The Heavy Metal Review

Archive for September 2012

Quick Album Review: Car Bomb w^w^^w^w

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There are plenty of new releases that manage to slip under the metal radar. Some of them are just plain awful and not worth the time or money. Then there are the cases were a band lacks the promotion necessary to get the word out. This must have been the issue with Car Bomb’s sophomore effort w^w^^w^w as the album is amazing… if you are able to track it down.

The group quietly released w^w^^w^w on Tuesday via its Bandcamp website (where it is also streaming in full).

Car Bomb’s sound can be described as an aural assault reminiscent of A Life Once Lost or more obviously Meshuggah. However, the songs are more compact and the band tosses in the occasional clean vocal alongside plenty of groove-laden riffs.

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Written by Eric

September 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Editorial: Lyric videos… the future of heavy metal?

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Let’s talk about a new trend emerging in the heavy metal world – lyric videos.

Most often these videos are previewing new tracks from an upcoming album and a lot of times the lyrics are hard to make out without the words scrolling in front of you. This seems like a good idea as long as we get more than just the lyrics to go with our video.

We will start with a good example of a recent lyric video from The Acacia Strain for “Victims of the Cave” off the forthcoming album Death is the Only Mortal.

It doesn’t hurt this song is badass to begin with, but at the same time, the differing fonts and minimal art moving across the screen with the lyrics adds to the track.

Especially when you get to this lyric around the 32 second mark:

The world is covered with demons/And the eye sees everything

As with demons flashes on the screen the letters are roaring with flames and the Egyptian eye graphic makes a comeback right after. These images aren’t at all distracting, but provide just the right amount of spice to hold your interest visually as well as sonically.

The rest of the video uses techniques like this to really complement the dark, brooding lyrics.

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Album Review: As I Lay Dying’s ‘Awakened’ is more like ‘Zzz…’

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Metalcore is a label that metal fans have learned to cringe at over the years. It’s a fairly generic label that describes a set of bands featuring heavy riffs, hardcore-esque breakdowns and – typically – the alternating of traditional growls and soaring clean choruses. Some naysayers claim the genre is the nu-metal of our generation and will soon be a another casualty of the trendy metal world.

Why bore you with that definition of metalcore? Because in the heavy metal dictionary below this entry you will find an alternate definition of metalcore – As I Lay Dying.

There is no band that better showcases the style in all its strengths and weaknesses than this group of scraggly Californians led by frontman Tim Lambesis. For every generic chugging riff there is a  great melody and above-average guitar solo. However, this formula has grown tired over the years and on As I Lay Dying’s sixth studio album Awakened there is no drastic evolution of sound, which is likely to leave casual listeners unimpressed.

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Written by Eric

September 27, 2012 at 2:02 am

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Down nods to the old school on ‘Down IV Part I – The Purple EP’

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Down’s first album NOLA was one of the best stoner/doom metal releases of all time. So there has been a lot of hype (and subsequent letdown) from later releases Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow and Down III: Over the Under. That’s not to say these are bad albums – they just couldn’t stack up to the masterpiece that was NOLA.

In early 2012 legendary Pantera/Down/Superjoint Ritual frontman Phil Anselmo announced the group was going to do something different and release a series of EPs (possibly four of them) in order to get music out to the fans quicker and also cut out the filler involved with making a full album. Now the band – with new bassist Pat Bruders – has honored its word by releasing the first EP titled Down IV Part I – The Purple EP, and let’s just say the experiment paid off big-time for the southern supergroup.

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Written by Eric

September 19, 2012 at 5:38 am

Devin Townsend Project’s ‘Epicloud’ is only fairly epic (Revised Review)

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Devin Townsend has released so many albums of late it has been hard to keep up with his ever-shifting changes in style and concept. With Devin Townsend Project alone you have five albums within the last three years ranging from the catchy melodicism of Addicted to the soothing drawn out sounds of Ghost and Ki to the heavy and wild riffage of Deconstruction. And now the latest release from the metal madman also of Strapping Young Lad and Steve Vai fame, Epicloud, has arrived.

The diehards will love everything Townsend puts out there, but for me Addicted (heavily featuring vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen)  was the strongest of the recent releases mentioned above. The rest had great moments – in addition to a lot of unnecessary filler.

Epicloud combines the catchiness of Addicted with a unique sound of its own provided by additional layers of instruments and vocals that could easily fall trap to feeling overdone and bloated if not for concise track runtimes and precise songwriting. This is easily the most complete album since Addicted the group has released, however, it still seems there is something missing.

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Written by Eric

September 18, 2012 at 5:39 am

Top Albums of 2012 since I’ve been gone…

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Hello readers,

It’s been awhile since I last posted an album review (believe that was in APRIL!) and now I hope to get on a slightly more regular schedule with my reviews. You can expect a full album review on Tuesday, but thought I would get back into this blog by posting brief quick commentary on albums that I never got to review that I think are amazing so far in the last few months of 2012.

You probably have already checked these albums out, but if you haven’t, I personally can vouch for everyone one of them as being some top-notch metal kickassery.

So let’s get the ball rollin’ on these metal releases you may or may not have missed…

Eric’s Top Metal Picks (since he left the blog, no particular order):

1. Six Feet Under Undead

Six Feet Under’s previous material never clicked with me. Between the schlocky covers and the more standard death metal fare, vocalist Chris Barnes couldn’t grab me like he did on his last amazing disc with Cannibal CorpseThe Bleeding. That is until I heard Undead. This record doesn’t necessarily go back to the Barnes/Corpse days – it goes back further to death metal’s roots of full-on slow chugging guttural bliss.

Also of note: The addition of former Chimaira guitarist Rob Arnold, who I believe is actually no longer in Six Feet Under already.

Check out: “Frozen at the Moment of Death,” “18 Days,” “Molest Dead” (oh yes, the song titles are still there).

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