Posts Tagged ‘metal’

Black Widow is set to be released on November 14th, 2014. Genre: Metalcore

Black Widow is set to be released on November 14th, 2014.
Genre: Metalcore

Take Lady Gaga, Slipknot, and a watered down Metalcore sub genre, mix it all up and what do you get? In This Moment‘s video for Sick. Atlantic Records’ new Pop Metal signee’s made their major label debut with this single from their latest offering Black Widow and boy was this slightly unexpected. The video is littered with all theming you would not come to expect in a metal music video such as scantily clad women and choreographed dancing. Did we mention that the band members look like they tried out for Slipknot recently?

Old In This Moment vs. New In This Moment

Old In This Moment vs. New In This Moment

                                                                                        Yes, gone are the brooding angsty Metalcore brats that looked too emo to be true. In their stead is a sleek shiny new Pop Metal monster that could seemingly be fronted by Lady Gaga herself. To their credit, the songs are as catchy as they’ve ever been, and the lyrics are still pretty much simple, the only thing that seemed to have changed is the appearance. Given their immense popularity one can only think that given the opportunity, any previously raw and gritty metal outfit would tidy it up once a major label steps in. Could this be a new thing for emerging “Pop Metal” artists to aspire too? If so, gods help us all.

It is the dawn of a new era for Arch Enemy. The Melodeath vets are back with War Eternal, and introduce their third vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (ex-The Agonist) with it. This album is the ninth installment in the bands career all of which featuring a non-singing female lead vocalist. Alissa brings with her crisp growled vocals and an impressive 3 to 5 octave singing range, but only one of those makes an appearance.

'War Eternal' was released June 4th, 2014 via Century Media Genre: Melodic Death Metal

‘War Eternal’ was released June 4th, 2014 via Century Media
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rather than dive right into the brutality, the album opens with the orchestral number Tempore Nihil Sanat. The track is short but serves as a “calm before the battle of the black water” moment. The mood is ominously serene and peacefully saunters up to an abrupt halt at the end of it’s one minute and twelve second stay. It is after this that the album actually kicks in much to every metal heads delight.

As if on cue the monstrous blast beats and Iron Maiden-esque harmonized guitars destroys the any serenity established with Never Forgive, Never Forget. From there on, and for much of the album, it is the quintessential metal-core/Melodeath brutality you’d expect from a Gluz fronted outfit. Few songs on this album present a chance for Gluz to actually to show the true duality her arrival had the potential to bring to Arch Enemy. When the chance presents itself, however, it is dutifully ignored. Case in point is the flying chorus of No More Regrets where one could easy imagine a powerful and soaring vocal line sung above the harmonized arpeggios.

The halfway point of the album strips it down to an instrumental in Graveyard of Dreams. This track is another strikingly beautiful instrumental that seems to have ended up as a stand alone track as opposed to appearing as a mere introduction. In fact it seems as if the only thing that prevents such a thing from happening is the lack of drums. If drummer Daniel Eriandsson had found himself on Graveyard, it could have easily been to the sub-three minute Stolen Life what the opening of You Will Know My Name was to that track.

Time is Black comes in with a catchy power riff following a dainty stripped down intro. From then on, it is business as usual until the album closer (in the Standard version of the album) Not Long For This World. This track is the third instrumental in the album and is the heaviest by far. Aside from a random sample of slowing heartbeats and a heart monitor that never flatlined, the track is a powerful close to a rather peculiar album.

Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (ex-The Agonist) was announced as Arch Enemy’s new lead singer in March of 2014. She replaced the band’s former vocalist Angela Gossow who is now the band’s business manager.

Unfortunately the standard edition of the album features absolutely no cleanly sung vocals, much to the delight of death metal purists everywhere. This is a huge let down considering the melodic prescience Michael Amott (guitarist) worked into the album, and the vocal abilities their new lead singer possesses. The album itself, for all it’s wonderful orchestration, lacks a clear and consistent movement from start to finish. As opposed to flowing together effortlessly, riffs can tend to feel like they’re pandering to the obligatory metal brutality that must be present at all times…or else.

While the record doesn’t break any new ground, it is still a solid offering. Long time fans will undoubtedly be split on Alissa White-Gluz’s performance, but she holds her own as she has done for a while as the former front woman of The Agonist. Given the strong use of orchestration and the touches of neo-classical chord progressions, fans of Symphony X and Masterplan may have something to latch onto here. In any case those who enjoy modern Melodic Death Metal and/or the ever hated Metalcore will have enough to enjoy in War Eternal.

Album Picks: No More Regrets, On and On, Not Long For This World

Rating: 3.5

Surprise, a list! Who doesn’t love to list things they love and present them to the public? I’m sure the good people on Facebook land and beyond have seen the “10 Best Stuffs to Stuff” list, the “Top 5 Best Stuffs” and so on. So allow me introduce you to my pretentious little exhibition. Below are 4 albums I enjoy listening to from jump to splat. Yes you read that right, only 4…because fuck lists in which the total number of items are divisible by 5 and/or 10. Also, don’t try to look for a pattern here. This list is in no particular order, and has very little rhyme or reason attached to it.

Ihsahn's 'After' was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records Genre: Progressive Black Metal

Ihsahn’s ‘After” was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Progressive Black Metal

First off is After by Ihsahn. If you’re a Black Metal enthusiast, you know this name and the gr1m fr0stbitten cache of epicness that accompanies it and you can skip the next sentence. Ihsahn, as the front man for Black Metal band Emperor, helped pioneer the genre and shape it throughout its satanic birth and infancy. This album was the thematic end to a conceptual trilogy that began with ‘Adversary’ and ‘angL’. After is big sonically, and what I mean by that is that there is a lot of space that you can just feel at times. Sure, Jens Bogren (Mix/Mastering Engineer) added weight where previous album ‘angl’ lacked it, but combined with Ihsahn’s superb riffing and “guitar orchestration”, combined with his knack for always writing the quintessential ‘complete song’, no track on this album is a skipper. As far as I’m concerned it can go down as one as the best metal albums of all time, and can easily top multiple albums across a multitude of extreme metal sub-genres.

Enya's 'A Day Without Rain' was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise. Genre: New Age

Enya’s ‘A Day Without Rain’ was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise.
Genre: New Age

Next up is A Day Without Rain by Enya. No, let me stop you here, Sail Away, Sail Away is not on this album, and it isn’t even the actual name of the song. This album is magnificent as that song was. If you are not into New Age music, you may not know what I’m babbling on about…pfft, there aren’t even any guitars on this record, or breakdowns for that matter. Good point, believe me, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Enya had put together an almost flawless body of work again. In the United States along ADWR went 7x platinum, that’s 7,000,000 copies! It helps that ‘Only Time’ was played repeatedly in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Enya effortlessly navigates chord progressions that were arranged seemingly with a patented technique that dates back to the 1980’s. Enya’s works have garnered international praise and accolades, to which I say…no shit.

Daylight Dies' 'Dismantling Devotion' was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records Genre: Doom Metal

Daylight Dies’ ‘Dismantling Devotion’ was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Doom Metal

Replace the stringed instruments with guitars, 80% of the singing with guttural death growls, make the lyrical themes darker and you get Daylight Dies’ 2006 effort ‘Dismantling Devotion. No, I did not mean Killswitch Engage, I mean the North Carolina Doom Metal group Daylight Dies. From top to bottom, there is enough meat here to feed every starving organism on the planet. Hyperbole aside, for a sophomore effort DD took no prisoners with these songs. There is emotion, intensity, and aggression within each song. The melodic content from song to song is rich and ripe with purpose behind the brutal death metal vocals of front man Nathan Ellis. I first ran into this band listening to a My Dying Bride station on Last FM. This band’s strength lays in their composition. Once you get past the slower pace inherent in the Doom Metal genre, you will be able to appreciate this record.

Doomtree independently  released this self titled album July 29th, 2008 Genre: Hip Hop

Doomtree independently released this self titled album July 29th, 2008
Genre: Hip Hop

Last, but surely not least, Doomtree’s self titled effort from 2008, Doomtree. I know what you were thinking, but this is not a metal band…sorry. Doomtree is a hip-hop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before you go and dismiss these guys, give this album a listen…and I mean really listen. From top to bottom this album, features thought provoking, and introspective lyrics that come across as genuine as all hell. The instrumentals are raw, and gritty but create a 90’s feel that suites Doomtree’s aura. The rappers that make up this group pride themselves on their individuality, and this group of songs captures that thought process completely.

Sorry for the delay! I had promised this a couple weeks back but due to illness and adding a second job I haven’t had enough time for my true love, MUSIC!!



Spiritual Rez is back to bring us some more of their own brand of progressive reggae-rock. Their last two studio albums, Vex and Rising in the East, were works of art in their own right. They pulled influences across time and genre that really made them stand out in the expanding american dub and reggae community.

After some drastic lineup changes they’ve come back with Apocalypse Whenever which is arguably more diverse than the first two releases but something is seems to be lacking in the originality sector.

“We wanted to create an album that flows as one piece of art sonically and conceptually. Apocalypse Whenever is an album for the times. We want to encourage the people not to fear the future but to embrace it”
Toft Willingham

While this concept of “embracing” the future can be argued for with a few tracks that preach acceptance and optimism; like their powerful anthem “Don’t be afraid”. If you listen to the album more than a couple times you can hear themes that completely undermine their concepts. The political undertones alone shed light on paranoia.

So conceptually the album isn’t quite what he claims. Musicically… I’m not sure what the attempt was here. They used to mash every genre of Reggae and Dub into one smooth candy bar package.

Spiritual chocolate Rez bars… Get on that.

Now instead of their soft dubby center with the salted rock crunchies they seem to have gone for a more consistent sound. The ska and punk mix is a good one but not something we haven’t seen before. Nobody wants to hear another pseudo-sublime album. There are too many bands trying to do that. Hell, even SUBLIME is trying to be Sublime.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great tunes on this record. Just not their usual caliber.

They went for more of a punk/ska feel for most things and the reggae is more inspired by 311 than the Wailers. There are even tunes like “Worker Bee” which is straight political-punk. I commend their diversity and expression but this song in particular just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album.

The album itself is filled with political and social references and promotes some libertarian values.

“Until our savior comes,
Man’s got his hands to rely on…

Somebody’s got to build your homes
Somebody’s got to grow your food
While the men, making up the rules
Sitting in offices planning our apocalypse”

“I’ve got my second amendment stockpiled in my basement
I ain’t scared, I am prepared…

Go ahead and occupy Wallstreet and the banks
at least you’re asking questions
positive reflections…

They keep raisin’ taxes
Everybody’s askin’
Whatcha gonna do now”

Luckily, I don’t see these guys attending any Tea Parties any time soon. Maybe just lighting joints and shooting some guns off. Y’know. Good ol’ American things.

These tracks sound more like sing-a-longs with easy to remember and representative lyrics with uninspired melodies. They’re catchy but theres not much else substantial along the lines of creativity.

An unfortunate aspect and contributing to the downfall of this album is that Willingham’s voice has really gone downhill. I loved his grinding vocal cords and smooth delivery but on this album he sounds like he attempted to gargle some gravel.

You too can have the voice of an angel!


Possibly taking advantage of the release date right after Valentine’s day this year Willingham makes references to his wife on two of the songs. In “Don’t be Afraid” they address being on the road and wondering when they will see each other again.

The second tune revolving around Mrs. Rez is “Agapoula Mou”, their hit single.


Go vote “Agapoula Mou” as best music video of the year at!


“Decisions” is a song I’m really split on. Musically it’s one of my favorites on the album.


The progression keeps you listening and they bounce genre’s a couple times but it really solidifies the song.

My issue with it is the content. It’s an attempted attack on the rave/”molly” (mdma) culture. They were so close to coming off as poignant but only showed their musical blinders. I am in no way defending the rave and dubstep scenes, but their approach was sub-par. It had real promise by shining light on sexual and drug abuse but fell short on delivery. Maybe a better fit for another song, or another band!

Melodically I have to hand it to them, they have some great ones on this. Definitely some daily hummers. The instrumental tracks really shine on here, just showing they’ve still got chops. “March of the Reptoids” and “The Rapture” are fantastic songs that span jazz, rock, dub, and even some Cajun jam…. That sounds good. Note to self. Eat before writing reviews…

But alas… no real winners that make me want to put this album on in the future. It was a great listen through for the times I needed to write this review. I wanted to love it but it’s missing that wow factor from their earlier releases.


The Good: “Man’s Hands“, “Bring It On“, “March of the Reptoids“, “Agapoula Mouparts 1 & 2, “Rapture

The Meh: “Don’t Be Afraid“, “Decisions

The Ugly (Skip)Anunnuki Invasion” – Interlude track, not a song, “One Big Song“, “Who’s Gonna Come“, “Let’s Go Out With a Bang“, “Worker Bee“, “What’s it All About



Despite my less-than rave review that album has received tons of acclaim. It’s a decent reggae rock album. Was it wrong of us to expect more?

Their live shows had revealed they were in a slight downward slope; especially with the recent line-up shake down. The expectations of another Nexus was maybe a bit too optimistic that they could redeem themselves. I’d expect this for a first album, but if was indeed their first I’d pass on their sequel without much second thought.


At the end of the day they’re still a bunch of dudes from Boston who know how to rock a house. I’d go see them any day of the week. Go check em out, pick up this album, grab their earlier ones, and plan on having a good time.

This album and others are available on their Store, BandCamp, Spotify,, and iTunes!






Do you like the feeling of electronic music but don’t like its repetative movements intended for drug fueled dancing? Do you like rock but wish it focused less on being loud and more on soundscapes? Then push play on these bands. You won’t be disappointed.

Žagar This Hungarian Psychedelic/Jazz/Atmospheric/Rock/Awesome band is one to keep an eye on. They always have something going on. Their style is the perfect hybrid of the electronic feel and drive with the beauty of rock and jazz melodies and analog production. The band has a long list of filmography credits and you can really hear it. Wait until the horns come in at around 2 mins. Forget goosebumps. It’s all about the nipple hardening.

Indigo Sun They are my most recent find and my most favorite at the moment. They’re a jazz fusion band disguised behind electronic productions. Definitely worth checking out.

Stateless Such a wonderfully emotional song. Builds up just enough to lock you in. This London based band started out as your generic rock band but they embraced the idea of adding more electronic elements after meeting DJ Kidkanevil at a hip hop show in Leeds. They have two albums out right now on Spotify.

The best part of this Swedish four-piece group, Wintergatan, is that they aren’t electronic at all. There are no samples. Instead they play a range of homemade and unorthodox instruments along with some more conventional ones to create a foreign yet familiarized sound. The lead here is the accordion and oh boy has one never sounded better.
Their popular track Sommarfågel was featured as our Song of the Day back in July.

Jaga Jazzist has been around since the 90’s but have been the forefront of the new age of jazz. These Norwegians take jazz whole heartedly and incorporate every genre and instrument they can come up with. Every song is a new experience. They’re not for everyone but if you enjoy driving beats and head spinning melodies they might be for you.

Incubus okay so they’ve been around for a while and for all intents and purposes, they suck now. Since the line-up changes and their increasingly mainstream standings they haven’t been the same.
If you’re looking for a rocking band that throws in ample amounts of electronic sections they’re a good band to start with. Their earlier work; eg. their first album: Fungus Among Us, is my favorite which resembled the beginning of funk metal but they’ve toned down and tuned out since that work of perfection.

You can check out these bands and some of their other songs on this nifty little playlist I created for all you. I know, I’m awesome, but keep it in your pants you perverts.

Here at Tonedeth we hold Mr. Devin Townsend at quite a high esteem. He’s an incredibly talented singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer/performer/comedian. What can’t you like about this guy? But before he was the unequivocal leader of progressive metal and before he was the weird bald guy from Strapping Young Lad, did you know he used to sing for Steve Vai? Well here is their appearance on the classic Headbanger’s Ball on MTV circa 1993.

Skip to the 3:30 mark to witness the oddity.

Behold! The Mighty Masturbator!

Behold! The Mighty Masturbator!

Everyone loves a great performance by his or her favorite artists; no really, it is true! Hundreds of thousands rush to Ozzfest, Warped Tour, and the like to see their bands tear it up each year, and each year the talent is up to par, or least they are supposed to be. Standing in a sea of people all day waiting for the headliner can become quite a chore when you have to endure horrible support bands…and if the headliners let you down, you would be ready to flip a table. Not all musicians have the stage chops to carry a crowd through a set. However, their god awful on stage performance should not leave you to with the thought that they are god awful musicians overall…wait, let me finish Kanye.

Events like American R&B diva Beyonce’s lip-syncing the American National Anthem and last month’s air guitar scandal at Super Bowl XLVIII leave many with a salty taste in their mouths concerning musical performances. Cynics across the interweb’s social sphere drew the conclusion that the days of live pop performances are over. Fans found themselves doubting the ability of their favorite artists, and others merely chalked it up to the decline of talent in the modern day music industry. Oh ye of little faith. Fret not; you can still enjoy great performances while cherishing the talent behind what you see.

Rock out...hard!

Rock out…hard!

A typical musical act’s purpose is to present a combination of musicianship and showmanship that is as infectious, magnetic, and powerful as possible. In a controlled environment like the studio, focusing such raw unrestricted energy can prove to be a challenge. Modern day tricks like ‘elastic audio’ can fix stray grooves, and auto-tune rules the modern day recording vocalist music, but nothing beats a solid take or two. Reduced labor, computer processing, and the amount of coffee needed for endless nights of editing are benefits of having “one take Jakes” in the studio. Nevertheless, a hybrid will get the job done, and earn a healthier living than the other two one trick ponies.

Read more at: Underground Press

Yes!! Tonedeth is back up and SPRINTING for the new year.

Okay.. maybe warming up with a slow jog. I’m a bit out of shape here.

Let’s start this off with a review of Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet, one of the several albums that dropped last year to make me scratch my head and listen to over and over again. To be honest this is one hell of a release, not simply for the musical content but because it was tagged along with a 73 page screenplay and a 20 minute short film. The three are only vaguely related, so you could count them as three separate works.

Donald Glover is slowly but effectively becoming a household name. The triple threat artist already has acting and directing firmly under his belt with significant work credits from NBC. In interviews he claims that this album, Because the Internet, was his most “honest work to date”.

If it is honest then either this guy is either very depressed or desperately attempting to divorce from his “funny guy” image. Which is never a bad thing but it seems that he has instead created a doppelganger, his antinomic twin. Donald Glover is the comedian and the clown. Childish – ironically –  appears to be the mature one, creatively distraught with where his life choices have brought him.

“I mean where’s the line between Donnie G and Gambino” – “III. Life: The Biggest Troll”

One of the more interesting aspect of the album is that you can witness the dichotomy of the two characters in the word play. In between the lines of self deprivation and the cliché bragging about his cash flow (all too common in this genre) there is a divided man unsure of his identity.  His modesty can come off authentically but it is piled under a thick bite of unabashed confidence.

Because the Internet is certainly a leaping departure from his last album Camp which had more of the generic production and content of a mainstream rap album with the incessantly catchy hooks and ridiculous lyrical work with the occasional reference to life as a 90’s kid. This guy sure knows his market..

“Camp was an album for 13-year-olds, kind of written by a 13-year-old — it was very angsty and silly, but this album I think is just about my time at NYU more. It’s more grown-up, but a lot of things on the album happened to me this past year. I don’t know if I’m more mature on this album but I definitely know more about music.”

I can see that but I don’t necessarily agree. He makes many more references to his time at NYU in Camp. Because the Internet sounds like it takes place way beyond that. More referring to his celebrity status and growing as an adult, now 30 years old.

As far as musically, he has matured and incorporates original sounding and ear grabbing melodies to this album making it stand out from his previous releases.

This newest work was recorded at NBA star Chris Bosh’s mansion which Glover dubbed “The temple” and enforced a strict no shoes rule. Definitely wouldn’t want to do anything to damage that guy’s house.

“Who tracked mud in MY kitchen!?”

The tyranny continued banning “tweeting and instagramming” and a implementing a harsh work day starting at 10am.

Ahh.. the weary life of a recording artist…

 Because the Internet is Gambino’s second album on Glassnote Records, and Camp was the label’s first hip-hop release ever. Unfortunately the label doesn’t quite consider him a “major” artist. It’s hard out there for any rapper whose name doesn’t end with “West” or “Z”… The label told him he would have to wait to release the album in 2014 despite its completion in early October. He had other plans.

“If it wasn’t gonna be released then, I was gonna release it myself. What’s the point of waiting? I feel like that’s the only time people would be able to listen to it. December is the perfect time. Albums made a really big impact on me when I was alone and everything was quiet, and I know that’s when students go home, that’s when everything is closed, so it’s a good time to just listen to something and be yourself.”

Glover got the idea for the cryptic but brilliant album name from conversations he had with friend and alternative indie artist, Beck.

“Everyone keeps saying by this or that year, Mandarin or Spanish will be the most dominant language, but the internet is already a language we are all connected to… But the thing is, there are no rules, which is also the awesome thing.”

Internet as a language is not as inane of an idea as it may sound. In the screenplay he constantly uses Emojis to describe an action, expression, or emotion as if it were common place. An editor wouldn’t allow it but the majority of the market who will buy his album will not only understand it completely, but embrace it.

It seems he’s eyeing the role to be the voice of the viral generation, the globalized media junkies. He relates to them with his poignant media references to “Rugrats”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, and “Double Dare”, all mega-popular shows that millennials have grown up with. But with so many references and metaphors a purpose gets lost. He jumps between the gangster and the clever less than seamlessly.

Maybe it’s me but the lyrics on this album rarely make sense. They jump topics and go in an out of focus so quickly it just seems he’s making observations on events happening in his brain. Maybe it’s intentional and he wants to appear obscure but it comes off as random.

The content ranges from the gangster rap dribble:

“Instagram my stack load
Hashtag my day wear and your girl drank my day care.
I’m born rich, life ain’t fair.
Ain’t nobody sicker and my Fisker ‘vroom vroom’, ho”

To esoteric thoughts and pop culture references:

“Year off, got no rules, tripping off of them toadstools.
More green than my Whole Foods
and I’m too fly, Jeff Goldblum.
Got a glass house in the Palisades, that a.k.a.
White hood, white hood, Oh K K K”

both are from the track, “IV. Sweatpants”

Sometimes they flow musically and even poetically but many just sound like extemporaneous rants. Either he’s ran out of things to say or his life is so foreign and weird that we have nothing else to believe?

The first single “V. 3005” released back in October of 2013 is currently #44 on the top 100 Billboard chart. The music video is certainly a strange one and is meant to give the impression of intense loneliness. The entire thing is him sitting stone faced on a ferris wheel with a large stuffed bear. Complete departure from his silly character, Troy from “Community” or his work with his old comedy troupe Derrick Comedy.

This track is the least interesting on the album. The instrumental is painfully simple and his flow seems forced. The intention was clearly to be the single track, the one that you assume the rest of the album will sound the same to get you to listen to it. It’s similar to his song “Heartbeat” off of Camp. Catchy sung hook with a thick electro-pop background. “3005” also appears to be about love gone wrong but he claims it’s about being alone, not necessarily from a loved one.

What struck me instantly about this album and made me want to write a lengthy review on it is that it reminds me of a metal production rather than a new hip-hop record. It’s very dark, not so much in content, but musically.

The first song, “I. Crawl”, starts with samples of a screaming and a heavy industrial sounding background. I could easily imagine a guttural growl come in with the drop at about the 30 second mark. “Bet you crawl. All alone”.

New rap-metal album?

donald glover screaming

The bassline for the verse of “II. No Exit” sounds like something straight out of a Lamb of God. There are several more parts of the album that could easily be implanted into a metal song because of their dark anxious tone like the end of “II. Shadows”.

He’s kind of proving his point with Because the Internet. The world is getting smaller, there are less visible boundaries and Childish Gambino intends to blur the lines between rap, pop, and rock.

Here at Tonedeth we focus on the unique and commend the strange. You think we’d review any ol’ album?

Most of the tracks start off unassuming enough but many end with left turns or simply switch genres. On “I. The Worst Guys” featuring Chance the Rapper has a Santana-esque guitar solo thrown in to keep the flow of the song going. And “II. Worldstar” winds down with a laid-back electronic jazz ensemble complete with a baritone sax solo.

If the instrumental tracks he raps over weren’t interesting enough the fact that he has four mostly instrumental and transitional tracks with little to no rapping shows he has intentions of making an album not a mix-tape.

Because the Internet is exceptional in many respects. He breaks boundaries musically and addresses the social media revolution and how it has affected him professionally and personally. Childish Gambino is a very emotionally divided man. Not only must he cope with this new persona he’s created that he wishes to shed but he’s clearly unhappy with this life and mocks it at every turn. This channeled into the creative can leave people with a strong taste in their mouth that may or may not be bearable.

I give this album:

3 / 5

It’s intriguing enough that fans of rap, pop, or rock can find something to latch on to. It’s musically dynamic and intense but his lyrical structure is a little predictable and needlessly verbose for the sake of flow. I liked Camp and enjoyed pulling back the layers on this piece but it’s lacking some substance. Give it a listen, chew it over, and take a look-see. In that order. It’s worth it.

Can’t get enough of the multi-talented Donald Glover?
Go check out the show Community. It’s running on it’s 5th season but it seems Glover’s character Troy Barnes becomes a part-time role only appearing in five out of the thirteen episodes planned for the season. This will be the second main character to leave the show after Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne.

In a series of personal and revealing photos uploaded to instagram Donald Glover sheds light on his career choices as of late.

“I didn’t leave Community to rap. I don’t wanna rap. I wanted to be on my own.”

Will this be Gambino’s last album and Glover’s kick-start to a more serious acting career?

At the moment he is also gearing up for his musically themed show to be aired on FX sometime this year that he will write and direct. He claims his move to the station was for their willingness to work around his tight touring schedule.

And the traveler bandIn a world of mediocrity and trite songwriting three men take it upon themselves to peel back the paradigms of rock and spit on the corpses… Okay. Enough of the dramatics.

It’s time to get serious. And, And The Traveler is seriously good.

Max Johl – Guitar / Lead Vocals
Donald Perdomo – Drums / vocals
Josh Goldberg – Chapman / vocals
These lovely locals hold their main base in Yonkers, NY. See? I keep telling people there is good music in Westchester County…

Upon first listen you’re likely to assume they’re the usual 4-5 piece band doing some awesome rock tunes. Well this is where it gets interesting. They are a in fact a three piece; but instead of a boring ol’ guitar or bass dynamic they mix it up with Josh Goldberg playing the artfully obscure chapman stick. Made famous by the great Tony Levin of King Crimson. The chapman generally appears to be one of those instruments that is usually isolated as the “solo-performance” instrument rather than having use in a full band. Even in Crimson tunes, where Levin can be heard on the stick, it seems that the rest of the band is accompanying him rather than in support of. And The Traveler’s use of the stick in their music is leaps ahead of many modern rock bands and adds an entirely unique quality to their arrangements.

Josh was just recently featured on the Chapman Stick website as a featured artist. He also records and posts videos on his own personal page entitled Stick Science in which he gives playing tips, solo performances, playthroughs, and answers frequently asked questions.

They are inherently a “rock” band with many songs you could easily hear on a radio station. That doesn’t make them bland to me. It only fascinates as I delve into and peel back the layers. Which for a three piece, is quite expansive. The first track on their album The Road, The Reason is Steps. It’s an upbeat tune that starts big and enters some ethereal expanses. It’s very much similar to Dear Hunter, minus some hokey dramatics.

You can stream the entire album on Spotify, well as on their bandcamp

The guys were nice enough to send me the full double disc album complete with an artwork book illustrated to stories that their songs unfold when I bought it off of their bandcamp page.

Pulling influence not just from many genres but from many decades. You can easily hear classical influence round up with modern rock and jazz.

They’ve got the technicality of King Crimson and Dream theater, the dynamics of the Dear Hunter and the Mars Volta, and the diversity and unique song-writing like the Rx Bandits and Primus.

I could go on for hours about the diversity of this band. The diversity of those they emulate is drastic enough. But they aren’t some simply copy/paste group of artists. Their music is totally unique and stands on their own among any progressive band out right now.

Their album is mixed so well for the band that they are. It’s sparse enough to hear all of the intricacies but big enough to fool you into thinking this is a full sized rock band. Chapman sticks have the issue of “blending” but the guys at Schroendinger’s Box Studios performed wonders and made it work.

Many cases with two disc albums, I find myself picking a favorite side. With this… I cannot. Part II is far from a B side, and is diverse enough to hold it’s own as a distinct album. My favorite track being the first one on this side, called Spiderclass. Such a raw sounding that builds up, sounding similar to Primus, a tightrope love affair between rock, jazz, and avant garde.

The band documented much of the recording process in little video shorts hosted on youtube featured on their website’s media page.

Be sure to pick this bad boy up and give it a strong listen. That’s an order.


and the traveler 1

and the traveler 2

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Pierce the Veil's 'Selfish Machines' was released January 10, 2012 via Equa Vision Records Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore

Pierce the Veil’s ‘Selfish Machines’ was released January 10, 2012 via Equa Vision Records
Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore

Sabaton's 'Carolus Rex' was released May 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Power Metal/ Folk Metal

Sabaton’s ‘Carolus Rex’ was released May 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Power Metal/ Folk Metal

The Glitch Mob's 'We Can Make The World Stop' EP was  self-released July 12th, 2011 Genre: EDM/ Dub-Step

The Glitch Mob’s ‘We Can Make The World Stop’ EP was self-released July 12th, 2011
Genre: EDM/ Dub-Step

Best Coast's 'The Only Place' was released June 24th, 2013 via Deckdisc Genre: Indie Rock

Best Coast’s ‘The Only Place’ was released June 24th, 2013 via Deckdisc
Genre: Indie Rock