22 de abril de 2014

[Review] Animals As Leaders - The Joy of Motion

Animals As Leaders are back with another intricately designed musical journey through progressive metal, jazz and beyond. The third album by the trio takes a different direction than the last two releases and it's their most refined album so far. Their debut (or to be precise, Tosin Abasi's debut, since the trio only came to be before the second release) was basically a demostration of Tosin's skills on 8-string guitar, the compositions were spacey and contained more riffs and solos than one can memorize. 

The second album, "Weightless", showed and emphasis on shredding within more "classic" verse-chorus composition, while still mantaining a heavy progressive element. Many fans of the debut album thought it was a disappointment but in my case it was my introduction to AAL and personally I enjoyed it much more than the self-titled.

Now, 3 years after the release of "Weightless" lands the third album and second trio release, "The Joy Of Motion". One thing instantly caught my attention when I first listened to it, the album features much less soloing in favor of creating sonic landscapes and a constant sense of groove; the combination of clean tones and heavily processed guitars (and often electronica) is great and the songs shift constantly through both.
This time around the album was produced by Misha Mansoor and Nolly Getgood (both from Periphery) and their influence is pretty obvious in the djent infused "Tooth And Claw" and closer "Nephele", but it doesn't stop the album from being pretty colorful and varied, from the jazzy "Another Year" to the synchopated slap guitar and bass of "Physical Education", one of my favourite tracks on the album.

"The Joy Of Motion" has one of the things I like to come across the most when a listen to an album, a collection of songs that are varied, keep you interested and at the same time feel like a coherent entity, something very few bands manage. 


21 de abril de 2014

Listen to the title track off Jack White's upcoming album

The second single off Jack White's upcoming album "Lazaretto" has been released, and as expected it includes a screechy guitar solo. You can stream the track via Youtube below and preorder the album here.

1. Three Women
2. Lazaretto
3. Temporary Ground
4. Would You Fight For My Love?
5. High Ball Stepper
6. Just One Drink
7. Alone In My Home
8. Entitlement
9. That Black Bat Licorice 
10. I Think I Found The Culprit
11. Want And Able

15 de abril de 2014

Antemasque Announce Debut Album Details

Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodriguez Lopez have announced the release date of their new project's debut album featuring Dave Elitch on drums and Flea on bass (it has not been confirmed whether or not Flea will be featured on all the songs on the LP). 
After several song reveals and bits of info falling into place, Antemasque have announce that their debut album will arrive on July 15th and July 1st for those who bought the initial three singles from the same service (Bandcamp or iTunes). Additionally, the first 10.000 people who pre-order the album starting midnight April 16th will receive a bonus track called "Drown All Your Witches", which you can preview here.
More exciting news are expected tonight when their new label Nadie Sound's website is revealed.

8 de abril de 2014

[Review] Periphery - Clear

Periphery is definitely not for everyone, with 3 guitar players and a tendency to make a joke of themselves with silly song titles and some cheesy melodies/lyrics it's easy to understand why the band is so polarizing. To make it more difficult for the newcomers their records are harder to digest than a bag full of scissors, but their new EP, "Clear" takes the band in a different direction.
Their second EP (a little distraction before the release of their long awaited third LP "Juggernaut") is composed of 6 songs, each written by a different member of the band based on the general theme of the "overture" which opens the album.

The idea is nice, and it's certainly entertaining (I would love to see other bands like Mastodon do something like this), by listening to each song you can separate the elements that form Periphery's sound and find out who's behind them, and who are their influences. "The Parade Of Ashes" for example, written by vocalist Spencer Sotelo, shows a clear Nine Inch Nails influence during the first half, while the chorus on "Feed The Ground" sounds a lot like Slipknot (they recorded a cover of a Slipknot song for their second album), and with the exception of the songs created by guitarist Misha Mansoor and bassist Adam Getgood (both instrumental), the rest are much more straightforward than most of Periphery's work. The only drawback (not counting whether you can absorb some of the cheesiness or not) is that the songs don't actually feel like a continuation of the overture, but the idea still comes across. 
In short, if you are a fan of Periphery, you should check this out, and if you aren't it's a good starting place to be introduced to their sound, musician by musician.


3 de abril de 2014

Linkin Park Is Recording A "Prequel to Hybrid Theory" And I Don't Even Know What To Think Anymore.

Wow, that's one hell of a long title, so... where do I begin? As a teenager I was kind of obsessed with Linkin Park, though I never saw them live (they never came to my country in that period as far as I know) I had all their albums and I spent a lot of my free time listening to them. I'm sure most of you are familiar with their first two albums, but basically it was very basic, cheesy, hip hop meets pop-metal, which was trendy back in 2000-2003. So it's easy to see why so many people love them and why so many people hate them, I went through both stages before I completely forgot about them.
But one day I decided I was listening to too much prog rock, experimental music and all kinds of weird shit and I didn't want to be a pretentious asshole, I needed some guilty pleasure music to balance things a bit. So what I did was check where the hell Linkin Park had gone after I basically erased them from my life, and I was quite suprised to see that they had gone experimental... but wait! I don't mean experimental in the King Crimson/The Mars Volta sense... but more like "let's try to expand our sound" kind-of-experimental.
Last time I checked Linkin Park had recorded a "mash up" album with rapper Jay-Z, things could hardly get any more mainstream... well, it seems a few years later they decided they wanted to piss off most of their (huge) fan base by ditching their nu-metal sound in favour of other kinds of modern music. As it is to be expected from a band whose fan base is comprised mostly of teenagers and "ex teenagers" which can't deal with their favourite band trying new things, people hated the follow up to "Meteora" (2003), to be fair it was all over the place, "Minutes To Midnight" (2007) had a few decent pop rock songs but mostly it was a bunch of ideas the band decided to explore. 
But as if they didn't have had enough with pissing off half of their fan base by removing the "angry" lyrics and hip hop elements present through all their career, they decided they wanted to double the bet by getting rid of all the harsh vocals and heavy, processed, guitar riffs... the result was the quasi-progressive electronic pop experiment called "A Thousand Suns", this definitely was the final insult to the most conservative part of their fanbase, no harsh screaming, no heavy guitars, almost no hip hop and a lot of instrumental interludes. Suprisingly I loved it, after spending countless hours listening to bands like The Mars Volta, King Crimson, Mastodon, etc, memorizing all their solos, bass lines, drum patterns and every little bit of noise, I was really enjoying their music.
At this point you are probably wondering where the hell am I going with this, well my opinion is Linkin Park is one of those bands that are very easy to hate (or should I say it is "cool" to hate them?) but I think everyone should leave all bias aside and give their albums a try. All their albums are different and if there's one thing you can't deny is that their songs are catchy as hell. Don't expect to find amazing musicianship (at least not in the technical sense), just try to relax and enjoy it. I'm not going to talk about "Living Things" (2012) and their next album "The Hunting Party" (coming soon) so you can listen to them and decide whether it is your thing or not yourself, torrent all their stuff and give it a try, just please... PLEASE don't listen to "Recharged"...

1 de abril de 2014

New Jack White Album Out In June

Jack White has announced the released of a new solo album due this year through his label Third Man Records. The album, titled "Lazaretto", will have a limited edition release featuring "a Lazaretto LP pressed on split-color blue and white vinyl coupled with exclusive album art, a lustrous blue vinyl 7-inch with two early demos of songs that appear on Lazaretto, a 40-page hard bound Lazaretto book and a letter-pressed linen postcard".
"Lazaretto" will be out on June 9th and the first single, the instrumental "High Ball Stepper" has been released to the public, with the title track scheduled for release later this month.

19 de marzo de 2014

Stream The New Album From Animals As Leaders

The new album from jazzy-prog metal pionners Animals As Leaders is now streaming via Youtube (http://smarturl.it/AALstream). The Joy Of Motion will be released on March 25th and it will be the first album released through Sumerian Records.