Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Video Round Up For October 24th, 2014

Going through my playlist at the end of a work week is like the toast to the weekend; especially when you have been gone away on vacation for the past week with no contact with the outside world.  YouTube playlists and subscriptions coming out my ears so sometimes it's rather hard to follow each upload unless doing a round up such as this.  I hope this will make the starting of your weekend energetic, whether you are going into work or escaping from it.

Apologies in advance for those who loathe my video articles but there are just too many great clips out there to ignore.  So if you do not have the bandwidth to watch this video, then too bad!  Hahaha just kidding.

So for the slower connections just load the article, go for a coffee/glass of water, return, play and enjoy!  This will surely be one of my playlists for the end of the work day and hopefully doesn't keep your eyes glued to the screen for too long.  Cheers and happy Friday!

**Please note that this week's round up was quite extensive and therefore did not have all the normal information posted below.  Please click on the hyperlinks of each video to find out more about the artist and album releases.**

Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie:

"Stefani's manager Irving Azoff revealed that the 44-year-old singer is currently in Miami, recording new tracks with frequent collaborator (and Voice co-star) Pharrell Williams." -Billboard

Monster Magnet - The Duke:

"Monsert Magnet's latest release "Last Patrol" was released on October 15th, 2013 via Napalm Records.  The song will also appear on the upcoming "Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol" which will be released on November 14th, 2014 via Napalm Records.

The Unchained - Dirty Walls (feat. Bryan Fontez):

"Download 'DIRTY WALLS' during October and ALL funds raised will be donated to Canadian music charity MusiCounts. Your contribution is needed and makes a HUGE difference!" -The Unchained

Butcher Babies - They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!:

"As kids, we always loved this creepy, quirky song around Halloween time. So, we thought it would be perfect to ring in the Halloween season with this video reminiscent of old slasher films. Enjoy!" -Butcher Babies

Terror - Cold Truth:

"Cold Truth" is taken from Terror's latest release "Live By The Code" which was released on April 5th, 2013 via Victory Records.

Sanctuary - Frozen:

"The Year the Sun Died" is the third studio album by Sanctuary and was released on October 14th, 2014 via Century Media Records.

Fit For A King – Slave To Nothing:

Fit For A King's latest album "Slave To Nothing" was released on October 14th, 2014 via Solid State Records.

Issues - Mad At Myself:

Issues' self titled album was released on February 18th, 2014 via Rise Records.

Sylosis - Mercy:

"Mercy" is the new single from UK band Sylosis.  It will be featured on their upcoming 2015 relase titled "Dormant Heart".

Exotype - Wide Awake (ft. Chad Ruhlig):

Exoptype's self titled debut record was released on October 7th, 2014 via Rise Records.

Hundredth - Free Mind / Open Spirit:

"Free Mind/Open Spirit" is featured on Hundredth's EP "Revolt" which was released on March 19th, 2013 via Mediaskare Records.  The group recently signed with Hopeless Records and have re-released a few previous tracks.

Chasing Safety - Far Away:

"Far Away" is taken from Chasing Safety's latest album "Season of the Dead" which was released on October 14th, 2014 via Outerloop Records.

Haken - Darkest Light:

"Darkest Light" is the first single from the new Haken EP "Restoration" which will be released on October 27th, 2014 via InsideOut Records.

At The Gates - Death And The Labyrinth:

"At Wat With Reality" is the first album from Sweden's At The Gates in 19 years!  It will be released on October 28th, 2014 via Century Media Records.

Nightwish - Arabesque (Live):

Live clip from Nightwish's live CD/DVD/Blu-Ray "Showtime, Storytime" which was released on December 10th, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Cloudkicker - Subsume Part 1 (Live):

Cloudkicker recently went on a North American tour and had Intronaut as his live band.  This track is taken from "Live With Intronaut" which will be released on November 24th, 2014 via Century Media Records,

I, The Breather - DEAR : DEVIL (Play Through):

Aaron Ovecka (I, The Breather) performs "Dear:Devil" from the album "Life Reaper" which was released on July 15th, 2014 via Sumerian Records.

Devin Townsend Project - Rejoice (Lyric Video):

"Z²" (short for Ziltoid 2) will be released on October 27th, 2014 via HevyDevy Records.

Sabaton - Night Witches (Lyric Video):

The song's lyrics are describing the all female Soviet 588th Night Bomber Regiment called "Night Witches".  It's taken from the latest Sabaton album titled "Heores" which was released on May 16th, 2014 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Thomas Giles - Mutilated World (Audio):

"Modern Noise" will be released on November 25th, 2014 via Mteal Blade Records.

In This Moment - Black Widow

Totally stoked to hear about the new In This Moment album!  "Blood" was a huge win for the band (as well as Century Media Records), one of the highest viewed articles on AFGM, and the imagery for the new album seems to be better than the previous.  All of which makes for a highly anticipated album!  So let's recap what have gathered so far about the album.  

Maria Brink and the boys from ITM have set November 17th, 2014 as the release date for the new album "Black Widow".  After a long term relationship with Century Media for their first four album the group has parted ways and signed a newly inked deal with Atlantic Records for this fifth album.  As Maria explains below:

"'Black Widow' is definitely the darker part of me.  This album is about finding the weakness inside and turning it into strength. It's about being reborn, setting yourself free and realizing the balance in everything — the dark and the light.

We are very excited to be releasing this album through Atlantic Records who have put out some of the greatest and most revered albums of all time. I am so ready and excited for the launch of this album. I think people will embrace its diversity and hearing different sides of us that they haven't experienced yet." -Brink

As mentioned before, "Black Widow" will be released on November 17th, 2014 via Atlantic Records.  As you can no doubt see that the track listing has quite  bit of dark matter and sex thrown into the mix.  Even though I have no idea what the lyrical content might pan out to be, song names such as "Dirty Pretty", "Sexual Hallucination", and "Natural Born Sinner" really give a dark edge to the album and might be buying into the sex appeal that is Maria Brink (and the boys for all the ladies reading).

1. The Infection
2. Sex Metal Barbie
3. Big Bad Wolf
4. Dirty Pretty
5. Black Widow
6. Sexual Hallucination
7. Sick Like Me
8. Bloody Creature Poster Girl
9. The Fighter
10. Bones
11. Natural Born Sinner
12. Into The Darkness
13. Out Of Hell

The album was produced once again by Kevin Churko at the The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Churko produced their previous albums "Blood" (along with other releases from ITM), and many other artists (Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Five Finger Death Punch, Gemini Syndrome, Hellyeah, Hinder, etc).  Guitarist Chris Howorth explains the direction of this album and keeping the same producer despite changing labels.

“We have a bunch of ideas and the way we did ‘Blood’ was different than we’d done any album before. We brought ideas and pieces and parts into the studio and wrote each song in the studio, one at a time. All the other albums we had the songs formatted and together already. So we’re going to do the same thing again. We’re gonna try to replicate the magic of ‘Blood’ and try to take the style and sound we had for ‘Blood’ and just do it bigger and better while still keeping true to that same vibe. That’s our sound. We feel like we found something and want to stick the flag in the ground on top of that hill.” -Howorth

Even the first single of the album has some pretty decent art work to go along with it.  I don't know why but my initial reaction to the "Sick Like Me" artwork resembled something between the films "Cool Wold" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"  I think it really speaks to Maria's character, or at least that what she had to say regarding the song and direction of the artwork.

"Here we go again.  This was by far the most challenging, exciting and rewarding experience we've ever had making a record. We threw out the rulebook and tried to create something fearless, constantly pushing ourselves to make an album unlike anyone has heard before. Fans, get ready for this ride — everything is going to the next level." -Howorth

"That's kind of about embracing more of these things in me that I used to kind of keep 'em inside and they're a little bit twisted and they're a little bit wrong, I guess.  And also, when you find another person who really, I guess, knows who you are and they find all of these things that maybe I would consider flaws in myself — they find that beautiful and like, I guess, things that make me who I am." -Brink

So we have seen a brand spankin' new music video to go along with it.  I have mentioned imagery before in this article.  Keep that in mind when watching the video as I was completely zoned out to the world around me when watching.  I think Maria and Robert Kley did a great job at directing this video.

So more information and audio/video when it becomes available folks.  Keep checking back for updates and new material!  Also, be sure to catch ITM on tour through your town this fall/winter.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Distortion of Sound

Distortion of Sound is a 22 minute documentary film focusing on the current state of music, sound quality, and more importantly sound delivery.  We tend to forget that most of our music streaming services and players use quality that is considered less than sub-standard according to most professionals in the industry.  What a musician or a producer hears through the board and mixer is something totally different that what is being streamed to your phone at 128kbps (if that's even the quality anymore).

The description reads as such:

"The last two decades have seen a striking decline in the quality of sound and listening experience. Compressed music, MP3s and streaming, have diminished the quality and flattened the emotion. Marketing gimmicks and convenience now take the place of excellence. The Distortion of Sound is an eye-opening exposé of the current state of sound starring Linkin Park, Slash, Quincy Jones and more. This documentary will open your ears and inspire you to reach for richer, more soul-stirring musical experiences."

Like the description stated, the documentary features some top notch performers like Linkin Park, Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Hans Zimmer, Andrew Scheps, and many others.  This gives you a well rounded view of how multiple people are looking for that same quality.  I look at it in a sense of wine.  You pay good money for quality tasting wine, but the masses don't go for that quality.  They go for the $10 on the front display shelf that has equal taste nodes, but lacks the overall quality.  That's what Distortion of Sound means to me.

With more and more people looking for FLAC/Lossless music and products to play those tracks (like Neil Young's Pono Music), it only makes sense that aficionados of music listening will be looking for the next best thing.  Sometimes going the extra mile for a decent pair of headphones or speakers for your car/home/computer will make or break the difference in your overall experience for sound.  Check out the documentary for yourself and reflect on what your level of acceptance is for sound quality.

Random Music Quotes: Vengeance

"It truly encompasses everything that Avenged Sevenfold was.  It was us being fearless, showing our roots in heavy metal, punk rock, rock 'n' roll, and not being afraid to try everything, you know, under the sun when it comes to writing music. 

It was us showing off our attitude, our theatrics during that time period. We wanted to take it to a different level rather than just keep it in the garage." -Zacky Vengeance

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Music Releases For October 21st, 2014

More big artists here this week than you can shake a vinyl at!  [Can you shake a vinyl at something?]

Welcome back folks to this week's new releases.  As you can see from some of my hyperlinks that I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a few of these gems.  Others happened to fall into my lap and still no complaints!  I am enjoying the large quantity of tunes to match all moods of my day.  That's ranging anywhere from some morning positive vibes like Aretha or Annie, to the heaviest of afternoon brick wall awakenings like Slipknot/Alice Cooper/Amarathe.  Hell, I have even been enjoying the complete weirdness that is Primus and their Willy Wonka tribute album all afternoon!

Either way, there is surely something here to catch your fancy and pick up at a local record store.  If you have the Tuesday rainy day vibes here in Toronto then I might suggest an online retailer or a trusted digital source.  As long as you have a chance to enjoy some of the awesome tuneage then my work has been done.  Enjoy!

(Aretha Franklin - Sings The Great Diva Classics)

There’s a clear commercial hook here — you already know and love the songs. Credit Clive Davis with that time-honored scheme. But in play, it could have backfired. Why mess with material already done to perfection?

Luckily, Franklin wasn’t after perfection. Never does she restrict herself to formal arrangements or pruned vocal readings. Applying that approach here would have drawn a direct comparison with the iconic originals, a losing game. Instead, Aretha acts more like a jazz singer, scatting and vamping her way through vocals that are ravenous and free, adventurous and loony.

To her, these songs aren’t destinations. They’re vehicles for her to improvise and strut. -NY Daily News

(Neil Diamond - Melody Road)

Judging by the love-drunk tone of "Melody Road," Diamond followed through on his plan. "Marriage is not an easy thing / But look at all the joy it brings," he sings in "Marry Me Now." Elsewhere, the 73-year-old rhymes "what a little bit of love can do" with "took me to a place that I never knew." Imagine scribbling in a notebook aboard a yacht somewhere; these are precisely the sort of lyrics one might create. -LA Times

(Susan Boyle - Hope)

I have really enjoyed making this album. I had a huge input in music suggestions and finally have been able to record one of my all time favourites, “Angel,” originally by Sarah Mclachlan. I also am pleased to be able to sing some uptempo songs that show variation in my repertoire. There are also iconic songs, which were a risk to take on but I hope I’ve done them justice in my own way. John Lennon’s “Imagine” was one of the hardest to record, not because of the music or the vocals but because I wanted to do his song justice. Of course the die -hard Lennon fans will probably criticize but I hope that people like my personal take on the song. I themed this album around inspiration and hope because those are two elements we all need in our life to drive us forward and inspire us to go out and capture our dreams- they worked for me after all. -Boyle

(Annie Lennox - Nostalgia)

Nostalgia is loaded with blues and jazz standards from the 1930s and 1940s, stone classics by Hoagy Carmichael, Gershwin, Duke Ellington, some relating to the civil rights movement. Lennox immediately sells the material short with that lame album title, though she does at least manage to avoid a rheumy-eyed big band cash-in. The arrangements are tasteful and spare enough to ensure the spotlight is on Lennox’s full-bodied voice. -Scotsman

(Thurston Moore - The Best Day)

Sure, it’s not perfect. Broadly speaking, the sound is too clean and Steve Shelley ain’t the drummer he used to be—he keeps time more than he does strike thunder—and as a result, some songs fail to ignite like they used to. Elsewhere, the way the band returns to the theme of “Speak to the Wild” after the instrumental passage at the 6:20 mark is lazy, as if they didn’t know how to transition between the two. Meanwhile, the last 30 seconds of “The Best Day” just patters out without signifying anything (compare this to the quiet endings of “Schizophrenia” or “Dirty Boots” to see what you’re missing). “Detonation”’s ending, despite being the exact opposite sonically speaking, is equally flaccid. Moore’s super-serious delivery of the super-serious “YOU MAY HAVE TO USE A TOY GRENADE!” while the band stops playing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But quibbles and kerfuffles aside, I—being a huge Sonic Youth fan—thoroughly enjoyed Moore’s newest output and am looking forward to the next. -Pop Matters

(Primus - Primus & The Chocolate Factory with The Fungi Ensemble)

The arrangements are varied, employing the band's notorious kitchen sink mentality to interpret the sounds of the originals, and the vocalists show an impressive range of acting chops. Claypool vividly embodies the role of Grandpa Joe in "Golden Ticket" and hits Gene Wilder levels of insanity on "Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride," while guitarist Larry Lalonde nails the Veruca Salt tantrum of "I Want It Now." They even save the film's biggest downer: "Cheer up Charlie" had millions of kids reaching for the fast-forward button, but Primus make it one of the album's highlights, with Claypool sounding sweet on the track's demented, playful hook, alleviating the draining sadness of the original. -Exclaim

(Bush - Man On The Run)

One thing that Bush never struggle to do is create evocative, lyrically potent songs and this album is no exception. It holds a collection of well-constructed tracks led by Rossdale’s unwavering vocals, creating a solid album that unfortunately just falls flat as a whole.

It’s no secret that Bush are a killer band that know how to make a great song. ‘Man On the Run’ is a collection of consistently good tracks, but with no evolution or steady engagement throughout the album, that’s all it is, a few good songs. -Sound Sphere

(Billy Idol - Kings & Queens of the Underground)

Billy doesn't really throw himself into autobiography here, preferring to merely write from the perspective of an old punk rocker on the verge of senior citizenship. Frankly, that's enough to give Kings & Queen of the Underground character if not quite a kick. Idol may be posturing -- that's what he does for a living, after all -- but he's relaxed here, certainly more so than he was on 2005's hard-edged Devil's Playground, having fun playing with his past while trying on some new fashions. Some of the styles are undeniably tacky but, hey, bad taste is part of Idol's legacy and Kings & Queens of the Underground touches upon that garishness along with his exaggerated swagger, fondness for hooks, and an irascible snarl, and that makes it an autobiography even if it never tells a story. -All Music

(Amaranthe - Massive Addictive)

The downside of the whole album is that it seems as if Amaranthe puts more and more forus on the trance/dance/pop aspects of the songs. In nearly every song there is a small techno style mid section, which acts like a sort of break in the song. Even in the ballad True, you can hear some unneccessary “digital” sounds in the background.

All in all, even thoug Amaranthe has improved in some areas, the album feels like a step backwards for the band. Maybe it would have been better if they would not rely on the electric/computer sounds as much, since the songs in which those are less, sound much better and it feels as if those are better mixed. So for me, more metal, less techno/pop, and the album would have been much better! -Metal Exposure

(Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter)

There are also a lot of the trademarks that have made Slipknot great over the years. The incredibly heavy and rapid fire drumming gives us such future moshpit monsters like ‘Sarcastrophe’ and ‘AOV.’ The percussionists also step up to the plate with some pummeling moments on the single ‘The Devil in I’ and the album’s first preview track, ‘The Negative One.’ Guitarists Jim Root and Mick Thomson get their chance to shine on such tracks as ‘Nomadic’ and ‘Killpop.’ And Sid Wilson‘s scratching and high pitched samples stand out on ”Sarcastrophe,’ ‘Custer’ and ‘The Negative One.’ -Loudwire


(Alice Cooper - Raise The Dead: Live From Wacken)

Alice not only raids his impressive back catalogue, including a couple of rarer gems, he also throw’s in a couple of cover songs, and you end up with is a great set list, as opposed to just having a predictable set list.

Alice is on top of his game here, his stagecraft and showmanship has never been better, as a live show Alice takes some beating.  I won’t bore you about the sound quality, nor indeed the HD video the concert was shot in, we have all come to expect this level of presentation by default now, however there are some added bonus material on the dvd, including a 20 minute interview with Alice on the tour and more. -Planet Mosh

Bush - Man On The Run

Well here we go again.  Another hit 90's band looking to make a new image in the new music industry.  Not saying that previous efforts of British rockers Bush have been ignored.  "Sea of Memories" was a decent comeback after a 10+ year hiatus but was obviously met with some critics and fans not buying into it.  I happen to be on the positive side of that album and to this day am still singing the chorus for "Sound of Winter" from time to time.  It's a good hook and catchy.  That's the vibe I got from the new single/music video "The Only Way Out" off this new album.  Check it out below and see what you think.  While it may not have that hard hitting distortion like classic tracks "Machinehead" or "Everything Zen", but have evolved much like the band.

Interesting concept with the video as well as it seems to have a blend of back and forth.  Kind of reminds me of their music.  Some songs bring me into the fold and get me interested (much like "Sound of Winter") while others (such as "The People That We Love") have me running the opposite way.  From what I have gathered off the three tracks being promoted (which are on this article), the band is taking a step in a further direction from their original sound.  Gavin Rossdale explains the creation behind "Man On The Run".

"I approached the whole record from the live perspective, thinking about the EDM music and what is it that people are getting so lost in EDM about and what is the whole tribal thing that's going on there? It's that moment in Ibiza where 10,000 people lift their hands up in the air and lose themselves in the music, that whole push-pull crowd control thing that I was really interested in capturing on this (album)." -Rossdale

Makes sense that Rossdale wants the music of Bush to translate into a spectacular live performance.  Capturing an audience's attention visually can make or break your entire show.  I know I have been the countless shows where the band in front of me (as well as their music) is not captivating me and from there the moment is lost.  Rossdale wants every part of Bush's performance to be a eye catching visual.

"Every song I write has to be able to co-exist with some big songs in our set list that people have come to accept as part of the fabric of Bush. There's not one song on the new record that isn't going to translate live." -Rossdale

So that being said, "Man On The Run" was released on October 21st, 2014 via Zuma Rock Records.  Album artwork, track listing, and singles are listed below.

1. Just Like My Other Sins
2. Man On The Run
3. The Only Way Out
4. The Gift
5. This House Is On Fire
6. Loneliness Is A Killer
7. Bodies In Motion
8. Broken In Paradise
9. Surrender
10. Dangerous Love
11. Eye Of The Storm

12. Let Yourself Go (deluxe edition bonus track)
13. Speeding Through The Bright Lights (deluxe edition bonus track)
14. The Golden Age (deluxe edition bonus track)

The album is being produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who has also worked with other artists such as Foo Fighters, Ghost, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Big Wreck, Stone Sour, Evanescence, Mastodon, and more.  Other production duties handled by Jay Baumgardner, who has done previous work with  Helmet, Sevendust, Papa Roach, Coal Chamber, Godsmack, Three Days Grace, P.O.D., New Found Glory, Spineshank, Alien Ant Farm and Orgy, and more.

"They say the hardest thing for a writer is putting yourself in a seat to do it. I'm really untrained with music, so it's always a natural process of understanding more about music by writing songs. So it's a grand voyage of discovery. I have a good time doing it, I love my job. I just dive right in. I have a collection of words that I've been writing over the previous couple of years... I have a file of that stuff and each day I dive into that and see if there's anything I can salvage. Then I think of the tempo and the feeling of the songs and how it fits my mood for that day." -Rossdale

Further information regarding a tour has yet to be revealed, but we assume the band will follow this with a continental/worldwide tour.  And shhhh!  Don't tell anyone that I found a stream of the entire album streaming online.  So have a listen and be sure to comment.