Archive for May, 2014

May 23, 2014

Album 0453: Coheed And Cambria – In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3

Coheed And Cambria - In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth 3

Release Date: 2003
Genre: Progressive/Alternative Rock

Tracklisting:

1. The Ring In Return (02:07)
2. In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 (08:13)
3. Cuts Marked In The March Of Men (05:01)
4. Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow) (05:09)
5. The Crowing (06:36)
6. Blood Red Summer (04:05)
7. The Camper Velourium I: Faint Of Hearts (05:21)
8. The Camper Velourium II: Backend Of Forever (05:23)
9. The Camper Velourium III: Al The Killer (04:15)
10. A Favor House Atlantic (03:55)
11. The Light & The Glass (09:39)
12. 21:13 (09:47)

Total Length: 01:09:30

The Ring In Return is a bit too plot-heavy intro for me, but the music is nice once it starts, referencing the band’s previous album. In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 has an amazing intro that builds wonderfully, though I feel like there is pretty much always a disconnect between the band’s lyrics and the music. Claudio is writing this epic story (at least in his mind) and the music can only rarely approach the level he wants it to be at. This song is quite good, but that disconnect is obvious. I will also say that this song has an odd bit where like the song Master Of Puppets, it didn’t need to break and come back into itself. The gang vocal part also sounds weak and childish.

Cuts Marked In The March Of Men has some neat ideas, but I just really can’t connect with it. There’s just nothing to the song for me. Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow) is a nice simple song with a non-simple title. The main riff is poppy and catchy and drives the song forward. It has a terrible ending though. The Crowing has some cool moments in it as well, but unfortunately it’s another song that doesn’t stick with me, it’s just kind of too busy and never hits me emotionally.

Blood Red Summer gets back on the right track thankfully with a pretty powerful chorus. The Camper Velourium is a trilogy of varying quality. Faint Of Hearts starts it off and is fairly solid, I can’t say anything too bad about it. Backend Of Forever has some cool guitar parts and a few neat vocal bits, but they still kind of fall flat at times. Al The Killer tries to be heavier I guess, but it does not work very well for me. To be frank, this band just feels weird to me. It never feels right.

A Favor House Atlantic is a shorter, more pop oriented song but for me it is entirely forgettable. They finally get around to doing something different with The Light & The Glass as they take a softer approach with a slow burn buildup. The song keeps going and gains more emotional traction until it reaches the end. I really enjoy the vocals and melodies throughout. The ending is also really nice, bringing back that theme from the opening track. 21:13 is a solid song as well, even if I don’t think it earns its length as well as the previous song. This album still bothers me and the overall tone is something I take issues with, but there are great moments on here.

Final Rating: 6/10

May 15, 2014

Album 0452: 3 – The End Is Begun

3-TheEndIsBegun

Release Date: 2007
Genre: Progressive Rock

Tracklisting:

1. The World Is Born Of Flame (03:25)
2. The End Is Begun (03:42)
3. Battle Cry (04:03)
4. All That Remains (03:54)
5. My Divided Falling (03:51)
6. Serpents In Disguise (03:25)
7. Been To The Future (04:21)
8. Bleeding Me Home (03:47)
9. Live Entertainment (03:28)
10. Diamond In The Crush (03:41)
11. Shadow Play (04:07)
12. These Iron Bones (04:10)
13. The Last Day (07:53)
14. See Emily Play (03:20)

Total Length: 57:07

The World Is Born Of Flame is pretty fantastic as both an opening track and its own song. It has some beautiful guitar work and some fairly epic melodies to it. It also leads very well into The End Is Begun which is almost even more epic, though it presents some issues that remain constant throughout the album. I feel that the vocals at certain times can be too high pitched, and this comes up again for sure. For this song in particular, I feel that the flamenco guitar bits certainly sound good, but the electric guitar could come in more.

Battle Cry is exactly the type of everything I strongly dislike. I hate that kind of guitar work, and the overall tone and feel of the track, it’s exactly the same feeling that turns me off of Karnivool. There are some decent ideas here, but for some reason it kind of makes my stomach churn. All That Remains still has a bit of that tone, but at least there are some parts in here I do like, such as the neo-classical section and the lyrics. My Divided Falling is fairly solid, it doesn’t turn me off quite as much, thankfully. There’s also a great heavier section with some nearly-harsh vocals and it’s very cool.

Serpents In Disguise isn’t as tasteful, and it has some failings, but it definitely has a catchy chorus that sticks with you. Been To The Future is a softer song, I suppose. It’s really entirely forgettable. Bleeding Me Home has a terrible intro, and never really redeems itself. Live Entertainment is quite boring, and I don’t understand it. Diamond In The Crush continues on that trend of being boring, it offers nothing and even though it focuses on the electric guitars, the riffs are boring.

Now, if this band did more songs like Shadow Play then I would listen to them a hell of a lot more. There is a folk element with some almost-creepy lyrics, and the heavy bits work well in conjunction with the rest of the song. These Iron Bones is really cool simply for the little bit that comes during the chorus that sounds like a playground chant. The Last Day is a longer song and works really well. These guys have some progressive elements and I wish they would let loose with them more often. See Emily Play is a cover of the really weird Pink Floyd classic. They don’t really nail the rhythm for me, but the texture is there. This whole album tries to get me to like it, but it’s hard to. I just really don’t like some of the decisions on it.

Final Rating: 6/10

May 3, 2014

Album 0451: Therion – Sitra Ahra

Therion - Sitra Ahra

Release Date: 2010
Genre: Progressive/Symphonic Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Introduction/Sitra Ahra (05:25)
2. Kings Of Edom (08:52)
3. Unguentum Sabbati (05:10)
4. Land Of Canaan (10:33)
5. Hellequin (05:18)
6. 2012: Return Of The Feathered Serpent (04:16)
7. Cú Chulainn (04:16)
8. Kali Yuga Part III: Autumn Of The Aeons (03:41)
9. The Shells Are Open (03:45)
10. Din (02:38)
11. Children Of The Stone: After The Inquisition (07:22)

Total Length: 01:01:16

The point where the Introduction turns into Sitra Ahra is somewhat unclear to me, unless the former is just really short. Either way, this is a very solid opening track that covers a lot of ground and forges a new direction for the band while still having the classic elements I enjoy from them. Kings Of Edom is fantastic as well, I just love everything about it. The band has really taken on a kind of avant-garde styling on this album. Not in the actual way the term means, just in how quickly things change in a single song and how variety abounds.

Unguentum Sabbati continues the trend of great tracks, it has a great pace and the vocals get stuck in my head, as well as that kind of dark riff the orchestra does. Land Of Canaan is amazing, and it goes through so much in its longer length. The part that kind of dropped my jaw the first time was oddly the harmonica bit. It’s just an instrument I would never have expected to be on a Therion album. Hellequin has some more suprises, like a huge variety of vocals and the band’s first use of somewhat odder black metal vocals. Great track all in all.

2012: Return Of The Feathered Serpent has some neat moments, but is the first track on here to fall short a bit. That’s not saying much bad about it, just that it doesn’t get on par with what came before it. Cú Chulainn kind of focuses on one hook and not much else, but that hook is pretty great. Kali Yuga Part III: Autumn Of The Aeons is not as big of a track as I would have expected, considering the songs that it is a sequel to, but I like it. The Shells Are Open is slower, and kind of provides a nice atmosphere.

Din continues on from the previous track, they are kind of two halves of a whole. This song is the opposite, it’s fast and aggressive, with some harsh vocals to compliment it. Children Of The Stone: After The Inquisition is ridiculously fantastic, I really can’t say enough good words about it. It just oozes something that makes me feel good, and the atmosphere is incredible. It’s something I wouldn’t have thought the band was capable of before I heard it. This album was kind of a shock at first, and took some getting used to, but man do I love it nowadays.

Final Rating: 8.5/10