Today’s review brings us some true pioneers for the 2nd generation of the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, hailing from the great state of Texas. Now, for those of you that don’t spend all day everyday making sure they know every piece of info that was or ever will be, (We’re looking at you, internet tough guys), NWOAHM can be summed up with three big name band’s; Lamb of God, Machine Head, and Trivium. Did we leave out a lot? Of course we did, but this gives even the newest of newcomers a good idea of what the genre holds and a great place to start. So, what’s the second generation you ask? Any band that has formed recently, (use your imagination), that looks up to these bands as their inspiration, their hero’s, or gets their general musical direction from the aforementioned bands. Basically, they’re the next bad asses on the block.
After hearing their 2013 E.P. “Conviction“, we here at TMF collectively agree that no band in the underground today is better suited to spearhead this second wave to the masses than Fear Control. In describing their sound, Trivium immediately comes to mind, and for good reason. From the double bass kicks that drive the ferociously catchy choruses to the ear-splittingly killer dual guitar melodies and trotting riffs, the comparison is an easy one to make. However, and I stress this over everything else, I have never heard Trivium and caught any sense of overwhelming Thrash elements like I do with Fear Control. This is a band that will honor the legacy and way paving of the bands that clearly influenced so much of their sound, while all together challenging and furthering their sound. We truly cant wait to see what these cats have in store for the world.
Fear Control is currently doing some crowd funding in order to put together a tour in support of their next release that is scheduled for release in June of this year. Do something awesome for the underground and the music you love by throwing these guys a couple bucks, or a couple hundred, we don’t judge. Links posted below.
With a name like Assault Incorporated, my expectations were set decently high for this Michigan based Groove Metal band. You need to come with some high level intensity, extreme power, and deliver a grab you by the throat performance. Luckily, the music cashes every cent of the massive check written by such a prominent name.
Guitarists, Edward Brown and Jeremy Sharp deliver a massive one-two punch with Thrash-Groove rhythms and melodies, coupled by electrifying, high voltage, and down right dirty solos. Personally, I feel a little less Wah, (shot in the dark guess says they use a Cry Baby From Hell pedal), wouldn’t hurt but with it they do attain some massive power on the high end of the spectrum.
Percussionist, Sean Belcher, gives off a major Hatebreed-esque style technique using his simple yet hard nosed drumming. While I hear the similarity, I love the direction he takes everything while incorporating some slightly Thrash style elements into the mix.
As for the vocals, Daryl Johnson is exactly what I imagine Rob Flynn of the almighty Machine Head sounding like 20 years ago. His ferocity and maliciousness really bring home the heaviness of each song, while never exactly standing apart from the music. It’s as if at some point in his life he became just another instrument himself.
I wanted so badly to give these cats a perfect score as they deserve it. However, the never changing vocal tone and too much high end from the guitars on the choruses and verses prevents me from doing so. Were they perfection? No. Did they earn their name and do the deserve your full and undivided attention? Hell yes.
KEEP IT METAL,
\m/That Metal Fan \m/
Listen to Assault Incorporated Here—> http://www.reverbnation.com/AssaultInc
Give them ha like here—> http://www.facebook.com/aggravatedassault
There is a quickly spreading disease killing off the next generation of Metalheads. Never before has our style of music been so threatened as it is now, and few seem to be doing anything to prevent it. In a world that is widely dominated by Hip Hop, Rap, and now EDM by an almost hysterically strong stranglehold, our only hope for our music to not only thrive but just barely squeak by with its diminished prowess is to get the younger generation to follow us down the rabbit hole, and into the pits. Unfortunately, we are the ones chasing them away.
Like many of you, I am associated with a number of Metal groups and pages on the internet and this is especially true for Facebook. Scrolling through my feed the other day, I happened across a post in one of these groups from a gentleman, (name will be withheld for obvious reasons), that is common in today’s world, but it caught my eye none the less. Here’s what the post read: “Does anybody else hate when bitchy emo kids consider metal-core heavy? I for one think we should nuke them”. As I read through the post, which was riddled with statements like, “We should kill ’em all…”, …”little fags…”, “What really irritates me is when I see a 16- year old kid wearing an old school metal/thrash/punk t-shirt and they cannot name one damn song from said band” etc., I found myself getting increasingly more angry.
Now, there are two clear and finite issues being discussed here and they should be discussed as stand alone issues so as not to confuse anyone and open myself up for (even more than normal) hate mail. The first, the problem the original poster and many supporters have with Emo kids. Yes, they do like to shop at Hot Topic and be trendy. Yes, for whatever god awful reason people have decided that Metal is now trendy. My question to you: Why the hell do you concern yourself with Emo fashion trends in the first place? Furthermore, you’re a Metalhead. You are the outcast of society that has found a home among other outcasts that do not judge you. We don’t care what you wear or listen to, so why should you care what someone outside of our circle dresses like and listens to? If anything, you think your comically big head would find this imitation flattering. Get over it and focus on you and you alone.
The other, and definitely more problematic issue this brings up, is the trending hate a lot of us Metalheads seem to have on Core Music. Yes, Mr. Elitist, we get it. You were born in a different time and anything not from your time is garbage and not “True Metal”. The problem with this way of thinking is that you have that next generation looking up to you and you are infecting them with this hatred and closed mindedness. Have your opinions. But when you spew vile, when you call a kid a “Fag” for liking a different sub-genre of metal (Note: To be a sub-genre of metal, you have to play a form of METAL), you are effectively giving them every reason to walk away from our world completely. How is a kid interested in metal supposed to get into the heavier stuff when you, the person representing that genre, are a complete ass, all because the kid is wading into the water slowly instead of jumping straight in. “Well maybe by me calling him a “Fag” he will stop listening to that Core garbage and listen to the good stuff…” Great. Congratulations. You helped gain another fan for Slayer, Pantera, and the likes. Where does that leave room for innovation and experimentation? If everyone is stuck inside the Elitist box out of fear of being hated and bullied, our genre will never grow and as Charles Darwin has pointed out, evolution is the key to survival. So yes, congratulations asshole. Take a bow. You are effectively killing that thing you are trying so incredibly hard to, “defend”. Don’t believe me? The original poster I mentioned earlier has a public profile where you can view his music likes. So, what does he have listed? We Are Harlot and Within the Ruins, not once but twice. We Are Harlot features the now ex-vocalist for Asking Alexandria. That’s not scene right? Within the Ruins? They classify THEMSELVES as a MetalCORE band. We are raising a society that accepts bigotry and detests change and any difference. This is a formula that spells the certain demise of an already on the ropes style of music. No more “Fags” being thrown out, no more worrying about what someone else is doing, no more discouraging the younger generation from joining our ranks. We need to stand together and say something. Educate, don’t discriminate. Take time to talk to that “poser” about the band shirt he is wearing and turn him into a real fan. #formetal I encourage you to comment, discuss, share, and tell everyone about what you just read here. We cannot rid the world of this disease without you.
Today brings us a band out of San Pablo, California by the name, The Unobstructed. These cats may only have about five years or so under their belt as a group, (however evolving of a line up they seem to have), but they quickly earned our respect as one of the most high potential “newer” bands out on the underground Metal scene today.
I won’t even begin to try to pin a sub-genre on these cats as they boast key elements of many killer genres. And really, all that is going to do is open up the ever revolving door of trolls that seem to keep making there way over to our pages. The power riffs of the guitars coupled with the stellar performance the band is getting out of its lady behind the kit propel this band into the Thrash world right out of the gate. In major contrast, The Unobstructed features vocals that without a doubt in my mind is the closest comparison to Melodic Death Metal vocalist, Alexi Laiho who of course handles vocals and guitar duties for the mighty, Children of Bodom. Now, it may come with the lack of years, maybe it was supposed to come out this way, but I am not a fan of the guitar solo’s. I totally love the music, I get a major feel for where they are trying to go with it, but it almost seems as though there is an inconsistent choppiness and slight repetitiveness on the solos. The lead players pick hand can shell out some major speed, but his fret hand seems to stiffen and freeze which takes away from the fluidity you want in a guitar solo. It should seem effortless, not painful.
Given time to grow as a group, a few more shows under their belt, money for some longer time in the studio, and every musicians best friend; practice, The Unobstructed have the ingredients to do something great here. I look forward top watching this band develop and I sincerely hope to hear more material from them soon.
KEEP IT METAL,
\m/That Metal Fan\m/
Check out The Unobstructed Here—> https://facebook.com/pages/The-Unobstructed/176043995773654
Listen top them Here—> www.reverbnation.com/theunobstructed
Recording the music you have worked so hard on and then putting it out there for the masses is one of the scariest moments for any band. There is a massive laundry list of possible speed bumps and road blocks that can occur at any moment that will take great music and turn it into horrid noise. The only thing that can top recording in terms of high stress related activities is playing that same music, live. Just like in the studio, you have to be spot on every step of the way, but with anywhere from one to fifty-thousand sets of eyes and ears criticizing you as you do it. Vancouver natives, The Hallowed Catharsis, said to hell with the stress on their new EP, “The Organic Entrenchement“. Not only did they record, they recorded Live.
One of my biggest fears when I started diving into this album was what the levels were going to be at. In a live setting, you’ll sometimes get an overpowering rhythm guitar, or a slightly muted vocal mic, and you lose out on some key parts to the music. Luckily, my fear was quickly put to rest and I can say with the up-most confidence the engineer for this album did a bang up job on making sure every aspect of the music rang through clearly. Vocally, Sean Ip, gives a powerful yet surprisingly clear performance for a Deathcore vocalist. The guitar playing for the most part is not as heavy as it needs to be, but I can see where the band was going and believe that in a non-live setting, the guitars would deliver more of the punch my ears were yearning for. While yes, the guitars may be flat, I love the technicality and skill exhibited on each solo done. As far as the drumming goes… it’s very cut and dry. The guy came in, kept tempo, and the fact that I didn’t hear anything special beyond that, is a mute point.
By far, (and this is definitely the first time I have found myself saying this), the bassist leads the album and gives an A+ performance. He has found a very creative “Funk Metal” type niche with his playing and he should be commended for it.
Did this album scream out “#1 Best Seller”? Absolutely not. But for a Sophomore effort from a group that formed just two years ago, it’s an OK album. When you throw in the fact that this is that same band live, it’s pretty impressive. Killer bass playing, maturity in their adolescence, and the balls to record live have earned TMF‘s respect.
Imagine a world in which Metallica, never lost the magic that made them the giants they are on their first four albums. Would they still be the juggernauts that they are today? Would they be even bigger? Would they still be trash talked by the “old school” fans that cant seem to accept them now? Would Lars still be the massive egotistical tantrum throwing self-entitled ass that he is today? Or more importantly; would he still have made the extremely horrific decision to use the “metal snare”, that gave “St. Anger“, its iconic sound? Just like “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”, the world many never know. But thanks to Tamp, Florida natives, Slikk Wikked and their music video for “Black Wind of Death“, we can look down the rabbit hole and at least hear what they may sound like.
The song features the same level of thrashiness that made Metallica who they are on those first four albums. Vocalist, Zakk Thrash, delivers an eerily perfect performance, matching James Hetfield‘s annunciation and “Metal Up Your Ass“, style attitude. Still not persuaded? OK. Have you ever wondered what Metallica may have sounded like had they kept guitarist Dave Mustaine? When the guitar solo for this song kicks in, everyone’s favorite “what if” becomes an all too vivid wet dream of guitar epicness. Now, 99% of people constantly rip on the drum performances given by Lars on every song this side of the “Black Album“. Slikk Wikked give us an idea of what Metallica could have been if they had a drummer that could actually, well… PLAY.
The video itself is obviously low budget, done poorly, and gives off the impression that little to no thought was put into it by the director. While yes, the scene and band work does give off that old school nostalgia, the camera work is horrendous. Instead of focusing on key parts such as the climactic measure of the guitar solo, the camera pans over the whole band leaving a major void. Post production was no help in this same regard as the music doesn’t line up just right with the shots. Don’t believe me? Watch the outro. The important thing here, is the band and the music they are putting out which is killer Thrash.
Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the next “Old School” Metallica. Haters, non-believers, and trolls, we patiently await your ill tempered rants and hate mail.