Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vacation Alert For June 24-July 6th, 2015


Unfortunately since this is a hobby and a solo mission, AFGM will not be posting regularly till next week.  Like everyone else in the workforce, I am taking off for the last of my vacation to trek into cottage country!

Some of you may be thinking "I don't have to hear him for a week!"  But don't get bummed out though (haha).  There are 1300+ articles that you can feel free to check out in the archives for new bands, videos and tunes you probably haven't heard before.  This is also a chance to see if any readers out there can keep the music conversations going.  See you all back here on July 6!

Music Video Round Up For June 30th, 2015

Going through my playlist is the toast to the week/weekend.  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!

*Please click on the hyperlinks of each video to find out more about the artist and album releases.*

Armin van Buuren feat. Mr. Probz - Another You:

"Another You" is taken from Armin van Buuren's EP, also titled Another You, which was released on May 26th, 2015 via Armada Music B.V., under exclusive license in Canada to Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.

Arkona - Zov pustyh dereven':

"Zov pustyh dereven'" is taken from Arkona's latest album Yav, which was released on April 25th, 2014 via Napalm Records.

Evergrey - Black Undertow:

"Black Undertow" is taken from Evergrey's latest album titled Hymns for the Broken, which was released on January 7th, 2015 via AFM Records.

Memphis May Fire - Stay The Course:

"Stay The Course" is taken from MMF's upcoming re-issue of Their latest album Unconditional, which will be released as a deluxe edition on July 17th, 2015 via Rise Records.

Refused - Dawkins Christ:

Refused will be releasing their new album Freedom on June 29th, 2015 via Epitapth Records.

Dark Tranquillity - The Science of Noise:

"The Science of Noise" is taken from Dark Tranquillity's latest album Construct, which was released on May 27th, 2013 via Century Media Records.

Black Stone Cherry - Things My Father Said (Live):

"'Things My Father Said' live from our 2014 show at the LG Arena (now known as Genting Arena​) in Birmingham, UK. This is a little sneak peek at the DVD/Blu-Ray release coming later this year on Eagle Rock Entertainment​."

Symphony X - Without You (Lyric Video):

"Without You" is taken from Symphony X's upcoming album titled Underworld, which will be released on July 24th, 2015 via Nuclerar Blast Records.

Gus G - Burn (Lyric Video):

"Bun" is the latest single from Gus G's upcoming album Brand New Revolution, which will be released on July 24th, 2015 via Century Media Records.

Fear Factory - Soul Hacker (Lyric Video):

"Soul Hacker" is the latest single from Fear Factory's upcoming album Genexus, which will be released on August 7th, 2015 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Miss May I - I.H.E. (Audio Only):

"I.H.E." is taken from Miss May I's upcoming album Deathless, which wil be released on August 7th, 2015 via Rise Records.

The Devil Wears Prada - Supernova (Audio Only):

"Supernova" is the first single from The Devil Wears Prada's upcoming EP titled Space, which will be released on August 21st, 2015 via Rise Records.

Music Releases For June 23rd, 2015

Well, this is a prime example of me not looking at ANY releases for this week.  Man was I blown away, and quite happy with the bands dropping new stuff today.  Seriously... Lindemann, Pro-Pain, BMTH, Breaking Benjamin, and Neil Young all in one week?!  

(Artwork by AFGM. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Enjoy the [delayed] choices of AFGM for this week's releases and be sure to pick em up from a local record store, online retailer, or trusted digital source.  Cheers and enjoy discovering music!

(Asia - Axis XXX: Live in San Francisco MMXXII)

From an outsider looking in, the atmosphere of this performance is simply amazing and brings with it a sense of calming and the eventual toe-tapping that comes from involuntarily enjoying something with a palatable melody and catchy choral sense. If you’ve never heard Asia before, then this live concert setting should come as a real treat and displays them at a truly fine and memorable moment. It also demonstrates to me that there will never be a band like this one, ever again. -New Noise Magazine

(Skyzoo - Music For My Friends)

The beats are rooted in classic styles. Most everything has New York boom-bap flavor, save for the J Dilla sound on “See a Key (Ki’), and the synth-driven production of “Sweet Pursuit.” A recurring theme is trumpet instrumentation, which establishes ambiance and a certain vibe (“Suicide Doors”; “Civilized Leisure”). A mellow overtone prevails, and the mood is consistent.

Music For My Friends is an above-average effort from Skyzoo. Hip Hop purists will appreciate the framework in particular, but everyone can relate to the album as a whole for its universal sentiment, conveyed vis-a-vis storytelling and life lessons from the artist himself. -Hip Hop DX

(Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years)

The Monsanto Years often plays like the musical equivalent of that: a guy fed up with big business and environment abusers who speaks out before he has a chance to collect his thoughts. But as he’s proven before, Young thrives in these situations. For all his restlessness and proficiency (hard to believe he actually has enough unreleased material in the can for an archives series), he’s also remarkably consistent in his devotion to his projects. Even when they’re as loose and as impulsive as this one. -Ultimate Classic Rock

(Audiomachine - Magnus)

*no reviews as of yet.

(Freedom Hawk - Into Your Mind)

Their second, self-titled full length is a personal favorite, also achieving album of the month accolades in many prominent European metal magazines. It’s been four years since their last studio album, so “Into Your Mind” as their fourth full-length strives to keep the band’s premiere songwriting and performances on par with the back catalog.

Keeping the sonic display at that same earthy platform as their stylistic base, “Into Your Mind” keeps FREEDOM HAWK at the top of their game – and should be essential listening for those who love organic records that reflect the roots of the Hard Rock/Metal genres. -Metal Temple

(Breaking Benjamin - Dark Before Dawn)

AFGM: Breaking Benjamin Returns In 2014/2015 - Dark Before Dawn

Dark Before Dawn, Breaking Benjamin’s fifth studio album produced by Burnley and released via Hollywood Records, features twelve tracks of a thought-provoking mixture of darkness and light. Beginning in tranquil fashion with the instrumental piece “Dark,” the track features a voice-over intro as guitars quietly begin, gaining their voice as the guys harmonize before tapering off to nothing.  Next is the quintessential Breaking Benjamin sounding “Failure” with a riff-laden melody that maybe speaking of feeling like a failure after the original band broke up with lyrics such as, “Tired of feeling lost/tired of letting go/Tear the whole world down.”  Keeping listeners on their toes, “Angels Fall” has a Pop-ish feel while Burnley sings, “When angels fall with broken wings/I can’t give up/I can’t give in.”  Following is no-nonsense rocker “Breaking the Silence,” announcing itself with ripping riffs, and growling war cry vocals thrown into this piece of defeating phobias with the words, “I’m breaking the silence/I’m falling apart for you.” -Cryptic Rock

(Lindemann - Skills In Pills)

AFGM: Lindemann

Having in mind that Lindemann teamed-up with a genius like TÃĪgtgren the result could have been much more surprising. It's a missed opportunity for adding a new thrilling chapter to the book of metal. Imagine a mean bastard that combines Rammstein's industrial metal with Swedish death metal.

"Skills in pills" is a predictable album that, due to the similarities, will be loved by Rammstein fans. If I have to choose between Lindemann and Kruspe's Emigrate releases I prefer the last mentioned ones, since those are more innovative. "Skills in pills" instead is playing safe. -Markus' Heavy Music Blog

(Pro-Pain - Voice of Rebellion)

Production-wise, this thing is a hammer. The mix is big, burly and bruising and the guitars have enough force to ruin your sheet rock and drive off even the most loyal girlfriend. Despite the low DR, it sounds surprisingly balanced and satisfying and exactly as this kind of music should.

Voice of Rebellion is a big, pugnacious slab of New York attitude, ready to climb off the disc and bully you into a corner. It’s pit-ready, parent unfriendly and has enough breakdowns to send Dr. Fisting into hiding for a month. -Angry Metal Guy

(Rosetta - Quintessential Ephemera)

The album is a harrowing listen, meeting at the intersection of hardcore intensity, sludge riffery, and post-rock’s sense of scope. What makes (and has made) Rosetta so endearingly awesome isn’t that they do anything particularly new or inventive. It’s that they take the existing post-metal formula and elevate it. At their best, Rosetta is a band whose music evokes a heavy metal astronaut’s trip through space, and that celestial beauty is on full display here as well. Quintessential Ephemera is mostly (sorry) quintessential post-metal, evoking the wonder of perfectly composed music and the chaos and ethos of devastatingly heavy hardcore and metal. It’s a fantastic return to form for a once forgotten band. -New Noise Magazine


(Bring Me The Horizon - Live At Wembley)

The set leans heavily upon material from the band’s past two records, both of which have seen internet sentiment towards the band change from loathing to loving – petitions and thinkpieces abounded after both records were left off the shortlist for their respective years’ Mercury Prize. But they still hark back to their early days with a touching on-stage reunion with former guitarist Curtis Ward and subsequent blast through ‘Pray For Plagues’, the opening track from debut album ‘Count Your Blessings’ and a fan-favourite excluded from setlists for the past three years. The crowd-pleasing gesture is met with the biggest wall of death of the night, the chasm in the centre crowd eventually giving way to a bubbling, surging maelstrom of bodies and airborne discarded clothing. -DIY Magazine

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Disturbed - Immortalized

So most of us were caught by surprise on this information quickly spreading around the internet.  Trolls are going crazy, while fans are going even more crazy!  Disturbed has returned to the arena for your listening pleasure as they announce their brand new album titled "Immortalized".  Check out the band press release below:

The hiatus is over. Over the past year, we’ve been secretly writing and recording a brand new album. Today, we are excited to share a new song called “The Vengeful One” along with a new music video. It’s off our upcoming album called “Immortalized,” which will be released on August 21, and is available for pre-order today. 

(Photo courtesy of Disturbed via Facebook)

This album had the arduous task of, in some way, justifying the hiatus; giving the fans something that made it worth our time away from one another. We hope that it succeeds in that task. Thank you for staying with us over the years.

As someone who grew up in the prime of the nu-metal era, I am very happy to see these guys back in action, even if the music can be a bit bland at times (sorry folks, calling it as I feel it).  However, over the different albums released since 2000, the band has been pretty consistent with their material and their image.  The imagery of the album closely resembles that of previous releases such as Indestructible, and Asylum.

For those who do not follow Disturbed or haven't heard about them in sometime, you will remember that the group announced their hiatus back in July, 2011, giving time for members to recharge their batteries, focus on other music projects, family life, etc.  Draiman dismissed the idea that the hiatus was a result of inner band conflict.  I guess it makes sense now since the guys have been secretly working on this new album since January of 2014.  I am still rather astounded that rumors and such did not make it to the internet sooner.  Usually, an artist of this magnitude has leaks and snippets.  I think all in all, it is going to work out as a great marketing ploy for the album.

Immortalized was recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, NV with producer Kevin Churko.  You may remember Churko from his past work with Ozzy Osbourne, In This Moment, Rob Zombie, Papa Roach, Hellyeah, Gemini Syndrome, Ringo Starr, Celine Dion, Slash, and many more!  Immortalized will be released on August 21st, 2015 via Reprise Records.

(Album artwork courtesy of Disturbed and Reprise Records)

1. The Eye of the Storm
2. Immortalized
3. The Vengeful One
4. Open Your Eyes
5. The Light
6. What Are You Waiting For
7. You're Mine
8. Who
9. Save Our Last Goodbye
10. Fire It Up
11. The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
12. Never Wrong
13. Who Taught You How to Hate
14. Tyrant (Deluxe Edition)
15. Legion of the Monsters (Deluxe Edition)  
16. The Brave and the Bold (Deluxe Edition)

"I think the fans will feel like it was worth the wait.  We've been planning this for the past year and keeping it a secret so we can't wait to hear the response. I hope fans realize we have a lot more left in us. This album reassured me of that. To be away from it for almost 5 years, get back in a room, write together, and tap into that fire is awesome. Part of me didn't want to leave the studio! We still have a lot more to say. We still have a lot more to do. We're returning stronger than ever. I think 'Immortalized' shows that." -Donegan

Once again mentioning the marketing aspect of it, it's always nice to have some audio and/or visual to add to an album announcement such as this one.  Disturbed fans lucked out and also got a brand new music video for the first single "The Vengeful One", which you can check out below.  The video was produced by Phil Mucci, who has also worked on set with bands such as Stone Sour, Halestorm, Huntress, Monster Magnet, and more!

"For this album, everything was written in the same room. It was wonderful experiencing how it used to be back in the day for us. That became apparent in the material, whether it was the passion of the performance, the power being harnessed, or the feelings evoked. We could feel the difference." -Draiman

And that's about all the information we have right now folks.  Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for updates, new music, and other exciting information.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Video Round Up For June 22nd, 2015

Going through my playlist is the toast to the week/weekend.  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!

*Please click on the hyperlinks of each video to find out more about the artist and album releases.*

Simply Red - Shine On:

"Shine On" is taken from Simply Red's latest album Big Love, which was released on May 29th, 2015 via East West Records, a division of Warner Music UK Limited.

Angel Vivaldi - ._ _ _ _:

". _ _ _ _" is taken from Angel Vivaldi's latest EP Away With Words (Part 1), which was released on March 11th, 2014.

We Came As Romans - Regenerate:

"Regenrate" is taken from We Came As Roman's upcoming self-titled album, which will be released on July 24th, 2015 Equal Vision Records.

Parkway Drive - Vice Grip:

"Vice Grip" is taken from Parkway Drive's upcoming album Ire, which will be released on September 25th, 2015 via Resist/Epitaph Records.

Unleash The Archers - Tonight We Ride:

"Tonight We Ride" is taken from Unleash The Archer's latest album Time Stands Still, which will be released on July 10th, 2015 via Napalm Records.

Agnostic Front - Old New York:

"Old New York" is taken from Agnostic Front's latest album The American Dream Died, which was released on April 7th, 2015 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Heart of a Coward - Hollow:

"Hollow" is taken from Heart of a Coward's upcoming album Deliverance, which will be released sometime in 2015 via Century Media Records.

iwrestledabearonce- Green Eyes:

"Green Eyes" is taken from iwrestledabearonce's latest album "Hail Mary", which was released on June 16th, 2015 via Artery Recordings.

RUSSKAJA - Rock'n'Roll Today:

"Rock'n Roll Today" is taken from Russkaja's upcoming album Peace, Love & Russian Roll, which will be released on July 31st, 2015 via Napalm Records.

Feed The Rhino - Deny And Offend:

"Deny and Offend" is taken from Feed The Rhino's latest album The Sorrow and the Sound, which was released on June 23rd, 2014 via Century Media Records.

Feed The Rhino - Give Up:

"Give Up" is taken from Feed The Rhino's latest album The Sorrow and the Sound, which was released on June 23rd, 2014 via Century Media Records.

Alabama Shakes - Gimme All Your Love (Live):

"Gimmie All Your Love" is taken from Alabama Shakes' latest album Sound & Color, which was released on April 21st, 2015 via ATO Records. This live performance was recorded and filmed at the Artists Den.

Dwight Yoakam - A Thousand Miles from Nowhere (Live):

An exclusive clip of Dwight Yoakam performing “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" from Guitar Center Sessions presented by JBL with host Nic Harcourt.

Alabama Shakes - Don't Wanna Fight (Live):

"Don't Wanna Fight" is taken from Alabama Shakes' latest album Sound & Color, which was released on April 21st, 2015 via ATO Records.  This live cut was recorded and filmed at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA.

Lifehouse - Hurricane (Live):

An exclusive clip of Lifehouse performing “Hurricane" from Guitar Center Sessions presented by JBL with host Nic Harcourt.

Lifehouse - You and Me (Live):

An exclusive clip of Lifehouse performing “You and Me" from Guitar Center Sessions presented by JBL with host Nic Harcourt.

Aerosmith - Mama Kin (Live):

Aerosmith’s headlining appearance at the Download Festival in Donington Park was adored by the fans and acclaimed by the critics. The band delivered a blistering set of their greatest hits with 80,000 people in the crowd singing along. It was proof, if any were needed, that Aerosmith remain one of the most dynamic live acts on the planet with a catalogue of songs that is firmly embedded in the hearts and minds of rock fans from all over the globe. Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is a triumphant celebration of a legendary band at the peak of their powers.

Oceans Ate Alaska - Floorboards (Guitar Play Through):

"Floorboards" is taken from Oceans Ate Alaska's latest album Lost Isles, which was released on February 24th, 2015 via Fearless Records.

Walk off the Earth - Home We'll Go (Lyric Video):

"Home We'll Go" is taken from WOTE's latest album Sing It All Away, which was released on June 12th, 2015 via Columbia Records.

Art of Dying - Tear Down the Wall (Lyric Video):

"Tear Down the Wall" is taken from Art of Dying's new EP  titled Rise Up, which was released on April 21st, 2015 via Better Noise Records.

Dew Scented - Ode To Extinction (Lyric Video):

"Ode To Extinction" is the debut single from Dew Scented's upcoming album Intermination, which will be released on June 29th, 2015 via Prosthetic Records.

Rockfest 2015 Review

YESSIR MILLER!  Bon Rockfest!

That was the starting of a beautiful weekend of metal, punk, rock, and even a lil bit of hip-hop thrown into the mix.  The 10th anniversary of Amnesia Rockfest was a spectacle not to be missed this year by lovers of music.  No matter where you went, you seemed to have a sense of comradery with almost everyone you met.  We made friends with people from all across the province (and even other countries) who were all as equally excited to see their favourite bands and artists.

So I am sure you can read practically EVERY music news agency and get a glimpse of what the festival was like.  They will talk about the endless amount of poutine, or the lack of beer diversity for Busdweiser's sake (one of the main sponsors of the festival), the massive 30 minute thunderstorm we all got on Thursday night, and I can almost guarantee that each site will have their own top highlights of the festival.

Due to my own laziness (and enjoyment of the festival), I did not bring a camera or even a cell phone to Rockfest this year.  Even though I spend most of my time shooting photos for concerts, I wanted to keep these memories for myself.  Basically, I wanted to let the news agencies do the coverage, while kicked back and enjoyed my 72 hours of chaos and fun!  Here are some of the highlights from my festival.

(Photo courtesy of Amnesia Rockfest)

The Good:

- The camping has always been a highlight for my friends and I.  Fo the past three years, we have been fortunate to be camping out in someone's backyard who is an amazing host.  While official Rockfest parking/camping is usually the cheapest rates, our new friend Mathieu has given us the peace of mind by camping and parking about 300 meters away from the festival.  We also have private site showers, bathrooms, and a BBQ!

- The fans are simply awesome!  From crazy purple horned beasts, to S&M dominatrix, there was some love from almost every walk of life you can think of.  As a people watcher for behaviour, I was loving the different shirts, hairstyles, tattoos, gear, merchandise, and much more that everyone had.  Everyone (for the most part) is very friendly, easy going, and willing to help out others that might be in need.  Between seeing fans picking each other up in the moshpits, the selflessness water and food purchases for people feeling ill, the passing of cell phones so friends could find each other, and more.  It gave me some faith in humanity that 200,000+ people can get along with no real issues!

- THE BANDS!  Of course, almost everyone I had the chance to see played amazing!  There were no moshpits for me this year.  I was enjoying my time as a fly on the wall, and jumping between stages.  Overall, I think every band did a spectacular job and played to some awesome fans!  Some of my highlighted bands were Ministry, Story of the Year, The Descendants, From Autumn To Ashes, Linkin Park, Gogol Bordello, and of course Rob Zombie.

- Snoop Dogg.  Seriously, the man brought his A-game this weekend.  Knowing that he was the ONLY hip-hop artist in a sea of metal/punk, it was a tough job for Snoop to keep the masses entertained.  I remember mentioning to my girlfriend that we should get up close and personal to show some love for Snoop.  I was completely blown away with the crowd response he got.  Sure he threw out a bunch of hit songs (and even a few he didn't write) that most rockers would identify, but either way Snoop brought his attitude, his energy, his Mary Jane, and possibly one of the best crowds for 2015.

The Bad:

- Water.  That was my only main concern at the event.  While there was (for the most part) a water station where folks could fill up their bottles, it was not really shown on the festival maps, nor did it have a flag/marker like beer did.  I get it though... beer makes the festival money, and free water doesn't.  But considering both Friday and Saturday were mega beat down sunshine days (with little cloud coverage), it would have been better for Rockfest to keep a continuous amount fo water going for their fans.

Alcohol + sunshine = early passing out and less beer/food purchases.  I was also told the water stations closed before the main acts last night.  Not sure why it was shut down early, but hopefully a mistake to be corrected for next year.  I myself [easily] went through 6/7+ bottles each day to stay hydrated.

- Lineups to get into the festival.  While Rockfest definitely learned it's lesson about lineups from their 2013 edition, some of the lineups to get in seemed a little lengthy still.  I remember having to go back to my campsite to get some extra cash, and arriving at the lineup with the intention to see Flogging Mollys.  I got in just as they were wrapping up their set.  One could argue that I should have got in line earlier, but it took almost 30 minutes for re-entry.  Open some more lines, keep the flow going faster, and the crowds won't have to bunch up as much.

One of the biggest peeves was the impatience of some selfish, ignorant fans looking to push their way through lines.  MOST people that comes to the festival are courteous, friendly, and have patience (of course when 200K are involved).  A small percentage of concert goers  felt they had to get in before others and were not ashamed to push their way through, hop fences, cut corners, and basically anything they could to get to the front of the line.  It only sucks because you do not want to start a fight for something as minor as line cutting, but it only makes others feel more frustrated and hoping security would step in and enforce some rules of the lines.  They did a great job hold people up to when pat downs were happening, so some line etiquette would be nice.

- The VIP section.  Almost every main stage artists mentioned something about the VIP section taking up half of the main stage (while general admission fans stood at the gates behind) and left most fans having to fan out on the right side of the stage.  Even though the sound was realtively available everywhere, it would have been nice to span out the massive crowd and give everyone a chance to get up close and personal.  Seemed like an odd cash grab that almost everyone could identify.  Better luck next year Rockfest.

The Verdict:

Despite my list of things that bothered me about the festival, I still say it is one of the best organized events I have ever had the pleasure of attending.  The beer and food lines were quite fast, there was ample room for most people to see the bands they wanted, the bands themselves were excellent, the fans were energetic and encouraging, and will definitely be hard to top for 2016.  Kudos to Alex, and the rest of the crew for doing such a great job as usual.  Can't wait to see what they will have next year!

Full Album Stream: Angel Vivaldi - Away With Words [EP]

So one of the newest sections I created was "Full Album Streams".  Not only did this gave folks something to listen to when they are cruising the site (being that the original intention of this site was to acts as a hub to explore), but also a chance for people to explore new artists, new genres, and new albums before deciding to purchase them (also from links on AFGM's site).

Full album streams seem to be a new fad that a lot of internet savvy people are jumping on.  It can be in the form of a Soundcloud widget, a YouTube playlist, or even a single YouTube video.  This often gives record labels a chance to promote new artists and for people to subscribe to their social media pages.  So hopefully this provides you access to some new music, bands, and/or artists.  Cheers!

PS - Feel free to send us an email if you have any albums you think you should be on this list or a new one coming out we missed.  We're always listening!

(Artwork by AFGM.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Angel Vivaldi is a special friend of AFGM, as he has been very kind to us in the past and given two amazing interviews for two separate albums (Away With Words, and Universal Language).  Angel is self described as "InstruMetal" as he takes his songwriting talents to another level without the use of a vocalist.

AFGM: Away With Words - An Interview With Angel Vivaldi

He has been a successful independent artists since his arrival on the scene in 2003.  He has collaborated with many musicians, and has been involved with multiple projects such as I Legion, Chris Clancy (Mutiny Within), Max Illidge (40 Below Summer), and many more!  Angel has maintained great consistency with musicians involved in his solo project, which include:

Jake Skylyr - Bass | Jason Tarantino - Guitar | Bill Fore - Drums

His latest EP, Away With Words, was released on March 11th, 2014.  The EP was mixed, mastered, and produced by Will Putney and Randy Leboeuf at The Machine Shop.  Putney has extensive experience in production; working with bands such as Northlane, Oceano, Structures, Upon A Burning Body, Miss May I, Bury Tomorrow, For Today, The Acacia Strain, Vision of Disorder, Texas In July, and many more!  LaBoeuf is also a household name for metal lovers; working with artists such as Vanna, Wolves At The Gate, Gideon, Reign Supreme, Counterparts, and many more!

(Album artwork courtesy of Angel Vivaldi)

1. . _ _ _ _
2. .. _ _ _
3. ... _ _
4. .... _
5. .....

(*All songs listed above are AFGM recommendations, as I have a love for all five of these songs!)

"The concept EP will definitely make you rethink your thoughts on instrumental music and what it means to record, produce, master, and market your product." -AFGM

"I wanted this record and all future records to be timeless. I don't want production value or tricks to date my material so I went for a mostly organic approach... Real amps, real keyboards/synths, real drums, genuine performances, crisp production but not overbearing." -Vivaldi

"Every facet of this record embodies the concept of how everything possesses their opposite within itself- in every bad person there's compassion, in every teacher there is a student, in every male there are female attributes, etc." -Vivaldi

Music Releases For June 16th, 2015

There are two ways to look at summer vacation for AFGM.  One side of the argument is that I don't get to post as much as I'd like to because I don't have the time (or the location mind you) to sit down and hash out some articles.  It also happens that my creative thinking just shuts right off.  So anywho, I apologize for the delay of last week's releases.  The upside of the summer vacation is that I have plenty of time to sit down, relax, and check out some of the latest releases being featured here on AFGM.

Artists such as James Taylor, High on Fire, and Yukon Blonde make for some great campfire sessions; while the heavier side of things like KENmode, F**ked Up, Warped Tour, and The Ongoing Concept make for some great driving music to my destinations.  A few CDs go by, and you're already in northern Ontario enjoying some beautiful scenery.

(Artwork by AFGM. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

So I hope you all get the chance to pick up a few of these albums for whatever occasions lie ahead.  Whether it be physical copies from your local record store, online retailer, or a trusted digital source, I am sure you will enjoy even a select few of the albums.  Cheers and enjoy discovering new music!

(James Taylor - Before This World)

It’s not enough to distract from the glaring fact that “Before This World” doesn’t add much to Taylor’s beloved catalog, but doesn’t detract from it, either. The prevailing notion is clear: Easy does it and right down the middle of the road — exactly where we expect him to be. -Boston Globe

(Yukon Blonde - On Blonde)

Casual listeners (and perhaps even long-time fans) may be mystified to discover that, from the outset of the album, the onetime Sheepdogs-supporting rock outfit have been replaced by a swaggering, synth-loving quartet (a quintet live) that's more concerned with atmosphere, undeniable hooks and the maximalist expression of both, rather than the pub-thumping sounds found on their previous two LPs. It's confusing at first, but makes sense the more you listen to each of the album's ten tracks. -Exclaim

(Walk Off The Earth - Sing It All Away)

The album, 12 tracks long, is something you need to experience. With the lead single “Rule The World” opening the album, it cycles through both fast and slow songs with lyrics that tell stories and pull on your heart strings. A few of the songs were released as lyric videos before the release of the album, including my absolute favourite, “Home We’ll Go”. At first it was just the beautiful harmonies and backing music that drew me into the song, but then when I paid closer attention to the lyrics it actually moved me. -Canadian Beats

(Adam Lambert - The Original High)

Lambert’s third studio album The Original High (out today, June 16) should go a long way towards remedying this injustice. For the most part, he’s stripped away the theatrics that marked For Your Entertainment and Trespassing. (Just compare the album covers!) Lest Glamberts fear that their emperor has sworn off his edgy-in-eyeliner aesthetic, however, breathe easy, children! If anything, his sound has gotten weirder, which is a wonderful thing. -Idolator

(KENmode - Success)

Success could have easily accomplished the same goal by simply going the cover album route instead, but there's something just that much more admirable about KEN Mode taking the extra time to pen songs in the same vein that makes Success a formidable work of art and not just a token effigy. It would probably be kind of odd if the band continued in this exact vein for the eventual follow up, but as a calculated retracing of steps backward through their own evolution it very well ought to provide a sort of alternate reality version of that evolution going forward. -Metal Injection

(Fucked Up - Year of the Hare)

In fact, Hare openly mocks the concept of cycles or flow. Instead of the growing tide of Year of the Pig or the ascending Year of the Dragon. on Hare the band chops the song up in seemingly random spots. The beginning is a fractured, spastic collection of notes. The song then grows into one of Fucked Up’s trademarked blossoming growths, with the guitars and vocalist Damian Abraham’s voice growing in color and strength. But then, it suddenly fades away to a sparse, cold ticking until the album stops. After that, it gets even more fractured, with the song starting and stopping in random places. It’s almost as if they had a completed song, chopped it up and laid it back down in a patchwork. -Punk News

(High of Fire - Luminiferous)

Luminiferous is at its best when High on Fire seem to be preaching about these zany ideas, as if Pike has some great revelation that must be shared with his disciples. "Slave the Hive", for instance, ricochets between hardcore built by a doom metal toolkit and shout-out-loud classic rock played by madmen on speed. "They got us wired to the reptile brain," the band howls during the hook. "Your life is not the same. This world is insane." It’s the kind of silly, serious rallying cry that’s meant to be yelled back at the band onstage, even if you don’t buy it. That infectious feeling applies to the relentless title track, too, a pick-sliding monster that reaches back to the days of punk-and-metal crossover to lecture on theories of Hertz-based mind control and the deeds of white-wigged barristers. -Pitchfork

(VA - Vans Warped Tour '15 Compilation)

*No reviews as of yet.

(Hundredth - Free)

“Our goal with FREE was to combine all of the elements of Hundredth into one release without hindering progression.  The outcome is by far our best release. We ventured out vocally, which truly elevated the sound of this record. These are some of the best songs we’ve ever written and this record is sonically superior to anything we’ve ever done.” -Chad Johnson

(The Ongoing Concept - Handmade)

This truly DIY approach is strange and on paper sounds like it shouldn’t work, but just as with The Ongoing Concept’s debut record, the ragtime-fiddle-blaring Saloon, Handmade comes together flawlessly like French fries in ice cream. From the jazzy upbeats of “Amends” to the funk undertones hidden within “Feel” and “Unwanted,” Handmade transcends a variety of classic, tried and true genres and lumps them into the unexpected: contemporary punk. -New Noise Magazine

(Third Eye Blind - Dopamine)

Considering how long fans have been anticipating this new collection of songs, it is easy to think that frontman Stephan Jenkins has lost his mojo. The songwriter has even said that the reason why the wait was so long is because he had trouble finishing the lyrics. Not a good sign for a wordsmith of Jenkins’ caliber. But oddly enough, the prolonged process has somehow benefited his musicianship here on “Dopamine”, a record that is every bit as vigorous and catchy as the band’s best material, while still keeping things fresh and exciting for the listener. 

It’s easy to just write off 3EB as nothing more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane, which I feel is an unfair judgement to make. To shove them into a category of 1990’s fatigue is a downright insult, because Jenkins’ music is about so much more than just hooks and beats. He is a musical poet, and the 12 tracks on his latest disc are true testaments to the fact that he can still craft grand choruses, soulful melodies, and tongue-twisting lyrics like it was the most natural thing in the world. -The Supernaughts


(Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - Live At The Roxy: 9.25.14)

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Live at The Roxy 9.25.14 is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Vision, an imprint of Eagle Rock Entertainment (along with a coterie of other entities, including Universal Music, Guitar Center, and just for good measure DirecTV) with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. The progressive presentation of this concert effectively mitigates a lot of the typical anomalies we often see in high def concert videos, and so there is a refreshing absence of banding, posterizing and other distractions. There are occasional contrast issues, especially when the camera catches players with lights behind them which are aimed directly at the camera, but otherwise this is a solid and very appealing looking transfer that offers excellent detail and fine detail (you'll be able to count the perspiration drops on Slash's forehead if you're so inclined).  -Blu-Ray.com

(Funeral For A Friend - Hours: Live At Islington Academy)

Filmed and recorded on 25th April, 2014 at London’s Islington Academy during Funeral For A Friend’s ‘Hours’ tour with Boysetsfire and More Than Life, the live set serves as a reminder that this band are a vital part of UK rock history and their ability to captivate a crowd and craft important music is as strong as ever.

Funeral For A Friend’s legacy is one that has permeated the psyche of a whole new generation of bands in the UK.  -The Colour of Vinyl