The Lead – “Burn This Record +30”

 Posted by on February 6, 2020 at 03:06  No Responses »
Feb 062020
 

Roughly 30 years ago, Christian punk rock pioneers, The Lead, released Burn this Record and now the whole thing has been remastered and re-released with a bunch of previously unreleased bonus track demos.

The Lead are one of those bands that have remained pretty much a well-kept secret over the years.  From their beginnings in 1984 or so, The Lead released seven different albums/eps to go along with four other self-released titles before ending up on Roxx Records to release This Past Behind and Burn this Record in 1989.  In 2018, the band released the Again (ep) on Roxx Records and now have followed it up with this re-release.

The Lead certainly are one of those bands where I  look back and wonder how I missed them.  I keep seeing the label “Christian punk rock pioneers” applied to them, but especially with Burn This Record, I’m thinking there more like the thrashy-crossover SOD, but with obviously different lyrical content.  Musically, most of the songs tend to lean toward the ultra-fast more metal sounding riffs and freight train drumming.  Nina Llopis vocals have that challenging, in-your-face punk rock sneer and work really well even in this metal/punk hybrid.  A good introduction for the unknowing is the “Skate or Die” lyric video from the remastered version here.  Lyrics are boldly Christian and pull no punches, being very straightforward.  As I noted on my review of the Again (ep) the songs tend to go on a bit longer than they really should almost as if the band had parts of other songs they couldn’t finish, so they added them into existing tracks.  That being said, one component that I do really like in some of these sections are the screaming guitar solos that seem to explode out of the mix, reminding me of some older Greg Ginn craziness.

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Jan 252020
 

“Nothing’s As Real As It Seems” is the third album by alt metallers The World Will Burn. This transcontinental collaboration includes Dale Thompson on vocals, Alan Zaring on guitars and other instruments and Aaron Bushong on drums. There are also guest appearances by Troy Thompson (co-founder, Bride) and Tim Bushong, who produced the album.

I didn’t anticipate how groovy “Nothing’s As Real As It Seems” would be. Big guitars and bigger drums hit you on “Sins And Tragedies”, and Dale unleashes all kinds of fury on the mic. The care Tim took to balance all the elements deserves special mention. You’ll hear it in how Dale’s
voice, first singing and then screaming in the chorus fits despite the great differences in delivery.

The band sets a soulful, contemplative mood with the solo guitar that leads “Love and Life”, but breaks through any restraint in the first verse. I like this diversity, and I’m only two songs in! There’s a moody organ and vocalisations that push “Love and Life” off-kilter, like the world of the song is off balance. This sense of “nothing is as it seems” is brought into sharp focus later, in “Boxing Ring”. As I listen to the album, I am challenged by the lyrics. Why would no one believe in hell? Have we become as those who believe only in what the eye can see, and in what scientific experiments can measure?

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Ravenword – “Transcendence”

 Posted by on January 20, 2020 at 01:13  No Responses »
Jan 202020
 

Ravenword bring soaring vocals, metal guitars, and driving rhythms to bear on material inspired by Edgar Allen Poe in their debut album Transcendence, joining other critically acclaimed symphonic power metal bands on Rockshots Records.

Ravenword actually trace their beginnings back to 2007 when it was a project of keyboardist Davide Scuteri.  The idea was to create a symphonic power metal project inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” by combining the poetic style and themes of that age with the music of bands like Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, and Within Temptation.  Fast forward all the way to 2019 and the project is complete as Davide added Chiara Tricarico (vocals), Michele Olmi (drums), and Cesare Ferrari (guitar and bass) for the recording.

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No Lost Cause – P.S. (ep)

 Posted by on January 20, 2020 at 00:20  No Responses »
Jan 202020
 

No Lost Cause is back with P.S., their third ep filled with their blend of pop-punk and ska.

A few years ago, No Lost Cause was based in New Jersey, but as things change, so do band locations and now the band calls Florida home.  The goal of the band is to take their blend of punk and ska and use it to speak of trust in God, providing hope and encouragement in hard times.  For this ep, the band has enlisted both Indie Vision Music and Thumper Punk Records for the support.

To be honest, I really like how the songs like “Slow It Down” start, as its pure, fast, driving punk rock, but then the ska part comes in and all momentum gets lost and suddenly the song just sounds dated, like it should be something from back in the late 90’s when the Supertones, and FIF were hot.  All that being said, the vocals are clear and fit well with the music, guitars and drums dominate the sound, but the bass doesn’t get lost in the mix, which is a good thing.  At over four minutes long, I do think the song carried on a bit longer than needed, but then that was likely a function of the ska breaks.  I will say that if there were horns, I might not have minded the ska parts as much but without them, the overall sound doesn’t work for me.

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As I Lay Dying – “Shaped by Fire”

 Posted by on January 14, 2020 at 16:38  No Responses »
Jan 142020
 

Little introduction is needed for the American Metalcore legends “As I lay dying” hailing from San Diego, California. Although the band went into hiatus post Tim Lambesis’s incarceration in 2014, they came out with their 7th Studio album “Shaped by Fire” on the 20th September, 2019. Phil Sgrosso along with Nick Hipa joined the ranks on guitars in 2003 really changed the game when they released the much acclaimed 3rd Album “Shadows are Security”. Although over the years the band members had disagreement and went in separate ways to work on side projects. But that’s a different matter!

Tim Lambesis along with Jordan Mancano formed “As I lay dying” back in 2000, the name was inspired by Wiliam Faulkner’s book of the same name. The band quotes In Flames, Living Sacrifice, Iron Maiden, Slayer, At the Gates, Pantera, Megadeth, Fear Factory, Cannibal Corpse, Thin Lizzy, Shai Hulud, Dark Tranquility, Metallica, Judas Priest, and Earth Crisis as some of their influences. Predominantly a Melodic Metalcore outfit, they have experimented and worked on Thrash and Death metal genre’s in their exciting past.

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