Muses by Tom


A7X – Nightmare review

Posted in Music,Reviews by Tom on August 3, 2010
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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
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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.

Summer jam

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on July 29, 2010
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So that’s it. As of today, my summer classes are over! I took my grammar final today so that is all done with, and my internship is over as well. My internship with the University Press of North Georgia was really invaluable to me. I learned so much awesome stuff that I can apply not only to my personal writing but also my professional life. This internship was great for me and will take me far.

What’s next for me? Well I have 2-3 weeks off to relax a bit before starting fall semester, so I’d better make the most of my break. When I go back it will be my final semester. I couldn’t be happier about that. In the meantime, though, I am going to  keep on writing and hopefully release something before the year is over.

I’m kicking my mini-summer off right this year by going to the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. I’m so stoked. There are so many great bands on the bill this year. It’s gonna be brutal. I also picked up the new Avenged Sevenfold record this week and hot damn! It is one awesome CD, I’ll tell you that much. They really outdid themselves–especially given the circumstances. Look for a review coming soon.

Anyways, that is all I really have to say but I wanted to update and express my joy over ending summer semester :).

Take a number

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on July 20, 2010
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So I know it’s been a while since I actually posted a personal blog here that was related to me. I’ve been busy with a lot of things and I’ve been finding my “blog niche” and keeping that on the front lines of my blogging lately. I just thought I would take a second and write about what’s going on with me, though, and let you all know what I’ve been up to. Cool?

Well since my first book got published over the winter and made it to Amazon (HUGE thanks to everyone who picked up a copy–you’re the best!), I’ve been working on some new ideas. I’m planning on my next work being a novel, or at the least, a novella. Since I starting churning out ideas though, I came to find that I had a lot more than I realized. A lot of these ideas fit together and fell nicely into my main project, but some ideas were just… unique. They were separate ideas that demanded their very own expansion and time. I of course wrote these ideas down and made something of them. Some of these ideas I feel are good enough to spend a lot more time on than originally planned. That being said, I’m re-imagining my game plan. I would like to put out one full work this time rather than a collection, but hey, who am I to say where my ideas will take me? I may wind up with a book of short stories, or I could wind up with my novella. We shall see. From a writing stand point, that is about where I am right now.  Whatever the case may be, my aim right now is to have my next work out before the end of the year.

What else? I suppose I should mention college stuff, eh? My summer classes are drawing to an end. In just nine long days, I will be free for two or three weeks before Fall semester begins. This also means my internship with the University Press of North Georgia will be over, as well. I have really enjoyed my time interning this summer. I feel like I have learned a lot of personal as well as professional skills that will take me far. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I could see myself doing this type of work post-college. Speaking of post-college, that idea doesn’t seem as far off as it once did.  I’m on track to graduate December 2010 and I am stoked. I can’t wait to be out of school. After 20+ years of school I am ready for a break. I am still debating whether or not I should go for my Masters degree, but let’s take one thing at a time. I just want to get my undergraduate degree taken care of right now.

What else? I feel like I’ve had very little summer this year. I have done quite a lot, and what I have done has been fun, but I feel like school has been my main focus this summer, which is not cool. I’m definitely going to enjoy my mini-summer vacation before classes start again. Anyways. That’s about all that I can think of right now. If there’s anything else that pops into my mind I will update, but if not this will do :).

Hope I didn’t ramble too much, and remember to come back soon for more new, crazy awesome stuff. And if you still haven’t subscribed for some unorthodox reason, DO IT NOW!

Korn is peachy

Posted in Music,Reviews by Tom on July 14, 2010
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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
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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.

Image: Altpress.com

Arizona music boycott

Posted in Celebrities,News by Tom on July 1, 2010
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Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine fame) has boycotted playing in Arizona in protest of the state’s SB 1070 legislation. This law allows police to actively seek out and question people they “reasonably suspect” to be in the country illegally. In other words, AZ is allowing racial profiling.

More than 300 artists including Chris Rock, Cypress Hill, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Rise Against, and Tenacious D have Joined Morello, refusing to play in Arizona until the legislation has been overturned.

For a complete list of the artists involved with the boycott and for more information, visit The Sound Strike‘s official website. If you feel inclined to do so, you can also sign the petition against SB 1070.

Matt Leone hospitalized

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

AltPress.com 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.

Hello, Mrs. Green

Posted in Celebrities,News by Tom on June 29, 2010
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Well it has happened– Brian Austin Green has officially become the luckiest man alive. Ever. Green and everybody’s favourite hottie, Megan Fox, tied the knot late last week in Hawaii. Green has appeared in such TV shows as Beverly Hills 90210, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Smallville. Megan Fox is of course famous for her roles in the Transformers movies and has also appeared in Jennifer’s Body as well as every guy’s dreams.

Congrats, you lucky SoB!

Steve Carell to leave ‘The Office’

Posted in Celebrities,Entertainment,News,What!? by Tom on June 28, 2010
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It has been confirmed by E! Online that Steve Carell is leaving The Office at the end of the 2010-2011 season.  Carell, who plays Regional Manager Michael Scott on the show told E! that he would not be renewing his contract when it is up next May. Regarding his exit from the show, Carell said “I just thought it was time for my character to go.” Steve’s current contract is for seven seasons, and it looks like seven seasons is all we’re going to get from Mr. Scott.

Carell seems confident that the show will do just fine without him, but I think he is the only person on Earth with that mindset. What is The Office without Michael Scott? Who can replace the World’s best boss? Perhaps Jim will be promoted from his number 2 position and become Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin? What do you guys think?

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