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  #1  
Old 07-16-2014, 08:22 PM
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MPF's Album Review Of The Day

Hey Guys.

I have been super busy ever since I started getting back on my feet around March this year. I got two radio shows going (a live show and a syndicated show), two bands rolling and I am making a huge conscious effort to get my album reviews going again because, well, I know that's what most, if not all of you guys care the most about. I will still most likely be doing my huge end of the year album review-gasm which I do every year, but I want to do more in depth reviews as well along with the short review blurbs I do. And I figure what's a better way to kick that off then with the brand new Opeth album, Pale Communion?!?!?!!!

As I stress in every review thread I do, all albums I review I obtain LEGALLY! Either from Promos, PR syndicates, My own purchases, or albums that are for free from the bands themselves. I must stress that again, ALL LEGAL HERE!!!

Alright let's begin:

(You don't have to click here, but the review is here and I do appreciate the hit count for my site)
http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/rev...communion-2014

Opeth- Pale Communion


Opeth makes a triumphant return with their 11th album, Pale Communion. Many people consider their 9th album Watershed to be...well...a watershed moment. It marked a transitioning point for the band where the Death Metal aesthetic of the band was slipping away for a more Progressive Rock feel and Mikael Akerfeldt's Death Metal growls had disappeared since their last album Heritage. Many people gave up on the band at that point feeling that the band had jumped the shark musically. So with that being a strong case for a lot of former Opeth fans, they are skeptical of what the band would be putting out next.

The band has made it their niche to make evil sounding music whether it is from their beginning of Orchid, to their mid career point (at least so far) Blackwater Park, to arguably their most crowd pleasing and highly regarded album, Ghost Reveries.

Pale Communion is no different. Lyrically, Opeth is just as dark and evil as ever. Vocally, the Death Metal growls are still gone. Maybe one day they will return, but much like albums like Damnation and Heritage, there is no need for them here. The album starts off (Eternal Rains Will Come, Cusp Of Eternity, Moon Above, Sun Below) much in a way that parts of Ghost Reveries, Watershed and Heritage go, where it is sinister in a heavier Progressive Rock feel without the need to go into Death Metal territory. It still has some Heritage vibe to it, but unlike Heritage, it more rocking and upbeat. Elysian Woes sounds like a track that was taken straight from the Damnation days, a great somber ballad placed in a great spot on the album. Goblin has been said by Akerfeldt, to be heavily inspired by the band Goblin, and indeed it is. The song is all instrumental, just like Goblin, and showcases the evil that 70s Progressive Rock can be. River starts off with an acoustic into and beautiful vocal harmonies. The song eventually picks up a bit, but not in a Hard Rock but very much like a mid-era Porcupine Tree (Signify-Lightbulb Sun) song would be. Although Porcupine Tree frontman, Steven Wilson mixed the album, he did not help write any of the songs, but Akerfeldt was indeed inspired by Wilson. The second half of River goes back into the evil 70s Progressive Rock and gets into one of the darkest and heaviest riffs of the album. Voice Of Treason starts off with very ominous keyboards followed by a very Ghost Reveries inspired song riff. the song is one of the most upbeat on the album and one of the few instances of double bass on the album (although only used in one riff about 3/4ths through the song). the song ends how it begins with ominous keyboards with segue ways into the final track, Faith In Others. This is another track that really focuses on the somber side of the band with it's slower-mid tempo stylings. It starts off much like their song, Burden, and mid way through goes into a keyboard (piano)/vocal break with leads into the classic Opeth signature tone for ballads. 3/4ths into the song it has a grandiose orchestral moment what is one of the best moments in any Opeth song, finally closing into a slow and somber end to the album with keyboards and strings and Akerfeldt's final words for the album.

Clocking in at 55;38, Opeth's 11th opus is nothing short of what many will consider to be a miraculous comeback album. If you are one of those who only like Opeth for the Balls and Chunk Heavy side of Opeth, again, you will be disappointed. If you dig Opeth's 70's Prog side that they experimented with on Watershed and on the most with Heritage, this will be to your fancy. But more so than anything, if you enjoy the dark, somber stylings of Damnation, the clean sections of Ghost Reveries, and of course Watershed and Heritage, this album is for you. To put it best, this is the album that should have came out after Watershed.

- 4/5
Opeth- Pale Communion (Roadrunner Records) Release Date: August 26th, 2014

- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2014, 10:30 PM
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Since I didn't have time tonight I will be doing two new reviews tomorrow. One for Anathema's Distant Satellites and Fallujah's The Flesh Prevails.

Hope you dig them.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2014, 11:14 AM
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Anathema- Distant Satellites

http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/rev...ant-satellites

Anathema is a great example of a band who can change their sound for the best. Starting off as a very Gothic, Doom Metal band, and slowly turning into the emotional Progressive Rock powerhouse they have become. Anathema has recently released their 10th album, Distant Satellites back in June and it is a bit of a genre bending album to say the least.

In recent years, Anathema has been widely known for their last two albums, We're Here Because We're Here and Weather Systems. Both albums are a perfect blend of Progressive Rock and pure, unadulterated emotion that in the right mood, can bring a tear to your eye. Distant Satellites is no different.

The album starts off much like Weather Systems does with a 2 part song (In Distant Satellites' case 2/3rd of the song), called The Lost Song Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 is an emotional juggernaut that indeed has the feeling of Weather System's Untouchable Part 1. A real emotional roller coaster in just one third of a song that is of course brought to us vocally by Vincent Cavanagh. Part 2, again, much like Untouchable Part 2, is sung by female singer, Lee Douglas. It is a bit more somber than Part 1, which is part of the charm, but towards the end of Part 2 really showcases the band's orchestral sound once again. Instead of going into Part 3, The band does a couple songs in between to change the mood. Dusk (Dark Is Descending) is the next song and the first song on the album to feature everyone in the band. It is a great standard on the album and a great showcase of the band if you don't want to venture into their most epic sounding songs. Ariel is one of the saddest sounding songs on the album. It's a beautiful ballad that is filled with pure emotion. One of things that really captures people about Anathema is their lyrics. When you divulge into their lyrics and listen to how they are sung, they grab you and never let go. Ariel is a prime example of this, along with its great orchestration from the entire band. Next up is The Lost Song Part 3, which is actually quite different than Part 1 and 2. It is more upbeat and focuses more on the music being played along with the vocal approach (which like every Anathema song with lyrics, is quite strong). It's not the most epic sounding of song endings, but it indeed does the job quite well. Lastly on the things you know about Anathema well, is the band's self titled song, Anathema. The lyrics are very much about the struggles of the band to get where they are now and does have a deep orchestral background that is somewhat reminiscent of the band's mid-era career with albums like Judgement and A Fine Day to Exit.

This is where the band does a complete genre change. From the first couple notes of You're Not Alone, it starts off like any new day Anathema album with somber piano, then the vocals come in and repeats in a Electronic way, then the electronic drums come in. Roughly half way into this 3;27 song it it goes full on guitar driven Electronica. The lyrics repeat throughout the entire song giving an illusion of chaos towards the end of the song. Firelight is a short instrumental song that focuses on synth sounds and orchestration an it a great natural build up to the album's self titled song, Distant Satellites. Distant Satellites is a song that would not feel as natural if it had natural drums on it, which is a very odd thing to say. To match the emotion of the song of feeling far away, like in space, the electronic drums give the song a very nice touch of early day EDM. The rest of the song is filled with piano and Vincent's soothing vocals. While this may seem like a drastic change in sound for the band, it feels like a natural progression for the band. The last song on the album, Take Shelter is another song in the Electronic world. The song again features no real drums, all electronic as done by former acoustic drummer, now electronic drummer/keyboardist, John Douglas (Acoustic Drumming is now being performed by Daniel Cardoso). The song is a great way to close out the album because it does feature the most prominent features of the whole album near the end of the song. Strong orchestration from the beginning of the album, the soaring vocals which is all throughout, and the EDM programming at the end. Near the end it makes you feel like you went through a musical journey of many different musical genres, yet still feel like an Anathema album

What can be said most about Distant Satellites is that Anathema is not afraid to show their changes in a band.from their Gothic Doom Metal days, to their haunting Alternative Rock days, to their emotionally driven Progressive Rock, to what very well could be the new sound for the band, the early day EDM stylings. Anathema will write the music that their heart is behind and this album is a great showcasing of that. Starting off with the sound they are known for currently, and slowly but surely switching genres once again to match the music they wanna create, and honestly, that is where the best music comes from is the music that means the most to you at the time of creation.

- 5/5

Anathema- Distant Satellites, out NOW via Kscope
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2014, 12:46 PM
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Fallujah's The Flesh Prevails


http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/reviews/fallujah-the-flesh-prevails

Fallujah just might be saving Death Metal from it itself. With the band's second album, The Flesh Prevails coming out July 22nd, 2014, the band has explored an area that many Death Metal bands steer clear of, adding an atmospheric touch to their sound. It has been explored a lot in the realms of Black Metal and Post Metal, but not so much in Death Metal. While the band has somewhat done this on their two previous releases; the debut album The Harvest Wombs, and their EP, Nomadic, it has not been explored like it has on The Flesh Prevails. This is very much a revolutionary album.

The album starts with Starlit Path, which has a very atmospheric intro of clean guitars, synths, and bass, which gradually builds up when the drums get added. When the distortion gets added it turns into Atmospheric chaos. it's not until around the 2:10 mark where the Death Metal truly kicks in. While the rest of the band is playing in true Death meal fashion, there is guitar overlays of cleans and synths that add a fantastic layer of melodicness and atmosphere. This is featured through the entire album. Songs that have already been released (Carved In Stone, Levitation and Sapphire) are very beautiful pieces of Death Metal, again, not a phrase that you would normally hear in the genre. The title track, The Flesh Prevails is arguably one of the highlights of the album. While one of the shorter songs on the album, it showcases the perfect use of dynamics, slowly building up into an expulsion of fury. Alone With You is a short instrumental interlude that is pure atmosphere which leads right back into the chaos that the rest of the album brings. Allure is another instrumental track that contains all the power the rest of the album brings but without vocals, shows off what the music side of the band is capable of in terms of the beautiful chaos. The album ends with Chemical Cave, which is a fantastic final song for an album that showcases the musical side of the band once again in Prog Metal fashion. Almost as if Dream Theater wrote a Death Metal instrumental.

Fallujah's The Flesh Prevails that can save Death Metal from the overabundance of the "Same Ol, Same Ol" approach of just being brutal and the over the top Technical Death Metal approach that only those who can achieve the same sound on their own playing abilities can enjoy. It's a great blend of Atmospheric Death Metal, in a sense that you can have your Death Metal brutal, but have that kick back and relax feeling at the same time. The only thing that I can say that some people may not enjoy about the album is that the latter part of the album does not feature as much vocals as the first half, but again, that's a matter of taste. Musically, it all gels well, and I dare say will be a pioneer in the next Generation of Death Metal.

- 4.5/5

Fallujiah- The Flesh Prevails Available July 22nd via Unique Leader Records
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:06 PM
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2014, 09:35 PM
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Boris- Noise

http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/reviews/boris-noise

Boris is the kind of band that you literally don't know what you're going to get when you hear they are putting out a new release. They have ventured into so many different genres of the years, it is hard to keep track. But on this endeavor, they may have just found their niche in terms of genres...EVERYTHING!

The album begins with the track, Melody. It starts off quite atmospheric, until the drums slowly coming in and it hits a great. The song has an upbeat Shoegaze feel to it (Which is odd to say, upbeat Shoegaze) it does venture off into some heavy sections as well but still has that Indie, kinda Poppy feel throughout. This leads into the next track, Vanilla. This is straight up J-Pop/J-Rock. Towards the middle it ventures into some heavy segments, especially during the solo with some great Stoner Metal riffage which ends the track. Up next is Ghost Of Romance which is a very somber, shoegazy type of song that can pull at you just by the music alone. The whole song has a feel of atmosphere that takes you off into a dream world. It's not until near the end of the song where it starts to somewhat picks up in tempo, but it still leaves you in the dream state and floats away into the next track, Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain once again starts off soft and quiet, but it slowly builds up into a deep Post Rock and Heavy Shoegaze feel. The whole song slowly broods and constantly keep that great Shoegaze and Stoner Metal feel throughout. This is where the album takes another HUGE left turn with the song, Taiyo no Baka, which is a very poppy, Indie Rock song. It's a nice change of pace from the couple of doomy Shoegaze heard previously. This leads into the monster epic that is known as Angel. Clocking in at 18:42. The song slowly, but sure builds up and up and up. Around the 7 minute mark is where everything starts to pick up and the whole band joins in for the heavy doomy riffing. It continues on going into a Post Rock vibe. The song progresses to get faster and heavier until it drops back out into an atmospheric backdrop with tom driven beats, to eventually just a basic beat and clean guitar to let the song fly away. Then the album goes into the biggest left turn of them all, Crust Punk and Thrash Metal with the song Quicksilver. This nearly 10 minute track is relentless as anything heavy they have ever done, which makes up for the lack of fast music before this song on the album. The song doesn't let up until around the 7 minute mark where they go into one of the genres they are best known for, Guitar Drone, which lasts through the rest of the song. The end of the album has a 2 minute instrumental called Siesta, which much like the name suggests, is a very dreamy song and very soundtrackish to close out the album.

Depending on which version of the album you get, there is a second disc containing 5 tracks starting with the song, Bit. This 9 minute epic of a song again showcases the bands classic Doom/Drone sound. While minimalistic, it is indeed very heavy and sinks you in. Near the end it gets pure Doom Metal and very evil sounding, a great way to start off a collection of B-Sides. Next up is Kimi No Yukue, which again harkens to the J-Rock sound, a nice tempo variation from the previous song, Bit. Following similar suite in the J-Pop/J-Rock sound, is the song Yuushikai Revue. A bit more guitar driven and more rocking than the aforementioned song. Thebonus disc ends with what may be my favorite song of the entire collection, Discharge. It is a great heavy, rocking, Metal song. It is very guitar driven and some fantastic vocal melodies behind it. Again a fantastic way to end a disc.

Noise is a great way of showing how a band can master so many genres in one album, without sounding like a giant hodgepodge of music. In a sense, Noise sounds like a Best Of Boris, with all new material. If you have yet to ever check out the band previously, this is a great starter album for you that will indeed suck you into the Boris universe, in which you may never want to leave.

*Also check out the song, Just Abandoned Myself off the album, Pink, for everything awesome about Boris packed into one 18 minute song*

- 4/5

Boris- Noise available NOW via Sargent House
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2014, 01:20 AM
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Also check out the song, Just Abandoned Myself off the album, Pink, for everything awesome about Boris packed into one 18 minute song
The fucking truth right here. Killer review man!
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2014, 10:54 AM
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Fallujah's The Flesh Prevails


http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/reviews/fallujah-the-flesh-prevails

Fallujah just might be saving Death Metal from it itself. With the band's second album, The Flesh Prevails coming out July 22nd, 2014, the band has explored an area that many Death Metal bands steer clear of, adding an atmospheric touch to their sound. It has been explored a lot in the realms of Black Metal and Post Metal, but not so much in Death Metal. While the band has somewhat done this on their two previous releases; the debut album The Harvest Wombs, and their EP, Nomadic, it has not been explored like it has on The Flesh Prevails. This is very much a revolutionary album.

The album starts with Starlit Path, which has a very atmospheric intro of clean guitars, synths, and bass, which gradually builds up when the drums get added. When the distortion gets added it turns into Atmospheric chaos. it's not until around the 2:10 mark where the Death Metal truly kicks in. While the rest of the band is playing in true Death meal fashion, there is guitar overlays of cleans and synths that add a fantastic layer of melodicness and atmosphere. This is featured through the entire album. Songs that have already been released (Carved In Stone, Levitation and Sapphire) are very beautiful pieces of Death Metal, again, not a phrase that you would normally hear in the genre. The title track, The Flesh Prevails is arguably one of the highlights of the album. While one of the shorter songs on the album, it showcases the perfect use of dynamics, slowly building up into an expulsion of fury. Alone With You is a short instrumental interlude that is pure atmosphere which leads right back into the chaos that the rest of the album brings. Allure is another instrumental track that contains all the power the rest of the album brings but without vocals, shows off what the music side of the band is capable of in terms of the beautiful chaos. The album ends with Chemical Cave, which is a fantastic final song for an album that showcases the musical side of the band once again in Prog Metal fashion. Almost as if Dream Theater wrote a Death Metal instrumental.

Fallujah's The Flesh Prevails that can save Death Metal from the overabundance of the "Same Ol, Same Ol" approach of just being brutal and the over the top Technical Death Metal approach that only those who can achieve the same sound on their own playing abilities can enjoy. It's a great blend of Atmospheric Death Metal, in a sense that you can have your Death Metal brutal, but have that kick back and relax feeling at the same time. The only thing that I can say that some people may not enjoy about the album is that the latter part of the album does not feature as much vocals as the first half, but again, that's a matter of taste. Musically, it all gels well, and I dare say will be a pioneer in the next Generation of Death Metal.

- 4.5/5

Fallujiah- The Flesh Prevails Available July 22nd via Unique Leader Records
Great review man, glad to hear it's an amazing record. I can not fucking wait till my pre-order comes in the mail so I can check it out.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2014, 05:39 PM
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Thanks guys! I really do appreciate the comments!



Novembers Doom- Bled White

http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/rev...oom-bled-white

Novembers Doom is a criminally underrated band that sadly doesn't get the amount of love that they should. For those unfamiliar with the band, Novembers Doom is a great blend of Doom (who'd guess by the by name, haha) Death, Progressive, and Folk Metal. On their latest album, Bled White the band expands even further in their sound and reaches what could possibly be their best work yet.

The album starts off with the title track, Bled White, And it is in traditional Novembers Doom style. Great dark riffing with the right amount of death growls and clean vocals (vocalist, Paul Kuhr is a master at both styles, which is hard to accomplish in this style). The next track is Heartfelt, and it showcases musically what Novembers Doom is best at, faster, but still midtempo, destruction of the soul. Just Breathe follows next and is a very dark song. Slow moving and a bit uneasy. The mid way point of the song is picks up the pace all while Kuhr keeps up is haunting clean vocals. The song changes variances a couple more times before closing out. Scorpius is a short acoustic guitar interlude that matches the theme of the album perfectly, then from out of nowhere comes Unrest. Unrest is a a nice, heavy, unrelenting song. Just overall awesome Novembers Doom goodness. The Memory Room is a bit of a different kind of track for the band. While the riff sounds similar to the song, Buried, off their last album Aphotic, it doesn't get entirely too heavy on this one. It is as if Novembers Doom was listening to the style of Alice In Chains. It's a nice change of pace as well. The Brave Pawn is one of the heaviest songs on the album and easily the fastest. Pure unadulterated chaos. Clear is another haunting somber song. It is another song that features Kuhr's cleans done properly. Mid tempo and done right. The Grand Circle is another slower song, much in the vein of Clear, but more vocally driven and does have growls in it as well. Animus starts off with a chilling clean guitar riff that just blasts into brutality shortly after. The whole song has the Death/Doom sound that Novembers Doom can master like no one else. The album ends with the longest song on the album, The Silent Dark. This 9:29 epic of a song starts off with haunting sounds with clean vocals. It's not until 2:42 where things up up and the song get heavy. The whole song has that feel that all good longer songs have where it's meant to be this long and doesn't get old. A great send off to a beautiful, heavy, and somber album. I wouldn't want a Novembers Doom album any other way.

Bled White may be the band's finest work to date and that really says a lot considering their back catalog. It is filled with some of the most tasteful guitar solos you will hear in teh genre, masterful drumming, the perfect combination of clean and death vocals. If you haven't heard of the band yet, this is the perfect album to start with. if you have, this will be the best one you hear.

- 4.5/5

Novembers Doom- Bled White available NOW via The End Records
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:56 PM
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Bend Sinister- Animals

http://thatdrummerguy.weebly.com/rev...nister-animals

Bend Sinister is great band out of British Columbia that combines Classic Hard Rock, Indie Rock, and whether the band wants to admit it or not, Progressive Rock. The underground band just started getting some real recognition from their last album, Small Fame back in 2012 when drummer Mike Portnoy picked up on the band and showed interest. They are back with their 5th album (and 9th release overall), Animals, and it really is a fantastic showcase of how a band can show their diversity all while having it making sense.

The album starts off with the longest song on the album, Best Of You, which is a fantastic eight and a half minute masterpiece which takes you on a journey of sound. The lyrics are very inspirational and positive, which is missing in a lot of Rock music now a days. The first of two two main lyrical lines that are repeated is "This world ain't seen the best of you yet." A good message of keeping on, keeping on. With that message, the first half of the song is very upbeat with lots of great guitar and keyboard interludes. The second half of the song gets very slow and dramatic. throughout the second half of the song the only phrase sung is "And the world It brings you down. Keep your head up high and your feet on the ground." The more the phrase gets repeated, the more the song grows to be more and more epic and grand until it reaches it's climax of sound and brings you back down to the world (Ah ha, get it?). While a song like this would be best set for the end of an album, the band ahs said they chose this to be the first song because they feel it is the best son on the album and they want everyone to hear it. And a great choice that was.

Now onto the rest of the album. Fancy Pants is the next song up, and it is very much a type of Indie Rock and Classic Rock song. Very upbeat with big choruses and even a trumpet in the song. During the middle of the song is slows down for a big "La La La" sing a long section and ends just as upbeat as it began. I Got Love is the equivalent of the scene in The Blues Brothers where Joliet Jake Blues becomes Born Again and dances in the Gospel Church. This song even features a Gospel Choir in sections. A very fun song to headbang to if your a rocker, and dance to if you can dance. Better Things To Do is another throw back to the Indie Rock/Pop Rock sound. The lyrics also have the same feel to it as well. It's a good mellow song after the speed of the last couple songs. Thunder And Lightning is the heaviest song on the album by far. The song is pure 70s Hard Rock in the vein of Deep Purple. It starts off with a Judas Priest style intro much like The Hellion segues into Electric Eye. From that point on it's pure Deep Purple and so cool. Fast, heavy, great 70s style vocals. The next song, Teacher, also goes into the 70's Hard Rock vibe. It starts off mellow with keyboard chords and builds up into a blazing Rock song. It resonates well as a mix between Deep Purple and Boston. It's safe to say that almost every song on the second half of the album has a deep love for 70s Hard Rock and Deep Purple. The song, Seventeen, also showcases this point very well. A slower track then the previous few, but very heavy Hard Rock with the Deep Purple keys. The album takes a break from the Hard Rock vibe and goes back into Indie Rock territory with the song You Remind Me. Even if you aren't into Indie music, the lyrics are very relatable when you hear them, especially if you are starting relationships. Through The Week is the slowest song on the album and a great ballad. Very piano driven and just a great lay back and chill song. It again harkens to the Classic Rock sound with their ballads. The album closes with the song It Will Never End, a great ending song to close the album. it starts upbeat and kinda Indie but a great heavy beat behind it so even rockers can really appreciate it. Just as you think the song is done it ends on the heaviest riff of the entire album. While short, it is almost as if they decided to be a Speed Metal band for a few seconds and then doing a proper grandiose ending to close out this killer album.

It is easy to see why Prog fans are drawn to Bend Sinister. they don't just stick to one genre. While the band does not consider itself Prog, you can at least say they are very diverse and bring a lot of different offerings to the table. Whether you have a love for Classic Hard Rock, like Indie Rock, or just like music that has a lot of style changes all while making it sound like it fits. Bend Sinister is the band for you. And support these guys if you dig them. They are awesome guys that deserve all the attention they can get.

- 4/5

Bend Sinister- Animals available NOW via FILE UNDER MUSIC
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