Six Time Champion – Expecting Honesty

In the past I’ve mentioned that writing reviews has its perks, like getting releases early and being introduced to bands that you might never discover on your own, but it has also has a few downsides, one of which is the possible oversaturation of one specific genre. Sadly today’s review is one of these cases for me…and it breaks my heart in a way, since Six Time Champion have everything that is needed to create amazing pop punk, as they prove with their EP Expecting Honesty!

As mentioned above, the Brighton-based quintet delivers five energy-laden tracks that are spot-on when it comes to pop punk. Everything is here: driving drums that are the perfect backdrop for the melodic guitar parts as well as the happy-angsty, for lack of a better word, atmosphere that is ever-present in their sound. There is no doubt that these blokes are talented musicians with a well-developed sense of good songwriting but, for me personally, it’s just not enough…more on that in a bit.

Throughout the twenty-minutes the vocalist presents a wide range of styles, including clean vocals and screams, and complements the instruments perfectly. The same goes for the occasional gang shouts, which fit the parts they’re used in like a glove. Lyrically, it’s about the life on the road, broken hearts and various other typical topics, with quite a few catchy lines. No complaints there.

Now, you might ask yourself why Expecting Honesty doesn’t quite hit home for me and, even though it pisses me off to say this, the answer is easy: I’ve heard it all before. This does not mean that STC are a run-off-the-mill band, quite the contrary actually, but there were no major “a-ha!” moments for me and I’ve been presented with many other strong pop punk bands, from the UK mainly, this year. However, I strongly urge everyone reading this to check them out, since chances are that you will dig them a lot. I seriously wish I could say the same for me, as it is clear that the guys are really passionate about their music and they truly deserve every bit of support they can get! Head over to their Facebook page for more info, listen to the song below and keep your eyes peeled on December 1st, which is the official release date of the EP. Long story short and in accordance with the name of the EP: truly good stuff, but I’ve had one too many. Cheers to that!

Cristobal And The Sea – Peach Bells

In my book, there is nothing more enriching to music than pure, unadulterated fun and soul. The London-based boys and girl of Cristobal And The Sea have both of these qualities down to a science, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been as fervently enamored with a recent release as I am with their 5-track EP Peach Bells, which was digitally released on November 3rd.

It’s impossible to describe this band without mentioning bossa nova and tropicália. As a huge lover of Brazilian rhythms, those elements were what hooked me instantly — there is a distinctly southern Mediterranean warmth to their music. Appropriately, the lyrics to Violet Tear are actually a Portuguese poem by the 17th century Brazilian poet Gregório de Matos and the chorus to My Love (Ay Ay Ay) is in Spanish.

The voices of João and Leïla flow together in beautiful harmony and blend into the dazzling psychedelic whirlwind that is their instrumentals smoothly, adding another layer of richness to the colourful soundscape. I can’t help but draw parallels to the sounds of Animal Collective (whose album Sung Tongs was produced by the same guy who recorded Peach Bells, Rusty Santos) when it comes to CATS‘ creativity and experimental approach, especially in the final track Zorro, which is just a complete, slowly unraveling trip of a tune.

There is not much left to be said, as Cristobal And The Sea is a band well worth discovering on your own. Their ardent tropicália pop is the sonic embodiment of a safari through a tropical forest, laced with surrealistic imagery in fantastic colours and shapes. Peach Bells is a blast; don’t miss it.

While you wait for the vinyl 12″ to be released on December 8th, you can pay the quartet a visit on Facebook, listen to Peach Bells on Spotify or Soundcloud and watch the trippy video for My Love (Ay Ay Ay) below.


Eternal Storm – From The Ashes

I don’t know about you, but I am prone to associating certain genres with certain countries, in that way I’m quite convinced that the best metalcore comes from the States, the best black metal from Scandinavian countries and so forth. It’s certainly a very prejudiced opinion and, luckily, I’ve been proven wrong many times, but in the grand scheme of things, I still stick to it. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Eternal Storm, a Spanish band that plays melodic death metal, as tight as I thought was only possible in the upper north of Europe. Their debut EP From The Ashes is solid proof of that!

Despite being released in 2013, thus not being one hundred percent fresh, I couldn’t pass up on writing a few lines about these energy-laden eight tracks, since the quartet just gets all the elements right. Fast-paced drumming goes hand in hand with intricate riffing that manages to switch between being melodic and heavy effortlessly. The same goes for the almighty groove, because once it sets in there is simply no stopping the Spaniards as they demolish everything that is in their way!

Throughout the thirty-two minutes, the singer delivers a strong performance and switches between growls, screams and screeches in the appropriate moments, but in terms of the mixing of the sound I would say that his voice could have been featured more prominently. Especially since the production of the instruments is fairly well-done, always managing to maintain a very natural feel and still sounding reasonably modern.

All in all, I’d say that you get your money’s worth with From The Ashes…but that would be a lie, since you can download the entire thing for free on Bandcamp! So don’t be shy, click below, give Eternal Storm a listen and head to their Facebook page if you want to keep up with them!

Trash Monday CXL

That’s it, folks!

We’ve decided to stop the whole Trash Monday thing as of today. We hope you enjoyed watching these hilarious music videos as much as we enjoyed finding them.

We might bring back a similar concept at some point in the future, but for now we are focussing on what we, arguably, do best: reviews!

Annominus – End Of Atonement

Do you remember the days when Disturbed was original and actually good? I know that it’s been more than a decade ago but those were the great times of nu metal, shortly before its ultimate demise…recently, however, there has been a resurgence of new bands that have taken that presumed dead genre and revitalized it. One of these is the, sadly rather unknown, band Annominus who are about to release their debut album End Of Atonement, which is due on November 17th. Let me give you my impressions of it!

The quintet makes no mystery out of the fact that they are heavily inspired by early 2000ish nu metal and that is the right approach in my opinion, because why try to re-invent the wheel when there’s a forgotten one somewhere that still works perfectly fine? On here you can find everything that you loved about the music back then, including catchy melodic passages, heavy riffs and fast-paced groovy drumming, all fused into one delicious musical potpourri.

During the ten tracks, the Danes also incorporate some slower-paced elements that are akin to, albeit heavy, ballads and present a welcome change to the more common hard-hitting song structures. The songwriting varies between fairly simple and in some places highly technical, yet is super effective at all times. The guitar tone on the other hand is crunchy and rich, thus fitting the genre perfectly, in combination with the not too strongly triggered drums they create an overall highly enjoyable listening experience.

All throughout the forty minute ride that is End Of Atonement, the lead singer displays a great range of vocal diversity, including amazingly melodic cleans, aggressive screams that are occasionally pseudo-rapped and quite powerful growls, even though I have to admit that I’m not exactly sure if those aren’t by the drummer who does backup vocals. Either way, the vocal department is facetious enough to avoid boredom at any point in time.

All in all, I must say that I’ve been positively surprised by Annominus and therefore they have managed to add themselves to my “must-observe-in-the-future” list with their remarkable debut album. You should absolutely give the track below a spin, to get a fairly accurate impression of their sound, and if you like what you’re hearing head on over to their Facebook page to keep up with them until the release of the album!


At The Gates – At War With Reality

Let it go down in the history books, that 2014 marks the year that one of the most-awaited reunions in metal has happened. In case you don’t know it by know: the legendary At The Gates are back with a new record, called At War With Reality! Almost twenty years after they set a huge landmark with Slaughter Of The Soul, the quintet is back with new music and what can I say? It’s as if they never left!

The Swedes are arguably solely responsible for making melodic death metal into what it is today, and that can clearly be heard on this fifth album: every element that defines the genre can be found, executed in utter perfection! Groove-laden drum patterns, that can turn into fast-paced technical explosions, go hand in hand with intricate guitar parts that lack neither in variation, nor in atmosphere.

The fifteen tracks, on the limited edition, are a blast to listen to and always give off a slight feeling of desperation, while still at the same time being brutal when necessary, which is definitely emphasized through the fantastic vocal performance. In my opinion, the screamer’s vocal chords must be completely torn, or he simply has a perfect technique, because the above-mentioned desperation can be felt at any moment that he opens his mouth.

However, there is one negative aspect about these fifty-three minutes…but it only applies to newcomers to the band, I would say. While At War With Reality is a brilliant record, there are very few new elements that have been added and therefore it might come across as “just another melodic death metal” release to younger listeners…but I, for one, love the fact that ATG didn’t try to re-invent themselves in an unnecessary way and just stuck to what they pretty much invented: Gothenburg fucking death metal!

This album has hands-down been on top of many wishlists for just as many years, and I can only say that it did not disappoint, in any way whatsoever. And the best thing about this is: with a new record comes a new tour, so keep your eyes peeled for any dates in your general vicinity and be sure to wait…I’m sorry…At The Gates early enough! So be sure to follow the band on Facebook and listen to the track below!

Unfaithful – Streetfighter

The list of bands that I would have almost missed out on, if I hadn’t kept an open mind, recently grew by one more name: Unfaithful! When I received the promo material for the debut full length Streetfighter of the Swedes, I wasn’t very intrigued by the description but I gave it a shot anyways…and holy shit is it good!

The quartet plays an interesting mix of hardcore elements, tons of groove and a nu metal nuance to it. As I’ve said before, I don’t like making comparisons, but they bare a striking resemblance to Five Finger Death Punch…or at least to their early, and better, times. Crushing riffs and drumming that will pound you into the ground are predominant, but the groove is the band’s almighty secret weapon that always, and I mean every single time it sets in, makes you want to move.

The record features enough variation in order to allow the average listener to differentiate the nine songs without any feeling of déjà-vu, yet it all sounds like an ensemble of brute force. The complexity and variety of the guitar work is highly enjoyable and includes several highlights in the form of solos and quite epic parts. The drumming, as mentioned above, is tight as hell and holds the music together perfectly with a huge spectrum of patterns that guarantee a good time.

Another strong selling point for these thirty-six minutes are hands down the vocals, which are mostly growled screams, for lack of a better word, during the verses. The special touch, however, comes during the (pre-)chorusses in the form of the clean vocals which are flawlessly executed and fit into Unfaithful‘s sound like a moshpit into a good concert. The lyrics deal with all sorts of topics, like drug addiction, bullying and gambling problems and while they do come across as a bit poserish at times, they don’t make you roll your eyes at any point.

All in all, Streetfighter is a record that does everything right and I sincerely hope that it will garner the deserved attention in the international scene, because I’d love to hear more from these guys in the future! It will be out on November 10th, and you can keep up with the band on their Facebook page as well as get an impression of their sound below.


Distance – I

Ever wondered what it would sound like if Faith No More had a healthy dose of metal injected into them? Well, look no further because the Spanish formation Distance is just what you want to hear! Their debut full-length simply called I will be released on November 10th and it’s quite a blast from start to finish!

The reason why I compare the sextet to the above-mentioned band is because they have a massive amount of groove with some slightly funky undertones, but to be more precise they play modern progressive metal. There are two elements that are ever-present: heaviness and creativity. The guys don’t shy away from using synths and keyboards while the stringed instruments just dish out heavy riffs, and the drums do one tempo switch after the other.

I guarantee you that you will not bored at any point during the forty-eight minutes, simply because the whole songwriting is so fluent and save for a few instances the music never slows down completely; keeping your ears busy at all times. The complexity of the songs is truly a validation for the genre the band is part of, and it should be a delight for every musician to discover the numerous highlights.

However, the eight tracks would not be as brilliant without the performance of the band’s vocalist, who reminds me so much of Mike Patton with his experimental clean vocals that I suspect it to actually be him. After looking at the band’s promo pictures, I know for a fact that it’s not him but I still can’t shake the resemblance. The only thing that really sets him apart are the extremely powerful growls that add another layer of heaviness to the mix and makes I a record to remember.

To wrap things up: Distance is a band to keep your eyes on because I predict that if they are discovered by the right people, they will have a bright future. Their style of progressive metal is a blend that I’ve rarely come across, and I can only recommend listening to the song below and visiting their Facebook page for more information. I hope you’ll enjoy the ride as much as I did!