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Head Wound City -- Los Angeles, CA -- September 21st, 2014
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  #41  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:59 AM
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29.A Day to Remember-Common Courtesy

Like Job for a Cowboy and Whitechapel last year and Arsonists Get all the Girls in 2011, here comes my sure-to be pick of the list from the Metal Setlists community with A Day to Remember's latest record Common Courtesy. After their underwhelming last record What Separates Me from You strayed a bit from their typical musical direction, Common Courtesy sees the band returning to their roots. The energy that ruled their earlier material and was noticeably absent from What Separates Me from You returns with a vengeance on Common Courtesy. The effect of the legal dispute between them and Victory Records seems to have rekindled their fire as a band and put the emotion back into their music. Aside from ballads "I'm Already Gone", "I Surrender" and "End of Me", this album gives you no time to breathe. The band bombards the listener with a series of whirlwind tracks and it makes for an absorbing, consistently fun listen throughout. Though the return of the energy and passion to their music is key, the really special thing about Common Courtesy is the maturation of sound the band has taken. The pop-punk and metalcore elements of their music have never been better written or executed in their prior music. A Day to Remember has always challenged the genre norms by fusing together two radically different genres of music, but it's not until now they've achieved the perfect balance of the two. The band takes a more nuanced approach to songwriting with more bits of melody on the pop-punk tracks and gradual buildups to the breakdowns on the metal tracks. Their past records suffered a bit from more of a focus on one side of their sound, Common Courtesy finally sees the band spending equal time on both sides and it shows in the quality of the album. Common Courtesy is the catchiest, heaviest and just plain best material A Day to Remember has ever crafted. They should continue to get into disputes with Victory if it means their albums will remain this good.

Standout Tracks
1.Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail
2.City of Ocala
3.Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way
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9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

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Last edited by mastodon421; 01-06-2014 at 10:03 AM.
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  #42  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:09 PM
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28.Action Bronson-Blue Chips 2

You would be hard-pressed to find a 2013 record that's as whacked-out and hilarious as Action Bronson's new mixtape Blue Chips 2. Bronson teams up with producer Party Supplies for this sequel to their 2012 collaboration and the results are about as unorthodox and bonkers as you would expect from these two. Party Supplies likes to use a lot of weird shit in his songs. There's beats with bongos, latin guitar, strings arrangements that came straight out of a kung-fu movie and hell Bronson even raps over "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman on "Amadu Diablo". The only thing weirder than the beats are the random commercials and samples placed throughout the album. I mean what other hip-hop record are you going to get samples from Applebees commercials, "Sussudio" and Allen Iverson's infamous "We talkin bout practice" rant? These strange beats and samples for make a unique, unpredictable and frequently hilarious listening experience. In terms of the actual rapping, Bronson is a lot more polished than on his other 2013 release Saaab Stories. Bronson just seems a lot more in his element working with Party Supplies than he did with Harry Fraud and it shows in his lyrics and energy on the mic. Blue Chips 2 might not be my favorite hip-hop release of 2013, but it's certainly the most entertaining.

Standout Tracks
1.Silverado
2.The Don's Cheek
3.It's Me
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9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

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  #43  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:35 PM
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27.Rotting Out-The Wrong Way


Los Angeles hardcore titans Rotting Out make hardcore just the way I like it: pissed-off, fast and full of energy. The Wrong Way puts you in a stranglehold for 26 minutes and does not let go till album closer "Bangarang" fades out. The Wrong Way is hardcore done right and I really hope Rotting Out can continue to gain a following. This might seem crazy, but I can see them becoming as celebrated as Terror or Bane over time if they keep putting up great records.

Standout Tracks
1.The Wrong Way
2.The Shoot Out
3.One More Kiss
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9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

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  #44  
Old 01-06-2014, 05:30 PM
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26.Counterparts-The Difference Between Hell and Home

Melodic hardcore act Counterparts is Canada's answer to The Ghost Inside. The music is really emotional and heavy on melodic riffing and features many crushing breakdowns (The Ghost Inside definitely has more breakdowns than Counterparts though). For my money, Counterparts is the more complete band with some truly beautiful passages and occasional journeys into straight hardcore that serve as whirlwinds blasts of energy and fury to break up the melodic tone of the rest of the album. "Slave" especially hits like a freight train before the album's longest and most atmospheric track in "Soil". The Difference Between Hell and Home is loaded with genuine emotion and excellent melodic riffing. One of the more pleasant surprises of 2013 for sure.

Standout Tracks
1.Outlier
2.Slave
3.Decay
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9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

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  #45  
Old 01-07-2014, 02:02 PM
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25.Suffocation-Pinnacle of Bedlam


The Suffocation of old has returned! Pinnacle of Bedlam sees the brutal death metal legends unleashing their most vicious attack in years. I don't know what caused this sudden re-ignition of fury in Suffocation's music, I'm just glad that it has returned. It's not that Suffocation's last few records were bad or not heavy, they were just missing the savage edge that their 90's releases had. The fire has undeniably returned and Suffocation wastes little time proving that point with the opening track "Cycles of Suffering". The guitars are chunky and loud, the drums are roaring and Frank Mullen is screaming his lungs out, every second of it is glorious. "Cycles of Suffering" is just the start of the brutal death metal master class that is Pinnacle of Bedlam. There are a boatload of memorable, uncompromising riffs, pounding blast beats from new drummer Dave Culross (who does a great job replacing legendary founding drummer Mike Smith,) and of course, Mullen's legendary pig squeals/low screams are on full display. There are even tracks like "Sullen Days" where they go out of their comfort zone and throw some melody into the mix. I never thought I'd see the day where one of the most relentlessly heavy bands of all-time puts melody into their music, but I must say it works well. It's not prominent enough to make Suffocation's music any less intense, but it does make for a nice brief diversion from the sledgehammer-esque heaviness that consumes most of the album. Pinnacle of Bedlam is easily my favorite Suffocation album since Despise the Sun and it's great to see these icons making great music again (especially since Frank's future status with the band is unknown.)

Standout Tracks
1.Cycles of Suffering
2.Eminent Wrath
3.Sullen Days
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9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

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  #46  
Old 01-07-2014, 02:27 PM
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24.Death Angel-The Dream Calls for Blood


I'll admit I was really late on the Death Angel train. I had heard a few songs of theirs over the years here and there, but I hadn't really sat down and gave them a thorough listen till about a month before I saw play with 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross and Revocation. Now that I've been exposed to heavy doses of Death Angel, I realize I had been missing out on some great thrash over the years. The Dream Calls for Blood is right up there with the best 2000's releases from old-school thrash acts. As you would expect with Death Angel there is plenty of energy, catchy hooks and fret-melting guitar solos to go-around ( The solos on"Detonate", "Empty" and "Caster of Shame" are just . While all those elements are great, what makes Death Angel stick out to me is the vocals of Mark Osegueda. Osegueda has all the hard edge you want to hear in a thrash vocalist, but combines it with a greater sense of traditional singing than most other thrash acts. The Dreams Calls for Blood is just a ripping thrash record that embodies everything I love about the genre in 47 minutes.

Standout Tracks
1.Left for Dead
2.Detonate
3.Caster of Shame
__________________
9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

http://maitlandsmadness.blogspot.com/
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  #47  
Old 01-08-2014, 05:54 AM
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We have a very similar opinion on the new Suffocation. I liked it, and while I didn't think it was anything outstanding, it was an improvement over Blood Oath.
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11/03-Suffocation, Kataklysm (?)
11/25-Slayer (?)
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  #48  
Old 01-08-2014, 04:41 PM
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23.Soilwork-The Living Infinite

I'm going to be completely honest, I thought Soilwork was done making great music. Their last couple records weren't terrible, but they paled in comparison to their earlier work. Well Soilwork made me eat a whole lot of crow with their fantastic 2013 double-album The Living Infinite. The Living Infinite brings back the melo-death punch of their first four albums and mixes it perfectly with their more alternative-rooted style of their newer material. This combination leads to a collection of songs with soaring, memorable hooks beautifully contrasted with sections of glorious death growls and massive riffing. The album is definitely a little too long with some filler tracks that kill a bit of the momentum (mostly on the second half), but a majority of this album is downright brilliant so it doesn't drag the quality down too much. It's great to see Soilwork back on their game and I'm very intrigued to see what they do next.

Standout Tracks
1.Tongue
2.Leech
3.Let the First Wave Rise
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9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

http://maitlandsmadness.blogspot.com/
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  #49  
Old 01-08-2014, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastodon421 View Post
24.Death Angel-The Dream Calls for Blood


I'll admit I was really late on the Death Angel train. I had heard a few songs of theirs over the years here and there, but I hadn't really sat down and gave them a thorough listen till about a month before I saw play with 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross and Revocation. Now that I've been exposed to heavy doses of Death Angel, I realize I had been missing out on some great thrash over the years. The Dream Calls for Blood is right up there with the best 2000's releases from old-school thrash acts. As you would expect with Death Angel there is plenty of energy, catchy hooks and fret-melting guitar solos to go-around ( The solos on"Detonate", "Empty" and "Caster of Shame" are just . While all those elements are great, what makes Death Angel stick out to me is the vocals of Mark Osegueda. Osegueda has all the hard edge you want to hear in a thrash vocalist, but combines it with a greater sense of traditional singing than most other thrash acts. The Dreams Calls for Blood is just a ripping thrash record that embodies everything I love about the genre in 47 minutes.

Standout Tracks
1.Left for Dead
2.Detonate
3.Caster of Shame
Yeah I thought their last 2 cd's were ok. A couple of good tracks but not very good as a whole. Then I saw them live and they blew me away. I've been a fan since Day 1 and am glad to see them putting out some of the best music long after they were written off.
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  #50  
Old 01-09-2014, 11:34 AM
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22.The Wonder Years-The Greatest Generation


Over the past few years, The Wonder Years went from being almost completely unknown to being the leaders of the pop-punk revival movement. Since the beginning, their music has been really emotional, authentic and just a lot of fun to listen to. The Upsides and Suburbia I've You My All and Now I'm Nothing are both solid records that made me a fan of the band, but The Greatest Generation sees the band finally fully hitting their stride and making music to their fullest potential. What struck me the most about this album is the fact that it goes outside the typical mold of pop-punk while remaining true to its pop-punk roots. There's a pretty heavy straight punk ("An American Religion (TSF)" and alternative influence ("The Devil in My Bloodstream, "I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral") to mix things up a bit from their typical poppy blueprint. Of course, there's still plenty of displays of their signature sound here and it's just as infectious as ever ("Dismantling Summer", "We Could Die Like This" and "Cul-de-sac" are some of their catchiest tracks to-date.) The Greatest Generation also succeeds at not succumbing to the overly sappy nature of their earlier material. The emotional-force behind their lyrics was sometimes a little too overdone, this time around its less corny without losing any of the power or passion in Soupy's lyrics. The Greatest Generation won't win The Wonder Years any new fans, but they change things up a bit and write the most complete album of their young career without losing any of the charm or fun of their earlier material.

Standout Tracks
1.An American Religion (FSF)
2.We Could Die Like This
3.Dismantling Summer
__________________
9/28 Coheed and Cambria
10/8 Black Dahlia Murder
10/10 Limp Bizkit

http://maitlandsmadness.blogspot.com/
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