Category: Music

2016 Metal Recap

2016 sucked, but its metal legacy lives on. It was a really good year for metalheads everywhere. No matter what sub-genre you like, there was something for you. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite releases last year by both established and rising bands.

My favorite 2016 releases of metal veterans:

  1. Norma Jean – Polar Similar
  2. Gojira – Magma
  3. Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience
  4. Periphery – Periphery III: Select Difficulty
  5. Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
  6. Fallujah – Dreamless
  7. The Word Alive – Dark Matter

My favorite 2016 releases of new bands I discovered:

  1. After the Burial – Dig Deep
  2. It Lies Within – Paramount
  3. Humanity’s Last Breath – Detestor
  4. Missouri Quiet – Through the Millenniums
  5. Infant Annihilator – The Elysian Grandeval Galeriach
  6. The Zenith Passage – Solipsist
  7. Entheos – The Infinite Nothing

Start 2017 off right by getting caught up with some music you may or may not have listened to yet.

Remember to support your artists!

Last week an event more significant than Brittney Spears finally came to my fair city of Bossier City, LA. We were fortunate enough to be one of the many stops for Star Wars in Concert on their national tour. Jumping at the chance to engage in something equal parts nerd and culture, I scooped up tickets for the best seats in the house.

I actually had not read anything about the event, so I went in not really knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. They began with a decent selection of exhibits filling up the foyer of our Centurytel Center. I took my picture beside many replicas such as Darth Vader’s suit, Kit Fisto, and even Han Solo encased in carbonite. They even had a page from one of John Williams’ original scores. It was amazing to see his handwritten musical notation. To me, that was the best movie artifact they had, especially considering the musical nature of the event.

After having a great time immortalizing myself for Facebook, I slid into my seat and excitedly awaited an onslaught of music. To my absolute surprise, Anthony Daniels came waltzing out and began narrating the entire concert. My inner Star Wars fanboy cried out in sheer delight. Looking back, I was glad I knew almost nothing about the event as my shock from seeing him live and in person was totally worth it.

The orchestra began by playing the 20th Century Fox opening music along with a small showing of lights mimicking the searchlights from the logo. At that point, I was ready for the Star Wars experience. After which, the legendary words faded onto the massive screen, ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’. The orchestra, of course, followed it with the Main Titles piece with a good montage of footage playing on the screen.

The rest of the show was great. They played a great selection of tunes from all six of the movies while related montages displayed on the screen. A complementary light show flowing in tandem with the video montages also highlighted the musical numbers. The melding of music, video, and lights formed a great show that really brought out everything that Star Wars exemplifies.

Overall, it was an incredibly entertaining experience. Nostalgia for all the movies (yes even the new ones) awoke once inside me, driving me to watch them all in a single marathon.

If you get a chance to see Star Wars in Concert, you absolutely need to go and check it out. May the Force be with you…

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At the start of the last decade, Living Sacrifice was a giant in the Christian metal scene. They had just released The Hammering Process and were touring alongside P.O.D. and Project 86. With such a strong step forward into the new millennium, it felt like they would only continue to soar. However, a few short years later, they disbanded, leaving many of their fans with the stark realization that even giants can eventually fall. Fortunately, this turned out to be only a short hiatus. In 2008, they digitally released two new songs and announced that they would be working on a new album.

Living Sacrifie - The Infinite Order

Now, at the beginning of the new decade, Living Sacrifice has returned to reclaim their place in metal with the release of The Infinite Order.

Certainly their finest work to date, The Infinite Order starts off strong and continues to mezmerize throughout its 47 minute run time. The polished, melodic feel is unique enough to stand on its own, but still carries the weight of the classic Living Sacrifice sound. This definitavely marks a new chapter in the band’s journey.

Songs like Rules of Engagement and Organized Lie provide a solid feel for the grooves and breakdowns that Living Sacrifice is known for while Love Forgives and Apostasy show the new, melodic direction the band is headed toward. This musical diversity provides a great aural experience for all metal fans. You are furiously swept into the breakdowns and then gently moved with a melodic drive that continues to rattle around in your head long after you have turned the music off.

Whether you are a long time fan, or just happened to stumble across them, Living Sacrifice demands your attention. They are back with a passion and this album shows how dedicated they are to once again dominating the Christian metal scene!

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My Plan to Save the Arts

I love the arts and try to support them however I can. Back in the high school days, I was a socially outcast, hard-core band nerd. I may not have had a lot of popular friends, but who needs those when you can make music? Eventually my social skills picked up and I became a regular guy with a passion for music and the arts in general. I wish everyone would share this passion with me.

One of the biggest complaints about the upcoming generation is its inability to think critically. What did you expect of them when they are being exposed to mindless entertainment all of the time? Their failings are only a reflection of our departure from having the arts in the forefront of our culture.

In the early 20th century, the mega-celebrities at the time were intellectuals, writers, and musical composers. Now, the celebrities are mindless drones parading around and consuming our lives at the behest of Hollywood. Well, it may not be that outrageously bad, but we have lost respect for the truly talented and artistic individuals that live among us. We have alcomated ourselves to vegging out to Hollywood’s latest screen vomit instead of searching for mental improvement.

Thankfully, organizations like Vh1’s Save the Music are fighting to keep us from losing our souls to apathetic entertainment. We should all get behind movements like this for the sake of our children.

I have recently created a great solution that will save the arts in our world: promote them as ‘green’ forms of entertainment. Since going ‘green’ is all the rage these days, why not piggy-back this? Think about all the resources it takes to produce a typically summer movie blockbuster and compare that with the minimal amount of resources it takes to produce a Broadway play. Broadway is hundreds of times greener than Hollywood.

Hollywood’s Carbon Footprint

Broadway’s Greening Initiative

So, let’s all save the arts by promoting them as the ‘greenest’ forms of entertainment available. If people won’t love the arts for their beauty, lets just guilt them into it.

People forgetting about the arts? Problem solved.