Posts Tagged ‘Groove Metal’

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.

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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.

a0750464161_16We are getting back into the tour bus once again to complete our goal of 50 bands from 50 states and we only have 17 states left to visit. So to knock one of those states off the list, we are traveling to the great state of Maryland to check out our latest act. The band that we have for you guys are veterans of the metal scene as ZFL who hail from the Aberdeen/Belcamp area are a brutal groove metal band that formed in 1996. The band endlessly toured their butts off playing show after show with the likes of bands like Mastodon before imploding. The band would come right back to life in 2012 with a revived lineup that is out to share their brand of metal with the world. In 2015, the band released their latest effort in Rumors Of War and the track that I want to share with you guys is melodic and heavy effort That Which Is Unnameable. The track starts off very dark and melodic before the band comes in with ferocious punch that reminds me of Lamb Of God and Pantera. These guys are not signed to a label and it’s a shame because they should be. Check them out on Facebook, Bandcamp, and on Reverbnation as well. Check out the track below:

Machine-Head-Catharsis-2018We gave you a single of the week from the rock side of life so we figured we’s give you one from the metal side of things as well. One of the most underrated bands in all of metal has always been California Groove Metal titans Machine Head. The band has released some stellar albums from Burn My Eyes, Through The Ashes Of Empires, The Blackening, Unto The Locust, and the last album we’ve heard from them in 2014’s Bloodstone & Diamonds. Now the band has unveiled their next effort in Catharsis which is due out on January 26, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The band also unveiled a brand new track for everyone to hear in the epic twin guitar assault in Beyond The Pale. Robb Flynn talked about the new album saying, “I feel like metal could really infiltrate the mainstream with this album. And it needs to… now more than ever. A lot of consideration went into making these songs more identifiable to a wider audience. Simplifying ideas, simplifying hooks, really concentrating on story-telling as opposed to ‘brutal poetry’ or whatever. And while I’d love to say it was all some grand plan, there was no ‘plan.’” You never know where you’re going to end up whenever you start writing a record… you just write… but I tell ya what… we ended up with a landmark here. Whenever you finish an album, you always feel proud, but this time… we’ve got something really special. We can feel it. We know it. Catharsis could really elevate our genre.” You can pre-order the new album now via Nuclear Blast, but for now check out the track below:

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.

WOTC PanteraIt was once known as the cover of the week where we celebrated our favorite covers of the week before it morphed into the cover battle. In cover battle, we took the same song covered by two different bands and asked you to vote as to which one was better is now being called War Of The Covers. Now that we are doing this again, the same rules apply, you have one week to vote as to what version you like better and that version is king. Of course, we all have different opinions and tastes so if you’re version loses then remember to grab some cheese and wine because you’ll need it. This week’s War of the Covers centers around one of my favorite tracks from the chart topping album from Pantera entitled Far Beyond Driven. It was the album that put a band that was already on the map on the map again, but really all it did was cement the fact that they didn’t need radio play to validate them. In 2010, British heavy metal band Malefice covered the track I’m Broken for the Metal Hammer Magazine tribute album Getcha’ Pull: A tribute to Dimebag Darrell. In 2012, French groove/death metal band Trepalium covered the track for their album H.N.P. and now you will decide whose cover was better.

 

We are back on the tour bus and we are leaving Georgia and we are heading to the blue grass state of Kentucky for this week’s Unsigned Band Of The Week and for good reason. The band that we are covering this week is currently ranked the number one band in Kentucky on ReverbNation and they are coming to us from Danville, Kentucky, we are talking about Creature Of Exile. If you love old school Thrash Metal mixed with elements of Death Metal and Groove then this is the band for you because that is what Creature Of Exile bring to the table. At one time, the band beat out two nationally signed acts in Puddle of Mudd and Halestorm when they finished number three on Killer Radio’s top five of 2012 meaning these guys are the real deal. The song I chose for you guys today is the title track from the band’s newest album Age of Annihilation which by the way is out now. The song is just pure intensity right from the start with the razor fast shredding by John Massey and Jerrod Messick who have the task of combining their influences into the track which they do brilliantly. You can hear the elements of thrash incorporated with the death metal playing and the blast beats from drummer Eric Lyons and those awesome guttural vocals from Johnny Martin. This is definitely a band you want to check out and hopefully someone snags them up real soon. Give them a like on Facebook and check out their Reverbnation page while you’re at it.