Rick's Discoveries Volume XLPosted 09/21/2013 07:41AM by Rick Gebhardt as Rick's Discoveries
Wow, another milestone--article #40. That means with this article, I've recommended 400 albums to be listened to. I'm not sure many people even own that many albums, let alone come up with about 10 new ones every month-ish that seem like they deserve other people's attention. It reminds me simultaneously that there are still many, many diamonds in the rough to find and that there is an overwhelming amount of crap you have to wade through to find them. Hopefully these 10 fall into your diamond category!
Pinnick Gales Pridgen - Pinnick Gales Pridgen
With an all-star collaboration like this, how could it possibly go wrong? This album is a bluesy mix of progressive rock and traditional hard rock. There's definitely influences from the members' other bands, most noticeably King's X and The Mars Volta, but there's also enough creation of their own identity to make this a unique listen. It's sort of like ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, and Lynyrd Skynyrd jammed with the aforementioned two bands to create some mix of old meets new.
Vela - Vela
Somehow, some way Vela swirls together traditional metalcore, some progressive deathcore, a bit of djent, and maybe even a hint of nu-metal and it doesn't sound like a complete catastrophe. I am impressed that I was engaged throughout the majority of this album, most likely because it is extremely punishing, but not so much so that your ears feel beaten and violated after listening. It's the perfect blend of heavy to keep your adrenaline flowing when you're working out.
Empty Flowers - Five
I am having flashbacks as I listen to Five. Empty Flowers drench their post-hardcore indie rock in influences ranging from Jawbox to Fugazi to Dinosaur Jr.. There's no doubt in my mind that if this album would have dropped in 1995, it would have been HUGE. It fits the motif of the times and would be right at the cutting edge for the burgeoning emo/post-hardcore/indie scene.
Wave of Colors - Cerulean Seascape
Both the artist name and album name make reference to water, which is quite fitting. This 15 track album will leave you awash in mellow, calming, flowing post-rock beauty. There is an unarming feeling that this album creates, where you are comfortable letting your guard down and letting it pour over you. The sprinkling of electronic touches and occasional vocals are the landmarks that you'll see as you make your way on your voyage through this album.
Animations - Private Ghetto
I love an amalgamation of genres, but I think someone went a little overboard on tagging this band on RateYourMusic.com, having 9 genres attached to it. It's true there are some very small elements of "symphonic metal" and "post-grunge" on this album, but at its core it is really just Killswitch Engage meets After the Burial with a little nu-metal on the side. It's an interesting mix, however, that makes the band instantly catchy, yet they still have enough of an edge to be "heavy" in a non-manipulative or fake way.
Arcite - The Escape Key
The last couple of albums from Bullet For My Valentine have been stomach-wrenching in their awfulness, but despite late career sucktitude, the band had a solid start to their career. In Arcite, I hear a lot of where BFMV could have went if they took on a much more aggressive metalcore approach and eschewed clean vocals for throat-shredding yells/screams. I also hear some Trivium, Machine Head, and Sylosis, or in other words, this is an album that follows in a very strong pedigree of metal.
Data Romance - Other
Every now and again, you just need some chill electropop, right? And when you do, you can't go wrong with Data Romance. Slathering their electropop approach with a bit of grime and dubstep, there's a strong low-end to complement the gorgeous vocals of Amy Kirkpatrick. The mood is generally very low-key, but there are enough variations in beats to keep the album from getting too bogged down.
Emily Still Reminds - There Is Hope
There are days when you just want some classically styled hardcore/metalcore. Emily Still Reminds would not feel out of place in the early 00's hardcore/metalcore scene alongside the likes of From Autumn to Ashes, Boysetsfire, and Eighteen Visions. Their style is very reminiscent of that time and eschews all of the modern trends of keyboards, slick guitars, and glossy choruses. Heck, they even have a rapcore song in "Can You Hear Me", which is not as atrocious as you may otherwise assume.
Trauma Field - Harvest
For a band that has been in existence since 2004, just getting around to releasing their first full length this year is something of an oddity, especially in the doom metal realm. Harvest, though, is a very open, raw, and heart-wrenching album. Slathered in melancholy, the band effortlessly weaves between Anathema light progressive rock sections, Ethereal Architect-esque progressive metal, and a healthy dose of My Dying Bride influences. It is also a lengthy affair, so be prepared to get a full-on depressive experience.
The Ongoing Concept - Saloon
Need some southern swagger laden metalcore? Here you go! And it should be noted, these guys aren't just a second rate copy of early career Maylene and the Sons of Disaster or Once Nothing. They're definitely a metalcore band first, but the southern groove and influence permeates the entire album. They even top it all off with a radio-rock-ish ballad that wouldn't sound too out of place on the last MATSOD album. To top it all off, the songs on the album are just plain fun.