Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead (2014)

Often compared with Helloween--and rightly so, considering the "historical" ties--Gamma Ray once again rides on the coattails of a bigger and more storied brother. Like a popular high school student who everyone likes regardless of whom one chooses to associate with, Helloween is welcoming and amicable, which are excellent traits and a good reason why they've enjoyed success at capturing fans over the years. Gamma Ray, on the other hand, is noticeably jealous of this success and attempts to catch a sliver of fame each and every time the opportunity presents itself. The resemblance between the two's music is painfully obvious as a result, especially when Gamma Ray shamelessly borrows melodic hooks, not only from Helloween, but from other bands as well.

Remember: the situation above is entirely theoretical...kind of.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vinyl Feature: Light Bearer's Laspus and Silver Tongue

Team Light vs. Team Dark
Both Light Bearer's Laspus and Silver Tongue ended up being some of the last records I grabbed from Gogmagogical's distro. I've got to hand it to the man; he has a keen eye for good music, and I can accredit him with turning me on to a number of bands I had never heard of before, as well as one of my favorite labels, Halo of Flies.

With blind buys, I usually have an idea of what to expect before I make a purchase because I've done my research beforehand; and while that wasn't the case here, I'm nonetheless glad I took the plunge. Only after my purchases did I finally make an effort to look up Light Bearer, but my findings were still inconclusive, other than the fact that the music supposedly felt "atmospheric" in nature. As we all know, that can literally mean anything in this day and age, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, as any potential fan would.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Music: Vader's "Where Angels Weep"

In anticipation of Vader's Tibe Et Igni, I'm posting a song, "Where Angels Weep," below. Taken from the EP Go to Hell, which humorously dropped on Good Friday, it's one of two new tracks that will appear on the upcoming full-length.

Needless to say, I'm stoked for the record because Vader can do no wrong, and this may very well be the best album we hear all year. That's a bold statement, you say? Perhaps, but with Vader's track record, it's very possible. Welcome to the Morbid Reich bulldozed everything in its path in 2011, and if Tibe doesn't do the same, I'll be one unhappy camper.

-TMA

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Drip - A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics (2014)

"Cryptopsy, is that you?," I thought quietly to myself when opening yet another promo newly arrived in my inbox. You see, if you take a moment to step back to the mid '90s, when Cryptopsy was arguably at their best, you'll hear bits and pieces of Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile upon listening to The Drip and their latest effort, A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics. And, really, that can't be stressed enough; the snare drum sound, which is annoying for some and charming for others, is that same hollow pound that I've come to love and expect of Cryptopsy--at least in the old school sense--each and every time I dig into one of their classic records.

Example: musically, the material is even reminiscent of the Canadian four-piece, with speedy, messy guitar riffs in your face every second of the EP's run time. And although the entirety of A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics  is primarily based in grindcore, the death metal influence is strong enough that you'll feel the Cryptopsy-isms creeping (pun intended) up on you with each minute you invest in the EP. In other words, it's not music for the lighthearted, and it's not easy listening, either.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No Surprise: Snippets From Night Ranger's Upcoming Record, High Road, Sound Tired

Yeah, yeah. I know Night Ranger isn't metal in the slightest, but their last two efforts have been extremely enjoyable--Hole in the Sun was one of my favorite hard rock records of 2007, in fact, and an album I constantly played on my daily treks to high school. Perhaps I'm a little sentimental about the record, but it is what it is.

On the other hand, I'm no fanboy of Night Ranger, because let's be honest--the band doesn't exactly have a golden track record, as far as their release history goes, and their discography has a fair amount of turds. Their upcoming full-length, High Road, looks to be one of those turd-y times, too. From what I can hear of the snippets in the background of their teaser trailer, the music sounds tired and devoid of distorted bottom end; and the guys just look like a bunch of old men trying to relive the glory days.