The Corrs : Jupiter Calling

Posted by Beat Magazine

Jupiter Calling projects a magical fairytale just as strongly as its predecessors, cadenced with vocalist Andrea Corr’s dreamy vocals and the band’s playful mix of instrumentation to create an upbeat yet complex piece of art.

While The Corrs aren’t afraid to create uplifting melodies, their music is also deep and soulful in the way it explores love, romance and companionship. Opener ‘Son of Solomon’ is seductive, comparing love to wine and seeking light in the darkness of the soul. It’s all crooned in sweet vocals that are layered with gentle acoustics and a wonderful violin composition.

‘Bulletproof Love’ also features beautiful acoustics, which then give way to an upbeat and playful rhythm in the chorus. However, among all the fairytale vibes of love and light, there is also loss and pain injected into Jupiter Calling. The emotional depth is creatively projected through harmonic melodies, but it’s still beating with an intensity of its own. ‘No Go Baby’ really plucks at the heartstrings; the lyricism is striking and reverberates with heartache and grief. ‘The Sun and the Moon’ is emotional in its exploration of loss, ending the album with a mystical yet candid ambience.

My rating: 8/10

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On ‘Synthesis’, Evanescence will make you wonder how you can feel so much at once

Posted by Beat Magazine

Evanescence have been experimenting with their sound since the release of their self-titled album in 2012, playing around with the arrangements of their songs by stripping back their distinctive guitar and drum beats and progressing to a more synthesised orchestral work of art that is melodramatic and brilliantly composed.

Their new album Synthesis is riveting with its haunting melodies and Amy Lee’s crystalline vocals that convey so much piercing emotion. Her vocals resonate with sorrow, angst and despair, yet they are beautifully refined and persistent as they needle their way into the hearts of listeners. The twists and turns in Synthesis are sharp and heart wrenching, creating a powerful album that’s driven to take the listener on a sensory journey that will both enlighten and unsettle them. ‘Never Go Back’ utilises Lee’s vocal range, painting a portrait of darkness and despair with its melancholy strings and the addition of electronic synth to spice things up.

The refined instrumentation in Synthesis is captivating and immersive; it’s intricately composed of intertwining sounds that inspire different reactions. Lee’s vocals are so powerful that they’re liberating; they prove to be a cathartic release of all our trapped emotions and hidden tensions. ‘Lacrymosa’has a riveting orchestral compilation that puts chills up and down your spine, and Lee’s vocals are awe-inspiring in how delicate yet strong they are.

Lithium’ incorporates chiming bells and sorrowful synth. There are haunting piano melodies, and epic breakdowns in the chorus, just to intensify the conflicting feelings that the listeners are already grappling with. As always, Evanescence has thrown their listeners onto an emotional rollercoaster, and effectively enhances their introspective frame of mind as they explore their own interpretations to the music.

Synthesis has that moody contemplative feel; it makes you reflect on your thoughts, your life, and the way your mind and body are responding to the music. It makes you contemplate how someone can convey their pain and anguish in such an artistically expressive way. The classics ‘Bring Me Back To Life’ and ‘My Immortal’ are also here, somewhat altered with the addition of synth and string combinations, but still resonating with the same feel since their original releases.

Synthesis as a whole is a brilliant album, filled with plenty of lurching sensations that make you wonder how a band can make you feel so many things at once. Evanescence have still got that raw skill and unparalleled talent that make them such a joy to listen to, and their music will forever impact on the hearts and souls of their listeners.

My rating: 9.5/10

Jarface : Now They See

Posted by Beat Magazine

Now They See is raw with fiery energy and drive. Opener ‘Rise’ kicks off with choppy riffs and drums, instantly radiating an alternative rock feel that is engaging to listen to. ‘Absolution’ is just as filled with heavy grunge goodness as ‘Sucker’, while ‘Burn The Effigy’ adds more fuel to the fire by throwing screaming vocals and hoarse chanting into the mix – revealing a more metal-inspired edge that creates variety amongst the rock‘n’roll and grunge that Jarface enjoy hammering out. ‘Kneel’is full of heavy guitar streaks and thundering drums, creating a dirty rock feel that resonates with the ‘90s grunge era.

‘All The Same’ features swirling riffs and drums that create a catchy rhythm for the listener to cruise to. ‘Child’ features slowly sung vocals that sound hypnotic, lulling the listener into a relaxed state before adopting a more raw edge in the chorus and adding heavy guitars and drums to suddenly yank their listeners out of their reveries. Closing track ‘Throw Me Away’ is full of gritty grunge and blazing guitars that create a firecracker ending to a great album.

My rating: 8/10

Hollywood Undead : Five

Posted by Beat Magazine

Hollywood Undead’s fifth album Five is fast-paced and blazing with energy. ‘California Dreaming’ kicks off with fiery riffs and pounding drums, painting a portrait of the murky darkness that pervades those who dream of fame in California. Whatever It Takes’ incorporates a playful rap flavoured with a suspenseful beat that’s addictive to listen to. ‘Bad Moon’ also incorporates a rhythmic rap that is creatively woven with taunting lyrics before urgent vocals become more pronounced in the chorus. ‘Ghost Beach’ begins with a hazy overtone before introducing a softer tempo that creates a smooth flowing melody.

Renegade’ is catchy, pumping up the adrenaline with hooky riffs in the chorus that you can’t help but headbang to. ‘Black Cadillac’ contrasts the other songs with the constant interchange between vocalists; B-Real’s presence cranks up the vibe and creates an interesting rap combination.

‘Cashed Out’ radiates hip hop with its smooth rhythm, but ‘We Own The Night’leans back into rock‘n’roll with enticing guitar riffs while still maintaining the rap pattern. Closing song ‘Your Roll’ ties in the band’s experimentation with the rock and rap genres, creating a distinctive album that is fun to listen to.

My rating: 8/10

The Used : The Canyon

Posted by Beat Magazine.

The Used have taken a different direction with their music, straying away from their distinctive emo sound and progressing to a combination of alt-rock and post-hardcore with their new album The Canyon. Released through Hopeless Records, The Canyon was recorded entirely without a backing track, which really emphasises its raw overtone. For You opens up with the vocalist Bert McCracken discussing the writing process of the loss of his son. His voice stricken with grief, he states: ‘All I want to say to you is that your love never leaves me alone, and now you’re right here, hold my hand every single song I ever sing is for you’, which he verifies to be the chorus of the song. A beautiful acoustic lullaby then strokes our ears, as McCracken injects his emotion into his sugary sweet vocals.

‘Cold War Telescreen‘ begins with a haunting howl, before the breakdown of searing guitars and intense drums begin to wreak havoc on the song. ‘Broken Windows’ has a catchy alt-rock rhythm that contradicts the angst presented in the first two songs, providing a lighter overtone. ‘Rise Up Lights’ has interesting sound effects meshed in with a few screams, and the vocals are raw, grating against your ears. ‘Pretty Picture’ begins with the sound of a man making a speech and children playfully squealing, before acoustics creep in and McCracken’s vocals are driven with suspense, as the heavy breakdown is then thrown in the chorus.

‘Upper Falls’ meanders with sweet vocals and gentle acoustics, gradually progressing to heavier riffs. ‘Selfies In Aleppo’ begins with an intriguing George Orwell quote before luring us into a dark journey that eventually unleashes some intense guitar work in the chorus. ‘Over and Over Again’ is a whimsical pop creation that playfully lightens up the dark throes that have captured this album.

‘Moon Dream’ begins with a child murmuring adorably before introducing a multifaceted orchestral rhythm that is brilliantly composed. Closing song ‘The Mouth Of The Canyon’ is cadenced with introspective vocals, as McCracken’s brooding state of mind takes the listener on a winding path that paints vivid images in their minds. The Canyon is intricately woven with powerful emotion and raw honesty that really resonates with its listeners.

My rating: 9/10

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

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