MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Emmanuel Dalmas – a natural ear for a good melody!

Emmanuel Dalmas is a multi-genre music composer from the South West of France. A company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry he started composing in late November 2016 as a weekend hobby, and continued feeling an intense growing pleasure in learning more and progressing in music composition. Dalmas has since been consolidating both his craft and catalog, with a series of single releases that move between Pop, Easy Listening, EDM, as well songs in his native French tongue. From his home studio Emmanuel produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his

J-Carter: “Time to Shine” is more than quality flows, rhymes, and beats

J-Carter is based out of New Jersey. Motivated by a plethora of hip-hop artists who have appeared on the scene during the past 30 years, Carter began his musical journey by writing lyrics at the age of 13. “Time to Shine”, his debut album, has been in the works for nearly 2 years now. “And now it’s here to hopefully shed light on all aspects of the world we live in,” says J-Carter. The Deluxe version of the album includes 19 tracks and features Cateasha Carter, Jasmine Carter, Aaron Carter, Jacee Carter and Janiya Harris. “Time to Shine” is a

Vacant Image: “Before 12” – surprises at every turn

Vacant Image’s debut album “Before 12” is an engaging record, filled with carefully crafted hooks disguised as bridges and transition. It sounds like the brutal, beautiful result of the band being passionate enough to rip each of our heads off.The eleven track album captures the inimitable essence of the band the thing that makes any heavy rock album that sounds prettier than its peers, a truly new metal sound that’s grungy sensual without resorting to shoegaze tropes, aggressive and unconventionally alternative in a way that never suggests predation or regressive machismo. Synaesthetically speaking, it’s a smear of pink, purple and black, a kiss that bites down on your lip to draw blood.

By no means did Vacant Image invent the idea of combining brutality and beauty in metal, although they are ahead of the curve. Nothing short of a name change will likely convince skeptics at this point, but “Before 12” proves that Vacant Image can be vital as they are relevant.

When so much rock music in 2016/17 feels dead, vapid, and recycled, here comes an album so vividly alive and inspired that it could turn even the most curmudgeon digital doer into a worshipper of the guitar once again. “Before 12” arrives at a time of a pervasive aesthetics-over-substance trend in rock, where everything sounds so perfect, so calculated, so pleasant (the inevitable product of our digital recording age).

On the surface, a shitty song can be masked in beautiful production and still be a beautiful song as long as it hits the desired mood, sonically. Vacant Image is the antidote to this, just listen to the calculated wild abandon on songs like “Mister Bell” and “Petals”. It comes down to basic artistic direction: Write killer songs that work on their own terms, then let the recording process accentuate those songs and color them aesthetically — not the other way around.

And killer songs abound here, from “Mister Bell” and “Saving Sold Souls”, to “Ladies and Gentleman” and “Broken Blues”. But this album surprises at every turn, seamlessly transitioning from contemplative quietude, into manic chaos on a whim.

All the while meshing their tried-and-true, alternative metal aesthetic, with as many elements of different genres as they can. In the hands of a lesser artist, it’d be mere pastiche. Vacant Image makes the sound their own. For those looking for a metal album to passively enjoy, though, “Before 12” has you covered—this album goes hard when it wants to.

Piecing together Josh Vanek’s (Vocals/Guitar) lyrical motifs is an abstract exercise, much like his words themselves. He’s a master of impressionistic symbolism — words that project a mood more than just any literal meaning.

The tracks here are almost all textural masterpieces, with guitars layered into a swell of audio orgasm, provided by Chris Sheppard (Drums) and Andrew Gilbert (Bass). Where they go from here is anybody’s guess, but in this moment, Vacant Image is perhaps the most important rock band in the dark indie underworld and a calm reassurance for guitar bands everywhere as we continue into an uncertain digital music future.

The Vacant Image debut album ‘Before 12,’ is available on the bands web-store (VacantImage.bigcartel.com ), iTunes, Google Play, Amazon,
Spotify and more. Follow the band on Facebook.

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