Reviews

Album Review: Atma Weapon – The Fields Where Nothing Grows

Album Review: Atma Weapon – The Fields Where Nothing Grows

Band: Atma Weapon Album: The Fields Where Nothing Grows Genre: Progressive metal Date of release: 23/11/15 Location: North Carolina Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Karnivool, Between the Buried and Me, Opeth Track Listing: 1. Winding Roots (2:05) 2. Everything You Won’t (7:04) 3. Clear Blue Skies (5:54) 4. Autumn Leaves (6:45) 5. The Wasteland (5:52) 6. Every Ship (8:04) 7. Fields of Sorrow (5:31) 8. The Silent and Still (4:02) 9. The Fields Where Nothing Grows (6:24) I review mostly hardcore with the odd exception based on what needs a reviewer for IPHYB. Atma Weapon is most certainly not hardcore, but they’re not bad either. I have sometimes discussed that a lot of my musical discovery as a kid came in the form of 2000’s metalcore bands in my earlier teens before I got more into mathcore, mosh, and beatdown as I got older. In retrospect, a lot of the Metalcore bands I enjoyed as a kid are fairly hard to listen to now next to recordings with contemporary production. I do still however, harbour a warm nostalgia for melodic death metal leads and gratuitous palm muting once in a while. Atma Weapon could best be described as progressive metal band if we have to label it strictly, but for a more accurate description they’re a kind of cross between Karnivool and 00’s Metalcore with occasionally more specific melodeath, prog-death and prog-metal influences, (most notably Opeth) admittedly with much more polish than the vast majority of older bands in any of the genres that were apparent influences. I came across Atma Weapon in a piece of writing I... read more
Song Review: Cannibal Animal – ‘Grand Theft Manual’

Song Review: Cannibal Animal – ‘Grand Theft Manual’

Band: Cannibal Animal Song: ‘Grand Theft Manual’ Genre: Psych-punk Date of release: 23rd November 2016 Location: United Kingdom Reviewer: Violent Soho meme claim to fame guy For Fans Of: Black Flag, lead bass guitar The first thing that comes to mind while I listen to this song on repeat is the desire to crack open a Jack and coke and listen through Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Rated R at the wrong speed on vinyl … but, since my tolerance for alcohol is as weak as my tongue game, I’ll do this review sober. Cannibal Animal are a 3-piece grunge/punk outfit from the UK, so naturally, there’s already too much bass in the mix. The single ‘Grand Theft Manual’ already triggered me in the sense that I can only drive an automatic, so alienation hits me before I even press play. Thanks. The track kicks off with an intro riff remiscient of Metallica‘s ‘One’ opening lick, only played faster and backwards. That doesn’t last too long, however, since out of nowhere, a distorted bass-riff taken straight out of that incredibly dope Matrix lobby shoot-out scene comes in … (you know the one). If they wanted people to defy gravity for a moment and flip off a couple walls, I think it’s worked out well. The rest of the band jumps into that same riff with added guitar lead lick over it that I can only describe as “WoooooooOOOooooooooooOOOOo”. The verse riff is nothing incredibly original, but nothing in punk music really is, amirite. I’ve always found it fascinating that the punk attitude was always against the norm, yet 9/10... read more
Album Review: Carly Rae Jespen – E•MO•TION Side B

Album Review: Carly Rae Jespen – E•MO•TION Side B

Artist: Carly Rae Jespen Album: E•MO•TION Side B Location: Vancouver, British Columbia Date Of Release: September, 2016 Genre: Pop Reviewer: Penfold For Fans Of: Brenda Russell, Madonna, Prince Earlier this year when you were fucking around with Harambe memes and tugging your dick at the blossoming idea of donning a clown costume and freaking out some meth-addled teenagers, the darling of cult-pop released an EP that has even more to offer than the salad bar at Toowong Sizzler. Like Sizzler, it pairs well with an eightball and it’s dripping with barrels of 80’s nostalgia that you better believe you’ll be going back to again and again to eat yourself into a stupor. I am of course talking about Carly Rae Jepsen‘s latest offering, Emotion Side B. Side B is a collection of tracks which didn’t make the original cut for her incredible 3rd studio album Emotion, but don’t let that faze you. There are tracks on Side B that knock some that made the standard edition right outta the park. Emotion was released late last year to almost universal critical acclaim (including from us at IPHYB) and was widely regarded as a complete 180 from Jepsen’s original saccharine-sweet “Call Me Maybe” persona. Whilst it didn’t set the world on fire commercially, Jepsen is now officially cooler than Swifty for her efforts. Side B is not a full album, and shouldn’t be listened to in a cohesive manner, but what it does offer are eight tracks with unlimited replay value. We’re greeted by bright synths, driving basslines, and melodies like crack with the opening song, ‘First Time’. The overriding themes... read more
Album Review: KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering

Album Review: KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering

Band: KoRn Album: The Serenity Of Suffering Genre: Nu-metal Date of Release: 21/10/2016 Location: Bakersfield, CA Reviewer: Mitch Alexander For Fans Of: Old KoRn, old Slipknot, old System Of A Down, being old Track Listing: 1. Insane (3:50) 2. Rotting In Vain (3:33) 3. Black Is The Soul (4:01) 4. The Hating (4:23) 5. A Different World (feat. Corey Taylor) (3:21) 6. Take Me (3:00) 7. Everything Falls Apart (4:17) 8. Die Yet Another Night (4:29) 9. When You’re Not There (3:25) 10. Next In Line (3:28) 11. Please Come For Me (2:54) I have two competing theories when it comes to the new KoRn album. One is that it’s a really good album. The other is that I think it’s a really good album, but I’m wrong and it isn’t. Obviously these two positions can’t both exist; if one is true the other has to be false. As I hurtle towards 30 I’m terrified by both the speed of change, and the likelihood that my tastes have calcified, turning me into that old bearded cockhead at the back of the venue, arms crossed and practised look of disdain slathered across my less than elastic face. When I started listening to metal, I used to fucking despise the Old Dudes into Metallica. “Shut up grandpa,” I’d sneer. “Instead of listening to music maybe you should check your prostate!” Then I’d skull a Woodstock and throw up. But the metal that was formative in my youth is as far away from me now as The Black Album was when I first heard it. I am become Grandpa, destroyer of fun.... read more
Song Review: Superheist – Fearing Nothing

Song Review: Superheist – Fearing Nothing

Band: Superheist Song: ‘Fearing Nothing’ Genre: Rock Date Of Release: 06/11/2016 Location: Melbourne Reviewer: Mitch Alexander For Fans Of: A few after work frothies Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush’s claim that we hate freedom. If so, then let him explain to us why we don’t strike for example – Sweden? And we know that freedom-haters don’t possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 – may Allah have mercy on them. Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. I saw a student outside, I was in the hall– [sound of shots being fired out in the hall]; Oh, dear God! Okay! I was on hall duty, I saw a gun. I said “What’s going on out there?” And the kid that was following me said it was a film production, probably a joke, and I said “Well, I don’t think that’s a good idea and I went walking outside to see what was going on. He pointed the gun straight at us and shot and, my God, the window went out and the kid standing there with me, I think he got hit… Okay. Um. I’m not going to go to the door. He just shot toward the door. I’ve got the kids on the floor, um. I got all the kids in the library on the– … Okay. I... read more
Album Review: Graves – Monster

Album Review: Graves – Monster

Band: Graves Album: Monster Genre: Metalcore, mosh, downtempo Date Of Release: 21/11/16 Location: Wollongong, NSW Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Black Tongue, Traitors, Scourge Track Listing: 1. 506 (4:28) 2. Decay (3:16) 3. Monster (3:24) 4. Fear (3:25) 5. Ratface (1:53) 6. Father (3:42) 7. Kyden (3:50) 8. Alone (4:21) 9. Erase (3:29) 10. Sick (3:06) 11. Empty (3:50) Wollongong mosh outfit Graves have been around for half a decade now, and have garnered a considerable following in that time. Monster is their first full-length release, following an EP in 2013 and several singles thereafter that were included with this release. I don’t often listen to a lot of the super-low tuned end of the mosh spectrum, nor do I often gravitate toward the sludgier or doomier end of it, but after this I’m seriously considering shelling out for an eight-string and some passé longsleeves with writing on the arms. I was persuaded to take on this review after thoroughly enjoying ‘Fear’ (which turned up in my Youtube recommended videos the day it dropped), and I most certainly do not regret taking this review on in spite of having a slew of assessments that same weekend; enjoying this release got me through it a lot easier. Monster is exceptionally well paced, beginning with steady, groovy mid-tempo tracks from the first to the fourth. The first couple of singles at tracks one and four are both stellar, with the pit call in ‘Fear’ being exceptionally memorable; I can see it being a mainstay of their live set for a long time to come. Incredibly well written as a mosh... read more
Song Review: Attila – “Ignite”

Song Review: Attila – “Ignite”

Band: Attila Song: Ignite Genre: Metalcore Date of Release: September 24, 2016 Location: Atlanta, Georgia For Fans Of: Vaping Oh, boy. Attila are back. I won’t bore you with their history — it’s likely you’ve heard of them by now and are familiar with their particular brand of cringe. So let’s get straight into it. Fronzilla opens with “It’s about that time / this the year we take shit off the internet / and take it to the streets, motherfucker”, and I’m immediately sceptical. He’s obviously talking about internet beef (unless his next project is going to be some avant-garde real-life meme performance art), and I I can’t help but be a little dubious of a bloke who wears singlets brandishing the slogan “SUCK MY FUCK” and posts bed-selfies on the reg. If Fronz did actually try to take anything to “the streets”, his dick would be violently punched off within 30 seconds for his $10,000 watch, or perhaps more likely, someone will take his invitation to suck his fuck too literally and he would perish in a bizarre sexual encounter with a group of randy Australian tourists. In the chorus he whines “Don’t give a damn what people say / Save it for another day / You gonna talk the talk then walk this way / Or save it for another day.” Basically, he’s challenging shit-talkers to take their internet grievances directly to the band themselves, to “the streets”, while simultaneously making it very clear that he doesn’t care what you think. In practice, feel free to talk smack on Atilla all you want, just make sure to... read more
EP Review: Prophets of Rage – The Party’s Over

EP Review: Prophets of Rage – The Party’s Over

Band: Prophets of Rage Album: The Party’s Over Genre: Rap rock Date of Release: August 26, 2016 Location: Los Angeles, California, USA Reviewer: Sam For Fans Of: Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Cypress Hill Track Listing: 1. Prophets of Rage – 3:10 2. The Party’s Over – 3:32 3. Killing in the Name (Live) – 5:16 4. Shut ‘Em Down (Live) – 3:35 5. No Sleep ‘Til Cleveland (Live) – 5:14 Allow me to start off by saying that I have a lot of respect for Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford. It takes talent to apply average songwriting to above average ability and make it an iconic part of 90’s culture. But then again, the AIDS epidemic was an iconic part of 80’s culture, so that isn’t saying much on its own. Although I am a fan of Rage Against the Machine, I do believe that they have always been held in a slightly higher standard than they deserve, and the newest project from their core three members, Prophets of Rage, proves that they’ve well and truly jumped the shark. They can’t be bothered to innovate anymore; they’re feeding the waiting public table scraps from a 20-year-old dish. Their soapbox is rotting and rapidly losing structural integrity. Their ship has sailed and they’re selling cabin space on the lifeboats. Jesus, I feel like John Cleese in the Monty Python parrot sketch trying to describe how laughably lackadaisical this EP is. “Hey,” they said. The critics liked Renegades when it came out 15 years ago, right? Let’s do the same thing, but instead of one rapper, let’s get... read more
Album Review: FLAW – Divided We Fall

Album Review: FLAW – Divided We Fall

Band: FLAW Album: Divided We Fall Genre: Nu metal, alternative metal, hard rock Date of Release: August 19, 2016 Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA Reviewer: Sam For Fans Of: Nonpoint, Korn, Sevendust Track Listing: 1. Fed Up (;C4USE22) – 4:01 2. Do You Remember – 3:47 3. Fatal Fall – 3:36 4. Live and Breathe – 3:10 5. Choices – 3:20 6. Wipe Away the Dust – 4:01 7. Bleed Red – 3:39 8. Let Me Go – 3:43 9. Heal – 3:53 10. When You Grieve… – 3:26 11. My Letter – 4:23 A comeback is not an easy thing to accomplish. There’s a lot of pressure that rides on the shoulders of a return, and most find themselves crushed by the weight. After 12 years of inactivity, FLAW has expectations to exceed and odds to overcome. If you don’t know (and chances are you don’t), FLAW was a pretty great nu metal group back in the early 2000’s. They had a couple hits, toured as part of Ozzfest, and eventually got swept up in the .com boom that left lots of bands high, dry, and without a label. Now, in the midst of a major nu metal revival, the band is ready for round two. Older, wiser, more experienced, and more skilled, they’re back and trying to make a name for themselves once again. So the question is, does Divided We Fall sweep away the sands of time and re-establish FLAW as a player in the active rock scene? Well, I’m not gonna tell you yet. Read the rest of the review and see for yourself. If you’re... read more
Album Review: Trap Them – Crown Feral

Album Review: Trap Them – Crown Feral

Band: Trap Them Album: Crown Feral Genre: You wouldn’t get it man Date Of Release: 23/09/2016 Location: Boston + Seattle Reviewer: Mitch Alexander For Fans Of: Converge, Day Nineteen: Fucking Viva by Trap Them, The Armed Track Listing: 1. Kindred Dirt 2. Hellionaires 3. Prodigala 4. Luster Pendulums 5. Malengines Here, Where They Should Be 6. Speak Nigh 7. Twitching In The Auras 8. Revival Spines 9. Stray of the Tongue 10. Phantom Air The first two minutes of this album had me worried. “The only groups who should get ‘introspective’ or ‘pensive’ on later releases are the ones who warned you on previous occasions that they might, like Opeth or Carly Rae Jepsen. A rollicking nihilist grind powerviolence hardcore/whatever band like Trap Them have no business being thoughtful!”, I proudly thought to myself as I festered in my unwashed Nails longsleeve, the one that’s the Joy Divison mountain-range shirt for super cool people who like deliberately shit mixes. Turns out I was too busy enjoying being a smug and self-indulgent Ballou Bro, because after about three minutes and four songs into the album, I realised that not only had Trap Them not turned into that band (it was just a misstep of an opening track), but that maybe they should have. All the elements are in place for me to love this CD. I have adored everything Trap Them have done before this; the song ‘Day 19’ is a work of art, the lyrics are actual poetry, and I will throat punch any uncouth swine who disagrees. I don’t think any other band has ever really gotten the... read more

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