Thrash and Burn Preview/ Album reviews

This is something of a combination piece. I’ll start off briefly reviewing the most recent albums from both Like Moths to Flames and In the Midst of Lions an seeing as both bands are on the bill for the Thrash and Burn tour and since i’m going to the show up in Allentown tomorrow, I’d figure i’d attach a preview of what’s going to go down tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it and keep an eye out for my reviews of the show and hopefully i’ll be able to add whatever interview i’m able to get with Winds of Plague onto the page (my video interview with Cale Gontier from Art of Dying didn’t seem to work so hopefully i’ll be able to figure it out this time around. SO, without further adeiu, keep reading and enjoy the reviews.

Like Moths to Flames – When we don’t Exist

This is actually the first full length release for this metalcore band from Columbus Ohio. It’s been a very stagnant year for metalcore, with bands only releasing sub-par albums, but Like Moths to Flames have been able to capture the basic essence of metalcore’s structure (growling verses and clean melodic choruses) but add in a hardcore crunch that has come to become a really popular template for bands nowadays. This band aren’t really crossing any boundaries and certainly aren’t doing anything revolutionary or spectacular, but i can see why people like them and they do have some really strong songs and I expect a lot of goof things from them if their first album is as good as this.

If anything the band are just another band floating in the sea of drowning bands all trying to compete with each other in order stay alive by making their music heavier or adding in more breakdowns, but what we really are bands with more integrity and talent like Counterparts, Lower Than Atlantis, We Came as Romans, etc. These are the bands that have built themselves life boats an are making their way to shore.

No I don’t want people to think that I don’t like this band. I quite enjoy listening to this band and this new album has a lot of really strong moments (the live show tomorrow will really determine the bands potential and how far they’ll be able to manage, but we’ll talk about that later). That being said, we just have to enjoy what they’ve released so far and wait with bated breath to see where their future takes them. (Standout songs: “The Worst in Me”, “Faithlessly Living”. For fans of: )

In the Midst of Lions – Shadows

Unlike Like Moths to Flames, In the Midst of Lions are much heavier and more on the deathcore side of metal music. This band have also been around much longer than LMTF and have been able to refine their sound to the point of prominence making this the third full length release from this christian deathcore band.

Also unlike LMTF, metalcore has had a stagnant year, but 2011 has proven to be quite a good year for deathcore bands. That being said thoiugh I don’t think this album would size up fairly against some of the  other deathcore albums being put out this year. Although then again maybe i’m wrong this band haven’t hit me compared to other people. I mean, the band are pretty high up on the bill for the Thrash and Burn tour, so that must prove that they’re a respectable prospect, but maybe their live show will change my mind (there’s so many variable to consider, it’s confusing sometimes).

The record itself i alright. I like it better than thew last two releases from this band, but then again, it hasn’t changed much, just gotten a little more refined, which is good. Anywho, check the band out if you’re a fan of Crimson Armada or Molotov Solution. Good stuff and i look forward to seeing them tomorrow. (Standout tracks: “False Idols”, “Take Your Place”. For fans of: Sleeping Giant or Crimson Armada”)

Thrash and Burn Preview:

After winning the little “opening-band-contest” that was held upon the announcement of this tour, technical deathcore band Volumes very deservedly will be the opening band for this years tour. Their first full length release Via is extremely good and I highly recommend everyone to check this band out.

Immediately following Volumes will be Like Moths to Flames and In the Midst of Lions. You already know how I kinda feel about these band. They’re average bands in two increasingly  sub-average, overrated subgenres. But they’re songs are decent and as long ad they’re alright live, then I’ll continue to pay attention.

It now pleases me to say that Upon a Burning Body are also on this bill, though disappointedly not as high as I would like, but because they currently only have one album out (not for long), they can only be so high on a bill. I’m so proud of this band though. There really is nothing you can teach this band that they dont’ already know. They have the full package and I can’t tell you how excited I am for their next record. Tis band are easily the best deathcore band out there and if you don’t agree with me then you clearly don’t like music.

For the Fallen Dreams are the next band on the bill and while they aren’t as heavy as some of the other bands on the bill, they’re still creating a lot of buzz and rightfully so because they’re a really strong band and the album they released earlier this year is fantastic. Another band that I seriously recommend getting on board with because I predict much bigger and better things to come from this band.

These next two bands kinda bug me, and it’s not just because I’m not huge fans of the bands, but I really don’t think that As Blood Runs Black and Chelsea Grin should be this high on the bill. I mean, i get it because the Thrash and Burn tour has always showcased the hottest deathcore bands in America and both As Blood Runs Black and Chelsea Grin are popular bands in this scene. As Blood Runs Black I can tolerate being that high, but Chelsea Grin went from being on the low end of both Bamboozle and the All Stars Tour bills, put on very poor live performances for only sub-par albums, and yet are the second headliner for a tour like this?? Maybe i’m wrong (i know I’m not), but maybe this band have something i just don’t see. I’ve never been truly impressed before, so I doubt they’ll sway me tomorrow.

And last but certainly not least, I’m also very proud to see Winds of Plague headline this years Thrash and Burn Tour. I remember first hearing about this band from my buddy Steve, who said that the band were alright, but after purchasing the record, and listening to it, I really started to love this band and while I don’t feel that they’ve been able to top that first record, their second and third records are filled with great songs around to really get the crowd going. After seeing the band a few times (and even being fortunate enough to have caught a pick at one of their earlier shows), I know that this band will put a great headlining show and will definitely be the highlight of the night (Plus their keyboard player is hot as hell so you can’t go wrong there lol).

And so keep a lookout for further reviews of the show itself. I should also be interviewing Winds of Plague and hopefully I’ll be able to tackle my technical difficulties and allow you all to view everything. Til then, take it easy.

Luke Helker

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