Reviews Archives - Page 5 of 28 -

 Integrity are a bit of an interesting band. While rooted in hardcore and early metalcore, the band has ceased to be pigeonholed to their roots and expanded into darker, sometimes experimental territories. At twelve albums into their career, the band still manages to surprise listeners, even when they claim to be familiar with their sound. So should you expect some curveballs on Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume? Yeah, that’s a safe bet.  

I wrote last year that Death Fortress’ Deathless March of the Unyielding in  very high regard. From diverse songwriting to a nice balance of traditional black metal vocals exchanged tastefully with death growls, Death Fortress had something special with that album, and even though there were other great black metal releases last year, the band stood out among the rest because they didn’t waste a single moment of their time. So what do you do when you’ve got some high expectations to meet? Make another album and disregard everyone else.  

Before I even begin to discuss It Comes at Night, know this right away: it’s being marketed incorrectly and isn’t the horror movie you’re believing it to be. Erase the trailer from your mind, because I can only imagine disappointment if what they’re marketing this film as is what you’re expecting it to be. That or just read on and decide if this is actually a movie you want to see.  

There’s a lot of talk in metal about progression and regression, (Particularly by myself) in which bands are given an ultimatum: progress or die. Many a band lose steam because they fail to do something new, ultimately fading back into irrelevance. Some bands can surely live off the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality for a good while before it gets stale, but often you see a band, once heralded as the new “it” band of the year, fade into the void of the underground scene. But what of regression, though? Is that a thing? Is it acceptable? Why would a band do that in the first place? Vallenfyre did exactly that, and they probably have answers.  

You don’t call Batman or Superman to stop a war. That’s what Wonder Woman is for. Literally in both the film and real life, Wonder Woman is doing precisely that, in which Diana is on a quest to put an end to World War I, but in doing so, her solo outing will be the one that calms the storm for DC fans everywhere. For the first time since possibly The Dark Knight, fans will be able to agree that Wonder Woman is a sure-fire success. While flaws are present in the film, DC have finally gotten it right and have readjusted their cinematic universe. The train left the station with a rocky start, but Wonder Woman seems to have set things right for the time being. Telling her life story, Wonder Woman foregoes the old,... 

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.  

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