The Fame Monster: Lady Gaga

Rating: 95%

The_Fame_Monster2009 saw Lady Gaga release this ep called “The Fame Monster.” Now, it’s been known that I have liked Lady Gaga’s music for some time. I think she is a brilliant artist and entertainer.  The reason I got into her, was the fact that talk radio was always putting her down and degrading to women. So, I did the next best thing. I wanted to hear for myself as to why she was always being attack. I found the opposite when I listened to her. Her music actually speaks many truths.

This ep contains several good songs. The difference between this album and her debut “The Fame” is the fact that she seems to be more comfortable as her vocals are much stronger. She is proving that she is the next sensation rather than a fad. This album has somewhat of a cleaner sound to it. It has lots of great “Club Beats” or Techno style beats to dance to if you’re into that sort of thing. Great melodies and music. I do like her darker and more sexual themed lyrics.

High points, on this ep included “Bad Romance”, “Monster”, and “Teeth.” I do like “Alejandro”, but it does kind of drag out. “Telephone” would be a great song only if you dropped the duet vocals of Beyoncé. I am not a Beyoncé fan at all.

Track listing:

1. “Bad Romance” 4:54
2. “Alejandro” 4:34
3. “Monster” 4:10
4. “Speechless” 4:31
5. “Dance in the Dark” 4:49
6. “Telephone” (featuring Beyoncé) 3:41
7. “So Happy I Could Die” 3:55
8. “Teeth” 3:41

Winter: Oceans of Slumber

Rating: 90%

Oceans-of-Slumber-Winter-500x500.jpgMy friend gave me a copy of this album called “Winter” by Oceans of Slumber. Upon my first listen, I was actually blown away. Their style of Progressive Metal is really good. This album was released in 2016 and marks their first official release, even though, they have two previous works.

Musically, this album has a lot to offer. There are a lot of great riffs and leads. The vocals are amazing. The song structures are really good and the album itself has a nice flow to it from start to finish.  “Nights in White Satin” originally by the Moody Blues, I find was well done and a nod to the Progressive Rock sound of the earlier days. With the Progressive influences, this isn’t your ordinary Progressive Metal album. I find it refreshing. There is a great del of atmospheric and melodic elements that adds to the richness of the music and overall sound. “Lullaby” is a nice small mellow and vocal piece that leads into a acoustical piece “Laid to Rest.”

Oceans-of-Slumber-band-2016

New Noise Magazine

 

Track listing:
Winter 7:58
Devout 5:08
Nights In White Satin 5:45
Lullaby 1:46
Laid To Rest 1:41
Suffer The Last Bridge 5:01
Good Life 2:08
Sunlight 5:34
Turpentine 5:32
Apologue 6:55
How Tall The Trees 1:33
… This Road 7:44
Grace 3:21

Burning Insight: Frantic Amber

Rating: 90%

456368.jpgSwedish Death Metal band Frantic Amber released their 2015 debut “Burning Insight.” For the most part, this all female band minus the drummer dude hits the head of the nail. Think of a female version of Dethklok. Frantic Amber is made up of bassist Sandra Stensen, drummer Erik Röjås, lead guitarist Mio Jäger, guitarist Mary Säfstrand, and vocalist Elizabeth Andrews.

This album is truly a piece of art. It’s got a lot of great parts musically to it. Listening to it, there is a good bit of harmony to certain sections of music. The melody is very strong. Mix this in with very gritty riffs of the guitars and bass, and the madness of the drums, plus the harsh vocals, and you have a good Melodic Death Metal album. Each note is precis and prefect. The leads and the fill ins are one thing that sticks out. Another piece of instrumentation that is well done, it the bass. It’s always good to hear the bass in Heavy Metal that is creative. There seems to be a lot of very complex drumming that sets the tempos. The harsh vocals feature a certain degree of growls, shrills, and screams. I have not been able to locate a dull moment on this album. It’s an epic masterpiece. It’s got a certain degree of some eerie and creepiness on the slower tempo music. One thing is for sure, it’s not boring and the flow of the music is very exciting. Everyone seems to be comparing this to Arch Enemy, but, this band to me, is a hell of a lot better.

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Frantic Amber. Blabbermouth.com

Track Listing:

1. Intro 01:08 instrumental
2. Burning Insight 04:27
3. Bleeding Sanity 04:18
4. Soar 05:29
5. Drained 05:39
6. Awakening 03:51
7. Entwined 04:35
8. Wrath of Judgement 05:01
9. Unbreakable 05:23
10. Destruction 05:31
11. Ghost 05:52

Victim of Yourself: Nervosa

Rating: 80%

399020In 2014, the Brazilian female trio Nervosa released their debut “Victim of Yourself.” So imagine Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Lamb of God wrapped up into one. Now you have the sound and style of Nervosa. The band is made up of vocalist & bassist Fernanda Lira, guitarist Prika Amaral, and drummer Pitchu Ferraz.

The approach of the band is a good effort. Each instrument is clearly heard and production wise, sounds pretty good. It’s got plenty of hard, crunching, complex, and upbeat riffs. There’s a good deal of lead guitar that sounds pretty good. Good bass lines and decent drumming. The harsher screaming vocals compliments the overall sound of the music. Is this classic Thrash Metal? No, not really, but the approach of classic Thrash Metal is there. This album at times can be very aggressive and brutal. But for the for most part, it’s a nonstop assault like what Thrash Metal should be.

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Nervsoa by Metal Ladies Publishing.

Track Listing:

1. Intro 02:57 instrumental
2. Twisted Values 05:18
3. Justice Be Done 03:49
4. Wake Up and Fight 03:40
5. Nasty Injury 05:27
6. Envious 04:35
7. Morbid Courage 03:33
8. Death 03:51
9. Into Moshpit 03:43
10. Deep Misery 02:06
11. Victim of Yourself 04:10
12. Urânio em Nós 02:07

Daydream Nation: Sonic Youth

Rating: 90%

SonicYouthDaydreamNationalbumcover.jpgI remember when I first heard this album upon it’s release in 1988. When I first heard this, I was like what the hell is this? After listening to it again, I heard very complex song structures that were hard to duplicate on guitar. It’s not wonder why?

Both Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo were great musicians and great guitar players who knew how to make noise into music. Neil Young is another guitarist that has this trait. Listen to his album called “Arc” which Neil Young consulted Thurston Moore about the idea. Then, I heard Kim’s bass lines and I was totally blown away. She is one of the most influential female bassists. Her bass and guitar style is very unique. Her vocals are the same way. Steve Shelly’s drums lines are just as complex as the band. He has some very weird tempos, of beats and rolls.

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Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Getty Images

Musically, there are some great melodies here. They flow from song to song as if you were in a daydream. The music is smooth, not aggressive, but relaxing. At the same time, there is a certain jam style in between verses that is weird, but at the same time it was written to be atmospheric. There is a great deal of improvisations. The harmony of the music itself it wonderful.

The music also features a good combination of female and male lead vocals. Each member of the band contributes equally. The musicianship is very tight. It’s no wonder why Sonic Youth is such a major influence to Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, and Punk.

Track listing:

Teen Age Riot 6:56
Silver Rocket 3:46
The Sprawl 7:39
‘Cross The Breeze 7:00
Eric’s Trip 3:46
Total Trash 7:30
Hey Joni 4:17
Providence 2:39
Candle 4:57
Rain King 4:38
Kissability 3:06
Trilogy: a) The Wonder 4:27
Trilogy: b) Hyperstation 7:04
Trilogy: z) Eliminator Jr. 2:37

Gates of Hell: Mystica Girls

Rating: 95%

402245In 2014, Mystica Girls, a band from Mexico City released “Gates of Hell.” This is their second full length album. This all female band can rock!!! The line up for this album consisted of guitarist Cinthya Blackcat, drummer Yolanda Moreno, vocalist Mon Laferte, and Kathy Whitewolf.

Musically, this band has an even keel of tempos. It’s heavy and not super fast. It’s got plenty of rhythm, good sharp riffs, clear bass riffs, fantastic drumming and great vocals. The bass guitar is one instrument that many will hear right away. It dominates the music. Upon hearing this album you’ll notice the short guitar leads. They are really good to the point I think of the 1980’s style of lead guitar. The guitar itself has a good clear sound to it. “Sweet Picking” is a fantastic example of the guitar work on this album. When I hear this, I think of those guitar gods like Stevie Vai. The lyrics are based on themes of romance and fantasy. Vocally, they are very unique. They are overwhelming, but they have a nice range to them.

The song structures themselves have a dark side to them. The structures do have a bit of a tight groove. You’ll hear it intertwined in the music. There are many short bursts. When you listen to the instrumentation, you’ll quickly hear everything. Nothing isn’t drowning out the other instruments. This album has many influences from the early Heavy Metal bands such as Judas Priest and Manowar. It’s everything that a Heavy Metal band should have. They have the looks as Punks, but they’re all metalheads.

mystica-girlsnew4.jpgTrack listing:

1. To Be Open… 01:34
2. The Gates of Hell 04:31
3. The Boogie Biker 03:18
4. No More! 04:11
5. The Spirit Has Won 02:56
6. Tiny Blue Dot 03:40
7. The Conquest 02:53
8. Sweet Picking 02:36
9. Why Should We Need? 05:02
10. New Awakening 02:32 instrumental
11. Spooky Cookie 03:50
12. Game of Sins 05:33
13. The Boogie Biker 03:21

Road Fever: Thundermother

Rating: 90%

R-7454682-1441816548-2515.jpeg.jpgI recently came across the Swedish band Thundermother and boy can these females rock. Their brand of music is compared to that of AC/DC, Rhino Bucket, and Krukus. The band consists of guitarist Giorgia Carteri, vocalist Clare Cunningham, lead guitarist Filippa Nässil, bassist Linda Ström, and drummer Tilda Stenqvist.

Musically, this is Hard Rock and Blues Rock done with attitude and perfection. This is a blast from the past upon hearing their style of late 1970’s Hard Rock and early 1980’s Heavy Metal. Their sound is crisp and very clean. Lot’s of vocals and great chorus lines. There’s plenty of melody. These females rockers also have a great harmony with the music and vocals.

Thundermother billard.jpgThe musicianship is great. Let’s start with the raspy, whiskey drenched style vocals of Clare Cunningham. Her vocal style is very unique in this day in age. She has a good voice and a wide range. Then you have guitarist Giorgia Carteri who just throws riff after riff. Her style of beefy chords screams AC/DC.  It’s Hard Rock and Blues Rock at it’s best. Throwing out the leads and solos is Filippa Nässil. This female lead guitarist can play, shred and bend those strings. She’s a damn good lead guitarist. Bassist Linda Ström for the most part is very good, she’s almost like Cliff Williams of AC/DC with her style of playing more in tune with the guitars than setting time with the drums. Tilda Stenqvist pounds those skins. She’s got good beats that are consistent. Nothing funky and nothing off the wall and weird. She just plays the drums.

Track listing:

A1 It’s Just A Tease
A2 FFWF
A3 Alright Alright
A4 Deal With The Devil
A5 Give Me Some Lights
B1 Roadkill
B2 Enemy
B3 Vagabond
B4 Thunder Machine
B5 Rock ‘n’ Roll Sisterhood