Thursday, August 20, 2009

REVIEW: Chimaira

Artist: Chimaira
Album: The Infection
Release Date: April 21st, 2009
Genre(s): Metalcore

Okay so this is the new album from the Cleveland rockers Chimaira, and let me just say that it bores me to death.

Think of everything you liked in their previous couple albums and throw that out the window, there is no speed, no complex drumming, nothing in this album. If you enjoy slow riffs with slow drums in your metalcore then by all means listen to this, if not then stay the hell away.

Just when you think it's going to get fast, it doesn't. It's just bullshit, I feel like I wasted my life listening to this shit, kill me now. But I might as well finish the damn review.

Here is my opinion of every song on this album:

1. The Venom Inside - Too bad the venom didn't work :(.

2. Frozen in Time - This album is frozen in time because I had to pause it.

3. Coming Alive - Coming alive are you? More like dying a slow death, RIP.

4. Secrets of the Dead - There are no more secrets, you bored them to the fucking afterlife.

5. The Disappearing Sun - It disappeared right up your giant assholes, christ.

6. Impending Doom - This review after all the hate it will receive from anal assholes.

7. On Broken Glass - OH LOOK! THE BEGINNING HAS SPE- oh nevermind people, back to slow again. Oh right, a pun...ummm...I feel like driving broken glass through my ears after listening to this song.

8. Destroy and Dominate - This album destroys my mind and dominates my asshole in very painful and bad ways.

9. Try to Survive - What you'll be doing while listening to this.

10. The Heart of it All - It had been given a heart attack due to massive amounts of faggotry.

Hope you people enjoyed the review : D. Now it's time to forget this album with some booze, peace.

Track to Check: None, they all sound the same
Score: 1.2/10

Sunday, August 16, 2009

REVIEW: Warbringer

Artist: Warbringer

Album: Waking Into Nightmares

Release Date: May 19, 2009

Genre(s): Thrash, neo-thrash

THRASH!!! The year is 2009, and it's a very, very good year to be a thrasher. All your favorite thrash bands from the past are back to kick ass (this year, we're seeing new albums from Kreator, Slayer, and Megadeth), but that's not the reason you should be glad to be a thrasher right now. It's because, for once, there's a new wave of talented young rippers who are taking pride in playing music the way Satan wanted them to. There are countless neo-thrash bands on the scene today, and let's face it, not all of them are worth your time, but there are a bunch who have serious chops. Hands down, the most notable American neo-thrash band is Warbringer.

What makes Warbringer so special? A lot of things. Warbringer plays thrash, straight-up the way we remember it, the way we love it, with amazing proficiency and sincerity. Warbringer loves thrash, and if you love thrash, you'll love Warbringer, because thrash is their calling. Or maybe you love Warbringer because of their live dominance. If you frequent metal shows, I'm sure you've caught at least one of their performances (these guys tour CONSTANTLY), and I bet you had a killer time, too. These guys energize their songs and pump their crowd, adding up to some awesome freakin' pits. I know the reason I love Warbringer is because they're the most fan-friendly band I've ever met. If you go to one of their concerts, they'll be out in the lobby, hanging with fans; not merely polite greetings either, these dudes will have full conversations with fans. They're cool, funny, friendly, and all-around awesome people. It should be a crime to not love Warbinger; there's not a bad thing I can say about them.

As for their new album, Waking Into Nightmares owns, like holy crap, it's thrash to the core. I'm sure I don't have to bother explaining what thrash sounds like, so let me assure you guys, this is something you'll want to own if you're down with the thrash sound. The riffs sound amazing, the speed is wondrous to behold; it all sounds heavy and beautiful (by beautiful, I mean thrashy and violent!). New drummer Nic Ritter reaches a much greater height than his predecessor, busting out some fast and technical stuff that sounds just awesome. The bass adds a thick layer of infrasonic punishment (I've tried playing some of these songs on bass---they sound good!). And of course, the vocals are the greatest thing I can mention. John Kevill has an impetuous scream that sounds vehement beyond comparison. He shrieks out every song with as much force as he can muster, and really gives each song an extra push that makes them exceptional.

Warbringer knows all the right ingredients to make music sound good, and at no point does any of the music seem contrived. War Without End (2008) was a sick album, but Waking Into Nightmares takes things to a whole new level. Warbringer is a god among current metal bands, and this is a modern thrash-terpiece. Any thrashers out there who don't own this album yet are gonna take some punches in the pit!!!

Track to Check: "Senseless Life"
Rating: 9.0/10
-Psychotic Pulse

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review Grading Scale

I do things on a 1-10 scale because I feel like it's the best way to express the quality of an album accurately. The scale has range, yet is still easily understandable. However, for the sake of clarity, I will give a brief summary of my scoring system, as people's understanding of the 1-10 system may vary. Here's how I recommend albums:

9-10: Oh man, you MUST check out this cd.
7-8: Should LISTEN to this album, it's good.
4-6: You MIGHT want to listen based on your preferences.
1-3: Do NOT listen to this album.

Now, here's a detailed summary of what you can expect from each score.

10/10 - One of the best albums I've ever heard. Required listening for metalheads.

9/10 - This album is amazing, and a standout release this year. It's hard to get this score;albums that do are usually something special.

8/10 - Certainly very good, and you will probably not be disappointed what you hear if the album gets an 8.

7/10 - It's a good album, but not a great one. If an album gets a 7, glance at the review. If the album sounds interesting, you will enjoy it for sure, but it may not be for everyone.

6/10 - Above average. A recommendation on an album earning a 6 would be iffy. Diehard fans of the band should still get it. There may be something holding it back from being a good album.

5/10 - Average: not bad, not good. Albums like this can be uninteresting, contain a lot of filler, or are just not noteworthy. They may still be enjoyable, but don't expect a lot from an album that gets a 5.

4/10 - Below average. Here is an album that has flaws, something worth complaining about. If an album gets a 4, be cautious before listening; chances are, you won't be too impressed.

3/10 - A bad album. At this point, I don't think you should listen to the album at all. A cd that receives a 3 just isn't good.

2/10 - Terrible, just awful. There's no reason anyone should ever listen to any release that gets this score. Avoid at all costs.

1/10 - Hahahaha. Any album that "earns" a 1 is just laughably bad.

So there you have it. Hope this helps anyone who is confused about the graing system for my reviews.

TOUR: Vader + Decrepit Birth, more

Polish death metal legends Vader are fully prepared to unleash their torment on the North American continent in a tour billed as Monsters of Death. Starting early November, they'll be embarking on an intense 38-date trek across the United States and Canada, along with five other bands you can't miss. Offering their support are Decrepit Birth, a straightforward and exceedingly sharp Californian death metal band; Warbringer, one of neo-thrash's most well-known acts, due to their relentless touring; The Amenta, an industrial/experimental band from Australia; Augury, a progressive/death metal group that invokes elements of Cynic, Atheist, and The Faceless; and Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky, a newly formed death metal band that manages to kick a severe amount of ass, despite their mouthful of a name.

Tickets are a bargain at just $19 (or $14 each in a 4-pack). If you're not a Vader fan yet, you can get up to speed by checking out their superb compilation album XXV. Vader's new album Necropolis drops September 22. Everything these guys put out is pure gold, so it's not a risky purchase. Shows this essential don't come along very often; this one should have some sort of mandatory attendance policy for metalheads. The dates are here:

11/04/09 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
11/05/09 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
11/06/09 Webster Underground – Hartford, CT
11/07/09 The Blender Theater @ Gramercy – New York, NY
11/08/09 Fou Founes Electriques – Montreal, QC – Canada
11/09/09 Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC – Canada
11/10/09 Mod Club – Toronto, ON – Canada
11/11/09 Penny Arcade – Rochester, NY
11/12/09 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
11/13/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
11/14/09 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
11/15/09 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
11/16/09 Royal Albert Arms – Winnipeg, MB – Canada
11/17/09 The Exchange – Regina, SK – Canada
11/18/09 The Underground – Calgary, AB – Canada
11/19/09 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB – Canada
11/20/09 Roll-A-Dome – Prince George, BC – Canada
11/21/09 Bourbon – Vancouver, BC – Canada
11/22/09 Sugar – Victoria, BC – Canada
11/23/09 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
11/24/09 Satyricon – Portland, OR
11/25/09 Regency Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
11/27/09 Jumping Turtle – San Marcos, CA
11/28/09 Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA
11/29/09 The Key Club – Hollywood, CA
11/30/09 U.B’s – Mesa, AZ
12/01/09 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
12/02/09 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
12/03/09 Club Vegas – Salt Lake City, UT
12/04/09 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
12/05/09 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
12/06/09 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
12/07/09 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
12/09/09 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
12/10/09 Peppermint Beach Club – Virginia Beach, VA
12/11/09 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
12/12/09 Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA
12/13/09 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA

-Psychotic Pulse

REVIEW: Animals as Leaders

Artist: Animals as Leaders
Album: Animals as Leaders
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Genre(s): Instrumental, prog metal

From the moment I started listening to this album, I knew it was something special. I turned on my MP3 player and found myself in one of those great, rare cases in which the music is felt more than heard. The music flowed from my headphones to the rest of my body, slowly enfolding me. Thought-provoking and enrapturing, Animals as Leaders provokes emotion within oneself as only an instrumental band can do.

Lacking any vocals, the musicians (or musician, in this case) have to work hard in order to get the feeling across within their instrumentation. It's the downfall of many instrumental-prog bands, ones who can noodle on their guitar all day, but still not produce anything expressive. Not so with this band; listen to Animals as Leaders, shut out the rest of the world, and you will start seeing images, feeling things in yourself that you didn't know existed.

That's not to say Animals as Leaders isn't highly impressive technically, of course. Some of the guitarwork will blow your mind. The entire album was written and recorded by eight-string guitar virtuoso Tobin Abasi, which makes it all the more impressive, and effective as well. It works in the listener's favor having the ability to see one man's vision, making it more accessible, easier to grasp the message that Abasi is trying to convey wordlessly.

All the gears in this system work together, with no weak link. Guitar and bass flow smoothly, as do the drums and synthesizer. Abasi's gets a sound out of his guitar that's both jaw-dropping and breathtaking, sometimes simultaneously. There aren't really enough words to fully describe the dramatic effect of the music. This is one release that you absolutely have to experience.

I'd been planning on reviewing Animals as Leaders for a while, but I held off, for one simple reason. I wanted to see if this disc had staying power. At this point, I feel foolish for ever questioning that. Nothing sounds quite like AaL, and very few acts could ever hope to produce something quite this brilliant. This is most definitely the greatest instrumental piece you will hear this year.

Track to Check: "Tempting Time" (then the rest of the tracks if that gets you hooked)
Rating: 9.9/10
-Psychotic Pulse

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mayhem Fest Diary: Introduction

Mayhem Festival II is tomorrow. I'll be making the trip up to Comcast Theatre with seven of my bros, and it's sure to be a killer time. I still remember every moment of last year's festival; naturally, I'm expecting a lot from tomorrow's concert. I was lucky enough to catch the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival on its inaugural run last year, at Nassau Coliseum. When that night ended, I vowed with my friends that we would come back next year. Looking forward, we're pumped, and ready for more mayhem!

At Mayhem Fest, fans get the chance to see over a dozen excellent musical groups, walk around and check out merch booths, meet and greet all of their favorite bands, grab some second-rate food at premium prices, and sweat out a few pounds and get a neck tan in the over-90 degree heat. Think Warped Tour, but a lot more metal. It's not a bad comparison, considering both tours were masterminded by the same dude: Kevin Lyman. Out of all the touring festivals this year, though, Mayhem is the one you've gotta go to, trust me on that.

Who's playing? Glad you asked! This year features a vastly superior lineup, spread across more genres. The three-stage setup from last year is retained. The Jagermeister and Hot Topic stages are outside, next to each other, but neither has two bands playing simultaneously. This works in the favor of efficiency, as one band exits one stage, and another band is expected to start their set on the other stage within seconds. No wait time between bands? It's a concertgoer's dream come true! The Main stage still has breaks between sets, though, and is located in the stadium, to accommodate the masses of metalheads who will be gathering for the headliners.

The names attached to this tour command some serious attention: Marilyn Manson and Slayer. Crazy that they would unite for a co-headlining gig so soon, but definitely a package that appeals to a broad audience. For those who don't know, get familiar with the acts: Marilyn Manson is a shock-rock performer who plays industrial metal. Slayer is a famed thrash metal band who've been shredding since the 80s. Joining them on the Main stage are Killswitch Engage, an emo band full of metal posers, and Bullet for My Valentine, a metal band that blends old-school instruments with new-school vocals.

On the Jagermeister stage are: Trivium, All That Remains, and God Forbid, a trio of metalcore bands turned thrash, as well as a Jager opening band. Each stop on the tour features a different band, so fans of Mayhem nationwide will all have different Festival experiences. The Hot Topic stage features: Cannibal Corpse, 90s progenitors of brutal death metal; Behemoth, Polish blackened death metal titans, also the only foreign band on the tour; Job for a Cowboy, a popular deathcore act; The Black Dahlia Murder, a dynamic and talented band that incorporates a diverse range of death metal styles; and Whitechapel, a new deathcore band that is quickly making waves within their scene.

That's the gist of it. Come back in a few days, and you can read all about how it was, the bands' sets, any random weird stuff that happened, the whole deal. I have a damn good feeling about tomorrow!

Long live the mayhem!
-Psychotic Pulse

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

REVIEW: Suffocation + Obituary

Artist: Suffocation
Album: Blood Oath
Release Date: July 14, 2009

Artist: Obituary
Album: Darkest Day
Release Date: June 30, 2009

Genre(s): Death metal, brutal death

Two kickass old-school death metal bands, back with all-new albums. Two questions: do these bands still rip? And which album is more brutal?


If you want to talk brutal, that's the very best word you could use to describe Blood Oath. Holy crap, the vocals on this album own. Frank Mullen has a killer growl, and it's all natural. The drums are fast and lay the groundwork for some hard-hitting guitarwork. The force behind the riffs can be wondrous to behold at times. The solos, however, leave something to be desired. Thankfully, the band doesn't make that the focus of their music, so it can't be counted as too much of a flaw. It's straight-up, no-frills death metal. Easy to listen to, memorable, and very enjoyable.

There's not much to say about Blood Oath; it's well-done all-around. Production, instruments, songwriting: all are impressive. If you have any taste for death metal, buy this album, you'll love it. Anyone who went to Summer Slaughter this year heard Suffocation make an insufferably long speech about being a band for 20 years. For longtime Suffocation fans, this is the band's gift to you for sticking with them for so long. Congratulations to Suffocation, they have put out another death metal must-have, likely to go down as one of 2009's best.

Track to Check: "Provoking the Disturbed"
Rating: 8.5/10


Oh yeah, Obituary is kicking ass, as usual. Here, you'll find the same monstrous John Tardy vocals you fell in love with the first time you blasted "Don't Care" at home on your old stereo. The speed fluctuates between Obituary's trademark slow groove and speedy riffs. Either way it's punishing. The guitarwork isn't all rehashed, though. Ralph Santolla, the recent replacement for longtime member Allen West throws down some sick solos on top of the driving licks. It shakes things up without deviating too much from the Obituary formula. The band knows what works for them, and sticks with it throughout.

It's good to see that Obituary's not concerned with melody or technicality, for that is not what Obituary's about. Obituary's all about walking own the street, turning the headphones up to max volume, and smile snidely as the badass feeling comes over you. I'm a huge Obituary fan, and I can't resist the appeal of thirteen brutal new tracks from them. Obituary's been steadily on track since they reunited in 2003, but Darkest Day is their most focused post-reunion effort yet, and delivers all the goods that Obituary fans should expect.

Track to Check: "List of Dead"
Rating: an unbiased score would be 7.8, but based on my personal preference for Obituary, I'd give it an 8.8/10.

In conclusion:

Both albums offer little in the way of originality, but both serve to show us something more important: how each band has established themselves as masters of the death metal genre. Still going strong after 20 years, Obituary and Suffocation have provided us with more reasons to love them; both albums are essentials for death fans. Blood Oath is a more balanced and more accessible album for death metal fans of all sorts, while Darkest Day is geared more towards Obituary diehards, but guaranteed to give that group of metaheads an extreme thrill. Take your pick. The best choice for any true metalhead, of course, is to get both.

Choosing death again!
-Psychotic Pulse

Opinion: Nu-Metal

Now, this isn't meant to be a bashfest about this umm...questionable genre in relation to talent and listenability; but more of a question as to why it exists. Why does nu-metal in fact exist?

As we all know the father of nu-metal is indeed Korn. Their arrival and success led to such acts as Slipknot, Disturbed, Soulfly (RIP the Max Cavalera all thrashers used to love), Coal Chamber, Godsmack, Papa Roach, and the terrible...absolutely terrible Limp Bizkit.

This particular genre combines rap (wtf?), metal, and industrial elements together to make this...interesting sound. Many mosh pits at nu-metal concerts consist of hardcore dancers waving their arms frantically and just acting like foolish drunk assholes. The musicians look more like gangsters than metalheads (or in the case of Slipknot, like little faggot pussy bitches). The typical fan looks like an overweight stupid mother fucking faggot skinhead whom should go rot in hell like the fucking swine that they are (many of these people can be seen commenting on youtube videos). This genre aggrivates me extremely. Fuck my life.

I said this wasn't meant to be a bashfest, but that is what I'm going to turn this into for fuck sakes. The music sucks, the fans are stupid fat mother fucking pussy faggots, and the band members are fucking idiotic emo druggie fagfucking cocksucking mother fucking douches. Now you see why I ask why this genre exists. What is this bullshit?

Why would anyone want to be exposed to this tripe is beyond my-or any sane person's understanding. Thank goodness this genre is dying out. So I ask, who really came up with the idea to make this noise, so I can wipe him from the Earth.

Yours truly,

Monday, August 3, 2009

TOUR: Mastodon + Dethklok, and more

Oh hell yeah. Two of today's greats in metal team up for a co-headlining tour. Adult Swim presents: Mastodon, a prog-metal band, highly successfully commercially and critically, whose latest opus Crack the Skye is already being hailed as the year's best metal release; and Dethklok, a real-life version of the world-famous death metal band from Adult Swim animated comedy Metalocalypse, whose set will likely feature a ton of awesome new material from The Dethalbum II, set for release later this year. The openers are Converge (math-metal/post-hardcore legends) and High on Fire (doom metal prodigies). This massive tour entails 30 guaranteed-to-be-amazing dates coast-to-coast across the USA (as well as 4 stops in Canada!).

General public ticket sales begin Friday, August 7, at 10:00 a.m., so make sure to be on Livenation with your finger on the Order button when that time rolls around. Mastodon tickets sold out last time they visited NYC, and tickets can only sell faster this time around, with the sweet, sweet lineup.

Here are your dates! Check to make sure this
badass tour is coming to a city near you:

Oct. 02 -
Roseland Theater - Portland, OR
Oct. 03 -
WaMu Theater - Seattle, WA
Oct. 04 -
Orpheum Theatre - Vancouver, BC
Oct. 06 - Big Four Building - Calgary, AB
Oct. 07 - Shaw Conference Centre - Edmonton, AB
Oct. 09 - Great
Saltair - Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 10 - Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO
Oct. 12 - Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO
Oct. 13 - The Pageant - St. Louis, MO
Oct. 14 - Val Air Ballroom - Des
Moines, IA
Oct. 16 - Myth - St. Paul, MN
Oct. 17 -
Aragon Ballroom - Chicago, IL
Oct. 18 - Eagle's Auditorium - Milwaukee, WI
Oct. 20 - LC Pavilion - Columbus, OH
Oct. 21 - The Fillmore - Detroit, MI
Oct. 23 - Sound Academy - Toronto
Oct. 24 - The Fairgrounds - Buffalo, NY
Oct. 25 - Armory - Albany, NY
Oct. 27 - House of Blues - Boston, MA
Oct. 30 - Hammerstein Ballroom - New York, NY
Oct. 31 - Patriot Center - Washington, DC
Nov. 01 - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 05 - Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA
Nov. 06 - House of Blues - Myrtle Beach, SC
Nov. 07 - Hard Rock Live - Orlando, FL
Nov. 08 - Pompano Beach
Amphit - Pompano Beach, FL
Nov. 11 - House of Blues - Dallas, TX
Nov. 12 - Verizon Wireless Theater - Houston, TX
Nov. 13 - Austin City Music Hall - Austin, TX
Nov. 14 - Brady Theater - Tulsa, OK
Nov. 16 - Pan American Center -
Las Cruces, NM
Nov. 17 - Mesa Amphitheater - Mesa, AZ
Nov. 18 - House of Blues -
Las Vegas, NV
Nov. 19 - Palladium - Los Angeles, CA

See you in the pit!
-Psychotic Pulse

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 Reasons to Hate Chris Barnes

1) He's Chris Barnes. Do you need any more reasons that that?
2) He's ugly as fuck.
3) He's a terrible vocalist.
4) Six Feet Under sucks huge balls.
5) Cannibal Corpse wrote better songs after he left.
6) All of his songs sound better with George Fisher on the mic.
7) Chris Barnes produced the worst lyrical compositions known to man.
8) He shoves pro-marijuana propaganda down our throats.
9) The fuckin' guy can't even sing without smoking pot first.
10) He's talentless.
11) He's worse than every single one of his contemporaries.
12) He wrote a song called "Shot in the Head".
13) He actually thinks he's good.
14) He thinks he's better than George Fisher (What's that smell? Must be bullshit!)
15) Six Feet Under's guitarwork takes almost no skill to play.
16) Six Feet Under's basswork takes almost no skill to play.
17) Six Feet Under's drumwork takes almost no skill to play.
18) He brought in Ice-T to rap on one song. I repeat, Ice-T RAPS in Six Feet Under.
19) He probably smells really bad.
20) His dreads make him look like a pussy.
21) He doesn't shower.
22) When he first started Cannibal Corpse, he wanted to play the bass.
23) HAHAHA seriously?! LOL @ bass.
24) He only growls because he wasn't talented enough to sing, according to him.
25) He's full of himself.
26) He records horrible death metal covers of classic songs, disgracing them.
27) He made an entire album of those called Graveyard Classics.
28) Later, his band went back in the studio and created Graveyard Classics 2. Ugh.
29) They recorded a cover of Back in Black by AC/DC in its entirety. Fuck.
30) He thinks it's ok that he ruined one of the best rock albums in history.
31) Anyone with a low voice can growl like Chris Barnes effortlessly.
32) Six Feet Under has 8 original studio albums. WHY?!
33) No one has attempted to assassinate Chris Barnes yet... and they should have.
34) He writes songs about raping children.
35) He writes songs about necrophilia.
36) Jim Carrey cracking his neck grosses out Chris Barnes.
37) He looks stupid. He probably can't spell.
38) He would make a terrible babysitter.
39) He makes other people with his name feel ashamed.
40) He's fucking fat as shit.
41) He joined a Six Feet Under cover band, Torture Killer.
42) He performed covers of his own songs, in a different band. What's the point?!
43) He's useless to the world.
44) He can't multiply 14567 x 6783 in his head.
45) Nor can he divide those two numbers in his head.
47) He's part of the worst band of all time.
48) He didn't unlock Vincent's Turk outfit.
49) He originates near Canada. Meaning, he can't form a band. Unless he's in Rush.
50) No one wants to wear a Chris Barnes shirt.
51) No one wants to wear ANYTHING with Chris Barnes's face on it.
52) Especially not Chris Barnes underwear.
53) I would feel comfortable using Chris Barnes toiletpaper though.
54) His mind is in the gutter.
55) He lives in Beverly Hills, California. What the fuck.
56) If he's rich enough to live there, he doesn't deserve it.
57) The world is a worse place because of him.
58) He exposes new metal listeners to shitty music.
59) He gives death metal a bad name.
60) He doesn't have the ability to sing/growl fast.
61) Smoking too much weed killed all his brain cells.
62) I told you to hate him.
63) Hypothetically, he could murder your whole family.
64) There's a "Best of Six Feet Under" album, whose title is a misnomer.
65) He didn't play Psychonauts.
66) He hasn't accomplished anything, yet is known.
67) He doesn't know all the words to "The Toxic Waltz".
68) Six Feet Under is in the studio right now recording *gulp* Graveyard Classics 3.
69) I almost vomited when I wrote that.
70) It's coming out THIS YEAR.
71) Any song sung by Chris Barnes would sound terrible.
72) He can't shoot a bullet with another bullet, blindfolded, while riding a horse.
73) His mother's a whore.
74) He enjoys sodomy.
75) Anal Cunt wrote an awesome song called "Chris Barnes is a Pussy".
76) His vocals are incomprehensible most of the time.
77) He's not cool.
78) If you asked to borrow his car, he'd say no.
79) He has huge, disgusting gauges in his ears.
80) Death Rituals is the worst abomination of an album ever conceived.
81) Death Rituals is so bad, it deserves another line.
82) "Death By Machete"
83) "Involuntary Movement of Dead Flesh"
84) "None Will Escape"
85) "Eulogy for the Undead"
86) "Seed of Filth"
87) "Bastard"
88) "Into the Crematorium"
89) "Shot in the Head"
90) "Killed in Your Sleep"
91) "Crossroads to Armageddon"
92) "Ten Deadly Plagues"
93) "Crossing the River Styx"
94) "Murder Addiction"
95) These songs are already terrible musically, but c'mon... those titles... really?
96) His songs are repetitive as hell and drag on incessantly.
97) The intro at the beginning of "Shot in the Head" is way too long.
98) I have nothing good to say about Chris Barnes.
99) He has perfected his killing technique.
100) Barnes-fest would be a terrible music festival.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

REVIEW: Job for a Cowboy

Artist: Job for a Cowboy

Album: Ruination

Release Date: July 7, 2009

Genre(s): Deathcore, death metal

Holy shit - that's a fucking BADASS album art. You're browsing the metal section in your local music retailer, looking for a new cd to bang your head to. After seeing that display of awesomeness, you're ready to drop your hard earned cash, take it home, and play the shit out of it. With artwork like that, you've got a death metal masterpiece in your hands for sure. Right?

...Right? Sadly, no. You couldn't have been more wrong. The moment Ruination enters the disc tray, starts spinning, and the speakers start lamentably vomiting out the first song, you realize you've made a grave mistake. And it's too late. The sadistic members of the band must be laughing now, knowing you're in for a sad forty minutes of suffering and pain. Not the good kind of pain, like the smash-you-in-the-face brutality of a Cannibal Corpse album. The pain that makes you want to stop living; the kind of pain that can come only from mistakenly purchasing a horrible album. You've just been introduced to Job for a Cowboy.

You can tell right away that the relationship between you two isn't going to work out, and you wish you'd never met. You want to like Job for a Cowboy; you may see the good in them deep down, their sweeeet death metal core, but it's hard to get past all of their glaring flaws. For starters, you can't communicate with each other properly. Why? Maybe because the voice gets on your nerves. The vocalist's growl is deep and sounds pretty good, but all of a sudden, he'll switch up his style (mid-verse, no less) without cause or warning, and do this high shriek that makes him sound like a complete ass. You wouldn't mind this one little issue if he did it less, but it keeps happening, and you don't know how to live with it.

As time goes on, you start neglecting Job for a Cowboy, spending less time with them. You feel bad, but it's just something you can't bring yourself to do. This band bores the hell out of you. Their riffs are generic far beyond interest. Once in a while it strikes up something that really interests you, but that cool part of that song is over before you know it, and it's back to that driving monotony you've gotten used to. You dread the premise of giving Ruinaton another go-around, knowing full well that it's going to drag on and on and on and on and on and on miserably. When you think one of these songs is going to end, your spirits lift at the prospect of getting to hear something different (if only slightly), and then come crashing down when the song continues. Never before have you wanted something to end so badly.

Relationships require a sense of rhythm from both participants, and the rhythm in Job for a Cowboy's latest album can only be described as erratic. You can only help but feel sorry for the drummer, witnessing that he has such talent yet no idea what to do with it. He overuses the cymbals in every song, including parts where it seems entirely inappropriate. The drum part changes at least 6 times per passage; there's no consistency whatsoever. It's hard for you to get into the songs when the drum parts sound like a bunch of randomly hit difficult patterns that the this guy played, clearly while attempting to show off, looped throughout the song, without even an effort to sync them with the other instruments. When you realize that the driving force behind everything doesn't even make sense to you, then you realize that it's time to break up.

And that's it - your relationship with Job for a Cowboy, which seemed so sincere at first, has come to a swift end. You can't say you hated everything about Ruination, though. There's a memorable solo here or there, and it's decidedly less deathcore-sounding than the band's previous work. You may be able to give them credit for that, but it's certainly not enough to make Ruination worth a listen. Any group with a couple good guitarists and a resilient drummer can get together, play something heavy, and call it death metal, but that doesn't mean it's going to be good. Coherent songwriting and expression are musts, and JFAC fails so miserably in that category, they're not even worth calling a band.

Ruination hasn't touched your cd player for weeks, and it's found a new home inside your recepticle bin, but the memories of the bad times you spent with it will haunt you forever.

Track to Check: God help you if you even think about listening to this album, but each song is as mindless and putrid as the other.
Score: 2.6/10

-Psychotic Pulse

Summer Slaughter Diary: The Death, The Brutality, The Glory

The story starts as I sit with my friends in a NYC pizzeria talking about which bands we're going to mosh for. Doors open to Summer Slaughter in an hour; Karina's holding our place in line, as we flag down a taxi to take us to Irving Plaza. We have half an hour to wait, far longer than it seemed, as we had a killer time talking bands with hundreds of kids sporting death metal t-shirts. I had never seen a death metal band live before, and I was very excited to make that a thing of the past.

I got inside and was unpleasantly informed that the lineup would be split over the 2 NYC dates, and only seven bands would go on that night. This sounded like bad news until I found out that all the shitty bands were going on the next day. Looks like I picked the right time to come! My only regret is that I came on the wrong day to see Born of Osiris (check out my review of their latest; I'm a huge fan), but all seven of the bands that performed for me that night owned me.

1. Blackguard was first up. Like most opening bands I've witnessed, they kicked way too much ass to be first. They played folk metal with an awesome pirate theme, to great acclamation. I love seeing a young band with serious chops, and apparently, so did everyone else, because the crowd ate up their performance. Everyone in the band banged their head in unison, while their vocalist (whose shriek greatly resembled Alexi Laiho's) delivered each line of the song with great power and feeling. Overall, this band's performance was a win; their 25 minute set was all too short.

2. Decrepit Birth had a lot to offer. They play straight up brutal death metal. No frills, all quality. Their music is simple, but very good, so I had high hopes for them. Sadly, they are a lot better studio, but I was happy to see them live, if only because I was a big fan of them already. I bought one of their awesome-looking shirts, and proudly displayed my love for the band by knocking out some people in the pit. I'm seeing Decrepit Birth again this November, and I'll be hoping for a performance on par with my high expectations for what these guys can do.

3. Origin WAS GODLY. Their latest album Antithesis is one of the greatest technical death achievements ever. The band played their best songs, and played them spot-on, no mistakes. The drum sound was spectacular, the driving force behind it all, and John Longstreth consistently proves himself to be one of the finest drummers out there. Some asshole in the crowd picked a fight with me, but I don't have the time for that bullshit, so I spat on him and walked away. How can you think about anything else when Origin is playing right in front of you? Everyone on the stage kicked a gratuitous amount of ass. I love Origin, end of story.

4. Darkest Hour... meh... good performance, I'm just not that into these guys. I respect them for being in the top quartile of metalcore and bringing in a lot of melodic elements, no doubt. They played a good set, while I sat in the lobby and hung out with my bros. It was about this time that I realized that I was going to be in major pain the next day. And there were still three more amazing bands to come.

5. Ensiferum had the craziest and fastest circle pits I've ever seen. Whoever says circle pits are lame clearly hasn't been in one that intense. Excellent song choices by the band, including "Deathbringer from the Sky", "One More Magic Potion", and "Iron". These guys rock with their chants and their keyboards. They all performed shirtless and with face paint, which is slightly odd, but Ensiferum puts on a cool presentation. They're coming back to North America for a headlining tour soon, and I highly recommend them to everyone.

6. Suffocation sounded awesome... when they were playing. I didn't enjoy hearing Frank Mullen go on a bunch of rants and make a dozen speeches and, at times, talk about nothing at all. Let's play a drinking game: every time Suffocation says they've been around 20 years, take a shot. You'll pass out by the end of their set. Having a Brooklyn accent and lacking the ability to stop talking must be prerequisites to joining Suffocation. I gotta give these guys credit though. When they got down to it, they demolished with a huge, heavy sound that threatened to wreck the venue. The pits weren't very good, which disappointed me. I guess people get tired from rocking out to six straight hours of death metal. Suffocation are legends though, and well worth seeing.

7. Necrophagist: the holy headliners. The sound system can make or break a live band, and sad to say, it broke Necropagist. The vocals and drums sounded superb, but the guitars were a drowned out. The crowd gave Necrophagist mad respect anyway, deservedly so. Necrophagist is one amazing band, and despite the relative poor sound quality, I loved them, especially as their sound improved as the set went on. They even snuck in a song from their upcoming album (set for release this year), and it was beyond awesome. They ended the night spectacularly.

I emerged from the venue reeking of smoke and sweat, out onto the night streets of New York City, along with a bunch of other satisfied metalheads. Per tradition, everyone chills in front of the venue for a while before making their way home. Summer Slaughter was a lot of fun. I regret missing it the first two years, but there's always next year to make up for it. The lineup is consistently killer year after year, so I'm almost positive that if you go to the Slaughter next year, you'll see me there. Here's my quick analysis of the bands, by the way:

Best to worst:
Decrepit Birth
Darkest Hour

This has been your Summer Slaughter review, which I hope you enjoyed almost as much as I enjoyed the concert. More album reviews coming this week, and Mayhem Festival two weeks from today!

-Psychotic Pulse

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Anthrax's Fall from Grace

THRASH IS BACK!!! These days, it seems like thrash is getting bigger than it ever was in the 80s. This begs the question: what the hell is Anthrax doing? The last totally new album was 2003's highly-acclaimed We've Come for You All. Six years later, all you can see from these guys is the sad image of a band caught up in their midlife crisis amidst lineup hell and accepting a tour slot opening for metal posers Slipknot, a group commonly regarded by metalheads as one of the worst bands in history. How did it happen, Anthrax?!

A year after their last original album, Anthrax released an exceptional compilation called The Greater of Two Evils, featuring their 80s classics, re-recorded by their 00s lineup. Usually when a band does that, it's as if to say "we are proud of our current lineup, so here's what we can do now to make our older material sound fresh". That doesn't necessarily apply to Anthrax, however, judging by their next move. In an indecisive twist of fate, Anthrax immediately followed up said album by ejecting longtime vocalist John Bush and lea guitarist Rob Caggiano, in order to accommodate the return of Joey Belladonna and Dan Spitz, respectively. Anthrax embarked upon a successful reunion tour with their 1984-92 lineup, featuring setlists comprised exclusively or material recorded during that era, but neglected to plan for the long-term. Once the tour ended, Anthrax found themselves unable to press on, with Belladonna and Spitz were unwilling to commit to the band full-time. Without a lead guitarist and vocalist, Anthrax faded into semi-obscurity overnight. Classic metal was in demand during the mid-00s, but only those bands who proved that they had the tenactity to continue performing; in such a time, even a small lapse was enough to prove detrimental to the Anthrax's popularity.

You can't have a band without a singer, unless of course, you're a kickass instrumental-prog band (and let's face it: Anthrax would suck at that). John Bush, still reeling from his abrupt dismissal, basically gave Anthrax the finger when they asked him back. While Rob Caggiano was more than happy to return, a piece of the puzzle was still missing. After a long and arduous search, Anthrax discovered a vocalist who had been gaining fame in the local Long Island scene, and quickly enlisted him to record a new studio album. His name: Dan Nelson. His role in the band: vocalist/roadblock. Now, Anthrax claims to have been serious about making a comeback, but with an unknown singer, who's going to take them seriously? John Bush and Joey Belladonna are both loved by fans; they're not that easy to replace, and the unease was apparent in Anthrax's fanbase. Sure enough, Nelson didn't last, and exited the band this week; whether it was by choice is not yet confirmed. Due to the lineup shift, the new album Worship Music has been delayed (far from the first time). Sadly to say, it may be too late for Anthrax, as they fall behind in a thriving genre.

Metallica just released Death Magnetic, which regains all of their credibility, not to mention they are (and always have been) the best of the thrash bands when it comes to live performances. Megadeth has an album this year, which could possibly be a return to form, judging by the superb single "Headcrusher". Slayer's Christ Illusion was incredible, and
they have another album out this summer. Other long-running thrash bands such as Testament, Overkill, Flotsam & Jetsam, Death Angel, and Exodus have released excellent albums within the past two years. Furthermore, there's competition from the new wave of thrash; young rockers worldwide have been embracing the beloved genre, leading to the formation of popular new bands such as Evile and Warbringer. Anthrax's past achievements in the field of thrash are laudable; they should be one of the bands ushering in the new era. It's a shame that they are not, and because of that, Anthrax is basically no longer relevant.

Now, I'm not badmouthing Anthrax. I respect them, and I'd love to see them come back to prominence. They need to do something spectacular, however, since they've been out of the spotlight for so long, and other bands are making progress while Anthrax has been promising a comeback for years, but to no avail.
Worship Music has been delayed several times already, the most recent of which took place this very week, presumably because the band wants to erase Dan Nelson's vocals from the album and redo all of the songs. What can save the band at this point? Fans are amassing and clamoring for a John Bush reunion. He's scheduled to perform a one-off with his old buddies on August 1st, and if things go well, it could lead to the reunion of Anthrax's most functional lineup, giving the band the boost they need to climb back to the top. A reunion with Joey seems far less feasible, since Anthrax already tried that, and it didn't pan out. Whatever happens, the band needs to do something big, and as unlikely as it seems, Anthrax has been known for pulling through the hard time.

Hardcore Anthrax fans aren't going to stop supporting the band. We're talking about a group that has sold well over 10 million albums and caters to thrashers, some of the most unfailingly loyal music fans out there. If Anthrax proves themselves worthy of attention in the future, it will surely come back to them. It's going to take a lot of work on their part, but as a thrasher myself, I'm inclined to believe in them. They just cancelled that godforsaken tour where they were set to open for Slipknot, so already we have one big step in the right direction right there.

-Psychotic Pulse

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Slaughter Diary: Introduction

Midnight has just passed, and Summer Slaughter will be arriving at a town near me in less than 18 hours. It's the third iteration of the annual festival, but the first chance I've gotten to go myself. My excitement is peaking, and... you know what, that sounded wrong. This is starting to sound like a fanfiction. Ok, so what makes Summer Slaughter so damn awesome?

If there's one thing I have to praise it for, it's that the lineup is no less fantastic each year. This time around, the headliners are Necrophagist, the German band who singlehandedly gave birth to the technical death metal subgenre as we know it today, and Suffocation, one of the oldest and most respected bands of the original American death metal movement. Without a doubt, Summer Slaughter should be at the top of the list for death metal fans this year. The rest of the bands are icing, but don't make the mistake of writing them all off, because there are some standouts that should give hard-hitting performances.

Support comes from Ensiferum, Finnish viking/folk metal masters; Darkest Hour, a long-running American melo-death act; Winds of Plague, a deathcore band with a female keyboardist; Dying Fetus, a death metal band unique for expressing a strong political agenda; Born of Osiris, a new band that blends tech-death and metalcore with beautiful atmosphere; Origin, a highly acclaimed tech-death band who have scored a breakout hit with their new album; After the Burial, a metalcore band with progressive elements; and Blackguard, a recently-signed pirate metal group who won their slot on this prestigious tour in a battle of the bands. Wow, this night's going to kill me, in the best way possible.

With a total of ten bands vying for my attention (HOLY SHIT), I'm a little worried whether spending a large number of hours in a cramped venue will make Summer Slaughter a detriment to the claustrophobic. It's an experience, though, one I'd like to see firsthand. The idea of holding an outdoor style festival in an indoor setting doesn't appeal to me, but awesome metal bands do, so nothing can hold back my ecstacy; seeing several of my favorite bands in one place is the kind of thing metalheads live for. How will it all turn out? We can only wait and see. Check back tomorrow, and I'll let you know if the Slaughter is as awesome as it seems, or an event too good to be true.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Opinion: "Metal from a Non-metalhead's Perspective"

Opinion Column by Mattysandwich
Also check my blog at

Welcome to the Sand Witch Review. I’m Mattysandwich and here is my, hey wait a minute where am I this isn’t my blog?

Psychoticpulse: Hey Matty it’s me Psycho and I want you to do a review on metal from a non metal head perspective.

Mattysandwich: well what if I say no?

Psychoticpulse: I’ll turn you straight.

Mattysandwich: I would like to see you try! There isn’t a force on the planet stronger then my yaoi!

Psychoticpulse: I have more porn then you will ever be able to comprehend inside my box. Do not listen to me and I will open the box. You don’t want me to open the box, do you?

So let’s not waste any time shall we? What can I say about metal? Well, a lot of things but most of them aren’t nice. Alright that’s a little cruel but here’s my reasoning behind it I don’t hear anything. With some metal the instruments are so loud that you can’t hear what the singer is saying and if you can hear him he sounds like he has some retarded speech disorder. I mean, it sounds like a lot of groaning. What’s so musically inspiring about groaning? I could just as easily wake up next to a few of my friends and I get that same kind of reaction. Also, a lot of metal lyrics are really dark. I mean, sure everyone tries to bring a message, but when you’re bringing a message about ripping people’s limbs off and eating there flesh, what are you trying to explain? The only thing that I can think of is that metal is a code word for crying for psychological help in which case the right people better be ready to listen.

Psychoticpulse: No Matty you’re not doing what I asked you to do.

Matty: You asked me to review metal Psycho! I’m reviewing it based off the general feeling I have of it.

Psychoticpulse: Alright then fair enough. Why don’t you review a few songs then so that you can get a real taste for metal?

Matty: Come on Psycho do I really have to?

Psychoticpulse: The box Matty.

Matty: Alright then you win give me your songs. Just don’t open the box I beg you.

Psychoticpulse: I thought you would see it my way.

Alright well since I’m reviewing metal I have been given a list of different types of metal. The first song on my list is “Run to the Hills,“ by Iron Maiden. Alright, this song loses right off the bat. I only listened to the first verse and I already wanted to kill them. Although there message is strong about the white man destroying everything, they themselves are white! So when they talk about how they fought the white man, did they smash mirrors wherever they went? I mean come on the message makes no sense. And then just to top it all off it talks about rape and killing children. Come on metal I don’t want my stereotypes to be right. I want to wake up every morning with the knowledge I give everything I try but you’re making it so god damn hard. I’ll give it one thing though, it does have good instrumentals. However this makes me wish that my other stereotype was right and that this song’s lyrics would be blocked out by them. Overall I’m rating this two out of five let’s hope the next song is better.

The next song I get to look at on my fun list is “Angel of Death,” by Slayer. Alright since you know I’m going to be ripping this song a new asshole by the end of this short review let me first say what I like. I actually appreciate the message this song brings out. Although rather disturbing, overall the holocaust was extremely disturbing so it would only be right if the lyrics matched it as well. Now that I got that out of my system, let me be the first to say that this guy sucks at singing! I mean, did he even try? It sounds like he’s trying to make the song harder to understand. Come on singer this is the first set of lyrics I agree with at least give me a clear delivery! Also I dislike the band’s music. Unlike Iron Maiden when the music was tolerable, this music is too beat crazy and I hate it. Fortunately I can mute it and turn on my new song. I’m giving this song another two out of five and let’s see how the next one pans out.

Matty: Alright, you know what I’m not reviewing this. I gave in to everything else but this is the where I draw the line.

Psychoticpulse: Do you want me to open the box Matty?

Matty: I don’t care anymore. There is no way in hell I am reviewing “Stripped, Raped, And Strangled” by Cannibal Corpse.

Psychoticpulse: You know I also have a bag full of yuri. Even if you survive the first wave there’s no way you’re getting past this.

Matty: Please, this has to end.

Psychoticpulse: And it will with the bag of yuri. “Begins to open bag and already Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune begin to make out.”

Matty: Alright you win! I can’t take it I fall to your blade.

So yeah, I’m also going to be reviewing “Stripped, Raped, And Strangled” by Cannibal Corpse God help me. I don’t even think I need to listen to the song the answer to my review is right in the title. I mean, come on could be any more subtle? It’s like walking around naked there has to be some kind of penalty for it. Yes it turns out there is a penalty for this kind of music and it is that I believe Australia which forbids them from having any concerts there. And as they should this kind of music really should have no place. I believe like rap, this music should be burned at the stake. This song gets a one out of five. Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover?

Now it’s time for my next song Hair metal: “Nothin’ But a Good Time” by Poison. Alright I enjoyed this song. There’s no rape or murder in the lyrics just a normal song. The singer is easy on the ears and so is the band. Well this is a good song. In fact, maybe this will change my entire perspective on metal. Well, it might once bands like Cannibal Corpse burn in hell. Until then, I’ll listen to this song from the shadows. This songs deserves a five out of five. Finally, something that I can say I enjoyed.

Alright now it’s time for my next song "This Calling" by All That Remains. I remember this song from Guitar Hero. I appreciate this song’s chorus but the verses can quietly mute themselves. While I’m confused on what the lyrics are trying to explain because the only thing I can translate is the calling verses and the lyrics aren’t helping too much. Oh well, the instruments were good and I can say that this is not the worst I heard so far. I’m rating this three out of five because it can be better, but I’m not complaining.

The next song on the list is “Inferno” by Symphony X. I can safely say that this is definitely a high lighter of metal. While it’s still playing on some of my metal stereotypes, it doesn’t obsess in them so I can actually enjoy it. I feel like a nobody feeling happiness, something that shouldn’t happen but is. This is actually making me really happy. In fact, since this song is making me so happy I’m going to give it a five out of five. Hopefully the last song won’t ruin it for me.

Holy crap did I choose the wrong song to end this review on. Incase you didn’t know, I am referring to “Through the Fire and Flames” by DragonForce. God this song sounds like it’s in a rush to be finish it’s going so fast. Not only is it in a rush it’s also not well constructed in any way. It’s just fast. I mean, is anyone trying to follow the lyrics? Another problem is that this song is aggravatingly long. I mean, come on! Couldn’t you shorten it to three minutes? I would even deal with four but seven minutes twenty one seconds?! Think of all the other things this band could be doing with there time if they weren’t making there songs as long as some computer games. They could be helping starving kids in Africa, finding a cure for cancer, or even driving off a cliff with Cannibal Corpse. Any one out of the three I would prefer. This song I’m giving a one out of five and don’t you dare comment on how I’m being too harsh.

So yeah, this is my review on metal. I have to admit it wasn’t as painful as I thought and to be honest, I actually enjoyed myself a tad. However in truth I will continue to see this genre of music through my biased eyes and it’s going to take a while before I’m ready to fully embrace it. Or maybe once Cannibal Corpse dies horribly I’ll give it another go either one is going to take time. While I wish I didn’t have to do this review, at least he didn’t open the bag again. Well, I’m logging off now. This has been a Sand Witch Review and until next time, your time is out.


TOUR: Obituary + Goatwhore, and more

Us metalheads, we love shows. Especially ones with a solid lineup featuring several kickass bands. Well here's a tour hitting the US (and Canada!) this September, headlined by the death metal legends Obituary.

Support comes from Goatwhore, a black metal band gaining a huge following in the wake of their excellent album Carving Out the Eyes of God; Krisiun, a Brazilian band who've been cranking death metal since 1990; The Berzerker, the only awful act on this tour; and Warbringer, a neo-thrash band whose relentless touring is gaining them exposure to all sorts of different metal crowds. Obituary will hopefully be showcasing a bunch of tunes from their 2009 opus Darkest Day, as well as classics such as "Don't Care" and "Slowly We Rot" from their impressive 8 album discography.

Here are the dates:

September 3 - Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
September 4 - Mesa, AZ @ U.B.’s Bar
September 5 - Farmington, NM @ Gator’s
September 6 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
September 8 - San Marcos, CA @ Jumping Turtle
September 9 - Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club
September 10 – San Francisco, CA @ Slims
September 11 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
September 12 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
September 14 - Victoria, BC @ Sugar
September 15 - Vancouver, BC @ Plaza Club
September 17 - Calgary, AB @ Warehouse
September 18 - Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room
September 19 - Regina, SK @ The Riddell
September 20 - Winnipeg, MB @ Royal Albert Arms
September 22 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
September 23 - Mokena, IL @ Pearl Room
September 25 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
September 26 - Quebec City, QC @ Imperial
September 27 - Montreal, QC @ Foufounes Electriques
September 29 – New York, NY @ Blender Theatre at Gramercy
September 30 - Worcester, MA @ Palladium
October 1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
October 2 - Raleigh, NC @ Volume 11
October 3 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
October 4 - Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall

I'll be going for sure, so expect a concert review of this show in September. The first concert review will be up this weekend, detailing Summer Slaughter 2009, followed by one on Mayhem Festival 2009 a couple weeks later.

Upcoming Metal Albums 2009

We've seen an onslaught of good metal so far this year, but the best has yet to come. Who else has an album to release this year? Here's a short list of bands:
  • Alice in Chains
  • Anthrax
  • Arch Enemy
  • Armored Saint
  • Baroness
  • Behemoth
  • Belphegor
  • Blind Guardian
  • Brainstorm
  • The Black Dahlia Murder
  • Converge
  • Deicide
  • Dethklok
  • Dying Fetus
  • Elvenking
  • Ensiferum
  • Evile
  • Forbidden
  • Gwar
  • Heathen
  • Immortal
  • Living Colour
  • Lynch Mob
  • Manowar
  • Megadeth
  • Morbid Angel
  • Municipal Waste
  • Necrophagist
  • Nile
  • Nocturnal Rites
  • Overkill
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Pain of Salvation
  • Prototype
  • Rotting Christ
  • Shadow Gallery
  • Shadows Fall
  • Sigh
  • Sixx:A.M.
  • Slayer
  • Sonata Arctica
  • 3 Inches of Blood
  • Vader
  • Wintersun
If you know of any notable releases that I forgot to mention, leave a comment, and I will add the band. =)

Friday, July 17, 2009

REVIEW: DevilDriver

Artist: DevilDriver
Album: Pray for Villains
Release Date: July 14th, 2009
Genre(s): Groove Metal

Hey guys, this is my first review so don't get up all on my ass yet :(. Anyway, here goes!

Ah yes, Mr.Dez Fafara and his crew is back with a new album, and I must say it still keeps with the in-your-face-kick-your-ass kind of sound we are used to hearing from them (minus the earlier nu-metal influences).

The album opens with a pretty hard riffing title track and is one of my favourite on the album (yes I know I put in a u, I'm Canadian) followed by a much slower track 2 titled "Pure Sincerity". The album really starts to get going on Fate Stepped In, my absolute favourite from the album. Beginning with a very catchy opening riff and a high tempo that continues right up near the end of the song when they have their characteristicly relaxed atmosphere that reminds me a lot from the beginning of"End of the Line" from their 2nd album. This leads us to the following track "Back With a Vengeance" which is not noteworthy of any way in my opinion, so I'll just continue to "I've Been Sober" which is another one of my favourites. A pretty catchy rhythm and chorus in this song, and I found it weird hearing a little bit of clean vocals near the end, very good song. The following 2 songs are mediocre but the track "Waiting for November" just kicks you right in the fucking face after the slow paced opening. The last noteworthy song in my opinion would be "Teach Me to Whisper", due to the catchiness and it is seemingly lighter than most of the other songs on the album, but still very good.

The limited edition version of this album has 4 extra songs including a meh cover of Wasted Years by Iron Maiden which was originally on the track listing of Maiden Heaven.

This is a pretty good release by DevilDriver, I'd rank it a bit higher than "The Last Kind Words". I'm having a tough time figuring out how to conclude this review, so I'll just wish you all a nice day : D. \m/

Track to Check: Fate Stepped In
Score: 7.8/10
-Dainja C.

REVIEW: Born of Osiris

Artist: Born of Osiris
Album: A Higher Place
Release Date: July 7, 2009
Genre(s): Tech-death, metalcore

If your eyes haven't started reeling at the genre classification for these guys (technical death and... metalcore? Huh?!), then keep reading. These guys provide one hell of a weird genre fusion that somehow works (dare I say it?), spledidly. The guitars lay down metalcore riffs and technical sweeps in the same song. You'll hear the drummer do breakdowns and later go into sixteenth-note and double bass mania. The vocalist utilizes a death growl most of the time, but throws in the occasional metalcore scream to shake things up. Why does it work?

This genre-fusion works because it sounds so damn cool when these guys do it, plain and simple. Bands have tried mixing death metal and metalcore, with some less-than-stellar results (Job for a Cowboy, anyone? No thanks!); Born of Osiris thankfully put some more creativity into the process. Metalcore is a very stale genre with little diversity, so leave it to Born of Osiris to take the best aspects of it, cut the fat, and leave it on the plate, while experimenting with one of the very few metal genres that has yet to be played out: techincal death metal. What is the result?

The result is an album that surprises listeners by contrasting brutality with melody at the drop of a hat. There's a bright atmosphere behind all of the dark overtones; never before have I listened to a record with such pounding heaviness and came away with an uplifting feeling. It's a compelling sound, without a doubt, and most of the songs stick out in my mind, the novelty no doubt playing a major role. Those looking for something new, you absolutely have to give this album a shot; it's progressive and absolutely refreshing.

The repitition, surprisingly, is kept to a minimum due to the album's rational concesity. Almost all of the tracks on A Higher Place run under three minutes, making sure that none of the songs wear out their welcome. The 13 songs add up to slightly over half an hour, giving it a short but sweet spin in your stereo. Each of the tunes have a similar-sound when they first start out, but the disc keeps you listening to hear what sort of changes the band will throw in as each song picks up.

This is a very interesting listen for open-mided metalheads. If you're tired of hearing the numerous unoriginal, lifeless clones of last decade's metal bands (that happen to be so prevalent in this decade), make it your business to pick up a copy of A Higher Place. It's one of those releases that supports my theory that metal has more to offer than we ever imagined. Those who appreciate originality may come to agree after taking this record out for a few spins.

Track to Check: "Starved"
Score: 8.8/10
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-Psychotic Pulse