Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sunday: Shining - Last Day

     The word that most frequently accompanies descriptions of Norway's Shining, is "blackjazz", which is either blackened jazz or jazzy black metal, depending on how you look at it. The title of their upcoming album International Blackjazz Society, due out next month, would certainly have you believe that those elements are key components of the band's sound.

     But the latest single from International Blackjazz Society, "Last Day", sounds more like a heavy Nine Inch Nails-esque track, with an electronic-meets-hardcore kind of sound. So maybe the takeaway here is that International Blackjazz Society will have lots of different sounds going on? Get your copy in a bout three weeks' time to be sure, but for now jam "Last Day" and compare it to similarly-titled-but-different-sounding first single "The Last Stand".

Monday, 28 September 2015

Saturday: Zeta - Silent Waves

     While I'm kinda sorta on the subject of Tesseract and vocalist Dan Tompkins, I've got the first single from Dan's latest project for your Saturday song. Ready for some mellow, 80's-style synthwave jams from Dan and none other than the Chimp Spanner himself?

     Oh, sorry, did I forget to mention that supertrio Zeta consists of produced Katie Jackson, Dan Tompkins, and Paul Ortiz of Chimp Spanner fame? And yet, this combination of a couple of famous prog names (and one with whom I feel I should be more familiar, but am not) doesn't sound at all like you might expect -- assuming, of course, you might be expecting something somewhere in between Tesseract and Chimp Spanner.

     What you are going to get from Zeta's first single "Silent Waves" is a chill synthy vibe that could have come right out of the mid-to-late 80's.  This kind of thing isn't really my cup of tea, and it's not necessarily yours either, but worth at least checking out for fans of either Dan or Paul, I think. What say you?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Friday: Tesseract - Dystopia

     Speaking of new albums (as I was the other day when I was wondering how you're liking the new Refused disc), what does everybody think about Tesseract's latest Polaris? You haven't had nearly as much time to sit with it as you've had for Freedom, but perhaps you've still got some first impressions?

     I've been a big Tesseract fan since One, so I'm maybe a little biased, but here's what I'm feeling so far: Polaris didn't blow me away right out of the gate. Definitely rock-solid, but not mind-blowing. It does, however, grow on me with each listen - not a "grower" in the traditional sense that you didn't really like something at first but then warmed up to it, moreso in the sense that it was something good, and just keeps getting better.

     That's where I'm sitting with Polaris right now; I'm still discovering all the little notes and nuances, increasing my enjoyment of the record every time through. We'll just have to wait and see where I ultimately put this one in Tesseract's catalogue, but for now I'll say I'm super pleased with album three. So pleased, in fact, that I can't really decide which song to point you towards today (since you've already had both of the singles) meaning I'm just going to start you at the start. Your Friday Tesseract song is therefore Polaris-opener "Dystopia". Press play and let the whole thing ride.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Thursday: Slipknot - The Shape

     For this week's belated Throwback Thursday post, I feel pretty confident that a trip back to what is arguably Slipknot's masterpiece will be received well by most of you. If you would prefer some other hit of nostalgia, by all means, leave a comment and I'll make it happen.

     But for now, we're going to give "The Shape" from 2001's Iowa a spin. Like the rest of this record, "The Shape" has an unstoppable, frenzied energy to its choruses that kick me in the balls every time I hear Corey scream "everything else is just dust and filth". Iowa is a grimy, chaotic album, and "The Shape" is a perfectly grimy, chaotic snapshot from it. Mosh down Memory Lane with me, won't you?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Wednesday: Queens of the Stone Age - I'm Designer

     Usually I'm one of those guys whose like "Sure, the new album is OK, but the old stuff's better". Name pretty much any band I listen to, and chances are I'm a bigger fan of their earlier work than their later stuff. This post is intended to demonstrate that I listen to more than a band's first two albums.

     Now, before you go too crazy, your Wednesday Queens of the Stone Age song does come from an album that's nearly nine years old already. But "I'm Designer" comes from the bands fifth studio album, 2007's Era Vulgaris, meaning that it definitely qualifies as coming from something other than the band's first couple of albums. And yet it's still cool, proving that Queens of the Stone Age have remained capable of crafting some good tunes throughout their career. Keep it coming, boys.

Tuesday: Refused - Destroy the Man

     I know I've asked you this before, but how's the new Refused album sitting with you? Was Freedom worth the wait? If you were expecting The Shape of Punk to Come 2.0, then probably not. But if you were just anxious to hear some new Refused material, whatever shape it might take, then I think it's safe to assume you weren't disappointed.

     I'm definitely in the latter camp; I didn't know what to expect out of new Refused, so I didn't expect anything, and was therefore pleasantly surprised with Freedom. I don't think it's an instant classic, but it will certainly grow on you if you give it a couple of listens. And give it a couple of listens you should.

     But maybe you need some encouragement, so your belated Tuesday song for this week (we're going to get caught up, I swear!!) is "Destroy the Man". See if it tickles your fancy at all, and thengo out and give the rest of Freedom a go.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Monday: Metallica - Disposable Heroes

     While it is technically Wednesday out here in meatspace, it was only a short time ago Monday, which means that just a few brief days ago would have been an appropriate time to yearn for the period indulgence that is Metallica Monday. So here you go kids!

     Your Metallica Monday song this evening is the band's classic "Disposable Heroes" from 1986's high water mark Master of Puppets, because it's simply too good a song for me not to have featured yet. Let it be a light to you in dark places (that only play Metallica songs written since 1990), and let it remind you that, whatever else should happen in the rest of Metallica's career, they were indeed once great.

Sunday: Alexisonfire - The Northern

     Alexisonfire fans will likely already have heard or read about the fact that the band is apparently back together. Announced (among other places, no doubt) near the end of their set at Riot Fest in Toronto (and reported to me by my brother, who was in attendance), the 'comeback' may not end up meaning much -- as the guys have said today on their Facebook.

     Still, longtime fans of The Only Band Ever like yours truly will take any reunion news we can get. Being more of a fan of AOF's older material, I'm less excited about the prospect of a new album (though that would be cool) than I am about the prospect of catching Alexisonfire at a local show again. It's been a while since they're hit K-Town, but they used to stop semi-regularly back in The Day, so there's still hope.

     To that end, you're getting a celebratory Alexisonfire song today. But in the interest of fairness, I'm going to go with something a little more late-era in the form of "The Northern" from 2009's Old Crows/Young Cardinals. Turn it up and enjoy.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Saturday: Ghost - Meliora

     If you're a Ghost fan -- which I'm not, really -- then you're probably already much more familiar with their latest Meliora than I am. But did you know there's a deluxe edition with a bonus track?

     And once again, it's kind cool, and by the end it gets pretty grand and majestic, in an evil sort of way. "Zenith" apparently didn't make the cut for the regular release of Meliora, but many commenters online think it should have been, including this guy right here. It might not be enough to make me a Ghost fanboy, but it's another step in the right direction. And dat organ!

Friday: Dance Gavin Dance - Carve

     Time for a (belated) Fun Friday post, and you know that when I'm looking for fun, heading-into-the-weekend energy, there's one well to which I regularly return. Yes, it's time for you to endure another Dance Gavin Dance song. I'll make converts of you yet!

     This time around it's the fast-and-furious "Carve" from 2013's Acceptance Speech that I'm recommending you sit through. If you've ever lamented that DGD might be too "radio friendly" or something similar, "Carve" should hopefully convince you that the band is at least capable of some shred-inspired heaviness. Not metal, certainly, but maybe not verboten either?

Monday, 21 September 2015

Thursday: Staind - Just Go

     I'd like to preface your Throwback Thursday post for last week with a request that all the tr00est metalheads not get too butthurt over my selection for today. Deny as you might, I know that somewhere in your sordid pasts lurks one nu-metal album or another that you were really into back in The Day. Maybe you still listen to it (or them...) and maybe you don't, but I they're there.

     One such album for me and my metalhead friends is Staind's sophomore LP Dysfunction, the record that catapulted Fred Durst's best find into the nu-metal spotlight. Listening to this one again today, I find it to be a little hit or miss, as in, it hasn't necessarily held up the best. And, of course, Staind's catalogue post-Dysfunction has been "meh" at best. But there are some Staind songs worth still digging, like your Thursday track for last week. So just go ahead and click on "Just Go"

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Wednesday: Intronaut - Fast Worms

     I've only ever been a casual fan of Intronaut, but if their latest single is indicative of the overall quality of upcoming album The Direction of Last Things, this record might make me a diehard.

     It isn't that "Fast Worms" is worlds apart from previous Intronaut material or anything; rather, it's a refinement and evolution of their sound, recorded with solid production values, and mixed by none other than Devin Townsend. When you look at it like that, you can't really go wrong, can you? It's still a ways off yet, but I for one will be looking forward to The Direction of Last Things when it drops in November.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Tuesday: The Legion of Doom - Dangerous Business Since 1979

     Time for a Techno Tuesday, kids, as well as a blast from my past. Back in my more emo/screamo/post-hardcore days, I came across a group doing mashups of songs by a bunch of the bands I was listening to. I remember them being cool, but not being super into electronic music I never really got into them.

     Fast-forward to today, when I write a music blog and am always on the hunt for music to bring to your attention, and I've dredged my memory to come up with The Legion of Doom and their 2007 album Incorporated. The guys in The Legion of Doom have been active since then, but this is the record that first caught my attention, so as usual it's the one that's stuck with me.

     Your Tuesday song is probably my favourite from Incorporated, and in my opinion one of the best executed combinations on the record. "Dangerous Business Since 1979" is a masterful blending of the Underoath classic "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door" and the mewithoutyou track "January 1979" into something energetic and almost dancy. In fact, the mixture here is so seamless that I might even like this version of "Dangerous Business" better than the Underoath original, and that's saying something. Fans of either band, the genre, or electronic music should check this one out.

Monday: Between the Buried and Me - Famine Wolf

     Hey kids, it's me again, and once more I've been pretty unproductive for most of this week. This time around I blame a combination of recovery from ingestion of meat and alcohol at last weekend's local rib and beer fest and recovery from a gnarly sinus infection. But of course, you don't really want to hear that kind of shit -- you just want to hear some music, right?

     So: how're you getting on with the new Between the Buried and Me album? I know it's a couple of months old by this point, but I recently had it in my car for maybe a week, so I'm much more familiar with it now than I was then. My somewhat-updated take? How exactly is a rock opera different from a concept album? I'm not complaining about the bands "newish" direction (ie: the rock opera), but as far as I'm concerned, Coma Ecliptic just sounds like a badass Between the Buried and Me album. Their last couple have had underlying concepts, so this one just seems like par for the proggy course.

     There are a bunch of cool tracks and parts on Coma Ecliptic, but your much belated Metal Monday song is "Famine Wolf", because it showcases a number of the different aspects that make up Between the Buried and Me's sound. Have a listen or two, and then maybe you can tell me what's so rock opera about it.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Sunday: Exist - If or When

     Your Saturday song was an example of something a little heavier from Scale the Summit. But what would happen if a band with similarly jazzy and proggy tendencies went full metal? You might get something that sounds like your Sunday song.

     Washington's Exist went full jazzy prog metal on their 2013 LP Sunlight, and came away with an epic monster. I've featured tracks taken from it a number of times before, and now it's that time again, so have a listen to "If or When" and then picture Scale the Summit applying those chops I was talking about to something as gnarly as this. Wouldn't that be badass? Get to work guys.

Saturday: Scale the Summit - Blue Sun

     Most of Scale the Summit's material, especially their newer stuff, is heavy in a more chill and laid-back kind of way, if at all. The band's latest single seems tailor-made for reminding us that the guys can still lay down some riffage.

     Indeed, guitarist Chris Lecthford has said in so many words that "Blue Sun" is aimed at those who're also on the hunt for more shred. Even at their most laid back, Scale the Summit's chops are always on display, so something even shreddier and, yes, a little heavier -- even if the chill vibe is still very much in evidence -- pretty much has to turn things up to eleven, right? Check it out and see for yourself.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Friday: Sanzu - Those Who Sleep in the East

     Want to scare your parents/neighbours with the metal you listen to? Blast your Friday song at high volumes, and I guarantee that, at the very least, elderly people in your building will think the end times have come.

     I could probably spend a week or two featuring nothing but Australian acts (hey, now there's a theme idea...), so fertile is the land down under when it comes to killer music. Your Friday band, Sanzu, are no exception, with their very Gojira-esque sound that rolls in and pummels you like a stormy sea.

     The guys in Sanzu have already been making some waves this year with their EP Painless, and now comes word of a debut LP Heavy Over the Home to be released before the end of the year, complete with a single and video to get everybody jazzed. If "Those Who Sleep in the East" is any indication, this one could squeak onto some Best of the Year lists for sure. Might Sanzu make yours? Check 'em out and see.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Thursday: Lamb of God - Blood of the Scribe

     For your belated Throwback Thursday post, I'm going with a solid track from one of the best albums by one of the titans of modern American metal. Any guesses? And don't cheat and just look at the title...

     Lamb of God's 3rd full-length LP, 2004's Ashes of the Wake, remains one of my favourite LoG records. From front to back, it's Lamb of God at their best, before their 'best' become a little more cookie-cutter on more recent albums. These newer records aren't bad or anything like that, but Randy and Company have yet to break the mold they so masterfully crafted on albums like Ashes of the Wake and tracks like your Throwback Thursday song, "Blood of the Scribe".

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Wednesday: With A Smile - Take the Wheel

     Time for something a little different for your belated Wednesday song, in the form of some laid-back, vaguely-jazzy instrumental work from James Knoerl and his new project With A Smile.

     If that name James Knoerl feels a little familiar to you, you might be acquainted with some of his great drumwork with acts like The Omega Experiment and Native Construct. But With A Smile is all James compositionally, with only a little help from his friends to round out the instrumentation. The result is a four-track EP of instrumental jazz-prog that manages to be at once chill and heavy, relatively relaxed and laid-back but never boring.

     Case in point: Never Listen's closing track "Take the Wheel", a wild ride chock full of crazy keyboards, demented drums, and other insane instrumentation. The rest of the EP is good, but in many ways it's all building to this titan of a track. Check it out.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Tuesday: Killitorous - 'Til Death Do Us Party

     I think your belated Tuesday post this week definitely qualifies as a Tech Tuesday post, if for no other reason than the fact that it condenses the intensity and aggression of a lot of bands' five-minute or six-minute numbers into less than three.

     As I've said before on numerous occasion, Killitorous is a band from which I'm very much looking forward to hearing new material, whenever that might be. The guys are still partying and grinding hard on the back of debut Party, Grind but I'd be OK with new stuff any time now. As if in an effort to temporarily sate ravenous fucks like me, Killitorous recently released a video of live footage shot a couple of years ago and thought lost until now. Feast your eyes and ears, therefore, upon "'Til Death Do Us Party", and get your own party started.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Monday: Anup Sastry - Reflex

     Skyharbor fans have more to lament about the recent line-up shuffle than the departure of vocalist Dan Tompkins. Skinsman Anup Sastry bid the band adieu as well, meaning that the groove quotient for Skyharbor's next album remains a semi-open question (we've heard new drummer Aditya Ashok's first crack at some Skyharbor material in the form of recent single "Out of Time").

     Anup's got a couple of solo EPs under his belt, but it doesn't look like he's joined up with another collaborative project just yet. I certainly hope he finds the right group of people, if he's looking for another band, because he's be an asset to a variety of heavier styles. For now, though, we can only fall back on said catalogue of EPs for some Anup Sastry Monday Funday groove.

     To that end, your belated Monday song is "Reflex" from Anup's 2013 EP Ghost. It's a little djenty, but don't let that stop you from bobbing your head and catching the energy that Anup's beats have got in spades.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Sunday: Coheed and Cambria - Here to Mars

     Want some more new music for your belated Sunday Funday song? Your wish is my command, thanks to Coheed and Cambria.

     Claudio and Company's latest record The Color Before the Sun comes out a little over a month from today (that is, the real today, not the fake today that is Sunday...) and we recently got our second taste of what to expect. "Here to Mars" is pretty standard Coheed pop-rock fare, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's got the energy and the vibe, and it's got a boss bassline or two, but I'm still not quite fired up yet for The Color Before the Sun. I need a standout track or two. Guys?

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Saturday: Tesseract - Survival

     Maybe I should see a proctologist, because I seem to have a horseshoe up my ass. Any time I fall a little too far behind on my daily duties here at Loud Noises (which seems to be happening too much lately... but then, you know that...) the gods see fit to drop a new tune or two in my lap to get my wheels turning again.

     Such is the case with your Saturday song, the latest single from Tesseract's forthcoming third album Polaris. Once again, the name of the game in "Survival" is "groove", and the lads deliver a couple of whoppers in this track. I could really get behind an album's worth of this kind of big, slinky grooves. Come see what I think about Polaris in, oh, about ten days' time.

Friday: Avenged Sevenfold - I Won't See You Tonight, Pt. 2

     For your belated Flashback Friday post, I'd like you to close your eyes and cast your mind back to a time when Avenged Sevenfold was actually good. Or, if perhaps you've never dug any A7X, cast your mind back to a time when they were better than they are now. Either way, the time you're casting back to is the same: 2003.

     2003 saw the release of Avenged Sevenfold's sophomore album Waking the Fallen, which I still maintain is the band's shreddy metalcore masterpiece. The guys in Avenged have written some good jams since Waking, but this one got me into them in the first place and this one still finds the most space on my playlist to this day.

     The reason for this longevity is that Waking the Fallen has songs like "I Won't See You Tonight, Pt. 2". Don't get me wrong, the first movement of this two parter is a big metal ballad that starts off al little silly and then proceeds to stomp all over the line between badass and cheesy. But the second movement is where the guys show off their spastic shred metal chops in conjunction with the absolutely massive sense of melody they demonstrate all over the record. Love 'em or hate 'em now, I submit to you that Avenged Sevenfold used to be pretty rad.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Thursday: Ozzy Osbourne - Mr. Crowley

     Hey kids, I'm back! Another weekend away from my desk means another few days of catching up to do. But you know the drill by now, so let's get to it. Your belated Throwback Thursday post this week is a classic cut from the solo catalogue of the man himself, Mr. Ozzy Osbourne.

     The song and its subject, as you may have already read above, are another gentleman, one "Mr Crowley". For the uninitiated (pun sorta intended) Aleister Crowley was, among a number of other things, an occultist and mystic once dubbed "the wickedest man in the world" by his detractors. So, in other words, a fun guy, and the perfect subject for a song by the granddaddy of heavy metal.

     "Mr. Crowley", from Ozzy's 1980 solo debut record Blizzard of Ozz, has long been one of my favourite solo Ozzy songs; where does it rank for you?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Marty Friedman - Jasmine Cyanide

     Your little bit weird Wednesday post this evening is a B-side from guitarist Marty Friedman that features a couple of unexpected cameos.

     Dan Tompkins' appearance on "Jasmine Cyanide", an off-cut from Marty's latest Inferno, is maybe a little understandable; Dan's got a great voice, and a growing resume as a session musician. But the inclusion of Canadian rocker Danko Jones is a bit more of an oddity, both conceptually and musically. I don't know if I'm quite sold on the rap-esque vocals he brings to the table, but rather than pontificate, I'll let you ruminate for yourself.

Tuesday: Flub - Memoria

     It's time for an early flashback/late tech Tuesday kinda sorta combo, in the form of a re-rerecorded version of an old song from a talented young tech death band.

     I've written about California's Flub before, back when their EP Avent was all fresh and shiny. The latest word on new material from Flubland is that things are still in progress, but in lieu of fully fresh tunes we do get a re-recorded re-release of their earlier EP Purpose.

     The downside is that these songs aren't quite as well crafted as the band's newer material, which, duh, they'll obviously have grown as songwriters in the interim. The upside is that they're still badass, and they sound better than ever now. But why are we still listening to me talk about Flub's new-old stuff? Why don't you just check out "Memoria" and decide for yourself.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Monday: Thursday - For the Workforce, Drowning

     Ever feel like you're getting buried in whatever it is you're working on? Like you're taking one step forward and two steps back? I get that feeling all the time, so if you're anything like me, I've got the perfect belated Monday song for you.

     Emo/screamo/post-hardcore pioneers Thursday opened their 2003 album War All the Time with "For the Workforce, Drowning", a lament for our cubically contained, post-modern office world. But even if you don't sit behind a desk making copies (of copies of copies, when will it end?) I think you can probably still raise your defiant fist and get into to the spirit of casting off whatever labour shackles happen to have you fettered. Start your soundtrack for said shackle off-casting with this one.