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30 December, 2012

EB11 - System Breakdown

EB11 - System Breakdown (song review) |self-released, single, 2012| 5/5

EB11 is an alternative/rock band located in Tenerife, Spain which was initially a solo project founded by Eber Pitrelli (vocals, guitar) in 2006. Having much more to offer than just audio productions and studio releases, he decided to look for other skilled musicians to play live shows together. Presently, the line up of EB11 also includes Joaquin Tulian on guitar, drummer Manuel Conti and Alberto Delgado on bass.

It sounds like "System Breakdown" is one of most energetic songs the band has recorded so far as it encompasses the spirit of raw rock within a very well arranged composition. Short and cutting guitar riffs rhythmically support edgy, grunge-esque vocals while the drums and bass speed the heartbeat of the listener. The vocal sections are underlined by guitar arrangements giving them additional vibration.

The composition sounds very solid from its almost acoustic beginning to the intensified end as it contains both hooky verses and melodic choruses. The musicians collaborate very well. You'll spot a bit of guitar soloing as well as nice transitions that are very characteristic for rock music including the alternative and grunge sub-genres.

"System Breakdown" has hit potential and should be targeted for radio airplay rotation since the song is a great addition to any alt-rock music collection. A various artists compilation released as a CD or a digital download and distributed through rock magazines worldwide could offer the band some better recognition. It's never too late to search for such an opportunity on-line.
The track sounds like if it was inspired by bands such as Incubus, Foo Fighters or Breaking Benjamin, but it may recall the sound of System of a Down as well. If you are fans of the above mentioned bands and looking for a new musical discovery, EB11 should be your next focal point. So far, the band has released the She EP and a full length album called D.I.Y which is only available to purchase during their shows. EB11 has been diligently working on their second full length album that is to be followed by a tour sometime in the near future.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, December 28th, 2012. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)

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28 December, 2012

Alex Von Z - Drawn

Alex Von Z - Drawn (song review) |self-released, Implicate Order, 2012| 4/5

Spiritually driven music usually sounds pleasant to the ear as well as radio-friendly. Alex Von Z, an American musician from Colorado who sings in tenor as well as plays an acoustic guitar says he's inspired by artists such as Chris Cornell, Tom Petty, Blind Melon and Counting Crows. You will undoubtedly hear these influences in both the song arrangements and vocals.

"Drawn" carries with it a blues vibe, but also features songwriting ideas that are characteristic for both rock and pop genres. The arrangements are simple although very solid with a dreamy mid-tempo time signature that is supported by light rhythms. Not only are the choruses memorable, but the verses are very catchy as well. This is not a song which demands a lot of mental concentration or analysis to understand the message, however nobody is screaming, destroying instruments or causing noisy experimental sounds. On the contrary, this acoustic composition brings soothing, positive moods to your ears from the very beginning to the end of the track. Having said that, if "Drawn" were to be performed by a female singer it would sound as good as the vocals recorded by Alex. Perhaps a male and female duo would sound extremely well on a live version of "Drawn" or should at least be kept in mind and utilized on a new composition with this sort of dynamic and vivaciousness on a future release.

There is also a promotional video for "Drawn" available on YouTube. The video features interesting paintings by Laurie Maves and Joanna Whitney because the lyrics of "Drawn" tell a tale of a woman painting a picture of a man. "I can’t change the way I am / So I’ll just love the way I am drawn / That’s how she’s drawn" followed by "It’s just the way she loves to play, helps to pass the time along / She’s a muse that can amuse remind its perfect how we’re drawn". The focal point of the video illustrates a message of self-affirmation to "be yourself and love yourself". Otherwise, it could be an analogy of how a woman in love portrays a man in her mind, but also that he doesn't want to change himself (for her), so he just accepts her observations (to avoid hurting her notions and losing her feelings).

Implicate Order was released in November 2012, so this is a pretty fresh EP which lists 3 songs including "Drawn" along with a full length radio edit version on the tracklist. Each song is available for free download from the artist's website and social media profiles such as Reverbnation at the moment.
Finally, as a word of advice, Alex should consider submitting this song for radio-airplay opportunities as often as possible. Due to its pop-rock styling, "Drawn" has probable worldwide hit potential.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, December 26th, 2012)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

26 December, 2012

Insomniaddict - Farewell (electro mix)

Insomniaddict - Farewell (electro mix) (song review) |self-released, single, 2012| 5/5

"Farewell" is a track for those who crave bouncy, oontzy electronica songs with hit potential to heat up the dancefloors, make girls in leather and PVC drown into a passionate kiss and cause heavy booted rivetheads to swing to a phat beat! However, not only should electronic music addicts dig this song, but also fans of pure metal. Huh? Indeed, Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth, Circle Jerks) had a guest appearance performing on guitar to give "Farewell" a fiery rock spin in the middle segments of the track during the choruses of the song.

Insomniaddict is the solo project of Ian Garner, a certified sound engineer (L.A. Recording School) who has been in different bands since he was 15. He has also been inspired by different, although consistently dynamic genres such as electronica, EBM, metal, grunge and punk. Bands of his interest include Megadeth, but also Depeche Mode, so this may be the reason why the overall sound of "Farewell" is so catchy. Ian fused some of the techniques from these influences into the arrangement of the track, which speaks of a person who got tired of making improper decisions and dealing with his own demons.

A jumping beat opens "Farewell" along with almost robotic vocals. The verses were sung by Ian while the choruses were performed by Danny Craig of the band Killing California. Danny's voice sounds edgy, however some harsh effects were utilized to additionally filter the vocals which then bring a more or less dehumanized characteristic of resonance that is quite fitting for industrial style music.

Silky, sparkling synths join next in the mix until raving and raging choruses tear the main theme into pieces. This is the moment of the song best recommended for putting away any sharp objects as you may start to headbang, skip around and slamdance. Guitar tracks by Chris Poland come in at the perfect spot to pierce the listener with high-energy, shimmering riffs which sound as though they are crying, elevating and twirling like a sinister ballet dancer in the limelight of applause. This is followed by a light piano motif as well as a subtle rhythm until the driving beat returns soon after. Once again the power of samplers dominate the track to finish it with a single, yet not exaggerated accord.

Overall, the song "Farewell" as written, arranged and produced by Ian Garner and co-produced/mixed by Keny Palmer sounds very dynamic with amazing energy while emulating calls for taking action. This track sounds predatory while remaining harmonious due to its addictive vibe that may make you feel insatiable after the first time you listen to it before you return for more. Having said that, the song is sure to make your body twist with expressive contortions of diabolical style.
"Farewell" is currently available to download as a single. It should also be mentioned that a different version of the song will be included on an upcoming full length album from Insomniaddict that still remains untitled.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, December 22nd, 2012)
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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

19 December, 2012

Gramilla - Paradox

Gramilla - Paradox (song review) |self-released, Villains, 2012| 5/5

If you're a fan of rock or metal music and come across a band tagged with these genre names, your appetite for heavy tunes and brooding vibes increase immediately. In the case of Gramilla's song entitled "Paradox" which was released on their Villains album, you'll get these impressions pretty fast.

This quintet was formed in California in 2009 and is represented by the following musicians: Efren Pacheco (vocals), Kerr Leonard (guitars), Craig Leonard (guitars), Matt Bird (bass) and Arture Bezie (drums). After releasing their demo in 2010, the band then worked on their first full length album which features 10 songs and brings with it mostly alt-metal and hardcore rebellious sounds (don't miss "Every Mans Vice"!)

"Paradox" is the second song, however one of the shortest tracks on this release. It begins with dark guitar riffs followed by screaming vocals that bring an element of protest and criticism into the song. Efren sounds like very good and highly accomplished singer. His voice has a bit of a dirty tone with elaborate colors, so it perfectly corresponds within the context of the rock and roll style, but could also be successfully matched to sub-genres such as grunge, punk or hardcore as mentioned above.

The mid-tempo of "Paradox" is underlined by groovy drum beats and bass lines. The guitars are layered quite wisely and the solo's sound almost like sewing stitch riffs placed in the right spots. These methods of arranging a song allowed Gramilla to break any possible monotony amongst the rhythm while taking the irascible moods to a higher dynamic when synchronized with less rhythmic notes.

"Paradox" doesn't carry many positive moods, although it's not happiness that we usually expect from heavy music. Most listeners of heavy music desire these sort of compositions to let them release their frustration and anger. This is due to many common and ordinary life issues that fans may encounter on a daily basis and which can accumulate pretty fast. However, if you think 'harsh' doesn't go along with 'melodic' or 'catchy' in terms of moods, then "Paradox" can certainly change your mind. The vocal transitions along with the guitar solos are all it takes to prove this point extremely well.

Gramilla sounds like a great new band with the potential to be discovered. Become a fan of theirs and offer your support by purchasing their music, checking them out on-line and seeing if they're playing live at a venue in your city.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, December 19th, 2012)

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11 December, 2012

Cofein - Never Give Up!

Cofein - Never Give Up! (song review) |self-released, Superdangerous, 2012| 5/5 rock

When you hear a female voice carving and accenting a rock song with such memorable passion, you probably won't stop listening until the track is over. Edit Unjian is the lead singer for Bulgarian rock band Cofein, so if you enjoy female voices in the vibe of Masha Mysmane (Exilia), Sandra Nasic (Guano Apes), Heyley Williams (The Paramore) or Danni Monroe (The Dirty Youth) combined with dynamic and heavier rock arrangements, you should reach out towards Cofein as soon as possible.

Initially, the band formed in 2003 and was called Tiramisu. Until 2007 they were covering songs rather than making their own. They were also submitting tracks for various contests including the annual biggest European music festival called Eurovision which is as popular as the Grammy Awards. Cofein's song reached number 5. They have not only drown the interest of European listeners, but also an independent U.S. label. Tiramisu underwent minor line-up changes in 2010 which also led to other improvements including their image, a heavier sound and taking on a new band name – Cofein.

The Superdangerous EP was released in May of 2012 and includes three songs. "Never Give Up!" opens the tracklist of this EP. The song immediately brings nice shivers upon the spine which are brought on by chunky guitar riffs in the beginning of the track followed by an intriguing guitar solo. The aforementioned solo brilliantly comes in when a groovy bass line combines with drums and rhythm guitar that build the underlying compositional structures.
Edi joins in on vocals soon after and it actually feels as if she were a surfer jumping upon an incoming wave and shaving the water. Her voice is placed between mezzo-soprano and a lighter alto which is pleasant to the ears. The vocals puncture through a listener like an arrow, yet resonate strong, sharp and confident. Her great English accent helps the song sound like a truly American production, but it is also useful for submission and acceptance in the arena of worldwide radio airplay. Edi's voice can easily match the genres of rock and grunge, but it is also quite suitable for country music. What's more interesting, you'll hear a warm timbre among her vocals which eloquently support her rapacity as well.

The initial segment of lyrics contained in "Never Give Up!" are underlined by tight bass lines and well balanced drum beats which dictate high-energy and solid dynamics. The rhythmic section is represented by Atanas Atanasov on bass and Petar Markov on drums who cooperate together very well. There are also two guitarist in the band: Tsvetan Karabov and Petar Todorov. This duo of guitar players allow for more layered, dense rock sounds to be placed into the music of Cofein when held in contrast to groups who perform with only one guitarist. You can expect a fantastic guitar solo to appear throughout the composition along with an intriguing bridge which is also set up in an expertly chosen spot on the track.
It should be noted that this along with other Cofein arrangements which were created for songs such as "Addicted to You" and "Superdangerous" have hit potential and have also been perfectly written to give the songs on the EP both claws and catchiness.

The band should continue entering various contests and submitting music for radio playlists as often as possible. Moreover, they should respect their own skills regardless of whether they are derived from natural musical skill or training to avoid selling their music too cheaply. Talent scouts, new artist headhunters and booking agents should pay attention to Cofein. If you, the reader are aware of any reliable professionals who could make the career of this band shine worldwide, please forward them this review.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, December 7th, 2012)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

26 November, 2012

Andrew Appletree & The Neptune Riders - 59 To The End

Andrew Appletree & The Neptune Riders - 59 To The End (song review) |self-released, Dragonfly, 2012| 3/5

"59 To The End" is a song performed and recorded live at Zen Recording studio by Andrew Appletree (guitar,vocals, music, lyrics) and The Neptune Riders featuring Aimee Trachtenberg (vocals), Barry Waddell (guitar), Bryan Thompson (drums) as well as Stephen Paul Connelly (guitar piano, bass guitar).
It was released on the Dragonfly album in 2012 and is featured as the last track on the record.

First of all, the intro brings an atmosphere well suited to a live recording where the musicians are synchronizing before the performance of the song. You'll hear "Hold on!" calling for patience, followed by the sound of spontaneously touched strings, then drumsticks dictating the rhythm and somebody taking a deep breath. I believe this may have been left in the track on purpose to enhance the experience of the music. This song is deeply rooted in classic blues and rock styles. If you listen to a few other blues compositions, you'll notice it's almost a stylistic technical method which opens the track.

Secondly, well written arrangements include both solid rhythm guitar parts as well as soloing arrangements that transpire after passing through the middle of the track. Additionally, smoke filled bar-like moods are performed on the piano, which is such a specific instrument that it can steal the listeners attention as much as a saxophone, especially when utilized with rock music. When it comes to bass and drums, they give the song stable dynamics and never go upfront; both play their parts synchronized very well.

Thirdly, the vocals sound rough - the way we used to hear vocals performed in songs by Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart or Tom Petty (yet not as harsh as those performed by Tom Waits). Thus, the vocals can be automatically associated with hard rock, blues and southern rock styles very well. There are also repetitive female background vocals reminiscent of what you would hear in music associated with the 1970s counter-culture.

Finally, if you are one to look at album covers first before listening to the tracks, you probably won't be able to miss the Neptune-related statuesque lady with a dreamy gaze which adorns this record.

"59 To The End" lasts a bit over 3 minutes in duration. Thus, you can think of many ways to use it, aside from just listening. This track would be a great candidate to be utilized in a radio set-list, movie soundtrack or also (based on the lyrics) for the long awaited “end of the world” as we shift from one year to another if you believe in the recently reported apocalypse that supposed to happen on 12/21/2012 (according to the sources of the crazies). Overall, "59 To The End" sounds like a great new musical discovery for the fans of i.e. Stevie Ray Vaughan or Van Morrison.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, November 23rd, 2012)
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24 November, 2012

These Green Eyes - Paramedic

These Green Eyes - Paramedic (song review) |Blackledge Music, Relapse to Recovery, 2009| 4/5

This quintet, founded in New Haven, Connecticut comes up with emotional music based on melodic alt-rock arrangements. These aspects of songwriting have been playing an important role in many radio rotation lists throughout time. A fact which remains true regardless of the daily program schedule being pop or rock oriented. Most ordinary listeners don't require distracting music to be touched by its message and it seems the musicians who comprise the line up of These Green Eyes had this in mind when they were writing the song "Paramedic".

“Paramedic” is a short track (3:47) and basically begins with no intro. Memorable verses come instantly and they are filled with Colin's vocals along with a rhythmic mix of guitars performed by Jeff and Greg, drums by Mark and bass by Zach. Layered guitars play in harmony during the choruses and shift in and out of edgy rhythms during the verses and breakbeats. Also, the mood of the song changes at 2:00 with the bass guitar providing the melodic backbone of the juncture while the vocalist sings melodies in alto.

The topic of the song seems to underline the importance of rescuing people's lives. Paramedics, aside from fire brigades and police are the first responders who improve a victim's diagnosis in case of an emergency. Of course survival time is up to an individual's body resistance and own will to live, but good care may improve their chances of recovery.
Thus, the idea behind the song "Paramedic" could fit well into a documentary about people dealing with regional or national range disasters such as floods, hurricanes, plane crashes, shootings, etc. or devastating personal traumas like depression, suicide, divorce and many others. If this song were to be utilized in the soundtrack of a movie it would not only put an accent on the most important work of emergency teams, but also soothe the cinematic aspects of disturbing scenes that outline the reality of an accident before things return to normal. There are no brooding moods though.

The idea behind "Paramedic" is a thought-provoking one, but the arrangements and compositional aspects may not be enough to stir the interest of a high maintenance listener. It's undoubtedly a song fitting many popular radio set lists (over thirty US radio stations play this song on the air already), but it also has hit potential due to its musical repetitions and simple structures. If you need melodic music which expresses life issues of an important matter, this song is for you.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, November 6th, 2012)

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19 November, 2012

File Transfer Protocol - The Gargoyle Studio Sessions

File Transfer Protocol - The Gargoyle Studio Sessions (2010-2012) 4/4

01. World of One, 02. Rain, 03. Shadows, 04. Attrition, 05. Ivory Towers, 06. The Singularity, 07. This Machine, 08. 99%, 09. Regime, 10. Subversion

The true industrial rock scene has seemed to be dead for some time now, but this is not a secret for die hard fans. Provided that the United States has been the genre's homeland where it found success in the 1990's, European bands have come up with a few new industrial musical sub-genres over the course of the past 5 years that are personified as i.e. electro rock defined by more melodic arrangements. I cannot say however that these modifications have increased the chances for a revival of the original scene. Nonetheless, there are still new bands being created by musicians who's period of teenage revolt occurred in the last decade of the 20th century. Some of these artist have never set themselves free of this revolutionary attitude, yet they have been ignited by idiotic ideas that are introduced by factions of our governments. Following this theorem, we'll look into Texas, the police state of America where Sean Rieger, the founder of File Transfer Protocol makes his music.

It should be noticed first that FTP's sound has undoubtedly been inspired by the accomplishments of Nine Inch Nails, Gravity Kills and Stabbing Westward at some point. New artists who seem to be fascinated with cold, industrial & guitar driven music have been encouraged by the success of Trent Reznor. Many of these artist find themselves as the founders of one-man projects that they utilize to express their frustrations through music with either aggressive or melancholic attributes.

Sean Rieger appears to be well balanced somewhere in-between. His songs bring positive vibes, yet they do not touch upon the common elements of pop music. His lyrics raise awareness about topics that should be important to every down to earth American, however Sean doesn't stir anger by relying on the use of brutal arrangements either. The idea behind his music seems to be rooted in the promulgation of warnings supported by sheer facts. He wants to redirect the listener's attention to issues which may happen to become a real danger in the near future and which are being prepared by legislators whom the citizens have elected.

After three years passing since the release of the debut album Bipolar, a new compilation album has just been released entitled The Gargoyle Studio Sessions. The album title harks back to Sean's personal fascination with magical gargoyles which he collects as figurines and displays in his recording studio, although he treats them as protective totems. This release features a set of 11 songs recorded and released as singles between 2010 and 2012.

"World Of One" is the opening track for this compilation. Pulsing beats as well as various effects that are created with the utilization of samplers build an intriguing atmosphere which is followed by slightly echoing vocals. The tempo speeds up as the intro is joined by drums and guitars. There are ethereal piano sounds as well in the end of the track which standardize the composition, giving it a classical feel.

"Rain" is an instrumental arrangement that features distorted guitars, most probably inspired by Nine Inch Nails' album The Fragile. Once again, the piano appears to create a very interesting contrast when held in comparison to the sound of modern electronic music. The atmosphere feels kind of sad, but this may have been done to illustrate the psychological process of dealing with some problems.

"Shadows" is the best song on this album as far as I'm concerned. The first element of the song structure brings arrangements that are inspired by 'big bubble' effects and phat beats that are commonly utilized in electronic dance music. Although these aspects can also be heard in rock-sounding songs by bands such as Nine Inch Nails or Gravity Kills. Most often, Sean creates tension within the verses of his songs which becomes a sensation that increases and is finally released throughout the choruses; a method that has also been used in “Shadows”. The overall sound of this track is far beyond uncanny, which may cause the listener to feel shivers up their spine. This effect is due to an interesting mix of guitars and samples. A contrast of lazy, sensual tempos and non-distressing tensions have built a plot for a song that has turned out magnetic.

Gothic sounds reverberating from a bass guitar along with industrial samples and declaimed lyrics are the opening sequence for the following track called "Attrition". The listener may find a few connections to the music of Gravity Kills, but also to another industrial rock icon - Stabbing Westward. Effectively distorted guitar riffs are reminiscent of tunes on The Fragile as I mentioned above. Due to a slow rhythm, piano and lengthy vocals present in the choruses, the atmosphere of the track sounds a bit epic. Nevertheless, it has been wisely crosscut with beats and rasping guitars, but also hushed up effects.

"Ivory Towers" plainly forces the listener to react either by stamping the floor, headbanging or other activity which lets them adjust to the rhythm and dynamics of the song. This specific method by FTP of building tension in the verses as I mentioned before, stands out in this track and makes emotions explode through the following choruses. Overall, the composition recalls of a junction between songs such as "Gave Up" and "Wish" by Trent Reznor, which are both marked by turmoil and nervous anxiety.

"The Singularity" is the next song on the tracklist. It is expressed by a murky, concerned introduction that is based on synths and cold, layered, protracted guitar riffs. This composition blooms in time, which enables it to gain speed along with a colorful portrayal of emotions. Sean perfectly matched the rhythm of the lyrics into the arrangement. There are also subtle effects present in the verses which are laid over the vocals. On top of it all, memorable choruses turn out as catchy as those which are present in the song "Ivory Towers".

A melancholic and gloomy intro foreshadows a song entitled "This Machine". It is surrounded by samples and intelligently layered guitars, drums as well as bass which create an interesting background for deeper, brooding vocals which come next.

On the other hand, both "99%" and "Regime" originate from two events which occurred in the United States, but gained momentum and spread across several other countries in 2011.
The first song is related to The Occupy Movement which featured angry Americans dissatisfied with levels of poverty. Many of whom are seeing their rights abused every few weeks by legislators whose actions are exposed through the national news cycle. They oppose the policies and long accepted practices of banks, Wall Street and the super wealthy during this time of extended economic crisis. The mood of the song is closest to "Ivory Towers", which is characterized by a rapid tempo that may illustrate anxiety and insecurity as well as methods of escape or attack. Background sounds have been orchestrated into layers enriched by screams, guitar riffs and vocal communications that are stylized to sound like the TV news.

The idea behind the track "Regime" has come out of a recent attempt at censorship towards Internet content as well as advancing surveillance upon civil society. This is based on legislation masked by innocent looking four-letter acronyms such as ACTA, SOPA or PIPA. In fact, ACTA has been signed by representatives of the United States along with a few other countries without any public consultation, but a few countries in the European Union have given up on this idea due to the fervid public protests of Internet users. The pulsing beats in “Regime” are for instance reminiscent of early Stabbing Westward songs. This aspect combined with edgy guitar riffs and well matched vocals make yet another memorable track that has been written to encourage the mentality of the people to wake up.

"Subversion" finishes The Gargoyle Studio Sessions album. It's the newest track and is a bit different from the other songs due to heavy, funky bass lines a'la Red Hot Chili Peppers which begin this composition. As for the atmosphere, "Subversion" brings an aggressive feel with it mainly due to a rhythmic bass line along with buzzing samples, effects and screaming vocals. There is no graduating advance of tension either. Instead, listening to the entire "Subversion" track feels like sitting on a bomb while playing with a TV remote-control style detonator in hand which works as good as a game of Russian roulette.

There are a few ways to call for a revolution - from throwing Molotov cocktails to making punk music. This can also be accomplished with the use of more subtle methods such as presented by File Transfer Protocol through this album. I'm not sure if Sean has successfully gotten rid of his tension, however a listener will be undoubtedly left watchful and alert after listening to The Gargoyle Studio Sessions. Both the music and lyrics assign a mature form of rebellion which is used by this artist to protest against the abuse of a citizens' freedom by their respective governmental institutions more and more often. The Gargoyle Studio Sessions will open the eyes, ears and minds of listeners in regards to a few issues which are not only important to Americans, but also citizens around the world who blindly follow 'Made in the USA' trends which sometimes have a bad impact on their individual rights and liberty (see: ACTA controversial legislation).

Musical know-how, writing skills, intelligent arrangements for multiple instruments, well thought out compositional characteristics, valuable inspirational elements, smooth performance techniques as well as high quality mastering and overall album production make this compilation stand high among many other industrial rock releases.
To top it all off, The Gargoyle Studio Sessions are the tireless work of one man. Ten years ago an album like this would have been released by a major label and never have been offered as a free download. In this current market independent artists control their own business and a digital copy of this release can be easily downloaded for free directly from FTP's official website. Of course this doesn't mean that a listener should not try to offer support to this musician financially if possible. It is important to keep Sean motivated to come up with yet another great album while he remains inspired and there are definitely many other items you can purchase from his online store!

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, November 18th, 2012)

Download this album (from FTP's upload to Google Drive through Fabryka Magazine, no registration is required).

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20 October, 2012

Man.Machine.Industry - Lean Back Relax And Watch The World Burn

Man.Machine.Industry - Lean Back Relax And Watch The World Burn |GMR, 2012| 4/4

01. To A Blood Red Sky, 02. We Are The Walking Dead, 03. Vivite Et Sinite Mori (Live & Let Die), 04. War God, 05. Lean Back Relax And Watch The World Burn, 06. The Cage, 07. Let Go, 08. Eighties, 09. What You See Is What You Get, 10. The Blind Leading The Blind, 11. Aim! Hold! Fire!, 12. Time, 13. (untitled)

Man.Machine.Industry comes from Sweden, a metal paradise where many very heavy bands have received international attention. Yet, it's the same land where a black metal music fan received unemployment money for claiming an inability to work due to his addiction to music.
The first and remaining impression is an element of 'straight-forward anger' from the beginning of this album all the way to the end. Although, there are many intriguing melodies to be found as well.

A noisy and perfectly timed industrial intro opens the newest MMI album. It is then followed by 'in your face' rhythms that are based on guitars, bass, drums and angry vocals (performed by Ronnie Nyman and J. Bergman). Fans of guitar driven music will most likely love all the craziness happening in the middle of "To A Blood Red Sky". Darkening atmospheres finish the track, then lead into "We Are The Walking Dead". The song starts innocently with the sound of a music box and kids loudly enjoying their time on a playground. Powerful drums and bass join the tune of the music box which allows it to be flexibly integrated into the composition. Later you'll hear dominant, graduating riffs - a reminiscent aspect most memorable from music by Ministry that is enriched by shouted and repetitive vocals.

A rhythmic melody opens "Vivite Et Sinite Mori (Live & Let Die)" – This Latin to English translation means exactly what is inside the brackets. You'll find a lot of similarities to music from the band PAIN as well as Rammstein here. This is the most danceable song on the album due to pulsing beats, but there's also a great set of guitars that begin at 02:14.

"War God" is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song sounds raw, heavy and spinning with chunky guitars as well as angry vocals that are truly reminiscent of music by Pantera or Testament.
"Lean Back Relax And Watch The World Burn" (see, MMI likes naming their albums with long titles) sounds more epic than other songs, but also includes some industrial sampling. This track fits into the new wave of industrial metal music due to heavy arrangements, but melodic elements are present as well. In addition, a well thought out compositional structure which is the basis of the song makes it a great match for a soundtrack compilation.

You'll relax a bit with "The Cage" since it is kept in the mood of a metal ballad with similar traits that you may know from i.e. Type O' Negative albums (although with higher vocals). There is also a progressive instrumental segment that is based on a solo guitar combined with well crafted bass lines and drums. This track may be a great way to fill an autumn afternoon because it gives the feeling as if things are irreversibly passing by.

"Let Go" starts with blues and classic rock guitars then grows into a modern metal track. High octave guitar riffs as well as radical dynamics are brought in by drums and bass guitar. These aspects may also call for some associations to The Mission or Killing Joke music. Speaking of these bands, MMI did a cover of an "Eighties" song (released by Killing Joke in 1984) which resulted in bringing even more passion than it had in its original recording thanks to stronger bass lines and heavier guitar riffs. Having this opportunity, the band also invited Corroded's vocalist Jens Westin to do vocals. His voice sounds recognizable - utterly rebellious, harsh and sharp as razor. This cover has been followed by a dynamic video that is available on YouTube.

A collaboration of drums, guitars and vocals are key features on this album. It seems like the long term members of MMI have learned a lot from their past experiences and have improved their musical skills with each new release. If you compare their debut next to their newest album, you'll hear what I'm talking about. Thomas Manell (Drums) played an important role on Lean Back Relax And Watch The World. You could easily vote him to be one of the best metal drummers of 2012. The band also has a second drummer named Bennich who helped the band reach out towards a much more dynamic, rhythmic sound in songs such as "Vivite Et Sinite Mori (Live & Let Die)" as was mentioned above along with "What You See Is What You Get".

This album offers a variety of solid heavy metal flavors that range from thrash to industrial. "What You See Is What You Get" is another heavy, but melodic track that was possibly inspired by the sound of the Swedish band PAIN, who is known for their death metal roots (Hypocrisy) and funny, ironic videos. This wouldn't be a big surprise, however a logical step would be if Peter Tägtgren collaborated with MMI on their next album or at least toured together.

The last three vocalized songs bring an eruption of pure hot lava right onto your face. First of all, there's a short and tight song entitled "The Blind Leading The Blind". It starts quite innocently with melodic verses, but it'll suck you dry with a wall of guitars as they occur in the middle of the song.
Secondly, the power of "Aim! Hold! Fire!" may be compared to "The Last Sucker" album by Ministry when held in contrast to riffs played extremely hard and heavy by Car Crash Jim and J. Bergman. You can also hear some references to the music of The Union Underground and Powerman 5000 due to heavy bass lines and J. Bergman's method of singing in some segments of the song. This is an amazing track and should be played during the most meaningful moment of a live performance. Headbanging is guaranteed.
Finally, "Time" comes in with the sound of a ticking clock that is combined with industrial effects. This concept has an overall powerful impact on the listener. The song is all about dynamics, so listening to the track feels like sitting on a rocket right before launch. A video would be a good idea for this song.

The ticking of the clock becomes the focus point of the last untitled composition on this album. In fact, it plays the role of a metronome. This is also a big moment for Lady M and her absolutely beautiful accent when she declaims poetry with a cold and sweet Swedish voice. When you hear a woman speaking like this, you can easily imagine a Snow Queen standing on a blinding white field with snow flakes in her hair or a slim cyborg girl telling you a story about the last age on a long lost Earth from a spaceship communication room.

There has been a lot of excitement during the recording process of this album as the band reported on a weekly basis to their social profiles. Thirteen heavy songs have been released with passion on this record, which is always expected when it comes not only from the confines of the metal genres, but from any music at all. There's a trick about this album though. When you think you've already picked a favorite track, the chance is great that you will spot another song just as dynamic to enjoy during subsequent playbacks of the album. This is a very mature release where everything matches quite well – the best Man.Machine.Industry album to date.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, October 17th, 2012)
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Prophets of War - Regeneration

Prophets of War - Regeneration (song review) |self-released, Plains Of Desolation, 2011| 4/5

When you think of the origins of black metal bands you may have a few cold European countries such as Finland, Norway or Sweden come to mind. On the other hand, a big continent that is occupied by Tasmanian devils, kangaroos and koalas may be the last place you would think of. Prophets of War is an Australian metal quintet. After releasing the Road To The End of the World album in 2010, they put out another record called Plains Of Desolation a year later.

"Regeneration" is the second track from this release. The song attacks the listener with a flood of graduating riffs that are accompanied by a wall of screams. The principal influences of the group seem to range from classic black metal to doom and death metal due to fast drum beats as well as bawling vocals. The band mentions Opeth, Orphaned Land, Insomnium, Ghost Brigade and The Nefilim amongst their musical inspirations. On the flip side, there are many arrangements that are based on a blend of progressive guitar and bass riffs combined with backing vocals. These become apparent in the second part of the song and play a big role in this composition as well.

Sharp rhythms and solo guitar riffs by Paul Jeanrenaud and David Currie continuously spice up the arrangements while leaving free space for an improvised virtuosity (which is quite useful for live shows). The lead guitar segments sound clean and cold, yet steadily underlined throughout the entire track. There's a solid collaboration between the two guitar players which transpires further with drummer Nathan Harris, bassist Roger Menso (known as Candellan from his other project called Punch Drunk Monkey) as well as Michael Saunders on keyboards. Vocals are done by Paul, David and Roger.

The typical "let's gallow and commove the Universe so it will never be the same" attitude of agitation that is best known from a majority of black metal releases can be easily spotted in "Regeneration" as well. Brooding moods will be undoubtedly loved by the fans of black metal, yet some of them may even experience a purifying fire that transpires out of the music.
The ending has a very melodic guitar part that adds a cold touch to the composition. This idea also appears at the beginning of "Regeneration", which allows for a noticeable connection between the opposite sides of the track and works pretty well.

Fury in music becomes potent during live performances best. Well muscled sweaty bodies, long hair sawing the air, dark outfits, smoky eyes of women as well as overwhelmingly heavy tunes combined with a pulse of power and a river of beer make metal shows extremely fun and desirable. There's always something primal that becomes evident during such events. If you want to taste this atmosphere, be sure to not only buy albums released by Prophets of War, but see them play live too.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, October 14th, 2012)
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23 September, 2012

Win The Day - Live Again

Win The Day - Live Again (song review) |self-released, Win The Day, 2012| 4/5

Here's a song with a positive pop rock or even modern gospel feel that has hit potential. "Live Again" opens this self-titled album that includes 14 other tracks by solo artist Charlie Gathe, who performs under the moniker of Win The Day.

The song brings very human-centered, optimistic and simple dynamics. The arrangements were written for guitars (Charlie owns a Rickenbacker), drums and vocals. You will also hear some neat repetitive choruses as well as a few nice guitar solos present in the verses.
"Live Again" has an epic, yet light atmosphere that may fit a short film that illustrates people fighting against the odds, an illness or struggling with other unfortunate life events and ordinary day to day issues. In fact, Win The Day made a high quality promotional video for this song which should give you a good impression of the direction their music is taking.

Charlie's voice sounds pleasant. The weight of his vocals are light, so he can sing with a high voice in upper octaves, but at the same time his voice never goes out of tune. Moreover, there is a gospel-esque choir mixed into the arrangement towards the end of the track. You may think Charlie hired a few back-up singers to record these vocals, but you would be incorrect in this assumption. Charlie multiplied his own voice on several tracks and layered them to make it sound as though there are many other voices singing in unison.

A lot of creative people are known to receive inspirations and brighter solutions to their ideas in a deep state of relaxation. This is typically when the brain is generating alpha waves while either in a state of REM sleep patterns or semi-conscious dreaming. Although some people experience this state of mind before they fall asleep, others experience it when they first wake up or must achieve it by meditation. Having said that, many sensitive people have lucid dreams, but artists usually have vivid dreams about music, graphic images and motion pictures. Artist tend to make use of their dreams in their work, so it is not a rare thing that these pieces of art someday become valuable or famous.
Charlie admits that the idea for this song came to him in a dream, but he still had a chance to make a rough draft of it when he woke up before it faded into oblivion. He performed and recorded the basic elements of the tunes acoustic elements on his iPhone and this is how we got "Live Again".

The song was recorded, mixed and produced by Charlie Gathe and mastered by John Vestman. I would only pin one suggestion to the ending of the song, which is that it didn't seem to match the dynamics utilized in the beginning of the track. Other than that, the overall composition sounds very successful for a completely DIY release.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, September 18th, 2012)

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Joel Smith Project - My Shadow

Joel Smith Project – My Shadow |self-released, Adam's Awakening, 2011| 5/5

The Joel Smith Project, a one man army, has come up with a new song entitled "My Shadow" which is a bit different to his previously released tracks. This time Joel ventured deeper into genres like hard rock, alternative metal and grunge, so the final mix sounds heavier as well.
The song opens directly with vocals and guitar riffs. The tempo is slower with low octave bass underlined by drums and a rhythm guitar that collaborates with them. The arrangement of the lyrics fit into the song very well, but the chorus sounds fantastic with echoing vocals that match the overall moods.

There is a guitar solo that is just as convincing as in previous songs Joel has released, although he arranges his guitar solos not to be overtly long or too intrusive. Lots of guitar players tend to show off with their technical skills, tattooing a song with an overload of riffs, but Joel purposely doesn't go too far. In fact, it's hard to believe that one man could perform each instrument on an entire song, including writing the arrangements and jumping into the roles of at least 3 other musicians.
His songwriting skills let him build successful compositions, however he's been a guitar player since he turned 18. Whatever tune he develops, it seems to sound witty. Joel did a really great job with "My Shadow" because he caught, analyzed and repeated traditional characteristics from the 90's alternative music scene, although he applied these attributes to his own style of playing.

This solid composition released on the Adam's Awakening album holds interesting peaks and repetitions. "My Shadow" is an enjoyable song that a listener can make the most of and could be a good candidate for radio airplay purposes as well. Each aspect of the arrangement has been placed in the right spot, so you'll find this track ear-friendly, even if you don't dig guitar driven music that much. However, if you're a fan of Paw, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains or Bush, then "My Shadow" is undoubtedly for you.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, September 17th, 2012)

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08 September, 2012

Uglyhead - The Garden (special edition)

Uglyhead - The Garden (special edition)
Automation Records, 2012
Rating: 4/4
Genres: experimental, noise rock, goth, ambient, dark ambient

01. The Path [05:54]
02. Through The Gates [08:47]
03. Between The Leaves [07:09]
04. Empty City [04:40]
05. Lichen [06:49]
06. Nerium
07. Drosera [10:51]
08. Kudzu [06:27]
09. Burgeon [08:09]
10. Blight [11:28]

Bonus Disc:
01. Amalgam [06:58]
02. Wilting [05:03]
03. The Merge [02:59]
04. Engorgement [06:07]
05. Pulchritudinous [03:19]
06. Surfeit [07:42]

Having over 10 years of musical experience, Uglyhead released their newest album The Garden in very special way. The album comes in a customized locking wooden case laden with an aesthetic mix of dry leaves and a cat skull. The Garden is undoubtedly a conceptual album. The song titles, illustrative plant macro pictures as well as environmental samples mix into the tracks perfectly and speak for this conceptual idea. However, we're not talking about a typical backyard, but rather an abandoned secret garden where dew, fog and wild plants intertwine with mysterious harmony. The garden is also a battleground for wild animals where the strongest or the smartest survive, leaving the bones of their victims deep in the bushes.

The journey begins with a track called "The Path" which leads the listener into the garden. A droning, ambient
intro with a bird whistling gives the first mystic impression. The volume rises until it peaks into a regular rhythm. "The Path" emulates iconic gothic melancholy feelings similar to those by Fields of The Nephilim in the 1990's.

Next, we're approaching the garden gate. It's not clear if we're sneaking through a hidden back entrance or slipping through the front one. "Through The Gates" begins with fuzzy drone sounds, an effect used to visualize something either shining or pulsating, like a classic science-fiction force field blocking entry into a meaningful place. The synth melodies, gothic bass lines as well as drums build a structure that is spiced up with Jake's voice. These initially easy-listening arrangements take a turn into a noisy rock experience that becomes surrounded by far more brooding moods thanks to the guitars and irregular drum beats. The tempo slows down at a certain point and falls into a heaviness that is reminiscent of stylings and textures similar to the music of Godflesh.

Suddenly, it appears as though we've been knocked down, laying in a dizzy frame of mind on wet grass. As we crawl, "Between The Leaves" becomes an even more clamorous undergoing. Industrial samples joined by low tuned bass tracks repeat until distorted vocals come in. At first, this song leaves the listener with a rather murky feeling that turns into melancholy until a dense atmosphere attenuates the mood at a certain point.

Abandon all hope though, we're now entering "Empty City". Instrumentations of distorted harmonies open this composition along with the sound of creek water flowing somewhere in the background. Brooding drums accompanied by synths create yet another gothic vibe enriched with short, although not pushy industrial samples. The mood changes in the middle of the track. All of the noise descends into a clean mix and only a simple structure based on a monotone bass line combined with electronica lead into a silent ending.

"Lichen" is a plant you may see almost everywhere around the world, however it is one of the ugliest species. They are usually hidden in dark, moist places as they are quite common in cemeteries as well as ruins. The song avails subtle progressive moods thanks to a Hammond-esque synth track, but it still stays in a low end tuning that is as noisy as the rest of music we've heard to this point. The track is occasionally broken with environmental sounds such as the chirping of the birds or the buzzing of bees. The moods vary throughout the song, though the ending sounds aggressive due to screaming and distorted vocals.
"Nerium" is expressed by a yawping fusion of vocals, drums, guitars and bass, but no static rhythm is implemented. The song  leaves no time for reflection. On the other hand, "Drosera" (which is a continuation of "Nerium") brings with it compositional aspects usually associated with more electronic and experimental tunes. The ending of the song sounds very psychedelic, so it may make your head spin.

We're still in the world of plants. "Kudzu" is native to China and Japan and belongs to a list of 50 fundamental herbs. The song starts suspiciously simple, but turns into a very complex composition with a variety of arrangements and moods. You can hear synths and bass as well as a violin which gives the song an organic feel.

Listening to the beginning of "Burgeon" feels like watching a film of buds opening in slow motion. This in fact may be the perfect way to visualize the song. Later, more gothic and darkwave vibes are expressed utilizing bass, vocals, synth and effects. When "Blight" begins, you can almost hear the sound of bacteria eating leaf tissue while it turns the entire plant from a sparkling beauty into a brown worthless nothing. This is possibly a song about death since ending and sorrow are usually linked to these modal counterpoints. A slow rhythm, pleasant guitar riffs and melancholic moods may make your heart feel broken as if you miss this album even though the music is still playing. This is the longest track on The Garden (over 11 minutes), so you can enjoy it as much as possible. 8-bit music effects provide a proper finish to "Blight", which kind of digitizes the idyllic picture painted before the listener.

This disc set comes with an instrumental bonus album that contains 6 ambient and experimental, although non-distracting tracks. Transcendental moods will surround you as soon as you play the first track "Amalgam" and finish with "Surfeit" which represents dark ambient style of music the best. I personally enjoyed this one the most for its pulsating and thrilling outer-space feel. All of these songs seem to speak about an element of process (of destruction, creation, lasting and meaningful change) or they may refer to alchemy (nigredo, albedo, rubedo meaning blackness, whiteness and redness). Both of these interpretations are very much linked to philosophy and the enlightened understanding of the nature of things on a metaphysical level. These tracks can easy illustrate a lot of independent one-reel movies. However, they may fit black & white or sepia-toned productions a lot better.

The Garden was released in two versions. 1 CD version is available in most on-line stores, but a customized limited edition CD with all kinds of not very casual goodies can be purchased only through Uglyhead's official store. It's a medium sized wooden chest (like a treasure chest, dug out from an underground secret location) with a small lock and a branded, burnt band stamp on the top. A set of 2 CDs are locked in a metal case and buried in a pile of dried leaves of fern, moss and flowers, but you will also find real animal bones (cat's skull, jaw). The set is packed into custom shipping boxes. Now, we're talking about real art.

Uglyhead was founded by Jake Alejo (vocals, synths, guitar) who is currently residing in San Francisco. There were many other musicians who participated in the band during live shows, tours and recording. The Garden is supported by Jenson Charnell (guitar), Patrick Christopher Huerta (drums), Nick Katich (bass, guitar), Jeremiah Smith (noise, sampling) and Taylor Izak (violin).

Uglyhead's bright future lies in visualizing top level ambitious art-related movies, theater or outdoor performances (think of The Burning Man event) and conceptual multimedia works (i.e. specific ambient backgrounds for media related to museums, movie and video game websites). Alejo is highly skilled in seeing artistry in pictures, illustrating them and philosophizing about them with the use of sounds. If your imagination is creative enough to see such pictures and your ears prefer gloomy, yet experimental moods over an easy-listening mash-up to understand the darkness better, you'll be extremely pleased when you buy The Garden.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, September 4th, 2012)
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29 August, 2012

Indighost - Torn

Indighost - Torn (song review) (self-released, single, 2012) 5/5

Indighost was formed at the Guitar Institute in West London, UK in 2006. They independently released The Yang Collection EP in 2009 with 5 songs on the tracklist, however the line-up of the band has changed over the course of the past few years. "Torn" is a more recently recorded track that is a strong candidate to be featured on their next album.

The song brings with it an emotional feel. According to Indighost, "Torn" was inspired by the romantic tension between the main characters on the television series Doctor Who. The video for this track is also comprised from a montage of several scenes from the series. One thing worth mentioning is that "Torn" emulates the Doctor's impending doom, hence the running feel of the rhythm that sounds as if it is catching up with Doctor Who as he tries to escape it. Rummy Keshet makes good use of his 5-string bass while drum tracks by Martin Griffith intertwine with various intriguing percussive elements.

Melodic lines are strong in this track and are present not only in the choruses, but in the verses as well. Matt Simon (vocals) is a classically trained musician who received his degree from the British music college mentioned above. He admits that he is inspired by the works of Sting as well as Megadeth, Dream Theater and Def Leppard. He also enjoys combining these inspirations with occasional funk music and jazz influences. While the entire song expresses key features of both the metal and rock genres, Matt's vocals touch upon the boundaries of progressive rock too. He utilizes his baritone voice with light constraint, which is quite typical for modern progressive bands.

The two guitar players (Matt Simon and James Hewitt) cooperate in harmony by using chords, scales and modes in a truly fantastic manner. An epic unison of each instrument takes place in the central point of the song which is then followed by smooth virtuoso guitar solos that seem to possibly be inspired by the styles of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. These riffs continue spicing up the song all the way towards the end.

"Torn" is a great, ear-friendly song that is suitable for a commercial jingle, motion picture soundtrack or radio airplay. This is a solid composition that is enriched with vivid, almost visual arrangements that make the song memorable. It should also be noted that these musicians make and sell custom guitars that are decorated and painted by hand. Check out their official website for all accessible instrument models.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, August 28th, 2012)

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25 August, 2012

Yesterday's Saints - Gates Of Valhalla

Yesterday's Saints - Gates Of Valhalla (song review) |self-released, Yesterday's Saints EP, 2011| 5/5

If you're hungry for intense thrash metal music, here's an indie band with all the features necessary to become your next favorite rockstars. Yesterday's Saints gain their influences from a long list of amazing, yet highly ranked bands that include classics such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Testament as well as music by Vital Remains, Obituary, Pantera, Chiamara, Iced Earth, Arch Enemy and Lamb of God. This degree of heavy influences will undoubtedly draw the interest of many heavy metal listeners. But wait, there's more... the band has also been recently promoted through the live circuit, opening shows in support of Sepultura, Death Angel, Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow.

Yesterday's Saints are originally from Washington DC. Established in 2008, they released a two-track demo one year later. A heavy metal CD collection with tracks compiled by Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow) helped the band reach out towards a broader number of heavy music listeners throughout 2010. Their self-titled EP is their latest release which contains five songs on the tracklist.

"Gates Of Valhalla" is the first track on this EP and indeed, it's an in-your-face opening to the album! There are no mystical intro's or outro's. The song starts and ends with rhythmic riffs and concrete drum beats. This intense, raging and precise composition will make you headbang right away.
Professional vocals are at times shouted then growled within a range of over three octaves. The song contains lyrics that are masterfully mixed with spinning and chunky guitar riffs that stitch the song structures together like an overlock. Non-pushy percussive elements of the drums never predominate the other instruments, which may be a golden ratio for an intelligent form of metal music.
Finally, great bass lines stand strong to solidify the drums and accentuate the overall orchestration.

All of these elements are utilized in synchronicity to create a foundation for the song where the compositional aspect is complete and the arrangements don't miss a thing. These songwriting techniques are repetitive, thus you can spot some heavy metal melodies within, but they don't become at all boring. Additionally, these arrangements have been preventatively enriched with various matching and powerful segments which turn the listener's attention to the brute force of the music in an instant.

Gates of Valhalla” was performed by Matt Rice (vocals), Albert Born (drums), Witt Black (guitar) and Phil D’Arcangelis (bass) who was replaced by Nick Gosseaux in 2012. The band has been currently working on a full length release intent on bringing more of a dark melodic feel that is based on death, thrash and power metal sub-genres.
Since words are limited and they can't perfectly express every single tune, you just need to listen to the music of Yesterday's Saints on your own. The best time would be during one of their live shows.
These guys may be sharing stages with many of the best known metal acts very soon, so get ready.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, August 21st, 2012)

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23 August, 2012

WUNTS & THE MMMPS - Are You A Girl Or A Boy? & PS!

WUNTS & THE MMMPS - Are You A Girl Or A Boy? & PS! (song review) (self-released, single, 2011) 4/5

This band originates from the United Kingdom - the land of major labels, where new born trends as well as the biggest music revolutions in history have undoubtedly made a world-wide impact. This has held true for artist from Great Britain for decades, although the United States had stolen the spotlight through grunge and nu metal during the 1990's and early turn of the century. Still, the U.K. music scene seems to be an affectionately small sized community that is thriving with well known musicians. These artist often cross paths, play in several bands, perform different styles of music, interchange line-ups, produce albums for their peers and integrate guest appearances for live shows as well.

The name WUNTS & THE MMMPS stands for Jimmy Wunts and his collaborators: three musicians named Mark Fletcher - drums, Mark Ramsden - saxophone and Mark Evans – bass, as well as Paul Harvey on guitar and Steve French on piano. Jimmy Wunts also plays in a band called French & Regal under the moniker of Gray Regal. Paul Harvey is known for performing with Then Jericho, who knew fame in the 1980's. Paul was also featured on Gary Numan's Outland album while supporting New Model Army during the mixing and engineering process for three of their songs in the 1990s.

The track "Are You A Girl Or A Boy? & PS!" emulates the feel of 1960's blues influenced rock 'n' roll through a wall of non-pushy and well crafted drums that are combined with a Leslie organ. Mark Ramsden is a virtuoso on the saxophone as he overlays the rhythmic counterpoint with strong jazz influences. The saxophone provides an identifiable, yet distracting melody that stands out to consume the listener. Moreover, the saxophone has historically been a predominant element in music of this nature, which most of us have heard utilized on many albums and movie soundtracks. It seems that the motion picture industry has an adoration for the saxophone since it brings vigorous, contrasting and experimental moods with it into the music.
The guitar offers a few solos that are underlined in the ending of the track which give the song a 1970's rock genre touch that encompass the spirit of famous guitar players from that era.

A comedic feel that is deeply rooted in the track "Are You A Girl Or A Boy? & PS!" is expressed though lyrics that are rhythmically spoken with a male voice saying: "I'm feeling pretty horny, wouldn't it be corny to find her cheek is thorny not smooooth." In addition, the band claims this to be a true story.

This song may be a perfect match for avant-garde motion pictures, but this is an overall evaluation that is not only due to the saxophone parts. If WUNTS & THE MMMPS is looking for exposure, I recommend they target the film industry first. Although the song may sound old-school to some younger listeners, it may be greatly appreciated by lovers of jazz as well as 1960's/1970's blues influenced rock 'n' roll. This music is timeless, as can be heard through some of 'the best of' music charts spanning the past several decades.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, August 16th, 2012)
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Rosenedge - Brickwall

Rosenedge - Brickwall (song review) (self-released, Ashes, 2012) 4/5

Rosenedge is a band that Hails from Ashland, Ohio. They released their latest album entitled Ashes just a year after releasing their debut called Unknown. Vaughn Pokrzywa composed and performed the music on both albums, however a full line-up crystallized for the band at the time Ashes was near completion.
A mysterious and vibrating intro opens the track "Brickwall" which is the first song on the album. The opening prelude is followed by guitars, bass and drums which are utilized to structure the song arrangements with sounds that are repetitive and in tune with traditional rock and metal approaches. A moderate tempo makes this composition heavy, apart from the stylistic riffs.

Drummers play a very important role in rock and metal musical orchestration. The quality and frequency of the beat push the listener to decide if they find a song to be pleasant, invigorating or irritating since the pulse of the drumming influences one's heartbeat. "Brickwall" is based on simple, however non-intrusive beats that are laid out by Vaughn Pokrzywa. His playing is great since it allows the listener to focus on the guitar riffs as well as bass lines. Chunky riffs give the song a powerful rhythmic spin rather than soloing off into an oblivion of self-exposure.

Moreover, the synths are used very carefully. They don't predominate the other instruments, but rather help to build upon the atmosphere and contribute to the melodies laid behind this solid composition. Thus, listening to Vaughn's vocals are painless when heard over such a strong background of harmony. The vocalist doesn't scream or growl, but rather loudly utilizes intonation within the lyrical progression with a voice that sounds a bit harsh, although in melodic line with the music. The choruses are softer than the verses and very memorable thanks to repetitive and original songwriting techniques.

"Brickwall" has definite hit potential thanks to simple and heavy arrangements, but it should be promoted along with a matching video to achieve the best results. In addition, Rosenedge should not only play live as often as possible and send their music to DJ's, but they should also research and seek out compilation opportunities that are usually associated with periodical magazines or released in association with specific events.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, August 22nd, 2012)
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