This is wonderful!
From the new Taylor Hawkins album ‘KOTA’.
This is wonderful!
From the new Taylor Hawkins album ‘KOTA’.
If you’re not already following Rob Scallon on YouTube, then get there right now and subscribe. He knows how to play some heavy, heavy music.
Cavalera Conspiracy‘s new album Psychosis will be released on Friday 17 November 2017.
I’m loving this new track from Thumpermonkey, “Tzizimime” taken from Electricity, which will be released on Friday 13 October 2017 on Rockosmos.
KLOGR release their third studio album ‘Keystone’ (mixed by Grammy winning producer David Bottrill (Stone Sour, Muse, Rush, Tool and more) on Friday 6 October 2017 via Zeta Factory (distributed in the UK/Europe by PHD).
The artwork is a piece of a painting by renowned Italian artist, Andrea Saltini.
Keystone is the third album from Italian-American band Klogr (pronounced Kay-logger). A band that I’d never heard of until now, but isn’t that the joy of this project.
Musically, the band sits somewhere between alternative rock and alternative metal. The album is very nicely produced and mixed. It has a warm, full sound that suits the melodic arrangements. The guitars are heavy without sounding harsh.
When you listen to album for the first few listens, if you’re anything like me then you’ll try to reach for comparisons. The album reminds me in part of Stone Sour fused with Freak Kitchen with a little Seven7 thrown in for good measure.
The album opens with what sounds like the start of the Star Trek theme tune, but accompanied by a children’s plinky piano. (“Sleeping through the seasons”, track 1) Then the guitars introduce a chug-chug-chug-chug riff. It’s catchy and melodic.
And so the album continues. “Prison of light” (track 2) features a nice ascending riff; “Technocracy” (track 3) is a fast-paced track with a twisting-turning riff; “The echoes of sin” (track 4) has a Dream Theater vibe to it; “Pride before the fall” (track 5) sounds a bit like a slowed-down “Technocracy”.
For me, the stand-out track is “Something’s in the air” (track 6). It’s a mid-paced, chugging rock track with a beautifully heavy, slide-y riff. I could listen to it all day. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s interesting and varied. Brilliant stuff!
“Drag you back” (track 7) is built around a fluttering riff; “Sirens’ song” (track 8) is a short track that sounds like it was recorded underwater, and leads beautifully into “Dark tides” (track 9) which has an ’80s metal ballad feel to it.
“Silent witness” (track 10) opens with a bass riff that gives way to a complex guitar riff, that changes directions. Every. Few seconds. “Enigmatic smile” probably has the most metal riff on the album but gives way to a melodic rock track.
The album plays out to “The wall of illusion” which probably encompasses everything that Klogr have thrown at us so far in this album.
And then it ends.
To be honest, there is little to criticize the album for. Some of the songs do begin to sound a little bit same-y as you progress through the album, but that would only really become a problem if the songs weren’t great. And these are really good songs. There is more than a little prog influence contained in the tracks on this album, and that is also a good thing. The songs have dynamics, and a shape, that each tell a musical story.
I really like this album. I can see myself returning to it again and again.
What more could you ask for from a piece of music?
Review score: 85%
Ahead of their forthcoming album Keystone which will be released on 6th October via Zeta Factory / PHD (review to follow shortly), Italian-American alternative rock/metal band Klogr have released a music video for ”Sleeping Through The Seasons’.
The song, as well as the other tracks from Keystone, was recorded at Zeta Factory Studio and mixed at Mainstation Studio in Toronto, Canada, by Grammy winning producer David Bottrill who has previously worked with Dream Theater, Stone Sour, Tool, Rush, and more.
The video was inspired by the novel (and movie) Lord of the Flies by William Golding, which focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves. The storyboard for Klogr’s new music video was created by Andrea Saltini (the author of ‘Keystone’s’ artwork) and Chiara Silvestri (art director). ‘Sleeping Through the Seasons’ video shoot was handled by Roberto Zampa (director of Klogr videos for ‘King of Unknown’, ‘Breaking Down’, ‘Breathing Heart’) and Matteo Pasquali (director of Klogr videos ‘Bleeding’ and ‘Draw Closer’) who took care of the direction and editing.
Klogr guitarist / frontman Rusty says, “When I talked to Andrea Saltini about the concept of the album, he shared with me his interpretation inspired by the novel/movie ‘Lord of the Flies’. I really loved his idea because it seems a wide way to see the album as a whole in one music video . It is always exciting to meet other artists’ (painters, designers, art directors, and writers) point of views so they can give you other interpretations of your work.”
‘Sleeping Through the Seasons’ is taken from Klogr’s forthcoming studio album ,’Keystone’, which will be released on 6th October via Zeta Factory / PHD. It’s the second single to be taken from the new album following lead song ‘Prison Of Light’.
Klogr are special guests to The Rasmus on their ‘Dark Matters’ European tour this November.
10th Hamburg, Markthalle (DE)
11th Berlin, Columbia Theater – Sold Out (DE)
12th Warsaw, Stodola (PL)
14th Krakow, Kwadrat (PL)
15th Prague, Roxy (CZ)
16th Vienna, Simm Club (AT)
18th Paris, Le Trabendo (FR)
19th London, Scala – Sold Out (UK)
20th Koln, Kantine (DE)
21st Amsterdam, Melkweg (NL)
Originally due for release in July 2017, but on 7 August Haema announced on their Facebook page that they have signed to Slipstick Records for the physical and digital worldwide distribution of this their debut EP.; see Slipstick Records for more details.
So the email arrives and asks me if I’d be kind enough to review Haema’s forthcoming EP Insurrection. Sure! I’m always up for listening to new music. And then I listened to the preview. BLOODY HELL! THIS IS BRILLIANT!
Haema, a four-piece from Northamptonshire, UK, describe themselves as an experimental, industrialised, groove metal band. But that really doesn’t do them justice. Think: Rage Against the Machine meets Senser meets Circle of Dust meets Clawfinger. But heavier. Okay, let’s throw in some Fear Factory. Brilliant!
The EP opens with Eden (track 1). “What is the point of your existence?” a man asks. “To feel […] without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock ticking.” A woman’s voice speaks above a soundscape. Then the riff kicks in. It’s tight and heavy. Jordon Calderwood’s vocals fluctuate between a Zack de la Rocha-style rap/rant and a metalcore-style bark. The song is both in your face and ponderous. There is space, plenty of space, plenty of depth and width to this song. It stops and starts and never ceases to be interesting.
Free man (track 2) rides a bouncy riff right from the get-go that morphs into a rap. “Now you can see / I’m not a puppet on a string / You know, I’m a free man…” The song is aggressive and melodic. It has an urgency and integrity that makes me believe without a shadow of a doubt that he is free.
The title track Insurrection (track 3) opens with the sound of an alarm—if Depeche Mode were in the alarm sound design business. Then a more traditional metal-style riff bursts in. It chugs along, steadily. And every time my head bounces in time to the beat. The vocals in this song remind me at times of early Mordred. There is a fragility about it, which is echoed in the guitar solo about three-quarters of the way through.
Damn! I could listen to this EP all day.
Thirte3n (track 4) is probably the most in-your-face metal track on the EP. It has a repetitive, blast-beat riff that sounds like someone is drilling through granite. The verses have this machine-gun burst riff. It’s interesting and gives the song movement. Then over the top of the carnage there is the most fragile and subtle of light melodies, like a butterfly floating across a battlefield.
The final track Two minds (track 5) is slower, more ponderous: a call and reply style riff that gives way to another RATM-style riff. It starts and. Stops. As it. Twists and turns. Following the. Rhythm of the. Vocals.
From my first play through of this extraordinary EP I’ve loved this collection of music. Sure people are going to make immediate comparisons to Rage Against The Machine and Senser, as I have done. But that doesn’t detract from the quality of the playing, or the songwriting, or the production. Listen to the first two albums from Slayer—they wanted to be Mercyful Fate and King Diamond; Metallica played their first few years of gigs passing off Diamond Head and Budgie songs as their own until they found their own voice.
Given the chance Haema will also find their own distinct voice. But as a starting point, this is nearly perfect. I haven’t felt this excited by a not-entirely-metal release in a long time. I had the same burst of adrenaline and excitement listening to this as I did listening to Senser’s Stacked Up album in 1994. This album makes me smile and nod my head along to it for all the right reasons.
More like this please.
Review score: 100%
In mid-June, Scott Stephenson (Haema’s bassist) contacted me inviting me to preview this EP.
I have no connections to Haema or any related companies or individuals; although I am a big fan of producer Neil Hudson’s previous work. I’m not being paid to review this.
Many thanks to Scott and the rest of Haema.