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Monday, 18 June 2012

Reviews: Rush, Gojira, Architects

Rush: Clockwork Angels (Roadrunner)

So the Canadian three-piece return with their new (20th) album and it's something of a corker as it has all the right elements of classic Rush downplaying the acoustic even folky passages from previous release Snakes And Arrows. The album kicks off with the busy Caravan which has a classic Alex Lifeson riff backed by Neil Peart phenomenal drumming and a funky bass lick from Geddy Lee. This segues into the oriental Bu2b which has Kashmir feel to it. As the musicianship is almost not worth commenting on as this is Rush, but they even seem to outdo themselves on this release the title track and following track The Anarchist have all the hallmarks of classic Rush with shifting time signatures and rocking playing, the latter is also a soaring epic with some great orchestration. The first single Headlong Flight is a propulsive rocker that clocks in at over 7 minutes and Halo Effect is a majestic, acoustic ballad that has some striking heartfelt playing. The Garden ends the album in grandiose fashion. This possibly one of the best albums Rush has released to date and it will re-affirm them as the founders of prog-rock. This is another excellent album from Canada's best band. 9/10

Gojira: L’Enfant Sauvage (Roadrunner)

The Duplantier brothers return for another slice of progressive metal and they haven't missed a beat. Kicking things off with the bone crushingly heavy Explosiva which immediately hits you with a slow and steady sledgehammer riffage. On this album (which translates to The Wild Child) the band seems almost inhuman with layered vocals, electronic backing and impossibly tight playing. Liquid Fire and its instrumental follow up The Wild Healer are examples of the former with Planned Obsolescence an off-time example of the latter. There are elements of modern progressive death metal like Cynic but also there is a Strapping Young Lad sound to the album, probably due to Joe's vocals and also the soundscapes present on many of the songs. From a technical perspective this album is flawless the riffage are razor sharp and the drumming of Mario Duplantier is superb especially on The Gift Of Guilt this album is Gojira in full flight with all the songs having focussing on responsibility (or so Joe Duplantier says) and the band deliver them in the technical style we have come accustomed to. A cracking album for those who like their metal to be intelligent and heavy as hell! 9/10 

Architects: Daybreaker (Century media)

The future of British metal is secure as Architects return with their new album. Daybreaker shares many similarities with its predecessor The Here And Now. There are clean euphoric choruses, technical playing and great vocals/screaming from Sam Carter whose vocals are still one of the main selling points of the band. What is also still (thankfully) present is the sonic experimentation with some electronic elements in the intro track The Bitter End and on Behind The Throne and progressive elements with InMe being a particular inspiration on Truth Be Told which features some intense guitar harmonies. This album is however much heavier than its predecessor with tracks like Even If You Win, You're Still A Rat (featuring Bring Me The Horizon's Olli Sykes), These Colours Don't Run and first single Devil's Island. This is a great album that melds heavyweight playing with great melodies. 8/10

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