Extra reviews 6/3/2009
Amorphis- Skyforger-CD (Nuclear Blast)
As Amorphis evolves I see them becoming more Folk and Hardrock with moments of metal fury that was once heard on Tales from the thousand lake and early. I do like the Northern European Folk and the very prog rock elements. I was very upset to see Pasi Koskinen go as his vocals really made the band to legendary status esp on Elegy and Tuonela . I will say with Skyforger Tomi Joutsen has really won me over as the vocalist now. Though his vocals are not at dynamic as Pasi I think Amorphis have added a very talented vocalist in the fold now. The 1st album called Eclipse was very vocally spotty for me but with Silent Waters and Now Skyforger Amorphis are now at the top of there game. The Death vocals again are very limited but the band has seem to mixed the old and the new in Skyforger and I'm very happy to see that. As many bands in the metal or heavy music scene have found out Major labels do not support them well. There are back with Nuclear Blast who have the might and push to get the label around the world heard and Amorphis are a priority there as well. I hope that Amorphis will tour North America with Skyforger and I really loved them live with Pasi saw them 3 times. Look forward to seeing them with new vocalist as well. Skyforger is an Amorphis classic instantly I love this CD and you will too.
Lacuna Coil- Shallow Life-CD (Century Media)
The Italian crew seem to be moving more into an electronica/ glossy metallic force with every release. The guitar at times seem very buried in the way for electro synths and industrial dance beats. I will say Andrea vocal work has become more as a secondary vocalist to fuel Christina's powerful vocal mastery. Don't get me wrong as there are moments through out the CD in where Shallow Life slams the metal guitars and almost hardcore riffs. Though I think Century Media has seen the $$$ in this project as we all have and the cross over sounds and commerical edge makes this band a gold mine in the makes over and over again. I think this album is more of a step into the unknown then a step into a style defining release. I do love that you can hear the bass, drums, synths, guitars and both vocalist when all is going on at once. No one is blurring the sounds like the do in a lot of electronica rock these days. Lacuna coil is starting to have as much in common with NIN or Marylin Manson as they do with The Gathering or Within Tempation these day. Lacuna Coil make great glossy Metal records there is no doubting that. Check out Shallow Life I think it will impress you more then the former titles as they take a few more risks.
Duff McKagan's LOADED -Sick -CD (Century Media)
So here we go down a road I'm sure you all think about Ex Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver Bassist . Now creates his own band where he fronts and plays guitar . Oh great you say do we really need this ??? I say hell yes after just 2 listens. You know what Duff Mckagan's Project is. It's 3 parts of some of the greatest hard rock, Punk and Blues out there. When listening to Duff Sing the 1st think I thought of was New York Dolls or Degeneration the music is very much Hanoi Rock and Rolling Stones. I reminds me of a punkish verision of Izzy Strandlin also ex GNR members material. The songs are fun , catchy and down right good. We need more bands that just want to play some great loud snotty old school rock and roll. There is no snarl in a lot of this glossy over produced music today and Duff is bringing that back in a big way. I think Duff made a great idea by going with a big indie for this release as he is a huge name on that label and will well surpass the sales numbers any artist on Century media normally does I'm sure. If you liked the 70's and 80's Lower East side or London Rock scene then your going to love this. As well as I do. I hope Duff tours Clubs and not theaters for this as the clubs are where a band like this will shine....
Samael- Above-CD (Nuclear Blast)
Just when you think you know Samael this Swiss force go and take 180 degree turn back to a much more agressive and black death pissed off format. There Industrial and heavy electronic are not very present if at all other them some of the processed guitar sounds. Above reminds me much more of there early extreme metal days just much better produced. The more I read about this release it looks like it was going to be a side project that members of Samael were doing to so a nod to there more extreme past but after all was said and done they thought would just be better done as Samael. Though I think this has thrown fans and label alike for a bit of a loop but in a good way. It just shows to never become comfortable with what Samael will come up with as they will make you look foolish in the end. I would love to see the next release to be full fusion of there electronic and metal side that would be amazing. Check Above out as it really kicks major metallic ass.