Baroness - Yellow & Green
There is a raging debate going on right now over this album - is it amazing or has this band really fallen off? I choose "amazing". I fully expected them to continue in a more "rock" direction that began in the Red Album and escalated in the Blue Album. Gone are almost all of the guttural vocals and heavy parts. Replacing them are some awesome clean vocals and layered, atmospheric rock that is more complex than pretty much anything out.
This album is more of a journey than anything else. There are the themes - Yellow and Green - both set up by the intro tracks. Each theme to me is totally different from the other in feel and sound. Each side also has standout tracks and one or two filler songs. But, this is much more content than we are used to having bands release - basically two full albums running for a total of 72:76.
Bottom line is this is an extremely strong rock/pop album with obvious metal and southern rock overtones. Saying that a band "sold out" is played out - this band just seems to be playing the kind of music they want to. If you didn't see them going this direction, you weren't listening to the Blue Album well enough. This should be their breakout release, and if so, good for them.
As a bonus, we are streaming the entire album - Click here to listen. Make up your own mind.
Standout Tracks: March to the Sea, Cocanium, Sea Lungs, Board up The House
Sleepers: Yellow Theme and Green Theme - obviously meant to not be anything too crazy.
Buy: Click to Buy
Our Full Review: Click To Read
Xibalba - Hasta La Muerte
Listening to this band is like being punched in the stomach. They are pretty much one of the heaviest things I've ever heard, and that's saying a lot for someone that has been a part of the underground scene for over 14 years. Their last few albums were pretty good, but this one really takes the cake. From start to finish, it is an attack on your eardrums but you still want more.
The first thing that will come to your mind when you hear them is "I bet they like Disembodied and Crowbar", which I'm sure they do. I would call this "Metalcore" in the loosest sense of the term, just because it's more like "Sludgecore". I have personally never seen them play, but I've heard they play a hell of a show and I intend on catching them the next time around. The breakdowns on this album are absolutely devastating, and even all these years later I'm still a sucker for a good mosh part.
Bottom line is if you like loud, tuned down, heavy as fuck Hardcore/Metal, you will love this album.
Standout Tracks: Soledad, Burn, Stoneheart
Sleepers: None, really. Album is consistent.
Windfaerer - Solar
This album blew me away from the first listen on. Anyone that knows me knows how much I enjoy "Viking/War Metal" and that's what I would describe this as. At times, it reminds me of Wintersun and at others Amon Amarth or At The Gates and sometimes Emperor. It will give you the feeling that you are in a ship trekking to a destination that will surely end in an epic battle. The guitar work is pretty incredible, creating a multi-layered melodic and harsh atmosphere that at times will take your breath away.
It's surprising because these guys aren't from Europe - when I hear something like this I assume that's where it came from. They are right from New Jersey, USA. Knowing this made me proud that an American band has taken the time to learn the art of playing this sort of metal, which are some of the most complex genres that there are.
This is a self-released album, so support this band by grabbing their albums. I
Back Home Follow on Twitter for the latest! Like on Facebook for the latest!