After seven long years, my most anticipated release of 2009 has finally been unleashed and the big question is does it hold up to all the hype? Well… yes and no.
On the surface, the band is rooted in the same post-thrash groove that Lamb of God has dominated this decade, but unlike the otherwise likable Virginians, Revocation don’t dig themselves a safe little rut, instead using the sound as a launching pad for other, bolder musical excursions. The end result is their second album and Relapse debut Existence is Futile, an album undeniably accessible enough to draw in the Rockstar Energy™ Mayhem Fest crowd, yet clever enough to pull the rug from under everyone’s feet with sudden forays into progressive death metal and continue to command listeners’ attention while doing so.
My main problem with God & Guns is its lack of focus. It’s all over the place, almost a series of slow songs sketches loosely tied together rather than a classic 70’s-style Skynyrd southern rock album. I’m admittedly skeptical of anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd since that terrible Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 record, but getting back to this one I would only recommend it to diehard Skynyrd fanatics or Johnny Van Zant Band fans.
While Adrien Begrand did a live review of DragonForce last week on Hellbound.ca of their recent Saskatoon show, here are some of the photos I shot of them at their Toronto show this past Friday.
If there’s one band that fully deserves a “victory lap” tour, it’s Children of Bodom, who after a good dozen years plying their distinct brand of melodic extreme metal, is finally experiencing some significant success in North America. For most fans who live in the smaller centres, they best they could manage before was to catch Alexi Laiho and his booze-fueled band of flashy Finns as part of a package tour, be it the Unholy Alliance or Gigantour, which usually meant a measly eight or nine songs, maximum, and when a band has six studio albums under their belts, it’s tough to get some variety. So the venue was packed with fans hoping to get a huge dose of the old stuff, and that’s exactly what Bodom gave them.
Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop on the CoB/BDM/Skeletonwitch tour.
Overall, there is stuff to appreciate on A Somber Wind from a Distant Shore, but one hopes that Canis Dirus will have lots of time to surprise us with their growth in the coming and changing seasons.
Metalwar is somewhat similar to an 80’s band called Leather Angel; this has the same sort of feel as their 1982 album We Came to Kill. I actually expected Hysterica to be another dreadful, typical, cheesy female band and all that. Luckily I was wrong, well at least somewhat wrong.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sleep, the quintessential stoner/doom band that kept the Sabbath dream alive throughout the 1990’s. While guitarist Matt Pike eventually decided to play faster with High on Fire, the other two thirds of the equation kept the stoner grooves going with OM. At least until recently. Drummer Chris Hakius left the band last year with little fanfare, and was replaced by little-known Emil Amos. Not much has changed, otherwise. Al Cisneros was the anchor holding Sleep together, and he continues to man the bass and vocal duties of the guitarless duo.
Controverso is the about to be released album from Incoming Cerebral Overdrive. This is the Italian band’s second full length album. The sound is mostly metalcore with prog rock and metal influences. Each song is heavy hitting and meant to get the listener moving.
The problem with The Sign of the Southern Cross becomes obvious quite early into the album – they’re too busy trying to sound like their influences that they really haven’t developed their own sound.