Those Who Fear - Unholy Anger (2013)

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Yesterday I was playing Batman on PS3 and decided to put on my heavy shit Pandora playlist, when a song off of this album came on. I thought it was so good I stopped playing games and immediately started downloading the album. I took a deeper look into these guys and found out that they’re a Christian band on Facedown Records (if the album name wasn’t obvious enough for you) and I actually almost booked them years ago at a small venue in Van Nuys before the show got cancelled for whatever reason I can’t recall at the moment.

I put on Track 1(Daggermouth), and couldn’t stop listening. Every track is heavy hitting, and each song carries it’s own worth. The band mixes up the music with crazy br00tal breakdowns, arm-swingin’ two steps to these ridiculous cool transitions. Pretty much everything I’ve ever loved in a metal band. Even though they’re Christian, they still make me want to sock somebody in the face. I watched their music video on YouTube after finding their twitter page, and was proved to that these guys go hard in the motha fuckin paint. Mad props to these guys and the music they make.

So, I have never really been a fan of Christian lyrics. I just find them to usually be over the top, or just too much. However I found that John Healy (Vocals) was able to mix in his messages without being too annoying, which was cool for a non-religious listener who doesn’t want to hear about Jesus over and over again as if I was listening to For Today or something. Luke Healy (Guitar), Trevor Kope (Guitar) and Josh Ziegler (Bass) accomplished an amazing tone with their back and forth chugs and timing and Josh Miller (Drums) really pulled the album together with those hard hitting snare hits and intricate fills. This is a must hear, and there is no way you will be able to get past the first song without needing to hear the rest of the album.

After hearing this album, I can honestly say that Those Who Fear is now one of my favorite bands. I don’t have a favorite song, the entire album is awesome.


Written by
-trevormichael_

Earl Sweatshirt: Doris (2013)

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He’s back, the long awaited debut album from Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt has finally arrived; and believe me, this will be getting tons of plays in your iPod’s, Zune’s, MP3 players, Cars and whatever else you use to listen to your music.

Now, when I said that he was back, I really meant that he was back! Earl’s more clever and complex than ever with his rhymes this time around. Now some of you would probably think that’s impossible but in Hip-Hop, there’s always room to improve and he has. More use multi-syllabic rhymes, use of alliteration, even more clever & really witty punchlines, wild metaphors; you name it, he has it and he used it.

But enough about that, let’s talk about the album now. Earl’s progression is evident on this release. For starters, with the length of this as oppose to his first release Earl. From 10 songs to 15. So those that complained about the length of Earl will be satisfied.

Doris starts with a 8-bit trap sounding beat for the intro called Pre (feat. SK La’ Flare). The featured guest doesn’t bring much to the table in my opinion haha. And even though I find the beat terrible, Earl slays it.

Burgundy (feat. Vince Staples) is a more personal track and Earl stated himself that the first verse on the song is his favorite that he’s ever written. I can see why he would say that, it sounds like it’s the most personal thing to ever grace his lips in regards to the lyrical content; other than the song Chum; which was if I’m not mistaken the first single that seemed to have the internet world buzzing and eager for the release of Doris even more.

I’m not going to go into too much more detail because that is really easy for me to do at this point because I got my hands on the entire album on Thursday and have been listening to it since. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to it as I write this review haha. But I don’t want to completely fan boy out on this release and breakdown every song in this review. But the reason I give this a 4 and not a 5 is because there are some tracks that seem like filler tracks. Like the intro, Pre, Guild (feat. Mac Miller) & 20 Wave Caps (feat. Domo Genesis). Other than that, this album is really well crafted & well worth the hype around it.

The finish this review up, some of the production isn’t really my cup of tea but it’s what OF has kind of been known for so there isn’t much I can really complain about other than the fact that, I’m not the biggest fan of the OF production. But, for this release, Earl recruited some people that I am in fact a fan of, like RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, the Neptunes, Samiyam, Flying Lotus & the Alchemist.

Again, those that enjoyed Earl’s subject matter on the mixtape Earl won’t enjoy this because he’s strayed away from the subjects he was talking about when he was only 15.  He’s grown up, matured & changed his subject matter and with this release, listeners will hear that.

Favorite tracks off of Doris: Burgundy (feat. Vince Staples), Sunday (feat. Frank Ocean), Hive (feat. Casey Veggies & Vince Staples), Chum, Centurion (feat. Vince Staples), Molasses (feat. RZA of Wu-Tang Clan) & Knight (feat. Domo Genesis).

Written By:

Twitter: @LGffny

Tumblr: Soaringsupernova.tumblr.com

Thy Art Is Murder - Hate (2013)

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Talent. Talent everywhere.

How do I even review an album like this? This is the first CD I’ve heard from Thy Art Is Murder, after only hearing a pre-production version of Infinite Forms back in 2012. Every single member in this band plays with so much intensity and the tone that they got in this record is amazing.

Both Andy Marsh (guitar) and Tom Brown (guitar) really capture a creepy/haunting sound with their down tuned solos and background interludes while Sean Delander (bass) supports the heaviness, which really sets a mood for the listener. Chris “CJ” McMahon (vocals) does an excellent job keeping up with the music and the lyrics along with them are absolutely crazy. I would definitely suggest reading the lyrics along with listening to this album and then see for yourself. To end it off Lee Stanton (drums) tops off the sound with insanely fast blast and unimaginably intricate fills. An aspiring metal musician could use any of these members as his or her main influence.

From what I understand, Thy Art Is Murder used to be more technical, and less heavy/breakdown-ish. I’m not too sure if this is true or not, but a lot of those solos on this CD wouldn’t make me too surprised. Take for example the solo at the end of Immolation is out of this world and so different. I feel like I would hear it in some technical black metal band.. which TAIM could almost pass for at times. “Hate” combines many aspects to create emotion with their melodic interludes, ridiculously fast leads and drums, and their world ending breakdowns. And Defective Breed will make you cry.

I would recommend this album to anyone who even kind of likes metal.

My favorite songs were: Infinite Forms and Defective Breed.

written by:
-@trevormichael_

Like Moths To Flames - An Eye For An Eye (2013)

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Sorry guys but I’m just going to just start off by stating that “An Eye For An Eye” is the cheasiest album name ever. You can’t really get more cliche than that.

I go around stating that I’ve always been a firm believer that clean singing should stay out of metal, but in reality I used to love this kind of stuff. Oh yeah, I listened to stuff like I Set My Friends On Fire, and even stuff like Broadway and Abandon All Ships at one time. With that being said, I think I’ve been around the whole “Warped Tour” genre enough to really have an hear for someone taleneted at this kind of music. I’ll be honest, I had never really given Like Moths To Flames a chance in the past, and never bothered listening to their CDs. I once saw them live in Santa Ana or something with Issues, but they didn’t really leave an impression on me worth remembering.

So Lewis and I have been friends for quite some time, and knew that I used to listen to that whole “post-hardcore” “pussy-metal” genre (he still loves it haha) and told me that this CD killed it so he put it on and I got my initial reaction which was “wow wtf?”. This wasn’t anything I was expecting so I had to download it and give it some further inspection. The CD is so professionally structured, and instrumentally sounds amazing. This is one of those bands that you can’t say “sucks” because you don’t like the genre. These guys are legitimately good at what they do. Chris Roetter the singer has an awesome range and has no problem switching up his style and does a great job singing along with Aaron Evans their bass/back up vocalist.

The songs have catchy choruses and instrumental breakdowns and interludes that I could really appreciate. And I honestly lost my shit when Deathmarksturned on. Very awesome beginning, and it’s clear they these guys really know how to pick their influences. Not going to lie though, those lyrics were pretty lame.

The guitarists Zach Huston and Eli Ford or whoever did the writing really showed a decent mix of diversity by giving the songs their own heavinest to them, but honestly, most of the choruses sound the same. Actually, like almost every single chorus sounded the same (either that or I just can’t stand singing+metal anymore). I guess this isn’t a bad thing, since little girls love that pretty singing shit, and I was still able to appreciate the heavy parts in the songs. Greg Diamond had some pretty cool fills, which hints at some skill and I’d really like to hear more of him on the next release.

My favorite song was: Deathmarks and In Dreams.
I give this 3 stars for the heaviness. If these instrumentals weren’t so damn cool this would get 2.

written by:
-@trevormichael_

R.A. the Rugged Man - Legends Never Die (2013)

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R.A. The Rugged Man, everybody. Your favorite rapper’s closet favorite rapper. This guy is the dirtiest, sickest, cleanest, meanest, nicest rapper out there. I have been a fan of RA for years, and I was so stoked to find out he was finally coming out with new material.

What makes this album awesome, is that every single song is different. If you listen to some shitty Rick Ross CD all you’re going to hear is UMPF and shit about bitches, cars, and some other fake made up bullshit. Not only does every single track on this album change instrumentally, the lyrics and feeling is changing dramatically between songs. It’s such a hard album to listen to all the way through because I feel like every single song should be it’s own hit single. This is a MUST hear to anyone who can appreciate true hip-hop. If you can’t understand this, then it is way over your head and you should probably go back to your ASAP Rocky CD.

So R.A. decides to killsit on all of these songs and is like fuck that, I’m going to hit up my underground legend homies and get them on this shit and kill the game too, which he pretty much did. This album is just covered in skill, like come on R.A., you really think you’re going to top this? His hit single off of the album is Holla-Loo-Yuh (feat. Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko)(music video), and after you hear it you’ll understand why it is.

If you don’t know anything about R.A’s past, he ends the album up with the song Still Get Through The Day off of this CD and you will have a much more appreciation for him as a person and maybe realize that your family and life isn’t so bad after all.

Go find out when he’s coming to your city and see watch his show. Don’t forget to bring extra money to buy a shirt.

My favorite songs are linked in the review.

written by:
-@trevormichael_



P.S. He does a song a SICK track with Vinnie Paz where they go 4 bars back and forth.

ANTHM: The Fire Next Time EP (2013)

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The up & coming new York emcee ANTHM returns with another incredible EP entitled, The Fire Next Time. Now for those that have been following ANTHM know that his work ethic is incredible & nothing short of amazing. It’s only been a few months since he dropped his Handful of Dust EP. Continuing with his flawless execution of incredible lyricism, dope beat selection & substance, the Duke University graduate continues to state his claim & let other emcees know that he is a force to be reckoned with. Doing a track by track review in my personal opinion won’t really do this release any justice. ANTHM created this EP for his own personal release but also for the listener to get their own interpretation of each song & the EP as a whole. To sum up the subject matter, though done in many different ways & words, it is the hook to the second track on the EP entitled “Vultures.”

"You ain’t about the music/

You ‘bout that bullshit/

I could do without that bullshit/

I could do without that bullshit/

I see right through it/

Ain’t nothing to it/”

Now to sum up my review, I feel that this is a perfect 5/5. Everything was executed beautifully. Subject matter, production, lyricism & the entire cohesiveness of the project. Like I said, ANTHM is a force to be reckoned with now & years to come. Don’t sleep, keep both your eyes & ears open for this emcee.

I definitely recommend this EP to any true Hip-Hop head that appreciates the art. This isn’t for the faint of heart. ANTHM went on a mission to hurt some feelings with this release. His mission in my opinion was a success & he did it flawlessly. There is absolutely nothing I found that I didn’t like about this project. ANTHM’s older work as well as this EP, can be found at http://callmeanthm.bandcamp.com/. Give it all a listen, it’s well worth it.

Favorite Tracks: In all honesty, the entire EP haha.

Written by:

Twitter: @LGffny

Tumblr: Soaringsupernova.tumblr.com

Action Bronson - Saaab Stories (2013)

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I’ve always appreciated Action Bronson, probably more than I should. I mean, it’s hard for me not like someone who has an BMW E30 touring tattooed on his arm. I’ve always associated with Action Bronson with cars, which is a big interest of mine so I automatically feel a connection with the dude & where he is coming from.

His newest EP, “Saaab Stories” (suprised?) just came out and I have to admitt I wasn’t too impressed. It sounds like he just came out with some new songs that sounded just like his mediocre old stuff. I mean he is a great artist, but I was just hoping for something a little more suprising/different than just having Whiz Khalifa guest on the song “The Rockers”. I am dissapointed to say that even some of his older work out-shine this album.

I found all of the choruses to be lame, and it’s like he didn’t even try to go hard on the verses. After listening to the album multiple times I still couldn’t find anything catchy about this, which also dissapointed me because I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Action Bronson’s previous releases. I would even go as far to say that there was a song or two that I couldn’t enjoy at all. Come one Action you have more skill and experience than Wiz.. why did you even put him on your song?

And then we have the EP finale, “Seven Series Triplets - feat. Prodigy and Raekwon”. This song has everything it needs to be a good song- a dope beat, some respectable features, and a sick title (I mean, who doesn’t love a 7?) I’m glad he put together some good rappers on the song, but in this case his verse couldn’t hold a candle to Raekwon or Prodigy’s. But I’m glad he was at least able to wrap up his EP with a half decent song.

This wasn’t a bad album, but I was dissapointed because based on his old music, I know how good of a rapper Action really is and he could have done a way better job than this. Maybe if he stopped hanging out with bad rappers his next release will actually be a good one.

My favorite song was Seven Series Triplets - feat. Prodigy and Raekwon

written by:
-@trevormichael_

August Burns Red: Rescue & Restore (2013)

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With Rescue & Restore being their 6th full length record, August Burns Red returns with a record that continues their onslaught of well crafted metalcore. This release picks up right where Leveler left off in terms of heavy intricate instrumentation from the Pennsylvanian quintet.

The singles that were released, Fault Line & Spirit Breaker basically sums up what is going to be heard on the rest of the record. Beautiful lyrics, really well placed grooves by the always amazing Matt Greiner, heavy guitar work & the occasional breakdown. They’ve strayed away from the typical metalcore band formula which is verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown. Now there is nothing wrong with creating your own lane, which in my opinion they’ve done since their 2nd release Messengers, fans of their previous work might not be able to adjust to the new direction.

There isn’t much else to say about the new release. If you’re a fan of August Burns Red, you won’t be too disappointed. They still sound like August Burns Red & they still are in the main front for metalcore music. Reason being, they’re consistent & rarely ever disappoint. Their albums are always cohesive & track after track, it never feels or sounds like it was forced or like they have filler tracks. They continue to kill it with their unique style & even though they generally stay the same, they continue to progress leaps & bounds passed other metalcore acts. Keeping that core sound is important & they always manage to do that record after record.

Favorite Tracks: Fault Line, Spirit Breaker, Treatment, Beauty in Tragedy & Creative Captivity.

Written By:

Twitter: @LGffny

Tumblr: Soaringsupernova.tumblr.com

Goliath - Modern Idols (2013)

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Goliath just released a FREE 4 track EP called “Modern Idols" which is made up of four covers songs, "Here To Stay" by Korn, "I Will Be Heard" by Hatebreed, "(SIC)" by SlipKnot, and "London Dungeons" by The Misfits. These bands are presumably what has influenced Goliath’s music, or their passion for it and I find it pretty cool to hear a band play the songs that have inspired them to play in the first place. 

Since this is such a short album I am going to go ahead and review each song individually.

Track 1: Here To Stay (originally by Korn)
I really like the way Goliath took this song and changed it to give it more balls. Don’t get me wrong, Korn did a great job on this song, but Goliath really went in and gave it more beefy sound. I actually like this cover so much I had to go listen to the original again to make sure I wasn’t about to fool myself. I’ve noticed that most bands when covering songs try to make it sound just like the original, which I find to be boring (I mean, if I wanted to hear an identical cover I would have just listened to the original). In this case, Goliath took “Here To Stay” and made it their own. I could listen to both songs individually and enjoy them both as their own.

Track 2: I Will Be Heard (originall by Hatebreed)
Like I said earlier, I like the idea of Goliath coverings songs that inspired them. However, this is Hatebreed, so this was a very ballsy attempt. With Korn, Goliath took a rock/metal song and made it tough. You can’t take a Hatebreed song and make it “tough-er” because it’s already heavy as fuck. As I expected, I would say I’m not too happy with this cover. I am not saying they did a bad job (because they didn’t) but I mean come on, Hatebreed originals will always be the best. It would be almost impossible for any band to take a Hatebreed song and better it.

Track 3: London Dungeon (originally by Misfits)
Now this is what the fuck I’m talking about. Goliath took an already awesome song and made it fucking heavy. I feel like I was able to appreciate the writing and structure of the song so much better after hearing this version. London Dungeon will always be an older classic, and I’m glad Goliath was successfully able to bring this one back from the dead and give it the cover it deserved.

Track 4: (SIC) (originally by SlipKnot)
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this one. A lot of people think Slipknot has a bunch of “unneeded” members but when in reality that isn’t true at all. Normally when bands cover Slipknot they can never get it right because they lack the extra percussion, or just simply can’t match the emotion the song gives off. That being said, I was actually extremely impressed by this cover. Having been a Slipknot fan since early middle school, I feel like I can say I know this band inside and out. Many will disagree with me, but I think this was one of the better covers on this album.

Favorite songs: Here To Stay (Korn) and (SIC) (SlipKnot)

written by:
-@trevormichael_

Jay-Z: Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013)

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Magna Carta Holy Grail, the long awaited return of Jay-Z. Jay-Z, as we all know has had an illustrious career in music. From his classic debut “Reasonable Doubt" released back in 1996 to this, “Magna Carta Holy Grail" released this year, his releases have been considered gems to some. Some would agree to disagree. As for myself, I’m on the fence. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest Jay-Z fan out there but I’m not a Jay-Z hater either. I appreciate all that he has done for Hip-Hop. But with that being said, Magna Carta Holy Grail is Jay-Z’s most mature release to date. By that of course, I mean lyrically.

Lyrically, Jay’s approached this release completely different than his past releases, as he should being as he’s at a completely different point in his life. Flow wise though, I wasn’t really feeling it. He took on the flow that’s more commonly being used now & days but the up & coming artists. He didn’t use his own. This is both good & bad because it lacls originality but it also shows that even though Jay is in his 40’s, he can still do what the younger rappers can just as well.

Normally I’m not a fan of the braggadocios “I’m so rich, listen to how rich I am” kind of lyrics BUT with this, I made an exception. Reason being, point blank, he isn’t lying. Everything that he rapped about, the listener knows is true. It’s all been publicized somewhere on the internet. Jay-Z is JUST that rich. He’s rich enough to rap about how rich he is & get a pass because he knows nothing else anymore. He’s no longer the drug dealing mafioso that he was back when he dropped Reasonable Doubt. There’s no reason for him to go back to that & falsify the lifestyle that he’s now living. Now of course that is prevalent throughout the record, stand out tracks, as well as my personal favorites, Oceans featuring Frank Ocean, Heaven, Part II (On the Run) featuring Beyoncé & Nickels & Dimes; this braggadocios-ness in his lyrics aren’t really there, with the exception of Oceans. These are more enlightening tracks that in my personal opinion, make the album listen worthy.

As a whole, the entire project is cohesive & flows really well together but I think that if it weren’t for those songs, the album wouldn’t have much diversity.

Now, what everyone has been ranting & raving about, the production. Jay recruited some heavy hitters for this one. Timbaland, Pharell, No ID, Mike Will, Boi-1da, Swizz Beatz & Hit Boi just to name a few. The production plays a HUGE part in the records cohesiveness. More importantly, the production saved this record because it’s what is being talked about the most. If it weren’t for the production, Jay would have been lost.

Overall, this is a really good record. I feel like this is what every rich man in the world wishes they could pull off if they were able to rap. Jay of course pulled it off. It’s not a hit & miss record, it’s more of a hit, hit, hit then miss kind of record. The maturity, production & the fact that he isn’t lying in his subject matter is the reason I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite tracks: Oceans (feat. Frank Ocean), Heaven, Part II (On the Run) & Nickels & Dimes.

Written By:

Twitter: @LGffny

Tumblr: Soaringsupernova.tumblr.com