Month: November 2016

On The Rise: Oathbreaker

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How do I explain what you are about to hear? Let’s start by telling you that this band, Oathbreaker, is one of the most intelligent, deep, intense,  and beautiful bands I’ve heard in a long time. When I first put on their album Rheia, I was completely taken aback by the sheer intensity and absolute beauty in the music, lyrics and vocals. Now, Oathbreaker isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you appreciate music and different genres like I do, then you are in for a treat.

Oathbreaker has been around since 2008. They are from Ghent, Belgium. Their music is best described as post hardcore meets black metal, so I’m going to say they are post black metal. They have released 3 full length albums and 1 EP, each of their releases has seen the band evolve and create their own niche within the heavy music world. Guitarist Lennart Bossu, bassist Gilles Demolder and drummer Wim Coppers (who replaced original drummer Ivo Debrabandere) have created music that transcends the genres they are associated with. There is a clarity to the music and songs that will hit you emotionally just as the vocals and lyrics of singer Caro Tanghe. Caro’s delivery is pure, dark and full of emotion. Lyrically the songs are haunting and honest, all the while being poetic.

Their new album Rheia is a revelation. Easily a top ten album of the year for me. Oathbreaker are the type of band that will leave you speechless and inspired at the same time. I for one am totally enthralled by the way the band captivated me. I can’t wait till their next tour of the states so I can see them perform these songs live.

Check out a truly great band, and give a different genre a shot. You might very well surprise yourself by how much you enjoy it.

 

Oathbreaker- Rheia:

 

Oathbreaker- 10:56/Second Son of R:

 

Oathbreaker- Immortals:

 

Oathbreaker- Audiotree Sessions Live:

 

 

Top Ten Bands A-Z: L

The journey continues to find the top ten bands/artists in the alphabet. L is here and unlike the past few letters this one should be less difficult to complete. As usual your suggestions are wanted in completing this list. These are in no particular order as well.

 

01) Led Zeppelin
02) Love
03) John Lennon
04) Lynryd Skynyrd
05)
06)
07)
08)
09
10)

Ultimate Set List: A Perfect Circle

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Since the announcement that A Perfect Circle will be returning, I thought making an ultimate set list for them is very appropriate.

I’m curious to see what your ultimate/dream set list would be for A Perfect Circle.

As usual here are the rules:

Rule 1: What line up of the band would it be

Rule 2: Where would you want to see the show

Rule 3: maximum 25 songs

 

Lineup: Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Danny Lohner, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Paz Lenchantin

Venue: Fonda Theatre- Los Angeles, CA

Set List:

01) The Hollow
02) The Outsider
03) Rose
04) Orestes
05) Gravity
06) Passive
07) Sleeping Beauty
08) Weak and Powerless
09) By and Down
10) The Package
11) Judith
12) Thomas
13) Thinking of You
14) Blue
15) Pet
16) The Noose
17) 3 Libras
18) Magdalena

A Perfect Circle Is Coming Back

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I wrote a piece a while back about A Perfect Circle needing to come back. Well it seems like it is actually going to happen. During a recent stop along Maynard’s book tour in Los Angeles, A Perfect Circle guitarist was the moderator at this stop, and they both said that the band was going to get back together. Billy and Maynard both said they had been working on new music. Billy said that he has about 75% of an album completed musically. They also announced that they would be playing a show at the Hollywood Bowl, May 7, 2017.

This is very exciting news, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for a new Tool album any time soon. I don’t know about you all, but, I sure was getting tired of all the Puscifer releases.

There is one caveat I have about them getting back together and that is coming back with the right lineup. They people that replaced Josh Freese, Troy Van Leeuwen, Danny Lohner and Paz Lenchantin, are solid musicians but, they really don’t fit in the band. Let’s hope Josh and Danny come back with this reunion.

Welcome back A Perfect Circle!

 

Mer De Noms:

 

The Thirteenth Step:

Anticipated Albums: Black Map-In Droves

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2016 was a great year for new music, and it looks like 2017 is shaping up to be pretty solid too. One of the new albums I am really looking forward to is the new one from Black Map. If you aren’t familiar with Black Map, you really should get acquainted. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live a couple times and interviewing them. They are one of the best new bands to come on the scene in a very long time.

Their new album In Droves, comes out March 10th through EOne Music. The first song released “Run Rabbit Run” is quite the hard charging and rocking track. Singer/bassist Ben Flanagan (of The Trophy Fire) along with guitarist Mark Engles (of Dredg) and drummer Chris Robyn (of Far), are quite the impactful power trio. Check out their new tracks and their debut album below.

 

Black Map- Ruin:

 

Black Map- Run Rabbit Run:

 

Debut Album

Black Map- And We Explode:

 

Stop Hating On Metallica!!!!

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Over the last few days I’ve read a slew of other people’s reviews about Metallica’s new album, Hardwired…To Self Destruct. A good majority of the complaints say there is too much on it, the songs are too long, it sounds too much like Load and The Black Album or there isn’t enough of their classic sound. Are you people ever satisfied? Metallica has written an “album” people!!! You know, one of those pieces of music that you listen to from start to finish. Each song takes you on an emotional ride of aggression, pain, anger, and other tumultuous feelings. Hell, they purposely made it a double album to show you that this is an album. Hardwired is an album that is a summation of everything Metallica has ever done. The songs have elements of their classic thrash style from the Kill Em All era all the way through And Justice For All, the more riff driven Black album style, and the solemn bluesy material a la Load. But that isn’t good enough for some of you elitists out there. This album is seriously one of their best. I for one am proud to say that. Not just as a fan but, as a musician, writer, and someone that understands sonics and dynamics in songwriting and recording. I’m curious to know how many of these so called “critics” have ever actually played an instrument or played in a band. I would bet that 9 out of 10 haven’t. It shows by how you judge an album. You’re opinion is your own, and I won’t begrudge you that, but most of you need to get your heads out of your ass and pay attention to what is happening here.  This album has the ability to help reinvigorate and inspire legions of people to grab instruments and start a band. All you elitist/posers out there remind me of those that are so critical of film, yet have never made one. Until you’ve tried it, and really given it a shot, you can’t say anything. To me you all just sound like trolls.

Let me further explain why you all should stop hating on Metallica. Rather than tarnish their legacy over the years and just throw out albums, like some of their peers (Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax), they have taken the time to work on making the absolute best album they can. And on this new one Metallica really succeeds. Hardwired is the album all you “critics” have been whining about wanting for years. How can you not see it? A good majority of Metallica’s early songs were all six or seven minutes long. It wasn’t until The Black Album, that they wrote shorter songs. You wanted thrashy classic songs? It’s thrashy throughout the entire thing!  You all complain about James’s voice? This is the best he has sounded on an album in years. Even Lars Ulrich’s playing on the new album is great. Yes Lars is playing his ass off on this album. He isn’t trying to be flashy and over do it. Instead he sticks to what he knows the songs needs and it comes across in a way that is pummeling, just like the riffs. Kirk Hammett’s solos on this new album are hypnotic at times and classic. Robert Trujillo’s playing is back to the Cliff days.

Metallica are the Kings of Metal and Hard Rock for a reason. They work hard and play harder than most. They don’t need to have 25 albums in their catalog to show that. How many bands can you name that have a catalog like Metallica’s, where pretty much every album is undeniably great? Their first five albums are classics and game changers. Load is a tremendous and mature album. Give it another listen and you’ll see what I mean.  Reload and St. Anger have some really good songs, and if they were produced and recorded properly, could probably be right up there in terms of great songs Metallica has ever put out. Death Magnetic was a record that got them back to their roots and allowed Hardwired To Self Destruct to be created. Yes the compression levels on it were too much, but you can’t doubt the songs. Especially  “The Day That Never Comes,” ” All Nightmare Long,” “Cyanide,” “Suicide & Redemption,” and ” The Judas Kiss.”

They’ve always done what they wanted, and have grown more as a band than most. Their songwriting ability alone is unrivaled. I would dare most bands to try and write a better song than James Hetfield can. He is probably one of the most underrated songwriters, guitarists, lyricists and singers of all time. This new album is a great example of that. Hardwired To Self Destruct is the Metallica album for the 21st century. These songs like like “Hardwired,” Atlas, Rise,” “Moth Into Flame,” “Halo on Fire,” “Spit Out The Bone,” hell all of them, are going to blow you away live.

Embrace your love for the band, and know that they gave you all what you want and then some!… STOP HATING ON METALLICA.

Band Of The Week: A Mirror Hollow

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One of the things I look for in bands is a sense of melody. Without melody, the music all blurs into noise. There is a band out there that is taking the combination of melody and heavy rock to new heights, A Mirror Hollow. This 4 piece band, based out of Los Angeles, is exciting and bringing the melodically heavy with them. A Mirror Hollow has released their self titled EP a while back and since then, the band has only gotten better and have really found their sound on newer songs like “Ridicule The Innocent” and “Blame.” Their live shows are as energetic as their music and then some. Each member of the band brings a unique element to the group, making them something to be intrigued by. A Mirror Hollow is on the right track to make an impact among their peers, and those listening to sing along.

 

Blame:

 

Ridicule The Innocent:

 

A Mirror Hollow EP: