#Review: Afterlife – Breaking Point ūüĆ°


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Hopeless Records - SmallerAfterlife are a metal quartet from West Palm Beach, Florida, consisting of Tyler Levenson (vocals), Andrew McGuire (guitar), Tristan Edwards (bass) and Luke Walkinshaw (drums). Since signing to Hopeless Records, the band are now putting out their debut album, Breaking Point. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Afterlife - Breaking Point.jpg

The album bursts into life with serious tenacity, in the form opening track, ‘Sacrifice’¬†– a song laden with creepy vocal effects (somewhere in the same vein as Marilyn Manson) and come¬†served up with a huge dose of angry, metal instrumentation.

From there, the album takes off into a flurry of metal-induced fury and it’s clear throughout, that the production quality of the record is impeccable. Not only is it a great quality record but there are a lot of layers to the tracks, making¬†it interestingly chaotic, in parts. Unfortunately though, in places it feels like there is more style over substance and that the production and intricate instrumentation outweigh the lyrical content. For example,¬†‘Giving Back The Pain’ is a great song for crowds to mosh to and it has a certain commercial quality to it, but I hate to say it – lyrically, it is bordering on cringe-worthy. It’s clear what they’re trying to achieve, but I’m just not feeling it.

That’s not to say it’s all bad, by any means.¬†‘Throat’¬†has some quirky, downward spiral sounds and a catchy melody to it that is actually reminiscent of the early¬†Eminem track, ‘Kim’, though the lyrics attempt to be profound but end up somewhat disjointed.¬†‘Breaking Point’¬†focuses on getting angry to the point that you snap and the¬†motion of the chorus vocal is pretty captivating, while¬†‘Holding On’ has this brilliant bass-line leading into the track (and underpinning the chorus) with a well-written rap-style verse and an understated melody leading into the chorus, that make for a brilliant listen.

‘Grey Sky’ has¬†a wonderful melody to the chorus line, ‚ÄúWhere did your mind go?‚ÄĚ that you can’t help but love¬†– it’s gritty and raspy and really captivates the lyrical content about being trapped in your own dark thoughts.

The band’s performance throughout, is brilliant and¬†Tyler Levenson‘s¬†screaming is incredible – he has a great singing vocal too.

Possibly the best tracks on the record have to be¬†‘Karma’,¬†which is¬†a really great angry anthem to blare out when you just want someone to get what they deserve. ‚ÄúTry to run, try to run, try to hide, Karma‚Äôs coming for you bitch‚ÄĚ – I mean God, it just oozes rage! And¬†‘Broken Home’ – the album doesn‚Äôt really let up on the anger front until this track, where suddenly it seems to get a little lighter in tone and whilst the subject is sad and there‚Äôs still a little grunginess to it, it‚Äôs not so fuelled by hatred and dark screaming – it‚Äôs more honest and self-reflective. It’s quite possibly the best track on the album.

As far as Hopeless Records releases go, this is not your typical release from the label – it’s a lot heavier but undoubtedly, it will have an appeal to corners of the metal market. In fact, it‚Äôs got elements of rap merged with metal, like Linkin Park meets Rage Against The Machine, but just not quite as well-crafted.

That all being said, the band’s performance throughout, is brilliant and¬†Tyler Levenson‘s¬†screaming is incredible – he has a great singing vocal too, but the frequently-used, rap-style verses just don’t quite make the mark (lyrically and stylistically) – perhaps as the band continue to mature, they will grow lyrically too.

I’m sure there will be a lot of support for this album, particularly from fans of Hopeless Records and perhaps those who’ve begun to venture more into the metal realm, from the softer, pop punk genre. However, for the band’s next release, I hope they¬†will work on their lyrical content to match the great instrumental performances.

Rating

2.5


‘Breaking Point’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/breaking-point/1435412838


Breaking Point on Spotify

Throat (Official Music Video)

Holding On (Official Music Video)

Sacrifice (Visual)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s new album? Is our review fair? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks

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#EventSpeaks: Tom Walker @ Green Door Store, Brighton – 28/11/17


   

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Fresh after being added to the Longlist of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018,¬†Tom Walker¬†came to Brighton on the penultimate date of his UK tour. He was supported by up-and-comers,¬†Tors, at The Green Door Store, on Tuesday 28th November 2017 and it was not a night to be missed!


Tors

This band were incredibly exciting – a trio of brothers, born in Brighton and living between London and Devon, they had a very polished sound!

The vocal harmonies the brothers used were remarkably tight and it’s clear that they have worked hard to Perfect this.

The songs themselves were well written and their on-stage presence and chemistry was excellent (I guess being brothers helps). The best way to describe their sound is ‘warm’ – it gives you a great feeling just to hear their beautiful melodies and intricate instrumentation. Definitely check out their music online and catch them live if you get the chance.

Highlight: It was amazing just how full the trio’s sound was, using just 3 guitars, sample pads and a few live drums – I particularly enjoyed the combination of sample pads and live drums.


Tom Walker

It is without a doubt that Tom Walker has already built himself up a very loyal following, which was evidenced by the fact that the show was a sell-out and virtually everyone in the place was singing along to every word.

I have to admit that I myself didn’t know too many of his songs prior to going and those that I did know, were along the more mellow lines but I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that his set was packed with quite a few intense, rock-fuelled tunes and some rather insane guitar solos too! The audience were revelling in his heavier songs, skanking out like crazy, whilst his mellower efforts provided an opportunity for the crowd to flex their vocal muscles.

One thing is for certain; this event was definitely something special – it truly felt like we were witnessing the beginning of this guy becoming a big household name and I have to agree with the BBC; I predict big things for him in 2018 – I can’t wait to see what next year holds for this talented artist!

Highlights:

  • The perfection of the set was immense – it was incredible to see how just three people could create such a full and all-encompassing sound.
  • ‘Angels’ was something really special – I reckon this could be a massive, hit single for him – you need to see this live! You could tell that this song gives Tom a buzz too as he was grinning from ear to ear after performing it.
  • Tom got the crowd to shout back, “Fuck it,” during his performance of¬†‘Rapture’ and the sheer intensity of the crowd’s enjoyment at doing this was a marvel to behold.
  • Whilst the stage at¬†Green Door Store is relatively small, Tom and his band sure made the best of it and I loved the use of his lighting tubes to bring a bit of diversity to the visuals.
  • The bassist’s facial expressions were hysterical – I couldn’t tell whether he’d smelt something unpleasant but was sadistically enjoying it, or he was just lost in the moment, but it sure had some of the crowd amused. Jokes aside, a great musician!
  • The amalgamation of backing tracks and sample pads as well as the live instruments was sensational – kudos to the drummer for his use of the sample pads and blending it with the drums.
  • Straight after the show, Tom took the time to chat to his fans and take photos with them outside the venue – he seemed like a really genuine guy, who was grateful for everyone’s support. It was out here that I heard him mention his debut album would be quite a bit heavier than some of the previous songs he’s released – this was reflected in his live set but I left the show with a real excitement to hear it!

Tom Walker & Matt Wright.JPG


 Setlist

Sun Goes Down
Fly Away
Just You & I
Blessings
Angels
Karma
Play Dead
Heartland
Rapture
Leave A Light On

Encore
Me, Myself & I


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Jake Tasker for helping to make this review happen and to Tom Walker himself for the incredible show he put on; it was truly amazing!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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