The Myriad

June 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm (Indie Artists, Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Name:  The Myriad

Genre: Indie/Rock

Major/Indie/Unsigned: E1 Entertainment (Formerly Koch Records)/Epic Records

Album: With Arrows, With Poise

Released: 2008

Overall Rating (out of 4): 3

Musicality – This is a band that likes to challenge themselves with their music. They create interesting variations and layers to their songs, which add a delicious texture and makes the music always interesting. Also, you notice they mix with some sampled electronic sounds, but never overdo it to take away from their indie rock sound.

Singing – Jeremy’s vocals are subtle, but have a distinct character in his voice, almost a bit like Thom Yorke of Radiohead (meaning softer sounding breathy tenor vocals). I like how he doesn’t try to over sing, but has a good voice and knows how to use it. I would find it a little more interesting if he could vary his vocal dynamics and tones, just to bring some variety and liven up the vocals at times. As well, in the few tracks where they made the keyboard a focus, it really added a missing element (middle) with it’s melodies and chords. I wish the keyboards would be in more songs.

Lyrics – Their lyrics are very poetic and you need to search a little for the meanings to make sense to you (thinker’s lyrics). Even with the lyrics on a sheet, it would still take a few listens to adequately understand what “The Myriad” is saying. That’s a compliment.

Flow/Rhythm – Mellow/chill/cool/indie rock is what comes to mind when I think of “The Myriad’s” music. It’s music you would chill to, or even study to, and read a book to. I would almost think they are a slightly more rock sounding “Coldplay”. So, they do have a quieter vibe, but it works.

Freshness – It is pretty decent, but I think you need to be careful with the chill rock/alternative/indie sound. There are just so many people doing that style that you need really have some strong qualities in different areas to stand out.

Technicality/Recording – I’m not sold on the recording here. I think the engineers could have done a better job with the mixing. For example, i think most songs mix the instruments in a way that doesn’t maximize the best sound for the listener. The drum cymbals completely drown out the vocals, and the instruments cover the vocals a bit, which isn’t the greatest if you are a “lyrics” listener. But I’m just being nit-picky! All in all, great music!

Visuals – Top notch Myspace page. Excellent Youtube channel. Their homepage for the band is very good! No complaints on the online presence/marketing. The only thing is if they get twittering/tweeting, it will help them even more!

Top #2 Songs:

1. A Thousand Winters Melting (Just a great song, musically, lyrically, and it makes you feel good when you hear it!) – Unfortunately there was no video/live performance that I could find of this song. So I’ll choose a third.

2. You waste time like a grandfather clock (A great mix of rhythms, effects, dynamics, and amazing lyrics – just a compelling song; one that I would want to listen to multiple times).

2. A Clean Shot (A well balanced track, a bit New Wave-like, driving drums & bass, catchy vocals)

~ Jason Chu


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Chimaira – “The Infection”

May 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm (Major Label, Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Name: Chimaira

Genre: Groove Metal/Metal Core/Nu Metal

Major/Indie/Unsigned: Major: Nuclear Blast (2006 – present) + Indie label: Ferret Music (2006 – present)

Albums: This Present Darkness (1998), Pass out of Existence (2001), The Impossibility of Reason (2003), Chimaira (2005), Resurrection (2007)

Album: The Infection

Released: April 2009

Overall Rating (out of 4): 3.5

Musicality – For the metal genre, they play amazingly tight musically as a band. The music can be described as visceral sonic madness….but under control.

Singing – “Growling” vocal style of Mark Hunter is fit, aggressive, and you can still surprisingly hear & understand  the lyrics (I find that unusual in most heavy bands).

Lyrics – I have to admit I looked at a website to take a full look at “The Infection” album’s lyrics on each song, and I came away impressed! The lyrics that were written are poetry, dark poetry, but poetry nonetheless (Talking about darkness, pain, suffering, and life’s trials). It is very good, and the lyrics themselves stand on their own. I would google Chimaira lyrics if you don’t believe me.

Flow/Rhythm – Insane metal rhythms, with the drums frenetic energy (Kick drum crazy!), they truly create something creative and powerfully high energy! The rhythm guitars are heavy and crunchy where they need to be, and subtle/quieter where that’s needed. As well, the melodic lead parts on guitar add complexity to each song. This is a band at the top of their game, they have matured, progressed, and taken their music to the next level!

Technicality/Recording – Amazing audio recording, able to mix all the different types of sound elements together into a cohesive whole.

Visuals – Myspace page is excellent with music, tour dates, you name it. Their Youtube channel takes a slightly different angle, as it is a more of a talk to the fans site. The band talks about what’s going on with the band, products and promotions (a nice way to see the band beyond the music). Their personal website is more of a blog style with pictures, tour dates, and everything else. Finally, they do a Twitter account to follow, which can link  at the top of this review. So, in my books they got things pretty well held down on the technologic side!

Top 2 Songs:

1. Frozen in Time (Crazy heavy rhythm guitars, insane pounding drums, relentless, powerful! Killer Chimaira breakdown rhythms)

2. The Disappearing Sun (Insane drum rhythms with crazy lead guitar riffs, nice into lead into the song, I like how the song doesn’t rush into the mega heavy parts – patience in a metal song?!)

~ Jason Chu


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