Salon “Journalist” Amy Mccarthy Insists Metal and Hardcore Shows Are Unsafe For Women

The Black Dahlia Murder at the Warped Tour 2013. Moshpit

Apparently country, metal, and hardcore shows can all be lumped into one large group of live shows that perpetuates a “War On Women.  We now all know that the people who go to see Stick To Your Guns also go to see Carrie Underwood.    Who would have thought?!?!

I strongly doubt our friend Amy Mccarthy has actually been to a hardcore or metal show, but it didn’t stop her from slandering the scene and equating the “dangers” there to something resembling the Congo.   She mentioned posers in her article, and if there is one in the room, its not any of us.  If her writing is any indication, she’s never been to the Warped Tour, to SXSW, Mayhem, Riot Fest, Chaos, ect.

This still doesn’t stop her from equating metal/hardcore shows with country and others to the point that she never bothers to really distinguish between them.   It’s not incidental, its deliberate so that her article appears to encompass as many genres as possible.  All shows are lumped into the “evil” category via guilt by association.    Obviously, she has been to a country show, but she dishonestly tries to pretend that hardcore/metal shows present similar “dangers” of which will be covered soon in this piece.

Well, the “War On Women” now spreads its grimy manly tentacles into our scene – and Amy Mccarthy is downright appalled.   How do we know this?  You can read her entire, “Punched, groped, beer thrown in my face: Being a woman at a concert can be terrifying, at the vestige of powerful, fair, and unbiased journalism that is Salon.    Wow, I didn’t know only women could be terrified at shows, but who cares when the other gender gets hurt, right?    Also, until Amy Mccarthy told us, I didnt know that girls who attend shows are fragile, scared, helpless, and frightened creatures who can’t think for themselves whatsoever.  I’m glad I know this now though.

Before I forget,  shame on AltPress for promoting this hit-piece. 

She talks a big game, but lets look at some of the points she makes about metal and hardcore. She’s one of us – not a poser, groupie, ect – right?

1.

“Most women who frequently attend live shows will tell you that they have been harassed, groped or assaulted as they listen to their favorite bands. A standing-room-only show, when you’re wedged into a massive crowd fueled by beer and testosterone, is particularly scary. There seems to be a spectrum of violence that women experience at live shows, ranging from misogynist verbal harassment to sexual assault.”

Notice her claim about “most women”.  Well, if we want to accept her bizarre anecdotal claims, ask girls you know who go to live shows how often they have been harassed, groped, or assaulted.     No, having your butt touched when crowd surfing doesn’t count.  Neither does it when you are jumping up and down, moshing, that OTEP incident, or trying to get a better spot closer to the front.  You will hear some stories, but they are exceedingly rare – you know like false rape claims.

“A standing room-only show.”  

How many metal/hardcore shows have you been to where it has not been standing room only?  Yea, that’s what I thought.   Maybe she is referring to other genres, but she doesn’t bother to make that distinction.  Accident or assassination?  Our reputation lies in tatters.    (Only exception I’ve experienced to this was Summerfest in Milwaukee when August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada played in which the stands cut down on much of the area available to stand and mosh.)

“Most important, though, the dangerous and unpredictable nature of concert culture means that it is often entirely unsafe to be a woman in a dark, crowded music venue.”

Red flags.

Anyone else get the idea that she hasn’t been to any metal/hardcore shows in a dark, crowded scary horror movie-like music venue?   How many stories has ANYONE heard about someone actually being sexually assaulted – real sexual assault that is  – or being raped at a show?

“Even when the violence doesn’t escalate to the level of rape, unsolicited touching and aggressive come-ons from drunk musicians and fans alike is all too common.”

This isn’t at all subjective.   Unsolicited touching.   Consider when A Day To Remember played The Rave up in Milwaukee and it sold out.  It was so damn packed that in no way could you not touch someone.  But yea, I suppose there were thousands of incidents of unsolicited touching that happened there.

Drunk musicians and fans? That is very specific to certain festivals and shows.  Most smaller shows don’t have that many people drinking, and for some its not even available. I.E,  how many people actually drink at the Warped Tour? Consider the price of beer and if they are even of age and its pretty damn slim.

 

2.

“Venues can implement a number of procedures to make shows safer for women, like adding barricades to mosh pits and increasing security presence in the crowds, but it’s still difficult to control what happens in the middle of a frenzied show.”

Catch that?

“Adding barricades to moshpits.”

How exactly is that even possible – considering how, when, and where moshpits actually break out at show?  You would think she’s never even see a pit before. Neither has she considered the fact that putting barricades around a pit would end up hurting people pushed out of the pit…   This in particular flabbergasts me.   Add “Fun Police” and moshpit killer to Amy Mccarthy’s resume.

So Misogynistic. So Metal
So Misogynistic. So Metal

Consider what happens when “security” is added to pits.   They usually attempt to break them up, fights occur between moshers and security guards, and the show is often then usually stopped.   Give it a few weeks, and you fight that yet another venue will no longer hold shows.

“In fact, they should be using their positions to outwardly do everything they can to ensure that these shows are safe for female concertgoers.”

The point of hardcore shows is that they are not safe specifically for anyone – including women.  The aggression and danger is part of the reason people go.  It’s not a Blake Shelton concert environment, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is.  You can’t demand that the shows become made “safe” for a specific group and then get mad when people call them posers, because lets face it then; they wouldn’t actually want the same treatment as the rest of the “group” gets.     If you go to a show to see The Acacia Strain and you get near the pit, people aren’t going to stop moshing or suddenly restrain themselves because you have to decided to enter the area – man, woman, or otherkin.

Entitlement much?

Well, you heard it from her.  We need to show special care, treatment, and deference toward women at shows – because they might get hurt.   I think Amy has a strong developed sense of female narcissism.   Toss out that equality concept.    Perhaps she should go to a Terror show and tell them how it needs to be a safer environment.  I can’t help thinking, does she actually care about the safety of all concert-goer, or just women?

I’m five foot seven and I have to carefully consider what pits I go into and I have to be very aware of who is moshing to ensure I don’t take a punch to the face.    Apparently, my safety doesn’t matter – unless I’m a woman.   Then again, if I go to a show, I don’t expect the atmosphere and environment of the show to change just for me.   You would think that Amy Mccarthy believes women are these weak creatures to be entirely helpless and completely unable to protect themselves.   (Equality right?)

3

“As for the fans, well, it’s probably unrealistic to ask that they keep their hands to themselves and quietly enjoy the music. Ultimately, it is the artists who have the most responsibility and the greatest ability to ensure that the environment their music cultivates is not inherently aggressive toward women.”

Yes, its VERY unrealistic to ask fans not to mosh and to “keep their hands to themselves.”    Any metal/hardcore artists that ensure an environment that is not aggressive isn’t going to be around very long.

Notice though that the aggression is fine, as long as its not toward women. Earlier, she quotes Lorena Cupcakes complaint, “Our motives are cast as disingenuous; we’re called groupies, posers, and hangers-on. Male dominance is established by questioning our right to be there at all.”

Well, this is why your motives are being questioned.  You want to be there, but you don’t want to participate equally in the aggressive nature of the shows? You want the shows to be specifically made safe for you, but your not a “hanger-on?”

Amy mentioned earlier in the article that, “Depending on the genre you enjoy, male fans who share your interests might call you a “poser,” or insinuate that you’re not as punk or metal or hip-hop (or as whatever) as you claim to be.”    Labeling an environment like a hardcore show as being aggressive toward women, makes it easier to call women  “posers” who participate, because instead of being treated the same as any other guy, you show them special treatment.

The irony is that shows are filled with men who literally white-knight for women all around. Plenty are nice of enough to stand in front of them and shield them from the pit, taking those windmills to the face because equality.  Or helping them to safety when the pit really starts to get going during a The Acacia Strain set.   Girls will tell you tons of stories like this.  Oh wait, I forgot.  Women are weak, helpless, can’t think for themselves, or even enjoy a show!

Personally, I’m a bit more of an asshole and a true equality feminist. Unless I know a girl, and she gets near the pit, I’m not shielding her body with mine – cause equality.  She’s not a poser, she can take – just like me or any other guy – right.    On the flip-side, guys usually care if they hurt a girl in the pit.   They don’t however if you are a guy – your size doesn’t matter.

4.

“Other times it involves being forcefully shoved across a raging mosh pit by someone three times your size, or being touched inappropriately as you try to crowd-surf. These may seem like harmless little interactions, something that should just be expected in a rowdy crowd.”

For once, know your pits.  This applies to literally everyone at the show, regardless of whatever Tumblr gender identity you have that day.   I’m a smaller guy, so I have to pick when and where I go in, especially when the breakdown hits.  I doubt she has ever experienced one.   For two, “women being pushed into moshpits”.  If you are standing near to where a pit suddenly breaks out – that could be anywhere, especially at larger shows – everyone gets either pushed into  the new pit or pushed back out of it, something she isn’t aware of.   I smell a rat Scoob.

Notice how she talked about crowd surfing. It’s pretty damn near impossible not to have your butt touched as you are getting passed toward the stage – or getting your wallet stolen if its in your back pocket.
Surprisingly, Amy actually talks to an “expert” that gets it:

“Metal expert and weekend editor of VICE’s Noisey, Kim Kelly, is particularly used to being banged up at the end of a show. “If I’m at a death metal show or a DIY thrash show in a basement, I know things are gonna get crazy, bottles are gonna fly, and I’m probably going to come home with a few bruises,” she says. “I’ve always been able to hold my own, but women who are smaller or less brash than I am might absolutely feel intimidated by the testosterone-fueled violence. In my experience, if you don’t want to get hurt, you stand in the back or on the side, and keep your guard up.”

I find it humorous that someone – girls specifically – are going to feel intimidated by testosterone-fueled violence.  Consider the amount of places left that you can actually let out your aggression and feel the testosterone coursing through your veins is pretty slim.   Metal/hardcore shows are about all that’s left.

 

A space that isn't safe for women.
A space that isn’t safe for women.

Hardcore shows are probably the only place where its part of the show.  It should be obvious, but feminists types like Amy want to curb our outbursts of toxic masculinity at our last remaining refuges where they aren’t shunned, but are actually embraced – a sense of community if you will.

When we get upset and speak out about the nonsense, outright lies, falsehoods, and the tripe she spews, we are then of course proving exactly her point – that metal/hardcore aren’t safe spaces and places for women and that we are all terrible misogynists.  Yea, well fuck her.    Maybe eventually, she will name one of these many survivors who has ever been “raped” in this epidemic at the Warped tour. Or Chaos. Or SXSW.  Or Mayhem.  Or any of the hundreds of others.

 

5

“It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that the women who are just as much a part of these respective scenes — we buy just as many records, concert tickets, and band T-shirts as men, and are equally supportive of our favorite acts  – not feel physically intimidated when they’re out at shows. In New York’s hardcore scene, bands like the recently reunited Kill Your Idols make it a point to cultivate “positive mental attitude” at their shows and address inequities in their scene, proving that it is possible for these safe spaces to exist without compromising the rowdy vibe that is expected of hardcore punk.”

Safe spaces…

At hardcore shows…

In New York’s hardcore scene…

Yea, she just said that.   Based on everything she has said in this article, she doesn’t want to just kill off the rowdy vibe, she wants to salt the earth after she’s buried the corpse.   She wants to eliminate it and replace it with a safe space that doesn’t wreak of sweaty testosterone misogynistic fueled aggression.    Mccarthy believes that women are too fragile to be exposed to anything that involves… testosterone.

You would think she would know this, but the entire point of a hardcore show – especially in Boston, LA,  and New York is to let yourself go in the pit and at the show. Don’t expect “special” and “safe” treatment. If you want to roll with the guys, expect to be treated like anyone else in the show – especially if you go into the pit.

“Until we address the systemic issues that drive this violence, though, like rape culture and the nonsensical idea that women have to somehow “earn” their place as legitimate music fans, it is likely that even that wouldn’t be enough to make live music a safe and positive experience for women. Still, hearty encouragement from the acts onstage and the venues that host them would be a really helpful start”

What was that about posers? Groupies? Disingenuous?

Oh, that’s what safe-space demanding Amy Mccarthy thinks women are.  In fact,  if we created safe spaces and destroyed New York’s Hardcore scene by turning those triggering mosh-pits into seats filled with male zombies gazing unmoving and silent at the stage, it still wouldn’t be enough.

Don’t give into people like Amy Mccarthy.   If they are unhappy with their scene, they will go after yours, and attempt to kill it if they can’t be as happy as anyone else.  This is the worse form of narcissism – the take-no prisoners kind.    You know why people hate feminism? It’s because of women like Amy who demand that everything revolves around them and hell with everyone else.

Oh and just in case you actually like Country and think she might be over blowing things,  a commenter on Salon called out at least two of the examples which weren’t exactly true – if not outright lies:

While not attempting to minimize or dismiss any of the legitimate complaints of women who have been assaulted or otherwise abused, at least two of the examples provided are flat out false:

1) Tim McGraw was not grabbed “on the leg” — he was grabbed *on the crotch* and rightfully and justifiably responded by hitting the woman who sexually assaulted him.  Had the sexes been reversed, would you offer that up as an example of mistreatment?  I doubt it.

2) The “rape” at the Keith Urban gig at Great Woods was not a rape.  The charges were dropped because it was a consensual act.  The claim of the young woman was not that it was not consensual, but that she didn’t really want to have done it — and that’s a distinction worth making.  Its the difference between things happening without your consent, and things happening with your consent that you wish you hadn’t agreed to do. Huge difference, with massive implications for the other person involved, and definitely needs to be paid attention do.

Oh, also Amy Mccarthy: Don’t talk shit about metal and hardcore shows, until you’ve been to plenty of them.

Elysion Fields and In Fear And Faith lose vocalists.

Sometimes bands have members depart rather amicably, while others simply don’t.  Vocalist Tim Sheridan from the Illinois native metal-core outfit, Elysion Fields, has left the band to start another band called “Autonomy”. Not much is known about this band yet except that its still trying to recruit a guitarist and a bassist. Sheridan was and still is on good terms with the band after the departure.

His replacement is Chris Fernandez an ex member of Thyateira.   I must however point out the benefit Chris has done for himself by getting away from yet another drag and disappointment upon this local metal scene in the essence of The Black Dahlia Murder wannabes, Thyateira.

During Tim’s last show with EF on December 11th, EF drew over 40 people to the venue of note, The Oasis, and put on a spectacular show playing almost every song they have written. Chris combine with Tim during the last song of their set for a remarkable vocal assault.  Expect good things from this band, as it remains one of the last bastions of talent and semi-originality in the local Wisconsin and Illinois scene.

Both Elysion Fields and Thyateira will be playing at this years “20 Band’s Of Christmas” on December 18th which will also host national acts Within The Ruins, The Crimson Armada, The Plot In You, For All Those Sleeping and other local bands, so be there.  This will probably be one of the biggest shows of the remaining year.   Last year there was about a thousand people in attendance, and if you get tickets now, it’s only 13$. I’ll be there, so if you’ve ever wanted to punch me in the face or trample me in a wall of death, this show is your chance to do that semi-legally.

Heres a link that I hope works to the 20 Bands Of Christmas Event as well as Last.Fm which should have directions to the “venue”

 

Anyone remember In Fear And Faith?  Yea, they are still around but haughty, snooty, and arrogant vocalist Cody Anderson isn’t anymore.  At first I thought this was their clean vocalist, but it’s actually their once screamer.  Last week it was announced by IFAF that he had left the band. To be honest, I’m sad to see him go as he was actually an excellent vocalist both live and on the album, which can’t be said of their high pitched creepy emo dressing clean vocalist/keyboardist.  Before I rip on him too much, one nice thing I’ll say that is also true is that his annoying vocals on each of their albums is much more tolerable live.

Cody on the other hand continuing his in-person deuchebaggery from Warped Tour 2010 essentially quit the the band during the “This Is A Family” tour, but I suppose this shouldn’t have been a surprise. We still don’t know exactly why he quit the band. All he left was a facebook status that is strongly reminiscent of a high-school breakup gone very bad:



“I have left In Fear And Faith. I will not tell you why because it’s none of your business. Nice meeting you all. Buy whatever CD they come out with next. Scott [Barnes] has a better voice than any of these other shitty bands out there. If you live in SD lets hang out. Please don’t talk shit cause it’s a pain to go to your home page and delete you”

Wow. He may be trying to avoid drama, but I’m tempted to friend him just to do some trolling after a status like that. After posting something like that, I really suspect he had a fight with the band.

“Buy whatever CD they come out with next.” No. Not after a release like Imperial.

“Nice meeting you all.” It appears that came from the bottom of his heart.

Anyway good riddance, even though I liked his vocals. Let’s just all try to remember the good times of the band. We can actually anticipate more live stellar performances by the band and realize that these guys may still be headed somewhere if they can revisit their roots.

 

A Day To Remember Album Release Show at The Rave Sells Out!

Update: It’s been almost 8 years since this show and it’s still one of my favorites.

I’ve never seen The Rave sell out, but it sold out about 30 minutes before the show started.  This may have been one of the sickest shows I’ve ever been to and might be tied with the seven thousand people who showed up for August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada at Summerfest back in July.

The lineup for the show was Close Your Eyes, The Word Alive, Underoath, and A Day To Remember and the day was Tuesday the 16th of November, the very same day that ADTR would “What Seperates Me From You” finally hit the store shelves.

Now this is a show where if you chose to stand anywhere on the stage floor, you were stuck there. We were tightly packed together, body pressing upon body.  Also this is The Rave, which is a pretty big venue.

Now what did you miss?

  • You missed a show where the whole stage floor was a semi-quasi-moshpit for basically three hours. I was continually pushed around as were the people around from all directions so I kind of constantly swayed with the crowd. In fact at one point I picked up my feet and let the 3 huge guys near me pretty much carry me around for a few minutes. It was that tightly packed.
  • You missed a show where you actually couldn’t fall down. There were so many people packed close together that you could lean your whole body weight on the people around you and be propped up.
  • You missed around 20 or so fights that broke out
  • Even when music wasn’t playing you still got pushed and shoved around, as did the people around you. Too much excitement in the air I guess.
  • You missed great sets from Underoath and in particular A Day To Remember.  ATDR played several songs from For Those Who Have Heart and Homesick. 
  • You missed one of the best shows all year in this whole Wisconsin and Illinois area. I’ve rarely seen this kind of energy at a show before.

At times the whole floor turned into one giant pit from side to side, front to back, especially for Underoath and A Day To Remember. When the breakdown from My Life For Hire kicked in, the whole floor was a giant pit and you got pushed into and slammed into from every side. It was like a constant domino effect.  I and alot of people around me got pushed from the back to the middle to the front, and back to the middle during Underoath’s set.

 I was on my feet for almost 4 and half hours and I couldn’t sit down, nor could I get out of the front area of the crowd because of how tightly packed it was.  The pits were very aggressive and people were tossed around like ragdolls specifically because of the amount of people around them.

If you were on the stage floor you were constantly being pushed into by people from all sides who had people pushing into them from all sides. It was insane. It was exciting. It was incredible. When every one starting jumping for Plot To Bomb The Panhandle, the floor shook. By the way, these are the sickest pits I’ve ever been in, as well as that I’ve seen in person.

Close Your Eyes opened up, but for some reason I think they sounded somewhat better a few weeks ago at Clearwater. They put on a great show though considering how packed the place was.  They got some great crowd participation for “Song For The Broken”, which they seemed to do the best out of their set.

Now you can usually tell when The Word Alive is playing. There is alot of “We love you” and “F*ck this place up,” shouted by the lead vocalist. Apparently flurries of F-bombs make your breakdowns more badass.  Nevertheless, this is the best I’ve seen The Word Alive play by far.

A majority of the fights broke out during their set, as plenty of tough guys had something to prove. One guy who accidentally hit one of the hardcore dancers tried to reconcile with the guy, but he just put his fist up and shouted at him indicating that he would hit him if he said anything more.  Some people can throwdown but just can’t handle someone else throwing down into them.

Their last song Epiphany was probably the craziest of their set. I actually saw someone do some sort of weird break-dancing backflip ‘esqe multiple spin kick into some guy and a fight broke out a few seconds after it. The move the guy did probably could have won him a showing on America’s Got Talent, it was that awesome.

Underoath would get up and add to a show that just kept getting better and better. They led off with a song of their new album which I can’t recall, although it may have been In Division.  Things started to heat up at this point.  A bloody shirt somehow fell on my face, not sure how, several people lost their shoes, including my friend who came with me who lost her shoe toward the end of the set, and I got hit   in the head a couple times including having some guys elbow jammed into me for at least 5 minutes. I tried to move his elbow off my stomach but it was too tightly packed around me to even change how I was standing/forcibly leaned into the guy next to me.

Underoath played all the classic songs we know and love, as well as I think two other songs off Disambiguation.   For all of you who worry about Underoath without Aaron, “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” was performed perfectly, though the incredible amount of crowd participation singing out the chorus certainly helped and made it feel all that more epic.

They concluded with “Writing On The Walls”, which I will take credit for since I called it realizing it was the only other big song that they hadn’t played yet. When the breakdown kicked in it seemed like everyone suddenly lost it and went nuts. If only you had been there!  The one thing I’m realizing about Underoath is that you can look forward to an amazing intense show and excellent live sound every time they play a live show.

A Day To Remember opened up with “2nd Sucks” and people went nuts. Elbows, knees, and plenty of body squishing took place immediately, several of which made contact with my back, ribs, gut, you get the picture, as well as pretty much everyone else around.  I spent the rest of the show being squished around like a tomato.   Luckily someone had their video camera going up on the balcony to capture this epic kodak moment:

ADTR would continue with several songs from FTWHH as well as several Homesick and one of their earliest songs, “You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance”. I love that they did this because too often bands who release a new cd make the mistake of playing way too many songs off of it that the crowd won’t know. This was the album release show, but I’m pretty sure over half the people at the show had already downloaded the leaked album.

I finally fell over when the breakdown from “My Life For Hire” hit and the floor turned into a massive pit.  When ADTR played “I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of”, Mike from The Devil Wears Prada got on stage, did some sort of crazy stage dance, and screamed out his part like a greek god, which brought the show to a whole new level and made the hardcore dancers look like they were trying to escape angry villagers.

When their set ended the crowd, including me, screamed for an encore, and we got it. They played three more songs before the night was finally over.

For those of you who might not like any of the bands that played, this is one of those shows where the atmosphere, the crowd, and the energy and excitement made up for anything you may dislike or hate about the bands or the band’s music itself.  Plus A Day To Remember played tons of their old stuff which made this show something of epic proportions.  Tuesday night for all those who experienced will be a day to remember forever.

P.S, if your looking to download A Day To Remember‘s “What Separates Me From You”, I’ve found it on mediafire for you, again courtesy of ILYBD. Audio quality is VBR.

I would encourage all ADTR fans to buy this album, as buying it will help it gain media exposure, and I’d really like to see a band like ADTR break into the mainstream. Shockhound currently is selling the album download for 6.99$!  (Not become mainstream.) Anything with doses of screaming in it and breakdowns that gains media exposure is good for exposing hardcore and metal to the rest of the music world.  ( I will be buying this album myself on Friday when my paycheck comes in.)

New Chiodos – ” Illuminaudio” Puts Fears to Rest.

     Chiodos: Illuminaudio

 

Illuminaudio

Alot of Chiodos fan’s and listener’s feared that Chiodos was most likely done, and would do nothing but go downhill after the departure of Craig Owens and the talent that he offered the band with his whiny vocals and high pitched shrieks. To all the doubters, haters, and nay sayers this album through its incredible nature loudly proclaims: “**** you!

Even I wont diminish the effect that the departure of a vocalist (of any sort) has upon a band. Usually, a band will go downhill, occasionally at rollercoaster speeds. Examples of this would include:

  1. Casey Calvert from Hawthorne Heights (Even for you haters, admit it, their first two albums weren’t bad)
  2. Kevin from Four Letter Lie, now a member of A Day To Remember.  Four Letter Lie absolutely sucks now, both live and studio wise. They are yet another band that tried to change style to accommodate for Kevin’s departure and miserably failed at it.
  3. Attack Attack! I know there are plenty of Austin Carylile haters out there, but let’s face it, Attack Attack was much better when he was with them, both studio and live wise. His replacement has a bad live scream and is one reason why their new album just doesn’t come close.

To make matters worse the departure of Derrick Frost back in May 2010 due to his inability to get along with Owens made things look even bleaker. Many considered Frost an essential part of the band and many worried that the band would lose it’s unique sound with both his and Owen’s departure.

Lucky for us, Frost’s replacement, Tanner Wayne, (Formerly of Underminded and Scary Kids Scaring Kids) has proven himself capable with this new album just as  Owen’s replacement Brandon Bolmer (Yesterdays Rising) has.

Let me throw this out there; the replacement of Craig Owens by Bolmer was the best thing that could have ever happened to Chiodos. Don’t believe me? Listen to All’s Well That End’s Well and Bone Palace Ballet and then listen to Illuminaudio. The difference should be fairly obvious, as well as the musical improvement.

Gone are the whiny vocals of Owen which have been replaced with the still higher pitched, but excellent sounding vocals of Bolmer. While Owens screams weren’t horrible necessarily, Bolmer’s screaming in this album is outstanding.

Imagine yourself as a child who has been finally convinced that monster’s don’t exist, but suddenly has a face-to-face encounter with:

Brian Peppers                                Barbarra Streisand                                         Henry Waxman

 

        Yes, he actually looks like this.

 

Then imagine them screaming like Bolmer in songs such as Modern Hair Wolf, Stratovolcano Mouth, and Those Who Slay Together Stay Together.  Just sit back, listen to the songs, and imagine the effect. Yea, that’s right. Simply put; his screams are bloody intense. Unfortunately Owens never had anything like that in his arsenal.

This album has one of the best “complete flows” I’ve ever heard.  It not only keeps the crazy time signatures and style which has made Chiodos unique but contains a melodic flow to almost every song as well as a catchy feel. It has everything you’ve loved about Chiodos, except much more.

Scream placement in this album is very note worthy. They seem to be placed in parts of songs where they will have the most impact, and I really mean that. (Brandon’s style of screaming is one reason for the screams having the impact they do.) The breakdowns in this album are very very well done and fit perfectly where they are placed, something that can’t necessarily be said of past Chiodos work.

If you love Chiodos, get this album. If you hate Chiodos, check this album out nevertheless. You won’t be disappointed. Simply put, this album is a masterpiece.

You can listen to Chiodos new album, Illuminaudio which is still streaming in it’s entire from their myspace. You can download Illuminaudio through Mediafire courtesy of ILYBD.


Questions? Comments? Death Threats? Your feedback is encouraged and most welcome.