Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Review 26/05/10-Deathalizer "More Than Gone"


Band Name: Deathalizer

CD Title: More Than Gone

Press Pack Included: Yes

Review: This track was sent to our hotmail with a brief biography explaining who Deathalizer are and giving website addresses. This was set up in an interview style format which is not something you see everyday with press packs. This was something slightly different which could have gone into a little more detail.

Deathalizer claim to be “where Metallica left off,” and with the heavy yet slightly funky bassline, you can see why. This track does not overpower in the listener with it’s early bars, and tries to maintain that heavy but polished vibe throughout. The vocals are clear and precise, quite similar to Hetfield in his delivery and intonation. The more screamed vocals are still audible without being too piercing and the overdubs in the chorus are reminiscent of the effects used by Soundgarden. The guitars aren’t hugely prominent, keeping themselves shrouded in the mix to perfect effect until it’s their time to come forward for a well constructed if not overly flamboyant solo. The latter part of the song kicks up a tempo and the drums do this without needing to cover over or build to a crescendo which is something that even the greats have a habit of doing, much to our annoyance. The mix is crisp and clear, not too many fancy effects are used here, which is refreshing in the myriad of Metallica-esque metal which seems to all too often rely on the masking of samples and effects.

All in all, a great track from Deathalizer, something which is both classic and contemporary without being a pastiche of the two. A brilliant effort by Deathalizer.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Review 18/05/10- The Digital "Take Me Back"


Band Name: The Digital

CD Title: Take Me Back

Press Pack Included: Yes

Review: This track was sent to our hotmail account along with a brief, yet highly informative bio and some additional contact details. This is very helpful in determining the assistance we can give The Digital.

The Digital, a band of 16 year olds from Middlesborough have already attracted some local attention, despite their age. “Take Me Back,” seems to be tapping into the current indie scene whilst still having enough power to get dragged into the less respected areas of the genre. Vocalist Lewis really pushes his voice as far as it will go, very much in the same way Dave Grohl does. Lewis is not afraid to let his voice croak and crack while trying to convey the passion he clearly has. His guitar playing is basic, but for this genre you don’t need the guitar acrobatics of something like metal, while Joe’s bass is solid and well executed, not letting himself be tied to one basic riff, which really adds an edge. Matthew’s drumming is hard and loose, not so loose to drop the beat, but loose enough to have a real drive, something we like.

Overall, a cracking tune from these young lads from the north. With their passion and clear goal driven minds, they can go far.

Review 18/05/10- Harry Loisios "Mountain Of The Gods"


Band Name: Harry Loisios

CD Title: Mountain Of The Gods

Press Pack Included: Yes

Review: Press pack is brief, outlining Harry’s location and influences. It provides some contact information, but is lacking in images and detail in how Harry Loisios came to this album.

This instrumental album kicks off with it’s title track, “Mountain Of The Gods,” which starts off with a grand, bombastic intro. Sounding suspiciously like it’s about to be a classical record, Loisios tears into some shred guitar, very much in the vein of Malmsteen or Satriani, hundreds of notes coming through over almost blast beat drums. This fret wankery abates briefly at certain stages of the track, allowing the metal rhythm guitar to resonate through the well balanced mix of samples and live instruments. “Morning Kiss,” immediately slows the pace down, with it’s obvious classic influence, the acoustic guitar being picked out to act as a little bit of respite for the listener, before heading into another hard rock number in “Queen Of The Night.” Some of the opening bars sound like something from a sc-fi racing game on the N64 (F-Zero X for those in the know!) and another piece of Satriani. However, instead of being another thrash, the bulk of this track is played more like a Metallica/Dragonforce style slower number. Another quick classic interlude with “Prelude In E Minor,” a 1 minute acoustic break like “Morning Kiss.” Then it’s again on to another belter in “Burn Out.” Again, the mix of samples and live instruments is well balanced, so much so the organ following the guitar in most of the verses (if you can call them that) is audible enough for even the most casual of listeners. “Longing For Love,” is next up, and this shows that the classic guitar is not just for latin music or acoustic ballads as it features heavily throughout this track to create another layer of sound under the now standard samples and drum lines. This is a perfect touch to a track which lacks the over exuberance of previous tracks but adds a new dimension to Loisios’ repertoire. “Long Legged Woman,” begins at a happy medium, the tempo not too high while the guitar still throws out some flamboyant and often brilliant riffs and licks. Final track, “Love & Rejection,” is another slower number and has some similarities to some of the classic power metal ballads, with sweeping riffs and synth samples resonating in the background.

Overall, a great instrumental record from Harry Loisios, and it would be great for fans of Malmsteen, Satriani and Vai. A brilliant effort.

Review 18/05/10- Luke Thomas "Tonight"


Band Name: Luke Thomas

CD Title: Tonight

Press Pack Included: No

Review: This was sent to our hotmail account.

“Tonight,” is a folk number from singer songwriter Luke Thomas. This track is quiet and introspective, almost ballad like in it’s delivery. It is mostly guitar and vocals for the opening verse or so, but as the song progresses, maracas and piano is introduced into the mix of softly delivered vocals and slightly repetitive guitar. There is clearly a passion in his voice, but he keeps the level low so the guitar won’t be drowned out, which is beneficial in this mix. The chorus sees a vocal overdub with contrasting keys which adds to the overall texture of the track.

All in all, a beautiful song well executed and well mixed. The guitar is a little repetitive, but there is enough going on in the overall scheme of the song to overlook this minor flaw. Well done Luke.

Review 18/05/10- Behind Hollow Walls "Wolves"


Band Name: Behind Hollow Walls

CD Title: Wolves

Press Pack Included: Yes

Review: This track was sent to our hotmail with a detailed explanation of where the song came from, who the band have supported and who they are going to support in the future, a link to their Myspace and who is in the band. This was a great press release by Behind Hollow Walls.

The track itself, “Wolves,” is one of the mainstays of their set and starts very much like Bullet For My Valentine and bands in that genre. The drums keep a solid, often fluctuating beat while the guitars both thrash and riff in equal measure. The breakdown after the second verse adds a new dynamic to what began as a straight metalcore thrash. The breakdown is melodic with it’s carefully picked riff and harmonised vocals and acts as a welcome breather before heading back into their thrash. The growled vocals are well executed without being too obtrusive in the overall mix and they seem to sit well with the harmonised backing vocals. The guitar solos are not too OTT and keep well within their set parameters. The sound is low, but this track could be remixed at a later date to raise the volume of the track.

Overall, a great track from Behind Hollow Walls, despite it’s lack of top end volume (though, as mentioned, this can be easily fixed.) Very well written and well performed by the band.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Review 4/5/10- Ghosts "Ghosts"

Band Name: Ghosts
CD Title: Ghosts
Press Pack Included: No
Review: This demo was sent directly our hotmail.
Ghosts, the experimental side project of The New Believers Rich Powley is a work in progress but is already taking shape as something great. “Dark Days Final Swamp Rat,” is a dark, ambient trip through different synthesised drum sounds while the rhythm guitar keeps a steady beat and the lead plucks out dischordant licks all over the place to create an even more intense atmosphere. Echo and reverb combine in places to bring a bit of musical melodrama to an already claustrophobic piece. Even the high range synth/Moog breakdown doesn’t manage to pull this out of the darkest depths. “Ghosts 002,” marks a tempo change and introduces another dark, more industrial element to a project which is already shaping up to be very interesting indeed. Fusing the black metal edge of Beltane with the EBM stylings of Avoidance Of Doubt, “Ghosts 002,” is a thrash club anthem (if we’ve invented a new genre term for it!) which could darken even the brightest of hearts. “Fred & Me, “ is the final song in this package and this is lighter, more relaxed than the other 2, a marked difference in appeal and style. The synth line is reminiscent of mid 80’s Gary Numan while the optimistic back layer lifts up the listener. The spoken word sample seems to have been lifted straight from one of the Manic Street Preachers more aggressive works while the slight breaks add another darker edge to the overall sound.
As demos go, this is up there with the best. The interplay between goth, thrash, EBM and general electronica is complex yet wonderfully executed. If this is what Ghosts comes up with on his own, imagine what this project would do with a full live band.