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