Reviews Archives - Page 4 of 27 -

We keep hearing the whole argument that “rock is dead” because the industry isn’t selling like it used to. I don’t agree with that statement at all, but what’s obvious is that every rock band today that you come across needs to step up the game a little bit more. Instead of trying to duplicate Nickelback’s success or whatever it is Shinedown is doing, bands should at least be focusing on better songwriting to give the genre a bit of a kickstart. Life of Agony, who are no strangers to both the metal and rock scene, pulled through NJ on the release tour for their new album, A Place Where There’s No More Pain, and with this particular show they managed to bring together bands from across the board for one... 

Clearing the air, know this in advance: The Night Flight Orchestra isn’t a metal band. Hardly one, as a matter of fact. Instead, this robust supergroup, which features the likes of Bjorn “Speed” Strid and David Andersson from Soilwork and Sharlee D’Angelo from Arch Enemy, is a love letter to 70’s and 80’s rock songs, and has been quietly putting albums out since 2012. Amber Galactic is the first major label album, and it’s a wonder as to why this group hadn’t been given this much publicity prior. The Night Flight Orchestra share more in common with bands like ELO and Boston than their melodic death metal counterparts. So, right away, if you can’t enjoy that style of music, it’s best to not even... 

The Alien franchise is a mixed bag, no doubt. While the first two are universally agreed upon as masterworks in horror, sci-fi, and action genres, two of the films are also considered disposable garbage by many sources and a supposed prequel, Prometheus, seems to be divisive and a flawed work of art. To say being an Alien fan is scary business, because unlike in space, everyone can hear you scream in frustration with this franchise. Alien: Covenant was a long time coming, and while there has been some hype for it, knowing that only two of the five canon films are undeniable classics is enough to know that this could go both ways.  

I think I make it clear as to what I’m looking for in music: either show me something new that’s going to demand my attention, or give me something of quality. In some genres, it’s a mixed bag: thrash metal, black metal, and punk all respectively don’t need to change anything, as the genre have unspoken rule books on how to write effectively; sometimes there just isn’t anything to reinvent and it’s better to keep the wheeling spinning as it always has.  

“This is probably going to be Marvel’s first flop,” I remember reading upon the announcement that the Guardians of the Galaxy, an obscure Marvel property at the time, was going to be getting the movie treatment. It was a gamble, to be sure, especially coming after the fact that the films Marvel Studios had produced films surrounding the core Avengers members. However we all know how that turned out: a talking raccoon, two green people, a tree that said maybe five words on a good day, and a space pirate originally from Earth defied the odds and became household names. The sequel was confirmed right away and suddenly things were looking very different for Marvel as a whole going forward.  

“Dangerous” music is essentially non-existent today. The Satanic Panic of the 80’s is gone, the shock of Marilyn Manson’s performances fails to terrify… Music, in particular metal and its extreme subgenres, are existing in their own bubble now, cut off from the mainstream eyes that were so quick to scrutinize with only some breaking mainstream. While this gives the genre an ability to not worry about outside eyes, it ends up keeping bands out of the spotlight. Bands need to truly shock and terrify if they’re going to make any sort of impact today, and it’s not a feat so easily accomplished. That’s where Full of Hell come in.  

This is a bold statement, but Violet Cold should be the next big black metal act. With the post-black metal craze still going somewhat and bands like Ghost Bath and Deafheaven pushing the gendre’s ironic boundaries, it’s only logical for bands of this style to come forward with something different. Yet that rarely ever happens. Violet Cold’s Anomie seems to be the peak of that, though. While albums like Sunbather and Moonlover are definitely influential on modern black metal bands, Violent Cold goes the extra mile are even draws from the likes of Panopticon and Saor to compose post-black metal that’s refreshing and might be telling everyone to get their act together.  

This year is quickly shaping up to be a year of thrash shows that are unbelievably stacked. We already went through Overkill and Nile, and we still have Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold this year, Slayer and Lamb of God, Megadeth and Meshuggah… There’s a lot coming out way and it’s only April. In midst of this, Testament and Sepultura have teamed up for a run across the states in support of Brotherhood of the Snake, an album that I enjoyed and, them being Testament, surely meant great things were in store, right? Especially with Sepultura opening, this hardly seemed like a show to pass up on.  

Sometimes reviews don’t require an extensive, two-to-four page analysis to get the point across. As such, albums come out where the opinions are blunt and they don’t need to be justified. For Mastodon, Pallbearer, and Obituary, that’s entirely the case.  

Let’s ignore the months and months of controversy surrounding this movie for a few minutes. Just hear me out, because the moment you start thinking and discussing said controversy, then you’re going to not be able to judge Ghost in the Shell for what the movie actually is. It’s almost too simple, actually. Yet here we are with Ghost in the Shell releasing today and we can decide for ourselves if this venture into this Neo Tokyo was worth the investment.  

The world is always shocked when the evil frontman of an accomplished death metal band reveals interest in softer, more accessible music. I don’t even think it was a year ago that news broke about David Vincent of Morbid Angel fame having a country band he was playing out with, but in actuality it’s a simple explanation: they can do whatever the hell they want. Nergal of Behemoth, Poland’s blackened-death metal pride and joy, joins that collective of musicians by teaming up with John Porter on Me and That Man’s Songs of Love and Death, which could not be more of a polar opposite to the rest of his discography if he tried. Stepping outside of the prolific career he’s had, Me and That Man allows the often-demonic... 

Bands once considered djent are now morphing from the groundwork that they displayed in establishing the scene’s basics. The likes of Periphery and TesseracT have gone in their own, more progressive directions, with some acts pushing forward with new directions, such as America’s own Veil of Maya. Australia’s Northlane, however, has always been something of an interesting act. Since their second album, Singularity, the band seemed to form their own sound and mixed signature djent qualities with more focused songwriting and a larger sense of scale to their music. Following 2015’s Node, the band decided to drop their new album, Mesmer, out of the blue with little-to-no warning. Beyoncé style.  

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