Adversary – Singularity

(c) 2008 Trustkill Records
Rating: ★★½☆☆

What do we have here? Lots o’ metal for damn sure. Not the worst I’ve heard, but not necessarily something I’m down with. It has some decent riffage but it also has a lot of wankin emo mello crap interludes. I guess you get what you pay for huh? At any rate if you like modern metal then you’ll love the livin’ daylights out of Adversary.

–Jerry Actually

Bloodbath [The Wacken Carnage]

Bloodbath – The Wacken Carnage(c) 2008 Peaceville RecordsBloodbath is a Swedish metal supergroup of sorts consisting of members of Katatonia and Opeth. The Wacken Carnage is a live CD/DVD double set from the bands brutal performance at the 2005 Wacken Open Air Festival. What can I say other than this mother shreds. (to the extreme) Of all the metal I’ve been listening to lately, I must admit that I’m rather fond of Bloodbath. They really bring it on home. Granted, I still could sleep easier at night without the sound of vocal chords shredding. What they lack in my particular vocal preference, is more than made up for with speed and aggression. Get this set, pop in the CD or DVD and enjoy the ensuing Bloodbath.–Jerry Actually

SIX – Between the Warning and the War

SiX – Between the Warning and the War(c) 2008 1605 Records So I’ve been having an overall lack of creativity as it pertains to writing lately. This new record by SIX hasn’t helped. I’m torn. It has the goods; It is fierce and aggressive. The riffs rule. The vocals don’t suck razorblades. So then why am I uncertain about how much I do or don’t enjoy it? I don’t really know. I’m gonna go out on a limb before my coffee kicks in and say that I do in fact like the disc. After all it gets a ringing endorsement and even a guest spot from Mike Clark on track 4 “Forgiveness” and features Franki Doll on track 5 “Perfect Life”.I guess the trepidation comes in on more of a personal level. I just don’t get into the metal like I once did. But by way of an endorsement of my own, if anything were going to pull me back over to the metal side, it would be this. Between the Warning and the War nearly rekindles the spirit of old Prong for me except with a Left Coast feel. That is certainly something in the background that draws me to this disc. I guess all the vascillating aside, SIX busts with some dark aggressive music in a unique but decidedly metal vein. The more I listen to it, the more I warm to it. So this one is up in the air but I think it’ll land heads up.–Jerry Actually

Arson Anthem

Arson Anthem – S/T (c) 2007 Housecore RecordsFrom the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina arises the legacy of hardcore brutality. Mike Williams lost a lot, including his home, in the post Katrina riots. Phil Anselmo just happened to have a spare apartment. The two sat around spending hours listening to Phil’s early hardcore music collection. Throw Hank III and Collin Yeo into the equation and you’ve got Arson Anthem. The self-titled debut has eight track of old school, raw as all get out, hardcore reminiscent of bands like Negative Approach and early Agnostic Front. On top of the brutality, you can still hear the southern roots. It makes for an interesting sound, like the Allman Brothers in an alternate universe or something. My personal imaginings aside, you too can find something old in something new when you rock the paint off the sonofabitchin’ walls with Arson Anthem.–Jerry Actually

Taste of Chaos [Tour Sampler]

The Best of Taste of Chaos Two (c) 2007 Warcon Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This CD is a freaking screamo nightmare. Almost all of the bands on here have received poor marks from !upstarter in the past. The Taste of Chaos tour is obviously not meant for me. With a band list containing: Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Emery, Evaline and more, you can totally count me out of this pity parade. There is a very marginal amount of saving grace on the two disc set. The Anit-Flag track on the first disc and on disc two a track by Gwar. The second disc is definitley the better of the two. It is both faster and more melodic, however, it is still plagued by the sore throat that appears to have taken the music world by storm. Bottom line: I think I am going to hurl.–Jerry Actually

Beneath the Sky [What Demons do to Saints]

Beneath the Sky What Demons Do To Saints (c) 2007 Victory Records Holy freakin’ anger for anger’s sake. Spooky and demonic and you can totally tell these tough guys mean business just by looking at their scary mugs. They can play fast and bust into a pick scratch and then Azreal takes over and turns it into sucking shit. I guess if what they are trying to do is piss off the parents of angsty teens, well then sir, they have succeeded. What Demon’s Do To Saints … um, I guess they’re good at what they do. Serial killers are good at what they do too, but that doesn’t mean they ought to get praise. 666 demon thumbs down. This is freakin’ awful and pointless.–Team !upstarter

Freya [Lift The Curse]

Freya – Lift The Curse (c) 2007 Victory Records Forged from the fire of Earth Crisis and blessed by the Norse Goddess of TGIF, I submit to you, Freya. Lift The Curse is the newest effort from the Syracuse band that is equal parts metal and hardcore. The structure is certainly hardcore. Some of the guitar fills and breakdowns and the vocals are definitely METAL though. I have never been a fan of really harsh vocal growlings. Freya is on the edge there. The music helps reel it back in a bit, but overall Lift the Curse is a bit too vocal crunchy for me. Freya does go and keep it short attention span friendly though, with tracks lingering around the two and a half minute mark, with the exception of the prerequisite cover of War Pigs. All in all a good release, but again I’d like to hear less growl. –Jerry Actually

Ill Nino [Under Cover Sessions]

Ill Nino The Under Cover Sessions (c) 2006 Cement Shoes RecordsPrior to the release of their next LP, Ill Nino (or their label) attempts to cash in with a brief 5 song e.p. It contains 2 original studio tracks that suck and 3 covers. The Peter Gabriel cover and the Nirvana cover are good everything else is pretty lame. They have a Sepulturaesque tribal drum thing going and that is cool. Here is the deal though, growling vocals suck a goat. Get over your self and learn to sing. It you can’t do that, at least learn to annunciate. Get it? Got it? Good! They sent me a sticker though and I appreciate that. Yet still Two thumbs up, 8 thumbs down.With all our love,Team !upstarter

Godhead

Godhead – The Shadow Line (c) 2006 Cement Shoes RecordsMusic today is becoming so bad that I expect the return of butt rock hair bands in droves any day.  Godhead has much of the charm of an Alice in Chains or a Candlebox.  The songs are mostly three and a half minute radio rock marvels.  Apparently the band is looking to "get to that next level" whatever that is.  If you ask me this is built to sell.  Because of the excellent financial backing, however, Godhead's new CD The Shadow Line does include a bonus DVD. They also sent me a cool looking sticker and I must give them props for that. I do love the schwag!-Jerry Actually 

On The Last Day

On The Last Day – Meaning in the Static (c) 2006 Victory RecordsNot my cup of tea, yet again. On The Last Day is a screamo band from Seattle. Whomever is responsible for their one sheet is sadly mistaken when they refer to them as hardcore.  They are about as hardcore as Tool.  Every song sounds remarkably like the one preceeding it.  Musically, On The Last Day, holds some promise.  Their musicianship appears to be high quality, however, there is a serious lack in the creativity department.  Beyond that I think perhaps if I hear one more band with the forced snarl/growling vocal sound (you know exactly what I'm talking about), I may have to lose my lunch.