Of Mice & Men – “Cold World”

 Posted by on July 10, 2017 at 16:07  No Responses »
Jul 102017

From Orange County, California comes the metal core band Of Mice & Men with their latest album Cold World. It’s a well-known band in the metal core scene, so I was pretty exited to review this album. I’m a big fan of metal core and I really like this band.

For those who do not know the band, the name is actually a reference to a book from John Steinbeck. There are two reasons why they choose the name, according to the band members. Austin Carlile said that the sentence ‘the well laid plans of mice and man often falter’ has a lot to do with Jaxin Hall’s (former band member and co-founder of the band) and his own life. They had plans for life, the plans failed and now they try to make the best out of it. The other reason comes from Jaxin Hall. He said that the main theme of the book is about the American Dream and being self-sufficient. They wanted to make the band their American Dream. Austin departed the band after this album, which he posted on Instagram. He left the band to focus on healing and moving on after settling in Costa Rica. Early 2017 he got a question about his future with the band. He made clear that he would not go back to the band. According to him, the other members would not let him write what he wanted on the next record. Enough about the band, lets talk about their music. Continue reading »

Gloriam Dei – “The Covenant”

 Posted by on May 29, 2017 at 17:53  No Responses »
May 292017

It’s time to welcome the Finnish Power metal band Gloriam Dei. The name of the band is Latin and means God’s glory. If you look at the cover art, you can see light, or the glory of God, shining down on the man. They formed in 2013, but released their debut album in 2015. You’re probably thinking: “Why now?” Well, they are busy making an new album called The Midnight Sun and with this you have an introduction to this band.

I’m a big fan of Power Metal when it is done well and I must say this band did that for me the second I heard their first number. Their opening song Bethlehem sucks you in and that’s exactly the thing it’s supposed to do. The voice of Sami Asp fits exactly into this genre and gives me the feeling of one of my personal favorite Power Metal bands, Impellitteri from Sweden. Sami also plays the guitar together with Jarmo Happonen. I must say, as a guitarist, I really like the way they play guitar. It’s powerful and very melodic. The solo on the first song really stands out. I really like the switches between the guitar player and the synthesizer. The song The Covenant has an amazing build towards the end of the song. The switches in the songs between the rough bits and some slower bits makes it not only pleasant to listen to, but also makes it their signature sound. Continue reading »

The Devil Wears Prada – “Space” EP

 Posted by on December 27, 2016 at 23:10  No Responses »
Dec 272016

thedevilwearspradaspaceepThe American Metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada is back with their second EP called ‘The Space EP’. Since the very beginning of the band in 2005, they released 6 albums and 1 other EP. Their first cd was called ‘Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord’ and ceme out in 2006. However, the most remembering album was ‘Plaques’ (2007) and was their great breaktrough with song like ‘HTML Rulez DOOd’ and ‘Hey John What Is Your Name’. In 2010 they released an EP called ‘The Zombie EP’ (2010) and that one was focused on one theme. After two more albums and five years they decided to make another theme-based EP: The Space EP (2015).

Planet A is the first song of The Space EP and is a great opening song that lets see what you can expect of the rest of the EP: a lot of variation of metalcore and nice breakdowns with a mix of clean vocals and some raw screams. Continue reading »

Thousand Foot Krutch – “Exhale”

 Posted by on August 24, 2016 at 15:54  No Responses »
Aug 242016

Exhale_2016_72fThousand Foot Krutch’s Exhale (2016), a companion record to 2014’s Oxygen: Inhale, is a good sounding record: it fits the intended mold – radio-friendly hard rock with an encouraging message. The song structures are what you would expect from this band, but what was stand- out was the gritty, dark, down-tuned guitars tinted with some good ole’ Southern twang. Certainly there were some metallic moments in the chugging of the guitars but what makes the record shine is the production, courtesy Aaron Sprinkle.

The sound, and the spacing of all the tracks was clean and accessible. All the layers are easily heard and they stay that way. Perhaps the ear dulls a little after the record gets going, for sometimes in excellent production values some other values are dispensed, such as musical variety and complexity. Every song was predictable in its flow and structure (which clearly is what they are going for!), but one looking for juicy details to dig into and re-listen to – as to find depth and meaning – perhaps will not find such things on this album.
Continue reading »

Holy Blood – “Day of Vengeance”

 Posted by on July 26, 2016 at 23:25  No Responses »
Jul 262016

Day of VengeanceHoly Blood: Day of Vengeance put out in 2015 is a solid, dark, mid-paced, crust-covered melo-death record in its own right – no keys, flute or female vocals in this one – but two instrumental interludes and of course, sea-shore samples to begin and end the record. It is complete with death metal growls instead of the brilliantly cadenced mid to high + death growl vocals of the first few records – a vocal style that immediately identified the band, but I would have had trouble identifying Holy Blood from this record! This album includes a few baritone Ukranian/folk singing lines (although quite murky in the mix and sometimes out of tune). In some ways, it reminded me of early Sacrificium albums – minimalistic, dark, and crusty death metal.

After a good number of line-up changes, such as the departure of female vocalist Vera Knyazeva and the melodic guitar players who crafted the Hold Blood sound – Fedor Buzilevich has only preserved a shell of the energy of older Holy Blood records at the cost of vitality, brightness and color. Sonically, the record’s production is murky, with the drums and bass placed in the back of the mix, with the low, murky guitars and death-growls creating a sense of obscurity. Continue reading »