John Jackson

May 242017

Biogenesis are back with their likely long-awaited third album and bring a mature blend of different metal styles together to form their “hybrid metal” which has elements of melodic to thrash to progressive to death metal mixed together.

Fans of Biogenesis have had to manage through many ups and downs over the 16 years since the band’s debut The Mark Bleed Through.  To many, that album was one of the great releases of the day but unfortunately, following band turnover and lack of general progress the band disbanded only to reunite the original lineup in 2009 and eventually release The Rise, The Fall, The Rebirth in 2012.  The band once again disbanded only to reform in 2015 when singer Chaz Bond brought original guitarist James Riggs back and added Sam, Luke, Dan, and Majennica Nealeigh to fill out the rest of the band and record A Decadence Divine.

Being new to Biogenesis, I am immediately struck by the variety of elements incorporated into the various songs, to the point where many seem as if they could be from different albums.  Length of the songs is another aspect where Biogenesis doesn’t scrimp as the album is 11 tracks and nearly 70 minutes in length, so with a couple four minute songs thrown in, one can see the majority are much longer.  To me, much of the album reminds me a lot of Mortification’s 18 minute long Envision Evangelene (in 8 parts), and having a history on Rowe Productions may have played a role in the overall sound as there are bits and pieces scattered throughout the album that remind me of old Mortification, right down to song structure and Chaz Bond’s vocal delivery.  That being said, this is not a Moritification album so don’t expect that but one can pick out the various elements. Continue reading »

Wind Rose – “Stonehymn”

 Posted by on May 21, 2017 at 12:48  No Responses »
May 212017

Italy’s Wind Rose is back with their third album of epic tales set to symphonic metal.  Incredible voices and complex arrangements, make this a symphonic folk metal album not to miss.

Since 2009, Wind Rose, from Pisa, Italy have been releasing their take on symphonic metal.  The first ep from the band was released in 2010 and followed up in 2012 with their debut full length Shadows over Lothadruin.  In 2013 they toured Europe supporting Wintersun, Finntroll, and Epica and followed that up being part of folk-metal legends Eluveitie’s Origins European Tour, exposing their sound to even wider audiences.  Later that year the band released their second full length Wardens of the West Wind and supported Ensiferum on their One Man Army European tour.  2017 has seen the band sign with Inner Wound Recordings and release their third album Stonehymn.

As one might expect, the album opens with an instrumental that sets the tone for the album.  In this case, it’s folk, symphonic metal with a bit of Celtic feel to it.  “Distant Battlefields” predictably blends right into the first real track on the album “Dance of Fire”.  The first thing one can’t help but notice is the deep, full, gang vocals that sound as if there was a large chorus.  Unfortunately, the music is a bit buried in the mix behind the vocals and keyboards as there is some good support from the drums and guitars to help carry the songs along.  As the song progresses, the listener will also notice they approach epic in terms of length as well with most over six minutes long. Continue reading »

Lakeshore – “41” EP

 Posted by on May 4, 2017 at 12:27  No Responses »
May 042017

From one band comes another, with a distinct sound, despite having founding members of another band.  Lakeshore manage to bring a sense of nostalgia and melody into their take on metal/metalcore.

For those who haven’t heard of Lakeshore but are fans of heavy music, I would imagine the name Emmure is one that does sound a bit familiar.  Brothers Ben and Jo Lionetti of Lakeshore originally founded Emmure and now have moved on to form Lakeshore bringing in Shawn Adams on vocals and friends Chris Segovia on bass and guitarist Mitch LoBuglio.  For their debut seven song ep 41 the band brought in some heavyweight talent as it was recorded with producer Ken Susi of Unearth and features Karl Shubach of Misery Signals and Jessie Freeland of the Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza guesting on the song “Kings”.  This summer Lakeshore will be joining the Warped Tour for some dates in July around the time 41 comes out.

Going into this knowing the Emmure history can certainly set expectations about what is to come but Lakeshore is a different band with a different view on songwriting.  “Heart (To the Fans)” opens up the ep and starts out with a bit of longer intro complete with mysterious ambient music, distorted voices, and some pounding drums that suggest something much heavier is to come.  From the beginning of verse sections, the vocals and structure of the song remind me a bit of the band Blindside, which is a good thing.  Piercing clean vocals, soaring chorus emphasized with screamed vocals, and buzzing guitars that shift into heavy chords are all found here.  In fact, the song does bring back a bit of nostalgia for older, heavy alternative/nu-metal, heavy enough to keep one’s interest but accessible enough for those not metal fans. Continue reading »

Apr 302017

Jimmy Sisco, who is better known for his work with aggressive punk rock bands the Absolved and Platoon 1107 is the latest Thumper Punk Records artist to contribute a 3 song acoustic ep.

The three songs contributed by Jimmy Sisco can certainly be described as a labor of love as Jimmy not only performed the songs but also recorded, mixed, and mastered them.  Most of all the ep opens with the folksy “Son of the Wind” which was actually written by country-western artist Jim Sisco, Jr. in 1970 and recorded by son Jimmy in the days before his father passed away from cancer.  One can’t help but feel the emotion in the track, a fitting tribute to a father.  For the next two songs, Jimmy reads Old Testament scripture from Haggai accompanied by some backing ambient music describing the call to rebuild the Lord’s temple. Continue reading »

Apr 292017

Thumper Punk Records continues their 3 song acoustic series, this time with the Bezerkers’ Brock Diamond adding his interpretation of acoustic tracks that somehow includes an electric guitar.

Those familiar with the Orange County punk scene may have come across Brock Diamond in one of bands over the years, which include Simplex, Fear God, Evasive Action and currently the Bezerkers.  For those wondering how this 3 song acoustic series got its start, it was Brock singing “Baby You’re Mine” on social media that sparked the idea.  The ep was recorded mixed and mastered by Jason Diaz at Safe House Studios in Torrence, California with Sef Idle of Simpul Studio handling the post production mastering. Continue reading »