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Monday 2nd April – Fortress

The year is 2008 and ‘Protest The Hero’ have just released their second album, ‘Fortress’. Ever willing to try new bands I bought myself the album without ever having heard any PTH before. I rarely do that, and never once have I regretted doing it with ‘Fortress’.

‘Fortress’ is an unrelenting mass assault on the ears provided by,

Rody Walker – Vocals. This man’s vocals have the power to move continents. Not only can he sing sweet melodies, but he growls like a beast.

Arif Mirabdolbaghi – Bass. Arif’s bass skill and craftsmanship show on every song and are strong throughout. More than once your jaw will drop at his sheer brilliance

Luke Hoskin & Tim Millar – Guitars. – Heavy riffs and amazing air guitar worthy solos give PTH a massive edge to their music. And with Luke having been voted one of the top 5 most promising lead guitarists of recent times, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more brilliant work from him in the future.

Moe Carlson – Drums. Moe provides PTH’s music with an extremely powerful backbone to which the other members add their layers of intricacy.

‘Fortress’ quickly wound it’s way into my favourite albums of all time list and cannot see it moving from their in a long, long time. With no weak track on the album it is hard to pick standouts but here are my 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypCdGNe3Bvs – Sequoia Throne. Watch for Arif’s crazy theatrics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhMfz4HrcEA – Bloodmeat. Opening track, imagine my mind being blown upon hearing this for the first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuqbAfSs-BE&feature=related – Limb From Limb, pure intense PTH at their best.

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My Top 10….Funeral For A Friend Songs

Funeral For A Friend for me are like a fine whiskey; the older they have gotten, the more mature and well developed they have become.

My addiction to FFAF came with the release of their album ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’ released in 2003. For me it is a fantastic album that, in my opinion, they are yet to beat. ‘CDADIC’ is a post hardcore screamo fest, that in retrospect, they will most likely never will fully return to.

‘Hours’ for me sums up who FFAF are as a band today. It marked a considerable change in style for the band and filled me with amazement that they managed such a successful transition from a screamo dominated approach, to clean melodies.

Up to the present day, FFAF haven’t produced a ‘duff’ album. Whilst many claim ‘Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ to be a weak album, for me it is a fantastic attempt at something different for the band, whom are not the obvious choice to have produced a concept album.

Both ‘Memory And Humanity’ and ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ were both very strong albums for the band. With ‘Memory And Humanity’, the band built on the sound of ‘Hours’, but something was missing. For me it was the energy of both ‘CDADIC’ and ‘Hours’. Luckily however, ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ recaptured that energy and even some of the screamo elements from the early years made a very welcome return.

Always a favourite band of mine here is, in no particular order, my top ten Funeral For A Friend songs:

1) This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak

2) Rookie Of The Year

3) Your Revolution Is A Joke

4) Streetcar

5) History

6) Waterfront Dance Club

7) Out Of Reach

8) Front Row Seats To The End Of The World

9) Juneau

10) Roses For The Dead

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Last.Fm

I’m an avid user of Last.Fm; a fantastic website for discovering new music and tracking your listening habits. Using the Scrobbler or outside sources such as Spotify, you can build your music profile online. The Last.Fm Scrobbler is simple to download and use plus works with a variety of media players including iTunes and WMP. It will even read plays off your iPod.

You can track what I’m listening to here:

http://www.last.fm/user/JacH2303 

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My Top 10… Led Zeppelin Songs

A double dosing of top 10s this week for you all to enjoy. Tonight’s feature, as you can tell from the title, is on the one and only Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin are probably one of the most instrumental bands who helped craft rock, and dare I say it, metal, today. Without them I dread to think where music would be today. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that we have a lot to thank them for.

Their songs constantly feel me with wonder and I can’t help but enjoy myself when I hear their music. And with that folks it’s time for my, in no particular order, top ten Led Zeppelin songs:

1) Trampled Under Foot

2) Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

3) Since I’ve Been Loving You

4) When The Levee Breaks

5) Immigrant Song

6) Black Dog

7) Houses Of The Holy

8) Achilles Last Stand

9) The Battle Of Evermore

10) Kashmir

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My Top 10…. Pink Floyd Songs

OOOOH I hear you shout, a top 10 Pink Floyd songs list? Surely it’s impossible?

Well, you can be forgiven for thinking that!

I simply love Pink Floyd. End of. They were one of the first older bands my Dad introduced to me a few years ago whilst I was still in my ‘listen to anything with heavy guitars and growling’ phase. To put it simply, I was astounded at how much I enjoyed listening to ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. I never really thought I would enjoy it. How wrong I was.

From there on it has been a journey into a much broader music collection that I now own. Bands such as Led Zeppelin, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson & Jethro Tull (to name a few), fast became, and to this day remain, firm favourites on my CD player.

Anyway enough of that, here’s the list folks:

1) Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)

2) Wish You Were Here

3) Us And Them

4) Brain Damage

5) Comfortably Numb

6) High Hopes

7) Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

8) One Of These Days

9) Welcome To The Machine

10) San Tropez

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This band vs That band…

Honestly? Who cares?

Iron Maiden vs Metallica

Slipknot vs Mushroomhead

Blah, blah, blah. YOUR ARGUMENTS ARE PATHETIC.

Last.fm, although a website I love, makes me lose faith in the human race.

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Monday 26th – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

Whether you love or hate them, concept albums have always made some sort of ripple on the music world. Released by Genesis in 1974, ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ marked the end of an era for the band when after touring the album, Peter Gabriel suddenly left the group.

Telling the story of Rael, a Puerto Rican living in New York, ‘TLLDOB’ track listing follows him as he finds himself descending into the bizarre underground of the city in order to rescue his brother John.

Well worth a listen the album contains stunning lyrical and musical genius. In my view a top concept album with a poignant story if you stop to listen and consider the lyrics.

Standout tracks:

1) The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pteh5hdZlg

2) Counting Out Time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXUmKw4pFdc

3) Carpet Crawlers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrclBlJ39r4