Auditory Assault

“We were told, ‘You need to be listening to the White Stripes and the Strokes’ – we were told, point blank, to go buy White Stripes and Strokes records to see what they sound like. I almost fell out of my chair when I heard that. It was like, ‘Houston, there’s a major f—ing problem here.'”
— Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose talking about recording on a major label.

So maybe the new album will have that raw vibe of the debut …

Intro …

This week’s most listened to CDs by yours truly were Soilwork’s “Stabbing the Drama” and Lamb of God’s “As the Palaces Burn.”

I want to jump right into things this week. But here’s a quick note on my pick of the week. I’ve been trying to get my hand’s on the latest Soilwork album for a while now. First I didn’t know what to expect, then I started seeing some neutral reviews online. I ended up waiting until I heard some material on a digital music channel and then I knew I’d be blown away when I got my hands on the disc.

The disc sounds like a nice mix of European melodic metal mixed with American metal bands like Drowning Pool. The vocals are pretty solid and the music sounds nice and tight. I liked every song on the disc and liked each one even more with each additional spin. The backing vocals really add the hook to everything and keep you wanting more. For another perspective on the album, check out Gloomchen’s review here. My only problem with the album is how most of the songs end pretty abruptly.

Anyway, here you go, my pick for album of the week: Soilwork’s “Stabbing the Drama.”

Looking ahead …

We are already half way through 2005. Metal fans have been treated to a fair share of solid (the latest from Trivium, Nightrage or Crowbar) and no-so-solid (Avenged Sevenfold, Life of Agony or System of a Down) albums.

But like I just said, the year’s only half over. There’s still plenty of time for great albums to hit the shelves and if you’re hard-pressed to find something you like, well, there’s a lot to choose from.

Coming up next week is handful of blistering releases. The Black Dahlia Murder finally have a follow-up to 2003’s solid “Unhallowed” album. I expect “Miasma” to be the usual intense hardcore with metal undertones. Bury Your Dead will have a live disc (“Alive”) out on Victory, Byzantine is offering up “…And They Shall Take Up Serpents” (which I’ve heard nothing but good things about) and a disc of Clutch rarities, “Pitchfork & Lost Needles,” is on tap. Of course, the cream of the crop, in my opinion, is the long-awaited Obituary album, “Frozen In Time,” the band’s first new studio material since 1997.

On July 19, In Flames’ “Used and Abused… In Live We Trust” DVD/CD combo will hit stores. The set looks to be chock-full of content.

The most notable release for the week of July 26 seems to be Arch Enemy’s much-anticipated “Doomsday Machine.” The band blew up big-time following the release of 03’s “Anthems Of Rebellion,” so fans are ready for new material. Also out this week is Dope’s aptly-titled “American Apathy” and the new one from Nevermore (finally), “This Godless Endeavor.”

Opening up August on the 2nd is new material from Blindside (“The Great Depression”), Madball (“Legacy”) and Amen (“Gun Of A Preacherman”), though I wonder what the deal with the Amen disc is as the band is still without a label.

On Aug. 9 Chimaira will offer up a self-titled album. Another notable release is the soundtrack for “The Cave,” featuring bands like Killswitch Engage, Nightwish, Atreyu, Ill Nino, Shadows Fall, Lacuna Coil, Open Hand, Bleeding Through, Diecast, Mastodon and much, much more. Looks like the year’s sole metal-centric soundtrack offering with a nice mix of new and previously released material. Also scheduled is new stuff from Pennywise (“The Fuse”), Silverstein (“Discovering The Waterfront”) and Staind (“Chapter V”).

Taproot will offer up its latest, “Blue-Sky Research,” on Aug. 16. It looks like the band is headed in a more melodic direction evident on “Welcome,” as opposed to the heavier fare off the debut. Of course, I’m basing this opinion off the one song I heard so …

The Bled and Every Time I Die both have new albums out on Aug. 23, as do rap-rockers Bobaflex (who I’ve heard nothing but good things about — people seem to love the live shows). But most notable is Fear Factory’s second album in two years, “Transgression.” It looks like someone lit a fire under the band.

Closing out August is new material from one of my favorites, From Autumn to Ashes, and Cold. Opeth’s Roadrunner debut is slated for release too, along with the label’s 25th Anniversary disc, the one with a bunch of new material featuring all-star collaborations which looks pretty promising at the moment. Biohazard final offering, “Means to an End,” will also hit shelves.

Not much on Sept. 6 at the moment, apart from a new Between the Buried and Me disc, “Alaska.”

Soul Fly’s “Dark Ages” and God Forbid’s “IV: Constitution of Treason” is scheduled for release on Sept. 20, along with the Smashing Pumpkins tribute album, “The Killer in You,” I’d been talking about for a while. The disc, brought to you from the same people that put together the Guns N Roses hardcore tribute “Bring You To Your Knees,” will feature A Thorn For Every Heart, Poison The Well, Armor For Sleep, Hopesfall, A Static Lullaby, Eighteen Visions and a couple of other bands offering up their own takes on classic Pumpkin material.

Bam Margera’s favorite band, H.I.M., will release a new album on Sept. 27. New stuff from Ill Nino and System of a Down (the “Hynotize” release) is also on this day, as is a CD/DVD item from Anthrax that I assume is connected to the reunion.

In October Sevendust and Testament will be offering up releases.

Looking even further ahead, or at discs that have yet to be announced:

— There’s supposed work on an Alice in Chains collection (some sort of greatest hits?).
— The Deftones are preparing “Saturday Night Wrist”
— Demon Hunter is working on new material
— as is Hatebreed
— Himsa is working on “Hail Horror”
— In Flames’ “Come Clarity” might have been pushed into early 2006
— Mastodon is working on a Warner debut
— Ministry is preparing “Rantology”
— Rob Zombie should be finishing up his new one after Ozzfest
— Sepultura is busy with a live DVD/CD set
— Slayer has been working on a new disc for a while

Good stuff …

Mix of the moment: covers…

Here’s a little mix I put together featuring metal bands doing covers. I wanted to spotlight some music to try and turn readers on to music they might not be aware of. Check one, some or all of them out … who knows, you might discover something you like or remember something you used to …

In Flames: ” Land of Confusion” (off “Trigger” EP )
Skid Row: “Psycho Therapy” (off “B-Sides Ourselves” )
Obituary: “Circle of the Tyrants” (off “Cause of Death” )
Children of Bodom: “Bed of Nails” (off ” Trashed, Lost & Strung Out” EP )
Time in Malta: “November Rain” (off “Bring You To Your Knees” )
Metallica: “So What” (off “Garage Days” )
Skinlab: “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” (off “Nerve Damage” )
Biohazard: ” We’re Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance)” (off ” Urban Discipline” )
Nevermore: “Sound of Silence” (off “Dead Heart, in a Dead World” )
Pantera: “Planet Caravan” (off “Far Beyond Driven” )

Final thoughts …

Next week I’ll be taking a look at the first five years of the new millennium. There’s a lot of stuff to tackle, so if anyone out there has any thoughts, opinions, albums or bands they think need to be mentioned in a column like that, make sure you e-mail me a.s.a.p.

And that’s that. As always, drop me a line. Until next time, I’ll be here at Inside Pulse making sure no metal news falls through the cracks.

Take it easy…

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