Tag Archives: metalcore

The Dead Live By Love (re-release) by Mendeed

Artist: Mendeed
Title: “The Dead Live By Love”
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 6/9/2015 – (Originally 3/6/2007)
Genre: Melodic Metalcore
Rating: 3.5/5

Originally released in 2007 on Nuclear Blast Records, the second and final full length album Mendeed was recently re-issued by Metal Mind Productions. The album now comes in a Digipak holder and features no additional tracks, so with that being the case my original thoughts on it remain the same. I have restated those views in the review that follows. The edition is limited to 2000 copies so diehards might want to act fast if interested in purchasing.

Just when you find the world being overrun by the veritable sea of Metalcore bands you get to hear something fresh like the guys in Mendeed and intense throttling that they seem to adeptly deliver. The first thing you will find as interesting is the band’s point of origin being from Scotland where they showed on their previous release “This War Will Last Forever”, that Metal strikes just as hard on either side of the Atlantic. Having heard that album as well, I admit to liking the progression they had made musically over it with this one. Yes, the brutalization is still very present and shows forth on tracks like “Gravedigger” but when you hear the guitar leads on “Through Dead Eyes” you will agree that the band has wisely chosen to up the game in this brand of Metal music. The track also possesses some great harmony chorus sections. Mendeed also chooses to change the way this is delivered a little more in using more of a clean growling that more can understand rather then the guttural stuff and that aspect makes “Reload And Kill” a very accessible and potential fan favorite to hear in concert.
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“Greensleeves” by A Tragic Setback

Artist: A Tragic Setback
Title: “Greensleeves”
Label: 12/22/2014
Release Date:
Genre: Christmas Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Just the other day I posted a Christmas cover by the band Edge Of Paradise which properly prepared me for the annual holiday experience of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra who I see each and every year around this time. Upon arriving home I was filled with the generous holiday spirit and was pleased as some quality spiked punch to find an email about yet another free Christmas tune being delivered to the Metal masses and this time it comes from the band A Tragic Setback who delivers a throttling rendition of “Greensleeves”. Now historically speaking this song has been around since the 1500’s and I am positive that you have heard its melodies over the years in some form or another. It was associated with Christmas in late 1600 and I must thank Wikipedia for the quick history lesson about that since I only knew that the song was rather old.
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“Bone Palace Ballet” by Chiodos

Artist: Chiodos
Title: “Bone Palace Ballet”
Label: Equal Vision Records
Release Date: 9/4/2007
Genre: Emo/Post-Hardcore
Rating: 3.5/5

While this was the sophomore release from Post-Hardcore’s Chiodos it would be my first exposure to the band and their sound so I was able to appreciate it with new ears as opposed to those who might either adore or despise them at this point. Let’s face it, the audience for these kinds of bands is fickle, and one dramatic change to the balance that they enjoyed finds them shifting gears without a thought about it. “Bone Palace Ballet” is an interesting musical ride and one that has some really odd song titles to its tunes when it comes down to it. I say it like this because the titles of these numbers seem to just be random phrases and not have much to do with the tracks themselves but I could be wrong since this was all a very new musical experience for me. I had to say that this was pretty interesting to listen to and it was safe to proclaim it as very musically diverse based on how many different feels the guys showcase across the album as it progresses. It’s a heavy album of course but there are piano interludes and softer guitar parts and vocals that give us a slight pause before the intensity of their larger groove kicks in. The first track I keyed into was “Teeth The Size Of Piano Keys” and while that appears to be speaking of a smile, the dark poetry of its lyrical content seems to refer to romance gone terrible wrong. The vocal style of singer Craig Owens is rather high register and often associated with those Emo-core bands and yet he still growls in anguish when that is called for and this seems to work rather well. It’s not the kind of band I normally lock into and yet for ten tracks it was short enough to give them a chance. They did really good switching it up with “Life Is A Perception Of Your Reality” and I loved the classical introduction that this one got as well as its piano parts. It was very different to say the least. Another favorite was “A Letter From Janelle” and based on what the lyrics denote, Janelle is very disappointed in someone.
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“This Is Exile” by Whitechapel

Artist: Whitechapel
Title: “This Is Exile”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 7/8/2008
Genre: Death Metal
Rating: 4/5

It’s great when a band comes around that seems to defy the rules of the day and instead chooses to mark their own territory by blending a number of the different genre aspects that Metal comprises and deliver an unforgettable listening experience as result. This is what the hard core Metal fan that picks up “This Is Exile” by Knoxville, Tennessee’s Whitechapel will experience tenfold with the bands powerful debut on Metal Blade Records. The powerful album starts off without compromise with “Father Of Lies” and we hear not only slicing guitar riffs from the groups three axe wielders but also blistering double bass drums and blast beats that come and go across the album and the bands numerous time signature changes. As Heavy Metal fan whose own interests cross a number of different genres, I was really juiced to hear a band that was taking a little bit of this side and blending it with a little bit of that side and in the end really delivering something super heavy for the listener. It’s not all a blazing Death Metal feast here because Whitechapel slows the pace down for the dramatic instrumental “Death Becomes Him” and this leads into the almost Industrial Tech groove of “Daemon (The Procreated). The changes are many on the album that was a factor that impressed me quite a bit because it came off as the band choosing to not stick to the same old style for every song and rather than come off as an identity crisis of sound it instead came off as a very exciting listen since there were twists and turns to be found everywhere. I really liked “Possession” based on the groove and interesting play of the lead guitar in the background while they seemed to bend the melody into unique shapes.
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“Lost In The Sound Of Separation” by Underoath

Artist: Underoath
Title: “Lost In The Sound Of Separation”
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: 9/2/2008
Genre: Metalcore
Rating: 3.5/5

With the album begins it presents you with a low end and almost muted start that would make you that the guys in Underoath had run out of cash when suddenly the fire and fury of an over the top production rattles your speakers. It’s quite a misleading tease on this super-powered Metalcore release that has more changes and breakdowns than many of the other bands of this type. “Lost In The Sound Of Separation” is an interesting release from an equally interesting band because you see the six member band while delivering some truly powerful Metal mayhem as also a Christian band. That being said we find them delivering their message in the music that they are playing with each and every track. You might miss that just a little bit unless you are reading the lyrics and while there is a positive theme to their composition they seem to be about a person coming to grips with failures and frailties in his life and how is choosing to move on and address them by pronouncing his deeply rooted faith. Heavy stuff in the mental sense and also very heavy stuff in the musical sense as the guys truly perform like gangbusters on tracks like “Breathing In A New Mentality” and “A Fault Line, A Fault Of Mine” to name a few. One does not have to be on board with the message the band is delivering to enjoy what is going on musically here because there is just so many changes and breakdowns and grooves to sink your teeth into that will keep you busy enough. The band is fronted by Spencer Chamberlain (vocals), and comprised of Tim McTague (guitar), Grant Brandell (bass), Aaron Gillespie (drums), Christopher Dudley (keyboards) and James Smith (guitar). Some of the cool musical interludes we get on this one are felt on “Emergency Broadcast: The End Is Near” which slows down to a slow head banging crunch that might find you seeking better footing for the circle pit that I am sure these guys inspire. I really enjoyed the fact that there was a lot more music going on than in the last crop of Metalcore themed bands that I had been hearing and perhaps this is why Underoath is considered one of the tops at the game of it all. Chamberlain doesn’t always keep to the growling thing either and soars to the heights with a great melodic clear tone during tracks like “Coming Down Is Calming Down”, and this one is perhaps my first favorite on the release. I understand that drummer Aaron also acts as the bands singer but I had to say that I was not sure where exactly he was doing this on the album. If they are doing a back and forth sharing thing, well it was definitely working.
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