Archive for Alternative

Sunflower Dead – Coma

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , on 12th November 2018 by Paul Macmillan

Sunflower Dead
Coma
Released  16th November 2018
Hard Rock
Released via Combat Records

Featuring former Fear Factory bassist, Christian Olde-Wolbers, Coma is the latest recorded work from Californian rock band, Sunflower Dead. If you’re expecting chuntering, mechanical metal, however, sit back and prepare for a surprise. This is nothing like the aforementioned metal giants of the 1990s.

Drawing in equal parts on nu-metal and 80s classics, SD have melded together a surefire concoction, utterly guaranteed for rotation on mainstream alternative channels. Big chunks of Korn, Dope, and Disturbed have been cherry picked to form a large part of the body of sound, but are equally matched by volumes of Skid Row, and Zakk Wylde (especially in some of the lead work shredding). Everything is further fleshed out with something else of the band’s own creation, plus a spritz of something akin to Pist. On. jamming with Sevendust.

Nothing groundbreaking, then, yet it still has character worth giving a chance. It wouldn’t be too much of a shock to see this band taking the reigns of the soundtrack for a sequel to Queen Of The Damned. Looking over their back catalogue, Coma is certainly a big step up from previous releases, but continues in the same style. Existing SD fans should get a real kick out of it. Personally, I’ve moved away from such things for the most part, as years have gone by. I wouldn’t shy away from it, but I’d be more likely to plump for yet another spin of Demanufacture. Maybe I’m just old…

3/5

Paul Macmillan

Advertisements

Blame Zeus – Theory Of Perception

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 4th March 2017 by Pieni

Blame Zeus
“Theory Of Perception”
Alternative Rock
Self-released on 4th March 2017

Theory of Perception_zpspdwp6exh

Blame Zeus started out as progressive rock but have now engaged in a more straight-forward direction – less technicalities, same elegance. Maybe that’s why “Queen” wasn’t included in this new album (either that or they totally revamped it and renamed it, but I honestly doubt it). “Queen” was a song they introduced live almost a year ago, at the last gig with the line-up they had at the time, and I remember saying that whatever changes were on the way, that song sounded pretty much like the Blame Zeus we all knew. I’m glad I was wrong. Not that I didn’t like their original sound, don’t get me wrong! I just find it more interesting when a band has more than one side (if you’ve read my reviews before, you’ve probably seen me using the expression “diversity is the spice of life” more than once). And “Theory Of Perception” offers some heavy, feisty stuff (“Slaughter House”, “Miles”) contrasting with gracious melancholy (“More Or Less”, “Entertainment Clown”); the rough seduction of “All Inside Your Head” and the loose rock of “Redemption”; the weepy electric solo in “The Moth” and the seventies acoustic heartache of “Signs”. Twelve new songs with distinct traits but one in common – the strong but very feminine voice of Sandra Oliveira.
Tonight I’ll see how this works live. In the studio it works peachy.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

The Hyena Kill – Atomised

Posted in Alternative, CD, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on 2nd May 2016 by mickbirchy

The Hyena Kill
Atomised
Hard rock
Released: 16 May 2016
Via Proud Cow Records

Manchester based rockers, The Hyena Kill have been making waves recently in the UK. They have a reputation as being one of the best live bands on the independent circuit and when you consider the fact that there only two of them it’s all the more impressive.  The band are raw, intense and uncompromising when it comes to their music.With brutal riffs and screamed melodies, The Hyena Kill could well bring in the next generation of hardcore in the UK. Building off of their influences rather than just blatantly copying them, they’re looking to make their mark on the UK rock scene with their debut album Atomised.

The band consists of Steven Dobb (on guitar and vocals) and Lorna Blundell (on Drums) and they share a fantastic chemistry working off of each other in superb fashion, making these raw and, quite frankly, beautiful tones.  It really strikes in your head and leaves an impression. That’s probably the best way to describe this album, striking.  Everything hits you like a tonne of bricks as the aforementioned, uncompromised sound attacks your senses. Everything feels raw like the album was done in one take and you can really feel the raw passion and emotional weight in every song.  From the blistering “Tongue Tied” to the heavy and powerful title track “Atomised”. All of it is just balls to the wall harcore.  Steven’s heavy vocals complement the heavy twang of the guitar and his more subdued voice works for the most part as well, although I’ll admit I’m not a fan of the vocal effect.  It’s quite echoey and can make the overall production feel muddy.

I don’t have much bad to say about the album. Except that the production can be muddy and that really does hurt the album.  Take a listen to the current state of heavy rock records going around at the moment.  Yes, they’re intense and wild but they still have that polish to them that makes them sound like finished products. Whereas The Hyena Kill’s album feels a little…. Well, middle of the road. I’m not say the songs are bad.  The concepts are there and it’s clear that they are very talented songwriters but the presentation of this album feels quite messy. Overall it’s a mixed bag of sounds that definitely grabbed my attention, but doesn’t hold it all that well.  Which is why it’s taken me two weeks to write this review.  The album wasn’t holding my attention for very long and I found myself moving on to the plethora of other music I have to look at.

If you particularly follow the UK independent rock scene and like the raw intensity, you may like, or even love this.  However, for me it just lacks that polish and flair to keep me coming back for more.

2.5/5

Mick Birchall

To The Rats And Wolves – Neverland

Posted in 'Core, Alternative, CD with tags , , , , , on 23rd February 2016 by Pieni

To The Rats And Wolves
“Neverland”
Trancecore
Release: 19th February 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

 photo yy_zpsqq0yy8e2.jpg

I’m not surprised that trancecore is a thing, as anything goes nowadays. What I’m surprised is that To The Rats And Wolves is included in that category as electro-pop-core is way more accurate. Their homeland Germany is a country where you have a rave in one corner of the block and a metal gig in the other (yes, kids, it’s a hyperbole) and it is said that many go to the former after the latter is finished. Nothing against it, open-mindedness is something to be treasured. I’m just not sure if it’s a good idea to merge both, no matter how out-of-the-box the concept might be.

Especially when only the trance is shaping the songs, while the hardcore is pretty much repeating itself in every track – similar cranking riffs, predictable breakdowns… It’s in the electronics that you’ll hear different patterns defining different melodies (and not exactly outstanding ones). When it comes to vocals, even though the growls and screams assume a big role, it’s the pop-ish clean tones that always take lead in the choruses. So eventually you feel like this is not a real fusion but just the addition of some elements of one genre into the basic structure of another. The opener “Suburban Romance” is the most balanced track, followed by “Schoolyard Warfare”, but the majority of the album heads towards the dancefloor – especially “Wild At Heart” and “Kill The DJ”. And then there’s the ballad “Ghosts” which… Well, it’s a ballad. ‘Nuff said.

On the other hand, the nature of “Neverland” is so mainstream that it may actually cause some fuss. I still think it lacks substance.

2/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Godlike – Malicious Mind

Posted in Alternative, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26th December 2012 by mariadodarmata

Godlike
Malicious Mind
Alternative/Melodic Death Metal
Released: October 2012
Released via Inverse Records.

Godlike is a new Finnish band. Malicious Mind is their debut album. As soon as you start playing it you guess the kind of influences they have… Made me have a regression to the early 2000’s.

With strong nu metal references mixed with melodic death, kind of in a Five Finger Death Punch way, they manage to take that Limp Bizkit sound and put make it sound a bit fresher.

The album goes down the nu metal road the first 4 songs. In Original Rebel takes a turn more to the death metal side with heavier sounding elements on the music and a song theme that made me think of Destruction’s The Antichrist. Then comes Shi No Negai and stirs the album back in the previous direction.

The album doesn’t have a central topic that the songs revolve around, at least an apparent  one. Some songs talk about the Catholic Church and the original sin, same others talk about this chick who is a hot mess, or how someone betrayed them. I find these last ones extremely cheesy but they melody and rhythm are quite catchy.

The album sounds solid and like an album made of t best songs they wrote during the years. I am a bit excited to see how they do next, for I believe their next album will be deciding on their future. I am not such a big fan of this kind of music, but keeping an objective eye on that aspect, the album is not bad.

3.5/5

María Mata

 

Weak of Wanting [Band Review]

Posted in Alternative with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 11th March 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Weak of Wanting
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Alternative
Site: Weak of Wanting @ VF

One can find many jewels of alternative music when searching the internet and that is certainly the case with Milton Keynes-based alternative band “Weak of Wanting”. The band are influenced by a wide range of bands from Slipknot and Led Zeppelin to Bowling For Soup, Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. Despite the varied influences, Weak Of Wanting certainly have achieved their own unique sound. The vocals themselves bring a lot to the unique sound that the band has worked hard at creating. The guitars have a very raw sound to them, which perfectly demonstrated on their songs “Bruised” and “North of Misery”. A lot of their songs are very laid-back sounding, aside from “North of Misery” which sounds like an old-skool punk anthem crossed with a Darkthrone due to the aggressiveness of the vocals and the raw guitar riff. The sound quality of their tracks isn’t brilliant but that adds to the immensity of Weak of Wanting’s music.

Weak of Wanting are clearly a very talented band with a lot in store for them. With enough hard work and dedication, combined with their raw guitar riffs, laid back acoustic sections and unique sounding vocals, they could easily become as big as Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails or Bowling For Soup. So, keep an eye out for them on Kerrang and Scuzz.