IMG_0725

Okay! Okay! Sorry I used an Eminem song. Let’s get back to the metal.

Hey guys! Did you miss me? I missed you too!

I apologize for my four-month absence, but in between work, graduation, and getting ready for college, I haven’t found the time to sit down, connect to my crappy Wi-Fi, and tell you guys about the best people in the rock and metal world.

To update on what happened in these four months:

  • I dyed my hair red. It’s fading now, but I haven’t been able to find a quick, cheap hair stylist.
  • I started working at McHell…oops…McDonalds. You customers are some evil people, I swear.
  • I finally graduated high school. #12 out of 32 people. Not bad.
  • I’ve listened to a lot more bands and am in contact with a music PR company from the UK. My next post will feature the first band they introduced me to.
  • I moved nine hours away from my hometown to start my freshman year as a West Texas A&M University Buffalo! I am majoring in mass communication with an emphasis on broadcast journalism. I’m hoping to minor in music (maybe music business) when I’m a sophomore or higher. I’ve also joined the school’s radio station, and starting the week of September 8, I will be on the air Fridays from 3pm to 5pm (Central Time).

I’m planning on seeing Rob Zombie and Avatar on September 21.  Additionally, I’ll definitely mention some newer bands in an upcoming post.  I once again apologize for my absence and I hope and pray that all of my followers will understand.  Never forget to roar on and rock on! ♥

 

Always roaring,

Meghan

Advertisements

Nothing More Band Photo

 

“We always start with good intention, but lose ourselves along the way.”

Glad to be back, folks! My writer’s block is gone, I’m fixing to graduate, and I have my inspiration back! I apologize in advance, but like I’ve said before, Meghan has never left. Before I become too much of a pansy, let me introduce you to one of the newest bands who have given me my inspiration back.  I have “nothing more” than the desire to show you guys this band called…Nothing More!

Nothing More are another band who come from my home state of Texas! (They originate from San Antonio, one of my favorite cities to travel to.) They began in 2005 as another band trying to survive through Myspace and stints every now and then on Warped Tour. (I’m going this year, but they aren’t. 😦 ) This beautiful quartet consists of vocalist Johnny Hawkins, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver, and drummer Paul O’Brien. Right now, they’re touring across the nation and getting ready for a spot in the UK’s Download Festival.  Their first album “The Few Not Fleeting” has been out since 2009, and their second album, which I sadly don’t know the title to, will be released June 24th this summer! With the current single from the second album heating up the rock charts, Texas summer couldn’t be hotter.

How Did I Discover This Pride?

As you probably already know, I’m a fond listener of Sirius XM Octane. Nothing More was featured as one of their “Octane Accelerators,” which features new bands from around the nation. (Don’t know why Of Mice & Men are included in it though. They’re not THAT new.) Nothing More’s current single “This Is The Time (Ballast) was the song that played.  It was love at first play.

What Does Their Roar Sound Like?

I officially believe that Nothing More is hard progressive rock. Just think of Coheed and Cambria, except Nothing More don’t write comic books. Nothing More take an interesting view when it comes to citing influences, including scientists and philosophers like Carl Sagan and C.S Lewis instead of rock musicians. That’s deep and awesome.

Additionally, they describe their music as “part schizoid System of a Down weird-isms, part Mars Volta-esque prog rock freak out, part effortless pop nous.” Doesn’t that sound beautiful to your ears? It does to mine.

What’s Next?

Again, I don’t know the title of their upcoming album, but expect it to drop on June 24th!

Meghan Recommends…

  •  Buy their newest single “This Is The Time (Ballast)” on Amazon or iTunes!
  • Watch their lyric videos on their YouTube channel! (And their music video for “This Is The Time (Ballast)!”)
  • Make a Pandora station based off of Nothing More! It gives you more of an inside scoop of their music!

Roar on and rock on!

– Meghan

Avatar-Black-Waltz-Front-Cover-by-Eneas

“Oh, what a man goes as far as he can for country and king. Nothing will stop him.” – “Let Us Die”

I have waited ages to finally buy this album, whether it be on iTunes or order physically through Amazon.  My wait has ended and I couldn’t be happier.  I already talked about Avatar, and they actually read my blog post from a few months ago. (You can read it here: https://roaringreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/have-you-ever-heard-of-avatar/ ) I wonder if they’ll read this as well? We’ll just have to see.

All of the information about Avatar is in that post I just linked to, but to repeat myself one more time, the band consists of vocalist Johannes Eckerström, Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström on guitars, Henrik Sandelin on bass, and John Alfredsson on drums. They  are a melodic death metal band that originate from Sweden, and have such a charismatic yet freaky charm to their onstage and offstage presence.  I love this band to pieces–almost more than I love System of a Down–and I’m truly happy that they are making new music! (Expect a new album from them in spring 2014!) Although their next tour is only in Europe and not in Texas, I will just have to hold on and let their “Black Waltz” album keep me company.

Roaring Characteristics

Remember how I said that Avatar have a really entertaining onstage presence? This is actually evident in the music on this album.  For one, the playful yet creepy guitar riffs present in songs like “Ready for the Ride” and “Black Waltz” can give the listener a carnival feel. Heck, one listen of “Smells Like A Freak Show” can give me a slight craving for cotton candy and a nice circus performance. Avatar definitely show an ability of keeping their audience entertained not only exploring their theatrical boundaries, but also their styles!

Even though Avatar’s genre is officially melodic death metal, I’ve noticed that songs like “Napalm” and “Let It Burn” are highly unusual in this album. The song “Napalm,” for example, is softer than its track siblings because “Napalm” includes a bluesy riff, melodic chorus singing, and a slower tempo. Additionally, like I briefly mentioned in my previous Avatar post, I would love to hear AC/DC cover the song “Let It Burn” because the song sounds like it’s played in the style of AC/DC.  It’s not a bad thing; more like magical.

Again, the theatrics of the album and the exploring of styles and genres keep “Black Waltz” (the album) highly entertaining for listeners worldwide.

Clawing at the Flaws

I’ve emphasized that this album is highly entertaining, but some of the drumming in this album sound similar from track to track. From my understanding, anything played over and over and over again tends to get boring after awhile. (You wouldn’t ride a merry-go-round for an hour, would you? At some point you would want to get off. This is also I feel about “Black Waltz.”) I know that drumming in death metal is supposed to be fast and hard hitting, but the drum technique where Alfredsson doubles his speed and makes it sound like ricocheting bullets is highly overplayed in this album. I will say though that Alfredsson is an amazing drummer, and his drumming blows my mind.

Additionally, I love a good, low note guitar riff, but again, I don’t love it when it’s in almost every song. It’s great guitar playing from both Öhrström and Jarlsby, but I would find the album a little more lively if at least two guitar solos were thrown in. (That’s the Meghan Maximum.)

Final Roar

Grab your tickets for the metal circus…featuring Avatar!

Outstanding Song on this Album: “Blod”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBKXWpTXYHI

“Hate your neighbor. Love your enemy. Use your tongue to clean her wounds.” – “Use Your Tongue”

Roar on and rock on!

– Meghan

Final Surrender Band Photo 2

“Heaven or hell, signs of serenity, will I see your sweet enemity?”

I remember when I first started this blog, I always thought about metal that had religious affiliation tagged into the music.  I’ve always heard such bad comments such as, “Christian metal is not br00tl enough,” or an explanation as to why Christian metal ruins metal because Christians aren’t evil or dangerous.  However, as a Christian myself, I find Christian metal as entertaining as I do with non-Christian metal.  I am a person who has Brian “Head” Welch and Slayer sharing space on my iPod.  So, without further ado, I present to you this wonderful band right here: Final Surrender!

If you didn’t know this band until now, it’s no surprise. (That’s what I’m here for.) However, the Final Surrender fanbase is growing in size every few days.  According to their website, Final Surrender came about in winter of 2010 in their hometown of Bangalore, India. So far, they have released two full albums and an EP. Their debut album, “The Expanse,” won Final Surrender much praise locally and globally, and their second release, “Empty Graves,” had been released November 5th worldwide through record label Rottweiler Records. Final Surrender originally had five members, but because their bass player decided to try a different project, Final Surrender has shrunk to four. Final Surrender’s band members are Joseph Samuel as the frontman on vocals, James Stephenus and Sanjay Kumar on guitars, Jared Sandhy as their drummer, and a bass player who only seems to play while recording.

 How Did I Discover This Pride?

I gave in at the end of September and made myself a Twitter account. (You can find my Twitter handle on the “Contacts” page.) When people discover that you own a music blog, you get so many followers that are slightly undiscovered bands. Final Surrender was one of those bands. After hearing their music through ReverbNation, I was mindblown.

What Does Their Roar Sound Like?

Final Surrender officially classify themselves as Christian progressive metalcore. And people said that Christian music and metalcore weren’t good. They cite many familiar bands as influences such as Demon Hunter, As I Lay Dying, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, and Veil of Maya.

What’s Next?

Again, their second album was just released! Check out “Empty Graves” on iTunes and Amazon!

Meghan Recommends…

  • Follow the band on Twitter to keep up with updates!
  • Listen to their music on ReverbNation. Some of the songs are free downloads!
  • Watch the lyric video for their song “Refresh” off of “Empty Graves!”

 

Roar on and rock on!

– Meghan

Korn_2013

“You laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at you because you’re all the same.”

In all brutal honesty, I’m a huge Korn fan. My first rock concert was a Korn concert, and they were one of the bands to turn me into what I am now: a curious rock/metal fan. Even though I accept the fact that certain bands want to “change their sound” and “try something new for a while,” I can’t help but be angry with Korn. I haven’t been happy with them since the first time “Get Up!” played on the radio. Not only is this “metalstep” melting my mercury, but a Korn tradition that I’ve always wanted to be a part of has been ruined as well.

Beginning in 1998, Korn would (every now and then) start up the Family Values Tour. Bands like Evanescence, Rammstein, Deftones, and Stone Sour embraced the stages while everyone had a blast. I would hear stories and see pictures and think, “Man, I totally wish I could witness the whole thing.” (yes, including Rammstein’s explicit stage presences. Gotta love Germans. :D)

Now this year, the Family Values Tour is back! Should we rejoice? Probably not. The lineup features Asking Alexandria, Hollywood Undead, and Beware of Darkness. I can tolerate Asking Alexandria and only one song from Beware of Darkness, but after seeing FV’s history, this lineup definitely does not live up to it. Additionally, “Undead” was the only good song from Hollywood Undead. (Everything else makes them sound like douchebags.) Even worse, the tour has been turned into a one-night festival. I understand the fact that Korn has an upcoming fall tour with Rob Zombie, but shouldn’t Rob Zombie at least be a part of Family Values? I’m so confused.

It’s not only the downgrade of a Korn tradition that angers me. Brian “Head” Welch is back, but since Korn do not want to step away from their electronic sound, I can’t seem to hear anything new. “Love and Meth” sounds CLOSE to the old Korn sound, but is it good enough? When they announced their new album, I got excited until I heard “Never Never.” Again, I can’t hear any input from Head because the electronic sound is powering over his sound. I’m entirely upset about this because Head is such a good player. Letting the electronics sound louder than his input is entirely disrespectful to how awesome Head is at guitar playing.

Come on, Korn. I understand you’re trying new things, but you’re tearing apart old gems of your history. Stop it.

Butcher Babies Band Photo

“Trying to live, but to win is to die here alone!”

Sorry for not posting in a while, but I had a great summer talking to you and listening to the best of hard rock and heavy metal.  As September rolls in, I’m featuring a fairly new band into the scene. They’ve already been on tour with Mayhem Festival, and from what I hear, they made a great impression on that tour. This month, say hello to the Butcher Babies!

The Butcher Babies are commonly known for having a…uh…rather interesting stage show presence. These babies stormed America from the strips of Los Angeles, California and have been around since 2010. Their lineup features two frontwomen named Carla Harvey, who does clean vocals, and Heidi Sheperd, who does not-so-clean vocals. Carla and Heidi are backed up by Henry Flury on guitar, Jason Klein on bass, and Chrissy Warner on drums. With tight leather clothes and steak knife microphones in hand, the Butcher Babies show no mercy or any sign of leaving.

How Did I Discover This Pride?

I desperately wanted to go to the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival this summer, and the closest tour stop to my home was two hours away at The Woodlands Pavilion in Texas. (Unfortunately, my mother would not let me drive by myself or drive me to the concert herself. Her hatred for Rob Zombie, her “motherly instinct to protect her baby,” and her beach trip that weekend prevented any means possible of me attending the festival. ) When they announced the Mayhem lineup, the Butcher Babies appeared in the announcement video. It showed a clip of one of their concerts while playing a clip of “Mr. Slowdeath.” At the time, I didn’t feel like choosing a song of theirs to look up and listen to, but then when I went back to SIRIUS Octane, “Magnolia Blvd.” started playing. From then on, I was hooked.

What Does Their Roar Sound Like?

It’s difficult to pin one classification of a genre on the Butcher Babies, but in my words, they are a mix of metalcore and thrash metal. They cite many influences such as In This Moment, Slayer, Slipknot (whom Heidi is a huge fan of), and many more. Their biggest influence in their sound is from the band Plasmatics. Heidi and Carla are self-proclaimed big fans of Wendy O. Williams and even had their band name derived from the Plasmatics song “Butcher Baby.”

What’s Next?

The Mayhem Festival ended last month, but the Butcher Babies planned another tour kicking off this fall! As for new music, a music video for their hit “Magnolia Blvd” is currently being made!

Meghan Recommends…

  • Listen to their self-titled EP before buying their full-length debut album “Goliath.” It scared me the first time I heard it!
  • Watch their early live performances. Pictures tell me that they put on a really energetic show!
  • Follow Heidi Sheperd on Facebook! She’s not always scary! 🙂

Roar on and rock on!

– Meghan

Summer Is Over

“The future is meant for those who are willing to let go of the worst parts of the past.” – Corey Taylor

Hello my fellow followers, fans, and outsiders galore!

I understand that I haven’t posted anything this month since I introduced you guys to Texas Hippie Coalition. Don’t worry. I’m not dead, I haven’t left, and I don’t plan to.

The reason I have not posted this month is because August was my last month of summer. I spent this month with last-minute plans of hanging out with family, band practice, spending time with my boyfriend, and the ever-dreadful event of school shopping. While I was doing all of those things, I never stopped thinking about my blog. I never stopped thinking about how I was depriving myself and my audience of needed expression. I feel terrible about having only one post this month, but trust me, it will not happen again. Life just has a way of getting in the way.

Anyways, tomorrow morning, I start my senior year of high school. For those who have had the joys of being in this position, you should understand how busy this year will be for me. (For those who don’t, just wait. It will be here before you know it.) These next few months will consist of senior pics, getting ready for graduation, getting good grades so I can get into college, and stuff like that. Let me repeat myself like I have in the past and say that none of this will prevent me from doing Roaring Reviews.

When I started this blog in June, I knew what I was getting into, and I knew that maybe doing this will help me in the future. So far, it has helped, even though I have 8 WordPress followers and 8 Facebook fans. I don’t know whether or not I will get more, but we’ll see.

To conclude, I already have posts and ideas planned for the future. I’m considering adding another admin to Roaring Reviews due to me being only one person who is unfortunately and constantly busy. I haven’t fully decided on that because of my trouble with trusting others (especially online), but it’s just an idea. I do have another album review and song review in the works. I might post the album review tomorrow, but if not, check in sometime this week. Additionally, next Sunday, I will feature another band in “Have You Ever Heard Of…?” As for my “Any Thoughts?” feature, there might be a new post relating to that within the next two weeks. If not, oh well.

Oh, and one more thing. Everyone seems to be in back-to-school spirit, so is there any hard rock/heavy metal songs that go well with this mood? Whether you’re happy or angry about returning back, there has to be hard and heavy songs that fit in well. You can express some ideas in the comments below or on the “official” Roaring Reviews Facebook page. (A link to the Facebook page can be found in my page labeled “Contacts.”) “Like” Roaring Reviews on Facebook as well for further updates pertaining to this blog!

Roar on and rock on!

– Meghan

(P.S, while I’m working on this, you guys can help me and share this blog among your friends, family, and others! Having an audience is already an accomplishment enough, so thanks again for reading and catching up with me!) 🙂