I found myself on a bit of a bias this week as there were tons of heavy albums being released. While there are some top notch metal acts dropping albums this week, I decided to go through another look at the releases and see if there was anything else that caught my attention. Good thing I did. Not only was legendary Neil Young releasing his new "A Letter Home" album, but also found some other great artists such as Spanish Gold, 7 Seconds, and Tedashii. Needless to say these guys will be on my playlist for the day today. I have enough confidence in the other releases that they can wait till a more appropriate time (aka Friday) to start kicking up the jams.
(Neil Young - A Letter Home)
In these moments, and in skips and crackles and wobbles over the entire album, we’re reminded that this recording approach is—even at its most true and convincing—still a conceit, and that conceit has its limitations. That those limitations yield some great performances makes A Letter Home a solid entry in Young’s huge catalog, but also one of his more successful experiments. It’s a scuffed-up, messy ode to purity. It’s the kind of contradiction we might expect from artists like Neil Young and co-producer Jack White, though it still surprises. -Pop Matters
(Spanish Gold - South of Nowhere)
This is the most ambitious and promising record of the six, pooling the significant experiences of each member and channeling it into an immediately alluring sound that mixes Latin influences with muscular rock ’n’ roll and deep, infectious grooves. In a way, “South of Nowhere” epitomizes everything that has always been special about Austin music, in that it infuses deep-rooted traditional forms with a determination to create something fresh and new. -Statesman
(Tedashii - Below Paradise)
For casual listeners who want only trap beats and catchy hooks, Below Paradise is bound to disappoint with its serious nature and soul-bearing transparency. But for those who have/are experiencing heartbreak or loss (which is just about everyone) or just enjoy high-quality hip hop, there’s a lot to be enjoyed on what is probably Tedashii’s best album to date. Thematically similar to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s Beauty Will Rise, Below Paradise is an encouraging album from beginning to end. It might not be what some fans wanted to hear, but it was what Tedashii needed to create. -Indie Vision Music
(7 Seconds - Leave A Light On)
With this release 7 Seconds adds another chapter to a storied career that spans four decades. Nothing about “Leave A Light On” says to me that the band has any indication of slowing down anytime soon. Personally, it’s one of the best 7 Seconds albums of a half dozen releases. It just has everything that you could want in a 7 Seconds album, period. I tried to be critical of this release, but damn it…it just wasn’t happening. For punk fans new and old alike…make this album a priority listen. -Read Junk
The teenager in me is coming out though as I see a new release from Powerman 5000, and Bam Margera's Fuckface Unstoppable. I'll keep my opinions reserved regarding the quality of material FFU but it's Bam nonetheless which makes it interesting. Anyone who watched Jackass, CKY, or Viva La Bam would understand to at least sample it.
So the usual conclusion of a Tuesday rant folks. Show some love and pick up a physical copy of the album(s) at your local record store or online retailer. If digital is more your thing, then be sure to grab it from an authorized legal source. Either way you do it, make sure the band sees the profit for their hard earned work. Cheers!
(Powerman 5000 - Builders of the Future)
At the very least they seem more vital; on Builders of the Future Powerman 5000 are more energized than they've seemed in quite a long time. Frontman and founder Spider One hasn't seemed this enthusiastic for years and on tracks like opening number "Invade, Destroy, Repeat" and "Live It Up Before You're Dead" he's channeling the likes of Rob Zombie vocally, which is not a bad place to draw inspiration from. Nor is it a surprising inspiration; he's Zombie's younger brother. But while little brother is following in older brother's footsteps, it isn't just mindless aping. There's no doubt that they tread similar paths with their filmic influences and musical styles, but Spider varies up his sound a bit and this time around at least, it results in an LP that sounds like more than just a Rob Zombie tribute band. -411 Mania
(Bury Tomorrow - Runes)
Metalcore isn’t a genre known for frequently releasing ground-breaking albums, and in a way Runes is as typical as the genre comes. It’s a juggernaut of a record from start to finish; an adrenaline fuelled behemoth which rarely lets up, and although it may not see any new ground broken in terms of its label it does mark a progression for the English five piece, who’ve upped their game on their third full-length. Runes is a faster, heavier record that shows Bury Tomorrow push their own sound onto bigger and better things. The record’s only major flaw is its repeated formula, but this aside Runes is exactly how the genre should sound. It’s angry and charged, yet also melodic and technical, and it’s a step up from The Union Of Crowns that sees the band cover already trampled ground but do so in emphatic fashion. -Craig Reviews Music
(Marty Friedman - Inferno)
The album features some of the heaviest, most progressive music of his career. The mostly instrumental tracks on “Inferno” all have a ferocity to them, as if Friedman is constantly feeling the need to prove himself.
While the album has some nods to the good old days (including a collaboration with former Cacophony partner Jason Becker), “Inferno” is an album very much in tune with the current heavy scene; Friedman’s guitar growls with a modern edge and the drums blaze through relentlessly. Guest vocals by Danko Jones, Revocation’s David Davidson and Children Of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho spice things up. -Japan Times
(Crowbar - Symmetry In Black)
The depths of Kirk Windstein’s moody lyrics aren’t the only pleasure of this band. Can Tommy Buckley hit hard on them drums? You betcha’. The whole band is a beast that moves slowly and decisively.
If you’ve heard Crowbar before you know the drill. If not then consider yourself forewarned to hear some of the most miserable ill-begotten heavy metal loaded with the coolest riffs you’ve ever heard in your life. It should be noted that not since 1995 have Crowbar released an album that metal-archives.com rated below 85%. Even Morgoth can’t handle that. -New Noise Magazine
(Sabaton - Heroes)
If I may draw a parallel between closely related stylistic acts and how things should be done and not be done in the music business today: with all the re-hashing, re-recording and money bilking that goes on in the mighty Manowar camp of late, it seems that the Swedes just slipped behind the lines Joey Demaio’s ripe pulsating ego and rendered him irrelevant. “The Ballad of Bull” is the newly improved “Heart of Steel.” So, while Manowar meanders around like a bunch of old crabs, Joakim and the boys will step in and do it ten times faster, ten times better, and with twice as much conviction. Come to think of it – there isn’t much the half-clad can do when they point arrows, swords and spears at a Polish 7TP 37mm anti-tank gun. “Heroes” is yet another in a near perfect arsenal of albums. With Sabaton, you have three options: you love them, hate them or ignore them. If you are a fan, then your "Heroes" have arrived. -Metal Underground
(Fuckface Unstoppable - FFU)
All in all, FuckFace Unstoppable are a clearly a cohesive unit, they play well together live, they've written and recorded some good songs together and have a lot of potential as a band. If they can focus less on covers and live content next time round, they could very well turn out a quality hard rock album. Right now, Bam is in that awkward place where people still know him for stunts and crazy antics and, while that may very well be a big part of his career, if he’s to pursue music, people need to look past his days as a JACKASS and allow him the chance to express himself through his band. -Gav The Gothic Chav
(The Black Dahlia Murder - Fool 'Em All!)
It’s a great showcase for the newbies in Black Dahlia Murder, with the awesome Ryan Knight in full shredding flight, and drummer Alan Cassidy whom is a more than worthy replacement for their awesome former skinsman Shannon Lucas.
The highest compliment that can paid to Fool ‘Em All is that it isn’t prerequisite to be a Black Dahlia Murder fan to enjoy this DVD. It harkens back to the classic Pantera home videos, and the band and crew are easily likeable dudes, who simply want to party on and play top notch death metal. -About.com