Archive for December, 2011

TOP 20 ALBUMS of 2011!!!!!

Posted in Album Reviews on December 15, 2011 by lukesreviews1014

For my 40th post on my newly created website, I think it’s a lovely coincidence that we have such a monumental posting indeed. This as you all are aware is my personal list of my favorite albums to come out this year. Hopefully you agree, because my list is the correct one and damn all the others (just kidding, but seriously…). Let me just emphasize how EXTREMELY DIFFICULT it was to create this list and I’m sure i’ll regret half by the time I actually post this list, but for know, after hours of sorting out, I finally have created a definitive list that I am proud of. So let’s begin:

20. Winds of Plague – Against the World

Not only was this album a hell of a lot better than the previous one (The Great Stone War), but it also has some of the best songs that the band have written including “Refined in the Fire”, “Against the World” and “Drop the Match”. A stomping good record, though not as good as their debut in my opinion, but still worthy of making my list. (Stand out track: Refined in the Fire)


19. Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist

This album is surprisingly low considering I’m such a huge of this band. However, the songs aren’t as good as some of their previous ones and the other bands you’ll see soon we’re simply better. That being said though, the songs are still great and Five Finger Death Punch have a formula that works and they’re huge because of it. (Stand out track: Under and Over It)


18. Machine Head – Unto the Locust

How do you top an album as monumental as The Blackening? I don’t think this album did it, but it came mighty close. Filled to the brim with complex, great, eccentric riffs and some of the heaviest songs they’ve ever released to support those riffs, Machine Head have once again proved their prowess as arguably the best metal band since Metallica. (Stand out track: Locust)


17. The Devil Wears Prada – Dead Throne

Completely reviving their sound, and after the follow up of the Zombie EP, The Devil Wears Prada have redifined not only themselves but the genre they helped to pioneer. Phenomenal record with loads of great tunes and best of all ,the new songs come across so well live, it’s really great to see this band being innovative again. (Stand out track: Untidaled)


16. Defeater – Empty Days and Sleepless  Nights

A lot of the bands you’ll see are hardcore punk bands like Defeater who are full of integrity, completely uncompromising, and extremely honest and pure. This is one of many great band you’ll see that subscribe to this style of music and I highly encourage everyone reading to check this band out (as well as the others on this list). (Stand out track: Warm Blood Rush)


15. Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra

As far as reunions go, this was one of the most exciting reunions announced. The original lineup of Limp Bizkit followed up by a great album with songs reminiscent of the songs of their glory days…doesn’t get much better than that now does it? (Stand out track: Shotgun)


14. Adele – 21

Just because I listen to metal, hardcore and other abrasive styles of music doesn’t mean I can’t love someone like Adele. Her songwriting from 19 to 21 is incredible and every song on this album is just hit after hit. If you don’t believe me listen for yourself, the radio streams Adele all the time. (Stand out track: Someone Like You)


13. Emmure – Speaker of the Dead

This album is simply Emmure at their best. It’s beatdown after beatdown after crushing beatdown. Never subsides; never gets dull and is bone-crushingly heavy. Just a great album to put on when you’re in the mood to just punch somebody…not literally. (Stand out track: Solar Flare Homicide)


12. We Came as Romans – Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be

One of my favorite bands releasing a really dark record for them. They’re songwriting has increased ten fold as well as their overall sound and I’m just in love with some of these songs. Actually, ever song is worthy of my love. (Stand out track: Mis//Understanding)


11. Title Fight – Shed

Just like my statement for Defeater, Title Fight are another great band in the hardcore punk genre and have released a phenomenal album. It really has been a good year for these types of bands and the leaps these bands are making is extremely impressive. Just check their status on festival stages. (Stand out track: Coxton Yard)


10. Trivium – In Waves

This band really came into their own on this record and they made the album they always threatened to make and it’s fantastic. There’s a perfect balance of melodic vocals and scream singing, thats really hard to accomplish, but they really nailed it on this record and the songs sound great on the live stage. (Stand out track: In Waves)


9. Lady Gaga – Born this Way

Come on guys…you know me (most of you that is). There’s no way I wasn’t gonna let a Lady Gaga record slip out of my list. For those of you who know me well, know that I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan so there’s no surprise that this made the list. However, I think we should note how fantastic this record is. Like the Adele record (and just about every other record on this list) every song is a stonewall hit and she’s nominated for a lot of Grammys to prove it. (Stand out track: Marry the Night)


8. Mastodon – The Hunter

Combining the progressive elements that made Crack the Skye the enormous success that it was and the sludgy grit off Leviathan that defined the bands overall sound, The Hunter is one of the best pieces of work this band have done and the songs are so basic, yet powerful.


7. Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual 

The best death metal record of the year – hands down. Nuff said. You NEED to listen to this album. It’s so clean yet dirty and the instrumentation is astounding. It’s not only the best death metal record of the year in my opinion, but the best of their career. (Stand out track: Moonlight Equilibrium)


6. Stray From the Path – Rising Sun

Just like Emmure, this record is soooo loud and soooo huge, it’s the perfect record to put on when I’m the wall-punchong mood. Like most other bands that made this list, the song-writing of the band has really increased significantly and I think this is their best record yet. (Stand out track: Death Beds)


5. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Easily the best record this band released since The Colour and the Shape, Dave Grohl has really rekindled the band and produced some of the best songs of his career. I can’t even begin to describe to you how good this record is, you just have to experience it for yourself. (Stand out track: Rope)


4. Touche Amore – Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me

Same must be said about this record as i  had said about Defeater and Title Fight. All three bands put out HUGE records this year, but Touche Amore’s record really seemed to strike a chord with me more so than the others. I’m not even 100 percent sure why, but I love the record a lot (Stand out track: ~)


3. Skindred – Union Black

Paying homage to their homeland and adding elements of dubstep to their already fierce music, Skindred have released the best album of their career in my opinion and every song, even the opening instrumental track is a top hit. I just can’t stop playing this record. My stand out track is always changing I’ll add a couple names. (Stand out tracks: Warning, Cut Dem, Doom Riff)


2. Born of Osiris – The Discovery

Much like the first title on this list, not only did Born of Osiris put out an album that was better than A Higher Place, but it’s MILES ahead of both what anyone thought this band were capable of and the recent albums of their contemporaries. It’s so technically complex and yet, conceptually simple in a way that doesn’t feel like a overblown Dream Theater album (notice they aren’t on my list at all). It was such a struggle choosing between this and my number 1 for the top spot, but I kinda consider first place as a two way tie between this and my actual number 1.


1. Lower than Atlantis – World Record

After listening to this record the first time, there was never any doubt that this album would be my number 1. The leaps this band made in songwriting is just unfathomable. Mike Duce is one of the best songwriters of this generation and every song on this record really hit me on a personal level so to me it wasn’t just a great record conceptually, but as a whole, I really connected with it more so than all the other titles you see on this list. And the best part is, it’s only their second record! I want to see this band soooo badly and see what they can really do because I hear about how they’ve grown and I want to be a part of  their live moments. If anyone like British Hardcore music, but love really catchy songwriting and not jut plowing through the album, then you NEED to own this record. You won’t regret it.


Well there you go. There’s my list. I hope you like it and maybe are turned on to some new favorite bands to pay attention to in the following years. Enjoy the rest of your 2011 and I’ll talk to you guys later.


Dead Throne Tour Photo Diary

Posted in Concert Reviews on December 13, 2011 by lukesreviews1014

Here’s some pictures from the show last night. Every band on the bill played as if it was their last show ever and there was fun had by all. Every band performed like they were headlining Wembley and the excitement in the air was palpable. Hopefully these pictures will speak for themselves. Enjoy


Thrash and Burn 2011 Photo Diary

Posted in Album Reviews on December 11, 2011 by lukesreviews1014

Sorry it’s a little late, but here are some of the photos I took while at the Thrash and Burn Tour a few weeks ago. Sometime also in the next 24 hours I’ll post the pictures i got from the Dead Throne Tour yesterday. Until then please marvel at my lovely photos 🙂

Korn: The Path of Totality

Posted in Album Reviews on December 2, 2011 by lukesreviews1014

I honestly, didn’t think it was possible, but Korn have pushed boundaries again just one step farther doing something that hasn’t really been before until now. Once at the forefront of a musical revolution in which heavy metal and hip hop were combined to create Nu Metal, Korn are now at the cutting edge of another potential musical revolution, adding dubstep to the chemistry of the band.

Dubstep as i’m sure you’re all well aware, had been growing significantly in popularity and made famous by such artists as Excision, Nosia and Skrillex. We’ve also seen bands such as The Browning and Enter Shikari incorporate some elements of dubstep into their music, but none quite so exposed and distinct. I don’t want to generate an enormous amount of height about this record though. Yes it is something really new and unique, but keep in mind that this album isn’t in and of itself a musical revolution, however I would be willing to bet my life on more instances where we see/hear more dubstep in metal music.

One of the most interesting and slightly remarkable things about this album is Korn’s involvement with it. I mean, if anyone was going to do it, I would have bet Korn or Limp Bizkit would be the first ones to do it (imagine if Linkin Park put out an album like Hybrid Theory but with dubstep…HOLY SHIT!!!), so I wouldn’t say i’m surprised that Korn is making this leap. What is surprising though is the fact that Korn have been pretty lackluster for the better part of the last decade, releasing albums with little to no content worth listening to other than the singles. However, last year the band released an album that brought the band back to their roots and back to the top of everyone’s mind. Korn III: Remember Who You Are was a really strong and important record in that it was the third album that featured producer Ross Robinson, who produced the first two monumental Korn records. It’s also important because it revived the band’s failing career, putting them back at the top of festival bills and reminded people why the band were so important. Now the band have gone the extra mile and released an album as unique and novel as this…quite the feat if i do say so myself.

Now even though I’m really bringing the hype with this review, the album is not perfect and does have its own highs and lows. Songs like “Get Up!”, “Narcissistic Cannibal”, and “Chaos Lives in Everything” are easily the best and heaviest songs on the record, but there are other really strong songs. For the most part, every other song on this record features a different dubstep artist (Skrillex, Excision, 12th Planet, Feed Me, Nosia, Downlink, and Kill the Noise are all the artists), but the songs that have Skrillex featured on them are the best in my opinion. I think the reason that is though is that his style of manipulating dubstep is more accommodating to Korn’s style of music. Not to say that Excision and Downlink aren’t any good with Korn, but I think this album really tests the dynamism of dubstep as a growing genre. We now can see all the different ways dubstep can be manipulated and we can see how this will affect the context of other songs and I think this type of record will help develop the growth of dubstep.

I think my only real complaint about the record is that there isn’t really enough Korn in it. And what I mean by that is you hear a lot of Skrillex and Jonathan Davis or a lot of Nosia and Davis, but you don’t really hear a lot of the rest of the band, but I guess that’s just because of what dubstep sounds like. Either way it’s not a monumental flaw.

Anywho, I think this is not only a great record, but are huge step in musical history and I think we’ll see a lot more dubstep/metal records in years to come.


Luke Helker