I’ve bought quite a few albums lately. I’m bored, so I’m going to write quick review of most of them.
I’ll start off with my favorite band of all time: Zao. These guys have been around forever, and their line-up has finally completely changed. The last original member finally left the band before this album. Though the title of the album is The Funeral of God, it is definitely not an anti-God, Nietzchian metalcore album. The idea behind the album was to explore what it would be like if God did what man has wanted Him to do for centuries and just “died.” It’s an interesting concept for a metalcore band, and I think they pull that part off pretty well. It’s one of the few albums I’ve listened that tells a coherent story that can actually be followed. Musically, I think this is Zao’s finest album since the landmark Where Blood and Fire Brings Rest (my favorite album of all time). They’ve lost most of the tributes to old hairmetal and basically just get down to the business of pounding out good metalcore. My favorite tracks are “The Last Revelation” and “Praise the War Machine.” You can download two tracks from the album here. You can watch a music video here. I recommend all Zao albums.
Underoath’s sophomore release for Solidstate came off pretty well. They have a new singer, and I approve. Their style has matured some, moving away from the straight-up metal/hardcore to more of a melodic hardcore. The opening track is pretty awesome. They also have an interlude with, get this, brushed drums. What? Who uses drum brushes on a hardcore album? Underoath, that’s who. I’d recommend this album. Download three tracks from here.
Dillinger Escape Plan finally released another album after about five years of waiting. I remember getting the first album, Calculating Infinity during the summer of 2000. It blew me away. Unfortunatly, Miss Machine doesn’t really come close to matching the sheer ferocity, speed, and general amazingness of the first album. It’s still a decent album, but the new singer is not nearly as good as the new one. Still, if you are a mathcore fan, then this album belongs in your library. The low point of the album is with a song that sounds like a NIN rip-off. Blech. Good album but far, far behind the first one. You can preview the album here.
Haste the Day is one of Solidstate’s newer bands. They’re decent. I fell in love with their song “Substance” which I got from here. I was able to get a special deal through Tower.com so that I got Burning Bridges and their EP for cheap. It’s kinda funny, I’ve only listened to the LP once, but I’ve listened to the EP, That They May Know You, probably about a dozen times. The EP is thoroughly excellent. The album is not quite as good. Haste the Day has a pretty good thing going with some sweet breakdowns, good screaming, and actually decent singing. Sometimes the guitar work is less than creative, but hardcore bands can get away with this. All they gotta do is make me move. I’d slap a “buy” recommendation on both the album and the EP.
Emery produces some fine screamo music. Screamo is emo but with more screaming. You can check out a couple of songs here. I recommend “Walls.” It’s one of the best songs on the album. There is only one dud song on the The Weak’s End. Every time I hear it I think, “Wow, this is a boring song and the guitars are lame.” If you like music along the lines of Finch, Matchbook Romance, Noise Ratchet, or Thursday, you should check these guys out.
Taking Back Sunday’s sophomore release, Where You Want to Be, is a worthy follow-up to their awesome first release. Their original album is on my top ten list of Best Albums Ever. This one isn’t quite as good, but it had to live up to a very very high standard. These guys generally keep the same winning sound they have from their first album, but it may be just a little bit more generic. Perhaps it seems less fresh to me because I’m so familiar with their first album, but I just don’t find it quite as inventive and energetic as the first one. My favorite tracks include “Set Phasers to Stun,” “Bonus Mosh Pt. II,” and “This Photograph is Proof.” If you like punkish emo music, I’d highly recommend this album. You can check out a couple of tracks here.
I finally found Murder by Death’s first album, Like the Excorist, but with More Breakdancing. This album is much more instrumental than their sophomore release, so it lacks the deep melancholic feel Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them. Look, these guys rock. Definitely one of my current favorite bands, and as I mentioned before they have really cool song names. I completely enjoy the mix of guitars and strings which remind me of a modernized, gritty, Western horror movie. Every time I listen to their music I feel I need to be drinking some whiskey with some six-shooters strapped to my hips. Buy this album . . .if you can find it. I consider myself lucky that I was able to obtain it. It might also be listed under their original name, Little Joe Gould.
With all this music I’ve gotten lately, my little iPod mini is stuffed to the gills. I kinda wish I had a bigger iPod now. I have over 1000 songs on it, but I need more!