August 19, 2012

Album Review: "Mnemesis" by Mnemic

If there is one thing that I've learned about Mnemic, it's that I usually take a few listens to truly appreciate every song in the way it's meant to be heard. I learned this the hard way after 2010's Sons of the System, which I initially only rated a 7 out of 10. Two years later, I've listened to that album from start to finish more than any other album during that time period, because it takes a few listens to discover all the hidden nuances that album contains, and many more listens to get tired of them. Sons of the System was the magnum opus of a band finally able to deliver everything they were capable of doing on one record. However, the group lost a lot of momentum and members in 2011, and many wondered if they could survive to make a fifth record. Doubt not the tenacity of founding guitarist Mircea Gabriel Eftemie, though. He and vocalist Guillaume Bideau, the only members left from the group that recorded Sons of the System, assembled a new group of musicians to become the newest incarnation of Mnemic, which led to the writing and recording of Mnemesis.

June 6, 2012

Album Review: "Last Parade" by Call Me No One

Since re-joining Sevendust in 2008, Clint Lowery has maintained one of the busiest schedules of anyone in the entire hard rock world. Besides writing and recording Sevendust's latest album, 2010's Cold Day Memory, and all of the band's touring on top of that, Lowery somehow also found time to write and record three EP's for his solo project, Hello Demons...Meet Skeletons, between 2008 and 2011. Apparently that was not enough for Lowery, though. In January of 2012, he and Sevendust drummer/vocalist Morgan Rose formed a new side project entitled Call Me No One, and they immediately began writing and recording songs for what would become the group's debut, Last Parade.

May 6, 2012

Album Review: "Enslaved" by Soulfly

Soulfly has been Max Cavalera's bully pulpit for fifteen years now, and with very few exceptions, he hasn't wasted it. Undoubtedly, Soulfly has been one of the most active and consistent metal bands in the world since 2004's Prophecy, touring constantly and releasing a new album seamlessly when the time was right. Sure, Max did set aside time for his Cavalera Conspiracy project when he needed to, but Soulfly has been and continues to be his main focus. And while his old band Sepultura maintains only a shadow of its former significance in the worldwide metal scene, Max has shown the world what could have been if his fateful split with the group hadn't occurred in 1996. Enslaved is the latest example of Soulfly's dominance, delivering the music that fans want while also sending a not-so-subtle message to the band's critics.

February 16, 2012

Album Review: "Dark Adrenaline" by Lacuna Coil

With the rise of gothic rock and metal to worldwide popularity in the late '90s and early 2000s, many gothic metal bands began to receive heavy criticism for stylistic changes as their careers progressed. The two bands that received the brunt of such criticism were HIM and Lacuna Coil, for the supposed "American-ization" of their styles. While HIM defended their style changes to the critics, Lacuna Coil mostly ignored the criticism, barely even acknowledging their style changes in interviews or album previews. Such a strategy worked for 2006's Karmacode, an album that received largely positive reviews and generated many staples of Lacuna Coil's live set. But that strategy was less successful for 2009's Shallow Life, which got mixed reviews and received plenty of backlash from longtime fans. As such, the Italian group has lots of ground to make up for on their newest release, Dark Adrenaline.

January 22, 2012

Album Review: "Resolution" by Lamb of God

Over the past decade, Lamb of God has become one of the most prolific American metal bands in the world. If not for the realities of time and a flagging music industry, Lamb of God would likely compete with the Big 4 in terms of popularity. Those two factors are the only things preventing the Virginia-based group from being included with the most famous bands in all of American metal. With six ground-breaking albums behind them (including one under their former name Burn the Priest), a remarkably stable line-up, and one of the most supportive fan bases in the world, Lamb of God is one of the only bands that manages to get bigger with each new release. Their newest album, Resolution, will definitely continue that trend, with even more destructive compositions for the listening pleasure of their fans.