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Track Reviews

Dimmu Borgir released “Gateways (Edit)” from their upcoming album, Abrahadabra, last Tuesday through iTunes (and probably other digital retailers). On a whim, I decided to buy the track to see if I should be looking forward to the whole CD or not – it didn’t really help. It doesn’t help because “Gateways” is different enough from their previous releases that it’s hard to tell if it is a one-off or if it is representative of the whole album.

For one, there are two different sections that contain female vocals and neither of them turns out to be cheesy.  The first section with female vocals is shouted in an almost punk-like manner, and the second section is more of a choir effect (think Therion not Cradle of Filth). Both sections were surprising because it’s a new direction for the band, and also because it actually worked. Another thing about the song is that it is much slower and more melodic than what is typical of a Dimmu Borgir track. I’m not trying to say that it’s pop or anything, but it’s definitely much more accessible. Those that actually care about the band have probably read that the album features another full orchestra, but unlike Death Cult Armageddon, “Gateways” isn’t overpowered by it. The song is more of an equal partnership between the riffs and the orchestral parts.

So, this song didn’t really help at all. If the whole album pushes the band’s sound like this song did then things might…

James LaBrie has made a new track called “One More Time” available for streaming (courtesy of AOL’s Noisecreep). The song is taken from his upcoming solo album, Static Impulse, which will be released on September 28 through InsideOut Music.


James LaBrie is best known for his work with Dream Theater, but they’re not his only musical endeavor. Most people probably don’t know that he released his first solo album, Elements of Persuasion, back in 2005. It was a powerful album that would probably surprise a lot of Dream Theater fans due to its heaviness. Well, it seems that this album is going to surprise even more people. The song is heavy and aggressive but combined with a huge chorus that rivals anything that he has done with Dream Theater. What is going to surprise people even more is the aggressive side of James’ voice. If the rest of the album is anything like this, it has the potential to be great.

- Dissonant Dissident

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Cyanotic are one of the new breed of industrial metal bands that are helping to pull the genre into the modern era. The song, “Dissonant Dissident”, comes from their second  album entitled The Medication Generation. The Medication Generation was released through Bit Riot records on July 6, 2010. “Dissonant Dissident” is probably one of the best songs on the album, and also a great representation of what to expect. It features huge beats and a perfect blend of guitars and electronics.

Cyanotic Myspace

Song Samples

In the interest of keeping these tracks of the day coming, I’m going to fill in the gaps when they appear with some good ol’ CanCon. Up first is Hannah Georgas’ “Thick Skin” off her debut full length This Is Good.

Driven by an acoustic guitar and a sombre back bone laced with piano and whistling, “Thick Skin” powers through its own misery with Hannah’s hopeful vocals and grasp of nod inducing melodies. At under two and a half minutes, “Thick Skin” goes by in a flash, perhaps a fitting choice of words given its video, which sees Georgas au-nauturel crawling through leaves and mud in a deeply understated video I’d perhaps call “honest” or “courageous” were I confident assigning such abstract concepts to popular music.

But anyways, it’s a great song and if it bums (heh!) you out, I’ve linked a bouncier tune below.

Recently I found myself attending a Defiance, Ohio and Mischief Brew show, whom are two rising underground folk-punk bands.  Their following is small, yet loyal, and shows are intense, intimate, and certainly passionate.  While Defiance, Ohio’s new album Midwestern Minutes does not officially drop until July 6th, they were kind enough to sell copies while touring. Here is the opening track from Midwestern Minutes, “Floodwaters.”

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Eyes Set to Kill have always occupied a weird niche that left people a lot of room to dislike (or dismiss) their style of music. It was always too poppy for the metal crowd (and having a female vocalist never helped), but it was always too heavy for the mainstream rock fans (mainly due to the screams). With the release of the band’s first single “All You Ever Knew” from their upcoming album Broken Frames it’s not certain whether or not they’ll be able to break from that niche, but they’re definitely trying. This track is more powerful than anything the band has ever done before. The screams are finally not a hinderance (as they’ve been pretty poor on every other album), and even Alexia Rodriguez has stepped up her vocal performance. Behind them is music that finally has more in common with metal than the pop of the past. Listen and judge for yourself. The album comes out on June 8th through BreakSilence Records.

Read an interview with Alexia Rodriquez about the new single at RevolverMag.com.

Sick of it All is a hardcore band out of New York. These guys are about to come up on their 25th anniversary and are planning to release their ninth album, Based on a True Story, on April 20th.

The two tracks that have been released from this album are already proving that the band haven’t lost a step during those 25 years. They still play no-frills hardcore that can kick your ass, and although they’ll probably never surpass their 1992 album, Just Look Around, this one looks to come very close. That’s all the review these songs need – check them out.


–Death or Jail–


–Lowest Common Denominator–

Tokyo Police Club have released a free single from their upcoming album Champ. For those of you who care, check out the brief review below.

If Helen was the face that launched a thousand ships, Tokyo Police Club was the band name that launched a legion of equally silly imitators. In the years since their debut, we’ve witnessed the Bombay Bicycle Club, the Two Door Cinema Club, the New Young Pony Club, and even Tom Morello’s Street Sweeper Culture Club. Of course, one could claim that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club started this associative naming trend, but seeing as motorcycle clubs actually exist, I’ll choose to ignore this otherwise salient point.

On to the track. My initial impressions were decidedly mixed — for a song titled “Breakneck Speed”, it’s rather long by Tokyo Police Club standards, and it’s missing some of the frenetic energy (and pounding drumming) that characterized their previous efforts. The first few notes also sound suspiciously like the opening notes to Limp Bizkit’s cover of ‘Mission Impossible’. However, once you stick with the song past :50 seconds, it’s a grower (especially the chorus, in which Dave Monks matches his falsetto with Josh Hook’s guitar).

My final verdict: 3 out of 5. If you don’t like Tokyo Police Club, you probably won’t like this track. However, feel free to voice your objection by ripping off the absurd name and forming a rival ‘club.’

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