Average Rating: 3.43
Rating Variance: 0.62
Objectivity Score: 79% (Well Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classicErra ImpulseA very impressive debut that shows maybe there's possibly some life in metalcore. A notorious genre known for it's predictability, Erra add progressive elements and incredibly different, yet deep lyrics that make their music the exact opposite. That's exactly what Impulse was unpredictable. Though the various clean choruses will at times be a little too high, whiney, and predictable for some, they actually really add to the song itself. However, the instrumentation was anything but predictable. Very intricate and catchy guitar work with just the right amount of chugging that is laced with lyrics that aren't bad at all, makes for a great combination. The drumming follows nicely and is quite spectacular at times, though it doesn't tend to shine as much as the guitar work. The various synths and ambiance that is sprinkled throughout, at the beginning of "Architect" for example (they use a harp O_O), were used just enough to add to the atmosphere of the album. These guys seem to know what they're doing for being such a young band. Another important note about Erra is their live performance. They sound incredibly close to how they do on the record which is impressive considering a lot of vocalists fall flat on their face live. Jesse's cleans are just as insane on stage as they are in studio, and when combined with Garrison's powerful lead deliveries makes one think they are listening to their iPod. Erra is doing us a favor by adding to the metalcore genre that many people consider dead, but it's alive and kicking again thanks to Erra.Erra AugmentFrom the opening riff of "Alpha Seed" to the closing ambiance of "Dementia", it's apparent why Erra should be considered one of, if not THE best metalcore band around right now. The earth-shaking growls of Garrison Lee clash with the soaring cleans of Jesse Cash, get wrapped in a firestorm of catchy riffs, and are topped off with the cherry that is excellent drumming, leading to the best damn thing you'll ever sink your teeth into.Killswitch Engage As Daylight DiesMy favorite album of all time, and one of the best metal records of the past decade. KsE has always been considered one of the pioneers of modern metalcore, which means they have to set the bar high. With As Daylight Dies, they reach a whole new level. Ever since Howard Jones joined the group, they've seen an increase in popularity and honestly have just become better as a group. No disrespect to Jesse Leach, as he's great in his own right and is actually listed in 4 of the song credits on this album. Howard, however is the best frontman in metal not only thanks to his effortless attempts to go from screaming to singing, but his ability to sound exactly the same live, and also his impeccable songwriting. He wrote "My Curse" in 20 minutes which has become their biggest and most known hit. "The Arms of Sorrow" is one of my favorite songs due to the emotion apparent in not only the lyrics but in Howard's voice especially on the opening lines. This album has great replayablilty thanks to the fact that there is no filler on this album. The skip button is not needed, as every song is one of a kind in its own way. Let's not forget the talents of Adam D. who helped produce one of the best albums of his career. They make great use of harmony using his voice in parts of many songs such as the chorus of "This Is Absolution" and the end of "My Curse" to name a few. Every aspect of this album is done in top notch which makes it one of the best of all time hands down.Misery Signals Of Malice and the Magnum HeartStill to this day regarded as one of the best if not the best metalcore debut of all time, and it's apparent why after just one listen. The album is so well put together that every song transitions into each other including the last track which fades back into the first one. There is no filler at all, as every single song on here seems to be used to its full potential. MS does such an amazing job of mixing melody, emotion, and agression. Anyone who knows this band knows that they were born out of loss, and the raw emotion can just be felt while listening. The best track by far is the instrumental "Worlds and Dreams". The song is perfectly placed as a break in the action in the middle of the CD and is just absolutely breath taking. This will always be regarded as one of the best metal albums of all time period.4.5 superbBorn of Osiris The Discovery"A NEW JOURNEY AWAITS YOU" and it lies within The Discovery. Born of Osiris is really credited for getting me into progressive stuff. They are becoming a top act due to the fact that they have their own sound and the ability to make a very good record. From start to finish The Discovery has a nice flow to it where nothing seems forced, even the instrumentals. Another thing that seperates BOO from many is the fact that the bass is very audible. In most bands nowadays, the bass is almost nonexistent. It really helps add to the heavier sound that is evenly matched and not overpowered by the electronics/keyboards which is a mistake that many bands in this genre make. The vocals are pretty much flawless throughout and are at times met by the keyboardist's which sound very good together. The instrumentation is incredible throughout the entire album leaving the listener feeling satisfied after one spin, and possibly wanting more.Dead Letter Circus This Is The WarningAmazing production throughout that is only surpassed by the incredible vocals. From the opening of "Here We Divide" the listener realizes what a treat they are in for. Australia seems to be putting out some pretty impressive music these days, but no group more impressive than Dead Letter Circus. Brining a refreshing sound reminiscent of bands such as U2 that became big in the early 80's, hopefully DLC will continue to gain popularity and save the music industry from being dominated by acts like Justin Beiber and Carly Rae Jepsen singing about teen relationships and exchanging numbers. XDDweller The Reality VectorMany bands fall flat on their face because they think the word "deathcore" simply means they don't need originality and can just mindlessly chug away. However, Dweller is one of just a few bands that stand out in this relatively crowded genre of copycats. From the eerie opening ambiance of "Visions" all the way to the superbly executed, catchy, and very memorable riff of "An Eternity Defined", Dweller manages to keep the listener occupied with plenty of ferocious blastbeats, rhythm changes, solid guitar work, and powerful vocals. A must listen for fans of ANY type of heavy metal. Heart In Hand Only MemoriesHard-hitting, yet somewhat melodic and 100% beautiful, HIH makes an incredible debut album. The only debut hardcore album I think that even comes close to how good this one is was Fury and the Fallen Ones. Still, Only memories surpasses that by a mile due to the raw emotion showcased here. The band should really be named Heart On Sleeve due to how the vocalist pours out his emotions. His pain can really be felt as it seems that he wrote and is actually singing from his heart. The rest of the band does a good job of keeping a heavy tone throughout the album, yet it does not get boring not for a second. Instrumentals Such as "September" really add to the somber tone of the album and offer a nice break from the very heavy sound HIH has to offer us. It will be a tough task to mirror let alone surpass the heights they reached on this album, but I'm anxious to hear Heart In Hand's sophmore album.Metallica MetallicaI really don't care what anyone says, the black album is their best album. Every song on here is great, and the album is very well put together. My favorite song is a tie between "Nothing Else Matters" and "Sad But True". No Metallica record saw as much critical acclaim and success as their 91 effort, and it's easy to see why. The album is their first that tends to transition away from the speed and thrash sound to a more "mainstream" sound which was ultimately a genius move. Though they lost some fans along the way for changing their sound, it was a good move. I do think it's stupid that people tend to criticize bands after they break into the mainstream. Every band wants to get big and a true fan should not criticize one of their favorite bands.Nothing More Nothing MoreThe first I ever heard "This Is the Time" on the radio, I instantly cranked it and wondered one thing. "Who the hell is this?!" It motivated me enough to go out and buy the album, and it's evident from the very get go that Nothing More are head and shoulders above their mainstream radio rock peers in EVERY department imaginable. The vocals soar (reminiscent of Myles Kennedy), while the guitar work balances it out by keeping the tone nice and heavy, and the drums keep the pace well. The band also really knows how to set an atmosphere for songs, as is evident in the heart-wrenching "God Went North". Outstanding album that FINALLY brings good rock back to the radio.Sounds of Sirus SingularityA refreshing breath in the music world and combination of excellent instrumentation and vocal ability, Sounds of Sirus has the potential to become the next big thing with the right amount of exposure. Only a 7 song EP, Singularity leaves the listener satisfied at the end yet still wanting more. The opening track and lead single "Day By Name" will have you singing the chorus for days after a first listen.Staind StaindIn 2010 when Aaron Lewis made a country album, we all thought oh shit well Staind is done. A year passes and their newest effort comes out leaving us with no idea what to expect. Now I've always been a bit of a "mainstream" fan of Staind, in the sense of liking their hits they put out and not really buying their albums. I was completely shocked when I heard "Not Agin" on the radio and they said it was Staind. It convinced me to listen to their new album all the way through. This is by far the most complete album they've made to date. Break the Cycle has always been their best in my opinion, but the new self-titled blows that out of the water. Staind returns to the metal roots which everyone fell in love with. Aaron did a better job with versatility both lyrically and vocally this time around. Not every song is a love ballad like their last album, and he busts out some pretty unexpected screams at times. The guitar work is very good being both heavy yet intricate at times (see "Now"). After a relatively heavy album throughout, the last song is a nice soft landing with Aaron's great voice backed with soft guitar work. Briliant record one of the best of the year.The Color Morale Know HopeI honestly had never heard of The Color Morale before I bought this cd. I was looking for something new and decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad i did. The album is very inspirational and offers EXCELLENT vocals in every way, shape, and form. Though it does contain some less than average chugging and riffs, the album also has some of the catchiest hooks you will ever hear (Smoke and Mirrors). Don't be fooled by the label. This band DOES NOT belong on Rise Records. Looking for a new metalcore album? You found it.The Ghost Inside Get What You GiveSome very predictable breakdowns and chugging at places, but also some very good songs none the less. I've been a fan since Fury and the Fallen Ones, and personally I still think that's better than Returners. The newest offering from TGI has me changing my mind to say that Give What You Give is now my favorite. The album is very well produced, as just about every song transitions into the next smoothly. The Ghost Inside has never been known for clean vocals, but the spare use of them in certain songs really helped add some unexpected flavor. They sound as if they are leading to a more For the Fallen Dreams sound (hints their new drummer). I also like FTFD, so that's no problem with me. I have to say I am not dissappointed with their newest release and will be content until their next effort.Wolves at the Gate CaptorsMany dismiss bands such as Wolves At The Gate just for being open about their religious views. Yes the lyrics are Christian themed, but in a manner that doesn't shove it in your face. In fact, if someone does shove a copy of Captors in your face you better grab it. Everything about this debut is superb. Both vocalists do an excellent job, especially the new guy doing the screams. He is a lot better than the original one from the EP. The cleans are just as good as in the EP if not better. They were really what grabbed my attention about these guys originally. The new drummer also shows his worth and makes his drumming memorable. The guitars really fill in nicely not mindlessly chugging, but doing a good job being aggressive in parts. Those agressive parts are equaled by the soft acoustic work of songs such as "Slaves". After saying Slice the Cake's album was the best, I've changed my mind. Captors is the best album I've heard all year.4.0 excellentAll Shall Perish This Is Where It EndsOne of my personal favorite albums. Fast, heavy, brutal all of these words describe this album to a fucking tee. ASP do deathcore right, and many could take notes from their work. Hermida's vocals are just absolutely incredible. The guitars vary it up unleashing some hellacious shredding at times especially on the solos, and the drumming is nothing short of spectacular. Overall everyone does their job exceptionally on this album. Though it is quite long for a deathcore album, it still is good enough to keep the attention of even the biggest skeptic while keeping their head banging at the same time.Be'lakor Of Breath and BoneExcellent from start to finish. I'm not a fan of lengthy songs, but Be'Lakor manages to even keep my attention throughout. I had no idea what to think after seeing this album cover, so I decided to check it out and was not dissappointed in the least bit. The gutteral vocals add to the mood that the instrumentation represents, and really makes Of Breath and Bone not only an enjoyable listen but also a rememberable one which is very important in a genre like this.Bloodshot Dawn Bloodshot DawnCaliban I Am NemesisSuch a great album in every aspect of the word. Vocals have improved, lyrics are still good, and they are able to incorporate different metal sounds into one cohesive kickass album which is the main reason why these guys have always been so good. Edge of Black is my personal favorite. Such a badass song that's definitely heavy but offers a very catchy chorus with nice cleans. Easily their best album to date due to its completeness and variety.Circle of Contempt Entwine the ThreadsDrake Take CareLet me just say that I'm a guy, and I find it funny that pretty much every guy bashes Drake for showing emotion. It's quite ridiculos because everyone feels pain, love, heartache, all the kinds of emotions Drake is expressing in this album. I for one applaud the man for doing so. Take Care is a very personal record that hits home right to the heart. Songs such as "Look What You've Done" really let listeners into Drake's personal life. Yet other tracks such as "Underground Kings" and "HYFR" to name a few showcase the rapping that most people such as myself fell in love with him for. Just about every other track showcases Drake's spectacular voice that woos the ladies. Take Care clocks in at almost 80 minutes, and almost none of that is filler. The only song I didn't like was the last track due to the chick in the background that I found annoying, so it ended on a bad note for me. If the CD was only 17 tracks, I'd give this a 4.5 or possibly even a 5. None the less, a very well produced album that features some hot hits and guest appearances, Take Care is definitely one of the best albums of 2011.Elitist Reshape ReasonEmphatic DamageDamage basically shows how much potential this new band has. Hailing from Omaha, NE, Emphatic is a bit of a fresh breath in the mainstream rock category if you ask me. This album shows that bands can still stay true to their heavy routes and not have to compromise their sound to become big *cough cough* Nickelback. Speaking of them I would compare Emphatic to a mix of Nickelback and Daughtry, but blowing both of them out of the water. The vocals fit the songs very well, wheter slow and heartfelt or raspy and raunchy. There is some pretty damn catchy guitar work here too (opening of "Get Paid"). All in all, a very good debut from a band that has gobs of potential as long as they keep doing what they're doing.Fit for an Autopsy The Process of Human ExterminationThis is one of the best deathcore albums I have heard in a while. The sheer brutality that Fit For An Autopsy has never lets up from start to finish. When they say "We'll tear this whole fucking world apart", they actually sound like they mean business and its proven throughout the entire album. The Process of Human Extermination is must listen to all fans of anything heavy and brutal.For All Eternity Beyond The GatesDefinitely one of the most cohesive and best albums I have heard so far this year. Very rarely does a band release such a solid debut, and when someone does keep your eye on them. I have to thank FAE for bringing some life back into metalcore. Great vocals all around and some interesting guitar work on most songs. This one's worth a listen to.Hand Of Taurus Self TitledA very solid instrumental throughout due to a nice flow from one song to the next. The ambient cleans in "Euclidean" really add to the song which resembles something you'd hear off of The Contortionist's new album. All in all it's a very catchy and fun album that refrains from being repetitive. J. Cole Cole World: The Sideline StoryIt's refreshing to see something different on the rap charts. J. Cole proves the stereotype wrong of rap being all about drugs, guns, and hoes. But what's a rap album without that stuff right? But besides all that stuff, J talks about some different topics including a very touchy one in "Lost Ones" which is abortion. A variety of different subject matters and beats that hasn't been done this good before, J. Cole does it right bringing a fresh new sound we've all been dying to here. Every single song on here is it's own and has a purpose, meaning there is zero filler in an album that's almost an hour long. Very impressive to say the least. Speaking of impressive, J really shows off his excellent producing skills by how well the album is put together. Everything transitions smoothly, in fact my favorite part is the interlude that then leads into "Sideline Story". It almost feels like all one track it's put together so well. The one major highlight that stands out is of course the beats. The piano that's used in many of the songs just sounds right for some reason as if it just fits the mood perfectly. It will be very hard for Mr. Cole to be able to match the success of his debut, but I for one can't wait to hear what he has in store for us next.Make Them Suffer NeverbloomGenerally not a big fan of the symphonic stuff, but something is different about this band. Everything about this album especially the raw emotion and brutality that is showcased throughout make it pretty enjoyable. The vocalist is definitely one of the more talented ones I've heard recently in a newer band. Good album from a good band who seems to have the potential to add some unexpected flavor to the genre.Memphis May Fire ChallengerMemphis May Fire being the only well-known band from my hometown of Dallas nowadays puts out something that isn't ground-breaking, but is still a damn good listen. Matt Mullins really shines in every aspect of his vocals on here. True the lyrics may be avergae, but they don't don't seem that way due to Mullins' emotion. Many just consider bands on Rise Records to be clones of each other, but one listen to this album will show them that MMF is the leader of that pack. All in all, Challenger is a very good and catchy album that may find its way to the top of everybody's best album lists of 2012.Obie Trice Bottoms UpReal and raw, which is the way rap should be. Thanks in part to excellent production from Dre and Eminem which is no surprise, Obie is back with a vengeance. Bringing his trademark uncut lyrics about the streets, violence, and sex Bottoms Up delivers with some damn good beats as well. An excellent rap album that will sadly be overlooked because it likely won't be played on mainstream radio, but real rap fans will find Bottoms Up and love it.Of Mice and Men The FloodAn excellent sophmore album that shows Of Mice & Men are leaning toward becoming a more complete band. The fact the they showed massive improvement from their debut is the number one reason why. The other important reason is that they are also beginning to find their own sound. Probably the best part of this album, at least in my opinion, are Shayley's vocals. They fit the dark mood of most of the songs and are just plain beauitful at times. The songwriting has also improved a good amount. They show some diversity and really let Shayley soar with the completely clean "My Understandings" and "When You Can't Sleep At Night". From start to finish the album keeps you guessing and is not repitive. I never thought I could get into this band, but that all changed when I heard The Flood. But just when things were looking up for OMM, Shayley has left the band and now no one knows how the next album will be. No disrespect to Austin, but I just can't see the next album being as good without Shayley singing the cleans.One Last Breath Drowning In MemoriesA very promising EP that shows these guys know what they're doing. While many consider metalcore to be a dead and generic genre, One Last Breath prove that there are bands out there ready to revive it to its former glory and then some. With catchy riffs throughout, great drumming, and good vocals especially the cleans, Drowning In Memories is one of the best EPs I've heard in a while. The only complaint is that it's just 4 songs long and I wanna hear more haha Sienna Skies The Constant ClimbProgression seems to be the name of the game, at least in my opinion. From the very beginning, it can be seen that this record will have somewhat of a different and better approach. The band uses less electronics and tries to focus on making an album that is a bit heavier but sounds more cohesive at the same time. The vocals have improved on both sides of the coin. The cleans aren't annoying and the screams sound even better.The guitar work and drumming is nothing jaw-dropping, but they add together to make an album that is very fun to listen to. Signal The Firing Squad Earth HarvestSignal The Firing Squad AbnegateSlice the Cake The Man With No FaceThe best record I've heard so far this year. The drumming is amazing and really shines in the instrumental sections. The vocals are great on every song. There are some twists that keep the album as interesting as their band name such as the periodic use of cleans and an acoustic guitar. The only complaint is the length of the CD. The last song which is the title track is over 21 minutes long itself. There's absolutely no need for that. The song could've been split up or not even have been on there and the album would have been as close to perfect as you can get. A few days ago I had no idea these guys existed, but I'm glad I found this album.The Acacia Strain WormwoodTAS is either one of those bands that people love or hate. I personally am a fan of the sheer babarity they unleash musically and especially lyrically. Vincent Bennett because of these reasons is one of my favorite frontmen. After a few lineup changes, TAS seems to have finally found their sound on Wormwood. From start to finish they unleash a ferocious barrage of anger and emotion that is covered by some good guitar work. Many people complain about the massive use of breakdowns that they use, but I believe if you know what you're doing with them, then it's ok to continue to use them. TAS definitely knows what they are doing so it is ok. People often fail to mention that there is more than just breakdowns used. There is some very good guitar work, especially in the opening of my favorite song "Jonestown". Vincent's vocals have never been as clear or brutal sounding as they are on this record, which is definetly another high point of this album. If you're looking for some bone-crunching nihilistic metal, this album is for you.The Contortionist ExoplanetIt's hard to find something diverse in a genre where a lot of things sound the same. Exoplanet is a standout album though. The band does a good job of balancing out the heavy breakdowns with some really nice soft ambient and instrumental sections. The clean vocals in the background of "Primal Directive" are a nice touch that really add to the song. The instrumental sections of both "Flourish" and my favorite "Oscillator" are in my opinion the best part of the album. In the middle of that track, someone else that commented stated it feels as if your floating in space, which I agree with. Those parts, along with the song titles in general really help to keep the whole "space" concept of the album going. A very good album that brings a little diversity in a genre that tends to be plagued at times by lack of originality.The Ghost Inside Fury And The Fallen OnesIt's very rare nowadays to see a band make such a great debut album. I fell in love with this band the first time I heard this album. From beginning to end, a relentless assault is relased upon the listener. They use basically the same formula for most of the songs and not many chances. However, this is common for a debut album. Overall great vocals that are covered with aggressive guitars and breakdowns that actually sound good, and a drummer who can keep the pace and then some behind the kit. I used "Siren Song" as my pump-up song before football games my senior year, and it got the job done. The rest of the album can definitely do the same.Veil of Maya EclipseI had heard a little from Veil of Maya and a lotta hype about them, but Eclipse convinced me to become a fan. There were a few songs I have heard before it, but nothing sounds as complete as Eclipse does. From the beginning "20/200" VOM let the listener know that they are in for a real treat. A very cohesive album that is well constructed and executed, it has become one of my favorites of 2012 so far. The fact that is a short album (only 10 songs) is actually a good idea, because nobody wants to sit through an hour of pretty much the same stuff. My favorite song is "Winter Is Coming Soon". I almost wanted to say "Vicious Circles" due just to the badass breakdown they thorw in toward the end. A fan of any type of metal should pick up a copy and at least give it a chance. Odds are they will not be dissappointed.Volumes ViaThe album artwork itself is epic enough in its own right, but the music is even better. I did not know what to say really after a first listen of this album. Instantly, this became one of my favorite albums. Throughout the listen I had no idea what was going to happen next. That concept of unexpected surprise is one thing I love that artists can do. One of the biggest surprises on here were the clean vocals that come out of nowhere on "Edge of the Earth" and "The Columbian Faction". They are actually well placed and executed. I nearly pissed my pants out of surprise after hearing them. While some parts of some songs may sound a little similar, there is enough overall variety on the album to make it good. The ambient openings of a few of the songs add a nice touch and add a different distinct sound to each. My favorite part of the cd has to be the instrumental "Reversion" which leads directly into the piano opening of the next track "Serenity". All in all a great album with good meaningful lyrics, yet heavy enough to keep your head bobbing. Via is definitely worth a few listens over, at least until their next effort comes out :DWar of Ages EternalThe opening "Collapse" could not have been a more perfect choice for an opening track, as it showcases all the band has to offer (thrashing guitars, fierce vocals, well-executed and well-placed cleans, etc.), yet keeps the pace fairly steady. It's the next track, "Desire", that increase the tempo, and even offers a guest appearance from the album producer himself, Tim Lambesis. These tempo shifts plus a very stellar instrumental closer make for an album that is very enjoyable and complete from start to finish. Whitechapel WhitechapelNever have been much of a Whitechapel fan, but they really stepped up their game even more on this album. The vocals have progressed once again like in each album, and for once each song isn't too similar to the last one. It's not absolutely riddled with mindless chugging, and there are some surprisingly good solos on here that help with this. Definitely taking the strides they need to, Whitechapel has now gained a new fan in me.Yellowcard When You're Through Thinking, Say YesBringing a nostalgic yet somewhat more mature sound, Yellowcard definitely makes the most complete album of their career. No one can deny the greatness of Ocean Avenue from back in the day, but When Through Thinking Say Yes is even better. The band took a short hiatus which actually helped them. Is this the last we've seen from Yellowcard? Honestly it should be that way the boys can end their career on a good note.3.5 greatAcross the Rain Reign of SolitudeAh what a refreshing album to hear. This is exactly what the metalcore scene needed. This album to me is very Of Love and Lunacy esque, reviving the genre back to what it used to be. The melody is absolutely amazing throughout the album. I have no idea who the lead singer is, but I gotta give him props for his pretty epic screams. The cleans fit very nicely in here too and add a nice flow to a continously kickass, yet not repetitve melody. I've never heard of this band until today, but I gotta say I'm not dissapointed. This was a great album.After The Burial In DreamsOverall a great sophmore release. The sound is taking a bit of a new direction that some like and some don't. I believe In Dreams is better than Rareform, due to the variety present. The album isn't just riddled with chugging, and offers some interesting twists such as the short use of clean vocals. This doesn't however take away from the heaviness of the album since it's used rarely. It will be interesting to see what direction After the Burial takes in their next release. Will they continue to try to evolve, or return to the ways of Rareform? Let's hope they continue to evolve.Bermuda The WanderingVery good album. While some bands fail trying to do so, Bermuda shows that they can integrate different sounds and styles cohesively into one well badass sound. To me, it basically sounds like Volumes only heavier and with harsher vocals. The entire album flows nicely, as at times it's hard to tell that the song has changed, meaning it is a well produced non-stop assault that never becomes boring. There are some interesting things such as the breakdown in "Process of Drowning" and the clean chorus in "Sachael" that show Bermuda is not afraid to experiment with their sound. It's the bands that aren't afraid of experimentation that are the ones to watch for in the future.Black Tide Light From AboveLike hopping into a flying Delorian and venturing back to the 1980's, this record is very enjoyable. It's nothing new, but definitely is something different than what we're used to hearing in metal nowadays. The album is upbeat, fast-paced, and just overall fun to listen to. The fact that a band so youg showcases that much talent also makes the album that much cooler.Bon Jovi BounceThe band explores a WAY more heavier tone than we're used to in a few songs (Everyday, Bounce, Undivided), which I wish they would have continued to do in later releases. It works really well in "Undivided", a song about the 9/11 attacks that had just recently happened in the past year. Jon lays down some distorted vocals over a guitar tone that seems a lot heavier than we're used to hearing from Richie right from the get go. Out of the "new" stuff Bon Jovi has released in these past two decades, I would have to say that Bounce is their best, yet it's the one that got the least recognition. Go figure?Demon Hunter True DefianceIf Demon Hunter sticks with the formula used for this album, they will see a subsequent rise in fans and popularity. True Defiance is a very good record and their best to date I must also say. The choruses are spectacular as the cleans fit perfectly to help the song soar and have them stuck in your head for days to come. The drumming is spectacular throughout and really keeps the pace nicely. A nice use of variety is showcased as certain songs have an almost radio-freindy rock sound to it which is nothing short of an unexpected yet pleasant surprise. I do believe everyone should pick up a copy of this even if they are not a Demon Hunter fan. I certainly wasn't but became one after listening to True Defiance. Disturbed IndestructibleIt's 4 years later, and Indestructible is still one of my favorite albums. Disturbed's experience really shows here as they make what we were all looking for: A complete album put together alomst perfectly and made of no filler that is also radio friendly. I know almost sounds crazy right? Every aspect of the album both lyrically and musically is pretty much flawless. This of course is expected of a band like Disturbed, and they do not dissappoint. Forever Orion Passion. Love. Harmony.Excellent instrumentation, average vocals that are good at times, so I'll meet in the middle at great. The album art is in my opinion a perfect depiction of the peaceful sounds FO show in their instrumental songs. Usually when there are this many instrumentals on one album, they are considered fillers. This could not be further from the truth however. Tracks such as "New Light" are a perfect continuation of their previous song and flow smoothly into the next track. The album opens with an instrumental, and then "Many Waters" begins with a scream out of nowhere that brings a nice fast and heavy assault. This is just one instance how the band's versatility is showcased throughout the album. Such is how a heavy and technical track such as "Elevation" can be followed by an acoustic beauty like "Passion." Much potential can be seen for these guys, and I hope they fully reach it in the future. I Am Abomination Let The Future Tell The TruthIn Flames Sounds of a Playground FadingEveryone knows In Flames is a very versatile band. From heavy earlier efforts that everyone applauds such as The Jester Race, to the somewhat less admired "electronic" efforts like Soundtrack To Your Escape, they've always managed to make a solid record and stand the test of time. Losing a critical band member is never easy, especially when it's your founding member and main song writer in Jesper Strombald. However, I have to say I'm quite pleasantly surprised at what In Flames has created. Passing the pen to Bjorn Gelotte, it almost seems like nothing has changed when listening to SOAPF. In some aspects, it's actually better than previous efforts. The electronics are actually done right and used to sound like they fit the song instead of being forced. Anders Friden still unfortunately is their vocalist though. A vocalist is supposed to bring up the band, not the opposite which is what Friden does. Granted his voice is alright at certain instances, but it's just too inconsistant throughout. Sounds of a Playground Fading may dismay some older fans due primarily to it's mainstream and electronic appeal, but it really is a very good record considering the circumstances.It Prevails StromaThe more you play it, the more you like it. At least that's how it worked for me. There are some good melodic sections that really combine with the lyrics quite nicely that makes for a nice emotional sound. Improvement seems to be a trend for It Prevails, and hopefully will continue to be.It Prevails Capture & EmbraceMelodic hardcore like this is hard to come by. If only more of it sounded like this. An impressive record that isn't repetitive due to the use of so many different elements. Clean vocals are more prominent and used correctly to where they don't sound forced and actually help the song. The speed of the album also helps as some of it's fast-paced and some is a little slower. Variety in hardcore music can be hard to come by, so many will be pleased with a record like Capture & Embrace that changes it up and keeps things interesting.Killswitch Engage Disarm the DescentAll in due time indeed. The return of original frontman Jesse Leach was well worth the wait. Though Howard Jones may be one of the best if not the best vocalist in metal, it was evident that the band was beginning to sink into a creative slump on their last album. The return of Jesse brings a sort of revitalization back to a time when these guys were considered one of the best around. It would be impossible to match the magnitude of AOJB, but Killswitch does provide a fun and sort of nostalgic record with plenty of meaty riffs and catchy choruses capped off by the excellent production of Adam D.Lacuna Coil Dark AdrenalineDark Adrenaline is the first album by Lacuna Coil I've listened to all the way through, and I have to say I was not dissappointed. It has many catchy songs that are very well written both musically and lyrically. Upside Down is one of my favorites due primarilly to the very catchy chorus which is thanks to great vocals by the chick (whose name I don't know). Dark Adrenaline is one of those records that I could listen to a few times over again. The value and importance of replayability is one thing that some artists tend to forget sometimes. Obviously LC did not as they made a very good record that can be enjoyed over and over again.Lamb of God ResolutionGreat does sum up this album pretty well. While not just jaw dropping, there are definitely some good head banging and blood pumping tracks. This is of course what we expect of LOG. What is a little unexpected however, are the acoustic parts of the CD. These are placed well and used just enough to give some diversity to the album's sound. Randy's vocals are top notch as always, and the guitar work is something to admire. The drumming of Adler keeps the pace nicely and even sets it at times. A very solid album from a band that has not been known to dissappoint, and will not in the future if they continue building off the formula used in Resolution.One Year Later The Sound Of A Broken World"Absolution" is a perfect starter track as it will get anybody and everybody's head banging. The relentless assault that bands from Pennsylvania are known for is unleashed upon the listener when listening to this album. It is however balanced at times by the use of clean vocals and electronics. The album is very well produced in this perspective as neither of those are overused which is a mistake many rookie bands tend to make. The Sound Of A Broken World was a good listen and is one of the best debut albums I've heard so far this year.Periphery Periphery II: This Time It's PersonalI'm pretty sure I gave their eponymousa 3.5, so II will receive the same. The main reason is because from the get go, it sounds as if Periphery 1 never ended. However, there are some reasons I tend to like this one more, but I can't put my finger on it. Granted this CD is just as long as the first one, but the fact that there's no 15 minute song on here may be it. The vocals are incredible throughout as Sotelo has become one of the best at hitting those shrieking high notes. Hopefully the next album won't be called Periphery III, because even the biggest fans will want something different every now and then.Periphery PeripheryA very promising release, Periphery showcases their never-ending talent. The vocal range was very impressive, yet it was done to a level that fits the songs and does not soften the heavy riffs. The album keeps the listener interested because they never can predict what they will hear next. That is in part thanks to excellent production. The only complaint I have is the length of the album. "Racecar" itself is over 15 minutes long. They were still able to keep me interested throughout the album though. Some interesting stuff from an interesting band.Reflections The Fantasy EffectA pretty damn good debut if you ask me. The instrumentation was impressive at times ("...And Found") and better put together than most new bands that come onto the scene nowadays. The fact that there is some really catchy work on here that leads me to believe this won't be the last we hear from this band. Shadows Fall Fire From the SkyAnother great album by a great band so a great is what this album shall receive. Although some may complain at the movement to a more "mainstream" sound due to more prominent clean vocals, I feel it does not affect the total outcome of the album. The clean choruses actually do nothing but help the songs. There is still a big use of the trash riffs that they are known for, so the band isn't changing too much. If anything it's a gradual change, and in my opinion it's for the better.The Contortionist IntrinsicEveryone knew it was gonna be hard to surpass the efforts of Exoplanet. The band does a pretty good job, but didn't surpass it in my opinion. That doesn't mean however the album isn't good. From the very beginning it can be noted that this album focuses more on the progressive side and less on the heaviness. At times the transitions between these two can sound out of place and rather awkward, but overall The Contortionist does a relatively good job at showcasing what we all know them for. This would of course be that signature blend of heaviness and ambiance.War of Ages Supreme ChaosThough it definitely will not win album of the year on any charts, including my own, Supreme Chaos does deserve some praise, especially after how sub-par, and quite frankly boring their last work was. After all, improvement is what we always look forward to when bands release a new album, and this was a baby step back to where War Of Ages needs to be.rWhitechapel Our Endless WarSomehow, we all knew what the lyrical content was going to consist of in this album, but the way Phil Bozeman delivers them is enough to ignore the bits of repetitiveness. The album does at times seem like a carbon copy of their last album. That being said, I see nothing wrong with this form of consistency, even though some may call it "boring" or "unoriginal". Honestly, if it ain't broke don't fix it, and Whitechapel definitely is not broken. Within the Ruins Phenomena3.0 goodAs Blood Runs Black InstinctSome people just don't like change. I do believe that is the major reason for most of the hate ABRB is getting for this album. After waiting 5 years and changing lineups a bit, no one knew what was going to happen. I agree with the review. They did they best they could with what they had, and the result is nothing amazing yet something that's not bad at all. Some consider their music to be generic, while there are some things on this album that disprove that. The use of instrumentals such as "Triumph" and "Tribulations" give a break from the heavy and help the album trasition smoothly. My favorite part of the album is the opening to "Echoes of an Era". It epiotmizes the upbeat energy that ABRB showcases.As I Lay Dying AwakenedPeople overreact and bash music because it's "the same" and "not anything new". I am so sick of hearing those terms. It's hard to do something completely original when today's music market is flooded with everything imaginable. Being one of the big and more well-known names of metalcore, AILD has already established themselves and no longer feel the need to change. The result is something sure that we've heard before, but it isn't necessarily bad.Asking Alexandria Reckless and RelentlessOriginally I did not like Asking Alexandria. In fact the only song I like off of Stand Up And Scream is "Not the American Average" due to the fact that it's basically the only song on that album that offers any sort of variety. However, their sophmore effort showed a great deal of improvement. Danny seems to have grown not only in the vocal department but the lyrical department as well. His screams are some of the most insane I've heard in a while. While not an amazing album, there are some standout moments that make it at least an improvement. They seem to now grasp the concept of at least structruing a good album. It starts off heavy in the first few songs, then slows down a bit. The middle of the album features "Dedication" which leads directly into the heartfelt "Someone, Somwhere" which features entirely clean vocals and is by far the best track on here. Afterwards, the album picks back up some speed and eventually ends with the epic "Morte et Dabo" where Danny's basically high as a kite or drunk and is calling out God in anger. At least that's what I picked up from the song. Asking Alexandria have abandoned most of the stuff they needed to, mainly the overuse of electronics and the retarded song titles. I sure hope they continue to show this sort of improvement in future efforts. At the Skylines The Secrets To LifeCan't help but to say this sounds generic at times, but that doesn't mean it's that bad. For me the CD took a little while to pick up, but "Let's Burn This" and "Turbulence" were placed perfectly in the middle to catch my attention. Overall it's nothing special, but nothing that bad either. It almost sounds like the band doesn't know what they want their sound to be. It's light and poppy one minute, and then takes a turn for heavy the next. I guess this isn't bad since it kinda adds variety, but they need to find their sound so they don't get categorized as just another generic "scenecore" band.Becoming The Archetype I AmNever really have followed these guys, but I really enjoyed listening to this album for the most part. The first three songs, especially "The Eyes of the Storm", are the best tracks on the album, but they probably should have spread them out better because the last half of the album doesn't pack as big of a punch. Not really a fan of the instrumental on here either. It just didn't seem like a good segway between tracks and was just kind of random. Regardless, this was a good album.Black Tide Post MortemThe originality that was shown in their debut is virtually gone on their sophmore effort. That being said, Post Mortem is not a bad record at all. Most will curse it immediately just for it's mainstream and commercial appeal, but it should be given a chance. The album is still riddled with some good lyrics and catchy choruses. The opening track features Matt Tuck from BFMV and is nothing amazing like it could have been, but still is very enjoyable. The third single "That Fire" is in my opinion the best song on the alum, as I find myself always singing along to the very catchy chorus. Black Tide seem to have grown up a little bit, but by sacrificing the sound we all fell in love with from the beginning. It'll be interesting to see what they do next. Black Veil Brides Set the World on FireI really don't see what all the fuss is honestly. BVB released an album that DEFINITELY won't add anything new or ground breaking, but at the same time wasn't all that bad. Many people cast this band away automatically when seeing the glam metal look, when in all honestly, rock and metal would not be where it is today without it. Just like the grunge movement that followed, glam metal was part of rock and roll evolution whether we like it or not. Hell even metal greats like Pantera used to be influenced by glam metal (See albums before Cowboys from Hell). Not having prejudice against their image, I decided to give this album a chance. The only part that stood out to me at all was the guitar work. It kept the songs interesting enough for me to keep going, but not enough to make this a standout record by any means. The drums seem like they're just there because they have to be, and offer nothing special. The vocals can tend to be very generic mostly, except for the end of "Saviour" where I do applaud him for throwing in some screams even if they aren't that amazing. With all of this said, I do applaud BVB for trying to be different. They just need to emphasize this "difference" in their music more than their appearance. The album still was and will continue to be an enjoyable and fun listen.Bush The Sea of MemoriesAfter 10 years of waiting, Bush is finally back with a new record. While nothing will probably be able to replicate the success or admiration that Sixteen Stone brought, Bush still manages to make a pretty good album here. Good lyrics and vocals by Gavin as always that are followed by guitars that are pretty catchy at times (opening of "All My Life") but just seem average at other times. "The Sound of Winter" being the first single, is probably one of the best tracks if not the best on the album. The Sea of Memories is not a bad album at all and is definitely worth a listen to. Eat a Helicopter Descend Into DarknessA step in the right direction, the band shows some improvement. The name of the band is very deceiving. Some consider them automatically to be a joke or some kind of electronica band, but never would think they're actually a good deathcore band. Figuring this band would be a joke, I decided to check them out and gladly ate my words for once. The vocals are absolutely impeccable through all 5 songs, as is the drumming. The guitar work is less so at times due simply to the fact that it's deathcore which isn't really known for its intricate guitar work. Though the album art and some of the lyrics may seem retarded (Blood Dynasty which is about zombies), the vocals and instrumentation pick up the slack. These guys are definitely worth checking out.Five Finger Death Punch American CapitalistFive Finger doing what they do best: speaking their mind and kicking ass. They've always been very upfront lyrically which is one of the main things I love about them. The first two tracks are my favorite even though they do sound very similar especially in the openings. There are also some tracks that lean toward a more mainstream feel which doesn't bother me but may bother others that hate when bands do that. Either way, the recycled formula 5FDP keeps using continues to work and provides some good ass kicking American metal m/For the Fallen Dreams Back BurnerNot their best works by any means, but still not bad. This band does have good talent, but 2 of the members are now gone as mentioned before. There are some catchy choruses mainly "Deep Down Inside", but for the most part the cleans tend to feel forced and out of place at times. "Fist Fight" is the only song on the album without them, and is comonly referred to as the best track on the album. This should speak for itself right there. Hopefully after having some experience with this new lineup, FTFD will do better in their future endeavors. Relasing Wasted Youth in less than 2 years tells me that maybe they weren't happy with Back Burner. Hopefully they will have fixed their mistakes and returned to the great sounds of Relentless.I, the Breather Truth and PurposeOne can't help but think to themself if they haven't heard some of this stuff before. Whether it be from their first album or something from one of August Burns Red's earlier albums, Truth and Purpose can at times sound all too familiar. Either way, these guys have made a pretty solid record. Nothing ground breaking but let's be honest, almost nobody nowadays makes anything that is ground breaking or original. ITB continue to rehearse their formula and do it with success. Truth and Purpose is an enjoyable album that features some good highlights, such as the clean vocals hidden in a few songs and the instrumental "Lunar" which is a nice break in the middle of the album. Overall an enjoyable listen that isn't so repetitive that it's worth a replays.Impending Doom There Will Be ViolenceI still like this one better than their next one Baptized In Filth. There Will Be Violence is a good solid album. Expectations are set high with the blood pumping instrumental "Hell Breaks Loose", and the rest of the album does not dissappoint. The sheer brutality ID brings again and again is a sound that few can mirror. The vocals of Vincent Bennett on "The Great Fear" just add to that brutality and help make this a verry good record and one of my favorites.Impending Doom Baptized in FilthThis is one of those albums that grows on me the more I listen to it. They are really beginning to improve as a band. Probably the best part of the album is the shocking "My Light Unseen". It features clean vocals and good lyrics. While completely unexpected, it really adds to the album and shows that ID is not afraid to take some chances and experiment a bit. That in my opinion is a sign of a band that is growing and showing improvement.Lifecurse PropheciesPretty good for a debut album. As with any debut, there's room for improvement, but this band seems to have the potential to make their next record an even better one.Miss May I MonumentI don't understand why this album gets so much hate? It's NOT THAT BAD. Sure it doesn't bring anything new to the table, but there's only so many "new things" you can bring into a genre. What do you want them to do? Play fucking polka? The album offers some diamonds in the rough, such as "Relentless Chaos" and "Masses of a Dying Breed", which show the last glimpse of somewhat decent vocals Ryan Neff had left before before At Heart. The furious pace of the title track made it a fun listen as well. You'll find nothing new here, but it's the last decent album this band has and probably WILL ever make. More Than A Thousand Vol. 4 Make Friends and EnemiesPortugese metal?! Yes Portugese metal. Sounds like a joke honestly, but these guys are the farthest thing from that. Though some may call say this is a bit on the generic side, it still is good. The vocals are great throughout especially the cleans. There is some just plain damn catchy things on this album from the guitar work to the "3,2,1 It's alive! It's alive!". This album definitely not only puts these guys on the map but also opens the door for an entire country which is a feat in itself.My Darkest Days Sick and Twisted AffairHonestly, it's hard to tell if this was better than their debut or not. Both records have some good tracks on them, but in total lack the potential it could have. My Darkest Days is a great band with one of my favorite vocalists Matt Walst, and some guitars that are very capable as we've seen at times, meaning they have great potential. However, certain tracks like "Casual Sex" hold them back as they're very cliche and too made for radio if you know what I mean. In one word generic. On the other hand, songs such as "Sick and Twisted Affair" and "Perfect" are very catchy and have me walking around the house singing the chorus. All in all, Sick and Twisted Affair is a good mainstream rock album, but I really hope MDD's next release is a complete one that showcases all of their talent and features no cliche generic tracks.Oceans Ate Alaska Into The DeepA very solid EP that showcases another young band with much potential. Instrumentation is excellent throughout, but the clean vocals seemed a little out of place and unecessary at times. Overall, Into The Deep is a solid EP that leaves me filled with anticipation for the band's next effort.Of Mice and Men Of Mice & MenWhat is usually true for most bands can be seen for these guys in the fact that this is not as good as their sophmore effort. Once again the high point of this album, and of the band frankly is Shayley Bourget's excellent vocals. The cleans of songs such as "Second and Sebring" and "The Ballad..." just seem carry the song and is pretty much the case for the rest. Not to discredit the rest of the band, but there just wasn't anything that really stood out unlike on The Flood. You live and you learn I guess, because OMM fixed what was wrong and sounded like an actually complete band on their second effort. I along with everyone else now have no idea what kind of turn the band will take without Shayley. After all, he is the highlight of this album and this band.Sienna Skies Truest Of ColoursI know that they're part of their sound, but honestly this record would be fine without the synths. Actually, it would make the record better. The vocals and overall instrumentation are good enough to stand on its own in my opinion. Hopefully as the band begins to grow, they will realize this and put less of an emphasis on them.The Acacia Strain Death Is the Only MortalBasically the same as Wormwood, but with a little show of possibly improvement coming their way. tAS has always been known for their chug-heavy and breakdown laden songs, but there are a few things out of the norm that make this album better. There are actually some riffs on certain songs (Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow/Brain Death) to name a few. The album also has a much better closing than Wormwood's absolutely dreadful "Tactical Nuke". House of Abandon features such things as a solo and piano in it that give the album and band some much needed variety. Speaking of variety, if you're looking for it lyrically, this album is not for you, but it is if heavy, chugging, nihilistic, mosh worthy music is what you're searching for.The Burial Lights and PerfectionsThought is was a pretty good listen. They managed not to overuse certain things and become repetitve like most unexperienced metal bands have a tendency to do. The vocals were one thing I really liked, also the difference of how the songs begin. Some have a sort of ambient sound to them, while others just punch you in the face and don't let up from the get go. Salt and Wrath is my favorite due to the acoustic opening that sets sort of a grim tone and really carries the song to the end. A good record from these guys.War of Ages Return To LifeI knew it would be hard to top Eternal, but thought this was a pretty solid album. Regardless of religious beliefs, one has to appreciate the excellent musicmanship WOA has. The harsh vocals of Leroy Hamp are surpassed only by the shredding of the duel guitar assault. Both of these factors are apparent all the way through. The only exception is the instrumental "M.E.B" which is just acoustic and simply beautiful. If I had to choose a favorite, I'd have to go with "Fallen Idol". It starts off with a nice riff and then opens with a group chant "We are the children of promise..." making it a very catchy song. Love the solo that's thrown down too toward the end.We Came As Romans Understanding What We've Grown to BeI find this to be just a notch better than their first, but the two have some similarities. Just like the first album, there are some standout tracks "A War Inside" and "What My Heart Held" to name a few, but also their are some filler tracks. In order to be a great album, there has to be no filler and usually more experience, so maybe WCAR can do it in the next few years. They didn't overuse the electronics/keyboards in this one, and both vocalists seem to have improved a bit. As far as the rest of the band goes, they have never really been impressive, but they are good enough to make it an enjoyable record worth a few spins.Wolves at the Gate We Are the OnesIf you take away the cheesy intro this EP is great. The cleans are one of the best parts of the record and really shine through at times. Lyrically, it's pretty good and they don't shove the christian stuff straight in your face which is a misake some religious bands do. Overall it's a well-produced enjoyable listen that shows this group can possibly make some noise in the future. 2.5 averageBon Jovi What About NowA career spanning three decades could and SHOULD offer so much more. It's sad to see Bon Jovi continually falling deeper by trying to make records that "fit in with the times". Now, some of it worked because I thought "Crush" and ESPECIALLY "Bounce" worked out pretty good. However, we used to love yall for your heavy riffs and anthem-like choruses, so you should stick with that or simply stop making music. That way we don't have TOO many albums to sift through while backtracking in order to find the good stuff. Born of Osiris Tomorrow We Die AliveOne of the most talented around, the band should and could have done so much more with this release. After releasing such an amazing album in The Discovery, Born of Osiris really need to take the advice of the lyrics in "Machine", and take a look at themselves to ask what went wrong. Maybe they let the fame go to their head and got careless, or maybe the lack of guitarist Jason Richardson on this album is what pushed them to focus more on the synthesizers. Whatever the case, hopefully Born of Osiris will find their way back on the path that lead to their Ascension. Tomorrow We Die Alive was not awful, but by releasing it Born of Osiris falls into a category I never would have fathomed they would: average.Disturbed AsylumCompared to their last release, I was slightly dissappointed being a Disturbed fan. No matter how good the vocals and instrumentation are, many of the songs sound similar if not the same. This of course is a bit of a problem and tends to make the record forgettable. Honestly my favorite part of the CD were the two covers at the end. After Disturbed announced their hiatus it honestly was not that much of a surprise, as it seemed they weren't as driven after releasing Asylum. But don't get me wrong, this still isn't a bad album. Either way, it's the last we have of Disturbed until they hopefully one day get back together and release something better.Iodine An Abyss At NightfallAn epic scream is let out at the beginning of the opening line, which kind of falsely sets the tone for this EP. Not to say that it's not good, but it's nothing spectacular. Just ran across this band a few minutes ago actually, and I have to say they have made a solid metalcore album. Metalcore nowadays is considered to be a generic genre by most. Unfortunately, this is the case here. There are still some good highlights within. Mainly the lyrics and vocals, but there are some nice guitar parts as well. To be perfectly frank, Iodine releases a solid EP that doesn't add much to an already "dead" genre, but is not bad at all. With some work, they can make an even better second effort with the potential they have showcased.Linkin Park Living ThingsChester has always had a good voice, but not good enough to carry an album as is the case here. Fuck changing with the times I along with with everyone else that used to love LP back in the day want to hear Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Even though that whole movement is dead, I'm pretty sure a record like that would perform better than the bullshit they've been putting out since then. I really do not know who I am listening to, and if it weren't for the name of the artist, this album would not perform as well as it's going to. Now all of that being said, Living Things isn't absolutely terible. It's a notch better than A Thousand Suns but honestly nobody knew what the hell that was. I only wish LP woud return to their signature and award-winning sound one day because many including myself would welcome back nu-metal with open arms if it meant getting something better than what has been released the past two times.Nickelback All the Right ReasonsIt's Nickelback. This of course means one thing. It's nothing great, but not as bad as everyone says it is. Sure there is plenty of filler which is enough to make anyone cringe, but there are still some good tracks regardless. The opening track "Follow You Home" is a real pleasant shocker due to the heavier than normal sound we're used to hearing from Nickelback. The same goes for "Side of A Bullet" which about Dimebag's tragic death and features some sick pre-recorded riffs from the man himself. "Animals" is a guilty pleasure of mine... for a few reasons I can't say ;) , but also due to the nice instrumentation. Sure the tailor made radio ballads like "Photograph" were expected, but they are still executed nicely. Nickelback made a fairly decent mainstream rock record that brings nothing new as always.Oceano ContagionThough not by much, Contagion does surpass Oceano's debut Depths. Seems like being "brutal" is all they focus on. The overuse of breakdowns just seems repetitive and honestly makes it unenjoyable at times. However, there are things such as "Exist In Confinement" which offers the diversity we've all been begging for since their first album. The vocals show improvement as well which is a plus. They are scheduled to release a new album in 2013, so if the Mayans aren't right hopefully we'll get to see if Oceano continues to improve.Seraph What It Takes To Kill A GodDefinitely not a bad first outing, but nothing spectacular either. There is at times some interesting guitars on here. Also some good vocals and drumming at times, but it's really hard to make something original in this genre. Still a decent record that some may enjoy more than others. It really depends on personal preference.The Faceless AutotheismAbsolutely nothing special to me on this one. There was just too much flying around to make it a cohesive record. Clean vocals and prog elements were added to make it a different kind of record from what we're used to, but honestly it just ended up being a chaotic mess that I criticized more than I enjoyed.Winds Of Plague Against the WorldThis is one of those albums that I don't hate, but don't love at the same time. There are some nice transitions that give it some good flow and some very catchy stuff (I fear no evil, evil fucking fears me!). There are however some things that feel a little out of place such "California". I expected Snoop Dogg or somebody to walk out, it was completely random. Overall not a bad album, but not a great one either. It will be interesting to see what WOP has to offer us next.Within the Ruins InvadeWithin The Ruins offers some very good instrumentation, yet some average and predictable lyrics. The drums are very nice and constantly offer something good for every song. There's some pretty fierce guitar work showcased here, which is probably my favorite part of the album. The vocalist is also good in his own right at times, but his material could be a little more original. I can't help but feel like I've heard these lyrics before from some other deathcore band, because I probably have. Maybe on their next album they'll offer some more originality.2.0 poorAsking Alexandria From Death to DestinyVery disappointed just like I knew I would be knowing Danny's voice would not be the same. In my opinion, it was his vocals that made the last album better than average. "From Death To Destiny" just felt very uninspired, as if the band said well it's time to make another album and just made it for the sake of having one. Nothing special really stands out to me on this album, but I can't bring myself to give them any lower of a rating. I've always had a soft spot for theses guys, but they're really starting to push it. Thank God for the guest vocals of Howard Jones that save the album toward the end, and keep it from being a total loss. Even then, his vocals ALSO get watered down with synthesizers and unnecessary studio production. Hopefully AA can find an answer and some needed inspiration within the next few years, or they're going to be in even worse jeopardy of losing the fans that aren't scene kids who still need their moms to drop them off at the concert.For the Fallen Dreams Wasted YouthI never thought I'd be giving one of my favorite bands this low of a rating. People are making all kinds of puns off the album name, so I will too :p The album should've been called wasted time due to the time not only I wasted listening to it, but the time the band wasted in the studio to make it. The vocals just sound uninspired which is completely opposite of their best album Relentless. Did all hope go out the door with Tkaczyk?! I was certainly hoping not. There are bands that can survive without the founding members and still make a good album. In Flames is a great example of this. Too bad FFTD couldn't even stand in the shadow of those guys let alone on the same stage as them. It sucks to have to bash one of my favorite bands, but hopefully the negative criticism will force them to bring a new formula and some inspiration back into their music.Miss May I At HeartRead their article in AP and appreciate what they're trying to do. Miss May I is known for their crushing breakdowns and majority of "scene" fans, but they wanted to make an album that has no labels knowing the true fans such as yours truly would stick by them no matter what. I appreciate their effort to try and make something different, but.... THEY DIDN'T DO THAT. Neff's vocals are very monotone AT BEST. On the other hand, Levi's vocals seemed to have improved from past efforts. I HAD hope that they would take their own advice and change things up a bit, but after hearing the new 2014 album. I'M DONE GUYS, BYE! Motionless in White InfamousI've only listened to the whole album once, so that right there tells you that it has no replay value. Sure there are some songs that are guilty pleasures (Devil's Night, A-M-E-R-I-C-A), but the latter of the two sounds like a Marilyn Manson B-side. The opener "Black Damask" and the song "Burned At Both Ends" offer some fast tempo riffs and kind of catchy hooks, but more than just a few songs have to be good in order for an album to be good. Chris' leads are really powerful as expected, but they aren't enough to carry the album. The lyrics, as mentioned in the review, are just GOD AWFUL. This is a real disappointment as MIW have wiped out any potential that their debut Creatures showcased. Nickelback Here and NowI have to admit, I've always been a bit of a closet Nickelback fan. They aren't as bad as everyone says. In fact most people hate them because of their mainstream popularity which is fucking retarded in my opinion. I'm actually ashamed to call myself anything of a fan after this album. It is very generic and seems to have no common idea throughout. Party anthems like "Bottoms Up" have no business being followed by songs like "When We Stand Together". Any good producer would know this and correct it. Basically just another made for money radio record that has more than enough of its share of radio ballads and generic songs about drinking and sex. I will give them credit however for the nice and heavy instrumentation of songs like "Bottoms Up" and "This Means War" that make them enjoyable. You get what you expect with this band so everyone just needs to accept that and quit bitching about it because there's nothing that can be done when too many people like them. However, I will say that those who absolutely love this band honestly do not know music, but those who hate them won't change their mind either. Oceano DepthsHonestly there is nothing commendable on this album. Recycled breakdown after breakdown after breakdown. Sure it sounds brutal, but a band can only get so far on sheer brutality. There are instances such as "District of Misery" that help the album. Everything especially the drums are good on that song. The vocals aren't comprehensible most of the time, so I had no idea what the songs were about until I looked it up. Very average stuff to say the least from a band that can potentially and hopefully will do more.1.5 very poorEmmure Slave to the GameMaybe the criticism they receive for this album will convince Emmure that they should wait longer than 14 months before releasing a new album. It would be worth the wait if it means more time and diversity is put into it. Speaker of the Dead wasn't actually too bad in my opinion. There were a few songs that were ok, but there is not much to salvage from Slave to the Game. Frankie is at times incomprehensible as usual, but maybe that's just me. As predicted, there is an overuse of breakdowns, and an underuse of diversity. There is however a bit of melody used on a few tracks. Some elctronics are used here too (though not well). None the less, these factors show that Emmure may be trying to gradually change their sound. This is of course an advisable thing to do, if they want their fanbase to be more than just confused teenagers who are angry at the world.Relumara RevelationsI hate to bash a band that's trying to get big, but it's honestly nothing that I haven't already heard. The vocals can be much better, especially the cleans. They are just awful, and the songs would be twice as good without them. Honestly trying to start a new metalcore band isn't a good idea since no one's much into it anymore and it's very hard to make something original in that genre.1.0 awfulThe Browning Burn This WorldTake away the synths and what do you get? Nothing but some of the most generic metal you will ever hear. I guess they figured what they lacked in musical and lyrical substance could be compensated for with overused synths and breakdowns. Trying to fuse different genres together and then falling flat on your face is not inginuity, it's idiocracy. The scene kids will go crazy over this shit though. They'll listen to it since nobody else does because it's "too hardcore". Wrong! No one listens to it because it's just garbage that record companies put out because they know the scene kids will love it. The only song worth anything is "Bloodlust". It can be quite catchy at times when the synths aren't overused and would be better if it was about half as long as it is to avoid repetivtiveness. The vocals overall aren't that bad either, but the terrrible lyrics, boring instrumentation, overused breakdowns, and overused synths completely ruin everything. I guess their name The Browning is appropriate since what we have here is nothing but a pile of shit.
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