album reviews

I find that I like the idea of Hell Within. It seems like they’re built in the same mold as Unearth; a Massachusetts-built strong brand of new age metalcore with flying guitar solos that is coupled with a forceful but unfocused vocal performance. The problem is that the cohesiveness of the band isn't quite there. "God Grant Me Vengeance" has a feeling in parts that each individual musician is playing his line in the proper context, but it’s all so raw and unfiltered as to get snarled up in itself.

It's funny to me how the "True Sound of the Underground" sounds suspiciously like the "True Sound of Hot Topic." Everything is a little too arranged, and seems coldly calculated. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the album was assembled behind the soulless doors of a record company marketing meeting, but all the rage and vinegar just seems too convenient.

Tennessee's take-no-prisoners heavy metal outfit The Showdown starts their new album "Blood in the Gears" with a vengeance. The album begins with "Man Named Hell," a punishing and unrelenting southern metal excursion through a wonderful twist of riff-rocking and virile guitars. It is from there that the rest of the experience is set to launch.

Reader beware, I'm wading lightly into dangerous musical territory for me. Trent Reznor's new EP with his brand new bride (who is reportedly expecting,) entitled "How To Destroy Angels" is a foray into the depths of modern electronic music. I am a stranger in a strange land for this, but I shall endeavor to open my mind and do my best.

Beginning with their 1999 eponymous release and the subsequent gig opening for AC/DC in the spring of 2000, Buckcherry seemed poised to dominate the party rock scene for at least a decade. Well, it’s been a decade, and with the inclusion of “All Night Long,” there have been four studio albums, and here the journey seems much the same.

What a curious little album we have here. Whether that qualifier means “good” or “bad” is solely up to the listener. In 10 Years “Feeding the Wolves,” we see a band that gets caught between directions, but is not without talent.

Obliging the trendy nature of assorted alt-metal, “Feeding the Wolves” capitalizes on the anguished, emotional tropes that dominate the radio waves. Yet, within that somewhat disposable framework there exists a glimpse of creative song writing. The harmonizing that the band uses all too sparingly is a small exhibit of the kind of talent that’s on the table.

As a music reviewer, you begin to develop an intuitive sense of what to expect from an album. Either through past albums, band news reports or the paradigm of whatever metal splinter genre you are encountering, it’s easy to create a mindset for an album before you ever sit down and give it your full attention.

Generally, one of three things happens: Either you expect the album to be great and it is great, you expect it to be poor and it is poor, or in disappointing fashion, you expect greatness and are rewarded with mediocrity.

Wow. I can’t say this is what I expected from Soilwork. Forever titans of the melodic death/extreme/speed metal scene, the last twist I could have anticipated was for the band to release something, dare I say, “pop-y.”

I'm faced with another possibly ill-advised Ozzy album. Honestly, I'm not sure "Scream" should exist. In truth though, who am I, who are any of us, to tell the father of heavy metal as we know it that he should stop? So, "Scream."

When invoking the name “Danzig,” there are certain musical and idolatrous tropes that immediately spring to mind. First and foremost, the man himself, possessed of a larger-than-life attitude and a booming, rafter-shaking voice. More than that though, Danzig’s music has always conjured gothically romantic images of the single man standing in defiance of the universe, hand clenched and raised in prodigal fury.