Genre: Blackened Deathcore
Year: 2018 *reupload because of photo mistake*
It truly seems that 2018 is a good year for Deathcore and its countless good releases, and this EP falls nothing shorter than a quality release!
Shrine of Malice only recently surfaced, roughly around a year ago with a single "Beelzebub" which showcased what they were going for and their potential within the community. We patiently waited for their awaited full release and got this grim and Brutal sounding EP, which despite the 6 tracklist, is actually a long half hour worth of music!
Malignance provides a mix of modern Deathcore sounds, with some standard Slam sections that every band is now hyping us with, and this band is clearly influenced by a more Blackened approach for the atmosphere, riffs and vocals. Instrumentals are tight with great quality production, detail and skill, the vocals have a variety of lows, gutterals and some screechy highs that will satisfy the Blackened fans. And can't forget the Brutal breakdowns and some skilled solos in this too!
Amongst the praising points, I'd give a few personal negatives for this, some of which are that I expected more Blackened elements, maybe more work in the undertone sections, like choir or strings to amplify the black metal influence they have. Wished there were more Melodic parts and solos like in the last track which gave it a more epic feel to the album and maybe more experimental poetry spoken "cleans" like they had in the first track of Beelzebub.
Overall, its definitely an EP worth listening to and shows their upcoming potential within this sound, we can definitely expect more from them and hope to see them tour with bands like Lorna Shore and even Chelsea Grin!
Genre: Progressive/Technical Death Metal
From a band that only started recently in 2012, they sure are going places with their unique and talented sound!
They initially started with the previous release "Infinite Fields" that was impressively produced by two musicians, focused on a Techy Symphonic sound, now "Immersion" is a full band effort, that focuses more on the Prog spectrum.
This new release has a near perfect mix of progression, technicality and melodic sounds, with mainly harsh vocals and some cleans that add to the ethereal ambience of their sound. This album actually reminds me a lot of Fallujah because of its Atmospheric feel, and the riffs give me a throwback to Cynic funny enough. The production in this is much better than the previous album, everything is mixed well, from instrumentals to vocals and keeping an ongoing ambience to fit the conceptual themes the album is about.
Now compared to the previous release, I feel this one lacks the standout solos and technical melodies/riffs, plus there's not much Symphonic/Blackened elements involved in this, which was one of the reasons I got into this band previously. The vocals, although standard for this genre, could of had more variation in techniques, and I feel that the cleans could of been more prominent in the entire album, with more involvement in the lead sections.
Overall, its an amazing album that any Prog/Tech Death fan will appreciate, this is a band filled with skill and talent that gets expressed more in every release, and I can't wait to hear what the next album will be like in terms of, maybe, a new style approach.
Genre: Progressive Metalcore
Looks like we got another OG Prog Metalcore band bringing out a new album, that still proves the band to be on top of their game, and with a very modern aesthetic looking album cover too!
I've been listening to this band for a few years only admittedly, I was introduced to them when they had just released "Augment" and was amazed at how good they are.
Neon does a great job of carrying on what they were trying to go from 2016's "Drift" which basically encompasses a lot of groove and melodic focused elements rather than their older heavier and energetic sound. It's filled with mesmerising riffs, solos and smooth clean vocals. The harsh vocals are never lack luster with good variation of highs and lows, instrumentation is on point with swaying grooves and very (modern) Northlane-esque type of ambience/Prog riffs. And the production in general is stellar and actually better balanced/bassy than the previous Drift album.
Now as for negatives, I was honestly hoping they'd have some heavier and more tech breakdowns like that in Impulse/Augment, their old fast paced and "Djent" type sound was the reason I became fond of them, other than that, I think that the harsh vocals could of had more variation of techniques rather than stand highs/mids/lows.
Overall, Neon is still an enjoyable album if you're a big fan of their melodic and groove side. As for the "aesthetic" value, the solo melodies in this truly remind me of Polyphia, so that's pretty aesthetic if you ask me ;]
I'm excited to hear what else they can conjure up next, since Erra truly are a talented and skilled band down to the core!
Fav songs: Monolith, Valhalla, Ghost of Nothing, Expiate, Unify, Ultimata.
Back on another retro anime hunt with random searches on Google, one of them was this late 80s OVA project I found, called "Robot Carnival" that featured different directors for in 9 different stories.
Each of these stories had one purpose, to illustrate the relationship between humans and machinery in different ways.
Ranging from comedy, action, romance, horror and some even abstract/silent movie in style.
Personally my favs in this are "Deprive" with it's cool 80s Heavy Metal feel, "Presence" with it's melancholic, philosophical and beautiful animation, "Starlight Angel" with it's bishojo story and future funk perfect aesthetics and "Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion" for its hilarious amateur mecha styled action/comedy battle, between a bunch of Japanese kids and an "English" foreigner.
There's different segments that lots of us 80s sci-fi anime fans can appreciate
The charming thing about this project is that it had newcomer animators that had just started and became well known of today!
Album: Dark Skies
Within the genre of Metalcore, there's usually two ways bands will progress their sound, either they become more modern and lose some of their roots, or they continue to hammer out heavy hardcore tunes, and FFAK truly are the latter of that spectrum.
Dark Skies continues the sound they've had for years, with a surprisingly more Hardcore edge to some of the tracks. The riffs are heavy, Melodic and the entire instrumentals are mainly groove based, with unwavering vocals in both cleans and harsh tones. The overall lyrics portray a very emotional and expressive theme, that truly bring out personal feels and give you a sense of hope and to move forward with courage.
In terms of the negatives, I'd say my main quarry is with the production, it's not as clear and balanced as the previous Deathgrip. Although I mentioned that they haven't really lost much of their original sound, I will say that it's not as melodic as the previous releases, and relies more on the groove/hardcore spectrum, but alas gives us some pretty Brutal breakdowns and two step sounding verses.
Overall, a great Metalcore album to stack up within this year of releases, if you're an old or a newer fan of this band then you won't be disappointed with this release, I personally loved it and the lyrics hit me hard when listening and reading side by side.
Fav songs: The Price of Agony, When Everything Means Nothing, Youth | Division, Tower of Pain and Oblivion.
Genre: Blackened Deathcore
You know its a good time to be alive, when one of your fav bands of the nostalgic music past, finally releases a long awaited full length! I've been a fan of this band ever since I heard their single "The Harvesting" back from their "In Waking: Divinity" album, and witnessed the release of my personal fav, "Odyssey (Un)Dead." With that being said, I'm obviously hyped for this new release and ready to give it a review from a few listens.
Samsara is the album that truly expressed TBP's original and unique take on Blackened Death Metal mixed with the modern style and production of Deathcore. The vocals and certain riffs/breakdowns definitely showcase the recent Slam inspired Deathcore that most bands are going for, but they added a good amount so it doesn't get too overdone. There's lots of grim and even atmospheric sounding tremolos and blast beats to satisfy any Black Metal fan, vocals are on point with variations of grim highs and gutteral lows, that still remind me of old Whitechapel like they did before. As for their Symphonic side, it's more on the undertone section for this album tbh, but provides a smooth and dark ambience to provide a truly epic, Brutal and melancholic sounding album.
Now there are some personal negatives I'd want to point out from this release. Compared to their previous works, honestly it lacks their more melodic side of riffs, keyboard solos and there's no more female vocals in this one compared to the 2nd album. With all honesty, I wish it had as much instrumental and melodic variation as Odyssey did, with beautiful cleans resonating with synth leads and independent keys.
Overall, its a great album that shows they're back in business, that which I'm truly thankful for, hopefully they'll experiment more with their future sounds like previous releases and surprise us with what they're musically capable of, in both Symphonic Black and Deathcore sides!
Genre: Alternative Rock/Post-Hardcore
I'm really happy too see this band continuing to make meaningful and expressive albums till today, ever since I heard of them back in 2013, I've been hooked since.
This new album of theirs is a closer approach to the Alt Rock side of the Post-Hardcore spectrum, while still keeping their usual mix of harsh vocals and breakdowns. Funny enough, the title "Misery" fits with the lyrics and themes, but majority of the songs have a really "happy go lucky" feel that makes you wanna jump around and sing along to the catchy chorus parts. I guess this makes it a bittersweet album, to deal with the negative connotations, with a heart filled with hope, which is the usual message this band has.
Majority of this album is amazing, and I love most of it for its hyped synths, catchy cleans, memorable breakdowns and sad but ironically stress relieving lyrics. I'd say it's very similar to BMTH and WCAR's latest approach, very Linkin Park-esque.
The main negatives I'd give this is the lack of the heavier side of theirs. The previous album had better riffs and heavier breakdown sections, which this one lacked. I was hoping for the last track to have a throwback sounding song, but instead got a "Trap" sounding song.
Overall, it's a good album with an almost perfect mix of Alt Rock and little Post-Hardcore elements. TAA always brought hope and understanding to us fans, and they continue to spread awareness for mental health and care for their fans and friends, and I'll always love them for that<3
Fav songs: Ivy (Doomsday), Feels Like I'm Dying, Holier Than Heaven, Misery, D.I.E and Set Me Free.
Genre: Alternative Rock/Post-Hardcore
It seems that within the Post-Hardcore scene most bands tend to stray towards the AltRock side of the spectrum, which can either end in disappointing or a refreshing taste, and this band managed to do the latter thankfully!
I've been listening to this band ever since they first released their initial debut "The Lucid Dream[er]" and I've been loving their unique sound ever since.
This 4th album of theirs took what they were doing in the previous "Devil May Care" and improved upon what it lacked.
Arms added more melodic elements, especially with the undertone synths sounds that truly expresses how old AltRock bands got us addicted to this kind of approach. Each song is unique and there's a variety of more calm, emotional tracks and heavier core tracks that make you want to bounce into a pit. They even have a song featuring Fronz from Attila called "Private Paradise" which has some trap/rap elements mixed with heavy riffs and vocals. So it's deffo a mixed album that most fans will enjoy.
Now the main things this album is lacking is mainly the lack of heaviness they used to have back in their Metalcore-ish days, I also miss their old electronic side that they used to implement into the background and during breakdowns/choruses.
Overall its a good album and a definite step up from the previous album, but doesn't beat the first and especially the second album, "Enigmatic Smile" which still remains my fav to this day.
Fav songs: Coma Blue, Unaware, Sea of Trees, Escalators and Private Paradise.
I still can't believe that someone so young and filled with aspirations and talent had to leave this life, at the age of 28 is just tragic.. It really hits hard for me that someone who contributed to a band, that got me through harsh times and kept the hope in my mind and heart has left us so suddenly.
I've always listened to their music, ever since I first heard of them back when I was a young teenager, and every album has had an impact for me, which got me through tough times. Kyle's lyrics and singing always placed inspiration and deep thought into my life, of wanting to be a better person and helping others around me.
I'll never forget the only two chances of seeing him live, I wished I could of seen him perform at least once more, but now I hope he's resting in a peaceful sanctuary, and that his fellow loved ones and fans find solace with the love and hope he left behind<3
R.I.P. Kyle Pavone, I hope you got to truly understand what you grew to be<3
This year has been so far has been an insane one with me going to more shows and meeting influencial musicians, and it's not a regular thing to meet the one and only @porterrobinson who was just chilling for a bit outside @phonoxlondon after his @virtualself set!
Porter is truly an outstanding guy, lots of respect for his fans and gave time to speak with some of us at the end, even though he had to go to France and it was 4am when we met him after the show haha
The show was amazing and I've been hooked on his VS music from the start of this year, so having the chance to see him live amongst friends and new friends that I met online to meet for this event, was truly one to always remember and cherish<3
Oh and Porter is actually a fellow FL user, FL SQUAD REPRESENT! 😉👌 #virtualself#porterrobinson#phonox#fanmeet#NeoTrance#trance#techno#gig#club#dj#music#live#dance#edm#happyhardcore#hardcore#breakcore#hardtrance#electronic
Album: EX MACHINA
So it seems that these dudes are getting more and more into the whole cyberpunk movement, and I like it!
I've been following this band for years ever since I heard of them back when they still had their first album "The Artifical Theory" out. It's been many years and to see them steadily change and progress their sound to a higher stance is truly emotional.
EX MACHINA is the album that takes what they did in XENO and improved it to what it could of been, as I actually prefer this to the previous album by a lot.
Each song is really catchy with heavy and groovey riffs, the sort you'd hear from Slipknot at times and The Browning. Accompanied by undertone electronic synths and sections where it's clear they were inspired by modern Hardstyle/Hardcore. There are clearly some more softer and melodic tracks than others but it's got enough high quality production and cyber aesthetic value to carry you through the entire album guessing for more.
I'd say the main negatives here is that the beats, especially the Hardcore/Hardstyle segments could of been more authentic and heavier like Sever Black Paranoia usually does. First half was more hyped than the slower paced after. I also miss their melodic and oldschool side of the Metalcore spectrum they had before in previous albums, at least their final album track "Daybreak" carried that nostalgic sound of theirs.
In short, this album is worth checking out, with lots of amazing tracks to interest fans of Electronic metal and cyberpunk alike. Plus there's a bonus track at the end, covering Linkin Park's "Faint" which featured Masato from Coldrain just like they did in their previous live performance of it!
As a longtime fan, I can't wait to see them progress in their sound/visual aesthetics, and I hope to witness some of these songs live one day soon here in London!
Fav songs: Catastrophe, The Perfect Nightmare, Freedom, Daybreak and Faint ofc.