Entries under 'recommended'

Kolony - Echoes (From upcoming 2014 release "Sledge")

Kolony comes from Montreal, QC. This is the first single released for the forthcoming LP "Sledge" which will be unleashed to the public a bit later in the year. Kolony has been performing live since 2011, but I am almost positive that this is their first released material. I have to tell you guys, when I first heard the beginning riff of this tune I was a little unsure of what to expect; fearing that the attempted blending of metal and melodic would be as disappoint as countless other bands' prior attempts, but this band totally nailed it! It is really refreshing to hear melodic metal that doesn't go to shit when the vocals kick in. I'm really impressed by this song, and I can't wait to hear the rest of this record! There must be something in the water in Montreal, so many amazing metal bands come from there. I've been hearing from people for years and years that the punk and metal scene there is crazy insane, and the proof is in the music for sure. So many great bands!! Definitely check this tune out, even if you're like me and not too excited about melodic metal I strongly advise you at least give it one good listen all the way through. It's awesome to hear harmonies that don't lose the heaviness, that quality in this songwriting kind of reminds me of Wintersun; though the playing in Wintersun is a lot busier overall, the idea of harmony and heaviness coexisting between these two bands is on the same plain to me, if that makes sense to anybody else.

Big thanks to Jon at Asher Media for this one! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for Kolony, these guys are definitely going places.

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Endless Chaos - Rejected Atrocity EP (Due out March 4, 2014)

Wow, what a gem!! Much thanks to Jon at Asher Media for this one. This EP is so recent it doesn't have complete album art yet! Endless Chaos come from Winnipeg, Manitoba (the same city as one of my all-time favorite bands, Propagandhi!), and these dudes are playing heavy as balls. What an unbelievable blend of thrash/death/melodic/black metal going on here; it is so hard to make that all work together continuously, but Endless Chaos seem to have it down to a science.

It's hard also to believe that this is their debut, I'm honestly floored at how tight and brutal this band is. It sounds to me like they've been playing together for years and years, just an immaculate job. The drums are fucking insane, this dude is a machine gun. Hard hitting intensity and metronome precision make for a face-stomping good time. The guitar work is equally fantastic, whoever is playing these leads is fucking killing it. The rhythm section here keeps everything so tight, this drummer/bassist combo is a force to be reckoned with. I also really dig the vocals, specifically when the "cookie monster" growls happen, I just love those vocals after listening to Cannibal Corpse for so long.

Everything here is awesome, this band works together as a cohesive group, nothing feels chunky or out of place to me. The mix of this EP is really well done too, its really pleasing when the low-end is done properly on a recording, this one sounds awesome in my car. When you've got the kind of after-market audio system like I've been putting together, you can really appreciate the full spectrum of the music. I hope this band comes out to Vancouver Island sometime, because I would love to see these guys play live. March is a little ways away, so you've got lots of time to get ready to put your grubby hands all over this EP. If you're a fan of any form of aggressive music, you'll find something here that turns your crank without a doubt. Kudos to this band, and a huge thanks again to Jon at Asher Media. Hot damn!

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Los Subtitles - Just A Little Bit Brighter EP

Los Subtitles are a three piece band, who emailed me directly, and describe themselves as "garage/demon doo-wop" from the Midlands, UK. Right away I thought that sounded pretty awesome, so I just had to have a listen. I wasn't sure what to expect them to sound like, but its pretty decent listening for sure. What I'm about to say about this band may easily be taken the wrong way, but believe me, this is absolutely 110% compliment: Listening to this record makes me want to get completely shitfaced drunk. For real, this is some hilarious, "let's have a ridonculous good time/drink your face off" music. You better believe I'm putting this one on next time the wife and I have a party at our house. It's loud, abrasive, full of reverb, and high energy. I really dig the DIY feel about this band, it just reminds me of being in a punk band as a teen.

"Just A Little Bit Brighter" is the third release from the band, put out in September 2013. They released the 8-song album "Dissolve" in July 2013, and a split in January 2013 with The Pale Faces. If these dudes ever play out here, I'm going!! Check this band out, and get ready to party your ass off! The only "complaint" I have comes from the music nerd in me, and it's not that I don't appreciate the sound or anything, but I think these guys would benefit greatly by adding a bassist. That's it, that's really all that's missing is the bass, other than that I wouldn't change a damn thing. Check this band out guys, for real!

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Tony Sly Tribute Album (Out on October 29)

Tony Sly was the singer, a guitarist, and chief songwriter for No Use For A Name. On July 31 2012 Tony died in his sleep, at the age of 41. His last musical work, "Acoustic Volume Two" with Joey Cape, had just been released on June 9 2012, a sequel to 2004's "Acoustic." Though No Use For A Name had a typically skate-punk sound, Tony's songs translate seamlessly to other genres, as shown on both Acoustic albums. I was fortunate enough to see No Use For A Name live 3 times, but I didn't get to see any of his solo performances or acoustic shows with Joey Cape. As of right now, the NOFX cover of "The Shortest Pier" is the only song from the upcoming Tony Sly tribute I've been able to find. Much like the forthcoming SNFU album, I'm a bit doubtful I will be getting a copy before the release date. I will come back to this again when I finally get to listen to the entire album. Pick it up when it comes out!

NOFX - The Shortest Pier

Fat Wreck Chords

Dissension - Of Time And Chronic Disease (Out on September 10, 2013)

I have re-realized this morning that the craziest metal bands from Canada more often than not end up coming to us from the province of Quebec, more specifically Montreal. Dissension comes to us swinging the hammer of brutality. What a great record! I've found that many blackened death metal bands end up sounding a lot more death metal than black metal, but Dissension have gone about it the opposite way and showcase the black metal quite well.

It is a huge pet peeve of mine when metal softens out, and it should be known that "Of Time And Chronic Disease" is all smiles from start to finish - hard as fuck all the way through, consistant in brutality, the way any good metal should be, regardless of sub-genre. Metal is supposed to be hard, fast and brutal. Dissension has it right on the head of the nail here, kids.

The production on this album is totally flawless and professional, another benchmark of quality. Going back a bit into punk rock ethics for a second, some folks want to think that high quality recordings with good production is en-route to being "sellouts," but I strongly disagree. Purposely subjecting yourself to band sound quality in fear of being called a sellout just makes you an idiot. Sounding good is no less important than playing good. I bring this up because of how refreshing it is to hear some good black metal that doesn't sound like it was recorded on an old 1990's answering machine.

If you're into black metal at all I strongly suggest picking up this album. What a great example of talented Canadian musicians carrying double their own weight in sheer awesome. I must once again send a huge thanks to Asher Media for this gem. A+ all around, folks. Go get it!

"Of Time And Chronic Disease" On YouTube
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Until Dawn - Horizon (Out on Aug. 6, 2013)

Shredding from Fort McMurray, AB comes Until Dawn with their third release "Horizon" which is scheduled to be released on August 6th. Another goodie sent my way via Asher media! I think I would likely categorize these guys under melodic metal, especially for people who are into bands like In Flames or All That Remains. I've never been to Fort McMurray, but I do know that it is pretty remote, and can get pretty cold for a long time. These guys have certainly found a positive outlet for living in a harsh enviroment.

Until Dawn has shared the stage with big-name bands such as Korn, Volbeat, Kiss and Hell Yeah. The production on Horizon is great, and the songs are well thought out and flow together well. As far as self-released material goes, this band is a showcase of modern DIY. If you're a fan of melodic metal make sure you track down a copy of Horizon, and even better, go check them out live on the tour they're about to head out on in support of the new album.

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All Else Fails - Fucktropolis EP (Out on July 30, 2013)

All Else Fails are a metal band from Edmonton. One of my favorite bands is also originially from Edmonton, the mighty SNFU! I have heard these guys before but I hadn't heard about this EP until it was recently sent my way via Asher Media. What a great title for an album! Hot damn Jonny, keep this stuff coming my way! Not only is the production crystal clear, but all 6 tracks are consistently heavy and brutal. I really dig the intro to the EP at the beginning of "Anti Martyr," the dialoug really sets the tone for the EP in it's entirety. Shane Tym lays down a relentless beating on those poor drums, what a heavy hitter! The guys are having the CD release party July 20 at the Starlight Room in Edmonton AB, if you can get there have a cold one for me. $20 at the door, doors open at 9:00pm. They're also playing the "Loud As Hell" festival in Drumheller AB on August 24. That looks to be a weekend to be reckoned with!! Wow. Grab yourself some tickets to that one too if you're able to make it, and make sure not to miss All Else Fails!!

Fucktropolis comes out on July 30th, get one for yourself.

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Youtube video for "Better Left Undead"

Loud As Hell festival official site

Sanktuary - Something Fierce (Out on July 2, 2013)

Sanktuary are originally from the Yukon Territory, but have relocated to Halifax, Nova Scoatia. Something Fierce is the bands debut on Spread The Metal records. These guys have a cool old school thrash kind of sound, and anyone who is into bands like 3 Inches Of Blood or Havok will be pretty stoked to hear these guys. Before relocating the guys did two back to back EPs, a self-titled release in 2009 and "Black Magic Brew" in 2010.

Check these guys out, and better yet, check them out live if they're playing near you!! Thanks again to Jon Asher for sending this one to me.

First single 'Fire In The Sky' on Metalunderground.com

Sanktuary on Facebook

Live Video for "Life In The Fast Lane"

BornBroken - The Healing Powers Of Hate Comes Out on June 4th

This one was sent to me by Jon Asher. Jon sends me lots of good shit and this is no exception.

BornBroken are from Montreal, where there is a crazy punk and metal scene, a well known fact for years. This album is pretty heavy and melodic, but not melodic in a way that compromises heaviness. I found Jesus Salazar's vocal delivery reminded me a lot of Max Cavalera, in both tone and pronunciation, which in no way sounds at all to be any sort of "rip off," but more of a coincidence I think.. these two guys just happen to sound an awful lot alike. I dig it! I get the impression these guys have listened to a lot of Pantera, Slayer and Slipknot, based on what I hear, but again not in a way that is ripping off or regurgitating these bands, but more that you can hear the influences in the way they play.

The production and engineering are really great, this album will sound awesome in your car. The physical release of Healing Powers is pretty insane, comprsing of the CD, a big sticker and a comic book, all bundled in a nice DVD-esque casing presentation. I'm not sure what they're asking for the physical release but I'm sure it's worth it; I'm willing to bet as much effort went into the comic as the music.

The Healing Powers Of Hate comes out on June 4th, but you can still check BornBroken out all over the place:

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Alkaline Trio - Broken Wing EP and My Shame Is True LP

Alkaline Trio has two releases coming out tomorrow! I managed to get my hands on both of them, and they are both excellent. Epitaph Records posted My Shame Is True in it's entirety on YouTube on March 28. Broken Wing was a little harder to find, but I managed to get a copy. There are only four tracks on the Broken Wing EP, and I like all of them. The first song "Balanced On A Shelf" is probably my favorite. I think I have a little more of an appreciation for Dan Andriano taking the lead vocal in Alkaline Trio songs now after hearing his solo work. Matt and Dan trade leads back and forth pretty evenly throughout all of the Alkaline Trio stuff, and it has always worked out great overall. Two excellent songwriters with great vocal abilities.

My Shame Is True definitely has a more personal feel about it than Broken Wing, Matt Skiba says that he was "going straight out of a gnarly divorce into a really great, beautiful relationship that came to an end just as we started writing My Shame Is True,"calling the album "catharsis."1 The album art features a photo of his ex-wife. Classic melodic Alkaline Trio songwriting here, nothing that any existing fans should be disappointed with in my opinion. Shame is their ninth fill-length studio release, so their formula has obviously done them well. There are also some guest vocals provided by Tim McIlrath of Rise Against fame in the song "I, Pessimist."

I also want to point out another fine job by Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore at the Blasting Room Studios in Fort Collins, Colorado. These guys are making really great sounding records down there. No Use For A Name's last record was done there, which I think is pretty cool. Tony Sly was an amazing songwriter and it really sucks that he's dead. Anyways, both of these releases from Alkaline Trio are really good and certainly worth a listen!

Full album stream of My Shame Is True, courtesy of Epitaph Records via YouTube

Blasting Room Studios


1 Matt Skiba quote taken from Spin Magazine interview.

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