Strong Debut With Still Breathing | Posted November-11-2018 What You Need To Know:
With 2016’s Unleashed being more electronic and pop-driven, many Skillet fans were left craving the heavy, driving sound that dominated Skillet’s early arsenal. John Cooper and Seth Morrison, bassist/vocalist and lead guitarist of Skillet respectively, have responded with a project that is designed to satisfy the Skillet fans who long for their heavier side. Joined by drummer Jared Ward and guitarist John Panzer, Fight The Fury seeks to display a heavier side of Skillet's members, while also creating it's own identity.
What It Sounds Like:
It is quite clear that Nu-Metal, particularly the likes of Slipknot, was the primary influence on this record. The songs are structured in a way that is instantly familiar to Skillet fans, but with a more aggressive riffing style that provides a high contrast to the groovy, chug-filled riffs of Comatose and Collide. At times, however, the riffing comes a little too close to the Slipknot influence, as many parallels can be drawn between “Lose Hold of It All” and songs like “Psychosocial”, “My Demons,” “Duality”, and so on. The guitarists are worthy of special mention, as both Seth Morrison and John Panzer showcase their shredding capabilities, taking advantage of the extended bridges to create impressive guitar compositions. John Cooper flexes his vocal muscles on this EP, demonstrating his versatility as a vocalist with a myriad of belts and screams to emphasize the shift to a more tenacious style.
Being a heavier record, the EP omits many of Skillet’s lyrical tropes in favor of a darker lyrical style, apart from “Still Burning” which talks about salvation and burning for Christ. The record will provide comfort and solace for those infected with rage and pain, and those who are seeking a more aggressive sound to release their emotions.
Best Song On The Record:
The first single and opening track “My Demons” is without a doubt the best song on the record. While it maintains the Skillet formula in it's structure and design, it also borders on metalcore, with a healthy balance of John Cooper’s raspy barking and his brutal screaming. The main riff, while drawing comparisons to Slipknot’s “Duality”, demonstrates a technical side of Morrison not seen in Skillet. The vocal melodies are the best on the EP, the song has an extremely catchy chorus which will get stuck in your head for hours, and it is sure to have a huge impact live.
While Still Breathing is not as heavy as something like Impending Doom, Fight The Fury’s debut release is able to showcase a heavier variation of Skillet that is sure to draw a large portion of the band’s massive fanbase. This EP will satisfy fans of Skillet, while also satisfying those who find the band to be lacking aggression. Fight The Fury is very much a child of Skillet, but is able to create memorable riffs and aggression that will hopefully be found on a future Skillet record.
Dark Skies Shines Bright | Posted August-26-2018 What You Need To Know:
American Metalcore band Fit For A King returns triumphantly with their fifth album, Dark Skies. This ten-song record aims to explore the dark side of human nature, and the band maintains its core sound while adding a slightly more melodic feel to certain songs on the album.
What It Sounds Like:
Fit For A King have carefully crafted a powerful, aggressive sound, with all the down-tuned guitar riffs, blistering breakdowns, and clean/unclean vocal mix one can expect from a band of the metalcore genre. The song writing here showcases dynamic range, with a wide array of emotions being displayed. The band’s biggest strength, however, comes in the form of their vocals. Ryan Kirby’s and bassist Ryan O’Leary’s melodic singing mixed with Kirby’s signature death growl creates a perfect contrast and showcases a broad range of emotions. The vocal highlight is, without a doubt, the 20-second-long scream at the end of “Backbreaker,” which is sure to leave jaws dropping and heads banging.
Fit For A King paint a potent picture of a soul torn by the failing world around them, as well as struggling to find a sense of purpose in dark times. The closing song, “Oblivion,” echoes this sentiment, and is the song that best summarizes the lyrical content of the record. It speaks of seeking a sense of fulfillment and meaning to life: “The grip of the guilt and the scars of my sins live on, they're choking me. For so long, I can barely breathe. Show me the light I need to see. Tell me I won’t be forgotten. If just for a moment."
Best Song On The Record:
While every song is heavy and impactful, none can compare to the amazing sonic assault that is “The Price of Agony.” The song perfectly showcases the band at their best, with the drums, bass, and guitars laying down a solid foundation for the vocals to shine. The song, which lyrically describes the divided world in which we live, blends the perfect amount of neck-breaking heavy riffs and melodic, moving melodies in the chorus, which is catchy and sure to be one fans will sing along to when played live. This single is without a doubt the catchiest and best song on the record.
Everything from this record - the fantastic production, the spot-on song writing, and the performance by each of the band members - is remarkable. Any metal fan should do themselves a favor and pick this record up.
Living Up to the Title | Posted June-27-2018 What You Need to Know:
Jeremy Johnson is an American pastor who, through his notably eccentric delivery of emotionally driven and Christ-centered sermons, aims to spread the Gospel throughout the world. He is the lead pastor of Fearless LA: A Planetshakers Church, based in Los Angeles, California which has spawned Fearless BND, a worship collective. Legendary is his second musical project, after his debut album Mixtape For War. Much like its predecessor, Legendary follows the same formula of a sermon set to a hip-hop beat.
What It Sounds Like:
By now, many have grown accustomed to seeing motivational speakers such as Eric Thomas cross their news feeds on social media, introducing us with motivational messages to achieve success, set to a pulsing hip-hop beat. Jeremy Johnson’s Legendary delivers a very similar product with a spiritual twist. However, instead of a poetic life-lesson, Johnson applies a passionate speech to the same musical formula.
Johnson has made a name for himself through his electric delivery of the Gospel in his church, and this fiery declaration is present to the fullest extent in Legendary. The message of being a legend in the eyes of God is motivational and powerful. The record talks about replacing our old identity with a new identity of being a legend in the eyes of Christ. Aided by Johnson’s heartfelt delivery, this album is truly inspiring.
Best Song on the Record:
It is hard to determine a definitive “best” track on the record, as the album is designed as one whole package rather than a collection of songs. The sermon given keeps a consistent amount of inspirational and spiritual messages throughout, and the hip-hop inspired accompaniment, while never outstanding or musically extravagant, does the job of accentuating the sermon rather well. Tracks 4 and 5, “Knowing the Author” and “I’m the Least”, respectively, are the heart of the sermon and are the high points as far as how relatable and touching the words are.
For Fans Of:
Eric Thomas, Les Brown
Legendary is an emotionally powerful album and is sure to appeal to anyone who needs a motivational message that is spiritually uplifting. Johnson’s energetic message is contagious and is sure to provide a boost to the broken soul.