Monday, September 13, 2010

Five Albums :: Five Minutes

THE PROBLEM: I have too many albums that I want to write about, and too little time to actually write about them.
THE SOLUTION: I take five albums that are in my active iPod rotation, and give myself five minutes to write about each.
THE CATCH: I like to digest albums before writing about them - these may not be new releases, but they'll all be the artist's latest.
THE CAVEAT: Since we can't all keep up on everything, I can rest assured that these albums will be new to somebody.

All five of these bands are on this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR tour [click here for a complete itinerary] - maybe I'll see you at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater this Friday (September 17), when the tour stops in Irvine, CA...

(Warner Bros. Records)

Haunted by the death of drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, Nightmare is the soundtrack to ripping off a bandage and exposing torn, raw flesh. The pain is searing, and Avenged Sevenfold cope by shredding through 11 tracks that couple early-Metallica thrash ("Buried Alive") and prog-rock flash ("Save Me") with Guns N Roses-seasoned sass ("Nightmare"). Cauterized by an epic flair, the album is stellar. "Victim" hums like a modern day "Great Gig in the Sky."

Standout tracks:
"Danger Line" & "Fiction"
Official website:

(Warner Bros./Reprise Records)

In 2008, I hailed Indestructible as Disturbed's crowning achievement - it appears I spoke too soon. The band soar to even greater heights on Asylum, delivering a molten rush of metal that translates the genre's legend into a heady, futuristic vision. David Draiman's vocals are distinctive, but never distracting, providing a jarring compliment to the band's crushing sonics. My only complaint? The U2 cover isn't renamed "I Still Haven't Found Wha-ah-ah-aht I'm Looking For."

Standout tracks:
"Infection" & "Never Again"
Official website:

(Atlantic Records)

I like Evanescence. I like We Are The Fallen more. I like Lacuna Coil most. Halestorm follow the female-fronted rock formula so well, they could be a cover band. So much so, I feel dirty listening to them - like I'm cheating on Cristina Scabbia. Then a hook grabs me, and Lzzy Hale throws me down with sex-kitten vocals that make me feel even dirtier. I want her to stop, but I can only whimper for more. I feel filthy. I'm powerless against her. If my wife asks, I'll deny all of this.

Standout tracks:
"I Get Off" & "Dirty Work"
Official website:

(Epic Records)

What started as a supergroup featuring members of Pantera, Mudvayne, Damageplan and Vision of Disorder, has gelled into a cohesive force of southern-fired nature. Hellyeah level a charge of bulging riffs and beefy drum beats under Blacktooth-inspired lyrics on Stampede - if "It's On" and "Pole Rider" don't tell you all you need to know, you're probably not ready to getcha pull. There's also plenty of their heavy pedigree - the sludgy "Order the Sun" does Pantera proud.

Standout tracks:
"Cowboy Way" & "Better Man"
Official website:

Audio Secrecy
(Roadrunner Records)

Audio Secrecy exposes one of the best-kept secrets in mainstream rock. The 17-track opus rivals the Foo Fighters in intensity ("Say You'll Haunt Me"), Nickelback in accessibility ("Dying"), and even glances to frontman Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root's other band, Slipknot ("The Bitter End"). "Imperfect" resonates on the light end, "Let's Be Honest" percolates on the heavy end, and "Anna" runs the full-bodied spectrum. A stellar addition to Album of the Year debates.

Standout tracks:
"Threadbare" & "Hesitate"
Official website:

1 comment:

Caro said...

I'm a big fam of female fronted bands, need to check out Hailstorm. If you havent heard about Delain, check em out! Just saw them at ProgPower USA XI, and that chick (Charlotte Wessels) knows how to rock out!!