This Month In Metal: July 2008

Short summary: A handful of albums and some news on albums that are to be released.

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After The Burial - Rareform

Release date: July 22 Genres: Death Metal/Hardcore/Progressive Label: Sumerian

I suppose we've all heard albums that have immediately struck us as 'fun' albums. Early Van Halen is often called 'fun music', and I find that fun metal music comes out when the musicians let it rip while keeping it tasty. After The Burial are extremely skilled at doing just that -- playing technical yet catchy music, and most importantly playing to their strengths. The 8 tracks clock in at a total of 35 minutes and you don't need any more. If you like your metal filled with big choruses, looks elsewhere. If you like your metal filled with catchy shred, instrumental prowess and some good ol' mosh-inducing breakdowns... buy it! Rareform is an album consisting of just that -- catchy melodies, soloing, Meshuggah-esque breakdowns and all in all songs that are plain fun to listen to. Why? Because one can tell that these guitarists are having fun, dropping into leads when they feel like it and when they do, it helps the song because the leads are very musical (i.e. not wank or plain crap). And then there's an even bigger hook -- the album is, by modern standards, very short and since it's all quite fun to listen to, it leaves you yearning for more. Just the way it should be.

The vocals are perhaps not the album's strongest point, but they don't hurt the case either. The delivery is somewhat standard -core screaming, yet it complements the 8-string playing quite nicely and since there're so many nice melodies provided by the other instruments (2 x guitar, drum, bass, vocals by the way) it doesn't turn into a monotone mess. Musically one could call it technical, melodic death metal and that would boil it down quite well, but it'd also leave out the obvious Meshuggah-inspiration. Either way, Rareform is a very enjoyable album full of fun shredding, fun tunes and as I type this I realise that Arsis just got some competition for Guitar Album Of The Year... so far, anyways.

UG Review Rating: 8.5

Blaze Bayley - The Man Who Would Not Die

Release date: July 7 Genres: Heavy/Melodic Metal Label: Blaze Bayley

Poor Blaze, he just can't win. After a career in Iron Maiden that most regard as the darkest days of the band, his own career just can't seem to lift before it's shot down, over and over again. His misfortunes in the business eventually led to him releasing this album on his own label, and indeed the lyrics and general vibe of the album echoes much of the man's past experiences.

Blaze's solo albums tend to be made up of traditional and thus melodic metal, some thrashy riffs and generally what you could categorise as modern heavy metal. When one chooses to operate within such parameters, it's quite obvious that it's all about the song. You need tunes in order to deliver a quality album because you won't get any free points for instrumental prowess or spicing things up by incorporating other styles into your music. Blaze and his current band members do deliver quite a few nice rocking tunes, and also a few that don't rock all that much. Sounds like a whole lot of albums out there, doesn't it?

There's nothing inherently wrong with Blaze and his albums -- it's just that they're far from anything special. Despite that certain cliques of the Maiden fanbase want you to think that Blaze is the Messiah and whatnot, I can safely tell you that he is not. Blaze is a good guy who's gotten a decent set of cards in his life and when the flop comes around it just won't work out for him. His voice is not one that can carry a career and create a legacy just by itself. He's an average singer, writing and putting out average metal. And The Man Who Would Not Die does not stray from that path.

Rating: 5

Soulfly - Conquer

Release date: July 29 Genres: Metal/Thrash/Hardcore Label: Roadrunner

Max Cavalera has been quite a busy bee over his now quite lengthy career, and maybe that's why the creative well has started to run a bit dry... not that it ever was very deep. Sarcastic comments from yours truly aside, it's hardly rocket science. Max is a very dependable writer and his music will always be of a certain quality, much like a modern version of Motorhead I suppose. You can bet your rear end that the first track will be a mosh fest with a riotous chorus screaming dissent against the establishment. You can bet what's left of that rear end of yours that the rest of the album will follow the same established path for another 45-or-so minutes. And there you have your Soulfly album. It's not necessarily a bad thing, obviously. Fans get what they want, Max doesn't have to pick up a dictionary to come up with new words (the chorus Scream motherf--ker, scream motherf--ker, scream motherf--ker, doom! will for sure be a hit with every simpleton in the world), Roadrunner cashes in and everyone's happy... but I digress.

It would be nice to see Max & Co try something new (it would certainly give him a higher rating in this column) because despite a few nice tracks, Conquer is very forgettable and could be found in a dictionary, accompanying the word 'mundane'. And yes Soulfly fans, I know I'm no-one and he (Max) doesn't care what I think. And I'm cool with that.

Rating: 5.5

News And Tidbits From The Past Month

Amon Amarth's new album Twilight Of The Thunder God will be out in most markets from mid to late September.

Fellow countrymen The Haunted will release their new album Versus in late September.

Psycroptic's new album entitled Ob(Servant) will be released sometime this fall.

Jeff Loomis of Nevermore will release his solo album Zero Order Phase on September 30th.

All That Remains recently posted some new songs on their MySpace page. Check 'em out if you like.

Four former members of The Crown have reunited in a currently unnamed project. They are currently recording a death/thrash album with an as of yet undisclosed singer.

Finland's Insomnium will enter the studio in March to record their fourth album.

Bay Area thrashers Heathen are currently in the studio working on a new album due later this year.

Cynic will release their new album Traced In Air on October 27th. I personally can't wait.

Heaven & Hell have reportedly written six or seven new songs for their upcoming new album.

Between The Buried And Me will release their live album on October 18. As previously reported, it consists of their 2007 release Colors in its entirety, and a second set of songs picked by their fans.

Lamb Of God will enter the studio in September to start working on a new album, tentatively due Q1 2009.

Unearth have set The March as the title for their new album, due October 14th.

July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more. As usual, if you have recommendations, thoughts, ideas, love or hate mail, do write them down below or drop me a message in my profile.

Finally, give your thoughts and prayers to Blaze Bayley's wife who recently suffered a brain haemorrhage and has since been in a coma. We hope for a swift recovery.

167 comments sorted by best / new / date

    wasteofkrisza
    jim root says the new slipknot album is alright at best in the july guitar world. so dont get too excited. although well get to hear some six string sweep apreggios. what i dont understand is how a band can change genres just because they use acoustic guitars or slower beats. its experimentation, i dont know about you, but most guitarists i know have acoustics, no matter what they listen to. its just a part of being a musician
    EndOfNothing656
    Machine Gun Cat wrote: July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more. As usual, if you have recommendations, thoughts, ideas, love or hate mail, do write them down below or drop me a message in my profile. Slipknot is knot metal but dragonforces new album should be awesome
    lol are you serious? You cant be serious. Your choosing Dragonforce being more metal than slipknot? Sure according to Seventh Sin they are a little more kiddy, but they are still more metal than Dragonforces same thrash beats and same ass vocal harmonies...
    Reviewer Pete
    Mr_CiNiC wrote: Not familiar with Cynic or Heathen, might check them out from all the response they're gettin' here.
    Cynic's 1993 release Focus is one of the cornerstones of technical death metal. Amazing album.
    EndOfNothing656
    rip3149 wrote: rip3149 wrote: to address issues above...slipknot WAS metal until vol. 3. after that, they became hard rock at best. and dragonforce...they are a different breed of metal that WE ALL LAUGH AT. metallica's "death magnetic" looks like a promising release (can't be worse than "load". and as far as what is considered metal...nothing is technically metal. metal was a term we originally created to describe just how "heavy" certain brands or rock music are. and yes, metal is indeed in the eye of the beholder. for me personally, metal is either "sounding the seventh trumpet", 80's metallica, or "british steel". anything less heavy than judas priest's british steel cannot be considered metal in my book. and furthermore, metal isn't the only "acceptable" music as some of you may feel. personally, i'd take classic rock like zeppelin or deep purple over hatebreed or trivium any day. but i still love metallica.
    I couldn't agree with you more sir.
    Creaz93
    I'm looking forward to Jeff Loomis's solo album. That guy is a beast
    LakeboDom
    Slipknot is trying to become hardcore. F That they suck couldnt do it if they tried. Cant wait for Unearth though. After The Burial Has more technical skills than anyband on this Review besides BTBAM.
    mason092
    Deth is iminent wrote: You know what metal metal is, Amon Amarth vikings like them and I (yes im norwegian *****s) were born from metal, made for metal. Oden commands them as well as i to make metal and you "slipknot", "between the bullshit and me", and Trivium fans cant compare to the metal that we put out into this world I know that there new album will be so metal most of you slipknot loving jerkoffs couldnt handle it Hail Oden
    I agree that Slipknot sucks. But if you think BTBAM does, you have a MAJOR case of elitist syndrome.
    Soadfan8
    I like slipknot. even if you dont, you cant say theyre not metal just because you think their music sucks.
    mykl
    I hope slipknot crash and burn because of this new album. After hearing "Snuff" I think it's safe to say that album is an epic fail. Psycroptic and Cynic should make everything better though.
    bwalter32
    Deth is iminent wrote: You know what metal metal is, Amon Amarth vikings like them and I (yes im norwegian *****s) were born from metal, made for metal. Oden commands them as well as i to make metal and you "slipknot", "between the bullshit and me", and Trivium fans cant compare to the metal that we put out into this world I know that there new album will be so metal most of you slipknot loving jerkoffs couldnt handle it Hail Oden i agree with some of your points, but you just sound like a douche.
    scud1987
    you know what, i feel like joining this. so im gonna say - NONE OF THESE BANDS ARE METAL!!! as that seems to be the only thing being discussed here...lame and just for the record...slipknot are awesome and one of the best live bands ive ever seen...guess that makes me NOT METAL!!! haha
    Slaytan666
    IbanezBassman wrote: jbridge90 wrote: Metallica makes me want to stomp kittens. Is that good or bad?
    It's a good thing. Slipknot makes me want to stomp kittens, too. And I don't care if they don't fit into a closed-minded view of what is or isn't metal, they're angry enough for me.
    Tortiss
    "July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot" Whew! Thank goodness! Dragonforce and Slipknot are gunna save me from this month's terrible metal! >.>
    blasphemus666
    Machine Gun Cat wrote: July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more. As usual, if you have recommendations, thoughts, ideas, love or hate mail, do write them down below or drop me a message in my profile. Slipknot is knot metal but dragonforces new album should be awesome
    wuhuwhuwhuwhuuuuuhh????? nonono, i think youre a little mixed up. Slipknot is DEFINATELY metal. Dragonforce is just...well...crap.
    blasphemus666
    oh, and i cant wait for lamb of gods new album!!!!! ITS GUNNA BE FUCKIN AWESOME!!! (sorry for the double post)
    rockybo
    The new After the Burial album is pretty killer. It's a bonus that all the dudes in the band are really awesome guys, we went to the same high school.
    Mr_CiNiC
    Not familiar with Cynic or Heathen, might check them out from all the response they're gettin' here. Freakin' psyched about All That Remains and Lamb of God albums. Not too much so about Lamb of God, though. Sacrament was literally terrible. It was St. Anger for LoG, in my opinion. It had, like, 2 good songs, just pathetic. I'm into Job For A Cowboy (old album) and am wondering if any of these bands listed are similar to that, are they?
    blasphemus666
    jonathanonfire wrote: newsflash. new lamb of god will sound even more like pantera. wait for it... wait for it...
    im pretty sure thats a good thing.
    jonathanonfire
    stop crying kids. slipknot was.. and always will be nu-metal.
    archangelseren wrote: what about bleeding through? there new album is sounding amazingly heavy and melodic at the same time cant wait.... well i guess its not til September so that's a bit of for the release
    are you ****ing serious? their last relase was just horrible. i cant see any way of recovering from that with their dignity intact. cynic, nevermore dude, the haunted and psycroptic. only good things to come out soon.
    WendigoRock
    I'm really only interested in Lamb Of God and psycroptic's new albums, to be honest. Although Metallica's album should be fun.
    trouble92rocker
    the guy at the bottom
    trouble92rocker wrote: i agree with this guyarchangelseren wrote: Machine Gun Cat wrote: July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more. As usual, if you have recommendations, thoughts, ideas, love or hate mail, do write them down below or drop me a message in my profile. Slipknot is knot metal but dragonforces new album should be awesome who are u to decide what metal is? metal is so broad these days that so many bands are metal but if it aint death metal its pussy faced lightning.... like the glam days but wait! heavy riffs plus screaming plus heavy drumbeats = metal or emo these days the questions out there
    F8iscruel
    i dont understand, people shouldnt critasize a band and for what they do, like there are people who insult slipknot to no end then say, well i used to be a fan but then they changed their sound and they dont do enough pinch harmonics or to many or whatever so they just start insultingthe people they used to like, its the same as the metallica issues with the balck album ( i know people have problems with the napster thing but im talking musically). if you cant listen to a band because they change themselves it doesnt make you a fan it makes you a poser, it works the same in reverse for kids who do nothing but trash the band just to be on the bandwagon, if you dont like a band dont insult just go on listening to the music you like and if you hear something then listen to it, dont go, well i like this song but its not in the metal genre so its not heavy enough for me to be popular listening to, or well their pop so their not good, or well their metal so their posers. i dont understand why people havenothing better to do than insult someone. if you had the time to listen to them it means you liked the song enough to give it a try so, your being a hypocrit (
    F8iscruel
    well i ra out of room what do you know lol, i had written more but i forgot it so my bad haha i cant finish that thought
    rip3149
    to address issues above...slipknot WAS metal until vol. 3. after that, they became hard rock at best. and dragonforce...they are a different breed of metal that WE ALL LAUGH AT. metallica's "death magnetic" looks like a promising release (can't be worse than "load"). and as far as what is considered metal...nothing is technically metal. metal was a term we originally created to describe just how "heavy" certain brands or rock music are. and yes, metal is indeed in the eye of the beholder. for me personally, metal is either "sounding the seventh trumpet", 80's metallica, or "british steel". anything less heavy than judas priest's british steel cannot be considered metal in my book.
    rip3149
    rip3149 wrote: to address issues above...slipknot WAS metal until vol. 3. after that, they became hard rock at best. and dragonforce...they are a different breed of metal that WE ALL LAUGH AT. metallica's "death magnetic" looks like a promising release (can't be worse than "load". and as far as what is considered metal...nothing is technically metal. metal was a term we originally created to describe just how "heavy" certain brands or rock music are. and yes, metal is indeed in the eye of the beholder. for me personally, metal is either "sounding the seventh trumpet", 80's metallica, or "british steel". anything less heavy than judas priest's british steel cannot be considered metal in my book.
    and furthermore, metal isn't the only "acceptable" music as some of you may feel. personally, i'd take classic rock like zeppelin or deep purple over hatebreed or trivium any day. but i still love metallica.
    jonathanonfire
    taylorhindman wrote: Dragonforce makes me lol too, and Slipknot have gotten a little too mainstream... Lamb Of God's new album will kick ass though.
    newsflash. new lamb of god will sound even more like pantera. wait for it... wait for it...
    bwalter32
    Machine Gun Cat : July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more. As usual, if you have recommendations, thoughts, ideas, love or hate mail, do write them down below or drop me a message in my profile. Slipknot is knot metal but dragonforces new album should be awesome POSTED: 08/01/2008 - 05:43 am / quote | slipknot give metal a better name then dragonforce. dragonforce blows. i can't wait for the new lamb of god album. should be awesome.
    Infamou$17
    "July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more" A bit? That's waaaaay too much credit. If this is the promise of the future then I will take July with After the Burial and news of LoG's new album. Q1 '09 looks like a good one... new LoG and Mastodon. Other than that... I bet you'kk forget Arsis once The Faceless put out Planetary Duality... the new song on myspace is insane
    juzzy
    conquer is the best soulfly album since soulfly, that shit is so good, Psycroptic, first good aussie metal band ever
    manmanster
    jonathanonfire wrote: taylorhindman wrote: Dragonforce makes me lol too, and Slipknot have gotten a little too mainstream... Lamb Of God's new album will kick ass though. newsflash. new lamb of god will sound even more like pantera. wait for it... wait for it...
    How is that bad? I think you meant to say "new lamb of god will sound even more like JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. wait for it...wait for it...
    Ironpriest
    New album from heaven and hell? thats black sabbath with dio on the mic is it not? i got the dio years album and i pretty much enjoyed it! love early metal. new metal not so much. plus 'death' metal should never be called fun. its just noise.
    the_heretic
    Nightstrider wrote: HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN
    YEAH!
    blasphemus666
    oh, and i cant wait for lamb of gods new album!!!!! ITS GUNNA BE FUCKIN AWESOME!!! (sorry for the double post)
    DukeFame
    Slipknot is knot metal agreed , sure they look cool the sound on the other hand is not even heavy and vocals are pussy. If you wanna get into over the top showmanship in metal check out Gorgoroth or some other black metal. praise satan.
    deathnotes
    Speaking strictly as a guitarist, I am psyched by the new All That Remains stuff. They've always had very strong, powerful riffs, and they always great tone with their solos. It's not just empty technique. When matched with the vocalist's... interesting range, it makes for some great music.
    Reviewer Pete
    isabiggles If i see Slipknot or Trivium in this article next month i'll riot.
    Riot away. They'll be reviewed here.
    ghostofhendrix
    Machine Gun Cat wrote: July was a pretty lame month for metal, but August looks a bit better with releases from Dragonforce and Slipknot... and then September will roll around with albums from Metallica, Trivium, The Haunted and tons more. As usual, if you have recommendations, thoughts, ideas, love or hate mail, do write them down below or drop me a message in my profile. Slipknot is knot metal but dragonforces new album should be awesome
    Pfft Dragonforce are a fad band. Sure they're talented players...but as songwriters their songs often sound very similar. I used to like them but now i don't think "wow!" or even grin when the long shredding solos come in. A few weeks ago my friend played the beginning parts of several DF songs....and they were all basically the same! Theres not much point looking forward to their new album, as it will just be a rehash of their old stuff... sadly
    bootyguard
    Reviewer Pete wrote: NathanWolff wrote: I don't know if I agree with you about Blaze Bayley. That's OK. DieselEater wrote: Hey, uhh you forgot Beneath the Massacre and Gojira's New albums coming out in october. Their release dates weren't announced in July, thus they don't make it to the news section of this summary. bootyguard : you forgot to review Neruaxis' new album... which is f*ckin' badass! No, I just didn't include it. I was going to review it, but in the end deemed it too pedestrian to bother. Didn't think anyone would care or notice, but I guess I was wrong.
    I'd rather have that reviewed than Blaze bayley or Soulfly. Neuraxis actually has some very cool songs... the other two are debatable.
    Shazazmic
    DukeFame wrote: Slipknot is knot metal agreed , sure they look cool the sound on the other hand is not even heavy and vocals are pussy. If you wanna get into over the top showmanship in metal check out Gorgoroth or some other black metal. praise satan.
    YEAH! Because going out in your backyard in the middle of winter covered in Ketchup while wielding plastic weapons to make yourself look cool is totally more badass! Neither is Slipknot. On a DragonForce note; what kind of name is Ultra Beatdown? I wouldn't be surprised if the CD was a 50 minute audio of the band having a furious masturbation session (although it'd probably have more musical skill if it was exactly that).
    isabiggles
    Apparnetly he was backstage at Maidens Twickenham concert. Its nice to see theres no hard feelings. I'd just like to add that i was there To clear this up: Slipknot are Nu metal which is a form of hard rock and is not metal. Jumping around in matching uniform looking like a twat does not make you metal. If i see Slipknot or Trivium in this article next month i'll riot.