Whitechapel – The Valley

Listening back to Whitechapel’s much-maligned 2016 record, Mark of the Blade, I’m finding it difficult to discern exactly what I’m meant to dislike about it. Am I meant to resent it for being a watered-down continuation of the groove-heavy sound the band had developed over their past two albums? Or…

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The Anatomy Of – Voices from the Fuselage

While I was made aware of Ashe O’Hara through his tenure with TesseracT (Altered State is amazing, fight me) I was stoked to discover Voices from the Fuselage through this intersection. In many ways, their brighter and more atmospheric sound utilizes his ethereal timbre better, setting off other and pleasing areas of his range.…

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Kataklysm – Meditations

After seemingly running out of steam toward the end of the previous decade, Kataklysm bounced back in fine form with 2013’s Waiting For The End To Come and its worthy follow-up Of Ghosts and Gods (2015). Having taken an uncharacteristically long time between releases, in order to focus on their…

Stone Sour – Hydrograd

In China, there is a myth that carp swimming upstream try valiantly to swim up a waterfall, a clearly impossible task. Yet, they persist and persevere, straining every muscle as they strive to reach the top, and sure enough, a rare few are able to get there. It is said that any carp which successfully makes the climb is then rewarded for their determination with transformation into a mighty dragon. After swimming upstream for a decade, Stone Sour announced themselves a dragon of rock with their last two LPs, House of Gold and Bones (HoGaB) Parts 1 & 2 respectively. The masterful double album was the epitome of progressive hard rock in the modern era, infused with a thrilling concept, reoccurring musical and lyrical motifs, seamless transitions and excellent riffs. Taylor’s vocals moved effortlessly between unbridled aggression and morose beauty. The songwriting was inspired, each song standing proudly on its own two feet, yet even better when placed alongside its brethren. It was a rare release to draw inspiration from the giants of the 70’s and, when all was said and done, comfortably stand shoulder-to-shoulder beside them. Thus one could be forgiven for feeling optimistic about where Stone Sour went next. Unfortunately, Jim Root’s acrimonious departure in mid-2014 led to doubts over their future sound and direction, doubts which a pair of cover EPs did little to dispel. And so here we are in 2017, four years on from the magic that was HoGaB. Stone Sour is back, with Christian Martucci (Black President, ex-Chelsea Smiles) having replaced Root on guitar. The question though, is can they live up to the hype?

Korn – The Serenity of Suffering

Few bands out there can lay claim to influencing the creation of an entire musical movement. Meshuggah’s a relatively recent candidate with the explosion of the djent genre that formed in their wake, and despite what you think of the copycats that followed, you can’t necessarily blame them for it; they’re a band that did something different and naturally, others took notice. Korn are in the same boat; their 1993 self titled debut is a celebrated classic, and despite some missteps and the continued teenage angst from an aging band, they should not be thought of in a negative light because of the legions of terrible acts that followed.