Archive for the ‘new music’ Category

This isn’t Avenged Sevenfold’s best album. That honor will always be held by City of Evil (one long guitar solo) and, to some extent, Nightmare. 

But it’s their smartest, most ambitious, and most unique album to date. Think “The Wall” by Pink Floyd…but metal.

It’s a concept album, centering around the ideas of artificial intelligence and the implications its misuse has on humanity. Sort of like the Matrix, but less sci-fi and more genuinely scientific. This was the first thing that surprised me about the record. I never would have guessed that these metal giants would make a disc based Around scientific philosophy. Computers become the new God of society, people replace their body parts with mechanical implants so much that they aren’t human anymore, and the world gets destroyed. In my mind, this record is even an allegory for Facebook, social media, and the internet in general taking over the souls of the human race. I don’t really despise social media – but I do think our obsession with it is a bit excessive.

You would think with this concept that the album would sound digital and electronic – and once again, A7x surprise us by making it sound like their older metal core efforts, particularly on tracks 2-5. Instead of going full on 80s metal like they did on their last record, the disappointing “Hail to the King”, the band seems to have gotten back to their roots. It’s a blend of City of Evil and Waking the Fallen, especially where the guitar riffs are concerned. And while it doesn’t sound electronic, it certainly sounds cosmic. You feel like your up in the stars when you listen to it, and the cover art is a very clever play on their beloved logo, the death bat. Stars make up the skull and lightning energy makes up the wings, as you can see for yourself. 

The chorus on “Paradigm” hits mercilessly hard with speed and melody, the riffs on “Sunny Disposition” explode in your face (there’s a really pretty melody in there though at a few points), and “God Damn” combines black metal tremolo picking and drums with clean vocals to a very pleasing effect. 

The final track, “Exit” is primarily instrumental with smart time changes that go on for over ten minutes. There’s more music than lyrics on this one, but when those vocals come your ears will be blown away. This song is basically a narrative for the creation of our universe, the “Big Bang”, and it’s quite possibly the group’s most innovative song. Famed cosmologist Neil Degrasse Tyson even does a spoken word part at the end which he apparently wrote specifically for this album. I wouldn’t have ever pictured him working with a hard rock band, so this was another surprise. 

Yes, the album is full of surprises. It recaptures the brutal sound of their older albums while still remaining fresh and new to the listener. 

The only two problems I have with the disc are M. Shadows’ vocals and Synyster Gate’s guitar playing. Don’t get me wrong – both musicians still sound excellent and totally professional, but their work on this one just doesn’t capture me in the same way their previous material always did.

I award this album a 4 out of 5. If you love metal, go listen to it. Like, right now. 

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If anyone on here enjoys rock music, then please check out my solo music project Cathartic Catapult

The first few songs are demos from my upcoming album, “Daybreak”, and all the songs starting with “Little Ant” are from my 2010 solo album called “Your Evil Broken World”

If you like Marilyn Manson, My Chemical Romance, Avenged Sevenfold, Green Day, or The Rocket Summer, then I believe you may enjoy my music as those are my main influences. I would call my genre simply, “rock”, but there’s a lot of metal in there as well as a good deal of melodic singing. Thank you!

I believe I have previously mentioned that certain albums/bands remind me of the foods I was consuming when I first received their sonic magic into my ear drums. Well, the “shock rocker” Marilyn Manson will always remind me of meatloaf. My mother made it for me when I first discovered his eat me drink me album through his MySpace page. It never ceases to amaze me how fitting that is….meatloaf and Marilyn Manson. This is because, no matter what your opinion of his controversial band may be, it cannot be denied that it consists of SUBSTANCE, RICHNESS, MEAT (the obvious depth of his lyrics and imagery as well as a disgusting incident with a fan that he recalled in his autobiography), LIFE, SACRIFICE, and blood. This probably sounds silly so I may as well move on to the review itself (but not before explaining one more thing about the meat/Manson connection, also found in his autobiography: a quote placed directly before chapter 13 by Roland Barthes: steak is at the heart of meat, it is meat in its purest state; and whoever partakes of it assimilates a bull like strength. The prestige of steak evidently derives from its quasi-rawness. In it, blood is visible, natural, dense, at once compact and section. One can well imagine the ambrosia of the ancients as this kind of heavy substance which dwindles under one’s teeth in such a way as to make one keenly aware at the same time of its original strength and of its aptitude to flow into the very blood of man). Anyway, if you are still reading this, then you are most likely a fan of Marilyn Manson, and most of you would agree with me that the highlight of the groups career was between his very first record  and his sixth(the golden age of grotesque). Many believe that he became “calm” after golden age due to the change in his lyrics from the point of view of an irredeemable monster to a human being full of regret. I myself did not mind this soft side at all, as eat me drink, the album following golden age, is the one I enjoy the most(holy wood is the most well made, but I just like eat me drink me more). But fans were given a taste of the old psychotic Marilyn Manson in his album released before the pale emperor, born villain, which sounded like a blend of antichrist superstar and mechanical animals. Well, for those of you seeking out “hardcore”, this newest album only has one song that can be considered heavy in my opinion (deep six). But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t over the top, vicious, and nasty like his earlier works. It’s got everything that made us love Manson in the first place, but with a new twist: blues rock. Yes, Marilyn Manson has become a blues band, from the guitars to the drums to the vocals. And it sounds amazing. Think about it…rock and roll originally began with the blues anyway. So what Manson has done with this record is, as usual, quite intelligent. But what many fail to realize is that although mr warner(Manson Himself) is the primary factor of the band’s imagery and success, most of the songs were written musically by his band mates. In the past, twiggy ramirez(real name jeordie white) has written some of the coolest bass grooves and guitar licks of rock and roll, but this time around the music was composed by Tyler bates, writer of the score to the new guardians of the Galaxy film. I have yet to see this movie, but from his jangly guitar riffs and funky basslines in the pale emperor it is obvious that he is a very talented musician. As for Manson himself, his blues infused voice has never sounded better. It is still very eery and the lyrics are of course loaded with violence, profanity, and negativity, but the way he sings against the awesome sounding instruments provides for a surpringly upbeat rock record. This isn’t the old Marilyn Manson, but I believe diehard fans will still find it to be a good listen. Critics love it, calling it the best album produced by Manson in over a decade, and I have to agree with them. But I will go a step further. Eat me drink me is still my favorite, but the pale emperor is actually a very close second; even better than holy wood and mechanical animals. And, if you are a Manson fan, you know that that is a huge deal. Very huge. Long live the real king of rock. Ten out of ten stars