IPHYB Top 5: Musical Tastemakers

IPHYB Top 5: Musical Tastemakers

Welcome, Haters (what I will refer to IPHYB’s loyal readers as effective this sentence), to our newest recurring column. In an effort to let you get to know us staffers a little better, we previously introduced you to our lost treasures and guilty pleasures. This time, we’ll be walking you through the albums that were integral to the development of our tastes as critical, elitist shitlords. Of course, this isn’t an all-inclusive summary. I’ve taken my influences from many places; I grew up listening to Green Day and Nickelback when they were new and relevant, classic rock, grunge, and 80’s new wave. I didn’t acquire a taste for the contemporary (or the heavy) until I was well into high school. But this should give you a good idea of what makes my musical mind tick. So without further ado, come with me; let’s take a trip down memory lane together. 5. Periphery – Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal When I was in middle school, my stepbrother was the drummer in a shitty local post-hardcore band like the ones we make fun of on a daily basis here at IPHYB. He used to straighten his hair. We all made fun of him for it. Naturally, his experience in heavier music meant he was primed to introduce me to all sorts of bands once I started appreciating them. I can thank him for Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, and all the other bands we look back and cringe at. One day in junior year, I was driving along with him, he put on “Scarlet”, and the rest is history. It...
[NEW MUSIC] Vital – ‘Broken Windows’ [ALT METAL]

[NEW MUSIC] Vital – ‘Broken Windows’ [ALT METAL]

Official Press Release: “There is no beauty in watching a sinking ship when you are the wave you promised to overcome…” Depression is a mental illness that too many of our friends, family members and even ourselves as individuals have to deal with. Sometimes all you want to do is scream and hope that your voice will be heard. We hear you. This Is...
Album Review: Haster – “The Current Sea”

Album Review: Haster – “The Current Sea”

Band: Haster Album: The Current Sea Location: Huntington Beach, California, USA Release Date: January 29, 2016 Genre: Alternative metal Reviewer: Sam For Fans Of: Gemini Syndrome, RED, Breaking Benjamin Track Listing: 1. Your Silence – 4:15 2. The Unscene – 3:05 3. Haunt Me – 3:26 4. Substance Low – 4:17 5. The Resistance – 3:28 6. Asfixiate – 3:23 7. The Artist’s Life – 4:11 8. Consumed – 3:25 9. Connection Error – 3:12 10. Shoved Aside – 6:11 I’m writing this review 36,000 feet above the eastern United States, on a plane far too cramped to fit my 6-foot 2-inch frame, enjoying some complimentary potato chips and hoping the next person to use the bathroom won’t figure out I was the one who used it before them. I mean, I’d much rather do my business this high up than back in my dorm; despite all the money my university gets, why won’t they buy anything better than one-ply toilet paper? It makes no sense to me, but it does function as a very nice metaphor. Haster could be a passenger on the plane that is the mainstream active rock scene. Some might argue that they should be a passenger. With a little bit of extra work, they could afford the ticket. However, if you don’t conform to the airline’s ideals of how a passenger should behave, you won’t be allowed to fly. Haster deserves to be shitting in that little efficient apartment of an airplane bathroom, but instead they’re wiping their ass with one-ply, wondering when they’ll be able to soar through the atmosphere. Allow me to...
Interview: GALACTIC EMPIRE

Interview: GALACTIC EMPIRE

[DISCLAIMER: This interview is Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoiler-free. You’re welcome.] I can’t express how much I love Star Wars (as a journalist, that’s not a good thing). It’s safe to say that this media empire from a galaxy far, far away has created more spin-offs, merchandise, and most of all, money than any other film franchise in history. Now that Episode VII has finally made its way into cinemas and smashed all sorts of box office records, this kind of Star Wars hype hasn’t been seen since 1999. Much like the Internet’s infamous Rule 34, there should be a Rule 666: if it exists, there is a metal version of it. Enter interstellar supergroup Galactic Empire. Composed of the most intimidating forces in the galaxy, they decided that John Williams’s legendary compositions just aren’t brutal enough. They took matters into their own hands, and those hands had musical instruments in them. Within 48 hours of posting their debut music video, a metallized version of the ‘Star Wars Main Theme’, it racked up over two million views. Now a week later (at the time of writing), they’ve accumulated nearly seven million views, 226,000 Facebook shares, and a deal with Warped Tour favorite Rise Records. They have achieved viral fame of the most galactic proportions. Galactic Empire features renowned bounty hunter Boba Fett slapping the skins (which sounds much creepier now that I’ve written it out), His Excellency Darth Vader on lead guitar, a Shadow Stormtrooper and an Imperial Guard on backing guitars, and a Stormtrooper holding down the low end. I had the pleasure of talking to the...
EP Review: Malrun – “Oblivion Awaits”

EP Review: Malrun – “Oblivion Awaits”

Band: Malrun EP: Oblivion Awaits Genre: Melodic metalcore, pseudo-djent Date of Release: December 4, 2015 Location: Aarhus, Denmark Reviewer: Sam For Fans Of: Killswitch Engage, August Burns Red, In Flames Track Listing: 1. The Underworld – 4:02 2. Oblivion Awaits – 4:16 3. The Wilderness of Pain – 4:05 4. Cold – 5:24 5. Black Rain – 5:03 6. Breaking the Illusion – 4:05 To me, Malrun is one of those bands that few know of but everyone should. This band, specifically their song ‘Light the Way’, got me into metalcore and remain my favorite example of the genre. Djentastic chugging and brutal breakdowns are not their thing, and they know it; in contrast, they write gorgeous major-key melodies and can nail a hook like nobody’s business. Instead of the passé breakdown-of-the-week bullshit we’re currently fed, metalcore bands should follow Malrun’s direction. Going into Oblivion Awaits, I wasn’t sure what that direction would be. Having recently brought vocalist-producer-engineer Nicklas Sonne on board as their new front man, the band had a blank slate to do whatever they wanted. The result was a European tour, opening for noted Thrash Holly favorite Fozzy, and now a six-song EP with cover art you might mistake for a Combichrist record if the band’s logo wasn’t prominently displayed at the bottom. The label’s press release heavily stressed the band’s independence, stating the production had “no interference whatsoever from anyone external to the band.” I took that as a bad sign: if the label is distancing itself from the EP’s production, doesn’t that imply they don’t like it? Of course, there’s only one way to...