Album Review: THE HUMAN PROJECT – ‘Clarion Call’ [Album Stream]

There will always be heart in music.  There will always be power in music.  There will always be thought in music.  Combine them together and you get The Human Project.  The group are a melodic, but technical, punk band from Leeds in the UK.  Their debut album ‘Origins’ was issued in 2013, and the long awaited follow-up ‘Clarion Call’ will be released in 2018, accompanied by touring across the UK, Europe, and Japan.

The band paint on a political canvas and nail their colors to the mast with songs about the cutting of public services in the UK and the vote to leave the European Union (Brexit), both of which they argue against.

The band released the very catchy “That One Percent” in advance of the album.  Expaining what it means, vocalist/guitarist Luke Yates comments, “the everyday, on-the-ground results of the austerity regime are this kind of bland injustice, laughably obvious in the way it is targeted, and, in the way it is backed up and spread by people with vested interests in the media, but unfortunately inescapable for most ordinary people.

‘Clarion Call’ took over five years to write and was eventually brought to life by producer Andy Hawkins.

To nail my colors to the mast, this album is a monster of epic proportions and is likely to be in my top ten of the year.  In true Frankenstein tradition, it is built on sounds and thoughts taken from many genres, but has been pieced together with real care and attention.  Where the record differs from Mary Shelley’s creation is that the monster did not know why it had been created.  Here, The Human Project know why they created the album and the vision they have is second to none.

The album’s box of secrets is wrenched open with the thoughtful lament of “Desperate Times.”  There is soft piano and clean guitar, as the fabulous vocals kick in.  The singing is a key(sic) to the record and raises it above any other release in the pop punk genre.  I am afraid I don’t know who sings what, as all the members take vocal duties, but all do brilliantly.  It is like fusing progressive rock harmonies to fast ascending punk riffing.  The whole collection reeks of class (ironically, given the band’s championing of equality).

My ears were drawn to “That One Percent,” which spits out the band’s disdain for the Conservative political party’s behaviour in the UK with their policy of austerity in terms of public spending being cut.  It is a tune that lives long in the memory and, once inside your brain, keeps looping as a mega ear worm – you have been warned!

Knocked For Six” smacks your sensibilities with aural overload.  The high register vocals absolutely make this song.  It has a sound that is arrestingly unique and familiar at the same time.  The guitar tone is also a pleasure to hear; fuzzbox in 4K for sure.

Although the ball of wax moves at a million miles an hour, there are some moments of quieter reflection, like on “Carrion,” allowing listeners to breathe before the technical beauty of “What We Always Do” comes striding onto the playlist and the adrenaline surge runs us to the end of the collection.

Suffice to say, I love this album so much that I would marry it, if I could.   Human in name, gods in musical terms.  The best album I have heard for a long time.

‘Clarion Call’ will be released on CD, Digital and Vinyl on Friday 6th July 2018 and is available for pre-order now here: www.thehumanproject.bigcartel.com.

THE HUMAN PROJECT online:
www.twitter.com/humanprojectuk

https://thehumanproject.bigcartel.com/

DEE SNIDER – Releases Official Lyric Video For “Tomorrow’s No Concern”

Hard rock icon DEE SNIDER has released the official music video for the new track Tomorrow’s No Concernfrom his upcoming album ‘For The Love Of Metal’.  The album sees Dee team up with HATEBREED frontman, Jamey Jasta, as producer and makes good on an idea discussed on Jasta’s weekly podcast.

Watch “Tomorrow’s No Concern“at this link.

DEE SNIDER comments on his new single:

” ‘Tomorrow’s No Concern’ is the perfect first single off of my new album ‘For the Love of Metal’.  Lyrically it’s about me living for today, not in the past.  So many people waste their lives away remembering the “glory days”.  While I am proud of all that I’ve done, I’m more interested and excited about what is happening now.  In the song I urge the listener to do the same; live in the moment and don’t let the past – good, bad or indifferent – or what might or might not happen in the future ever slow you down!

‘For The Love Of Metal’ features contributions from Howard Jones (ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE & current LIGHT THE TORCH frontman), Mark Morton (LAMB OF GOD), Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (TOXIC HOLOCAUST) and Charlie Bellmore (KINGDOM OF SORROW).

Preorder ‘For The Love Of Metal’.

Jamey Jasta comments on the album:

I’m so happy and proud to have been a part of this project, DEE SNIDER is an American original, there is no other voice like his on earth, his power and passion really shine through on this album. Metal brings us all together and with Dee still at the forefront, it’s a great time to be a fan of heavy music!

Track Listing:

  1. Lies Are A Business
  2. Tomorrow’s No Concern
  3. I am The Hurricane
  4. American Made
  5. Roll Over You
  6. I’m Ready
  7. Running Mazes
  8. Mask
  9. Become The Storm
  10. The Hardest Way
  11. Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)
  12. For The Love of Metal

Touring:

02.07.18 IL – Tel Aviv

03.08. – 04.08.2018 SE – Rejmyre / Skogsröjet Festival

10.08. – 12.08.2018 BE – Kortrijk / Alcatraz Metal Festival

For more information on DEE SNIDER, visit:

http://www.deesnider.com/

Album Review: DEAD CROSS – Dead Cross (Ipecac Recordings)

Dead Cross are an American hardcore/progressive metal group, formed in Southern California. The band consists of guitarist Mike Crain (Retox), bassist Justin Pearson (the Locust, Head Wound City and Retox), drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer and Fantômas) and vocalist Mike Patton (currently of Faith No More and Fantômas).  They released their debut album in August 2017 and then, seemingly out of nowhere, released released a further self-titled EP containing two new songs and two remixes from their previous album.

Their sound is sophistocated, yet brutal.  They are not what would be expected of a hardcore-based outfit and that is Mike Patton’s calling card.  While others dare not progress, Patton constantly wants to evolve and grow.  His voice is as varied on Dead Cross songs as any of his other projects, whether it be snarling, screaming or singing, it is still his very own.  The signature drumming of Lombardo also is very prominent and complements the ferocious guitar work of Crain and the understated bass of Pearson.

The E.P. is four songs of pure adrenaline, being pumped into the black heart of society.  There are two new songs, “Skin Of A Redneck” and “My Perfect Prisoner“.  Both of these are bangers, with a blunt trauma sound that stabs at you without mercy.  There is anger here, directed at the whole world.  It is like a two punch being delivered in the first moments of a boxing match.  The blood is still dripping from your face, whilst the champion is dropping you onto the canvas.

The second part of the E.P. is where the band get experimental.  They take two songs from their album and let the remixing re-imagine the sound.

Shillelagh – Panicker Remix” is an EDM hardcore fusion, with multiple keyboards, beeps and electronica.   It completely changes the tone from the original hardcore ripper that appeared on the debut.  It works superbly well, as it takes the cadaver and fills it with new sonics.  This is probably my favorite track on this E.P.

The final song is “Church of the Motherf*ckers – Planet B Remix” and this is a more restrained remix, but keeps the electronica elements to fill out the sound.  Patton explores every element of his voice on this, whilst Lombardo is strangely muted until the blast beat fills, augmented by drum machines.  A brave song, for sure.

The E.P. is a finely crafted exercise in keeping fans connected to the band whilst they start to tour.  It is a worthwhile addition to their catalogue and shows progression.

State Of The Art: SPACE CADAVER [Album + Video Stream]

*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*

This month’s state is Louisiana!

New Orleans’ Space Cadaver are a band that have fury and finesse, with a groove that stomps all over their songs. They have a sci-fi style and power to match the best in the universe. Guitarist/vocalist John Baleine, bassist Beto Arias and drummer Jason Meserole bring dark and light in equal measure.  Formed in 2015, Space Cadaver have shared the stage with heavyweights such as Conan, Acid King and Ufomammut. Their message of spacey doom is spreading quickly!

Their debut self-titled album has been available since 2017.  Guitarist/vocalist Baleine commented that “this album is a benchmark of 3 years of hard work and determination – an opportunity to grow…and have closure with a lot of dark things… It was a cleanse to purge the pent up frustrations around the suicide and murders of loved ones, drug addiction and the struggle to break free from the things that are no longer serving me.

Space Cadaver have a sound that melds Death, Doom and Stoner in a rock hard package. Their self-titled debut album is a tour de force of genre-defying metal. They may only have a bass, guitar and drums to work from, but they know how to work that to make an amazing cinematic sound that sonically destroys everything in the mainstream metal world.

The album kicks off with the riffy ‘The Infinite Black Sun‘.  This sets the band’s stall out, with Baleine’s growling vocals and thoughtful lyrics.  The sound that a three piece make is genuinely impressive.  The bass is high in the mix and the drums splatter through the fuzz storm of guitar.  There are light passages that bring the sound into a different sphere and the dark parts take you to a back alley and mug you.

The guitar dominates “Day Ruiner“, as the groove is augmented by a superb guitar solo that is full of heart and power.  “Storm” follows with the sound of hell coming out to play.  A grunge-type melody lends the song a spirit that cannot be dismissed easily.

Insufficient Reward” is a masterpiece in cinematic metal.  It ebbs and flows with an approach that composers of movie scores love.  I can imagine a video of someone escaping evil forces, running down dark corridors in space.  The drumming is superb on this tune.

The commercially accessible “Clock Hoarder” continues with its fantastic bass/guitar interplay. It also manages to tip its hat to old school thrash.  “Nowhere, Now Here” continues the album with a progressive, minor key insurgency. Once again, a cinematic sound, focusing on a picture in space of desolation and regret.

The closing two numbers, “Sword of the Lord” and “Draco’s Revenge” are urgent, epic sound songs that veer from blast beats to progressive jazz in the space of minutes.

Overall, Space Cadaver are a band that everyone should check out, before they check out (in space, naturally).

Album Review: OVERKILL – ‘Live In Overhausen’ (Nuclear Blast)

OVERKILL are a legendary thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist D. D. Verni and lead vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth as the only constant members. OVERKILL‘s current lineup also includes Dave Linsk on lead guitar, Derek Tailer on rhythm guitar and Jason Bittner on drums.

The band are masters of the crunchy thrash that the 1980’s spawned.  They eat and drink metal music and Blitz is a renowned singer within the genre, being one of the godfathers of thrash, along with James Hetfield of METALLICA and Chuck Billy of TESTAMENT.  They have a significant library of studio albums (nineteen in total), including the stone cold classics ‘Under The Influence’ (1988) and ‘Horrorscope’ (1999). Continue reading

Review: MOS GENERATOR – ‘Shadowlands’ [Official Album Stream]

Mos Generator are a heavy riffing trio from Silverdale, WA, who have made it their life’s mission to breathe new life into classic rock.  They revel in the sounds of the 1970’s, with a nod to a progressive era long since taken over by being too inaccessible for casual listeners.

The band has a strong pedigree, comprised as it is by Tony Reed (vocals, guitar, Wurlitzer; ex-Treepeople), Sean Booth (bass), and Jono Garrett (drums).  They came together in 2002 and followed a self-titled debut with a concept album entitled ‘Late Great Planet Earth’ in 2005.  This was followed by several great records, including ‘Nomads’ and ‘Abyssinia’.

Their latest release on Listenable Records is the majestic ‘Shadowlands’.  I am finding it a real pleasure to absorb the grooves and power on this collection.  There is an epic opener in “Shadowlands“, full of riffing and roaring. There is also fuzzbox overdrive on songs like “Drowning In Your Loving Cup” and “Woman Song“.

The songs are compact and lean, swaggering into your consciousness like boxers entering the ring, full of confidence and focus.  What makes them elevate from average to great is the tunefulness that sets them apart from the pack.

Reed makes his mark with a melodic maelstrom of musicality with his ripping guitar and cool walking vocals.  There is the added bonus of solos that don’t outstay their welcome.  It is taste over flash for sure.  The bass playing from Booth is rock solid, but busy and I can only imagine what this band would do live.  When you have a four piece, a busy bass is essential and you get that in spades on ‘Shadowlands’ – just listen to “The Blasting Concept” for a demonstration of Haslip’s skill.  Any review would also be remiss not to make mention of Garrett’s drumming, which drives this album forward.

Combine all of the elements together and you have an album of power, melody and heart.  It is not one dimension and I recommend it highly for all lovers of classic rock, infused with stoner tendencies and superb musicianship.

 

Review: EGONAUT – ‘The Omega’ [Official Video & Album Stream]

Ride the bleak train coming out of Sweden, with Egonaut, a band of black-hearted minstrels.  They have been around since 2005, conjuring their audio Doom/Alt magic.  The group is made up of Mikael Bielinski  on bass, Dennis Zielinski on keyboards, Markus Johansson on drums, Fredrik Jordanius on guitars/vocals and Emil Kyrk on vocals.   They have an impressive body of art, including the albums ‘Electric’ (2011), ‘Mount Egonaut ‘(2013), ‘Deluminati (2015).   

Continue reading