Posts Tagged ‘Album Of The Week’

sam black churchThere is something to be said about the Boston area especially when it came to the famous hardcore scene of the late 80’s/early 90’s. The scene featured legendary bands like Gang Green, Slapshot, DYS, Blood For Blood, and today’s featured artist Sam Black Church who were named after the West Virginia town. They were a band that was known for throwing some insane performances back in the day that left a lasting impression. That is why when I went to my local Savers (thrift store) and spotted one of the band’s albums on the shelf I had to snag it. The album that I bought that is also this week’s album of the week is the band’s EP Superchrist which was released om August 22, 1995 via Taang! Records. The band was made up of Jet (Vocals), Ben Crandall (Guitars), J.R. Roach (Drums), and Richard G. Lewis (Bass) while the EP was produced by Rich Costey. The EP featured four brand new tracks plus a cover and a live track which was presumably to hold fans over until the release of their next album.

superchrist back1.Superchrist– The title track is the opening track on the EP and it opens up thunderous right out of the gates with the bands brand of metal infused hardcore. I’m not sure if Jet is being literal with the lyrics or if it’s a metaphor for the music business and the people who can get things done. 5/5

2. Ninth Gate– The track is a showcase of the band’s more hardcore side with the insane vocal delivery from Jet. The lyrics definitely make you think as he is talking about abusers facing the hell they deserve, but at what cost for the accuser. 4.5/5

3. Come To Me My Lovely– It’s a love letter to the city of New York and to the horrors of drug use. The track is fast and hard and done by the best of Boston. 4/5

IMG_20180726_0001_NEW.jpg4. Swing– an interesting track that is all about guys who will do anything for fame and fortune and how they forget where they come from in this fast paced hardcore track. 4/5

5. Sheer Heart Attack– This is the hardcore version of the Queen classic and while it might not be my favorite cover in the world, I still give the band props for making it their own. 4/5

6. Re-Alive/The Right Fuel (Live)– The last track on the album is a special treat for Sam Black Church fans as they perform two tracks for fans. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– These guys were legendary on the Boston scene and it was just fun to reminisce with this EP. The EP showcases what the band can do from a pure metal stand point all the way to the hardcore side of them. My favorite track is Superchrist while my least favorite on the EP is probably Sheer Heart Attack. I am giving the EP 4.4 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

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coming_home_1500x1500You are getting two Album Of The Weeks for the price of one this week and this is one I have wanted to do. One of my favorite current rock bands in the US is none other than Falling In Reverse which features Ex-Escape The Fate frontman Ronnie Radke. I wanted to cover another album from the band because in my opinion the band has been evolving as far as their sound is concerned from the early days of Pop Punk/Metalcore to the band they are today which blends all of their elements flawlessly. On April 7, 2017, the band which was made up of Radke (Vocals, Guitars, Piano), Derek Jones (Rhythm Guitar), Zakk Sandler (Bass Guitar) in his first appearance with the band, Ryan Seaman (Drums) in his last album with the band, and Christian Thompson (Lead Guitars) in his only appearance on the album Coming Home. When asked about the album the band stated, “It’s a huge left turn. It sounds like nothing we’ve ever done. Every song is very vibey, There’s more feeling in it instead of a lot of metal. We’re challenging ourselves now more than we ever have in the weirdest ways possible, because you would think writing the craziest solo or riffs would be the challenging part. But the challenging part is trying to stick to a theme and not go all over the place like we would normally do.” The album peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts making it the lowest chart appearance of the band’s career.

coming home back1. Coming Home– The title track kicks off the album and it has more a serious tone to it as far as subject matter and the overall tone of the track. I feel like this is a song about being away from the person you love on the road, but put into a space metaphor. 5/5

2. Broken– The track starts off with that Dance Club beat to it in the beginning that we have seen Ronnie mix in there along with the rock music. The track is about how things were never easy for someone that came from a broken situation, but don’t fear for him because he is rising from the ashes like a Phoenix. 4.5/5

3. Loser-A track that is a lot like Coming Home in tone, but sped up a little bit more about a girl who confuses the hell out of our narrator like she is playing games with him and he’s finally getting sick of it. 5/5

4. Fuck You And All Your Friends– I love this track because it has a real punk rock feel to it while retaining it’s rock status about someone the Narrator used to be friends with that betrayed him and it hurts cause he didn’t see it coming. 5/5

5. I Hate Everyone-I love how the track starts off with the acoustic guitars before it goes into the Falling In Reverse rock track. The track is about that person that just pisses you off to the point that you hate everyone in the world. 5/5

6. I’m Bad At Life– I love how the track starts off and I love the way Ronnie writes music because while you think he is writing something serious about love and he manages to insert his sense of humor into the track. BTW, the chorus is infectious. 4.5/5

falling_in_reverse_2017-980x6007. Hanging On-A cool rock song that reminds me a lot of AFI and the style they perform now in a track about the girl of his dreams that keeps leaving him hanging like he needs her more than she needs him. 4.5/5

8. Superhero-A very different type of track for the band that has a bit of new wave mixed into it. It’s a cool track as he talks about not wanting to be a superhero, but just someone who wants to better themselves. 4.5/5

9. Straight To Hell-A track with a little more of a metal flare to it in this song about a girl who rejects him for his past, but he’s willing to live with what he has done, but is she? 4/5

10. I Don’t Mind– This is a very deep track as Ronnie spills some stuff about his past and how he’s dealing with the fact that his Mother passed down some bad habits down to him. The track has a very Papa Roach styled structure to the music and I love it. 4.5/5

11. The Departure– This is a great track (probably my fav) and I wish for more of this style of Falling In Reverse to go along with what they already do. It has a very rock/metal feel to it The track seems to be about someone who can’t pretend to be goo anymore because there is just too much tugging at him. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– It’s hard for me to pick a favorite album from the band because I just feel the music just gets better and better with every album. While they may not be in a feud, I definitely think he has surpassed Escape The Fate musically. My favrotie tracks on the album are The Departure, Coming Home, Loser, and Fuck You And All Your Friends. I didn’t cover it for this, but the bonus track Paparazzi might be one of my least favorite tracks along with Straight To Hell. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

Whitechapel_-_Mark_of_the_BladeI was searching around my record collection trying to figure out what album was going to be next on my Album Of The Week review post. Thanks to a little help from Spotify and I remembered my love for Deathcore and one band in particular. Over the course of 200 albums plus, I have enjoyed covering Tennessee Deathcore act Whitechapel and their albums A New Era Of Corruption and Our Endless War. That is why I have decided that for today I was going to cover the band’s latest effort in 2016’s Mark Of The Blade which also happens to be the bands sixth studio album released on June 24TH via Metal Blade Records. The album once again featured Phil Bozeman (Vocals), Gabe Crisp (Bass),  Ben Harclerode (Drums) in his last effort with the band, Zach Householder (Guitars), Ben Savage (Guitars), and Alex Wade (Guitars). The album once again features Ben Eller laying down some solos while Whitechapel and Mark Lewis served as producers for the record. The album did pretty decent for the band as critics generally seemed to like the band’s latest effort and it charted at number 72 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. It’s the band’s second lowest chart positioning just in front of This Is Exile which charted at 118.

WHITECHAPEL---MARK-OF-THE-BLADE-2016-EU-Milky-Clear-LP-21.The Void– A monstrous metal track that opens up like a blitzkrieg that just assaults your senses into submission. I feel like he is talking to people that feel depressed or out of place and he is giving them a way out of the BS of life. This is the first track to feature a guitar solo from Ben Eller. 4.5/5

2. Mark Of The Blade– The track opens up with a nu-metal/groove styled metal feel to it especially with the guitars while Bozeman just brings the fury proving that a couple of songs with clean vocals doesn’t mean they went soft. 5/5

3. Elitist Ones– This is one of my favorite tracks on the album that sees the band transition to a more groove metal sound, but Crisp’s bass playing is the highlight for me on this track. Wade talked about the change saying, “At this point in our career and as we grow older, we are taking a more open-minded approach to creating our music, allowing what we think sounds good to evolve naturally, rather than to just write what is expected of us.” 5/5

4. Bring Me Home– This is a track that everyone int he metal world was up in arms about because it’s the very first Whitechapel track to ever feature clean vocals from Phil Bozeman. It starts off very differently with a cool melodic beginning with a cool bass line and to be honest it sounds like something that Slipknot would have written. The second track to feature an Eller guitar solo. 4.5/5

5. Tremors– This track has more of Our Endless War sound with the big bass riffs that drive the song forward in what I call a Deathcore/Nu-Metal collab. The track talks about those people that just leach off of everybody and everything is about them until their world collapses. 4.5/5

6. A Killing Industry-This is a cool track because it’s also a statement to all the haters that tell Whitechapel what they can or can’t do. This is the band’s F**k You song to all those people and industry heads. 4.5/5

5721b1d4070ef7. Tormented- A very dark and eerie track when it first starts, but then the big sledgehammer bass riffs take over with that groove. The track could be about a serial killer who feels he was driven to that point by a person he trusted or it’s a song about how someone feels the other has been fake for too long. Either way, it’s a cool track and this is the third to feature an Eller solo. 4.5/5

8. Brotherhood– A very cool instrumental track that is actually worth checking out from the band as it’s melodic as well as heavy. It’s the best of both worlds. 5/5

9. Dwell in The Shadows– I feel like this is a track dedicated to all of the band’s crazy fans because there are instances where he mentions that he helps them lyrically and don’t ever change because we are on of the same and that they made him who he is today. This is the fourth track to feature an Eller guitar solo. 4.5/5

10. Venomous– I love this track because it starts off very thrash metal like before it launches into hyperdrive. I feel like this is a track about trusting someone that maybe you shouldn’t because you know they are bad, but you feel stuck. This is th elast track to feature an Eller solo. 4.5/5

11. Decennium– This is the last track on the album and the other track to feature clean vocals from Bozeman. This is another track I believe is dedicated to the fans and anyone that has stuck with Whitechapel for the last ten years since decennium means decade. I love that this track is a balance of the screaming vocals with the clean singing. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I absolutely love this record and I am an honest believer that a band should be able to grow as they grow musically. You can’t keep writing the same record over and over again, it just doesn’t work cause you would hate it if they did. My favorite tracks on the album are Brotherhood, Elitist Ones, and Mark Of The Blade. I don’t have a least favorite track on the album cause I liked them all. I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

Hellyeah-Hellyeah-FrontalThis past Friday (June 22), the metal world found out some terrible news when it was announced that Vinnie Paul of Hellyeah/Ex-Pantera/Ex-Damageplan had passed away in his Las Vegas home. The second half of the greatest and most dynamic brother duo in metal history has joined his brother in Heaven. I decided that I was going to pay tribute to Vinnie Paul this week by dedicating the album of the week to him. While there are many bands that I can choose from whether it be Rebel Meets Rebel, Pantera, or even Damageplan, I decided that I was going to choose an album from his latest band Hellyeah. The album that I chose is my favorite album from the band that I got autographed by the band in their self titled debut album. It had been two years since Vinnie had joined a band and he decided that the supergroup that featured members of Mudvayne and Nothingface was the right choice. The band was made up of Chad Gray (Vocals), Greg Tribbett (Lead Guitar), Tom Maxwell (Rhythm Guitar), Jerry Montano (Bass), and Vinnie Paul on the drums. The album was released on April 10, 2007 and it took no time for the album to peak at it’s highest point on the Billboard Top 200 Charts at number nine selling over 45,000 copies in it’s first week.

hellyeah-back-cover1. HELLYEAH– The opening track can be considered some what of an anthem for the band and what they meant moving forward. An amazingly heavy track that reminds us why we love Vinnie and how much better he made this band. 5/5

2. You Wouldn’t Know– Some say that the track is about someone trying to be true to themselves in the way the industry is run and some say that it’s about Vinnie and he deals with the death of his brother. Nevertheless, this is one of my all time favorite Hellyeah songs. 5/5

3. Matter of Time– An insane in your face track that reminds me of Mudvayne a little much, but no surprise with Chad Gray at the helm. I think the track or at least a part of it could be about Dimebag once again in the verse when they refer to the man with the gun in his hand. 4.5/5

4. Waging War– Another in your face track that I have to be honest in saying that I think the track is about Phil Anselmo and what he had said in that interview about Dime and Vinnie. 4/5

5. Alcohaulin’ Ass-A cool track that starts out with some acoustic guitars and some slide guitar in this track that is just a good time party song. 5/5

6. GodDamn– A bad ass groove metal number that I think is the band confessing their distaste over the music industry exes that run it. 5/5

IMG_20180628_00017. In the Mood-I love the way this instrumental track starts off as it’s very melodic before it leads to the next track. 4/5

8. Star-A track that sludges along mixing a little element of Nu-Metal into it that I think is about a guy finding a new love that has made his life shine brighter. 4.5/5

9. Rotten to the Core– I think this is a cool track that can be looked at like it’s coming from the perspective of a Villain who just wants destruction and chaos. Check out the lyrics to the track. 4/5

10. Thank You– This is a track the band did in tribute to Dimebag Darrell, Tom Maxwell’s Mother and Chad Gray’s Grandmother who all passed away. 5/5

11. Nausea– A track that is about someone who just doesn’t care about life or anyone around him that he is willing to ruin everything only because he feels he’s been fed lies his whole life. 4/5

12. One Thing– The last track on the album that has a real Pantera feel to it musically in this track that is about someone who feels they’ve lost everything that they just want one sign of hope. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is still collectively my favorite album from a band that I have been up and down with over the years. There is no denying that they’ve come into their own over the years. My favorite tracks on the album are GodDamn and You Wouldn’t Know while my least favorite track is Nausea. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

october rustWhen you think of Goth Metal, there is usually only one band that I find synonymous with those words and that is Type O Negative. They were the band that brought the brand to the mainstream and made it cool to buy and bands like Him can thank them for that. Besides the band’s breakthrough record Bloody Kisses, one of my all time favorite Type O Negative records is October Rust which was also their fourth studio album and the first to not incorporate so much of the doom metal sound they were known for. Instead, they settled for more ballads and one heck of a cover song to boot. The album once again featured the late and great Peter Steele (Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar), Kenny Hickey (Guitar), Josh Silver (Keyboards), and for the first time Johnny Kelly (Drums). The album was released on August 20, 1996 and it was produced by Steele and Silver and it featured some new techniques never employed before (like joke intros and abrupt endings). The album peaked at number 42 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while finishing in the top 10 in Sweden, Germany, Finland, and Austria as well being certified Gold for selling 500,000 copies.

october rust back1. Bad Ground– This is the first time that the band employed a joke intro into one of their albums. It basically contains just low level buzzing to make you think that your speakers are not plugged in correctly. 4/5

2. Untitled- It’s basically the real intro to the album where the band asks if you enjoyed their joke 4/5

3. Love You To Death– One of my favorite Type O Negative songs that opens up with a cool piano track before the comes in with their distorted attack in this gothic love song about a guy who is in love with a girl more than she is him. 5/5

4. Be My Druidess– Type O was the best at getting a point across with so few words and they do in this song about love in the gothic/black sense. The track is like a heavier version of post punk like Joy Division. 5/5

5. Green Man-a very cool track lyrically where he is talking about an ancient diety that pre-dates Christianity. He is sort of symbolic of nature in the sense that he dies when winter comes only to be reborn in spring. 4.5/5

6. Red Water (Christmas Mourning)– a kind of sad song about someone who has lost some loved ones and it’s Christmas morning and he is drowning in his sorrows. 4/5

7. My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend-This track is another one of my favorites where it sort of has that 70’s psychedelic sound with the keys mixed with the distorted instruments. The track is basically about Peter wanting to bang his bi-curious girlfriend’s girlfriend. 5/5

october rust cd8. Die With Me– The track starts off like they are in an airport when all of a sudden the clean channel guitars kick in and Peter sings about the one that got away. 4/5

9. Burnt Flowers Fallen– Another track where with the least amount of words, he manages to say a lot in this track about how he has come to grips with the fact that the girl he loves is no longer his. 4.5/5

10. In Praise Of Bacchus-Bacchus is the Roman equivalent to the Greek God of wine in Dionysus, but in this track he is drowning in his sorrows with the help of wine. 4.5/5

11. Cinnamon Girl-The band’s heavy and awesome cover of the Neil Young classic. 5/5

12. The Glorious Liberation of the People’s Technocratic Republic of Vinnland by the Combined Forces of the United Territories of Europa– an intro track of sorts with a really long title that sounds like it’s a liberating day in this fictitious country. 4/5

13. Wolf Moon (Including Zoanthropic Paranoia)– This is a track that is certifiably love making music done Type O Negative style. There are a lot of metaphors in this track and I think the werewolf element is just symbolism for power. 5/5

14. Haunted– a track whose lyrics are profound in what they are about. The song is about being haunted by visions of a love that maybe you lost or can’t have and when you try to sleep at night, you have trouble cause you are thinking of her. 5/5

15. Untitled– an Outro to the album where the band downplays the making of the record. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– An amazing record by an amazing band that decided to take a chance with this record and it paid off. This was actually the first album I had ever heard from the band before I dug any deeper into their catalog. My favorite tracks besides the obvious two are Wolf Moon and Haunted. My least favorite tracks are the intro tracks especially The Glorious Liberation of the People’s Technocratic… I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

archenemy_willtopower_2017For a couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out what bands do I love that I have yet to cover for Album Of The Week? Then it dawned on me when I was looking back at some of my favorite albums of 2017 that I have yet to cover Arch Enemy. Arch Enemy was a band at one point that was considered a supergroup, but they’ve earned enough respect over the years to be known as a Swedish Melodic Death Metal band. The album that I chose for all of you today is the band’s tenth studio Will To Power which once again features Alissa White-Gluz (Lead Vocals) for her second album with the band, Daniel Erlandsson (Drums, Co-Producer), Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass), Jeff Loomis  (Guitars) in his first official full length album with the band, and Michael Amott (Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Co-Producer). The album becomes just the fifth album to ever hit the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at 90 (Doomsday Machine #87, Rise Of The Tyrant #84, Khaos Legions #78, and War Eternal #44). The album also peaked at #3 on the Billboard US Top Hard Rock Albums and #15 on the Billboard US Top Rock Albums charts as well.

archenemy2017promonew2_6381. Set Flame to the Night– An instrumental that showcases the guitar work complete with sirens and police chatter that help set up the next track. 4/5

2. The Race– An all out blitzkrieg of metal fury launches into overdrive when Alissa takes control vocally. The track contains elements of thrash with just pure heavy metal and the lyrics are deep as Alissa talks about Race and how it has affected mankind. 5/5

3. Blood In The Water– Another track that is just pure heavy metal from start to finish and Alissa does a good job balancing semi-clean vocals with her distinct death metal growl. The track features an insane guitar solo that is a true highlight of the track. Alissa is singing about the current climate of the world that is just engulfed in hate and war. 5/5

4. The World Is Yours– a sonic face melter right riff starts off the track in a track that is all about seizing the day because no one else is going to do it for you. 4.5/5

5. The Eagle Flies Alone– The track starts off with a cool melodic riff before it turns into a straight up metal track reminding me a little of 90’s Megadeth in a track that is all about someone who is just an outsider and lives by their own rules. 5/5

6. Reason To Believe– This is one of my favorite tracks on the record and I love if because it feels like it has a very Scorpion-esque sound to it. It’s very melodic and melancholic with a cool guitar riff from Amott and Loomis. I also love the fact that we get some clean vocals from Alissa to go with the screams. This is also the only track to have been written and featuring Michael’s brother Christopher. 5/5

arch enemy7. Murder Scene- A bass driven track to start before the all out double bass peddle madness begins complete with some amazing guitar solos. The track’s lyrics are very interesting because it could be about someone who faced trauma or the fact that a relationship is over makes it hard for a person to deal with. 4/5

8. First Day In Hell– A very dark track that chronicles the horrors of going to a concentration camp back in the late 1930’s/early 40’s. 4.5/5

9. Saturnine– An instrumental track featuring a keyboard or piano before the guiatrists come in as it leads to the next track. 4/5

10. Dreams Of Retribution– With the power and fierceness of Judas Priest, the band blazes through your speakers in a track that is about someone that is locked away in an asylum because of someone and they are plotting their revenge for the day they leave. 4.5/5

11. My Shadow And I– The all out assault on your ear drums continues in this one that seems to be about your conscious tormenting you for ever decision you make, but I could be wrong. 4/5

12. A Fight I Must Win– The last track on the album that talks about no matter what you face in life, you have to overcome it or you’ll be sucked into the agony of whatever it is. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I think Alissa has done an amazing job with the band as she fits in perfectly with the bunch. I know the band is listed as Melodic Death Metal band, but let’s be honest their only link is the vocal style. This is a metal band right here that deserves to be in convos with other greats. My favorite tracks on the album are Reason To Believe, Blood In The Water, and The Race. My least favorite track(s) are My Shadow And I and Murder Scene.I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade. Be sure to check them on tour right now and in the fall.

machine headOne of the most underrated American metal bands to come out of the 1990’s has to be the one and only Machine Head. These guys deserve a lot of credit for the fact that when their own label was against them, they never lost sight of their goal and they kept going to the point that they are undeniable now. That is why I have decided that for this week’s album of the week, I am going to cover one of their albums. My introduction to Machine Head is thanks to a CD sampler that used to be handed out at every single Ozzfest. The sampler for 1997 or 98 I believe contained a track called Ten Ton Hammer and ever since that day I was instantly hooked. The album I chose for this week is the band’s second album The More Things Change… which was released on March 26, 1997 and was produced by Colin Richardson. The band at the time featured Robb Flynn (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), in his last appearance with the band Logan Mader (Lead Guitar), Adam Duce (Bass) , and in his first appearance with the band Dave McClain (Drums). The album did pretty well for the band as it was the band’s first album to hit The Billboard Top 200 Charts when it peaked at 138 while going 16 in the UK.

machine head back1. Ten Ton Hammer– One of my favorite songs on the whole entire record that hits you like a ten ton hammer to the chest in a track that is all about being the best and making sure no one tries to bring you down. 5/5

2. Take My Scars– A very interesting track on the album that could look like it’s about Robb’s upbringing, but according to a source, it’s sung from the devil’s point of view. 5/5

3. Struck A Nerve– a great track on the album that can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but I think it’s a song about shocking the system or striking a nerve like they did right from the start with the whole kill the pro-life line. Duce’s bass playing is awesome on this track as well as many others. 5/5

4. Down To None-a track that starts very eerily with the clean channel guitar chords until the band lunges forward in a song that is about depression. 4.5/5

5. The Frontlines-A metal assault that sludges along, but my favorite part is the bass driven parts by Duce in the verses in a track that is all about how we allowed the government to do what it is doing because we never took a stand. 4.5/5

MACHINE-HEAD-The-More-Things-Change-2-16. Spine– Duce helps kick off the track with some sick bass playing before Mader and co. come in with the extra artillery. The track is kind of deep as it’s about someone who went through a traumatic experience and the one person he wanted to be there for him wasn’t. 4.5/5

7. Bay Of Pigs– a track with a little bit of a punk/hardcore flare to it that is all about his war against authority or the cops of San Francisco. 4/5

8. Violate– a little bit of a slower pace for the band almost resembling a Pantera Far Beyond Driven-esque vibe in this track that could be about someone who did something very bad to him. 4/5

9. Blistering– The track starts out with that awful denist drill that sent chills up my spine in this track that is all about that thing you do when you let all the hate bottle up inside, it’s just blisters. 4/5

10. Blood Of The Zodiac– The last track on the album that starts off slow before it picks up the pace in this track that is all about being your own person and not depending on others. Rising to the occasion and making a change that works for you. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I think that early Machine Head is some of the most brilliant material, but then again the latter part of the band’s career has been amazing as well. This won’t be the last time we see Machine Head on here for sure. My favorite tracks are Ten Ton Hammer, Blood Of The Zodiac, and Struck A Nerve. My least favorite tracks on the album would be Violate and Bay Of Pigs. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.