“Sunless Days” by Beseech

Artist: Beseech
Title: “Sunless Days”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 9/25/2005
Genre: Gothic Metal/Rock
Rating: 8/10

As soon as I began listening to this CD I was convinced that I had found the exact sound that would come about should Type-O-Negative and Evanescence join forces. The band accomplishes this by using strengths that those bands possess and by having both female and male vocals singing in tandem throughout the record. Combined with the often slow and trudging riffs laden with atmospheric keyboards you will find that this works very well and the result across the record is a uniquely moody piece with some catchy songs. I admit that I found more musical similarity to Type-O’s opus “October Rust” than “Fallen” but I don’t want the referencing of these bands to take away from this fine and talented group. The sound of Beseech is very full and this becomes evident very early in your listen. When you discover that the group has seven members in the line up it makes a lot of sense regarding the “big” sound put out. This will have to be the largest group I have ever reviewed that was not symphonic in nature and that did not count classical instrumentation in its roster. On vocals the beautiful Lotta Hoglin brings her talents to the fore and she is continually complimented by Erik Molarin who delivers the male vocal prowess. It is his voice that truly brings the Gothic edge to the piece for it is resonant and deep and generally delivered with emphasis on every song. Keyboards are handled by Mikael Back and they’re all over the record but never over used to the point of saturation. Guitars are both Robert Vintervind and Manne Engstrom; Bass and Drums are Daniel Elofsson and Jonas Stromberg respectively. The band hails from Gothenburg Sweden and it was interesting to see this more Gothic-styled group coming from a land most known for its Power and Black Metal than anything along this vein. It is also great to see musicians not sticking to one particular formula or genre and instead choosing to expand the offerings to a wider range of listener.
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Fear Factory @ Irving Plaza (11/8/2005)

Logo - Fear Factory

Artist: Fear Factory
Venue: Irving Plaza
Opener: Soilwork, Strapping Young Lad, Darkane
Date: 11/8/2005
Label: Calvin Records

Hot off the heels of their support of Megadeth with their appearance on Gigantour, Fear Factory was back with a headlining set. For the fans this band has this would be a welcome thing as Fear Factory was one of those Gigantour bands that was only afforded 30 minutes of performance time and this is just not enough to have when you are a band of this capacity. They also made sure to bring along some incredible groups as support and to give every fan their money’s worth without question. They labeled this “The Transgression Tour” which was smartly going to keep the name of their new album fresh in your mind. Joining Fear Factory on the tour would be Darkane, Strapping Young Lad and Soilwork. All of these bands are under the Century Media Records family in some fashion. Here is a little about each band for easier reference.
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“Blue Oyster Cult: Secrets Revealed” by Martin Popoff

Author: Martin Popoff
Release: Blue Oyster Cult: Secrets Revealed
Publisher: Metal Blade Records
Date: July 2004
Genre: Rock
Rating: 8.0

As someone who religiously mailed a self-addressed-stamped-envelope in order to receive (sometimes months later) early tractor-feed computer printouts of each of Blue Oyster Cult’s album’s lyrics, I found Martin Popoff’s book Blue Oyster Cult: Secrets Revealed a thoroughly enjoyable fact-filled analysis and a “keeper” book for continued reference. Although it is unlikely you will sit down and read this book cover to cover, it makes a great companion to the B.O.C. musical catalogue; a perfect resource to browse for tidbits about the germination of songs while you’re listening.
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“The Mechanical Hand” by HORSE The Band

Artist: HORSE The Band
Title: “The Mechanical Hand”
Label: Combat Records/Koch
Release: 9/20/2005
Genre: Post Hardcore / Screamo
Rating: 3/10

Hailing from Los Angeles, HORSE The Band releases their album, The Mechanical Hand, on the classic label Combat Records. Koch Records relaunched the label late in 2005. This five piece consists of Nathan Winneke (vocals), David Isen (guitar), Erik Engstrom (keyboards), Eli Green (drums) and Dash Arkenstone (bass). This album was produced by Matt Boyles who produced albums from bands like the Murder City Devils, Mastodon and Norma Jean. HORSE The Band describes themselves as “Nintendocore” however with one listen of this album there is no way you can catagorize this into one genre, it’s pure chaos.
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“Hardcore Superstar” by Hardcore Superstar

Artist: Hardcore Superstar
Title: “Hardcore Superstar”
Label: Gain Records
Release: 5/3/2005
Genre: Glam / Rock
Rating: 9/10

Don’t believe the rumors of a breakup! After taking some well deserved time off, Hardcore Superstar are back and better than ever! The fourth album, simply self-titled, is quite possibly their best record to date. Hardcore Superstar formed in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1997 with members Jocke Berg (vocals), Thomas Silver (guitar), Martin Sandvik (bass) and Magnus “Adde” Andreasson (drums). This album is nothing short of a rock n’ roll powerhouse of a record, songs with the stylings of Motley Crue and AC/DC rolled up in their own glammed up sound.
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