Saturday, 31 March 2012

Unisonic - st

The album is a really fun and happy listen. So melodic and playful with cool solos galore. The riffing is just simple rocking and never really ventures into power metal territory as Kai eluded to in interviews. He didn't want the album to sound anything like a Gamma Ray or Helloweeny album and it doesn't . It sounds to me like a lighter or poppier new PC69 album or something like that but with a little more rock and roll feel with fun bouncy riffs and Michael's unique happy go lucky, soaring vocals on top.

Unisonic - A good statement of intent for the band with it's soaring cries of Unisonic and general energetic feel. 8/10

Souls Alive - A playful and rocking melodic song with a beautiful chorus sung brilliantly by Michael. One of the best on the album. 8.5/10

Never Too Late - A similar song in terms of tempo with a slight retro rock and roll feel. The song builds to a happy slightly Helloweeny chorus. A sunshiny light feel makes you smile during this song. Great for the summer as is most of the album. 9/10

I've Tried - A slightly more relaxed pace with more emotional vocals from Mickey this one. Leads onto an amazingly beautiful chorus with relaxed melodic backing. The song is as smooth as silk and it doesn't even feel like a rock song to me apart from the solo. It sounds like an 80s hi-tech aor pop song with a beautiful melody plain and simple. This sort of music should be huge in the charts IMO.

Star Rider - A slow paced song pretty much with Mickey's usual warbling soaring vocals leading onto an ok but a rather average chorus. Not loving this one that much as it's a bit pedestrian. There are some nice harmony vocal sections during the verses though. 6/10

Never Change Me - Another relaxed fairly, slow of tempo, light song with a pop feel that leads on to a fun melodic chorus again similar to the ones we've heard before. The formula of the songs so far seems to be to have simpler verses that lead onto bug hook filled choruses. This song is no different. The solo has a great melodic feel but the song feels very rock and rolly. 8/10

Renegade - One of the slightly heavier songs with a heavy groovy riff opener which gives way to the typical relaxed verses which again leads into an amazing chorus with quite a unique feel the way Michael sings it. I like this song a lot. Soaring, spine tingling vocal melodies on this one. 8.5/10

My Sanctuary - A song from the ep awhile back and an a brilliant song in my book. Great build up and I love the slow bit in the middle with Kai's vocals singing "sanctuary" with his low vocals. The tempo of the song is very cool indeed with nice riffs and solos and a great soaring chorus of course. One of my faves with this glorious happy song. 9.5/10

King for a Day - A slow paced pretty heavy rock song with again great melodies from Mickey. The guy really out did himself on the album. This song sounds quite symphonic and epic thanks to great keyboard presence. A beautiful song again and with a multi layered chorus with both Kai and Mickey and maybe more voices. This song is the closest we get to a Gamma Ray feel as the second part of the song sounds very metallic and Gamm Ray-ish as it speeds up with a gorgeous solo. However the vocal parts are always delivered to slower backing with Kai doing harmony to Mickey's lead. An amazing song to be honest which I can't find fault with 10/10.

We Rise - A spiky and energetic heavy rocking riff to start which gives way to a sedate verse before we reach another one of the stratosphere reaching Mickey choruses that sways back and forth with a typical Germanic melodic feel. The solo in this song is to die for. 9.5/10

No One Ever Sees Me - The longest song on the album is kept back till last and what we hear is an emotional quiet ballad with acoustic guitars and Mickey crooning away on top. The song is a bit too emotional and sappy but I guess it's the only real ballad on the album so I can forgive them. It would probably have been better to put this in the middle somewhere and ended on a more powerful note but that's just me. The song has a very heartbreaking solo in it with lush instrumentation all round. 7.5/10

This album is an amazing listen if you enjoy melodies in your rock music. I rate it at 9/10

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Favourite albums of 2012 so far

Here are my favourites so far in 2012.

Cannibal Corpse - Torture. The kings of death metal had me worried for a bit as I didn't like the initial single releases but the album as a whole smokes. Some of the grooves are intense.

Gorod - A Perfect Absolution. French tech death masters deliver the riffs with groove and allow the songs room to breathe.

Napalm Death - Utilitarian. The Gods of Grind! Can never be a let down. However this is Napalm at their most brutal and yet still with catchy parts galore.

Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression. Hyper brutal and technical with a little more groove. Great stuff anyway.

Dynazty - Sultans Of Sin. Miles better than their previous album. Swedish glammy aorsters deliver songs with class and great vocals.

Lacuna Coil - Dark Adrenaline. Probably the first LC album I like. It's super heavy and the male/female vocals are very melodic.

Sonic Station - st. Super soft westcoast AOR but with very good songwriting.

Sunstorm - Emotional Fire. The best AOR record of the year so far. JLT is amazing!

Adrenaline Mob - Omerta. I like the heaviness and the amazing crunch in the guitars. The songs are mostly good and enjoyable enough for me.

Amberian Dawn - Circus Black. Finnish Nightwish copy at the top of the game.

Eternal Dream - The Fall Of Salanthine. Super fast melodic symphonic power metal with ethereal otherworldly female vocals. Sounds huge!

Freedom Call - Land Of The Crimson Dawn. Enjoyable and super happy melodic power metal much better than I was hoping for.

Lanfear - This Harmonic Consonance. Slightly technical power/prog with interesting riffs.

Lyriel - Leverage. Typical female fronted gothic folk metal with a much better sound than their previous albums.

Pharaoh - Bury The Light. Only the rather dull production stops me from completely loving this. Some of the riffs are a joy for the ears with beautiful galloping parts.

Primal Fear - Unbreakable. Much better than the last album. Ralf turns in a stellar performance and the songs are very strong. One of the best efforts from Primal Fear no doubt.

Rage - 21. I like it a little less than the last two albums but the guitar work is still smoking hot from Victor.

Xandria - Neverworld's End. Monstrous Nightwish copy with vocals aping Tarja to the max.

Aggression - Viocracy. Quality heavy thrash and no messing about.

Bludvera - Terrorform EP. Unknown UK thrashers with a blisteringly good ep.

Game Over - For Humanity. Regular cool thrash metal with class.

Mad Maze - Frames of Alienation. Technical thrash merchants with huge production and fat riffs galore.

Skull Hammer - Destroyers of the Faith. Groovy and killer thrash with riffs ala Megadeth and Metallica.

Soulfly - Enslaved. Max is the king of metal! Brutal catchy riffs and rhythms and most importantly memorable tunes

Suicidal Angels - Bloodbath. Rip roaring Slayer worship from the Greek overlords of thrashy mayhem.

Testimony - Transcending Reality EP. Unknown tech thrash with many lengthy and enjoyable technical compositions.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Cannibal Corpse - Torture

Ok I have played the album now and I am happy to report that the two early songs released are easily the worst on the album. They are not bad CC songs but they don't represent the album as a whole. I think this album could be the most involved and technical album yet from Corpse. It's not so easy to get into straight away but as you are listening you can hear loads of little killer riffs and grooves here and there. It is also probably the most brutal sounding CC album yet. The Rutan production is monstrous and sounds like molten slabs of hot iron lacerating your ears.

Demented Aggression - A fast roaring start and a typical CC song. The groove riff in the middle makes the song with it's bouncy feel. 7/10

Sarcophagic Frenzy - Mid paced pounder that starts like Sentenced to Burn in pretty simple form however the song gets more involved and groovy and at 2.30 you have a great riff section for headbangers. The solo is very cool too. 8/10

Scourge Of Iron - My least fave song. Very slow and heavy with the odd fast time change here and there. The song might grow on me but at the moment it's boring. 5/10

Encased in Concrete - A frenetic and frantic corpse tune with fast double bass and amazingly fast vocals at time from Corpsegrinder. Nice killer time change sections as well that CC are experts at. The frenetic feel juxtaposed to the slower groove sections give the song good dynamism. 8/10

As Deep As The Knife Will Go - Fast hammering riffs again crash headlong into a great twisted slow riff before the slower groove riff takes over for the catchy chorus. Soon the faster blast section returns. Again the dynamics in this song are awesome. Not many death metal bands can master the mix between speed and mid pace as well as CC can. One of the catchiest songs on the album and a must for windmill headbangers. 8.5/10

Intestinal Crank - One of the most technical sounding songs on the album opens with a winding tech riff before a pneumatic drill type blast riff takes over. The technicality however remains. This is a song that tech heads need to try and listen closely to the twisted lines the guitars weave. Amazing stuff and the best riffs on the whole album when Corpsegrinder screams "Intestinal Crank!" The grooving tech feel remains to the songs conclusions as a madcap frenzied solos screams forth to bring the song to a manic end. 9.5/10

Followed Home Then Killed - A heavy and pretty sick song opens with a thunderous riff before a leap into a fast time change and a killer pattern and groove emerge with a twisted rampaging riffs. Corpsegrinder's vocals are very understandable in this song and you can tell a lot of though has gone into making the vocals fit into the riff patterns to make things catchy and interesting. The solo in this song is again very tasty, fast and chaotic. The groove is also completely head bangable, brutal and mean. 9/10

The Strangulation Chair - The killer song sequence with this track and it's sick mid paced groove with thumping sinewy riffage winding it's suffocating way around your neck. The song never picks up full pace and maintains it's slick groove till the last note with it's dark and evil tone. 8.5/10

Caged...Contorted - Again they refrain from playing too fast and settle on a thick mid paced groove with little peaks of vicious speed and double bass drum battery. I love the drums on this album by the way. Very snappy and tight with good feel and groove. Once again Caged...Contorted is a very dynamic and groovy song with good sway between fast and mid paced to keep the song flowing and back and forth. 8.5/10

Crucifier Avenged - Possibly the catchiest song on the whole album with it's superb mid paced riff rides and it's double timed drum patterns. This song actually reminds me of some Deicide song on Once Upon the Cross. The chorus on this by Corpsegrinder is spat out in a super catchy way and makes it the most rhythmic and memorable on the whole album. The song itself is not overly technical sounding but is played to perfection and tight as hell and provides a great bouncy ride. 9.5/10

Rabid - Possibly a contender close to the previous song as my fave. The song is perfectly named as Corpsegrinder sounds like a rabid dog chomping his way through the remains of his kill. The riffing in this song is even somewhat melodic and very catchy in general. The drums are simple and follow the songs pace but are very tightly played and with great groove. This song is a little technical than the last couple of songs, with the riff being a little more twisted and sicker. A great song indeed and I like the one word Rabiiiiiiid!! scream from Corpsegrinder and the awesome riffs in the background. 9/10

Torn Through - The album ends on a hyper manic and sonically vicious end with one of the most brutal songs which is riddled with double bass and brutal fast riffs that leave little room for breath. Not that the song doesn't have it's typical CC groove sections to allow the headbangers to windmill their plumage. It's not the best song on the album but it's still a killer tune in it's own right with good vocal patterns and a typically sweet demented solo. 8.5/10

So there we have the latest Cannibal Corpse CD and it's a good one alright. It has a couple of average tunes but is riddled with some ridiculously awesome grooves and shows that they are only getting better the older they get. Overall rating is 8.5/10