Lockjaw “Predatory Trails Of The Spirit” Album Review + Stream…

LOCKJAW

Predatory Trails Of The Spirit – Digital Download

Dark Drug Records – Released December 23, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Headquarters:
Milwaukee, WI

Previous Releases:
Goliath (2015)
Combat Ready (2014)
The Dirt Road To Inspiration (2013)
White Lies Black Heart (2012)
Dopamine Avenue (2011)
The Soundtrack To The End (2009)
11:11 (2007)
Starving For Salvation (2006)
Hell Inside (2005)
Dirty Minds and Smiling Faces (2004)
Looking Like A Devil (1998)

 

 

Review:

For the unknowing, this record is the 12th release from the dark recesses of HELLROCK HQ and is to date, THE best yet!! Eight tracks and 31+ minutes bringing forth further permeation of “Burnt Offerings” that are ever present in all things Lockjaw.

Featuring quite the pedigree of slots, ranging everywhere from stints with the likes of Mudvayne, Type O Negative, Damageplan, Wednesday 13, Hell Yeah, Prong, KMFDM, Powerman 5000 and Mindless Self Indulgence as well as Lords of Acid and Marilyn Manson. Using their self described weapons that include and are not limited to abrasive vocals, dark chord progressions and machine-gun electronics, Lockjaw is indeed stronger than ever in bringing the HELLROCK revolution into the minds of the masses.

The mind-behind, Medavon De Raj’e, is front and center and ready to take this to another level. The result is this collection of what could easily be listened to, in order, as a tale of ‘trails’ as the title suggests, that are crossed individually, one leading to the next. Coincidental or not, the effect of following along with each as they flow into the next ‘trail’.is that you naturally keep listening until the very end… almost like binge-watching an eight part series and it takes less than an hour to experience it all. And then you push play again, almost as if by an unconscious natural reflex, to take it in again…

Opening with “Blood Suckers”, three hits of a drumhead and we’re off with power chording and searing high notes layered over Medavon‘s signature sneer, saturated in that ‘knowing’ telling that allows easy comprehension, delivered with a clarity of enunciation that is missing from so many. ‘Make your move, and they suck your blood.’ Abso-fucking-lutely…

“Paralyzed” enters in a staggered electro tempo as you are reminded that ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ as the flow starts, Medavon describes ‘Just like a sting, that hits you so hard… right in the back, I can hear it break… wave goodbye to your hopes and dreams, at least for today…  sacrificed, I’m paralyzed…’ and another ‘trail’ is engaged.

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“The Scavengers” is the big standout on this one for me with the punch-in-the-face jump to full throttle with churning riffs to push you forward and even as ‘The flies think that I’m already dead, inside of this shell, sometimes, I am…’ and you can feel the breath on your flesh as you are enveloped by the tale of another even darker ‘trail’. And even as this one ends, “They Follow” is truly the next bend we have just gone around in this half-point and is filled with an ominous texture that swirls of shadows and mist as you follow closer to keep pace of the direction heading to reach the next turn.

“Burnt Offerings” greets you with an instrumental morsel that is exactly the kind that delivers with a plushness that lets you hear every word that is never spoken. Quick fade power-chord and “Absolution” enters with a slow progression with those synth loops and clear guitar notes, lightly salted with reverb to give that ghostly haunting lilt underneath those machine-gun, electro-tempo segments that only accent the post-punk grin that lives within ‘this psychosis’ described.

“In The Weeds” is another stand-out from this album for me in that I hear a touch of each previous Lockjaw album as these four minutes flow past with a perfect cadence and gave me a feeling of familiarity with each brushstroke of Medavon’s painting that is his mastery of composition, arrangement and mix that he has honed to razor sharp edges.

Pro Band Pic

Closer “Rescue” could seem like a departure from the rest of the record with it’s soft almost spaghetti western guitar line and slower paced tempo, even as the synths float up from underneath. As soon as that voice delivers the diatribe that is this final ‘trail’, it ties itself to each of the previous seven tracks and is the absolute perfect book-end to what could be described in spots as ‘stripped-down’ and in other spots as ‘thicker than ever’, but is FULL-ON Lockjaw in all it’s glory…

Having witnessed them onstage multiple times, as well as having seen the rotating legion of members that deliver it live, from Jose and his solo’s to Baldii and his rhythm lines to Lowviolet‘s bass assault, all I can tell you is you simply MUST see them for the completion of your immersion into the world of HELLROCK, whether this is your first experience or the most recent of many!! Medavon and his compatriots deliver 200%…  EVERY TIME…

Share this album with every set of ears around you, support them live and as always, keep it LOUD!!

Additional Links:
https://store.cdbaby.com/all/medavon
https://www.facebook.com/darkdrugrecords/

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Marilyn Manson “Heaven Upside Down” Album Review + Videos…

Marilyn Manson

Heaven Upside Down – CD // DD // Vinyl

Loma Vista/Caroline – released on October 6, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

The Unofficial Return of Omēga and the Superstar 

 

Lineup:
Marilyn Manson – vocals
Tyler Bates – instrumentation, engineering, recording, production, mixing
Gil Sharone – drums
Additional musicians:
Dana Dentata – backing vocals (on track 9)
Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. – Clavinet (on track 10)

Album Art:
The cover is similar to his previous album without distortion. It’s a black and white side profile shot with an upside down cross with an extra horizontal line.

Tracklist:

  1. “Revelation #12” 4:42
    2. “Tattooed in Reverse” 4:24
    3.         “WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE” 4:32
    4.         “SAY10” 4:18
    5.         “KILL4ME” 3:59
    6.         “Saturnalia” 7:59
    7.         “JE$U$ CRI$I$” 3:59
    8.         “Blood Honey” 4:10
    9.         “Heaven Upside Down” 4:49
    10.       “Threats of Romance” 4:37
  2. “Stigmata” (Ministry Cover) 5:29
  3. “Kill4Me” (Mystery Skulls Remix) 3:39

 

 

History:
In late 2016 and early 2017 Manson announced and released a working title for the album named Say10. He also said that the projected release date would be Valentine’s Day 2017, needless to say, it was put off until a further date because he had a couple more ideas for the album and needed time to produce them. These songs being “Revelation #12”, “Saturnalia” and “Heaven Upside Down”. In an interview with Loudwire he stated: “Those three songs take place where, if [the album] were a film, it’s the opening, the middle and the ending. Then there’s the song after ‘Heaven Upside Down’, it’s sort of the end title credits where it’s really surmising the story of the record, which is to be interpreted by the listener.”

This album was produced by film/video game composer Tyler Bates. (He also produced The Pale Emperor) During the time that this album was being made; Manson produced a song for a movie that Bates was working on, Atomic Blonde. The song is a cover of a Ministry song “Stigmata.” (Which I have included here because it fits in this album as a bonus track, (along with the Mystery Skulls remix of “Kill4Me”) The last two tracks are a throwback to the Mechanical Animals period of his career.

Marilyn Manson as a band has gone through many lineup and personnel changes since its inception as Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids in 1989. As Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids there are seven official releases, they are mostly demo versions of tracks later remade for the Marilyn Manson album “Portrait of an American Family”. As just Marilyn Manson there are ten albums, one live album, three compilation albums, and 37 E.P.s and singles. So, suffice to say he has had a prolific musical career since the 1990s.

Review:
Unlike his previous releases from this decade this album has a more of a “throwback” sound of his heyday of the 90’s. He also keeps some of the changes he has made in the aforementioned albums. There is a meme that describes it perfectly: it has the cover of Born Villain with the words “Who are you” and then it has this albums cover saying “I’m you, but stronger.” This album has more of a dirty sound; in terms of more distortion, not lyric content, it sounds like whoever mixed/mastered the album let the sound go into the max.

The Opening: In “Revelation #12” there is a call back to one of the chants in “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” and “The Reflecting God” (from Antichrist Superstar). It is also a sort of sequel to the soundscape they put out in 1994 on the Get Your Gunn single. (i.e. The repetition and some of the samples in the background.) “Tattooed in Reverse” is closer to his work in the early 2000s, Holy Wood/The High End of Low. The sound itself is more industrial than the music at that period (with the use of samples and drum pattern).

“WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE” is a mix of “The Beautiful People” and “Mister Superstar” the fast and then the quieter parts being interchanged with the shout/yelling. It ends with him whispering the beginning of the track; which helps introduce us to “SAY10” which is a lot like some of the songs from Holy Wood with the electronic sound of Mechanical Animals. “KILL4ME” sounds like it was a song that could’ve been recorded during the Mechanical Animals session with a hint of “If I Was Your Vampire” style lyrics.

The Middle: “Saturnalia” is the longest track on the album, but, in a way it feels like it is about the same as the others. The repeated drum pattern works as a way to get you in a sort of trance as you hear the back-masked sounding words in between delivery of vocals. The song also works as a part one to the Ministry cover, even though I highly doubt he planned it that way. This song ends like “WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE.” “JE$U$ CRI$I$” sounds like either a song from Born Villain or The Golden Age of Grotesque. The song is like two different songs, with the second song being put in the middle of the first. It is almost a breakdown, maybe that is what he wanted the song to be like. “Blood Honey” is the first of the slower more mellow tracks. It sounds like, once again, a song from The High End of Low.

The Ending: “Heaven Upside Down” the title track is the second of the slower tracks and is almost a continuation of the previous track. It has almost the same structure and tempo and lyrical content, but it isn’t quite the same song. “Threats of Romance” is the most traditional rock song on the album. It is just has the Manson mix on it like a distorted vocals and the way the Clavinet in the background. I included “Stigmata” (Ministry Cover) here because it fits the album. I don’t know why it wasn’t included but it brings the beat back up from the previous three tracks. “Kill4Me” (Mystery Skulls Remix) is a Japanese bonus track that I included here because it is another track that is an example of the Mechanical Animals being brought into the “modern” version of electronic music and is a good song to bring you down from “Stigmata” as it (in a way) takes you out of the album.

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This album is an excellent example of Manson showing his ability to reflect on his past but make it new in a way. Like Alice Cooper with Welcome 2 My Nightmare or like David Bowie with The Next Day. In a way Marilyn Manson is a Alice Cooper/David Bowie 2.0 taking his influences and putting his spin on it, even from his early days as a leader of the Spooky Kids. If you are a fan our just like his music but have stayed away since the 90s, this would be a good time to come back.

 Stream the album here.
Download or buy (from Amazon) here.
Buy album and/or merch from Loma Vista Recordings here.

 Additional Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM13xSW3ggo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_Upside_Down

http://www.marilynmanson.com/home.php

https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/collections/marilyn-manson/products/marilyn-manson-heaven-upside-down-180g-red-vinyl-pale-emperor-box-set-bundle

https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/collections/marilyn-manson/products/marilyn-manson-heaven-upside-down-180g-red-vinyl-pale-emperor-white-vinyl-bundle

http://www.spookykids.net/indexxx.html

https://www.discogs.com/artist/229973-Marilyn-Manson-The-Spooky-Kids

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj35NqGx_vWAhWHr1QKHZzwCDIQFghHMAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fopen.spotify.com%2Falbum%2F6kbfR3NJmBGlgsTPAYmezz&usg=AOvVaw11zUAq8dEdXU_1CV84psQk

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Upside-Explicit-Marilyn-Manson/dp/B0757CYN8Q

https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/collections/marilyn-manson


MADLIFE “Precision in the Face of Chaos” Album Review & Music Video…

MADLIFE

Precision In The Face Of Chaos – CD // DD

Bleeding Nose Records – Released May 5th, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

 

Formed – 2000

Current Lineup Angry Phill -v / Isaiah Stuart -g / Kyle Cunningham -d / DieTrich Thrall -b

Previous Releases “Madlife” EP (2005) / “Music As Harsh As The World We Live In” EP  (2005) / “Angry Sonnets For The Soul” (2007) re-released via Universal /Fontana / RBE (2009) / “21st Century Megalomaniac” (2013)

Quote– “Developed in early 2000, the industrial hard rock band from Los Angeles was contrived between guitarist Isaiah Stuart and Lead Singer Angry Phill. They found common ground in their like and respect for multiple styles of music, largely in hard rock, industrial, electronic and classic pop. During this time, “The expression of emotion,” says Phill, “And the range of musical depth allowed MADLIFE the luxury to explore the human condition.” Enquote.

Pro Band Shot

This is a band that has been touring endlessly, playing festivals all the way from the world-famous Milwaukee Metalfest, the Mayhem Festival and Rock Hard At The Park, to name a few, they have shared the stage with the likes of KORN / SLAYER / PRONG / ALL THAT REMAINS / TRIVIUM and so many more, it is no wonder they have endorsements in place and are ready to unleash a new one on the world and the timing couldn’t be better.

***The band has current endorsements from Ernie Ball, In Tune Guitar Picks, Schecter Guitars, Fryette Amps, Line 6, and Meinl Cymbals.***

Listing their influences as bands ranging from ROB ZOMBIE to COMBICHRIST to MUSHROOMHEAD  to LINKIN PARK, MADLIFE has combined these elements and more into this fifth official release and comes out swinging HARD from the first second to the very end.  This album can very well take this Los Angeles based band to the next level.

Songs with all of the edge and attitude we have come to expect from Phill are in extreme abundance as with ‘Just One Gun’ where we get asked right off “Would you like to sing that angry song with me?” to the pummeling, staggered-beat intro of ‘Nothing Changes’ to straight ahead machine bounce of ‘Pain Of Pleasure’, each taking you in a different direction showing all of the listed influences seasoned with just enough rage-to-taste making it MADLIFE’s blend on your fork even with ‘Love Song’ hammering your ears with that special sauce that we have come to know.

12 songs clocking in at 43 minutes and for me, two standout from the rest, and for completely different reasons. ‘Rockstar’ hits hard with a DOPE meets UNION UNDERGROUND sorta punch and describes all the trappings that drive so many to be in this business and has that MADLIFE sonic-kick intact and full force. Then, there’s ‘All The Angels’ that screams from the first and has that hook that doesn’t let go.

Stellar production values, songs that deliver and leave you wanting more. Sounds like one to get NOW and play until your ears are ringing. Support them live if they come near you and keep it LOUD!!

Thank you to AGAINST PR AGENCY and Bleeding Nose Records for the Promo

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