Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Sinheresy - Paint The World

Released: September 30th 2013
Genre: Gothic, Power Progressive Metal
Number of Tracks: 10
Record Label: BakerTeam Records
Sounds Like: Nightwish, Symphony X, Sirenia

Overall Rating: 8/10

Super talented female fronted band Sinheresy, have developed their own unique style of metal by mixing their influences from progressive metal bands such as Nightwish and Symphony X with the dark sound of Siriena and Within Temptation. Their first EP 'The Spiders and the Butterfly' received a positive reaction from fans and critics and they are now back with their first full length album 'Paint The World'

Their fresh new sound make Sinheresy standout with vocalists Cecilia Petrini and Stephen Sain often orchestrating vocal duels and melodies superbly, unlike anything we've heard before. Musically, they are very tight and they blend fast paced power riffs, with a typical symphonic rhythmic keyboard sound, expertly. They know when to slow it down at the right times, and tracks like 'Roses & Thorns' fits in well amongst the high tempo brilliance that surrounds it. This sound starts us off with first track 'Last Fall'. After the short cinematic intro, the pounding fast riff and drumming excellence from Alex Vescovi carries us through the diverse vocal duets faster than a bullet leaving a gun. This is an emphatic way to announce yourselves on the underground power prog scene.
You get the feeling that the band know exactly what they are doing musically and are technically excellent. Their songwriting knowledge throughout the multi-talented group is vast, and the album has a feel good factor about it. However, it could have been produced better as it is hard to hear the vocals in most parts, and the instrumentals overpower the vocals.

'The Gambler' and 'Made for Sin' is another example of fast paced pounding riffage, and the vocal harmonies continue to work well. Title track 'Paint The World' is slower in tempo but is probably the catchiest song on the album, and is vocally excellent for Ms Petrini. The album slows down towards the end, but by no means does it weaken. Highlights include the solo to track 9 'Elua's Gift' 

For fans of symphonic metal this album will not disappoint and is a fantastic starting point for Sinheresy, and joining at the front of the pack of female fronted power prog bands which are in short supply; we will be seeing a lot more from Sinheresy in the future. 

Planning on "Painting the world with our music" over 2014, which hopefully means some gigs in the UK and across europe! Keep your eyes on these, I can't wait to hear more from these guys!

Sinheresy Facebook
Sinheresy Youtube

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Trivium - Vengeance Falls

Released: 15th October 2013
Genre: MetalCore, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
Record Label: RoadRunner Records 
Number of Tracks: 10 (13 on Special Edition)                                                   

Overall Rating: 8/10

Trivium seem to have set a precedent; alternating exhilarating impressive releases such as 2005's Ascendancy and 2008's Shogun, with patchier works such as 2003's Ember To Inferno and 2011's In Waves. They have defined the Nu-Metal scene, where bands like Bullet for my Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold have shriveled up. With each album offering us something new, we were unsure as to what we were going to get with their 6th studio album - Vengeance Falls.


Vengeance Falls fails to scale the heights of their best work, but is certainly a positive metal track, with an impressive blend of melody, crunchy riffs, shred fests, and emphatic choruses. This is one of the strongest metalcore tracks out there. The production by David Draiman is fantastic, and you can hear every crisp element superbly. If you are after Matt Heafy's death metal vocals, you won't find them here as he bravely reserves the more aggressive vocals for the breakdowns in some songs, and adopts a fantastic clean melodic vocal which impress throughout the album. This seemed risky after what happened with The Crusade but working with Draiman, he has increased his vocal range which can be heard on track 10 'Wake (The End Is Nigh)'. 

Trivium set a high standard with tracks 1 and 3, 'Brave This Storm' and 'Strife'. These are classic anthemic melodic metalcore tracks, based around frantic riffing, weighty vocal melodies and charging solos. Track 3 'Strife' is a standout track, and was released as a single on August 20th. It starts off with a simple riff that gets heavier with every bar, and the build up with the drums creates a whirlwind of metal excellence. The verse slows down, increasing in tempo again before the chorus and Heafy's vocals stick with you all day; epitomised by a shred fest guitar duel before kicking into that killer chorus once more. I'm really impressed at how Heafy, Beaulieu and bassist Gregoletto all contribute vocally. 'Strife' is definitely the highlight of the album.

Being the title track to a Trivium album, you'd expect title track 'Vengeance Falls' to be emphatic and heavy. It isn't, and is largely a disappointment. It never seems to get going, is very basic and seems lazy. For me, it is a weak point on the album. Groovy track 5 'To Believe'  is another high performer. Fast paced, catchy and anthemic. It all builds to an euphoric outro, with lead shredding, Beaulieu screams, a bouncy riff and drums. Its a shame that the outro only lasted for half a minute. The next highlight 'Incineration: The Broken World' offers more melodic riffage, heavier vocals, but that solo; the duel is reminiscent of 'Like Fire to the Flies' or any other gem off Ascendancy. An absolute beauty and one of the best Trivium solos you will hear. 

Final track 'Wake (The End is Nigh)' is centred around the improved vocals of Matt Heafy. It starts out with a clean riff, and a beautiful vocal performance by Heafy, hitting low notes that I never knew existed, but they are fitting and suitable. His passion is evident and the lyrics are another highlight "With my hands around your throat/ That's the way I like you most/ When you're choking on the feelings rushing out/ Time won't open up its wings/ Let me fall from Grace/ And lend into the flames/ I don't want to feel this love go cold/ I don't know how you opened this light before'. It speeds up into another heavy melodic track, but is still very much vocal centred, until the outro when the solo takes over.

The rhythmic partnership of Gregoletto and drummer Augusto seems to be gelling well. Gregoletto is a classy and tasteful bassist, but is largely underpowered by the other instruments. Hints of his excellence and power can be seen on 'No Way To Heal' and a devilish intro to 'Villainy Thrives'. Augusto is a fantastic drummer and holds the rhythmic fort down solidly throughout. 

The special edition has an extra 3 tracks, which include the same melodic heavy riffage we hear throughout the normal edition, but also features an unexpected but reasonable cover of 'Skulls..We are 138' originally by Misfits. You are not missing anything if you don't get the special edition, but if you want more of the same then it is recommended. 

Overall, 'Vengeance Falls' is a good metalcore album. Some parts could have been improved, most notably the intro to 'No Way to Heal' and 'Vengeance Falls', but throughout the 10 tracks you get the feeling Trivium have matured as musicians. They have given a reason for fans to forgive them for 'The Crusade' as they are now leading the dwindling metalcore scene with a solid set of tracks, and even though it isn't their best work, it is still refreshing and glorious. 

End transmission.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Tool 2014 teaser! About fucking time.

Progressive metallers, Tool, have a track record of taking lengthy periods of time to work on new material; with five years grace between the release of 2001's 'Lateralus' and their last offering '10,000 days'. 7 years on, it looks like the wait for another release is coming to a close, with the bands lead singer, James Maynard Keenan, hinting at a 2014 release for the band's next studio album, as well as new material from his other projects, 'A Perfect Circle' and 'Puscifer'.

This was originally covered by Loudwire.com in an article in which they also pointed to drummer, Danny Carey, stating in a previous interview with them that a new Tool album would be "Most likely... early 2014". Also, Keenan hinted further at a 2014 release, posting on Puscifer's Instagram account saying:

This is great news for fans of the band who are undoubtedly eager to hear new material after what is the longest period between albums to date. With information being scarce, we are reporting what we know; it will be interesting to see if the quality of the release equates to the time taken to create it. Let's not forget other long-anticipated wait between albums, most notably, the 15 year wait between 'The Spaghetti Incident' and  'Chinese Democracy' by Guns N' Roses. If you know of any longer waits then comment below!

As soon as more information is released we will let you know; here's hoping for a snippet off the new album, so watch this space!

What is your opinion on Tool's lengthy time frames for albums? Do you prefer a longer time between releases or are you keen on quicker releases? Let us know in the comments.

- Rob 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Moscow - The Hell Fire EP

Released: Friday 4th October
Genre: Post Punk, Industrial, Grunge.
Record Label: Clandestine Records
Number of Tracks: 5

Sounds like: Joy Division, The Damned, Hints of Nine Inch Nails.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Hot off the press is Moscow’s first EP, full of punk class, industrial guitar tones, and raspy doom vocals. Moscow have raided small Midland venues, performing energetic gigs full of intensity. Songs off their first effort 'The Hell Fire EP'  have already featured on local BBC radio frequencies and the underground scene of Stoke, which were once home to Slash, are now home to a fresh, fast paced, energetic post punk band - Moscow.

The album starts as it means to go on and we are introduced to an invasive guitar riff, and thumping drum beat on the title track 'Down (Hell Fire)'. The song comes alive in in an excited chorus, in particular the vocal skill of Nic Andrews, whose aggressive deep, groovy tone adds the freshness and mixed with rhythmic skills of drummer Mark Powell and bassist Tom Bath all get you complete a solid heavy track.

Track 2 'The Night', is similar in structure in that it builds up to a ragged chorus. A highlight of this album is how this song is set up perfectly for a live show, as it peaks and troughs in all the right places, eventually erupting like hot lava forcing you to dance uncontrollably. The outro is as powerful as a volcano about to destroy a city and is as chaotic as trying to escape from one. 

'Don't look back' is more subtle, starting off with a simple guitar lick, but is carried forward with a smooth bass line. Backing vocals from guitarist Matt Hicks during the breakdown add something different. This song sounds a bit like a noughties punk band, until Andrews puts his heart and soul into the last line keeping the aggressive grunge tone to it.

‘Lizard Lords’ is a stand out track because of its structural genius. Catchy lyrics, dissonant guitar tones, pounding drum line and jazzy bass line make it the complete package and the perfect way to end a promising first EP getting you ready for more.

I recently had the chance to see these live at a quaint pub in Stoke, and the energy was electrifying. They played 7 songs, including 2 new ones off their second EP and the entire The Hell Fire EP. It is impossible to not have a good time, always guaranteed a cracking gig. The energy of this band is flowing throughout the entire EP and live shows, the band genuinely love their music and their passion is amok on stage. They are loud, unruly and front man Nic Andrews is unstoppable, fearless and unique. Everything you could want from a front-man. All they want you to do is dance, and they have all the songs and energy to make a sloth dance.

If you're a lover of live music, then keep your eyes on Moscow. They are planning a new EP for early 2014, and are always gigging around the Stoke, Manchester and Sheffield  'Like' their Facebook page below to keep up to date.

Moscow's EP is available to buy through their Bandcamp page
Photos courtesy of Chris Hollingworth Photography

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Alter Bridge - Fortress

Released: 30th September 2013
Genre: Hard Rock, Alternative metal
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Number of Tracks: 12

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

The future of Alter Bridge was in considerable doubt after the 2010 release, ABIII. Founding member and guitarist Mark Tremonti turned his attention to his other band, Creed embarking on a tour, as well as releasing a solo album ‘All I Was’ (2012). Lead vocalist Myles Kennedy started a project with ‘Slash’ and ‘The Conspirators’, releasing ‘Apocalyptic Love’ and touring (2012). Drummer Scott Phillips joined a new band called ‘Projected’ with members from ‘Sevendust’ and ‘Submersed’. Despite all of this, they entered the studio in January 2013 and intermittently between tours with their respective projects, began recording Alter Bridge’s 4th studio album – Fortress.

Would they be able to produce another solid album like Blackbird, or would other projects get in the way? One thing is for sure, they have not skimped on this album, which has many different styles of music throughout the 12 tracks, varying from soft acoustic, hints of speed metal, and heavy metal. This is Alter Bridge's heaviest and most intense album yet, as they have put every effort into making a powerful, diverse set of well-constructed, thick-bodied, pounding tracks that are pleasing to any rock and metal fan. All these guys want to do, is rock hard and they want you to join in.

The album opens up beautifully with 'Cry of Achilles'. Kennedy with a finger picking Spanish style guitar lick, before the emphatic head banging riff and thudding drums kick in. A sense of warmth and comfort overwhelms you when you hear Myles Kennedy sing, and even though AB aren't as popular as Creed once was, they are still one of few rock bands that knows how to make a proper rock record. This song is a 6 minute musical phenomenon  and introduces us to an album which will please Alter Bridge fans in the fact that all the songs are pounding and heavy as opposed to the mix that we get on ‘One Day Remains’. 

'Addicted to Pain' was released as a single on August 12th 2013, the song moves like a bullet and has lyrical staying power as well as a jazz style solo. This song is probably the most impactful of any AB track for me. Kenndy's vocals are probably the best they have ever been, and are perfect throughout the album. He hits every note spot on and it never feels forced as well as putting so much emotion into his singing. Just listen to track 4 'Lover' for proof. It starts off acoustic and is lead by some of the best singing to be heard on a rock album. It is the only really soft song on the album. 'Waters Rising' has vocals lead superbly by Mark Tremonti. This song has a typical Alter Bridge feel to it, and that can only be a good thing. It is well constructed, the body of the song is built around Tremonti singing aggressively 'Don't Let me Drown' before a riff that seems to sound as if someone is thrashing about trying to gasp for air. 

'Farther Than The Sun' has a very dark guitar tone, and is one of the many heavy tracks on the album. This song is heavier than the Wrecking Ball Miley Cyrus is straddling naked in her new shitty video. The bridge and solo is so emphatic with fast guitar riffs and an even darker tone. 'All Ends Well' is not quite as memorable as the other songs, but has a typical Alter Bridge feel to it. Slow intro building up to feel epiphanous. Final track 'Fortress' clocks in at 7:36, blood pumping guitar duel type riffs, and great vocal harmony, it seems like Tremonti and Kennedy decided to have a guitar-off, but the song is brilliant and held together by some tight drumming by Scott Phillips.

Fortress is a sensational, solid Alter Bridge album, and will be loved by the older fans, and newer fans. You will need jaw re-alignment, change of pants and your ears checked as It features some of their best work specifically from Kennedy. Alter Bridge for me, are under-rated. They seem to be flying under the radar a bit. Fortress however, should keep their rock God status alive, and worthy of my highest overall rating yet.

Stand out tracks: 
Cry of Achilles
Addicted to Pain
Farther Than The Sun