Reviews Archives - Page 10 of 28 -

 “YOU WILL NEVER BE ONE OF US” vocalist Todd Howard snarls vehemently. By this point, you’ve realized this isn’t typical powerviolence. This is pure, untouched rage that many bands aspire to reach for but cannot even come close to. Nails have a formula that works, and that formula is what makes You Will Never Be One Of Us so enjoyable, if albeit familiar.  

With a name like Gojira, you need to be capable of owning up to the 100-meter creature you take inspiration from. Since their inception in 1996 as Godzilla, and changing their name to Gojira in 2001, the French progressive death metal band has gone on to become a major, heavy-hitting band on the forefront of the scene. From Mars to Sirius, the band’s 2005 concept album, helped put their name on the map of the genre, whereas The Way of All Flesh in 2008 helped them reach a wider audience, resulting in 2012’s L’Enfant sauvage cementing them as juggernauts, Gojira’s career has been nothing short of amazing to watch rise.  

It has been a rollercoaster the past fews years, as Volbeat have gone from being that wildcard opening band for Metallica to being a juggernaut in the metal and rock scenes across the world. By the time 2013’s Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies came out, Volbeat had already been incredibly successful, and by adding Anthrax’s Rob Caggiano and having King Diamond guest on one of their songs, there seemed to be nothing that was capable of stopping this band from taking off.  

Shocking as it may be, I have not always been spending my days listening to black metal and complaining about it on the internet. There was that time period where I first listened to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and had to go through “black metal 101” so I could try to understand the genre. One thing led to another, and in the process of disappointing everyone around me, I became enamored with the genre more than I care to admit. (Sorry mom) Around this time of black metal integration, (Give or take back in 2009) Dark Funeral’s video for “My Funeral” found its way onto my computer. It was pure, in a way, with how straightforward it was, yet leagues ahead of those try-hards that were attempting the same exact... 

I’ve accepted by this point that the X-Men movies are, simply put, interpretations of the source material. You could argue that the the actual Marvel Studios films are more faithful and better than Fox’s version of the X-Men, but the series has lasted sixteen years now, rebooted itself, and even allowed Deadpool a second chance at redemption. Even with First Class and Days of Future Past being as great as they are, one must digest the fact that Fox will take creative liberties with the characters, all the while still paying respects to key elements in the lore.  

By all that is unholy and brutal, we finally have the follow up to the 2015 slab Savage Land by the throwback titans, Gruesome! Keeping with the influence of the early Death sound aesthetic, Gruesome slays this album with riffs, sick leads, and a sonic hammer to the kneecaps as they sink their teeth into your yielding flesh!  

Because it’s not possible to go in depth with every single album, and two highly progressive releases have released in such close proximity, here’s, in brief, summaries on the Ihsahn and Haken albums.  

   Amon Amarth don’t have much left to prove to the world at this point in their career. Within the nearly three years since Deceiver of the Gods was released, the band have grown exponentially beyond an overseas sensation, into a juggernaut worldwide. Taking that opening slot on the Mayhem Festival main stage proved to go a long way, as the band embarked on two headlining North American tours the following year, each time growing larger than before.  

I’ll be the first to admit that I never expected much out of Fear Factory when I first listened to them. To my surprise, they became a group of musicians who I respected for their in-your-face albums with the chops to back them up. Nobody could argue that while you knew what you were getting into with Fear Factory, you wouldn’t end up disappointed. With that said, I’ve always been wary of anything associated with industrial metal, in the sense that it can be so computerized and clean, at times, that the thrill of actually seeing an industrial band live would not be able to replicate that.  

Deftones have been on a bit of a roller coaster the past decade or so. The band emerged in the nu-metal scene in the mid 90s, but around the turn of the century they began to branch out into more sonically adventurous directions, transforming their already unique sound into something one of a kind, and making every album a stepping stone for their natural progression. 2012’s Koi No Yokan saw the band receive an exorberant amount of attention in the media, and rightly so, as the album was nothing short of an accomplishment in many regards.  

Chances are, if you’re into metal, your first love for a band wasn’t Gorgoroth or Suffocation. I’ve met a person or two who went from prog rock into tech death, but in actuality the majority of people in the metal community started with the basics: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and even hard rock bands that influenced the genre, like Van Halen. It’s almost like Metal 101, and everyone has to go through it at some point or another. And whether you enjoy the music or not, you can’t deny the influence on the genre, let alone how it has impacted the world.  

Sometimes, when tours get announced, the lineup is just too good to pass up, even if you aren’t entirely familiar with the bands attached. I could argue that I enjoyed Intronaut and Scale the Summit as bands and that they’re great musicians, but improper timing on my behalf never allowed me to give the respective bands as much time as they deserved. I’m familiar with a good deal of their songs, and given the fact that they were all withstanding the staggering amount of music I’ve digested clearly says something about the quality of the bands as a whole.  

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