Monday, April 29, 2013

Album Review: "Singularity" - Northlane

Australian metalcore act Northlane recently released their second full-length record, Singularity. I gave their debut album Discoveries some decent listens back when it arrived in 2011 but it didn't even come close to grabbing my attention the way Singularity has. Northlane have delivered an album that is solid from start to finish that also contains an established flow in the same respect, a rare feat for such a young band.

The album opens with the short but appropriately titled "Genesis", a noisy banger that will get you amped for the sonic assault to come. Both "Windbreaker" and "Worldeater" are standout tracks. I applaud Northlane for delivering riffs that utilize all the strings of the guitar. There is a lot of ambience in these tracks created with layered effects but the core riffs also have an abundance of heavy riffing and melody. These tracks segue into the first single and in my opinion the best track on the album, "Quantum Flux". Vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes lyrics deal with searching to finding ones purpose in life and our infinite potential that each individual carries inside. A message I can stand behind. If you seek an album with meaningful and positive lyrics, check this one out.

Ah, "The Calling", my guilty pleasure from Singularity. Short and sweet, this track delivers in every way. I really dig the big sounding vocals throughout, particularly during the "chant" at the ending over one of my favourite riffs on the album. This transitions into "Masquerade" featuring Drew York from American metalcore outfit Stray From the Path. I think that York was excellent choice for this track because his vocals sound excellent along with Fitipaldes. They have similar style in some aspects. I imagine if they release a second single, it will be this one. A variety of guitar work is put on display in this track from fast polyrhythmic riffing to quiet cleans to raging djent-esque breakdowns. Northlane utilizes a variety of tunings as well one guitarist that plays a 7 string and another that plays with a 6 string.

The album begins to conclude with the instrumental "Singularity" that features an overdub by philosopher Terence McKenna. I really enjoy this track but I find that instrumentals with speech overdubs (looking at you Stick To Your Guns) get old fast and become a skip over track. Consumerism is bad mmmkay. The final track "Aspire" with it's absolutely crushing intro grows on me with every listen. Great riffs and lyrics in this track. I can't help but sing along every time Filipaldes chants, "We were born to be free, fuck who you want me to be." 

Bottom-line this album is golden. I was skeptical at first because it seemed like it was going to be a hype album so I didn't want to set my expectations too high. No need. It's terrific. Everything from the lyrics, the musicianship (drummer is off the hook), the finely tuned production and ultimately that perfect flow from beginning to end. 


- A.M.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Attack Attack! Back In The Studio

Attack Attack! have been in the studio recently working away at their 4th studio album. This will be the first album to feature new vocalist Phil Druyor from I Am Abomination after previous vocalist Caleb Shomo quit the band last year. Check out a couple studio videos below. 

Confession Release New Song/Video With New Line-up

Australian metal group, Confession, have released a brand new video/song that appears to be a single and not a part of a forth-coming album. This is the first new music from the band since all the members were kicked out on tour by vocalist Michael Crafter last year. 

Review: First 30 seconds --> Pretty fucking good/what I expected. Rest of song --> DO NOT WANT

Norma Jean Complete New Album/Tour Dates

Norma Jean have announced via their Facebook that they have completed their 6th studio album that is due out this year. The record is currently untitled and was produced over the past couple of months by Joshua Barber. Norma Jean announced in 2011 that original guitarist Scott Henry would return for the recording of this album but it's unclear whether or not this actually happened (I don't think it did). Norma Jean have also lined up some concert dates for March, check them out below. 

03/13/13 - Emo's Annex - Austin, TX
03/14/13 - White Rabbit - San Antonio , TX
03/14/13 - Dirty Dog MetalSucks Showcase - Austin, TX
03/15/13 - Firehouse - Austin, TX
03/16/13 - QT Park South By So What - Grand Prairie, TX
03/17/13 - House of Blues - Houston, TX.
03/18/13 - NWA Showcase Theater - Fayetteville, AR
03/19/13 - New Daisy Theatre - Memphis, TN
03/20/13 - The Warehouse - Chattanooga, TN

Within The Ruins Debuts New Video

Check out the new video for "Feeding Frenzy" from Within The Ruins new album Elite.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New Within The Ruins Track

Within The Ruins have debuted a new track from their forth-coming album Elite which is available February 26th via Koch Records. IMO they get better with every album and this is my favourite Within The Ruins song already.

Meshuggah debuts New/Old Song

Meshuggah has released a previously unreleased song titled "Pitch Black" from 2003. This song now appears on a new EP from Scion/AV which can be downloaded for free at this link

Personally I'm not really a fan of the track. It sounds like bad nu metal from the early 2000s with a hint of Meshuggah. I think it should have stayed unreleased.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

New Video Alert: In the Act of Violence- "Red Dreams"

Oshawa scene legends In the Act of Violence have posted a video for their new song "Red Dreams," set to come out on their 2013 EP Godbreaker. The video was produced by Mr. 2-bit Productions, and the EP will be coming soon on vocalist Ken Coull's own Poison Bomb Records. If you like dat sick mosh, I advise you to check it out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Trailer For New Killswitch Engage Album

Killswitch Engage has released a quick teaser trailer for their highly anticipated album Disarm The Descent due out April 2nd, 2013 via Roadrunner Records. This is the first material to feature original vocalist Jesse Leech in 10 years.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Rungs in a Ladder" - Documentary on Converge frontman: Jacob Bannon.

A short documentary has just been released on Converge's frontman, Jacob Bannon. The documentary was edited and directed by Ian McFarland. It's short and interesting. I highly recommend you watch this. I feel like I finally connected with one of my favourite musicians that I used to really know nothing about. 

The Last Ten Seconds of Life Debut New Single

The Last Ten Seconds of Life have released a lyric video for their new single "Numbskull". The band will be releasing their first full-length later this year titled INVIVO(EXVIVO)

"Shadow Moses" video from Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon have released the video for their first single "Shadow Moses" off their forthcoming album Sempiternal due out April 30th (a long time away...) via Epitaph. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

American Me Release "Kitchen Party Squad"

American Me have released a new video for "Kitchen Party Squad". Let me state firstly that this songs "is a joke". I've been a fan of American Me from the beginning but I will admit that with every album I care less and less (I found III particularly underwhelming and thought the album had a fucked up flow because of all the guest spots which were usually better than anything Tony was doing). What is actually the strangest part of this video is that it's not from their new album, it's from Siberian Nightmare Machine that came out 3 years ago! Why in the world would you waste your time and money doing a video for a song from 3 years ago when you could do something to promote your new album and the way your band actually sounds. This song was written and released on the album as a bonus track at the very end. It was essentially making fun of themselves for being on Rise Records and mocking the other bands on the label that were being criticized for using auto-tune (ex. Attack Attack!).  I hope that shed some light on the situation as several people are freaking out on YouTube about how American Me has changed their style. They've been trolled. But I still can't for the life of me figure out why this is being done now and not 3 years ago...

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Top 40 Breakdowns of 2012: Part 3 (20 - 1)

Here is the 3rd and final part of our Top 40 Breakdowns of 2012. You can check out the recap list below or read up on Part 1 here or Part 2 here.

Recap from Parts 1 and 2:
40) Faces - Whitechapel (Whitechapel)
39) Death, Ascension, Resurrection - Impending Doom (Baptized in Filth)
38) November, December - Fathoms (Transitions EP)
37) Twenty Two - Continent (Miscreation)
36) 6 Gallon Gasoline Stomach - King Conqueror (America's Most Haunted)
35) Lifer - Lionheart (Undisputed)
34) Party With The Devil - Attila (Single)
33) Punisher - Veil of Maya (Eclipse)
32) Unlike Us - Hacktivist (Hacktivist EP)
31) Ironic Enclosure - Dr. Acula (Nation)
30) Our Father ft. Jonathon Vigil - Solace (Call & Response)
29) Mountain - Disfiguring The Goddess (Sleeper EP)
28) Candidus - Galactic Pegasus (Mirages EP)
27) Don't Ask Don't Tell - Chelsea Grin (Evolve EP)
26) I Came I Saw I Conquered - Woe, Is Me (Genesi[s])
25) Empty Heads - Stick To Your Guns (Diamond)
24) Possibilities of an Impossible Existence - Whitechapel (Whitechapel)
23) Love.Sex.Riot ft. Fronz - Issues (Black Diamonds EP)
22) Canadian Bacon - The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza (IIII)
21) Tender Abuse - Converge (All We Love We Leave Behind)

20) Please Don't Hurt - For The Fallen Dreams (Wasted Youth)

For the Fallen Dreams new album Wasted Youth for the most part was a waste of time. However this little chunk or musical chugary always got my head a bobbin'. 2:04 = BAM!!!!

19) Reflection - Empires Fade (Reflection EP)

You might recognize the vocalist as Jack Delany from The Eyes of a Traitor. This is his band currently while EOAT is on hiatus. This release was pretty solid for the most part and the breakdown in this song showcases how powerful Delany's vocals can be.

18) Doomed From Birth - Thy Art Is Murder (Hate)

Thy Art Is Murder is finally breaking onto the scene this year after being ignored for years. This is the album closer to this year's Hate. Could you end an album any heavier?

17) She Is Well And Nothing Can Be Ill - Glass Cloud (The Royal Thousand)

Mr. Josh Travis we meet again. This time with his new band Glass Cloud. Remember when I said no one played guitar like Travis? At 3:47.... that is all.

16) Live And Learn - Obey The Brave (Young Blood)

This album was underwhelming in the end. But hey, remember when we were all stoked as hell for this album? No heroes, just fucking foes.

15) Handcrafted - Beheading of a King (Single)

Oh look, another band from Montreal. This guy squeezed in at the last second only being released last week. This track showcases new vocalist Fred Beaulieu (have you ever seen so many vowels squished into one last name?) and BOAK have proven without a doubt that they're ready for the comeback they deserve after all the shit the band has been through in the last 2 years.

14) Texas Blood Money - Upon A Burning Body (Red.White.Green.)

Ah, my summer drinking anthem. They should have just called this song "Intermission Part 2".

13) Swing - Parkway Drive (Atlas)

First time I heard this breakdown all I could picture was kids destroying each other in the pit. Parkway Drive on their new album focused heavily on build-up (cresendo) before their breakdowns and it paid off nicely. Well done Parkway, well done. 

12) Doomblade - The Acacia Strain (Death is the Only Mortal)

This needs 0 explanation. DL + Vincent = carnage.

11) 20/200 - Veil of Maya (Eclipse)

The whole song is a breakdown that shows Okubo's brain works differently that most peoples. I feel sorry for the drummer that had to learn this. I also love how the guitar effect towards the end sounds like Predator.

10) Old Ghosts/New Regrets - Parkway Drive (Atlas)

Google cresendo if you don't know what it means.

9) Ceilings - Reflections (The Fantasy Effect

I could have included 20 breakdowns from this new band. They put out one of the strongest releases of this year and they aren't even signed. Check out this slightly hilarious video for their album opener "Ceilings".

8) Engine 45 - The Ghost Inside (Get What You Give)

This is a song about addiction being like an unstoppable speeding train. I think I have an addiction to breakdowns. Help.

7) The Alpha/The Omega - The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza (IIII)

Josh Travis, Alex Erian and Phil Bozeman again... are you starting to see a correlation here? 

6) Gandhi Mate, Gandhi - Enter Shikari (A Flash Flood of Colour)

I opted for a live version of this track because if you've never seen Enter Shikari live you really ought to. The is a little more on the electronic side of things but if you don't think it's a breakdown then email me your address and I'll come bitch smack you proper.

5) Hate Creation - Whitechapel (Whitechapel

Phil Bozeman you are the winner with 4 entries into our Top 40 (Josh Travis with 3). This is the breakdown that got me super excited for this album. "Cram it down your throat and choke." Is this song about blowjobs?

4) The Mouth of the River - The Acacia Strain (Death is the Only Mortal)

DAT guitar tone.

3) These Colours Don't Run - Architects (Daybreaker)

Two things here. The lyrics are incredible and the sound of chugs and relentless pounding on the strings reminded me of a younger and pissed version of the Architects, circa Hollow Crown.

2) Sin City - Upon A Burning Body (Red.White.Green.)

2012 sucked for the most part. I think for everyone. So I hear-by declare this the anthem of 2012. "Life sucks, then you die." Couldn't have said it better myself.

1) Reign of Darkness - Thy Art Is Murder (Hate)

Winner! And if you're any of my roommates or neighbours, then you probably new this was going to be the winner long ago. I actually remember watching this first the first time and getting chills down my spine. Something about this is just... perfect.

Stay tuned because tomorrow we're starting the Top 50 Albums of 2012!! Merry Christmas and shit.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Top 40 Breakdowns of 2012: Part 2 (30 - 21)

Yesterday we did 40 to 31 and now we're back with 30 to 21. You can check out yesterday's list here. I'm sure you've been on the edge of your seat wondering what number 24 will be. It's not The Acacia Strain. Regardless, prepare yourself for some chuga chuga and that good ol' double bass.

40) Faces - Whitechapel (Whitechapel)
39) Death, Ascension, Resurrection - Impending Doom (Baptized in Filth)
38) November, December - Fathoms (Transitions EP)
37) Twenty Two - Continent (Miscreation)
36) 6 Gallon Gasoline Stomach - King Conqueror (America's Most Haunted)
35) Lifer - Lionheart (Undisputed)
34) Party With The Devil - Attila (Single)
33) Punisher - Veil of Maya (Eclipse)
32) Unlike Us - Hacktivist (Hacktivist EP)
31) Ironic Enclosure - Dr. Acula (Nation)

30) Our Father ft. Jonathon Vigil - Solace (Call & Response)

This is Karl Schubach from Misery Signals' solo record. Karl has always been one of my favourite vocalists and it turns out he can write some pretty damn good music too. There were a few choices from this album I struggled between choosing but in the end this was the winner. It's heavy, it's melodic, it's crushing. 

29) Mountain - Disfiguring The Goddess (Sleeper EP)

This is actually another side project that turned out fucking awesome. Disfiguring the Goddess's sole member is none other than well known electronic artist Big Chocolate (he was also in I Declare Ware at one point). Turns out he can write breakdowns with quite the drop. This is my favourite from the EP. I love everything from the fast djent style guitar playing, the completely ridiculous drum track and that drop at the very end. HEAVY.

28) Candidus - Galactic Pegasus (Mirages EP)

This is a band you may or may not have heard of before. I think they got their start by being noticed through their YouTube channel... but I could be wrong about that. Anyways, they put out an EP this year and it was pretty damn good. When I first heard the ending of this song I laughed out loud because I thought to myself "is that the line from Emmure's '10 Sings You Should Leave'"? Well it is... I'm not sure if they were paying homage or it's purely coincidence but then it started growing on me. So.. whatever.

27) Don't Ask Don't Tell - Chelsea Grin (Evolve EP)

I was never the biggest fan of Chelsea Grin until their most recent work the Evolve EP. I think this is mainly due to the addition of guitarist Jason Richardson (ex-Born of Osiris/All Shall Perish). Just as the album title states, this was truly an evolution of their sound in the right direction. This little section from "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is a highlight of technical chugability. 

26) I Came I Saw I Conquered - Woe, Is Me (Genesi[s])

I wasn't really a big fan of this album. Too much of everything sounded the same and the singing is honestly shit compared to Tyler Carter. This little 30 second chunk though stood out to me on the few spins I gave it. I'm a sucker for gunfire and breakdowns (see Ghost Insides "This Is What I Know About Sacrifice). 

25) Empty Heads - Stick To Your Guns (Diamond)

Part of me feels that Stick To Your Guns have gotten a little too preachy and take themselves just a bit too seriously now. However, they still write fucking awesome songs. This track is definitely my favourite tune on the new album. "You better get back or get out!! Blehhhh!" Awww yeah.

24) Possibilities of an Impossible Existence - Whitechapel (Whitechapel)

This is the first time that a band has shown up twice on our list so far. And of course it would be deathcore veterans Whitechapel. This breakdown actually closes out their self-titled album in the best way possible. There's just something about Bozeman's lyrics "Just close your eyes and never wake up again," that chills me to the bone. 

23) Love.Sex.Riot ft. Fronz - Issues (Black Diamonds EP)

Is this a breakdown? Meh, kind of. Does this only rule because of Fronz's vocal work? Mostly.

22) Canadian Bacon - The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza (IIII)

Here is the first appearance of Mr. Josh Travis who has become one of my favourite guitarists between the release of IIII and Glass Cloud's The Royal Thousand. No one, I mean no one, plays an 8 string like Travis. DAT RIFF.

21) Tender Abuse - Converge (All We Love We Leave Behind)

This kids, is how you write a breakdown without just chugging the lowest note possible. Of course only Converge is capable of this. Do your fucking homework for today by listening to this piece of beautiful chaos that makes even Slayer look like a bunch of pussies.

Well there you have it. That's all for today folks. Tomorrow I'll be posting 20 through 11. We will also be posting our Top 50 Albums of 2012 starting on Christmas Day.