I’m a 90s kid, and in my early years I mostly watched German TV. I remember back in the mid-90s when VIVA had its big success there was this cute girl singing something about Satellites and stuff…of course I’m talking about Blümchen. A few months later she released the song Boomerang which, as an eight or nine year old kid, I enjoyed quite a bit and as it usually is with people as they tend to get older I became nostalgic many years later and went looking for the song on YouTube, and that’s where I stumbled upon this jewel: an English version of the song. I’m sure she was trying to emulate Nena‘s (mild?) success with her 99 Red Balloons but failed miserably. Enjoy this jewel of all that was the nineties.
Sleepers’ Guilt are a rather fresh band from Luxembourg who released their self-titled debut EP at the end of March 2012. Even though the quartet was only formed in 2011, it consists of experienced musicians from the now defunct bands Ophidian, Clean State and I Spy Apocalypse.
I’ll start this review with a very unusual and for the end consumer unimportant thing: the digital press kit that was given to me was very nicely put together and featured the songs, the entire booklet in very high quality, some promo pictures as well as an info sheet. And from the latter I’ll actually quote a sentence before I dive into the actual review since it describes their style perfectly: “they play modern melodic metal with a progressive touch and clean vocals, without losing the aggressiveness and trying to create their own sound and their own approach towards making music.”
The first thing that struck me as a listener was the remarkably clean and yet powerful production. Since this EP is entirely self-produced in a private studio in Luxembourg I was blown away by the tight guitar sound and the very organic drum sound. The vocals are also very intelligible and are perfectly mixed into the instrumental surroundings.
The six song EP is all throughout accompanied by piano play and the one or the other synthesizer which gives the ensemble somewhat of a symphonic undertone, as is tradition in the melodic metal genre. However it isn’t too blatant and thus doesn’t distract you at all from the, in some parts, very interesting riffs nor does it sound kitschy. The riffs are actually the part that impress me the most on this record, there are some real neckbreakers on here that I’m sure will motivate many people at home and mostly at shows to headbang enthusiastically.
Lyrically, the EP is mainly sociocritical and definitely a nice read. There is however one thing that heavily bothers me on a personal level: the singer’s voice. This is obviously very subjective but I’m just not a fan of this type of voices, no matter how flawless the performance. It’s what I like to call the “Dream Theater Paradox”: instrumentally to my liking but ruined by the singing. Don’t get me wrong: the vocalist does a great job and in some parts reminds me a bit of the singer of Sabaton but except for a ten second part towards the middle of the last song Raven’s Fight where he (almost) growls it just doesn’t appeal to me.
In conclusion I can definitely recommend giving the EP a chance if you are either open-minded about vocals or if you are into melodic metal. Personally I’ll try to check them out live at the next best opportunity to make up my mind. For more information about their tour dates and possibilities where you can buy their EP, check out their Facebook page and make sure to give the song below a listen.
I’m pretty sure that everyone that is at least a bit into metalcore has heard of Architects before as they have managed to establish themselves in the scene quite well, at the latest in 2009 with their album Hollow Crown.
In 2011 they released The Here And Now which was quite different from the aforementioned album: a lot more melodic and “softer”, but still a very powerful record nevertheless. Their latest endeavor Daybreaker however is very reminiscent of the 2009 released record.
In terms of instruments this means that it is a bit more complex and definitely heavier. Great, almost mathcore-ish, riffs are found througout the whole 42 minutes.
Sam Carter’s vocals are, who would have thought (wink wink), at their usual high level. This guy just manages to deliver on all levels, be it super clean vocals or very emotion-ladden screams. You just believe everything he sings.
Then there are 3 guest appearances on vocals: Jon Green of Deez Nuts, Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon and Drew York of Stray From The Path. The one that sticks out the most to me is Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon on the song Even If You Win, You’re Still A Rat. This is, of course, mostly due to the fact that I’m a big follower of BMTH but also because he sounds very different to the way he does on his albums. This might be because it’s mixed differently or it might be a foreshadowing of THEIR upcoming album.
Lyrically the whole record is very sociocritical and songs like These Colours Don’t Run are a prime example of that. And, because of the vocalist’s talent, you can actually make out about 90% of them without even looking at the booklet.
All in all I can only say that this album is, in some ways, a step back but not really in a bad way: their previous record might have been too much of a change for the band and this feels much more architectural. See what I did there?)
Be sure to check them out on Facebook and listen to the song below.
The, surprisingly, very young Danish quintet shows a degree of professionalism in both their studio endeavors as well as their live performances where many bands these days barely manage to deliver on one of those levels.
Their 5 track 2010 EP Obliteration Of The Weak starts off with an eponymous track that lets you know in the first 15 seconds what they’re all about: heaviness mixed with that well-known Scandinavian groove.
On the instrumental level they remind me of a modern take on At The Gates‘ Slaughter Of The Soul, which is definitely a good thing. One could also compare their sound to the older stuff of their compatriots from Hatesphere.
The vocalist’s screams are on an equal level throughout the entire EP and although they are mainly guttural, he adds some small screechy nuances to them that give you just the right amount of diversity.
Soundwise I must say that I’m mostly surprised by how well it all sounds, especially because we aren’t talking about a major label band here. No, my guess is that this was a rather low-budget production and yet the result is just impressive. The drums don’t sound over-triggered, as is often the case with new bands these days, and the guitars come at you with a thick clear sound.
There is, however, one negative point that struck me during my listening sessions: a lack of diversity. After listening to the EP around a dozen times I wasn’t really able to differentiate clearly between the songs. Despite that, I am confident that this is something that will pose no problems to them on their next record since I’ve had a chance to see them live not too long ago here in Luxembourg and unless my ears betrayed me they played new songs that have a much diverse sound to them.
All in all I can only say that you should definitely give this fresh band a try since they hold a lot of potential and I, for one, will follow their evolution with great interest.
And if you get the chance to see them live, do so. Their energy on stage will surely make you bang your head (or ninja-dance around, if that’s what you fancy) and they are genuinely nice people have a drink with and talk to.
Be sure to check out their Facebook profile and the song below.
This is my first review for El Gore and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing; so bear with me here.
The record I decided to write about is the debut album Chapters of the rather unknown metalcore band Adestria. At first you might think that Adestria is just your generic “more breakdowns please” metalcore clone but you couldn’t be more wrong.
What these 6 guys from San Diego managed to capture in these 10 songs is a perfect mixture between heaviness and melody that a lot of more famous bands are unable to find.
On top of the amazing harmony on an instrumental level you have the truly strong voice of the lead singer who manages growls, screeches and clean vocals equally well. But it doesn’t stop there. 3 guest vocalists also make an appearance to give 3 songs that special something: Tyler Smith from The Word Alive, Davey Muise of Vanna and Scott Barnes of In Fear And Faith. And if all that isn’t enough yet you have a brilliant production to make it even easier for you to like this album. Lyrically the album is also satisfying and mostly pirate-inspired but not in a corny way, I’d say.
You might notice that I haven’t found anything negative about the record and that is correct. To me this is the best album (in this genre, of course) of 2012 so far and one of the biggest surprises in recent times.
I want to add that I don’t mean to say that Adestria have re-invented the (metalcore) wheel but that they definitely gave it a new spin and future releases of other bands will have to be able to hold up with this album.
You can check them out on their Facebook page and be sure to listen to the song Scarlett Letter below.