Month: January 2017

Album Rank: Slayer

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Today would have been Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s 53rd birthday. So I thought, a fun album rank of all of Slayer’s albums is very appropriate. Here we go from their worst to the best.

 

Diabolus In Musica:

 

Repentless:

 

Christ Illusion:

 

World Painted Blood:

 

Undisputed Attitude:

 

God Hates Us All:

 

Divine Intervention:

 

Haunting The Chapel:

 

Show No Mercy:

 

Hell Awaits:

 

South Of Heaven:

 

Reign In Blood:

 

Seasons In The Abyss:

 

 

 

 

 

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Live Review: Code Orange & Youth Code

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I’ll admit, these days to get me to go to a show I have to be really into a band or at least extremely intrigued. Saturday night fell into the latter category. Code Orange is a band that has been getting bigger and more acclaim over the past year. They’ve been on tour with Deftones and will be on the upcoming Killswitch Engage/Anthrax tour. Their new album Forever is quite an interesting mesh of hardcore, industrial and some other genres. So naturally, my curiosity was peaked. Also playing this evening was Youth Code. Their blend of industrial beats, mixed with other electronic elements and harsh hardcore/thrash vocals, makes them a very wise choice for this tour.

Opening the night was two local bands Momentum and Disgrace. Both bands brought a strong energy to set the mood of the night. Maybe it’s just me, and over the years my tastes have changed but honestly, those two bands, while they are good at what they do, just didn’t leave a lasting mark on me.

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When Youth Code took the stage and their entrance music began, you knew you were in for something. Only a two piece, frontwoman/singer Sara Taylor and Ryan George on the synths/sampler and backup vocals, delivered a show stealing performance. The amount of energy mixed with their devotion to their craft was amplified as each song was played. There was a genuine amount of sheer excitement to their set. Personally, I was inspired at the end of their set. Sara and Ryan are masters at what they do. I can honestly tell you that Youth Code puts a majority of those EDM DJ’s (or whatever you call them) to shame. I can’t wait to see them again. Their 2016 album Commitment To Complications is a tour de force.

Headlining the night was Code Orange. As they took the stage, the crowd of many different ages began to assemble closer and closer. The younger kids in the audience were super pumped. As usual I was close enough to feel the vibe but far enough away to keep from getting hit by those kids that do their karate dance moves. On a total side note, that really has to stop. That’s not how you mosh. Kids today have no idea how to properly pit/mosh. But that’s for another day and topic. As Code Orange pummeled through their set a few things came across my mind. The first is, I’m really not sure they know what kind of band they want to be. They have so many influences in their music, that live it seems to get lost in translation. I’ve been to a slew of hardcore shows in my years, and there just seems like something is out of place. The bands drummer and main singer Jami,  has a growling/guttural scream, but I think he should pick either being the drummer or the singer. Jami Morgan is a talented hardcore drummer, but with pulling double duty live, it misses a step. The real bright spot of the band is guitarist Reba Meyers. She slays on her instrument and has the vocal ability to scream and sing. Certain songs played like “Bleeding In The Blur” and “Spy” were outstanding. I really dig these songs. It shows growth and maturity in their playing and ability to write. Other songs played that stood out were “Slowburn,” “My World,” “Forever,” and “The New Reality.”

All in all, this was a very interesting night, and Youth Code were outstanding. I’d really like to see them on a headlining tour in a dark small club with some crazy creepy visuals to accompany them. Code Orange with time, has the intensity to become a really solid heavy band. Once they figure out who they are as a band, they are going to be quite a force to be reckoned with.

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

Band Of The Week: Khemmis

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If there is one thing I love in heavy music, it’s huge riffs. Sometimes the “riff” can transport you to another realm.The vibe alone from that is something special. Then when you combine that riff with melody, oh my, my head will about explode. Recently I came across a band that has mind melting riffs combined with a sense of melody that soars. That band is Khemmis. Their most recent album Hunted, was voted as the album of the year by Decibel magazine. After checking out the album I can see why their album was voted as so. Hunted is chock full of rifftastic gems and melody that adds and an exclamation point to their doomy 70’s influenced rock. There is something else about Khemmis that really stands out too. And that is their dedication to making “albums.” While Hunted is only 5 songs, all the songs are epic and have that ebb and flow, which makes for a great album. So take some time and get familiar with Khemmis, you’ll dig it!

 

Khemmis- Hunted:

Cover Song: Darkest Hour (Judas Priest)- Painkiller

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Here is a fun cover song of Judas Priest’s “Painkiller,” by Darkest Hour.  While the vocals don’t reach the highs of the legendary Rob Halford, Darkest Hour’s version adds a bit of heaviness and grit to the song in terms of the musical arrangement and tones.

Check it out:

Darkest Hour- Painkiller:

 

Judas Priest- Painkiller:

 

Album Review: With Our Arms To The Sun- Orenda

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With the world fast approaching the end, at least there is good music coming out. One of the most anticipated albums of 2017 is finally here, With Our Arms To The Sun‘s new album Orenda. This band has personally given me more hope for the future of music than any other new band I’ve heard in a long time. The four members of With Our Arms To The Sun have the passion and desire to succeed and their devotion to their art is astonishing.

Orenda, which is defined as by the Iroquois is a supernatural force that is believed to be present in varying degrees, in all objects or persons, and that spiritual force is the link toward which human accomplishment is attained or accounted for. So, with that in mind, know that the album that we are talking about is one for the ages. The ten songs that make up the album take you on a journey of self exploration and transcend the norms of rock music. Combining the elements and inspiration of philosophy, prog rock, metal and hope, With Our Arms To The Sun have produced (with the help of Buzz Osborne from The Melvins) an epic album for the times.

From the first song “Disdain- Why I Am” all the way to the final song “Homebound- March of the Trees,”  there is a genuine flow between all songs. The songs range from dark and intense, to ambient and seductive. In particular “Memory- The Drift” “Macrocosm- Prometheus,” “Apex- 100 Year Dream.” “The War- Light The Shadows.” and “Regret- Sailing Stones” encompass all those emotions. Singer/guitarist Josh Breckinridge is a revelation behind the microphone. His ability to lash out into a bellowing scream and then articulate his words with his soothing melodic voice is something that really stands out. Guitarist Joseph Leary adds another layer of heaviness with his back up vocals and his style of guitar playing. Holding down the rhythm ever so pummeling and tight is bassist Joseph Breckinridge and drummer John McLucas, both of whom emit energy and tone that only add to the magnitude of the songs.

I’ve been very impressed with the band not just as musicians but as people too. They are four of the most genuine and humble people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and knowing. Their dedication to their art and music is inspiring. They lay it all on the line every time they take the stage. I’ve mentioned this in other posts about their live shows and I’ll say it again, if your band plays after With Our Arms To The Sun, you best bring your “A” game, because you won’t be able to compete with them. Orenda is an album that emits love, devotion and hope in a time that they are needed more than ever. Do yourselves a favor and buy this album. If you pre-order the album, you get a download of it right away. Do it, it will be one of the smartest things you do all year.

Overall Rating: A+

 

Macrocosm-Prometheus:

 

 

Song Battle: Radiohead vs STP- Creep

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This should be fun. A new battle for the ages. There are so many songs out there and bands often times use titles that others have used as well. So I though it would be fun to put some of those songs/bands up against each other to determine who wrote the better song with the same title.

First up in this battle is Radiohead vs Stone Temple Pilots and their songs “Creep.” Both songs have been around for over 20 years now. They are both really good well written songs. So it seems like this will be a matter of preference. Personally, I’d pick Stone Temple Pilots as the winner.

Who do you think should win this battle?

Radiohead- Creep:

 

Stone Temple Pilots- Creep:

Soundtrack Only Songs: Zach De La Rocha- We Want It All

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Back in 2003 after the break up of Rage Against The Machine, singer Zach De La Rocha traveled to New Orleans and collaborated on about 20 songs with Trent Reznor at his Nothing Studios. Of all those songs they worked on together, this is the only one ever released.  Then in 2004, as Michael Moore was preparing to release his Oscar winning documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, he approached Zach to be a part of the soundtrack. This track is one hell of a song. The production, the music , the lyrics and sense of urgency it brings are tremendous.

 

Zach De La Rocha- We Want It All: