Sunday, May 31, 2009

Klagopsalmer & PTH live release

I posted earlier a report on two new Shining tracks from Klagopsalmer, the album is being released on the 15th June.

Protest The Hero have annnounced the release of their live CD/DVD Gallop Meets The Earth to come out in August/September.

Finally, Between The Buried And Me began recording their new album today.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Killswitch track!

Killswitch Engage released their single “Reckoning” on free download for 24 hours on Roadrunner’s website. Now, as you may or may not know Killswitch are one of my favourite bands off all time so I nearly came upon downloading it!

But what’s it like? Well, Howard’s vocals are insane. He sounds like he’s shredding his voice box apart, he just sounds pissed off to fuck! Then, of course the chorus shifts things, Jones’ clean vocals towers; the chorus is huge and will be just an ultimate sing along. He once again proves that he is one of the most gifted vocalists in metal today.
Needless to say the riffs are hooky with Joel Stroetzel and Adam D once again earning their stripes. Justin Foley’s drumming is relentless and Mike D’Antonio complements the rhythm to perfection, as always.

If “Reckoning” is only a taster for the album than we are in for a treat.

The album, self titled, is released on the 30th June. Not much longer!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

It’s all gone too far

I was compelled to make this post after a reading a blog entry a few days ago on the Metal Hammer site by Terry Bezer. It was all about emo, what’s misconstrued as emo, what it means and its invasion of mainstream music. Basically what’s brought it on was the belief is that it has all gone too far, one particular band were the catalyst.

Bezer makes a very good point, regardless of your views on emo, you can’t deny that it is rock, it’s guitar based music. The argument of these bands’ music isn’t whether it’s rock or not. It’s a debate of whether it’s good or bad and that’s all about the hallowed entity known as an opinion.

I may dislike Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco, The Blackout etc etc but now, I’m more than happy to leave them and fans to their own devices. If you want my opinion on them I’ll gladly give it but gone are the days that I’ll senselessly tear into them unprovoked (which I am quite guilty of doing, just look at my posts on Hollywood Undead).
Now, of course there’s Metro Station. I’ve no problem in saying that they sicken me. Why? They’re being called a rock band and they are not. They are pop, simple as. They’re riding on the coattails of emo, more specifically any “teeny bopper” with a floppy fringe (I hate to generalise like that but it’s true). Metro Station are just a marketing ploy, there’s no substance and certainly no longevity. They can’t possibly last; they’re playing for a fad that doesn’t constitute real music. I feel the same way about Elliot Minor.

Now, that said, you cannot paint all bands with the same brush. (Like it was said) There are bands that have been called emo/pop-punk that are great bands: Glassjaw, Finch, Brand New, Boysetsfire. And other good bands like Underoath, A Day To Remember or Less Than Jake (LTJ are pop-punk, they’re one of the bands that fucking started it).

With regards to Metro Station, I took solace in the belief that it all couldn’t get any worse, oh how horribly horribly wrong I was. Now I must move on to brokenNCYDE. (I can’t bring myself to even embed the video). They are the mac daddies of hollow, money mad marketing, take advantage of a trend, milk the fucker more than Jade milked cancer! Suck the life out of it, make as much money as you can, sell it to young teenagers, get them to buy the merch. brokeNCYDE, you embody all that is wrong with music and the corporate bullshit with it. I hate to mention “corporate” because it’s so clichéd and exhausted but, with you, it’s very, very true.

I hope that this doesn’t take off as much as I fear. They have spit in the faces of people that make real music, that play it because they have a passion for it and more importantly because they enjoy it. They have spit in the faces of people that listen to music because to them it means something, again because it’s a passion or because you just enjoy it. But, now, it’s all gone too far.

Now, on a lighter note:

Just for funnsies!

Wardruna - Gap Var Ginnunga

Let’s throw a few cheesy words around, this is spellbinding stuff. Wardruna is a new Nordic folk experience featuring none other than Gaahl (Gorgoroth main man, or God Seed). But they come from the mind, more so, of founder member Kvitrafn, who assumes most instrumentation. They came to my attention after I read a report from this year’s Inferno Festival, where they were hugely lauded for a “historical” performance. To define this music, folk and traditional would fit. It’s music that heralds the history, heritage and indeed mythology of Norway.

Forget the likes of Amon Amarth when you want to know of Viking inspired music, Wardruna utilises their country’s tradition and makes it relevant to now and that anyone can listen to it and be enchanted by its beauty. As their website puts it “Sowing new seeds, strengthening old roots”, that sums it all up right there. Well, at least that’s what it sounds like to my ears.

Wardruna invoke an almost spiritual connection between themselves, their homeland and indeed the listener with enchanting songs like “Bjarkan” and “Algir Tognatale”. It’s not the most easy to digest music, multiple listens will unravel the Nordic musical majesty and the ancient Norwegian culture that is all wrapped up securely in this new entity called Wardruna. There’s one thing that is certain, not everyone will enjoy this music; not everyone will be taken by Norwegian Folk, unsurprisingly. Though, it must be urged to approach it with an open mind as it may completely suck you in.

Gap Var Ginnunga esoteric? Perhaps, but it’s a difficulty that pulls you in. It’s something you’ll want to figure out but the chances of doing so are low but, feck it, try anyway!

Gap Var Ginnunga is a fascinating record. It will be interesting to see what happens with Wardruna next. Will they re
cord again or is this just a once off project?


Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Megadeth album, my thoughts

As you probably know Megadeth have completed work on their as yet untitled twelfth studio album, needless to say I wait with abated breath.
Yesterday, I saw an update on deth’s site from Chris Broderick about the album, the usual – it sounds great blah blah blah, they all say that. But, I have no doubt that it will be a great record considering the quality of 2007’s United Abominations.

But, what I want to discuss is what the record will be like, now with Chris Broderick in the ranks. Again, as you probably know, Broderick is a fucking incredible guitarist, his ability and technicality is just astonishing. I got a chance to see him play last February on Priest Feast, which despite some sound problems was amazing. What will he bring to the table in Megadeth though?

I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say Dave Mustaine has one of the biggest egos in metal! But…. from seeing live footage and of course at Priest Feast there’s been somewhat of a change in him. Firstly, he looks like he’s actually enjoying himself on stage and the chemistry between himself and Broderick was great as well as with Drover and Lomenzo.

Secondly, he seems much more humble judging from interviews I’ve read and seen. So what I’m trying to say is that perhaps Mustaine felt freer to loosen his reins of control in the writing and recording process, and be much more open minded to new ideas from Broderick.

I’ve also heard arguments saying he should have stayed with Nevermore, what for though? He was a touring guitarist; he didn’t contribute anything to the writing. Jeff Loomis will always write the riffs and solos there. It will, I feel, always be Warrel Dane and Loomis forming the creative backbone of Nevermore

Moving to Megadeth was the much better choice for Chris Broderick. His abilities will receive much more attention and recognition, and rightly so. Also, given the right circumstances like I mentioned, explore and develop his playing and writing skills as a full time guitarist (in what is a classic band).

This album will more than likely be one of the finest you’ll hear this year and has the potential to be one of the best in the last decade given the current line up. But of course, time will tell.

So, those are my thoughts I guess. The album is scheduled for release in September, when there are more details I’ll have them up.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A quick word

Things have been quite slow here lately with few posts. Well, I've been pretty busy with my exams but I'm finished up now. Also, I've started writing for the music site Drop-D, so I've been putting some time into that.

You can check out my first post on the site here, it's a review of In Case Of Fire's debut album Align The Planets, which is brilliant! Check it out, I'll mention all my posts here.

Don't worry though this isn't the end of The Grind That Annoys, it will remain very much active.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Best news tidbit ever!

I was on Blabbermouth today and I found this fantastic new story about guitar wizard Tim Millar from Protest The Hero

Protest The Hero Guitarist Competing In World Beard And Moustache Championship

Tim Millar's big day has finally arrived. Millar, guitarist of Canadian metal powerhouse Protest the Hero, has been growing his beard for three years in hopes of competing in the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships. This Saturday, May 23, the Championships will be held in Anchorage, Alaska and Millar will be competing in the "Alaskan Whaler" category.

Although Tim recently ranked #19 in Metal Hammer magazine's "Best Beards in Metal" feature, he tentatively plans to shave the whole thing off when he returns home.

"I'd like to raise money for Locks of Love, a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients under 18," he says. "Even though they won't accept a beard hair donation, I'm cutting off and donating my hair and if I can raise enough money through the Beard Team Canada site, I'll also shave off my beard after the competition and start fresh for 2011. It's for a good cause and if we raise enough money, I'll reveal my chin that has been hiding for the last three years. I'm sure you're all curious to see if I really do have a chin."

Monday, May 18, 2009

New tracks round-up

Ok, these are some new tracks released in the last month or so:

Dream Theater - A Rite Of Passage (from: Black Clouds & Silver Linings)

One I was particularly looking forward to hearing. It's quite distinct as a Dream Theater track, the main riff is just brilliant but the highlight is the chorus, James LaBrie's vocals are on top form. The solo again isn't too crazy different, it's classic Petrucci soloing. Great song.

In This Moment - Forever (from: The Dream)

I've never thought too much of In This Moment, the first time I heard them was the title track from Beautiful Tragedy. I felt it was a decent track but they got a lot of shtick for the album. Turns out a lot their stuff sounds quite the same. "Forever" isn't much different but it's still quite catchy, nothing to get excited about by any means but certainly not cringe-worthy.

Shining - Plågoande O'helga Plågoande and Vilseledda Barnasjlars Hemmavist

Two new tracks from the controversial black metallers new album Klagopsalmer. I must say I'm really liking these new tracks, particularly "Plagoande..." which features some clearer singing from Kvarforth oppossed to his previous throaty croon. They play on the same premise as their other material. However there is a much cleaner production quality than that on The Eerie Cold and Halmstad. If these two tracks are only tasters than the new album should be very good indeed. Still no details as to when the album is going to be released though.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Longford’s Got Talent final

I mentioned a few weeks ago Longford’s Got Talent and my mates’ band Globex. Well, the final is this Friday and in it are Globex, Recoil, Veronica Moran (think that’s her name anyway) and there’s a fourth I think but I’m not sure who it is.

Anyway come check it out and give your support to Globex! They’ve mostly been playing covers of Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, ZZ Top and Clapton tunes as well as one original so you know it’s going to be a good time!

It’s in:
Blue, Longford, this Friday (15th) around 10.30 ish ish.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chimaira – The Infection

Since their third, self titled, release Chimaira have been on somewhat of a downward spiral. 2007’s Resurrection, though a stunning album, didn’t receive half the accolades that it so richly deserved. It remained very much in the shadows of one particular metal album released that same year. But also, their touring schedule seemed to decline incredibly and found themselves supporting bands that should have been supporting them.

That said, it’s now 2009 and Chimaira are back with fifth album The Infection, a reasonably good modern metal affair – it doesn’t reach the heights of The Impossibility Of Reason though. “The Venom Inside” opens in grandiose fashion and then pounds its way into the verses and killer chorus. The pace slows slightly with “Frozen In Time” and the momentum wanes further by fourth track “Secrets Of The Dead”, it utilises Chris Spicuzza’s electronics much more but is overall a weak track.

“Impending Doom” creates a haunting air and the guitar work and vocals make it a mini-epic. “Destroy and Dominate” pulls out the same card and the ambitious nature plays out with the keyboards meanwhile Mark Hunter spits out his guttural vocals effectively. These are two standout tracks, along with “The Venom Inside”.

On this occasion the spotlight is stolen by Rob Arnold. His leads are the most impressive aspect of The Infection, these seen on the shred of the “Coming Alive” and the excellent soloing throughout the whole record, in fact.

This release is a collection of hits and misses. It reaches moments of satisfyingly punishing metal but then falters on tracks like “On Broken Glass” and “The Disappearing Sun” which sound too much alike and sticks to a worn out formula.

But final track, an instrumental, “The Heart Of It All”, which I believe works on the same premise as “Implements of Destruction” (closer from TIOR), is amazing. Once again Rob Arnold stands out, the track may seem a tad unnecessary at times but then the towering shred and riffs hit and remind you that Arnold is one of the most underrated guitarists in metal today.

The Infection is a mediocre album but should hopefully set Chimaira back on the path of destruction they’ve been on before.


Stuff I read this week

Faith No More have announced a show at London’s Brixton Academy, the venue of their now monumental live album. They’ll play on June 10th. One can pray for an Irish show at some stage…. one can pray.

Coldplay continue to be accused of plagiarism over “Viva La Vida”, this time by Cat Stevens. This is the third time the song has been accused, most notably by Joe Satriani. I’m sceptical of Stevens; if it is his melody then surely he’d try to sue Satriani. But then again Coldplay have more money….. (No legal action has been taken by Stevens at the moment, I’d like to add).
Judge it for yourself:

I’ve been listening to that comparison and I have to say there is a similarity, not as much Satriani’s “If I Could Fly”. It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out.

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, who was involved in a tragic car accident, last November, has been taken off life support and continues to recover. This is good news and I continue to wish him and his family the best.

Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Donald “Ean” Evans has passed away after his battle with cancer. R.I.P

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know

To say this album has been highly anticipated would be putting it lightly – very lightly. It’s Heaven & Hell, the Dio led re-incarnation of Black Sabbath, an album from them after all these years is something to be excited about! But that aside is it any good? Yes, yes it is.

There’s one thing that’s blatantly obvious about Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice; they have nothing to prove. But The Devil You Know sounds like the blood, sweat and tears of a young band desperate to make a dent, the vigour of their playing is astonishing.

Right off the bat tracks like “Atom And Evil” and “Fear” successfully merge (once again!) Dio’s trademark vocals with some classic Sabbath riffing. The first aspect to really hit you on the record is its heaviness; even father time must give into Heaven & Hell’s yearning for the heavy!

Lead single “Bible Black” shows how on fucking fire Dio is. His classic fantasy laden lyrics accompanied by the fine guitar work of Iommi make it an engrossing number, which brings me to Iommi. On this outing he schools anyone that has ever picked up a guitar, peeling off some of his finest riffs. The excellence of “Rock And Roll Angel” and the unbelievable riffs and soloing of “Eating The Cannibals” will suffice as proof. I defy you not to play air guitar to the latter! Last track “Breaking Into Heaven” is foreboding in its delivery and serves as a suitable closer. Here, the class of Dio’s vocals are the centrepiece.

Iommi and Dio are the shining light of The Devil You Know though Butler’s basslines are the perfect accompaniment. However despite the high quality of his drumming Vinny Appice remains somewhat of a backdrop.
This record is beautifully and satisfyingly heavy and catchy. It will surely appeal to fans both old and new and will certainly be one of the finest albums you’ll hear this year. Bow down and the respect the masters!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Between The Buried And Me entering studio soon

I was on BTBAM's MySpace today and found that they'll begin recording their new album on May 31st. Info on the new album has been scant but this is something. Hopefully we'll get some more news soon.