Category Archives: Reviews

Where I critique Bands, Concerts, Song, Albums, and VIP Packages

GODSMACK-1000HP

WHAT’S UP NATION!? This is The Concert Cruizer and I just picked up the new Godsmack album 1000 HP.

Godsmack 1000 Horse Power

I have to admit I was REALLY looking forward to this new album. As big of a Godsmack fan as I am I wasn’t I wasn’t impressed with they’re last effort (The Oracle) but, then I heard the first single off this new album which is the same as the album title and it caught my attention. So after a few listens I can say…..GODSMACK is BACK! This records sounds exciting and full of energy, something I haven’t felt in music for some time. They tried a different approach on this record like take for example the opening track 1000HP, it tells the story of just them starting out as a band back in they’re home town of Boston Massachusetts and they don’t hide it like a metaphor. They tell you straight up “Time to rewind back to 1995 when we were nothing. Walking through the streets of Boston no one listening”. They don’t beat around the bush in this song and I love that. While we’re still on the topic of lyrics, another song that surprised me was FML (Fuck My Life). Now I normally HATE this phrase because when most people use it, their life is actually not that bad but, what makes the way they say it better? Because singer Sully Erna uses it as a way to challenge people. What he’s saying it I DARE YOU to fuck my life! Go ahead and try. Granted he doesn’t strait up say that but, it’s pretty easy to figure out so MAJOR props on originality. They also introduced some new elements into this record as well like a violin solo on “Something Different” which sounds very elegant in this hard rock song. As well as different guitar effects that fits the tone of each song. This album is really breathe of fresh air, even the filler songs have character to them like, sure this song may not be a single but we still gotta put everything we got into it. Godsmack put all their efforts into this CD and it shows so this album gets no joke a PERFECT SCORE!!! 5 HORNS OUT OF 5 \m/\m/\m/\m/\m/. Congrats Godsmack, I hope I can interview you guys some day.

SS HANAMI-Original Soundtrack, Season One

WHAT’S UP NATION!? Today we’re gonna look at another “Themed Driven” band. One that I have talked about before and with their performance coming up at Grand Brony Gala i’d say now is the perfect time to take a look at SS HANAMI-Original Soundtrack, Season One.

Original Soundtrack, Season One

Original Soundtrack, Season One

Now this review is going to be a tad different because the main theme of this band is “Anime” and that’s something that perhaps the average music listener may not understand. So the verdict is going to be from the perspective of an outsider. Although I am familiar with anime I am not the biggest fan of it so I did an interview with the singer Robin Adams (Which you can see HERE) where he explain the artistic vision of his band. The first thing you may notice is the name of the album “Original Soundtrack, Season One”. It seems such an odd title for an album but, turns out there’s a method to the madness. It’s because they see SS Hanami as an anime as much as it is a band and the songs are meant to be the original score to the series and the songs are meant to reflect certain scenes you would see in an anime and they let you create the scene in your head.

(I have to admit, that’s pretty creative.) So because of this each song has a different theatrical feel to it. So one song feels dramatic, another feels edgy, others feel whimsical or dark and they do this by using both traditional instruments and writing as well as the use Japanese influences. Like they play a Japanese Harp called a Koto to create a sound of elegance plus a keyboard synthesizer to add a touch of J-Pop and any other effects they can get out of it. So if you’re into theatrical musical scores or love the artistry of anime i’d say this is the band worth checking but, for average music listeners. If could give you an idea of they’re writing style I would say it’s like QUEEN. Now I know this is a pretty big statement so allow me to explain. I’m not saying they sound like them but I notice that both bands write music that feels (As I said before) like theatrical musical scores and sometimes change styles in just one song. So I give this 3 1/2 \m/\m/\m/\n out of 5. So whether your a fan of anime or not, give it a listen and hear for yourself. Be sure to check them out at this year’s Grand Brony Gala with voice actors Cathey Weseluck (Spike & Mare Mayor), Michelle Creber (AppleBloom & Singing Sweetie Belle) As well as My Little Pony Author GM Berrow and Brony Musician BlackGryph0n. Until next time nation STAY LOUD!!!

LINKIN PARK: THE HUNTING PARTY

WHAT’S UP NATION!? I have been waiting a long time for this. A band who started in rock, went in another direction, and now is back to their hard rock roots. Members of The Concert Cruizer Nation I am thrilled to bring you my review on LINKIN PARK’S THE HUNTING PARTY!!!!!

The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party

Linkin Park has stated many times that they wanted this to be a straight up rock record and within the first second your met with a digitized version of Chester Bennington’s iconic scream that just grabs your attention. Then your met with real drums, a rocking bass, aggressive guitars, and an exquisite texture of a synthesizer and digital effects. It was very welcoming to hear this rock sound again and a lot of the album sounds like this. At times it does soften up a bit but it’s not like LP hasn’t done that in their rock albums before. I was also surprised with they’re guitar solos. The previous efforts in this always felt more like interludes to me. They have the potential to go somewhere using different notes but they ultimately stay put but, these feel like actual solos. They sound exciting and aren’t repetitive. Mike Shinoda also shows his fine rapping skills on this record and it’s very graceful. I always thought his rapping skills were angelic like he doesn’t need to be in your face to get his point across. He can make his rhymes sound powerful without having to sound obnoxious.

There’s also a few guests on this record including Rakim, Page Hamilton, Daron Malakian, and the legendary Tom Morello. This is the first time Linkin Park has ever something like this that wasn’t a remix album and it sounds extraordinary. You can certainly feel the guests vibe but it doesn’t take anything away from the band. Overall this is superb album that myself and other hard core old school Linkin Park fans have been waiting for. It takes elements from those first albums and manages to make something that feels familiar but manages to keep it different. Is it perfect? No but, it’s pretty close. So close that I give 4 1/2 \m/\m/\m/\n horns out of 5. Congrats LP it’s great to hear from you guys again. Be sure to catch them on the Carnivores Tour with 30 Seconds To Mars and AFI this summer and until then STAY LOUD!!!

FIRST JASON: HEED MY WARNING

WHAT’S UP NATION!? Sorry for the been gone for a bit. Been tending to the convention I will be working this summer The Grand Brony Gala but I finally got some time to write out a new review for you guys. This time we are gonna be looking at “FIRST JASON: HEED MY WARNING”.

First Jason: Heed My Warning

Appropriately titled most of the album gives off that eerie vibe you get from horror films using a creepy rock sound using just a drummer and a machete keytar. Songs like Children Of The Night & Heed My Warning, feels like those scenes where the victim is being chased by the villain of the film. While the song “Victim” feels like the violent slaughter he faces and manages to pull it off without sounding so brutal and keeps it creepy. Now for those of you who haven’t realized yet, the front man is Ari Lehman who was the first person to play the horror icon Jason Voorhees so he’s gotta have at least one song about the infamous killer and on this album it’s called “Jason’s Bride” which has more of a rockabilly punk sound with a blue grass solo and is meant to be just a funny little song. Over all i’d say this is a good album, it’s nice to hear a different take on rock that isn’t trying to be harder than the next and, utilizes different textures and dedicates itself to the art of horror. I give it 4 \m/\m/\m/\m/ out of 5. Be sure to go to FirstJason.com to see when they are coming to your area. Until next time Nation, this is The concert Cruizer signing off.

 

STONES OF MADNESS DEBUT EP

WHAT’S UP NATION!? Legendary ATHEIST front man KELLY SHAEFER is back with a whole new band called “Stones Of Madness” and, they have just released their self titled debut EP.

Debut EP

Debut EP

Now this band features a line up of musicians with incredible skills, it features former Dry Kill Logic guitarist Scott Thompson, as well as former Neurotica members Shawn Bowen (guitars) and GJ Gosman (drums) and from SuperBot the unmatched Julia Simms (Bass). This hard hitting metal band brings back that muddy texture with a well executed hard rock approach to that dirty sound. Even their first music video HOSTILITY has an underground rusty look to it and, it’s all topped off with a BAD ASS album cover by  Eliran Kantor who has done work for Atheist, Testament, and Hatebreed. You can purchase it on iTunes or your can order from their website http://stonesofmadness.com/ and get an Exclusive Edition guitar pick. This EP gets a perfect score 5 horns out of 5 \m/\m/\m/\m/\m/ I think we can expect great things from STONES OF MADNESS!!!

KORN “The Paradigm Shift”

WHATS UP NATION!? This is The Concert Cruizer here and this week were gonna look at the new album from one of the pioneers of “NU METAL”. I have been a big fan of theirs for a long time and with the return of their second guitarist Brian “HEAD” Welch I could not wait to check out

KORN “The Paradigm Shift”

I was so thrilled about this new album it marked the return of Head, brought back that groove writing style, and I couldn’t wait to hear how Ray (Their newest drummer) was gonna sound with Brian…..but, then I heard the first single Never Never. It was catchy but it wasn’t the kind of song I was hoping for but, luckily my fears were laid to rest when I heard the second single Love & Meth. This song got me back into the excitement for this record and it did not disappoint.

This collection of songs has familiar feel to it, almost as if it was the missing seventh album, it had all the elements of their previous records as well as some new ones. Munky and Head still being a great & cohesive unit, Fieldy bringing back that percussion style of playing, Jonathan Davis manages to bring that vengeful sound, and Ray Luzier has proven he is a suitable replacement for their previous drummer. This album is just great and I give it 4 \m/\m/\m/\m/ out of 5. Korn it’s great to have you back, I can’t to see you guys live again, and I hope I can meet Brian “Head” Welch.

DROWNING POOL “Resilience”

WHATS UP NATION?! This is The Concert Cruizer and this week we’re gonna take a look at the new album from a band that has been through hell and back. A band who started off with such bright and promising career, met with tragedy, refuses to stop, and are now back with a new singer and an old sound. I am of course talking about

Drowning Pool “Resilience”

This new album features their latest singer Jason Moreno from “The Suicide Hook” and, his vocal skill brings back this metal angst that I haven’t heard from them since Drowning Pool’s first two albums Sinner & Desensitized. His biggest strength is that he can make a song sound tough as demonstrated in the song One Finger and a Fist. That being said not all the songs are good, their not horrible, they just didn’t do much for me. Like one song is Saturday Night, It just doesn’t fit the band.

There is something about the album that is somewhat generic, however it grabs you and you can’t help but give it another listen.The production is pretty stable, the guitar riffs & solos are great, the drums feels more present, and bass compliments everything very well. Over all this is a good album, In fact it’s one of the more better albums I have heard from them. Some would argue that it’s to radio friendly but, the songs are decent enough to the point where it feels in character for them. I don’t get the impression that someone stepped into the studio and told them this is how it’s suppose to sound and, I also get the impression that this was a sound and feel the band wanted to revisit & were under positive atmosphere when they were making it. So this record gets 3 1/2 horns out of 5 \m/ \m/ \m/ \n. Congratulations drowning Pool, I look forward to seeing you with this new guy Live.

 

GHOST B.C.

WHATS UP NATION!? This is The Concert Cruizer with a review of one of the most promising bands to hit the music and shock-rock scene; a band whose music is subtle but provides a lot of character, a band known simply as

GHOST BC

They are a Swedish band that has a sound and style that feels very similar like something you swear you heard before. In fact one of the Nameless Ghouls (More on that later) said, “I Often uses the analogy that we wanted Ghost to sound like that band you had missed out on but, have been here this whole time” and as it turns out, yeah, that’s exactly what they remind me of. They sound very reminiscent of the 70′s decade fashioned by Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult but, were formed back in 2008. They’re music is deep and sultry with an underlining hint of creepy church hymns and they have the look to back it up.

Papa Emeritus 2 and Nameless Ghouls

While Ghost BC is a band they are also a gimmick (Like how Brandon Small is Dethklok.) The singer is a character known as Papa Emeritus 2 (who is the successor to Papa Emeritus 1) and he is their mascot. The rest of the members are dressed in black cloaks and wear masks to cover their faces. They have know individual names but are known as the “Nameless Ghouls” and are each marked with a different insignia. The six members imitate the Roman Catholic Church but reversed it to worship Satan rather than the holy trinity. Their stage set up even looks like the interior of a church.

Ghost B.C. Stage Set Up

Ghost B.C. has a style and sound that’s uncommon in today’s metal. While some bands are trying to be more brutal then the next its refreshing to see and hear something that reminds us of when metal first became an influential movement with dark undertones and a rebellious attitude.  If you would like to hear some of the music videos then I would suggest checking out their music videos for Secular HazeMonstrance Clock, and Year Zero; or if you would like to know about the band’s gimmick and Papa Emeritus 2 then I would suggest checking out Ghost B.C. – The Olde One – Papaganda Ep. 1 by Noisey. It’s worth a watch and they are about to tour North America and you can check out the tour dates Here. Until next time I am The Concert Cruizer and i’ll see you Back stage.