Reviews

Album Review: The Afterimage – “Lumière”

Album Review: The Afterimage – “Lumière”

Album: Lumière Band: The Afterimage Location: Toronto, Canada Date of Release: 28th August 2015 Genre: Progressive Metalcore Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: ERRA, Dance Gavin Dance, Chon, Protest The Hero Why They Aren’t Famous: I tell you what these lads are onto something … something huge. Track Listing: 1. Lumière (2:00) 2. Seeking (4:11) 3. Follow (3:25) 4. Unseen (4:54) 5. Onyx (3:58) 6. Distance (3:31) 7. Without You (1:20) 8. Reach (3:53) Lumière means “light” in French, just incase you were wondering what the fuck that little dash is doing on that letter ‘e’. It’s called an “acute accent”. Thanks Wikipedia, that settles it then. There’re still more questions to be asked, however, after listening to this album. These questions include: “How the fuck did they do that?”, “Who the hell even thinks of that as a composition?”, “What the hell is going to happen next?”, and “Did I turn the stove off before I left the house?” Okay, maybe not the last one, but I will say that not only have The Afterimage raised a lot of questions, but they also set the bar in modern progressive metal with this release. Excellent transitions showcasing gracious melodies and crushing rhythms, catchy vocal passages and guitar virtuosos which blend better than a fucking NutriBullet. This is an absolute must listen. If you’re already a fan of this band, you may recall a few songs which have been released as singles, such as ‘Seeking’, ‘Unseen’, and ‘Onyx’. These have been slightly fine-tuned with studio magic and a number of different ‘widdly-diddlys’ here and there, but everything still essentially follows the... read more
Song Review: Parallel Horizons – “Transcendence”

Song Review: Parallel Horizons – “Transcendence”

Song: “Transcendence” Band: Parallel Horizons Location: Hong Kong Date of Release: 14/07/2015 Genre: Metalcore Reviewer: Ouroboris For Fans Of: People who would enjoy watching Dream Theater rape Meshuggah Why They Aren’t Famous: Not enough tattoos To say that “Parallel Horizons is a melodic death/metalcore band with progressive influences based in Hong Kong” is a bit of a stretch, really. I don’t think dropping some widdles all over the song and having a chorus of “Maynard feels nu­-metal” vocals makes a band necessarily “melodic”. Easily the biggest problem with a lot of these new metal styles is this misguided belief that more is more. Like Obituary being stood over by Phil Spector. They mostly have an ambitious idea of what makes a good song by just adding everything they like into it, regardless of whether it fits. I mean if it doesn’t fit. You force it. Double kick? check. Chunky riffs? Check. No less than three fucking types of vocals? Also check. I mean, if you can make that shit work, then­ more power to you. But sometimes, less is just more. And fuck me if this isn’t one of those instances. Despite the scientifically impossible name, “Parallel Horizons” do have some potential. Some of the song is actually followable for someone just wanting to rock out. The rest of the time, there’s so much going on and so many changes it’s like being in a car full of your mates arguing over which type of fast food they want to get. To start with, three types of vocals is overkill, despite what the 21st century and all the bands... read more
Song Review: Visions of Disfigurement – “Necrotic Cranial Fornication”

Song Review: Visions of Disfigurement – “Necrotic Cranial Fornication”

Song: “Necrotic Cranial Fornication” Band: Visions of Disfigurement Location: Manchester, United Kingdom Date of Release: 7th June 2015 Genre: Slam, Brutal Death Metal Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: Ingested (duh) Extermination Dismemberment , Acrania, Parasitic Ejaculation Why They Aren’t Famous: Release a full-length and rape the ears of the masses. These guys can carry on the Ingested torch. ‘Necrotic Cranial Fornication’ is a ball-crushing tune which showcases the devices used in slamming, brutal death metal. Tin-can snare, indecipherable vocals that even the CIA couldn’t decode, pinch-harmonics and chugs galore. Yep, welcome to Slamchester cunts. The song starts off with demonic open chords that transitions to the beginning of many slams. The guitars were chunky, fuzzy, and very traditional. Lots of chromaticism and semi-tone molestation. There were little breakaways between the left and right pans, but mostly in unison. It worked well and gave off a somewhat multi-dimensional atmosphere. It would’ve been sick to have more panning and alteration between the guitars, but I was mostly pleased. The bass was thudding its way around but didn’t really any moment of fame that stuck out from the rest (except for one little solo section) – it mostly just held its weight by teaming up with the kick drum. The drums were surprisingly not super intense, but provided a solid foundation. Besides from the occasional machine-gun kicks which came out of nowhere, most of the time it was fairly cruisey, and allowed the vocals and guitars to truly shine through the heaviness. It would have been awesome to hear more tempo or time-signature changes though, which might’ve allowed access to more slamming... read more
Album Review: Stories – “The Youth To Become”

Album Review: Stories – “The Youth To Become”

Album: “The Youth To Become” Band: Stories Twitter: @StoriesAU Location: Sydney, New South Wales Date of Release: 14th August, 2015 Genre: Metalcore/Post-Hardcore Reviewer: Erised (abuse me on twitter @Giaccattack) For Fans Of: Underoath and Plagiarism Track Listing: 1. State Of Intermittence 1:50 2. A False Sense Of Security 3:18 3. Highwater 4:26 4. Alone In The Fallout 5:23 5. For A Second …I Couldn’t See A Thing 4:56 6. Shadow Window 3:25 7. The Golden Thread 4:01 8. Zuko 3:46 9. Under Haze 3:15 10. Waves Of Me 5:22 11. One-Hundred Percent Grey 5:20 Does any remember that silly little band which used to rip off Northlane so hard that someone actually made a S T O R T H L A N E video with Abrasumente and one of their songs overlaid and you couldn’t tell the difference? Well, it appears that Stories have pulled off one of the turn-arounds of the century. Not since auld mate Steven Bradbury became the luckiest athlete in history, has anyone managed to effect such a monumental turnaround as Stories has. That’s not to say that they’ve all of a sudden become original, because they really haven’t. Anyone familiar with [Disambiguation] era Underoath will immediately feel their hackles raise upon pressing play on The Youth To Become, but I would implore you to see past the obvious hero worship. If you are one of these people who immediately dismisses a band as soon as they sound remotely similar to another band, then you will hate this. If you are the kind to defend artistic purity at all costs, and categorically dismiss all... read more
Song Review: SINTHETIK – “Dissolve”

Song Review: SINTHETIK – “Dissolve”

Song: Dissolve Band: SINTHETIK Location: Toronto, Canada Date of Release: 1st February 2015 Genre: Progressive Metal Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: ERRA, Born Of Osiris, Auras Why They Aren’t Famous: Beta version of the bands mentioned above. We travel all the way to Canada today to review what I expected to be a MIDI-programmed overload djentcore track from a band called ‘SINTHETIK’, however, I was left perplexed. ‘Dissolve’ is a half-arsed track which contains great elements that are inclusive of the genre, but are muddled together and out of proportion. If you want a song that educates a fifth grade class about what mean, mode, and median is, then this track is the mean and the median. The sad part is that it could have also been the mode. This track is heavy as fuck but undermined with shitty underwater-production which absolutely ruins its potential. This is a common occurrence, and even my last review had this problem. It just lets the track down. The problem with this genre is that bands cannot be meat and potatoes any more, because other bands are making a beautiful chocolate mousse soufflé and it sets the standard. The problem with this track is that it’s bland, but with a sprinkle of oregano and chilli-flakes it could’ve been an absolute banger. The problem was the fact that there was nothing there; the guitars were thin and lacked melodic substance at points, with just a couple of chunky power-chords being flung everywhere. The main vocals were weak, dry, and thin for most of the time, except for those crushing lows (I’m guessing is the... read more
Song Review: Weightless In Orbit – “Dialogue (Far Behind)”

Song Review: Weightless In Orbit – “Dialogue (Far Behind)”

Song: “Dialogue (Far Behind)” Band: Weightless in Orbit Location: Brisbane Date of Release: 23rd August 2014 Genre: Progressive Metal Reviewer: STO)))RK For Fans Of: Between The Buried And Me Why They Aren’t Famous: Their album isn’t finished yet. As a casual reader of IPHYB, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we only review gutter-tier hardcore releases. While this isn’t too far from the truth, it wasn’t until I joined the Hate Machine that I learned bands outside of the -core scene even submitted for review. But, if you dig past the tongue-in-cheek banter and outright roastings which make up the reviews which draw a lot of attention (Read: Controversy and saltiness), you’ll discover a wide range of support for everything – from harsh noise acts to math/post-rock and progressive metal bands. Brisbane quintet Weightless In Orbit are one such band who boast the cojones to label themselves “progressive”, but does their music have the backbone to prove it? Or, are they just another bunch of kids who think an ambient clean layer over a syncopated breakdown is “progressive”? From the moment the song burst to life with a melodic pedal note riff floating back and forth between 7/8 and 6/8, I had a feeling I was in for something with a little more substance. When the smooth, sustained melodies of vocalist Brandon Mamata came into play, my suspicions were confirmed. While it can be hard enough to find a capable clean vocalist in your local scene, Weightless in Orbit seem to have hit the jackpot here; sporting a decent clean vocal range and a solid, screamed, sound which we... read more
Song Review: The Arbitrary Method – “Into Insanity”

Song Review: The Arbitrary Method – “Into Insanity”

Song: “Into Insanity” Band: The Arbitrary Method Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia Date of Release: 12th August 2015 Genre: High School Metalcore Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: Soilwork, Evergrey, Ikea Why They Aren’t Famous: Father’s Day is coming up I guess… This could be their breakthrough. ‘Into Insanity’ by The Arbitrary Method is a composition that disregards time and space, and relocates itself in Sweden at the turn of the millennium, where Gothenberg was pumping out some insane acts. Unfortunately, this song wouldn’t even make it as a fucking B-Side track with horrid, underwater production in 2015. There is a bitter distaste that would make any Swede-cuck triggered and cry for cultural-appropriation hearing this from a band in Australia. The overall vibe of the song is a walking-paced bounce that’s infested with one-dimensional chugging, leads, and the occasional breakaway. Before I absolutely nitpick (probably shit-blast) the problems of this song, let me identify and praise all of the good parts first in order to help ease the pain. The clean section with the well-sequenced synths was epic. The way it merged through to the heavy section (and that was probably the only section I enjoyed) really brought about those glorious, melodic vibes you get from Scandinavian metal. The cleans were ballsy as hell, and had a good rasp to them that definitely fit the overall sound of the song. Also, the drummer had some mad utilisation of the kit, especially with the fills. Okay, now onto the dissecting. Fuck me this vocalist sounds like he’s about to hit puberty at 19 – those screams are just not healthy. They feel... read more
Song Review: Blind Oracle – “Holocene”

Song Review: Blind Oracle – “Holocene”

Song: Holocene Band: Blind Oracle Location: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Date of Release: 20th July 2015 Genre: Deathcore Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: Lorna Shore, Make Them Suffer, Within The Ruins Why They Aren’t Famous: Time to release an album whilst the hype is high! Deathcore is unique to certain areas around the world. You have your North American, British, Russian, German and Australian deathcore, only to name a handful. They all have specific traits and styles which stand out from their native location. After nearly a decade of monstrosity, these certain styles are blending together to form some kind of ‘super-genre’, causing (what I believe) a peak or boom in deathcore. Blind Oracle is one of many bands that has taken note of this and, after seizing the moment with ‘Holocene’, took influences from all over the world instead of just presenting a diminished-infested, typical Aussie deathcore track. This is a new breed of deathcore that has emerged throughout the past couple of years, and it’s time the world should start to take notice. This style of deathcore is thrashy, groovy, blackened, progressive, and straight-up as heavy as my pet female-Chihuahua’s balls. Blind Oracle have captured this through compositional skills and excellent playing ability. The guitars and bass are more than just content with hitting the bottom strings; they molest the fret-board from 0 to 24. The percussionist alternates the dynamics and intensity between kick and snare, which creates a different sound from the typical one-dimensional atmosphere that you sometimes get from deathcore bands. The vocals do not transcend like an angel’s or wallow like a wounded... read more
Song Review: Two Faced – “How We Roll”

Song Review: Two Faced – “How We Roll”

Song: How We Roll Band: Two Faced Location: Campbelltown, NSW Date of Release: 02/02/2015 Genre: Hardcore Reviewer: Dead Set Dave For Fans Of: Southpaw, Against Why They Aren’t Famous: They aren’t doing anything that 30,000 other bands aren’t doing better. Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill. It’s like bands don’t take our advice. But if you’re going to continue writing generic music, at least try to avoid generic song names. Especially ones that are used by better and more successful bands in your genre. Seriously, if you haven’t heard Southpaw’s “That’s How We Roll”, then you’re not hardcore-ing hard enough. Those guys did it already, and they did it good. But fuck, even then it’s just a really fucking contrived lyric “oh that’s just how I roll” fuck you. Seriously try throwing a set of words together that isn’t so god damn obvious. Thats How We Roll by SouthPaw Seriously, Southpaw are awesome. It’s called collocation and it’s one of the worst offences in writing. It’s the pairing of words that are commonly found together. Differing slightly from idiomatic language or colloquialisms, this can be tricky to avoid if you’re a lazy fuck. Creating short sentences that people can comprehend easily within the constraints of lyrics is challenging, but that’s the point isn’t it? An example of collocation could be ‘utterly stupid’ or ‘fully aware’ and ‘filled with horror’. Completely avoiding collocation would be a borderline impossiblity, but when you have the full lexicon of, at least one language at your disposal, why not push your limits and create something captivating and original? Philosopher and linguist,... read more
Song Review: Danger! Earthquake! – “Falling & Fading”

Song Review: Danger! Earthquake! – “Falling & Fading”

Song: “Falling & Fading” Band: Danger! Earthquake! Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Date of Release: 3rd May 2015 Genre: Post-Hardcore/Electronic Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: Palisades, Outline In Color, Asking Alexandria Why They Aren’t Famous: A rough gem that needs polishing in a tough genre to break through. At the moment it’s zirconia but it could be diamond … Danger! Earthquake! are a band that’ve been reviewed previously by Erised, but now I have taken on the task to suss these guys and gal out for myself. From the gracious, clean choruses, bass-drop infested breakdowns, click-track coordinated synthesisers and, of course, the synchronised stage moves – Post-Hardcore is a genre that I’m fairly familiar with and passionate about. I believe it’s a fantastic genre to gateway into alternative music in a very balanced, versatile approach. The most unfortunate ordeal I am faced with is the amount of carbon-copy, trend-riding, unoriginal bullshit that comes along with it. There are copious amounts of Post-Hardcore bands that submit on here, but if something is bland, average, or does not stick out, us writers tend to leave it as a last resort. Has Danger! Earthquake! done enough for me to be pleased to review this> Or am I being forced to review this, and just going to be bored out of my mind like the majority of the Rise Records roster? Stay tuned for the next episode of Dragon Ball Z … The exposition of this track starts with blissful harmonies and strings from the keys and the vocalist saying a generalised first-person P.O.V. chant ‘See you at the gates’. It reminded me of... read more

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