWN "Attention, Attention"

(9/10) Shinedown’s story in rock is an impressive one. What began in 2001 in Knoxville, Tennessee evolved to one of the most influential rock acts in the here and now. The debut “Leave a Whisper”, released in summer 2003 and produced by no less than Bob Marlette, went right into the charts and marked a first step of Shinedown’s rise.

Brent Smith and bandmates didn’t slow down after such a successful start and new longplayers followed. Over time the band established themselves as an important factor in alternative rock music and became a big seller when it comes to records and live shows.

Three years after “Threat to Survival” entered the Top 10 of the US-charts it’s “Attention Attention” that asks exactly for this – ‘attention’. The band’s sixth longplayer comprises of 13 songs and an intro entitled “The Entrance”. After you entered to the door to “Attention Attention” it’s a powerful drum beat that marks the beginning of “Devil”. The tune that was unveiled a few weeks ago as a first single comes with an oppressive vibe. It’s a well-done statement that gives an outlook on what to expect of the new longplayer. What stands out in specific with “Devil” is the unpredictable rhythm of the track, building the base for this well-crafted opener.

“Black Soul” is next, starting with some keys and vocals. The song evolves to an alternative metal anthem that lives by the dynamic generated by loud and calmer moments. The title track is next on the batting order. What comes with “Attention Attention” is a dark expression and a hypnotic beat, ending up in a catchy chorus and shows the band’s sense for hooks without entering the fields of cheesiness.

None of the songs on “Attention Attention” is a boring one. Each of the 13 tunes generates excitement, regardless if we talk about the excellent “Pyro” or the gloomy “Monsters”. “Creatures” is the only tune that shows a bit more of standard approach, followed by the heavy grooving “Evolve” which brings back the hard rocking Shinedown.

Next to the terrific songs on the album it’s the lyrics that are more than just embellishment. Shinedown addresses topics like social media (“Kill Your Conscience”), the fight against depression (“get UP”) and for truth (“The Human Radio”).

Shinedown’s sixth longplayer has all the ingredients in place to compete with earlier successes. It’s an energizing and dynamic alternative rock album with catching hooks, great melodies and heavy rocking guitars. Alternative rock without mentioned Shinedown is a mission impossible and the new album strengthens the band's position in modern rock music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Entrance
  2. Devil
  3. Black Soul
  4. Attention Attention
  5. Kill Your Conscience
  6. Pyro
  7. Monsters
  8. Darkside
  9. Creatures
  10. Evolve
  11. Get Up
  12. Special
  13. The Human Radio
  14. Brilliant

 

Label: Atlantic / Warner Music

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review THERE DAYS GRACE "Outsider"

Veröffentlicht am 4. März 2018 von Markus W. in Three Days Grace, Outsider, Sony Music, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Post Grunge, Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review

CD review THERE DAYS GRACE "Outsider"

(9/10) Multi-platinum certified Canadian alternative rockers Three Days Grace return with a new album, the first one since the 2015 release “Human”.

The band’s sixth longplayer is entitled “Outsider” and features twelve new rock songs that easily live-up to the quality appreciated with earlier releases.

The newest offer benefits from an excellent sound provided by producers Gavin Brown and Howard Benso. The production team has been completed by Mike Plotnikoff and Chris Lord-Alge, both being in charge for the engineering.

The first single that has been unveiled is “The Mountain” and it’s a good choice. It’s a hard rocking track with heavy guitars. However, there is more to discover with “The Mountain” since the song also includes a well-crafted chorus and a great sense for melodies. This tune is a mature composition that represents the album in a great way.

What adds additional quality to the album is singer Matt Walet who’s part of Three Days Grace since a few years and he was rather new in the line-up when the quartet worked on “Human”. In the meantime Walet definitely ‘arrived’ and his new level of confidence, also expressed in many idea when it comes to “Outsider”, added a new dynamic. Walet is no ‘outsider’ anymore. He’s fully in.

Getting back to the songs means mentioning “Me Against You”. It’s a rather confronting song that shows that Three Days Grace has nothing to do with mainstream rock. The songs has an oppressive vibe and a dark expression; so no 'sugar' at all.

Furthermore the quartet experimented a bit more with electronic sounds what could have easily ended up in mainstream pop music. To mitigate the risk the four guys collaborated with Rhys Fulber when it comes to programming and great songs like “Love Me or Leave Me” are the reward for the effort taken.

The cinematic and rocking “The Abyss” marks the end of an album that I can sum-up as a very well-done alternative rock record. While some post-grunge bands started to drown in mainstream Three Days Grace maintained and strengthened their rocking roots while still being open for a wider audience. “Outsider” balances heavy guitars with great melodies, a combination that’s a treat for your ears.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Right Left Wrong
  2. The Mountain
  3. I am an Outsider
  4. Infra-Red
  5. Nothing to Lose But You
  6. Me Against You
  7. Love Me or Leave Me
  8. Strange Days
  9. Villain I’m Not
  10. Chasing the First Time
  11. The New Real
  12. The Abyss

 

Label: Sony Music

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: March 9th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review SEETHER "Poison the Parish"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Seether, Post Grunge, Grunge, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, Spinefarm, CD Review

(8/10) "Poison the Parish" is Seether's seventh album and it's a strong one. Three years after having had "Isolate and Medicate" out there in the shops the new longplayer comes with twelve new songs that are all excellent rockers.

"Stoke the Fire" is the opener and it immediately ignites the fire of hard rocking music. Post-grunge meets modern riffs, all leading to an aggressive song that will work perfectly in a live environment. There are more of these tracks on the album. "let You Down" is one of them and also "Nothing Left" is a raging outburst of power.

But these loud moments are just one aspect of what Seether offers on this longplayer. One of the best tunes on the album is called "Something Else". The beauty of this anthem is the combination of melody, harsh guitars and soulful moments that are in constant interaction; a mixture that also makes the following "I'll Survive" to a real treat. It's Nirvana that shimmers through a bit in the verse, while the melodic chorus catches you directly.

Talking about soulful moments - "Against the Wall" is the name of another one on "Poison the Parish". It's the track that's probably best for widening the fanbase. It's a ballad that's not really coming from another planet and it might live up to certain standards, but it's drowning in the deep sea of cliches.

I have to admit that Seether was for a long time a kind of side note for me, but I start enjoy their music and songs. Especially the last two longplayers feature tracks that belong to the best post-grunge can offer these days. If the quality of an album can be described by how often you listen to it, than "Poison the Parish" is a damn good one.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Stoke the Fire
  2. Betray and Degrade
  3. Something Else
  4. I'll Survive
  5. Let You Down
  6. Against the Wall
  7. Let Me Heal
  8. Saviours
  9. Nothing Left
  10. Count Me Out
  11. Emotionless
  12. Sell My Soul

 

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: May 12th, 2017

CD review SEETHER "Poison the Parish"
Kommentare

TREMONTI festival dates for Europe

Veröffentlicht am 5. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Tremonti, Alter Bridge, Alternative Metal, Tour, News, Heavy Metal, Modern Metal, Post Grunge

Tremonti announced a few festival dates for Europe. Here they are:

27/5/16 - GER, Gelsenkirschen Rock in Revier

29/5/15 - GER, Munich Rockavaria 

05/6/16 - AUT, Vienna Rock In Vienna 

10/6/16 - FRA, Paris Download 

12/6/16 - UK, Download Fest

17/6/16 - FRA, Clisson Hellfest

19/6/16 - Bel, Graspop

24/6/16 - DEN, Copenhagen Copenhell 

TREMONTI festival dates for Europe
Kommentare

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records

Veröffentlicht am 26. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Tremonti, Alter Bridge, News, Interview, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Grunge, Post Grunge, Slash, Myles Kennedy

Markus' Heavy Music Blog met Alter Bridge and Tremonti mainman Mark Tremonti for an interview before he entered the stage in Tilburg, Holland for a sold-out show with his solo project. The iconic guitarist talked about the current tour that led the band through Europe. Mark Tremonti also explained a few more details when it comes to new albums of Tremonti and Alter Bridge. Read here what the guitar player and melody writer has to tell.

 

Markus' Heavy Music Blog (MHMB): You are on tour in Europe right now, and there are two more shows to go. How was it?

Mark Tremonti (MT): It was great so far. We love touring in Europe since we have some of our real die-hard fans over here.

 

MHMB: You played, as you do today , in smaller venues. Some of those venues had been sold out rather quick. Have you guys underestimated the popularity of the Tremonti project?

MT: There are a couple of instances that led to this situation. One of them is that we changed agents in the middle of booking this tour. By the time we had our new agent on board some of the large rooms were taken already. This venue (Mark is referring to the 013) specifically, we were trying to get into the larger room but another band had booked it and they wouldn’t switch. We actually played the larger venue the last time we were here and we sold that one out too. But it wasn’t available this time, so we decided to go anyway and play the smaller venue. The same thing happened in Scotland where the show sold out really quickly too.

 

MHMB: I could imagine that the smaller sold out venues have a kind of special magic, that can’t be compared with the big stages. Does it make any difference for you if it’s a smaller venue or one of the bigger stages?

MT: Actually I like them both, and I like to switch between the two, as long as the stage isn’t too small, so that we can move. Sometimes smaller venues can also be really loud so that it hurts your ears a lot. Something you have less with bigger ones. But this one here, is a perfect little mix. It’s not too small, it’s not too big. It’s a fun, high energy type looking venue.

 

MHMB: You come back to Holland quite often. You recorded an Alter Bridge show in Amsterdam for a DVD release, you played the Melkweg in Amsterdam earlier this year and now, you have two shows with Tremonti before Christmas. It seems you like playing in Holland.

MT: Indeed. We’ll never come over to Europe without playing here. There are certain countries we not going to miss. It will not happen that we will not go to England or Germany; and the same goes for Holland. It’s just one of the key places for us.

 

MHMB: Next to playing the guitar you’re also the singer for Tremonti. How does this double function work for you, especially during live shows?

MT: It actually had strange effect on my guitar playing. When I toured Alter Bridge I’m highly focussed on everything around guitar which sometimes makes you play worse. Now, with Tremonti, when I’m less concerned about the guitar and more concerned about singing, I play better. I think it was Bill Murray who once said that “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Just let it happen“. So, doing the solo project has really let me open my eyes on how to approach guitar playing. I used to go over solos over and over again before each show. Now, I just go on stage and improvise which makes the flow much easier.

 

MHMB: What brought you to the decision of being also the singer? Was it something consciously decided or something that just happened and felt right??

MT: No, I wanted to sing. I was already in two bands with other singers. I have been a songwriter since I was a young lad and I love melodies. You could say I’m a melody writer, that’s why I wanted to sing this time. One of the biggest frustrations in my career is that people see me as a guitar player. I’m a songwriter and a melody writer That’s why it was good to find a way to also sing.

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records

MHMB: How do you make a distinction between songs for Alter Bridge and those for your solo band? I guess at a certain moment you have an idea that could become a song … and then?

MT: Well, the only thing that really separates it is, if it is super heavy metal sounding, something that sounds like a speed metal kind of idea, it goes towards Tremonti solo stuff. Some other song ideas are more atmospheric with a lot of space for a big vocals. Those I save for Myles because he can do it more justice. He is great at the big atmospheric soaring songs. So sometimes the songs with the big arrangements and a lots of space I would like to leave for Alter Bridge.

 

MHMB: Tremonti songs are quite different. “Armed yourself“ is almost speed metal, “Dark Trip“ is kept quite slow and partly quiet while „Flying Monkey“ reminds of Soundgarden. Is this width of style reflecting your influences?

MT: I love Soundgarden. But, I would say it starts early on with listening to what my folks were listening to. We listened to Rod Steward and Gerry Rafferty - all this oldschool 70’s soft rock, which I still like a lot. As I got older, bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains became my favorites. Also, the first Nirvana record really blew me away. Those are the most mainstream kind of albums. But, my main influences are Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost and Black Flag. So, I love the heavy stuff but I love the melodic stuff as well.

 

MHMB: Talking about Grunge, it started with Creed and continued with Alter Bridge that your sound is described as 'post grunge'. Would you describe it the same way or are you annoyed by this term?

MT: I would say it’s true in the Alice In Chains / Soundgarden department. But what frustrated me most, is when people compared us with Pearl Jam, because I sound nothing like Pearl Jam, on the guitar or songwriting-wise. I think it is just because people heard a connection between Scott’s voice and Eddie Vedder’s voice. But, if you listen to the music, it sounds nothing like Pearl Jam. That really annoyed me. As far as it is about Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, those are two of my most favorite bands ever. I consider Soundgarden as being less grunge and more as an alternative / punk / rock sound. I can’t really explain it better, but they have their own sound. With Alice In Chains I love the melodies a lot. I think that Jerry Cantrell is one of the greatest melody writers and I love what he does.

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records

MHMB: Two more shows to go and then I guess you’re going back home. How will you celebrate Christmas?

MT: Yes. I will go back home to Orlando/Florida to celebrate Christmas with the family.

 

MHMB: What can we expect from Tremonti and Alter Bridge in 2016?

MT: First of all there will be a new Alter Bridge album. I’m writing everyday on it and after the holiday period Myles will fly in second half of January. We start writing together, get into the studio and record through till April. When April hits, we will drop our next Tremonti record “Dust“, the new album that’s already finished. When we went into the studio last time, we recorded 20 songs and split them up into two, ten songs albums. After having released the album we will come back to Europe to tour on “Dust“. Then, I go home, I turn right around, 're-learn‘ all the Alter Bridge stuff and go on tour with Alter Bridge.

 

MHMB: That means, it will become a very busy 2016. Great to hear that there are new records coming in the new year.

MT: Yes, and maybe Myles will release his solo record too. Who knows.

 

MHMB: With such a full agenda, it sounds like co-ordinating times and dates is more than a challenge.

MT: We are just going to make sure that, once we get back on the Alter Bridge schedule, we will have an eighteen month period with having this band as the first priority. There will be other activities too in this period, but, Alter Bridge always comes first. And then, once this cycle is over, it will turn around where Slash and Tremonti is in focus for the next eighteen months.

 

MHMB: Now, while having the chance of talking to you, I have to ask you the question about Creed. There are rumors of a Creed reunion. Is there any truth in it?

MT: Right now I just don’t have time, you know. I look two years into the future and I’ll still be busy. So, if it would happen it would have to be in some time from now.

 

MHMB: Mark, thanks for your time and  we're looking forward to 2016.

MT: Thanks for having me.

 

 

 

Thanks to Diane Bale for support.

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records
Kommentare

Live review TREMONTI / THE RAVEN AGE, 013, Tilburg, 19.12.2015

Veröffentlicht am 21. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Tremonti, The Raven Age, Rock, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal, Grunge, Post Grunge, Live Review, News

It feels like Mark Tremonti having a good relationship with The Netherlands. I can't remember him touring through Europe without having at least listed one show in the Holland. Also this time the tour stopped in the Benelux country and it has been second to last before the band goes into a well deserved x-mas vacation period.

Before playing Zwolle the day after it was the 013 in Tilburg that hosted the band on this Saturday night. Unfortunately Tremonti only played the smaller hall, which was sold out in no time. The attempt of moving to the bigger hall failed, which was a pity for everybody that couldn't get a ticket. But for the ones being part of the show, this concert became an awesome one in a quite intimate sphere.

But before Mark Tremonti and his gang could enter the stage it was up to The Raven Age to heat up the audience. The guys from London are around since 2009; at least this is when the Dan Wright and George Harris founded the band. It took till 2013 to get things more shaped, which was also the year when the band published their debut EP - the only release till this day.

However, The Raven Age has played many shows, supporting e.g. Masterdon and Delain. That the guys learnt a lot during those past shows was clearly visible in Tilburg that evening. The five dudes played a really good show that was very much appreciated by the fans. Even though must of them came for Tremonti, The Rave Age rocked the 013 and got a lot of applause. Their powerful modern- / alternative metal was perceived very well and the venue was already quite packed while the London-based five-piece played their set. 

For the ones who might missed the guys, there is a new chance, since they will be the opening act for Iron Maiden's "Book Of Souls" world tour. Knowing that George Harris' family name isn't coinsidentaly the same as the one from the might Maiden bass player, Steve is his father, not a too big surpise.

After a not too long break it was time for the master himself. Mark Tremonti and his band entered the stage. The beginning couldn't have been more furious than with the title track "Cauterize". Tremonti seems to enjoy releasing the metal beast with his solo project. Not that Alter Bridge, his main band, playing soft stuff, but the really heavy songs are reserved for Tremonti.

"Flying Monkeys" for example sounds already brutal on the album, but the live version was even harder. What a riff, man! Soundgarden in their earlier days came to my mind immediately. Talking about grunge influences, also the more moderate "All I Was" from the debut was played and sounded damn cool. OK, there was actually no number on the setlist that wasn't a treat for a true metalhead's ears.

Regardless if it's the more melancholic "Dark Trip" or the speed metal influenced "Arm Yourself", both from "Cauterize", these songs just rock. Those tunes just turned the venue into a madhouse and if you would have asked the fans, this show could have gone forever.

And even though Mark Tremonti is the mainman I also want to mention the band that supported him. Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Keegan build with their excellent play the foundation for this wall of sound that night in Tilburg.

But after 15 songs and around 80 minutes playtime, things came to an end. "Wish You Well" marked the end of a fantastic show of a great musican that stand with both feet on the ground. Cool guy, cool show, cool musician.

I'm already looking forward to early summer 2016 when we can expect Tremonti back in Europe, than even with new songs in the backpack.

Live review TREMONTI / THE RAVEN AGE, 013, Tilburg, 19.12.2015

Setlist Tremonti:

  1. Cauterize
  2. You Waste Your Time
  3. All I Was
  4. So You're Afraid
  5. Flying Monkeys
  6. The Things I've Seen
  7. Radical Change
  8. Dark Trip
  9. Brains
  10. All That I Got
  11. Arm Yourself
  12. Decay
  13. Another Heart
  14. Sympathy
  15. Wish You Well

 

Setlist The Raven Age:

  1. Uprising
  2. Promisded Land
  3. The Death March
  4. Trapped Within the Shadows
  5. Eye Among the Blind
  6. Merciful One
  7. Salem's Angel (Intro by a drum solo)
  8. Angel in Disgrace

 

 

Location: 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Date: 19.12.2015

 

Kommentare

CD review SAINT ASONIA "Saint Asonia"

Veröffentlicht am 19. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Saint Asonia, Stained, Three Days Grace, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Post Grunge, Grunge, CD, News

(8/10) I have the feeling that 'supergroups' spring up like mushrooms at the moment. Maybe this has to do with the start of the autumn season or whatever.

Saint Asonia is the name of one of those 'supergroups'; this time in the field of alternative metal. So, what's so super with the group. Basically Saint Asonia are four guys that you might have heard about already in another context. Adam Gontier (v,g) played also for Three Days Grace, Mike Mushok is on lead guitar and known from Stained, Corey Lowery (Eye Empire) is on the four-string and the drumkit is in hands of Rich Beddoe, former part of Finger Eleven.

Saint Asonia was formed by those guys back in 2014 in Toronto, Canada. The band/project wasn't really meant to be a supergroup. It is more a constellation of musicians, sharing the same musical taste, that found a new channel to express their creative output.

The first single of the self-titles debut album is "Better Place" which was also chosen to be the opener for "Saint Asonia". It's a lusty rock song that clearly shows the alternative metal and post-grunge roots of the different band members. The fourpiece sounds surprisingly heavy, which is a for sure benefit of the album. Far away from bands like Nickleback the four guys make some noise and build a lot of songs on massive guitar riffs.

More quite tunes ensure a diversity on this debut album. "Even Though I Say" is one of this slow songs that are soulful by still having rougher components too. And even "Waste My Time, the obligatory ballad on the longplayer, is a well-done and bitter sweet moment on "Saint Asonia". I have to say that the second half of the record became a bit softer anyhow. Not that those tunes can't keep the level of the early ones. However, the acoustic guitar gets more into spotlight, like in the soulful "Try To Catch Up With the World".

"Happy Tragedy" is bringing back the the crunchy riffs, at least partly, before with "Leaving Minnesota" the next slow tunes starts - and actually finishs the album.

"Saint Asonia" is a highly professional alternative rock/metal album that manages the balancing act between mainstream and heaviness. The excellent production is hereby the cherry on the cake. Saint Asonia can reach with their album post-grungers as well as the younger fans; something that will make the album to a commercial success.

In my point of view we got a great debut from this band, with the small sidenote that the second have been a bit harder. Maybe next time.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Better Place
  2. Blow Me Wide Open
  3. Let Me Live My Life
  4. Even Though I Say
  5. Fairy Tale
  6. King of Nothing
  7. Waste My Time
  8. Dying Slowly
  9. Trying To Catch Up With the World
  10. Happy Tragedy
  11. Leaving Minnesota

 

Label: Columbia (Sony Music)

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release date EU: October 23rd, 2015

CD review SAINT ASONIA "Saint Asonia"
Kommentare