Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: Currents – The Way It Ends (2020)

This is Currents’ fifth release and second studio album, and all I can say is WOW! What a record! This style of metalcore has always been my favorite. This album has a great combination of growls and screams along with clean vocals. There are some songs on this album (A Flag to Wave and Poverty of Self) that are extremely heavy. The riffs in these songs are awesome. You also have songs like “Better Days” that has both screams and cleans in them. This song balances out both vocal techniques beautifully and the harmonies along with the music creates a beautiful song.

This album has more boasting lyrical content along with some beefy riffs. Currents style somewhat reminds me of Architects with their transitions. They have a very electric sound that they combined with technical progressive elements. The into track, “It Was Never There” builds incredible suspense. This was a great first taste of what the album has to offer. They then pick up the pace with “A Flag to Wave” and “Poverty of Self.” The choruses in their songs are really catchy and easily get you to bang your head. Tracks like “Monster” bring that crunchy heavy sound with bellowing vocals and screeching riffs. “Kill the Ache” is the poster child song for metalcore. It is a feel-good track that takes you on a journey. “Let Me Leave” is a more soft and melodic song that highlights Wile’s clean vocals. I love bands who have both a great growl and cleans.  

You can easily see that Currents was having fun with this record and you can also tell that they put a lot of thought in their songs and how they would make the listener feel. I love albums like this because you can easily tell that the band has put in a lot of time, effort, and dedication for this record. Everything is 100% authentic and it helped create an amazing record.

Favorite songs:

The Way It Ends

Poverty of Self

A Flag to Wave

Rating:

8/10

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album of the Week: Deathless (2015) – Miss May I

Ahhh yes, one of my all-time favorite records by Miss May I. This band is the band that got me into heavier music when I first started listening to metal. My brothers and cousin used to play Miss May I all the time, and I thought that this band would be the perfect opening to get into heavier music, and I was right.

I remember when this album was released. I was leaving the beach with my dad and on our way back home, we played this album over and over again. To this day, I still go back and listen to this album. In my opinion, it is one of Miss May I’s most dynamic records. It is very technical in its overall sound. While listening to each song on this album, you can hear the different riffs being layered onto one another along with the drums. Deathless showcases that Miss May I is a force in the metal world to be reckoned with.

With this record, Miss May I went back to their traditional, old school sound that’s reminiscent of their 2010 single, “Relentless Chaos.” It appeared that on this album, the band returned to the roots and evolved their songwriting skills. Deathless is the most dynamic record the band has ever released, and the title track reflects the nature of the complexity put into the album. From thrash riffs to symptomatic “woahs,” Levi Benton (vocalist) and Ryan Neff (bassist and clean vocalist) play off one another to bring the best of both worlds.

There is no argument that Miss May I are talented musicians, however, the musicianship displayed on Deathless breaks new ground for Miss May I’s skill set. I would argue that Deathless is the best record Miss May I has released to date and will reach listeners far beyond the metalcore genre.

Favorite Songs:

Deathless

I.H.E.

Bastards Left Behind

Turn Back The Time

The Artificial

What is your favorite Miss May I record? What is your favorite song off of Deathless?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Concert Review

Show Review: Converge

What better way to end a brutal 18 credit semester than to blow off some steam at a Converge show, Dec. 13 at Motorco in Durham?

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I have now seen Converge in three different decades and they only get better. Staying power like that is rare in hardcore but these guys keep bringing it year after year, album after album. How Jacob Bannon’s voice has survived is beyond me. Converge is touring to promote their new album “The Dusk in Us.” The new album follows their career arc of metal influenced hardcore music. When the band started out no one had defined the word “metalcore” yet, but bands like Converge, Integrity and Hatebreed invented the genre. All three of those bands are still active so there must have been something special going around in the 90’s hardcore scene.

Converge played a set heavy with new material but still pulled from most of the back catalog. I was amazed at how heavy Converge can be with only one guitarist. At some points, the bassist would strap on a guitar and make it even heavier. The songs “The Dusk in Us” and “Worms will Feed/Rats will Feast” show that Converge can slow down, get sludgy and explode with heaviness. Then the band would flip a switch to rip off bangers like “A Single Tear” and “The Broken Vow” and chaos would ensue. 

The crowd was pretty active for this show. Stage dives, mic grabs and sing-a-longs happened throughout the night. At one point toward the end of the show, the band asked a guy in the crowd to go to the bathroom and stop the bleeding from his head. Then they proceeded to joke about pathogens and the old hardcore band Bloodlet. Bannon even handed off the mic to various crowd members a few times who did a pretty good job covering his vocal duties. One person was so spot on that Bannon even called them out for being the best thing that had happened that night.  

In other words, the show was a blast. There were fewer kids taking selfies and no sea of screens filming for YouTube fame. There were more people having a great time being involved with the music, the band, and the process. It really did feel like old times.

– Chris Eaves