Posts Tagged ‘Music Reviews


Music Review: Whitechapel (2012)

By Himanshu Singh Rathor

A track-by-track review of the deathcore band’s self-titled album from our new writer 

“I am hate you are hated, I’ve created you’ve created
Now get it through your fucking head, we create hate.”

Whitechapel have come up with another stupefying album which reaffirms their position as one of the best bands this genre has to offer. This album is fierce, utterly ruthless, and should have been titled “Hate Creation” due to the sheer amount of hate in the lyrics. The entire album has an extent of antipathy in it, especially the phrases “I won’t be the one to fall, I will kill you all…”, “Take me away and I just want out..” and “You’ll never wake up again”, which will keep drifting through your head after you’ve listened to the entire album several times. The forbidden ‘progressive’ part of Whitechapel is a gratifying change and one can observe minor changes in songwriting as compared to their previous records – the acoustic transitions, piano-intro and more technicality. On the whole, most songs are standard Whitechapel material with groovy breakdowns and catchy core riffs. The charming solos in a few of the songs really shows the mature switch of the band. I liked it, as the songs demanded them, and the band fulfilled that very neatly.

‘Make it Bleed’ is a perfect start to the album – a very tight song, with amazing progression and Phil Bozeman (vocals) killing it as always. ‘Hate Creation’ sounds like Whitechapel‘s usual deathcore number – a bit groovy, and very effective with its words (if you are observant enough). Phil truly has majestic control over his vocals. ‘(Cult)uralist’ is one of my favourite songs in the album with double kicks, amazing vocal phrasing and its spooky-solo finish. This song is repeat mode stuff, a head-slamming example of what Whitechapel can do to you, if only you let them.

Though catchy rhythmically, ‘I, Dementia’ gets fucked up because of its repetitive core riffs. The song is about how ‘reality is fabricated’ and how Phil ‘refuses to see it’. Ending with a slow breakdown coupled with a short solo,  this is an  effective song but doesn’t fit into the album because of how its structure differs from the other material. ‘Section 8’ came out before as a single in ’11 and I liked the song back then and still do. A notable part is the end where Phil gives a vigorous vocal break. Very sick. ‘Faces’ is a nice track, talking about hypocrisy. A good chorus with a breakdown over it, followed by blast beats. Nice, catchy deathcore.

‘Dead Silence’ and ‘The Night Remains’ are songs that really live up to what one would expect from Whitechapel. With low-fi guitaring and fast deathcore breakdowns, these are very bouncy tracks which make them my favorite picks from the album. ‘Devoid’ is an instrumental with great riffing. In fact, being in this instrumental doesn’t do the riffs justice. I didn’t think the piano intro was needed either.

‘Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence’ is a perfect inclusion in the Whitechapel album and they’ve always had thing thing about ending their album with a perfect song. Singing about a ‘Dehumanization’ and ‘Messiahbolical’ theme seems like a fitting end. All the elements are mixed in the last song. Verses ending with a cool vibe, standard heavy breakdowns (which make posers go ‘whoa fuck’) and the song finally laying off with a piano outro, a piece like the one at the start of the album.

Whitechapel couldn’t have come with anything tighter than this. The album is a solid masterpiece from one of the finest deathcore bands that fans of the genre will surely dig. With Whitechapel, the band has added another encounter to their killing spree. Perfection achieved.

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Music Review: Custom Built

Bret Michaels’ solo album has something for everyone who knows him because of Poison and/or his reality tv appearances. “Custom Built” starts with forgettable attempts at hard rock and switches to forgettable attempts at ballads before a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got” comes up. There’s Poison’s hit power ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, with a bunch of other musicians to keep the health-fucked Bret Michaels company. The rock mix of “Driven” is the first energetic song here, and even “Open Road” isn’t too bad, it sounds like early Bon Jovi, if that’s your sort of thing. “Rock’n My Country” is a good country-rock jam, and “Nothing To Lose (Bret Only)” sounds better than the one with Miley Cyrus. Guitar effects and stomping beats show up on the lame “I’d Die For You”. “Custom Built” sounds outdated, and Bret Michaels should try writing about subjects other than women, and maybe even get out of that look now.



Music Review: Ozzy Osbourne’s Scream

Ozzy Osbourne has got a new axeman on board, and he’s the one that makes Scream worth a listen or two. The riffing and soloing by Gus G is so good you’d think it was Zakk Wylde if you didn’t know he’s not with old man Ozzy anymore. Ozzy Osbourne continues his trend of reflective and contemplative lyrics that let you know the bat-biting dove is feeling sentimental, but he stopped being good at singing/writing that stuff after Ozzmosis.

Processed vocals mixed with Ozzy Osbourne’s typical wailing isn’t an impressive combination at all, certainly not when he tries to tell you what he thinks he is. That voice can make you think of every beautiful song the man has made, but Scream sounds rushed; most of the songs here could’ve been so much more.

There are three ‘complete’ songs on Scream: Let Me Hear You Scream, Diggin’ Me Down, and Time. The rest ranges from good to very good playing by Gus G and Tommy Clutefos and whoever else is tolerating Ozzy’s rambling these days. The good stuff we’re talking about somehow transforms into mediocrity; let down by an ill-fitting chorus, or simply refusing to take off.

Ozzy Osbourne ends his 10th studio album by thanking his fans and singing to them, “God bless, I love you all.” Hinting at the end? Thank Sharon, and the groupies who sucked you off when she wasn’t looking. Fans of Ozzy Osbourne should listen to Scream, but there’s not much we can take from it. Come on, Ozzy… one more. And make it nice and heavy this time.



Music Review: Addicted To Metal

Horns up to Kissin’ Dynamite for releasing one of the best heavy metal albums of this year. Opening with the title track, Addicted To Metal has twelve tracks of traditional heavy metal created to be played at arenas. Corny lyrics, anthemic choruses, classic heavy metal soloing and powerful high-pitched singing, Addicted To Metal is a lovable and infectious album that is filling my house with the sound of pure heavy metal.
Germany’s Kissin’ Dynamite have a style that makes you fall in love with the strongest form of music all over again. Addicted To Metal is a big fuck-you to whiners across the globe, it is what you want to be blasting when you visualize the flag of heavy metal flying high above everything else that dares stand before it. “Metal all alone brings the force we need to play”, sing Kissin’ Dynamite, and that is a bloody good lesson to slap the weak with.
Addicted To Metal is already in my list of the best heavy metal albums of 2010. Enough said.

Music Review: To The Sea

How nice for a Sunday morning, my first listen of Jack Johnson‘s music happens to be his fifth album To The Sea. Laid-back jamming that makes indoor listening feel like a outing. A beach in Goa is where it makes me want to be at, looking at waves and thinking of nothing. Jack Johnson doesn’t demand your attention, leaving you free to fantasize about breakfast in Anjuna, while the surroundings absorb his music. From what I’d heard, this was to be an acoustic affair, but here’s some electric guitar, a harmonica, and some other instruments whose names I don’t know, and let me not embarrass myself further. To The Sea has a feel-good vibe that is instantly likeable, and Jack Johnson makes it sound so effortless that you want to stretch back, unbothered by the flies hovering over the imaginary orange juice.

Music Review: Omen (Deluxe Edition)

My fellow Sepultura fans who hated everything that came after the epic Chaos AD and disliked Soulfly at first listen because of the tribal nonsense, get Max Cavalera’s 2010 slab of metal right now. Here’s what you get with Soulfly’s Omen: short, no-bullshit songs that have timely changes, chuggy riffs, great dynamics, highly enjoyable guitar solos and Max fucking Cavalera in top form. I haven’t heard the man so charged up since fuck knows when. Every second of Omen is superb punky thrash metal or thrashy punk metal (however you like it), guaranteed to make you bang your head. I’m so glad Max has flung his tribal bible away and is making pumping music; it’s been awhile since we heard of him being spoken of this way, yeah? Well, he’s wasting no time showing off what he’s capable of when he turns the attitude levels all the way up. And who the fuck is this Marc Rizzo guy who has done a phenomenal job of adding quality to each and every track? Really impressive. Before I forget, the deluxe edition has cover versions: Led Zeppelin’s Four Sticks, Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist (with Max’s son Zyon Cavalera on drums) and Excel’s Your Life, My Life (with Igor Cavalera). Smiling now, aren’t you?  I don’t know how Soulfly fans (I just became one) will take this, but Omen is for fans of Sepultura and Nailbomb. Fists up in the air, my brothers… the Brazilian lion is roaring again.


Music Review: Stone Temple Pilots

One of the best grunge bands ever returns grunge-less, with the musical styles being pop-rock and classic rock, and nothing anywhere close to anything that made you and me a fan of theirs. Stone Temple Pilots has Stone Temple Pilots jamming again, and the band is having fun, and that’s all it is. When a great band releases a self-titled album, it gives out the impression that something monumental is being offered to long-time fans, but Stone Temple Pilots sound old and too content to make you feel the way they did with Core and Purple (my favourite). Sure, go ahead and check out Stone Temple Pilots by Stone Temple Pilots, but be warned: they sound like a below-average international pop-rock band that has come to Mumbai to play at Independence Rock.

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