No. 31

February 01, 2016

Prong - X - No Absolutes (SPV) ....

Prong have released their new album, titled X - No Absolutes, continuing their crossover brand of hardcore, industrial, metal. that has appealed to music fans for the past three decades. The band was founded by singer/guitarist Tommy Victor and bassist Mike Kirkland, who were both employees of CBGB's at the time. X- No Absolutes is a worthy album. It doesn't break any new barriors, short of including a ballad which is unusual for Prong, but it certainly rocks out and is fun. The album opens with "Ultimate Authority" which sets the stomping pace and hammers home that Prong are in authority. Next on "Sense of Ease", they don't hesistate to pick it up, thrashing out, with sheer power, speed, and crunch delivering a song that fans should connect with. "Other notables are "Cut and Dry", "No Absolutes", "In Spite of Hindrances", and the ballad-like "Do Nothing". The songs will drive you to bang your head, leave you with whiplash, and cleanse your musical soul.

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Liberty N Justice - Life Songs (HighVol Music) ....

Liberty N Justice is a christian rock band founded by Justin Murr with big guitars, big hooks, and great vocals. Liberty N Justice albums are an all-star jam of who's who in rock music with appearances by many big name stars. Their last album The Cigar Chronicles, featured 26 songs and over 70 guest musicians. The music sounds inherently like 80's hair metal, bringing to mind bands like Skid Row and Slaughter, not withstanding the fact that Sebatian Bach and Mark Slaughter both have made among the guest appearances. The album has a great recording production and well written songs, but I think it lacks some originality being so cliche to sounding like 80's hair metal. The five song EP contains songs "You Got Love", "And Again", "My World", "Only Choice", and "Gangster of Love". The latter was my favorite song incorporating a real funky groove, tight beat, and pubescent lyric lines such as "You're alone like Capone, you're a hottie like Gotti, but your no gangster of love." If you are looking to take a stroll down the Memory Lane of 80's rock metal, this is the album to take you there.

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Dream Theater - Astonishing (Roadrunner) ....

Dream Theater deliver another epic album with Astonishing, running a total of 129 minutes. Is it astonishing ? Well, that would suggest something on the scale of a masterpiece, which it is not. It is too cliche that we should say that "Astonishing is astonishing". Dream Theater have cemented a formula to their sound and songwriting and implement that on every album. Astonishing is not the greatest of their albums, but yet it is better than their average albums. There are times when the band attempts to touch the greatness of their early hits, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. There are times they serve up complimenting sections with very interesting arrangements. The album which is set to a sci-fi theme is also arranged with an orchestral accompaniment. The band’s technical strength is apparent on “Dystopian Overture”, where progressive shifts and melodic mood, draw the listener in for a aural experience. Other notable tracks are "Moment of Betrayal", "The Gift of Music", "Chosen", "A New Beginning", telling the story behind this elaborate conception.

Listen to Dream Theater

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