Reviews - F
This is a concept album based on the fixations of a suicidal deap-sea diver, a really kool concept if you ask me. Musically, this is electronic noise for the thinking person. By that I mean that this CD is far more thought-out than the average the average "electronic noise" project. There is emotion, texture, depth, and clarity, making this on the very accessible end of experimental music. I totally loved this CD, and I recommend it to anyone into ambient, noise, industrial, electronics, etc... or if you're just looking for something new and different, this could be it.
Nervecenter Recordings, P.O. Box 40358, Redford, MI. 48240-0358
FALLEN WISDON - IMMORTAL
There are short (often funny/whachy-sounding) guitar solos and double-bass drumming, but that doesn't mean that this is not punk rock: raw, rough & tumble, rumbling punk rock. Punk rock purists might be upset. They are always upset, anyway: if it's not that the local grocery clerk's mohawk is not punk enough, it's that the masses don't know every single detail about the life of Bakunin.
Fallen Wisdom's music is loud and pretty obnoxious; the vocalist sounds like a drunken lunatic screamer who loves his Misfits/Glen Danzing: (I Need Your) "Plasma" could be a Misfits song. In addition, the album has a drunken, rowdy sound, that of a garage recording. Oh, just in case: Fallen Wisdom is NOT hardcore/metalcore. It's punk rock with traditional punk vocals (NOT growled) and simple, upbeat, fast (NOT way, way fast) drumming. They are Puerto Rican, sing in English and play punk. Like your mama said: beware of crazy Puerto Ricans playing punk rock!! Next thing you know, they'll be taking over baseball. Wait. Never mind
FATES WARNING -" A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY"
Fates Warning has a truly original, glorious, and proud history, well, during the 1980's any way. This band was of such level, that their releases, such as "Awaken the Guardian" or "The Spectre Within", belong in the "Secret Treasures" category. This "Shade of Gray" is simply unbelievable. It is just beyond comprehension. Listening to it can be an experience that cannot be explained. This release is a 12-part song that takes you would've never thought this band go into; the land of slow, uninspired, extremely boring, simple, mediocre, soft, adult contemporary rock. More disappointed, one cannot be. Fates Warning should call it quits before they shame and embarrass themselves out of existence. Awful!
FEAR MY THOUGHTS - HELL SWEET HELL
This band has an advantage over a lot of metalcore bands because they get away from the obligatory breakdowns and stupid screaming. Instead, the band has a lot more melodic, traditional metal to offer. It's almost like they have lost the core and sound very much like melodic Swedish thrash with growled vocals. The guitar work can clearly be heard and it's pretty creative, thrashy and melodic. Fans of old In Flames (who still want to hear more music in that style) will want to investigate. It's a bit like a continuation of the music spirit found in "Colony," "Clayman," etc. I'm not saying that this is a masterpiece, so keep your shirt on. The vocals are death metal growls with higher, more black metal-ish parts. This album is quite impressive. It's good and creative. It's melodic thrash. In the picture, the band members look like a bunch of hardcorers. This album is on Lifeforce Records and the company promotes them as hardcorers. This music is catchy melodic thrash metal with growled vocals with only slight elements of core.
FINAL BREATH - LET ME BE YOUR TANK
Straight-up, traditional, to-the-point thrash that piles the riffs right on top of each other, pounding out from beginning to end. In short, this is based on 1980s thrash. This is thrash based on the Exodus-Slayer mentality, the riffs are very in-your-face and the only slight melodies you hear are during the guitar solos. In other words, this sounds very street, tough thrash. The vocals are closer to growling than shouting, which is a good idea with this type of music. The band does not care at all for current trends and fashions, instead they listen and play only thrash and thrash. The intended audience is Overkill, Slayer, Testament fans. Is this good? Well, yes. Is it amazing? No. If you like a band like Overkill you might find it cool hear a younger band being so ridiculously traditional, up-front, energy thrash.
FINAL DAWN: UNDER THE BLEEDING SKY
I know that this is not weird music, but I find this band to be a weird combination. The vocals are straight-up death metal, like Amon Amarth, Death, Pentacle or even Obituary. However, the music keeps changing, from thrash, old heavy metal and death metal. Overall, people will say its "melodic death". The songs are fine and good and all, but this just does not work for me because I don't think that you can combine death vocals with just about any kind of riffing and make it function. I don't even like my own review here because I do realize this band has some good material, but they kind of annoy me. Is it just me that they annoy?
FIREWIND - FORGED BY FIRE
I really like this album. Firewind plays traditional, hard-hitting, energy-laden, shredding, thundering heavy metal. Raging guitars, metal-god vocals, and plenty of guitar solos!! The man doing the shredding is Gus G., who also plays in Nightrage and Dream Evil, but the difference here is that he is the head honcho, so what you hear is all of his songs that he writes with singer, the man, Chity Somapala. A couple of explanations: this is not happy power metal; the guitars are pretty thrashy and heavy; Chity sings high, but has a strong, earthly voice that sounds cool, not happy and cheesy. Oh, what topics do the lyrics cover, you ask? Well, what do you think song titles like "Kill to Live," "Beware the Beast," "Tyranny" and "Perished in Flames" talk about? Oh, yes, they also have one called "Burn in Hell." Are the lyrics stupid? I find that the lyrics fit the music, that the rhythm matches the words. They could talk about their "feelings" or their parents. No, thank you, fire and death are fine by me. Alrighty then, now you know: Firewind is shredding, catchy, headbanging, fists-in-the-air, hair-flowing, double-bass, screaming, singing, rocking metal music. Did I mention that the songs are memorable and good?! What else would you like to know? That Gus G. wears red leather pants and eyeliner? That his guitar strap has "666" written on it? What do you think Gus is trying to tell us with that number? That he loves algebra? That he likes expensive cable with that many channels?
FLEDGING DEATH - S/T
This is total cheesy noise crap stuff. This is supposed to be death metal, however, this is a complete example of cheesy music. This is such a waste of my time, that I will go no further than to say that in addition to be cheesy, this is also pornographicnoisecheese and cheesegoresexistnoise. Do not waste your time and money on this. In fact, this is such a waste that, 1) Any thing I say about this is too good and 2) I have much better things to do than to waste precious ink on this.
FLOWING TEARS - RAZORBLISS
Flowing Tears' concept is about an overall mood of emotional songs, all based on somber and melodic, midpaced, melancholic goth rock. Helen Vogt's singing and the music mesh well in creating the somber feel. She stays within a midrange tone, only occasionally going for the high or low notes. The songs are melodic and easy to remember. This music has pretty simple and basic guitar work. There's nothing outstanding, since it's just background, downtuned rhythm keeping a beat. The same is true for the drums. The songs should please goth rock fans that like bands with melodic, female singing. "Radium Angel" has a melodic, if short guitar solo, which makes it stand out. "Virago" has a whispered chorus and it's keyboardy. I was expecting a chorus after the whispered part, but it turns out that that was the chrorus; huh. "Razorbliss" is a pretty keyboard-based song, while "Believe" does have more guitar. Ultimately I got the feeling that this is a ok, but a second-rate album. The songs do begin to sound pretty similar (keyboardy, midpaced) after a while. The structure, the pace and the feel of the songs become too similar. I think that they are going to have to step it up substantially if they are to stand out. They have the look and a good-looking woman singing, whatever. Now they need better songs.
THE FORSAKEN - TRACES OF THE PAST
Everyone says this is Gothenburg-style "melodic death metal". However, thereís no In Flames stuff here, man. The guitar is down tuned, but sticks more too Vomitory territory, high-pitched screaming a la In Flames, no, its total gruff, growling like Insision or Vomitory. Funky rock íní roll drumbeats like In Flames? No, itís often blazing blast-beat; itís also speed metal drumming a la Slayer. Are there Maiden-like solos? Theyíre memorable, but power metal this is not. There are four covers here: two Metallicaó"Blackened" and "Creeping Death"ódirtier/grindier than the originals; same goes for the Slayer song, "Spirit in Black". There is also a Grave track, "Youíll Never See". Ever wonder what "Blackened" would sound like with blast-beats, down-tuned guitars and growling? This is not fantastic, but itís good, but with some mediocre moments.
FREEDOM CALL - THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Things are coming along nicely for Freedom Call. On this, their fourth (studio) full-length, the band has done a really good job of creating a strong, catchy, fun metal/rock. This new, more midpaced, more rock-oriented style shows the group coming into their own sound. Of course, the Helloween/Gamma Ray comparisons will continue for a long time, but I think those comparisons sound hollow now. Dan Zimmermann (drummer in Gamma Ray) is still here, but he plays differently here, more groove-oriented, not speed-based. Singer Chris Bay has a semi-nasal voice, which the cynics will compare to Helloween's Andi Deris. Plus, the fact that Helloween now has in its ranks a former Freedom Call guitarist makes the band a target for the pessimists. However, the band has the last laugh here because this is accomplished and very memorable. Actually, I criticized their previous "Eternity" (2002) for being too derivative of Helloween. Well, I'm glad to report that the band has outdone itself this time. Now the band has slowed things down to a midtempo rocking groove, the songs have this full, stadium rock sound. The choruses are infectious and have a positive, look-on-the-bright-side-of-life type of attitude with a peace and tolerance message. It's feel- good music with big rock riffs, catchy lines, traditional guitar solos, good singing and lots of melody. Finally, the first few listens are a bit strange because there's not a lot of speedy, double-bass, galloping riffing--not that this is slow and ballady--but by the fourth or so listen, once you get the band's new orientation, the music begins to come together very well. Just don't expect an album with eleven songs of speed power metal.
FURY OF FIVE -"AT WAR WITH THE WORLD"
The first song on this CD warns you of the impending violence with the mantra: "This is not a threat, it's a promise." and you'd better believe it! Musically, this is what Michael would term "Muthafucka Hardcore", referring to the pounding riffs and attitude-laden lyrics. For myself, I'd have to say it's HC based crushing metalcore, that has more energy and diversity than most bands that fall into this genre. If you want it heavy, you need look no further-but this disc does not consist solely of the same boring chug-chug riffs and tired vocal patterns that you may be accustomed to. Rather, there is a sure and confident uniqueness here that will certainly set this band apart from their peers. Listened to, enjoyed, and highly recommended by this tired and bitchy reviewer. Check it out.