Music Review: THE GHOST OF OHIO, Andy Black (Island Records)

AndyBlack-GhostOfOhioAndy Biersack/Black is, in my humble opinion, one of the best young vocalists in rock. In his “day job” as frontman of Black Veil Brides, we’ve heard his vocals and songwriting skills improve in leaps and bounds since they formed in 2006.

From the run-of-the-mill screamo of their debut album, We Stitch These Wounds (which was rather blandly stereotypical), to the way-more-glam Set the World On Fire (2011), to the monster hits of Wretched and Divine (2013) and Black Veil Brides IV (2014), he and his bandmates kept knocking it out of the park and getting better and better. Then, in 2016, he released his superb debut album, The Shadow Side: far more pop-oriented than BVB’s output, it is polished and catchy as hell. BVB’s fifth album, Vale (2018), built on everything that had come before and was another fantastic rock album. The pattern had been set: continued growth, and restrained experimentation, and more sophisticated song-writing. Continue reading

Quick Music Review: THORNSTAR by Lord of the Lost (Napalm Records)

LordOfTheLost-ThornstarI stumbled across Lord of the Lost one evening, enjoying one of my frequent music video binges. Specifically, their video for “Loreley” appeared in my Suggested list, and decided to give them a try. I rather enjoyed what I heard, and decided to check out a few more of their videos.

Naturally, I then went and bought their latest album, Thornstar. Released through Napalm Records, it’s a solid collection of goth-metal tunes, tinged with industrial and broader soundscapes that should appeal to any Wearer of All the Black Clothes. Continue reading

Music: Within Temptation’s dystopian Sci-Fi video for “Raise Your Banner”…

Back in September, I shared some info about Within Temptation‘s upcoming new album, Resist, including the music video for the first single, “The Reckoning”. Today, we have the second video, for “Raise Your Banner” (above). This single also features Anders Fridén, vocalist for In Flames (one of my all-time favourite bands).

Resist is due to be released on February 1st by Spinefarm Records (I think it’s been delayed, as I originally thought it was due out in December).

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Here’s the video for “The Reckoning”, again:

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Music: MURDER AND THE MOTIVE by Those Damn Crows

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I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for the debut album from Bridgend, South Wales five-piece Those Damn Crows. Thankfully, on October 5th, Earache Records released their album, Murder and the Motive. The delay was certainly worth the wait: this album is great. It’s interesting that it did take so long for the album to come out, though: the music video for “Fear of the Broken” (the final track on the album) was uploaded to YouTube on June 8th, 2015! “Blink of an Eye” (my favourite song on the album) got a video in September 2016.

My “review”, for want of a better word, is simply this: Those Damn Crows are damn good. If you’re a fan of any kind of rock music, then I think you’ll like this band. Loud guitars, great vocals and hooks, I’m really glad I stumbled across them. Continue reading

Upcoming: RESIST by Within Temptation (Spinefarm Records)

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Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation return this year with Resist, their first album since 2014’s Hydra. A band I have been listening to for decades, I’m really looking forward to it (they are one of the bands whose new music I pre-order immediately). Continue reading

Music Recommendation: NOTHING MORE

NothingMore-TheStoriesWeTellOurselvesRecently, I feel like I’ve become rather unadventurous in my music taste. There are a handful of bands whose albums I will always buy — for example, In Flames, Trivium, Within Temptation, Five Finger Death Punch, Asking Alexandria, and Sia — regardless of whether or not I don’t find the albums particularly compelling (I realized recently, for rather random reasons, that 2011 was a bad year for some of my favourite bands). In this respect, I adhered to Chuck Klosterman‘s truism that music fans (apparently especially men) “have a weird sense of loyalty toward the bands they like; they sometimes view record buying as a responsibility,” regardless of  the quality of the album.

Few bands, however, have recently had such an immediate impact on my listening habits than Nothing More. Earlier this year, I stumbled across the video for the band’s “Don’t Stop” (below), and I haven’t been the same since. That’s a rather grand statement, to be sure, but the band’s latest album The Stories We Tell Ourselves is phenomenally good. I’ve since gone back and picked up their previous albums, as well. Continue reading