Posts Tagged ‘Nu-Metal’

71TtrBCBivL._SL1433_I was going though my collection of cassettes of early college radio shows that I did back in 2000/01 when I came across a song that brought back memories. The year 2000 was kind of a hot year for the genre known as Nu-Metal which at this point had taken over the world with bands like Puya, Limp Bizkit, Hed PE releasing music and gaining airplay. One band that had struck a chord with me was Los Angeles Nu Metal group Spineshank who by October 2000 had just released their sophomore effort The Height of Callousness which is this week’s album of the week. The band was made up of Jonny Santos (Vocals),  Mike Sarkisyan (Guitar, Co-Producer), Robert Garcia (Bass), and Tommy Decker (Drums) while the album was also produced by GGGarth. The album did fair upon it’s release as it sold over 150,000 copies and peaked at 183 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while also peaking at 13 on the Heatseekers, 23 on the Top Independents, and 104 on the UK album charts. The band mixing in elements of industrial metal on the album has often drawn comparisons to Fear Factory and Rammstein by critics.

918EIeKSQWL._SL1500_1. Asthmatic– The first track opens right up by going for the throat with a Slipknot ferociousness in a track that seems to be about how hurt the narrator is by someone who abandoned him. 4/5

2. The Height of Callousness– The title track does not lift the foot off the gas as the band is in your face right from the start in a track about a person who just feels nothing anymore. 4/5

3. Synthetic– One of my favorite tracks on the album that has that Nu-Metal radio sense to it while being an intense track. The track is about how if you keep listening to what other people tell you to do then you’ll never make your own choices because their synthetic. 5/5

4. New Disease– You can definitely hear the industrial influence on the track that reminds me a little of bands like Orgy in a track that is about no matter how hard you try to think that you have a purpose, the one that you believe to have may not be it. It’s kind of a self realization track. 5/5

5. (Can’t Be) Fixed– A track with a slow build up to a bass driven Dope-like sound on this track about someone who can’t be fixed because he refuses to change. 4/5

6. Cyanide 2600– an industrial heavy track that is all about someone who doesn’t care about anyone, but wants everyone to care about him. 4/5

the-height-of-callousness-51f9817d6b23b7. Play God– A track that goes back to the heavy guitar driven Industrial metal that we heard in the beginning. It’s a track that goes from 1 to 1000, but not one of my favorites on the album, but it’s not terrible. 3.5/5

8. Malnutrition– More industrial driven metal with that guitar assault which is more of the same like we heard in the last track. The track seems to be about someone who just feeds everyone BS all the time hence being malnourished. 4/5

9. Seamless– The track starts off with some bad ass metal riffage going on there and they never let the foot off the gas at all during the track. The song seams to be about someone who just feels like life sucks and that you’re wasting your time trying to better yours. 4/5

10. Negative Space– A track that reminds me of the radio tracks in a song that is about the narrator and how he is not going to be the same as everyone else anymore because he is giving up a life of addiction. 4/5

11. Transparent– The last track on the album that hits as hard as any on the album about someone who feels like he isn’t who he used to be and that he is so different it’s becoming transparent. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Were Spineshank titans of Nu-Metal the same way that Korn, Limp Bizkit, and so many others? Maybe not, but that is because they are one of the most underrated bands of the genre. There are some great songs on here and others that are really good. This is definitely an album worth listening to besides Strictly Diesel. So, with that being said, I am going to give the album 4.1 stars out of five for a final grade.

Advertisements

end of all thingsOne of the coolest bands that I ever remember seeing in a live setting was Peoria, Illinois’s own Mudvayne. The first time I ever saw them live was when they were the openers for Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osbourne while supporting L.D. 50. The album that I chose for this week’s album of the week is the follow up to the very successful L.D. 50 in The End Of All Things To Come. The album featured Chad Gray (Vocals), Greg Tribbett (Guitars), Ryan Martinie (Bass), and Matthew McDonough (Drums) while the album was produced by David Bottrill. The band had a buck load of time to make the first record, but not a lot of time to make the follow up as McDonough explains, “We had all the time in the world to write our first album, but for the second one, we had about a month. I’m amazed how quickly we came up with the material.” While the time may have seemed short, it definitely paid off as the album peaked at 17 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while being certified Gold by 2003.

Mudvayne-The_End_Of_All_Things_To_Come-Trasera1. Silenced– Ryan Martinies amazing bass playing opens the track before the band comes in with the fury and intricate song structures. The song is one of the fiercest tracks on the album and a great track to hear live. 5/5

2. Trapped in the Wake of a Dream– McDonough revealed in an interview once that the verses were written in 17/8 while the chorus was done 11/8 time signature. McDonough says, “If I hadn’t pointed out which song was written in 17/8 I don’t think most people would have noticed. It’s a strange time signature but it works because it’s smooth.” 4/5

3. Not Falling– The first single off the record and one of my favorite tracks and it reminds me of a mix of Dig, but more mature and more mainstream conscious. The track itself is about being strong and never giving up on whatever it is that you face. 5/5

4. (Per)Version of a Truth– A great track that showcases more of the brilliance of Martinie and how he teams with Tribbett so well. The song is about how we are all seeking the truth in life, but in reality it doesn’t exist because society distorts the truth. 5/5

5. Mercy, Severity– an intense track right from the start before it mellows out for the verses. The track could have something to do with the tree of life which is found in the Kabbalah or it could be about creation or recreation. 4.5/5

6. World So Cold– A very different track for the time because of it’s more mellow nature, but it was the second single released off the record which talks about the band’s resentment towards society and how cold it can be. 5/5

the-end-of-all-things-to-come-4e805f94669bf7. The Patient Mental– A very Nu-Metalish sounding track right from the start that deals with the author talking about fame and why he doesn’t understand it fully as well as talking about the recording industry as well. 4/5

8. Skrying– They don’t let the foot off the gas as this one steamrolls ahead, but the lyrical content can be perceived as very dark. Skyring in Luciferian terms is all about reflecting on one’s own self, but he is not doing it in the occult way. Just check out the lyrics to the track. The one cool thing about the track is how it completely transforms at one point midway through the track. 4.5/5

9. Solve et Coagula– In alchemist terms, the song translates into dissolve and coagulate and the track is a reflection of how the band feels about society and how secular we are. The band is absolutely brilliant in the song writing department. 4.5/5

10. Shadow of a Man– A interesting track where the narrator is somehow displeased at the fact that there could be an alternate version of himself and how that version could be living a better life than him. 4/5

11. 12:97:24:99– a throw away track as there is no sound and it’s only 11 seconds in length. 0/5

12. The End Of All Things To Come– The title track is pretty intense in it’s thrash like nature in a track that is setting a point that things need to change in the world starting with our world leaders. 4/5

13. A Key to Nothing– The last track on the album comes in strong with it’s nu-metal sound about the fact that if we had nothing then there would be no problems. For example, no more/no less meaning if we have no more than 0 and nothing less than 0 then we have nothing. This is a world changing track y’all 4/5

mud-promoMy Final Thoughts– While L.D. 50 may be a brilliant debut from the band, I thought there sophomore release was up to par as a great successor. The singles were more radio friendly than Dig or any of the singles off the first, they were still great tracks. You should definitely give this one a listen if you want to get to know the brilliance of Mudvayne. I just wish they would reunite already! I am going to give the album 4.1 stars out of five for a final grade.

Slipknot_-_Iowa-frontThere has not been a band on the American metal scene that has quite the impact on the 21ST century than the nine piece band of madness known as Slipknot. Slipknot which in 2001 featured  (#8) Corey Taylor (Vocals), (#7) Mick Thomson (Guitars), (#6) M. Shawn Crahan (Custom Percussion), (#5) Craig Jones (Samples), (#4) Jim Root (Guitars), (#3) Chris Fehn (Custom Percussion), (#2) Paul Gray (Bass), (#1) Joey Jordison (Drums), and (#0) Sid Wilson (Turntables). On August 28, 2001, the band would release their highly anticipated sophomore release Iowa which was named after the state the band originates from. The album was a dark time for the band because the pressure was on them to produce another hit after the huge success of their debut record. Relationships were scarred during the recording, but it lent a very dark album considering the band considers it very dark times. This was the first album that Jim Root was able to say that he was apart of when it came to writing. He had joined the band too late when it came to the recording of the first album (which only featured two songs he had written). The album was a huge success for the band it went in the top ten in 14 different countries, was number one in the UK, and it peaked at three on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as the album went platinum.

945597427-Slipknot-Iowa-Trasera1.515– is an intro track that features some vocals from Sid Wilson and is named after the state of Iowa’s area code. 4/5

2. People = Shit– This is probably one of the most bad ass songs the band has ever written. It’s fast and aggressive and it describes what people can be sometimes which is sh**. 5/5

3. Disasterpiece– An agressive as hell track that is a dark look at a person who gives there all into a relationship just to not have it reciprocated so he returns the favor. 4/5

4. My Plague– The track features some bad ass playing from Joey and co., but it’s considered one of the more melodic tracks on the album (probably cause of the chorus) in a track that is all about hypocrites . 5/5

5. Everything Ends– Another track that is heavy as hell, but it features some melody in it while he seems to be speaking about all the different stages we go through during a bad break up. 4/5

6. The Heretic Anthem– The sixth song on the album that features that famous countdown from nine to the repeating 6, 6, 6, before it continues to countdown to one when the madness then proceeds to explode out of your speaker. A truly great track from the band. 5/5

7. Gently– The track starts a little differently than most with an ominous bass riff and the hitting of a cymbal before the first guitar riff comes in. It’s a really cool and different track that gets heavy when it needs to. 4.5/5

Slipknot-Iowa-CD8. Left Behind– Another one of my personal favorites from the album that was also the lead single. It was the most successful single of the time and launched the band into the next stratosphere. 5/5

9. The Shape– Corey gets deep with us on this Death Metal influenced track that talks about how sometimes our life can be such a pain in the ass that we just have to separate us from it. 4/5

10. I Am Hated– Corey wears his emotions on his sleeve and he’s pretty straightforward with his lyrics as well so you can pretty much figure out this is their big FU song. 4/5

11. Skin Ticket– An interesting track on the album that could be about how we think we are something, but we might not really be anything on the scale of things. “Zero and zero is nothing but zero.” The track features some deep elements of Nu-Metal within it. 4/5

12. New Abortion– I feel that this headbanger is a track for all of their fans, the maggots who follow the band through thick and thin. 4.5/5

13. Metabolic– A really heavy track that I am not exactly sure what he is talking about in it, but it could be about someone close not being there for him. 4/5

14. Iowa– The last track on the album that starts with some screaming and some cool samples, but it’s dark and ominous and it could be the sequel to the track Purity from the first record. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This was definitely an amazing album from the band that you would never get again as their sound started to evolve after this. If you were a fan of the heavy stage of their career then this is a magnum opus, but if you’re like me then this is a step in their evolution. I am going to give the album 4.4 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.

Dope-GT-960x960There were a lot of bands that emerged from the Nu Metal scene back in the late 1990’s, but there always that one band that just seemed different than everyone else. Dope was one of those bands that just came out and they looked and sounded the part especially with the industrial influence of the first album. I felt with album after album that Edsel Dope, the lead singer of the band Dope was growing as a musician as well and it was evident with the previous effort Life. Edsel definitely kept the ball rolling with the next effort which we are covering this week in Group Therapy which featured Virus (Guitar and keyboards), Sloane “Mosey” Jentry (Bass), and Racci “Sketchy” Shay (Drums). Edsel assumed a lot more responsibilities on this album as he also handled guitars, audio production, engineering, and he produced the album which was also the band’s first effort since leaving Epic. The album garnered a lot of mixed reviews once it was released, but it was an album that had showed that the band had range. The album peaked at number 17 on The Billboard Top Independent records chart and it peaked at number 16 on the Heetseekers chart.

dope 21.Falling Away– A cool bass line drives the verses for the most part before the band kicks back in with the industrial rock styled assault. The track seems to be about no matter how awesome he feels there is always something there to drag him down. 4/5

2. Bitch– I always loved this song because it’s such an in your face, bravado filled track with huge power chords that has balls. It’s about being in a relationship that literally means nothing to you, but the sex is great. 5/5

3. I Am– A cool rock track and one of my favorites that has a bad ass pre-chorus that leads into an epic chorus that makes you want to chant I Am What I Am really loudly along with Edsel. The lyrics are pretty self explanatory. 5/5

4. Motivation– Another in your face track with huge power chords that talks about being in the right state of mind to succeed and if not get the hell out of the way. 4/5

5. Sing– A song that is on the lighter side of things for the band with either an acoustic guitar or the guitars are on a clean channel. It’s a song that just tells you to sing no matter what you may be doing it for or what people think. Just sing! 5/5

6. Now Is The Time– A hard rock track that is ballsy with a big bass riff that is telling you that now is the time to do something so stop wasting time! 4/5

7. Paranoia– a track that has a driving riff that is super charged about being paranoid or are you saying I’m paranoid? 4/5

dope group therapy8. Bring It On– Racci kicks off this track with a cool drum beat before the band comes in for a real hard rocker. Racci is actually one of the stars of this song and it seems to be built around him. 4.5/5

9. Another Day Goes By– One of my favorite tracks on the album that is another example of their lighter side in a track that is about being trapped in the same place all the time. I’ve pondered a lot in life especially while listening to this track. 5/5

10. Today Is The Day– Another track that is driven by Racci’s drum playing and Sloane’s bass playing and it’s awesome when the band comes in full force for the chorus. Today is the day to change your life. 5/5

11. Burn– Sirens and Racci’s amazing playing kick off the sequel to Die MotherF***** Die and it’s intense with razor fast and sledgehammer like riffs. 4.5/5

12. Easier– a very different and cool rock track that is a little bluesy at times about a break up that just needs to happen. It further showcases their “softer” side, but really that they can write anything. 4/5

13. So Low– The band closes the album with an absolute banger that is intense as hell when it needs to be. It’s about a guy who is just fed up with getting the blame when things go wrong in relationships. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Despite all the hate that the record may have received, I think that this is definitely one of the best albums the band has ever recorded. It was the natural progression from Life and they continue to move in the right direction with the next effort after this one. Another Day Goes By is the best track on the album besides the track I Am. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade because it’s that good.

2003-year-of-the-spiderThere was once a time in the world when Nu Metal was a genre that was ruling the airways and video play on MTV with bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit competing with the likes of The Backstreet Boys and Nsync. Some say that it was a glorious time to be alive while others are very troubled by it’s mere existence. For me, it was a time when I was discovering my love of the metal sub-genres all over again after a brief falling out period. At one point, Flip/Interscope thought it wise to hire Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit as an A&R man and his signings were hitting it big in the industry like Puddle Of Mudd, Staind, and today’s band of focus in Jacksonville, Florida rock act Cold. Cold was made up of Scooter Ward (Vocals), Terry Balsamo (Guitar), Kelly Hayes (Guitar), Jeremy Marshall (Bass), Howard Benson (Piano/Keys/Produced The Album), and Sam McCandless (Drums). Together in 2003, the band would release their most commercially successful album of their careers in Year Of The Spider which peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts even featuring a top Hot 100 track as well.

cold1.Remedy– A real driving riff starts off the song before this amazing bass riff takes over the verses before the band comes back in. The song seems to be about someone with issues who pushes people away and know this, but doesn’t anyone to really change it. 5/5

2. Suffocate– A clean channel guitar drives the song for the most part before the chorus. The song is about a relationship that is just toxic. The song features former Dollshead/Black Eyed Peas singer Sierra Swan and Sam McCandless’s drum laying is awesome on this track. 5/5

3. Cure My Tragedy (A Letter to God)– a touching track that Scooter wrote about the struggles his sister went through with her battle against Cancer while the band was recording the album. 4.5/5

4. Stupid Girl– This was the band’s lead single and the only single they ever wrote that cracked the Billboard top 100 that was co-written by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. 5/5

5. Don’t Belong– A bass driven track until the band comes in for the chorus about feeling like you just don’t belong or you can’t do anything right. 4/5

6. Wasted Years– a cool track with violins in the beginning and some acoustic guitars that compliment them. It is said that Scooter described the track as, “this song is basically about how I let little things take away the things I needed in life.” 4/5

7. Whatever You Became– A slowered tempo track whose melody/structure reminds me a little of first track Remedy. The track seems to be about how people have changed because of his fame, but he hasn’t changed. 4/5

Cold-Year_Of_The_Spider-CD8. Sad Happy– a very eerie track about a someone who is stuck in a very abusive relationship and cant get out of it. A sad reality that is too true in the world we live in. 4.5/5

9. Rain Song– A cool track about someone close to Scooter who may have harmed herself in some way and when it rains it reminds him of her. 4/5

10. The Day Seattle Died– A great track on the album that is the band’s tribute to Seattle’s music icons Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. 5/5

11. Change The World– The track starts with a drum cadence before the band comes racing in with a killer riff on a track that is basically about relationships. 4/5

12. Black Sunday– A track that starts with some acoustic and clean guitars in a track that is about loss of someone close to Scooter, a reoccurring theme in a lot of songs. 4/5

13. Kill The Music Industry– The bands response to the music industry who were constantly telling them that they were going to fail. It also features the track Gone Away at around the 2:55 mark or so. 4/5

My Final Thoughts: Despite the success of the album, the band would soon go through it’s own troubled times as the label refused to promote any more singles from the album and Terry Balsamo would exit the band in 2004 to replace Ben Moody in Evanescence. I am going to give the album 4.4 stars out of five for a final grade because it was a kick ass album.