Orphan Black – BBC America Has Struck Gold!

Orphan Black Screencap #4

For those of you who are following me on Twitter, well you wouldn’t have seen anything, because I didn’t actually tweet about it, but never the less. I’m sure by now, a lot of you must have heard about Orphan Black, one of the newest shows to hit airwaves via BBC America. Typically I don’t watch BBC America shows, I watch a lot of BBC shows, (Doctor Who), however I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard about this show. To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect much. Boy was I wrong.

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series that stars Tatiana Maslany as several identical women who are revealed to be clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of her clone, Elizabeth Childs, after the latter commits suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its impact on issues of personal identity.

[Via Wikipedia]

Orphan Black - Sarah Poster

Orphan Black follows Sarah Manning, who upon returning to the city, discovers her identical clone, Elizabeth Beth Childs, as she commits suicide. She assumes Beth’s identity while she fakes her own death. However all is not peachy, as upon her assumption of Beth’s life, she discovers that she is not alone. There are many other clones across the world who are identical to her. The story progresses as we encounter more and more version of her, most notably Allison Hendrix (A soccer mom) and Cosima Niehaus (a biologist), in an attempt to discover the meaning behind her existence. However, even upon discovering their creators, the clones are still unsure of who to trust, as so many lies have been woven together that they no longer truly know what’s real. With their lives all falling apart and the continuous lies spat out by those they trust, the clones are still up in arms about what to do and who to trust.

Orphan Black - Alison Poster

Basically that’s the story, I left out a lot of other stuff that upon watching will clear up any questions that you may have. The show is by far one of the best shows I’ve ever seen to date. From the writing to the directing to the acting and the production crew, everything is pretty much top notch. I know many will find flaws, but after seeing what this entire cast and crew is capable of, I have no worries.

I’ll start off with the acting. Tatiana Maslay who plays Sarah Manning and all of her clones. Yeah you heard me, she plays all of her clones. There are no extras, other than stunt doubles, she plays ALL of her versions and she does so quite convincingly. Now I don’t mean just some carbon copy clones. Each one of the clones, has their own ticks, tricks and behavior (body language) as well as their accents, hair and makeup. I can tell it was quite a challenge for Tatiana Maslay, but she was outstanding. I couldn’t even imagine another actress doing what she does in this show. Honestly I don’t know how much more I can complement her, because she was really outstanding, and if you let me I’d continue to talk about her acting indefinitely.

Orphan Black Screencap #1

Another portion I must commend her on is when she is pretending to be her clones. If she is currently playing, say for example, Sarah and she has to pretend to be Allison, she is able to. However, she will not fully act as though she is Allison. In these scenes you can plainly tell who is who, and who is pretending to be who in the show. I know its quite mind boggling, but its true and its pretty bad ass.

Orphan Black Screencap #8

The rest of the cast is quite incredible as well, though she is pretty much the wickedest and coolest. They each compliment each others acting capability  and the interaction between them are quite impressive. You can feel the emotions that run thin throughout Sarah’s interaction with Mrs. S, Felix and Art. In addition the way each character gets into the roles is quite astounding, I’ll tell you this, it was amazing acting. Every character has their own story and they all pretty much truly become their roles.

The writers, directors and production team needs massive props for their work as well. I mean, when Sarah was fighting her clones it felt like two people fighting, the angles were right and you couldn’t tell if she actually cloned herself to do the show. It was that spectacular. The writers, they need some awards as well, well everybody needs awards in this show, because I couldn’t predict anything really in this show and I can usually predict a lot of shows.

This show blew a lot of the other shows out of the water and with good reason, it isn’t everyday that you manage to put together such brilliance, so brilliantly. The show constantly has you guessing, questioning the actions they take and questioning who to trust. The show really plays on your emotion and kills it truly.

Orphan Black Screencap #2

All in all, this is an amazing show, a really original show, with brilliant acting, excellent production, amazing directors and writers. All around this show delivers. Now all I can say to you, is to check it out! I Honestly can’t express how much of an amazing show this is. Seriously, check it out.

Images Via BBCAmerica

See the Copyright Information: Orphan Black – Image Copyright Information.

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[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.

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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Light And Ryuk 2

Death Note – The Final Move, The Final Note

Light And Ryuk

For those of you following my twitter, Yes I am that interesting. You all would’ve noticed by now, that I have been watching the Death Note movies. Now having heard about the anime, from pretty much every single human being on the goddamn planet, I decided to take a peek at it. But when I saw that Death Note had a live-action movie, I had to sink my teeth in. Now originally I was confused as to why Warner Brothers was funding the movie, I thought it would’ve been a Hollywood – bang-bang, I have yo money. – But it was actually a Japanese production house who was responsible for the entire show.

Death Note (デスノート Desu Nōto?) is a Japanese manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and manga artist Takeshi Obata. The main character is Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook, the “Death Note”, dropped on Earth by a shinigami (a god of death) named Ryuk. The Death Note grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name and face they know, by writing the name in the notebook while picturing their face. The series centers around Light’s attempt to create and rule a world “cleansed of evil” as “God” using the notebook, and the efforts of a detective known as L to stop him.

Casting

Light, L And MisaThe casting on this movie was ridiculously amazing. I never thought that the casting would’ve been so well done. Ever character looked exactly as they would’ve. The casting of Light and L was brilliant to say the least. The actors, Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama, did an absolute god-like job with respect to their roles. You felt Light’s “Call For Justice” and you saw L ambition. The supporting characters were all well done. Much props the Takeshi Kaga who played Light’s father, he did a great job. The girls, Erika Toda and Hikari Mitsushima, I must admit were better than I thought. Upon seeing them it didn’t register in my brain, until their turn came to act. Although there were little hiccups from the Anime/Manga which didn’t translate to the movie. The voices of Ryuk and Rem was well done. I liked the quality they brought to the movie.

Animation

Light And RyukThe animation of Ryuk and Rem was indeed quite a view. I must admit, I felt as though both Ryuk and Rem were real people. As Ryuk truly blended in with the environment. However Rem was not given the same treatment. While with Ryuk you had to look for the pieces of him that were animated, you could plainly see the animation throughout Rem’s Animation.

Acting

As I stated in the casting portion. The acting was amazing, even the extras acted brilliantly. All of the parts of the movie that the actors had to die in, they had all acted better than I expected. For extras the parts were well done.

Music

Fuck You Warner Brothers. Where Was Maximum The Hormone’s Zetsubou Billy? Which was originally chosen as the theme song for the Death Note Anime? Why was Red Hot Chilli Peppers‘ Dani California used? Don’t get me wrong, RHCP is an amazing band, and I am a big fan. But this is a live-action ANIME Movie.

Death Note 2 Poster

Plot/Story

Mostly like the Anime and Manga. Of course they left out things. They really couldn’t pack over 10 hours of anime into a single movie. They took as much as they could. Although I felt as though they could have included more time between Ryuk and Light. Although, in retrospect, by the time you watched the second part you would’ve felt much better with the scenes you got in the first movie.

Final Thoughts.

A brilliantly done movie. And This production house should win awards in all categories. I am aware that this movie was done many years ago, but I believe it can still stand hardcore with the recent films. I would recommend this movie to any one. It was easy to follow even though it had a deep, psychological essence.

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Skrillex – Bangarang EP – BANG BANG! Your Ears Are Gone….Gone To PARTY!

Skrillex Press 3Bang Bang! So I recently got my hands on Skrillex‘s Banganrang EP, now I know this was released in 2011, but I couldn’t just keep my opionoins to myself, you know like most humans, so I decided to share them with you. I must say the Bangarang EP is quite interesting, if I do say so myself.

Sonny John Moore (born January 15, 1988), better known by his stage name Skrillex, is an American electronic music producer and singer–songwriter. Raised in Northeast Los Angeles and in Northern California, Moore joined the American post-hardcore band From First to Last as the lead singer in 2004, and recorded two studio albums with the band (Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count, 2004, and Heroine, 2006) before leaving to pursue a solo career in 2007. He began his first tour as a solo artist in late 2007. After recruiting a new band lineup, Moore joined the Alternative Press Tour to support bands such as All Time Low and The Rocket Summer, and appeared on the cover of Alternative Press‘ annual “100 Bands You Need to Know” issue.

Skrillex Press 2Now having listened to all of Skrillex’s orginal music, collaborations and remixes, the first thing that comes to mind, is how Bangarang doesn’t follow the the previous releases and EPs. On this album Skrillex makes heavy use of the real dubstep type basses. I am aware that most dubstep musicians call him ‘brostep’ due to his higher ranged wooble basses, and that fact that it does possess more than usual. I have noticed that the wooble basses are more prominet, the lower wooble bases however. Although this is not the case for all the songs, for example Bangarang still follows the style of previous releases, with little changes.

However other songs on the album are taking it in a new direction, I have noticed that while you can hear the previous skrillex sounds, there are many new lead istruments, such as a guitar. Which isn’t that new. Rather the guitars are being accented by the synthesiszers, or vice versa, which ever way you would like to call it. However on Breaking A Sweat, I have noticed that there exists a passage that sounds like a delayed clean guitar with an additional effect being appiled to it.

Other tracks I have noticed have a bit of a more techno vibe, consisting of a longer melodic passage than before. Don’t worry the sound of skrillex still exists there, I am just saying that more melody was heard is all. 

One Of the songs that really caught my ear was Kyoto ft. Sirah. It was really unusual but Skrillex at the same time. I must commend the melody, it was quite catchy and intoxication. The verse spat out by Sirah was amazing. I love that passage. The guitars really give the sound a very raw, hardcore feeling. I just thought so.

Skrillex Logo

All in all, I really love the album, it is something I could just sit back and listen to. I guess Skrillex is moving with the times, the sound is really taking off. 

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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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Shure PG48 microphone includes

Review: Shure PG 48 – Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Shure PG48 - Bag, Microphone, CableSo in my new can do attitude, the: “I do want I want because I can”, I have decided to make a movie, now this has been on my mind ever since I was a child and I have since made many attempts at making a short film aka, a Webseries, now this has spawned dare I say it, a movie! Yes.  In my attempt to make a professional looking and sounding movie, I have invested in a microphone, while I couldn’t afford the Shure SM58 (which I am going to buy as well at some point), I picked up the PG48 and well, let’s just say I woke up with it.

Shure Incorporated is an American corporation originally founded by Sidney N. Shure in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 as a supplier of radio parts kits. The company became a consumer and professional audio-electronics manufacturer of microphones, wireless microphone systems, phonograph cartridges, discussion systems, mixers, and digital signal processing. The company also produces listening products, including headphones, high-end earbuds and personal monitor systems.

Current Shure LogoI must say even the box that the PG48 came in was absolutely gorgeous. Presentation on the part of Shure was brilliant. the microphone came in a sleek casing that housed it, and it had a cap for the underside of the microphone as to protect it from dust etc. They also provided me with free gifts, and we all know how much I love me my free stuff. In the box, it had a 15ft XLR-XLR cable, carrying case for the microphone, product papers and a mic holder and that’s it, but overall the initial presentation of the PG48 was amazing.

Shure PG48 - Angle ViewNow here comes the wicked part, the actual sound that comes from the mic. Now this Microphone is a microphone designed especially for the vocal presentation or vocal recording, not musical instruments or singing vocals. However it does a damn impressive job in capturing singing vocals (here’s a song done with a PG48, my Song.) Essentially it is perfected for presentation, speeches etc. Or in the studio for recording podcasts and such.

I am recording though my Alesis IO|2 and after a bit of tweaking the sound coming out of the mic and being recorded is amazing. Crystal clean, with almost no background noise, well practically none, So as long as you record in a quiet room, it produces no background noise. It really does produce clean cut sound.

Now my only problem really is that it records a bit soft, though I believe that this is my fault, and I am currently looking into that. The PG48 comes ready to record, in any audio workstation, or any podcast recorder. I also believe you can use it to make commentary. Though you would have to go through that yourself, but since it was designed for things such as speeches it should be pretty good when it comes to things like that.

Shure PG48 - Double Angle ViewNow also, I have tried recording my guitar with this, and the results were actually not that bad, it took in all of my guitar’s sound and it keep it clean without the sound becoming too digital. The recording felt as though it was a guitar playing, it kept the purity of the guitar if you understand what I mean. Although it had some highs being recorded as well,  it can record instruments pretty good (although I would spring for a SM class Shure Microphone).

At the end of the day, my PG48 is serving its purpose and it is doing its job quite well. For simple productions I would recommend this microphone. So There you go, go now. Pick it up.

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