Sunday, September 5, 2010

10 Years "Feeding The Wolves"

Tennessee rockers 10 Years have since had a career of releasing quality albums with their debut "Seasons To Cycle" and "Division." Their third album that came out August 31 "Feeding The Wolves" is indeed no exception to this consistent release of great material.

The first preview of the new album came with the release of their first single "Shoot It Out" in the summer. After the first 10 seconds of the song played, it was an obvious "wow" moment, realizing how big they were going with this new-ish direction. The single was a bit more heavy than their previous work, and they pulled it off. Albeit, it is the heaviest song on the album, and was the perfect way to give fans a little sneak peek at what "Feeding The Wolves" would bring.

10 Years did not let fans down once they were given a chance to take a listen to the rest of the album. This record is high-quality, melodic, hard and it just plain rocks. Frontman Jesse Hasek has one of the most unique voices in rock. His voice is a big asset to the band, along with their original riffs and amazing ability with writing lyrics. This album is full of all those things, and also has a great blend of hard, heavy songs along with slow, beautiful songs. One of these songs is "One More Day." This song is very much a power-ballad. Another example of songs like this is "Don't Fight It."

This album is chalk-full of great songs that it's impossible to skip songs on this album. It flows from song to song and the whole album works together with the flow. "Now Is The Time (Ravenous)" is a huge highlight of the album. It is one of the hardest and catchiest songs on the album. Other highlights are "Fix Me,"Dead In The Water," and "Chasing The Rapture."

10 Years has only become stronger over the years of their career. "Feeding The Wolves" probably ranks as one of their strongest albums so far and will most likely get the biggest response out of all three of their releases. Hopefully the success of the band only gets bigger, because 10 Years is a band that definitely deserves it's recognition.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Parabelle Album Preview

For rock lovers everywhere, the day Kevin Matisyn left his ex-band Evans Blue was a very sad day. After just two great albums, the singer left the band causing the band to replace him. This ruined Evans Blue for me because Matisyn had such a unique voice that made the band. Now they just sound like any other rock band. However, the day rock lovers heard his new band Parabelle, it gave a sense of relief that he was not out of the rock scene.

Parabelle formed as a side project in 2007 with Matisyn while he was still in Evans Blue and with Kenneth Nixon of Framing Hanley. Now the band has taken off with additions to their line-up. Nixon eventually left Parabelle to focus solely on Framing Hanley. The band's first release was a double album in 2009 titled a "A Summit Borderline/A Drop in The Oeanic." This album is very promising and will appeal to any Evans Blue fan, if not any rock fan. It's a very raw album that features a good blend of heavy tracks and soft melodies. It wasn't quite as heavy as the previous Evans Blue albums, but it had a sense of potential that left any fan wanting to hear more.

Parabelle is currently working on their second album to be released just a little over a year after their debut album. The album is said to be titled Reassembling The Icons. They have released the first single off the album titled "More." After wanting more from their first album, this is a very promising single. It features Matisyn's incredible voice along with great guitar riffs and melodies. To me, this goes back to the talented Matisyn in the Evans Blue days. Evans Blue was one of my favorite bands a couple years ago and now that we have music like this coming from Matisyn, it gives us all a sense of relief. This album will be a very great piece of work if the rest of the songs live up to "More." Their second album is said to release in late fall of 2010.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Signum A.D.- "The Unsilenced"

Local spotlight: After entering the small, recording studio to lay down some tracks as a new modern rock band in 2007, Signum A.D. have taken on the rock world by great force. This brand new band are starting to get the exposure they deserve as they start to tour more and more after their June debut "The Unsilenced."

The four-piece formed a just a couple years ago in Augusta, KS. They released a short EP album titled "Music As Morphine" in April of 2008, which included five songs that appear retouched on "The Unsilenced." I personally have had early exposure to this band when I saw them November of 2009 in Wichita, KS. I was there for a show in which Chevelle was headlining and they were the special, local guests they asked to play this show. My personal opinion on their live performance was they were better than the other two opening acts Chevelle had as their openers for the whole tour. Dave Ruyle can really belt the words out live and the other members can create tremendous harmonies. They were also heavier and seemed to have more energy than the other two bands which made them more enjoyable for me. A memorable moment of the show was the band's cover of "Died In Your Arms." Putting a rock spin on the 80s hit was defnitely an interesting take, but it won the crowd over. I would love to see them again live when they come back through.

"The Unsilenced" was produced and mixed by well-known names who have worked with successful bands in the past. The album was produced by Brett Hestla, who has worked with bands such as Framing Hanley and Dark New Day, mixed by
Kato Khandwala who has mixed Breaking Benjamin, and mastered by Tom Baker who has worked with 10 Years and Sevendust. "The Unsilenced" has a fimiliar sound that show these bands are probably somewhat of an influence. The album would definitely appeal to fans of these bands.

The album starts of with "Walls That Fall" which is probably the best song on the album, next to "Down" and "At The Seams." The heavy guitar riffs of "Walls That Fall" mixed with Ruyle's strong and raw vocals really make the song. This is a great opening song because it can catch the listeners attention right away. After hearing this song, I definitely wanted to hear more. Other noteworthy songs on this album are "Free" "Sad But Not Forgotten" and "Who I Am."

Starting as just a small band from Wichita, they are starting to branch out and get their music exposed to rock fans all around. With this album being their debut album, it's exciting to see what else they can do. By gaining a large fanbase and getting more and more support, I think they could go on to make magic in the future.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We Are The Fallen- "Tear The World Down"

After a make-up of three ex-Evanescence members, a new vocalist, and a new direction for music, We Are The Fallen is born. With the first listen to the band, one may think they are just another Evanescence knock-off band. Well, with three members who made up the band before and a female vocalist who has similar vocals to Amy Lee, it's hard to not make that comparison. However, after a couple listens to the album all the way through, it's easy to dismiss that idea and realize they have something more to offer than to be just another Evanescence all over again.

We Are The Fallen is made up of former Evanescence members Ben Moody with lead guitar, John Lecrompt with rythym guitar, and drummer Rocky Gray. Also in the mixture is former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson and bassist Marty O' Brien. One can tell this is an experienced and talented bunch ready to give new, great music and that's what they have done with their May 2010 release of "Tear The World Down." While the album sends striking similarities to early Evanescence music, it's clear the album is more energetic and heavy than anything heard by Evanescence.

The album starts with their first single from the album "Bury Me Alive." The song builds up quick to catchy guitar riffs and fast drums to show off what they wanted to express in this album and project. Hearing Smithson's vocals for the first time is definitely satisfying with a range and strength in her voice unlike some female vocalists today. There is also a bit of a rawness to her voice that fits with the intensity of the music. This track could definitely catch the attention of listeners right off the bat, anticipating what the rest of the album will bring.

"Tear The World Down" features 11 tracks of pure talent. There's isn't a track that should be skipped as they are all very noteworthy and make the album blend together very well. "Burn" is the moment the album starts to build up even more with its rapid bass line and fast drums. "Don't Leave Me Behind" is one of the most noteworthy tracks on the album. It's slower in pace, but just as heavy and somber which is featured in Smithson's voice and the lyrics. This band definitely has the talent to range from heavy and intense songs to soothing, emotional songs like "Sleep Well My Angel." There's a lot of heart put into this song which is definitely evident just listening to it. The middle of the songs picks a bit but just to make the song even darker. Though it's one of the softest, this song is one of the remarkable songs on the album.

Other noteworthy songs on this album are "Through Hell" and "I Will Stay." One of my personal favorites on the whole album since my first listen is "St. John." The lyrics are very interesting and almost a little bit creepy. This is also a song where Smithson's vocal range is very well featured. The chorus is very catchy and with a very interesting guitar riff to accompany.

Like I said, it's hard to praise every song because all 11 songs contribute to make this debut album a very successful release. This band would please rock and nu-metal lovers and Evanescence fans who get over them being an "Evanescence knock-off" and realize they are now their own band with their own direction.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Seasons After- "Through Tomorrow"

After digging deep through all the poor metal bands that we are exposed to today, you may come across an album that will actually do the genre justice. That band turned out to be Wichita, KS band, Seasons After. With their debut March release "Through Tomorrow" they entered the music business with a bang and made it clear they were around to stay.

Seasons After is a five-piece band that formed in late 2006 in Wichita, KS. Though they just released their debut album, the success the band is experiencing hasn't just begun. The band has been given breaks to play on the Vans Warped Tour and the Taste of Chaos tour. Along with these tours, their fanbase continues to grow with every day while they tour to support their debut album.

With the first listen, it is clear who their influences are coming from. The sound Seasons After has given with this album is a mixture of nu-metal with some classic metal sound thrown in from legendary bands. This album features a blend of fast and hard drum and bass parts, vocals ranging from very hard and intense screams with the ability to convert back to good singing right away, and catchy guitar riffs. Another appealing element they show on this album is their rawness. This album has all the components it needs to catch any metal fan's attention. Fans of bands like Sevendust, Five Finger Death Punch, and Shaman's Harvest would jump at this album right away. The band has released three singles from this album so far. Their cover of
George McMann’s and Michael Mainieri’s "Cry Little Sister" ranks as one of the best songs on the album. The band put their own heavy twist on this song, making it stand out among the other covers of the song. Their single "11:11" is another great song featuring a heavy message in the chorus. With lyrics of "Stand for something now, don't fall for anything" anyone could feel lifted up from such a powerful message. Other stand out tracks on this album are "Marked" "The Worst Parts" and "Through Tomorrow."

Not being an avid metal listener, this band definitely stood out to me and gave me a new look at the genre. They have something more than what most metal bands have. They have all the components they need to catch fans' attention and they certainly caught mine. All rock or metal fans should listen to this album and hear the talent this band possesses.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Janus- "Red Right Return"

The first album I am choosing to review is from a fairly new, Chicago-based band called Janus. Their debut album, Red Right Return has become like a new religion to me. For the past few months, no matter what this album usually gets put on somehow and I end up listening to the whole thing. After one of the first listens I gave them, I knew they would become one of my new favorite bands.

Janus was formed in Chicago in 2004 but they have just recently been getting their feet off the ground and forming a fan base with their September 2009 release of Red Right Return. The band received a lot attention from rock radio stations all over the U.S. with their first single, "Eyesore." Being probably the heaviest on the album, it was definitely the song to release to attract new listeners and fans. The song features different instruments that make the rest of this album unique like different electric sounds and percussion not often heard. The chorus of the song is definitely a headbanger, featuring frontman David Scotney's ridiculous and almost painful sounding screams. A video was also released for "Eyesore" which features the band playing in front of large crowd in what looks like a war setting with gas masks covering their faces. It's definitely a powerful video going along with a powerful song.

"Eyesore" is just one of the many great tracks on this album. This album would definitely attract fans of such bands as Evans Blue, Sevendust, Chevelle, Sick Puppies, or many other popular names in rock today. What caught my attention most was their striking resemblance to Evans Blue. That is when Evans Blue was good when they had Kevin Matisyn in the band. Anyway, Scotney's vocals are very similar to Matisyn's, especially in one of their more slower tracks, "Maybe It's You." The album starts out with "Six Letter's Sent" which opens with a heavy riff that caught my attention right away and made me know this was going to be a great album. It then takes you to their second track and their just released second single "If I Were You." Other stand-out tracks on this album include "The Nerve" which is another one of their more heavy songs. One of the best parts of this song is the continuous screams let out at the end and heavy instrumentals which is definitely the climax of this song. "100 Years" is the closing track on the album, and this song is another one of their more slower songs. Going from songs like "Eyesore" and "The Nerve" and then to a song like this definitely shows their range and ability to create both kinds of songs.

After being an owner of this album for about a month now, I can definitely name Janus as one of my new favorite bands. Their hard rock sound with distorted and melodic guitar riffs mixed with the unique vocals of Scotney makes for a great album. I see potential of this band becoming big or at least gaining a huge fan base. I recommend this album if you're into the bands listed above, or are just a fan of good rock music.