Australian Post-Hardcore metallers House Vs Hurricane return explosively with their latest full length studio album, entitled Crooked Teeth. This is their first album since 2009, and the first since their chaotic with split from keyboardist Joey Fagione and vocalist Chris Dicker. It’s got a lot to live up to, and a lot to prove.
First impressions? It’s excellent! It really sounds like House Vs Hurricane have matured in their sound, but haven’t lost one iota of their musical talent. It sounds like a release from Southern metallers Architects, only more tuneful, faster and with more of a rock-punch-to-the-stomach. The conjunction between hefty, throaty screaming and soulful, melodic singing on the chorus creates a great atmosphere of call-and-response, and the music itself is varied enough to not give off the impression of all the songs sounding the same.
It’s full of angry energy, an obvious finger-motion in the direction of all of the listeners out there who thought that we’d never see anything from House Vs Hurricane again after their mess-of-a-split with previous members and the length it’s taken to get this album out since their last one. We can also see that attitude clearly from the aptly-named track Haters Gonna Hate. But, they’ve really lived up to the hype spectacularly, and used that energy so effectively it’s impossible to describe it and do it justice. Suffice it to say that this band still have a heck of a lot left in the tank, and that should make us all happy.
Musically, the guitars are extremely talented, chuggy and heavy, without compromising on a beautifully warm tone. The use of effects is extremely (pardon the pun) effective as well, used sparingly and actually to enhance sounds, rather than create entire new ones. The verse riffs are pure genius, keeping listeners on their toes and striking out in interesting, almost djent-like directions that are completely unexpected. Couple this with uplifting choruses made from basic, strummed chords to make an actual chorus sound and upliftingly soulful singing, and there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. It really is a fantastic album.
So overall, to sum up – it’s brilliant. There’s ups, downs, excellent music work, phenomenal vocal work, softer parts, heavier faster parts, effective use of instruments and it’s very well recorded.
There really isn’t a bad word to say about this one. House Vs Hurricane are back, and it couldn’t come soon enough. More please!
A thoroughly deserved 10/10.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/1095/house-vs-hurricane–crooked-teeth-album
New York based rockers Event Horizon are poised to pounce straight into the mainstream music scene. Claiming to be the infusion of many genres of music, from metal toThe Beatles-style of rock, Event Horizon want to put something ‘fresh’ into a stagnated and “repetitive” music industry.
Event Horizon’s modern take on the traditional rock style of music is nothing short of refreshing. Harking back to the glory days of Pearl Jam and the heyday of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and infusing it with the electronic-rock style of modern day musicians Muse, Event Horizon take their groovy, funk style of rock and bring it into the 21st century by curiously and brilliantly adding in modern elements.
Stylistically, it sounds somewhere between Alter Bridge,(and Human Continuum really sounds like an Alter Bridge track), and Dead By April. The groove really gets the head going, and the shrill, wah-wah’d solos are nothing short of, to use an overused phrase, face-melting.
Vocally, the high pitched sounds of the singing add to the ‘different-yet-nostalgic’ edge to Event Horizon. It’s definitely a new style of singing for this style of music, one that hasn’t been tried (at least successfully) before. It works, too, and makes a listener wonder why it hasn’t worked before. Musically, the band clearly have talent and know how to use their instruments. There’s great variety in the guitar sounds, which go from hard-hitting, crunchy distortion to echoed, space age sounds. The rest of the instruments are clearly audible, in fact this reviewer found himself focusing in on how great the bass guitar sounded over a solo. Not often that happens.
It’s not all grunge and rock, either. Event Horizon have a lot of variety between their tracks, too. For instance, there’s a heck of a long way between the grunge/funk feel on Human Continuum to the softer, more emotional and psychedelic echoes on Sputnik, which seems more like electro-rock than a salute to early grunge/funk. That really shows the band’s talents, and the bonus is that, despite all their songs sound different, they’re all really good to listen to.
Cons – happily, few and far between. The vocals, being so high pitched and different, might not be to everyone’s tastes, or at the very least might take some getting used to, but other than that there’s literally nothing wrong with Event Horizon’s style of music. It actually is a fresh injection into the music industry, and it’s not every day a band actually achieves exactly what they set out to do.
Overall, then, Event Horizon should, in theory, be set for super-stardom very, very soon. Watch their space.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/1094/event-horizon–harbinger-ep
Metallers Distance to Fall, hailing from the Essex town of Harlow, release their second EP,Rise Above. Recorded in a local, hometown studio, the band appear to pride themselves on making music that they genuinely enjoy playing and have a ‘sticking to their guns’ mentality about writing. Hopefully, it’ll pay off in this release.
First impressions of it are good. It’s a purely metal, ‘angry guitar and angrier vocals’ kind of release. It’s got plenty of hefty breakdowns and crunched up, hard-hitting guitar sounds. From the recording, it also sounds like it’s been recorded live, too, which makes a nice change from overproduced, synthetic studio sounds. ‘Good old-fashioned’ seems to be the phrase on the cards for today.
Rise Above is, above all, a showcase for metal music. Talented, varied, interesting metal, definitely, but pure metal nonetheless. It’s choppy, full of quick tempo and feel changes, and an almost unashamed display of how much talent the band have. What’s good about it is that the band haven’t worried too much about ‘being different’, or in other words, they haven’t been scared to do something that’s been done before. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about the music on the EP, it’s a style that has been written many, many times before. Ordinarily, this would be an issue, but for some reason with Rise Above, it doesn’t matter, because it’s been done very well and it’s good to listen to.
Areas to improve – the clean vocals are excellent, and it’s very good that they’re actually present on this inherently metal album, but to be honest they could use a little work on being more varied. That’s nitpicking though, they’re still very good. Other than that, there aren’t many areas looking at improvement. Rise Above ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’, to use exactly the right phrase.
So, in other words, it’s been done before, but in this case it’s been done better than before. That’s good, it shows that the Distance to Fall both have talent and know exactly what they’re doing, and they’ve made a decent EP to boot. Great stuff.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/1015/distance-to-fall–rise-above-ep
This Deafening Whisper, Parisian based metalcore band who come under the same umbrella of music as Suicide Silence, release their imaginatively titled EP, A Matter of Knife and Depththis month. It’s a guitar-and-bass heavy release with plenty of breakdowns and much to keep the speed-metal fan very happy.
In a nutshell, this EP is pretty much exactly right for the die-hard metalcore fan. It’s fast, heavy, full of low-end screams, punctuated and broken up by the addition of clean vocals to give a much-needed break from the onslaught, and to boot its extremely well written.
For such a short EP, A Matter of Knife and Depth has a surprisingly long introduction, with an entire two-minute song taken up of what sounds a lot like pure strings, which carry on into a lengthy introduction to the second track, Emma Sin, which opens with electronic synth sounds, misleading the listener into thinking this is going to be a synth-metal album. It’s not, though, and the wait is definitely worth it, as it builds up a great amount of atmosphere, and when the music actually does kick in, the listener is blown off their feet.
Musically, the record reminded this reviewer of Architects and Suicide Silence, as well as maybe All Shall Perish. The guitars and bass hit the listener hard, especially if listening through headphones, and the hefty, double-kicked bass drum packs a heck-of-a-punch. This Deafening Whisper have definite talent when it comes to giving the listener exactly what they want, there isn’t a bad track on the album, and the fact that all the tracks are easily distinguishable from each other because they change pace and sound enough is another tick in the this-is-a-decent-metal-album box.
Vocally, again, standard metalcore but, excellently done and happily with a bit of a different twist that makes it slightly unique. The chop-and-change between low end, blow-your-face-off-with-fright screams and higher, cleaner actually sung vocals definitely keeps a listener on their toes and also gives a nice breather in between the metal-assault and heaviness, and is also something one doesn’t often see in pure metalcore like Bring Me the Horizon and Architects.
So, overall, This Deafening Whisper are an extremely talented evolution of the metalcore genre, who know exactly how to please their fans, make good music and show off their talent as songwriters. It’s excellently produced, presented and packaged into a neat little EP that should get them very, very far. If that doesn’t happen, this reviewer will be very surprised.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/976/this-deafening-whisper–a-matter-of-knife-and-depth-ep
Scary metallers Simbiose, hailing from the exotic land of Portgual, grind their way back on to the scene three years after their last release, Fake Dimension, with this, new studio album entitled Economical Terrorism. Describing themselves as “crust”, a word for a genre that conjures up all sorts of interesting images, Simbiose claim that they are a “no-holds-barred attack current social, political and economical events”. Expect loud and furious, then.
This reviewer has to be honest, the opener, Payback Time, made him jump out of his skin. In fact, this will probably happen for most listeners, especially if they have headphones on with the volume turned right up. Just a slight word of warning take this as advice against doing that. It does however set the tone for the whole album afterwards very effectively. Beyond the terrifying opening, the music itself is chaotic, fast, heavy, low and generally angry.
It’s good, too, as music of this type is generally quite hard to follow along with (there are always complaints that it’s hard to tell when one song ends and another begins) but with Simbiose, this is not the case. Despite the choice of genre and style of playing, it’s still very plain to see that the band are very talented. The guitars, though distorted heavily can be plainly heard, and everything just feels very well balanced. The speed is also very, very impressive, as the band manage to maintain the quickness without every song sounding the same (Dragonforce), which is another tick in the box as well.
Improvements – the vocals could use a little more variety, although they do fit with the music style perfectly. They do however get a little tedious after a while, so a little break up in the might be useful for a listener making their way through the whole album. Other than that, it’s a well mixed, surprisingly clear (as in all the instruments are clearly audible) mixture of sounds, which is a pleasant surprise for metal of this speed and level of distortion.
Overall, a rather scary, dark and yet extraordinarily talented album. Not to everyone’s tastes, but sure to set the band on the road to musical success. It’s been too long since metal of this kind caught anyone’s attention, a comeback is needed, and it looks like it’s going to be in the form of Simbiose. Excellent.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/974/simbiose–economical-terrorism-ep
Heavy progressive metallers Everyone An Army release their imaginatively titled EP The Thundering Triumph of Knowing What’s Right. A fuzzy, distorted and extremely ‘heavy’ (by definition of the word!) EP, it looks set to blast its way onto the metal scene upon release.
Again, heavy is the keyword for the day here. There are only three songs on this EP, but a listener wouldn’t know it. Slow and grungy, somehow mellow, yet terrifying at the same time, the hefty distorted fuzz effect put onto the guitars really creates the feeling of ‘pressing on the ear drums’, especially if listened to through headphones.
The title track The Thundering Triumph of Knowing What’s Right is even stranger, because it’s heavy on the ears and yet somehow very soft all at the same time, a skill that Everyone An Army seem to have mastered. Few bands have the ability to sing the lyrics “cut out your eyes” in such a nonchalant fashion, in such a softly sung voice and inspire that amount of fear in the pit of a listener’s stomach. It just sounds so serious, which is what makes it so scary. Other bands with lyrics along those lines, for example “put a gun to my head and paint the walls with my brains” (Bring Me the Horizon – Alligator Blood”) doesn’t give off the same ‘serious’ image with it that Everyone an Army do, and that’s what sets them apart from other metal.
Vocally, a listener could be forgiven for expecting low pig-squeal screams and growls, but they’d be wrong. In fact, the presence of completely clean (although mournful, monotone and quite low in pitch) vocals is actually more disconcerting than anything else. It has the capacity to remind of black metallers Akercocke, which is both a good and terrifying thing.
Overall, an extremely talented, deep and, at the end of it all, scary release. It’s heavy and yet soft, metal and yet not-metal, but above all else, it’s really rather good. It could be slightly improved with a little more variety, however, but from a three-track EP this is an unfair criticism. Lyrically, fantastic. Really moving, albeit maybe not in a comfortable way, which just adds to the talent. This reviewer (although only half of him, the other half is a coward) wants to hear more.
Metallers Transcendency, apparently ‘approved’ by Rise to Remain, have had a busy year since their formation in Summer 2011. After playing various shows with various other artists, the band entered the studio to record their debut EP, Weight of the World.
The opener, Perseverance, throws the listener right into Transcendency’s style immediately, which is good because the EP isn’t exactly long and they don’t have a lot of time to let a listener know what they sound like. So, good points of the sound –Transendency are clearly very talented musicians. There is some very good guitar playing here, with quick riffs, excellent changes in tempo and general ‘feel’ at unexpected places which keeps a listener guessing. The band themselves say that they are very Trivium and Iron Maideninfluenced, and this is very, very easy to see. If it wasn’t for the slight difference in sound on the recordings (less distortion on guitar, etc) and the different sounding vocals,Transcendency could almost be Trivium, from the sound of this EP.
Bad points – the vocals could use some work. The screaming is slightly too deep and sounds a little bit forced. With a little practice, this could easily be improved. The same goes for the occasional actual singing – it needs a little practice and cleaning up in the studio, and they would sound great. Other than that, the only other issue is how much they sound like some other bands. It’s great for a band to be influenced by others, but to almost copy them exactly is getting towards ‘tribute band’ territory, and that’s not great. Transcendency need to come up with something that identifies them and them alone, so the comparison doesn’t become exactly what defines them.
A good release through and through, then. Talented music, excellently produced and recorded and very catchy. It just needs a little bit of refining to give it that polished edge, especially in the vocal department, and it also needs a little ‘spice’ to move away from those influences. Armed with both of those, Transcendency will become a metal force to be reckoned with.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/883/transcendency–weight-of-the-world-ep
Metallers Kill the Conversation emerge from their position in the underground as stage-sharers with the likes of Sepultura and Rise to Remain with this, their own debut EP, entitled Farewell for the Last Time. Due to be released on September 4th, the EP is a brave step into a big new world for the Dorchester-based band, whose chuggy, punchy sound has really crafted an engaging sound of their own.
Vocally, Kill the Conversation actually strike a bit of a resemblance of metallers Opeth, with the deep, low end screams punching through the chugging guitar riffs, especially on the opener Fold and Shattered Shell. The additions of the pig-squeal seals the deal, this is more towards death / black metal than metalcore. The band have been compared to the likes of August Burns Red, Parkway Drive and Bring Me The Horizon, but there isn’t really enough energy in the music for the complete metalcore comparison. Kill the Conversation are slower, and much, much heavier in some ways than this kind of metalcore. Bands such as Akercocke might make for a better comparison. The best thing is, it’s not comparable to pretty much anything else, making this sound a completely-their-own sound. Excellent.
So, is Farewell for the Last Time any good? In a nutshell, yes. Again, it’s original sounding, and therefore it’s hard to put into a genre of metal, which is a good thing. It’s heavy, but if one were to call it heavy metal, then that speaks of bands like Iron Maiden, which it definitely is not. To describe the sound, the best words would be low, angry, chuggy and, importantly, ‘paced’. Paced, because even when the sound picks up speed, it still feels a little slower than a lot of other metal, almost like it’s taking it’s time. Musically, the guitars are excellent, slow, with just the right amount of distortion on them to give off the sound that the band seem to be going for, and it’s obvious that they play them with a lot of talent.
Points to improve – there aren’t very many at all. The vocals could use a little variety, although for the style the band are aiming for, they’re spot on. The whole sound itself could use a little variation, it’s slow, heavy and chuggy for the entire release, which might get a little tiresome. What Kill the Conversation have is very good, but for a full length album it might be an idea to put in something to break this up a little bit and give the listener a little reprieve. Blakes Demise and City in Ruins do this very briefly on Farewell for the Last Time, but it’s a bit too little, too late, and it leaves a listener wanting a little more of it before it disappointingly goes back into the same hefty chugs.
Overall, a really good piece of metal. Engaging, punchy, catchy and original sounding, this release has a little of everything, despite being a little the same all the way through. It’s sure to get the band noticed when it’s released in September, and, to make a very bad pun, Kill the Conversation definitely won’t be killing any conversations.
Read the original article here: http://www.hevypetal.com/release-reviews/898/kill-the-conversation–farewell-for-the-last-time-ep
Maths has always been synonymous with music. The two go hand in hand, music is full of counting, keeping time and working out what fits where. Metal band Athura, hailing from Plymouth have taken technicality to a new level with this release, their latest full length studio album, entitled A Hand in Death’s Design. It’s fast-paced, extraordinarily arranged and musically brilliant.
The band themselves claim that their aim when writing this album was “to create a modern metal fusion of powerful melody, gut wrenching groove and sophisticated harmony.” They’ve certainly managed it, it’s powerfully ‘groovy’ and yet powerfully technical right from the beginning. Very fast guitar picking, which creates speedy and deep, death-metal-esque chugs not unlike some fast In Flames.
This definitely goes in the ‘what’s good about it’ pile then. Clearly talented musicians, Athura have set out to create an album in a specific way, and have managed to pull it off spectacularly. Their description is spot on, and the music hosts some of the best low-end screams heard in recent times, as well as some of the most gut-wrenchingly heavy breakdowns heard recently as well, especially on Drown What You’ve Become.
Now for the limitations – the screams could use a little bit more melody to them, and conversely, the clean singing could use a little more melody (and be slightly less monotone), but there’s problems with that, the main one being that melodising the screams might make Athura sound even more like In Flames, so it might be for the best to leave them like they are, even if they are a little bland. The only other issue is that the sound doesn’t really change as the album goes on. Athura have fired at their target sound with gusto, and consequently have left little room for variation. To be fair, there are hints at changes away from the fast, chugging sound, especially with the epic, uplifting choruses onPlague Upon Plague, and again on Oceans. This reviewer is nitpicking, though. These aren’t big issues at all; in fact they’re more issues for the sake of finding issues.
The rest of A Hand in Death’s Design is wholly excellent, and, to use a very overused cliché, it ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’. Athura are talented guys, creating some very technical music and they’re definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Overall, then, technicality is clearly a key idea here. It could almost be wholly mathematical, the way in which Athura have written and recorded A Hand in Death’s Design. This might appeal to a very specific audience, others might not appreciate it as much, but from what the band themselves have said, that’s exactly what it’s meant to do and they don’t mind. It sounds like a few guys writing the style of music that they’re passionate about. That’s what music is all about really. Excellent.
Read the original article here: http://hevypetal.com/release-reviews/876/athura–a-hand-in-deaths-design-album
Lake District hardcore band Horizons release their latest full length studio album, Not Everybody Lives this week, and it’s been well anticipated. With a lot of live dates already in the works and a large fan-following, this looks set to be a very successful release for the metallers.
The opener, Everybody Dies, is a hell of an intro song, lasting well over two minutes and is completely devoid of vocals. It’s a good introduction to the sound of the album, and works well to keep the listener interested – it has an air of mystery about it, as Horizons have neglected to put vocals on it, the listener is intrigued as to what they are eventually going to sound like.
As for the rest of the album, it’s musically very good.
The vocals, a strained, gravelly sounding sort of scream, aren’t so much in the foreground of the music as more blended in with the rest of it, meaning that they don’t particularly stand out, but aren’t easily ignored either. But, the real showcase for this album is the music. It’s choppy, full of tempo changes and tricky little guitar licks in between riffs and in tempo transitions that really show off Horizons’ talent as musicians. Genre wise, this means it’s not quite ‘djent’, a very progressive genre of metal presided over by extreme metal bands such as Fellsilent, but the strange time signatures, unexpected changes in tempo and strange strumming patterns give it that progressive edge that is so characteristic of it. In other ways the music can remind one of rockers Proceed, who have a habit of achieving this as well through the same means. It’s really quite something.
Limitations of this album – it needs a little bit of singing, if only for just a little bit. A break from the consistent, rasping screams would definitely not go amiss. In the slower parts of the album, such as the interlude on The Better Man, the vocals are omitted completely, rather than putting in a softer vocal track, which detracts a little bit from the overall sound. Sure, that gives the musicians a chance to show off their softer side and that they aren’t all about speed and distortion, but it would end up even better with a few softer vocals in there too. It would also be better if the vocalist’s screams throughout the album weren’t so blended in with the rest of the music, but sat above it slightly instead, so as to give the impression of them actually being the ‘lead’ part. A good example of this is when the vocals shout “one two three four!” at the beginning of Different Directions – it’s almost impossible to tell if this is a backing singer, or the main singer. The screaming itself is very good, if a little monotone, it just needs that little bit extra to make it stand out.
So Not Everybody Lives, is an overall excellent and extraordinarily musically talented album – there’s plenty in there to keep the more music-orientated listener happy, even enough to make the jaw drop and give the “why didn’t I think of that?!” kind of effect. It needs some work in the vocals department – just a little bit more variety would really boost this album a lot.
Read the original article here: http://hevypetal.com/release-reviews/861/horizons–not-everybody-lives-album
- Biffy Clyro – Opposites Album Review (Planetmosh Review)
- When We Were Wolves – The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same EP Review (Planetmosh Review)
- Alexisonfire – Death Letter EP Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- Lewis Watson – Another Four Sad Songs EP Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
- Parkway Drive – Atlas Album Review (Bring the Noise Review)
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