The Final Riot! proves that Paramore is more than just a pretty face and voice. The band is a tight force, with guitarists Josh Farro and Taylor York, bassist Jeremy Davis and drummer Zac Farro forming a solid foundation for each of the songs here. Hayley Williams shows that she is a good front person, with lots of interaction between her and the audience, coaxing them to sing along and make noise at just the right times. While these factors must’ve made for a great live show, they don’t necessarily make for a great live album. It was recorded well, but perhaps could have benefited from some of the “cheating” that the great live albums of old have done (can you say, “overdubs in the studio?”). Many of the moments that audience members who were there remember about the show, like when they sang along to counter-verses or choruses, weaken this listening experience. Even when the audience joins in loudly, which is few and far between, Hayley Williams does a better job with the vocals than the folks at Chicago’s Congress Theatre did. The best songs on Final Riot turn out to be the ballads, since we hear all the vocals clearly and the mic isn’t shared with the crowd. The best part about this package, of course, is the DVD disc, which mixes the 40 Days With Paramore tour documentary with a well-lit, nicely-shot visual concert performance. While the editing choice of mixing the two was interesting, it’s a questionable call, because some of the material is anti-climactic, like the band discussing at length the challenge of how to open the show, which comes after we’ve already seen the solo-followed-by-dueling guitar intro. Oh well, as a fan of Paramore, there’s no way I wasn’t going to pick this album up and, in spite of its flaws, I’m very glad I did. And, after all, one of the viewing options is concert-only, so you can avoid the interruptions.
At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.Full Feature More from Atreyu
With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.Full Feature More from Imperial Triumphant
When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.Full Feature More from Guardian
Death metal is no longer strictly a one-kind-of-sound genre but a cloud under which many elements have formed. We have assembled five must-hear death metal acts you should be listening to now, each distinctly set apart from another in form, yet still brethren in the death metal community.Full Feature More from In-Conquered