Album Review

Album Review: Lamb Of God- Lamb Of God

Lamb Of God - Official Site

Lamb Of God have been at this for over two decades now and have solidified their place in the heavy music community. Throughout their time, they’ve released two albums that have become classics in the metal world (As The Palaces Burn and Ashes Of The Wake). Now, in 2020, Lamb Of God have released a new album with a renewed sense of energy that hasn’t been heard from them in a long while. That’s not to say that this sounds like a different band, it’s still Lamb through and through. Longtime drummer Chris Adler is no longer in the fold and has been replaced with the very accomplished Art Cruz (formerly of Winds Of Plague and Prong).

This album definitely seems to pick up where their previous one, VII Sturm Und Drang left off. There’s plenty of intricate parts, thrashy elements and metal to go around as well as a new groove that seems to have energized all the members to pick it up a bit more. Album opener “Memento Mori” has some very cool vibes that show that this is more than just a run of the mill song. The clean vocals from Randy Blythe actually fit in really well on this track. “Checkmate” lyrically is hard charging but, musically it does sound a bit familiar. “Gears” offers a bit more of that new groove I mentioned. I have a feeling this song live would be crowd favorite. My favorite song on the new album is “Reality Bath.” This one shows off a lot of diversity in what this band can do. The arrangement on this song along with “that groove” makes this one a stand out. “New Colossal Hate” is straight up Lamb Of God. This song needs to be added to their set list. It definitely has a bit of an Ashes vibe to it as well. “Resurrection Man” is a pretty fun song in that it has a bit of a Pantera-ish vibe mixed with a bit a sort of prog element too. This would be an interesting one to hear live. “Poison Dream” features Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta. This song is another very Lamb sounding song. Jamey’s vocals do tend to get lost in the shuffle on this track. It would have been cooler if there was a badass breakdown and he was unleashed. “Routes” is a very introspective song lyrically about Randy’s time spent protesting at the Dakota Access Pipeline. Testament’s Chuck Billy guests on this track in a passionate way. “Bloodshot Eyes” is a song that musically could have fit very easily on guitarist Mark Morton’s solo album. The inclusion of mostly clean vocals on this one is sure to separate some fans but, it’s definitely a welcome change. “Off The Hook” closes out the album and this one is pretty hard charging.

This album is Lamb Of God doing what they do. It’s not reinventing the wheel. It does have a bit of a different vibe since Chris Adler is no longer involved but, it was needed change. Art Cruz, like I mentioned before, has brought a new energy and groove to the band. That groove he learned from playing in Prong, definitely shows through. Mark Morton and Willie Adler have really become quite the guitar duo over the years and on this album it really comes to light a bit more. John Campbell is a seriously underrated bass player. His style along with Art’s are super in sync and it allows for the right amount of breath to be let out on these songs. Randy Blythe’s vocals have really taken shape in interesting ways. He’s still ferocious and gritty but, being able to expand upon the dynamics of the songs with clean parts give these songs something more than just a run of the mill vibe. Overall, this album is solid and a great place to start anew. I can definitely see a few of these songs becoming live staples for a good amount of time. Also, I can really see Art Cruz finding his own place in this band and helping to push the boundaries of what this band can do.

Rating: 8/10

Lamb Of God- Lamb Of God:

 

 

 

 

Album Review: Elder- Omens

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As a fan of music, the first thing I do when I get an album is put it on and just let it take me where it’s supposed to go. Obviously, it takes more than one listen to fully grasp everything that is in there but, when it finally reaches that apex, the moment is what keeps me coming back. Recently, the new Elder album was dropped off in my inbox and I was very intrigued to delve into this one. I’ve heard a few songs of theirs over the years and have dug what they’ve been doing. So before I fully immersed myself into their new album, I had to go back and see where it all started. Well, I’m glad I did. The progression this band has shown from album one till their new one, Omens, is astounding. Moving across the many sub-genres of rock and metal, Elder has established themselves as one of the most epic bands out there and on Omens, they have fully cemented themselves as one of the best to do it in this day and age.

The more I listen to this album, the more I pick up on different things to enjoy about it. Rather than rely on a classic sludgey/stoner mentality, they went off in this really cool Zeppelin meets Deep Purple territory that is parts psychedelic, experimental and full of crisp tones that let your mind wander. There’s also some really cool prog rock moments in these songs that help to build on what I just mentioned without it becoming to grandiose or Toolish for the sake of just wanking off. The five songs on Omens, are crafted without a doubt to bring about new textures and surprise longtime fans of the new directions they are going. Even if this is the first album you’ve ever heard from Elder, you will instantly be drawn into the lush soundscapes and trippy structures. Omens is the type of album that this band was meant to make. When you look back on where they began till now, it’s obvious that this was meant to be and in a total good way. I was trying to think of another band that had a similar trajectory and I came up with a couple, Mastodon, Baroness and Pallbearer. Each of those bands started as this big riff magnet but over time, really took the time to enhance their sound and delve deeper within to make something that really spoke volumes. Elder is now in that company.

Omens is an album that deserves not only your time and patience but, it’s also one that will, for an hour, let your mind escape and wander to many different places. This is what music is all about. That feeling of ease and letting go, even if it’s just for a few moments, it will most definitely give you what you need. The talent is there, the songs are here and the sound is just right to capture the essence of the vibe that Elder is transmitting. So, do yourself a favor and dig into Omens and go on the ride.

 

Overall Rating: A

 

Elder- Omens:

 

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Album Review: Pearl Jam- Gigaton

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Pearl Jam since the turn of the century, has long had an interesting history when it comes to releasing new music. Their first three albums are absolute classics and are highly regarded. Then a switch happened after album number three, and things started to change. There were many different catalysts in that change and some of the material from that point on was disregarded at the time but, later became recognized for taking a chance and actually were very solid albums (No Code and Yield), while some fell flat and left people wondering what else they had in the tank (Binural and Riot Act). There were flashes though of what Pearl Jam was known for and their self titled album (or the Avacado album as many know it as) saw the band recapture a bit of what made them such a force to begin with. And then came Backspacer and Lightning Bolt. Both of which have good songs on them but as a whole, they really aren’t all that great. Which brings us to their new material and 11th studio album, Gigaton.

Gigaton is, as you’d expect Pearl Jam doing what they do. It’s got songs for everyone of their fans but, it doesn’t feel cohesive. It’s as though it was pieced together from various sessions the band has had over the course of a few years. The experimentation is welcoming but, the way it’s all arranged, doesn’t fit and leaves the listener in a bit confusion as to where this album is going. The record starts off with “Who Ever Said,” a very classic PJ rock track. This is a song that could very well have easily been heard on say VS and Vitology or even Yield. I would bet money that this song live will be one hell of a track. “Superblood Wolfmoon” is another “classic-ish” sounding PJ song but gets more into where they were experimenting. The guitar solo in the bridge section by Mike McCready is absolutely stunning though. That guy is an absolute gem and one of the most underrated guitarists. Again, this song live will go over quite well. “Dance Of The Clairvoyants” is one of the most daring songs the band has ever put out. At first it’s a bit strange but, the more you listen, the better it gets. It’s definitely out there and has a totally different vibe, venturing into almost Brian Eno territory. Lyrically, this is one hell of a song. “Quick Escape” is another solid rock tune that will again make it seem like it’s 1994 all over again. From this point though on the album is where things begin to shift and feel out of place. “Alright” provides this really interesting vibe with some introspective lyrics and a song that is very well written. “Seven O’Clock” is a very poignant song as well and could easily be mistaken for a Eddie Vedder solo song. “Never Destination” is another track that if played live, will go over extremely well. It’s got the potential to be a fan favorite for many years to come. “Take The Long Way” is a track with great guitar work and the rumbling bass gives this song a distinct vibe that feels like it could have been found on their self titled album. “Buckle Up” is a great lyrically driven song but, it’s one of the most out of place songs in terms of album sequencing. “Comes Then Goes” is a great song in terms of songwriting and arrangement abilities. It’s got this really cool “folky” sense to it with great melody. “Retrograde” is another well written song that just feels like it was placed in this spot with no proper introduction from one song to another. “River Cross” closes out the album with a deep seeded message and a bit of reassurance.

All in all, Gigaton is a solid album full of really strong songs but, it doesn’t have the cohesive feel to really make it feel whole. There is an huge sense of optimism on this album that is sure to make the listener think and when they listen again, pull other things out of it. That is something that all Pearl Jam albums have in common. They all make you get out of your comfort zone whether you like it or not. After multiple listens and then going back through the band’s catalog, I’ve come to a few conclusions about the shift that changed Pearl Jam. For one, the band is and for many many years has become Eddie Vedders. Stone Gossard was such an integral force in making Ten and VS so great but, his contributions seem to have been pushed to the side for many years. Also the drums. This is not a knock on Matt Cameron as a player but, he really just doesn’t quite fit the needs of Pearl Jam. When you go back to the albums that Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons played on, you can really feel the drums in a way that created a true pulse and that’s been lacking for many years.  Matt Cameron plays with a sort of drag or low pulse that can’t keep up with the way things probably should sound. Another thing that Gigaton suffers from is its mix. It’s not mixed well at all. Brendan O’Brien, the man behind the boards for many of Pearl Jam’s albums, knew how to really make each instrument shine, even if the song was meh. Granted this whole album is a bit of an experiment, the final result of the mixes makes it feel a bit unfinished. In spite of all those things I just mentioned, Gigaton, does provide the rock music world a bit of something new and seemingly fresh from a band that for 30 years, has been consistently pushing themselves to deliver something more than just the same run of the mill sort of material many would just cave in to. With the right amount of time, Gigaton will settle in nicely to the bands catalog and take its own shape.

Overall Rating: B-/C+

 

Pearl Jam- Gigaton:

 

Album Review: Liam Gallagher- Why Me? Why Not.

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In 2017, Liam Gallagher released his debut solo album, As You Were. That album was quite exquisite and it brought life back into Liam along with his legendary voice. Now, here we are a couple years later and Liam has released a new album Why Me? Why Not. This record picks up where the debut left off but, on this one, it gets a bit deeper and more expressive. There’s a nice layer of nostalgia to the album but, it doesn’t rely on it to make it’s point. Instead it’s an album that covers many things from being introspective to what the future holds. The songs and especially Liam’s vocals really draw you in just as the classic Oasis albums did.

The album starts off with a great rock song in “Shockwave.” It’s a very in your face track that will sure be a stellar live song. It’s also got a lot of attitude to it that propels the album as well. “One Of Us” is very blatantly about his brother Noel. It’s also one of the most profound songs Liam has ever sung. There’s a particularly great dig at Noel in the song when Liam sings “You said we’d live forever/Who do you think you’re kiddin’?” a nod to the Definitely Maybe track. That part is so striking. Even the video is stunning. “Once” is another very powerful song that will get all your feelings going as you listen. It’s a very retrospective song that no doubt will have people wanting to reach for their Oasis albums. “Now That I Found You” is a very heartfelt song to his daughter that is full of great melodies. “Halo” is a really solid song that also helps to bring the album back up to a more up tempo beat. “Why Me? Why Not” is a very Liam does John Lennon-esque song. It’s a very sincere and humbling track. One that should be celebrated as a rebirth of sorts for Liam. “Be Still” (which is my favorite song on the album as of this writing) is an edgy rock song that, if played live will be huge. It’s also a soaring song with lyrics and melodies that really help to make this a stand out. “Alright Now” is another song that is pretty deep and chock full of maturity that a young Liam would probably snicker at. “Meadow” is a bit of a solemn song with a sense of optimism and hope to it. The organ and guitars have this cool swell to them which helps to make this song have a cool swing to it that makes it sort of psychedelic. “The River” is another huge song on the album. It’s got a bit of an anthemic feel to it to go along with a later 60’s vibe. This is another one that live will be stellar. Closing the album out is “Gone.” This song feels like it takes on a message of what the whole album is about. There is still a bit of attitude and swagger to it while at the same time it’s almost like a coming to terms with life type of song.

Why Me? Why Not is one hell of an album. It’s honest, pure and humbling. Liam has even said he’s not much of a songwriter so, with the help of Greg Kurstin and Andrew Wyatt, they have helped to make sure Liam’s words and voice are put on a pedestal and celebrated as each song plays. This isn’t Oasis by any means but, these songs have the ability to stand up with a slew of the classic songs from that era. There is obviously a throwback of sorts to Oasis and the past but, this album doesn’t live there. It’s modern and feels inspired while keeping true to who Liam is not just as a person but as a singer, lyricist, and the rock star that he is. Why Me? Why Not is the perfect name for this album. It’s everything you’d want to hear from Liam and then some. He’s still got the charm and rasp that made him a star to begin with only now, he’s more mature and can see the error of his way. As You Were and Why Me? Why Not can stand up against anything Liam has done in his career and look back on with delight. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this album, you won’t regret it.

Overall Rating: A

Liam Gallagher- Why Me? Why Not:

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Album Review: Tool- Fear Inoculum

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Tool’s new album is one of the most anticipated albums ever. The drama and hype surrounding this album have been astounding. Even the rumors about this album have given it all sorts of life before anyone even heard a single note. Finally, after 13 years of waiting, the long anticipated album has arrived. The big question though is, was it worth the wait? Well, in the next few minutes of you reading this, you will get my opinion on that.

I still remember hearing Tool for the first time and thinking this was really cool. The first song I ever heard was “Sober” and the video was pretty stimulating to watch. Undertow was obtained a few days later and after that I was hooked. When Aenima was released that changed everything. That album is a masterpiece straight up. Then 5 years after that, Lateralus was unleashed on the world and that left one hell of a lasting impression on everyone. 10,000 Days though, was a record though that took a long long long time to really get into but, one it finally clicked, it made sense. Especially the song “Right In Two.”

Now here we are, thirteen years removed from 10,000 Days and Fear Inoculum has finally arrived. The thing is though, was 13 years too long? Yes, yes it was. Allow me to further explain. When a band takes this long to release an album, one would expect the record to be truly masterful, evolved and takes things to another level. Each song on Fear Inoculum feels as though it was obsessed over, torn down and rebuilt to try and create a substantial song but, that amount of detail and agonizing over has provided a bloated sense that these songs are more than just a glorified wank fest.  Instead, what was released was a self indulgent piece of art that is so wrapped up in its own ego that it’s truly hard to really get to the nitty gritty of what is there. It’s not that the album isn’t good, it is, it’s just that this album is drab and feels uninspired. I’m all for long songs. I love listening to an album that really takes you on a journey. This album however, only takes me on a journey to fall asleep.

That’s not to say there aren’t moments of brilliance on this album. The odd time signatures are aplenty and the Tool sound is ever prevalent. The song everyone seems to be so jazzed about is “7empest.” That song if you were to really cut the fat out of it has the potential to be one of the most legendary Tool songs in their catalog. That song really has some defining moments for the record.  Fear Inoculum is definitely an album that, with the right amount of patience and time, one can come to really enjoy. This is not a casual listen type of album. As with every Tool album, there is a depth to it that takes time to unravel and decipher. This album not only has those elements but there also seems to be another level that they went to that isn’t quite easy to digest. Among the other gripes I have with the album is Maynard’s vocals. It’s as though his vocals were just placed in spots without the right amount of attention needed to truly highlight the singer. All the time spent working on the actual music and not having Maynard in the room really takes away from what this album could have been. Danny Carey is truly a drum champion but, even his parts on this album just like guitarist Adam Jones, tends to go on and one a bit too long and tend to drone on with no end point. That’s not to say they aren’t good at what they do, they just needed to reign it in a bit more and be more concise about the length of parts. My other issue is not having enough moments for Justin Chancellor to shine. On the previous couple albums, Justin had been at the forefront of many of the songs but, on this one he too seems to have taken a back seat and because of that, the album loses a bit of the aura it should have with Justin’s bass tone and playing. The production on the album though is stellar. Sonically it does sound good and it’s mixed very well.

As I mentioned above, it’s not that this album isn’t good, it is but, it’s just rather drab and boring. I know there are a ton of you out there that think this is the be all end all of albums in 2019 but, it’s really just hype. After 13 years, this is the best that they could do? Maynard was even quoted in a recent interview that the album could have been released 8 years ago. I will continue to go back to this album and see if my mind changes about it. I’ve listened quite a few times and even with each listen, I still find myself wanting to reach for a pillow and just drift off to sleep. One other thing, I do find it quite interesting that both the Tool and A Perfect Circle albums have been quite underwhelming. Is it possible that after all this time both bands have lost the fire that once drove them?

Overall Rating: B-

 
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Album Review: Baroness- Gold & Gray

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Ever since they released their Red album, Baroness have been on one hell of a journey. One that would take the band to different highs and lows both musically and personally. Through all that though, Baroness has always persevered and used all of that to create albums (yes I said albums) that encapsulate everything into a beautiful piece of work. Now in 2019, with the release of Gold and Grey, Baroness have rediscovered parts of themselves with an album that is truly a work of art from start to finish. This album is one of the best of 2019 without a doubt.

The moment the album begins with “Front Toward Enemy” there is a feeling that overtakes the listener with a sense of “here we go.” There’s a section in the song lyrically that I like to think of as foreshadowing “We’re headed for disaster, But I won’t close my eyes until it’s over, So carry on.” To me that is such a powerful statement and one that thematically resonates throughout the entire album. As the album continues on, the songs have this wonderful ebb and flow that really pulls you in and crawls under your skin in such a way that you find a sense of comfort in the music, words, and melodies. Songs like “I’m Already Gone,” “Seasons,” “Tourniquet,” “Throw Me An Anchor,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Emmett- Radiating Light,” “Cold-Blooded Angels,” “Broken Halo,” “Borderlines,” and “Pale Sun” are all stunning on their own merit but, as a whole they really deliver something spectacular.

 
The addition of guitarist/vocalist Gina Gleason has given Baroness the touch they’ve always needed. Gina’s guitar playing is outstanding and she and singer/guitarist John Dyer Baizley play off each other in wondrous fashion but, her vocal ability is what really takes this album and it’s songs to anther level. The delicate textures on this album courtesy of the harmonizing vocals makes Gold & Grey stand out even more in the bands catalog. Drummer Sebastian Thomson and bassist Nick Jost, provide this album with a rhythm that is thunderous and pummeling but, in a way that is delicate and dense. The band has always been a stellar band but, this lineup is truly the essence of what Baroness is. There’s only one thing about this album that is off and that’s the mix. It’s pushed a bit too far into the red making for a distorted fuzz sound that at times, overtakes the music and the textures. That’s really the one fault this album has. Other than that, what a great album.

Gold & Grey is an album that with out a doubt stands out not just in Baroness’s catalog but, also in today’s musical climate. The creative elements that brought these songs together shine ever so bright. If you would have told me when I first heard Baroness, that one day they’d release an album like this, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, here we are and they have made a remarkable piece of work, one that will be a pinnacle for bands to follow and be inspired by.

 

Overall Rating= A

 

Baroness- Gold & Grey:

 

 

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Album Review: Cave In- Final Transmission

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Since the start of their career, Cave In have always been the type of band to delve deep into themselves and deliver albums that compliment those feelings and emotions. So, it’s no surprise that on their new (and maybe final) album, Final Transmission, that all the grief and thoughts the surviving members of the band have are front and center.
Final Transmission is an album that is bittesweet all the while is pure and true to what they’ve always done.

Beginning with the title track “Final Transmission,” you automatcally feel the spirit of the late Caleb Scofield. The song is actually a voicemail left by Caleb following a writing/demo session, which features Scofield playing an acoustic guitar and singing a melody over it. From there the album moves to “All Illusion”  a song that features lyrics written by Scofield that was taken from a journal that was found after his death. This is  where the album takes a turn for the sound they all created on the highly acclaimed (and my favorite) album Jupiter. The guitar work by Adam McGrath is superb. He’s use of delay and heavy guitars is masterful. Mix that with singer/guitarist Steve Brodsky’s soaring vocals, and the ferocious rhythm section of drummer JR Conners and Caleb Scofield, and you have the perfect Cave In song. The song “Shake My Blood,” is one that will have you reaching for the box of tissues, as you think about the grief that wafted over each member of this band. Other stellar songs on this album include “Winter Window,” “Strange Reflection,” “Night Crawler” “Lanterna,” and the final track “Led To The Wolves” which is quite a poignant ending to a loving tribute to their fallen brother and friend.

 

Final Transmission was unintended to be released in its form, the band obviously was working on making a complete and full album before the passing of Caleb. There is a slight feeling of this being more of a collection of songs rather than an “album” but, the more you listen, the more it all starts to really gel. One thing that is lacking is the absence of Caleb’s screams which helped to give Cave In more of an aggressive edge as found on Perfect Pitch Black and White Silence. Still, It’s a collection of tracks that see a band who has been gone way too long deliver the goods and really make sure that this is something that Caleb would be proud of.
Overall Rating: A-

 

Cave In- Final Transmission:

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

 

Album Review: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes- End Of Suffering

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I still remember the first time I heard that raspy snarl. The charisma that could ignite a crowd into a frenzy. Far removed now from his time in Gallows, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes have solidified their place in modern rock today. End Of Suffering, the bands third album, sees the group moving along in away that still connects with their roots but lays down a foundation of where this band can go. 2017’s Modern Ruin was a great benchmark for just how talented this group is. End Of Suffering takes that level and adds a few layers of optimism as well as tenacity.

The entire album is quite interesting. There are many different speeds to this record. On one hand you have a song like the opener “Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider.” This track sets up the album in a tonal way by the feel of the music and the lyrics. There’s a sense of pain but hope in the way it’s delivered and that carries through the rest of the album. Songs like “Anxiety,” “Crowbar,” “Heartbreaker,” “Kitty Sucker,” and “Tyrant Lizard,” which features Tom Morello ripping it up,  all provide the uptempo tenacity that Frank is known for. Then songs like “Love Games,” “Angel Wings,” “Supervillain,” and “Latex Dreams” have a bit more of sensitive side but still contain a sharp edge and gruffness. Ending the album is the title track “End Of Suffering.” This soul bearing song gives a deeper glimpse into the mindset of Frank and where this album is truly coming from.

End Of Suffering is the kind of album that has something for everyone. It’s diverse and full of life. Nothing about this is phoned in or fake. If you’ve been following Frank since his days in Gallows, you know you are going to get a guy giving his all. While this album may seem to be more “straight forward” in terms of sound, it does show what the band is capable of doing as songwriters and how not to constantly repeat what they’ve done before. Frank and The Rattlesnakes (Dean Richardson, Tom Barclay, Gareth Grover and Thomas Mitchener) have really found themselves as a band. End Of Suffering was a not where you think they would have gone after Modern Ruin but, it’s definitely the right move.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes- End Of Suffering:

Album Review: Helms Alee- Noctiluca

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There are certain bands that have the ability to evolve in a way that it doesn’t seem like they are yet, they truly have albeit in a subtle way. Never a band to be complacent or comfortable, Helms Alee have been pushing the boundaries of the sludge metal genre since their first release back in 2007. Noctiluca, the bands fifth full length studio album, sees the band moving more into a progressive territoty while still maintaing their psychedelic and sludgy tendencies.


The album as a whole has something for everyone. Songs like “Interachnid,” “Beat Up,” are signature Helms Alee with thunderous rhythms and delayed guitars that give the album the start and roar it needs. Then you have a song like “Be Rad Tomorrow” which takes the band on a different journey. This song is one of the more experimental tracks on the album with a more prog feel to it. The expansiveness of this song is very representative of how the members of Helms Alee have evolved as writers and players. Then you have a song like “Lay Waste Child” that continues what “Be Rad Tomorrow” started only this song, takes you deeper down the rabbit hole. “Illegal Guardian” seems to complete the trilogy of the previous two songs. This track is everything that Helms Alee is all about. I’m not going to give it away. You just need to listen and you’ll hear what I mean. A song like “Spider Jar” is a welcome treat. It shows off the more melodic side of the band and provides a more delicate approach to the bands sound. Closing out the album is “Word Problem” a song that is drenched in doomy sludge (think Sabbath meets The Melvins). It’s a straight forward song that will have you starting the album over once it’s done.

Helms Alee have created an album that hits on everything they’ve done till now. Noctiluca is the type of album that if you are just discovering the band, it will get you into them for sure. One of the best things about Helms Alee is that as a three piece drummer/vocalist Hozoji Matheson-Margullis, bassist Dana James, and guitarist Ben Verellen are super tight and play off each other so well. They have the ability to create a sonic assault that while deafening at times is soothing and almost hypnotic. If you have the chance to see Helms Alee live, I highly recommend you do. Their live show makes their songs truly come alive and will give you one hell of a rush. 

 
Overall Rating: 8/10

 

Helms Alee- Noctiluca:

Album Review: Moon Tooth- Crux

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Moon Tooth is a band that you NEED to know about. There are no if’s and’s or but’s about it. These guys straight up rock. It’s not everyday that a band comes out as strong as they did on their debut album “Chromaparagon,” then follows it up with an album that not only out does their previous effort but, also solidifies them as a force to be reckoned with.

From the moment the first song “Trust” begins with that hard charging riff and pummeling rhythm, it’s game on. An opening track like that not only gets the blood pumping but also sets up the album perfectly for what’s to come. As the album continues, songs like “Omega Days” and “Musketeers” branch out into a proggy atmosphere that is drenched in melody. “Through Ash” and “Motionless In Sky” (which as of this writing are my favorite songs on the album),  are songs that really show off what a great vocalist John Carbone is and what great songwriters the band is as a whole. Other songs like “Thorns,” “Rhythm & Roar,” and “Thumb Spike” are stellar tracks that deliver punch after punch. Then you have a song like “Awe At All Angles” that shows off a different side of the band while at the same time completely fits in the spectrum of the rest of the songs. There is one song in particular that really stood out and that is the title track “Crux,” I’ve long said that title tracks have a tendency to sum up what the album is about and this song is just that. “Crux has all the elements that Moon Tooth brought to the table on this record and delivered it in epic fashion. I’m not even going to tell you how, you just have to listen. Closing out the album is “Raise A Light” a song that like the others on the record, delivers the goods and leaves the album with a sense of closure while at the same time open ended for what’s to come on the next release.

Crux is truly a work of art. The balance of the different genres from rock, metal, prog, jazz and blues really work and compliment each other. The performances from each member are exquisite. Guitarist Nick Lee is a talent for sure. It’s hard to believe at times while listening, that he’s the only guitarist in the band. It’s like he’s got eight extra arms to pull off some of what he’s playing. The rhythm section of drummer Ray Marte and bassist Vincent Romanelli is outstanding. Not only are they super tight but they really compliment each other well. John Carbone has a voice that is soaring and melodic. The passion that is emitted from him and the rest of the band shows through on each and every song. The tenacity and strength of Moon Tooth shines on Crux. This is an album that will be in many top lists at the end of the year. It’s that good. Crux is a complete album from start to finish and deserves to be played that way to get the full experience. Moon Tooth are about to sink their teeth in and rightfully take a bite of their own.

 

Overall Rating: A

 

Moon Tooth- Crux:

 

Videos:

Trust:

 


Awe At All Angles:

 

 

 

Review By: Brian Lacy