Thursday, March 31, 2011

Music Review - "Universal Culture Shock/Undiscovered Numbers & Colors" by Foreign Objects

"Universal Culture Shock/Undiscovered Numbers & Colors" by Foreign Objects
Release Information:
Artist: Foreign Objects
Album: "Universal Culture Shock/Undiscovered Numbers & Colors"
Format: Double Album
Release Date: October 31st, 2004
Label: Distant Recordings
Genre: Experimental/Technical Metal
Country: USA

Reviewers Note:
For fans of cKy, this album is a must have right off the bat due to the two core (And only) members are Deron Miller & Jess Margera of cKy. Foreign Objects was started by the two years before cKy. But for the fans of heavy, technical metal, don't let that cloud your judgment, Foreign Objects in no way resembles cKy's style or sound. This is total Technical Experimental Metal and should not be prematurely judged by the two members' later band.

Disc 1: "Universal Culture Shock"

Track 1) "Test It Out"
Starting right off the bat this track sounds something strongly reminiscent of notable technical experimental band Atheist and vocals that are reminiscent of Carcass. A very fitting way to give you an idea of what your in store for. Solid technical ryffs, good crisp Carcass like vocals, good solo, solid drumming, what more could you ask for from an opening track?

Track 2) "Universal Culture Shock"
Here we're hit right out the gate with a much heavier sound and off-timing which metal heads have come to love over the years. What comes next is a very rhythmic and refreshing to hear from metal bands of today. Strong Death (the band) and Carcass sounds here but also something totally the bands own at the same time. Great great instrumental track right here. Both men prove here that THIS sound is their true form and calling.

Track 3) "Genesis 12A"
These cKy boys are here to impress, thats for sure. Again, the guitar playing and drumming is in top form, as well as great sounding vocals and solo's, for this genre, Foreign Objects are a standout.

Track 4) "They Come In Peace"
There is something in the playing style that i can't help but feeling that there is some fort of strong 70's feel in the opening ryffs. It's very soothing. These instrumental pieces are great additions to the album and are most the time leaps better than that tracks with lyrics. The ryffs and arrangements just work extremely well.

Track 5) "Chemical Control"
Very solid track right away. great playing. great heaviness. Possibly the best the vocals have sounded yet on the record. Everything about this tracks screams greatness.

Track 6) "Puzzled"
Not much to say here really other than another solid instrumental track with some great heavy ryffs.

Track 7) "Disengage The Simulator"
Nice little drum opening here, most notable part of the track here, for me atleast, that goes straight into the main verse. This song can also be found on a cKy release (also called "Disengage The Simulator" which features a still of 'Angela' from the slasher classic "Sleepaway Camp" on the cover). Sadly this is not one of the better tracks on the album, but still worth a listen.

Track 8) "Cosmic Consciousness"
Yet another instrumental and from the beginning you can hear the melodic death metal coming through here which actually turns into a pretty flat out 80's sounding track. Pretty interesting to hear and really lets you know that this band has done their homework and really knows how to play pretty much anything they want and play it extremely well.

Track 9) "Planetary"
"Planetary" actually starts off sounding like something from the cKy band, until the vocals kick in that is. Then it's right back into their standard experimental sound. The blend actually works pretty well here. interesting track to say the least as it sound like a blend between cKy, Death & Mastodon.

Track 10) "Victory Over Neptune"
Another nice little drum opening that leads into a VERY much cKy sounding tracks. This is i guess "The Soft Song" of the album as pretty much every metal album has one these days. Very reminiscent instrumental band Pelican here. Soothing yet dark, perhaps this should have been the album closer. Would have been a very solid closer. Still a very solid track. One of the standouts here. Just another case of the boys displaying their excellent playing skills.

Track 11) "Big Boy" (Sparks cover)
To be honest, i've never heard of the band Sparks, but i'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Foreign Objects did a pretty decent cover here.

Disc 2: "Undiscovered Numbers & Colors"

Track 1) "The Undiscovered Numbers & Colors"
Foreign Objects kicks off their debut in a very positive way. Enough to impress any fan of the technical metal genre. One the better tracks on their "Undiscovered Numbers & Colors" album. Again, leaves you wondering why the two didn't make this band their main objective instead of cKy.

Track 2) "Far Cry Behind"
Interesting mixture here. Reminds me of a Opeth mixed with Death. Not one of their most impressive tracks but still a solid offering.

Track 3) "The Other Side Of The End Of The Universe"
Another interesting twist here. "The Other Side Of The End Of The Universe" sounds like it was recorded by an 80's band. Not that there's a problem with that, it fits on the record, there's just something that feels odd about it being here. Specially following "Far Cry Behind".

Track 4) "Delve"
Now this is very much out of no where. A little just over a minute piano instrumental. Although it does show again that these two are talented in multiple genres, it just doesn't feel like it should be here.

Track 5) "Destination Undefined"
"Destination Undefined" starts off immediately as the heaviest track on the "The Undiscovered Numbers & Colors" EP. This is a pretty nice note to end the EP. Heavy, melodic, great drum beat, technical ryffs, great way to close out this EP & the two disc set.

Foreign Objects displays that they are one of the better, and unfortunately unknown, bands in the technical/experimental/melodic death metal genre and hopefully they return someday to deliver another great album. The cKy boys definitely surprise us here, a welcome surprise, and show us that they are much more talented than they show in their later band. Two awesome albums = One Great Double Album.


Standout Tracks:
"Universal Culture Shock", "They Come In Peace", "Victory Over Neptune", "The Undiscovered Numbers & Colors" & "Destination Undefined"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Video Game News - Official "Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City" Teaser Impresses

Good news for all the Resident Evil & Zombie gamers out there, the official teaser for the new "Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City" has been released and it features actual gameplay and promise of bringing the game back to the series' roots. Taking place during the first initial outbreak, the game brings you back to the Resident Evil 2 feel & surroundings and you will be able to choose one of three factions to be a part of, one of which being Umbrella. I could go on more bout everything about the game, but i'll let the trailer do the talking. So sit back & enjoy and beginning geeking out over what seems to be a return to the Resident Evil roots.

For more stills: Click Here

Music Review - "Abuse" by Wormrot

"Abuse" by Wormrot
Release Information
Artist: Wormrot
Album: "Abuse" (Single Disc Edition)
Format: Full-Length
Release Date: June 8th, 2010
Label: Earache Records
Genre: Grindcore
Country: Singapore

Reviewers Note:
Although 23 tracks for most albums is alot of tracks, the fact that Wormrot sticks to extremely short songs lets the 23 track album clock in at just over 20 minutes. And with Wormrot about to release their 2nd album "Dirge", i thought it was worthy to check these guys out and review their first offering.

Track 1) "Lost Swines"
Wormrot opens up their debut with "Lost Swines", a track that doesn't sound so much grindcore as it does Hardcore. It open's with a sample, from a film i'm guessing as many bands do to get people pumped, of a man screaming at others or in pain and with a few hits of a symbol kick in a true hardcore intro if there ever was one. It's not until the last 9 seconds of the track do we get a taste of the grindcore drumming. But with the tracks opening quote, pure and truly heavy hardcore opening and scattered screams, and really only two real lines of vocals, this opener does a great job of letting you know exactly what your in for: a quick, raw & in your face record that and grindcore or underground metal fan will fall in love with and will want to mosh to in the pit.

Track 2) "Exterminate"
"Exterminate" kicks off right out the gate with pure grindcore that any fan of the genre is to expect, but for some reason, just seems to be a notch better than most grindcore being pumped out in that scene. Wormrot seems to make sure that their guitar work just isn't the typical grindcore style and puts more thought and meaning in their ryffs and it definitely makes them a standout in the genre.

Track 3) "Double-Feeding"
For a "song" that's not even 30 seconds long, as far as grindcore goes its decent. Nothing too special here but still better than most in this genre.

Track 4) "Born Stupid"
"Born Stupid" is i guess you can say, the single, off "Abuse" seeing that there is a video for this track. The song is your typical grindcore track until about :36 in where a pretty nice ryff is introduced with some nice drum work to go along with it. Also worth noted that this song is what got Earache interested in the band.

Track 5) "Sledgehammer"
At :14 you really can't call this a song, more of a interlude maybe?

Track 6) "So Fierce For Fuck!?"
8 seconds long, main thing being showcased here is the snare drum speed if you ask me.

Track 7) "Dis-Appointing"
This track doesn't really find itself till :42 in, from there it has a pretty decent hardcore-ish ryff/pace to it that makes it way more enjoyable than the beginning, sadly though nothing too special here.

Track 8) "Good Times"
Now this something i would like to hear more of from these guys, starting off with a catchy ryff and kicks it in full sounding like a catchy and heavy hardcore track with some nice rythm and a more grounded vocal style, clocking in at just under a minute, "Good Times" is a good time and one of the more enjoyable tracks on this record.

Track 9) "Freedom To Act"
For some reason i feel inclined to say that "Freedom To Act" sounds like it could be a lost Carcass track, pretty good short song for under a mind and a half. Solid track.

Track 10) "Indonesia"
Again, nothing too special here, nothing new or original, but as far as grindcore goes not bad.

Track 11) "Shitlack"
Definitely a more than typical grindcore track here, but still yet to regain the energy & enjoyableness that was introduced with "Good Times".

Track 12) "Condemnation"
Nothing too much here but fast snares and fast guitars.

Track 13) "One Round Away"
Pretty standard grindcore here at the start but gets a pretty good pace goin at around the :18 mark and becomes slightly more enjoyable and ends again on a very grindcore note.

Track 14) "Fuck... I'm Drunk"
Fun name, not too fun a track, not until :29 that is, then Wormrot treats us to a very enjoyable and not so Wormrot-ish ryff.

Track 15) "Operation Grindcore"
Title says it all here. Pure grindcore.

Track 16) "Rich"
Now here is another track with some fun guitar work, nothing too fancy but very refreshing from what we've been hearing on this record.

Track 17) "Overgrown Asshole"
Short 30+ second track that the true grindcore & death metal fans will enjoy.

Track 18) "Blasphemy My Ass"
Very true to form grind here for the hardcore grindcore fans.

Track 19) "Fix Your Broken Mind"
Aside from some of the screaming, starts off very hardcore again and switches back and forth from the typical grindcore sound and hardcore.

Track 20) "Newkiller Nuclear"
Unfortunately, nothing special worth noting here.

Track 21) "Uncovered and Proud As Fuck"
And some more of the same.

Track 22) "Murder"
Another example here of something pretty standard here to the grindcore scene, but for some reason Wormrot seem to give it some new life and make it more enjoyable than the rest out there.

Track 23) "Scum Infestation and Last Song"
Wormrot close out their album with the longest track on the record and definitely screams Hardcore influence. Goes back and forth between some good Hardcore ryffs and some standard Grindcore ryffs and delivers a pretty solid album closer, easily one of the better tracks on the album.

For a grindcore band (from any country), Wormrot delivers a pretty standard grindcore album with, happily, some out standout and original sounding tracks.


Standout Tracks:
"Lost Swines", "Born Stupid", "Good Times", "Rich"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Music Review - "Greatest The Hits 2011-2011" by Maximum The Hormone

"Greatest The Hits 2011-2011" by Maximum The Hormone

Release Information:
Artist: Maximum The Hormone
Album: "Greatest The Hits 2011-2011"
Format: Single
Release Date: March 23rd, 2011
Label: VAP
Genre: Metal/Punk/Alt. Rock
Country: Japan

Reviewers Note:
Don't let the title trick with it's play on words. This release is in no way or shape a "Greatest Hits" release. The title is a play on word's by the band saying "Greatest Hits doesn't necessarily mean a collection of past titles. We can say these new songs are our best!"

Track 1) "Utsukushiki Hitobito No Uta" ("鬱くしき人々のうた")
In traditional MTH fashion, this opening track teases the listener with a promise of a great metal start off but quickly turns to a punk/ska paced track that just as quick as the first time changes into a full blown metal rage with vocalist Daisuke's signature growls (which we're hearing for the first time recorded since his throat surgery back in 09') and his vocals sound as great as ever. Fellow vocalist/guitar player Maximum The Ryo displays the usual guitar skills come to be known MTH's fans and quickly changes the guitar style from slightly distorted to heavily distorted at a moment notice. Sadly, there is no section in this track that showcase's the very talented bass playing of bassist Futoshi. And of course always a stand out is Nao, the bands female singer/drummer (who is returning from her pregnancy) delivering her section of clean vocals and very solid drum patterns throughout. Aside from the downside that they don't showcase the bass playing abilities here, this track is definitely a great welcome back to MTH fans since the bands last release back in 08'.

Track 2) "Maximum The Hormone"
Here we are with the band's self-named track and right out the gate this band self-titled track sounds to be one of their heaviest tracks. Daisuke's opening growl mixed with the opening arrangement of the ryff and drum section is without one of the heaviest sections of music the band has recorded. At around the 30 second mark the tone completely changes and sounds like something you would hear in the great days of 90's alt. rock and fortunately DOES turn into a showcase of the bass playing abilities of Futoshi. The drum playing here is top notch as well. Whenever the band does indeed release a true "Greatest Hits" album, i expect to see this track on the listing. This is the kind of track you wish to find on EVERY album nowadays. Great heavy, yet precise, guitar playing, a bass line that can carry a verse without depending on guitars, tight drumming and perfect fitting vocals. This is sure to be top song in the band's catalog.

Track 3) "My Girl"
What we have here with "My Girl" is something that sounds straight out of the late 90's era of bands like The Offspring, the main ryffs are so 90's alt. rock/punk as well as the singing, that is, until the 46 second mark where the band knocks the whole song on it's ass bringing the typical MTH style of bringing the heaviness out of nowhere and turning a nice soft rock song into absolute mosh-pit headbangers heaven. The whole band here shows just how fast their timing and styles can change in just one song is a perfect example of the band if you were going to introduce someone to them through this single.

For only a 3 track single, this is a very solid release and a great way for the band to return after a 3 year hiatus. For any MTH fan this release is highly recommended and you will not disappointed.

Rating (Considering It's Only 3 Tracks Long):

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Music News - Release Date Announced For New Limp Bizkit!

Announced on twitter by frontman Fred Durst. Limp Bizkit's new album "Gold Cobra" will finally be released on June 7th of this year. Also to be noted by Fred Durst's twitter, the 'standard' edition of the album may only contain 8 tracks with the 'deluxe' edition containing 11, leaving all the other tracks LB has recorded to be released on a later album.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Retro Review - "From Beyond" by Massacre

Massacre - "From Beyond"
Release Information:
Artist - Massacre
Album - "From Beyond"
Released - March 1991
Label - Earache Records
Genre - Death Metal

Track 1: "Dawn Of Eternity"
The opening track to Massacre's debut album "From Beyond" is a perfect way to open up this album as it gives you a clear idea of what you in store for, and that's a pure old skool late 80's/early 90's Death Metal classic. The opening of the track start with a slow start filled with wind and ambience and a opening ryff that feels like it would start off a cinematic fight piece in hell. From there on in the rest of the track rages into a solid fast thrash paced piece that has become the standard for all death metal. 

Track 2: "Cryptic Remains"
"Cryptic Remains" is a perfect example (and my personal favorite track off "From Beyond") that metal music doesn't have to be compiled of complicated ryffs and off timing to be great metal. The great thing about this track is that although the ryffs are simplistic, the song is absolutely crushing nonetheless and showcases what the late 80's & early 90's were all about. The opening ryff is pure old skool thrash and quickly turns into a very crushing, yet simple, unforgiving evil ryff the commands your attention and leaves you unable to control that grin appear on your face once you hear it. Along with the double bass drums behind it, the main verse section is one of best sections in old metal, PERIOD. The vocals on this track, although the vocal style never changes throughout the album, is probably the best death metal vocals not just for the time, but even to this day. Not to mention that the solo on this track is absolutely killer and sounds like something of classic metal magic. Including the chorus & bridging ryffs, "Cryptic Remains" is not only probably one of the best death metal tracks i've heard, it's probably one of the best metal songs, period, that has been recorded.

Track 3: "Biohazard"
"Biohazard" starts out quick and to the point that Massacre know's how to play fast and play fast well. But the "Chorus" ryff is actually a pretty catchy ryff and yet again, shows that great ryffs don't have to be complicated. After going back and forth from the speed multiple speedy ryffs, at around the 2 and a half minute mark Massacre slams you with a abrupt slowing down that is very welcomed right before kicking it right back into high gear with not only traditional death metal one string speed picking but also a equally fast paced solo that all the speed lovers will love.

Track 4: "Chamber Of Ages"
In an interesting approach, "Chamber Of Ages" starts out as if its an intro to a whole other album. The first minute plus os this song is a very epic feel as if it were opening an epic battle from a fantasy or gladiator fight. At the conclusion of said opening its apparent that the band isn't slowing down, just merely giving you a breather. The 1st ryff kicks in full throttle and the double bass drum assault on your eardrums is on. The rest of the song, although not fancy or anything new, is a very enjoyable piece of speed & aggression. Most enjoyable part here for me is at 3:07 when a ryff starts in that you just know caused some mayhem in the pit when it started.

Track 5:  "From Beyond"
The title track of the album starts out with a pretty standard guitar/bass opening, but what really catches your ears here are the drums. Nothing too fancy but there is a very nice drum solo-esque pattern going on. It's always enjoyable to hear a band who's drummer can actually play and not just be limited to beating the double bass drums out, although there is plenty of that, but im sure metal fans are fine with that. Sadly, for being the title track of the album, "From Beyond" isn't really anything special. But it is an enjoyable listen though.

Track 6: "Defeat Remains"
Here we are with another perfect example of simplicity sells. Straight out the get you get greeted with a more groove metal type track as here, the music on the track isn't really death metal, more like a great groove metal track with death metal vocals mixed in. Also at times, very reminiscent of the great Carcass. It's a great combination and a very enjoyable track to hear and would be a great driving tune. 

Track 7: "Succubus"
"Succubus" opens up with a fast death/black metal ryff that is greeted with a more higher pitched scream when everything kicks in than we're used to on this album. This song, not really that many change ups, this song remains pretty much a fast pace all the way till the end. Nothing standout worthy on this track sadly.

Track 8: "Symbolic Immorality"
Straight forward death right here. Nothing fancy all the way up to 1:30 where everything fades out and the bass comes into the spotlight real quick with a nice little bass line with the guitars and drums kicking back in to deliver a pretty crushing ryff then after that section has done it's job its right back to speedy death metal. 

Track 9: "Corpse Grinder" (Death cover)
Massacre closes out their debut album with a cover of Death's (which Massacre's vocalist was originally part of) is a cover of an early death song that was on Death's "Reign Of Terror" demo. The very beginning of this track is very reminiscent of someone having a psychotic break from reality from a horror flick with the guitars just being screeched and detuned to death. Once we get kicked in to the actual song, "Corpse Grinder" is absolute pure death metal with speed picking, speed drumming and lyrics about necrophilia, pure and simple. For old skool Death fans (The Band and the genre) and lovers of messed up lyrics. this track is for you.

Track 10: "Provoked Accurser" (Vinyl Release)
"Provoked Accurser" for some reason only found it's way onto the Vinyl version of the album originally. Which i cant understand cause this track starts off with another great Simplicity Sells example. The opening section reminds me of something you would find on Carcass' "Swan Song" or "Wake Up & Smell The Carcass", it's a great metal track with a great groove metal-esque opening then turns to thrash for mostly the remainder and going back to the opening ryff once or twice and has a very quickly played but not too shabby solo followed by another GREAT groove metal section that destroys and finishes off on a very thrash note.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Standout Tracks: "Cryptic Remains", "Defeat Remains", "Provoked Accurser"
Final Verdict: Classic

Friday, March 11, 2011

Film Review - "The Man From Nowhere"

In Korea's highest grossing film of 2010 and winner of multiple awards at the Korean Film Awards, as well as other Awards & Festivals, "The Man From Nowhere" is an absolutely intriguing, powerful, gripping and highly entertaining thriller that never leaves you with a dull moment. The action and fight scenes in the film are absolute perfection. The acting, story and the unfolding of the films plot is top notch and by the conclusion of the film "The Man From Nowhere" leaves you completely satisfied and more thoroughly entertained than most movies in the last couple of years. Bon Win (Mother) is perfection in his role as Cha Tae-Sik as you always find yourself rooting & pulling for him to the very end. And Kim Sae-ron as So-mi is a perfect example of child actors with great talent and is sure to be one of Korea's biggest leading ladies in the future. And although there is no dull moment in the entire film, the notorious "Knife Fight" scene is as Flixster says: "The best cinematic  knife fight to hit screens in years", and that's the absolute truth. The "Knife Fight" scene is absolutely ruthless and is guaranteed to leave you with a big grin on your face. To conclude, "The Man From Nowhere" is not to be missed by true lovers of film and is more than worth your money.
Score: 5/5
Purchase "The Man From Nowhere" by clicking here