Archive for the ‘Album Of The Week’ Category

trivium-silence-in-the-snow_800One of the few bands from the mid-2000’s that has managed to stick around on the scene since their awesome major label debut Ascendancy has been American Heavy Metal band Trivium. In 2015, the band would release their seventh studio album Silence In The Snow which was the first record to feature their third drummer overall in Mat Madiro who subsequently exited the band two months after the release of the record. The rest of the album was rounded out by Matt Heafy (Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar), Corey Beaulieu (Lead Guitar), and Paolo Gregoletto (Bass) while the album was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge/Falling In Reverse). Fans will notice that the album features a different sound because there are no screaming vocals on the album. That is due to the fact that Heafy had been working with vocal coach Ron Anderson to improve his singing style after he blew his vocal cords in 2014. Nonetheless, the album hit with an impact as it peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Top 200 charts as well as number three on both the US Billboard Top Rock and Top Hard Rock album charts. The number 19 spot marked the third time the band had cracked the top 20 (In Waves #13, Vengeance Falls #15).

Trivium-Silence_In_The_Snow-Trasera1.Snøfall– a cool intro track that was composed by Emperor’s Ihsahn. 5/5

2. Silence in the Snow– The title track kicks off the metal mayhem as Paolo lays a sick bass riff as the song seems to talk about warriors which could be Vikings since they mention snow. It definitely has that classic metal sound to it. 4.5/5

3. Blind Leading the Blind– A track where Heafy admits that he is asking whether anyone sees the way people are being mistreated or the atrocities that are being committed in today’s world. 5/5

4. Dead and Gone– A cool metal track that has another sick bass riff from Paolo, but it is more of a modern metal sound. It absolutely crushes when you hear it. 4.5/5

5. The Ghost That’s Haunting You– One of my favorite tracks on the album where Heafy is basically telling you not to allow you fears to haunt you forever. 5/5

6. Pull Me from the Void– A more uptempo track which Corey has admitted that it was the last song written for the album from two different songs. The chorus and intro riff were from one song while the rest of the track was from another. 4.5/5

Trivium-Silence_In_The_Snow-CD7. Until the World Goes Cold– A cool track that is all about the journey to accomplishing your goals. It’s all about no matter how many times you get knocked down, you get back up and keep moving forward. It has some riffs that are very Slipknot like if you listen to some of it. 4.5/5

8. Rise Above the Tides– a track that is not only melodic, but it’s driving as well in a track that seems to be about someone who has given up, but the narrator is asking her to persevere through all the BS of life. 5/5

9. The Thing That’s Killing Me– a track that definitely has a punk attitude to it which makes sense considering Heafy’s first love was punk before he got into metal. The track is about taking a person who tries to hold you down and use them as motivation to keep striving for your goal. 5/5

10. Beneath the Sun– A seven string version of drop d tuning is what drives the song which features some cool playing from Corey and Matt. I have to agree with Corey where the lyrics matched with the song makes you believe you are in Egypt or something like it. Very cool track. 5/5

11. Breathe in the Flames– I love the melodic intro to this track, I think it’s totally bad ass. The best part about it is when the band finally kicks in because its aggressive as hell and in your face. One of the best tracks on the album. I hear Corey Taylors vocal style however. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– The album does have elements of metal in the style of Slipknot and Disturbed, but it has that Trivium sound as well. I thought that it was definitely a kick ass album that has gotten me back into the band. I am going to give the record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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BEHEMOTH_-_Ov_Fire_And_The_Void_CDS_artworkI can’t believe that it has been three weeks since I saw Slayer, Lamb Of God, and Behemoth live in Boston. It was definitely one of the best shows of 2017 and it was one of those shows that packed a punch with every band on the bill. We have already covered an album from Slayer (Seasons In The Abyss) and Lamb Of God (Ashes Of The Wake) so it’s only fitting that we end this run by covering the first band on the bill Behemoth. In 2015, you the fans voted The Satanist the Extreme Metal album of the year and I covered the album for the album of the week. So now I had to look to the band’s catalog to cover an album that I hadn’t yet and I chose the band’s ninth studio album Evangelion which was released on August 7, 2009. The band was made up of Adam “Nergal” Darski  (Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar), Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski (Bass Guitar), and Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński (Drums) with Patryk Dominik “Seth” Sztyber (Rhythm Guitar), and Krzysztof “Siegmar” Oloś (Vesania) (Keyboards and arrangements). The album peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and it went number one in their native Poland.

Behemoth-Evangelion-Trasera1.Daimonos– The album opens up with a hammering track that features some insane drumming in the beginning (and throughout) from Inferno. The band’s razor fast signature not let loose on the throat style with that death metal sound is showcased here. This could be a track about Sodom and Gomorrah, but they talk about Dionysus, the God of the grape harvest. 5/5

2. Shemhamforash– another hellblazer of a track that will rip your face off could be about a war in heaven or on Earth as the non believers of God take over the realm. The very word Shemhamforash used to mean something in Hebrew, but is usually refered to as the Anton LaVey version of Satan. 4/5

3. Ov Fire and The Void– I’ll let Nergal describe my favorite track live and on record as he says, “Whilst listening to the first demo versions of this track I had an irresistible feeling that every single tone is filled with overwhelming spirit of Dionysus; god of ecstatic chaos, source of pure joy which reaches far beyond false boundaries between good and evil, life and death, love and hate. Dionysian rave focuses entirely on Here and Now, experiential knowledge, intuition and passion. All of these are essential factors or components of any form of Art. The world governed by such virtues cannot be corrupted or repressed by an order which every culture or civilization tries to force on. In its nature it is much more primordial and pure. The same can be said about a creative chaos; it goes beyond any sort of intellectual analysis or speculation. It becomes released energy. Potential in action, never in inertia. Let us joy for we are as streams of lava erupting under our oceanic and cosmic Will.” 5/5

4. Transmigrating Beyond Realms ov Amenti– I believe the song is a metaphor for the fact that society is so engulfed by religion that we might as well be dead traveling through the river of the dead because our minds are closed to anything else. 4.5/5

behemoth-nb-23442-2-cd5. He Who Breeds Pestilence– The track starts off with some crows before a melodic riff of sorts opens up before the all out assault begins. The track is about someone who is sick and tired of everything life has to offer in terms of following God that he gives himself up to Baphomet. 4/5

6. The Seed ov I– There is a lot of refrences to Greek and Roman Mythology in this track like Acheron, the God of the Underworld and Lake Of Pain or Neptune, the Roman God of the Water. Not sure what it all means though. 4.5/5

7. Alas, Lord Is Upon Me– I feel like the track is about a renegade or fallen angel who is admitting to the fact that he has seen empires crumble and that he has seen the followers of God (Adonai) crumble while he too has failed to defeat God. The music for this track is absolutely amazing. 5/5

8. Defiling Morality ov Black God– Not sure what is going on lyrically, but this is one of those tracks where they put the pedal to the metal and they do not let go. 4/5

9. Lucifer– The last track on the album that is about guess who? I’m pretty sure you can figure that one out. It starts off very eerie in sound with a huge build up before the band comes in, but it has several tempo changes within it which make for an interesting track. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you want death metal taken to a whole new level then you check out these guys because they bring it. It’s a great sounding metal album that translates to the live setting as well. That is why I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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lamb of godLast week, I went to an amazing concert in Boston, MA where I witnessed killer sets from all the bands on the bill which were Behemoth, Lamb Of God, and Slayer. Last week, I covered Slayer with Seasons In The Abyss and now this week we are moving on to cover an album from Lamb Of God. Lamb Of God was a band that was billed as part of the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal which also included bands like Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and many more. Lamb Of God was a little more special than most bands for the fact that they mixed in groove metal along with elements of metalcore and Thrash Metal making them the band that ultimately took over for Pantera. The band which is made up of Randy Blythe (Vocals), Mark Morton (Lead Guitar), Willie Adler (Rhythm Guitar), Chris Adler (Drums), and John Campbell (Bass). On August 31, 2004, the band would release their third studio album and their biggest to date at the time with Ashes Of The Wake which debuted at number 27 on the Billboard Top 200 selling 35,000 copies in it’s first week. The album is very political in nature where it raises awareness and targets the Iraq War which was happening at the time of the release. As of February 2016, the album has been certified Gold by the RIAA.

Lamb_Of_God-Ashes_Of_The_Wake-Trasera1.Laid To Rest– The lead single from the album and a hammering track that is able to take the elements of Metalcore and Groove metal and layer them together nicely. The track is about a murder victim who haunts his or her killer. 5/5

2. Hourglass– A hammering track from the get go that is unrelenting in a track that could be from a soldiers point of view as war is hell or it could be talking about the end of the world. 4.5/5

3. Now You’ve Got Something To Die For– A groove heavy track that is bad ass from beginning to end in a track that talks about our system and how we readily send kids to die in the middle east. 4.5/5

4. The Faded Line– A pummeling track that has hints of thrash in it’s DNA in a track that tackles the tough topic of drug addiction. 4/5

5. Omerta– The spoken word part of the beginning of this track is actual text from the actual Sicilian Omerta. A groove heavy track that is more or less about betrayal and not about the mafia. 5/5

6. Blood Of The Scribe– a blazing fast and hammering track that continues to showcase the bands love for thrash metal. 4/5

ashes-of-the-wake-4fad377ec839c7. One Gun– The band’s love for Pantera is evident in this one with the groove metal licks in a track about a sniper who has hit his target knowing that they’ll die a martyr. 4/5

8. Break You– a track that starts right off the bat and doesn’t stop kicking ass as we listen to lyrics that could be talking about a prisoner of sorts who dreams of revenge. 4.5/5

9. What I’ve Become– an interesting track that looks at a soldier who sees others that have been engulfed in war for way too long that you can see it in their faces and eyes. 4/5

10. Ashes Of The Wake– a powerful track which features former Marine Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey and some audio clips of quotes layered into the track. The track features guitar solos from Alex Skolnick of Testament (second solo) and the legendary former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland (third solo). 5/5

11. Remorse Is For The Dead– The last track on the record that starts with a very melodic intro before they launch into overdrive about a person who hasn’t lived life to the fullest yet, but life is too short to dwell on that. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was honestly the first time that I actually sat down and listened to this album in it’s entirety. It was a very great experience that has me wanting to listen to more from the band that has been proudly flying the flag of metal for a very long time now. Check it out for yourself, I am giving the record 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

Slayer Seasons In The AbyssLast night, I witnessed one of the best performances by thrash metal legends Slayer since the passing of Jeff Hanneman at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA. It inspired me to finish the trilogy of albums that featured Dave Lombardo (Drums) as I already covered Reign In Blood and South Of Heaven. The album that I am covering for today is the band’s fifth studio album Seasons In The Abyss which was the first through Def American, was produced once again by Rick Rubin, but was the last to feature Lombardo on drums for a long time. The rest of the band was rounded out by Tom Araya (Bass/Lead Vocals), Kerry King (Guitar), and the late Jeff Hanneman (Guitar). The best way to describe the album is to look at it as the best of both South and Reign with fast and heavy tracks to go along with the more melodic and evil sounding tracks. Upon it’s release on October 9, 1990, the album would peak at number 40 on the US Billboard Top 200 and it peaked in the top 20 in the UK as it made it’s way to be certified Gold (selling 500,000).

117471726-21.War Ensemble– The punishing and sonic ear drums destroying, neckbreaker of a track kicks the album and describes the world’s obsession with war. 5/5

2. Blood Red– Another amazing track that is just hammering as they talk about communist dictatorships. The track also features an amazing guitar solo that displays that signature sound from the boys. 5/5

3. Spirit In Black– Another razor fast barn burner from the band in a track that talks about that infamous spirit in black that haunts you and wants to possess. The cool thing about the track is out of nowhere the band speeds the tempo to Reign In Blood like pace. 4.5/5

4. Expendable Youth– The tempo is slowed down a little, but this is one of my favorite tracks on the album that is an absolute headbanger from beginning to end. The track is social commentary on the youth who grow up in less desirable conditions where killing is all they know. 5/5

5. Dead Skin Mask– A very melodic South Of Heaven-esque track that according to Tom Araya live is a love song, but it’s really a track about serial killer Ed Gein who inspired the characters of Leatherface and Norman Bates. 5/5

6. Hallowed Point– Another superfast tempo track in a track that could be about a gun and the damage that a hallowed point can cause. 4.5/5

Slayer-Seasons-In-The-Ab-4905707. Skeletons of Society– Another one of my personal favorites on the album that is a slowed down tempo, but it’s a headbanger for sure. The song could be talking about war and the the effects of an atomic bomb. 5/5

8. Temptation– A return to the fast tempo like sonic assault that we all love from the band in a track that is about giving into temptation. 4/5

9. Born Of Fire– Another super sonic razor fast assault from the band in a track that could be talking of the coming of something like the antichrist. 4.5/5

10. Seasons In The Abyss– The last track on the album and another of my personal favorites in a track that talks about the abyss (as maybe Aliester Crowley once described). 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The three Slayer albums (Reign, South, and Seasons) are the most untouchable albums in the history of Thrash Metal. It’s some of the best work the band ever did in their careers and don’t get me wrong because they’ve had other triumphs throughout. It just shows the magic that is the dynamics they had and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

minutes to midnightI never thought that I was ever going to do an album of the week as a tribute to another fallen rock star with that said person being Linkin Park lead vocalist Chester Bennington. When I found out the news today that the 41 year old singer was found dead in his home due to suicide, I was shocked. The band had just released their seventh studio album One More Light and were about to embark on a summer trek to support the record. Nonetheless, I wanted to pay tribute to one of the great voices of the Nu Metal genre by covering the band’s third album Minutes To Midnight from which they go from the doomsday clock. It was the band;s first album since 2003’s Meteora when the band released this on May 14, 2007. The album was a huge success debuting at number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts with the largest opening week of 2007 selling over 600,000 copies that first week before going triple platinum. The album also went number one in 16 other countries which includes the UK. With Chester on vocals, the rest of the band was made up of Mike Shinoda (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Piano), Brad Delson (Lead Guitar), Dave “Phoenix” Farrell (Bass), Joseph Hahn (Turntables, sampling), and Rob Bourdon (Drums) while the album was produced by Rick Rubin.

minutes to midnight back cover1.Wake– an instrumental that is eerie and ominous at first before the band comes in. 4/5

2. Given Up– I love the intro with the clapping and the guitar that comes in because the track gets heavy and it’s awesome. A great bass line carries the verses until the band explodes into your speakers for the choruses. It’s one of those tracks that just screams like what the hell because your sick of feeling a certain way and you just want to shut down. 5/5

3. Leave Out The Rest– A very deep track that is kind of eerie to listen to right now, but it’s basically him saying that no matter what he may have been in the past just forgive him and remember him with love. 5/5

4. Bleed It Out– Another in your face track with Mike Shinoda taking lead with his rapping while Chester sings the chorus. The track is about digging deep and if it doesn’t work then throw it out and keep digging deep till you find what you are looking for. 5/5

5. Shadow Of The Day– This was a track that I immediately connected with on a personal level the first time I heard it. It was definitely a track that helped me through tough times as it talks about nothing is easy in life, but everyone has their day. 5/5

6. What I’ve Done– we first heard the track on the Transformers soundtrack before it made it to the album in a track that is all about feeling guilty for what you have done in the past no matter what it is. 5/5

linkin-park-minutes-to-midnight-cd7. Hands Held High-a very interesting track that is rapped by Mike Shinoda that looks at war from a different perspective. One verse comes from the perspective of a Muslim child who is forced to see the ugliness of war. 5/5

8. No More Sorrow– a very political and heavy track with some cool drum beats to go along with some supercharged metal like riffs. 4.5/5

9. Valentine’s Day– A very mellow track on the album that tells the tale of losing someone you loved in the past. 4/5

10. In Between– Mike and Chester sing on this track about feeling guilty about doing something bad and being with the person you hurt. 4/5

11. In Pieces– a track that is all about making sure that you’re ex knows the relationship ended because of her. 4/5

12. The Little Things That You Give Away– The last track on the album that is a little different than most with the acoustic guitars and Hahn’s sampling whose lyrics talk about Hurricane Katrina. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– It’s sad to think that we will never hear Chester sing any of these songs ever again, but at least we have a whole catalog to listen to. He was the kind of singer that you could hear the pain in his voice when he sang certain songs. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.  Chester, we will never forget you, R.I.P. Chester Bennington (3/20/1976-7/20/2017)

 

maxresdefaultI recently read an article last week where the writer was pleading with others to not criticize the often criticized genre known as Nu Metal. For many years, most of society had frowned on the 1980’s and the biggest genre of the decade in Hair Metal for being more style over substance and now everyone loves hair metal these days. I believe it takes the conviction of a younger generation to decide whether something old is cool again and hopefully Nu Metal gets the same treatment. With all of that being said, I want to cover an album by a band from my home state of Massachusetts who took over the scene after being signed by one of the scenes biggest names. Of course, I am talking about the band Staind who at one time were signed by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. The album I am covering by the band is the group’s second major label effort Break The Cycle which was a huge success due to perfect timing. The band was coming off of a highly successful stint on the Family Values Tour when it struck with this album on May 22, 2001. The band consisted of Aaron Lewis (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Mike Mushok (Lead Guitar), Johnny April (Bass), and Jon Wysocki (Drums). The album was such a success that it peaked at number one on the US Billboard Top 200 charts, Canada Album Charts, New Zealand Charts, and the UK Album Charts as well as being certified platinum five times.

break the cycle1.Open Your Eyes– The song opens up with a hammering riff before it gets melodic and the tempo slows down for the verse in a track that is all about speaking the truth before you talk crap. 4.5/5

2. Pressure– Another hammering riff from the band with a cool bass line that was co written with Josh Abraham that talks about pressure and how the narrator can’t take it anymore. 4/5

3. Fade– One of my favorite tracks that starts with an ominous beat and a cool bass line before the heavy guitar comes in. The track talks about relationships and how they can be strained. 5/5

4. It’s Been Awhile– The big hit from the album in the cavalcade of hits the band has had in their career in a track that Lewis has said was about the acknowledgement of his past mistakes and such. 5/5

5. Change– A track that starts off with a heavy riff, but it gets melodic with the verses in a track that is about how eve though his situation has changed, he still can’t find happiness. 4/5

6. Can’t Believe– Wysocki opens up this heavy ass track that features some screaming from Lewis in it. A very Deftones like track for the time period. A very simple track that just talks about disrespect and how he can’t believe that it’s still going on. 4/5

7. Epiphany– A cool acoustic track that is very personal and talks about depression as well as never taking the opportunities to do or say something to someone. 5/5

break-the-cycle-4e8063edc49808. Suffer– A brilliant track about how we all love to suffer because we all need something to bitch about it whether the TV helps us or not. 5/5

9. Warm Safe Place– A very melodic intro with a cool bass line in a track that is all about life on the road and the difficulties of it. 4/5

10. For You– One of my favorite tracks on the album about not being heard by the right people and this is your anthem to them. 5/5

11. Outside– The original version of this was a live track that was featured on The Family Values Tour Live CD and here is the electric/acoustic version. 5/5

12. Waste– A very melodic track that talks about the narrator being confronted by the mother of a friend who had committed suicide and now she wants answers. Apparently that is what the song is about. 4/5

13. Take It– A heavy ass way to end the album on a high note with the ferocious riffs before the bass carries the verses. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was definitely one of my favorite albums from the band besides the first one. This was a major step forward for the band at the time even though Nu Metal was slowly dying out at the time. It would soon become adapt or perish for a lot of bands at the time. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.