A couple weeks back I introduced you all to Del Judas and showcased a couple songs from his debut album Deity. Over the course of a few weeks I’ve had the chance to really delve into this album and I have to say it’s magnificent. The gothic vibe along with post-punk nature, and classic country style of Johnny Cash really makes this album a standout of the year. As a music fan, this is one album that not only deserves to be in your collections but also played on repeat for a great deal of time.
There is something magical about this record. For all the darkness that surrounds the songs, there truly seems to be a sense of optimism brewing underneath the songs. Each song has a way of pulling you in and allows you to get lost in the music and lyrics. The general vibe from the album itself is layered with dark and dreary tones but, is soothing and at the same time a bit mysterious. Those moments also help to really bring the material to life. When you have songs like “Dancing With The Dead,” “Touching Fire,” “Through The Glass,” “Of Love and Death,” and “Deity,” to name a few, it’s not hard to see and hear just how mesmerizing this album truly is. Every song on this record plays a vital role in creating not just a soundscape but a dark romantic sensibility.
Deity is an album that will and should be on top ten lists at the end of the year. This is one of my absolute favorite albums I’ve heard this year. I can’t stop listening to it. Even while driving I tend to get lost in the songs and wish the album didn’t have to end. Do yourself a favor and really take some time and get into this album. Not only will you thank me later but, you’ll fall in love with just how good this album is. I really hope there is more to come from Del Judas, because this is only just the beginning of something great.
Overall Rating: A
Del Judas- Deity:
There are bands in every genre of music that take a left turn thus creating something that stands out and is extremely impactful. Within the hardcore or post hardcore genre, there are countless bands but the ones that I’ve always been drawn to are the ones that take a chance and create something that is full of vigor and vision. Birds In Row are one of those bands for me. One their new album, We Already Lost The World, Birds In Row take a darker, slower and moodier turn without losing the fierce and ferociousness that they have become known for over the years. Musically they have really evolved into a band that understands the importance of what is best for the song. Vocally and lyrically, they are sending a message through the words and performances.
I’ve had the time to sit with this album and it has really become one of my favorite albums of the year. There is something truly moving about the way this album flows and sounds. It has a vibe that is similar to that of the Refused’s The Shape Of Punk To Come, in that it’s impactful and leaves you wanting to start the album over as soon as it’s done. Starting the album off with “We Count So We Don’t Have To Listen” is one hell of a statement. As the songs continue with tracks like “Love Is Political,” the very emotional “We Vs Us,” and “Remember Us Better Than We Are,” the deep and dark “I Don’t Dance,” as well as the very mature “15-38,” and the moody yet explosive “Fossils,” it just goes to show that Birds In Row have something that needs to be said and the way they went about it is devastatingly beautiful.
We Already Lost The World is one of those albums that will leave a mark on you. The sheer intensity that comes out of each song and performance is astounding. Birds In Row are a band that not only have captured a real essence of “post-hardcore,” they have created a new blueprint for the genre.
Overall Rating: A
Birds In Row- We Already Lost The World:
Birds In Row- I Don’t Dance (Video):
The final installment of Nine Inch Nails 3 EP set is finally upon us. Bad Witch is the conclusion to Not The Actual Events and Add Violence and it provides a sense of closure to this piece of work. What Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have created is something that they should be proud of. Each EP stands out on its own merit, with each representing something different. Bad Witch seems to take a little bit from each of the other two and deconstruct it and open the wound for all to see.
Starting off with “Shit Mirror” is a perfect way to set the tone for what this EP is to be. Plus with a title like “Shit Mirror” you know you are going to get something that tingles up and down your spine. “Ahead Of Ourselves” is classic NIN over and over. This song could have been found on Broken or The Downward Spiral. And live, this song is one of those that the crowd will eat up. “Play The Goddamned Part” acts more as a segue but adds a very distinct mood to the middle part of the record. “God Break Down The Door” is a very Bowie-esque song that is more of a tribute to the late David Bowie. The saxophone parts on the song make the song feel bigger than it is and full of texture. “I’m Not From This World” is a stark and ambient track that will sink into your head and guide you along an escape from yourself. “Over and Out” segues perfectly from the previous song and in a beautiful way that is almost haunting and leaves you with a mantra.
The distorted electro jazz that permeates from the speakers as you listen to this EP, sucks you in to a vortex of awesomeness. The entire album is a David Bowie tribute in a way. You can definitely hear the inspiration and influence all over this album. In particular Bowie’s “Low” era. Bad Witch is a pessimistic album but it does come with a grain of optimism. It’s crazy to think that it’s been 30 years since Nine Inch Nails was first formed. Being a fan since I was a little kid till now as a full on adult, I and many of the fans out there, have been able to witness the true artistry of Trent. Each era and album that has ever been put out tells its own story. With the world the way it is now, it’s no wonder that this 3 part saga feels the way it does. Bad Witch is the perfect way to end this chapter. I sincerely hope that there is more to come. Trent and Atticus seemed to have really hit on something full of inspiration.
Overall Rating: A
Nine Inch Nails- Bad Witch:
It’s been four years since Baptists have released a new album. Now in 2018, they have put out one of the best heavy albums of the year. The sheer intensity that is emitted from the 13 songs on Beacon Of Faith is astonishing. Chock full of gritty riffs and pummeling rhythms, Baptists have indeed developed their signature sound and left a permanent mark in hardcore/metal music.
The album doesn’t stray far from the bands metallic hardcore roots. What it does have though is more space and vibes as the songs go on. There is a real sense of warmth to this album even with the aggressive and uncompromising nature of the material. Songs like “Worse Than Hate,” “Beacon Of Faith,” “Gift Taker,” “Vicarious Trauma,” and “Bevel Down” showcase the grit and prowess that Baptists do oh so well. Then there are songs like “Indigo Child” and “Eulogy Template” that take what they do and expand it to almost epic proportions.
Beacon of Faith is an album that will cement Baptists as a force to be reckoned with. This album has the feel of a steel toed boot to the throat that won’t let go.
Baptists- Beacon Of Faith:
There are people out there that want to say rock is dead. Well it’s not and never will be. In this day and age you just have to search for it since the radio waves are pretty much all crappy pop and wannabe hip hop. Thankfully there are a few bands that are making an impact at radio and making people wake up to the fact that rock music is still alive and well. Bad Wolves are one of those bands and they have really taken the music world by storm. Back in 2017 they released their first song “Learn To Live” and that created a strong buzz about the band. Then in early 2018 they released their cover of The Cranberries classic “Zombie” and from that point they have been on fire.
There are bands that when they put out a new album you know what you are going to get. Each album offers a couple different things but for the most part it’s not going to stray too far from what the band does.
Finding the right balance of being heavy and melodic isn’t as easy as you would think. There are many bands over the years that have mastered it and there are others that just miss the mark.