Thursday, September 30, 2010

Soilwork (Warning: Death Metal) (Second Warning: Another Huge Post)

(READ: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE "SCREAMING" IN MUSIC, SKIP TO FIGURE NUMBER FIVE/NATURAL BORN CHAOS, AS THOSE ARE PROBABLY THE ONLY TWO ALBUMS YOU'LL LIKE) Easily my favorite death metal band ever, Soilwork has released seven past studio albums, and released an eighth studio album very recently (June/July). In my opinion, every song that they've released is nothing less than great. If you enjoy  bands like Sonic Syndicate, Scar Symmetry, In Flames, Veil of Maya, or Hypocrisy, then Soilwork is for you. This is going to be another Iron Maiden-esque post (I.E: Song for each album), So bear with the length.

Soilwork's debut album, Steelbath Suicide, is one of the heaviest albums they've released. This album, as well as the album after it (wait for that one), are the only really non-melodeath albums that they've released. If I had to pick one song off of SS that was really the MVP, I'd have to say Sadistic Lullaby, with Demon In Veins being a close second. It really is difficult to pick out which song is better, so this is purely a matter of opinion (as are all music-related conversations, but this one in particular).

Entering The Angel Diabolique is another great song off of SS, it can be found in the related section at the end of Sadistic Lullaby. It has a mild speed metal feel to it, and an undertone of melodic death. Although Soilwork really doesn't begin to abuse synthesizers until Figure Number Five, it does sound as if they use them a bit during the first few albums.

Their second album, The Chainheart Machine, isn't too different from Steelbath. It has a heavy feel to it, and while it isn't quite melodic death yet, it's a step in the proper direction. Bulletbeast is definitely my favorite song on the album, although Millionflame is a very close second. This is my least favorite Soilwork album, but that doesn't make it bad. It's simply the worst they've released, which is still pretty good in my opinion.

You can listen to Possessing The Angels and Spirits of the Future Son off of this album in the related section, as well as a few songs off of their later albums (if you can wait to listen to them, please do). You'll notice that alot of Chainheart songs begin to step further into the direction of melodic death metal, and you'll see much, much more of that with the next few albums.

The next release in 2000 was A Predator's Portrait, which adapts a much more melodic sound than the previous two albums. The best song on it is, unfortunately, not on the regular release of the album. It is a bonus track entitled Asylum Dance, and it's actually probably the best song they've ever released. As I stated, it's not on the regular album release, the song is only available on Korean/Japanese versions of the album, which is a shame.

You'll notice that this song is much more melodic, both in it's instrumental components and it's lyrical composition. They do much more "singing" and much less growling, which is probably what most of the people reading this post are looking for. A few songs off of this album are available in the related section of the video, but some of the better songs are not listed. Songs such as Needlefeast, Shadowchild, and Grand Failure Anthem are among the better songs off of APP.
Next up we have Soilwork's most melodic album up until this point, and it's called Natural Born Chaos. It has alot of synthesizer action in it, as well as very melodic vocals in the chorus of almost every song. This is probably what most of you are looking for, so I'll make this one good. Don't think that just because I'm singling this album (and the next) out as "softer" that I don't think they're good. These are absolutely two of my favorite Soilwork albums, but most people who are reading this are probably into heavier death metal, whereas these albums are what I would consider "entry-level" death metal. In other words, if you've never listened to it before, this is a good place to start. Now that the digressions are out of the way, I really can't decide on a best track for this album. They're all just so incredible. However, I do have to pick one to post here. I'll post the one song on the album that's very instrumental heavy, and that's Song of the Damned.

This is a really good one to post for a few reasons. First of all, it's a pretty soft song. It's a crowd-friendly post compared to the rest of the album. Secondly, it has two of the best songs on the album in its related section: Black Star Deceiver and The Bringer. Some other songs you should check out off of NBC are Follow The Hollow, As We Speak, The Flameout, Natural Born Chaos, Mindfields, Mercury Shadow, and No More Angels. That's the whole album, in case you didn't figure that out.
And up next we have the second best album that Soilwork has ever put out, and that is Figure Number Five. It's an incredibly melodic album, and uses very heavy synthesizers and very melodic vocals; it's basically a mainstream metal album as far as I'm concerned. This is (as stated in the Natural Born Chaos section) "entry-level" death metal. It's not too loud for the genre, and it's very coordinated. While this whole album is just great, I'd have to say the one song that sticks out is Light the Torch. Overload, Cranking the Sirens, and Rejection Role are all incredible as well, but Light the Torch is just better in my opinion. You can hear the emotion in the song, and it's also the first Soilwork song I heard back when I was 10. (15 now (In before hate comments)). While I'm sure that has alot to do with it, it's also just a great song. As a side note, enjoy the music video:

I completely forgot that this song had a music video prior to posting this, but after watching it again, I think we can agree that it was pretty cool, regardless of how little sense it made. I think we can also agree that it's an amazing song. Surprisingly enough, there aren't any songs off of this album in the related section. Overload, Rejection Role, Cranking the Sirens, and Brickwalker are positively worth listening to. And no, that's not the whole album.
Right about now, Soilwork starts getting into a more thrash-influenced type of death metal. While they do retain some synth undertones, as well as some melodic vocals, they mostly stick to thrash influences. Their first thrashy album is Stabbing the Drama. Stabbing the Drama is sort of like a big clusterfuck of Thrash and Melodeath. This, while not bad, is just very odd. Strangely enough, my favorite song off of this album is the most thrashy one on here, and that's Blind Eye Halo. I feel that it represents the direction that they were taking the band very well, as you'll see with the next release.

The first thing you're probably going to notice is the incredible drumming that takes place in this song. The related section contains the other songs that really stick out on this album. These are If Possible, and Nerve. Some others worth mentioning are Distance and One With the Flies. Not much else to say about this album. It was pretty meh compared to the previous two releases, but it wasn't bad by any means, just different. It's more of an acquired taste.
We have here yet another thrash-influenced album. That album is Sworn To A Great Divide. STAGD is the followup thrash album to Stabbing the Drama. It's another meh album to me, not their best but not their worst. Breeding Thorns (below) is the best song in my opinion.

Some others worth listening to are 20 More Miles, Martyr, and The Pittsburgh Syndrome. Oddly enough, none of those are in the related section, so if you're strictly looking for related songs, two good ones would be As The Sleeper Awakes and I, Vermin. Again, not too much to say here. Good album, but sort of in the middle when it comes to Soilwork.
Lastly, we have some very recent work from these guys. It's called The Panic Broadcast, and it dwells back onto Natural Born Chaos and Figure Number Five alot, in the sense that it's pretty melodic. I've yet to listen to the entire album, but from what I've gathered thus far, Night Comes Clean is my favorite song. If you so desire, look up the rest yourself.

You'll notice that the guitar is alot slower, and more calm (if you can even call it that). They've also gone back to more melodic choruses, and you can hear the synthesizer throughout the song. A big improvement from STD and STAGD in terms of melodeath.

And now you know what Death Metal sounds like. For those of you who haven't heard death metal before, your ears just got the equivalent of first time anal sex. For those of you who HAVE heard it before, you just experienced anal sex from the perspective of a sodomy expert, except with your ears. On a serious note, I do sincerely hope that a few of you got into this band from this post, because I put a fuckton of work into it. As always, email me with requests (, or leave a comment in the most recent post. Thank you, and I'll see you at a later occasion.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Brazil was (was meaning that they do not exist anymore) a sort of unique, unknown band. They are a rock band with sort of an 80's vocal feel to them. Their instrumentals however, are almost punk in origin. If you've ever heard Fall of Troy, I would probably compare Brazil to them. Fans of bands such as Fall of Troy, Rush, Rise Against, Black Flag, Anberlin, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and others in those sorts of genres would enjoy Brazil. They construct what I would consider to be very complex songs for the genres that they're associated with (Punk, grunge, classic rock). They released two full length albums prior to their breakup, but The Philosophy of Velocity is the better of the two in my opinion. Crime (And the Antique of Solution) best describes the sound that they shoot for when making music. However, other songs off of the album, such as Au Revoir, Mr. Mercury, are well constructed, with other instruments implemented(Piano)

I really don't have any songs that you need to be avoiding when listening to their music, all of them are likable to some degree. In the related section of the embedded video, you will find Breathe, as well as Captain Mainwaring. These are two of their better songs, both off of TPoV. In short, a progressive/punk band with incredible songwriting skills. Fans of both genres will probably enjoy Brazil. As always, if you have any questions, comments, etc. email me at, or simply leave a comment. Views/clicks always appreciated.

Les Discrets

***I apologize in advance for the lack of content in this post, there really wasn't too much I could write on this band. It was urgently requested, and I don't get that too often.***
Les Discrets (The Discrete) is what I would consider a completely unheard of band. They're a French Post-rock band, with only one full-length album out thus far. Regardless, it's a very good album. The album, titled Septembre Et Ses Dernieres Pensees (September's Last Thoughts), is 10 tracks long, roughly 45 minutes, and well worth listening to. L'echappee is the best song off of the album in my opinion, with Song For Mountains being a close second. I really don't know how to describe their style, but it's probably like a softer version of Tool, or almost like a French Punk-Progressive band.

Above is L'echappee (in case you couldn't read it...), and it's a very catchy song if you're into a sort of rough, almost progressive sound. I really can't find other  bands to relate them to, so I'd say if you like progressive sounding music, check them out. They aren't progressive, but it's the closest thing I can relate them to without saying Post-Rock, considering that's what they actually are. In short, you really just have to give this a shot. Try it out, you'll probably like them. As always, if you have any questions, comments, etc. email me at, or simply leave a comment. Views/clicks always appreciated.

Reel Big Fish

Another band that I've been listening to a lot of lately, Reel Big Fish is a fairly popular Ska band. Commonly confused with Streetlight Manifesto and Big D & The Kid's Table, you'll probably enjoy them if you listen to any type of Punk, Ska, or Rock. This is one of those bands that I like, and I can't see how other people don't. They combine jazz instruments (Trombone, Trumpet), as well as vocal harmonies, with a common garage band to create an awe-inspiring sound. While most of their more popular songs are covers, in my opinion they make the original song better. You can't usually say that about one cover from a band, much less multiples. However, one big song that they wrote themselves is Where Have You Been?, which is my favorite hands-down (video below). The video is a live version, because it's just better. It has a trombone solo, two trumpet solos, and a rather silly vocal solo from their Trombone/vocals, Dan Reagan.

Please bear with the quality of the video, it's well worth listening to.

And the studio version for those of you who prefer it.

The latter video has a few of their  more popular songs in the related's at the end, one of them being Everything Sucks. I don't really have much else to say, other than this: If you do not like this band, I really do feel sorry for you. As always, if you have any questions, comments, etc. email me at, or simply leave a comment. Views/clicks always appreciated.

Bad Religion

So I've basically done away with the "lesser known bands" rule that I was trying to stick with, and I'm just going to review great bands from here on out, lesser known or not. With that being said, I recently downloaded the entire Bad Religion discography, all 270 songs (minus live performances). Not one of their songs is what I would consider bad, although there are some filler songs on each album. While that is to be expected on a 15-20 song album, they're not  bad fillers, just fillers. Their  most recent album, which actually came out a few days ago, is one of their best works since the band's formation. The  album, which is titled The Dissent of Man, is 100% awesome throughout it. The video below will be a link to one of the songs off of it, I'm not sure which at the moment. While I decide, Bad Religion is not only a punk band, but one of the punk bands that started the revival. They're an enormous influence on almost any rock band since 1980, including bands link Blink 182, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Reel Big Fish, and Streetlight Manifesto.

Above is the second track on their new album, The Dissent of Man. It has the sound and feel of an instant classic when it comes to punk rock, even rock in general. The song, while very simplistic in nature, is incredibly catchy and well-written, as are almost all Bad Religion songs. Unfortunately, none of their better songs are in the related videos section of this one, so I'll simply list them. Infected, Sorrow, New Dark Ages, Generator, and American Jesus are songs that you've heard, even if you don't know the name. I'm going to try and catch up on my posting, I've been incredibly lazy with it lately. Expect many more posts over the next few days. As always, if you have any questions, comments, etc. email me at, or simply leave a comment. Views/clicks always appreciated.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Porcupine Tree

I'm aware that Progressive music has really died down since Rush slowed their album production, but I feel that Porcupine Tree deserves an honorable mention for keeping the genre alive. Porcupine Tree is a British Progressive band, and although a fairly old band, they're still pretty unknown. This is band that's overshadowed by more famous bands in the genre, such as Rush and (to an extent) Dream Theater. If you like bands that are similar to Pink Floyd, Muse, Rush, or Blackfield, you'll almost definitely love Porcupine Tree. They have several very well-known songs, but nobody really knows who the songs are by. With that being said, if you haven't heard of Porcupine Tree, I'm sure you've heard of the song in the video below.

This is one of those songs I was talking about, one of the songs you know, but don't know who it's by. Sound of Muzak, off of In Absentia (arguably their best album to-date), is simply a musical masterpiece that everybody on this planet must listen to. If you don't listen to this song, or this band for that matter, you are just missing out on one of the best musical experiences since Pink Floyd. All in all, easily one of my favorite "soft" bands to listen to, and probably one of my favorites overall. A must-listen for any kind of music lover.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Up the Irons (WARNING: Huge Post)

I know I'm supposed to review lesser known  bands, but I have to take the time to write a monstrous post for a monstrous band. I'm talking, of course, about Iron Maiden. I recently downloaded their entire discography(15 albums, 115 songs not including their 7 live albums, among various other releases) and was astounded at what I hadn't heard of by them. I will have a download link at the end of this post for those of you who wish to immerse yourselves in pure awesome.

The above song, one of their better unknown songs, is off of the album Brave New World. It's one of their softer songs for the most part,  but is still great to listen to. I'm not going to post links to every song that's good  by them, because I'm pretty sure Google would run out of bandwidth, but I'll post a really good one from a few albums. Brave New World is Iron Maiden's 2000 release, which is a long way from when they started, but their earlier works are just as good, if not better, than their recent releases.

From 1980 to 1986, Maiden released an album every year. From '86-'88 and '88-'90, an album every 2 years. They're a very, very active band. I digress, from '82-'86, perhaps some of the best songs ever written in this genre, and others, were spawned. 1982 saw the release of their most popular album, The Number of the Beast. This includes these hit songs: Run To The Hills, The Number of the Beast, and Hallowed Be Thy Name. These three songs are probably their most  commercially successful, but not their best works by any means.

1983's release of Piece of Mind was by no means a letdown. It contained songs such as: Flight of Icarus, The Trooper, and To Tame a Land. Only two of these songs were commercially successful, but in my opinion, To Tame a Land is one of their best songs(video below).

It's an incredibly technical song, based off of an incredible book, Dune. When Steve Harris confronted the author's lawyer about naming the song Dune, Frank Herbert's lawyer responded with the following: "No. Because Frank Herbert doesn't like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially rock bands like Iron Maiden". Thus, the song's name was changed.

1984 saw the release of yet another monster album, Powerslave. While it had short-to-mid length hits on it, such as Aces High and 2 Minutes to Midnight, it also contained the epic (and their longest song ever), Rime of the Ancient Mariner. While I'm sure most people don't have the attention span to listen to a 13 minute song, it certainly is worth listening to. I'll post a video of the title track below. It has a very Egyptian feel to it, as you can probably tell by the cover.

Skipping ahead 2 years, 1986's release of Somewhere in Time only had one commercially successful song, Wasted Years. Which isn't to say it's a bad album, songs such as Alexander the Great, as well as Heaven Can Wait, are incredible pieces of music that should really be listened to. I won't be posting a video for this album, as I need to save space on this post, and there are better songs to be posted.

Yet again, skipping 2 years, we  go to 1988's release of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. This is yet another album that had several commercial successes on it. These include the following: Infinite Dreams, The Clairvoyant, Can I Play With Madness, Only The Good Die Young, and The Evil That Men Do. That's 5/8 songs on the album. This is, as you can tell, one of their most commercially successful/popular albums. A video of Can I Play With Madness will be posted below. It is worth noting that this is their shortest album by far, as none of the songs are over 5 minutes (Unlike their other albums, which feature multiple 7-9 minute songs each).

1990's release of No Prayer For The Dying wasn't as much of a success as their previous albums, but still had some very good songs on it. The closing track, titled Mother Russia, is one of the best on the album (in my opinion), with Holy Smoke being a very close second. Most people would probably prefer Holy Smoke, as it is shorter, and really does sound better. I'm not sure why it's my second place, but it is. Again, no video for this album.

1992's Fear of the Dark had several monstrous songs on it. The title track is hands-down one of the best songs ever released by Iron Maiden, and is easily the best on the album. It is also one of their most commercially successful songs to-date. Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Childhood's End, and Be Quick or Be Dead are all incredible songs off of this album. While the album in particular wasn't very popular, it's title track was, and the other songs on it never really got much attention. I will be posting a video of Fear of the Dark below, but I am going to post the live version. This is because it's without a doubt better than the album version. You can compare yourself, but you'll come to the  same conclusion.

Without a doubt my favorite song by them, but only the live version. The album version of the song just sounds worse. I really don't have words for this, you just HAVE to listen to it.

 There are several other Maiden albums for me to cover, but I feel like I've covered the best of their releases, from 1992 onward is just stuff you'll like if you're a fan of it. As promised, I'll post a torrent link of  their entire discography. While it is not in there, I recommend downloading Live After Death, and A Real Live One. The former is widely considered the best live album ever made, and the latter has the live rendition of Fear of the Dark on it. (Note: The torrent does not include  their 2010 release, The Final Frontier).READ: As short as these posts are, I enjoy writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them. Feel free to leave a comment on my latest post with a band you want me to review, I'll be more than happy to listen to them if I haven't heard them. (ANOTHER READ: This band is infinitely better live than on their studio album. If you can find live versions of the songs that you like, LISTEN TO THEM). (I know, it's Piratebay, but it's a perfectly trustworthy source).