Category Archives: video review

AV AMPLIFIED!//Distortion- Baby Metal

Welcome once again to AV AMPLIFIED!, where we feature the hottest music videos on the scene! This time, we are featuring everybody’s most favorite kawaii metal band: Baby Metal!

There seems to have been much debate as far as this band goes. I know a lot of those “die hard” metal fans who like to go around saying what is truly “metal” and what isn’t. But when you listen to Baby Metal, sorry to break it to you, but it’s about as metal as it gets! It’s the perfect combination of classic J-pop and modern death metal. These brutal babes will rip your heart out, take a bite out, and shove it right back in.

I, for one, just happily accept it.

Baby Metal has made quite the statement in the world, topping charts and performing giant festivals right alongside some of the greatest metal artists of all time including, but not limited to: the Big 4 (Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer), Korn, Rob Zombie, Guns N Roses, Judas Priest and many others to come! I have also seen them in pictures with Alice Cooper, so you know that if they are Alice approved, they just have to be great.

Baby Metal have just released their newest single “Distortion”, which continues on the saga in the Metal Resistance through the release of Episode VII Apocrypha of Metal Resistance – The Chosen Seven . This was in celebration of their 2018 tour! (Dates below)

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Unfortunately for me and many others, the tour is pretty small so they won’t be coming to Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a date in the future for us! (PLEEEEEEEEEAAAASSSEEEEE!!!! P.S I wouldn’t say no to free tickets!)

With all that being said, let’s take a look at their new video– “Distortion”.

[Distortion] Available!
https://BMetal.lnk.to/Distortion

【Apple Music – BABYMETAL】
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ba…

【Spotify – BABYMETAL】
http://open.spotify.com/artist/630wzN

This tune doesn’t mess around. It’s brutal right from the very first blast beat! Fast, brutal and triumphant, with a hint of an industrial metal element in the mix. The angelic pop voices of Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal burst through the thunder of the band, yet they never steal the spotlight. It always merges so well, and that continues to hold solid in “Distortion”.

In this video, we are introduced to the Chosen Seven as they appear in the apocalyptic cityscape ready for battle. Each character is depicted to be unique from one another and have each their own unique ability. Throughout the video, the warriors are battling large demonic entities.

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This video definitely goes all out. Beautiful cinematic effects, breath-taking costume designs, and the makeup is flawless. It brings the whole story to life. When I watch this video, I feel like I’m watching a trailer for a movie that’s about to be the next summer block buster. Although it’s short, the whole experience is memorable!

This video also raised a lot of questions as to what has happened to Yuimetal, and who exactly these “Chosen Seven” are. From what I have gathered, Yuimetal is still very much in the band but will not be touring due to a “medical condition”. Hopefully all is well for her as many Baby Metal fans are worried for her, including myself.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to what is to come in the career of Baby Metal.

“Baby Metal’s challenge for world domination continues and only the Fox God knows what the future will hold.” – Baby Metal Official

Follow Baby Metal in the links below!

BABYMETAL Official Website
http://www.babymetal.com/en/
http://www.babymetal.com/jp/

BABYMETAL Official Twitter
https://twitter.com/BABYMETAL_JAPAN

BABYMETAL Official Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/BABYMETAL.jp

BABYMETAL Official Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/babymetal_o…

 

Emily Mae

Edited by: Cat Sullivan

Av Amplified!//Rats!- Ghost

 

Ghost is a band that has shown up and taken us all by surprise from the very beginning. Shrouded in mystery, the members all hide behind masks, makeup, and are lead by their frontman, who is always dressed very dapper. Together, Ghost is a devil-worshiping ministry whose mission is, as it states in their biography, “to spread its unholy gospels and, furthermore, trick mankind into believing the end is ultimately a good thing, and have decided to use the ever-so-popular rock music medium as a way to achieve their ends.”

For those of you who haven’t had the experience of Ghost, one thing we will tell you is that they have had a few different “identities” for their leader and frontman, and most recently have been under the pseudonym Papa Emeritus. Those who took over would then assume this title and add the appropriate numeral after. However, most recently, Ghost shocked us all once again with the announcement of their newest leader Cardinal Copia, who is “not of the bloodline.” They made this announcement by releasing a 2 part video leaving us all on the edge of our seats.

It’s fair to say that when we all saw Cardinal Copia, we were all a bit surprised, even Papa himself seemed a bit taken back, as seen in the second chapter of the reveal videos. He comes off as a lot less intimidating than the others in the bloodline. However, after this release it’s easy to see that looks can be deceiving and that we should not underestimate our new leader!

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So with that, we welcome you to another great segment of AV Amplified! featuring Ghost’s newest single “Rats”! (Released April, FRIDAY THE 13TH, 2018)

Directed by: Roboshobo

Music video by Ghost performing Rats. © 2018 Loma Vista Recordings, Distributed by Concord Music Group, Inc.

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Loma Vista Recordings : http://www.lomavistarecordings.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LomaVistaR\ecording/

We begin with a few clips of the street, one in which features a sign that states “the end is near” and of course, the rats, as the title of the single is made relevant. The opening riff sounds like something off of the Queensryche album Operation Mind Crime, which is already something much different than what Ghost has given us in the past. This track, as well as the video itself seems to have more of an 80’s era style. We know that Ghost tends to have an “old school” style to begin with. Most of their tunes seem to be influenced heavily by the 60’s and 70’s as well, which is also reflected through their merchandise. Lately, it seems that vinyls and cassettes have been on the up rise, and with the release of this new album, we can even get it on an 8 track! So be sure to dust off your old players or hit up your nearest secondhand stores so you can get a taste of this beauty in one of its purest forms!

We are introduced to the featured Nameless Ghouls and lead past the death and destruction into a diner where Cardinal Copia is casually finishing up his meal. The power is flickering slightly and it’s at this point that he gives us the first lyrics we ever hear from our new leader:

“In times of Turmoil, in times like these. Belief’s contagious, Spreading disease”

The video is set in what appears to be a catastrophic event in the near future.  There are dead bodies, people in HazMat suits, fire, crashed cars, and rats feasting on the remains. Cardinal breaks into dance as the tune begins to take full force. We start to see his personality shine through. He is enjoying himself and dancing in the street like it’s the best day in the world. Showing his youthful spirit and sense of humor, it would appear that the Cardinal is every bit as twisted, if not more so, as the previous Papas.

The lighting is low as it is mostly lit by the fire of the destruction all around, creating warm tones that contrast well with the dark sinister cool tones of the night. When the camera flashes to the Ghouls playing, they too have a bit of a warm tone to their lighting which correctly sets the mood. It almost reflects the “end times” as a positive thing, which would be their perspective on the situation. They also have a sort of “old film filter” over the shots which puts the video together as a horror film as well, continuing the theme from their last single video release for “Square Hammer” back in 2016.  The angles of the film draw you into each frame as we bounce between the Ghouls playing and Cardinal Copia’s choreography.  It would seem as well that the Ghouls are representing more the serious elements of Ghost’s message being featured in the graveyard and the morgue while Cardinal Copia is dancing about in the streets. After the introduction of the backup dancers, it fades into the guitar solo.

As always, the guitar solo is full of beauty and passion. Ghost always has a rhythm to them that stands out from other bands. Sexy and seductive, it makes you want to dance along with them. This holds true throughout their entire career as well as this song in particular. The vocals, as always hold a beauty and grace of their own. The vocal pattern is catchy, fun, and very pop-inspired. The way he rolls the “R” in Rats! makes you want to stand with him and chime in passionately as the backup. “Oh-owhaaa Oh’s” kick in, bringing the whole song to life as we come to the climax. The subtle, yet prominent keys, the drums, the bass; they all come together wonderfully with the chorus as we are shown more beautiful syncopated choreography, which seems to be another new element brought to us with the appearance and personality of the Cardinal, reminding us of more of the 80’s type of elements. There are dance moves taken from all sorts of places– everything from “Thriller” by Michael Jackson to the theatrical performance of Phantom of the Opera, with just a sprinkle of modern pop artists. To us, it especially reminded us of Lady Gaga and her video for her single “Marry the Night”.

This tune gets especially heavy as we reach the end, almost doom-esque. There is an appearance of a white horse at the edge of the city, which we can speculate comes from the Bible passage:

“Then, I saw the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, ‘Come’. I looked, and behold, a white horse and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” – Revelation 6:1-2 (NA SB)

We infer that this represents that the Cardinal Copia is ready for conquest and victory.

Ghost always talks about their pop influences, such as Abba– they gracefully combine this influence with elements of rock as well as doom metal. They make it hard to really nail down a set category or genre to their music, which is more than okay! Some argue whether Ghost is actually a metal band or not, but it doesn’t at all matter in the end. Ghost is unique, beautiful and an entity all their own. The fact that they don’t fit into one solidly packaged box only adds to their overall mystique. They continue to pull dark themes and disguise them with enthusiasm. However, all fans of Ghost know this is just part of their art of deception. We are not sure what we will be able to expect from the rest of the PREQUELLE album but we are quivering with anticipation!

“Them filthy rodents are still coming for your souls..”

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You can pre-order their newest album PREQUELLE here (out June 1, 2018):

Ghost

If having the album isn’t enough, which we know it isn’t. Ghost is going on tour! So catch them in a city near you on Rats! On The Road !

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We know we are going to be there! So, don’t miss out!!

For now “Rats!” is streaming here!

Spotify: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsSpotify

Apple Music: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsApple

iTunes: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsiTunes

Amazon: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsAmazon

Google Play: http://found.ee/Ghost_RatsGooglePlay

-Emily Mae and Cat Sullivan

Gear-view Mirror//Jeff Sandbom-Sandbom Guitar Company

Hello there local readers and gear enthusiasts! Welcome once again to another segment of Gear-view Mirror! This time we will be taking a tour through the amazing shop of Jeff Sandbom of the Sandbom Guitar Company in Wausau, WI. There was a alot of ground to cover here with Jeff’s killer rig and hand built guitars, so I decided to give you a better look by presenting a video interview!

I was so honored to do this interview, as Sandbom and I have known each other for years. His playing style and personality shine above almost every other musician I’ve met.  He is very knowledgeable and willing to to help all musicians in any way that he can; especially when it comes to their gear. Built from the ground up with his personal collection, Sandbom has established himself very well. He spends his days repairing guitars and mentoring young, potential musicians as they come and go through his shop.

I have personally been going to Sandbom Guitar Company to get my guitars primed for the stage for about 5 years and haven’t had a single complaint! I have seen him produce many amazing guitars as well as repairing several vintage models; always having them colored and textured to perfection!

So get down to Sandbom Guitar Company in Wausau, WI and meet him yourself! I promise you won’t regret it!

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Thrash fast and headbang hard!

-Mitchel Fulcer

 

AV Amplified!//Desire For Oppression- Hatchet

Hello and welcome to another segment of AV Amplified!, the place where we review some of the coolest vids that the scene has to offer! This time, we have this killer video release from the thrash metal band Hatchet out of San Francisco, CA,  that was just signed onto Combat Records! This video was just dropped to give us all just a taste of what is to come from their new album “Dying To Exist“, which will be their first Combat Records release!

Directed by: Tsunami Films from the album DYING TO EXIST, in stores 6/22. Also available now on COMBAT BULLETS VOL 1.0!  Pre-order NOW at combatmerch.com!

This video is shot in what appears to be mostly in and around the recording studio, which I personally cannot think of a better place to shoot a video that is celebrating the release of a new album to come! It begins with the members preparing to be recorded and a zoom in on the lyrics of the song that is about to be played. This leads us to the band logo, and then right into this thrash-worthy tune! I love the perspective of this video. It brings us all right into the studio with Hatchet and gives us the feeling like we are standing right there with them.

It’s all about the fine details; there are all kinds of close-up shots of things within the studio from their instruments and the sound boards, to the food they are eating, it’s all there! This video is full of all kinds of personal moments with the band members as well as layering in image effects, but not too much to over-saturate us and take away that intimate feel. One of the best things about the music community is getting to know the bands and this video helped us see what a day with Hatchet would be like.

The whole thing has an awesome old school thrash vibe that reminded me of when MTV “used to be cool”. There is just enough of everything in this video and the timing is spot on! As for the track itself, there is a lot to be said! Its recording quality is amazing and the band is tight.  The vocals are heavy and very brutal, but clear. I love it when you can hear the message of the band. Julz has an amazing voice for thrash! It reminds me of the PERFECT combination of Testament, Slayer and Judas Priest. Clayton and Devin combine have such a full sound. The guitar switches perfectly between rhythm and leads and the bass backs all of this up perfectly. Ben is kickin’ it hardcore on the drums with perfectly timed stops and fills. Honestly, it’s no wonder they are under Combat Records! They fit right in perfectly!

For more on Hatchet be sure to follow the link below!

https://www.facebook.com/hatchetofficial/

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Also, don’t forget to check out Combat Records for all kinds of killer bands to come!

https://www.facebook.com/combatrecordsofficial/

Emily Mae 

 

AV Amplified!// Basement Nasty- The Red Flags

Welcome to AV Amplified! the section of Music Maehem where we review the latest in music videos from the local scene! The band filling this honored slot is none other than The Red Flags, which I am always happy to rant and rave about.

The title for this single and music video for The Red Flags is called “Basement Nasty.” Immediately, the video starts off in a flash of bright, contrasting colors that are present throughout the rest of the video. The song itself is reminiscent of a song that would have fit right in somehow in both the 60’s and still perfectly well today in 2018, and the video is a wonderful complement to that.

The video takes place in a basement, appropriately, lit by ropes of Christmas lights. Throughout the video, you can see the words “FUCK YOUR EARS” plastered on the wall in the background where the band takes turns being featured on the microphone. The phrase is also the chorus to the song, and I can’t think of a more suitable one—because this song is just a two-and-a-half minute long EAR-GASM!

I can’t get enough of the double vocals featured throughout the verses from both lead singer/guitarist Gabe and bassist Ally. Gabe’s harsh rap-esque lyrics and vocals with Ally’s melodic vocals being sang simultaneously supplement each other beautifully, creating a unique harmony to the entire song. Jonah plays his heart out on the skins in the background, and his two-beat-and-pause approach in the beginning of each verse pairs amazingly with the guitar riffs.

As I said in my previous post about this band, they have a Rage Against the Machine meets White Stripes vibe, and this video is a shining example to ring true to that notion.

Long story short, this whole production gave me an ear-boner. The Red Flags kick ass and so do this song and video!

The official release date is March 28th, 2018, and the video will be live on their YouTube channel, which you can find here :

 

Don’t forget to like them on Facebook of course also!!  https://www.facebook.com/theredflags/ 

Cat Sullivan