Soundoffs 8
Album Ratings 36
Objectivity 60%

Last Active 11-25-09 3:26 am
Joined 11-25-09

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Review Comments 36

Average Rating: 4.05
Rating Variance: 0.77
Objectivity Score: 60%
(Somewhat Balanced)


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5.0 classic
32 Leaves Panoramic
People usually start a band because they love to play music together, because they think that they can bring something fresh to music, and because they have something to say. 32 Leaves did just that with their A Perfect Circle sounding debut “Welcome To The Fall” in 2005. It is now 2009 and this band has encountered being dropped from their label, to being picked up and dropped again, and now finally they decided to just release their sophomore album independently. I was highly anticipating the album, even more after they promised a deep album with no “jock jams” but instead, songs that have deep meaning and inspiration. Their music has been labeled for the pensive and the brooding. I think a more accurate label would be for the searching, and the motivated, for the free thinker, etc.

1. Intro (0:27) N/A
2. Protocol (2:50) 10/10
3. Disarray (2:42) 10/10
4. Way Beyond (3:54) 10/10
5. Seal My Fate (3:20) 10/10
6. Slave (3:36) 10/10
7. Sideways (3:20) 9/10
8. Human (3:51) 10/10
9. Erase All Memory (3:24) 10/10
10. Safe Haven (4:38) 10/10
11. Endless Shadow (4:02) 10/10
12. No Meaning (2:55) 10/10
13. Only Want To Mend (3:59) 10/10

Overall: 13 tracks, @ 42:20 10/10

This album is great. A modern hard rock band that manages to sound like nobody else but themselves. These songs are urgent, and are lyrically and vocally strong. The guitars are noodly and fool of effects. If I had to compare them though I would say they are a mix of A Perfect Circle and 10 Years; 10 Years is my favorite band so this is a huge compliment from me. These songs just have atmosphere and attitude. These songs make you feel and listen; instead of just listening. One of my favorite melodic hard rock albums of 2009.
All That Remains The Fall of Ideals
As I Lay Dying The Powerless Rise
As I Lay Dying An Ocean Between Us
Breaking Benjamin Saturate
Circa Survive On Letting Go
Circa Survive Blue Sky Noise
Every Time I Die New Junk Aesthetic
Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything to Nothing
Manchester Orchestra is a band for me that came out of nowhere. Upon further research though, I come to find out that they had a highly praised debut album, I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child back in 2006 and that this new album, Mean Everything To Nothing, received a perfect 5 star review from Alternative Press magazine. Apparently I was behind the band wagon for awhile. I fell in love with “I’ve Got Friends” and then I decided to check out their entire album. I was blown away. Indie music isn’t usually my preferred genre of music but there is just something about this album, not something; but rather, everything about this album is amazing.

1. The Only One (2:39) 10/10
2. Shake It Out (5:11) 10/10
3. I’ve Got Friends (4:57) 10/10
4. Pride (5:48) 10/10
5. In My Teeth (4:42) 10/10
6. 100 Dollars (1:50) 10/10
7. I Can Feel A Hot One (4:19) 10/10
8. My Friend Marcus (3:41) 10/10
9. Tony The Tiger (3:09) 9.5/10
10. Mean Everything To Nothing (5:38) 10/10
11. The River/Jimmy He Whispers (11:34) 10/10

Overall: 11 @ 53:25 - 10/10

Ever since I started to learn about different types of music, Indie music was always intriguing to me, but what happened was that I could never find one band that really interested me. When I heard this band I finally knew that this is what I wanted, and this is what I needed to hear. This album tows all sorts of lines. It’s just the perfect amount of weird (read: Indie), with the perfect amount of catchiness. The dynamics are INSANE; the perfect amount of loud gritty, dirty, raw guitars with beautiful guitar melodies, and note for note perfect piano melodies from Chris. Chris’s little touches to every song are so important. Andy Hull’s vocals are so delicate, fragile, and emotional at times, and then so gritty, raw, and biting at other times. This man is a beast at 22, and I see no stopping him.

Lyrically Andy’s writing is superb. Some of the lyrics are enigmatic and cryptic. Others, you can really here how much forgiveness this man thinks that he needs. They are hopeful, and hopeless. Sometimes they feel really spiritual, others almost nihilistic, and at all times they are 100 percent honest, and personal.

The guitar work is refreshing. The guitar work is some of the best of the year. Trust me, if you like guitars, you will like this album. The drum work is subtle, and explosive. The bass lines, are, exactly how they should be.

The flow of this album is so smooth. Every song flows right into each other seamlessly. This album has alternative songs, catchy songs, grungy songs, dark and brooding hard rock songs, an acoustic and string laced song, etc. These songs are Indie at the same time they are catchy enough to be on the radio without sacrificing any substance. In fact, that word truly sums up this album; substance. And so does perfect, and complete, and balanced. I could keep going on and on about this album but I wont.

Buy this album.
Suicide Silence No Time to Bleed
Who would of guessed that Suicide Silence would of graced the cover of Revolver magazine this past year? The cover of the month before had Slayer and Marilyn Manson on it. For a band like Suicide Silence to grace the cover; it’s a big deal. This band has been touring endlessly since 2005, and has become polarizing. Old metal elitists despise this band calling them “scene”, and the new “nu-metal,” while other like Dallas, formerly of God Forbid, loves this modern metal, dubbed “deathcore” by metal snobs who forbid themselves from calling it just “metal”, and thinks that Suicide Silence is on the verge to bust out. The sound? Heavy, dense, brutal, loud, and aggressive. This is as modern as death metal, mixed with hardcore breakdowns can sound. They also are heavily influenced by bands like KoRn, Deftones, and Slipknot. This, their second album, “No Time To Bleed”, could make or break ‘em.

1. Wake Up (3:48) 8.5/10
2. Lifted (4:08) 10/10
3. Smoke (3:09) 10/10
4. Something Invisible (2:58) 10/10
5. No Time To Bleed (2:22) 10/10
6. Suffer (3:57) 10/10
7. …Then She Bled (Instrumental) (3:56) 10/10
8. Wasted (3:13) 10/10
9. Your Creations (4:00) 10/10
10. Genocide (2:18) 10/10
11. Disengage (4:03)

Overall: 11 @ 37:45 10/10

“No Time To Bleed” starts off with an extremely heavy and catchy song, the single “Wake Up”, this combines everything that was their debut album, all into one song. A great song, but ends up being slightly repetitive, but the breakdown at the end is perfect.
“Lifted” has little dark melodies that sound like KoRn, mixed with a killer and heavy groove. This song was a grower at first, but now I love it. The next four songs, leading up to the instrumental, are fantastic; each having multiple sections that are awesome and keep me coming back. The instrumental, “…And Then She Bled” is so creepy; it’s this terrible phone call to 9/11 from this girl who is screaming about her friend being stabbed, and she is bleeding and dying, played behind of Suicide Silence playing a heavy, and groovy song that fit’s the call to a T. The last four songs of the album are song of their absolute best; ending with what might be their best song ever, “Disengage”. This album is a really great album, that destroys their debut. This album took a few more times to really sink in and to digest, but when I did, the progression is there, and this band seems unstoppable
The Dillinger Escape Plan Option Paralysis

4.5 superb
As I Lay Dying Shadows Are Security
Every Time I Die The Big Dirty
Parabelle A Summit Borderline/A Drop Oceanic
Parabelle is a brand new band that contains an ex member of Framing Hanley, and the original singer of Evans Blue, Kevin Matisyn, who had minor success on the radio with “Cold (But I’m Still Here)”. Evans Blue released two albums and then a major fall out happened, and then the remaining members of the band went back and forth with Matisyn online. It got ugly, but finally both the band, and Matisyn moved on. Evans Blue has since then found a new singer and released a third album. Matisyn went full force, quickly writing a double albums worth of material, in one year or so. Parabelle combines current genres such as screamo, and hard rock, with Matisyn’s polarizing, emotional vocals and heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics. I knew that I loved Matisyn’s vocals and lyrics with Evans Blue, but I didn’t know what to expect with Parabelle. Here’s my take on “A Summit Borderline”, the first disc of their debut double album.

1. Pray To The Pessimist (3:56) 10/10
2. Are You Alarmed? (4:10) 10/10
3. Atonement (4:11) 10/10
4. The Conversation Ends (4:37) 10/10
5. He Started Off Well (4:14) 8.5/10
6. First (4:00) 10/10
7. Face This Charade (3:46) 9/10
8. Whore (3:26) 9/10
9. When The Last Words Are Sighs (4:00) 9/10
10. A Summit Borderline (7:10) 10/10

Overall: 10 songs @ 43:24 9/10

I remember being blown away the first time I heard the album. Every song just had parts that I loved, and the more I play it, the more the chorus’ got stuck in my head, the more the melodies stick, etc. Whether it’s the HUGE chorus of “Pray To The Pessimist”, the awesome screaming section in “The Conversation Ends”, the awesome breakdown riff of “First”, the Chiodos meets Korn guitar squeals of “When The Last Words Are Sighs” or the epic, ambient album closer, “A Summit Borderline”, this album just has many parts that still keep me coming back. The albums sound like a little heavier, and less produced version of Evans Blue, with the guitar lines and melodies of all of these modern noodly bands, say a Circa Survive, or the likes. This band is a very good modern band, with influences coming from a lot of directions. The production isn’t the best, and that’s simply because the band really had no label pushing it, and they paid for the costs. Some people think it takes away from the album, but it’s not that bad at all. People are just spoiled because most albums have so much gloss and perfection. This album’s production is just fine. Overall, I had no expectations coming into it, and I can say that now I will if this band releases more stuff, cause they are really capable. I thoroughly enjoy “ A Summit Borderline.”
The Human Abstract Digital Veil
Underoath Lost in the Sound of Separation
Underoath Disambiguation

4.0 excellent
10 Years Feeding the Wolves
Brandon Boyd The Wild Trapeze
Ill Nino Revolution/Revolucion
Taproot Plead the Fifth
The Contortionist Apparition
I just listened to this band after checking out random sites, and I had no idea what I was gonna hear and WOW, I was impressed. This is exactly what I wanted to hear; "The Price Of Existence"-era All Shall Perish meets BTBAM melodic parts. This CD is awesome.
The Contortionist Exoplanet
War of Ages Arise and Conquer

3.5 great
As I Lay Dying Frail Words Collapse
Circa Survive Juturna
Jimmy Eat World Invented
Killswitch Engage Killswitch Engage II
This album sort of came out under the radar to the music world. When KSE broke out with “Alive Of Just Breathing” and then broke out again, with a new singer, with “The End Of Heartache” this band was “it.” They didn’t start this combination of melding metal with hardcore, “metalcore” which it is now called, but they definitely brought it to the forefront of the music scene. Time passed, and hundreds of different bands stole that sound, beating it to the ground, and now every other band you hear plays this music.
KSE did release “As Daylight Dies” in 2006, and I absolutely love that album, and was anticipating this new self titled record. Here’s my take…

1. Never Again (3:09) 9/10
2. Starting Over (3:51) 8/10
3. The Forgotten (3:18) 9/10
4. Reckoning (2:48) 10/10
5. The Return (4:29) 8/10
6. A Light In The Darkened World (2:51) 8/10
7. Take Me Away (2:46) 10/10
8. I Would Do Anything (3:22) 10/10
9. Save Me (3:47) 8.5/10
10. Lost (3:45) 8.5/10
11. This Is Goodbye (4:17) 10/10

Overall: 11 @ 38:10 8.5/10

Something just isn’t quite hitting the bull’s-eye. Of course, they play the hell out of their instruments, the production is expensive and clear, and their aren’t any songs that are just bombs, but…to me, this band is capable, at this stage, for a lot more. Most of these songs are credible, and good, but musically and structurally, they just haven’t really experimented much. Vocally, Howard Jones is perfect. His singing is note for note perfect, and his screams are scathing. He is a completely versatile vocalist. They have just wrote these songs before, and a tad bit better. At the same time, like I said, this album is good, if not great, and songs like “The Reckoning” and “I Would Do Anything” are perfect KSE songs, I just know that these guys could potentially put out something that completely changed the sound of mainstream metal again. “The Return”, “Take Me Away”, and “Lost” are the softest stuff they every wrote and mostly feature clean, singing vocals from Howard. Their pop, and catchy side has progressed, but their metal side hasn’t, and that is what I want to see. Either way, I’m only being hard on them because I love their records, and I know how talented these guys are. A great, albeit a little underwhelming, record, from a band that has potential to be the best.
War of Ages Eternal

3.0 good
All That Remains This Darkened Heart
Bleeding Through Bleeding Through
Secret And Whisper Teenage Fantasy
The Agonist Lullabies for the Dormant Mind
The Agonist is a female fronted progressive death metal band from the great white north, Canada. “Lullabies For The Dormant Mind” is their sophomore album that was hyped as an “album ahead of it’s time”, by it’s label, Century Media. Bottom line is this is a modern metal band that infuses hardcore, death metal, deathcore, metal core, and black metal, with sometimes menacing vocals, and sometimes orchestral and soaring clean vocals; in short: polarizing.

1. The Tempest (4:46) 9/10
2. …And Their Eulogies Sang Me To Sleep (3:32) 9/10
3. Thank You, Pain (3:45) 9/10
4. Birds Elope With The Sun (4:30) 9/10
5. Waiting Out the Winter (4:03) 8/10
6. Martyr Art (4:31) 7.5/10
7. Globus Hystericus (3:41) 9/10
8. Swan Lake (A Cappella) (2:53) N/A
9. The Sentient (3:39) 8.5/10
10. When the Bough Breaks (4:13) 9/10
11. Chlorpromazine (4:07 ) 7/10

Overall: 11 tracks, @ 43:38 8/10

This album sounds exactly like I thought it would. You see, their debut album “One Only Imagined” was formulaic. Breakdowns littered every song, and it wasn’t as technical as it wanted you to think it was, if you know what I mean. I knew that this band would branch out to incorporate more types of metal, and use less breakdowns, and they would try and appear more extreme, and unique. Well…they tried that. But at times, I feel like you can hear that they tried to sound that way, it doesn’t come across natural for this band. And while being way more technical and intricate, some of the song writing was thrown in the recycle bin.

So while “Once Only Imagined” was more connect-the-dots metal, I liked it that way; I enjoyed the breakdowns, and I enjoyed the structure, and the songs were well written modern metalcore.

Musically: This album contains great guitar work; there are death metal riffs, thrash riffs, progressive metal riffs, etc. Even a trace of black metal appears. This isn’t easy stuff to play. Chris’ bass lines shine through, in all their rumbling splendor on some tracks, most notably track one, “The Tempest”. Simon’s drumming isn’t what you would normally hear of a lot of records. Their are many fills and runs that keep the drumming interesting. Like I said, the songs sometimes feel like parts, instead of songs, but it is definitely above average in the musical skill department. The piano touches are nice too, a little added bonus.

Vocally: Alissa has a wide range of vocals. She uses a low guttural vocal; like a death metal vocalist, she uses a mid toned scream like a lot of hardcore and modern metal bands, and she uses a very clean operatic voice that makes her truly a triple threat. Sometimes her lows seem forced and cliché, but otherwise she is a very versatile vocalist. I don’t like all of the background harmonies that are going on in these songs this time around though. They seem to clutter the tracks and add nothing positive.

Lyrically: Alissa’s topics of choice are amazing. I really relate to what she writes about. She writes about personal feelings of death anxiety and depression, and loneliness in amazing, articulate and visual ways. But, she hit’s the bulls eye even more for me is that she writes about animal rights, the beauty (and decay) of nature, the connectedness of all, and the loveless life we encounter if we don’t understand the beauty of our home. Her lyrics are like “Ishmael” and “1984” mixed with personal, reflective, and soul barring journal entries. A + in my book.

So overall it is a solid record, even though my preceding paragraphs might seem otherwise. It just takes a few times for it all to sink in, and form songs if you will. It’s hard to pick between the two releases for me. The last song brings this down a half point to an 8/10 for me, as I think the quiet parts really bring it down. A good album from a band with crazy technical prowess. I’m gonna continue to listen to this band and enjoy the songs I love, and hope that one day they release a perfect album.

2.5 average
Papa Roach Metamorphosis
Just like the insect that they share their name with, Papa Roach is hardy and has been around for awhile now without any signs of slowing down. They titled this, their fifth album, “Metamorphosis, because they lost their original drummer; this is their first member change since they formed, and they said that they keep evolving their sound. Here is my take on this assumed “Metamorphosis”.

1. Days Of War (Intro) (1:25) N/A
2. Change Or Die (3:19) 8.5/10
3. Hollywood Whore (3:54) 8.5/10
4. I Almost Told You That I Loved You (3:12) 5/10
5. Lifeline (4:18) 10/10
6. Had Enough (4:02) 7/10
7. Live This Down (3:36) 7/10
8. March Out Of The Darkness (4:22) 7/10
9. Into The Light (3:28) 7/10
10. Carry Me (4:26) 7/10
11. Nights Of Love (5:16) 6/10
12. State Of Emergency (5:07) 6.5/10

Overall: 12 @ 46:20 7/10

I don’t know if my taste are just changing or what, but I just can’t really get into this album. Their last album “Paramour Sessions” was a great combination of hard rock, and alt metal, and is by far my favorite Papa Roach album. This album is a lot softer, and a lot more cock rock. “I Almost Told You That I Loved You” is straight Motley Crue meets Hinder, and I do think that was the plan. A terrible song that really makes me question this band. The intro song doesn’t do anything for me, and while some songs are decent, none of them have parts that make me want to put this album on…ever.

The best song is the lead single “Lifeline” solely because of the catchy riff and huge chorus. “Had Enough” is really boring, and mediocre. “Live This Down” is competent but could have been written by any other hard rock band out today. And lyrically, again, that track is just a trashy, revenge filled cracked out relationship song. Jacoby could do better then this.

Seriously I don’t know what I feel this way, but this album just bores me. I don’t feel the passion on this album. The songs are lackluster, and Horton’s riffs aren’t signature Horton this time. I understand a band changing, but this “metamorphosis” is definitely not an evolution, by any means. This album is average in a time where it’s relatively easy to find many bands that you love, that have excellent albums. People obsessed with this band might love it, but for me, it’s not really a transformation, but maybe a devolution. This album is mediocre, and at the bottom of Papa Roach’s discography.

2.0 poor
All That Remains Overcome
All That Remains Behind Silence and Solitude

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