One of the most intriguing things about heavy music and its many sub-genres is the ability to take from all of them and make something fun and interesting. Recently I came across a band that has taken bits of metalcore and added some really cool prog elements as well as a tinge of ambience to find a balance that hits you like a ton of bricks when it all kicks in. That band is Invent Animate. Since their inception, they have played and toured with bands like Silent Planet, Northlane, Erra, Currents, After The Burial and many others. Their new album, Greyview (out now via Tragic Hero Records), is a summation of the description above but offers more than what you’d expect. The arrangements and space on these new songs showcase a band that is truly dedicated to writing deep and lasting songs. Invent Animate is a band that is on the verge of truly finding their sound and separating themselves from their peers.
The 80’s were a very fun time. I grew up listening to all the bands from that era. Some are still favorites to this day. It’s fun these days to hear certain songs from that era and it not only takes you back but, it also provides a bit of fun. One of those songs I remember being a lot of fun is Def Leppards “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Hysteria was such a huge album for the band and for the era. That whole album is basically full of singles. I’ll never forget seeing the videos for all those and singing along. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was definitely the one that stood out the most at the time. Interestingly, this song was the 4th single from the album and it’s what helped propel the album to sell even more millions of copies.
The album Rated R by Queens Of The Stone Age is impeccably extraordinary. I still remember hearing this album in the summer of 2000. It was the perfect album for that time and has remained a favorite of mine for many years. One of the things I remember most about the first time I heard this album was the closing song “I Think I Lost My Headache.” The trip of this album is quite a journey that, when you get to this song, it really encapsulates it. Songs like this especially one albums such as Rated R, make a pretty fun and interesting statement.
Queens Of The Stone Age- I Think I Lost My Headache:
Chevelle is one of the most under appreciated and underrated bands out there. For over 20 years now, they’ve been one of the most consistent rock bands out there. Now in 2021, Chevelle is gearing up to release their ninth (yes, I said 9th) studio album, Niratias (Out March 5th). The first single and video for “Self Destructor” is out now and it’s a banger for sure. When we can go out and enjoy live music again, I guarantee that when they play this song live, it’s going to kick some major ass.
A couple days ago there was a huge David Bowie celebration. Tons of artists took part in this by performing Bowie’s songs. A good portion of these performances were accompanied by Mike Garson, David’s longtime piano player. Among the people performing on this night were, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Dave Navarro, Ian Astbury, Gavin Rossdale, Corey Taylor, Taylor Hawkins and so many more. I saw a few of these performances floating around and there were 2 that really stood out to me. It’s no surprise that the ones Trent Reznor performed were my favorite. He picked “Fantastic Voyage” from Bowie’s album, Lodger as well as “Fashion” from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). He was joined by Mike Garson and Atticus Ross on both songs along with his wife Mariqueen on the latter. Both of these turned out great. I do have to say that Trent’s dance moves during “Fashion” are quite fun to watch.
Heavy music is a huge favorite of mine, in case you didn’t notice. The sheer energy and magnitude from that genre really hits home. One sub-genre that I’ve always been fond of is the Thrash Metal. There’s something about the speed, intensity and prowess that pulls it all together. Recently, I was introduced to a band hailing from Virginia that has nailed the Thrash style. Enforced is a band that has all the right stuff down to the blazing riffs, pummeling breakdowns, and hard pounding rhythms. They remind me a little of the band Power Trip (R.I.P. Riley Gale) as well as early Slayer and Kill Em All era Metallica. Enforced will be releasing their new album, Kill Grid on March 12 (via Century Media). These guys are primed to become one hell of a band to see live, once shows are allowed again. In the mean time check out the these two songs from their upcoming album.
Back in 1997, Jane’s Addiction reunited for a tour with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass instead of Eric Avery. To coincide with that tour, the band released a compilation album called Kettle Whistle featuring live tracks, demos and two new songs (“Kettle Whistle” and “So What”) featuring the “Relapse Tour” lineup. I remember being really excited about this record for some reason. One track on the album has always stood out to me and that is the version of “Three Days.” This live version was taken from their 1990 show at the Hollywood Palladium and it’s absolutely astounding. It’s one of those live versions that far supersedes the studio version.
Jane’s Addiction- Three Days (Live at Hollywood Palladium 1990):
There are certain title tracks that not only summarize the album but also set a tone. For instance, with Neurosis and the title track to their highly influential and amazing album, Through Silver In Blood, the moment the first beat hits, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride. The layers of sludgey distorted guitars, the pummeling drums, bombastic bass, vocals the create a sense of urgency and summon the depths of the underworld, soundscapes that strike bits of fear and chills in your body along with the sheer magnitude of volume being emitted, it’s no wonder that Neurosis and this album set a blueprint for the post metal movement. Clocking in at a little over 12 minutes, “Through Silver In Blood” is one of those songs that not only is epic by nature it takes on a whole other life of its own. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Neurosis perform this song live a few times and every one of those times, this song rattles the room and the audience becomes so hypnotized by it that, when you look around and see the waves of heads banging and swaying, it’s breathtaking. This title track is one of the best ever and this album is a masterpiece.
During these odd strange times, there have been a slew of bands doing fun covers (check out the Two Minutes To Late Night folks for some really great ones). One cover I heard recently, that I’m really enjoying is by one of the bands I’ve featured on here many times, Interstelar. They did a version of AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” and defintely made it their own. Singer Jason Kothman’s voice makes this very cool and unique in a very bluesy sort of way. Do yourself a favor and crank this one up and have some fun!!!
So, 2020 was a pretty meh year but, at least we did get some killer albums out of it. If you haven’t yet checked out the best albums of 2020, do that! In the meantime though, here’s a list of the most anticipated albums for 2021.
Against Me Alphamega Amenra Anthrax Architects- For Those That Wish To Exist Ashes Divide? At The Gates Baroness Birds In Row Cane Hill- Krewe De La Morte Jerry Cantrell Chevelle Contranistas Converge The Cure Daughters Dead Cross Death From Above 1979 Every Time I Die Exodus- Persona Non Grata Foo Fighters- Medicine At Midnight Ghost Gojira Guns N Roses? If It Kills You Judas Priest Kanga- You and I Will Never Die Kerry King King Woman Less Art A Light Within Mastodon Megadeth Metallica Nine Inch Nails Silent Trust The Smashing Pumpkins Spirit In The Room Times Of Grace Vein Chelsea Wolfe Youth Code Rob Zombie- The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy