Hello boys and girls. Yes, it’s me again. Thrilled, aren’t you? I thought so. As you know I went on vacation a couple weeks ago to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We spent a week down there and had a great time. We rode go-carts, went to an amusement park, did some shopping, visited an aquarium, and went to Dolly Partons Dixie Stampede dinner show. Oh, and we went to the beach. It was the first time I had ever seen the ocean. I must say, I learned two things during my visit to the beach. The water tastes like crap and the sand gets everywhere. Yes, I do mean everywhere. Aside from sand in your crack and choking on salt water, the beach was pretty cool. This Thursday, I’m going to the Warped Tour in Indianapolis. Last year I wrote a review of the show, and I plan on it this time around as well. So look for that in the next week or two. Until then, enjoy this weeks column.
Unearth The Oncoming Storm
2004 Metal Blade Records
Have you turned on a “metal” radio station lately? If you haven’t, pat yourself on the back and know that you’re not missing anything. If you have, then you’re perfectly aware of the garbage that is being passed off as metal these days and it’s not pretty. Bands like Korn, who’ve never got over being picked on in middle school. Slipknot, whose members are so embarrassed about the music they play that they insist on wearing masks on stage. Even pop-rock/adult rock bands such as Nickelback and Creed get play on metal stations. Yeah, they’re about as metal as Dashboard Confessional is hardcore. If you’re one of those poor souls who have run into this issue, then fear not because there are still bands making great, ass kicking metal music. You just have to search past the radio airwaves to find them. Enter Unearth with their blend of metal and hardcore. This Massachusetts band has been unleashing head pounding metal to the masses since 1998, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down either. The recent release of their Metal Blade records debut is definite proof of this.
The album kicks off with the politically motivated track, The Great Dividers. Immediately, this song kicks you in the ass and lets you know you’re in for one hell of a ride. Opening tracks, I feel, are a very important part of setting the pace for a good album. Unearth made an excellent choice for that task with this song, which asks, “Does hate mean freedom?” The album manages to hold the pace set by this opener all the way until track nine, Aries, which is a slower song featuring some piano work and subtle, barely there vocals. Though it’s a big change from the rest of the album, this is a great song and greatly displays their versatility as a band. The album also features the song Endless, which was previously available on the four song EP of the same name, released in 2002. This is one of my favorite songs by the band, as well as the first song I had ever heard by them. The breakdown in this song is extremely addicting and should contain a Surgeon Generals warning. I hear it causes random windmills and floor punches, so consider yourself warned. Along with a perfect opening track, I believe the band chose an equally perfect closer in False Idols. Blazing guitars, lighting fast drums, and yet another great breakdown carry this song and round the album out quite nicely. As cliche as it might sound, this album features something for every heavy music fan. The hardcore kids will absolutely love the plethora of breakdowns, while the metal kids will worship the guitar work. Hell, soccer moms everywhere might even enjoy the piano work in Aries. Hey, it could happen. I’ve certainly seen stranger things. I personally love the entire album, and I’m glad to hear some socially consciouslyrics on a metal album. Unless I’m missing something, you don’t seem to hear that often. This album definitely ranks way up on my favorites list and will definitely be getting plenty of play time in my CD player. If you like what you hear on the album, be sure to go out this summer and support the band on the Ozzfest second stage. You can also catch them at Hellfest, as well as various shows with Lamb of God, Every Time I Die, and Atreyu.
Recommended tracks: Endless, Black Hearts Now Reign, This Lying World
Recommended if you like:
As I Lay Dying
They just won’t quit, will they? The Federal Marriage Amendment was voted down, but now they have another trick up their discriminatory sleeves. This week, the US House of Representatives will vote on the Marriage Protection Act (HR 3313). If passed, it will prevent the Supreme Court and all other federal courts from considering any challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. To break it down, they weren’t able to change the Constitution so now they want to prevent the federal courts from protecting the constitutional rights of LGBT Americans. I strongly urge you to write your congressman or woman and let them know that you won’t tolerate this discrimination from our government. Head over to the Human Rights Campaign web site for more information.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, I’m out.