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August 8, 2014

Eluveitie : Origins

Filed under: Listenings,New Music and Video — James R. Sutton @ 8:59 PM

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Eluveitie (Switzerland) – Origins | http://eluveitie.ch/

It was Eluveitie‘s Slania album that first grabbed my attention in 2008 and I’ve been following them since. Of all the bands I’ve heard that blend metal with traditional instruments, Eluveitie do it in a way that never sounds gimmicky or forced. I also find their lyrics fascinating, which are mostly based on ancient Gaulish texts and invocations.

I follow the band on all of the usual social media sites and over the last month up to Origins’ release, there was a lot of promotional material posted including two video singles. Through willpower and patience, I somehow managed to avoid all spoilers. Prior to pressing the play button on the evening of release day, I hadn’t heard a single note.

I absolutely adore 2012’s Helvetios and my hopes were very high for Origins. Not only have the band matched the quality and dynamics of Helvetios, I believe they’ve taken the next step in both musicianship and production.

At the end of my first listen through the album, one of the first things that came to mind was just how inspired and exciting Merlin Sutter‘s drumming has become. I also noticed that the traditional instruments were more consistently featured, which is something I very much appreciate. I was happy to hear that Alexander Morton had returned as one of the narrators, and that Nicole Ansperger‘s playing as the band’s new fiddler, is a perfect fit.

Origin’s guitars sound better than ever and Chrigel Glanzmann‘s and Anna Murphy‘s heart felt delivery and storytelling had me glued to the lyric sheet.

Eluveitie‘s new album is everything I’d hoped for along with many pleasant surprises. This kind of quality work should be applauded and I genuinely hope that Origins is a huge success for the band.

July 13, 2014

The Manics : Futurology

Filed under: Listenings,New Music and Video — James R. Sutton @ 5:27 PM

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Manic Street Preachers (Wales) – Futurology | http://www.manicstreetpreachers.com/

All of the respectable, forward-thinking bands will change up their sound, continually challenging themselves and the listener with each album. Although I can’t say I like everything they’ve done, the Manic Street Preachers are definitely one of those bands. I was late to the Manics party and it wasn’t until 2007’s “Send Away The Tigers” that I began to really appreciate their music.

From what I understand, the songs on “Futurology” were recorded at the same time as last year’s “Rewind The Film” which was a more melancholic, acoustic album. This new release however has a lot of electric guitars and is more of the sound and approach I was hoping for.

James Dean Bradfield’s catchy, soaring vocal melodies are as moving as always and the arrangements are only predictable when they should be. The lyrics are smart and dynamically delivered whereas the album’s two instrumental tracks stand strong on their own. I couldn’t be happier with this new collection of songs.

http://youtu.be/nusymqINrSc

June 10, 2014

New Music 2014 Pt. I

Filed under: Listenings,New Music and Video — James R. Sutton @ 10:00 PM

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A.C.T (Sweden) – Circus Pandemonium | http://www.actworld.se/

A.C.T are one of my favourite progressive rock bands. This new concept album tops everything they’ve released previously.

http://youtu.be/NtXERTwFXJ8

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Alaya (US) – Thrones | Basick Records

This is the debut album from Chicago’s Alaya. The whole thing is packed full of extremely tight, rhythmic, and melodic playing. I hope we see more from these guys.

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The Algorithm (France) – OCTOPUS4 | Basick Rercords

RĂ©mi Gallego’s first album “Polymorphic Code” absolutely blew me away. I’d never heard anything quite like it before. It’s progressive metal disguised as well crafted electronic music. “OCTOPUS4″ has got more of a soundtrack vibe while maintaining what makes The Algorithm so fresh and original.

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Animals As Leaders (US) – The Joy of Motion | Sumerian Records

AaL’s new album is so strong that I honestly don’t see myself listening to either of their first two recordings again. Where the previous releases seemed a bit scattered at times, “The Joy of Motion” feels very focused from start to finish. It’s maturely diverse, dynamic, and pioneering in all of the best ways.

http://youtu.be/9P4GsF1zdzM

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Arch Enemy (Sweden) – War Eternal | http://www.archenemy.net/

I’ve enjoyed Arch Enemy in the past, but never like I am with this new album. With Alissa White-Gluz now in the band, their sound feels re-energized and inspired.

http://youtu.be/tc-p93x5rPQ

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Destiny Potato (Serbia) – LUN | Bandcamp

Destiny Potato is David Maxim Micic‘s project. I’ve yet to hear anything he’s done that I don’t respect.

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Devil You Know (US) – The Beauty of Destruction | Wikipedia

This is Howard Jones’ (Killswitch Engage) new thing. I dig it.

http://youtu.be/0C17On6h3HQ

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Epica (Netherlands) – The Quantum Enigma | http://epica.nl/

Epica have outdone themselves with this new album. It’s the fresh approach I was hoping for.

http://youtu.be/oePrtEMmX9Y

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Edguy (Germany) – Space Police – Defenders of the Crown | http://www.edguy.net/

This is unquestionably the best Edguy album ever.

http://youtu.be/Z5TfvbePk_w

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