This Month In Metal: August 2008

Slipknot and Dragonforce in the 1-year anniversary edition of This Month In Metal.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
0

First off, this is an anniversary of some sort. It's not precisely, but more or less a year since the first installment of This Month In Metal. I hope you've had fun reading it, found some new bands and had a good time. I sure have, here's to another year!

Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown

Release date: August 28 Genres: Extreme Power Metal Label: Roadrunner

Few bands divide metal fans into "lovers" and "haters" so well like Dragonforce. It seems everyone has an opinion on them, their music, their liveshow, how their bassplayer can rip so much on guitar or their drinking. So, what's "Ultra Beatdown" like? Color me surprised, they're sticking to their guns this time around as well. Completely ridiculous lyrics about freedom, fire, flames and heroes? Check. Over-the-top vocals about aforementioned topics? Check. Double bass drumming, crazy nintendo tricks on guitar, more shred than at the butcher shop? Check.

"Ultra Beatdown" brings precious new to the table. DF have their formula, their own sound and the label are most certainly pleased with that. But on an artistic, creative level, releasing rehashed music like this is plain and simple suicide. Dragonforce have always come off as a fun band, best taken with a truckload of salt and in small doses... eerily similar to Manowar in that regard. Sure, they're entertaining in parts, the guitar chops of Sam and Herman are quite jawdropping at times and the whole thing is well produced. But it also lacks recognizable riffs and melodies capable to carry and define a song. Add to that 8 songs coming off as same-y clocking in at an average of over 7 minutes, and you most definitely do not have a winner. Maybe a beer coaster, if you still insist on purcashing it.

UG Review Rating: 5.5

Into Eternity - The Incurable Tragedy

Release date: August 25 Genres: Melodic/Progressive/Extreme Metal Label: Century Media

Into Eternity have managed to craft themselves a nice little sound that in theory should appeal to a lot of people, without for that matter being something you could or should dismiss as commercial. A good dose of classic/traditional metal with thrash, progressive and a touch of modern screaming/growling makes for an interesting melting pot of styles. There's of course a good dose of guitar acrobatics involved, but also softer and more gentle moments, such as "The Incurable Tragedy I" that for some reason sounds eerily similar to another household name for progressive fans; Shadow Gallery. As is the case with the albums of the aforementioned band, there's a story of some sort going on here, but due to the short time I have to get familiar with this release, I'll have to pass on doing a deeper analysis of the lyrics and storyline.

So, is it any good? Why yes of course, it's definitely worth giving a few spins. The vocals are perhaps a bit of an aquired taste, but musically it's very solid. Well-crafted melodies, some catchy riffing and several unexpected twists and turns coupled with a solid, albeit uneventful production. 38 minutes split onto 12 tracks also helps the case, as "The Incurable Tragedy" hardly outstays its welcome and makes for a refreshing change compared to the 'fill-it-up'-mentality that most bands tend to abide by these days.

"The Incurable Tragedy" gets a lot of things right and doesn't necessarily make any huge mistakes, but it also struggles to reach any real heights. It's a good, solid modern progmetal album. Nothing more, nothing less and well worth checking out if that's your thing.

Rating: 6.5

Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone

Release date: August 26 Genres: Modern Metal Label: Roadrunner

One of the more anticipated releases of the year (which apparently hit #1 after a recount. Is Billboard located in Florida?) has dropped, and as expected the ball is rolling quite well for this outfit.

What can be said about "All Hope Is Gone?" Well, it's nothing new under the sun. The production is perhaps a bit slicker than on previous releases, but Corey Taylor's trademark snarl and catchy lyrics are still present. Slipknot have their sound, or perhaps I should say had, because either there are more bands sounding like them, or they are starting to conform and turn into a more pedestrian act. There're certainly catchy tunes at hand -- the title track, 'Gematria' and a handful more tunes showcase the 'knots ability to pen tracks that'll get kids into the pit. But then again, how many bands out there can't thump their chests and say 'we can do that too'? While having a bunch of tracks that can rock the sport-bra off the girl next to you in the pit, the album also has some tracks that are decidedly uneventful, a few ballad-y numbers that would be better off on a Stone Sour album and it all adds up to a padded release clocking in at almost an hour.

I don't care what Rolling Stone's writers say about 'Slipknot the metal phenomenon' -- there have always been metal bands capable doing what Slipknot are putting out. Bottom line is that "All Hope Is Gone" is just another metal album by just another metal band that happens to have been in the right place at the right time. Average and harmless.

UG Review Rating: 5.5

News And Tidbits From The Past Month

Four members of now-defunct Swedish death/thrashers The Crown have once again joined forces in a new project entitled Dobermann. Andreas Bergh of Deathstars will handle vocal duties on an as of yet untitled release.

Drummer Dariusz "Daray" Brzozowski and guitarist Maurycy "Mauser" Stefanowicz have left the legendary Polish death metal band Vader. Daray will join Dimmu Borgir, while Mauser will focus on his own project, Unsun. Official details regarding replacements are as of now not available.

Yngwie Malmsteen's new album "Perpetual Flame" will be released on October 14.

"Get Thrashed: The Story Of Thrash Metal" be will be released on DVD in the US and Japan on September 16, 2008, in the UK on October 20 and in the rest of Europe on September 26.

Sweden's Katatonia have begun working on new material.

Both Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God will enter studios in October to work on new releases. Both albums are scheduled for Q1 2009 releases.

Napalm Death have set "Time Waits For No Slave" as the title for their new album, tentatively due before the end of the year.

Behemoth will release their first live album, "At The Arena Ov Aion - Live Apostasy", in October.

Drummer Jeff Singer has left UK doomsters Paradise Lost and decided to hang up his sticks.

Agalloch has recently released 'The Demonstration Archive', a retrospective full-length album documenting their unsigned years, plus some bonus tracks.

123 comments sorted by best / new / date

    flxz
    "Both Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God will enter studios in October to work on new releases. Both albums are scheduled for Q1 2009 releases." Hooray \o/
    CBofJAWBREAK
    jibran wrote: Hmmm...Perpetual Flame? Or is it really 'Perpetual Burn?'
    i c wut u did thar
    GunSlinger_a7x
    i dont know what theyre saying about all hope is gone. i thought it was top-goddam-notch! The solos have evolved from annoying widdly widdlies, to amazinlgy annoying coordinated solos. and there is nothing wrong with snuff. i actually like that song
    Nathan_393
    jacob911363 wrote: why did they say slipknot's album was 5.5 if it is #1 that doesnt make sense.
    just to warn you, people are going to disagree. and i'll warn you that number 1 albums mean little in terms of quality sometimes. look at St. Anger even, for example (although that record had its moments). on the other hand, i enjoy Slipknot's new album (i guess that makes me a poser now right? Well, whatever. Suck it UG!)
    SlipknotZ
    Ugh Dragonforce... Absolutely garish band, but All Hope is Gone was amazing, theres nothing wrong with a metal band doing ballads, it shows diversity
    Reviewer Pete
    Into_Eternity23 And for the vocals, wtf dude??? Stu Block is one of the best singers in this era!!!!
    You know what an aquired taste is, don't you? I like Stu Block, I think he's great, but his style certainly can take some time to fully appreciate, and plenty of people have been put off because of him.
    stumaster18
    KyuNaynne wrote: think All Hope Is Gone deserves more than 5.5
    agreed. It may be repetitive and dry, but it's still a solid album. I'd give it a 7.
    TheDave1552
    I personally enjoy listening to Dragonforce from time to time, but I honestly can't listen to two of their songs in a row. I'm not really into Slipknot and haven't really listened to the album so I can't really comment on that, and I'm currently trying some stuff from Into Eternity. Anyways, next month is gonna be awesome with releases from Trivium and All That Remains, which will both be epic. I also can't wait for a new album from Killswitch Engage...they're my favorite band by far. As Daylight Dies was actually a masterpiece IMO.
    joeybones
    They said that slipknot's new album is nothing different and they are wrong. I've found that their new album is more metal-based due to pinch-harmonics and the way that it sounds. All of their other albums sound like very hard rock and aren't very much like their new one.
    xXChimairaXx
    efferus wrote: I'd have to also disagree with the reviewer and say AHIG is a great album.
    same here. it didn't hit me at fist, but now i really like it. think it gets better the more you LISTEN TO IT (7th time) and listen to all the components. but couldn't agree more with the Dragonforce review. if all their songs didn't sound the same...
    Into_Eternity23
    Well, The Icurable Tragedy is a concept album, revolved around the topic of cancer, because two of Tim's (guitar player) friends and his dad died of cancer, and they are making this album dedicated to them. And for the vocals, wtf dude??? Stu Block is one of the best singers in this era!!!! Dude Into Eternity deserves at least an 8!! And yeah I think The Scattering Of Ashes was better
    Deliriumbassist
    trendkill- wrote: wow 1. way to bring to groups that hate each other togher in one forum and 2. u seam to dislike everyband u reviewed. why bother reviewing then?
    Because reviewing isn't just about what you like. It's about what's out there, whether you like it or not.
    arnob_oblique
    Goldenfire88 wrote: slipknot is a ****ing metal band...any band that is filtered into the many sub genres of metal IS A METAL BAND am i right or not? please attempt to correct me if im not
    i support u !
    dark_echidna
    iamhamsterboy : Ah now here's where you bash the reviewers... Anyone who said they didn't like Dragonforce, have you actually listened to them? Or did you put hear a song while focusing very hardly on something? If you did the second, no wonder they all sound the same. After a listen or two of more than one song by them, you can really realize they are different. Focus on the song, not something else. Not saying you have to do that each time to apprectiate them, but the first two times or so, yeah, it really helps. And see them live. That really helps. Their live sound nowdays, if they aren't drunk XP is actually pretty good. For anyone who thinks Heroes of Our Time sounds like Through the Fire and Flames, that was on purpose. Herman said it himself. It was made to sound like it, but in a major key not a minor.
    Agree'd 100% UB is their most musically pleasing album yet in my opinion. Instead of almost all of the songs being a surge of sound (not that I didn't like that, that's pretty much what got me hooked), the songs often break for lighter parts, taking the epic feeling to the next level, plus adding much more depth to the music. I've been a huge DF fan since Sonic Firestorm, and I must say, this album blows all of their others out of the water. Only complaint I have would be that they are on the verge of completely changing their sound, which may work well, but also may ruin them. They've gone to a much more technology-esque sound.
    southern_stylin
    isabiggles : Slipknot aren't a metal band.
    OK, so while you're at it, why not give us a solid definition of 'metal'. You know, just so that we all know what we are allowed to listen to without offending you. I've already told my mates to return their new Slipknot CD's because they're not 'metal'. Man, imagine if they got caught listening to it in public! It's a good thing you posted that or who knows what could have happened? They might have accidentally enjoyed an album that they weren't supposed to listen to in the first place. Oh, and would you mind posting a list of the bands you like so that we can all shit on them? Keep up the good work buddy!
    cbuggzie
    through the fire and flames is an awful excuse for a song....complete rubbish....sure their guitarists are impressive, but jesus, can't they think of some better lyrics...sheesh.... >
    iamhamsterboy
    Ah now here's where you bash the reviewers... Anyone who said they didn't like Dragonforce, have you actually listened to them? Or did you put hear a song while focusing very hardly on something? If you did the second, no wonder they all sound the same. After a listen or two of more than one song by them, you can really realize they are different. Focus on the song, not something else. Not saying you have to do that each time to apprectiate them, but the first two times or so, yeah, it really helps. And see them live. That really helps. Their live sound nowdays, if they aren't drunk XP is actually pretty good. For anyone who thinks Heroes of Our Time sounds like Through the Fire and Flames, that was on purpose. Herman said it himself. It was made to sound like it, but in a major key not a minor.
    kaizerkhan13
    66something wrote: jibran wrote: Hmmm...Perpetual Flame? Or is it really 'Perpetual Burn?' oh dont bring that here as well...
    +1
    GnikNus
    Mahoru wrote: ^ For me it's the opposite. Dragonforce's album is less than a 5.5 for doing the same crap for the 3rd consecutive time, and I completely disagree with Slipknot. It's their only album I can say I really like (I've never been much into nu metal). And now that they've dropped that tag, I start to like them.
    agreed
    Reesh
    I love This Month In Metal. one of my favorite articles to browse. lots of good information all in one place. good job UG or whoever writes this.
    ferretman
    ferretman wrote: love your reviews pete. you've got me into plenty of new bands. and people need to stop with the whole 'nu-metal aint true metal'. its a big genre. don't be such close-minded dingle buries
    *berries
    ferretman
    love your reviews pete. you've got me into plenty of new bands. and people need to stop with the whole 'nu-metal aint true metal'. its a big genre. don't be such close-minded dingle buries
    ppiekoszewski
    Good article I thought. Though I may not agree with the rating on Slipknot, I can definitely see the points made. And as for Daray joining DB, we can only hope it'll make them better.
    trendkill-
    wow 1. way to bring to groups that hate each other togher in one forum and 2. u seam to dislike everyband u reviewed. why bother reviewing then?
    trendkill-
    trendkill- wrote: wow 1. way to bring to groups that hate each other togher in one forum and 2. u seam to dislike everyband u reviewed. why bother reviewing then? Deliriumbassist m : Because reviewing isn't just about what you like. It's about what's out there, whether you like it or not.
    i ment that it seams he hates everything so its not realy a fair review
    seanbabs
    What about Unearth's new cd that is getting released here soon. I preordered mine and they will ship it October 9th!!! The new song "My Will be Done" sounds awesome!
    Capri
    Did the slipknot album get knocked because it was "One of the more anticipated releases of the year?" Sometimes I think that people decide how an album should sound before they hear it - and when it doesn't sound like that it gets reviewed negatively. This is why Metallica released small samples of Death Magnetic. Pretty smart I think, given the anticipation for St. Anger (back to our roots - these songs are long!) and the resulting shitfest on that album.
    Unchained_BG
    Dakkstar wrote: isabiggles wrote: Slipknot aren't a metal band. yeah they are slow jazz!
    You're LOL. BTW i can't say that they are a metal group too, its just dum-dum-dum,grr-grr,bla-bla and the song end.
    colster6000
    ferretman wrote: ferretman wrote: love your reviews pete. you've got me into plenty of new bands. and people need to stop with the whole 'nu-metal aint true metal'. its a big genre. don't be such close-minded dingle buries *berries
    lol I kinda liked the way you said it the first time
    GoWithTheFlow
    i havent heard the new DF cd but ive heard two or three of their songs so i figured ive already heard it. and how can that guy just quit the drums.. hard to believe
    KsE909
    Finally people are starting to realize that DF sucks. Listen to every song, try to determine which is which without checking. Hard ain't it?
    Ibanez796
    I haven't listened to the new DragonForce cd, but I'm sure I'll hear it soon. As for Slipknot's new cd. I absolutly love it.. There really isn't a song on it that I couldn't listen to.
    Deth is iminent
    vIsIbleNoIsE wrote: don't forget the new amon amarth september 30th for US!
    TWILIGHT OF THE THUNDERGOD
    rocker_01
    DaMechaMachine wrote: Perpetual Flame Tentative Track List: 1. Hights 2. Perpetual Flame 3. Mable's Fatal Table 4. Aire 5. Temple of the Crazy 6. Twelve Red Persians 7. Helen Keller in the Celler 8. Hocus Pocus
    Haha - that's our YJM in a nutshell!
    Deth is iminent
    Reviewer Pete wrote: Masonpwiley wrote: Could you really not find anything better to review? In the month of August - nope. The Human Abstract released an album, but I didn't get much time with it. Sounded pretty good though, 7-ish out of 10. September will be filled to the brim with big releases though, and some of them are bloody good. -- "Why is their a review for Slipknot on this? They aren't even allowed in the metal forum here and aren't metal." My article, my rules, my definitions. -- "Whoever wrote this review obviously didn't actually listen to Ultra Beatdown." My last.fm says otherwise.
    September man, dont forget Amon Amarth you cant leave out the greatest band in existance
    KolosoK
    I enjoyed Slipknot's new album. However, I've only been a fan since 2005.
    RATM_11
    I've never been a fan of DF, but I haven't heard UB so I'm gonna leave it be for now... as for slipknot i'm torn a bit. i like the sound but i do hear the stone sour-ness to it. While being more diverse with tracks such as snuff can be okay for some bands, slipknot has so many songs with the same feel in the past that changing their style is rather out of the question. if they wanted to experiment they should have started throwing in different songs a WHILE ago. It's a lot like metallica, they wrote albums like AJFA and RTL and that was their one and only sound..personally i don't like anything that came out after and justice for all... not only is some of it borderline crap (St. Anger) but its not the real metallica sound. now while i feel the album all hope is gone deserves a little higher than 5.5 (6-6.5) slipknot deserves the poor review for writing a non-pure slipknot album. but hey what do they care they hit #1 on the chart!! Oh and whoever brought up blooddrunk is totally right. that album is solid COB awesome-ness all the way.
    Cacophonic
    DaMechaMachine wrote: Perpetual Flame Tentative Track List: 1. Hights 2. Perpetual Flame 3. Mable's Fatal Table 4. Aire 5. Temple of the Crazy 6. Twelve Red Persians 7. Helen Keller in the Celler 8. Hocus Pocus
    I swear, if that happens. The world will end. I'll go into my closet and just go emo on myself.
    DP_SF_DTX_RATM
    lethaldosage45 wrote: Dragon force has not changed. I listened to the first track and all i could hear was Through the Fire and the flames part 2... so f that. Slipknot, well it just sounds like sourknot. I'm hoping the new into eternity doesnt dissapoint cos metal has been sucking lately.
    indeed....
    ogre152
    aww man i was gonna go see dragonforce and slipknot, disturbed and mastodon at the mayhen festival in boston but then i didnt for some strange reason all albums are great though