Friday, March 09, 2012
After The Burial have uploaded a studio update for their forthcoming untitled album. It looks like this one is going to be quite a banger and perhaps a bit more like Rareform versus In Dreams which I found to be pretty disappointing. They use everything from 8's to 7's to 6's on this one too which is pretty cool and it looks like there will be plenty of djent riffs and shred. Can't wait to hear some tracks from this album.
Upon A Burning Body has released a 50 second trailer for their upcoming album Red, White, Green via Sumerian Records. They're really going full force with the "Mexi-core" thing on this one.. I was pretty sure though they were all from Texas and that one member was definitely a white red neck... oh well. The track reminds me of "Intermission" from their previous album but that might mostly have to do with the poor decision to use clips from that music video. But I do like the track and Upon A Burning Body are one of my favourite bands in the current "metalcore/deathcore" scene. It's nice to see to they didn't get all djent on our asses like so many bands are doing these days. Hopefully we'll get a full song soon considering that the release date of April 10th is fast approaching.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
The Devil Wears Prada has debuted their video for "Vengeance" from their 2011 album Dead Throne which is available through Ferret Music. Pretty standard live video again. That is all.
Impending Doom have just released the video for their new song "Murderer". "Murderer" appears on their latest effort Baptized In Filth which is due out March 13th, 2012 via eOne Music. I've always had a soft spot for this band, one of the few Christian bands I can say that about. Mostly because their message isn't so preachy and they're just fucking heavy. It seems with every album they progress further away from "deathcore" and focus just more on being "metal". Their songs are well written and pretty catchy without ever sounding gimmickish. Can't wait till next week when this album drops. 9/10.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
In case you aren't familiar, Verse was a really good straight-edge band that broke up in 2009 because one of the members drank a beer or something. However, the band decided to reunite last December, which rubbed some rather staunch straight-edge kids the wrong way, because you know, dudes who drink beer shouldn't be in bands that used to sing about not drinking beer... I guess. The message boards are sure to light up over this bad boy; some kids claiming Verse's integrity as a band has been compromised, others reminding us that Verse was primarily a sociopolitical band whose values couldn't be neatly classified as "straight-edge," and others still claiming "it's all about the music, maaan."
Personally, I couldn't give less of a shit, as long as the new album brings us a song half as good as "The New Fury." Here's hoping it does.
Emmure has debuted their new song "Protoman" which will appear on Slave To The Game which is set for release via Victory Records on April 10th. (I know you can't watch it directly on the site, I have BEEF with Vevo). Anyways, you know what.. I've only listened to it once now but it wasn't that bad! It's what I expected but it was catchy and seemed to have some more melody in the guitar work. However, that's exactly what I thought about "Solar Flare Homicide" and the rest of the album turned out to be 95% shit. Can't wait to illegally download this album in a few weeks.
What's up party people? My name is Vince and I'm new around here. I'll be posting reviews, interviews, and probably the occasional news story about some shitty punk band none of you care about. So yeah, I hope you're looking forward to that as much as I am. But enough about me, let's talk about the music...
So in case you haven't heard, Buffalo, NY metalcore veterans Every Time I Die released their sixth full length, Ex Lives on Epitaph today (or yesterday, I guess). I've been jamming the album over the past week in preparation of reviewing it, and still haven't been able to come up with a suitable intro. Oh well; in the words of the great Bill O'Reilly: "Fuck it -- we'll do it live!"
Anyways, Ex Lives marks a bit of a turning point in ETID's career. For one, the album sees the band all but shed their faux sleaze-rock riffing, returning to a more hardcore influenced approach they slowly abandoned after Hot Damn! It's also their first record with new drummer Ryan Leger (ex- Dead and Divine, The Salads, some other bands), who was recruited after a less than amicable parting with longtime member Michael "Ratboy" Novak. Leading up to the release, the band has talked ad nauseum about the creative spark kick-started by the personnel change, and right from the get go it's apparent they weren't just running their mouths.
Ex Lives opens at a frenetic pace that doesn't show signs of letting up until about halfway through the album. The band sounds a lot younger on these first five or so songs; showing us they haven't forgotten how to play heavy, fast or furious, and proving they're not afraid to just thrash the fuck out when it's appropriate (read: "Holy Book of Dilemma"). Yet just when the heavy hitting stuff starts to get a little drawn out, the band shifts gears midway through "I Suck (Blood)," sliding seamlessly into a sludge metal-esque bridge, and subsequently, the slower, more experimental second half of the album.
At this point, the album starts to simmer down and the melodies begin to take hold. ETID have been no stranger to melody ever since 2005's Gutter Phenomenon, when they began incorporating clean vocals and Southern rock riffs into their sound. While that approach has worked well for them in the past (I was a big fan of The Big Dirty), the band commendably decided Ex Lives was no place to rest on their laurels. Instead, they chose a direction more akin to late-era Blacklisted than Lynyrd Skynyrd; leaning on sludgy yet textured guitar work and some really heavy drumming to provide a solid base for the melodic stuff. Save for the album's closer, "Indian Giver," (a four minute long track that gets far too muddied to really go anywhere) this well-crafted approach to heavy songwriting gives vocalist Keith Buckley ample leeway to croon slowly over the songs without sacrificing any of the cathartic intensity that makes ETID a great live act. Although this concept provides a strong foundation for "Revival Mode"-- the band's cleanest, slowest song to date-- the moment of refinement happens one track later on the outro to "Drag King," which blends just the right amount of melody and heaviness to give it a haunting, regret-tinged quality, encapsulating what Ex Lives seems to dwell on thematically.
In the past, ETID have seemingly all but embraced the "live fast, die young" lifestyle; joking their way through interviews, admitting some of their lyrics are just drunken nonsense, and writing albums worth of songs that are more or less party anthems (in my circle, anyways). Yet, on Ex Lives there's a pervasive feeling that the band's hard partying ways are slowly catching up with them. For even though the lyrics are ripe with hyperbole, the pain is palpable in Buckley's voice when he muses over lines like: "I've got debts piling high/I've got addictions, ex-wives/but I've stayed true, so I thank you/for bearing witness while I waste my fucking life." Yet while it may be sobering to realize that even the wildest among us can't party forever, there's a silver lining in the notion that older bands can still write very strong material when refusing to tread into nostalgia.
Perhaps that's what's most endearing about Ex Lives; Every Time I Die could have easily written another bluesy metalcore album about partying, and 15 year-olds in beaters would have moshed hard at every one of their Warped Tour stops regardless. Instead, the band chose to push themselves as hard as they could artistically, resulting in arguably their best album to date. That's the kind of attitude that separates "good bands" from "essential bands," and if any questions remain as to which category ETID belongs in, Ex Lives should finally answer them. I'm giving the album a very respectable 8.5/10.
01. Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
02. Holy Book of Dilemma
03. A Wild, Shameless Plain
04. Typical Miracle
05. I Suck (Blood)
06. Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow
07. The Low Road Has No Exits
08. Revival Mode
09. Drag King*
10. Touch Yourself
11. Indian Giver
12. Grudge Music (Bonus Track)
13. Business Casualty (Bonus Track)
14. Starve an Artist, Cover Your Trash (Bonus Track)
* Recommended track
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
For Today has released a new song titled "Fearless" that will be available on their forthcoming album Immortal due out May 22nd via Razor & Tie. I was never a huge fan of the band mainly due to those spoken word instruments that just came off as weird to be and the fact that they're pretty devoutly Christian... but they always sounded good and seemed to be well respected in the community. It's exactly what you'd expect from them though and doesn't sound any different than their previous material. Hopefully the next single will be a little more exciting and have some more energy behind it.
Recon's new EP Hell is available today via iTunes. It's another D.I.Y. or Die type of record but the story behind it is pretty interesting. You can check out the video above and read the statement done by guitarist Mike Muholland below. For those of you who don't know, Mike has been touring with Emmure since the Felony era after the Lionetti brothers left the band. Tony Diaz the other guitarist is one of the two touring guitarists with The Acacia Strain. I'm liking this new stuff more than anything I ever heard from this band in the past. If you buy the record via iTunes the money is also going directly to the band, which is something I support. If you dig, go buy the fucking EP! You can get all the info at their website http://www.reconhc.com/
Around the beginning of 2009, Recon had been out on the road in support of our first full length, Welcome to Viper City for about a year and a half. Over the course of that period, I had started to put together some demos for a new album that we had planned on recording and releasing later that year.
Around the same time, our full US tour with For Today was starting come to a close and we were somewhere in Iowa when I received a call from my good buddy Jesse from Emmure. He said that the band was interested in having me play for them. Having toured with them several times (both in Recon and as a fill-in for For The Fallen Dreams in early 2007), I knew I got along great with the dudes and pretty quickly agreed. It was a tough decision, but Recon had gone through several vocalists and each time, it got harder to bounce back. Since Jesse called me that day, I’ve spent about 9-10 months a year playing shows allover the world for all sorts of people. Sometimes when opportunity knocks, you’ve gotta answer.
Let’s fast forward to the fall/winter of 2010. Over the course of the small periods of time that I had at home, I started working on those original demos, sending bits and pieces to other members of the band. I also started slowly investing little bits of extra cash into a simple but effective recording rig, which we ended up tracking the whole record on in various rooms and studios.
During the process of transitioning crude demos recorded in vans, greenrooms and hotels into a real record - I spoke with Craig Ericson, CEO of RISE records. We discussed the prospect of self-releasing this album and doing everything pretty much 100% ourselves. We had a great history and were always treated very well by the RISE family in the past, and Craig - being the ethical and awesome dude that he is, gave us his blessing. Guys like Craig are few and far between in the music industry and it’s refreshing to know that amidst a sea of greedy reptiles, there are a few good people.
So let’s cut to one day in November or December - Emmure was out on tour with Attack Attack! and we played a show in Philly at the TLA. My best friend and Recon bassist, John DeBonis, was at the show and he had brought his other best friend, Rob Fusco. Being a fan of Most Precious Blood and One King Down, Rob and I had met several times – he even did a guest spot on one of Recon’s early demos (“Nowhere to run” - 2005) when we were just babies. What a guy.
As it turned out, John had let Rob hear some of the demos I was working on and he really liked them. At this point, I’m thinking “Awesome, maybe he can do a guest spot on one of the songs once I figure out who’s singing on this thing. Fuck yeah!” He then told me that he’d like to do vocals for all of the songs. Even better.
After that exchange, everything sort of kicked into gear. Paul and I spent a few weeks going through, reworking parts and re-tracking everything on our own. Given the nature of this project, it was important to all of us that we kept things tight and only involved friends that we trusted to work on the record. I asked my buddy Justin Lowe (of After The Burial) if he’d like to mix the damn thing and he was up for it. Him and I had talked shop quite a bit on the tours we had done together and I knew that he understood and could bring to life the kind of heaviness a band like Recon required. Later on, after hearing some work that spoke for itself, I recruited a long time friend Brendan Williams, to mix the vocals.
Over the course of the next nine months - in the small windows of time that we had, Rob and I met up several times to complete the vocal tracking for Hell, all the while sending demos and ideas back and forth. This allowed us to tweak and rework parts and really create the record that we wanted to, after all – we weren’t facing any strict deadlines from higher up and we didn’t have any tours that we had to immediately head out on (excluding the 9 month and several part world tour I did with Emmure). We tracked the majority of the record at my house and the parts that we couldn’t, we did at North Sea studios in Albany. Since we didn’t have a budget other than our own pockets, we ended up trading gear and good karma for studio time.
So as I write this - we’re in the final stages of mixing and mastering and I’m feeling pretty confident that this record will have been worth the wait. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is by far the best Recon album to date and something that we’re all truly proud of. Shit, I’ve been hearing the songs for almost a year and a half now, and I still don’t hate them. Either way, I apologize for keeping everyone out of the loop for so long and we want to say thanks to everyone who reached out to us wondering what the fuck we were up to this whole time, it really kept us motivated. Now you know. Our new record entitled “Hell” is going to hit iTunes on March 6th.
Since you all possess free will and it’s 2012, I’m not going to tell you not to download it. Just know that when you actually do purchase “Hell” on iTunes, the money that you spend is going directly to musicians, which then allows us to continue to create more music, eat and be slackers.
A few of you may be curious as to whether or not RECON will be playing some shows anytime soon. It’s pretty difficult to make scheduling work with me touring the world full-time with EMMURE , Tony doing the same with THE ACACIA STRAIN and John, Rob, & Paul all balancing real life jobs and other music projects. With that said, we have had a few rehearsals and will be making our return to the stage on Sunday, April 22nd at the 2012 NEW ENGLAND METAL AND HARDCORE FESTIVAL.
See you there.
Hate all you want, these guys are funny and I'm excited for their new release. Sure their previous effort Back Burner wasn't my favourite but the band was going through major transitions then. I'm hoping they've got their creative energy back and can dish out some heavy tunes. I found the Legend/Defiler shout-outs particularly funny. There's a little clip of a new song too at the very end of the video... which is why I really posted this.