May 052019

Two-man powerhouse American Arson are back with their Facedown Records debut, an ep sure to whet the appetite of post-hardcore fans.

American Arson is a Detroit, Michigan based band that is a project by vocalist/guitarist Evan Baker (ex-Good Luck Varsity) who started the project as GLV was ending.  In 2015, Baker added drummer Jesse Gentry and the once solo-project turned into a duo.  Not being familiar with the band, I checked out an older track, “Revival in My Lungs” and was pretty much blown away by how full the sound was from the 2-man project.  Fast guitars and drums and piercing, gritty vocals characterized the sound on that track.  Fast forward to April 2019 and the band now has a presence on Facedown Records and has released a post-hardcore filled ep, along the likes of labelmates Comrades.

The ep conveniently enough has three tracks, “Rise” “&” and “Fall” and show a bit of a maturity compared to earlier material to the point that one might say it’s leans a bit toward the more commercially acceptable.  “Rise” is filled with anthemic chorus and gang vocal sections, showcasing some great vocals by Evan Baker, both clean and somewhat rougher in style.  Continue reading »

Apr 052019

Facedown Records are very excited to introduce you to American Arson and their brand new EP “Rise & Fall”, out today on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and everywhere else music is sold and streamed.

Employing on-the-fly vocal and instrumental looping alongside multi-amp stacking, American Arson creates a massive, driving rock sound with just two performers. Punctuated by raw, razor-throated vocals and drop-tuned, buzzsaw guitars, Continue reading »

Dens – “No Small Tempest”

 Posted by on October 29, 2018 at 19:46  No Responses »
Oct 292018

My immediate impression of “Deadrise”, the first of four tracks on this EP, is that there is a yearning being expressed. When I consider the lyric, “I’ve thrown myself into the deep…” I recall the figure on the album cover suspended beneath the waves. While the storm rages above, he seems oddly at peace. This kind of rock music will get you thinking.

I like how the vocalist’s melodic voice contrasts with the rest of the instruments, and how Dens evoke both the storm and the calm in one song. How often are we indignant of God when he shows compassion to sinners? How quickly are we to call unfair when the godless continue to thrive?

It sounds like a big space opens up on (W)retched. The progression from slow arpeggio to guitars that trill and positively soar towards the end of the song is very well executed, and speaks to a band who know how to sonically translate emotions. I get the same from the Scottish band, Mogwai.

When I reflect on this poignant lyric: “Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say / “Even so, it is well with my soul”” I think of the many teachings about life in abundance. How, through Christ, we may live a full life. How, when we cast our burdens unto Him, we receive a peace that is not of this world. We are known to the Father, and because we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, our names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Continue reading »

Azusa – “Heavy Yoke”

 Posted by on October 27, 2018 at 22:39  No Responses »
Oct 272018

Azusa emerges from the relatively unknown, combining members of Extol, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Sea + Air into a frenetic, chaotic, powerful, heavy, and at times ethereal sonic blend that is everything you’d expect and more from this talent.

For those not paying attention to extreme music at all, Azusa is a new project from Christer Espevoll and David Husvik of Extol handling guitars and drums, Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan on bass, and Eleni Zafiriadou of Sea + Air and ex-Jumbo Jet on vocals.  Certainly and unlikely combination of talent.  Back in 2014, Christer met David at a Benea Reach show and the two started jamming 6 months later.  During that time the two, who were The Dillinger Escape Plan fans, learned that Liam (from TDEP) was into their former band Extol and they reached out and the suddenly the band just needed a vocalist. After some failed attempts incorporating metal/thrash male vocalists, they shifted to looking at female vocalists remembering Eleni from her time with the hardcore band Jumbo Jet.  During the whole recording process the whole band only managed to be in the same room 5-6 times due to everyone’s commitments and life in various countries, but through the magic of the internet, it all came together.  For those wondering, yes, the band is looking to tour…

“Interstellar Hands” opens up the album and provides a great introduction to what is to come on the album within the first 40 seconds.  After a quick drum roll, the rest of the band comes in with a blinding, furious fast and short guitar riff only to settle into a quiet, interlude filled with clean guitars and Eleni Zafiriadou’s soft, smooth, airy vocals.  That calm is short-lived as the opening riff comes back in force backed by Eleni Zafiriadou’s loud, near ragged, screaming vocals.  The song itself takes many more twists and turns alternating between beautiful and calm and furious and fast.  The band member’s pedigrees come through in this song as one can hear elements of TDEP and Extol as well as the incredible musicianship and flawless production. Continue reading »

My Epic – “Ultraviolet” (ep)

 Posted by on July 25, 2018 at 14:07  No Responses »
Jul 252018

My Epic has released Ultraviolet, the first of a two part ep concept series exploring faith and things that are too big to be understood with the second part, Violence, to be released in late 2018.

While calling Fredericksburg, VA home for now, My Epic has its roots in North Carolina and trace their beginning as a band under that name to 2005.  In 2006, the band released their first ep, This is Rescue and the first album was in 2008 with I Am Undone being released on Dreamt Music an imprint of Facedown Records.   In 2010, the band released their follow up album, Yet, which saw the band end up on the Heatseekers charts, similar to the follow up, Behold, in 2013.

As projects go, My Epic has taken on dealing with things which are beyond what we can see and know, and things that we do see but can’t fit into our paradigm.  Certainly big questions and from a larger perspective, Ultraviolet seems a perfect fit for one side of the story.  Chiming guitars, layers and layers of sound and atmosphere that seems very far from the worlds of metal or punk.  Vocals are smooth and calming and provide just the right atmosphere for the introspective, questioning  lyrics.  In many ways, this reminds me a bit of some of the ambient black metal projects I love so much, but in this case keyboards, electronic effects, and clean guitars provide the background. Continue reading »