Monday, 29 February 2016

Friday the 12th: Fallujah - The Void Alone

     As with your Wednesday post a couple of days ago, lucky me doesn't have to stretch to hard to get all alliterative on you for your Friday post today. Somebody or something somewhere must be smiling down on and/or up at me, because we've all recently been treated to some brand new Fallujah.

     In case you need it spelled out: this is cause for excitement, since Fallujah's last record, 2014's The Flesh Prevails, graced many an end of year "best of" list (mine included). Those are, then, some big shoes in need of filling, but the strength of new single "The Void Alone" strongly hints that the upcoming Dreamless will be up to the challenge. Fallujah's dense and technical breed of post-death metal (is that a thing? that's a thing.) is augmented here with some ethereal female vocals and a spacey melodic sensibility that could well make Dreamless as a whole a very interesting and engrossing listen indeed. I'm going to do my best Kreskin impression here and say that this one already sounds like a "best of 2016" candidate. Get on board or get left alone in the void.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Thursday the 11th: The Chemical Brothers - Block Rockin' Beats

     If, like me, you need a bit of a 'pick-me-up' on this Sunday afternoon in late February, then why not pretend it's a Thursday in mid-February so that we can rock the block together with your Throwback Thursday post for today.

     Now, before you die-hard metalheads get your leathers in a twist about my choice of decidedly un-metal song today, I refer you again to my mandate to hit you with good music of any and every stripe -- metal or otherwise. And I defy any of you, especially those of a similar vintage to myself, to jam The Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats" at volume and come away with anything other than the sense that yes, those beats could incite rocking in the entire block. Whether you're a fan of electronic music or not, this one's just a fun classic that I'm willing to be will elicit some smiles and knowing nods from at least some in your group of hardened old heshers. Feel free to come back let me know if it doesn't.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Wednesday the 10th: Walls of Jericho - Relentless

     It's not always the easiest thing to find something suitably alliterative for a Wednesday post (assuming of course I don't want to just take my usual easy way out and call it Weird). But a blast from my musical past is back with some new jams to save me from my usual ruts. It's Walls of Jericho Wednesday, kids!

     It's apparently been nearly a decade since Walls of Jericho put out new material, and it's been even longer than that since I was really into 2004's All Hail the Dead, but Candace and the guys have a new record coming out towards the end of March and a new single out right now. "Relentless" sounds just like the Walls of Jericho I remember -- tight, chunky, vaguely thrashy hardcore/metalcore riffing with Candace's acerbic growl spread liberally over top, and some shouted gang vocals for good hardcore measure. I'm not exactly losing sleep with excitement over this one, but it's definitely good to see this band back in action.

Tuesday the 9th: Wormed - Pseudo-Horizon

     It's time again for a Tech Tuesday post, so I hope you're ready for a short, sharp burst of blasty fury courtesy of Spanish space metallers Wormed.

     Wormed's latest record Krighsu is due out in a couple of weeks, and they've been gracious (read: badass) enough to provide us with a number of appetite-whetting tracks so far. The meatiest of these has got to be "Pseudo-Horizon" a punishing three-minute combination of grinding and grooving that should leave any tech death fan ready to hit repeat. Based on this track, and the couple others that have been released off of Krighsu so far, Wormed are set to assault our collective senses when this one drops in mid-March. Prepare yourself.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Monday the 8th: Spires of the Lunar Sphere - Pangaea Ultima

     Today's horribly out-of-date Metal Monday post for February the 8th should almost be titled a "Metal" Monday post; while your slice of madness from Daytona's Spires of the Lunar Sphere has got plenty of heavy, it's also got plenty of a whole slew of other shit too.

     Experimental metal, or something similarly broad, might be the best way to try and encapsulate Spires of the Lunar Sphere and their debut EP, last September's Pangaea Ultima. Synths, horns, and other instrumentation odds and ends combine with the usual guitars, bass, and drums to shred out a frenetic brand of metal that's noisey, techy, proggy, groovy... usually all in the same song. I could probably go on for a while trying to sketch you a picture of Spires' sound, but it would probably be quicker for you to just take in final track "Pangaea Ultima" for a cross section of what Spires of the Lunar Sphere is all about.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Sunday the 7th: Killswitch Engage - Cut Me Loose

     Last month we got our first taste of the upcoming new record from metalcore veterans Killswitch Engage. Now we've got sample number two of Incarnate, and it's a bit of a shift of gears for the guys. Will it be your cup of tea? Read on to find out.

     First Incarnate single "Hate By Design" was more in line with your standard Killswitch single -- riffy, energetic, and ready for radio, assuming your local radio station plays anything approaching metal -- but second single "Cut Me Loose" is a bit slower, equally catchy in the choruses but a bit more of a grindy crusher in the verses. Killswitch are the reigning metalcore kings, though, so there's a couple of breakdowns/change-it-up-for-a-second sections in there too. It's still most definitely patented Killswitch Engage, just think "The Return" or "The Arms of Sorrow" rather than "In Due Time or "Never Again" and you'll be plenty prepared to see how you like the latest from Killswitch Engage.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Saturday the 6th: Cyborg Octopus - Data_M1nefield

     Cast your minds into the before time: remember way back when I posted a tasty little number called "Pukefeast Inc." by proggy California deathcore outfit Cyborg Octopus? Well the boys are finally ready to drop an LP on us, and now we've got our first shot at the sweet new material.

     "Data_M1nefield" is a seven-minute epic of genre sampling: progressive deathcore is still the general name of the game, but a variety of influences are once again on offer, from synthy keyboards to flashes of tech death to the rad melo-shred solo that provides the track's climax (and kills the video's bad guys to boot). I liked the older Cyborg Octopus stuff when I heard it, and if the step forward in songwriting and musicianship that's on display in "Data_M1nefield" is any indication of the level of quality of the rest of Learning to Breathe, I'm going to be one happy camper. Give this one a spin or two and discover these guys before the rest of the kids on your block do.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Friday the 5th: Polyphia - Euphoria

     It never fails, does it? I'm starting to get close to caught up, then comes the combination of a busy long weekend last week and then a good old dose of Canadian winter this past Tuesday that required some digging out, and suddenly I'm back behind several eight balls again, blog-wise. Oh well. Onward and upward, shall we? Starting with a post for a couple of Fridays ago.

     So how do you feel about Polyphia? Do they make you feel decidedly old and un-hipsterish? Jokes aside, do you dig their techy, shreddy instrumental, or are you among those who feel it lacks some soul? The band's latest "Euphoria", from their forthcoming LP Renaissance, might go a ways towards converting you from the latter for the former. The sheer noodliness is dialed back a little here, with melodic lines taking centre stage. Think a little along the lines of Intervals, or something similar -- leads are there, buttery smooth as usual, but things are more in service of the song now. Check it out.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Thursday the 4th: Rage Against the Machine - Ashes in the Fall

     It's Throwback Thursday time once again, and this week ("last week", for all you "time is linear" types) I'm going with another perennial throwback favourite of mine. This year will see At the Drive-In back together, if only for some live shows, so why can't 2016 also see the return of the Rage?

     Your Rage Against the Machine song this time around is "Ashes in the Fall" from 1999's The Battle of Los Angeles, an album that I'm digging more and more the older I get. I think Evil Empire is still my favourite Rage album, but no longer do I rank Los Angeles number three out of hand. From its dentist drill guitar intro through its bass-driven, space guitar verses, "Ashes in the Fall" is a kind of a microcosm for the variety and willingness to experiment that marks The Battle of Los Angeles as a forward-thinking record that's held up very well indeed. Have a listen and get your rage on.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Wednesday the 3rd: Sylosis - Kingdom of Solitude

     It's been a little bit since I've posted a slice of shredding from Reading, so it's probably about time for your latest dose of Sylosis. I swear to Jeebus I'll make converts of all of you yet!

     "Kingdom of Solitude", from 2011's Edge of the Earth, demonstrates for like the baziollionth time that Sylosis can defly navigate tempo shifts, stylistic shifts, you name it. This one goes from raging thrasher to crushing herald of doom on a dime, and does it with fluid aplomb -- as if you'd expect anything less from these veterans. Here's your latest chance: if you don't know how great Sylosis can be, hop on board right the fuck now!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tuesday the 2nd: The Fall of Troy - Problem!?

     Let's use the theme of brevity for a segue today, or a little dose of theme, as I present you with another track that squeaks in under the two minute mark. You can thank the now-no-longer-defunct The Fall of Troy for today's blast of ragged post-hardcore.

     I'm not sure which album I'd pick as my favourite from The Fall of Troy, but I'd be hard pressed to argue that 2007's Manipulator isn't one of their best. Their wild, noodly energy had found a sound songwriting footing by this record, resulting in a collection of songs that retains The Fall of Troy's signature spasticity while at the same time achieving something more focused.

     Indeed, more than once on Manipulator The Fall of Troy gets right to the point with tracks that're a "two minutes or so" kind of focused, tracks like the angular "Problem!?". It's just a little wee bit of a thing, so you should be able to give it a couple of spins this morning to see what you think.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Monday the 1st: Son of Aurelius - Myocardial Infarction

     See that in the title of this post? We're actually into February here at Loud Noises, kids, so let's keep the good times rolling along. And since the first of February fell on a Monday this year, I think you can figure out where I'm going with this post. Yup. Metal Monday.

     For your only-a-week-old Metal Monday post I'm revisiting the 2010 debut LP from one of my favourite underrated/underappreciated techy proggy acts. The band is Son of Aurelius, the album is the very solid The Farthest Reachest, and the song itself is "Myocardial Infarction", a furious blast of nimble tech-death that crams more into a little better than a minute and a half than a lot of bands can get into four or five. The songwriting on 2014's Under a Western Sun might be better (and proggier!) but The Farthest Reaches still has some scorchers on it, like this one.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sunday the 31st: Textures - Shaping a Single Grain of Sand

     It was wasn't all that long ago that I lasted posted about a song from the brand-spanking new Phenotype by Dutch band Textures (the really cool "Illuminate the Trail"). The guys, however, continue their promotional onslaught a new single complete with video, and I'd be remiss if I didn't offer you this fresh slice of groovy, djenty prog to whet your appetite for Phenotype.

     Where "Illuminate the Trail" leaned a little further in the proggy direction, with a few more moving parts, "Shaping a Single Grain of Sand" feels much more streamlined, much more focused on its particular set of grooves -- the closest you're likely to get to a radio single on Phenotype, I would bet. But don't let that appraisal confused you into thinking that this song is in any way not heavy, because it definitely brings the mosh. It just also brings some soaring chorus-type stuff along for the ride. Have a good and see what you think.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Saturday the 30th: The Gorge - Thousand Year Fire

     The nature of your Saturday the 30th of January post is a bit of a challenge for me to pin down. At its core (ha, see what I'm doing there?) it's very 'core', but what you throw on the front of that is kind of up for debate. There's some progginess, and enough tech flavour (in the vein of Misery Signals or perhaps Straight Reads the Line) that just saying metalcore isn't nearly enough.

     I'm talking about The Gorge, and the opening and title track from their forthcoming new record Thousand Year Fire. "Thousand Year Fire" is, like I said, a very 'core' kind of song, but it's anything but one-dimensional. Pick an instrument and listen to just it for a while, and you're bound to hear a little something -- a variation at the end of a riff, a section with an interesting (bass) chord or two, that kind of thing. Those interesting touches, and a cool groove or two, help "Thousand Year Fire" do what any good opening track should: pique my interest for the rest of the album. See if it does the same for you.

Friday the 29th: Deftones - Prayers/Triangles

     For this Deftones fan, there's some good news and some bad news accompanying the release of the bands latest single this past week. Or, I should say, some really great news and some pretty minor bad news. (Spoiler: it's mostly a win.)

     The good/really great news is simple: new Deftones that, based on the single (hang on just one second for that), sounds like it'll be another solid Deftones outing. The minor bad news is that forthcoming new album Gore still isn't the fabled lost record Eros, the band's last with late bassist Chi Cheng. We may yet get a chance to hear that album, but I figure that each other album released in the meantime lowers that chance a little bit more.

     Lucky for me then that, like I said, Gore is sounding like it'll be pretty good, if lead single "Prayers/Triangles" is anything to judge the rest of the record by. It's nothing especially mind-blowing -- Deftones haven't written a jazz fusion concept album or anything -- but it's solid-sounding Deftones. Synthy-ambienty guitars in the verses, big crunchy choruses, Chino throughout... yeah, it's definitely Deftones. Check it out, and get stoked for Gore's April release.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Thursday the 28th: Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly

     Throwback Thursday time again, and this time we're going back the better part of twenty years (sounds like a goddamn long time when I type it aloud like that) for a rocking good tune with a fun video from a series of fun videos. Why does nobody do fun videos like this anymore? And why won't kids today stay off my lawn?

     Full disclosure: my favourite Foo Fighter album is, and likely always will be, 1997's The Colour and the Shape. But the Foos' follow-up, 1999's There is Nothing Left to Lose, had a bunch of good songs on it too -- the first of the record is pretty strong, really, assuming older Foo Fighters stuff is something you're into. I'm going to go ahead and make that assumption, since you're still reading at this point, so your Throwback Thursday for last week is the lead single and best video from There is Nothing Left to Lose, "Learn to Fly". The appearance of Tenacious D, and the fact that the majority of the characters in the video (the principal characters, at least) are played by Foos, combine to make this one of the most fun videos in the band's catalogue, and that's saying something. Peep this one and get nostalgic.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Wednesday the 27th: Plini - Every Piece Matters

     Need something a little laid back for your Thursday (or Wednesday, if you're with me in maintaining the fiction that this is a Wednesday post) morning? Australian guitar wizard and friend of the blog Plini has got you covered with a tasty new single. And the best part? You can help out a good cause while you acquire and enjoy some good jams. Win-win!

     Plini has announced that all proceeds from the new single "Every Piece Matters" will go towards the Every Piece Matters initiative of charitable organization Raw Impact in support of families in Cambodia, continuing the work he started back in 2014/2015 with single "Ko Ki". So if you've got some dollars burning a hole in your Paypal account, why not send them Plini's way? And if you don't, why still spread the word and the tunes around, because the world could use more mellow and proggy jazz fusion that's doing some good on the side.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Tuesday the 26th: Trivium - Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis

     A while ago I asserted that 2008's Shogun might well be the best album from metalcore veterans Trivium. Today, in an approximation of an alliterative post (it not actually being Tuesday and all...), I give you exhibit B in my case for Shogun as the best Heafy and Company have crafted.

     Last time out it was album opener and bad-assedly titled "Kirisute Gomen", and this time we're just going to proceed the way Trivium intended. "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis" is another fine example of Trivium's capacity for fleet-fingered and fleet-wristed riffing that's still catchy and singable. That intro/outro combination alone, while being a little cheesy and over-the-top, is reason enough to give this song a chance -- assuming, of course, that you like fun. You do like fun, don't you?

Monday the 25th: Marilyn Manson - Posthuman

     It's not Thursday, either in reality or in messed up "Loud Noises time", but I'm still going to throw it back a bit for a Manson Monday post. Regular readers will know that I have a nostalgia-flavoured spot in my heart for the first few Marilyn Manson albums that I sometimes like to indulge, and bully for you, today is one of those times.

     In particular, we're headed for what's probably my favourite Manson album, 1998's Mechanical Animals. This record was of course released at just the right time to hit an adolescent me, but it's also a solid record that I think holds up pretty well to this day, assuming you ever liked it to begin with. I actually jammed it again just the other day, giving me the inspiration to regale you with this rocking number. So please have a go at "Posthuman".

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Sunday the 24th: Glassjaw - New White Extremity

     How in the fuck did I miss this one? We might not have any details about a new Glassjaw record yet, but apparently back at the start of December we got a rough cut of one of its new tracks. Squee!!

    "New White Extremity" sounds like... well, it sounds like Glassjaw. Driving, abrasive, energetic, groovy -- a melding of an eclectic collection of influences and sounds that is at once reminiscent of the band's older work and a bit of something new. It's not Worship and Tribute 2.0, but then is that actually what anybody would have wanted? I'll reserve final judgment for when (or if...) I hear the rest of this record, but for the time being I'd say "New White Extremity" is a good start on ending the Glassjaw drought.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Saturday the 23rd: Glass Cloud - Falling in Style

     Let's keep it relatively simple for this Saturday post (I promise, that particular bit of alliteration was completely unintentional) with some layered, atmospheric groove from the guys in Glass Cloud. Sure, the band might be down a couple of members right now, but Jerry and Josh can bounce back. After all, Glass Cloud isn't their first rodeo.

     And besides, the guys can write tunes like the aforementioned slice of groove we're dealing with today. "Falling in Style" comes from Glass Cloud's 2012 debut LP The Royal Thousand, and its combination of chunky riffing and melanchoy melodic sensability makes it stand from some of its djenty peers. At a scant three minutes, and infinitely head-bangable, "Falling in Style" is like a little groovey metal pop song, if that makes any sense. Maybe it doesn't. Either way, give the song a spin and see what you think.

Friday the 22nd: Resurrecting Id - Renewal

     There might currently be a wealth of djenty progressive instrumental bands with some jazzy flashes, but how many of them go full fusion with a lead saxophone? I can only think of one off the top of my head, and it's got enough saxy goodness to get Kenny G on board.

     How familiar are you with fusion three-piece Trioscapes? Because if you can imagine their serpentine songwriting shifted in a djentier direction and you'd at least have an approximation of what to expect from Resurrecting Id, the self-proclaimed "groundbreaking experiment in saxophone-fronted progressive metal". Not everybody likes jazzy guitar noodling in their metal, but if you happen to, why not hear what it's like when that's translated into the sweet language of sax. The whole of last year's self-titled EP is worth a listen or two, but if you've only got the time or stomach for one saxual experience today, make it Resurrecting Id's second track "Renewal" for a nice blend of big djenty groove and furious sax attacks.