Saturday, July 18, 2015

Protest The Hero - Volition

♫ Well there was an undeniable time where I simply referred to new music as: "meh… I've heard all this before" or why should I bother even trying when someone already recorded a better version of it. So I explored rather the past as discovering new music. To be honest, now I realize I wasn’t quite ready for it. I've known PTH for quite some time but didn't give damn about it… reason explained in the paragraph above.

♫ I consider Volition their best effort, I had listened to it like zillion times and it still keeps me shaking till this day. The sonic speeding, the Nintendo sounding guitars, clean emotional yet aggressive singing style with occasional growl, sick drumming style and the virtuosic guitar tapping. Altogether creating maybe not so inventional sounding piece as it had been years before but it took some time for the whole band to grow into this. Not to mention the sound and production might be the perfect fit for the band and their style. It just feels and sounds right. This effort came out the best sounding of their 4 albums released till this day. PTH combines the sonic elements of hard core, metal core, math metal, heavy metal, djent to a very unique degree. It goes for me as the best album so far I heard in the last 5 years. Producer Cameron McLellan contributed also heavily alongside his obvious duties by performing several instruments on the album and also being active as composer, which also became a huge factor. ♫ To be honest my obsession with is album became so big that I not only bought the digipack version of the album but also ordered the digital book with transcribed guitar parts and made a t-shirt with the limited edition album cover.

Here goes the track by track review:

* 1. Clarity - first track of the album which I adored. It has the most memorable intro riff from whole album and as a concept it's just well-balanced in its dynamics, full of mood changes and great story telling.

* 2. Drumhead Trial - Love the tight beat in the intro, the sonic Nintendo like sounding guitars are most audible here :).

* 3. Tilting Against Windmills

* 4. Without Prejudice

* 5. Yellow teeth - double bass drum beat throughout the whole song with grooving rhythm for head banging and builds up very nicely to the end.

* 6. Plato's Tripartite - one of the mellowest songs on here, with nice trade off with female vocals in the end. Great melodic sing a long chorus.

* 7. A Life Embossed - exact opposite of number six, the thin air, aggressive vocals, different changes of moods, lot of political views.

* 8. Mist - A tribute / ode to one of the bands favorite places to play - New Found Land, mellowest song and most radio-friendly one on the album.

* 9. Underbite - Lyrics tell a parody to all the bands playing out of nostalgia and posers. Most hardcore influenced song on the album.

* 10.Animal Bones - Might be considered a filler on the album if we had to pick one but very strong song though.

* 11. Skies - Albums closer with every ingredients needed, dramatic build up till the end. A definite statement at the end.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

RETRO REVIEW: Mother Love Bone - Apple (1990) "Transition from glam rock to grunge at change of the decades"

♫ After listening to this album and being able to truly appreciate it, I always ask my question what could have been… At the time of its original release it was just an album with… But now looking back, with a more historical view you can easily put it between the 80's hair metal sound and 90's grunge or alternative rock if you like as some fusion of the two worlds that won't collide (at least that's the precedence). But this collision makes perfect sense to me.

♫ I knew about this album for very long, but couldn’t set up my mind to comprehend it. It had this sleazy yet anxious vocals, it was fun, yet deep, it was funky yet straight forward and had many more of those opposites attributes, which left me constrained. Basically I couldn't classify this record in my own personal library - I mean, I appreciate music to be diverse and unique and don't like to toss bands in one bag and tag them with one genre, but this one just didn't fit. I love each decade of music for what it was and listen to grunge and glam with equal passion.

♫ I would put this record on par with Alice in Chains' Facelift which manage to fuse those genres on their debut as well but somehow that one was more obvious. That's why I love Mother Love Bone's effort so much, it has their deceased singer personality all over it, the temporary state of the rock sound, the whole mixture just blends together tastefully. As mentioned this album has strong historical meaning to me, it surely made his mark, but I would put in a rock 'n roll encyclopedia with the note for every newbie saying that this sound marks the natural transition of the decades, which was hardly replicated later.

♫ Lead singer of this band named Andrew Wood died prior of this album's release, like other rock stars, it was drug related, but this is just a fact. The album created hype, sold very well (Platinum in the US) considering this to be a disbanded act at the time of its release. The unanswered question is, what impact would it have if the band would go on tour and promote the album and would this album be the defining one of the 90's or their subsequent release. That's the mystery it creates for me when you listen to it. But like from any other bad thing, something beautiful is born which proofs that the circle of life exists in music as well. The newborn was Pearl Jam, which started out little but came out big, but that's another story.

  • 10 out of 10 Earphorical Points