Architects - The Here and Now
posted on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 @ 15:16 | permalinkFeatured here at PugwashNews.com, and in Issue 51 of the publication.
Review: Architects build towards change in The Here And Now
Architects- The Here and Now- Out Now
Blowing up on the metalcore scene in the past couple of years, The Here and Now is the latest offering from Brighton-based Architects. The follow up to 2009′s Hollow Crown (incidentally, one of my favourite albums of that year) seems to take quite a step away from its predecessor, notably less heavy and leaning more towards the post-hardcore than metal sound. In fact, at times it seems like a completely different band. Tracks such as Learn to Live showcase a more melodic sound that wouldn’t seem out of place on an Alexisonfire album, and as a whole the release is peppered with more clean vocals than would perhaps be expected of the band. The frantic riffs and agressive vocals still show up, particularly in Delete, Rewind, but the overall sound of the album seems lighter and much more polished than expected.
Not necessarily a bad thing, however – An Open Letter to Myself is a slow-burner in the same vein as the title track to Hollow Crown, showcasing vocalist Sam Carter’s improved singing and has the perfect build-up to do so. Heartburn is an anthemic ballad-esque track that strays even further into the softer side, and will divide opinion. Stay Young Forever features Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld and injects a frantic dose of crunch and agression. On the subject of guest vocals, The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato pops up for closer Year In, Year Out/Up and Away, a seven and a half minute track which hits the nail on the head for mixing the heavy and melodic and throwing in all the elements of the album, and the band’s overall sound.
Fans of the heavier sound they’ve been accustomed to may be disappointed by the album, but at the same time, it has a more commercially accessible vibe which will undoubtedly draw in some new listeners. It’ll definitely divide opinion – some will accuse the band of purposely taking a more commercial direction, others applaud for blowing new life into the often-tired metalcore genre. With a few songs feeling slightly same-y, and a feel that there’s something missing, it doesn’t quite stand up against the band’s previous releases. However, taking it as a standalone, it’s a strong album that provides an enjoyable and relatively diverse listen and a few outstanding tracks.
Deftones - Diamond Eyes
posted on @ 09:51 | permalink
Written for Pugwash News, also published here on Rhythm Circus.
Released earlier this month, Diamond Eyes is US melodic rockers Deftones' sixth studio offering, presented with artwork that is quite frankly terrifying for an ornithiphobic like yours truly. To give a brief background, the band have been around since 1988 - although debut album Adrenaline was not released until 1995. After the release of fifth album Saturday Night Wrist (2006), the band began work on their next release, due to be titled Eros, when bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident. The band made the decision to indefinitely delay Eros, and instead start work on an album that became Diamond Eyes.
The opening, title track has the unique sound of the band marked out in under a minute, with vocalist Chino Moreno's vocals ethereal and distant-sounding, almost as if the were recorded in a completely different place and time. Make no mistakes though, Deftones are no chillout band, and their often heavy and highly experimental style is showcased on this album of delicate, distinctly different tracks.
As tracks such as Beauty School and Sextape particularly reveal, Diamond Eyes is perhaps one of the outfit's lighter album offerings as a whole, concentrating more on creating a ghostly, atmospheric sound. But the band's heavy roots still show through, CMND/CNTRL showcases a more angry vocal, and the verses in particular give a nod to the nu-metal influenced music that came hand in hand with the skateboards and baggy jeans of the 1990s/2000s. However, there's no staleness or nostalgia here, as Deftones manage to still keep their sound modern and interesting.
The closing track, and a standout moment on the album, is a cover of Japan's Ghosts - a song the band completely put their own stamp upon. The echo effect on Moreno's vocals combined with experimental, disjointed riffs, percussion and drone elements creates an almost unsettling, eerie feeling. Although the album doesn't quite live up to previous offerings, such as Saturday Night Wrist, Diamond Eyes continues to demonstrate perfectly the band's ability to create complex and beautiful songs. Even when using someone else's song, as seen with Ghosts, the final product of whatever Deftones create is sure to be original, captivating and unique.
Featured on: http://pugwasharts.tumblr.com/
The Great Rock Battle of Summer 2010: Download vs. Sonisphere
posted on Monday, 21 February 2011 @ 15:18 | permalink
Originally featured on Pugwash Arts and Ents tumblr. Preview piece.This summer, two festivals will battle to be crowned the UK’s biggest rock festival. Both have heavyweight headliners, and with plenty of bands already announced, who will ultimately triumph?