A Step Sideways

Tesseract has been my favourite band for quite a few years now due to a variety of reasons. a)The way they blend heavy and atmospheric, b)the sheer complexity of their songs, and of course, c)the vocalist Daniel Tompkins. He’s got a damn decent set of pipes on him, solid for singing or screaming (though he doesn’t do much of that anymore). He released his first solo album earlier this year (Castles) and it’s firmly in a pop rock space which is frankly surprising. It’s not bad, some of the songs are very catchy, but it’s short and there are a bunch of remixes at the end which aren’t wildly different or inspiring. Having said all that, I do absolutely recommend having a listen to the album anyway, as I think it has a time and place to be listened to, it’s just a matter of finding the when and where…

Daniel Tompkins – Saved

Surprise!

Frankly I wasn’t expecting this. I’d heard about this band and their whole ‘shrouded in mystery’ thing. I honestly find it a bit gimmicky, and not really that original. Think Ghost. Apparently with these guys, the frontman channels lyrics or something from The God of Sleep(?)… ok. Anyway, I wasn’t really sold by the backstory, and I was anticipating something a bit heavier and more in the vein of technical metal. I was pleasantly surprised by this! In fact I’ve had a bit of a listen to the album and gotta say there are some really decent tracks on here. There seems to be a bit of a blend of Deftones and Bon Iver at times. So here’s the opening track from the album (which I recommend a listen to).

Sleep Token – The Night Does Not Belong To God

Where The Heck Did That Week Go???

A 2-4-1 deal today. When I first started on here some years back, I didn’t know of the band Architects. Then their album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us fell into my lap and after some initial uncertainty, it became one of most binged albums of the year. I spent the next couple of  years anticipating the follow up album, being saddened to hear of the passing of one of the founding members, then relieved when the band continued on and finally released Holy Hell in 2018. They just released a new acoustic version of one of the songs of that album, so today I’m posting that track and the original… Both masterfully and hauntingly done!

Architects – A Wasted Hymn (acoustic)

Architects – A Wasted Hymn (original)

The Roads Are Paved

Not quite sure how I forgot to post yesterday… here’s this weeks highlight. It’s a pick from Crippled Black Phoenix‘s last album Great Escape. I really like the dark tone of this track, and whatever effect they’ve put over the vocals suits it so well. If anyone knows where the sample at the beginning is from, I’m all ears to know, I’m pretty sure it’s Christopher Lloyd from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Anyone else?

Crippled Black Phoenix – Las Diabolicas

None Needed

Here’s a song from a band I know absolutely nothing about. But I really have enjoyed this song over the last few months. My music taste seems to have shifted towards the “Post Hardcore”/”Melodic Metalcore” spectrum over the past couple of years. As an educational aside, let’s just have a quick look at what characterises these 2 genres.

Post Hardcore: Has been around since the 1980’s and has enjoyed a certain revival over the past decade. Pilfering from Wikipedia, Music database AllMusic stated “these newer bands, termed post-hardcore, often found complex and dynamic ways of blowing off steam that generally went outside the strict hardcore realm of ‘loud fast rules’. Additionally, many of these bands’ vocalists were just as likely to deliver their lyrics with a whispered croon as they were a maniacal yelp.” Allmusic also claims that post-hardcore bands find creative ways to build and release tension rather than “airing their dirty laundry in short, sharp, frenetic bursts”.

Metalcore: Has also been around since the 1980’s, and like Post Hardcore, has its roots in Hardcore Punk. “Metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages conducive to moshing. Other defining instrumentation includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones and double bass drumming. Vocalists in the genre typically perform screaming, more popular bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. However the death growl is also a popular technique within the genre.”

I find myself being rather picky about which bands fall within this cross section appeal to me. There’s a certain melodic clean vocal/scream combo which comes from the Post Hardcore, and when done right, is extremely satisfying when paired with the heaviness of Metalcore. Take this song for example.

Defences – In Eclipse

Straight Down Into The Ground

Here is post number 2 for this week. So far so good. I’m actually having a little bit of trouble deciding which songs to post at the moment as I’ve accrued a reasonable selection since I stopped posting in 2017. Lucky for me! Anyways, this band takes its name from “Wolf-Alice,” a late-seventies short story by Angela Carter. Think of it as a blend of “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Through the Looking-Glass,” about a feral girl who is raised by wolves. Typically led by a female vocalist, this song is the odd one out on the album in that it has the drummer assume vocal duties. It’s a gentle little number (for the most part), and reminds me a little of Solomon Grey, probably due to some of those falsetto notes. I enjoy drifting away on it a little I must say.

Wolf Alice – Swallowtail

Grog Flavoured Pirate Mints

Here’s some interesting sonical stuff for ya. These guys are a psychedelic noise rock band from the UK and this song is off their 2016 album Lucky Beast. There’s definitely a bit of interesting stuff going on in there. Have an ear gander!

The Infinite Three – Like Moss