Author Archives: 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]

Klone – The Dreamer’s Hideaway

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First off: a belated happy new beer to all of you! Let’s start, shall we?

In November last year I went to see Gojira at den Atelier and it was a great show, but something that went unnoticed by many were the two opening acts. One of them was the French band Klone from Poitiers. The sextet plays a style of music that I’m having a hard time to define, so I’ll just go ahead and say that it’s “French metal”. By that I mean that it bares resemblances to other bands from France like Dagoba and Aqme, even though the similarities are only minor.

Immediately after you put in their most recent record The Dreamer’s Hideaway and you listen to the first song Rocket Smoke, you should somewhat know what I mean. The whole thing has a grunge feel to it but with a more modern approach and deeper tuned guitars. There are a handful of parts where the riffs are very dense and create a huge tension but, at least to me, the majority of the time they blend in nicely with the ensemble in order to avoid an overload of your senses during the fifty-four minutes.

The drums follow a similar route, even though I like them a bit better than the string instruments. All throughout the eleven songs they keep a nice groove and at times they simply explode into mayhem. Some passages could almost be from the hands of Tool‘s Danny Carey, and that’s saying something.

I didn’t choose the drum comparison randomly but mainly because in some parts the vocals sound a bit like Maynard’s. I know that it’s never a good idea to compare vocal ranges because a lot of the times people don’t feel the same way as you do but I can’t shake the feeling that they’re alike. There’s not much I can say about the production since it’s exactly how it should be: nice and tight.

All in all, I’d say that Klone is probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re willing to check out something new every now and then, these guys are a good start. Plus they have a saxophone. Check out their Facebook page if you want to get more information and listen to the above mentioned song below and make sure to come back tomorrow if you want to read about the second opening act from the show!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHjjzyqheM0]

Top 5 2012 by Yannick

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As this year is coming to an end it’s time to look back on what has happened in the musical world, which is why I’ve decided to put together my top 5 albums of 2012! So if you have some spare Christmas cash, you know what to spend it on!

#5 Lamb Of God – Resolution

Even though I didn’t write a review for it, Lamb Of God‘s seventh album has definitely earned its spot in my list since it managed to surpass its 2009 predecessor Wrath which I listened to a lot of times back when it came out. The record adds quite a few interesting new aspects to LoG‘s sound and is totally worth checking out.

#4 Crown The Empire – The Fallout (review)

Probably my biggest surprise this year since it’s a brand new band who managed to distinguish themselves from the other newcomers this year. Strongly recommended to people who want a change from the usual post-hardcore.

#3 Stone Sour – House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 (review)

What can I say? If a record featuring Corey Taylor comes out it’s pretty much bound to end up in my top 5. But even without being a fanboy like me, this record is a definite grower. The first time you might be a bit put off, but after two or three listening sessions you’ll want to listen…to…just…one…more…song again. Can’t wait for Part 2 next year!

#2 In Fear And Faith – In Fear And Faith (review)

It was a close decision but the second place goes to In Fear And Faith’s self-titled release. This album just has everything you can wish for: melody, epicness, great vocals, amazing production and a nice concept to top it all off. What are you waiting for? Go buy it!

#1 Pierce The Veil – Collide With The Sky (review)

The record of the year goes to Pierce The Veil‘s third album, which still doesn’t leave my playlist for more than a week. A post-hardcore collection without this CD is definitely missing a great piece! But just see for yourself…you will not regret it.

As I said earlier, this musical year was quite a treat already…but 2013 is shaping up to be just as amazing. There will be new albums by at least the following bands: A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria, More Than A Thousand and Killswitch Engage. And I’m putting money on new records by: Chiodos and Devildriver.
Furthermore, a handful of local bands are also supposed to release new stuff: Scarred, Arkaeon, Falling Promises and Lifefight.

I guess I’ll end this by thanking my El Gore mates for the warm welcome earlier this year and I hope that, dear readers, will come back to read our ramblings in 2013! Until then: party hard.

Interview with Arkaeon

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Arkaeon are a Luxembourgish technical death metal band that most people from the “scene” know. Recently we conducted an interview with their lead singer Rosh. Here’s the result! Enjoy!

El Gore: After the release of your EP New Level Of Inhumanity in 2011, 2012 marked a big year for Arkaeon. You played many shows with quite a few big names from the genre. How was that experience for you?
Arkaeon: 2012 has been amazing for us, we’ve had the chance to play with some of our favorite bands and at places that we didn’t imagine to play in that short time that our band existed. For us every show is something special, we don’t care if we play in front of 5 or 500 people, we always have our fun and we hope the people that watch us also enjoy it.

EG: I read on your Facebook profile that you are planning to release a new song around Christmas. Can you give us more information about that?
A: Yes, we will release a new promo song that is called The Illuminated on the 26th of December. This song will give our fans a little preview of our EP that we will record next year in March. The song is as you can already guess about the Illuminati cult, but it also has a more general sense, that people should not always believe what they hear and that they should believe in results and actions and less in talking and promises.

EG: The general consensus is that the EP was a very good start, what can we expect from Arkaeon in 2013 in terms of recordings?
A: Like I already mentioned before we will again record an EP in March 2013 at the Ear We Go Studios with our best man Doudin, this is the same studio where we recorded the New Level Of Inhumanity EP and where we are currently recording our promo song. Maybe we’ll go again intto the studio in late 2013, who knows…

EG: How about shows in 2013? Maybe Food For Your Senses again? Or maybe a tour?
A: We have a lot of shows already planned for next year in Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, France and so on and we are also doing some tours in April and May 2013, in May we’re also going to the UK for the first time. We are more than excited for this, since it’s something that we always dreamed about. Food For Your Senses is definitely an option for us next year, even though I had my little accident last year, I am still a little unsure about this, but as long as there is no strobe, we will play every show we can! [laughs]

EG: You started a new band, Lifefight, not too long ago. Can you tell us a bit more about that project?
A: I always wanted to sing in a hardcore band since I’m into this music, but it was difficult to find other musicians that share the same interest, because hardcore wasn’t really big at all here; until a year ago the whole scene went more into hardcore and beatdown. So then Jones, Kai and I decided to start with Lifefight, we already have some songs written, which we will also record in early 2013. Then we will also start with some shows, but Arkaeon will always be the main band for us.

EG: I know you, Rosh, have mostly retired from organizing gigs but instead decided to do an annual concert. Can you give us any more information? A date or what to expect maybe?
A: Yes since the music business can really kick you in the ass financially I decided to stop organizing regularly shows here, but instead continue with one festival which I already did this year in Trier: the Bring Back The Passion Fest. The name is program, this festival is not there to make money, gain fame or whatever, it’s all about the music and the people. That’s why all the benefit of this show will go to a foundation that helps people that really need the money. Next year the Bring Back The Passion Fest will take place at the Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette on the 6th of July 2013. You can expect a mix of international and local hardcore and metal bands for a quite cheap price, more details will follow in the next weeks/months.

EG: By the way, what is the reasoning behind offering your EP completely free of charge? Because I think it’s a great idea for a new band.
A: We are not a band that cares about money, this doesn’t mean that we’re rich or whatever, this is not at all the case unfortunately [laughs], but for us it’s important that as many people as possible are able to hear our music and for free always sells better. We also play shows for a minimum wage, as long as we get a good show, we’re more than happy. So book us, we’re cheaper than a prostitute! [laughs]

EG: Last but not least, if you had to eat one dish for the rest of your life…what would it be?
A: That’s a really hard question, does Jack-Cola count as a meal?

EG: I lied. One more: anything you would like to add?
A: www.facebook.com/ARKAEONOFFICIAL
HAIL SATAN!
HAIL JACK DANIELS!
HAIL DEATH METAL!
HAIL ARKAEON!

We’d like to thank Rosh for taking the time to do this interview and we’re all looking forward to their new song and most of all the year 2013!

Crown The Empire – The Fallout

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It’s almost the end of the year and yet I’ve managed to be surprised by another record: Crown The Empire‘s The Fallout. In line with the last three reviews it’s metalcore, yet again; but this time of the finest kind. So sit back and enjoy the read!

When you first put on this new band’s debut record, you might think that it’s very similar to bands like My Chemical Romance…which it is, but at the same time isn’t. Meaning that, after about a minute or two, screams will hit your ears with full force. The reason why it could be compared to bands like that lies in the super catchy melodies and chorusses that will come your way.

The guitars will you make you want to hum along to their tunes almost immediately and the drums make sure you’ll tap along right away to them. On the production level it is rather modern but yet not overproduced, so you won’t feel like you’re listening to same alien instruments.

The vocals, and the lyrics, are the main seller to this eleven track endeavor however. The two singers both have highly enjoyable voices, with the screamer taking the cake for me: because even though they will knock you off your feet at some points, they’re far from being monotonous. The only minor complaint I have is that they use the probably most over-used tool in the genre this year at some points: distorted vocals and “scratch” vocals. Don’t get me wrong: it fits nicely into the ensemble but almost every single record that I’ve reviewed in 2012 has featured them so they don’t come across as much of a surprise anymore…but I guess the band isn’t to blame for that.

One thing that does score extra points in my books is that some songs, namely Johnny’s Revenge, feature true “what the…” moments like the use of accordions, which makes this song sounds almost like polka metal. A huge thumbs up for that.

All in all, I consider these forty minutes as a great way to finish off this musical year and I’m very much looking forward to what next year will hold in stores. But more about that next week. Be sure to check out the band on Facebook and listen to the song below in order to get an idea what I mean.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoMJ0VkGG1c]

An Apple A Day – Fall Of Thera

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We all know the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”; in the case of the Luxembourgish band An Apple A Day this could not be any more wrong, because after listening to their brand new EP Fall Of Thera I almost needed a doctor for my aching neck! Let me tell you why that is the case.

The quintet has moved away from their old deathcore style and now plays modern death metal with minor elements remaining from their roots. I’d say that it’s a mixture that is appealing to both traditional metalheads but also to the modern crowd, but you be the judge of that.

The first thing that will strike you when you start listening to the six songs is the massive sound: I’m not kidding when I say that the band doesn’t have to fear comparisons to bigger bands because what they managed to achieve on this record is just amazing. The drums have a rich, yet not over-triggered, sound and the guitars will tear your ears right off the sides of your head.

But the close to perfect sound isn’t all there is to it: the drumming, mainly the double bass, will keep you interested all throughout these twenty-four minutes with its pounding rhythms and its groove. The same goes for the guitars which feature riff after riff of goodness, and some rather interesting solos.

The forte of this whole thing, to me, are definitely the vocals though. The singer constantly switches between (really) deep growls and screeches with some occasional pig squeals and clean vocals here and there thrown in for good measure. I’d even go as far and say that this endeavor grants him access to the hall of fame of Luxembourgish metal vocalists, if there is such a thing. But apparently the band wasn’t satisfied enough by their own singer, so they decided to get Sacha from local matadors Scarred to help out on the last track.

All in all, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this release is probably the one Luxembourgish (metal) effort of 2012 that you absolutely have to check out. And the time and place to this is this Friday, December 21st, at Rockhal in Esch where the guys will have their release party with support from Falling Promises and Lost In Pain. For more info check out the band’s Facebook page and if you want to get in the mood for the concert, listen to the song below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Z0KHEvu4M]

Trash Monday XLVII

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This video has it all: a grandma playing drums, bavarian trombonists, ghosts, a talking turtle, cowboys…anything you can imagine is in here. To sum it up with a quote from the video: criminally insane.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLrnkK2YEcE]

Woe, Is Me – Genesis

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As you might have guessed from last week’s review, the other band I was talking was Woe, Is Me. This week it’s time for me to throw in my two cents on their new record Genesi[s] to see if their two new singers are worthy replacements and if the band has managed to put out a good record despite its many line-up changes. Enjoy!

After a short intro followed by a song, that feels like another intro, the record kicks off with A Story To Tell, a song about the difficulties the band has faced in the past two years and how they have overcome them. It’s followed by a song which features Caleb Shomo, the singer of Attack Attack!, and deals with the struggles the band had to endure since their last record Number[s]…the next song pretty much has the same theme, and so does the rest of the eleven songs. This is the first negative thing that really stands out to me: the album focusses too much on revenge and the “we-made-it-anyways” theme is just annoying after a while.

Musically, it’s not bad in any way but it just lacks that extra spice to make it stand out among your average metalcore record. The production is very modern and almost a bit too overproduced, even for me. The second thing that left a sour taste in my mouth was the fact that the same riff seems to be used all throughout the record and makes most of it sound like one giant breakdown; only in the chorus the songs start to shine because those actually have quite catchy melodies.

At this point I’d like to take back a word from the first paragraph: the new singers are not just mere replacements; they stand their ground very well and I’m going to go ahead and say that the clean vocals are a tick better than before. Apart from the earlier mentioned guest vocals there is also an appearance by Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire.

All in all, these thirty-one minutes ended up being a bit of a let-down for me, if it weren’t for the highly enjoyable clean vocals. However, I will not turn my back on Woe, Is Me but instead follow their progress further and hope that this record was just a slow new beginning for a bright future. You can check out the band’s Facebook page for more info and listen to the song below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GttItGw-HVo]

Issues – Black Diamonds

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Today’s review will constitute the first part of a comparison of two different records. The reason I’m doing this is because today’s record features several ex-members of the band I’m going to review next week, mainly the two former lead singers. So, let’s start, shall we?

Issues was formed in mid 2012 and quickly decided to release an EP called Black Diamonds in order to show their fans that they’re still alive and full of inspiration. An endeavor that, in my opinion, definitely succeeded.

After an electronic-dubsteppy intro, which they could have left aside, you are treated to the absolutely phenomenal King Of Amarillo: a song that has managed to cause quite a stir in the metalcore community because it’s an open diss of the main member from the singers’ former band. It starts off heavy and switches into a chorus that is dominated by very soulful clean vocals followed by a hip-hop influenced part that, oddly enough, fits perfectly into the ensemble.

The rest of the six songs follows a similar formula but each song has its own recognition value, which is something I appreciate a lot since it is virtually impossible to get bored even after the umpteenth listening session. But the, hands-down, best song among these twenty-two minutes is the fifth one: Love. Sex. Riot.. Not only does it have a catchy as hell melody but is also enhanced by guest vocals of the Attila singer, Chris Fronzack, who adds a special flavor with his fast and brutal vocals.

On an instrumental level the album has a very modern sound to it with a couple of “aha” moments such as sporadic use of turntables. Guitar- and drumwork are rather groove orientated and complement the two singers perfectly. To round things off there is a hidden track which is as close to hip-hop as the EP gets, with guest vocals of Snow Tha Product.

All in all, I can only say that this first release by Issues is a great start and I’m excited for what they can bring to the table in the future, because the only thing that’s “bad” about Black Diamonds is the length. Be sure to check back next weekend for part two of my comparison and in the meantime, check out the band’s Facebook page and the video below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VuPEdTg7_k]

Motionless In White – Infamous

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Imagine this: before there was the internet and YouTube, people who bought music had to rely solely on written reviews or just their gut feeling when buying a new record. If the album I’m reviewing today had come out back then, I’m sure that most buyers would have wondered if they were the victim of a mix-up. The reason for this is that Infamous, the second album, by Motionless In White sounds a lot different than its predecessor Creatures, which was released in 2010.

Let me elaborate: the band’s first record was “typical” metalcore with a few minor influences from other genres, which added just what it needed to differentiate itself from the vast mass of competitors. Their newest endeavor however is heavily eclectic, in the way that it is influenced by a wide range of “older” (note: music released in the early 2000s) styles. I won’t get into what bands it sounds like because I’m pretty sure you will recognize several of them yourselves, but I’ll say that you can find a lot of industrial elements and some that are reminiscent of black metal.

On the instrumental front you can clearly distinguish between two tunings: the “classic” one and the “industrial” one; when you reach the third song you will know what I mean by this. This difference is something I thoroughly enjoy since it adds an extra bit of variation to the whole mix.

But what makes this album, for me, are the vocals: the singer was already quite experimental on the debut record but here it’s literally an avalanche of singing styles that are thrown at you. On top of that you have, for the most part, great lyrics that are no longer about horror themed stuff but about more socio-critical topics. And to round it all off, you have three guest appearances by the singers of Vampires Everywhere, Soilwork and Bleeding Through: Michael Vampire, Bjorn Speed Strid and Brandan Schieppati, respectively.

I’m convinced that the rather radical change off direction might piss of some of the early fans but I for one greatly welcome the risk they took with this record. If you are not too stubborn when it comes to how you want to have your metalcore served, I strongly recommend that you give Infamous a spin, or two. You can find more information about the band on their Facebook page and you can get an impression of their new style through the track below. And last but not least, if you like what you hear be sure to head to Kulturfabrik on the 8th of February 2013, where Motionless In White will be supporting Asking Alexandria.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKyji3uXqOY]