Venues – Aspire (Review)

VenuesVenues are a post-hardcore/metalcore band from Germany and this is their debut album.

This is an enjoyable 47 minutes of modern heaviness, with a style that fits somewhere between post-hardcore and metalcore. Continue reading

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Void of Vision – Children of the Chrome (Review)

Void of VisionVoid of Vision are an Australian metalcore band and this is their debut album.

Void of Vision play modern metalcore with an edge of djent here and there. It’s clearly pissed off and has a message to send, one tied to a well-placed brick.

The songs are full of energy and rage, controlled by the band Continue reading

Hollow Bones – Lionheart (Review)

Hollow BonesThis is the début album from this US hardcore/metal band.

Hollow Bones play modern metalcore, but with a little bit of a twist. Essentially the band take the tried-and-true NWOAHM metalcore template and put their spin on it through force of passion, a heightened emotive melodicism, and captivating female vocals.

The songs are enjoyably heavy slabs of metal with lots of tasty riffs. The guitars have Continue reading

Mindshift – Horizon (Review)

MindshiftThis is the second album from Swedish Metal band Mindshift.

Mindshift’s latest album is 56 minutes of downtuned aggression in the Metalcore style that pushes the tried-and-tested style of heavy verses and melodic choruses, à la Atreyu, Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and the like.

The singer’s harsh voice reminds me of the singer of Atreyu, and he provides a good performance for the most part. The clean vocals do what they’re here to do, with decent melodies and hooks, some of which are really quite tasty.

The songs are, overall, a bit heavier and more aggressive than some that play this style, which I like, although the radio-friendly choruses clearly show their aspirations.

Although this style has been done to death, with some catchy choruses and good songwriting this is still an enjoyable release if you’re partial to the style. I probably would have loved this about 10-15 years ago. Nowadays I still quite like it, mainly due to the fact that it’s done well and sticks to basic song structures that are as familiar as they are pleasing in their simplicity.

Despite all of the things that are stacked against a band playing this style, I like that Horizon doesn’t play it completely safe and doesn’t just take the easy option of completely regurgitating stuff that’s been done a million times before. This is mainly down to the guitars and clean vocals – the former sound like a lot of consideration has gone into their structuring and layout, while the latter really do add a lot to the tracks and are performed with a passion that’s apparent.

There’s some good riffs and emotive melodies knocking about here too, and the electronic component to their sound is infrequent and used lightly, adding what is needed to the songs without getting in the way.

Ultimately Mindshift have put together an album that is easy to sit back and enjoy. The decent riffs and vocals do their job well and the songs pass by in a quite personable way. I can easily imagine myself listening to this a few more times in the future, despite a slightly over-long playing time.

Have a listen and check them out.

Gottweist – Future Is in Our Hands (Review)

GottweistThis is the début album from Canadian Metal band Gottweist.

Gottweist’s music is somewhere between the classic Iron Maiden-influenced Metal style and a more modern one, as played by bands like Killswitch Engage, Bullet for My Valentine, As I Lay Dying, Atreyu and the like. The balance is weighted towards the latter, but the former has enough of a presence to give Future Is in Our Hands more impact than is normal for a band like this.

The album features a bright sparkly sound that might not be quite as polished as those aforementioned groups, but still works in concert with the songs themselves to present a band who clearly have a passion and energy for what they do.

The singer’s voice is melodic and smooth, backed by the odd shout or harsher vocal. The Heavy Metal influence counteracts the more modern Metalcore one in various ways, one of the more notable being the fact that the harsh vocals are very much in the minority here, whereas normally it’s the other way around, with cleans usually being restricted to radio-friendly choruses. Gottweist go the other, less-usual route; the majority of the vocals on this release are sung, and when harsher ones do appear they typically back up the cleans on the choruses.

Leads and solos are used well, adding much to the hearty songs and catchy melodies. Indeed, there’s so much enthusiasm here that it’s hard to feel jaded and dislike what the band are doing, (unless you’re just not into this kind of thing, of course).

All of the above results in an enjoyable and slightly different take on the more commercial side of melodic Metal/Metalcore. I have enjoyed their slightly-atypical spin on the modern Metalcore sound; with the traditional Heavy Metal aspects of their delivery lending a bit more depth and longevity to the music than is typical for a band of this ilk.

Given the right backing and exposure, as well as a bigger production and a slightly more adventurous songwriting outlook, Future Is in Our Hands might actually be potentially quite prophetic for their next album.

Check this out.