Album Review: Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 2
Posted by WarpRider
It’s time for the second edition of The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol 2; Five Finger Death Punch’s second album of 2013. As you may have read here, my impression of Vol 1 wasn’t exactly that stellar, but I found some redeeming qualities in some of the songs. I like their groove and level of angst they put into their riffing, but find myself lost on their lyrical content. It’s strange because usually lyrics are the least important thing to me, but I guess when they are so childish they throw me off preventing me from focusing on everything else I love about metal. Let’s face it, I am far from being a teenager and to me this is the audience they are appealing to. I am just not that angst-ridden anymore. I need more substance in my songs for those situations where lyrical content somehow strikes me. Just like they articulate in track #2, Weight Beneath My Sin…
…It’s the same old fucking story, the same old fucking lies, the same old fucking ending…
I call these albums In-Betweeners because to me they are not strictly prog, metal or hard rock, they draw from all of those and other genres. Genre labels continue to become blurred. Hurrah for that!
#20: Andromeda (Sweden), prog metal
Album: Manifest Tyranny
Song: Lies ‘R’ Us
Andromeda released five albums between 2001 and 2011. Over the span of a decade their music has taken on an increasingly neo-progressive rock feel. This hasn’t jarred in any way because they’ve been consistently good. Besides, neo-prog and prog metal are often very compatible bedmates. Both genres include cross-over elements, drawing from various other styles. This is why prog metal doesn’t appeal to some followers of harder metal, and neo-prog sometimes alienates the symphonic prog purists.
#19: Jolly (USA), neo-progressive rock
Album: The Audio Guide To Happiness
Song: Ends Where It Starts
This was Jolly’s second album. To me it’s as much heavy prog as neo-prog. Their new album, The Audio Guide To Happiness 2, has perhaps even a heavier flavour and has won over a fair number of prog metal fans. The band has named diverse influences, from Depeche Mode to Tool. Whatever may have inspired them, Jolly have built a solid, distinctive sound of their own.
#18: Ancestors (USA), post metal
Album: In Dreams and Time
Post metal is one of the hybrid genres you’ll find listed on both metal and prog sites, along with post rock and progressive metal. One description of both post rock and post metal is that they dispense with traditional riffs and solos, creating layers of sound instead. Both styles are often instrumental. Ancestors enrich their brand of post metal with vocals and by incorporating elements of doom, stoner and drone metal as well as psychedelic prog rock.
#17: Magic Pie (Norway), symphonic progressive rock
Album: The Suffering Joy
Song: Slightly Mad
Magic Pie may be generally considered a symphonic prog band, but they temper their sound by blending it with hard rock. The resulting music is orchestral and does use a lot of keyboard. However, it also features some powerful guitar work. It is somewhat surreal and extremely melodious… I think Devin Townsend would approve. One of the great strengths of Magic Pie is that their lead singer, Eirick Hanssen, is one of the best vocalists in the business.
#16: Unitopia (Australia), crossover prog
Song: Not Human Anymore
The “crossover” part refers to the retro aspect of Unitopia’s music. The band is influenced by the great bands of the 1970s classic prog era. At the same time, they lubricate their very distinctive sound with healthy doses of modern rock that borders very closely on prog metal. The overall label I would attach to their music is “epic”. Even power metal fans should try this band.
This song is from the new album Augur Nox, released earlier this month by one of Britain’s excellent black metal bands. Code have released three original studio albums and a compilation album since they formed in 2002. The video appeals to me because it’s black metal, which is one of the tastiest flavours in music, and because of its minimalist approach. The orange-red glow of a fire, the sparks shooting into the darkness, and almost nothing in the way of props or special effects – that’s all it takes to set the visual mood for this really good song.
Posted by WarpRider
My level of excitement concerning all things Ghost elevated when I heard they were releasing an EP of covers. That’s all I needed to know to make the day-of-release purchase. Though I am overall pretty happy with the output, if there is one thing wrong about the If You Have Ghost EP; it’s unfortunately short. Yes, it meets the criteria of an EP, but to me that just means “a few songs” to feast on. The problem is that two of the five songs are ones we heard already. First, as much as I enjoyed Infestissumam, I thought Secular Haze was one of, if not, the weakest songs on the album. So, throwing a live version of it on an EP was nothing but filler even though it was a decent recording. Then, to add salt to the wound they including I Am A Marionette…another one already included on the Infestissumam deluxe edition.
“Eclectic” is a useful word. You can write it to make people think you’re very clever or very pretentious. In a musical context, however, everyone should know that “eclectic” simply means “deriving ideas, style or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.”
That’s what the eight-member Austrian band Circle of Illusion is. Eclectic. So much so, in fact, that you could include their debut album, “Jeremias”, in a music trivia quiz – how many different genres do these guys play?
If there is a blanket genre for this band, it can be no more precise than “prog”. Under that blanket you’ll find all sorts of warm and comforting prog metal, symphonic prog, funky jazz, symphonic metal, neo-classical prog, theatrical composition, and even echoes of the 1980s disco-esque funk-jazz of bands like Shakatak. Read the rest of this entry →
This thrash/death outfit from Brazil formed 20 years ago this year. There have been many changes in the band’s line-up, but the music is still as solid and edible as you could want. The song is from their new album, “Esquadrão De Tortura”, released on November 15. Try to keep your head still when the music hits the 2:10 mark.
This was indeed a difficult, but interesting challenge. Exactly what I like and look for in music, and mainly in metal, is something I’ve never thought about to a great extent before. And I wouldn’t say it’s important to know either, it’s just a way to get to know myself better (and a good excuse for making another list). It goes a bit deeper and is more specific than just saying “I like <insert genre here>”. These components I’m describing apply to any style of music I listen to.
#6 Dark, melancholic and flowing atmosphere
Maybe I’m a person that is too serious and sorrowful on the inside? I’m always drawn to music with a dark and melancholic undertone and sincere, solemn vocals. Even if some music I like might sound light and uplifting, the lyrics usually have a very serious or sad meaning (the song Reaching Home by Textures being the perfect example). I prefer this dark atmosphere served with the wonderful flow that can often be found in post rock/metal and atmospheric black metal. This is why I love bands like Alcest, ISIS, Ghost Brigade, Swallow the Sun and Ne Obliviscaris.
Here are links to five different metal compilations from three different labels, all FREE to download. They include bands like Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, Skyharbor, Devin Townsend, Extol, Misery Signals and many more. It would be stupid to not take advantage of this opportunity to check out some new bands or just get free songs. Basick Records, for example, is my favourite label and they have some excellent progressive/tech/core bands. I hope you find something to your liking too!
Century Media Records
Yay, it’s Friday! To prevent an overload of lovely progressive music here on the blog I decided to pick a song that our non-proggy readers could enjoy too. “Immortality Made Flesh” is a fast-paced and fun technical melodic thrash tune, with an abundance of catchy riffs and insane guitars. It’s a single from their upcoming album (I’m looking forward to it!) that will be released in February next year. A perfect energy boost for the beginning of the weekend. Enjoy and have a nice one!
You’ll know some or maybe all of these bands, depending on whether you like prog metal, hard rock, prog rock or all of them. I’ll include the most frequently listed genre label for each album, but this is music I think of as In Between. To me, it’s crossover music bridging the gap between metal, prog and other genres. I’m deeply gratified that the boundaries between different types of my favourite music are blurred so often. Read the rest of this entry →