Archive for May, 2010

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Aeon – Path Of Fire

May 31, 2010

Label: Metal Blade

As a genre death metal hasn’t exactly had the easiest ride. Frequently cited as being satantic (no, no that’s black metal duh!) or needlessly violent (‘Meat Hook Sodomy’ isn’t that bad… really?). Aside from that it’s criticised musically as being un-inventive and relying on the same old clichés every time to produce what is essentially an overly commercial turd that will be lapped up by fans with more scars than braincells. In other words, what pretty much happens cross genre and cross label because 99% of music fans are said idiots with more money (or an internet connection) than sense.

Aeon seem to bridge the gap between old (Cannibal Corpse) and new (Whitechapel), there is plenty of straight-up brutality for the more matured listener but combined with a kind of technical turrets that would seem to distinguish them as a band that have only formed in the last decade and are sounding surprising experienced with their third record.

I’ve personally adopted the ‘expect nothing, avoid disappointment’ ethos when it comes to dealing with many of the albums that come down the fibre optic wires and through the air to my laptop (it’s all on computers these days). Finding that as well as preventing me from having an intense desire to blow my brains out across said laptop, it also allows me to find occasional pleasure in the stuff I listen to. I still hate power metal though.

Musically this album is everything I would expect from a death metal record in 2010 and well not much else. There’s heavy vocals, double bass drums, lots of blastbeats and the horror-soundtrack-esque Spanish guitar coupled with some creepy sounds. Oh and some fucking brilliant song titles; ‘Abomination To God’, ‘Kill Them All’ and ‘Total Kristus Inversus’ to name but a few. As well as these there is the complimentary attempt to make it all sound very clever and theological;

The cover art and layout was once again made by Daniel Dlimi to reflect the lyrical content and themes of the album. Daniel comments on the cover artwork: I made this symbol that for me reflects life, death and the path you have chosen to live your life by.It’s about whatever you want to chain yourself to: 10 commandments or live free after your own conscience and will?’

Lyrically it’s not a touch on Pig Destroyer but then again if we all did the same thing the world would be boring right? I guess you want some kind of concluding statement now summarising how the whole album made me ‘feel’. Well here goes, lyrically there’s not point to say as you can’t understand a word but that’s not the point, musically it’s as clichéd and familiar as any given episode of Friends (or any American sitcom for that matter), but it’s also an awful lot of fun.

7/10

Mr Bogle

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This Or The Apocalypse – Haunt What’s Left

May 31, 2010

Label: Lifeforce

On the surface Haunt What’s Left is a straight-up metalcore album. However considering that it’s credits boast Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler it’s no surprise that the album boasts an exceptionally tight sound and some superbly balanced instrumental levels. So far, so good.

Now at this point you’re probably expecting one of two things to happen (well maybe more but that’s just be difficult…) I’ll either proceed to slate this album and say how “it just doesn’t match up to the likes of Frail Words Collapse or Mirrors” or “this is the best album like eva!!!” and well… it’s more of the first but only in part. It’s true that this album won’t match the genre classics but then again much like the way Slayer will never make another God Hates Us All and Metallica another Justice… the album’s that defined metalcore will never be “matched”.

The  best thing about this album then is that it doesn’t try to be anything apart from what it is; a solid, listenable but fundamentally powerful record. Opening track ‘Charmer’ contains all the required ingredients and ‘Subverse’ is a suitably epic follow-up complete with break-downs, tapped bridges and spoken intervals over a building crescendo. ‘The Incoherent’ opens with something which sounds like it’s been churned out of the dense pit in which the likes of Oceano and Meshuggah reside. In other words, really fucking heavy.

In summary, if you hate metalcore you’ll probably hate this album, same goes for  all if you’re a fan of said genre (but in reverse you dumb idiot). An album which pulls together everything needed to make a truly brilliant album before it finishes just after 40 minutes (well 45 if you’re from Europe). With enough double bass and harmonics to give any fanboy a wet dream this album is in many ways like watching the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse films. You know it’s clichéd nonsense but there’s a part of you that really doesn’t care.

7/10

Mr Bogle

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Slash – Rock N’ F*ckin’ Roll

May 28, 2010

If you don’t know who Slash is, you’re an idiot. Or my mum. Just sayin’. For nigh on twenty years, the man in the top hat has fed our appetites for destruc-

No. I refuse to utilise cheap puns in this review, if not to preserve my own journalistic integrity. You’ll wanting cheap shots at Chinese Democracy next, but sod off I’m taking the high road.

Either way you’ve messed your pants about who’s on this album, as there’s been a lot of talk of who’s actually made the cut. Myles Kennedy, Ozzy, and Ian Astbury will probably do it for the rockers out there, M. Shadows for the twats with bad haircuts and Fergie for the pre-pubescent teenage girl that resides inside us all.

I hate to tread this particular ground, but R & Fn’R is probably the album that should’ve followed the album that followed (We don’t count shitty covers albums here) Use Your Illusion II. The progression towards a less keys and blues based sound and more towards contemporary hard rock is something that’s kept Slash’s career alive since he left the Gunners, R & Fn’R provides a spectrum of all of his previous workings. One thing that will bring the album down for some people is the continuity; if you like an album that has a similar sound throughout and flows cohesively, this’ll piss you off no end.  Unless you’re the kind of guy that likes a huge stadium ballad followed by flamenco guitar. I’m looking at you, Starlight and Saint Is A Sinner Too’.

By and large, the songwriting is excellent with all singers being utilised to their full potential. Yes, even the chick from Pussycat Dolls who is one grainy sex tape short of personifying a Paris Hilton caricature in Baby Can’t Drive’. Alice Cooper certainly didn’t object to the duet. Kid Rock doesn’t sound like Kid Rock in I Hold On and Andrew Stockdale proves he’s more than just a convict with a silly haircut pretending to be Jack White on Die By The Sword. Lemmy does his best Lemmy impression in Doctor Alibi, which is hardly surprising. Interesting to note is that Slash let all the guest vocalists write the lyrics and melodies to the songs, each one has the subtle trademarks of their own respective bands. Apart from Fergie, who not only handles Beautiful Dangerous with annoying ease, but doubles up as a much prettier Axl Rose with better funbags on Paradise City with Cypress Hill and you honestly wonder why the Black Eyed Peas still make her rap when she wails like Doro.

It’s not moving music forward, but it’s not supposed to. Slash knows what he’s good at, and he’s good at hard rock. It’s a solid, fun album that needs to be played loud. While drinking beer. And buying hookers.

7/10

Twaddlefish

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Edguy – Leeds 16/03/2010

May 27, 2010

First off let me introduce Twaddlefish to all you lovely people, those of you that read Headbang back in the day may well remember his musings but I’m sure that he’s new to many, enjoy. Mr B

Edguy are renowned for being a hell of an energetic and downright hilarious live act. While the latest album ‘Tinnitus Sanctus’ polarised many opinions, on stage there’s no doubt who the true kings of fools are.

Sadly, I had to watch With One Last Breath first.  Haircuts, metal-core/emo and annoying as piss on my cereal vocals. Having said that, they were tight musically, the instrumentation was obviously well thought out and the fact that I began to suspect the frontman’s vocals might have been auto-tuned backstage is testament to how much of a competent band unit they are, it’s just a shame that I think that style of music is about as appealing as a cowpat casserole.

Up next were US trad-metallers White Wizzard. Emphasis on the trad. This was no holds barred 1978 classic metal, from the Plant/Rodgers style vocals to the dual guitar leads, they were a very safe main support and while they didn’t bowl me over, they’re definitely worth seeing if only for Highway GTO.

And so, shortly after appeared Edguy. I maintain that their career-defining show was their headline appearance at Bloodstock Open Air in 2006, but this was bloody close.  Storming the stage with Dead or Rock, followed by Speedhoven, thus began a 90 minute assault on our ears. Tobias Sammet continues to be a fantastic frontman, charismatic and charming and looking slightly more like Jon Bon Jovi with every tour, leading the crowd through the screaming competition that led into mass singalong Lavatory Love Machine. Slightly out of place was Felix Bohnke’s drum solo, but after his kit fell apart we were rewarded with the entire band getting in on the action. There was old, new, borrowed and blue, from the sombre Save Me to the crotch-thrusting bohemia of Fuckin’ with Fire. Perhaps the greatest thing about an Edguy show is that there is never a second where nobody isn’t having fun on stage. Both Dirks and Jens Ludwig smile their way through every song, technical faults and after playing for more than an hour, finally finish the night with a left-right of Babylon and King of Fools. Having been around on the circuit for the last 14 years, it’s astonishing that Edguy are only just breaking into their 30s, and are almost like a fine wine, the main difference being they get less mature with age.  Cracking live band, Edguy should be on everyone’s ‘to see’ list.

Twaddlefish

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Enemy of the Sun-Caedium

May 26, 2010

Label: Massacre

Arguably this could be one of the most diverse metal albums I’ve heard this year, you can really tell that the band clearly had room to experiment when writing. The songs seem to range from the very heavy song like Chasing The Dragon (which even briefly included some kind of gore grindesque growl about two minutes something in, although it did sound more like the work of the studio producer, rather than the bowls of the lungs, what with the echo and what not) to songs like I am One which is a kind of musical equivalent of a Snacka Jack (and no the producer of the incredibly tasty and low in fat Crisp (chips for are American Readers) are not paying me to include their glorious snack in my article). The range of songs on this album is impressive and the band get the Pterry Ptez gold sticker for being creative, trying hard and playing nicely with the other children.

It’s nowhere near the best album I’ve heard this year as I’m still wiping the jizz from mouth after blowing Angels Of Babylon, but it still top-notch stuff, and I refuse to suggest that the band should just keep to the sound that they’re best at, because I really would hate to see that happen, for Enemy of the Sun clearly know how to play around with musical styles. For added security I’m going to write directly at Enemy of the Sun for a second; keep experimenting and don’t be afraid to write something new as it going to put you ahead of the game in years to come, even if you do develop the douche bag fan base that Metallica did, which was the most annoying fucking part of the Metal community, when fans get pissed off because a band isn’t heavy enough. If fans throw their toys out the pram because you’re not writing what the want then fuck em’ all its your music of you write what ever the fuck you want. ( I would like to add that I don’t hate Metallica fans just the Douche bags with at say classic one liners like,“Metallica’s Kill em’ all is when they stop being as heavy as they previously were so that means they’ve totally sold out” it’s OK not to like they’re albums just don’t whine like your writing their songs).

My only complaint is and I know this incredibly hypocritical of me to even think this let alone actually write it down, but it could have been *sigh* heavier. Yes it appear I don’t practice what I preach, but come on there’s a lot worse example of hypocrisy, so I’m going give an example of one of histories great hypocrisy to take the heat off me slightly. God lays down the rule “Thou Shall not Commit Adultery” what does god do, gets a married woman pregnant before her husband even gets a chance. So I’m not the worse person in the world only one of many terrible people.

Overall though it was a good album and Enemy of the Sun are well worth a listening to and Caedium is a the kind of album you cool cats could get down and dirty with, you dig?

7/10 and a gold sticker

PterryPtez

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Too many, too soon

May 25, 2010

R.I.P Paul Gray

Slipknot's Paul Gray 1972-2010

Rest In Peace, buddy, you’re already missed.

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Sabaton-Coat of Arms

May 24, 2010

Sabaton, a Swedish battle metal band, who’ve opted to taking the high road and separate them from other bands of the genre, i.e. Turisas  and have decided to write about more how you say… modern wars (from what I gathered from listening to the album we’re talking world war 2ish). Although they have taken a more original approach to writing battle metal, the whole writing about more contemporary war is more likely to piss a lot of people off, it’s not a full-blown holocaust denial, but the song The Final Solution makes a real life genocide feel more like Jeff Wayne’s, War of The Worlds (which coincidently is awesome, the musical not the holocaust, I not going to stress that enough!).

Despite said issues, the album has quite a good sound to it and does make WW2 sound fucking epic, so I personally plea the any owners of a time machine not to listen to Coat of Arms as it could influence the decision “what time should I go back to first?” as the horrific events of say D-Day doesn’t come with an epic sound track. I did overall enjoy the album and the songs do seem to honour the people who fought and died in the war quite well, and hypothetically speaking if I was marching into battle I’d love to hear Sabaton before remembering I’m a complete pussy and judging by my questionable character, die in an incredibly dishonorable way, most probably with some wet knickers (hooray I conform to British stereotype by using the word knickers).

A personal highlight for me listening to this album was definitely the song Metal Ripper, come how can you not just love it for the name it has the two big hitters in there, the world Metal and a word that you would associate with being in a metal song, a song title like that belongs in a Judas Priest album. It’s also a pretty good song, as I always follow the Walk With Me in Hell rule if a song has the lyric “take my hand” that isn’t follow by a lyric like “come on baby doll we’ll walk/dance through/down the streets/beach/boulevard/high school prom” is in most instances is going to be pretty awesome.

Low point, honestly I couldn’t really pick one out, the album seem to be pretty consistent throughout and I guess the whole picking contemporary events thing is an issue, but it’s what like over half a century ago, so they haven’t pushed too many buttons, it does make me wonder though if in fifty years from now they’ll be another whiny critic bitching about a battle metal band writing about the Iraq war.

Coat of Arms an overall good album and it should really help push Sabaton more into the limelight this year, could have done with more songs about Winston Churchill though, but I guess I’m just a limey fuck.

a very strong 7/10

PterryPtez