Muses by Tom

Blog news

Posted in Music,News by Tom on October 31, 2010

Followers! Long time no blog, I know. My bad. Anyways, I’m gonna get right down to business. I always accept and encourage feedback on what I do, and, if it is constructive, I will listen the best  I can. With this in mind, you all know how important music is to me. You also know how easy it is for my blog to start overflowing with music related material. On one hand, it is important for me to write on a broad spectrum of topics and keep my intellectual juices flowing. On the other hand, I do need a niche, if you will… a speciality (music). The best way for me to go about this is to keep this blog music-free (yeah I said it), and dedicate it to my fiction and nonfiction writing, as well as other topics I see fit. I have put up a new blog ( that will be dedicated to just music. Everything music. All day every day. This, I hope, will keep my readers happy and still help me reach out to as big an audience as I can.

As always, thank you for your continued support. Go check out my new blog, Tom Talks Music to help support my other passion. Subscribe to that one too and spread the word to all the music lovers you know.


Choose Your Fate

Posted in Music,News by Tom on October 29, 2010
Tags: , , , ,

Escape The Fate‘s new self-titled album, which is set for release on November 2, is now available for streaming at the band’s Myspace page. This is the band’s first major label release with Interscope Records. Craig Mabbitt and the boys have definitely changed up their game on this album, which sounds nothing like the album that first launched them on to the scene (2006’s Dying is Your Latest Fashion feat. Ronnie Radke). ETF will be touring through Noember 7 before taking a week off and heading to Europe. In a recent interview, the band stated that this is the album that “defines” who they are.

Let’s talk about D.R.U.G.S.

Posted in Music,News by Tom on August 19, 2010
Tags: , , ,

Ex-Chiodos frontman Craig Owens has finally announced the name of his new project after months of anticipation. The band, which also features guitarist/vocalist Matt Good (From First To Last), guitarist Nick Martin (Cinematic Sunrise, Isles & Glaciers), and drummer Aaron Stern (ex-Matchbook Romance), is named D.R.U.G.S. The name is an acronym for Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows. You can keep up to date with the band via their official Twitter page.

On a related note, Chiodos have begun streaming the first single from their new album, Illuminaudio, entitled Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together. The track is the first to feature new vocalist Brandon Bolmer. While musically the track has its strong points, Bolmer needs to realize he is not Craig Owens and that he should stop trying to imitate him. In my opinion, Bolmer sounds like a bad clone of Craig Owens. Only Craig could pull off Chiodos– this new guy is gonna sink fast. This track would make a decent  Chiodos tune if it wasn’t for Bolmer. The music is impressive as always but BB, he is in way over his head. Check out the track for yourself on the band’s Myspace page.

New Chiodos

Posted in Music,News by Tom on August 3, 2010
Tags: , ,

It has been revealed that Chiodos‘s third studio album, Illuminaudio, will be released on October 5. This will be the band’s first album without ex-frontman Craig Owens and will also be the first to feature new vocalist Brandon Bolmer. Bolmer has a lot to live up to and personally, I don’t think he can pull it off. His mediocre vocals are no match for those of Owens, who was the essence of Chiodos. The band is going to go downhill without Owens. I’ll give the new album a chance, but I’m not holding my breath for anything amazing. Sorry, guys.

Illuminaudio tracklisting:

1. Illuminaudio

2. Caves

3. Love is a Cat from Hell

4. Modern Wolf Hair

5. Notes in Constellations

6. Scaremonger

7. His Story Repeats Itself

8. Let Us Burn One

9. Hey Zeus the Dungeon

10. Stratovolcano Mouth

11. Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together

12. Closed Eyes Still Look Forward

A7X – Nightmare review

Posted in Music,Reviews by Tom on August 3, 2010
Tags: , , , ,

On July 27, 2010, Avenged Sevenfold released their first album since the recent death of drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan. While the Rev did write a lot of the material for the band’s fifth studio album, entitled Nightmare, his death prevented the album from being completed. In order to get the album finished and released, A7X enlisted the help of Dream Theater drummer, Mike Portnoy. Portnoy will also be filling in on drums for the band’s 2010 tour dates.

Now that we have the background out of the way, let’s get down to business; the album itself. Nightmare wastes no time grabbing the listener’s attention with the title track. The first three tracks on the album are hard hitting, intense, and in your face. The dueling guitars and impeccable drumming, mixed with M.Shadows‘ vocals, leave you hungry for more. While the band has been criticized a lot for the change in vocal style (due to an injury M.Shadows sustained before City of Evil), Shadows has expertly adapted his voice and the band as a whole have done a tremendous job accommodating it without losing their identity.

As the album progesses, the pace is slowed down while A7X introduce their newest ballads and slower-tempo tracks. While the band can write a mean ballad, there seems to be an abundance of them on this record. Tracks like Buried Alive, however, throw listeners off guard with the sudden change in tempo.  While the ballad-like tracks are padded by ass kicking, vintage A7X, I still think the record is a little off balance. The use of keyboards, synths, strings, and choir-like vocals give the album a huge edge and add so much to the music. Tracks like Fiction have a haunting, tastefully melodramatic feel to them and keep the album diverse and focused.

The album’s stand out track has to be God Hates Us. This is the only track on the album to feature M.Shadows really screaming and is reminiscent of Waking The Fallen/Sounding The Seventh Trumpet era A7X. The track is fast and intense, the riffing is heavy, and the drumming is bone rattling. The vocals are fantastic and it is great to hear Shadows back on top of his game. Maybe this will open up more doors for the band again. One can only hope. Other stand out tracks include Welcome to the Family (for its epic solo), Danger Line, Natural Born Killer (featuring drumming that blows every other track out of the water), and Buried Alive.

The new album shows just how talented The Rev was, as the drumming is nothing short of impressive throughout. While no one will ever be able to fill his shoes, Portnoy does deliver a fair performance and represents Sullivan well. The Rev has left his legacy on Nightmare, the last record he wrote and will be heard on, and the rest of the band have shown great resilience and drive. Avenged Sevenfold did an outstanding job on this album and they deserve all the credit they get. You would be doing yourself a huge disservice if you did not check this album out.

Matt Good joins Craig Owens

Posted in Music,News by Tom on July 29, 2010
Tags: , , , ,

From First  To Last announced today that they are going on hiatus. After four albums, eight years of awesomeness, and the loss of Sonny Moore and Travis Richter, the band has decided to explore other opportunities. A statement from FFTL’s only remaining original member, guitarist/vocalist Matt Good, regarding the shocking news can be found here.

Shorty after this was announced, Craig Owens (ex-Chiodos) announced via his Facebook page that Matt Good is the newest member of his new band, which has yet to be named.

I, like many Craig Owens/Chiodos and Matt Good/FFTL fans, am excited to see what will happen next and to hear new music from the duo and their band mates.

Korn is peachy

Posted in Music,Reviews by Tom on July 14, 2010
Tags: ,

In the mid 90’s, the music world was grabbed by the horns and forever changed as nu metal pioneers Korn appeared on the scene.  Korn’s sound was new, exciting, experimental, dark, and heavy. With the release of their 1994 self-titled ablum, Korn quickly found success and made a name for themselves.  With the subsequent releases, Life is Peachy (1996), Follow the Leader (1998), and Issues (1999), Korn showed the world they had something interesting to offer and were one of a kind.

As all bands do, Korn eventually evolved, and this was evident on their 2002 release, Untouchables. The album saw Korn change their style quite a bit but not enough to take away from their individuality. It was with the release of their next three albums and the loss of Brian “Head” Welch and David Silveria that Korn started to change more and more dramatically.

Korn started to lose what made them unique, that dynamic sound was no longer there, and the music just lacked.  The Korn everyone had fallen in love with had faded away. Thankfully, though, this was not the end.

With the release of their ninth studio album on July 13, Korn are back.  The album, the appropriately-titled Korn III: Remember Who You Are is a huge step in the right direction for the band.  As far as I’m concerned, this is the band’s first album since Untouchables. Tracks such as Move On, Pop a Pill, and Never Around are reminiscent of early Korn and show the band “remembering who they are.” The sound on the album is very old-school-Korn for the most part and Jonathan Davis‘ lyrics are as impressive and emotionally charged as when the chorus of Kill You was blasted in every angry teenagers room over a decade ago. JD is one of the most emotionally available frontmen I have ever seen and his energy on this album is perfect. It sounds like JD, Munky, Fieldy, and new drummer Ray Luzier are back and here to stay.

Any fan of Korn’s older work should definitely give this album a listen. Korn will be touring as a part of the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival throughout the summer.

Korn performing Olidale (Leave Me Alone) from the new album on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

A Thouand Suns

Posted in Music,News by Tom on July 9, 2010
Tags: ,

Linkin Park have announced that they will be releasing their fourth studio album, entitled A Thousand Suns, on September 14. The first single from A Thousand Suns, The Catalyst, will be released August 2. Linkin Park will be touring throughout Europe in late 2010.


Matt Leone hospitalized

Posted in Music,News by Tom on July 1, 2010

Madina Lake bass player Matthew Leone is in hospital after being attacked a few days ago. According to Matthew’s twin brother/lead singer Nathan Leone, Matthew was jumped when he tried to intervene during a domestic dispute (in which a man was brutally beating his wife).  Matthew’s good deed didn’t go unpunished as he was beat and left laying unconscious on the street.

According to a post on Nathan’s Tumblr page, Matthew is in the hospital with a third of his skull removed in order to let the swelling in his brain go down. reports that Matthew also suffered a broken jaw and broken nose in addition to a fractured skull. The suspect in the attack has thankfully be arrested, but Matthew will have to wear protective head gear until his skull is fully recovered.

Pierce the Veil step it up

Posted in Music,Reviews by Tom on June 24, 2010
Tags: , , ,

I must admit, I wasn’t too ecstatic about Pierce The Veil‘s debut (sort of) release, A Flair for the Dramatic. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good album and made it onto my iPod.  The only problem I had was that it didn’t really stand out to me or strike me as new and original. I’d heard that sound before a hundred times and it had just been used so much.  There was nothing fresh or inspiring going on, in my opinion.

With all that in mind, things definitely changed with the release of their newest album, Selfish Machines. I had heard that this album was going to be a lot different but I didn’t pay much attention. After all, every band says that about every release.  I am glad to admit that I was proven wrong. I decided to give PtV the benefit of the doubt and give Selfish Machines a listen.  All I can say is I’m glad that I did.

From the album’s introduction with Besitos until the last note on The Sky Under the Sea, the album’s closer, one can immediately notice the regime change. While you can undeniably tell it’s still PtV, there is just a completely new sound to the record.  Every track on this album demands attention with its uniquely dynamic structure.  PtV have clearly experimented a lot and matured a great deal in between the two albums and it shows. The brothers Fuentes are on their game full force. Vic’s vocals sound great and renewed with both his screaming and clean vocals, while Mike’s drumming is right where it needs to be. The songs are catchy–even on first listen–and there is a sense of cleanliness about each track.

I have a feeling I’m going to have this album on repeat for a while. Selfish Machines is a much needed step in the right direction and shows that Pierce the Veil do, in fact, stand out among other bands. Some tracks do have a Chiodos-esque feel to them with the synthesizers and Vic’s voice, but they still maintain their originality. Well done, I say. I highly recommend you give this record a listen.

Next Page »