Thursday, 31 January 2013

Song of the Day: As I Lay Dying - 94 Hours

     Killwitch Engage's apparent return to something approximating form, as evidenced by yesterday's song, got me thinking about other bands of yore that could stand a smidgen of their old fire. That in turn got me thinking about As I Lay Dying, which has led me to today's song. Ta-da!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Song of the Day: Killswitch Engage - In Due Time

     By now you've all more than likely already heard the first single from Killswitch Engage's forthcoming Disarm the Descent, entitled "In Due Time", either in the form of the initial radio rip that hit the interwebs or else the official version that has since supplanted it. However, just in case you've been in some sort of Rip Van Winkle super slumber from which you've just now awoken, and the first thing you do is check Loud Noises (aww, don't I feel hypothetically special now?), today's song is for you.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Song of the Day: Dissipate - Mech Fail

     Relatively recent Basick signees Dissipate put out an EP last November called Tectonics that was among my Boxing Week Fire Sale purchases this year, and I've been pleasantly surprised by it. I heard about it back when it was released, listened to a couple of the tracks, and came to the conclusion that it was OK, but nothing spectacular. Interesting enough to buy on sale, but maybe not enough to pay full price.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Song of the Day: Between the Buried and Me - White Walls

     As is so often the case, tonight I'm just doing a quick post before bed, but I'm not going to let that stop me from busting out a much needed Metal Monday. Today's song once again comes courtesy of my mp3 player's shuffle.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Song of the Day: Nothingface - Can't Wait For Violence

     Lately I've been driving around with my mp3 player set to shuffle through my entire library (normally I listen to whole albums) so I've been hearing some stuff I haven't heard in a while, or wouldn't normally hear. Like today's dong, for example.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Song of the Day: The Abner - Chinoiserie Lounge

     Yesterday when I was talking about the annual Basick Records Boxing Week Fire Sale, I said that the albums I've acquired by taking advantage of this sale fall into two basic categories. The source of yesterday's song, British band Aliases, falls into the category of bands I'd long known about and wanted to hear more of. Today we're going to go with something at the other end of the spectrum, namely something I picked up a whim that ended up being kinda cool.

2012 Round-up, Part 3: An Open Letter to All the Bands Out There

     Well everybody, it’s finally here! What’s “it”, you ask? Why, the only-slightly-overdue third and final installment of my 2012 Year End Round-Up. But what could it be? I’ve already discussed what I liked best about 2012, and some of what I’m excited for in 2013, so what’s left? It’s a little something that’s been on my mind for a while now (years, really) and while I’ll be stupidly, ridiculously surprised if anything at all comes of it I still feel like getting it off my chest, and so you still have to read it...or not... Anyways, here we go!

     Hey guys, how’s it going? My name’s Sean, but my friends call me TheBeard, and I write a wee little blog about metal and heavy music called Loud Noises. You’ve likely never heard of it, but that’s not at all surprising and actually kind of inconsequential. I’m penning this plea today simply as a fan of the kind of music you play.
     You see, I live in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, a city of about 150,000 right on the 401 maybe halfway between Toronto and Montreal. We’re also within a couple of hours of Ottawa, Brockville, Bellville, and Trenton, just to name a few of the other, smaller cities in southeastern Ontario that you’ve probably never heard of. We’ve got a world-class theatre, numerous bars and restaurants that feature live music, and a relatively new arena with a maximum capacity of 5,000-6,000. Since we’re a tourist town on Lake Ontario, we’ve also got lots of hotels and accommodations, many of them in the downtown area near the theatre, restaurants and bars, and the arena. Oh, and Kingston is home to a university and two colleges, giving it a relatively high (albeit somewhat seasonal) population of young people spending money at all those restaurants and bars.
     So why does it sound as if I’m trying to sell you Kingston like I’m the head of its tourism board? Simple: it’s because I am. Trying to sell you on Kingston, that is. Not head of Kingston’s Tourism Board. I’m trying to sell you on the idea that Kingston could and should be a viable stop on your next tour, especially if you’re going from Toronto to Ottawa or Toronto to Montreal or Toronto to Quebec City or any combination thereof, really, as long as you’re travelling along the 401...which you will be, if you’re trying to get anywhere in Southern Ontario.
     Now, I’ve seen a lot of good shows in Kingston over the years, so some of you must already agree with me. Alexisonfire, Protest the Hero, Moneen, Darkest Hour, Misery Signals and Tool (!) are among the bands I love that I’ve been fortunate enough to see right in my own backyard (so to speak), and there’s been at least a couple of shows over the years (Megadeth, anyone? Or even Devin Townsend?) that have rolled through town without me checking them out.
     My gripe, and the reason I’m writing this to all of you musicians out there, is the phrase “over the years” in the preceding paragraph. Unlike the lucky residents of, say, Toronto, who probably get to see at least a couple of really good metal/heavy-type shows a month (for the obvious trade-off of having to live in Toronto...) Kingston's lucky to get a couple a year. Don't get me wrong, I've seen a bunch of really cool shows in my hometown, including those listed above, but it's taken me since I was in high school to do it. That's around fifteen years for Kingston to get the kind and frequency of acts Toronto or Montreal gets in just one or two.
     Now, I can hear what you're saying already, you cynical economics major you: with a population in the millions, Toronto is a much bigger market than a city like Kingston and therefore a much safer bet financially for a touring band, especially one in a relatively niche genre like metal. I don't think it takes any special financial acumen or inside knowledge of the music industry to figure out that the bigger your potential audience, the better your chances of filling a venue. The odds of finding five hundred metalheads to pack a club are just better in a place with more potential metalheads. But hear me out. Clearly there is at least some economic viability to including a Kingston stop on your tour, or else acts wouldn't keep doing it. Of the bands I mentioned above, Alexisonfire, Protest the Hero, Moneen, and Darkest Hour (at the very least, these are just some off the top of my head) have played Kingston repeatedly since I've been a fan. On top of that, if you step outside our beloved genre for a moment, you'll see that such acts aren't alone. Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Skrillex (another one that surprised me), deadmau5, Elton John, Metric, and Stone Temple Pilots, to name just a smattering, have all played somewhere in the city in the last five years or so. Why, just this week it's been announced that Sting is coming to town in June.
     But you don't give a shit about any of those acts; why aren't metal bands playing here too? Why indeed? I think the big factor is, as discussed in the paragraph above, that Kingston is perceived as being too small a market. And admittedly, it *is* a small market when compared with the big cities of Canada and the US. But even as a small market it has some advantages, like the location factor I've already talked about. If you're a metal band with stops in Toronto and Ottawa on non-consecutive nights, you could add a date in Kingston on the off night much more easily than trying to include cities outside the basic "route" of your tour. And although the market is smaller, meaning less potential ticket buyers, the venues are also correspondingly smaller. A "big arena" show in Toronto means 20,000 people, while the closest equivalent in Kingston is 5,000 or under. That's an easier arena to sell out for sure. Not a big enough band for 5,000 even in a bigger market? No problem. Remember that theatre, and all those bars and restaurants with the live music? I've seen shows at a bunch of those places, and some of those shows have been pretty fucking heavy. And like I said, we've got lots of young people here with some disposable income who might very well jump at some metal if you gave them the right show.
     Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not naive enough to think you can just "add a date" in the middle of tour. Stopping in Kingston on your way from somewhere to somewhere else would require time, planning, and money, and investing any of these things in tour dates that might not pay off is a risk. I fully understand and appreciate this. But I counter with the idea that stopping in smaller places, like Kingston, is also an investment in building a devoted fanbase. Even in today's age of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, when so much of a band's interaction with its fans is online, it's still true that a band's career is really made or broken by their touring, by their getting their music in front of as many audiences as possible. I feel like an old man saying it, but good old fashioned hard work is still the way to make your name and your fans as a band. Take one of my examples from above as..well, as an example. Protest the Hero, a band that's been playing to little crowds like those at a comedy club in Kingston for years, chose to launch an indiegogo campaign to crowdfund their next album. And then as you've probably read somewhere or other by now they shattered their $125,000 goal in 24 hours. They've still got 20 days left in the campaign and they've already raised nearly $250,000. That's support directly from fans and it sure as shit wasn't earned by Protest only playing big cities. They've earned it touring the globe, playing anywhere and everywhere.
     Well guess what, (INSERT BAND NAME HERE)? Kingston is anywhere. And everywhere. Yeah, chew on that for a second. Then come back and please seriously consider everything else that I've said. I see your Canadian tour dates listed on your Facebook page, and I see some cities in Ontario other than Toronto and Ottawa, and I wonder why Kingston can't appear among them more often. In fact, I challenge you to play Kingston sometime in 2013. Shit, if we're cool enough for Tool, we're cool enough for you. Why not stop by and find out for yourself?

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you soon,
Sean, aka TheBeard @ Loud Noises

Friday, 25 January 2013

Song of the Day: Aliases - All That Glitters is Gold

     Like an old man easing into a hot bath, this evening we're going to ease our punky old bones back into the hot, hot bathwater of metal with a little help from the always awesome Basick Records.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Song of the Day: Death By Stereo - These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

     Today we say goodbye to Punk Week, which was actually a more difficult undertaking than I'd imagined. It's really shown me that outside my musical comfort zones I'm a bit of a fish out of water. Something to improve upon, no? An excuse to broaden my horizons? Possibly. But for now, one last punk song.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Song of the Day: CKY - 96 Quite Bitter Beings

     I don't know if this one quite counts as punk, but it's inextricably linked chronologically with my punk years in my mind, and also inextricably linked with skateboarding, which all leads back to punk anyways. So I say again, I don't know that it's punk, but you're still getting it during Punk Week.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Song of the Day: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Blowin' in the Wind

     Today's is a fun one, and a bit of a double whammy to boot. Not only is it nice and punky, but it's also a tasty cover as well! Two pigs with one bird!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Song of the Day: Bad Religion - New America

     I feel like I can't do a Punk Week without featuring at least one old school-type band, so today's the day, skate punks. Now, as a metalhead I'll freely admit that I'm not familiar with lots of the history of other genres, or that if I am familiar with them, it's a more recent phenomenon. Take punk: I will also freely admit that the first time I heard Bad Religion (that I can remember with 100% that it was indeed Bad Religion) was when today's song came out.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Song of the Day: NOFX - The Decline

     Punk Week continues here at Loud Noises, and today I've got the mother of all punk songs by the mother of all punk bands. When I was getting into punk in high school, this band more than any other was my gateway, and this song is probably my favourite by them, despite their awesome and deep back catalogue.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Song of the Day: Slick Shoes - Darko

     I'm going to start out day 3 of this Loud Noises Punk Week by clarifying what I'm calling punk here. This isn't your grandpappy's punk, so to speak, your Sex Pistols and your Black Flag and your Dead Kennedys, or whatever you consider really old school, punky punk to be.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Song of the Day: Pennywise - Pennywise

     I know I just did a theme week at the first of the year, but yesterday's song inspired me like a lightning bolt direct from the gods, so who am I to object? Let another theme week commence!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Song of the Day: Rufio - Above Me

     So this week I've been using my old mp3 player instead of my current one. The 64 GB one I've got now has my complete CD collection it, while my old one has a hodge-podge of stuff that includes albums I've ripped from friends over the years and even some of my own stuff. What all this means is that this week I've heard a bunch of stuff I haven't heard in years, including today's little gem.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Song of the Day: Protest the Hero - Nautical

     I don't know if any of you out there are fans of Protest the Hero (you should be), but if you are you probably know by now that a) the band is working on a new album and b) they're crowdfunding the recording of said album via Indiegogo. I've contributed (and as such have some tasty, tasty swag headed my way at some point) but I'm still totally flabbergasted by how fast things have moved: the fund has been open less than 24 hours and it's already pretty much reached its goal. It's fantastic, and hopefully it'll mean a kickass album, whenever it comes out.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Song of the Day: The Mountain Goats - Song For Cleomenes

     Another quickie before bed post this evening, and today it's a bit of a weird one. I know it's not at all metal, but it's a little gem whose very existence reaffirms my faith in the world.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Song of the Day: Metallica - Creeping Death

     As is too often the case, I've got to be getting to bed so I can get up hella early to make that paper stack. So once again, it's quickie post time, and today I've decided it's once again Metallica Monday! But since I've already featured a number of the big, famous Metallica songs, this evening we're going with one that's always been a personal favourite of mine.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Song of the Day: System of a Down - Chop Suey!

     Thinking about good time metal as I was after yesterday's Pantera song, it occurred to me that of all the heavyish music I can think of, a few bands stand out as ones that can unite a group behind a rousing chorus without fail. System of a Down is one of those bands.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Song of the Day: Pantera - Revolution Is My Name

     I'm sure you're aware of this by now, but it's Saturday, which hopefully means at least a little rest and relaxation for you, dear reader. As I sit and ponder what song I should feature today, it occurs to me that some good hanging out, party time music is in order after what has been, at least for me, a bit of a long week. But rather than do what I've done in the past, and gone for less metal, more chill weekend hang out tunes, I'm going to keep things firmly Loud Noises while stepping back from punishing brutality and towards a rocking good time.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Song of the Day: Arsis - Carve My Cross

     In part 2 of my 2012 year end round-up, I said that one of the albums I'm looking forward to that looks to be coming out sometime this year is the next disc from Arsis, Unwelcome. I also mentioned the fact that we have the EP Leper's Caress to keep us company in the meantime. So let's huddle beside it's warmth, shall we?

2012 Round-up, Part 2: 2013 Top Prospects

     Guten tag, kinders, it's time for part 2 of the Loud Noises 2012 Year End Round-Up. This time around we've got my 2013 Top Prospects list. Like a hockey scout watching the juniors for the next big star I'm on the lookout for the year's big records, not in the sense that I'm trying to get ahead of the curve a predict the next big thing (although you know how I like spreading metal love to the masses) but more in the sense of letting you know which gestating records that I'm looking forward to are likely to be birthed in 2013. How's that for an analogy, eh? Basically, I'm answering this question: of the bands I'm currently digging, who's got new material in the works that we're probably going to hear this year? Simple, right? Let's just see, shall we?

Another Milestone...

I know it's not really that big a deal, but I feel it's still a little milestone for what I still consider a little baby blog so I'm going to share anyways. Last night's quickie Sylosis Song of the Day was the 200th Loud Noises post! Onward and upwards, everyone!

And now you may go back to your day.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Song of the Day: Sylosis - Conclusion of an Age

     Hey everybody, just a quick one today before I'm off to bed, something to send you off to dreamland...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Song of the Day: Skyharbor - Catharsis

     Like I said yesterday, I think it's fairly safe for me to assume that most of you are likely familiar, or even similarly enamored with, most of the albums on my Ten Best of 2012 list. But I've got a hunch that there's at least a few of you who don't know one or two of my selections, or have perhaps only heard of them and not heard them. Yesterday's Gojira song was aimed your way, and so is today's Skyharbor song.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Song of the Day: Gojira - Mouth of Kala

     In my recent Ten Best of 2012 post, I talked about how Gojira's L'Enfant Sauvage was my gateway into a band that I had previously only been kinda meh about. As I said in closing, I assumed that everyone was familiar with most of my list, but now a doomsday scenario occurs to me: what if you don't know Gojira, or you're like I was before my Franco-enviro-metal conversion? Today's song has been chosen with that hypothetical you in mind.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Song of the Day: Soreption - By Venom Entitled

     Hey everybody, it's Monday again so why not get some metal into your life? Like the dealer on the streetcorner, I've got the metal fix you need, and today it's tech-death flavour. Several of the bands I follow on Facebook recommend songs from time to time, and you song today comes on the advice of none other than The Black Dahlia Murder.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Song of the Day: Carthage - Blackout

     Evening everybody. Yesterday I said we'd be back to business more usual, and today I intend to deliver with a song by a band that I saw on a couple of best of lists for 2012 for their solid debut.

2012 Round-up, Part 1: Loud Noises Ten Best of 2012

     If you follow any metal blogs at all (or any blogs or websites about anything, really) you know that this time of year is “Best of” season. Everybody and their mother’s dog is sounding off about their favourite albums of 2012, and dammit that bandwagon is looking a little empty without me. I've got opinions about how 2012 went down, and although I get the sense it'll be a bit like pissing into a hurricane, I'm nevertheless going to undertake the valiant effort of making those opinions known to you, dear reader. So having said all of that, it is my pleasure to present to you part one of the Loud Noises 2012 end of the year round up: the Loud Noises Ten Best of 2012!!

     Now, before we get started, there is one important thing to keep in mind: my tendency towards indecisiveness. You see, I often have trouble making firm and confident decisions. Deciding what to have for dinner can prove quite vexing some days. So as you might be able to imagine, the task of ranking my favourite albums of the year and culminating definitively with a choice that I think stands above all others is one that might very well unburden me of my sanity. In the interest of keeping me from coming completely unhinged, I've decided to just tell you about my ten favourite albums from the past year, in no particular order, just a list, here's ten great records you should check out, bam, done. In fact, just so you can't infer anything unintended from my choice of structure, I'm not even going to number this list of epicness. How do you like them apples?

- Skyharbor - Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos
   Tremendously talented international bands spawned from bedroom and basement recording set-ups seem to be becoming increasingly common in the overlapping worlds of heavy and progressive music, but for my money India's Skyharbor comes out well ahead. Combine complex, melodic, and of course heavy guitar riffs with drums dripping groove and powerful vocals from my boy Dan Tompkins, and you've got an album I've listened to an absolute shit ton of this year, and an album that's so much more than mere djent. It's sometimes easy to forget that Blinding White Noise is Skyharbor's very first release. I for one will be very excited to hear where this group goes next, and I think if you heard them you would be too.

- The Contortionist - Intrinsic
   I could describe The Contortionist's album Intrinsic in one of two ways: I could wax loquaciously about how Intrinsic is a stellar sophomore effort that shows The Contortionist to be a band maturing very nicely. I could talk about how Intrinsic strikes a careful balance between being grand and expansive and being lean and focused. I could talk about how while I maybe don't think it deserved the sheer volume of hype it received online prior to its release, I do think it's a cool and diverse album from a young band that is definitely worthy of your attention. Or I could just use one word to sum up Intrinsic: keyboards! Either way, I was very glad I picked this one up, and very bummed when The Contortionist ended up not playing here on Hallowe'en due to Veil of Maya dropping out of a Canadian mini-tour. Come on back, guys!

- Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal
   Speaking of hype, we all knew Periphery's second full length was going to be a monster, if only because the interwebs told us so. A bigger, badder record with more of everything fans liked about the first one, and indeed more input from band members whose names aren't Misha Mansoor. My only complaint about this album is that every song is so chock full, so 110%, that it loses a bit of the impact it might have with a bit more ebb and flow, a bit more dynamics. Of course, I can't really fault Periphery too much for crafting an album that is monotonously good, can I? Periphery might need some new tricks when the time comes for Periphery III: Back to the Periphery, but for the time being Periphery has upped their game in every way for Periphery II.

- The Faceless - Autotheism
   The observant reader will by this point have noticed at least one trend in this best of 2012 list, namely that a number of these albums were highly anticipated and greatly hyped before their respective releases. The latest release from tech/death prodigies The Faceless was no exception. OK, maybe it was a bit of an exception, in the sense that it fully warranted both anticipation and hype. I jumped on the The Faceless bandwagon with Planetary Duality, which I really dug, so I was really excited to hear the follow-up, and I was really pleased with the result. Hell, the opening three track "Autotheism" suite alone is worth the price of admission, and there's six other tracks on the record! Some fans might not have been able to get into the proggier direction guitarist/songwriter/singer Michael Keene chose for his band (those who say saxophone has no place in metal, for example), but I for one think the step up from Planetary Duality to Autotheism bodes extremely well for the step from Autotheism to wherever The Faceless ends up next.

- Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
   I could say a lot of things about Gojira's fantastic 2012 selection of doom and groove, L'Enfant Sauvage, most of which have probably already been said a dozen times on a dozen websites, but I think the most ringing endorsement of this album I can give anyone is to say that it made a Gojira fan out of me. Prior to hearing this album, I was a casual, lukewarm Gojira fan at best, really only knowing a few of their more "mainstream" songs. But L'Enfant Sauvage is all killer, no filler, with every song being solid and not at all skippable, which I find is something to be said for an album of any genre, let alone a genre as potentially pummeling as metal. If L'Enfant Sauvage can make a Gojira convert out of me, it can make a convert out of anyone.

- Trioscapes - Separate Realities
If I could say a lot of things about Gojira's L'Enfant Sauvage, then I can't say enough about the debut album from three-piece jazz fusion act Trioscapes. Among the many glowing statements I might make about Separate Realities: it'll make a jazz fan out of even the most staunch metalhead, especially when you consider that one full third of its membership (bass player Dan Briggs) does double duty in both Trioscapes and prog champs Between the Buried and Me; it'll also make jazz fans out of your friends and associates when played at gatherings and get-togethers (yeah, I've put Trioscapes on at parties, to largely positive reactions); Trioscapes'll even give metal-fan you and your non-metal-fan girlfriend something badass to share. Yes, with its deep, deep grooves and super funky riffs enough for days on end, Trioscapes' Separate Realities is the great jazzy equalizer.

- Deftones - Koi No Yokan
   2010's Diamond Eyes is widely hailed as a return to form for the Deftones, a rebottling of the lightning of the seminal White Pony, and if you accept this logic then 2012's Koi No Yokan is proof positive that Diamond Eyes wasn’t a fluke and Deftones are capable of making lightning strike the same spot again and again and again. It's too bad that original bassist Chi Cheng is still recovering from a very serious car accident more than four years ago, but at least Sergio Vega is continuing his terrific job of holding down the low end of things. As a result, a playthrough of Koi No Yokan doesn't leave one wondering "Aw, where's Chi?" but rather "Wow, Deftones can still write a captivating album, can't they?" They're not reinventing the wheel or their sound, but then why should they? With Deftones it's long been about the quality of their songs rather than doing something radically new with each record; as far back as White Pony, Deftones had found the rough formula for what works for them, and they've been playing around with that formula ever since. Sometimes the resulting collection of songs is more Diamond Eyes and sometimes it's more Saturday Night Wrist (which is a good record, don't get me wrong). Koi No Yokan is a rock solid collection of songs, which is a pretty lofty achievement in my book.

- Baroness - Yellow & Green
   2012 was a tumultuous year for Baroness to say the least: in July they released Yellow & Green, the much anticipated follow-up double album to killer sophomore effort Blue, to widespread acclaim, and then in August they were involved in a pretty serious bus crash while on tour in England. The band is recovering well from their various injuries (which included broken bones and fractured vertebrae) but it's still a major setback in a career, and a terrifying event for anyone to undergo. However, it seems like Baroness will rise again and forge ahead, so Baroness fans can take heart and, in the meantime, take pleasure in a double album that's as dark and melancholy as it is plaintive and beautiful. Listeners expecting a straight up increase in "heaviness" might be disappointed, but listeners looking for a deep and interesting listen will find it here in spades.

- Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
   As we've already seen, 2012 was a year with some pretty big, pretty highly anticipated releases, and the latest prog-metal opus from Between the Buried and Me was no exception. The band's track record of producing works of technically magnificent madness dovetailed nicely with the introductory EP Hypersleep Dialogues they released in 2011 as a teaser for Future Sequence to create an atmosphere of rabid expectation. And then they delivered, blowing us all away with an audio roller coaster ride through the stars. I think I'm personally still a bigger fan of The Great Misdirect, because I just really like how that collection of songs hangs together as a piece of music, but there's no denying that Future Sequence is a slice of Between the Buried and Me at the top of their game. If you're at all a fan of technically progressive metal or Between the Buried and Me, and have somehow not heard this record yet, stop what you're doing and go get a copy right now. Then come back, put it on, and finish reading this. Or just finish this first. Either way, don't run away for good just yet, because we're not quite done yet...

- Sylosis - Monolith
   The latest slab of thrash from the purveyors of shredding from Reading may not have been a record widely anticipated by the metal world at large, but I've been a fan of Sylosis since their first EP so I was definitely looking forward to it. And if 2012 is any indication of what 2013 might be like for Sylosis, by the time they get around to recording the follow-up to Monolith I won't be the only one who's excited. For now we all have to be satisfied with Monolith, the third full length album from modern British thrash titans Sylosis, and it's a doozy. I fee like it might lack a little of the fire, a little of the magical spark, that connected me so well with some of their earlier work, but that's not to say Monolith isn't...well, monolithic. From one end to the other it's tasty metal goodness. Sure, there's some quieter bits, and some slower bits, but the sheer riffage-per-minute numbers on this one are off the charts. I always try to talk Sylosis up to my friends who like metal, so let this be (another) lesson to you: if you somehow don't know Sylosis by now, get to know them. Like I said, after releasing Monolith in 2012 and then snagging a tour spot opening for Lamb of God, Sylosis are poised for a 2013 that you'll want to be a part of.

Well, there you have it, ten records that I listened to a lot of in 2012 and that I think I liked more than anything else I heard released last year. No doubt you're already familiar with at least some of these, but hopefully there's at least one you don't know and can check out, because you know how I like turning you on to new stuff. Aww yeah you do. Anyways, until part 2 of the 2012 year end report is ready for your collective eye- and ear-holes, why don't you crank some of the above? You won't be sorry you did. Schuss!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Song of the Day: Thrice - All the World is Mad

     It's the weekend again, which means it's already been a whole Resurrection Week of songs from defunct bands. We'll do one more today, just to put a nice round cap on things, before getting back into the swing of more regular things tomorrow. As was the case with Glassjaw, today's band might not technically be completely dead yet, but they are on "indefinite hiatus", so if I can somehow get them back in the game then I'll have done my job.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Song of the Day: Glassjaw - Black Nurse

     Resurrection Week continues, and while today's band technically isn't dead yet, I'd say they're on life support and in need of resuscitation for sure. I believe my favourite past description of them was something along the lines of "the Guns and Roses of modern heavy music" since their next album has supposedly been in the works for years. Therefore, if my wee little blog could somehow "resurrect" Glassjaw this week, I'd be pleased as punch.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Song of the Day: Rage Against the Machine - Tire Me

     Another day of Resurrection Week here, and I've got a poll question for you: am I the only one who thinks the backing band that is Rage Against the Machine was way better with Zack de la Rocha than with Chris Cornell? Don't get me wrong, I love Soundgarden (well, old Soundgarden anyways), and Rage is awesome, but Audioslave was a poor man's bastard child of the two at best. I don't know if I'd actually want Rage Against the Machine back together and writing new material, but if I could hypothetically turn back the clock on some bands, Rage would be on the list.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Song of the Day: Finch - Ink

     Along with 2013, the theme week I've dubbed Resurrection Week continues apace today with another song from a defunct band that could do us all a favour and try for just one more album. Today's band is one I've mentioned at least once before, but one that I'll bet not all of you are familiar with. Today's band, dear reader, is Finch.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Song of the Day: Alexisonfire - Pulmonary Archery

     We're going to forge ahead with what I'm tentatively calling Resurrection Week, a week of songs dedicated to some cool bands that disbanded perhaps a little too soon and that we might perhaps like to resurrect if we could. Today I've got another defunct (or soon to be defunct) Canadian post-hardcore band that occupies a pretty soft spot in my heart. I'm talking, of course, about Alexisonfire.