July 18, 2011

Album Review: "When One Wakes" by Triphobia

Very few high school bands are taken seriously or considered to have potential for long-term success. Traditionally, a high school band is an opportunity for a musician to get the first taste of band structure and to decide if the group dynamic fits their musical vision. It seems that Kinnelon, NJ-based group Triphobia didn't get that message, though, because this group of high school seniors already plays with more passion, skill, and integrity than some bands twice their age. Their 2009 EP The Hourglass exhibited a band overflowing with potential, only needing slight refinement and maturity to attain widespread recognition and greatness. Both refinement and maturity have been realized on the group's debut full-length album, When One Wakes, on which Triphobia evolves from a talented hard rock act to a more focused progressive rock group.

July 17, 2011

Album Review: "Downcast Theory" by Downcast Theory

The New Jersey rock scene is one of the most fiercely competitive locations in the country. Bands arrive on the scene quickly and gain a huge following, only to disappear soon after as another band takes over their niche. It's a testament to the level of talent in the region that so many bands originate there, but for a band to thrive and advance beyond the area, they need to have something more than just musical proficiency and practice with the current trend.

The members of Downcast Theory are intimately familiar with this fact, as they have watched many of their peers and friends in other bands come and go since the group formed in 2007. The release of 2009's Damaged Calm started Downcast Theory on the right path, but they were still looking for their "something more". It appears that they've found it, though, with the release of their self-titled album this year. Downcast Theory is a solid hard rock that blends the best current trends with the excellent tried-and-true methods of the past fifteen years in the genre.