Posts Tagged ‘alternative metal’

Chino Moreno

Deftones and Rise Against have announced a joint tour for 2017. The bands will embark on dates around North America through June and early July, with Thrice supporting. Check out the full itinerary inside now. Deftones’ last album, Gore, arrived in 2016. Rise Against’s most recent album, The Black Market was released in 2014 debuting at No.1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums with 53,000 copies sold. (more…)

In-Flames_The-End-albumReview by Jeff Maki
There was a turning point in the evolution of In Flames’ sound in the early 2000s. Fans cite either 2002’s Reroute to Remain, (which featured more clean singing, melody and even a borderline country music song) or 2004’s Soundtrack to Your Escape (an industrial metal album, which, at the time, was its most commercial-sounding release to date) as the albums that “abandoned” the band’s signature melodeath sound. Come Clarity (2006), A Sense of Purpose (2008) and Sounds of a Playground Fading (2011) rode the fine line of heaviness and accessibility, and even yielded some new fan favorites along the way. Then came Siren Charms (2014,) and for many of the fans still left, this was the final nail in the coffin. I’ve been a fan of most of In Flames’ post-melodeath era albums, even Siren Charms. The album had a somber mood and explosive parts throughout. But now with In Flames’ 12th studio album, Battles, and yet more drastic changes in sound and personnel, will they be able to retain me as a fan? (more…)

Swedish metal stalwarts In Flames released its 11th album, Siren Charms (review) today, and to accompany it they’ve released a brand new lyric video for “Everything’s Gone,” one of the many standouts on the record. Listen inside and go pick up the #1 metal album on iTunes today! (more…)


Review by Jeff Maki
As I write this, Siren Charms’ official release date is still a few days away, but going off of early fan reactions and online reviews, you would think In Flames was releasing Load or St. Anger. (The album was made available for streaming prior to release.) While Siren Charms may not be In Flames’ best, the Swedish legends have a lot to offer on their 11th studio album. Most of the criticism I’ve seen has been way off base. Did anyone even listen to the album?  (more…)

DSO-pinataThe backstory of Diablo Swing Orchestra is so preposterous it just might be true. It claims the members are direct descendants of “The Devil’s Orchestra,” one that existed in Sweden in the later half of the 16th century, and became enemies of the church. They eventually were banned from playing, accused of being devil worshipers and spawn of Satan. A bounty was put out, leading to their capture and then hanging. But before this, they made a pact in sealed envelopes, giving their descendants the task of reuniting the orchestra in 500 years.

So that brings us to the present and the Diablo Swing Orchestra—the descendants of The Devil’s Orchestra, except I don’t think “swing” existed in the 16th century. Can you imagine trying to swing dance in some of the attire worn in those times?

The name says it all—this is exactly how this band sounds, yet it’s really unlike anything you have ever heard. So many bands try to experiment with so many styles and subgenres of music on an album that it ends up sounding like a technical, schizophrenic mess. Not Diablo Swing Orchestra. This is the soundtrack you’ve yet to hear to your Halloween party. This is the album that’s going to make you say, “Why has no one else ever done this?” (more…)

in-flames-sounds-of-a-playground-fadingDid anyone really think Swedish metal gods In Flames were going to make another Whoracle or The Jester Race? No, those days are gone. The albums are classics, and they’re not going anywhere. So grab them off the shelf, listen to them, enjoy them, and let’s move on. That’s what In Flames has done, and the evolution started with Clayman (2000), through the now-classic Reroute to Remain (2002), Come Clarity (2006) and A Sense of Purpose (2008). Each one of these is a standalone album, yet you can instantly tell that each is undeniably In Flames. In fact, the only album in the past decade that could be considered a “real” stylistic departure is Soundtrack to Your Escape (2004), which is still a great modern metal album. Sounds of a Playground Fading plays out like a greatest hits package of the post-Colony albums. (more…)

diamondeyesThe last decade was a crazy one for the Deftones. After the commercial breakthrough of 2000’s White Pony, the band nearly broke up during the recording of 2003’s self-titled album and then took three more years to release the uneven Saturday Night Wrist. The band planned a quick follow-up called Eros, but the recording was scrapped after a car accident left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma. Combine that with frontman Chino Moreno’s battles with substance abuse and work on side project Team Sleep, and the band’s future seemed up in the air. (more…)

DEP-Option-ParalysisHere’s my first candidate for a spot in the top 10 of 2010.

I’m a bit new to the party when it comes to New Jersey’s Dillinger Escape Plan, but Option Paralysis, the group’s fourth full-length, is one that can get even the most cynical metalhead to join. (more…)

Poison the Well: "Rotting in a Hardcore World"

Poison the Well: “Rotting in a Hardcore World”

Starting as more of a traditional hardcore act, South Florida’s Poison the Well have been active since 1998. They released their debut full-length, The Opposite of December, in 1999, and it has been looked upon as classic hardcore ever since. Now 10 years, a few record labels (including a stint on a major label), more than a dozen members and session players and four albums later, the band is back with their newest release, The Tropic Rot. The album follows 2007’s Versions, a record many dubbed a “heavy spaghetti western” due to its experimental nature, twangy guitars, unique instrumentation and lyrical content.

From one listen to the full album stream (prior to release), The Tropic Rot is a more straightforward post-hardcore record, making Poison the Well a perfect fit to co-headline the 2009 U.S. summer jaunt called the 10 for $10 hardcore tour. When the third show of the tour stopped at Sonar in Baltimore, Md.,’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity sat down with guitarist Ryan Primack to discuss the tour, The Tropic Rot and the band’s experimental style. (more…)

gojira-fleshIn the swarm of albums and bands that came out in the last few years, I committed a great travesty in overlooking the French metal band, Gojira. If their 2005 album, From Mars To Sirius is only a shade of this monster, The Way of All Flesh, then it’s number one on the to-listen-to list. Sometimes it takes a certain album or band to revitalize my enthusiasm for music and Gojira has done just that. Gojira is hard to describe. They’re not noisecore, even though they’re all over the musical spectrum and have an unconventional way of writing songs. They’re not death metal, although they have double bass, some growled vocals, blast beats and a precise, machine-like sound like that of Meshuggah. They’re not an industrial band, but I hear similarities to groundbreaking pioneers like Godflesh and Ministry. And they’re not a stoner rock band, although they occasionally seem to be inspired by the pure rock fury and sludgy groove of Clutch. They’re all of this and more. (more…)

in-flames-sense-of-purposeOk, let’s get this out of the way: In Flames is without a shadow of a doubt my favorite band. I’m not going to lay out a long and pointless history here, as fans should already know. Anyone who is anyone in metal has knowledge of In Flames. I’ll just say they are one of the most important metal bands of the last two decades and have evolved with every album. A Sense of Purpose is the band’s most experimental release since the style-shifting and–in my opinion– phenomenal Reroute to Remain. Each of this band’s albums has its own sound and it is no different this time.  (more…)

HIM-VenusDoomSo Bam Margera’s favorite sons of “love metal” are back with their new opus, Venus Doom, an album that mildly strays from HIM’s more recent pop-oriented material and pays tribute to some of the most important doom-metal bands of the early ’90s, namely Type O Negative and Paradise Lost. While saying Venus Doom is heavy may be somewhat of a stretch, it does feature elements of the band’s earlier recordings that made them a name in the first place (even before the Margera factor). A good portion of the pop sensability is noticeably absent, but the band should earn back respectability, given their stubbornness to easily create a mainstream record. (more…)