Fans of Deftones will already know what to expect with this album. The band has somehow stayed relevant in the metal scene since emerging in 1994. They are always changing with their surroundings but somehow staying strictly Deftones. Gore is another great output by the Deftones institution. While it’s not anything wildly new for the band, it is Deftones at their best. Fans looking for a new direction might be better suited to looking into singer Chino Moreno’s other groups like Crosses, or Psalms.
There is a nice mix of songs on Gore, some that stay inline with their latest soft/heavy feel like Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan as well as some tunes inspired by their more aggressive earlier records. The most interesting song on the album for me would have to be Phantom Bride which features guest guitar player Jerry Cantrell. Prayers/Triangles is a great straight to business Deftones track as well.
I’m not sure what is about Teleman and their latest song Dusseldorf, but it may be the nostalgic feels I get when i’m listening to it. Whether it is its similarity to the early 2000’s rock, with Franz Ferdinand, or the simple fact i’ve walked the streets of Dusseldorf and miss those atmospheric German places and beers. Whatever the reason, Teleman delivers with their first single from their upcoming album Brilliant Sanity.
Guelph, Ontario’s Mandroid Echostar aren’t exactly re-inventing the metal wheel with their new album Coral Throne, they’re just making the wheel shinier and refreshing. This album is modern progressive metal at it’s finest. They’ve taken the sound they developed with their Citadels EP and perfected the formula; in a hugely over-saturated sub-genre they’ve successfully found a unique voice. Like most progressive metal acts they’ve brought in many different aspects of various genres, what makes this album really work is how seamlessly they blend all of their influences together. From moody, almost operatic compositions to latin-influenced breaks, it all just works so well together.
With all that praise being said, there are two things that bother me just a bit after having listened to the album over many times. Michael Ciccia’s vocals are fantastic, but maybe not as dynamic as the album needed. There isn’t much contrast in the vocal tones which could have elevated the album to the next level. My only other gripe is that some of the best/most creative guitar work on the album is sometimes buried underneath the vocals. Letting those riffs shine could have made this album a little more memorable. Overall Coral Throne is a fun and refreshing addition to an over-saturated sub-genre. Standout tracks for me would be the single Iron Hands and the closing track Zelos.
I’m a huge Fred Falke fan, anything he releases I will listen into the ground. Oliver has created a great remix that pumps some new life into the recently released It’s a memory making the track a little more dance friendly.
I’ve always been a big fan of STRFKR, more so their more conservative songs that don’t completely tear genres to shreds. Never Ever the latest single by the group is just the perfect amount of pop, without being too aggressive.
South of France follow the trend of naming your group after a place you are not from, because this duo hails from the U.S. of A. South of France brings some super feel good indie-pop vibes that will shake you to your core, and make you yearn for that summer sun. The overlapping vocals are on key, mix that with some superb guitar and drums you get what I image South of France feels like… some warm Mediterranean waters.
Clocking in at just over an hour long, The Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes is one hell of a trip. Jess and the Ancient Ones, hailing from Finland, somehow manage to blend occult, psychedelic, surf, rock, blues, and folk into a cohesive signature sound. As a big fan of their previous songs like Astral Sabbat and Castaneda I was very interested in the idea of them doing another full-length album. I was not disappointed. The Aquarius Tapes delivers on every promise this band sets out to make, whether it’s the groovy occult-surf-rock heard in the opening track Samhain, or the whimsical psychedelic blues found in the closing track Goodbye to Virgin Grounds Forever (the album’s longest track at just over 22 minutes).
Though all the tracks are separate beings, they blend in together so well that I often find it hard for me to not finish the album once I start listening. The vocals are the obvious standout on the album for me, evoking the raw spirit of female powerhouse rock and roll singers of the 70’s. The one aspect that I feel really ties everything together so well is the fantastic keyboard work. It really gives the album it’s smokey/gritty atmosphere. All efforts come together for a modern/throwback sound that resonates fantastically. If I had to choose a track that sums up their entire sound on this album (a bit of a hard thing to do) I’d have to go with Goetia of Love.