Reviews

Song Review: Sewer Shark – “Navigator”

Song Review: Sewer Shark – “Navigator”

Song review: “Navigator” Band: Sewer Shark Location: The Internet Date of Release: 12/07/2013 Genre: Metalcore Reviewer: Thrillhouse It’s not often that I find myself saying this: But it was REALLY hard to find flaws to point out with this song. That’s not to say there aren’t any, but after listening to it a few times I found myself liking it so much I really didn’t to put it down in any way. I mean, come on! TWO guys wrote and recorded this whole thing themselves… They did better with this one song than most full bands do with the shit they release. The sheer creative force these guys are showing kinda blew me away. Blew me harder than your mom does for crack. ANYWAY, I wish I could write good intros to my reviews as easily as these guys wrote a perfectly fitting intro to this song. Good mix of build-up and heaviness, the vocals give it a cool frantic kind of vibe, and then the song jumps into a cool little spoken word section, with some dissonant guitar vibing it up in the background. Vocally, this song is very well done. The clean vox can tend to sound a little pitchey at times, but that may just be the way they were recorded and mixed. They sound fitting though, so don’t go mistaking this as me bagging out the cleans. The screams are great, the compliment the heaviness of this song like they’re supposed to, and don’t leave you feeling like you wanted more out of them. As a guitarist myself, the main thing that drew me in was definitely the... read more
Song Review: Caulfield – “Sour Grapes”

Song Review: Caulfield – “Sour Grapes”

Song review: Sour Grapes Band: Caulfield Location: Sydney, New South Wales Date of Release: 24th September 2013 Genre: Post-Hardcore Reviewer: Erised So of late, we’ve had a few good songs, a few average songs and this definitely falls into the former category. Not gonna lie, I enjoyed the fuck out of this. Starting off, first impression of this song was definitely along the lines of “I think I might like this”. Within about 10 seconds my suspicions were confirmed. Why do I like this? I’m glad you asked! Now, I’m a massive fan of A Day To Remember, and owing to the fact that the harsh vocalist bears more than a passing resemblance to Jeremy McKinnon, I was instantly put in mind of them. The screams are probably a bit heavier, and the cleans are more similar to ADTR‘s earlier stuff than what they offer now, but the song structure and excellent phrasing definitely doesn’t suffer in comparison.   The guitar work is really tasty.There’s some nice riff work with some catchy little taglines, and it really endeared me to them further. The production is quite slick, even if the vocals are maybe a touch quiet in the mix. I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t acknowledge the 0-5-8 syndrome that this song definitely displays, as do a LOT of metalcore songs, but in this case it doesn’t grate, which is a credit to the vocal/guitar/drums interplay that distracts from the more cliche elements. And speaking of drums, they follow the guitars nicely, emphasize the vocals which is exactly what should be happening in this style of... read more
Song Review: Revelations – “Overture To An Avalanche”

Song Review: Revelations – “Overture To An Avalanche”

Song review: Overture To An Avalanche Band: Revelations Location: Brisbane, Queensland Date of Release: 13th November 2013 Genre: Post-Hardcore Reviewer: Erised This genuinely has me torn. It’s fairly common for me to listen to a song and enjoy parts of it and utterly detest others, and this really sums up my thoughts on this song perfectly. As is my custom, i’ll start from the start. First impressions are obviously important, and this song got off to a bad start with me “let me introduce myself, i am death, you know me well” carries absolutely zero menace when sort of yelled a bit over the top of a genuine scream. That line is absolutely chock full of menace, but the vocals don’t really stay true to that as far as I’m concerned. That being said, when the first verse kicks in in earnest, it’s quite impressive. There’s a jingly keyboard line over the top of it which tops out the fullness quite well, and the screams are delivered well. It was at this point i thought, “maybe i’ll actually enjoy this song after all”. What happened next somewhat sullied that. The next part is a stoppy starty bit with a screamed line call and a clean response to it. “with emptiness comes desire, with desire comes an invitation”…. okay. The lyrics are okayish, but what really grates on my nerves in this part is the pithy vocal harmony that leads into the “sleepwalking part” (i’ll get to this in a second). It’s way too Escape the Fate for my liking, and personal preference aside, I think it is really unnecessary... read more
Song Review: Incrusted Dust – “Ciesta”

Song Review: Incrusted Dust – “Ciesta”

Song review: Ciesta Band: Incrusted DUST Location: Sacramento, CA, USA Date of Release: Genre: Pop-punk Reviewer: Golden Eagle I can’t remember a time I’ve felt so torn on my opinion of a song. This isn’t just your regular ‘I don’t know if I love it or hate it’ however. No, instead, I can’t tell whether I think this song is worth 6/10 or 7/10. I can’t tell whether it’s a good song or just an okay song. Do you see my problem here? The first thing I noticed about Ciesta is the sheer punchiness of the guitar. Like, if the guitar riff could play every time Sylvester Stallone punches someone in Rocky, nothing would make me happier. It’s got a great 90’s pop punk feel to it and really gets you pumped. This unfortunately is the only part that I feel could be considered ‘really good’. Once rest of the band kicks in, I can’t help but feel they could have pulled the guitar back a little bit in the mix. It kind of feels a bit too loud and overpowers the rest of the song. The bass, while having a really nice tone seems to have a little bit of string popping, which I just really can’t look past. It really distracts, especially in the guitar mutes during the verse riff. This could just be down to a production issue however, so I’ll let this one slide. I also feel like the bass could have used a few more notes than just the root notes of each chord. Seriously, hearing the bottom note just begins to get mind... read more
Song Review: The Stratagem – “Eradication”

Song Review: The Stratagem – “Eradication”

Song review: “Eradication” Band: The Stratagem Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia Date of Release: 10/04/2013 Genre: Deathcore Reviewer: Thrillhouse Remember when everything in heavy music was about being “br00tz”? Well that pretty much sums up this song. In a really good way. Traditional deathcore (inhaled vocals and all), like you haven’t heard since you were squeezin’ into your sisters jeans and flipping your fringe at your parents because they didn’t approve of your bi stage (fucking homophobes). The first thing that caught my attention when I initially listened to “Eradication” was the fact that I couldn’t hear shit for nearly ten seconds at the start of the song… I quickly realized I was an idiot for rushing to check my volume settings and speaker cables, because by The Nine, it was a sweet volume swell intro that quickly jumped straight into a rad, ominous sounding trem-picked intro (with a few chunky sounding chugs thrown in the mix), and a couple cleverly placed kick drum and cymbal accents. I have to say, I really liked the guitar in this song. It’s nothing too innovative or mind blowing, but it’s a nice spin on the stock standard deathcore shit you hear in a lot of songs. Definitely a healthy mix of tradition and innovation. And dat tone, mmm gurl. Bitchin’. Honourable mentions to the bass player too; old mate really brings the thunder during those widdly, treble sandwich guitar parts. Overall, he contributes a nice chunkiness to the song, and gives it that sinister undertone that makes songs like this great. One criticism I do have to offer is how the vocals seem to get... read more
Song Review: Danger! Earthquake! – “Crooked Empire”

Song Review: Danger! Earthquake! – “Crooked Empire”

Song review: Crooked Empire Band: Danger! Earthquake! Location: Melbourne, Victoria Date of Release: 19th January 2014 Genre: Post-Hardcore Reviewer: Erised You know, when i started this page, I expected to be reviewing lots of shitty local bands and providing the criticism that I’m sure they aren’t getting from their friends and family. What’s actually happened so far is that I’ve had a couple of good quality offerings first up, which is quite welcome. So, starting from the start. First impression was that it sounds really polished with the token sampled intro that we’ve all come to know and love. I really love synth and keys when they are done well in a song, and this is a perfect example. The piano riff in the opening phrases is catchy as fuck, and suits the vibe really well. The vocals are really well performed, very well thought out and the cleans suit the chorus down to a ‘t’.   Guitar work is fairly typical of the scene at the minute, lots of chuggy opens and syncopated stops, which is fine. What’s really nice is that the drums compliment it really well. The chord progression is also subtly different from the masses, which is a nice touch, and the keys add a welcome fullness to the overall sound.   The production is frankly stellar, my only criticism being that i feel the clean female Vox during the chorus is mixed a little low, and the screams overpower them, which is a hell of a shame because they sound really good. Lyrically, this song is gold. I’m really happy with the overall thematic... read more
Song Review: First Sight – “The Nothing”

Song Review: First Sight – “The Nothing”

Song review: The Nothing Band: First Sight Location: Brisbane Date of Release: 3rd January 2014 Genre: Post-Hardcore Reviewer: Erised I’ll say this. I certainly didn’t hate it. I’ve actually heard this song before, so technically this wasn’t a “first impression”, but i distinctly remember the first time I heard it I really wasn’t a fan of the intro. The intro scream/yells are a little on the weak side IMO, and the guitar work is a lot more basic than my preference, but having said that, it suits the song quite well. The guitar tones are quite nice and get the job done, which is what you want, and the bass especially is noticeable in it’s presence. Drumming is fairly standard fare, not spectacular but far from awful. My main criticism stems from the length, and the lack of variation within the song. It’s a pretty standard sort of progression, and whilst these things are standard and cliche for a reason (i.e. they sound good), a bit of deviation from the main theme would have been nice. The biggest plus for me is the excellent hook during the chorus. Really, really nice vocal lines and performed well. Vocals have a nice tonality to them, are in tune, and were pleasing to the ear in general. Lyrics are also standard fare, but well written nonetheless. Vocals: Screams: 7/10 Cleans: 7/10 Guitars: 6/10 Bass: 6/10 Drums: 6/10 Production: 7/10 Lyrics: 7/10 Songwriting: 7/10 Overall IPHYB Rating:... read more
Song Review: A Sense of Discovery – “I Am Temptation”

Song Review: A Sense of Discovery – “I Am Temptation”

Song review: “I Am Temptation” Band: A Sense Of Discovery Location: Cairns, QLD, Australia Date of Release: 26/08/13 Genre: Metalcore/Hardcore Reviewer: Thrillhouse You may not believe me, but I think we have finally found a drummer who listened to Metallica’s ‘St. Anger’ and thought “YES! I am totally going to try that!” Now, I am not one to go out of my way to put down something someone has put a lot of time and effort into creating… But there was obviously little to no time, OR effort put into selecting the snare used by this band. Seriously, it’s like they sampled one single beat out of that steel drum song from ‘The Little Mermaid’ and decided to make sure it was used at least 400 times in a song that only goes for 1 minute and 36 seconds. It gets very repetitive. The vocals are also a bit sub-par in my opinion, it sounds like the vocalist is straining a wee bit too hard to get that dirty guttural sound so loved by many, but he’s just not quite getting it. His voice also gets lost in the mix a bit. One of the many perils of trying to keep every single person in the band in the lowest, audible frequency range, I suppose. The lyrics are OK. Just. Between rhyming “alone” and “alone”, the lyric about “breaking new winds over your grace, into your face” (a euphemism for farting on someone’s religious beliefs?), I found the overall feel of the words came off like they were written by a 14 year old deathcore fan. And not good deathcore either. Guitar-wise,... read more

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