Issues: Self-Titled

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Artist: Issues

Album: Self-Titled

Released: 2014

Favorite Track: Mad at Myself (Track 2)

While most of Issues fans are the die hards from when Mike and Tyler were the front men for Woe is Me, there is no doubt in my mind after listening to this CD that they have come a long way from those days. For me, it is like the Phoenix that rose from the ashes. Had the band not gone through the “issues” they did while they were known as Woe is Me, we wouldn’t have this unique and overall outstanding album to listen to today.

I knew from some EP’s they released, that they were going to be heading down the path of the turntable/synth that Linkin Park, in my opinion, made popular. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and to be honest, I had my doubts. After listening to this album though, all doubts are in the past. They have something amazing going.

All in all, this album was one that I was looking forward to for some time and I was not let down one bit.

Ice Nine Kills: The Predator Becomes The Prey

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Artist: Ice Nine Kills

Album: The Predator Becomes The Prey

Released: 2014

Favorite Track: What I Never Learned In Study Hall (Track 8)

When I first heard the sound of Boston’s Ice Nine Kills via ‘Safe Is Just A Shadow‘ it was basically love at first listen. There is so much power in their sound vocally that I found to be extraordinarily unique to the metal-core, post hard-core genre. The Predator Becomes The Prey is the first full length album without the high backing vocals. The show must go on and it truly does,  Although there are many moments that I just flat out miss the third vocalist, it is compensated for by the lead.

Overall the album really delivers the signature sound of Ice Nine Kills which is heavy, powerful, full sounding tracks with technical guitar shredding and battling vocals. I have serious respect for the composition of most of their older songs, and this album is no different. At first listen there were a lot of songs that had me wishing I knew the words already so I could sing along. There are some great catchy hooks. “What I Never Learned In Study Hall” featuring Issues Tyler Carter is easily my favorite song on the album. I always knew it would be, since they released it before the drop of the actual album.  Although my favorite lyrics from the entire album come from a different track. “The Fastest Way To A Girls Heart Is Through Her Rib Cage” (Track 4) lyrics “You know your simple slight seductions spin me out of control ‘Cause it’s hard to see the evil when you’re not wearing your clothes

As badly as I want them to have the same sound as Safe Is Just A Shadow and previous releases, its important that a band can evolve and continue on through whatever losses and additions are brought to them. There is nothing particularly wrong with the sound of this album, they are doing just fine without the third vocalist. As I said, there are just times it would have fit all too well. Regardless the album is great and I9K seems to be handling business just fine with the current members.

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