What is this “Quick Hits” section you ask? Well we don’t always have the time to write a full in-depth review for every single album we listen to. We have always felt bad about not getting to everybody and everything so we are attempting to rectify that. This section will allow us to go in, give a shorter review but with a greater amount of albums. So let’s give it a try…
ACCEPT – Stalingrad
Accept return with their second album with vocalist Mart Tornillo with “Stalingrad”. I’m not much of a fan of older Accept albums minus a few songs here and their but I have always felt them to be a solid band. Tornillo provides a nice vocal range that I thought Udo never had, nothing against Uda, Tornillo is just better. The album opens with the two thunderous songs “Hung, Drawn, and Quartered” and “Stalingrad”. Then progressing into one of my favorite guitar riffs of the year so far, “Hellfire.” Their is nothing wrong with this album if you are a fan of classic metal, or Accept in general. The songs might get a repetitive, but their is enough diversity in the vocal performance and overall music to keep you interested from start to finish.
Demon Hunter – True Defiance
The love/hate that I have had with Demon Hunter has gone on for many years. I have stated that I think they have one or two good songs per album and then the rest of the album will falter. Not this time, from start to finish I was completely interested in every song on “True Defiance” and I have listened to the album multiple times. Vocalist Ryan Clark continues to get better with each album, from cleans to growls he seems more comfortable on this album then he has in the past. From a musical standpoint this album is the most diverse for the band; ranging from standard metalcore, to some thrash, to hard rock, and hell even some death metal moments thrown in. This is without a doubt the heaviest and most aggressive Demon Hunter album and is, second to none, my favorite from the band.
Dirge Within – There Will Be Blood
There was a moment in time when I felt like Dirge Within was going to be the next big band in metal, I guess I was wrong. I loved “Force Fed Lies” when it came out in 2009 and have eagerly awaited a new album since then. I was not dissapointed as I listened through “There Will Be Blood” numerous times. The dual guitar attack of Shaun Glass and Chuck Wepfer is back and better than ever. They are faster, heavier, and much more aggressive than the first album. Vocalist Jeremy Genske’s vocals have gotten even better. His dirty, nasty snarl is just as good if not better than it was and his clean singing has developed into one of the more distinguishable in metal right now. If you don’t believe me then check out songs like “Without You”, “As We Prey”, and “Vultures” for yourself and tell me why I am wrong. Treading the lines of thrash metal and hardcore but not quite metalcore, the band has created a sound of their own and it works for them.
War of Ages – Return to Life
There really isn’t much to say about War of Ages except that they are a christian metalcore band and they wear that title well. I have always liked them, always thought they had some really good songs on the three albums I have listened to. “Return To Life” is no different. The band uses mostly the same guitar riffs and drum patters as they do on most of their albums, generic metalcore guitar riff over generic drums followed by a chorus and guitar solo. It’s not bad by any means, if you like metalcore and you don’t mind religious lyrics. I’ve listened to it and enjoyed it, if you are a fan of the band or the style you should check it out. If I were to pick my favorite songs they would be “Psalms”, “Final Act”, and “Redeemer” but really they are all interchangeable.
Silent Descent – Mind Games
Me and Justin discovered Silent Descent, I believe Justin was looking up bands that sounded like Enter Shikari(or it popped up on Last.fm, something. Either way it wasn’t the proudest moment of our musical careers.) Speaking for myself, I fell for the trance elements underneath the metalcore sound. Now, do not confuse them as a shitcore(deathcore) band that uses a few keyboard sounds to make their breakdowns more br00tal because that is not the case. They use keyboards and synth to accentuate their music and create an atmosphere with it. Tom Watling on vocals doing exhale screams is a welcome change from the inhale shit they used to do that always sound like pigs fucking. Point being that his screams and a thousand times better as is his singing. I actually really enjoyed the music on this album. I rarely listen to any kind of trance metal anymore but something about “Mind Games” pulled me in. It’s like an old toy you see, if you used to love it you will always have those moments where you sit with it and remember those times. Silent Descent is not an old toy, they are just as fresh and new as ever. Don’t believe me? Check out “Coke Stars”, “Lasting Impression”, and “On That Trip” for a taste of what Silent Descent has brought to the table.