Archive for March, 2013

March 30, 2013

Album 0263: Lovage – Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By

Lovage-MTMLTYOLB

Release Date: 2001
Genre: Trip Hop

Tracklisting:

1. Ladies Love Chest Rockwell (Introduction) (01:19)
2. Pit Stop (Take Me Home) (03:56)
3. Anger Management (04:18)
4. Everyone Has A Summer (04:17)
5. To Catch A Thief (03:17)
6. Lies And Alibis (03:16)
7. Herbs, Good Hygiene, And Socks (01:55)
8. Book Of The Month (04:29)
9. Lifeboat (04:46)
10. Strangers On A Train (04:37)
11. Lovage (Love That Lovage, Baby) (01:05)
12. Sex (I’m A) (06:20)
13. Koala’s Lament (03:54)
14. Tea Time With Maseo (01:39)
15. Stroker Ace (04:29)
16. Archie And Veronica (06:06)

Total Length: 59:42

Ladies Love Chest Rockwell (Introduction) is kind of a tongue-in-cheek intro, it’s a parody but I still don’t really like it. Pit Stop (Take Me Home) has a nice, relaxing vibe and the vocals are the highlight for me. Anger Management seems to have a big influence by singer Mike Patton, as it actually reminds me of a Mr. Bungle song, especially in the chorus. For that alone I like it. Everyone Has A Summer is a fairly nice instrumental, but it gives off this trashy vibe that I don’t like and can’t really explain.

To Catch A Thief is pretty nice. That vibe is still there, but the vocals are nice and help offset it. Lies And Alibis is like the track before the last. I like this one better though. Herbs, Good Hygiene, And Socks is a very annoying interlude. I usually skip it entirely. Book Of The Month is a pretty good song, again I enjoy the vocals. Lifeboat has some neat moments but ends up being kind of forgettable. Strangers On A Train is kind of great, I very much like the vocals.

Lovage (Love That Lovage, Baby) is mostly useless, but I like the musical reference. Sex (I’m A) is actually a cover by a group named Berlin, and I don’t entirely understand the song but I’m gonna say that I like it. Koala’s Lament is a fairly nice vocal-less track. Tea Time With Maseo is the last of the interludes, still doesn’t do crap for me. Stroker Ace is kind of upbeat and fun, kind of different from most of the stuff on here. Archie And Veronica is fairly nice, and ends with a reprise of track two. This album seems to have received a lot of praise, and I am pretty sure I can see why. I’m still warming up to it after listening to it nearly a dozen times but I still think it’s not quite my thing.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

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March 15, 2013

Album 0262: Candlemass – Candlemass

Candlemass-Candlemass

Release Date: 2005
Genre: Doom Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Black Dwarf (05:44)
2. Seven Silver Keys (04:59)
3. Assassin Of The Light (06:29)
4. Copernicus (07:17)
5. The Man Who Fell From The Sky (03:27)
6. Witches (06:22)
7. Born In A Tank (04:56)
8. Spellbreaker (07:02)
9. The Day And The Night (08:52)
10. Mars And Volcanoes (03:24)

Total Length: 58:33

Black Dwarf starts off with a pounding riff. It’s the perfect song to start off the album, and I love the vocals. This song was also my introduction to Candlemass and it’s not a bad one in that respect either. Seven Silver Keys is a bit slower paced, still of the same quality though. The synths are subdued but nice. Assassin Of The Light has some neat riffs and rhythms, but the song kind of drags for me a bit. Copernicus has some neat slower moments, but I can’t say I really love the song.

The Man Who Fell From The Sky is a fairly cool instrumental track. Witches has a great main riff, and the rest of the song is fairly cool. Born In A Tank is pretty similar, I could give it the same description. Spellbreaker has a good chorus, and the riffs are neat as well. I kind of think it could have stopped at the five minute mark, but oh well. The Day And The Night has cool slower parts, I like it. Mars And Volcanoes has some interesting riffs but the song is kind of forgettable. I really wanted to love this album but only a few songs really strike me, not sure what it is.

Final Rating: 7/10

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March 11, 2013

Album 0261: Orrery – Nine Odes To Oblivion

orrery nine odes to oblivion

Release Date: 2008
Genre: Black Metal

Tracklisting:

1. I (08:33)
2. II (01:52)
3. III (10:34)
4. IV (02:17)
5. V (09:49)
6. VI (01:23)
7. VII (13:38)
8. VIII (05:03)
9. IX (02:03)

Total Length: 55:11

I has a creepy intro, before going into a fairly cool riff/melody that repeats for the first few minutes. This whole album is instrumental and this style of drawing things out like that is fine by me. This is one of those albums where it is definitely more about the atmosphere than individual tracks and ideas. II is a reprieve from the heaviness, a nice couple minutes of acoustic meandering. III does get heavy, but the last few minutes are probably the best part of the section. The instruments calm down a bit while the sound of rain builds up, again focusing on the atmosphere.

IV continues directly on, finally stopping the music for a moment to adjust. V sort of starts the back half of the album in that sense, and it’s more good black metal. VI is a nice short interlude. VII is by far the largest track, and it takes a couple neat turns. VIII kind of reminds me of Bibio I guess, with the synths and lo-fi of it all. It’s a calm track to wind down from anything heavy. IX caps off the album with a nice acoustic piece. I definitely like this album, but I can’t quite say I love it. It’s a bit novel though, I really don’t know too much black metal that is wholly instrumental, but I guess the whole things blends together a bit.

Final Rating: 8/10

March 9, 2013

Album 0260: Korpiklaani – Spirit Of The Forest

Korpiklaani-Spirit_Of_The_Forest-Frontal

Release Date: 2003
Genre: Folk Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Wooden Pints (03:42)
2. Before The Morning Sun (04:25)
3. God Of Wind (03:15)
4. With Trees (08:07)
5. Pellonpekko (03:36)
6. You Looked Into My Eyes (02:15)
7. Hullunhumppa (01:30)
8. Man Can Go Even Through The Grey Stone (02:23)
9. Pixies Dance (02:20)
10. Juokse Sinä Humma (Keep Running, My Horse) (01:16)
11. Crows Bring The Spring (05:26)
12. Hengettömiltä Hengiltä (From The Spirits Of The Dead) (00:35)
13. Shaman Drum (04:58)
14. Mother Earth (04:36)

Total Length: 48:21

Wooden Pints starts off with a good riff and stays pretty enjoyable throughout. The bridge is a nice break, but not necessarily anything different. Before The Morning Sun is a lot more upbeat and fun, I really like the bridge. God Of Wind has a great chorus and main riff, pretty much the things I love about Korpiklaani. With Trees is a longer track that takes its time to build up. They don’t really do too many songs like this anymore which is too bad as this song is very good. I also really enjoy the woodwind usage.

Pellonpekko is an instrumental, and a pretty great one. Just simply well done. You Looked Into My Eyes is a fun shorter track, I like the chorus. Hullunhumppa is a fun little instrumental track with a polka flair. Man Can Go Even Through The Grey Stone is pretty cheesy, but I enjoy it. Pixies Dance is another fun, upbeat instrumental track. Always nice. Juokse Sinä Humma continues directly from the previous track, still keeping up the tone and pace. Their instrumentals are always above average.

Crows Bring The Spring is fairly good, but simply not as engaging as the previous few tracks. Hengettömiltä Hengiltä is a tiny little track, not much more than a neat interlude. Shaman Drum seems to be a call back to the band’s previous name, Shaman, and it’s a bit different in style. I like it well enough but it doesn’t entirely catch me. Mother Earth is a bit slower paced, more focused on the folk aspect and a lot better overall. I wasn’t too impressed by this album at first, but now I’ve come to realize that it’s a solid work and pleasant to listen through with no really bad parts.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

March 8, 2013

Album 0259: Dream Theater – The Majesty Demos 1985-1986

Dream_Theater_-_Official_Bootleg_-_The_Majesty_Demos_1985-1

Release Date: 2003
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Particle E. Motion (01:38)
2. Another Won (05:27)
3. The Saurus (01:24)
4. Cry For Freedom (06:32)
5. The School Song (06:13)
6. YYZ (04:03)
7. The Farandole (03:16)
8. Two Far (05:40)
9. Anti-Procrastination Song (00:13)
10. Your Majesty (03:57)
11. Solar System Race Song (00:18)
12. I’m About To Faint Song (00:10)
13. Mosquitos In Harmony Song (00:12)
14. John Thinks He’s Randy Song (00:10)
15. Mike Thinks He’s Dee Dee Ramone Introducing A Song Song (00:16)
16. John Thinks He’s Yngwie Song (00:16)
17. Gnos Sdrawkcab (00:23)
18. Another Won (05:28)
19. Your Majesty (03:46)
20. A Vision (11:24)
21. Two Far (05:26)
22. Vital Star (05:44)
23. March Of The Tyrant (05:35)

Total Length: 01:17:29

The first bulk of this compilation is instrumental. Tracks 1-17 were recorded in 1985 when the band did not have a vocalist or keyboardist. Particle E. Motion has a couple okay ideas but honestly just sounds like a childish intro. Another Won has some neat riffs and moments in it. It’s definitely the song on here I am most familiar with. The Saurus is a pretty good little interlude, I’m surprised at how good it is. Cry For Freedom has some cool moments as well, but these Majesty songs tend to blend together a bit for me.

The School Song has some very good riffs in it, a sign of things to come. YYZ is a cover of the Rush classic, it’s done well here. The Farandole is a very fun track, it’s a Talas cover so I should probably look into them. Two Far is good as well, but again it blends together for me. Anti-Procrastination Song is an S.O.D. cover but whatever. Your Majesty is a song that kind of sounds like some of their others, though I can’t quite place why. All the little X Songs are kind of useless. They were little experiments in double tracking, and that’s about it.

Now the last six tracks are the actual Majesty demos, recorded with vocals and keyboards. Another Won kind of works better with vocals. Your Majesty really doesn’t work with the vocals, but that is partially because they didn’t know how to mix vocals well. A Vision takes a while to build up but is good. Two Far is really cool with the keyboards added. Vital Star is a decent track. March Of The Tyrant is fun and feels like a rough version of songs they would write later on. This is a neat piece of history but I really don’t find myself drawn to it usually.

Final Rating: 7/10

March 4, 2013

Album 0258: Firewind – Burning Earth

Firewind-BurningEarth

Release Date: 2003
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Steal Them Blind (05:00)
2. I Am The Anger (03:49)
3. Immortal Lives Young (06:47)
4. Burning Earth (04:03)
5. The Fire And The Fury (05:26)
6. You Have Survived (05:28)
7. Brother’s Keeper (04:43)
8. Waiting Still (04:07)
9. The Longest Day (05:22)
10. Still The Winds (02:14)
11. Burning Earth (demo) (04:06)
12. The Fire And The Fury (demo) (05:23)

Total Length: 56:28

Steal Them Blind is a solid track, the verse is decent but the lead-up to the chorus and the chorus itself are great. The bridge is also very good. I Am The Anger is okay, the verse is the best part of the song. Immortal Lives Young is sort of interesting but also full of itself and goes on too long. Burning Earth is kind of basic. It’s neither bad nor great, I can’t say too much about it. The Fire And The Fury is a fairly good instrumental. Other than not having vocals it doesn’t necessarily stand out, but in a way I enjoy it more because it doesn’t try to be more than what it is.

You Have Survived has some neat riffs and vocals, it’s a fairly good track. Brother’s Keeper is one of the better songs on the album because it has a tinge of emotion, but the last minute is completely unnecessary. Waiting Still has a good chorus, it’s kind of memorable. The Longest Day is sort of a ballad. It works well enough until it gets heavier. Still The Winds is a decent little instrumental.

The demo of Burning Earth isn’t too different other than being of slightly lesser audio quality. The Fire And The Fury demo is much the same. Still a fairly good song. Overall this album is just kind of boring though. I hate that gimmicks sometimes stand out to me more, but this stuff just doesn’t really appeal to me. I think part of the problem with that is that this is the Gus G show, and less of a band. So I sometimes feel like there’s no use in paying attention to anything that’s not the guitar, especially the vocals.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

March 3, 2013

Album 0257: Bibio – Mind Bokeh

Bibio - Mind Bokeh

Release Date: 2011
Genre: Electronic

Tracklisting:

1. Excuses (05:59)
2. Pretentious (06:02)
3. Anything New (04:07)
4. Wake Up! (03:25)
5. Light Sleep (03:53)
6. Take Off Your Shirt (04:04)
7. Artists’ Valley (06:00
8. K Is For Kelson (03:29)
9. Mind Bokeh (02:33)
10. More Excuses (04:28)
11. Feminine Eye (01:51)
12. Saint Christopher (06:34)

Total Length: 52:25

Excuses has a neat intro with some musique concrete mixed in there. It has vocals as well, which was a big shock after the other Bibio album I’d heard. It’s pretty emotional though and the song works well. Pretentious is great and relaxing until the last minute or so. That minute isn’t bad, but it’s a complete change of pace and doesn’t really fit. Anything New gives me a FPM feeling, it’s just a plain fun track. wake Up! has a similar vibe, and I like the vocals in it.

Light Sleep is funky and fun. If I compared it to the other album I had heard, I wouldn’t think this was the same artist at all. Take Off Your Shirt kind of takes a step back from electronica and honestly sounds like a pop rock band. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s done well. Artists’ Valley starts off like a track on Hand Cranked, but then takes it in a different direction. It’s a good track. K Is For Kelson is the definition of fun, it’s upbeat and I really enjoy it.

Mind Bokeh is the complete opposite. It has a somber tone. It works well enough but I can’t say I’m totally fond of it. More Excuses relates back to the first track I suppose, it’s pretty good. Feminine Eye is a nice little track. It doesn’t entirely stand out but that’s okay. Saint Christopher isn’t quite as good as the other tracks, but it works well enough. I really disliked this album when I first heard it, and now I can’t fathom why. It was different I guess, and I needed time to adjust.

Final Rating: 8/10

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March 1, 2013

Album 0256: Devilish Impressions – Diabolicanos – Act III: Armageddon

DevilishImpressions-Armageddon

Release Date: 2007
Genre: Avant-garde Black/Death Metal

Tracklisting:

1. T.H.O.R.N.S. (03:59)
2. Rex Inferni (07:12)
3. The Word Was Made Flesh Turned Into Chaos Again (05:16)
4. I Am The Son Of God (04:21)
5. Tales Of Babylon’s Whore (06:39)
6. Diabolicanos (05:23)
7. Natas Ro Dog On Si Ereht (Of Plagues And Blasphemy) (05:53)
8. Har-Magedon (04:04)
9. Mass For The Dead (08:04)

Total Length: 50:52

T.H.O.R.N.S. has an amazing, memorable intro. On top of that the riffs are great and the use of keyboards are very cool. Just a great opening track. Rex Inferni is very cool as well. Perhaps not quite as memorable, but still a great track. The Word Was Made Flesh Turned Into Chaos Again has some really neat rhythms. This band reminds me of Behemoth, but I kind of like these better. Some of the stuff they do is just as strange yet more easily digestible.

I Am The Son Of God has a cool riff and vocal intro, just cool all around. Tales Of Babylon’s Whore has some neat synth things going on, I think the song may be just a tad long though. Diabolicanos has more good fast stuff, but also includes a neat slower section with clean vocals. Natas Ro Dog On Si Ereht (Of Plagues And Blasphemy) isn’t quite as good as the other tracks, still enjoyable though. Really this whole thing is just polished to shine, I wonder how people who don’t like extreme metal would take to it.

Har-Magedon isn’t too great either. Mass For The Dead has a bunch of good riffs and a cool intro and ending. I do kind of prefer the front side of the album, but it’s pretty solid all around. I also like this album more each time I hear it.

Final Rating: 8/10