Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Yellowcard - City of Devils

Different music does different things for me.  Metal is the elixir of life, rap is for the gritty times, pop gives you a pulse...and then there's Yellowcard.  Lights and Sounds is one of my albums.  It's music that never sounds bad, and is always there to inspire the best ideas.  Seriously, guys.  The band has unfortunately gone a little downhill in the last two albums, but Lights and Sounds is their best work ever.  I'll give props to Ocean Avenue and Paper Walls, but Lights and Sounds is something else, and eventually all of the songs there will be here.  So let's keep it going, shall we?

"City of Devils" isn't one of their high-energy pop-punk pieces, but a slow and lovely orchestral-powered storm of awesome.  Yes, you got that right.  It's in the vein of the good Goo Goo Dolls songs, but still that sunny Florida rock we loved from Yellowcard back then.  Ryan Key has great strength to his voice when he takes it easy, and when that's mixed with the band's lovely violin and soft arrangements of the other instruments, you have a masterpiece.  On the album, it's the perfect compliment to the grand and lush tracks.  Some songs are soft, but there's still a punch packed in real tight for when you need it.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Children of Bodom - Scream For Silence

There's just something wonderful about death metal, and there's something even more wonderful about Finland's Children of Bodom.  I've been slowly getting into this band over the last few years, and every time I find something new, I love it even more.  Today's "Scream For Silence" is from the band's 2013 release Halo of Blood, but don't let the implied gore scare you away.  I actually find that Children of Bodom is a very approachable metal band, though not for everyone at the same time.  "Scream For Silence" is still a lush version of melodic death metal with a guitar arrangement that I would break for and harsh vocals from lead Alexi Laiho that are definitely harsh, as it should be.  Death metal isn't something you half-ass, and Children of Bodom puts everything they have into their work, and it shows in "Scream For Silence."  Looks like I've found myself another obsession.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lea Michele - Cannonball

I've been a Lea Michele fan ever since Glee started in 2009, and though I don't follow the show as religiously as I used to, I can't discount that she has a voice for the ages.  Some people are born to sing, and she's one of them.  Her debut album Louder came out in March, and I've been sampling some songs here and there, but the lead single, "Cannonball," is the one that really jumped out at me.  On Glee she has a habit of sounding very theatrical and over-the-top (which is a part of her character, mind you), but on "Cannonball," Lea Michele is a refined sensation.  This is the way the pop music should always be done, because there's no way to go wrong.  "Cannonball" is pure beauty, and let's hope this voice isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Monday, 14 April 2014

††† (Crosses) - †elepa†hy + †his is a †rick

Okay, this post is going to involve a lot of copying and pasting on my part, but work with me here.  The main thing you need to know about ††† (Crosses) is that it's the electro-rock side project of Chino Moreno (from Deftones!) and the guitarist from Far and a guy without any previous band.  There we go.  It's good music, of course, and it almost sounds like a modern take on nineties rock music to me.  Their self-titled album came out this year, their first full-length studio album, mind you, and it's chock-full of catchy ambient bits and pieces.

"†elepa†hy" does sound a little bit like it could be found on a Deftones album, maybe with more electric guitar and less keyboard work, but it's still deep-rooted in electronic rock.  It's soft, but it's a mysterious little bugger that could definitely be in a movie, serving as a track to be played during a set-up-the-big-plan montage.  "†his is a †rick" is less Deftones influence and more indie-electro (no wonder these guys were a hit on Rcrd Lbl back in the day).  This track ups the mysteriousness factor, but also makes use of some more electric guitar and builds to something stronger.  So on one hand, you have something a little more classic and familiar if you're a Deftones fan, but you also have something different to work with too, for the adventurous souls.  As well, these are only two tracks from an album of fifteen, so who knows what you'll make of the rest of the album...?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Diabulus In Musica - Inner Force

Now for something in the same vein as Nightwish, and why not?  There is plenty of great symphonic metal out there that's worth taking a look at, and it's not all a carbon copy of one band.  Diabulus In Musica is a Spanish band, new territory for me, but if this is what they're doing in Spain, then sign me up for the next plane over there!  I find that their sound in "Inner Force" is a little Nightwish, a little Amaranthe, and a touch of Within Temptation, but they're still doing their own thing.  Zuberoa Aznarez has a very lovely operatic voice on the verses, but the chorus of "Inner Force" is toned down nicely, giving some more variation.  The instrumental work is classic symphonic with some more technical keyboard work, and that's what reminds me of Amaranthe in the end.  Comparisons aside, however, "Inner Force" is a great song from the genre, and gives me another band to obsess over.  Where can we go wrong?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Nightwish - Creek Mary's Blood

This blog can never have enough Nightwish, and that's the rule if there ever will be one.  We'll give Tarja some time to shine today though, by looking at Once, definitely my favourite album with her on vocal duties.  I've featured a couple of the songs from this album before, but today we'll get a little weird.  Really, that's not a word I would use to describe any incarnation of the band, but "Creek Mary's Blood" might be one of their strangest songs, but in the best way.  While it's still symphonic metal, the band makes use of a lot of Native American elements, including vocals and flute work from John Two-Hawks.  It's something that really stands out from a vast sea of generic symphonic music, and "Creek Mary's Blood" becomes something that is both epic, but also very mysterious and worldly.  It's strange, sure, because it's not something they did regularly back then, and even now, but these tracks are what give the band something special.  "Creek Mary's Blood" is definitely special.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Chevelle - One Ocean

Obviously I was going to buy Chevelle's new album, La G├írgola, when it came out last Tuesday.  That was a given.  I went to the mall, picked it up, took the bus back home, and began to process of a thorough listen...and I was surprised.  Was it a pleasant surprise?  Maybe not at first.  It was Chevelle, but I didn't know if it was the lush and organic-sounding Chevelle that I knew and loved.  This incarnation of the band's music is familiar, closer to their Wonder What's Next and This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) days, but there's something quite different about it at the same time.  It's...it's...mature.  Grown-up, even.  It has traces of Tool and some other progressive metal mixed in with their usual alternative rock, and though it took me a few days to really get into it, once I did...I was in for life.

"One Ocean" is probably the closest song to their old styles, which may be why it stood out to me early on, but you can hear the difference here too.  Now it's a little darker and mysterious, but in the chorus I can hear the way things used to be, though it's closer to the minimalist approach of Hats Off To The Bull instead of the lush power from Sci-Fi Crimes.  We still get lyrical power, flawless instruments and vocals from Mr. Loeffler that pull at my heartstrings anymore.  Everyone has to grow up one day, and Chevelle has become quite charming and mature this time around.  Hats off to them for changing things up, because every one of their albums brings something new to the table, and perhaps a complete listen-through of everything is in order now.