Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith

We’re back with another Riot Act Reviews, the show where we cast our critical eye over a brand new release from a sizable or interesting artist.

Today we’re looking at the 6th studio album from Canadian stadium punk lads Billy Talent, Crisis of Faith. Billy Talent are both sizable AND interesting, particularly if you’re German, but both of our hosts scratch their heads and try to remember the bands previous album, 2016’s Afraid of Heights, but can’t quite put their finger on having any prior knowledge of it. That’s not to say we have no prior love of BT, in fact their earlier material is very close to the heart of one of us, but that was the past, and can the Billy Talent of 2022 match up to their wiry, yelping and anthemic best of the 2000’s?

Like Billy Talent? Pick up some merch or pre-order the record why dontcha!?

Billy Talent – End Of Me feat. Rivers Cuomo (Official Music Video)

Billy Talent – Reckless Paradise – Official Lyric Video

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Earl Sweatshirt – Sick!

On this Riot Act Review Steve and Remfry talk you through their opinions on the latest album from Chicago born rapper Earl Sweatshirt, Sick!… that’s the name of the album by the way, we’re not just really excited about it. It’s been an interesting life that Mr Sweatshirt has lived, and now, with this being his first release since parting ways with former label Columbia and the promise of more “riskier” material, we get to hear just what he’s been up to in the last three and a bit years. Turns out, like all of us, he’s been stuck in lockdown, and Sick! is another kind of conceptual piece regarding his thoughts on state of humanity during the COVID19 pandemic. At least, that’s what he has said, with a record this slight, its ten tracks clocking in a just over the 24 minute mark, this dreamy and fronted by a man with a fairly lackadaisical flow, it isn’t always that easy to tell. Still, we do our best to decipher it all here.

Like the sound of the record? Why not pick up a copy?

Videos

Earl Sweatshirt – Titanic (Official Video)

Earl Sweatshirt – Old Friend

Earl Sweatshirt – Sick!

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Wilderun – Epigone

Welcome back to Riot Act Reviews, another chance for Steve and Remfry to chew the cud over a new and exciting album from the alternative music landscape. On this episode we look at Epigone, the 4th full length album from Boston based proggressive metallers Wilderun.

We reviewed the band’s 3rd album Veil of Imagination on episode 102 of the show and were very impressed by their blend of extreme metal styles, progressive elements and classical orchestration. We maaaaaay have said they sounded a bit like Opeth in that review but then hey … that’s no bad thing is it!.

This time around, the “O band” do come up again, but there is definitely a sense of expansion beyond Veil of Imagination, with psychedelic elements, classic American folk and some evocative synth work added to their already very dynamic palette of extreme metal, classic prog and some truly stirring Michael Kamen-esque orchestral flourishes.

Order yourself a physical copy of Epigone why don’t you?

Videos

Passenger

Identifier

Distraction I

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

The Weeknd – Dawn FM

Welcome to the first Riot Act Review of Twenty Twenty Two! This week it’s quite an unusual event, as Steve and Remfry have a ma-hoo-sive new release to chat about in the usually notoriously quiet first week of the year. We go in-depth on Dawn FM the surprise released 5th album from Canadian electro, soul and pop singer songwriter The Weeknd.

He may well be one of the most famous musicians on the planet right now, but The Weeknd is not your typical Riot Act artist, with one of our hosts having only vaguely dipped his toe into the back catalogue and the other having no prior knowledge of his work at all. Still, this is already a hugely significant release and Dawn FM is a pretty good place to start getting into The Weeknd, as its creator has spoken about the album being a brighter and lighter version of much of his previous material. As well as some seriously seductive and instantaneous 80’s inflected soul pop being present here we also get a varied plethora of famous voices lending their talents to the album, with the likes of Lil Wayne, Tyler The Creator, Quincy Jones and (we’re not making this up) JIM CARREY all lending their voices. The result is an album that is destined to be one of the biggest of the year in any genre … but, is it actually any good?

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Failure – Wild Type Droid

On this episode of Riot Act Reviews we are looking at the 6th studio album from alt-rock legends Failure, Wild Type Droid. Since reforming in 2015 Failure have been one of the exceptions to the rule that your post-reformation material can’t live up to your classics, putting out two albums of exceptional quality. This time around the band have hinted that they will be putting the space and sci-fi themes they have been working with since 1996’s legendary Fantastic Planet album to bed. So does Wild Type Droid close the book on this chapter of Failure’s career with a happy ending? Or are they going to crash this ship entirely?… you probably already know what we think, but have a listen anyway would you.

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Voices – Breaking the Trauma Bond

It’s time for another review from Steve and Remfry on Riot Act Reviews, where we collect our thoughts regarding a significant or interesting recent album that our hosts have heard.

On this episode we are diving deeper into the underground than we have previously done so on this portion of the show by looking at Breaking the Trauma Bond, the 4th studio album from London goth-black metal band Voices. Featuring members of cult UK extreme metal band Akercocke, Voices received a little bit of attention and critical love for 2014’s London album but it is here on their fourth record where Voices have really found their… er… voice. This is a sixteen track, 68 minute meld of Danzig, Killing Joke, Satyricon, Bauhaus and Type O Negative, and we wanted to bring it to your attention.

An Audience of Mannequins (Official Lyric Video)

Like the sound of the record? Why not order a copy from our good friends at Church Road Records

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Idles – Crawler

We have been champions of Idles pretty much since our inception here on Riot Act, giving high praise in particular to the way they’ve managed to inadvertently infiltrate the mainstream without compromising on their ideals, sound or vision. Despite that however, we will admit to being slightly hesitant towards 2020’s Ultra Mono. Not a bad album by any stretch (and let’s not forget, a record that saw them reach #1 on the UK albums charts) but in our estimation, it didn’t bring all the much to the Idles party that we’d not previously heard on breakthrough album Joy as an Act of Resistance or their 2017 debut Brutalism.

Fourth album Crawler then, has a fair bit riding on it; do the band continue to stomp forward with more boisterous noisy compositions, or do they try and polish themselves into a more mainstream proposition? Interestingly they might well of done neither of those things … but, is it any good?

The Beachland Ballroom Video

Car Crash Video

Buy Crawler and other Idles merch

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Converge & Chelsea Wolfe – Bloodmoon I

We are delighted to bring you the Riot Act review of Bloodmoon: I, the first collaboration album between Boston hardcore legends Converge and California’s gothic auteur Chelsea Wolfe.

Having first got together in 2016 for some wonderfully received shows at Roadburn festival and in London, where both Steve and Remfry witnessed the union first hand, it’s been quite a wait for original material from this particular pairing. And whilst, to some, the marriage of scabrous, noisey hardcore and dark gothic laments may not be an obvious fusion on paper, that is to ignore the many seismic sonic turns both artists have made in their career. But playing live together is one thing, can these two unique voices coalesce into one cohesive songwriting unit here? Listen to find out.

Blood Moon Video

Coil Video

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine of Hell

Emma Ruth Rundle has become something of a favourite of ours over the years, with 2018’s On Dark Horses and her recent collaboration with Thou both getting enthusiastic thumbs up from Remfry and Steve on previous episodes. But her latest album, Engine of Hell, marks a stylistic change from all her previous work. Rather than the expansive, full-band, reverb-drenched sound she’s become synonymous with, Engine of Hell is stripped back and almost unbearably emotionally exposed.

Return Video

Blooms of Oblivion Video

Buy / Download / Stream

Categories
Riot Act Reviews

Møl – Diorama

On this episode we review Diorama, the second full length album from Danish blackgaze crew Møl. Back in 2018 their debut album Jord was one of Remfry’s favorite release of the year, Steve liked it too… probably not as much if we’re being honest though. But, due to our hosts’ dual appreciation of the band there is certainly a high level of expectation for Diorama. Will the record live up to those expectations? Well, we’re not going to tell you that here! But, with artists as diverse as Darkthrone, Alcest, Iron Maiden… er… AC/DC, Oasis and Kings of Leon all getting a name check in this episode, you can at least expect some fairly surprising revelations.