Howard Jones Is Back, Bringing Hell Once Again

Devil You Know has made a lot of noise in the metal media recently, and it is justified by the talent this band shows in their live and album performances.  For some one who grew up listening to Howard Jones’ Killswitch Engage, anything Howard puts out gold to me and many hardcore fans out there.  But the entire lineup of the band is quite impressive and diverse, causing an entirely new rift in what listeners call “Metalcore”.  Howard Jones and crew go beyond your mainstream metal core and bring a dynamic, hellish, jamming album that will keep this band in the media for quite some time.

The Beauty of Destruction is an album like no other metal album in 2014, bringing a meld of classic sounds and vocals.  The brilliant and unique shredding from Francesco Artusato is what makes this album so different from your cookie-cutter metalcore.  His vision and speed with the guitar work on this album is phenomenal and really adds a new depth.  The constant change and powerful drumming from John Sankey is industrial and chest pounding, unlike most music today.  Howard Jones’ performance on this album is much like what Ozzy did back in the day, adding haunting, smooth, and powerful vocals on every single track.  This album is so dynamic because of the intense screams, hauntingly chill, and powerful belts from Howard Jones.  His range is truly accentuated on this album, truly making it his own and proving why he is one of the best vocalists of all time.

The Beauty of Destruction has a track for everyone; whether you’re into sludge metal, death metal, power metal, industrial, and even some classic metal, this album has all you could want.  The opening track “A New Beginning” goes back to the influences of All Shall Perish and Blood has Been Shed, with heavy grinding riffs and blood boiling screams.  Then, you have soft power metal tracks, reminding us of Killswitch Engage, like the haunting track “I Am Nothing”.  The sludge comes in on the last track, “As Bright as the Darkness”.  No two songs truly sound the same on this album, so it is a brilliant hellish ride all the way through. 

As much as this album is combined by members from other metal bands, it truly does stand alone in uniqueness and fresh sounds.  I expected nothing less for Howard Jones, and hopefully it brings the new generation to love this classic metal vocalist while bringing new house names.  Rating 9/10

Fantastic album from the brand new band, Devil You Know.  Howard has still got that world renown voice of terror and melodic metal.  

We celebrate 50 years of Maynard James Keenan today.  You are a big inspiration to many and have created the 3 most influential rock and metal bands around today.

We celebrate 50 years of Maynard James Keenan today.  You are a big inspiration to many and have created the 3 most influential rock and metal bands around today.

The new poster for this years Mayhem Festival.  What does everyone think of the lineup?
I think there’s not much to go for besides Trivium and Ill Nino.

The new poster for this years Mayhem Festival.  What does everyone think of the lineup?

I think there’s not much to go for besides Trivium and Ill Nino.

As I Lay Dying’s Full Statement on Tim and The Status of the Band

"There have been a lot of questions from fans over the past year and we’ll hopefully be able to provide more answers over time. However, this update is only to address things related to AILD’s future.

"Originally, we said we’d update fans as soon as we knew more. We apologize for not sticking to that. It seemed best to wait until definitive news came in with a specific timeline. However, in light of speculation on other sites, an official update from As I Lay Dying seems to be the best way to clarify some things.

"A good starting point is to clarify some things that have often been falsely reported. Tim was not a Christian at the time of his arrest, nor was As I Lay Dying a Christian band in 2013. It hadn’t been for some time and, to the best of my knowledge, only one of the people playing in the band even claimed to be a Christian at that time. The changed view had been written about it in a handful of As I Lay Dying songs and Tim’s later atheistic view had even been documented in court records. However, it doesn’t make as sensational of a headline to refer to the arrest of the ‘Ex-Christian Metal Sub-Genre Independent Artist’ as it does the ‘Grammy Nominated Top 10 Selling Christian Rockstar’ of the past.

"With all that said, we don’t know how each musician from the previous era of As I Lay Dying will think about these topics in the future. For example, Tim has spent much of the last year reevaluating what originally convinced him to abandon belief in God. I have gathered that after much brokenness and repentance he sees things differently, considers himself a follower of Jesus, someone submitted to the will of God, or whatever you want to call it. That’s for him to talk about when he’s comfortable and only time will tell if he is sincere. What is certain though is that it’s impossible to face the events of last year without being changed in some way. Let’s let the guys focus on future music and hopefully the headline driven press will leave this issue alone for a while given some clarification.

"Uncertainty ahead…

"As I Lay Dying was originally founded/owned by Tim and then eventually the ownership was shared with Jordan about six years later. As the only official members, neither would like to move forward at the moment regardless off the upcoming sentencing time (which is still yet to be determined / not 9 years). There has been enough communication to establish some differences in opinion about what to do in the distant future. That keeps AILD’s future in limbo. The hibernating version of the band is just the official band owners, which means As I Lay Dying is Tim & Jordan. This is based on the uncertainty of the future, including who will be performing with the band when/if that time comes. There have been nearly 20 guys who filled the vacant bass or guitar positions in As I Lay Dying history. The current setup is definitely not a closed door on some of the ex-members talking in the future, but it just makes sense for now that AILD is only Tim and Jordan.

"Two opinions…

"Tim has acknowledged his guilt and clearly made some bad decisions in a period of time where he acted contrary to the person he’s been most of his life. He believes AILD should only pick back up if it’s in a form restored to its roots. For Tim, the potential of pursuing AILD again means working on a lot of other more important things in his personal life first.

"On the other hand, Jordan feels differently about the future. Even if more discussions were to take place, he would rather take time to pursue other things. That includes releasing new music with three of the guys from the most recent As I Lay Dying lineup. It’s a chance for Jordan to be more involved in the songwriting process and enjoy other styles he’d rather play. In fact, they’ve already recorded their debut album and I’m sure it’ll be awesome. It’s not meant to replace As I Lay Dying because it is something stylistically different under a different name. Interestingly enough, their vocalist is also a former Christian like his new bandmates and was/is the guitar player for Oh Sleeper (Shane Blay). They’ll have stuff to release through Metal Blade relatively soon, which will be an exciting/interesting combination given the band’s more radio friendly sound.

"In terms of music, Tim doesn’t want to pursue performing live music full time regardless of what length his sentence ends up being. His sentence certainly won’t be forever, but even so, touring full time doesn’t seem healthy or practical given his new outlook and goals. Creating new music is the part Tim loves most and he will always continue to release albums. That includes a bunch of stuff he has recorded in the past six months that he will announce a project name for soon as well. As an occasional ear behind the scenes, it is good hear him playing guitar again and writing lots of riffs again like he did across the first five As I Lay Dying releases.

"Hopefully that addresses the major questions related to As I Lay Dying. AILD is sleeping rather than dead, and there are two separate projects to hold you over whether or not it is awakened again."

Sounds like fans should keep an open mind about the band’s future at this point.  It sounds like the members don’t know where the band is headed and are just waiting to hear Tim’s full sentence. 

Check out my friend’s local Colorado Springs band, The Feeling of Falling.  They’re a metalcore band looking to play Warped Tour.  Check them out and support the band!

Italian Power Metal Band Exceeds Expectations

Lacuna Coil’s last release “Dark Adrenaline” didn’t get the recognition it begged for in 2012, so Scabbia and crew went back to their roots.  
Their 2014 release, Broken Crown Halo, is my favorite release from the band ever.  Broke Crown Halo is a full sounding album, with well rounded riffs and powerful vocals.  It reminds me a lot of the band’s older albums, but way more developed and captivating.  Broken Crown Halo to me is a reawakening for Lacuna Coil.
Lacuna Coil’s Broken Crown Halo is full of powerful and catchy, as well as haunting tracks.  The leading track “Nothing Stands In Our Way” sets the tone for the album with driving riffs and centered vocals.  ”Zombies” is a very luring track that is unlike anything you’ve heard from this band, it is a brilliant track.  The album also has softer sides, reminding me of Shallow Life with a strong melody on tracks like Cybersleep.  Every track is a catchy power metal track with perfect vocally delivered lyrics that will make you fall in love with this band.
Cristina Scabbia is the sole reason why this band has any success and she certainly reigns supreme on Broken Crown Halo.  She really stepped up her vocal prowess and grabbed this album and ripped it to shreds, making it the most powerful album this band has ever released.  Andre has taken a step back on this album and is a supporting act to Cristina, which is certainly where he belongs in the band.  The growls on the album are also spot on, reminding me of Comalies and Karmacode in the best way.  Cristina is the reason why Broken Crown Halo is such a powerhouse of an album, because no one else could pull off the passion and technique she put into it.  Rating 10/10


MAYAN’s New Album Gets A Good Review

Mayan’s latest album, Antagonise, is one of the most solid releases of 2014 so far. The allstar European Death Metal band’s Antagonise features Laura Macri, Floor Jansen, Henning Basse, Jack Driessen, Rob van der Loo, Frank Schiphorst, Ariën van Weesenbeek. Most members have played with Epica over the years and enjoy exploring other musical outlets, and this album explores political aspects in the lyrics as well.

Antagonise is heavy with drums, vocals, and guitar riffs, with only the occasional clean singing and synths to add a perfect dynamic. Every instrument played on the album is tight and well orchestrated, illustrating the talents of Mark Jansen to the full potential. Songs like Enemies of Freedom, Burn your Witches, and Devil in Disguise are really solid heavy tracks. I enjoyed every minute of this album. Although a lot of the riffs and melodies seem repetitive throughout the whole album, I am happy to hear an album that sticks to a theme and concept. Rating: 7 out of 10


I Rip Apart The New Architects Album

Architects release Lost Forever/Lost Together on March 11th 2014, an album I hadn’t heard anything about before 7 days after it’s release.  I assume the band is pretty underground and does not write mainstream music, and it is certainly a unique album.  This album has been compared to Devil Wears Prada’s 8:18 and a lot of other albums I could barely stand.  The genre the two bands are considered to fit into is sometimes filled with absolutely juvenile music aimed towards “emo girls”, and I don’t feel any differently about Architects based on this album.

Lost Forever/Lost Together is a technical, hardcore, screamo album containing that familiar underground sound made famous by Warped Tour.  Certain sounds remind me of Jonny Craig and A Day To Remember, but with a much darker and grittier twist.  The album really surprised me with its heaviness and powerful screams, along with some sweet guitar work.  Unfortunately, everything I listed above is all the album has to offer.  There is a lack of dynamic through the album, no certain instrumental concepts or vocal and lyrical themes.  Every song sounds like the same static over and over, without passion or true meaning. 

I find the clean vocals to be absolutely terrible. I suggest a vocalist who can handle the dynamic of death screams and melodic singing, like Jeremy Mckinnon or Jonny Craig.  The style of screaming used in Architects is really grading and just pure meaningless Emo screaming, I suggest bands like Bury Your Dead and System Divide if you want real growls and screams, not whatever Architects is doing with music.  This is one of the worst albums I’ve heard in 2014.  I will say that I grew out of this style nearly 10 years ago and it is hard for me to appreciate screamo music, but compared to other screamo bands they are one of the worst.  They remind me of Dillinger Escape Plan, in a derogatory way. If you like Architects, my site is simply not for you in the first place.  Rating 4/10
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Within Temptation’s Hydra is Up To Par

Hydra is Within Temptation’s recent release in 2014 with a new sound and new guests.  The album features Howard Jones (Devil you Know), Xzibit, Tarja (ex-Nightwish), and Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum)  Hydra certainly isn’t a typical WT album, as the heads of  the beast are to represent different sounds and styles of their music, says Sharon.  The album transcends a defined story or a specific sound to the music.  It’s more like a collection of power tracks.  I was disappointed because it was quite different from their epics, but the album did grow on me with its catchy riffs.  It is a good example of Within Temptation’s talents and accentuates their strongest aspects.  Hydra is a great departure from the old sound and gives fans a new look on the band……  Rating 6/10

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