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Alive or Just Breathing

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(197 Reviews)

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  • Every once in awhile an album in heavy music comes along that completely destroys your perception of heavniess, or brutality, and truely pushes the limits and recreates the rules. Albums like “Master of Puppets” from Metallica, Korn’s first record, Slipknot’s debut, Pantera’s “Vulger Display of Power”, Meshuggah’s “Chaosphere”, Deftones’ “Around the Fur”, System of a Down’s debut, Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”, or just about anything from Opeth. This is one of these albums. This album completely reinvigorated my love for real metal again. In a world saturated with nu metal clones, a band comes out of nowhere and just totally crushes everyone.This album probably has the best combination of truley brutal music and incredibly melodic vocals that I have heard, possibly ever. The singer belts out screams and death growls like the best death metal bands, and sings the melodic parts so perfectly catchy POP fans almost would dig it – and that doesn’t mean its cheesy. Not even close. You will be blown away by his vocal range.You’re gonna get semi-blast beats, a metric ton of double-bass, and cutting, crushing riffs that will stick in your head for days. On top of that, the production on this is crystal clear. I wish every metal record sounded like this!All you need to get hooked on this album is to listen to the opening track “Numbered Days” – and listen to it very loud. I’m a big believer in the opening track needing to set the tone and destroy you with the very first listen – its critical to set the tone. Well, this does that, and then some. This is one of those albums that even other metal artists envy. This is one of those bands that after one release, people are already talking about how hugely influential these guys could become.One of the best metal records of the last 10 yearsDo yourself a favor. If you like HEAVY, BRUTAL music with a very good mixture of melody that isn’t cheesy, get this record. Whether you like death metal, grindcore, nu-metal, old school metal, hardcore, emo… this is a must for any fan of heavy music, period.Besides the opening track “Numbered Days”, the band has also released 2 singles: “My Last Serenade” and “Fixation on the Darkness”. Any of these will give you a good feel for the record. “My Last Serenade” is the most radio friendly song on the album, still good, but keep that in mind if you check some tracks out. You can watch the video in its entirety on the band’s homepage.On a tragic note – right when this fantastic debut was released, the incredible singer of this band had a “religious” experience of sorts and quit music altogether, even as the band were being showered with unfettered critical acclaim and rave reviews. The band has since recruited another singer who’s vocal range is quite similar. They redid the single “Fixation on the Darkness” and added his vocals for the video that you may have seen, and there is much promise. Let’s hope they can recreate the magic again! All the more reason to get this record. It could end up being a one of a kind gem.

    Posted on February 1, 2010