Album Review: Erra – Neon

Erra has always been one of my favorite metalcore bands out there. When people talk about their favorites and mention the popular groups in this genre, I still have to suggest Erra for people to listen to. With the band’s change in sound and frontmen with their last record, Drift, I got reinvigorated by these changes. The previous record focuses more on melody and different sounds rather than breakdowns. The band has always gone out of their way to do more instrumentally than breakdown after breakdown, but this was a new step towards setting themselves apart from the rest of the metalcore scene. Now we got Neon, which continues the growth in this new evolution of the band.

Various sounds have experimented with instrumentally throughout the record, a staple in Erra’s sound. Most of the songs have a wide dynamic range in sounds that kept me interested throughout. Just like Drift, rhymic riffs, groovy bass lines, and nice beats from the drumming take the lead instead of breakdowns. The first two records in the band’s career had excellent melodic moments, but too many breakdowns sounded similar, especially on Augment. Here we songs that have more identity and more interesting focus. Don’t worry fans, there are still heavy breakdowns. Everything goes low in tone and is perfect to bang your head to.

With a lot of metalcore, the mix of screaming and clean singing needs to be right. Erra strikes a balance between heavy and somber unlike most bands in the genre. Jesse Cash’s cleans are beautiful along with his range. He can go soft or put in some powerful passion in his voice. Like every Erra record, he steals the show regarding vocals. JT is quite good as always. However, unlike previous vocalists, he does not utilize his range that much. Previously we would hear mid-range screams along with brutal lows and screeching highs. JT just sticks to the same mid-range sound throughout the entire record, just like Drift. I know he has the range, and I would love to hear him experiment with his voice. He keeps up with the melody and does his job, but a lot is missing from his parts. How these two vocalists team up is spectacular, especially on this album. Their voices come together wonderfully with interesting dynamics between the two.

Lyrics have always been excellent, and we can see the quality is still there. With each vocalist having powerful moments. In the mighty and imagery-filled Signal Fire one lyric says, “This bond could not be conceived without affection and faith to believe.” While in the emotional Expiate, the first verse ends with, “Where my thoughts are not friendly nor hopeful/This weak mind and body crumble.” The album is full of emotion and will hit hard with any metalhead. The lyrics have detailed imagery while having more ominous moments to let the listener think about what the song is saying. Erra has always had that mixture of detail and ambiguity.

I really do like the record, with each song standing firm on its own to the point that any song can be a single. Breach, the first song off the album, is one of the fastest and heaviest songs here. Then you can a somber ending with Ultimata. With everything in the middle having a mix of being melodic, technical, beautiful, or blunt with heaviness.

The two main issues would be JT lacking in expressing any range and the feeling that the album leans too much on the last record. While many elements are improved, and growth is shown, the record at times feels a little too close to Drift.

All in all, Erra have knocked out another great album for die-hard fans. Each song is great and stands on its own to be single material. On top of that, the album has a beautiful cover, which is always a big bonus for any solid album. With each album release, the band has room to grow in popularity and musical skill. Each member comes together to make some of the best metalcore and at times branches out of the metalcore shell by the focus being outside of constant breakdowns. This is a band I always recommend to people.

Buy the record below:

Check out tour dates for Erra here.

Image via Sumerian Records/Erra

Advertisements

Trailer Impressions: Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay Trailer Part 1

Rockstar Games is known for some unusual marketing tactics. Most companies will put out trailers and gameplay way ahead of the game’s release. Not with Rockstar who have finally released the first part in a series of gameplay trailers for Red Dead Redemption 2. The game comes out in October, and we finally got a glimpse of gameplay and what’s to come in the upcoming trailers. Rockstar has a certain level of quality that is known in the industry, and they always manage to raise the bar. Consider the bar to be built at a level that nobody thought was possible, and I am saying that after a six-minute trailer that will have other parts following it.

Much like the previous game, we will get a look at a point in history where the Wild West was becoming a modernized civilization. We will see small towns start to turn into cities and technology at a turning point that will significantly impact society. The world is becoming something much greater with the age of outlaws ending, and modern society is coming to light.

The map as any Rockstar game will be massive. We don’t get a full look at what the map size will be, but players will be able to explore a variety of small camps, towns, mountains, deserts, swamps, and more. The areas on the map will be populated with people and wildlife. Wildlife that can be friendly or deadly, which are available to hunt for money or food for your gang. The new hunting system allows players to injure an animal and track them down. Once the animal is dead, you can load the carcass on your horse and take it wherever you want to sell or feast. The animals range from prey, scavengers, and predators. These animals have their own intelligence and level of how deadly they are to hunters or other animals. The population will not just be wildlife, but people too. Rockstar is known for their excellent writing and character development, so expect to meet some rather interesting characters.

You play as Arthur Morgan, you and your gang will roam the world committing a variety of crimes. Once settled in an area, you and the gang will settle in a camp as a base. This is the place for the gang to eat, sleep, do chores, play games, share stories, and more. Each member of the gang has their own story and personality. Arthur will get to know more about each person especially if you decide to focus more on specific individuals who will reveal more about them along with new activities with your family of criminals. These individuals rely on you, so you bringing in food and doing other chores will keep morale high.

Interacting with the world is more in-depth than ever before in an open world game. A variety of button options gives the player many ways to tackle situations. You can simply say hello or compliment people passing by. Creating friendships by helping people or being friendly can happen, everything depends on the way you act. If you are feeling mean, you can antagonize those people walking by. When tensions get high, you can either talk your way out of it or make matters worse. Your words can mean a lot to people around you, but your actions do too. You can beat or threaten witnesses to stay silent. If the police are on you, then you can talk your way out of it if the situation is not too dangerous. It is up to you to make Arthur an honorable criminal or the biggest scum on the planet.

Combat is more profound than ever from hand to hand combat and shooting. Guns will have their own unique characteristics from reloading animations to how powerful the recoil is. Not much was said about melee combat, but it looked fluid and more in-depth. Unlike GTA V, which has one punch to just a few punches to knock someone down, this looks more like actual fighting. Multiple punches and other moves were used to make for a more realistic fight.

The most important thing by your side will be your horse. The functions of horses in the game are radically different and advance compared to the first Red Dead Redemption. This bond between Arthur and his horse can change depending on the treatment towards the animal. As this bond grows, the way the horse controls will evolve. Riding during intense situations will be more comfortable as this bond grows. Choosing which breed will also be necessary. Some breeds will be better for a combat-related task or another will be better suited for herding cattle. Every breed will be unique in these characteristics. Besides the horse, what you put on your horse matters. Saddles, bags, and the horses rear can be used to carry weapons and supplies such as animal carcasses.

Every time Rockstar announces a game, my expectations are set high, this time they have blown those expectations away. With this small glimpse, we will be getting their most ambitious game ever. We will be delivered a world that is alive unlike any other open world game from Rockstar, or possibly any studio. Combat looked fluid and that it will pack a punch. The stunning visuals from evolving towns, mountains, and other areas in the game look incredible. The depth of interacting with random people and your gang seems extensive enough to allow for many different experiences for players. I am beyond impressed and cannot wait to see more.

Red Dead Redemption 2 comes out October 26 on PS4 and Xbox One, you can pre-order the game below and watch the gameplay trailer below.

Header image via Rockstar Games

Interview: Tarah Who?

1. How did your band get started?

Joey Southern: Tarah G. Carpenter contacted me via Facebook messenger…

“Hi Joe, I am contacting you because I am looking for a bass player for my band Tarah Who? If you like what you hear hit me back. Have a good day! ” Tarah…

Random message seemed strange and it went unanswered for six days. The idea rolled around in my head enough and I decided to give it a listen. Two weeks later we left for a west coast tour!

Tarah G. Carpenter: Ha!! Yes..! I started the musical project Tarah Who? in 2006 when I moved to Los Angeles. I worked with a lot of musicians and producers until now. Over a year ago now, Coralie joined the band, and 6 months ago Joey joined us. Gosh! writing it down on paper seems like it has not been long enough, but after all that we have been through together, it feels like we have known each other for such a long time!
2. What inspired you to go into this genre?

JS: Always wanting to play music that makes people move. Either moshing around or just bobbing your head. The energy is contagious in a room.

TGC: I don’t really think about a particular genre of music when I write. I have a lot of emotions, and I try to transcribe them as they come out. I don’t like cheezy, happy poppy songs. If you hear us play happy pop, it is most likely a song, I wrote ironically. For instance “Little pieces” from our previous EP “Half Middle Child Syndrome” is very pop, nice, and cute. It is on purpose, to make fun of a situation I was going through at the time. A series of unfortunate events that happened one after another. Generally, I like to play fast, otherwise, I get bored, and I don’t like to hear my vocals soft and cute. I don’t consider myself a singer. I tell you my story, or I share my feelings and thoughts. It is just my way of expression. We don’t try to sound like anyone. Everything that is played is because of what the song is about.

3. Who are your inspirations that have shaped the sound of the band and how so?

CH: I joined the band a year ago. So the sound of Tarah Who? was already there, but I think that every musician has his/her own style that adds something to the music. I’ll say that Tarah Who?’s sound will always be evolving, regarding of the musicians playing in it and their inspirations.

JS: Fans on the road after gigs said, “Sounds like Motorhead with Alanis Morissette vocals!”

TGC: I grew up listening to Alanis Morissette, then I discovered Motorhead, Pantera, The Distillers, Foo Fighters, Hole, RATM etc… But like I said before, I don’t write to sound like anyone I listen to. You probably can hear similarities. Like Joey mentioned, a few people have told us after shows that we sound like “If Motorhead was fronted by Alanis Morissette!” well, yeah… NAILED IT! I don’t really hear it, but I can see why… My lyrics are very personal, and raw. The music is fast paced, in the low range … others have asked me if I like “The Distillers” which I totally do! I am totally stuck in the 90s. I like to play every note that we hear. I like it loud, raw, and full of life and energy.

4. What is the creative process your band takes when making an album?

Coralie Hervé: Tarah is writing the music and the lyrics of each song. She’s making the demos of every instrument herself. After that, she sends us the demos and some instructions about how the song should sound like and the structure of it. It’s at that moment that we add our own style, Joey and I while respecting what Tarah has in mind. It’s just amazing to let us bring our own style to her music !!

JS: Tarah gives us the intention and story behind the song. Coralie Herve and I then add our personalities into the playing and hours later we have more Tarah Who?

TGC: Yes, after working with a lot of musicians and producers in the past, I want to make sure that the essence of the song is not lost by anyone’s ego. An emotion can be easily lost when everyone starts to bring something in and then you don’t even recognize your song. I am very lucky to be surrounded by 2 professional, smart, and dedicated musicians who are open-minded, and able to listen and work at the service of the music, and the project. Coralie is an amazing drummer. I started by playing the drums as well, so it is really nice to communicate with her. I don’t have the same skills so when I have an idea that I can’t play, she can easily do it, and most of the time she adds a little Coco style to it and it sounds even better. Joey works the same way. It is hard to work with men sometimes. As a female musicians and female leader, men don’t like to be told, or they just assume that as men, they now or play better. I don’t feel this way with Joey at all. He listens, he has amazing bass skills. He has a great attitude and overall is just an amazing human being. I love working with Coralie and Joey. I love working on new songs because they don’t judge. We are in rehearsal to work on sounds and make things work, and together we can really grow. We know where we stand and we move forward together as a team. We support each other to make things work and we are comfortable enough to suggest ideas. I love these guys. Working with them, I am confident, I can rely on them and I can focus on my own sound, and write more songs:)

5. Lyrically speaking, what inspires the themes that are written about in your music?

JS: Although I feel this is better answered by Tarah G. Carpenter, I do relate to the lyrics in my everyday life of struggle and past trauma.
TGC: I mostly write when I am hurt. So it is usually personal, but I write in a way that anyone can relate to the story. I like to live on a “put yourself in their shoes before criticizing their choices or lifestyles” basis. I write my stories, and everyone can relate or feel touched, maybe people can be kinder to each other.
I also write when events touch me. For instance, “Sirens” (“Half Middle Child Syndrome” EP) is about the Paris attacks, “14 Months” (“Federal Circle of Shame” EP) is about a story that I have heard on the news about a mother who had drowned her 14 months old baby… So yeah.. could be anything or anyone, but It is usually a feeling of anger or sadness.

6. Competition in any music scene is high, so how does your band stand out compared to other bands?

JS: Staying true to ourselves while entertaining and creating a raw mix of rippling energy in any room.

TGC: I agree with what Joey says. We are not trying to be someone else. The only thing that we can do is to be who we are. So that is what we do. We believe in our music and we have fun doing it. I personally do not have time to compare myself with others. If anything, we love meeting other bands because we are all doing the same thing. If anyone feels threatened then they are not playing music for the right reason. If you believe in your art and what you have to say, it is your own. No one can steal that from you. If anyone tries, It is not authentic anyway and it is not going to last. You are correct, there is a lot of competition.. but to me, it’s not competition, it is insecurity. and that … truthfully, it is not my problem.
One of our last shows in Brooklyn, at tender trap, was a great example of what the music scene should be everywhere: SUPPORTIVE BANDS: bands that share their gear, bring people for everyone (not just their set), bands who spend time in rehearsal studios so that their shows sound tight. Band who spend time writing songs and not copying other bands! Every band that played at tender trap that night had their own sound, was effin’ tight! and super cool! We had a blast! This is how the music scenes should be EVERYWHERE!

7. What is your dream tour? Name however many bands you want to create the perfect tour.

CH: My dream tour will be a World Tour! I just want to travel to discover the world, the different cultures of each country, so interesting! And so much fun to do it with Tarah and Joey!
For me, I would love to play with Nightwish, my favorite band of course! haha

JS: Tool, The Missing Men, Tarah Who?

TGC: Dream tour… mmm. I would love to play Big rock festivals around the world. What I am working on right now is to play halftime of Roller derby shows. I would love to tour and meet all the roller derby teams! I think it would be fun!
Bands: The Distillers. I wish we would have played with Motorhead…, I think that it would be fun to play with the Foo Fighters and Dead Sara.

8. If you went into a completely different style of music, what would it be?

CH: I would actually love to play musicals. I always love it and that would be amazing to play in one.

JS: I would play Bluegrass.

TGC: Oh boy! I would most likely stop playing the guitar and only play Bass and drums in different bands. For drums, I would probably end up in a progressive rock, punk, noise band and for bass.. well … actually probably the same lol!!

9. If you can collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?

CH: Tarah sent us, not a long too long ago an interview of Linda Perry and Kerry Brown, the founders of We are Hear. It was mind-blowing! I learned a lot! Very true and accurate about the music business today. It would be amazing to work with them for Tarah Who?

JS: I would love to collaborate with Mike Watt. A living legend and I see him play around town as much as possible.

TGC: I am pretty lucky because I have collaborated with 2 people I really wanted to collaborate with! Jason Orme, (guitar player for Alanis Morissette) who co-produced our last ep “Half Middle Child Syndrome” and who is co-producing our upcoming ep “64 women” and Thomas Lang, who we have had the chance to record the drums with, at his studio. I really like working with Jason. He is a great musician, but also working with him in the studio is very easy. Jason makes us feel comfortable and we really like how the songs turn out. I would also love to meet Kerry Brown and Linda Perry one day, and see what they think of Tarah Who?

10. Where would you like to travel to that you have never been?

CH: I would like to go to Asia. I have never been but I really want to discover it one day.

JS: Yes Coralie Herve!!!! Southeast Asia, in particular, would be my preference. We will be in Europe next year otherwise that would have been my first choice.

TGC: Australia, New Zealand, Africa, South America.

11. What is a goal that you would like to see happen in your career?

CH: Just want to continue playing music !!! To inspire people with Tarah Who?’s music to do what they believe in, whatever it takes.

JS: Small everyday goal is to make people react. Dance, mosh, smile, laugh or even just think. Big goal is to be able to support my family who has given me the support I needed along the way.

TGC: Inspire people to be more loving and understanding towards each other. I would love to have people come to our shows with one purpose only: to have fun and Rock out.

You can check out more about the band via their website and you can buy their music below to support the band:

 

10 Best Scenes in Already Excellent Movies

It is one thing to pick out some great movies, but it is another to pick out your favorite scene. If you have loved a movie so much that if someone wanted you to choose the best scene, it would take some time. While some films will be easy, others may not be. These are scenes that stand out more than any other moment. It might be the protagonist having their pinnacle moment, the climax, or just a great action scene. No matter what the tone is these are scenes that make the best films even more memorable. When you discuss with your friends about the movie, you can point out that one scene that will make everyone smile as they go through the scene in their heads. With that said, here are ten best scenes in already excellent movies.

#10: American Psycho – Hip to be Square

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/Lionsgate Films)

My favorite scene in American Psycho is when Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) lures a business associate Paul Allen (Jared Leto) into his apartment. He makes sure Paul is drunk, so he does not pay attention as Patrick prepares to murder Paul. Patrick is dancing around the apartment giving facts about the music he is playing with such charisma. His unexpecting victim just sits there listening along to him ramble on about each track. Paul has some suspicion as he sees Patrick put on a raincoat. Once his guard is down again after a new song is put on, Bateman gets Paul’s attention right before butchering him with an ax. Bateman turns friendly host to a screaming lunatic. Bale’s performance from charismatic host to a psychotic killer to casually smoking to relax is incredible. We see many sides to his character and we get to learn about his favorite tunes. Remember, it is hip to be square.

#9: Shaun of the Dead – Girl in the Garden

(Scene via Fandango MovieClips/Universal Pictures)

One of my favorite movies and the movie I have seen the most out of anything is Shaun of the Dead. A hilarious zom-rom-com that is full of excellent scenes, but there is one in particular that is truly excellent. When Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) confront a girl in the garden whom they think is drunk. The scene is full of great moments from Ed grabbing a camera to take a photo of the girl trying to eat Shaun’s face or the climatic impalement, this scene is golden.

#8: Let Me In/Let the Right One In – Pool Climax

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/Magnolia Pictures)

I am aware that this is two movies. However, both have the exact same scene in the final act. As the bullies try to kill Owen/Oskar (Kodi Smit-McPhee/Kare Hedebrant) in the school pool, his vampire friend Abby/Eli (Chloe Grace Moretz/Lina Leandersson). The scene is brutal and tense. Watching the scene, you are eager for Owen/Oskar (depending which adaption you are watching) to be saved by Abby/Eli. The main difference is the Swedish version is more violent. You see a severed head and arm while you only see some blood in the American version. Either way, it is an excellent conclusion to a compelling drama about these two characters as they develop their relationship. Yes, it is a much better love story than Twilight.

#7: Get Out – Betrayal

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/Universal Pictures)

Everything feels off throughout Get Out. You don’t quite know what to expect, but Rose’s (Allison Williams) family is no good. However, the film lends you to believe that she has to be on the same side as her boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya). We get the signal by her phone call his Chris’s friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery). Rose is cold and calculated with her words as she tries to throw off Rod. Allison’s acting in this scene is phenomenal. Her voice evokes so much emotion, but her face is as blank as can be. This shows how she is just as crazy as the rest of her family. Towards the end of their call, we see the rest of her family sitting by watching the call take place. The haunting twist just goes to show how unsafe the entirety of the film really is.

#6: Alien – Chestburster

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/20th Century Fox)

If you read the 10 Shocking and Brutal Movie Moments list I wrote a few weeks ago then you know that I love this iconic scene. Not only that we see the aftermath of the facehugger that was attached to Kane (John Hurt), but we see the genuine horror on the cast’s faces. Yes, that is right, the cast was truly horrified at what they experienced. Ridley Scott did not tell them what was going to happen. There were some hints to guide the cast on how to act out the scene, but the chestburster was placed as a surprise. Horror movies should scare the audience, but if they scare the cast too then, that is an added bonus along with saying a lot about the film itself.

#5: No Country for Old Men – Coin Flip

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/Miramax Films)

Believe it or not, I recently saw No Country for Old Men. One scene that struck me despite nothing happened, and you might say it is a bit of a throwaway. However, there is a lot of power behind it. Yes, that is the gas station scene in which we see Anton (Javier Bardem) talking to the gas station attendant (Gene Jones). The conversation is full of tension and shows the audience how menacing and odd Anton is as an antagonist. He tries getting the gas station attendant to call the coin flip, whether it is heads or tails. Just a simple conversation about a coin flip makes for one of the most powerful scenes in the entire movie, and one of my favorites of all time. The dialog is brilliantly written along with Gene and Javier’s performances. This is a classic scene and shows how much Javier Bardem owns this film. So, would you call it?

#4: 10 Cloverfield Lane – Dinner Time

(Scene via FandangoNOW Extras/Paramount Pictures)

This has to be one of the most intense movies I have ever seen. The first time seeing the second film in this sci-fi anthology series had me on the edge of my seat and sweating the entire time. As Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) have a cautious dinner with their eccentric host, Howard (John Goodman), things turn dangerous. The whole scene is quiet, awkward, and tense. Emmett tries his best to lift the mood before Howard shutting him down. There is a growing tension during dinner. Michelle is not here willingly and finds this to be the perfect moment to make for an aggressive move to escape. The scene is methodically paced with an immense build-up to one of the several attempts Michelle makes to escape from Howard’s bunker.

#3: Saving Private Ryan – D Day

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/Dreamworks)

A debate can be had for the best war movie of all time, but no matter who you talk to, they will mention Saving Private Ryan. The audience gets one of the most realistic looks what how brutal, and awful war truly is. Right at the start of the film, you see the invasion of Normandy. Regarding film, this is one of the greatest battle scenes of all time. Due to the real history, this makes for a depressing realization at the same time as you enjoy the wonderfully choreographed battle that is extremely gory. People lose their limbs, set on fire, get exploded, and so many more gruesome deaths are compacted into one major battle. You get a sense of tone for the film by the realism and know what you are getting into right away.

#2: Silver Linings Playbook – Diner Date

(Scene via Fandango Movieclips/The Weinstein Company)

While Silver Linings Playbook is fantastic, there is not a scene better than Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawerence) at the diner. The two start to have a calm conversation, but their personalities crash into a heated argument. Tiffany explodes after a comment made by Pat that makes things go from bad to explosive. The writing and acting in this scene is superb as these two mentally ill people clash against one another. While Bradley is phenomenal here, we get one of the best performances in Jennifer’s career.

#1: Pulp Fiction – Tasty Burger

(Scene via Miramax Films)

Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers, but Pulp Fiction is his best, I will fight anyone on that, even though most would not argue. Every scene with Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) is absolutely gold. While picking either their car ride conversation involving McDonald’s or everything that goes down in the apartment that they must retrieve the briefcase from is difficult, I had to go with the apartment. With Samuel L.’s memorable monologue, the bullets being shot at Vincent and Jules somehow missing, and Samuel L. having that tasty burger, how can anyone complain about this part of this Tarantino classic? All I want is to try that burger that Jules loved so much.

Each movie here I love to death along with these scenes. Ranging from the dramatic, brutal, comedic, or just flat out explosive, these are arguably some of the greatest scenes in cinema history. With that history, there are thousands of terrific movies with some excellent moments in them. Comment below some of your favorite scenes from movies you love.

Header via Lionsgate Film

News: Kraven the Hunter Standalone Film Moving Forward

Sony is about to kick off their start to their own Spider-Man universe with VenomThe Hollywood Reporter broke the news about this universe and that there are some movies lined up in the future after Venom. Some have been taken off the schedule such as Silver & Black, a would have been team up between Silver Sable and Black Cat. Even though it may seem that this universe is up in the air, just recently a report came that one of Spidey’s most notorious villains is getting is a standalone movie, Kraven the Hunter.

The film is moving forward, but not much is known. Just recently Collider reported that Richard Wenk from The Equalizer 2 will be writing the script for the project. Hot off of the success of this sequel, earning an opening weekend of $36 million, which is $2 million more than the first film back in 2014.

Sergei Kravinoff, aka Kraven the Hunter, is a literal hunter whose Moby Dick is our web-swinging hero, Spider-Man. He has been featured across comics, video games, and the animated series. For fans of the comics and other properties, he has made an appearance in should know him best. He is one of the most well known and beloved villains across the many excellent villains that Spidey has faced.

The main issue is Venom. The trailers keep getting some mixed reactions from fans and people in the industry. Nobody knows how the overall quality will go down. The film is set to release this October, but not even a rating has been given to the film. A PG-13 rating would be the safe bet to get in as many seats as possible, however, rumors have been going around for over a year about an R rating. The adult rating could pay off since people have been aroused by that idea, plus it has worked for Fox with Deadpool and Logan. If Sony goes in a darker route, then they would be taking a bigger risk, but nothing is certain about the possibility of failure or success until films are released, and we see the box office numbers plus the review scores. Until then, we will have to keep our eyes peeled for any updates from Sony.

While all the weight in the world for this possible universe is on Venom, anything can happen if it is a success. Comment below of what you think. Do you think this universe that Sony has built up is a good thing? How do you feel about the possibility of Kraven getting his own film? Also, what do you think of the upcoming Venom? Discuss whatever you want about this universe and this news below.

Image via Marvel Comics

 

Song Impression: Behemoth – God=Dog

The Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth has been riding high years. Since the last record, The Satanist, which came out in 2014, fans wondered when we will be getting the new record. After all, critics and fans alike loved The Satanist, the band’s tenth album. Not many bands get to a point where arguably their best album is something that comes out so late in their career. Now the band has released the title of the new album, I Loved You at Your Darkest along with the first single, God=Dog.

The track has a rhythmic and groovy sound to start off. It gave me a false sense of safety before the traditional Satanic brutality that is Behemoth. The speed quickly picks up with faster, but still maintaining a nice rhythm with the guitars and bass, while the drums are firing like a machine gun. This makes for an intense instrumental intro that gives a dominant start to the song before the first verse.

As the speed continues, we get Nergal guides us into the first verse. His screams are brutal and in moments he starts talking in a haunting tone. During those moments of speaking, an operatic voice can be heard adding to some atmosphere to these words, “The holy river Ganga flowing through my muddled hair. In the ancient times before I learned ov who I am.” His voice just adds to the level of power and horror to his words. With lyrics such as, “There’s serpent coiling around my neck,” and “If I am a missing link between the pig and the divine. I shall cast the pearls before the swine,” Nergal shows he has not lost a beat in writing excellent lyrics to continue his statement about religion.

Halfway in the song, you get to catch your breath after the first verse. Short bursts of the guitar as the drums halt to slower pacing lends itself to some contrast from the relentless verse. Now that you caught a few breaths of air, it is time for the band to grab you by the throat through the rest of the song.

The second verse starts with the same horrific voice and singing in the background as he says, “I am no good shepherd on an ox. But a solitude ov the loneliest star,” before going back to gruesome screaming.

The most disturbing aspect comes in the last verses. As Nergal screams one sentence, children repeat after him. Having a choir of children to stand by him as they say things such as, “Is a God to live in a dog? No!,” and “Jesus Christ, I forgive thee not!”

Before the last verse, we get an excellent solo with added chaos from the other instruments. This is a nice break that shows more contrast to the chaotic track. There is some peace with the destruction that adds a level of complexity to the song.

God=Dog is an excellent way to introduce fans to the new record. We don’t hear a ton that is too new for the group, but we get hints of their further evolution here and there. The song is evil and relentless throughout. During slower moments of the song, you never feel safe as you should feel during a Behemoth track. Fans of Behemoth will get everything and more with the new track that came along with a brutal music video full of nudity, violence, and evil religious symbolism that make Behemoth’s message still stand strong.

Comment below on what you thought of the new track and if you are excited about the new album. I Loved You at Your Darkest comes out on October 5. You can listen to the new track and pre-order the new record below:

Header image via Nuclear Blast

10 Brilliant Psychological Movies That Will Ruin Your Day

With film, the audience can go through a series of emotions. Horror will scare you, comedies will make you laugh, a thriller will get your adrenaline pumping, but it can be so much more. A filmmaker can set their eyes for a genre for their film and make it so much more. With giving the audience twists, ambiguity, or an elaborate plot to follow, they can make a movie that will mess with the minds of their audience. These feelings can give a film another level that opens up for discussion as the moviegoers leave the theater to talk amongst themselves about their experience. You might feel confused, shocked, or unsure of what to think after watching a movie that took you on a psychological trip. Out of the many films that will ruin your day by how much your mind will be messed with, here are just ten movies that will make you think and struggle with what you experienced.

SPOILERS AHEAD

#10: Mother! 

Darren Aronofsky is known for making some unusual movies that will confuse the audience. His latest film from last year was one of the most divisive films of 2017. A young couple gets visited by some strangers then more people come to their home who are fans of the husband (Javier Bardem). His wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and his lives are disrupted by hundreds of more people flocking to their home. By the end, I had to google the meaning behind the movie as you go through a chaotic and confusing journey. Once I found the answer, it all made sense and goes along with the themes in Aronofsky’s other work perfectly.

 

mother_intl_uk-quad_sept15_s.jpg
Image via Paramount Pictures

#9: Gone Girl

David Fincher’s adaption from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is excellent. Nick Dunne’s (Ben Affleck) wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing one day. The police investigate and start to suspect Nick of killing her and disposing of her body. However, what really happens is far darker than imaginable. Amy faked her death to get her husband to be put on death row. Nick lawyers up and tries to battle it out. This all-out war between two sociopaths who were in love and now want the worst for one another is an incredible psychological journey. As the audience learns about Amy and Nick, you see a side of psychopathy that you don’t usually see in a film. Both of them are awful people destined to be together. As you learn about their characters, you will get to see evidence that shows which one is the real monster. Full of some dark twists and powerful moments, this is a must watch. Maybe don’t watch this with your significant other.

 

Gone-Girl_2014.jpg
Image via 20th Century Fox

#8: American Psycho

I would say that this is Christian Bale’s best work ever. Patrick Bateman is a full-on psychopathic serial killer while maintaining his job as a successful investment banking executive. You are viewing the entire film through his eyes which will make you question reality. His words and actions are sometimes ambiguous, but other times direct to the people around him. As everything you witness is not quite right as you see the truth behind his psychosis. With the reveal that all of the murders were inside his head, the twist is one of the best in cinematic history. For decades after the book and even the movie, fans wanted answers. Did he ever kill anyone? Is he really a psychopath? Those I will leave to you to go explore for yourself.

 

its-definitely-not-all-in-his-head-1502818850
Image via Lionsgate Films

#7: Prisoners

Dennis Villeneuve is on a roll with hits such as Sicario and Arrival. Right before those came out, he released Prisoners, an underrated drama involving two families whose youngest daughters go missing. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) must find the girls while trying to keep the families as calm as possible. His main worry is the father of one of the families, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) who is on the brink of insanity for his missing daughter. He kidnaps whom he thinks took his child, Alex Jones (Paul Dano) and brutally tortures him for days. All the while, the real kidnapper is loose. This reveal of who really did it is excellent, but not the final punch to the audience with its ambiguous ending that leaves Keller’s fate up in the air. Prisoners is a brutal, slow-paced, and emotionally draining film. If you love Villeneuve’s style then you must watch this film, it is easily his best work yet.

 

Prisoners-Jake-Gyllenhaal-and-Hugh-Jackman.png
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

#6: Shutter Island

While many tend to dismiss Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, I love it. This is one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best movies, and it will scramble your brains. As Teddy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) search for a missing patient at a mental asylum on an island. The reveal of Teddy being a patient the whole time had my friend and I jump out of his couch as we scream at the TV. The hospital tried an experiment to help Teddy get better by having him live as this detective. With the ambiguous ending and subtle clues as to Teddy’s psychological issues makes for an excellent film that many did not like. Shutter Island will be divisive amongst readers, but for those of you that loved this movie, this was for you.

 

MV5BOWY3NWI4YTUtMDRhZi00NWYzLWExMDYtMTU1MzI1NGUyZDRhL2ltYWdlL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDAxOTExNTM@._V1_.jpg
Images via Paramount Pictures

#5: Ex Machina

While the story of AI getting so advanced that it creates evil robots is not original at all. In storytelling, it does not require to be completely original. Alex Garland’s directorial debut and adaption of the graphic novel of the same name as the film is an excellent debut to the director’s chair. With being the writer and director, he has been able to craft a chilling narrative of a young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) who gets to come to the CEO of his company’s home. When he meets Nathan (Oscar Isaac) things seem normal until he starts talking to Ava (Alica Vikander). The film’s ending is no huge surprise, while still delivering on an impactful conclusion. What makes this film most impactful is the ominous feeling with Nathan. Things feel wrong at all time. While any actual action or suspense comes from the last fifteen or so minutes, you feel uneasy about the entire movie. The setting of isolation and the eccentric CEO makes Caleb uncomfortable until he finds out the truth, which is more horrifying than he thought resulting in an utter disaster.

 

3086769cfa36c94d625e958981bfc6901c2d116dbd80fb864e067e333ba56542-770x443
Image via Universal Pictures

#4: Inception

One of Christopher Nolan’s most beloved and well-known films is Inception. In the dream world, just about anything is possible. Seeing buildings fold in on themselves and rooms spinning as people fight, this movie is a trip to watch. The ending has caused people to debate, unlike any other film I can think of. To this day I hear people discuss whether the conclusion was a dream or not. Of course, answers can be found online, but it is always a lot of fun to discuss what happened in a movie when everyone’s perception is entirely different.

 

inception-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000.jpg
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

#3: Arrival

Dennis Villeneuve is on this list again for his next best film, Arrival. A beautiful and thought-provoking film that delivers something different for the alien invasion subgenre. Humans around the world are reacting differently. Some countries are aiming their tanks to fire at the alien ships, while others try to communicate with them. The film has a typical Villeneuve ambiguous ending as he hones in on his style as a director. Most movies with a message tend to be too direct, but Arrival will have you thinking for a while as you digest the conclusion. If you are looking for an intelligent sci-fi flick, this should be your number one choice.

 

arrival
Image via Paramount Pictures

#2: Annihilation

Alex Garland’s second film that he has directed came out earlier this year. Annihilation is adapted from the first novel in the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. When promoting the movie, Alex says he is “adapting from the unadaptable” which makes sense based on the ambiguous ending. I can only imagine reading this whole trilogy and trying to figure out what happens. While Annihilation can be followed along, the last twenty minutes or so will lose you. Sadly, the internet is all I have to understand this film since the box office performance was weak, so don’t expect the whole trilogy to be made. If you read my review, then you would know how much I loved this gorgeous sci-fi flick.

 

ann2
Image via Paramount Pictures

#1: The Shining

While Stephen King may hate the film adaption of his classic novel, many including myself see The Shining as one of Kubrick’s best movies. The film is a slow grind to see Jack (Jack Nicholson) spiral down to madness, while his wife Shelly (Wendy Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd) must suffer. Full of weird imagery such as people in animal costumes having sex and elevators spewing out blood, this might be the most mind-boggling classic ever made, at least it is up there. On top of the constant confusion, the ending which shows a picture of Jack from an old photo gives the audience one last image to make them rethink everything that they just saw. Try deciphering this one, it will be a challenge.

 

landscape-1476894180-landscape-1476805400-tumblr-raoys-the-shining-30920004.jpg
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Those were just ten of the many confusing movies out there. What did you think of my list? Also, be sure to comment what you find to be movies that will scramble your brain and make you think long after you have finished the film.

Header image via Warner Bros. Pictures