Movements’ sophomore album No Good Left To Give Review

Photos by Anthony Purcella

Over the past few years, Movements have quickly become a household name in the pop-punk, emo, and alternative scene, especially after the release of their 2017 debut LP, “Feel Something.” Three years later, the Southern California-based quartet has returned with their highly-anticipated sophomore album, titled “No Good Left To Give.”

The album begins with “In My Blood,” which instantly brings darker composition in its intro, driven by bass and guitars before the harder-hitting drums kick in. The vocals are a lot softer at first, but gradually get louder during the pre-chorus and chorus, leading up to the bridge, where catchy instrumentals accompany a powerful and emotional vocal performance before the song fades out, starting off this record on a very strong note.

The three tracks that follow are the three singles that came out prior to the record’s release date, and they all show how the band has evolved their sound and how they’re experimenting with other elements on this record. “Skin To Skin,” the second of these three singles to be released,” is the most experimental of the trio, and is a perfect example of this, as it starts out with softer vocals before a bigger and harder-hitting chorus where those vocals and the instrumentals shine, while also adding extra instruments into the mix, joining forces with more catchy instrumentals to help drive a rhythm that makes the listener want to dance along to the track. The lead single “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost” also starts out with piano and softer instrumentals before leading up to a more upbeat chorus containing a memorable hook that’s been stuck in my head since the song was first released this past summer. The fourth track on here is the third and final single, “Tunnel Vision,” starting off with a darker intro before the energetic drums stand out during the first verse and pre-chorus as they build the song up to its huge chorus, which showcases so much emotion in both the vocal and instrumental performances. The same amount of emotion is also shown through the harsher vocals found in the second chorus, bridge, and ending later on in the track, and I think that this track overall was a great choice for a single because it shows how the band‘s sound has evolved over the last few years.

“Garden Eyes” quickly brings plenty of energy in its intro, leading up to its chorus, which is one of the catchiest choruses offered on this entire record. Speaking of catchy composition, “Santiago Peak” includes plenty of that, from the simple guitar and bass riffs that open the track to the melodies in the verses and hard-hitting chorus, where both the vocals and instrumentals really stand out. The track prior to it, “Living Apology,” also contains catchy melodies that get even better during the pre-choruses, and similarly to “Tunnel Vision,” the bridge also contains some shouted vocals that are reminiscent of some of Movements’ older material. “Moonlight Lines,” which appears closer to the end of the record, is undoubtedly the most energetic one on here, with the guitars, bass, and drums driving that faster-paced rhythm in preparation for another huge chorus that delivers catchy composition through passionate performances, and the spoken word sections in the second verse and at the end remind me of a lot of the band’s early work.

Amidst these more upbeat and more energetic tracks, the band takes some time to slow things down for a bit. “12 Weeks” adds some acoustic guitar and cleaner electric guitars, and the softer vocals in the verses match those perfectly. The vocals get a lot louder in the chorus, and the bridge has a catchy guitar solo and harmonies that really emphasize the overall vocal performance in that section. Softer instrumentals drive the slower rhythm of “Seneca” before it becomes more hard-hitting, and more instrumentals kick in before the second verse, leading up to the bridge, where another emotional vocal performance resides. Second to last is the album’s title track, “No Good Left To Give,” and the minute-and-a-half-long interlude is driven by a catchy piano part before the drums kick in, and while those drums contrast from the piano, softer vocals, and the subtle and simplistic lead guitar that gets added in later on, they all fit together very well. “Love Took The Last Of It” concludes this album, instantly bringing hard-hitting instrumentals and catchy melodies. The vocals are a bit louder during the verses, especially in comparison to some of the earlier tracks, and the instrumentals do a great job at building up to the song’s chorus, which reminds me a bit of the choruses on a couple of the tracks from “Feel Something” – particularly “Daylily” and “Suffer Through.” This is another one of the catchiest tracks on the record and makes a fantastic closing track.

Just like on previous releases, there’s a bit of a variety regarding the lyrical content and the topics discussed in the lyrics throughout this record. There are a few tracks centered around love & relationships, from infatuation and seduction (“Skin To Skin”) to heartbreak and regret (“In My Blood,” “Seneca,” “Love Took The Last Of It”). Mental health is a topic that this band has previously incorporated into a lot of their lyrics, and they continue that conversation on this album as well, with songs sparking discussions about things such as suicide (“Don’t Give Up Your Ghost”) and depression (“Tunnel Vision”).

From the candid and creative lyrics to the compelling performances, “No Good Left To Give” is a stellar sophomore effort from Movements.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Friendly reminder that our team has been interviewing many talented guests via zoom and live streaming them onto our Facebook page. Be sure to head over to our Facebook page if you haven’t yet to check those interviews out! Thank you all for your continued support. -Cristine

Panic by From Ashes To New | Review

Following the release of 2018’s “The Future,” From Ashes To New are back with their third LP, titled “Panic.” 

The album opens up with “Scars That I’m Hiding,” which starts off on a more melodic note as it leads up to the huge chorus, which showcases some raw, emotional vocals and harder-hitting instrumentals. The lead single “What I Get” is pretty similar, as it’s another more melodic rock-leaning track and also contains a huge, catchy chorus. This one also adds in some rapping, something that’s shown throughout a lot of the rest of this album. Two great examples of this are “Bulletproof,” a very powerful track which alternates between rap-filled verses and its hard-hitting choruses and bridge, and the closing track, “Change My Past,” where the drums really stand out as well, especially as they accompany the rapping the verses before the guitars and vocals really kick in during the chorus. 

A few songs on here not only combine these influences, but also mix in some of the elements that the band experimented with on “The Future.” “Wait For Me” is a great example of this, as it starts out on a much softer note with one of the catchiest hooks on the entire record, and the verses are a bit softer as well before more instrumentals get added in during the huge chorus, followed by a catchy guitar solo later on. “Blind” mixes in some synths and poppier elements, while still incorporating elements of rap in the pre-choruses and rock and metal in the huge choruses with raw, emotional vocal performances and hard-hitting instrumentation. “Brick,” another one of the catchiest songs on the album, brings a perfect combination of the band’s rap and rock influences and mixes in some synths during the intro and outro.

A couple of tracks lean towards the heavier side, such as “SideFX,” with darker melodies delivered through a very intriguing and sort of haunting vocal performance and some heavier vocals and instrumentals that get mixed in, and “Nothing,” which immediately opens with shouted vocals and heavier instrumentals before rapping is mixed in during the verses and the pounding drums help build the song up to its huge chorus, which references that heavier intro. The remaining two tracks – the single and title track “Panic” and the second-to-last track “Death Of Me” both combine the various influences found on this album as a whole.

“Panic” shows From Ashes To New continuing to evolve and define their sound, and it’s another great album from them.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Friendly reminder that our team has been interviewing many talented guests via zoom and live streaming them onto our Facebook page. Be sure to head over to our Facebook page if you haven’t yet to check those interviews out! Thank you all for your continued support. -Cristine

Trivium – What the Dead Men Say review

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Trivium – What the Dead Men Say review

When Trivium released The Sin and the Sentence back in 2017, it caught many in the metal community by surprise. Through the six years before that album’s release, Trivium had seen their fair share of inconsistencies and challenges, from drummer swaps to damaged vocal cords and stylistic changes in-betweenThis led to albums with some undeniable concert staples (ie. “In Waves”, “Strife”, “Until the World Goes Cold”), but none of these records could hold a candle to either Shogun or Ascendancy from the decade prior in terms of cohesion or overall quality. Sin and the Sentence changed all of that. It came across as a more confident and inspired record, due in no small part to the band’s inclusion of new powerhouse drummer Alex Bent, as well as singer/guitarist Matt Heafy’s revitalized harsh vocals (which had unfortunately been completely absent on 2015’s Silence in the Snow). The record was a shot of adrenaline for a band that had been quite frankly wandering in circles trying to find a foothold again in the modern metal world, and it won them back long-time fans who had written them off for dead.

Sin and the Sentence reset the clock for Trivium, and for listeners going into 2020’s What the Dead Men Say, it could almost be justified to have suspicions and fears of this potentially being a sophomore slump. The band arguably had more to prove going into this record than ever in their whole career. Success was crucial and not guaranteed, as that rebirth from three years before could have easily been a fluke, nothing more than an exciting yet short-lived footnote in their history. Yet while Sin and the Sentence was a culmination of all the things that made Trivium so appealing through the years before, What the Dead Men Say ends up being the leaner, more captivating record.

Over the course of nine songs, it is not only apparent how much tighter the band has become in the last three years, but also how much more attention to detail there was in making sure that no filler was present. The intro “IX” leads into the anthemic powerhouse title track, itself invoking feelings of classic Metallica opener “Battery” through a melodic death metal lens. This track’s sense of building tension appears frequently through the album on highlights such as “Sickness Unto You” and “Catastrophist”, the latter which delivers one of the best vocal performances of singer Matt Heafy’s entire career. His overall presence on this record shows a continued rebuilding of his voice that started as far back as 2015’s Silence and the Snow. His extra controlled grit and distortion is a fantastic touch to lyrics that are without a doubt improved over past records, never becoming as overly verbose as those on Shogun, nor as boringly blunt as those found on In Waves.

There are also plenty nods to the best parts of the band’s mid-2000s heyday in “Amongst the Shadows and the Stones” and “The Defiant”, and the years of experience behind them make these songs sound far more thought-out and mature in their rage and energy. All of the instrumentals are locked in with lightning precision, and while the guitar work of Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu in Trivium has always been a strong point even when the band was not in top form, the true source of What the Dead Men Say’s power is from the rhythm section of bassist Paolo Gregoletto and drummer Alex Bent. These songs wouldn’t have the same weight and impact if it wasn’t for Gregoletto and Bent’s massive synergy together, ranging from the drop-tuned groove of “Bleed Into Me” to the furious power thrash closer of “The Ones We Leave Behind”. As stated before, Trivium has always been a technically gifted band, but here it is beyond just pure guitar hero shredding and bombast, it’s now further developed into an experience where all 4 members lock into every moment with intent and integrity.

What the Dead Men Say is exactly the album Trivium needed to make in 2020. Off the heels of Sin and the Sentence, they recognized all the past wrongs they made right on that record and took that approach even further, without any uncertain sidesteps or shakeups that have plagued them on and off over the years. It is an uncompromising take on modern mainstream metal, and easily their strongest release to date, reflecting a band that finally feels comfortable with each other and their collective vision. “Gods walk amongst all without fear,” indeed.

Rating: 9.5/10

Review courtesy of Brent McCann

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5 Seconds Of Summer’s “CALM” album review

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5 Seconds Of Summer are a band that I’ve been an avid fan of for several years. I’ve been listening to them for a large majority of their career as a band, and since I first got into their music way back in 2013, I’ve seen the evolution of their sound, from their more pop punk-tinged self-titled debut LP (as well as its follow up “Sounds Good Feels Good), to the much more pop leaning and chart-topping third album “Youngblood.” The band have experimented with new influences and started to refine their sound even more with each release, and “CALM” sees them continuing to do so.

“CALM” seems to draw a bit of influence from those poppier elements on “Youngblood,” especially with its more upbeat tracks. A lot of the singles, as well as another track towards the end of the album, expanded upon those influences and combined them with the newer influences and overall sound on “CALM.” Lead single “No Shame” brings intriguing melodies that are as catchy as the riffs that lead the intro and verses, before a bigger chorus where Calum and Ashton’s instrumental performances really shine, as well as Luke’s impressive vocal range. “Old Me” is very memorable musically, and lyrically, it’s a more reflective track that discusses growing up and the lessons you learn along the way as you get older and move forward in life. The irresistible choruses of “Easier” and “Wildflower” really embrace the poppier influences in the band’s sound, and the well-written “Not In The Same Way” instantly became a fan favorite with its extremely catchy composition from start to finish.

The band showed early on that they were experimenting with some darker composition through the captivating single “Teeth” that dropped last year, which really allows Calum to show off his talent as a bassist and is easily the most rock influenced song found on the record overall. The experimentation continues in a couple of other songs on the record, such as the opener “Red Desert,” which begins with a chorus of beautiful vocal harmonies from everyone in the band (and those harmonies return in the chorus), and “Thin White Lies,” with some softer percussion and really catchy riffs and melodies throughout.

The band also incorporated a lot of softer moments on this record, including the acoustically driven closer “High,” with some additional vocal harmonies that help emphasize the vocal performances even more, “Lover Of Mine,” which adds some piano in addition to the acoustic guitar, and “Best Years” and “Lonely Heart,” both of which are on the softer side for the most part before leading up to huge, explosive and anthemic choruses that make the songs even more memorable than they already are.  

5 Seconds Of Summer have created another fantastic record that not only shows further experimentation within their sound and more of what the band is capable of musically, but also shows them refining and honing in on their signature sound even more throughout twelve really solid tracks.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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All-In Moment’s self-titled album “All-In Moment” – Album Review

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Photo courtesy of Crisitne Trimarco

All-In Moment is a 4- piece hard rock/ metal band from Staten Island New, York. The band consists of vocalist Chris Scott, guitarist David Cohen, bassist Luke Lewis, and drummer Daniel Luczak.
Recently they released their self-titled album “All -In Moment” which you can listen to here

The album opens with “Before The Bomb Drops “, which in my opinion was a great choice due to the instrumental fast paced opening, as well as the breakdown that for sure would make anyone want to mosh the second they hear it.

Next up is “Haunt Me “, the vocals are my favorite part of this song, as well as the lyrics. I caught myself singing “haunt me in my dreams but I’ll be alright “ after listening. I enjoy how the vocals fade out, and the instruments end the song
Following Haunt Me, is “Unstoppable”, introducing some screams to this album at the perfect time. To feel unstoppable is to feel powerful. This song, with its fast-paced beat is catchy for sure.
The last song I will be reviewing, and my favorite song on the album is “From Chaos Comes Clarity” , the lyrics “ sometimes we all gotta fall, to find ourselves, from chaos comes clarity” are really important, and true with-in my own personal experiences. I feel many new listeners will related to this song, and they should give it a listen.
My team member Ashley, will be reviewing the second half of the album below,

Song # 5 off of “All-In Moment” is called “For You.” I’m not entirely sure who write the lyrics to this song, but whoever it was loves the person they sing about. They’d do anything for the one they sing about. It’s a heart warming song off a badass album! It picks up heavily at the end as well to keep the flow of the album.

Moving into song #6 “Refuse the Call”. This is song starts off hard and if I was seeing them live, there’d be a mosh pit within the first 30 seconds which I love. The lead guitar line is driving and I love the drums in this song!

“Oblivion” takes track 7. And out of the four I have reviewed, my personal favorite. It’s a headbanger for sure. It has a great pop punk feel to it, but still keeps that hard driving sound All-in Moment has. The breakdown has these dueling guitars which is one of my favorite things a band could do!

Closing out the self titled album is “Not that Far Away.” I honestly dig his style of singing because it reminds me of 90s grunge music, and who doesn’t appreciate that. This song rips. From the heavy flow of guitars, banging drums, and a sick bass line.

All in all I’d review this album a 6 out of 10! I’ve spent 13 years in and out of studio sessions. So in my opinion, the vocals could have been mixed a little bit more post production. Really rad band! Be sure to check them out, social media listed below.

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Photo courtesy of Cristine Trimarco

Review courtesy of Cristine Trimarco  & Ashley Grace

All-In Moment: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Spotify 

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Like Moths To Flames’ “Where The Light Refuses To Go.”- Album Review

Like Moths To Flames have been apart of the post-hardcore scene for quite awhile, though I personally first got into them in 2017 when they released “Nowhere Left To Sink,” and their album that followed, “Dark Divine,” which I also enjoyed. Over the past couple of months, the band has released a trilogy of singles, which make up their most recent release, an EP titled “Where The Light Refuses To Go.”

“All That You Lost” quickly foreshadows some of what’s to come on the rest of the EP through the darker and mostly heavier intro, where the lead guitar really stands out. The verses are pretty heavy as well, where very energetic instrumentals drive the rhythm and the heavier vocals really get to shine, and the bass shows off before and during the breakdown later on in the check. The choruses in between are a lot more melodic, and the melodies are catchy, yet also darker. This fits perfectly with the overall vibe that this track has and makes this chorus as a whole a bit different from those on the other choruses later on in the EP. “Smoke And Mirrors” is a Little Bit slower compared to the opener, and contrasts a lot to begin with. The more melodic vocals in the verses show a ton of emotion, and the screamed vocals blend with those very well. The heavier sections bring a ton of energy, and so does the huge and very memorable chorus, which is one of the best on the EP. Closing out this EP is “Into The Black,” which mixes some synths with the heavier instrumentals in the darker, riff-heavy intro. The more melodic verses bring some softer vocals and give the instrumentation more room to shine, especially the bass and drums. The pre-chorus is a bit reminiscent of the intro, being a lot heavier instrumentally (and also vocally), and it leads up to yet another very catchy chorus that’s upbeat and a really fun one to listen to. The bridge mixes clean and screamed vocals, both of which deliver an emotional performance, especially the clean vocals that finish out the song and the EP, which really impressed and stood out to me on first listen.

On “Where The Light Refuses To Go,” Like Moths To Flames bring a perfect balance of aggression and melody and continue to perfect their post-hardcore sound.

Review by Megan Langley | Instagram

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Ice Nine Kills – The Silver Scream | album review

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Ice Nine Kills is a band that has flown under many people’s radar for over a decade now. A band known by name, but never receiving recognition they really deserves. They’ve always been doing things their own way, putting  themselves on the map with their last release, Every Trick In The Book, which was a huge hit in the scene of heavy music.

October 5th, 2018, marked a new era for the band. The latest album from the band, The Silver Scream, is something unlike many people have heard. Every song is based off a popular horror film, everything from Halloween to The Crow. Ice Nine Kills didn’t hold anything back on this album.

The first two singles, The American Nightmare (A Nightmare On Elm Street) and Thank God It’s Friday (Friday The 13th) let fans know that they weren’t going soft anytime soon. A catchy chorus mixed with heavier verses, and a breakdown everyone could love, people knew to catch Ice Nine Kills on Warped Tour 2018, and to keep an eye on the band until October.

I’ve listened to the entire album, and now I can’t stop myself from listening. Lighter tracks, like Love Bites (An American Werewolf In London) and A Grave Mistake (The Crow) offer incredible songwriting and gorgeous singing. On the opposite end of that spectrum, songs like Stabbing In The Dark (Halloween), Merry Axe-Mas (Silent Night, Deadly Night) and Rocking The Boat (Jaws) hit hard with fun guitar riffs, energetic drumming, and some unclean vocals we’ve rarely seen from Charnas. The references to classic lines from the movies give every song its own little flare of nostalgia.  Many songs come completely out of left field, It Is The End (It) sticking out to me the most. Creepy voice acting, leading into chaotic and heavy verses, the song features ska punk band, Less Than Jake, offering some backing tracks to elevate the heavy guitars to a new level. The song makes you wanna move in any way you can.

The album shows tons of growth from the small metal band. Their ability to create and not take themselves 100% serious is obvious. The use voice acting, other genres, wordplay, and fun movie references, The Silver Scream gives you the creeps in the best way. Nostalgia and love for horror films makes my love for this album so much more personal. Ice Nine Kills has come a very long way, I have a feeling they can only go up from here.

Review & Photography courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

** click through to the link above to view photos of Ice Nine Kills **

Misadventures – Pierce The Veil

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The highly anticipated album, Misadventures by Pierce the Veil was released on Friday May 13th. That is almost four years since the bands last release. For those of you who don’t know, Pierce the Veil is a hardcore band from San Diego. The band dubbed themselves as the genre of Mexicore being that all the members are Mexican. The band consists of Vic Fuentes (vocals, guitar), Tony Perry (lead guitar), Jaime Preciado (bass), and Mike Fuentes (drums). Although the new album is different from the band’s previous releases the album have a very similar sound to their previous work. The album shows their growth as a band while still keeping the sound that makes this band so unique. The album consists of 11 tracks. The first track to be released was “The Divine Zero”. This track was released over the summer prior to the bands run on the Vans Warped Tour. After the release of that track it took until May for the rest of the album to be released. Many fans were getting angry and thought they were never going to get a new album. Now that the album is finally released all the fans seem to finally be satisfied. Personally, the wait was worth it because it gave the band the time to release a very well thought out album. The lyrics are all very meaningful and hit hard on the emotions of all the members. The track that stands out most is the track “Circles” which is said to be written about the attacks that happened in Paris. Lyrically, it is one of the strongest tracks on the album. Being someone who is quite familiar with all the discography of the band I can see that this album is the strongest and shows the bands growth over the years while still keeping their style. Many bands tend to conform to the standards of music as they get bigger but Pierce the Veil didn’t try to “sell out” with their sound. All in all my favorite track off the album is “Floral & Fading” because of its uniqueness in style. My least favorite track off the album is “Texas is Forever”. To me this track goes a little all over the place with the tune and guitar riffs. Despite that I still enjoy the song. You can really hear all the hard work that went into making this album and each song has its own uniqueness that makes it stand out. Some albums have an extreme sense of unity that make all the tracks sound too similar. Misadventures has a sense of unity without that sameness between the tracks. I think overall I would give this album a 4.5/5. Good job guys on another amazing release.

Rebecca McKay