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Born of Osiris-The Discovery Review

About a year ago if you asked me if I listened to, or even liked for that matter, Djent or Progressive Metal I would have told you Hell No.  Honestly, i’m not sure why I would have said that, I never gave it a fair shot back in the day and I was very comfortable in my bubble of Thrash and Death metal.  I didn’t see the need to expand my horizons, but of course closed minds and eyes never open so I decided to challenge myself and attend a Born of Osiris show in May of last year.  Since then I’ve become a huge fan of the group and Djent/Progressive Metal as well.  Right now i’m constantly looking for new bands to dive into and experience they musical talents they have to offer.  And its all thanks to that show and The Discovery.

The Discovery is Born of Osiris’s second studio album under the Sumerian Records banner.  Released in 2011 it features Ronnie Canizaro on vocals, Joe Buras on keyboards, Lee McKinnely and Jason Richardson on guitar, David Da Rocha on bass, Cameron Losch on drums, and finally the amazing artwork done by Cameron Clay.

This album is a technical masterpiece offering insane riffs with extremely high energy and intensity, The Discovery isnt hear for any light listening, no, this album his here to kick you in the ass and get you moving.  Better than coffee in my opinion.

The album starts off with Follow the Signs (link to the official video here) and dives head first into that intensity and energy previously mentioned.  The song is awesome as it rips through the crunching guitar and almost graceful melody that accompanies it.  Joe’s keyboard work on this song and others on this album is especially impressive as it does not take away from the intensity the song offers.  Instead, it accompanies and compliments the rest of the instruments, giving it a sense of calmness with it.  Its hard to describe but it adds an almost euphoric atmosphere to the music which in my opinion sets this song apart from some of the others on this album.  Other songs that exemplify this are Singularity, Dissimulation, Automatic Motion, and my personal favorite Regenerate.

The lyrics to the album are equally as impressive as they peak the curiosity of the listener to investigate and unravel the mystery Ronnie is trying to convey to us.  Not in a sense where you can not understand him, but rather like he is trying to tell us something important but he’s not spelling it out for us, its up to us, the listener, to understand the message he’s conveying.  I love lyrics like this, lyrics that make you think and force you the listener to make sense of it all.  The best example of this would be in the song Regenerate, click on the link above and listen to the song, you’ll understand what i’m trying to say.

Overall this album kicks ass, its an awesome record to listen to and because its so vastly different from the conventional metal sound it makes it all the more intriguing.  Give The Discovery a listen if you have the time. You wont regret it, I promise.

The History of Pantera

Pantera is one of the more important and influential heavy metal bands to come out in the last 20 years.  They were one of the few Metal bands that survived the great purge of the 90s and keep interest in metal alive in the mainstream thanks to their powerful sound and wild presence.  It seems that whenever I play any Pantera song my blood starts rushing in my veins and I gotta get moving, excellent work out music.  But, did you know that during the 1980s Pantera was a Glam band?

 

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Pantera during the 80s 

Ha! probably not an image you’d expect to see regarding how we all remember the band during their heyday.  Its not very much known by a lot of people that these guys were trying to make it big with typical 1980s Glam tracks and Ballads.  In fact its extremely hard to believe.  I remember when I first found out I was so stunned my jaw literally dropped. But we all start somewhere and at least we can all thank that they got their act together later and and gave us some of the best metal albums you can find.

So over the course of the next few weeks i’m going to go through the strange and interesting history of Pantera, covering their time as a 1980s glam band to the end when the band was no more.  I’ll review their records and any material I can find, as well as tell some interesting facts I could find of the band.  Hopefully you enjoy the ride.

 

Feel free to comment below and critique my writing in any constructive way, any help would be greatly appreciated.

R.I.P Chris Cornell

Man out of everyone to go, I never would have figured Chris Cornell of Soundgarden would be one of them.  Soundgarden was one of my favorite bands back in high school, being a child of the new millennium I was a bit late for the grunge movement, but that didn’t stop me I suppose, good music cannot be contained.  I remember vividly going onto old file sharing sites and downloading  TERRIBLE sounding mp3s of their songs individually.  Lol sorry guys, I’ve redemed myself by buying your music in recent times.  My favorite songs that I found were  “Room a Thousand Years Wide”, “Drawing Flies” and “Rusty Cage” off of their 3rd album “Badmotorfinger”.  I started playing them again after I heard of his passing and boy does it bring back old feelings and memories.  Its almost unbelievable that someone so talented and inspirational is gone.  Eddie Vedder is last of the grunge movement. Quick! Freeze him in some Ice!

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I think probably the most shocking part about this is how he passed.  Early on it was highly speculated that he had killed himself by hanging.  This was eventually confirmed by mainstream news outlets like NBC.  Once this was confirmed however his family began to speak out and claim that Chris wasent suicidal. Its been reported that after the set at the Fox Theater in Detroit he spoke with his wife Vicky on the phone.  She said he sounded different and was slurring his words quite a bit, that is when he dropped the information on her that he took one or two more of his prescribed Ativan pills than usual.  Ativan is a medication used for treating anixiety disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, and alcohol withdraw with some side effects ranging from muscle weakness to confusion, amnesia, and even more serious ones like depression and suicidal thoughts (list of Ativan side effects here).  Now i’m not a doctor of any sorts so I cannot make any calls as to what happened. Was Chris massively depressed and made a decision to end his life? Maybe. Was Chris under the influence of taking too much of his prescribed medication and committed suicide due to their adverse side effects? Maybe. We may never 100% know why he took his life, all we can do is make our speculations.  In the meantime if you or anyone you know is taking prescribed medication, please be smart, do not take more than you are prescribed and get all the info you need as to what your medication can mix with and what it can do to you, besides what it is supposed to treat you with.

In the end all I can say is R.I.P Chris. You’ll be missed.

What are some of your favorite Soundgarden memories? Specific Songs? Shows? Interviews? Feel free to comment.

Wrestlemania 33

I figured instead of write another review on an album I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past couple of weeks I would write about something else that has been on my mind for a little while.  As the title states I want to begin to talk about Wrestlemania 33, the upcoming WWE super card show that is taking place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando Florida.

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The Wrestlemania 33 Logo

This event has been poised to be a rather peculator edition of the annual supercard with Brock Lesnar taking on Bill Goldberg for the WWE Universal Title.  Only in professional wrestling can you see a 50 who was in his prime in 1998 challenge a 39 year old to the premier company title. Sarcasm removed I have to admit I am looking forward to this match a lot, it definitely wont be “match of the night” but it’ll be an interesting bout to see story wise.  Lesnar let Goldberg squash him in their past two encounters at the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series in traditional WCW Goldberg fashion so it will be interesting to see how Lesnar finally get his heat back since he is booked to win. This match will probably only be 10 minutes maximum  but it’ll complete the Lesnar vs Goldberg feud which has been a really interesting one this past year.

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Another match that i’m personally looking forward to see is the death of friendship match between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.  These two were the highlights of RAW this past year, keeping the show afloat with their wonderful chemistry together.  We all knew Kevin Owens was going to turn on “best buddy” Jericho sooner or later, but when it did no one was prepared for it.  It was amazing. Fully establishing Owens as a top heel and making a run Jericho can proudly look on when he finally decided to retire.  Owens vs Jericho will be a great match as both men can work and have an amazing amount of chemistry with each other.  Im pretty sure Owens is going to win since Jericho is going back on tour with FOZZY this summer, so it only makes sense for him to put Owens over and drop the US belt to him.

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The Death of Friendship

Next is the infamous Shane vs AJ Styles match.  The internet has been in a full uproar about this match since it was leaked months ago as internet smarks sharpend their pitchforks promising to cancel their network subscriptions and never watch another WWE show again (yeah right lol).  Honestly, I don’t know why fans were in such an uproar over this match other than the fact AJ could have an amazing match with someone else like Cena or someone.  AJ can work and pull out great matches with anyone, and Shane may not be a wrestler but he is still known to be somewhat competent in the ring and make for some incredible moments, see Summerslam 99 or whenever he jumped off that fixture.  This may not be a spot fest or an excellent quality match, but it’ll still be entertaining as hell to see Shane do something stupid to shorten his life expectancy…again, and to see AJ just do what AJ does best, wrestle.

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Shane Mcmahon learning about gravity

Undertaker vs Roman… Lets see how bad Roman gets booed for beating Taker.  Cause we all know Vince will book Roman to win. Or hold Undertakers hand up at the end, some dumb crap like that to get him even less over with the fans.  Just turn him heel already

John Cena and Niki Bella vs Miz and Mayrse.  This match is nothing special, I haven’t seen the build besides what Bryan Alverez and Dave Meltzer say on Wrestling Observer so I have no clue whats going on.  Still, the Miz in the past year has become one of my favorite personalities.  He blurs the line between shoot and kayefabe so well its really refreshing to see WWE try something new.  His segments on talking smack have been great due to this and made him a real attraction for shows.  This match should add on to that.  Its obvious Cena is going to win since its Wrestlemania and “lol Cena wins”.  I also heard that he’s supposed to propose to Nikki after the match, so thats something as well.

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Thats pretty much all I care about with Wrestlemania this year.  I know im missing a ton of other matches like Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt, but they kind of killed that feud with my when they shot that segment of Randy burning Brays home for no reason.  I don’t follow wrestling that closely so I dont know the context behind it, so it looks pretty stupid to me, therefore I dont really care anymore, which is a shame, I thought that feud was really cool up to the Royal Rumble when they booked Randy to win.  Wrestlemania should be fun and I cant wait to go out and chant DELETE at a bar when watching it.

 

Among the Living Review

Anthrax has always been one of my favorite bands since I was fourteen years old.  When I first heard Spreading the Disease their 1985 classic I was fan.  Ever since then that album has always stood above the rest of their catalog in my eyes.  Albums like Fistful of Metal, State of Euphoria, Persistance of Time, We’ve come for you all, and Volum 8, The Threat is Real were all excellent albums that I had on repeat, but I didn’t enjoy them quite like Spreading the Disease.  Today though, I believe my opinion has finally changed.

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Among the Living was released back in 1987 and is Anthrax’s third album after the aforementioned Spreading the Disease.  This album was also signature Anthrax front man Joey Belladonna’s second album with the group  along with the second album to be released via Megaforce and Island records.  This album is regarded as the apex of Anthrax in regards to the rest of their catalog.  For years I resisted that notion always sticking to Spreading the Disease, but after re listening to this album a few times recently I can no longer stick by my guns.

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The album starts out with the titular song “Among the Living”.  Even before I changed my mind on Anthrax’s best album this song was always one of my favorites.  Among the living is based off the Stephen King novel The Stand.  The riff in this song is one of the most memorable riffs in Anthrax’s catalog and contains some of the most memorable lyrics, “Disease, Disease, Spreading a Disease, with the help from Captian Trips we’ll bring the world down to it’s knees, Power! Yes Power! show them all his power!…” Charlie Benete’s double kick in the song accompanied by Scott Ian and Dan Splitz guitars creates an exciting energy that stays with the song until the very end and carries onward to the next song arguably the most important Anthrax song, “Caught in a Mosh” a song detailing the frustraitions of talking to someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about and is so frustrating to converse with them you loose your temper and go crazy.  This song has an amazing bass solo and Joey’s voice on it is impecalbe.  Not to mention this song is something everyone can, unfortuately, relate to.  We all know that one person who drives us mental when we talk to them.

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Following Caught in a Mosh is another  monster classic from the band, the infamous I AM the Law.  This song is absolutely amazing.  Detailing the story of comic book character Judge Dredd this song has become synonamous with Anthrax, much like the previous two songs, I see a trend forming here… I AM the Law has a great riff and excellent vocals with a very memorable solo towards the end.  There isn’t much to say about this song other than its absolutely fantasic and garunteed to impress you.  Once I AM the Law finishes up with you its onto “N.F.L” which stands for Nice Fucking Life a song that details the fall of John Belushi.  The song unlike the previous three takes some time to get into, the opeining riff is much slower and while it does pick up later on in the song it kills the energy created and passed down in the previous songs.  For years I never cared for the song, but once I developed the patience to sit through it a few times I found it to be an enjoyable song detailing on of the most unfortunate tradegies to happen to the entertainment business in the 20th century.

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Next on the list is “Indians” a song written about the plight and struggle of the Native Americans.  This song, again, is a classic Anthrax song and one synonomous with the band, seems to be a lot of those off this record.  The intro to this song is really clever with Charlie’s playing a traditional Native American drum beat followed by Dan joining him by playing a traditional Native riff.  Its a really cool song that highlights the attocities that Native Americans went through back in the day and that these horrors should never be forgotten.

Once Indians finishes the album moves into three songs that Im not huge on, but I can admit are growing on me.  “One World”, “A.D.I”, and “Immitation of Life” are excellent songs that while aren’t as great as the rest of the album contain excellence in their own way.  One world would have to be my favorite of the three.

Overall this album is great, the best Anthrax has to offer and one of the best thrash metal albums recorded.  Its an album that must be experienced and an album that must be respected.

 

 

Havok: Conformicide Review

Over the years i’ve had a love hate relationship with Havok.  I loved their first album Burn when it came out in 2009, but was slightly dissapointed in there follow up Time is Up released 2 years later.  Their third album Unnatural Selection was good, a bit boring and drawn out at times, but overall a good modern thrash album.  So when it came to my attention that Havok was releasing a new album I was a bit hesitant. I loved their music, but I really didn’t want to shell out $30 for a vinyl (the best way to listen to music by the way) that I wasn’t going to be hyped for.  I decided to forego the pre order and wait.  Now I am regretting my decision.  The one time I decide not to pre order an album, it turns out to be one of the best released by the band.  Just my luck.

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Conformicide is Havoks first release with label Century Media after having their previous three albums released with Candlelight records.  Conformicide is another album that dives deep into the modern thrash sound that Havok has created over the years listening to and playing with old school thrash outfits like Megadeth and new school bands such as Warbringer.

The album is riddled with content swirling about the path society has taken in the past few years with the advent rise of P.C. culture, the growing trust gap between people, politicians, and news media outlets, and the role consumer play in modern culture.  In adittion the band also touches base on some of the darker aspects of religion while taking time to have their thoughts on the subject take flight.  The album is a hot bed sure to not please everyone with a political belief that goes one way or another.  In the immortal words of Slayer “I hate everyone equally”.

The musicianship by all members of the band is as usual very solid, they make their expertise of their instruments known and showcase an excellent array of master-ship as well.  The riffs off of Conformicide are honestly the catchiest and best the band has written in my opinion, even while only having 50% of my attention drawn to the music I found myself remembering the riffs off the record and  getting down into the madness as well, something I had a difficult time with on previous Havok records like Time Is Up.

All songs are very catchy but still run on a bit longer they should.  I know its a thrash staple, but the long drawn out opening is got old 20 years ago.  To me its just an excuse to draw the song out to past 5 minutes, something that every band tries to do because all the successful metal bands back in the day did.  But they made that intro interesting and worth while, here its just a time waster.  Some of the songs like “Materplan” could/should have been shaved down by a minute, minute in a half.

Overall the record is very good and stays consistent in its lyrical themes and musicianship to the very end.  Its a great thrash album that Havok should be proud they produced, for its the best in their career.  This album definately puts them ontop as the apex of modern thrash, firmly taking the spot Evile had only a few years ago.  My only regret with this record is that I wish I pre-ordered it when I had the chance.  I guess i’ll have to suck it up and deal with Spotify for the time being, until I can afford to grab the LP one of these days.

Notible Tracks:

F.P.C

Hang Em High

Intention to Deceive

Wake Up

Circling the Drain

Periphery Juggernaut Alpha/Omega Review

For years I was never the biggest fan of modern metal.  I quite honestly don’t know why, but its mostly because I never gave it a chance.  I’m an old soul trapped in a young body, I like my Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus and more old time 80s thrash.  However, having favorite bands in their 50s and commanding very expensive ticket prices for shows can be a very huge drag. Not to mention the tease of watching old performances of them back in their hay day, yearning to be a part of the chaotic crowd moshing and thrashing about to classic more than 20 years ago.  So it came clear to me as of late that maybe I should give some more modern metal a chance. I opened my heart to it, and man o man did I get rewarded for doing so.

One of my favorite metal bands of today has to be the progressive/Djent metal band Periphery.  Formed in Washington D.C in 2005, this band has ripped and roared many stages across the nation and the world with amazing songs that transcend metal.  My favorite album from them is the concept album released in 2015 known as Juggernaut Alpha/Omega.

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Juggernaut is an excellent record with some of the best musical work the band has created, in my opinion.  Juggernaut is a concept album, a story that goes across an entire album (see Tommy-The Who).  The album tells a grim tale about a child born into a cult via a sacrificial ritual, the cultists torture and abuse the child to awaken the demon inside of it.  After years of yearning to escape his life and trying to cope with the horrors and atrocities that he experiences the child finally snaps and destroys the cult he was born into.  However, the child is riddled with guilt and is now tormented that it succumbed to the evil that he tried to spurn.  Feeling defeated the child takes his own life and is sentenced to hell.  While in hell the child faces the horrors and atrocities he committed and more, searching for a way to find redemption.  Of course this is my interpretation of the album after listening to it a several hundred times.

The individual tracks in this album are extremely well done.  Some of my favorite ones off of Alpha are “22 Faces” “Alpha” “Heavy Heart” and “Psycosphere”.  While off of Omega I love “The Bad Thing” “Omega” and “Stranger Things”.  Overall my favorite track is 22 Faces and would be the one I would recommend everyone to check out if they are interested in this album.  22 Faces has contains a high obtain level of energy in it and conveys the struggles the child possesses to try and cope with the horrors he experiences.  It kicks ass on all levels.

Overall this album is anything less than amazing and I would definitely give it a listen if you like metal or an interesting story to dive into and peice together.