Archive for Djent

As They Burn – Will, Love, Life

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 19th March 2013 by Paul

As They Burn
Will, Love, Life
Released February 19th 2013
Deathcore/Death Metal
Released via Victory Records

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Deathcore has undergone a noticeable evolution in recent years. Gone are the “BREE BREE” pig squeals, needlessly misogynistic imagery inherited from gore metal and the pseudo thug attitude from hardcore, at least for the most part – as is evidenced in this latest effort from French band As They Burn. In its place has come more of an emphasis on groove riffs and quirky song structures that are more inspired by Meshuggah and Between the Buried and Me than the original Death Metal meets Hardcore and Screamo style, moving more towards the progressive metalcore and djent sounds.

Will, Love Life is an example of this more mature breed of death core, with the harsh vocals and groovy riffs leading the way and a strange amount of atmosphere incorporated in this style. The fate of this album may be that it is too much of a transition between styles, being neither fast or aggressive enough to be in the purely hardcore camp (and too well polished in production values perhaps); not musically complex or “Lovecraftian” enough to be considered straight up Death Metal and the guitar work here is also not start-stop-meshuggah-style-palm-muted enough to be in the Djent genre. As a result, this album occupies a grey area between genres that makes it sound more like the logical conclusion of the so-called “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” genre that dominated the early 2000s. I imagine this would appeal to those who want something that treads the line between Death Metal influenced Lamb of God style Groove Metal and the Progressive Metalcore bands that have come to prominence in recent years such as the previously mentioned Between the Buried and Me.

The band is clearly aiming at something new and progressive but get a little stuck trying to incorporate all that makes the modern Death/Metalcore scene interesting and end up sounding generic. The album manages to be more avant-garde in a way than the average Deathcore release most have come to expect in elements such as its interesting song titles but does not seem to have to have a unifying theme or message that more developed genres easily incorporate. This album is interesting because it is a bridge between the current state of Metal along the “core” spectrum and wherever it may be evolving and maturing to in the future. It very nearly manages to get itself written off as being a product of its time, but I think there is enough here for this to be popular among fans of this particular style.


Paul Gibbins


This or the Apocalypse – Dead Years

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 25th August 2012 by -Scorpius-

This or the Apocalypse
Dead Years
Released 24th September
Melodic Hardcore
Released via Lifeforce Records

This or the Apocalypse are a 5 piece metal/melodic hardcore band from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA and it is often thought of as Amish country but it apparently has a big city feel to it and a thriving arts and music scene. Fronted by Rick Armellino, This or the Apocalypse quote themselves on their Facebook page as being, “A band that exhibits the patience and dedication to step outside the box to create something both heavy and unique. Their craft of song is intelligent, scathing, honest and even uplifting”.

Their new album, Dead Years starts with a track called Hell Praiser which begins with a lo-fi up and down scale on the guitar and a chopping bass, the lo-fi effect is then dropped and the vocals scream their way in along with the rest of the band with the same up and down scale riff on guitars.

The vocals on this first track are surprisingly gritty and in some places quite death metal sounding and to be honest are the only point of merit on this track.

Track two is entitled, Power Hawk and it instantly sounds like an Enter Shikari song, and there are a few electronic sounding elements as well as some Djent style riffage on the guitars as well as some stuttered vocal effects. The track doesn’t immediately impress but it is clear that it would be quite a mainstream and radio friendly type of track on some radio stations.

The third track on the album, In Wolves, starts off with some quite pleasant rhythm on the drums and guitar and then more Djent style riffage comes in, next up is a very clichéd piece of “clean” style singing that you will hear on 1000’s of records from across the world which is cut up with the familiar attempt at screaming vocals. There is also a standard breakdown that seems the popular thing to do these days, which I personally find very boring and predictable.

Americans, the title of the fourth track on this album, starts with a reasonably pleasant clean picking guitar riff, along with what sound like a very reverberated piano. A standard hardcore/djent vocal comes in and the track turns into a very boring and bland attempt at mixing heavy elements with the more softened melodic feel, this is a very poor and ill thought out attempt at making an “anthem” style of track in my opinion.

Track five, Hate The One’s You Love starts with dare I say it a mix of The Killers style of riffs and the increasingly boring and familiar djent stop start guitar which is then followed by some incredibly clichéd and boring ideas, the track then slowly morphs into a sort of Enter Shikari style song with a few almost death metal style vocals thrown in which then blends into a melodic dreamlike state and then back into the djent style with what a surprise! A breakdown! Bland and predictable is all I can say about this track and it warrants no further comment.

Interestingly track six, You Own No One But You, is a marked improvement on all the previous tracks and actually starts with a pretty edgy riff which sounds quite interesting, the vocals however I find are very uninspiring and predictable until about the 1 minute 20 second mark where the song gradually takes on a more death metal feel, which I like! But alas, yet another breakdown comes in and then some very clichéd clean teen pop style lyrics, it’s an interesting mix of styles and it does work to a point however I do wish there was more of the death metal style ideas in this song and then maybe it would make a half decent track.

Track seven,  A Damn Moment, is so boring it barely even needs a description! If you were to smash together a track by the Killers and Enter Shikari then this would be the result and a piss poor result at that!

Gaunt and Fierce is the eighth track on the album and it sounds reasonably pleasant as it starts, this is the kind of track that would feel very at home on Kerrang Radio and many other similar radio stations aimed at selling boring and uninspiring tripe to teenagers, needless to say this track is incredibly commercial and clichéd and no doubt many teenagers who may be getting into metal etc. will like this track, I can imagine it playing on their stereo systems night and day, however it will stay silent on mine. The track is entitled Gaunt and Fierce, the resulting musical mess is anything but.

The penultimate track is entitled, Kill Em’ With Guidance and isn’t actually that bad of a track if you like the sound of lift music while you are working, all joking aside however the track is better than the vast bulk of this album and is half listenable apart from an inevitable breakdown in the middle of the track.

The final track, Hard Branch to Snap, is by far the most clichéd track on this album and is quite obviously inspired by early Enter Shikari and the Djent style. It tries really hard to be fast, heavy and brutal in its style and unfortunately it is a great failure in that attempt. This is by far the most disappointing track on the entire album but I know for a fact there will be hordes of young teenagers who lap this up and actually think it is “Brootal” as they put it.

To summarise, I was not a fan of this album, Dead Years, and I can easily say I will not becoming a fan of This or the Apocalypse. To me this is yet another example of a band that is selling out into a trend of bland and uninspiring tripe, this type of music is ten a penny and if you turn onto any mainstream station that plays “metal” then this is the kind of thing that you will hear. The Album reeks of a poor attempt to copy Enter Shikari and I say a poor attempt as Enter Shikari are an ok band and this band have made attempted to make a carbon copy of their style, mixed in with a bit of The Killers (who I hate with a passion).

This or the Apocalypse do however have a sizeable fan base and no doubt it is made up of adoring teenage fans who absolutely love their music, however they will grow out of it and they will move on to bigger and better things, their music taste will develop and grow and they will begin finding out styles that express their attitude to life. I suppose this is the crux of my argument, this music is for the current teenage population, so if you are from the age of 12-16 and your into the hardcore and djent style of music then this band is most likely for you, if you like your music to sound like a 1000 other sell out carbon copy bands then yet again this band is for you… However, if you have a well-defined musical palette and you know your stuff then you will steer clear of this absolute tripe at all cost!

This or the Apocalypse?

In all honestly I’d prefer the Apocalypse!



Primal Rock Rebellion – Awoken Broken

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 28th February 2012 by vmteam

Band – Primal Rock Rebellion
Album – Awoken Broken
Genre – Metal/Experimental
Release Date – 2012
Label – Spinefarm Records

Super group’s, an odd subject in the metal world, when they work, they’re great (I, Black county communion, Chickenfoot) when they fail, they crash hard (Rock star supernova). PRR consists of 2 men from totally different ends of the metal world scale.
On one side we have vocalist Mikee Goodman from experimental ‘Djent’ band SikTh along with SikTh drummer Dan ‘Loord’ Foord, and on the other we have the guitarist from one of if not THE most popular metal band of all time Iron Maiden, Adrian Smith. This combination alone is enough to make anyone scratch their heads in wonder, it’s like putting Rob Halford with Trent Reznor….oh hang on?!.

The album starts off with No Friendly Neighbour and it’s clear from the first riff Smith plays that this isn’t going to sound like Maiden in any
shape or form, an almost Nu-metal styled riff is played with Goodman doing some spoken word over the top. When the song kicks in its clear that the vocals of Goodman are what makes this band stand out, if you were a fan of his vocals in SikTh then you won’t be disappointed, if you’re looking for Bruce Dickinson, you’ll be looking for an eternity. The song is a great start to the album, while sounding new and fresh it adds some certain Smith influence on the old school side of things towards the end.

Next up is definitely where die hard fans of both bands are either going to smile or cry down to Goodman’s vocals on this maybe a little hard to stomach for some in places but i think they fit the song nicely if a little unconventional. Smith also lends his hand to some Dickinson style woooahh’s in the background and a nice Maiden-esque solo. Next up in the first single from the album ‘I See Lights‘ maybe not the most obvious choice to represent the album due to its repetitiveness of the riff, but the song does show off some nice vocal work from both men here, as we all know Smith did sing a Maiden B-Side and he is more than capable of belting out a good tune. If you listen to this song in depth you will really get a feel of how many vocal styles Goodman really has, and it is rather impressive, especially the lower toned snarls he does, really giving the songs a darker atmosphere.

Bright as a Fire is for me the track of the album, starting off in a
slow Maiden-esque way, the song at first seems like the ballad of the
album but just little over 90 seconds in the song kicks into a mid paced
beast. Probably one of the more commercial of the songs in regards to
structure and vocal deliverance, the songs really quality is the variation of riffs which Smith delivers, the chugging after the chorus really adds a nice heavy touch after the chorus. It must be said that the production of the album is of top quality too, which unfortunately can’t be said for the past few Maiden albums, but they really nailed it on this!

Savage World is definitely one for the SikTh fans, the vocals on this
are pretty crazy, but not enough for older metal fans to turn their nose
up at, which I think is another aspect of the writing they have done well, the balance between the two writing styles is pretty much spot on.

Tortured Tone is the ballad of the album and definitely one of the
better songs on the album, again without the mixed vocal styles, the song would be just your average ballad. Some nice guitar synth touches in the background too as well as Smith does some backing vocals too. The two guys compliment each other well on songs like this. The quality of songs continues throughout the rest of the album. White Sheet Robes is another mini epic song, which lodges itself in your brain once you’ve listened to it. As Tears Come Falling From the Sky is not a song, its 48 seconds of pure madness and an incite to the crazy thoughts of Goodman.

The title track Awoken Broken reminded me a little of System of a Down in the chorus parts, a little crazy, a lot of layers to the song, but
again the thing that makes the song is the basic riffs of Smith with the
craziness of the vocals, I really can’t praise the song writing formula

Search For Bliss is one of the lighter songs on the album and one where Goodman shows he really can sing in a more, shall we say ‘normal’ style, with that said the song still has its harsh moments halfway through. I can see it being the second single off of the album, not because it’s maybe one of the better of the songs, it just seems more TV and radio friendly compared to the other songs on the album, which is by no means a bad thing. Snake Ladders is a mini story in song form. The music itself reminds me of the Metallica song ‘The Outlaw Torn’ a slower, with heavier riffs which obviously were not used to hearing from Smith in Maiden. Vocally, again it could compare from anything from Metallica to Nick Cave, especially on the spoken word parts, but again delivered in such a great way.

The album ends in a lighter way with ‘Mirror on the Moon‘ a great way to end the album, a more softer side to the band which reminds me of
something off any V.A.S.T album, which is always a good thing. there’s
also a hint of David Bowie to the sing which is definitely unexpected!
All in all I think its pretty safe to say that this album kicks ass – A
lot of it at that! I really hope these 2 make more music in the future and it’s not just a one off project, if this is just the beginning then I for
one can’t wait for what could become of this band. I’m also going out on a limb here and saying this could very well be ‘Album of the Year’ Forget about comparing this to Maiden or SikTh, listen to the album for what it is, a more that excellent modern hard rock and metal album!


Paul Brady