Yup, got it! And it is awesomeeeeee. Thanks for picking me, I never win anything! Lol
Yup, got it! And it is awesomeeeeee. Thanks for picking me, I never win anything! Lol
It has arrived. The highly anticipated follow up to Killswitch Engage’s 2009 self-titled album has finally hit the shelves. So was it worth the wait? In one word: yes.
I was a little worried when a track called “No End in Sight” leaked a few months back. It wasn’t bad, but I just kept hoping that this wasn’t the sound on which they were building this next album. Killswitch fans, there is nothing to worry about, as I can confidently say that this is the band’s most dynamic and complete record to date, and it is a blast from front to back.
With Jesse Leach having returned as frontman and lead vocalist last winter, it’s clear that this group is only going forward from here. Personally I loved Howard Jones, but their second self-titled effort was a little disappointing; plus I’m sure his return to metal will be great, no matter what he does next.
This new record is more than just a sum of its parts. My feeling when I listened through it the first time was this: Disarm the Descent is Jesse’s Daylight Dies. Sure, Alive or Just Breathing contains the more memorable tracks, but Disarm will stand up against time as being a better album in every other way.
First, the vocals. Jesse is at the top of his game. Both his screaming and clean vocals are wonderfully intense and his range only increases as the years pass. The overall lyrical theme is nothing groundbreaking, but never dips below expectations for the genre. Musically he and the rest of the band have reached a pinnacle of their careers. The guitars and bass sound better than ever. Adam displays a lot more soloing than previous albums. Certain songs shred better than others (Metallica fans can’t help but love that Battery-esque outro on “All That We Have”). Justin has completely surpassed anything he’s done on a Killswitch record; blast beats are more prevalent in his drumming but are never sloppy, and his playing as a whole is precise and polished. The variety on the record brings back memories of Daylight Dies, with a couple of catchy sing-alongs that won’t leave your head (“In Due Time”, “Tribute to the Fallen”, “No End in Sight”), a couple of thrashers that will pound you in the head (“The Hell in Me”, “Turning Point”, “New Awakening”), and even a ballad in “Always” which seems poetic, yet still kind of heavy without being hokey.
For those grabbing the album (whether iTunes Store, actual store, or free download), pick up the bonus edition. KsE live tracks are always a treat, and the two studio cuts aren’t amazing but they’re worth a listen.
Track by track, Disarm the Descent is a solid metalcore album and surpasses any and all expectations. From here, I can only continue to look forward to more and more from Killswitch Engage.
I never win anything, but I won this!
We are but five days away from the ever-anticipated release of the sixth studio album from Killswitch Engage, Disarm the Descent, and I am fucking stoked. My buddy just did a top 10 for a REAL blog (you know, one that people actually read), as he has a brand new metal column there called Garden State Headache. After reading his, I felt challenged to do my own top 10, since I never really even put too much thought into picking my favorites, aside from my #1 (let’s face it, everyone has a single favorite song).
So here are my top 10 Killswitch Engage tracks. If you read my friend’s blog first you’ll see very quickly there are none from their 2009 self-titled album. Well, I tried and tried and tried to put ONE song from that record on this list. I couldn’t do it. My runner-ups to this list are “In a Dead World” and “I Would Do Anything” from that very album, but I could not justify cutting out any of the current list to fit either of those two. So here is the official list:
10. “Irreversal”, from The End of Heartache (bonus tracks)
In my opinion, this is the red-headed bastard child of great KsE songs. It was a re-record from their self-titled debut, and while I love the original version, the remake was simply phenomenal. I feel like it’s underrated since it wasn’t on the basic editions of the album, and probably doesn’t get much of a chance because of that. Everything about this track is different from the rest of that album. Blast beats and guitars simply become a backdrop to Jesse Leach and Howard Jones trading growls for about three-and-a-half minutes, all leading up to Jesse’s guttural shrill to close it down. And while I can’t quite pick them up, Phil Labonte (All That Remains) did some vocals on this song too.
9. “Hope Is…”, from The End of Heartache
Their 2004 breakthrough album set the benchmark for powerful choruses in metal songs, and this one was no exception. The drum fill that opens the song is one that I cannot, to this day, nail down perfectly. The lyrical theme of the track makes it sound like it belonged on the previous album, but I couldn’t have imagined Jesse hitting the vocals as well as Howard did. Plus, Phil Labonte did some vocals on this one, too.
Weep no more, we will prevail. Great stuff.
8. “This is Absolution”, from Daylight Dies
I hate to basically copy what my buddy said about this song directly, but his description summed it up perfectly. This is that “roll your windows down and scream along” song, and I never fail to yell “THIS IS ABSOLUTION!!!” into some old lady’s open window at a red light. It’s a pretty easy listen for a metalcore track, but that definitely doesn’t take away from the musicianship behind it.
7. “Breathe Life”, from The End of Heartache
Ah, my foray into metalcore music. “Breathe Life” entered my life circa 2005 and popped my musical cherry faster than Justin Foley can play a thrash-beat. This is basically melodic hardcore metal at its simplest and finest, and this song packs the toughest punch on the record, I think.
6. “Just Barely Breathing”, from Alive or Just Breathing
The three AOJB tracks on my list have, unsurprisingly, gravitated toward the top end of the list. There is never any doubt of the impact that record had/has on the genre as a whole, and for damned good reason. The unofficial title track “Just Barely Breathing” is such a dynamic song for the album, and the band. It starts out slowly and builds up, just to punch you in the face about a minute in. Musically, it’s probably the best song on the album, and one of the best they’ve ever written. And I have to mention that I did get to see it performed live on their 10th anniversary AOJB tour, and it was absolutely fantastic.
5. “Still Beats Your Name”, from Daylight Dies
This song probably shouldn’t be on my list. It’s not on your list. It’s not on anyone’s list. It’s never performed live and it’s not one of their more popular songs. So why did I pick it? Well it’s one of my absolute favorites, and I can listen to it over and over again. This track represents the best of musical talent these guys ever recorded. And my god, the drum work. Bravo to you, Mr. Foley. This song is the only proof you need that Killswitch Engage is great at whatever tempo. These are some of Howard Jones’ best lyrics among three albums, and the sheer darkness of his words shine brightest within that four minutes (pardon the pun). So go now, give it a chance.
4. “My Last Serenade”, from Alive or Just Breathing
If you love Killswitch Engage, you know all the words. If you don’t like Killswitch Engage, you still know all the words. As long as you like metal you know this song, and it is undoubtedly their most easily recognized song on their whole discography. Fan favorite and concert staple, “My Last Serenade” is probably the most entertaining track that both singers got to perform live. It may not be their best song, but it will always be a favorite.
3. “Numbered Days”, from Alive or Just Breathing
The opening track from their 2002 breakthrough is the epitome of why that album is so great. Jesse’s strong lyrics and powerful vocals shine brightest, and it amazes me to this day why he was ever self-conscious about his voice. This track is probably the most fun to see performed live, as no other KsE song riles up the crowd quite as well.
2. “The End of Heartache”, from The End of Heartache
There are currently 2888 tracks on my iPod. I spend roughly 12 hours in the car every week, and I am always listening to music. This is the ONE song that I can NEVER skip when I’m shuffling tracks on the way to/from work. It is the closest to karaoke-worthy as any hardcore metal song could be, and resisting to sing along is nearly impossible. And might I mention it sounds heavenly on subwoofers? Any time I try to introduce someone to the genre, this is the song I play. And whether or not the listener takes the step into this wonderful category of metal, they still love this track. Point proven.
1. “When Darkness Falls”, from The End of Heartache
You read that correctly. I have made the declaration that a track that never released as a single, has no music video (although it did make the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack), is the BEST this band has to offer. The lyrics speak about standing strong and taking your own path instead of just the easiest one, I have never felt lyrics hit as close to home as these. The chorus is probably the most commanding of any they’ve written. Everything about the song just meshes so well. Adam’s guitar ranges from almost dissonant in the intro, to blissfully melodic in the refrain. The drums are purposeful without being too easy or overly technical. On that note, It is probably one of my favorite songs to cover on drums. And that last bit where the chorus repeats for the last time, and you’re brought down to a compelling and satisfying conclusion- yeah, that’s downright magical. If “Hope Is…” wasn’t such a strong track, I’d be convinced that “When Darkness Falls” would close the album better.
Honorable Mention: “Holy Diver”, from Daylight Dies (bonus tracks)
Easily one of the best cover songs I’ve ever heard. And a hilarious music video to boot. But obviously, I wasn’t going to put a cover song on their top 10.
So stoked for the new album.
I seriously feel like I get to this blog, like, four times a year. Well here I go keeping my loyal followers (a.k.a. all the people I don’t even know that ready my stuff since barely any of my actual friends still use Tumblr) happy.
Well, on the good side of things, we’re buying a condo! We should be moving back to Jackson hopefully within the next 6-8 months. We’re under contract for a place in 60 Acres (talk about my childhood coming full circle) and we’re merely waiting on bank approval to move forward with closing. If all goes well, we should be closing on or around April 1. But we’re prepared for it to possibly (and probably) take longer.
As for the smaller grievances, I sold my drum set to make a little extra cash for the move. I had planned on selling it once we move, since I’ll be at that point buying an acoustic set once again (FINALLY). Electronic sets are nice for apartment living, but they’re very limited in function. I figured we could use the money now rather than later, and once the closing is done I’ll be able to put a couple bucks aside to buy a new set.
As for other small annoyances, my job is killing me lately. Too inconsistent for my liking. Very sick of the driving. Which I was told would happen. But I didn’t listen. Money has a strange way of making people do stupid things. Like prostitution. Not that I’m having sex for money or anything. Anyway, my boss promised me that I’d be relocating soon to a closer store. Nothing is set, but my hopes are high right now.
Our cats are driving me fucking nuts at home. Can’t sleep through the night. Like, ever. I legit can’t remember the last time I wasn’t woken up in the middle of the night by Apollo chasing his tail in the bathtub, or pulling at the carpet outside our bedroom door, or trying to retrieve a bottle cap he lost under said door.
Installed my sound system in my car last week and it doesn’t fucking work. Waiting on time that I can get a friend with a volt meter to look at it, or considering just bringing it to a professional that can just fix it. Just trying not to spend money for something that’s very likely a simple fix.
On the side of worse happenings, there are a lot of health-related issues going on in the family. At all times it seems like someone on either/both sides of our family is going through something major. I don’t wanna get into details, but we’ve been spending a good deal of time in the hospital the past week. Just trying to keep the positive thoughts going. Things seem to be shaping up for the better, but since it’s not GOOD yet, it’s hard to keep thinking positive.
I just need shit to settle down. That counts double for the wife, who is handling 99% of this house-buying process (and she has no idea how much I appreciate it). I want to actually have a social life again. We have to turn down outings on pretty much a weekly basis right now, and the irony is that right now we could use a night out more than anything. This year has just been such a roller coaster already and it’s only February 5th.
Here’s to hoping. Chins up.
Since I couldn’t reply over 250 characters, I figured I’d reblog since you know I sell supplements for a living and would probably comment on this.
I’ve tried a bunch of different methods for weight loss/keeping fit, and while some have worked and some haven’t, I’ve always preached the same thing to people (even when I haven’t necessarily practiced myself, but I know the principles are true): make it a lifestyle change, not a diet. Diets are roller coasters. You succeed in the beginning, just to watch it fail in the end. You have to do something that’s manageable so that you stick to it.
I did Insanity twice (by this I mean started twice and quit after recovery week both times) and while I saw results within that first month, it wasn’t for me. The workouts were too physically demanding around my work schedule and I didn’t enjoy that “constantly out of breath” feeling that comes with muscle confusion programs (P90x, insanity, etc).
As far as diets go, I followed the 4-hour-body diet (read the book if you haven’t, the guy is a genius) and lost 36 pounds in just two months without setting foot in a gym. Problem was, it was too strict and as soon as I hit my goal weight I realized that without muscle tone and definition, my goal weight wasn’t even close to where I wanted to be in the end. And instead of hitting the gym, I got frustrated, started eating, and gained all of it back and more.
Thankfully though, about a year ago we signed up for gym memberships and I finally got acquainted with weights and set up a solid gym regimen. I’ve seen better results since this past November as I ever have. I’m down about 17 pounds in total, but I’m finally seeing some muscle size and my stomach is starting to slim down. My metabolism is going up, too, which is really nice. On the diet side of things, I am making an effort to keep carbs down and protein up, and my portions generally smaller than they were. I keep one cheat day a week where I can eat whatever I want in whatever portion size (although most cheat days I find I can’t eat large portions without getting sick anyway), and it keeps me going each week. (there’s also pretty consistent study that one cheat day every week helps you lose weight faster). I basically found a manageable way to “diet” without being too hard on myself.
As for supplements, I use them the way they’re intended to be used: getting past a plateau. They’re not intended for replacing nutrition, or to be a “magic pill” as I see so many people looking for. You obviously can’t expect to sit on the couch and have a pill lose the weight for you.
I do a weigh-in every Monday since I’m having a contest with a coworker, and I consistently got the same weight every week for a month now. I started another fat burning supplement regimen to try and get past that. The way I see it, as long as you are putting in the work to get to where you’re going, it’s not “cheating”, and as long as you make it a lifestyle change and not a temporary fix, you don’t have to continuously take diet supplements to keep weight off, nor will you gain it back. Most supplements don’t really work that way anyway.
A few disclaimers before I start this post:
1. I am neither for nor against Diet Programs/Supplements. I do not personally believe they are for me. I am making this post in order to express my feelings AND to let all of you share your feelings with me, because I am curious as to “the other side”…
This was a very highly anticipated listen for me. Having grown up just *after* the grunge era in music, I relied on my parents for this particular category in my music interests. I have always praised my dad for having a good taste in music, and Soundgarden was no exception. So naturally, Down on the Upside and Superunknown found their way into my iTunes as I grew up.
And since their breakup in 1996, true ‘garden fans were probably pretty nervous about this reunion and what it would mean for new music from Cornell and Co; that is, if they could get an album written and produced before another breakup. Well, they made it. And I am nothing but impressed.
Let’s start with the single. “Been Away Too Long” was an obvious choice for a single, as besides the fact that lyrically it is a clever poke at the band’s lengthy hiatus, it has a real catchy guitar riff and will be stuck in your head almost immediately. My next guess for a single would be “Black Saturday”, as it sounds reminiscent of “Burden in My Hand” and could receive the same radio success as its predecessor.
Soundgarden continues their tradition of fancy time signatures with tracks like “Non-state Actor” and “By Crooked Steps”, which are both still very catchy despite being written in odd time. “Blood on the Valley Floor” sounds like something straight off Badmotorfinger, definitely the heaviest, grungiest track on the record. “Bones of Birds” is a personal favorite, kind of an eerier and slightly softer “Black Hole Sun”. “Taree” is interesting, as it sounds like traditional Soundgarden but riffs more like Clapton, with its bluesy guitar keeping pace throughout. “Halfway There” contains some of my favorite lyrics from the whole album, as Cornell never fails to impress with his almost sarcastically clever wordage. “Rowing” was an interesting choice to close the album out, but remains one of my favorite SG songs of all time, perhaps even just for its weirdness.
Musically, these guys have still got it. Thayil and Shepherd sound great on guitar and bass. Cameron, who during hiatus drummed for Pearl Jam, sounds just as good as he ever did. And if anyone has anything to complain about with this record, it would most likely be Cornell, whose age may be just slightly starting to ring in his vocals. My thoughts are this: Chris Cornell is and always will be one of my favorite musicians. He has one of the most distinct voices of our time, and while his many years of vocals may be starting to show, it does nothing to take away from the album’s sound and in fact, personally, I think it sounds great.
In summary, the best tracks shine like the greatest of anything Soundgarden has ever written. The worst tracks on the album sound like cuts from Audioslave’s Out of Exile, which is obviously not a bad thing. If any reunion of a music group has succeeded, this one is it.
This is the first album I’ve heard in awhile that I literally cannot stop listening to.
It’s been quite some time since I updated this bitch. Definitely got some stuff on my mind, stuff that needs to be posted. You should all know that I wrote this ridiculously long and detailed post about politics (and you, part three FYI), and then the election happened. So now everything I wrote is kind of irrelevant. Not really, but it made more sense pre-election. So I probably won’t post it. Or maybe I’ll hack it up and post some derivation of it later.
For now I’ve got some reviews to post. I’m also hoping to update my health/fitness blog (www.therealnutritionfacts.tumblr.com). I haven’t really touched that one in awhile since I’ve been slacking on my diet/exercise, and I hate to feel like such a hypocrite (Can’t keep a straight face typing “Oh, you should steam your foods to preserve nutrients” as I microwave leftover Burger King). Anyway, back to reviews: I’ve picked up new albums from Soundgarden, As I Lay Dying, Rush, Kamelot, August Burns Red, Dragonforce, All That Remains, and Between the Buried and Me. Listened to a good number of them in full (enough to review), some I still need to get to.
So look forward to some new posts from me. Probably gonna do some reviews today while I have time before work. Oh, and I’m sure I’ll do some type of personal update at some point too. Toodles!
Well, for Mets fans this season has come to a close. For some fans, the best part of the season is only beginning. But for us fanatics of the blue and orange, we are relegated to sit out yet another playoff run.
So here’s what went right:
- Our newly appointed ace R.A. Dickey went 20-6 this year, and our only remaining hope for 2012 is to see a Cy Young awarded to him before we enter another offseason.
- Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history.
- Ike Davis came back from a major slump in the first two months to hit better than almost anyone in the second half, ending with an on-base over .300 and 32 home runs on the year.
- Consistent performances at bat from Scott Hairston, Mike Baxter, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, and of course David Wright.
And here’s what went wrong:
- Well, after the all-star break, pretty much everything.
- Santana, after maxing out his post-surgery pitch count during his no-hit game, completely fell apart afterwards.
- Everything bullpen related. Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Acosta, and Jon Rauch ended up completely fucking us all year.
How to fix it:
- Our rotation of Dickey, Santana, Niese, Gee, and Harvey is pretty well set. Let Mike Pelfrey go, he has been a complete waste of a lot of payroll.
- Revamp the bullpen. Let Ramirez, Byrdak, Rauch, and Acosta go. Parnell has become a suitable closer or setup man. Get some guys who can actually finish a game.
- Re-sign David Wright and R.A. Dickey to longer contracts.
- Cut Jason Bay, for the love of god. I understand the lack of appeal in eating about $19 million, but with the amount they cut from payroll in the last year, I think we can afford it so that the money is there for the 2014 season.
- Outfield should consist of a platoon between Duda, Nieuwenhuis, Hairston, and Valdespin. Let Torres go, re-sign Hairston for a decent contract.
Alderson and company have quite a lot of work to do. We had a lot of hope coming into this year, and it didn’t help that we finished the first half in a playoff-worthy position, and then choked completely when it mattered. Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I think our worst asset right now as a team is the ownership. All we can hope for is that our GM can put the little money we have in the right places so we can actually achieve a playoff run for 2013.
Here’s to hoping.
It is September 9th. This morning I weighed 235 lbs. Over the last three or four months, I’ve put on about 10 lbs between lifting, and generally not eating well. My new goal is to be 199 lbs by November 9th. Yes, 199. Not 200. 199 will feel better.
Back to low carb/high protein, a couple of supplements, and now that I’m hitting the gym I should be able to do this. Wish me luck (those of you actually still using Tumblr).
It made me truly upset to see the headlines this morning. Everyday people further amaze me, showing more and more what we’re capable of doing. And it’s generally never anything good. For those who don’t know, in Colorado last night a guy my age shot up a midnight release of the new Batman movie. Killed 12 people and hurt at least 50 more. No motivation. Entirely random.
I had countless friends go to midnight showings. Hell, if my wife and I weren’t working this morning we would’ve gone too. Not that we’re anywhere near Colorado but if something so terrible can happen that spontaneously, I just don’t know. We are destined not to make it (as a species). We’re the only race of beings that can willingly and under full knowledge of our actions kill other members of our race without benefit, rhyme or reason.
It really gives you a depressing perspective on life.
Yep! You posted it once, actually. http://korywashere.tumblr.com/search/tattoo
I would rather have a President that was born out of the country who is better at running shit than someone born in America that doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing.
First Obama has to prove he’s a citizen. Now Romney isn’t even President yet and they’re trying to put him into the same boat. If we spent nearly as much time revamping our already-fucked-out-of-proportion government system as we did on whining over birth certificates, we’d actually get something accomplished in this country.