Friday, 31 August 2012


So, today saw an announcement from le mighty Deftones regarding...a new album, due out November 12! Excitement abounds, because I LOVE Deftones. The name's a bit of a, well, 'wtf?' moment;

Koi No Yokan

Maybe they've been to the Coldplay School Of Album Naming? But that is where I end my comparisons with hatred of Coldplay is quite vehement and I don't want to tar Deftones with the same brush. 
But the point of this is to highlight an ever-growing list of albums that I'm ridiculously excited for that are due out before the end of 2012. And the nominees are:
  1. Gallows - 'Gallows'
  2. Muse - 'The 2nd Law'
  3. Biffy Clyro - 'Opposites'
  4. Rolo Tomassi - 'Astraea'
  5. The Killers - 'Battle Born'
  6. Coheed & Cambria - 'The Afterman: Ascension'
  7. Neurosis - 'Honor Found In Decay'
  8. The alleged new Queens Of The Stone Age album, which may or may not be released this year...
  9. And I'm sure, even more to be found as I get into more bands. I'm going to need a bigger iPod...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Beautiful melodic electronic stylings from Enter Shikari frontman. 

For those of you who don't know, ROUT is the DJ alter-ego of Enter Shikari vox-man/synth-ist Rou Reynolds, and Rory C is, well, Rory C,  guitarist from Enter Shikari. This 4-track EP, produced for Action Aid's 'Bollocks To Poverty' campaign, is a great slice of (at times) slightly crackers electronic/dubstep, built around sound clips from Action Aid's videos from around the globe, such as taking samples of songs from African tribes and the like - it's an unusual take, and it makes for great listening.

Underlined by the kind of synths and delicious wub-wub-wubs that are commonplace amongst Enter Shikari's unique genre-ical slant, this showcases the more melodic side of electronic music. There are no Mariana Trench-deep bass drops to shake your bones to powder - its instead more subtle, and even with the drum & bass style drum patterns, is a pretty chilled affair. The vocal clips add to this sense, though that is not to say that it doesn't get a little bit filthy at times...

The best song on the EP, for me, is Reaching Across The Globe, which has the aforementioned crackers-ness - trumpets ahoy! I heard the most Shikari parallels in this one, but there's no sense that one copies the style of the other, and vice-versa. Case and point on the subtle/chilled front is Mary's Song though (done with Rory C), which builds and builds from a lovely acoustic guitar/vocal melody into the most subtle of wubs, and then ups tempo when the drums kick in. However, with the vocal bit on repeat through the song, that beautiful edge to the track is retained. The other 2 tracks, How Are You & Nourishment, are more led by the tribal vocal stylings - all of these different aspects add up to make something truly unique in its sound. 

I wholeheartedly recommend getting this - its thoroughly different, shot through with acoustic guitar, trumpets, distinctive vocals that all compliment the electronic backbone fantastically - you might be dubious that such things could be combined, but the evidence is right here. It's also great music to just sit back and listen to. It's available from for a minimum of £1, with all proceeds going to Action Aid. Do something good today, get some great music that goes to a great cause and say bollocks to poverty. 

Friday, 24 August 2012


'Nuff said. Gotta get me one of these.

This also reminded me of something random I saw on Youtube (isn't everything?) that you might enjoy.

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Stunningly perfect progressive metal from Georgia's finest. 

n.b. I actually wrote this a month ago, when the album came out.  Yet for some reason, it has sat, with several others, as a draft for that month, unpublished, gathering internet dust. Until now...mwuhahaha. Ahem. On with the review, with those other half-finished ones on their way in coming days, including The Gaslight Anthem,'s Handwritten and Frank Ocean's Channel Orange. I don't just do rock.

The latest offering from heavy rock/metal quartet Baroness - or rather, offerings, as it is a double album - is a quite simply beautiful slice of music. Combining swirling melodies, stellar riffage from the more sludgy side of metal with psychedelic effects-laden oddity and strong vocals married to great lyricism, Yellow & Green  rhythmically flows from stonking song to stonking song. As it's a double album, I'll review Yellow and Green as two different entities. 

Tonally darker in comparison to Green, we're led into this first disc amid echoing tones into the riff-heavy lead single Take My Bones Away - a good, proper rocky song, with its anthemic chorus, fuzzed up solo and riffage ahoy. That in turn flows into the more sombre sound of March To The Sea, which in many ways is a pattern that Yellow follows - sombre melodies into  more classic-sounding rocky affairs, all with a dark undercurrent running through it.  And underlying all of that is a style that Baroness have made their own, a uniqueness in their sound. From usage of unusual and varying time signatures that contribute to the changing flow of the record, echoing guitars, punchy and prominent bass - each element of the music is given its own time to shine. The song Twinkler, my favourite from Yellow, is carried by a brooding acoustic melody and what sounds like a baroque-esque flute - case and point of the distinctive sound Baroness possess.  

Like Yellow, we begin with an instrumental intro track, but the Green Theme works on a different wavelength. It still has the echoing guitar, but bursts into a triumphant cacophony of an almost Queen-like solo, ebbs a little, then bursts back into life once again. It sets the tone for Green, with less of the inherent brood of the first disc and more lilting harmonies - not to say there aren't hints of that, but the overall tone compared with disc 1 is brighter - these hints come in the forms of things like darker lyricism to a more upbeat song (always a trickier combination, but it works well)  in tracks like Psalms Alive and Collapse, but songs like Board Up The House and Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)  have the greater sense of positivity. There's more riffage, the best in the album, from The Line Inbetween, and instrumental tracks to be had in Green as well; Stretchmarker and closing track If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry provide echoey, resonating semi-acousticness that are quite lovely. The latter in particular is a frankly beautiful close, bringing the tempo right down, with just the faintest suggestion of Yellow to tie the two together as it finishes. 

All in all, I think this is a perfect album. It's incredibly well-formed - rather than just a collection of songs, each song carries on from its predecessor. I hate to repeat myself, but it really does flow. There are some excellent songs there; Back Where I Belong, Eula and Psalms Alive are just 3 but in reality they're all superb. Don't be put off by the tag of metal, because this transcends a lot of genres in establishing Baroness as a brilliant band with a sound that is distinctly them. It's too early to say now, but this may be my album of the year.

Tom Castle, Copyright THE NOISE August 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Solid first release from Ipswich/Colchestrian death metal quartet.

Chaos Dreams - EP cover art

Chaos Dreams is the first EP by death/doom metallers Voragan, and they have done a fine job on it. Blending the more melodic side of the dark side of metal with some more plain evil-sounding (in a good way) stuff, and throwing in a few distinctive elements for good measure, it's a strong effort that shows good potential, albeit with the need for further refinement.

Criticisms first (getting them out of the way) - the most obvious aspect of the EP that needs improving is the vocals. The mix of cleans and death growls would work well, if they were not so quiet! There are hints of delightfully violent depth to the growls, but they suffer simply from being a bit muted at times, and the cleans may just need a spot of work on being a bit more...melodic. But vocals here need to be strong, and they don't quite step up.

That aside, it's otherwise top notch. It builds from an intro of moody piano/strings into the quietly brooding start of Epitaph For Paradise, which itself then breaks into glorious heavy...ness. Add to it the impressively brave 6/7 minute (respectively) epics of Fallen Angel/Chaos Dreams and shazam, we have a winner. The musicianship across the EP is very good - particularly, there's some great soloing, and the aforementioned great touches that add some great distinctivity (that's a word now. Deal with it) such as a noodly bass interlude on Chaos Dreams that carries the song through with some dark tones.

All in all, Voragan have made something quite impressive for a first release. Sure, there is some work needed, but if they'd made a perfect EP straight up, where would there be to go next? Damn good metal with great potential - keep it up. It's £2.50 as well, so support local bands and buy it! 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


One of my new favourite bands, Baroness, have been involved in a serious crash after their tour bus allegedly fell 30 feet off a viaduct between Bristol and Southampton. Relapse Records, the band's label, issued the following;

"Baroness have been involved in a motor coach accident in the Bath area of England. All band members and personnel on board are currently receiving medical treatment. The band had performed in Bristol last night and were traveling to Southampton for a performance at Talking Heads this evening."

More as I hear it, my thoughts go out to everyone caught up in it, and I sincerely hope no-one is injured. x


Found this the other day - a Tumblr dedicated to recreating the cover artwork of classic the creator's socks. Allow me to present to y'all...

This is my personal favourite, The Black Album.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Superb, powerful debut full-length album from Britain's best new metallers. Sheffield has a knack for producing good metal and all things inbetween - look no further than the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Rolo Tomassi among others - and While She Sleeps, the latest export, have made a frankly stonking first album. Brutal, at times unrelenting and shot through with occasional moments of moody clarity that just give you enough time to take a breath before it smacks you in the face again.

This is a record and a band that knows how to do metal right. There's the proper quality crushing guitar work -  heavy without the overkill, melodic without being weedy - the driving machine-gun drumming, and of course bloody good vocals. Mic-wielder Loz Taylor is breathlessly raw throughout, but avoids getting all Cookie Monster on us. The vox are powerful and carry the emotion behind the lyrics (which are also superb) and are one of the most distinctively strong aspects of the album. But all of this is balanced by the quieter, generally piano-led, moments. Far from being a deliberately soft and slightly meh tinkling of the ivories, it's another strong component that stops the album just being a noise and lends it real depth - those bits capture the mood of the album and are rightfully there.

Honestly, there's not a bad track to be had on TITS (snigger. I couldn't resist). From the heavy-as-fuck opener Dead Behind The Eyes, through the singles Seven Hills and This Is The Six, to the beautifully sombre instrumental interlude The Chapel and out the other side again to the brutality of tracks like Be(lie)ve and (personal favourite) The Plague Of A New Age, there are metal anthems galore. 

All in all, bloody brilliant. Play it loud. Too much more where this came from and these lads will find themselves on the road to becoming legends of British metal One of the best metal records I've heard in the last couple of years, and certainly one of this year's best. Own it, and help them invade the charts.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


I'm back, having spent time training in the ways of Paint.

You! Yes, you! Well, maybe.

If you're an artist/band with a new release, then send this new release in this direction and get reviewed on The Noise. Whatever it may be (I'm open-minded), I shall listen and give an impartial opinion for you lovely peoples. I want to hear new stuff that I can love! is where you should get in touch, and please, ne pas de spam x

Friday, 3 August 2012


Go to and sign up to get a free trial subscription. Simples. I've honestly never read it before but their site is bang tidy.