Author: Lorna Allen

Bury Tomorrow – Runes

After catching these guys in the Pepsi Max tent at Download 2013 during their “Union of Crowns” tour, I have to say that Bury Tomorrow have been a favourite of mine since. But, as with many new releases, I don’t immediately like new material. So, when they released their “Runes” teaser, ‘Man on Fire’ I, like many others, clicked play and watched/ listened with anticipation; it didn’t disappoint. Distinctly different than “Union” and by no means any less captivating. ‘Man on Fire’ is the opening song on “Runes” and Dani’s voice seems somewhat deeper and more focussed, his growls are far...

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Betraying the Martyrs – Phantom

“Phantom” is the latest release from Betraying the Martyrs and the follow-up to their debut album “Breath in Life”. I have to say that it’s not often that an album stops me dead in my tracks, and then forces me (yes, forces me) to play it four times in a row…you bastards, I’d got shit to do! Anyway, “Phantom” opens up with ‘Jigsaw,’ a cacophony of brutal riffs, snarling yet superbly executed vocals. ‘Jigsaw’ has a nod to so many metal genres that I really can’t be arsed to try and assign a pigeon hole for it (not that...

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Hacktivist – Download 2013 Live Review

Having had the privilege of seeing, and being blown away by, Hacktivist 2012, I eagerly anticipated their set at this years Download Festival. We arrived at the Pepsi Max stage early and caught the end of the intense yet impressive set from the Welsh Hardcore quintet, Brutality Will Prevail. With the energy high and the crowed still amped from the Brutality Will Prevail set we were teased with an intro of Hacktivist‘s new track which samples ‘I hate you so much…’ by Kelis; looking forward to hearing it in full! And they’re on…’New Age’ is the first song of their set,...

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The Book Of Knots – Garden Of Fainting Stars

“Garden of Fainting Stars”, the latest album by The Book of Knots, came accompanied (and I quote) “it’s a bit weird”. That as maybe, but what a release! This instalment, the last of in the bands “By Sea, By Land, By Air” trilogy, from Matthias Bossi, Joel Hamilton, Carla Kihlstedt and Tony Maimone is conceptually staged with all things aeronautical in mind; close your eyes and you could imagine yourself floating in outer-space! ‘Microgravity’ features the ethereal vocals; there’s passion, intrigue, samples galore and dissonant chords a-plenty.  ‘Dropsophilia Melagonaster’ is a meandering wander through an airport with an omniscient presence providing a chronicle throughout the journey. Heavy orchestral sound bites and pianos help to build atmosphere into the traveller’s detailed account. ‘Moondust Must’, for me is the weakest track on the album. I feel it loses some of the atmosphere that is set in scene during ‘Dropsophilia Melagonaster’. The samples and cacophonous instruments remain strong throughout but we’re reminded of the ethereal quality of this release during ‘Lissajous Orbit’. The vocals are almost operatic yet are sinister; the piano is haunting and full of intrigue. The Album’s title track, ‘Garden of Fainting Stars’, highlights the experimental nature of The Book of Knots; it’s quirky, captivating and full of the things that I love in music. ‘All This Nothing’ is beautiful, the song is laden with drama; you can imagine...

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Circles – The Compass

I have this 10 second rule (albeit right or wrong; it works for me), that a song should grab you within that time or it’s not worth listening to. That was until I listened to “The Compass”, an interesting debut from Australian five-piece tech metal band Circles. The mini album, which comprises of six songs, is good in parts but outstanding in others, so I have to admit that my 10 second rule was questioned on this one. I was excited by the start of ‘The Frontline’, it’s a nice blend of electro with heavy guitars, ripping bass and pounding drums, an excellent start – then the vocals of Perry Kakridas kick in. Not to say that I was disappointed, I wasn’t, the vocals just weren’t what I had expected. The track took me on a journey almost reminiscent of early Incubus from their S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album but with a 2011 twist, but for me it was a little bit too long and didn’t carry on in the same exciting way it had started. Then ‘The Clouds are Gathering’ started, my attention was grabbed instantly! A great song with so many layers, stunning vocals, driving riffs and drums. A stand-out track for me thus far and I can’t help but hear an influence of Faith No More‘s track and Sophomore album title “The Real Thing”, but if you’re going to...

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