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Queen + Adam Lambert -- Boston, MA -- July 22nd, 2014
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  #21  
Old 01-15-2014, 06:16 PM
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23. Nails - Abandon All Life



In 2010, a small band called Nails released their debut short album, called Unsilent Death, and quickly began to achieve underground cult recognition within the hardcore scene and even converted a few metalheads with their own brand of fast, skull-bashing, pissed off hardcore. Three years later, after many gigs and a few tours, they've come back. With Abandon All Life, they firmly planted their foothold into the doorway of the metal community, venturing further into the territories of grindcore and death metal.

In order to achieve this feat, they started with an improvement of their sound. Everything on the new record sounds larger and more imposing: in addition to being faster in the blasted parts, the drums sound fatter and more massive. Also, they adopted the classic Entombed mind-lacerating "buzzsaw" guitar sound that is specific to the Boss HM-2 pedal. The vocals also blend in better with the music than on their previous effort. They are also closer to a scream than to a shout, with occasional backing growls, making the whole thing more violent and more metal. Abandon All Life sounds like an enormous and organic mass of pure sonic fury crashing upon the listener.

It is also one of the most efficient brutal releases I have ever heard. Clocking under 20 minutes, with simple, but great and catchy riffs constantly ensuing right after the previous one and not a whole second of relief to be found, it is the perfect quick fix of face punching metal or punk (whichever you're looking for).

I especially have a crush for the songs "Wide Open Wound", which is heavier than a lot of the most brutal death metal songs I have heard, and the two last ones. "Cry Wolf" is simply 24 seconds of sheer aggression and "Suum Cuique" is a delirious mastodon of bone shattering doomy heaviness. For any brutal music enthusiast, Nails' Abandon All Life is inevitably one of the most fun album of the year.

Wide Open Wound
I bought a Boss HM-2 to be just like Nails, no joke.
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2014, 06:30 PM
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I bought a Boss HM-2 to be just like Nails, no joke.
Playing guitar is just instantly fun when you plug that baby in... I tried my friend's once and it was awesome. I think I'm gonna get one someday.
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2014, 06:45 PM
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Playing guitar is just instantly fun when you plug that baby in... I tried my friend's once and it was awesome. I think I'm gonna get one someday.
All I need now is a drummer and some talent and I'm set.

It wasn't too hard to find on eBay. And there's another pedal that's cheaper, more readily available and gives almost the same sound. I can't remember what it was called (it was some company I've never heard of) but it's a neon pink pedal.
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  #24  
Old 01-16-2014, 05:07 PM
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21. Savages - Silence Yourself



Savages is a fairly new all-women band based in London. Luckily, the magic of the Internet and mass peer-to-peer diffusion has made them accessible to the masses. Their debut album hit me so hard it would be dishonest not to include it in my list. The album in question starts off with its synonym track, that builds up around a huge post-punk bass line; this gives a hint to what the rest of the album will sound like. It is mainly bass-dominated: the guitar often quiets down, leaving only the bass line to keep things rolling. Savages' sound is very noisy and unpolished. It takes back the spirit of the late 70's post-punk bands, namely Joy Division, with the mandatory minimalism, a creepy ambiance, dirty, heavily distorted guitars, primitive drum beats and deep reverberating vocals. Speaking of the vocals, their singer, originally from France, adopts a style that is easily reminiscent of Siouxsie (of Siouxsie and the Banshees, duh), but in a lower tone, excepts for some distant wails. Her lyrics are very direct and personal, yet vague and enigmatic; they're principally written to evoke ideas and feelings more than to tell stories. The titles she chose also reflect her lyrics and the band's songs very well: short, thought provoking and impactful.

Also, Savages is no ordinary post-punk revival band. The buzzing and droning guitars, the loud feedback and the general aggressive attitude make their music sound fresh and defiant, even if their main influences come from a few decades ago. The incredibly intense build-ups, often with repeated single words, that most of the times crash down instead of leading to a predictable riff also contribute in forging their unique sound. Another important point is that the album is not unidirectional: songs like the cacophonous whirlwind called "Hit Me", the ambient "Waiting for a Sign" and the bleak goth/cabaret piano-driven closer "Marshall Dear", with its final atonal saxophone solo, throw themselves into the melee, thus disturbing the (listener's mental) peace even more efficiently. If you haven't hopped on the hype train yet, you've got some catching up to do.

She Will
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  #25  
Old 01-16-2014, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by adamclark52 View Post
All I need now is a drummer and some talent and I'm set.

It wasn't too hard to find on eBay. And there's another pedal that's cheaper, more readily available and gives almost the same sound. I can't remember what it was called (it was some company I've never heard of) but it's a neon pink pedal.
Yeah they're not too badly priced either. I got Taiwanese HM-2 for just $65!
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  #26  
Old 01-16-2014, 06:41 PM
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Savages were so great live! Their cover of "Dream Baby Dream" absolutely killed
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  #27  
Old 01-17-2014, 08:09 AM
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20. Wrekmeister Harmonies - You've Always Meant So Much to Me



I've only listened to this album by the end of the year, but it really took me by surprise. It is made of a sole 38 minute track: it starts with a minimalistic electronic drone, which is slowly enhanced with more and more elements, including cello and piano, thus progressively building a beautiful, haunting and almost claustrophobic (the panicked screams in the background sure help) atmosphere similar to those found of the last Godspeed You! Black Emperor LP's drony tracks.

At its climax, an avalanche of distorted heaviness then crashes upon the listener in the form of huge blackened psychedelic doom riffs adorned with dense noise, cello parts of a deranging beauty, and tortured, desperate, distant screams. This part then drifts away, leaving space for a noisy drone, that slowly fades and deconstructs, again in a GY!BE fashion, leading to the memorable final piano chords. This record would probably be higher in my list if I had the time to listen to it more - it is an emotional trip that is touching from the start to the end.

You've Always Meant So Much to Me
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Last edited by VoidFlame; 01-17-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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  #28  
Old 01-17-2014, 08:09 AM
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19. Touché Amoré - Is Survived By



Melodic hardcore rising stars and new wave of screamo leaders Touché Amoré seem to improve with each new album they released. In my opinion, with this one, they managed to achieve the impossible: topping 2011's Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me. Musically, Is Survived By is all about contrasts; you can hear that as the first luminous, serene riff kicks in, with the anxious screams incongruously fitting in. The guitar sound does a hell of a job in making the album as interesting as it is. It's basically perfect: metallic without being too distorted, aerial and radiant without being too clean and non-supportive to the aggressive nature of their music. Clayton Stevens and Nick Steinhardt's dual riffing attack is very creative, blending in original chords and melodic patterns you wouldn't usually expect from a hardcore album. They also incorporate post-rock and shoegaze (with the wise use of bended notes and chords, that never seem to stop sending shivers down my spine), making the whole thing sound even more beautiful. The quieter songs are also extremely touching, especially "Praise/Love" with its peaceful chords on top of which Jeremy Bolm screams out in heart-shattering desperation, and the two first Explosions in the Sky-esque post-rock instrumental thirds of "Non-Fiction", leading to its explosive and sorrowfully glorious climax/chorus.

Moreover, Is Survived By is as catchy as any indie rock or (good) emo record, but it comes with a few extras, including unmatched intensity, due to the vocals and the over-the-top inventive and agitated drumming, chaotic song structures and efficiency, due to the short duration of the album and the expeditious songs.

Jeremy's vocals are also stunning. They sound so painfully (and exquisitely) honest... His lyrics are also truly intimate: on the album he speaks about his quest for personal identity and artistic legacy. It sounds like a brutally sincere, but unsure attempt at self-affirmation: the way he often ends the songs, with one suspended last word or sentence, strongly reflect that uncertainty (not to be confused with hesitation, because he's definitely precise in what he tells).

Now, let's talk about the icing on the cake: what made me put the last weight on the scale and decide I liked this album more than their previous masterpiece. It emanates a lot of despair and uncertainty, but towards the two last songs, it fluidly shifts towards hope and, mostly, determination; just look at how "Steps" cleverly takes back the calm riff from "Non-Fiction" and turns it into positive melodic hardcore. Is Survived By takes you through almost excessive emotions, but manages to still make you feel great in the end.

Anyone / Anything
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  #29  
Old 01-17-2014, 06:41 PM
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Is Wreckmeister Harmonies available on CD?
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  #30  
Old 01-18-2014, 06:50 AM
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Is Wreckmeister Harmonies available on CD?
No idea

Maybe you should ask him?
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