Posts Tagged “Double Kick”

Canadian metalcore act Obey The Brave is now streaming the band’s Epitaph debut in full with plans to release the album, “Young Blood,” on August 28th. Fans can stream the album through here. The following press release was issued about the album:

“The new album contains eleven tracks of pure adrenaline – charged hardcore, sure to please both metal diehards and hardcore fans alike. Tracks like ‘Get Real,’ which features Terror’s Scott Vogel on guest vocals, pay homage to ‘90s hardcore while peppering in more modern elements like massive metalcore breakdowns and an always-driving beat. ‘Time For A Change,’ while still including hardcore staples like riotous gang vocals and another of the album’s brick-and-mortar breakdowns, showcases some smooth lead lines during its more melodic outro.

“‘Live and Learn,’ the album’s first single, is a well-rounded representation of Obey The Brave’s bare bones, progressing from blistering double-kick blasts throughout its opening verse to some tasty breakdowns and another rather musical outro that adds an extra dimension to an otherwise relentless track.”

Fans can pre-order the album by going to this location, and the band’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:

8/20 Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
8/21 Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
8/22 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
8/24 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
8/25 San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
8/26 Dallas, TX @ Palladium
8/27 McAllen, TX @ Pharr Events Center

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For the uninitiated, classifications that constitute the realm of hard music can be just as intimidating as a thunderous roll across the toms, bump of a double kick pedal or screaming squalls of an…

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Legendary German power metallers, Gamma Ray, are back with their latest studio effort since 2007’s Land of the Free II which AMR’s Cole panned as stereotypically awful power metal. I consider myself to be a bit of a power metal buff, so I figured I’d take point on this review and see if Kai and the gang have held up over the years.

First off, I am not the biggest fan of Kay Hansen’s voice; the dude is simply not what one would consider a “good” singer. He was the voice of Helloween before and after Kiske, and has therefore kind of become the essence of gruff German power metal vocals along with Udo from Accept and U.D.O. fame. Because of his trademark voice, I really can’t imagine Gamma Ray being voiced by anyone else at this point, but I would be lying if I thought that Kai shouldn’t stick to guitars and give someone else a shot at fronting the band (I am in the minority who thought Ralf Scheepers was MUCH more suited as the singer for Gamma Ray). So with that said, Kai’s voice is going to be a kind of setback for the entire album even before I get into it.

To the Metal reminds me a bit of Avantasia’s The Scarecrow in terms of its high melody, but also a reliance more on traditional metal than power metal. I think Gamma Ray has always been an outfit that was comfortable just putting out music with a classic feel, and it hasn’t mattered what particular classification could be placed on it. I think some modern power metal fans who are a little less experienced with an old school act like Gamma Ray may be put off by the lack of blinding speed and double kick at a constant rate. Gamma Ray is metal through and through, but it’s a classic mode without the necessary blinding speed and over the top melodies; in essence, this is stripped down melodic heavy metal, and whether they are playing it faster or mid paced, Gamma Ray have always been about getting to the point, and To the Metal is no different. I have and always will be a huge fan of classic metal, so listening to To the Metal rip it up from track to track with very well placed, anthemic melodies combined with excellent guitar solos was a real treat. It’s so obvious listening to Gamma Ray that these guys are a veteran band who have played together for over a decade, because they are so tight and seamless, and with this combined with better than average writing makes for a really good instrumental album.

Still, despite my interest in To the Metal, I can’t get over Kai’s voice, the dude just can’t sing and even slows down the pace of the faster numbers on this album because of his style. The only song that Kai exceeds my expectations is on “Chasing Shadows” and that’s mainly because of the studio work and the effort he obviously put into the performance (which actually sounded like he was straining to reach certain notes). Tried and true Helloween and Gamma Ray aficionados will scoff at my opinion of Kai, but come on, the dude is a guitar player and he does the listener no favors trying to juggle both duties. Find someone of Ralf’s caliber, who can handle the band’s style set forth by Kai and Michal Kiske and record a proper damn album with proper vocals. Until this happens, I can’t give Gamma Ray better than a “good” rating, and unless I get WOWed by the music portion of whatever albums they put out, I don’t see that being any different.


Similar Artists: Helloween, Primal Fear, Iron Savior, Masterplan

1.    Empathy
2.    All You Need To Know
3.    Time To Live
4.    To The Metal
5.    Rise
6.    Mother Angel
7.    Shine Forever
8.    Deadlands
9.    Chasing Shadows
10.    No Need To Cry

DisManic Distribution/Knife Fight Media

Review by CODY

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You know the story about All That Remains, particularly the fact its dynamic frontman Phil Labonte was the original singer for Shadows Fall almost a lifetime ago. Not that folks bring it up much anymore as Labonte and All That Remains have come up through the ranks of contemporary metal through four albums to stake their own claim as one of the genre’s top draws.

Coming a long way since their debut album Behind Silence and Solitude, All That Remains, now fortified with bassist Jeanne Sagan who picked up with the group in the middle of their tour for The Fall of Ideals, the band is right where they want to be as of their latest release Overcome.

Labonte, whose vocal range has expanded in increments with each All That Remains album, has to be considered at this point one of metal’s most diverse growlers and crooners. Overcome is his comeuppance statement as it is the bearing of fruits for guitarists Oli Herbert and Mike Martin who have kept the All That Remains machine thrumming with some of the most sparkling fretwork on the scene.

The Metal Minute caught Phil Labonte for a quick exchange as All That Remains begins the Rockstar Mayhem tour already having to address adversity with the sidelining of their drummer Jason Costa…

Metal Minute: You guys are kicking off the Rockstar Mayhem Fest tour and some temporary personnel adjustment with Jason having broken his hand. You recruited Nile and Dimmu drummer Tony Laureano to fill in for Jason, and certainly there’s no question Tony can keep up with All That Remains, particularly on the double kick segments. First, what happened with Jason, then how did you get Tony locked in for the gig? Do you think his customary bpms might force the band to step up what is already mostly faced-paced music on your part, using “Chiron” for example?

Phil Labonte: Jason is really dumb sometimes when he drinks and he misjudges things. This time he misjudged how hard he was hitting a table. Dummy. I’m not worried about Tony playing; he’s a great drummer.

MM: I’m looking at Billboard these days and seeing a lot of metal bands crashing the gates held sentry by corporate rap and pop fluff, Killswitch Engage and Dream Theater being two of the most recent high charters. All That Remains also debuted quite solidly when Overcome was released, much like The Fall of Ideals. I know a lot bands feel they’re not in this game for chart positions and sales ranks, but given the very tough market we’re in with hard copy album sales dwindling as Generation Tech is gradually forcing change in the industry, I’m sure it’s not altogether terrible to see Overcome strike hard on Billboard, right? Also, what are your thoughts to metal making a dent on the charts?

PL: It’s great to have people care about the band. It seems to me that if people care about a band, the music they make, how they treat their fans, stuff like that, then they’ll go out and buy a disc. I know I personally buy tons of songs, but if I’m into a band I’ll buy their whole record to make sure I’m supporting the band. So I feel like it’s our fans kinda saying, ‘Hey, we want you to make another record!’ (laughs) I’m humbled and grateful that people do buy our discs. As for metal making a dent in the charts, it’s awesome. I mean top 20 is usually no place for heavy rock, nevermind metal, so yeah, it’s great for the whole genre.

MM: I am loving the maturity of Overcome not so much because of the escalated melody gracing the album, which has always resided within All That Remains’ music, but I really appreciate your band taking risks such as the soft acoustic intro and interludes between the harder agro sections on “A Song For the Hopeless” or the aggressive harmonies on “Relinquish,” one of All That Remains’ best-written tunes in my opinion. How much effort do you feel goes into All That Remains’ work nowadays before you feel you have the proper stamp on things?

PL: We have a pretty good idea what we are looking for when we get started writing. We usually have most of the riffs written and we just get together and arrange it. We try not to over-think things, really.

MM: Pick the song from Overcome you feel was the hardest to, er, overcome from pen to final mix and have the entire band believe in it?

PL: I don’t know, I think “A Song For The Hopeless” was rough to get done. It took a bit of work.

MM: You guys covered Nevermore’s “Believe in Nothing” at the end of Overcome, which I think is cool considering most metal covers these days are from the eighties and late seventies. One, since “Believe in Nothing” is almost a decade old already, coming out as metal revived itself in North America, do you feel we’re now at a spot in time where honoring groups of this era is apropos Two, I’d say little has changed in society to make “Believe in Nothing’s” lyrics irrelevant. If anything it’s probably gotten worse as a whole. What are your thoughts there?

PL: We are just into that band. We didn’t think about the era too much. We did avoid an 80’s song intentionally cause everyone does that. As for the lyrics I feel like Warrel was stating his lack of belief in a god, and that’s not really something that is dated.

Copyright 2009 Ray Van Horn, Jr. / The Metal Minute

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