Artists on the Watch List - The Behrend Beacon

Artists on the Watch List

Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Author: Nate Carter (a&e editor)

Formed in Wilmington, North Carolina, hard rock outfit He is Legend has carved quite the name for themselves. The band posesses a similar style to Clutch, Monster Magnet, Every Time I Die, and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. For some, their influences have been described as indicative of the whole “stoner metal” genre. 

However, personally I’d describe He is Legend as holding on to older rock roots like Alice in Chains. They’ve released four studio albums but are most famous for their 2009 release entitled “It Hates You.” The first single from that album “Stranger Danger” was given a 90% rating by Absolutepunk.net. Another single, “China White III,” was the third addition to a three-song, album-crossing trinity that began with 2004’s “China White.”

More importantly, the band has tackled several different genres of music which include instrumental trance, hardcore, alternative rock, grunge influence, metal, and progressive rock. You can catch them locally at The Crooked I on Saturday, March 17. Some of my favorites of theirs include “Attack of the Dungeon Witch,” “Eating a Book,” “Seduction,” and “I am Hollywood.”

 

During a musical era where electronica and dubstep are beginning to reign supreme, artists like James Blake and Claire Boucher (Grimes) are capitalizing on the ability to maintain the singer/songwriter title, while still enjoying the youthful pleasure behind electronic music’s recent influence.

From Montreal, Boucher is the female vocalist and electronic arranger for all of Grimes’ material. She’s produced a total of three albums over the last three years, but this most recent album “Visions” was the first to gain serious notariety. In many ways, Grimes asserts herself as an electronic queen. Her arrangements, though rather bass-heavy, are reminiscent of Imogen Heap yet her vocals are pulled back from being central - much like Best Coast’s lo-fi release “Crazy for You.” Boucher may not break the mold instrumentally, but through electronic arrangements that seem to inform a certain naivety, she stands as original.

Pitchfork has been promoting this album like its their job to do so. After one reviewer originally gave “Visions” an 8.5, the website created a banner to advertise the album, then followed that with a Pitchfork TV profile. Boucher seemed rather child-like in the spotlight, and her music reflects that sort of naive feel. Notable tracks: “Oblivion” and “Genesis.”

 

From Richmond, Virginia, American metal masters Lamb of God have released six astounding albums - each of them with their own original redeeming qualities. Every time I’ve listened to a Lamb of God album, it was impossible to take everything in at once. The speed of their guitar is met by their agressive lyrics and vocal patterns and even during their acoustic sections, they manage to trap a certain raw anger.

When they released the album “Wrath” in 2009, the band approached their southern roots in full force with several solos reminiscent of Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde. Many critics were unsure of where the band was going as the style was a definite departure from the more on-point heaviness of 2006’s “Sacrament.” “Resolution,” in comparison to these two prior albums, also manages to stand on its own. The band reverts to a slower, pounding style of riff with tracks like “Straight for the Sun,” “Ghost Walking,” and “The Number Six.”

Having had a very promising debut with 2000’s rather unforgettable “New American Gospel” and their pinnacle album “Ashes of the Wake” in 2004, Lamb of God have managed to carry the majority of their fans through several style changes. Without a doubt, the band is leading the American metal industry yet still managing to stick to their roots.