Functioning on Impatience (1998) by Coalesce

Categories: 1998 and Music.

This is some solid, mathy metalcore that manages a few variations on the what you might expect from the genre, including some a capella (which opens the album, so it really is a shock). It’s a little brief, which is a bit disappointing, but that does mean they don’t lack for consistent material (since there isn’t much material…). I generally prefer Converge, but I can see this band growing on me. 7/10 Read More

Petitioning the Empty Sky (1996) by Converge

Categories: 1996 and Music.

I am pretty sure this is not the first metalcore album (not just because it’s not Converge’s first record…) but it sure sounds iconic to me. Hardcore punk mixes freely with thrash metal in a way that, for 1996, sounds incredibly modern and contemporary to, well, now. This record could be released 20 years later and people would like it. I can’t speak to its influence – maybe there have been a bunch of crazy metalcore records prior to this one – but I can speak to its excellence: everything great about metalcore is here – the passion of hardcore, Read More

The Alchemy Index: Volume II – Water (2007) by Thrice

Categories: 2007 and Music.

Unfortunately I have not been able to hear Volume I so this review is only of Volume II. It’s a tough call though, because ostensibly, a lot of the appeal of this, and the reason the discs are separate even though they don’t have to be, is for stylistic reasons. So without hearing Volume I, I cannot comment as to how Volume II diverges. And that’s a problem, because Volume II is basically just somewhat commercial Post Hardcore. It’s hard to get excited about it. When reviewing another one of these bands a few years ago, I worried that Post Read More

Chronoclast (2005) by Buried Inside

Categories: 2005 and Music.

Like math rock mixed with and metalcore. I guess that’s what this whole “atmospheric sludge metal” thing is supposed to be. I don’t know. But that’s what I hear. It doesn’t sound that sludgy to me…I’m glad I can’t understand the lyrics most of the time, because that means if I don’t read the booklet, I can enjoy the music and forget about the ridiculous pseudo-philosophical nonsense being spewed. 7/10 Read More

Axe to Fall (Epitaph/Deathwish 2009)

Categories: 2009 and Music.

Part of me wants to like this more than No Heroes, but part of me doesn’t. There are way more metal cliches (the guitar leads in particular) and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It gives us a reference point, but not a great reference point. I must give them at least some recognition for actually having some passable singing on the one ballad this time (unlike on You Fail Me, where it is terrible). Part of me thinks it’s stronger, and part of me thinks it’s more of the same (I still like that). I will Read More

No Heroes by Converge (Deathwish 2006)

Categories: 2006 and Music.

Metalcore appeals to me because it combines things I like about metal and punk together, and skips on the excesses of metal (for the most part). This is a pretty good example. The lyrics are shit (when you can decipher them), but the music grabs you and doesn’t really let you go, even when they go for an epic. Besides, what heavy band has good lyrics? I find it a bit more successful – if less varied – than the previous release, You Fail Me. Perhaps it’s just more exemplary. 7/10 Read More