Tag Archives: Music

The Sacrificed – III

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The Sacrificed are a white metal band from Florida and III is their, you guessed it, third release, though their first release was a self-released demo that has been re-released later on as a full-length.

At this time I am only familiar with this album (second full-length on its way to me) and from what I read it is more progressive than their earlier stuff.
The album is being compared a lot to bands like Queensryche, Dream Theater, Crimson Glory, Symphony X and the likes.
Personally, I can see why but I would never compare this to Dream Theater. This band is clearly a heavy metal band, unlike Dream Theater who, at least to me, never show their passion for classic heavy metal bands.

As a matter of fact, I would compare The Sacrificed to Fates Warning. The progressive elements in their sound are similar to those found on Fates Warning records and both bands love their metal heavy.
At times I can hear some early (The Warning era) Queensryche melodies and they actually even cover Before the Storm from said Queensryche full-length.

The album has been blasting out of my speakers for the last couple days. I love every song on it and the cover song actually made me go back and rediscover the original again, that pretty much is what a good cover is supposed to do.

My only complaint, and it isn’t the band’s fault, is the lack of money spent on this release. The booklet looks cheap, the paper feels cheap, the colours look cheap, no band pictures and the production could have been better.
Back in 1988 this band/album would have sounded way better. Biggest complaint is the drum sound, just horrible! Next time just use a drum computer, those double bass attacks sound like a cheap toy AK-47 made in Taiwan. Triggers suck!

However this should not put you off, great songwriting, awesome guitarist and vocalist. They lyrics, eventhough Christian, are not preachy and I doubt the band throws bibles at the audience like our favorite black ‘n yellow fashion criminals (Stryper for those who don’t know what I am talking about).

Love it melodic and progressive? Are you open-minded?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAae2z9pulU]

Go out and get this!

Sun Glitters – Everything Could Be Fine

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In case you’ve never heard of Sun Glitters before, it’s the new project from Luxembourg’s well known artist Victor Ferreira, formerly known as Sug(R)cane. What used to be downtempo electronica is now an ocean of lush melodies, as described on his website, or chillwave; as most of us call it. What can we expect? Let’s say Sun Glitters is a neat mixture between Gold Panda, Burial and Four Tet with a sound that is very melancholic and plunges the listener into a dreamy mood (quite fitting for this time of year).

Songs like A dragonfly in the city remind me of Burial’s Untrue album, which is meant as a compliment, for that album was a milestone when it came out and I really like the gloomy atmosphere on that track. There are also “groovier” titles like Everything could be fine or the opener Beside Me, which is a very good opening title as the album really gets the listener’s attention from the first to the last second without getting too repetitive or predictable. Honestly, it’s the perfect soundtrack during a roadtrip at sunrise.

The only downside of the album is the total playtime which is 27 minutes! I mean, I don’t want to sound like a spoilt child, but if you pamper me with such good tunes I want more of it than just a small foreplay! In case you read this, senhor Ferreira, I want more! Thank you!

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]

Newsted – Metal

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Newsted is the first sign of life of former Flotsam and Jetsam, Metallica and Voivod (among many other bands) bassist Jason Newsted in way too long.

The Ep, aptly titled METAL, came out today (January 8) via the stupid medium of iTunes and contains 4 songs that sound like Metallica crossbred with some old school Motörhead. I listened to the whole thing 5 times so far and it is still growing on me but I decided to go ahead and review it anyways because I know I was not the only one waiting for this.

Quite honestly, there is nothing groundbreaking to be mentioned. I mean, what did you expect from the band name and title? It is basic metal which keeps you pumped up without making the mistake of being too long or too repetitive. 4 nice songs. Soldierhead being the fastest one starts off the Ep with a Kill ‘Em All type of riff. The other 3 songs are groovier in nature but also more demanding. At first they might seem boring or too long but after a second or third listen they keep growing on you. As of now, Godsnake seems to be the strongest song on the Ep.

The 4 songs remind me a lot of the Death Angel reunion album The Art of Dying which also was a cross between early speed metal and Motörhead.

Anyways, give it a chance and lets hope that it will be released on a REAL format. Fuck MP3s!

PS: Newsted redoing the Master of Puppets outro on King of the Underdogs creeps me out.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAqdCUkxHJ4]

Z-Town Massiv – Z-Town Massiv

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Yo bros and hoes, grab your Wu-Wear out, the 90’s are back! In case you haven’t heard of these guys before, Z-Town Massiv are a hiphop collective from Luxembourg who have been in the game for quite a while now. DJ PC on the decks and N.U&Z.I. (former member from my all-time favourites Eyston) on the mic ensure the exact mix of old school hiphop, just as I like it! The samples / instrumentals are pleasing and smooth, everything is done with a back to the roots approach, abstaining from the annoying blingbling gangsta rap soundscapes.

I personally like the variety of the compositions, they are simple yet groovy. Initially I had a few problems with the way N.U&Z.I. raps, but after a few listens I got used to it and it fits as it should! The sound quality is, as mentioned before, DIY and not the best one would expect but it’s still ok. A very big plus are the topics of the songs, no useless disses of other rappers (big up for that!) but socially critical topics as the stultification of the human kind, greediness and the overall pessimism that surrounds us nowadays.

With 39 minutes playtime this is the right dose to get into fine Luxembourgish hiphop. No offense, T The Boss, please don’t beat the crap out of me, ok?

In case you’re more into chaotic emo-whatever-screamo-core (yeah, music tags are the new shit), you should also check N.U&Z.I’s old band Eyston as the album’s available on archive.org.

Eyston – Discography

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]

G.I.S.M. – Detestation

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I’d like to start this review by thanking Luc for introducing me to the band. I had heard of G.I.S.M. before but I am the type of guy who does not listen to mp3s. I just do not care for files on a computer. I like to buy a Cd or vinyl and sit down, read through the booklet, look at the cover, check online for information on the band/release. I like to be busy with the music, digest it and be part of it.

I first heard of the band when reading an interview with Lee Dorian on his early influences. He mentioned Sakevi being an influence on creating his vocal style for Napalm Death. This must have been sometime in the mid 90s and, like with many other Cds back then, it was just impossible to get ahold of G.I.S.M.. So I pretty much forgot about it until recently when I decided to look for more D-beat/crust/anarcho/hardcore bands similar to Discharge. Luc mentioned G.I.S.M. and sent me a youtube link to check out and I just fell in love with the weirdness of it all.

Savage, fast, weird, melodic, brutal…these and many more adjectives describe what goes on in the mere 20 minutes of the first G.I.S.M. album. To pinpoint a certain song as “typical” is impossible as they are barely 2 minutes long and differ quite a lot. Endless Blockades for the Pussyfooter and Nih Nightmare are considered classics, and rightly so, but I find those songs to be more melodic and tame when compared to A.B.C Weapons or Nuclear Armed Hogs.

The band plays somewhere between (early) Discharge and early Iron Maiden. The aggression and hardcore of D-beat mixed with the melody and solos of heavy metal, and it works perfectly.

Sakevi sings in a style close to death metal and grindcore bands that came half a decade later. Randy is an unsung guitar hero (like many Japanese guitarists) never sounding cheesy, always on the edge and ready to riff off your face or put Randy Rhoads to shame. The album cover screams grindcore!

Sadly the albums are nearly impossible to get. I paid a lot for the unique official Cd press of DETESTation and SoniCRIME Therapy. However there are quite a lot of bootlegs out there, most include the whole Detestation album and the compilation tracks. Many of those bootlegs also sell for a lot.

I would recommend getting the Detestation bootleg vinyl that is being sold on eBay for around 20 euros. That is the cheapest way to own Detestation. The only official Cd press sells for over 100 bucks on eBay, the vinyl is on eBay right now for 400 bucks. Either way, this is a must have!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BYOnhN4HoE]

PS: Yes those are Swastikas and Hitler on the cover. The band used those to shock and are not Neo-Nazis.

Mutiny On The Bounty – Trials

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I bet this was a stuttering creation for the guys from Mutiny On The Bounty. Things did not look too good after their guitar virtuoso Luciano Lippis left the band shortly after the release of their first LP Danger Mouth; an album I personally anticipated quite much. A new guitarist was found but he turned out to be a better Scotsman in drinking and dishing out beatings than being a professional musician, from what I heard so far.

But as the proverb says: “An end is a new beginning” and so is Trials, M.O.T.B. second longplayer. With Cédric “Tchiggy” Czaika (a known musician in the Luxembourgish scene) as the new bassist and Clément Delporte pulling the strings, everything seemed to take a new course. So, after an extensive tour with the likes of Coheed and Cambria, Portugal the Man and Franz Ferdinand including an appearance at SXSW in Austin; the timing was right for the next big step and eventually Matt Bayles (who produced Isis, The Fall Of Troy and HORSE The Band) was hired as the producer for Trials.

So; what beauty do we have in Trials? It’s still a mathrockish experience but with more indie rock influences than mathrock/mathcore. I have often drawn comparisons to Minus The Bear when listening to the album, which is not a bad thing or meant in a pejorative way. But considering the big change M.O.T.B underwent from their first LP to Trials I must confess that I initially had my difficulties with the album. I was expecting Danger Mouth #2 with it’s chaotic guitars and light-hearted / carefree songwriting but Trials is a more serious and sombre masterwork, less dancer but more progressive and it requires your whole attention in order to be perceived.

There are killer tunes that totally kick in from the first second you listen to them like Artifacts, Myanmar, Shifting Paradigms or Mapping The Universe (the latter being a mind-blowing experience played live) but there are also tracks that need several attempts to unfold themselves like Candies or Statues. Guess I just miss the light-heartedness of the first album but if one considers the difficulties the collective had after 2 members parted their ways and with all the frustration they must have had to hold together and create something new I guess there was a lot of anger that pushed them in writing these more serious / darkish songs and that is totally understandable and of course acceptable.

Don’t get me wrong. Trials is a very good album. It’s challenging. You will listen to it over and over again in order to accept the change the band underwent. It’s hard to be a musician / music fan nowadays. As a musician you will piss a lot of people off if you release a clone of your previous album and earn a lot of criticism if you do something completely different. And to me, Trials is a logical evolution for Mutiny On The Bounty. There’s no better album as both LPs are completely different and outstanding in their own way. These boys have a promising future ahead and hopefully they will content us with a lot of surprises in the future. I better stop whining that this is no Danger Mouth #2 and love the Trials for what it is. Challenging but not disappointing.

Lost In Pain – Lost In Pain

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To start off with, this album combines everything a classic metal fan desires. Fast riffs, melodies, dramatic solos and jackhammer-drums. It’s remarkable that this work was realised by four very young musicians.

I know, it often annoys bands to be compared to others in those music reviews, but as Lost in Pain don’t hide the fact: you can find Metallica’s influences in many dark corners of this metal performance.

The good things about this should be apparent: classic metal in a fresh robe, all combined with fast drumming (Lars Ulrich could cut a slice) and even with a homage to James Hetfield himself by inserting the typical “-ah” suffix at the end of some words. The lead voice in general is very characterising for this band, floating somewhere between old Hetfield and Tim McIlrath. Yep, that was another comparison that had to be done.

You can choose whether you like or don’t like the drift to, let’s call it a “Load/ReLoad” stage of this album. Sometimes the punk parts rein this wild horse’s power, which leads to a little down toward the middle of the debut LP. All in all, it offers a wide range of hearing experiences, between pop choruses and thrash riffs, although personally I could go without some of the more popish sections. Until the End of Time would be a good example, merging from a ballad to a brutal speed part to an epic classic double solo.

The metalcore and punk parts are important on the one hand, because Lost in Pain don’t want to be just a cover band and they indeed never risk to drift into this. On the other hand, they also slow down the suggested pace from the first track Sick and Tired, which is a brilliant opener after the melodic intro.

Of course, Lost in Pain’s debut often sounds a bit raw due to the variety described above. What counts in the end is that there are four youngsters who play music that was popular like 10 years before they were born, but they do it enthusiastically and in a fresh-faced style.

Recommendations: Sick and Tired, Until the End of Time, Lost in Pain 2
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTlRmCo__Tw]