[Review] Parkway Drive – Atlas – At Their Finest Hour!

Parkway Drive - Atlas Cover

I’ve been following Parkway Drive since their Horizons album. I had found them through KillrBuckEye who does guitar covers. (that guy is pretty wicked, check him out.) From the first time I heard Five Months, one of their tracks off Horizons, I’ve been hooked on their music. Their interesting blend of metal, metalcore and a bunch of others you can hear, but aren’t sure what it is, has truly been quite a pleasure for the ears. Late in 2012, Parkway Drive released their forth full length album, Atlas. The album has since been received well by their fans and many critics alike.

Parkway Drive is an Australian metalcore band from Byron Bay, New South Wales, formed in 2002. As of 2012, Parkway Drive has released four full-length albums, Killing with a Smile, Horizons, Deep Blue, and Atlas, two DVDs, an EP, entitled Don’t Close Your Eyes and two split albums.

I had been egarly await Atlas, since their previous offering, Deep Blue, which was in fact an amazing album, filled with riviting breakdowns, spine chilling guitar solos unlike traditional solos and raw unmatched vocals. Parkway Drive has been masterful since their early days coming out of Byron Bay in Australia.

Parkway Drive - Photo #4This time around the band took a similar approach to this album as they did before, with Horizons and Deep Blue. Infact this time around one can aruge that Atlas is alot heavier than their previous album. At times I feel like this isn’t true, but that doesn’t deter it from being an enjoyable experience. While their songs follow a traditional song structure, it is quite easy to get lost in them, negating the traditional song structure. However, at times they simply just throw this sturcture out the window and go with whatever feels right.

Parkway Drive - Photo #2Previously, Parkway Drive had stated that they had alot of punk influence, which while listening to many solos and melodies throughout this album you can hear that influence. Maybe not as much as previously, but it still nice to know that Parkway Drive hasn’t changed who they are since their signing to Epitaph Records. The band also included scattered use of orchestras as well as scattered use of electronic elements and their signature acoustic riff throughout the album.

Now on to the actual band itself. On vocals, we have Winston McCall, who again develivers right on the money. In fact I would argue his vocals have gotten even better than before. This time around Winston McCall hit lower register with more melody giving an already melodic  song even more melody and even more of a raw feel to it. In songs such as “Dark Days”, the first release off the Atlas album, his vocals are spot on, and really accents the raw sounds of the guitars. In addition, “The River”, another song off Atlas, shows off Winston’s more lighter heavy vocals, giving the song a stronger, more emotional atmosphere, something that has become well-known in each album. For Horzions, it was “Carrion”, for Deep Blue, it was “Home is For The Heartless” and this time around “The River”. Songs such as “Sleight Of Hand” and “Dream Run” create a much more driving metal vocal feeling which is quite well received if you asked me.

Parkway Drive - Screenshot

For the lyrical aspect, its no secret that Parkway Drive has had some impressive lyrics over the years, dealing with everything from Heartbreak to war to things truely unknown. This time around Parkway Drive tackles issues such as the destruction of the environment to the World’s problems, everything from dealing with age to how society wants you to perceive something as well as corporations who lie and such. As with all Parkway Drive’s lyrics, its quite an earful if your willing to listen.

Parkway Drive - Live Performance #1

Jeff Ling, Luke Kilpatrick and Jia O’Connor are the bands guitarists and bassist. The rawness of the tones of the guitar was brilliantly done in addition to their little runs of scales throughout each song. The solos where incredible, the riffs where hardcore and it all blended perfectly. Again songs like “Sleight Of Hand”, “Dream Run” and “Wild Eyes” feature some of the heaviest riffs in the whole album though “Dream Run” is more melodic and driving than a hardcore riff. The guitarist where able to create an atmosphere that brought out a great sense of emotion, even without the use of vocals. This is evident in songs such as “The Slow Surrender” and “The River”. Overall the guitarist did one hell of a job on this album and there isn’t much else I can say. Once you listen to the album and you’ll know what I am talking about.

Ben Gordon’s attack of drums was pretty wicked. In addition to the scattered use of electronic drums here and there for additional effect, the drums were hardcore and quite amazing. Everything was fitted perfectly with all of the elements that the band used. It was all a perfect sequence of drumming on Ben’s part. I must say it all added a truly hardcore atmosphere for the entire album, even when the song was slower filled with acoustic guitars and ochestras, Ben Gordon’s drums still mange to create something that was still driving and something you would rock out to.

Overall this album was incredible, and if you’re a Parkway Drive fan this is a must have. If you’re not, fear not, you won’t be disappointed. There wasn’t a really let down of a track in this album, each song you can rock out to and really feel what the band is trying to portray. This is an album you should check out.

Introducing: Terracide – Metal With A Twist!? – Free Primordium EP Download

For those of you all who have realized by now, I like heavy music, I like pop too, but I like heavy music as well. So I am always on the hunt for some pretty badass music to rock out to. It just so happens that one of the musicians I am subscribed to on YouTube, decided that he would like to rock the world, with a badass metal band. Yeah, and guess what? He does it pretty badass.

Terracide - Daniel Tidwell - Vocals/Guitar

Terracide – Daniel Tidwell – Vocals/Guitar

For those of you all who don’t know, Mr. Daniel Tidwell (metaldaniel03), is a guitar musician. He performs original music as well as doing remixes of some many Video game classics such as the Casltevania  sound track, MegaMan stage tracks and much more. He also did many metal remixes of classical Pieces such as Fur Elise, just to name one.

As of now, Mr. Daniel Tidwell (metaldaniel03), is currently pursuing a band type structure rather than a solo type structure, his band as of now, is Terracide. And I quote:

Terracide is an assault of aggressive grandiose melodic metal. An aural feast of energy and emotion. Terracide has arrived. And we come bearing gifts for your auditory systems.

That would be the description of Mr. Tidwell’s band. After listening to the currently released for free, (ACT NOW PEOPLE),  3-track EP, Primordium, I can safety say this is not an EP to go unnoticed. I have seen and heard many bands release and re-release EP (myself included), that was not the best, but Primordium, is absolutely brilliant. Produced by Mr. Tidwell himself.

Currently the band’s line up consist of Daniel Tidwell (Vocals/Guitar), Josh Winn (Guitar), Wayne Courtright (Bass) and Mike Lumer (Drums).

Terracide - Mike Lumer - Drums

Terracide – Mike Lumer – Drums

From listening to this EP (LINK), I can see a great amount of potential in the band themselves. The music flows nice, each instrument does not try to overpower each other, rather they compliment each other. The guitars possess this complex flow that, if you had been watching Mr. Tidwell’s YouTube channel, would noticed that it has since become something of a signature. Drums were excellent and pretty much the entire ensemble felt well in tune together, blending and meshing together quite well together.

Terracide - Josh Winn - Guitar

Terracide – Josh Winn – Guitar

When I listen to the tracks, I can hear some of the (death) metal or another sub genre of it. It is not a bad thing at all, as the clean vocals meshed very well with the harsh vocals, something many bands are unable to emulate. The vocals while harsh at times, isn’t unbearable as you would think. The harsh vocals has amazing melody once again complementing the entire piece. I’ve pointed out this, because many bands just have harsh vocals at one register (for lack of a better word) and are unable to carry it across, but not Terracide.

Terracide - Wayne Courtright - Bass

Terracide – Wayne Courtright – Bass

I believe this band can go places, and if you love heavy sounds or amazing guitar solos and playing, Terracide got the stuff. It would be in your best interest to give them some support. As this is pretty wicked stuff. You can check them out at here:


Terracide - Primordium EP

Terracide – Primordium EP

All That Remains – A War You Cannot Win – An Album You Cannot Not Buy!!

All That RemainsSo, All That Remains huh. I have been following All That Remains since the “Fall Of Ideals” album, I always love their stuff, the guitar solos truly speak to me you know. Well the guys (and gal) have done it once more, with what is shaping up to be their best album to date! (Other than “Fall Of Ideals” Of course).

Jeanne SaganA War You Cannot Win is what I interpret to be a album about you know, war. Among other things of course. Now the band has truly gone back to their roots with this album. Although a lot of ATR fans would heavily disagree. However upon listening to songs such as “Six”, “Empty Inside” and “The Air That I Breathe”, anyone can plainly hear the influences and how they grew from “Fall of Ideals” to “A War You Cannot Win”. The Clean passages are found scattered in “Fall Of Ideals” whereas it is more prominent in the new album. Previously the clean passages were usually the choruses, while now the clean passages are the entire songs with the bridges being heavy. However this occurs for only some songs. The others retain the regular: “Heavy verse, clean chorus, Heavy Bridge”.

Mike MartinAs a fan of All That Remains, I commend the use of more clean passages. The way that it was used really reset the standard for ATR’s music. The heavy passages are shock value, for lack of a better word, but with still great meaning. I have always respected ATR for their use of lyrics, more so now, as the lyrics can be interpreted in many forms and fashions as it isn’t bluntly stated.

The Vocals

Like many bands, the vocals is usually the standard for setting the band apart from the main stream, or even the underground. However, ATR’s vocals, sung by Philip Labonte, is one of the defining points for ATR. The blending of Labonte’s Clean and Heavy vocals set their music apart.

With the new album, Labonte is heard more melodically than before. Some of the songs pretty much revolve around his newer clean vocals. Whilst his vocals hasn’t changed that much, I can’t help but hear that there is some more crispness of his voice on this record.

Again, the lyrics is always something to behold. Labonte really delivers his end of the bargain here. The lyrics can appeal to anyone really. There is very few people I see these lyrics appealing to. It can be applied to many different situations, whilst still maintaining its original meaning.

Phillip Labonte 2

Labonte’s Heavy vocals also makes many appearances throughout the album. Feeling as always. The heavy vocals are much more powerful than before and it still contains the raw ATR sound that previous albums contained.

The Guitars
Since I am a guitar junkie, this is all I love really. This is how I decide I like bands. The guitars of ATR have always interest me, they always mange to do something a little bit extra. Previously ATR made alot of use of the chugging effect of the top open strings. Now whilst still there has taken backseat as a more melodic tone over throws the song.

Oli HerbertThe guitars, primarily done by Oli Herbert and Mike Martin, really sets off the songs to a brilliant start. They also made more use of acoustic guitars. In some cases they combined both acoustic and electric guitars. The melody produced by the guitars is really well done, and send chills down your spines.

The guitar solos, whilst not as numerous, is there. The guitar solos just rock your world. There are alot of techniques being used, varying scales intertwining and such. All in all the guitar solos bring the songs to life, with that same driving force behind it that we have all grown to love.

My Review:

Buy it. Watch It On YouTube. Just Support them.

The album is brilliant, the guitars, vocals, everything. This is really a Metal Album to remember. So Go Check it out.

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Periphery Band 3

Periphery – Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, This Time It’s Freakin’ Scarlet!

Periphery Band 2So I recently I saw a guitar cover (LINK) from Ryan Siew, dude’s a badass, and he was covering Periphery’s The Gods Must Be Crazy, I had never heard the song before, and I instantly fell in love with the complexity of the guitar’s leads. Not to mention that Ryan Siew also did an insane job on covering it.

I must admit, I don’t really listen to Djent music, but Periphery combined it with other genres of music and made it more than I could imagine. At first I was not sold completely on the music. The vocals were too much for me. I don’t usually listen to such heavy metal (except Parkway Drive) but as soon as the sound hit the chorus and then bridges, I fell head over heels in love with the driven clean vocals of Spencer Sotelo, this guy can sing. I don’t care that the vocals are heavy, this guy makes it all good. Spencer Sotelo has a voice unlike any other musician I have ever heard, and the rest of the band are always amazing. Most of the songs were composed by Misha “Bulb” Mansoor, he is pretty much the band themselves. He has been responsible for composing and producing the music, since the very beginning.

Periphery PromoThe Band currently has two full length album, Periphery And Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal. I have listened to both albums in all its entirety. The guitars are just amazing. I really need to get some better words to describe it, but it really is. The guitars, I feel, have a very neo-classical vibe. They tend to combine scales inside of their riffs. It gives it a pretty wicked feel. All in all, they make a lot of use of scales and odd combination of notes. The guitars are usually combined between clean and distorted stuff. The distorted stuff comes from the use of Djent-type guitar riffs. It’s quite an interesting use of the Djent riffs. The songs usually find itself breaking down to a clean passage, sometimes there are solos, and the solos are pretty interesting, very melodic.

The vocals are just insane. The level of clean vocals and then the immediate use of distorted, rough vocals really compliments how the guitars are also structured. In addition, the band only has one vocalist, so this really a plus for him. Being able to drop ones voice so low is a quite a feat, but also being able to push your vocals to such a clean, high standard is really remarkable.

Periphery Band 1The drums, I must compliment. The drums are so well in time and tune with the guitars and vocals, you just might forget it was there, but even if you forgot it was there, if it happened to disappear you would know. It really brings an additional form of life to the song. Some songs on the album also makes use of distorted electronic drums, but it never overpowers the real drums. The additional instruments such as the sampling and the atmospheres are really well worked into each song. Sometimes the atmosphere also act as breakdowns and interludes. The Album, Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, features quite a lot of different musical styles, and combination of different types of production. You can hear this on songs such as “Ji”, “Scarlet” and “Facepalm Mute”. Each song sounds similar, as if it were the same band, but they each have something that really sets them apart from the rest of the song. The breakdowns are very different, but very catchy.

I really enjoyed this album, and this band is currently in my playlists. I would heavily recommend you all picking up this album, if you have ever enjoyed guitar music or metal music in general, you will appreciate this album.

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Linkin Park - Living Things Album Cover 2

Linkin Park – Living Things – Truly Unmatched And Brilliant Music

Linkin Park - Living Things Album CoverNow before we get into this, I would like to point out that I am a long-standing Linkin Park fan, that dates back since Hybrid Theory days, so there will be pieces were it sounds like I am fan-girling hard. So, forgive that. But I will attempt to do a proper review.

Chester Bennington & Mike Shinoda - Linkin Park PerformanceNow, after a wait of 2 years, Linkin Park followed their 2010 album, A Thousand Suns, with the much more familiar but interesting sounding, Living Things. Now right out, we see that the album much more resembles that of Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns, with respect to the cover art. However, this may be me fan-girling of course, but the image of what I assume to be Chester, is what I believe to be a throw back to the days of Hybrid Theory meets Meteora, where we had the Hybrid Solider and then the skateboarder. Could just be me.

Now the actual sound of the album is by far one of the best I have heard all year. While I must agree with most reviewers when they say that the lead single, ‘Burn It Down’, sounds like it was Depeche Mode, I can see where some parts do sound similar. Although it was not my first comparison. ‘Burn It Down’, was followed by ‘Lost In The Echo’, which is set for official release on July 23rd, 2012.

Linkin Park Press Pictures 2Now having actually purchased the album, which almost never happens. I must commend the sound it self. While some may argue that it sounds like an overdone electro-pop sound, I must disagree. While the album does effectively make use of many electronic sounds, the entire, for a lack of a better word, ‘rock’ sound is there. The album’s heavier songs sound like it does draw influence from their earlier work, but it doesn’t overshadow any of the sounds. It balances off with each other quite well. You can indeed hear the guitars of the past, being overdriven, mind the pun, however without the heavy power chord progression in the back. However songs like ‘Victimized’ which doesn’t even follow this, is brilliant use of the guitars being combined with electronic elements. This song, doesn’t follow any typical song structure, and the guitars aren’t what you have heard before, at least from Linkin Park. Songs like ‘Castle Of Glass’ sounds very melodic and soft, although there is very heavy passages. The passages found throughout the album vary with hints of their previous albums, with the addition of new phases. Of course there is still the hip-hop influence that we have grown to love thanks to Mike. The passages where very well incorporated and very well tailored to the feel of the each of the songs. While it contained the structure of how you would use many hip-hop beats, the sounds of Linkin Park still come through.

LPTV - Pile Driver Episode

As I write, I realize that I may be speaking in weird references or something. Now, I must speak about the vocals. Both Mike And Chester did some freakishly awesome stuff with the vocals. I know for a fact that Chester wrecked it, even when he was sick. I felt as though the vocals were brillant, the reason for saying such is that when the sound it self wasn’t prominent, the vocals took over, and usually very powerful. There were times, such as in ‘Skin To Bone’ where I felt as though Chester the harmonizing wasn’t right. Although as the song progressed you felt it, and it eventually felt, right. Tracks like ‘Victimized’ and ‘Until It Breaks’ showed off Mike’s rapping prowess. I must say the rapping was quite raw and it was amazing. Even the lines were brilliant. I had grown to expect words with some serious thought attached to it, as in I had to really pay attention, and go read a thesaurus a couple of times. That is still there in some cases, but the rapping is quite well done, and it is something you can call amazing! Chester’s insane raw vocals which was evident on ‘Lies Greed Misery’ and ‘Victimized’ was just jaw-dropping. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing in these cases. Really a sound worth remembering. Again like Hybrid Theory and Meteora did, which the intertwining rapping and singing, it is also found here.

Kerrang - Front CoverNow I can’t really truly describe this record. It is something you must experience for your selves. Now it goes without saying that the Drums and the guitars really did their parts here, and by that I mean, Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon, really went out of their ways for this. I can feel the drums, and even the guitar can speak. Everything was amazing coherent and is a true fest for the ears.

I encourage anyone who feels as though they shouldn’t purchase the album, to buy it. It is an amazing album that truly has Linkin Park written all over it.

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Black Tide – Post Mortem – Some Seriously Impressive Music

Black Tide - LogoOkay, so a couple days now, I have seen that Black Tide‘s new album Post Mortem is currently out. Now When I first heard these guys it was with the song Shockwave, from the first album Light From Above. Now when I heard the song, I was immediatly blown away, not literally of course. Come to think of it… yeah kinda was. But that’s not the point. The point is the song was above decent level, the guitars were pretty sick, the vocals were awesome, everything tied together quite nicely, and the song proved to be quite addictive. So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out the they were under the legal drinking age. Not only that, but the when the band first got together back in 2004, lead guitarist Gabriel Garcia was 11 years old and Alex Nuñez was just 13 years old, however Alex soon left, and was replaced.  Still though, for these guys to have been so young and playing that level of music was quite astonishing. Which brings me to Post Mortem. This would be Black Tide’s second album, following their first album, Light From Above.

Black Tide - PhotoshootBefore jumping into Post Mortem, for you know, a Post Mortem, let’s take a look at Light From Above. Light From Above was released on March 18th, 2008. The album was considered a success by many critics and eventually earned them the Kerrang! Award Best International Newcomer Award 2008. The Album was also very notable because the band was all under the age of 20, with the frontman, Gabriel Garcia being only 14 durning the writing and recording.

Black Tide - Light From Above Album CoverLight From Above saw the band releasing three singles from the album, Shockwave, Warriors of Time, and Shout, respectively. Shockwave is featured on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game Skate 2, the North American version of Guitar Hero: Modern Hits, and is also available as a downloadable song for the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band. Songs from the album was also available for Tap Tap Revenge 2.

To support the album the band played 341 concerts around the world with headlining shows, festival dates like Download Festival and Mayhem Festival. This began on July 2007 and ended on April 2011. They were also the opening acts for bands such as Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine and Trivium.

Black Tide had a minor line-up change when Alex Nuñez left and was replaced by Austin Diaz. Regardless, Black Tide had no choice but to continue (I mean that dude was that import, Gabriel Is.), and thus they did. Their new line-up for Post Mortem, is currently, Gabriel Garcia (vocals and lead guitar), Austin Diaz (rhythm guitar and vocals), Zachary Sandler (bass and vocals), and Steven Spence (drums, percussion).

Black Tide - Post Mortem Album CoverBlack Tide was also graced with Bullet For My Valentine’s Vocalist Matt Tuck on their song, Ashes. The album, Post Mortem, was initally set for Feburary 2011, but was later pushed back to August, 23rd 2011. Three singles were released from the album thus far. Bury Me, Walking Dead Man and That Fire.

What more must I say about these kids? Well I can’t really call them kids. Just Call them Heavy Metal Rockers. Quite a good mix of music. Very addictive music, catchy melodies and quite brilliant Vocals. I can only suggest to you to pick up your copy of Post Mortem. I can see myself listening to it for quite a well. The solos are pretty rocking.

I can also say, that they are growing, their music is much better than their previous album, and considering Light From Above was amazing, guess what, there only going to get better.

Black Tide - New Line Up

A Thousand Suns – Linkin Park – Yes It Is Amazing. Just Pure Greatness.

I have been a Linkin Park fan since the very dawn of Linkin Park. I remember I heard them back in 2000, when I was only 6 years old. I had never heard such a brutal and amazing mix of music before. It was Hybrid Theory that was the changing point in how I viewed music.

Now let’s come into the present day. I have heard Linkin Park’s new album, A Thousand suns. It is just amazing. It speaks to me on so many levels. I remember following this album when the band first announced it. They said, this album would have been a concept album. I have gathered very little from this, but it would seem that A Thousand suns, and the album art, symbolizes the end? While I am truly unaware of what the album truly speaks about, what I have heard from this album, is an amazing mix of high end variation of music. Of Sounds. The lyrics sung and rapped in this album, it is truly great.

Steel unload / final blow
We the animals take control
Hear us now / clear and true
Wretches and kings we come for you

These are the words of the first chorus in Wretches and Kings. This song is quite amazing. I really like Brad’s part in this song. It speaks of fighting the machine, from what I have gathered.

The entire album flows smoothly into each song, just like previous albums. It give such a radical feel to the already impressive sound in the album. It bears many references within each lyric and allows you to interpret as you may.

Mike Shinoda

Image via Wikipedia

When the catalyst first came out, I viewed the catalyst as as representation of what the new album would have sounded like. Just like I always I am, I was wrong. The Catalyst was just a stepping stone, into an ocean of new and never before heard sounds. Mike Shinoda said in an interview, he wanted to have every single noise that the fans here, to be hand crafted.

Likewise with the song blackout, just brought an interesting vocal to this already amazing track. Once again the lyrics was in high level. Chester vocals are just amazing. Not only here, but on the entire album.

All in all, this album, is in my opinion this best album of 2010. This album shows just how Linkin Park has transcended the years. This album is like a culmination of everything. The guitars and the drums and the way everything is just put together is quite amazing. It is just drop-dead godlike!

Many ‘Fans’ around the internet have chosen to shun Linkin Park for this brilliant move. Have they not realized that just when you think, Linkin Park can’t trump their last effort, they just come back, and they come back even more amazing than ever before. With every passing album, the Band completely reworks what we once thought. If you ask me, that’s music, That’s Linkin Park. That is One Of The Most Amazing things I have ever heard, and don’t lie, you heard it too.