Breaking News: Dance Gavin Dance Release New Music Video For The Single “Young Robot”

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Dance Gavin Dance have just released the 3rd single off their upcoming album “Mothership”.  Up until now I wasn’t too crazy anout the singles that were released earlier, however I was definitely looking forward to hearing “Young Robot” and “Man of the Year”.  After listening to this new single I’m blown away by how good this song is and why this wasn’t the first single released for the album.  This track alone makes me way more excited for the album than the other two singles combined.  And the music video absolutely trumps the video for “Betrayed By The Game”, which I actually enjoyed myself.

“Young Robot” starts off with a beautiful flute melody that is accompanied by a clean guitar playing a riff in the background.  The song then jumps into a anthem-like chorus very similar to the greatest tracks off DGD’s last two records.  The track itself shows a perfect mix between the pop-influenced, experimental sound on “Acceptance Speech” and the funk based sound heard on “Happiness”.  These two records are some of my favorites by DGD, so its fair to say this single is phenomenal in my opinion.  The lyricism by Tilian Pearson and Jon Mess is some of the first memorable lyricism to be heard so far off “Mothership”.

The music video, which features artwork designed by the legendary Mattias Adolfsson, tells the story of The Robot With Human Hair as what appears to be a young robot in school.  I was ecstatic to see that “The Robot With Human Hair” song series was starting back up again with the addition of a prequel to the story.  I’m a huge fan of these DGD song series’ and seeing this new addition made me love this single even more.

I’ve attached the video to this post for those who want to watch.  There is so much I want to say about this album so far but I will wait until the entire record is released so I can write a full album review to properly address my thoughts on it.  Get stoked for new DGD, watch the new music video, and be sure to pre-order the new album, “Mothership”!

Album Review: FALLUJAH Dreamless

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With the release of their latest album, “Dreamless”, atmospheric death metal pioneers, Fallujah, showcase their most recent material in their impressive discography. Following the successful release of “The Flesh Prevails”, the expectations and anticipation for “Dreamless” were very high. In fact, “Dreamless” was the album I was most anticipating this year, especially since Fallujah’s material has only gotten better over the years. Despite this tremendous widespread pressure, Fallujah was able to deliver a stellar new album that serves as a continuation of their original style, while simultaneously experimenting with ways to develop it. Personally I view Fallujah as one of the greatest modern metal acts and was curious to see what direction they would take next. I absolutely loved “Nomadic” and “The Flesh Prevails” (TFP) and was looking forward to hear the latest installment. While there are countless, positive aspects that are seen in this recent growth, there were some downsides as well that proved that even though Fallujah have already established themselves as groundbreaking songwriters, there is still room for improvement and potential to truly master this unique subgenre that they’ve created.

When you first listen to “Dreamless” you can hear slight but very noticeable changes from their previous albums. As stated before, when listening to a release, I will play a record at least 10 times through and will break down numerous tracks and sections as well. For “Dreamless” I also listened to “Nomadic” and “TFP” back to back to better understand the group’s growth in the last few years. Before hearing “Dreamless” these two releases were my absolute favorites by the band and became the standard for any future Fallujah albums. When you first listen to “Dreamless” its apparent that the production quality for this release surpasses any previous Fallujah album. Not to take away from the quality of “Nomadic” or “TFP”, but when listening to “Dreamless” it is apparent that the process that went into tracking each individual instrument and effect was far greater than any previous release. From the minute “Face of Death” begins to the end of the album, things like drum panning, atmospheric ambient fills, builds, and sections, and even mixing and effects added to vocal tracks are crisp, clear and in return give the album itself a more full, complete sound. This, in my opinion, is one of the most important improvements for Fallujah. For bands that heavily rely on ambient effects and metal riffs coexisting on a single release, you must have remarkable production quality or else you risk the chance of losing the much-needed emphasis that encompasses what this specific sound and genre represents. I was truly impressed when I heard that IDM sections and complete songs also featured this heightened and improved production. This use of IDM sounds and composition was one of the main characteristics of Fallujah that initially got me hooked on their releases. Hearing this unique songwriting through a better recording only amplified this euphoric experience. Even the small additions, like improving the mixing and adding effects to both harsh vocals and featured singing vocals help create an atmosphere for the lyrical aspect of the album. By adding these effects and increasing production quality, the echoing, full sounding harsh vocals now sound extremely ominous and the angelic, clean vocals now sound divine and mesmerizing. To say the least, Fallujah made some great strides at pushing the limits and experimenting with their created sound by enhancing production quality and the process that goes into recording the album all together.

Fallujah exemplified improvement in numerous aspects of “Dreamless” besides mixing and production quality. Improvements to the quality of artwork were also seen in this new release and surpassed the expectations set from “The Flesh Prevails”. The artwork for “Dreamless”, which was done by Peter Mohrbacher (the link to his gallery, which shows the original design for “Dreamless” called “Yesod”, is attached below), creates a perfect visualization for the album as a whole. For a band that relies as heavily on stunning artwork as they do for sound quality, it was essential that they capture the theme and vision for the album in one image. They were able to achieve this with “Dreamless”, continuing the trend of gorgeous artwork and in return turning their discography into a gallery of Fallujah inspired art in itself.

http://www.angelarium.net/treeoflife/

 

http://www.angelarium.net/treeoflife/#/yesod/

 

As stated before, Fallujah is pioneering a new sound in extreme music. Creating the subgenre of atmospheric death metal, I was extremely curious to see how they would grow and experiment with this truly original sound. What continues to impress me is the atmospheric aspect heard in Fallujah’s sound. As you may know, death metal can be extremely brutal often and rarely features anything close to being melodic. Not only is Fallujah’s “Dreamless” refreshing with its death metal infused with melodic riffs and sections, but it helps to redefine the genre by connecting the gap between iconic death metal and harmonious and melodious songwriting. This stunning composition somehow presents extremely heavy and complex songwriting with beautiful and transfixing melodies. The most memorable occurrences of this are during atmospheric instrumental sections on “Dreamless”. These parts have been heard before on earlier Fallujah records, but each release features slightly different approaches and sounds in these atmospheric sections that allow the listener to truly hear how it fits into the record itself. A perfect example of this is the intro to “The Void Alone”. The song starts off with an atmospheric intro that builds up to a powerful riff where the entire instrumental section of the band begins to play at once, creating one of the most memorable parts of the album. This, along with the complete atmospheric IDM instrumental tracks, are one of the most prominent, if not the absolute most prominent reason why I enjoy listening to Fallujah so much. My only complaint is Fallujah does not use this skill enough in their releases. While I understand their main emphasis is death metal, this atmospheric characteristic is part of the sound they have created and truly separates them from any modern death metal band out there today. I personally wish there were more atmospheric instrumental tracks on “Dreamless” like the album titled song “Dreamless”. Even if there were just a few more short IDM build sections on the record, I believe that the album as a whole would thrive off this. For example, if there was a brief IDM track before “TVA” that helped build up to the catchy intro in “TVA”, this would further improve the record and take this uncanny songwriting to even greater heights.

To continue on the theme of songwriting, there were many pros and cons heard on “Dreamless” as far as songwriting goes. To start with the positive, “Dreamless” is a great example of taking “TFP” to the next level. It takes the successful sound and songwriting of “TFP” and adds the aggressiveness of “Nomadic”, while also being inspired by “Nomadic’s” prominent use of IDM, and shapeshifts these sounds to create the final result that is “Dreamless”. The lyricism is once again phenomenal and only adds to the long list of impressive features heard on this record. However, there are a few things heard on the latest album from the Bay Area based metal band that definitely show the group’s need and room for improvement. Surprisingly, length of composition is one of these problems. Usually I love longer releases and appreciate albums that extend close to or even surpass 1 hour in length. “Dreamless” comes in at a few seconds short of 56 minutes and this actually hurts the record as a whole in my opinion. The reason for this is that the length of the release actually results in having numerous parts where the songwriting can seem redundant or even slightly boring. However, compared to other modern death metal releases, these boring sections become electric when looked on in comparison. However, the high standard that all Fallujah material is set to results in “Dreamless” having less exhilarating moments that could easily be fixed by shortening the composition in some parts. Despite the fact that the mixing and production sound remarkable, there are some times where certain instruments are mixed in a way that can sound slightly off-putting. For example, “Wind For Wings” has numerous parts where the bass is mixed a little too loud and can become extremely distracting from the rest of the song. However, if one of these bass lines were very similar to the lead bass riff heard on “TFP’s”, “Sapphire”, then this would become yet another significant moment in the album, but these bass lines are very different than those heard on “Sapphire” and the prominent mixing actually hurts the overall sound of the track.  There are also other moments throughout “Dreamless” where lead parts, whether they are guitar parts of electronically recorded parts, are not mixed loud enough. These leads are crafted so masterfully that it can become a little frustrating to not be able to hear them clearly. Although, these problems addressed only slightly take away from the album and are truly just small aspects that show room for improvement for Fallujah, rather than hurt the album as a whole.

In conclusion, “Dreamless” is yet another masterpiece from Fallujah and is probably my favorite release from them to this date. Despite having a slightly longer length, this new record sounds like a complete project where Fallujah is starting to truly embrace their pioneered sound. Making multiple references to past releases while capitalizing on resources to improve this style results in the creation of a monumental modern metal album that is absolutely one of the greatest records to be released in all of 2016, and is also one of the greatest modern metal albums period. I give “Dreamless” a 9.6/10 and for those who haven’t listened to Fallujah before, I highly recommend that you start here. If you enjoy this record or are a fan of this band please BUY “Dreamless” or any of the previous releases and financially support atmospheric death metal legends Fallujah!

Full Album Review For Another Northern California Band Coming Later Tonight

The second full album review to be posted on this site will be posted tonight and features a group out of the Bay Area of California.  These full album reviews are usually posted every other Monday, so we apologize for the lack on content yesterday and hope you enjoy the album review that will be released tonight!

2015 Albums and EPs of the Year

2015

Since this site is mainly set up to review albums, it is pretty much expected that I make an AOTY post.  However, is it a little ridiculous to be posting one for 2015 during the last week in September?  Maybe.  But did I also just launch this site a few weeks ago and have nothing better to do?  Absolutely.  So despite the fact that there’s only 3 months left in 2016, here are my top 10 favorite albums and top 5 favorite EPs of last year.

EPs

1. The Glitch Mob – Piece of the Indestructible

2. Seven Lions – The Throes of Winter

3. Emarosa – Versus Reimagined

4. Altars – A Profound Respect For Life

5. Columbus – Home Remedy

 

Albums

1. Oceano – Ascendants

2. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

3. Dance Gavin Dance – Instant Gratification

4. Iwrestledabearonce – Hail Mary

5. Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep

6. Angelmaker – Dissentient

7. The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – Soulless Hymns

8. Kublai Khan – New Strength

9. The Story So Far – The Story So Far

10. Beach House – Depression Cherry

Honorable Mentions (In No Particular Order):

Hundredth – Free, The Wonder Years – No Closer To Heaven, Counterparts – Tragedy Will Find Us, Justin Bieber – Purpose, Strawberry Girls – American Graffiti, Crooks (UK) – Are We All the Same Distance Apart, Fit For An Autopsy – Absolute Hope Absolute Hell, Better Off – Milk, Purity Ring – Another Eternity, Black Tongue – The Unconquerable Dark, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U.

There are way too many releases and artists listed for me to go and individually discuss each one and their significance, so if there is an artist you’ve never heard of before or an album you haven’t listened to yet definitely go check it out!  This list took me a ridiculously long time to make, as you can tell by the extensive list of Honorable Mentions.  So regardless if an album made the top 10 or not be sure to give it a listen and let me know what albums and EPs you consider to be the best of 2015.  I promise that the 2016 AOTY list will not be released 10 months too late like the 2015 one.

“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” and “Nevermind” Turn 25 Today

Two legendary albums, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and “Nevermind” by Nirvana, were released 25 years ago today. These albums redefined rock music and have become some of the most influential records of their time, even becoming a milestone for both RHCP and Nirvana’s careers.

Personally, these two albums are staples for my childhood. These two albums, along with many Green Day, Rage Against The Machine, and System of a Down albums, are some of the first few records I ever listened to and are one of the main reasons why I love music to this day. I know for a fact that “Suck My Kiss” and “Drain You” will be on repeat all day today and I highly encourage anyone to listen to these momentous records, whether you’ve never heard them before or consider them to be your favorite albums of all time!

500 Word Reviews: Stick To Your Guns “Better Ash Than Dust”

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Today Stick To Your Guns released their second EP ever called “Better Ash Than Dust”.  The EP is their latest material since 2015’s “Disobedient”.  The EP features 5 new tracks and showcases both musical growth and reference to past material.

I have been a fan of Orange County’s Stick To Your Guns since their release of 2010’s “The Hope Division”, and to this day I still consider that album and “Diamond” my two favorite STYG albums and consider them to be some of the most powerful hardcore albums I have ever heard.  However, I can honestly say that I was fairly disappointed with last years release of “Disobedient”.  I felt that the record was lacking and that while the direction they were taking musically was interesting, it failed to meet the standard that STYG has set over the years.  That being said I was a little hesitant to listen to this new release, especially when I assumed that they would be following the path previously set by “Disobedient”.  Fortunately, I was extremely wrong and was ecstatic after listening to “Better Ash Than Dust”.

Being only 16 minutes in length, I was able to listen to the EP 10 times over in order to truly form an analysis without having to spend hours upon hours simply listening.  One of the most prominent aspects I was able to take away from the EP was that it sounded like a perfect continuation from “The Hope Division” (“THD”) and “Diamond”, making it seem as if “Disobedient” never really occurred.  This to me was great as this EP served as the equalizing balance between STYG’s old sound and the progression and growth they have since adapted.

I was also pleased to hear that STYG still incorporates powerful, well thought out lyricism that accurately and professionally gets across the statements they are trying to make.  This first begins with using political sound bites that serve as sources to their arguments they are making throughout the release.  These sound bites occurred often and were extremely significant during “THD” and “Diamond” and I’m extremely glad they were incorporated into this EP.  Jesse Barnett’s impeccable lyricism is once again shown throughout the material and provides substance to each individual track.

And of course, the instrumentals heard throughout “Better Ash Than Dust” are phenomenal.  The hard-hitting riffs and melodic choruses and sections heard give the EP that jaw-breaking punch that makes track after track absolutely electric, and even makes me nostalgic to when I first heard tracks off of “THD” and “Diamond” and had that same zealous reaction.

Overall, “Better Ash Than Dust” features that blood-boiling, thought-provoking, monumental sound that Stick To Your Guns does best.  This is easily my 3rd favorite release by the band and might even surpass my two favorite albums by the band as well.  I have attached a link to the entire EP and I highly encourage you listen to it and buy the EP as well (I am about to buy the vinyl as I write this myself).  Stick To Your Guns is back and I couldn’t be happier.  In conclusion, I give “Better Ash Than Dust” a 9.4/10 and this will definitely be up there for one of the best, if not the best, EP released in all of 2016.

Breaking News: Apparently Brendon Urie is featured On Every Time I Die’s Latest Album “Low Teens”

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40 years from now people will look back on the 2000s hardcore scene and still declare Every Time I Die as one of the greatest and most influential bands of that era.  Their unique sound is embedded in their virtually flawless discography and has many unpredictable twists and turns in song structure and style that make ETID who they are today.  However, I never thought that Brendon Urie would be heard on an Every Time I Die track, in fact I didn’t even know that the two parties knew each other.  That being said I immediately checked out the track, “It Remembers”, to see how Urie would fit into an ETID song.

I actually expected Brendon Urie to perform harsh, screaming vocals on the track, especially after watching his hilarious, yet impressive vine segment called “Positive Hardcore Thursday”.  Urie actually can perform this vocal style very well from what the vines show and I assumed he would incorporate this onto an Every Time I Die track.  I was a little bummed when I realized he would just sing his parts, however he still did a phenomenal job regardless.  The track itself is outstanding and I will be giving a full album review, or at least a 500 word album review for “Low Teens” now that it is officially out.

If you like Panic! At The Disco or Every Time or both definitely check out the music video for “It Remembers” featuring Brendon Urie below and don’t forget to buy “Low Teens”, which came out today!