Mastodon? Who are they? A hot loud rock band currently trending now!!


Mastodon just so happens to be one of the hottest rock bands right now! They are an American band that has been around since 1999. Mastodon is a quartet composed of four members: Brent Hinds, Brann Dailor, Bill Kelliher, and Troy Sanders. This band is from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been around since then, and continues to release new music. If I were to classify the genre of music that the band plays, I would say they are an Alternative Metal, Alternative/Indie Rock, and Heavy Metal. Many of you who have been listening to my show know that when I played Mastodon, I actually liked their music. One of the hottest albums that is out right now by Mastodon is Emperor of Sand which was released earlier this year. This album is by far one of the best albums that I have listened to, and have played since I became a fan of them. So, with that, I have really enjoyed listening to Mastodon. When I have listened to Mastodon, their music made me feel like that I wanted to listen to it more.

Okay, so what else is new with Mastodon? Not only do they have a new album out that was released this year, they also have been on tour doing concerts to their fans and those who have been listening to their songs. They happen to have a concert scheduled for May 2, 2017, in Silver Spring, MD.

My favorite song by Mastodon that I have played is “Show Yourself”. I like that song because of the excellent way they play the drums because it is easily noticeable that they play the drums in a way that people can hear them. It has an excellent guitar that I can also hear when I hear the drums.

I am surprised that Mastodon isn’t as loud as Slipknot. When I first heard of Mastodon, I did not know who they were until I started playing their music and researching about what band they are.

So, now do you have any questions about Mastodon? I think that may be enough since I have said some things about them earlier. I hope everyone has had a wonderful time reading and learning about Mastodon!

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Demon Hunter “Outlive”


“Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.” – Dalai Lama XIV

For the band Demon Hunter, the above-mentioned quote defines the message behind their eighth studio album, “Outlive”.

In the three years between their last album, “Extremist”, and this release, the band has gone through their own set of trials and tribulations, yet through all that, the veteran Christian metal act came out of those tragedies an even stronger, tightly threaded unit. Nowhere does it show more than in the songwriting in the album.

Ryan Clark, the vocalist and founder of Demon Hunter, pours out his soul in the opening song, “Trying Times”, a song written about taking a stand and uncovering the truth behind our existence. The opening, which serves as a connecting gateway to “Jesus Wept”, shows the maturity the band has made with each passing album since their self-titled album in 2002.

Patrick Judge, who joined Demon Hunter as the lead guitarist back in 2008, was finally given a chance to contribute as a primary songwriter, and he made the best of it, contributing five songs to the record. If you’re a longtime fan of the band, you can tell the difference in songs like “Cold Blood”, “Cold Winter Sun”, and the single “Died In My Sleep”, where the guitar is among the most technical work in their entire catalog.

The songwriting has also taken a more personal approach for the band, as well. While Demon Hunter has always been known for their uncompromising Christian faith, the band has also grown, welcoming five children into the fold between “Extremist” and this album. The songs “One Step Behind” and “The End” are examples of how parenthood has made an impact on the band and their families. Whereas the former was written as a message from a father to his daughter (Ryan’s daughter, Ryan), the latter speaks of the struggle of being a first-time parent and always being concerned over the smallest thing.

The band also recorded their longest song to date, “Slight the Odds,” which, according to Ryan, they didn’t know whether it would be the closing track on the album until the end. The song, which talks about how the odds are stacked against those who manage to keep their faith strong, is a perfect ending to what is otherwise a cathartic release.

Overall, “Outlive” is Demon Hunter’s most personal and strongest album to date. With no shortage of inspiration for the album, the band stuck true to their roots while enhancing their message of hope and faith. If you are a new listener to Demon Hunter and this is the first album you have heard, then welcome. If you’re a longtime follower, then you will be pleased with the growth that this record shows.

Tracks to listen to: Cold Winter Sun, Died In My Sleep, One Step Behind, Slight the Odds

Allegaeon – “Proponent for Sentience” CD Review


a1216811115_10To all the geeks and science fanatics: your new favorite band is here.

With Allegaeon’s new album, “Proponent for Sentience”, the five-piece brings forth an aural assault of seven/eight-string guitar mastery, six-string bass and drum symmetry that almost resembles a marching band, and vocals that range from the depths of the abyss to the highest gates of heaven.

While always known for their scientific lyrical content, what a lot of non-metalheads do’t know is that the group is also known for their classical guitar work, which is featured prominently on their single from the record, “Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassionata Ex Machinea“, which features exquisite flamenco guitar playing from guitarist Greg Burgess (for the exclusive flamenco-only performance, click here).

The band confirmed in interview that a lot of the lyrical content on this album comes from the idea that robotics are not just a novel idea, but an eventual future that may be too much to contain. In a press release from the band’s label, Metal Blade, vocalist Riley McShane gave a bit of insight as to what the album is about.

“With this record we’re bringing ideas to the table that corroborate the fact that at this juncture, robotics as a field is moving forward at an alarming rate,” explains McShane. “This story is dotted with examples of real-life scientific advancements, and it is also perforated with details of humanity’s flaws. Overall, the record tells a story that is still a bit too far fetched to be based in reality, but isn’t too far beyond the scope of imagination to see occurring within the not-so-distant future.”

That concept is explained in great detail in the three-part trilogy sprinkled in different parts of the album, with the magnum opus of the album being the end of the trilogy, “Proponent for Sentience III – The Extermination“, which features guest spots from Bjorn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork and Benjamin Ellis of Scar Symmetry.

The instrumental work speaks for itself on the record, but one of the main highlights actually comes from the vocal work of Riley McShane, the ‘new’ vocalist. Although he has been touring with the band since 2015, the new record is his first with the band. While longtime fans of Allegaeon are used to the low, guttural vocals of former vocalist Ezra Haynes, they need not worry: McShane has that covered. For fans of higher-pitched screams, I recommend you listen to “Of Mind and Matrix”. And, if you’re one of those “I can’t get into metal because it’s too rah-rah and not enough clean vocals”, the band has you covered.

For the first time n the band’s history, they incorporated clean vocals into their material, which is a positive considering McShane’s expansive vocal range. The cleans on “Cognitive Computations” will give you goosebumps. And if you’re looking for a song with nothing but cleans, their cover of “Subdivisions” by the legendary prog-rock band Rush will more than satisfy your hunger.

Overall, I recommend this album if you’re a fan of movies like “The Terminator” or “The Matrix”. And while this record has its chock of singles, it will make more sense if you listen to it from front to back. Prepare to put at least an hour and a half of your day aside; this record is going to put your mind to work.

ALL HAIL SCIENCE!

 

Album Review: Anvil – Anvil is Anvil


AnvilAnvil is Anvil is the final ballad from a sinking ship we call Earth and if we don’t change our tune it will mean our imminent doom.

If you needed a soundtrack to a tough-guy pirate cartoon in the same vein as Disney Channel’s Dave the Barbarian, Anvil’s sixteenth studio album, Anvil is Anvil, may very well be the best fit imaginable. Not being too big of a metal fan I thought this album would be completely unbearable but the catchy choruses and powerful themes of this album make it a worthwhile listen.

The song order really helps to deliver Anvil’s overall message, albeit cliché, invoking a disruption to societal order is a worthwhile cause, a cause that has long been on the forefront of Anvil’s agenda and breathes through their entire catalog. The intro track, “Daggers and Rum,” works just like a theme song for a barbaric pirate ship that is steadfastly sinking. It is a fun and catchy tune that delivers imagery of bearded men scaling ropes and sloshing pints of foaming drinks on a teetering ship. The song is definitely the album’s most original and memorable tune. The middle of the album brings criticism to society in attempt to show that the world is deservedly sinking. The band calls many of American society’s current hot button issues to the forefront of our attention. Not leaving us with metaphors to decipher, their songs “Gun Control” and “Die for a Lie” directly criticize gun violence and self-sacrifice in the name of religion, respectively.

However, Anvil does not leave us without hope or direction. In the second to last track, “Run Like Hell,” Anvil suggests getting out of the rat race by running out of it. Sometimes the best way to win a game is not to play at all, and it is clear that Anvil does not live by the rules passed down by society. The final track, “Forgive Don’t Forget,” offers insight on how to overcome the hate that has perpetuated itself in society today. In the final song Steve “Lips” Kudlow sings, “Not to have died in vain / It can never happen again / With love we should embrace / To save the human race.” Hopefully their final message is enough to change the tide.

Anthony Parenzin is a dj with KSSU

Shining, International Blackjazz society


blackjazzsociety

I am not the best person to talk to when it comes to music. That may be an odd thing to say for someone who volunteers at a radio station, but I do a talk show so I do not have to know much. Sitting in the lobby of KSSU I hear numerous conversations about current music and I have no idea about what anyone is talking about. But the radio station does provide me an excellent opportunity to listen to all different types of music and the chance for me to give everyone my impressions and opinion.

Shining’s newest album International Blackjazz Society promised a unique blend of rock and jazz with the inclusion of a saxophone. I was hesitant at first but decided to give the album a listen. The first song “Admittance” shocked me. The song starts with the saxophone screaming out in plea known to all woodwind playing elementary school band members. But the song soon shifts into a familiar sound that I have heard from other jazz songs, except for the mixed in rock guitar and drums. I was relieved by the familiarity and was intrigued by this new mix that demonstrated the potential for the potent mix of saxophone with rock music. But the music quickly returns to the ear piercing moments of the start. I am sure that this is what Shining intends, but to go from coherent to incoherent and back again is not my type of music. The music gets less crazy with “The Last Stand”. Absent in the beginning, the sax makes itself known in the middle of the song, changing the tone of the song into an ominous warning that adds a fantastic and interesting mix to the music. Unfortunately, this song too devolves into prepubescent screaming. On a positive note Shining has done an excellent job of transitioning one song to another making International Blackjazz Society feel like one long, diverse song. The transitions highlight the fantastic variety of the album, something many other artists fail to provide in their music.

Shining provides a purely instrumental song in this album, “House of Warship”. The music starts out nice enough and serves as a brilliant example of how a well-integrated saxophone can not only alter the music, but take charge of an entire song and lead the rest of the instruments. Unfortunately, the second half of the song devolves into a mish-mash with no apparent direction. I can hear the silence of an imaginary crowd, dumbfounded at the wild flailing of fingers on the sax and incoherent banging on the drums with each of the performers eyes shut tighter than a clam shell. Remember the scene from Back to the Future where Marty McFly performs at his parents dance and breaks out some rock ’n roll on stage? Everyone stares at him, unsure of what is going on. That is what I imagine

As odd as it may sound I did not hate this album. The music was interesting and the use of a saxophone in rock music actually worked at parts. I would be interested to hear more of Shining, if they could stop straining the sax. Giving its frequency in the music that it unlikely. What I can do is search out similar music or music that promises like twists. International Blackjazz Society was not my kind of music, but I am happy at the perspective that it gave me and was genuinely surprised by the music

DJ T3X Mex is a dj for kssu

“Matriarch” by Veil of Maya Album Review


 

Veil-of-Maya-Matriarch-artwork-600x600So here I am, chilling in my philosophy class before the professor shows up. I whip out my iPod and check out the channels I am subscribed too. I mostly use YouTube for finding new music and cool skate videos. Browsing through the videos, I noticed that Sumerian Records put out the whole new Veil of Maya album “Matriarch” and I about exploded. I had to sit for an hour and fifteen minutes anticipating the awesomeness of VoM. Luckily, I only stayed in class for about twenty minutes because class today was an optional Final Exam Study session. Who needs to study for finals anyways? I’ll just wait until the day before my finals.

So I had already heard a few songs from the Album and had already been in love. The rest of the album was fantastic as well. I did not even need to listen to the entirety of each song before clicking to the next and welcoming in frission (where you get goosebumps from good music). There was the usual VoM stuff; technical math-core (complicated song structure), drop tuned guitars, and ominous background sound effects. VoM threw in some new stuff such as clean vocals (in comparison to the low gutturals from the “Common Man’s Collapse” Album), guitar melodies in the higher registry, and an overall album theme, hence the name “Matriarch”. Before the album was released, my favorite of the leaked songs was Mikasa, which also had a music video. There was heavy breakdowns, awesome never-before heard clean vocals, and an overall empowering feeling brought forth by the entire band.

Looking at the track listing, each song is named after Matriarchs or powerful women, both fictional and non-fictional. In one of the YouTube comments, someone even mentioned that one of the song names is a very threatening character from an action anime. I took the Youtuber’s word and moved on to the music. I will have to say that my favorite song, other than the leaked ones, would have to be “Daenerys”. I have no idea where the name Daenerys comes from, but it did not spell check me on Microsoft Word, so it is legit. Anyways, the song starts out really light with some nice moving around on the guitar. It then goes into a two-measure guitar solo before the vocalist pops in and the song takes a more serious turn. With some power chords blasting right into a heavy breakdown, Veil of Maya shows off what they are known for. Right after are some clean vocals from their new vocals, which were pretty impressive by the way. The chorus is repeated throughout with some technical instrumentals in the background, before closing the song with a guitar solo build up to more cleans and a mini breakdown. Finally, a guitar playing a riff in the higher register ends out the song.

Most of the time I listen to music on YouTube except for when I really like a whole album, which I purchase to support the band. Veil of Maya, I’m going to support you and buy your new album “Matriarch” when I get home tonight.

Thanks for reading everyone!

I may or may not have a show during finals week due to, well, finals. However, check out www.kssu.com and listen to other DJs do their stuff!

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Dissecting The Plot In You


tpiy

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of “The Plot In You” because one of their new songs popped up in my feed on YouTube, and I opened up my brain to see what I can recall of TPIY. Basically, I liked one of their songs a whole lot, but never took the chance to really check them out. The Plot In You is a four piece metal-core band from Ohio, with One EP and two Albums out. Notorious for their harsh lyrics and calling out particular groups of people while keeping that metal vibe, TPIY quickly gained fame after releasing their debut song Wifebeater from the EP “Wifebeater” (which one could assume was about his father). The Plot In You is signed onto Invogue Records, and will be releasing a new album which currently has an unknown release date.

The song that popped up in my feed was called “Crows”, which is about Landon Tewer’s (the frontman) life and how he has changed, but so has everyone else. The “Crows” symbolizes death and how in the end, everyone faces it. This is emphasized with the line “The crows are waiting on me”. This song was an unreleased track from the b side a 7” they never released. My curiosity took me further, so I played the album stream from “Could You Watch Your Children Burn.” I had already heard tracks from their album “Firstborn” a long time ago, but this album really got to me. Most songs consisted of talking about how people who are hypocrites and live a mundane existence should separate themselves, or simply die, from society. Tewers talks about religious folk, lustful males, rapists, and his own family very unkindly. One of my favorite songs is “Troll” which I also saw live when TPIY was on the “About That Life Tour” with Attila. The song basically empowers the listeners individuality and gives the belief that you are a juggernaut and will not take any flack from anyone. Another song that was a favorite by TPIY on YouTube was the song “Premeditated”. In this song, Tewers talks about his plan to kill a rapist who violated someone very dear to him. With clean vocals, dark breakdowns, and the usual “I will destroy you” moments from TPIY, I could easily see why this was a favorite by fans.
All in all, TPIY is a very angry band. Their song “My Old Ways” that was released in a music video on February 23rd seemed to be quite lighter in comparison to “Troll”. To hear that kind of change and it still be a good song makes me very excited to hear their upcoming album. To make a long explanation short: The Plot In You is a band full of angry dudes, relatable stories, great songs, and a uniqueness that I have not heard from any other band. They are probably not sane people, but hey, who is really?

Thanks for reading you lovely people! If you want to hear music from The Plot In You and other bands that I just so happen to enjoy, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” on www.kssu.com Tuesday mornings at 8 o’ clock!

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

Album Review: “The Mindsweep” (Enter Shikari)


enter-shikari-the-mindsweep

Enter Shikari is a four man band from England with music that dabbles in multiple genres including, hardcore, alternative rock, and even electronica. Known mostly for songs such as “Arguing With Thermometers” and “Sssnakepit”, Enter Shikari focuses their music on problems within the environment, the government, and social norms that should be exposed as evils to the planet and even humanity. With three albums and four EP’s, Enter Shikari has got quite a lot of experience in what they do. Signed on with Hopeless Records and winners of several awards including “Best Band in the U.K.” and “Best Album”, Enter Shikari did not hold back at all when writing their newest album, “The Mindsweep”.

Enter Shikari really experimented around with this album. One song sounds really fast and punk-ish, while another is slowed down and sounds like a theatre musical accompanied by electric guitars. Regardless on how far left or right they go with their music, it stays consistently good; not just in a technical sense, but also an emotional and philosophical way. My two favorites off this album would have to be “The Appeal & The Mindsweep I” and “The Aenesthatist”which are two of the first three songs on the album, but are the best in my opinion.

“The Appeal & The Mindsweep” kicks off the album just right. It talks about treating humans as humans, not a means to an end such as pleasure and profit. It calls to the listener to rise up above everyday occurrences, to get rid of hate, and to figuratively re-wire your mind hence the line repeated in the song”I am a Mindsweeper. Focus on me.” With a slow beginning of some electro and a spoken word dialogue that gets people’s’ minds thinking that then escalates into a faster beat with faster techno, this song is perfect to start the album with. It later goes into some hardcore beats with harmonized vocals that everyone can sing too. One thing that went right through my head when listening to this song was, “I have to see them play this live before I die.”

“The Anaesthetist” is the first music video from the album. In the video, it shows a man who is ill and coughing up blood, presumably walking to a hospital. At the hospital, there is a waiting room full of sick and angry people. I am kind of biased, because  il ike heavier music. This song includes along of hardcore beats, yelling, but also some rap-rock parts that emphasize the meaning behind the song. “The Anaesthetist” talks about how people in England are denied healthcare due to lack of means or those who do have money are just used for profit and are prescribed medications without an actual doctors treatment lest that doctor be the Anaesthetist to put you to rest. With powerful instrumentals and a powerful message, this song is, well, powerful.

The rest of the album is great as well, but for Americans, Enter Shikari may be an acquired taste. Enter Shikari is one fo the biggest bands in the U.K., but are not quite popular in the United States. However, that all may change with this new album.

Thanks for reading! To hear music like Enter Shikari and listen to more of my rambling, listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesdays at 8am on http://www.kssu.com

Much love, DJGingerbeard

The Zombie 5 Tour Review


ace

Last Sunday, I went and saw (in order) Secrets, Born of Osiris, Word Alive, and the Devil Wears Prada at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento. The name of the tour was the “Zombie Five Tour” because it has been five years since the Devil Wears Prada released their “Zombie Ep”- one of their greatest achievements. There was laughing, crying tears of joy, and a lot of sweat in a human sardine can. Here’s how my night went.

Started off with the usual tradition- Dutch Bros. drive thru coffee in Davis. Got myself a strawberry and lime iced Rebel, which is their trademark energy drink, so I was ready for the long night ahead. Accompanying me was my girlfriend while the rest of my crew was saving us a spot at the front of the line. Walking to our spot in line, I could feel the teenage angst staring me down while everyone is decked out in gear ranging from Goth streetwear to gym clothes with band logos. I myself went in some nice khakis and a windbreaker. After hanging out in line and farting on some teens behind me, we quickly hurried inside the venue when the doors opened.

Usually, Ace of Spades has a band open up for the other bands, but Secrets was the first band to go on. The last time I saw Secrets was also at the Ace of Spades, but when they had their old vocalist. For being the first band, Secrets did great. They played some classics, some new stuff, and even a song that has yet to be released. Aside from some ear-piercing highs from the singing, they did a good job.

Born of Osiris

Born of Osiris came next and they straight up murdered the stage. Stage presence out the ying-yang, sound effects on point, and the heavy/technical guitar skills from Lee McKinney reminded me why Born of Osiris is one of my favorite bands. Born of Osiris was like a shot of espresso after the creamer, started off sweet and escalated to a level of strength that even Goku would be impressed by. Well done BOO, well done once again.

The last time I saw The Word Alive was at Warped Tour, and they were all hyped about their newest release, the “Real.” Album. Some of those songs are pretty light, so I thought, “Aw man, I’m gonna see the same performance twice.” I was proven wrong. The Word Alive played a lot of heavy songs, including oldies like “2012” and “House of Anubis”. Before the breakdown to 2012, Telle Smith (the frontman) split the whole entire front half of the crowd like the Red Sea and told them that when he counts the breakdown in, that everyone run at each other as fast as possible. This is what we call a “Wall of Death” and the last Wall I partook in ended up with my shirt getting ripped in half, fighting some fat guys, and almost passing out in the crowd. Fun fact: that was also during a Word Alive set in that very same venue.devil wears prada

Last but certainly not least, the men of the hour, The Devil Wears Prada. I thought that TDWP would only play their EP and a couple more songs. Then I found out from an outside source that their set list was 16 songs. 16 SONGS. The first five were some classics, then the next five were the Zombie EP all in order, all with the sound effects in between the songs as well. After the EP, I did not stay for the whole set list, but I was okay with that. Also, the stage had crazy light displays, including a giant symbol from their album 8:18. The Devil Wears Prada was the very first band that got me into Metal, and to see them live almost eight years after I heard their first album made the night all worth it. They were the best band up on that stage, and I cannot wait to hear what they have next.

Speaking of that, I heard a rumor (which has yet to be confirmed) that The Devil Wears Prada is back on Rise Records and is going to release a Space Ep.

We will just have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading my lengthy memory written onto this blog! If you want to hear more music from these bands and bands alike, or if you know of a band you want on my show, listen in on Tuesday mornings at 8 o’clock on www.kssu.com or contact me via Instagram @gingerbeardthefoot

Much love,

DJGingerbeard

Hands Down for Impending Doom


th

Hands down, my favorite band of all time is Impending Doom. Not only have they been around for a while, they were one of the first bands that got me into metal. Their first album “Nailed. Dead. Risen.” is a classic Deathcore album with a little twist, they are Christian. The took something evil and made it into something good, and it does not sound terrible! The song though that started it out for me was “My Nemesis” which basically describes destroying evil in the world and stomping on Satan. It sounds cheesy that way, but trust me, it is brutal. Impending Doom has gotten progressively lighter over the years. They went from grindcore/death metal to beat down/metal core music today. Less blast beats, more structure, more discernible lyrics, but still bringing the heavy. Impending Doom has stayed fantastic throughout the years and I cannot wait to hear more from them. With Five full length albums out, the latest being “Death Will Reign”, I do not see impending Doom breaking up anytime soon. In fact, they are writing new material as I sit here typing, and that makes me sweat… sweat for joy. I thought about writing lengthy paragraphs on why I love this band, but i felt numerical points would be sufficient.

  1. They call themselves “Gorship” which is a mixture between Gore Music (Guttural screams, blast beats, super drop tuned guitars, fast tempo, etc.) and worship, which is pretty dang tight.
  2. They are amazing live. The first time I saw them live was in Walnut Creek in a small venue called “The Red House”. It was pretty cramped, but it did not matter because my feelings of discord were replaced by feelings of euphoria filled my heart and frission overtook my body. Then on the very last breakdown of the very last song “There Will Be Conquerors” I got sucker punched by a drunk man in the back of my head. Even that punch could not keep me from being in the front of the crowd and devastating the floor with stomps as Impending Doom broke down the stage.
  3. They are very friendly and very humble. Meeting them afterwards was like talking to a close friend. Not only that, they knew some of the guys I used to jam with and gave me free clothes!
  4. They invented the “Repentagram”, a symbol of Repentance and casts out evil. The Repentagram is a 9 pointed star which forms an “X” over a pentagram. I have a giant one on the back of my windbreaker.
  5. Last but not least, they are consistent with their music and beliefs. All their newer songs are carefully and beautifully written and they can actually back up their lyrics. Some metal music talks about killing and death and revenge on ex girlfriends, but none of them even seem capable of such. Brooke Reeves, front-man of Impending Doom, is also a preacher along with the other members of the band. These guys have credibility.

If you guys want to hear some more music like Impending Doom, check out my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesday mornings at 8 o’clock on http://www.kssu.com! Thanks for reading!

DJGingerbeard