Hailed by Rock Sound as “The World’s Hottest Band” in a recent cover story, Southern California rockers Of Mice & Men have announced plans for a winter headline tour kicking off January 12 in Seattle, WA. The trek, presented by Tilly’s, will feature support from Woe Is Me, Texas In July, Volumes and Capture The Crown.
With over 100,000 records sold, and an explosive live show that’s earned them a reputation as one of rock’s hardest working acts, Of Mice & Men has toured with the likes of Asking Alexandria, A Day To Remember, Every Time I Die, August Burns Red and Memphis May Fire, and graced the covers of such publications as Alternative Press, Outburn, Rock Sound, Big Cheese and more.
Last summer as the band canvassed the country as a Vans Warped Tour main stage headliner (their third time on the annual trek), Rise Records issued an expanded edition of their breakthrough 2011 sophomore release The Flood. The Flood Deluxe Reissue featured 4 brand new tracks recorded with producer Cameron Webb (Motörhead, Social Distortion) and mixed by Joey Sturgis as well as all new artwork.
On November 24 Of Mice & Men will perform at California Metal Fest in San Bernardino, CA alongside Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria, As I Lay Dying, Black Veil Brides, Chiodos and many others. In February the band will return to Australia for Soundwave where they will play alongside Metallica, Linkin Park and Blink 182.
With all the hype surrounding VOLUMES, one would expect a huge record with VIA. Not so much. However (!), VIA is a pretty solid album of progressive, rhythmic metal. They take the sound made popular by the legendary MESHUGGAH, mix it up with the ‘hardcore sensibilities’ of bands like AFTER THE BURIAL and VEIL OF MAYA and make a racket like no ones business. ‘Wormholes’ is a perfect example as it’s MESHUGGAH worship is evident throughout but by adding the dual vocal attack to it adds a more ‘core’ vibe. The talent continues throughout as tracks like ‘Reversion’ show a melodic side to the bands usual method of ‘ground and pound’. That melody carries well into ‘Serenity’, a track that actually show VOLUMES using their talents to their fullest. The song is amazing as it rides through the underlying aggression but always keeping it dialed down until it’s needed, like at the halfway mark where it turns into a full on beast. A beast that flexes it’s metal muscle impressively. They even try to add in the, unnecessary, clean vocals in the otherwise bruising track ‘The Columbian Faction’. The cleans actually take away from whatever power the song had built up but the musicianship saves it thankfully. ‘Behind The Curtain’ is yet another track, a lot like ‘Serenity’, that shows the band at their strongest. Tight musicianship and excellent songwriting all presented in a nasty little package. Perfect. ‘Edge Of The Earth’ is another example of clean vocals being used unnecessarily, and they almost ruin another song. Ending the record with the title track is an almost perfect send off as the song flows and pulses along beautifully. Overall, VIA is not a terrible record and worthy of the praise it will ultimately get. To call VOLUMES groundbreaking and leaders of a certain movement is unwarranted…for now. VIA is only a stepping stone for a talented young band like VOLUMES. Keep your eyes and ears peeled as these boys will be turning heads…soon. -by Jon Hole
Recommended listening: ‘Wormholes’, ‘Reversion’ & ‘Serenity’ (together for the full effect) and ‘Behind The Curtain’
Production credits: All songs were written, recorded, mixed, and produced by the band itself.
Release date: September 27, 2011 (Digital) & October 11, 2011 (Physical)
In conclusion…VIA is an amazing start for a band that has as much talent as one could want in this genre.
ELITIST are a progressive metal band from Los Angeles, CA who made waves last year with their debut EP Caves. They share similarities to the other bands in this genres, also (sadly) known as ‘djent’. The Earth EP sets ELITIST apart from the others by bringing a little more class. Earth is a tighter and a tad more aggressive than the Caves EP, due mostly in part to the change in drummer and vocalist’s. The duel guitar attack is still firmly in tact and even more brutal than before. Tracks like ‘Fracture’ capture this beautifully as ELITIST swing from heavy and in your face to HUMAN ABSTRACT melodic-ness with ease, even ending on a more, experimental note. Throughout the EP’s four tracks the listener is washed with driving rhythms, glorious melodic passages and tight, gruff vocals. A full length is needed to really ensure these future giants a place upon the upper ‘crust’ of progressive metal bands, but the Earth EP is a fine way to make big waves. -by Jon Hole
Recommended listening: ‘Fracture’
Produced by: (guitarist) Julian Rodriguez & Mixed by Diego Farias of Volumes
Release date: October 25, 2011
In conclusion…Short. Tight. Almost Epic. Worth listening to.