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

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“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


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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

Hands Down for Impending Doom


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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

Album Review: “Lost Isles” by Oceans Ate Alaska


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is a metal-core band the United Kingdom with a unique taste. Some flavors of Djent, Thrash, Death, Pop Punk, and even Electronica float around in this UK Combo. When I first listened to Oceans Ate Alaska, they were a scene/emo kid band performing the class “screamo” music with open note breakdowns. This album “Lost Isles” has been a metamorphosis for Oceans. They started out as puny, long-haired caterpillars and evolved into fire-breathing dragons. Here’s my take on “Lost Isles”.

The intro, “Four Thirty Two” is an instrumental with some radio and television broadcasts on natural disasters playing in the background. Great work done in this song, piece and also in the instrumental interlude. The pure talent and raw sound during these pieces show how the band has progressed in accordance to music theory. Tempo changes, experimental tuning, drum variety, all sorts of vocals (both clean and screamed), and of course some master guitar shredding amplify this bands talent ten-fold. You can tell how much work they put into this album just by these pieces alone.

But wait! It gets even better. Oceans Ate Alaska released three tracks before the actually full length release date, which was February 24th. These songs are “Blood Brothers” (Lyric video), “Floorboards” (Lyric Video), and “Vultures And Sharks” (Music Video). One thing you will notice is how thick the accent is coming out of the front-man. It works really well because with the knowledge of where these guys came from, you can match up the style with the accent. With technical drops, crazy good melodies, and use of techno in the background (but not overdone) made me so excited for the release of the full length. Maybe a little too excited because I listened to “Blood Brothers” about five times a day for a week.

Other songs worth mentioning are “High Horse”,”Linger”, “Entity”, and the debut hit “Lost Isles”. “High Horse” is heavy as frick and is similar to Attila’s lyric style. Basically, we are better than you and will hurt you if you try to take us down. With a little bit of Djent influences, this song made me sweaty and flexed out while just sitting in class, which probably made it uncomfortable for the shy girl next to me. “Linger” and “Entity” cannot be fully appreciated without deciphering the lyrics. I will not ruin the surprise, but your mind will be blown. Also, “Linger” as both clean and distorted guitar throughout, which is strange for metal, but it worked out fantastic! Last but certainly not least is “Lost Isles” which is pretty much everything I have just written, but precisely placed together in one masterpiece. I feel like this should have been on the last song on the album just to give listeners those last tears of joy and bliss before popping the album out their car radio.

To hear some new stuff from Oceans Ate Alaska and a variety of other bands, go listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” on http://www.kssu.com Tuesdays at 8 o’clock!

Thanks for reading, DJGingerbeard out.

Album Review: “The Night God Slept” by Silent Planet


SP.CoverThe very first song I heard from Silent Planet was “Tiny Hands (Au Revoir) off their EP titled “Lastsleep (1944-1946)” was love at first listen. I thought, “Gee, these guys already sound experienced and professional.” Turns out, they have only released a demo CD and one self-recorded EP. The album that just came out titled “The Night God Slept” is their first album- ever. Silent Planet is a Christian Metalcore band from Los Angeles. Although they are christian, they do not like to have labels on them and during an interview, their guitar player claimed that they do not want to play in churches, “but we want to play for the broken.” The link to the interview is at the bottom. With this new album, Silent Planet has been signed to Solid State Records and already have some recognition. Bands like For Today and August Burns Red are backing up the release of this new album and on eight of the eleven tracks there are featured christian artists. Silent Planet is coming into 2015 hot with no signs of braking.

Let’s break this album down real quick. First off, the lyrics are amazing. All the lyrics are direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations by the vocalist of other sources. These sources include philosophical books, historical events, the Bible, and many more other things. Not only that, but the lyrics all flow together around a central main idea while also remaining connected to all listeners. All instruments at one point do show their max amount of talent, but they remain humble when needed. The instruments are not focused on being the heaviest or most technical, but they are very talented and get crazy at times. The keep the song entertaining while also complementing the vocalist. Also, one of the guitar players sings to bring in that “clean” aspect to the Metalcore genre. By the way, it is good singing not like a girly man kind of singing either.

My favorite songs (in order of appearance) are XX (City Grave), Native Blood, Tiny Hands (Au Revoir), and Wasteland. “XX (City Grave) talks about the objectification of women as sexual beings instead of equals to men and how that is wrong. The song explains how we should treat all women as sisters and abolish pornography, regardless of profit being lost or desires that men have. “Native Blood” is about how Native Americans were kicked out their land by people who claimed to be Servants of God. Silent Planet retaliated against the idea of the settlers being servants by explaining what it really is to be a Servant. They then compare the idea of False Servant-hood to most preachers today. “Tiny Hands (Au Revoir)” is a Holocaust survival story about a Jewish woman who escaped a Synagogue being burned by Nazis by jumping out a giant window into a garden. There are also topics such as the Garden of Eden and the existence of both forces of Good and Evil. Finally, the song “Wasteland”. This song is about the rise of Joseph Stalin and his attempt to abolish God completely, making himself the new supreme figurehead that everyone are supposed to worship. The song also looks at the lives of the soldiers under Stalin who were dying unnecessary deaths after losing their faith on the battle field, hence the name “Wasteland”.

I can go on and on, but you should go check it out for yourself. I highly recommend that you check out the album playlist on youtube (which I have provided a link) and read the lyrics while the songs are playing. I promise you will not regret it and your mind will be blown.

Thanks for reading! If you want to hear more music like Silent Planet and other great artists, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesdays at 8am on http://www.kssu.com

Much Love, DJGingerbeard

Links:

Playlist= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d9HHQqtguY&list=PLCslpjrb7cYjhht_4wASD6IGoivkLfD-z&index=10

interview= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_VYGnuHl8

“Shred the Gnar” Version 2.0


For those of you who do not know me, my name is DJGingerbeard and I have a metal/random show Tuesday mornings at 8am called “Shred the Gnar” on KSSU. When I started at KSSU, I wanted to play music that people would not typically hear in the mainstream, or music that when it comes up in conversation would make them cringe. Examples are metal, death metal, post-hardcore, Djent, etc. Last semester I found myself sticking to one type of metal and even replaying songs from already popular artists. My original intent on becoming a DJ had vanished. Two events made me realize i must return to my Alpha Form.

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I was checking out some bands on Instagram when I saw a band that I thought was already great and pretty well-known had released a new album. That album is titled “The Night God Slept” by a Southern Californian Metal band called “Silent Planet.” The lyrics are all direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations of the vocalist cited from historical events, intellectual books, and scriptures. I was blown away by the awesome creativity on this album so I looked up an interview with the band. I found out that this album was their first album ever and they just got signed to a record label (which happens to be Solid State Records). That’s when it hit me. One of the things I wished to do as a DJ was to find great bands in the heavy music industry that are not well known and give them exposure.

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The other event that made me realize what I have become was a few days ago in my girlfriend’s car. We were having a nice day going out to eat, when two songs back to back played in her radio from a mix CD. One was from Underoath in their more recent years, so the music was not that heavy. The other was a pop-punk song by a band called “Knuckle Puck”. I loved both songs so i told my girlfriend “I would play this stuff, but it’s too light”. She replied, “You tell your listeners that you play a wide variety of metal and other stuff, but you seem to only stick to a select type of music.” She was right, so now I am changing my ways.

“Shred the Gnar” version 2.0 will not have just metal, but also thrash, djent, hardcore, punk, post-hardcore, electro-metal, pop-punk, and all other sub-genres. Not only that, I will try harder to find not-so-known bands like “Silent Planet” and play them on my show to give them the credit they deserve. I promise you fellow musicians and music lovers alike, Spring Semester for DJGingerbeard will be better than ever.

Listen in for some great stuff at http://www.kssu.com

Tuesday mornings at 8am

Much love, DJGingerbeard

The Ghost Inside/ Attila/ Volumes Album Reviews.


I want to take a moment and talk about some news albums that came out recently, and by recently I mean within the last six months. The Ghost Inside, Attila, and Volumes all dropped some heavy stuff and I checked out all their new albums. Holy snap crackle and pop, they were extravagant. The Ghost Inside with some hardcore melodies, Attila with their IDGAF in-your-face attitude, ad Volumes with a melodic change for the better.

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Once again, the Ghost Inside have proven themselves to be one of the leading bands in the hardcore scene. To all those who say they went “mainstream” and are not underground anymore, I say to you, screw that. If a band can make it big and get paid more so they can actually afford nice things instead of sticking to the underground and getting paid diddly squat for a run down apartment, I say go for it and get big. The first song “Avalanche” straight up pumps up the mood for everybody with a nice build up in the beginning and gang vocals to breakdown as a finisher. The debut song “Dear Youth” covers all aspects of a great song; powerful riffs, relatable lyrics, empowering breakdowns, and a harmony that is off the chain. Well done The Ghost Inside.

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First off, Attila is not a band meant to be taken as “meaningful” or important to your life goals. They are a party hard, DGAF kind of band with a new album called “Guilty Pleasure”. With a mix between brutal exhales and rapping, Fronz (vocalist) has multiple virtuoso moments throughout the song. Some tracks make me shake my head and say “what the heck is this” but tracks like “Guilty Pleasure” and “Horse Pig” get me throwing chairs and flipping tables. Again, they are not very deep and philosophical, but they kill it live. I speak from past experiences when i say they put on a fantastic show with lights, and 8O8 drops. This new album will take their concerts to the next level. I saw an Instagram video of a huge wall of death to one of their new songs and that is enough to convince me that this new album is worth purchasing.

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Last but certainly not least, Volumes. Volumes is a Djent band well-known for their breakdowns, but their album “No Sleep” was not what fans expected this album had a lot of lighter, more melodic tracks on it. Don’t get me wrong, the tracks are amazing and I am happy to hear that Volume’s use of music theory and desire to do less heavy music in their future, but Volumes received a lot of fire. In their song “The Mixture”, the lyrics say “you can have metal back” and in an interview, the vocalists said they are dropping from their label to pursue music on their own path. The album “No Sleep” is the first step in Volumes new style and wave of music, and I love every bit of it.

Thanks for reading, I am DJGingerbeard and to hear music from The Ghost Inside and Volumes (Attila is too vulgar) tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on http://www.kssu.com.

KSSU, Coffee, and Comedians enrich my College Life


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The title pretty much says it all. The antics and freedom at KSSU, the “Eye-Opener” Coffee from “Ecogrounds”, and the Professors that get my tears jerkin’ and knees slappin’ are what make my experience here at Sacramento State enjoyable. Without these, I would be a sad sack questioning my life while drilling my pencil into my paper.

KSSU, Sac State Student Run Radio, is the one organization that I am part of here on campus. It is more than a radio station, it is a way to connect to this commuter school. KSSU has allowed me to express myself in a way that I cannot in class through music and character. Also, I have made numerous connections within KSSU that would otherwise had not been made. Not to mention the Super Smash Brawling, Crude (but acceptable) jokes, and random moments amongst the other DJ’s  add to the overall desire to continue being part of KSSU.

For those who are not CSUS students or have never been to Ecogrounds, there is a drink called the “Eye-Opener” which contains dark roast coffee and two shots of espresso for a cheap price. I guarantee that in my morning classes, this cup of bittersweet heaven helped me pass 50% of my tests. Fun fact: the CEO of Ecogrounds is a Sac State ex-alumni! This is why we have so many Ecogrounds on our campus. Who knew coffee could have such an impact on college students.

One thing I hate more than spiders on this Earth are boring classes. Being a second year student, a majority of my classes fall under my general education requirements. These classes such as Math, Archaeology, and International Affairs put me to sleep not because of the material, but because of the professors. They drone on and on and on! The classes that I pay attention the most in are the classes that have professors who are funny or unique. For example, my Deductive Logic professor has a minor in Marine Biology and wrote his dissertation on the relationship between humans and turtles. He found, statistically, that one in six people  would intentionally hit a turtle with their car if they saw one on the road. So, the Prof. asked everyone to raise their hands if they would hit a turtle. No one raised their hands. He then said, “Come on, i won’t get mad.” Then as soon as one student raised his hand, the prof. slammed his fists on his desk screaming, “YOU’RE A MURDERER!!! A TURTLE MURDERER!!!” Of course he was joking and we all busted up laughing before her proclaimed his love for turtles.

These are the things that make life as a college student here at Sacramento State enjoyable.

Be sure to check out my show “Shred the Gnar” Thursday mornings at 9 o’clock on http://www.kssu.com

Much love,

DJGingerbeard

We Are KSSU


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We are Sacramento State’s Student Run Radio Station, streaming live 24/7 on http://www.kssu.com!

Who am I in KSSU? I am the dude who plays metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, Djent, “screamo”, punk, loud rock, and other subgenres, both mainstream and local. I do this because the Heavy Music Community is dying out. There was a huge surge in the beginning of the 2000’s, but now there are so many bands trying to sound alike and so many people having a distaste in their mouth due to the “screamo” phase that metal is looked down upon. DJ’s would rather play Hip-hop, Indie, or Mainstream music fond on public radio stations. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, but that isn’t for me.

I bring out the talent in heavy music while also giving some lesser known or unsigned bands exposure. At KSSU, we try to bring the best out of both the music and ourselves. In addition to my playlist, I speak for about 1-2 minutes on subjects pertaining to the music or to my everyday life in order to engage the audience, not just blast music into their ear-holes. At KSSU, we give you a more personal connection as opposed to public radio. Our diversity allows people to have favorite shows, experiment with new music, and even learn something new about the world around them.

KSSU is located in the University Union between the Student Store and the ASI office on the CSUS campus. We even have a window that people can walk by and watch the DJ’s do their thing. Just don’t watch us for too long, we are not animals. Don’t tap the glass either, we are not fish.

Again, KSSU is the place to listen to great music and hilarious commentary from the comfort of your computer, phone, or Ipod. Download the listen live app or just go to http://www.kssu.com to check us out! You will not be disappointed!

To make sure I have not been lying to you, listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” Thursday mornings at 9.

– DJGingerbeard