Reviews Archives - Page 9 of 28 -

In actuality, who’s making worthwhile music seventeen albums into their career? Make that twenty-two if you count the albums with Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend has essentially done it all since fronting Steve Vai’s band back in 1994. With so much musical output, however, any other artist would normally burn themselves out of originality after a while. Regardless of your opinion on Townsend, one can’t lie that nearly every release is its own entity and sounds different than the rest. Transcendence is no exception to that. Kind of.  

I’ve been going to shows for a few years now, and while I have gone to them amidst some controversy among bands (Mayhem Fest 2015 comes to mind) I have never even been met with any kind of complications that unfolded via the internet. It’s a strange time we live in, but this Belphegor show was met with problems that resulted in an attempt to state that the show itself was not happening. Clearly it did, and with most of the room packed, one could say it failed horribly.  

Originality isn’t just rooted in some new sound an artist creates. Oftentimes, the simplest change in instrumentation is enough to make a band with a familiar sound become fresh to the listener of a genre that’s been long played out and often mimicked countless times. Take Beyond Creation, for example: not only is their songwriting tight, but that emphasis on a fretless bass and instrumental sections gave tech death the kick in the teeth it needed.  

I spoke to my friend recently about the state of music being released this year and expressed some concern: I don’t actually love anything that has come out so far. Make no mistake, 2016 is a great year overall and everything has generally been really, really good. My reviews say enough. Yet I still haven’t found an album I’ve listened to and fallen for it. By this point last year, I had amassed enough albums that I had come to love, and it was apparent I’d have plenty to pick from at the end of the year. Almost all of my favorite bands have released albums this year, but aside from the Death Fortress album, I’ve been having more and more difficulty finding anything that I’ve truly loved.  

When you forget about sub-genres, there’s actually two kinds of successful musical acts in the world. Either an artist manages to constantly push their sound and develop as they go, which hopefully means they’re getting better, as well. The other group consists of the ones with a winning formula, in which they know how to make their fans happy and keep drawing in new ones to keep ascending in fame. Either way, artists who have found success know which of the two categories they fall into, and as such they will thrive off of it so long as they are doing well for themselves.  

In going to and reviewing shows, I generally give a positive response to the grand majority of the bands I see. Perhaps it’s the musician in me, but I can see the level of production and how much time they’ve spent in preparing to go out on the road and perform, and I take that into account. Very rarely do I find bands I don’t enjoy in a live setting, but even more rarely do I actually feel something when I see a band. What it ultimately comes down to is whether the show is entertaining or not, but when a band can make me happy just by playing their music? That’s when you have something extraordinary.  

I spoke with a woman at the Deftones show on the August 11th about being a “long time fan” of a band: said artists come and go, they change styles, and sometimes they just change their genres entirely. However, rarely, do you see bands adapt, and that brought us into discussing Gore, the latest release by Deftones, and how it’s still still original and yet distinctly them. “I’ve been a fan since I heard ‘7 Words,’” she told me, but “But honest to God, I love everything they’ve put out.”  

In what is becoming a trend for DC movies, Suicide Squad is polarizing critics everywhere. Following the trend set by Man of Steel and most recently Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad currently, as of this writing, sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 41 on MetaCritic. So, relatively about the same as where Batman v Superman rests, Suicide Squad will undoubtedly come down to fan reaction and how much money it makes.  

Australia is a breeding ground for quality metal, it seems, as the past few years has seen numerous, highly-unique acts come out of the continent and take the metal community by storm. Everything from the progressive mindset of Karnivool to the deathcore titans in Thy Art is Murder has, in some way, left a sizeable mark on the rest of the genre, which makes the arrival of Ne Obliviscaris nothing short of remarkable. The band has made headlines over the course of their past two albums, ranging from reviews praising their art, to the revelations that their music is being studied by conservatories for music majors. It has certainly been a roller coaster for Ne O (for simplicity’s sake) the past few years, and things... 

It’s rare for bands to put out music in less than a year span, much less of a high quality. Even the occasional EP in between album releases is as surprising, as bands usually use the two years in between albums for touring, press,, and all that other fancy stuff in between. That’s what makes Periphery’s situation so unique: since their debut self-titled album dropped in 2010, the band have released some form of music nearly every year since.  

There comes a point every year where an album is released and instantly the metal community (somehow) all agrees that it is, in fact, good. Normally, come December, this album gets thrown onto everyone’s Best Of lists, and we see websites and magazines give the band awards for such a crowning achievement. As such, this year it is Inter Arma who are falling into that category with Paradise Gallows, and immediately it’s realizable that this album is going to be a wild ride from start to finish, both critically and musically.  

This past weekend saw a huge 3 day event simply monickered FreakTulsa; featuring metal ranging from Death Metal to Fuzz Meta, Doom to Psyche Rock and it simply DECIMATED in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you weren’t there, you probably got to sleep quite a bit, but holy reverb, did you miss 3 evenings worth of fuzz, volume, riffs, and did I say VOLUME?! Follow the break for some words about the bands who crossed the threshold into awesomeness that night!  

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