Archive for November, 2013

November 30, 2013

Album 0391: Shade Empire – Zero Nexus

ShadeEmpire-ZeroNexus

Release Date: 2008
Genre: Black Metal

Tracklisting:

1. 9 In 1 (04:39)
2. Adam & Eve (04:21)
3. Blood Colours The White (04:15)
4. Flesh Relinquished (04:49)
5. Harvesters Of Death (03:59)
6. Serpent-Angel (04:33)
7. Whisper From The Depths (04:23)
8. Ecstasy Of Black Light (04:11
9. Victory (09:33)

Total Length: 44:42

9 In 1 has a fantastic opening filled with awesome riffs and a neat mixture of styles with hints of a few types of metal thrown in. The vocals aren’t the best I’ve ever heard, but melodic enough and easy to understand, and of course they do mix it up during the chorus. Adam & Eve is pretty neat as well, I love it bringing in some female vocals into the fold. Blood Colours The White has some more great riffs and is all around great.

Flesh Relinquished has a lot of cool moments, again offering some interesting change-ups with the vocals. Harvesters Of Death follows the track immediately, it’s fairly good but kind of wears out its welcome. Serpent-Angel is mostly decent until the last minute where it achieves a satisfying climax. Whisper From The Depths is still my favorite track on the album, I just love the oddities about it like its dynamics and that powerful riff and the roar that starts the riff off. Just fantastic.

Ecstasy Of Black Light continues the trend of greatness, with some great riffs and moments throughout. Just a joy to listen to. Victory starts off like the other songs for the first few minutes, then slows things down. It surprisingly brings a sax into the mix at this point, and it’s really neat to hear. The rest of the song builds on what was presented and has a nice, if maybe a bit too extended, ending. This album has a couple amazing moments and doesn’t stay evenly at that point, but I’m never really bored during it.

Final Rating: 8/10

Advertisements
November 29, 2013

Album 0390: Biomechanical – Cannibalised

Biomechanical-Cannibalised

Release Date: 2008
Genre: Progressive/Groove Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Fallen In Fear (04:32)
2. The Unseen (04:30)
3. Cannibalised (05:57)
4. Breathing Silence (05:09)
5. Predatory (04:51)
6. Slow The Poison (05:50)
7. Consumed (05:11)
8. Reborn In Damnation (04:02)
9. Through Hatred Arise (04:44)
10. Violent Descent (03:26)
11. Beyond The Descent (Fallen In Fear + Regenerated) (02:30)
12. Reborn Into Darkness (Through Hatred Arise) (04:23)
13. Imperium (Absolution Parts I + III) (04:43)
14. Through The Remains (Consumed) (04:10)

Total Length: 01:03:58

Fallen In Fear is a textbook case of some great ideas executed terribly. First and foremost, the awful mastering job. The production probably holds up but god this album is so loud and there is so much blatantly obvious clipping and digital errors. It also grossly mistreats the mix, making it sounds like all you can hear is the guitars and everything else is in the background. There are some neat ideas with the riffs, but it’s hard to get past how it all comes across.

The Unseen has some cool moments in it too, and the awful audio is only slightly less of an issue. Cannibalised is much the same, I can somewhat get into it. I do enjoy the mixture of symphonic style and groovy riffs. Breathing Silence has a nice calm intro to give some sense of change, before getting back into decent riffs. Predatory is fairly good, but not too memorable. Slow The Poison follows it pretty quickly, and I have the same thoughts on it.

Consumed mixes things up a little bit so I suppose it gets a couple points for that. Reborn In Damnation is decent, it all kind of blends together to be honest. Through Hatred Arise also shakes it up a bit and is almost nice. Violent Descent is very average. For these main tracks, the biggest issue is the sound of the album fighting against it every step of the way. It’s that bad, and I can normally forgive bad production.

Beyond The Descent (Fallen In Fear + Regenerated) is the start of the bonus tracks, remixes or some such of all the symphonic bits from select songs. It’s kind of neat but highlights that they can be kind of childish. Reborn Into Darkness (Through Hatred Arise) is a bit more nuanced but still nothing special. Imperium (Absolution Parts I + III) is decent. Through The Remains (Consumed) ends things on an alright note. This album could be a lot better, if it can ever get revisited.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

November 27, 2013

Album 0389: Kronos – Colossal Titan Strife

Kronos-ColossalTitanStrife

Release Date: 2004
Genre: Death Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Mythological Bloodbath (00:40)
2. Colossal Titan Strife (03:36)
3. Submission (02:18)
4. Opplomak (04:17)
5. With Eaque Sword (04:37)
6. Aeternum Pharaos Curse (04:09)
7. Haterealm (02:55)
8. Monumental Carnage (04:43)
9. Phaeton (06:06)
10. Kronos (03:30)
11. Infernal Worms Fields (05:49)

Total Length: 42:40

Mythological Bloodbath is a decent intro as far as those go. It’s a bunch of sounds of battle and such, just shows you the atmosphere to expect. Colossal Titan Strife starts off oddly. The vocals are definitely not the highlight on the album for me, I’ll put it that way. They range from serviceable to good. The riffs and production are fantastic though, it’s worth listening to just for that alone, and this song is a fine example of them.

Submission is fantastic, I don’t know why it took me so long to get into this album. Opplomak is pretty great as well, though one point where everything stops for a second always befuddles me. With Eaque Sword has some really cool riffs as well as other neat moments thrown in, like sudden focuses on the bass. Aeternum Pharaos Curse is just fantastic all around, I really enjoy it.

Haterealm starts off okay but gets awesome when they let loose in the solo section. Monumental Carnage starts off with one of the best riffs on the album, and is just all around ridiculous in a good way. Phaeton is very good as well, nothing bad to say about it. Kronos is pretty strong as well, for some reason I really enjoy the way the end the song too. Infernal Worms Fields is a strong ending track as well. Some of the songs tend to blend together for me, so I can’t entirely get a grasp on the album, but I definitely enjoy it a good amount.

Final Rating: 8/10

November 26, 2013

Album 0388: Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head

Coldplay-ARushOfBloodToTheHead

Release Date: 2002
Genre: Alternative Rock/Pop

Tracklisting:

1. Politik (05:19)
2. In My Place (03:49)
3. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face (04:57)
4. The Scientist (05:09)
5. Clocks (05:07)
6. Daylight (05:28)
7. Green Eyes (03:43)
8. Warning Sign (05:31)
9. A Whisper (03:58)
10. A Rush Of Blood To The Head (05:51)
11. Amsterdam (05:19)

Total Length: 54:12

Unfortunately, Politik annoys me from the absolute start. I can not stand the plodding pace or those guitar chords that sound like someone is completely bored with whatever they’re playing. The verse is the only good section on here, and it deserves a better song. In My Place is like a Radiohead song got leaked elsewhere. This kind of rings true for a lot of stuff on here. I almost like this track.

God Put A Smile Upon Your Face is fairly good but too long. Again, something that happens all over this album. The Scientist takes too long to get going, but is okay once it gets there. Clocks is the only hook on here I was familiar with before hearing this, and it still sounds just as cheesy as when it appeared all over the place. There’s barely anything to the song past it. Daylight seems to be an homage to The Beatles, and considering I absolutely hate that Beatles song you can guess what I think about this track.

Green Eyes is a boring acoustic track. That’s all I can hear. Warning Sign has both of those issues I’ve mentioned previously. A Whisper lacks energy, it just does nothing and never reaches a climax. A Rush Of Blood To The Head is much the same, mostly in relating to being boring. Amsterdam is unremarkable. All these songs are too long and the pace is ungodly slow. It just makes me want to fall asleep but not in a good way. I wanted to like this, but the atmosphere of the whole album is depressing, and again, not in a good way.

Final Rating: 4/10

November 25, 2013

Album 0387: The Beatles – With The Beatles

TheBeatles-WithTheBeatles

Release Date: 1963
Genre: Pop/Rock

Tracklisting:

1. It Won’t Be Long (02:16)
2. All I’ve Got To Do (02:06)
3. All My Loving (02:13)
4. Don’t Bother Me (02:31)
5. Little Child (01:50)
6. Till There Was You (02:19)
7. Please Mister Postman (02:39)
8. Roll Over Beethoven (02:49)
9. Hold Me Tight (02:35)
10. You Really Got A Hold On Me (03:04)
11. I Wanna Be Your Man (02:01)
12. Devil In Her Heart (02:30)
13. Not A Second Time (02:12)
14. Money (That’s What I Want) (02:49)

Total Length: 33:53

It Won’t Be Long has a very catchy chorus, and I really like the arrangement with the guitar sneaking in licks. The vocal layering works well too. All I’ve Got To Do is a nice song that fits the style of the time. It kind of ends suddenly but I enjoy it while it’s on, other than being able to hear the squeak of the drum pedal. All My Loving has some okay moments but otherwise just doesn’t do too much for me.

Don’t Bother Me is kind of different from the other tracks on here with its attitude, and that gets it some points. It gets a tiny bit boring halfway through. Little Child is an odd little song that doesn’t do much for me. Till There Was You is quite boring to me, I don’t feel that it’s a worthwhile song, or at least rendition of it. Please Mister Postman gets stuck in your head which is cool.

Roll Over Beethoven is boring and kind of embarrassing to be totally honest. Hold Me Tight is another track where you can hear the pedal squeak, but it’s a fun little thing. Just very simplistic, but then again that was the trend at the time. You Really Got A Hold On Me has a neat hook and for some reason I really, really like it. I Wanna Be Your Man is kind of odd in that I shouldn’t like it, yet I do.

Devil In Her Heart is plain uninteresting to me. Not A Second Time is much the same. Money (That’s What I Want) is kind of a classic and I have a small soft spot for it in that sense. This seems like an album I can come back to on a rare occasion, but it doesn’t hold any kind of place in my head or heart really. A couple neat songs and that’s it.

Final Rating: 6/10

November 24, 2013

Album 0386: Big D And The Kids Table – Good Luck

BigDAndTheKidsTable-GoodLuck

Release Date: 1999
Genre: Ska/Punk

Tracklisting:

1. Myself (02:34)
2. 5 Kids Down (02:16)
3. G.L.D. (02:02)
4. Are You Just Scared? (01:46)
5. Fatman (03:18)
6. She Won’t Ever Figure It Out (02:26)
7. Take Another Look (02:36)
8. Find Out (04:23)
9. Can’t Be Caught (02:56)
10. I’d Rather (02:45)
11. Apology (00:51)
12. Dirt Lip (02:34)
13. Learning To Listen (02:04)
14. 51 Gardner (05:21)
15. Good Luck (04:21)

Total Length: 42:13

Myself has a good intro and a catchy chorus. This other singer here crops up throughout the album and it’s never too great. Fine starting song though. 5 Kids Down has a slightly annoying intro, but past that the song picks up and the verse is fantastic. G.L.D. is a great track, and it’s only helped by it’s reference to Sloop John B. in the chorus. Are You Just Scared? is a little song that relies on the strength of its fairly good chorus.

Fatman has some cool little moments throughout but doesn’t catch me overall, sadly. She Won’t Ever Figure It Out is kind of a very nice guy song but the lyrics can be a little funny, and the music works well. Take Another Look has a slightly creepy atmosphere that entirely works and gives it an edge. Find Out is a bit slower and much less punk oriented. It’s a very catchy song that gets stuck in your head.

Can’t Be Caught is a decent track but it doesn’t stick with me. It has a neat little guitar solo though. I’d Rather has the same issue, just not very memorably. Apology is an annoying little track, I don’t really care for it. Dirt Lip is kind of funny but not a great song. Learning To Listen has a fantastic riff for a band like this, just insanely good.

51 Gardner is a decent song, but that’s about all I can say about it. It ends after the three minute mark, and we get some random studio chatter for the remainder. I don’t really care for it and it’s kind of annoying when listening through the album. Good Luck is probably the most laid back song on here. It’s definitely enjoyable, but it completely loses me most of the way through. Not entirely sure why. That also kind of sums up this album. Strong start but by the end I’m just confused.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

November 23, 2013

Album 0385: Dream Theater – Hollow Years

Hollow Years

Release Date: 1997
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Hollow Years (radio edit) (04:16)
2. Burning My Soul (live) (08:20)
3. Another Hand/The Killing Hand (live) (13:28)

Total Length: 26:03

The radio edit of Hollow Years seems to have a slightly different mix than the album version and is of course a few minutes shorter. It seems a bit easier to digest, but loses some of its flair. It’s also nowhere near as the good as the later live versions. This version of the song accompanies the video for the song and it’s a pretty embarrassing video in all honesty. The band is barely in it, and not playing any instruments from what I remember. Also the fadeout on this song is terrible

Burning My Soul is live, and in its original form. This means the majority of the track Hell’s Kitchen gets smushed into it. Both it and the the remaining song are probably from the same performance that was released on an official bootleg, but I’m hanging onto these because these sound better honestly. I do like hearing this song from time to time. Another Hand/The Killing Hand is the song from their first album with an extended intro, loosely related to the song Another Day, since the jam originally bridged the two songs. It’s still a fantastic song. However, since I don’t like the radio edit and these live tracks exist in a slightly separate form, it’s hard to come back to this.

Final Rating: 6/10

November 22, 2013

Album 0384: Five Iron Frenzy – All The Hype That Money Can Buy

FiveIronFrenzy-AllTheHypeThatMoneyCanBuy

Release Date: 2000
Genre: Ska/Punk

Tracklisting:

0. What’s Up? (00:05)
1. The Greatest Story Ever Told (03:20)
2. Me Oh My (02:16)
3. Solidarity (03:31)
4. The Phantom Mullet (02:59)
5. Ugly Day (03:37)
6. Fahrenheit (03:36)
7. Four-Fifty-One (03:05)
8. You Probably Shouldn’t Move Here (02:30)
9. Hurricanes (03:47)
10. Giants (04:14)
11. I Still Like Larry (00:32)
12. All The Hype (03:05)
13. It’s Not Unusual (02:21)
14. A New Hope (02:38)
15. World Without End (03:45)

Total Length: 45:21

What’s Up? is a short pre-roll track, it kind of works as an intro. The Greatest Story Ever Told is a bit disingenuous but that’s just my own bias showing through. It’s a fun song though. Me Oh My has a good punk flair and the pre-chorus is fantastic, with the chorus following suit. Just a fun little song. Solidarity is simply amazing, it’s a ton of fun and takes a semi-calypso feel. The mixture of vocals is too much fun as well.

The Phantom Mullet is more of a rock song, I don’t entirely care for it. Ugly Day is fun, I like that they almost pull a Reel Big Fish by having upbeat music and depressing lyrics. Fahrenheit has a good message but the song isn’t too great. I wish it were better. Four-Fifty-One is kind of fun, but it doesn’t feel entirely focused to me. I could probably blame the arrangement. You Probably Shouldn’t Move Here is a rockabilly track and super catchy.

Hurricanes is a slower track, it doesn’t do a whole lot for me though. Giants is an amazing song though. The first bit is like a demented chorus, and the remainder of the track is creepy and still works wonderfully. I Still Like Larry is a tiny little song. It’s decent but I don’t entirely get why it exists. All The Hype has a pretty annoying chorus, and the rest of the song does not make up for it.

It’s Not Unusual is a cover of the Tom Jones classic. They were playing this live before recording it here, and eh. It would have been a ton of fun to hear live, but on here it doesn’t really do anything other than ape the original and that’s it. A New Hope is pretty great, it gets stuck in my head pretty easily. World Without End is one of the few times where the band takes on a more generic Christian approach to a song, and one of the few times I actually like that approach. It’s a good track. The album has some really high highs but the rest of it falls fairly flat.

Final Rating: 7/10

November 21, 2013

Album 0383: Drudkh – Blood In Our Wells

Drudkh-BloodInOurWells

Release Date: 2006
Genre: Black Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Навь (Nav’) (02:25)
2. Борозни богів (Furrows Of Gods) (08:57)
3. Коли пломінь перетворюється на попіл (When The Flame Turns To Ashes) (10:37)
4. Самітність (Solitude) (12:24)
5. Вічність (Eternity) (10:38)
6. Українська Повстанська Армія (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) (05:02)

Total Length: 50:04

Навь is an atmoshperic intro. I can only imagine it was supposed to sound like the image the cover is depicting. It works fairly well though maybe is a touch long. Борозни богів starts things off quickly once its turn comes. It has some really cool riffs, a good atmosphere, and some neat solos to boot. Коли пломінь перетворюється на попіл has a neat little intro, before getting into a cool riff. The whole song is depressing in a good way and is easy to get lost in.

Самітність also has a cool intro and some great riffs throughout. Very cool song. Вічність adds a folk element at the beginning before going into the best riff of the album. The guitar solo in it is a bit questionable though. Ends up being fantastic though. Українська Повстанська Армія has some okay moments but really doesn’t do anything for me. This album is less unique or flavored as Autumn Aurora, but has some good moments. It’s not something that really sticks with me though.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

November 20, 2013

Album 0382: Edguy – Hellfire Club

Edguy-HellfireClub

Release Date: 2004
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Mysteria (05:46)
2. The Piper Never Dies (10:07)
3. We Don’t Need A Hero (05:31)
4. Down To The Devil (05:28)
5. King Of Fools (04:22)
6. Forever (05:41)
7. Under The Moon (05:05)
8. Lavatory Love Machine (04:26)
9. Rise Of The Morning Glory (04:40)
10. Lucifer In Love (00:32)
11. Navigator (05:23)
12. The Spirit Will Remain (04:12)
13. Children Of Steel (04:04)
14. Mysteria (05:33)

Total Length: 01:10:51

Mysteria has a great intro, great riff, great chorus, just all around great. As an opening track you can rarely ask for better, with one exception that we’ll get to much later in the album. I could say that it’s maybe the tiniest bit lengthy, but it’s not so bad. The Piper Never Dies however completely earns its ten minutes. Most of the song is mid tempo, and the riff and arrangement carries the song. It also picks up speed in the last couple minutes, giving a very satisfying ending.

We Don’t Need A Hero has a cool opening, and is more like a traditional Edguy song. It’s upbeat, happy, and fast. I enjoy it pretty well. Down To The Devil has a wonderful chorus. Both of these songs could have been trimmed a bit, but they don’t bother as much as they could. King Of Fools is an odd song somewhat, with a heavy emphasis on electronics and a slower riff. I have some issues with the song yet they kind of get ignored while listening to it.

Forever is a ballad, and not a very great one. It’s way too long, and never catches my ear. Just kind of a disappointment. Under The Moon is a heavier song that doesn’t entirely stand out. It sure sounds nice while listening to it, but it’s hard to recall once it’s over. Lavatory Love Machine sounds like something out of the 80s and is kind of weird, but I can dig it. Rise Of The Morning Glory is more of a standard power metal track, it’s fun.

Lucifer In Love is a stupid little track that is more embarrassing than funny. Navigator is fairly fun, but has the issue of not being too memorable. The Spirit Will Remain is the close of the regular album sans bonus tracks. It starts off sounding like a song from the Chrono Cross soundtrack which is weird but also nice. Unfortunately it just becomes a boring ballad that I forget as soon as it’s over.

Children Of Steel is a song from before the band’s first album, a very early demo that they re-recorded for this. It’s actually a really cool song and I always love when bands do things like that, assuming the song is actually good like this one is. Mysteria is almost entirely the same track that started the album, with one major difference. The singer this time (at certain points) is Mille Petrozza from Kreator, and his voice gives the song a whole new dimension. Specifically the vocals are still technically clean but almost harsh, and it gives the song a heavier tone that works stupendously well. It makes me really wish I could hear him sing the whole album. It took a bit, but I do like this album. It’s not entirely amazing, but still way above average.

Final Rating: 8/10