The Heavy Metal Review

Archive for January 2013

Album Review: Hatebreed ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ – Time to Murder It (At the Gym)

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There are two things I know about Hatebreed.

1) Every album is full of motivational hardcore jams which typically end in a breakdown. 2) A lot of bro metal dudes (or metal dudes that just like to exercise, which there probably should be more of) attest to this band’s ability to motivate a good workout.

I decided to put my somewhat stereotypical knowledge of Hatebreed to the test by taking The Divinity of Purpose for a go – at the gym.

Typically I begin my workout by hitting the treadmill for a mile warm-up run if I’m indoors. As the treadmill started I hit play on “Put It To The Torch.” This song did not strike me as being overly interesting when I first heard it streaming online. However, after a couple more spins, the track’s infectious chorus and short run-time  proved enjoyable and kept me at a steady pace for my run.

After looking at the lyrics to the opening track I’m not quite sure what the meaning of the song is. I guess it’s like saying – screw those people trying to bring you down in life – you can look down on me, but you might as well throw your hate away because it doesn’t affect me and is getting put straight to the metaphorical torch. Close enough, right? I think this is the message behind almost every Hatebreed song.

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Written by Eric

January 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Album Review: Holy Grail ‘Ride The Void’ is pure metal at its finest

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Few bands can base their sound in the musical roots of a genre and still be original. On its second album, Ride The Void, Holy Grail proves it is more than just a classic metal nostalgia act and creates an album that is finely produced while somehow sounding refreshing and familiar at the same time.

Short album openers can be hit or miss, but the two minute and fifteen second intro track “Archeus” does a great job hyping up the listener for what is going to be an epic record. A lightly picked melody builds into the layered vocals of James Paul Luna (who is one of the best in metal right now) and a distorted guitar lick. Throw in some chants for good measure along with some harmonic soloing. Cue “Bestial Triumphans” – one of the best ways to kick off an album heard in awhile.

From the band’s origins with White Wizzard (which has even more of a traditional sound) to current day there have been plenty of line-up changes for Holy Grail, however, vocalist Luna, guitarists Eli Santana and Alex Lee (formerly of thrash band Bonded By Blood), bassist Blake Mount and drummer Tyler Meahl is the definitive line-up fans can only hope will stick around.

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Written by Eric

January 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Album Review

2 for 1 Quick Review: Voivod ‘Target Earth’ and Helloween ‘Straight Out of Hell’

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Voivod‘s latest album Target Earth is notably the first to feature Daniel Mongrain on guitar (who replaced the late Dennis D’Amour). In most instances like this, fans might wonder if the band has maintained its core sound. However, Voivod never really had a set style – if anything the group’s sound can only be described as, well, weird.

Just glancing at the cover for Target Earth leaves you wondering what to expect. It’s part imperfect first album design meets part colorful futuristic space art. And just like the album’s front image the music switches between unpolished metallic imperfection to the sound of a finely tuned machine. The riffs are at times dissonant and at other times more straightforward, but it always seems like Voivod is in control of the chaos.

While Voivod‘s music has always been fairly niche-based, there is plenty to like about the punk attitude delivered on Target Earth. Denis “Snake” Bélanger delivers a strong vocal performance throughout the album and is actually the highlight overall.

It’s kind of amazing a band like Voivod has held out over the years – never resorting to following trends or going mainstream in sound. Target Earth won’t necessarily blow you away, but it serves a reminder that a band doesn’t always have to compromise its sound to persevere. Voivod does what it likes and isn’t afraid to be weird.

Final Verdict 7.5 out of 10

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Written by Eric

January 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Album Review: Mutiny Within 2 – ‘Synchronicity’

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It’s hard to not root for a band like Mutiny Within. The group seemingly got its big break after signing with Roadrunner Records to release its debut album Mutiny Within in 2010. However, after some replacing of members and shifts within the record label itself, the melodic metal band announced it was calling it a day just one album into its career (with the final straw being the departure of vocalist Chris Clancy).

This could have spelled the end for most metal bands… but some unreleased tracks brought the group back together and soon Mutiny Within was reunited with its original vocalist and ready to record a follow-up album – without the support of a label.

“Embers” is the first single to be released from the LP and is the soundtrack to a music video strongly speaking out against music piracy. Clancy setup Industry Embers – a project dedicated to raising awareness about the effects of stealing music. He publicly mentioned the first Mutiny Within album only sold 10,000 copies since its release, but was downloaded upwards of 100,000 times.

No matter what your position on piracy is, Mutiny Within would have been better off with major label support in terms of lining up touring and recording money. If you steal Mutiny Within 2, you truly suck as it is labor of love from the band (and is on Spotify to preview before you buy).

While this whole back story is inspirational, this is an album review and I have to set aside my personal support of the band and its efforts with a truthful take of the actual music on Mutiny Within 2. This record may not blow extreme metal fans away, but Clancy’s vocal ability and the great musicianship of the band take this release beyond the level of Mutiny Within’s mainstream contemporaries – in an ideal world we would hear this music on the radio instead of (___________ insert generic metal band here).

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Written by Eric

January 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Quick Review: Phil Anselmo and Warbeast’s ‘War of the Gargantuas’

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One of the more anticipated releases among metal circles in 2013 is the upcoming solo album from former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo (credited as Philip H. Anselmo on this EP). The War of the Gargantuas serves as the first taste of music from Anselmo’s solo project and also provides two tracks from fellow Housecore Records labelmates Warbeast.

At this point Anselmo has come out and said the tracks “Conflict” (related to his chronic physical ailments over the years) and “Family, ‘Friends,’ and Associates,” (which seems to deal with his evolving personal relationships) are the safer of the tracks on his solo record. Which leads me to believe things are going to get real wild when we hear the full album.

“Conflict” sounds reminiscent of another Anselmo side project (Superjoint Ritual) meets Great Southern Trendkill era Pantera – with the obvious differences involving a clean and sober frontman and the lack of Dimebagg’s amazing solos. The track is a fairly straightforward hardcore inspired tune that gets the job done – in the sense it leaves you wanting more.

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Written by Eric

January 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm