Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Earlier this week we learned that tech metallers Between The Buried And Me had signed to Metal Blade records and would release there new album, “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues”, which is a 3 song, 30 minute “tour de force”, which is promising to be all kinds of awesome.

In order to get us all suitably excited, Between The Buried And Me have made a sample of the track “Specular Reflection” available at Alternative Press, which you can check out here.

Based on this sample, “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” is going to be yet another kick ass entry into Between The Buried And Me’s stellar catalogue. “Specular Reflection” is everything we’ve come to love about Between The Buried And Me: Veering from heavy as hell to instantly headbangable with a slight turn into epic territory.

“The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” is set to hit store shelves on April 12. Get excited.

The Haunted: “Unseen” Title Track Released

Posted: February 25, 2011 by Flashbox in Music
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Serial killer obsessed The Haunted have released the first, studio quality track, “Unseen” from their forthcoming album of the same name. The track is a lot catchier than their usual fare and if this and the other tracks we’ve heard off the album (live versions of “No Ghosts” and “Disappear” have surfaced on Youtube), then “Unseen” is definately going to be the most melodic and , dare I say, accessible albums in the bands stellar catalogue.

“Unseen” is set for a March release on Century Media. The awesome artwork was created by Frode, who also did the album artwork for The Haunted’s 2004 album “rELVOVEr”. The track listing for “Unseen” is as follows:

01. Never Better
02. No Ghost
03. Catch 22
04. Disappear
05. Motionless
06. Unseen
07. The Skull
08. Ocean Park
09. The City
10. Them
11. All Ends Well
12. Done

Stream this “Beast”

Posted: February 19, 2011 by Flashbox in Music
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Devildriver’s new album “Beast”, isn’t scheduled to hit the shelves until Monday morning but the guys have made the album available to stream in its entirety on their MySpace page. Most of the songs have been released over the last few weeks so I’m sure everyone knows already what to expect from it.

I haven’t listened to it in full yet but what I’ve heard is just what I expected from Devildriver: Nothing too groundbreaking but some very cool, catchy songs. Anyone that has listened to it, feel free to comment below!

“Hymn Of A Broken Man”, the debut release from Times of Grace, who for those of you don’t know is the musical child of current Killswitch Engage guitarist/short short enthusiast Adam Duktiewicz and former Killswitch growler/crooner Jesse Leach, is one hell of an album.

Personally, I was expecting to hear a number of Killswitch Engage tracks with Jesse’s voice instead of Howard’s but Messrs Duktiewicz and Leach have created an epic, emotional album that really strikes a chord with the listener. Jess Leach’s incredible vocal performance shows that the man has really been putting in his work on this album and whether he is screaming, roaring or singing at the top of his lungs, his voice is incredible throughout.

We all know Adam is a beast on a guitar and can roll out crushing riffs and beautiful passages simultaneously (see: every Killswitch Album). On “Hymn of A Broken Man, Adam seems to favor simplistic, heart felt passages that are incredibly effective and atmospheric and really complement the emotion in the vocals. However, he does find space to stick in a number of Killswitch riffs to keep his fans happy.

Adam and Jesse’s voices compliment each other perfectly and some of the hooks on the album will stir emotion in the hearts of the coldest listeners. The production too, handled by the incredibly multi talented Mr. Duktiewicz, is fantastic and every instrument and element of the song fall perfectly into place.

I find that when I start listening to “hymn of A Broken Man” I just have to listen to it the whole way through and enjoy it as a whole. My personal favorite tracks are “Until The End Of Days”, “Hymn of A Broken Man” and the acoustic “The Forgotten One” but every track is dripping with quality.

“Hymn Of A Broken Man” is an incredible record and is essential listening for any fans of Killswitch and metalcore. It deserves to be heard by more than just the metalcore fanbase but that all depends on whether those listeners are willing to give it a spin. I really hope they do because if they don’t, they’re missing out on a great record.

Refraction Interview

Posted: January 20, 2011 by Flashbox in Music, Uncategorized
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Having just reviewed Refraction’s fantastic self titled debut album, I felt it was the perfect time to ask the lads a few questions about the album. Here’s my short chat with Kalr and Co.:

“Refraction” came out last week and based on early reviews, its gotten a great reception. You guys must be thrilled!
Its too early to tell. Feedback has generally been positive, what little there has been. We are just grateful that people are interested in what we are doing

You guys recorded a demo a while back. What was wrong with it that you decided to keep it from the public?
Most of those tracks ended up as our first Myspace tracks. We recorded it ourselves with the little resources and experiences we had. It just transpired that the end result, despite a lot of effort, was just not something we were happy to release, we couldn’t get it to sound how we wanted. We also felt a full-length was better suited to the flow of what we were trying to achieve

What lessons did you guys learn when recording the demo that you applied to the full length?
John (Kelly) has been studying sound for years, so he would have learned quite a lot in the interim which was beneficial during the recording of the album. We also learned that recording an album away from the toil and smog of the City worked well to our advantage, as did thousands of fields full of cows when it came to photo opportunities. Cows are not stirred by the insults of a human. They have amazing resolve

How did you guys find working at Data Studios?Those guys are making quite the name for themselves!
Both Ross O’Donovan and Tadgh Healy are such great guys and amazing to work with. They made everything as comfortable as possible. Everything is so relaxing in that part of the Country, it made the whole process so seamless. If Data Studios are making a name for themselves it is because they excel at what they do.

What are your favorite tracks on “Refraction”?
All of them were at one point, I’m sure. Now, none of them.

Have you guys ever tried adding vocals?
In our former incarnation as ‘Illuminatus’, we employed vocals. This did not work out. We felt them unneccessary for this release, and would detract from what we were trying to achieve

Is it something you’d like to do in the future?
We are ruling nothing out with regards anything for the future. We have intentions of introducing an array of new elements into the music, this could very well include vocals. Time will tell

With yourselves, Altar of Plagues, I”l Eat Your Face all releasing killer albums and getting widespread recognition, the irish metal scene is really booming. It must be really exciting to be apart of it?
‘Widespread recognition’ might be a tad over-zealous. We have not received any calls from Ryan Tubridy, as of yet. We have sold approx. 5 CDs. In fact its 4 because one CD is just missing from the case. Thats 3 more CDs than anyone has downloaded. And that person was you. Cheers!

Ok, so you mightn’t be making a fortune just yet, but the buzz is growing and people are really impressed with the output, which is great. It takes time and alot of touring to start making money and getting bigger. Any plans to tour around the country or further a field to promote the album?
We have big plans to make plans. We certainly intend on playing various dates around the country in light of the release.
Any promoters,ringmasters, farmers or other parties interested, please contact us at refractionband@gmail
Thanks a lot for your time and interest man!

No problem guys!

And its pretty damn cool if i do say so myself. Featuring more flames and fiery colors like older album covers such as “Fate of Norns” and “Once Sent From The Golden Halls”, the “Surtur Rising” artwork, done by long time favored artist of Amon Amarth Tom Thiel, is exactly the kind of album cover you’d expect from the Viking metallers. Take a peek at it below.

The less than friendly looking, flaming sword wearing giant is, according to the Metal Blade press release “Surtur”, the leader of the flaming giants of Muspelheim and the Surtur of the album title. He’s also the oldest character in Norse mythology. Pretty metal, huh?

Here’s the official press release from Metal Blade regarding the album and it’s track listing:
“Sweden’s AMON AMARTH are currently gearing up to unleash, Surtur Rising, the eighth studio offering in their critically revered pantheon of Viking-inspired death metal. Named in tribute to Surtur, leader of the fire giants of Muspelheim (“flame land”) and the oldest being in the nine worlds of Norse mythology, the record, which was listed among Decibel Magazine’s most anticipated albums of 2011, features 10 tracks of sword-wielding, fist-pumping, hyper climactic battle anthems. The follow up to 2008′s monolithic Twilight Of The Thunder God full-length, was recorded again at Fascination Street Studios Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren and features strikingly brutal cover art by Tom Thiel. “

Surtur Rising Track Listing:
01. War of the Gods
02. Töck’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II
03. Destroyer of the Universe
04. Slaves of Fear
05. Live Without Regrets
06. The Last Stand of Frej
07. For Victory or Death
08. Wrath of the Norsemen
09. A Beast Am I
10. Doom Over Dead Man

The album will be released in Europe on March 25th and in the USA on March 29th, so mark grav your viking helmets and drinking horns and get ready for a killer slab of viking metal

Refraction “Refraction” Review

Posted: January 17, 2011 by Flashbox in Music, Uncategorized
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If Refraction’s self titled debut is anything to go by, then 2011 is going to be one helluva year for Irish metal! The lads have really created a great, atmospheric instrumental album that brings the listener on a ride that at times is picturesque and tranquil and is kept interesting with moments of rising, sheer epicness.

“Refraction” is the lads debut release since they started jamming (in their current form) in 2007 (even-though they did try their hands at a demo but were unsatisfied with the results) and it looks like all the practice really has paid off. “Refraction” is an album that needs to be listened from start to finish as all of the 6 tracks (averaging at around 6/7 minutes a track) flow seemlessly into each other. As mentioned earlier, each song takes the listener on a journey and the songs never bore as each tracks shifts momentum and emotion. It felt like I was listening to a movie soundtrack.

I have recently been on a bit of an “the Ocean” binge at the moment, with Anthropcentric and Heliocentric listened to daily, and this album reminded me alot of a less aggressive, instrumental version of those albums.

I loved everything about the guitar on this album. The tone was distinctive and clear, with each note perfectly audible. I also loved how the guitar lines worked almost as vocals, carrying each song from passage to passage and narrating the whole album. the drumming too was immense, eventhough at times the double kicked seemed to go off time when sustained for too long. It was also cool to be able to hear the bass and notice how it added to the songs. A great production job done by the lads at Data Studios (Which is building quite the name for itself, having been the home of I’ll Eat Your Face’s “Irritant” and Altar of Plagues).

My personal favorite songs on the album are the middle tracks “Into Nothing”, which has a killer outro, and “Light Fades”, but each and every track on this album is full of quality and worth a listen.

The only thing that I could complain about is that I found all of the song structures almost too similar and hope the guys will try and mix it up a little more on the follow up album, even maybe delving into more aggressive or darker territories to give the songs a dufferent dynamic. Theres a few hints to suggest that they are delving into darker sounds and this is something I could really see working for the guys.

With bands such as Wound Upon Wound, I’ll Eat Your Face and now Refraction releasing quality albums, the future is looking bright as the sun for Irish metal. “Refraction” is a great album that sets the standard high for all other releases,(all over the world, not just in Ireland), extremely high.

Refraction will be playing a launch gig for the album on the 4th of March in metal watering hole Fibber Magees and I strongly suggest you guys go and check it out and pick up a copy of the album while your there.