#Review: Afterlife – Breaking Point ūüĆ°


   

facebook-like   Instagram


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

www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks

www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

Advertisements

#Review: Hawthorne Heights – Bad Frequencies


   

facebook-like   Instagram


Hawthorne Heights¬†are an American emo/rock¬†band from¬†Dayton, Ohio, which formed in 2001.¬†The band currently consists of JT Woodruff (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Matt Ridenour (bass guitar, backing vocals), Mark McMillon (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Chris Popadak (drums, percussion). To date, the band have released 5 studio albums and been through a variety of line-up changes but now, in 2018, the band are releasing their sixth studio album,¬†Bad Frequencies, through¬†Pure Noise Records. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Hawthorne Heights - Bad Frequencies

This is certainly an album of two mindsets; on the one hand you’ve got a new sound that sees the band edging ever closer to pop punk commerciality and on the other hand they are sticking to their more screamo roots. However you look at it, the band are diversifying and growing their sound at the same time as keeping hold on some of what the fans love.

‘In Gloom’ launches the album with a slow, heartfelt intro from vocalist/guitarist JT Woodruff, but after the first minute, we are thrust into the sound of the full band, making their triumphant return.

The nostalgia continues as first single, ‘Pink Hearts’, reflects on past relationships you carelessly work your way through in your younger years.

An exciting balance of old and new, Hawthorne Heights have made a triumphant return!

More old-school, classic Hawthorne Heights can be heard on tracks such as ‘Crimson Sand’ and ‘Just Another Ghost’ with bassist, Mark McMillion‚Äôs, screams coming through in full force.

Meanwhile, ‘Edge Of Town’ and ‘Starlighter (Echo, Utah)’ show us the newer, more pop-punk driven sound that moves this record, and indeed the band, forward.

Possibly one of the most stand-out tracks on the record is ‘Pills’; the song deals with the loss of someone you care deeply about but it demonstrates brilliantly, how the band have grown and continue to push their songwriting and sound; where in the past this might have been a heavy, scream track or an altogether more simplistic affair; a great way to finish the album by showing off where the band’s future lies.

That’s not to say the band that people know and love is gone; there are emo lyrics throughout record and still the occasional screaming, it’s just the instrumentation is slicker and more intricate and in places, JT Woodruff uses falsetto in his vocals; something new and interesting for the band’s sound.

There’s no doubt about it; this band know how to write catchy hooks, tying together some of the heavier, more chaotic parts of the record. Armed with a whole load of history and self-reflection plus a strong sense of where they are heading, this record is definitely representative of both their past and the future for the band. An exciting balance of old and new, Hawthorne Heights have made a triumphant return!

Rating


‘Bad Frequencies’¬†can be ordered here –¬†http://smarturl.it/HawthorneHeights¬†or downloaded from iTunes, here –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bad-frequencies/1351452415


Bad Frequencies on Spotify

Just Another Ghost (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Hawthorne Heights’ new album! What are your thoughts of it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it, via our socials.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: Story Of The Year – Wolves

 


 

   

facebook-like   Instagram


Story Of The Year first captivated my attention with their debut album, Page Avenue, back in 2003. Since then the band have had a string of albums, been involved in a whole host of side-projects, taken a hiatus, reformed and run a successful PledgeMusic campaign, which all lead to this, their sixth studio album, Wolves.

SOTY - Wolves.jpg

The album opens with the title track,¬†‘Wolves’, which sounds like some sort of background, cinematic sound effects from a horror film, before leading into the intense, fast-paced, gang-vocal-packed song,¬†‘How Can We Go On’,¬†which perfectly represents the band’s roots in alternative/hard rock. From there, the album weaves its way brilliantly throughout a whole range of powerful, thrashing, metal-like songs and emotionally-driven, rock ballads¬†that you just can’t help but want to belt out loud.

One thing’s for certain; the band have truly poured out their honest feelings and inner-most emotions into every track on this record. It’s also the band’s first album to be recorded in pieces, across several, separate locations, meaning they could really afford to take their time to focus and perfect the sound they wanted to achieve. The album title,¬†Wolves, was chosen to embody the concept of life circling you and closing in on you, just like a pack of wolves.

Some of my favourite and most stand-out tracks on the album have to be,¬†‘Bang Bang’ (dubbed “a fast-paced, electro-infused rager complete with a catchy chorus” by AltPress),¬†‘Youth’¬†(which is a short guitar track that feels anthemic beyond words),¬†‘I Swear, I’m Okay’¬†(a synth-driven ballad-esque belter),¬†‘Can Anybody Hear Me’¬†(probably one of the catchiest tracks on the record and a real sing-along tune) and¬†‘Like Ghosts’ (which is just epic and in places the use of synths remind me a little of the Stranger Things¬†theme – this song was born to be in a movie).

Undoubtedly, the quartet have demonstrated how committed they are to making what could well be the best album since their debut.

The record was produced by Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, New Found Glory, Acceptance) and mixed by none other than Tom Lord-Alge and J Hall Рwhich probably explains why it sounds particularly epic! It soars to incredible heights and tantalises the melancholic heart-strings in all the right places.

Undoubtedly, the quartet have demonstrated how committed they are to making what could well be the best album since their debut. It’s an inspired body of work that shows off a real depth to their songwriting and evolution in their style. They have managed to record a soundscape of vulnerability, fear and anxiety and present it in a really exhilarating and cohesive body of music. This is certainly an album not to be missed.

Rating
4


‘Wolves’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wolves/1300989796


Wolves on Spotify

‘Bang Bang’¬†(Official Video)

‘I Swear, I’m Okay’¬†(Official Audio)


We hope you’ve enjoyed this review of Story Of The Year’s latest album! What are your thoughts about it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#ThrowbackThursday: The Used – ‘The Bird And The Worm’


Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks)

   

Instagram


‘The Bird And The Worm’ was the first single to be released from¬†The Used‘s third studio album,¬†Lies For The Liars. The song was the band’s highest charting single at the time, reaching¬†#9 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

This song is epic with its heavy post-hardcore guitars and¬†Bert McCracken‘s unique vocal style. The way he uses his voice is remarkable – such a talent to be able to blend screaming vocals with singing so seamlessly.

The music video is quirky and cool too but then you’d expect nothing less from¬†The Used.

Do you remember this song? Have you got a different, favourite song by The Used? Or another song you’d choose? Please leave your thoughts or #ThrowbackThursday suggestions in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘The Bird And The Worm’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-bird-and-the-worm/id254115609?i=254115685


#Christmas #WildCardWednesday: The Used – ‘Alone This Holiday’


Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks)

Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks)


It’s Christmas!!!

…in just 2 days!

This week, as it’s Christmas, I’m going to post a themed track, as usual, but am adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day.

Every day this week, you can expect 5 new tracks to be added to the playlist (based on the theme that day), which means by Christmas Day, you should have a special 25-track Christmas playlist! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify ūüôā


¬†The Used – ‘Alone This Holiday’

The Used are known for being a post-hardcore/screamo band and back in 2005, the band released a Christmas song, as a B-Side to their single,¬†‘I Caught Fire’.

This song is definitely not your traditional Christmas tune, but it’s a good one and makes the perfect #WildCardWednesday track! Bert McCracken‘s vocals are just incredible, as usual!

Also added to the playlist today:

  • OneRepublic – Christmas Without You
  • Echosmith – I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  • Owl City – Kiss Me Babe, It’s Christmas Time
  • She & Him – Sleigh Ride

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks