Since the turn of the century, Mastodon have blazed their own trail and cemented themselves in rock music as one of the greats. Every album of theirs gets better and better. That’s pretty hard to do these days but, the gents in Mastodon have found the way to not just do that but also to make albums cool again. All their albums, even the somewhat disappointing The Hunter, have something special about them. Not to mention that all their albums have amazing closing songs. Check them out below and then I recommend listening to all their albums!
Elephant Man (from Remission):
Joseph Merrick (from Leviathan):
Pendulous Skin (from Blood Mountain):
The Last Baron (from Crack The Skye):
The Sparrow (from The Hunter):
Diamond In The Witch House feat- Scott Kelly of Neurosis (from Once More Round The Sun):
Five years have come and gone since Converge‘s last epic album All We Love We Leave Behind. In those five years, there seems to be no signs of any member of Converge losing their “edge” or desire to push themselves creatively. On their new album The Dusk In Us, Converge takes a bunch of stylistic chances and they all pay off. For a band that has constantly set the bar for this style of music, it definitely doesn’t come as a shock that they are willing to experiment musically, vocally and lyrically to make the best album they can.
The moment the album begins with “A Single Tear” it shows that there are no signs of Converge slowing down. The riff alone will cause you to stir and move. There are songs on the album that are reminiscent of classic style Converge like “Eye Of The Quarrel,” “Under Duress,” “Broken By Light,” and “Cannibals.” Then there are some truly epic songs like “I Can Tell You About Pain,” the title track “The Dusk In Us.” The more experimental songs like “Murk and Marrow,” and especially “Thousands Of Miles Between Us,” and closing song “Reptilian,” show that Converge still has grown over the years but also they have a maturity about them that is often overlooked.
Converge has always done things their way and it’s because of that, that they are highly regarded as highly influential and originators of this style of heavy music. Vocalist/lyricist Jacob Bannon has really spread his wings on this album. Lyrically this is some of his best work and vocally he shows he’s got more that just a guttural scream. Guitarist Kurt Ballou continues to impress with his unique style and impactful riffage. Drummer Ben Koller is an absolute beast and he is fully unleashed on this album. Finally bassist Nate Newton has really come into his own and is showcased more on this album. By Nate adding vocals to the songs, it makes them stand out and his own playing has never sounded better.
The Dusk In Us is one of the best pieces of work Converge has put out. It’s pretty crazy to think that as these guys get older they only get better. Something else about this album that is quite interesting is that Converge still has songs left over that didn’t make the album. One of those songs “Eve” is probably one of the best songs the band has ever written. Do yourself a favor and delve into The Dusk In Us and explore a side of you that you didn’t think existed. You will be quite surprised with how much you enjoy this.
A while back I wrote about a new band comprised of former members of DevilDriver, God Forbid and Divine Heresy called Bad Wolves. They had just released their debut single “Learn To Live” and now have unleashed a new song that steps up their game even more. The new song “Toast To The Ghost” is heavy and melodic with all the metal you need to blast through your speakers. I still stand by the comparison of Bad Wolves having a Meshuggah meets Sevendust vibe only with this song, they add some other flair to the song with the vocals. So check out “Toast To The Ghost” from their upcoming debut album which will be out in 2018.
In today’s modern metal scene there are so many different sub-genres that it’s getting harder to pinpoint exactly where bands fit. That’s not the case with Valor and Vengeance. They know exactly what they are and where they fit. Their use of melodic sensibility and syncopated rhythms make them stand out among their peers. I like to think of Valor and Vengeance as sounding like Avenged Sevenfold if the latter had balls and didn’t suck. Singer Adam Ryan has a commanding presence to go along with his exceptional vocals and uplifting lyrics. The dueling guitars of Mike Muenzer and Tyler Morgan are on par with many of their contemporaries. While the rhythm of bassist Paul Perry is tight and precise. From the two songs they have released so far, “Sinking Further” and “Devil’s Highway,” you can tell they are serious about this band and their want to expand past the underground heavy circuits. Check out Valor and Vengeance and play it loud!
Remember the band Cold? I sure do. Their album 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage is one hell of an album and is still in constant rotation in my stereo since it came out over 15 years ago. The members of Cold have been hard at work on a new album, scheduled for a 2018 release via Napalm Records. The following is a rough version of a new song called “Beautiful Life.” Check it out!
Thrice are one of the most influential bands in the post hardcore genre. For almost 20 years, the guys in Thrice have done it their way and left their mark. The 9 albums they have released are all unique in their own way and full of many memorable songs. Looking back at their catalog, they don’t seem to have too many songs left over as b sides, but the ones they do have are quite awesome all on their own. Check these out!