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Corrosion of Conformity – IX

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

Corrosion of Conformity

IX

Released: June 24th, 2014

Stoner/Sludge Metal

Released via Candlelight Records

 

 

With the release of IX, Corrosion of Conformity have delivered another hard hitting album filled with crushing riffs and distinct vocals that are enough to please any old or new school fan. While this kind of metal isn’t my particular favorite, this album kept me interested and wanting more the whole time I was listening to it. The songs vary from super slow, heavy riffs that almost sound doomy to fast finger taps and harsher vocals with a hint of thrash and punk traces throughout.

My particular favorite songs on this album are the faster songs, specifically, Denmark Vesey and The Nectar, since they were the most memorable and the easiest for me to bang my head to. However, I was quite surprised at how much I liked the slower stuff as well.

The only problem I had with this album was with the first song, Brand New Sleep. It was my least favorite only because I felt like it dragged on too long. With it being the first song, I had doubts about how interesting IX was going to be. I gave it a chance, though, and ended up loving the rest of the album. I feel like it’s one of those albums that will eventually grow on me the more that I listen to it.

Overall, I found this to be a great listen. The production and musicianship were both solid on this album and I hope Corrosion of Conformity continue to put out heavier music.

 

4/5

Lauren Gowdy

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King Diamond Announces North American Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

And the rumors are TRUE! The legendary King Diamond has announced a full North American tour for the fall! After hearing rumors for weeks about a possible tour and the leak of a date in New York City, the band has confirmed a 19 date tour across the U.S and Canada. The band will have it’s original lineup, and King Diamond will be doing their full European festival stage show for each date! A special guest act will be supporting which will be announced later on.

A limited edition King Diamond jacket will be available through the fan club pre-sale (http://www.showstubs.com/) that begins tomorrow, June 24th. Tickets will be on sale online for the rest of the public nationwide on Friday, June 27th.  Here is a list of dates taken from the official King Diamond Facebook page:

 

 

Slayer Announce U.S. Fall Tour with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

 

After touring together this past May, the trio is back with a full U.S tour for the fall. Slayer will be taking a break from recording to take off on this tour starting in November. Gary Holt will be once again playing for both Exodus and Slayer, and this will be the debut of former front man Steve Souza. 

Slayer’s Tom Araya states his excitement for this upcoming tour,”We are way fucking excited about hitting the road again with Suicidal and Exodus. Fucking intense. See you in the fall.”

Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 AM local time. Here are the confirmed dates:

 

11/12 Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA
11/14 The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
11/15 Comercia Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
11/17 Bricktown Events Center, Oklahoma City, OK
11/18 ACL Live, Austin, TX
11/19 Verizon Theatre, Dallas, TX
11/21 Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL
11/22 The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
11/23 The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC
11/25 The Armory, Albany, NY
11/26 Sands Events Center, Bethlehem, PA
11/28 The Palladium, Worcester, MA
11/29 Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
11/30 Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
12/2 Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH
12/4 Egyptian Room, Indianapolis, IN
12/5 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI

Tuomas Holopainen – The Life and Times of Scrooge

Posted in CD, Folk, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th March 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

Tuomas Holopainen
The Life and Times of Scrooge
Released: 11th April, 2014
Folk/Symphonic Rock
Released via Nuclear Blast

Being his first solo record, Tuomas Holopainen did an outstanding job of creating a masterpiece that is very different from anything he has ever done in his primary band, Nightwish. This is a concept album that is based off of the Disney novel, The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and if this book did have a movie, I’m confident that this album would be the soundtrack. There are, of course, keyboards and a symphony which doesn’t branch too far from Nightwish, but there are also elements of folk heard at different times which gave this the light-hearted, childish feel you might get from a Disney movie.

Many musicians helped to create the album, and most of them were not from metal bands. However, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica played the part of the “storyteller” and one of Nightwish’s newest members, Troy Donockley, played the pipes and whistles. I like that even with the help of metal musicians, it still did not derive away from the over feel of the album. There are some times when songs definitely were a bit more aggressive and heavier, and that subtle influence was enough to remind me that this album was made by a metal musician.

One track in particular, Cold Heart of the Klondike, had an intro that reminded me a lot of something that Nightwish would have written. This is probably because it starts out with primarily the keyboards and then gradually goes into violins paired with dramatic choir vocals, and that’s something I would expect to hear on any kind of symphonic metal album. While I greatly enjoyed these small bits of fast and epic music, it’s primarily what I looked forward while listening to this album. I felt that the tracks were much too long and kind of dragged out after a while. The only tracked I really enjoyed listening to was their single release, A Lifetime of Adventure. To me, it was the most memorable because it had the most vocals and didn’t drag out for too long. While the other songs were done beautifully, they were just entirely too long and repetitive for my liking.

Overall, this album was a great listen. I highly recommend picking it up once it is released next month if you are a fan of symphonic, folk, or power metal. A Lifetime of Adventure has a music video out if you want to preview what the album actually sounds like as well. I was impressed by the musicianship and overall quality of this album, and I hope Tuomas Holopainen continues to make more solo records.

4.5/5

Lauren Gowdy

Lecherous Nocturne – Behold Almighty Doctrine

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 24th October 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Lecherous Nocturne
Behold Almighty Doctrine
Released 19th March, 2013
Technical Death Metal
Released via Unique Leaders Records

 

Being, in my opinion, one of the most underrated bands in metal, South Carolina’s Lecherous Nocturne have returned with the release of Behold Almighty Doctrine. It has been five years since the release of their last album, The Age of Miracles Has Passed, and it is clearly evident that the band has progressed in that span of time. The biggest change to me is in the vocals since former vocalist, Jason Hohenstein, was replaced by former member, Chris Lollis. Both vocalists have different styles with Hohenstein have a more raw, old school sound compared to Lollis’ stronger and profound screams. Nonetheless, I found that Lollis’ vocals perfectly complimented the shredding guitar work of Krieshloff Lofgren and Ethan Lane which ultimately puts this album in my top ten releases of this year.

Starting after the intro with Ourboros Chains, my first impression was that I was listening to a different band entirely. I didn’t think Lecherous Nocturne could possibly sound any heavier than they already do, but they proved me wrong by adding extra helpings of heaviness to every song on this album. The band has such a unique playing and writing style, however, which I feel makes them stand out from the rest of the more modern death metal bands today. They basically did a phenomenal job at using other bands as influences rather than trying to carbon copy them, and this is probably the reason why they are so underrated.

One song on this album that stood out to me was Those Having Been Hidden Away only because of the intro. It was one of those intros that really just get you into the song just from starting out so strong, and that feeling continued through the rest of the song until the end when they finish wish a breakdown. An actual breakdown, mind you, and not the typical deathcore breakdowns which are completely unnecessary for the song. I also love the instrument that follow, Prelude #2, which is then followed by Judgments and Curses. I feel the that three instrumental tracks on this album compliment the rest of the tracks, which are all under 4 minutes in length, and keeps the album short, sweet, and to the point.

Again, this is definitely in my top ten metal albums of 2013. Lecherous Nocturne has never disappointed me with their music despite various lineup changes and progression seen throughout the band. Everyone should listen to this album at least once or maybe a thousand times. This band definitely deserves more recognition for their amazing talent and I hope nothing but good things for them in the future.

 

5/5

Lauren Gowdy

Necrotherion – Live Misanthropy

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 31st August 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Necrotherion
Live Misanthropy
Released August 2013
Black Metal
Self Released

Being a band that is focused on creating raw black metal, Ohio’s Necrotherion clearly portrays this with the release of their live album, Live Misanthropy. The seven songs range from  fast paced, Emperor/Darkthrone sounding songs to more drone based songs that sound like it was made by older Mayhem. Melodic and beautiful black riffs paired with vocals filled with agony and raw emotion make this band sound like they would’ve fit in the early black metal scene in Norway. While it seems like black metal has become less about the music and more about the trends, Necrotherion looks beyond those trends. You can tell that their only purpose is create music that is hard hitting and shocking while sticking to traditional black metal roots. Also, live albums can be boring to listen to because you’re not there to actually experience what the band sounds like, but with this album, I felt like I was there headbanging along to every song.

The first couple of songs on the album, Whispering Trees and Nihilistic Faith, didn’t draw me in right away. While I loved the build up intro for Whispering Trees, the rest of the song felt a bit jumbled  with what seemed like this huge wall of noise coming at me at a millions miles a minute. I feel like they could have opened with a different song, specifically Novus Ordo Seclum. That song was my absolute favorite out of any song on this album just because of how melodic the intro riff was and how  the entire song reminded me of another black metal band, Cirith Gorgor. While black metal isn’t my favorite metal sub-genre, sometimes black metal bands come up with these beautifully heavy riffs that just makes me love it so much.

Along with changing the opening song, the only other criticism I could even think of is the quality of the sounds on the album. I could sit here and nit pick about how Live Misanthropy didn’t have a great quality to it because it’s a live album, but that’s usually how live albums sound anyway. Of course there could have been screw up while playing the songs, but there was really nothing I heard that made me want to immediately stop listening to the album.

I highly recommend this album to anyone who is a huge fan of black metal, more so raw sounding black metal verses the over produced, hipster black metal bands that seem to be popping out of nowhere lately. Live Misanthropy was one of the best live metal albums I’ve personally ever listened to just because it did what a lot of other live albums didn’t do, and that was creating a show where I felt like a part of the crowd even though I was sitting at a computer. You could feel the stage prescience and passion from when vocalist Stellarvore spoke in between songs saying powerful but yet brutal messages such as “you have one life to live, don’t f***ing waste it!” Necrotherion are truly underrated and I honestly hope they put out a full length album in the future.

4.5/5

Lauren Gowdy

Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 23rd August 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Cattle Decapitation
Monolith of Inhumanity
Released 8th May, 2012
Progressive Death Metal/Grindcore
Released via Metal Blade Records

Cattle Decapitation is known for their catchy riffs, intense and gore-filled lyrics, and of course their absolutely insane but diabolical vocals. It was no surprise that Monolith of Inhumanity incorporated each of these well-known elements and more. With this album, it really shows how much this band has progressed in their music, going from a more grindcore based song style to adding more structure and memorable riffs into their songs. This was my favorite album of 2012 hands down just for the sheer brutality and for making the music sound heavy without and technicality.

A couple songs that stuck out for me were The Carbon Stampede and Forced Gender Reassignment. Many people are aware that the video for Forced Gender Reassignment was arguably one of the goreiest and most disgusting music videos ever made. However, every time I hear that song I can’t help but windmill at the beginning riff and become excited as the song builds up to the end where it breaks down into a super slammy riff that just finishes it off perfectly. The Carbon Stampede also a phenomenal job of creating build up as the beginning song of the album with a quiet intro that gradually goes into spiraling chaos and heaviness that is consistently heard through the rest of this album.

While I really don’t see any kind of big criticism or gripe about Monolith of Inhumanity, the only thing that seemed kind of off to me was the beginning of the song The Monolith. The slow, drawn out song isn’t something that is commonly used by Cattle Decapitation and found it weird as a song on its own. However, having it be paired with Kingdom of Tyrants in a mini film, it made the song much more of a purpose rather than it just being thrown into the mix of all these fast and brutal songs.

Even after a year, I still find myself enjoying this album and still highly regard it was one of Cattle Decapitation’s best albums. In the span of their career, they’ve definitely grew in their playing and even vocal style, and they will probably continue to grow and to create even faster, more brutal music while, of course, still create music videos and artwork that will make many people squirm. Monolith of Inhumanity is an absolutely incredible album and it’s something every metal fan should listen to!

5/5

Lauren Gowdy