Review: Farewell to the Former

I can describe Obraskai’s style only as every well-loved American rock genre combined, and then taken a step further. The quieter passages of “Farewell to the Former” remind me of older Crossfade, while the guitar solos gracing heavier, faster stretches are a little like those of It Dies Today or perhaps even Kittie. There’s a lot of middle ground however, where Obraskai really develops their own sound.
“Farewell to the Former” is their sophomore effort, and All seven tracks are well-recorded, with no elements becoming overdone or underplayed. There is a lot of quality song-writing on this EP, both in lyrical content as well as everything else. In the popular rock scene, some of those elements get lost on listeners.
There is a lot of talent present, the ability to be creative, and I would have liked to see a little more of that show through. However all bands evolve overtime.
Something I noticed, that really impressed me, was how similar in quality the live performances to the recorded tracks are, despite poor video quality. That is an asset that should take Obraskai far, and so is “Farewell to the Former”.

8.5/10

Check them out.
http://www.myspace.com/obraskai

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Review: Methods to End it All

I was searching Amazon for the new album by Sarah Jezebel Deva, a well-known figure in the metal world because of her work with Cradle of Filth and Angtoria, and stumbled upon the track “Creation’s Tears”, by the band of the same name.
“Methods to End it All” was a real surprise. There are many bands with the word “tears” in their monacre, many with a slow, dark style. And while the flavors of Gothic metal are present here, Creation’s Tears certainly have their own identity.
The track “Creation’s Tears” is a shining highlight in a debut album that surpasses most, in song writing, musicianship, and recording, having no underplayed elements begging for more attention, or any that stand out too strongly against the rest. Sarah Jezebel Deva is featured on this track, contrasting her ethereal style perfectly with Brian Reynolds’s powerful, yet melodic style.
There are other favorites, but it is hard to single any one out, as the album is high-quality. The Gothic overtones of a thick bass line, slow but steady pacing, and minor-scale melodies are balanced and played up by more energetic tracks, acoustic guitar on some numbers, and an intensity that would appeal to any fans of Theory of a Deadman, Evanescence (everyone references them, but I’m not just saying that to say it), and even Shinedown.
I hope I see more from this band. “Methods to End it All” is a promising debut.

9.5/10 and well-earned.

http://www.creationstears.com
And check them out on Facebook.

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Review: My Soul to Take

I sit here, and I try to think of a dark movie I liked better. The Roommate was good; Jeepers Creepers 2 wal pretty fun; Case 39 was enjoyable. The Hills Have Eyes, Carrie, the Rage, Tamara, Resident Evil 1 and 2…the list could go on and on. This one, however, tops them all.
The movie has one fundamental flaw…I was vaguely confused who was the real killer in the end…Alex, Bug, or Bug’s crazy second personality. But honestly, it’s fine. Because the story line was nothing less than brilliant.
Each actor, from the abusive stepdad and tough mom, to every one of the Riverton seven (seven sixteen-year-olds with the same birthday) was well-crafted, well-played. I especially love how I saw no shallow horror-movie bimbo just screaming and running. Even the women in this movie played excellent roles. Penelope is religious, but a teenage girl with a crush nonetheless. And Leigha, or Fang, is the spooky ruler of the social hierarchy but also Bug’s adoptive sister. Bug’s mom is decisive, and Britney (the only cute girl being chased in this movie) even has a key role in moving the plot forward.
Involving Native American lore about the condor, blending it with the story of the Ripper, and weaving it in with high school politics is genius.
The best way to sum this up is, well…I need a copy, and not a rental next time, either.
9.5/10

Check it out.
http://www.amazon.com/My-Soul-to-Take/dp/B004H15UY4/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1311740234&sr=1-1

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Review: The Oracle

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Review: THe Unforgiving

This is certainly a departure from the dreamy, dramatic symphonic soundscapes of Mother Earth and the Silent Force, and even the more metal “The Heart of Everything”. Though still soundly rooted in symphonic layers, “The Unforgiving” offers many tracks that are quite different from familiar Within Temptation style.
Pounding, energetic tracks like “Shot in the Dark”, contrast with eighties pop dance beats only partially veiled by the guitars. This is not to say that it’s a bad sound. It isn’t. Sharon den Adel’s classical alto is as fierce and bright as ever. And every groovy track will make you want to dance, or at least perk you up if you’re stuck behind a desk.
I have to say, though, that my favorite track on this release is “Where is the Edge”, which is big, dramatic, eerie, in other words, pure Within Temptation. “Faster” reminds me strongly of Chris Isaac’s “Wicked Game” and “Shot in the Dark” is a great track for a daydream.

8.5/10

Check it out.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SC7B6M/ref=sr_1_album_4_rd?ie=UTF8&child=B004SCE4AI&qid=1311325446&sr=1-4

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Review: the Song Remains not the Same

I must admit, these guys just landed on my radar,. But right away, they remind me of old Alice in Chains and Velvet Revolver. “The Song Remains Not the Same” is their latest effort, and it is definitely a crowd pleaser, if your crowd generally harkens back to the nineties era. I don’t know if my dad knew these guys but I believe he would have loved them. “The Song Remains not the Same” is an unplugged effort, re-releasing tracks from last year’s album, “The Order of the Black”.
For me, the appeal isn’t just in their resemblance to Alice in Chains. It is also in the blend of hard rock and acoustic, piano, even the occasional suggestion of electronic. Zach Wild’s vocal stylings remind me so strongly of many power metal vocalists, and alternately of those greats from the last decade.
I think what really gets me, is how I hear so many guitarists take after Wild, and its easy to see why if you take a listen to “Order of the Black” as well as the acoustic and piano work of “The Song Remains not the Same”. The BLS family is always growing, and while I haven’t heard enough to make my top eight list into a top nine list, I definitely would jump at the chance to see these guys in concert.

Check them out!
http://www.amazon.com/Song-Remains-Not-Same/dp/B004XUD762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1311323047&sr=1-1

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Review: Learning to Bleed

I believe the term I have heard to describe Losing Scarlet’s unique style is “pretty metal”. I figure this makes sense. It’s kind of groovy at moments, a little eerie power trip at others, and pounding with speed at others.
“Learning to Bleed” is an impressive display of growth, as the band really comes into their own. The elements are more organized, the lyrics as bloodstained as the melodies are on fire. Blood and fire. I think that’s really how I would describe Losing Scarlet.
The dynamics of “Learning to Bleed” are striking, great for headbanging or just driving down the road and singing along. Honestly, Jodi’s style is solid and lovely even when she doesn’t push herself, but when she does it’s an interesting change in tambre (just the way anyone’s voice sounds to another listener).
This Chicago quartet have released their self-titled Ep, their debut full-length “Left To Burn”, and “Learning to Bleed”, and their style just keeps on improving. “Learning to Bleed” will definitely grab you and keep your attention throughout.

9/10

Check it out.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QMX3RK/ref=sr_1_album_1_rd?ie=UTF8&child=B004QMVQBU&qid=1311320539&sr=1-1

http://www.losingscarlet.com

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