With my recent discovery of Jango Radio (which is really, really awesome) I’ve been introduced to some great new bands that I had a passing familiarity with, but have now come to love. Seriously, listening to A Day To Remember radio has opened my eyes to some really great bands. In addition, I’ve been digging through my music collection and rediscovered a few great albums I haven’t listened to in a long time, and I’ve been listening to those a great deal.
Album: Unto The Locust
Artist: Machine Head
This is one of the albums I’ve rediscovered. I’m a big fan of Machine Head, and, while many will say that the Blackening is their best album, I would have to disagree. Unto The Locust is an intense, fast paced metal album with some really great songs. Sounds a lot like the Blackening, no? Crucially, the two are similar. Heavy guitar lines, rough vocals, loud percussion work, and some rough basslines. But lyrically, this album is a lot better.The lyrics on songs like “Locust”, “Darkness Within”, and “Who We Are” are awesome, and have meaning. This is a great album, though certainly not for the faint of heart, especially with the album’s awesomely aggressive opening track, “I Am Hell”. Unto The Locust is a triumph, providing some of the best metal you will find. Ever.
Listen to: Locust, Darkness Within, I Am Hell
Album: Lead Sails Paper Anchors
Until discovering this album, I didn’t really like Atreyu. As much as I like screamo, some of their earlier work was a bit on the extreme side. However, while Lead Sails Paper Anchors certainly maintains some elements of screamo, it is a lot more toned down. It’s mostly clean vocals, with aggressive guitar and drum attacks. It’s very much a modern punk rock album, and it’s no coincidence that I found it on A Day To Remember radio. With themes varying from war on tracks like “Doomsday” to life issues on tracks like “Becoming the Bull” and “When Two Are One” , Lead Sails Paper Anchors provides some great lyrics and showcases the band’s writing talents. Musically, it’s awesome as well. The songs all feel a little different musically, though they employ mostly similar styles. And it’s a style that I like, a lot.
Listen To: When Two Are One, Lose It, Blow
Album: Never Back Down
Artist: Close To Home
This is another album I discovered on A Day To Remember radio. It’s something of a concept album, with a theme of standing up to your fears. While not all the songs are about standing up to your fears, the album as a whole has that theme, as well as the theme of being your own person. I like the variety of musical styles on this album as well. It’s a metal album, but the style of metal varies. There’s some death core stuff on it, as well as some screamo, and then songs that have clean vocals. It has both fast and slow songs. And all of them are really, really awesome. I love the theme of the album, and that alone makes it worth a listen.
Listen To: Sink Or Swim, Days Of Our Lives, The View From Here
Album: Prepare the Masses
Artist: A Change of Pace
This album is a little odd. It seems like it should be an album that is political minded, and really intense. And it is intense. But the album is , essentially, a musical retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. And it’s pretty good. I’m a fan of Shakespeare’s work (Romeo & Juliet isn’t my favorite though) and hearing it in a musical format is pretty awesome. I may just be saying this because I’m a big fan of albums that having a story that runs throughout them. And Prepare the Masses does that really, really well. And, all the while, the music is really great. The guitar, percussion, and bass work are all awesome. And I love the vocal work.
Listen To: Prepare the Masses, I’m Alive, The Song The World Can Sing Out Loud
Album: A Calculated Use of Sound
Artist: Protest the Hero
Before they sold out and started making mass market thrash metal, Protest the Hero released this album. Not that their newer music isn’t bad, it’s just that it revolves around the standard thrash metal fare in terms of song writing. A Calculated Use of Sound is a very political album. Themes reach from gender and racial inequality, to war, to economic inequality. The lyrics are really awesome, and combining them with snippets of speeches is great. The chanting of lines such as “Bombings won’t justify bombings!” on songs like “These Colors Don’t Run” is awesome. The album as a whole, both lyrically and musically, is extremely aggressive and creates a great feel.
Listen To: An Apathetic New World, These Colors Don’t Run, Red Stars Over the Battle of the Cowshed
Artist: A Dark Halo
This is an album that most people don’t know which I find surprising. I also find it surprising that it was the only album released by the band. Because it’s awesome. It’s kind of a techno/metal album, which should be garbage, but it isn’t. The guitar work never ceases to blow my mind. And the vocals are simply amazing. Merging clean vocals with death roars and screams is always awesome, but it just sounds really good on this album. Some songs, like “Apex Realized”, are a lot heavier, while the album’s standout track, “Silence” is probably one of the best metal songs I’ve ever heard. This album only has eight tracks, but each of those eight tracks is an excellent song, and there is no song on the album I don’t like.
Listen To: Silence, Dust & Ashes, Apex Realized, and the rest of the album.