Sunday, 5 June 2016

Song Review: Icarus by Chivalry's Not Dead

For a band I randomly came across only a few days ago, it really has to be said that Chivalry’s Not Dead have really caught my attention. These dudes have brought back a lot of sounds that I have been missing over the years. To give you a quick taster of what they’re like…think old Bring Me the Horizon mixed in with For All those Sleeping. They’re also from Virginia…birthplace of Lamb of God…so metal is in the air.

This isn’t the first song that they’ve put out but I have to say it’s a good starting point for anyone looking into them. They show a great range in vocals, breakdowns and overall technique regarding song structure (I’ll get to that later). However, to get a feel for this band I’ll be taking a look solely at their song Icarus and what I’ve gathered from it.

Those First Impressions

First impressions of the lyric video…I really got a Bring Me the Horizon’s Pray for Plagues vibe. For a song that takes 36 seconds to really kick off, I feel it does with the pedal to the metal (no pun intended). There’s a serious tempo to it that builds up that moshing mojo by the time of the first chorus at 1.24. For a clean vocal chorus too the song doesn’t miss a beat. 

I also have to mention the random pig squeal at 1.44…now at first I asked myself…does this fit? Why is it here? Why are there no more? And my conclusion is this…It freaking fits because it does, does badass need an explanation?

Maybe it’s just the band highlighting the vocal prowess of Jakob Gilbreath. Considering he does open with an epic scaling scream from .36-.50…that’s a 14 second scaling scream…beanies off ladies and gents.

Now taking a look at the rest of the work in the song…it’s really hard to place what the guitar and drums give off…the best way I can describe it is this sort of well-constructed drone…now don’t get me wrong I mean this in a great way. Think of how Bullet For My Valentine sound and create an atmosphere where the drums and guitars work so well together…think about that but it’s getting you off your feet and into a flailing mood all the time. 

The instrumental sound is really hard to nail down which I’d say is pretty awesome for these dudes…not saying the vocals aren’t unique (because they’re developing a great clean/metal sound for themselves). 

Even as I write this I’m being pulled back to a lot of Bring Me the Horizon tones and maybe throw in some Suicide Silence (maybe not as brutal though) …but everything is great in my book! So again, beanies off to John Santo (Lead Guitar), James Loughran (Rhythm Guitar), Sean McLaughlin (Bass) and…news just in…new drummer Jensen Cameron!!

The Comedown

Now the song dies down at 2.50 and we could consider this the wind-down for the song. We’ve seen it all before with songs like Black Damask (The Fog) by Motionless in White, or The Power in Belief by Ice Nine Kills. These normally come as a tone down…for a build up to the next song and this has me intrigued for more songs by these dudes. 

However…this isn’t how the song ended, although there was this initial tone down right before a fade lining up the next song it all kicked off again in the same hustle and bustle angst that caught my attention in the first place.

So Why Didn't it End?

The song could easily have ended at 3.47. Considering most songs these days captivate our attention for between 2.45-3.30 minutes. With a slight fade that could have been it…but these dudes kept going and you know what? It freaking works. 

Considering the nature of the song…the lyrics “this could be the end, but I won’t let it be” keeping it going for that little bit longer worked for me. Now I know this is going really into the nitty gritty of how the song was composed but I think it’s important to realise there are upcoming bands that are doing some epic work with their music.

Lets Get Lyrical

Now taking a look at the lyrics…they follow the tale of Icarus and his fall…tying it into their own journey for starting afresh. Let’s all get a mental image of a phoenix rising…with a kick ass guitar and haircut to boot. Again pointing back that the song didn’t end after the tone-down at 3.47…the lyrics worked perfectly the song blazed on and they wouldn’t let it end…fitting yes?

For a song hopefully leading up to their debut album I think Icarus was a good choice. They’re a rising band…let’s not run before we can walk...and let’s just rock out along the way…well that’s the vibe I’ve gotten from listening to this song about….well more times than my shrink considers healthy apparently.

So let’s skip right to the cheese and say that Chivalry’s certainly Not Dead…and neither is epic music either. If you want to check out these dudes here’s linkys to their TwitterFacebook and YouTube

Other than that...I know I’m hooked after this song so stay tuned...and before I's the song itself!!!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Limerick School Comes Out on Top in Robot Wars

St Gerald’s College, Castlebar were denied their third win in a row as Villiers School, Limerick were crowned overall winners at the EA Robot Games yesterday.

Over 500 secondary school students from across Ireland took part in the competition which pits rival robots against one another in a sumo battle.

175 robots entered the competition in Dublin Castle, however, only one remained standing at the end of the day. Villiers School’s ‘Coretex’ came out victorious against St. Gerald’s aptly named ‘The Wall’. This is the first time the team from Villiers School has won the competition, stopping St. Gerald’s in their tracks for a third winning year in a row.

James Browne, one of the teachers from Villiers School helped the team build their winning robot from scratch expressed how important competition can be in helping students get involved in projects such as this.

“Each year we really look forward to taking part in the EA Robot Games competition. I think competition is a great way for our students to experience designing, manufacturing and programming robots at the cold face”

The competition was part of the Excited 2016 initiative, Ireland’s only Digital Learning Festival. It aims to showcase innovation in Irish education by bringing together teachers, students, academics and industry leaders. The Festival came to an end yesterday and featured over 1,200 participants in Dublin Castle.

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny congratulated the festival supporters and even had a few words for those involved:

“Over the last number of years I have seen the good work being done by Excited in developing our young people’s digital skills and empowering them to learn independently. The Excited Digital Learning Festival is a wonderful celebration of the talent and commitment to excellence of our teachers and students.”

If you would like to find out more about Excited you can check out their website here
Or if you're interested in robotics take a look at Robotics Ireland