Posts Tagged ‘ third album ’

Review: Paramore, “Brand New Eyes”

Paramore, "Brand New Eyes"Two years ago, a little band called Paramore took the airwaves and teenagers’ iPods by storm with their second album, the breakout hit Riot!. After the immense success died down, they released a live record to the ever-eager fans, who of course bought it up and brought back the success even more. Now, through rough member disputes and a near break up towards the end of the tour last year, the band is ready to release their new album, Brand New Eyes. The new album is a compilation of all the arguments, fights, and hatred that was going within the band, put into 11 songs fresh off the production board. An interesting idea, and a good way to come up with material.

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Review: Mute Math, “Armistice”

Mute Math, "Armistice"Well this one has been long overdue. After nearly three years in and out of the studio and performing to countless crowds at numerous venues, Mute Math is back with what many would call their third album. In all technical terms, this is only their second album, with their debut EP being only seven tracks. But who cares, it’s Mute Math. I’ve been a fan of Paul Meany’s work since well before Mute Math, starting with a slightly obscure Christian band from the early 2000s called Earthsuit. But Earthsuit is long gone and over time what has grown out of the few members is quite different, yet fantastic in and of itself.

Now I’ll admit I didn’t enjoy the self-titled record as much as it seems everyone else did, mainly because the album didn’t feel like a full album of Mute Math songs. Every other track was an instrumental and acted as an interlude to the next. While these instrumentals assured the talent of the band, the tracks just felt thrown in and not really a part of the overall album. On Armistice, each track is a full song, incorporating vocals and sounds all the way through, making it appear (and sound) like an overall more cohesive effort. The album is chock full of solid rock tracks, and highlights like the opener “The Nerve” and catchy “Backfire” prove that the band can write a hit. But it’s also impressive to see songs like “Clipping” and the soft ballad “Pins and Needles” that have elements of violin and strings to compliment the electronic synth sounds mixed with rock. A few tracks can get a bit monotonous, such as the rocker “Goodbye” has a chorus that is not much more than simply “if you say goodbye / if you say goodbye” repeated. Another bright spot on the album is the title track, which incorporates horns and other instruments to bring a very unique sound, which isn’t new for such a band as Mute Math. The band stretches their talents more than ever, and it proves to be an enjoyable sonic ride. The other ballad on the album, “Lost Year” can even be acceptable in a worship sense, slow and melody driven.

The already-hit “Spotlight” is here as well, and a very upbeat “Electrify” make for more highlights on this stellar album, and the record finishes with a nine minute epic entitled “Burden”. The song incorporates Mute Math’s signature instrumentals through a good portion of the song, and serves as a fitting bookend for the album. With Armisitice, Mute Math has beaten themselves, and this is the return that fans will likely embrace fully, and the band is sure to pick up new fans as well. Welcome back Mute Math, you’ve surely been missed.

Star Rating: 4½ out of 5

Review: August Burns Red, “Constellations”

August Burns Red, Constellations

Two years after the stellar eardrum-shattering onslaught that was Messengers, Lancaster, Pennsylvania natives August Burns Red returns to the metal scene with a new and equally as brutal album entitled Constellations. From the opening track “Thirty And Seven” the band proves they are getting back to some of their raw roots in hardcore metal, but keeping the expert production that was seen on their sophomore effort. While on Messengers each track was a stand alone from each other, Constellations seems to much more of a cohesive effort, as many of the album’s songs tend to blend right into one another, allowing for a never-ending frenzy of metal, perfect to any fan’s ears.

Where the band really shines this time around is on songs like “Marianas Trench”, which begins slowly with a melodic intro and drums coming in to compliment them, with the solitude only to be destroyed by the coming breakdown as only August Burns Red can perform it. Merely a minute later into the song, the ferocity builds and the song nearly becomes a speed metal track with a brilliant solo to finish it off, adding a new element to a beloved band and proving that they can stretch themselves in ways no one saw coming. “The Escape Artist” follows, adding elements that are typical of the band we saw on Messengers, but the screams tend to be more vicious than previously heard, and it makes for more emotion in each and every track the band pounds out. The song ends with a soft piano outro, leading us right into the next song, giving no time to rest, which is the way I’m sure fans like it.

“Meridian” serves as the longest track on the album, and halfway through the six minute epic it seems like it will end up being an instrumental, but screams rip through the echoing guitars to give off a feeling that ABR was going for some serious points here, and they earned them by showing what music can do. Some may say that the song would have been better without vocals at all, but as a whole it works on all levels. It’s not the best track on the album, by far, but it serves as a great addition to an otherwise stellar recording. Other highlights plague the album, like the first single “Existence” and the short but powerful “Rationalist”. Overall, this album is a solid return for a metal band that is sorely missed when all they’ve released in two years in an EP of extras from their last album. Constellations is a more raw, yet epic sounding ABR, and fans will embrace this album as they did their last two.

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: The Devil Wears Prada, “With Roots Above And Branches Below”

The Devil Wears Prada, "With Roots Above And Branches Below"Ohio-based hardcore band The Devil Wears Prada has gone through both scrutiny and glory in the past years that they’ve been around. With a style that showcased unabashed hardcore riffs and brutal screaming, their first two albums would leave anyone rubbing their ears from the pain of how hard they can be. With their third album, With Roots Above And Branches Below, the band proves they are more than just full maniacal insanity. Seemingly taking tips from hardcore act Underoath and hard rock newcomers Secret & Whisper, they have a more produced and clean feel, keeping vocals and screams excellently done all the way through.

Song titles mean nothing to the band, as they make an ode to the Office on “Assistant To The Regional Manager” and another track is titled “Big Wiggly Style”, to which the lyrics don’t match the title whatsoever. The songs are also much more epic sounding than the band’s two previous efforts, with backing guitars that soar throughout songs as screams and clean vocals abound. The album opens with the strong, forceful “Sassafras”, in which vocalist Jeremy DePoyster raises his voice to a high falsetto that mimics new Tooth and Nail artist Secret & Whisper’s vocals. This is evident on other tracks, as he seems to have cleaned up his vocals much more than previously seen. Mike Hranica’s screaming compliments his soaring vocals on every track, bringing brutality to each part of the album. Electronics are featured as well throughout, which is a newer concept for The Devil Wears Prada, and they make it work on every track. Songs like the finale “Lord Xenu” and “Ben Has A Kid” showcase both the electronic element and a harder sound than previously heard on both Plagues and Dear Love: A Heavenly Discord.

“Louder Than Thunder” is the only ballad on the album, and the transition from the previous track’s hard sound is excellent. While the ballad may not be the best to come from the band, it’s always good to hear hardcore bands like this do slower tunes and see what else they’re capable of, and The Devil Wears Prada pulls it off quite well here. Another plus for the band is that each track is a good three to four and a half minutes, making this eleven track record worth it. Third records have a habit of defining band’s careers, and The Devil Wears Prada will likely find that this is the case for them. With a much better produced feel and fixes made all the way through, this is definitely the band’s best work, and they can only go up from here.

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

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