MATT CHANWAY: Self-titled

Coming from the death metal band Assimilation, Vancouver, BC’s Matt Chanway has his debut self-titled solo record out now that has hints of his day-job band in it. The one major difference between the two projects is that this solo album is all instrumental.

I will be honest, instrumental albums are far from my favorite things to listen to, mostly because I love hearing vocals, something to grab a hold of and keep my interest throughout, but with that said, I did still enjoy this album. This is a bit more in the progressive sound, but still straight up metal, no Pink Floyd noodling here, plus no guitar wankering like Malmsteen. Each track on here ranges from roughly six to eight minutes in length and has enough changes in the songs to keep things sounding fresh and interesting. The added drums (drum machine) and bass really help to keep things flowing and giving the album a depth and thickness. All of the playing is tight and extremely focused with the songs not going on for too long or becoming boring. You can hear the love of playing the guitar that emanates from the fingers of this extremely talented player with song after song of thrills and heavy shredding. I actually liked all the songs the same on this release, mostly because they were tight, heavy, interesting and energetic, and without a vocalist that sometimes can ruin a good album with weak or over-the-top histrionics.

Yes, I did enjoy an instrumental album, luckily the technicality wasn’t overbearing, the songs were engrossing, and the guitar was played with heart and pure talent. This is not an album just for shredders, it’s for anyone who wants an album of great metal that will get your head banging and wear your air guitar out.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/03/matt-chanway-self-titled.html

https://www.facebook.com/mattchanway/

http://mattchanwayguitar.com/

https://mattchanway.bandcamp.com/releases

Advertisements

THE LONG DARK ROAD: Self-titled

Influenced by Deafheaven, The Long Dark Road’s four-song self-titled EP is the result of a series of events in Toronto musician Jeremy Cavan’s life, including debt, homelessness, and a divorce. The mix of black metal, punk and hardcore on this album gives into a touch of prog-type songs, at least in length with the title track alone surpassing the ten minute mark, and the shortest track is just shy of seven minutes long.

The lyrics are more geared toward political and societal topics than most metal bands and luckily even with the gruff and occasionally less than clean singing, you can still hear the words and see the anger and disgust that is being spit out. The songs are as heavy as the weight of the world’s problems on their shoulders, but melodic and interesting, with the length of them not being a factor that impedes your enjoyment, in fact, the length seems perfect for each song, like a complete argument that needs to be heard. The mix is a bit dirty and gritty, but it suits the music and tone perfectly; who wants it all prettied up since it would take the intensity and immediacy of it away. The songs each have their own feel and have shredding guitar playing that really stands out, as well as the extended bits that show the more textured playing and at times softer sounds that the band can create and meld into a song that is both devastating and thrilling.

If you are looking for some straight-ahead metal, this may come as a shock, but the album has both beauty and anger that forge an alliance and make you want to come back to it time and time again. With only four songs, they have created an album that will become a constant player in your collection, and make you want to see what comes next.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-long-dark-road-long-dark-road.html

https://www.facebook.com/thelongdarkroad/

https://thelongdarkroad.bandcamp.com/

THOR: Keep The Dogs Away: Deluxe

rotation-of-16425328_10154877275081411_1143576506_n

Thor started out as a concept band in 1973. They used the names “Thor,” “Centaur” and “Mikl Body Rock.” These entities were the brainchild of Jon Mikl Thor, a vocalist, musician and body building champion who won titles such as Mr. USA and Mr. Canada. He decided to combine muscle with music and in 1977, they released their debut album Keep the Dogs Away.

This is a remastered and greatly expanded version of that debut album, one that I remember seeing not long after it came out in a record store and bought it because it looked cool, at least to a younger me, and my mom loved body builders and Dobermans. I took it home, showed my mom who loved the cover, loved the cover…she really did, and put it on. It was a bit lighter in the metal, but still had a cool hard rock sound that we both liked a lot. The title track really stuck in my head, from then until I got this CD and heard it again. My mom owned a sub store called Trudy’s Subs and she put that poster up in her store, lots of people bought food there, so I’m sure she helped sell a few copies of the album with her poster placement. So now I sit and listen to the album again after all these years and I’m surprised that it still sounds good, a bit of the times, but still has the hooks and the fun that carries it. I was really surprised at the bonus songs the most. If you just listen to the regular album, it’s full of catchy hard rock, but the bonus songs are a mix of glam rock and punky new wave. I loved the bonus disc so much because it gave me a new side of Thor that I never knew and these songs are amazing. The playing is tight, it sounds like everyone was having fun and the songs could fool people into thinking that they were underground hits back in the old days…lol. The remastering is fantastic with the sound being clear, and clean, the booklet has pictures from when the album came out, information about the album and…a reproduction of the poster that captured my mom so long ago. Not only do you get two CDs, but you get a DVD with a concert from 1980 that is fun to watch. How can you go wrong?

I really am happy that this has been released again, and with so much added to it, giving everyone a chance to see where Thor came from. This brought back great memories for me, hopefully if you are a fan, it will for you as well, and if you are trying just curious, grab this one today! This is a thunder-god that will slay you with melody, not lightning…thank Odin for that!

https://www.facebook.com/THOR.Official.Page

https://thormusic.bandcamp.com/album/keep-the-dogs-away

https://thorcentral.net/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/

http://cleorecs.com/home/

THE ALIENATION: No God No Religion

This trio from Amos, Quebec have just released their second album of hardcore with songs in both English and French. The trio of Peet (bass/vocals), Dom (guitar/vocals), and Matt (drums) have put together eleven songs of charged energy and thought-provoking lyrics.

I always get excited when I get punk to review, since I seem to get a lot, and I do mean a lot of metal to review, when I am way more into punk than metal. As a fellow Canadian, now living in Texas, but still love to give props to my country men putting out music, also being someone who was forced to take three years of French and remembers none of it, it is cool to hear a band doing songs in their own language, not just in English. Of course, because I failed two of the three years and they were over thirty years ago, I have no idea what they are singing about on those songs, but the English ones are clear about what pisses them off and I love to read the lyrics and get an idea of where a band is coming from. The songs are angry, gritty and hard-hitting, which is such a great thing to hear with all the wimpy pop punk and emo crap passing itself off as punk. The gruff vocals are perfect for the bitterness being spewed, as is the blazing guitar playing, the thick bass, and the pounding drums which all create a sense of organized chaos that grabs your ear holes and drags you into the pit. Every song is another spit in the face of the craptastic society that we are force-fed and they are played with the verve and power that gets your adrenalin going and makes you get mad at the shit going on too.

This is a band that is sick and tired of bullshit around them and isn’t afraid to get in the face of the fools that stand in the way of what they believe. Fast-paced and a destructive force coming at you with the power of a hurricane, but with a message……destroy the shit!

https://www.facebook.com/thealienationpunx/

https://thealienationpunx.bandcamp.com/album/no-god-no-religion

http://www.thealienationpunx.com/

BILLY TALENT: Afraid Of Heights

 

Billy Talent is a Canadian rock band from Mississauga, Ontario. They formed in 1993 with Benjamin Kowalewicz as the lead vocalist, Ian D’Sa on guitar, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk. Aaron is currently taking a hiatus from the band due to an MS relapse, Jordan Hastings from Alexisonfire, Cunter and Say Yes is currently filling in for him. The band existed for almost a decade before mainstream success. The members met and played in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School under the name Pezz and renamed itself Billy Talent after running into legal trouble with the old name. Afraid of Heights is their fifth studio album and is their first album in four years following 2012’s Dead Silence.

Well, they have gone more political on this one with “Big Red Gun” and “This Is Our War” having more than a hint of questions about what the hell the Americans are doing nowadays. Of course being Canadian, there has always been an eye at what the southern neighbors are up to, but now it’s getting a bit more strange and dangerous than before and being an outsider is a good place to be. A few fist pumpers on here, such as “Ghost Ship Of Cannibal Rats, and “Louder Than The DJ” will sound great mixed into their live set with their catchy choruses. The band seems to be playing their collective hearts out and have a lot to say on this album, so read those lyrics kids! The playing is tight, with thick bass lines, powerful drumming, slick riffs, and the shouted vocals that combined make for a great listen.

If you are a fan…..what are you waiting for…….an invitation? If you are curious, grab their best of album and this at the same time, that way you can hear where they came from and where they are today. If you want music to make you think as well as rock out to……this is your album.

https://www.facebook.com/billytalent/

http://billytalent.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theendrecords/

http://theendrecords.com/

IN THE ACT OF VIOLENCE: Supreme Hate

Picture

Having been around since 2006, this Oshawa, Ontario band has just put together a new EP of five heavy songs to melt your face, speakers, head, home…….everything. They have previously released five other albums, and just keep getting tighter than a frog’s ass in water, and harder than a guy at an orgy.

Five new songs, five ways to be pissed off and play as heavy as possible….what a concept! The band comes out of shoot with both guns blazing and nothing held back. The songs are angry, will get your head banging and played with finesse, yes, I said finesse. You can hear the quick changes and the tight playing just stands out from the mediocre crap that you hear from a lot of other bands. You get gruff, shouted vocals, plus the odd bit of smooth vocals mixed in, emotional playing….anger is an emotion, and production that is clear and makes it easy to hear everything going on. The band plays metalcore that really grabs your ears and makes you want to jump up and find a pit. The five songs go by fast, almost too fast and you really want more, but this is a great way to get you to sample their music, a taste, but not too much to get sick of.

This is a band that yo need to look out for and get in on the ground floor before you can’t afford a ticket to see them live. Power, talent and the tunes to prove it makes for a great listen and a definite purchase. Turn it up bitches!

https://www.facebook.com/intheactofviolencemusic/

https://intheactofviolence.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/Hotfoot-Records-Record-Label-152731431412358/?fref=ts

http://www.hotfootrecords.com/

https://hotfootrecords.bandcamp.com/

HELIX: Long Way To Heaven

Long Way to Heaven is the fifth studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Helix. This album was their third for Capitol Records, and the first single was “Deep Cuts The Knife.” The song received heavy airplay in the U.S., and in Canada it was added to heavy video play on Much Music. The second single released from the album was “The Kids Are All Shakin’,”a song inspired by a fan letter from Poland. This is the remastered re-release from Culture Factory.

Helix came out with this album and there were bigger expectations from the band after the success of the previous Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge (featuring the hit “Rock You”). The band was playing harder and this time they tried to fit in with the more commercially accepted metal bands with a ballad, “Deep Cuts The Knife,” that never really grabbed me then and still doesn’t do it for me. The good thing is that they had a lot of kick-ass songs on here to more than make up for that bump. The songs that I hit replay are; “Don’t Touch The Merchandise.” “The Kids Are All Shakin’,” “Ride The Rocket,” and “House On Fire.” Don’t think the other songs aren’t good, they are, but these are the ones I come back to a little more often. The album is another tightly played collection that now has the clean sound from Culture Factory and their crisp sounding remaster.

The band was riding a high and this is another rockin’ album for your collection and will still get your juices pumping after all these years. Grab a copy and relive your youth with the album turned up and a beer or three in you.

https://www.facebook.com/brian.vollmer.39

http://planethelix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/