Exclusive Artist Review: Custom – “V” Album

Emerging from the iconic Seattle music scene, 5-piece rockers Custom began hitting the ground running in the music realm when they first formed in 2002 by guitarist Corey Petro and quickly began acquiring a street buzz. Flash forward nineteen years and Custom is currently one of the leading voices in the vibrant Seattle scene, releasing a handful of records and performing shows at a vast array of prominent venues and events to create a big name for themselves as a band with a raw energy approach to their big guitar-driven signature sound.

Their flavor of Rock is very distinctive; utilizing elements from 80s bands like Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and Judas Priest while also diligently implementing a more modern sensibility that fits today’s more innovative Rock aura. After the widespread success of their album ‘Brace For Impact’ in 2018, Custom knew they had to follow up with a record that would do themselves justice while also raising the bar to the heights they already created – and that resulted in the band’s 2021 release ‘V’, their highly anticipated fifth studio album. If fans of the band were eager for a release that would crank up the performance and production value while still boasting that Custom signature sound they’ve been known for, then they got exactly what they wanted and a boatload more. Opening banger “King Alice” sets the tone for the record and truly hits you full force with their pounding rhythm section, beefy guitar gains and arena-style vocals that come together into one explosive sound. Vocalist David Lyon is at the top of his game on this track with his anthemic melody choices, high-range leads and distinctively executed vibratos. He leaves no stone unturned and really brings his vocal approach right to the forefront in a way that is both effective and impressionable for both old fans and new. For anyone that hasn’t heard Custom yet, this opening track will absolutely grab your undivided attention for the rest of the album’s duration.

Another notable track on this record is anchor single “Open Road”, a song with a rhythmically driving tempo and crunchy chugging guitars that really deliver the verses with punchy measures. Like the opening track, Lyon again serves up an anthemic chorus that is unwaveringly catchy and themed with clever lyrical outbursts. The wa-wa/crybaby guitar solo on this song is absolutely face-melting and several new elements are introduced on this track that really adds to the band’s overall distinctive Rock flavor. And that’s one notable factor of this record – each song brings something new to the table all while sustaining the perfect balance of consistency to give the band their own signature style that is completely their own. One more notable entry on this album is “Ten Years Gone”, a punchy tune with more subtle verses and atmospheric elements throughout the song’s structure. Lyons’ vocal harmonies in the chorus and octave-measures in the second verse are incredibly effective and showcases his vocal ability from other crucial angles. This song, just like the others mentioned, brings several new facets of the band’s songwriting structures while still maintaining their signature style that’s been made apparent since the opening track. This track is incredibly flavorful and is definitely a standout on the album altogether.

Overall, ‘V’ is an album that will definitely exceed expectations. It’s a record that balances both originality and familiarity in a way that will entice just about any listener to dive deeper into Custom’s discography and career altogether. It’s a record that has staying power, where it stays with you even long after it’s over – and you’ll definitely be coming back to it time and time again as one of your favorite releases in 2021 for the Rock spectrum. You can get your copy of ‘V’ now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and any other digital music streaming platform. You’ll be more than happy that you did.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Perdido Nino – “Fallen From The Sky” Album

Metal/Rock recording artist Perdido Nino has graced our platform before when we reviewed his previous album ‘Sparky Magnussen’s Irresponsible Effervescence’ about eight months ago – and we were completely blown away. True to form, Perdido is back with another full length banger, ‘Fallen From The Sky’, comprised of ten hard hitting tracks that encompass his uniquely multifaceted signature distinctive sound he is known for.

If you could see yourself listening to a crossbreed of Iron Maiden, Slayer and System Of a Down, then you will lose your mind to this record. Perdido, a multi musician that plays just about every instrument on this album, comes out swinging with in-your-face tour de force alongside his gain driven guitars, pounding rhythm section and multi layered high ranged charismatic vocals with perfect doses of chaotic screams and three part harmonies. Opening track “Black Shadows” is a prime example of this sound coming to fruition with a subtle ethnic acoustic guitar intro that eventually thrusts us into the metal onslaught that is Perdido Nino. Follow up track “Rising Stars” continues to unleash the fury and delivers more of the shreds, shrieks and melodically visceral vocal melodies. The double kick drum on this track is off the chain in several measures and Perdido’s distinctive finger tap leads really add character to this track along with more of his bombastic beats and blood curdling screams. He also serves up a Joe Satriani stylistic solo on this track and really adds several layers to the guitar work as the song’s duration plays out.

Another track worth mentioning is the cruising and chugging “Children Of The Moon”, a song with a boat load of vocal harmony leads with excellent chord and tempo parallels. This one is very catchy and crafty, utilizing the same signature metal formula but kicking it into high gear with well-executed guitar chugs. You’ll be thoroughly impressed with Perdido’s vocals on this song. One last song to shine a light on is the more upbeat “The Storm”, a much faster track where you can hear every music influence that Perdido harbors make its appearance with innovative implementations. This lightning fast banger is climactic and completely explosive, carrying the chaos from beginning to end with guttural screams, harmonized finger tapping and wailing tempos consisting of that furious double kick we’ve heard throughout this record deliver the fireworks. For all you true metalheads looking to raise the bar, this track will satisfy you. It’s the climax of the record – the eye of the storm!

All metal fans, no matter which era you hail from, would be insane to sleep on this record. It’s unique, distinctive, flashy and takes no prisoners when it comes to musicianship factors. All ten tracks ooze with unmatched talent and brings many classic elements to a full fledge metal sound that also isn’t afraid to explore many innovative ideas. This might be your first time hearing Perdido Nino, but after you give this record a listen, it certainly won’t be your last either. Prepare to have your mind blown to bits. You can get your copy of ‘Fallen From The Sky’ now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and all other digital music streaming platforms.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Asterous – “Asterous” EP

It’s rare in today’s modern music realm that you find a powerhouse duo quite like Vancouver’s Asterous. Comprised of two highly versatile and multifaceted musicians, this duo has recently put together a debut self-titled EP that is far beyond the industry standard. Their signature sound is heavy, in-your-face, melodic and sensual all at once in a way that is surreal and insatiably crafty; delivering a visceral experience that will have you in awe upon first listen.

With hypnotic female fronted vocals at the helm of the lead melody structures, this duo, with the male component diligently crafting every guitar riff, progression and mind-blowing shreddy leads, Asterous delivers a very innovative, dark, ominous and tranquil record that combines many crucial elements that will easily captivate old school fans of melodic metal but with today’s modern music sensibility. The songs are surreal and dreamlike. Opening track “The Fall” is a perfect example of what their signature style brings to the table. With dreamy female vocal leads and very effective 3rd and 5th harmonies paralleling the melody vocal structure, you get an immediate idea of how the tone is set throughout the record. The tour-de-force guitar leads and layers, which could even draw comparisons to some of the greats like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, are quite anthemic and beyond well executed when it comes to the chord structuring, dynamic progressions and distinctive guitar harmony leads. I admit, I wasn’t even expecting to hear something like this and even had to backtrack on this song to truly intake some of the brilliance that I was hearing throughout the track’s duration.

Another notable track is “Murder The Machine”, a bit more upbeat but still delivers all the tasty riffs and melodies we got to hear in the opening track. The deep male backup vocals bring forth an extra layer of that dark and ominous edge, and is done tastefully enough in a way where it doesn’t distract you from any part of the song. This track also has more solid shred-worthy guitar work with even some solo measures that are perfectly integrated into the song. Another notable part of this track is the anthemic piano interlude towards the end of the song, closing it out with a sense of ambience, atmosphere, and aura as if it’s finishing a chapter. Kinda of like a calm after the storm, bringing it all to a conclusion that is mysterious, beautiful and fulfilled.

EP closer “Afterthought” is a song with a beautiful piano rendition and chorus-integrated vocals that really showcase the authenticity between the Asterous duo as both musicians and creators. It’s a short but surreal song with background strings that really closes the book to the many powerful chapters we experienced throughout the EP’s duration and really leaves the listener in awe with just how versatile, climactic and wholesome this EP. This song is the soothing back rub after waking up from the dream sequences from the prior songs. The whole EP is a surreal experience and this closing track really brings you to a tranquility unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Asterous is definitely not a band to sleep on by any means. The EP has a plethora of innovation, natural talent, musicianship, artistic merit, and moods that will lift you up lighter than air due to its tranquility and nostalgic presence. Who knows what they will come up with next, but if it’s destined to be better than this EP, then my undivided attention is very ready for it. You can get your copy of the EP on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms. I promise you’ll thank us later.


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