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superextremedude (manchester, uk)

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New Junk Aesthetic
New Junk Aesthetic
Price: £9.29

4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to form, 26 Feb. 2010
This review is from: New Junk Aesthetic (Audio CD)
Every Time I Die have always had their fair share of die-hard fans, and not to be too much of a critic but their last effort 'The Big Dirty' just didn't feel as right as 'Gutter Phenomenon'. It wasn't a bad album, it just didn't have as many classics as its predecessor, which to be fair is a pretty damn difficult task. This album shows that they're back on track.

The Buffalo boys show the listener why they fell in love with the band in the first place. Opening track 'Roman Holiday' kicks things off with a slow, yet crushing riff and Keith Buckley's trademark screams. The tempo is soon stepped up with 'The Marvellous Slut' featuring more of ETID's signature groovy riffs and a guest vocal from none other than Greg Puciato, of Dillinger Escape Plan Fame. That's not the only guest spot either, with 'The Sweet Life' featuring an awesome chorus courtesy of The Bronx vocalist Matt Caughthran. They charge through these 13 slabs of southern rock-inspired metalcore with the same confidence they always have and, not to mention Keith's superb lyrical ability.

The formula is still the same as always, but Every Time I Die were never in need of a genre change. This album is bound to be one of the top metal albums of it's time, because these are a band that will always have what it takes to be a cut above the rest.

Price: £7.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good album, but T&S can do better, 26 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Sainthood (Audio CD)
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with this album. It's just that bringing out this album after 'The Con' is like eating a Mars bar and following it up with Blue Riband. It just lacks the spark of its predecessor.

Tegan and Sara have already proved themselves to be ridiculously talented, bringing out beautifully crafted pop-rock gems like 'Back In Your Head' and 'Nineteen', but this album just doesn't quite follow it. Opener 'Arrow' is not a wise choice to kick off the album as upon first listen, I thought they'd lost it completely. However, things soon pick up and you're reassured that the Canadian twins still know how to kick out a good tune.

The songs themselves are brilliant punk-influenced intelligent pop songs that I'm sure long-time T&S fans will enjoy, mixing their previous sound with a little more indie-sensibility. This is the album that will break the mainstream for Tegan and Sara, if it hasn't already. They seem to have toned down their experimentation on the instrument front, replacing it with a more direct sound which they do extremely well.

'The Cure' instantly sounds like it has the potential to be a timeless classic, and 'Northshore' is one of their punkiest moments so far, showcasing that T&S can put their twist on any genre they like.

This album is far better than the majority of popular alternative music. 'Sainthood' reminds you why Tegan and Sara are still one of your favourite bands. However, 'The Con' was so perfect that whichever album followed, it was bound to be slightly off the mark.

Price: £11.50

5.0 out of 5 stars The Sound of an Average Band Becoming a Great Band., 26 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Redeemer (Audio CD)
Norma Jean used to make uninspiring, 'throw a dischord here, a breakdown there', sort of music. Oh, how they stepped it up on this, their third and best offering.

On this album Norma Jean sound like a band who've just gained the confidence to step outside the confines of their previous genre. Sure, there's more singing and more melody than their previous efforts but that doesn't mean they've in any way 'sold out'.

This album proves that the band can still hold onto their heaviness whilst throwing a bit of intelligent thinking into the mix. The same basic sound is still here, but it's a lot more mature and focused. Vocalist Cory Brandan shows that he's settled perfectly into his role, after replacing previous vocalists Josh Scogin and Brad Norris. Cory's vocals are one of the standout elements of this album; the way he manages to create such a raw, intense sound whilst being able to hold a melody at the same time.

The songs themselves have a raw, deliberately messy sound with underlying melodies which, to pull off without sounding like amateurs, requires some intelligent musicianship. The standout tracks would have to be 'Blueprints for Future Homes' and 'A Grand Scene for Color Film'. I'd recommend this album to fans of Alexisonfire looking for something a little rawer and heavier.

Price: £5.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Band at the Top of Their Game, 26 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Horizons (Audio CD)
After blowing every metalcore fan's mind with their previous album 'Killing With A Smile', Parkway Drive returned to create this wonderfully constructed piece of brutality. The songs follow a similar format to their previous effort but show more maturity and confidence after becoming such respected players in their scene.

This album picks up where the last one left off and shows that Parkway are certainly not a one album wonder. All the right elements are still here: the pummelling breakdowns, the precise blastbeats, the technical-yet-accessible riffs and vocalist Winston's guttural growls, all finished off with Adam Dutkiewicz's flawless production.

Upon listening to every song on this album, you can picture the thousands of happy fans that will lap these songs up when Parkway hit the live circuit. They are a band that keep all the valuable elements of the 'scene' and mix them up in such a way that, despite them not reinventing the wheel here, proves for an exciting listen.

If you are a fan bands like Bring Me The Horizon then give these a listen, they'll show you how it's done properly.

In The Library Of Horrific Events
In The Library Of Horrific Events
Price: £9.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply incredible., 26 Feb. 2010
This album is all the proof anyone needs to show how talented Johnny Truant are. Everything is spot-on; the production, the vocals, the riffs, the song structures. This is an album that flows brilliantly from start to finish, leaving the listener with a complete sense of awe.

In a scene that was fast becoming full of floppy fringes and no musical credibility, Johnny Truant brought this album out as a welcome breath of fresh air. The songs are intelligently written, balancing heavyness with technicality and melody, creating a truly unique listening experience.

The opening track 'I Love You Even Though You're A Zombie Now' hits you like a smack round the chops, with a blastbeat-ridden intro and vocalist Olly's intense screams. Not a generic breakdown in sight. And, although this may have alienated some of the diehard scene kids, it earns them major credibility from everyone that matters. The songs have atmosphere when it's most needed and any heavy music fan will appreciate their ability to create such a diverse yet definitive sound. There's everything you could ask for. From pumelling heavyness and crazy time signatures, to a beautifully written instrumental entitled 'Vultures', Johnny Truant don't put a foot wrong.

Buy this album, they could just be your new favourite band.

No Tears for the Creatures
No Tears for the Creatures
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £9.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, not as good as previous efforts, 26 Feb. 2010
In 2005, Johnny Truant brought out a blindingly good album entitled 'In The Library of Horrific Events'. This was, after an average debut, all the proof we needed that this band had all it took to stand out in an over-saturated UK metalcore scene.

Unfortunately with this, their third effort, Johnny Truant haven't managed to recreate the inspiring sound they had on the last album. The change in production was the first thing I noticed. On 'In the Library...' they had Adam Dutkiewicz on production duties. This proved to be a wise choice, as Adam D is at the top of the metal producers' game. Shame the boys hadn't chosen him again because the lower standard of production seems to take a certain element away from their songs. An element that previously featured in every song.

This is by no means a bad album, it just lacks the spark of their earlier days. The vocals sound more monotonous and the song structures are certainly more basic. I don't think it would be unfair to assume that they'd taken some influence from their Canadian peers and tourmates Cancer Bats. I'm sure lots of people are still fans of this album, myself included, but it seems such a shame for an amazing band to end their run with a 'good' album.

If you've heard a couple of Johnny Truant songs and are interested in hearing more from them, for goodness sake please buy 'In The Library of Horrific Events' and then move onto this. It's best to start off hearing them at their peak, rather than this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2011 1:59 PM BST

Price: £16.73

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrice have done it again, 25 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Beggars (Audio CD)
On first listen, this album might not grab you but the more you listen to it the better it gets. It may not be as instant as 'The Artist in The Ambulance' but this album certainly shows that Thrice have still got it.

Fans of their earlier work may never warm to this but if you're open minded enough to give it a chance and a few listens then you will not be disappointed. The band have had quite a genre change but they show the listener that this doesn't have to be a bad thing.

'All The World Is Mad' sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the album; intelligent, melodic rock songs. They still have the memorable choruses of earlier Thrice but the arrangements are more complex and the production is ever so slightly more raw. This proves for a satsfying listen. The songs themselves are more similar to Radiohead than their previous efforts, giving them a less heavy, more mature sound. This doesn't, however, mean that they lose their identity; it's very much still the same Thrice you've always known.

From the opening track right through to the title track, this album is proof that Thrice have come a long way since 'Identity Crisis' and though they may have changed their sound, they're still an incredibly talented band.

Mirrors EP
Mirrors EP

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Debut, 25 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Mirrors EP (Audio CD)
Young Guns step up to the ring with 'Mirrors' - a 4 track (plus 2 videos) EP, which proves that they have what it takes to hold their own with the big players in their genre.

Their sound is reminiscent of 'Start Something'-era Lostprophets, with a few more classic rock-style riffs, which they pull off to full effect. These songs have everything it takes to cut it: catchy choruses, awesome riffs and not to mention fantastic production.

Despite being rather young as a band, Young Guns know exactly how to write great rock music. And with an awesome live set to boot, watch out for them in 2010. I expect they're going to be huge.

Chocolate Starfish
Chocolate Starfish
Price: £6.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not big and it's not clever, but it is fun, 25 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Chocolate Starfish (Audio CD)
This album may not be musically credible, the lyrics may not be very well written and Fred Durst may be a moron but who can honestly say they weren't hooked on 'Rollin' when it came out?

Limp Bizkit were never destined to be the saviours of metal but who cares? This album is a hell of a lot of fun and is full of brilliantly catchy, rap metal songs.

Some of Wes Borlands riffs are genius, but are sadly going to be overlooked by the fact that they are part of a genre that never really had much life in the first place.

I'm sure everyone out there must have a secret soft spot for at least a couple of Limp Bizkit songs, and my guess is that if you do, they're probably on this album.

"DJ Lethal - bring it on!"

The Tropic Rot
The Tropic Rot
Price: £11.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 25 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Tropic Rot (Audio CD)
I have been a Poison The Well fan for a number of years now and this, their sixth full-length, does not disappoint.

From the moment opening track 'Exist Underground' hits you, you'll be hooked. These are a band who stand firmly out from the rest of the metalcore crowd. They've always been a little different from the rest but I feel with this album, they've truly hit the nail on the head.

2007's 'Versions' took a lot of getting used to, as the band were experimenting with new sounds and had just suffered a severe line-up change, forcing them to record as a 3-piece. It seems as though 'The Tropic Rot' achieves everything that fell (albeit slightly) short on the last record. The style is very similar but there are no tracks that in any way lower the bar set by the opening track.

This album shows the band's ability to create raw, aggressive songs whilst throwing in a lot of melody and tons of experimentation. They seem to draw influences from a huge range of genres which really makes for interesting listening. I'd recommend this album to any open-minded fan of heavy music. This is Poison The Well's best album yet.

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