Monday, March 24, 2014

Feed Her To The Sharks

Feed Her To The Sharks
Amazing, technical and massive Australian metalcore

Press Play!

"Feed Her To The Sharks are a metalcore band based in Melbourne, Australia. They released their debut album in early 2010 called 'The Beauty of Falling'.They are said to be one of the most underated metal acts in the new generation of metalcore bands."

Official site: http://feedhertothesharks.com
Official facebook: https://www.facebook.com/feedhertothesharks

Feed Her To The Sharks - Take Me Back

     Australia, the continent whose mere mention conjures up images of kangroos, kola’s, the sound of didgeridoos, and it’s vast surfing coasts. It may seem strange that one of it’s main exports is amazing rock and metal, but for anyone who’s been paying attention to the Australian music scene in the last couple of years, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Perhaps its killer hot summer, lethal animals species and shark infested waters have paved the way for the continent’s current wave of devastating metal bands. While a great deal have achieved widespread success and global exposure, there is one band that is arguably the most under rated metalcore band in the world.

     Brutal, technical, melodic and most importantly creative, Feed Her To The Sharks, are the cream of the crop when it comes to metalcore, yet mystifyingly, they are relatively unknown. With a mere 2 albums released, they are on par with king core bands such as, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch  Engage, August Burns Red, and are well above their peer bands.

      Each member behind the five piece band hold’s incredible talent and industrious diligence. Take for example, lead vocalist Andrew Vanderzalm. His emotive vocal delivery come’s across in his fierce snarling screams, his behemoth death growls or his amazing melodic clean singing. Yes, Andrew is more than a capable screamer and growler, switching between his snarls and death growls with impeccable timing for devastating effects, but his clean singing might stand above it all. It’s melodic and consistent, flawless yet natural, and most importantly pleasing to the ear. You’ll find no inexplicably whiney, raspy or lackluster cleans. The likes which seem to plague the modern metalcore/post-hardcore genres.

     The guitarists of this band do a great job of supplying the riffage. While they do employ pedal point riffs and powerchords ( what band doesn't?), they interlace the style with lightening fast and complex riffs more commonly found in technical metal. Tight alternate picking, arpeggio runs, finger tapping, and melodic shapes neighbor the bands destructive breakdowns and deceptively hard pedal point riffage. Marinos Katsanevas takes point on the lead guitar playing and the occasionally solo with Kim Choo right behind, providing the tight rhythm section and tasteful electronic effects.

     The mention of electronic effects should not scare anyone away. Most modern bands in the scene like to be very in your face with the electronic effects in their music. This is not the case with Feed Her To The Sharks. You’ll find no signs of dubstep, techno or disc scratching. Instead you’ll find carefully crafted synths and fx passages that intertwine with the music and add musical finesse. Further separating Feed Her To The Sharks from the rest of the bands out there is the creativity behind the band’s guitar playing. It may not be groundbreaking, but the band does have interesting and creative guitar riffs usually not heard in the genre. Enhanced by delays, stutters and programmed fx, courtesy of Kim Choo.

     The final two pieces of the band are the members who bring the earth moving low end. Bassiest Rob Davies and drummer Jan Benkwitz. Rob does his job well and can hold his own against the blazing fast riffs of the guitars and the massive pummeling issued by the drums. The drum sound of the band is clearly an important one and Jan is responsible for this aspect. Benkwitz. is clearly a speed demon, achieving double bass drumming at 200bmps and executing complex fills more appropriate of a technical death metal drummer. His aggressive fury and machine gun drumming brings the devastation and heaviness.

Image provoking lyrics and water related songs titles tie the bands theme together of being "fed to the sharks".

     On The band’s debut album, The Beauty Of Falling,  they demonstrate and embody what they have become know for. Amazing metalcore. Creative riffs, punishing drums, great cleans and massive breakdowns make up the album. On the band’s follow up, Savage Seas, the band continue with their sound, refining it to a frightening lethal weapon. Savage Sea’s was without a doubt one of 2013's best metalcore releases and easily blew away the majority of the competition. If you have yet to hear Savage Seas I implore you to listen to it. Likewise, The Beauty of Falling is a must, especially if you’re looking for some of that creativity I mentioned.

     If you’re a fan of massive breakdowns, melodic clean singing, technical riffs and furious drumming definitely check out Feed her To The Sharks. Tell your friends too. More people need to know about this band. And if you can, support them through merch or buy their albums. These guys so deserve it.

Zombies!
Feed Her To The Sharks - Buried Alive



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Funny Pic Of The Day #4

What I've been up to.



Friday, March 7, 2014

Introducing: Conquer Divide

Okay here’s a new feature I decided on implementing for introducing new and upcoming bands.

For our first post let’s take a look at a rocking and very promising, new all female metal band, Conquer Divide.
Conquer Divide

Members 
Kiarely - Vocals (clean)
Suzie- Vocals (screaming)
Kristen - Guitar
Izzy - Guitar (Not Pictured)
Sarah - Bass
Tamara - Drums

Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/ConquerDivideUSA

The band’s first single is tight and polished metalcore inspired number with amazing female clean vocals and dark lyrics detailing an awry and toxic relationship.

Press Play!


      Lead singer, Kiarely vocals will be the first thing that catches the listeners attention. Her crystalline voice is imbued with deep emotion and doesn’t just stand out in the mix, but soars to great heights. Screamer Suzie’s vocals will likely be the second thing the listener focuses on. Her angry and distressed growls provide the fury and heaviness for the band, and play contrast to Kiarely’s clean’s. Instrumentally, the song is basic, but the guitars and bass fulfill their roles. Tamara’s drumming is the instrumental highlight of the track. Her quick drum fills are spot on and her double bass drumming is awesome.

     Original it is not, but for a single, Eyes Wide Shut is more than a good song and showcases the talent that is clearly just the tip of the iceberg of what these girls hold.

Now let’s meet Conquer Divide.

     This all new female metal band describe themselves as girls with a passion for music. The group has released one single, Eyes Wide Shut, and while it is one single song, it provides a very positive indication for the future of the band and has been garnering the band new fans every day. The girl’s passion for music certainly comes across in what the band has shared with the fans so far. For one they have worked and are working with prestigious metalcore maestro, Joey Sturgis. The few videos of the band working with the producer on youtube provide an inside look at the band recording several songs and was at a time, the only exposure the band had.

      Getting to work with Joey Sturgis is in itself impressive and a dream many bands have, but there’s more to the girls than simply having a well regarded and in demand producer. According to the band, they spent a year auditioning members from all across the country to find the perfect match for their band. This is a clear indication the band has a high level of quality they want to achieve and maintain. A standard that will set them apart from the rest of the pack and have huge payoffs for them in the future.



     In a relatively short amount of time, the band has gone from a small and mysterious band on facebook, to a band picking up steam and recognition in the scene. In the last few months they’ve released their first single on itunes, put out a lyric video, picked up spots in magazines, released their first wave of band merch and have been promoted by the likes of Bryan Stars. All of these things may have been in the works months in advance, but is further proof of the bands passion, determination and hustle.

     It’s hard to predict the future of any band, but from what Conquer Divide has showed so far, they have very promising future and are ready to explode onto the scene. Be sure to follow the band on their facebook, and buy their music and merch.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Asking Alexandria - From Death To Destiny (Review)


     Die hard fan or passionate hater, Asking Alexandria’s From Death To Destiny was one of 2013's most anticipated metalcore release. It was a milestone in the band’s sound and a commercial success reaching #5 on the billboard charts. But chart and sales figures aside, does the album live up to the hype, does its stand against its beloved predecessors and is the music any good? The answer is more or less yes. However From Death To Destiny is not without its flaws.



1. Don’t Pray For Me
2. Killing You
3. The Death Of Me
4. Run Free
5. Break Down The Walls
6. Poison
7. Believe
8. Creature
9. White Line Fever
10. Moving On
11. The Road
12. Until The End (ft. Howard Jones)
13. The Death Of Me (Rock Mix)

Bonus Tracks
14.Dead
15. Someone, somewhere (Ben Bruce Acoustic Version)

Asking Alexandria - Moving On
   

      The biggest change on FDTD is its musical palette. A move that has been welcomed by fans, rejected by others and attracted all new followers for the band. Love it or hate it, Asking Alexandria’s previous albums are renowned for their polished yet punishing metalcore attack,.brutal and catchy vocals and a eclectic electronica aesthetic. The influence of both Stand Up And Scream and Reckless and Relentless can already be heard throughout the metalcore scene and has spawned multiple copycat bands. It was indirectly one of the reasons the band choose to go in a different direction, paired with the desire to create a more mature sounding album.

     The end result is a mix of 80's hard rock and a streamlined version of the band’s modern metalcore sound. While the combination may sound strange in writing, the band has managed to pull it off in execution. This time around the band refrains from over indulging in breakdowns, a quality that’s prevalent in their 2 other albums. AA’s beloved heavy breakdowns do remain, but they are used more sparingly and efficiently. Rather than rely on breakdown after breakdown, there are now rock riffs, bridges, choirs and string sections to complement and make songs stronger. 

     One of the most drastic changes on FDTD is lead singers, Danny Warsnops, vocals. It was a source of controversy upon the album’s release and continues to be a discordant issue among fans . After suffering a vocal injury in 2012, Danny was forced to reassess his vocal style. He avoids and seems to be unable to attain notes on the higher register and his growls are no longer as deep and monstrous as they used to be. This is not to say he has been rendered useless or is a toothless version of his former self, but rather uses a different style that suits the material found on FDTD. His cleans are more mid rid range rock vocals and are capable of hitting high notes ( just not as high as he could before) while his growls focus more on attitude and fury than attaining lows. The band cites slipknot as an influence and it comes across in Danny’s vocals. 

     Lead guitarist and songwriter, Ben Bruce, also now does back up vocals on multiple songs and provides more texture and dimension.

The Good

     The lyrical content on this album continues to mature from where Reckless and Relentless left off. The days of singing of debauchery are left in the past in order to pave way for more personal and mature subject matter. The band takes on personal demons , from Danny’s days of alcohol abuse (Don’t Pray For Me ), the desire to break of away from a hazardous life style ( The Death Of Me), and the hardships of touring (The Road). While dark and cathartic, songs like Run Free end on a optimistic outlook. Songs like White Line Fever, deal with cocain abuse and Dead, take on the view point of a murder who wears the skin of his victims.

     The guitar work on From Death To Destiny is some of the best the band has put out. There are blues based riffs and melodies that work within both the metalcore and 80's rock genres. The guitars are more dynamic, playing melodic riffs, bluesy leads and churning out some heavy rhythms.  It’s not all palm muted pedal point riffs or chugs, but when they do happen, they remain gritty and balls heavy. 

     The electronic aspect on this album, like many other previous elements of the band’s sound has been refined. It may appear the electronica has taken a backseat, but in reality it weaves in and out of songs without much distraction. It better preserves the flow of songs and enhances what material is already there. Be it the presaging ambiance in Don’t Pray For Me, the electronic wooshes in Run Free, or the glitches and percussive elements found throughout breakdowns.  The electronic element is certainly not absent, but there is less of it in order to make room for the string sections used on the album.

     The use of string section where first implemented on the band’s 2nd album and on From Death To Destiny they play an important role. Nearly all of the songs at one point or another make use of the string section. They are judiciously used and help thicken and add interest to the songs wether they are at the forefront or adding harmony. Perhaps the song in which they play the most integral role is achieved on Creature. The use of a live choir is implemented in the album too, but it’s impact is diminished due to a factor I will discuss momentarily. 

The Bad

     Another major change on FDTD was in its mixing and production stage. While the band worked with famed producer Joey Sturgis again for production and recording, he did not mix the album and only provided the electronic programming on Run Free. This decision greatly impacted the sonic characteristic of the entire album. Known for his ultra polished, tight and modern production,  Joey’s Sturgis absence on mixing duties is highly noticeable. This might not be a problem if From Death To Destiny is your first Asking Alexandria album, but if it isn’t, it will take time for your ears to adjust to David Bendeth’s mix. The choice to have Bendeth’s mix the album was most likely to go hand in hand with AA’s new musical direction and to bring out its 80's rock side, and while it accomplishes this task, there are noticeable mixing mistakes.  

     The most problematic mistake sticks out on Until The End which features Howard Jones on vocals. Jones vocals are clearly much too distant in the mix. Wether this was due to compensate for a less than stellar vocal recording is hard to say, but what should have been a highlight of the track ends up being a disappointment and nearly ruins the song. Another instance in which an obvious mixing problem was made is in the track White Line Fever during the live choir section. The choir section again suffers from being too distant in the mix and being much too low in volume. The impact it has on the track is almost lost because of this and would have greatly benefitted the song if it had been properly maximized.

     Occasionally the drums on the album are missing the prominence of the kick drum while the snare at time sounds boxy and plastic rather than being sharp and snappy. Instances of questionable guitar tones are minor, but do occur on songs like Killing You. This might be due to the fact that the album was recorder using POD Farm rather than real amps. As to the reasons why this album suffers from mixing problems is anyone guess, a rushed job, to many cooks in the kitchen, mis-communication or simply a stylistic mismatch, whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for putting out a product with mistakes. However  huge credit goes to Logan Mader who did an incredible job with the electronic programming, he also happened to do all the programming for the entire album (minus one song). 

      One last issue with this release was the aim to please old fans and attract new ones. The band did a good job with this goal, but it was a rocky path and resulted in songs like The Death Of Me (Rock Mix). A edited and less heavy version of the former song for mainstream appeal and play. Unfortunately, it pales in comparison to the original.

Conclusion

     From Death To Destiny is the most mature album Asking Alexandria has done, but it does hit a couple of snags and is far from perfect and only a few steps short from hitting the high goal the band set for this release. If your a fan of the album, you might love it, you might hate it or you might only have a lukewarm reaction. If  you’ve never been a fan of the metalcore genre or this band, this album won’t really change your mind.  And for AA fans who want more of the heavy, the band already has plans to make their next album the heaviest release they have done. 

    From Death To Destiny offers a enjoyable ride of anthematic cleans, torrid growls, 80's inspired choruses, heavy breakdowns and hard and dirty guitar riffs. Whatever your stance is on this band, you can’t accuse them of stagnation. 


From Death To Destiny gets a 7.5 out of 10.     

For more about Asking Alexandria see my previous post HERE.

blood... blood... Blood, BLOOD!

Asking Alexandria - Dead

Bringing the heavy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Top Anticipated Albums For March

Top Anticipated Albums For March



1. Animals As Leaders - The Joy Of Motion

Release date: March 25th
Official site: https://www.facebook.com/animalsasleaders


2. Intervals - A Voice Within
Release date: March 4th
Official site: https://www.facebook.com/intervalsmusic


3. 311 - Stereolithic
Release date:
Official site: http://www.311.com


4. Dazzle vison - Final Attack
Release date: March 7th
Official site: http://dazzlevision.net


5. Fact - The Witness
Release date: March 5th
Official site: http://factjapan.com

Friday, February 14, 2014

Random Song Of The Week #22

Mood: Artistic
Listening to: Emmure - MDMA

Song: MDMA
Band: Emmure
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/emmure

"It seems the lower that I go,
The better I begin to feel.
I don’t want this life,
If nothing I feel is real."
I've been loving this song a lot. Passionate beauty from devastation.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top Anticipated Albums For February

Mood: Sleepy
Listening To: Crosses - †hholyghs†

Little late and short on time, but here we go again. Highly anticipated albums for the month to check out.


1. Crosses - Crosses
Release date: February 11th
Official site: http://crossesmusic.com

Side project of well known front man for the Deftones, Chino Moreno. A dark, atmospheric and witch house inspired album.


2. Cynic - Kindly Bent To Free Us
Release date: February 14th
Official Site: http://www.cyniconline.com/

The long awaited release by the legendary progressive group. If you are fan of prog music, be it rock or metal you need to check this release out.


3. Behemoth - The Satanist
Release date: February 7th
Official site: http://behemoth.pl

Well known among the black metal and metal community, Polands Behemoth will finally release their long awaited album.


4. The Glitchmob - Love Death Mortality
Release date: February 11th
Official site: http://www.theglitchmob.com

The long awaited album by the electronic trio. 


5.Issues - Issues
Release date: February 18th
Official site: http://issuesrock.us

The upcoming debut by the metalcore outfit. Their polished metalcore instrumentation, metal growls and RMB inspired cleans, along with the occasional electronic programming has already earned them a steady following.


6.Babymetal - Babymetal
Release date: February 26th
Official site: http://www.babymetal.jp

The debut album of Japanese band Babymetal. You can expect catchy fun J-pop fused with heavy metal riffs and drumming and delves into trance.


7.The Kindred - Life In Lucidity
Release date: February 25th
Official site: www.thekindredband.com

The debut album by the band on Sumerian records will finally have it’s release. Being heavily promoted by Sumerian, the band is already gaining a significant amount of exposure and hype for their unique metalfied prog rock and their lead singer’s vocals.