‘Core Classics – ‘Shadow Moses’ by Bring Me The Horizon

I was at my mom’s house the other week and listened to some old cd’s, as I usually do. One of the cd’s that I listened to was Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal. It floored me all over again, particularly the song ‘Shadow Moses’. I had to write about its greatness somewhere, so here we are.

Is it really four years ago that ‘Shadow Moses’ was released? It seems like just yesterday that it popped up in my Youtube feed and blew my mind. I thought it was one of the most epic, relatable songs I had ever heard. From the slow beginning with the group vocals to the fantastic breakdowns and the nihilistic lyrics; I was in love. I played this video so much when it just came out. I still think it’s an unrivalled song within the genre, like a lot of BMTH’s work.

All together now: THIS IS SEMPITERNAL.

Music Review – Motionless In White’s Graveyard Shift

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I have a love/hate relationship with Motionless In White. I adore a lot of what they do, but there is also a lot in which they just miss the mark. It also irks me how often they cover the same sort of subjects in the same sort of language. Always people making them fucking sick, fuck this and fuck that. Gets boring. I hadn’t been following their new music for this reason.

Then I watched Black Friday’s interview with Chris Motionless and my interest was piqued again. I followed the link she gave for MIW’s newest video, for a song called ‘LOUD (Fuck It)’, despite the same boring, over-used word in the title.

I was blown away. It was so fun, catchy and intelligent. Also confrontational, but in a subtle, interesting way. It reminded me of ‘Everybody Sells Cocaine’, a lovely little gem from their previous album, and made me excited about their music again.

Last Friday they released a new album, Graveyard Shift. With Graveyard Shift they further refined the spooky industrial metal sound they developed on Reincarnate. At the same time, they took the best of their early metalcore sound, mixed in some more Manson influences and lightened up a bit. They generally sound more melodic, though they can’t resist a good breakdown. The transitions between the melodic and heavier parts are super smooth too. Such an improvement over their earlier music.

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The same sort of subjects I mentioned in the beginning? Those are either gone or packaged in a more interesting way. Lyrically, and musically as well, Graveyard Shift is a lot more diverse than their previous work. There is a cringey line or two, but those are well compensated musically. I’ve already mentioned the fantastic ‘LOUD (Fuck It)’, which is by far my favourite song on the album. Other highlights are ‘Rats’, ‘Eternally Yours’, ‘Voices’ and ‘Untouchable’.

‘Eternally Yours’ is their best song about love until now. The songwriting is great and the imagery Gothic and lovely. Is there anything more darkly romantic than “I’m more than willing to rot in hell with you”? In ‘570’ there is the old defiance, though there is also pride of how far one has come and the recognition of flaws in oneself. ‘570’ has really been growing on me. It’s reminiscent of Parkway Drive’s ‘Dedicated’, which I love. Like Parkway, MIW seem to be moving more towards the ‘metal’ side of metalcore. On the unapologetically heavy ‘The Ladder’ MIW sound more metal than ever before. Then there’s the ridiculous horrorpunky fun of ‘Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2’, which is a lot more experimental and risky than the original ‘Dead as Fuck’. A lot on this album is more experimental and risky than their previous work.

Graveyard Shift is definitely MIW’s best effort so far. It’s the first album of theirs that I can listen to all the way through, without skipping (or wanting to skip) songs. Not to say that all the songs are flawless; just that the weaker ones have something good to compensate for those flaws.

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that MIW are good at what they do.

Rating: 7.5/10

Recommended for fans of Marilyn Manson, Bleeding Through, Parkway Drive, Murderdolls, Deathstars etc.

Every Time I Die’s new video for ‘Map Change’

A couple of days ago Every Time I Die, one of my favourite bands ever, released a new video for their song ‘Map Change’. They described it as a “love letter” to their hometown, Buffalo. ETID tend to make either very random or party-heavy videos, so I was not sure what to expect.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful video. Bleak and brutally honest, but beautiful. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it brought tears to my eyes. It’s extraordinary how, despite the very specific setting and inspiration for the song, relatable this is.

I’ll just add this to my mental list of why ETID are so great.

Lyrics:
Am I the only one that saw the sun burn out? The locusts keep their rhythm. My watch has broken down. I wake up and take on water, sink to the peak of despair. What I need is a cigarette. No more prayers. The planets unaligned. We have saints without a shrine. A storm comes and the city’s abandoned. The ship is going down with the captain. I am the man that sank atlantis. The bottom is not the lowest we get. Further down still the dark’s absolute. Further down than that its only me and you. I assure you that hell is not a myth. We both vacation there. Hell is not a myth. We spend each winter there. No one can prepare. A storm comes and the city’s abandoned. The ship is going down with the captain. I am the man that sank Atlantis. The bottom is not the lowest we get. I thought I knew the best part of the secret: the truth is the thing we forget. The glory I had witnessed was just a sleight of hand. These hearts cannot be salvaged, these bones cannot withstand. I have either been forgotten or I was never seen. Now I’m in the negative space between. I weighed down the earth, through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. No use trying to save it. I’ve weighed down the earth, through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. Not sure I can take it. I’ve fallen out of frame. A strangled, distant flame. Clenched in the jaws of anguish are only godless men. Chaos is drawn to silence like life is drawn to death. The dusk is so much clearer than the dawn had ever been. I’m a ghost, and yet I’ve weighed down the earth. Through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. No use trying to save it.

If you liked/loved this too, be sure to check out the other work of the director, Kyle Trash. It’s more great, beautiful stuff. I especially liked the video he did for Four Year Strong.

‘Core Classics – ‘The City’ by The Chariot

Lately I’ve been listening to The Chariot again. I hadn’t listened to them in ages, but when I was editing I got the urge again.

The Chariot never gets old. Every time I listen to them, their music grips me as much as the first time in 2011. It still sounds fresh and exciting.

I could go on about all their work, but the song that I’ve had on repeat is ‘The City’. Six years and it still gives me the chills, every time. When Josh Scogin screams “This is a revolution”, it goes straight through my soul. There is so much that I could feel I could say about this song, but I’ll leave you to listen and experience it yourself.

Lyrics:
This is only the start
You’re only opening the book
You’re only on the first line of what’s going to take a little while
I hope you don’t hold your breath because they revolt like a choir
They say the language is dead, well, then why do we speak
I hope you understand that my brain is fixed

Into the next town
This is only a revolt

Enough is enough because we cannot be late
Basically, you’ve been defined as “unworthy of love”
And I confess, I had placed in my heart the same address but I paint with my words
“You’re free, don’t fear, this is just a revolt”

Into the next town
This is only a revolt

Calm rose: violent wind
The only “surrender” tonight, shall not be our own
They cannot escape, one if by land, two if by sea
I saved my money, but it can’t save me
And maybe there is blood from the past, but that is not from me
They can take away one man, and they can take away his mic
But they cannot take us all
No, they can’t dig a hole the right size to fit all of our dreams
They can’t bury me, they can’t bury me
We can’t hope that somebody else take our place
No, we can’t hope that somebody else take our place

May the history book read of all of our names
Be it blood, be it ink, but at least we were free
This is only but a fraction of what I’ve got to say
But it must be said, it must be said
If I leave this earth tonight may it be said that I spoke my peace
I spoke with the wrath of his grace
Calm rose: come violent wind
Oh we stand hand in hand and we walk without fear
This is a revolution

Live Review – The Dillinger Escape Plan

Review of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s show in 013 (Tilburg) on January 27th 2017. Support: Bong-Ra.

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One-man electronic performances have always gone over my head. I really liked Bong-Ra’s music, but as a live performance it fell short. Especially as the support act for a band such as The Dillinger Escape Plan. It did nothing to warm one up. Most of the other people in the venue seemed to agree with me. They did not let the musician performing on stage deter their conversations. A lot of people also seemed to prefer to stay downstairs in the parlour. Later in the show, with more fast-paced songs, the small crowd started getting into it more. Two or three people were happily bouncing around, seemingly having the time of their life. Many more were bobbing their heads along to the beat. I think I would have enjoyed Bong-Ra’s music a lot more at a festival or dance party. As the support for Dillinger, it was strange.

The mathcore kings launched into their set with the fantastic ‘Limerent Death’. It took the crowd a little while to get into it. The thing about mathcore is that it’s hard to move to. I have been to several mathcore shows where people plainly did not seem to know what to do with themselves. At Dillinger’s show however, there was almost constantly a moshpit.
Their show was calmer than the last time I saw them (no swinging from lamps or crawling on speakers), but that didn’t matter. The band was as passionate as ever. It was a tight and professional show, with a good mix of new and old songs. The old songs remained the most popular with the crowd. The first stage dives took place during the old ‘Sugar Coated Sour’. The poppier songs ‘Black Bubblegum’ and ‘Milk Lizard’ got the whole crowd singing along.

Personally, I would have liked to hear more from Option Paralysis. They did play ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’, which was easily the highlight of the show for me. It is one of my all-time favourite songs. The intensity of that song live was magical; it gave me goosebumps all over. The rest of the crowd also went wild during that song. After that, only a couple of songs were left. The band gave everything they could give and left the crowd dazed.

It’s hard to believe this was one of Dillinger’s final shows. They will be sorely missed in this kingdom they have built.

music review – metanoia by iamx

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i wanted to wait until i had listened to the physical cd to write something about this, but it is taking longer than i expected, so the download it is.

i’ve already listened to metanoia a couple of times & it is nowhere near enough. it is such a hypnotic, addictive album. i can listen to this over & over & over again. every time i’ve listened to it so far i’ve been amazed by how good it is. definitely iamx’s best so far. also their most consistent to date. all the songs go together so perfectly; not one of them sounds out of place. yet they all have their own unique sound. it is clear that a lot of experimentation went into this album.

another one of the album’s great strengths is the rawness of it. the honesty. for example in the song ‘happiness’, in which both longing for & apprehension of happiness are expressed. content-wise i also find ‘look outside’ especially beautiful. that one is about looking beyond your own suffering & choosing to look at the beauty of the world around you.
then there is also the usual debauchery & questioning. ‘the background noise’ is a powerful example of the last. if i had to describe that in one word it would be haunting. the fragile vocal delivery & the toned down music & the celestial-sounding “oohoo” over it… amazing.
i’ve only mentioned slower songs so far, but of course there is more to metanoia. it has some fantastic catchy, danceable songs too, as one would expect from iamx. like their latest single, ‘oh cruel darkness embrace me’.

& lastly, i have to say something about the visual side. all of it, the album art, the promotional photos, the outfits, the makeup, the videoclips, even iamx’s website, forms a complete package around the album. visually iamx is also the most consistent they’ve ever been. it’s wonderful to behold.

i would give metanoia 9 stars out of 10. & strongly urge you to check it out.

live music review – rolo tomassi, the fall of troy + chon

or, a love letter to eva spence

picture taken from rolo tomassi's facebook page
picture taken from rolo tomassi’s facebook page

last night i saw rolo tomassi for the third time this year. the fall of troy were headlining & chon opened. the show was in the club dynamo. rolo tomassi was the band i was there for, & also the only i was familiar with, so this review will mostly be focused on them.

i will start with chon. they’re an instrumental band from san diego. even before they said where they were from i thought i could hear their home state in the music. their show was pretty nice. after a while i thought their music all sounded the same though. not my cup of tea, but a surprisingly large amount of the crowd got really into it. a lot of people were banging their heads like it was much more intense music & a couple of them even ballroom-danced a little.

after chon we had to wait half an hour for rolo tomassi to start. standing at the front & watching how they set up & the minutes crawl by could make one very impatient, haha. & once they finally started, it was one big explosion. the band has so much infectious energy. there were also a lot more enthusiastic fans up front than the last two times i saw them. & the vocalist, eva spence… she is quickly becoming one of my favourite vocalists & biggest inspirations. her performance is utterly captivating. she doesn’t just sing, but puts her whole body into it. she is almost constantly jumping or dancing around the stage, shifting between a ferocious beast & an elegant lady. & then when she’s talking in-between songs, or you speak to her off stage, she is so sweet & cute. & she also makes things like hair ties & adorable pillows, which i couldn’t afford, which they sell at the merch stand. god, i love her.

…to go back to the band & performance, the other members were also amazing; it’s just that i pay the closest attention to vocalists because i’m learning to sing myself. i would love to become a vocalist like eva at some point. anyway. the band mostly played songs off their brilliant new album, grievances, starting with ‘funereal’ & ending with ‘stage knives’. i think my favourite of the songs they played is ‘opalescent’. the build-up of that song sounds amazing how they play it live. i experienced it three times now & it gave me goosebumps every time. unfortunately, since they were not the main act they had a pretty short set. still well worth the trip to eindhoven though.

the fall of troy also gave a great show. i hadn’t heard their music before, & i didn’t entirely love it, but their show itself was great. they also gave a very passionate performance. the crowd went wild. from the front to the back people were banging their heads & jumping & singing & screaming. at least half of them were constantly moshing. on a sidenote, i thought it was interesting how many different people there were at the show. quite a variety in age, gender, race, & fashion preferences. it was nice to see. i’ve noticed that in general mathcore seems to attract a more varied audience than other -core bands. also bands that have at least one member who is not a white male.

overall, i had a great time last night. if you like any of the bands mentioned, i would highly recommend checking them out live.