500 Word Review: Enterprise Earth “Embodiment”

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For the last 3 years I’ve been big fan of Enterprise Earth, which is the band that Dan Watson went on to found and front after leaving Infant Annihilator in 2014. I discovered the group’s debut EP “23” months after it’s release and instantly loved the entire project. Personally, at the time I thought that Enterprise Earth would be one of the bands that encompasses the future of deathcore, and if their songwriting and stellar musicianship could stay constant or even improve, they would easily become one of the best artists in the genre’s brief history.

Upon first listening to the band’s debut full length album, “Patient 0”, I found the project to be very disappointing initially. The uniqueness of “23” that made me truly enjoy the EP itself seemed to be omitted from “Patient 0”, and as a result, it took multiple listens to truly hear the distinction between tracks. However, after revisiting the album months later, I enjoyed the record a lot more than I did after hearing it soon after it’s release. “Patient 0’s” aggressive and more technical composition definitely separated itself, in a good way, from the rest of the noise heard in the modern deathcore scene, but it was still much harder to distinguish differences between tracks on the album itself compared to “23”, where each track is unique and instantly recognizable. Regardless, it was clear that Enterprise Earth was releasing material on a whole other tier than any of the other new deathcore band to emerge in the last few years, so upon seeing the announcement of “Embodiment’s” 2017 release, I was very excited to hear what Enterprise Earth would put out next.

For starters, the artwork instantly caught my full attention. With a space themed album artwork, it appeared as if Enterprise Earth was at least returning to the themes heard on “23”, which was a great sign to initially see upon album announcement. In fact, after hearing the first single, “Mortem Incarnatum”, it became more evident that this sophomore album may be very similar to the iconic debut EP.

After listening to the entire sophomore full length record in its entirety, I can confirm that this is without a doubt yet another superb Enterprise Earth release. Pummeling, complex riffs and unrelenting, face smashing breakdowns give any listener chills while making it nearly impossible to not headbang during these bone-crushing moments, especially during tracks like “Temptress”. This album is full of hard hitting, fast, and aggressive sections that are masterfully performed by the Spokane based deathcore act themselves, exemplifying why this band is a role model for the rest of the newly formed deathcore groups globally. Eerie, and at some moments, ambient leads and intricate, chugging riffs are frequently heard, which were featured on both “23” and “Patient 0” and show the references to older material and song structure that help maintain Enterprise Earth’s signature sound. Dan Watson’s vocals sound amazing, but I actually prefer how they were recorded and mixed on “Patient 0” far more and believe that how his vocal performance is mixed on “Embodiment” actually really hurts the release itself. His genre trailblazing vocal performance and technique should be at the forefront of each track, and mixing it to a quieter, less prominent volume, like what is heard on “Embodiment”, truly takes away from the Enterprise Earth sound.

“Father of Abortion” brings back the excellent use of guitar and overall production effects that I loved on “23”, especially “Masquerade of Angels”.  Don’t be confused by the handful of complaints, “Patient 0” was fantastic, but it lacked the distinct, memorable sections that every song on “23” had, resulting in a debut album where many songs seem to blend together. “Embodiment”, interestingly enough, actually sounds like the natural succession to “23”, showing a return to form from Enterprise Earth and making “Patient 0” seem almost out of place as if it were an experimental project or a diversion from the classic Enterprise Earth sound.  Essentially it almost seems like the influence from “23” skips over “Patient 0” and finds itself embedded in “Embodiment”.  It’s nearly impossible currently to determine which full length record is the best album by Enterprise Earth, as each one has unique features and qualities that I truly admire, but it definitely is interesting to have another Enterprise Earth release that features an expanded sound and overall composition of the classic EP, “23”.

Lastly, I want to reiterate that I still really enjoy “Patient 0”, and actually, at times I enjoy riffs and even tracks heard on the debut full length, like “Shallow Breath”, more than “Embodiment”, but hearing the natural succession to “23” is a great feeling and results in yet another sensational Enterprise Earth release. “Embodiment” keeps your attention on the material focused and unwavering from start to finish, resulting in a truly enjoyable full length record. I have very few complaints about this record, as it represents everything I hoped to see in a new Enterprise Earth release. Overall, I give “Embodiment” a 9.0/10, and have attached the full stream of the album below for you to listen to! The release is not only one of the best deathcore albums of this year, which is saying something as a plethora of phenomenal deathcore albums have already surfaced before 2017’s halfway point, but it should also earn a spot on our Albums of the Year list come late December. Definitely give this album, and later releases, from Enterprise Earth a listen and stay tuned for more metal content due out very soon!  Also check back in soon as I will be posting reviews for both “Patient 0” and the EP, “23”!

 

“Embodiment”:

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Breaking News: The Acacia Strain Announce New Album “Gravebloom”

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Massachusetts’ own The Acacia Strain are back with a new record to follow up their monumental 2014 release, “Coma Witch”.  Their 8th full length album will be titled “Gravebloom” and will be the first album in the band’s history that will not be released 2 years after the previous full length record in their discography.  Prior to “Gravebloom”, The Acacia Strain albums were released in two year intervals, starting with “…And Life Is Very Long” in 2002 all the way until 2014’s “Coma Witch”.  While it may be frustrating to have to wait an extra 6 months than usual for a new TAS release, I am fairly sure it will be worth the wait (not to mention that having an extra long album cycle for “Coma Witch” was something I personally was very happy to see).  However, we are now months away from yet another TAS album, and the first single released, “Bitter Pill”, already showcases how the legendary metal band will continue their profound legacy in the extreme music scene.

“Bitter Pill” is the perfect representation of how the sound from “Above/Below” and “Coma Witch” has continued to live on, but slightly evolve, in the recent years of TAS’s history.  Deep, crushing guitar and bass tones and riffs steamroll through the entire track as thunderous percussion and Vincent Bennett’s demonic and instantly recognizable harsh vocal tracks add a punishing, unforgiving heaviness to the track as a whole, resulting in brutal song that is a perfect representation of The Acacia Strain’s signature, near flawless sound they’ve come to embody since 2013.  Personally, “Coma Witch” isn’t just my favorite TAS album, it’s one of my favorite albums of all time and is extremely influential and important to me and the music I enjoy today.  That being said, I’m extremely excited to see “Gravebloom” take on this continuation of the theme and sound heard on “Coma Witch”.  Everything to the artwork, which looks surprisingly similar to that of “Coma Witch” (seen below), to even the unique guitar tones and riffs heard on “Bitter Pill”, appear as if they could easily fit into “Coma Witch” as interchangeable aspects.  This isn’t meant to be interpreted as an insult, as I personally believe that if The Acacia Strain are writing some of the best material of their careers, why should they change anything?  In fact, I’m ecstatic to see that “Gravebloom” will be an even heavier, slightly more evolved (in a positive way) version of “Coma Witch” that might even be able to surpass the 2014 masterpiece as the new greatest release from TAS’s long history.  Of course, it will take a lot more than one phenomenal single to accomplish this, however, they are off to a solid start so far.  I will say, however, I am fairly disappointed to see that a track similar to “Observer” won’t be heard on “Gravebloom”.  Even though TAS or Rise Records haven’t released the official length of each individual track, the fact that pre-orders for the album, which are attached below, feature CDs and vinyl releases with only 1 disc per item means that we won’t be seeing another epic, masterfully written half-hour long track like we did on “Coma Witch”.  However, it might be too redundant if “Gravebloom” practically mimicked “Coma With” in composition, so I can see why the group chose not to write a song similar in structure.  Regardless of similarity to “Coma Witch”, it is a known fact that adding Devin Shidaker to TAS was the greatest move in the band’s history, as the songwriting heard on “Above/Below”, “Coma Witch”, and “Gravebloom” is nothing short of impeccable.

“Gravebloom” artwork vs. “Coma Witch” artwork:

2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years in extreme music in recent memory, and myself and the rest of the staff at Erik’s Album Reviews will constantly keep you updated on all things involving The Acacia Strain this year, so stay tuned as we get closer to the release of “Gravebloom” on June 30th!  Pre-order the new, pretty much guaranteed to be stellar The Acacia Strain album below, listen to “Bitter Pill”, and check out our recent post about Oceano’s new upcoming album, as “Revelation” is very similar to “Gravebloom” as they both appear to be continuation’s of their respective band’s previous and best material to date (not to mention that Devin Shidaker also used to play guitar for Oceano).  Lastly, a review of “Coma Witch” is in the works, which further discusses the vast significance of the superb album and it’s influence on myself and the rest of the modern extreme music community.

“Gravebloom” Pre-orders:

http://merchnow.com/catalogs/the-acacia-strain

Oceano new album post:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/breaking-news-oceano-announce-new-album-revelation/

“Bitter Pill”:

Breaking News: Dying Fetus Reveal Artwork and Album Title For Upcoming New Record

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Recently, one of the most accomplished bands in death metal history, Dying Fetus, announced the album title and revealed the artwork for their upcoming 8th full length album, “Wrong One To Fuck With”.  The Maryland based 3 piece death metal act, who haven’t released any new material since 2012’s extremely successful “Reign Supreme”, are back with a new project that is sure to be just as bone-crushing, if not even more, than their previous releases.

As I’ve stated before, “Reign Supreme” is my absolute favorite Dying Fetus album, with “Stop at Nothing” and “War of Attrition” close behind.  That being said, if “Wrong One To Fuck With” follows this path of continuous improvement, there should be no reason as to why this album isn’t deemed the best release in Dying Fetus’ extensive history.

I will say though, based off the morbid artwork and intense album title, if this record is anything less than painfully brutal, it will be a complete disappointment.  With a title like “Wrong One To Fuck With” and artwork that features a deceased girl completely drenched in either her own blood or a mixture of her blood and someone else’s blood, with her alleged murderer standing over her with what looks like the machete he used to kill her, this album simply has to be the most aggressive, bone-snapping, offensively heavy album of all of 2017.  However, we are talking about Dying Fetus of course, and I highly doubt they will disappoint at all.

A single hasn’t been released yet for the upcoming album, but a teaser for the upcoming full length is attached below!  Based on the 26 seconds of audio from the upcoming album, it seems like “Wrong One To Fuck With” will be the perfect follow up to “Reign Supreme”.  Stay tuned as we’ll keep you updated on all Dying Fetus news up until the album release date on June 23rd.

Track of the Day Tuesday: THY ART IS MURDER No Absolution

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For those who haven’t heard the news yet, notable Australian vocalist, CJ McMahon, has rejoined Thy Art is Murder.  Cj, who announced his departure from the deathcore band in December of 2015 due to financial reasons and ned to focus on family, announced during a show last month that he is back with the band.  In order to promote his return, Thy Art Is Murder has released a brand new song, which features a vocal performance by CJ.  This new song is called “No Absolution” and it is this week’s “Track of the Day Tuesday”.

The only thing more satisfying than seeing CJ return to TAIM is hearing “No Absolution” sound like it was heavily influenced from the writing style heard on one of their most successful releases, “Hate”.  “Hate” was the first Thy Art Is Murder album I ever heard and it is the primary reason as to why I am such a massive fan of the group.  “Holy War” the Australian band’s most recent full length, is a great project, but its writing style and song structure does not compare to the near perfect performance heard on TAIM’s sophomore full length, “Hate”.  “No Absolution” sounds as if it could easily fit into the “Hate” track list, and that is a huge compliment.  With riffs and sections sounding very reminiscent of the brutal, breakdown heavy songs like “Immolation” and “Defective Breed”, “No Absolution” not only symbolizes the return of CJ McMahon, but it also symbolizes the return of this classic Thy Art Is Murder sound.  Of course, there are moments where a more expanded, even lighter variation of this well known song structure is heard, which is more similar to what is heard on “Holy War”, but looking at the individual track as a whole, this is right up the alley for anyone who loves “Hate” as much as I do.  However, regardless of what TAIM releases you like and don’t like, “N0 Absolution” is the track of the day and you absolutely need to give it a listen!

The song, “No Absolution” is attached below.  Be sure to check it out and let us know who you think should be featured on next week’s “Track of the Day Tuesday”!

Track(s) of the Day Tuesday: PANOPTICON Into the North Woods, BLACK TONGUE In The Wake Ov The Wolf, PROTEST THE HERO Yellow Teeth, and SEVDALIZA That Other Girl

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After missing the first few weeks of 2017, we’re finally back with one of our favorite segments, “Track of the Day Tuesday”!  Usually, every Tuesday we post about what track you absolutely need to listen to today and why.  Since we had a slow start to the new year, we decided to make up for lost time and give you FOUR tracks that you need to give a listen to today!  Unfortunately, all of the songs, except for “That Other Girl”, are metal tracks, so there isn’t much diversity in the group.  However, each track and artist listed is fantastic and I highly suggest you give each song a listen today!  Here is our largest “Track of the Day Tuesday” segment ever!

First I want to discuss American Black Metal act, Panopticon’s, “Into the North Woods”.  Panopticon is one of the US based Black Metal groups that I have heard nothing but positive reviews about, but have continued to procrastinate with giving them a listen.  In fact, I first heard about how phenomenal Panopticon’s “Autumn Eternal” was through CountBlagorath’s Youtube channel.  After finally giving the Black Metal band a listen I can agree with all the hype that Panopticon is a fantastic band.  Despite only hearing a few projects by the Minnesota based band, it is obvious to any listener that their musical ability and skill in songwriting surpasses the standards set by modern Black Metal.  If you love melodic Black Metal with heavy folk influences, then you not only have to check out “Into the North Woods”, but the entire “Autumn Eternal” album.  Panopticon might be one of the greatest American Black Metal bands of all time, and I highly suggest you don’t sleep on this group like I did!

Next up on the list of tracks you need to listen to today is Black Tongue’s “In The Wake Ov The Wolf”.  If you’re familiar at all with the deathcore band, Infant Annihilator, then you will know that after the departure of Dan Watson, guitarist and drummer Eddie Pickard and Aaron Kitcher, went on to form a separate, downtempo deathcore group called Black Tongue.  Black Tongue, in the 3 years of being a full time band, have already seen an immense amount of success in the metal community and in their own songwriting.  Releasing 2 EPs and a full length record titled “The Unconquerable Dark”, Black Tongue have begun to solidify themselves as a prominent leader in the continuously growing sub-genre that is downtempo deathcore.  As you might have guessed, I also slept on their full length record despite the fact that I absolutely loved their fist two releases.  After finally checking out “The Unconquearable Dark” I cannot stop listening to the entire 2015 album.  That being said, this is a record you need to give a listen to as well, and I suggest you start off with the track “In The Wake Ov The Wolf”.  “In The Wake Ov The Wolf” was one of the first singles released off the debut full length and it has easily become one of the catchiest songs on the entire record.  I know it might be hard to imagine downtempo, beat down deathcore to be labeled as “catchy”, but the leads and chord progressions heard, especially in the chorus, are absolutely addicting and get stuck in your head immediately after listening to the entire track.  If you are not familiar with the new Black Tongue album, or the sub-genre they write in general, “In the Wake OV The Wolf” is the perfect place to start.

For those who have been reading the blog for the last few months you will remember that I wrote a blog post about the upcoming August Burns Red tour.  Last year, Lancaster’s own, August Burns Red, announced that they would do a North America tour performing “Messengers” for its 10th anniversary.  Recently, the 10 year Messengers tour went through Denver, Colorado and I was able to attend the show!  Of course, the concert itself was phenomenal, but what truly stuck out was actually Protest the Hero’s performance.  Once again, Protest the Hero was another band I heard great things about but never thought to give their discography a listen.  However, I was completely and absolutely blown away by their seamlessly flawless performance.  Every song was perfectly crafted with face melting riffs, intricate drumming, and (for a lack of a better term) impressive vocals that made me listen to the Canadian group non-stop for days after the show.  So far I can say that “Yellow Teeth” is my favorite track by Protest the Hero.  The high pitched vocals cry out as a speedy instrumental section burns through chugging and melodic shredding riffs.  If you want to be blown away by insane musicianship, then stop reading this post right now, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and listen to “Yellow Teeth” by Protest the Hero and enjoy one of the best Modern Progressive Metal acts.

Finally, the last track I want to share with you today is an experimental pop track by the Iranian upcoming pop artist, Sevdaliza.  Sevdaliza’s music, and the music videos that accompany her catalog, are mesmerizing to put it simply.  Sevdaliza’s approach to her songwriting and how she visually portrays these tracks is something that not only makes her unique, but will also allow her to reshape and change the genre of experimental pop completely.  There isn’t a single bad place to start when first listening to Sevdaliza, but I must say that Sevdaliza’s “That Other Girl” is one of her masterpieces so far and is a track that you must listen to, regardless of what other songs by the Iranian pop artist you’ve heard so far.  Plus the 2000s-esque style of animation featured in the music video for “That Other Girl” is not only trippy, but extremely nostalgic and entertaining.  I guarantee I’ll be writing a lot more about Sevdaliza in the future, so if you really enjoy this track stay tuned and I’ll be sure to post about other songs in her discography.

Of course, every song mentioned is attached below.  I know this is a lot to take in all at once, but these four songs are tracks you absolutely need to give a listen to today.  The “Track of the Day Tuesday” segment is a segment I greatly enjoy writing and the staff here at Erik’s Album Reviews is extremely glad that we can continue this segment into 2017.  Check out the songs mentioned below, let us know what you think of the tracks, and of course, let us know what songs you would like to see featured on future installments to “Track of the Day Tuesday”!

 

Panopticon’s “Into the North Woods”:

Black Tongue’s “In The Wake Ov The Wolf”:

Protest the Hero’s “Yellow Teeth”:

Sevdaliza’s “That Other Girl”:

Breaking News: Austin Carlile Leaves Of Mice and Men

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Earlier today, Of Mice and Men frontman, Austin Carlile, announced that he will be leaving the prominent metalcore act.  According to the statement he released today, which is attached below, Carlile has been dealing with Marfan syndrome for a significant part of his career, and the constant touring and live performing that Of Mice and Men have taken on over the last few years have only worsened his condition.  In fact, the frontman goes on to say that if he continues to tour and perform with Of Mice and Men, the result would be inevitable “permanent and irrevocable damage to my spinal cord and nervous system”.  This is very upsetting to hear that Austin Carlile will have to step down from the band he started and helped grow into the metalcore titan that it is today.  According to his statement he will be living in Costa Rica from now on where he will be focusing on resting and healing.  Of course I hope he is able to relax and recover in his new home as well as continue to find ways to creatively express himself!

Personally, it has been a long time since I have listened to an Of Mice and Men album from front to back.  I started to stop following the band shortly after Restoring Force was released, but the first two records from Of Mice and Men will always be important releases to me.  They helped me get more involved in various genres in extreme music while also making Of Mice and Men a historic metalcore band that will be the face of the genre for decades to come.  It’s sad to think that I will never get the chance to see Of Mice and Men live with Austin again, but of course, his personal health is much more important than live performances or new albums.  The band has stated that they will continue as a four piece for now, but who knows, maybe they might eventually bring someone in to play older material, or maybe Jerry Roush will rejoin Of Mice and Men and do another metalcore cover of a pop song.  Regardless of what is in store for Of Mice and Men’s future, I hope Austin is able to recover and relax in his new home and he will truly be missed on stage!  We have a few more posts to share before the end of 2016 so stay tuned with us and have a Happy New Year!

Austin Carlile’s Personal Statement:

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The Thursday Ten: 12/29/16

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Even though we are a little late with posting this, here is this week’s “The Thursday Ten”!  This segment has been very rewarding to write this year and we’re glad to see that our viewers enjoyed reading these installments as much as we did with writing them!  This post is actually the last “The Thursday Ten” for all of 2016.  It’s amazing to see how many albums we gave ratings to this year and the staff here at Erik’s Album Reviews can’t wait to see what albums will make it onto “The Thursday Ten” next year!  Once again thank you for support and we will be back with more installments to “The Thursday Ten” next year!

  1. Deftones – Gore: 6/10
  2. Shokran – Exodus: 8/10
  3. Abbath – Abbath: 7/10
  4. Phantogram – Three: 6/10
  5. Zao – The Well-Intentioned Virus: 9/10
  6. Solange – A Seat At The Table: 8/10
  7. Norma Jean – Polar Similar: 8/10
  8. Emarosa – 131: 9/10
  9. Angelmaker/A Night In Texas – Split EP: 8/10
  10. Hodgy – Fireplace – TheNotTheOtherSide: 8/10

The previous “The Thursday Ten”:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/the-thursday-ten-111516/