Albums of Note... That 'difficult second album' phase is probably even more difficult when - in between your first and second album - you have performed at the Royal wedding, had your songs splashed all over the TV, dumped one of the UK's best-known radio DJs (Greg James) and started dating one of the United States' best-known producers (Skrillex). Ellie Goulding seems to have done a solid job of navigating the pressures of retaining her identity, whilst no doubt being squeezed by her record label. Overall though, Halcyonis not quite the blast of personality that we expected from Goulding: "The most disappointing thing is that they've not even really allowed Goulding's voice to flourish. She has a vocal that's pleasant if not exactly stand out, but all life in it's been stamped out through auto-tuning and correction, the singer sounding as though she's being possessed by the spirit of nothing at all."
Tall Ships are beginning to gather serious momentum on the live circuit in the UK and their debut album, Everything Touching cements that reputation. It's by no means a perfect debut but Tall Ships are already breaking free of the 'math rock' parameters that have been loosely placed about them. "The majority of the ten tracks are instrumentally intense with sounds overlapping and complimenting each other. An intriguing debut from Tall Ships, but there's just a spark missing. They should cut down on the instrumentals and replace with some words because, when they're used, the science and instrumental beauty are amplified perfectly."
Take a member of Bullet for my valentine, Cancer Bats, Glamour of the Kill, Rise to Remain and Pitchshifter. The collective identity? Axewound. A chance for five men from all walks of rock and metal to get together and record an album that channels their energy perfectly. This album is Vultures, released this Monday. Ahead of its release and a weeklong tour for the group, we spoke to drummer Jason Bowld about all things Axewound.
First of all, Monday really is a big day, first date of the tour and the release of the album. Are you excited?
Yeah, it feels so weird because it's come around so quick. We feel very ready for it. I'm glad it's not our first gig, we did our first gig back in June or somewhere around there supporting Killswitch Engage so we've broken the ice.
Continue reading: Axewound - Interview
'Supergroup' is a painfully overused term. However, in the case of Axewound, no other term can be used to describe the combined efforts of Cancer Bats' Liam Cormier, Bullet For My Valentine frontman Matt Tuck, guitarist Mike Kingswood from Glamour Of The Kill, former Rise to Remain bassist Joe Copcutt and Pitchshifter drummer Jason Bowld. Five individuals who have united over a love of aggressive music and recorded Vultures, one of the most energetic releases of 2012.
The album opens with its title track, Cormier taking the lead in a chaotic, energetic and wild slab of heavy metal, complemented by a solo from virtuoso Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. Post Apocalyptic Party and Victim Of The System follow very much in the same vein before leading into Cold, easily a contender for one of the metal singles of the year; Tuck and Cormier finding the perfect balance between vocals and creating a song that is unashamedly part Bats, part Bullet but still feels new and exciting.
Latest single Exorchrist arrives in much the same vein as Cold, another anthemic track geared for radio. Once the chords have finally died, a gentle piano intro hails the album's pivotal moment; Collide, a work of absolute genius. Sprawling and bombastic, far beyond anything that the group had previously offered. Depth, aggression and power in droves underpinned as always by Jason's fearsome drumming. Incorporating piano and string parts to full effect, it's hard to believe that the same band that wrote Post Apocalyptic Party were capable of something so grandiose.
Continue reading: Axewound - Vultures Album Review