Tuesday, August 16, 2005

As I Lay Dying - Shadows Are Security (CD)

When you hear a metalcore band like As I Lay Dying thrashing and screaming like they do, the last thing you'd expect them to actually be singing about is love and God! But that's exactly the topics covered by this five piece outfit on their latest album, which also happens to be one of the overall best I've heard this year.
The album is also noted as one of the bands most accessable as they've added more melody and a even a few singing bits to the speedy guitars and machinegun drums that are their trademark.
I highly recommend checking this one out, as this is a band that proves you don't have to be a badass, beer drinkin', devil-worshippin' metal head to make metal on this level that rocks. As noted in Revolver magazine, these guys are definately one of the up and coming bands you need to know.
CD Rating: ****

Must Hear Tracks:
- Confined
- The Darkest Nights
- The Truth of My Perception

Monday, August 08, 2005

Static-X - Start A War (CD)

Static-X is back, and not only has Wayne Static brought back his big standing hair for the industrial monster's latest album, but founding member, guitarist Koichi Fukuda is back as well! (For those of you who didn't know, Tripp Einsen was kicked out of the band after getting arrested for trying to solicite underage girls!)

Static-X have always been amusing to me for their fast, loud industrial electronic sound, and singer/guitarist Wayne Static's one of a kind incoherent screaming vocals. But on their fourth major label release (5th if you count the collection of b-sides, demos and remixes they released last year), Static's gimmick is beginning to wear thin. Simply put, if you've heard one Static-X album, you've heard them all as they don't evolve their sound in any way. That may be good in some cases, but when you do something that sounds near identical to everything else you've done, it just doesn't feel worth it to spend the cash on.
Granted, this was better than their last album, 2003's Shadow Zone, but still doesn't come close to their smash breakthrough debut, Winsconsin Death Trip. Static needs to try and make the songs last longer for one thing, as the album barely goes over a half hour in length if you don't count the last techno-sounding track that lasts all of 2 minutes before going into silence for another 10 minutes leading into a vocal only version of "Otsego Amigo" as a bonus track. Everything else ranges from the short, but catchy single in "I'm The One", to the slow and heavy chugging tracks like "Just In Case", to the bizarre like "I Want To Fucking Break It" which kicks off with a polka-tuba sample!
Hardcore Static-X fans will easilly get into this, but it might only be passable for the rest of us even when there are some catchy tracks, heavy beats, and of course, Wayne Static's bizare choice of lyrics and the way he sings/screams them. Here's hoping he can evolve a bit on their next outing.
CD Rating: *1/2

Must Hear Tracks:

- I'm The One
- Just In Case
- Set It Off
- My Damnation