Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside Down

Posted by Beat Magazine

Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson never ceases to spark up the metal music industry, and his new release Heaven Upside Down is just as haunting and outrageous as its predecessors. Opening song ‘Revelation #12’ comprises his striking riffs and hoarse chanting vocals condemning those who play with matches but don’t admit what they really are.

Tattooed in Reverse has an enticing darkness that only becomes murkier with fuzzy guitars and Manson’s mocking vocals, and ‘We Know Where You Fucking Live’has a brooding overtone, with Manson’s vocals a menacing whisper until his aggression suddenly breaks out in growl.

‘Saturnalia’ spirals with repetitive riffs and reverberating percussion, not losing their touch for a moment across the track’s eight minutes. ‘Jesus Cri$i$’ may be the most outrageous song in the album, where Manson challenges his listeners and embraces the notorious image that he’s become so well-known for.

Heaven Upside Down’ is textured with engaging riffs and drums, and a searing guitar solo that is enhanced by Manson’s dark vocals. Closing song ‘Threats Of Romance’ makes a blazing statement and proves that Manson is still the defiant, flamboyant and brilliant artist that he was in the ‘90s.

My rating: 9/10

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Crossfaith: Freedom

Posted by Beat Magazine

Japan’s electro-metal legends Crossfaith have exploded onto the scene with their new three-track EP Freedom, which features Enter Shikari’s very own Rou Reynolds and Rize/The Bonez’ rapper Jesse. Crossfaith launches their listeners into a neo-futuristic journey where freedom is being compromised through the introduction of human/machine hybrids and an oppressive government.

The opening track Freedom opens with synth lines that radiate a wailing siren, before the drums make an appearance and Crossfaith unleash their heavy breakdowns. Amongst the metalcore, Crossfaith have been experimenting with other genres; this is made most evident in the middle of the song, where there’s an electro beat that is matched by some funky rapping.

The next song, Rockstar Steady, rallies you up with its mixture of metalcore and MC party vibes, and the odd hip-hop mash-up makes this song a fun listen. Jesse only hypes it up even more with his fiery vocals, creating a catchy presence.  The final song is Diavolos, the most intense song of the whole EP. Crossfaith crank up their metalcore with searing guitars and frontman Kenta Koie’s screaming vocals, bringing listeners back to the essence of the band’s sound. This EP is an intriguing listen, particularly due to Crossfaith’s experimentation with different genres, and their bold efforts are to be commended.

My rating: 7/10

New Found Glory took a trip down memory lane and there wasn’t a single misstep

Posted by Beat Magazine

The Corner Hotel was buzzing with excitement as everybody waited to witness New Found Glory rock their 20-year anniversary by playing New Found Glory and Nothing Gold Can Stay in full. First to own the stage was Stand Atlantic, and guitars were blazing as vocalist Bonnie Fraser projected her fiery vocals to the audience.

People were revved up with giddy anticipation as Stand Atlantic ripped through their set and then New Found Glory took the stage. The moshpit was already a heap of jumping bodies as soon as they started playing, and it was their song Sucker that absolutely drove the crowd wild as everybody eagerly sang along to the lyrics.

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Vocalist Jordan Pundik bounced around the stage as he delivered an energetic set, and the rest of the band were just as outstanding, with lead guitarist Chad Gilbert also pitching in his vocals, Ian Grushka hammering out the bass and drummer Cyrus Bolooki delivering the beat. It was evident how much fun they were having, especially since they were playing to such an excitable audience. They treated everybody to not one, but two performances of Hit And Miss, since it’s on both of their albums. Everybody was lucky enough to hear it twice and were more hyped up as a result.

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Better Off Dead was fun and also drove the crowd into a frenzy, and then there was Eyesore, which was played beautifully, as the gentle acoustics plucked everybody’s heartstrings. They waved their arms side to side to Pundik’s sugary sweet vocals, which contrasted nicely with the fiery pop punk that the band has always been known for.

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The band regularly bantered with each other in between songs, cracking jokes but also conveying their gratitude that they can still produce music after 20 solid years. They mentioned that they had started off at venues similar to the Corner Hotel, and constantly thanked their fans for sticking by them as they continue to soar as a band.

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Highlight: Hit and Miss played twice.
Lowlight: Nothing.
Crowd favourite: Sucker.

There were mum jokes, nostalgia, and chemistry when All Time Low came to Melbourne

Posted by Beat Magazine

First up was Arizona rockers The Maine. They jumped, span and danced through an energetic set that revved the crowd right up. Welsh pop-punk outfit Neck Deep were next, adding a harder edge to the evening, as they passionately delivered a furious set.

All Time Low sent fans into a frenzy, kicking off the show with Weightless, and the whole stage was illuminated by bright flashes of light and colour as fans sung along to every word.

Just when fans thought All Time Low were at their peak, they followed with Somewhere in Neverland, further driving their audience into boundless fits of energy. Vocalist Alex Gaskarth projected his voice, while the rest of the band collaborated together brilliantly to embody the meaning behind the songs, as if the band had only written them yesterday.

At one point, the entire room was lit as Gaskarth showcased his true vocal prowess through a solo, acoustic performance of Therapy. Gaskarth’s vocals were filled with emotion as the audience lit their phone torches and waved their arms in the air. All Time Low balanced the nostalgia with a handful of new songs from their upcoming album Last Young Renegade, which included Life Of The Party and Dirty Laundry, adding more of a party feel, but effectively depicting the band’s eagerness to experiment with other genres.

In between songs, All Time Low put a lot of effort into entertaining their audience; one notable moment included guitarist Jack Barakat calling his mum on loudspeaker to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, which earned a lot of laughs from the audience. The band also comically shared mum jokes, and while the banter was cheesy, it never felt staged – it was clear the band are truly best mates, and their onstage chemistry shone through.

As well as proving just how talented they all are, All Time Low showed everybody that they’re comfortable to let loose and make fun of each other, which only enhanced the animated vibe that they radiated all night.

Words by Christine Tsimbis
Image by Matt Holliday
Highlight: Somewhere in Neverland
Lowlight: Nothing
Crowd favourite: Weightless

Anathema : The Optimist

Posted by Beat Magazine

Opener 32.63N 117.14W washes listeners’ ears with soothing waves. The track title is quite ambiguous, depicting the coordinates for Silver Strand beach in San Diego, which was the last known location of The Optimist. Suddenly, a whimsical electronica beat pops up, leading into Leaving It Behind. A gloomy guitar layers this electronica sound. Vincent Cavanagh’s mesmerising vocals unwind the listener, the chorus becomes more upbeat, and Cavanagh’s vocals become more urgent.

Endless Ways begins with a soulful piano melody, as Lee Douglas’ crystal vocals caress your ears. She soars as the synth enhances the emotional vibe of the song, followed by the breakdown of guitars and drums. The Optimist begins with a rhythmic piano melody, beautifully alternating between the two vocals.

Springfield edges towards a smooth piano melody before introducing a steady drum beat and searing guitars. Close Your Eyes is dark and mesmerising, and Douglas’ vocals are seductive, enhancing the haunting beauty of the song. Closer Back To The Start is an almost 12-minute composition featuring lapping waves, melancholy acoustics and moody vocals. The constant experimentation with different sounds is what makes The Optimist such a distinctive and alluring listen.

My rating: 8/10

While She Sleeps : You Are We

Posted by Beat Magazine

The title track begins with a mournful overtone and a wallowing synth, before a powerful breakdown crashes down on the listener. Charged with riveting guitar streaks and intense drums, it’s clear this album is going to be one hell of a rollercoaster. Steal The Sun has choppy drumbeats with a soaring guitar that gives way to vocalist Lawrence Taylor’s growl. He alternates with cleaner vocals, at one point even producing a catchy, little rap. Wide Awake also sees Taylor experimenting with his vocal range, while Silence Speaks burns with emotion, and Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes intensifies the vibe by contributing his vocals to the song.

Hurricane croons at the beginning before kicking off with a piercing riff. Civil Isolation is charged with heavy guitar-work and complex lyrics with a political overtone, as Taylor sings, “Sick of always following, sick of trying to be another cog in their machine.” Closer In Another Now screams pure metalcore, confirming this album to be just as ferocious and politically charged as its predecessors.

My rating: 8/10

Beyond Contempt : Calculated Divide

Posted by Beat Magazine on 10/5/17.

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Melbourne thrash outfit Beyond Contempt fire up their listeners’ ears with their latest EP Calculated Divide, which is charged with a maniacal energy that is both addictive and captivating. Opening songBreak unleashes some epic riffs that hook you straight in, as vocalist Pascal D’Bras powerful vocals charge you up with anticipation. Salt has a searing guitar and marching drum beat, which resonates with the metal vigor that Beyond Contempt inject into their music.

A Rope With A Purpose has an intro rife with suspense, before breaking out with a piercing scream. Catching Bullets kicks off with burly guitar work and D’Bras showcasing cleaner vocals this time around. Breathermeanders at a slower pace, with D’Bras again taking the melodic route, before the chorus explodes into absolute metal mayhem.

Last but not least, Salt (DevilMonkey RMX) is a playful, comedic remix, twisting into a funky rap that contradicts the rest of the Calculated Divide in an unexpected yet welcoming way. The final track reveals Beyond Contempt aren’t taking themselves too seriously, and aren’t afraid to experiment.

By Christine Tsimbis