Posts Tagged ‘cd’

CD Review: Paradise Found – Foundations

06 Nov

Originally published at

Paradise Found - FoundationsHailing from Newcastle, Paradise Found offer the listener a mix of hardcore-influenced vocals with down-tuned riffing that combines equal parts hardcore and circle pit-inducing breakdowns. According to the band’s bio, Paradise Found has been credited with having one of ‘the highest energy live shows in Newcastle to date’, which is a big call; however, as far as the local Newcastle scene goes in recent years, that could be a perfectly believable statement.

‘Foundations’ is the band’s new debut EP and it’s full to the brim with concise, infectious slabs of brutality that remain totally hummable thanks to their strong guitar melodies. From the opening strains of ‘Northern Lights’ to the closing gang vocal of ‘End of the Story’, this EP will have you either shouting the words or humming to the guitars – no question.

With plans for a full-length album in 2013, you can expect big things from this Newcastle quintet. Their unique mix of influences will no doubt continue to see plenty of bruised and bloodied bodies in mosh pits up and down the east coast in the coming years. Keep an eye out.

Interview: Dead and Divine for Hysteria Magazine

14 Oct

Dead and DivineWe recently had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Tobin, vocalist of Canada’s Dead and Divine for Australian Hysteria magazine. The interview was published in issue 6 of the mag’ which went on sale this month. If you haven’t picked up a copy before, we really recommend it. It’s literally packed to the brim with interviews, reviews and news on many various heavy music sub-genres with something for everyone. Anyway, here’s the feature as it appears in the magazine:

They say that with age comes a greater sense of perspective and often more confidence in one’s own abilities. Basically, you become more comfortable in yourself and what you’re about. Clearly this must be true of the guys in Canada’s Dead and Divine: a band often lumped in with the crowded ‘metalcore’ scene and the narrow field of view its fans can sometimes display.

On their third full-length release – Antimacy – the Canadian quintet find themselves introducing more layers to their trademark sound. While this type of artistic growth and maturity can often be seen as a negative by fans, it’s something founder member and vocalist Matt Tobin is pretty chuffed about. “This time around we were like, ‘let’s try something new and let’s do what we were afraid to do with the last record’,” Tobin says. “At that point we didn’t care anymore and just wanted to make a record that we all loved. If we ended up with a part that sounded like something we normally wouldn’t do, we did it anyway if we liked how it sounded.”

With the group’s previous outings staying pretty true to formula, including 2008’s debut The Fanciful and 2009’s The Machines We Are, there are more obvious hints of primary song writers Matt and Chris LeMasters’ (guitar) childhood influences poking through into the 11 tracks that comprise Antimacy. “A lot of us grew up in the ‘90s, so that’s what we were raised on,” Tobin says. “I grew up on the Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, silverchair – they were and still are one of my favourite bands – the deftones… they were some of the biggest influences on me. A lot of grunge, too.”

1990s Revival: Avail – Over the James (c1998)

03 Oct

For all who saw Richmond, Virginia’s Avail play with Lagwagon earlier this year, you’ll know they can rock the house down. And now, here is their new album: much heavier than their last effort but still in keeping with the great vocal harmonies and melodies that filled the last disc.

14 phenomenal tracks are what’s on offer here and it has become obvious that the metal head drummer has had his evil way with the rest of the band, as their style has just gone through the roof as far as heaviness is concerned. But don’t get me wrong, this is a very good thing. No-one will be disappointed with this CD at all; there is just nothing bad to comment on and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

From the song names, lyrics and the interview I did with the guys before, the issues put forward are all local to them and you can tell this by the amount of emotion put into each performance. It just shows really well that if you write about something that directly affects you, it will sound that much more natural and powerful. It worked for these guys tenfold.

I’m sure any one of the 380 people at the Pitt on January 9 will either have already bought Over the James or are going to buy it, aren’t you!? No really, this album is the perfect example of how to write and record the perfect CD. Congratulations guys.



1990s Revival: Junkie XL – Saturday Teenage Kick (c1997)

06 Sep

Now this is different. A techno disc featuring rap vocals and guitar loops recorded by one of the music industry’s heaviest weights: Dino Cazares from Fear Factory! Yes, that is correct, it is actually different enough to become part of my collection; and I’m a metal head!

I believe a lot of the Triple J-listening community would have heard the first track off this, their debut album: ‘Underachievers’. From my point of view this is the catchiest and least disjointed of all the tracks on the disc; some which border on the self-indulgent. This is a shame, because at times you end up thinking to yourself, ‘if only he had have…’, or ‘only it were more…’. Anyhow, it is still an unusual and new sound, and I like it.

The artwork must have taken an age to create because it is so intricate, involving different backgrounds and images and all this stuff that looks so cool – it’s fantastic. Obviously the computer generated tuned had a big influence on the artwork, too. Cool, I am a big fan of computer assisted design. One thing that  was also different was the length of the tracks. Often with techno you’re wading through tracks that seem to go on forever, but Junkie XL has been able to keep the songs down to the typical three to four minute, radio-friendly limit with only a few tunes running long.

If you don’t already have this, then get it. Hey, even I have a copy and I’m supposed to hate techno. But I don’t really; that’s just the common perception.



1990s Revival: Zimmer’s Hole – Bound By Fire (c1997)

17 Aug

Forget extreme sports; this is extreme FUN! Zimmer’s Hole is one of the side projects of Strapping Young Lad. No, Devin isn’t directly involved; it was the other guy’s project and the band member’s names read like this: El Smooche – Lorde of Electric Winde; Banglsey Starnipples – Lorde of Strobe Lighting; Sickie Moochmaster – Lorde of Greased Thunder and Dr Heathen Hooch – Lorde of Ass-Fire.

Now, if you can’t tell that this is going to be fun from the names of the band members, why not try some of the track names: Pork Rind Toes, Two-Headed Anal Baby, Hell Comes to Breakfast, This is Metal and Gospel Sodomy Boy on Blow! Funny enough for ya? Now, one warning, the music depicted on this disc ranges from heavy rock to death metal, with the more extreme styles being the main theme. So, it isn’t for the squeamish. Another thing that sets this apart from other satirical metal recordings is that all the musicians involved can actually play: the singer has an incredible range, the drummer is super fast and the guitars and bass never miss a note. Add to that the fact that Bound By Fire is well produced and this is simply miles apart from anything vaguely like it.


CD Review: Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

27 Feb

Social Distortion Album have just published our review of Social Distortion’s latest album, ‘Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes’. The band’s first studio album in seven years, it’s a retro-rockin’ good time of a CD. Read the excerpt of the review below and CLICK HERE or on the image of the album cover to read the entire review over at

“…Perhaps ‘Hard Times…’ carries a more unique sonic character because it marked the first time Mike Ness took the reigns as producer. Formerly ‘just’ the singer, guitarist and primary songwriter, the frontman says he wonders why he didn’t do it years ago. However, it has clearly allowed his vision to come into a fully realised form…”

CD Review: Alexisonfire “Aussie Tour 7in” for

09 Feb have just published my review of the recently-released Alexisonfire two-song single ‘Aussie Tour 7in’. Released as part of their Australian tour on actual 7in vinyl, the tracks are now available on iTunes. Check out the excerpt below, read the entire review and be sure to support Alexisonfire by buying the tracks.

“…A pretty faithful rendition of Midnight Oil’s “Dead Heart” rolls out of the speakers, immediately reminding us all that Peter Garrett would be far better off quitting the puppetry of his cabinet position and going back to music full time. The messages spoken through the lyrics are still completely and sadly relevant today. While I think Alexisonfire play it a bit too close to the original, it’s nice that they should have chosen to play the track live on their tour…”

CLICK HERE to read the entire review.

CD Review: Sevendust – ‘Cold Day Memory’

04 Nov

Sevendust - Cold Day Memory‘Cold Day Memory’ marks the ultimate return to form for the Atlanta, Georgia quintet, after less stellar recent releases like ‘Next’ and ‘Alpha’. Given that these albums were written and recorded during a period when guitarist Clint Lowery had departed the group (returning for 2008’s ‘Chapter VII’); you’d be forgiven for believing he was the spark that lights the band’s song writing fire.

Lajon Witherspoon’s mammoth voice soars over the bottom-heavy riff-fest that Sevendust have become renown for – a combination that is finished off with choruses likely to stick in your brain long after the 12 tracks of ‘Cold Day…’ are over. It’s a typically layered listen, with the album opening with the epically heavy ‘Splinter’ and closer ‘Strong Arm Broken’. In between, tracks like ‘Unravelling’, ‘Last Breath’ and ‘Confessions’ are reminiscent of Sevendust’s early classics ‘Home’ and ‘Animosity’. It’s all killer and no filler.

CD Review: Disturbed – ‘Asylum’

04 Nov

Disturbed - AsylumLove them or hate them, Disturbed have forged out their own distinct sound over their last four studio albums – one that’s immediately recognisable. On their fifth and latest, ‘Asylum’, Disturbed certainly don’t reinvent their wheel; however they do well to continue the development of their song writing skills and there are a ton of hooks prevalent within.

The disc opens up with the rather subdued instrumental ‘Remnants’ that seamlessly morphs into the title track boasting fist-pumping signature Disturbed staccato riffing and singer David Drayman’s equally trademark grunts. It’s hard-driving metal for the masses with a slick and polished production that has enough of the edges rounded smooth to land it deep within the mainstream. This means it’ll probably be too safe for the more hardcore metal fans.

Ultimately, it’s more of the same from the Chicago quartet; but they do what they do very well and you’ll be rewarded for your purchase by epic, soaring choruses and catchy-as-hell riffage.

CD Review: Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra

02 Nov

Dimmu Borgir - AbrahadabraAny connections that Dimmu Borgir had left to the Black metal scene have been ripped to shreds with the release of their latest album, ‘Abrahadabra’. The Norwegian group has been both loved and hated for their willingness – nay, compulsion – to continually push the boundaries of what makes up the black metal genre.

With this, their ninth studio album, Dimmu Borgir stretch their creative mettle to the point where they can now no longer be convincingly linked to the blackened realms of Norwegian black metal. ‘Abrahadabra’ is a 50-minute journey full of bombast, pomp and ridiculous levels of texture – no doubt helped by a 100-piece orchestra and choir that the band have put to good use.