Author Archives: Yannick

Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

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Today’s band needs to introduction since they are widely popular, so I’ll skip that part. The story of the record, however, deserves a small explanation: Bring Me The Horizon were supposed to release their fourth full album Sempiternal on April 29th but it leaked in its entirety in late February. What could have been the worst thing to ever happen to the band turned out to be quite a blessing, since the general reactions were very positive. Encouraged by this, the band pushed the release forward to April 1st and offered a one week-long listening period of a legal stream on their website. So before I give you my two cents on the album, I urge you to buy it, if you dig it.

From the first second onward you will immediately notice that there has been a change in the sound of BMTH: keyboards and synthesizers are now used as a main instrument. This addition might seem (and sound) weird at first but don’t let it scare you off: it’s perfectly used and the eleven songs still sound like Bring Me.

The keyboards actually add a layer of versatility and freshness to the band’s sound even though it wasn’t necessary since the predecessor, with the freakishly long name, There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret. was already diverse enough, at least for my taste. But there’s no point in comparing the two records since this one is just on a whole new level of awesomeness, for lack of a better word. Side-note: the guitar and drum sound hasn’t been changed much and remains at its usual height.

The thing that struck me the most on my first listening though were the vocals. On more than one occasion I thought to myself “oh, look: guest vocals”…when that same thought came again a song later, and then again on the next one, I became suspicious and paid closer attention: it’s all the same guy. Now, you must know that I dig Oli Skyes’ vocals on all of the band’s previous work, but I wasn’t prepared for this huge improvement! His clean vocals just stand out so much that they still give me shivers every now and then on certain songs. But enough of that, since the lyrics are another very interesting factor of these forty-six minutes. The general theme is a mix between happiness and sadness, which is nicely reflected by the instrumental ensemble, but I’ll let you discover the different aspects yourself.

All in all, I have to say that Bring Me The Horizon have outdone themselves on this one and that Sempiternal has definitely entered my, still young, top five albums list of 2013. If you’re a fan of the band you should not miss out on this, and if you’re a hater of the band…give it a go: it might change your opinion of them. For more information, you can find the band on Facebook and to get an idea of their new sound, check out the song below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lir3dzYIhz0]

In The Name Of – This Will All Make Sense Soon

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Today’s review needs a little introduction, since in recent times I’ve never heard of this happening to a metal band, or at least it was not openly acknowledged: In The Name Of is, what you could call, a casting band. In 2010 the vocalist Tyler Small started the band, with Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria (fun fact: I’ve lost count of how often I’ve mentioned AA in my reviews) acting as manager. They recruited several band members over the course of, roughly, half a year and started recording almost immediately.

The first result did not impress me much, but it was just a rough edit of a song so I didn’t really lose interest in the band itself but I stopped checking their page regularly. A bit more than a year later, in late 2012, I saw that they were about to release their first record completely for free via Facebook. I was assuming that it’d be nothing more than a handful of songs but I was surprised to see that it was a full album with eleven songs. So now, without further ado, here is my review of said record: This Will All Make Sense Soon.

The album starts with a couple of acoustic chords but quickly picks up the pace with finest metalcore coming at you. The similarities between ITNO and AA are hard to miss but it’s not to the point where it’s a bother, at least to me. The guitars as well as the drums have a surprisingly good sound, considering that the band is unsigned and has only had, I’d imagine, access to limited funds. I must say that the entire production value is at a pretty sick level, another factor that made my jaw drop the first I listened through the thirty-nine minutes. The songwriting might not blow away everything that has ever been written but it’s solid, with a good sense for catchiness in the choruses, so no critique there.

The one thing that might put you off at first is the vocalist’s clean singing. It’s a bit “whiny” at first, but you get used to it quickly and, at least that was the case for me, you’ll enjoy them after, at the latest, your first listen-through of the album. His screams and growls on the other hand are on an excellent level and you’ll feel right at home. Additional support is given by Nick Arthur of Molotov Solution and Sean Neumann of This Romantic Tragedy on the songs Evoker and Discord, respectively.

To sum it up: give these guys a chance if you like the above-mentioned band or similar stuff, you will not be disappointed. And if you’ve never listened to anything of the kind, this might actually be a good start, especially since you can listen to it absolutely for free on their Facebook page. Here’s to hoping that the band is going to keep up the same level of output and possibly go on tour in the near future. They have my support for sure! You know the drill: song below if you need convincing.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzV8r5nEwQo]

The Words We Use – Morals

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It’s a bit slow in the post-hardcore department when it comes to new releases, so I’ve decided to write about an EP that came out in June 2012 but I’ve only stumbled upon recently: Morals by The Words We Use.

Let me just say this right off the bat: the four song (five including the hidden track) EP doesn’t re-invent the wheel or add any new elements but why change a winning team? The sextet knows how to write catchy songs and that’s what counts, in my opinion.

The one thing that stands out to me is that they refrain from using the typical mono-riff song structure that has been so dominant in the genre. Quite the contrary: every song has super melodic riffs which prevent boredom from being an issue. The drums are on an equally interesting level and round off the instrumental side quite nicely.

The vocals are provided by two different singers and leave absolutely nothing left to wish for: flawless execution from start to finish. The EP even features a guest appearance by Sleeping With Sirens‘ Kellin Quinn on the song Building Coral Castle.

To sum things up I’d say that TWWU have managed to put out a highly enjoyable first effort and I’m definitely looking forward to more stuff. I’d recommend you give this record a chance if you’re, like me, on the lookout for some tasty post-hardcore. For more info you can check the band’s Facebook page and be sure to listen to the song below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqHhn0QvWII]

Trash Monday LVII

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The music is pretty good and even though the video is meant as a joke I still have to show this one to you! Where else can you see Schwarzenegger handle a lot of amphetamines (oh wait…), a band playing in a whirlpool and an underwater guitar solo?
Thanks to Schaul for this one!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbtlPCbhVGw]

Capture The Crown – Til Death

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In the couple of years that I’ve been listening to metalcore and similar music I’ve seldom seen one band receive as much hate as Capture The Crown. The reason for all this malice is that people argued that they blatantly copied Asking Alexandria‘s style from their Stand Up And Scream era. This includes: the way they dress, their musical style, their lyrical content and so on. I have to admit that back when I heard their first single You Call That A Knife? This Is A Knife! I had the same impression and opinion…but since I usually don’t judge a band after a single song I decided to wait for their first full length. In late 2012 they announced that their debut Til Death would be released in December 2012 via Sumerian Records, which wasn’t really a surprise since they have also signed AA. But enough back story, let’s get down to business.

Already during the intro you’ll know what direction this record is taking: metalcore infused with electronic elements. The guitars come at you with great ferocity and even though the main riffs are pretty generic, there are a lot of tasty licks to keep it from being monotonous. And, as you may or may not know, even though I usually have a hard time to hear the bass lines, there is absolutely no problem here, they are clearly distinguishable.

The drums throughout the fourteen songs are nothing awe-inducing but they do exactly what they are supposed to do: keep the beat and rhythm. So no complaints there. The vocals vary between deep growls, high screeches and clean singing and are altogether very well executed. The lyrics are laden with curse words but if you’re not too much of a wimp when it comes to that it shouldn’t bother you.

There’s only one small gripe during this forty-eight minute album: the “dubstep” song Storm In A Tea Cup is just awful, especially with the auto-tuned vocals…but I’m not a big fan of stuff like that to begin with. But since it’s easily skipped it doesn’t bother me much when I listen to the entire record.

All in all, I’d say that CTC have managed to make a respectable first step into the scene and that they’re definitely worth checking out, especially if you liked the above mentioned Asking Alexandria album. I’m eager to follow their evolution and I hope that people will at one point look past the prejudices and just accept the band’s style, be it original or not. Check out their Facebook page and listen to the song below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC9ru4LLNHU]

Legends Of The Night – Predation

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Today I’m going to review something I haven’t done for El Gore so far: a comic; more precisely Predation from the Legends Of The Night series. In case you have never heard of it, which is likely, let me introduce you to this horror comic by Karl White: it’s a completely independent series which has three issues so far and one compendium that explains the history of the world the stories are set in. They are all drawn by different artists and the one I chose to review features art by Jm Ringuet. I have to warn you: the review will be quite spoilery…so continue at your own discretion.

The plot is quite simple: a serial killer, Charles Mercer, is looking for a new victim and through an unlucky coincidence he ends up finding it in the form of a shy librarian. He stalks her, knocks her out and drags her to his basement where he ties her up on an autopsy table. Here he proceeds to slice her open with a scalpel in order to gut her like a pig. However, his plans are dramatically changed when the woman starts to twist and scream, only to transform into a werewolf.

As the hunter becomes the prey he runs for his life and looks for refuge in the woods, to no avail. He flees further and ends up in the neighbor’s barn where he is discovered by the owner, Mr. Horn, who threatens him with a shotgun. A panel later he gets his head chewed off which must make him the most short-lived character in a comic book, but at least it’s a gory departure.

Charles continues his flight and bumps into a girl, who I believe is the farmer’s daughter, driving a car. Honoring every women-on-the-wheel cliché she crashes into a horse only moments later and is catapulted through the window, a friendly reminder to put on a seatbelt. This brings the headcount to two, three including our four-legged friend, in a matter of three pages. Our main protagonist then runs back towards his home and enters his basement again where he grabs an axe to face the she-wolf. The ending is as you might expect it to be: pure karma.

The artwork is fitting to the genre, with focus on the gore and blood. But I have to admit that I wasn’t blown away by it. Then again: comics like The Walking Dead aren’t all that much of an eye-candy either. As long as the drawings convey the story  in an understandable way it’s enough to satisfy me.

All in all, I’d advise people that are into horror comics to give this comic a try. Especially since it’s distributed in a digital form and is therefore easy to access. I included a link for the German Amazon…the US Amazon links can be found on their website here. Enjoy!

A Mute Appeal – Convictions Of Empires

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It’s time to check out what’s been happening in the Luxembourgish scene again and what better way to do this than by checking one of the releases that I didn’t get around to review last year. I’m of course talking about A Mute Appeal, who released their debut EP Convictions Of Empires on December 1st. The band is comprised of five relatively young guys that play deathcore since 2011.

During my first listening session I was struck by one thing that has already bothered me on one of my previous reviews: two of the eight songs are intros. It’s nothing too annoying but in my opinion it could just have been one song. Then there’s also another brief interlude towards the end, which puts the actual song count down to five. The songs do make up for it but, personally, I’m not really a fan of intermissions on an EP.

The guitars are just right for the genre and have some interesting riffs that made me skip back a couple of times to enjoy them once again. The sound could be slightly sharper but no minus points there from me…it doesn’t always have to be perfectly produced to sound good. I can’t say anything bad about the drums at all: I like their sound and the frequent usage of double bass…my needs are satisfied.

Something that I am a bit disappointed by are the vocals…let me explain: I saw the band for the first time at FFYS last year and I was amazed by the singer because he killed it, especially considering that they were one of the first bands of the day. When I listened to the record though, his growls seemed weaker than at the show and his screeches, which did retain the quality I remembered, were rather poorly mixed. It’s a bit of a shame to me since the vocals were the one thing that I especially liked about their sound.

All in all, I’d say that Convictions Of Empires is a decent first release and that it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre. Nevertheless, I’m more interested in what the future holds for these guys since one thing they do not lack is talent and I’m convinced that with a little bit of polish they can easily surpass their first effort. Check out the band on Facebook and don’t hesitate to listen to the entire album on their Bandcamp page below.

Serpent’s Tongue – Desolation & Vices (double review)

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If you’ve read a couple of my reviews you know that I’m mostly into post-hardcore and metalcore. However, I love me some hardcore from time to time, and what better way is there to do so than by checking out a new band that isn’t influenced by a record label?

This is why today’s review is going to be about Serpent’s Tongue, an Indiana based quartet. But to make things a little more interesting I’ll review both their releases, the first one being Vices which was released in March 2012.

The six songs start off without any delay and deliver punch after punch and before you even realize what’s happening to your eardrums, the EP is over. This is partly due to its Guinness-worthy length of eight minutes and a half, but also to the fact that no song sounds like the other which is something that impressed me.

If I had to describe the direction of the instruments I’d say that it has a very beatdown-esque vibe to it: relentless drum rhythms, heavily accented bass guitars and simple but effective riffs. Might not be ideal for everybody’s ears but I dig it; it makes me want to punch baby pandas…OK, maybe not.

The vocals are the one thing that absolutely sell it for me though: the vocalist screams his heart out and leaves no doubt that he’s into what he does. My personal highlight being the “intro” to the second song Faces And Revenge.

But why babble so much? Check out the record below and be your own judge.

Their second release Desolation, which was released in December last year, starts a bit differently but with the same train of thought: fuck shit up. The track count has been reduced to five but augmented in length to twelve minutes.

Luckily, the increased duration doesn’t take anything away from the intensity and you’re treated to basically the same approach in the instrumental department. The production has seen a slight change as well: whereas the predecessor was slightly rougher, this one has a bit more fine-tuned feel to it which goes quite nicely with the lengthier songs.

The vocals remain strong but with slightly more diversity, so nothing to complain about there. Another surprise there, I have to admit, since in a matter of nine months the band managed to improve upon something that was already quite enjoyable to begin with.

Again, talking about it doesn’t do it justice…so make up your own mind below.

All in all, this band definitely deserves the twenty minutes of your time, that it takes you to listen to both releases. I’d say that you get your money’s worth but that would be a lie since both EPs can be downloaded absolutely for free. If you want to keep up with future releases by the band, be sure to check out their Facebook page!

Trash Monday LII

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I don’t even know where to start, so I won’t say anything except: Japan out-japaned themselves on this one.
Thanks to Vic for the contribution!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSwsiAKv5K8]

~Yannick~

Trepalium – H.N.P.

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As teased yesterday, here’s the review of the second opening act that night: the French band Trepalium!

A lot of people have probably heard them before without even knowing it since back in 2006 their song Sick Boogie Murder raised a lot of eyebrows because of its interesting sound. In 2012 the quintet released a new record called H.N.P. which keeps elements of that sound but also adds several new ones.

After the intro is over you’ll notice that it’s still got its groove-laden guitars but they’ve tuned up the heaviness as well as the technicality factors quite a bit. One thing that struck me about them though is that there seems to be one riff that comes back in different variations all throughout the nine tracks, doesn’t bother me personally but some might find it repetitive.

When the drums aren’t insanely grooving they are are pretty much non-stop straight to your face with double bass attacks and occasional blast beats, just as I like them. The only thing that “bothers” me personally are the vocals. They are in no way bad; quite the contrary actually but I’m missing those little surprises, that were present in the above-mentioned song, that add variation to the whole thing. Nevertheless that doesn’t really influence the record itself in a negative way, so it’s probably just a personal gripe.

There is a little surprise as the tenth song on here too…a cover of Pantera‘s I’m Broken! It’s only fitting to end this record with this legendary song and I dare say that they do a very good job at it too!

In closing I’m going to go ahead and say that if you are looking for something in both the groove department as well as the heavier department, you are at the right address with Trepalium‘s H.N.P.! Check out their Facebook page and their music video below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUMuscbjTpA]