Review of Beyond Violet

by L. White

beyondvioletIn traversing the globe to find great music, one must open their minds as well as their ears if you truly want to find the very best music gems hidden amongst the plethora of hopefuls in the wide spectrum of genres of music. One of those hidden gems is how I would describe Beyond Violet. Listed as Hard Rock/Goth/Pop in the genre sense, this band delivers a sound that I was not capable of really pinning down to a specific, or even three genres.

For instance, on the track “Beyond the Fire“, the music is driven by the drums of Merlijn. With Roxane‘s dark and melodic harmonizing of heartfelt lyrics. Backed by a blazing guitar with hooks and leads winding around every word. Adding solos swirling around the bass beating of Chiara and dept fingers on the keys of Ilona‘s keyboard. All together a spectacular journey down the rabbit’s hole of the story they so masterfully tell.

All band members have extensive backgrounds in every aspect of music, from concept, to writing, to recording and most of all mastering the sound that is Beyond Violet. On the track  “Cupid”, the band starts the song with a very heavy lick and beat. Adding just another touch to their diverse sound. Roxane comes in with the dark Gothic appeal to her voice range that gets low and sharp then high and equally as sharp. The timing is impeccable as the synthesized keys of Ilona come in giving it that Ministry feel of Industrial metal, but then disappear as if just a hint of something yet different. All driven by a subtle bass-line that comes in and out at all the right moments.

Beyond Violet have set the scales very high with their composition and arrangements in their music style. Having some background in music myself, I was invisioning the band through the writing process and found myself very impressed with the way they go about creating their art of music. Doing extensive background on the band, I found a very hard working band that really takes the creative level to all new highs. It shows in the music they create together. As the finished product is very melodic, very technical, but then also sounding so simple and basic, even though I know it is not in the least. That they make their sound seem easy, and it is actually the exact opposite. That is a genuinely creative genius point that is commonly referred to as the “IT” factor. Beyond Violet definitely possess this in every sense. They not only have studied music in it’s many forms and concepts, but have mastered the art that they bring forth with each track.

With the track “Cybercherry“, they manage to squeeze in so many different styles of music, yet not stray from the core of what Beyond Violet showcase as their sound. It doesn’t sound muddied with too much, and captures the essence of what the band tries to put forth. With that dark Gothic harmony, and industrial feel at times, it is a refreshing sound with that added touch of genius that draws you in. Willing you to feel the passion in Roxane‘s melodies. A perfect choice to make their official video for, as I found it the epitome of what Beyond Violet had to deliver for a sound.

I fully enjoyed the music of Beyond Violet and look forward to their full-length release later in 2012. This is a highly technical band that makes it all seem easy, as their talents and knowledge of music lets the songs flow from them freely and keep the listener entranced in the stories of their songs. A hidden gem indeed, but soon to be hidden no more as they take the music world by storm.

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Butcher Babies Album Review

Butcher Babies Heidi and CarlaI first saw The Butcher Babies, before I ever heard any of their music. My first thought was “is this a joke”?  Vocalist‘s Heidi Shepherd (the blond) and Carla Harvey (the brunette) are both former playboy models and very beautiful, they use this to their advantage on stage going topless with just the tiniest pieces of black tape covering their nipples on stage. That isn’t what this is about. This article is about their music. Which as it turns out isn’t a joke at all.

Their debut EP “Butcher Babies” track listing reads like something you would find on most Black Metal albums:

  1. Axe Wound
  2. Mr. Slowdeath
  3. Jesus Needs More Babies For His War Machine
  4. National Bloody Anthem

However the album and the band aren’t BLACK METAL at all. The girls themselves call it “SLUT METAL”, I don’t know what I personally would classify this material as. I had another DJ friend of mine say it’s a cross between STOMP ROCK and DEATH METAL. I’m not sure I would take it there but I will however say this; the first 3 tracks all have very catchy hooks (80’s style almost) and if it wasn’t for lyrical and subject matter could all easily find airplay on many radio stations (FM) across the country.

Mr. Slowdeath, is the single off the EP and is very much in your face right from the beginning. Fast paced with a very catchy hook.  I’ve found myself listening to it over and over again on my ipod.

Overall in spite of the fact that like most EP’s its very short, it’s actually a lot of fun to listen to. The girls can actually sing and for the kids there’s plenty of screaming too.

The musicianship displayed on the album is pretty good as well. Henry Flury is the guitarist, he can lay down a riff with just about anyone. The Bassist is Jason Klein and The Drummer is Chris Warner together they make one hell of a rhythm section. All together they help make Butcher Babies into “NOT A JOKE” If you have a chance to see this band live I would also recommend that.

Butcher Babies, put it all out there on stage and are a hoot to watch you can definitely tell that Shepherd and Harvey are having a blast up there on stage. Unlike some bands I have seen lately. If you aren’t into seeing half naked women playing metal though I wouldn’t go, but hey I’m a guy half naked women going just about anything is cool by me

My final thoughts on Butcher Babies; Would I buy this album… I have. Would I recommend it to a friend? I have. Would I play them on my show… I have. Do you need this album to complete your music collection? No, but it is definitely worth the money.

Butcher Babies

Butcher Babies EP

Purchase Butcher Babies