Kurt Ballou

Album Review: Baptists- Beacon Of Faith

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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:

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You Might Have Missed: The Armed

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Since the beginning of Audioeclectica, I’ve been able to share so many different bands with you all from all sorts of genres. And now I present to you The Armed. Based out of Detroit, The Armed have taken hardcore, punk, metal, ambience, and electronics to a whole other realm. The band have released 3 EP’s, 1 live album and 1 full length so far and are gearing up to release their second album Only Love on April 27. The new album was produced by Kurt Ballou and features Converge/Mutoid Man drummer extraordinaire Ben Koller. The first song released from Only Love, is called Witness and it will pummel your speakers and might cause an impromptu mosh pit. Check it out!

 

The Armed- Witness:

 

The Armed- Untitled (Debut Album):

 

The Armed- Spreading Joy EP:

 

The Armed- Young & Beautiful EP:

 

The Armed- Common Enemies EP:

 

 

Album Review: Converge- The Dusk In Us

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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.

Overall Rating: A

 

Converge- The Dusk In Us:

 

Converge- Eve:

Album Rank: Converge

Converge_Logo.jpg Over the years, Converge has established themselves as an influential and underrated band. Musically, they are powerful and enigmatic. Vocally and lyrically they are passionate and ferocious. The entire package of the band is approached with a “take no prisoners” type of attitude and it shows in every album they’ve released. Converge are also one of the few bands that seem to get better and better as time goes on just like a fine wine. Recently, Converge released two new songs to wet the appetite of their fans and those two songs are full of what you’d want from Converge. So, with all that in mind here is a ranking of their albums from not their best to the best.

 

Halo In A Haystack:

 

Petitioning The Empty Sky:

 

When Forever Comes Crashing:

 

No Heroes:

 

You Fail Me:

 

All We Love We Leave Behind:

 

Axe To Fall:

 

Jane Doe:

New Release: Converge- I Can Tell You About Pain 7″

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Today, Converge premiered two new tracks online from their upcoming 7″ single,“I Can Tell You About Pain” The two songs released “I Can Tell You About Pain” and “Eve” are pretty classic sounding Converge. “Eve” is one of the most epic songs the band has put out. It almost could have been on Axe To Fall, with the vibe that it puts out.  You can also pre-order the 7″ edition of the aforementioned EP via deathwishinc.com.  There are still plans for Converge to release a new album later this year. In the meantime, check out the two new songs below!

 

Converge- I Can Tell You About Pain:

 

Converge- Eve:

Album Review: Darkest Hour- Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora

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I will be the first to admit that after the past two albums Darkest Hour released, (The Human Romance and their Self Titled album) I had lost interest. The line up changes and musical shift that was happening really just wasn’t cutting it for me. But now on their ninth studio album, Darkest Hour has found their way back to what made them great. I’ve always regarded the band as a very underrated treasure. Musically they combine all the elements I enjoy from punk, thrash and Swedish melodic death metal. On this new album Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora, Darkest Hour have cemented themselves as a force to be reckoned within the heavy music circles.

The moment the first song “Knife In The Safe Room” begins, you know that you are in for a treat. Every single song on this album is something special. In particular ” Timeless Numbers,” “None Of This Is The Truth,” “The Flesh and the Flowers of Death,” “Those Who Survived,” “Enter Oblivion,” “In The Name of Us All,” and closer “Beneath It Sleeps.” Guitarists Mike Schleibaum and Michael “Lonestar” Carrigan have never sounded better together. Along with the input and contributions of former member Kris Norris, the guitar work on this album is what fans have been wanting for years. Drummer Travis Orbin and bassist Aaron Deal have finally hit their stride as a rhythm section. As much as I miss Ryan and Paul in the band, if this is the direction Travis and Aaron are going to go, I’m more than satisfied. Vocalist John Henry has really stepped up his game lyrically and vocally. Personally I think this is the best he has sounded since Undoing Ruin.

The choice to work with producer Kurt Ballou was a great choice. Kurt was really able to dial in on the tones needed to make this a special album. In fact this album is one of the best I’ve heard Kurt produce and record outside of Converge, since High On Fire’s De Vermis Mysteriis. Armed with this album and a renewed sense of purpose, Darkest Hour are roaring back with a no holds barred approach. Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora is an album that will be looked back up in the bands catalog as a standout. The band should be really proud of what they have created. I as a fan, am really stoked on this album. This is everything that Darkest Hour should be.

Overall Rating: A

 

The Making of the Album:

 

Anticipated Albums: Darkest Hour- Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora

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Often time as bands go through lineup changes, it takes a while for the band to get back in the swing of things. The new members have a different way of playing and bring a different energy that takes the music on a detour. Then over time as they grow more comfortable, the band comes back to where they should be. Darkest Hour is one of these bands. On their upcoming 9th album, the gents in Darkest Hour have returned to their roots and are about to deliver their most ferocious album in years. You can tell by listening to the first few songs released that these guys mean business. By working with producer Kurt Ballou of Converge and bringing in former guitarist Kris Norris, Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora takes you back to the days of The Mark Of The Judas, Hidden Hands Of The Sadist Nation era. Darkest Hour are unleashing the heavy!

 

Darkest Hour- Knife In The Saferoom:

 

Darkest Hour- Timeless Numbers: