Nickelback - Wet Paint (2011 Advance) - This amazing musical work is not supposed to debut for about three months, but someone got it out early. I cannot honestly believe how good this sounds. Songs like “To Love and To Cherish” are so mindblowingly beautiful and catchy that I just can’t get over myself. The band has incorporated blast beats, a great deal of prog, and some amazing symphonics. In the song “This Old Chair”, I believe I might have even heard Emperor frontman Ihsahn on vocals in a few portions.
There’s also a song called “Flowers Of Rain” in which Michael Akerfeldt duets with Chad Kroger so perfectly. I also believe that I might have heard Petrucci doing some guitar work on that track, and even Mike Portnoy in drum duties on “Silver Monuments.”
In all my life, I never thought that black metal, prog metal, and death metal could work so well together, with Chad’s amazing vocals that no man on this earth could even come close to. Not only will this album be a hit for the general media, but for metalheads everywhere that would’ve never believed that guitarists like Dave Mustaine and Alexi Laiho could duet together on songs like “Rock and Rollin‘.” I think even Steve Vai is heard somewhere in this amazing cacophony of sound.
This has to be one of the most refreshing and beautiful albums I’ve ever heard. If only Ronnie James Dio could’ve lent his vocals to this album, it would’ve made it even more of a masterpiece. I humbly urge every single member on this board to buy this disc, which could topple Master Of Puppets, as one of the best albums of all time.
In Yngwie Malmsteen’s track “Just One Man and A Guitar”, I swear I haven’t heard playing this good in several years. I mean, the man has really been practicing. This is an absolute splendor, and it’s worth a hundred dollars just for this track alone.
Don’t think that I’ve forgotten anyone. There’s a blistering death metal track on this album, in with Chad Kroger’s vocals work well with Cannibal Corpse frontman, George Fisher, and Deicide frontman, Glen Benton. This wonderful track is called, “The Scars Of My Heart.”
There’s simply something for everyone here, and Roadrunner has done it again. Remember, they are the best metal label in the entire world, and all metal artists should strive for nothing more than the mere want to be signed by them.
OVERALL: 78:00 OF QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST ALBUM I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. WET PAINT IS SIMPLY A NEW START IN NICKELBACK’S METAL CAREER. I HONESTLY CANNOT WAIT FOR THE FULL RELEASE, AND AM BEGINNING TO AUCTION OFF BODY PARTS IN ORDER TO AFFORD THE DELUXE EDITION OF THIS ALBUM, WHICH WILL CONTAIN A TUBE OF BLOOD AND STOOL SAMPLES FROM EACH OF THE GUEST MUSICIANS ON THE DISC. I WILL USE THEM TO CLONE MY OWN ARMY OF SUPER MUSICIANS, WHOSE POWER I WILL USE TO CONTROL THE ENTIRE WORLD. IT WILL BE WELL WORTH THE 3.4 MILLION DOLLARS THAT THIS DELUXE EDITION WILL RETAIL FOR ONLINE.
Yeah, that’ll be the day, right? Still, it must’ve been pretty convincing. Now, on to the real reviews. I’m going to start with Japanese legends Boris, and even throw in some new Ulver…and that is not a joke.
Boris - New Album (2011) - Boris has once again refined their style of progressive experimental J-Metal with something even I couldn’t have guessed. This one is just the first of many releases coming from the band this year, following last years release of their so called “Greatest Hits” album with a few new recordings of old songs. “Attention Please” and “Heavy Rocks” (I’m guessing a re-recording or remaster of Heavy Rocks, since I have the original 2002 album) will be upon our shores soon as well.)
For someone who is unfamiliar with Boris, you would have to imagine them as a heavier and much more bizarre form of j-pop, using elements that our culture would probably never believe works together. Even our indie experimentalists in this country would shake their heads at this stuff. The band started playing doom/sludge, and now has evolved into something quite uncanny, making music more of a laboratory experiment, instead of a mere straightforward one genre approach.
This album is filled with electronic influence, as well as what I would describe as more of a punk-rock / metal fusion. The formula uses electronics, classical instruments, and guitars as well as very garage style drumming and symphonics with either male or female clean vocals to make this album something very stellar, different, and melodic. For instance, “Spoon” features a very heavy nature with soft j-pop (but not the campy j-pop) female singing in it in a style that you wouldn’t think that works, but does.
At a 45:00 playing time, “New Album” is a very bold statement for the band, because this is truly something new and different. Boris has never sounded better, and only seems to get better with age. Also, I think these guys got some mainstream support, with their song “Flare” being used for a popular Japanese Anime theme, which I believe is “Bleach.”
Though, I am not sure. If you know, let me know. I’m trying to figure out where in the hell I heard that song “Flare” before I heard it on this album. I checked out every theme on my 100 GIG anime collection, and couldn’t find it. Thought it was Air Gear, but nope.
OVERALL: EXTREMELY EXPERIMENTAL J-METAL, WITH CLEAN FEMALE AND MALE VOCALS. SOME VERY INTERESTING THINGS HERE, BUT SOME OF IT MIGHT BE TOO MUCH, ESPECIALLY FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T LIKE J-MUSIC. (J-POP, J-ROCK) BUT, IF YOU ARE WILLIG TO OPEN YOUR MIND A BIT, YOU MAY FIND SOME INTERESTING THINGS TO LIKE IN IT. IT IS VERY HEAVY IN PARTS ALSO. JUST NOT AS YOU WOULD EXPECT.
Score: 5/5 (Original and Brilliant!)
Boris With Merzbow - Klatter (2011) - When you listen to this album, don’t even think about the album I just previously reviewed. This disc is a 360 from it entirely. As a matter of fact, go get real high before you listen to this. It’ll help. This album sounds like a 1970’s acid trip for sure. There’s few vocals to speak of, and the atmosphere might make you think you’re standing on the dirt floors of Woodstock. This album sounds exactly like it could’ve been made in the 70’s, down to the very production. There’s also a lot of weird effects in it that will probably speak to you in otherworldly tongues the secrets of the universe if your mind has been completely altered by substances.
Knowing exactly what this experience contains, it’s quite simple to decide whether or not you wish to partake in it. If you don’t like this kind of music, you won’t enjoy this. If you don’t like 70’s prog rock, or the hippie age, you probably won’t like this. If you don’t like tripping to acid infused music, then you had better skip this review and find another.
Don’t get the wrong idea. As I already mentioned, this album and the one above it are two different animals. There is experimentation, but in a much more stoner style than on “New Album” (Which is strictly just Boris.)
OVERALL: GO GET HIGH FIRST. THEN PUT ON THIS 41:00 5 TRACK DRUG TRIP. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MUSIC TO GET STONED TO, HERE YOU GO. PINK FLOYD MAY BE GOOD, BUT THERE’S PLENTY OF MUSIC OUT THERE THAT TAKES WHAT THEY DO, AND MAKES IT BETTER. THIS ALBUM IS AN EXAMPLE. OF COURSE, THIS IS MORE HENDRIX THAN ANYTHING ELSE, IMHO.
Obscura - Omnivium (2011) - I’m glad that there’s a band who decided that there is more that can be done with technical death metal than just technical death metal. Yes, I’m sorry to upset you people that just wanted a sporadic mess of technical death metal with a hundred billion time changes, but this band has decided to bring out their death metal roots this time around. In songs like “Ocean Gateways” which reminds me of a classic death metal song, the vocals are extremely gravelly, and the rhythms are nice and slow and dark. The vocals also sound sort of watery, as if the band had gone to R’yleh and got Cthulu himself, to take vocal duty. I think it would be an interesting if not funny video for the track if they actually had a digitized Cthulu on vocals.
There are still some really fast tracks that I don’t care for, but even they are bearable this time around. The vocals are also very good, mostly being a much more blackened sound, and a clean vocal that is only useful some of the time.
What really makes this album good, is the fact that the band has mixed classic elements of death metal with all this hyper-active shit, and it works well. Very well in fact. I thought the new Atheist was good, but this actually sounds better, and snakes around in my head the same way. The fact that they slowed the fuck down makes this an easier to digest album for me. I also really love the classic guitar solos, because those really stand out here, and they should. This band really has a lot going for it on this album, and I’m more than quite impressed with it. If you are a fan of the band, and are expecting something very fast, heavy and hard for anyone else to get except for you, then you should be disappointed.
For the rest of us, who just want to hear a good death metal album with great vocals, nice melodies, the right amount of prog and technicality, and the clean vocals that seem to work well in most areas, you should enjoy this one very much. The drums are also good on this album as well. But you don’t need me to tell you what’s good on it. Half of you’ve probably already ordered this thing, or are playing it now.
So far, it’s my favorite tech-death of the year. The experimentation in the right places has done it for me. I really like this thing for many reasons. So check it out, If you haven’t already.
OVERALL: 56:00 OF GREAT PROGRESSIVE TECHNICAL METAL WITH MORE EXPERIMENTATION AND BOTH BLACK AND DEATH METAL VOCALS. I LIKE SOME SONGS MORE THAN OTHERS, BUT I IMAGINE THIS WILL BE A MIXED BAG FOR MOST OF YOU. EVERYTHING IN THE MUSICIALITY AREA SHINES, EXCEPT IT’S A SLOWER AND MUCH MORE EASIER TO DIGEST ALBUM THAN COSMOGENESIS, WHICH WAS JUST TOO MUCH SPEED AND NONSENSE FOR ME. I JUST WANTED TO SEE TO THEM, “SLOW DOWN, AND BE HUMBLE.”
Score: 666/5 (Oh, come the hell on! If it was a 777, my head would turn to gold and doves would fly out of it. I‘m going to stop using that Master Of Puppets rating so much.)
Another Dead Hero - Transience (2009) - This progressive sludge band has their good points, but sometimes the art-rock/indie qualities that come with this band can be too much. Also, Maynard’s vocal approach is damn near being copied by their frontman.
The album’s 47:00 of proggy art rock/sludge metal will be right at home with people wishing there was something more that bands like tool could do. It sort of sounds like Maynard and crew with sludge/stoner influence, but there’s not really a whole lot to go on here. Two of the songs are short instrumentals, and the final track is just a long 9:16 light instrumental which is a soothing end to the album.
It’s not perfect, but it has promise. I don’t know whether or not the band’s next album is due out soon or not, but I’d like it to have just a tad more music, or some more meat, and I don’t mean heaviness, because they certainly put on the sludge thunder. The progressive notions are well received on the album, but I can’t help but wondering what more this band is capable of. Calling themselves “Your Nana’s favorite metal band” probably doesn’t help their cause. More like hipster metal than anything else, I gather.
OVERALL: 47:00 OF SLUDGY HIPSTER METAL WITH INFLUENCE FROM TOOL AND ART-HOUSE PROG. IT’S NOT GOINNG TO BE FOR EVERYONE, BUT IT’S WORTH CHECKING OUT IF YOU’VE GOT THE MONEY. DEFINITELY INDIE METAL WITH A CAPITAL “I.”
Rudra - Brahmavidya: Immortal I (2011) - Rudra is a Hindu black metal band, that really fucking kills. Yes, they use the Indian instruments in some place, giving it a very metaphysical feeling. But that’s just before it goes into some very thrashy black metal.
The riffs on this album are great, and the drumming on the album is also really good. The ability of the band to transition grooves and keep the pace works well for them. Plus, the album production is great. I can hear clean vocals and the screams perfectly. The great solos on this album are also easily discernible, of which there are many.
Rudra is something of a definite brilliance in black metal. To not recommend this album to you would be a foolish thing. It’s one my single favorite black metal albums in a very long fucking time. The hindu chants, thrash, crazy solos, great progressive drumming and riffs really make this a stand-out package. The vocals are a fucking great scowl as well.
At 54:00, it’s definitely well worth it. Fans of black metal prog and thrash will really get into this. The band is incredible, and I’d really hope that they’ll play some live shows in the states soon. Assuming I’ll have the money and transportation to see them.
Regardless, you can’t go wrong with this one. Prog, black metal, thrash, and a little Hindu elements combine to form probably one of my favorite albums in a long time.
OVERALL: 54:00 OF BRILLIANT PROGRESSIVE BLACK THRASH METAL, THAT IS SURE TO KNOCK YOU ON YOUR ASS. IT ALSO HAS SOME HINDU FLAVOR IN A FEW PLACES. WHAT I LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS ALBUM, IS THAT IT’S NOT INSANELY FAST. THE GROOVES ON THIS THING ARE FUCKING GREAT, AND WORTH THE PRICE OF IT, AS WELL AS THE SOLOS, WHICH ARE DEFINITELY WORTH HEARING.
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Sect(s) (2011) - This is the first of three releases coming from Blut Aus Nord this year, and it reminds me a hell of a lot of “The Work Which Transforms God” and “Odinist.” Even though they did the sequel to “Memoria Vetusta” in 2009, this album sounds nothing like that material. Imagine the experimental, slightly industrial influenced Blut Aus Nord that you know.
Throughout the 6 epitome album, and the 45:00 combined length of each epitome, I realized that I am almost bored to tears. Yes, there are a few interesting parts on this album, and some distorted solos, to go with the rest of the distorted riffs, but in the end, it’s hard for to accept this kind of thing as music. Sure, some my say it’s experimental, but it also sounds like a band playing off key in areas to sound more artistic.
A definite paint on the wall art style, for sure. The whole thing sounds like a bad black metal drug trip, to tell you the truth. But, this is only the first album, and who knows what surprises will await. At least on this album, they are showcasing a few of the good riffs and solos they did in 2009. The band has talent, they just seem to experiment far too much to let the metal actually get through.
Epitome 6 however, looks to be a sign of great things. It’s an excellent closer, and hopefully a great opener to September’s “777: The Desanctification.” This is my favorite track on the album, and a great instrumental piece.
OVERALL: SOLID BLUT AUS NORD, MORD IN VEIN OF ODINIST, AND THE WORK THAT TRANSFORMS GOD, THAN THE 2009 RELEASE. IT’S GOT SOME GOOD RIFFS, AND INLKINGS OF PROMISE, BUT I STILL SEE IT AS A MERE APPETIZER FOR WHAT MIGHT COME NEXT.
Score: 3.2/5 (.2 for a few good riffs and solos, and that final epitome)
Suidakra - The Book Of Dowth (2011) - Suidakra are a much different bredd than what they were in 2005, and they’re also a lot different than they were in in the late nineties. My point being that Suidakra has been around for a very long time. While there are still the melodic death with core influence (though not as much, thankfully) that we heard in their core era, we are also treated to great folk pieces like “Mag Mell.”
I can honestly say with full conviction that the band seems to be reverting back to their roots, and to those days of “Arcanum,” which many say is their greatest effort. The band is clearly trying to be what they were in the beginning, and that is a band that mixes Celtic folk music and melodic death metal together.
Fans of their previous album will have no reason to cast this one off, because it’s damn near in the same vein. As for the overall musicality of the disc, it really hasn’t changed that much. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The melodies are still great, the drums are still pounding with a fury most of the time, and there’s still that folk music touch. They haven’t changed, and it’s more or less a solid album, albeit the band’s strongest effort in a very long fucking time. It would’ve seemed as if the band had forgotten who in the hell they were after 2002’s “Emprise To Avalon”, but it seems that the point is finally registering with them, and they’ve decided to create something that is much closer to the intended vision for the art.
There’s still plenty of heaviness on this album, and It’s not full of as many ballads as there were on the last record, which I didn’t care for actually. All in all, it’s a definite one-up from that album, and very close to their classic material. Anyone who hasn’t given a shit about Suidakra in years, should really go pick this one up. At least as a sign to the band that you’ll support their music now, because it’s actually worth listening to.
They’ve definitely got much more going for them now, than say Eluveitie. At least this is good melo-death.
OVERALL: SOLID, BUT STRONG SUIDAKRA. POSSIBLY THEIR BEST RELEASE IN SEVERAL YEARS. IF YOU DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THEM FOR A WHILE, IT’S TIME TO START CARING ONCE AGAIN. GREAT MELO-DEATH/FOLK, AND RECOMMENDED FOR FOLK FANS AND MELO-DEATH HEADS ALIKE. CHECK THIS ONE OUT.
Ulver - Wars Of The Roses (2011) - Yes, there’s a new Ulver. I have no idea where the version I have came from, but I’m believing it to be a web-rip of some sort. So this review is intended for those who will not be able to purchase the album until late April, and why they should purchase it at all.
I will not lead you wrong with this one. I know how many fans of Ulver that there are, and being one of them, I also expect great music from this band. The last album was released in 2007, (unless I’ve forgotten something) and that would make this their first in quite a few years.
This Ulver is much more along the lines of Perdition City, but it still has remnants of the atmospheric qualities featured on shadows of the sun. Experimenting is still a great deal on this album, and the vocals are still as you would expect. There are no black metal elements here, and it’s scarcely a metal album at all. Is it heavy?
Of course…not. What did you expect? The band has continued in a very experimental electronic path, with still many elements of avantgarde. Here, it’s being classified as “Electronic Ambient Avantgarde”, which seems to suit the style very well. There’s even a female vocalist on the 8:10 track, “Providence.” Also, the track “September IV” is full of psychedelics that will make Pink Floyd fans giddy.
Will you hear guitars? Yes, in a few places. But it’s not about the guitars, folks. Anyone can make a metal album, but this is a band that has clearly went beyond the moniker of metal to make something that is truly amazing and candy to the ears. This music transports you away to another world, be it sorrowed or beautiful…and it does in 45:00.
Again, this is an album for those who want to relax. Not for those who want to start a circle pit or whatever these young ones do nowadays. Is it metal? No. Does it have to be metal to be reviewed here? No. It just has to be interesting enough, if it’s not metal, and even though Ulver’s metal efforts remain in their past, they are still worthy to be reviewed. This is the same as saying, if Emperor reunited and put out an avantgarde album in this vein rather than a black metal release, I would still have to review it because the band is well known, and the fans will still be looking forward to such a release.
Oddly, most of the songs here are short, sans the closer “Stone Angels” which clocks in at about 14:55. This lengthy piece is an atmospheric piece in which is read a literary piece of which I am not familiar with. The piece is read throughout the track, and it’s a profound piece, yet I am not aware of the writer. It appears to be a poem, but could be a selection from a novel, or perhaps even a diary. Whatever the case, it’s quite morbid and fascinating at the same time, and matches this album, that is most dreary and beautiful.
This is well worth your money, and fans of Perdition City, and Themes From William Blake’s The Marriage Of Heaven and Hell, and the band’s last release will enjoy this one also.
OVERALL: 45:00 OF MIND EXPANDING MUSIC, WITH WELL WRITTEN LYRICS, AND PLENTY OF EXPERIMENTATION. YOU WILL HEAR A GUITAR FOR A BIT, BUT NOT VERY LONG. A GREAT ATMOSPHERIC AND EXPERIMENTAL RELEASE, NONETHELESS - AND A MUST FOR ANY FAN OF ULVER’S AMBIENT AND ELECTRONIC WORK AVANTGARDE WORK.
Vintersorg - Jordpuls (2011) - The only real thing to talk about on this album is the great mix, and terrific quality. The songs on it are all great progressive metal songs that seem to balance black metal and melodic folk metal perfectly. The choruses and beautiful male vocal are still as prominent, and they sound better than ever. The progressive notions of the band are still there, and they certainly make this music far from ordinary. The symphonics and orchestrations are there as well, and they only add to what is a phenomal release from a phenomenal band.
Nothing has really changed, but it’s all gotten better. If you liked Solens Rotter, then you should also like this just as much. If anything, it’ll be a nice placeholder until the new Borknagar album which will soon be upon us next year more than likely.
There’s a great deal of good releases coming out this spring, but don’t let this one pass you by. Vintersorg do everything right on this disc, and there’s no reason to skip it. Grab it, and support good music. Or you can just wait until the new Borknagar. Whatever works for you. This is still a great piece of music, and you’d be an idiot if you passed it by, especially if you like melodic folk metal and black metal, because both shine brightly, even though the melodic folk metal sensibilties shine more so than the darker black metal sensibilities. There’s even some rather nice guitar solos, and the thing has a really soothing closer, “Eld Och Lagor.”
The choruses win this one by the way, even if you don’t know the language, they still have a way of getting in your head.
OVERALL: SOLID VINTERSORG. EVERYTHING IS DONE TO PERFECTION, AND IF YOU’VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH THIS ALBUM, I CAN’T HONESTLY SEE HOW. BETTER THAN SOLENS ROTTER IN MY OPINION, I THINK IT’S A VERY STRONG RELEASE, BUT THE BAND HAS YET TO PUT OUT AN ALBUM THAT I JUST DON’T PARTICULARLY CARE FOR. A GREAT PLACEHOLDER FOR THE NEW BORKNAGAR. GO GRAB IT, AND SUPPORT GOOD MUSIC.
Clair Casis - Luxury Absolute EP (2011) - Alright, now to someone nobody has fucking heard of. Which I like these bands, because I never know what to expect. It’s like reaching in a grab bag, and getting shit or gold.
As for this release and band, they are…19 minutes of black metal with atmospheric tendencies, and production that isn’t near to the quality of what I’ve been hearing. All of this good production has been spoiling me!
This band actually has some good riffs, and they seem to be capable. I just can’t hear the vocals, and it’s all a little muddy. This is just an EP, so I’m guessing it’s the band’s first stab, and I’ll be nice. They do have a way with atmospheres, even though I could barely hear it.
Second song comes on, and it sounds like the first. Is it all one big song separated into 8 parts? So far, this band sucks. The atmospheres are great, but they need not touch guitars, drums and a mic. They need not do such a thing, because they seem to be very boring when they do. If I saw these guys live, I’d have to walk out in the middle of their show. Why even do metal music, when you can do psychedelic atmospheres so well? I mean, Clair Casis really isn’t a very “metal styled” name, so becoming a atmospheric project wouldn’t hurt any.
Song 5 now. Same riffs, slight variation. The vocalist sounds like a gremlin. Of course, he always does. I’m having far too much fun with this.
Ah…Song 6 now. Started out good, but it still sounds like a slight variation on the same slow tempo riffs I’ve heard throughout the album. Musically, it’s really not that bad. Just don’t expect much, and if you have software to take the vocals out, do so. This would sound better without a vocal style that makes me want this guy to scream “My Precious!” from LOTR. I mean, I couldn’t look this guy in the face without laughing. I know it’s his art and all, and I’m not the greatest vocalist in the world; yet I know for certain I’m better than this bloke.
He sounds like a little alien thing, you know? “Arggh! Arghh!”
I can’t take this seriously, and it’s hard for me to tell you to. The music is alright, it’s down-tempo black metal that can bore one to tears. I’ve heard ten thousand bands that do this already.
OVERALL: I HOPE THIS ISN’T FOR SALE. IF IT IS, I HOPE IT’S CHEAP. 19 SONGS WITH ONE OF THE FUNNIEST VOCALISTS I’VE EVER HEARD. COULD NOT LOOK THIS GUY IN THE FACE WITHOUT LAUGHING. THE BAND DOES A DECENT JOB MUSICALLY, BUT DOWN-TEMPO BLACK METAL WITH LITTLE MORE THAN ONE RIFF AFTER ANOTHER IS ABOUT AS FUN AS EATING A PLAIN SALTINE CRACKER. THE BAND EXCELLS IN PSYCHEDELIC ATMOSPHERES AND SHOULD CONTINUE IN THAT DIRECTION.
THEY EITHER NEED TO SHAPE UP, OR SHIP OUT.
Cloudyhead - Analog (2011) - Here we have a 29:00 8 song LP (Damn, short album) from a band described as tech/prog/math metal. I don’t much like math metal usually, but I’ll let this one slide. Especially if it’s good.
Well, this appears to be an instrumental release with Meshuggah influence, and some nice acoustic melodies also. I can basically recommend this good quality release to anyone who liked the other instrumental bands of which I have given high marks to throughout these review sets. I really like “A CPU Error Has Occurred” which mixes light riffs and atmospheres together with a much heavier set of riffs to make something really quite uncanny.
This is a band who is thinking outside the box, and you should all take notice. There’s some electronic stuff in this album too, but I think it works well in the long run, and these guys are pretty damn talented. There’s also some great keyboard work here and great deal of well thought out tinkering that seems like it would be a little tough to perform live. If you get a chance, check out this small release. It’s not much, but it packs a nice an interesting punch, instead of just a Hawaiian one.
Bonus Track: Ryze Bot is OP - Skip this by all means. Has very bad death core vocals and that awful Suicide Silence screaming. The band doesn’t need a vocalist. Please tell me this is a one time thing. I just don’t get the melody in this sort of thing, the guy screaming like he’s being strangled and the grind core thing, and with all the technicality, it just sounds like a joke.
OVERALL: SMALL 29:00 PROG TECHNICAL INSTRUMENTAL METAL ALBUM WITH LOST OF OUT OF THE BOX EXPERIMENTATIONS AND SOME GREAT KEYBOARD, DRUM, AND MOST OF ALL, GUITAR WORK, AS WELL AS BASS. THERE’S A LOT OF THINKING IN THIS ONE, AND IT MIGHT BE A LITTLE MUCH, ESPECIALLY ON “THE TONGUE OF THE COSMOS.” STILL, INSTRUMENTAL PROG METAL HEADS WILL EAT IT UP. NOT PERFECT, BUT STILL PRETTY DAMNED INTERESTING.
Score: 5/5 (A little more music would’ve helped.)
Crow Black Sky - Pantheion (2010) - Whew…The vocals are way too high on this album. The band seems like its in the background somewhere. What in the hell happened with this mix? Being that this is a 65 minute progressive melodic black metal album, with some great riffs, killer solos, and a definite sense of direction…whoever mixed this needs to be shot.
I’d really like to message these guys and tell them, “Your vocals are too high in the mix.” Can I do that? I mean I’m just helping these guys out. They’ve got a great deal of potential, but I just get plastered by the vocals. It sounds like the vocals are recorded in another room or something, like something I would do when I put vocals on an instrumental track.
But you can’t really release and sell an album in that kind of format, right?
I’m serious. This band is killer, and they’ve got great potential to be something major. The riffs, melodies, solos and drum work are completely top notch in every way, shape, and form. Cut his vocal track down, and you’ve got a completely fantastic black metal recording. This damn mix is so bad I can’t even listen it.
I’ve been messing around in audition, and it seems that they’ve since removed the option to cut the vocal track. I’ve looked everywhere in the program and cannot seem to find it. I did however figure a way to increase the loudness and width of the recording, which made the background music much more discernible. The bad thing about it is that this would have to be done for most of the tracks, because the mix is just so awful on this. I would’ve liked to have the vocal masters so I could fix it myself, but you just don’t find things like that online.
As I’ve stated before, musically and vocally I really like this band, and think they’re a great progressive melodic black metal band that has some killer work and great skills, I just can’t understand why the mix would sound like this. It ruins the whole goddamned album and I’m am overly pissed. I would hate to buy the CD and it be the same awful mix. My mp3s are 192, which is standard CD fare, and that would more than likely be how this thing would sound on the fucking disc as well.
I’ll tell you what to do with this one. Go to the band, and say hey…what the hell? Any idiot could’ve figured out that this vocal mix was too high. It’s blatantly obvious. If anyone did this to a record from a band that I was in, I would have to beat the living hell out of that fellow. What in the living fuck happened here?
This mix is just so blatantly high, I mean all you have to do is listen to the second track with vocals for about 3 minutes and you’ll hear it too. Damn, I’d be embarrassed if it was my band. To release something of this caliber to the public, especially when you have such a great and hard working band is absolutely insane. You might as well wear your pants backwards, or put your underwear on your head!
The latter tracks on this album, still feature very high vocals, but are much more bearable than the second and third tracks respectively. Crow Black Sky is a phenomenal band, and as I’ve said, has a lot of potential. I would definitely buy this album if the goddamned vocals weren’t so high in the mix.
The album also includes an instrumental version of “Our Path Disdained”, which is a 10:57 piece that is absolutely incredible, despite the vocal mix. As I said, this band is tremendous. One of my favorites this year, once again; despite the vocal mix.
OVERALL: 65:00 FANTASTIC PROGRESSIVE MELODIC BLACK METAL ALBUM, WITH LOTS OF PROMISE, BUT THE VOCAL MIX IS FAR TOO HIGH. IF IT WAS JUST A LITTLE LOWER, YOU COULD BETTER HEAR THE INSTRUMENTS, WHICH IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS FELLOW’S VOCALS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE GOOD. GREAT RIFFS, SOLOS, AND THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. REMINDED ME OF DISSECTION AND NAGLFAR IN PLACES. PLUS, THE SOLOS ARE IMPECCABLE, AND THEYARE PLENTIFUL.
BY THE WAY…IT’S FREE:
4/5 (Only for the mix, if not for such a bad mix, this would get a 5/5. It is bearable after awhile, so this is not a bad album by any means, just a badly mixed album. I would still love to fucking see these guys live. Never since Dissection, have I liked a black metal band this much.)
Stryper - The Covering (2011 BY REQUEST) - I’ll mention that this is the first Stryper album I’ve ever heard. I have nothing against Christian Metal, so don’t go there. I just think it’s a little hokey about a band that began their career giving out bibles at concerts.
This album as you can expect, is an album of covers. Most of the songs I’ve heard the originals of with the exception of five, unless “God” is a metal version of classic modern hymn, “Our God Is An Awesome God”, which I’ve had drilled in my head when I was younger, and it still gets stuck in my head. It’s so damn catchy, and that’s how it infects you, haha! Just kidding, I don’t want to offend anyone here.
“Heaven and Hell” in a very literal interpretation (as opposed to death or black) is not going to do justice for me, unless Dio is on vocals. It just doesn’t get any better than him on that song personally, and I’m putting my foot down on that, especially when the singer of this band is trying to mimic some of Dio’s vocal quirks. The guitars are great, and it sounds good in a modern style. I am not arguing that point.
“Carry On My Wayward Son” sounds really great musically, and much more metal that the original, but still rather great classic version. I wasn’t sure how the band would actually take on the prog sections of this song, but they managed to copy it damn near perfectly. Since I don’t have the original in my library, this one will have to do. I think it’s just as good.
Now for a song that older Japanese men love… “Highway Star.” I think this is actually quite a good version of this song. Quite on par with the original, but not better than it. Ask about a couple hundred older Japanese men. That keyboard solo section is still fucking great though.
“Shout It Loud” is of course, a KISS cover, but it’s very karaoke. I mean, they try to emulate Kiss, but there’s only one KISS, and they are basically doing a literal interpretation of this song. I mean, there’s nothing new or interesting that they throw in here.
“Over The Mountain” is the only one I find odd that they’ve covered, since the song is about Astral travel, which the Bible isn’t too crazy about, and more than likely refers to it as the devil’s trick, as with most magic and metaphysical practice. I’m a huge fan of this song, only Ozzy has the right to be doing it. Plus, the band plays it much slower than on Diary Of A Madman. The Ozzy version is still way better.
“The Trooper” is one of my favorite Iron Maiden songs ever. I’m so sorry guys, but the one done by Coheed and Camrbia is actually better than this, and I hate Coheed and Cambria. (Except for some of their symphonics and interludes) If you can’t sound like Bruce, don’t mess with one his best fucking vocal achievements. The solo is good, but so is the original one. I also notice that the band plays the main riff in different chords. What the hell?
“Breaking The Law”…Damn, can’t they pick something everyone HASN’T ALREADY HEARD? And the original is much better than this, because of HALFORD on vocals, and he’s a hell of a lot better than this guy. At least when my old band, Shadowed Sun was covering this song, we were going to do it in D-tune so it would sound a little darker. Ultimately, we threw it out though. This particular song always appears in my head every time I visit the pirate bay.
“The Immigrant Song” was always too damn short for me to even classify a full song. I guess it sounds alright, but the original should’ve been made longer unless it went into something else and was part of one big album of which I’ve never heard.
Well, that last song is not a metal version of “Awesome God”, and for that, I’m thankful. Whatever it is, it’s not a bad song, certainly got translated well into metal or whatever, great solo section, a lot of emotion from the band.
OVERALL: A DECENT COVER ALBUM. NOT PERFECT, BUT NOT BAD. HITS AND MISSES ABOUND. I PREFER THE ORIGINALS OF MOST OF THESE SONGS. YOU MIGHT TOO.
Sylosis - Edge Of The Earth (2011) - This album is probably one of the single toughest albums I’ve had to review, and here’s why. Musically, it’s incredible, impeccable, and quite fucking uncanny. The melodies on this album are absolutely astonishing, and the drumming and prog pieces are also top-notch. The only thing I have wrong with this damn near perfect album, with simply unbelievable melodies, are the goddamned death core vocals.
I absolutely hate that this is death core. I cannot tell you how much I wish there could have been actual death metal vocals on this album, instead of what sounds like a hog rooting around in someone’s field. This hardcore vocal approach literally ruined this fucking album, and I’ll describe to you in an allegory as to how bad it was ruined.
Imagine that you made this badass bowl of ice cream, I mean the best and tastiest that you could make, whatever flavor you enjoy. Also, pretend that you can’t eat this often because you need to stay in shape. Well…all of the sudden there’s a knock on your door, so you had to drop everything and sit the ice cream bowl on the floor (which you don’t normally do, but it was all so sporadic) and these kids run into your house, completely barefooted, and unaware that they had been playing in manure. Because, you know how kids are.
Well, they end up putting their feet into your perfect bowl of ice cream, that once badass bowl of ice cream, and now you’ve got no choice but to throw it out. By the way, it’s not like you can make another bowl of it, because that bowl consisted of some rather expensive high quality ice cream that you don’t have the money for anymore.
When you look at that bowl, imagine this album. A great bowl of ice cream, now with large chunks of shit in it. It makes you want to cry, but you just can’t. This album makes me think of any other great classic album, think Slayer’s Reign In Blood, but with Rebecca Black on vocals. (The Friday singer.)
I mean, this is an incredible musical masterpiece. At 72:00, the goddamned riffs will blow you away. I just hope that maybe this singer guy will quit and play in some other core band, and they can bring a real honest to god death metal vocalist in. Though, I hate to say it, but after hearing something so breathtaking as this, I doubt the band has the capability to one up this album. I’m sure it’s possible, but they really wanted this to be epic.
I am actually prepared to give this album a 5.5/777, because it’s damn near a triple 6 or seven rank, but I could also give it a 4/5 because of those fucking vocals. Whatever the case, I have to musically recommend this album, because it blows away anything I’ve heard from melodic death metal in the past couple of YEARS.
I just really wish there were real death metal vocals. Although, I will say that the clean vocals are really good when used.
OVERALL: 72:00 OF THE BEST MELODIC DEATH METAL I’VE HEARD IN YEARS. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM, ANY WAY THAT YOU CAN. THE CORE VOCALS RUIN, WHAT COULD’VE BEEN A MELODIC DEATH METAL MASTERPIECE. STILL, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY CHECK THIS ONE OUT, BY ALL MEANS. THE MELODIES ARE SIMPLY STAGGERING.
Score: 5.5/777, or 4/5, or 666.5/777 (I can’t make up my fucking mind on this one.)
Winterhorde - Underwater Moon (2010) - First off, I need to ask the question:
ARE THEY BETTER THAN CRADLE OF FILTH?
Some guy has been spouting about that these guys do what Cradle Of Filth does, and better.
So far, I’m very impressed. I hear the Cradle elements in this band, but I also hear more progression, and a little more speed than what Cradle usually offers. But I’ll say that these clean vocals are much more folk oriented, rather than gothic oriented. Yes, there are things that clearly sound like they’ve been inspired by Cradle; but then again, the disc is littered with things I wouldn’t expect or want in a Cradle album. These are still two separate bands.
The biggest part of that is the male clean vocal. It’s missing that whole British prose. The band is certainly good, and seems to do a very good job of Cradle influenced “Epic Melodic Progressive Black Metal” but being a fan of Cradle to this day, there are still some things you just can’t fucking mimic.
The band has great riffs, and tremendous melodies, plenty of interesting ideas thrown in and about the disc, and an all together epic (as proclaimed) sound. I guess fans of Cradle might like it, but it’s not just for them. Fans of progressive black metal in general should find something to like here. There’s even some more gravelly death metal vocals featured, as well as some good guitar solos.
You might like them better than Cradle, but I don’t think any band can do what Cradle does personally. They’ve achieved gothic black metal better than other bands I’ve heard try it, and even early Hecate Enthroned only comes close at best.
I’ll mention again, if these clean vocals had been removed - I’d like this stuff more. It just sounds really folky with his clean vocals, and it ruins what they are trying to achieve with the gothic elements. Again, still a great band with lots of ideas, great musicality, and good production. Just don’t go expecting full on Cradle.
OVERALL: CRADLE OF FILTH INFLUENCED EPIC PROGRESSIVE BLACK METAL WITH ELEMENTS NOT USUALLY FOUND IN CRADLE, LIKE BOMBASTIC CLEAN VOCALS. THESE VOCALS ARE VERY FOLKY, AND THROW ME OFF. STILL, I THINK THE BAND HAS MAJOR TALENT, AND A HIGH ENOUGH PRODUCTION VALUE TO GET THEM HEARD BY A LARGE FANBASE. PERSONALLY THOUGH, THEY SHOULD STOP RIPPING OFF DANI’S VOCAL STYLE.
Score: 5/5 (You’ll like it anyway.)
Deferum Sacrum - Septicaemia (2011) - When I popped this in while mowing the lawn, I was expecting to have to suffer through it. Sorry, but there are some really boring black metal bands out there. Yet, there’s also some really good ones. This band seems to kind of so/so, but they aren’t necessarily bad. This band is a progressive black metal band with some groove-laden elements, and plenty of thrash.
Though the disc is only 38:00, I felt that it gave me a good enough sound for a band that has potential, but isn’t the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s a good album if you like progressive black metal fused with some elements of thrash and groove.
Sometimes they like to turn on the Satyricon style, but that’s only in a few areas. I do feel that people will enjoy these guys, but I don’t think it’s nothing that we haven’t already heard. If they’re having a good time making the music, more power to them. I just feel I’ve heard all this before.
Don’t get me wrong, it sounds good enough, with a decent production. You might very well even enjoy it. It’s just not something I haven’t already heard before. Who knows, you might even view it as some kind of treasure. It even has some weird effects near the end of the album. That’s got to be worth checking out, right?
OVERALL: 38:00 OF SOLID BLACK METAL THAT YOU MIGHT ENJOY. I’VE HEARD THIS DONE A MILLION TIMES, BUT YOU MIGHT NOT CARE. HAS THE MORE MODERN PROG BLACK METAL SOUND WITH GROOVES AND THRASH INFLUENCE. JUST AS GOOD AS ANY OTHER ALBUM IN THE PROG BLACK GROOVE THRASH CATEGORY.
Dekadent - Venera: Trial & Tribulation (2011) - Wow. Dekadent has major potential, with their melodic black love metal. Yeah, you heard that right. It’s very beautiful riffs, with still a very black overtone, scowls and all. But this band excels in many areas, guitars only being one of them, and their solos are very powerful, especially on “Paramours In Vain.”
I might also mention that there are some fucking beautiful clean vocals on here. This man can really sing, and with a scowl like that and the killer playing, drumming, and sheer beauty of this music, I would buy this album myself. If these guys aren’t well known, they certainly should be.
I cannot honestly talk enough about the playing on this album. This man is sheer virtuoso, whoever he is. He excels in making some of the sweetest fucking melodies I’ve ever heard in black metal. Alcest has nothing on these melodies, even though they are also good at making light out of the darkness, so to speak.
There’s still plenty of brutal black metal to be found here, it’s just now with really beautiful lyrics about love. Imagine a HIM, if they went full on black metal, and they had one hell of a fucking guitar player. This guy is a fucking tremendous player, and I could listen to this album again and again, just to hear those fucking beautiful goddamned riffs!
Well, maybe not all the lyrics are based in love, and in “Craving” it takes more of a black metal dark and brutal turn, but the progressions in that track are great, and still some melody kicks in, as well as a kick ass solo from their amazing axeman.
I really think these guys can do something to kick start the uniqueness back into black metal. Few bands do the happy black metal sound, but being able to do it this well, and with this much ferocity, and let’s not forget the sheer talent of this band. The sheer amount of emotion, precision, and melody in this album is ridiculous, and has just made Dekadent one of my favorite bands of all time.
Do yourself a favor, and give Dekadent a spin. I will do myself a favor, and see if they’ve any older releases, just to listen to the progression of this band. If they don’t have any other releases, and this is their debut…well, it’s one hell of one.
OVERALL: 52:00 OF MELODIC BLACK METAL THAT IS BEYOND WORDS. THE BEAUTIFUL MELODIES AND OVERALL RIFFING OF SOME OF THESE SONGS IS MIND-MELTING. THE ABILITY FOR THE BAND TO MIX HAPPINESS AND BRUTALITY TOGETHER IS ASTOUNDING, AND…JESUS, WHO IN THE HELL IS THAT GUY ON THE GUITAR? I’D LISTEN TO A SOLO ALBUM FROM HIM IN A SECOND!
Score: 777/5 (AND I MEAN IT.)
Varg - Wolfskult (2011) - As soon as Varg got out of jail, he must’ve said something in the nature of “I’m going to release a new album every month!” Because we’ve certainly been getting a lot of it.
Varg, unlike Burzum, is a Viking death metal band with black metal vocals and some black metal tendencies. It’s actually not too bad, and has some nice melodies. The real anthemic stuff, you know what I mean… The stuff that you play when you’re going into a war on a battleground somewhere…or maybe before you LARP. To get you pumped, you know? Never tried LARPING personally. With my back, I’d probably get fucked up pretty bad health wise, try to stay in shape, but…
Anyway, this band’s lyrics are all in German, and now I’m not sure if this is even Varg’s work or not. I mean, who names their band after the guy? There’s even some death metal growls on here, and the two vocalists in Varg seem to be able to handle vocal duties respectively on the only track where I‘ve heard it. I also hear some of the bass riffs that I’ve heard in Amon Amarth.
I’ve come to the realization that this is not the frontman of Burzum’s work, because the quality, language, music type, and everything else is way different than anything that he would do as a solo project. Plus, that’s not his scowl.
Regardless, Varg make some excellent black/death Viking metal. If you like both genres, you would do well to check these guys out. They seem to be capable of producing great Viking death metal with great melodies, vocals and the whole nine yards. Expecting prog? None here. Technicality all over the place? Nope.
What you’ve got is straight forward head banging metal, that works best when played loud enough that Odin and his Einherjar can hear it. There’s also some acoustic playing but it’s not frequent. Near the end of the disc, it gets more melodic, and some blast beasts even trickle in. Hell, I guess there’s something for everyone of this disc.
BONUS DISC: This band didn’t mess around. There’s a bonus disc included with 8 extra tracks. Of course, it’s not environmentally friendly, because both of these could have fit on one disc at 77:00. Would’ve been easier to just make a limited edition disc. Don’t get too excited about these tracks, because it’s only 28:00 of extra music. (to add to the album’s 49:00)
What you’ve got are four songs, and three acoustic tracks. (akkustik in German) There’s also a hidden track at the end of the disc that is 2:44. The bonus metal tracks are actually quite good, and the acoustic tracks start out as an instrumental, and then there’s one with a female vocal, and the last one has a horrible clean vocal. It could’ve been taken off, with the so called hidden track at the end of the album. That track features metal, but the same awful clean vocal style. Yes, I mean awful. Stick to the scowls and the growls, sirs. You cannot sing.
OVERALL: SOLID AND ANTHEMIC AS WELL AS MELODIC VIKING BLACK/DEATH METAL. IT’S ALL IN GERMAN, AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FRONTMAN OF BURZUM. RIFFS AND MELODIES ARE GREAT. WORTH CHECKING OUT, IF YOU DON’T MIND THE FACT THAT THERE ARE NO ENGLISH VOCALS. THERE’S DEFINITELY A GREAT DEAL OF TALENT DISPLAYED HERE.
Derelict Earth - And So Fell The Last Leaves (2011) - Those who might remember my review for “Sins Of The Siblings (2010)” might remember that I called Derelict Earth an instrumental band that reminded me of Nintendo music.
Now, the band has changed things by adding a vocalist. The vocalist seems to be talented in both traditional death metal, and clean vocals. The production on the material is still quite raw, and the disc reminds me of something from death/doom in the late nineties. The music is very depressive, and the vocals fit very well with the mix, but it’s not as polished as some might like.
The technical qualities of the band are as pronounced as always, and the solos seem to fit well within the confides of the songs. The band has not lost the sense of themselves as an instrumental band in the beginning, rather the vocals could’ve been taken out completely, and the band would’ve still been worth listening to.
To most of us here on local metal boards, this rawer sound is something that isn’t such a big deal. We don’t exactly have a lot of money, and have to do the best with what we can. So that’s how this album is going to sound. If it wasn’t self-produced, I would be kicking the guy that owned the independent label that I was signed to, because this is just about demo quality, though things are as audible as anyone with reaper, or audition, could do. I also think that the drums are completely programmed, because I can hear it.
Yep, no mistaking it. I’m curious if this is actually a free release. After all, some guy did all of the music for Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse on the NES in instrumental metal with a drum machine, and he used a shit ton of effects making some of these songs 12 and 17 minutes long. It’s still a free project.
Whether or not this is free isn’t the case though. Even if it’s not, I’m sure it wouldn’t be an expensive disc. But yeah, I’d give them ten dollars for it, if I knew them.
True story: I have this album from a now defunct band that I knew. I told the guy that I’d give him ten bucks for it when I got paid. He seemed to want the money in a hurry, so I said, alright. Finally I got paid, and the guy’s like. “It’s no big deal, keep it.”
But he was supposed to be selling the discs, so I don’t know about the rest. They tried to get the band back together, but it didn’t work out so well, and then our band started to get big, then I and the drummer left, and they died. Now there’s that other band, Slackjaw which played a show. I don’t know much about the other guy, haven’t heard from him in a while, likes to pick up jailbait all the time. Might be in prison now, you don’t just do that stuff and get away with it forever. One rape charge, and you’re fucked. I question the logic in people’s minds sometimes.
Back to the album. I feel I’ve pretty much described this band enough, in the fact that they still possess good melodies and vocals, but the drums aren’t real, and those two things are only worth nothing (guitar and vocals) so it is what it is, folks.
OVERALL: 51:00 OF TECHNICAL DEATH METAL/DOOM METAL WITH ABOUT AS GOOD OF A PRODUCTION VALUE AS ONE CAN AFFORD WHO IS A REGULAR OLD MUSICIAN LIKE THE REST OF US. IT SOUNDS GOOD ENOUGH, I’VE HEARD WORSE AND BETTER. THE MELODIES ARE GOOD, AND THE VOCALS WORK WELL ENOUGH, BUT THE DRUMS ARE FAKE. IT’S MOST LIKELY A DRUM MACHINE OR A PROGRAM.
Ambient Death - Transmigration Of Souls (2010) - This rather short 23 minute album by Brooklyn NY based melodic black/death metal band Ambient Death is a good effort indeed. There’s no core to be found here. It’s just really great melodic black death with some good riffs, some great solos, and a nice vocal touch. There’s also a lot of progression here, so the music doesn’t sound flat.
I’ve heard these guys before on a disc from an old Wal-Mart only metal magazine, which I can’t even remember the fucking name of. The song I heard from them there was back in 2008, and the band have changed quite a bit from that sound, but there are still remnants of it on this 2010 release, which I’ve been waiting for, for a good while now.
Things still sound kind of raw, but good music can shine through any quality. Even though it’s not the best production you’ve ever heard, everything is quite audible. Perhaps it fails in being too clear in some areas. As for the band in general, they still have just as much a place in the US Scene as other New York stalwarts, Krallice. Of course, you might not heard of Ambient Death, but I actually heard their music before I even knew about Krallice.
Ambient Death still is able to master the black and death metal pieces that they’ve put together so effortlessly in the past, and it seems that a strong band still exists. Although there is one track in the middle with completely worthless female vocals, that adds a gothic sensibility to the mood, and ruins it. It is good that the last two tracks are able to pick up the flak from that lackluster track, and showcase this band’s talent, as hardly anyone has fucking heard of them. But yes, they’re quite good.
Despite a so/so production, I hope to hear plenty more things to come from this oddity in Brooklyn. I never thought to hear so many black metal bands emerging from the birthplace of hardcore music. The world is indeed changing.
OVERALL: A 23:00 SOLID AND INTERESTING EFFORT, SHOWCASING GOOD RIFFS, MELODIES, AND PROG, IN ADDITION TO DRUM WORK. FEMALE VOCAL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ALBUM ADDS AN NOT NEEDED “GOTH” NOTION TO THE MUSIC, BUT THE FLAK IS PICKED UP BY THE FINAL TWO TRACKS ON THIS DISC. AMBEINT DEATH STILL HAS IT IN THEM TO BE A GREAT BAND, AND THIS DISC SHOWS IT. JUST WISH THERE WAS A LITTLE MORE TO IT. STILL, NOT A BAD DISC.
There’s another week. I will tell you that you should always check out the music of bands whom you haven’t heard and might be interested in, regardless of my reviews, because I am not an all knowing god of metal, (Of course.) and you might like something I don’t. This goes for bands like Deferum Sacrum, who many people might like much more than I did. I don’t usually get a lot of replies, but I do check view count to see how many people were interested in a certain set. I try to get the big ones as quick as I can, because that is what people want reviewed.
They also want honest answers, not bullshit. I’m trying to go beyond saying “oh yeah, well this band has nice riffs and melodies” sometimes that is true, but I also like to mention the things I despise, or really enjoy about each act. Keep in mind that a great deal of these bands are as just as much a mystery to me as they are to you. I still have upwards of about 95-100 albums (plus the major releases that I haven’t gotten yet to review next week, if there are any) that I have little idea of what the band sounds like. I just know the genre, and work from there. Sometimes, it’s trash, and sometimes it’s treasure. I’ll never know until I listen, and neither will you.
Oh, if you like someone’s band, support them. Some of these bands don’t charge much for their albums, and some are free. I do it when I can, and so should you. There’s no reason to buy something you don’t like, or if you need the money for food, or bills; but if you have the money, go ahead and get what you do like to listen to. Big names always sell if they’re good, but some of these acts are in the same boat as some of the local bands around here, and are in many ways “the local bands” of another state or country. Those are the guys that need help.
I am also considering a three to four (or less) paragraph per review setup. If any of you seconds this, speak up, and I will limit my responses to only fifteen to twenty English sentences per review. (5 sentences per paragraph)
EXAMPLE (AND BONUS REVIEW)
Dynahead - Youniverse (2011) - If you mixed Mushroomhead’s thrashier side with a little bit of Sevendust, and any prog band, you’d get this band. They seem to do a decent job of mixing clean vocal prog metal (ala symphony x) with a much more thrashier side of things, but come off a little hard rock at times. There’s even some Pantera reminiscent riffing in it. This is one hell of an album. Still, there’s a few problems.
I feel the band does a little too much. Some of this singing comes off a little too funny, and the growls sound much more like Mushroomhead growls than metal growls. I mean, it’s a fun record with some nice things, including the playing; yet I feel that some of it might be a little tough to stomach. Sure, the prog is nice, and there’s no denying the fact that this is prog metal. I just feel it’s not going to suite everyone’s palette, at least not vocally.
The music is labeled “Progressive Thrash Metal” and does inhabit those qualities. Some might be taken away by the progressive soundscapes displayed here. I just think the whole modern thrash-core sound mixing with it doesn’t work. Nevermore did something in this style for many years before “Born” which showcased the band’s first notion of the “growl” or harsh vocal. You don’t need to growl to be heavy. Still, it’s worth a listen for metalheads, because it’s different; and I can assure you that some, if not many people may wind up liking and buying it.
OVERALL: 56:00 OF INTERESTING, BUT A LITTLE HOKEY “PROGRESSIVE THRASH METAL” WITH PLENTY OF BELLS AND WHISTLES. IF THE PLAYING DOESN’T GET YOU, THEN PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT PROG YOU ARE LISTENING TO, BECAUSE I’D SURELY LIKE TO HEAR IT. THESE GENTLEMEN ARE TALENTED, BUT THERE’S A FEW THINGS THAT THE BAND DOESN’T NEED, LIKE THRASH-CORE GROWLS.