Reviews - B
Subtitled "A Conspiracy of Satanic Christianity," is a concept intelligently worked out and critiques religion as control. Says; "Produced, written, arranged and performed by Sidney Allen Johnson" and is an interesting release, especially since it is the work of one person. The music is dark in mood and in subject matter: an eerie mid-paced, monastery-like atmosphere. Whereas many bands criticize religiosity and its institutions with lyrics reduced to simplicity, Mr. Johnson has done some history research. Not really goth rock, not really dark metal, but has that general feel: the vocals are sung in a low, male tone, and the guitars and drums are mid-paced, not too complex, driven more by mood than showmanship.
BABYLONIAN TILES -" GREEN MIDNIGHT GLOW"
ST. THOMAS RECORDS
Here is a release in the outskirts of the gothic realm that should appeal to a wide range of listeners. I say "outskirts" because the sound is not typical of the modern gothic bands, yet it could still be classified as "gothic". The music is slightly ambient and dreamy, clean, and never boring. I love that the vocalist doesn't sound like all those other female vocalists that I'm getting so tired of. She really has her own style, and her voice is one that will not be forgotten once you have heard it. On a couple of the tracks, I was reminded a bit of some older Siouxsie and the Banshees material. Overall, this is a great release. If you like gothic, or more mellow sounds, you can't go wrong with this one.
BALATONIZER - OCCLUSED IN OTTUSITY
THIS DARK REIGN RECORDINGS
Some conversations should be reviews, like the following, with my baby brother, Juan. Juan: Hey, have you heard anything good lately?.. Mauricio: Uh...No, but I just heard a really awful band, Balatonizer. Juan: Bala-who? Mauricio: Balatonizer. It's really awful. They have this drum machine blasting the same beat in every song. The album is some 25 minutes long and it has 32 songs. Juan: What? Another Napalm Death band? Mauricio. Hey, Napalm Death is great! This is not! The guitar sounds the same, like a big blur. The vocals are very guttural, but they suck. It's low growling, but it has no energy or aggression. It's lame like Mortician or some garbage like that. It's a no-talent band. Juan: Like Six Feet Under? Mauricio: No, that band sounds very musical compared to this... Juan: Huh....Oh, hey, when is that new Slayer coming out? ... [That pretty says it all: "Huh." It's not more interesting than that.]
BANG TANGO - "LIVE"
Never having been a fan of Bang Tango back in the day, I viewed this disc with much skepticism. While I can't say I became a fan after listening to this, it was kind of fun to listen to, in a rock-n-rollish way. The version on this disc of the one Bang Tango song I know well, "Someone Like You", is way kool and a lot rawer than the original ever was. Obviously if you don't like this band, you aren't going to want this CD, but if you ever did, or if you just like fun, hard rock, then this might trip your trigger. My trigger remains un-tripped, he, he, but it was a fun listen.
BARCODE - SHOWDOWN
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Those used to chug-and-breakdown hardcore will find this Danish band different because it has something hardcore usually does not: speed. I'm generally bored with the basic, simplistic style of hardcore, but this cd was more interesting from the beginning because of the faster drumming. The guitar riffing is also more punk, more traditional than most popular hardcore. The lyrics are not so much about macho posturing, but more about a commentary on music, life, etc. The vocals sound angry, shouty, as expected. Of course, after five listens, one knows the songs extremely well. Do you like to buy albums that you know well after a few listens?
BATTLELORE - THIRD AGE OF THE SUN
Since Battlelore's purpose in life is to be masters in the realms of Tolkien-inspired metal, image is important. The five men and two women wear European-fantasy-barbarian-warrior clothing. They carry axes and knives when posing for pictures. The artwork depicts three persons/elves with pointy ears. The lyrics speak of elves, trolls, orcs and forests. I have not and under no circumstances will I ever, ever read the Tolkien books; therefore, I cannot present a more informed description of the images/pictures. I'm sure everybody else who is a J.R.Tolkien weirdo/reader will know better than I do. Maybe Andy Milonakis knows better? What will you actually hear in terms of music when you put this cd on, then? You will hear metal with two faces: (1) the low-tuned, stomping, midpaced, superheavy guitar metal with very low, gruff growling and (2) the folky, gothy, piano, synth/keyboards, soft mellow parts with female, smooth singing. The smooth parts sound like goth/folk rock and the heavy parts like some sort of polished death-ish metal. One fact is beyond criticism: Battlelore is good at what they do. The songs are coherent and performed well. Even though the gruff vocals are guttural, the surrounding elements soften the overall feel to create a hard/soft music balance that is remarkably memorable and immediate in its impact. If you are Tolkien-obsessed (get a life!), then you will most likely worship Battlelore because Battlelore was made for loving you, baby.
BEECHER - BEECHER
They will probably be hailed as pure genius because the metallic emo-hardcore they play is everything and more: lots of moshy parts with the breakdowns, the high-register, screamed/child-throwing-a-temper-tantrum vocals, the occasional clean-sung parts and lots of melodic, postpunk licks, as well as a bit of offbeat parts. Plus, they definitely sound hungry and excited to be doing what they do, which always helps in getting across the emotion. Honestly though, there is a huge hardcore bandwagon that people are riding in 2005. It remains to be seen who will be left standing. There is nothing here that suggests that this is particularly great: just another "pretty good" hardcore band.
BEECHER - THIS ELEGY, HIS AUTOPSY
With Beecher the line between psycho time-change hardcore and superpugilistic banana split hemorrhage is beyond blurry. Beecher plays psychorazzlejazz hardcore. They get bored playing normal, linear songs; therefore, every song has multiple time changes, speed changes, and becomes a moving musical puzzle. Fans of Dillinger Escape Plan probably have a good idea of what this all means. With song titles like "It's Good Weather for Black Leather" and "Psycho Galvanic Skin Response," well, as you can probably imagine, the taking is as twisted as the giving and these goat boys don't listen to their mama. Totally terrible toddler temper tantrum screaming vocals is what is singing here. Screaming his way to Armageddon, infinity and beyond, the sounds that only dogs can hear, the screamer will rock you or will annoy you until your elbows feel funny. In fact, they cannot and will not make a regular song to which you can sing along; they will change things up on you every few seconds and will not allow you to get comfortable. Granted, this band is not the most original thing in the world (that honor goes to Irian Jaya Japanese Appalachian grinding banjo blue grass nut jobs Knuckle Head Crackers), but it's pretty crazy (or annoying, yo!).
The ever-faster speed assault that has characterized the evolution of this band now reaches the point where it just sounds impossible for them to get any faster, maniacal and frenzied. They sound downright invincible here. The blazing, razor-blade sharp blasting sounds like it will collapse unto itself. I think 2005 is theirs for the taking. The vocals are guttural as can be, but, overall, distinctive and strong, with only moments of multiple layering making me suspicious. The guitar work can only be described as underground death metal of the Brazilian-Polish-U.S. style. Now that the major Polish band of this style, Vader, seems to have settled into a slower groove, Behemoth is hungry to be the kings of blazing speed. The one factor that has to be mentioned is the fact that the songs, while strong all the way through, do not have the downright greatness of Nile. Finally, this is the type of album that makes some people doubt whether there is any cheating going on (by way of studio tricks). Go see them live and make up your own mind.
BELEF - INFECTION PURIFICATION
This band is hell bent on kicking Marduk's ass. Welcome to the black metal claustrophobia speed hell kitchen train wreck battery. This French bunch wants to prove that "Panzer Division Marduk" is just too slow. "Brutal Destruction," "I Need Enemies" and "Veincut Exctasy" are the beautiful names of these greasy monkeys. These tracks are about 6 minutes long (or longer), which is just plain ridiculous for this speed. Is this one-dimensional? Completely. This is to music what Fear Factor is too good dining. Do they have songs? I guess we'll never know, since they are blasting 99% of the time, but from the sounds of it, no. Do they succeed in beating Marduk? I’d say it’s a tie.
BEWITCHED - "DRAGONFLIGHT"
Chile's Bewitched's version of the Mercyful Fate classic "Black Funeral", had me so curious. I didn't start the CD with song #1, I went straight to the cover. And what do you know? It was good! The production isn't great, but the vocals are a serious effort at sounding like King Diamond, which is not easy at all. What about the rest of "Dragonflight"? Well, it isn't that easy to describe. For example, "Poetry of My Forest", consists of two voices, a high pitched voice and a Bathory black metal voice. Mid-paced rhythms, with some great guitar solos. This band, at times, reminds one of Mercyful Fate, Candlemass, Bathory, Iron Maiden, and some others. In short, doom metal mixed with some black/death metal. Yes, yes, the production isn't the best, but that doesn't take away the fact that Bewitched is extremely catchy, powerful, complex, simple, fast, slow, and makes it all work together very well. Can you believe it? You better believe it! Very creative stuff and not to mention memorable. If Bewitched could get their hands on the kind of production they deserve, I think they would be able to scare the pants off of a lot of bands out there that call themselves original.
BEYOND THE FLESH - WHAT THE MIND PERCEIVES
SCREAMING FERRET WRECKORDS
In this fast-paced brutal, aggressive, thrashing, melodic death metal release, the songs don't have much of a pause before raging into the next one. Not a bad idea at all. Beyond the Flesh plays a kind of death metal that, while relying on melodic, thrashing riffs, still has a serious intense feel to it. This may be "melodic death," but it's melodic in the same sense that "Spiritual Healing" or "Symbolic" by Death is melodic. The other element is clearly old Gothenburg metal. As it turns out, this album is impressive in its intensity because it doesn't turn into some cheesy, melodic cd. There are no clean vocals on here. Overall, it's also catchy in its songs and guitar riffing. For me, however, it leaves a little something to be desired. Maybe it's the feeling that it's still too derivative of its influences. Maybe it's the good-demo quality of the sound. It sounds a bit too rough in its production. I know this band can do and will do much better; you can tell by the potential that's on here. This was recorded in the fall of 2002. It's being released in 2005.
BIOLICH - THE SPACE BETWEEN HOME AND TODAY
The severely guttural growling and blasting usually found in death-gore or gore-grind, when mixed with some emo-core moments, like in here, mutates into a muddy, growl 'n' scream fest, blasting as if everything is about to fall apart. Imagine Mortician getting all blasting and jazzy and emo on your sorry ears! So, Biolich love gore-grind and want to bring some emotion and dissonance into it. The e.p. is about 25 minutes. Only for those into slightly out there blast/stop guttural growl 'n' yell.
BIOMECHANICAL - THE EMPIRES OF THE WORLDS
I am still assimilating the fact that this band sounds pretty different than what I hear in metal in 2005. The futuristic, marching, robotic, machine-like element of the guitars and drumming give it a certain uniqueness. The vocals are not growled, rather they are more shouted, but sound good. There is a distinguishable Pantera/"Cowboys From Hell" feel to certain moments in the vocals, especially the end-of-verse phrasing. The guitar does also sport the above-mentioned source. However, there are plenty of high-screamed, traditional metal singing parts. If you do not like high-pitched, air-siren screaming, you should avoid this. The sound is modern thrash, but with plenty of twists, like a bit of blasting here and there, background keyboards/effects, the multiple-personality-type vocals, all of which give this a cold, labyrinthine aspect. What is different is the lack of death and black metal influences. Comparisons are often a lazy way of explaining a band's music. Let me try it here (ha!): think Fear Factory with a young Phil Anselmo and a young Rob Halford rolled into one, playing Pantera and heavier Dream Theater songs. I know that description sounds dumb because this is not a legendary band or anything. Plus, they do not sound like Pantera or whatever. They take elements and make them their own. One thing is for sure: this sounds pretty unique because the way that the influences come together and converge onto a different point of focus. Check it out if you want something different, something more adventurous, while at the same something that combines major 1990s, non-death/non-black metal influences.
BITCH "N" MOAN -"SILICONE MESSIAH"
Imagine the worst, most stupid, ridiculous, retarded, crappy, fuckin' gay band or album you have ever heard (for me, it's probably any album by Air Supply or Seals and Crofts). Now, try to imagine something so awful, so horribly amateur and sissified that it makes your most hated band or album, seem desirable. Now imagine something 10,000 times worse, that is getting close to how bad this fucking piece of shit this CD is! When I put this in my CD player, I almost peed my pants from laughing! I can not believe that this person, Tim St. John, actually wrote and recorded this crap! If I ever saw this asshole, I would kick his ass on principle. By now you're probably wondering what this sounds like that makes me so delirious with laughter, disgust, and hatred, so I'll try and describe it for you. This CD consists of really shitty "rock n' roll" guitar playing, synthesized drum beats that sound like something Milli Vanilli would have passed up as too tired and overused, and the absolutely gayest vocals I can think of. There is a ballad at the end of the CD called "Brandi"(girls with that name must now hang their heads in shame!) that is undesirably dumb. Imagine this guy looking like some kind of stuck-in-the-80's glamour puss who wears lycra leopard skin pants and neon pink leather vests with high heeled red boots and a paisley scarf in his Fabio hair. UGGGGGHHHHH! Not that I need to tell you, but of course this is one to avoid!
BLACK SABBATH - "FORBIDDEN"
This is not so new (since a new album will hopefully be out soon), but I'm reviewing it because some people chose to ignore it. Once again, Tony Iommi shines like the true metal master and genius that he is. The singer on this one is Tony Martin, who has now sung on five BLACK S. releases. (Five as far as I know, could be more...) Cozy Powell is drumming once again for them. O.K., to the music. The opening track, "The Illusion Of Power", is the heaviest song here. The main riff and the overall feel of it, is true SABBATH tradition. Heavy, it pounds, pretty corrosive, if I may say so. "Get A Grip" follows and it shows that regardless of what some fools are saying, this line-up of Tony Iommi and Tony Martin is serious business. At times, this stuff sounds just as heavy as the best moments with Dio or Ozzy. But do not get confused! Tony Martin has his own style. For one thing, he sounds really energetic, dynamic, soulful, and youthful. SABBATH really sounds fresh with him singing. Another thing to note: SABBATH sounds diverse. This release is not some "Safe Sabbath Formula", "I Won't Cry For You", some cheesy "Nothing Else Matters" or "Mama, I'm Coming Home" stuff. Anyway, check this out and don't be a conformist pig who listens to only "new" bands just because your friends tell you to do it.
BLASTER THE ROCKET BOY -"SUCCULENT SPACE FOOD FOR TEETHING VAMPIRES"
BOOT TO HEAD RECORDS
Can you say; "Punk as Fuck"? Can you say Dead Kennedy's? This band is highly influenced by D.K. and you can hear it in their music, and especially in the vocals. But, if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times; they are only influenced by D.K., not total rip-offs, which is cool. This band is also pretty wacky with their lyrics. Some song titles include; "The 1st In a Long Line of "Cute" Robots", "I'm only Humanoid (Lost In Space)", which is one of my faves. "All the Way to the Blood Bank", "Voltron", "Man Eating Plant (Vegetables are Murder)", amongst others. I saw this band play live once, but the thing that sucked was that they had "technical difficulties" during their bad-ass, sing along with performance. Very intense. Any way, the only thing to say is that if you like D.K., then you will love Blaster the Rocket Boy!
BLEED THE SKY - PARADIGN IN ENTROPY
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
These boys will obviously sell lots of cds. They got the tunes: lots of the hardcore sound, the shouting and everything hip. Of course, they got the "tough" boy musician look, too. You know what: they have been listening to lots of Hatebreed, Superjoint Ritual, Machine Head, as well Linkin Park and the sound reflects it. I know they will be huge rock stars and Motorhead will end up being an opening band for them. Still, they are too derivative, too trendy. Behind the dreadlocks and the curse-word and Slayer shirts (Does everybody want to show off how "cool" they are by wearing Slayer shirts?) stands a group with very little personality. No, they are not "horrible" or whatever. The problem is that they have no real personality, nothing that says anything special about this music, except that they like bands on Roadrunner Records. It's a young band. Maybe they'll get better.
BLEEDING KANSAS - Dead Under Décor
"Hardcore with a nasty twist" is the sound: screamy vocals, which may annoy some and the chugging breakdowns. Actually, the songs are one big, winding, twisted breakdowns with some pauses and mellower moments. Considerably heavy at times, but still sounding hardcore, this is remarkably rock 'n' rolly.
BLIND STARE - SYMPHONY OF DELUSIONS
Talk about biting on more than you can chew: upbeat, symphonic music with thrashy, power riffs, a pretty strong dose of keyboards, clean-sung vocals, a black metal screech and a death metal growl all rolled into a surprisingly coherent album. The name of the band is dumb, I know, and the cover artwork - a woman, with her violin (or cello, etc.) by her side, reading music sheets on the shore near a lighthouse as a ship approaches - is kind of odd. The quality of the sound is good and modern; the songs, in some form, always have symphonic, thrashy power metal guitar workings with a combination of the three vocal styles. The keyboards, to a large extent, sound influenced by power metal, as well as Children of Bodom. The drummer is the double-bass, speedy type. The guitars are in some form of Blind Guardian and some (non-oldschool) black metal combination. Moreover, it is Mr.Touminen that is so schizophrenic and talented with the constant three-pronged vocal attack. And what about the songs? Are they good? Yes. I think people who would like a mix of power metal and black metal, would find this interesting. I, for one, find two things keeping me from enjoying this more: 1) the songs, while good, still sound too derivative of their influences and 2) the mixing of styles still does not flow as well as the band is trying to make them. The potential for something good is here. This is a pretty solid, pretty good album, but it's a second-division release still.
BLOOD COVEN - "ASHES OF AN AUTUMN BURNING"
I think this band is from Ohio. They don't go out of their way to let you know on the inlay card. This is a pretty good mix of black and death metal, with a production that takes me back to highschool, listening to Massacre's "From Beyond", or Deceased's "Luck of the Corpse." The vocals range from Bolt Thrower deep, to Dissection screams. I think this CD is pretty good. They obviously worked hard on their songs, and they're trying to do some original shit, not just the same old Ohio wall of noise.
BLOOD RED THRONE - ALTERED GENESIS
Ah, yes, the art of super low, guttural, visceral, incomprehensible growling. Grotesque, guttural death metal is the blood soup of the day. The overall tempo is blasting and lots of Suffocation-style riffing. The main feel is that of gore death, but with a pretty solid production, actually. There are some cool moments, but this is no masterpiece or whatever. If you have not heard low and grinding stuff lately, then here you go. If you have lots of gore in your collection, this is interesting, but nothing to vomit to.
BLOODBATH - NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH
CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
Definitely an improvement on this, their third release. So far, with their first two, I found them generic and faceless, like a bar band playing "brutal" death. Well, this time the five members, who come from Hypocrisy, Katatonia, Witchery, Edge of Sanity, etc., have managed to sound like a band, not like a project. What's the difference? You can take them seriously now. Before I got the feeling that Mikael Akerfeldt went to the studio to growl for an hour or two on a weekend when he did not have anything Opeth-related going on. Peter Tägtgren is now the growler. The songs and riffs are better. However, having said all that, this is not great, excellent music. It's pretty good death, but it does not run with the big dogs, like Nile and Hate Eternal.
BLOODLET -"THE SERAPHIM FALL"
Sludgy, dark, and somewhat groovy, this CD opens fire on your senses with a morbid glee. How exactly to describe this, I am not sure, but I can tell you that I was quite impressed, and listening to this made me want to see this band live. The vocals are utterly devoid of humanity, and will make you wonder at the throat of the man who emits these hoarse renderings for 73 minutes! With my limited resources, I am a little hard pressed to compare this to anything else I've heard, but it's a bit like Noothgrush, or Eyehategod. Comparable, but not identical. I found it to have more of a dark feel, than either of the aforementioned, and it's more aggressive as well. I also felt a slight industrial-ness in this. Ultra-kool packaging and great sound combined with the relentless music make this one a must have. I think it will surprise even the most jaded audiophiles.
BOLT*THROWER - "MERCENARY"
It's about freakin time! Hmmmm..... what can I say? Bolt T. has been a long time favorite of mine since the beginning, although I like the albums after "Realm..." better than the two previous ones. When I heard that Karl was back in the league, that made it even better, but I think he has left again, which sucks. Like the Death review, what can I say? This is Bolt Thrower! Same crushing riffs that seems to pulverize everything else coming out of my stereo these days. You have bands that change their sound with time, while you have other bands who stick to what they do best: play crushing death metal with a lot of melody! Anyone looking for some heavy and intelligent oriented crushing death metal that will not disappoint must get this and all albums by this magnificent band now!
BORKNAGAR - EPIC
CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
Fans of serious, exceptional metal should check this out. Borknagar creates its own world. No stupid Satan gimmicks, just catchy and complex textures of energetic beat-blasting progressive dark metal from Norway; lots of dynamics and interplay between blasting and melody. The vocals are black and death metal and are very well done by Vintersorg, who also does a lot of great clean singing. The speed is dizzying and the melodies contagious. A must-have, no fat; all muscle.
There is a certain type of U.S. Midwest metal sound that has growled/screamed vocals (inspired by Pantera, more than any other band), chug/thrash/death guitars and breakdown-oriented drumming. The lyrics are always centered on general hate. More than anything, this is the type of rock that a lot of kids form in the small towns of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, etc. because they are bored out of their minds. It's not original and it’s interesting only to the band and their friends. Red neck metal, anybody?
BRONX CASKET CO - HELLECTRIC
It's nothing to get excited about, unless you want more Danzig, Type O Negative, or goth rock. It sounds like bunch of guys trying to be dark, mysterious and romantically "evil." Maybe I'm intolerant with silly old men singing about "little dead girls", but the music just sounds like a side project, something put together in between down time from the real bands (Overkill, Seven Witches, etc). They cover the song "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd! It does sound gothy, yes, like Type O Negative covering the song. The voice sounds deep, etc. They did away with the guitar solo, one of the few mildly interesting things by Skynyrd. Bronx Casket Co. makes the song just plain boring. Diehard Overkill and Seven Witches fans expecting head-banging heavy metal will be surprised, pleasantly or unpleasantly.
BUILT FOR SPEED - "A MOTORHEAD TRIBUTE"
I must say that this is probably one of the better tribute albums out. I'm not going to get into a full length discussion over this CD, except for that this CD is worth having if you're a Motorhead/hardcore fan, and even if you're not a hardcore fan, it's still enjoyable to listen to. We have Blood for Blood with "Ace of Spades", which was one of my favorites. Groovie Ghoulies with "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.". Integrity is doing "Orgasmatron", which was a bit disappointing for me, only because I was expecting something different, but if you ask me, nothing beats Sepultura's version. Dropkick Murphys with "Rock and Roll". Skarhead with "Sweet Revenge". Electric Frankenstein with "We are the Road Crew". Chrome Locust with "Metropolis". Zeke with "I'll be your Sister". Fahrenheit 451 with "No Class". Terra Firma with "Bomber", and Speeddealer with "Motorhead".
BURDEN OF GRIEF - FIELDS OF SALVATION
Well, here's another band to piss off the purists because this bunch has lots of thrashing guitars, aggression and growled vocals, which is all balanced out with melodic guitar solos. Check out "The Nightmare Within" to see what I mean. This song is pretty much a thrashing blastfest with a very Iron Maiden-inspired guitar solo. If you are thinking that this is similar to old In Flames and Dark Tranquillity or, more currently, Nightrage, you are right in that respect. Obviously, for Burden of Grief, growling and thrashing are not enemies of melodic guitar solos and melody in general. The guitars are downtuned, relatively speaking, so they sound somewhere between thrash and death metal, which is at all times accompanied by melodic riffing and soloing. The result: harsh and melodic songs that are memorable. The title track itself obviously is a good example of the old Gothenburg sound. Therefore, I'd say that fans of melodic thrash/death (or whatever you call it) will be interested in this. Of course, the only problem (depending on your point of view) is that the question of originality is an issue here. However, there's no denying that the songs are done well by the band. Plus, they are substantially more aggressive than "Gothenburg" bands.
BURIED INSIDE - CHRONOCLAST
The full title of this humdinger is "Chronoclast: Selected Essays on Time-Reckoning and Auto-Cannibalism" (What? Are they edumacated and stuff?) and this is on Relapse Records. Does Relapse have a monopoly on this type of bands or what? Sure seems like it. From the sounds of it, fans of tripped-out, psychedelic hardcore (Shut up, you try explaining this!) need to check this out. This music has a really strange way of combining angry, screamed-out vocals with melancholic post-hardcore guitar work. How do they manage to make this sound good? You would think this is a recipe for a disaster. This is pretty melodic, but in a manic depressive way (Don't ask what that means?!). Let's just say that if you like the posthardcore/dissonant stuff on Relapse, you should dig this. I think explaining the meaning of life might be easier than explaining this band.
BURNED IN EFFIGY - S/T
It's really, really hard to be objective, or without being prejudice if you will, when it comes to this style of Metal. "Why?" you may ask? Because it's nu-Metal and I really can't stand this style of music, especially if it sounds like or tries to sound like everyone else out there polluting the scene with this style of music. That being said, if you like this style of Metal (Pantera style of Metal), then this is for you!! But hey, don't take my word for it, what do I know? You can check them out at - www.burnedineffigy.com or www.myspace.com/burnedineffigy
BURNT OFFERING - "WALK OF THE DEAD"
Burnt Offering lives in the world of 1980's thrash. The evidence? "We will not compromise our sound and will remain true to our eighties thrash roots!" There you have it then. Yes, this is retro style thrash/death metal, without sounding like anyone in particular. If you like all that old Kreator, Dark Angel, Death, etc.. Then you might like this. But this is not "classic" "Endless Pain/Darkness Descends" sound, it's a bit below that. There's a remake of Venom's "Black Metal", not a bad remake, if you ask me. If you like thrash, maybe you'll like this.
BUTTER BEANS - "ALWAYS TIGHT ADVANCE"
DANGER ZONE REC.
Ha, Ha, Ha. More like "Always Sucking"!This has to be one of the worst bands signed. When I read the bio., it said they were influenced by AGNOSTIC FRONT and some other band I can not recall. So I was like, "Hmmm... I like AGNOSTIC FRONT, maybe it will be cool?" I put the disc in and to my surprise, it sucked so bad I fainted. After the disc was done playing, I suddenly woke up and had a horrible head ache. Why does this suck? Well Hell, look at the bands name. The song titles that really had me rolling on the floor were: "Move ya", "Kick Up A Fuss", Stand Up You Sissy' and my favorite, "Drugs Kill", how inspiring. The lyrics are just as bad. The music? Well, let me say that some of the riffing is like a week glam version of PANTERA or just plain glam trying to be tough. How bad did this really suck? I took this CD to 4 "WE BUY USED CD" places and the best offer I got was .50 cents! So I said, "Well, I could use the money to buy me a soda pop." I turned down the offer only because I didn't want to be responsible for the death of some poor person that bought the CD. Well now you know, stay away! Oh yeah, at least I didn't pay for it, and yes, I threw it away!
BY BLOOD ALONE - Eternally
JERICHO HILLS RECORDS
In this four-song, 22-minute release this goth rock band presents an interplay between two main elements: mellow soft rock and upbeat rock. The group, from Massachusetts, serves a debut that references The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, etc. The sound quality is not "big time," but decent, like a good demo. People liking to find out about lesser-known goth rock are probably the most interested demographic.
BY BLOOD ALONE - SEAS OF BLOOD
Jericho Hill Records - Distributed also by Relapse Records
Mauricio reviewed this bands first release, "Eternally," a while back, and a few weeks ago I received in the mail their latest offering, "Seas of Blood." The first thing I noticed about this bands sound was the female vocalist; Cruella. Although claiming to play Metal, I also found this to be as Mauricio also mentioned in his review, gothic-rock oriented. The only thing I found on this release relatively close to being Metal was the guitar solos, which were played very well I might add! The use of the keyboards which were used to sound like a violin on the first song; Serpentarius, reminded me of Skyclad for some reason. I guess just the way it was used. The second song, Wants me Dead, was probably the catchiest and most memorable song on this disc, although I found this entire CD memorable, which is a good thing. Overall this release was pretty well received by my ears. If mellow, keyboard gothic-rock, with female vocals is your cup of tea; you might want to check this young band out. I'm sure they will release something exceptionally well in the near future! Definitely the best release I have been sent to review as of late! www.bybloodalone.com