Calibro 35 Crosses Musical Boundaries On Its Seventh Full-Length Studio Recording

Courtesy: Record Kicks

Calibro 35 apparently is a group that does not rest easy on its laurels.  The veteran musical collective will release its latest full-length studio recording Jan. 24, less than a year after the group released its sixth album Decade.  The group’s forthcoming collection of songs, titled Momentum, is a wonderful jumping on point for any audiophile who may be less familiar with the veteran outfit’s work than its more seasoned fans.  It is a work that will easily appeal to fans of acts, such as Jagajazzist, Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School with its largely instrumental makeup.  Save for two songs, the 10-song, 38-minute record is largely composed of instrumental compositions that boast a variety of elements and styles.  One of the most notable of those instrumental compositions comes late in the album’s run in the form of the song ‘Thunderstorms and Data.’  For all that ‘Thunderstorms and Data’ offers audiences, its follow-up, ‘Black Moon (ft. Mei)’ – one of the record’s only tracks with vocals – offers its own share of entertainment and engagement.  ‘Death of Storytelling,’ which comes early in the record’s run is another of the album’s many instrumental tracks.  It stands on its own merits just as much as the other songs addressed here.  When it and those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole proves itself to be an early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hip-hop/rap albums and best overall new albums.

Veteran music collective Calibro 35’s members recently said of the group’s forthcoming seventh album Momentum, that it “is the prequel of what you will hear in the next ten years” from the group.  If that is the case, then considering the fact that the band has already released six other albums prior to this record, it is a strong statement about where the group is headed.  That is proven in part late in the album in the song ‘Thunderstorms and Data.’  This full-on experimental opus is one of the album’s strongest points, opening with some gentle chimes that very quickly give way to a semi-brooding keyboard line that easily lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Daft Punk.  Those electronic elements are accompanied by – believe it or not – some distinct jazz elements and even some hip-hop elements throughout the course of the song’s nearly four-minute run.  The combination of those elements and their subtleties couples with the song’s different movements to make the composition in whole a clear example of what makes Momentum a sign of Calibro 35’s forward momentum.  It is just one of the songs that stands out in this album.  ‘Black Moon (ft. Mei)’ stands strong on its own merits just as much as ‘Thunderstorms and Data.’

‘Black Moon (ft. Mei)’ is one of only two tracks featured in Momentum that includes vocals with its musical content.  The song’s musical content, with it guitar, bass and drums, boasts some old school soul and funk influence while also presenting some more modern hip-hop and rap elements alongside those soul and funk elements.  The collective of those elements makes the song’s musical content alone more than enough reason to take in the song.  The lyrical content that partners with the noted musical content adds even more engagement and entertainment to the whole of the song.

Mei presents some distinctly positive vibes in the song’s lead verse, making statements, such as “ready more than ready for this rhythm” and “navigate these streets though they murky.”  She adds in the lead verse, “Never stop ‘cause our enemies are thirsty/Survive off the power that’s in we.”  Mei’s flow in the song’s second verse is so fluid that trying to follow her without a lyrics sheet is next to impossible.  That is meant in the best way possible.  However, what can be inferred through what can be understood, is that the song’s second verse presents more positive lyrical vibes from Mei.  That being considered along with the positive message in the song’s lead verse and the infectious grooves in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of this work serves to show even more why Calibro 35’s forthcoming seventh album is on course to be a big hit for the group on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘Black Moon (Ft. Mei)’ goes a long way to entertain and engage audiences on Calibro 35’s latest album, just as does ‘Thunderstorms and Data.’  While the two noted songs do a lot to prove why Momentum is an enjoyable new offering from the group, they are only two of the songs featured in the record that serve to show its appeal.  ‘Death Of Storytelling,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is yet another example of the album’s strength.  The song clearly boasts its own hip-hop influence.  At the same time though, the use of the guitar to build on the song’s foundation added to that element gives the song a while new feeling and identity.  The coupling of the elements makes the song sound like something that would serve well as the music bed for a song by Eminem or Mike Shinoda.  That is meant in the absolutely most respectful manner possible toward all involved.  The feeling in the arrangement, the tempo and the balance of the elements – including the keyboards – makes the song in whole one of the record’s most moving moments and most memorable in turn.  It truly leaves a lasting impression and is deserving of being one of the album’s singles along with the other two songs addressed here.  When it is considered with those songs and the rest of the album’s entries, the end result is a work that proves without doubt, Calibro 35 still has plenty of its own momentum.

Calibro 35’s seventh full-length studio recording Momentum is a strong new offering from the veteran music collective.  One would think that seven albums in, any act would be showing some signs of wear and tear.  That is especially the case when the group has been recording and touring for a dozen years.  In the case of this group though, this record shows that the group has no plans to slow down any time soon.  The mostly instrumental compositions that make up the record’s body show that this group can easily hold its own against its American counterparts.  That is due to the diversity of the arrangements and the clear time and thought put into each arrangement.  Whether in the songs addressed here or through the record’s other entries, the album in whole proves to be an early, easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new albums overall.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.calibro35.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/calibro35

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Calibro35

 

 

 

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80s New Wave, Electronica Fans Will Appreciate Moscow Noir’s New Self-Titled EP

Courtesy: Aurealis Records/Tutone Entertainment

Courtesy: Aurealis Records/Tutone Entertainment

Late this past July, Moscow Noir released its latest recording to the masses.  The self-titled, seven-song record is the Canadian outfit’s debut offering. It goes without saying that the record, with its hugely synth-driven songs, is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of Daft Punk or the 80s new wave acts that clearly influenced the duo’s own sound.  One of the songs that most well represents what this record has to offer is its instrumental opener ‘Odisea.’  That will be discussed shortly.  ‘Stars,’ the record’s third track, is another one of its key compositions.  That will be discussed later.  ‘Control’ is one more example of what makes this record stand out for 80s new wave fans.  It is not the last song that could be cited to support that argument either.  There are four other songs included in this record that could just as easily support that statement, too.  This song and the other two noted here are just the three songs that this critic feels best represent the record.  All things considered, Moscow Noir’s new self-titled EP proves in the end to be an offering that 80s new wave fans will appreciate just as much as modern electronica fans.

Moscow Noir’s self-titled debut EP is a record that 80s new wave fans will appreciate just as much as modern electronica fans.  It shows this clearly throughout the course of its seven songs. One of the songs that serves to best exhibit this is the record’s opener ‘Odisea.’  The song runs a little more than two and a half minutes and is a fully instrumental offering.  The song’s arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Daft Punk and the work that the electronica duo composed for the soundtrack to Disney’s Tron: Legacy.  That is evident in the arpeggios that make up the base of the arrangement. The ethereal feel of the song’s harmony adds even more depth to its arrangement as do the breathy random vocals that are added in to the song as a finishing touch.  Each part plays its own important role in the song’s overall arrangement.  They are just part of what makes the song stand out, though.  The manner in which each part was incorporated into the arrangement makes it stand out even more.

The musical elements that were incorporated into ‘Odisea’ (likely pronounced Odyssey) are in themselves important pieces of the arrangement’s presentation.  While they are integral in their own way to the song’s presentation, they are not the only important piece of the song’s whole.  The manner in which each element was incorporated into the song makes the song stand out even more.  Listeners will note in listening to the song from start to finish that the group didn’t just toss the noted elements in freely.  Rather, the song builds on itself and grows over the course of its 2:33 run time.  That growth doesn’t just happen either.  It is a gradual growth.  That makes the song even more interesting to take in.  When that is considered, it becomes clear why this song was chosen to be the band’s first impression on this record and why it was included in the record’s overall body, too.  It is just one of the record’s most significant compositions, too.  ‘Stars’ is another of the EP’s most notable compositions.

‘Odisea’ is one of the most notable compositions included in Moscow Noir’s new self-titled EP.  That is exhibited through the clearly well-arranged composition and its elements.  It is just one of the songs that make the record stand out, though.  ‘Stars’ comes early in the record’s run.  It is another of the record’s most significant songs.  The song stands out in part through its musical arrangement.  The song’s arrangement stands out right out of the gate (so to speak) due to its solid 2/4 beat and its guitar line. The pairing of the two elements conjures thoughts of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army.’  When front man/guitarist Lesther Gutierrez adds in his vocals, things become even more interesting.  His vocal delivery style, when set against the song’s musical arrangement brings about thoughts of Muse.  It’s quite the juxtaposition of sounds.  But it is that juxtaposition that really makes the song’s musical arrangement stand out, and in turn the song in whole.  Of course its arrangement is just one part of the song that makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Stars’ is in itself a clearly important part of the song’s overall structure.  That is evident in the thought put into the arrangement.  It combines Moscow Noir’s obvious 80s new wave influences with more modern sounds for a composition that is certain to keep listeners engaged.  While the song’s musical arrangement is clearly an important part of the song’s overall structure it is not the only important part of the song that should be examined.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.  That is because of the metaphorical language used throughout the song.  Gutierrez sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m going to take it all/Paraded on a thousand walls/It’s going to make you crawl/Slipping on your tongue/Like an office run/And all the sprites/And all the lights/That dance around and delude/Are going to find their lines/Confined by the singing fool/to find a way/That I can sail it all away into the grey.”  It’s hardly certain what Gutierrez is addressing here.  On one level it could be argued that the song’s subject is openly defying public scrutiny, saying, “I’m fine with being everywhere and I don’t care what it does to you, even if you don’t like it.”  The problem with that interpretation is that later in the verse, the subject sings about wanting to sail away into the grey, or into obscurity, so to speak.  It’s as if the subject is contradicting himself, saying I don’t care if all eyes are on me, I just want to get away and be forgotten.  Listeners should be reminded that this is just this critic’s own interpretation of the song’s lyrical content.  The song’s chorus makes things even more obscure as Gutierrez sings, “And I crumble/All the stars surrounding me.”  The same can be said of the song’s second verse.  It is just as ambiguous in its use of metaphors.  That being the case, the song’s lyrical content is certain to keep listeners just as engaged as the song’s musical arrangement.  Both elements are certain to keep listeners talking well after the song ends.  When they are combined, the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content clearly show why it is another one of the EP’s most significant compositions.  It is not the record’s last standout song, though.  ‘Control,’ which comes late in the record’s sequence, is one more of the record’s most significant additions.

“Odisea’ and ‘Stars’ are both key compositions featured in Moscow Noir’s new self-titled EP.  That is due to the combination of the songs’ musical arrangements and the lyrical content presented in the latter composition.  Both elements are certain to keep listeners completely engaged, and even leave listeners talking.  They are not the only songs that stand out in this new offering from the Canda-based electronic outfit.  ‘Control’ stands out just as much as those songs.  Just as with the aforementioned songs, ‘Control’ stands out in part due to its musical arrangement.  The song’s arrangement is another work that conjures thoughts of Daft Punk and its predecessors due to its synth-driven presentation.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too.  The song’s lyrical content serves to make the song stand out just as much as its musical arrangement.

The synth-driven musical arrangement at the heart of ‘Control’ is in itself an important part of the song’s presentation.  That is because  it is another way in which Moscow Noir exhibits the influence of Daft Punk and others of that ilk on its music.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining this song as its musical arrangement. The song’s lyrical content presents a subject addressing another person in regards to a relationship.  At least that is how the song’s lyrical content comes across to this critic.  That inference is made as Gutierrez sings in the song’s lead verse, “I want to lose control/Cause I/I can’t fool no more/You’re why I want to sell my soul/You’re why I tend to lose control/I, I’m surrounded by doors/That hide/My red light…/This high burns right out of my pores/You’re why I can’t gain control.”  It appears through this that the song’s subject is addressing someone of the opposite sex, and that subject in question has quite the impact on him or her.  He or she is saying, I lose control when I’m around you.  One must admit that’s quite a person. Considering this seeming topic and the song’s musical arrangement, both elements work together to make the song yet another composition that stands out among the record’s offerings.  It is hardly the last of the record’s songs that stands out.  It joins with the other songs noted here, and the record’s other four songs to show in whole why any 80s new wave fan and any modern electronica fan will appreciate Moscow Noir’s self-titled debut EP.

Moscow Noir’s new self-titled debut EP is a record that 80s new wave fans and modern-day electronica fans will equally appreciate.  That is due to the musical arrangements presented within each song and the songs’ lyrical themes.  The songs that are presented here are, collectively, just a small sampling of how that mix of material makes the record stand out for its target audiences.  When those songs are joined with the record’s other four offerings, the record in whole proves to be a work that, again, will reach its target audiences with ease.  Moscow Noir is available now in stores and online.  More information on the group’s new self-titled debut EP is available now along with all of its latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.moscownoir.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoscowNoir

 

 

 

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Children and Children Of The 80s Will Enjoy Liz DeRoche’s Latest Children’s LP

Courtesy:  AlphaBeat Records

Courtesy: AlphaBeat Records

Six years ago Liz DeRoche (a.k.a. The Singing Lizard) launched her professional music career in the nation’s capital. In the years since then she has kept herself quite busy, founding a record label–AlphaBeat Records–performing both solo and with other acts–The Pushovers (since 2009) Cane and The Sticks (since 2011), and Tom Goss (since 2013). She has also recorded with Gross on his latest record, 2014’s Wait. She also toured with Goss in support of his new LP. As if all of that isn’t enough, her efforts garnered her the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Young Artist Grants (2010 and 2011) as well as the #1 spot in Nickelodeon Parents’ Pick Awards “Party Entertainer” category. And since 2009 she has worked with Girls Rock, a non-profit for girls to help them develop self confidence, build community, and make music. One can only wonder considering all that the now San Francisco Bay area-based children’s entertainer has done and is doing, how does she do it all? The answer is anybody’s guess. But somehow she has. And somehow she continues to do so as is evidenced in her upcoming album Club Called Awesome. The thirteen-song record is a testament to DeRoche’s drive and love for her craft. That is thanks in large part to its musical content. Comparisons to the likes of Regina Spektor and Daft Punk are (in this critic’s view) incorrect in regards to the album’s musical content. It sounds more akin to R&B from the 80s and early 90s That’s just one aspect of this thirty-seven minute record that makes it so interesting. Its varied lyrical themes are just as notable as its musical content. Last but hardly least of note in this album is its companion booklet. That will be discussed later. Each element is in its own right an important part of the album’s whole. Altogether all three elements make Club Called Awesome an album that the entire family will truly enjoy.

Liz DeRoche’s new children’s album Club Called Awesome is one of the most standout recordings to be turned out so far this year in the children’s music world. It is an album that the entire family truly will enjoy from beginning to end. That is thanks in large part to the album’s throwback musical content. DeRoche’s sound has been likened over the years to the likes of Regina Spektor and Daft Punk. But in the case of this album DeRoche’s sound is anything but. Instead she has presented here a sound that is (in the ears of this critic) more of a throwback to the R&B sound of the 80s and early 90s. It comes complete with synthesizers, and other standard R&B elements that made the sound what it was in that era. It’s a sound that is very rare both in today’s mainstream R&B realm and even in the realm of children’s music. There are poppy songs out there. There are even more uptempo rock style compositions out there. Heck, there are even rap/hip-hop albums for children. But the sound presented in this record is seemingly rare in the world of children’s music. To that extent it makes the album stand out against its counterparts both past and present. What’s more, being a sound that will be familiar to so many older audiences, it is just as accessible for said listeners, too. It all feels entirely natural, too. Keeping all of this in mind the album’s musical content proves in itself to be a highly important element in the album’s overall presentation. It is of course not the only important part of the album’s presentation. The album’s varied lyrical themes are just as important to the album as its vintage musical sound.

The vintage R&B sound that populates the body of Liz DeRoche’s new album is in itself a hugely important part of the album’s overall presentation. However it is not the only key element in the album’s presentation. The varied lyrical themes that are presented throughout the course of the album’s thirteen tracks. In regards to those themes, audiences will especially appreciate the message of self-confidence despite the country’s gender roles and mores in ‘Be Yourself.’ Hers is not the first song to ever buck America’s established gender roles in her music. But she does present the message in her own original fashion. The result is a song that when coupled with its musical content becomes the album’s lead anchor. ‘Peace Sign’ closes out the album. And while it is the album’s closer its message of peace is just as important to note as the messages presented in any of the album’s other songs. It isn’t one of those preachy songs that one might expect. Rather it is just a song about making a peace sign with one’s hands. She sings here, “Let me see your hand/Raise it high in the sky/Make a peace sign/Point around the middle/Fly/Peace sign altogether/Enjoying one another/Show me your peace sign.” It’s pretty basic content since that is all she sings throughout the course of the (once again) throwback style song. The thing is that even with these being the song’s only lyrics they become surprisingly infectious thanks to them being coupled with the song’s musical content. Being so infectious the message presented will get stuck in listeners’ heads and in turn perhaps grow and stay there throughout the years. For all of the heavy and serious themes tackled in the album’s lyrical content, they are not the only themes that are presented here. There is some more light-hearted fare in ‘Beat Bot The Robot.’ While the robot does play a part in the song, its part in the song is minimal at best. That is because in the song’s story DeRoche’s characters don’t meet the robot until they are well on their way in their trip through the cosmos. The robot is a fun companion for the subjects to have, too. But it is really the journey that is central to the song. And young listeners will enjoy going on that journey with DeRoche’s subjects. The song’s musical content set against that fun journey makes the journey just as fun for grown-ups with its own original throwback sound. The combination of the two elements together makes the song just one more example of the importance of this album’s lyrical content. It is hardly the last example, too. Each of the ten remaining songs exemplify in their own way what makes the album’s lyrical content so important to the album’s presentation. Together with the album’s musical content both elements come together to show why this album is a wonderful collection of songs not just for children but for grown-ups, too. Of course they still are not the only important elements to note in the overall picture of the album’s presentation. The album’s companion booklet is just as important as its musical and lyrical content.

The musical and lyrical content that is presented throughout Liz DeRoche’s new children’s album is unquestionably important in its overall presentation. They work together to make the album one that adults will enjoy just as much as their younger counterparts. They aren’t the album’s only important elements, though. The album’s companion booklet is just as important to the album’s presentation as its primary content. It is presented in a comic book fashion complete with separate panels. Those that pay close attention with note that each of the 4-panel pages directly connects to each of the album’s thirteen songs. They tell their own very short stories. But they also present lyrics from each of the album’s songs throughout. It’s a fun and wholly original way to get young listeners interested in said content and in turn get those same listeners even more engaged in the album. DeRoche is to be applauded for using this avenue to connect to her younger audiences. It is ingenious. It solidly bridges the album’s primary content to this, its secondary content, resulting in the end in an album that the whole family truly will enjoy from beginning to end.

Club Called Awesome is a rare album in the realm of children’s music. That is because it can be said with full certainty that it is one of those very rare offerings that the whole family truly can and will enjoy together. Parents will enjoy the album’s throwback to the 80s and early 90s in its musical presentation. It varied lyrical themes play their own pivotal part in the album’s enjoyment. They range from the serious (E.g. ‘Peace Sign’ and ‘Be Yourself’) to the much more easygoing (E.g. ‘Beat Bot The Robot,’ ‘Club Called Awesome,’ ‘My Balloon’) throughout. The album’s companion booklet presents an original and solid bridge between the album’s primary content and its secondary (the booklet). It is a presentation in itself that is just as certain to engage and entertain younger listeners. It is the finishing touch to an album that the whole family truly will enjoy from beginning to end and in turn will agree is one of the best of this year’s crop of children’s musical offerings so far. It will be available Friday, March 25th. While audiences wait for it to drop they can enjoy the video for another of the album’s songs, ‘Show Me Your Happy.’ The video sets DeRoche’s song against the backdrop of an animated video in which a young child shows what seems to be a group of abominable snowmen (and women) how to be happy. The video’s animation style is wholly original and will impress audiences just as much as the song, which gets audiences to show others their own happy. The video is streaming online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R4ufdFzIvk&feature=youtu.be. More information on the video is available online along with all of DeRoche’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://thesinginglizard.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SingingLizard

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SingingLizard

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Coma Ecliptic Is Yet Another Impressive Effort From One Of Prog-Metal’s Leaders

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Between The Buried and Me is one of the top names in the progressive music community today and more specifically the prog-rock and metal communities. Ever since its formation in 2000, the North Carolina-based band has remained well under the mainstream radar but still managed to consistently build its fan base. It has built that fan base by consistently re-inventing itself from one album to the next over the course of its past seven albums. Now with the release of its eighth full-length studio recording Coma Ecliptic, released this summer, the band has re-invented itself yet again and once more proven why it has continued to build its fan base and reputation within the rock and metal realms. Much like its previous pairing of recordings released via Metal Blade Records–The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (EP–2011) and The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012)–the band’s latest effort is another concept record. While technically being only the band’s second full-length concept record, it is still completely unlike The Parallax and its “sequel” and any of the band’s other previous offerings. This applies both in terms of the album’s musical and lyrical content. Both elements are key to the album’s overall listening experience. Bringing everything full circle here is the album’s production and final mix. The work of those behind the boards resulted in an album that captures every nuance of the band members’ work from beginning to end. All things considered, Coma Ecliptic proves to be yet another impressive addition to BTBAM’s already impressive body of work and another work deserving of its own spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Between The Buried and Me’s latest full-length studio effort is one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal offerings. It is also one more example of why the North Carolina-based prog-metal act is one of the leading names within the prog-metal and metal communities today. The main reason that it proves to be such an impressive record is its lyrical content. Long-time fans will be pleased to know that with this record, the band didn’t just go and make another album along the lines of its 2011 EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues and its 2012 follow-up The Parallax II: Future Sequence. Rather the band opted for something completely different. The concept behind this record is the story of a man who puts himself intentionally into a coma in order to escape a world with which he has become rather disenfranchised. The result of the decision is that the unnamed subject finds that he has lived many times before. As he travels through these past lives, he is faced with more than one tough choice along the way and a result that is just as interesting as the story itself. The premise itself is not the first time that a prog-rock or prog-metal band has covered such a topic. Audiences can find related topics in albums from Dream Theater (Metropolis 2000) and Ayreon (The Theory of Everything) just to name a couple examples. The concepts presented in those albums are similar to the one presented here but are still separate from that presented in Coma Ecliptic. It is a concept that is certain to really have fans and audiences in general thinking and talking on so many levels. Considering that, Coma Ecliptic’s lyrical content forms a solid foundation on which the rest of its positives sit solidly, making in turn an album that is one of the best of the year’s prog-metal offerings and hard rock and metal offerings in whole.

The concept behind BTBAM’s latest full-length effort does plenty to make the record a great listen for fans and audiences in general. It does so much in fact that it alone is more than enough reason for any critic to add Coma Ecliptic to their list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums. It is just one part of what makes the album such a success. The album’s musical makeup plays just as much of a role in its success as its lyrical content. Just as the band switched things up and re-invented itself lyrically so did it re-invent itself musically, too. That is because there is no way that the sound used as the backing for the band’s Parallax records could have possibly worked with this record. Most notable of the sound presented throughout this record is that front man Tommy Rogers’ death metal growls are used far less here than in the band’s previous records. There are more clean vocals utilized from start to finish than in any of the band’s previous offerings. That is not necessarily a bad thing. That is because it allows Rogers to show even more the range of his vocal abilities. Just as interesting to note about the record’s sound is its noticeable similarity to the work of Dream Theater. More specifically, one can hear hints of the band’s 2007 record Systematic Chaos at points throughout this record. The addition of the electronic sound exhibited in ‘Dim Ignition’ adds even more variety, and in turn interest, to the album. It sounds like something that one might expect from Daft Punk with its keyboards. And that’s not a bad thing, either. As a matter of fact, the mysterious tone established through this sound and the song’s musical content, which seems to hint that the album’s subject is experiencing one of his past lives, paint a vivid picture that will definitely keep listeners engaged and thinking. It is just one of so many examples of how the evolution of BTBAM’s sound makes the album in whole such an intriguing and enjoyable new record. Together with its overall lyrical content, Coma Ecliptic shows even more why it is one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums.

The musical and lyrical content put on display throughout the course of Coma Ecliptic does quite a bit to prove just how impressive BATBAM’s new record is. For all of the positives exhibited through the record’s musical and lyrical content, neither would be of any consequence without solid production. Luckily, that producer Jamie King’s work behind the glass resulted in an album that expertly balanced every tiny nuance of the album throughout the course of its sixty-eight minute run time. The fact that King has worked with the band on a significant portion of its album is the most likely reason that the production values were so impressive on this latest effort. He and the band members (even with the band’s lineup changes through the years) have gotten to know one another well enough that they each know what the other thinks will work best in any given situation. Thus, he was able to pinpoint exactly where certain riffs and fills should go or where Rogers should rely more on one vocal style versus another or even where emphasis should be placed on one note or another. Through it all, the partnership between King and the band resulted in an album that maintains BTBAM’s signature feel without rehashing the sound of the band’s previous albums. That familiarity and originality coupled with the album’s overall original concept comes together to once more show why Coma Ecliptic is another impressive offering from BTBAM and another of this year’s best hard rock and metal albums.

Between the Buried and Me’s latest full-length studio recording Coma Ecliptic is one of the band’s best works to date. The original story that makes up the body of the record and its equally creative sound work in tandem to make it a record that both the band’s long-time fans and audiences in general will enjoy and appreciate in so many ways. The work of the band’s long-time friend and producer Jamie King on this latest effort rounds out the record’s positive. His familiarity and friendship with the band (and vice versa) results in an album that is expertly balanced from beginning to end with all the right emphasis placed in all the right spots while other spots are reserved just enough to have the utmost emotional impact right to the album’s end. All things considered, Coma Ecliptic will do anything but put listeners into a coma. Rather, it is an album that will keep listeners fully engaged right to the album’s end and will even have them talking on so many levels even after its finale. Having such a wide impact, it proves once and for all why it is yet another impressive effort from one of the leading names in the prog-metal and metal communities today, and why it is also one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. Coma Ecliptic is available now in stores and online and BTBAM is currently taking some much-needed and well deserved time off before hitting the road again next month in its continued support of Coma Ecliptic. The next leg of the band’s tour includes another stop in its home state on Thursday, December 17th. The full schedule for the next leg of the band’s tour is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BTBAMofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Crystal Method Still Solid On Its Fifth Full Length Album

Courtesy: Tiny E Records

Courtesy: Tiny E Records

The Crystal Method has enjoyed a successful career as one of the leaders in the world of mainstream electronica.  The duo—Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland—has released four albums that have been received to critical praise from audiences and critics alike.  Jordan and Kirkland released their fifth full length studio release in January of this year.  In that time, their new self-titled release has met with largely mixed reviews from both sides.  The arguments both for and against this record are quite interesting.  That’s because the same things that some seem to think make the record good are exactly what others think make it bad.  One of those aspects on which audiences can’t seem to agree is the duo’s apparent increased use of dubstep on this album.  This critic must take the side of those not complaining about the duo stepping into the dubstep world on this album being that the men only incorporate that genre into their album one time over the course of the album’s eleven total tracks.  There are also those that complain this album sounds like all four of TCM’s previous releases.  On a more positive note, this is a good thing for those that are perhaps new to the music of The Crystal Method.  And the album’s opener, ‘Emulator’ is a good first impression for those audiences.  And then there’s the standout ‘110 To 101.’  This song is a perfect fit, sitting halfway through the album.  Along with the previously noted songs, it is one more example of what makes TCM’s fifth full length studio effort an album that is deserving of at least one listen from audiences, regardless of how long they have been listening to TCM’s music.

One of the biggest points of contention on TCM’s new self-titled album is the fact that Jordan and Kirkland decided to test the waters a little bit this time out and incorporate a dubstep sound on at least one of the album’s songs.  That song is ‘Difference (feat. Franky Perez).  This song just happens to be one of the singles off of TCM.  The incorporation of dubstep elements in this song isn’t minimalistic by any means.  But it also doesn’t overpower the more standard electronica vibe established by Jordan and Kirkland on previous TCM records.  And Perez’s vocals complement both elements quite well, not taking anything away from either the more standard sound or the experimental dubstep elements.  For that matter, both the dubstep and more standard elements complement each other just as well.  They all work together to make this song quite the welcome difference.  Yes, that groaner of a pun was fully intended.  Dubstep by itself doesn’t necessarily work.  But Jordan and Kirkland prove with this song that dubstep with more standard electronica elements makes quite the interesting musical mash-up.  And they make an equally welcome addition to TCM’s new album.

The use of dubstep (even in only one song) on TCM is a noticeable point of contention.  Another of the proverbial lines in the sand on this record is the fact that to some, the album bears too much similarity to previous TCM records.  It’s understandable why those that are more familiar with the duo’s body of work would feel this way.  However, that similarity of sound makes TCM a welcome first experience for those that are new to the group’s sound.  Right off top, Jordan and Kirkland impress with their techno/hip-hop mash-up that is ‘Emulator.’  It is a solid first run for the duo that is certain to be a club hit if it isn’t already.  That is thanks to the fact that every element of this song is so well balanced.  From the sampling to the various smaller elements, no one part overpowers the other.  It is a song that any open-minded long-time fans will appreciate just as much as newer fans.

The Crystal Method has plenty to offer on its new self-titled album as has already been evidenced with the previously noted tracks.  There is one at least one more song off the TCM that is deserving of note that shows just what makes it worth at least one listen regardless of how long one has been a fan of The Crystal Method.  That song is ‘110 to the 101.’  This song is pure electronica in every sense of the word.  The dynamic contrasts are spot on throughout the song and are noticeable right from the song’s opening moments.  The song starts soft, but eventually builds to a big final moment before eventually fading away in its final moments.  It’s no wonder that this song was chosen as the mid-point for TCM.  Those contrasts and the control of said contrasts will have even the least of the duo’s fans on their feet.

There’s no doubt that fans of The Crystal Method will go back and forth on the duo’s new record for any amount of time.  But it should be made clear by now that for all of the negatives that might be claimed about this record, it also has its share of positives and then some.  The songs noted here are only part of what is offered on TCM.  Each listener will find his or her own favorite moment when they purchase this album.  It is available now in stores and online.  Audiences will get to experience plenty of those songs live when The Crystal Method takes to the stage Friday, March 28th in Miami, Florida.  More information on The Crystal Method’s new album, tour and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/thecrystalmethod and http://www.thecrystalmethod.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.