Music Reviews

Solids - Else EP

Dine Alone Records 2016

One of the great pleasures of listening to Solids' four-track EP, Else, is the wave of noise and distortion that washes over you created by the pounding drums, thumping bass, and distorted guitars. And, unlike the breakneck speed of their debut LP Blame Confusion, Else seems to show the Montreal duo of Xavier Germain-Poitras and Louis Guillemette taking their time and allowing for both the songs and listeners to breathe.


Killswitch Engage - Incarnate

Metalcore by design

Killswitch, Killswitch, Killswitch. What happened to you guys? Being one of the bands back in the early '00s to captivate the mind of a young (all be it much longer haired) Orin, I have a bit of a bone to pick with this latest entry.


Metal Monday - Top 10 Albums of 2016 So Far

DJ Philliam from Turn On The Darkness (Tuesdays 2 PM) narrows down his picks for the top 10 albums of 2016 (so far!) for this edition of Metal Monday.

 

10. Varg - Das Ende aller Lügen. Was not really expecting this at all. This album blew me away, knowing that this blends elements of modern metal/Viking death metal and Metalcore? Yeah you heard me right! Lots of catchy and head bangin' tunes in this album. It's definitely worth a listen.


CTZNSHP - All Things To The Sea

All Things To The Sea, the sophomore album by Montreal's CTZNSHP, is chock-full of large sounding, arena-filling music. When discussing the scale of sound, the word "big" can feel like an understatement. The LP is produced by Jace Lasek, who has also worked with Wolf Parade, Young Galaxy, and Besnard Lakes. The album resonates with new wave and post punk sounds and aesthetics, the likes of which will have you hearing the influences of The Smiths and Joy Division.


Nanimal - Presentation

Summer, where are you? Nanimal, a Montreal-based band releasing their debut full-length Presentation, seem to have an idea. It's a follow-up to their previous release, Karma Kamikaze EP, which was recorded at Montreal's finest radio station, CJLO (heard of it?). Nanimal make music you listen to with the windows open and your mind adrift.
 


Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Interscope / Aftermath / Top Dawg 2015

Feel so good inside myself Don't want to move
Feel so good inside myself Don't need to move
As I grow up I'm growing down. And when I'm lost,
I know I will be found.

--Sly and the Family Stone, There's a Riot Goin' On


Hellenica - Blood Moon Wolf Head

The release of Blood Moon Wolf Head by Jim Demos, under his Hellenica moniker, coincided with el Dia de los Muertos - the day of the dead. According to Demos, the album is meant as an offering to the deceased. A preliminary reading about this holiday finds that it's meant to allow friends and family to congregate together, to remember those who have died, and to offer the deceased support through their spiritual journey back to earth. What kind of spiritual support to the dead is this album, an album described by Demos as the celebration of improvisation and composition?


Mad Parish - Procession

Self-Released 2014

Right from the very first notes of the opening song "Darkness Befalls This Cursed Land", you know you're in for a trip down metal lane. The classic fade in sets you up for the righteous metal saga that Procession so eloquently weaves from beginning to end.

I really dig the way that no riff sounds rushed. The spacing accomplished in these arrangements are brilliantly suited for Josh McConnell's classically-highish metal vocals. I quite like when and where you can find the vocals in the midst of all of these tasty hooks.


Fleece - Scavenger

Self released, 2015

Full disclosure: Matthew Rogers, vocalist and keyboardist for Fleece, is a current DJ at CJLO. The album was recorded at CJLO's "The Oven" studio by our Production Director Patrick McDowell. So, as Omar our head music director so rightly put it "this is a family affair".


Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Viet Cong is the self-titled debut by this foursome from Calgary. This album is the follow up to last year's Cassette EP, and it's chalked full of sonic whines, hums and murmurs all set in a kind of impending doom-like atmosphere. The album often seems to musically wrestle between pessimism and optimism; a sense of doom often interrupted by bursts of hope.


Hound - Out Of Time

SRA 2014

The debut album by Philly rockers Hound allows each of us to scratch our rock itch, to indulge in an album that is relentless rock 'n' roll. Out Of Time consists of ten tracks, six of which are under three minutes in length. At less than twenty-eight minutes, this album doesn't allow for any superfluous bells or whistles, there's rockin' to be done.


Eagle Tears

Self-released, July 2014

If I try to describe the debut album from Eagle Tears, I think of times when music actually held some technical clout. I think the '70s. There's a total '70s metal and hard rock vibe, but to stop there would be too easy. I'll have to get to that in my summation, it'll come.
 


Caribou - Our Love

Our Love is Dan Snaith's fourth LP, and first in four years, under his Caribou moniker. Throughout the 10 tracks of the album, Snaith creates a rich tapestry of sounds that have a warmth and richness to them that envelops the listener at each turn. It's always quite amazing to find artists who can take the seemingly cold and calculating (computers, software programs, electronic equipment, and so on) and manipulate them to ultimately achieve a sound that offers a kind of 21st Century campfire warmth.


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