On The Rise: Pallbearer

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If you haven’t noticed I have an obsession with music. One of my absolute favorite things to do is just sit with headphones on and listen to music. There is something remarkable about letting the music waft over you and take you on a journey. There is a band I’ve been listening to for a couple years now, that really has honed in on making classic albums. That band is Pallbearer. Their music is bits of doom metal, and 70’s rock. It’s the perfect combination of Black Sabbath and Presence era Led Zeppelin.

Pallbearer have released 3 full length albums and 2 E.P.’s since their inception in 2008. Their debut album Sorrow and Extinction was highly regarded by critics, with some even saying it was the best “metal” album of the year. That album is truly a great album for sure. Their follow up Foundations of Burden is another great example of their ability to craft great songs, and expand upon their sound. Their new album though, Heartless, is a genuine masterpiece. Rather than be complacent in their ways, Pallbearer really went for it on this album. There is a great sense of depth and emotion throughout this album. Not to say that their previous albums lacked that but, Heartless just really hits you in all the right places.

With a repertoire like Pallbearer’s it’s no wonder why they are beloved by so many. I personally am loving the way Pallbearer has evolved their sound with each album. They’ve really found their niche amongst their peers, and made it their own. I highly recommend you taking some time and escaping to one of their albums. You’ll really enjoy what you are about to hear. This is the way albums should feel!

Pallbearer- Heartless:

Pallbearer- Foundations of Burden:

Pallbearer- Sorrow and Extinction:

Upcoming Tour Dates:

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Guest Vocalist: Randy Blythe

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Over the last decade or so, screaming vocals have really become a staple in heavy music. There are so many different types of “screaming.” Some of the frontmen and frontwomen, really have a unique presence and sound to their scream. One person in particular, Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God, is a perfect example of this. The following songs are ones Randy has lent his unique voice to over the years.

Enjoy!

 

A Life Once Lost- Vulture (from HUNTER):

 

A Life Once Lost- Pigeonholed (from IRON GAG):

 

Overkill- Skulls and Bones (from IMMORTALIS):

 

Gojira- Adoration For None (from THE WAY OF ALL FLESH):

 

Shadows Fall- King Of Nothing (from RETRIBUTION):

 

Oni- The Only Cure (from IRONSHORE):

Album Review: Eighteen Visions- XVIII

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Comeback albums aren’t easy to make. There are so many different ways it can go wrong yet, if it’s done right, then the payoff in the end is tremendous. 10 years ago following the misstep of their major label debut, Eighteen Visions called it quits. Everyone associated with the band went on to other bands and projects. For years fans had been wondering if they would ever see the Orange County hardcore band again. Every chance the press got to interview a former member, it seemed that it wasn’t in the cards. Now, I’m not sure what pushed them to get the ball rolling again, perhaps it was the passing of bass player Mick Morris a couple years back, or maybe it was even their desire to get back to what they did best. Either way, Eighteen Visions are back and with a vengeance.

Their first album in ten years, XVII, is 10 songs of pure unrelenting old school Eighteen Visions. This is the album they were meant to make. It harks back to their early days a la Until The Ink Runs Out and adds a dash of Vanity/Obsession. Singer James Hart sounds better than ever. Guitarist Keith Barney is still pumping out tasty riffs and dramatic breakdowns. And drummer Trevor Friedrich is pounding away on the drums with such fury.

From the moment the opening song “Crucified” hits, you know you’re in for quite the ride. As “The Disease, The Decline and Wasted Time” comes in, the album is already in full swing and it won’t let go. The song “Live Again” is a solemn tribute to the late Mick Morris, and it shows the real growth of each member in the band. Other stand out tracks from the album include “Oath,” “Laid To Waste In The Shit Of Man,” “Picture Perfect,” and the closing track “For This I Sacrifice.”

As a fan of the band for many years, this is the album I’ve been wanting them to make for years. It has the explosiveness of their very early days and it also has bits of melody sprinkled through some of the songs, to separate them from the rest of their peers. This isn’t just a comeback though, this is a reinvigorated band firing on all cylinders with something to prove to themselves. It shows in their dedication to make this album and go for it. On a side note, I have to say I’m really stoked on the fact that they made this album without crowdfunding. XVIII will go down as one of the band’s best albums. I can’t wait for them to tour this album.

 

Eighteen Visions- XVIII:

Band Of The Week: 9 Electric

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Over the last 10 years or so electronic music has really injected itself into music.  Years ago it was just new wave and industrial bands. Now with the EDM explosion more and more bands are embracing that genre and injecting bits and pieces of it into their music. Some bands can do it really well and others, well, not so much. There is one band I’d like to share with you all though that seems to really understand how to incorporate the electronic element into their rock, and that band is 9 Electric.

9 Electric is an electronic hard rock band from Los Angeles. Their intricate blend of electronics to rock is similar to that of Stabbing Westward, The Prodigy and a dash of Nine Inch Nails. The thing about 9 Electric is that they have really created something intriguing not just with their music but, they have made their shows into something special. Rather than just get up and play, they’ve turned their shows into an “event” of sorts. By making sure their shows are “special,” 9 Electric has put themselves in a position to leave a lasting mark.

9 Electric‘s debut album The Damaged Ones, is chock full of heavy rock and electronics, along with soaring melodies and pristine vocals. With songs like “The Damaged Ones,” “New God,” “Beautiful,” “Take It Away,” and “I Die,” you can tell there is pure belief in what they are writing and performing.

Check out one of Los Angeles’ best bands. And prepare to get up and move!

 

9 Electric- The Damaged Ones:

Best Albums of 2017…So Far

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2017 has seen some really good albums released. We’ve had great comeback albums, great follow ups, and debuts, that are pretty solid. Obviously we still have half a year left of albums coming out but, these are the best of 2017, so far!

This list is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

 

 

Mastodon- Emperor Of Sand:

 

Darkest Hour- Godless Prophets and The Migrant Flora:

 

With Our Arms To The Sun- Orenda:

 

Black Map- In Droves:

 

Eighteen Visions- XVIII:

 

Mutoid Man- War Moans:

 

 

Depeche Mode- Spirit:

 

Pallbearer- Heartless:

 

Royal Thunder- Wick:

 

Wear Your Wounds- Wear Your Wounds:

 

 

 

Underrated Band: Chevelle

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There are bands out there that get a bad rap for no good reason. And the more you really delve into the band’s albums, you realize that said band is quite good and really consistent in releasing quality material. Over the last few years, I’ve personally noticed that the band Chevelle falls into this category of underrated bands. Not only do they release consistently solid albums but, they’ve upped their game on each album. Rather than just stick with a “radio friendly” formula, the three guys in Chevelle, bucked the trend and went on to create what they wanted to.

After their platinum selling second album, Wonder What’s Next, which featured songs like radio staples “The Red” and “Send The Pain Below,” Chevelle realized that they needed to separate themselves from the rest of the bands of that time. Drawing more on their influences of Helmet, Tool, and The Cure, Chevelle managed to carve out their own little niche. Since Wonder What’s Next, Chevelle has been consistent in putting out solid albums. This Type Of Thinking Could Do Us In and Vena Sera, are very melodic and heavy. Sci-Fi Crimes is a bit of an experimental album for them, as they were toying around with bits of prog rock in their new tunes.

When they made Hats Off To The Bull, that’s when they really found their sound and style. Working with producer/engineer Joe Baressi, was the best thing they could have done. Joe not only has a great ear for production but also tones, and structures. Hats Off, while, not the band’s best effort, was the push in the right direction. When it came time to work on their follow up, La Gargola, Chevelle made a statement with that album. Not only is it an “album” but it was sonically bombastic and written so well. It was the perfect album at the right time. Not long after, when it was time to go back in the studio, Chevelle upped the ante by writing their heaviest album to date, The North Corridor. This album is 10 songs of unrelenting syncopated rhythms and a darker tone.

Chevelle are the type of band that deserves the recognition of being one of the best heavy rock bands since the turn of the century. Their catalog represents that as does their live show. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them in different times of their career, and they have never disappointed. One other thing that makes Chevelle such an underrated band is that they are a great band to recommend to someone that is wanting to get into heavier music but, doesn’t want it to be “too heavy.” Chevelle is and will always be a melodic heavy rock band, and they do it so well.

Give them a chance if you haven’t before. You’ll be surprised at what you missed out on.

 

Wonder What’s Next:

 

This Type Of Thinking Could Do Us In:

 

Vena Sera:

 

Sci-Fi Crimes:

 

Hats Off To The Bull:

 

La Gargola:

 

The North Corridor:

 

 

Band Of The Week: Widower

12374856_1026304504059666_2190545469273611580_o.jpg Over the last decade or so, there has been a really interesting thing happening in the heavy music genre. Rather than just play the same Metallica or Slayer- esque type of thrash, bands have been incorporating other styles to separate themselves from the pack. One such band that I’ve grown fond of over the past few months is Widower. Hailing from Austin, Texas, these gents have taken thrash to another level of heavy by incorporating a black metal vibe and a dash of doom to their music. Widower is a band for today. Their ability to craft chunky and thrashy riffs and rhythms, makes them stand out. Widower’s most recent release The Unholy Oath E.P. is 5 songs of pure heaviness, that will leave you head banging. I personally am looking forward to new music from Widower. Check them out!!

 

Widower- The Unholy Oath:

 

Widower- Into The Crypt: