Tag Archives: Dark Adrenaline

Fluffrick’s Half-Year Hitters

The best thing that Delain have done to date? I should say so…

Inspired by Angry Metal Guy’s list, and because everybody loves a top ten (no matter how arbitrary they end up being), here’s my selection of the best records in 2012 so far.   I can’t really say that anything which I’ve picked up has been a massive disappointment, and I’ve even found a band in the form of Diabulus In Musica who I totally adore and had never heard of before taking a chance on their second release.  Excellent returns from old-hands, convincing albums from established Euro Metal acts and cracking debut collections – you can’t say fairer than that from a year, can you?

1) Delain“We Are The Others”.  Clearly the best album this gifted Dutch symphonic metal quintet have released so far – as much for the ways that it diverts from the established musical template of that genre whilst still retaining their identity.  It’s the kind of record with enough diversity that your favourite song will change with each listening session – for me, the late-album track “Are You Done With Me?” is an alternate universe smash hit, but “I Want You” is also a genius slab of knowingly overwrought, sweeping metal balladry whose lyrics take a delicious, twisted about face in the last minute or two.

2) Luca Turilli‘s Rhapsody“Ascending to Infinity”.  Face-melting operatic insanity from the former Rhapsody of Fire guitarist.  The soundtrack to movies not yet made, with a lovely cover of the Alessandro Safina opera/pop crossover hit, “Luna”, which somehow perfectly fits in with the neo-classical influence and metal flourishes evident elsewhere.

3) Epica“Requiem for the Indifferent”.  Confident, seemingly effortlessly melodic symphonic goodness from Simone Simons and co – but with the underpinning, genuinely metallic riffing and musicianship which carves the band out a distinctive place of their own amidst the multitude of European bands playing in a similar musical field.  This is a record which I’ll be returning to repeatedly in the months to come, ahead of the band’s UK tour at the end of 2012.

4) Van Halen“A Different Kind of Truth”.  I was an early doubter of this legendarily fractious band’s ability to bounce back, record a record and tour it without something bad happening.  Thankfully, that doubt is more than eclipsed by the quality of this album – it might be a selection of reworked seventies cuts which never made it onto studio records first time around, but the end release is classic Van Halen.  End of debate, I guess.  The proof’s in the likes of “Blood and Fire”, “She’s The Woman” and “Stay Frosty” – all evidence that the VH you know and love still has it.

Another band I’m seeing live this year – I see a pattern forming…

5) Firewind – “Few Against Many”.  A departure from Firewind’s expected Power Metal sound, introducing 70’s hard rock influences into the mix and doing it without sacrificing the riffs and splendid solos that you want from guitar genius, Gus G.

6) SabatonCarolus Rex.  Sweden’s finest purveyors of fist-pumping, martial tunes about war and gubbins head way back into Swedish history for a tale of divine presumption, flawed military campaigns and good old-fashioned hubris married to some of the best tunes they’ve ever written.  All that and inter-band strife which led to the group splintering and taking on a new rhythm section and guitarists right as the record released.  For my money – currently £5.00 and coffee stamp card for the local java palace – “Lion From The North” is the best damn thing that they’ve recorded yet.  I look forward to seeing Joakim and co. pile drive it into the faces of the faithful at their Sheffield show in November…

7) Lacuna Coil“Dark Adrenaline”.  Many fans were split on the merits of Lacuna Coil’s fifth album, Shallow Life.  I wasn’t one of those who didn’t care for it (There’s some classic tunes on there – “I Won’t Tell You”, “Underdog”, “The Pain”) but I think that most fans will agree that Lacuna Coil’s 2012 record is a genuine monster of an album – not that these things count, but it’s been the highest charting release in their career in many countries.   Sleek, modern production makes the likes of “Against You” and “Tell Me Something More” sound impressively huge and expansive – a progressive and contemporary sounding record which skilfully integrates their electronic underpinnings with fantastic, gut-punching riffs and solos.  Modern Metal for the discerning?  I should say so.

8) Halestorm  –“The Strange Case Of…”.  I’m inclined to say that this is the closest thing that this list will get to provoking controversy, as in some corners this band is very much persona non grata – a radio-friendly US rock quartet led by noted spell-check confoundress, Lzzy Hale whose tunes have been tearing up US radio and sneaking into “Glee”, just for the hell of it.  There’s no doubt that they have their detractors, but I’m not one of them and I’m pretty sure that this record is a quantum jump forward from their debut album.

That wasn’t a terrible record by any sensible application of the term, but it pales in comparison to this record – go and listen to “American Boys” or “I Miss The Misery” and be hooked by the riffs, Lzzy’s voice – which goes from zero to ‘whisky-soaked, bar-room fight starting hellion’ in five seconds flat.    Not Metal, but bloody magnificent.

9) Diabulus in Musica“The Wanderer”.  This appallingly photogenic band of Spanish symphonic metallers are one of the few bands with the ‘beauty & the beast’ vocal divergence that I can get behind without feeling slightly as though I’m being growled and simpered at by a sugar-deprived Cookie Monster and his mate, Dame Olivia Von Divason.  The symphonic synths, galloping guitars and dark operatic vocals on “Ex Nihilo” make for some of my favourite tunes of the year – in fact, it may be my favourite trad metal song of 2012.  UK shows, please!

10) End of September – Self-titled.  One of the bands that I’ve discovered through a review in the UK’s “Power Play” rock magazine, and a genuinely nice surprise.  Hailing from Sweden and straddling the middle ground between Delain, contemporary Within Temptation and, say, Kamelot, End of September have a female vocalist in Elin Redin who doesn’t go for operatic flourishes but a soulful, distinctive and plaintive tone which serves the band excellently.  If you love your rock big, dramatic but not veering into the full-on metal attack of many groups in this top ten, End of September are a band that you’ll definitely want to listen out for.  Their single “Isolated” is a great indicator of their sound – if you like that, you’ll love their album.

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Lacuna Coil – “Dark Adrenaline” studio footage and preview clips

The best bands always look like a bit like gangs - discuss?

As I gear up for the release of Lacuna Coil’s new album “Dark Adrenaline” at the end of January, it’s always good to feed the inner music geek with fresh studio footage and gossip via Blabbermouth.

There’s also the third part of an online teaser video series up on YouTube – mini slasher movie, anybody?  Each released clip has been quite fun, with the second chapter – featuring singer Andrea getting his Count Orlok on – almost qualifying as suitable material for one of my “A Season of Vamps” posts.

The whole ‘metal/rock/vampire’ cross-over music video round-up has to be a winner and no mistake…

 

 

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Lacuna Coil – “Trip the Darkness” video online

Hmm...binary.

If you were to hop over to US clothing chain Hot Topic’s website , you could get all the US dates for their forthcoming tour – they’re part of Megadeth’s ‘Gigantour’ touring festival, with Motorhead and Volbeat.

Sounds sweet to me.

And if you head over to Hot Topic’s YouTube channel, you can catch the video for “Trip the Darkness”, which has some very neat yin/yang-style visuals.

Hey up - it's Cristina Scabbia rocking the house!

Their new album, “Dark Adrenaline”, is out in Europe and the US in January – or as soon as a certain, river-based retailer ships my copy to me.

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Lacuna Coil – live video of “Kill the Light”

How Darkcore? None more Darkcore.

Found this via Blabbermouth.net, and thought that the Lacuna Coil fans out there would be interested – live video of new song “Kill the Light” from the Glasgow show at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, from YouTubist VonBat1.

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Lacuna Coil – “Dark Adrenaline” cover and track listing detailed

Over at Blabbermouth.net, Lacuna Coil have talked a little more about their next record, “Dark Adrenaline” which comes out in Europe at the end of January 2012.

The new Lacuna Coil record. Probably means nothing to me, is kind of a big deal to me...

Singer Cristina Scabbia promises a heavier, more obscure, diverse and career-spanning sound from the record – which makes me wonder whether they’ll really go back to their super-gothic roots with this one. I’ve heard two songs off the record – the single “Trip the Darkness” is understandably at the more accessible end of their catalogue, with massive hooks and crunchy riffs, male-female vocal line trading that I’ve come to love and lyrics which draw from acutely dark themes but never end up being depressing.

A highly recommended live proposition, if they ever come to your town...

I went to Lacuna Coil at Sheffield’s Corporation club last Friday night and can honestly say that if the album is half as good as the live show, fans will be in for a record which won’t polarize the audience as much as the last long player, “Shallow Life”, did.

I liked “Shallow Life” just fine, but the new stuff seemed definitely more straight-ahead, riff-driven and for want of a better term, heavy than the last album – Cristina mockingly chided some in the crowd who shouted in recognition when she introduced new song “Kill the Light” (“I guess you’ve probably already heard this on YouTube”), but at least they care enough to seek it out – imagine the horror of introducing a new song that everybody already knows and nobody wants to hear. Shudder!

Intriguingly, the track-listing on the Blabbermouth story lists “Losing My Religion” as a song on the album – I was unaware that they were covering REM but it’s not as if Lacuna Coil don’t know their way around a decent, alt-rock cover version…

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