Dystopian Futures – Low Arts (ep)

 Posted by on June 14, 2018 at 21:27  No Responses »
Jun 142018
 

Jangly, moody punk/hardcore-influenced garage band tunes just like you remember returns on the ep from Dystopian Futures.

Those in the know will remember Dave Emmerson from his stint with Donovan de Necker in The Old Timers.  The Old Timers have since moved on to other things especially challenged by Dave and Don being separated by a continent or so, and Dystopian Futures is one of the latest projects to feature the vocal stylings of Dave. Joining Dave is Scott Key (ex-Voice of the Mysterons) who also apparently hosted the recording of the project in his house in Scotland.

“Low Arts” is one of those songs with a great underlying melody fueled by jangly guitars and some keyboard backing that bounces along with Dave Emmerson (ex-Old Timers) barking out the vocals over the top describing the general moral decay around us and how God as a protector will save us. Continue reading »

In Vain – “Currents”

 Posted by on June 2, 2018 at 23:35  No Responses »
Jun 022018
 

Five years ago, In Vain released Ænigma, a complicated 60 minutes of progressive death/black metal and now In Vain returns with Currents, bringing an equally complex blend of metal styles that goes even beyond their previous release in a collection of songs showcasing songcraft and strong, heavy performances.

Given the progressive death/doom label and their home in Norway, expectations are high for In Vain, a band that has been around for at least 11 years.  In 2007, their debut album, The Latter Rain, was released and received critical acclaim as well as a sense of wonder over the epic feel of the album which featured nearly 20 additional musicians.  As is often the case with new bands, critics were not so fond of the bands sophomore release, Mantra,  in 2010.  For Ænigma and now Currents, the band brought in Jens Borgen (Opeth, Soilwork, Borknagar) to handle production and mixing duties and as expected the album had an impressive powerful sound. Guest musicians always seem to show up on In Vain albums and notable for Currents is that Matthew Kiichi Heafy of Trivium makes a guest appearance on “Soul Adventurer”.  As a driving theme for the album, the band talks about the shifts and changes happening in our time, from migrations and movements of people, traditions, and cultures to dramatic changes in lifestyles and traditions that challenges old patterns and create tensions and opportunities. Continue reading »

Bassists Alliance Project – “Crush”

 Posted by on May 31, 2018 at 23:14  No Responses »
May 312018
 

Flipping through the contributing members’ photographs, I thought I’d start by counting the number of strings on each bass guitar. Four, five, six and seven strings were all represented, including Scott Reeder’s Katana 8. That’s quite some range, which had me curious about the sonic experiments that would be undertaken on “Crush”, the debut album by Bassists Alliance.

I am familiar with Alberto Rigoni’s production work on the Vivaldi Metal Project, a baroque and metal celebration of the masterful composer’s “The Four Seasons”, but less so with Jeff Hughell, co-producer on “Crush”. May I suggest that you watch Jeff’s Six Feet Under “Exploratory Homicide” guitar and bass playthrough on Youtube? First class. From the album cover I deduce that different playing styles will be melded together to produce a record that focuses on bass guitar as melody driver. It’s an instrumental album, and if you are able to commit to it, you’re sure of a rewarding listening experience. Continue reading »

May 292018
 

In 2016 Luke Dinan formed Christian symphonic death metal project, Children of wrath, in Phoenix, Arizona. The one man army behind the Blackened Melodic Symphonic Holy Death metal project, released his debut album “No Flesh Spared” in June 2017. The album took about 9 months from beginning to end. Every step of the writing, recording, production, mixing, and mastering was handled by Luke. He states that “the album has a sonic palette chock full of pummelling riffs, brutal vocals, and hauntingly beautiful atmospheres that are sure to hit that gratification spot in your grey matter”.

Luke went on a mission to record metal, a genre he had listen to since the days of Whitecross. His views of metal changed when a band known as Six Feet Deep came onto the scene. Despite always listening to metal, he and a friend released a pop/rock album under the name of The Future Calling, a project drawing on an array of influences such as New Order, Tears for Fears, and Depeche Mode

In July 2017, “Children of Wrath” alongside “Symphony of Heaven” signed up with Nosral Recordings. Luke also masters other bands material like Symphony of Heaven, Ascending King and The Beckoning, under the name of DinaSound. Earlier this year one of Luke’s Original song was featured in a Star wars Fan film released via The Bearded Dragon Productions. Luke lists Septic Flesh, Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, and Opeth as some of his influences. In my opinion, there is much more flavour that’s yet to be discovered and observed, so without much ado, let me jump on to the album. Continue reading »

May 222018
 

Sef Idle returns with a follow up ep to 2013’s Start Today, and once again provides a heartfelt performance of acoustic songs that are at once relatable and entertaining.

Times have certainly changed a bit for Sef Idle.  In the past, there is a lot of loud, brash punk rock covering over 20 years from bands the likes of UniSef and False Idle among others, but now Sef chooses to go by the tagline of being a “Boise-based solo acoustic musician. Going back about 10yrs, Sef wrote the song “Get Back Up” to be released as an acoustic track but that song wasn’t released until 2012 when it was added to a the uniSEF discography.  The solo project really didn’t take off until False Idle took a break and in 2013 Sef released Start Today, a six-song acoustic ep.  Since then Sef has played shows up and down the West coast, recorded some singles for various compilations, been involved a number of great albums from the mastering side of things in Simpul Studios, and now has released Someday, Today as an acoustic ep.

To put it simply, after listening to the 3 song acoustic ep series on Thumper Punk Records (including Sef’s contribution) and other punk rock groups and singers  doing acoustic projects, talented punk rock musicians can write and perform some great, heartfelt songs.  While the usual sneering tone and loud guitars are missing, Sef manages to convey the emotion and feelings behind these songs in such a way that it feels almost like a conversation between friends. Continue reading »