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Monday, 30 April 2018

Reviews: A Perfect Circle, James Christian, Rotten Sound Frantic Amber (Reviews By Rich & Stief)

A Perfect Circle: Eat The Elephant (BMG)

It's been a long time since the last release by A Perfect Circle which was the covers album eMOTIVe back in 2004 so it's safe to say that Eat The Elephant is definitely one of the most anticipated albums of the year by rock and metal fans.

Thankfully the wait has been very much worth it as Eat The Elephant is a stunning album. It's a very different sounding album compared to previous works but it definitely still has the feel of A Perfect Circle album. The hard rock elements have been stripped right back to make way for a minimalist sound which is full of atmosphere with the album very much having an art rock feel to it. This is a very emotionally driven album with songs such as the title track, Disillusioned, And Down By The River and Feathers being flooded in sadness and melancholy. There are a few experimental songs as well such as the electronically driven Get The Lead Out and the overly positive tones of So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish as well as one or two more traditional sounding A Perfect Circle songs such as The Doomed and TalkTalk.

A Perfect Circle have taken a chance with this album by departing from their recognised sound and after such a wait for this album time will tell whether it will sit well with their fans but personally I think this is a fantastic album which will definitely be getting more plays from me. 8/10

James Christian: Craving (Frontiers)

Craving is the new solo album from the frontman of US melodic rockers House Of Lords frontman James Christian. This is his fourth solo album and the first material I have heard by him.

The material on Craving is about 50% hard rocking tunes and 50% softer more ballad-like tracks which is what is the downfall of this album. Way too many ballads which basically suck the life out of the album. When the album is more rocking and upbeat it is very good indeed with some killer tracks such as Wild Boys, Sidewinder and Black Wasn't Black but as these songs are surrounded by ballads the wind is very much taken out of the sails of the album.

Craving has its moments but overall this is a very underwhelming melodic hard rock album which would have benefited from a lot more hard rocking upbeat songs. 6/10

Rotten Sound: Suffer To Abuse (Season Of Mist)

Rotten Sound to me are one of the finest bands in the grindcore genre. They have a total of seven albums under their belts as well as a ridiculous number of EP's with Suffer To Abuse being the latest of these EP's.

Rotten Sound have always had a knack of writing grindcore that is equally nasty and catchy with solidly headbangable riffs. The songs on Suffer To Abuse are no exception being a super high dose of uncontrollably violent grindcore with examples being Privileged and Harvester Of Boredom.

With only seven songs and a running time of just under 12 minutes this EP is over before you know it and is really a release for the hardcore fan only. If you are a grindcore fan and have somehow managed to avoid Rotten Sound then seriously get listening to their albums. 7/10

Frantic Amber: Burning Insight 2017 Reissue (Self Released) [Review By Stief]

Some excellent melodic death metal from Sweden here. A brief dramatic musical intro leads into the blistering Burning Insight, the tight guitarwork never letting down throughout the entire album. The reissue brings in slightly tweak production, and the addition of the blistering Grainne Mhaol.

There are definite parallels with other female-fronted melodic death metal acts, with Arch Enemy and The Agonist immediately coming to mind, but that's not to say Elizabeth Andrews et al can't hold her own. Every track is solidly mixed, with none of the instruments or vocals ever taking precedence over the others, Madeleine G. Husberg's bass lines give each song that perfect amount of rhythm along with Mac Dalmanner's drumming, great melodies and harmonies being provided by Mio Jäger and Mary Säfstrand.

If you didn't manage to catch this album back in 2015 and you're looking for some good melodic death to listen to, then pick it up! 9/10

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