Archive for March, 2013

Bring me the Horizon: Sempiternal

Posted in Album Reviews on March 19, 2013 by lukesreviews1014

Finally! Bring me the Horizon have released the highly anticipated follow-up to 2010’s There is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret. I know I’m somewhat part of a minority here, at least amongst my friends when I talk about how much I like this band in general. The way I see it, this band, while controversial for the wrong reasons have polarized their audience to those that  love just about everything they’ve ever done and those that absolutely hate this band for seemingly no real reason. Obviously there’s some middle ground and casual fans in between, but hear me out. There are some fans that only think their debut album is good because of it’s the most “death core” of them all and still don’t enjoy it enough to consider themselves “fans.” There are some people (myself included) that think the band have only made positive progressions and have gotten better with each album. Neither view is wrong obviously because we are all entitled to our own opinions, but i just think their debut sounds somewhat childish compared to the leaps they made to Suicide Season. I think this new album is the best thing the band have put their names on, although I still am partial to There is a Hell… (only because I’ve spent more time with it).

I could tell this was going to be a great record when I became instantly hooked with the first track, “Can You Feel my Heart?” A more electronically driven intro compared to their previous use of electronics, but still natural nonetheless and I don’t think anything was sacrificed with this track. It’s absolutely huge and an epic way to open up this album. In fact, there are a lot more electronics on this album than ever before, but again, I don’t think anything about who this band are is compromised by that fact.

Many of you will have no doubt heard the two main singles from this album, “Shadow Moses” and “Anti-vist.” While they’re both amazing songs and obvious choices for singles, I think that there are even better songs on the album, which is always good. I find that in a lot of instances, albums that are really great feature songs that are far stronger than the singles. That can be taken as a pretty general statement though and that’s true, but for me “Can You Feel my Heart?” and “Sleepwalking” are the big singles in my book. “Empire (Let them Sing)”, “Go to Hell for Heaven’s Sake” and “Seen it all Before” are also absolutely monumental. “And the Snakes Start to Sing” and “Hospital for Souls” are the big, mid-tempo anthems for this album. The last album featured “Don’t Go” and “Blessed with a Curse,” which are staples in the band’s catalog in my opinion and these two new ones are certainly up there. If you’re not totally hooked on this album by the end of “And the Snakes Start to Sing,” then you most likely won’t get into it.

Overall, I can’t help but be blown away by the leaps and bounds this band make with each album progression. Sempiternal shows a natural, but impressive progression for this band. While I’m honestly not the worlds biggest BMTH fan, I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished and think that this is a phenomenal album. The production is ridiculously colossal, the songwriting keeps improving as well as the lyrics and Oli keeps surprising us with what he can do as a vocalist. It’s definitely worth your while to check it out and even if you’re not a big fan, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this album. You may not like it and god knows those that have already discredited the band will most likely ignore this review, but those of you out there who can still appreciate what this band have done without admitting it might not hate this record. Just give it the time and respect it deserves. It might just be worth your while.

Luke Helker

 

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Mayhem Festival 2013 Lineup Review!

Posted in Album Reviews on March 19, 2013 by lukesreviews1014

Yesterday, the official lineup for this summer’s 6th annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival. Last year we saw the tour start to branch out and add some new ideas to the mix. Now they’re throwing some more new curves at us. The lineup so far is as followed:

Main stage headliners:

Rob Zombie – Headlined back n 2010. Phenomenal show and with the new album on the way, I can’t wait to see how he takes over 2013. He’s been touring relentlessly recently and always puts on a fantastic live show, so there’s no qualms there for me.

Five Finger Death Punch – Making their third appearance on the festival this year, the band have been climbing the ladder from side stage, to opening the main stage, to being the second headliner. I love this band and am proud of all of their accomplishments. I just hope that the new album will be as killer as the rest.

Mastodon – Making their second appearance on the festival, I can’t help but feel like they should have been here last year when the new album had dropped and they were more in vogue (not that Mastodon are ever out of fashion). I’ve never seen them before and have heard mixed reviews about their live shows, so i’m not putting eggs in any basket yet.

Amon Amarth – Again, they should have been here last year in my opinion, but I’ve never seen this band either and since they’re making their debut on this tour, I’m very excited to see what they dish out.

Jagermeister Mobile Stage:

Machine Head – A band that should be on the main stage in my opinion, because they’re so much better than Americans give them credit for, I’ll be going mental with them for sure. Just like last time. Seriously this band absolutely slayed it live and you’d be out of your mind not to go.

Job for a Cowboy – I’ve honestly lost interest in this band in recent years, but they’re good live so I’ll most likely check them out again.

Butcher Babies – I think they’re music sucks, but the band has two hot ass female lead singers that run around topless (not totally. They have electrical tape x’s on their ta-tas), covered in mud and fake blood, so I think they have a fairly interesting live show.

Battlecross – I don’t know anything about this band. I’ll have to look them up and make some sort of opinion later.

Huntress – Another female fronted act. I don’t know much about them, but I’ve that they’re not terrible and have been getting some attention outside of the U.S. so we’ll see how the U.S. treats them (they’re singer is also really hot).

Musicians Institute Stage: 

Children of Bodom – Finally coming out from hiding to make their Mayhem Fest debut this summer, Children of Bodom were strong contenders to be on either this bill or Summer Slaughters. Either way, I’m just glad I’m going to finally see Bodom. Can’t wait for the new album either.

Behemoth – Making their second appearance on this festival, I know that they’re going to kill even though I haven’t seen them yet. I can tell though that this is going to be a good summer for metal.

Emmure – There’s no doubt that this band are just as heavy, if not heavier than any other band on this lineup, but their hip-hop swagger might be seen as a bit of a turn-off to most of the straightforward metal heads that attend the festival that only care about SLAYER! I guarantee they’ll knock your sox off and possibly knock you out if you’re not careful.

Born of Osiris – Fantastic band! One of my favorites and I knew with I, the Breather and Upon a Burning Body appearing last year that this band would most likely show up this year. Now if only they can get Veil of Maya and/or After the Burial…

Motionless in White – This band, like Asking Alexandria last year, might cause a lot of drama among the “metal heads” again. I’ve seen them before at other festivals and they can really own a crowd and if you give them the chance, I don’t think they’ll disappoint. I’m not a huge fan of their music, but I do enjoy their live performances. They’re just as passionate as any other band here and will have a show worthy of proving themselves.

Thrown into Exile – Never heard of them. Gotta check them out.

Sumerian Stage:

City in the Sea – Great up and coming band. They’re generating some significant waves and I think this is going to be a good year for them.

 

…and more are supposed to be announced. That is the first major change with this year’s festival. They added one more stage and therefore more bands. Whats interesting is that the Sumerian stage debuted last year and while it wasn’t as grand as the Jagermeister stage, it still held more than one band, so I’m curious as to why there’s only one band so far for the Sumerian stage (especially when Born of Osiris are also a Sumerian band). I know more bands will be announced, but of the Musician’s Institute stage to this festival is interesting. Most likely some politics and financial tactics are behind it all.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this lineup. I think everyone was betting on Lamb of God being there (Summer Slaughter possibly?), but I wouldn’t cry over this lineup at all. No major departure bands like or major upsets like Asking Alexandria (except for maybe Motionless in White or Emmure), but like AA, MIW have a large enough fan base interest primarily in them to bring a decent enough sized audience to the festival. You can see clearly though how this festival is starting to expand and pick up some of the heavier bands you might find on Warped Tour or something like that (This year’s Warped Tour by the way is extremely solid and I recommend going to that this year as well). I think it’s only natural. There’s only so many bands you can choose from before relevance, availability and repetition start to become factors in picking your bands.

I strongly recommend attending this years festival. I guarantee it will not disappoint.

Luke Helker