Monday, October 31, 2011

Waking the Demon

Happy Halloween! In honor of the creepiest night of the year, I give to you a somewhat macabre music video that seems appropriate for such a day of frights.

Song: Waking the Demon
Artist: Bullet for My Valentine

The plot of the video is pretty obvious right from the start, where this borderline "scene" kid is getting repeatedly beat up and bullied by a bunch of jocks. However, what's unknown to the viewer is why he doesn't fight back, and instead simply crosses days off on a calendar. Short of spoiling anything for you, I will say that he's counting down to a specific day (actually, it's not Halloween) and all is resolved on said day.

The song behind this video definitively falls into the hard rock category, even slipping a bit into metalcore at times. It's a powerful song, with shredded chords and thrashing drums that backup the absolutely insane vocals. To anyone who previously knows this song off of Bullet for My Valentine's album Scream Aim Fire, the verses in this version of the song are not screamed/growled. They're pretty clean, all things considered.

As with the other videos I've suggested prior, this one has more of a plot than most of the others out there. That being said, there are also some nifty shots of the band tearin' it up in the middle of the woods. At night. In the fog/mist. Because that's not terribly clich├ęd or anything, right?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Confession

What do you get when you combine Atreyu with a little bit of Avenged Sevenfold, and maybe a hint of Bullet for My Valentine?

Artist: The Confession

Although you might never have heard of these guys, they aren't as underground as they initially seem. In 2006, they were slotted on the Taste of Chaos tour, and have even toured with the likes of Megadeth, Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine. Oh yeah, and they were only a band for a grand total of about 3 years. Impressive, much?

Their debut album, Requiem is outstanding, a satisfying blend of metalcore, hard rock and actually a bit of heavy metal if you really look for it. A mix of slower ballad-like tracks with some heavy-thrashing ones creates a truly unique listening experience for any fan of rock. The album as a whole is very reflective of Atreyu's style, in the sense that there are some screamed vocals, but a balance of other cleaner passages throughout.

Some standout tracks include;
• The End Is Near
• Dance With the Devil
• The Rise and Fall
• Time Is Gone
• Bleed You Dry*
• War of Ages*

*(off of their EP, not their album)

The only downer is that because they were together for such a short time, they only released one full-length album (and an EP as well).
But it's okay, because Requiem just might be one the most amazing albums I've heard.

And, as your fun fact for the day, the track "The End Is Near" off of Requiem features the singer from Avenged Sevenfold, who also happened to be one of the album's producers. This production experience was actually one of the factors that contributed to Avenged Sevenfold self-producing their 4th studio album. Not that you needed to know that, but figured I'd throw that in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lead Sails (And A Paper Anchor)

Today's suggestion is a song I had never even heard of before I gave it a try due to it's interesting title. Now, it's one of my favorites, thus garnering a spot on this humble blog.

Song: Lead Sails (And A Paper Anchor)
Artist: Atreyu

I think it's fair to say that with hearing the name "Atreyu", comes the song in question usually being perceived as heavy, complete with grungy/growled vocals. However, this song pays tribute to the band's "softer" side.

Right from the beginning, the song sounds very country-esque, complete with twangy guitars and an emotional vocal performance. And to be truthful, it never strays too far from that, except you do get a more rock/alternative vibe as the song progresses. Yet that's not what makes this track so remarkable. In fact, it's hard to describe what actually does make it outstanding, but I shall endeavor to do so.

Rarely do I think the chorus is the brightest shining point of a song. Yes, I do love me some good choruses, but usually I tend towards the awesome bridges and ridiculous instrumental sections. In this song, the chorus is what makes it, all the way through.

The best way to put it is that in the chorus, the first part of the phrase is in what sounds like a major key, the final part of which drops down enough to make it minor. When you listen to it, you'll understand, and appreciate just how awesome such a technique really can be. It adds so much to the power of the song. Not to mention the fact that Brandon Saller turns in some epic drum (and vocal, as he seems the be the main vocalist for the song!) performances, especially in the final repeat of the chorus where everything is coming together.

I know that's a lot to take in for just a song, but all these words simply cannot do it the justice it deserves. I might wind up saying this a lot, but if you only take one of my suggestions seriously on here, this just might be the one to do so for.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Ghost Of You

On this rainy Tuesday afternoon, I've had the pleasure of watching many a music video to kill time, and I decided I'd share this one with you.

Song: The Ghost Of You
Artist: My Chemical Romance

Now I know some of you might hesitate to give this one a try because of the notion that My Chemical Romance is "emo", but hear me out.

This is a beautiful, alternative song that captures so much emotion and intensity that it seems like a video just had to be made for it. Starting out slow, it builds up to a final climax preceded by a passionate instrumental section that, if nothing else, will get your heart racing.

As for the video itself, like the others I've suggested prior, it's almost like a little movie. Those of you who have seen Saving Private Ryan will pick up on the noticeable similarities in some of the scenes. Matching the levels of the track it's based upon, this video is very climactic, and also a little sad.

Since one of the founding principles of punk is wanting to be accepted as being different, I see no reason why you should skim over this suggestion just because you've developed a preexisting bias towards this particular group. Not that I'm saying that you will, or were thinking of doing so, but honestly, set all that aside and just listen to the music. You won't regret it.