Archive for May, 2009

Review: Beneath The Massacre – Dystopia [2008]

Posted in Beneath The Massacre, SOS Metal Update with tags on May 31, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Beneath TheCrippling Canadian quartet Beneath the Massacre is a dizzying deathcore troupe whose latest 10-track enterprise DYSTOPIA jackhammers sweeping guitar runs, feral blast beat drums, and vicious vocals into your cranium for over 30 minutes. And when it’s over, what does the listener retain besides one hell of a headache? Not a whole lot, actually, although this band’s jaw-dropping velocity and unbridled brutality found on cuts such as the relentless “Bitter” and “Procreating the Infection” is something to marvel at while the surprisingly slow and more painful delivery audible on the properly named “Lithium Overdose” salvages this squad from being caught in the middle between being totally breakdown-reliant and spastic riff friendly into a somewhat more palatable direction. Otherwise, this blistering offering does its damnedest, sacrificing musicality for sheer sonic bludgeoning for fans of dastardly technicality to get wrapped inside of. www.prostheticrecords.comMike SOS

2.5 StarsBeneath The Massacre is Elliot Desgagnés (Vocals), Christopher Bradley (Guitar), Dennis Bradley (Bass), & Justin Rousselle (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Condemned”
  2. “Reign of Terror”
  3. “Our Common Grave”
  4. “Harvest of Hate”
  5. “The Wasteland”
  6. “Bitter”
  7. “No Future”
  8. “Lithium Overdose”
  9. “Nevermore”
  10. “Procreating the Infection”

Review: Hellveto – Neoheresy [2009]

Posted in Hellveto, SOS Metal Update with tags , on May 30, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon HellvetoFeaturing six tracks connecting a pulled-back brand of black metal with massive Pagan and symphonic overtones, Polish one-man band Hellveto lays down a multi-layered metallic strike with NEOHERESY. Able to switch from tremolo-picked rage to serenity-laden subdued with relative ease (and more importantly with the audience following along), this disc possesses both a savage grace and a warmongering spirit, showcasing an orchestral belligerence somewhere between Emperor and Faith No More on “Milczace Sumienie” while “Taran” slithers with a sense of foreboding atmospherics. Strengthened by an omnipresent use of keyboards setting mood swings and overall aura, Hellveto has crafted a bellicose affair whose broad scope and non-traditional leanings will keep you guessing. -Mike SOS

3.5 Stars

Track Listing:

  1. “Tarzan”
  2. “Herezja”
  3. “Gdy Umiera Swit”
  4. “Milczace Sumienie”
  5. “Choragiew Ktora Splonie”
  6. “Sredniowieczna Egzekucja”

Technical Difficulties

Posted in Rock Bummers with tags on May 29, 2009 by gearsofrock

The Gears of Rock will be down for a few days while I try to figure out what is causing  the browser to crash with every new post. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Review: Enslaved – Vertebrae [2008]

Posted in Enslaved, SOS Metal Update with tags , on May 28, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon EnslavedNorwegian metal merchants Enslaved have put out their most progressive album to date with their latest (and tenth!) offering, the eight-track VERTEBRAE. Far removed from their primitive origins, this squad’s psychedelic rock meets black metal approach takes Pink Floyd into the catacombs for a swirling sojourn into lands discovered by the likes of Opeth (“Ground”). Using a mesmerizing black metal foundation (“New Dawn”) to launch haunting riffs and atmospheric sections, Enslaved have realized the unimaginable possibility of making a black metal album boundless. Lurking with rich subtleties and a devastating sonic crush, Vertebrae showcases a stunning collection of music that requires multiple listens to fully appreciate the grandiose vision and creative splendor of Enslaved, yet stands strong as another top-notch release in the band’s impressive catalog. -Mike SOS

4.5 StarsEnslaved is Ivar Bjørnson (Guitar/Keyboards), Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals), Arve Isdal (Guitar), Cato Bekkevold (Drums), & Herbrand Larsen (Keyboards/Vocals).

Track Listing:

  1. “Clouds”
  2. “To The Coast”
  3. “Ground”
  4. “Vertebrae”
  5. “New Dawn”
  6. “Reflection”
  7. “Center”
  8. “The Watcher”

Plug: Toxin CD Release Party This Friday!

Posted in Toxin with tags on May 27, 2009 by gearsofrock


Review: Suidakra – Crogacht [2009]

Posted in SOS Metal Update, Suidakra with tags , on May 27, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Suidakra CogGerman Pagan metal veterans Suidakra are back with a rousing nine-track presentation titled CROGACHT. Authentic Celtic instrumentation (bagpipes and tin whistles) and epic death metal collide to bring the revered Irish myth of Cuchulainn to life with a flurry of orchestral metal providing the dramatic soundtrack. Fortified via a well-balanced mix of crushing Viking metal (“Baile’s Strand”) and intense traditional compositions (“Feats of War”), Suidakra finds themselves at full-strength during the glorious fury of “Scathach,” a piece where both of the band’s unique styles juxtapose to create a colossal listening experience. Crogacht is an album laden with sweeping melodies and displays a captivating vigor that whisks you away into Suidakra’s epic brand of metallic folklore. -Mike SOS

4 StarsSuidakra is Arkadius Antonik (Vocals/Guitars/Keyboard/Banjo), Marcus Riewaldt (Bass), & Lars Wehner.

Track Listing:

  1. “Slan”
  2. “Conlaoch”
  3. “Isle Of Skye”
  4. “Scathach”
  5. “Feats Of War”
  6. “Shattering Swords”
  7. “Ar Nosc Fola”
  8. “Gilded Oars”
  9. “Baile’s Strand”

Check out Suidakra’s compilation 13 Years of Celtic Wartunes released in 2008.

Review: Eminem – Relapse [2009]

Posted in Eminem with tags on May 26, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon EminemSo I made the decision to pick up a copy of Eminem’s latest album, Relapse—not sure what possessed me to do it, perhaps impulse? Hunger for humorous lyrical play?

Anyways, the last Eminem CD I bought with my own money was his debut The Marshall Mathers EP in 2000. The mainstream modern rock stations (K-Rock in particular) consistently kept “The Real Slim Shady” in their playlists for much of that year. After nine years of not listening to any Eminem or rap for that matter, I figured now would be an appropriate time to give him another shot.

Relapse contains a total of 20 tracks (5 of them are shorts/skits). It turns out that Eminem is still a very talented lyricist that has a deep understanding of melody, much more so than most rappers out there, or at least the ones on MTV.

“We Made You” features the production of Dr. Dre and the vocals of Dina Rae while Eminem goes after celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Sarah Palin, and Kim Kardashian. “Bagpipes in Baghdad” is a highlight of the album as the bagpipe sample is one of the more musical elements heard on Relapse.

What I found disappointing about most of the songs on Relapse is the relentless use of the “F” word, especially when it does not enhance the flow of the song (“My Mom” for example). As a loyal Twisted Sister follower (SMF), I am always anti-censorship, but Eminem abuses the rights that Dee Snider stood up for in the 1980’s. Other than that, Relapse is a fair mainstream rap offering -Meds

2 Stars

Track Listing:

  1. “Dr. West (Skit)”
  2. “3 AM”
  3. “My Mom”
  4. “Insane”
  5. “Bagpipes From Baghdad”
  6. “Hello”
  7. “Tonya (Skit)”
  8. “Same Song And Dance”
  9. “We Made You”
  10. “Medicine Ball”
  11. “Paul (Skit)”
  12. “Stay Wide Awake”
  13. “Old Time’s Sake”
  14. “Must Be The Ganja”
  15. “Mr. Mathers (Skit)”
  16. “Deja Vu”
  17. “Beautiful”
  18. “Crack A Bottle”
  19. “Steve Berman (Skit)”
  20. “Underground”