#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:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks

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#Two4Tunesday: Dappy – ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em & OneRepublic – ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic


   

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Dappy – ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em

Dappy is finally back with the epic new tune, ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em. The track has a distinct afrobeat vibe to it.

The tune is less obviously catchy than some of his previous hits, but it’s still a superb track; a real urban, summer song! Hopefully this will signal the upcoming release of his second album, tentatively titled Miracles.

The music video is based in London and sees Dappy and Ay Em performing on the streets, with some quirky animations weaving their way throughout.


‘Oh My’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/oh-my-feat-ay-em-single/1380654873



OneRepublic – ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic

Take from the soundtrack to the second season of Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, Colorado pop rock back, OneRepublic, have teamed up with American rapper, Logic, to create an incredibly fitting track.

The band’s latest single features¬†Ryan Tedder‘s stunning and passionate vocals, on top of a thumping, almost¬†empowering beat, accompanied by a verse about suicide, by mental health advocate,¬†Logic. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the latest series of the mysterious teen drama.

OneRepublic¬†have released a string of new singles now, but no album has been announced…hopefully these are all signs of one to come!

No music video has been released, as yet, but the audio video can be seen below. If one is released, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.


‘Start Again’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/start-again-feat-logic/1381914023?i=1381916994


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Post Malone – ‘Psycho’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign


   

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Post Malone burst onto the UK music scene back in 2017, with his massive, Number 1 hit single,¬†‘rockstar’. Now, 2018 has seen the release of his second album,¬†beerbongs & bentleys, the third single from which is this,¬†‘Psycho’, featuring guest vocals from¬†Ty Dolla $ign.

Whilst this song hasn’t quite replicated the success of the album’s lead single,¬†‘Psycho’ is a fantastic track, which peaked at Number 4 in the UK charts.

Lyrically, the song refers to Malone‘s lifestyle and addresses the theme of trust issues that can arise out of fame; it’s a very personal track. This sits on top of a laidback trap beat with a simplistic, yet seriously catchy melody. It’s a subtle yet powerful song.

The music video is pretty cool too – flames, snow, tanks, deserts…it’s a big-budget, rather epic affair.

What are your thoughts of this hip hop artist? What’s your favourite song of his? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Psycho’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/psycho-feat-ty-dolla-%24ign/1373516902?i=1373517312


#Two4Tunesday: Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – ‘The Middle’ & Lil Dicky – ‘Freaky Friday’ featuring Chris Brown


   

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Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – ‘The Middle’

Zedd‘s latest track,¬†‘The Middle’ features the American electronic music duo,¬†Grey (aka brothers Kyle Trewarth and Michael Trewartha) and vocals by American country singer,¬†Maren Morris.

This track may well have come out at the start of 2018 but 10 weeks later, it’s still at Number 10 in the UK charts, following the success of 2017’s¬†Stay with Alessia Cara, however this track performed even better than that.

It’s a fun, uplifting track which has a very similar feel to ‘Stay’ with it’s combination of raw, powerful and digitised/vocoder vocals, atop a blend of 90s pop sensibilities and modern EDM vibes, making for a very distinctive sound.

The video is great fun too, with it’s stunning set and extravagant use of visual lighting. All-round this is just a fantastic piece of modern pop that will undoubtedly get stuck in everyone’s head; a true favourite of mine right now!


‘The Middle’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-middle/1336771022?i=1336771388



Lil Dicky – ‘Freaky Friday’ featuring Chris Brown

The second track this week is¬†Lil Dicky‘s Number 1, smash hit,¬†‘Freaky Friday’, featuring guest vocals from¬†Chris Brown.

The track itself is a combination of  hip hop, pop and comedy (think similar to The Lonely Island), centring on the film(s) of the same name and continually references Chris Brown himself, throughout.

Whilst this track is intentionally comedic and works hilariously with its accompanying music video, there’s no doubt about it that this is one heck of a catchy tune too; it’s easy to see how it’s managed to top the UK Charts!

The music video itself parodies the 2003 film¬†Freaky Friday (starring Jamie Lee Curtis¬†and¬†Lindsay Lohan)¬†and features cameos from¬†Jimmy Tatro,¬†Ed Sheeran,¬†DJ Khaled¬†and¬†Kendall Jenner. It’s a must-watch video but also, I defy anyone not to end up singing along to this earworm of a track!


‘Freaky Friday’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/freaky-friday-feat-chris-brown/1351005381?i=1351005400


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Brunswick – ‚ÄėKnow No Better‚Äô


   

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Brunswick¬†is the moniker of a 19-year-old up-and-comer, who is making some seriously edgy, fusion music. This single,¬†‘Know No Better’ merges R&B and hip hop with rock and pop to create a unique blend, self-described as¬†“Rhythm & Grunge”. It’s a great sound that is almost like crossing G-Eazy with Conor Maynard and topping it off with some Nirvana; it really is something special.

Very little is known about this artist right now, other than from his Instagram and SoundCloud pages, but a little mystery isn’t always a bad thing.

No music video has been released for the track yet, but as soon as one emerges, we’ll keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of this mysterious artist? Got your own #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Know No Better’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/know-no-better-single/1361721586


#WildCardWednesday: Kris Evans – ‘Famous’


   

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Kris Evans (previously of The Mend/Race The Horizon) has just dropped his new single,¬†‘Famous’…and it’s massive!

Think Dappy meets Chris Brown with a slightly more underground, urban edge but topped with a strong chorus and you’ve got this single; it’s genuinely one of the freshest songs I’ve heard recently and I can’t get enough of it!

Also, 2018 is already looking very promising for Kris, who’s been nominated for ‘Best Urban Act Of 2018’¬†at the Unsigned Music Awards! What’s more, Kris has further big plans ahead, which include more releases and some exciting live performances across the UK.

No music video has been released for this track yet, but if one does emerge, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of this epic singer and monster tune? Got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Famous’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/famous-single/1348400033


#ThrowbackThursday: Crazy Town – ‘Butterfly’


   

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Crazy Town are an American rock/rap band who were formed in 1995 by Bret Mazur and Seth Binzer. ‘Butterfly’¬†is the band’s best known single, which reached Number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2000, which in turn prompted the release of their debut album,¬†The Gift of Game,¬†that went on¬†to sell over 1.5 million units.

Crazy Town - The Gift of Game.jpg

The guitar melody which opens the song is a head-bopping, body-swaying beat that is followed up by a high hat, drum beat and of course vocals. ¬†Even though the lyrics could be argued to be rather simplistic;¬†“Come, my lady. Come, come, my lady.¬†You’re my butterfly.¬†Sugar.¬†Baby.” There is no denying that ‘Butterfly’¬†is an extremely catchy, throwback tune.

The music video for the song was directed by the team who worked on the well-known movie, The Matrix as well as What Dreams May Come. The video depicts the band in a fantasy, make-believe forest surrounded by butterflies. The fantasy, magical vibe continues as Shifty’s star tattoo flies off into the air, as well as two women sporting butterfly wings, walking around in the forest.

What are your thoughts of this massive hit track? Have you got a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Frankie – Muzik Speaks
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‘Butterfly’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/butterfly/203303461?i=203304621