Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lacuna Coil-Dark Adrenaline review

If you haven't guessed by now, we love Lacuna Coil's brand new album here at Think Muzik.  We have raved about it more than once in previous posts. 

I was never a fan of this band before, having heard a few songs they did, including one from the soundtrack to Resident Evil: Apocalypse.  I thought that song was good but not great.  I was also highly skeptical due to the Gothic influences they portrayed, especially in earlier albums.  I put all that aside though, when earlier this year, I decided I would give their new record a listen.  I was hooked. 

What Lacuna Coil did well before, they did better with this album.  Never before did dual vocalists strike me like Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro do.  They harmonize so well with melodic singing that is it hard to imagine a better duet.  Combining both Male and Female vocals in hard rock and metal was never a strong point as far as I was concerned.

Not only did the vocals on this album blow me away, but the instrumentals, while retaining the dark feeling, added life to the songs instead of draining it away with Gothic sensationalism.  This album is mostly hard rock, and not very metal, which works extremely well in this case.  The drumming and bass are tight but never take over the music.  This is good music to rock out to but is still good to sing along with.

This album is such a good listen that it never gets old, even with repeated listens.  This rock band from Milan, Italy, creates fascinating, intense music that still manages to portray all the emotion that teen angst bands can and more, despite both Scabbia and Ferro being over 40 years old. 

The band have shown solid progress with this release.  This is one of the must-own albums of 2012 and it is easy to see why.  The deluxe version of this record includes a set of mostly-forgettable live acoustic recordings.  To me, these extra tracks are not worth spending the extra two or three dollars on, but I can safely omit these from the album since they are bonus tracks only.  One of the songs on the album is a fantastic, better-than-the-original cover of Losing my Religion by R.E.M.

If you are a fan of rock music, buy this record.  This is easily one of the best releases of 2012.  Check out a couple of tracks we haven't yet posted below.

Friday, October 19, 2012

We Made God-It's Getting Colder review

It seems like I've been reviewing nothing but post rock albums for the last several weeks.  I apologize for that if you were looking for some more variety.  After all, variety is something we pride ourselves on here at Think Muzik.  With this review, I intend to offer some variety. 

We Made God's debut album "It's Getting Colder" is not a post-rock album per se, though it does intone some obvious post-rock influences.  Instead of pure post-rock, this album provides an a more earthen view on post-rock and post-hardcore styles. 

More down-to-earth drum patterns and acoustic guitar plucking highlight this record, along with looped guitars and crunchy, distorted hardcore riffing.  Here, you hear plenty of melody as opposed to atmospheric fireworks and overpowering ambiance.  While this album does show flashes of the aforementioned musical styles, it also encompasses so much more. 

Another thing that We Made God give us with this record is vocals.  Mostly clean-sung vocals with impressive range and emotion highlight this disc in the vocal department, as well as some hardcore screaming which, while rare, accentuates the more melodic portions of the music.  I'm not much of a sucker for true hardcore these days, but I can recognize when a bend perform such a style flawlessly.  In this department, "It's Getting Colder" is as good as it gets.

If you are a fan of Emery or later-era From Autumn to Ashes, there is a good chance you will find something to enjoy with this effort.

We Made God is from Iceland, and this album more than insinuates a colder, more desperate yearning for something greater.  The final moments of one of the last tracks on this album are a sound clip from a 1979 movie entitled Network seemingly inviting listeners to "Go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'"

There is a lot worth listening to on this album, but I'll share just a couple of the standout tracks below.  Thanks for listening!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Evanescence and Emery

Today I have chosen two great bands that start with the letter E.  I would like to share some music from Evanescence and Emery.  These two bands sing totally different types of music.  Evanescence sings rock and Emery is more post rock hardcore. 

Evanescence was started in 1995.  Amy Lee is the main singer and the other members in her band change a lot.  Their album Fallen came out in 2003 and sold over 17 million copies.  Their second album Open Door came out in 2006 and has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.  I think that Amy has an amazing voice and to pair it with rock and metal music is fantastic.   The first song I wanted to share with you is Hello off the Fallen album.  I chose this song because I know that all of you are familiar with Bring Me Back To Life and Immortal.  I wanted to show you another incredible song off this album.  This song starts out with beautiful piano and Amy's voice.  The combination of the two is pretty much the bulk of this song.  I think that this song is powerful because of this.  Towards the end violins are brought in and it brings this song to a new emotional depth.  I really think that if you give this song a listen you will like it every bit as much as the singles that you've heard on the radio.  Enjoy.

The second song that I have chosen to share with you is Your Star from their second album Open Door.  This song is a little slower also.  I know that some of you probably like their fast songs better but I wanted to share the slower ones with you because they don't get radio play.  This song is a sad song about a girl who wanders alone in the darkness.  It sounds depressing but some how Amy Lee can take a song like this and with her vocals make it emotional and real.  This song adds drums and the guitar to add demention to the vocals.  Please listen to it below.

The second band that I chose is Emery.  I first heard this band at Vans Warp Tour in Utah.  They came out in 2001.  They are considered to be a postrock hardcore band.  This band hasn't sold millions of copies of their music but they are great.  They continue to release albums full of great music.  They have released 5 albums is in the last 10 years.  The first song I chose is off their The Weaks End album entitled Walls.  I like this song.  The song starts out with hardcore vocals and then brings in smooth vocals and catchy guitar riffs.  Give them a listen below.

The second song that I chose is Crumbling from this bands latest album We Do What We Want.  This track is a little more mellow than their other songs.  I like the lyrics and I love the harmony of their blended voices.  I like the subtle guitar and the drums in the background.  The lyrics to this song are great.  I like how the music really reflects the feeling of lyrics.  It feels like the walls are crumbling down around you.  This band is great.  Go to I-tunes, Soundcloud, or bandcamp and check out some more of their music.  Thank for reading-Kristy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Inner Trip-Initiate review

The most interesting aspect of post rock music is that it can often take on other forms entirely.  One album may incorporate so much orchestral elements that it sounds like reverb-laden neoclassical music, while another may be more based on rock sensibilities.

Inner Trip, a solo act by Saman N, produces quiet, introspective post rock music leaning more toward electronic soundscapes and ambient structures with cinematic elements.  This artist is versatile.  While most songs on this album are purely instrumental, some include Trent Reznor-esqe industrial vocals that are sufficiently tasteful and not over-produced.  Put simply this is an interesting and unique listening experience.

Released by Fluttery Records, "Initiate" brings forth a certain charm that is not found in most post rock.  Middle-Eastern styled instruments sneak their way into the mix from time to time, never staying long enough to become overbearing or redundant.  At the same time, you get more of what you are expecting from post rock music, with a lot of echoing guitars and pianos, few drum sections, and long, drawn-out downbeat instrumentation. 

Fluttery Records' website mentions that Saman N, who resides in Iran, had to overcome a substantial amount of prejudice to win fans and land a record deal.  This is sad, because in my opinion, one's religious or political leanings should in no way determine how an artist is received, especially when such influences are not a focal part of the music said artist produces. 

Early on with this album, I found myself somewhat disappointed due to what i perceived as a lagging introduction.  This problem worked itself out later on in the album by building to a satisfying climax, where the varied instruments and electronic sounds reached a pitch that brought out a sweet atmosphere.  I feel confident that I can strongly recommend this album to fans of post rock music as well as those that are more interested in cinematic and contemporary music.  This is indeed a good listen that does not get old with repeated listens.  You can listen to the entire album below.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dashboard Confessional and Dido

Ah my two favorite bands that start with the letter D.  Many come to mind but I decided on Dashboard Confessional and Dido.  These are two great acts and I'm excited to be able to share some of their talent with you today.  Let's start today with Dashboard.

My brother introduced me to Dashboard Confessional around 9 years ago.  I remember their first album Swiss Army Romance.  I remember Kent listening to Screaming Infidelities over and over again.  I decided that I had to sit down and listen for myself to see if I was interested in this band.  After a few songs I was hooked.  Chris Carrabba started his band in 1999.  What is different about Dashboard is that they are an acoustic band.  I think that this keeps them fresh and unique.  Chris writes the majority of the music that this band performs.  The first song that I wanted to share with you is Hands Down.  This is my favorite song from them.  This is also special because I am sharing the MTV Unplugged version.  I like this version because I saw him perform and It is amazing to watch him perform his music.  You can tell from his facial expressions that this song came from some where.  This song has outstanding vocals with memorable lyrics and catchy guitar riffs.  You can tell from the fans in the background that they are enjoying themselves.  I just think that this song is something special.  I hope you like it.

The second song that I chose from Dashboard is Rooftops and Invitations.  This song was released in 2006 off their album Dusk and Summer.  This is also my favorite track off this Cd.  I love the lyrics.  I like the idea of a man being so in love with a woman that he doesn't know if he can live without her even though sometimes she might drive him crazy.  I love Chris's voice.  I think that his vocals are genuine and heartfelt.  I also like that we get to hear some drums in the back ground of this song.  Sometimes its nice to have a defined rhythm or beat to a song.  If you like either of these songs today I encourage you go check this band out.  They have 6 albums full of fantastic memorable music.

The second artist I chose is Dido.  Dido is an English song writer who has been writing and performing music since the mid 90's.  She reached success in 1999 with her album No Angel which sold millions of copies.  One of her most popular singles is White Flag.  This is the first song which I wish to share with you today.  This is a popular song about a woman who refuses to give up when her relationship is over.  I think that this song is beautifully written.  It has catchy lyrics and a great melody.  I love the tone in Dido's voice and paired with the strings and the piano it equals magic.  Please give it a listen below.

The second song I wanted to share with you is Here With Me.  This song is featured in a few movies so you might recognize it from Bounce or Love Actually.  I love this song.  It is my favorite Dido song.  This song features strings and hauntingly beautiful vocals.  There is something about this song that makes it stay with you long after it ends.  It is definitely a repeater for me.  Sometimes once isn't enough of a good song.  I hope you enjoyed the very brief glimpse into these to bands and I thank you for reading-Kristy

Monday, October 15, 2012

FREE Music!!

Hello, friends!  Everyone loves free, well except for that cute baby in the Jimmy Fallon Capital One ads, but that's beside the point.  I'm always a fan of free music, even if I can't consider the music in question as great.  If I think it is good and not annoying and it's FREE, I've got nothing against downloading it. 

Therefore, I would like to take the time to personally thank the bands Cloud and Abigail for the free downloads of their new EPs, which have resulted in my iPod finally breaking the 4,000 song barrier.

I'd like to take a moment to talk about Cloud first.  Information on them seems to be insanely difficult to come by.  You try it.  Type the name of the artist into Google and I guarantee you won't come up with a single page relating to them.  Then how did I find out about them?  Months ago I listened to a track from their new EP on Sounds Better with Reverb.  This is some impressive keyboard-based electronic music, complete with melodic, synthetic piano sounds and atmospheric ambiance.  Cloud is a great electronica artist, and I will be looking forward to their next release.  Check out the EP "A Rush of Sun" below. Download this EP at Cloud's Bandcamp page.

Second, I happened across Abigail at No Clean Singing.  I don't read everything I see at NCS and I don't listen to everything I read, mostly because these days metal has to be something I really enjoy to purchase it.  Thankfully, I am a fan of FREE, so downloading Abigail's latest EP from 2011 was a pleasure.  No Clean Singing is a metal blog, and Abigail is a metal band.  They play loud and aggressive prog-styled metal with vicious growls and blistering howls.  Somewhere within the cacophony of sound are the roots of doom-oriented themes and melodies.  This band is similar to As Daylight Dies and Insomnia, yet heavier.  Abigail is from Romania.  They would certainly appreciate if you download their EP "It is the Night I Fear."  They are currently amping up to produce a full-length album, which I might pick up.  This music is not for the faint at heart, but it is FREE.  Download this EP at Abigail's Bandcamp page.  As always thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Crossfade and The Cranberries

As you know I have been blogging about bands according to letters of the alphabet.  Today's post is on the letter C.  The bands that I have chosen are Crossfade and the Cranberries.  I know these groups are pretty opposite genre wise but that's the fun of choosing random bands.  Let's start with the Cranberries.

The Cranberries are an Irish band that started singing in 1989.  They are considered to be a rock band with indie pop elements.  I actually really enjoy this band.  I like the sound of Dolores O'Riordan voice.  I think that it's beautifully unique and I like the Celtic embellishments that sometimes come out.  I think she is so fun to sing along with.  Their first album came out in 1993 entitled Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We.  This album features most of their hit singles like Dreams and Linger. 

The first song that I chose for you is Zombie from the album No Need To Argue.  As you listen to this song you notice that it talks about war and how it ruins lives.  I really like this song.  I think that the intro is amazing with great guitar riffs and drums that set the tone of the song.  I think the lyrics to this song are very powerful and the melody is so catchy.  I know most of you have heard this song but I urge you to listen and truly appreciate the meaning behind this great song.

The second song I chose is When You're Gone off the album To The Faithful Departed.  This song is a great ballad.  This song begins with nice vocalizing followed by the slow phasing in of the guitar and the drums.  This track is really melodic and pretty.  The rhythm is kind of slow so you have to be prepared for a softer tone in the vocals and the music.  I bought this single when it came out and I listened to it until I drove my brother crazy.  Lyrics that mean something to you can make you listen to a song over and over again so prepare yourself :)

Crossfade is a rock/heavy metal band that came out in 1999.  They achieved success with their 2004 self titled album Crossfade.  They have recorded three studio albums and are still recording and writing music.  The first song that I chose from them is one of the singles off their album Crossfade.  Cold is a great song.  Again I like music with great lyrics.  I appreciate that in a song and this one is no exception.  I like the vocals and especially the tone in Ed Sloan's voice.  I think that the guitar in this song is mesmerizing and that it's interesting that the song starts right off with vocals.  I think that is a bold move and it works well for them.  Here is Cold.

The second song I chose from this band is Prove Me Wrong off their third album We All Bleed.  This song brings out more of the metal style in their music.  The guitar riffs are powerful and a little dark.  I still enjoy the vocals and can relate to the lyrics of this song.  This album is considerably different from their first one.  They tried to modify their sound to make it a little harder than on their previous albums.  If you like this song give their album a listen, it's really good.  Enjoy and thanks for following us. -Kristy