RSSAuthor Archive for David McKenna

Review: TesseracT – Odyssey

Review: TesseracT – Odyssey

Recorded in locations throughout Europe and Russia during their 2014 Altered State World Tour, Odyssey offers up choice cuts from TesseracT’s two studio albums and showcases the band’s intricate songwriting and impressive technical chops (see “Singularity” and “Perfection/ Epiphany”) In spite of their complexity, the songs here are crisp and executed just about flawlessly—especially impressive […]

Review: Korpiklaani – Noita

Review: Korpiklaani – Noita

On their ninth studio album, Finnish folk metal journeymen Korpiklaani deliver more of their signature blend of lively melodies and ever prominent accordion and fiddle colorings. Standout tracks include “Sahti,” a fast-moving thrasher highlighted by aggressive accordion licks that sounds fit for a bar brawl, and “Luontoni,” which features a soaring chorus complemented by a […]

Review: Annisokay – Enigmatic Smile

Review: Annisokay – Enigmatic Smile

Annisokay’s sophomore effort finds the German quintet honing their straight- forward metalcore sound. Helmed by producer extraordinaire Joey Sturgis, the record blends dark, deathcore influenced riffs with melodic singing and atmospherics. Standouts like the rhythmic, thrashing “Snowblind” show off the wide vocal range of clean singer and guitarist Christoph Wieczorek, though overall the band isn’t […]

Review: Falling in Reverse – Just Like You

Review: Falling in Reverse – Just Like You

Falling in Reverse’s controversial 2013 disc, ‘Fashionably Late,’ alienated some fans with its electronica and rap influences. But with their new and third album, ‘Just Like You,’ frontman Ronnie Radke & Co. return to the sound they built their name on, delivering a tour de force effort that is equal parts melody and metallic heaviness. […]

Review: Sylosis — Dormant Heart

Review: Sylosis — Dormant Heart

On their fourth full-length, this British progressive thrash four-piece doesn’t stray far from the sound they’ve crafted on previous releases, but seem to have nearly perfected the formula this time around. Displaying Sylosis influences like Testament, At the Gates, and Mastodon, ‘Dormant Heart’’s standout cuts include “To Build a Tomb” and the single “Mercy,” which […]

Review: A Skylit Drive — Rise: Ascension

Review: A Skylit Drive — Rise: Ascension

While bands often record an acoustic rendition of a standout song, these post-hardcore vets decided to cover their entire 2013 album, ‘Rise,’ unplugged style. The result is an oddly satisfying reinterpretation of what was already a solid record. Some of the tracks from ‘Rise’ are particularly well suited for an acoustic playthrough, like the melancholic […]

Review: The Acacia Strain — Coma Witch

Review: The Acacia Strain — Coma Witch

On their seventh full-length album, Massachusetts deathcore pioneers The Acacia Strain continue their ultra-heavy style with aplomb. ‘Coma Witch’ packs extra-downtuned guitars, nihilistic lyrics, and gargantuan breakdowns that possess the slow sinking quality of quicksand. Amid the ten-ton hammering, tracks like “Cauterizer” and “Graveyard Shift” demonstrate that The Acacia Strain can craft clever, catchy riffs […]

Review: Black Crown Initiate — The Wreckage of Stars

Review: Black Crown Initiate — The Wreckage of Stars

On their full-length debut, Pennsylvania progressive death-metal quintet Black Crown Initiate craft an eclectic, if inconsistent, blend of pummeling grind and dark melody. BCI’s heaviest moments are filled with blast beats and chromatic riffs that are pretty unremarkable, and their lighter atmospheric parts seem forced. The band is at its best on standout tracks “Great […]

Review: Motionless in White — Reincarnate

Review: Motionless in White — Reincarnate

The Pennsylvanian gothcore quintet’s third LP finds the band exploring novel musical territory while staying true to its established sound. Chris Motionless and cohorts’ patented alchemy of eerie synths, soaring vocal melodies, and mosh breakdowns is infused with fresh elements like blast beats and ambient atmospherics. Old and new coalesce best on “Puppets 3 (The […]

Review: Capture the Crown — Reign of Terror

Review: Capture the Crown — Reign of Terror

Australia’s Capture the Crown bring a heavy dose of straightforward metalcore aggression on this, their second LP. The album contains far fewer electronic elements—and harmonic riffs—than their synth-laden 2012 release, ‘Til Death,’ underscoring the scene’s shift toward a more authentic hardcore sound. The result is an intense, if repetitive and less original, breakdown-infused sound, spruced […]