Corroded’s New LP Is Set To Put The Rock Community On “Alert”

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Late this past April, hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest album Defcon Zero.  The  band’s first new album in five years and its fourth full-length studio recording, it is a recording that could very possibly put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it presents a combination of music and lyrics throughout its 11-song, 50-minute run time that challenges even the best of the big names.  The record’s opener, ‘Carry Me My Bones’ clearly supports that statement.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the record’s run, also supports that statement in its own way, too.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is yet another example of what makes Corroded’s latest effort a work that is anything but corroded itself.  Rather, it is another example of what makes the record a solid, strong new offering from one of hard rock’s best kept secrets.  It joins with the previously noted songs and the rest of the album’s offerings to make the record in whole an offering that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a strong and solid return for Corroded. That is especially considering the fact that it is the first record in five years from the Swedish hard rock outfit.  From start to finish, the band presents in this new offering a record that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That statement is supported in part in the album’s opener ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  The song’s musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Dry Kill Logic’s best works.  That is evident as the song starts with a brooding, acoustic arrangement before gradually building into a full-on, guitar-driven assault.  What is really interesting is the heavy buildup to that assault conjures in itself, thoughts of some of Slayer’s best works.  The combination of front man Jens Westin’s vocal delivery and the song’s musical elements throughout the rest of the song maintain that previously noted comparison to Dry Kill Logic.  The whole of that arrangement is only one part of what makes this song stand as an example of Defcon Zero’s impressive nature.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as the song’s musical arrangement in examining what makes it stand out.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones’ is in itself a key part of what makes this song stand out as an example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out. That is because it easily challenges hard rock’s top names from start to finish. Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement in examining its whole.  Westin said in an interview about the album’s lyrics “When it comes to the lyrics, I want everyone to make up their own opinion to what the songs are about.” He went on to compare interpreting the album’s lyrics to comparing a book to its cinematic counterpart.  Keeping that in mind, the lyrical content at the center of this song definitely proves to be interesting.  Westin sings here, “I’ve been awake/For days/On my way to hell/I’m not going to lay down and die before I get there…What you believe is more than you know/Carry me my tired bones/Far away/So far away from secrets/A million miles away/Carry me my tired bones.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I was stuck/In-between/No place and nowhere….” before he and his band mates—Tomas Andersson (guitar), Bjarne Elvsgard (bass) and Per Solang (drums)—reprise the song’s chorus time to finish off the song.  Noting again that Westin leaves the lyrics’ interpretation to listeners’ own thoughts, this critic’s take on the song’s lyrical content is that it comes across as an introspective rumination of someone working through a very difficult time.  That is inferred in the song’s lead verse.  The hell in question is clearly metaphorical.  The subject’s mind has been racing, but that subject is still determined not to give up in whatever difficult situation is presented.  As Westin’s subject sings “carry me my tired bones,” one can interpret that perhaps the song’s subject is saying he or she wants to get away from everything; all of the negatives surrounding him or her.  The song’s second verse continues to infer that same message in this critic’s own interpretation.  It would be interesting to learn the true message in the song’s lyrical content.  That aside, the combination of that seeming message couples quite well with the song’s musical arrangement to make for a song that is a powerful first impression for the band this time out.  It is just the start, too.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another solid addition to the album’s whole.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ is a strong first impression from Corroded on its latest new album.  That is due to the combination of its musical and lyrical content.  The two elements together make the song a clear example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out in whole.  It is just one of the songs that shows what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘A Note To Me’ is another example of what makes the record in whole stand out.  As with the album’s opener, that is due at least in part to its musical arrangement.  The musical arrangement here is a stark contrast to that of ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  It is a deeply emotional, guitar-driven composition that (and some audiences will call this musical heresy) conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman and Nickelback.  Yes, it seems damning.  But the reality is that when one compares this composition to that at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it is actually a good thing that such a comparison can be made.  That is because it shows in its own right the reach of the band’s talent, sounds and influences.  Westin’s vocal delivery throughout even conjures thoughts of Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger through his delivery.  Again, some might see such a comparison as musical heresy of sorts.  The reality once more though, is that it shows the band’s ability to reach into any rock and hard rock sub-genre.  That is a compliment of the highest caliber to the band.  Of course the song’s musical arrangement is only part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘A Note To Me’ is in itself a key component of its overall presentation.  When set against the composition at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it shows even more why Defcon Zero stands out among this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.  The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content, which is just as brooding as its musical arrangement is just as important to discuss as that musical content.  Westin sings here in the song’s lead verse, “This bitter pill I got/It turns out to be hard to swallow/I’d make my head whole/But everything inside feels hollow/I am the haunting of the day that never came/Yeah, what a shame.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The truth hurts that I know/And now it’s out for everyone to see/I’m just a coward/Who hates everything about me/Everything I’ve done was a lie/It’s harder to cry.”  This comes across as someone who is confessing a major hidden truth to someone else.  As the song progresses through its chorus, it can be inferred that the someone in question is obviously someone close to the subject.  What is interesting is that Westin doesn’t point out if that person is male, female, young or old.  That in itself is a really powerful statement.  When one really thinks deeply about this matter, the confession could work in any of those situations.  That is especially the case as Westin sings in the song’s final moments, “My only hope is that you will forgive/And that some day/Some day you will forget.”  Regardless of whether the situation presented here is between friends, family or some other close person, the confession by the song’s subject is powerful.  It is the kind of statement made in similar songs by the aforementioned mainstream friendly acts; the kind of statement that, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, is made even more powerful.  The combination of those two elements makes the song in whole a truly powerful work that once again can rival songs from the bands already noted.  Keeping that in mind, it is one more work included in this record that shows why this record stands out among its counterparts both mainstream and independent.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show what makes Defcon Zero stand out.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is one more example of what makes this record one that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ and ‘A Note To Me’ are both solid examples of what makes Defcon Zero a strong new effort from Corroded.  That is because they show the wide reach of the album’s sound, proving its appeal to metal purists and mainstream rock fans alike.  The songs’ lyrical content adds just as much depth to their whole.  While both songs’ musical and lyrical content serves to make them clear examples of the album’s strength, they are only two examples of that strength.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ just as clearly proves to be another example of said strength.  That is evident first through its adrenaline-fueled, guitar and drum-driven musical arrangement, which mixes elements of Hellyeah, Soil and other similar acts for a whole that will instantly have listeners’ horns in the air.  Its lyrical content will keep listeners just as engaged as Westin seemingly comments on…well…the downfall of a nation.  Being that there is so much turmoil the world over and that Westin and company don’t necessarily point out which nation is being addressed, the commentary could, in reality, apply to the United States, any Middle Eastern Nation or other nation.  There is mention of “seeing the  flames rising,” “bones grinding,” “ashes in the air” and other rather interesting visuals.  This could be a commentary of what could come to any nation if said nation(s) don’t get things in check and soon.  The added mention of “we are the ones who are watching everything from high up above/We are the ones who idle standing by as things burn” adds to the power of that message.  It is almost as if the song’s subject is saying, “we’re going to stand by and let the world destroy itself and this is what we see happening.”  It is a powerful, possible statement.  The power in the song’s musical arrangement expertly captures the energy in that supposed statement, too.  Keeping that in mind, the whole of that musical and lyrical content makes this song clearly one more example of what makes Defcon Zero such a powerful new offering from Corroded.  It is hardly the last song that serves to exemplify what makes this album stand out.  ‘Gun and a Bullet,’ ‘Burn It To The Ground,’ and ‘Vessels of Hate’ each do their own part to show what makes this record stand out, too.  All things considered, the songs noted and not prove Defcon Zero a record that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a powerful return for Corroded.  It is a record that proves audiences’ five-year wait for the band’s next album was well worth it.  What’s more it is a record that is certain to put the rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it is such a strong new effort from start to finish both in regards to its musical arrangements and lyrical content.  All things considered, this record is one that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock albums.  It is available now.  More information on Defcon Zero is available online now along with all of Corroded’s  latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.corroded.se

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/corrodedsweden

 

 

 

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AHTY’s New Album Will Leave Listeners “Screaming” For More

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

Bow down, metal nation.  All Hail The Yeti has returned.  And it has done so in grand fashion with its long-awaited sophomore album Screams From a Black Wilderness.  The thirteen-song record is a musical offering that proves to be a solid follow-up to the band’s self-titled 2012 debut from beginning to end.  That is thanks both to the song’s powerful musical arrangements and equally engaging campfire horror stories.  Both elements combine within the course of each song to make Screams From a Black Wilderness a record that every metal purist should hear at least once if not more now that it is available.  The album’s opener and lead single ‘Before The Flames’ is a good example of how that mix of music and lyrics makes this record such a solid return for All Hail The Yeti.  ‘Witch Is Dead,’ the album’s midway point, is another piece that exemplifies the power of this record’s musical and lyrical material.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more example of that power.  All three songs, when set against one another, paint a clear picture of the power of the album’s musical and lyrical content.  Together with the rest of the album’s offerings, all thirteen songs make this fifty-nine minute record a collection of songs that is one more of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal records.

Four years removed from the release of its self-titled debut album All Hail The Yeti has returned with a new offering that actually bests that record.  That is proven time and again throughout the course of the album’s thirteen songs and fifty-nine minute run time.  Its opener and lead single ‘Before The Flames’ is proof of that in itself.  This is thanks both to its musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  In regards to the song’s musical content it is a piece that any fan of Hellyeah, Dry Kill Logic, Motionless in White and other acts of that ilk.  The arrangement in question is a mid-tempo composition that is driven largely by its guitar line and drums.  Front man Connor Garritty conjures thoughts of Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray with his vocal delivery.  That adds even more punch to the song’s musical arrangement.  It’s just one part of what makes this song proof of the album’s overall strength.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song as its musical makeup.  Garritty noted in a recent interview that the album’s songs are lyrically based on well-known campfire horror stories.  And the story behind this song is horror, needless to say.  It centers on the story of an orphanage that caught fire and killed all of the children inside.  It would be interesting to discover the roots of the story.  Though, the story of Vermillion’s Gore Orphanage in Ohio seems to line up pretty well with this story.  One part of the story even has the spirits of the children running through the woods, allegedly still on fire, screaming “Help Me” much as Garritty screams “Help Us” Save Us/Fire and flame are surrounding us.”  The little girl telling her parents in a letter (that obviously never made it to them) of how the fire started makes the story even more painful to hear.  That is not to say that there is any truth to the Ohio legend.  But the two stories definitely do sound similar.  Regardless of whether or not a relationship exists between that story and the story behind this song, it can still be said that the combination of the song’s story and its musical arrangement makes this song one of the album’s best and just one example of what makes Screams From a Black Wilderness a solid sophomore effort from All Hail The Yeti and a record that was well worth the wait.

‘Before The Flames’ is a good example of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s long-awaited sophomore album Screams From a Black Wilderness a solid sophomore effort from the Los Angeles, CA-based band.  It shows just as much why the album was well worth the wait.  While it is a good example of both, it is not the only good example of each.  The album’s midpoint, ‘Witch Is Dead,’ is another example of what makes this record stand out.  In terms of its musical content the influences of Dry Kill Logic and Hellyeah are clear and present throughout.  That is especially the case in the song’s chorus in which Garritty and company chant, “Hey, hey the witch is dead/Which old witch/The wicked witch/Hey, hey the wicked witch is dead/Wake up/Your blood runs red/As it drips off of your head/Wake up/The f****** b**** is dead” against the song’s pounding drums and guitars.  The chorus isn’t the only place in which those influences show themselves.  They are just as evident throughout the song’s verses, too.  Speaking of the song’s verses their content sounds pretty violent to say the least.  However one must keep in mind here that ‘Witch Is Dead’, like the album’s other songs, is based on a classic campfire horror story.  Considering this one can only wonder which story was the influence behind the song.  That is because in today’s era it sadly sounds like way too many real life murder stories.  Garrity sings here of a man who has perhaps murdered a woman.  That is inferred as he screams, “It seems like lately there’s no more you and I/Will not take this anymore/I come to judge you f****** w****/I bet you die alone/There is no chance in this life you’re making/All alone/So stop breathing/You sucked up enough.”  That’s just the song’s lead verse, too.  Things don’t’ lighten up any in the song’s second verse.  Garritty’s character screams here, “And now you’re mine/Your hands are tied and you’re squealin’ like a swine/It makes me smile/When I realize that I/Have you where I want you/I always knew it would end like this.”  It gets even harsher in the song’s closing verse.  That verse will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  But it goes without saying that whichever classic campfire story is the basis for this song, it definitely is a scary one.  And that fear factor, when set against the song’s musical content, makes the song in whole a work that is just as nightmare-inducing as it is entertaining (thanks to its musical content).  As crazy as it might seem, the mix of that fear factor and entertainment factor shows why the song in whole is another good example of what makes Screams From a Black Wilderness such a solid and welcome new return from All Hail The Yeti.  It still is not the album’s only other example, either.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more example of what makes this record such a solid and welcome return for the band.

‘Before The Flames’ and ‘Witch Is Dead’ are both key examples of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s new album a solid and welcome return for the band.  They are just a couple of examples of what makes it so solid and welcome.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more of the album’s strong points.  The song’s musical arrangement sets its foundation.  Its musical arrangement boasts a familiar heavy, chugging sound that is more akin to the likes of Crowbar, Down, and others of that ilk.  In regards to its lyrical content it is obvious right from the song’s opening verse that the song is centered on the Jonestown Massacre.  That is because Garritty screams right in the opening lines, “They were told to line up/And drink the glass of Flavor-Aid…would send them to an early grave.”  He even makes light of Jones having a hurried, agitated sense about him when he told his followers to drink the juice and commit suicide, as soldiers were coming.”  This depiction is spot on according to the story of what happened at Jonestown.  What’s really scary here is that the band even gives voice to Jones’ followers as they tell Jones that they drink to make him happy.  The way in which Garritty and company sing those lines makes the story so sad.  That is because of the knowledge that they had been completely brainwashed by that madman.  It also incorporates what can only be assumed to be audio of Jones talking to his followers in the course of the song in order to heighten the song’s impact.  It does just that, too.  That heightened impact, when set against the song’s heavy, chugging musical arrangement, once again shows why this composition is one of the album’s strongest points.  When set alongside the likes of ‘Witch Is Dead’ and ‘Before The Flames’ all three songs join together to paint a very scary picture in the best way possible.  They paint a picture of an album that will entertain listeners once more just as much as it will scare them with each of its songs’ stories.  This applies just as much with the album’s remaining songs not noted here.  All things considered the musical and lyrical material that makes up the body of this record shows it in whole to be a record that is a solid, welcome return from All Hail The Yeti and also one of the best new hard rock and metal albums of the year.

All Hail The Yeti’s new album Screams From a Black Wilderness is a solid, welcome return from the Los Angeles, CA-based metal outfit.  It is also one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal records.  That is thanks to stories that real or imagined are the stuff of nightmares.  The musical foundation set by the song’s arrangements adds even more impact to the album.  This applies not only to the songs noted in this review but to every one of the album’s featured offerings.  All things considered Scenes From a Black Wilderness proves to be a solid, welcome return for All Hail The Yeti and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  It is a record that will leave audiences and other bands bowing to the band as one of the metal community’s next big names.  It is available now and can be downloaded direct online via iTunes and Amazon.  More information on Screams From a Black Wilderness is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

 

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Chile On Hell Is A Hard Rocking Music History Lesson From Anthrax

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

2014 is almost over.  But even as the year’s last months start to wind down, things haven’t cooled down in terms of the year’s new live recordings. As the year’s final months wind by, critics everywhere will begin firming up their annual “Best Of” lists for publication later in December.  Most critics will focus mainly on the year’s best overall movies and music.  And then there will be those critics and writers that will focus on specific lists such as the year’s best new pop albums, rock albums, hard rock albums, etc. It would seem that among all of the lists that are compiled, one category that doesn’t necessarily receive the attention that it deserves is that of the year’s best new live recordings in terms of DVDs and Blu-rays.  This critic’s personal list of the year’s best new live recordings is already firming up quite well.  There are still at least a couple of spots left open on that list, though.  And one of those spots will most definitely be taken up by veteran hard rock/metal band Anthrax’s new live DVD Chile on Hell.  This new live recording is one that any long-time Anthrax fan will appreciate and enjoy first and foremost for its set list.  While this concert is not necessarily what one would call a “career-spanning” show, it is one that both the band’s original fans and its newest fans alike will appreciate.  The next aspect of the DVD that audiences will appreciate is the band’s stage presence.  Some might consider this something minor.  But in reality, it is just as important in keeping audiences at home fully engaged.  And last but most definitely not least of all worth noting is the concert’s collective audio and video mix.  The two together present a certain raw look and sound that are just as impressive as any more spit shined and perfected recordings that are currently available to audiences.    Each of the factors noted here play their own important role in the overall enjoyment of Chile on Hell.  Altogether, they make this DVD a dark horse candidate for a spot on at least this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings.

Far too often, the term career-spanning is tossed around when it comes to live recordings.  Sadly, very far too few of those recordings live up to such hype.  That isn’t to say that no recording lives up to that label.  Rather, far too few live recordings live up to said label.  Thankfully, neither Anthrax nor Megaforce Records make any attempt to call Chile on Hell one of that mass of overly hyped recordings.  Rather, they let the recording speak for itself.  And the statement made is loud and crystal clear as audiences will see in the show’s set list.  The nearly two-hour show includes some of the material included on Worship Music and the band’s recently released EP Anthems.  But by and large, the set list presented in Chile on Hell takes audiences back to the band’s earlier days.  To be more exact, the band largely reaches back to its 1985 and 1987 albums Spreading The Disease and Among The Living for this concert.  1990’s Persistence of Time of also represented here courtesy of the song ‘In My World.’  Such a mix of classics and more recent songs will bring in both the band’s original fan base and its newer and possibly younger fan base at the same time.  One could argue that in presenting such a set list, the band is paying respect to its original fan base while teaching a valuable music history lesson to those younger and newer fans.  Even if this was not the original intent on the part of the band or of Megaforce Records, it is one of the results.  It makes the set list even more solid as the DVD’s center.

The set list and the potentially latent function of said list are together a solid starting point in the success and enjoyment of Chile on Hell.  Just as important as the set list and its effects is the band’s stage presence.  It goes without saying that the band’s stage presence in this stage is full-on.  Front man Joey Belladonna and founding guitarist Scott Ian exude so much energy; so much in fact that even audiences at home will find themselves wanting to sing along and head bang with them.  Such a powerful translation even on-screen is quite a statement.  Belladonna’s band mates add their own energy through their performances.  Whether through Charlie Benante’s pounding drumming, the spot on shredding of Shadows Fall guitarist Jonathan Donais (who replaced Rob Caggiano) or even bassist Frank Bello, the band collectively keeps the audience in attendance at the recording fully engaged from start to finish.  And home viewing audiences will feel that energy themselves, leading them to be fully engaged throughout, too.  That the band’s stage presence could translate so well and have such impact even on home viewers is a tribute to the band itself.  And coupled with the show’s set list, the overall effect of the show is made even stronger, thus making the recording in whole all the more enjoyable for all of the band’s legions of fans.

The set list arranged for Anthrax’s show in Chile and the band’s stage presence combine to make Chile on Hell an impressive addition to any Anthrax fan’s personal collection.  The recording’s collective audio and video mix is the final touch to the whole presentation.  The video doesn’t have the spit shined look of so many other live recordings before it.  Rather, it has a grainier, more raw look.  Yet that look actually plays into the overall presentation.  That is because it actually serves to help heighten the energy exuded by both the band and the audience.  Staying on that topic, audiences will enjoy the camera attached to the end of guitarist Scott Ian’s guitar.  That angle and the others used throughout the concert are used at just the right moments to make for a wonderful impact.  And despite being recorded at an indoor venue, the concert’s audio mix turned out impressive in its own right, too.  Balancing audio levels at indoor venues always has and always will present its own challenges.  In the case of this concert, those charged with balancing the concert’s audio levels both at the show and in post-production are to be commended for their efforts.  The end result of their work is a concert recording in which neither the vocals nor the music overpowered the other.  And together with the equally professional work on the concert’s video mix, it proves to be a concert experience that any of Anthrax’s legions of fans will enjoy no less with each watch.

Those charged with handling the audio and video mix for Chile on Hell are to be highly commended for their high quality of work in this concert.  The band and its label are to be commended, too.  The set list serves a dual purpose.  And the band’s stage presence will keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish.  All three of these factors come together to make Chile on Hell a concert that while bare bones, is one that any hard rock fan and any Anthrax fan will appreciate and enjoy.  The DVD will be available Tuesday, September 16th via Megaforce Records.  Fans can find out more about this upcoming live recording and keep up with all of the latest updates from Anthrax online at http://anthrax.com, http://anthraxarmy.com, http://twitter.com/anthrax, and http://www.facebook.com/anthrax.  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.