Every once in a while, I listen to an album that makes me actually say out loud, “HOLY SHIT, THIS ALBUM IS GREAT.” Hatebreed’s Divinity of Purpose made me shout obscenities within the first few minutes that I listened to the album… And I was in the gym. (Sorry old people trying to get a workout in, but Hatebreed possessed me.)
“WHO’S GOT MORE HEART THAN YOU?!?!
God damn right. Not only did I feel superhuman powers flowing through my body, but I will go on record as saying that Divinity of Purpose is one of the BEST hardcore album to come out in YEARS. It’s that fucking good. From sing-along chants to bone crushingly full drop-d mayhem, Hatebreed has made a mindblowingly great album. So, apologies in advance if I’m slightly more aggressive and hardcore than normal.
Frontman Jamey Jasta’s voice is full of uplifting and empowering grit, with Chris Beattie’ providing rib rattling basslines. Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak’s guitars are like a crunchy, crowd moving symphony, as Matt Byrne’s drums provide a percussive pounding that rivals the best drummers in all hardcore.
“NOTHING!!! NOTHING!!! NOTHING FUCKING SCARS ME!!!”
Hatebreed has created anthem after anthem on Divinity of Purpose. If you don’t find yourself singing along with every track, you’re dead inside. And dead to Excelsior! (Kidding.) The metal and hardcore hybrid shines through creating another benchmark as a manifestation of a modern hardcore classic.
Hatebreed, we fucking salute you.
Tracks of Note: ALL… Ok, if I have to name some of the standouts:
NOTHING SCARS ME
Honor Never Dies
Own Your World
Before The Fight Ends You
Dead Man Breathing
Divinity of Purpose
Hatebreed – Divinity of Purpose (8.8/10)
Country music is one genre that rarely rears its head here on MTT.com. The only time I really like listening to it is when I’m cruising along backwoods in an old truck, doing drive us on the locals while playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. That’s not totally true, but once in a while I listen to it.
All too often, it seems like the Southern drawl is grossly overdone, and I’ve gotta shut it off. However, Little Big Town’s Tornado is one of the exceptions to the overdone, cliche country tune.
LBT’s quartet has one of the best harmonies in the country scene. They put a modern twist on country, though they still can make an awesomely infectious diddy out of a Pontoon. Song after song, they put out huge harmonious tracks.
Night Owl is an absolutely brilliant track. With a natural penchant for male/female harmonies, LBT strips their sound down to little more than a “nightie,” and bares their beautifully supple vocals. As I laid back listening to this track, it relaxed me to the point that I almost fell asleep. Props for pure relaxation.
I’m no country boy by any stretch of the imagination, though I can shoot and ride like a champion, but LBT’s Tornado is a damn good album… Even if it does have more twang than I like in my music.
Have you ever popped in a freshly pressed CD, and soon wanted to throw around massive amounts of weight, then put your fist in the back of someone’s puny ass skull? While listening to Burial Mound’s With Honor in my car, I had a huge urge to hardcore dance at 80 miles an hour, but decided that in the best interest of the world around me, and the future of Excelsior, I’d wait till I got home.
If you’re going to name your album With Homor, you’d better damn well better honor whatever you’re trying to honor. If Burial Mound is setting out to honor the metal gods, living and decaying, their offering is pretty solid.
With Honor had to grow on me a bit. Honestly, I was drawn in by the tight, methodical instrumentals. Machine gun drumming, cohesively brutal bass/guitars… Then the thin, un-dynamic vocals dropped in. Ouch. I realize that he was taking some vocal chances with range, but it was too “all over the place” for the music. Still, I listened on, hoping for a moment of musical clarity.
One song later (Sacrilege), Burial Mound brought the fucking noise. With flashes of Atreyu, BM (a tough acronym, but one nonetheless) pushed the shit out, and destroyed it. The instrumentals are very consistent throughout, and the vocals seemed to widen and attain more balance with the rest of the band.
Nothing Is Sacred features a solid guest spot by Paul Goddard from Diecast. The harmonious singing that Goddard brings is welcome change in the album, and frankly, one that could be something more utilized in the future.
Go grab yourself Burial Mound’s With Honor, strap on some steel toe boots, drop kick the next person that gets out of line, and honor your fallen ancestors as well as Team Excelsior.
- The Train
My man just stopped caring. Matisyahu took his singular amalgam of talent and unique ability to elude genre-categorization and went and made himself a shitty, Tinnie Tempah pop album.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR.
(Moe side note: Could it be a case of the Samson Syndrome? Matisyahu shaves his beard, and the power is gone?)
The first time I listened to Life is Good, the only thing I focused on was the terribleness of the track Summer on Smash; easily one of the worst individual tracks to be presented from an artist of the supreme talent of Nasir Jones.
So far, I’ve written and subsequently scrapped like 9 reviews for this album (all without flattery) because, each time as I was typing, the only track that seemed to loiter in my sub-consciousness was that landfill of a wannabe pop single, Summer on Smash. (I can’t stress enough how bad that song is.
) In fact, Nas’ tenth studio album should have been more appropriately titled Peaks and Valleys, as the middle of the LP is a complete waste of sound waves. Thankfully, regretfully, and gratefully, if you give the album more than a few listens, there are several gems to be uncovered within the LP. Reach Out and Nasty are among the elite.
As always, Nas’ reflections on street life and his social commentary are ever-polarizing and poignant. In addition, the candor with which he discusses his highly publicized divorce with Kelis contributes to a fresh edge within the content of his lyrics. Ultimately, Life is Good ain’t that good; but Nas is Nas (one of the greatest of all-time) and he’s always welcome on my playlist.
Did I mention how awful Summer on Smash was?
I’m pretty sure that I saw Moe making out with some Greek dude in the back of a purple Kia Sorento to this album. Moe’s apparent personal growth has helped him to look past his prejudices and overcome his cultural conjectures; and so should you.
Alongside The Weeknd’s efforts, channel Orange is one of the few progressive and esoteric R-n-B declarations to drop in the past few years.
Superlative lyric: “Your pussy’s big; but you take it.”
(Moe just shakes his head at this one. Asshole. Ha.)
Is this Wale’s newest album, or is this one of Kanye’s early albums? Yes, it’s reminiscent of Ye’s early greatness. Fun, not over-the-top self indulgent, and one hell of a great delivery.
Wale’s still got his feet on the ground, but lyrically reaching for the stars. He’s an all-star lyricist, with beats for weeks. The first half of the album reaffirmed my belief in his skills. Second half wasn’t as strong as the first, as the energy and track quality faltered quite a bit.
Is Wale the top of Maybach Music? If so, Ambition helps his cause in the quest for the top.
It’s difficult to listen a Fiona Apple album (period) and not think to yourself, ‘This bitch is crazy’; and not in a quirky way; in a I wouldn’t trust to leave her alone in the house with sharp objects kinda way. She’s got some pipes, though.
Still holding onto on that angst and solidarity that distinguished her from those 90’s Lilith Fair female vocalists, her obnoxiously long-titled album is at once sultry, enraged, jazzy, contentious, and sullen. It is lonely people music. Despite being thematically well executed and well sung, I couldn’t stop listening to it fast enough.
(BTW, the album’s full title is: The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do)
After a long stint as MIA’s “fly girl,” Rye Rye has finally released a solo album. A serious ball of energy, Rye Rye’s Go! Pop! Bang! recalls memories of MIA’s Kala and Arular. The Baltimore native gives a strong nod to the Baltimore bass club scene.
The 808 is in full effect throughout the album as she brings speaker shredding bass and great beats throughout. Her vocal delivery is very familiar to fans of MIA (like myself). Unlike MIA, Rye Rye can sing choruses in tune. Sorry MIA, we love ya, but your rhymes are MUCH better than your singing.
G! P! B! is chock full of guest appearances… Akon, Robyn, and yes.. MIA graces the album too. This is one of the more fun new albums that I’ve heard in a while. Perfect summer windows-open, car cruising club bangers from start to finish… Well, almost to finish. Robyn guests on the last track which brings the album to an abrupt halt. She shows some range by incorporating a slow track in her repertoire, but it seems to be very out of place on the album. IMO, the album would had total cohesion without the last track.
Go! Pop! Bang! is an album where you know the “backup singer” has it in them and just needs a moment to shine in their own light, and Rye Rye has shone. I expect this album to be on very heavy rotation on my iPod throughout the summer, and you should rock it too.
Thumbs up, Rye. Excelsior approved.
- Moe Train
This delicious album made me feel like a kid eavesdropping on the odd older neighbor’s Budweiser-inspired garage session.
Drop description: Roasted southern gravel finished in a 70’s British-punk milieu accompanied with a classic rock escabeche. Damn that sounds good! (But it’s also a really ostentatious way of me saying it’s raw rock and it’s fucking rad!) Everything I was looking for… Gracias, El Hombres.
Excuse me Mr. The Men, please come to Philly immediately.