Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

Trivium Release Their Sixth Album, ‘Vengeance Falls’

Trivium released their sixth album last week, and let me tell you it is a great piece of work from top to bottom. It’s no secret I’m a huge Trivium fan, as I’ve seen them live multiple times and met them on many occasions too. So obviously I wanted to take some time with this record before I reviewed it that way I could form an opinion that was unbiased. That being said I will say that this is one of Trivium’s best records and stands next to  2011’s In Waves, 2008’s Shogun, and 2005’s Ascendancy nicely. The album was produced by David Draiman from Disturbed and Device, and let me tell you he did an excellent job on the production.

The record starts off with the track, “Brave This Storm” which starts with a heavy riff that leads into a more groove oriented riff. This leads nicely into the verse which is sung in a very rhythmic way by Matt Heafy which is definitely a different approach. The chorus then comes in, and this is done in a much more typical way than Heafy’s verse which was rhythmic opposed to flowing. The title track “Vengance Falls” is up next and this track is interesting as you can see the band is further experimenting with layered vocal harmonies, and the guitar playing displayed by Heafy and Corey Beaulieu is excellent. As always Nick Augusto and Paolo Gregoletto are locked on and go beyond the call of duty.

The album’s first video single was up next and this song is entitled “Strife,” and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song starts with this riff that is not the most technical, but gets the job done, and sets the ground for the epic riff that ensues. This leads into the verse section which is another interesting vocal performance not typical to Trivium’s music, but it works nicely with the lyrical subject. The verse also features some nice bass playing by none other than Mister Paolo Gregoletto. The chorus comes in next and vocally and instrumentally I love the chorus. Next up is “No Way To Heal” which is another spectacular track that is typical of Trivium, and is one of the best one the album. Again the chorus on this track is excellent.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is the sixth track, “At the End of This War” which starts of with a nice acoustic intro which then blasts off into a full-bore metal track. Heafy’s vocals on this track are also different from what I’ve heard from him.  “Through Blood and Dirt and Bone” is another track where I think the band realized that they love writing music with interesting rhythms.

The ninth track on the album, “Incineration: The Broken World” is one of my favorite tracks on the record, as the band shows their amazing musical skills, especially Gregoletto who put down an awesome bass solo. The Album concludes with the great track “Wake (The End Is Nigh)” which is my favorite on the album as I think it is a great showcase to the bands versatility both musically, and it shows throughout the track, as Augusto, Beaulieu, Heafy, and Gregeletto put down great performances.

Vengeance Falls is a great record that I believe shows the bands great capabilities as musicians, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed this next evolution of the band.

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Album Review: The Devil Wears Prada ‘8:18’

One of the best bands to hit the scene in recent year are, The Devil Wears Prada. The band is set to release their fifth studio album 8:18. 8:18 is the long-awaited follow-up to 2011’s full length effort by the band, Dead Throne and 2010’s masterful, Zombie EP. This album picks up were those to works left off, and continues to push the boundaries of what this band is capable of doing. The sound is dark and more mature, and we guarantee you’re in for a great ride from track one through thirteen.

8:18 starts off with the slow-moving synth driven intro to the track “Gloom.” However “Gloom” picks up it’s pace at the 50 second mark when the band comes in and provides a bruising intro. “Gloom” almost seems like a mission statement from the band, telling the listener what they have in store for the rest of the album. The drums, guitars, synth, and vocals work well on this track. The next riff that will hit you is the intro to the second track “Rumors” which is a bruising riff, but it slows downs in the verse which is atmospheric, but we hear the first hint of melody in this tracks chorus.

“First Sight” is the third track on the record, and it hits you like a brick wall from the beginning, but then as the track moves on you hear the song grow into this melodic juggernaut in the chorus. The stand out of this track however are the guitars which are tight, but leave enough room in the mix for the track to breathe.

The next track that caught my attention was the album’s title track, 8:18 which has a beautiful clean intro which is interrupted by vocalist Mike Hranica’s primal screams. The next track that really grabbed me was “Care More” which is a real departure for the band which is awesome. They really mixed it up with this one showing what they can do both vocally and with arranging.

Next thing you know theirs a bell chiming and this signals the intro to the track, “Martyrs” which was one of the first tracks that fans got to hear from this record. This track is great and is a real throw back to the Dead Throne sound that I and TDWP fans love. “Black and Blue” starts with an ominous intro that sends the message that mayhem is about to unfold, and it does and this mayhem continues throughout the rest of the record concluding with the thirteenth and final track, “ In Heart.”

Overall I believe that 8:18 is the next step in The Devil Wears Prada’s evolution. This record is excellent. One of the best metal records of the year.

-B. Harlow

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Avenged Sevenfold Pull From Their Influences to Create, ‘Hail To The King’

The metal community came together in 2009 to support Avenged Sevenfold after the death of their drummer, James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan. It was a sad time to be a fan of the band, but the band rebounded quite well with the release of their fifth album, Nightmare in 2010, which the band was working on at the time of the Rev’s death. The drums on the album were completely recorded by former Dream Theater drummer, Mike Portnoy. After some touring they announced a new drummer, Arin Ilejay, would be touring with them. In 2013 they made Ilejay a full-time member, and is now featured on the band’s latest album, Hail To The King.

Hail To The King is very different from the band’s previous work. It has a very classic rock vibe with a lot of their influences displayed prominently throughout the record. It is unclear whether or not this was intentional or not, but some of the tracks are clearly shoutouts to the bands that have influences, Avenged Sevenfold. The first track, “Shepherd of Fire”  is a clear example of this as it sounds like a mix of “Raining Blood” and the bells are reminiscent of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

Next up is the album’s title track, “Hail to The King.” The intro to this song this sounds like AC/DC’s “Thunder Struck.” But this new track sounds like Maiden throughout the guitars yet has an Avenged Sevenfold feel due to the vocals provided by M. Shadows. who sounds excellent. This track moves at a steady clip, but could have been brought up several BPM. The guitar playing by Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengance is excellent. Lyrically M. Shadows is on par with many other metal vocalists and lyricists.

“Doing Time” is a great track that reminds a great deal of Guns n’ Roses. I don’t hate it. And Honestly I can say I don’t mind it. Rock needs a track like this to clear out all the crappy radio rock that is played these days (i.e. Theory of a Deadman.) “This Means War” is up next and this track also lends its self well to comparison of other classic metal songs. This song particularly makes one think of the classic Metallica tune “Sad But True.” “Requiem” is the fifth track on the album, and is one of my favorites on the record. It has a very old school vibe which is awesome. It reminds me of “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin in the orchestrated part too.

The next track really slows down, and is entitled, “Crimson Day.”  It’s also one of the best tracks on the record, as it shows that M. Shadows is a great vocalist. And also shows the great melodic guitar playing of Synyster Gates. “Heretic” is the next track on the album, and this one is definitely influenced by another Big 4 band, Megadeth. It sounds without a doubt like “Symphony of Destruction,” write down to the punishing bass line. There is also a part that sounds like Megadeth’s “Hangar 18.” Again I don’t hate it, in fact I quite enjoyed it.

The next track that really caught my ear was the final track, “Acid Rain” which is a beautiful ballad centered around a piano very reminiscent of so many great songs, but the thing is they made it their own and came up with a great song.

Hail To The King, is a great album and will stand side by side with their best work. They have mastered the formula that includes many of their influences and created their own signature brew.

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Avenged Sevenfold’s New Track “Hail To The King”

Avenged Sevenfold are one of the biggest Metal bands of this generation, and have been since their 2005 album City of Evil where the band moved away from their Metalcore roots and moved to a more pure sound reminiscent of a Guns n’ Roses and Metallica hybrid. The band will be releasing their sixth album Hail to The King in August. Hail to the King will be the first album with new drummer Arin Ilejay who joined the band as a touring drummer in 2011 before becoming an official member in 2013.

Well now you can add another  couple bands that this band has taken influence from, and they are AC/DC and Iron Maiden. The intro to this song this sounds like AC/DC’s “Thunder Struck.” But this new track sounds like Maiden throughout the guitars yet has an Avenged Sevenfold feel due to the vocals provided by M. Shadows. who sounds excellent. This track moves at a steady clip, but could have been brought up several BPM. The guitar playing by Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengance is excellent. Lyrically M. Shadows is on par with many other metal vocalists and lyricists and this song has a very mature feel to it.

I can’t wait to see if this album will be good, or if it will be sub-par. The last album was spectacular, but 2007’s self titled was a pure flop.

-B. Harlow

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Lamb of God Tear Up The Palladium 6/18/13

Lamb of God made a triumphant return to one of the first places the band played on their first tour last night, The Worcester Palladium. It was a special night and you could tell that everyone was excited to see Lamb of God throw down their signature brand of pure American heavy metal. The bill last night was also spectacular featuring The Acacia Strain and the Polish metal band, Decapitation.

Lamb of God started their set with the song, “Desolation” and this got the ball rolling in a big way. The crowd of the palladium erupted, and the band continued with their set playing “Ghost Walking” and one of their best songs, “Walk With Me in Hell.” The band then launched into “Set To Fail” which is one of my favorite songs and the band played it expertly.

The band then played a couple of their older songs. One of these was “Ruin” which went over incredibly well with the crowd, as did “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” which was dedicated to The United States Military. During this song the bands two projection screens featured pictures of military men and women who were also Lamb of God fans, which was awesome. They finished this part of the set with the great “11th Hour”

The band then played “The Undertow” this song was an odd choice in my mind, but the crowd still raged on. Then Randy Blythe said the opening words to “Omerta” and that’s when the palladium went absolutely insane, and it would remain that way for the rest of the, as the band weaved their riffs. The band finished the main part of their set with the brutally fast, “Contractor.”

The stage went dark and the Palladium started booming with chants of ‘Lamb of God,’ and then we heard the acoustic intro “The Passing” which lead into the bands terrific encore which included “In Your Words,” “Laid to Rest,” “Redneck,” and the always classic “Black Label.”

-B. Harlow
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NEVER SAY DIE: Black Sabbath Return With First Album Featuring Ozzy Osbourne in 35 Years, ’13’

Black Sabbath. These two words say so much. They conjure images of Ozzy Osbourne peace signs swinging in the air hoping up and down like a coked up Richard Nixon. Of Tony Iommi standing in place playing the evilest riffs that can be conjured. And Geezer Butler, whose bass tone and style is the gold standard for all of heavy metal.  These three titans have come together with the help of producer, Rick Rubin to release their first new album in 35 years, 13.

13 starts off with the ominous opening riff to the album’s first track “End of The Beginning.”    “End of The Beginning” has a very slow ominous feel to it that is very reminiscent of the band’s eponymous song “Black Sabbath.”  The song eventually picks up and the listener gets bludgeoned by another one of Iommi’s signature riffs.

13’s second track is entitled “God is Dead?” which starts off with a slow instrumental section that sets the mood for the song. This then gets interrupted by another one of Tony Iommi’s signature riffs. You can hear how tight the band is on this riff especially bassist Geezer Butler and session drummer, Brad Wilk. The slow meandering riff comes back again and with it we hear Ozzy’s vocals which sound excellent. Rick Rubin did a great job polishing Ozzy’s voice on this song, as it is spotless in performance. Butler’s bass is super punchy during the verse too, which gives the song a certain movement that is different from Iommi’s guitar playing which is very smooth. The chorus comes in and this is when we hear Black Sabbath as it is meant to be heard with extremely loud riffs. Around the 5:55 the song hits a bridge and this is by far my favorite song as it fits in with the band’s older material like “Hole in the Sky.”

“Loner” is the next track on the album, which is a track about pure alienation, which lyrically is interesting because many of Sabbath’s early songs were about that same topic. The riff in this song is very standard and simple, but it gets the job done.  But where the song really is stunning is towards the middle where it slows down for a short period, but then the band kicks in, and they’re full speed.

“Zeitgeist” is the albums fourth track, and is one of my favorite tracks on the record. The song has a great feel reminiscent of their great track, “Planet Caravan.”  It’s a beautiful track, and Rubin did a great job on the mixing allotting each instrument the correct space in the mix. If there’s anything that would be the polar opposite of “Zeitgeist” it would be the next track, “Age of Reason” which is a riff driven track about the end of the world, but what I love about it is it’s riff which sounds like a number of my favorite Black Sabbath songs got shoved into a blender, and the end result was this track. Tony Iommi’s guitar playing is also something that should be noted, as he provides a very heavy mechanical feel, but still makes the track groove. Wilk’s drumming is also great on this track.

“Live Forever” is another one of those tracks that you just want to bang your head to. The riff has so much groove. It’s a tremendous song, and the lyrics on the track are spectacular too. “Damaged Soul” is the seventh track on the album, and this song sounds like it came straight from 1971. The production on this song isn’t as spectacular as the rest of the album, but the unpolished feel adds to the rustic and true image that Black Sabbath has always portrayed.

“Dear Father” is the last track on the album, and this song is as heavy, as anything I’ve heard even though it’s a slower song in parts, I would say it’s one of the heaviest tracks I’ve ever heard. I love it.

13 is a collection of eight great tracks that bring one back to the 70’s. Rick Rubin said he wanted the album to sound contemporary, but also have a vintage feel, and with this record he definitely captured that vibe. Sabbath is back!

-B. Harlow

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August Burns Red Release New Track, “Spirit Breaker”

August Burns Red have been pushing metalcore’s boundaries for the last ten years, and in that time have released four spectacular albums of original content. The band is now ready to release their fifth studio album, Rescue & Restore, which was produced by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland, and will be released on June 25th via Solid State Records.

Yesterday the band released a new track from the upcoming album entitled, “Spirit Breaker.” This track starts off with a slow instrumental, but you are then the full band kicks in, and then you get the full picture of the music at hand. The lyrics in this are very well thought out, especially the spoken word part provided by Jake Luhrs. The excellent guitar playing of both Brent Rambler and JB Brubaker is also represented well on this track, as it shows an excellent level of virtuosity especially when it comes to the spoken word part.

Overall this entire track is just a great performance by the band. Be sure to check this song out and the album out when it is released.

-B. Harlow

Listen HERE

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Quick Artist Profile: War of Ages

War of Ages is a great metalcore band that has been putting out music since their inception in 2002. Through many member changes the lineup has stayed consistently strong and produced great music. The band presently consists of vocalist Leroy Hamp, lead guitarist Steve Brown, rhythm guitarist Jack Daniels, bassist Mark Randazzo, and drummer Alex Hamp. Of this line-up only Hamp and Brown are original members,

War of Ages formed during the summer of 2002 in Erie, Pennsylvania. During their early years they went by the name of Point Zero, but would change it to War of Ages when they released their 2005 album of the same title, War of Ages.  The following year the band released their album Pride of the Wicked. This was followed by Fire from the Tomb  a re-recording of the bands first album and was released in 2007.  2008 saw another new album from the band this one was entitled Arise and Conquer which was followed by 2010’s Eternal which charted on the Billboard 200. In 2012 the band released their newest record to date, Return to Life.This album also charted.

War of Ages is a great band and I suggest you give them a listen.

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Anthrax, Hatebreed, and others Bring The Noise on Night One of New England Metal and Hardcore Festival XV

On Friday I made my way to the Palladium in Worcester, MA expecting an amazing show put on by Scott Lee. Lee and his crew have been putting on New England Metal and Hardcore Festival for 15 years and this year they had one of their best line-ups. On Friday alone they had Great bands like Anthrax, Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Exodus, Shadows Fall, and many more.

Brian I entered the palladium around five o’clock for Shadow Fall’s set. The band started off with their song “The Light that Blinds” which is one of my favorite songs from the band. It definitely shows off the excellent musicianship of the band. The band then played “Idiot Box,” and that pleased the crowd even more. When the band finished the song lead vocalist Brian Fair addressed their hometown crowd and proceeded to talk about the events of the week in Boston and Watertown. He then dedicated the next song, “Weight of the World” to Boston which was an awesome gesture. The band then launched into another one of their best songs, “King of Nothing” off of their album Retribution, this was another great crowd pleaser. The band continued playing the rest of their set which was topped off by their song, “War” a song whose lyrics were penned by Bob Marley and adapted for a more metal sounding song, but the message remains the same.

I then walked around the venue to check out all the vendors that were at the palladium, but returned to watch thrash metal legends Exodus’ set. When the lights dimmed and the intro to “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” you knew the Palladium was about to become a thrash paradise. In front of me appeared Gary Holt who was ready to thrash.  The band was tight and played some of their best and classic material including “Piranha,” “Bonded By Blood,” and “The Toxic Waltz.” It was my first time seeing Exodus, and I have to say I was blown away by the thrash metal masters.

Next up was Every Time I Die who came on right at about 8:00. They also played a killer set and gave the Palladium a healthy dose of hardcore. They even through in some metal too by playing a Pantera medley. The band played some of their best songs including some of personal favorites, the band seemed in tip-top shape including Singer Keith Buckley who puts on a great performance.

Hatebreed was up next, and what more can we say about Jamey Jasta and crew, but that they deliver a great show every time you see them. The band started off with one of their best songs, “To The Threshold,” and from then on they never let go of the solid grasp they had on the Palladium playing some of their best material including “  In Ashes They Shall Reap,” “Puritan,” and “Destroy Everything”

IMG_1021Headlining the festival night one was Anthrax who played, an amazing set that consisted of them playing the entirety of the thrash metal classic, Among The Living. The band started off with the great title track off of the album, “Among The Living.” It brought the  Palladium’s energy up another notch. This lead perfectly into the album’s second track “Caught In a Mosh,” which is a staple of the bands regular show. The band then played another classic from the album, “I Am the Law” which went over great with the crowd especially when Joey Belladonna dedicated it to the Boston Police Department. They then played  “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” and “A Skeleton in the Closet” which rapped up part one of Among The Living. They launched Into a killer cover of “March of The S.O.D.”

The stage went black until the stage was lit up again when the intro music to “In The End” came on along with two large banners of Dimebag Darrel and Ronnie James Dio two fallen metal heroes who the song is dedicated to. The band sounded tight on this song and pulled off a great tribute to the two fallen musicians. The band then played a cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” which went over great with the audience who were chanting along to the signature riff. The band then played “Madhouse” off of their record Spreading The Disease.

The band then continued into the second half of the album Among the Living by playing another  classic “Indians” which included the infamous call for a Wardance! by Scott Ian which is a call for a giant Circle pit. The band then played their cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got The Time.”

The band then came out for their encore which included the song “Imitation of Life” which was followed by the band’s rap flavored song “I’m the Man” and the band concluded their set with “Anti-Social” which was an awesome way to end the set.

-B. Harlow

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Black Sabbath Release First Song With Ozzy Osbourne on Vocals Since 1978! Our Review of “God Is Dead?”

Black Sabbath have released “God is Dead?” which is the band’s first single off their reunion album 13, which will be released June 11th. It is also the first song the band has released with original front-man Ozzy Osbourne since 1978’s Never Say Die, the bands final album with the classic line-up. It is also the first song we’ve heard with the band’s new drummer, Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine.)

“God is Dead?” starts off with a slow instrumental section that sets the mood for the song. This then gets interrupted by one of Tony Iommi’s signature riffs. You can hear how tight the band is on this riff especially bassist Geezer Butler and Wilk. The slow meandering riff comes back again and with it we hear Ozzy’s vocals which sound excellent. Rick Rubin did a great job polishing Ozzy’s voice on this song, as it is spotless in performance. Butler’s bass is super punchy during the verse too which gives the song a certain movement that is different from Iommi’s guitar playing which is very smooth. The chorus comes in and this is when we hear Black Sabbath as it is meant to be heard with loud riffs. Around the 5:55 the song hits a bridge and this is by far my favorite song as it fits in with the band’s older material like “Hole In the Sky.”

All in all “God is Dead?” is a great track which is very modern sounding yet would fit in with Black Sabbath’s earlier material.  Be sure to check this song! You can Pre-order 13 here and get an instant download of the song of the new track!

B. Harlow

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