No. 10

March 01, 2014

Adrenaline Mob - Men of Honor (Century Media) ....

The Mob is back with another smash hit, this round featuring new drummer A.J Pero from Twisted Sister fame. The songs are hard shredding with balls, and at one point Russell Allen even emphasizes the word "Balls" to make sure you know it. I would have to say this album is more straight up groove metal than the previous album and very hard hitting. Orlando delivers his usual great guitar work to some very memorable songs. My only criticism of this new album is the band sinks more to that down-tuned 8-string sound that is so overplayed by hundreds of other bands. Their music on this album seems more geared toward radio metal pop hits, the likes of Nickelback, Drowning Pool, and others. Still, the songwriting is strong, recording excellent, and this album shouldn't disappoint. Among my favorite tracks are "Come On Get Up", "Dearly Departed", "Feel the Adrenaline", and "Judgement Day". Loved the 12-string acoustic guitars on "Behind these Eyes". One of the best metal albums yet of 2014.

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Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us (Season of Mist) ....

Cynic release their new album Kindly Bent To Free Us, which those will find again is different then their previous releases, showing great progression and maturity in their music. Those who expect to find the band returning to their death metal roots will be disappointed, this is prog rock. I can only say wow, what a near masterpiece this is ! The songs are dreamy, hypnotic, a layered and weaving aural experience. The bass guitar riffs are amazing, standing out in their progressive style typical of the band. Among my favorite songs were "True Hallucination Speak", "The Lions Roar", "Infinite Shapes", and "Endlessly Bountiful".You definitely need to listen to this album with an open mind, its less about the technical aspects of guitar as on their previous releases and more about the vocals. I can only describe this album as something ahead of its time like the Beatles - Sgt. Pepper with the prog influence and technicality of something like the Alan Parsons Project. A pleasant surprise most will enjoy !

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Flotsam and Jetsam - No Place For Disgrace 2014 (Metal Blade) ....

Flotsam and Jetsam return re-releasing their masterpiece No Place For Disgrace. Instead of a re-mix, the band chose a twist and took to the studio, re-recording all the songs from scratch. There are pros and cons to the band taking this approach. The guitars and back end are definitely beefier than the original album, but the pace of the songs is slower and the vocals not quite as exceptional. Even still is does not underscore the fact that this was, and is, an excellent metal album which proved the band could continue on without original member Jason Newstead. There are many great songs such as the title track "No Place For Disgrace","Escapre Form Within", "I Live, You Die", "The Jones",etc. The only thing that could have made this re-recording better would have been Jason Newstead returning to join the band on this album.

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