December 3, 2019 Stitched Up Heart Concert Review Cleveland, Ohio House of Blues
Venue: The last concert I had, 3Teeth, I had some issues with the venue an my ticket and photo pass, to where I had to get the tour manager to interrupt what he was doing to get me settled. This time around, everything was already waiting for me.
Intro: I went to a concert at the Cleveland House of Blues on December 3rd to see Stitched Up Heart. What will follow are my experiences and overall impressions of the feature.
Start: For the first few songs I was in the photo pit, I was in awe. To start with, Mixi, from the very beginning, was already going out on stage full force and rousing the crowd.
Light Shows: The light shows at House of Blues always seem so stunning, but this feature was the best I have seen so far. There was this almost constant pulsating red light throughout the songs that further added to the allure.
Fans: “Mixi”, not missing a beat started to interact with the group, pointing at people singing along in the audience, raising hands up to capture the crowd’s interest, twirling around on stage.
Outfit: “Mixi” had on these sequined black pants, and I could not ignore how sparkly and beautiful they were.
Overall: My overall impression of the show was I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of Stitched Up Heart’s performance, and I want them to come back to Cleveland soon because I had an amazing time, and writing this review made those memories flood back.
Even though I am a reviewer, I still appreciate the shows for what they are. In fact, the songs they played, I actually looked up when I got home, and since, I am now a fan of them as well. How awesome is that?!
While I’ve never heard of these guys, Deep As Ocean has got to be one of the best metal bands I’ve heard in a long time! Deep As Ocean easily reminds me of great bands such as Breaking Benjamin, All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, Three Days Grace (w/ Adam Gontier) and others. The clean vocals on the album strongly remind me of a cross between Adam Gontier (Ex: Three Days Grace, Currently Saint Asonia) and John Cooper (Skillet).
Crossing Parallels – A title track as an intro, I love it! This 1:39 long intro starts out with an ethereal sound that give you the feeling of crossing into a different dimension. A bit of a beat starts to kick in around :19 seconds and then the guitars and drums fill out the ethereal sounds and give this intro some more atmosphere. This gives the listener a small idea as to where the album is going musically. The last :22 seconds pull it right back to the ethereal sound that we opened with, with a light guitar and synth pulse in the background.
Hourglass – This song features Mattéo Gelsomino of Novelists and hits hard right away at :14 seconds in! The guitars in this song are killer! To me, the title for this track is perfect! I feel this song is about how limited our time is. We only have so much time, and what we do with it really matters. Life is choices, right?
“Break free How many voices’ left unspoken? Break free How many tears we’ve shed and left unheard? Freedom has it’s costs, nothing is for granted We don’t pull the reins, we are dragged down Grain by grain we are becoming The sandy bottom Of the hourglass”
This chorus really speaks to me. A few years ago, I faced a really toxic work environment. I had a choice to make. I could let the voices destroy me and allow them to break me down, or I could chose to break free. If we don’t take control of these situations, we get dragged down by them. I would no longer remain ‘unspoken’ and I chose to rise above and was able to break free.
Knives & Flames – This song starts out aggressively vocally, and it’s a perfect fit for the meaning I take away from it. For me, this song is about being betrayed and the feeling of betrayal. We all have faced that person who we’ve trusted for a long time. That person that we’ve unguarded our hearts around and let our guard down. That person that we’ve trusted like family, only to have them stab us in the back. Like fire, when we’re stabbed in the back by people we’ve entrusted our hearts to, (family, close friends, significant other, etc..) it burns.
“I’m tired of lying And sayin’ everything is fine I’m tired of lying And sayin’ everything is fine It’s like playing with fire Until it burns inside Trust has a cost And I will be cold as a knife I give up pretending I don’t know anything I’ve forgiven you once…”
I, as I’m sure many of us can relate to this. Sometimes, we’re so hurt by things that we foolishly seek revenge. But does revenge really solve anything? For me, this song is not only about the feeling of betrayal, but also what we chose to do with being betrayed.
Oblivion – This song starts off with clean vocals and screaming vocals at the same time. After the vocal 4 measure intro with some underlying synth, the main riff kicks in, which kinda reminds me of Breaking Benjamin.
We all make mistakes, but do we ever learn from them? Sometimes we make the same mistakes over and over again without ever learning anything. The writer of this songs seems to feel that we’re headed for our own demise, or “oblivion”, if we don’t learn from our mistakes. It’s a pattern of self destructive behavior that needs to be broken.
“Oblivion How can we get there? Have we not suffered enough? We have never learned from the faults of it all.”
We’ve all gotten to a point this point where we continuously suffer from the same mistakes over and over again, yet we’re sometimes too stubborn to want to fix anything and learn from our past decisions.
The Sinking Ship – This song has a more ethereal intro, but kicks into its main groove at about :17 seconds in. If this song isn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is! As a society, we’ve become complacent, apathetic and careless. I feel like although the song seems to call us ‘the sinking ship’, that it also talks about the ability to fight back against that downward spiral and to fight our way back.
“We are the sinking ship I refuse to sink Into this poisoned sea At least I’m trying to swim.”
Whenever I feel myself falling into a pattern of complacency and apathy, I “refuse to sink”. We need to first be aware that we’re falling into this pattern and need to care enough to want to rise above it.
Underwater – This song starts with its main riff right off the bat, and it’s catchy and right in your face. About :20 seconds in the vocals start off aggressive, but has a great balance with clean vocals overlaying! This song, for me, is about the false sense of security we all can get from loneliness. Sometimes when life gets too difficult, we tend to go into our shell of wanting to be alone, and we tend to shut people out, especially those who truly care for us.
“My enemy Is my loneliness It resides in me It’s invisible My enemy A part of me I can’t escape it…”
Our loneliness isn’t always visible, and it eats away at us from the inside out. When we’re facing “the abyss”, we need to first realize that our enemy is loneliness, then we need to surround ourselves with those we love and trust to help redirect us. For me, I also lean on my faith as a Christian when I’m facing difficulties that drag me down.
Feels Like Nothing – Featuring Andy Pali of Sharks In Your Mouth, this song starts off with an ethereal sound with electric guitar and synth droning on Bb creating an awesome atmosphere. The main riff kicks in at :18 seconds and doesn’t disappoint!
The band says this song is influenced by the series “13 Reasons Why” and also the death of Chester Bennington.
For me, this song encourages empathy towards those who suffer with mental illness and depression. So many are quick to judge, but instead we need to be loving and understanding and to be there for those suffering. We also need to understand that at times, people are so far down that they have a hard time receiving love and support.
“How can I love myself? I was too blind to see all the love I got from y’all”
We also need to understand that at times, people are so far down that they are blinded to the love and support they are receiving.
“I felt alone and maybe the only one When I tied the noose Too late”
This line really hits hard for me. I lost my God-Mother to suicide by hanging and to this day, I have mixed emotions. On one hand I still feel anger and hurt, but on the other, I try to put myself into her shoes. I still to this day try to understand what she was facing that she felt that helpless and desperate.
Floating Anchor – This track is definitely one of my favorites on this album! It starts off a bit differently with what sounds like muted guitars, but quickly kicks into high gear at :6 seconds with the main riff and vocals.
In this journey we call life, we all need to find our purpose and we look for meaning in our lives in different places. A lot of times though we struggle with things in life, and feel like we have no where to turn. As a Christian, this song actually really speaks to me, because I feel that my faith in God is my anchor.
“Find a way to feel alive Your best reason to survive Fight the war you have inside No matter how long you have to try If you don’t try you will never succeed Standing still is a passive acceptance Of the defeat, so pick your guns up Aim what you want and take your best shot…”
For me, this part really speaks to me. When I was younger, I went through a lot of verbal abuse in school, as well as some physical bullying. I went through life angry and alone. I was even angry at God for the longest time. In 2008, everything changed for me. The anchor that was holding me down, the fear of rejection, became my salvation when I realized that my salvation was found in God. He took all of the fear, shame and rejection that I had felt for so long and changed my perspective on life.
Black Rose – And here we are at the end of the album and what an end it is! This track, for me, is a not so typical love song. Not only is the song saying that a loved one is a light in difficult times, it’s also saying that you have to put work into the relationship to keep it alive. Even when facing difficulties, we need to stay alive and focused on putting work into the relationship to keep it working.
This song actually has mostly clean vocals and some nice synth grooves throughout. Another favorite for sure!
“A rose with no thorns Is incomplete It’s like something missing As well as our love I feel it stings Reminds us we’re alive You’re the light that Illuminates my eyes You’re the light that never ends to shine…”
“Black Rose” is a perfect title for this song. Just like a rose with no thorns is incomplete, a life without some strife doesn’t exist. The lines above remind us that love stings at times, but it reminds us that we’re alive. Just because we face hard times in love, doesn’t mean that we still don’t need each other.
Deep As Ocean has created an awesome work in “Crossing Parallels”! This album is a great blend of power, harsh vocals, clean vocals and melodies. I HIGHLY recommend this album for any fans of bands such as Breaking Benjamin, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, Three Days Grace and others alike. I give this album 4.9 out of 5.0 stars!
“Crossing Parallels” is set to release December 13th, 2019, so be sure to check it out!
I had never heard of Strike Master before. This EP is comprised of four, very in your face thrash metal songs. From the heart pounding drums, grinding in your face guitars and pulse pounding bass lines, this quick EP has it all. Vocally, this band honestly reminds me of Cradle of Filth. Let’s dive into the tracks –
Cosmic Owl Ritual – The tide rolls in! Buckle up, it’s gonna be a heck of a ride! This track opens up with the sound of the tide rolling in with a deep bass line kicking in a few seconds after. Then at about :20 seconds in, the guitars and drums smash right in your face with a hard but slow dirge. Then comes the main riff at :40 seconds, which reminds me of something off of Metallica’s “Death Magnetic”. If the main riff isn’t enough for you, wait for 3:10! If the pit hasn’t started already, here it comes! The drums kick it into high gear and the guitar is more in your face than earlier. The track brings it back down to just bass right at the end. If your face is on the floor, pick it up, and out it back on…you’ll need for round 2!
Knives – The main riff starts right off the bat after a quick drum fill, and there’s no questioning that this track is gonna take off right away! Don’t get too comfy though! At :38 seconds we get a nice time change into a 6/8 feel that gives a great break down right before we get back to straight time for the first verse. This track is even more brutal than the first! With time changes throughout, this track has a nice groove throughout the almost 5 minute track!
Strong As Hell – If you were hoping to slow it down by now, you’ve got the wrong EP! This is yet another brutal, in your face track. For me, this song is about being strong and not letting anything pull you down. We face many trials and “heavy fire” throughout our lives, but what defines us is how we come out of those trials.
“I was born like a beast, there’s no desist, no turning back. Torn by circumstance of heavy fire and forged in the void. When I thought that I had thrown myself into the abyss, the abyss had already thrown itself at me.”
For me, the writer is saying that he was born with the mentality of a beast. No matter what he faces, no matter what ‘the abyss’ throws at him, he’s not going to back down and he’s not going to give in.
A Corpseless Soul – The final track, but it’s not over yet! I think musically this is my favorite track on the EP! Don’t let the first :27 seconds fool you. What seems to be a tranquil intro gives way to a strong guitar and bass riff with driving drums. At about :42 seconds, this track is right back in your face. This song, for me, is about wandering through life searching for meaning.
“The nameless, speechless, the feel that’s around to mourn. The void that holds our deepest question of life.” Then later we hear “Death based illusions is what I am meant to be. A corpseless soul.”
All in all, I would give this album a 3.5. I absolutely love the riffs, especially in the closing track. While the vocals are strong, they aren’t my favorite type of vocals.
“Death Based Illusions” is available on all download and streaming platforms November 17th, 2019. Be sure to give it a listen!
This is my first concert review, as I had never actually been to a concert until this one. Being this was my first concert ever, I had no idea what to expect, and if I would be disappointed, but I definitely had a kick-ass time.
The concert that night was absolutely amazing, something like I have never experienced before. When Lacuna Coil came on stage, the fans went absolutely fucking crazy. I had never heard so much screaming and fanfare in my life before.
Their first song, “Blood, Tears, Dust,” introduces the band. Cristina and Andrea enter stage left and the crowd gets even louder and more boisterous than when the song began.
Once the drums kick in, Cristina starts vocalising then asks everyone in the crowd to scream and everyone in the crowd goes absolutely insane, and, at this moment, it became clear to me that the vast majority of the crowd came to see Lacuna Coil and nobody else.
Another notable moment was at the end of “Trip the Darkness,” there was a blue light show, timed perfectly with the guitar and drums, Cristina all the while slamming her microphone in the air in time with the beat.
The next song “Our Truth”, had a brilliant orange light show that was just, absolutely spectacular. In time with the beat of the song, the orange lights were just pulsating through the beginning of the song, toning down after the intro. You see Andrea jumping up and down and Cristina going right into vocalising. Towards the tail end of the song, you can see them both jumping up and down, just having a great time with the crowd.
One thing I have to commend Lacuna Coil on is that how they sound on stage is very similar to how they sound in a studio recording, which shows me they have a natural talent and don’t need excess layering, auto-tune, etc, to perform.
The set lasted about an hour, the songs played, were: “Blood, Tears, Dust,”, “Trip The Darkness”, “Our Truth”, “Spellbound”, “Reckless, “Layers of Time:, “Downfall”, “Zombies”, My Demons”, “House of Shame”, “Heaven’s A Lie” and “Nothing Stands In Our Way”.
Closing out the show, the set list is thrown into the crowd, along with a guitar pick, and the last thing we see is Cristina waving goodbye to the crowd, the applause echoing throughout the venue.
I absolutely cannot wait to go to another show, especially theirs, to see what it is like next time. I give my first concert, and their set a complete 5/5.
As for touring in The United States, Lacuna Coil most likely will not be back again until summer or fall of 2020. At any rate, if you have a chance to see Lacuna Coil in concert, I highly recommend you take that opportunity and you won’t be disappointed.
It’s just like someone told me: you never know when your favorite bands or musicians will stop touring or releasing albums, so make the most of every show and album you can.
POWERHOUSE. There is no other word to describe BLACK ANIMA, the ninth studio album by Italian metal group LACUNA COIL. Over twenty year in the scene has led them to what is arguably the strongest album in their career. Musically, lyrically, vocally, BLACK ANIMA delivers the sound that old school Coilers have been waiting for since Comalies. But does this album compare to Comalies? Not in the least, and they show us that it’s perfectly okay.
I LIKE TO SUFFOCATE IN ALL MY MEMORIES UNTIL I CANNOT BREATHE
Black Anima’s prologue consists of vocals from Cristina Scabbia like we’ve never heard. Whether it be computer effects or her ability to change her voice into something even more unique than it already is, it doesn’t matter; she proves once again how far her vocal abilities have stretched over the years. Anima Nera speaks of the heavy darkness within – a short song of resignation to the empty emotions that frequently follow trauma or intense pain. In a way, this album follows the ‘backwards’ pattern – Anima Nera could have been the Outro and Black Anima could have been the prologue. And, of course, we get a taste of the Italian we’ve been so hoping to hear since Broken Crown Halo.
COSA NE RIMANE DELLA MIA ANIMA NERA?
SWORD OF ANGER
WE ARE THE ANIMA
Sword of Anger opens full swing with the growling vocals of Andrea Ferro. An enthusiastic mix of all instruments make this song a blazing follow up to Anima Nera. Lyrically, we feel the power of Andrea’s delivered verses, believing damn well that they’ve never lost their way and taking Cristina’s word when she says there’s more to them than we will ever see. Maki and Diego absolutely kill it on bass and guitar. There is no question that Diego really got to shine on this album, and even less question that Maki wrote this song with passion and a desire to try something new.
WE DON’T HEED YOU – THE SWORD OF ANGER WILL CUT IN THE DEEP
Newcomer Richard Meiz, now drummer of the band, gets a chance to show off his skills in Sword of Anger as well. He doesn’t introduce himself in small doses. With Lacuna Coil, when you’re new, you come out swinging, and the drums in this song do exactly that.
One of the main highlights: Cristina singing underneath Andrea’s growls, the two contrasting vocals blending beautifully to make a melodic tune to match the heaviness.
BEYOND THE SURFACE WE DIG IN THE DEEP – THERE’S MORE TO US THAN YOU WILL EVER SEE
TO HELL WITH ALL THE INNOCENCE
Reckless is the second single released before Black Anima takes the world by storm. Cristina shines brightly in this one, controlling most of the song with the occasional background growl by Andrea, and showing listeners once more just how far her vocal abilities have come. Reckless is the dance track of the album – heavy and single-worthy, yet still dark and fitting for the overall atmosphere of the album.
I HAVE NEVER LEARNED TO COMPROMISE – I NEED TO FEEL ALIVE
Synths and guitars tear up the track in the best way, the bass and drums filling in the space nicely. The guitar solo is one major highlight – Diego has absolutely been a great addition to the band since he joined.
KEEP THE MADNESS ENDLESS
LAYERS OF TIME
I LIVE THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND
Layers of Time was the first single introduced to us to represent Black Anima. Even though it’s the fourth song on the album, it was the first song we got to hear as a collective group of Coilers, and the song is explosive. Andrea once again comes out with growls and aggressive vocals, taking the lead in this song with more vocal time than Cristina while still allowing both to shine.
I THINK I’VE LOST THE STORYLINE
Guitars and bass in Layers of Time roar into existence here and don’t back down. There is no such thing as a breather. This lends in a perfect way to the lyrical meaning of the song, an overall meaning conveying, in their own words: Our road is paved with pain, the past we can’t rewind. Layers of Time was the perfect introduction to Black Anima, and nestles itself as the fourth track to remind us that it isn’t the only song on the album.
TWISTING, TURNING, THROUGH THE BAPTISM OF FIRE
WHILE YOU PRAY, WE DON’T CARE
Apocalypse flows with more melodic emotion than the songs prior, still heavy but allowing us a short break from Andrea’s growls and allowing us a glimpse of his cleaner vocals. We have a more gothic feel here, darkness coating the tone and bringing a strong lyrical message. Apocalypse is, without a doubt, one of the most impactful songs of the album lyrically. We can feel the pain and emotion in Cristina’s voice as she delivers her pieces, and we truly feel for her. We relate, and we feel.
WE START A REVOLUTION AND CELEBRATE YOUR LIES
Most surprisingly, soaring vocals blend well with the bass tracks here. Maki (bass) has arranged this to ensure the bass beats the message behind Cristina’s vocals home. An impressive use of instrumental, without a doubt.
YOU’RE FAR FROM ABSOLUTION
NOW OR NEVER
I MADE MY WAY BACK TO THE LIVING WHEN I WAS ALREADY DEAD
In Now or Never, we’re swept back into the fast, aggressive beats of guitars and drums and Andrea’s forceful vocals. Bold riffs and messages give a nod to Delirium but still sits very comfortably on Black Anima.
Taking a step away from ‘professional reviewer’ stance and slipping into hardcore Coiler mode: this is the song that Cristina Scabbia comes very close to growling in. Forceful, almost shouted vocals in one verse suddenly highlight her in a different view, and every Cristina-diehard is going to have their moment of squealing or their moment of confusion and hoping that doesn’t happen again. The force lends to the song in a perfect way, however, and just a little more of a push would have shown us a first from Miss Scabbia.
THERE’S NO MERCY FOR THE INNOCENT
UNDER THE SURFACE
ALL YOUR SENSES ARE COMPELLED TO LIE
Cristina leads this song once again, a solid track to sit at the almost-halfway point of the album. More fascinating synths lead into powerful guitars, leading into Andrea kicking off the vocals with passion. Under the Surface is definitely the most lyrically heavy of the album, not necessarily in emotion or message, but in the sheer amount of singing that goes on through the track lasting just over four minutes.
EVERYTHING FEELS PERFECT WHEN YOU’RE SPINNING LIES
This song takes hold and doesn’t let go. From start to finish, a musical storm, no break. One of the most powerful songs in terms of instruments without a doubt.
ILLUSIONS AND EMOTIONS ARE FOR SALE
NOVA VIS AD DIEM NOVUM NASCITUR
Musically, Veneficium is the most powerful song on the album. A blend of heavy guitar and bass riffs mixed with the kind of emotional blast we got from Apocalypse, Veneficium blows it out of the water as one of the best songs on the album. The piece experiments with symphonic metal and use of the Latin language, and takes listeners on a dark journey through the entire process.
HERE I COME TO SHOW YOU ALL THE WOUNDS INSIDE MY HEART
Andrea shows off his clean vocals in Veneficium, proving he can still sing just as much as he can growl. The lyrics are powerful and moving. Overall, a strong track that stands up and shouts, “I’M HERE AND I’M AMAZING!”
I’M AFRAID TO SEE WHAT I BECAME – I KNOW THAT IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME
THE END IS ALL I CAN SEE
THE PAIN IS ALMOST LIKE SALVATION
Tension rises slowly in The End is All I Can See, but it is, admittedly, the weakest track on the album. The lyrics are strong and the music is haunting, but it drones as opposed to putting up the fight the rest of the album does. It still takes a stand and earns a place on the album. Why? Because with just a little more effort, it could have been a blazing song.
NOW PLEASE ANSWER MY PRAYERS CAUSE THE END IS ALL I CAN SEE
I CAN’T HELP IT, I’M BREAKING DOWN
There is no denying that the last single released before the album dropped would be a fan favorite. Save Me stands up for every single one of us who struggle with pain, depression, mental instability – anything that may cut us short in life. More melodic than dark and heavy, we can hear the pain in Cristina’s voice once more. The mantra of this song, presented by the band themselves: IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.
Musically, another powerful song that uses bass behind vocals to really hit home a message. We hear you, guys – it really is okay to not be okay.
STAND HERE BEGGING FOR HELP – THE ONLY HUMANS WALKING THROUGH THIS HELL
I’M LONGING FOR THE RAIN TO WASH IT ALL AWAY
The final track hits us right where all final tracks should. A strong closer with heavy goth vibes and soaring instruments (EVERYONE shines here), Black Anima bears down and reminds us exactly why we listen to Lacuna Coil. By the time the song closes, Coilers sit and wallow in the realization that this, indeed, is the end of another fantastic album – what is probably the band’s best album in nearly twenty two years.
Hybridism is a “djent” band from Belgium. For those who may not know, “djent” is a relatively new sub-genre of progressive metal with lower-pitched guitar sounds. Their latest album is eponymous of the band’s name.
Before even getting into this review, I read their biography, and they are an all instrumental band- somewhat of a rarity in music. They said they tried to add vocals, but it did not mesh well with their sound, so they kept it all instrumental.
for the album itself, it’s like a metal lite for me. Where it has
aspects of metal, like the heavy drums, the guitar, the bass, etc.
but the instruments are toned down a bit, just as the genre “djent”
is meant to be.
Going through the songs, there is always a guitar somewhere in the background, in addition to the drums, and at times, even some electronic or mechanical sounds, sometimes in the foreground, sometimes in the background.
honestly would be curious to see how this would sound with say a
female singer. I know this was not their intention, however, and they
want to stay all instrumental.
I also worry that a listener may not like the songs if they are in fact all instrumental. My recommendation is to try to get a vocalist, maybe not on all the songs, but definitely on at least a few of them. Finnish band Apocalyptica does this with different guest vocalists.
I would give this album a perfect 5, but without a singer, it just is not for me. Though, the instrumentals are great, so I will give this album 4 out of 5 stars.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Hybridism is now out and can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, and other digital outlets.