Monday, December 15, 2014

22 Faces - Periphery [NEW from their concept double album!]

Whew! Just got done listening to this one myself and I'll say this... IT SLAYS. Periphery is one of the most consistent bands out there right now, and while I did enjoy the first two that they released from this dual-album concept, this is letting me know that they are still at the top of their game. Spencer's vocals really sound better than ever on these new tracks and it seems that all the songs are more coherent and based off the band as a unit rather than the individuals contributing their own pieces. An awesome solo by Jake really brings this one home and has me anxiously awaiting this release from the powerhouse that is Periphery.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rot - Northlane [New Single With New Vocalist]

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The first Northlane track to feature Marcus Bridge on vocals. No he's not the same as Adrian, but this track gives us a great look at his abilities. Marcus's cleans are outstanding. They aren't as unique as Adrian's but I definitely think that his voice fits the atmospheric tone and feel of Northlane. His screams on the other hand... are actually much more impressive than I expected. He has quite the range on those screams and he sure as hell sounds good on this track. The instrumentation isn't anything too impressive as far as Northlane goes, but it still is Northlane, so definitely expect plenty of rhythmic variation as well as some tremendous melodies. These guys have always been on top of their game and I hope that Marcus is a welcome addition to the group and he helps push them forwards.

Moments of Clarity [EP] - ERRA

          Ahh now this is really something special... The guys in ERRA are known for being insanely talented and high energy musicians, and I can confirm that these guys are crazy talented. I've been a fan of them since their full-length Impulse and after a few lineup changes, Moments Of Clarity is the new EP from ERRA. Many people believed that losing their frontman and a guitarist who both contributed heavily to the writing process would hurt ERRA, but I think it helped give them that last shove that they needed to polish things off.

          To start things off we are greeted with Dreamcatcher, which was the first single released from this EP. This song is a perfect example of how ERRA diversifies their sound and tries to stray away from the metal-core-chug-brootal-chug cliche. The song opens with a beautiful harp line and the melodic line that we hear in the intro is a motif throughout this track. Ian's screams sound great here. There are definitely some fast and tricky patterns but he nails them all and I really like the aggressive sound of his screams. These screams offer a bit of contrast from Jesse's cleans, but they are also the perfect compliment. Transitions between sections are absolutely flawless and it really seems that Ian has put all his effort into developing his sound for ERRA, and I'll be the first to say that the result is kick-ass.

          Probably my personal favorite off of this EP is Warrior. This track is nothing shy of great and every single aspect seems that it has been fine tuned to ERRA's standards. Guitar tones are graceful with Ian's screams sounding brutal and Jesse's cleans absolutely nailing the feel of this track. The band members actually said that this track is a "fictional story based on the Nayenezgani legend from Navajo culture. It's a story of the Navajo in a battle against the "white man" and their modern weapons. In a moment of desperation and near defeat, this supernatural warrior from Navajo legend appears on the battlefield to save his people." (Jesse Cash). While I don't typically pay a lot of attention to lyrics, I like to see that this band is experimenting and placing deeper meaning in their lyrics rather than the oh so cliche "you're not alone" lyrics that have sadly become quite common in metal-core. As far as instrumentals go, I feel like this track has one of the best mixes out of all the songs that these guys have ever put out, and that's saying something.

          While it is an EP, and it's only 23 minutes long... listeners should understand that this is 23 minutes of incredibly talented musicians hammering away at their craft. These guys have really established their own sound in a scene that has become far too generic. Not only is this an extremely solid EP, but it shows us what's in store for ERRA. This was their first release with Ian on vocals so expect all of the kinks to be worked out by the time the next full-length comes out.
          Final thoughts. Moments of Clarity kicks ass. It's that simple. This EP may not be as ground breaking as the first time a lot of us heard their stuff from Impulse, but it's still the same old ERRA that we love and their sound is clearly growing and evolving, while staying unique and fresh. Definitely give this one a listen!

Moments of Clarity = 4.5/5

Check out my favorite track off the EP, Warrior.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Bring Me The Horizon and Stick To Your Guns!

Hey guys!

If you haven't heard already, two new music videos were released today! The first was Drown by Bring Me The Horizon (the first follow up since Sempiternal), and it is definitely demonstrating the growth of this band over the years. This is easily one of their most tame songs, and while it has a much lighter feel, you can still tell it's BMTH. The single will be released December 7th!

The second video I wanna talk to you guys about today is Nobody from Stick To Your Guns. This video is clearly raising awareness of their upcoming album Disobedient, which will be released in February 2015. STYG have always stayed true to their punk/hardcore sound and style and that stays true hear. Definitely a solid track worth a listen.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Exotype [Self-Titled]

          Exotype aren't some new kids on the block in the metalcore scene. These guys have been pumping out deathcore since the early 2000's, but they switched over to the name Exotype and started to focus on metalcore blended with hardcore and dubstep in 2010. The simplest way that I can sum these guys up, is that they are essentially a heavier I See Stars. They are very well versed in dropped tunings and gettin' funky with chugging, but they also know how to nail down a poppy chorus and it seems that they have found quite a pleasing blend between electronic and metal. While many elements do sound very familiar and similar to other bands in this scene, Exotype fins a way to add in their own blend at times to stand separated from the pack.

           Let's start with the first track on the album: Stand Up. All in all this song is a solid opener and foreshadows everything on the album. We get to hear a nice heavy opening with very solid cleans from Steven McCorry. This song is very structured and has plenty of different sections and verses to keep listeners entertained for multiple listens. Other than that, this is a very standard song and is one of the most generic on the album. However, there is plenty more to choose from on this album if you are looking to explore this bands unique sound.

          Nanovirus was the first single that Exotype released once they signed on with Rise Records. Back when I first heard it, it reeled me in with an eerie electronic opening that goes straight into some nice mid range screams and heavy guitar tones. The digital effects on this track are almost perfectly mixed. They take center stage at center points and at others, the electronic effects are perfectly placed in the pocket and mix very well with the rest of the instruments. / is one of my personal favorites on the album for a few reasons. The variation of verses is excellent while maintaining a melodic motif that brings everything back together. This songs also contains a kick-ass breakdown around the 2 minute mark that once again blends the electronics with metal to give us one of the heaviest sections on the album.

          The last song that I want to mention is For Those Afraid To Speak. This is one hell of a track. Guttural screams make for an intense vocal track, however this is one of the tracks that best show off Steven's cleans as well. One detail that must be mentioned with this band is their transitions... when they go from a metal section to a chorus with electronics, they actually make it flow. Many bands have been criticized for suddenly switching gears mid-song, but Exotype made sure to include fills and small sections that help ease you into a different sounding part of the song. And while it is a much different feel, it never loses the essence of the song, and all of the tracks sounds very coherent. This track features excellent transitions between the metal sections and a chorus with a gorgeous chord progression.

          If you're looking for a band who has completely re-invented the metalcore genre, then look elsewhere. However, if you'd like to scratch that metalcore itch, Exotype should definitely be a band that you look into. I'm not saying that these guys fall into the mix of generic metalcore bands, I'm just saying that they don't reinvent the wheel. I am quite a fan of this first outing from Exotype and would like to see if they can take their sounds to the next level and try to create an even more unique sound on their sophomore album.

Exotype [Self-titled] = 3.5/5

Check out Nanovirus and the full album stream!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Lost Forever // Lost Together - Architects

          Architects have always been at the forefront of the metalcore scene. While not being one of the most known bands, they are definitely one of the best. With this new masterpiece from Architects, they've done it... They have reset the bar for all the bands in this scene and show us what can truly be accomplished in this style of music. Melodic lines are flushed in with sections full of aggressive riffs that truly perfect the modern metalcore sound. Sam's vocals are at their best here with his melodic screams and plenty of BLEHS to bring it all together. It is just a complete and coherent album that puts many of the other bands in this scene to shame with some of their recent work...

          Gravedigger is the first track and damn do these guys know how to start an album. This track kicks in with wickedly fast drums and then drops into some brutal guitar shredding and rhythmic "chug" patterns. Sam's screams sound as great as ever and he truly shines through in the chorus when the melodic line can even be heard through his screaming. This track stays heavy throughout before bringing us to a reprise of the intro and leading listeners into the heavy section of the song to finish it off and leave us wanting plenty more of this sound. Definitely one of the best tracks off of the album. 

          C.A.N.C.E.R is easily the heaviest track on this record. Architects skip the bullshit and take us straight in with some heavy tones that are heard throughout the song. The chorus showcases Sam's unique melodic screams once again while not diverting from their more raw and organic sound. Architects is one of the metalcore outfits that have managed to stay away from "pop" choruses and heavily produced effects which gives them a very natural sound and gives them a great appeal to people who enjoy hardcore and more metal-based music. 

          The Distant Blue is the last track that I'm going to talk about from this album. This one changes it up a bit from the rest of the album, which is understandable because it is clearly meant to be the closer. It features a half time feel with Sam howling at his upper range. It feels like a much more laid back track than the rest of the album which is nice for a closer rather than the typical fade out with a relaxing melodic line. They keep chugging and pounding the drum kit right up until about the halfway point where it becomes very "vibey" and ambient. It's a solid track that is quite popular due to the highs that Sam is able to produce here. 

          I'll be honest... I am very biased towards Architects because they are one of the first bands that brought me to the metalcore scene. However, it is clear that they have changed the game here and reset the bar for all other bands in the scene. Many bands have followed their footsteps but deter from the path somewhere in order to be more accessible, but Architects stay true to their sound and deliver one of the best metalcore albums in many years. Definitely pick this one up if you are into Architects or any bands associated with the metalcore scene. 

Lost Forever // Lost Together = 5/5

Here's one of my favorite tracks off of the album!! (Broken Cross)

End of March Update!!

Hey guys!!

I know it's been a while since I've posted a review but don't worry, this blog is still a project of mine that is going to continue. I was swarmed with work for the end of the quarter but I did manage to pick up some new albums to review for you! I wanna make sure to give them a good few listens all the way through but you can expect to hear about the new Memphis May Fire, Animals as Leaders, Skrillex, and Nathan East albums.

Thanks for sticking with me and I promise that updates and new reviews will start to come out more frequently!!


Aidan Thomas of Redhead's Reviews

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Issues [Self Titled]

Ahh it's finally here... The first full length from Issues! The spawn of ex Woe Is Me members Michale Bohn and Tyler Carter, Issues is a new band on the scene that really doesn't fall into line with the rest of the bands in their genre. Featuring slick bass lines, bouncy guitar riffs and even disk scratching and synths, Issues brings a new flavor of style to this very generic scene of music. Already having released an EP and multiple singles, these guys aren't newbies and know how to get shit done. This album is coherent and filled with graceful choruses from Tyler and bone crunching breakdowns with Michael's screams over top. As of right now, this is easily a personal favorite of mine and will be on repeat for weeks to come. Let's dive into some of the tracks and break it down for you...

Sad Ghost features an erie intro that lets us know that this album is off to a wicked start. Bringing out the big guns early, listeners are treated to some nice guitar chugging and riffing with Scout on the turntable scratching away. This is of course right before we fade away into a fantasy world with Tyler's clean vocals. This man truly is one of the most talented singers in the industry today and is at his best on this album. This track features a nice repeating chorus while keeping some underlying heavy elements present to remind us that it could drop to that low guitar tuning any second. Bit of advice... prepare yourself for the breakdown at about 3 minutes, it's gonna make you move no matter where you are. 

I wouldn't say it's strange to find songs on this album with a pop sound, and Late is a perfect example. This track starts off with a very standard four on the floor bass drum and brings in some pop synths and effects to complete the sound. Tyler's voice is complimented very well with this style and it's nice to see the band experimenting with so many unique sounds. This track is filling with pop chord progressions and whizzing effects, but it still has the stylistic marking of Issues with AJ's guitar tone and Michael's screams in some verses. It's a solid track that shows the range of sound that this group is capable of creating. 

The last track I'm going to discuss is  Personality Cult. This one really brings all of the elements together to create one hell of a song. We get that sick intro with some nice ambience and FX before going into a harmony that leads us into the meat and potatoes. The rhythms start of slow and distant before building up to the faster section with relentless guitar riffing and Josh Manuel pounding away on the drum kit. There's also a strong balance here of the two vocalist's rather than focusing on one of them like most of the other tracks. Also, this track is more lengthy than some of there others so it progresses throughout while maintaining strong elements from the main melody/theme. 

To be honest, I'm very impressed with the material on Issues. I knew that it would be solid no matter what, but these guys have really raised the bar as far as diversity and the material on this album blows away anything that they had put out up until now. I highly recommend this album and even if you can't get into the whole thing I guarantee at least one song will have an element that grabs you and leaves you wanting more. Definitely pick this one up and support the guys in Issues!!!

Issues [Self Titled] = 4.5/5

Check out the band's brand new official video for "Stingray Affliction" off this album!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Clear - Periphery

          Periphery has always been on top of their game. They are now a well known group that puts out some of the grooviest, hard hitting tracks that are always unique and well receieved. A while back, the group made an announcement about the new content that they were going to be releasing. Clear is an experimental album in which each track is composed by a different member of the band. This allows the album to have range of unique styles an sounds, but in the end it all flows together to create some of their best material to date. You're definitely gonna check this one out...

          Each member of Periphery has made it clear here that they know what they are doing when it comes to song writing. While there is obviously some collaboration on the tracks, each member was really allowed to make their tracks their own and touch it up with their own style. Zero is definitely the highlight on this album and it is no surprise that it is Misha's song. Misha is a songwriting master and has taken lead on writing most of Periphery's past material. This song starts off strong with some nice chugs and rhythmic variation before kicking it into high gear. As per usual, the guitar work is wicked clean and the tones are crisp and just mixed beautifully. The section with the climbing arpeggios is a highlight and just brings the track to a whole new melodic level. Extraneous by Nolly is another track that is getting quite a bit of praise. It brings us in with some crunchy chords and mean drumming, but soon progresses into a fury of time changes and chord progressions. While the name of the track suggests otherwise, this one has the perfect amount of Messhugah inspired chugs and offbeat hits to make it a stand out track on the album. Notice also, that the vocals have been left out of both of these tracks. While that is in no means an insult to Spencer's vocals, it shows that Periphery can still get shit done like old times completely intstrumental (even with Spencer's spectacularly improved vocals). On that note, the tracks with vocals present are much more melodic based, such as The Summer Jam. This is not a bad thing at all as Periphery has always been great at blending together the best of the heavy and the highs. Spencer's vocal range has definitely grown over time with some of his screams sounding better than ever here. 

          Clear is a great concept for an album and due to Periphery's killer lineup and natural talent, I'd say that is has been a success. This album is great from start to finish and while only 7 songs, they are all songs that will keep fans more than happy until future notice. 

Check out the full stream of the album on Youtube here:

Clear = 4.5/5

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Architects Album out March 11th!!

Metalcore outfit Architects just put out a wicked trailer for their new album that's dropping on March 11th!! 

Definitely give this one a look! This band has never gotten the attention that they deserve!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rat Race [EP] - Enter Shikari

          Enter Shikari is finally back. Although I'm a little late on the review, this group has always been sensational and I've yet to find another group that has a sound similar to theirs. Shikari always does an insane job at mixing the best elements of hard rock and hardcore with electronic and poppy choruses. It seems like such a strange blend but it just works, and that is the case once again with this release. Although it's only 3 "new" songs (one of which could be counted as an intro) it's great to have new material from this band to see where they are taking their sound and progressing. I'm happy to say that not much has changed. Although bands are supposed to grow with time Shikari is managing to put out new material that maintains their unique sound, while incorporating new ideas that are making them stand out even more. The Paddington Frisk starts off very intensely bringing us back to the bands sound that was found on Common Dreads and even a hint of Take to the Skies. It even has a small section later on where the band gets down and dirty with some chugging and low end vocals. However, this song is only a little bit over a minute but it is a very beautiful minute and seventeen seconds indeed. The next track is Radiate which was released as a video a while back. Radiate gives us more of the electronic side of Enter Shikari with some heavy beats blasting while being backed by some sick guitar riffs and 4 on the floor drumming. It them transfers into a melodic orgy with sounds coming from every melodic voice that just mix together to form unity in the track. While it does have some repeating verses, it changes it up plenty and gives us some great new ideas as to where Shikari is headed. I especially love where everything cuts out except the guitar noodling and Rou's clean vocals. The third song is Rat Race... A lot can be said about this one but I'll try to keep it somewhat short. An intricate little drum diddy starts of the piece with guitar picking and disc scratching. The listener is then greeted with a badass horn section in the background  while the chorus kicks in. Rou's screams are definitely at their best in these new tracks and his cleans are also as good as ever. 
          Of all the bands in this scene, I'm glad to see that Enter Shikari is maintaining their roots and providing us with fresh ideas at the same time. This EP is extremely well put together and just solid all around. A remix of Radiate is even included as a bonus when it is purchased on iTunes or Google Play. This is a definite buy for any fans of the genre!

Rat Race [EP] = 5/5

Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails

          Nine Inch Nails has always been a very unique type of musical project. Seeing as how the only constant member is Trent Reznor, it can almost be said that NIN is a one man band until they are performing live. However, the latest entry in the now 9 album discography is some great musicianship on Reznor's part. While NIN doesn't have a definitive sound,  they sure are unique and mix together the best of all their creations into one mixing pot which becomes an album. This album blends dark electronic riffs with distorted guitars and Trent's voice to create some very memorable listening moments. 

          Come Back Haunted is one track off the album that has been garnishing universal praise. With a poppy synth whizzing around and some darker electronics lying underneath, it is a great piece filled with musical ideas that only Reznor could produce. Late in this track there is a distorted guitar solo that truly sticks out and blends perfectly with some of the darker harsher electronics on the song. However, this song is probably his best outing on the album, so it's not necessarily downhill from hear while listening, but it doesn't get much better. Everything is another track that stood out and really mixes it up with the rest of the album sounding a little darker and more electronically based. This song sound like a classic rock anthem but then it adds in the raw effects and electronics of NIN before returning to a more conservative temporary rock track complete with some very nice vocal harmonies. Personally, I like the way the album kicks off. We are given an eerie intro track that leads into Copy of a which is my favorite track off the album. It features a kick ass synth line that blends excellently with the digital back beat to create a very nice rhythmic context. Trent also uses some vocal effects such as echoes and plenty of reverb to make his sound fit the open ambient feel of the track. As it progresses we are presented some nice synth pads and backgrounds that really bring this piece together and make it one that I think anyone will enjoy. 

          I'm not by any means calling Hesitation Marks a bad album. By standards today it is an amazing entry into NIN's already fantastic discography, but I feel like there is just a little missing that could have made this a modern masterpiece. However, there are 17 tracks in the deluxe edition (14 in the standard) which gives the listener plenty to enjoy, and trust me you will enjoy it. I just feel as if Reznor could have given us a little more and taken a few more risks to make this album his best yet. 

Hesitation Marks = 3.5/5

Sick [EP] - Beartooth


          Beartooth's first release is a furious and aggressive four song EP straight out of the Columbus, Ohio Hardcore scene. Each song is more vicious than the last and the EP has you headbanging the entire 15 minutes. I Have a Problem is the perfect opener complete with an intro that will have the listener anxious to hear when the guitars come in chugging. It is fast and doesn't let up for the entire duration of the song. Specifically, the lyrics of the first track stand out in their surprisingly meaningful and emotional expression from the lead singer (Caleb Shomo formerly of Attack Attack!). Scratch that... The lyrics on all of these tracks are simply raw emotion and come across great with the new and improved screams of Caleb. Guitar tones are grittier than ever and the drums are wickedly fast and loud to give listeners that raw hardcore sound that has been missing from the scene for quite some time. The underlying bass is surprisingly groovy at parts and comes through quite strong supporting the rest of the band. Go Be The Voice is another track that stands out and is in my opinion the best one on the EP. Caleb is at his best here combining his heavier lower screams with a melodic chorus that will have you learning the lyrics in no time. While there are clean vocals spread throughout the album, do not count this band out as an aggressive hardcore act. Caleb's voice is meant for this sound and the band does a great job at mixing melodic lines with sections dedicated to being heavy and getting the listeners moving in the pits. 

          All in all this is a wonderful EP that anyone who is a fan of hardcore or metal should check out. It is recorded with great quality and definitely shows that the hardcore music scene is not in any way fading out. I definitely recommend that you pick this one up!

Sick [EP] = 4.5/5



          Hello to anyone reading this!! I've finally decided to create my own space to house all of my music reviews. I've been reviewing on site such as pitchfork and metacritic for quite a while and decided to get a little more serious and make my own space. 

          On this blog you will be able to find reviews for a plethora of different genres of music, lists of my currents favorites, and updates on new music that I am interested in.

          Also, if you have interest in an album that I am not covering, please send me an e-mail or message and I can definitely do a review or post some insight on the album. I would also love listening recomendations from anyone who is willing to reach out and share!

          Anyways, thanks for checking out my blog and feel free to peruse around and let me know what you think!!!

                                                Aidan T. Neuner