• 2009 / Top 61 Albums / REVIEWS (not just another list, extensive reviews)

    31 Dic 2009, 3:37 de Vader13

    You are looking at six days and nights of work. First off, THANK YOU for your interest. [URL=http://s03.flagcounter.com/more/BhL][IMG]http://s03.flagcounter.com/count/BhL/bg=FFFFFF/txt=000000/border=CCCCCC/columns=5/maxflags=50/viewers=0/labels=0/pageviews=1/[/IMG][/URL] All you people, from all these countries. Please don't be deterred by the amount of text, all reviews are quick reads. Please check out the bands you don't know, since this was one of my main intentions for doing this. And even more important: [b]PLEASE COMMENT![/b] I appreciate every comment. Each comment really means a lot to me. Lets me know that some people really took interest in this. Tell all your friends and family and have fun with this list. Note: I know Last.fm fucked up the last two reviews, I don't know why. I hope they'll get it fixed. [align=center] [b]-61-[/b] [artist]feed me![/artist] [album artist=feed me!]marching stickmen[/album] [img]http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/300x300/29942643.jpg[/img] [artist]feed me![/artist] is a instrumental electronic / post-rock band from Cairo, Egypt. Yes. Cairo, Egypt. I never in a million years would've thought that I would ever listen to a band from Egypt, but here we are, interconnected and all. I don’t really know why, but somehow I never like instrumental bands. This year had another prime example with Animals As Leaders. Undoubtly well crafted, complex music, but it bores me to death. Last year already had an exception to the rule with [artist]animals as leaders[/artist]. Undoubtly well crafted, complex music, but it bores me to death. Last year already had an exception to the rule with [artist]the ghost orchid[/artist] [[url=http://www.myspace.com/theghostorchid]Myspace[/url]] (check them out! They are awesome!), and this is the one for this year. Both rather electronical, maybe that’s the point. However, this is clever, somehow catchy, just awesome music. A perfect album if you want to relax but it really focuses my attention to it, and every time I hear it I hear something new. It works perfectly as an album and has enough ideas to keep it varied and interesting. I never heard anything like this and I guess that’s not only because I rather rarely listen to this kind of music. There is no sound too much or less on this album, less really is more. Yet I don’t think this is them at the top of their capability, hence this is their debut they ought to. I’m sure with their next release they will top this one. You can download this album (legally) for free either via last.fm [album artist=feed me!]marching stickmen[/album] or the link on their [url=www.myspace.com/feedmeband]Myspace[/url]. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=feed me!]marching stickmen[/track] | [track artist=feed me!]painting space[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/feedmeband]Myspace[/url] [b]-60-[/b] [artist]breaking benjamin[/artist] [album artist=breaking benjamin]dear agony[/album] [img]http://i907.photobucket.com/albums/ac280/haltrock/dearagony.jpg[/img] There is something about the guitar sound of nu metal bands that has a soft spot in my brain. I just love it it’s when done right. [artist]breaking benjamin[/artist] are no new artist by any means, they have been around since the big times of their genre, having two platinum selling albums in the USA under their belts, this being their fourth album. Still, they are relatively unknows this side of the pond, Dear Agony was the first BB album I listened to. No re-invention of the wheel to be found here, who would expect that anyway though, but some gems are definately worth the listen. Vocalist Benjamin Burnley’s melodies are what sets this band apart from the mass. That guy can sing. Songs like [track artist=breaking benjamin]without you[/track] and [track artist=breaking benjamin]lights out[/track] are too beautiful to be unappreceated. Guilty pleasure minus the guilt. Just a good band that knows what they can and doing it very good. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=breaking benjamin]without you[/track] | [track artist=breaking benjamin]lights out[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/breakingbenjamin]Myspace[/url] [b]-59-[/b] [artist]biffy clyro[/artist] [album artist=biffy clyro]only revolutions[/album] [img]http://www.andrewilms.de/pictures/biffy_clyro_only_revolutions.jpg[/img] Scotland’s almost finest (Ballantines Whiskey…) is back wih their fifth record. I guess I know at least one song from each of it’s predecessors, but this is the first one I know as a whole. What are [artist]biffy clyro[/artist]? A trio. Pop. Rock. Pop Rock. A bit of each and a lot of their own. These twelve songs each show one of these sides more or less. That is the crux of this album, it's not really working as an album. Some songs are overblown with horns and strings, some are straight rock. Some are too long, some are too short. There is no golden thread visible, you lose interest after a while. What keeps you listening are those melodies… Some are forgettable, no question there, but when it’s a good one it's [u]good[/u]. Simon Neil's voice is the center of each song, and rightfully so, but the guitar / instumental moments show a side that is at least as great but doesn’t have as much space. Revolutions are dead, everyone knows, but with some songs [artist]biffy clyro[/artist] spark at least some fuses of a little pop rock revolution. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=biffy clyro]bubbles[/track] | [track artist=biffy clyro]that golden rule[/track] | [track artist=biffy clyro]know your quarry[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/biffyclyro]Myspace[/url] [b]-58-[/b] [artist]moneen[/artist] [album artist=moneen]the world I want to leave behind[/album] [img]http://www.merchlackey.com/product_images/1250888739.jpg[/img] They almost actually made a better album than long time friends [artist]alexisonfire[/artist]. I know [artist]moneen[/artist] since I’ve seen them live a few years ago. They were amazing despite huge sound issues, they just didn’t care for the problems and played a thrilling set. But when I heard their songs on their Myspace after that I was disappointed. It just lacked the energy and more. This is the first album I really cared for, after I heard that their last album was said to be very good and I liked the first single, [track artist=moneen]hold that sound[/track]. They are really better than what I remembered them to be, but not quite there yet. It’s just a little too poppy at times. More fast paced songs would have been perfect, actually you wait for a song that really is perfect from front to back until the last song, [track artist=moneen]the glass house[/track], which blows every other song on this album out of the water. If the whole album would have been like that this definately would have been better than [album artist=alexisonfire]old crows / young cardinals[/album]. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=moneen]the glass house[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/moneen]Myspace[/url] [b]-57-[/b] [artist]the black dahlia murder[/artist] [album artist=the black dahlia murder]deflorate[/album] [img]http://www.metalblade.com/news/images/bdm_deflorate.jpg[/img] After the loss of guitarist John Kempainen [artist]the black dahlia murder[/artist] was fast to recruit Ryan Knight of [artist]arsis[/artist] fame as their new second guitarist and roughly eight months after that they released this album. I tell you, they better should have taken some more time. This is not really a disappointment, it sure isn’t a bad album, yet uninspired, it is. It really isn’t that step forward that a band should take with each release. On [album artist=the black dahlia murder]miasma[/album] they showed they had groove, on [album artist=the black dahlia murder]nocturnal[/album] they showed they are death metal, on [album artist=the black dahlia murder]deflorate[/album] they show that they can play fucking fast and sweet solos aswell. That is simply not enough most of the times. [track artist=the black dahlia murder]christ deformed[/track] however is one of the best songs they ever recorded, they show something new here, a black metal side of [artist]the black dahlia murder[/artist]. But [album artist=the black dahlia murder]deflorate[/album] somehow is not as good as their previous records. The songwriting is not up to par, the groove is missing, the memorable parts that make you want to headbang and airdrum / airguitar every time you hear them are not here, the constant speed gets unbelievably tiring after a while. But let’s just take it as their second first album. P.S. Shannon Lucas is a beast and I can’t believe how fast he is ([track artist=the black dahlia murder]death panorama[/track]!!!). [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTul-uzXIpU]Feast your eyes and ears.[/url] [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=the black dahlia murder]christ deformed[/track] | [track artist=the black dahlia murder]black valor[/track] | [track artist=the black dahlia murder]death panorama[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/blackdahliamurder]Myspace[/url] [b]-56-[/b] [artist]the chariot[/artist] [album artist=the chariot]wars and rumors of wars[/album] [img]http://www.burnmage.com/wp-content/uploads/warsandrumorsofwar.jpg[/img] After the fantastic [album artist=the chariot]the fiancée[/album] and yet another renewal on each instument [artist]the chariot[/artist] are back with their third album. I always wonder where Josh Scogin finds all these musicians. And why they never suck. And how they actually have the time to write an album. First off, [album artist=the chariot]wars and rumors of wars[/album] is not as good as [album artist=the chariot]the finacée[/album], yet still it is fun times. Fun if you consider getting dragged through broken glass by a horse as fun. I do. Sometimes. [album artist=the chariot]the finacée[/album] was great because of it’s relentlessness and southern rock, rock 'n' roll, and grunge ([track artist=nirvana]tourette’s[/track] and then [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny6c0nDvdRM&feature=player_embedded]The Deaf Policemen[/url] anyone?). And that’s the whole point - [album artist=the chariot]the fiancée[/album] was way more memorable. This one is more like a cactus. One big fucking hurting thing. However a lot of people have cacti (had to look up that one), and some are even considered beautiful by some, and this album has it’s beautiful sides. Like the unrelenting [track artist=the chariot]never i[/track], or the groovy [track artist=the chariot]Mrs. Montgomery Alabama III.[/track]. No song is bad. That being said: Listen to it. It’s really good. I wonder when I am going to play drums for them. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=the chariot]never i[/track] | [track artist=the chariot]Mrs. Montgomery Alabama III.[/track] | [track artist=the chariot]Evolve:[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thechariot]Myspace[/url] [b]-55-[/b] [artist]lamb of god[/artist] [album artist=lamb of god]wrath[/album] [img]http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t268/dreyap/LambOfGod-Wrath2009.jpg[/img] I hate when bands release their best songs as Japan (or whatever country) exclusive bonus tracks. It happened again. Someone thell me why [track artist=lamb of god]condemn the hive[/track] was not included on the album. This is one of the best songs they have ever written! Probably they couldn’t decide what song to cut, but they better had. This may be their best album if they had included that song, best in the second half, where some ideas do feel recycled. 2006’s [album artist=lamb of god]sacrament[/album] truly was a disappointment to me, but this is really a perfect consoler. What am I saying, even one song, [track artist=lamb of god]contractor[/track], makes up for that. What a bastard of a song. Crazy. This and the rest of the album has all the energy [album artist=lamb of god]sacrament[/album] is missing, more groove than your mom’s funk band and is beyond amazing technically. Seriously, how much have they improved since [album artist=lamb of god]as the palaces burn[/album]? Unbelievable. Playing groove driven metal, [artist]lamb of god[/artist] always are endangered to bore the audience to death if the songs aren’t varied or simply good enough. This is rarely the case though, Mark Morton and Willie Adler know how to write riffs and especially Chris Adler’s drumming assures a wide enough range of tempo and innovative songstructures to keep the listener awake most of the times. The second half of it may really be a bit weaker, yet every song of that is better than most of the [album artist=lamb of god]sacrament[/album] songs. By the way you know you listen to an outstanding band when even the bonus tracks are this amazing. The last third of [track artist=lamb of god]we die alone[/track] anyone? That ongoing riff on [track artist=lamb of god]shoulder of your god[/track]? [track artist=lamb of god]condemn the hive[/track] any fucking one?! [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=lamb of god]contractor[/track] | [track artist=lamb of god]set to fail[/track] | [track artist=lamb of god]broken hands[/track] [track artist=lamb of god]condemn the hive[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/lambofgod]Myspace[/url] [b]-54-[/b] [artist]die mannequin[/artist] [album artist=die mannequin]fino+bleed[/album] [img]http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/7446/finobleed.jpg[/img] I don’t even know what genre they are. This is dark rock that is groovy and fun to listen to. Impelling guitar riffs, a grooving rhythm section and the raspy, cracking vocals of Cary Failure, that is it. And that is enough. It really is a contradiction that listening to this album is so much fun, since it’s really not meant to be a positive record. But I can’t help it, the riffs are perfect fun, and the tracks are up tempo most of the times. This is not complex music by any means, yet no song sounds like the other. However the songstructures are the same for each, and that is the crux of this album, the melodies are varied but the structures aren’t. The second half of the album sounds just like the first in worse. The overall sound aswell could have been a little bigger, yet a little rawer aswell if that makes any sense to someone but me. What I wish for is a record where they surpass their boundaries and let loose completely. Like shown in the last part of [track artist=die mannequin]Open Season/"Whipper Snapper" Interlude[/track]. And nudes. Sorry. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=die mannequin]dead honey[/track] | [track artist=die mannequin]Open Season/"Whipper Snapper" Interlude[/track] | [track artist=die mannequin]Miss Americvnt[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/diemannequin]Myspace[/url] [b]-53-[/b] [artist]war from a harlots mouth[/artist] [album artist=war from a harlots mouth]in shoals[/album] [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_38kcS7vSCdQ/Sk0zkofyrpI/AAAAAAAAAqg/cqjnb3CBjOc/s400/War+From+A+Harlots+Mouth%282009%29In+Shoals.jpg[/img] Second album from one of the best and most likely the hardest working band from Germany. After their unexpectedly successful debut [album artist=war from a harlots mouth]transmetropolitan[/album], they come back with a new vocalist and evn more chaos. But they could not exceed the expectations with this album. New volcalist Nico’s vocals are just a bit too limited and the songwriting now being even more inticrately are not really helping that. This is an album full of great songs, but all together they are just an unmemorable mass. Don’t get me wrong, this is an album full of moments you will have stuck in your head, but you couldn’t even tell from which song they were. On a sidenote what really stands out to me and needs to be mentioned is the performance of drummer Paul Seidel. No triggers, no „studio magic“. One of the best drumming performances and drum sounds of the year. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=war from a harlots mouth]Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept And Obstruct Errorism[/track] | [track artist=war from a harlots mouth]they come in shoals[/track] | [track artist=war from a harlots mouth]no high five for c.oward[/track] | [track artist=war from a harlots mouth]copyriot[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/warfromaharlotsmouth]Myspace[/url] [b]-52-[/b] [artist]crash kings[/artist] [album artist=crash kings]crash kings[/album] [img]http://hangout.altsounds.com/geek/gars/images/2/crashkings.jpg[/img] Boston natives and now LA based [artist]crash kings[/artist] are truly one of the most promising new bands this year. Pop Rock is cliché-ridden, forseeable and so damn boring, most of the times not even the melodies are good enough to even entertain me. But there’s something about this band, maybe the voice of Tony Beliveau, maybe the way of songs, where a piano is the center and not a guitar like [artist]keane[/artist] have done before, but they are way poppier, although similarities are there, but most likely the songs themselves are the star. The songs are well written and most melodies are addictive. What more can you ask for? A little more variety and audacity to really find their own sound. But that’s really nothing every artist has with their first album. So let’s dance through until the next album. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=crash kings]mountain man[/track] | [track artist=crash kings]raincoat[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/crashkings]Myspace[/url] [b]-51-[/b] [artist]parachutes[/artist] [album artist=parachutes]the working horse[/album] [img]http://sonsofnero.com/parachutes/myspace/PARACHUTES_cover.jpg[/img] I remember the first time I heard [artist]parachutes[/artist]. I first thought I was listening to [artist]underoath[/artist], after I noticed I was wrong I was still sure this was an american band. But they’re german. It definitely is a pro that they always had that big, american sound. Only one year after releasing [album artist=parachutes]vultures[/album], these five men from Neunkirchen are back with their third album and not that much has changed. The sound just got even bigger, the songs are more rock influenced and the overall sound of the band seems matured. They know that they don’t revolutionize the genre or anything, but they know how to write songs that have everything you could want. Fast paced, melody and riff driven Rock songs with a hardcore sound that keeps on growing on you. They change little things throughout the songs. At first listen everything might sound pretty similar, but with each listen you’ll have another favourite track. There is so much waiting to be discovered. It really is not a coincidence that [artist]parachutes[/artist] are above [artist]silverstein[/artist] this year, although both albums are good. Let’s see where it takes this exciting band. If they can develop a sound completely of their own they are desined to break through in full gallop. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=parachutes]Get Bitches Or Die Tryin'[/track] | [track artist=parachutes]the watchers report[/track] | [track artist=parachutes]the working horse[/track] | [track artist=parachutes]How Are You Feeling, Jimmy? Like A Mean Motherfucker, Sir![/track] [url=www.myspace.com/parachutesnk]Myspace[/url] [b]-50-[/b] [artist]bury your dead[/artist] [album artist=bury your dead]it’s nothing personal[/album] [img]http://images.victoryrecords.com/albums/VR512.jpg[/img] The problem with this record is [track artist=bury your dead]closed eyes[/track]. Somehow it seems like [artist]bury your dead[/artist] did not have enough songs for this album, or ideas for that song which wouldn’t be surprising, after only one year between this and [album artist=bury your dead]bury your dead[/album]. [track artist=bury your dead]closed eyes[/track] should have been excluded from the album, without this “song” the record is already 43 solid minutes long, why the need to keep it? Five minutes of actually nothing on the end of the record are pretty much ruining the whole album. However, the ten songs previous to that are really good, but nothing new, it really is [album artist=bury your dead]bury your dead[/album] (the album), part two. But you don’t expect them to do anything else, their uncreaivity works in their advance. If you want post Matt Bruso [artist]bury your dead[/artist], here it is in it’s very essence. Probably no one pulls the screamed verse, sung chorus scheme through as relentless as [artist]bury your dead[/artist]. If you hated them before, here’s another good reason. If you loved [album artist=bury your dead]bury your dead[/album] (the album), you’ll like this one. As simple as it gets. [artist]bury your dead[/artist]. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=bury your dead]swan song[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/buryyourdead]Myspace[/url] [b]-49-[/b] [artist]taking back sunday[/artist] [album artist=taking back sunday]new again[/album] [img]http://bigpondmusic.com/images/AlbumCoverArt/409/XXL/New-Again.jpg[/img] If anyone says something othen than their guitarist is new about [artist]taking back sunday[/artist] I might have to call that someone a liar. This is [artist]taking back sunday[/artist] as we know it. Songs that exist for their thrilling choruses whilst being forced there by driving guitars and drums. Adam Lazzara’s vocals are way more powerful now, it no longer has that annoying cracking tone to it. Mark O’Connell’s drums are way more varied this time and new guitarist Mark Rubano’s riffs are nice, while his voice really is not worthy of being more than a second voice, a difference between him and Fred Mascherino who had a very unique, powerful voice that was constantly dueling Lazzara’s. Thus the album is lacking a bit of power. But the songs [artist]taking back sunday[/artist] write are still undeniably great gems of music and with the addictive [track artist=taking back sunday]sink into me[/track] and the slightly moody [track artist=taking back sunday]carpathia[/track] there are even some of the best [artist]taking back sunday[/artist] songs ever on this record. The overall progression of more personal lyrics is very positive aswell. P.S. If anyone knows the artwork that looks damn similiar tell me who that was. Thanks. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=taking back sunday]carpathia[/track] | [track artist=taking back sunday]sink into me[/track] | [track artist=taking back sunday]lonely, lonely[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/takingbacksunday]Myspace[/url] [b]-48-[/b] [artist]evita[/artist] [album artist=evita]minutes and miles[/album] [img]http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u320/gore_core_dafne/evitacoverdafnee.jpg[/img] After only one EP ([album artist=evita]like an ocean, we rise again[/album]) and this album [artist]evita[/artist] sadly have called it quits. But rather stop on a high note than never, right? Whilst having a more deathcoreish sound on their EP, they have changed that into a way more interesting (technical) metalcore / post hardcore sound on this release. No reinvention of the wheel here aswell, but better a good cover than a bad original, right? What sets this record apart from the tons of metalcore releases this year is the feeling it creates. The clean vocal passages always have some sort of melancholic feel to them and the verses are aggressive and driving. A known mixture, yet very well exercised and with their own flavour to it. The melodies and song structures have something very exceptional. Technically this album is up to par with way bigger bands. The production is sweet and powerful and the band is playing tight as fuck. Especially the djentish moments are memorable. A really promising debut but sadly their start is their end. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=evita]when losing everything means nothing[/track] | [track artist=evita]even the odds[/track] | [track artist=evita]myself to you[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/evitaband]Myspace[/url] [b]-47-[/b] [artist]kidcrash[/artist] [album artist=kidcrash]snacks[/album] [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Nf-R8Os1BVA/Sr0CG3UU69I/AAAAAAAACpg/7y5u8NVCTEc/s320/artwork.jpg[/img] Last year I was pretty amazed by a band called [artist]this town needs guns[/artist] ([url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de1bt5dc2t0&feature=PlayList&p=C3E2D0191D0CE93E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1]Check them out. Seriously. I love this song.[/url]). [artist]kidcrash[/artist] seems like the faster and more aggressive version of that band to me. There is even a panda bear on this cover that looks exactly like the one on the cover of [album artist=this town needs guns]animals[/album]. Artistically played guitars, very soft instrumental moments, a sometimes distant voice screaming rabidly, as if no one’s there, driving guitars dueling for your attention, drums with countless rhythm changes throughout the songs and a swirling bass. There is so much creativity in this band. So many ideas in each song. Despite all the changes throughout the songs, most are momorable and no seem to be too clustered. The way this band is playing with the pace of the songs and their parts is breathtaking. That really is talent shining. When you play with the structures and especially the paces of songs you need to do it good and know what you’re doing. If done wrong, it is apparent and horrible. But none of this is to be heard here. It’s really a record you have and want to listen to from the first track to the last. It’s 32 minutes are really cohesive and that makes this album even better, the short length keeps you craving for more. This is rather a full meal than a snack. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=kidcrash]wound eraser[/track] | [track artist=kidcrash]where nerves were[/track] | [track artist=kidcrash]slow applause[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thekidcrash]Myspace[/url] [b]-46-[/b] [artist]dredg[/artist] [album artist=dredg]the pariah, the parrot, the delusion[/album] [img]http://www.artistsandbands.org/ita/uploads/photos/4439.jpg[/img] Almost exactly four years after releasing the fantastic [album artist=dredg]catch without arms[/album], [artist]dredg[/artist] are back with their popiest album to date. Art pop rock, as ridiculously as it sounds, is the most accurate way to name their sound on this album. When compared to each other, [album artist=dredg]the pariah, the parrot, the delusion[/album] has a great amount of different instuments, a tendency of lening towards electronic sounds (the drums sound like a beatbox at times) and the more simplistic songwriting. The album is way easier accessible, yet takes longer to be understood as a whole. The problem is that the songs each for itself are great, some are better in context, but most are not really well fitting next to each other. [artist]dredg[/artist] seem to know this, they included several instrumental tracks that may be supposed to work as link between some songs. [album artist=dredg]catch without arms[/album] aswell had a wide range of songs on it, yet those were somehow held together by a feeling they all conveyed. This time most songs have a similar sound and structure but the feel is somewhat gone. The focus seems to have been on the instrumentations. Which clearly is exercised perfectly albeit a little dirt in the sound would have been for the better. Also the lyrics are not closely as poetic as they used to be for [artist]dredg[/artist]. As I mentioned before, whatever flaws this album has, there are great tracks, some are even close to perfect. The melodies and especially Gavin Hayes voice are hauntingly beautiful. [track artist=dredg]cartoon showroom[/track] for example is a contrate of the strenghts of this album, Gavin Hayes voice and this melody. Whenever the instruments are more in the background, the album shows how amazing it could have been. [track artist=dredg]gathering pebbles[/track] for example for the most part seems to consist only of the drums and Gavin Hayes. With [album artist=dredg]the pariah, the parrot, the delusion[/album], [artist]dredg[/artist] released an album that is undeniably very good, but with their talent and abilities they could’ve written a much better album. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=dredg]cartoon showroom[/track] | [track artist=dredg]gathering pebbles[/track] | [track artist=dredg]pariah[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/dredg]Myspace[/url] [b]-45-[/b] [artist]alexisonfire[/artist] [album artist=alexisonfire]old crows / young cardinals[/album] [img]http://www.rocksound.tv/images/uploads/alexy300.jpg[/img] Well, I guess much has been said about George changing his style of screaming. Less abrasive, more punkish he now sounds. He even sounds like guitarist Wade at times who has been the only punk voice thus far and has subsequently less room on these songs. This was a major issue with this record for many, but to me the problem lies somewhere else: [artist]alexisonfire[/artist] have almost become boring. I never thought that I’d be saying this, yet this is not even [album artist=alexisonfire]crisis[/album], part 2, no it is [album artist=alexisonfire]crisis[/album], part boring. Well that’s a little too harsh, but most songs are simply too foreseeable and are only saved by the fantastic melodies they have. Somehow, this years [artist]alexisonfire[/artist] is lacking creativity and balls. Compare [track artist=alexisonfire]control[/track] or [track artist=alexisonfire]"Hey, It's Your Funeral Mama"[/track] with each track on this album and those two songs are better than most. Because they were simply more creative. The songs on [album artist=alexisonfire]old crows / young cardinals[/album] mostly follow the old formula of verse-chorus-verse-prechorus-chorus and so on, thus it is not surprising that with [track artist=alexisonfire]accept crime[/track] one of the worst [artist]alexisonfire[/artist] songs ever is on here. I don’t want this to sound like this album is rubbish, it really really is not. The melodies are fantastic, most riffs are too, drummer Jordan „Ratbeard“ Hastings is making another step forward and provides some solid grooves and they just know how to write songs. They just have written them more cleverly on their previous records. It’s not the step forward each album is supposed to be, but surely even less a step back. These melodies deserved more work put into the songs as a whole. P.S. On the bonus track [track artist=alexisonfire]two sisters[/track] they show how good this album could have been. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=alexisonfire]born and raised[/track] | [track artist=alexisonfire]emerald street[/track] | [track artist=alexisonfire]young cardinals[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/alexisonfire]Myspace[/url] [b]-44-[/b] [artist]emery[/artist] [album artist=emery]in shallow seas we sail[/album] [img]http://emerymusic.ru/InShallowSeasWeSail.jpg[/img] [artist]emery[/artist]s last album, [album artist=emery]I am only a man[/album] was a huge disappointment to most. But with this album they really return to form by simply bringing back their signature strenghts. One of those strengths is first and foremost the similar sounding accompanying singing voices of Toby Morrell and Devin Shelton flanked by the screams of Keyborder Josh Head, which were pretty much gone on the last record, another one being well developed songwriting abilities. [artist]emery[/artist] took a step backwards with [album artist=emery]I am only a man[/album], so they had to take two forwards with this one. And they did. What the [album artist=emery]while broken hearts prevail[/album] EP hinted is layed out on 41 minutes with this one. But exactly that fantastic EP is the problem I have with this album, or rather the tracks which were on the EP that are also on this album. [track artist=emery]the smile, the face[/track] definitely is one of the best songs [artist]emery[/artist] have ever written and if I hadn’t heard it before I’d be blown away by this album, but I already knew this song and already heard it too many times, same with [track artist=emery]edge of the world[/track] another one of the best songs on the record. It really would have been nice if they hadn’t taken any songs from the EP onto this album. Nontheless, this is a fantastic album. Not their best, I don’t know if I ever will love a album by them more than [album artist=emery]the question[/album], but their second best. If they had had the courage to take a song in the veins of the good ones of [album artist=emery]I am only a man[/album] ([track artist=emery]what makes a man a man[/track], [track artist=emery]from crib to coffin[/track]) that had more use of synthies and different style of guitars and rhythm, which was overall good but sloppy executed on most of the songs on that album, and not released some of the best songs on [album artist=emery]while broken hearts prevail[/album] this might actually have been the best album they ever released. But let’s take two steps forward for two steps forward. A huge accievement. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=emery]Butcher's Mouth[/track] | [track artist=emery]the smile, the face[/track] | [track artist=emery]edge of the world[/track] | [track artist=emery]dear death, part 2[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/emery]Myspace[/url] [b]-43-[/b] [artist]narrows[/artist] [album artist=narrows]new distances[/album] [img]http://www.deathwishinc.com/estore/graphics/00000001/mininarrowsdig300.jpg[/img] Whenever someone’s talking about [artist]narrows[/artist], it somehow is inevitable that [artist]botch[/artist] will be mentioned (because of vocalist Dave Verellen). That and the band history of the other members ([artist]these arms are snakes[/artist], [artist]some girls[/artist] among others) shaped the expectations. These expectations were impossible to be met, but once you realize [artist]narrows[/artist] are not like [artist]botch[/artist] you are in for a damn good album. But wait a secont. Not like [artist]botch[/artist]? I may have gotten ahead of myself. Let’s check the facts: Dissonant guitars? Creativity? Verellen’s voice? Moody silent stuff happening? Loud discordant stuff happening? All here. Then why is this different than [artist]botch[/artist]? The package is different, the way it’s played, the way everything is, the way this somehow sounds like a hardcore version of [artist]tool[/artist] at times. Music is the people that make them and even if sometimes it is similar, two different people could never write the same song. What is amazing about [artist]narrows[/artist] is that they keep it together whilst pushing the limits. These are well experienced musicians and you can hear that in every song. There is no need for cheap showmanship, this is all real talent. And that is always incomparable. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=narrows]gypsy kids[/track] | [track artist=narrows]the fourragere[/track] | [track artist=narrows]sea witch[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/narrows]Myspace[/url] [b]-42-[/b] [artist]arsonists get all the girls[/artist] [album artist=arsonists get all the girls]portals[/album] [img]http://www.rocksound.tv/images/uploads/portals300.jpg[/img] After the loss of their bassist Pat (by death) after releasing their debut success [album artist=arsonists get all the girls]the game of life[/album] and the loss of their vocalist just into recording this album, I was anxious to see if these guys could pull it together and make the album [album artist=arsonists get all the girls]the game of life[/album] was hinting to be. Well. It is way better than that. This is way more fun to listen to. The chaos is more understandable and there are simply more songs that are fun all the way through and not just parts of them. Besides the craftsmanship is amazing. New vocalist Jared Monette found a nice way to be variable and totally fitting into the sound at the same time. Even the guy on the synthesizer is doing a terrific job, and usually those are the ones that ruin records for me. But he knows what he’s doing and everything he does makes sense and sounds perfect. I don’t really think I know one other band (at least not in metal or hardcore) where the synthies have so much right to exist. It really sets the band apart, since they are the only ones who do it this good. Also I need to mention the drummer again. He really is ten times better than on their debut and he really was good on that one already. I said this record is fun. Why you ask? The time signature and groove changes, the synthies, the drums, the riffs. All is so varied you can’t tell me it’s not fun. They even have an almost normal straight forward song on this album ([track artist=arsonists get all the girls]in the empyreans[/track]) and it’s awesome! And the production… My goodness, how much time do you have? Perfect. Recorded by Zack Ohren (who worked on [artist]As Blood Runs Black[/artist] and [artist]All Shall Perish[/artist] before), every single instrument is laid out at every single second. This was truly one of the biggest suprises of the year for me, I never would’ve thought they could outdo [artist]war from a harlots mouth[/artist]. But they did. P.S. But that skit at the end really is not funny. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=arsonists get all the girls]skiff for the suits[/track] | [track artist=arsonists get all the girls]in the empyreans[/track] | [track artist=arsonists get all the girls]saturnine[/track] | [track artist=arsonists get all the girls]my cup's half empty[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/agatg]Myspace[/url] [b]-41-[/b] [artist]the sleeping[/artist] [album artist=the sleeping]what it takes[/album] [img]http://images.victoryrecords.com/albums/VR355.jpg[/img] While [artist]rise against[/artist] seems to stagnate these five gentlemen from Long Island, New York seem to have lisened closely to the better tracks. Especially the powerful voice of Douglas Robinson reminds me of Tim McIlrath numerous times. [artist]the sleeping[/artist] sound like what [artist]rise against[/artist] might with only one guitar, a more atmospheric, slow sound and a keyboard. Keyboard player Christopher Evans is the one who shoulders the most weight of giving the band a unique sound. And don’t let my comparisons fool you, [artist]the sleeping[/artist] really has a unique sound.The more his synthies are involved with the song and in the foreground the more the band shines, like on the ripping opening track [track artist=the sleeping]You'll Be A Corpse Before Your Time[/track] or the piano driven [track artist=the sleeping]running faster[/track]. While not having the lyrical finesse of Tim McIlrath, [artist]the sleeping[/artist] have a more capturing feel throughout the album which really adds to the lyrical content and therefore contibutes to them a great deal, giving them way more draft. A huge songwriting accomplishment is that at no time you feel that the songs sound too similar. Some more aggressive songs may have been nice, since the voice of Douglas really has it in him and the ones that are on this one are fantastic, yet I wouldn’t want to miss any of the slower songs, so that’s a discord. Check this band out, it may have something and surely has enough talent for anyone. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=the sleeping]shallow lungs[/track] |[track artist=the sleeping]running faster[/track] | [track artist=the sleeping]bomb the world[/track] | [track artist=the sleeping]You'll Be A Corpse Before Your Time[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thesleeping]Myspace[/url] [b]-40-[/b] [artist]hand to hand[/artist] [album artist=hand to hand]design the end / follow the horizon[/album] [img]http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/7637/dtefth.jpg[/img] After releasing last year’s best EP ([album artist=hand to hand]breaking the surface[/album] – you read it [url=http://www.last.fm/user/Vader13/journal/2008/12/24/2crvc5_2008__reviews__part_1%3A_eps]here[/url] first ; )) [artist]hand to hand[/artist] are back with their long awaited second album. Four years is a long time, especially for a rather new band, more especially in todays fast times. Last year’s appetizer therefore surely was a good thing. No tracks of [album artist=hand to hand]breaking the surface[/album] made it onto this album which I find to be very positive. It has become somewhat of a trend by bands to release a EP and then wait what tracks are best received to take them onto the album. The crux is that I as the listner always tend to focus on these songs again because I know I like them, but lose interst quicker because it’s nothing new. Another aspect is that it always leaves a bitter taste of the artists not having enough good songs. But enough of the ramble, lets get back to [album artist=hand to hand]design the end / follow the horizon[/album]. I guess it’s impossible to find just one singer who has more fun doing what he does and conveying it as good as Rob Kellom. His voice really improved big times since [album artist=hand to hand]a perfect way to say goodbye[/album]. And “new” (they’re really not that new anymore, right?) guitarists John Radford and Arturo Matamoros are not party stoppers. Really great written, fun riffs, good songs. Just listen to the nine minutes playing time instrumental finisher [track artist=hand to hand]let’s end this album with a party[/track] and you’ll concur. But that song really has the wrong name. The whole album is a party. Metalcore has been around for some years now, but [artist]hand to hand[/artist] really sound like no other band. This isn’t metalcore. This is party metal. And I’m always down for a good party. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=hand to hand]last Saturday was way better[/track] | [track artist=hand to hand]Let's End This Album With a Party[/track] | [track artist=hand to hand]love muscle[/track] | [track artist=hand to hand]The Lion's Den[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/handtohand]Myspace[/url] [b]-39-[/b] [artist]architects[/artist] [album artist=architects]hollow crown[/album] [img]http://www.rocksound.tv/images/uploads/hollowcrown300.jpg[/img] On [album artist=architects]ruin[/album], [artist]architects[/artist] showed that they had what it takes technically. On [album artist=architects]hollow crown[/album] they show they have the craftsmanship it takes to use that technical abilities to write really good songs. They significantly raised the amount of clean sung parts, yet that doesn’t make the album less powerful. Just more memorable. From the first second of opening track [track artist=architects]early grave[/track] you know it’s on. Ridiculously low tuned, djenting guitars, a drummer who has four arms, and Sam Carter screaming his lungs out. Add the clean vocals to that and you have the formula for the album. Except for closing track [track artist=architects]hollow crown[/track], which is a beautiful song, starting with a softly sung melody with just electronic and at times tapping guitar in the background until it eventually bursts into a powerchord driven longing scream from Carter searching for home. This is a way more hardcore influenced record than [album artist=architects]ruin[/album], some parts even sound like [artist]comeback kid[/artist] with lower tuned guitars and seizures. Nonetheless it is a mostly metal record and still has it’s [artist]meshuggah[/artist] (some) or [artist]dillinger escape plan[/artist] (less) moments. The success this album had for this band is well deserved. It really made the band stick out of the immense amount of Metalcore bands today while being more accessible. If there’s anything the band could do better next time it’s the sometimes repeditive songwriting, but as all members in [artist]architects[/artist] are about 20 years old and time is the best teacher, I have no doubt they will. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=architects]in elegance[/track] | [track artist=architects]hollow crown[/track] | [track artist=architects]numbers count for nothing[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/architectsuk]Myspace[/url] [b]-38-[/b] [artist]evergreen terrace[/artist] [album artist=evergreen terrace]almost home[/album] [img]http://www.in-your-face.de/files/imagecache/fullscreen/files/images/evergreen_terrace_almost_home.jpg[/img] Do you ever think what songs might sound like based on their titles? When [artist]evergreen terrace[/artist] first posted the tracklist for [album artist=evergreen terrace]almost home[/album] I was sure that [track artist=evergreen terrace]mario speedwagon[/track] would sound exactly like the way it does, fucking fast and with one hell of a melody. Fast and similar to [track artist=evergreen terrace]rip this![/track]. After the first few listens I was a little disappointed with the album for whatever reason I can’t recall. But after two weeks or something where I didn’t listen to it the album finally clicked for me as I heard it again. It’s not [album artist=evergreen terrace]wolfbiker[/album], part II. That was a pure metalcore record, this one is way faster and brings a whole lot of the punk influences back. Overall this sounds like way more fun than [album artist=evergreen terrace]wolfbiker[/album] although being way more raging at times ([track artist=evergreen terrace]God Rocky, Is This Your Face?[/track]) with the breakdowns as sharp and precise as ever. The drumming is stunning throughout the album, the pace is incredible (get well Kyle) and the singing of Craig Chaney is as beautiful as always, his voice really is one of the main aspects why this band is so special. The hoarse screaming vocals of Andrew Carey however at times feel like an alien element in songs like [track artist=evergreen terrace]We're Always Losing Blood[/track], where Chaney is singing throughout the whole song and Carey screaming in the background, it’d have been for the better of the song if Carey stepped back completely and wasn’t on the track. Him being on there doesn’t ruin the song at all however, that was just a feeling and it’s just in that one single song. What I find most positive about this album is that it really is consistently good, there are no tracks that are slowing the flow or just bad compard to the others. All songs are well thought through, they take really, really long to be boring and are really fun to listen to. [album artist=evergreen terrace]almost home[/album] is the step forward every band wants to make with every new album by just refining small elements of the sound they already had. Yet it somehow feels like a big step. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=evergreen terrace]mario speedwagon[/track] | [track artist=evergreen terrace]almost home (III)[/track] | [track artist=evergreen terrace]not good enough[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/evergreenterrace]Myspace[/url] [b]-37-[/b] [artist]gaza[/artist] [album artist=gaza]he is never coming back[/album] [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_K2esD1Ixp84/Svl0JI1Mt_I/AAAAAAAAAmE/4UlrAuULaZ8/s320/2305713.jpg[/img] Sludge- Math- Whateverthefuckyouwanttocallthisfuckedupbastardpieceofmusic- core masters [artist]gaza[/artist]’s second full length is a surprise. They lost one guitarist but are even more powerful. Their songs are more comprehensible. They have two indie songs on the record, yes indie (or post-rock or whatever). But still this album makes perfect sense, especially as a follow up to the always all ways extreme [album artist=gaza]I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die[/album]. While their debut was somewhat unfocused at times and the songs weren’t really comprehensible sometimes this time the riffing and song structuring is perfect. More riffs are influenced by sludge. The drumming is always unpredictable and changing numerous times throughout most songs. That unpredictableness is a thing that makes all these songs so special. Even when they are clearly [artist]gaza[/artist], you never know what’s going to happen in the next second. Another standout feature is the vocals. Just listen to the first part of [track artist=gaza]he is never coming back[/track], where there is nothing but that scream. What the fuck. If that ain’t raw power I will be deaf on one ear from now on. It may be limited but is perfect for this sound. The most memorable feature about this album however is it’s production. A lot of bands say they want their cd sound to be more like their live sound. Here is your blueprint. If that ain’t a live sound I will be deaf on the other ear. Although it may sound cheap at first, once you listen closely, with headphones at best, you realize how good the sound really is. It’s really orgasmic and powerful. That makes the album even better. I was surprised by how much of goodness this album contains but [artist]gaza[/artist] have done all things right. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=gaza]he is never coming back[/track] | [track artist=gaza]bishop[/track] | [track artist=gaza]tombless[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/gaza]Myspace[/url] [b]-36-[/b] [artist]the ghost of a thousand[/artist] [album artist=the ghost of a thousand]new hopes, new demonstrations[/album] [img]http://www.rocksound.tv/images/uploads/ghosts300.jpg[/img] [i]It’s only rock ‘n’ roll![/i] Yeah, this is rock ‘n’ roll. Aswell as this is punk. Aswell as this is hardcore. And a very british style of southern rock. All blended into one lump of highly energized, angry, guitar driven noise with a lot of attitude. It is a very british album, not just because of the accent, to a great deal the attitude aswell and most of all because the very own, somehow to me very british sounding style of southern rock that is always present. On their second album, I never heard the first one, [artist]the ghost of a thousand[/artist] somehow sound a bit like a lighter, punk version of [artist]beecher[/artist] or the unforgotten masters, [artist]johnny truant[/artist] or a british version of [artist]the bronx[/artist] which most might say, although I don’t think they are too similar, although sounding somewhat alike (hard to explain…). The pace is very high, except for [track artist=the ghost of a thousand]nobody likes a hero[/track] and closing track [track artist=the ghost of a thousand]good old fashioned loss[/track] who are supposed to change things up a bit, yet are nowhere near being highlights of the album. Mainly because of the very creative riffing no song is like any other anyways, so there was no real need to slow things down. The drumming is mostly punk or groove driven, sometimes almost stadium rock like. The bass is nice, because it can actally be heard, sounds sweet and is accentuating some songs nicely [track artist=the ghost of a thousand]running on empty[/track]. As mentioned the riffing is always creative and driving. The vocals are very unique, very hoarse, but in a very own way and always bouncing back and forth into the british accent driven clean singing. The best songs are in the first half of the album, and if the second half would’ve been just as good this may actually be in my top 5. It isn’t so there you have it, you [i]fucking new romantics[/i]. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=the ghost of a thousand]bright lights[/track] | [track artist=the ghost of a thousand]Moved As Mountains, Dreamt Of By The Sea[/track] | [track artist=the ghost of a thousand]running on empty[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/theghostofathousand]Myspace[/url] [b]-35-[/b] [artist]between the buried and me[/artist] [album artist=between the buried and me]the great misdirect[/album] [img]http://www.progarchives.com/progressive_rock_discography_covers/2480/cover_4425152392009.jpg[/img] In my shitty (and therefore luckily short) review of the masterpiece [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album] was I wrote: [i]”They have nothing left to prove after this one. It will be interesting to see if they still are able to progress after this one and make an even better album.”[/i] Well, they [u]do[/u] have something to prove. If [album artist=between the buried and me]the great misdirect[/album] is close as good as [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album] they successfully take the crown for being the best progrssive metal band ever. If they’ release something rubbish, they’d be called one time wonders. Let’s just say this: [album artist=between the buried and me]the great misdirect[/album] is not as good as [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album], but almost as good. Second question: Is there a progression? Yes, but not as obvious as on the last records. Well, how could they? They found a sound perfectly of their own, they are successful with it and it really is almost as good as it gets. The progression is that the songwriting got a tad better, the transitions are as smooth as it gets for most of the parts and thus less parts feel out of place or like being there just for the sake of being there. They already had that incredible talent in songwriting and playing their instruments. Drummer Blake Richardson already was one of the best drummers in metal before this album and provides even more absolutely insane fills and rhythm patterns, same for bassist Dan Briggs, who is really a contributing bassist, not just an assistant to the guitars. The guitarists however, Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring are shredding more precise than ever and some of the leads are [u]extremely[/u] catchy. Tommy Rogers vocals, especially the clean ones have gained a lot of power and when he has a keyboard part he pulls it off quite well, it’d be nice to hear more piano or keyboard moments again ([track artist=between the buried and me]Selkies: The Endless Obsession[/track] anyone?). One major positive mention has to be made for the production. They produced it themselves as usual and continue doing it just perfect. Every instrument can be heard at any time of the record and all is balanced so well. But then why isn’t this as good or better than [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album]? Well, there are just less parts that really feel new, there are less riffs that make you go “Wow!” and somehow [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album], despite all it’s unfocusedness, had more of a golden threat. [album artist=between the buried and me]the great misdirect[/album] feels like a mixture between [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album] (for the most part) and the older albums, especially [album artist=between the buried and me]alaska[/album]. This album is the most exciting when it really brings sonething new to the table. [track artist=between the buried and me]desert of song[/track], a slide guitar / acoustic guitar song with clean vocals all throughout and only five and a half minutes of playing time. A haunting song which comes off unexpected yet totally fitting. This is the progression the size it used to be with their albums. Albeit if they released an album full of those songs it’d probably suck aswell. But as they are into mixing what they already had plus adding something new, let’s see what the next record has to offer. That one doesn’t have the full burden of [album artist=between the buried and me]colors[/album] on it’s shoulders. This album was meant to lose. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=between the buried and me]desert of song[/track] | [track artist=between the buried and me]disease, injury, madness[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/betweentheburiedandme]Myspace[/url] [b]-34-[/b] [artist]the number twelve looks like you[/artist] [album artist=the number twelve looks like you]worse than alone[/album] [img]http://shopbase.finetunes.net/shopserver/BinaryCacheServlet?albumid=1253703163743&datatype=fc300[/img] Worse than being alone is being lonely. Sadly, [artist]the number twelve looks like you[/artist] leave us alone with this being their final album and enqueue into the long and evergrowing list of disbanded bands. While it really is a shame to see such a great and talented band go, at least they leave us at the top of their abilities. [artist]the number twelve looks like you[/artist] shrunk down to a five piece before the making of this album (and eventually to a four piece before calling it quits), guitarist Jamie McIlroy left the band or was kicked out, even more focus lay on the spastic, technical guitar playing of Alexis Pareja. He really acchieved replacing McIlroy by himself. It really helped improving the memorability of the songs. There is simply less going on at the same time. But still, there is a hell of a lot going on. They really seem to have worked on the dual vocal parts. There are way more moments where the two voices don’t battle each other, instead they support each other in a impressively executed way. Also, there are way more dark growls, now really making a contrast to the high pitched screams due to simply more time of appearing. What do I need to tell you about the drumming of Jon Karel? He truly is one of the most talented drummers out there, hell he might even the best drummer out there right now, surely the best without a band (I’m second ; P). He’s way jazzier / percussistic on most songs, got [u]even[/u] faster, more technical by using the whole array of abilities for each tom, the cymbals and his snare, got overall way more artistic and really is the spine of this band. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeVG8qwaoZ8]Marvel at this.[/url] [artist]the number twelve looks like you[/artist] have worked on all their weaknesses and bettered their strengths, thus really have reached another level of songwriting. Still I don’t think there is a single person out there that can memorize a whole song, but the parts you remember are undoubtly longer. And there’s way more of them. The album doesn’t feel like one big collection of spazzy rhythms and riffs anymore, the songs are really well thought through. With all this being said, it really is sad to see such a good band go, but it is gratifying that they gave us this. With this I may feel alone, but never lonely. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=the number twelve looks like you]Retort, Rebuild, Remind[/track] | [track artist=the number twelve looks like you]If They Holler, Don't Let Go[/track] | [track artist=the number twelve looks like you]given life[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/tntllu]Myspace[/url] [b]-33-[/b] [artist]killswitch engage[/artist] [album artist=Killswitch Engage]Killswitch Engage ii[/album] [img]http://www.metalsucks.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/killswitch-selftitled-300x300.jpg[/img] After releasing two genre defining albums, [album artist=Killswitch Engage]alive or just breathing[/album] and [album artist=Killswitch Engage]the end of heartache[/album] and a to me very boring fourth album, [artist]killswitch engage[/artist] changed some things up for this one. Not big things, not at all, but this album sounds way more like fun and has way more ideas than [album artist=Killswitch Engage]as daylight dies[/album]. And they let you know. From the first second of opening track [track artist=Killswitch Engage]never again[/track] the direction is forward and the pace is fast. Where [album artist=Killswitch Engage]as daylight dies[/album] seemed forced, [album artist=Killswitch Engage]Killswitch Engage ii[/album] seems fun, no [u]is[/u] fun. Letting an outside ear produce a [artist]killswitch engage[/artist] album for the first time was definitely the right move. Brendan O’Brien truly is one of the best producers around, he also produced [artist]mastodon[/artist], [artist]pearl jam[/artist], [artist]bruce springsteen[/artist], [artist]ac/dc[/artist] this year, just to name a few. And he did an awesome job with this album aswell. These twelve songs don’t feel like [track artist=Killswitch Engage]the end of heartache[/track] or [track artist=Killswitch Engage]my curse[/track] over and over again. This is a rockier, more fun to listen to version of [artist]killswitch engage[/artist]. Fast and always chorus driven these songs are held together by the flawless singing of Howard Jones, never too clean (another production plus) and always powerful, this is the best he’s ever been - and he’s always been outstanding - and the impressively improved drumming of Justin Foley. He used to rely on his strong footwork, now he really uses his whole set and is way faster. Dutkiewicz and Stroetzel’s shredding is a little diversified this time aswell. There are only a few breakdowns and way more [artist]metallica[/artist] and rock riffage. [artist]killswitch engage[/artist] have had their share of being innovators or trendsetters. There is almost nothing they could do now that hasn’t been done by one of the bands they inspired. [album artist=Killswitch Engage]as daylight dies[/album] was them covering themselves, [album artist=Killswitch Engage]Killswitch Engage[/album] is them regaining the metalcore throne by just having more fun than the rest. (Even obvious in their [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfXQmzHYcTc]interviews[/url]) P.S. Speaking of interviews, you probably already know this, but if you don’t watch [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxeKJBhSlU4]this[/url]. The best interview ever. Still makes me laugh ‘til I cry. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=Killswitch Engage]Take Me Away[/track] | [track artist=Killswitch Engage]never again[/track] | [track artist=Killswitch Engage]starting over[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/killswichengage]Myspace[/url] [b]-32-[/b] [artist]vanna[/artist] [album artist=vanna]a new hope[/album] [img]http://www.rocksound.tv/images/uploads/vn300.jpg[/img] [i]Make the earth shake! We will; Make the earth shake![/i] This album makes me wish it was summer again. Somehow you come to associate certain albums with seasons, and this one represents summer for me. Funny enough, [track artist=vanna]like changing seasons[/track] is my favourite track from the album. I guess it’s one of the tracks I’ve listened to the most this year. The chorus is really catchy, but not too, and I still haven’t gotten tired of it. A true earworm. [artist]vanna[/artist]’s debut album [album artist=vanna]curses[/album] was a very raw monolith in the veins of [artist]norma jean[/artist]’s [album artist=norma jean]O' God, The Aftermath[/album]. For this one they ditched the mathcore sound and incorporated much more hardcore elements, like gang shouts and rely more on the improved clean vocals of guitarist Evan Pharmakis. This improvement also makes for way better choruses. They are really memorable and sing-along-able while not too whiney. Chris Preece’s throaty vocals have gotten even more strength to them, although the raw production of [album artist=vanna]curses[/album] gave them a lot more punch. The riffs are, as mentioned, a little straighter, rockier. New drummer Chris Campbell continues the solid, good work Brandon Davis (now guitarist for [artist]lions lions[/artist]) delivered on [album artist=vanna]curses[/album]. Vanna may not be an earthquake, but the earth they stomp on is cracking. They are one of the best metalcore bands out there right now and know what their strenghts are. They are no innovators and don’t even try to be, but as I wrote in my review for [album artist=vanna]curses[/album] [i]”…it simply doesn't grow old to me. Which is suprising, since [artist]vanna[/artist] play metalcore. I don't know what it is, but something must be about them, that I just can' get enough of.”[/i], something that applies to this album aswell. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=vanna]like changing seasons[/track] | [track artist=vanna]we are nameless[/track] | [track artist=vanna]Into Hell's Mouth We March[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/vanna]Myspace[/url] [b]-31-[/b] [artist]thrice[/artist] [album artist=thrice]beggars[/album] [img]http://thechristianmanifesto.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Thrice-Beggars-300x300.jpg[/img] [artist]thrice[/artist] could have gone in any direction they wanted to after the fantastic [album artist=thrice]vheissu[/album] and the equally amazing [album artist=thrice]The Alchemy Index: Vols I & II/Fire & Water[/album] and [album artist=thrice]The Alchemy Index: Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth[/album] EP series. Instead of experimenting further they just recorded an album again the whole band was contributing to. Somehow even this stripped down normal way of making an album leads to something progressive and special with [artist]thrice[/artist]. However, [album artist=thrice]beggars[/album] is not their best album. [album artist=thrice]vheissu[/album] was a very melancholic record that vented it’s fury. [album artist=thrice]beggars[/album] is almost not furious at all on the outside, mostly inwards. It’s more sad than angry but at the same time is more energetic and more mulitifaceted. Maybe like the album and the EPs blended together and more melancholy added. The vivid production contributes to that, you can tell that this album was recorded and is meant to be played live. The step forward Dustin Kensrue’s made lyricalwise with [album artist=thrice]The Alchemy Index: Vols I & II/Fire & Water[/album] and [album artist=thrice]The Alchemy Index: Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth[/album] is maintained. Some topics, like being imprisoned , are even taken on again. Overall a bit more power in the veins of [album artist=thrice]vheissu[/album] would have been great for the album, but [artist]thrice[/artist] are an outstanding band that continues to progress, this time not really forward, though. But even less backwards, there is not a single song on this album that is bad. You just know they had better. I still am a beggar for more albums by them. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=thrice]in exile[/track] | [track artist=thrice]doublespeak[/track] | [track artist=thrice]the great exchange[/track] | [track artist=thrice]all the world is mad[/track] [track artist=thrice]wood and wire[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thrice]Myspace[/url] [b]-30-[/b] [artist]archive[/artist] [album artist=archive]controlling crowds[/album] [img]http://www.progarchives.com/progressive_rock_discography_covers/840/cover_24235742009.jpg[/img] After the departure of Craig Walker, who shaped the image of the band on [album artist=archive]you all look the same to me[/album] and [album artist=archive]noise[/album], away from the trip hop, towards a more melancholic electronic space rock sound, [artist]archive[/artist] was a bit directionless. They released [album artist=archive]lights[/album] two years after his departure and now with multiple singers and less melancholy, but that album just felt like [album artist=archive]you all look the same to me[/album] without Walker. [artist]archive[/artist] masterminds Danny Griffiths and Darius Keeler seem to have realised that fact. [album artist=archive]controlling crowds[/album] (actually “Part I-III” as I just found out…) stands for a return to a sound pre Walker. [album artist=archive]londinium[/album] that is to be precise, even rapper Rosko John has been brought back into the group. [album artist=archive]controlling crowds[/album] still doesn’t sound as depressed as [album artist=archive]you all look the same to me[/album], but it has a darkness to it, just a different shade of black. Pollard Berrier sings the main part on six of the thirteen tracks, Rosko on three, Maria Q on two and Dave Penney, who shared the vocal parts with Berrier on [album artist=archive]lights[/album] but wasn’t around on this one too much due to a phase of depression sings on two songs aswell. I enjoy Berrier’s voice much more than I did on [album artist=archive]lights[/album], his voice has progressed a great deal in terms of strength. I guess he really found his place in the band now and stopped copying Craig Walker in any way. Useage of multiple singers is always a threat. It can make tracks seem out of place or disrupt a certain feel the album conveys. Griffiths and Keeler however write songs good enough that each song finds it’s perfect voice while still fitting in with the context of the album. Adding that many influences into the sound plus the numerous vocalists you have yourself a pretty amazing varity of songs, some trip hop ([track artist=archive]razed to the ground[/track]), some [album artist=archive]noise[/album]-era-esque electronic rock ([track artist=archive]bullets[/track]) some with a mix of both ([track artist=archive]dangervisit[/track]). It’s this variety, the way everything still falls into place and the excellence of the songs that make [artist]archive[/artist] in the year 2009 this strong. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=archive]bullets[/track] | [track artist=archive]dangervisit[/track] | [track artist=archive]collapse / collide[/track] | [track artist=archive]bastardised ink[/track] | [track artist=archive]funeral[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/archiveuk]Myspace[/url] [b]-29-[/b] [artist]dead and divine[/artist] [album artist=dead and divine]the machines we are[/album] [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HYvIqXYGxhg/SlzZRR9PVSI/AAAAAAAAAIY/T3vczSWaTJA/s320/Dead+And+Divine+-+The+Machines+We+Are.jpg[/img] I don’t know if [artist]dead and divine[/artist] released [album artist=dead and divine]the machines we are[/album] on vinyl, but they should. It would make perfect sense because this album has two sides. In the first half of the album we are presented five very grooving, riff driven metalcore songs. These are by no means innovationg, but I guess there are few bands who do this so well. And you know there are more than enough metalcore bands out there. What makes this so special? First of all the riffs of Chris LeMasters. They’re really [artist]every time I die[/artist] and [artist]it dies today[/artist] (steal from the best) influenced, low tuned monsters. Very fast paced and always grooving. Then there is the voice of Matt Tobin. He really is one of the best in this genre aswell. His singing is not whiny at all and powerful, and so are his hoarse screams. This might actually be one of the best screaming voices I’ve ever heard. His timing seems a little awkward at times, but if you’re used to it you really get to appreciate his uniqueness. New drummer Kyle Anderson ([artist]sydney[/artist]) is really good aswell. He has a very unique style, works the kit with his whole body and really can play. This album was engeneered and produced by Eric Ratz ([artist]cancer bats[/artist], [artist]die mannequin[/artist]) and Garth “GGGarth” Richardson ([artist]rage against the machine[/artist], [artist]gallows[/artist], [artist]still remains[/artist]) who do a fantastic job aswell. The sound is perfect. Where’s bassist Kellan Lindsay you ask? Here he is, side two. After the silent instrumental interlude [track artist=dead and divine]for your health[/track], [track artist=dead and divine]teeth[/track] is up. Those songs are a total departure from the songs so far. [track artist=dead and divine]teeth[/track] is a very slow, 100% bass driven song. Matt Tobin is singing throughout the whole song, a song that somehow waits to breakout or at least change a bit. The breakout is the next track [track artist=dead and divine]mechanical orchestra[/track]. Although the same formula as in the first half applys, there is a change, especially in the second half of it. The chorus becomes less important. And this continues even more with the two last tracks, [track artist=dead and divine]lovely bones[/track] and [track artist=dead and divine]cassandra syndrome[/track]. [track artist=dead and divine]lovely bones[/track] is very special because it is the most emotional song on the album. The guitars and Tobin’s voice are always on the same level of emotion, eventually building up a climax that explodes in one of the most beautiful guitar solos of the year. [track artist=dead and divine]cassandra syndrome[/track] then again is a straight up rocker, again with a real catchy, yet somehow more melancholic chorus. In summary: The first part has the more standart metalcore – get to the chorus – type of songs, whereas the second half holds the more emotional, more “experimental” songs. A better mix of these two sides and not just putting them together might have been better, yet I may be completely wrong, as this is already a very very good album as it is. On another note the lyrics of Matt Tobin are really worth a read. They’re never the standart lovesong type of lyrics. They take on social issue, drugs, religion and so on. This really is not another average metalcore band, this is a band consisting of only talented, creative and intelligent young men. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=dead and divine]lovely bones[/track] | [track artist=dead and divine]cassandra syndrome[/track] | [track artist=dead and divine]mechanical orchestra[/track] | [track artist=dead and divine]creature[/track] | [track artist=dead and divine]the sugar sickness[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/deadanddivine]Myspace[/url] [b]-28-[/b] [artist]the dear hunter[/artist] [album artist=the dear hunter]Act iii: life and death[/album] [img]http://colonyofslippermen.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/dear-hunter-act-iii.jpg[/img] The story continues. The Dear Hunter (for those who are unfamiliar with the story: This is an amazing six album long story about a boy, now man, called “The Dear Hunter”) now goes to war, but this does sound like anything but war. This is the popiest, yet most out there record by [artist]the dear hunter[/artist] so far. It still has all the trademarks you want to hear: The multi instrumentalisation now even was set in center, the guitar is just another instrument, no longer the basement of most songs. Or I am just that amazed by all these other instruments that I don’t hear it anymore. To be honest I was quite disappointed when I heard this album for the first few times. I kind of focused on [track artist=the dear hunter]go get your gun[/track], a track I still can not at all get into (I hate it a bit), yet the rest of the album has so many things that are just flawless. Concept albums often have a problem of sounding like one piece, but these really do, especcialy with the transitions between some. Casey shows that he still has some [artist]the receiving end of sirens[/artist] in him, the back chorus is used way more often and the melodies are gonna be stuck in your head one after the other. All you need to do is give this record a little time. Then it can really show you the best side war ever had. Besides the music the artwork is really beautiful aswell. Art accompanying art. Without [track artist=the dear hunter]go get your gun[/track] this surely would have been a serious contender for the top ten (or maybe even higher)… [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=the dear hunter]the tank[/track] | [track artist=the dear hunter]mustard gas[/track] | [track artist=the dear hunter]in cauda venenum[/track] | [track artist=the dear hunter]saved[/track] | [track artist=the dear hunter]life and death[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thedearhunter]Myspace[/url] [b]-27-[/b] [artist]therefore I am[/artist] [album artist=therefore I am]the sound of human lives[/album] [img]http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/2682/tiau.jpg[/img] [i]I think, therefore I am.[/i] - René Descartes What is despair? [i]despair 1. Loss of hope; utter hopelessness; complete despondency. “He turned around in despair, aware that he was not going to survive.” 2. That which is despaired of.[/i] [artist]therefore I am[/artist]’s vocalist Alex Correia seems to have gone through a lot of desperate times. He sure seems to know what despair is. [artist]therefore I am[/artist] really is a band with lyrics that are thought through and make you think. These are some of the most personal lyrics I ever read. On [track artist=therefore I am]it’s no wonder why[/track] Correia sings and screams about a person (most likely his father) who died of drug abuse. This is an ongoing theme throughout the album. And the music works as a perfect vessel for the lyrics to truly convey the message. Correias voice is always shifting between screaming, singing and something inbetween. It never sounds emotionless, always authentic and poweful. [i]It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.[/i] - René Descartes From the start of the record with it’s spoken word inro [i]See for us, it’s like no one is really happy anymore…[/i] the direction is set. The band pleasantly originates it’s sound out of a mixture of post-hardcore, hardcore punk and rock and blended it into a atmospheric hardcore sound. Blending so many genres into one can make the album seem like patchwork, yet this sure doesn’t. They built the album together cleverly, the straight hardcore songs are mostly in the front and the further you listen, the more atmospheric elements are weaved into the songs, while not losing any urgency in the sound. A melancholic feeling hovers above all songs, contributing to the cohesive feeling of the album, accompanied by hopeless anger via the rabid screams of guitarist Brian Marquis, the two voices really fit together perfectly. All this finds it’s peak in the last track of the album [track artist=therefore I am]you leave[/track]. Starting with a quiet midi intro and kids laughter in the background, then Correia’s voice sets in, singing softly, then the song builds up into a beautifully painful masterpiece and ends again with the kids noises in the background. One of the best songs this year on one of the most remarkable debuts this year. [i]So, my soul, it is time to part.[/i] -René Descartes last words [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=therefore I am]you leave[/track] | [track artist=therefore I am]splinters[/track] | [track artist=therefore I am]I am only an island[/track] | [track artist=therefore I am]the art of transparency[/track] | [track artist=therefore I am]my father, the fatalist[/track] | [track artist=therefore I am]It's No Wonder Why[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thereforeiam]Myspace[/url] [b]-26-[/b] [artist]mastodon[/artist] [album artist=mastodon]crack the skye[/album] [img]http://oktoberpromotion.com/files/shared/Mastodon_Crack_the_Skye_Cover_0.jpg[/img] Look at that cover. A bear. Two men with dragonball like things in their palms and a glowing face. Something yeah, what is that thing in the middle and where is it? I have no idea, but I feel like that the cover art bears a pretty good resemblance of what [artist]mastodon[/artist]’s sound would look like if it was a painting. I enjoyed [album artist=mastodon]blood mountain[/album] a whole lot. This album however is not at all comparable to that. Although they may hinted the direction of [album artist=mastodon]crack the skye[/album] a bit in the last two tracks of that album, [track artist=mastodon]siberian divide[/track] and [track artist=mastodon]pendulous skin[/track]. [artist]mastodon[/artist] changed from furious riffs and vocals to a more space rockish, or at times [artist]tool[/artist]ish vibe, with mostly clean vocals and furious riffs. Their sound is easier accessible now but takes longer to be fully understood and appreciated because it is totally out there. Brent Hinds said that he wrote most of the songs on a acoustic guitar whilst recovering from his life threatning skull break. If he really wrote those songs on an acoustic guitar whilst having the headache of his life I bow to him. The songwriting is impeccable. Two songs are longer than ten minutes, this is a seven song record that lasts 49 minutes, yet not for a second I am either overchallenged or bored by the songs. The only problem one could have with [artist]mastodon[/artist] are the vocals, a known and everlasting problem. But not for me, I always liked the vocals, especially Hinds moaning type of singing appeals to me. The riffs are [artist]mastodon[/artist] standart world class, albeit not every single one of them, but since there are so many the weaker ones do not weigh in too bad at all. The drumming of Brann Dailor is even better, he stepped back a bit from the obvious fast drumming to a more subtle way of complex rhythms, fills and time signature changes. If you concentrate on his drumming you are really in for a feast. Sublte although makes for a good keyword for this album. This album needs more listens than the riff monsters on [album artist=mastodon]blood mountain[/album]. But the more you listen to it the more rewarding it gets. P.S. The video for [track artist=mastodon]oblivion[/track] for sure is the best video of 2009. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WgjuwaR7Fs&feature=player_embedded]Enjoy.[/url] [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=mastodon]crack the skye[/track] | [track artist=mastodon]divinations[/track] | the second half of [track artist=mastodon]the czar[/track] | [track artist=mastodon]the last baron[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/mastodon]Myspace[/url] [b]-25-[/b] [artist]relient k[/artist] [album artist=relient k]forget and not slow down[/album] [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Ei0c5A9Yre8/SsKNtT3bxDI/AAAAAAAAADA/WZVviXuRC38/s320/Relient-K-Forget-Not-Slow-Down-300x300.jpg[/img] Pop Rock usually sucks. There are always exceptions to the rule, though. This is one prime example. [artist]relient k[/artist] are really pushing some limits as far as songwriting for pop rock comes. I mean, I’ve never before seen multiple songs that have intros and outros, neither the same song as two songs, once fast and directly after that slow. And if you told me this exists I bet I would’ve said it probably sucks. It somehow sounds progrssive. The concept, yes. The music however is not so much progressive aside from that. But it is great nontheless. Really great. Just one song sucks (the somehow [artist]bon jovi[/artist]esque [?] - well, let’s don’t be overly harsh and just say it sucks - [album artist=relient k]therapy[/album]), albeit most songs really are leaning towards the pop side of pop rock. But if pop rock or pop in general was always done this refreshingly good and entertaining I’d shurely be a fan. Matt Thiessen sure can sing. That guys voice is gold, especially since it’s not as clean and overproduced as most pop rock voices. He has a style of his own. His lyrics aswell are great for the mostt part, lines like [i]“I'd rather forget and not slow down Than gather regret for the things I can't change now”[/i] or [i]“Cause I could spend my life just trying to sift through What I could've done better but what good do what ifs do”[/i] (both taken from [track artist=relient k]forget and not slow down[/track]) are as plain simple as it gets, yet somehow great. They mostly revolve about loss and coping with it (I also love the “deserted man” metaphor). You know that these lyrics are well thought through and mean something to Theissen. But, as mentioned before the highlight truly is the songwriting. The build ups, the inros, the outros, the choruses. Just listen to the [track artist=relient k]savannah[/track] trio of songs. What a build up. Or [track artist=relient k]this is the end[/track] and then tell me you expected exactly this to happen after the piano intro… I can’t help it. And I won’t even bother to.This is a great album. And I absolutely did not expect this to be this good at all. I didn’t expect this to be any good actually. But I am glad it is. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=relient k]forget and not slow down[/track] | [track artist=relient k]this is the end[/track] | [track artist=relient k]I Don't Need A Soul[/track] | [track artist=relient k]savannah[/track] | [track artist=relient k]if you believe me[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/relientk]Myspace[/url] [b]-24-[/b] [artist]thursday[/artist] [album artist=thursday]common existence[/album] [img]http://disquitos.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/thursday-common-existence.jpg[/img] My first full length treat of [artist]thursday[/artist] and I was far from disappointed. I’ve known them since forever but never really felt the urge to actually get one of their albums, all I had so far was the more than fantastic track [track artist=thursday]jet black new year[/track]. If I had to describe this album in three words I’d choose: raw, creative, intriguing. Raw because the sound really is far from polished. I guess there are few records where the bass is that much in the foreground. Makes for a dark, powerful, droning sound, but sometimes a washy one aswell, especially since the bass drum microphone doesn’t seem to have been placed perfectly. Creative because the talent of all members of this band is obvious. These are well experienced musicians. The cleverness with which the songs are written and the album is composited is amazing. The finishing track [track artist=thursday]you were the cancer[/track] is a perfect example with it’s build up, or [track artist=thursday]love has led us astray[/track] with it’s . [artist]Joy division[/artist]esque feel and bassline. All instruments, including or especially Rickley’s voice, feel like they are giving their all. The live sound of the record adds to that in a very positive way. Also the difference between the songs while still having an album with a golden threat throughout it is amazing. Intriguing because of all the little things that are there to be found by those who listen closely. Especially when keyboard player Andrew Everding has his moments the band really shines. What would [track artist=thursday]beyond the visible spectrum[/track] be without the eerie synth sounds? And it really is that keyboard that makes [track artist=thursday]subway funeral[/track] my favourite song of the album. Or if you read the lyrics. [track artist=thursday]friends in the armed forces[/track] for example is like a personal letter from Rickley to one of his friends who’s in the army, fighting in Iraq. And evenmore intriguing because of the way the album grows on you. At first I was like “Yeah, it’s nice and all, but nothing too special…” Now I don’t know what is there not to like about this album. Not one track lacks anything. All in all some may be a little similar, but still all have at least one unique detail about them. The real highlight are not the songs, it is the album as a whole. Raw. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=thursday]subway funeral[/track] | [track artist=thursday] friends in the armed forces[/track] | [track artist=thursday]love has led us astray[/track] | [track artist=thursday]you were the cancer[/track] | [track artist=thursday]as he climbed the dark mountain[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/thursday]Myspace[/url] [b]-23-[/b] [artist]every time I die[/artist] [album artist=every time I die]new junk aesthetic[/album] [img]http://www.eastscene.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Every-Time-I-Die-Organ-Grinder_220657.jpg[/img] [i]Make me give a damn![/i] Ever since [album artist=every time I die]gutter phenomenon[/album], this being the first time I heard them, [artist]every time I die[/artist] was one of my favourite bands. I tried to convince everyone how fucking good this band is. No one listened. Then they released [album artist=every time I die]the big dirty[/album] and I was even more furious about them. Some listened, but most were still indifferent. Two years after [album artist=every time I die]the big dirty[/album], [artist]every time I die[/artist] release their fifth album and somehow everyone is going apeshit about it but me. It’s already driven me totally insane. I don’t know what it is. Yeah, definitely [track artist=every time I die]turtles all the way down[/track]. One of the worst songs [artist]every time I die[/artist] have ever written. But it can’t be just that one song. There are ten more songs and with [track artist=every time I die]the marvelous slut[/track] and especially [track artist=every time I die]the sweet life[/track] two of the best songs the band ever wrote. I guess it has to be the lack of progression. The step from [album artist=every time I die]hot damn![/album] to [album artist=every time I die]gutter phenomenon[/album] was huge, maybe not forward, but it was a progression. The step from [album artist=every time I die]gutter phenomenon[/album] to [album artist=every time I die]the big dirty[/album] was huge. This step not so much. Somehow this feels less powerful overall. Maybe the guitars are really a bit too quiet in the mix. Sometimes the riffs feel reused. As you can see I have no clue whatsoever why this album is not really [u]that[/u] good. [artist]every time I die[/artist] usually were a sure candidate for my top five, at least, if not the album of the year. Now them being not, it kind of shocked me. This is furthest away from being a bad album, don’t ever think that’s what I’m trying to say here. But it’s stagnation. Stagnation on highest level, for sure, but still stagnation. Maybe my expectations were too high. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=every time I die]the sweet life[/track] | [track artist=every time I die]the marvelous slut[/track] | [track artist=every time I die]after one quarter of a revolution[/track] | [track artist=every time I die]wanderlust[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/everytimeidie]Myspace[/url] [b]-22-[/b] [artist]rx bandits[/artist] [album artist=rx bandits]mandala[/album] [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_l6PdKzUL51A/Sk-PR-Jt9QI/AAAAAAAAALw/0ioP-Ga8QRc/s320/RxBandits+-+Mandala.jpg[/img] If you haven’t heard the album yet (shame on you), just look at the cover and you might get an idea of how it sounds. It’d be perfect if it was one of those holographic covers, just to make it more trippy. I liked [artist]rx bandits[/artist] since what I heard from their last album, [album artist=rx bandits]...And the Battle Begun[/album], but this is the first full record I heard from them. And boy I am happy I have. This was the summer record of 2009 to me. The groove, rhythm shifts, the melodies, the riffs, the drumbeats… If that doesn’t sound like a good time to you then I don’t know. Matt Embree is the mastermind of this band who’s unique style of singing and writing music is what makes this band so special. He and (with him last founding member) drummer Christopher Tsagakis are the core of this band, both are outstanding on this record. Besides the music the lyrics are some of the best this year for sure. Always political, always critical, always clever, always fitting the song. Sometimes a bit tighter songwriting would have been nice, but that may have cost too much of that [artist]the doors[/artist] like feeling most of the songs convey. It is a very vibrant album with a perfect production, you can really tell this album was recorded, and meant to be played, live. To return to the album cover metaphor, if this album was an animal, it’d be a pelican. Pretty weird on the outside, but with a mouh full of gold. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=rx bandits]white lies[/track] | [track artist=rx bandits]march of the caterpillar[/track] | [track artist=rx bandits]My Lonesome Only Friend[/track] | [track artist=rx bandits]Hope Is A Butterfly, No Net Its Captor, She Beats Her Wings And Softly Sings Of Summer Scent And Childrens Laughter (The Virus Of Silence)[/track] | [track artist=rx bandits]Mientras La Veo Soñar[/track] | [track artist=rx bandits]Bring Our Children Home Or Everything Is Nothing[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/rxbandits]Myspace[/url] [b]-21-[/b] [artist]as tall as lions[/artist] [album artist=as tall as lions]You Can't Take It With You[/album] [img]http://media.go211.com/images/blogs/T/tomhaugen/828261480.jpg[/img] [i]Beauty is at once the ultimate principle and the highest aim of art.[/i] - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [artist]as tall as lions[/artist] went through troublesomed times during the making of this album. They went to three different producers, ending up producing it themselves with the relatively unknown Noah Shain ([artist]american pearl[/artist]). [album artist=as tall as lions]you can’t take it with you[/album] though never sounds like hard times. It’s fun to listen to the whole way through. And having a serious, clever lyrical context makes it even more special. [track artist=as tall as lions]you in case of rapture[/track] for example takes on religion in a very smart way: [i]I saw no fire in your street Only the stones you've thrown at me Does it make you feel better? Well, you know we're all just sinners Why can't you see it's better to die on your feet than live down on your knees?[/i] All this in contrast to the music, which is rather uplifting. The voice of Dan Nigro really is outstanding. He’s crooning and singing the songs with a passion and honesty that can be felt. Also his contributions instrumental wise are great, especially the piano parts, most evident in the piano driven [track artist=as tall as lions]is this tomorrow?[/track]. Passion is something that this band truly has. This album has more rhythm and blues than anything that is called R&B these days. [track artist=as tall as lions]the narrows[/track] for example starts with a rhythm any R&B interpret would kill for, then shortly breaks out to showcase it’s great chorus, then has one of the great trumpet moments of [album artist=as tall as lions]you can’t take it with you[/album], then goes back into the chorus, getting on halt and then shows another chorus, then finishies with a group choir. And this is one of the more simple songs on the album and the passion can only be heard, not written down. Apart from the trumpets and the piano there are many instruments to be discovered by those who listen closely. They all contribute something to the tracks, not one time I find them to be expendable. The oriental flute throughout of one of the best tracks of the year (that chorus is haunting) for example, [track artist=as tall as lions]you can’t take it with you[/track], is something that I haven’t heard before and catched my attention right away. But besides the multiinstrumentalisation there are some stripped to the core, atmospheric tracks that set the album on full halt, yet emphasize the rest. Sometimes less makes the more look like even more. [album artist=as tall as lions]you can’t take it with you[/album] is an album that is simple and complex at the same time. Like a painting, which looks great, yet simple from far, but the closer you look the more apparent the brushes are. Simplicity, creativity and passion is all this album has to offer, but it does not need anything more. A natural beauty if you will. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=as tall as lions]you can’t take it with you[/track] | [track artist=as tall as lions]circles[/track] | [track artist=as tall as lions]is this tomorrow?[/track] | [track artist=as tall as lions]the narrows[/track] | [track artist=as tall as lions]go easy (see the love)[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/astallaslions]Myspace[/url] [b]-20-[/b] [artist]bats[/artist] [album artist=bats]Red In Tooth & Claw[/album] [img]http://www.massmovement.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/batsritac.jpg[/img] [i]”BATS are a five-piece hardcore band from Dublin, Ireland, inspired by Darwinian evolution and killing creationists.[/i] Awesome. Once again one of those bands I don’t know how to describe. They’re shure as hell not really hardcore. Let’s call it progressive-scientific-math rock-post-hardcore. Most refer to them as a post-hardcore version of [artist]foals[/artist], but they’re [u]way[/u] better than any comparison could tell. [artist]bats[/artist] are most likely the only irish band I listen to. I’m pretty shure they’re the best band on that island (fuck you hard, [artist]u2[/artist]!). When I first read Kurt Ballou was the producer for this album, I couldn’t believe it. But it makes perfect sense. [artist]bats[/artist] are in a way just as genre defining and even more progressive than [artist]converge[/artist]. Everything Ballou touches turns into gold anyways. This album is full of gold. Starting with the lyrics. I never ever heard anything that is in any way similar to this. I never would’ve thought that there actually one day would be a band that is having serious lyrics about scientific or religious topics that I would enjoy. But the lyrics would be nothing without the music, of course. But there’s even more gold to be found. All the spastic rhythms, the ever present powerful bass, the three guitars dueling and boosting each other, the unorthodox, amazing vocals and songstructures with these melodies… I can’t really write enough to explain how good it all is. I’m actually lost for words. That never happens. It’s just 48 minutes of “what the fuck?”. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=bats]andrew wiles[/track] | [track artist=bats]gamma ray burst: second date[/track] | [track artist=bats]star wormwood[/track] | [track artist=bats]bats spelled backwards is stab[/track] | [track artist=bats]shadow-fucking[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/leatherbeatsfeather]Myspace[/url] [b]-19-[/b] [artist]harvard[/artist] [album artist=harvard]the inevitable and i[/album] [img]http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/1449/theinevitableandi.jpg[/img] Facts first: Harvard are five young men from Charlotte, North Carolina. The sound of the band is best described as [artist]circa survive[/artist] blended with [artist]as tall as lions[/artist], [artist]as cities burn[/artist] and something post hardcoreish of their own. This is their debut album. It’s 64 minutes long, and with that one or two songs too long. Still, this album is amazing. It was produced by Brian McTernan ([artist]circa survive[/artist], [artist]cave in[/artist], [artist]thrice[/artist]). Label or management written press texts are rarely any good. The first sentence for [artist]harvard[/artist] however puts it as simple and right as it gets [i]”Beautiful, Dark, Intricate, Catchy; these are all words that come to mind when listening to Harvard, a five-piece outfit based from Charlotte, NC, a band that combines indie-rock with post-hardcore and pop sensibility.[/i] This is just another evidence of how amazing this band is. Usually labels have to lie at least a little when praising their new artists. But those words are true. More facts about a very sentimental band (not emo you dumbasses, that ain’t even a genre anyways, but that’s whole other story), held together and driven by the soft, yet powerful voice of Jesse Clasen. His lyrics are really anything but poetic, yet not bad at all and always sung with an honesty that can be felt, like the ending of [track artist=harvard]hand to hesitate[/track] [i]How does it go, how do you know your friend from foe? I miss the way you hesitate I miss the way you elevate I miss the way you taste.[/i] I often wonder what makes certain bands better than others. Most of the times I’d say it’s talent for working with the form of art music is. Like a carpenter you have to craft something out of multiple parts and make it as beautiful as you can and make it seem as if it could never look any different. Like a sculptor you have to work on minor details, that are sometimes not even see-/hearable and if you overdo it the whole work of art will be ruined. In a band, you really have to be a salesman for your ideas and ideals, be fair and capable of negotiating. You need to be able to connect with people, the ones in your band and the listeners. [artist]harvard[/artist] are such artists. Their music is as intelligent as their name implies. If they’d waived putting the uninspired instrumental [track artist=harvard]tenebroso[/track] on the album and tightened some songs, especially their outros, this might be a perfect album but as it is this album is a huge grower. I always find something new. All these theoretical words, all those facts however are not enough to describe the beauty that [album artist=harvard]the inevitable and i[/album] is. True beauty can never be described, it must be witnessed. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=harvard]ghost[/track] | [track artist=harvard]on with disease[/track] | [track artist=harvard]an end weight[/track] | [track artist=harvard]what we had[/track] | [track artist=harvard]the creative[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/harvard]Myspace[/url] [b]-18-[/b] [artist]p.o.s.[/artist] [album artist=p.o.s.]never better[/album] [img]http://www.plugonemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/never-better.jpg[/img] [i]Every never is now.[/i] In my early teeny years I listened to a lot more hip hop then I do now. [artist]busta rhymes[/artist] especially is a example for the downfall of hip hop to me. After I found [artist]aesop rock[/artist] and this year [artist]bliss n eso[/artist] (who definitely would’ve made this list with [album artist=bliss n eso]flying colours[/album], but it was released last year) my interest was back. Then I found out about [artist]p.o.s.[/artist]… To put it plain – he tops them all. [album artist=p.o.s.]never better[/album] is the best hip hop album I have ever heard. An intelligent, artistically, political, thrilling blend of hip hop with a punk attitude. [artist]p.o.s.[/artist] has toured with bands like [artist]underoath[/artist] and [artist]saosin[/artist]. I can see why. [artist]p.o.s.[/artist] is more punk or rock than most of the uninspired, untalented, attitude less and money driven so called “punk” bands today. The lyrics are a first highlight of [album artist=p.o.s.]never better[/album]. A few seconds into the album [artist]p.o.s.[/artist] already takes on bad / commercial hip hop [i]Who really listens? Precision with a verse draws a crowd. I draw a line between easy melody and piece of mind[/i], the recession [i]It’s a god damn recession … Who's eatin? I mean well[/i] and presidents [i] They out for presidents to represent them. You think a president could represent you? You really think a president would represent you?[/i]. If that ain’t a punk attitude, I don’t know what it is. This album really is something most hip hip albums are not: cohesive. Most of the times on hip hop albums it feels like a collection of potential single production beats, this one carries a feeling throughout it’s 55 minutes. Only one track, [track artist=p.o.s.]out of category[/track] is a party stopper, it’s totally annoying repetition of [i]I’m out of category[/i] is uninspired, although the story Stefon tells in the verses is well written and done. But why focus on one crappy song when there are 14 perfect ones? Just listen to the too good for MTV single [track artist=p.o.s.]goodbye[/track] with it’s sweeping chorus. Or the aggressive [track artist=p.o.s.]Drumroll (We're All Thirsty)[/track]. Or the paper cup - handclap beat driven, atmospheric [track artist=p.o.s.]Optimist (We Are Not For Them)[/track]. Or the “bass for your truck!” ish, powerful [track artist=p.o.s.]savion glover[/track]. Just listen to the whole album damned! How can I make this more obvious that you have to. The obvious second highlight is the production which is extremely creative and varied. In a perfect world there’d be no [artist]lil’ wayne[/artist]s or whatever bad hip hop interprets (don’t call them artists please) you know. This is hip hop how it should be: With a meaning, intelligent, crative, artistic. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=p.o.s.]never better[/track] | [track artist=p.o.s.]savion glover[/track] | [track artist=p.o.s.]the brave and the snake[/track] | [track artist=p.o.s.]goodbye[/track] | [track artist=p.o.s.]let it rattle[/track] | [track artist=p.o.s.]been afraid[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/pos]Myspace[/url] [b]-17-[/b] [artist]closure in moscow[/artist] [album artist=closure in moscow]first temple[/album] [img]http://img.sharedmp3.net/files/pics/1123/1122905/img_1_pr.jpg[/img] I remember the first few times I listened to[artist]the mars volta[/artist]’s masterpiece [album artist=the mars volta]de-loused in the comatorium[/album]. I kept on thinking “these choruses and melodies are great, why is there so much needless stuff inbetween?” Well, [album artist=closure in moscow]first temple[/album] is [album artist=the mars volta]de-loused in the comatorium[/album] without the wankery. But the best part is: It’s just as technical. Just not that obviously. Mansur Zenelli and Michael Barrett seem to be playing together for quite a while, it’s really teamwork. And it really is a relief to hear a band this talented that is not urging to showing off all the time. Just like Beau McKee, the drummer who’s playing some extremely tricky fills and rhythms, yet always stays in the background. The foreground is either taken by the guitars, which is always a treat, or the voices of Mansur Zenelli (who does backing vocals aswell) and Christopher de Cinque. His voice aswell at times is very reminiscent of [artist]Cedric Bixler Zavala[/artist]. And whoever wrote these melodies should be rewarded somehow. de Cincue (what a name by the way, tanslated it’s Christopher of five) intonates these melodies with so much feeling that you can’t help but have to feel at least something. [album artist=closure in moscow]first temple[/album], despite being the debut album of [artist]closure in moscow[/artist], shows an incredible amount of potential and talent. Their songwriting abilities already are top notch. Except for the kind of needless, definitely too long interlude [track artist=closure in moscow]permafrost[/track], all tracks are put together in a perfect way. Even though the (in my opinion) best songs of the album are in it’s first half, it never let’s go and is full of amazing songs. On top of that [artist]closure in moscow[/artist] are not content with writing post hardcore songs only. [track artist=closure in moscow]Sweet#hart[/track] for example is an alternative rock song that is really dancable and poppy and they pull this off so well, or [track artist=closure in moscow]vanguard[/track] the most technical song on the album, which is not poppy or hardcore at all. I know Australia has a lot of talented bands ([artist]the datsuns[/artist], [artist]the red shore[/artist]…), but if this isn’t the best one already, it sure will become. Let’s hope they mean it when they sing: [i] It never ends, it never ends We can never rest[/i] [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=closure in moscow]reindeer age[/track] | [track artist=closure in moscow]kissing cousins[/track] | [track artist=closure in moscow]Sweet#hart[/track] | [track artist=closure in moscow]I'm A Ghost of Twilight[/track] | [track artist=closure in moscow]vanguard[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/closureinmoscow]Myspace[/url] [b]-16-[/b] [artist]coalesce[/artist] [album artist=coalesce]ox[/album] [img]http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/4420/75907421.jpg[/img] [i]“Old age is not so fiery as youth, but when once provoked cannot be appeased.“[/i] - Thomas Fuller After ten(!) years, [artist]coalesce[/artist] are back with their fourth album. But did they ever leave? Whenever there was a conversation about the legends in modern hardcore, most of the times [artist]botch[/artist], [artist]converge[/artist], [artist]the dillinger escape plan[/artist] and [artist]refused[/artist] were sure to be mentioned. But most of the times [artist]coalesce[/artist] as well. Their hiatus hindered them from getting the amount of respect the other bands got, (a dead band is worth more than a band on hiatus), while their name still was around all the time. With [album artist=coalesce]ox[/album], those conversations are about to change. Whenever someone lists all those bands someone must stop him or her, by screaming: [i]“I think I heard that wild ox moan!”[/i]. It just has to be done. Although ten years have passed since their last album, 2008’s rereleased [album artist=coalesce]012:2[/album] was released, [album artist=coalesce]ox[/album] sounds like the logical and perfect follow up to it. They really keep their sound, yet gave it more refinement. Of course over the ten years they had enough time to improve their songwriting skills. But ten years also was enough time to gather rage. This [album artist=coalesce]ox[/album] has foam at the mouth and is pawing the ground. Once let loose, you sure are in for a ride, cowboy. [track artist=coalesce]The Villain We Won't Deny[/track] is a two minute timber. Or [track artist=coalesce]by what we refuse[/track], an unsettling, spastic bastard which seems supposed to make you feel uncofortable, done in a quality only [artist]the dillinger escape plan[/artist] can top. But all this aggression doesn’t hold [artist]coalesce[/artist] back from integrating clean vocals (that somewhat sound like [artist]phil collins[/artist], unusual for sure) in a way that is not foreseeable and always for the better of the song and acoustic intermissions that really are perfectly tied into context. Especially [track artist=coalesce]we have lost our will[/track], two acoustic guitars, a piano, a glockenspiel, a haunting song. Those for this type of music atypcally used instruments are really a characteristic feature of this record, take the country part at the beginning of the secret “hit” of the album, [track artist=coalesce]wild ox moan[/track] as an example, or the bell in [track artist=coalesce]the purveyor of novelty and nonsense[/track]. Despite all this, [album artist=coalesce]ox[/album] is a way more cohesive album than [album artist=coalesce]012:2[/album]. Their chaotic side has decreased, making way for even more sludgy, droning and technical, dissonant, to sum it up in one word: grooving, riffage. Whenever a sound is grooving, it really is up to the bass to not just make it groove, but also make it powerful, Nathan Ellis does make it powerful, he even adds a lot of the best accentuations heard by a bass this year, just listen to [track artist=coalesce]New Voids in One's Resolve[/track], a track that is completely driven by his bass grooves. He definitely is one of the best bassists in hardcore. The drums are very nice, new drummer Nathan Richardson really is a step forward for this band. It sounds as if he’s not doing anything twice on this album. But [artist]coalesce[/artist] would not be [artist]coalesce[/artist] without the unique voice of Sean Ingram. His throaty, clipped way of screaming the amazing, yet not always comprehensible lyrics is absolutely one of a kind. It’s something you either hate or love. As mentioned in the quote above, once old men start to ramble, they cannot stop. Let’s hope this and the [album artist=coalesce]oxep[/album] EP are just forerunners of what’s to come. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=coalesce]wild ox moan[/track] | [track artist=coalesce]dead is dead[/track] | [track artist=coalesce]in my wake, for my own[/track] | [track artist=coalesce]the purveyor of novelty and nonsense[/track] | [track artist=coalesce]we have lost our will[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/coalesce]Myspace[/url] [b]-15-[/b] [artist]manchester orchestra[/artist] [album artist=manchester orchestra]mean everything to nothing[/album] [img]http://www.the-fly.co.uk/upload/images/album_reviews/Manchester-Orchestra.gif[/img] On their third album [artist]manchester orchestra[/artist] sound like a band consisting of [artist]andy hull[/artist] and members of [artist]nirvana[/artist], [artist]brand new[/artist] and [artist]the shins[/artist] recorded an album together. On first look it is apparent that [album artist=manchester orchestra]mean everything to nothing[/album] is [u]way[/u] more rocking and less melancholic than it’s predecessor [album artist=manchester orchestra]I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child[/album]. It luckily is a way louder album, even on [album artist=manchester orchestra]I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child[/album] the louder songs were the better ones ([track artist=manchester orchestra]wolves at night[/track]). Or to be precise it’s playing a lot more and better with the quiet verse / loud chorus technique. The guitars are way more in the foreground and rightfully so, the riffs are great. The flawless production of Joe Chiccarelli contributes to that in a major way, pushing them powefully into the audible foreground. Robert Mcdowell’s riffs are to a great deal inspired by 70es blues rock / early metal bands like [artist]led zeppelin[/artist], which is always nice to hear, especially when it’s being done as good as he and [artist]andy hull[/artist] do it. This album has seriousness written all over it. Musically and lyrically. While I can’t really claim to know what [artist]andy hull[/artist]’s lyrics mean at all (I like to interpret them in a sense most likeable to me), the musicianship really is big business. This really is a band record, everyone has his time in the spotlight, except for maybe bassist Jonathan Corely, but who needs bassists anyway? ; ) The songwriting is more matured than some bands ever acchieve it to be. Although some songs are structured in a similar way, this is and remains rock, no idea seems recycled, no song is forseeable. No, they’re all surprising in some ore even any way. And this album has it’s hits. [track artist=manchester orchestra]shake it out[/track] actually is one of the best songs this year for sure. There is no band out there that sounds like [artist]manchester orchestra[/artist], although they sound like the culmination of some of the best bands you know (or should know). If they can continue writing albums this good, they actually might end up being in the same league. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=manchester orchestra]shake it out[/track] | [track artist=manchester orchestra]in my teeth[/track] | [track artist=manchester orchestra]i've got friends[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/manchesterorchestra]Myspace[/url] [b]-14-[/b] [artist]poison the well[/artist] [album artist=poison the well]the tropic rot[/album] [img]http://www.burnmage.com/wp-content/uploads/the-tropic-rot-300x300.jpg[/img] [album artist=poison the well]versions[/album] was the first [artist]poison the well[/artist] record I ever heard. And I was blown away. [album artist=poison the well]the tropic rot[/album] however blows [album artist=poison the well]versions[/album] out of the water in every aspect. [album artist=poison the well]versions[/album] was a full blown attack, multi instrumentalized, no limitations whatsoever. [album artist=poison the well]the tropic rot[/album] is a more subtle attacker. The kind that stabs you in the back with a smile. In comparison this is a stipped to the core album, although it isn’t really. Two tracks back to back actually showcase it pretty well. [track artist=poison the well]pamplemousse[/track] has a drumbeat that I think I will never understand. Chris Hornbrook must have three arms. Then there are swirling guitars and a Jeff Moreira singing as sweet as never. But actually it’s those little things in the background again that make this song interesting. The organ, the weird noises, there’s always something you haven’t heard before. Following track [track artist=poison the well]Who Doesn't Love A Good Dismemberment?[/track] (fantastic name) starts with a single guitar riff. But not some riff, one of the best this year overall, really catchy and addictive (and I’m talking about the riff alone). Then the song turns into a [artist]poison the well[/artist] characteristic mid tempo hardcore monster with a chorus to die for. But all you hear is the band, no weird noises or anything else. That would’ve been too much, taking the subtlety of the aggression away. Although [album artist=poison the well]versions[/album] had a lot of genre atypical instruments on it, [album artist=poison the well]the tropic rot[/album] has an even more distinctive, weird sound to it, also because it simply sounds better produced. There are stripped down tracks aswell as ones with unorthodox gimmickry. Thus the album is way more unforseeable. You never know what’s going to happen with the songs or in what direction the album in general is heading. If anyone says he expected the shuffle on [track artist=poison the well]when you lose I lose aswell[/track], he’s a bad liar. [album artist=poison the well]the tropic rot[/album] shows a band at it’s peak of songwriting and harmony between each of the band members. Maybe they might actually be able to make two albums with the same people? They should, this is really a huge step forward. If [album artist=poison the well]the tropic rot[/album] was a game, it’d be Hitman. Sneaking up from behind, grabbing you by the neck, doesn’t let go until you surrender. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=poison the well]cinema[/track] | [track artist=poison the well]Who Doesn't Love A Good Dismemberment?[/track] | [track artist=poison the well]sparks it will rain[/track] | [track artist=poison the well]makeshift clay you[/track] | [track artist=poison the well]celebrate the pyre[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/poisonthewell]Myspace[/url] [b]-13-[/b] [artist]he is legend[/artist] [album artist=he is legend]it hates you[/album] [img]http://www.rocksound.tv/images/uploads/hes300.jpg[/img] After [album artist=he is legend]I am hollywood[/album], [artist]he is legend[/artist] kind of was the band of the hour. That splendid album was a crazy mixture of metal, post hardcore, alternative rock and with Schuylar Croom [artist]he is legend[/artist] had an unbelievably brilliant singer, in terms of clean singing aswell as screaming. That was 2004. Two years later the band came back with [album artist=he is legend]suck out the poison[/album]. They changed the sound way more into a southern metal direction, threw a great portion of the melodic moments out the window and had a Schuylar Croom at his worst, his voice destroyed by cigarettes and alcohol. So much for the history lesson. Enter [album artist=he is legend]it hates you[/album], a culmination of the strengths their first two records had. While sounding way more, on first sight maybe even just like, [album artist=he is legend]suck out the poison[/album], when you listen closely you will notice that [album artist=he is legend]it hates you[/album] has a whole lot of moments that sound very reminiscent to [album artist=he is legend]I am hollywood[/album]. With all this, [album artist=he is legend]it hates you[/album] ends up having a very unique feel to it. What can be noticed right away is that Schuylar Croom has almost regained the vocal -range, -strength and -beauty he had on their first album. Very nice to hear. Adam Tanbouz riffs are as crushing as ever. The guitar sound is even more powerful, some of the effects he uses are insane and his solos are really catchy. Bassist Matt Williams also has some time to shine, especially in the seven- and a half minute epic that is [track artist=he is legend]stranger danger[/track]. But once again I have to praise the drummer. Steven Bache may not be the most techy or rhythmwise challenging drummer out there, but what he plays is so good and fun and some of his fills are just insane ([track artist=he is legend]future's bright, man[/track]). The prodiction is bone dry, very powerful and well mixed. Fun is the keyword. This album is way more fun. For the band aswell as for the listener. While listening to [album artist=he is legend]suck out the poison[/album] was a drag mostly, listening to [album artist=he is legend]it hates you[/album] is, you guessed it, fun. You pretty much hear how much fun the band had ignoring all borders or people’s expectations. [track artist=he is legend]china white iii[/track] for example was something everyone was awaiting and instead of hammering the story towards it’s end they turned it into a beautiful acoustic ballad. That’s not the only surprise on here [track artist=he is legend]That's Nasty[/track] with it’s ridiculously low tuned guitars for example sounds like [album artist=he is legend]suck out the poison[/album] done good, or [track artist=he is legend]cult of she[/track], the most intricate [artist]he is legend[/artist] song so far. All new [artist]he is legend[/artist]? Not really, but new and improved formula. They say it best when they say: [i]Are we all alone in here? Are we special or just weird?[/i] You decide. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=he is legend]future's bright, man[/track] | [track artist=he is legend]stranger danger[/track] | [track artist=he is legend]party time![/track] | [track artist=he is legend]cult of she[/track] | [track artist=he is legend]decisions, decisions, decisions[/track] | [track artist=he is legend]china white iii[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/heislegend]Myspace[/url] [b]-12-[/b] [artist]leathermouth[/artist] [album artist=leathermouth]xo[/album] [img]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51J1s1ABmhL._SL500_AA300_.jpg[/img] [i] “For me [artist]leathermouth[/artist] is how I can vent about all the bullshit that I see going on in the world that makes me ill. I try to belabor the topics people want to forget exist. [artist]leathermouth[/artist] is where I can vomit out all the aggression that has built up inside. After recording or playing a [artist]leathermouth[/artist] show I feel empty of all that hatred that’s been bottled up. It’s a pleasant, cathartic experience. I would love to not feel the way I do about certain things, and have rainbows and birds chirping in my head, but that’s just not the way I’m built. I am embarrassed by my emotions and originally wanted to keep [artist]leathermouth[/artist] anonymous… but fuck it, none of us are perfect, the world is going to shit, and someone has to say it. I think it would be worse if I hid from it.”[/i] Says Frank Iero from [artist]my chemical romance[/artist]. He couldn’t have said it any better, a lot of that is how I feel aswell, yet I don’t have a band (right now, let’s hope that’s going to change fast). Now don’t say you expected [artist]leathermouth[/artist] to sound like this. This really is a relentless, raw and intense catharsis. Iero sure as hell has enough anger and hate in him to take apart your ears. He’s the singer, not the guitarist of this band and his vocals are really all of the above. Totally insane, fucked up moments included, for example the beginning of [track artist=leathermouth]leviathan[/track]. The guitars are very southern rock / punk n roll ish, and always powerful and driving enough to force Iero to another highlight. You can tell that this album was recorded in basements. If that ain’t a punk sound right here, I don’t know what it is. Overall for the listener this is at times just as cathartic as for Iero. 23 minutes are enough time to really fuck shit up. Last year had [artist]the banner[/artist] doing that job, this year it’s [artist]stray from the path[/artist] and even more [artist]leathermouth[/artist]. I am grateful for bands like that. They keep me sane. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=leathermouth]this song is about being attacked by monsters[/track] | [track artist=leathermouth]bodysnatchers 4 ever[/track] | [track artist=leathermouth]your friends are full of shit[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/leathermouthlives]Myspace[/url] [b]-11-[/b] [artist]brand new[/artist] [album artist=brand new]daisy[/album] [img]http://hangout.altsounds.com/geek/gars/images/3/9/8/5/16altsounds1.jpg[/img] [i]We need vices.[/i] Every time a band releases a new album you hear those same old sentences. “This time the melodies are going to be more pompous and the heavy parts are even more face melting!”. Yea, right, heard that before. But how does that apply to [artist]brand new[/artist]? They’re not a band for preset answers. Well, if they’d said it and said that [album artist=brand new]daisy[/album] is going to sound a bit more chaotic, louder and bordercrossing, they actually would’ve told the truth. [album artist=brand new]the devil and god are raging inside me[/album] was a dark album already, but with tracks like [track artist=brand new]the archers bows have broken[/track] for example there was still a silver lining. [album artist=brand new]daisy[/album] is a black sky you gaze at, waiting for northern lights, but instead all you see is a black hole forming. Jesse Lacey and Vincent Accardi are raging on this album. Pure despair. Vocal and guitarwise. There are some more obvious grunge influences, for example in [track artist=brand new]you stole[/track]’s “chorus” when the guitar and bass in the background pretty much just destroy everything that sounds nice. But the despair and the album finds it’s beautiful peak in the last track of the album, [track artist=brand new]noro[/track]: [i] How am I ever gonna know peace? How will I ever see your light through the trees? I want to burn down everything we've begun I want to kill and eat my young Because I'm on my way out Well, I've tried God knows that I've tried I'm on my way out One time, two time Three time again I'm on my way out[/i] Jesse Lacey’s lyrics overall are very poetic, yet they drift further and further into the incomprehensible. This however leads to digging deeper into them and that might lead to each own’s interpretation of the lyrics. That is another reason to love these highly poetic lyrics. But be warned. Truly understanding and appreciating this album takes a lot of listens. Therefore [album artist=brand new]daisy[/album] is a perfect name. You’d wish to see the summer sun shining on daisys all winter long and once you spot them on the fields they don’t stop to blossom. But this daisy is winterproof. It has to be, it’s full of cold nights. [artist]brand new[/artist] are an always progressing band. No album sounds like it’s predecessor. While the difference between [album artist=brand new]daisy[/album] and [album artist=brand new]the devil and god are raging inside me[/album] might be the slightest, they still manage to sound like a new band. But the similarities are most obvious when I read what I wrote about [album artist=brand new]the devil and god are raging inside me[/album]: [i]“This is a desperate, dark, heartfelt, intelligent, honest and a lot adjectives more record. It's hard to believe that this is the same band, that recorded [album artist=Brand New]Your Favourite Weapon[/album]. [artist]Brand New[/artist] have perfectionised the loud/quiet game. A highly influential record, lyrically and musically, that can mean a lot. To me it does.”[/i] [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=brand new]noro[/track] | [track artist=brand new]vices[/track] | [track artist=brand new]you stole[/track] | [track artist=brand new]in a jar[/track] | [track artist=brand new]at the bottom[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/brandnew]Myspace[/url] [b]-10-[/b] [artist]gallows[/artist] [album artist=gallows]grey britain[/album] [img]http://www.inthenews.co.uk/photo/gallows-grey-britain-$7032813$300.jpg[/img] After the well deserved hype that came after their fantastic debut album [album artist=gallows]orchestra of wolves[/album] and being signed by [label]warner bros.[/label] hopes were high that [artist]gallows[/artist] might be the next [artist]refused[/artist]. Did they release [album artist=refused]the shape of punk to come[/album] of this century? Not quite, but it obviously wasn’t their goal. [artist]gallows[/artist] are heading into a different direction than before, their debut was full of fast [artist]the bronx[/artist]ish punk songs, this time the pace is slower and the punk almost gone. Instead of aiming to be the new [artist]refused[/artist], [artist]gallows[/artist] have done something better, [artist]gallows[/artist] are the new [artist]gallows[/artist] (think about that for a second). Arguably the darkest record released this year, [album artist=gallows]grey britain[/album] shows that there are still bands that are willing to venture into unpopular soundspheres. Carters vocals contribute to that the most, his performance is ten times better than on [album artist=gallows]orchestra of wolves[/album] and he intones his cathartic lyrics with a relentlessness that is unbelievable, just listen to [track artist=gallows]misery[/track], a track that he is said to have written while having a depression, and you will know what I mean. He even sings on [track artist=gallows]The Vulture (Acts I & II)[/track], the epicenter of the album where everything culminates. Besides Carter it is apparent that the guitarwork has also been improved massively. Finally the guitars are accompanying each other, the bass coating them (the bass sound is sweet throughout the whole album), and it all is sounding so good. They could have been a bit more distorted at times but that is just a feeling, not a necessity and is probably not even true. [artist]gallows[/artist] may not be the new [artist]refused[/artist], but they may actually become even better. What an irony, they are the hope for hardcore, while sounding like the ultimate end of hope. Forget Black Metal, this is Pitch Black Hardcore. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=gallows]black eyes[/track] | [track artist=gallows]The Vulture (Acts I & II)[/track] | [track artist=gallows]The Riverbed[/track] | [track artist=gallows]Misery[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/gallows]Myspace[/url] [b]-09-[/b] [artist]as cities burn[/artist] [album artist=as cities burn]hell or high water[/album] [img]http://www.clevelandleader.com/files/16381.jpg[/img] As Cities Burn is no more, this time for real, but what better way to say goodbye than with their best album? There are albums enough that you sit through listening, not feeling a thing or slightly excited at most. But this is one of those with a special feeling to it. From the beginning of the first song [track artist=as cities burn]'84 Sheepdog[/track], through the groovy [track artist=as cities burn]Errand Rum[/track] - I could do this with every track on this album - you are captivated. 2007's [album artist=as cities burn]come now, sleep[/album] also had a feeling to it, but a darker one, still present in songs like [track artist=as cities burn]into the sea[/track], in moments throughout the whole album, but always in the lyrics. I cannot discribe how much I love [track artist=as cities burn]petty[/track] alone for it's lyrics inspired by the first line of William Shakespeare's [i]"As You Like It"[/i] - [i]"All the world's a stage"[/i], Cody turned it into [i]"If all the world's a stage, then it's not mine[/i], my favourite line of these lyrics. Adding a perfect track accompanying it you have one of the best songs of this year. But pointing one single track out may not be righteous to the others, each are worth all the words I could write. There's at least one moment in each of them that I look forward to when I hear it, it's clever, captivating and beautiful. As Cities Burn will be missed. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=as cities burn]petty[/track] | [track artist=as cities burn]made too pretty[/track] | [track artist=as cities burn]errand rum[/track] | [track artist=as cities burn]into the sea[/track] | [track artist=as cities burn]capo[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/ascitiesburn]Myspace[/url] [b]-08-[/b] [artist]it dies today[/artist] [album artist=it dies today]lividity[/album] [img]http://img.noiset.com/images/album/it-dies-today-lividity-download-34050.jpeg[/img] If you’re searching for perfect metalcore, [artist]it dies today[/artist] will deliver. There is nothing this band does that hasn’t been done before. New Vocalist Jason Wood is screaming like mad in the verses and singing like a bird in the choruses. Drummer Nick Mirusso is mostly relying on his very strong footwork, some doublebass attacks are very unforeseeable and always spot on. Bassist Steve Lemke is making the chuggings, breakdowns and all other guitarsounds even more venomous. But the highlight are guitarists Mike Hatalak and Chris Cappelli. There must be something they do with their guitars. I love that guitar sound so damn much. Although it isn’t really anything sprecial. It may be because this production is simply perfect. Guitarist, producer and mixer in one person, Mike hatalak really did an outstanding job on this album. It feels like you can hear each string for itself, the sound is crystal clear, yet not overproduced or too clean. The drums are so damn powerful and perfectly placed in the mix. When Jason Wood is singing it’s almost always backed up, but in a way that is subtle enough and never too much, and when he screams it feels very raw, almost live. The brilliance of the production can best be heard when [artist]it dies today[/artist] let loose, on tracks like [track artist=it dies today]thank you for drinking[/track] and [track artist=it dies today]the architects[/track] where usually something should be too loud / too quiet in the mix, yet it really is not. Those tracks by the way are the most influenced by [artist]every time I die[/artist] like southern metal riffage. That’s something really fitting for the band’s sound. But this band is full of talent anyways. Listen to [track artist=it dies today]come undone[/track], a [artist]duran duran[/artist](!) cover. They make it sound completely as if it was one of their own and turn it into one of the best tracks on the album. The chorus, which was only hinted on [artist]duran duran[/artist]’s original version of the song is turned into a haunting elegy. A perfecet example of good songwriting is the breakdown in [track artist=it dies today]bled out in black and white[/track], it really comes out of nothing, yet fits so perfectly there. Releasing [album artist=it dies today]lividity[/album] was a ride through a multitude of problems, especially labelwise for the band. It was set and ready to be released in 2008. That obviously didn’t happen. It eventually was released in September this year. The band therefore had enough time to play shows and write new songs, I hope there will be another release next year. Until then someone tell me why I love this band so much… [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=it dies today]thank you for drinking[/track] | [track artist=it dies today]come undone[/track] | [track artist=it dies today]this ghost[/track] | [track artist=it dies today]Complacence Without Pursuit (Lividity)[/track] | [track artist=it dies today]reckless abandon[/track] | [track artist=it dies today]martyr of truth[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/itdiestoday]Myspace[/url] [b]-07-[/b] [artist]Patsy O'Hara[/artist] [album artist=Patsy O'Hara]deathinteresse[/album] [img]http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4804/patsyoharadeathinteress.jpg[/img] [artist]Patsy O'Hara[/artist] are a relatively new five piece band from Bielefeld, Germany, who play hardcore in the veins of [artist]Modern life is war[/artist] (R.I.P. or better come back!). It really is rare to find such a good and original band in Germany these days. [artist]Alpinist[/artist] are somehow compareable, but not this good. I’ve never been to Bielefeld. Just as I’ve never been to Marshalltown. But those must be pretty comparable small towns. Grey is grey, no matter where in the world you are. And these guys make you hear the grey. They blast the concrete in your ears. In no way this is a [artist]Modern life is war[/artist] clone, they surely are influenced by them, but the songs show that they have more to offer than any clone. The attitude this album conveys is just amazing. This is their first full length and already they have a sound and style of their very own. Dark, sinister and angry. What surprised me were the slower songs. Usually I’m more into faster songs, but [artist]Patsy O'Hara[/artist] really know how to write good slow songs that keep you interested. Six minutes instrumental [track artist=Patsy O'Hara]tyrannis[/track] is the best example.Or the slow rising [track artist=Patsy O'Hara]you came back with something (that was never gone)[/track]. [album artist=Patsy O'Hara]deathinteresse[/album] keeps on growing and growing. Once you really got it you notice how cohesive it really is. Picking highlights was so unbelievably hard. A pretty much perfect debut. I want more. This could is Germany’s best band. By the way, the artwork looks pretty amazing, ten times better than any picture of Bielefeld I have ever seen. P.S. But why the fuck is this a vinyl only release? Ok, with a download link, but why the fuck would I buy a vinyl? [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=Patsy O'Hara]I am the night, color me black[/track] | [track artist=Patsy O'Hara]tyrannis[/track] | [track artist=Patsy O'Hara]this untaught kid[/track] | [track artist=Patsy O'Hara]you came back with something (that was never gone)[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/patsyohara]Myspace[/url] [b]-06-[/b] [artist]stray from the path[/artist] [album artist=stray from the path]make your own history[/album] [img]http://images.victoryrecords.com/albums/SUM023.jpg[/img] A somewhat distant drum beat. A repeatet chant. Someone’s screaming something. He’s almost rapping. Then he screams [i]TURN IT UP![/i] and I obey. Boom, you’re in it. The road rage which is [album artist=stray from the path]make your own history[/album]. A 28 minute breakdown, by definition, they tear shit up on this one. Riff building upon riff, the bassdrum just not stopping, a drummer with arrythmia, a bass too powerful and Zack de la Rocha’s younger brother who’s pretty damn pissed, even more than [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImMAzBNVVfg]Ollie Williams[/url] narrating all this mess. If you’re on the Autobahn and there’s a traffic jam – just press play, you’ll find ways where there were none before. Ever played GTA 2? That shit was 2D kids. You remember how much fun it was stealing a cab and then just drive on the sidewalks? That’s what I see when I hear [album artist=stray from the path]make your own history[/album]. Sick of hearing stupid questions? Set up some surround sound shit, forward [track artist=stray from the path]the things you own end up owning you[/track] to it’s final breakdown, turn it to 11, press play the next time you get one of that questions and see who survives. From then on it’s all over anyways. [track artist=stray from the path]comrades[/track] is next. If that song was a person it wouldn’t be a person, it’d be a fucking werewolve. If all these songs were alive you’d have a pretty nice army of fucking weird ass creatures. Sabertooth tigers, Minotaurs n shit like that. But no fucking dragons or such, they’re pretty lame n gay. Lest we forget to scream our battlecries [i]FUCK! MY! LIFE! SING IT! FUCK! MY! LIFE!!![/i] or if you’re not that much into the plain and simple [i]NEGATIVE AND VIOLENT, WE’RE ALL SO IMPORTANT! Everyone is all the same, Everyone you know! Hiding, watching, waiting; There’s gotta be more to life than complaining![/i] To sum it up: [album artist=stray from the path]make your own history[/album] is a pretty unique, relentless modern hardcore / metalcore monolith that is actually more intelligent than it seems and pretends to be. If you don’t like it, rest assured that [artist]stray from the path[/artist] doesn’t give a damn. They keep on slayin’! [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=stray from the path]comrades[/track] | [track artist=stray from the path]negative and violent[/track] | [track artist=stray from the path]manipulator[/track] | [track artist=stray from the path]the things you own end up owning you[/track] | [track artist=stray from the path]nigeria[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/strayfromthepath]Myspace[/url] [b]-05-[/b] [artist]all the day holiday[/artist] [album artist=all the day holiday]The Things We've Grown To Love[/album] [img]http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/4994/alltheday.jpg[/img] I love [artist]all the day holiday[/artist] since the first sound I heard of them. Right away I had to get the [album artist=all the day holiday]We’ll Be Walking On Air[/album] EP and was listening to that for quite a while, but those 33 minutes weren’t enough. I couldn’t wait for this album. Then, after the horrible weeks of waiting, when I first listened to [album artist=all the day holiday]The Things We've Grown To Love[/album], I was disappointed. It just wasn’t as addictive and at times too boring. Boy was I wrong. Right when I gave it it’s second spin (this time via headphones) I was having the same feeling I had with the EP. Love. How could I describe [artist]all the day holiday[/artist]’s sound best? Atmospheric indie-pop-rock? Sounds stupid, but matches quite well. Besides having a great feeling for melodies and atmosphere, the things that make [artist]all the day holiday[/artist] this good are, first, their drummer, Mark Ventura. He has so much groove in him, it’s incredible. Every time he changes to another rhythm in the songs it’s just incredible how good it fits, how artistic this guy is. The sound of his drums aswell are worth any mention, the otherwise at times slightly too clean production really made his drumset sound live and powerful. The other strength is the atmosphere all instruments together generate. It’s somehow melancholic, but especially the unorthodox voice of Dan Simmons makes it uplifting at the same time. Somehow you can hear how much these four guys from Cincinatti, Ohio love what they are doing and how much fun they have. While [album artist=all the day holiday]We’ll Be Walking On Air[/album] had no song under five minutes, [album artist=all the day holiday]The Things We've Grown To Love[/album] only has one song above that mark. The songwriting is much tighter, better. The two guitars work way better together (but should have been a bit louder, more highlighted in the mix) and the bass is grooving way more. One song, [track artist=all the day holiday]atmosphere[/track], the only track from the EP that’s on this album aswell, shows the cleverness in terms of songwriting. It was well enough written already, no part was changed, but there are so many things in the background that make it so much better. The trumpets on the instrumental break out are just pure genious. Those break out moments in general are always a highlight of the songs. And the use of instruments they didn’t use before just as much. Trumpets, a piano, a organ, strings, glockenspiele and probably tons of instruments I forgot now. This is a jamming band. You can tell. Now I’m left waiting again. Craving for more. But I have this and the Ep, I should survive. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=all the day holiday]greener[/track] | [track artist=all the day holiday]real time[/track] | [track artist=all the day holiday]cheers (you still love me)[/track] | [track artist=all the day holiday]atmosphere[/track] | [track artist=all the day holiday]cities[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/allthedayholiday]Myspace[/url] [b]-04-[/b] [artist]paria[/artist] [album artist=paria]the barnacle cordious[/album] [img]http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/61kx8VLh82L._SL500_AA300_.jpg[/img] I remember hearing [artist]paria[/artist] for the first time. I watched their video for [track artist=paria]the barnacle cordious[/track] ([url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMZ6AL8pZ6g=]Watch it.[/url]). I literally did not know what the fuck was going on. I sat there with my jaw open, I knew I had just fallen in love. But with what? I still have no clue at all. This might just be the most aggressive, insane record of the year. It’s unlike anything. They are tagged as metalcore, mathcore, deathcore and progressive (that black metal tag belongs to another band with the same name). But it’s either none of those or all. Rather all. But more likely, or how I feel, this is something completely new. And that is the most hardest thing to do in music these days, sound like something that hasn’t been there before. Every band tries to (well the good ones that is), very few accieve it. Maybe [album artist=paria]the barnacle cordious[/album] being planned and intentially written as an instrumental album adds a great deal to this. Vocalist Brian Craig rejoined the band just before they got to record this, but somehow they’ve managed to install another instrument in the sound, cause that is what a voice should really be, another instrument. He has a good vocal range and definately even more anger in him. You can tell. This is what I imagine a cancerous cell to sound like if it’d make sounds. I wouldn’t want to miss him a second, just listen to the first seconds of the five minute catharsis [track artist=paria]be[/track] where he shows off some guttural vocals or final breakdown of [track artist=paria]the wallabee dance machine[/track] where he tears everything apart, screaming: [i]Justice will be met![/i] Each instrument has numerous highlighted moments, two tracks are even still instrumentals, who are perfectly placed as fourth and ninth track to catch some breath and recap what just happened. The virtuosity with which they (and all other tracks, but especially them) are played is incredible. Sole guitarist John Claus shows the whole range of what’s possible, from moments of “hell, I can play that!” to “what the fuck is he doing, and how does he do it?!”. Corey Barnes does te same with his drums. Being the drummer in an istumental band is the hardest part, there is much more focus on the drums so if they are repetitive in any way or even worse uninspired, you can tell. He always contributes to the songs, really is an artistically gifted drummer. But bassist Dustin Treinen really is the star of this album. I mean, I am not really that good at rating a performance of the bass player, yet I can tell if something’s incredibly good when I hear it. And this is beyond that. Even better than Arif Mirabdolbaghi’s performance on (last year’s) [album artist=protest the hero]fortress[/album]. Every bassist should hear this and kneel. [album artist=paria]the barnacle cordious[/album] overall is a serious trip. Once you’re on it, there is no coming back. [artist]paria[/artist] really prove that not everything has been done before. They leave behind obsolete ideas of structures and genres and throw you into a new frontier. Their own where their laws apply and they can do whatever they want to you. Justice will be met. [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=paria]the barnacle cordious[/track] | [track artist=paria]be[/track] | [track artist=paria]circus[/track] | [track artist=paria]pish posh[/track] | [track artist=paria]thrash[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/paria]Myspace[/url] [b]-03-[/b] [artist]oceana[/artist] [album artist=oceana]birth.eater[/album] [img]http://i011.radikal.ru/0904/e9/a765fe76a4f0.jpg[/img] Speaking of a special feeling, this is another one of those special albums. I still haven’t heard a second of [artist]oceana[/artist]’s first album [album artist=oceana]the tide[/album], but since it doesn’t feature this album’s MVP, vocalist Brennan Taulbee, I don’t really think I have to. His energy throughout this 46 minute journey is amazing. Especially his unique rabid, hoarse screams are worth listening to this album, it’s amazing what soft sounds this throat can produce aswell. [album artist=oceana]birth.eater[/album], being somewhat of a concept album about abortion has a very gritty sound to it, the production accompanying this, by pushing the pulsating drums into the foreground. Actually the production deserves a longer mention, since it’s pretty much perfect for this album. Every instrument can be discerned clearly, the volume is loud but not washy, silent moments are silent, loud ones loud and the arrangement of the songs is always appealing, since not overcomplicated, yet still intelligent and varied. It’s a trip. This one doesn’t let go, needs several listens to blossom and is as durable as a plastic flower. What is one of the most fascinating facts about them is that they are averagely 20 years old and have already found a sound whisch is completely their own. I really couln’t tell you one band that sounds similar to them. I know they didn’t invent anything new, but I think you can compare it with a pizza. All ingredients where there before, but the mixture of this one originates a new flavour. I look forward with great hopes (thank you for coming back). [b]Highlights:[/b] [track artist=oceana]breather ii[/track] | [track artist=oceana]the spine collection[/track] | [track artist=oceana]mother love[/track] | [track artist=oceana]BOA[/track] [url=www.myspace.com/oceanafl]Myspace[/url] [b]-02-[/b] [artist]lewd acts[/artist] [album artist=lewd acts]black eye blues[/album] [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_DM_KTW28jxc/SpyRuGwKpOI/AAAAAAAAAhg/tjq46h0Me7Y/s400/Lewd+Acts+-+BEB.jpg[/img] Every great artist is at least slightly insane. This is another proof of that. Vocalist Tyler "Tylure" Densley is insane. At least a part of him. The part that he spills here. [i]“The greener grass I strived to reach Is just broken glass in the sand of the beach.”[/i] It’s hard these days to find just one single hardcore band that does something worthwhile, most of the times we hear a copy of a copy of a copy. The freedom of pioneering new sounds, incorporation of unusual instruments and intelligent usage of rhythmplay is somewhat gone. The fear of dislike from fans and thus loss of those has grown to a point where it’s bigger than the creative striving of most bands who rather play the safe card of doing the same old song over and over. [artist]lewd acts[/artist] have the balls or are insane enough to stray from the path. On their previous effor