Ankit Sood

20 lb Sledge – “Electric Exodus”

 Posted by on November 3, 2019 at 21:21  No Responses »
Nov 032019
 

20 lb Sledge is a Christian hard rock music project founded by AlfonZo Rachel who is so far best known for his Humorous Christian conservative social political commentaries. The band which is based out of South bay, California released the album Electric Exodus on 4th of June 2019 with an independent label. The band lists P.O.D. SevenDust, Pantera, Helmet, Static-X, Deftones, Earth Wind and Fire, George Benson, Alice In Chains, LTD, Tool, HeatWave, Prong, King’s X, Fishbone, 24-7 Spyz, Meshuggah as some of their influences.

On Bandcamp, the band quotes their sound as, “slams like Sonic Body Blows with sophisticated yet steady beefy rhythms marinated in juicy melodies. The vocals bark with a bite of the gospel gone grizzly, with flows sweet like freedom and the grit it takes to keep it. The lyrics bridge the generations from snotty teens to old farts without relying on nasty language. Dirty Sound! Clean Message!“ I was definitely in for a surprise (written post listening to the whole record)

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Sep 252019
 

Comrades have been around for more than a decade, what started as a post-hardcore band in Virginia in 2008, have now shifted its base to Colorado. “For We Are Not Yet, We Are Only Becoming” is their sophomore album, which was released under the banner of Facedown Records and hit the stores on the 7th June 2019.  The band essentially comprises of the Husband-Wife duo Laura & Joe McElroy and John Gaskill (of Life In Your Way, Endeavor and Converyor fame). The band have had many ups and downs, they’ve toured quite extensively and list close to 50 tours. They list Beloved, As Cities Burn, The Fall of Troy, Red Sparrows, Russian Circles and Thrice as some of their influences.

On Social media they quoted “Our music is, like any art, an outward flowing of what is within us. It has always been influenced by our faith, and something we all feel strongly about is trying to reconcile the differences of well-intentioned people on both sides of that fence, and simply trying to be the example our faith has taught us to be. We hope that we can be a light, and give encouragement, hope, and provoke thought, no matter what your worldview or affiliation.” They list their music to be emotionally charged with powerful lyrics.

To be honest, this is the first time I’m listening to them, and I will try to keep an open mind and not be swayed with what is being said about this album. The first song on this album “Fault Lines” catches you with a beautiful melody which takes time to build up and Laura stuns you with her melodic voice. The screams didn’t quite fall in place, maybe I was expecting it to be matched with distortion for it to land and leave its impact. “Rest” manages to juggle the acoustic and distorted bits quite well, and Laura drives the song forward with her hypnotic voice which is accentuated by a soulful melody on the guitars. Continue reading »

The Weakening– “Chains of Plato”

 Posted by on September 23, 2019 at 16:21  No Responses »
Sep 232019
 

The Swedish death metal band “The Weakening” last year (2018) announced the re-release of their debut album “Chains of Plato” which first came out in 2012. The five-men gathered from bands like Divinefire, Crimson Moonlight, Exhale, Solution 45, Miseration and Renascent to work on an extraordinary record. This album was released in collaboration with Nordic Mission.  The band’s sound has guttural vocals, scathing screams tied well with groovy riffs muffled with charry distortion bringing about a hint of djent. The album utilizes electronica to add superior soundscapes that sets an ambient that’s carried forward from song to song. What’s more amazing is the idea that these songs have been written almost 6 years back and that they still possess the energy and remain relevant as of today.

So I pick up this record, rather late from its original release and re-release to see what do they have to offer.  The album opens up with “The Rise” which starts with a heavy and catchy riff driving the song forward, the blast beats although sporadic and intermittent will surprise you. I could hear a mix of guttural screams and aggressive high pitched vocal delivery which works well with a barrage of riffage that’s on the song. Next up, “Blood Fuels Destruction” utilizes the blast beats to quite an extent and has a melodic section on the vocals which adds sonic flavour to the song. The low-tuned guitar riffs fall nothing short of amazing and adds the djent when played in perfect synchronisation with double bass on the drums.

“Weakening Thoughts” uses Flanger and Phaser to blow your mind with maddening energy that’s brought forward in the heavy chugs that are strummed and the pounding that the drums receive. An interesting interlude breaks apart the song and adds a massive sludge dimension to the song, but let that not fool you because the song writing on it cleverly brings it back to the way it started. Continue reading »

Narnia – “From Darkness to Light”

 Posted by on August 19, 2019 at 17:20  No Responses »
Aug 192019
 

On 2nd August 2019, Narnia released their 8th Studio album “From Darkness to Light”.  Founded by guitarist Carl Johan Grimmark and singer Christian Liljegren back in 1996, the Swedish band reunited in 2014 after its hiatus in 2010. This album is produced and primarily written by Narnia’s guitar virtuoso CJ Grimmark. It is mixed by the band’s sound engineer Viktor Stenquist, and mastered by Jens Bogren, Fascination Street Studios.

The band is widely known for their progressive sound, odd time signatures and cut throat guitar melody. Their songs are influenced by the works of “The Chronicles of Narnia – By C.S. Lewis”. It is being said that keyboardist Martin Härenstam, holds the calibre of a solo virtuoso in the band. Jonatan Samuelsson who recently joined on Bass duties and background vocals, plays the Taurus bass pedal, and helps with the songwriting and graphic designing of the album. Their last tour of Brazil was a success and they carried over the same energy into writing this album.

To be honest, this is the first time I’m listening to Narnia, so I haven’t any biases or idea of what I’m getting into. The staccato opening on “A crack in the sky” filled in with ambient soundscapes and a melodic guitar solo goes on to set my expectation, and boy I love how the song progresses and possesses its audience. The vocals are melodic, the chorus gives you the shrills with the added seconds, and a powerful rhythm section drives the song forward which culminates with an electrifying guitar solo. “You Are The Air That I Breathe” thumps its way forward, building the pace piece by piece. This song sounds straight out of the 70s-80s and has a catchy chorus to its credit. Continue reading »

Eluveitie – “Ategnatos”

 Posted by on July 28, 2019 at 20:47  No Responses »
Jul 282019
 

The much anticipated Eighth Studio album from the Swiss Folk metal band Eluveitie, “Ategnatos” comes out after 2 years from their last release “Evocation II: Pantheon”.  It was released on the 5th of April 2019 through Nuclear Blast Records. Founded by Chrigel Glanzmann back in 2002, they are known for incorporating traditional instruments such as the likes of Hurdy Gurdy,  flutes, violin, bagpipes, tin whistles to name a few.  Their sound has a blend of Celtic folk melodies with Gothenburg styled Melodic death metal and vocals often written in English and ancient extinct Gaulish.

Often referred to as the The New wave folk metal, “Eluveitie” is interpreted in the Etruscan language as “The Swiss” and ever since its formation has known to have huge line-up (An average of 9 members).  The band has had couple of line-up changes over the years, as they tried to reinvent themselves and find their sound. Folk metal presents itself with tremendous opportunity as there is so much room for experimentation and song writing. With Pantheon being one of my favorite albums I take upon myself to be unbiased when I write this down. The album runs for an hour and has 16 songs in its arsenal.

The album opens up with title track building on cinematic soundscapes, supplemented with narration (Alexander Morton) as folk elements and a barrage of guitar riffs seep in. The song picks up pace as it progresses and astonishes with a catchy chorus towards the end. “Ancus” transitions to “Deathwalker” which opens up to a beautiful melody and with no time catches you off guard with a meaty riff. The guttural vocals adds tremendous energy and the fiddle soloing to an operatic chorus adds a great flavor to the song. “Black water Dawn” refreshes with a hypnotic flute tune dancing on a catchy rhythm, Fabienne Erni chimes in with a beautiful vibrato adding a new dimension to this song, as it progresses. Continue reading »