Here are some of the albums that drop today, including a bunch of reissues
In This Moment – Mother
I’ve been a fan of this band since the beginning. Mother is their seventh album, and it follows the blueprint that they established with Blood, and continued on Black Widow, and Ritual. The band definitely found their niche, and built on it. Thanks to Kevin Churko’s style production they have definitely honed in a specific sound and kept to it. As much as die-hards will love this album, and I do enjoy aspects of it, this is the first time that I wished they’d experiment more. I love a lot of what they’ve done over years, but this album is the first one that feels kind of like been there, done that. And I’m not one of those that feels, “they need to go back to Beautiful Tragedy“, because they’ve moved on. But, Churko’s production kind of bores me. He’s proven he’s successful, and I get it, a lot of what he’s produced has sold. Consider his work with FFDP, BLS, Ozzy, and the last four In This Moment albums. And you can argue that Mutt Lange had a specific sound, but did he? You look at his Def Leppard albums, and really analyze High N Dry, Pyromania and Hysteria. All three albums sound different from one another. Look at Martin Birch’s work with Iron Maiden, he produced the band for quite some time. But look at what he’s done with the band. If you compare Number Of the Beast to Somewhere In Time they don’t sound the same. What I’m getting at is both producers did a great job applying their techniques to what they had before them. Instead of, here are my preset, and this is the same exact sound I’m applying to every band I work with. Getting back to this album, the video I posted below is for the track “As Above, So Below”. This is by far my favorite track off of the album. A lot of the other tracks are just kind of there. Anyone that has followed my posts here, or my podcasts know that covers of songs that you hear on terrestrial radio a million times a day have never done anything for me. You have to do something really special for me to listen and say “wow, they pulled that off”. Night Demon did the fast version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” a few years back, and I loved it. Kind of a hidden jem, for most, and they made it their own. Mother features a cover of the track with Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, and Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen. My guess is they’re probably touring together, and this will be on the planned highpoints of the show. But man does it fall flat and sound bland. Because at the end of the day did we really need another cover of this song? Will it get played more than once on the radio? They’ve been playing their cover of The Steve Miller Band’s track “Fly Like An Eagle” live for a while now. The original has this mix between 70s synths, and funk, and it’s almost like a musical journey. In This Moment’s rendition is more like a one trick pony, that’s hitched to a post, and is taking you nowhere. It pains me to say all of this because they’ve consistently made my year end lists of favorite albums. Still love them, just not one of my favorite albums by them. Really hope it grows on me.
Pearl Jam – Gigaton
This is the band’s 11th studio album, their first since 2013’s Lightning Bolt. I consider myself a casual fan of the band. I really love Ten, and Vs. and from there have liked bits and pieces of each release. There is no denying that they are one of the most important bands of my lifetime. The overlying themes of the album aren’t anything new for the band. It’s political, it’s angst filled, and talks about the dire state of the world. But for the most part, they’ve done this throughout their three decade career. So it makes you realize, has life ever really been easy or not angst filled? I think I’m in the minority that enjoyed the lead off single “Dance Of The Clairvoyants”. It reminded me of Talking Heads in the way the bass, and drums mix in with Eddie Vedder’s David Byrne like delivery on the track. There are some tracks that remind me of why I’ve struggled to connect with a lot of what’s come out after Vs. I listen to something like “Superblood Wolfmoon” and think we’re the distortion? It’s almost too clean, to polite. They’re trying to sell one thing overtop of something else that kind of doesn’t fit for me. It’s like having Cannibal Corpse type lyrics over top of a 2 Unlimited Song. To me the music doesn’t give me the same sort of disparity as the lyrics do. I’d prefer to turn to Bad Religion to get the same sort of message. You feel the chugging guitars and melodies, and they help push the ideas they’re trying to convey with the lyrics forward. Die-hards will love this album, and it will be a huge seller no doubt.
Me And That Man – New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1
For those that don’t know, this is Nergal from Behemoth’s side piece. Don’t expect any black metal here, sure there are a lot of same overtones in his lyrics, but this has more to do with blues rock, and American folk music. The album is full of special guests, everything from current to former members of bands like Slipknot, Emperor, Trivium, Entombed and Shining. What makes the album cool is that it takes all of guests that appear out of their element, but at the same time makes you think damn, this just works. Nergal has also decided to put out a bunch of video for the album, that take you on a visual journey. The entire concept, and combination of the music and videos is great. It may weird some people out, it may not connect with all, it might not be what people want from Nergal, but I appreciate it, and enjoy it more than I expected.
The Birthday Massacre – Diamonds
This Canadian band has always mixed 80s synths, before Stranger Things made them popular again, heavy guitars, and incredible vocal melodies courtesy of their lead singer Chibi. Not going to lie to you, they’re one of the reasons I quit crowdfunding years ago. I love what they offer, it ticks off a lot boxes for me. They serve up a lot of things that I love from different aspects of music. I’m excited to see that they’re releasing something new. They’ve always been a band whose song are hit or miss to me. The tracks that I like by them end up becoming played ad nauseum. The others are just kinda there. But when they concoct that perfect storm, they really hook me in. It is a shame because this is a band that should really be a lot more well known than they are. It could be that they mix so many things together that your run of the mill marketer, or station manager avoids them because they don’t know what to do with them. Or are scared to alienate part of their audience. They have a small but hardcore following, and I can bet that most will be playing this album over and over again this weekend.
Irist – Order Of The Mind
In the new to me category is this album by Irist. They sound like a mix a lot of different bands that I enjoy. If you take Refused, Canderia, Gojira and Mastodon, mix them together, you get a lot of what Irist is doing.
Here are some other albums that come out today that may also interest you.
Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts VI: Locusts
Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts V: Together
Igorrr – Spirituality And Distortion
In Extremo – Kompass Zur Sonne
Voodoo Six – Simulation Game
Kill Ritual – The Opaque And The Divine
Aeternam – Al Qassam
Candlemass – The Pendulum EP
Alexisonfire – Season Of The Flood 10″
Rush – Permanent Waves 40th Anniversary Reissue
Jimi Hendrix – Band of Gypsys 50th Anniversary Reissue
Rammstein – Live Aus Berlin DVD Reissue
Bloodhound Gang – Hooray For Boobies Expanded Vinyl Reissue
Redd Kross – Phaseshifter Vinyl Reissue
Redd Kross – Show World Vinyl Reissue
Witchery – Dead, Hot And Ready Reissue
Witchery – Restless & Dead Reissue
Witchery – Symphony For The Devil Reissue
Witchery – Witchburner Reissue
Unleashed – Shadows Of The Deep Reissue
Unleashed – Victory Reissue
Spirit Adrift – Chained To Oblivion Reissue
Live Albums And Compilations
Tesla – Five Man London Jam
Parkway Drive – Viva The Underdogs
Ayreon – Electric Castle Live And Other Tales
Ratt – Atlantic Years 1984 – 1990
Riot – Rock World (Rare & Unreleased 87 – 95)