No. 38

November 01, 2016

Crowbar - The Serpent Only Lies (E1 Music) ....

Louisana sludge metal band Crowbar return with their 11th studio album titled The Serpent Only Lies. The bands origin dates back to 1988 and they have been through a long list members including Jay Abbene (Wrathchild America) who played lead guitar in 1996. The current lineup consists of Kirk Windstein – lead vocals, guitar; Todd Strange – bass guitar ; Tommy Buckley – drums ; and Matthew Brunson – guitar. While recording the new album, Kirk Windstein stated that he went back and purposely listened to old Crowbar albums such as the self-titled and Broken Glass in hopes of reclaiming their old sound. Perhaps so, but the new album seems to encompass much of the style of their later albums. Heavy guitar grooves that are dark and melodic are found throughout this album on songs like "On Holy Ground", "The Enemy Beside You", and "Embrace The Light". Crowbar fans will enjoy this album adding it to their collection.

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Avenged Sevenfold - The Stage (Capitol) ....

Avenged Sevenfold hails from Huntington Beach, California and was formed in 1999. They emerged on the scene with a metalcore sound, honing their skills into a hard rock metal sound that has become more and more progressive. Their new album The Stage features great melodic music that inspires me to think of bands like Stratovarious. The band brings in new drummer Brooks Wackerman, former drummer of Bad Religion, who fits the band like a glove. While the band released the album with little notice, promoting it with one single "The Stage" at eight minutes and thirty seconds long, fans will be psyched to know the rest of the album just gets better. The album is dynamic, powerful, and interesting, a composition of mastery. Songs like "God Damn", "Angels", "Sunny Disposition", and "Roman Sky" will leave you wanting more. Fans will enjoy the mostly instrumental track "Exist" which brings forth some interesting commentary by the scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is the bands longest work to date with a running time of 73 minutes that will have you hooked until the last second. Do yourself a favor and don't miss out on this musical experience.

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Fermi's Paradox (Self Release)

Fermi’s Paradox fuses jazz concepts and a forward-thinking attitude to create emotionally dynamic rock music that breaks down the human condition highlighting our existence as a collective human experience. Formed in Frederick, Maryland in 2014 by guitarist/lead singer Diego Retana and drummer Colin Shreeves, Fermi’s Paradox began as an experiment in combining jazz concepts with rock music. Along the way, Dan Rynders joined the fold on bass in mid 2014 followed by Alex Taylor on guitar/ backing vocals/electronics in late 2015. At first listen to the tracks I am not sure how to best describe this album. It's rather unique, a sort of progressive jazz with light rock overtones. Excuse me for a bad analogy but at times it reminded me of Spinal Tap when they are forced to improvise a fusion-esque, experimental song entitled "Jazz Odyssey". Don't get me wrong, Fermi's Paradox music is good. I am just not sure what audience or genre they are attempting to appeal. I found the basslines to be most interesting followed by some good solos from the lead guitar. The vocals seemed a bit plain and it is my opinion that the whole album could have stood to have been mixed with a better studio production which would have thickened the bottom-end and made these songs pop more. Of the five songs, "Atlas" was my favorite tune, followed by "Matter".

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