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.